It's Michael Giacchino's world. We just live in it. Seriously. I've been reliving this episode for the past few hours, and his soundtrack has been playing in my mind -- the entire time. And I've been crying -- the entire time. For that, I blame Hurley, but I shouldn't get all timey-wimey in a recaplet, so let's get to the straight dope. You ready? Okay.
Sideways: Dr. Jack Shephard successfully repairs John Locke's dural sac. When he talks to his new patient after, Jack tells him that he's a candidate for a new procedure that might restore his ability to walk. Locke wants no part of it and refuses to tell Jack why, so Jack digs through hospital records and finds out that a Dr. Bernard Nadler, DDS did oral surgery on Locke three years ago. Jack goes to see Bernard (!!!), who isn't eager to betray Locke's confidence, but once these two healers realize that they were on Oceanic 815 with Locke, Bernard is struck by the "coincidence" and softens some. He gives Jack a name on a slip of paper: Anthony Cooper. The paper is magic paper, so it automatically transports Jack to the nursing home where Cooper lives.
Before Jack can approach the dirty, rotten scoundrel, he's confronted by Helen, who tells him he shouldn't have come. She asks Jack why he can't just leave things alone and, my right hand to God, my 11-year-old says, "Because Jack has a compulsive need to fix things." I think she's after my job, bless her. Thank goodness she's too young to legally enter into a contract. Anyhow, there's no fixing Anthony Cooper. In addition to being in a wheelchair, he's clearly brain damaged -- and not in the talking is difficult way. Anthony's lights are on, but nobody's home, and really, I think saying that his "lights are on" may be an extreme overstatement. Back at St. Sebastian's, Claire Littleton comes to see her newfound brother, Dr. Jack Shephard. She shows him a beautiful wooden music box their lawyer gave her and asks if he knows anything about it. Jack laughs. He didn't even know anything about her. They open the music box which -- of course -- plays "Catch a Falling Star." There's a mirror inside, and this week, we get a reflection of Jack and Claire, together. Then it happens. Jack reaches out to his poor (although probably not financially poor, now that she's in on Christian's will) pregnant bastard sister. He tells her to leave her motel and come stay with him. Claire is surprised: They're strangers. Jack corrects her: They're family. Hooray! Between that and this week's use of the reflection motif, I figure this has to bode well for these siblings' island counterparts. And then I watch the rest of the episode and try to do myself in. Oh crap, I'm getting timey-wimey again.
Anyhow, Jack catches up with Locke as he's leaving the hospital. Brother recovered awfully quickly from fricking spinal surgery, don't you think? Locke finally relents and tells Jack about the accident that left him in the wheelchair. He'd just gotten his pilot's license and talked his father into being his very first passenger. Locke still can't figure out what happened. He can't remember doing anything wrong, but the plane crashed, leaving Anthony in his present condition, so it must be his fault. HOORAY! I mean, um. Um. Locke's too wracked with guilt to accept a chance at a complete recovery, so Jack reminds him of their conversation back at the Oceanic Lost Baggage Office, and tells Locke that his father, too, is gone. Locke has to let go. Locke says it's hard. Jack totally knows where he's coming from. It's hard for him, too, so he's hoping Locke will go first. Hee. As they talk in the hallway, Jin Soo Kwon carries a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses to his wife's room, and right now, I'm holding onto that with all my might. You know what I mean.
Islandways: We pick up where we left off last week. The Widmorons round up the Losties, intent on sticking them in the Hydra cages. Sawyer and Kate don't find it nearly so sexy this time, though. Sawyer does disarm Baby Face, but then old Chuckles himself appears, grabs Kate, and threatens to kill her. Sawyer tries to call his bluff, but Charles Widmore is bluffless. He has a list, by Jove, and Kate's name isn't on it. Kate could not care less, and tells Sawyer not to worry about her, but Sawyer knows all about lists, names, candidates and recruits, so he lays down his weapon. Baby Face rifles Sawyer in the gut, and into the cages our fair Losties go. But it's okay. Well, sort of. If you're reading this recaplet in lieu of watching the episode, what the Hell's wrong with you? Skedaddle. Go watch the episode and come back later. Those of you who have already seen "The Candidate" know. You know nothing is all right, right now. Sure, Jack comes to and finds himself with Sayid and Faucke on another part of Hydra Island. That part's all right, if it's all right to be in Satan's clutches. Ugh. They got there via outrigger. Those Fauckers who didn't get blown up have scattered into the jungle so we don't have to pretend to care about them. I just hope Cindy and the kids are safe. Faucke has a plan to free the Losties and enlists Jack and Sayid to help. And that's what they do. But nothing, nothing is all right right now, and I have a feeling that will remain par for the course until the finale on May 23. I hate you, Darlton. I hate your freaking sadistic guts.
Anyhow, Faucke turns to smoke off-camera and flits and flies through the Hydra jungle. The Widmorons haven't finished setting up the pylons around the cages yet, so they're essentially defenseless. Faucke kills this one, that one, and everyone who isn't someone we care about. When Baby Face falls dead right in front of the cage, Kate sticks her short, bony arm through the bars and tries to reach his keys. Sawyer and everyone else who has longer arms stand and watch her like they're Sideways Anthony Cooper. Just as Kate's hand comes within reach, someone else grabs the keys. Oh no! Wait. It's Jack. Oh, yes. Kate looks at him like he's a long, tall drink of water and she's been wandering the desert for 40 years. The Losties can't believe Jack's there. Jack nods at Smokey, who is still flitting about, and says the funniest line he's ever said in the history of the show: "I'm with him." Awesome. I mean, it's not awesome that he's with Smokey, but getting to say that line right then and there is almost worth aligning oneself with that Thing.
After Jack frees the caged Losties, Sayid tells the gang that Faucke will be waiting for them at the Ajira plane, so we're off. We get there when Faucke does -- before the Losties arrive. The poor Widmorons guarding the plane shoot and shoot at Faucke, but he's the new Man of Steel and walks right through those bullets. He breaks one guard's neck like he's fricking Angel, then shoots the other one, and, curiously enough, grabs his digital watch. Inside the plane, he finds wires rigged up to something hidden in one of the overhead baggage compartments. That can't be good. When the Losties arrive at the plane, Faucke admits to killing the Widmoron guards and explains Charles thought they were expendable, because this is all a trap. He opens his backpack and shows them what he found on the plane -- a brick of C4. He has a new plan. Let's take Widmore's sub. Sawyer's all haven't I been saying that for like EVER? It's off to the sub they go. Sawyer falls back and talks to Jack, with a modicum of respect, even. He knows Jack doesn't want to leave the island with them, but he needs a solid. He does not want Faucke getting on that sub. Jack points out that Faucke isn't exactly an easy opponent to beat, or even fight, since he can turn into smoke and all. Sawyer tells Jack to just get Faucke in the water, and then he'll do the rest.
The Losties hide in the brush and stake out the sub. Sawyer's calling the shots. Oh, for Faucke's sake, why are these people not running things past Hurley? Faucke kneels down with his recruits and slips his backpack off, and places it way behind him. When it's time to rush the sub, he then grabs his pack and another. He hands one to Jack. Oh Faucke me. Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Hurley and Frank get in the sub and take it over. Jack shoves Locke in the water. When Kate is making her way to the sub, she's shot in the shoulder. Jack and Sayid get her inside, while Claire fires back at the Widmorons. I think she's now the best shot on the island. Sawyer tries to get Claire in the sub, but there's too much confusion, and when he sees Faucke climb out of the water, he must close the hatch. Claire is devasted that they're leaving without her. Again. Faucke holds her back from jumping in the water, and says she doesn't want to be on that sub, anyhow. Inside, Jack's assessing Kate's wound. He grabs his backpack to find something to staunch the bleeding. The trouble is, he doesn't have his backpack. The trouble is -- a brick of C4 isn't nearly as handy as cloth for sopping up blood. The digital watch that Faucke ripped off the dead Widmoron is rigged to the C4, as a timer. There are only 3+ minutes before the sucker explodes. Sayid explains that if they pull out two wires at exactly the same time, it should disarm the timer. Jack tells Sawyer not to do anything. He explains that Faucke said he could kill them all. And yet, he didn't kill them all. So clearly, he wants them all dead so he can get off the island, but in order for the magic to work, Faucke can't be the one to do the killing. He's manipulated this whole thing so that they kill each other. If Sawyer rips out the wires, he'll be playing right into Faucke's hands. Sawyer doesn't say it, but you can see the memory of Jack's involvement in Juliet's death flash before his eyes. He's all screw you and your screwy ideas, Doc and pulls out the wires. At first, it looks like he's made the right decision. The timer stops. The Losties all take a deep breath, and man, they're going to need it, because the timer not only starts up again, it speeds up. Jin calls down to the control room and tells Frank to bring the sub to the surface. That's going to take five minutes. They don't have five minutes. Sayid knows what he has to do. He grabs the C4, tells Jack that Desmond is in the well, and that he must be necessary because Faucke wants him dead. He tells Jack this, because Jack is the one. And then, poor re-ensouled Sayid grabs that brick of C4 and runs as fast as he can to the other end of the sub. KABOOM. Bye bye, Sayid. See you on the other side... ways. I'm glad you went out on a redemptive note.
The sub's taking on water fast. Jack tries to get everyone out. When he realizes Sun is trapped, he stays behind to help Sawyer and Jin free her, but first he hands Kate and a mini air tank to Hurley, and tells him to exit through the giant hole in the sub, buddy-breathe on the tank, and get Kate to safety. At some point in there, Sawyer is disabled. Jack has to save him. He swims out and up with his best friend, his enemy. Jin stays behind, still trying to free Sun. Ji Yeon is on both their minds and Sun begs Jin to save himself, but you can see in her eyes that she can't bear to be parted from him again, even in death. Jin does consider leaving, but how can he leave the great love of his life, now that he's finally found her, again? He refuses -- promising to never leave her again, and in the most painful scene I can recall watching on TV, they die, together.
Kate, Hurley, Jack and Sawyer make it back to the Island (it's the main island, I think, but I'm not sure). A tearful Kate is overjoyed to see Jack, who lays a still unconscious Sawyer on the beach. It's then that he has to tell Kate and Hurley that Sun and Jin didn't make it. Kate sobs. Hurley sobs. Jack walks away from them down to the waterline, stares out at the ocean, and? He FINALLY cries, lovely, lovely Jears.
In a quick cut to the now water-logged sub, we see that it's only after the life has left the Kwon's bodies that their hands slip apart. Oh my word. I can't stop crying. It's been hours and I can't stop crying. That's probably a good thing, because I have so much (more) to say, but I don't want to shoot (anymore of) my entire wad in the recaplet. It will have to keep until the recap. My heart is broken. I can only hope that, the island is done with Jin and Sun in a good way, and that their Sideways counterparts will now possess all the knowledge of their Original Recipes. That's gotta be it? Right? Right? God. Right?
I'm starting the full recap now, so until then, please join us in the forums, where we've stocked up on tissues and mood elevators.
Sideways; Day: Instead of zooming in on one open eye, as we so often have, we pan over to a pair of eyes -- closed eyes. That's...off. It's backwards. We're in the Sideways reality, so in this season of Smoke and Mirrors, I can't help but think of mirror images. They're backwards, right? You need (at least) two mirrors angled just so, if you want to see the reflection of your reflection -- what others see as your true self. With the aid of two mirrors or one of those department store 3-way mirrors, I know what the reflection of my reflection looks like (what I look like to others), but it looks off to me. We don't truly own the reality of our own faces. My most prominent memory of my face comes from looking in a single mirror each day, multiple times a day. I promise I'm going somewhere with this. Please bear with me.
Sideways Dr. Jack Shephard wakes Sideways John Locke. Locke is confused at first -- not because he doesn't know who Jack is, but because he does -- he knows who Jack really is, and this is all backwards. But then the second mirror slips out of place. Jack's too perfect explanation/reminder that they met in the Oceanic baggage claim office makes too much sense -- way more sense than a mystical island with Smoke Monsters, hatches, numbers, and miracle cures. The mirror slips out of place because Locke pushes it. He accepts this reflection of his life.
In the course of conversation, Locke learns his dural sac ruptured, but Jack repaired it. During the operation Jack got a look at Locke's original injury and wants to know how it happened. Locke says, "Why?" Jack: "Because I think you're a candidate." (!!!) Jack doesn't know he's moving mirrors around, but he's sliding the second one back into place, just the same. During the pregnant pause, Locke cocks his head to the right. "A candidate for what?" There's light in his eyes, now. Jack tells Locke there's a new, easy, low-risk surgical procedure that may repair the initial injury that landed him in his wheelchair. "If you give me a shot, Mr. Locke, I think that -- I could fix you." That gives me chills. Locke pushes mirror #2 away. John Locke -- who elsewhere and elsewhen chose to stay on an island and mingle with monsters for a miracle -- he refuses. He refuses to even hear the good doctor out. That's backwards, right?
The men are interrupted by Helen who rushes to Locke's side. "It's the first time they've let me see you." Is this one of the rules, too? Did Locke have to choose to remain in his chair in order to keep Helen? No, that can't be right. We already know the choice that cost Locke Helen's love. That choice was Anthony Cooper. Anyhow, Locke caresses her face like you do after a nightmare of a loved one's death -- when the monsters are back in the closet for the day, and all you can see is your love's beautiful face. When Helen finds out that Jack is John's doctor, she greets him with a big hug, kiss and then most notably: "Thank you for saving him." At that, Jack laughs uncomfortably, and the look he shares with Locke breaks my heart. The romantic in me doesn't want this part to be backwards. Just...reflective. I mean, my reflection doesn't let me know exactly how I appear to others, but it's good enough to tell me if I've got lipstick on my teeth. Don't let Helen's fate be the lipstick on Locke's teeth, Show. Or do. Whatever the hell I'm talking about, you know what I mean.