Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lost - "Ji Yeon"

Warning – last week’s episode prediction ruined the episode for a lot of people (and by “a lot of people”, I mean me) because a number of my predictions kinda ended up happening. Here’s hoping I’m totally wrong this week and can enjoy the surprise of the Lost writers proving they are smarter than me, but if not – you have been forewarned.

PS - Remember the good ol’ days when I predicted a full-out war between Team Locke and Team Jack every single week, and every single week I was totally wrong? Ah, the good ol’ days…

Episode Title: “Ji Yeon”

Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: At first glance, this week’s episode title doesn’t seem to have anything “deep” about it. A quick Google search reveals that, aside from the numerous websites referencing this week’s episode of Lost (which do me no good), “Ji Yeon” pops up as the name of various Korean actors, models, professors, and businessmen (sometimes with the dash in the middle “Ji-Yeon”, and sometimes without).

However, when you factor in this week’s episode preview, you can start to put the pieces of the puzzle together that give us a good hint at what’s to come this week.

For starters, this week promises to reveal “the last of the Oceanic Six” – which is curious wording for sure. It doesn’t come out and say “the last MEMBER of the Oceanic Six”, but rather just says “the last”, which may mean we find out more than one member this week. It really all comes down to if we supposed to consider Aaron a member of the Oceanic Six or not. If we do, then there is only room for one more to join Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, and Aaron. If we do not, there is room for two more.

So clearly, we’re looking at a flashforward episode. Also clearly, based on the episode title, we’re looking at a Sun-Jin-centric episode… which means that some combination of Sun and Jin are going to be “the last of the Oceanic Six”. But what about the episode title? Let’s take a quick peek at the description, then circle back. I’ll see you in a few…

ABC Description: Juliet is forced to reveal some startling news to Jin when Sun threatens to move to Locke's camp. Meanwhile, Sayid and Desmond begin to get an idea of the freighter crew's mission when they meet the ship's Captain. Guest starring are Sam Anderson as Bernard, Jeremy Davies as Daniel Faraday, Rebecca Mader as Charlotte Lewis, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Kevin Durand as Keamy, Marc Vann as doctor, Grant Bowler as Captain Gault, Lanny Joon as Dr. Bae, Simon Rhee as shopkeeper, Zoe Bell as Regina, Christine Kim as admitting nurse, Lynette Garces as another nurse, David Yew as Chinese security agent and George Kee Cheung as Chinese ambassador.

I missed you!

Notice something funny about the guest stars this episode? Assuming that “Ji Yeon” is a person’s name, why are there are no guest stars listed with that name? Unless the decidedly un-Koren-looking Marc Vann who we met two weeks ago (as “doctor”) is actually named Ji Yeon, they aren’t listed as a guest star – even though they are the titular character of the episode. On the other hand, we do have an “admitting nurse” and “another nurse”… with a flashforward featuring a currently pregnant Sun and Jin.

It seems pretty obvious that Ji Yeon is none other than the newest member of the Kwon family... Sun's baby!

Based on this baby bombshell, we can assume at the very least Sun gets off the Island, making her a member of the Oceanic Six. But what about Jin?

Well, in my Oceanic Six analysis earlier this season, I mentioned that Sun and Jin seemed to be a package deal – because without Sun, Jin would not be able to really communicate with any other characters on the show. However, last week seemed to prove that he would be perfectly capable of speaking coherent phrases to the rest of our Survivors (“Jack said they were friend”) – so maybe Jin has picked up enough English over the past three seasons to get by without Sun.


On the other hand, I’m not really a fan of Aaron being a member of the Oceanic Six – after all, he didn’t officially have a ticket on Oceanic Flight 815 – he was a stowaway in Claire’s belly. As I mentioned originally, when I hear “Oceanic Six”, I picture a phrase concocted by the media to describe six people who the world has become obsessed with. Six people who have been on the cover of magazines, on talk shows, and news programs around the world… and I don’t see the seemingly sheltered Aaron fitting into that mold.

Thus, I’m predicting that Sun and Jin comprise the last two members of the Oceanic Six – making the official list Sun, Jin, Jack, Kate, Sayid, and Hurley. When you look at the list, it’s pretty much comprised of all the “fan favorites” of the show, less Sawyer and Locke – who both seem to have decided to stay on the Island. If we are to assume that next season’s action is going to feature a large amount of “off Island” time featuring the quest of the Oceanic Six (or at least Jack) to try and get back to the Island, it makes perfect sense to have the “favorite” characters on the show comprise those Six, giving them maximum face time.

So does this mean that all the drama of this week’s episode (with Juliet warning Sun about needing to leave the Island in three weeks or die) is going to be wasted, since the audience will clearly know if she makes it off alive in the first flashforward, where Sun will be the size of a sun?

Not so fast my friend (second one of the season!)

Just because we gather that Sun and Jin make it off the Island, it’s not guaranteed to be all roses and umbilical cords. While we know that Others who conceive children on the Island die before the third trimester (which brings up an interesting timeline inconsistency – Sun has been pregnant for a maximum of three months, since she got knocked up on the Island when Jin regained the spring in his step – so why does she only have three weeks to live, per Juliet? Wouldn’t that only put her in the middle of her second trimester? Note: I don’t really know this much about babies, but learned this courtesy of the pregnant Desmond that sits next to me at work), I wonder if the Others have ever tested what happens when an Other conceives on the Island… but then gives birth off the Island, like Sun is going to do. Would there still be a chance that she suffers the same fate as the Other Woman, with baby Ji Yeon and Sun dying on the birthing table?


Talk about a surprise ending!

Do I think it’s likely? Not really, but I’m the same melancholy guy who wanted the series to end with Jack saying “We have to go back” to Kate even though it would be mega-depressing (but also mega-good!) – but it is curious that Aaron was listed as a guest star (as “child”), while we have no guest stars this week listed as “baby”. Did the writers learn from their mistakes in an effort to keep this secret? Or do you not credit little babies less than a year old? Or does Ji Yeon die before having a chance to appear on-screen? I think any are valid.

Even though there are probably no more deserving members of the Oceanic Six for a happy post-Island ending, based on the fact that we’ve seen Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid all living less than awesome lives in their flashforwards, I think Sun and Jin could be due for the same.

Episode Breakdown: …and we’re finally back to the Episode Breakdown. I feel like we already covered a bit of the first statement, where Juliet reveals to Jin that if Sun moves to Locke’s camp, she will die – but in fact, it’s more like “if she doesn’t get off the Island, she will die”. The question here becomes – what spurs the sudden desire to give up on rescue and attempt to join Team Island? The last we saw Sun, she was questioning Juliet for building a shelter since rescue was imminent. What changes between then and now? Could the true mission of the Freightors finally be exposed this week, revealing they have no intention of rescuing our Survivors?

Meanwhile, it looks like the action finally returns to the Freighter, where Sayid and Desmond get their long awaited introduction to the ship’s captain… who apparently is this guy:


Well this puts to rest our fears about the Freightors being evil – no one who likes dogs can be bad!

Here’s hoping the always smarter-than-the-average-Survivor Sayid and now-once-again-lucid Desmond use this time with Captain Gault to ask some of the obvious questions we’ve all had since the season began regarding who the Freightors are, their mission, how they found the Island, why they won’t just take them home, etc. If so, we could be due for some pretty good reveals this week.

It also looks like we’ll finally meet the much heard, seldom seen “Regina”, who has been conversing with numerous characters this season – who looks decidedly scarier and dogless:


Lastly, I should also mention that the show’s writers wanted this to be the last episode before the Lost Spring Break for Brian’s Wedding (I must admit it was very nice of the show to do this for me) due to it supposedly ending with a great cliffhanger… however, the network brass at ABC wanted to coordinate the re-launch of Lost with Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy, so we have one more new episode next week before the five week break.

But if you ask me, the best place for this big cliffhanger to happen (unless it’s Sun dying in a flashforward) is the Freightor… with the inevitable reveal of Michael being on the boat. As if we didn’t already have enough evidence – how about the fact that there are no other new guest stars listed that don’t sound like flashforward Chinese / Korean characters? Luckily for us, Harold Perrineau (Michael) has actually been listed as a regular star since the season began – I suppose helping to conceal the episode that he returns in at the expense of totally telling the audience he’s coming for the past five weeks (it doesn’t make sense to me either).

Will we learn about Michael’s potential double-cross of Ben with the Freightors, how he made it to the boat, or what happened to Walt this week? Probably not. Will we learn if he truly is Ben’s “man on the boat” this week? Probably not. That’s the cliffhanger. Those are the questions that would have haunted our thoughts and dreams over five weeks if the writers had their way… luckily “the man” won out, and we’ll find out next week!

Hopefully I haven’t ruined the episode for you (or, much more importantly, me!) – but I do have the feeling we’re in store for a great episode.

Also, if you haven’t been playing “Lost March Madness”, you haven’t been combining two of my favorite things about March – Lost and the NCAA Tournament – it’s the best thing since Skyline Beer!


Watch out for the potential clash of John Locke and Jack Shepherd in the Sweet Sixteen! Or for Jacob to take on Ben in the Elite Eight!

Happy Lost-ing!



Eric said...

Thanks as always, Brian, for your thoughts. I only want to take issue with one thing: don't you think that if several people were rescued from an island months after a plane crash there, and one of them was a baby who's mother didn't make it, that that baby would be included in whatever moniker the media came up with? I just can't imagine Time and Newsweek stories about the Oceanic 6 (oh, and the baby, who we don't count cause, you know, he didn't have a ticket ...). The baby would draw all kinds of media attention, and be included in the group, which to me means that Aaron is one of the O6.

I'm also desperately hoping that you are wrong about Michael, if he is the one it will be such a dud of a reveal. I'm still hoping that we see him in the episode and somehow the cliffhanger ending is connected to us learning he isn't Ben's mole and the writers have set us up.

Lost Madness rocks!

Anonymous said...

Eric, your second paragraph sums up my feelings about the reveal completely.

I have to disagree with your first paragraph, however. I doubt that the world recognizes Aaron as Claire's child. I suspect that, because of his "special" status, the O6 would have presented him as Kate's natural child. Thus, the six would be the four that we have seen so far plus two new reveals. I am hoping that, for the sake of drama, it's not both Sun and Jin. I suspect that it may be one of them plus one other (Michael maybe? Locke?) I am going to guess that it will be someone who doesn't want to leave the island.

Let's keep our fingers crossed for that cliff-hanger!

Anonymous said...

I would think that Michael is the one of the oceanic six.... nobody seems to be considering him to take that spot, but i think that it is a definite possibility. However, it would be interesting if he (and walt? , walt could also be one of the oceanic six) went into hiding, or ended up staying on the island!

Anonymous said...

brian, you are so funny. l-edol. (the past tense of lol, duh.)

Anonymous said...

is it possible that Jin gets killed off?

Eric said...

Hi Anonymous-

I guess I still think that even if the world believes that Kate had a baby on the island, the baby would count as one of the 6. Let's suppose a United plane with hundreds of people crashes on an island, and there are several survivors. One of the survivors has a baby before they are rescued. Six official passengers and the baby are rescued. Don't you think the media would refer to the seven rescued as the United 7, even though the baby didn't have a ticket? We'll see, but I'm sticking to my theory!

Anonymous said...

Great blog!
I think you are right that Ji Yeon refers to Sun's baby. The question is whether Sun & Jin both survive off island, after having the kid.

Kim said...

The Others lose the babies during the second trimester, not the third. :-)

Anonymous said...

Pregnancy last 40 weeks or 38 depending on how you count it. Each trimester is about 13 weeks. This would put Sun probably at the end of the first trimester. My guess would be at about 10 weeks because the problems kick in at the second trimester.

TheycallmeVic said...

Great job Brian, I didn't foresee most of this.

I'm not too sure on Aaron though, it could still go either way. I know Kate is very secretive of him and the media would never get to see him, but they would still know that he was a survivor, on a "deserted" island as well. Thus still draw attention and be considered one of the O6.
Or you could be right and the media doesn't pay much attention to him because of Kate's protectiveness.

And thanks for the LOST March Madness, that's great!

For those of us LOST addicts, there's hope: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR9OtbZ9R8Y

Anonymous said...

I agree with Eric's comments above about Aaron. I have a hard time seeing how he would *not* be considered one of the O6. The fact that he didn't have a ticket in his name is irrelevant -- he was rescued along with the other 5.

So, assuming the 5 we know are Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, and Aaron, there's only room for 1 more. I think it has to be Sun, and that Jin gets killed off in a conflict with the freightors.

VictorC -- love that video! I think we can all relate. I for one do not *want* perspective, so I guess I am in denial over the seriousness of my "condition."

Anonymous said...

If it turns out that Michael is the "man on the boat" and then Walt and/or Michael are not considered part of the O6, that indicates a huge coverup.

You'd have a survivor who made it to the freightor and then was never heard from again. Not that that is out of the realm of possibility on Lost.

Eric said...

It's hard to tell ,but I'm taking that episode as confirmation that Jin was not in the O6 ... bummed about Michael, it seems that he is the man on the boat ...

Adam said...

so am i right in thinking sun's off island scenes were flash-forwards and jin's off island scenes were flashbacks? Way confusing.

JP said...

If you remember from the flashback, the store owner mentions the 'year of the dragon' when Jin is trying to buy panda #2.

The last year of Dragon was during 2001. The next is 2012.

Anonymous said...

interesting. very slick w/the use of flash forwards & flash backs int he same storyline. Questions:
Is Jin alive & on island? His date of death was the date of the crash & we know that isn't true.
Where did frank go w/helicopter?

Anonymous said...

Good point JP, I didn't catch that. I am assuming that it is then 2001 since he says he has only been married for two years.