Episode Title: “The Candidate”
Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: It doesn’t make sense, but I think that last week’s episode title, “The Last Recruit”, was somehow a reference to Jack. Throughout the season, we’ve seen Locke “recruiting” our Survivors (well, at least Claire, Sayid, and Sawyer) by promising them things in return for siding with him. Although the episode ended with SmokeLocke saving Jack from Widmore’s bombs, telling him “you’re with me now” – we all know that Jack is ANYTHING but “with him”. The whole reason that he jumped off the Elizabeth and left his fellow Survivors behind is because he wants to do the opposite of what SmokeLocke does. That doesn’t sound like a “recruit” to me. Also, what about Hurley and Sun / Jin? They are “Candidates” who have yet to been recruited by SmokeLocke, so how could Jack be the last one?
This might be one of Lost’s great episode title mysteries, right up there with “Eggtown”… and perhaps this week’s episode.
Likewise, my gut is telling me that this week’s episode title, “The Candidate”, must be another reference to Jack, right? After all, the title is THE Candidate – singular… and he’s the only Candidate currently isolated from the other potential Candidates. Hurley, Sawyer, and Sun / Jin are all on Hydra Island – all are alive, all are non-zombies, all seem like legitimate options to replace Jacob. Back on the Main Island, we’ve got Jack, SmokeLocke, and Sayid – where only Jack seems like a realistic option to replace Jacob – making him “The Candidate”.
Of course, the other option is that this week is a bloodbath.
Remember my Death Watch from the “Lost… and Gone Forever Bye Week Spectacular”? Remember how depressing it was, and how I basically could justify why each character would die? Could it be that this episode title is a hint that after this week ends, only one Candidate will be left standing?
It seems a little extreme, especially with four hours of the season remaining – but that would be a very logical explanation for this week’s title, wouldn’t it?
Guest Stars: Alan Dale as Charles Widmore, Kevin Tighe as Anthony Cooper, Sam Anderson as Bernard, Katey Sagal as Helen, Fred Koehler as Seamus, Maile Holck as Nurse, Casey Adams as Wheeler, Ken Elliott as Orderly, Christopher McGahan as Paul and Alan Seabock as Sub Captain.
Guest Star Breakdown: The guest stars break down fairly predictably based on where the action for the episode should be headed – we’ve got the standard hospital workers (Nurse, Wheeler, Orderly) and the return of Widmore’s Crew that have guested numerous times this season, but I probably wouldn’t recognize if they walked into my front door (Seamus, Paul – aka “Clipboard Guy”, Sub Captain). The two big ones for this week are Anthony Cooper and Bernard.
Cooper’s inclusion probably means that he (along with Helen) are called to the hospital after Locke’s accident, and that the audience will finally found out the exact nature of the relationship between Locke and his father (which apparently is pretty friendly, based on the happy picture of the two of them on Locke’s desk – and that Locke was talking about inviting him to the wedding). But this begs the question – if Locke didn’t become paralyzed by being pushed out of a high-rise window by his jerk father, how did he become paralyzed? I would welcome an answer to that little Flash Sideways mystery as well.
Bernard’s inclusion is an obvious rebuttal to my comments in the Bye Week Spectacular, where I said that the writers wanted us to forget about Rose and Bernard so that they wouldn’t have to come up with an explanation for where the two have been for the past few months / years. Just kidding – since Bernard is in the guest star list, but Rose is not, it seems likely that Bernard will also be appearing in the Flash Sideways. Do dentists work at hospitals?
Episode Description: Jack must decide whether or not to trust Locke after he is asked to follow through on a difficult task.
Episode Breakdown: Logic tells us that SmokeLocke is going to pick up right where he left off last week, heading to Hydra Island to reunite with his Candidates and to take on Widmore in “The Battle for the Island”. Does Jack trust SmokeLocke? Of course not. Will he go along for the ride in an effort to try and understand SmokeLocke’s true intentions and figure out how to stop him? Most definitely.
What is the “difficult task” that SmokeLocke tasks Jack with? The last time an episode description was worded like this, it was when SmokeLocke was convincing Ben to murder Jacob – could it be that this time it’s about Jack murdering Widmore? Maybe SmokeLocke promises to save all of his friends if he agrees to go along with him. Maybe he claims that the only way to save the Island is to go along with him. Either way, it’s going to be something that makes Jack question what his true purpose on the Island is, who he can trust, and what he should do. He’s going to be all alone in this decision, and it’s finally going to see if all that time spent staring out at the ocean paid off.
Until tomorrow night.