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"...In Translation"

23 February 2005
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Centric character(s)
Directed by
Special guest star(s)

Guest starring

Episode transcript
[[{{{transcript2}}}|Part Two]]

[[{{{audiotranscript}}}|Commentary transcript]]

"...In Translation" is the seventeenth episode of Season 1 of Lost. An arsonist torches Michael's raft, and when Michael sees that Jin has burnt hands, 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 that Han "got the message."
Sun argues with Jin in the bathroom
Jin, bloody from the beating, goes home and heads straight for the bathroom, a repetition of a Sun flashback from a different perspective. 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 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, and Michael tries to break it up. 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 then shows off his work to Jack. Jack, however, wants to talk about who's leaving on the raft. Sawyer is sitting nearby, and it's clear 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. However, 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, though, and 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 explain that he and Shannon are drawing closer. Boone becomes aggressive, and Sayid replies that 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 then 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, that Jin didn't burn the raft. Everyone realizes that Sun can speak English, even Jin.

"They've attacked us ... 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 to build a better raft, and Walt promises to help his father. 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, that he liked the Island. Locke agrees.

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.



  • Jin's flashbacks in this episode are of his point of view to the events that occur in the previous Sun & Jin-Centric episode, "House of the Rising Sun".
  • 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".

Production notes

  • All current cast members appear.
  • This is the only centric episode dedicated to Jin alone. All of the flashbacks are from his point of view.
  • 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 appearance of Mr. Kwon.

Bloopers and continuity errors

  • 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", or on the days immediately preceding or following this day.

Recurring themes

Recurring themes in Lost
Black and whiteCar accidentsCharacter connectionsDeceptions and consDreamsEyesFate versus free willGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLife and deathMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersParent issuesPregnanciesRainRebirthRedemptionRelationshipsRevengeSacrificeSecretsTime

Storyline analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience
  • 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 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, 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.
  • 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)

Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable 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)
  • This is the final "musical slow-motion" scene at the end of an episode as Hurley's CD player skips and ceases to function. This serves to remind the viewer that they are on a deserted island and that life will only get more difficult as time goes on. (Symbolism)
  • 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. (Irony)  (Juxtaposition)

This article uses material from the "...In Translation" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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