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Lost is a drama about a group of plane crash survivors. They land on an unknown Pacific island and have to learn to live together. ABC 2004-2010


Episode 6 - House of the Rising Sun

7 December 2016

Present: Jin attacks Michael because he is wearing a watch which Jin was looking after for Sun’s father. The survivors don’t know this though and handcuff him to the wreckage. Sun reveals to Michael that she can speak English and clears the air. Jack takes Locke, Kate and Charlie to the caves. He realises that the caves are a good place to live and encourages the survivors to move there. But Sayid, Kate and some others refuse to leave the beach.

Flashback: Sun is from a wealthy family with a domineering father. Jin is a waiter and they have been carrying out a clandestine romance. Jin wants to marry her and goes to see her father. He accepts Jin but only if he works for his company. Jin agrees but the long hours begin to cause problems for him and Sun. One job he does for her father sees him coming home covered in someone else’s blood. Sun learns English and makes plans to leave the country. But at the airport before flight 815 she decides not to leave him.

The Good: A pattern has emerged after six episodes. The survivors face a challenge in their attempts to stay alive and we see their differing attitudes and perspectives to that challenge. While one character has a flashback which reveals a twist on who we think they are and helps explain their on-island behaviour. It’s a formula which is rich in character development.

Sun’s flashbacks paint a clear and compelling story. Jin did whatever was necessary to be with her and provide for her. But the work he did for her father made him distant and hardened him. So much so that she wanted to leave him but ultimately stayed because of their love. The use of Korean (and subtitles) in these scenes is very effective. Not only does it sound authentic but because we can’t analyse the way they say things it gives their scenes a dramatic license which other scenes don’t have. Basically, if there acting isn’t great, it is difficult for us to tell!

But their facial expressions tell a strong story throughout. Jin’s descent from smitten lover to bruising business man seems perfectly believable despite the brief scenes we see. The fact that being with Sun seems to be his primary motivation makes his behaviour all the more tragic. The revelation that Sun can speak English isn’t a huge shock as it seemed unlikely the producers would be brave enough to have two characters unable to speak with anyone else. And it leads to an obvious source of future tension for Jin and Sun.

The cornucopia of other character development is also typically strong. We get more flirtatious banter from Jack and Kate and some good humour from both Charlie and Hurley related to their obvious attraction. Locke continues his development as the island’s guru by outing Charlie’s drug habit. While Michael probably has the best moments of all. His anger at being beaten up leads him to make a claim of racism against Jin. It’s interesting to see him swiftly apologise for that to Walt and go on the offensive asking Walt what he knows about him. It’s the first time we have seen Michael stand up to Walt and show parental love and discipline combined in a way which is effective. All these developments continue to look convincing and logical with solid acting from all concerned.

The discovery of the caves opens up an understandable rift in the camp. The next logical question for their survival is whether to move to the source of water or stay at the likeliest point of rescue. That logical question again opens up the characters, showing us who they are and what their mindset is. It’s interesting that Jack has taken so quickly to the idea of digging in. As the doctor he sees the obvious benefits to people’s welfare, but perhaps his conversation with Locke has also had an effect on him (105).

The Bad: Another music montage at the end of the episode. Though this one has more reason to exist than the previous one (103), it still feels inappropriate. We barely know half the cast and yet the montage acts to contrast the locations and mindsets of our protagonists. I feel it is a bit of a cheesy crutch to convey the separation of the camps. I don’t feel it is necessary at this stage and the same point could have been made more effectively through simple dialogue.

Another gratuitous shot of Kate in her bra. Even though it leads to a good joke from Charlie, it seems needlessly obvious.

The Unknown: The island revelation of the week is the appearance of two skeletons in the caves. Who are they and how did they get there? What is the significance of the white and black stones they carry? Are they in any way connected to Locke’s backgammon pieces?

Best Moment: Jin returns home (in flashback), covered in blood. As he washes his hands Sun repeatedly asks him to explain himself. He says he was working. She asks what exactly he does for her father. He looks at her with a steely expression and says he does whatever her father asks him to. “I do it for us” he says and returns to washing his hands. It’s a very dramatic scene and very effective. It conveys in one scene an entire imagined existence of illegal business deals and Jin’s own potential moral corruption.

The Bottom Line: Lost feels like a great meal being cooked. Each episode is simmering away with more ingredients being added. Sun’s flashback is strong, as are the other characters, though you won’t find much action here.



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  • This was another excellent episode of Lost that was better than I remembered. Sun and Jin always seemed to have fairly poor episodes, but this episode worked really well and had several great emotional moments. Sun's reveal was great and it sets up her storyline with Jin very well. Personally I loved the montages from the first season and I wish that more episodes in later seasons utilized them. I thought they worked really well and always ended the episode appropriately. Overall, this first season of Lost was very impressive, and this episode is no exception.

    Viewer score: 73 / 100

    Posted by Aaronic, 26/11/2016 10:59pm (4 years ago)

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