Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LOST: "The Package" Reflections

I liked that they began the episode in night vision. That way, the ambush by Widmore's men wasn't a sudden intrusion, it was a mystery. The show has done a lot of sudden attacks over the years, especially the flaming arrow thing last season. With more baddies shooting darts, it was good to make it a question first, and not play the same beats we've already seen.

I was glad Sun finally had something do to in this episode, even if it was just to be frustrated. For almost a whole season she's been dragged around by people being told "Don't worry Sun, we'll find Jin" and finally she just snaps. Good for her! There were a lot of callbacks to season one Sun in this episode. Once again an angry Sun rips up her garden. DId it seem to anyone else like this was a completely different location for it? Has the island's topography changed that much in three years?

Sun running into Smokey in the garden was similar to when Charlie attacked her there back in season 2. Both times she was found unconscious some ways away. Good for her not trusting Smokey, though funnily enough this time he really did have Jin (or thought he did).

I really wonder what Smokey wants with Claire. Why does he need her? She makes a valid point that she's not on the cave wall and he probably doesn't need her. So why is he keeping her around? Even to the point of promising she can kill Kate. Is this whole thing the reason Aaron could not be raised by another? I'm still wondering what the deal was with the "baby's in danger" baptism stuff.

It's Room 23 again! Zoe (the Tina Fey-looking one) says that this was where Dharma were doing subliminal message tests. I have to assume that the Others have been messing with it since then, because I cannot think up a scenario where the Dharma Initiative would say "God loves you as he loves Jacob".

Sawyer asks a valid question regarding the smoke monster: why can't he just fly to the other island as smoke? I get that it makes no sense if he could just do that, since then there's nothing keeping him on the island. Funny that he can still get there by boat. I still wonder if the two islands were one at some point. The scene also gets to the best line of the night, when Sawyer says "No, guess that'd be ridiculous!"

Another first season callback is Sun's aphasia resulting in her inability to speak English. I like her stuck speaking Korean. In the first season, it was a choice, but now she's trapped. It's like she has become Jin. I've been a little saddened by the fact that Jin's English is so good now that we don't hear so much Korean. And now we do! Sun gets to have the same frustration Jin used to feel when he couldn't express himself to anyone. I love when Sun flips out at Richard and he has no idea what she says.

Widmore's men on Hydra Island setting up the pylons led me to a major question: who built the original pylons on the island? The Others all know about them and how they work. Smokey even suggests they were built to keep him out. The Dharma Initiative might have built them (that would make some sense), but did they know about the monster? Their video said it was to keep out "wildlife", but that is suspect. Maybe they did build it to keep him out, but I wonder what led to that and how they arrived at the sonic weapon fence idea. I guess it has to have been the Dharma guys because the Hostiles didn't have the resources to do that.

We get a little more about Widmore here. He knows Locke is not Locke, and says he knows of the Man in Black mostly through myth. Which means he's never met him personally. I still wonder what exactly brought him to the island in the first place, since he doesn't seem to have come to confront Smokey, if he wasn't sure such a thing existed.

It was nice for Ji Yeon to come back into the picture. Widmore showing Jin the pictures of the daughter he's never seen was a nice moment. I hope they do reunite because I hate when children are casualties of plot points.

Once it was hinted that "the package" was a person, my mind leapt to two possibilities. Personally I was hoping it would be Michael. Not just for the nice symmetry of that, but because I want him to be alive. But the other obvious choice was Desmond. With his connection to Widmore and Eloise's statement last year that the island would get him somehow, it was pretty clear that it would be Desmond. So that big reveal at the end was no surprise at all. The whole situation also bears a striking similarity to "The Man From Tallahassee", what with the person kept locked in a closet and all.

We return to Jin and Sun at the airport, and learn that once again he was transporting a watch for Mr. Paik. I was happy to see this might actually be a good flash-sideways where we could learn who it was he was supposed to give the watch to all those years ago. But then the story went off in its own weird direction again. In this universe, Jin and Sun are not married. I wonder how Jin got the job for Mr. Paik in this universe.

In the original timeline, Sun was going to America with Jin in hopes to abandon him at the airport and run away without him. Here, it's twisted so that Sun is planning to run away WITH Jin. And maybe I'm misremembering, but wasn't there a hint of that in the other timeline too? Didn't Jin plan to stay in America with Sun and not return to Korea? So in that sense, the same scenario plays out.

I like the button scene. First, it's a nice callback to season one, and it shows that Sun is not the submissive woman we might have thought she was in the first season. That Sun had had an affair. There's a hint of that in this Sun, who's something of a naughty little minx. You can see why maybe Mr. Paik is concerned about her. In this universe, JIn is the secret lover. And apparently she's pregnant here too, which means that neither of them is infertile. ...Unless she's naughtier than I think and HAS been seeing Jae on the side in this universe.

The recipient of the watch turned out to be Keamy. That got me wondering who the original recipient was; might it also have been Keamy? I mean, we never heard or saw, but we don't know what he was doing before he was on the freighter. That's a month or so for him to have possibly taken a job on the side for Paik. Then again, unless he was planning on killing Jin in that universe too, I'm not sure Paik would need to hire a mercenary like Keamy.

As soon as they said Mikhail, I knew we would see him with two eyes. This means that either this Mikhail has never been to the island, or that Mikhail lost his eye on the island. ...And then at the end, when Jin pulled the gun on him, I knew that it would result in him losing the eye. And it did. Jin shot him Godfather-style.

What will become of Sun? Is she going to die? I'm not exactly sure why I should care in this universe, but I wonder. And where did Sayid go after he found Jin? He seemed so disinterested; more like "claimed" Sayid than the Sayid of this universe.

In the end, I was pretty happy with this episode. The sideways story began as a pleasant "what-if" but quickly became more a story of intrique. Some of the bland "slice of life" sideways stories haven't done much for me. This one had a life-or-death plot involved, and a kind of cliffhanger. I was also surprised that Jin and Sun didn't end up reunited in this episode. I'm a little worried about Jack promising Sun he would get Jin and they'd get on that plane. Richard wants to blow it up, so that's going to lead to a confrontation. And has Sun ever gotten anything she was promised?

In my area, there's been a lot of rain and a blurb came up on the bottom of the screen during the episode about rain warnings or whatever. This was very frustrating, because it made it very difficult to read the Korean subtitles. Similarly, that stupid V logo at the bottom corner cut into the visibility of Sun's notes to Jack at the end of the episode. I also never saw a preview for next week because another weather alert came up. So I don't know what next week's is, but I look forward to it.

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