That stubborn tomato

BalkOfFame September 9, 2010 User blog:BalkOfFame

Most Lost episodes look better on repeat viewing, but "The Package" does not. Now that I'm over the euphoria of Mikhail's return, many elements that seemed interesting at the time no longer mean anything. When I first saw the episode, I thought it hinted at a hit on "original timeline" Jin like on alt Jin. Not so, or if there was, the flash sideways offers no evidence for it. I thought Sun's injury foreshadowed something on the island. It didn't. Moreover, you can't die in your own afterlife, so the whole subplot was pointless.

But what really takes away from the episode is how it was supposed to represent the characters' post-death subconsciousness. How? Sun had conquered her fears of her father long before dying. And what significance in Jin shooting Sun? He didn't cause her death in real life. Nor, noting that she survived in the flash sideways, did he almost cause her death. If we really want to get out there, we can say it symbolized how in real life his violent lifestyle almost but didn't tear the couple apart, with the episode a microcosm for their relationship, beginning secretly like when Jin waited tables, their night together starting their marriage, their fear of Mr. Paik portraying their real post-wedding situation, the shootout showing Jin's brutality hurting their marriage, the recovery showing their reconciliation on the island... hey. Yeah, let's go with that.

Anyway, one part of the episode that's definitely better in retrospect was that Stubborn Tomato. At the time, it seemed like a cutesy symbol for... something. Sun's determination in pursuing Jin on the surface, but it presumably foreshadowed something else. Likely Sun's dodging death in the near future. Or her dodging death in the flash sideways - it soon turned out that she did recover from that shooting.

But that interpretation ignored that Lost doesn't reward perseverance. On Lost, you must let go. In fact it wasn't called "the tenacious tomato", was it - it was the stubborn tomato. Stubbornly ignoring that it was... "supposed to die".

"No one told it it was supposed to die" doesn't mean "It triumphed over its probable death", though Jack might have meant it that way. It meant that it was supposed to die but didn't realize it. It was waiting for someone to wake it up to the reality of its own death.

Remind you of anything?

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