Lost Serves Up Lima Beans, Pandas, Blood, and Babies

Dear Sun, thank you, thank you, thank you for delivering that well-deserved smack to Juliet's smug little kisser last night. I've wanted to just that for, oh, a couple seasons now, and boy did it feel good when you did it for me. And that's not the only reason I enjoyed the most recent episode of Lost, which came back strong after last week's stumble. Spoilers and discussion after the jump.

  • "Ji Yeon" is the first time the writers have given us simultaneous flashbacks and flashforwards, and while I'm not sure they'll be able to get away with this structure again, I think it worked here. It may have teetered on gimmicky, but ultimately everything that happened was within the boundaries of the Sun/Jin story and characters. (Just talking about the back/forward scenes here; I'm not sure I buy Jin's immediate about-face after Bernard's rather cheesy "karma" talk.) Again, for me, Lost's most successful episodes are the ones with an unforeseen twist. Jin's obsessive pursuit of the toy panda reminded us of the way he used to be, necessary to set up his "new self's" forgiveness of Sun; discovering that this storyline was a flashback was fresh and surprising.
  • On the other hand, Michael's return had to be one of the most anticlimactic reveals in the history of Lost — not least because they've been spoilering us with Harold Perrineau's name in the credits for the past six weeks. Excellent poker faces on Des and Sayid during their introduction to "Kevin Johnson." Note to writers: You've got one African-American man on the show and you turn him into a janitor? I know, it'll all be explained next week when we "Meet Kevin Johnson."
  • Lima beans, cockroaches, and blood—Captain Gault really knows how to make his guests feel welcome. At first I thought his name was a shout out to Ayn Rand's John Galt—which made me happy because I'm a big fan of AMC's Mad Men, where ad agency head Bert Cooper hands out copies of Atlas Shrugged to favored employees—but apparently it's a reference to fictional salty dog John Gault. Michael/Kevin's note (assuming it came from him) said not to trust the captain, but he's the only one answering questions and providing information — which, even if it turns out to be lies, lies, and damned lies, is nonetheless satisfying. Wonder what's on the black box from the staged crash, and, like Gault said, where do you get 324 bodies?
  • I think we can safely assume that there will be more of Zoe Bell than her chain-wrapped jump into the sea. Yes, there's a Dickens reference (the ghost of Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol), but it also reminded me of Houdini's underwater escapes.
  • Who will win the battle for hearts and minds between Juliet and Kate? I'm not liking either one of them too much right now.
  • As of last night, the Oceanic 6 = Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Sun, and who? Aaron? Is Jin one of the eight who made it off the island only to die later? Then why is his death date listed as 9/22/04, the date of the crash? Some suspect that Jin is alive back at the island, but why would he stay behind?
  • Loved Hurley in a suit and his obvious relief that nobody else was coming. I'm leaning towards this trip to visit Sun and baby taking place before he breaks down and ends up in the institution again.
  • Anybody else wonder if the toy store owner was going to offer Jin a dragon dressed in a panda suit a la the scene in Best in Show where a hysterical Parker Posey tries to buy a replacement stuffed bee?

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Charlie Jane Anders

@eain: Oh do you mean the reference to someone "dying"? I guess that totally got past me. I deleted that sentence from the above-the-jump portion. If you actually meant the smack to the face, I think you're out of luck because it's a minor spoiler and I don't want to rewrite Lynn's whole intro.