Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Lost Episode Review 6.14: "The Candidate"


"Because it's going to be you, Jack..."




(Thanks to Dark UFO for all the screencaps).

Welcome to the action-packed review of The End, Part II of VI... at least, that's what it felt like. My predictions were not too bad this week, depending on whether you think Claire's really gone back over to the dark side or not. I had accepted the fact that all the Losties weren't going to make it through the finale, but I really didn't see us losing Sayid (who did indeed manage to redeem himself), Frank, Jin and Sun this episode. Em had tears streaming down her face as they sank, though I managed to fend the waterworks off. That was really the reunion scene we were waiting for - so much better than the previous episode. The scene where Sun gave Jin back his ring was really sweet as well.

Really I didn't see this episode coming at all. I was expecting a lot more conversation - especially between Jack and Smokey, plus some catching up plot-wise with Widmore, Desmond and Richard and company (and the latter two we didn't see at all). Instead we got an hour of action which ended up halving the number of viable candidates and took out the only pilot on the Island (poor Frank).

And so then there were three... Jack, Hurley and Sawyer. And Sayid claims that Jack's "the one." Is he right? I think so, and it looks like the next step is to collect Desmond before Smokey finds him.

As a side note, this may be the last week I'm really able to do five questions, considering there are only four and a half hours of the show left (yes, you read that right - the finale's been extended by another half hour) and it feels like we're already in the endgame, so my reviews will probably be a bit more general over the next two weeks and I'll have an overall show wrap-up after the finale.

1) Will the Alt be LOST's happy ending?

My official answer to this is "no," because my gut feeling is that Lost is not going to have a touchy-feeley happy ending. But didn't you get a vibe this week that the Alt is going to replace the regular universe? After all, everything seems to be going pretty swimmingly for Alt Jack; he's a good doctor with a much improved bedside manner, he's a good father who's not a drunk (which is always a plus), he's been united with his half-sister who's about to give birth to his nephew and he's above all happy with his life.

And, yeah, not all the other Losties are happy in the Alt, but at least they're alive. And since the body count in the regular universe looks to be extraordinarily high, seems the only way to get a happy ending for all our Losties is to have the Alt replace the regular universe entirely now. And if that happens, it seems to me that it's all going to be up to Jack.

A lot has been made about how everyone, manipulated by Desmond, is converging on the hospital. But I don't necessarily think it's to bring them all together - I think Desmond's sending them all to Jack. Maybe one Alt Jack achieves some Desmond-like awareness, he's going to have to choose which timeline stays and which timeline dies. Seems kinda like a no brainer at first: Everyone alive with happy Jack or Everyone dead with sad Jack.

But what if the choice is more complicated than that? We still don't know if Smokey even exists in the Alt and if he does, what effect he's had on that universe. That could be a deciding factor, but I'm guessing it's going to be something sappier than that - namely that if he chooses the Alt universe, Jack will be choosing a universe where he never knows Kate. And I can't help shake the feeling that whatever Jack chooses, Kate is going to play a large role in the decision.

2) Where the heck did Widmore get a list from? Did Jacob give him one as well?

The fact that Widmore had a list surprised me; Jacob's the list maker around these parts. Did he personally enlist Widmore to come to the rescue? And what does that say about Ilana - did Jacob use Widmore as his backup plan because he knew she was going to blow herself up? Kind of a gruesome thought.

And it seems that Widmore's list contained the same six candidates as Ilana's (Sayid and Jack weren't mentioned because they weren't with the group at the time). I kinda liked the fact the writers were pretty explicit in saying Kate wasn't a candidate - not only did Sawyer mention Kate's name was crossed off the cave wall, but Widmore seemed pretty adamant about it as well.

Of course this means that Kate will almost certainly survive until the end of the show. Methinks she has a bit of Mikhail in her now.

3) So how's Smokey getting off the Island now?

OK, so if Smokey's plan wasn't to take either the plane or the sub, how's he getting off the Island? Two choices I see:

a) He lied to Sawyer previously and really can fly off the Island once all the other candidates are dead.

b) He's going to take the Elizabeth.

Personally I don't think he's going to escape at all. But he's got to at least have a plan for leaving now, right? And I think he can fly - after all, didn't Jacob say that once the cork has been popped, the evil can spread? Methinks Smokey can simply leave if he manages to kill Jack, Hurley and Sawyer.

4) What's the deal with Christian's music box?

Have we ever seen it before? I don't think so. Seems to be something totally new - it's certainly not Danielle's music box - the only other music box we've seen on the show that I can recall. Was there anything inside it? Seems they went out of their way not to show us the contents. And what was the song? Was it Catch A Falling Star? I think it was - can't imagine it would be anything else.

Here's my fearless prediction as to what's inside: The black and white stones that Jack found on Adam and Eve.

5) Would the bomb have gone off if Sawyer hadn't messed with it?

I don't think it would have. Jack was right - just like the dynamite in the Black Rock the candidates can't die by their own hand or by Smokey's hand directly, but they can kill each other indirectly (and I guess Sawyer manipulating the bomb qualifies as indirect). Of course, this begs the question as to whether Sawyer would have survived the bomb he manipulated himself, but let's not go there.

No, this episode definitely confirmed that Smokey can't kill the candidates directly. He needs to find someone to do his dirty work for him... and that's where Claire comes in (hopefully).

Tidbits:

- Loved the backgammon preview for next week - want to watch it again in slow-mo. Here's hoping we'll get a hefty helping of Jacob and Smokey.

- I loved Alt Jack's new bedside manner. He's happy! He's optimistic! I think I might actually want him as my doctor! Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen Jack smile as much on the show as he does in the Alt. :)

- Locke mumbled "Push the button" and "I wish you had believed me" in his sleep in the hospital, the latter of which was what was in his suicide note to Jack. Alt Jack then turns it around by saying it back to Locke later on. He also said "whatever happened, happened" to Locke as well.

- Thought what happened to Locke and Cooper was heartbreaking. And there's something about Locke using the wheelchair as his penance that I like a lot.

- Anyone else think Hurley and Jack escaped from the sub a wee bit too easily given they were respectively hauling along a shot Kate and an unconscious Sawyer?

- Also anyone else a bit disappointed we didn't get a fish biscuit? :)

- And where the heck did Smokey get his bomb making ability? Did he pick Sayid's brain or something?

- Jack bought an Apollo candy bar and offered it to Claire in the exact same way Jacob offered it to Jack in "The Incident"

- Frank deserved a better death than to be floored by a sub door. :P

Summary:

The last 15 minutes of this episode were about as good as anything Lost has done, and Jin and Sun's death scene will almost certainly make my best moments list. Everything up until that though (in the present timeline anyway) felt a little contrived and Locke's backpack switcheroo was just a little too telegraphed for my taste. Still, the ending makes this easily a 4.5/5

11 comments:

Missie said...

I think I still rank Charlie's death as a better, moving moment than Jin and Sun's, for 2 reasons. One, the echo of Titanic was just a little too loud for my taste, and two, I was mostly pissed that they chose to orphan their daughter, and neither of them mentioned her. Struck me as more selfish than Charlie or Sayid's death.
We never got to see if Smokey made good on his deal with Sayid to give him what he wished for most.

Jay said...

Honestly I was kinda shocked that Sun didn't pull the Ji Yeon card either. And part of me thought when their hands came apart at the end we'd see Jin swimming to the surface - that would have been kinda cool if he stayed with Sun until she died, then swam away to save himself.

But you're right in that all the deaths this episode felt a bit contrived. Smokey's master plan was to try and get all the candidates to kill themselves in one fell swoop. After all, they'll never trust him again now and really the only person left he could possibly get to kill them for him is Claire.

Someone other than Sayid and Frank needed to die to make the scene work and you're totally right in that it would have worked if it was just Sun.

Matt said...

I want Missie's sense of this, even though it's a minor point. When Claire popped out of her chair with the 8 months plus pregnancy belly, that looked a little too easy.

Just curious: why is Sawyer in charge of tactics during the sub assault when you have a relentless killing machine with practical military experience along for the ride?

Missie said...

Because Iraq is mostly desert? :)
There's been alot we see Claire do with a very pregnant belly with ease. I am unphased anymore. She shouldn't have been able to have that discussion with Jack without having to leave to pee atleast 3 times.

stefanie said...

I agree about sun and jin. i kept hoping that sun would say that jin couldn't stay because they have a daughter. as a mother there's no way she would not be thinking of her daughter being without a mother or father. I was crying, then abruptly stopped when the scene went all titanicy on us...the producers are better than to echo one of the cheesiest movie moments in history!

Kerin said...

About the Sun/Jin dying together issue..first let me preface with.. I am a mother of a 10 month old, so I get where everyone is coming from about the orphan thing. With that said, there's a few reasons it had to end that way...

Throughout the series Jin and Sun's marriage has always been the story, the ring exchange brought that right back to us...it was never about about their daughter

I don't think Jin could've been a healthy parent if he had left Sun to die alone, his guilt would've tormented him. Not to mention, Jin was already "dead" to the world...how would he have explained his return?

We know Ji Yeon was being looked after, they talked about that at the beginning of the episode AND I think they did exchange a "look" on the sub and he knew why Sun was urging him to leave.

I feel like people forgot that Sun left her daughter by choice to find her husband -- which I was pissed about at first, because one must assume she knew that the possibility of getting back to their daughter together was slim to none.

All in all, I just think that Jin had to die with Sun or their storyline would not have been correctly told.

Matt said...

While I was surprised by the lack of mention of their daughter as well, I think Kerin makes an excellent point. Consider, too, that Jin getting off the sub is by no means equal to him getting off the island and back to his daughter.

Even with this said, I shared what I'm hearing is a common disappointment with this scene. It's the downside of the show's ambition, that it really hasn't given itself the time to really do right by all its characters.

Mitch said...

Totally agree with Matt about Sayid not leading the assault. It reminded me of when Jack asked Ana-Lucia the cop rather than Sayid the soldier about "training an army."

also, anybody else notice how much they're messing around with day-night cycles this season? For no apparent reason? It's got to be at least 5 days since anybody got any sleep.

Carly said...

I am sure no one is going to read this since it took me a few days to swallow this episode (and a baby to take care of!) But here goes: I kind of agree with Matt that being constricted by time has made it difficult for the writers to give the characters the end stories they deserve since they took so much time to give us the stories that created them (and made us love them). Knowing there is a possible alternate life for the Losties also made this epi conflicting because, sure the alt-life seems like a better one because for one, even though they have some issues, things aren't as bad as they were in the island time line before flight 815. And two, at least they aren't dead.
Having said that, the non-Island Losties are not the same people that we have come to care about over the last few years. Sawyer who was a big selfish jerk and came to care about the welfare of others. Or the Jin who was controlling and indifferent to anyone else became a loving husband and friend to everyone and Sayid who fell in love again after his difficult past - these guys are now dead. I don't see how the alt-life can replace these characters whose lives were changed by the island. I feel like I don't really know those other people. If they are trying to show us that a life without Jacob's interference was better for the Losties, but not for mankind, is that the sacrifice that has to be made?

R said...

J,

Thanks for the link. Here is this week's post.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pt_TRmAM_0

We found our footage from the flash-sideways. Look out for an "Everybody Loves Hugo" episode sooner or later.

we are also converting our very first vlog from the pilot episode from VHS.

any other shows you blog about?

R

Juanita's Journal said...

Jin would have never made it to the surface alive without an air tank. Never. He was right to stay with Sun.