|You could say this episode was... explosive. (Sorry.)|
This is what we in the business call a Wham Episode. (Well, TV Tropes calls it that, anyway.) It is here that the MIB's main plan comes to fruition, and boy is it magnificent. There are times that I like the MIB because I sympathise with him and think that Jacob's a bit of an ass, but here I just admire the sheer badassery and forward planning that comes with his every action. If you torture a man for long enough, he learns a few tricks of his own, it seems. The Candidate was the make-it-or-break-it point of the season, and it was a powerful spectacle that for most fans probably ranks up there with the likes of Reichenbach and The Angels Take Manhatten for sheer pain and misery.
In the Flash-sideways, Jack's curiosity over Locke's injury leads him to discover that in this Universe, Locke was involved in an accident and blames himself for his father's afterlife paralysis. He becomes unnerved when nearly everyone he talks to turns out to have been on the same flight in from Sydney. In the main timeline,Widmore's men put Saywer's group in the Cages on Hydra Island, before Jack and the MIB (taking his Smoke Monster form) came and busted them out. MIB met them at the plane, where he found a stash of explosives planted by Widmore, and then led the group to the Submarine. With Widmore's goons on their tails, Kate is shot and MIB tricks Jack into boarding the submarine and locking him out. Jack finds the explosives ready to go off in his bag, and Sayid is forced to sacrifice himself to save the others. While everyone else escapes, Jin refuses to leave a trapped Sun and they both drown together.
One of my favourite moments in the episode is around the middle, when the gang meets up with MIB by the plane. He basically explains to them his own plan to kill them, while omitting just enough information to throw it into an entirely different and more trusting context. It's one of the most ballsy villainous moves I've seen since Moriarty's long game, and its MIB's capacity for such chessmaster-esque manipulation that makes me find him so interesting. For someone who is described in such blanket terms as "the embodiment of pure evil," there is a complexity to him that one wouldn't expect from the villain that the LOST writers paint him as.
Talking about the writers, I did have to question a few of their decisions when it came to certain demographic representations in this episode. It may just be a complete coiincidence, but it just so happens that every named character who died in this episode was a person of colour. After the offing of main characters Ana Lucia, Eko and Michael in previous seasons, Sayid, Jin and Sun were the last non-white characters remaining from the cast of the first few seasons, leaving a cast with only one person of colour. (Miles). As if this wasn't awkward enough, it just so happens the person who chooses to sacrifice themselves by explosives was the only Muslim in the cast. I don't really see how the writers could have been blind enough for this to happen innocently.
|No Stereotypes Were Harmed In The Making Of This|
So our remaining foursome has the unenviable task of finding out which of them will become the Island's protector, and finding some way of defeating the Smoke Monster once and for all. It was a well-written journey through the Man In Black's trap and out the other side, and despite my own quibbles with a few of the writers' decisions, it was an episode with a lot of punch. The fun and games are over, and the show is getting ready to pump out it's final few hours of amazing TV.
NEXT WEEK: Before we get to those aforementioned amazing TV hours... it's the less than amazing and quite infuriating Across The Sea. Worse than the damn midichlorians...