"...In Translation" is the seventeenth episode of Season 1 of Lost. An arsonist torches Michael's raft, and when Michael sees that Jin's hands are burned, the conflict between them escalates. Meanwhile, Boone begins to interfere in the growing relationship between Shannon and Sayid. Flashbacks in this episode are of Jin's point-of-view of the same events focused on in "House of the Rising Sun".
Jin asks for Mr. Paik's blessing in him marrying Sun.
Jin asks Mr. Paik for permission to marry Sun, his daughter. Mr. Paik is the head of a Korean chaebol that operates an automobile manufacturing firm. He asks about Jin's father, but Jin says he is dead. Mr. Paik then asks Jin to become an employee of Paik Heavy Industries as his personal "assistant." Jin wishes to own a hotel and restaurant but is willing to do anything for "his dream," Sun.
Sun and Jin are married. But before the honeymoon, Jin must devote six months to "management training." Sun is wary of this duty to her father, but Jin places a white flower in her hair and promises her the honeymoon she's always dreamed of.
Mr. Paik orders Jin to "deliver a message" to one of his associates.
Later, Jin is promoted to "special assistant," and Mr. Paik personally gives him the task of communicating his displeasure to Byung Han, the Korean Secretary for Environmental Safety, over a recent factory closing by the agency. Han is terrified by Jin's appearance. When Jin simply tells him of Paik's displeasure and begins to leave, the man is overjoyed. He takes a Shar Pei puppy from his daughter and forces it on Jin.
The next day, Sun prepares a fancy dinner for Jin, but Mr. Paik interrupts again. Jin must drive a man to Byung Han's house, where Jin will "be shown how to deliver a message." Jin sees that the man plans to kill the secretary, and on arrival at Han's house, he rushes in ahead of the hit man. He beats Han in front of his family while the hit man looks on. Jin tells Han to open the factory the next day. He then walks out, telling the hit man Han "got the message."
Sun argues with Jin in the bathroom.
Jin, bloody from the beating, goes home and heads straight for the bathroom. He begins to wash the blood from his suit. Sun questions him pointedly and slaps him. She leaves and Jin tries to continue his cleaning but stops and begins to weep as he stares in the mirror at himself.
Jin visits his father.
Jin goes to visit his father, a simple fisherman. Jin confesses to having been ashamed of him, but his father embraces his long-estranged son. He then tells his father of his dilemma, and his father advises him to make his next project for Mr. Paik (delivering watches to Paik associates in Sydney and Los Angeles) his last. "Go to America," says the old man. "Save your marriage." ♪
On the Island
Sun slaps Michael.
Jin scans the beach, looking for his wife. He sees her swimming in a bikini, and rushes to cover her with a towel. They begin arguing loudly in Korean. Michael tries to break it up and Sun slaps him for his effort. Alone, Jin asks Sun if there is anything between her and Michael. Sun denies this.
Sun then approaches Michael, seeking help. She tries to explain that the slap was meant to protect Michael from Jin's jealousy, but Michael will not listen. Meanwhile, Jin rejects an offer of friendship from Hurley, and Shannon suggests to Sayid that they spend an evening away from the other survivors.
Michael's work on the raft is coming along. He regales Walt with tales of New York and shows off his work to Jack. Jack, however, wants to talk about who's leaving on the raft. Sawyer is sitting nearby, and he has bought one of the four available seats with scavenged cable.
The survivors try to put out the blaze.
Sun discusses Jin with Kate, who wonders how Jin could have changed from the tender husband Sun describes. They are distracted by the survivors running toward Michael's raft. It is on fire. Everyone tries to put out the flames. ♪
It's useless; the raft continues to burn. When Michael sees Sun, he demands in English to know where Jin is. Sun will not answer, and Jack and Kate try to intervene. Michael sees Walt throwing sand on the fire and calls him back, giving Sun a chance to flee. The survivors discuss the possibility of Jin having torched the raft.
Sun finds Jin rifling through the medical supplies at the caves. His hands are burned. Agitated, Sun tells him that Michael was trying to get them off the Island. Jin is angry that Sun thinks he burned the raft and is defending Michael.
Shannon searches for Boone.
Elsewhere, Sayid comes to Boone to say he and Shannon are drawing closer. Boone becomes aggressive, and Sayid says he was not asking Boone's permission. Boone then tells Sayid that she has a thing for "guys who can take care of her" and will leave him eventually.
When Shannon asks for Sayid's help in building a shelter, Sayid hangs back. Shannon realizes that he's been talking to Boone. She finds Locke and asks him where Boone is. Locke resists her attempts to draw him into the conflict, and challenges Shannon to do as she likes without worrying about Boone's reaction.
In the jungle, Sawyer attacks Jin and marches him back toward the beach. He delivers him to Michael, and the survivors gather around while Michael begins to interrogate Jin. Jin begins speaking Korean, and Michael demands that Sun translate. Sun is silent, and Michael slugs Jin again and again. Finally, Sun screams out in English for Michael to leave him alone, saying Jin didn't burn the raft. Everyone, including Jin, realizes Sun can speak English.
"We're not the only people on this Island, and we all know it!"
Sun explains that Jin's hands were burned as he tried to put out the fire. Michael and Sawyer are still not convinced, but Locke has had enough. He points out what everyone continues to ignore; they are not alone on the Island. They continue to be attacked and abducted by these other people. Sun maintains Jin's innocence, and everyone disperses. ♪
The raft is a total loss. Michael begins to succumb to despair, but he sees Walt and stops. He promises Walt that they will build a better raft, and Walt promises to help his father. ♪ Meanwhile, Jin and Sun argue as Jin packs to move to the beach away from Sun. She tries to talk to him in Korean in an attempt to talk their growing problems out. Jin, however, thinks of his father's advice, and realizes that it is too late to save his own marriage. ♪♪
As they play backgammon, Walt brags to Locke about Hurley owing him $83,000. Locke brings up the subject of fathers. He says that his own was "not cool." He then asks Walt why he burned the raft. Walt confesses that he didn't want to move anymore; he likes the Island. Locke agrees.
Jin decides to help Michael build a new raft.
The next day, on the beach, Jin approaches Michael, who is salvaging what he can from the wreck. He has bamboo. He says a single English word to Michael: "Boat." ♪
Meanwhile, Sun, finally free from her husband, removes her towel to reveal a bikini. Charlie and Claire sit on the beach together, while Hurley listens to his CD player, until it loses battery power. Disappointed, he says, "Son of a bitch" and throws the device into the sand. ♪
- When read along with the series title, this episode's title is "Lost...In Translation," a common phrase reflecting the difficulty of conveying the same meaning between two languages.
- During the flashback scene where Jin first visits Byung Han, his daughter is briefly seen watching TV. Hurley is on-screen from when the press first identifies him as the lottery winner. These events are shown in detail during his flashback in "Everybody Hates Hugo".
- This is the only solely Jin-centric episode. All of his other centric episodes are multi-centric (either with Sun or a larger group).
- When Michael sees Jin kneeling on the beach and runs toward him, accusing him of burning his raft, and many other characters come out yelling, we hear English from Jin's point of view, and it sounds very foreign. It is in fact the exact same dialogue as what was already heard, just played backward.
- This episode marks the first appearances of both Byron Chung (Mr. Paik) and John Shin (Mr. Kwon).
Bloopers and continuity errors
Locke's blood mark changing position.
- When Shannon goes to speak to Locke in the jungle, the blood on Locke's left cheek switches places when he says "Should I be writing this down?" compared to where it is during the rest of the scene.
- In the episode "D.O.C.", Juliet estimates this day as the date Sun and Jin conceived. However, this episode shows the two of them on the outs, with no opportunities for "conceiving," nor on the days immediately preceding or following this day.
- Jin gives Sun the puppy he got from Byung Han, but the next day, when he arrives home after "delivering the message," Bpo Bpo is already fully grown.
The episode introduces a love theme that eventually characterizes Kate and Sawyer's relationship.
|Animals • Black and white • Character connections • Children • Coincidence • Death • Deceptions and cons • Dreams • Economics • Electromagnetism • Eyes • Fate versus free will • Games • Good and bad people • Imprisonment • Isolation • Leadership • Life and death • Literary works • Mirrors • Missing body parts • Nicknames • The Numbers • Pairings • Parapsychology • Parent issues • Pregnancies • Psychology • Rain • Redemption • Relationships • Religion • Revenge • Salvation • Secrets|
- The episode begins with a close-up of Jin's eye. (Eyes)
- Jin receives a Shar-Pei puppy. (Animals)
- Jin is forced to work for Mr. Paik, Sun's father, and is forced to hurt other people. (Parent issues)
- Jin is estranged from his father, who works as a fisherman. (Parent Issues)
- Jin tries to convince Sun that his father is dead. (Deceptions and cons) (Parent Issues)
- Locke tells Shannon that "everyone gets a new life on this island." (Redemption)
- One of Jin's coworkers is asked to kill someone. Jin intervenes on the principle that he is a good person. (Good and bad people) (Life and death)
- While Jin is in Byung Han's house, the television in the background shows a news piece on Hurley winning the lottery. (Character connections)
- Locke tells Walt that his dad is "not cool." (Parent issues)
- Walt and Locke finally play backgammon again. (Games)
- Jin punches Byung Han 8 times. (Numbers)
- The castaways find out that Sun can speak English. (Secrets) (Deceptions and cons)
- Sawyer calls Jin "Bruce" and calls Sun "Betty." (Nicknames)
- Michael assumes Jin torched the raft in an act of revenge. (Revenge)
|Comparative: Irony • Juxtaposition • Foreshadowing Plotting: Cliffhanger • Plot twist Stock characters: Archetype • Redshirt • Unseen character|
Story: Flashbacks • Flash-forwards • Flash sideways • Framing device • Regularly spoken phrases • Symbolism • Unreliable narrator
- Jin had to betray Sun by lying to her about her father's work; on the Island, Sun betrayed Jin by revealing to everyone that she could speak English. (Juxtaposition)
- Jin makes up with his father in Korea, and with Michael on the Island. (Juxtaposition)
- Jin was originally heading to America with Sun in order to "start over" but later told her that it was "too late." (Juxtaposition)
- John Locke says that none of survivors would deliberately hinder an attempt to get off the island, but in "Par Avion", he blows up the Flame station and in "The Man from Tallahassee" the submarine, deliberately preventing Jack and Juliet from leaving. Prior to saying this, Locke also prevented Sayid from triangulating the signal for the transceiver in "The Moth". (Irony)
- In a flashback, Sun asks Jin to button up her dress for her. He replies, "Do I have to?" In "Pilot, Part 2" Jin orders her to button up her top botton. Earlier in the episode Jin also orders her to cover up when she attempts to swim in a bikini. (Juxtaposition)
- Hurley can be seen on a TV in Byung Han's house. (Foreshadowing)
- Locke refers to his dad as "not cool" when asked by Walt. (Foreshadowing)
| Cultural references|
(direct references only)
|Art • Automobiles • Games • History • Literary works • Movies and TV • Music • Philosophy • Religion and ideologies • Science|
- Lost in Translation: The title of the episode references this 2003 comedy-drama film about culture shock, written and directed by Sofia Coppola. (Movies and TV)
- Lost in Translation is also a well-known narrative poem by James Merrill (1926-1995). The poem tells about a child putting together a jigsaw puzzle. At the same time it is an interpretive puzzle in itself, designed to engage a reader's interest in solving mysteries at various narrative levels. (Books)
- Delicate: The song by Damien Rice is featured at the end of the episode when Hurley listens to music on his CD player. (Music)
- Flatiron building: Michael tells Walt about architecture, specifically the Flatiron Building in New York. It is said that the triangular building created unusual wind patterns which would cause women's skirts to fly around as they walked on 23rd Street. (Art) (Science)
- Lord of the Flies: After Sawyer captures Jin he tells him he should be scared because all the survivors have gone “Lord of the Flies.” In this book by William Golding, a group of English school boys who are stranded on an island confront not only the defects of their society but the defects of their own natures as well. (Books)
- Liar's Club: Sun tells everyone that Jin is not a liar. Sawyer says "You going to lecture us about lying...Betty?" "Betty" is a reference to Betty White, a regular participant on the television game show called Liar's Club (1969-1979) where she would give ridiculous explanations of what an unusual object was used for. (Movies and TV)
- Bruce Lee: Sawyer calls Jin "Bruce," referring to the famous actor and martial artist. (Movies and TV)
|A-Missions • Crimes • Economics • Leadership • O-Missions • Relationships • F-Missions • Rivalries • S-Missions|
- Sawyer buys his way onto the raft for some cable. (Economics)
- Sayid tells Boone about his intentions with Shannon, and Boone responds by warning Sayid about her habits. (Relationships)
- Michael attacks Jin for burning his raft. (Rivalries)
- Someone burns the raft. (Crimes)
- Jin stops speaking to Sun after he learns she speaks English. (Relationships)
- Jin's flashbacks in this episode are of his point of view to some of the flashbacks occurring in the previous Sun-centric episode. ("House of the Rising Sun").
- Locke says, "they've attacked us, sabotaged us, abducted us, murdered us." ("Raised by Another") ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues") ("Homecoming")