May 5, 2010

The Candidate

"The Candidate" was all about shock and awe. There were shocking moments and emotional/awe moments throughout the hour. From Locke's father's condition and how both he and Locke ended up the way they are to Kate getting shot and the deaths of three major characters (major as in they've been on the show since "Pilot, part 1"), the episode tugged at the heartstrings of fans and threw curve balls at us just to set up the 100 mph heater that will be the series finale. And news came out yesterday that ABC is adding 30 minutes onto the finale, so fans, we are getting more Lost, but its sill ending in a few short weeks.

Flash Sideways Story
The sideways story mainly focused on Jack and Locke this week, with Jack trying to convince Locke that he should let him perform surgery on him. Jack is convinced that he can fix Locke, since he's a candidate for this new procedure. (Ha ha, the title fooled us.) Locke isn't interested, so Jack sets out to find out why.

It turns out that Locke doesn't want to be fixed because of the guilt he feels for being responsible for putting himself and his father in their current states. Jack's investigating takes him to the office of Bernard Nadler, DDS, who seems to know more than he's leading on. He seemed to be playing a role similar to Desmond and is nudging Jack in the right direction. Bernard provided the name Anthony Cooper, and Jack tracked him down in a nursing home.

Helen ended up meeting Jack at the front desk and showed him to Anthony Cooper, who was in a wheel chair and in a vegetative state, just staring in the distance, unable to speak. I wonder how Sawyer will react to seeing Cooper this way (if this is indeed the same Anthony Cooper that he's looking for).

As Locke is leaving the hospital (I found it curious that Helen wasn't there with him), Jack stops him for one last conversation, one filled with Lost catchphrases and seeped with Lost mystery. Locke explains that he had just gotten his pilot license, and he brought his reluctant father along. Locke doesn't know what went wrong, but the plane crashed. Jack breaks out the Lost catch phrase handbook and tells John that what happened happened and that he should let it go.

In a vulnerable moment, he tells John that he doesn't know how to let it go, and he was hoping John would go first to show him. Locke takes it all in, but still says goodbye and leaves. Jack throws one last thing at Locke saying "I wish you believed me," which is what island John told Jack a few times and was what he wrote to Jack in his suicide note. I loved this scene and conversation. It could have come across as cheesy with all the well-known Lost phrases used, but these two actors nailed it. The Jack/Locke dynamic has been one of the best over the past six years, and I'm glad we're still getting to see it play out.

Also in the sideways story, Jack and Claire bond as Jack accepts her as his family. Claire shows Jack a music box that Christian left her, but neither are sure why he left it for her. Is it because of the song it plays perhaps? The two did share a glance in the mirror, as many characters have in the sideways world.

Throughout the sideways story, Jack is getting a sense that Flight 815 holds more significance in his and others lives. Everyone he encounters seems to have been on that flight. He's starting to question it more and more, but I wonder what will finally give him the AHA moment when he starts getting his island memories.

Back in the Cages
I thought it was funny that Sawyer's group got thrown in the cages once again, but this time Widmore said its for their own good. What is Widmore's true motivation? How is capturing them, holding them at gunpoint and locking them in cages for their own good? Lucky for them, Jack went along with Team Locke to save them (felt a little strange though that Jack said they weren't his people. I don't believe for a second that Jack truly feels that way about his friends. Just look at how he reacts later in the episode). Jack agreed to help, but still doesn't plan on leaving the island.

Where and how did Widmore get a list of candidates? He said he has a list of four names (Ford, the Kwons and Reyes), and Austin isn't on it. If it is the list of candidates, wouldn't it be three names since Kwon should only be listed once? Sawyer later confirms to Kate that her name was on the cave but was crossed out. I wonder if Widmore's protecting candidates or if he even has a clue what being a candidate means.

Time for Plan B
After Team Locke springs the group from the cages, they make their way to the Ajira plane, but not before Man in Black visits it first. He notices that the plane has been wired with explosives (the exact plan that Richard had a few episodes ago), but instead of disarming it, he swipes some of the C4. Hmm, what's he going to do with that C4? I did notice just before he got on the plane that he grabbed a watch off one of Widmore's men that he had killed. Funny, I didn't think centuries old smoke monsters cared what time it is.

When the group arrives at the plane, Man in Black tells them the change of plans. He tells the group that Widmore wanted to get them all together in a confined space (remember this idea for later) so he could kill them. The new plan is to take the sub (sound familiar, Sawyer?).

Sawyer goes along with the plan and plays like he's thankful for Man in Black's help all along, but in secret he tells Jack that he doesn't trust Locke and tells him to push Locke in the water. Jack agrees to help, but again states that he's not leaving with them.

The Submarine
They make their way to the sub, and Sawyer's plan takes shape ... or should I say, Man in Black's plan takes shape. Sawyer and a few others make their way to the sub, while Jack and Man in Black watch their backs. Once they get aboard, they finally encounter some of Widmore's men, actually just one crew member and the captain. So Widmore wires the plane with C4 but he leaves the sub virtually unguarded? This brings up the question of whether it was actually Widmore who even wired the plane?

The rest of the group make their way to the sub, and Man in Black subtly switches backpacks with Jack. Man in Black keeps trying to get Jack to want to leave, but Jack still refuses and pushes Man in Black into the water. Just then Widmore's group opens fire and all heck breaks loose. Kate is shot; Jack grabs her and brings her to the sub; Sayid joins them; Man in Black climbs out of the water and angrily fires upon Widmore's men; Sawyer closes the hatch and radio's to Lapidus to have the captain dive the sub; and Claire realizes she's been abandoned again. Whew, lot's of action there.

Turns out everything went according to Man in Black's plan, and he tells Claire that she doesn't want to be on that sub. Why is that? Well, when looking for something to tend to Kate's gunshot wound, they discover a bomb in Jack's backpack. So that's what he needed the watch for.

There isn't enough time to surface, so they debate if they should try to diffuse the bomb. Jack, being the Man of Faith now, realizes that when Man in Black said that he could kill them all at any time, he was bluffing. Jack deduces that he can't personally kill them, so if they leave the bomb alone, they will be fine. Jack realizes that as Man in Black had said earlier of Widmore, he wanted them all in a nice confined space to kill them. He also starts putting all the puzzle pieces together and figures Man in Black actually can't leave unless they are all dead.

But we're left to wonder if Jack is right about the bomb because Sawyer is a man of action, and he pulls out the wires. After stopping for a brief moment, the timer starts counting down more rapidly. Basically, they are screwed.

It's Getting Dusty in Here
In his last moment of redemption, Zombie Sayid shows that like Darth Vader, there is still good in him. With the timer counting down, he quickly tells Jack where Desmond is and since Locke wants him dead, he's going to need him. Jack wonders why he's telling him this now, and Sayd grabs the bomb and says, "It's going to be you, Jack." This further points to Jack being the ultimate candidate to replace Jacob, as many have been speculating for the past few weeks.

Sayid then completes his redemption by running away from the group with the bomb and doing his best to protect them from the blast. Unfortunately, they are in that confined space, and the blast does some damage to the sub. Sayid becomes the second character blown up this season, but it was a bittersweet end for him. Yes, he's been around since season 1, but he "died" already earlier this year only to be brought back as Zombie Sayid. Still, seeing him go was still sad, but his departure only set up a bigger moment later.

Water starts pouring into the sub, and they have to get out. Kate is unconscious when Jack finds her underwater. He gets Hurley to take her out the sub. Sun is pinned behind a cabinet, so Jack, Sawyer and Jin try to free her. Once they pull the cabinet, it's revealed that she's still trapped. Sawyer gets hit on the head and is knocked out. Jin makes Jack leave to save Sawyer instead of staying to help him free Sun. As Jack and Sawyer make their way out of the sub, you know what's coming.

Sun and Jin had finally reunited in the last episode and now they are hopelessly trapped. Jin tries his best to free her, but there's nothing he can do. They both know its the end. Sun pleads with Jin to go and save himself, but after being apart from her for so long, he's not leaving her again. The two die together as the sub sinks to the bottom. Wow, can you believe they just killed off not only Sayid, but also Sun and Jin?

While the scene was an emotional one and a tough ending for those who've grown to love the couple over the years, my first thoughts went to Ji Yeon. She'll never know what really happened to her parents. I assume she's with Sun's parents, and I wonder if they didn't already assume Sun was dead since the Ajira flight crash landed on the island and would have appeared as missing to the rest of the world. What happens to her now? Will the show even reveal that part of the story with so few episodes left?

What Now?
Jack and Sawyer make it to the beach and are greeted by Kate and Hurley. Sawyer is still knocked out but breathing. They ask about Sun and Jin, and they all realize that they didn't make it. The emotions are turned up again as each of them starts to cry. Even Jack can't contain it as he stands up and lets the emotion take him over. This is a very different Jack Sheppard than we've ever seen before. He shows his emotions and let's the weight of everything that's just taken place engulf him. Its not just losing Sun, Jin and Sayid that gets him, it's his new found faith in the island and realizing what they're up against in the form of Locke.

Speaking of Locke, he tells Claire that the sub has sank, but he can feel that not all of them are dead. The episode ends with him saying he's going to finish what he started. I wonder if all the candidates die will Man in Black be transported off the island the instant the last one dies? The way he can feel them still containing him to the island, I guess once that link is broken, he won't need a plane, a boat or a sub. He'll just leave.

So where do we go now? Jack and his group (his people that he denied earlier) will likely go to find Desmond. How will Desmond play into the endgame? Does he even know what his purpose is? Will Jack know how to use him? I'm also guessing Man in Black may go to verify that Sayid actually did kill Desmond, so they may all meet up at the well. As far as Widmore, most of his people have been killed, so I don't know what his next move will be. Is he still planning on locating the pockets of electromagnetic energy, as Zoe told Jin a few episode ago? I can't really figure out what his true motivations really are.

Other Tidbits:
I guess throwing Man in Black in the water didn't do anything. Did Sawyer assumed since he couldn't travel over water that being thrown in would somehow harm him? Or was this move simply to buy themselves time to make a get away?

It was funny when Seamus told Sawyer he was the one with the gun, and Sawyer just took it from him.

Jack told Sawyer to trust him, but he replied, "Sorry Doc, I don't." Since Jack's saved Sawyer, I wonder if he'll trust him now.

What happened to Lapidus was left vague. Last we saw, he was overcome by water entering the sub. I don't think he's dead because he's now a main character, and they wouldn't leave his death so unclear.

While Locke was asleep he said "push the button" and "I wish you had believed me." I guess he's also gaining some island memories.

Where are Richard, Ben and Miles? In "Everybody Loves Hugo," they left to get grenades from the DHARMA barracks. It sure has taken them a long time to make that trip.

We only have 3 more episodes of Lost left (including the 2 1/2 hour finale). I'm still holding out hope that we'll see the reverse outrigger scene from "The Little Prince" that I and a few other Lost bloggers have mentioned numerous times this season. Right now, the best guess is that it will be Widmore and a couple of his people in the outrigger that fires upon Sawyer, Locke and company. Why would anyone else randomly fire upon a group in the other outrigger? Remember it looked like Juliette hit one of them when she return fire, so someone is going to get shot.

Other Recaps and Analysis of "The Candidate":
Next on Lost: "Across the Sea"

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