Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lost, "The Incident": The men behind the curtain

Spoilers for the "Lost" season finale coming up just as soon as I sign for a Fruit Roll-Up...
"They come, fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same." -Man #2
"It only ends once. Anything that happens before that, it's just progress." -Jacob

"We traveled back 30 years in time, and you're still trying to find ways to shoot each other." -Rose

"What's done is done." -Sawyer
"It doesn't have to be that way." -Jack
In the days leading up to the airing of "The Incident," Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have been trying to manage fan expectations. On the latest installment of their always-hilarious podcast(*), they even compared the ending to the final shot of season one's "Exodus," when the camera zoomed down the broken ladder of the hatch and we realized the show had spent months building up expectations for something they had no intention of showing us until the next season.

(*) Seriously, in some ways, I think those two are wasted on a sci-fi drama like "Lost." Just listen to their riff about how, in retrospect, they should have conceived of Jacob as a 60-foot-tall man made entirely of flame, who would inspire Locke to take one look at him and demand that someone bring him a bucket, and you know that they really should be working as a comedy team at nightclubs in the Catskills. (Are there still nightclubs in the Catskills?)

And I can see why they might have felt that way, and not just because "The Incident" featured several shots that were identical to that closing image of "Exodus," as the drill shaft at the Swan site looks to be the exact place where the ladder will sit 30 years later. After all of this debate about whether the past can be changed or is set in stone, all the talk of Jughead and The Incident -- and whether Jack and company were going to cause it or prevent it -- for them to end the season on a flash of white light, with no sign of what Jughead's explosion accomplished, feels, structurally, very much like the end of season one: a lot of teasing for an answer that's going to wait for months (and many more months than between seasons one and two, at that).

And you know what? I. Do. Not. Care.

Because that? That was so exciting, so mythology-intensive, so loaded with great performances and great character notes, so all-around kick-ass, that I feel more than satisfied.

And, in a way that I didn't think was possible at the end of season one, or for pretty much all of seasons two and three, I trust these guys now. Yes, ending "Exodus" that way was a tactical error given all the build-up (in retrospect, the very least they should have done was zoomed down to show a shadowy figure in a Dharma jumpsuit holding an assault rifle), but the rest of "Exodus" was wonderful, and the eventual payoff with Desmond was worth it in the end. Whatever missteps the show has made, some caused by external forces, some not, it's been so consistently assured and entertaining for these past two seasons that I feel confident Cuselof really do know what they're doing here -- that, whether the grand plan was really sketched out from the beginning, or made up at a later date, it's mostly going to work out as it should in the final season, and if I have to show a little patience to find out exactly what happened when Juliet made Jughead's core go kablooey, well... I think I can handle that now. Hell, they even had a plan all along with Rose and Bernard, leading to one of the best, most moving scenes of the finale.

Now, I have one significant complaint about "The Incident," and I want to get it out of the way fast so we can get to analyzing all that we learned: the minute Jack admitted to Sawyer that he was going forward with this insane plan because of Kate -- "I had her. I had her, and I lost her." -- I had to really, really resist the urge to flick some nitroglycerin pellets at the TV screen.

And it's not that I necessarily think it was out of character for Jack to do this. He's just that much of a stubborn, tunnel-visioned imbecile. It's that I had hoped that by now he had somehow grown out of it -- that his time on the mainland, and the realization that they needed to go back, really had cured him of some of his more reckless, headstrong ways, and his weird fixation on Kate was part of that. I was relieved when it turned out that Kate was going back to the island for selfless, non-Jack-related reasons, and hoped that maybe we were done with that half of the quadrangle, but alas... nope.

If Kate were a more interesting character, and/or if Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lily had an iota of the chemistry that Lily has with Josh Holloway (or, for that matter, that Holloway has with Elizabeth Mitchell), maybe I could buy into the idea that Jack would be willing to explode a hydrogen bomb to potentially recreate their love. But she's not, and they don't, and so it just made a good chunk of the 1977 portion of the second hour seem much sillier than it should have. If Jack were being driven by his messiah complex -- if giving him and Kate another shot was just one on an incredibly long list of things he could fix if Faraday's theory was correct (most of the other items being all the Oceanic survivors who died on his watch) -- I could have gone with it. But to turn the whole thing into the most explosive, dangerous chapter of the quadrangle story was a bad idea.

And it irked me that Juliet -- who's always been much more rational, and more empathetic, than Jack -- would flip-flop and decide to go along with this lunatic plan because she got her own heart broken due to an ill-timed glance at Sawyer glancing at Kate just as Bernard was giving an eloquent speech about the importance of being with the one you love until the end. They redeemed that part towards the end just because Mitchell and Holloway were so great and so raw as Sawyer tried to keep Juliet from being sucked down the pit, only for Juliet to let go to save the man she realized did love her as much as she wanted him to. But for a while there, I was growing to dislike Juliet almost as much as I usually hate Jack.

Okay, now that out of the way, where to begin? May as well begin at the beginning, in which we meet... Jacob, and his counterpart to be named later. These two have been on the island even longer than Richard (who I'm guessing was on the Black Rock, which I'm guessing was the boat Jacob eyed off the shore), locked in some kind of unbreakable cycle of violence, and one with specific rules that aren't supposed to be broken. (In that way, it sounds a lot like the conflict between Ben and Widmore.) They bring different people to the island as pawns in whatever this game is, and no matter who the pawns are and how they try to beat the board, it all ends up in disaster, only to begin again...

... until, that is, Man #2 appears to have found that loophole he's been talking about forever, and has somehow turned himself into a perfect copy of John Locke, at the same time that the real Locke's corpse remains very dead, and in the box that Ilana and Bram have been toting from Alcatraz to the main island. And however that allows him to violate the rules of the game, it's now allowed him to talk Ben into repeatedly stabbing Jacob in his home at the base of the four-toed foot.

(And let's pause a moment to reflect on the life and death of John Locke, one of the series' most important and compelling characters. It looks like dead really is dead, and while Cuselof have, like Man #2, come up with a workaround that allows them to keep the great Terry O'Quinn employed, I do feel sad that he apparently won't get to play Locke anymore, and that the serene, fulfilled Locke of recent episodes was an impostor. He really did die the pathetic, miserable death that Ben gave him. Dammit.)

It was interesting to watch Jacob's past interactions with our surviving Oceanic characters, and to see exactly what he did and said to nudge them along the path that would take them to his island. He gives young James Ford the pen to keep writing the letter to Anthony Cooper, keeps Sayid from being run over by the same driver who kills Nadia, assures Locke that everything will be okay after Cooper throws him out the window, asks Jin and Sun to remember their love and try to stay together (which will lead Sun to get on the plane in Sydney) and explicitly asks Hurley to go back to the island (with the still-unexplained guitar case) after Ben's lawyers get him out of prison.

But I have to admit to being puzzled about the cause-and-effect with Kate and Jack. I suppose he keeps Kate out of trouble with the law at a young age, which could put her in a position to go fugitive later on, but all he does with Jack is to put Jack's recent surgical misadventure into a vending machine metaphor (noting that the stuck Apollo bar "just needed a push," like Jack needed from Christian). I'm open to interpretations on either or both of these.

Now, we don't know what Jacob's game is truly about, nor what happens when Jughead goes off, but I suppose now is a good time to do a status check on our remaining players:

Juliet: Trapped under debris at the bottom of what will one day be The Swan, almost certainly dead unless Faraday was right about the explosion changing the timeline.

Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Hurley, Jin and Sayid: At Ground Zero for Jughead's explosion (along with Radzinsky and Pierre Chang, who suffers the injury that will presumably lead to the amputation of his arm), with Sayid bleeding to death after being gutshot by Roger Linus.

Rose, Bernard, and Vincent: Laying low, living off the land and what they can scrounge from Dharma, enjoying retirement and generally being awesome.

John Locke: Dead, and/or cloned, and/or resurrected, and/or possessed by Man #2.

Ben: Committing another act of patricide, trying to stab to death a father figure who had so little apparent use for him that he never intentionally showed his face to Ben until now.

Sun, Lapidus, Alpert, Ilana, Bram and the Others:
Hanging outside the statue, gawking at Locke's corpse.

Claire and Christian: Missing in action, and possibly not as connected to Jacob as we thought. (The way Ilana says "someone else has been using" the cabin implies a trespasser of some kind.)

Desmond, Penny, and baby Charlie: Still in Los Angeles, but presumably playing a major role in the final season, with or without Eloise Hawking.

Nicki and Paolo: Still dead, thank God.

There was so much going on in this finale, and I'm so eager to get this done so you can start talking and I can go to bed, that I'm going to go straight to the bullet points:

• I'm both too tired and too ignorant on the subjects of Egyptian mythology, the Spanish language and the works of Flannery O'Connor, so I leave it to you to analyze what the statue's face means (because that sure as heck wasn't Anubis), what Richard (aka Ricardos) says to Ilana, and whether there's any deeper meaning to Jacob reading "Everything That Rises Must Converge" as he waits for Cooper to throw Locke out the window.

• Jeff Fahey hasn't had a whole lot to do this season, but he's always wonderful, as exemplified here by his delivery of "Terrific" after Lapidus got a look at Locke's body.

• Man #2 was played by Titus Welliver, who's one of a legion of "Deadwood" alums to appear on "Lost" (also including Kim Dickens, Robin Weigert, William Sanderson and Paula Malcomson). Frankly, I'm going to be disappointed if the ubiquitous Garrett Dillahunt doesn't manage to put in an appearance before the end.

• Jacob, meanwhile, was played by Mark Pellegrino, whom you might know as Rita's sleazy ex-husband Paul on "Dexter," or as the guy in "The Big Lebowski" who peed on The Dude's rug -- which is a shame, as it really tied the room together.

• Kudos to the casting people for finding the actress who played young Kate. You didn't even need to see the kid playing the young MacKenzie Astin holding the toy airplane to realize who we were looking at.

• Though J.J. Abrams really hasn't had anything to do with the show since season one, Lindelof and Cuse still seem fond of the Todd Mulcahy scene from "Felicity," as Nadia became at least the third "Lost" character (after Michael and Juliet's ex-husband) to be abruptly hit by a car or bus.

• The Jack/Christian flashback, by the way, is the story he tells Kate in the pilot when she's stitching him up (a scene that they referenced themselves later in this episode).

• And in other continuity touches, Sun got to admire Aaron's cradle (which has held up remarkably well) and find Charlie's old Driveshaft ring.

• If Sayid's time on this earth isn't long, at least Naveen Andrews got to have some stellar moments in the finale, from the look of horror on Sayid's face as he watched Nadia die to the resignation, and even welcoming of death, as he bled out against the magic bus.

• I have a feeling we've also seen the last of Juliet. Why else would Cuselof have bothered to give her a flashback -- the only one in the episode to not feature a visit from Jacob -- if they weren't trying to give her some closure before writing her out?

• While this season closed off most of the temporal loops, we still need to see the other half of the scene where Sawyer and company were being shot at on the outrigger, and to find out why the beach looked so much worse than it did when Locke brought his group there in this episode.

• I like that Miles ordered Chang to get as far away as he could, just as hours earlier (from Chang's perspective) or decades earlier (from Miles'), Chang did the same for him and his mom.

For the last time this season -- and with a long wait until the final 17 episodes of this great series -- what did everybody else think?


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Anonymous said...

An interesting look at Sobek:

This site claims that Sobek brought fertility to his land (the Nile) so we're back to issues of fertility (as with Tawaret).

More interesting things about Sobek:

* However, as well as being a force for creation, he was seen as an unpredictable deity who sometimes allied himself with the forces of Chaos.

* He was paired with a number of goddesses in different locations, most notably Hathor, Renenutet, Heqet and Taweret and was sometimes referred to as the father of Khonsu, Horus or Khnum.

* He could protect the justified dead in the netherworld, restoring their sight and reviving their senses.

* Sobek was sometimes considered to be an aspect of Horus because Horus took the form of a crocodile to retrieve the parts of Osiris´ body which were lost in the Nile.

I wonder if Horace Goodspeed is named so as a reference to the Egyptian mythology.

Anonymous said...


The Missing Pieces mobisodes are considered canon; in the last of those, Dead!Christian tells Vincent to find Jack, who is still unconscious, in the jungle, from the plane crash.

Dead!Christian also shows up a couple times during Season 1.

So, possibilities:
1) Dead!Christian = Man #2.
D!C drops off the radar after Season 1, only appearing in Season 4 as D!C (or possibly Season 3 as Cabin!Jacob). Therefore, he only gets trapped in the ash circle (somehow) after he leads Jack to the caves in Season 1, but before Locke visits the cabin in Season 3.

2) D!C = Man #2... but so is Locke.
Why are we limiting ourselves to Man #2 only controlling one body? He could be operating Christian, Cabin!Jacob, and Locke simultaneously, freeing/ending the Cabin!Jacob identity once Locke has his meeting with him.

3) D!C =/= Man #2.
Why are we limiting ourselves to only two players? D!C is another entity that also wants Jacob dead, and has been cooperating with Man #2 to make it happen.

P.S. D!C's appearance on the freighter isn't entirely pointless - he only "allows" Michael to die once all the important players have reached non-lethal distance from the freighter bomb. (And thus the O6 can escape from the Island, leading to Locke's death and takeover.)

Hobbs said...

@Peter D Bakija

I agree. We had the same reaction that it looked like the wrong era for a young Juliet. Maybe this implies that Juliet is not exactly where/when we think she's from? (I kind of doubt this based on what we saw of her and her sister and the subsequent recruitment of Juliet but it's fun to consider).

An interesting observation from the scene w/ young Juliet:

* "Mysteries of the Ancient Americas" is on her coffee table in addition to sea shells

The room overall looks rather generic and hard to place (80's, 90's or whenever) but their clothing suggests a more contemporary era.

Anonymous said...

Three thoughts on the ep/comments touching upon things or perhaps not touching on them enough IMO in the case of #1:

#1: A lot of talk about Jacob and Esau, but I thought the most compelling thing about their conversation was that it seems that everyone who's ever come to the island without wanting to do so (and some who wanted to, too)... came with Jacob's blessing. The Black Rock, all the flight 815ers, etc. Esau made it clear when he accused Jacob of pretending not to know why the Black Rock made it through to the island (as clearly the "perfect heading" requirement for getting to it was in place back then)...

Jacob somehow wants to have people around him. He's either a people person sort of supernatural being... or thinks he can... "cure" humanity of the bad parts of its nature, or... wants to do something specific with the island itself rather than the whole world. He really does seem to believe that "progress" can be made between humans, and the island is either an experiment towards doing that worldwide or possibly just on the island itself.

SO... does Esau hate people (and only use them when he needs to to oppose Jacob, such as in the case of Locke/Ben) and just want the island to be empty and free from humanity, seeing as how the rest of the world is rife with it and all the problems it brings? Or.... does he just oppose anything Jacob wants for no other reason than that Jacob wants it? ... or does he have his own plans for mankind that don't involve them being on the island. So very interesting.

#2: Locke not being Locke is interesting, but I do have to wonder that if Esau either shapeshifted into Locke or else possessed him or else generated this ghost!Locke to exploit the loophole (not being able to kill Jacob directly with this fake!Locke could be interpreted to mean that IS Esau right there, and he can't kill him directly, HOWEVER it might also just be like Christian not helping Locke get up to turn the frozen donkey wheel, so... can't be sure exactly what to read into it quite yet...)...

... anyway, whatever the exact explanation, what on earth is going to happen with Locke in season 6, then? Will he continue to be/be controlled by Esau, or will be gain some measure of his old self back, or... what? So very interesting. I think by his interactions with Ben in season 5, there must be something of Locke still inside, unless Esau is just all-knowing but... maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part. I see that others have mentioned this, that Locke seems somewhat himself, at the very least, so... maybe we're all right and there is some Locke underneath. However, it may just be that Esau IS omniscient and a very, VERY good actor.

#3: Alan: "the minute Jack admitted to Sawyer that he was going forward with this insane plan because of Kate -- "I had her. I had her, and I lost her." -- I had to really, really resist the urge to flick some nitroglycerin pellets at the TV screen. "

I dunno, Alan. I took that as Jack telling Sawyer something that would satisfy Sawyer's curiosity without going too deeply into ALL the reasons (or even the real reason(s)). Similar to how Sawyer mentioned his parents' deaths but didn't mention how HE got to kill the con man who caused all of that here on the island... both men left things out during their little 5 minute chat, so don't confine all the blame to Jack. Also, Sawyer punching Jack in the first place I was fine with, but the kick to Jack's groin when Jack was trying to end the fight with some "you don't understand, Sawyer, THIS is why we need to do this..." type explanation was a bit low. Sawyer's officially reverted to 2004 island times after having a glorious golden era in Dharmaville with Juliet. I'm not sure that Jack's much better, but.... eh.

Anonymous said...

Alfred: "The scene where fake-Locke tells Locke that he's going to have to die takes a whole different perspective now, Locke ended up being just a pawn (damn it)"

Yes, but... Ben's just a pawn now, too. So it's somewhat fitting.

Jennifer: "I have loved this season until the last two episodes, which just make me want to stab someone a la Daddy Issues Ben."

I had a somewhat adverse reaction to last week's ep, too, which somewhat subsided after reading Alan's review and the then 70 comments, but this week has assuaged that feeling to me. I'm not sure what will happen in season 6, of course, and I'm conflicted about Locke/not-Locke, but... aside from that, I'm liking the direction.

Alfred: "Ah, and at the beginning, Jacob is 'bringing' people to the island. Throughout the flashbacks, he did exactly that. History repeating itself?"

Glad someone besides me noticed that! And I dunno if it's really history repeating itself if it's just what Jacob does, seemingly-constantly. It's more his modus operandi, it seems.

Anon: "I have to disagree with the theory 'the incident created the smoke monster'. I thought about it myself,,, but then again, the others already had the sonic barrier, which presumably existed there to protect them from the monster."

The Dharma barracks have the sonic barrier back in the 70s, not the Others. The Others don't "possess" it until the 90s after the purge.

Also, it's more likely just for keeping the Others out than it is for keeping Smokey out, back then.

Anon: "Jacob seemed to want Ben to kill him. He answered to Ben's pain with 'what of it', he could've at least tried to talk his way out of that situation. Being killed must've been part of the plan."

Yes, it seems Jacob is playing Yoda to Ben's Anakin Skywalker. I wonder who that makes Esau, though....

Richard: "Miles goes along with this, even though he gave the most reasoned answer as to why it's ridiculous, because....?"

Miles goes along because Miles believes "what happened, happened" and he's just seen why his dad sent his mom and him away when he was a baby, and he knows (or at least thinks he knows) that none of this is going to make any difference. He even "tempts fate," as it were, by pointing out to the others that doing this may be exactly what causes the lives they've all known, knowing that his saying it won't make any difference, either. Though, IIRC, he did say it to everyone BUT Jack, right after Jack had left with the bomb. I wonder what Jack woulda responded with if he'd said it beforehand... probably something like "Faraday knew what he was talking about before he died," or something similar.

Alabaster: "Irony alert: When jack finally stands up for Locke to tell Richard to give him a chance, Locke is actually dead. Heh. Jack is completely wrong."

Great post of yours, but you're the wrong one on that one little irony alert bit, seeing as how Jack told Richard to give Locke a chance back in 1977, so Locke wasn't dead yet. O_o But yes, he may have been wrong on giving Locke a chance in principle. Just not in timing. Jack's seeing things a whooooole new way lately, ain't he? Be interesting to see what happens once they're all back in 2007 or whenever. I also want to see Ben's reaction to Locke's dead body. Ooooo boy, it's gonna be good stuff!

Scott J: "Maybe Jacob rises from the ashes in smoke-form to possess dead-Locke and confront other-Locke for the epic Locke-on-Locke showdown. I'd watch that."

God, I hope so. EPIC!

Whiskey said...

Count me in as one of the "underwhelmed" by this episode. Several people have expressed why quite well but there are so many comments, that I'm not sure I should try to quote them...

Things that didn't work for me:
* the flip-flopping of the Kate & Juliette characters, blech;
* Sawyer beating the crap out of Jack, totally pointless (other than to make some fans happy);
* the gunfight at the Swan site;
* how plump Rose & Bernard were, given their off-the-grid-island-living.

I was m'eh on where they're going with the theological/mythological aspects of the story. I have this uneasy feeling that I've seen this before, and it was done better. Someone upthread commented that they still feel like Darlton are just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks and a lot of the time I feel the same way. There's elements of Judaism, Christianity, Egyptian & Greek mytholgy, and philosophy that seem to just be mish-moshed here and sometimes it works but not always; YMMV. Jacob handspinning the thread and weaving the rug rang a distant bell in my head regarding some mythological entity (was it The Fates?) who controls men's lives: each life is a thread, and they can be woven together or cut as the mythological creature sees fit. Given the context of what others have expressed about Jacob's rug, seems like a possible connection there. WRT the good vs. evil / white vs. black battle... I'd rather the focus be on the more interesting (to me) argument of fate vs. free will as a way to fulfill our personal destiny. How much control do we really have over our lives? Another thing I noted with pleasure was that Jacob was touching the O6 in their encounters. I don't recall seeing anyone here mention how important touch is for many religions and cultures, as it denotes "favored" status. Touch is a way to impart healing and/or special powers, so I'm interested to see how this is expanded on next season, and who else has been touched. I do believe that Locke was brought back to life after his fall from an 8th story window by Jacob's touch. So it's interesting that Jacob gave him back life yet left him paralyzed from the waist down, perhaps as a test of his character?

Like others, I too noted that the count-to-five story Jack told in the pilot ep was different than what he actually lived through in the operating room. (I just saw the pilot a few days ago) And I was a bit surprised that it was Christian in the OR with Jack, since I was expecting it to be Jacob; I think that would've been much more poetic. And I can't wait to see what they do with Lapidus next season, candidate for what indeed!

Anyway, it's been interesting reading everyone's comments. Thank you Alan for giving us this place to gather & share our thoughts! I need to watch the episode again and see if I can answer a few questions that are still nagging at me... so I may be back with more.

Anonymous said...

(optional): "And Sayid in that Dharma uniform. They found that body with that uniform in that bus, so Sayid must have died, right?"

As Alan said, it was Roger (Ben's dad) in the bus... additionally, it said "Roger / Workman" on that uniform on the dead body in the bus. You may not have noticed, but the uniform that Sayid put on in last night's ep said "Horace," as in Horace Goodspeed, as in Tooms from X-Files... so... not sure how you confused the two people.

Joe Cobb: "What we've learned now is that all the love, hate, and overall suffering and happiness we've seen... is nothing more than one long con to answer a debate between a couple of supernatural beings. And that just sucks."

Better to find out now, at the end of the next-to-last season... than in the very final ep of the last season, though, right? At least, to hear the people complaining about the BSG ending, you'd think so.

ameliaheartsu: "And i don't plan on shooting a bunch of strangers who have done nothing to me (jack), only so i can blow up an island and go back in time because i screwed up so badly..."

First off, this was the second time Jack was shot at by the strangers who "did nothing to [him]" WITHOUT FIRING first. Remember? When he and Kate and Faraday took the jeep in the first place, they wouldn't let them go, shot Faraday, and the gunfight broke out.

This time, when he and Sayid tried to get past all the people milling around in the barracks, Ben's dad stopped them and shot Sayid when Sayid was trying to say "stop, I'm carrying a nuclear bomb" or whatever, and Jack returned fire. Both times, Jack shot defensively to protect friends that had been SHOT by Dharmafolk, so I don't know how you can blame this one on Jack. Jack's done stupid things, but firing 2nd twice in Dharmaville isn't among them, IMO.

Secondly, they're not blowing up the island to go back in time. I think Hurley said something like that in the finale, but... I don't get where you (and he) came up with that. They're trying to change the future, and if they go anywhere, it'll be back to it, not further into the past.

annie: "Charlotte and Jacob unexplicably fluent in Korean and Jin and Sun from Korea - what's the connection?"

Jacob's fluent in every language, I think it's safe to assume. We saw him speaking 3 or was it 4 languages in the 2-part finale, all with ease.

Charlotte? She's an anthropologist, but I don't remember her every mentioning doing work in/on Korea, so... dunno. Maybe just a coincidence, which led to that nice scene pre-dying where she warned Jin.

jim treacher said...

The podcasts are great, because you can tell Damon & Carlton record them at the end of the day and they're all punchy and silly.

I've been joking for months that Rose & Bernard have been taking care of Vincent in Lost Limbo. Little did I know that they're probably the happiest ones on the island.

Alan, you're right about the love quadrangle being a really annoying reason for them to be doing all this. It felt like filler. "Um, guys? The most important thing that's ever going to happen to you is about 30 seconds away, and you're having a lovers' quarrel?" I can kind of tolerate Juliet's part in it -- she's been on edge ever since Kate came back, with disconcerting glances galore, so it didn't come out of the blue -- but I really wanted somebody to shoot Jack in the head.

Jacob: "What about you?" Wow, he might as well have said, "Please stab me to death, Ben." I almost felt sorry for the poor lil' bug-eyed freak. Hats off to Mark Pellegrino for making Jacob both cuddly and creepy.

How much you want to bet that "Christian" and "Claire" are as authentic as "Locke" is? If Jacob's nemesis (it's always nice to see Titus Welliver) can change his form, maybe there are more like him. Maybe they convinced Locke that they represented Jacob, all as part of this "loophole" thing. It's still confusing, but at least it feels like there's an endgame.

My prediction is that all the Losties are going to flash back to Flight 815, but with the memories of everything that's happened. And that'll, I dunno, cause some problem or another. I don't know why I think that, but it'd be pretty damn cool.

Unknown said...

"Everyone answers to someone".......maybe Jacob and his unidentified friend answer to the "monster".......which isn't a monster, he's more like the mirror on the wall that knows us better than anyone...absolute truth

Matter-Eater Lad said...

Many of us are speculating that the timeline could be different as a result of the 815ers' sojourn in 1977. But have we seen any specific events that lead us to think anything significant changed as a result? We know that the island was evacuated, since that's why Miles and his mother were sent away. We saw the injury that cost Chang his arm. Photos from 1977 showed the 815ers at Dharmaville. We know Eloise Hawking remembered killing Daniel in 1977, even before he was born. Where's the reason to expect any change at all?

Mattt said...

Alan, why was this season only 17 episodes long, instead of a full 22?

MattB said...

The statue looks like Jar Jar Binks to me.

7s Tim said...

Mattt: as per the agreement reached, i believe, in the middle of season 3, Lost has been doing shorter seasons, which actually started with season 4. While even that was cut short by the writer's strike, like most every other show, it still was pretty close to the plan (a couple few episodes lost, at best). Next season will also be a bit short. This was agreed upon at the same time they planned to end with the coming season, as well as that the season would run straight thru without normal reruns in between (aside from the occasional pre-emption or summary).

This was actually the hidden subtext to the season from the beginning of the finale between Jacob and Man #2. Watch it again, colors it a whole different way.

7s Tim said...

*scene, not season in that last bit, natch

belinda said...

Phew! Finally got through everyone's comments. That may have taken longer than watching the actual episode, hee.

I have to say, I completely missed the whole black/white good/evil analogy when I watched the episode, so thanks for reminding me about the whole backgammon foreshadowing.

And yes, Locke and his special destiny turns out to be another guy entirely! I will deem him Locke 2.0. He and Starbuck 2.0 should go out for some coffee sometime and discuss their dead corpses.

Anyway. What a thrilling finale, even if they killed my favourite gal on the island. Though, yeah, technically, they will be all dead since the bomb did go KABOOM. So, technically, she's just as dead as anyone else on the island, which hopefully translates to Juliet being in the next season.

As much as I disliked the soapy reasoning behind Jack and Juliet's decision to blow up the island as well as the whole love square thing, I didn't mind it as much as I thought I would.

So, Jacob lived in a foot? He'd be a perfect match for the lady who lived in a shoe. Anyway, lame joke aside, I liked that as thrilling as dramatic everything was in the episode, we still got some really great funny moments and lines as well. Good stuff.

I was watching the recap episode before the finale, and I was a bit disappointed at the explanation of why some people time jumped and some didn't - that it was because their recreation wasn't exact. Phooey. I hope it's just the writers trying not to reveal any important information and not the real explanation - I guess I was expecting something more clever and logical (in the whole scheme of LOST logic).

I'm wondering now why the woman with the good guys thought Frank could be important now... Hm, and whether there's more to sticking Sun in the 2007 group other than having her do all the expositiony questioning and to keep her and Jin apart. There must be more to these two characters than THAT, if Jacob visited them prior to any of this island stuff.

Now, how can I wait til 2010 to find out what happened without driving myself nuts??

christy said...

Is there a species of fish called the red herring? I only know one literal definition of that term and it's culinary, not taxonomic. It involves curing and I doubt it occurs in the natural world. I think the red herring "tip" is the real red herring.

I think we all understand what Jack thinks/hopes will happen when the bomb goes off. The problem is that it's stupid for him to actually do it. He has no way of knowing, nor even a good reason to believe it will work. Everything everyone, including himself, has done to try to change things has so far resulted in the same thing happening that happened before. He only has Faraday's untested idea. So he's betting his life, and the lives of many others, including people he cares about, on a LONG shot. Everyone who goes along with it is basically saying that they would rather die than not change the past.

My idea of what will really happen is that the detonation and the pocket of energy will together cause a reaction similar to turning the frozen donkey wheel. As others have mentioned, the flash is similar. And all we really know about how the donkey wheel works is that it involves that special core. So there will be island moving, time travel, and maybe even Juliet popping up in the desert. To the Dharma, it's the incident. Chang does his videos one-armed, Radzinsky enters the Swan with his hazmat suit, life goes on. Yes, until I see hard evidence otherwise, I'm holding on to whatever happened happened until the bitter end.

I don't know what Sayid's fate is, but if he's dead I hope we get to see it happen, rather than having to assume.

I liked all the call backs to previous seasons and finales, as well as the winks to fans. "I'm starting to think you're making this stuff up as you go along, Richard!"

Man #2 is not literally possessing Locke's body, but rather just taking his form. The body is still with the Shadow Statue people.

The biblical Benjamin is the youngest son of the biblical Jacob. His mother Rachel died in childbirth.

Ben's speech to Jacob reminded me of Ben Affleck's rant about how god loves humans more than angels even though they don't deserve it. Which is also reminiscent of...well, a lot of the fathers and sons in the Bible.

christy said...

Also I'm not sure what people mean when they say that the flash happened at the same time as Jacob's apparent death. One was in 1977 and the other in 2007. If you mean that the same amount of time has passed for the Ajira passengers--say, Jack vs. Sun...well, maybe. But we don't know that for sure. Yet.

jim treacher said...

Where's the reason to expect any change at all?Besides the H-bomb, you mean?

christy said...

Just one more thing!

I think when they say Frank might be a candidate, that they mean as an Other. I think the Shadow Statue people are true Others, like Richard and his people. They were just on the mainland for some reason. Basically, the Others are a cult. A person can be converted into it.

Since Richard didn't seem to know them at first, they either are a very old branch of the cult that have been off the island for a very long time, OR they were converted and indoctrinated off-island by someone else. Like Widmore or Eloise or Ben or even Jacob himself.

That's my take anyway.

christy said...

"Besides the H-bomb, you mean?"

I can't speak for Matter-Eater Lad, but I think he means that there's no reason to believe that whatever happened with the h-bomb is whatever happened with the h-bomb the "first" time around. We don't know what "The Incident" means when Chang refers to it in the Dharma videos, and we don't know yet what THIS incident entails either. So what reason is there to assume they're not exactly the same?

Nothing but poor Faraday, desperately wishing he could take back some of the things he'd done. Nothing rational, though.

Scott J. said...

Whiskey said...

Jacob handspinning the thread and weaving the rug rang a distant bell in my head regarding some mythological entity (was it The Fates?) who controls men's lives: each life is a thread, and they can be woven together or cut as the mythological creature sees fit. Given the context of what others have expressed about Jacob's rug, seems like a possible connection there. WRT the good vs. evil / white vs. black battle... I'd rather the focus be on the more interesting (to me) argument of fate vs. free will as a way to fulfill our personal destiny. How much control do we really have over our lives?
I do think that fate vs. free will is more likely the central conflict of the show than good vs. evil, but... Jacob seems to represent both fate (weaving the tapestry) and free will (telling people that they have a choice). How can he weave his tapestry if the threads decide where to go? And what does this make Man #2? It's puzzling.

Heather said...

This was not the most exciting and best finale ever, but this was the one where I was the most satisfied. I agree. For once, I think I have faith in the two.

As for not-Locke, TOTALLY CALLED IT! HAHAHAHA! But it was still awesome.

Same for Rose and Bernard. All season, I've been joking that they'll probably meet up with the gang with Vincent and be like "Sup? We've been here the entire time just chillin'". But once again, it was still so nice to get some closure on them.

As for Desmond, Sun, and Jin, he're to hopiing they have a larger role next year.

Mark B said...

Two hundred and twenty three comments so far. I think Alan may need to set up an overflow thread to tide us all through the long, long hiatus coming.

In the Pilot part 2, Locke teaches Walt the rules of backgammon stating one side is light and one side is dark. I believe this is the first reference to game playing in the series and so it may be worth a more detailed look at the rules.

Two opponents populate the game board with 15 men apiece. The game proceeds by moving each team in opposite directions by increments determined from rolling two dice. The game is won by the opponent removing their 15 men from the game first. Moving, protecting and exposing players forms the basis of complex strategy as the two groups struggle past each other. One rule making this ancient game so enduring is that during the course of play, an unprotected man may be “hit” and removed from the playing field to the bar, a kind of limbo.

Men on bar need to be brought back into the game so they can make progress towards the end point, which is escaping the game. In other words, once play begins, a person is in the game regardless if they are on the playing field or not. They are involved until they reach the end point. This may be the reason so many off island people are required to come back to our quirky and dangerous tropical paradise.

The season finale begins, as Alan quotes: Man 2 (Esau) says, "They come, fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same." To which Jacob replies, "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that, it's just progress." In my mind, this is consistent with the island being a game with rules being played to a finish. Not necessarily good vs. evil. Those invited to the island serve as pieces in the competition with their choices, as Jacob explains, serving as the variables as Faraday believes. I’m hoping Juliet is merely biding her time in limbo.

Anonymous said...

WAAAAAALT!!! How could you leave Walt out of the character status check? You even included Nicki and Paolo--which made me chuckle. Heh.

But great review, i agree with most of it.

Anonymous said...

According to the official lost episode recap on the ABC site the statue is Taweret.

Debating-At-BOBMAN! said...


Like 2 seconds after Ben says that Sun asks him if he expects her to believe that, and he says no.

It was a lie.

It's pretty obvious the bomb takes out the statue. Also, we KNOW it wasn't like that when he got there, because we saw the intact statue multiple times from 1977, when Ben was there.

So....ya know.

Debunking Debating-At-BOBMAN! said...

Like 2 seconds after Ben says that Sun asks him if he expects her to believe that, and he says no.

It was a lie.

It's pretty obvious the bomb takes out the statue. Also, we KNOW it wasn't like that when he got there, because we saw the intact statue multiple times from 1977, when Ben was there.

So....ya know.
I'm afraid you are wrong, sir. Ben is pretty obviously referring to the fact that Sun will -- with good reason -- refuse to trust anything Ben says, true or not. We do not KNOW when the statue toppled, only that it happened before the Orchid was built, as its site is empty save for the well when the time-jumpers see it fully standing -- presumably in the distant past. This is the ONLY time it has been seen untoppled besides the conversation between Jacob and Man #2. We do not see it "when Ben was there," so, although it is possible that this sighting takes place during DHARMA/Little Ben times, we should take into account that the Orchid seems well under construction in 1977.

Hobnail_Boot said...

When Ilana noted that someone had been using that cabin, she was talking about Rose/Bernard/Vincent. How do I know? There is a now-sideways-hanging painting of Vincent hanging on the wall.

Tyroc said...

Our main characters can take a beating and not have black eyes because the island HEALS certain people (and if that keeps our pretty actors looking pretty, so be it.)

Can I get my no-prize now?

Oh and when Jacob said, "They're coming." He meant the Oceanic 6 right? Coming to kick Esau's ass.

Noci said...


The dog painting was also there when Ben takes Locke to the cabin and when Hurley peeks in after finding it. I don't think it looks like Vincent if you get a good look at it. Would be cool if it was Vincent, though. He's a very special dog.

Anonymous said...

So, Locke heard Esau ask "help me" in the cabin, not Jacob, but, because Ben was pretending to speak with Jacob, the audience was misled into thinking it was Jacob?

Anonymous said...

I think Alabaster's comments are quiet insightful. They spurred me to ponder the following:

Jacob and Man #2 are battling it out over and over again, though unending cycles.

Man #2 uses corpses from previous cycles to influence people from the current cycle. For someone currently on the island, they have to leave and come back in order for them to see the corpse. Also, the corpse is often, but not always, related to the person who sees it.

Thus Eko's little brother's corpse, left on the island a different time, is inhabited by the smoke monster and judges Eko.

Alex's corpse, left a previous time, is used to judge Ben when he goes off and comes back on.

Lots of things in the "real world" are manipulated so that Jack is on the Oceanic flight with Christian Shepard's corpse, which then confronts him.

Also, the corpse can move to the "real world". Jack is haunted by Christian Shepard's in the real world. Hurley is haunted by Charlie. And someone was haunted by Libby -- I forget who -- was it Jack?

This doesn't explain how WAAAALT haunted Sharon though.

I agree with some that this wasn't a great episode. Lots and lots of gratuituous (and boring) violence and lots of story-telling double-crosses.

The "we're retired" line was great, as was the arthritic dog playing Vincent.

Also interesting how Jacob/Man #2 parallel Ben/Widmore in not being able to kill themselves. Doesn't this suggest that Jacob is Widmore and Man #2 is Ben in some sense?


SmokeMonster said...

Alan and some people on this blog just hate Jack irrationally therefore you guys are not a fair judge of his actions. Alan, you finally got your chance to lay into Jack and bash him. It's fitting considering the only episode that you really panned this season was Jack centric 316. I hope you are happy. You are criticizing Jack's plan but I can guarantee if it was another character who was carrying out that plan he would be pronounced a hero but god forbid Jack tries to carry it out and he is named a jerk. Obviously Jack is not blowing up the bomb for Kate he just used that a small example to illustrate a greater point about how them never crashing would be better. Last episode Sawyer abandoned all of his friends and took off with his woman... noone here batted an eye infact there were posts about how much of a romantic hero Sawyer was. But Jack tries to do something kind even trying to save the redshirts on the plane from dying he still gets crap from everyone.

Tyrone said...

It looks to me like Jacob stage-managed all the events that led up to his killing. I suspect Jacob's pulled some kind of Aslan stunt on "Esau". I think Esau's had Jacob in a weakened position, as evidenced by the wrongness of the cabin f'rinstance, and I think Jacob needed to go through a death/resurrection to regain the upper hand.

silvia g said...

hey there, just a few thoughts i had along the way:

1. i really think the cabin in the jungle was initially jacob's, and what ilana meant by "somebody else has been using it" is actually that guy #2 has been using it, while using the body of christian to pose as jacob to the others (who apparently know a lot less than they pretend to) and to john as well.

2. i think at this point a lot of people believe that adam and eve are going to turn out to be bernard and rose, and i agree with that.

3. i think jacob went to meet sayid to distract him from nadia so she could be killed, and not to save him

4. juliette's flashback was used to show that jacob didn't visit her, as opposed to all the others, possibly hinting to her death (she is not a pivotal character in the big plan), and if nothing else, to display a book called "mysteries of the ancient world" somewhere in the background

5. in the surgery flashback scene, i really thought when christian made jack close his eyes it would be so that jacob could touch the girl - remember how that was always portayed as a miracle recovery, and i kept waiting for jacob to be one of the nurses and touch her while jack's eyes were closed, but it never happened, hmmm

6. i'm not quite sure why lapidus said "terrific" when he saw locke's body - that would've been a proper reaction if he knew there was another locke walking around, but as far as he knew, in the box that could've been the locke he knew which ilana's group had killed while he was knocked out

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"We don't know what "The Incident" means when Chang refers to it in the Dharma videos, and we don't know yet what THIS incident entails either. So what reason is there to assume they're not exactly the same?"

Right -- given that the 815ers and friends were the prime movers behind many of the events leading up to the Incident (the evacuation, Chang's injury, Faraday's death), why should we think the bomb is a change in the timeline? What event or action can we point to that supports the idea that the 815ers and friends have done anything different in 1977?

"Nothing but poor Faraday, desperately wishing he could take back some of the things he'd done. Nothing rational, though."

And I'm inclined to put more stock in Faraday's judgment before Charlotte's death than after.

dez said...

Charlotte? She's an anthropologist, but I don't remember her every mentioning doing work in/on Korea, so... dunno. Maybe just a coincidence, which led to that nice scene pre-dying where she warned Jin.I thought Jin taught her Korean in his three years in Dharmaville?

The ABC episode recap lists Man #2 as "The Man in Black." I think we should all be calling him Johnny from now on :-)

Kirk Hamilton said...

Wow! I am overwhelmed by the amount of thoughtful insight here.

That was such a spectacularly entertaining episode, so full of awesomeness... really, back when this show started, I never thought I'd be analyzing the symbolism and dualities the show presented with anything close to the fine-toothed comb that it now seems to require! Props to Cuse and Lindelof.

I must say that, I'm with Toby O'B (also, with Todd from THND) - my favorite part was when Sawyer kicked Jack in the balls. Ha! It was like they asked me, personally, what I wanted to see most in the season finale.

I even put together a screen-grab montage of it that has been cracking me up all morning, and which I wanted to share.

I'm so glad I got back into this show after skipping most of season 3. Alan, it was mainly because your season 4 posts convinced me that the show had rediscovered its mojo, so, thanks!

Anonymous said...

to me Richards role is most interesting.
How did he become such a servant? and who does he actually serve? the story indicates that he's a faithful servant of jacob. seems unlikely to me.

it may be that he was making it up all along. handing ben notes that supposedly jacob wrote?

How did Ben actually become the leader?
and why would they follow Locke, if richard could have asked Jacob what was up?
is it possible that Richard hasnt seen Jacob himself in a very long time?

Anonymous said...

"4. juliette's flashback was used to show that jacob didn't visit her, as opposed to all the others, possibly hinting to her death (she is not a pivotal character in the big plan), and if nothing else, to display a book called "mysteries of the ancient world" somewhere in the background"
i think Juliet flashback says more about her emotional reaction to sawyer in two scenes that changed her mindset.
first on the sub when sawyer said " i made my decison" and she said "WE!"

then when sawyer glances at kate, breaking Juliets heart for good.

LinGin said...

The ABC episode recap lists Man #2 as "The Man in Black." I think we should all be calling him Johnny from now on :-)"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."
The first - and last - lines of Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

christy said...

"some kind of Aslan stunt"

This phrase is as evocative as it is amusing. You're so right--Jacob's demeanor in the scene with Ben was downright Aslanian.

7s Tim said...

Thanks I don't have to finish reading the Dark Tower series...

But on a serious note: How many times have Lost and BSG been synching up? Dead people wandering around, the emergence of--or at least more validated presence of-- a supernatural being that has brought them to their current path, their destiny, if you will. What i really want the ultimate finale to be is Baltar, Caprica, Jacob and Man #2 chilling out, discussing how much fun they had messin' with mortals.

Oh, and Linda, i was never going to get around to reading King anyway. Only book of his I read was the Hard Case Crime novel a few years back, I like how i have ignored that which has made him most famous.

Unknown said...

so...they totally set up Juliet to be the token death all episode. Long looks back at the departing sub...looking dazed leaving the Bernard/Rose household. she was clutching her belly, and i thought they were going to have an I'm Pregnant! moment before she kicked but they weren't that cruel.

Also I was not surprised to see that the mcguffin was locke's body, even though they took pains to disguise it with the huge box it was in.

Are we sure that the jacob who went and corrected the O6 is really jacob? because he seems to have put all the pieces in motion to cause his own undoing. So perhaps this is all part of the plan.

Kicking Jacob (who is clearly not all dead) into the fire - did he seem to catch fire instantly as though he was made of supernatural?

bakija said...

Hobbs wrote:
>>I agree. We had the same reaction that it looked like the wrong era for a young Juliet. Maybe this implies that Juliet is not exactly where/when we think she's from?>>

Heh. I'm inclined to think that it is just a production gaff rather than an intentional implication of anything (much like the condition of the compass in the season premier :-)

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Jacob we see in the flashbacks is not Jacob but rather the same entity that appeared as Locke. This entity being the man on the beach with Jacob at the beginning of the show.

In the flashbacks the false Jacob ensures that everything falls into motion for Ben to kill the real Jacob. As he said "You have no idea what I have been through." He does it all without interferring with free will. That is the loop hole, the real Jacob must be killed by the humans own free will.

One key point is that when the false Jacob talks to Hurley he says "it's up to you". In each flashback and in Locke's conversation with Ben he never told him he had to do it.. he simply guided them.

It's the battle between free will and destiny. Evil is a neccesary by-product of free will, because a world with evil is better then a world without free will.


jim treacher said...

I can't speak for Matter-Eater Lad, but I think he means that there's no reason to believe that whatever happened with the h-bomb is whatever happened with the h-bomb the "first" time around.But wouldn't an H-bomb, like, blow up the whole island? At the very least, we wouldn't be seeing any Dharma instructional vids with the one-armed Chang, him being a pile of ash and all.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

We don't know what impact an H-bomb would have when it interacts with the electromagnetic energy that the Incident was releasing. Nor do we know that the bomb did not go off the first time around: What evidence have we seen that the Lostaways' presence in 1977 has changed anything?

bakija said...

Jim wrote:
>>But wouldn't an H-bomb, like, blow up the whole island? At the very least, we wouldn't be seeing any Dharma instructional vids with the one-armed Chang, him being a pile of ash and all.>>

Two possibilities, based on what we know about the show:

A) The H-bomb *didn't* blow up the whole island, as the H-bomb always went off in the first place. The losties were always in the Dharma initiative in 1977, Jack always tried to circumvent The Incident with an H-bomb, and the H-bomb always went off (which may very well have been The Incident in the first place). 'Cause what happened happened.

B) Farriday was correct, you can change the future and your destiny, and setting off the H-bomb acts as a history reset button--if the H-bomb foils The Incident, there is no hatch, there is no button, there is no Desmond failing to press it, the plane doesn't crash, and the losties never end up on the island in the first place.

The problem with scenario (B) is the old "what happens if I go back in time and kill my grandparents" problem--if Jack prevents The Incident with the H-bomb, then Jack never goes back in time to prevent The Incident with the H-bomb.

Scenario (A), on the other hand, is supported by what already happened on the show (see: Little Ben getting not saved by Jack--by not saving Little Ben in an attempt to have him die and not be what he is in the future, Jack just made him exactly what he is in the future). And is supported by what happened in the episode (see: Chang getting his arm destroyed). And is supported by what Miles said in the episode as they were on their way to drop the bomb ("Does it occur to any of you that in trying to stop The Incident, you 'guys will just cause it in the first place?")

So while there is a possibility that Fariday was correct, and Jack's single minded faith that setting off the bomb would change the future and save them all, all indications are that this won't be the case.

And as a result, the island that they land on in the first episode is an island where an H-bomb very well might have exploded in 1977, and it didn't destroy everything. So something other than a run of the mill H-bomb explosion happened when Juliette hit the bomb.

Anonymous said...

Vic, I wasn't directing my comments towards you. Do you really think it's necessary to see the characters bruise? There are some stupid complaints about the show in here that are beyond nitpicking on the story of the show.

I'm all for discussion on theories and such even if I think you guys take yourself way too serious.

Anonymous said...

All very interesting comments.

FWIW I think the satue may be an amalgamation of two or more egyptian gods/goddesses beccause no single descriptions sound entirely correct.

I think the writers are drawing on a lot of different mythology and more modern stories (eg ones people have suggested above) and mixing them up to get their overall stories and two big charachters, Jacob and AJ (=man2) - I call him AJ as in anti-jacob.

Intersting stories to look up (on wiki if you trust it) are Jacob and |Esau, Orisis and Set from Egytpitan mythology. They are god brothers and Set kills orisis. But orisis gets ressurected (by his wife and sister) to become god of the dead and the living. (I think) Also kronos and oceanus - rival god brothers in greek mythology. kronos kills his father, uranus (god of the sky.) His mum is gaia, goddess of the earth (like in sun and jins wedding vows.) There has been a lot of father killing going on in Lost - Ben kills his Dad, Kate kills hers, and Locke gets sawyer to kill his.

One thing I've wondered is why Sun is along for the ride? Why was ghost Christian telling her to wait for Locke (not locke as it turned out)? Why did AJ (not locke) bother about her coming along at all? What has she got to do with anything?

James M. Barrie said...

Finally read everything; I'm too tired to write down all my thoughts on the finale.

Just want to second someone said waaaayyy back in the comments, and no one answered:
how the hell did the H-Bomb not explode as it fell down the hole, didn't explode when tons and tons of steel crashed upon it, but went off when Juliet, dying, gave it a few feeble hits with a stone?

Some are saying that the white flash we saw at the end of the episode wasn't the H-Bomb exploding, but one of those time-travelling-flashes, that sent Jack and Co. back to 2007.

Well, if that was in fact the case, what event caused the flash to happen? It wasn't Juliet hiting the bomb, was it?

Also, I didn't like those chains pulling her down the hole, felt odd to me. Don't know if the special effects were bad or what, but it seemed to purpuseful, like the chains were some kind of monster pulling her down.

I didn't like the 1977 bit of this episode, anyway. For the same reasons everyone else didn't: Jack bothered me, but I could buy it. What I couldn't buy were Juliet's reasons to go aong with this (and that extremely didatic and misplaced flashback showing her parents getting divorced was forced and annoying, I hated it for being this easy, silly way to sell Juliet's motivations).
And I didn't buy Kate's reasons either, as well as Hurley's and Miles'. Jin's were a little more acceptable, but I would still think that he would demand further explanation as to why setting off a H-Bomb would bring him and Sun back together.

The first scene was kinds of awesome, and I pretty much liked the whole Jacob storyline; it had this epic feel to it that was really cool. And I really loved that they introduced him pretty much like a normal guy, eating fish on the beach; not like some kind of mighty entity (which he probably is). Even though it seemed obvious from the very first flashback that we would see Jacob interacting with the Losties in their previous lives, it was still amusing to see how he guided them, but not determined their path. He seems like a combination of faith and free-will that enhances the discussion of these subjects.
[But I don't know if I like that Jacob and so-called Esau are good vs. evil. I think I'd rather the fate vs. free-will thing. But it seems that, as Jacob encapsulates both concepts in himself, this is not the case].

Just one final note regarding the unLocke. It seems clear to me that unLocke was some kind of manifestation of Esau. However, I really don't think that it necessarily implies that the other dead people "reincarnated" on the island (Christian, Yemi) are manifestations of him, too.
There's a crucial difference between them: both corpses of Christian and Yemi disappeared, and I think it's safe to assume that it has some correlation with the fact that we saw them reappearing on the island.
On the other hand, one of the major revelations of the finale was the fact that box that Ilana and the "shadow of the statue" group had contained Locke's body.
So, unLocke is pretty different than the apparitions we saw before (he interacted with more people, too, and acted much more like a "normal" person - as much as it could, given the situation - than the apparitions of Yemi and Christian).

Ian W (UK) said...

Re: Jacob getting "in touch" with the losties during the flash back you think it is significant that Jacob not only touches the character but also he GIVES them something (Hurley - Guitar case, Sawyer - a pen, Freckles - a lunchbox, Sun & Jin - a blessing etc...) Maybe each character has SOLD themselves (thier sole/spirit) to Jacob?

Anonymous said...

(I'm anonymous from #252)

I'm not so sure Jacob and AJ represent good and evil either, at least from what we've seen so far. It seems Jacob thinks he can 'save mankind': bring out the good in them where as AJ thinks humans are rubbish and should be left to it - and not brought to the island paradise to fight, destroy and corrupt. So not really evil, just can't be doing with humans on his island.

Every faction on the island seems to be ruthless; Ben & Widmore certainly are, dharma had their moments, even Ilyana & co do things like whack innocent pilots. The Losties have killed and recently went on their dharma killing shooting spree even if all in 'a good cause'. (Although maybe they think they won't have died if everything gets 'reset'. If that system restore doesn't work they could always try restoring to an earlier point.)

Free will/destiny have been strong themes of the show but like other posters have said I don't think AJ and Jacob are opposites in that as Jacob appears to personify both. He brings people to the island ( definitely the Black Rock people because AJ said so). He weaves their fates in the tapestry. At the same time he tells them they have a choice; like Ben could walk away from killing him even though Jacob then deliberately said something that tipped Benbo over the edge.

Kym said...

RSR said... One more thought, did anyone else get the idea that Juliet is somehow going to be extremely connected with the smoke sounded like chains or a crankI thought the exact same thing. The sound of her being pulled into the shaft was exactly the same sound we heard when Locke was pulled by smokie.

Stephaniemar said...

Jacob told Kate not to steal ever again. Hence, give back Aaron.

Jon Williams said...

Esau/Jacob story that parallels the two men on the beach:

Esau was born first. But when his twin brother Jacob was being born, Jacob's hand was holding onto Esau's heel. This was taken as a sign that Jacob wanted to be born first. Later in life, Jacob continued to show that he wanted to be his father's heir.

One day, Esau returned from an unsuccessful hunting trip and was famished. He saw that Jacob had been cooking food and he asked for a serving. Jacob asked him if he would be willing to sell his rights as the first-born son in exchange for a bowl of food. Esau agreed. (Genesis 25:29-34.)

Regardless of whether Esau was being serious or flippant in selling off his birthright, Jacob sought to make good on the deal and, with his mother's help, tricked his aging father into giving Jacob the blessing that traditionally would been reserved for the first-born.

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