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"House of the Rising Sun"

27 October 2004
Running time
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Centric character(s)
Directed by
Special guest star(s)

Guest starring

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

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

"House of the Rising Sun" is the sixth episode of Season 1 of Lost. When Jin attacks Michael without provocation, a rivalry begins to form, much to Sun's dismay. Meanwhile, Jack proposes that everyone move to the caves, though some argue that this would be giving up on possible rescue. Flashbacks in this episode concentrate around Sun and Jin's marriage and how it was slowly falling apart.



Previously on Lost

  • Immediately before the crash, Charlie enters the bathroom on Flight 815 to snort heroin. ("Pilot, Part 2")
  • Sayid, Kate, Shannon, Boone and Sawyer argue about the French transmission they picked up and agree to keep it a secret from the other survivors. ("Tabula Rasa")
  • Jack discovers a cave deep in the jungle with a water spring inside. He returns to the beach and takes charge, telling everyone they need to start working together to survive. ("White Rabbit")
  • Michael approaches Sun and Jin to ask after his son, and observes Jin ordering his wife to button her collar. ("Pilot, Part 2")
  • Later, Michael asks Sun to look after Walt while he goes on a hunting trip with Locke and Kate. Despite their language barrier, she understands and accepts. ("Walkabout")


Jin giving Sun a white flower

Sun chats at a dinner party and is offered some champagne by a waiter, Jin. He also hands her a napkin, which contains a message. She meets with him away from the party goers, and the two kiss. Sun wants to elope but Jin tells her that her father would not allow it. As a symbol of affection, Jin reassures her by giving her a white flower and promises that it will one day be a diamond.

Days later, Jin finds Sun outside in the garden where the party was held. He has spoken to her father and had been granted permission to marry his daughter, much to Sun's joy. However, her happiness subsides as Jin continues to explain that he would be working for her father, if only temporarily. He presents her with a diamond engagement ring, paid for with the money from his new job.

Some time after they wed, Sun and Jin live in a posh apartment in Seoul. Sun returns home to find that Jin has bought her a puppy. He sincerely apologizes for working such long hours lately but Sun replies that in the past, all he had to do was give her a flower to express his love. She seems to miss their early relationship, when Jin was not under the command of her father. Before she can continue talking, Jin's phone rings. It is Sun's father.

Sun is saddened by the fact that she has not escaped her father's world

Later, Sun wakes up as Jin rushes into the apartment. She finds him in the bathroom, washing blood off his hands. She asks what happened but her husband simply states that he was working. However, Sun does not relent and eventually slaps Jin across the face when he does not give her a straight answer. He said that he does "whatever her father asks", for the sake of their marriage.

One day, Sun is showing around a decorator while Jin relaxes in the living room, appearing to be in a bad mood. Sun takes the woman to the bedroom, where it is revealed that the decorator is in fact undercover. Sun had hired her to help her flee the country, from her father and husband. She gives Sun fake documents and tells her that "at the airport" she would have to make an excuse to walk away from her husband and get to a car waiting for her outside. She would then be taken into hiding. The woman orders Sun to repeat the time of the escape over and over, "eleven fifteen".

At Sydney Airport, Jin and Sun prepare to check in for a flight to Los Angeles, as part of Jin's work. Sun moves to one side, noticing that it was 11:15. However, with tears streaming down her face, she finds that she could not leave her love. She returns to her husband, who, with a smile, gives her a white flower. He asks why she looks upset and she lies, answering that it is because of the flower's beauty.

On the Island

Jack and Kate flirting

Sun opens her eyes after sniffing flowers. She looks on as Jack and Kate talk playfully about his tattoos. Kate cannot see how the spinal surgeon could have such a wild side but their "verbal copulation", as Charlie calls it, is cut short as some of the group prepare to head for the caves to retrieve drinking water.

Meanwhile, Sun wonders what is wrong as Jin runs toward Michael in anger. He violently attacks him while Sun and Walt shout for them to stop. Sayid and Sawyer pull them apart, and Sayid orders Sawyer to give him the marshal's handcuffs from the plane. He does so, and Jin is cuffed to a large piece of plane wreckage to restrain him.

In the jungle, Jack leads a contingent to where he found the fresh water. When they arrive, Charlie sneaks away to take some of his heroin but Locke interrupts him, telling him to stay still. Charlie has walked on a beehive. Jack and Kate run to get something to cover the hive, and Charlie is forced to stand on the spot as bees buzz around his body.

Back at the beach, Michael explains to Sayid what happened. He attributes the attack to racism and when Sun points at her wrist, Sayid reinforces that the cuffs will stay on until the issue is resolved.

Charlie stands still on the beehive

Jack prepares to cover the beehive with a piece of luggage, but when one of the bees sting Charlie, his movement splits the hive and the group runs away as bees scatter. Jack and Kate get to the caves, stripping off their clothes, but Kate suddenly jumps as she spots a skeleton on a ledge. Jack finds another set of remains and assesses them; the bodies have been there a long time, approximately half a century. On one of the skeletons, he finds black and white gemstones. Charlie and Locke arrive and Jack expressed that one of the two corpses is a female and the other male, leading John to dub them "our very own Adam and Eve".

After some time, Jack and Kate head back and John stays to help Charlie look through some Flight 815 wreckage they had found nearby. However, before they leave, Jack pointed out that the survivors need a lot of water and carrying it back and forth would be extremely tiresome work. He thinks that perhaps everyone should move to the caves, where there is shelter and protection from the elements, as well as easy access clean water.

Walt asks Michael why he said Korean people do not like black people. In their ensuing conversation, Michael in turn asks Walt what his mother told him about his father. Walt bluntly says she never really mentioned him. Neither of them knows much about each other.

Trekking back to the beach, Kate mistakes Jack's pondering stare as an attempt to check her out. He explains that he is actually thinking about construction at the caves and Kate gets the point, forgetting about her attempt to flirt. As he talks about convincing the other survivors into moving, Kate adds that he had yet to convince her too. At the caves, Charlie and Locke talk about Drive Shaft and Charlie's lost guitar. John promises that he would see it again, much to Charlie's confusion and disbelief.

Michael agrees with staying on the beach

Jack and Kate find Sayid, who fills them in on what happened at the beach. Jack is more interested, however, in his cave idea. Sayid disagrees with the plan, believing that a signal fire at the beach is the best hope of rescue. To move was to give up on the hope of leaving, and some will be less willing than others when it came to this decision. At the shore, divisions are already starting to form, with Hurley agreeing to follow Jack and Michael siding with Sayid. Sawyer asks Kate whether she was going with the pessimist or the optimist but she declines to reveal her allegiance.

In the woods by the beach, Michael chops bamboo but is interrupted by Sun. Before he has time to react properly, she says, "I need to talk to you" in perfect English. Michael stands stunned. She reveals that Jin does not know she speaks English, which is why she has not done so publicly, and that the watch Michael found in the wreckage had been entrusted to Jin by her father. Protecting it is was "a question of honor" for Jin. Sun says that she can fix the situation, but she needs Michael's help.

Charlie manages to sneak away in the jungle but Locke follows him and tells Charlie that he is aware of his drug problem. Locke guesses that he will be running out of the drug soon, but wants him to give it up by choice. He asks if Charlie wants his guitar more than the drugs. Charlie agrees, and as he hands over the heroin, Locke simply tells him to look up; wrapped in roots above is Charlie's guitar case.

Michael and Sun share fleeting eye contact

At the beach, Jack tells Kate that it's time to head back to the caves. However, she proclaims that she can't "dig in" as Jack called it. Jack asks what had caused her to be this way — what she did — but Kate says that he had his chance to know before. Meanwhile, Michael approaches Jin with an axe in his hand. Threatening him, he returns the watch he found and cuts him free from the wreckage with the weapon. Michael gives Sun a glimmer of eye contact in recognition as he walks away, having finished what she had asked of him.

At the caves, Jack arrives with the "new tenants," among them Hurley, Jin, and Sun. At the beach, Sawyer, Sayid, Shannon, Boone, and Kate sit by the signal fire. Kate stares into the flames, as does Jack with his fire at the caves.


Production notes

  • This is the first episode with a flashback of one character (Sun) featuring interaction with another main character (Jin) in the flashback.
  • Claire did not appear in this episode and Emilie de Ravin was not credited, for the first of several times in season one.
  • Boone and Shannon appear, but without speaking lines.
  • This is the first episode when the whooshing noise is made before and after every flashback.
  • Jack says "It takes 40 or 50 years for clothing to degrade like this" when talking of Adam and Eve. However in "Deus Ex Machina", Locke says "Normally clothing would completely decompose within 2 years, but this is high quality polyester. Could be 2 years, could be 10".
  • This is the only episode of Lost to date not to feature any guest stars.
  • This is the first episode to not feature every regular.
  • A Lost: On Location for this episode is available on the Season 1 DVD

Bloopers and continuity errors

  • The gold watch disappears from Michael's wrist when Jin is trying to drown him, but reappears after the fight.
    • During the same fight, a stuntman standing in for Daniel Dae Kim is noticeable in some shots.
  • The length of the chain that links the handcuffs originally worn by Kate appears longer when used on Jin, though they may simply be different handcuffs.
  • At the airport when Jin shows Sun the flower, a man in a red shirt is standing in the background out of focus. In the next shot he walks past Sun before returning behind Jin in the following shot.
  • Jack's tattoo appears on both his right and left arm during the montage at the end of the episode, due to the episode using a mirror image for one of the shots.

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
  • Sun's left eye was shown at the start of the episode. (Eyes)
  • Jin gave Sun a puppy. (Animals)
  • Charlie was attacked by bees. (Animals)
  • Jack and Kate found both black and white stones on the dead bodies at the caves. (Black and white)
  • Jack was seen at the airport arguing as Jin and Sun waited in line. (Character connections)
  • Sun lied to Jin about planning to leave him, deceived all the survivors into thinking she could not speak English, and persuaded Michael to play along with Jin's question of honor regarding the watch. (Deceptions and cons)
  • Charlie gave Locke his drugs rather than wait until he naturally ran out of his stash. (Fate versus free will)
  • Jin was handcuffed to a piece of plane wreckage. (Imprisonment)
  • Charlie tells Locke that he hasn't played his guitar since "8 days and 11 hours ago, give or take." (The Numbers)
  • Sun is to meet a car waiting outside at 11:15. (The Numbers)
  • Sun continually made reference to her father being a stern man who Jin could not possibly reason with. (Parent issues)
  • While Jin is washing off the blood on his hand, Sun repetitively asks Jin what has happened but he doesn't answer. (Relationships)
  • Sun contemplated and indeed planned to leave Jin. (Relationships)
  • The survivors faced the choice of living on the beach in the hope of rescue, or moving to the caves for self-reliance. (Fate versus free will)
  • Charlie relinquished his heroin, and looked up into the sky to find his precious guitar. (Salvation)

Cultural references

Cultural references in Lost
(direct references only)
ArtBooksCarsGamesMovies and TVMusicPhilosophyReligion and ideologiesScience
  • Adam and Eve: these were the first man and woman created by God, according to the Bible and the Koran. (Religion and ideologies)
  • "The House of the Rising Sun": the title of the episode is also a popular American folk song. The "house" in the song refers to either a brothel or a prison, and the lyrics are either from a female or male vantage point depending on the version of the song. The female version of the song tells the story of a woman who has been led astray by a rough sort of man, and she ends up working at a brothel. The male version tells the story of a man who suffers from the vices of gambling and drinking and ends up in a prison. In both versions, the narrator of the song is ultimately tied to the House of the Rising Sun, unable to leave it. Similarly, Sun was tied to her relationship with Jin and cannot leave him.
    • A lyric from the song reads:
One foot is on the platform
And the other one on the train.
I'm going back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain.
This lyric was echoed in Sun's actions at the end of the flashback. At the airport, she was prepared to flee ("One foot is on the platform / And the other one on the train"). But rather than abandoning her old life, she returned to it ("I'm going back... / To wear that ball and chain"). (Music)
  • When Kate asks Sawyer if he is going to the caves during their conversation, Sawyer delivers the line: "well, that's the real trick, isn't it?" Han Solo, a commonly sited source of inspiration for the Sawyer character, delivers this exact line in the Star Wars movie during the cantina scene.
  • "Are You Sure?": at the end of the episode, Hurley is listening to this Willie Nelson song on his CD player. The chorus of this song repeats the question, "Are you sure this is where you want to be?", reflecting the survivors' choice of the beach or the caves. (Music)

Literary techniques

Literary techniques in Lost
ComparativeIronyJuxtapositionForeshadowing PlottingCliffhangerPlot twist Stock Characters:  ArchetypeRedshirtUnseen character
Story:  FlashbacksFlash-forwardsFlash-sidewaysRegularly spoken phrasesSymbolismUnreliable narrator 
  • The origin of Sun's puppy and Jin's bloody hands are revealed in "...In Translation". (Foreshadowing)
  • Right after Jin attacked Michael, Sun's flashback starts with a scene of the watch on her wrist. Later it is revealed that Jin attacked Michael because of the watch he wears. (Foreshadowing)
  • Sun had planned to leave Jin, but couldn't leave the man she loved; on the Island, she put herself in danger by talking to Michael in English, in order to free Jin. Essentially, Sun chose to stay with/help Jin despite the risks both times. (Juxtaposition)
  • Jin's actions both before the crash (coming home with a blood-stained shirt) and after (attacking Michael) were done for reasons of honor, except that neither Sun nor Michael knew his motive. (Juxtaposition)
  • Sayid says he will interview Sun about Jin's reasons for attacking Michael, foreshadowing the reveal that Sayid is an interrogator. Also, during the final scene, the lyrics to the song Hurley listens to says "You have caused so many pain and misery", as the camera leads to Sayid, foreshadowing the reveal that Sayid has been a torturer. (Foreshadowing)
  • Michael says time doesn't matter on an island. (Foreshadowing)

Storyline analysis

Storyline analysis in Lost


Main article: Musical score
Main article: Musical themes

For this episode, Michael Giacchino used an Asian-flavored theme for Jin's violent behavior that can sometimes sound beautiful but also dangerous. It can be heard on the Season 1 Soundtrack during the cue "Departing Sun".

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
More details...
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: House of the Rising Sun/Theories

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

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