Sorry guys – life is a little crazy right now with everything going on with the big move into the new house and the rapidly approaching wedding. I’m barely finding enough time to eat and sleep, let alone Blog. I apologize in advance for the brevity of this post, as well as the forthcoming “Meet Kevin Johnson” posts, which will probably also suffer big time. The good news is that the break in the season couldn’t have come at a better time for me, and I should be back stronger than ever for the end of the season run starting in late April. But enough about me, on to the analysis:
Answers. Since my Instant Reactions basically posed a number of questions, I thought the best way to analyze the episode would simply to be to attempt to provide answers to the relevant questions (why didn’t I think of this before?).
How did Jin die? There has been a ton of debate over whether Jin is dead or simply still on the Island (not returning with the Oceanic Six) – but for me, this is pretty much a no-brainer: Jin is dead.
It’s easy to argue the other side of the point, since Sun never comes out and actually says that he is dead, and we’ve seen the Oceanic Six (well, at least Jack) lie through their teeth about the fate of the other Survivors, but everything about “Ji Yeon” seemed to point to the opposite for me.
For starters, people have complained that they felt “tricked” by the episode since the Jin flashbacks were simply a plot device to make the audience think he was in the flashforwardy future. It’s a valid complaint, since not a lot of information was gained from the flashbacks, and it was a somewhat gimmicky way to setup the ending – but think about how much more pointless it would be if Jin was actually alive. Talk about a gimmick – that would mean the writers set us up to think Jin was alive, only to trick us into thinking Jin is dead, only to eventually reveal he was alive and well. This would basically render Sun’s flashforward pretty pointless as well, especially the emotional last scene.
And it’s this scene that really seals the deal for me. Sun is emotional, saying things like “the doctors said I was calling out for you” as if she was not thinking clearly due to the pain of labor… like if she was thinking clearly, she would have never called out for her dead husband. There are also little details like the inclusion of her eventual death on the tombstone (the right hand side lists Jin’s date of birth and death – November 27, 1974 through September 22, 2004, the left hand side lists Sun’s date of birth – March 20, 1980, leaving room for her date of death). If there was any hope of Sun returning to an alive Jin (like, on the Island), I don’t think she would have gone the route of preparing to join him in the same plot of land for all of eternity.
Finally, there’s the Joss Whedon Factor (a phrase I’m coining that basically means when a character has an ultra-happy closure or overly lovey-dovey scene that they are probably going to die shortly thereafter). The last on-Island scene of the episode was all of this and a bag of chips (is this phrase still valid?). Jin forgives Sun for cheating on him. Jin promises to do “anything” to protect the Sun and the baby. Jin makes Sun dinner (note to self: if the wife ever cheats on me, let her do the cooking for the next few years – it’s the least she can do!). It’s just like at the end of Desmond’s episode this season, I half expected someone to bust in and shoot Desmond on the spot – it was an overly “good” scene on a show that has shown that life (at least off the Island) actually sucks.
I know the first comment is going to be something like “I think Brian is wrong and Jin is still alive”, which is fine – like I said, you can argue it. But for me, it’s pretty clear that our boy Jin is going to die sometime over the next forty episodes.
Who are the Oceanic Six? I refuse to believe that Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun, and Aaron are the Oceanic Six. Instead, I’m going with the “ABC Promo Lied to Us” excuse – since the only reason we’re making this assumption is that the preview for “Ji Yeon” promised the last of the Oceanic Six would be revealed. We’ve had them lie to us in the past, so it’s not that far fetched. I’m holding out hope for another reveal (featuring some member of the media actually saying the names of the Oceanic Six), even though at present, I’m struggling to think of who the last member could actually be. Keep in mind, we need to have some of our Survivors on the Island, or else there would be no motivation for the Oceanic Six to “go back”, as we’ve seen hinted at through Jack and Hurley’s flashforwards. I wish it was just the Oceanic Five, or Five and a Half – that would sit better with me than including Aaron in the mix.
Who is the last body? It turns out we’re not supposed to care about the two people who Jack / Kate claimed died after the crash. Thanks to steve for pointing out the following excerpt from a recent interview with show mastergod, Damon Lindelof:
UGO: So the story for the Oceanic 6 is that they came from a group of 8 survivors. Are we going to find out the identity of the other 2 supposedly not so lucky survivors?
DAMON: Well, that is part of the fiction as concocted by the Oceanic 6. Many, many things that Jack said on the stand at Kate's trial were untrue, although he was under oath, like the Marshall dying in the crash for example. We want to be very clear on the idea that there were only ever the Oceanic 6. The identity of those other two people are not as important as people are making them out to be, it just makes it feel like a more believable fiction.
So maybe those two bodies didn’t actually come back with the rest of the Oceanic Six, and there’s no need to debate who joins Jin in the “dead body” section of the rescue vessel. Moving on…
Why did Regina kill herself? The Freighter is getting freakier and freakier. It’s about one ghost Walt appearance away from being a haunted house. People blowing their brains out, becoming “unstuck” in time, tying chains around themselves and jumping off boats? Not exactly a booze cruise. No wonder Faraday and Charlotte aren’t in any hurry to return! I’m thinking it has something to do with prolonged exposure to the Bubble around the Island – which is why our Survivors have been spared, since they quickly passed through it, rather than floating around the perimeter for days / weeks / months. I’m also thinking this could be the same “sickness” that CFL mentioned afflicted her crew, since it’s plausible that they also spent a good deal of time floating around the Bubble before actually crashing on the Island… that, or Ben is sending voodoo powers out to the Freightor crew causing them to kill themselves.
Why did Michael sabotage the Freighter? An assumption on my part, but it only seems logical. If Michael is working for Ben (another assumption, but pretty likely), it makes sense to stall the Freighter in a spot where it cannot actually get to the Island, but will cause the crew to go insane and kill themselves, making the Freightors less of a threat.
Where is Walt? I’m thinking Walt was never on the Freighter. While cleaning carpets yesterday (ah, the glamorous life of a Blogger), an idea popped into my head that might tie a lot of storylines together. What if the coordinates that Ben provided Michael lead him to a “warp”, a la Super Mario Bros. level 1-2? So he heads for bearing 325, hits the Bubble and suddenly BAM – he’s right off the coast of New York City? This would give him time to drop off Walt, THEN be contacted by Ben in the real world convincing him to join and sabotage the Freighter crew, and get on the Freighter before it leaves, making him less suspicious when stuff starts breaking on the boat and the communication room gets trashed. The timeline for all of this is tight (about a month), but it would make the most sense.
If you want to get really crazy, you could say that the warp not only moved Michael and Walt in space, but also in time (only fools are enslaved by time and space, anyone?) – padding the timeline a bit.
This “warp” theory also would explain the Dharma Polar Bear that ended up in Tunisia, and maybe explain how the Others are able to exploit their knowledge of these warps to amass massive funds through gambling on sports events (a la Back to the Future II), make quick trips around the world when required to videotape kids playing in a park (creepy Richard Alpert!) or recruit newbies to the Island… and provide a pretty obvious reason why the Freightors would want Ben (and his knowledge), but are willing to kill everyone else in order to take control of such a power.
Do the Freightors really believe Michael's name is Kevin Johnson? Based on the theory above, yes. If Michael gave his real name, they would know he was on Oceanic Flight 815. It’s an alias, like Jennifer Gardner.
Should we believe anything the Captain says? It’s tricky, because we’ve now been told to not trust Ben, and also to not trust the Captain. Basically, both are pointing at the other for being responsible for the Fake Oceanic 815 crash (and the accompanying 324 dead bodies). In my mind, it makes more sense to have Ben stage the crash, even though Widmore seems like the one who would have the resources to more easily do so. If you think about it, Ben is the one that wants to keep the Island secret at any cost. Staging the fake crash keeps people from accidentally stumbling upon the Island. Widmore, on the other hand, seems to want to use the Island for monetary gain. While it’s always possible that he needs to keep it secret for this gain (especially if he’s going to attain this gain through illegal means, like jumping around in time to gamble), it seems like it would be easier for him to find the Island, rescue the people, and claim the land as his own – rather than going through all the trouble to keep it secret. If Widmore’s intentions are to turn the Island into a cancer-curing ultra-exclusive spa, it’s even more of a no brainer – make the Island known and rescue the people. It’s called free advertising, people!
The Captain seems like a pretty ruthless guy, and maybe we shouldn’t trust him about a lot of things – but this might have been a nugget of truth buried in a nugget pile of lies.
Okay – that’s all for now. If I missed anything, let me know in the Comments and I’ll do my best to address.