I was watching Lost last night, spending most of the time sitting on the edge of my seat, biting my nails. It was a great episode and of course they left you hanging and don't pick up again until February.
Afterwards, I got to thinking about the whole Jack versus Sawyer debate. Which one would you pick and why? Most of the women I know swoon over Sawyer, and there is no denying the electric allure of the damaged bad boy, a persona Sawyer fits to a "T". Jack in turn is the good guy--steady, reliable.
Sawyer is your consummate bad boy with a good heart. He doesn't always do the right thing, but you know in a pinch he'd give up his life for the woman he loves because at the core he's just a good guy who had some bad breaks in life.
But Jack, he's a far more complex character when you really look at him. Because of his success and background, his scars are far less obvious. You think he's Mr. Steady & Reliable but that's just a surface reality. Dig a little deeper and you find all these layers that make you realize you may not know him at all. You think he'll always do the right and moral thing, but will he?
I mean the guy became obsessed with his wife after she left him. And not even so much with her, but with who she left him for. It ate him up, brought all these insecurities to the forefront--he wasn't good enough, just like his father always told him. If he was better or perfect she wouldn't have left, so what did this other guy have that he didn't? And technically the right thing to do would have been to save Ben/Henry, but he didn't. He used his abilities to put the man's life in danger. It was to save Kate and Sawyer, which is the right thing, but it meant doing the wrong thing to achieve it. And he did. Deliberately and without hesitation. There was a calculation and ruthlessness to his actions you don't normally expect to see in the guy wearing the white hat.
And it's those complexities and paradoxes that make me gravitate towards Jack as the more interesting character. He's a man with a hard edge, despite the surface goodness. Sawyer, with his bad boy/good heart is relatively predictable. You know in the end he'll come through and you know he'll sacrifice himself to do it if that's what needs to be done. Partly because he wants to give what he can to the woman he loves, and partly because he doesn't believe he truly deserves her love in the first place so sacrificing himself for it seems an okay thing to do.
But with Jack, his complexities make him a bit harder to predict. He will probably do the right thing, but what form will that take? He's a man when pushed can go to the extreme, but what form will that extreme take? He's stubborn and prideful, confident and arrogant. He has an innate goodness and strong moral centre, but a propensity for walking the edge. There's something wild and untamed churning beneath the surface of the good doctor that you can never quite get a bead on.
And to me, it's that unknown that makes him far more interesting and exciting than the sexy magnetism of the bad boy.