Follow along! The episode guide for “...In Translation” is in Finding Lost, pp. 107-111.
It’s so hard to believe there was ever a time when we hated Jin. But 17 episodes into season 1, the writers finally showed his side of the story, and fans were pretty much head-over-heels. We see the truth about his father, who he was before he became a hardass, and WHY he became a hardass.
Fun things I noticed:
• There are no numbers on Paik’s watch. Watches on Lost are very important, as is time (obvs) and the fact that he doesn’t have numbers could suggest he’s separate from time.
• Did you notice Jack wearing that damn key around his neck still? It makes me angry every time I see it. Thank goodness we lost that.
• Jack’s actually right about Jin. This is a rare moment where he’s up against everyone and is actually completely right. I bet no one apologized to him, either.
• Someone asked me in one of the other posts what the Chinese characters on Boone’s shirt stand for: they’re for the number 84.
• Locke saying to Shannon, “Should I be writing this down?” was hilarious to me. The thought of serious John Locke having to deal with a whiny little romantic kerfuffle and actually give his sage advice on it was hysterical.
• Here’s something that I’ve always wondered, and my husband and I were discussing it while watching this ep: think back to “Solitary,” where Sayid is interrogating the prisoner in Arabic. The camera moves around past his back and when it comes out on the other side, he’s speaking English. In actuality, he’s speaking Arabic, but the camera movement indicates to us that we’re listening to it in English so poor Naveen Andrews doesn’t have to learn the language phonetically and they don’t have to keep providing subtitles (it’s like when you see a movie where Hitler is speaking English with a German accent... though that’s never made sense to me; why not just have him speaking in an English accent, since he would have been speaking German, not English with a German accent...) ANYWAY... the use of English in this scene makes it more powerful for us, because we can understand what he’s saying and can feel it more than if we were simply reading subtitles. In the scene where Sun finally calls out to Jin that she was going to leave him, he passes close by the camera right before she shouts it, and I’ve often wondered if she really did say it in English, or are we to assume she’s speaking Korean, but the words are more powerful for English viewers to listen to if she actually delivers them in English. It’s probably something we’ll never know, and everyone will have his/her own theories on it. I thought of the tent scene at the end of “Ji Yeon,” and wondered if she revealed to him there that she was going to leave him, but she tells him about the affair, not the leaving him part. What do YOU think? I think if she’s speaking English, it’s an amazing moment because she still can’t bring herself to tell him the truth, but does it in a roundabout way. But if she’s speaking Korean, then she really is on her way to becoming a new woman, as we see at the end of the episode, and knowing he still returns to her despite it would be really touching.
• I still find it strange that Hurley has a CD player and not an MP3 player... this was only 2004, not 1994, and the guy was a multimillionaire. If anyone could afford an early device, it’s him. (If you haven’t listened to Damien Rice’s album, “O,” which the song Hurley’s playing is from, please do... it’s transcendent.) While I always thought that was one of the best endings of ANY Lost episode (and I enjoyed how it anticipated that next week’s ep would be Hurley’s) it makes me sad knowing we won’t have those musical montages anymore.
Things that have new meaning:
• Sun smacking Michael is an early indication of the badass she’ll end up being (think of her approaching Widmore, or whacking Ben with the oar... she always had it in her).
• Jin playing golf made me think of the mobisode where he has the complete breakdown. It's set right around the time of this episode, and it still makes me laugh, even if at the end you feel badly for Jin (if you haven’t seen it, here it is):
• Sawyer kicking Jin and then holding up a knife to him seems SO weird now. I couldn’t help but think of him hugging him and laughing in “This Place Is Death” after they were finally reunited.
• John Locke: “Everyone gets a new life on this island.” Me: “WHOA.” Talk about a prescient line coming from the one guy who literally HAS gotten a new life on the island... even if it’s as someone else.
• I love watching that “we’re not the only people on this island and we all know it!” speech again (especially since the “previously on Lost” bits will play it ad nauseum for about 2 more years). It’s interesting to see John Locke turning everyone against his own people right from the beginning.
• Knowing what we know about Jin’s dad (that Jin’s prostitute mother abandoned him in a fishing village and Jin’s father raised him... it’s still not 100% clear whether Jin’s father is his biological dad, but that doesn’t matter because he loves him more than most of the fathers love their sons on this show), the scene where he goes to see him is even sadder.
• I love how quiet Locke gets when he tells Walt that no, his father wasn’t cool. He sees a kindred spirit in Walt – both were raised by people who didn’t want them; both of them are “special” in a certain way; neither one of them wants to leave the island and had done violent things to sabotage efforts to leave.