Lost Book Club: House of the Rising Sun

(Lost Season 1, Episode 6)

I think Sun and Jin’s “character reveals” are two of the most surprising on the show. Do a little mental comparison of the following:

  1. who you think they are when you first meet them
  2. who they were when their love was young
  3. who you think they were right before the plane crash
  4. who they really were right before the plane crash
  5. who they become after the plane crash

…Simply put, they are extremely dynamic characters. The writers do a great job letting out such a tiny trickle of information that you constantly have to go back and revise your assumptions about both of them. I know they do this about most (all?) of the characters, but Sun and Jin’s story somehow seems most striking to me.

This episode has been hard for me to write about. It’s really interesting to get a look into such enigmatic characters—to get that first glimpse of the slow back-story trickle—but their story is so depressing. How different would things have been if they had just eloped to America like Sun wanted to in the very beginning? When Jin explains to Sun that he will work for her father in order to earn the money to get married, Jin remarks, “It’s the right thing to do,” and offers a conciliatory, “I have to. It’s temporary.” But it’s far from temporary. It’s painfully permanent. In an effort to do things the right way, everything goes horribly wrong. Jin inadvertently destroys their love, their relationship, not to mention his integrity. The island gives them the unique chance to clear the slate and rebuild a relationship. But I still wish they had just eloped to America in the very beginning.

Moral(s) of the episode: it’s not worth the diamond, don’t go into business with family, and beehives don’t always live up in trees (poor Charlie).

Category: what i watch 3 comments »

3 Responses to “Lost Book Club: House of the Rising Sun”

  1. bryant

    I like your contrast with what might have been if they had eloped versus what opportunity the island actually did give them.

    I think real life is like that, too: Our lives would probably be better if we could have just done the right thing in the first place, but we don’t really get the chance to undo our mistakes. Instead, we sometimes get chances to try again and do things better the second time around. We can’t make undo the consequences, but sometimes in the long run we can still get back to where we should have been.

    (One of the things that I like about this is show is that, for all of the fantasy involved, the writers keep the things that happen to the characters very real, even when the audience isn’t sure if it’s imagined or not.)

  2. bryant

    Also, we had a youth activity at a park a couple of months ago and one of the boys rolled a log over and there was a wasps’ nest inside that broke open, and the wasps came out and stung all of the kids. So yeah, not just in trees. The ground isn’t safe either.

  3. Russ

    I really like Jin’s character (though not yet). Even more than Sawyer, it’s hard to like the version of Jin we first meet at the beach–controlling, isolating, belligerent. The eventual redemption of this relationship is a highlight- I like Bryant’s comment about how the island gives them the chance to do better the second time around, that even after all that, there is hope and love.


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