'Lost': Course Corrections for 'The Package'

michael-emerson-yunjin-kim-lost-package-3200.jpgIt's roughly 24 hours later, and fans of " Lost" are still buzzing about the meaning contained within "The Package." Luckily, I didn't venture my first instinct as a guess for the title (a "Crying Game" scenario involving Zoe) beforehand, so as far as you know, I correctly predicted Des as the titular reference in this week's episode. But I'm not here to brag. I'm here to look again at the episode after a night's sleep and some time to digest views and opinions from Zap2it readers and various and sundry folks all around the interwebs.

So, without further ado, here are eight more things about "The Package."

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Given the amount of Dharma-related data in the possession of Charles Widmore, I'm going to make a prediction: he was behind the pallet drops in Season 2. Like many of you, I'm waiting for all the pieces of the Des puzzle to fall into place (and it looks like that will happen sooner rather than later), and I think the pallet drops were part of the plan to keep Desmond fed during his initial stint on the Island. Another prediction: Des was picked for his "special assignment" long before he met Penny, who threw a major wrench into Widmore's plans. But just who set Widmore in motion in the first place to send that Scottish bruthah on a one-way boat ride to the Island, eh?

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Speaking of Des, I think a lot of people are over-analyzing the title of last night's episode, suggesting that the title refers to Sun/Jin as the Combo Kwon, if you will: a package deal of a candidate. And sure, Jacob touching them both at once is worth noting and analyzing. But to literally think the episode was called "The Package" was a reference to them seems a bit far-fetched. If anything, the title is a misdirect in a more mundane way: you're led to believe for most of the hour that it refers to either the watch, the $25K, or both. Instead? It's a MAN, baby, YEA! Sorry, had to let out my inner Austin Powers for a moment. Won't happen again.

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One thing that struck me while reading various recaps of the episode: people sure like to apologize for liking Sun/Jin. I found this weird, as I was unaware that these were not characters that fans enjoyed. I can see fans not enjoying the directions in which they have been taken by the writers, but disliking Sun and Jin? Really? Would love to hear thoughts on this. Clearly, I'm a fan of the couple, with Jin's initial goodbye to Sun before boarding the raft in Season 1 as emotionally stirring as his seeing Ji Yeon would have been had the ABC promo monkeys not botched it by airing that silly "V" countdown on the bottom right of the screen. Speaking of that...

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It's hard to unite "Lost" fans about anything, but boy, they universally loathed that countdown. We're talking Nikki/Paulo levels of hate. I feel bad for both "Lost" and "V," since I'm fairly sure neither show had any say in this countdown. (Actually, I'm pretty positive at least Damon Lindelof had no idea.) And I'd love nothing more than for Elizabeth Mitchell to be a huge freakin' star. I'm not a fan of the show, but I wouldn't actively dissuade anyone from watching it. But that countdown irked the very people ABC was hoping to keep around after the conclusion of "The Package," and essentially sabotaged a long marketing campaign designed to bring fans back into the fold after its long absence. Just a debacle.

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In light of last night's episode, I think I'm going to fire up "Do No Harm" this weekend, which features Jack/Sun at their Season 1 finest. As I wrote in the recap last night, I really loved their early interactions on the show, and having Sun overcome her Season 5 hate for Jack last night made my heart happy. As I hoped before Season 6, we're starting to finally see Hero Jack return, and while it's a slow burn, it's organic. After all, what would you rather have: a deliberate build-up to true heroism, or insta-hero post-Jughead detonation? Exactly. Looking back, his rock-bottom moment was telling Dogen that he didn't even trust himself. Since then, it's been a gradual build-up of confidence, and that will only increase as the season continues.

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All season, I've been droning on and on about how I've been waiting for the moment in which someone in the sideways timeline looks into a mirror, only to see someone looking back. Naturally, it happened last night, and I totally missed it. In related news, I'm awesome. When Sun looks into the mirror after we see Island Sun run into the tree, she puts her hand up to her face slightly. I was focused on Island Sun's sudden lack of English, and failed to consider that Sideways Sun could have also been feeling the bump from the other timeline.

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Sun's aphasia also bore a striking resemblance to another mundane, medical malady earlier in the season: the "disappearance" of Sideways Aaron inside Claire's womb. Now, he didn't technically "disappear"; as Dr. Ethan Goodspeed noted, the lack of heartbeat wasn't an abnormal occurrence. And aphasia's not exactly an unheard of condition. in a show in which cancer comes and goes, the crippled can walk, and the healthy suddenly suffer appendix attacks, can we really just chalk these events up to simple biology? Examples such as these are what make "Lost" an endlessly fascinating show to analyze. (I'm contemplating a future article analyzing the stripping of Sun's voice as indicative of the stripping of her agency and independence, thereby cementing her importance and level of threat in Smocke's eyes. But I need to do a little more background on that before I get lambasted by any women's studies majors for mucking up the lit crit behind this analysis.)

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Finally, I'll end as I always do: with this week's mix tape. But I'm also going to start off each of these from now on with a TV series suggestion, based on the most recent episode. This week, inspired by Sun's notepad, I'm suggesting that people watch "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," start to finish, once "Lost" is over and you need something to fill the gaping hole of quality television in your life. As mentioned in the recap, that notepad instantly called to mind my second-favorite episode of "Buffy" ever, "Hush." If you saw it, you know why. If you didn't, it's about halfway through Season 4. So start watching!

Onto the tunes: Sun/Jin have a lot of epic, romantic songs from which to express their torment in two timelines. U2's "With or Without You," Dusty Springfield's "I Only Wanna Be With You," and Travis' "Love Will Come Through" all fit nicely into this category. Keamy might throw Beck's "Lost Cause" in the jukebox if he ever caught the two canoodling, however. A better title for tonight's episode might have come from Pearl Jam's "State of Love and Trust," which pretty accurately describes the tone and tenor of the hour. But since that's mere wishful thinking, A Perfect Circle's "The Package" will have to do. For Sayid's nautical journey, R.E.M.'s gorgeous song "Nightswimming" works...well, swimmingly. And in honor of the pylons standing between Widmore and Smocke, I dedicate Belinda Carlisle's "Circles in the Sand." (Don't even front. You LOVED that song when it came out. And if you're too young to remember it, um, don't tell me.)

Those are my thoughts 24 hours after "The Package" aired: what are some of yours?

Ryan invites you to join the hundreds already in Zap2It's Guide to Lost Facebook group.

Photo credit: ABC


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