Lost in Retrospect: …and Found

This great little Tailie-based thriller of an episode did more to make the Island scary in its 42 minute run than the whole of the previous four episodes did — and they weren’t slouchy.

For a refresh on this episode, I suggest you check out Lostpedia’s excellent Wiki page.

It’s something I’ve been bringing up repeatedly these last few reviews, but despite the fact that they took away screentime from the characters we already knew and (mostly) loved, the Talies were a brilliant tool for making us scared of the Island again, and this time without the CGI and special effects of the Monster. It was done without much of anything, really, just a few extras with dirty feet and the fantastic performances of the actors. There were looks of complete abject terror on all the Tailies’ faces from the moment they stepped out of the Arrow and into the jungle, and I loved seeing the ways in which that fear manifested itself. Ana Lucia is possibly one of the most frightened characters ever to appear on the show, because the way I saw it, every time she talked tough, got violent and generally acted unnecessarily hardass towards the other characters, that was her way of coping with the fear, by trying to act like she wasn’t’ scared and overcompensating; the louder, tougher and meaner she acted, the more frightened she was. We see later in the season that Eko is generally a very zen person, but throughout “…and Found”, he was continually tense (and intense), coiled like the worlds most dangerous slinky, always ready to react. Similarly, Libby’s fear reaction is one we only pick up on in hindsight, as she’s a very warm, friendly person, but every time we’ve seen her in season 2 so far she’s looked ready to curl up in the foetal position and cry her eyes out.

We also a couple of creepy-as-all-frak scenes, the first one being the discovery of Goodwin’s body and Eko’s one-word confirmation of “Others” (though as usual with Lost, context is everything). That brief glimpse of his face just screamed “pain!”, not to mention the manner of his death, being impaled on a giant wooden spike. Then there was the big one, our first post-“Exodus” glimpse of the Others as they walk through the jungle barely making a friggin’ sound, the last one carrying a goddamn teddy bear. The fact that  we saw Jin and Eko’s faces more than we saw the Others themselves really made the scene work though, as their wide-eyed expressions and that almost comical way that they looked from extreme left to extreme right and then back again all conveyed a sense of awe and terror. That final shot before the act break, where the two look at each other with expressions of “HOLY SHIT WTF?!?” on their faces, really say it all.

It’s always a pleasure when Sun and Jin are the focus of an episode, because as I’ve said previously, they’re both phenomenal actors and everything they do is just utter win. Watching Yunjin Kim slowly break down over the course of the episode was absolutely heartbreaking — and the mechanism that allowed for it was fantastic too. I’ve been in situations where I’ve latched onto an object as a proxy for a person or something else I thought was important, and my heart really went out to Sun as she scrambled around the beach camp looking for her wedding ring, grieving over its loss in a way that she couldn’t grieve over the loss of her husband. Without that fantastic performance to ground that subplot, the hurricane of Aesops that came from Jack, Locke and Kate all would’ve seemed cheesy, but instead they worked and felt like the advice and kind words that one would get from friends. Daniel Dae Kim continues to be completely awesome in “Chewie” mode, the guy who can’t communicate in words. His every Korean word, hand gesture, steely gaze and iota of body language spoke volumes about his intensity as a person and his loyalty to Michael. Pairing him with the uber-empathetic Eko was a brilliant choice on the writers’ part, as the quiet intensity of the two characters make them ideally suited to scenes together.

The flashbacks were probably the weakest part of this episode, which is saying something, because they were incredibly good. It was cool to see the pair in their pre-courting days, there was something very childish about them — not immature in the bad sense, just not having woken up to the realities of the world and how they stack up against dreams and desires. There was the nice running thread of Sun and Jin both looking for something in their lives (as is the theme of every flashback, really): Sun wants a companion, and as much as she gets annoyed at her mother’s efforts, she puts in just as much effort and she’s really willing to go all-in with Jae Lee; Jin wants respect, and thinks that the way to earn it is to be the lapdog of the rich and powerful and hope they notice. The end of this particular chapter in their lives is not so much their meeting but their deciding that they’re not gonna find what they’re looking for in the current situation: Sun walks out of Jae Lee, and Jin walks out on his job. And even though the scene of their meeting is just a few seconds, we can absolutely see the spark between them, and despite the rocky road of marriage presented in “House of the Rising Sun” and “…in Translation”, it’s lovely to see on the Island that they’re both found what they were looking for.

It’s a Sun and Jin episode. So it’s awesome. You know it’s going to be awesome, and in case my gushing hadn’t made it abundantly clear already, it’s one I think that people absolutely can’t miss.

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