Tuesday, July 21, 2009

1:17 ...In Translation

I remember my first viewing of this Jin-centric episode softening my opinion of Jin somewhat. He's still a controlling chauvinist jerk, but he has his reasons. We see the same events from "House of the Rising Sun," but this time through Jin's perspective. There are a lot of parallels between the flashbacks and the on-Island action too. In Jin's past, he's trying to hide the truth about his work from Sun; on the Island, Sun is the one keeping secrets from Jin. When Jin runs into the caves to wash his burned hands, it parallels him washing his bloody hands in the bathroom. Both times Sun assumes the worst of him, but the truth is that both times he was trying to make the best of a bad situation. It's too bad that he's too proud to tell Sun what's really going on (though to be fair, a lot of the characters on LOST could benefit from better communication skills.) In flashback, Sun asks Jin to help her button up her wedding dress. On the Island, she's constantly resentful of his efforts to always button her up.

Some general thoughts:

-Another literary reference from Sawyer, this time Lord of the Flies. LOST overlaps with the themes of the book quite frequently. Some of the more obvious examples are the questions raised about how best to be a leader, the presence of boars, recurrent schism in a group of survivors, and an omni-present but rarely seen monster.

-Locke tells Shannon "Everyone gets a new life on this Island." This is true for Locke in season 1, but perhaps even more so in season 5, when he gets a new life that isn't even his own.

-Locke provides a scapegoat for who burned the raft, the Others, directing the Losties' attention away from the fact that Walt did it. (I think Vincent knows - he was sniffing around the burned out raft!) Locke asks "Why would anyone of us block an attempt to get home?" Pretty disingenuous there, Locke. He will end up attempting to block their rescue many times.

-Sun tells Jin "I want to go back to the beginning. Can't we just start all over?" Jin coldly replies that it's too late. This is a reversal from earlier in the episode, when Jin tells his father he wants to start over. Ironically, later when the Island skips through time, Jin does go back to the beginning. Michael also uses the phrase "start over", referring to rebuilding the raft. From a wider perspective, maybe this is the hope for all those on the Island - if they can't change the past, at least they can start over.

-Sayid telling Boone he wants to be "more than just friends" with Shannon is truly cringe-worthy dialogue. YIKES.

The ending is another cool montage, this time with Damien Rice. It's the last incidental music in the season, because Hurley's CD player unfortunately runs out of batteries in the middle of the song.


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