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The Lost Cause: “The Package” – Jin Asynchronic

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Sawyer: "I have a feeling that this is almost over."

I do too, James Ford. Actually, more than a feeling: "when I hear that old song they used to play." There are only six episodes of Lost left. And the old song they, the writers of Lost, used to play is the separation of Sun and Jin who have been trying to find each other, at least on Island Life, since season four. And after last night's episode, the song remains the same.

"The Package" doesn't offer any more enlightenment as to who may be wearing the white cowboy hat, how things may end up, and there are no "pointless, embarrassingly elementary references to literature and philosophy" (side note to New York Magazine, those were my favorite bits!). "The Package" is not a what, it's a who.

The episode was another character-centric one, with more action (rhino darts, long chases through the jungle) and no beach-side musings over a bottle of wine between Good and Evil, unfortunately. Jin has been recovering from an old college bear trap injury and is mostly a passive observer to Feral Claire and Undead Locke. Sun has been part of the Ajira detachment. She hasn't had much to do except for the occasional gloat: "Ilana says I'm a candidate." Ah, not so fast, little lady. Is Sun indeed one of Jacob's candidates — someone to replace him? We don't know any more about this upon conclusion of the episode, but we do get to see Sun playing hard to get with Smokey and not so hard to get with Jin (reference gratuitous camera shots of Yunjin Kim's breasts).

In Sun and Jin's lateral life – introduced briefly in the season opener – they were caught at customs coming into L.A., having been on board the 815 flight that landed successfully on the tarmac rather than the ocean. Jin is detained at Checkpoint Charlie for having a little too much undeclared cash, $25,000, in his suitcase: "If you want it back, you'll have to fill out the necessary paperwork." Oh, the horror!

In Sayid's sideways story, "Sundown," we briefly saw Sun encased in duct tape in a walk-in freezer, waiting on a Keamy judgment. In "The Package" we find out just why Jin was in the freezer.

Sideways Sun and Jin are not married. They are Kwon and Paik on an excellent adventure – Jin is running errands for Mr. Paik, Capo de Korea, and Sun has designs of making the romantic trek into a real elopement. Things go wrong, like they usually do, when Keamy enters the story – doing some of Daddy Paik's dirty work. They go wrong for the characters, not the television viewer because who doesn't love watching Keamy?

Keamy, in whatever incarnation – on island, off island – is like the glamorous monster he invokes in his frustration over communication issues: "Stop that. I feel like I'm in a damned Godzilla movie." Actor Kevin Durand roams the countryside of Lost, chewing up scenery like that  Japanese icon: "Martin, who did this to you?!" "Look behind you, you idiot."

It doesn't end well for Godzilla or Keamy. Or Omar. Or Mikhail for that matter. We've already seen this. There is a danger in repetition – it kills the suspense. There is, however, a small twist at the end of the shootout. While Keamy lies bleeding, Sun appears to be caught by a stray bullet, and as Jin picks her up to bring her to help, she tells him that she is pregnant – a pregnancy in the Sideways World in contrast to her pregnancy while on the island.

Like Sayid's sideways story, Sun and Jin's libretto seems darker, contrasting with Jack's and Sawyer's lives off-island which may be a bit brighter than previously conceived. This brings me to the debate: are these alternate story lines really an improvement? With Kate's life basically in neutral, in either incarnation she's on the lam, only Sawyer and Jack seem moderately better off in the new timeline. As we are discovering in the duality of Man in Black and Jacob, it's not just black and white (New York Magazine!)

Back to the island, there is more positioning and posturing. Smokey woos Sun. She is understandably alarmed about the deaths at the temple, but he assures her that the dead people were "confused, they were lied to, I didn't want to hurt them." I'm not sure why confusion and being lied to are grounds for capital punishment, but it seems that everyone on the Island of Misdirection can be defined in those terms. Sun, tempted by the Serpent's promise, doesn't play Eve. There's some unfortunate pushing and shoving on the playground, but it's not clear who did what to whom, so there'll be no detention, except we all know that Ben is probably lying about everything. Sun runs into a tree limb in her fright, injures herself and knocks the English right out of her brain. It's interesting that in her unconscious state, Smokey was not able to just pick her up and bring her back to the camp. He must truly need cooperation from his recruits.Unlike Sawyer, she hightails it out of there, getting a good knock on the head for her efforts.


 

And speaking of extremes, we get a Clash of the Titans moment in a showdown between Charles Widmore and Schlocke. Not as dramatic as its potential – no Kraken was released, but soon, soon, soon, we hope. War is promised. SmokeyCainHalf-Locke seems to need all the candidates with him on the plane in order to leave the island. I think Frank Lapidus better start rehabbing that plane – stat. Widmore plans to challenge Locke with the Package. It's a draw for now. And sounding more like a World Wrestling Match.

Sun ends up with Daddy Widmore. Getting mauled by angry father-figures is something that Sun should get used to, but who can really get used to Room 23 in the Hydra Station – a study in Clockwork Orange craziness.  Ask Karl. Oh no, you can't. He's dead. The protestations of Widmore that he is only protecting his daughter parallel the actions of Papa Paik who is protecting his daughter, Sun, via assassin Martin Keamy. I do believe we will see more of a connection between Paik and Widmore in the coming weeks.

The appearance of Desmond, welcome to most, was anti-climactic. A lot of blogspeculation about that locked door pointed toward Charles Widmore's son-in-law. Desmond doesn't look so good. You have to wonder why there was so much security on the door when Desmond seemed catatonic from beatings and medication — don't let a geophysicist administer drugs to your captives — and you have to wonder what kind of threat Desmond offers Man in Black in such a weakened condition. Apparently just Desmond's breathing body is necessary.

My time is up; like Locke, I'm leaving for a little while, I have an errand to run, but before I go, I want to leave you with my favorite overheard theory of the week: Jacob, knowing the future, manipulates the past, picking those people most likely to prove to Man in Black that man is essentially good. My prediction then? We will see some more time travel before/in the series finale; back to Jacob's Choice, Kate was in the convenience store, Sawyer at his parents' funeral, Jack at the hospital — all a convergence that will then dissipate into the candidates' distinct, unrelated story lines. And they will all live happily ever after. At least that's what Keamy wants. His money and to live "happily ever after."

Discussion questions:

Schlocke told Feral Claire that Kate was not a candidate, but Jacob did touch her. Smokey only seems interested in how she can help him with his planepool. After that "what happens, happens," seemingly giving Claire the okay to do Kate in. Will Jacob's touch keep the "what happens" from happening?

We love the new and improved Jack, showing in every respect that he might make a good candidate indeed. He's patient, empathetic, resourceful. Redeemed?

Did you know that the tomato used to be known as the "love apple?" A hopeful sign that Jin and Sun will prove Keamy wrong when he said that "some people just aren't meant to be together."

We see another mirror sequence for Sun but not Jin. As for Jin, he appears a bit spooky sitting bolt upright in bed when Sun wakes up – perhaps a little premonition.

The exchange between Widmore and Jin offers an elaboration on what we already know. Widmore backs up Jacob's claim that if Smokey goes Full-smokey off island, everything will "cease to be." Are we talking destruction or a time change?

It was good to see Richard Alpert back as a man of action.

Til next week and (I'm not making this up) "Happily Ever After," keep an eye on the camp while I'm gone.

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About Kate Shea Kennon

  • http://viclana.blogspot.com/ Victor Lana

    Great article, Kate. I was wondering about Sun and Jin not being married. Does that make only one of them a candidate (Jin) since only he is Kwan? We shall see.

  • Kate Shea Kennon

    Hi Victor: I think they are setting up the idea that Jin and Sun are better off unmarried because of Papa Paik’s malevolent presence. Thanks for reading and commenting!