Lost recaps: Season 6, Episode 13
‘The Candidate,’ Or: Sob Story

Published May 5, 2010 on

This was either the best episode of Lost ever, or the worst episode of Lost ever. I'm still not sure.

Previously: Some stuff happened. We don't have time to get into that now.

Island Timeline

Jack comes to in a beached canoe. Rough night at the Abbey? Sayid's there, and fills Jack in, inasmuch as there's anything to fill him in on. NotLocke arrives to add that there's this little situation, and it needs to be solved in order to get everyone off the island. Jack agrees to help, but emphasizes that he's not leaving the island.

The rest of the Losties are strolling through the Hydra compound when one of the redshirts who usually has lines orders them into one of the cages. Sawyer, not wild at the prospect of being in there again, grabs the guy's gun and makes it very clear that he's not going in. Widmore, exasperated, enters the scene and threatens to kill Kate if Sawyer doesn't comply. Kate tells Sawyer not to comply, and we all yell, "Yes, don't comply!" But Sawyer knows that Kate's not a candidate, so Widmore doesn't actually need her; so he lowers his gun and allows himself to be herded in with the rest of the crew, because he lurrrrrves her. He explains as much to Kate, leaving out the lurrrve part, while Sun catches up Jin on their daughter (in English; I guess they blew the chyron budget on the Kwon-centril episode) and Hurley, Frank and Claire stand around and look like scenery.

And then the lights cut out, and there are shouts of the generator being down, and, sure enough, Smokey comes through. The redshirt with lines meets his maker against the bars of the cage. When the metaphorical and literal smoke clear, the guy's sprawled on the ground, the key just a bit more than an arm's length away. Kate tries to stretch for it. Frank gets tired of waiting for her to grow a longer arm and starts trying to kick the door open. Jack shows up, grabs the key, unlocks the door, announces that he's with Smokey and frees them all. Right, then.

Next stop: the Ajira plane. NotLocke, de-Smokefied, dispatches a couple of uselessly armed redshirts, grabs one of their digital watches and climbs into the plane's cabin, where he notices a wire that leads to something in an overhead compartment.

Back on the ground, NotLocke explains to his assembled troops that they're not taking the plane, because Widmore's rigged it with these blocks of explosives, one of which he displays. Change of plans: The sub it is. Sawyer's all, hi, I've been saying that for the last few episodes. But he doesn't press the point, because he's appreciative of Locke for having saved their asses twice. Which we all know means that he's about to pretend to go along with what NotLocke says to distract from having a plan of his own. Sure enough, as everyone begins the trek towards the sub, Sawyer hangs back and instructs Jack to keep NotLocke off the sub. Somehow, this will involve getting NotLocke into the water.

NotLocke's army crouches down in the foliage near the guarded sub dock, looking like nothing so much as a bunch of Ewoks. A plan quickly materializes: Some of them will charge forward and pick off the guards, almost everyone else will follow, and Jack and NotLocke will cover them. Jack emphasizes, for about the tenth time this episode, that he's not leaving the island, just in case we didn't feel the anvil on our toes the first nine times. Also, the show takes pains to show us, both Jack and NotLocke take off their backpacks. So a bunch of them rush forward, and NotLocke hands Jack a pack, and there's scuffling and shooting, and two important things happen: Jack knocks NotLocke into the water, and Kate finally gets shot. Jack springs into doctor mode and helps get Kate into the sub. Sawyer yells for Claire, the only one who hasn't made it onto the boat, but then there's NotLocke, climbing out of the water, completely dry save for a wet shirt. Sawyer slams the hatch door shut.

So, let's reset. In the sub: Jack, Kate, Jin, Sun, Sawyer, Hurley and Sayid. Oh, plus Frank, who's sent to intimidate the captain. Jack tends to Kate, asking Jin to grab his backpack. When Jack opens it, he finds a bomb, fashioned from a block of the plane explosives and the redshirt's digital watch. Gotta hand it to NotLocke: That's one ingenious supernatural entitity. The bomb's set to go off in a bit under four minutes. Sayid takes a look at the bomb, muttering something about how if these two particular wires are pulled out simultaneously, it should theoretically stop the countdown. Sawyer's all for pulling the wires out, but Jack stops him.

Jack's been doing some piecing-together, and here's what he's figured out: NotLocke wanted to get them all on this sub together. Due to a rule in some unexplained game, NotLocke can't kill them, so they shouldn't be in danger from the bomb. They're in danger from each other. NotLocke wants them to kill each other off. But Sawyer's all, yeah, whatever, gonna yank those wires out now to stop the bomb. This stops the watch for long enough for Sawyer to look smug. And then the watch starts counting down again, but really, really quickly. Damn. And it'll take at least five minutes to get the sub back to the surface. Crap.

Sayid grabs the bomb. He says something about how last time he was here, Desmond was in a compartment, so they ought to check on that; tells Jack he's going to have to lead everyone out, and runs as far away as he can get in the few seconds remaining. So when the bomb goes off, it just takes Sayid with it. 'Bye, Sayid!

Frank notices the sudden sirens and flashy red lights and leaves the control room to investigate. He notices some water seeping in from around a door. Before he has a chance to fully complete the thought that, yeah, this can't be good, the water comes rushing in, and he gets hit with a door.

Action sequence time! Water starts filling the cabin. Kate's unconscious and Sun's trapped against a wall by some... I don't know, cabinet or something. Jack, Jin and Sawyer are successful in moving the cabinet, but then it turns out she's also trapped by... I don't know, a railing or something. Jack tells Hurley to swim up to the surface with Kate and a convenient air canister. Somehow, Sawyer gets knocked out, too. Jack tries to help free Sun, but it's not looking good, so he finally heeds Jin's urgings to get out of there with Sawyer. Alone now, Jin keeps trying to free Sun, and she keeps telling him to go, and he keeps insisting he won't leave her, and it's not like they have a KID or anything. So, with Hurley, Kate, Jack and Sawyer on their way, Jin and Sun pledge their love until they meet their mutual watery end.

And then ABC cuts to that commercial with the guy on the pier and the gum and the shark. Smooth, guys. Not.

Jack revives Sawyer on the beach. Hurley and Kate join them. Jack reports that Jin and Sun didn't make it. Hurley cries. Jack cries. Everyone cries. Shut up, I am not crying, too. I just have something in my eye. And, um, allergies. Anyway, you're one to talk. I see that tissue.

Back on the dock, Claire's having her usual abandonment issues. NotLocke assures Claire that she really doesn't want to be on that sub. And then he leaves to finish what he started, whatever that means.

That Sideways Timeline

Sideways Jack greets a back-from-the-sedative Locke. Somewhere in the middle of noting the crazy coincidence that they'd just been on a plane together, Jack explains to Locke that he was run over, and he'd be fine, and, actually, Jack thinks Locke might be a candidate. For some surgery, he means, surgery that might enable Locke to walk again. Locke's "thanks, but no thanks" answer rather mystifies Jack, but Helen's arrival means Jack doesn't get a chance to pursue it.

So, being all snoopy, Jack checks Locke's records off-screen and gets himself to a dentist who'd performed some oral surgery on Locke, or something. Doesn't matter. What matters is that the dentist is Bernard, who remembers Jack from the plane, even if Jack was too busy flirting with Bernard's wife to have taken notice of him. Bernard can't tell Jack much, due to those pesky confidentiality rules, but the coincidence of them having met before prompts him to reveal that, for some reason, he knows the name of the guy who was in the accident with Locke: Anthony Cooper. Jack's a bit surprised, but Bernard's attitude is very, "Dude. Major plot point. My work is done here."

Jack tracks Anthony Cooper down to a nursing home, where he runs into Helen. When Jack tells Helen who he's there to see, she implores him to leave. He won't, so she reluctantly introdces him to Anthony Cooper, a paralyzed man in a wheelchair who also happens to be Locke's father.

Back at the hospital, Jack checks in with Locke, who's muttering something in his sleep about pushing a button. Locke wakes up, but before Jack can get too personal, he catches sight of Claire, who's there looking for Jack. (The lawyer told her where he works, but it shouldn't have been too hard for even a nitwit like Claire to figure out, there only being one hospital in all of Los Angeles.) Their mutual father wanted her to have this little music box, and Claire's stumped as to why. She asks Jack to take a look, and he does. Looking inside doesn't reveal any information, but it does give us a Very Significant Shot of Jack and Claire reflected in the same mirror, and a Very Significant Music Box Selection of "Catch a Falling Star," so mission accomplished. Jack ends up inviting Claire to stay with him. They may be strangers, but they're family.

Jack catches Locke upon check-out and asks why he won't have the surgery. Turns out that, once upon a time, Locke was an amateur pilot, and he begged his father to be his first solo pilot. And then -- well, he doesn't know what went wrong, but Locke's in a wheelchair and Anthony Cooper is completely paralyzed. Jack points out that whatever happened, happened; and, as Locke pointed out to Jack back in the season premiere, both of their fathers are gone. Locke chooses to keep punishing himself. "I wish you believed me," Jack says sadly, as Locke wheels himself away.

While all this is happening, Jin is rushing down the hall with flowers, presumably for Sun. Because this is, of course, the only hospital in all of Los Angeles.

Okay. So. You know I usually don't do any speculation, but I can't help it here. We're given to believe that Jin, Sun, Sayid and Frank all died on the sub. I can kind of buy Sayid sacrificing himself as an act of redemption. Jin and Sun... well, it's sad, and I can't quite buy that the show would orphan another fictional kid, but couples have wanted to die together as far back as Baucis and Philemon, and you know how obsessed this show is with mythologies. But schlep Frank along all season just to have him the first one down in a sub destruction? Really? I don't know exactly what's going on here, but I'm pretty sure it's more than meets the eye.

Next week: Light side, dark side, hot physical manifestations of supernatural entitites. The usual, then.

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