LOST Season Six: The Candidate

Wow. What an episode. I’m still a little choked up over the ending. I have to say that I didn’t see that coming. Wow.

All right. This will likely be a much shorter review than usual and there are a couple of reasons for that. First, I’m out of town this week and I have a very limited window here to try and get this typed and published. Second, because I’m away from home, I haven’t had the chance to absorb this ep on the same level I normally do; typically I watch the episode once — “just for me” — and then I’ll rewatch it as I type my review. Since I’m away from home (and the luxuries of my DVR), I’m going basically from memory here based on one viewing. So here goes.

The Sideways was awesome; full of Twilight-Zone-esque parallels and great dialogue between Locke and Jack. I was taken with Locke’s guilt over his father’s injured condition. In the Sideways reality, John Locke feels that he deserves to be in a wheelchair, a radical distinction from the Locke we’ve come to see in the Island reality. It was always Locke’s refusal to believe he was simply a wheelchair bound victim that drove his Island iteration. But now we see why Sideways Locke refuses to believe; his hopefulness has been replaced with guilt. Jack’s line: “I think you’re a candidate” gripped me, too. Did you catch Locke’s words as he was coming out of his sleep? “Push the button. I wish you would’ve believed me.” Clearly, he’s having some sort of dream-like awareness of his Island existence. But did Desmond fail here to bring Jack and Locke to their moment of revelation? I doubt it, but with these two, it seems to be more of a slow boil. Always with these two, right? This is honestly the first time this season that I can’t wait to see what comes next in the Sideways world. I’m really, really anxious to see how these two worlds / timelines are going to merge, if at all.

According to an EW interview with Cuse and Lindelof, the deaths of Sayid, Sun, & Jin were meant to leave no doubt in our minds as to the villainous nature of John Locke / MIB. Clearly, he’s been pulling a long con on the castaways, with the intent of killing them all. We’re still left to wonder what killing the castaways really proves or accomplishes. I suppose if he can somehow kill the candidate for Jacob, then he wins in their Island-diety cosmic struggle. But how are our castaways supposed to kill / harm Smokey? The only thing I can think of is the bag of Jacob ash that Hurley should still have with him (if it isn’t on the bottom of the ocean now along with Sun and Jin). Maybe the best they can hope to do is contain Smokey rather than kill him.

I have to say I expected some kind of heroic demise for Sayid. His arc this season has been fairly tragic; after being “infected”, it was believed that Sayid had completely “crossed over” to the dark side. And he did, or at least it seems, or at least it seems he did so for a while. But Hurley’s comment from a few weeks back — something like “you can always come back from the dark side; you know, like Anakin” — was probably meant to foreshadow his heroic sacrifice. Sayid has always been one of my favorite characters; the torturer whose self-inflicted wounds are far more torturous than anything his foes could heap upon him. While he’s been wrestling with not being able to “feel anything” here as the series winds down, he acted in a primal, selfless moment last night to save the lives of his fellow castaways. For that, he goes down as a hero and hopefully, he’s earned the redemption he’s longed for over the course of the series.

But I wasn’t prepared for the kick to the gut that followed his death. Sun and Jin — long separated lovers — becoming the series’ “Romeo and Juliet” (as the actor who plays Jin referred to them). It was only one episode ago that these two were tearfully reunited on the beach of Hydra Island. But their death — Jin’s refusal to leave Sun — was beautiful in my opinion. I know others were more angry about it, which I understand. It does bother me that Ji Yeon is now an orphan; and for all practical purposes, so is Aaron, at least in the Island timeline. But it would’ve been a greater travesty for Sun or Jin to survive without the other. After being separated for so long (and across the expanse of time), it was altogether appropriate for them to go down with the ship. But yeah, I was really hoping for a happy ending for them.

Question: Where in the world are Ben, Richard, and Miles? I can’t remember if they had access to any C4; I don’t think they did. So I’m guessing the detonation device Locke found on the plane was actually put there by Widmore. But maybe not. Remember, Widmore is the one who sent a freighter full of C4 to the Island the first time, so we’re probably meant to associate last night’s C4 with Widmore. But Ben and the boys have been conspicuously absent throughout all of this end-game drama. I expect them to make some sort of eleventh hour rescue appearance or something, perhaps even next week. Either way, I want some more Benjamin Linus. After offing three of our favorite cast members, don’t we at least deserve that?

What are your thoughts? What did you think of the episode? I’ll be checking back in often and we can discuss in the comments. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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9 Responses to LOST Season Six: The Candidate

  1. Mark Rudolph says:

    Don’t forget that we possibly lost the always entertaining Frank Lapidus, too. As soon as they decided that they couldn’t fly out of there, Frank’s minutes were numbered. He was a pretty minor character, but funny most of the time…

    Sayid’s reply to Jack when he asked him why he was telling him about the whereabouts of Desmond – “Because it’s going to be you, Jack.” That was fairly definitive about who would replace Jacob. I suppose it could still be Hugo (which would be fun too), but doubtful.

    • Jason says:

      I forgot to mention Lapidus, but you’re right; it seems as if his only function — other than the occasional funny quip — was to keep the narrative hope alive that the Ajira plane could somehow make it off the Island. And I also agree with you about Sayid’s line — “Because it’s going to be you, Jack.” — its probably pretty revelatory re: the endgame.

  2. Brandon Dixon says:

    Well the ‘Titanic’ like death of Jin and Sun was not expected. I agree with Mark on the sad end to our friend Lapidus but we could see his death coming. More and more I see this ending with Jack and MIB(FLocke) sitting on a log and having a conversation much like Jacob and MIB.

    I see a Richard, Ben, and Miles last minute quarantine of MIB. In fact in some fashion I think that Richard’s inability to die will neutralize MIBs similar gift. Or I wonder if somehow the alter reality becomes the true reality and no one dies, which includes Jin and Sun, etc. If they went for the “happy” ending. I look forward to the telling of both sides, Jacob and MIB, next week and maybe….just maybe we can get a name for MIB…Please!!

  3. Jenny says:

    Ok, I totally cried when Sun and Jin died… and then when Hurley started sobbing… I am so sad about Lapidus as well, but he was such a minor comic character… but very likeable. So, my thing is this… if a candidate can’t die, how come Sun and Jin died? Is Ji Yeon (sorry about the spelling) the candidate? Or is it that they can only be killed by the MIB? I was sad to see Sayid die but glad he had his redeeming moment. And yes, I am ready to see more Ben, Richard and Miles as well. And let’s get Desmond out of the hole already! I am so nervous for our Lostie friends!! If Sayid, Sun and Jin can die.. no one is safe!! Can’t wait till next week but I am so sad our show is coming to an end!

    • Jason says:

      I almost lost it when Hurley started crying. What a moment of raw emotion, from the series’ most heart-on-sleeve character.

      I’m guessing a candidate CAN die (thus the deaths of Jarrah and both Kwons, as well as others whose names have been “marked out” — although marking out doesn’t necessarily mean death…I think); but I think “the rules” stipulate that MIB can’t be the one to do the killing. But he can manipulate circumstances and get others to kill. Sort of like what he did with Ben last season, setting him up to murder Jacob. I’m hoping next week we’ll find out a little more about these “rules”.

  4. Dylan says:

    Just an unbelievable episode. I’m continually amazed at the drama this show can bring. Lost really does drowning deaths well (Charlie and the Kwons). And I agree with you about Jin choosing Sun over Ji Yeon. He had 20 seconds to make a decision, and he went with his gut. You can’t blame him for that. I’m also glad that Sayid managed to redeem himself with his sacrifice. But did you notice even before the sub that this episode he seemed to get out of zombie mode and became more self aware. It’s almost like his decision to spare Desmond snapped him out of it. It was brilliantly played by Naveen Andrews. I have a feeling that more deaths are on the way. If only one of the candidates replaces Jacob, does that mean the rest have to die? Couldn’t some of them just leave?

    • Jason says:

      I think Desmond must’ve said something to him in that little convo at the well that brought Sayid out of “zombie mode”; maybe he had some sort of cognizance of his Sideways life or something. I don’t know. Either way I was glad Sayid found the redemption he was looking for. I just hope his sacrifice was enough to spare him a Michael-esque eternity of lost-souldom on the Island as a “whisper” person.

      I’m not sure if the rest of the candidates have to die in order for one to replace Jacob. If I’m not mistaken, not all the names that have been crossed off are dead. I think I saw a screen grab of the cave scene that had Austin and Linus names scratched out; IF that’s true, then obviously they are no longer candidates, but they’re also not dead.

      However, I’m still with you; I have a feeling there’ll be at least one more significant death in the endgame. My guess would be either Jack or Sawyer. Jack’s willingness to “die” would actually prove Jacob’s thesis that humanity is basically good — if Jack were to offer himself up in some sort of sacrificial way that would save his friends and make up for all the lives he’s lost over the course of his Island experience. I suppose Sawyer could prove the same thing, although it seems that Jack would be the more logical choice. I don’t think the producers can kill of Hurley; he’s always been a proxy for the audience and I just don’t think they could do that. It’d be like killing Vincent or something.

  5. Dylan says:

    Darlton cleared up in the podcast this week that sometimes dead people are MIB taking form, but sometimes it’s actual dead people (especially in the case of those speaking with Hurley and Miles), and the whispers do NOT work for MIB. I’m very interested in which times Christian has been MIB and which times he was just Christian (or maybe Flocke was lying and he’s never been Christian).

    For example, when Christian tells Locke by the frozen donkey wheel to bring everyone back, why would MIB want the candidates to be back on the island? Why bring more obstacles to keeping him on the island? That’s why I think he was so upset when Jacob said “they’re coming,” because he knew Jacob was talking about the candidates. I think that time Christian was speaking on his own or on Jacob’s behalf. Also, when Jack sees Christian at the hospital (leading to his bearded times and wanting to go back to the island), that couldn’t have been MIB, because MIB is trapped on the island. Again, I think that was either Christian himself or Jacob.

    Now, I’m not sure about when Christian was in Jacob’s cabin and told Locke to move the island, or when he told Michael he “could go now” before the freighter blew up. What do you think?

  6. Jason says:

    I’ve thought the same thing. It seems that Christian’s appearance to Michael couldn’t have been Smokey; how could he show up on the freighter since he (supposedly) can’t cross water? But even if that was really Christian in that encounter with Michael, wasn’t he outright lying? Michael actually COULDN’T go at that point; after death, he was consigned to an eternity of being a whisper trapped on the Island. So….I don’t know what to make of that.

    It would be REALLY confusing (and narratively specious, in my opinion) to have times when Christian is MIB and other times when Christian is just “ghost Christian” or whatever. That would be disappointing to me, because as a viewer, how were we ever supposed to get that? I don’t know, it just seems like that’s a convenient way to explain away some plot holes or whatever.

    Anyway, you ask a great question and I hope we get some more clarification on this issue.

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