'Lost' Thursdays: 'Push the button'
Sadly, I don't have as much time for this week's "Lost" Thursday post as I'd like. Happily, that's because I'm working on some exciting, top secret "Lost" content that will roll out as we approach the finale, and I hope you all will enjoy what's coming. Even if you don't, I hope you'll read it!
And let's toss in the jump sooner than usual, because if you don't want to know what happened Tuesday, if you somehow haven't seen the episode yet, then go away. Here be spoilers.
But let's start with assuming you've all read this interview with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about just why they decided to bump off so many characters in Tuesday night's episode. I get what Lindelof and Cuse are saying about establishing just how high the stakes are as the series heads into its end game, but I'm not entirely sure if they think we should be shocked or not by the deaths. I'll tell you this much: I'm pretty much counting on a lot of bodies in these final episodes, even if I don't think that even I would have predicted both halves of one of the series' power couples would die. On the other hand, Lapidus? Sayid? Both were pretty much marked for death from Day One of this season.
(And yes, I hear you saying that we didn't get a big Lapidus death shot like we did for the other three, so he could still be alive, but, man, if that dude can survive being hit in the face by a door AND drowning, then maybe HE should be the candidate.)
I also hope you've checked out the Muppets hanging out with the "Lost" writers by now. Many of you tweeted this at me, but Maria Elena Fernandez got there first with this post. These two videos are a lot of fun, and who doesn't love a visit from the Muppets? Also, check out these two previews of next week's episode, if you're not a spoiler-phobe. Man, I think I'm anticipating this episode more than the finale!
A couple of you sent links to me via Twitter, and I liked your reviews. Check out what mck has to say, which reads like a stream-of-consciousness ramble by a very, very excited fan, racing from emotion to emotion like most fans watching the episode, I imagine. For example:
"Kate got shot! Kate got shot!
"'There is no Sayid!'
"One of the best reactions of Losties losing fellow Losties. I had finally regained my composure and then Hurley had to go and let a big giant tear fall down his cheek. I was a goner. (I also sort of enjoyed Jack's body half encased in sand -- perhaps another light/dark reference.)"
Now, I wouldn't have thought of that sand thing, but I mostly enjoy that review for its sheer exuberance. It's a feeling that overtakes me when watching the show sometimes, and I often have to tamp it down in order to seem respectable and critical. It's great to see someone else expressing it so well.
Meanwhile, over at Monsters and Critics, Janie Logan brings up something I've seen quite a few people talking about: Does this episode make a good case for never-nominated-before Matthew Fox at the Emmys? I will freely admit that I've found a lot of Fox's work over the years a little overwrought, though some of that just comes from the inconsistencies in the writing of his character; but, man, he really brought it in "The Candidate." I wouldn't be upset if he were nominated for an Emmy, honestly, and I don't know that I would have said that in any other season. That look on his face at episode's end, staring out into the ocean, stricken with grief, just might be his finest moment on the series, period. There's no way he can beat Bryan Cranston or Jon Hamm or even Hugh Laurie (the latter two of whom have never won) when it comes down to it, but a nomination would be a great validation for the way he's tied together all of the many different Jacks the show has given us over the years in this final season.
And @WWOFTBBNR Tweets:
"I thought the Sideways conversations between Jack and Locke were a great callback to their battles in the Hatch in Season 2."
This is absolutely right. Something even better that I've seen others talking about is how John Locke lives on in the Island timeline through JACK, which I don't think anyone would have thought would happen back in season two. There have been a lot of smart parallels to prior seasons this season, and this is probably one of my favorites.
In comments, some were questioning, as I did, just why Sayid did what he did. Unlike them, however, I think we'll get an answer to all of this. It's clear that something about what Desmond said to him had a profound effect on him and "woke him up" somehow. I'm pretty sure we'll get an answer to this when all is said and done.
A few of you wondered just why I would be disappointed that the Man in Black was evil and why I didn't see it coming earlier. Brad puts it best:
"I do not share your disappointment that MIB is pure evil. Maybe because I saw him that way from the beginning and never invested any hope in a more ambiguous character. But I don't think it takes away from the show. Jacob and MIB are more archetypes than characters and I think what is important is how they influence the human characters that we've invested more time in. In fact, I would go so far as to say that MIB represents the devil. Jacob basically told Richard as much in 'Ab Aeterno.' My crazy theory is that the flash-sideways represent the various characters' 'deal with the devil,' where they get something they think they want, but not quite in the way they wanted it. I think these represent MIB's ace in the hole. We know the candidates can't kill themselves (which I guess would make Sun the Kwon candidate) and that MIB can't kill them. But perhaps he can offer them their deal and get them to choose that alt-reality over the Island reality, making them disappear from Island time and freeing him to leave the Island. Desmond would obviously be the x-factor in this scenario who would allow them to see that the alt-reality isn't all it's cracked up to be (as he apparently did for Sayid)."
And, yeah, I agree with almost all of that. When I said that I was disappointed that the MIB was evil, it wasn't because it had never occurred to me that he might be. Honestly, I was more afraid he would turn out to be pure evil more than anything else. I liked the idea that the story was more about notions of sacrifice -- Jacob -- versus selfishness -- the Man in Black. It's seemed for a while that the show was heading in that direction, and I liked that this version of events had a lot more shades of gray to it than the ultimate battle between good and evil that we have right now. The characters we know and love are still pretty murky, but the conflict they're in is just so clean-cut, and one of the things I've always liked about the show is that it doesn't make things too easy. I worry this will be, though I'm sure these writers could surprise me when it comes down to it.
--Todd VanDerWerff (follow me on Twitter at @tvoti)
Photo: Sawyer (Josh Holloway) just wants to get off the Island. And look good doing it, apparently. Claire (Emilie de Ravin) can barely stand to look at him. That's how good he looks. (Credit: ABC)