So, Sun’s pregnant. I didn’t care when we found out and I didn’t care when I learned that this episode would revolve around that very thing.
I care now!
Juliette is playing a far deeper game than I ever suspected and she’s not playing on the side you might imagine. Sun’s date of conception is way more important than I could have ever believed.
Add to that two unexpected resurrections. One of a man and one of a theory. Read on.
This week opens with Sun in her garden. Jack shows up and offers to help, but he’s really there in a medical capacity. He does a verbal work up on her while she reassures him repeatedly that she and her pregnancy are doing fine.
Aside from Jack’s somewhat disconnected manner, the one thing that really stands out in the scene is how the camera work shows off that tattoo of his. Perhaps the best shots we’ve seen of it are in this scene and it almost seems to be a focal point. It might just be a coincidence, but I kept hearing “He walks among them but is not one of them” every time he was on camera.
Flash to Sun walking down a Korean boulevard, talking to her new husband on her cell phone. They talk of furniture and boxes and of course the bed. When Sun takes a seat on a bench, the woman sitting beside her notices her and points to a picture of her wedding day in the newspaper. The woman steers the conversation to Sun’s powerful family and the difference in status between her and her new husband.
“It would bring much shame if it was known that Mr. Paik’s daughter married the son of a fisherman.”
“I know that and it doesn’t matter.”
“Really? Did you know that he was also the son of a prostitute?”
Obviously, Sun didn’t know. The older woman demands one hundred thousand dollars for her silence.
Out in the jungle, the four refugees from Stand By Me have found their body. Only she’s alive and speaking Spanish. Hurley’s translation tells them that she’s saying that she’s dying. A quick examination reveals that she’s been impaled on a branch from the tree on her way down. Since they can’t move her safely, Desmond reasons that they need to bring Jack to her.
He plans to run, but Charlie thinks he’s daft to try. It’s too far for one thing and it’s through dense, Other infested jungle for another. Desmond’s answer is that since no one knows that the four of them are out there, he’ll be safe from attack by the Others. He would have been right if Hurley didn’t pick that moment to fire off the flare gun.
In their apartment, Sun is unpacking the boxes they were talking about when Jin returns home. She has pictures of herself and her family to decorate with and asks if he has any of his family. He tells her that they didn’t have a camera when he was growing up and when she asks if perhaps his Father left some pictures for him, he tells her that he was in the army when his Father died. She reminds him that he told her that he was only sixteen when his Father died, but when being caught in the lie infuriates him, she drops the subject.
On the beach, Sun and Kate are working on a shelter together. Sun wonders what happened to Jack while he was with the Others. She’s noticed that the good Doctor seems different since he’s been back. Kate tells her the little she knows about Jack’s captivity and how he cooperated for a chance to get off the island.
“Do you believe him?”
Sun tells Kate about Jack’s early morning visit and how it raised some suspicions about the good Doctor. Sun worries that perhaps the Others want her baby and just maybe they’ve found a way to subvert Jack into getting it for them. Her suspicions turn to Juliette and what she did for the Others. Kate tells her that the camp’s newest addition was the Others’ fertility doctor, spurring Sun into action. She storms across the sand and confronts Juliette.
“I want to know what’s going on. I want answers. What are you people doing? Why are you taking children? What happens to pregnant women on this island? What happens…”
“They die. They all die.”
Can it be? First Sayid asks the questions we’ve all been asking, then a round table discussion, now Kate shares information with Sun and Sun in turn asks questions…
Apparently, Juliette isn’t the only new addition to the survivors’ camp. Somewhere along the way, logic and common sense have slipped in and made themselves at home.
Beneath the jungle canopy, the mysterious parachutist has begun speaking Chinese instead of Spanish, so none of the group can understand her delirious ramblings. Desmond doesn’t want to remove the branch from the wound, but Charlie figures that leaving it in could just make things worse. He also thinks that maybe Desmond is playing God with the woman’s life because he saw it in one of his flashes, and the British rocker isn’t thrilled with the idea. He thinks that Desmond might not understand what’s at stake.
“Lest you forget, she said my bloody name. She had a photo of me and my girlfriend. Do I understand? I understand better than the lot of you.”
As he’s preparing to set out back to the camp, he hears a noise in the jungle. The men grow wary as the sound nears. Desmond frees his machete from his belt. The foliage parts to reveal…
Even when he’s alone he doesn’t take off the eye patch?
Doesn’t it get all moist and icky in the jungle heat?
Remarkably froth free.
Obviously he faked being killed by the fence, and I’ll buy that the foaming at the mouth and the seizure were just good acting on his part, but how the hell did he fake bleeding at the ears? My only guess is that the fence is dangerous enough to cause the bleeding and he just played up the rest. Still, it’s a stretch.
After several tense seconds, the one-eyed man beats a hasty retreat into the jungle. Jin gives chase and eventually takes him down. The two men struggle, but eventually Jin beats Bakunin into submission.
I just realized, the island is in the Matrix!
Back with the parachutist, Desmond tries to interrogate their prisoner. Charlie offers what he knows about the man.
“He’s the guy who shot Sayid. Kate told us he lived out in that station Locke blew up. He’s an Other.”
Hurley’s statement, “I thought Locke killed that guy with the electro-fence thingy,” brings a knowing smirk to Bakunin’s face.
Do my ears deceive me? More information sharing? Logic and common sense making themselves at home, indeed.
Desmond presses for more information from the Russian.
“You’ve got five seconds to talk or I fire this gun, brotha.”
“That’s a flare gun.”
“How do you think it will feel, takin’ a flare to the chest at this range?”
“As your friend pointed out, I already died once this week.”
When the parachutist mumbles something, Desmond notices that Bakunin understands what she’s saying. This time, she’s speaking Italian. She says she’s dying. Fortunately, the Russian was a field medic in the Soviet Army. In return for his freedom, he will save the woman by ventilating her punctured lung. Desmond agrees to Bakunin’s terms.
Back in the world, Sun has managed to find Jin’s Father. With just one look at her, he knows instantly who she must be. He invites her to his humble home and the two share tea. Mr. Kwon asks about the wedding, leading Sun to ask why he wasn’t there.
“What did he tell you?”
“He told me you were dead. Why would he say that?”
“To avoid the shame of where he came from.”
“And is that why you told him his mother died when he was a baby?”
Mr. Kwon shifts from tea to liquor for the next part of the story. It seems that Jin’s Mother was a prostitute and even though he raised him, Mr. Kwon was never sure if he was actually the father.
Paternity insecurity runs in the family…
Mr. Kwon begs Sun to never tell Jin that they’ve met or that his Mother is still alive. He desperately wishes to keep his son from suffering that shame.
So far as I can see, Mr. Kwon is the noblest man we’ve met in the entire series. If he was my Father, I’d be proud to be his son. I just hope all this secrecy isn’t hiding more than just the shame of being from a fishing village.
In her tent on the beach, Sun’s sleep is interrupted by someone clamping a hand over her mouth. It’s Juliette and she wants to try to help Sun, but in order to do that, Sun must agree to follow her into the jungle in the middle of the night. Alone.
For the sake of her baby, she does just that.
The two women head to the Medical Hatch.
“Claire and Kate told me about that place. It was abandoned. They found nothing there.”
“That’s because they didn’t know where to look.”
Juliette plans to use the ultrasound machine in the hatch to determine the Date Of Conception for Sun’s baby. If Sun conceived off the island, then she’ll probably be fine, but if not…
Sun visits her Father’s office and asks for the blackmail money. When he questions why she needs such a large sum, she tells him that it will be in return for her continuing to pretend not to know what Mr. Paik really does, as long as there are no questions asked.
“We do not live in a world where there are no questions asked.”
Funny. Sun lived on an island where there were no questions asked for almost three months.
“I am doing this to spare someone I love a deep shame.”
“If the money is for your husband it is he who will bear this debt. He will no longer be a floor manager. He will be working for me.”
Sun weighs the unpleasant prospect of her husband working for her Father against the shame he would have to face before she takes the money. I’m betting that the fact that Jin will never have to wear that silly powder blue jacket again probably sealed the deal for her.
Out in the jungle with the injured parachutist, Bakunin asks if the boys know anything more about her or if she had anything with her.
“A book and a fancy radio phone thingy…”
“Does it work?”
“Like I’d tell you.”
With Desmond’s help, Bakunin uses a syringe to pierce the woman’s chest cavity, evacuating the excess air and blood from around the collapsed lung before removing the branch from the wound.
After the field surgery is complete, the patient starts talking again. I don’t know exactly what she says, but it ain’t “Thank you” like Bakunin claims.
(*Unconfirmed translation side note: Several sites around the web suggest that she says something like “I am not alone” or “There are others.” Given that the copy of Catch-22 was in Portuguese, there is a decent chance that she might be accompanied by one of the Brazilicles from last season’s cliffhanger.*)
Juliette leads Sun to the door of the Staff Hatch where Ethan kept Claire. In short order, Juliette gets the lights on, but before she can do more, Sun wants to understand her motivation. Juliette tells her how news of pregnancy was once the best news a woman could hear, but on this island it’s a death sentence.
“I’m helping you because I want to give good news again.”
This little tidbit seems to convince Sun that she can trust Dr. J. The two women head deeper into the facility, and in what looks like the locker room where Kate found the fake beard and theatrical glue, Juliette locates a switch that opens a hidden door. With Sun’s help, Juliette moves a bank of lockers out of the way and lets herself in to the room. The door is near to a foot thick, more like a bank vault door than anything, and it leads them into a room decorated as a nursery.
“Why is this room hidden?”
I’m more interested in why it’s reinforced like a nuclear bunker.
“It’s where we brought the women to die.”
Bakunin gives the parachutist a final examination.
“She’s fine. Keep the wound as clean as you can. She should be better in a day.”
“A day? Her lung was punctured.”
“On this island, the rules are a bit different. Maybe a day and a half.”
(*Head scratching side note. The Marshal took a nasty piece of shrapnel to the chest, but had a real surgeon there to help him, yet he died. This woman takes a branch through her lung and has a field medic do primitive jungle surgery on her. So how and why did the Marshal not benefit from the island’s awe inspiring healing powers? Or Boone? Or Shannon, Ana Lucia or Libby for that matter? I smell a rat.*)
After this pronouncement, over Charlie’s objections, Desmond allows Bakunin to go free. As he leaves, Jin has the presence of mind to check on the backpack they found, and sure enough, the satellite phone is gone. Jin sprints after the Russian man, catching him and taking back the best chance that they’ve had for rescue since they arrived. Charlie’s seen enough.
“You stole this?”
“How could you respect me if I didn’t try?”
“How ’bout I take your other eye? Would you respect that?”
I spy with my good eye…
Bakunin baits him with a cocked ear and a cockier attitude. Either that or the sonic fence really did do his hearing in, which I doubt.
Once again, over Charlie’s objections, Desmond sets Bakunin loose. I know that his attitude is going to end up causing the survivors a bunch of trouble, but I’d say I agree with Charlie’s assessment of the situation. Letting Bakunin go is going to prove to be a mistake.
In the medical hatch, while Juliette prepares the sonogram, Sun lets the fertility doctor in on the secret of Jin’s infertility. Juliette lets Sun in on the fact that a man’s sperm count increases five-fold on the island, dramatically increasing the odds that Jin might well be the father.
Suddenly there is a transformation in the room. Juliette goes from cold and calculating Other to warm, cheerful and encouraging fertility doctor. It’s dramatic and unmistakable. She seems genuinely interested in helping Sun just then.
She warns her that this early in the pregnancy she might not see a heartbeat or even the baby. The measurements that Juliette will take of the fetus will determine when the child was conceived and that will tell them who the father is. The test also puts Sun in a no win situation. If the child was conceived before the crash, the baby isn’t her husbands, but if conception occurred on the island, she is going to die like all the other pregnant women Juliette had as patients.
Back at their apartment in Korea, Jin arrives home. A momentary slip of the mind sees Sun send Jin into her purse for the mail key. He finds the money that she got from her Father. When he asks what it could possibly be for, she claims that it was for furniture and a honeymoon. Jin’s pride is wounded. He will provide for her, not her Father. His passion for being her husband and for taking care of her reminds her just how much she loves him and sends her out of the apartment with the money, determined to save him from the shame of his birth, despite the burden of the debt she’s placing him in.
In the hatch, the sonogram reveals Sun’s baby, in all it’s pixilated glory. We even see the “little flutter” of the child’s heartbeat. Juliette does her calculations and determines that the child is 53 days along. Sun got pregnant on the island. Despite the fact that the pronouncement is a death sentence, Sun is happy that Jin is the father.
(*Ignorant male side note: I have no idea what one would expect to see in a sonogram, but it seems odd that Juliette takes the time to warn Sun about the possibility of not hearing a heartbeat early in the pregnancy and then we see a very pronounced heartbeat from the fetus. Considering that she’s telling Sun that the baby is only 53 days along, rather than the more than 90 days that would make the child Jae’s, isn’t this a little suspicious? Or am I just reading more into this than is actually there?*)
(*Timeline Sidenote: 53 days? So, Sun and Jin were doing the deed 37 days after the gang landed. Let’s see now. In “The other 48 days”, Jin arrives back on the beach on day 48, so 11 days prior to that, give or take a day. It’s been months since I watched the first season, but I’m pretty damn sure that Sun and Jin weren’t on speaking or spanking terms on day 37. Something’s fishy here.*)
Sun delivers the money to the blackmailer. It wasn’t much of a shock to learn that the woman was, in fact, Jin’s mother. What was nicely shocking was the spine that Sun displayed as she handed over the cash.
“You know how powerful my family is. My husband believes that you are dead. Do not force me to make that a reality.”
Leaving the medical hatch, Sun asks how long before her pregnancy kills her.
“Most of the women made it into the middle of their second trimester. Nobody made it to their third.”
“That gives me two months. I am very happy the baby is Jin’s. You gave me good news, Juliette.”
Juliette heads back in to the hatch to make sure that all evidence of their visit is erased. As she waits for the Doctor to clean up the site, she seems to be doing some of that pregnancy math in her head…
Juliette finds a small tape recorder:
“Ben. It’s six AM on Saturday morning. Kwon is pregnant. The fetus is healthy and was conceived ‘on island’ with her husband. He was sterile before they got here. I’m still working on getting samples from the other women. I should have Austen’s soon. I’ll report back when I know more.”
Click. Off goes the recorder.
“So you’re saying I can record it at one speed and play it back at another to make me sound like a chipmunk? lemme try!”
“I hate you.”
(*Theory side note. Juliette is playing a double game, methinks. I think that her plan is to convince Ben that she’s found a way to treat the women who conceive ‘on island’ by passing Sun’s baby off as an ‘on island’ conception when in fact it was Jae’s all along. This would explain why she’s obviously lying to Sun about the conception date. I also think that she’s got Jack in on it, which would explain his odd behavior with Sun and his acting so overprotective of her. Just a theory.*)
As they put together a stretcher for the recovering parachutist, Charlie is still arguing for not having let Bakunin go. Desmond places himself firmly outside of the us vs. them scenario.
“You know, brotha, by my count, you’ve killed more of them than they’ve killed of you.”
“They started it.”
Charlie graduated from the Academy of School Yard Diplomacy.
Hurley casually dials the satellite phone. For just a second, I really thought he’d got through…
“…ok so what’s the status of your 30 minutes or less delivery policy these days?”
His fantasy call is interrupted by the patient returning to consciousness.
“Where am I?”
“You’re on an island. Are you here to rescue us? Are there more of you? Can you make your phone work?”
“Who are you?”
“Hugo Reyes. I crashed here on Oceanic Flight 815. A bunch of us survived. Is that why you’re here? Were you looking for us?”
“815? Flight 815? The one from Sydney?
“No, that’s not possible.”
“Yeah, I know, it wasn’t easy. But we found food and the hatch…”
“No, Flight 815, they found the plane. There were no survivors. They were all dead.”
Let those Purgatory theories resurrect all over the ‘net! Dammit.