Saturday, February 7, 2009

Love and LOST


Seriously -- don't read this post if you haven't seen the latest episode of LOST (season 5, episode 4), or if you plan on ever watching it in the future.

And if you're not planning on ever watching it in the future -- might I gently suggest that you do? :) It'll take you a while to get through all four of the previous seasons, but wow, is it worth it... You just have to power through some of the scariness of season 1, and some of the floundering in season 3 -- but then it gets awesome again.

And I really, really loved what they did in this last episode.

But okay, if you're not going to watch the whole series, you can still read this post -- most of my reactions to the last scene in the latest episode are more universal than fan-girl, I think... :)

I've really enjoyed watching the development of Sun and Jin's marriage on LOST, over the course of the entire series. At the beginning of the show, it seems like they're just your stereotypical traditional Korean marriage -- emotionally distant and controlling husband, cringingly submissive wife, and no real love to sustain the relationship. But then you start getting flashbacks that slowly flesh out some of the backstory to their marriage. You see that they were a love match from the beginning, and you go through Jin's struggles to be able to support his wife, his efforts to please his father-in-law, and how their relationship slowly started falling apart.

And then you see how they find each other again on the island. How after so many years of miscommunication and hurt, they finally learn to speak truth to each other again. What seem like irreparable cracks in their marriage, the hidden secrets and lies, are finally disclosed -- and healed. It's a beautiful picture of redemption and love -- it's not just about the happy giddy feelings of infatuation, but about the hard work of forgiveness and grace. And it's wonderful seeing it bear fruit in this particular marriage.

Then you get to season four. The major twist in this season is that you get flash-forwards throughout the season -- you know that some people have made it off the island, but you don't know who until near the end of the season, and you certainly don't know what's happened to the rest of the survivors.

Episode 7 of season 4 starts out with Sun in a Korean hospital, about to give birth. You also have flashes of Jin trying frantically to get to the hospital, trying to buy a huge stuffed panda bear and get there in time for the birth.

And then at the end of the episode, you realize that the scenes with Sun were flash-forwards, showing her giving birth to her daughter after she was rescued from the island -- and the scenes with Jin were flashbacks, with him trying to impress his father-in-law's Chinese business contact.

And then you see this heart-wrenching scene:

I wept buckets when I first saw this. Jin's gone? Is he dead? Or was he just left behind on the island? Why isn't he there??

The show is crazy loophole-y enough for you to still hold out hope -- surely Jin is still alive somewhere, just not with his wife and child, right? Right??

And then you get to the season 4 finale. And if you thought that last scene was heart-wrenching, wait until you see this one:

No! No no no, that can't be! The pure anguish on Sun's face really got to me. And again, I wept buckets. After all the growth and hope and joy in Sun and Jin's marriage over the course of four seasons, I couldn't believe he was gone.

So here's why I loved the ending of this week's episode:

Jin's ALIVE!! There's still hope for a family reconciliation!!

Okay, so all of the above clearly shows that I get into my favorite television shows. But I also found the intensity of my reaction to be interesting. I've always been swept up into fictional characters, whether in TV shows or movies or books. And I always react as part of the target demographic -- shedding a tear when Walter Blythe dies in "Rilla of Ingleside," or when Allie finally remembered her husband at the end of "The Notebook." But weeping? That was something new.

And I don't think that's because LOST is just that much greater than anything else I've ever seen or watched. (Though seriously, it's a great show!)

It's really more a function of the fact that I'm married now, and just can't imagine my life without David. I tend to project my own life into the things I'm watching or reading -- and this kind of projection now has devastating effect.

And then David tells me that none of this is real, and that if you squint, you can make out the reflections of the sandwich truck just off-camera... Which makes me giggle and helps restore my equilibrium.

Yet another reason why I love this husband of mine. :)

So watch LOST! And tell me if you're with me on any of this, or if I'm just crazy...