''Lost'': Sun's baby daddy is revealed
I'll be your guest TV Watcher this week while Doc Jensen's away. Let's get to it! We have tons to cover: babies, blackmail, and how Lost has miraculously made me curious about (seriously, ask my husband what a miracle this is) quantum physics.
Without a doubt, my favorite part of the episode was the last scene. Next on my list? Hurley in general (especially ''Oops'' and ''Mom?''), Jin busting out with the martial arts, Mikhail's return, and the three women whose plotlines propelled ''D.O.C.'':
The title of the episode referred to Sun's date of conception. After Sun had an unsettling chat with Jack about her pregnancy, it was flashback time. We saw newlywed Sun's zippity-doo-dah day torpedoed by a mystery woman with a scandalous allegation. Mrs. Jin Kwon's brand-new husband? Son of a prostitute. (On the suspense meter, this scene was a letdown: Any casual viewer could guess that the blackmailer and Jin's mom would turn out to be one and the same.) The demand for $100,000 rattled Sun, who decided to research Jin's fibby-sounding stories about his deceased father. With a dossier from an unseen but superfast investigator, she located Jin's sweetheart of a dad (John Shin) at work in his fishing boat. He invited Sun to tea, verified the blackmailer's claim, and asked Sun to keep Jin in the dark. His most painful admission: that he'd never been sure, ever since he was left with the baby, if he was actually Jin's biological father.
Did the fisherman throw us a red herring? Probably. Still, Sun may have recalled that baby-daddy mystery because it foreshadowed her own.
Yunjin Kim's acting was Emmy-worthy throughout ''D.O.C.,'' but unfortunately, this chapter of Sun's backstory struck me as redundant. We already knew the Paik heiress was thought to have married ''beneath'' her, so learning that both of Jin's parents were misérables didn't pack much of a wallop. Perhaps we were meant to see the very first cracks in Sun's marriage, or how gutsy she was in pre-island life when defending someone she loved. Let's face it, Sun blackmailing her pops, in order to pay off her blackmailer, and threatening to have the long-lost mother of her husband whacked all in an effort to be Jin's protector was fun but not illuminating. Sun has always had more moxie than meets the eye.
On the island, Sun was in a confessing mood. She confided to Kate her hunch that Jack might be working with the Others (a prospect Kate couldn't stomach) and, later, told one of her deepest secrets (the affair with Jae) to....
As green lights flickered, and Dr. J spirited Sun into a hidden room inside the medical hatch (''where we brought the women to die''), I thought, here's the Lost we love: creepy and informative. We learned from Juliet that men on the island have a sperm count five times the average but no woman under Juliet's care who had conceived on the island had survived into her third trimester. Oh yeah, and nine pregnant women died on Juliet's three-year watch.
The freaky facts made me wonder, again, whether the island was never meant to be found, much less populated what if it exists in a different universe or dimension? (scroll down for more on that!) and so the natural laws of baby making are in opposition with the island's own natural order. To put it another way, maybe everyone's being shown the door, but Ben is leading a resistance.
While Juliet prepped Sun for the nocturnal prenatal exam, scenes from episodes past crossed my mind. Juliet once suggested taking a pregnant patient off the island, but Ben told her, essentially, to drop it. (Think we'll ever learn everything Ben knows about the childbearing problem?) Danny once complained about Kate and Sawyer's fellow prisoner that ''Shephard wasn't even on Jacob's list.'' (Is that list part of the procreation quest?) Post-op, Ben told Locke that his people ''need to believe they can leave if they want to.'' (Did the now-dead pregnant women believe escape was possible? If the island dooms women who conceive, and the Others are able to travel off the island, it's malevolent beyond description to keep them there.) Right about now, I'd love a Ben-Alex-Rousseau backstory to clear things up.
Inside the eerie medical hatch, the exquisitely two-faced Juliet (make that three-faced, what with the afterthought aimed toward the mini-recorder) convinced Sun she was on her side. Don't get me wrong I buy that the Mittelos recruit's work has been heart wrenching for her. But her skill at deceit and her private motive, the desperate wish to go home, is all the more reason not to trust Juliet around potential lab rats like Sun. Witness her capacity to drop the ultra-soothing bedside manner when coldly reporting to Ben on specimen Kwon. Despite brief glimpses of Juliet seeming torn over the price she's paying for freedom, she's still frighteningly committed to carrying out orders.
Juliet's tragic news that Sun's baby was conceived 37 days after Sun arrived on the island filled Sun with...relief? Over the fact that she'll die in a few months, along with her unborn baby, but at least it's Jin's? I realize Sun's once-cheating heart craves redemption, but that immediate reaction seemed like screwy hormones talking. I really hope Sun's life can be saved, perhaps with help from...
In the jungle, Desmond and Charlie disagreed on how best to help the multilingual parachutist they found in last week's episode, ''Catch 22.'' (As Doc Jensen has posted, ABC's press notes identify her as Naomi.) They figured out she'd taken a tree branch to the torso, but they had no idea where she came from or why. Hurley, after snooping into Naomi's bag, fired her flare gun, which brought about a shocking visit from the wily, optically impaired, not-so-great-with-the-social-skills Mikhail. Yep, the Other zapped by the sonic fence! (Had Patchy just been playing possum? Later in the episode he said, cryptically, ''On this island, the wounds are a bit different.'') Once Jin subdued Mikhail with kick-ass fight choreography, Desmond pinned him by the throat, and the onetime Soviet field medic bargained for his freedom echoing Jack's spinal-surgery deal with Ben by offering to treat Naomi's punctured lung.
When Mikhail demanded information about his patient, it took everything Charlie had not to smack Hurley upside the head for divulging Naomi's ''fancy radio-phone thingy.'' Sure enough, once the Other saved Naomi, he promptly made off with the device. But Jin was just not having that. With the phone retrieved (but not functioning), what happened next seemed made for the Lost history books. Sitting next to Naomi (who'd just come to), Hurley identified himself as a Flight 815 survivor and eagerly asked if she was a rescuer. Naomi, taken aback, replied, ''Flight 815? The one from Sydney? That's not possible....They found the plane. There were no survivors. They were all dead.''
Hurley said it all: ''What?''
Could Lost be finking out on its creators' famous promise that the show's not about purgatory? If not, what's all this Naomi crazy talk? One possibility: After Oceanic 815 disappeared, maybe a large-scale cover-up was engineered (by Widmore?), wherein reporters and officials were bribed to report the false story, and/or hoodwinked with highly realistic ''evidence.'' If that's too straightforward for you and only on our favorite Wednesday drama would that be considered straightforward read on.
Lately I've been thinking this show has quantum physics written all over it. I've become interested in the subject for the first time in my life (yes, thanks to my emotional investment in TV characters), and physics brainiacs will find the following ideas fundamental (and probably a little off), but for me they're a far-out new lens through which to view Lost. We've heard producers deny time travel as a plot element, but maybe they meant time travel in the standard pop-culture tradition (H.G. Wells, Marty McFly, Superman spinning the earth backward). Consider that Naomi may have just confirmed the existence of multiple universes. To someone who experienced such a thing, it might be mistakenly perceived as hopping around the time line of one universe.
According to multiple-universe theory, we can be going along in the universe, and it can split in two, and then those two universes can proceed along independent time lines. This kind of split could happen over and over, so that the number of possible universes branching off would be infinite. On Lost, has an unforeseen ripple in one universe let matter from another universe through, allowing people to traverse a slippery path between them? Maybe some have done it unintentionally, let's say during an aviation disaster, and maybe others do it intentionally (or wish they could). Of course, Desmond was closest to the Swan meltdown, which, for all we know, was a critical mass of energy strong enough to tear into another universe. Suppose the event altered his consciousness so that it can ricochet between universes.
Remember the Pearl station film of Dr. Wickmund, and his strange insistence on the importance of observation? Maybe that Dharma experiment was inspired by Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which states that measuring or observing an event is impossible without also affecting it. Do you know who Erwin Schrödinger was? (Doesn't he bear a striking resemblance to Ben?) His ''thought experiment'' known as Schrödinger's cat is a way of illustrating physics on the quantum (subatomic) level. If I understand it correctly, until such matter is observed, we can think of it as existing in multiple states in the exercise, that would be a box containing a cat who's both dead and alive. Multiple universes are one way of explaining that trippy idea. It's a long shot, but if Schrödinger's cat inspired Naomi's bombshell about Flight 815, we may be on the cusp of finding out there's one universe where the passengers died and another where they lived. From there, the possibilities are endless! Patchy may be dead in one universe, while in another universe he's trotting through foliage searching for Nadia, his cat!
Okay, okay. If I can't turn you on to quantum physics, I'll leave you with a tip. Last fall, I recommended the novel Oryx and Crake for reading during the midseason hiatus. If you're suffering Lost withdrawal this summer, take a crack at the fun, pulpy sci-fi read Across Realtime, by Vernor Vinge. The story features a woman who survived a plane crash, a scientist who regrets his contribution to a sinister organization, an orphan with uncanny mental talents, lots of covert research and surveillance, and some serious messing around with time. The title of the very first chapter? ''Flashback.'' Enjoy!
But what did you think about ''D.O.C.''? Will Sun live longer than her two-month prognosis? Is Jack in on Juliet's mission? And what do you make of Naomi's claim that Flight 815's wreckage was found with no survivors?