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Lost – The candidates meet their fate

'Lost' returned to form just in time to set up the finale.

- Season 6, Episode 16 - "What They Died For"

Lost returned to form tonight, in the penultimate episode of the series. The producers made the comment in many interviews, and after seeing “Why They Died” I have to agree, this really felt like the first hour of the finale. There wasn’t really a single story here that was told over the course of the episode. Instead, it was more like set up for the finale, getting all the right pieces where they needed to be (as well as removing a few along the way). If all set up episodes had looked like this one through the six seasons of the show, I don’t think anyone would have complained.

Mostly, this felt like a Ben-centric episode. I was surprised that any one character had the focus, and I suppose that Ben’s story wasn’t really the majority of the episode, but it felt like the biggest or most complete, anyway. In fact, it was so Ben-centric toward the beginning I was getting nervous that Linus wasn’t going to make it to the finale.

It was certainly an interesting episode for Ben. It almost seemed like a step backward for his character growth to latch on to Smokey, but at the same time it was completely believable. I was certainly hoping that some of the unanswered tension between Ben and Charles was going to get resolved before the end of the series, and I think it’s safe to say that it was. I had figured that Charles was going to have more to do in the endgame, but his work proved complete as Ben plugged him with a few rounds, while Charles tried to spare his daughter from the wrath of Smokey. Some may say that this ruined Ben’s redemption, but for someone who has acted so subhuman through the run of the show, I think this was one of his more human acts. His murdering Widmore was an act of passionate revenge, a final act of vengeance for the one person that he really loved. Still, it would be nice if Ben ended up on the right side of things when all is said and done. Is a noble sacrifice in store for him?

Meanwhile, there were big things doing for the remaining candidates. They finally came face to face with Jacob and their fate, with Jack predictably taking over the reigns of the island. At least, that’s what we were lead to believe. I mean, we haven’t seen him cure anyone’s cancer yet or anything. I particularly liked Jacob’s comment to Kate, about how her name may have been crossed out, but the job was still hers if she wanted it. I think it supported what we saw last week, which is that Jacob was just a man forced into his position. He’s not some all-knowing god, he’s not immune to making mistakes, and there is at least some free will left in the coming events. I thought it was a nice nod to the fact that there may be a lot of mysterious things happening on the island, but there are just people behind them.

Things are getting awfully interesting in the sideways world as well, with Desmond’s still mysterious plan in full swing. What we saw definitively is that Hurley (and Desmond) have complete knowledge of the original timeline. He recognized Anna Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez in a great cameo that reminded us of just what a jerk Anna Lucia was), and recognized that she wouldn’t have known who he was. Is everyone just going to download their memories from the original timeline and live happily ever after in sideways world? With Desmond getting into so much trouble, and dragging others along with him, I can’t imagine that’s the case. He is certainly behaving as if any actions in that timeline were almost irrelevant. It was also interesting to hear Desmond refer to Anna Lucia as “not ready yet,” which were the same words that Ms. Hawking (or Mrs. Widmore, if you will) used to describe him. I’m figuring we will see her again in the finale, as I’m convinced she has an important role to play in whatever the endgame is for the sideways world.

Going into the finale, though, I still don’t really know how things with the sideways universe are going to play out, and I’m grateful for that. Elsewhere, it looks like Jack is going to be performing surgery on Locke and Ben and Rousseau (a returning Mira Furlan who looks completely unfamiliar with her hair combed) are going to make a love connection. Weird.

So Smokey wants to take the island out on his way off it. That dude is just seriously pissed. You would think after more than a thousand years on the island he would have mellowed a little. At the very least, don’t you think he would have kept that little bit of info from Ben, as the only reason Ben is following him is because he promised him the island after he left?

I’m more curious than ever to see how this is all going to turn out. One thing that I keep wondering about is how Miles is going to play into the events of the finale. I had that guy pegged for Smokey fodder since the attack on the temple. I can’t believe he made it this far (and Richard didn’t, presuming his trip through the air killed him, and I have my doubts). It’s nice that we don’t have to wait a whole week for the ending, but I know for me it’s going to feel like two weeks between now and Sunday night.

How are you feeling as we head into the finale?

Photo Credit: ABC

Categories: | Episode Reviews | General | Lost | TV Shows |

11 Responses to “Lost – The candidates meet their fate”

May 18, 2010 at 11:04 PM

Great episode. Nice to see how it all fit together with last week’s much maligned episode (which I was totally in to). And I was so happy to see Mira Furlan, since I knew how bitter she was about Danielle’s untimely demise. I never thought she’d come back. I’ve been a fan of hers since “Babylon 5″ so it’s always good to see her. I’m looking forward to see how it all comes together but it will be incredibly sad to see it all end.

May 18, 2010 at 11:15 PM

Richard isn’t dead, I still don’t think he can die yet.

Ben did what Ben did, I don’t think it’s because of Smokey, I think it’s because of his hatred for Widmore.

I find the sideways world more interesting to me than the island now.

Smokey now wants to just destroy the whole damn island. Sheesh! I don’t know why he is still pissed off? Last week showed he just wanted to leave the island and then he became evil? I don’t get it.

I like the crack with Miles, “I was on this island for 3 years 30 years ago. Also known as last week”.

May 19, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I also think, Ben figured it was the safest course of action.

Richard, the immortal, who FakeLocke was trying to recruit, was attacked and tossed aside at this point. I figured Ben thought he better cooperate so he didn’t end up in the same condition.

May 18, 2010 at 11:40 PM

We didn’t see a body, so Richard may turn up again…maybe in an 11th hour ‘save the day’ scenario with Frank. ;) But seriously, I hope there’s more with Richard. Getting tossed off screen would be a rather weak resolution to the character’s story arc.

Liked seeing Rousseau again. For whatever criticism the flashsideways have gotten elsewhere, I like the opportunity it’s given for callbacks to characters from seasons past.

(I wasn’t before but the start of the episode got me curious now as to who the mother of Jack’s son is.)

May 19, 2010 at 1:10 AM

10 to 1 it’s Juliette.

May 19, 2010 at 3:05 AM

Thoughts, etc. It’s late.
-I don’t think Richard is dead, either. I can’t see devoting such a major episode to him a short time back and killing him off in such an ambiguous way. It’s not that I don’t think the character *can* die, or that he has more to do, but I just expect him to make one more appearance. And “I know this man?” Really? You’d think somebody as old as him would be a bit wiser.
-I agree that Jack’s ex in the flash-sideways is most likely Juliet.
-It’s interesting that they showed Hurley having full knowledge in the sideways before showing how he got there in the original. Nice little teaser for the finale. Also nice to see the Michelle Rodriguez cameo, even after she left the show somewhat unpleasantly.
-Ha! Take that, Zoe.
-I thought devoting much of the penultimate episode to Ben was an excellent choice, because he more than anyone is showing divergence in character. On the island, he’s still evil, scheming, and murderous (well, at least scheming and murderous, as he could be planning a double-cross on Smokey); off it, he continues his character path of putting Alex first, and it’s leading to good things for him, not the least of which are feelings of fulfillment as a father figure (which he never really got on the island). Also, he’s friends with Locke (the real Locke, if the alternate version of him) and even fights to protect him. For everybody else, it seems like being aware of the original timeline would be an upgrade, but not for Ben Linus. No sir.
-Speaking of the relation between the timelines, how will it shake down with Jack’s son David? If the two are supposed to merge somehow, Jack will have to choose between his son and his role as protector of the island (and possibly the world). That’s pretty heavy, man. And if they’re not merging, why does Desmond care about waking people up?
-Jacob pretty much cleared up everything in his final appearance, in a much-needed Q&A session with the remaining survivors (the Final Four, if you will). That was nice of him, even if it was WAY overdue.
-What happened to the rest of the Others – Cindy, the kids, and those who were with them? By my count, now that Widmore’s entire team is likely dead, they make up most of the people left on the island – along with the Final Four, Smokey, Ben, Miles (running through the jungle), and Richard (maybe). That’s not a whole lot of people left. Blowing up the island is looking like less and less of a travesty by the episode! (But yeah, why would Smokey tell Ben he wanted to do that 10 minutes after promising it to him?)
-So I guess it turns out Smokey actually IS the original Man in Black, despite what it looked like last week. That makes more sense and yet doesn’t at the same time. Too tired to discuss it now.

May 19, 2010 at 3:23 AM

I take it that there is gonna be a huge showdown in the concert hall (shades of BSG) … as for Jacob and Smokey … they were born in like 32AD so they’ve been there about 2000 years.

Jack has chosen his future. He is now bound to the island much like Jacob was and his other mother before him.

May 19, 2010 at 6:42 AM

I think it’s awesome that Flocke promises Ben the island and at the end of the episode he tells him he’s going to destroy it.

This episode again showed us that “Lost” isn’t so great because of the writing but rather because of the awesome actors. I think when Darlton always say they think it’s about the characters that is exactly true. These actors are given a fascinating backstory and they are acting so well that you just love episodes that are all about them but rather about stuff that doesn’t really matter – like the story. Or answers. I could again try to pick this one apart but I have this feeling that it’s idiotic. I mean I was so delighted to see Mira Furlan again and Desmond and Kate and Jack because the actors are so great. The way they express things like pain and love. That’s why I always returned to this show. Of course they also need writers who give them good stories to tell but it more and more seems that the stuff that makes me so frustrated, the “mystery” behind it all, is just the flaw that was needed to tell stories about people who are flawed, who we can identify with. It’s so nice to watch them. I think it’s also what shows like “House” so great. I mean it isn’t about the medical stuff why I love that show so much as well. It’s Hugh Laurie, it’s the story of the character that’s Gregory House and on Lost it’s about Kate and how she became a mother and Sawyer how he killed the man who made his father kill himself, how Hugo deals with his parents and so on and so forth. Again – look at the mystery part of this episode and you just want to strangle a puppy. But you don’t really care as long as the right stories about the people you care so much about are told.

May 19, 2010 at 2:08 PM

BTW, I thought that there were also rules between Widmore and Ben. One of them being, they couldn’t kill each other either. What happened to that?

It’s mentioned early on in this lostpedia entry:

May 19, 2010 at 2:25 PM

I’m not sure if the rules have changed since Jacob died.

I would choose to interpret it as a situation akin to Michael’s. The island wouldn’t let him die until he had served his purpose upon the freighter. Once that was done, he was blown up.

Perhaps the island was done with Widmore now that he had brought Desmond to the island, and he was no longer protected.

May 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM

*Jedi hand-gesture*

There are no rules you have to be concerned about

Move along


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