Wednesday, May 27, 2009

S5 Finale - The Incident

Hello my dear friends,

Let me start off by saying that yes, this post is ridiculously long. But guess what? You have until February to finish reading it.

With that out of the way... I'm happy to report that a full nine days after "The Incident" originally aired, I finally got a chance to watch it again. The good news is that it was much more enjoyable the second time around, but the bad news is that I'm only slightly less confused than I was when I hurriedly typed out my initial thoughts on May 14th. Thankfully, however, you guys were able to set me straight on a few things over the past several days:
1) There are no clones (reader Niwram reminded me that the two rabbits in the Orchid video were the result of time travel, not cloning),
2) The man taking Locke's form probably also doubles as Smokey,
3) Jacob might not be the good guy like I previously assumed, and
4) According to ABC's episode recap, a hidden code in the May 2009 Wired magazine (edited by J.J Abrams) and an interview with Michael Emerson (Ben), the statue is Taweret. (At least I guessed right the first time.)

I think the easiest way to tackle this two-hour episode is to start with the Jacob-centric scenes, move to the present-day Island events, follow those with the 1977 action, and then end with a bit of speculation about what could possibly happen in Season Six.

Also, since I could write a full post about each of the little clues spread throughout the finale, I'm choosing instead to provide links where appropriate to web sites that offer greater detail about, say, the book Jacob was reading. Otherwise I'm never going to be able to finish this write-up.

And now, let's begin at the beginning.

(Note for new readers: rolling over any of the pictures in this post will reveal a caption)


GIVE 'EM THE OLD DOUBLE WHAMMY
DAZE AND DIZZY 'EM
BACK SINCE THE DAYS OF OLD METHUSELAH
EVERYONE LOVES

THE BIG BAMBOOZ-A-LER


Within the first few minutes of "The Incident," we were not only introduced to the long elusive Jacob (he's... just... a regular-looking dude?), but we also got a much better glimpse of the four-toed statue. It became clear to me from the opening scene that this was going to be an extremely strange finale; the series had suddenly been swept into a new -- although not entirely unexpected -- context. Jacob and his mysterious adversary had some sort of long-running bet about the nature of mankind, and everyone who came to the Island (or, should I say, was lured to the Island by Jacob) unknowingly became part of this squabbling duo's experiment.

MYSTERY MAN: I don't have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren't you?
JACOB: You are wrong.
MYSTERY MAN: Am I? They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.
JACOB: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.

The mystery man then proceeded to tell Jacob that he'd eventually find a "loophole" and kill him. And Jacob was like, "Bring it on."

The first time I watched the finale, I automatically assumed that Jacob was "good" and the mystery man was "evil." It seemed to me that the mystery man believed people were inherently bad, while Jacob was intent on showing him that humans deserved a chance. Many of you wrote to me with the opinion that I should not jump to the conclusion that we can easily categorize either of these age-old beings. Perhaps they don't represent good versus evil or fate versus free will or science versus faith or anything that clear-cut.

Upon watching the show again, I can definitely appreciate how some of you are hesitant to slap labels on these new characters. However, the practical side of me thinks that they do represent two distinct sides, because the "light versus dark" theme has raged throughout this series since the pilot episode, and so it would make sense if Jacob and his adversary were the physical representations of this theme. This series needs to be wrapped up in seventeen more hours, and I think that when everything is said and done, it must be clear to the average viewer what Jacob and his adversary stand for (as in, one of them must be "the bad guy" and one of them must be "the good guy"). But does the fact that Jacob was wearing a white shirt automatically mean he's not the villain? No.

On my second viewing, I couldn't help but wonder if what I originally perceived to be evilness was actually just the mystery man's frustration with Jacob for messing with people's lives -- if perhaps he was more sympathetic to those who were reeled in to the Island, and knew that the only way to spare others in the future was to kill Jacob.

To complicate things further, we have the series of off-Island trips Jacob took in order to visit the 815ers at critical points in their lives...


JUST A LITTLE OF THAT HUMAN TOUCH

When Jacob was revealed to be the man offering to pay for the lunchbox Little Kate swiped, I got chills. I thought that we would then see a bunch of flashbacks in which Jacob interacted with the Lostaways when they were kids, and that we could therefore conclude that he somehow drew all of them onto Oceanic 815. But that's not exactly what happened -- Jacob visited both Hurley and Sayid after 815 but pre-Ajira 316. So what other reason could there be for these encounters?

Let's take a quick look at each one:

- When Little Kate stole the New Kids (Joey McIntyre 4EVA!) lunchbox, Jacob was there to prevent the shop owner from calling her parents and the police. He then gave her a little tap on the nose as he told her to "be good." So was he trying to set her on a straight and narrow path for the future... or was he subtly sending her the message that she could get away with doing bad things and evading the law?

- Little Sawyer was in the process of writing his vengeful note to the man he would later spend a good part of his adult life trying to hunt down and murder... but then his pen ran out. Jacob handed him another so that he could keep on scribbling. Was he trying to encourage James' quest to kill The Real Sawyer?

- Jacob called Sayid back from the intersection where Nadia was hit. Did he save Sayid from also being struck? Or did he actually orchestrate Nadia's murder in order to put Sayid on the path of working for Ben? On a related note, I found it extremely interesting that in the recap episode ("A Journey in Time") which aired prior to the finale, the producers stated that "Sayid 'believed' he was assassinating Widmore's men" while he was in cahoots with Mr. Linus. Notice how they used the word "believed" -- it makes me question whether it was really Widmore's associates that Sayid was offing. (I picked up on this because last year Carlton said that Sun was "consumed with grief because she believed Jin was dead" -- that was a little hint that Jin wasn't gone for good). So now I think there's a chance that the people Sayid killed were actually decoys set up by Jacob, and that even Ben had been fooled into thinking they worked for Widmore. The fact that Ilana was the one to trap Sayid and that she knew about the man he killed at the golf course supports this theory (now that we've seen Jacob ask Ilana to "help" him).

- Right before Locke had his eight-story fall, Jacob was just chillin' on a park bench nearby, reading Flannery O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge. Once Locke landed with a sickening thud, Jacob calmly walked over to him, put his hand on John's shoulder, and said, "I'm sorry this happened to you." I'm in the camp that believes Locke had been dead until Jacob did his thing. Unlike the previous three flashbacks, nothing about this interaction struck me as dastardly.

- The same can be said for Jacob's time with Jin and Sun. He showed up at their wedding, emphasized how they should never take their love for granted (in perfect Korean), and then disappeared into the crowd.

- Next came Jack -- he had the quickest encounter... simply receiving an Apollo bar from Jacob (immediately following the harrowing surgery he described to Kate in the pilot episode -- kind of cool to get to see that).

- Finally, Hurley got his visit. After he was released from prison, just a day before Ajira 316 departed, Hurley shared a cab with Jacob and was the only 815 survivor to have a bit of a chat with the enigmatic man. Jacob reassured Hurley that he was not crazy, and that he should look at his ability to see and speak with his dead friends as a blessing. Before he got out of the cab, Jacob made it clear that returning to the Island was Hurley's choice. And even though Jacob claimed the guitar case wasn't his, it was surely put there by him to remind Hurley of Charlie... and hopefully nudge Hurley into showing up at the airport.

The majority of Jacob's interactions with the Lostaways lead me to believe that my initial hunch about Jacob was right -- he's "the good guy." His talk with Hurley was what really helped convince me that Jacob's not out to ruin anyone's life -- he's a proponent of free will, and hopes that the people he visited will make the right decisions in their lives.

There's no obvious connection between any of Jacob's visits, except for the fact that all of the people were on Flight 815 (duh)... and that he physically touched Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Hurley, Locke, Jin and Sun. By doing so, I can only assume that Jacob transferred some sort of power to them... or -- perhaps like the mutant Rogue from X-Men -- took a bit of their essence and/or memories for himself. Since Locke seemed to be revived after Jacob came to him, though, I'd say it's probably the former. But how will Jacob's encounters with the 815ers affect things going forward? And how did he know to visit those specific people at those exact times in the first place?

I'll attempt to provide answers to the above questions at the end of this post. First, it's time to review all of the bad stuff that went down in the present-day on the Island.


BUT I STILL
HAVEN'T FOUND
WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR


This finale did not show us who was involved in the outrigger shoot-out against the time-travelers; add that to the heaping pile of Mysteries To Be Resolved In 2010. Instead, Bram, Ilana, a few other randoms and Lapidus safely made it to the shore of the main Island with their huge metal crate in tow. Both Bram and Ilana tried to reassure Frank that he was with "the good guys," but I don't blame our favorite pilot for remaining suspicious. I also wonder what they consider him to possibly be "a candidate" for -- my only guess at this point would be a member of the army they might need to call upon in the upcoming Island war.

Anyway, after showing Frank what was in the crate, the group took off for Jacob's cabin. Since we saw a flashback of Jacob visiting Ilana and asking her to help him, we can assume that this group is on Jacob's "side" (and not part of a Dharma resurgence, like I originally believed). Did you see how Jacob wore gloves when he talked to Ilana in the hospital? More proof that when he touches people, something happens. I'm very curious to know how Ilana ended up in the heavily bandaged state she was in when Jacob talked to her, but obviously that answer's going to have to wait until next year, too.

In the meantime, we know that once Ilana rummaged around in the cabin, she quickly came to the conclusion that Jacob hadn't been there for a while, and that someone else had been using the dilapidated shelter. The group was going to have to keep looking for their leader, but at least he'd left a clue: a drawing of the statue.

Later in this post I will talk about how I think we have to reinterpret all of the previous cabin scenes that have aired to date, but for now let me mention that both Bram and Ilana were on edge when they saw the big gap in the ring of ash that encircled the shack. They also found it appropriate to torch the cabin once they learned Jacob was no longer there, despite Lapidus pointing out that the entire jungle may go up in flames. (Anyone else think that this may actually happen next season?)

So Ilana and crew headed out to Taweret, but Locke, Ben, Sun, Richard and the Others had a big head start. After a quick rest stop at the 815ers old camp (so glad Sun found Charlie's ring! And so hoping that her doing so was meant to foreshadow the return of the Island's most celebrated rock god...) and a few more snarky exchanges between Locke and Ben, Richard finally led the Others to the four-toed statue and informed Locke that Jacob could be found inside. After a weak attempt to stop Locke from bringing Ben along, Richard helped the two men find the secret entrance, and then stepped aside.

Shortly thereafter, Ilana's group finally caught up to Richard and showed him what was in the crate. The lyrics below pretty much sum up my reaction.


EXCUSE ME, PLEASE
ONE MORE DRINK
COULD YOU MAKE IT STRONG
'CAUSE I DON'T NEED TO THINK

After Richard told Ilana that what lies in the shadow of the statue was "Ille qui nos omnes servabit," or "he who will protect/save us all," I started to get the sinking feeling that I wasn't going to be happy when I saw what Bram and his buddies had been hauling around the jungle. As I don't think we have been given any reason to believe that Richard is "bad" per se, and since Ilana specifically asked for him by his presumably old old name (Ricardus), meaning that she might have known or heard about him way back in the day, I extend my "probably not bad" assumption to her and her small group (especially since Richard told the Others not to attack). Which would mean that Jacob -- their ultimate boss -- is also good. And because we knew Locke's intentions were to have Ben kill Jacob... and since Locke had definitely been acting stranger and stranger after he returned to the Island, I braced myself to see him roll out of the crate.


And that's what happened. Real Locke was dead, and had been that way ever since Ben strangled him at the end of "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" (making my memories of running across filming for this episode in Oahu very bittersweet). Once Ajira 316 landed on Hydra Island, the mystery man had taken on Locke's form. I realize now that there didn't have to be a clone of Locke's body in order for this to happen (unlike what I assumed in my Initial Reactions post)... Mystery Man could've just shapeshifted into a Locke lookalike. You know, just like we've seen Smokey do several times before.

So does that mean Mystery Man is also Smokey? I'm not totally sure, but I'm definitely leaning toward that explanation. Smokey had an encounter with Locke just a few days after Oceanic 815 crashed. At that point in time, it most likely scanned his mind (like we've seen it do with other characters) and came to the conclusion that this was not only a "good" person, but one who was easily manipulated. If Mystery Man is Smokey, he might have hatched his plan of how to use Locke as a pawn in his fight against Jacob right at that moment. Whatever Locke saw that "was beautiful" when he looked at Smokey might have been a fake vision of him triumphantly leading everyone on the Island, or some other similar scene that would convince him that it was his destiny to be there and that he needed to heed whatever signals the Island sent him.

We've watched Smokey take the form of Yemi (Eko's brother) and Alex, and can assume that he's also masqueraded as Christian Shepherd and possibly even Claire. Since we know Yemi's body was badly deteriorated in the drug plane yet Yemi appeared to Eko as Eko remembered him, it's clear that Smokey does not need an actual body to do his shapeshifting. Once Ajira 316 touched down on Hydra, Smokey could've easily noted how Locke looked in his coffin and then assumed his form from that point on.

In retrospect, the monster's arrival in the underground chamber with Ben in "Dead is Dead" -- perfectly timed with Locke's comings and goings from that same area -- was another hint about what was really going on. I just couldn't bring myself to accept it at the time.

So yes, I've processed the fact that Real Locke as we've come to know him is dead. And as Long Live Locke reader Will P (who spent half the day golfing with Terry O'Quinn two days after the finale aired) sent me this article in which Terry himself voices his belief that Locke is a goner, I'm positive that my favorite character won't be around at the outset of Season Six (Not Locke doesn't count). I don't think he's going to be resurrected, either. But I do think we'll see Real Locke again -- somehow, some way -- over the course of the remaining seventeen hours in the series. More on that later.

For now, we need to finish off the present-day scenes with the showdown at the statue.


I AINT GOT NOBODY
NOBODY CARES FOR ME
NOBODY
NOBODY
CARES FOR ME

After Locke and Ben entered the chamber (the same one in which Jacob was getting his weave on at the beginning of the episode), Ben wandered around the room and took a look at the tapestry before both men were startled by Jacob's voice. Color me just as surprised as Ben was when Jacob peeked out from behind a column, still human in appearance. Since we saw (or thought we saw) Jacob in weird spirit-like forms in the cabin in seasons past, I'd assumed that something had happened to him along the way that turned him into a helpless ghost.

But there he was, standing in front of the fire pit, fully aware that Locke wasn't really Locke at all, but rather his old rival who had finally found a "loophole." The loophole must have been for Mystery Man to either manipulate someone else into killing Jacob, or to specifically get the leader of the Others to do the deed. As Real Locke was dead, Ben was the de facto leader.

Ben was thoroughly shocked to finally come face to face with the man he'd been been taking orders from throughout the years -- so much so that he almost forgot why he was asked to tag along in the first place... until Not Locke reminded him.

JACOB: Benjamin... whatever he's told you, I want you to understand one thing. You have a choice.
BEN: What "choice"?
JACOB: You can do what he asked, or you can go, leave us to discuss our... issues.
BEN: Oh... so now, after all this time, you've decided to stop ignoring me. Thirty-five years I lived on this island, and all I ever heard was your name over and over. Richard would bring me your instructions--all those slips of paper, all those lists--and I never questioned anything. I did as I was told. But when I dared to ask to see you myself, I was told, "You have to wait. You have to be patient." But when he asked to see you? He gets marched straight up here as if he was Moses. So... why him? Hmm? What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?!?
JACOB: What about you?

Jacob's response to Ben was definitely the "Oh no he didn't!" moment of the night. Talk about the wrong thing to say, huh?

I truly felt for Ben during his speech -- it was yet another brilliant display of Michael Emerson's immense talent. I should be hating his character with the passion of a thousand blazing suns now that I know he is responsible for Locke's death, yet I still pitied him. Ben is completely alone, having lost everything he ever loved to the Island. To come to the realization that he was just a nobody in the whole scheme of things was simply too much for him to bear. And so, he carried out Not Locke's plan by stabbing Jacob in the heart.


I CAN FEEL IT COMING IN THE AIR TONIGHT
OH, LORD
I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT
ALL MY LIFE

OH, LORD


Any doubt I had about Mystery Man/Not Locke being evil was totally removed once he kicked Jacob into the fire. The look on Not Locke's face while he watched his enemy burn was just chilling -- I almost expected devil horns and a tail to sprout right then and there.


You'd think that Not Locke would've at least cracked a smile or allowed himself a few seconds of celebration after the moment he'd been waiting hundreds of years for finally came to pass. But Jacob's final words -- "They're coming" -- seemed to disturb him deeply. Most people believe that "they" are the 815ers who Jacob touched in the past, and I agree. Another plausible option is Ilana and her people, even though right now there only appear to be about five of them.

Regardless of who "they" are, what exactly is Mystery Man's plan to fend them off, now that Jacob is seemingly dead? I mean, what's his ultimate objective? Is he going to kill everyone because he just wants to live on the Island by himself? Is he going to turn everyone into his own personal slaves? Could he possibly manipulate the Others into thinking that he is truly their leader, now that they've all seen Dead Locke? Was he trying to change or stop the events of a time loop and is still in danger of that not happening? I'm kind of at a loss for what Mystery Man's next move is going to be or what he's trying to achieve overall. But since Widmore warned Real Locke that a war was coming to the Island, I can only assume that killing Jacob isn't the only thing Mystery Man needs to do in order to "win." Whatever this war is about, it's undoubtedly going to be epic in scale -- an event that Mystery Man has been plotting his entire life to bring about.

I'm not completely done talking about the present-day scenes and what they might mean for Season Six, but since the time-traveling 815ers are obviously also critical to how the show will progress, let's review what happened to them in this episode before trying to pull everything together.


I SAID YOU WANNA BE STARTIN' SOMETHIN'?
YOU GOT TO BE STARTIN' SOMETHIN'


On the submarine, Kate informed Sawyer and Juliet of Jack's plan to nuke the Island. However, Sawyer held firm to his decision to continue on to the "real world"... until Juliet assaulted one of the sub's crewmen and arranged for the trio's escape. And escape they did, right to the beach where Bernard, Rose and Vincent had been enjoying "retirement" for the past three years.

There's a theory that Rose and Bernard are already dead, and that's why they were acting so extremely chilled out. An offshoot of this theory is that the couple somehow knew what was going to happen to Kate, Sawyer and Juliet, which is why Bernard pushed for them (focusing on Ms. Burke) to stay for a cup of tea. (And yes, I did notice Juliet's hand resting on her stomach -- not sure if that's a hint that she was pregnant or just another instance of us Lost fans overanalyzing every move these characters make.)

Others think that the Nadlers are still very much alive, but that we probably won't see them again on the show until it's discovered that they are the Adam and Eve skeletons. I'm not buying this, though, because Jack had said that the skeletons looked to have been there for 40 to 50 years, and even if Rose and Bernard died immediately (perhaps because of The Incident), that would still only leave 30 years before Jack and Kate find their remains in a cave in 2004. Plus, I think we'll see whomever the skeletons belong to alive and with the black and white stones before the series is over. So the debate about Adam and Eve rages on... as does the talk about whether or not we'll ever get to hear any of Rose and Bernard's witticisms again.

If we stop trying to figure out what will become of the dentist and his wife for a second, however, what's left is a scene about two people very much in love, who can't figure out why their fellow survivors keep raising hell all over the Island. Can you blame them for not wanting to get involved?


STOP!
HAMMER TIME

Over at (or should I say under?) Dharmaville, Sayid disassembled the bomb according to Faraday's instructions while Richard asked Jack about his old nemesis, Locke.

RICHARD: Over twenty years ago, a man named John Locke, he walked right into our camp. And he told me that he was going to be our leader. Now I've gone off the Island three times, to visit him. But he never seemed particularly special to me.
JACK: You said you had a question.
RICHARD: You know him? Locke?
JACK: Yeah. Yeah, I know him. And if I were you, I wouldn't give up on him.

Now that Locke's fate has been revealed, Richard's words support the idea that the ex-box company employee was never special -- he was simply a pawn in a game between Jacob and the Mystery Man... a gullible loser with delusions of grandeur who was easily manipulated by wilier minds.

Jack's words, however, provide a glimmer of hope that Locke's life did (or does) mean something important in the grand scheme of things, and that perhaps his story isn't completely over.

After Sayid had the bomb's reactor in hand, the foursome traveled further along the underground tunnels until they reached the area near Horace's house. Richard hammered through the wall... and then knocked Ellie out and announced that the two 815ers were on their own. Two things I wish we had learned from Richard before he left were: 1) how exactly did the Hostiles get the 20-ton Jughead underground in the first place? and 2) why was he OK with letting these yahoos potentially nuke the whole Island? Was he certain that they'd fail, or was he somehow positive that none of his people would be hurt? It doesn't seem like "because Ellie approved of it" is a very strong reason. But then again, Richard followed all of Locke's demands even though he didn't like them, so maybe his "adviser" role prohibits him from disobeying the current leader.

As Richard dragged the unconscious Ellie away (meaning that, despite what he told Sun, he was definitely not around to watch the 815ers "die"), Jack and Sayid stole some Dharma jumpsuits and almost made it through the Barracks undetected. Revenge was sweet for Roger Linus, who didn't give a crap what Sayid was carrying in his backpack... he just wanted his son's attacker dead. (Speaking of Little Ben, since he never returned to Dharmaville before The Incident and we heard Richard say that he wasn't going to have any memory of his shooting, it's possible that Adult Ben never recalled meeting any of the 815ers during his childhood.)

Roger got Sayid right in the gut, and then Jack had to attempt to lead his injured friend through a hailstorm of bullets. Things looked pretty darn bleak for our compadres until Hurley saved the day once again with his Dharma Van Driving Skillz. Did you catch the quick smile Jack flashed when he saw who had pulled up in the nick of time? It was very cute, I must say.


WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN
CAN'T KEEP HIS MIND ON NOTHING ELSE
HE'LL TRADE THE WORLD

FOR THE GOOD THING HE'S FOUND


The van didn't get too far before it was blocked by the submarine escapees. Jack and Sawyer decided they were going to settle their differences the old fashioned way through a knock-down, drag-out brawl. You already know from my other finale post that I wasn't a fan of the love quadrangle's decision-making processes in this episode. Each of them seemed to have pretty shaky reasoning for doing what they did. The most puzzling was Kate, who had been completely against Jack's plan to erase their pasts... but then when the time came for him to literally drop the bomb, she was all of a sudden OK with it (and she hadn't even heard his true reasons for doing so). If Kate was just going to go along with what Jack wanted to do, why did she leave him in the jungle in the first place? Oh, yeah, because the writers needed a way to get Sawyer and Juliet back on the Island.

Before you accuse me of being a cold-hearted, unsentimental fool who can't comprehend the power of love, let me assure you that I have absolutely no issue with Jack realizing that he wanted a second chance with Kate. And I get how Juliet must have felt when she realized that she just wasn't meant to be with Sawyer... just like I get how Sawyer wasn't going to fight with his woman once it was clear she'd made up her mind about letting Jack follow through with his plans. My issue isn't with their feelings, it's with when and how the writers chose to have these characters express their feelings -- namely, in ways that could potentially destroy the lives of hundreds of other people.

In "Follow the Leader" -- which took place just hours before "The Incident" -- Jack basically told Kate that the vast majority of the past three years had been "misery." During that conversation in Ellie's tent, he had a chance to admit he screwed up their relationship and that he didn't want to lose her forever; she was practically begging him to tell her that their time together hadn't been a waste. But instead he let her believe that he was OK with erasing their memories of each other. Yet shortly thereafter he goes and tells Sawyer (not Kate) that he's following Faraday's instructions in the hopes of getting another try with Kate, and then proceeds to do something that he knows will probably kill everyone remaining on the Island. Whatever happened to "Do no harm"?

Anyway, I'm not going to moan on and on about how I didn't like everyone's flip-flopping, because the only thing that matters is that in the end, they were all on the same page. They wanted Jughead to have its way with them and were willing to suffer the consequences of whatever transpired as a result -- be that death, erasing three years of their lives, or something else.

OH NOW FEEL IT COMIN' BACK AGAIN
LIKE A ROLLIN' THUNDER CHASING THE WIND
FORCES PULLIN' FROM THE CENTER OF EARTH AGAIN
I CAN FEEL IT

Before Jack could do his thing, however, Radzinsky was wreaking some havoc of his own down in the Swan's construction pit. The guy really is mental, isn't he? Even if he truly believed that his work was going to "change the world," what's the harm in taking a few deep breaths and listening to Chang's warnings? But nooooo, Radzinsky was all "drill, baby, drill!" and sure enough, the electromagnetic pocket was pierced.

I don't know exactly what I was expecting The Incident to look like, but I was impressed with what I saw... it was similar to what happened when Locke destroyed the Countdown Timer o' Doom in the hatch... times ten million. Jeeps were dragged across the ground, towers crumbled, tools and weapons flew through the air -- it was mass chaos. And of course, Phil did not survive. Which death by arrow was better -- his or Frogurt's?

We also saw Chang's hand get smashed in the collapsing machinery, just like we expected it would (as he had a prosthetic arm in some of the orientation videos). Luckily, Miles was there to save dear ol' dad from a much worse fate -- I thought that was a nice touch.

During the commotion, Jack successfully threw Jughead's core down into the shaft. Sayid had supposedly rigged it to detonate upon impact... but nothing happened. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I absolutely loved the insanely tense few seconds where everyone braced for an explosion... and then when it became clear that the plan had failed, Sawyer quipped, "This don't look like LAX."

However, bomb or no bomb, the magnetic force was still sweeping anything and everything metal into the crater, and Juliet found herself entangled in a huge chain. As soon as I saw that, I almost couldn't bear to keep watching the television screen. I knew that she would be dragged into the pit, I knew that Sawyer would grab hold and try to pull her back up, I knew that Kate would tried her damnedest to help, and I knew that it would be all for naught. Awful, awful, awful. But at the same time, this really was a wonderfully touching scene, and both Elizabeth Mitchell and Josh Holloway brought it. I couldn't reach for the Kleenex fast enough, that's for sure. Remember back in "This Place is Death" when I was so crushed by how Sawyer frantically started digging at the spot where Locke had disappeared down the well? This was like that... times twenty million.



SUPPOSE I NEVER EVER MET YOU?
SUPPOSE WE NEVER FELL IN LOVE
?

When Juliet explained to Sawyer why she wanted Jack to go through with Faraday's plan, she said, "If I never meet you, then I never have to lose you." Well, lo and behold, in the final scene of the season, we got to see that Juliet was not kidding around. Above ground, Kate and Jack were tearing a grief-stricken Sawyer away from gaping hole that was still sucking in dangerous chunks of metal, while down, down, down at the very bottom of the pit, Juliet suddenly regained consciousness. We're never going to get an explanation for this, so I'm going with "the Island wanted her to detonate the bomb." Because let's face it, it's highly unlikely she would have otherwise survived that fall if the Island didn't have a purpose for her once she reached the bottom.

Whether or not the Island intervened, if Juliet wasn't convinced that Jack's plan was going to work, I don't think she would've started banging on the detonator. Why? Because even though she probably realized she was a goner, she wouldn't have wanted to chance anyone else getting blown to smithereens. So she would've only tried to make the bomb explode if she truly believed that it would erase the past three years and give everyone a second chance -- even if she still died in the process.

Therefore, she grabbed a rock and went to town on Jughead's core in the hopes of giving her man and his fellow survivors a "do-over" beginning in 2004. After eight tries, an explosion was heard as the screen faded to the first-ever white end title screen. And then... we all realized that we hadn't exhaled for the past few minutes.

First things first -- is there any way that Juliet could've survived the blast if it did not work like Faraday assumed it would (meaning that the past three years did not reset)? I sincerely hope so, but when I watched the episode again I noticed that her lower half appeared to be crushed underneath a ton of metal and she definitely seemed to be in a pretty bad state. What makes this all so much worse is that none of the other characters will ever know about her brave act. So here's to hoping that something in the timeline does change and we get to see a happy, healthy Juliet again at some point in Season Six.

One last comment before I attempt to start throwing out some grand, all-encompassing theories: The bomb did detonate. There was some debate about this early on, but I replayed the end and you can definitely hear an explosion. What's less clear is what effect the bomb will have on the 815ers, the Island and the overall timeline. So without further ado, allow me to try and figure out how what we learned in the last two hours of Season Five might shape Lost's final (sniff) seventeen episodes.


OO-HOO... THE TIME IS GETTING CLOSER
OO-HOO... TIME TO BE A GHOST

You know all those times we thought we caught glimpses of Jacob in the cabin -- an eye here, an old dude in a rocking chair there? The joke was on us; I don't think that was Jacob at all. Ilana believed her leader hadn't been in the cabin for "some time"... and I have a hunch that "some time" is probably more than three years. Maybe Jacob did putter around in the rickety shack at one point, but he'd probably returned to the statue before 2004 rolled around. Therefore, I'm betting that Mystery Man was behind all of the weirdness that Ben, Locke and Hurley witnessed in the cabin on different occasions.

My guess is that something caused Mystery Man to lose his human form quite a while ago. He dissolved into a bizarre spirit-y state and was held captive (by Jacob or Jacob's people) in the cabin thanks to a magical circle of ash. Somewhere along the line, the circle was broken -- either intentionally or on accident.

Now, if you believe that Mystery Man has also been taking the form of Smokey, then you're probably on board with my theory that the circle of ash must have already been broken by the time Locke and Ben went to find what they thought was Jacob in "The Man Behind the Curtain." How else could this spirit be simultaneously trapped in the cabin AND terrorizing the 815ers as Smokey and various apparitions out in the jungle? In fact, it looks like you can see a break in the line (near the bottom) in this still from "TMBTC" (although we can't be totally sure):



If it wasn't Mystery Man's spirit in the cabin, or if it was him but he wasn't able to get out because there wasn't a break in the ash by the time 815 crashed, then I remain totally confused about everything having to do with what we've seen go down in the cabin, and would also be less confident about Mystery Man doubling as Smokey. So let's just assume that the ring of ash had been broken by September 2004.

Then what we'd have is the essence of Mystery Man running all around the Island, being able to take the form of any corpse he came across. That may be the reason the Others chose to cremate their dead out at sea (remember how Jack witnessed this at Colleen's funeral in "The Cost of Living" when everyone was all dressed in white?) -- they'd started seeing their loved ones reappear and realized it wasn't a good idea to bury anyone on the Island.

So back to the cabin... when Locke was able to hear "Jacob" and Ben wasn't, it was really all part of the elaborate ruse that Mystery Man had been working on for quite some time. He needed Locke to feel special... and he needed Ben to be insanely jealous.

As for being able to shapeshift into others, however, I don't think that was solely the realm of Mystery Man. I think both Jacob and his adversary could transform themselves into anyone who had died, and that's why we've been so perplexed about the conflicting messages that all of the Island apparitions have been sending. In a post I wrote right before Season Five began, I said, "...it seems as though there are two forces, communicating through a bunch of ghosts, that are fighting about where and with whom Aaron should reside, and it's damn confusing." Along these same lines, my man Ryan over at Zap2It's Guide to Lost noticed something about Zombie Dad's appearances: sometimes he wore a blue suit, and at other points he was dressed down in brown. You can read Ryan's theory about what that might signify here, while I'm going to be so bold as to suggest that "Suit Christian" was Jacob and "Cabin Christian" was Mystery Man all along. (And for the record, I officially feel sheepish now for proclaiming during our live chat that there's no way anything as subtle as Zombie Dad's change of clothes would ever have significant meaning on the show.)


ROUND AND ROUND
ROUND WE GO


So let's run with the assumption that both Jacob and his rival have the ability to morph into other forms. And next let's ask, "Why would they want or need to do that?" I believe the answer lies in this exchange they had during the opening scene:

MYSTERY MAN: ... It always ends the same.
JACOB: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that is just progress.

I'm interpreting this bit of dialogue to mean that there is indeed a time loop -- that these two supernatural beings have seen some span of time play out over and over and over again. Mystery Man is annoyed because Jacob keeps holding out hope that either a) humankind isn't going to destroy the planet when it's all said and done or b) a specific, shorter period of time that keeps looping will one day have a better outcome. I'm not sure if it really matters how long the loop is; I think the most important thing is that the Lostaways are clearly critical -- in Jacob's mind -- to changing things for the better. As he's seen the entire span of time, he knew exactly when it might help for him to pop into certain characters' lives and subtly influence their decision-making. He didn't lead them to be on Oceanic 815... he visited them because he already knew that they were on Oceanic 815 -- it's another chicken/egg situation.

But Jacob must not have liked the original outcome of events. Or perhaps he was certain that the "original" outcome of events was tainted because Mystery Man had manipulated certain people, and that's why he had to step in and try to provide a counterbalance. The result was Jacob and his adversary both trying their hardest to make the ultimate "ending" support their personal beliefs about mankind. They want to prove each other wrong, but the ultimate winner will be decided by the Lostaways' actions.

Which leads right back to the Whatever Happened, Happened debate.


BELIEVE
BELIEVE THAT LIFE CAN CHANGE
THAT YOU'RE NOT STUCK IN VAIN


Mystery Man finds his loophole in the form of Dead Locke and manipulates Ben into killing Jacob, but at the exact same time thirty years prior, Juliet detonates Jughead. So did all of this already happen, or did Ms. Burke blast the whole crew into a new timeline?

Something tells me that the events of 1977 didn't change anything at all. Miles had it right -- setting off the bomb was The Incident. The Swan is still going to be built over that spot. Flight 815 is still going to crash. And Juliet's actions will most likely send her time-traveling friends back to the present day, which is something that also probably happened in that exact same manner countless times before. The past three years will remain intact for everybody.

BUT that doesn't mean all hope is lost for our beloved characters as they (probably) careen back to the future only to end up in the middle of the Island battle to end all battles. Like I stated earlier, Not Locke sure seemed concerned when Jacob said "They're coming." This leads me to believe that the benevolent loom-master anticipated his own murder and prepared a "Plan B" of sorts as a last-ditch effort to defeat his centuries-old adversary, and I'm pretty sure that part of that plan involved him making physical contact with all of the time-traveling 815ers.

Perhaps the magical powers of the Island will transfer over to them now that Jacob has died. Perhaps they'll be safe from whatever nonsense Mystery Man tries to pull next. I really have no easily explainable ideas for what Jacob might have planned for our Lostaways, but my gut tells me that he was a smart fellow and had no intention of going down without a fight. The fact that he pretty much just stood there when Ben stabbed him supports my belief that he knew this scenario had to play out. Think about it this way -- what if the part of the time loop Jacob wanted to change is something that hasn't happened yet... something after the end of 2007? What if it's something that's left up to the 815ers to handle in Jacob's absence next season?

The theory above is part of the reason why I believe that we haven't necessarily seen the end of dear old Locke; I can't accept that Jacob saved him after his paralyzing fall only to set him up as a pawn for the enemy with no further purpose. (And -- I swear to you -- I would still feel the same way if any of the other major characters had rolled out of the crate.) We now have several months to think through the possible ways the last seventeen hours of the show could play out, but there's one thing that won't be happening over the hiatus: a name change for this blog!


BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE

RICHARD: Ben told me that he strangled you.
LOCKE: That is my recollection, yes.


ROSE [upon seeing Kate, Juliet and Sawyer on the beach]: Oh, hell no.



[Locke walks over to Ben, sitting on the beach.]
LOCKE: Everything alright?
BEN: I was enjoying some alone time.




LOCKE: Do you mind if I ask you a question?
BEN: I'm a Pisces.
[e: Ben's birthday is widely believed to be December 19, meaning that this is yet another lie and he's actually a Sagittarius.]



MILES: Jack! So this bomb is supposed to what, blow us back in time?
JACK: We're not going back in time.
MILES: Right, because that would be ridiculous!



JAIL CLERK [discharging Hurley]: One wallet. $227 cash. One ballpoint pen. One fruit roll-up. Sign here.



JACK [as he passes by Juliet and Sawyer on his way to the Swan site with the bomb]: See you in Los Angeles.



SAWYER [after the bomb failed to detonate]: This don't look like LAX.



SUN: Do you have any alcohol?
RICHARD: [Chuckles] No. Sure wish I did.






PICS FROM THE FIELD

I thought it would be appropriate to share a few Lost-related pictures with you all before wrapping up this post. First off, we have some shots from reader Michael K, who was recently in Nigeria and reported the troubling news that Oceanic has branched out into banking there! Just what the world needs during this economic crisis...




Next we have a shot of Terry O'Quinn bounding up the rocks while on break during the finale shoot. Ed Kos, owner of Kos Hummer Tours (you know, the marvelous tour I wrote two posts about last fall) was able to see Terry, Michael Emerson (Ben), Yunjin Kim (Sun) and Nestor Carbonell (Richard) that day. Does he have the best luck or what?



The rest of the pictures in this section brought a smile to my face and prevented a full-on depression over Locke's death from sinking in. First we have Terry on the first day of the BMW Charity Pro-AM in South Carolina. Reader Will P was lucky enough to spend a ton of time with him (only two days after the finale aired) and sent along these awesome photos.





The next day, reader Brooke B caught Terry at the same event and graciously shared her wonderful pictures.






He looks alive and well to me, folks! Here's hoping we can say the same thing about Locke before the credits roll on the final episode of the series.



SEE YOU BACK HERE IN A FEW MONTHS

Believe it or not (though if you've read my site for any length of time, I'm sure you believe it), there's a lot more I could've said about "The Incident." However, I had to draw the line somewhere, and decided to save the rest of my commentary for another time.

My plan for the hiatus is to start by giving myself a break from all things Lost for the next few months. I have literally thousands of messages from you guys to reply to and I've felt awful about neglecting those emails... so if you've written me this year and never heard back, please know that I'm going to try to respond -- starting with the poor souls who contacted me at the outset of the season in January.

As for Long Live Locke... I'll probably post here again in early August, once I've had a chance to absorb whatever comes out of Comic-Con. So be sure to check back then... or, you can friend me on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter, where I'll be sure to provide updates on my plans every once in awhile.

I also hope you'll follow my movie-related posts over at redblog -- I usually publish two pieces a day and would love to hear from some of you over on that site (if you didn't know that I write for national DVD retailer redbox, check out my post about getting the gig here). Finally, I do plan to get According to e rolling again over the next few weeks, too.

So one way or the other, I hope you'll check in with me and stay in touch over the hiatus. It's been an absolutely crazy (in a good way) season, but something tells me that the best is yet to come. As always, thanks for reading this site, for sharing your thoughts and for your general support of my writing endeavors over the past five years. You all are the best! (Or is it You All Everybody?)

- e

102 comments:

e said...

And here is the final batch of songs I used for the lyrical headings this season...

“Razzle Dazzle” from the musical “Chicago”

“Human Touch” by Bruce Springsteen

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” by U2

“Grace is Gone” by Dave Matthews Band

“Just a Gigolo/Ain’t Got Nobody” by David Lee Roth (Louis Prima cover)

“In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” by Michael Jackson

“U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer

“When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge

“Lightning Crashes” by Live

“Fidelity” by Regina Spektor

“Happy Phantom” by Tori Amos

“I Get Around” by 2Pac

“Tonight, Tonight” by The Smashing Pumpkins


Thanks again for reading!
- e

Timothy said...

Great recap e! Worth the wait.

Just be careful of the crocodiles around the Chicago River, that's all I got to say.

Caity said...

Just happened to stop by and was excited to see that your finale recap is up. Great job! I almost want to watch the episode another time and then read your blog another time through so I can finally get all of my thoughts straight!

Thanks for all your insight -- looking forward to keeping up with you on your other blogs!

Chartreuse #45 said...

Great recap as usual!
I don't think Locke is dead, either.
He IS destined for something great, why else would he be healed so many times?

Mellis said...

I was so excited to see your recap was up! I really liked your idea that Jacob touched the Losties not to choose them for Flight 815, but because he already KNEW they were going to be on the flight. Puts a whole new twist on things.

There's some speculation that Richard arrived on the island because he was on the Black Rock. Didn't Jack Sparrow wear eyeliner? What do you think? All I can say is, "Richard in pirate garb?? Yummy!" :)

Thank you so much for all of your insights! You are wonderful!

BlackrockBob said...

Great writeup and worth the wait.

I don't feel John Locke is really gone forever. Jack still has to reconcile with Locke. Jack has faith in Locke and I think we all should.

I like the idea that Suited Christian is Jacob and casual Christian is the dark shirt guy. I have felt that Christian and Claire's appearance off island were about protecting Aaron and not bringing him back to the Island.

JNL said...

Ah, great write up as usual! One minor point I have been trying to get out of my thick skull...

If Whatever Happened Happened then the bomb ABSOLUTELY could not have gone off. It still is at the end of the shaft that is now encased in cement. Also, Marvin Candle lost the use of his arm because of the crushing steel coming down AND he lived to make the Swan updated orientation video.

Cannot wait for you to start back up next year.

And I am THE original
John - Not Locke (JNL)

e said...

Mellis -

Yes, I actually mentioned the possible Richard/Black Rock connection in my first finale post (linked from the top of this one) so I didn't want to repeat it again this time around. It definitely would be sweet if he was a pirate!

- e

Anonymous said...

e, I have checked every day waiting to hear what you would say, yours is the last post I've read on the season finale, and it was the best way to bring it all together. You really add to the experience of Lost. You are a talented writer, thanks for all your effort and commitment. Its been fun and enlightening.

Have a great summer!

(BTW I think Terry is throwing some misdirection about Locke's S6 future, Terry is JJ Abrams fav, and to not see the most lost of all the losties find himself and experience some redemption would be bad television and we know it ain't that. Isn't it better to at least think that Tony S finished dinner that last night? The real John locke will be back, but maybe Jack is the new leader of the Others)

Anonymous said...

I appreciate what you said about the'loop'. We know the castaways have been 'looping'. Jacob knows the loop WILL END, and that the castaways are PROGRESSING throughout the loops.
I believe Jacob saw his death, and gave up his life, and perhaps is not dead. (Jacob would not be sitting there waiting for Ben to come and kill him).
Jacob is a very patient MASTER WEAVER. He gives people free choice, but in the END, has created a beautiful weaving. (These elements have been shown to us in a very in depth opening and final scene.)
Just my thoughts. Thanks for writing e !!
Greg

Anonymous said...

One question: We see Christian speaking to Sun and Lapidus. He points out the window and shows them that Locke is there. (This of course was NON-LOCKE.) So can this guy )Man in black - bad-gut-Jacob's rival_ be two people at once?

Lauren said...

Great recap! Something quite interesting from the beggining of the episode: the fish that Jacob caught and ate was a red herring (literally)! Since red herrings are meant to throw someone off the correct path, I wonder what its relation is to the episode.

Nicolas Goles said...

Hello E, I wanted to tell you that there is something pretty big that I haven't seen mentioned around.

The game.

It's not backgammon, it's chess. It's so obvious, that's why Jacob couldn't kill the other guy , and A.J ( anti jacob or whatever his name is , had to use ben to kill Jacob. )

You see? A PAWN kills the King , in chess a king can't actually kill the king. :)

So I think they are going to close the series as a kind of "chess" game , where the moves are between all this big time loop, and making the correct perturbations in time ( influencing the correct people , etc ) can lead one of the players ( Jacob - Anti Jacob ) to victory.

I think this is pretty rational.

Hope you understood since my english is not awesome.

Lori Fish said...

Great post Erica! I have a brand new respect for what you do. I've decided over the hiatus I would blog about Lost starting with the season 5 finale and then start with season one. My blogs are very short but it takes me forever. I would love if one day when your bored and ready to think about Lost again if you took a look. I just thought it would be something fun to do.

Ad Snow said...

JNL - I do believe Whatever Happened, Happened. The part of the Swan station that is cemented over is not to protect from the bomb.. but surely to protect from the radiation still emitted AFTER the bomb was detonated, just like Chernobyl?

Great read as always E :)

Can't wait for 2010!!!!

Ramon van der Burgt said...

Ok just a little thing I just noticed. Could it be that The Mystery Man/Smokey can only take the form of dead bodies on the island?? Smokey has changed in Yemi, who died in that drugplane accident. Smokey has changed in Alex, who was shot on the island in front of Ben's eyes. Also Smokey has changed in Christian and presumably John Locke, who's bodies were flown to the island in coffins... Hmmm :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Erika

Great write up, as always, and hope you have a great summer without Lost intruding too much.

Before then wonder if you can just clear up one little mystery that's bugging me. Why, in the Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham does Ben stop Locke from committing suicide and looks like nothing is going to happen, but then as soon as Eloise Hawking's name is mentioned he kills Locke. Is it because she was leader before him (Richard calls her their leader just before he knocks her out - incidentally has she always been associated with Jacob and Widmore with anti-Jacob?), or has Mystery Man somehow infected Ben and spots his chance as soon as the name of the time travel/island finding guru is mentioned. Any ideas?

Also, might the Adam and Eve skeletons be Jacob/anti-Jacob? - they've certainly been around a long time and then there's the black and white stones. Guess it falls down on the sex of 'Eve' but just a thought.

Yaili said...

Do you think the fact that the actor that played Jacob also had a guest appearance on the CSI season finale the same week?

It was seriously upsetting to watch him on both :)

Em said...

Can I just say, I almost let out a little squeal here at work when I saw your post was up! Can't wait to read :)

Glen said...

Brilliant recap e but i have to disagree with you for the 1st time in 5 years, I dont think the bomb went off, I think the explosion was the drilling through the wall which caused the white light which occurs every time they do a bit of time travelling. I think they will all be transported to 2007 (including Rose etc). I also think Hurly has a very important role in the last series he was the one jacob seemed to spend the most time with and the discussion about how people change and ruin the island and hurly is the only one who does not judge anyone and has no anger or resentment even when his girlfriend was killed (hope we hear more about libby)
What do you think?

bongzilla said...

Erika -- I think Hurley broke the ash circle around Jacob's Cabin, in either The Beginning of the End, when he first accidentally stumbles upon it in the woods, or in Cabin Fever. I need to rewatch both episodes to be sure.

Kristin said...

Hi e!
I've been reading your recaps for 2 seasons now and I love your theories and how you help clarify things for me. I'm also very excited to hear you say you'll be updating 'according to e' a bit more often. I've missed your pop culture and general life stories!

So, thanks for everything!

And to all the folks commenting, thank you as well! Someone always has a new theory or brings up something I hadn't thought of. My head spins but in a good way!

Ernie said...

Great catch on the Journey in Time recap. I also caught something they said on there. They casual mention that the reason Jack, Kate and Hurley end up in 1977 is b/c they didn't exactly replicate Flight 815.

I wonder if this will be addressed on the show or if this was their way of getting it out there.

d said...

Great recap as always. I have to admit though, I am not sold on the time loop stuff. When AJ was saying that it always ends the same way, I took that to mean that every time Jacob brings someone to the island it ends the same way. Not that a time loop is going on. Hope we know one way or another by the end of next season though!

Charlie said...

I believe “Esau” tried to do this to Mr. Eko when he came to Eko as his brother Yemi. But Eko refused to accept his sins. He told “Esau” that he did what he had to do in order to survive. Knowing Eko was no longer going to be a candidate “Esau” killed him. “Esau” as Locke tells Richard to tell alive Locke he has to leave and die. This is done to ensure that Locke’s corpse will come back so “Esau” can pretend to be John. More on this in my prediction for where we go from here.

So then we get to the final confrontation. “Esau” disguised as John hands Ben the knife. Jacob tells Ben he can do what “Esau” asks. Or he can choose not to. Again, a reminder of free will. When Ben pours his heart and soul to Jacob about being neglected we get the line of the year in return – Jacob: “What about you?” With that Ben stabs Jacob. While Jacob is “dying” he says, “they’re coming.” Let me quickly sum up Ben in my view: a pawn. An embarrassed, jealous, lying pawn. Who got exactly what he dished out. The master manipulator got manipulated. I’d like to think he will have some sort of redemption before the series ends. But who knows perhaps he’ll stay loyal to “Esau” the entire time.

Prediction on where we go from here: When Jacob says “they’re coming” while dying I think he is talking about the survivors in 1977. When Juliet activates the bomb I think it will cause an electromagnetic flash that will bring Jack, Jin, Miles, Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Rose, Bernard, and yes Vincent back to the present. The creators have said Stephen King’s the Stand is a huge influence. I think we are going to now see the ultimate battle of good and evil. Jacob’s soldiers are on their way back.

Thoughts on John Locke: I think my favorite character has more of a role to play. The destiny of John Locke was fulfilled. He sacrificed himself to make sure everyone returned. More importantly he made Jack Shepherd into a believer. In season 1 Claire had a vision of John. In that vision John had a dark eye and light eye. When Eko tells John he saw a monster, John reveals he saw something different – a bright light. Get ready for Esau vs. Jacob round 2 – Locke vs. Locke. I think the spirit of Jacob is going to go into John’s body. Everything we need to learn about Jacob will be spoken through John next year. He will now be Jacob’s vessel.

The man of Faith (John), the man of science (Jack) will become one. I think “Esau” will only impersonate John for so long. On a side note: I think it’s clear Widmore might be in some sort of alliance with “Esau.” He wanted to make sure John got back to that island because of the war that is coming. He felt John needed to be on the island to make sure the right side won. Illana and the rest of the shadow of the statue people told Miles not to go on Widmore’s boat. They are the good guys and will win. I think they are the good guys. If they don’t want Miles to be with Charles Widmore then to me this means Widmore is against Jacob. Widmore most likely knows John will die in the process of bringing the oceanic 6 back, which is why he wants him to go to the island. So “Esau” can pretend to be him and get to kill Jacob.

Damon Lindenlof and Carlton Cuse are huge star war fans. I think we will get the ultimate father son showdown. “Esau” takes the form of whoever will help him in the situation. He was John to manipulate Richard and Ben for the whereabouts and death of Jacob. I think the ultimate showdown will be “Esau” once again becoming Christian Shepherd and confronting Jack. Think Darth Vader vs. Luke. John/Jacob will be in Jack’s corner. Think Obi Wan Kenobi.

This would work considering the huge father/son issues all of these characters have.

*The latin/answer to “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” that Richard said translates to“He who will protect/save us all.”

Funny John Locke is lying in the shadow of the statue right now. In a suit no less. Walt’s visions soon?

Ernie said...

Hey e,

Something crossed my mind while reading your recap that I hadn't thought of before. With all the touching that Jacob did, what if Jacob was channeling Voldemort and was using the 815ers as his Horcruxes? Being as he likely knew Ben was going to kill him (the reason why he ignored Ben all these years?), he was preparing for his comeback.

Dirte said...

Loved it. Totally agree with you about Kate and Sawyer's 180 on detonating the bomb.

I'm really looking forward to the LOST Rewatch (http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Lostpedia:Rewatch) starting next week

Hope you have a great summer and find your constant.

mvidas said...

Unrelated to the above post, I thought you might like http://springfieldpunx.blogspot.com/2009/05/lost-week-day-4.html

:)

Adam said...

Thanks as always for your insight, e.

Denny said...

e, Thanks Great recap!
Jacobs plan_..that men can choose!
Mystery Man_ I can corrupt any man you can throw at me!
Still trying to prove him wrong.
I'm begining to wonder now about Frank Lapedus being a Candidate. Do you think Smokey being released from the cabin grabbed the "Wrong Pilot"?
Also did anyone mention the time period that Jacob visits Ilana in that Hospital? Or where that might have been?

Tom said...

If Ilanna and crew knew that "What lies in the shadow of the statue" is "that which protects/saves us", shouldn't she have known that Jacob would not be at the cabin and would instead be under the statue? Or does it mean that "that which protects/saves us" is something other than Jacob?

Thoughts?

Roland said...

Hi Erika

A great pleasure to see your 516 analysis up. Great job as usual.

I think that The Game currently being played by Jacob and The Foe has The Survival Of Humanity at stake (kinda like ST TNG's "Encounter at Farpoint" and "All good things ... " Eps) - and that Ms Hawking, Charles Widmore and even Ben know this to be true.

I think that both Jacob and The Foe play lip service to the concept of "Free Will Choice" - with The Foe playing dirty - forcing Choices including Claire's "Choice" to give her baby to Family Ethan/Tom (Children of The Foe) and Michael's "Choice" to spring Ben from The Swan.

Jacob appears to play less dirty with "Choice" - telling Hugo that it's his choice whether or not to board Ajira 316 - but Jacob's "less dirty" tactics include leaving "Charlie's" guitar-case in the cab - emotional black-mail in my opinion.

carolinefat said...

smokey taking forms of the bodies on the island, thats why that woman told them she had to bury the bodies after she;d been kidnapped by them, when they first went back in time.

Furtive glance said...

Thanks, e!

A few things that tickle my squishy old brain:

-what about those whispers? could they not be the vaporized remnants of those-who-were-too-close when the bomb went off? that would sure explain why the whisperers knew so much about the whisperees.

- an original Star Trek episode had two beings locked in mortal, everlasting combat. One was white-on-the-left and the other was white-on-the-right. Neither was "evil" and neither was "good" Sounds like a plausible analogue for the light/dark faith/science Jacob/not-Jacob dichotomy on this show. Only Rose and Bernard have figured out you need both, and live peacefully. Of course, in the Star Trek episode, the meeting of the two was cataclysmic.

-Did we ever see smokey in pre-bomb-blast times?

-season six. Can anyone say "game changer" ? This show has altered itself for nearly every season, and we must expect to be caught off-guard in the first two minutes of the season opener!

Roland said...

Here's my best guess on The Cabin - and who was in it when:

Ilana seems to me to have been expecting Jacob to have been captive in the cabin, and to have brought Locke's body (possibly for Imprisoned Jacob to have re-animated) and Candidate Frank - possibly to take Imprisoned Jacob's place.

If Ilana was not expecting to find Imprisoned Jacob at The Shack, why would she go there? She obviously knew that Jacob's Official Residence was the plinth below the Statue's foot.

The fact that Ilana told Bram that he (Jacob) hadn't been in the Cabin for "a long time" and that "someone else" (The Foe) had been "using it" (possibly to impersonate Jacob) suggests that Ilana knows a lot about both Jacob and The Foe. I suspect that her burn-style bandages were the results of her last Foe encounter. He does seem to like Eternal Flames.

So ... when Ben took John to The Shack in TMBTC - and carefully stepped over the Ash Ring - it may have been an imprisoned [“help me”] incorporeal Jacob who was The Prisoner and had been - possibly for decades. If this is true, was Richard visiting Jacob the Prisoner (and not helping him escape) during Ben’s 35 years of never-seeing-Jacob Service?

Somebody - Hugo? - broke the Ash Ring in 2004 (Hugo saw Christian but also saw Jacob’s Eye), Jacob was freed and resumed his previous form and residence.

The Foe - in the form of “Christian” (plus “Claire”) subsequently moved into The Shack, acknowledged to JL that He wasn’t Jacob but “spoke for him” and instructed JL to move the Island. That was the last time we saw the Shack - 12/04.

So ... after “Christian/Claire” vacated The Shack, Jacob returned and left the Tapestry Fragment Message for Ilana.

GT said...

I'm still wondering how Desmond is going to fit into all this. I've always thought he and Penny were going to be THE major players in the story. It was strange he wasn't in this season much, especially since many people, myself included, were thinking he was The Variable. Surely his visions about Charlie having to die to get Claire and Aaron on the helicopter were not all for naught. Do you think maybe he was seeing these visions as part of the time loop? Could his unique time-traveling-consciousness ability be the key to changing or even ending the loop? Maybe I'm not understanding how the time loop works exactly, but I'm still holding out hope that the dead Losties (Claire, Charlie, Eko, etc) will be returning somehow - especially now that Sun found Charlie's ring. That would be awesome. Desmond's vision would then be fulfilled, Locke wouldn't have such a terrible end to a sad life, everyone would have a chance at redemption, and it would be really fun as a viewer!

Speaking of Locke, I'm convinced he'll be back. Don't know how, but he will. No way would the writers spend so much time on his backstory and build his character up so much as the faith-based/destiny believer, which is a central theme to the whole show, just to have his real end be by Ben's hand. I just don't believe it. He'll show up in some sort of heroic blaze of glory to save/scare the crap out of everyone, hopefully....and he better pummel Ben. My favorite LOST viewing moment was probably during a Season 3 finale party when the entire room of people jumped up and cheered when Jack finally beat Ben to a pulp. It's Locke's turn now! I agree though, you can't help but feel bad for Ben during his speech to Jacob. After all this time, we still can't be sure whether he's good or bad or whose side he's on. What an amazing character!

I am also intrigued by commenter Charlie's idea about Jack having to face the Smokey/Esau/non-Locke entity parading around as Christian in the end. That would really bring the "daddy issues" theme full circle. Love this show, and love the blog! Keep up the good work, Erika. :)

Julie G said...

Did anyone notice how the sounds of the metal bending and being pulled into the hole that Juliet was pulled into sounded EXACTLY like the noise that Smokey makes? Furtive Glance made a good point about not seeing Smokey prior to "the incident." Just wondering if this all has something to do with course correction.

elaines630 said...

So, I came across this on a Lost board.... someone said:

Watching S1 Ep13 “Hearts and Minds” and found it interesting that Jack is asking Charlie if he trusts John. Charlie says something like “if there is anyone who will save us all, it’s John.”

And when Richard is asked “What lies int eh shadow of the statue?” the answer is Latin for “The one who will save us all.”

And Locke is the one lying in the shadow of the statue right now since he’s dead.

May not mean anything, but it just might! I think Locke is special... I hope anyways!

JNL said...

Erika, Thought you would DEFINITELY like this...
Think Locke meets the Simpsons

http://springfieldpunx.blogspot.com/

Roland said...

Right after FBYE, I wrote that LOST represented a duel between two Future-Seers who were using our Losties as pawns in their Game.

It seems to me that over the years that The Foe was engineering his Loophole, Jacob was nudging his Enemy's own tools/players to his own ultimate "advantage":

Pre-crash Christian tried to persuade Goth Claire to Choose to end Carole’s Life Support. Her outrage at this bumbled offer appears to have marked her turn to The Light Side.

The Foe may have triggered the S1 Polar Bear attack (possible victims: Kate, Sawyer, Charlie, Shannon, Boone and Sayid)

The Foe may have sicced "Christian" onto Jack in "White Rabbit" so that Jack would die by falling off that cliff - the one from which JL rescued him because he "knew where to look".

Let’s not forget that as much as The Foe “pushed” John around, Jacob had his eye (and his hand) on John as well. It was Jacob who revived/resurrected John after his 8-storey fall. Jacob needed John to go through re-hab, to meet MA, to work in the Box Company and to sign up for his Walkabout.

I think The Foe tried to make Hugo think he’s crazy:
Sending him “Dave” - both on and off the Island; off the Island (pre-crash) to stop him from changing - keep him fixated on eating and therefore locked up at Santa Rosa - on the Island to tempt him to Choose death by leaping off the cliff. Libby - a Jacob plant (?) - prevented Hugo’s suicide.

As one of The Six, The Foe didn’t want Hugo to Go Back - and was only too happy to keep him locked up at Santa Rosa post-Return. MA’s agenda may have been to place Hugo into a more Secure Facility.

The Foe tried to kill Charlie long before his heroic death:
Nudging his parents to give Charlie the piano.
Helping Drive Shaft become Rock Gods.
Getting Liam and then Charlie addicted to heroin.
Tempting Charlie with a plane-load of Heroin after S1 John Locke had helped him kick the habit before his last baggie ran out.
Hanging Charlie from the tree.
All the "Desmond Flash" Charlie Deaths prior to his LG drowning.

The Foe did not want the Losties leaving the Island, as Jacob and Ben knew they must, for the sakes of Ji Yeon and Aaron. The Foe's efforts to keep The Losties on the Island included:

S1 JL sabotaging Sayid’s first attempt to locate the RT
JL blowing up The Flame and the Sub
Tom encouraging Michael to blow up The Kahana in mid-Ocean
JL killing Naomi

I think that The Foe was behind the Deal whereby Kate agreed to Stay Put in California for 10 years - long past the window during which she could return to the Island in time to affect the outcome of The Game. The fact that Not Murdered Carole was on hand at the right time, coupled with Ben's (Jacob-inspired) Manipulations led Kate to Choose to board Ajira 316, much to The Foe's possible chagrin.

I think that The Foe sicced "Christian" (again) onto Post-Return Jack to help tip him into the Suicidal Path from which he was rescued by Ben

I think The Foe sent “Harper” to Juliet and Jack with instructions (allegedly from Ben) to kill Daniel and Charlotte so that the Tempest would overload and kill everyone on the Island. Ben had no reason to order any such “attack” and “Harper” displayed the trademark Foe Malevolence. Juliet’s Choice - not to follow “Harper’s” instructions - thwarted The Foe’s Plans. Again.

As much as The Foe needed Ben to Choose to murder Jacob, it was only through Jacob's intervention in Sayid's life - which led to Sayid becoming Ben's Assassin, followed by Jacob's ally Ilana dragging Sayid onto Ajira 316, followed by Jacob's Time Travel Intervention which sent Sayid to 1977, which led to Ben's wounding, which led Ben to become the kind of Man who could kill both his Biological Father and his Spiritual Father.

IMO, Jacob needed Ben to Choose to murder him and did what he could to ensure that "Choice".

Anonymous said...

We were all thinking outloud here, and what came up was -- If this is a time-loop senario, and "the Foe" had to come up with a "LOOP-HOLE," it had to be a way to BREAK the time-loop. And this is symbolized in the break in the "loop" of black stuff around the cabin, which obviously changed something.

I also wonder-- did Ilana say JACOB would be or had been at the cabin. How do we know that the cabin was not a place to hold the FOE captive, which is why JOHN was the only one to hear him. Maybe the Foe had also led Ben to believe it was he that was there.
And the sign left on the wall, was a message to them (wasn't there a knife through it?) that the Foe was loose, and he was headed for Jacob.

Ok, just the thoughts and rantings of a mom and her seven kids. LOL

Thanks for the great writing and thoughts, once again!

Sarah M. in MI

Roland said...

I’m thinking that Jacob and The Foe are the embodiments of The Island’s Dark and Light Aspects. Opposed to each other, but also fraternally connected.

As powerful as these two are, I think that God or The Island is more powerful still and that these two Players are themselves part of a larger Tapestry of which they may or may not be aware.

Note that The Others, in their Room 23 video recognised that God and Jacob weren’t the same Being: “God loves you as he loved Jacob”

klueless kj said...

e, great post as usual..
In the funny lines I thought Miles comment at the end that goes something like "Did it ever occur to you guys that blowing up the bomb might be the Incident?"
"Well glad you guys thought this through"
was funny

elvisgrace said...

Awesome recap! I agree that Jacob and notJacob represent two distinct sides, but the light/dark thing is a misdirection, like the red herring Jacob grills. notJacob seems to be bothered by these people continually killing each other, while Jacob seems to see it as some kind of study. If you watch notJacob's face when they are talking in the start of the episode, he has some very clear facial expressions that convey how disgusted he is with Jacob's ambivalence regarding people dying.

Deniz said...

I'm new to this blog, I was just wondering. Does the color of the chess piece that Locke uses several seasons ago have a meaning? Doesn't he switch colors at a point? Might this be related Jacob's "color"? I doubt it, but you all would know better.

NanX said...

Erika - thank you for all the enjoyable recaps and the hard work you put into them. I enjoy reading the posters thoughts as well. I think one of the best aspects of Lost is the creative ways we come up with to fit the story, we actually make the TV program of Lost, ours!

I have thought for a long time there were two Smokies but I had been noticing the change of clothes of Christian and it fits with a kind of theory I have been playing with. Yemi actually fits too. And that is there is only ONE Jacob. What we saw were the two different sides of Jacob. Did anyone notice except for Locke, we never saw the Other One do anything actually, not even eat.

Each side has their own version of Smokey and it was not unLocke as Smokey that presented itself as Alex, but the Jacob side that we saw. He needed Ben to do as not Locke told him to.

The loophole! Jacob can't kill the half of himself he does not like as to do so would be suicide. So he presents himself as John Locke and gets Ben to do the act - kill his other half. This makes sense if you look at the photo of John Locke from season one in Claire's dream where he had one dark eye and one light eye.

I think the bomb did explode and transfers them back to the plane they exited from when they flashed to 1977. Sawyer, Jin and Miles will be on the ground at the well. But without Juliet, who will land on her sister Rachel's step in Portland with no memory but a baby growing inside her.

What I think they changed was the five days the Sun and Frank and Locke group were on the island. I think that will never happen that way. That's how I vision the next season starting, in flight 316 as the plane hits the turbulence and the flashes start. They will be gone in a flash and next flash they will be back. They will retain their memory of 1977.

Of course, I am right about 1% of what I guess! Looking forward to Season Six.

Anonymous said...

E - I noted that you didn't mention a funny aspect to the "Mystery Man is smokey" theory. This is, when Ben summons the smoke monster he steps out of the cabin and tells sun that what is coming out of the jungle he can't control, then Not-Locke steps out, and Ben is confused. But we who adhire to the above theory can only laugh now as we realize that smokey did step out of the jungle.
Veiled Irony is one of the reasons I love LOST as much as I do.
I hope the theory pans out as it was my first thought upon finishing up watching "the incident"

Anonymous said...

e - Could Vincent have broken the ash ring while he was running around loose right after 815 crashed? - lost and back again

Roland said...

Returning to the question of "How Real Is LOST?", note that in addition to a selection of sledgehammers (for Richard), there was a complete set of Bomb-Dismantling Tools, including a wrench, gloves, a Bomb-wrap and even a handy back-pack - just the right size - (for Sayid/Jack) available near Jughead and that nobody - not Jack, not Sayid, Eloise or Richard thought this convenient array of necessities was the least bit unusual.

Did The Ghost Of Daniel Past just “wish it up” for Richard/Sayid/Jack? Or did Jacob just Manifest this stuff when/where it would soon be needed? Or is the whole Tunnels/Bomb stuff another Illusion?

Josh R said...

Hi E,
Loved readin this even if it took a while.
I just wanted to say that I think Locke will come back but in a vision to Hurley, think about it, would it not be perfect use for Hurleys "gift" if Locke came to him and told him things.

Denny said...

There's alot to love and hate about this show at different times. But I really have to comment about what I find Personally entertaining; Pretty much all the Hurley scenes, But especially those with Miles. Miles and Hurley are like R2D2 & Cp3o of Star wars. Funny. Pertinent. And a relief when needed.

TracyT said...

Hey! I just start reading your blog and it's great! I'll have to read back episodes (...seasons...). I have a question that I haven't seen mentioned in any blogs or posts. Do you think that Rose and Bernard's cabin is the same one that IIana and Bram go in search of Jacob (or whoever)? It looked the same to me. If it is, what do you think is up with that?

rosered2318 said...

A Huge, Huge Thank You, Erika, for the incredible amount of time and effort you put into this blog.

Craig said...

Erica, great post. One thing bothers me about the whole new Locke is smokey angle you took. Everything makes sense except for one thing: How did Smokey get to hydra island to assume Locke's body.. There was no sonic fence there, so I am guessing smokey doesn't go there. There's 2 miles of ocean separating the two islands.

Something to think about. There may be another force at work here.

Craig

superheroclaire said...

Great recap. I read others, I rewatched the finale, but really, this recap is just what I needed to think straight. :)

One question about something that you didn't include in this recap: Daniel's notebook. If Daniel was in Ann Arbor in ~1977, and doing his experiments back in Oxford in the "recent" past, when did he find out the details about the atomic bomb such that he could instruct himself/future reader Sayid to dismantle it? I thought the point of his notebook was that he had documented his time-travels, but now we've seen him refer to his notebook during his time traveling...I feel like there's a part of the logic missing: who/when really wrote Daniel's journal?

The Traveler said...

Loved your post. My theory is this..... Scenes with 815ers and Jacob in the past were flash forwards. Jacob goes back to set lives on a different path. I know that there are holes in this theory, mainly the Hurly meeting but it's just a thought. I do not think that "mystery man" is the smoke monster. I think that Jacob is the smoke monster. Just thoughts.

The Traveler said...

Loved your post. My theory is this..... Scenes with 815ers and Jacob in the past were flash forwards. Jacob goes back to set lives on a different path. I know that there are holes in this theory, mainly the Hurly meeting but it's just a thought. I do not think that "mystery man" is the smoke monster. I think that Jacob is the smoke monster. Just thoughts.

Luis Filipe Fabiani said...

E,

I think that maybe the entity that lived on the cabin was not jacob, but actually AJ.... mayne we will see more of that on the next season

Anonymous said...

e- or anyone - can you answer me this? If the bad guy - Jacob's foe-is the one who appears as Christian and the one who appears as Non-locke - how did Christian - after showing Sun the picture of the Oceanic 6 in the Darma photo- point out the window to show Sun that Locke was standing out there?

Anonymous said...

If the explosion doesn't change the future, then how could Chang be seen in the orientation videos with a prostetic arm and how could Radinzky commit suicide in the Swan station? Surely the explosion killed both of them. Ergo, future must change.

regina said...

new reader here.

ill be back to read the whole post. it will last me thru the summer!

how about "Un-Locke" instead?

Evan said...

"We've watched Smokey take the form of Yemi (Eko's brother) and Alex, and can assume that he's also masqueraded as Christian Shepherd and possibly even Claire."
I think this is far from conclusive. Remember, Smokey disappeared down into the perforated slab, and THEN we saw Alex.

Allison said...

Great analysis. Do you think it means anything that Jacob layed both of his hands on Ben after he was stabbed? Does that mean he's got whatever powers or gifts were given to Kate, Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Sayid, Hurley and Jack?

Anonymous said...

Superheroclaire, Daniel wrote his instructions re dismantling Jughead while he was at Ann Arbor in 1974-77. The instructions weren't in his journal when he arrived at the island in 2004. However he came across jughead when he flashed to 1954, so knew about it when he ended up in 1974. Hence he had 3 years to look up how to dismantle a 1954 atomic bomb before he arrived back at the island in 1977. Of more interest is how he filled in the rest of his journal seeing as it was blank when his mother gave it to him. However he would have been able to find out the Dharma Initiative was interested in time travel (Pierre Chang mentioned it in the programme as well as the Comic Con videos) via his university contacts (Dharma were connected with/based at the University of Michigan) so could have filled it in that way. Finally Desmond visited him in 1996 and so he was able to put Desmond in the journal as his constant. Finally presumably he somehow knew the time and date of The Incident from his 1996-2004 research or via his mother i.e. it was already in his 2004 journal before he arrived back at the island in 1977, otherwise he could (perhaps like his mother in Flashes Before Your Eyes) somehow know the future - in that case it would be interesting!

Dankation said...

I work in a hotel in London, Jin came to see some rooms the other day..everyone ive told ahsnt been that interested...so i thought id share!

Nathan said...

Thoughts:

(1): No time loops. Season 5 was our "time travel" season, and I'm almost positive we're done. Jacob and Esau are not just people stuck in a time loop--they're something...well, something different. Just what they are will have to wait until next season.

(2): I agree with your Good Christian/Bad Christian distinction, but with a caveat: I think bad Christian is indeed Esau (or Smokey)taking the form of Christian--but Good Christian is actually the real undead Christian Shephard, as are the rest of the "dead people" who have been visiting Hurley.
In addition, I would draw a similar distinction with apparitions of Yemi, with both a real undead Yemi, and a smoke-monster impersonator. We even have a clothing distinction here, too: Yemi in Eko's dreams is always wearing a pristine black priest-suit, but when Yemi appears to Eko for him to confess to, his clothing is covered in dirt or dust. In my opinion, dead people really are present on the island, and they're on Jacob's side, while Smokey, with his shape shifting powers, can merely imitate their forms in the hopes of fooling someone.

Great recap!

Garry from UK said...

Hello,

Fantastic review/thoughts etc!!!!

Just a few thoughts of my own -

1. When Sawyer was trying to convince Jack to notdetonate the bomb Sawyer told Jack about what happened to his parents and said that it happened "Last year" in 1976. If it happened "last year", it did not make any sense when Sawyer said to Jack that he could have gone on the Sub and stopped it all from happening. No he couldn't it had happened theyear before. Am I missing something here?

2. Just to back up the theory regarding Smokey being "not Locke" is that when Ben tried to summon Smokey it did not appear becuase "not Locke" was there and couldn't be "not Locke" and Smokey at the same time.

3. Also I watched the original Psycho the other day and the similarities between the actor who plays Richard Alpert and Anthony Perkins are uncanny.

4. An idea for a title to your musings -e, how about -emagination.

5. Cannot wait for Series 6!

6. I watched the beginning of series 2 recently and had to keep watching the part where Desmond was getting out of bed and sitting on his chair and wheeling across the floor to the Computer to input the numbers and in the back ground it looked too cozy, the surroundings looked too clean. And he jumped of bunk beds, yet when Sawyer was very ill, the bed was not a bunk bed. I reckon there were two computers! One in the main room and one in the bed room quarters, which we never saw again since that first sighting of the bunk beds when Des jumped off the top bunk. Obviously if I am wrong please let me know.

Garry :-)

Kelly, UK said...

Thank you very much for all the work you've put in over the last few months - you have helped to clarify things were there was confusion in my mind. I am loving Lost more than ever. Long live the Lostaways one and all!

Nick said...

Great stuff, as always.

I think you're spot-on for the most part, but I think the Jack quote to Richard about "don't give up on Locke yet" is meant more to "prove" to the audience that Jack truly has changed his mind about the science/faith stuff. Not necessarily to hint at Locke's return. Sorry!...

Enjoy some well-deserved time off!

Julie said...

Great recap Erika!

I can't believe it is all over until January.. I have put the part of my brain that is all about Lost into a coma of sorts. I know that if I don't just switch it off I will drive myself CRAZY over the hiatus! I will very much miss your weekly recaps though.

I plan on watching the series over again from episode one. I do it every year just to see if I can pick up on any clues. Also I like to reconnect with old characters that are no longer around... Charlie.. *tear*

I also am hoping that Sun found that ring as some sort of reminder or sign of things to come. *fingers crossed*

Until next season!

Enverz said...

Hi e
Great recap, as always! Your caption about "Ricardus, trying to be all hip and modern" really cracked me up - thanks for a good laugh ))

What I want to say is a few words about moment from season 1, when Locke "looked into the eye of the island". It was great moment and we still don't know what happened then. At least to say something for sure. At least I hope so.
You considering the thought of two Christians - "good" and "bad" - so what if there's also two Smokeys? If Mystery Man is in fact Smokey and so he have "smoke form", then why Jacob can't have one too? What if Locke saw Jacob and not MM then?

I think that writers should return to this moment cause it's just too interesting to leave like that.
Anyway, just a theory.

Thanks again for lots of interesting reading! Have a great summer!

Sean said...

Honestly, I think Widmore might have broken the ring of ash. Something about their flashback scene where Widmore gets banished REEKED of "something else going on", that he wasn't just being banished for a booty call off-Island. Like Locke said to Ben, "I don't think you care about rules."

I think what happened was someone saw Widmore break the circle of ash, freeing Mystery Man from the cabin. Widmore probably sensed his rule was being challenged by the likes of Ben and Richard, and wanted to release Jacob's enemy in hopes he would grant him boons. Remember that when Locke made it to Tunisia, Widmore said "a war is coming, and you have to be on the Island or the wrong side is going to win." It can be interpreted that if Locke didn't go, Mystery Man couldn't assume his form and Jacob's team would win, which means Widmore's pal Mystery Man wouldn't.

Anyway, because of this act, Ben & Richard decided to banish Widmore, either because his crime was so horrendous that they didn't want the Others to know about it through a trial and execution, or else they just simply didn't have the power to execute him and banishment was the only solution.

Evan said...

IF the bomb was indeed detonated --
did the present-day (2007) scenes (with Ilana, Bram, UnLocke, Jacob etc) take place in the original timeline or in the altered timeline? I was half-expecting them to stumble upon a huge crater on the main island.

Jen B said...

Hi E! Great post, as usual. I had to read it in segments so as not to overwhelm my brain. I do, however, have to mention that I also watch CSI on Thursday nights, and in this season's finale, Lost characters Cynthia Watros (Libby) AND Mark Pellegrino (Jacob himself) were guest stars. I could not handle it! Especially seeing Jacob's actor, after such an EPIC, EPIC Lost finale. Darn it, Lost actors, can't you just stick to one series for your entire acting career? :-)

Joe Cool said...

Hey, e!! I have truly enjoyed reading your recaps this season. You, Ryan and Vozzek are the best and you each bring something different to the table.

I hope you enjoy your Lost-less time the next few months.

Cheers!!

carolinefat said...

gah the red shirt of death strikes again to juilet!

Anonymous said...

I don't think that was jacob's cabin. I think it was Evil Twin's cabin. Think about it. Illana and gang weren't looking for Jacob they wanted to find him.
When he asked Locke to help him he was asking for help to kill Jacob.

ayesha said...

Hi,

Just some random comments:

- Locke drew smokey as a child. In the picture smokey was hovering over/ attacking locke.

- smokey attacked the french team so yeah we've seen smokey before!

enjoy reading your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

What if Jacob's touch is like Glenda the Good Witch's kiss that protects Dorothy in the Land of Oz?

drallabg said...

Wonderful post! Long to be sure. Gonna miss you for awhile just about as much as I'll miss JL!

Anonymous said...

>>To complicate things further, we have the series of off-Island trips Jacob took in order to visit the 815ers at critical points in their lives...


--Why does everyone assume that the guy that went back to talk to the Losties on the main land was Jacob? The Unknown dude trying to kill Jacob is the person that has to get things in order to create the loop hole. It should be considered that HE "the unknown" is shape-shifted to look like Jacob, simply to mislead us, while he puts things in order for his sceme on the island.

Maria said...

Love your recaps.

Have you thought about Walt appearances to Shannon? Would that be also a Mistery Man/Jacob/Smokey thing?

Also, even though I love dogs, Vincent is very strange (I can't stop thinking of a scene in the Pilot Episode where Vincent stares at Kate, Jack and Charlie while they were heading up to the fuselage and find the pilot still alive, and smokey shows up right after. The fact Vincent was with Rose and Bernard also gets me thinking if there's something weird going on there.

It seems to me that the real John is dead and considering Ben and Richards comments on "never seeing dead come back to life", makes me wonder if we'll see the real John alive again. John is/was special in the Island. The last season needs him... :(

Thank you for being so patient and trying to make everything clear to non-addicted lost nerds.

Maria

Brian said...

A Jacob-touching observation:
You mention jacob wearing gloves when he visits Illana. However, when he touches Hurley, he touches Hurley's shirt, not his skin. Apart from a "magical gloves" theory, I wonder what difference the gloves would make.

trackster said...

Loved your recap, Erica! Always do. Been reading for awhile but never commented. I have a question, though ...

Why does everyone think Jack blew up the bomb to get Kate back? As he said, "That's not what this is about." Maybe I'm missing something but my reading of his convo with Sawyer suggests something that this is NOT about Kate.

Trying to get Kate back makes him look romantic, I guess, but also completely selfish and an idiot. He has more chance of getting Kate back by doing what Sawyer says than by putting her back in handcuffs on O815 and presumably not knowing her.

He's doing what he is doing because of something bigger; something rooted in the idea that his destiny is linked to the Island and something he is willing to do no matter what the cost. And though he also holds out the possibility that through some miracle they'll end up together anyway ('if it is meant to be, it is meant to be'), he is willing to give her up. What you 'want' and your 'destiny' are sometimes two different things ... it seems to me, he is sacrificing what he 'wants' for his 'destiny'.

I think his pre-fight conversation with Sawyer delineates destiny and desire/want.

When Jack talks about ‘I had her and I lost her”, I don’t think he is saying that she is the reason he is blowing up the bomb, he is simply switching to the language that Sawyer gets (he doesn’t get destiny, he gets free will) They switch from talking about his destiny (blowing up a nuke) to what he wants (Kate) and Jack says that it is too late to get her back.

I think this conversation also shows that Sawyer has come a long way but doesn't 'get' destiny. He works on one level (so far): going for what he wants (which has progressed from selfish and dastardly to a much more evolved scenario with Juliet).

And as for Kate’s 180 on the bomb, when Jack asks her to believe that he has never felt so right about anything in his whole life, she does. It dawns on her that he is onto something no matter how strange (irrational) it seems. And she is willing to gamble with it because Jack is convinced it will also help her chances of getting Aaron back where he belongs. I think Jack’s higher call, if you will, has started to catch. They all (includ. Juliet, Sawyer, etc.) begin to respond to his leadership - not by default like before, but by choice.

Okay, I'm starting to go little over the top now. LOL. But there you are, a different perspective.

trackster said...

Oh ya, something else. Do you think Hurley broke the ash circle when he was falling over himself to get away from the creepy cabin back a few seasons ago?

Joshua said...

One thing I don't think you ever mentioned was the "pictogram," or whatever you want to call it, on the wall in the temple (episode: dead is dead). it was right above the holes where smokey came out to "talk" with Ben. it shows both the statue and smokey. I think this definitely represents jacob (statue) and not-jacob (smokey).

Also, I think you are right on with your observation that the plot involves a time loop with two opposing forces (jacob and smokey) trying to achieve different outcomes.

Tanyar said...

Very good recap, E. I enjoyed it... twice :)

Eloise Hawking told Jack Sheppard that John Locke was going to be a proxy. Definition of Proxy from wikipedia is: "Proxy may refer to one who or that which acts on behalf of someone or something else". We were assuming he was a proxy for Christian Sheppard. But is it possible that Eloise Hawking meant a proxy for the MYSTERY MAN? If this is the case, whose side would Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore be?

Another idea that you have mentioned, E, was how the others burned their dead ones out in the sea on a floater, so (possibly) the Anti-Jacob/blacksmoke can not imitate them. Good theory, but if it was the case, then why would Ben leave all Dharma members in a hole in the ground after the purge? Or why would they leave Goodman to rot and not give him a funeral? And what about Ben's mother appearing to him? She wasn't even buried in the Island... But, within the same mind frame, out of all the dead people that came back after death, Not-Locke is the only one we see having physical contact people.

There... my two cents in two paragraphs. Can't wait for season 6....

Peter said...

When Locke rolled out of the crate, it blew my mind!! Once again, just when you think you know where the slow is headed, the writers are like, hey what we really need here are some new characters to mess with all our heads!

Thanks for the great season of write ups! I'll miss them.

Timothy said...

The Onion has a story on a LOST comedy spin-off set it the Chicago burbs starting the Smoke Monster.

Now that we are neither LOST nor found, a bit of silliness might not be out of place while we wait.

I am really curious about the last season. LOST has never been about answers, but the tease. If the last season becomes an exercise in tying up loose ends and answering questions, they certainly have more than enough material for the remaining episodes. But I am wondering how far they can go in that direction and remain LOST, not FOUND.

We know the talent is there. I kind of hope a meaningful and thoughtful ending is more of a priority than ticking off a long list of finally-answered questions. As much as I think we've earned our answers, I would rather have a memorable and meaninful finale.

Matthew said...

1st, great blog. You do an excellent job.

2nd, go blue.

3rd, an observation/question I haven't seen addressed in the Lost blogosphere:

Recall the episode(s) where Locke and company are skipping through time on the island. Wounded Locke stumbles towards the plane in the jungle and collapses. He is met and treated by Richard, who then tells Locke he must die to save the island, etc.

Skip ahead several episodes to where "Not Locke" leads Richard and Ben into the jungle and has Richard go tell wounded Locke what to do. This scene happened in the present.

The issue: In the previous episode where wounded Locke and friends are skipping through time, doesn't this mean then that they skipped to the future?

I know everyone thinks that "the loophole" is Mystery Man's ability to get Ben to kill Jacob, or something to that effect. Perhaps the loophole was going into the future.

Okay, so that last paragraph may not be true, it's just a theory. But I'm fairly confident that wounded Locke traveled to the future for that brief skip in time. Just wondering if anyone had any theories on the significance of that. Thanks.

Paul Ripley said...

i love this show and think it has the best writing of any I've ever seen.

However, in the grand scheme of things the show is not that complicated. It IS about LIGHT and DARK. about good and bad, about free will and destiny. What makes Lost so great is it takes these simple concepts and makes viewers really, REALLY think about them. What will happen? Who knows? But It won't be lame and it won't be unbelievable. It will just be. Exciting? sure. But it will just be.

"There is no justice in truth, only truth."

Anonymous said...

Hey, hows it goin e? Great blog. Its funny that I wouldnt have ever known you existed if I hadnt started watching seanieb. So maybe in a round about way he brought you some new readers. I have only one thing else to say, may be important, may not. I thought it was kind of wierd how Sayid told Jack that Nothing could save him. Like I said, may not be important at all. Keep up the good work.

Kevin said...

The man in black is some form of manifestation of the egyptian gods Apep and/or Set. Take a look at a couple outtakes and general notes from the wiki page on Apep.

Apep was the demon-husband of Tawaret and was known as the god of Darkness and Chaos and "the original god of evil". Tawaret was also evil long before she became known as the mother god/fertility god...where she "changed her evil ways" after Set (who made her basically a concubine) took over for Apep as the god of evil (more on Set at the end).

Free will maybe?

"As the personification of all that was evil, Apep was seen as a giant snake, crocodile, serpent, or in later years, in a few cases, as a dragon". "Some elaborations even said that he stretched 16 yards in length and had a head made of flint."

"The etymology of his name ('3pp) is perhaps to be sought in some west-semitic language where a word root 'pp meaning 'to slither' existed. A verb root '3pp does at any rate not exist elsewhere in Ancient Egyptian. (It is not to be confused with the verb 'pi/'pp: 'to fly across the sky, to travel')". The meaning of his name sounds very similar and is often confused with "to fly across the sky"!!!

"It was thought that his terrifying roar would cause the underworld to rumble. Myths sometimes say that Apep was trapped there, because he had been the previous chief god and suffered a coup d'etat by Ra, or because he was evil and had been imprisoned."

"In his battles, Apep was thought to use a magical gaze to hypnotise Ra and his entourage".

"As Apep was thought to live in the underworld, he was sometimes thought of as an Eater-up of Souls. Thus the dead also needed protection, so they were sometimes buried".

It goes on about the corpes being buried with spells to protect them...but still. Sounds an awful lot like smokey if you ask me. AN AWFUL LOT!!!

Now one last thought!

"Set eventually became thought of as the god of evil, and gradually took on all the characteristics of Apep. Consequently, Apep's identity was eventually entirely subsumed by that of Set".

This is important because of my final thought. The Egyption god Horus was the one to finally imprison Set. Now tell me again, who was it that built the cabin that either Jacob or The Man in Black was trapped in???

Sorry for the long drawn out thought, but I did a little researching and thought it was all too coincidental to be just cast aside! And even if its not true (which with Lost...it probably isnt LOL)...its at least eerily similar!

akablueeye said...

Hi, haven't finished reading ur blog but did want to mention about Locke not "being" special.

Thinking back to when Locke was a child and Richard visited Locke's home...Why would Richard visit Locke in the first place do you think?? Did someone mention to Richard that Locke might be special?? I mean who sent Richard to see Locke as a child?

And as you recall, Richard seemed upset and left abruptly after testing Locke, leaving me to assume that Locke wasn't all that special then as a child...leaving me to wonder why Jacob "touched" Locke after he was thrown out the window.

With all this time traveling going on and whatnot, maybe the person u named AJ sitting with Jacob on the beach is Richard...an old Richard.

That scene we know has to be from the 1800s because of the assumed Black Rock ship in the background.
Speaking of the Black Rock......lol
another mystery.

Richard seems to be the only one who knows what lies in the shadow of the statue..seems to me, ill have to go back and rewatch..that the statue faced the ocean...actually..now that i think back..the statue was facing another island and then it was facing the ocean where the sailing ship was...right? In two different episodes.

Too bad ABC online hasnt posted all the episodes of season 5...wonder why.



I'll probably comment more as I continue reading your blog.

José María Hdz said...

Hello, i just read your blog, it's really good. I wanted to ask you something, did you realize that the first time we saw the statue it was not in the same position as in the season finale?

The first time we saw the statue it was walking, you can see right between the legs, they are not together. But then when they show the statue with Jacob and the other guy, in the last episode, we see the statue with it's feet together.
Any clues about what is that suppose to mean??

Thanks. I think you're very clever with all the stuff you find out.

Bye.

Kwstas said...

Great review..But..i dont get one thing..If Ben "work" for Jacob from the beginning why???? does he goes ton the smokey to judge him???????He coulg go to Jacob but he prefer go to the smokey??
Any explanation????????

Timothy said...

The ABC Lost video recap for the finale is hilarious. I love they way the do Juliette's deadpan delivery for everything.

Love the Michael Emerson interview after, too.

As for the statue, it is all part of the Sobek Coverup. (Look for news reports of a man dressed up like a crocodile in front of ABC corporate headquarters. We all have to have a mission in life.)

Since Disney owns ABC, do you think we can look forward to LOST features at Disneyworld? The Black Rock could fit right into the Pirates of the Caribbean. Maybe we could have an Oceanic Flight 815 ride, or a waterpark based on the Pool people seem to wind up in whenever airplanes go down in the vicinity.

Eric said...

BLACK ROCK

Ans what does Juliette use to detonate the bomb? :)

.. just a coincidence

Timothy said...

In the for what it's worth department, a television news station in a south American country was fooled into displaying pictures from LOST as actual snaps from the Air France plane what went down.

I guess they don't get LOST down there.

Andy said...

Just a few things I wanted to mention:

1. I wanted to clarify something for "Garry from UK," (I hope you do read this) you were confused about how Saywer said that his folks were killed "last year," he could have stopped that by getting on the sub three years ago when they first got there or any other time after that until his dad finally did the deed. So, that's how he could've stopped it all.

2. I am totally on board with the Smokey/Not Locke/Anti-Jacob theory. It makes perfect sense.
(Someone mentioned that the Jacob we saw visiting all of our favorite Losties was not the real Jacob, but Smokey in the form of Jacob to deceive us...I don't buy that for one second, it doesn't make any sense to me.)

3. I was very interested in the season finally when Sun asked Ben what happened to the statue, Ben said it was like that when he got there, Sun stares at him and said, "Do you honestly expect me to believe that?" Ben says no... I think Ben had something to do with the destruction of that statue, maybe that's why he got cancer... just an idea.

4. People mentioning the difference in clothing of Christian, it made me think of when Ben first met Richard (in the old worn out beat up clothes), did he meet the real Richard, or was it Smokey in the form of Richardos :) (If Smokey can only take on the form of dead people, then this theory is shot).

5. E, you mentioned that it is a common belief that Ben's birthday is in December, I don't really buy that ... unless he was born in the southern hemisphere... but I want to say he wasn't ... I do remember though, that the weather was very nice and the trees were definitely green when there was the flashback of Ben's birth.

I really hope people comment on some of the things that I've mentioned, I know that it's been a few days since the last comment was added, but I hope some people give me some insight on what they think...

p.s. I think that it was totally due to "The Incident" that women could no longer complete the pregnancy process on The Island.

briguyx said...

As always, an excellent analysis, although I wouldn't be me if I didn't point out a few assumptions you've made that may be wrong:

1. The whole thing about the war coming to the island: Just because Widmore said that doesn't mean it's true. If you look at each pairing as a concentric circle (Jack/John, Ben/Widmore, Jacob/Esau), we may well have passed Widmore's point of view and moved onto the larger story...

2. I don't think there's a time loop previous to the incident. I believe Jacob has been bringing groups of people to the island over time and has been playing the game with each group but has not yet gotten the ending he is seeking. Therefore, the people on the Black Rock are no more or less important than the 815'ers.

3. Just because the Mystery Man appeared as a disembodied spirit to Locke in the cabin doesn't mean he was imprisoned at the time. Flickering in and out of sight and asking for help could have been one more move in his game to manipulate Locke...

It just hit me that maybe Mystery Man made a deal with Charles Widmore for untold riches and that's how he got out of his prison (if indeed he was imprisoned at all)...

Dustin Winebrenner said...

I absolutely agree that Jacob realized the "touched" characters were wrapped up in Black Shirt's loophole and that's why he went out and touched them to affect Black Shirt's plot.

However, I don't think Jacob is trapped in a timeloop that he needs to change to get out of it. The "loop" is just the path of certain characters who's futures effect their pasts and vice verse. Jacob and everyone else simply lives through this period of history and beyond it.

I believe all the instances we've seen in the cabin where in fact Black Shirt posing as Jacob. Ben, the Others, possibly even Richard were duped into thinking it was Jacob there as well. While imprisoned in a bodiless form, he can use Smokey (sort of as his spirit) for limited manifestations, killings, etc. But once he's free, he assumes a more corporeal form and does his business personally (as Flocke).

My guess is he was imprisoned beyond all the 2004 scenes we saw. And that daddy "Christian" tricked Claire into breaking the ash circle, freeing Black Shirt to assume Locke's form on the arrival of 316.

Finally, I think it's fine to feel sorry for Ben now. He may continue to do some villainous things, but they've done their darndest making him a sympathetic character. (He never wants to harm a child, etc.) To me, he's in the same boat as Locke now, a victim and a pawn. Therefore, by the end, he's on the same side as our Losties. In fact, I believe, BEN IS THE FINAL PERSON JACOB TOUCHED, and Ben will be part of Jacob's counterplan.