DECEMBER 22, 2010
A common problem I have with movies that are built around twists is that I've seen so many, I can spot the "off" things that give the twist away, such as no one speaking to a certain character (Sixth Sense, though that one actually fooled me - it's just the one I can mention without giving away a largely unknown secret) or a certain vague quality to dialogue, indicating that the writer is trying to make you think they are talking about something different than they are. Well, I'm not sure what it was about "Ji Yeon", but I somehow knew after about 10 minutes or so that Jin and Sun were not in the same time period during the flashes.
There are certain hints - Jin's "antique" cell phone and the fact that no one was bugging him about being an Oceanic Six member, like everyone else's flash-forwards, but if that's what tipped me off, it must have been subconsciously, because I only really realized these things on a second viewing. I think it's more that they were separate for the whole episode - they ALWAYS had a scene together in their other episodes, even the one that took place before they met! Now, I'm not saying it's a bad twist, and it actually sort of foreshadowed a future element of the show (people existing in different time periods), but I suspect that some fans wouldn't have been as annoyed if they had seen it coming. Some folks don't like being tricked, and when they are, they just get angry (I myself just feel stupid for missing it).
Once again, though, the bulk of what makes the episode interesting is the stuff in the B story, i.e. the developments on the freighter. Zoe Bell popping up and committing suicide, the introduction of the captain, and of course, FINALLY, the "non-opening credits" reveal of who Ben's spy was on the boat, all make for perfectly satisfying, worthwhile Lost. I also like that Desmond really doesn't know who Michael is, something that a casual viewer probably didn't realize. Desmond took off while Michael was still with the Others, and returned when Michael was with Jack and company en route to "rescue Walt". I wish they had a scene of Sayid explaining who he was to Desmond though; after this the fact that they didn't know one another was never really addressed.
I also enjoy the flashes. Jin's story is goofy fun, because it puts one of the most volatile guys on the show in a situation out of a bad episode of some family sitcom, or the film Jingle All The Way. And Sun's is nice because it's good to know she had her baby and both were healthy. Also, as I mentioned yesterday, Hurley's response to the fact that no one else was coming ("Good!") was particularly odd - since when doesn't Hurley want to see the others? It was obviously before he went nuts again (since it couldn't be too far into the future if she was just having her baby), so this moment was and remains very awkward. But hilarious, because of Jorge Garcia's otherwise unending love of everyone.
But the island stuff is a bore. First of all - they build an episode around Sun and Jin possibly wanting to stay on the island, when we know they DON'T because the other half of the episode is about her living in the real world post-island! And I've already discussed my dislike of the "affair" subplot (and I find it rather stupid that Jin actually thinks it might not be his - unless she fucked the dude right before they got on the plane, how could it be? You've been there for over 3 months and she's not even showing yet), so Juliet using it to keep Sun around is fairly weak. I do like the scene of him and Bernard on the boat though, and I'm happy they didn't drag it out forever like their last big fight (in S1), but it's still a bland and forgettable story.
Which is a shame, because I've frequently complained about the lack of character moments in this season, and their stuff does keep the mythology nonsense largely off the table for this one (at least on the island), so that's actually a good thing. I just don't particularly care about this subplot of their history, and the introduction of the flash forwards and such renders a lot of it moot anyway.
Tomorrow - Harold Perrineau's season-long "starring" credit pays off when they give him an entire episode more or less to himself!
Where are we?