Thoughts On ‘Lost’ Episode 14 “The Candidate”

Where to start on this roller coaster episode of “Lost?” First let me say, it’s not easy to write this because both my arms are currently bound up in gauze which is covering a very bad horrifying case of poison ivy. Seth is to the Woods as Superman is to Kryptonite. So, this blog entry may be a little shorter than normal. But, because I can get long-winded, maybe that’s a good thing.

It’s often better to start at the beginning, but this ending cannot wait for several paragraphs from now. This episode titled “The Candidate” played like a season finale. In the 2007 time line, Smocke has pulled off his double cross that you could see coming from the beginning. He wanted to get all of Jacob’s candidates in one place at one time, so he could kill them. Or at least try to, because as speculated it seems the “rules” state he can’t technically kill any of them himself. What did come as a surprise, he chose to take them out on the sub. Sawyer, Jack, Sun, Jin, Hurley, Sayid and Lapidus all boarded the sub, hoping to escape without Smocke. But, Smokey was too smart, putting the C4 that was in the Ajira plane in Jack’s back pack instead of his own. A similar trick used by Jack in Season 1 to avoid having Kate carry the volatile dynamite from the Black Rock.

That’s when our heroes start dropping like flies. In their escape, Kate is shot by Widmore’s people. Sawyer tries to cut the cord on the bomb, but instead it moves even faster. Sayid, suddenly acting very un-zombie like, snags the C4 and runs as far away as he can in the sub. BOOM! Our Iraqi torturer is finally gone. He’s been a tragic figure from the get-go, betraying his country, doing the same to his friend, finding Nadia, losing Nadia, having Nadia in Sideways world but losing her because he’s a murderer…etc. Could this final good deed save his soul? Unlikely. His death rings similar to Michael’s, who killed himself to save others, but he committed so many atrocities that he was doomed to remain on the island as a ghost. I wonder if Sayid turns up again after a few whispers are spoken? But, is he still alive in Sideways land.

And that brings us to a very sad and touching ‘Lost’ moment. A heartbreaking death rivaled by only Charlie’s final end on the show. Jin and Sun who just reunited after three years apart (a big chunk of that time, Sun actually thought Jin was dead, but he was playing in 1977 Dharmaville instead) died together and went down with the sub. Jin tried desperately to free Sun after the C4 went off, but to no avail. Sun pleaded with him to leave her, but he wouldn’t. A moment of true love. Although, I couldn’t keep from thinking that in some way it was a bit selfish because now their child (Ji Yeon) has no parents. I would have thought Sun may have said something to the effect of , “Go raise our baby daughter.” And it would have given Jin some justification for leaving, but I certainly can’t argue with not wanting to leave his wife either. Just crossed my mind and I’m throwing it out there.

Nevertheless, they are dead along with Lapidus I’m assuming. Didn’t see him drown or resurface, he could pop up on a beach I suppose. But are they REALLY dead? Yes and no. I mean if Losties are living in two time lines, who’s to say they have to have the same fate? It’s confusing, I know. As awful as some of their lives are in the Sideways world, at least everyone is still alive! Well, except for Mikhail and Keamy, but they’re bad guys in any universe.

That was kind of the Sportscenter highlight version of what happened in the 2007 on-island portion of the episode.

With death and destruction behind us, let’s talk Sideways.

Locke wakes up in the hospital with Doc Shephard at his bedside.

Jack says, “Welcome back.” and Locke in return states, “I know you.” Words loaded with meaning. Welcome back to Locke, who may be reincarnated more than once on this show. The first time he returned as Smokey and now with the island upload, he could be his old “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”, boar-hunting self. “I know you,” on the surface means “we met at the airport”, but I’m thinking Locke certainly knows more than he’s letting on.

Jack is also back to his old fixing ways, which makes me believe his non-sideways self is seeping through. Jack insists on trying to fix Locke’s back, saying he’s a candidate, but Locke isn’t having it. Interesting that real life Locke was obsessed with not being able to walk, but sideways Locke is using it as punishment for putting his father (Anthony Cooper) in a vegetative state.

Not wanting to give up on his quest to cure Locke and possibly find out why they may have a greater connection, Jack tries to get dental records on Locke to figure out what kind of crash he was in that left him paralyzed. And our dentist is none-other than the SOS sign-making Bernard. Strangely, Bernard seems to have some knowledge of his island history as well, mentioning Oceanic 815 and saying “It’s pretty weird huh? Maybe you’re on to something.” Our losties are colliding in a major way. Bernard gives him the name of the other man in the crash, Anthony Cooper. In the alternate time line, Cooper is scum. He is a con man that screwed over his son, Locke, on a number of occasions. Taking his kidney and his ability to walk by throwing him out a window. He was also behind the con of Sawyer’s parents, which led to their murder-suicide and created Sawyer’s con man alter-ego. So, one might argue that in the sideways time line, even though he was apparently a good father, Anthony Cooper got exactly what he deserved.

Jack goes to visit Anthony Cooper, but soon finds out he’s not going to get any information from him. As he realizes through Helen, Cooper can’t is as good as dead following what happened in the crash. During their conversation, Helen asks Jack, “You saved his life, why isn’t that enough?” to which Jack responds, “Because it’s not.” I wonder if Jack’s upload not only gave him his “fixer” neediness back, but he’s also trying to make up for what he feels is his responsibility…namely getting him killed by Ben.

Jack goes back to see Locke and in his sleep he mumbles “push the button” and “i wished you had believed me.” This is obviously to establish that Locke is receiving an island upload and the latter comes back near the end of the episode. More on that in a second.

First, Claire appears at the hospital to show Jack that their father left her a music box in his will. She opens the music box and both look into the mirror. Another sideways through the looking glass shot and of course “Catch a falling star” is playing. That’s the song that Christian sang to her as a child and she requests the adoptive parents sing to her baby before she decides not to give it up back in Season 1. And it pops up a number of times throughout different seasons. Just another running theme in an often brilliant show.

It also reminded me of Rousseau’s music box, but her’s had a ballerina in it. Claire and Jack make nice and Jack offers her a spot on his couch…because after all, they are family. I wonder how this is going to play out. Will Claire go into labor and Jack have to deliver the baby? Something that will give him his island upload? She has to be staying with him for a reason in the plot line. Although, not everything they put in the scripts has a motive, I still can’t quite figure out why Sun ever lost the ability to speak English this season. What was the point?

In the finale sideways scene, Locke is being wheeled out and notices Jin coming into the hospital with flowers. Another nod to his knowledge of the island. Then, Jack tries once again to convince Locke to do the surgery and be able to walk again. Locke reveals the story of how he became paralyzed and left his father in a vegetative state. It was a plane crash. He had his pilot’s license, but had barely taken off when they crashed. Ironic that in this world, a plane crash paralyzed him and in the other a plane crash let him walk again.

As Locke is rolling away, Jack tells Locke, “I wished you’d believed me.” A nod to what Locke said in his suicide note to Jack back in Season 5. That note refers to Locke’s insistence that Jack believe him about the Oceanic 6 needing to go back to the island. Advice that Jack eventually heeds, but to what end?

It seems that the past few seasons or perhaps the entire series has been a long con by the Man In Black. He’s the one who posed as Christian Shephard and told Locke how to move the island. And this season, he has manipulated all of the Losties into doing what he wants. However, it should be noted that it was actually Widmore that urged Locke to get the Oceanic six back to the island. Could it be that Widmore and Smocke aren’t enemies, but allies working against Jacob. I mean, Ben was on Team Jacob and Widmore promised to get it back. Or Widmore just has his own motives and doesn’t care about Jacob or the MIB.

So, I know I skipped over a big part of the on-island plot and just talked about the end, a few quick hits to cover that and some lingering questions.

1. Before his death Sayid tells Jack where to find Desmond and that Locke wants him dead, so that probably means you’re going to need him. My guess is that’s the next spot our leftover Losties are headed. But, I wonder how Desmond will be able to help them. Will he be able to facilitate the final upload, so sideways and on-island worlds can communicate?

2. Jack and Hurley are not exactly traveling with two healthy people. Sawyer has a bad head injury and Kate just got shot. Kate’s injury will probably play a critical role in the episodes to come. Or will it? Sometimes these things are played up and at other times they heal pretty quick.

3. Smocke is going to go “finish what he started”, but can he kill anyone and not break the rules? I’m guessing he’s going to try and recruit Claire to kill them. Motivation. They were going to leave her…again.

4. Jack got an Apollo bar from the same vending machine that Jacob gave him an Apollo bar out of when he touched him years ago, marking him as a candidate.

5. Best line of the night goes to Hurley, just as Smoke Monster is about to fly in and kill Widmore’s henchmen, “And we’re dead.”

6. Why does Smocke go to the trouble of saving Jack from Widmore’s bombs in the last episode when he just tries to kill him later. I assume to help him convince the other Losties to trust him…but still…seems odd.

7. Smokey not being able to do anything in the water. Could this play a serious role in his demise later on?

8. And finally…the ultimate question. Where will this all end up? After this week’s bloodbath only three candidates are left and Kate. But remember Richard, Ben and Miles are still lurking around. Chances are they are going to show up at just the right time to save our Losties from Smocke.

But what about Jacob? Couldn’t his ghost come back and advise Hurley? Or is Jack officially the new island caretaker? What about Jin, Sun, Sayid and Lapidus? Will they come back in sideways form?

I’m sure there’s plenty I’m missing. What a sad, yet great episode. And I guess this turned out longer than I thought, even in excruciating pain, I’m still a blow-hard!

Until next time “Lost” fans…

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Lost and have Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Thoughts On ‘Lost’ Episode 14 “The Candidate””

  1. janice says:

    so I was totally bamboozled by Smocke, I guess I never wanted to believe he was the evil one, since Jacob always came across as so self-serving…but i guess you don’t turn into black smoke…if you’re a good guy..:) as for our—dearly departed losties—-I liked that Sayid ended his life on the Island as a good guy and I thought the same thing about —Sun and Jin’s poor orphan….haha…I thought for sure–he would swim to the surface! …There is still so many questions to answer….Cannot wait for next week!!!

  2. Sera says:

    I was very saddened to see Sun and Jin die. I thought that was very unnecessary since they just were reunited, but perhaps it was to let the viewers know that neither of them are Jacob’s replacements.
    I also thought that perhaps the sub would end up at the bottom of the ocean where the “Lost” island was that was shown at the beginning of the season.
    It is so hard to believe that so many questions will be answered in only two episodes. I also wonder if they will bring back Walt??

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