Tuned In

Lostwatch: One Step Forward, One Step Back

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Sayid and Desmond find their accomodations less than hospitable. / ABC: MARIO PEREZ

SPOILER ALERT: Before you read this post, cuddle up with a giant panda and watch last night’s Lost.


So: Did the dragon tip you off? Because of the benefit of having a child with an inordinate interest in the Chinese Zodiac, I knew that we were several years away on either side of us from a Year of the Dragon. With Sun presumably giving birth sometime in 2005, and the most recent Dragon having been in 2000, something strange was going on with the chronology. I guessed quickly that Sun was in a flash-forward and Jin in a flashback, but to be fair, it was one of several theories we were shouting at the TV in the Tuned In household over the course of the episode:

* Sun and Jin were both in flash-forwards, but Jin had left her, and was bringing the panda to someone else’s baby

* Sun and Jin were both in flashbacks, and had lost a baby, of which we were previously unaware

* Jin was in a flashback and had a secret baby with another woman–which was why he so quickly forgave Sun’s infidelity

* Sun and Jin were together in the future, but someone–Dharma, Ben, Widmore, etc.–was going to steal their newborn baby, through the “substitute” doctor who was actually their agent

* &c.

This is how paranoid Lost makes you. Anyway, Occam’s Razor of Lost applied, and the simplest of the not-so-simple solutions held true. By the way: no “Whoosh!” for Jin’s flashback! Cheating!

And then! Jin! Dead! Or something! I say “or something,” because you’ll note that Jin’s tombstone says 2004. But in the island-present, it is nearly New Year’s Day, 2005. Which may mean:

* Jin is not actually dead but back on the island; the tombstone was the one made for him when Oceanic 815 was believed to have crashed; but Sun cannot tell anyone this because of whatever cover story they’ve agreed on. (Problem: then why does she feel compelled to talk to his grave and not to a picture, say?)

* Jin dies before the Oceanic 6 escape–very soon, if the date on his grave marker is correct

* Jin leaves the island with Sun but dies at some point before this, the “2004” also having some relation to the Oceanic 6 cover story

* &c.

Speaking of which, I wonder if someone with superior Lost-fu understands the chronology of the flash-forwards. Jack’s in Through the Looking Glass was clearly the farthest forward in time. Hurley’s was much closer to the escape (Jack hadn’t grown a beard). Assuming that Sun actually had her baby seven months after the island-present–that is, assuming no temporal screwiness–does that mean her flash-forward takes place before Kate’s? (It must, right? Else how is she having a baby when Aaron is evidently two or three years old?) And is Hurley visiting Sun before he ends up back in the loony bin?

&c.

Have you noticed we haven’t talked about Michael yet? So he evidently is the “man on the boat”–at least he’s a man on the boat–but he’s not Michael; he’s “Kevin Johnson.” But we didn’t get much on the how of his arrival–for instance, how he got to the boat when, presumably, the boat was not in those waters when he and Walt sailed off at the end of season 2. I’m guessing there’s more to come next episode, but feel free to theorize.

Whew. A lot of theorizing this week. As actual drama, the episode was fine enough, though I found myself getting impatient with the Island scenes. Juliet, it seems, is acting like a female Jack–taking Sun on as her “patient” and arrogating herself the right to make decision for Sun in her own interest. Maybe she and the good doctor are meant to be together after all. The Sun and Jin story did move me, as it always does–of all Lost’s redemption stories, theirs are the ones that really get me–and I was genuinely surprised at the cemetery ending.

Though, to be honest, it undercuts the emotional power of a grave scene when it comes on a show where you can never completely believe that anyone is really dead.

OK, I’m running out of steam. Let’s go to the hail of bullets:

* Was Sun watching Exposé?

* Regina. I’m open to theories. Apparently the victim of a craziness caused by too-close proximity to the island, resulting in reading books upside down and suicide? Anyone know what those are symptoms of in the Physician’s Desk Reference? (The suicide seems to be contagious, what with the spatter marks on the wall of Des and Sayid’s new room.) Is this the “sickness” Rousseau’s crew came down with?

* Should we trust the captain? Is Ben really behind the faked crash of Oceanic 815?

* Nice scene between Bernard and Jin. I sometimes wish we’d get more of him and Rose, but the doses we get go a long way.

* I still have to wonder just what and how much the Boaties know about the Losties. No one has seemed particularly surprised to have found the survivors on the Island, nor to find the likes of Desmond among them.

* Related to which: what is Frank’s “errand” to the island?

* Finally, thanks to the wonderful ABC promotion department, we now know that next week, SOMEONE! WILL! DIE! Who? And extra credit: how often does someone not die on Lost?

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