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Monday, May 17, 2010

My Top 12 Lost Episodes EVER! #5 - In Translation

Continuing the countdown to Lost’s final episode. Here’s my top 12 so far:
#12 – Two for the Road
#11 - Some Like It Hoth
#10 - The Shape of Things to Come
#9 - Ab Aeterno
#8 - The Candidate
#7 - The Long Con
#6 - Deus Ex Machina/Do No Harm
and number #5 is……..

In Translation
Season: 1
Character-centric: Jin

We’re reaching the top 5, and this spot belongs to a season 1 episode. Season 1 was completely character driven, which was I loved it so much. Easily my top season among all lost seasons, it made you care about the characters, not the mystery or monsters that inhabited the island.

I have to say, when I first met the character of Jin, he was easily one of the island’s villains. Other than Sawyer, he seemed to be the guy that was easy to hate. Controlling, violent, and filled with rage, it was hard to root for a guy so oppressive to the people he loved. He was the stereotypical Asian husband of old school. Great.

Sun’s flashback in ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ painted a different picture of Jin. He was kind, naïve, and would do anything for his lady. I mean wouldn’t you, look at her? Hey-o. Then he works for Sun’s shady dad and the marriage quickly goes to hell. However, you don’t really feel for the guy. All you know in that episode is he works for Mr. Paik and becomes an asshole. Geez.

And on the island he’s no better. He attacks Michael, he makes little attempt to help his fellow survivors other than by fishing, and overall, he’s kind of a dick. But this episode pretty much turns a 180 on Jin’s character and explains all of that jazz. He’s not a dick, he’s just misunderstood, both emotionally and because of his language barrier.

This episode was carefully crafted to tie in the events of ‘The House of the Rising Sun.’ You find out that Jin didn’t turn to the dark side, rather he is an unwilling participant of Mr. Paik’s dirty deeds. You see the pain and anguish in his eyes when he has to come in terms with the sacrifices he’s had to make in order to be with the love of his life. And you feel bad for him, because he’s stuck in such a crummy situation. Be a thug and you can keep your life with your wife, turn your back and the game is over. That scene where Jin washes his bloody hands after laying the beat down completely captures how screwed Jin knows he is.

The most compelling scene though is when he reunites with his dad. There’s no more touching moment in any man’s life when he knows that the world is against him and the only person he can turn to is his old man. This scene sucks you in, especially if you’re a guy, and really makes you think about the relationship you have with your own father. It makes you realize even when you feel that no one has your back, even when you have turned on the people you love, if they really do love you, they’ll forget all that because that’s just the way they are.

In Translation wasn’t an episode that moved along the lost mythology. Michaels boat gets burned. Big whoop. But what In Translation does is it draws you into the power of the story and makes you reflect on your own life. That’s what good entertainment does, it makes you think.

And I really enjoyed that last scene when Hurley listens to Damien Rice’s “Delicate” while observing all the couples on the beach. Then his CD player breaks and he realizes he’s left alone in his misery while everyone else is all lovey dovey. Don’t worry big man, we’ve all been there before.

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