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Recap of Lost Episode "The Candidate"

Let's Get Lost: "The Candidate" Recap

Darn you, Lost for turning me into a weeping mess. I'm not sure if my emotions got the best of me because of my pure shock over what went down this week (three main characters died!), or if it's due to the fast-approaching finale being all the more real. All I know, is I just feel like I went through an entire catharsis, and I'm drained — but my mind is still churning.

Like, what does the change in Locke's backstory in the sideways reality mean? And is Flocke completely omniscient? I have a few theories (and I want to hear yours too, of course), so let's go over the big highlights and questions. As you may recall, the last episode concluded with Widmore taking Sawyer and his followers captive, while Flocke saved Jack. Let's pick right back up when you read more.

  • The episode opens in the alternate world with Jack explaining to Locke that he could help him walk again, calling Locke a "candidate" for a procedure (let the allusions to the island begin!). Locke tells Jack that he doesn't want to be fixed. Also of note, when Locke is later sleeping in the hospital, he murmurs "push the button" and "I wish you had believed me" — a reference to the suicide note Locke left for Jack last season. So apparently, Locke can remember the island in a dreamlike state. His words also seem to imply that if the Oceanic castaways continued to press the button and stayed on the island as Locke originally wanted — instead of leaving as Jack wanted to — that this sideways wouldn't exist.
  • As Widmore puts his new captives in a cage, Sawyer grabs hold of a gun — so Widmore turns his weapon on Kate, saying that she's not on the list, so he doesn't need her. Sawyer knows what he's referencing, so he drops his rifle and explains the names to Kate. I'm curious as to why Kate has apparently lost her candidacy. In the third season Mikhail told her she's not the on the list because she's "flawed" — is it because of her past transgressions? But I digress, the smoke monster appears with Jack in tow, who then releases the group from their lockup. The entire group heads to the plane with Flocke leading the way.
  • Back in the sideways, Jack does some investigative work to understand why Locke doesn't want the procedure, and visits Locke's dentist: Bernard. After a quick chat, the two realize that they were both on Oceanic flight 815, and though Jack seems surprised, I'd argue that Bernard appears eerily knowing. He hands Jack the information he asks for — the name of the man who was in the accident with Locke — and says, "I hope you find what you're looking for." Perhaps like Desmond and Charlie and Libby, Bernard also knows about the island and is, in his own way, trying to help Jack along.
  • As for the man Jack's looking for, it's Locke's father Anthony Cooper. Jack tracks him down at hospital facility, where he's basically a vegetable, unable to walk or talk. In the sideways world, Locke had been flying a private plane with his father when it crashed, and Locke blames himself for his father's sorry state, which is why he turns down the surgery. Since the other characters' pasts have also changed, perhaps Locke had wished for his terrible father to be dead — which he basically is. Later, Jack tells Locke, "I wish you believed me" about getting the surgery, using Locke's words.
  • When Flocke and the gang approach the plane to leave, Flocke kills a couple of Widmore guards, and although they fire on Flocke, he appears to be unharmed. It never really dawned on me before, but I'm assuming Flocke can never be killed, only restrained, as with the wine bottle metaphor. When Flocke enters the plane, he discovers that Widmore has wired it with explosives, so he tells the group that they'll have to take the sub instead. The group climbs into the sub, as Widmore's guys open fire, wounding Kate. Jack shoves Flocke into the water, jumps in the sub to save Kate, and they push away from the land with everyone on board, minus Claire. Only thing is, Flocke planted the plane's explosives on Jack, which means they're trapped with a ticking bomb. Flocke must've known there would be explosives on the plane, hence why he knew to take the watch. I wonder if leaving with them was ever part of the plan (and if Jack just ruined it by opting to stay), or if Flocke wanted to kill them all along in order to be free.
  • Back to sideways, Claire shows Jack what Christian left for her in his will: a music box. It plays "Catch a Falling Star" (in season one, Claire tells Aaron's prospective adoptive parents that her father sang this song to her). Note also how Claire and Jack look into the mirror in the box together. It's just another mirror in the sideways — just think to when Jack looked at his appendix scar in the mirror or when Sawyer smashes the one in the police locker room. The writers seem to be using the device to hint more at the dual nature/reality of the characters.
  • As the bomb is about to go off on the submarine, Jack tells Sawyer not to panic, saying Flocke can't kill the candidates. Instead, Jack believes that Flocke is using the explosives to cause them to take out each other. Jack's logic makes sense — that's why Flocke needed Sayid, in order to do his dirty work. It's also explains why the mysterious boy in the jungle likes to taunt Flocke by telling him "you know the rules, you can't kill him."
  • Saywer doesn't trust Jack's theories, so he tries to disarm the bomb, but instead the clock counts down faster. Sayid grabs it, and runs to the other side of the sub, telling Jack about Desmond's whereabouts and saying, "It's going to be you, Jack" before it explodes. To me, this is a direct reference to Jack being the substitute for Jacob. Does this mean Flocke knows Jack is the substitute, too, and Sayid found out through him? Or perhaps Sayid just has a gut feeling. Alas, Sayid is dead now though, which came as quite a quick shock. At least he died a hero though, back on the good side.
  • With the explosion, water bursts into the sub. Sun gets stuck behind a giant block of metal, Sawyer is knocked unconscious, and the entire ship is going down. Jack sends Hurley up to the surface with wounded Kate, while he tries to save the rest. Jin tells Jack to go with Sawyer, as he stays behind with Sun. Sun pleads with Jin to go, but he tells her he'll never leave her, and the two die with the sub. Yes, it was quite melodramatic, but it gave me total flashbacks to the scene of the old people in Titanic (you know the one I'm talking about), and I was a goner. I can't believe they took Sun, Jin, and Sayid from us in one episode. We really are nearing the end now.
  • Sawyer, Kate, Jack, and Hurley are now the only ones left (is Lapidus dead, too?), and they wash up on shore. But they're definitely not safe, as Flocke tells Claire that he's going to finish what he started. How does Flocke know they're still alive? Is it because if they were dead, he'd be free? Or is he just omniscient? And how can "finish" what he started if he can't kill them?

Whew, that's enough. Please weigh in with what you thought of the episode — did you cry as much as I did? And for the love of all things Lost, send a few theories my way. Just post them in the comments below, or head over to the Lost Fans group in the Buzz Community. Plus, don't forget to vote on your favorite Lost character in my bracket. You could win an awesome ultimate fan prize package!

Photo copyright 2010 ABC, Inc.

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