Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Review: Lost 1.6: House of the Rising Sun

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100328162757/lostpedia/images/2/27/1X06-SunIsland.jpg
The language barrier hurts when you run into it.
Lost - Season One, Episode Six - House of the Rising Sun
Written 28/4/13

I'm not Korean and I've never really studied the culture, so I'm probably not the one to say, but I think that Lost does a pretty good job on not stereotyping Jin and Sun with typical Asian traits. (Well, except the whole organised crime thing.) It had however neglected to use subtitles for most of the first five episodes to add a bit of mystery and drama, allowing Asian-American actors Yunjin and Daniel Dae Kim (unrelated) to do a bit of dialogue-free acting. House of the Rising Sun doesn't focus on its centric character nearly enough, but the development as Jin and Sun as characters is good to see.
     For initially unknown reasons, Jin attacks Michael on the beach, and is handcuffed to a piece of wreckage while "sheriff" Sayid tries to find out the reason why. Jack, Locke, Kate and Charlie head off to the Caves, where Jack decides that they should move there. This idea divides the camp, with those willing to dig in at the caves against those who still hold out for rescue on the beach. Locke confronts Charlie over his heroin addiction, and gives him his guitar back in exchange for his stash. (Ready for next week's centric.) Sun meets Michael in private and reveals that she can speak English, and explains why Jin attacked him. Satisfied, Michael goes and rants at Jin before setting him free.
     In her flashback, Sun remembers when Jin and Sun first got engaged, thanks to Sun's criminal dad Mr. Paik giving him a job. (That we get to see for ourselves in Jin's centric episode later in the season.) At first things are fine, with Jin bringing home presents like a cute dog, but soon he's running through the door covered in blood and saying that he can't tell her what he does for her father. Distraught, she plans to leave her husband, faking her death by abandoning him in the airport at Sydney. When he reveals a lotus flower, she realises she can't go through with it, and boards Oceanic Flight 815.
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Sun's standards apparently set at, "Owns white flowers".
     For a lot of the episode, the flashbacks felt very much like an unnecessary add-on, with the central plot around Sun and Jin being only as a bookend to a larger plot that looked at the dynamics surrounding the Caves. As Sayid points out, Jack is quick to create a potentially camp-splitting idea so soon after his whole "Live Together, Die Alone" speech. Had it been me I would have elected a core group of people to remain behind on the beach and maintain the signal fire, with people going back and forth. This is however TV-land, and so the great strife that this creates makes for some decent drama.
     I just wish some of that decent drama had touched our centric characters. I mean come on, the Korean people who have been seperated from the group all this time, one of them can speak English. This should be a big deal, and yet that story doesn't carry the episode. We get some insight into their past lives and perhaps a reason why Jin's appeared to be such a dick all this time, but I'd much rather look at Locke and his attempts to help Charlie's heroin addiction. Which is lucky, really, because that's the focus of next week's story. This week lacked focus, and it shone of a lack of confidence that Sun was a footnote in her own centric story.

Thanks.

NEXT WEEK: You all everybody gonna see Charlie compared to The Moth.

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