Lost Recaps S1E6: House of the Rising Sun

by thethreepennyguignol

After a couple of good episodes, I suppose it’s only right that we end up back with the teething problems that come from a first season as enormous as this.

What I really liked about the last couple of episodes (especially Walkabout, which is just a stone-cold classic of TV from that era) is the way that the stories of their featured characters reflected and tied in with the story that we were getting on the island; that’s something that this week’s outing, House of the Rising Sun (would you believe it’s about the….Asian couple? Would you? Would you? The subtlety, I tell you), is missing, in a cluttered forty minutes that feels like eight stories trying to scramble on top of one another at once.

And the one that I really wanted is kind of lost in the mix. The featured characters this week are Sun Kwon (Yunjin Kim) and her husband, Ji-Soon Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim), and frankly, this episode just doesn’t give me what I wanted from them. Sure, it’s good to see Yunjin Kim getting to do more than just gaze off into the distance and sigh, but this really needed more than just twenty percent of a forty-minute episode. Flashing back to their time in Korea (so that episode title, which refers to Japan, is just…outrightly not-even-trying level of racist, huh?), and attempting to trace their entire tumultuous backstory, leading to Sun eventually deciding to leave her husband before changing her mind and joining him on the fated flight to America – I mean, we’re talking about the rise, fall, end, and re-beginning of an entire relationship. It isn’t something you can fit into basically ten minutes, and it almost feels dismissive to try. This plot tries to keep my attention by keeping Daniel Dae Kim in handcuffs for most of the episode, but frankly, it’s too little, too late.

It doesn’t help that this plot is fighting against a big one on the island, too, as Jack decides that he’s off to set up camp near a waterfall, leading to a division in the remaining survivors for…reasons that just aren’t made super-clear. It’s a relatively dull plot (not least because it’s one that’s heavy on Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly pretending to be hot for each other, when both of them are clearly as hungry for Naveen Andrews’ upper arms as I am), and one that really should have come deeper in to the season, when splitting up the group would have felt more like a genuine shift.

Kate and Jack make sad-eyes at each other as Kate dramatically declares that he has Missed His Chance to know her and weeps on a beach, and I’m sitting here wondering when exactly that opportunity passed him by – was I too busy looking at the dog or something? As it stands now, we’ve had such little time with these people that pulling them apart doesn’t mean anything – if I never really got to see them together, why should I care that they’ve moved about twenty feet away from each other, you know?

There’s a relatively decent C-plot about John Locke and Charlie dealing with his addiction – I don’t know, maybe that stuff has just been on my mind lately, but I liked the idea of taking control of withdrawal and recovery in such a literal way. You know what I could have done without, though? That totally out-of-character remark Charlie makes about the size of Kate’s tits, apropros of utter nothing. Thanks for that, show. Thanks.

Lost’s main problem, so far, has been trying to balance its huge cast and determination to turn many of them into fully-fleshed-out characters, with one of the most absurdly and iconically convoluted mythologies on television. It can hit a character beat when it wants to, but right now it’s having a hard time finding the line between the past and the present – and the actual people are getting lost (heh) in the mix in the process.

If you liked this recap, and want to see more stuff like it, please feel free to jump into some of my other recapping projects – the Fifty Shades of Grey book series, the first Harry Potter book,Doctor WhoGame of Thrones, and American Horror Story, to name a few. I also write about movies with my brilliant co-editor over at No But Listen. If you’d like to support my work, please consider supporting me on Patreon, or buying my books!

(header image via Doux Reviews)