Daniel Dae Kim: Love Is Hell and Other ‘Lost’ Mysteries

Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim of 'Lost' (Photo: ABC)

Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim of 'Lost' (Photo: ABC)

It’s been two weeks since the dizzying reunion between ‘Lost‘ loves Jin and Sun Kwon, who spent two seasons and three decades apart, at the same time (please don’t ask me to do the math, my Dear Losties). The ‘big reunion’ was only a few seconds, a mere flash before our eyes, but tender nonetheless.

During the super couple’s maddening time apart, ‘Lost’ star Daniel Dae Kim has done some of his best work on the show. I don’t know about you, but I teared up during that emotional reunion kiss, and I flat-out cried when I watched a misty Jin Kwon look at photos of the baby daughter he’s never met, who’s currently being ‘raised by another’ off the island.

And I was lucky enough to get a couple minutes to chat with Daniel Dae Kim about Sun and Jin’s fate, all those unanswered questions and what’s next for him.

This is actually the second time I’ve interviewed Daniel. The first time was in person during Season 1, when we were just taking off on this wild ride and none of us knew anything about Jacob and the Man in Black, the magical flight to Guam or any of the other ‘Lost’ lunacy that we love so dearly. So it’s fitting to come full circle in this sixth and final season, finding myself once again talking with the delightful Mr. Kim.

He tells me I’m “chipper.” [Oh dear, my Losties: Four lattes into a late Friday afternoon for a chat about the bestest show in the history of evers, and Poor Jin has no idea what he’s in for!]

Tracy Phillips: We finally got the big moment we’ve been waiting for: Sun and Jin are back together (we hope), in the same year (we assume), on the same beach (we think), on the same team (we pray)–but something tells me our favorite couple is not going to get their ‘Happily Ever After.’

Daniel Dae Kim: “Now, why would you think that?”

TAP: Because the ‘Lost’ writers are … sadistic? They kept you two apart for two seasons and then gave your reunion two seconds of airtime.

DDK: “You may be on to something … [laughs] … The stories are ever-changing. Who can tell what’s going to happen with any of the characters on the show? Just when you think something is happy, it will turn sad, and vice versa.”

TAP: I know the answer is nada, but I’ll ask it anyway just for kicks: What can you tell us about these final episodes of ‘Lost’? It’s like waiting for Christmas!

DDK: “Just exactly what you just said. Nothing. [laughs] They are game changers. They are exciting. Significant questions will be answered in an upcoming episode, in particular, and I think the stakes are raised higher than ever before.”

*I politely try to egg him on for more. My theory: if DDK accidentally drops a juicy reveal, what are “they” going to do? Kill him off? So what?! The show’s over in Four. More. Episodes. [sigh…]

Alas, I get nothing. His resolve is as strong as his abs.

TAP: The ‘Sideways’ world that was introduced this season has been met with mixed reaction, because it’s difficult for viewers to invest in a storyline they have no rationale for. Once it all plays out, will it prove integral to the overarching storyline of the show?

DDK: “I feel like the sideways stories and whether that is satisfactory or not will be up to the audience to decide, but it will be explained. Writers have been really good about piecemealing out the information when its relevant to the story and I will say that, when that moment comes for that revelation, it will be [xxxx].” *It will be what? It will be what?!

[*Editors Note: Daniel’s voice trailed off at the end there and when I transcribed the interview, it was like trying to decode The Whispers. I’m not messing with you, Losties, I don’t know what the word is he said. Oh, the irony of more ‘Lost’ torture: It was just like on the show when they almost answer a question … and then END THE SCENE.]


TAP: Why has Jin been a man perpetually set adrift? He survived two explosions, we think, one on the raft in the Season 1 finale during the Walt-napping, and one when the freighter blew up (and Sun screamed and we all screamed!) at the end of Season 4.

DDK: [laughs] “It’s something I’ve wondered myself; at the end of every season I seem to be on the water, off the island, and as far as I know, I wasn’t going through contract negotiations at the time, so I don’t know why I would be placed in jeopardy like that. You know, I think Sawyer has a similar dynamic, being found on the water for some reason at the end of every season.”

TAP: Will we find out why?

DDK: “I don’t know if there’s anything to understand. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.”


TAP: The writers swore all along that the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 were not in Purgatory, yet Michael’s answer to The Whispers claims that they are the voices of those who are trapped and can’t ‘move on.’ Jacob says the island is containing the evil of the world. Charlotte’s omen warned, “This place is death!” Richard says everybody’s dead and “We’re all in Hell.” Could it be that these characters, who are indeed flawed, but who are characters we all love so much, actually are in some version of Fresh Hell or an Underworld of sorts?

DDK: [long pause] “If I can oversimplify to a cliché: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions … I’m not saying that’s where they’re going, but it’s really a good justification for that … hypothetical scenario.”


TAP: What’s your own biggest ‘Lost’ question?

DDK: “Well, as you’ve seen, we have had a lot of answers to some long-standing questions already … but I’m not even sure I even know what the questions are any more.”

TAP: Are you Team Jacob or are you Team Man in Black?

DDK: “I’m Team Jacob.” [he says definitively yet cautiously]

TAP: Can you say why?

DDK: “Not really, that’s just me personally, as a viewer … I need to make a disclaimer, like they run on those DVDs: This opinion does not necessarily reflect that of show.” [laughs]

TAP: Your ‘Lost’ bosses have been teasing fans about the sense of wonder (confusion?) they may have after the two-hour series finale airs on Sunday, May 23rd. Are you worried about viewer reaction? Please tell me it won’t leave us die-hard fans theorizing for eternity.

DDK: “I’m not worried, no. I think the biggest questions, the most frequently asked questions will have an answer, so that should be satisfying. As for knowing everything — well, life leaves you questions at the end and why should television be any different?”

[*Editors Note: ruh roh]

TAP: Well, when you read that final script, did you understand it?

DDK: [laughs] “Yes. I understood it because it was typed in English and I understand English.”

[*Editors Note: ruh roh]

TAP: How did ‘The End’ end for you?

DDK: [laughs] “It was strangely satisfying.”

TAP: You must have amazing agents—you get to stay in Hawaii for your new show. Does starring in the new ‘Hawaii Five-O’ mean there will be a lot more Shirtless Daniel Dae Kim in our future?

DDK: “Ha, I’ll take that as a compliment, I think, so thank you. We’ll see, it is a lot of surf, sand and sun. I’ll let you know.”

‘Lost’ returns with a new episode, ‘The Candidate,’ on Tuesday, May 4th, at 9 p.m./est on ABC.

What do you think, Losties? Are you excited for the end of ‘Lost’? Or are you dreading the end of ‘Lost’? Do you think Sun and Jin will live happily ever after? Of all of our dear Losties, who do you think is doomed? Who do you think will be the last man standing?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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