LOST – The Candidate – Season 6, Episode 14

Your normal excellent recap artist @oohamanda is on her own island tonight and unable to complete her button pushing duties. So I’m filling in. This was such an amazing episode, I had to watch every scene twice, if not more, to get everything. I’m sure there’s still stuff I missed too. So please help me fill in the blanks in the comments. Meanwhile here’s my lame attempt to fill oh_amanda’s shoes.

Just Four Hours of LOST left. Let’s dig in.

We open in our alternate LA timeline with Dr. Jack Shepard checking up on Locke who just came out of surgery. He got hit by a car driven by our Desmond, remember. Of course, Jack fixes Locke up fine from the accident and tells Locke he’s a ‘candidate’. Oh, there’s that word. A candidate for an expirimental surgery that might repair his spinal injury that paralyzes him. But for some reason Locke is not interested in the surgery. This, of course, only makes Jack (who must heal everybody) more interested in Locke’s case.

Now, we’re back on the Island and the gang is back together again (well pretty much). Jack was paddled over to Hydra Island by Sayid while Widmore’s henchmen try to stick Sawyer back in the Polar Bear cage. James is, of course, none to happy about that. None the less, Sawyer, Hurley, Kate, the Kwons, and pilot guy (why is he still around anyway? plot device?) end up in the cage.

Widmore tells them it’s for their own good and then inquires about whether the anti-blacksmokemonster fence is ready. It’s not, and Scottie in the engine room reports it will take an hour to fix. Captain Widmore tells him he hasn’t got that long, we need warp drive now … Smokey is on the way.

Back in alternate LA, Jack meets our lovable dentist Bernard. Jack is doing a little sleuthing into Locke’s injury. Apparently Bernard worked on Locke after his initial accident. Bernard makes the Flight 815 connection (despite the fact he was in the bathroom on the plane, couldn’t he make it to the studio that day?) which causes him to open up and give Jack a clue to Locke’s past – a second passenger in Locke’s accident – Anthony Cooper (aka Daddy).

Guess who is waiting for Jack and Sayid on Hydra Island… anti-Locke (aka Smokey (Unlocke for our purposes). Unlocke wants Jack to help rescue the gang from the Polar Bear cages and, of course, put everyone on a plane to leave the island. Jack has other ideas about leaving the island and is not sure he should trust Unlocke. Unlocke’s reason is you should help me because I could kill you and I haven’t. Not the strongest endorsement, but its an argument that’s hard to ignore.

Sawyer and Kate are in the cage where they were caught on surveillance camera a long time ago. Sawyer reveals that he saw Kate’s name on the wall, but it was crossed out, evidently ruling her out as a candidate and ruling her in as a potential sacrificial pawn for Widmore.

The Kwons have a touching moment when Jin reveals he saw the pictures of their daughter on Sun’s camera. And Sun returns Jin’s wedding ring to its rightful place. This has me worried, since bad things happen on the island to people whose story line has reached an emotional peak and the major issues resolved.

Just then, the lights go out on Hydra Island and guess who decides that a little energy fence isn’t enough to hold him at bay. Yep, that’s right. Smokey’s back and he’s preparing a jail break. Mayhem ensures and Jack appears to grab the keys and open the cage. Jack apparently decided living was the better part of caution and followed Unlocke’s plan to break the gang out of jail. Good call, I think. Jack grabs everyone and they head off into the forest where…

… they walk until daybreak. Apparently the plane was not just next door to camp Hydra. Along the way they pick up Sayid (can’t say everyone was happy to see him).

And we’re back in Alternate LA. Jack is looking for Anthony Cooper and who does he run into, but Locke’s wife Helen. She tells Jack to go away, but Jack feels like it’s not good enough to leave Locke paralyzed when he could possibly cure him. Of course, you don’t Jack. So it turns out they’re in a retirement home. Anthony Cooper is there, but he’s a stroke victim, not much going on there except some drool. Helen tells Jack that Cooper is Locke’s father.

Back to the island and we find Unlocke approaching the plane where he quickly dispatches the two guards left to prevent anyone from using the plane to escape. Inside the plane Unlocke finds something rigged up in one of the overhead compartments.

Sayid, Jack, Sawyer and crew catch up with Unlocke at the plane who displays the four bricks of C4 explosive he pulled from the plane – Widmore’s last attempt to keep Smokey from leaving the island. This has Unlocked uneasy. Now he isn’t happy with the plane, he wants to take the Submarine instead. Sawyer says, “that’s what I’ve been saying all along.”

I feel sorry for the rag-tag band of followers working with Unlocke to get off the island. You can’t argue with a guy that is invulnerable to bullets, can kill you in an instant, and is used to getting his way. But you’re not exactly comfortable with him being unleashed on the rest of the world either. So what do you do? You play along until the opportune moment. I get the feeling there’s a lot of that going on here.

As it turns out Sawyer has a plan. He tells Jack that once they get to the dock to make sure that Unlocke ends up in the water and Sawyer says “I’ll take it from there.” Folks, we have a plan. But will the opportune moment materialize?

Back in LA-LA land, Jack is attending Locke in the hospital. Locke is mumbling something in his sleep “Push the button”… hmmm could the Island world be coming through? Claire, Jack’s new found sister, stops by and she’s bearing gifts. Something their father wanted her to have… a box.

Jack and Claire have a little talk about ‘Dad’ and find out they were both on Oceanic flight 815. Hmmm that’s an odd coincidence. Jack gets inspired to open the mystery box, which turns out to be a musical jewel box that plays “catch a falling star” (a song that Jack Shepard sang to Claire as a child and a few other episodes). But other than that, no answers. Jack invites Claire to stay with him, now that they’re family and all. That’s a nice touch.

Back on Hydra Island team Unlocke prepares for a full on assault on the submarine at the dock. It doesn’t look very well defended. In fact, no one is at the dock. So they jump down into the ship to find… the crew with their pants down, metaphorically speaking.

So far so good. Jack puts on his backpack and the rest of the team heads down the dock to get on the sub when Jack confronts Unlocke, who tries one last time to convince Jack to leave the island. Jack says that Locke told him to stay and pushes Unlocke into the water.

A shot rings out and Kate tumbles to the dock, a gunshot wound to her shoulder. Those missing guards appear, firing from their hiding places on shore. Everyone gets on the sub except Unlocke, who is making short work of the gunmen on the shore, and Claire, who stays on the dock. Sawyer closes the hatch with Unlocke and Claire still on the dock and gives the order to dive.

Claire is a bit frantic at being left behind once again, but Unlocke reassures her “trust me. You don’t want to be on that sub.”

Meanwhile, on the sub, Kate is not looking too good. But she still wonders about Claire. Jack asks around for some first aid supplies, perhaps a spare shirt in his backpack. But when he opens the backpack, he finds that he’s been wearing Unlocke’s backpack, you know the one with the bomb in it. Not good. So much for those scanners at the TSA checkpoint.

Unlocke has rigged the bomb to go off and kill them all on the sub. Apparently that was his plan all along. Get all the candidates off the island and dead. Then nothing could stand in his way. And Jack and his crew played right into his plan.

So they’ve got a bomb set to go off in 3 minutes and it will take five minutes to make it to the surface. Sayid and Sawyer want to disarm the bomb. Jack, on the other hand, has a theory.

Jack’s theory is that Unlocke can’t kill them. That’s the one thing Unlocke can’t do. He’s prohibited from killing them himself. But if they stupidly kill themselves, then Unlocke is in the clear to leave the island. Jack is now truly the man of faith.

Sawyer, on the other hand, is now the man of action. He just can’t bring himself to believe that Jack is right and would rather take his chances by attempting to disarm the bomb. Before Jack can stop him, Sawyer pulls the cords and the watch stops counting down. For a few seconds everyone is relieved and Jack is questioning himself, but then the watch starts counting down even faster. Time is running out quick!

Sayid knows what he has to do. He tells Jack where he left Desmond and then grabs the bomb and runs to the back of the sub. There we see a huge explosion and Sayid is no more, but perhaps a little bit redeemed. As a result, the sub has, shall we say, has sprung a leak. It’s time to sink or swim. Perhaps both. I’m really sensing some peril for our losties here.

Frank Lapidus, ala pilot guy, goes to inspect the damage and gets flattened by an exploding hatch (no plot device for him). Jack goes after Kate and Jin looks for Sun, who is pinned to the wall. Not good. Jack entrusts Hurley with a bottle of oxygen and the injured body of Kate. He tells him to buddy breathe and make for the surface through the blast hole.

They manage to get one big box off of Sun, but she is still pinned. As the sub settles toward the bottom, Sawyer is knocked unconscious. Jin sends Jack out with Sawyer and the last oxygen bottle. Not it’s just Jin and Sun and Sun is trapped. Sun wants Jin to go. But Jin insists he’ll never leave her again. Many tears are shed and some sad music is played. We see Jin and Sun holding hands in the murky deep. What did I say about the danger of having everything wrapped up in a bow emotionally? We’ve seen the last of Jin and Sun, on this timeline, anyway.

As the producers said, this season no one is safe.

Back in La-La land, alternate version, Locke is checking out of the hospital. But not before Jin walks by to see his wife who’s also in the hospital. Jack stops Locke one more time to tell him he went to go see Anthony Cooper. Jack wanted to find out more about Locke’s accident and why he didn’t want the surgery. Locke says he was in a plane crash. After having his pilot’s license for a week, Locke took his father for a ride in his plane. They crashed almost immediately. So his father wasn’t a stroke victim, but became that way after Locke crashed the plane. Locke feels guilty and doesn’t feel like he deserves to walk after that.

Jack remembers when they first met and gives Locke the same advice he gave Jack, that his father is gone. There is no point in punishing yourself as it won’t bring him back. “What happened, happened” says Jack. I think I’ve heard that before. But we know it’s not true, don’t we. Jack makes one more pitch to have Locke be the first to get the experimental surgery, but Locke rolls away, unmoved.

We make it to the beach, Hurley has rescued Kate and Jack has Sawyer, but they realize that Jin and Sun weren’t so lucky. Which, understandably has everyone pretty upset. Of course, they don’t mention the pilot, who, as it turns out, was so much chopped liver.

Back at the dock, Unlocke realizes that some survived the submarine explosion. His plan failed, he sets off to finish the job. And that’s it.


Is Jack correct about Unlocke being unable to kill them himself? I think it’s pretty clear that smokey is not playing for the white hats. (Although we may learn otherwise next week.)

Why is Unlocke keeping Claire around? What further role does she have to play?

Where did Widmore get all these expendable gunmen? He has to be running pretty short on henchmen.

With just three episodes left, where are the producers taking us? Who will die next?