House of the Rising Sun (S1, ep 6)
Another solid, if less propulsive, episode. We've gotten three flashbacks thus far: Kate, Jack, and now, Sun and Jin.
As I mentioned, I'd pretty much forgotten (or the impact had faded) just how heartbreaking and redemptive the Sun/Jin arc is. The economy of the flashbacks in this ep is really impressive. In what amounts to minutes, the show sketches the arc of their relationship from discreet tryst to forbidden marriage to the triumph of their love in the face of a powerful unseen father, to the degeneration of Jin's innate goodness as a direct result OF that goodness, to Sun's desperation and desire to escape and finally, to the fragile wordless hope that floats to the surface with the reappearance of the flower Jin initially presented Sun with. It's a bravura piece of emotional, effective writing.
Jack's tattoos get their first mention! Clearly, the producers had that Bai Ling episode planned from the very beginning.
Most of the Jin/Michael conflict was less-than-compelling for me, mostly because I’d remembered the reason for Jin’s sudden, unexplained violence. The actress playing Sun even mimes the reason for us right after Jin is cuffed. She points to her wrist and indicates Michael, who is wearing Sun’s father’s watch (A watch that, to my knowledge, shouldn’t even be there. What are they doing with Paik’s watch? Does Paik give it to one of them?
This is also the episode where Locke and Charlie begin their contentious struggle over Charlie’s sobriety. Locke appears to believe that being present on the Island will help you overcome your setbacks/demons as a result of his physical healing, but he’s ignoring or unaware of the demons he still harbors – resentments and emotional pains that won’t come full circle until season 3.
Because Charlie the hophead (thanks for the fun word, Mattioli) can’t just do his smack in the open he’s got to insist on a little alone-time in the jungle, only Locke won’t give it to him – choosing to follow him around in a creepy/funny fashion that quickly reveals his gift for insight into the emotional lives of his fellow survivors. But first: BEEHIVE!
After Charlie’s endearing junkie-antics crack the hive, the resulting swarm drives Jack, Kate, Charlie and Locke to the caves, where three other pieces of mythology slot into place. But first, Evangeline Lily simply must remove her shirt again. Because of the bees, you see. When her shirt is returned to her, she explains:
Kate: “It was, um, full of bees…”
Charlie: “I’d have thought C’s actually.” (sees Kate’s expression) “…Sorry.”
As for the mythology:
1) Adam and Eve – I’d falsely remembered the survivors discovering these unidentified bodies wrapped in an embrace. Actually, they’ve been laid to rest in separate locations. Jack comments that it looks as though someone else, a third party, has placed the bodies there. People have speculated that the Adam and Eve corpses are, variously, Bernard and Rose, Sawyer and Juliet, Jack and Kate, but there’s nothing in this episode to give us clues even now. What we do know/can infer: Jack states that it would take ‘at least 40-50 years for the bodies and clothing to have deteriorated to their current extent. Assuming that he knows what he’s talking about, this means that Adam and Eve died somewhere around the 1950s or 1960s. If the tropical environment makes things deteriorate even more quickly (shades of Montand’s arm!) then we’re looking at, potentially, their death in the 70’s.
2) The B&W stones – they recall Locke’s backgammon pieces of course. Not much more to go on here. They’re kept in a leather pouch.
Jack: “We don’t need to bring water to the people – we need to bring the people to the water.”
He’s talking about the caves, and his desire to move people into them, but it also sounds quasi-mystic to me in the same vein as that ‘teach a man to fish’ koan. I’m reaching, I know.
Hurley again ends the episode playing his cd player. We get a montage. Can’t wait for that thing to run out of batteries.