LOST Reviews on “The Candidate”

May 6, 2010

From Cultural Learnings:

And then, at a certain point in the episode, all hell broke loose, and the stakes of the season went up by roughly ten thousand percent. Life becomes a commodity, trust becomes more important than perhaps life itself, and the show’s poetic style gets turned on its ear like perhaps it’s never been turned on its ear before. “The Candidate” is not an exemplary hour of television, struggling mightily to set up its eventual conclusion, but that conclusion ends up being such a rollercoaster that it leaves the show in perhaps the best shape its been all year while leaving us emotional wrecks.

Great description of the episode!  And yes, “emotional wreck” is the perfect term to describe my state after watching.

Jack eventually discovers that Anthony Cooper is now in a long-term care facility unable to speak or walk, and Locke was the one who put him there…

Although I don’t know why this is significant in the grand scheme of things, I still appreciate the role reversal in this flash-sideways scenario, as I pointed out in my live-blog last night.

If you look back, none of the main characters on Lost were killed by Smokey or the island itself, but rather died by their own hands: the only person on Oceanic Flight 815 who Smokey killed was the pilot, which is probably because he wasn’t supposed to be there anyways and Lapidus was supposed to be flying the plane. But if we go back to Shannon, Boone, Locke, Alex, Rousseau, Nikki, Paolo, Ana Lucia, Libby, Michael, they all dies in circumstances wherein they either made a conscious choice to sacrifice themselves or where they were killed by the actions of another candidate.

Very, very interesting observation.  I had never thought about that before, especially considering Lapidus was supposed to be flying that plane.  The pilot was not supposed to be on that island!

Here, there was no sign that they were going to die this way, so that show of their hands slowly floating apart as the sub continues to sink was more heartbreaking than mere typed words can honestly express. It was a masterpiece of a shot from Jack Bender, one of the best in the show’s history, and when you throw in Hurley, Kate and Jack breaking down on the beach you have me sitting on the couch with very, very wet eyes (I was doing alright until Hurley started crying, then I was just plain done).

I’m getting teary just thinking about it again!

This seems like an easy lock for Matthew Fox’s Emmy episode: his work with Terry O’Quinn in the Sideways stories was great, and he got to be fairly heroic on the island as well. My one issue with the character in the episode is that he goes along with Sawyer’s plan a bit too quickly, but I’ll accept that as part of his new “follow other leader” mantra.

These last few episodes have made me much more fond of the character of Jack.  He has much more depth and wisdom now, and I want to see him be the one to triumph over the evil on the island.

Locke is dreaming of the island (pushing the button, “I wish you had believed me”) but Desmond wasn’t kind enough to fill Jack in on the details regarding the island, just sending Locke to him and letting it sort out from there. I really loved Jack using the line against him, though, starting to play into the connections (as Bernard hinted at when he seemed blase about the coincidence of it all).

Thank you for answering that question!  I couldn’t understand why JL was telling Jack he should have pressed the button, but he was referencing the button in the hatch.

From PopWatch:

Lindelof elaborates: “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. But everything he was doing was leading up to one moment, which was [trying to] get the candidates in one fell swoop. He knew if he killed just one of them, everyone would know what he was up to.’”

I was always surprised that there was any debate about the evilness of the smoke monster/JL, but I will admit JL did a pretty good job of acting like the good guy for the past several episodes!

Lindelof explains: “Sayid’s entire season-long arc has basically been, if you tell him that he is evil, you can convince him he is evil. But if you tell him he is good, maybe you can convince him he is good. We basically decided that in a moment of pure instinct, if he did something, if he sacrificed his own life in favor of saving the other people’s lives, that would convey to the audience, ‘This guy was actually a good guy.’”

Almost my exact words from my live-blog last night!  They have me right where they want me, apparently.

From Televisionary:

And that’s just what happened. While it’s not Widmore’s plan, I believe that the Man in Black always knew just how he’d attempt to get rid of the castaways. While he claimed that he needed them to escape the island, I believe that the reverse is true: he needs the candidates to be dead before he can leave. No replacement for the jailer means that the exit will no longer be barred to him. As long as there is someone to take Jacob’s place, he’s trapped on his island prison….

As for that scene on the dock, you might be wondering just how he knows that the candidates aren’t all dead. Simple: he can leave the island once they’re all dead. If he can’t leave, then they are still alive. Just as he knew the sub had sank, so too does the Man in Black know that the way is still barred to him. Escape is still not a possibility….

The fact that the Kwons were always represented with a single candidate number–42–is a poetic foreshadowing of the way they exit the world: bound together, united, hands intertwined.

Lingering questions from this episode (I wouldn’t begin to try to list all my lingering questions from the entire show):

  • Why did Sawyer tell Jack to get JL into the water?  And didn’t he say leave the rest to me?  What was the rest?  Just getting them all into the sub?
  • Is Frank Lapidus dead?  (And if so, why did the writers bring him on in the first place?!  He was a fun character and I wanted to see more from him.)
  • Was there any significance to the music box (beyond possible symbolism, that is)?

In other news, the LOST finale on May 23 will be 2.5 hours long, starting at 9pm and going until 11:30pm.

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