17 - In Translation
Air Date: 02/23/2005
As Jin's eye opens we sweep across the now familiar landscape of our island shore. He stands alone, turning his head first one way then the next. Looking for something…
We FLASHBACK to a setting that plays in stark contrast to the lush and tropical surroundings of the island. A younger Jin stands silently before an older looking man who is seated at his impressive desk signing papers. As Jin fidgets nervously in his best suit, the man finally speaks to him. "Why do you want to marry my daughter?" the man asks. Wait, this is Sun's father! Jin answers truthfully and succinctly -- Sun is his dream. He will do anything her father asks in order to win his permission to marry her. When Jin agrees to work for Sun's father he receives that blessing in the form of a simple handshake. And we can see from the smile on his face how happy this makes him.
Back on the island, Jin finds what he was looking for. He sees his wife, Sun going down to the water's edge for a swim. But when he sees she is wearing a bikini, he immediately goes to her and demands that she cover herself with her towel. As she refuses we reveal that this argument is taking place in full view of the rest of the camp and Michael decides to intercede. Jin is forcibly placing the towel around Sun's torso when Michael steps between the two of them and tells Jin to keep his hands off her. He gets slapped in the face for his trouble…by Sun. And she takes her husband by the hand and leads him away as Michael tries to figure out what the heck just happened.
Back at the caves, Jin asks his wife what is going on between her and Michael. She tells him he is being silly and that nothing at all is going on. As he tries to believe this we…
FLASHBACK to Sun putting on her dress on the day of her wedding. As she talks with her bridesmaid, there is a knock on the door and Jin enters, resplendent in his tuxedo. The bridesmaid leaves so Jin can share a quiet moment alone with his bride before the insanity begins. Sun wishes that Jin's father were still alive, so he could be there to see the wedding, but Jin assures her that, wherever he is, he is sure his father is proud of him. It's a great moment, but Sun wishes that they could go on a honeymoon instead of having Jin go immediately to work for her father. Jin says that in 6 months, after his management training has ended, they will go on the honeymoon they have always dreamed of. He just wants to show her father that he is "committed."
Back on the island, Sun goes to Michael. She apologizes, but explains that she slapped him to protect him from Jin -- "You don't know what he is capable of." But that's her problem, not his. All he is interested in is finishing that raft, so he can take his son and get OFF this island.
Jin meanwhile is blowing off some steam by practicing his golf swing with some lava rocks at the Island Country Club. Hurley comes to try and break the ice between Jin and the others by offering to take him fishing. But Jin isn't interested.
Shannon is helping Sayid with the raft when it becomes clear that the two of them are beginning to enjoy each other's company. When Sayid ramps up his flirtation a notch, Shannon is right there to match him and even proposes the two of them go on a "date" sometime.
Later, Michael and Walt are putting on the finishing touches as Vincent the dog sits loyally by their side. Michael tells his son how much he is going to love New York, especially the buildings and we can see his face start to light up at the thought of it, but Walt would rather play with the dog. As they run off, Jack enters and tells Michael that people are starting to talk about who is going to be on the raft with Michael and Walt. Michael explains that the raft was built for 4 and there's only one seat left. Jack knew about Michael and Walt, but wants to know who took the third spot. He gets his answer as Sawyer enters and delivers the cable he used to 'buy a ticket" on the raft.
That night Kate and Sun are talking next to the fire. Kate asks why Sun allows her husband to treat her so poorly. Sun tells her that she doesn't understand -- she doesn't know Jin like she does. He wasn't always this way…he used to be so loving. But before they can continue we are interrupted by a commotion in the background. When the go outside to investigate they find the nearly completed raft engulfed in flame. Most of the castaways try to douse the flames with sand but it's far too late for that. As Michael turns to find Sun in the crowd he has but one question: "Where is he?"
Michael is furious. It's all Jack and Kate can do to calm him down long enough to convince him that they don't know for sure that Jin is to blame. But Michael doesn't want to hear it -- and neither does anyone else. They all saw what happened on the beach that morning. Only Walt getting too close to the fire while trying to put it out is enough to draw Michael away from his fury and as he goes to look after his son, Sun runs off to look for her husband.
And she finds him at the caves, searching through Jack's makeshift "medicine cabinet." He's hurt his hands…no…wait, he's burned his hands! As Sun looks on, devastated at this discovery she tries to explain to her husband that Michael was only trying to get them off this island. The mere mention of Michael's name is enough to get Jin's blood boiling and he has to restrain himself before disappearing again, back into the jungle.
We FLASHBACK to the same office where we first saw Jin receive permission to marry Sun. But the subject of this meeting is far less romantic. Jin is apologizing profusely to Mr. Paik, but is interrupted before he can finish. Jin has the situation all wrong -- he was not called to the boss' office to be reprimanded, but rather to be promoted. And his first job as Mr. Paik's "Special Assistant" is to visit the Secretary for Environmental Safety and deliver a message on Mr. Paik's behalf: "I'm very displeased." Jin is confused, but accepts his orders immediately. And we arrive at the house of the Secretary of Environmental Safety to find he is living very well indeed. Jin is let in and tells Secretary Han that he has a message to deliver from Mr. Paik. But when Jin simply tells him that Mr. Paik is very displeased with him, Secretary Han is almost overwhelmingly relieved. He is desperate to make it up to Mr. Paik and offers Jin his daughter's dog (a familiar looking sharpei) as a token of his apology.
Back on the island, Sayid goes to Boone to let him know that he and Shannon are going to explore where their relationship goes next. Boone doesn't exactly offer his blessing (not that Sayid was asking), but does warn Sayid that his sister has a pattern of using people to get what she wants and then cutting them loose.
The next morning, Jin awakes, deep in the jungle - - a man on the run. He walks down to the stream to try and cool his burned hands, but when he is there, Sawyer comes out of nowhere and knocks him out from behind.
Back on the beach, Sayid tells Shannon that, perhaps they should rethink their plan to get more serious with their relationship. Shannon is confused by the sudden 180 and immediately diagnoses the problem. "You've been talking to my brother, haven't you?" She goes off to confront him and finds Locke preparing a frog for cooking. While demanding that Locke tell her brother to stay out of her business, she gets an important piece of advice: "Everyone gets a new life on this island, Shannon. Maybe it's time you start yours."
In FLASHBACK we see Sun leading a blindfolded Jin to their dining table. She takes her hands from over his eyes and reveals a spectacular home-cooked feast. Finally, they are going to enjoy a dinner alone. Jin's cell phone rings. Here we go again -- but not tonight -- he turns the phone off and puts it away. Sun is so surprised, so grateful she almost can't believe it. But just before the first bite, the house phone rings and they both know the meal is over.
Jin is back at Mr. Paik's office. He is furious. Because Jin was incapable of delivering a simple message, the auto factory was closed and Mr. Paik is losing millions. He instructs Jin to drive his associate to the Secretary's house tonight. And he will show Jin the proper way to deliver a message.
In the car, any doubt of what he meant is demolished when we see Jin's passenger put on his gloves and attach the silencer to his pistol. He instructs Jin to keep the car running; he will be in and out in less than 2 minutes. But when they arrive at the house, it is Jin who barges in, beating the Secretary to a pulp in the full view of his daughter…and thereby saving his life.
When Jin returns home we see a scene we saw once before in Episode 104, but this time from the opposite perspective. Jin rushes into the bathroom, desperate to wash the blood from his hands, literally and figuratively. When his wife asks him what happened, he tells her truth. He was working for her father. And he does whatever her father asks. And this time, after Sun slaps her husband and storms off in disgust, we stay with Jin to see what this night has done to him. As he stares himself in the mirror, trying desperately to recognize the man he used to be he finally lowers his guard…and the tears start to fall.
Back on the island, Sawyer delivers his prize to the crowd as he pushes Jin to the sand and unties his hands. It takes all of about 3 seconds for Michael to run over and Jack and Hurley have to work very hard to keep him off of Jin. The entire group of castaways gathers around and things spin out of control very quickly. Michael decks Jin who refuses to fight back. He gets back up and says something in Korean. Michael drops him again. This is going to be ugly. "STOP IT!" We turn to see Sun pleading with the group of castaways…in English! She tells the group that Jin didn't set fire to the raft. He burned his hands trying to put the fire OUT. But people don't believe her and they argue back and forth -- who else would want to destroy their only chance of escape. It's Locke who finally answers that question. And it's an answer that most of them have known the whole time, but have been to afraid to consider. We all know that we aren't the only people on this island…
After things have quieted down, Michael resigns himself to start again; to build another raft…a better one. Later, Sun finds Jin at the caves packing his things. She knows he will be stunned by the fact she can speak English, but she tries to explain. All she wants is a chance to start over with him.
FLASHBACK to a simple fishing village where we see Jin exit his car and walk down the dock to a small fishing boat. When the fisherman turns around to see Jin, we learn that this is his father. He isn't dead, but Jin said that he was because he was ashamed of him. Jin admits, says he's sorry and asks his father's forgiveness…and he gets it. And as the two of them talk for the first time in a long time, Jin tells his father about the struggle he is facing. He hates the man he has become, but can't bear to tell Sun the truth about her father. Jin's father offers an idea that is as brilliant as it is simple. He should leave. He should finish delivering the watches to Mr. Paik's associates in Sydney and America…and not come back. Ever. Just stay there and start over with the woman he loves. And maybe, just maybe have the life with her he always dreamed of.
And as the tragedy of the plane crash takes on yet another layer of emotion, we rejoin Sun and Jin, alone in the caves. Sun has asked for one more chance -- one last stand with her husband…together. But it's too late for that now…and Jin simply walks away, leaving his wife in tears.
That night, Shannon goes to Sayid at the fire and gently kisses him. Everybody gets a new life on this island…she'd like to start hers right now.
Back at the caves, Locke sits down to play backgammon with Walt and the two share an easy conversation. Locke asks Walt a very simple question: "Walt, why did you burn the raft?" Walt doesn't deny it, he looks right in Locke's eyes and answers honestly -- he's been moving around all his life. He doesn't want to move again. Locke promises him he won't tell.
The next morning, Michael begins the hard work of building a new raft. And it looks like he's going to have some unexpected help because, out of the forest comes Jin with a load of freshly cut bamboo. "Boat," he says. And together…they begin again.