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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Top 12 Lost Episodes EVER! #8 - The Candidate

Oh, Evie, why are you so hot?

Oh, I'm sorry, I got LOST in my thoughts. Get it? Wakka wakka wakka.

(Crickets chirp)


Continuing the countdown to Lost’s final episode. Here’s my top 12 so far:
#12 – Two for the Road
#11 - Some Like It Hoth
#10 - The Shape of Things to Come
#9 - Ab Aeterno
and number #8 is……..

The Candidate
Season: 6
Character-centric: Jack and Locke (But mainly Jack)

Say hello to season 6’s most emotionally compelling episode. Usually one death is enough to blow your socks off in Lost, but 3 (and maybe 4 since Frank’s status is still unknown) is down right mind bending. I expected the writers to pull out the big guns, but not a-bombs of plot twisting shockers.

Sadly, we must say good bye to our favorite Captain Falafel, Sayid. I must say though I saw his death coming. Zombie Sayid seemed like dead story weight coming into this episode. He just seemed to be part of the crew, but not really someone who stood out. I wasn’t sure what else the writers could do with him. Yeah, he changed after his trip at the Temple, and yeah, he’s heartless now. Okay, so, what do we do with him now? We kill him, of course, and in a way that would truly let his soul rest in peace. Good bye Sayid, now you can be re-united with Nadia (and Shannon).

The Jin and Sun death was shocking though. They seemed completely untouchable. Jin is like the Tony Almeida of Lost, he just can’t die. His raft can get blown up by the others, his freighter get blown up by, uh Michael, and jump through time and come out all of it unscathed. I kind of knew that if he was to meet his maker, it would be because of his kryptonite, Sun.

There have been a lot of emotionally gripping deaths in Lost. Boone, Charlie, Charlotte, Faraday, Juliet, and so many others, but this one was like a punch to the stomach. It hit you hard because you realize these two have been apart for almost 3 seasons, and finally when they are reunited, they die. Shit. That sucks.

All of these deaths were to establish that the Man in Black is evil. He wants to kill the candidates for Jacob’s replacement, and that is that. But then, in the next episode, ‘Across the Sea,’ you see that MIB is not that evil after all. He just got screwed by his mom. Can’t Lost make anyone NOT morally ambiguous?

Non death related, this episode also brought back something that was sorely missing throughout the last seasons, Jack as a leader. As much as you hate him or love him, Jack was always the best leader among all the castaways. Locke could never be Jack, he had too much insecurity. Sawyer could never be Jack, he has too much confidence. Jack is the quintessential tactician. He thinks about his plans for the greater good of the group. And this episode brought that back. He knew the bomb wouldn’t explode, he had a plan. It’s too bad his fellow castaways lost faith in him. Nice going Sawyer, you screwed everyone with your rash decision. Back to the bench with you.

This is officially a Jack and Locke episode, but Jack owns this episode. From the flashbacks to the stuff on the island, right before all the deaths, it’s all about Jack retaking the role of leader from Sawyer. And unlike Sawyer, who bears the burden with a shield of arrogance, Jack bears it with a veil of insecurity. Ironically, that makes him the better choice. He knows his destiny, and unlike Sawyer, he doesn’t try to fight it.

There was one thing though that kind of brought this episode for me: logic. A) Why didn’t Sayid just throw the bomb to the end of the sub instead of being Mr. Hero? B) You can’t just swim out of a sub that’s sinking when hundred of gallons of water pressure are filling it up. C) How did Sawyer survive? He magically knows how to hold his breath while unconscious? D) I hate to pick on the fat man, but Hurley probably would have drowned while trying to swim out of the sub.

All in all though, this was a great episode that tugs you at the emotional strings. I was debating whether this or Ab Aeterno was the best of Season 6 so far. Ab Aeterno by itself is the better one, but The Candidate is a better episode in the Lost mythology.

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