“House of the Rising Sun”, besides introducing us to the Adam and Eve mystery that will turn out to be the core of the show’s mythology, tells the backstory of Sun and Jin from Sun’s point of view. It’s an interesting episode to rewatch, as we’ll later learn a lot more about Jin, and Sun’s part in the deterioration of their relationship.
“He has a bad temper.”
IN THE EYE OF THE SUN
- The episode opens with a shot of Sun’s eye, letting us know who we’re focusing on in this episode.
- The first scene also reminds us that Sun likes plants and flowers. We’ve seen her knowledge of herbs before when she showed Walt how to use an aloe plant as toothpaste, and will see it later when she cures Shannon’s asthma using eucalyptus and creates her very own garden to provide the survivors with some food.
I KNOW ME
- Sun tells Jin she wants to move to America, but Jin thinks her father won’t allow it. He wants to talk to him anyway, but Sun doesn’t think that’s a good idea because he “doesn’t know [her] father”. She’s right, but unfortunately for Jin, Sun’s father is not the only member of the Paik family he was to worry about.
- As we learn later in this episode, Jin will have to work as a type of “hitman” for Mr. Paik if he wants to marry his daughter. We later learn his job for Paik didn’t start out that way; Sun was blackmailed by Jin’s mother, who threatened to reveal he was born to a prostitute (herself). In an attempt to “spare Jin the shame of learning the truth”, Sun asked her father for money. In exchange, Mr. Paik demanded that Jin would work as his new “special assistant”. Sun agreed, and the rest is history (D.O.C.).
TICK, TICK, TICK
- Jin almost kills Michael for wearing the watch he was supposed to bring to Los Angeles for Mr. Paik.
- Michael returns the watch to Jin, and Jin later gives it back to Michael on the raft. Later - back on the mainland - Michael sells the watch to buy a gun to kill himself with (Meet Kevin Johnson).
- The watches turn out to be important in the flashsideways world as well. It’s revealed Mr. Paik’s friend is Martin Keamy – the mercenary from Widmore’s freighter (The Package). Whether Keamy was Paik’s friend in the “real world” as well is unknown.
THE FIRST PEOPLE
- We see the bodies of Man In Black and Mother for the first time. Locke fittingly nicknames them “Adam and Eve”; if they hadn’t been there, the survivors wouldn’t have been there either!
- The black and white (symbolism!) stones turn out to be pieces of Jacob and the Boy In Black’s Senet game.
- The scene from this episode is shown in Across the Sea as well. For obvious reasons, they cut out the part where Jack says he thinks the bodies were dead for 40 or 50 years.
- Jack is right when he says someone laid the bodies to rest there. As it turns out, the caves that the survivors will live at was the home of Jacob as well.
- The bodies are not laid together in this episode like they are when Jack and Hurley revisit the caves in Lighthouse.
- The producers of the show said an anagram in the episode Not In Portland would reveal a clue to the identity of the bodies of Adam and Eve. One potential anagram was the backwards line from the song playing in Room 23; “Only fools are enslaved by time and space”, when rearranged, would be “Bones of Nadlers may lay lost deep in cave”, Nadler being Rose and Bernard’s last names. The actual anagram turned out to be “Mittelos Bioscience”, “Mittelos” translating to “lost time”.
- In a flashback, we see Jin coming home and wiping blood off his hands. In …In Translation, we learn that Jin didn’t kill a man, but actually tried to save his life by beating him.
- We don’t actually know whether Jin has ever killed someone before crashing on the island or not. In The Glass Ballerina, he was told to “deliver a message” to Jae Lee, but instead beat him up and told him to leave the country.
- We find out Sun can speak English and was planning to leave her husband in America.
- We’ll later learn Sun’s English lessons were given to her by the man she was dating before (and after!) she married Jin. The same man Jin ordered to leave the country, before he jumped off a building.
- Of course, since the goal was to be have her family think she was dead, and to be free to do whatever she wanted, Sun got what she wanted when she crashed on the island.
- Sun points to her watch to explain why Jin attacked Michael, but Sayid misunderstands and thinks she’s asking him to take the handcuff off.
- The first flashback after the attack starts with a shot of Sun’s watch, giving us a clue to the reasoning behind the attack.
- Kate keeps asking the story of Jack’s tattoos, but he really doesn’t want to tell her about it. When the show’s writers decided to write the story anyway (after fan demand) they ended up with Stranger In A Strange Land and realised they just had to plan an end-date for the show. In fewer words; be careful what you wish for.
- Sayid uses the Marshal’s handcuffs to chain Jin to a piece of airplane wreckage. The poor guy will wear it for over a month, until Locke cuts it in half in the Swan station.
- Michael tells Sayid, “[if] a boat passes, I’m not going to be on the hook for missing it”. He will actually be on that boat when it arrives.
- Jack asks Kate what she did, just a few days after telling her it doesn’t matter anymore. Yeah, I wouldn’t tell him either.
- Michael tells Jin “time doesn’t matter on a damn island”. He couldn’t be more wrong. Not only does the island have different “rules” on time, but it also has a source of bright light that causes it, and the people residing on it, to travel through it!
- In the original script version of the episode, Sun asks Jin to “move on”, and Jin apologizes to Michael and Walt at the end of the episode before following his wife to the caves. On the actual show, it took Sun and Jin considerably longer to make those developments.
- This is the first episode that doesn’t feature all of the main characters. Three guesses who’s missing in action (it’s Claire).
Look deeper into the Eye of the Island with more LOST Observations
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