Spoiler Warning: This post contains details about season six, episode ten of Lost, ‘The Package.’ I’m giving you not one, but two spoiler avoidance links today: My post on the Transgender Day of Visibility, and abby jean’s excellent post over at FWD, ‘Happy Cesar Chavez Day!‘
I have a confession to make: This episode kind of bored me. I’m not sure if it was the episode itself or all the other stuff going on right now, but I had a really hard time focusing and I kept drifting away to do other things and pulling myself back. I’m having a hard time even articulating why it bored me, honestly, especially because it’s an episode which I really wanted to like. And it makes me very grumpy when I dislike something or am bored by it and can’t quite say why.
Finally, Sun and Jin actually did something. A lot of somethings, actually, both on Island and in the flash sideways. In the flash sideways, it seemed like things weren’t going well for them. Sure, they made it to Los Angeles, but they were having a secret affair instead of living in the open, and in the end we close with Sun sustaining what looked like a potentially serious gunshot wound and saying ‘I’m pregnant.’
So, apparently, whatever was causing her fertility problems in the original timeline isn’t an issue now. Which is interesting.
And I feel really guilty because all season I’ve been going ‘hello, what about Jin and Sun,’ and now they finally give me an episode centred around them and I yawn all the way through. It’s very peculiar, because this episode didn’t feel substantially different from any other episodes we’ve had thus far; still moving pieces around on a chess board, still getting dribs and drabs of what lives might have been like, but I was left with an overwhelming ‘eh.’ Maybe, like other viewers, I am starting to get restless and I am reaching that point of ‘ok, enough with the damn setup already, let’s get this show on the road!’
There was one aspect of the episode which did interest me, though, and that was Sun’s head injury and the way that other characters dealt with it. A lot of people responded to it by TALKING REALLY LOUDLY AND S-L-O-W-L-Y to her, which created an ideal opportunity for Sun to go off in Korean about how she understands just fine, she just can’t respond in spoken English. I saw her becoming overwhelmingly frustrated and pissed off, understandably, because everyone was suddenly treating her as though she was a household pet who’d peed in the ficus. And her experiences mirror what a lot of people actually experience in the real world; people really do behave like that and it is every bit as annoying and rude and frustrating as it was on screen.
Until that scene at the end where Jack, who is not really a character I like most of the time, thought ‘hey, maybe instead of just shouting in English at her, we should try enabling a communication method which does work, and, like, establish communication with her since she has clearly indicated that she can understand spoken English, she just can’t speak it!’ So Jack busted out the pen and paper, and lo and behold, they had a conversation. In which Jack talked in a normal tone of voice and Sun scribbled on the notepad and they communicated.
Communication and varying modes of communication is a subject of immense interest to me. And while I don’t really think of Lost as a show which focuses on disability, sometimes it has little tidbits which make me really intrigued, and this was one of them. I think that the creators probably thought ‘oh, wouldn’t it be cool to do this as a plot device,’ but what I took away from it was ‘hey, sometimes people communicate differently, and instead of abusing them because they can’t communicate like you, maybe you should find a communication method which works.’ And that’s a good thing to take a way. I am curious to know if other viewers picked up on that or if they got stuck on the ‘cool plot device’ thing.