You know how we all look forward to those Darlton-written episodes of Lost? Well, this is one of them, although you wouldn’t know it. It features a few signature moments in the Lost universe, but doesn’t hold up nearly as well to scrutiny as some of their others. But hey, not every episode can be a heart-wrenching, mind-blowing, brain-expanding extravaganza. Sure, I might make it seem easy here on the blog, but trust me, it’s hard work.
But enough about me: let’s see what Sun and Jin are up to, shall we?
4) In Short
"Walk softly and carry a big stick. No, really softly. No, no. OK, just watch these guys and learn. See?"
8) On the Island
Sun and Claire are on the beach, washing clothes. Guess they haven’t been told about the facilities in the Swan. The two discuss the fate of the raft, when Sun realizes that she’s lost her wedding ring.
In The Arrow, the Tailies have a powwow while the Lostaways huddle in the corner. It’s like a middle school dance, only in a slightly more dingy setting. (Although only slightly, my junior high gym was in pretty rough shape.) Sensing he’s thinking about his wife, Michael assures Jin that he will see his wife again. The Tailies have a plan: go to the Lostaways beachfront property. Oh boy oh boy, a camping trip!
They tentatively make their way out of the station, looking around for signs of danger. Sawyer wants to make a "jail break," while Michael wants to hang around and find out what happened to the missing members of their group. Ana Lucia pairs everyone up to gather food and water, pairing a Tailie and Lostaway together for maximum bonding. Or, you know, to make sure no one escapes.
Jack spies Sun rooting through her stuff. After she reveals that her ring is gone, Jack tries to comfort her by telling the story of how he lost his. True story: I jumped into the Atlantic wearing mine on my honeymoon, only to clench my fist and swim in a circle for the next hour. Silly me. Anywho, Jack ends his story by saying the ring’s rattling around in a sock drawer back home. This story doesn’t quite soothe Sun’s worried mind.
Ana Lucia can’t figure out why Jin won’t help her and Bernard fish. Turns out Jin’s helping just fine, as his seeming laziness belies a neat technique by which he draws the fish to him. Meanwhile, Libby and Michael forage for fruit in the jungle. He suggests they go further inland, past the areas picked clean, but Libby says that area is forbidden. After all, that is where "they" come from.
Sawyer’s dozing off, only to get woken up by the thud of Mr. Eko’s knife. Yup, we finally learn his name. The coolness of the moment is busted by Libby’s return: turns out Michael’s left and gone after Walt. Shocker. Ana Lucia wants to move out, but Jin is having none of it. He looks to Sawyer for backup, only to have Sawyer pull the "every man for himself" routine. This prompts Jin to do the dumbest thing he does all episode: punch Mr. Eko. That ain’t good. And yet, it earns Jin a measure of respect from the big man, who offers to help Jin find Michael.
On the beach, Hurley suggests Sun retrace her steps. Hurley’s convinced Vincent ate the ring, so the two sit by him and um, yea, they’re waiting for Vincent to "cough" it up. At least Sun recognizes the stupidity of the plan, although it does yield a funny story involving $1.35. The two then talk about the dog Jin gave Sun back in Korea. It’s name Bpo Bpo, which is Korean for "Don’t Blow Up On a Freighter in Season 4, Pretty Please." I know: talk about ironic.
While walking in the jungle, Eko senses something he doesn’t like. He begs Jin to stay put, but Jin runs away…straight into the path of a boar. Oh, and a man in tattered clothing named Goodwin who features a giant pole through his chest. Eko and Jin bond in the jungle, with Eko offering an aloe plant to tend to Jin’s wound. They also discuss Sun at home length.
Cut to Sun: on her hands and knees in her garden, finally giving into all the emotion of the past four days. Who should come along but John Locke, who notes that she’s having a bad day. No sh$t, Sherlock. He offers her a clean handkerchief and asks to sit down. She notes that she’s never seen Locke angry. Locke replies that he used to be angry all the time, but he’s no longer lost. He suggests that the way things get found is to stop looking, all the while replanting an uprooted plant in her garden.
Eko and Jin soon find Michael’s track. How do we know it’s Michael? "They" don’t leave tracks. "They" are super slick. And turns out, "they" are heading this way, as Eko silences Jin and hides them both in nearby brush. Wait for it, wait for it…ahh, there we go, a few pairs of legs walking, silently by. Some clothed, some bare-legged, some carrying a teddy bear by a branch. I think I want my mommy.
Eko notes that Michael wasn’t going the same way as those creepy leg people, and insists that he accompany Jin further to help find Michael. Awww, Eko, for a big Alpha Male that scared the bejeezus out of most of us so far this season, you’re a big teddy bear! Whoops, bad analogy, given what just happened.
On the beach, Kate sits next to Sun. Sun notes that she intellectually realizes the ring is an unimportant thing, but obviously what the ring represents is the missing husband, the one on the raft, the raft that’s been blown to smithereens, and sent a bottle slowly towards shore. Sun takes Kate to the location of the bottle, where Kate starts to read every letter within. Turns out Kate’s feeling guilty that she never said goodbye to Sawyer. So that explains why she read every…oh wait, not at all. But look on the bright side: Sun finds her ring, buried right with the bottle. So all’s well on that front.
Sawyer collapses slowly while Ana Lucia walks the group through the jungle. Looks like the shoulder wound is hurting him more and more. Ana Lucia and him tentatively bond while he rests. She has this great "I can totally seduce him later while he’s carrying something that will lead to my bloody death" look on her face.
Oh crap, it’s the WAAAAAALT scene, which makes no sense since we should have heard these stupid cries for the majority of the episode. Eko and Jin follow him to a waterfall, where Eko tries to warn Michael about the true danger these people represent. Jin says, in broken English, "You find Walt, Michael." There’s a "will" missing in there, but Michael hears it all the same, and wordlessly agrees to accompany them back.
15) Off the Island
Sun’s at her mirror, getting dressed. Her mother disapproves of her outfit, especially the shoes. Turns out Sun’s met someone via eHarmony, and he might be short. And by eHarmony I mean "arrangements by their parents." Looks like Mama and Papa Paik are none too happy about their daughter being single. I know plenty of parents who would pay good money to make sure they never caught boy cooties.
Elsewhere, Jin is getting ready for work while his friend reads the daily horoscope. He feels Jin’s due to find true love, and that this true love will look like "orange." But Jin can’t worry about love; he’s off to an important job interview. Looks like he needs the job, as he can’t even afford to cut the price tag to the tie he’s wearing.
At the interview, the hotel manager is impressed with Jin’s resume, noting his previous employer promoted him from within, an unusual occurrence. He then asks Jin’s background; specifically, the village in which he was raised. The interview turns sour when the manager insults Jin’s hometown and then snips off the price tag of his tie. Despite this (or perhaps admiring Jin’s tenacity, it’s hard to tell), he hires Jin as a doorman anyways, under the strict edict to never open the doors of the hotel to anyone like him.
Sun’s mother brings Sun to the date. Apparently this dude’s loaded: like, even more loaded than me, and I can afford to go out to TGIFriday’s and stuff. The man who lets them all into the hotel? Jin, naturally. Turns out, this bald rich dude went to Harvard. Uh oh, this won’t end well. Just ask my wife. Once the mother hens leave, the man, Jae, reveals himself to be a pretty sweet guy. Man, bald, Harvard-educated, nice, owns twelve hotels: it’s like looking in a mirror. Point is: these two actually hit it off, which I didn’t expect first time around.
Outside the hotel, Jae asks Jin for the orange corsage he’s wearing, noting it’s for a date. The date is a solo one, sans parents, with Jae and Sun clearly hitting it off. Jae wants to keep seeing her, but there’s a twist: turns out he already has a woman back in America, and in six months, he’s going to marry her. Slick, Jae. Super slick. Looks like what you’ve got here is failure to communicate. Those Harvard boys: not the brightest.
A poor man and his son approach the hotel door. Despite his strict instructions from the manager, Jin lets the child in anyways. Naturally, this leads to a strong reprimand from said boss, which prompts Jin to quit on the spot. You GO, Jin. Jin walks, despondent, along the waterfront, when he walks past a woman in an orange dress. He gets distracted. So distracted, that he walks smack dab into his future wife, both of whom seem to like what they see.
16) The Mythology
Well, it all boils down to that long, slow, silent march, doesn’t it? Truly one of the creepiest shots the show ever pulled off, and one that defies true analysis to this day. But there’s one aspect I want to address, even if in an incomplete manner.
I’ve long been struck by the importance of clothing for the Others. There was the initial shock of seeing them in New Otherton, wearing "normal" clothes for the first time, which make the brown garb seem like nothing but theatrical costumes designed to confuse. But I wonder if there’s something more to it than that. I wonder if there are somehow different rules they must follow when inside the safety of the sonic fence versus the rest of the Island, particular areas such as the Dark Territory.
I think back to "The Man Behind the Curtain," when a young Ben Linus meets up with a freakishly same-aged Richard Alpert. Richard bears the clothes that are Season 2 standard for the Others, and clothing they re-appropriate come Season 4. The big question, naturally: does this have something to do less with aesthetics and more about appeasement?
We’ve long seen the tension on this show between the "natural" world of the Island the "mechanical" nature of the Dharma Initiative, with the DI essentially contaminating the landscape with their industrial steel, concrete, and mechanical devices. The chinos and blouses of New Otherton fall in line with this latter movement, because let’s face it: those burlap sack-esque outfits are probably not washing machine safe. But those brownish hues might in a sense provide a cover that’s not only physical camouflage, but psychic as well.
So here’s a thought to ponder: we’ve seen how the Island can move through time. We’ve seen how the Island can interact with those upon it. And we’ve seen the smoke monster straight up hate that sonic fence. What if those clothes are somehow, someway, a method to fool the Island into thinking that it’s still in the time when its inhabitants carved four-toed statues upon its shores?
It’s a long shot, and perhaps too many words spent on a potentially insignificant topic, but it’s something I’ve long wondered. This ep gave me the chance to finally explore it at length.
23) The Moment
These bare feet were made for walkin’, and that’s just what they’ll do.
42) In Retrospect
Liked Libby noting the Others come from inland. In true Libby fashion, one cannot truly ascertain whether or not she was astutely noting the approximate location of New Otherton or had prior knowledge as to its location.
108) In Summary
Everything Eko-centric is gold; everything else just sorta sits there, like the last few donuts that have been picked over by everyone on the floor. The show needs something big to happen, like, say, and unexpected and brutal death. That might shake things up a bit, no?
Leave your thoughts about this episode below!