LOST 1.17 … In Translation (Jin)

… In Translation is a riff from the movie Lost In Translation where Bill Murray meets Scarlett Johannson in Japan during one of his business trips. What does this have to do with Lost? Not very much, but how many opportunities will I get to mention those actor’s names? I had a chance earlier in Season 4 with Miles and his Ghostbuster machine (actually it was a souped up Dust Vac). Now how can I bring up Scarlett?  Let’s see, she was in The Prestige about a very weird magic trick involving twins, okay I know “Bad Twin“. I’m glad I got that out of my system. Now on to this most excellent Lost episode.

We find out how Jin got the blood on his hands that we saw in the last Jin and Sun centric episode.  But first let’s start with the island.  Jin is looking out at the ocean, something we saw Locke do not too long ago.  Is Jin looking for rescue or does this recurring Lost motif have a deeper meaning?  Flashback to Mr. Paik giving Jin a job.  It’s interesting that Paik only does so, when Jin says that Sun is a bigger dream to him than even his goal of opening a restaurant and hotel. Maybe Mr. Pail isn’t so bad after all.  He is wanting someone good for his daughter.  Back on the beach Sun has decided to wear a bikini down to the shore.  If you remember she seemed somewhat jealous that Kate was doing the same before but Jin told her to button up.  Kate was actually in her underwear … but whatever.

Sun models for her action figure

Sun models for her action figure

This enrages Jin who has been trying to keep his wife under his control since getting to the island.  Our impression of Sun at this point is that she has been hopelessly misunderstood by her husband, but we find out in Season 3 (The Glass Ballerina) that Sun has a problem with truth telling.  Which is interesting because later in this episode she actually says emphatically that Jin is an honest man.  Well Michael sees them argue and decides to step in between.  Never a good idea.  This nearly leads to a fight between Jin and him, but Sun stops it by slapping Michael (which we see her do again later this episode).  She apologizes to Mike later, saying that Jin is dangerous and did the slap to protect Michael.  Mike is too concerned about building the raft to care very much.

Jin is now getting his frustration out on a golf ball.  In a totally hysterical mobisode we see sort of a continuation of this scene (which I hope they will splice in for the “extended Lost DVD”, which I am figuring we will get eventually).  Sayid makes a pass at Shannon which she accepts.  He makes his intentions known to Boone who warns him about what Shannon can be like, which temporarily derails things, until Locke tells Shannon that “everyone gets a new life on the island”.  Which is very ironic because Locke has been giving a new life, somebody else’s aka Esau (fake Locke).

Well in a subplot, Michael’s raft gets burned by an unknown assailant.  Time for CSI, but since there isn’t one on the island, they decide to blame Jin instead.  Sawyer is particularly ticked because he bought himself a place on the raft in exchange for a cable he scavenged.  So Sawyer hunts down Jin and gives him a kick in the face and drags him on a leash back to the beach for his punishment.  Mike is the first to want to cast stones (or punches) but Jin yells something at him in Korean (most likely it’s “stop spending time with my wife”).  Get it. Time. Watches….  As Mike beats him up Sun looks on and suddenly blurts out… Stop it.. In English.  Everyone except Kate and Mike who know her secret, are shocked.  Jin especially.  He walks away leaving her alone on the beach.

Back in Korea.  Mr. Paik tells Jin to leave a message with a government safety official who has shut down Paik’s auto plant.  Paik wants Jin to hurt the man, but it’s really not in Jin’s plan.  That is until Paik finds out and threatens to send a hit man after the government guy.  So Jin beats up the guy to warn him (like Sun slapped Mike) to save his life.  When Jin gets home Sun sees the blood and wants to know what happened, but for Jin to tell her he would also have to say that her father ordered it.  Something Jin will not do.  Respect for elders is very important.  But Jin has not respected his own father, in fact he is ashamed to tell anyone he is a simple fisherman.

In a really nice scene, Jin’s dad forgives him with no strings attached (just like the story of the prodigal son).

Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Luke 15:32

He also tells him to finish his final assignment with Paik (to deliver watches to Sydney and LA) and leave that job behind for good in order to save his marriage.

Back on the island – Jin is packing his things to leave Sun. She wonders what she has done to deserve this ( I am guessing she is feeling guilty).  She says “She wants to go back to the beginning”.  Which could be a reference to a time loop as well as her wanting to start their relationship back when showed her he loved her (when she wanted to leave him at Sydney airport).  He says “it’s too late”.  Which is similar to what Jack said about his romantic relationship to Kate in the Season 5 finale.

In the final twist Jin shows up on the beach to help Mike rebuild the raft.  And it’s little Walt who is the culprit which only Locke knows for now.

I really liked this episode.  Sun finally showed her independence from Jin, but what she found out was she really loved Jin and needed his protection.


  • Jin goes from being the bad guy to the good guy in this episode.  We see he is motivated almost entirely out of his love for Sun and his shame for his position as a fisherman’s son.  Sun thinks Jin has turned evil, but he really is upset with what he did do the auto safety official.  He apologizes to his dad as well.
  • Speaking of dad’s, Walt says his dad is cool, but Locke says his dad is not cool.  Which is very true since his dad tried to kill him.
  • Sun’s bikini scene on the beach ended up being her sculpture for her action figure.  Sun is beautiful, smart, and stubborn, just as Jin tells his father.
  • Seeing Jin disoriented on the beach before Mike beats him, reminded me of Jin arrival back on the island after the raft is destroyed by the Others in Season 2.
  • The FlatIron building that inspired Michael to draw is one of the oldest skyscrapers in New York.  It has a famous triangular shape (like that of a clothing iron).  There was talk about Lost island being in the Bermuda triangle at one time, which would have explained the missing drug plane, among other things.

    FlatIron building in NY

    FlatIron building in NY

2 Responses

  1. I really wanted to see Jin kick Michaels butt, but he just submitted to his punches, the same way Jacob submitted to Ben’s stabs. It was wise counsel from Jin’s father who told him to walk away, even though he wanted badly to do it, he probably feared for himself, that Mr Paik would find him even if he did. He needed a plane crash to make him believe that Jin & Sun were dead so that he would stop his pursuit after them. Funny how things like that happen. It’s obvious that John Locke is not himself, he knows things that any ordinary person could not. I’m certain he is not Un-Locke at the moment, and I’m sure there’s only one Locke on the island at this point in time. I just can’t put my finger on what it is exactly. It’s possible that Jacob just like his Nemesis has black smoke, he might have a white smoke monster, that John saw in first few episodes that he thought was beautiful, or at the moment the black smoke monster gave him vision of things past, present & future.

  2. If you wanted to see Jin kick Michael’s butt so badly, then you should have watched “House of the Rising Sun” . . . eleven episodes earlier.

    In fact, why would you want to see Jin kick Michael’s butt? The two became close friends. In fact, both Jin and Sun forgave Michael for his actions when he returned in S4. Jin and Michael parted as close friends

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