Monday, June 02, 2008

Can't We All Just Get Along?

If you've been poking around the Lost fandom at all, I'm sure you've come across one underlying current in many a message board thread: do you like Jack or do you like Sawyer? They both have rabid detractors and equally rabid fans. It seems if you like one, you're supposed to hate the other.

As I mentioned earlier today over in the Lost-thread at CPMCOG , the sometimes intense Jack vs Sawyer feuding on the boards really bugs me. Mainly because I like both characters and also because I think they are the way they are for storytelling reasons, not because tptb are trying to make us love one of them and hate the other or whatever. Both have bad sides and good sides: Jack's the overachieving jerk/helpful go-to leader, and Sawyer's the selfish conman/brave and loyal friend. And even though many Lost-fans seem to think we're getting Jack rammed down our throats (figuratively...) as the knight in shining armour I disagree. (See my previous entry here for some thoughts on that).

Is it all about Han and Luke?
the writers are trying to make us like either character, I think it's Sawyer, probably because Josh Holloway's good looks are a big part of this show's, shall we say, visual charm. The gnarly but ultimately lovable rogue with a troubled childhood who started out as a selfish, materialistic hoarder, then redeems himself and is now selflessly helping others... that's pretty much Han Solo right there. Sawyer's got the looks, the quips, the character development and all the other attributes of a fan-favourite. I'm thinking the writers and tptb love Holloway and Sawyer and have purposely set out to make him even more appealing as the show has gone on. Remember when Sawyer was always picking on Hurley? Then this season they're best buds (and an awesome odd couple). Sawyer also got to protect and defend an injured baby-momma and an abandoned baby this season. Can't get any more knight-in-shining-armour-ish than that!

Jack is a much less likable character. With his divorce, his recurring jealousy, recurring addictions and pretty much constant control-freakiness he certainly is not written as an obvious, lovable hero. In some ways I guess his is the Luke Skywalker role, but Jack's got too much bothersome baggage to really fit into that.

Brothers in arms (though maybe not each other's... nttawwt!)
The two men are each other's opposite in almost every way: their upbringing, their professions, their socio-economic status, their education, their way of talking, their hair colour... Sure, both have nice abs and both are mad about Kate, but that's about all they seem to share. Yet to me they are also very much like brothers. Jack's the oldest of course: bossy, domineering at times, driven to achieve, taking life too seriously. Sawyer as the baby brother: never taking anything seriously, self-centered, coasting through life on his good looks, always with an attitude, but still able to charm the pants off everyone when he wants to.

I've said it before in other places: Jack and Sawyer are my favourite couple on Lost. Sadly they are rarely put together, and it seems we've gotten less and less interaction between them over the seasons. But their scenes together are always memorable, at least when they don't involve one or both of them mooning over Kate. The scene in S1's "outlaws", when Sawyer realizes that he met Jack's dad in Australia and actually tells Jack that his father spoke well of him before he died, is still one of my all-time favourite Lost-scenes. And even this season, in the finale, when the two of them head into the jungle together they immediately have that edgy, crabby buddy/brother chemistry. Sawyer calling Jack "Sundance" was my favourite line in the finale, because like all of Sawyer's best nicknames (Kenny Rogers! hee!), it summed up a whole lot in just one word.

Like I said before. I wish they'd pair the two guys up more. They work really well off each other. Maybe in season 6? I'm hoping. Meanwhile, I'll be over here in the very un-crowded "Jackyer" shipper-aisle.

Screencap from the S4 Finale "There's No Place Like Home", thanks to lost-media.

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