Lost Recap: Season 6, Episode 13: “The Candidate”

6 05 2010

Wow, was that a doozy of an episode or what?  Not a whole lot in the way of mythology (I have a feeling that will be made up for next week), but what it was lacking there, it made up for in action.  But before I get to the analysis, let me share with you the latest LOST news, just in case you didn’t read or hear about it elsewhere today.  The finale on May 23rd (that’s a Sunday folks), has been extended to 2 1/2 hours!  Apparently, Damon & Carlton had so much content they wanted to share, that they convinced the network to give them an extra 30 minutes.  You can read more about it here: http://www.tvguide.com/News/Lost-Series-Finale-1018123.aspx

For those of you keeping count, there’s now a full 5 1/2 hours of LOST airing on May 23rd: a 2-hour recap show starting at 7:00, the 2 1/2 hour finale at 9:00, and the one-hour Jimmy Kimmel LOST tribute show at midnight (following your 30-minute local newscast during which you can catch your breath).  How many of you plan on watching all of it?  My guess is that anyone who visits this blog will be sticking through all of it.

Alright, with that piece out of the way, let’s get into the episode at hand, shall we?

The Candidate

Of course, we got our requisite double-meaning for this episode, as Locke was the candidate for Jack’s surgical procedure, and Jack himself was identified as the candidate by Sayid.  Neither or those were huge surprises, and in fact, it seemed as though there wasn’t too much in the way of true revelations in this episode, at least for those that have been paying attention all along.  Regardless, let’s start at the top.

“Put the gun down or I’ll kill her!”

Widmore is prepared to kill Kate to meet his ends

OK, so I’m going to skip the first flash-sideways scene (I’ll spend some good time in the flash-sideways in this review, I promise!), because the initial scene at the cages is very interesting.  And I say so not for what specifically happens, but because I think it’s a foreshadowing of things to come.  I’ll get into the details later, but take note: Sawyer has the upper hand in the situation, but gives it up because Widmore holds Kate at gunpoint.  It costs Sawyer another stay in the cages, and shows where his feelings lie with Kate.  I’ll refer back to this towards the end of the post.

“That was three years ago; you just remember that?”

Bernard gives Jack some key info

For some reason, the conversation with Jack and Bernard in the flash-sideways is more compelling to me than usual.  In fact, the entire flash-sideways in this episode seemed more intriguing for some reason.  I guess it’s because it seems as though the characters seem to be at least aware of some greater mystery, and are unafraid to explore it.  Earlier flash-sideways seemed to be 100% expository, and not much in the way of mystery.  (Yes, I realize that changed with “Happily Ever After”, but I still didn’t completely care for that episode.)  Anyway, Bernard’s quote listed above strikes me as an odd thing to say.  I wonder if it’s in reference to something specific that happened on the show 3 years back, that will be (or has been) referenced this season.  Perhaps it’s something to keep in the back of your mind as we watch the final few episodes.

“…and we’re dead.”

Gotta love Hurley.  No matter what the situation, he’s always got a great humorous line to break the dramatic tension.  OK, maybe not every situation…as evidenced by the end of the episode…but it was nice to have some levity here before the carnage ensued.  In this scene, the writers also remind us one more time that Kate is not a candidate, and therefore expendable.  I have to believe that this is going to be extremely important, probably as early as the episode after next.  The thing that is gut-wrenching is the conversation between Jin and Sun.  Re-watching that after knowing their fate…you come to a very stark realization that their daughter is now an orphan.  I actually thought about that during the sub scene itself (which I’ll get into later), but it’s clear that the writers had them mention her here to wonder and worry about her.

Smokey busts everyone out of the cages

Two things struck me enough to write about in this scene.  First, are Widmore’s goons *ever* going to learn that gunfire does not slow Smokey down?  I don’t know if the writers are doing it for sheer comic relief at this point, but it’s certainly to the point where it’s obvious and ridiculous to the average LOST viewer.  Second, I’m not sure, but I thought I remembered that Kate and Sawyer both were able to escape their cages because the bars were placed too far apart.  Didn’t Kate climb completely through the cage she was in to get to Sawyer for their little rendezvous that Jack watched on the video monitor?  They don’t seem to have the same ability to escape here.  Perhaps I’m remembering incorrectly?

“You saved John’s life…why can’t that be enough?”

Anthony Cooper is "gone" in the flash-sideways

Interesting scene here with Anthony Cooper.  He turns out to be an invalid, and that twist took me completely by surprise.   But after the surprise wore off, I couldn’t help but think that he’s received his comeuppance for his deeds in the main timeline.  Did any of you think that way?  And then as a natural extension, I wondered…is everyone getting their just desserts in the flash-sideways?  Someone like Cooper, who was a terrible manipulator in the main timeline, is unable to even take care of himself in the flash-sideways.  Desmond, a man who unselfishly pushed a button every 108 minutes for years on end because he thought he was saving the world, get the admiration of Widmore, *and* gets to meet Penny.  Is it possible that the flash-sideways is some freakish heaven & hell combination?  Where the good people like Jack get the great father/son relationship he’s always wanted, whereas someone like Keamy who killed in cold blood gets mowed down by Sayid?  Some more food for thought for all of you, and I’ll give you even a bit more on that theory a little but further on.

“If we’re gonna leave the island, I think we have to take the submarine.”

Getting ready to board the Ajira plane

I love the way this scene starts, with FLocke taking down the poor “guards” defending the plane.  He’s just so methodical about it, especially considering that he’s not in smoke form.  Of course, they’re trying to take him out with gunfire, so they kinda deserve what they get.  What’s the most interesting about the dialog in this scene is Locke giving the LOSTies the exact plan that he has in store for them, but claims that it’s Widmore pulling the strings.  While some might surmise that Locke and Widmore are in cahoots in some way, I lean more towards the idea that Widmore is willing to do whatever he needs to blow up the plane and/or Smokey, even if it means that he takes a couple of the LOSTies out in the process.  It just so happens that Locke is a step ahead of him.  One last piece I want to touch on with this scene: Sawyer asks Jack to get Smokey into the water so as to keep him from getting on the sub.  I couldn’t help but to think that there was more to the request than just slowing him down…that perhaps water was a weakness of Smokey?  It didn’t seem to play out that way, but if we’re looking for weaknesses of Smokey (other than the pylons and the circle of ash), perhaps this is something to keep an eye on?

“…Push the button…I wish you had believed me…”

A couple of minor things to point out here.  First off, I can’t help but to feel as though the characters in the flash-sideways that are “connecting” with the main timeline are more *remembering* events as opposed to flashing across.  If you couple that with the idea that perhaps Desmond flashed through time in “Happily Ever After” instead of across dimensions, and I’m starting to subscribe to the “epilogue” theory regarding the flash-sideways.  Everything seems to be pointing to the idea that all of this activity happens after what’s happening now on-island.  Perhaps there’s some kind of deal struck with someone powerful enough to make the flash-sideways a reality?  If you allow yourself to believe that the flash-sideways is some sort of combined heaven & hell, then maybe this makes even more sense?  I’ve got one more thought on this that I’ll share in just a bit.

Claire and Jack see their reflection in the music box

Additionally, this scene seems to be trying to tell us something with the music box.  I certainly get that “feel” watching that scene, but I simply can’t place what it is they might be trying to tell us.  Finally, I’m starting to get a bit more suspicious of Christian’s body going missing.  If you consider that Christian was the first form that Smokey took when our LOSTies came to the island, I think that the significance can’t be overlooked.  Definitely keep that piece of info in your back pocket as we approach the finale.

Commandeering the sub

The team commandeers the submarine

Here’s one of those rare scenes that don’t really lend themselves to analysis.  The action on-screen was pretty exciting and chaotic, but also fairly straightforward.  One thing you might find moderately amusing is that the First Aid kit that Jack sent Hurley to look for is as plain as day available right over Lapidus’ right shoulder.  I guess it’s too bad that Hurley didn’t look there for it…

“We are going to be OK.”

You want us to do what?

It’s very rare on LOST for one of the main characters to let loose with several lines of dialogue that accurately describes exactly what someone else’s motivation is, and what is about to happen, in such a clear fashion as Jack does in this scene.  He knows exactly what Smokey is up to, he knows the consequences, and quite frankly, he knows the rules of the game here.  For perhaps the first time ever, Jack knows exactly what the audience knows, is not in the dark, and relays a course of action that we all know is correct.  Of course, Sawyer has lost all faith and trust in Jack due to Jughead, and isn’t about to leave things to chance like he did at the end of Season 5.  This time, he’s playing it his way.  Unfortunately, we all know the result.

Jin and Sun enter the afterlife together

Sayid: blown to bits.  Sun: pinned and drowned.  Jin: drowned along with Sun.  Lapidus: while we don’t see his demise on-screen, it’s highly likely that he’s gone as well.  In one major strategic move, Smokey has managed to kill off several of our beloved characters.  While the emotional impact of Jin and Sun’s deaths were the greatest (did any of you wonder why Sun didn’t appeal to Jin’s need to raise their child?), it’s also quite sad to see Sayid go, even though he supposedly already died, and went to the dark side.  In fact, with all of the action and subsequent deaths in the episode, it felt very much like a season finale episode.  It makes you wonder what might be in store for us for the end of the series, doesn’t it?

In any event, after processing the fact that 3 main characters and a prominent secondary character have died (maybe some of you are still processing?), it makes me wonder just how many of our LOSTies will actually make it to the very end.  And as I thought about that, as well as the idea that the flash-sideways comes across more and more like some combination of heaven and hell, it made me wonder…what if everyone in the flash-sideways is dead in the main timeline?  We saw Ilana in the flash-sideways almost immediately after her death on-island…we see Jin in this episode in the flash-sideways scene immediately after his death on-island.  I know that Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond, Miles, and Ben are all still alive in the main timeline, and the fates of Rose and Bernard are not known.   But maybe their time is coming?  Everyone else we’ve seen, including Boone earlier in the season, is dead in the main timeline, right?  I know that it’s a far-fetched theory, but anything seems possible this season.

“I can help you John…I wish you believed me.”

Jack's comments cause Locke to pause for just a moment

I loved the dialogue between Jack and Locke in the final flash-sideways scene, especially how Jack’s statement above was a reverse of Locke’s from the main timeline, and that it made Locke hesitate.  But what struck me most is that Locke got his pilot’s license in this timeline.  If you believe that Smokey is still going to try to get off the island using the plane (I’m not sure that I do), then perhaps he doesn’t need Lapidus.  Regardless, the two timelines seem to be more directly intertwined more and more with each episode, and I look forward to getting the explanation of how they tie together.

“To finish what I started.”

Locke's isn't done with them yet

Two very interesting things I took from the episode’s final scene.  First, Locke seems very aware of the sub sinking, as well as exactly who is dead and who is not.  You could chalk this up to him being “in tune” with the island, and what’s happening on it.  Or, if the heaven/hell theory about the flash-sideways is correct, then perhaps he’s the one in charge of it?  Perhaps he knows who’s dead because he’s aware of who’s “crossed over”?  I know that this is almost as fantastic a theory as Locke being reincarnated as the little boy (which I’m starting to doubt now), but if Jack gets stabbed or shot in the neck, and then dies, then you know that this is what they’re up to.

Second, and perhaps founded a bit more in the reality of the show that we’re familiar with, is the fact that of the 4 people that escaped the sub alive, only 3 of them are candidates.  I was wondering what FLocke might be doing heading towards our LOSTies with guns, but think of it like this: Kate is expendable.  Smokey can’t kill the other 3 directly, but he could quite possibly manipulate the situation by threatening to take out Kate.  What better way to bring the love triangle to a definitive end than by forcing Jack or Sawyer to bring bodily harm to one of the other candidates in order to avoid seeing Kate murdered by MIB?  After what we saw him pull off in this episode, I don’t think anything is beyond Smokey’s manipulative ways.

Post-episode questions:

1. Now that Smokey has played his hand, what is Jack and the other LOSTies’ countermove?  Do they have one?

2. What is Widmore’s plan?  Can he really stop Smokey?

3. With 4 significant deaths in an episode 3 weeks before the finale, should the question be “Who lives to the end?” instead of “Who dies before the end?”

4. How did Smokey know that the sub had sunk?  What are the extent of his abilitites?

5. Are you ready for this to wrap up?  There are only 3 episodes of LOST left!

That’s all I’ve got for this week.  I’m afraid of the mythological information dump we may receive next week…I may write a novel here!  But I’m looking forward to it all the same.  I hope all of you enjoyed this week’s show!

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2 responses

6 05 2010
Robert Bonamico

1. I think that everyone will die except for the Candidate (Jack). As MIB mentioned – they all come here the fight, the kill, they die.

2. The music box (looked this up) plays the song “Catch a falling star” which apparently was sung to Claire by Christian Sheperd when she was a child. Apparently Kate sung it to Aaron as well. Don’t think that there is much significance here, but they do look in the mirror in this scene which seems to have some sort of meaning in the Flash Sideways world.

6 05 2010
Shannon

I agree- there is some significance with the reflections in the mirrors and the side-flashes. Maybe the side-flashes are the “current time” somehow as the characters are being steered by the fate of the LOSTies on the island. Decisions made on the island are alternately effecting the characters, or at least that’s my weak theory…

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