Lost: House of the Rising Sun   Rewatch 
March 30, 2023 5:32 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Sun plans an escape.

S1E6: House of the Rising Sun (Lostpedia | transcript): air date 27th October 2004 • writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach • director Michael Zinberg • day 7 on the island • Sun flashbacks

An eye opens • great white hunter • FISH WHACK • you don’t know my father • white flower • Jin tackles Michael • Sayid tackles Jin • drugs, right • BEES! • it wouldn’t be an irrational fear if I could just pull myself together • white stone, black stone • our own Adam and Eve • bring the people to the water • when’s my birthday? • bloody Jin • I do whatever your father tells me • is there something you want to tell me? • you decided to form your own civilization • if it ain’t the belle of the ball • 11:15 • I need to talk to you • SUN SPEAKS ENGLISH • I know a lot more about pain than you think • I don’t want to be Eve • time doesn’t matter on a damn island • white flower • too beautiful • Hurley music montage • are you sure that this is where you want to be?

Emily St. James, AV Club: Lost (Classic): “White Rabbit”/“House Of The Rising Sun”
There are few moments as moving to me in the show as when Jin holds up that single flower while waiting in line to check in for Oceanic flight 815, a small gesture that immediately suggests huge reservoirs of emotion that he’s been holding in check in order to perform his job as well as he can.

The flashbacks here use time to demonstrate how Sun and Jin could go from the loving couple keeping their relationship a secret to the far more distant pair that we see on the Island. Sun gets a puppy in one scene, and it’s a full-grown dog in the next. And with every flashback, Jin is tugged a little more away from her, their love ending up being the thing that causes him to unravel. The scenes are all tiny sketches of a larger story that the show trusts us to fill in the gaps of.
Myles McNutt, Cultural Leanings: Lost – “House of the Rising Sun”
I particularly enjoy how it plays with uncertainty and inevitability. On the one hand, when the episode introduces Sun’s plan to leave Jin and escape during their layover in Australia, we know it doesn’t happen. We know she gets on that plane, and so it’s no shock when a simple gesture of kindness from Jin leads Sun to stay with her husband. It’s still a beautiful scene, portrayed with subtle emotion by Yunjin Kim, but there’s no suspense. On the other hand, however, the reveal that Sun speaks English is a surprise, a piece of information that brings the climax of the flashback into conversation with the action on the island.
DVD extra: Lost: On Location [Lostpedia transcript]
Javier Grillo-Marxuach: “The island isn’t just a physical place, necessarily. It’s also that place where these people who have gone on a wayward path in their lives have come to, and it’s a place where they can work these things out. And I think that a lot of the plots that we were doing are really about being trapped in a place that forces you to confront your inner demons, that forces you to work out these things that people haven’t worked out in their lives before. So being in this place with all these other strangers, all these other people who don’t necessarily get along, becomes a catalyst for all of this baggage that people brought in, becoming something new and something dramatic and something that can be worked through on the island.”
Rewatch companion: THE STORM: A Lost Rewatch Podcast - S1, E6: "House of the Rising Sun" with Hoai-Tran Bui
Dave Gonzalez: “If we’re just talking about broad stereotypes serving as the basis for somebody’s narrative, there’s a lot of that in the first season. And to the show’s credit, as you stick with these characters, those things get deepened without necessarily being retconned.”

Joanna Robinson: “But once again, it was like 2004-ish. You know what I mean? And so for the time, it’s amazing to think about how long ago that actually was. And how far we’ve come perception wise. And how actually progressive it was for the multi-racial, at least in one case multi-body type, multi-gender perspective that the show brings. But it doesn’t, of course, look perfect in a 2019 point of view.”

Neil Miller: “Well, and that’s an extremely 2004 thing, which is like, you know, the version of a show with a very diverse cast was: we’re going to have this very diverse cast, but then we are also going to spend the entire season playing with cultural stereotypes. [...] I feel like the show at this point knows the sort of expectation they’ve set with the audience for these characters. They know the stereotypes they’re playing into. And then they’re starting to unravel the relationship a bit. I think one of the things I'm remembering from the Lost rewatch is how methodical it is when they start peeling back the layers of different characters.”

Hoai-Tran Bui: “Personally I’ve never been a huge fan of the Sun and Jin episodes. I do like how the relationship evolves later on, but at the beginning I always found that their storylines were always a little soapy. But I think that is actually one of the advantages of Lost in that each character-centric episode allows the show to explore a different genre. In the Sun and Jin episodes they are a Korean soap opera. In the Kate episodes they become a crime drama. In the Locke episodes they become this character tragedy. And I think that is where the show is starting to explore what it can do and the depth of the character writing that it can try to do. And that’s what I like about this episode and about what it does for the structure of Lost from now on.”

“What I know is that this island might just give you what you're looking for. But you have to give the island something.”

posted by We had a deal, Kyle (4 comments total)
Currently streaming in the US on Hulu (subscription) and Freevee (free with ads); in the UK on Disney+; and available for purchase just about everywhere. Next episode will post Saturday.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:32 PM on March 30, 2023

Some of the commentary I've read indicates how, on rewatch, there are totally tells that Sun does understand English even in episodes before the reveal. They are quite subtle, if so, because to me it was a complete shock the first time around. Even this time, I only got clued into it in the beginning of the episode where Sun is working on the beach and you can clearly hear English being spoken off screen.

I like a lot of the Sun and Jin arc, from what I recall, and it's nice that we so early get to see some hints that Jin is not, in fact, just a jerk.

In the rewatch podcast, they ask whether it's more 2004 that Hurley listens to music on an off-brand Discman or that Charlie, a likable guy, made an off-color joke about Kate's bra size. I think the answer has to be the second one, because I can't see a show doing that so nonchalantly today.
posted by Night_owl at 7:42 AM on March 31, 2023 [1 favorite]

Sayid very pointedly said last episode (about "where did the Quans get water") that "she understands me"; although we haven't yet learned that one of Sayid's occupational skills is spotting lies.

The whole stupid bees thing is pretty much entirely a means to get Kate's -- and to be somewhat fair, also Jack's -- shirt off again; which, ugh. (It does give them a moment to find the skeletons, but that could easily have occurred elsewhere in the episode; Charlie's bee-stings are of no consequence at all to the Charlie/Locke storyline.)

I rather liked this counterbalancing moment from the podcast's interview:
Joanna Robinson: Listen, we got two shots of Evangeline Lilly with her shirt off, so here's my question. We have a fight between Jin and Michael in the water, and then Sayid and Sawyer come and break it up. And so it’s like basically four hunks rasslin’ in the water. Like on a scale of 1 to 10, how hunky is this moment of four men rasslin’ in the waves here?

Hoai-Tran Bui: It’s pretty hunky. It’s a lot of testosterone just flying around everywhere. Michael’s shirt gets torn even more. I enjoy it. I do really like this moment because it establishes Sayid and Sawyer as the strong men of the group without really doing much exposition. Like immediately they jump into this fight and they’re the strong men, like the watchmen of the survivors. And I like that, how easily it establishes that. And yes: I do like the rassling in the water.
because yeah, definitely four wet dudes rasslin' and also because it struck me on this rewatch how brutal that fight was: both Jin attacking Michael and then Sayid tackling Jin are explosively violent.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:30 AM on March 31, 2023

Sayid very pointedly said last episode (about "where did the Quans get water") that "she understands me"; although we haven't yet learned that one of Sayid's occupational skills is spotting lies.

One of my useless skills is telling whether someone speaks English or not, even when they're speaking their native language. I'm usually right (so far), I describe it as English leaves a mile-wide path you can never erase. At the time I figured he had the same skill, but now I know better.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:28 PM on April 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

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