Time is getting short on ‘Lost’. We’re in the home stretch now. After this week, there are only two more regular episodes and the two-part finale left. This seems like it should be time for the producers to start cranking out the Big Answers, preferably at a speedy clip. This show has a lot of loose ends and unresolved issues. Don’t get me wrong, this week’s episode (‘The Candidate’) is very good, even excellent at times. It has some really powerful moments. At the same time, it’s another episode that advances the mechanics of the plot forward without revealing much about the underlying mystery or mythology. I’m sure that’s being done deliberately to hold the best stuff back for later. Nonetheless, it can’t help but feel a little frustrating at this point. (Spoilers after the break.)
Jin, Sun, and Sayid are all dead! (Hey, I warned you about spoilers.) Oh. My. God. After regaining some of his humanity, Sayid sacrificed himself to save the other Losties from Fake Locke’s bomb. Then, in a very ‘Titanic’ moment, Jin and Sun went down with the sinking submarine. This is a traumatic turn of events for our beloved characters. Still, the shock of these deaths is tempered a bit by the knowledge that these characters (or versions of them) still live on in the flash-sideways timeline, and we will likely see them again. (A point is even made of showing Sideways Jin walking through the hospital in L.A. after Island Jin dies.) Also, Jin already had a momentous death scene at the end of Season 4, which is still fresh enough in memory to undercut some of the power of this one. It sure was nice to see him stay behind to die with Sun, though. These two have certainly come a long way since the squabbling couple in the ‘Pilot’ episode.
Although it wasn’t heralded quite as strongly, Lapidus also appears to have died in the sub. He was a fun character. I’ll miss the guy.
What we learned: By planting the bomb in Jack’s backpack, Fake Locke/Man in Black has (seemingly) flushed away any ambiguity about his intentions. He wanted the Losties dead, which would appear to support Jacob’s claim that he’s “evil incarnate.” I still don’t know that I’m entirely convinced by everything Jacob says, though. I’ve never really bought into the whole Good/Evil dynamic. Jacob has done plenty of questionable things, and MiB has done things that don’t seem to be purely evil. Further, Jacob and Man in Black have both been telling the Losties the same stories about each other. Jacob says that MiB is pure evil. MiB says that Jacob is the devil. Jacob says that MiB will kill everyone on the island. MiB says that Jacob will kill everyone on the island. I have to take anything that either one of them says with a grain of salt.
It’s been my theory for several episodes now that Man in Black’s real name is Jacob… that he and Jacob are manifestations of different aspects of the same person. This seemed very clear to me in episode ‘Sundown’. So much so that I was surprised the writers didn’t reveal it outright. Later events clouded that theory with more ambiguity, but nothing that’s occurred has contradicted it outright. I think we’ll find out more about this next week.
We also learned that MiB cannot directly kill a “Candidate.” He can kill regular folks left and right, but has to manipulate events to trick Candidates into killing each other. This is sort of the inverse of Jacob’s “gift” that prevents people from killing themselves. This brings to mind what the strange kid in the jungle said to Fake Locke about there being rules he had to abide. Whatever is happening on the island is a big game between Jacob and Man in Black. The rest of the characters are just pawns to be played.
This being the case, I suppose it means that Mr. Eko wasn’t a Candidate. I would have assumed that he was.
Fun stuff: Sawyer and Kate get locked in the polar bear cages again – What goes around comes around. And did everyone catch the Apollo candy bar in the vending machine? Nicely done.
The preview for next week shows absolutely no new footage. It’s nothing but clips from earlier episodes, going all the way back to the ‘Pilot’. From what I gather, the next ep is going to be the story of Jacob and Man in Black, and (according to rumors) may not feature any of the other regular cast. I’m expecting that we’ll see some of those Big Answers from this one. Hopefully, really Big Answers.