Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"LOST" RETROSPECT: (3.18) "D.O.C."

"LOST" RETROSPECT: (3.18) "D.O.C."

The treatment of "LOST" characters Jin and Sun Kwon has generated a great deal of emotion and some disappointment for the fans of the series. I can understand why. The series' portrayal of the South Korean couple - especially during the last three seasons - has been pretty shaky. But once in a while, viewers were able to see an outstanding episode that featured the Kwons. And one of them happened to be the Season Three episode, (3.18) "D.O.C."

Back in the Season Two episode, (2.16) "The Whole Truth", Sun-Hwa Kwon discovered that she was pregnant. Although initially happy by the news, Sun found herself wondering over the identity of the unborn baby's father. At the time of"The Whole Truth", she had been on the island for two months. The episode's flashbacks revealed her discovery that husband Jin-Soo Kwon was sterile and she was secretly learning English from a former suitor named Jae Lee. Audiences eventually learned in the Season Three episode, (3.02) "The Glass Ballerina" of her affair with Jae. When fellow castaway Kate Austen informed Sun about the doomed fates of pregnant women on the island in "D.O.C.", the latter turned to former Other Dr. Juliet Burke for more information. When Juliet revealed the unborn baby's D.O.C. (Date of Conception), Sun experienced both relief and heartache. 

The episode's B-plot centered around the discovery of an injured parachutist by Charlie Pace, Sayid Jarrah, Hugo Reyes and Desmond Hume. The four castaways tried to find a way to deal with the injured and incoherent Naomi Dorrit. An unexpected savior appeared in the form of an Other named Mikhail Bakunin, who apparently HAD NOT been killed by castaway John Locke in (3.12) "Par Avion". A cat-and-mouse ensured between Mikhail and the Lostaways over Ms. Dorrit's life and the walkie-talkie in her possession.

I must admit that "D.O.C." proved to be one of my favorite episodes from Season Three. And I have to thank writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz's handling of the plot featuring Sun's baby. Although Naomi Dorrit's appearance proved to be a bigger impact upon the series' major story arc, the dilemma surrounding Sun's baby still managed to pack quite a wallop not only for the Kwons' marriage, but also for defector Juliet. After all, it was Sun's determination to learn about her unborn baby's fate that led audiences to discover that Juliet was a spy planted the Others' leader, Benjamin Linus. Ben, who was obsessed with finding a way to help pregnant women survive on the island, wanted to determine the physical state of the female castaways of child bearing age. This plot was further enhanced by superb performances from Yunjin Kim and Elizabeth Mitchell, whom I consider to be the two best actresses in the cast.

The Kwon baby plot also benefited from an interesting flashback in which Sun found herself blackmailed by a middle-aged woman, claiming to be Jin's mother. Apparently, the woman was a former prostitute who was allegedly unaware of the true identity of Jin's father. Not being the maternal type, she handed over baby Jin to Mr. Kwon, a fisherman and former customer. The woman threatened to expose Jin's parentage and humiliate Sun's family, the affluent Paiks. Personally, I could not see how this subplot had anything to do with Sun's dilemma over her baby's conception date. I suspect that Kitsis and Horowitz wanted to use the mystery over Jin's parentage as a comparison to a similar mystery that hung over the Kwon baby's parentage. Until the writers tossed in a brilliant twist with a revelation that Sun had borrowed money from her father to pay off Jin's mother. Due to her refusal to explain her request, Mr. Paik informed her that Jin would be in debt to him as a personal enforcer - a turn of events that eventually soured the Kwons' marriage. But in the end, Sun's intimidation of her mother-in-law/blackmailer also provided to be the second best moment in the episode. 

Speaking of Jin, he was involved in subplot regarding Naomi Dorrit's arrival on the island. As I had stated earlier, this subplot ended up having a bigger impact on the series' main arc. Oddly enough, I merely found it amusing, but without any real emotional wallop for me. I was surprised to learn that Mikhail Bakunin was still alive, following Locke's so-called "murder" of him in "Par Avion". His so-called resurrection was never really explained in the episode. And why bother having both Hurley and Charlie explain that Kate had told them about Mikhail's death, instead of having Sayid, who had been there, reveal the incident? The subplot did reveal two interesting moments. One, Jin managed to prevent Mikhail from stealing Naomi's walkie-talkie in a neat martial arts move. And the audience and Losties discovered from Naomi that a fake Oceanic 815 plane had been discovered, with all of the passengers dead. And actor Andrew Divoff continued to give an interesting, yet entertaining performance as the Russian-born Other.

Overall, "D.O.C." proved to be a highly satisfying episode for me. Although I found the Naomi Dorrit subplot a little shaky, I felt that the major plot surrounding Sun Kwon's unborn baby benefited from superb writing by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, along with excellent performances from Yunjin Kim and Elizabeth Mitchell made this one of my all time favorite "LOST" episode.

No comments: