Wait...this was all very sweet and tragic and made me tear up and yell at my screen "Your daughter, Jin! Your daughter!" But haven't we seen this before?
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The Kwons' epic death scene and Sayid's redeeming sacrifice mean we only have six of the original main characters left (Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Hurley, Claire, Walt), five left on the island, three of them candidates. And for those viewers (like me) who couldn't help but mumble "Why is Lapidus still there?"...well, looks like he's probably gone, too. With only two episodes until the two-and-a-half-hour-long finale—which show creators are making extra long because they say they have so much material they want to use—this death-soaked episode is de rigueur.
(An interesting sidenote: we're never explicitly told which of the Kwons is the candidate. Lost's creators had told us we'd only find out the answers to the questions the characters really care about. Neither Kwon seemed to really give a floof if they were a candidate or not. They just wanted to be together. BUT the fact that Jin was able to die probably tells us he isn't the candidate. Candidates cannot commit suicide.)
Jack is the true meat of this episode. In island-time, fake Locke wants to kill Jack because he is a candidate. In flash-sideways time, Jack tries to save Locke because he is a candidate (for surgery). The two timelines contrast to show two different sides of Jack. The flash-sideways Jack is the Jack we've known all along: aching to act, to fix things. The island Jack has transcended something within himself. He has gained both patience and a new, almost Locke-like understanding of the island. This point is further driven home when flash-sideways Jack buys an Apollo candy bar from a vending machine, just like in the original timeline when he first met Jacob who "touched" Jack, sealing his island-centered fate.
The characters are in the sub, leaving the island. Fake Locke has planted the bomb in Jack's backpack. Jack gets it. He can't kill us, Jack says. We can only kill each other. Sawyer, unfortunately, chooses not to trust Jack, setting off the catastrophic bomb. Sawyer's been a jerk in the past, but he's never really effed up before. Now, responsible for at least four deaths, the only way he can redeem himself is through sacrifice, probably by saving Kate (foreshadowed in this episode's scene with Widmore's crew in the Hydra Island cages). Sawyer will die.
"I wish you had believed me," flash-sideways Jack says to Locke, the very same words Locke said to Jack in his original timeline suicide note, the very same thing island Jack could now say to Sawyer.
Did ya see that? Moment of the week: Christian Shephard leaves Claire a music box in his will. When Jack and Claire open it, they see a mirror (Lost symbol) and hear Claire's favorite song, "Catch a falling star." I wonder if this music box has any connection to Rousseau's music box, the one Sayid fixes in Season One.
Runner-up in this category: Flash-sideways Locke awakes from his surgery mumbling: "Push the button. I wish you had believed me.")
Props of the week go to: Bernard. The male half of everyone's favorite middle-aged couple makes an appearance in flash-sideways time, when Jack seeks out Locke's dentist to learn some answers about the accident that originally paralyzed Locke. Bernard chides Jack for flirting with his wife on Oceanic flight 815 (a week later, how does everyone still remember their flight number???) and meaningfully tells Jack, "I hope you find what you're looking for."
Far-fetched theory I hope comes true: Death is one link between the two timelines. The Kwons and Sayid aren't actually dead...they're just living happily ever after in the alternate timeline (and with the sub gone, it just might be the only way off the island).
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