Lost – ‘The Candidate’ – 6.14


First off – I know some of you had to hunt a little bit for today’s post. That’s what happens when the Lost recap shares twin billing with my Cinco de Mayo Nino Colin’s birthday. Since I’ve been running this site, I’ve made it an annual event to post a piece recounting my thoughts on my son Colin and daughter Aria as they crest that latest milestone. Sure I would have loved to have started this tradition at birth but I’ve got to play with the hand I was dealt, so starting at Colin’s Age 4 and Aria’s Age 1, I’ve made a point to give y’all a glimpse into their lives. Today Colin turns seven and if you’re so inclined, you can read all about it in his special little tribute.

That said, I couldn’t leave my fellow Lostralians high and dry so I present the rare double feature. And I’ll have you know that I moved hell and high water to get this post out on time. See, I’m in the middle of Tech Week for the local play I’m headlining starting this Friday evening. Tech Week is the ramp up where we iron out the technical wrinkles and make sure all the lighting and audio cues are working in concert. This means that the evenings tend to run long as we need to run the entire play while allowing time for all the fits and starts necessary to get everything playing nice.

In addition, with the doors shuttered on Wednesday to give us all a little R & R before Thursday’s dress rehearsal, the director warned that we would stay as late as need be so he could iron every last wrinkle. After all, this is his last chance to bark. After that night, the play is turned over to the stage manager and all the director can do is sit idly in the shadows and pray to Lord Xenu that we don’t blind or blemish his vision. Which means come Friday night, I’m free to go Full Monty all throughout ‘Love, Sex & the IRS’ and there’s not one damn thing he can do about it.

But – I’m not about to let a little creative catharsis stand in the way of my sofa snuggling as I nestle my ass down nice and tight and take  in only the 4th remaining episode of our beloved series. And with the word on the street that this one is where the end game really comes into play, I knew that no matter what time I darkened the doorway, bed could wait. I had to see it all before I went to sleep and then jot down my scattered thoughts the second my sleepy head stirred in the morn.

Which brings us to this. Let’s get Lost.

1.   You know you’re in for it when Lost opens without the trademark, “Previously on Lost“. It’s as if the producers don’t want to waste any time – knowing full well they have a full docket before them and such precious few moments to spill all the details. In other words, it’s time to get down to business.

2.   So we pick back up with the alternate-John Locke post-surgery, meeting with the intrepid Jack Shepherd who has come to admire his handiwork while offering Locke a little twist. It seems the normally opposing forces of Jack and Locke share one thing in common – in two disparate timelines, each is being groomed for special candidacy. For Locke, it’s Jack who bring him to the fertile grounds of experimental surgery – citing a procedure that could potentially give him what his otherworld doppelganger always sought – the ability to walk. Jack offers to “fix” him and seems fairly certain that he can do so with minimal risk but alas, the good doc finds the ability to fix everything frustratingly out of his grasp as this Locke wants nothing to do with regaining his sea legs. And that sets Jack off on a mission to crack the core of what makes this man tick.

3.   It’s this investigation that leads Jack along a trail of increasingly mounting coincidences. Looking to get some background on Locke’s prior injury in a bid to understand why he’d turn down a guy offering miracles, he runs across Bernard the dentist – who gives him the name Anthony Cooper BUT also tips Jack to a strange quirk of fate. Seems Bernie was on Oceanic Flight 815 – alongside Jack and Locke. And Bernard makes it quite clear to Jack that fact is a bit curious. It’s enough to jog something loose in Jack’s brain.

4.   And when he comes across Claire in the hospital, who’s carrying a special package passed on to her in his Dad’s will, he adds another member to the growing cadre of Flight 815 passengers whose lives are steadily being drawn together. The music box doesn’t rate specific significance yet – although once again we’re treated to a mirror world motif – as both Jack and Claire catch themselves staring into their reflections. In this sideways world, that’s been a recurring trend – as if the characters are subconsciously drawn to the reflection and somehow have this nagging itch that that’s all they really are – a reflection of some far off reality.

5.   The music box also pumps out a familiar little ditty – “Catch a Falling Star” which Claire was so fond of singing to baby Aaron.

6.   It’s just prior to this sequence that we catch another wrinkle in time, as a subconscious alternate-Locke talks in his sleep, muttering his key catch phrases – “Don’t push the button” and “I wish you had believed me”. Echoes of another time picked up by souls that are just now awakening to these phantom broadcasts.

7.   Jack finally tracks down Anthony Cooper but before their little meet and greet, he encounters Locke’s beloved Helen, who warns him from prying into the drama that surrounds this tragic father and son. In a startling twist of fate, Anthony Cooper is practically catatonic and as we would later learn, in this new reality, fate bitch-slapped the old bastard by letting him ride shotgun when Locke took the reins of a plane on his maiden flight. Once again, this poor man has suffered grave indignity with the subsequent plane crash robbing both father and son of their ability to walk – while also leaving Anthony even worse for the wear. And it’s this guilt that prevents Locke from fixing himself for no matter how whole he can become, his Dad will remain a hollow shell. And it’s here that Jack Shepherd gets to lay his healing hands upon Locke aimed straight for his wounded psyche. While it may be instinct to hang on tight when trying to fix something, sometimes the real healing comes in letting go.

8.   On the island, events rush forward with grave momentum. I’ll admit, I was a bit taken aback by how Sawyer and crew were captured. I usually have a photographic memory for this stuff but it seems to me that the last time we saw them, they were sailing away on the ocean blue. Now they’re captive and being marched to those polar bear cages with Sawyer secretly hoping someone swapped the fish biscuits with Teddy Grahams.

9.   So despite the fact that I felt a momentary bout of panic that last week was not a hiatus and I had somehow missed a show, I just rolled with it. They were caught and that’s all we need to know. And in rapid fashion, MiB Locke, Sawyer and Jack kick start the great escape leading to one of the series best lines as Jack motions to the ominous black smoke and says matter-of-factly, “I’m with him.” How far we’ve come!!!

10.   Bottom line – I never get tired of the Black Smoke kicking ass.

11.   With the gang all together for what seems like the first time since Season 4, they make their move on the plane. The pacing was so crisp in this episode. In seasons’ past, I could easily see the escape being an episode of its own followed by the plane portion being another episode but with no time to spare, MiB is on the march and it really fueled the adrenaline. MiB saves the effects guys an extra day of work by just charging the plane as some kind of Satanic Superman, letting their bullets go to waste as he busts a cap and breaks a neck. And then he calls an audible – showing Jack and company the C4 he found rigged to the plane. And in a little master touch, he lays out his later plan in matter-of-fact detail while attributing it to Widemore. Simply put – Widemore had aimed to get them all in one place where he could kill them. A plan that sounds suspiciously like what I theorized several weeks back when our brains were chomping on all this candidate conspiracy mumbo jumbo. My feeling then was that MiB needed all of the candidates together so he could get them all killed in one fell swoop. With no candidate left to become the next Jacob, he would finally have his loop hole and would be free to infest the Earth.

12.   So he tells them this while leaving out the part where he plans to do the exact same thing at the sub. And that’s where Sawyer’s season-long con gets trumped by the greatest con man of all, as el Diablo gets the drop on Jack’s pack – inserting a little C4 surprise. With 3:42 seconds to go (and five minutes away from surface) Jack and company realize that they have only two options. They can either go the scientific route and pull the two wires that should sever the explosive ties or embrace the newly born man of fate, Jack, as he assures them that so long as none of them do anything to monkey with the explosives, they will be completely fine. Jack gets it right. Only Man can embrace his free will and kill himself. Of course, that blind faith proves a bitter pill to swallow for Sawyer and his actions essentially doom the majority of them.

13.   And before everything goes to Hell, Sayid offers Jack the answer he already knows. He’s the Candidate and somehow Desmond figures into this.

14.   There Will Be Blood. I knew with 5 episodes left, we were due to lose a castaway or  two but I never thought it would go down like that – and that quickly. In the span of 15 minutes, Kate was shot (and therefore not out of the woods), Sayid was lost but not before finding a tiny hint of redemption, the bewildered Frank checked out and then we got the one-two gut-punch with both Jin and Sun going down with the ship. A moment weighted with such heartbreaking impact as we realized that these two were leaving a beautiful little girl all alone in this suddenly uncertain world. And those last moments, as they reverted back to their native tongue to express undying devotion, before clasping hands and then ultimately drifting apart, were devastating.

15.   And there’s still 4 more episodes left in which Lidelof and Cuse and can cull the herd. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Reaper and my money is on Kate succumbing to that injury and Sawyer pulling off some sacrificial heroics.

16.   Or, given Sawyer’s actions on the sub, perhaps this is setting up nicely for that final shot – where Jack (the new Jacob) and Sawyer (the new MiB) meet on the shore for a little jaw session while the wheel of fortune spins its way around again. The snake continues to nosh its tail. What happened, happened – and will happen again.

See you next week for episode 6.15, ‘Across the Sea’ – which is reported to tell the back story of Jacob and the Man in Black. This one is billed a huge info-dump on the true nature of the island. I cannot freakin’ wait.

[tv 5.0]

Comments now closed (22)

  • This episode broke my heart – I couldn’t handle Sun and Jin dying! And then Sayid, when he just seemed to be coming back around to his old self?! So wrong! I hope that the “What They Died For” will be explained for these three characters….

  • Your brain must be overwhelmed with the play because surely you now remember that they did land on Hyrda island where they came face-to-face with Widmore at the fence. You know, how we both thought Sun and Jin were going to fry in the fence? Then they were all like, “put em up!” and started the mortar attack on Smokey, Jack and Sayid.

    That said, the way Sun and Jin did end up going out together, which I believe I called a month ago, was much nicer than frying in the fence. However, I did have that same thought the whole time with respect to their daughter. That was pretty sad and a bit of a bold way to go if you ask me.

    Now, I thought Smokey put his pack on Jack, not inserted the C4 in it. Doesn’t really matter, but seemed more clever. Also, he grabbed the watch prior to going inside the plane and finding the C4. How did he know it would be in there? Upon exiting the plane he claimed he knew those men weren’t there to guard the plane, but wouldn’t that revelation come after finding the C4? Again, doesn’t really matter, just bugged me.

    Liked the way Frank went out with a quick one. Seems like to treat the secondary cast like red-shirts. It was also nice to see Sayid come around in the end. It would seem that Desmond really did awaken something back inside him.

    You have to wonder how Sawyer deciding not to trust Jack about the bomb is going to play out. Jack has been trusting Sawyer, but gets no love in return. One thing is for sure, he’s been cowboying up a bit too much and you figure he’s going to realize it and do something to make up for his mistake that cost three people their lives. (Yeah, I don’t care about those submariners.) Oh, and still trying to figure out what Sawyer thought he was going to be able to do with Smokey once he was in the water. I think he can’t turn to smoke or be it over water (hence always using a boat to go to Hydra and back), but so what?

    Like you, that preview for next week had me drooling! DROOLING! “Do you know how much I want to kill you?” Can’t wait!

  • Oh, also just read that the finale is now going to be 2.5 hours instead of 2. I guess they needed more time for the good stuff. Otherwise, this better not be like an hour long episode of The Office. Ugh. Positive thoughts it won’t!

  • @Sean – I knew I knew that. I don’t know. I had just come in from rehearsal last night, I was starving and my brain was spinning – plus I knew I needed to get 2 posts up this morning in addition to prepping for a 2pm interview. Anyway – good catch and thanks for steering me back with Jin and Sun’s reunion.

    As for MiB, if he is supernatural in origin, I imagine he may know a lot of things. For instance, he knew Jack was still alive and kicking at the end. So him finding the C4 seemed to be all for show. He made a point of playing up Widemore’s pantomime with the 2 red shirts guarding the plane but in a sense, MiB Locke seemed to be doing the same thing. It was a con atop a con and Sawyer fell for it.

    I think getting him in the water was very simple. Just a diversion to buy them a few extra seconds – that’s all. I don’t think Sawyer thought much more than that.

    Anyway – next week’s is rumored to be very light on core cast members and very heavy on the island stuff – including the history of the island. I am intentionally staying dark (aside from that tidbit) as I don’t want to know a thing.

  • Ben and Richard and Miles were headed to Dharmaville to find other means to blow up the plane…
    So more questions:
    1. Should we assume Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley washed up on Hydra island, or the main island?
    2. Where was Widmore in the midst of them escaping the cages and hijacking the sub? Since I don’t believe there is anyway anymore to not agree that MiB is indeed the “bad guy”, can we safely believe Widmore really is the “good guy”?
    3. With the sub gone is there any more possible means off the island? Did Locke removing the C-4 from the plane make it safe again? (Not that I’m believing that plane is in any way in shape to fly!) Do we think Lapidus is really dead, or did he somehow make it out so he can pilot that plane again?
    4. What is the deal with Claire? I seriously thought Locke was going to turn around and shoot her at the end of the episode. Their whole relationship together is just odd.

  • 1. Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley are likely on the main island. I think the finale action needs to happen there for it’s mythical importance.

    2. I think Widemore is just a more human bad guy. I think he is what he has been described as – a corporate raider or profiteer who is just looking to tap into its powers for himself. My guess is he goes the way of those baddies at the end of Raiders and gets his face melted or some other form of holy vengeance.

    3. As for how they leave the island – maybe they don’t. They may all end up dying except Jack who lays claim to the new leader of the land.

    4. Claire is f’n nuts. : )

  • I was thinking that last night; that all of them die except Jack. Although, Jack could need to die as well to become the new Jacob. It is possible that in order for Jack to become the force/being that is Jacob, he has to die so that it can take his form; like someone has to be dead for Smokey to take their form. What if those two skeletons in the water cave are the bodies of Jacob and MiB? Weren’t there black and white stones there? The next two bodies are Jack and Sawyer.

    On a side note, how did I get sucked back into speculating about things again?

  • So….wasn’t ( hot sexy) Sayid replaced by (dead zombie) Sayid? Did he die again? Or is being blown up by C-4 better than drowning?

    It IS a switch to have the plot develop so fast now, when we are used to having dribs and drabs of suggested possibilities handed out in a sort of random order that means something a year later.

    And I don’t know about the rest of you…but I just want this over!!

  • Agreed on the fast pace, I nooticed that. I remember saying they could’ve spent an hour just having Jack, MiB and co. working their way through the island to go rescue the other. So do you think had they left the bomb completely alone they would’ve been OK? Also, what do you think miB meant at the end to “…go finish what I started”? It feels like he wants to go kill the last four. Now he can’t kill any of the candidates, is that correct? If so, is it they he is not able to or is it that it’s part of the rules in the game he and Jacob have? What if he breaks the rules?

    And lastly, since it seems like there has to be something good coming from Sawyer eventually….I don’t want him to be the new MiB!!?

    @Ed- best of luck this weekend!

  • I think MiB is aiming to get Widemore to kill the rest of ’em. But yeah, he definitely intends to have any of the surviving candidates die horribly.

  • Just got to watch this last night since I went to Sox on Tuesday. I actually watched on an old fashion VCR since we are in our temporay place in Everett before we close on the new house in Melrose. Anyway, very good episode, like you said I liked the pace of the action. It was sad to see Jin and Sun die together. I too thought of their little girl left behind. I really hope Lapidus is not dead. I think that is still an open question. Although when he got to the bottom of the steps he seemed to know he was in trouble.

    I think it was strange that the sub was virtually unguarded until right before they got on. Was that intentional? What is Widemore trying to do? Does he know that MIB needs to kill the candiates to get off the Island. Putting them in those cages did not afford them the best protection. I think the sub was the only way to get off the island. I still don’t see how the plane would be able to take off. I also want to know where Richard and the gang are.

    Lot of carnage in this episode. Sean, love the comment on not caring about the submariners. I was thinking about that. All of these people that Widemore has lost on the island and he doesn’t seem to care. I know Ed likes when smokey comes out to play, but when the kid from Mr. Mom gets nailed into the bars of the cage. Watch out!

  • @Chris – He was also the kid on Kate & Alley. And why I know that, I’ll never know.

    Didn’t Lapidus get nailed by the sub door when it blew out? I figured that was the nail in his coffin.

    I don’t think Widemore cares if MiB leaves the island. In fact, if he leaves, that might make it easier for Widemore to gain control. Like I said, I don’t think Widemore is a good guy – just a different shade of bad.

  • You know what happens when the show ends? So does this weekly post meaning with Lost goes your weekly dose of the weird and wacky happenings in Ed’s Head.

    Although I’m sure I’ll find something else to write about. What time is Glee on?

  • Frank getting nailed by that door likely killed him. At the very least, it knocked him out and he likely drowned.

    I’m pretty sure Widemore doesn’t want Smokey getting off the island. He did already relate that would mean the end of everything, so I am guessing he’d like to continue to contain him on the island, but also get the upper hand in control of the island.

  • Of course, it isn’t quite clear what the end of everything would really mean. Everything is a pretty relative term outside of a specific context. Is the sideways timeline the product of the end of everything as Ed thinks? I still think that sideways timeline is the offshoot of detonating the nuke, hence the sunken island, although that still doesn’t jell up with everyone flashing back to the island in the original timeline with Juliet in the hole and the hatch never being completed. In any case, I am looking forward to finding out how the sideways timeline works into the story. It is this season’s biggest mystery so far.

  • Or maybe Frank isn’t dead…just caught this on the Ausiello Files blog:

    Question: I’m confused: Why wasn’t Lapidus from Lost included in either your “confirmed fatalities” or “possible fatalities” count on your May Sweeps Scorecard? —Justin

    Ausiello: Maybe it’s an oversight. Maybe it’s intentional. Maybe it’s Ma*be*li*e.

  • I can’t imagine they need him for anything else. If you’re gonna’ kill the other 3, might as well take Frank too.

    I think Miles’ days are numbered.

  • I am sticking to my guess that Frank is alive. I know he is not a candidate, but he was always drawn to the Island. Was supposed the pilot of 815 and then went with Widemore’s men when he realized the plane that was found was fake. I don’t think it was coincidence that he was the pilot on the second plane when they all got on board. Plus he knew they were going back to island. I think he will pop up somewhere.

  • I agree about Miles’ days being numbered… I’m also counting on a satisfying death for Richard, so he can be with his wife again. I have no theories on what Ben’s outcome will be – to me he is a wild card.
    Did anyone else find the coincidence that sideways Locke took pilot lessons standing out to them? Maybe it was just supposed to be ironic that a plane crash put him in the wheel chair, but who knows…
    I’m starting to doubt whether MiB really wants to get off the island, since he was willing to sacrifice the submarine. Maybe he doesn’t need a physical means of transportation to leave? Maybe his mind will collide with the sideways mind of Locke who knows how to fly planes and take the Ajira plane?
    Did that make any sence to anyone else? LOL

  • Emily – I think you are right. He doesn’t need a physical means to leave the island. He’s an entity who is “locked” to the island and once all candidates are out of the way, those bonds break and he is free to exert his influence on the world. This is all about the balance of good and evil which is kept in check – but if all candidates for good are removed, then evil gains the upper hand.