WARNING: If you have not seen Lost or have not seen all episodes of Lost up to and including the 1st episode of Season 4, then do NOT read anymore. Click away. Disappear. Go.
Okay, for those that remain…
Two days before I watched ‘The Begining of The End’ I sat down with a friend of mine, a fellow Lost convertee. We discussed the show’s characters, whereas we both indicated a genuine trust in John Locke. Our opinions on Jack & Sawyer were quite far apart.
In brief, I considered Sawyer the more heroic of the two, and I made an observation and a prediction regarding Jack.
But surely, my friend reasoned – I only saw Sawyer’s occasional acts of nobility as heroic because they were so scant. Surely I was contrasting them to his general attitude and, therefore, as rarities, gave them a higher value than Jack’s more consistent and enduring heroics – that we saw in action with the very first episode of Lost – from the moment he opened his eyes and went about saving people.
My only partially reasoned counter to this was that it was easier for Jack to do ‘the right thing’ – he’d been more or less programmed into it from birth, his family, his profession, he was the straight-up guy – for all intents and purposes – Jack, when it comes to doing the right thing, has the wind at his back.
With Sawyer, nothing could be further than the truth. If anything, life has taught him to do the exact opposite – to look out for nobody but himself and disregard anybody else in anything other than an instrumental fashion. And yet – we’ve seen him go against his geist – and despite all reason to the contrary, make moral choices. The clearest of which might’ve been when we saw him revoke a con after seeing that his mark had a young son. Despite all psychological odds to the contrary, Sawyer chose not to subject another child to what he himself was subjected to as a child.
And I have come to distrust Jack.
This distrust commenced in parallel to the growing distance between him and John Locke, and for me, personally, was sealed when I saw him on the beach with Juliette, after she had joined our Losties – and he said that he trusted her because after seeing the look in her eyes when Ben announced that Locke had blown up the submarine, he had realized that she, like him, was desperate to get off the island. At that moment, with that statement, I knew Jack was no longer ‘a good guy’. My friend considered that opinion too radical. Surely, he suggested, anybody in his right mind would be desperate to get off the island – and Locke was no example to hold in this regard because he had special reasons to want to remain on the island.
Still, I would not budge on this. It was clear to me that from that moment onwards, we had seen that Jack had just had too much. He had been broken, and in being that desperate towards one specific goal, was no longer a reliable moral guide. His prime directive was no longer to “do good” but to “get off the island.”
And so, I distrust Jack. Between that desperation and the appearance of a guilt-stricken drunk we’d seen in the 1st flash-forward at the end of Season 3 – I knew that Jack would do something horrible. Immoral, unforgivable, and just wrong.
Sure enough, this episode – by pulling that trigger – Jack is, excuse the inadvertent pun, Lost.
He tried to kill Locke. He pulled that trigger in cold blood, with everybody watching, and whether or not that gun was loaded, Jack has gone to the Dark Side and isn’t coming back anytime soon. I’ve seen people here suggest that by killing Naomi, the same could be said of Locke, but I don’t feel that to be the case. Locke is driven by necessity and understanding, not desperation, and thus his actions have to be weighed in a completely different way. Naomi had come to them, and she was leading them to something quite terrible, and everybody was listening to Jack, but Jack would not listen.
I have no clue who’s in the coffin, and I haven’t ventured to make guesses about it. I also have no clue who the ‘6’ are since having Hurley be one of them (despite his being with Locke) and having at least Jack be one of them, too – makes it clear that something happened in between. It’s not a simple matter of Jack’s group making it or Locke’s group making it. Obviously, something more complicated took or will take place…
Also – I do not think that Hurley’s ‘apology’ to Jack was meant to necessarily imply that going with Locke was a mistake. It could just as well mean that he’s sorry to have ‘abandoned’ Jack at a time when he thinks he might have been of help. That is, it might well turn out that it was safer to be with Locke right now (as Sawyer’s instincts surmised…) and that Jack’s group (as Ben and Locke believe) is about to get royally screwed. The apology might just be Hurley’s regret at what happened to Jack and that he was not there to support him or the others in his group. That he ‘let’ Jack lie in the bed he’d made when perhaps he could have done more to convince him to join them, or perhaps, at least, stood by them when the shit hit the proverbial fan.
Wonderful show 🙂
Also – I have to admire the writers for narrative smarts. The first 3 season flashbacks always drove momentum by causing us to always re-assess the characters by comparing their actions on the island to what was revealed to us about their pasts. Now, I somewhat assume that by mirroring the whole time narrative, we now have to re-assess their present by revealing their futures. Until, eventually, both lines meet.
Absolutely brilliant work…