6.10 The Package
It didn’t take a genius to know that this week’s episode of Lost wasn’t going to remotely live up to last week’s. It almost goes without saying. However, as someone who hasn’t ever found a Sun/Jin episode particularly entertaining, the question wasn’t so much whether it would be any good, but rather, could it manage to make me interested in Sun and Jin.
And the answer…not really.
In fact, as far as the episode goes, it felt more like it was treading water than any other episode this season. This would have been the perfect point to reunite Sun and Jin for good, but it seems like there’s more of that to come. Even the flash-sideways couldn’t bring itself to an actual resolution. If you’re a fan of Sun and Jin, then great, but if, like me, you find their romance subplot tiresome and unoriginal, it’s bad news all round.
One element of the episode that was amusing, though – once again, it seems that Jin can’t catch himself a break. Of all the characters in Lost, he’s probably been through the wringer more than anyone. Stranded with people he couldn’t talk to, cast adrift on a raft, captured by the Tailies, blown up, stranded in the past, captured by the Others, forced to bunk with a madwoman and now captured by Widmore. And that’s just in the main timeline. In the sideways-verse, he’s dealing with the ramifications of his romance with Sun, which results in – you guessed it – him being captured and locked up. At this point, he should probably just resign himself to his fate.
Speaking of fate, Sun and Jin are, so far, the first people we’ve seen who are definitely worse off in the sideways-verse than in the ‘main’ timeline.
Although they had marital problems, the pair’s marriage and love for one another has only grown stronger since the first episode. Off the island, they’re living a dangerous life, in a difficult situation. Although, unlike in the main timeline, Jin apparently doesn’t need the island to help him get Sun pregnant, so he’s got that going for him, I suppose.
This perhaps counts against the idea that the sideways-verse is showing the post-Season 6 ‘happy ending’ fates of the characters, but even that said, there’s still time for things to turn good, and I’d be very surprised if their baby doesn’t survive next time we see them.
Sun’s aphasia was probably one of the weakest plot developments Lost has ever deigned to use, more reminiscent of hackneyed daytime soap opera than the high-quality primetime series we’re used to. And a note to the writers: having your characters stand around and admit that the plot device is stupid and unlikely doesn’t excuse it.
Even Desmond’s appearance was far from a surprise. His presence in the cast list has been conspicuous ever since episode 1, so as soon as it was revealed that the “package” Widmore had on the island was a person, it was immediately obvious who it’d be. Quite what he has to tell Jin, however, is a question that at least makes his presence interesting. I just wish the reveal had been a little less ploddingly inevitable. The best thing I can say is that at least they didn’t insult our intelligence by dragging it out.
The episode wasn’t without its good moments. It’s just a shame they largely didn’t involve the characters it was supposed to be about. Locke and Widmore’s fence-side chat was a particular highlight, as was his chat with Claire and the potential consequences for Kate.
Elsewhere, only the most humourless viewer could fail to be amused by Mikhail’s fate, and Ben’s protestations that he had nothing to do with Sun’s injury. All of them were classic Lost moments in their own right, but none big enough to make the episode,only to halt its slide into complete tedium.
Overall, the episode was, in many ways, remarkably similar to Sawyer’s recent episode, itself one of the season’s poorer showings. A flash-sideways with large, though uninteresting divergences from the main timeline, an on-island plot that seemed to flit from scene to scene without much coherence.It wasn’t terrible, but it was certainly below the average set by this season.
On the plus side, it seems incredibly likely that we’ll be seeing something about Desmond next week, and since he was the first character to truly twist the ‘flashbacks’ into something mind-blowing, well, let’s just say I’m expecting big things.
Check out our review of episode 9 here.