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“Lost” – Episode 17 – …In Translation

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Clever title for this episode, but apt. While I may have slammed the show two weeks ago for delving too much into over-the-top explanations of character, the subsequent installments have proved without a doubt that the creative team behind “Lost” still know exactly what they are doing.

What continues to amaze about this program is that, just when you think you have something figured out, another little tidbit of information is tossed out that changes your whole outlook. We saw the extreme example of this with an early episode that revealed John Locke’s shocking secret, but the quieter, more subtle shifts, such as tonight’s, are equally impactful.

The story of Jin and Sun had been laid out very carefully and explicitly for viewers. We knew that Jin agreed to work for Sun’s father into order to gain permission to marry her, and that his growing emotional distance had caused Sun to make the decision to learn English and escape to America. But it was easy to forget that everything we had seen had been only from Sun’s perspective, a viewpoint that made Jin look like quite a nasty guy.

Tonight, we got Jin’s side of the story, and it’s hard to imagine that any viewers who have been following the show since the beginning didn’t have to alter their perceptions quite a bit. Somewhere, the writers are cackling with glee, knowing that, just as tonight’s piece of the puzzle made us think we’d finally figured something out, they’re planning to throw another wrench straight into our preconceptions next week.

But what continues to make “Lost” so consistently good is that it is not all just smoke and mirrors. There actually is a method to the madness, but, more importantly, there is an emotional underpinning to everything that happens, both on the island, and in the flashbacks. The most touching moment tonight came in Jin’s reunion with his father, which subsequently set up his reconciliation with Michael and the plan to rebuild the raft. The most heart-rending came with Jin’s final words to Sun, a moment that appeared to finally fracture their already fraying relationship.

Lastly, it seems that young Walt is finally developing into as interesting a character as the rest of the cast. His confession to Locke, while not necessarily surprising, certainly complicates his relationship with his father.

For everything that happened on tonight’s show, there’s one question now that overshadows all others: What, exactly, was Hurley doing on Korean TV?

If the rumors are to be believed, we could find out next week.

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About Nick Danger

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    From a slo-mo replay, it looked like Mr. Reyes was doing some sort of perp walk.

    I really love those “blink and you miss them” moments of “Lost”. Which makes me think the DVD set is going to be really something special.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    While I’m thinking about it, and with each episode, I am reminded more and more of “Myst”. Both have “you” on an island trying to figure out how you got there, and what happened, and layers of unreliable information.

    Albeit with fewer logical puzzles, more violence and hotties in skimpy clothing.

  • http://halfbakered.blogspot.com mike hollihan

    I loved the towel image. Early, we see Jin try to cover up his wife with the towel. Then at the end, she’s standing at the water’s edge and lets the ocean breeze pull it from her like a flag. Beautiful.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    Mike, since we’re divving up all the stuff, you get the towel, I get the image of Sun. Okay?

  • http://www.blogspot.com/bethly Beth

    I really think that Lost gets better with every episode. It is just so well written. It just has all these different levels to it. It’s a good thing I tape them because you have to watch them more then once to get it all and even then I still miss things. How could have missed Hurley on the TV? I have to watch it again now. Speaking of Hurley, I am a bit disappointed that his character hasn’t been featured yet.

  • http://www.resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    According to the official ABC “Lost” site:
    Next Episode:
    Wednesday, March 2, 8/7c
    “Numbers”
    When Hurley becomes obsessed with the French woman and heads into the jungle to find her, Jack, Sayid and Charlie have no choice but to follow. Meanwhile, Locke asks Claire to help build a mysterious item.

    This is written by David Fury, who wrote “Walkabout”.

    For the Hurley on teevee scene, it is the first time Jim goes to say his father-in-law is displeased, it is about five seconds.

  • http://scottpepper.blogspot.com Scott Pepper

    I fully expect next week’s episode to be on par with “Walkabout.”

    As for the DVDs, TV Guide has already hinted at what we can look forward to:

    It’s coming out in early September, and I predict it’ll be the biggest TV DVD of the year. Lost cocreator Damon Lindelof tells me that they have an “amazing amount” of extras planned, including “awesome commentaries,” deleted scenes between Locke and Hurley, Sawyer and Charlie and Locke and young Walt; footage of the Boeing 747 being cut up in the Mojave Desert and transported via barge to Hawaii; and a look at what went into making the original polar bear sequence. But here’s the best part: Lindelof says he and J.J. Abrams are considering making an original mini-movie that “answers one of the questions we’ve been asked very frequently about the show but have made no attempt to answer so far. It has something to do with why the plane may have crashed.” Like me, the exec thinks “the DVD is gonna sell really well with or without [the bonus material], but I wanna be sure the fans are rewarded for their $39.95 or whatever Disney is charging them for a show they’ve already seen.”

  • daudder

    is “Lost” a morality play about getting one final chance to prove one’s worth? Sort of “I know what you did in purgatory last sumnmer?”

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    That could be close to the mark, but it remains to be seen if those who do prove their worth will be rewarded for it.

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    Scott, that DVD set sounds great. I was watching Lost tonight and was thinking that this is one show I’m definitely going to pick up when it hits DVD. Nice to know that there’ll be plenty of great extras on there to keep me busy.

    Is anyone else shocked at how well this show is doing in the ratings? Usually when I love a new show, it gets horrible ratings and is canceled straight away. But everyone is watching this. It’s very strange, but very rewarding.

    Eric, you must know what I’m talking about.

  • Nick Jones

    Joel, I’ve often had the same experience, Brimstone and Cupid being the most recent.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Joel – You know that I do. That’s why I’m doubly glad I invested time into watching it during its first run.

    Due to a crazy schedule, lack of TiVo (and HBO), and poor skills with the old VHS recording device, I often wait until shows I hear are great are packaged onto DVD. This season, the only fictional show I make sure I get in front of the TV to watch is Lost.

    Of course, I’ve missed about five eps so far, including this past week (brother-in-law in town for one night, huge restaurant convention in town, got to find out that stuff actually exists — including fancy restaurants — in downtown LA, etc.).

    Keeping on this tangent: anyone know of a DVR device that somehow avoids paying a monthly fee? The only one I know about is TiVo’s “lifetime” deal, which only extends through the life of the box… which seems a little risky/shady.

  • http://scottpepper.blogspot.com Scott Pepper

    Eric- many cable companies are begining to offer DVR-enabled cable boxes at only a slight premium from regular service. I had mine switched out earlier this year and pay only about $5 more a month than I was w/o DVR.

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Thanks Scott. I believe my cable company offers that kind of service… but it would require bumping up from the $14 / month for super basic cable to the $40 / month or so for the “bronze” package. Quite a difference!

  • http://the-between.blogspot.com/ Joel Caris

    There are only two ways I know of to use a PVR without having to pay the monthly fee, neither of which are great solutions.

    One is you can actually buy them and not subscribe, you just have to program in the day and time you want recorded by yourself, like a VCR. It would certainly work, but you lose much of the convenience.

    The second is to make up your own box–basically build a cheap and basic computer–and load up the free Myth TV software. But you’d have to be fairly well-versed in computers and it would probably cost as much as a Tivo with a lifetime subscription (something which I agree is a shady deal).

  • Chris

    What is the song at the end of the episode. http://www.abc.com says there wasn’t any music, yes thee was! please e-mail me if you know

  • Wes

    Damien Rice

  • adi

    damien rice – delicate

  • wyn

    If anyone knows please tell me what is the song called at the end of 117? where Sun walks into the water and Hurley’s walkman stops working.
    Thanks

  • mj sullivan

    What is the name of the song that Hurley was playing on his player in episode 17 “in translation”

  • orlando

    What is the title of the song that Hurley was listening to before his CD stopped on episode 17 ( In Translation)?

  • rick

    in jins flash back, i swear i saw the fat kid on the tv that the young girl is watching.

  • http://blogcritics.org/mt/tb/25921 bo

    ..In the lastest episode of Lost tonight.. there was a blues song towards the end which sounded a lot like Sam Cooke… am unable to identify artist…any smart people out there to help ???

  • Clyde 21

    Otis Redding.

  • Aishah

    Delicate – Damien Rice

    We might kiss when we are alone
    When nobody’s watching
    We might take it home
    We might make out when nobody’s there
    It’s not that we’re scared
    It’s just that it’s delicate

    So why do you fill my sorrow
    With the words you’ve borrowed
    From the only place you’ve known
    And why do you sing Hallelujah
    If it means nothing to you
    Why do you sing with me at all?

    We might live like never before
    When there’s nothing to give
    Well how can we ask for more
    We might make love in some sacred place
    The look on your face is delicate

    So why do you fill my sorrow
    With the words you’ve borrowed
    From the only place you’ve known
    And why do you sing Hallelujah
    If it means nothing to you
    Why do you sing with me at all?

    So why do you fill my sorrow
    With the words you’ve borrowed
    From the only place you’ve known
    And why do you sing Hallelujah
    If it means nothing to you
    Why do you sing with me at all?

  • phillipa

    can anyone please help me…
    at the end of episode 20 in season 3 where they say whats on next week on LOST, there was a really nice song that i want but i dont know the artist or the song
    i tried typing in a few words of the song that i could understand in google but nothing relative came up
    please help me i really want that song
    if its to anyones help it sounds like a male rock band and the only phrase i could get out of it was “inside my world…prepare to die”
    PLEASE help me

  • Dan

    The song at the end is delicate by damien rice