Thoughts and Speculation on "The Candidate"

"The Candidate” was a straightforward, light-on-mythology episode that focused mostly on OT plot development. I thought the show was fairly strong, but I’m concerned about the “progress” of the FST.


At this point, I thought we were very close to something big happening to merge the timelines.

I said two weeks ago that the FST needed to “get a move on” to get where it was going. Presumably, that’s some form of merger with the OT. That seemed imminent three episodes ago. Yet, here we are, with a gap yet to bridge.

"Look, let's just agree that both of us wish the other had believed us. Deal? Ok."

We got the obligatory look into the mirror, and we had Locke muttering things about pushing the button and wishing you had believed me, coupled with his seeming epiphany when Jack said that he wished Locke believed him, but nothing more concrete than that.

It’s possible that the merger won’t take place until the final episode. What worries me in that case would be the amount of information and plot development that would have to be crammed into one show. On the other hand, since that show will now be two-and-a-half hours long, maybe it’s possible without being too rushed or contrived. I remain skeptical.

The only real dose of mythology we got this week was the scene inside the sub, when Jack realizes what MiB’s plan is. First, he figures out that the bomb itself won’t kill them, precisely because the Man in Black created it.

"We're screwed."

As I said a couple of blogs ago, I think that when The Boss tells MiB “You can’t kill him,” it was meant literally, as in, “It is impossible for you to kill (the candidates).” So, if the bomb is designed by MiB, it simply won’t go off due to the island’s odd “laws.” The fact that Jack has now put that together is a big step forward for the 815'ers figuring out the big picture.

Unfortunately, Sawyer doesn’t believe him. He attempts to disarm the bomb, but fails. His failure is an intervening, superseding event that makes the bomb a threat. Sayid, apparently back from the dark side thanks to his conversation with Desmond, sacrifices himself in an attempt to save the others . . . but not before he says some very important things to Jack.

He not only discloses the location of Desmond (alive), but also indicates that he realizes that Desmond must be very important, since MiB wanted him killed.

To my mind, most important was this: “. . . because it’s going to be YOU, Jack.”

Jack is the candidate.

As I’ve said in the past, I think Jack is going to have to do something in the finale to “fix” whatever problem has made MiB a threat. I think it will be somehow analogous to the dural sac repair referenced in the Pilot. Jack also made reference to this type of procedure in the FST this week when he discussed what he’d done with John Locke. And, of course, John Locke is the FST “candidate” for the experimental surgery.

Naturally, the other big developments this week were the deaths of three main characters: Sayid, Sun, and Jin. Sayid’s death was less emotionally-draining due to his zombie-like status for a few episodes, as well as the heroic nature of his demise. Jin and Sun had only just been reunited after several years, so I’m sure a lot of fans were irritated by their horrible fate.

That said, I think the existence of the FST undercuts the emotional impact of the deaths. Seeing Jin striding down the hospital hallway with a bouquet of flowers only minutes later takes some of the sting out of the gut-wrenching scene between OT Jin and Sun. Charlie’s death, therefore, remains the most impactful death on the show in my opinion.

The paring down of the OT characters seems like a natural progression as we move toward the finale. I'm wondering if we'll reach a point where only one "copy" of each person exists, and the merger will bring everyone back. I think that might be a bit disappointing and feel a bit like cheating - but that's just a thought. I doubt it will come to pass.

Before I get to speculation on the next episode, here are a few other odds and ends from this week’s show:

Logo theelizabeth

The final means of MiB's proposed escape?

- After watching the show a second time, I think MiB may have been the one who put the C-4 on the plane in the first place. Or, maybe Widmore (or Linus, Niles, and Richard?) put it there, but MiB at least already knew the plane was rigged to blow up. Once he realized that Jack wouldn’t set foot on the plane, he had to call an audible. Hence the improvised bomb that he transferred to the backpack. I think MiB plans on using the boat to escape when all is said and done.

- I thought it was a nice touch to use the same alarm sound on the sub as from the Swan hatch countdown.

- The scene where Jack shoves MiB into water seemed like a funny nod to the fans who theorized a while back that MiB must be vulnerable to water (being imprisoned on an island, not being able to cross to Hydra Island in smoke monster form). MiB seemed to react to it not too differently than a normal person would after being shoved into water unexpectedly.


Nope. Doesn't ring any bells.

- The music box and mirror that Christian wanted Claire to have seems to have some added significance, but I can’t tell yet what it is. My first thought was that it was a continuation of the FST mirror motif, but there didn’t seem to be any sudden flash of recognition when Jack and Claire look at the music box / mirror together.

- I found it interesting that there was an obvious ADR line added where Jack tells Claire “He drank himself to death,” after saying that Christian was found in an alley outside a bar in Sydney. Had that line not been added, my theory would have been that Christian was the unintended murder victim of FST Sawyer as he looked for Anthony Cooper. I’m actually glad they kept it simple.

- I think it’s very reasonable to assume that Lapidus is dead, but I wouldn’t totally rule out that he pops back up unexpectedly at an opportune and heroic moment to unleash one more memorable one-liner.


Does she simply remind him of his mother? Or is there more to it than that?

- I’m not sure how much to read into MiB’s protectiveness of Claire. I think it could just be a red herring to get people like me to think that Aaron is the Man in Black. However, either way, I still think that MiB may have some kind of connection to Aaron. Or, it could just be sympathy over a crazy mother.

- MiB’s “special” abilities showed up again. He knew immediately that the bomb on the sub left some candidates alive and others dead.


Were these wells built by ancients that predated MiB and Jacob?

My master theory holds that there are three central characters of great importance that may be from the future: The Boss (who may be Aaron), the Man in Black, and Jacob. If at least one of these people isn’t from the future, I’m way off. It seems more and more likely that MiB and Jacob are from the distant past (see, for instance, MiB's reference to the ancient well-builders in a prior episode), although we can’t rule anything out yet. I still think that The Boss is from the future, and certainly that he (along with Eloise and possibly Widmore) have knowledge of future events. I'm also not convinced that The Boss' original form is that mysterious boy.

Note: Due to the spoiler policy apparently including material that has been broadcast to millions of people immediately following the most recent episode, I've redacted a few sections of speculation that include theories based in part on information gleaned from the centricity of the next episode.



6x14 Bomb

Maybe his name is "MacGuyver"

Other than the big question, I’m most curious about why Kate is no longer a candidate, and why the Man in Black’s name is a secret, assuming his name is neither Aaron nor Jacob. If it’s something else (Esau, just to pull a name out of a hat), then why make such a major point about not revealing it? Also, if MiB is from ancient times, how does he know how to make a C-4 bomb from a digital wristwatch, duct tape, and spare wires?


It won’t be long now. In two-and-a-half weeks, Lost will be a memory. A lot of questions (but not all of them) will be answered, and we’ll have the rest of our lives to speculate answers to the remainder.

Thanks for reading. I'm sure we'll have much to discuss next week. See you then!

Montecore's Revenge 03:53, May 6, 2010 (UTC)

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