Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, episode 6, House of the Rising Sun

House of the Rising Sun
Events: At the beach, there is an incident between Jin and Michael; Jin attacks, unprovoked, first punching his face repeatedly and then nearly drowning him as Walt looks on, horrified. Sayid and Sawyer break up the fight and handcuff Jin to a piece of plane wreckage, but as Jin and Sun don't speak English, no one can determine what happened between the two men or why. Jin seems defiant and even unstable after being restrained, but through Sun's flashbacks we see that he was once a gentle, tender man, and a very devoted partner.
Meanwhile, Jack, Kate, Locke, and Charlie head for the caves to get water; Charlie upsets a beehive while trying to get himself a fix of heroin. After runnning from the bees, Jack and Kate stumble upon two skeletons inside the caves, one with two rocks in his pocket, one is light, one is dark. Jack takes the rocks and hides them from Locke, who christens the remains, "our very own Adam and Eve."

Later, when Charlie tries again to sneak away for a fix, Locke stops him and takes the stash but helps him find his lost guitar. When Jack starts to relocate people from the beach to the caves, Sayid, Sawyer, and Kate stay behind.
After exhaustive efforts to find out why Jin attacked Michael, Sun approaches Michael near the jungle and speaks to him in perfect English. Through further flashbacks it is revealed that Jin worked for Sun's father, the work he did was all-consuming and violent, and that she had planned to leave him the day they boarded the flight in Sydney, but ultimately didn't. Sun explains to Michael that Jin attacked him because he was wearing a watch that had belonged to her father, which Michael had innocently picked up on the beach. When Michael scoffs, she says, pleadingly, "You don't know my father."
Greater Meaning: Toward the end of the episode, when Kate inexplicably refuses to move from the beach to the caves, Jack is confused and frustrated. He asks, "How did you get this way?" And while certainly not without his own complexities, Jack (and his question) makes an important point at this stage of the show, and not just regarding Kate. Many of the survivors have issues, problems, and this episode does a great job of uncovering them without seeming overwhelming. It would be easy to just completely write Jin off as a violent, reactionary man if we didn't see that he had once been quite the opposite. Michael might seem like an uninvolved, impatient father and Walt a defiant, annoying child had we not been shown little bits of their histories. And Sun could indeed have been marginalized as a stereotype, a wet rag of a wife, but the writers make sure to show us that she really wasn't. As the episode opens, Sun looks from group to group, understanding every word being spoken but unable to react or participate because of her secret. Whatever happened in her marriage during her husband's employ with her father was significant enough for her to learn English, privately, and to want to leave Jin; what happened between them? How did any of them "get this way?"
Did Old Man Shephard send the beehive, too?
On a different note, those skeletons in the caves? Clear evidence that not only were there other people there before the crash survivors (in the place where Jack's father's clinking ice led Jack to find water) but that there is some connection, even if it's merely aesthetic, to Locke's backgammon explanation from the pilot episode or by association, any game where two opponents face each other. Already there seems to be a division forming on the island and a fair amount of hostility between camps and decisions: Sayid, Kate, and Sawyer on the beach, Jack, The Kwons, and Hurley in the caves. Is this how civilizations form? The beach group still hopes to be rescued while the cave group is "digging in," or as Sayid said, "admitting defeat." Live together, die alone? Not quite there yet.

Further Questions
1. Who were "Adam and Eve?"
2. What were the black and white rocks about?
3. What does Sun's father do?
4. How did Jin get blood all over him?
5. How does Locke know so much about nature?
6. What are Kate's trust issues?
7. Will Locke choose the beach or the caves?


Unknown said...

Hello, Anna Adams. I've been away from this whole blogging thing for so long. The last week or so I've been going through old articles I wrote and came across a comment from you! Thank you :)

It's almost time, I think, to go through Lost again! I'm almost ready.

This episode, as with most episodes of Lost, is pretty great. There's a lot of conflict, you learn a lot about the characters, and there's a few revelations.

Going to go see what else you've written on your site!