Season 6 / Episode 14
written by Elizabeth Sarnoff and Jim Galasso
directed by Jack Bender
Damn. One of the best things about LOST is that it can be all things to all people. It’s got action, suspense, romance, horror… pretty much every genre under the moon and stars. And it’s racing toward the end. Last night’s brilliant episode, The Candidate, was what… 10 minutes long? It sure felt like it. Jack Bender was relentless in moving the story along, never letting you catch your breath… that is until the end, when pain and loss was visited to the story in such a masterful way that even now, nearly twelve hours later, I can still feel it like a kick to the stomach by some steel toed Doc Marten’s.
“No. I won’t leave you.”
~ Jin to Sun
We’ve lost characters before. Actually, the body count has been pretty high on this show, but last night brought it all home as we said goodbye to four near and dear to us. First to go was Sayid, sacrificing himself to try and save his fellow castaways, and, perhaps to save himself by seeking redemption through one final selfless act. Before he left us, our favorite Iraqi torturer imparted to Jack that Desmond was very much alive and trapped in a hole somewhere on the island… and that FLocke wanted him very dead. Like Ilana before him, we saw Sayid evaporate in a cloud of bombastic finality. But unlike the Russian beauty, Sayid Jarrah died a noble and heroic death. A fitting end to a terrific character.
Next on the chopping block was Frank Lapidus, whose dry wit and cool demeanor were always welcome. I would have preferred to see Frank go out guns blazing, but it was not meant to be.
And that brings us to Jin and Sun. You saw it coming. These two star-crossed lovers, separated for so long, were given mere hours together before death came calling. With his beloved trapped on the sinking sub, Jin could not… would not… leave Sun’s side. Jack Bender’s beautifully framed shot of their hands together underwater, slowly drifting apart was poignant and heartbreaking.
But what about Ji Yeon? My wife turned to me and made me promise that if we were ever in a similar situation that I would choose to live for the sake of our son, and I have to agree. While their tragic end was beautiful and moving, it also smacks of a selfishness reminiscent of Sun leaving their child in the first place to return to the Island to search for her time traveling husband.
My wife and I love each other very much, but our child trumps our devotion to one another. We would both die for him, and ultimately we would live for him as well.
Burning for You
“I’m going to finish what I started.”
~ FLocke to Claire
So I guess that puts an end to the debate as to whether or not the Smoke Monster is evil. Not that there was ever any real reason to debate the issue. It was a hard sell, Smokey’s benevolence. Oh, the writers gave it their best shot. He said all the right things. He was full of smooth talking justifications, but his actions spoke far louder than his words.
That doesn’t let Jacob off the hook. I’m not sure I’d paint either of them with a single brush, but let’s be clear. The Man in Black is a bad “man” capable of bad things. He can transform into a column of ass kicking black smoke for gods’ sake. He’s a master of lies and manipulation. And he wants the candidates dead so that he can be free.
Season Six has been one long con perpetuated by the Monster.
So long as a single candidate lives and breathes Smokey is trapped on the Island. Unfortunately for him, there are rules and those rules state that he can’t kill them. But he sure as hell can get others to do it for him.
Now, only three remain: Jack, Sawyer, and Hurley. Or, is someone else pulling a long con of their own?
Veteran of the Psychic Wars
“You saved John’s life. Why can’t that be enough?”
~ Helen to Jack
Over in the elseworld Jack is putting the pieces together. The “coincidences” are piling up as he’s been led from one passenger on Flight 815 to another. He and John Locke are linked by their fear of letting go. John can’t allow himself to be healed because of the weight of his guilt over the plane crash that left him a cripple and his father a vegetable. Jack’s tethered by his incessant need to fix things. Together, these two men will have to come together to form a whole and complete persona… this man of faith and man of science, hearkening back to their Island conflict.
Jack said to John that he believed he was a “candidate”. Weighted words. Is this Jacob’s long con? Can John Locke somehow still be the Island candidate, ready to assume the role that Jacob meant for him? No, I don’t think so. There was a time when I did, but I now think that John is a weapon to use against the Man in Black. Elseworld John’s healing will allow him to connect with FLocke at a crucial moment in the very near future, at a time when Jack and Smokey are battling for Island Supremacy. The internal conflict between Locke and FLocke will give Jack the moment he needs to end Smokey’s bid for exodus.
As you can see, I’m already thinking of Jack as the Candidate, Jacob’s successor, but Jacob might have another ace or two in the hole. For one, there’s Kate. Crossed out on the cave wall but not at the Lighthouse, was Smokey tricked into believing she was unimportant to pull the wool over the Locke Ness Monster’s eyes? And what about Ben? Could he have been poked and prodded down redemption’s road so that he would be a worthy candidate in the end?
No, I think they’re both red herrings, left for us to ponder before Jack’s ascension. And with only three episodes left, we’ve not long to wait to get our final answer… Oddly enough, last night I had a dream. In it, I was with Jack and we were walking through the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. It was the Tutankhamen Exhibit. Kate was there, hovering in the shadows of an obelisk covered in hieroglyphics, watching as Jack and I approached a group of young children. My son was there and Jack stepped toward him. Sheppard turned to me and smiled as he raised his hand to pat Connor on the head, but he stopped and instead reached out to a young Korean girl, slowly caressing her cheek. Ji Yeon?
The cycle continues…
Next Week on LOST:
We’ve so much to look forward to in the coming weeks. First, let’s take a brief look into next week’s episode, “Across the Sea”. Here are the trailer and a sneak peek into what appears to be a teleplay sans our favorite castaways, instead focusing on Jacob and the Man in Black. At long last… their backstory. This is going to be truly epic —
In other news, there is some exciting news concerning the LOST Finale Event on May 23rd. The Final episode has been extended thirty minutes. So, here’s what we’re looking at:
LOST: The Final Journey
7 – 9
LOST: Episode 17
9 – 11:30
Jimmy Kimmel Live
“Aloha to LOST”
11:30 – 12:30
A fitting way to end an epic series…