Typically Sun and Jin’s flashback episodes were my least favorite of the series, mainly having to do with the need for captions at the bottom of the screen. However, “In Translation” was a definite exception.
This episode recounted the events from “House of the Rising Sun” but from the perspective of Jin. It showed how Jin got involved in Sun’s father’s business and how it dragged the kind-hearted man into the world of organized crime. You understood and connected more with Jin here than you did in the previous viewing here. The storytelling of seeing first how Sun saw these moments to be balanced how Jin saw them is a fascinating technique.
We also get the big reveal to the remainder of the survivors of Sun being able to speak English. The raft that Michael had been working on ending up on fire and he blamed Jin. To be fair, Jin’s hands were burned and he was acting as if he were guilty. When Sun exclaimed for Michael to stop attacking Jin, the whole group came to a sudden halt. Hurley dropped a funny line with “Didn’t see that coming.”
Locke came into the situation and blamed the Others for burning the raft, but he already knew who had done it. John asked Walt later over a game of backgammon why he burned the raft. Walt said that he liked it on the Island and he was tired of moving.
The romance of Jin and Sun goes through many ups and downs on the Island and it is one of the main story points. They are certainly at a low point here as Jin leaves Sun alone and goes to help Michael to start rebuilding the raft.
Sun, on the other hand, feels free enough now to go to the beach in a bikini, something that Jin had reacted to negatively earlier in the episode. Jin has always had a problem with Sun showing too much body, going as far as having her button the top button. Sun’s freedom here is an important step to the eventual reunion between husband and wife.
The Shannon-Sayid love story started here, picking up on parts from previous episodes and, taking advice from Locke in his “wise man of the Island” act, Shannon decided that everyone gets a new life on this Island and that she would not be concerned with Boone’s thoughts. It appeared that Boone’s revelations in “Hearts & Minds” was short lived. Maybe John needs to tie him up in the jungle again.