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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lost 6x14: The Candidate

With the end in sight, "The Candidate" depicts the culmination of FLocke's long con: convince the remaining candidates he's a nice guy who just wants to leave the island and take them with him, all the while setting them up to kill themselves in one fell swoop. In the process, FLocke stands revealed, once and for all, as the villain of the piece. Not only has he purged any ambiguity in the minds of the audience, but by orchestrating the destruction of the sub, killing half the remaining cast in the process, FLocke has declared himself the villain to the characters as well. For the first time, the audience and the characters are on the same page: FLocke is the bad guy, and he has to be stopped. 

 In an interview with Entertainment Weekly's Doc Jensen, Darlton said they had two goals in mind for this episode: to confirm, after nearly a season's worth of intentional obfuscation, that FLocke was, indeed, a villain and to raise the stakes, showing the audience that with the end approaching, anything goes and no one is safe. The offhand, redemptive and moving deaths of Frank, Sayid and Sun and Jin as a result of FLocke's machinations ably accomplished both goals. 

In much the same way that the last episode was a multi-focused episode that seemed to lean towards Jack, this one, while lacking a specific character focus, seemed to be about Locke. In addition to sticking FLocke to the villain post, Sideways Locke is revealed to be the titular candidate (the title not referring to Jacob's candidate, as most of us believed before the episode aired). Sideways Jack's actions were all driven by his desire to fix Locke, and in the process, we learned more about Locke, filling in some blanks from "The Substitute". The end leaves Sideways Jack and Locke in the same position as their island counterparts. With Island Jack embracing Jacob's ideology about purpose and destiny and Sideways Jack recognizing the coincidences stemming from Flight 815 and wondering if something deeper is going on, the man of science has become a man of faith, standing against, in both realities, a Locke who has no faith.   

Stuff Worth Mentioning
4 main characters died in the episode. 

It was confirmed onscreen that Kate was crossed off the list in the cave (the producers had previously said that in a podcast).


Sideways Locke was channeling island Locke while unconscious, but he didn't seem to recall those memories when he was awake. 

Sideways Bernard seemed zen-like and knowing...is there anything to that? Has Desmond visited him yet?


When Kate got shot on the deck, I totally thought she took it in the heart and that was the end of Kate. Alas, twas not to be. 

When talking with Sideways Claire, Jack got an Apollo bar out of the vending machine, as in his scene with Jacob in "The Incident".

Despite all the other variations between the island reality and the sideways reality, Christian died the same way in both realities: drunk in an Australian alley.

The music box Christian left for Claire was reminiscent of (but not the same as) Rousseau's music box, and it played "Catch a Falling Star", of course.


If he hadn't left to star in "Fringe", I wonder if Abbadon would have been wheeling Sideways Locke out of the hospital at the end.


It is probably not insignificant that Sideways Locke is something of a pilot; what are the odds that he might somehow be responsible for flying Ajira 316 off the island? 

Sideways Jack's line to Sideways Locke, "I wish you believed me", was in Locke's suicide note to Jack.

At the rate key phrases and snippets of dialogue are getting repeated in the final season, part of me wonders if the finale won't consist entirely of previously-written dialogue. :)

Questions Answered
FLocke is, indeed, a bad guy and he wants to kill the remaining candidates, not leave the island with them. 

Sideways Locke was crippled after crashing his private plane with Anthony Cooper aboard.


I'm willing to trust Jack's instinct and chalk up Smokey's inability to directly kill candidates as confirmed.

Sayid did not kill Desmond in the last episode.

FLocke's Others either died or scattered as a result of the mortar attack.

Questions Asked
Is Sideways Anthony Cooper the same Cooper who Sideways Sawyer is after? Did Locke's crashing of the plane vegetate him before he could complete his con on Locke? Did Locke unknowingly spare himself the pain of learning his dad is a con artist while at the same time, ridding the world of an evil SOB?

Any additional significance to the music box Sideways Christian left Claire?

Sayid seemed pretty adamant that Jack was THE candidate; intuition based on the situation, or did Sayid's time as zombie thrall of Smokey gain him some extra insight?


Next Week: Across the Sea
Looks like the heaping helping of mythology for which we've all been clamoring. Also, if you haven't heard, Lost's final episode has been extended by a half hour.

13 comments:

  1. i'm still mad about Sun and Jin.
    But i was glad that sayid redeemed himself in the end. I wonder if that will change things in the sideways verse

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  2. yeah Sun and Jin was just terrible. I am ready for it to be over because i can't take any more non-happy endings. I mean, what if Hurley doesn't make it?!

    Kate should've died instead of any of those four >:-(

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  3. @Falen: i'm still mad about Sun and Jin.

    I'm just mad that no one said "leave me so our daughter isn't raised an orphan", which is what I was thinking the whole time.

    But i was glad that sayid redeemed himself in the end. I wonder if that will change things in the sideways verse

    Yeah Sayid's death was the one I enjoyed (...???) the most.

    I still have no clue what's going on in the Sideways verse, and at this point, my hands are in a perpetual "thrown up" position when it comes to figuring it out.

    @Anne: Kate should've died instead of any of those four

    Frankly, Kate should have died instead of random Widmore extra #9.

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  4. I can't comment on this right now because it's too soon and I still want to cry. I'll be back tomorrow.

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  5. Do you think there's any symbology behind the fact that in the Island-reality a plane crash restored Locke's ability to walk while in the Sideways-verse a plane crash took his ability to walk away?

    Any thoughts on if Widmore and FLocke are in cahoots? I forget if, when they had their stand-off, anyone else was around. (If they were working together, it wouldn't make sense to keep up the ruse if no one was watching.)

    Also, I think the Sideways-verse is where the show has to end up for a happy ending to the series. Either that or most the characters magically come back to life?

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  6. And of course, by tomorrow I meant 3 days later...ahem.

    I was so tore up when Sun and Jin died. I cried ugly and loud. Then I composed myself over the commercial break and then when Hurley broke down...I lost it again. This show is so emotional exhausting.

    I was so shocked by Sayid's death and to me he was already dead, I had no reaction other than "another one bites the dust via explosion". But I'm not surprised he redeemed himself, I didn't think for one second that he killed Desmond. Desmond seems too important and I think the writers would have enjoyed shocking us with the murder rather than fading to black.

    "It is probably not insignificant that Sideways Locke is something of a pilot; what are the odds that he might somehow be responsible for flying Ajira 316 off the island?"

    I didn't even think about that and now the gears are squeaking.

    "Frankly, Kate should have died instead of random Widmore extra #9."

    LMAO, yes! I still wish her character was likeable and not just hot, some of the time.

    If Hurley doesn't make it, I quit!!

    I'm excited for this week's episode though, I love Jacob. (The actor is in another show I watch right now...love it!)

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  7. Dr. Bitz: Good point about the relationship between the two Lockes, their injuries, and plane crashes. I definitely think there's some symbology there. Whether there's anything MORE than symbology to it, I have no idea. Maybe it ties in to all the "mirror" instances in the Sideways verse?

    This episode definitely had me thinking that Widmore and FLocke are in cahoots (which is a plot turn I would heartily endorse).

    The biggest hangup is that when the two had their faceoff with the sonic fence between them, the only people watching were Widmore's goons, and I feel like, if Widmore was allied with FLocke, his goons would probably be in on it too. Or at least, he wouldn't worry about keeping up the ruse in front of them.

    Also, if they were in cahoots, you'd think FLocke could have had Widmore just kill all the candidates instead of imprisoning them, unless there's something related to "the rules" that made that option unfeasible.

    Also, I think the Sideways-verse is where the show has to end up for a happy ending to the series. Either that or most the characters magically come back to life?

    For what it's worth, the meager rumblings I've seen online and vague comments from Darlton suggest that we may not be headed for a happy ending, or, at least, not a traditional happy ending. "Melancholic" is the adjective I'd use to describe the sense I've gotten.

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  8. @Palindrome Then I composed myself over the commercial break and then when Hurley broke down...I lost it again.

    Hurley is what got to me. I've never cared much for Jin and Sun (I don't dislike them, the way I do Kate, I just don't care about them much). So their deaths didn't do much for me, emotionally (I mean, it was sad and somewhat shocking, but my feelings were also undercut by the selfishness of the their death: I'm one of those that thinks SOMEONE should have brought up their daughter and the notion of her not growing up an orphan).

    But when Hurley started sobbing, I got sad, not because Jin and Sun were dead, but because Hurley was so sad they were dead.

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  9. I'll have to reserve my opinions on the end of Lost until I see it. (Thank you Captain Obvious.) However, I'm hoping it has some sort of happy ending. I mean, sacrifices may have to be made and good people may have to lose their lives, but it all should be for a greater good, right?

    I mean, obviously tragedies have a place in fiction and there are certainly good ones out there, but six years is a long commitment to make just to get kicked in the balls (or a reasonable facsimile thereof for those out there two X chromosomes) at the end.

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  10. @Captain Obvious: For what it's worth, what I've heard doesn't suggest the end will be TRAGIC, so much as not a rip-roaring good time.

    Maybe bittersweet is a better word to characterize it? Something between a "happy happy joy joy" and a soul-crushing "everyone's dead and it was all for naught!" ending.

    Then again, this is just my interpretation of vague hints and murmuring from the producers gleaned from podcasts and interviews, and the gleanings of the same from other people more intelligent than I.

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  11. oooh i hope it's bittersweet. Those are my favorite endings.

    Palindrome - what show are you watching with Jacob? We were tickled when he was on Dexter season one

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  12. Palindrome: He's on Supernatural!!

    Which [rolls eyes up and goes falsetto like Jon Stewart] rah-hahhhcks! Ya gots ta watch it, Teebore.

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