Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"The Candidate"

Glad to have LOST back after a week off even if there are only three weeks left of the series. 


I find myself very conflicted about this episode.  I really enjoyed some of the flash-sideways story but I was a bit disappointed with the outcome of the submarine escape attempt.  But as usual, I'm getting ahead of myself.  In the flash-sideways world, the more things change, the more they stay the same for Jack.  He saved Locke's life but he was not content to stop there.  He really wanted to perform another surgery to help Locke walk again and damn if he was going to take no for an answer!  Turns out Locke was a candidate for a new surgical procedure.  It was interesting to see that in the sideways world, it was Locke's fault that he was in a wheel chair and his accident made Anthony Cooper a vegetable.  Good old Jack tried to talk Locke into surgery one last time and after a fine performance by Terry O'Quinn, Locke rolled out of the hospital presuming to never see Jack again.  I have my doubts though since Jack is starting to notice how many Oceanic 815 passengers he keeps running into (nice cameo by Bernard).  It was also interesting to see that Locke had a vision of his Island life and spoke about it while sleeping.

Back on the Island, Jack was still convinced that he shouldn't leave and Locke was trying to convince him otherwise.  He at least got Jack to go along with him to rescue Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, Jin, Sun and Frank from Widmore who had locked them up in the polar bear cages for old time sake.  I've had my doubts about Locke's plan to fly off the Island mainly because the Ajira plane was too busted up to make any more trips.  It was nice of Widmore's people to build such a nice wooden staircase with railings up to the cabin door of the plane.  It seems like they should have spent more time working on the sonic fence though.  Once Locke found the C4 in the plane, I knew that he had plans to use it against our candidates, I just didn't expect the payoff so soon.  So it was off to the submarine instead.  I'm not sure what Sawyer had planned for dealing with Locke after he was in the water, but Jack did his part.  Whatever the plan, it changed when Kate got shot.  I've been expecting something like that to happen for the better part of the season, I just didn't expect what happened next.

Before Jack got on the sub, I saw Locke pull the old switcharoo with their backpacks so I expected Jack to unknowingly carry a bomb onto the sub.  Of course Jack never expected to get on the sub but once Kate got shot, Jack had to play the hero and bring her on board.  I liked Jack's attitude once they found the bomb.  From his time with Richard Alpert and the Black Rock dynamite, he was certain that Locke couldn't kill them or he would have done so already.  His logic seemed pretty strong considering what he'd witnessed recently, but Sawyer wasn't buying it and really, who could blame him?  I knew that Sayid still had some good in him and it was pretty clear that he was going to sacrifice himself at some point.  So I was not surprised to see him take the bomb and head for a secluded part of the sub but not before he told Jack where to find the still living Desmond.

So with an explosion, Sayid departs this second life and the series, that is until we presumably see a ghost version of the Iraqi appear to Hurley.  What I did not see coming was the fallout from the explosion.  This is also where I started to feel a little cheated.  First,  big metal door knocked Frank out and that was all he wrote!  So long Frank...we hardly knew ye.  He was my favorite new character introduced in Season 4 and I was so happy to see him back on the show last season and become a regular cast member this season.  I haven't loved the progression of his character this year and am disappointed that this was how he exits the series...not with a bang but a "Oh Hell!"

But they weren't done killing off characters yet!  Apparently the explosion trapped Sun against the wall of the sub but I didn't think the writers actually had it in them to kill three characters in one episode.  Turns out I was right...they killed four!  Four freaking regular cast members in one episode.  I knew that not everyone would make it out of the series alive, but I thought they might be spread out over several episodes.  But that's not how it was to be.  Sun could not free herself from confinement and Jin would not leave her so they stayed together to the end.  Another child is orphaned by the Island.  I guess I was supposed to be extremely saddened by their deaths, but I felt like it was missing the emotional heft that some other deaths have had over the years.  Maybe I was numb from the carnage that was occurring but death by drowning has already been done and to much better effect by Charlie in "Through the Looking Glass."

The producers have always said that the Island is a dangerous place and it stands to reason that a lot of people would die if there were an explosion on a submarine.  It's really a wonder that more of the candidates didn't die as a result.  So we bid adieu to Sayid, Sun, Jin and Frank.  I will miss them but all four have been underutilized this season and that has been a shame.

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