Lost is at its best yet. We are only 7 episodes into this shortened 4th season and the new breath of life invigorating this show seems to be the fact that Lost has an end date in its future and a set number of episodes remaining. The pacing is just brilliant and the stories are getting so rich and deep that I haven't had this much fun watching Lost since Season One.
Last night's episode, "Ji Yeon," was another great example of Lost's new lease on life. There is no filler anymore. You can just feel it when Juliet goes for broke and tells Jin that his wife, who promised him that there was no one else, had lied and cheated on him. Juliet's lay-it-all-out reveal parallels what the Lost writers are giving the viewers. The story is beginning to lay itself out and it looks marvelous. Sure, Michael's return was no big shocker to most people. But the flashback/flash-forward switch between Sun and Jin was a very nice twist that raises the bar even higher for the writers. Now the viewers who throughout this season have had to figure out whether or not they are seeing a flashback or flash-forward need to consider, "Are we getting both at the same time?" Here are some thoughts, observations, and Easter eggs...
Sun and Jin
I, for one, was really pleased with how they treated Sun and Jin's post-island story. Their experience on the island has turned their marriage around and made them into a great couple. It would have been disappointing to see all of that washed away once they got off the island, to find out that Jin is working for Mr. Paik again and that their marriage is on the rocks. Instead, the writers took the high road with the touching birth of Ji Yeon and reveal that Jin was in fact dead...or is he?
The date of death on the tombstone read 9-22-2004 - That's right, the date of the plane crash. So the rest of the world must think that Jin died in the crash of Flight 815. Obviously, Jin did not die in the crash. Did he even die at all? Is he still on the island, sacrificing himself to get Sun to the mainland so she could give birth to her baby? Or worse, is he really dead? If so, how did he die?
Jin and Bernard: Karma Wielding Good Guys?
I thought the scene between Jin and Bernard was great. Bernard had a good point. They are each half of the only two married couples on the island. They have to look out for not only what is best for themselves, but also need to protect their spouses' well-being. Jin, who at the beginning of the first season could have been voted the most hated Lostie, is now one of the most loved. To acknowledge the fact that he was flawed and that he had a hand in Sun's decision to have an affair was great character development. His choice to forgive Sun for the affair and his promise to do anything it takes to get her off the island gave me a big smile and relief that their relationship would continue.
Michael is Back!
Since the reveal at Comic Con 2007 that Harold Perrineau was going to return this season, fans have been theorizing how that would happen. Since Ben's reveal that "I have a man on their boat," most fans believed it would be Michael. Still, it was a great feeling seeing Michael's character return. It's exciting to know that his story is back and will continue. Now that Michael is all but confirmed as Ben's "Man on the Boat," how will his return affect the Losties? Can we trust him? Will they trust him? What has he done and what will he do?
The Captain and His Boat
I think everyone would agree that Sayid and Desmond's storyline is the one we are all most interested in. Last night, we got the captain's confirmation that Charles Widmore is the man in charge, his reveal of the "faux" black box from Flight 815, and his accusation that Ben may have had something to do with the staged plane crash. That certainly thickened the plot quite well. It's going to be one hell of a he said, she said. If Sayid is working for Ben in the future, then Ben must be the one to trust, right?
The other Freighties aren't holding up too well. Characters that we thought would be integral characters like Minkowski and Regina didn't last too long at all. The rest of the crew doesn't seem to be holding up too well either. What is causing this severe cabin fever? What role is the island playing? Michael playing? Or Ben playing?Easter Eggs and Side Notes:
- The TV that Sun had on in her flash-forward was showing none other than "Expose" -- the TV show that "Buried Alive" Nikki was on.
- On Jin's tombstone we had three dates: 11-27-1974, which we can assume was his b-day; 9-22-2004, which is his faux date of death; and 3-20-1980. Assuming that this is a dual-plot, March 20, 1980 must be Sun's birthday, making Jin 5-and-a-half years older than his wife.
- That book that Regina was reading quite intently, albeit upside down? Jules Verne's The Survivors of the Chancellor. What is it about? Oh, just about a shipwrecked crew told from the perspective of one of the passenger's diary. The crew itself goes crazy in the end by committing suicide on a raft and resorting to cannibalism. A bit of a parallel to what's going on with the Freighties, perhaps?
- The toy store workers offer of a stuffed dragon in honor of the Year of the Dragon. This was our first clue that Jin was having a flashback, since the Year of the Dragon was 2000. The next one is not until 2012 -- Sun got pregnant in 2004; her pregnancy wouldn't have lasted 8 years!
- Am I the only one getting sick of Kate's childish antics? Was she really acting in Sun's best interest by tattling on Charlotte and Faraday? And then by sending Sun and Jin off to looney Locke's town?
With only one episode left before a 4-week hiatus (ABC changed their planned schedule from a 7/6 episode split to an 8/5 episode split), I am excited to be a Lost fan. Week after week, the story gets bigger, better, more mysterious, more complicated, and far more superior to any other drama on television. The story is still moving forward, and we the audience can feel that. The writers aren't stopping and with less than 2-and-a-half shorter seasons left, there is no reason to.
What did you think? What are your thoughts, questions, comments, and/or theories? Let's open up the discussion in the comment section below.
Be sure to also check out my podcast "The Lost Podcast with Jay and Jack" or on iTunes by searching "Jay and Jack" or "Lost Podcast".