"The Candidate" is the fourteenth episode in Season 6 of Lost and the 117th produced hour of the series as a whole. It aired on May 4, 2010. Jack must decide whether or not to trust Locke after he is asked to follow through on a difficult task.


On the Island[]


Widmore threatens to kill Kate.

Jack wakes and finds himself in an outrigger. Sayid is nearby and welcomes him to Hydra Island. Inland at the Hydra station, Sawyer, Hurley, Kate, Claire, Sun, Jin and Frank, held at gunpoint by Widmore's crew, are led into the animal cages. Sawyer refuses to go in and seizes a rifle from Seamus but Charles Widmore grabs Kate and threatens to kill her. Sawyer tries to call his bluff, but Widmore informs Sawyer that he has a list of names including "Ford, the Kwons, and Reyes, but not Kate Austen" so he says it doesn't matter to him whether she lives or dies. Against Kate's protests, Sawyer gives up the gun and they are all taken into the cages. Widmore approaches Sawyer and says that although Sawyer won't believe it, he is doing this for Sawyer's own good. Widmore checks with his men whether the fence is live. He is told by Paul that it will be an hour; he orders them to work faster because "he's coming."


The Man in Black asks Jack to trust him.

On the beach Sayid explains to Jack that Widmore attacked their group with mortars and that Locke had saved Jack. He says that the rest of Locke's group have scattered into the jungle, so that it is now just Locke, Sayid, and Jack. Locke arrives and announces that Jack's friends have been seized by Widmore and that he now wants to rescue them. Jack asks why Widmore would capture them and Locke replies sarcastically that he would ask but he doesn't think Widmore will talk to him. He suggests they break them out, run for the plane and be off the Island before Widmore knows what is happening. Jack says that they are not his people and that he is not leaving the Island. Locke hopes Jack will change his mind but in the meantime he needs Jack to get his friends to trust him. Locke reinforces that Jack can trust him by pointing out that although he could kill Jack and his friends at any time without impediment, he hasn't and has instead saved Jack's life and now he wants to save Jack's friends too.

Widmore's team - MIB

The monster attacks Widmore's team.

Sawyer and Kate pace anxiously in the cage. When Kate claims that Widmore wouldn't have killed her, Sawyer explains that in the cave, Kate's name was crossed out and so Widmore was correct, he doesn't need her. Jin tells Sun about seeing their beautiful daughter in a photo. Sun gives Jin his wedding ring that she has been saving. Suddenly the power generator dies and the smoke monster appears and attacks Widmore's team, killing several. Seamus is thrown into the bars of the cage, falling to the ground next to the cage. Kate tries to reach the keys hanging on Seamus' belt while Frank kicks at the cage door. Jack arrives and unlocks the cage with the keys and frees the group. When Kate asks hat he's doing there at the cages, Jack poins to Smoke Monster and says he's with him. On their trek to the plane, Kate asks Jack whether he is coming with them now and Jack tells her that he will help them get on the plane but will not join them because he is "not meant to go". Sayid arrives and says they need to go because Locke is waiting.


Sawyer's team approaches the Ajira plane.

Locke strides up to the plane, unfazed by Widmore's guards as they shoot at him. He breaks one guard's neck and shoots the other and takes the dead man's digital wristwatch. He goes into the plane and examines exposed wiring leading to a pack of C-4 explosives. The survivors arrive and find the dead men. Locke emerges from the plane and admits that he killed them but that Widmore knew he would kill them otherwise he wouldn't have removed his "little fences". He explains that Widmore wants them all together in a confined space so that he can kill them all, showing them the C-4 he found. Locke says their new plan is to leave via the submarine because they can't be sure the plane does not have more booby traps. Hurley tries to remind everyone that Richard Alpert said Locke is not meant to leave the Island, but Sawyer cuts him off, pointing out that Alpert is not here. Sawyer then thanks Locke for twice saving them and says that he was wrong about him. Locke says that the submarine will be heavily defended and that they will need everyone. Jack reiterates he will help, but he is not going to leave with them. As they leave, Claire apologizes to Locke who says he understands. Sawyer whispers to Jack that he doesn't trust Locke one bit and asks Jack to make sure Locke doesn't get on the sub.


Boarding the submarine.

The group arrives at the dock, where there is no sign of any defense. Sawyer lays out their plan, specifically that Jack and Locke watch their backs and be last to go to the dock. Sawyer, Sun, Frank, Jin and Hurley go first. They face no resistance, and board the sub where they easily overpower the crew. Sawyer orders the captain to "fire this thing up." Kate, Claire and Sayid follow onto the dock. Locke gives Jack one of the backpacks, and they follow close behind. On the dock Locke asks Jack to reconsider his decision not to leave, explaining that whoever told Jack to stay had no idea what he was talking about. Jack turns and says, "John Locke told me I needed to stay," and abruptly pushes Locke off the dock and into the water. Kate looks around, asks what just happened, and is shot in the shoulder by Widmore's team, who have arrived at the tree line. Jack carries Kate into the sub and Sayid follows, leaving Claire and Locke in the firefight. Locke shoots three of Widmore's men. Sawyer goes above to find Claire and Locke shooting. As Locke runs toward the sub, Sawyer closes the hatch leaving Locke and Claire outside. He uses the intercom to tell Frank to get the captain to dive. Claire sees the sub leave and as she runs to it Locke restrains her with a look of satisfaction as he replies: "Trust me, you don't want to be on that sub."


Claire realizes she has been left behind again.

Kate lies injured and is flustered that they've left Claire behind. Jack asks Jin for his pack to treat Kate's wound, only to find Locke has put the plane's C-4 in his bag and rigged a bomb, using the watch he stole from the slain guard as a timer. The timer is counting down from 3:54. Jack realizes what is going on and tells them all that they have done exactly what Locke wanted. Jack demands that they surface and tells Sawyer that Locke intended all along to be left behind at the dock. Frank informs them that the captain says it will take five minutes to surface.


Jack tries to assure the group that the bomb will not go off.

The timer nears 3:20. Sayid explains how to disarm the bomb but he has some doubt whether it will work. Sawyer is about to pull the wires but Jack stops him, saying that nothing is going to happen; the bomb won't detonate if they leave it alone. He explains that they have done exactly what Locke wanted: just as Locke had said of Widmore, "He wanted to get us all in the same place at the same time. A nice enclosed space where we had no hope of getting out of." He explains that Locke has been saying he can't leave the Island without them but what is really the case is that he can't leave the Island unless they are all dead. Jack surmises that Locke cannot kill them directly and is trying to get them to kill each other by pulling the wires from the C-4.

Jack asks Sawyer why Locke would use a timer and not just throw the bomb into the sub. He pleads that they will be okay, they just have to trust him. Sawyer says he's sorry and quickly pulls the wires out. The timer stops at 1:31 and nothing happens at first. Then the timer restarts and races down. Sayid says "Listen carefully. There is a well on the main island half a mile south from the camp we just left. Desmond's inside it. Locke wants him dead which means you are going to need him, do you understand me?" Jack asks why Sayid is telling him this. Sayid hurriedly says "Because it's going to be you, Jack." He picks up the C-4 and runs down the passageway. The bomb explodes in his hands, killing him.


Sayid makes his last sacrifice.

Water begins to flood the submarine. Frank gets up and looks at a bulkhead hatch as it gives way and hits him with full force followed by gushing water. Jack finds Kate underwater and passes her to Hurley, giving him an emergency air cylinder and telling him to take her out. Hurley asks about Sayid but Jack yells, "There is no Sayid." Sun is pinned against the side of the chamber by a metal cabinet. Jin, Sawyer and Jack struggle to move the heavy cabinet but when they do, Sun is still trapped by a bar. A metal bar falls and strikes Sawyer on the head, knocking him out. Jack grabs him but still wants to help Jin free Sun. Jin refuses the last emergency air cylinder and insists that he leave and save Sawyer. Jack has a long last look at Jin and Sun and swims out of the submarine with Sawyer. Jin continues to try to free Sun despite her pleas for him to go, but to no avail. He holds her and says that he won't leave her. They embrace as water floods the submarine. The sub sinks and their hands drift apart in death.


Jin and Sun's last moments together.

Jack swims to the beach with Sawyer, who coughs up some water. Hurley and Kate stumble down the beach to meet them. Kate asks about Jin and Sun but Jack shakes his head. Hurley and Kate sob while Jack walks away to the sea and cries bitterly.


The Man in Black tells Claire that he is going to finish what he started.

Locke, still at the pier, tells Claire that the submarine has sunk. Claire is shocked that they are all dead but Locke says that not all of them are dead. He takes his pack and rifle and Claire asks where he is going. He replies, "To finish what I started."

Flash sideways[]

Just out of surgery, John Locke is waking up from anesthesia with his surgeon, Jack Shephard at his side. John recognizes Jack, who refreshes Locke's memory about how the two of them met after the flight from Sydney. Jack explains that John was run down by a car and that while he operated he found that John might be a candidate for a new surgical treatment to repair his pre-existing paralysis. Locke immediately and firmly refuses the offer. John's fiancée, Helen Norwood, arrives and thanks Jack for saving him.


Bernard teases Jack about flirting with his wife on Oceanic Flight 815.

Jack enters a dental lab where Dr. Bernard Nadler is working on a cast of a patient's mouth. Jack asks to see John Locke's patient file, explaining that he is Locke's surgeon and he believes Locke was a client of Nadler's about three years ago, adding that he is trying to find out more about the injury that caused Locke's paralysis. Nadler questions Jack's interest in Locke and Jack starts to explain that he met Locke after a flight back from Australia. Bernard immediately interrupts explaining that he was seated across the aisle from Jack on Oceanic Flight 815 and teases him about flirting with his wife, Rose. He calls it "pretty weird". Bernard refuses to breach confidentiality but writes down the name "Anthony Cooper" and says this man was brought in with John Locke three years ago. As they part he says that he hopes Jack will find what he is looking for.


Helen introduces Anthony Cooper as Locke's father to Jack.

Jack goes to the Sun Palms Nursing Home to see Anthony Cooper where he is met by some resistance from a nurse. Helen also arrives there and, after some prodding by Jack, asks that he let it go, clarifying that John doesn't want the operation and that it should be enough that he saved John's life. Jack says it is not enough. They go to see Cooper who is in a vegetative state. Helen reveals that he is John's father.

Back at the hospital, Jack is at Locke's bedside. Locke, still groggy from his surgery, murmurs, "Push the button... I wish you had believed me." Claire arrives and she and Jack go to the cafeteria to resume their discussion which had been cut short when Jack had to leave during the reading of their father's will. Claire tells Jack that the lawyer told her that her father especially wanted her to have an inlaid music box. She shows it to Jack, who says he doesn't know the meaning of the bequest, adding that he didn't even know about her. Claire asks how their father died and Jack recounts that he drank himself to death and was found in an alley in Sydney and that the airline has lost the body. Claire says that she just flew in from Sydney. Jack is befuddled when he realizes that Claire was also on Oceanic 815. They open the music box and "Catch a Falling Star" plays. He offers to let Claire come and stay at his flat. He says to Claire that they are not strangers, they are family.


Jack attempts once more to convince Locke to accept his help.

Leaving the hospital, Locke passes Jin, who is carrying yellow flowers into a hospital room. Locke wheeled out by an orderly to meet his fiancée, Helen. Jack approaches Locke in the hall to say goodbye and Locke simply thanks him. Jack tells him that he went to see his father to understand why he doesn't want the surgery. Visibly shaken by this intrusion into his privacy, Locke tells Jack that the accident which paralyzed him and put his father into a vegetative state was a plane crash. He explains he had just qualified for his pilot's license and begged his father to be his first passenger. Although his father was frightened of flying, Locke had convinced him to come, telling his father that he could trust him. He says that he doesn't know what he did wrong but that he knows it was his fault. Jack reminds Locke of their previous conversation at the airport, where Locke helped him come to terms with his father's absence. Jack tells Locke that he must also now come to terms with his father being gone (though Locke tries to say his father isn't gone the same way Jack's is), and accept that punishing himself won't bring him back. He says that "what happened, happened," and that Locke can "let it go." Jack says it's not easy and he doesn't know how to let go either, and he hopes that Locke could "go first". Locke laughs nervously and says goodbye. As he wheels away, Jack calls after him, "I can help you, John. I wish you believed me." Locke pauses for a moment, as if what Jack has just said is somehow familiar, then leaves.


  • In an interview a week after this episode, the producers claimed Jin had to make a quick decision regarding his future:[1]

In last week's episode, why didn't Sun tell Jin to leave her so he could raise their daughter?

Damon Lindelof: That's a great question. And our only answer for it is that Sun only had about 30 seconds to process the fact that she was going to die. Sun and Jin never had a relationship together with that daughter. Sun had a relationship with her, but Jin did not — she was just a picture on a phone to him. In that moment, she did not tell Jin to leave her side. Partially, in that moment, maybe there was a part of her that wanted him to stay with her. Who knows? We're not really willing to say why characters don't say certain things in certain moments. All we can say is: she did not say that. We did not want that scene to be about their daughter, we wanted it to be about them reuniting...


"Soul Glo" Jin

  • In one of the easter eggs on the Sixth Season DVD and Blu-ray set, the cast is shown walking in the flooded submarine, with Jin and Sawyer dancing like they were on Soul Train due to Jin's "funky" hair.
  • In the Season 2 finale, Michael is charged by the Others to bring four survivors to them: Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley. In this episode, these four characters survive the submarine to become the final surviving candidates. Also in the Season 2 finale, another group of survivors make a plan with Jack to sail around the Island on the Elizabeth and prepare an ambush for the Others. The three characters on the sailboat, Sun, Jin and Sayid, are those who die aboard the submarine in this episode. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")

Production notes[]

  • As of this episode, Desmond has appeared in only five of the first fourteen episodes (he was credited in all of them). This breaks the record of Michael in Season 4 and Nikki in Season 3, who only appeared in six episodes out of their fourteen credited episodes.
  • Kevin Tighe (Anthony Cooper) appears (without speaking lines) for the first time since "The Brig", an absence of 49 episodes.
  • Fred Koehler (Seamus) appears as a guest star, where in all other appearances he was credited as a co-star.
  • This episode features three main cast deaths, the highest ever amount in any one episode with Sayid, Sun and Jin.
  • This is the first episode since the Season 4 premiere "The Beginning of the End" that all surviving main crash survivors from "Pilot, Part 1" who have returned or remained on the Island have been together in the same place at the same time.
  • As of the end of this episode, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Claire, Walt, Rose, Bernard, Vincent, Cindy, Zack, Emma and possibly others who defected to the Others are the only remaining passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 still alive in the original timeline.
  • When Jack gets the candy bar from the vending machine, there is a candy bar with the name "Lindo's" to the right of it, referring to executive producer Damon Lindelof.
  • The writer's board notes this episode as Jack centric.
  • There is no "Previously on Lost" in this episode.
  • The warning klaxon in the submarine is the same sound from the Swan.
  • According to the Geronimo Jack's Beard podcast, in the script Locke also said "it's a two man job" in his sleep.

Bloopers and continuity errors[]

  • When Jack gets the C-4 out of the backpack, the countdown goes from 3:55 to 3:52. It then beeps 10 times (one beep per second), taking the countdown to 3:42. However, in the shot afterwards, the countdown is at 3:45.
  • When Jack is heading to the water to cry for those lost in the sub explosion, the amount of sand on the clothes changes while he is moving.
  • When Jack breaks the group out of the cages, it is night time. When they are walking through the woods, it is day. As we see in "Recon", it only took Sawyer a matter of minutes to get from the cages to the Runway. The group should have arrived at the runway and Ajira plane when it was still night time, however they arrived in the day.
  • When Jin is in the sub attempting to save Sun, the water level is not consistent between shots.
    • Also, the submarine explodes and sinks during the day. However, Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer come ashore at night time.
  • In "Sundown" Sayid stabs Locke leaving a hole in his shirt. That hole has now mysteriously disappeared. In addition, during the course of this episode Locke is shot multiple times without any holes appearing in his clothing.
  • When Kate is reaching for the guard's keys while in the cage and is unable to reach them, she easily could have grabbed his arm and pulled him closer.


The Last Episodes soundtrack includes the following tracks from this episode:


Recurring themes[]

Cultural references[]

Literary techniques[]

  • Bernard says to Jack, "I hope you find what you're looking for." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • Anthony Cooper, crafty conman in original timeline, in flash-sideways timeline is catatonic. (Irony)
  • In the original timeline, a plane crash caused Locke to regain the use of his legs; in the flash-sideways timeline, a plane crash caused him to lose the use of his legs. (Irony)  (Juxtaposition)
  • In the original timeline, Anthony Cooper is responsible for Locke's condition; in the flash-sideways timeline, Locke is responsible for Anthony Cooper's condition. (Irony)  (Juxtaposition)
  • In the original timeline, Locke accidentally kills Boone when he insists he get aboard a plane. In the flash sideways, Locke accidentally causes his father to go brain dead in his own plane. (Juxtaposition)
  • Jack's and Locke's conversations in the flash-sideways timeline contain many regularly spoken phrases, including "What happened, happened," "I wish you had believed me" and "Let it go." (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • On the Island, Locke wants to kill Jack, because he is a candidate. In the flash-sideways timeline, Jack wants to save Locke, because he is a candidate. (Juxtaposition)
  • In flash-sideways timeline, Sun and Jin's baby is almost killed. In original timeline, Sun and Jin are killed, leaving their child without parents. (Juxtaposition)
  • In the flash sideways, Jack and Locke discuss the difficulties in letting go and moving on, which are the reasons that the flash sideways world exists, as revealed in "The End". (Foreshadowing)
  • In the 'flash-sideways' Jack says to Locke, "I wish you believed me", a twist on the phrase "I wish you had believed me" that Locke said to Jack in the main timeline. (Irony)  (Regularly spoken phrases)
  • Both the men guarding the plane and the group guarding the submarine are killed. The remaining survivors of the Man in Black's group are either dead or missing. (Redshirts)
  • The Man in Black explains to the A-Team that Widmore wanted them all on the plane, in a small enclosed space that they could not get out of, in order to kill them all at once. He enacted a plan to do the same to them by tricking them all onto the submarine. (Foreshadowing)  (Plot twist)
  • Sawyer, the long time con man falls for a con created by the Man in Black. He thought it was his own decision when he left the Man in Black out of the sub, when it was actually a con by the Man in Black. (Irony)
  • Hurley did not find the first-aid kit, but it was behind Lapidus. (Irony)
  • Sayid, who once sought redemption by dissuading a friend from martyring himself with C-4, achieves it by martyring himself with C-4. (Irony)
  • Sawyer, who wanted to rescue his friends from the Island, is responsible for the deaths of Sun, Jin and Sayid. (Irony)
  • Jack, Jin and Sawyer lift off the cabinet that is pinning Sun in the submarine only to find her pinned by another bar. (Irony)
  • Jin miraculously survives the explosion of Kahana after being left behind by Sun, but dies in the submarine explosion, this time choosing to stay at Sun's side. (Juxtaposition) (Irony)
  • Sun considers Jin dead after witnessing Kahana's destruction. After three years of separation, she is reunited with Jin, who is still alive, only to die with him in another explosion, on another boat. (Irony)
  • Both Widmore's boats were destroyed by Widmore's own C-4 explosives. (Irony)
  • Sawyer's group originally leaves Sayid out of their plan to get off the island. It is then Sayid who kills himself to save the very group that abandoned him. (Irony)
  • Nadia was sentenced to die because she was a part of a bombing plot. ("Solitary") Sayid dies as a result of foiling a bomb plot. (Juxtaposition)
  • The Man in Black vows to finish what he started and kill the remaining candidates. (Cliffhanger)

Storyline analysis[]

  • Jack and Sayid free the caged survivors, aided by the Smoke Monster. Upon arriving at the plane the group changes plans and commandeers the sub. (A-Missions)
  • Sayid entrusts Jack with Desmond's destiny and tells him: "It's going to be you." (Leadership)
  • Jack wants to stay on the Island and Sawyer wants to leave. When Jack asks Sawyer to believe the bomb will not go off, Sawyer attempts to deactivate it anyway. (Rivalries)
  • Jin decides not to leave Sun again, instead dying with her. (Relationships)
  • Jack Shephard in the flash-sideways timeline learns that the reason John Locke refuses to let Jack operate on him is because John feels guilty of putting his father into a vegetative state. (Relationships)

Episode connections[]

Episode references[]

Episode allusions[]

  • "Catch a Falling Star" plays on the music box Christian left for Claire. ("Raised by Another")
  • Jack is tricked into carrying a backpack filled with explosives without his knowledge by The Man in Black. Previously Jack had tricked Kate into carrying a backpack she thought contained dynamite, but was in fact empty. ("Exodus, Part 2")
  • While coming out of post-surgical anesthesia, Locke recalls pushing the button. ("Orientation")
  • A character urges inaction, certain that nothing will happen when a countdown timer reaches zero. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
  • The Man in Black rigs a bomb to destroy Widmore's submarine, in a similar way that John Locke used to blow up the Galaga. ("The Man from Tallahassee")
  • The Man in Black as Locke uses a manipulation on the Losties that Ben used on John Locke to ensure that John Locke blew up the submarine. Alex explained it this way "He makes you think it's your idea but it's his." John Locke replied, "I will have to keep that in mind." ("The Man from Tallahassee")
  • The Man in Black describes the consequences of switching on the plane as simply: "Boom." Desmond had warned Jin and Michael of the dangers of the bomb on the freighter the same way, which Jin subsequently acknowledged in that way. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
  • Jin is given back his wedding ring by Sun. ("This Place Is Death")  ("The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham")
  • Jack and Locke each say "I wish you had believed me," words Locke used on his suicide letter to Jack. ("316")
  • Jack gets an Apollo bar out of the hospital vending machine. ("The Incident, Part 2")

External links[]