“House of the Rising Sun” is the sixth episode of the first season of the American television series Lost. It centers on Jin-Soo Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim), who brutally attacks Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau); the survivors do not know why since Jin and his wife Sun-Hwa Kwon (Yunjin Kim) only speak Korean. Meanwhile, Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) proposes that the survivors move to the caves from the beach. The episode was the first to feature the backstory of Sun and Jin, and the former is shown in the episode’s flashbacks. It was directed by Michael Zinberg and written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach.
After being cast, Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim were nervous that their characters’ relationship would foster negative perceptions of Korean people; the former felt that it was an outdated depiction which would influence a society little exposed to Korean culture. The actors discussed this with the series’ producers, leading to the writing of “House of the Rising Sun” and the multifaceted depiction of their relationship. “House of the Rising Sun” first aired on October 27, 2004, on the American network ABC. An estimated 16.83 million viewers watched the episode on its first broadcast, and it earned a ratings share of 6.4/17, a slight increase from the previous episode. It received mainly positive reviews, with critics focusing on the revelations surrounding Jin and Sun’s relationship.
Sun is at a party, and is served champagne by a waiter, Jin. They soon develop a relationship, with Sun wanting to run away with Jin to America, but Jin insisting they honorably tell her father that they are seeing each other. Sun’s father approves of their relationship as long as Jin takes a job working for him. One night after they’re married, Jin returns home covered in someone else’s blood. Sun is angry that he refuses to explain the blood to her and slaps him. He tells Sun that he does whatever her father tells him to do. A few years later, Sun secretly plots to leave Jin and her father, so she will be free to go wherever she wants. However, she does not go through with her plans after he expresses a loving gesture to her, and boards Flight 815 with her husband.
It is Day 7, September 28, 2004, and Jack Shephard, Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly), Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) and John Locke (Terry O’Quinn) go to the caves to gather water and investigate. Charlie steps on a beehive, and is told not to move by Locke or else the hive will snap. Charlie slaps at a bee on his face and shifts weight, causing the hive to snap and everyone to get stung.
Later, at the caves, the survivors discover two long-decomposed skeletons, one male and one female, whom Locke dubs as “Adam and Eve“. From the deterioration of their clothes, Jack estimates that they have been dead for at least 40–50 years, and finds a pouch on them containing two stones: one black, one white. (Their identity and origins are revealed in a later episode.)
Locke and Charlie are clearing the wreckage at the caves and Locke tells Charlie that he recognizes him from a band Charlie is in, Drive Shaft. Charlie is happy that finally someone, other than Kate, is familiar with his musical background.
Meanwhile, Sun is shocked to see Jin attack Michael on the beach for no apparent reason. James “Sawyer” Ford (Josh Holloway) and Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) manage to subdue and handcuff Jin to the wreckage. Michael says the attack was racially motivated, which he later tells his son, Walt Lloyd (Malcolm David Kelley), is not true. Sun finds Michael alone, and in fluent English says, “I need to talk to you.” Michael is shocked that she speaks English. Sun tells him that Jin is unaware of this, and explains that Jin angrily attacked Michael because of the watch he’s wearing, which belongs to her father. Michael says he just found it in the wreckage and it’s nothing important.
Jack and Kate return to the beach and Jack starts talking to people about moving to the caves. The castaways argue whether to stay on the beach where a rescue party could see them (and keep the signal fire burning), or move to the caves, where there is more shelter and fresh water. The group splits into two camps accordingly: Jack, Locke, Charlie, Hugo “Hurley” Reyes (Jorge Garcia), Jin, Sun, Ethan Rom (William Mapother), Dr. Leslie Arzt (Daniel Roebuck), Doug, and Sullivan (Scott Paulin) move to the caves while Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Claire Littleton (Emilie de Ravin), Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau), Walt, Vincent (Madison), Shannon Rutherford (Maggie Grace), Boone Carlyle (Ian Somerhalder), Rose Nadler (L. Scott Caldwell), Scott Jackson (Christian Bowman), and Steve Jenkins (Dustin Watchman) remain on the beach.
At the caves, Locke tells Charlie that he knows Charlie is addicted to heroin. Locke says if Charlie gives up his drugs, the island will give him his guitar, which he misses deeply. Charlie hands over the heroin, Locke shows him where the guitar is, and Charlie is ecstatic. On the beach, Kate refuses to go with Jack to the caves. Michael menacingly approaches Jin with an axe, throws the watch at him, and shouts that the fight over the watch “is ridiculous, because time doesn’t matter on a damn island.” As Michael cuts Jin free of his handcuffs, one of the cuffs remains on his wrist, and Michael tells Jin to stay away from him and Walt. That night at the caves, Charlie plays his guitar as Jack returns with people from the beach. The episode ends with clips of the two groups, while Willie Nelson‘s ‘Are You Sure’ plays in the background.