6.14 The Candidate
If Lost has taught me anything this week, it’s that I definitely shouldn’t consider becoming a bookmaker.
You may already know that last week, in the absence of a Lost episode to review, I laid down the odds for who I thought would die. In doing so, I confidently stated that Sun’s tickets home were as good as booked, and boldly claimed that there was “no way” Sun and Jin would both die. And that Frank was safe as long as the plane was still around.
Well, we all know how that worked out.
Let it never be said that I’m above admitting when I’m wrong. And, in fairness, I was pretty accurate on the matter of Sayid, whose last second decision to save his friends allowed him to both kick against and permanently escape the thrall of whatever agency made him evil. Still, the rest of the cast isn’t quite out of the woods yet, and my list was predicated on the idea that more than one person survives to the end. This kind of bloodbath makes me think there’s more to come.
And, in fairness, nestled amongst three indisputable deaths, there’s every chance that Frank’s is a red herring. We saw Sayid blow up, and we got a shot (albeit an artfully obscured one) of Sun and Jin’s corpses. Years of reading comics has taught me that no corpse means no death, and that means Frank’s still got a chance to come back. Just. I suspect it largely depends on whether they can fit a return in, amidst all the story ground still to cover.
Of all the deaths (and I’ll give Frank the benefit of the doubt, for now) it was Sayid’s that left the most unanswered. What was it that corrupted him? And why could he fight it? Was he ever corrupt in the first place? It’s possible, in retrospect, that the resurrection pool was actually more of an answer than we expected, and that further explanations surrounding it will not be forthcoming.
Also, just before Sayid died, I couldn’t help notice that he confirmed both that Desmond was alive (well, duh) and, more intriguingly, that Jack quite probably is the titular Candidate. Or, at least, needs to believe that he is. That’s the thing about Lost – it might sometimes be predictable (did anyone not see the rucksack switcheroo coming?) but it’s just unpredictable enough to keep you guessing even when the outcome seems certain.
Meanwhile, in an alternate past, we learn why Locke is in a wheelchair and what that has to do with his father. And we find out what Bernard’s up to. Even so, the most interesting parts of the flash-sideways this week were all related to the coming together of various passengers of Flight 815, and their slow realisation that they’d shared a vacation together.
In all honesty, compared to what we were seeing on the island, this plot feels inconsequential. I appreciate there’s a need to retell certain stories in the alternate universe, but there’s no way it can compete with the on-island story so close to the end.
Although it was an adrenaline-fuelled episode, it wasn’t without its flaws. Smoke-Locke’s plans seem utterly arbitary, relying on things that, reasonably speaking, couldn’t be predicted and planned with the necessary precision.
Similarly, if Locke’s plan was to get everyone in an enclosed space and blow them up, one has to wonder: why did he first save them from getting into an enclosed space and being blown up? Similarly, the lack of Widmore and crew late on in the episode was oddly convenient (though I haven’t ruled out the possibility that a future episode will explain that). Perhaps it was the intervention of Richard, Miles and Ben that kept Widmore away?
Still, when it was good, it was very good. The cathartic scene on the beach was a fantastic response, proving what all the characters have been through has started to properly take its toll.
Sun and Jin’s death scenes was undoubtedly one of the series’ best.
And, finally, any question of Smoke-Locke’s ambiguous morals were wiped away.
The stakes are rising, and with only a few more hours of Lost to go, well, let’s just say I’d be more than happy if they were all of this quality.