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Was Jack a better man at the end of this show? Was his transition positive? Forget the mystery and let's focus on the character of Jack.
It's safe to say that Jack was a Man Of Science from seasons 1 through 4, minus the flash forwards. In the beginning Jack was a selfless hero. He took care of everyone often putting himself at risk. He brought order and respect for each other to the island with his motto "Live Together, Die Alone". He'd be the first to run into danger whether into the unknown jungle or if someone was drowning in the ocean. He'd be the one carrying the dynamite, never giving up on a patient, even if it was draining his own blood into a dying young man. He didn't give up on Charlie after he was hung by Ethen, even through Kate was pleading for him to give up. He sacrificed himself to the Others for Kate and Sawyer's freedom, even though he was just heartbroken he rose above it.
He had a, let's be honest, bastard father. His father was a drunk. He was an cheating husband. He tried to cover up his drunken malpractice after he killed a woman and her unborn baby. He gave terrible life advice to his son Jack. Called him weak because he protected one of the weaker kids in school. Maybe Jack's passion for fixing everything came from a desire to be everything his father told him no person could ever be. A hero. This IMO is a healthy obsession. We could all aspire to be such decent human beings.
True his duty as a fixer of all things kept him from down time. Forming a family and a circle of friends. Being such a talented doctor with an obsession to fix anything that's broken comes with its sacrifices. But this was Jack. This is the Jack I really respected and what are his characteristics once he becomes a Man Of Faith.
He becomes a drunk, he's suicidal. He guns down the Dharma employees in the name of the island without trying to reason with that group. Who knows who he killed without regard after that bomb went off? There's an argument that the aftermath from the radiation of the nuke may be the cause of the pregnancy issues afterwards. By issues I mean the death of every mother and unborn baby. From selfless he becomes selfish. He now gives his existence over to the island and what the island wants. To hell with anyone in his way. He won't operate on a young Ben Linus because that's not why the island brought him here.
There's talk of that "letting go" was his accomplishment at the end of the series. Letting go of what? True he found a family and formed friendships for the first time from his life on the island. But he formed those relationships when he was a Man Of Science. When he became a Man Of Faith he pushed those people away and went back to the island and went on his own to be with it.
I don't know, by a shear character viewpoint, I have to say that Jack became less of a person as the Man Of Faith. A downgrade of his former self. The man that I once respected.
I'd like to have a discussion on this though. Do you agree or do you have another argument on why the new Jack is better then old Jack? I'm in the mood for a good friendly debate.