Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Lost Season 6, Episode 14: The Candidate

My review of the latest episode of LOST is up on Smartpop. Here is what I said. Click through for more. Then come back here for some stuff I thought of after I wrote that.

We also discover why the Jin-Sun reunion was so lame. Because you can’t have two episodes in a row with HUGE emotional beats for those two characters. And they got a huge one here as they go down with the sub. It was a really beautiful scene, in spite of the fact that it was a little silly that Sun got trapped like that (watching it with friends someone asked “what is she trapped by” and the answer was “a device … a plot device”). My first reaction was that there was something really off about watching two parents die together when one could have been saved — should’t there be some kind of “our child’s future is more important than your not leaving me”? But upon consideration I think it adds to the moment. It becomes really hard-core. He promised they would never be apart again. And so they won’t. I found that really powerful BECAUSE he knew what he was leaving behind. One of the most emotional scenes in Lost I feel like. Except for that plot device pinning Sun.

Some more thoughts:

They killed 3 minorities. After all the dissing women, we are going to be left on Yelling White Dude Island.

I am really feeling the Old Testament stuff coming together here. Obviously I am not the first to mention it but maybe because I am teaching Paradise Lost it is hitting me really hard now. Is the Island just Eden? The Adam and Eve skeletons are actually Adam and Eve? The daddy issues stem from the daddy issues in the garden? The energy is some spark of God's original creative force? The light haired and dark haired kid ghosts we have seen, one covered in blood are Cain and Abel? Cain is immortal, cursed, frustrated with his brother -- like the Man in Black? The garden is guarded so people can't get back -- the island is hard to get to? Dharma is silly because science cannot explain God? Childbirth is hard on the island because hard labor was part of the original punishment in Genesis. You have to go to Exodus a little randomly to explain the Egyptian iconography (connected to the biblical Jacob), and I have no idea if Jacob and the Man in Black can be easily identified -- the man in Black has been called Esau (Jacob's brother), but could also be Cain or Satan (he is a smooth talking warrior who corrupts people and makes persuasive arguments for freedom over bondage to destiny-god) -- or the serpent. Lost is ... Paradise Lost?

I know I complained about Battlestar Galactica's religious angle, but BSG was too sentimental (everyone lives happily every after) where Lost is killing folks, and I feel like the specificity of an Old Testament story would be so much better than the general spiritual junk in BSG because Genesis can be about Story and Character in a way just pointing to "God" as the answer was not enough.


Troy Wilson said...

Couple of quibbles:

1) Jin and Sun would've said their final I love you's in their native language, not English. In theory, hearing them say "I love you" should have been more powerful than reading it, but it was actually less powerful for me, because knowing they were saying the words in my language for my benefit took me out of the moment a bit.

2)When the bomb was counting down, Jack should've told Sawyer what happened with him and Richard with the dynamite. This wouldn't have convinced Sawyer ("You wanna risk all our lives because of some faulty fuse, doc? I don't think so."), but at least Jack would've said all that could've been said. But hey, this is Lost, and people rarely say everything they could, even when they should.

jennifer said...

yeah, we had the same reaction to jin & sun's final scene in english.

sara d. reiss said...

an interesting theory posited (either on Slate or on Gawker, can't remember, both roundups hit close to the mark on what our LOST party was saying) that Jin & Sun not saying their final goodbyes in their native language MIGHT mean that we haven't seen the last of them. There are arguments to be made against this, of course, but i thought it was an interesting angle.

neilshyminsky said...

Upon reflection, i'm actually not bothered by the goodbyes being in English. We don't really know what Sun was up to in the 3 years she was gone, whether she spent all that time in Korea or was somewhere she would be speaking in English... But we *do* know that Jin was speaking exclusively in English. After that much time, he's probably *thinking* in English, too - so it wouldn't be a surprise that he'd think to use it. (Or, rather, not think to use Korean.)

Stefan Delatovic said...

I'm a pretty massive fan of Sayid, the Arab dude, blowing himself up to save people.
I had considered Sayid already lost though, so it wasn't the epic cry party it could have been. I folded like an origami snowflake when Jin and Sun went down though.

Jack saying 'John Locke told me (to stay)' was a substantial fist-pump moment in our household. Jack's story is getting very good, I think, and having him become the engine of salvation, powered by a just-too-late belief in Locke's faith, makes original Locke's role much sweeter and pivotal.

I feel like the Locke Ness Monster's biggest error is trying to appeal to Jack's skepticism about Locke, not knowing that it's out of date.

If Terry O'Quinn said I had to marry him I'd probably have to do it. Just ook at the dude's face when he's talking about his plane crash, and when he's saying 'you don't want to be on that sub'. Epic.

I feel like the audience knows Jack was right. I'm eager for the characters to catch up and agree. I hope they come out of this as a solid team.

Stefan Delatovic said...

Also, jittery LOST excitement doesn't lend itself to good spelling.

Joe Gualtieri said...

The religious elements on BSG really worked for me up until the end because, well, they seemed manufactured. That God turned out to be real on the show and not an older Cylon model was bizarre.

James said...

Remember when getting to a location like the plane, or the sub, would take 4 episodes of hiking and diversions?
Completely agreed on all the action in this one. It dawned on me when our guys were storming the sub; "Holy Cow THIS is happening already?"

Neil: Hmmm. My objections to that would be that Sun and Jin had only ever spoken to each other in Korean until their reunion (barring a few English lessons), and that at the start of the Dharma Years, Jin only had very limited English (except where the plot required sudden aptitude), so a good chunk of that time would have been spent becoming fluent. I'm not bilingual though, so I guess we'd have to defer to someone with experience of being immersed in a second language. For now though: I'm still kind of mad, and disappointed given how brave they were re: subtitles in Ab Aeterno.

plok said...

Oh, Paradise Lost, my goodness. Hope to God it's true, that'd be elegant.

Katie Davis said...

I am not at all convinced there is a mother in the world who, when faced with the choice of dying alone or orphaning her child, would choose orphaning her child. But even if there were, that mother would at least, like, MENTION it in the "should you die with me or not" discussion. That it doesn't even come up is the writers willfully ignoring the issue because it would ruin their sad little scene.

neilshyminsky said...

James: I'm don't speak a second language fluently either, so I'm basing this on second-hand accounts. I have an aunt who was thinking in French after 6 weeks in a program where English-speaking teachers were forbidden from communicating in any language other than French. And on the flipside, my father-in-law went about 4 decades without speaking in Finn and after struggling to converse with a woman who spoke *only* Finn likewise found himself thinking in Finn. Which is to say that I would find it plausible if Jin and Sun were speaking in either language.

Katie: Yeah, it didn't quite work for me, either. I'll play the 'as a dad...' card and say that I would feel compelled to leave - and wouldn't that make for an equally, if not more, gut-wrenching scene?

James said...

Neil: Hey, your aunt is fair play for evidence. I still think it's a strange choice by the writers, but justifiable given that account. 6 weeks! Crazy.

neilshyminsky said...

I should add that it was an immersion program, held at a summer camp of sorts. Which makes it much more comparable to the situation on Lost, actually.