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In love with 'Lost' again

I may be stuck in a glitch, but tonight’s episode of Lost (“Ji Yeon”) left me thinking once again about love—in particular, how it plays out as much in what we do as what we say.

Most of all this takes place in the relationship between Jin and Sun, a Korean couple estranged when they arrived on the island but who’ve journeyed quite a long way in their love and relationship with each other. Sun is two months pregnant, which is a dangerous thing on an island where every pregnant woman dies in her second trimester. When Sun grows in mistrust of the new arrivals (who, as Kate points out, talk about a lot of things but not about rescue), she wants to strike out for Locke’s camp. Unquestioningly, Jin goes with her, at one point delivering a sentiment very much like the one Ruth says to Naomi, “Where you go I will go. . . .

However, just as they are about to leave, Jin finds out about an affair Sun had before they crashed on the island. He’s devastated, and initially retreats from Sun. But before the day is over, one of the most beautiful scenes of forgiveness plays out in their tent.

Jin makes and brings dinner to Sun (which I find a deeply symbolic act of love in and of itself), who is heartbroken and sure he has left her. As Sun asks to explain her affair, Jin stops her, telling her it won’t matter. He looks at her with humble tenderness and tells her in a soft voice:
“I know why you did it,” he says. “I know the man I used to be. Before this island, I withheld my affections. And I know that whatever you did, you did to that man. His actions caused this.”

He takes her hand and smiles so softly.

“So I forgive you,” he says simply.
This moment is as much a forgiveness of himself as it is of her. Between the two of them, there is a gentle and mutual acceptance of responsibility while at the same time an extending and enfolding of the other in a beautiful grace and love. As they hold each other, it’s not hard to see the new depth of love growing out of that moment (which makes the loss at the end of the episode so poignant and much harder to bear). This is how real love works. This is what it’s like to love and be loved.

And then there’s Hurley. I didn’t think I could adore that boy anymore than I already do, but, well, I do. Seeing his face at Sun’s door at the end of the episode was one more act of love in an episode already dripping with it. His silent but unmoving presence with Sun in her grief is a beautiful moment—an image of what each of us is called to be to those we walk with.

There’s much more about love in this episode—that it does what is right, transforms us, never looks back, keeps going to the end, keeps no records of wrongs, and in the end rejoices in truth. “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” And in the end, that brings me to the arms of the Father, who is love and from whom love comes and who created us to love and be loved.

While I think the moment in the fishing boat between Jin and Bernard could have played a bit better ("karma" seems somewhat misplaced to me), I say to the writers: many kudos (and that flash-forward-flash-backward combo was trippy)—and thanks for the reminder of what love looks like. It’s good stories like this one that makes me remember why I loved this series to begin with.

(Image: ABC via lostctgy


Lauren W said…
Carmen- I loved "Lost" last night as well. You wrote so eloquently what I was feeling about this episode. Last night reminded me that not only do I love the plot devices and the twists and turns, but I love the characters. Thank you for posting this.
Carmen Andres said…
man, i miss you! and your beautiful daughter whom i've not yet met. thanks for your kind and encouraging words. blessings.