Wednesday, May 5, 2010

LOST Episode 6.14: "The Candidate" (Initial Thoughts & Theories)

If this laptop was made of paper, it would be drenched with tears.

I have often stated that one of the strongest and most admirable qualities about Lost is the emotional resonance that it achieves, season after season, year after year. Never has that been more true than with The Candidate. In that respect, this episode is on par with Charlie's sacrifice in Through the Looking Glass and Juliet's death in The Incident

It is very bold to kill off four characters, even just a few episodes out from a series finale and especially when two of them represent the only married couple on the show (aside from Rose and Bernard, who are side characters in my book). I am still absorbing their deaths and will elaborate at a later date when my heart stops racing and breaking.

On a personal note, before we delve into the analysis - this episode was also very sentimental and significant to me for several reasons. Due to our pending and conflicting travel schedules, this was the last ever new Lost episode that I was able to watch with my partner. She has put up with me pausing, taking notes, jumping off of the couch and yelling at the TV for six years. And tonight was only the second time that she's ever cried with me (the last being Charlie's death). So I consider myself extremely lucky to share my heart with such a patient soul and fellow fan. 

In addition, Sayid has been my absolute favorite character from day one. Although I had a feeling that his death was inevitable this season, I was not prepared for the circumstances of his sacrifice. I am very happy that he died somewhat redeemed rather than in a zombie state. 

To top it all off, this post is officially my 300th on this site. I have been writing about and analyzing Lost for over four years now, but did not dedicate an entire site to it until January of 2008. I am very proud of this milestone and blog, and none of it would have been worth it or a success without YOU. Namaste.

By the way, I was quite angry before this episode began because someone posted a spoiler on my Facebook wall. Although 99% of you have been so kindly spoiler-free and respected my policy here and via the social networks, I will now take unfortunate measures to prevent such a thing from happening for the final three episodes. Anyone who posts episode feedback on my wall before episodes air here on the West Coast will be immediately unfriended. I don't want to have to turn off my wall to comments altogether because I love the interaction. I purposely avoid Twitter on Lost days but monitor Facebook comments via email notifications. People who post spoilers don't just ruin it me; they ruin it for my readers and friends. NOT cool.

I continue to shield the names of guest stars at the beginning of each episode by simply holding my hand up over them and focusing on the action above, and if you want to remain as spoiler-free - I highly recommend it! I certainly do not want to know ahead of time when Elizabeth Mitchell will appear. :)

But let's get down to business. This post is sponsored by Kleenex....they just don't know about it. 

In the interest of time and because I know you'd prefer more content, there will not be many photos accompanying this article. 


Now that Kwon and Jarrah have been crossed off the cave wall and lighthouse wheel, that leaves 3 Candidates: Hurley, Jack and Sawyer. Given the island's propensity to kill off women (Alex, Ana Lucia, Charlotte, Ilana, Juliet, Libby, Rousseau, Shannon, Sun, etc.) and rob its female inhabitants of having children, I am not at all surprised that the Candidate will be male. 

I loved that Jack told Locke in the flash sideways that "you're a candidate" because he actually was when he originally arrived on the island. 

All signs point to Jack as the Candidate, but I am skeptical only because he reiterates his desire to stay on the island far too frequently now. notLocke called John Locke a sucker for his belief in the island, so when Jack said "I'm not meant to go" and "I'm with him," I became more concerned for his life and eligibility as well.  

I know that Sayid told Jack that "it's going to be you," but how would he know? I seriously doubt that notLocke knows who the final candidate is, and probably wouldn't share that knowledge with Sayid anyway. The only person I can think of who perhaps informed Sayid would be Desmond...the rules don't apply to him and he seems to know far more than everyone else on the island at this point.


Widmore revealed to Kate and the group what we already know, that she is not on the list (and thus not a Candidate). That obviously makes her expendable to Widmore and notLocke, and yet...she has outlived almost everyone. The island, and Jacob, are clearly not done with her yet. I've said it before and will repeat this possibility - Kate will wind up being a variable that both parties underestimate. She may not be a Candidate, but she just may play an integral role on the final road he must travel to take over for Jacob. 

Although I have been notoriously hard on Kate over the years, I certainly do not want to see her die. So I was taken aback when she was shot, and actually relieved that it wasn't fatal. 


Thank goodness very few people on (and off) the island have great aim. Kate is not the only one who has endured a non-fatal shoulder or arm injury:
  • Elsa shot Sayid in the shoulder before he killed her (The Economist)
  • Mikhail shot Sayid in the upper arm (Enter 77)
  • Rousseau shot Ben in the shoulder with a crossbow (One of Them)
  • An Other shot Sawyer in the shoulder on the raft (Exodus, Part 2)

Helen thanks Jack in the flash sideways "for saving him" (Locke). Sayid tells everyone on the island that "Locke saved you." How very cruel and ironic to highlight salvation in the very episode where four main characters are killed. 

Helen later said to Jack "you saved his life - why can't that be enough?" When Jack responded with "because it's not," I had a sinking feeling that he would fail to save some of his friends on the island. 


There are only three episodes left to resolve the flash sideways, and Jack appears poised to crack and/or solve that puzzle. In this we're-not-supposed-to-call-alternate-reality, Jack has had strange deja vu or coincidental interactions with Bernard, Claire, Desmond, Dogen, Ilana, Kate and Locke after landing in LA on flight 815. 

When Jack yelled out to Locke as he was wheeling out the hospital that "I can help you" and "I wish you believed me," Locke paused with a glint of recognition. Perhaps when Jack uses other island catchphrases to familiar faces in this world, it will lead to the collision or convergence with the island. Then again, time is not on his side. Or ours.  


Back in S2 (Three Minutes), Ms. Klugh gave Michael a list of four names; four friends from flight 815 to bring to Ben in exchange for Walt. Those four names are the very same foursome that survived the sub explosion and are back on the beach: Shephard, Austen, Reyes, Ford. Coincidence? Oh hell no. 

Why is this significant? Because in one of Damon and Carlton's official Lost podcasts that season, they said that Hurley was chosen because the Others thought he was the best person to deliver the message. To me, that is a very early indication of and possible clue to his Candidacy. 


Aside from being useful for carrying newly discovered C4 and a map, we still have no idea why Smokey is lugging around that damn backpack. I know that there are far bigger mysteries to resolve in the final four hours, but I remain obsessed with the contents of Evil Incarnate's Carry-On Baggage. 


For the second episode in a row, we witnessed a joint mirror moment. In The Last Recruit, it was between Jack and an unconscious Locke in the operating room, and in this episode it was between Jack and Claire in the music box mirror. 

MISSING: An Advisor, A Ghost Whisperer and a Patsy

Seriously. Alpert, Miles and Ben were supposed to be headed for the Ajira plane when they parted ways with Ilana and the remaining candidates. Keeping in mind that they were going there to blow it is possible that the C4 on the plane was indeed placed there by this trio rather than Widmore's crew. 


As cheesy as it might be, I could not help but think about Jack and Rose in the water after the Titanic sunk while watching Jin and Sun on the sub. Regardless of how you feel about that film, in their own way - both scenes were beautiful and heartbreaking. I'll never leave you, I'll never let go, yada yada yada. If you have a pulse, you were somewhat moved. 

For what it's worth - regarding Jin and Sun's death in the sub, I have not cried as much or for that long since Juliet's horrific death scene. Let's hope that they don't revisit the Kwon demise as many times as they have hers. Or at all. 


When Sun returned to the island via Ajira 316, she left daughter Ji Yeon with her mother and had to know that there was a chance she wouldn't return. While some may criticize their parenting choices and judge Jin for sacrificing his life along with his wife rather than attempt to escape and return to their daughter, I was not at all surprised by his decision. After all, "where Sun go, I go." 


Regardless of who she might be married to or divorced from in the flash sideways, time is running out for blondie to appear, make a date to go dutch over coffee with Sawyer and hopefully deliver Aaron. I'm sure I am not the only person who can't wait to see Juliet again.


In S1 (Do No Harm), Christian Shephard told his son that "you're just not good at letting go." In LA X, Rose told Jack on the plane in the flash sideways that "you can let go now." In Everybody Loves Hugo, Jack told Hurley on the island that "maybe I'm supposed to let go." In this episode, Jack tells Locke in the flash sideways that "I think I can fix you" and that "whatever happened, happened; you can let it go."

In S3, we were introduced to the infamous cages on Hydra Island where Ben had Sawyer and Kate held captive. In Every Man for Himself, Other thug Pickett threatened to kill Sawyer but Kate stops him by claiming to love Sawyer. In tonight's episode, Widmore threatened to kill Kate in the same location because "it doesn't matter whether she lives or dies." Sawyer doesn't save her but she is spared nonetheless. 

In The Lighthouse, Kate told Jack that "I hope you find what you're looking for." In this episode, Bernard said the same thing to Jack in the flash sideways.

In S3 (The Man from Tallahassee), we learned that Locke was paralyzed after his father Anthony Cooper pushed him out of an eight story window. In this episode, Locke reveals that he was piloting a small plane that crashed - paralyzing him and putting his father into a comatose state. 

In the S5 finale (The Incident), Jacob offers Jack the Apollo candy bar from the hospital vending machine that he'd tried to get out himself. In this episode, Jack offers Claire an Apollo bar from the same vending machine.

Christian Shephard's music box was a callback to Rousseau's in S1 (Solitary), and the tune it plays ("Catch a Falling Star") references Claire in four previous episodes:
  • S1: Raised by Another - Claire asked the potential adoptive parents to sing it to Aaron, as her father did to her
  • S2: Maternity Leave - That song played in the Other nursery in the Staff hatch, on an Oceanic mobile 
  • S5: Whatever Happened, Happened - Kate sang it to Aaron off island, post Oceanic Six
  • S6: Sundown - Claire sings it while down in the hole in the Temple; her creepy rendition is also played after Smokey's murderous rampage
In S3 (Through the Looking Glass), Charlie sacrificed his life to save his friends because he believed it would lead to their rescue. In this episode, Sayid did the same. 

In S5 (316), Jack opened Locke's suicide note addressed to him; it read "I wish you had believed me." In this episode, Locke uttered that very phrase after Jack operated on him in the flash sideways. Jack also delivered a version of it to Locke later in the episode, "I wish you believed me."


In the S3 finale (Through the Looking Glass), there was a passing mention of a surgeon named Gary Nadler at Jack's hospital. Of course at this point, we'll never know if he was Bernard's brother or son, but I thought about that tonight when Jack went to see him. 

By the way, how did Jack know that Bernard was Locke's oral surgeon - and why was he interested in that type of medical record? 


Claire is not a Candidate, but she is stuck on the island with notLocke. If Jack is right, and notLocke can't leave the island unless they're all dead - does that apply to non-Candidates? For Aaron's sake, I hope that Claire isn't doomed to remain there. And it is nice to see a glimmer of old Claire again, concerned for and about her friends. 


I don't know about you, but I am now convinced that Desmond ran Locke over in the flash sideways to force him to remember the island. I feel as though Desmond is the only one who can see/remember life in both locations (he is "miraculously and uniquely special" after all), and although it was quite violent - he knew he had to jolt Locke in such a way for it to be effective. In this episode, Locke woke up after surgery saying "push the button" and "I wish you had believed me," both of which are from his experience on the island. 

It will be very interesting to see how Desmond fits in once Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer rescue him from the well. 


I loved this character, especially after meeting Jeff Fahey in person a few months ago at the S6 premiere. While I am disappointed that he appears to have died on the sub, at least he did so in heroic fashion. Well...not getting hit by the force of a flooded metal door, but by helping commandeer the submarine. 


I think it is rather brilliant that in the flash sideways, Locke became paralyzed because of and after a plane crash. 


Although notLocke put the C4 in Jack's backpack, it seems he wasn't allowed to actually kill the remaining Candidates himself. Another loophole, or one of the "rules?"

John Locke, in all forms, is an island terrorist of sorts. The man knows his way around C4 and dynamite, from The Swan hatch to the Flame station to the original Sub and now this Sub. When all is said and done, everything goes up in...smoke. 

How did notLocke know that not everyone perished on the sub? Is precognition part of the Bald Box Man package deal? How very Walt of him. 


File under: doh! Sawyer was the one who told Jack to push notLocke in the water and to "make sure that It doesn't get on the sub." He was also the one who decided to pull the leads out of the C4 bomb. So technically, Sayid, Jin, Sun and Frank died because of his actions. is up for debate whether or not the bomb would have gone off if Sawyer had not pulled out those wires. 


At this point in time, with three episodes left, almost every theory posited is either crazy or irrelevant. So here are a few mine...

1. The reason that Alpert, Ben and Miles were not on Hydra Island at the Ajira plane is that one or more of them got shot on the outrigger ride over by Juliet & company when they time shifted there back in S5 (The Little Prince). 

2. Although Jin and Sun Kwon are no longer Candidates, there is a slim possibility that the Kwon on the cave wall and lighthouse wheel may represent Ji-Yeon. The same holds true for /applies to Jack (David Shephard) and Sawyer (Clementine Ford). Frequent readers of this site are more than familiar with my Generation Next theory about the offspring of our favorite characters winding up on the island in the finale... 

3. notLocke's plan all along was to move the remaining Candidates and their friends far from the Ajira plane, because he himself is going to fly it off of the island. When he took over Locke's body, he also took over his memories and skills...including his pilot training. 

4. In direct conflict with the above theory, Jack will be the one to pilot the plane and bring his friends to final rescue. In the Pilot, Jack said that he "took a couple of flying lessons; it wasn't for me."

The reality of the end is hitting hard and where it hurts. I so appreciate your support and that you take the time to read through these long posts every week. I will be following the same format and schedule for the final two regular episodes, posting initial thoughts and theories in the very early hours following each. However, because I will be in LA at Jay and Jack's finale party, and because there is no rush to theorize about questions that will remain unanswered forever...I will not be posting my finale analysis for a few days after it airs. I would like to recover and then provide the most in-depth summary of the episode, season and series that I possibly can. You certainly deserve that. 

By the way, I am writing an article for Popular Mechanics about Lost and am looking to connect with a variety of scientists for the piece (which will be published right before the finale). If any of you know scientists in the following fields who happen to also be fans of the show, please let me know this week if possible: archaeology, astrophysics, geology, meteorology, oceanography, parapsychology, physics, psychology, volcanology and zoology. Thank you in advance!

As usual, I am giving away some Lost memorabilia this week. The winner from my last post is Ben S! Ben has won a set of Season 2 premium trading cards, so I hope he reads this and emails me his shipping address. Up for grabs this week is a lovely 6x9 photo of Josh Holloway; simply leave a comment with your thoughts about this episode or something I've addressed above, and your name will go in the hat to win it!

I look forward to reading your theories, thoughts and constructive feedback after this extremely emotional episode. 

Stay tuned for my Popular Mechanics article, as well as several Lost-related posts on AOL TV. I will also be reporting about the Lost Live event in LA next week, and then from the Lost Weekend fan party! My new motto remains: I shall sleep in June. 

FYI: It was just announced that the series finale on Sunday, May 23 has been extended to an unprecedented 2.5 hours (9pm-11:30pm). Wow.

Have a great week, and stock up on those tissues for bumpy road toward May 24.



Superbad said...

You know the end of LOST is starting to really hit you when:

A) You wake up in the middle of night imagining that empty Tuesday nights where LOST is no more.

B) All the sites I've visited for fan discussion and episode recaps are already starting their goodbyes.

C) LOST kills off four (or maybe three) characters in ONE night

D) There's only 2 + finale.

Thanks Jo for all the years. I'm still teary eyed first from what happened tonight and frankly, just because the show is ending in general.


Baldwin said...

Wow. Great post, again. I didn't even think about the list of four. seriously, wow. They are on top of it, this season. I also thought your theory about the offspring of Jack, Sawyer, or Jin was impressive, as well. I loved the quotes from Jack this episode, and I too was saddened to see Jin/Sun go.


Tammy said...

The heartbreaker for me was when Hurley started crying. I wanted to climb into the tv and hug him! Sawyer seems to be doomed on that island. No matter what he does to get away, the island pulls him back.

Fantastic, heartbreaking episode!

Paul Svoboda said...

I know that Sayid told Jack that "it's going to be you," but how would he know?


I think Sayid knows there is A candidate but not exactly who that candidate is, although after witnessing Jack's blind faith in knowing that nothing would happen he assumes it has to be Jack. Just a thought.

Thank so much for the post. What a fantastic episode - I'm going to really miss this show.

MonkeyFace said...

Jo....thanks for the recap. I am still in somewhat a state of shock, as last night's episode was so very hard to watch. Jin & Sun! Sayid! Frank? Maybe our bearded pilot will still be alive? We can only hope. I even yelled at the tv when Kate was shot and realized I liked her more than I ever imagined. I was really worried about Sawyer and certainly hope he isn't consumed with guilt because he pulled the wires and didn't trust Jack (but that is understandable, huh?); Sawyer has been my favorite character since S1....I hope he makes it off the island. Sorry you were spoiled on FB!

I'm sure going to miss your posts after LOST is over. Thank you for taking so much time and sharing your thoughts with us.

the flour child said...

Teardrops on a laptop can't be good for it. I think I should invest in a plastic shield of sorts.

I guess I am the only one to misinterpret Sayid's remark to Jack. He was telling Jack to go get Desmond, I thought... and that it would only work if Jack did it. I don't know if I absolutely believe this was proof of Jack's Ultimate Candidacy - I thought Sayid was simply explaining where to go next because he wouldn't be around to see it.

I had to laugh when Bernard got a little testy with Jack for 'flirting with his wife' on the plane. Leave it to a stubborn but big hearted oral surgeon to pick that point to hang onto. Also, it appears as though Bernard is certainly more than just a dentist as previously stated in the original timeline. The way he was creating teeth reminded me of the possibility of creating new vertebrae, perhaps to come in handy with a new procedure to reverse paraylsis conditions... but I'm just crazy talkin now.

And for the inevitable mention of my heart breaking thrice - once for entering the last four episode realm, once for my 1/3 top character for unsingingly taking one for the team, and finally once for the very titanic-reminiscent (I TOTALLY AGREE) double sacrfice.

Ballsy, that's all I have to say. I was so beside myself with everything else going on I didn't even register that Lapidus might be gone too. Anytime water is rushing on Lost, my mind goes first to Charlie, but then to Hurley's interrogation by Ana Lucia's partner and the picture breaking open into the cell. Annnd when Jack doesn't believe that they are underwater when he's being held on Hydra island... which results in a struggle for him and Jules to get that door closed before they all drown.

Drowning. Getting blown up. Getting shot. It's the trifecta method of death on Lost. Okay, and heart attack. but my goodness.

Sigh. My heart is heavy this morning, that's for sure.

Thanks, always, Jo.

Kitty Bateman said...

Thank you for a great analysis Jo! What a fantastic episode!

Sara said...

That was a rough (but excellent) episode. I was so moved by Sun and Jin's death scene that I feel like I haven't processed Sayid's death yet... and he has always been one of my favorites. I am so glad that he died the way he did, saving the others.

And about the backpack... I understand that the Man in Black is impenetrable to bullets... but his backpack is too???

thanks as always for a great write-up every week!
-Sara in NH

smacky said...

Great review, as usual. I was hoping Frank would make it out, but I suppose unless he pops up to fly the plane, we'll have to assume that flying door did indeed crush him. Damn. The island ended up killing him, years after he was supposed to be on the island!

Great point as well about how you can debate whether the bomb would have gone off regardless of what Sawyer did or did not do. One could argue that Jack's very act of carrying the bomb onto the sub fit "the rules" and would have meant Jack killed them and not notLocke.

Finally, it's interesting that the main characters who are dead on the island are still alive in the off-island world. Right now it's somewhat comforting to know in at least one world Sun and Jin are still alive and together. Maybe if/when these worlds merge (or whatever is going to happen) people will be able to choose, and Jin and Sun will live (and Sayid, and Juliet, and Charlie, and Faraday and... etc.).

LisiBee said...

I too was (relatively) okay until Hurley started crying. Then it was opened floodgates for me. Stupid show! I'm not happy with Darlton for killing off Sun and Jin. But I'm not happy with them for killing Lapidus either, regardless of how heroic he'd been. He'd been rapidly gaining ground as one of my favorite side characters; at first I was amused by the fact that he and Josh had acted together before in the movie "Cold Heart." But then, I grew to really enjoy the character. Ah well, this is LOST; I guess the deaths are to be expected, especially this close to the end. It doesn't mean I have to like any of them, though.

On a side note, I'm sorry you were spoiled for the episode by the careless action of someone on facebook. This close to the end of things, I would have been angry too.

tracindarella said...

Thinking back to the last epi - when Sun realized that the baby was ok and Jin was by her side. I believe she remembered the "island" time fully and accepted that where she was was better. She had a look on her face of acceptance when in the hospital... so as sad as it was last night I was not terribly surprised. But I did cry. And then again when Hurley started crying. And then again when I replayed Kate desparately reaching out to Jack on the beach. Thanks for pointing out that those same four where on the pier (I've even been to that pier - duh). I had gone radio silent last night as I was at a little league game until after the show aired - sorry some irresponsible person spoiled your wall. Tikka tikka tikka...

lennyg said...

Jo - great recap! The List of Four? That was brilliant! Regarding Desmond, I think he is described in Watership Down (seen in four LOST episodes!). Fiver, the rabbit with the uncanny sixth sense, describes an unsafe place "another place...we go there when we sleep; at other times, too; and when we die. El-ahrairah (a legendary rabbit hero) comes and goes between the two as he wants, I suppose, but I could never quite make that out from the tales." We may never know why Desmond is special but you're right, he has to play a key role in the end.

Sommery said...

Another amazing episode. Sayid has always been one of my favorites. And while I'm (of course) sad that he's gone, I am happy we got the old Sayid back and he was redeemed. Him sacrificing himself "for the greater good" was amazing - and just like Sayid.

The scene on the beach, with everyone crying was almost worse than Jin and Sun actually dying. There wasn't a dry eye in my house. To have the characters crying just reinforced our crying.

Congratulations on your milestone! Thank you so much for all the work you do.

canhamam said...

Jo, thank you for giving us this forum. Tears and shock! And so little time remains (although an extra half hour added to the finale is welcome). One image startled me: when Jack had struggled to the beach with Sawyer and then staggered back to the water's edge in tears....did anybody else notice he was half-black and half-white (dark clothes/white sand)? We know there are no accidental images with this show....this show we'll miss SO MUCH and SO SOON.

MelissaF said...

Figures that I'd just find your awesome blog with 2 episodes left! Great summary and you made connections that I'd completely forgotten about. Can't wait to read through your previous posts. Thanks!! said...

Aside from all the actual stuff on the show, I completely understand & appreciate what you said about watching Lost with your partner. I love sharing those moments with mine. It's what really keeps me glued to the show.

Great post Jo!

jonathan said...

I still cannot believe the end is near. What a ride! I thank you so much for keeping us all together and for your amazing insights. I often wonder what will take over this space in my brain once it all ends. I imagine that my mind will still be in Lost-Land long after it's finished.

Jams said...

What an amazing episode! Thanks, Jo for all your great analysis over the years. Two things come as questions to me after last night:

1. If they die on the island does the sideways timeline disappear? When Hurley asked Jack about Sayid his response was "there is no Sayid." So if that's true and the sideways timeline dies when the island character dies, does that mean whoever DOES get off the island will experience some "incident" that will result in them landing in the sideways timeline?

2. FLocke seemingly can't be killed on the island, or else the Widmore goons at the Ajira plane were worse shots that Imperial Stormtroopers. How can FLocke be killed? Can the smoke monster be separated from him and he somehow get off the island NOT as evil and live as John Locke in the sideways line? Does his role have to be transfered in order for him to die? Somehow I don't see Man In Black being stuck on the island; he wants his humanity back and probably wants to die, not spread evil over the earth. Live out his days as a mortal, normal human. But until then he's willing to kill at will to get his way.

Also have been thinking a lot about the Father conversation towards the end, as Locke was leaving the hospital. Seemed very much like they were talking about the Father with a capital F, it had a particular weight to it. It definitely re-enforced the notion that in Sideways world, Jack has come to terms with his father and his fatherhood and his confidence, which makes his choice to stay on the island even more weighty.

Still a ton to process on this one, can't wait to watch it again.

Mike said...

Regarding Sayid's "it's going to be you" comment;

I don't believe Sayid was speaking from a position of intimate knowledge, but I would imagine fLocke talking with Sayid off camera about Jacob's Candidates and all of that, so Sayid knows the premise that one of the 6 are supposed to replace Jacob. I think Sayid is simply implying his opinion that Jack most fits the role.

Also with Sayid, Naveen has done a great job over the years with his accent, but at one point during the bomb diffusing moment, he sounded a lot more brittish than the Sayid accent i've been accustomed to. Regardless, a tiny nitpick to an overall great Naveen series. I hope there is more Sideways exposition to complete his character arc.

Kelly said...

Like others before me, I was doing okay until Hurley started crying. But that killed me. (I was doing okay until then because I was distracted by the Titanic similarities and by the fact that there WAS a first aid kit up by Frank.)

I don't know if I would have made the connection with Ms. Klugh's list, so thank you for that. If it isn't significant, I'll be shocked.

I refuse to believe Lapidus is dead. They have not been dragging him around the island like so much dead weight only to unceremoniously have his death overwhelmed by the incredibly moving deaths of Sayid, Jin, and Sun.

Finally, I was thinking that it was Locke, Sayid, and Jack that Juliet was shooting at. If she hit Locke, it wouldn't harm him. And Miles, I assume, would have realized who was in that other outrigger.

That's plenty from me. Great post!

scrooge818 said...

A heartwrenching episode that had me sobbing so much I could hardly see the screen. Spectacular acting as well during this episode, most especially Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim and Jorge Garcia (Hurley's sobs made me cry all over again). Thank you, Jo, for another wonderful recap. :)

Kaitlin said...

what a sad episode. sayid was my favorite character from the beginning. while i knew he would die, i'm glad they had him die heroically.
as for sun and jin. :( i had a feeling they were doomed because those that find happiness are almost always quickly killed it seems. but man, i cried.

now sawyer is going to know how it feels for jack. to be sort of responsible for many people's deaths by thinking you are doing the right thing.

i think kate got shot in part just to remind the audience that very omg! i actually like kate! don't die! i know i felt that way.

thanks for the recap.

Nurby said...

I wonder what happens to Sun and Jin on LA X side? Do they die because the timelines are converging or can they survive there and have their baby? And if they can survive will they remember everything from island time?

cookie c. said...

it took a long time to fall asleep last night and i woke up thinking about sun and jin. great episode. great post and pointing out that the 4 that survived were on that list from S2!!

smacky said...

I just rewatched the first episode of season 2. Remember how people were complaining it took the entire episode to get down the hatch and see what was inside? Hahaha! It's been such a ride since then.

You know, I still don't know who was doing those Dharma food drops for Desmond in the hatch. Did Ben coordinate that to keep Desmond in there pushing the button? The off-island Dharma folks wouldn't keep doing food drops once their people stopped communicating with them (after Ben and the others killed them), would they?

Valerie said...

I love reading your after episode posts. I still feel as though I'm going to cry after watching this last one. I want to watch it again and cry more...

I was hoping Frank somehow made it out. Alas!

My heart just broke with Jin and Sun. When John saw Jin in the flash sideways, I was glad for that little moment. Part of me hope the flash sideways could be a reality for some of them.

I was glad that Sayid died in heroic fashion. Redemption.

I'm glad Desmond isn't dead! But I knew he couldn't be.

Okay, I need to stop now. I can't be crying at work over Lost. lol!

Thank you Jo, for sharing all your thoughts and theories...

Brian said...


Good job as always. I'll keep my comments brief.

1. I think Lapidus is alive. Our four candidates seem SOL with Smokie on the war path, but Desmond, Alpert, Miles, Ben, and Lapidus will somehow come to their rescue.

2. I still hold out some hope for your "Generation Next" theory, but time is short.

3. I think the flash sideways narrative device is backfiring: when the characters died in this episode, it lacked finality. We know they're all alive in the LA X, so I wasn't that moved. (Though clearly you were, so maybe I'm just heartless and cold.) When beloved characters died earlier, it seemed very final. But now when we see someone like Ilana die on the island, and shortly afterward see her alive in LA, it lessens the blow of her death.

That's all for now. What a week!

L. A. said...


Ha! That it literally the only Lost mystery I will be bugged about after the show. Everything else I feel is done, and however the story plays, I'll be happy, but that flipping food drop in S2 bugs me!

Intense, insane episode. This has truly brought home how epic a series Lost has been.

I'm very happy in one respect that it appears two of my theories have played out: that unLocke wanted all the candidates dead, and that he couldn't do it himself.

My only thought now is whether he actually wants to leave. I think he just wants to live in peace on the Island, and is sick of meddling people arriving! Without Jacob and a replacement that could be his aim.

Awesome recap too!

Slice said...

Jo - that's what I love about reading other fan's blogs...picking up on the little things that I missed (when I thought I caught everything the first time around). Excellent observation with the S2 list of four names, and the 'coincidence' of those same four individuals surviving the sub explosion.

Also did you notice Sayid was a bit more 'friendly' and caring after his exchange with Desmond at the well? I wonder if Desmond influenced him in some way that will be revealed later (more than just the pep talk about what he would say to Nadia).

2nd Sayid observation - since we lost Jin/Sun, Lapidas and Sayid in the submarine blast, I am thinking that Jin/Sun and Lapidas will move on to the next life, but Sayid may be trapped on the island (like Michael) for what he had done in the past...Maybe we'll be seeing our Iraqi Torturer friend again as an adviser to Hurley?

Me said...

Wow, I wish I had discovered your website earlier! You have some great comments - I like the idea of the children being the actual candidates. Except what about Hurley? As far as we know, he has no kids.

And in line with 'what's in notLocke's backpack?' is: what was in that bag of Ilana's that Hurley took??

I was just devastated by Jin/Sun's passings. Too too sad.

Man, I really want that Sawyer picture.

JustineJennifer said...

Hi Jo!
Thanks for your posts - I look forward to reading them each week! :)

The Man in the Black Backpack:
In case you missed it we actually did kearn the significance of the backpack last night! While Jack and Locke were lying low in the bushes as the other characters jumped aboard the sub Locke grabs Jack's backpack and hands him his own. It was Locke's backpack that help the bomb, but in the chaos Jack didn't notice he was carrying Locke's.

Hope your relieved to have the answer to your long awaited question! Keep up the great work :)

Prius Dei Servus said...

Just wondering if anyone else noticed anything strange about unLocke being pushed into the water?

It seemed to me like he should have smokified and killed Widmore's goons after he got out, but instead he shot at them. So I'm left wondering if somehow water prevents him from turning into smoke?

And if that's the case: might that be why the island is submerged in the bombsville timeline?

On the other hand, Sawyer was pretty specific about Jack shoving unLocke into the water, and I don't think that Sawyer has any specialized knowledge about smokification.

Rebecca said...

Jo, your recaps have been so important to me over the past few seasons and its comforting to know that there are others out there who feel the pain of watching this especially heartbreaking episode. I have never in my life been so emotionally connected to television characters, but the writers have literally brought these characters to life, so your heart breaks when things like this happen. Thank you again for all you analysis and theories. They will also be missed.


tiffanietales said...

To have LOST and loved is better than never to have LOST at all.

Here's my entry for the Josh Holloway pic. :) Yay!

LoriS said...

Thanks so much for this, Jo!

My viewing of the episode was clouded by spoilers, unfortunately, but reading your analysis returns me to enjoying the episode :)

My husband made a nice observation last night. As much as notLocke is the "bad" guy, it can be pretty hard not to root for him when he's so bad-ass! LOL I think he's right!

Janet said...

I can't tell you enough how much my fellow Losties and I LOVE your blog each week. can't imagine how we will recover when Lost is no longer! Thanks for being the motivation to get up early enough on Wednesday Mornings to read your blog before "real work" starts.

evelynnes_mom said...

Did you notice Claire & Sayid holding hands when approaching the Ajira plane? The camera shows Sun & Jin holding hands, but then the the next shot is behind the group from a higher vantage point, you can see Sun & Jin holding hands as well as Sayid & you think we should be reading anything to that, is it moot now that Sayid is dead?

RowanRaven said...

I am horrified that someone posted a spoiler on your FB Wall!! That's hideous behavior. Shame on whoever it was.

I think if you need to go on a LOCKE-down that you should!

RowanRaven said...

Jo! Thank you for another fabulous re-cap. I, like you, am so devastated... sad... exhausted... in a state of shock.

This show is unlike any other. You hit the nail on the head when you wrote about its emotional impact!!

I just rewatched the epi and I only cried more, cried harder the second time.

Thank you for all that you do! I shall miss your LOST thoughts after the show is over for good.

(Btw: Would LOVE to win that pic of Sawyer! Yummy!)


Marygail said...

Thank you for another re-cap of this episode. I was shocked when Jin and Sun died, but only cried when Hurley started crying. Sayid is also one of my favorites from the start and it's good to see him die for the "greater good" and in a way redeemed himself.

I honestly thought that the backpack that NotLocke gave Jack was NotLocke's backpack. And that NotLocke was now holding Jack's.

I was hoping Lapidus didn't die, seems a shame for the island to be done with him when he really hasn't done much.

I always look forward to your blog every Wednesday morning, after each Lost episode.

Ben said...

Jo, great recap as always!

I think that Jack was right about the bomb in the sub, that the rules wouldn't allow notLocke to kill them and the bomb wouldn't have gone off. Since notLocke attached the timer to the bomb, he was the primary actor is creating the bomb which would kill our losties. But he's not allowed to kill them, so the bomb wouldn't have gone off. However, when Sawyer pulled the plugs out he replaces notLocke in the causal chain allowing the bomb to actually explode. Unintentional suicide is not against the rules. So damn you Sawyer, your single-minded desperation to get off the island has clouded your judgment and got 3 (or 4) people killed.

And as sad as it was to lose Sun and Jin, I wasn't that surprised. Their deaths seemed very Whedon-like: their plot are finished (they found each other) so now they can die. Bam.

can't wait for next week!

V. said...

I can't believe how fast Sayid was gone! I hope we get to see his conversation with Desmond, instead of just getting a recap from D.

When Juliet was dying, we all assumed that she was crossing over with her coffee comments. I wonder if Kate or Sawyer will be close enough to death to have some sort of crossover?

Diana said...

Excellent recap, all the better for being able to wake up and have it waiting.

I had a few echoes of past episodes too. The real John Locke blew up a sub too. He was mysteriously soaking wet at the time too.

Not sure if Lapidus is dead or not, but they do need him if they're going to fly the Ajira plane off. Or maybe Penny's going to rescue them all in Our Mutual Friend.

Widmore and his thugs at the Hydra cages reminded me of Danny Pickett and those thugs. Still no idea what he's back for.

The sinking sub was pure Poseidon Adventure. That movie terrified me for years--much worse than Titanic.

Alayna and Elie said...

Great recap! I was looking forward to reading your blog even during the episode. During obvious parallel moments, like "I wish you believed me," I was thinking of you and your binder of all things LOST.

Sorry you got spoiled on FB. :-(

Just Thinking said...

Why do you think Hurley got to us all that way? Because he never really broke down before- or because we identify with him as speaking for us so often? Or maybe just because we love him.

Still- this was different than Charlie's death for me because it seems there may be a different better life still available for them. If fact, I'm counting on it.

Hope to see you at J&J JO- thanks for the community building you do here.

Michael E Lendo said...

In response to "The List of Four":

Sayid, Jin & Sun were the first (and only?) three Oceanic survivors who saw the Four Toed Statue.

Rhiannon said...

Didn't even realize that the Four left are the Four from the List! You're good, Jo!

BBMPigBob said...

I lost it when Hurley did. Just a sample of tears to come, I fear...

Thanks Jo -- I appreciate you and your hard work...

shar said...

Jo, as always thanks for your insight. I too needed kleenex for this ep and am afraid more is to come. I didn't catch the list of four, thanks for pointing that out. Also thanks for reminding us where Ben, Miles, and Richard went. I was trying to remember that. Have fun in LA!

Anonymous said...

Jo - thanks for another great re-cap. I guess I may be one of the only people who wasn't moved to tears with the death of Sun & Jin. I was just so happy that Sawyer made it - I had heard a spoiler that a major character was going to die and thought for sure it was him. I guess because the Kwon story line had been a little lacking prior to this and the fact that Sayid was in a zombie state, I wasn't bothered too much. Plus the fact that in the other time line, they are still alive, I'm thinking we will still see them. I can't believe this wild ride is ending "sigh" :(

Pavement Runner said...

I'm with you on the Titanic moment. Rising water, stuck, don't go, stay, etc.

Also, YES. It is totally Sawyer's fault. He no longer has the right to give Jack guilt about the death of Juliet. Sawyer kill count: four. Jack: one.

My bet is on Hurley. Are there Vegas odds going on who will be the winner/final candidate?

Great post, as usual Jo.

Sherylm said...

That was so so sad. Even my husband who normally has lots of comments at the end of each episode just sat there in silence and shock for many long moments.

I like the connection you made with the list of names. It's like Ben was privy to some real information but as he was not the right person for the job, he understood in a mixed-up way.

I agree with JustineJennifer about Demon Locke's backpack. I realized as soon as he gave the backpack to Jack that it was actually his and that the C4 must be inside it...and I thought of you and how you are always talking about that backpack and wondered if the writers had, too.

The way Bernard said "Of course, I do, JACK" in their scene was as if he was trying to jog Jack's memory.

I have to believe that somehow these two timelines are going to merge and meld into one. Otherwise it's really too too sad for me.

And have you noticed that the people Jacob touched and said something to are now trying to live out the advice he gave, e.g. he told Kate not to steal anymore and she's give Aaron back; he told Hurley to see himself as blessed and not crazy and he does; he told Jin and Sun that their love was very important and they stayed true to the bitter end...

Thankfully Sayid came back to himself and did the only thing that could be done, although at that moment I wished the sub was equipped with torpedos and they could shot the bomb out like on they always did on Star Trek.

Gosh, none of us thought we'd need your Dharma Kleenex box so soon, did we?

Anonymous said...

I was spoiled regarding Jin and Sun and was not quite as weepy because I was then just waiting for it to happen. This just pisses me off.

That said, some responses to your theories and analysis.

1)I can only hope we get some sort of closure with Sayid in the Flash sideways. While I liked the redemption, zombie Sayid could have been played by a monkey or mannequin or some such.

2) I find everyone's usage of Candidate as being the final selectin rather odd. By definition, a candidate is just someone eligible for something, while finalist or winner or selection would be the correct way to designate the person chosen at the end.

3) My favorite bit near the end of the episode was when Flocke was trying to convince Jack to go on the plane, that he was berating who ever told him he had some destiny and that he needed to stay on the island, and all that. And Jack's response "John Locke told me I had to stay on the island", and then he shoves him into the water. I just really liked that come what may, Jack had now laid his cards on the table on where he stood.

4) Kate has always been put into the place of a "prize for the winner". She has been part of the Jack/Sawyer triangle nearly the entire run of the show, and she's still in that position. It's almost as if they've set it up in such a way that whoever takes over for Jacob, that person get's a companion in Kate.

5)Oh, and regarding Jack's surgery on Locke, I don't understand why he didn't just fix him when he was in their the first time.

6) Instead of the Flash sideways and the island timelines melding, what if the Flash sideways was the new reality? What if the bomb set off by Juliet did alter everyone's timeline, changing what the future would look like, and only those actually on the island are experiencing this current timeline, that there is a bubble around the island protecting this version of time? I guess it would make the island something lik a TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), or the Enterprise, in something like First Contact. The Borg go back in time near Earth, the Enterprise follows, as they enter the time vortex, they see their present day Earth become Borgified, but they are unaffected by the altered timeline and retain their memories into the past so they can fight the Borg before they can create that altered timeline. So, our intrepid group on the island were protected by it's unique properties when the bomb went off, but in 1977 it changed everyone's timeline at that point, for those whom 1977 was a present time. So on the island, when someone dies, it's just this version of them, they are still alive and kicking and going on with their life in the real world, and the island is outside of time. And maybe Desmond getting key players to realize this moves them along their path in the sideways, and helps those on the island make the decisions they need to make.

7) And yes, Richard, Miles and Benry were noticable by their absence. I can't help wondering if the C4 belonged to them, but then, why wait to blow the plane, they wanted to destroy Flocke's way off the island, not any of the people.

8) As to how Flocke knew that not everyone died, I don't think precognition has anything to do with it. He's clearly not human, he's something other. And since the island is a cork in a bottle holding him there, and apparently Jacob was the one holding the cork in the bottle, my guess is that he needs all the Candidates to be dead in order to leave, and he doesn't need to leave in a traditional way. There must be some sort of energy link that the presence of Jacob in the past, and now of the Candidates, has that just keeps him there, and if they die, that energy fades and he can just go.

9) I think Sawyer will be second guessing his decision in the same way Jack did regarding the bomb, and that he'll be less likely to recriminate Jack now.


Mahima said...

I knew something was up when NotLocke stole the watch from one of the guys who was "guarding" the Ajira plane!!!! So sad to see Jin and Sun go!

SAWW Designs said...

Great recap, J! Cant wait to see the final 3.

Juanita's Journal said...

Now that Kwon and Jarrah have been crossed off the cave wall and lighthouse wheel, that leaves 3 Candidates: Hurley, Jack and Sawyer. Given the island's propensity to kill off women (Alex, Ana Lucia, Charlotte, Ilana, Juliet, Libby, Rousseau, Shannon, Sun, etc.) and rob its female inhabitants of having children, I am not at all surprised that the Candidate will be male.

Kate's name on the lighthouse wall HAS NOT been crossed off. Why do people keep forgetting this?

Juanita's Journal said...

Tom shot Sawyer in the shoulder on the raft (Exodus, Part 2)

That's not true. It was one of the Others who shot Sawyer on the raft. From "EXODUS" transcript:

[The floodlight is turned off. Sawyer draws his gun, but is shot first by one of the two men, and falls into the water. Jin dives in after him. The two men jump onto the raft. One grabs Walt and the other fights with Michael.]

Jo said...

@Juanita's Journal - I don't know if you're new to my site, but your tone seems rather angry. Please note that this is all pure speculation and of course I make occasional mistakes.

I know that Kate's name has not been crossed off the lighthouse wheel. However, she is NOT one of the numbers (she is 51); to me, that indicates that she is not a Candidate.

And yes, I now realize that another Other shot Sawyer - and will fix that.


Juanita's Journal said...

Angry tone? I'm not using an angry tone. I'm just wondering why so many are forgetting that Kate's name is on the lighthouse wall.

Diane said...

I have a really crazy theory that I haven’t seen anyone else come up with but the possibility of it would be a very satisfying conclusion for me. However, it may be so far out there that people will wonder what I’ve been smoking. (Which is absolutely nothing – don’t smoke anything, never have.)

First of all we don’t know for sure that Lapidus is dead. Other people have also theorized that Jin may not be dead either. I go with the idea that Jin is dead. However, I have very serious doubts at this time that Lapidus is dead.
It’s been mentioned that perhaps the people who survive on the island won’t have a life in the alt-verse. That in order to survive in the alt-verse they must die on the island. We haven’t seen a flash sideways that includes Lapidus and (I believe it was last season) Ilana did mention the possibility that Frank could be a Candidate. That was why she didn’t get rid of him early on.

What if, just what if, it turns out that Frank is Jacob’s replacement and everyone else dies on the island so they can have a life in the alt-verse?

Crazy theory? Hey, with Lost anything can happen, right?

irolina said...

random thoughts:
1) i was listening to "man in the mirror" by michael jackson - made me think about lost :))) plus a great song!
2) Carl Jung quote that also made me think about Lost: "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." said...

ugh, tears yes! i thought sayid's comment to jack meant he'd be the one to have to go rescue desmond now.

and i thought of titanic too. but of the scene in a bedroom when an older couple decided not to fight for a place on a raft, but to lie in the bed and hold hands, looking lovingly in each other's eyes. that scene has always stayed with me as a most touching moment and jin and sun recreated it.

great show evaluation!

Monique said...

I too was crying my eyes out. So sad to see our losties lose so many in this ep.

The end of the show really has me thinking a lot about the beginning. Remember the season two opener when we saw a man (who is Desmond) going about his day and were thinking-what the heck? Or season three when we meet Juliet for the first time getting ready for the others book club and thought-what the heck? I've a feeling the finale will be that way too.

Desmond is far more important than we ever realized to the overall story arc-after all he did meet Jack prior to coming to the island-and I don't think the rest of the losties had any direct interaction. Even though people they were connected to-connected to other losties.

The other think that I have noticed about Flocke is that it seems to me that he has never lied-not once. As horrible as he is-I feel he is telling us the truth about how he used to be a man, that he can't directly kill any of the losties. Contrast that to Jacob-whose touch seemed a bit unkind compared to the flash sideways lives they are leading? I still don't think Flocke is good, but I certainly don't think Jacob was all good either.

Laura said...

Thanks for the great recap. You've picked up on a few things I missed even after watching it twice! ;-)

My comment is about the superior/ground-breaking quality of the writing on Lost. The heart-breaking deaths of Jin and Sun on the sub and the following scene on the beach where Kate and Hurley learn that the Kwon's didn't make it were remarkable to me because of their brave and honest portrayals of grief and human suffering. It's not often that a grown man is allowed to cry freely and openly on TV. When they cried, we all cried because we have grown to care so deeply about these characters. I don't think there will ever be another show as incredible as Lost. I know I will cry like a baby when it's over. I hope you have a blast at @ Jay and Jack's party. I wish I could be there!

umberhaven said...

Forgive me if this has been said already...

{And, Jo, please disregard that "test" post. I was trying to remember my Google login and accidentally clicked return instead of clicking the Preview button.}

...If it is no coincidence that the four who were summoned to the Other's ferry dock in s2 are the ones who survived the submarine explosion, then I wonder if it's any coincidence that the three that died (not counting Frank, obviously) are the same three who went on the scouting mission by boat (to try to find Walt, if I remember correctly), which led them to be the first Losties to see the three-toed statue.

I have no clue how or why that would be significant, but who knows. (???)