Lost: “Ji Yeon”

On the latest installment of Lost, a long-missing 815er finally resurfaces, Jin reacts badly to the revelation of his pregnant wife Sun’s pre-island affair with Jae Lee—but Jin ultimately decides to be the forgiving Silda to Sun’s Eliot Spitzer—and the implied fate of one of the most likable 815ers must have caused shippers of a certain supercouple to fumble for the Kleenex box.

(Spoilers after the jump)

So did Jin perish in the future or did he actually stay behind on the island? Well, judging from the fact that right after the surviving Kwons’ visit to Jin’s grave, the “thwap” noise that usually accompanies Lost‘s closing title graphic went silent (a la the silencing of 24‘s beeping clock whenever a heroic character dies), my money’s on Future Jin pushing up daisies.

Daniel Dae Kim, you should have called a cab that night, dammit. We don’t want to see Jin go. He’s no Ana-Lucia, that’s for sure. Alan Sepinwall is right that Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim (no relation)—the MVPs of this superbly acted episode—are so underrated.

The flashbacks

Jin scours the gift shops of Seoul for a giant stuffed panda, a present for the yet-to-be-delivered baby of a woman who at first appears to be Sun. The new mom turns out to be the daughter of the Chinese ambassador, a business associate of Jin’s mob-connected boss, Mr. Paik (Sun’s father)—and what we were led to believe was a flash-forward to the Kwons’ post-island future is really a flashback to the earlier days of their marriage.

The island

Sun suspects the freighties aren’t intending to return the survivors to civilization, so she plans to do some further investigating of her own. She and Jin attempt to sneak out to the Locke flock’s camp, but Juliet forbids them to leave.

The doctor tells Jin that unless Sun leaves the island, she will die in three weeks—like all other pregnant women on the island—so she’s in no shape to embark on a trip to Locke’s camp. Then Juliet spills the beans about Sun’s infidelity. Jin is initially upset about the affair, but he realizes his actions back in Seoul were what drove his wife to cheat and he forgives her. Sun changes her mind about going to Locke’s camp.

On the freighter, Sayid and Desmond find a written note (“Don’t trust the captain”) slipped through their door, most likely by the same “friend on the boat” who’s spying for Ben and had opened the sickbay door to aid Sayid and Desmond in their escape to the radio room in “The Constant.”

Gault (Grant Bowler), the freighter’s skipper, is surprisingly forthcoming to Sayid and Desmond—he explains Charles Widmore‘s role in the search for Ben and unleashes the black box from the faked wreckage of Oceanic 815.

“Can you imagine what kind of resources and manpower go into pulling off a feat of that magnitude: faking the recovery of a plane crash, putting 324 families through a grieving process based on a lie?,” says Gault. “But what’s even more disturbing: where exactly does one come across 324 dead bodies? And that, Mr. Jarrah, Mr. Hume, is just one of the many reasons we want Benjamin Linus.”

Later, Ray (Marc Vann), the ship’s physician, introduces Sayid and Desmond to a crewman who goes by the name of Kevin Johnson. Sayid recognizes “Johnson” as Michael (Harold Perrineau) but plays along with Michael’s charade.

The flash-forwards

Sun goes into labor and cries for her absent husband. We also find out Sun is one of the Oceanic Six. After some brief complications, Sun successfully delivers her baby daughter and names her Ji Yeon (pronounced “jee yoan”). Hurley pays a visit to Sun and Ji Yeon and accompanies them to Jin’s gravesite. It appears that Jin didn’t survive the return to civilization. Or is he still alive and among the many 815ers who were left behind on the island (or are all those remaining lostaways dead)?

Stray observations

-Two years ago, Joyce Millman wrote a great article about why the Jin/Sun eps are always compelling: “Sun and Jin are alluring in part because their relationship is so unusual for network television, where younger, whiter, unmarried people seem to have all the romantic fun.”

-Zoë Bell finally appears onscreen as Regina, who’s gone off the rails—she’s first seen reading a copy of Jules Verne’s The Survivors of the Chancellor that’s been turned upside down. The next time we see Regina is the last time we’ll ever see her (unless she reappears in one of Michael’s inevitable flashbacks): she covers herself in chains and leaps off the boat to her death.

-Is Regina the “R.G.” whose name was engraved on Naomi’s wrist bracelet in “The Economist” (“N, I’ll always be with you. R.G.”)? Was the death of Regina’s lover the reason why the Kiwi freightie killed herself—or was she suffering from the same “sickness” that took the lives of fellow shipmates like George Minkowski, as well as the lives of Danielle Rousseau’s scientist colleagues?

-As Captain Gault asks, “Where exactly does one come across 324 dead bodies?” Are time travel and body-switching a la the John Varley novel-turned-cheesy ’80s Cheryl Ladd movie Millennium involved in the ruse? Does this Dharma Initiative orientation film hint at how Ben is able to pull off the staged wreckage?:


-Another freeze-frame-worthy continuity callback: during the teaser, Sun’s TV set is showing Nikki‘s Charlie’s Angels-esque TV series from last season’s “Exposé.”

-Michael must be a Suns fan. His alias is most likely a shoutout to the Suns’ former point guard.

-Jae Lee (Tony Lee), the bald millionaire who slept with Sun, was apparently named after the Marvel Comics artist who’s best known for his work on Inhumans and a Marvel adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga. I wouldn’t be surprised if a “Pia Guerra” pops up in a future Lost ep.

On a scale consisting of Lost‘s cursed numbers, 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 (4 being the lowest, 42 being the highest)…

“Ji Yeon”: 16 23

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