Wednesday, March 31, 2010 815 (or fewer) words: "The Package"

As much as I love attempting to sift through and then analyze every minute detail of each episode of Lost (and that's provided that I notice every minute detail of Lost, which is unlikely), I'm going to take a slightly different approach this time around. Time to step back for a moment and check out the forest instead of staring really intently at each individual palm tree and mango tree. ;)

A recurring theme and question in the earlier seasons of Lost was this: What am I supposed to do? Jack often dealt with this sort of crisis when he was trying to figure out how to lead or fix a problem; Locke dealt with this, too, as he looked to the Island or destiny or fate for all the answers. Jack often took an active approach to answering this question, figuring out how he should act or react, while Locke generally analyzed signs and situations and things that happened to him, using these experiences to guide him, all the while feeling like he was on this path to...well, something.

With the Sideways timeline braided throughout season 6 of Lost, we revisit that question, and a logical secondary question: I might be supposed to do things, but who's the one calling the shots here? This has been clear all season long, but it was particularly clear tonight: In whatever timeline happens to be happening, we see some of the same things occurring over and over no matter how different some of the circumstances are. Keamy will always be a mercenary. Mikhail will always have one very fucked-up eye. Sayid will always be a killer. Many of the castaways seem fated to know or run into one another no matter what world they're operating in. Jin and Sun will always be a package deal, albeit one that seems slightly doomed.

The title of tonight's episode is meaningful on many levels. Sun and Jin were dealing with delivering a package to one of Mr. Paik's associates. Sun and Jin, whether married or unmarried, are a package deal. Sun is carrying a little package right inside her womb. There's a package locked inside a room in the sub, although that package is a "who" and not a "what."

At the end of a pretty exciting episode--exciting, anyway, for a Sun/Jin episode, which, except for the season 4 episode where it looked like Jin got blown up on the freighter, have always left me wanting a bit more action--we find out two very important things:

1) In Sidewaysville, Sun is also pregnant, and
2) The Constant has arrived on the Island.

The package that Widmore had locked up in his sub was none other than Desmond Hume, Daniel Faraday's "constant." So we've got multiple timelines, and presumably Desmond will have something to do with setting those timelines straight somehow, right? So what happens if there's something going on in an effort to facilitate course correction, but there's a major discrepancy between personal events in the timelines? I'm specifically referring to Sun here. On-Island, she is healthy (except for that bump on her head) and has previously given birth to her child, Ji Yeon (loved the scene between Widmore and Jin when Widmore showed Jin those pictures--very, very touching!). In the Sideways land, Sun's been badly wounded, and it seems likely that the baby would be affected by these wounds. What would happen if Island Sun is living and Sideways Sun is dying, and these timelines get merged or dealt with in some other way? What's supposed to happen then? Which timeline trumps the other one? And who decides that (or how is it decided)? Or does neither win and each timeline continues on, neither affecting the other? Next week's episode is Desmond-centric, so I'm betting we'll get more insight into this then.

Let's think back to Jacob's words in last week's episode, about how these candidates are on the Island to make the right choices on their own, and also remembering how when FLocke was chasing Sun in tonight's episode he was talking to her about free will. In addition to multiple timelines, there are two paralleling themes going on here: What you're supposed to do (because you choose to do it on your own), and what you're supposed to do (that is dictated by powers that are not your own--powers that, for example, somehow make it so these folks connect with each other no matter what timeline they're in). These are the same sort of dilemmas we saw Jack and Locke pondering for so long before.

So I'll leave you with this question: Which "supposed to do" ultimately rules? Are we predominantly in control of ourselves, or are we overwhelmingly controlled by outside forces? Are these ideas mutually exclusive, or can they coexist? Have the Losties been manipulated this whole time, having been pawns of Jacob/the Island/who-the-hell-knows-what...or have they, and do they, have the ability to ability to change their very natures and their destinies?

What did you think of "The Package"? What do you think will ultimately happen with Sun and Jin? When will Sun start to speak English again? What's Desmond up to? Is Widmore possibly a good guy, not a baddie? Share your thoughts and theories in the Comments section!


April said...

I love Jin and Sun's love story. But I am also curious how her being shot in that timeline will affect her in the main timeline.

Her father sent Jin there with the fee to hire his own assassin. Seriously, that's pure evil.

I felt like a lot was answered last night but I'm not really myself today so can't think straight long enough to even remember what exactly I watched last night. So, I'm going to do something radically different here and leave my comment a short one. =)


@ April: Mr. Paik? Total baddie. Yeah, that really was evil. Great to see Keamy and Mikhail again, though. Keamy sent shivers down my spine!

I love Sun and Jin's love story, too, but I do ultimately feel like they're doomed as a couple. We've spent a lot of Lost watching those two NOT together, searching for each other, or thinking the other is dead. The times we have seen them together haven't always been the happiest for them. their happy moments have been brilliant to watch, but--in my opinion--few and far between. A co-worker of mine mentioned that she thinks Sun and Jin are Adam and Eve. If that theory holds up, I like it--they can finally have peace AND be together.

Besse said...

Desmond and Penny are another couple who have spent most of their time apart, wondering if they'll ever be reunited. If I had to guess, only one of our star-crossed couples will find happiness in the end: Sun and Jin or Penny and Desmond... not both. And my money's on Sun and Jin. Because I think you're right... Desmond "the constant" has a different fate waiting for him.

In my opinion, the most exciting part of this episode was learning that Kate isn't one of the final six candidates... especially that her name isn't on the cave wall "anymore." What did she do to get disqualified? (It seems that death isn't the only possible way off the list... and even death doesn't necessarily take you off if Sayid still counts as one of FLocke's "three.") If not Kate, then who? Claire has been definitively ruled out, but there are still loads of other possibilities.


Hi, Besse! I, too, don'tthink Desmond and Penny will find happiness together. At the end of last night's episode, during the preview of next week's episode, it sounded like Widmore was asking Desmond to make a "sacrifice." Hmmm...that doesn't necessarily lead me to believe that Desmond's gonna make it out alive!

I was pretty sure we previously found out that Kate wasn't actually listed as one of the final 6 candidates, but I've heard a good theory on this: she's the "dark horse" candidate. (Remember the creature she saw in the jungle in season 1? It was...a dark horse! Hmmm... That's not my own theory, either...I read it somewhere, so if it comes true I can't take credit for it, haha.) I have heard a lot of theories about how she might be Jacob's secret weapon because Flocke underestimates her importance. I wasn't a fan of how FLocke basically insinuated to Claire that once Kate was no longer useful to his own needs, Claire could go after her.

We know that a Shephard, Reyes, Kwon, Ford, and Jarrah do not have their names crossed off on the cave wall. We also know that Ilana is supposed to be protecting 6 people. So who's the one we don't know about? I'm quite curious about this, too!

Dave said...

Excellent post - I really like your reference to all the 'packages' that were included in the episode. I honestly didn't even realize that until you so cleverly pointed it out in your synopsis of the episode. Good theory regarding Desmond and The Constant. I had a suspicion that the flash sideways events and the on island events were going to overlap at some will be interesting to see how that effects the character, both those dead AND alive. I am definitely interested to know which of your 'should do' ideas ultimately becomes what has been in control all along. I have a feeling we are in for a crazy episode next week, starring none other than Desmond Hume. Desmond makes some pretty awesome omgwtf faces by the know what I'm talking about HAHA.


Hi, Dave! I think next week's Desmond episode's gonna be pretty kickass. I already can't wait to see it. I wish Tuesday didn't come just once a week! LOL.

michael said...

This episode was so awesome, I really don't have too much to say about it. I mentioned on last week that I thought Desmond was going to get shafted again, and it looks like I was right. Poor guy.

I think the sixth person that has to be protected is the other Kwon. Since they don't know which one is named, she has to protect both. The same way that Nemesis needs both in order to get off the Island.

I think my favorite scene (besides Jin seeing his daughter) from this week was the confrontation between Widmore and Nemesis. BUT THEY STILL DIDN'T GIVE HIM A NAME! Aargh! I can't wait for that stuff to hit the fan.

Sarah said...

Making Jin mule in the money to pay for his own execution? Stroke of genius, and total bad ass move. Not a big fan of the plan though.

So, the last time I dvr'd and checked, Kates name was still on the list. I cant think of any thing she could have done to get crossed off since that point, which could mean FLocke was lying to Claire to create a little bit more friction and jealousy. Though why FLocke seems determined to pit those two against each other is kind of beyond me. Cant he kill Claire on his own? Because lets be honest, in a real fight between those two Blondie would be toast. It could also mean that in following FLocke(in any capacity) she gave up any opportunity to be the "chosen one".

I think that FLocke must need all the remaining candidates to leave the island so there is no "Jacob" type entity to come hunt him down and trap him again.

I agree with you about Desmond; but it does make me sad. If he is that important, that he would be considered some type of weapon against the enemy, it confirms for us that it was no coincidence that he ended up on that island in the first place. I guess if widmore can create an entire fake plane crash under water, it would be childs play to orchestrate a boat race to get desmond stranded there. I wonder how Desmond and Penny met? Does anyone know/remember?

I want Sun and Jin to end up together, and if that means as Adam and Eve I guess thats okay too.
Widmore good? Hmm, maybe?
Showing Jin those pictures of his daughter, which BTW did he even know Suns pregnancy was successful up until that point?, was a sure fire way to remind him what the stakes really are. Its a bit of psycological warfare, no? Im asuming it was Jin Widmore wanted because he had the most surefire leverage against him. As in- see what you are missing? Do what I want you to, and I will get you to her.

I think I am as excited for the Desmond epidsode as I was for the Richard episode. Here is to hoping we get some more answers.


@ Michael: I think the sixth person who needs to be protected is the other Kwon or, perhaps, Kate. Just because they're acting like she isn't a candidate doesn't mean she isn't one--I'm still a big fan of the theory that she's the "dark horse" candidate. So Ilana wouldn't advertise that she's protecting Kate, but she'd still try to protect her anyway.

I read that according to Jorge Garcia, we WILL find out Nemesis' name. Can't wait for that! :)


@ Sarah: Yeah, I never thought it was a coincidence that Desmond got to the Island. I have always thought it was part of Desmond's destiny to do...something with the Island. I'm not quite sure what he'll do, though. Most probably/hopefully something that benefits the candidates and humankind.

Good point about wondering whether or not Jin knew he had a daughter. Did anyone tell him? Who could have told him? FLocke or Jack or Hurley or Kate seem to be the only possibilities of people who would know, and I don't remember any of them saying anything to him about it...

In terms of answers, I think many of the big answers are coming in episode 13--the epic Jacob/Nemesis episode. That's the one I can't wait for! :)