Firstly, this was a great episode. Some of the character-backstory eps have seemed contrived and unsatisfactory, and at times the parallels between past and present were pretty forced. But I loved how this tied into "House of the Rising Sun", showing us some of the same events from Jin's point of view. Until this ep I assumed he must have killed somebody the night he came home and washed the blood off his hands. Finding out that he'd actually saved the guy's life by beating him up was a nifty twist, and yet it made just as much or even more sense. I really felt sorry for Jin in this one, which is more than I did before.
Like yahtzee63, I had all kinds of love for Jin's adorable, perky dad. And the ending was heartbreaking. I don't really understand why Jin would just give up at this point, but there's always the chance for him and Sun to reconcile later on. (I suspect Jin is not long for this world, though. Some major character has to die [and stay dead] before the end of the season, and losing Jin makes the most sense, to me. Some have suggested Hurley, but dude, I would cry so hard I don't even want to think about it. Not to mention that it seems pretty blatant to kill off the one character on the whole show who isn't slim and buff and gorgeous. This isn't Baywatch, after all.)
A few random notes:
My usual amusement at Sawyer was somewhat muted by the fact that it made no sense to me that he would buy his way onto Michael's raft, seeing as up until this point he has shown no particular zeal whatsoever for getting off the island, much less sufficient desperation to risk clambering onto a barely seaworthy vessel that very likely would end up being the death of him somewhere in the middle of the ocean. (Unless he's a lot more determined to get revenge on Robert Patrick than I was giving him credit for.) The whole Sawyer-on-the-raft scenario seemed pretty contrived, and I wasn't buying into the anger and betrayal routine when he caught Jin in the jungle. I think it might have worked with a little more buildup or explanation, but as it was, meh. Also, Sawyer was looking pretty scruffy and unpleasant this week. I guess they felt they had to make up for last week's Festival of Sawyer Prettiness, which was so over the top it was almost funny.
It's embarrassing just how much I love Locke. Just when I think I can't possibly love him more, I do. Somebody joked on the TWoP forums a couple of weeks ago that they want to marry him and have all his crazy babies, and I totally know what they mean. My DH gets a big kick out of Locke as well, but he also has this theory that the real Locke is dead at the bottom of a lake somewhere on the island and that eventually they're going to find the body. Which begs the question of what exactly this pseudo-Locke who has stolen his shape might be (the monster, perhaps?) but I haven't inquired about that too closely... Anyway, what I enjoy most about Locke is the way that he never says what you're expecting him to say or reacts the way you're anticipating. When you think he's going to go into Mystical Guru Mode, he says something incredibly dry and commonsensical (like last week's "Well, now, that would be silly," which just about ended my life). I don't think that aspect of the character is ever going to get old for me, particularly not with Terry O'Quinn delivering the lines.
I totally did not see it coming that Walt burned the raft. And yet, as soon as Locke said it, it all made perfect sense, even before Walt said that line about being sick of moving from place to place. Up until that point I'd really wondered if Locke had set the fire, seeing as he loves the island so much. But instead they made Locke the willing keeper of Walt's secret, which makes even more sense. But anyway, the moment it became clear that Walt was the culprit, I looked at my husband with my jaw literally hanging open and made "Buh... guh... awuh?!" noises for a few minutes -- I was really that flabbergasted by it. I have to say, despite the show's faults (and it certainly has them), Lost has to be the most consistently clever series I've ever watched.
Call me a psycho, but am I the only one who, upon hearing that Mr. Paik had told Jin to deliver the watches to his "associates" in Sydney and Los Angeles, immediately sat up straight and burst out, "OMG, he's with The Covenant!" Remember how all the Covenant bigwigs back in S3 had fancy watches with some Covenant gizmo in them? And Lauren and Sark ran around collecting them when they made their big power play in "After Six"? I'm not saying this will ever be affirmed on screen, but I can't help wondering if the watches were an intentional Alias shout-out. Mr. Paik is clearly some kind of criminal bigwig, after all.
Which reminds me -- I really thought that both Sun and Jin knew, back in "House of the Rising Sun", that her dad was a powerful guy not just in the economic sense, but that he was into some scary, shady business. At least, Sun's frightened/worried reaction when Jin told her in that episode that he'd gone to work for her father gave me that impression. So finding out in this episode that Jin thought he had to hide the truth about Sun's father from her took me by surprise. I'm wondering if the writers played a bit fast-and-loose with continuity here, or whether there's some extra dimension to the story we don't know about.
Hurley's walkman finally cutting out during the final montage was hysterical -- the best soundtrack-killing moment I've seen since He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Hee!
What? Why are you looking at me like that?
Anyway, it pretty much goes without saying that I love this show and can't wait for next week. Only don't hurt my Hurley, dudes! He gets cramps when he runs!