Fate is cruel. The Man in Black is even worse. If it wasn’t already clear, “The Candidate” proved that Lost is a show about warring forces–black & white, good & evil, and in tonight’s episode, life & death.
We didn’t actually discover who the Candidate is, the one destined to take Jacob’s place as protector of the Island, but I’d say that Jack made a pretty good case for himself (and, along the same lines, I think Matthew Fox has found his submission episode for Emmy consideration).
There’s no point in avoiding the most significant moment: Jin and Sun are dead, and it hurts like hell. Looking back on Lost deaths, which range from the comical (Nikki and Paulo) to the shocking (Ana Lucia, Libby, Locke, Jacob, Ilana) to the tragic (Charlie, Juliet), this one falls into the last category. From that moment on the beach where they were reunited, plus the time in Widmore’s cages on Hydra island and then the escape to the submarine, Jin and Sun only had a few hours together before they died.
He kept his promise that he would never leave her again, even though she asked him repeatedly to go. Ji-Yeon could have been at least had one parent. Jin refused. Sun had no choice–she was trapped against the wall. In Jin’s mind, though, he didn’t have a choice, either.
Lost told us weeks ago with “Happily Ever After” that love is the most powerful and important thing. So it was that Jin loved Sun too much to live without her, and they spent their last moments holding each other. As the scene moved through the sunken submarine, our last view of them was beautiful–just their hands, drifting apart in the water.
Jin and Sun weren’t the only casualty. After the back and forth journey for Sayid’s soul over the years, he showed that, ultimately, when it mattered, he was a good man. Redemption seemed impossible for him this season, having become little more than a zombified killing machine for Flocke. Maybe that’s the point–redemption is never impossible.
The bomb that Flocke hid in Jack’s bag was meant to kill them all, but Sayid grabbed it and ran to get it away from the others. Before he did, he quickly told Jack that they would need to rescue Desmond from the well to help them stop Locke. He gave his cryptic last words: “It’s going to be you, Jack.”
There was also the death of Frank Lapidus that happened so fast you could almost miss it. No great meaning to it, unfortunately. He got hit by a flying metal door when the water came crashing in. The fact that it was overshadowed by other people’s final poignant moments is sad because he really was a good guy.
Only a few remain now: Sawyer was knocked unconscious, so Jack swam him to safety. Kate, shot in the shoulder, was helped by Hurley. They collapsed on the beach and broke down in tears with the realization of the friends they had lost. Hurley and Kate huddled together sobbing, while Jack had to go off on his own to cry. Ever our lonely hero, we know what he’s like–he will blame himself for not saving everyone.
There can no longer be any question: Flocke is evil. All along, he has wanted to get our castaways in one group so that he could kill them. Over at EW, Doc Jensen posted an interview with some of the actors and producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about why they put us through this:
“In many ways, the season was structured as a long con on behalf of the Man In Black. Once we revealed that Locke was the Monster, we knew the audience would immediately mistrust him, and we would have to spend at least a dozen episodes of Locke trying to convince the audience that he did not have malevolent intention, that all he wanted to do was get off The Island…There will be very little debate at the end of this episode that [Fake Locke] is evil and bad and has to be stopped.”
I think it’s going to take a combined effort to bring him down. We’ve got Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley; Richard, Ben, and Miles; Desmond; and Widmore, with all of his people. There’s only one mission now, with no room for diplomacy (not that any of the deals made before this have been honored). I have no idea where Claire is going to fit into the final standoff. She’s with Flocke at this point, but it seemed like Kate was really able to reach her in “The Last Recruit.”
Jack might be onto something about the Man in Black not being able to kill the Candidates himself. He never trusted Flocke, so he was right to question his assertion that he could kill them at any time. We still don’t know who that mysterious boy is who keeps haunting Flocke to remind him of “the rules.” Next week’s episode, “Across the Sea” takes us into the backstory of Jacob and MiB, so perhaps we will learn what this means.
In the Sideways world, Jack was determined to help Locke walk again. Having saved his life with the emergency procedure after the car accident, he now wanted to look further into the injuries that had put Locke in a wheelchair. Jack learned that he was in an accident a few years previously that had paralyzed him and another man named Anthony Cooper. He went to see the man in his nursing home, where he ran into Helen (the glorious Katey Sagal), and she told him that Cooper was Locke’s father.
Jack also had another encounter with his newly-discovered half-sister, Claire. Christian Shephard had left her a music box in his will, and she wasn’t quite sure why. When opened, it played the tune of “Catch a Falling Star.” Jack didn’t remember ever seeing it, and Claire was about to go her separate way when Jack invited her to come stay with him instead of at some motel. “We’re strangers,” she said. “No,” he replied. “We’re not strangers, we’re family.”
At the end, Jack urged Locke to reconsider letting him perform surgery to fix his spinal cord. He wanted to know why Locke seemed to be punishing himself, unwilling to let himself get better. Locke told him the story of how he had gotten his pilot’s license and begged his father to go flying even though he was terrified.
The plane crashed. Locke ended up in a wheelchair, but his dad had lost a lot more and would never speak, think, or walk again. He had, in essence, killed the man he loved most in the world. He didn’t want to be healed because to him that would be like letting go of what he had done. (I miss this Locke…)
We now have three episodes left to see what this is all about! ABC announced that the series finale would be expanded by half an hour because the producers had crucial story content that could not be cut–“The End” will air on Sunday, May 23rd, from 9-11:30 ET/PT.