For five years, I've been a critic of Jin/Sun heavy episodes because of their reliance on subtitles (I like to multitask when I watch TV, and I can't do that when I have to read TV too). And for all of this season, I've been a critic of the mysterious flash-sideways scenes that don't seem to connect to the Island universe.
But on Tuesday night, I just didn't care about either of those things, because the latest episode of "Lost", "The Package" was so well-crafted. As you could probably surmise from the preceding paragraph, this episode was about Jin and Sun. In both the island universe and the flash-sideways (which, if we're getting technical, is actually a flashback, since the island is believed to be in 2007, while the LA-verse is still in 2004) Jin and Sun wanted to be together but were being kept apart by forces beyond their control.
Let's take the LA universe first. In that world, Jin and Sun aren't married, something that was believed after this season's pilot and confirmed Tuesday. However, they are still together, against the wishes of Sun's father -- who, just like in the universe we know, is Jin's employer. Sun's father has sent Jin to America with $25,000 in cash, which causes him to be detained at LAX. Later, we find out that $25,000 was actually Martin Keamy's fee for killing Jin, who Sun's father wants dead for sleeping with Sun. This leads to Jin being taken by Keamy and his men, where his flash-sideways eventually meets up with the scene we saw at the end of Sayid's flash-sideways. Sayid doesn't exactly free Jin, but he gives him the boxcutter by which he frees himself. Eventually Keamy's associate -- one-eyed Mikail, who in this universe has both of his eyes -- brings Sun to the restaurant where Keamy was supposed to be killing Jin, but finds Keamy knocked out. Jin gets the drop on him, and kills him by shooting him through the eye. However, in the gun fight... well, actually I'm gonna save that for the end...
Meanwhile, on the island universe, Locke tells Jin why he's important. Apparently Locke (who, if you've forgotten is actually the man in black aka the smoke monster) can't leave the island unless all the remaining candidates leave with him (note: I'd imagine that if all the remaining candidates are dead, he'd be able to leave too, but I'd also guess that whatever prevented him from directly killing Jacob prevents him from killing the candidates too). Locke leaves his camp to go find Sun. As he's leaving, he put Sayid in charge, and Sayid tells Locke that he doesn't feel anything anymore. "Anger, happiness, pain. I don't feel it anymore." Locke creepily responds, "maybe that's best, Sayid. Can help you get through what's comin'." Right after Locke leaves, Widmore's crew attacks Locke's camp with tranq darts and kidnaps Jin.
Back with Jack's crew, Sun goes off by herself, to where her garden used to be. Unfortunately, everything there is dead. Jack shows up to give one of his "destiny" pep talks, but Sun's having nothing of it. She just wants to leave. Right after Jack leaves, Locke shows up and gives her that opportunity, and promises to re-unite her with Jin. However, rather than go with Locke, Sun runs in the other direction, into the jungle, and eventually hits her head and gets knocked out.
Ben finds Sun and brings her back to the camp, though it turns out her head injury has made her forget how to speak English. She can understand it, just not speak it (yay! more subtitles!). Locke arrives back at HIS camp, where he finds everyone still knocked out. Sayid fills him in, and Locke's all pissed that Jin is gone.
But, of course, Jin isn't "gone", he's with Widmore. After a brief scene in Room 23 (remember that torture chamber from the scenes with Alex's boyfriend), Widmore's "Tina Fey Lite" asks Jin to explain the grid maps that he drew up when he was with the Dharma Initiative. But Jin only wants to talk with Widmore.
Back in Locke's camp, he gives Sayid a gun, tells him to wrap it in plastic and asks if he's a good swimmer, sending him after Widmore's sub. Then Claire starts asking about the names on the cave wall, and whether Locke really needs her. Claire's still just nervous about her baby, and wants to know if he needs Kate. He says he does, because he needs her to convince certain people to leave. He then added that once they were on the plane, "whatever happens, happens."
Ben brings Sun back to Jack's camp, and hey, look, Richard and Hurley come back! Richard says they're going to destroy the Ajira plane on Hydra Island, and Sun flips, because she has no intention of staying. She of course has to flip out in Korean, which is actually a nice shoutout to the early seasons, when Jin would do the same thing.
Before Sun's flipout, there's a scene between Locke and Widmore, that really sets the stage for the next six episodes. Locke wants Jin back, but Widmore denies having him. Locke ends the scene by saying "a wise man once said that 'war is coming to this island'. I think it just got here."
Widmore realizes things are escalating, and meets with Jin. To win Jin over, he shows him a digital camera recovered from the Ajira plane. It's Sun's camera, complete with pictures of the daughter he's never seen. Widmore then explains that any reunion Jin has with Sun would be in vain unless they stop Locke, and decides to show Jin the Package. Jin says, "what package", to which Widmore responds, "it's not a what, it's a who."
Back at the beach, Jack remembers an old med school case he dealt with in which a person woke up unable to speak, but he could write, so he goes to Sun with a pen and pad, and communicates with her. She admits that even though Locke was trying to reunite her with Jin, she didn't trust him, but she does trust Jack.
There's another repetitive scene between Sawyer and Kate, which is interrupted by Locke's return to the camp. The episode ends with Widmore's crew unloading "the package" from the Sub. It turns out -- unsurprisingly to Lost fans -- that the package is Desmond Hume. Just one problem, the invading Sayid catches a glimpse of ol' Des, giving away a pretty key piece of intel to Locke's side.
OK, back to the LA verse -- the whole episode was about Jin and Sun and how their love has endured through so much. But can it endure through death? In the gunfight between Mikail and Jin, Sun accidentally got shot and appeared to be losing a LOT of blood. Would the creators of "Lost" really kill Sun, and would it matter if it only happened in the flash-sideways universe?
This episode wasn't chock full of answers, but the ones we did get were pretty direct: Jin and Sun aren't married in the flash-sideways universe, but are still together; Locke can't leave the island unless all the candidates leave too; Richard does know exactly what to do next (ok, that one was a little more subtle, but it was sure implied by his insistance that they destroy the Ajira plane).
What I find most interesting though is the Locke vs Widmore dynamic. In the past, we've seen Ben opposing Widmore, when Ben was the leader of the others, or technically the second in command behind Jacob. So we'd have to believe that Widmore getting kicked off the island wouldn't have happened without Jacob's approval, which begs the question as to why he's anti-Locke/Man-in-Black now. Is Widmore really on Jacob's "side" or is it more complex than that? There's a rumor that one of the forthcoming episodes is very Jacob/Man-in-Black heavy, and I'd imagine that a lot will be explained in that episode, including hopefully who is really on who's side. Because Ilana is still very anti-Ben, and given Ben's past rivalry with Widmore (both on and off the island), it's hard to imagine that they'd both fall in line on the pro-Jacob side, if Jacob's side really is the right one to begin with.
Sure, it may all seem confusing now, but with only eight hours left, the last "Lost" answers are coming, and I'm sure whatever they are, they're going to blow our minds.