Flight Log Theory [Post-Arrival Trailer]
I’m baaaccckkk! The Flight Log: Arrival trailer dropped today, which means it’s time to travel back to the world of plot theories! This is, naturally, an extension of my already-established theory, so I’d recommend going and checking my past theory posts out first.
Also, I’ll be talking about the Flight Log: Arrival trailer, complete with screenshots, so if you haven’t watched it yet, definitely go check that out first.
That being said, here’s part 3 of my Flight Log theory!
We start off with a series of beautiful yet horrifically dangerous set of scenery shots. A frozen alpine tundra, tumultuous oceanic rapids, and jagged seaside cliffs. The text reads “Nature. Wind. Flight. A bird”. This sets up the metaphor of wanting to “be a bird” and wanting to “fly” throughout the rest of the trailer.
The first time we actually see Jinyoung, he’s walking barefoot in the snow, a metaphor for his momentarily “deceased” body. When your heart stops, blood stops flowing, making your body cold. Walking barefoot in the snow would be essentially the same feeling.
The text then goes on to say, “I often asked myself, can I fly like a bird? And here I am now…”, ending with a flashback to the shot of Jinyoung standing at the edge of the skyscraper roof from the Departure trailer. As I stated before, this is the pinnacle moment in his grief process. It’s when he decides that, instead of moving on with his life, he wants to “fly” with his friends. In other words, he wants to join his friends in death.
The next part is a little jumbled up in the trailer, so I’m going to post it in timeline order here.
It’s revealed that Jinyoung tried to drown himself. Though we only see it in this one, brief scene, the lack of struggle and all-around containment of the area (there’s a glass roof above him keeping him from going up for air), it’s easy to tell that he put himself in this situation on purpose.
I’m assuming he waterlogged himself to effectively drown himself, at least temporarily, until his heart is shocked back into action with the defibrillators. (Side note: I can’t stop laughing at the gap between the paddles and Jinyoung’s chest. Yay for fake revitalization! Hahaha)
When his heart is restarted, his mind is stuck in a sort of “where am I?” state. This is the beach setting. The waves crashing against him, pulling his body this way and that is the blood pumping through his body again, returning life and feeling to each different part.
As he slowly comes back, he starts to regain his memory. “In water,” the text reads. “Perhaps that was the very last thing I remember. I was trapped.” This is accompanied by the underwater footage from the Turbulence comeback, as well as the shot of Jinyoung’s attempted drowning this time around. The text goes on to say, “I’ve failed…”, referring to the fact that he was brought back to life and, therefore, didn’t succeed in his attempted suicide.
“I don’t exist anymore…” goes beyond everything and exposes how he feels. Clearly, through the Departure and Turbulence videos, we’ve seen how much he misses his friends. They always are around him, but never interact with him. This very much makes him feel like he doesn’t exist anymore. While he still breathes and feels, the fact that his friends are all somewhere else without him makes him feel isolated.
Remembering how alone he feels, Jinyoung is shocked yet again. In a way, his brain is flooded with all the pain all over again. The whole realization, however, only takes about a second in real time. This is clear by the face he makes after he’s shocked back, which is similar to the one he makes in the last shot on the beach.
Now, this is where things get especially dark. The scenes in the snow aren’t actually real. Once again, they’re his subconscious. The snow is representative of the tingling sensation his body feels as blood begins to circulate through his veins again, as well as the cold resolve he feels.
“Most people… when they fail, they just give up and don’t challenge themselves. But I’m different. I will never ever give up. I am not afraid of anything, because you were there. I am ready to fly.”
This would really be a motivational segment if the implications weren’t so bone-chilling. Throughout the Flight Log series, “fly” has always signified death. The six boys could fly after they died, while Jinyoung couldn’t, since he was still alive. That means the last sentence signifies his readiness for death.
It’s the second to last sentence that is the most damning, though. The first half is in present tense, while the second is in past. Present tense indicates that he still is not afraid of anything (even death). He is alive and willing to do whatever it takes to “fly”. Past tense, however, proves that his friends are no longer with him. They are his strength, so the memory of them still curbs his fears.
For one last time, we see the six boys all playing around without interacting or even acknowledging Jinyoung. This is just another reminder of how they’re separate from him. They are dead, but together, while Jinyoung is alive and, at least in his mind, alone.
However, as he watches them play this time, he sighs and smiles instead of looking surprised or upset. His determination to join them puts his mind at ease while these flashback-like memories appear, making them more of an encouragement to join them than a reminder of how they were while they were alive.
The suicidal undertones of this entire trailer hit me like a ton of bricks the first time I watched it and, even after watching it a few more times, they haven’t disappeared. It’s dark in a very underhanded sort of way, but it wraps up the trilogy brilliantly. From the initial accident to Jinyoung’s determined decision to fly, we went on a trip.
Assuming the Never Ever music video doesn’t add anything new, the end will be left open. Honestly, I think that’s for the best. Clearly, showing any deadly scenarios directly wouldn’t be smart, and Flight Log was more about Jinyoung’s grief process than anything else. Whether or not he “flies” at the end is up to each viewer.