Friday, May 15, 2009

Lost: The Incident

Ok, so I’ve never done this before but I’m going to attempt to write an analysis of the awesomeness that was the Lost Season 5 finale. This episode was amazing and might rank as my favorite season finale of the entire series to date. I think that by the end of the series, this might rank as my all-time favorite episode.

The thing that made this episode great from the outset was answers. Answers, with a capital ‘A’. The writers and producers have been feeding us answers this season at a pretty steady pace, but the first five minutes of the finale gave us a revelation: Jacob is very real and seemingly very powerful. We learned a lot about Jacob in this episode. First off, he is a weaver. Weavers have a huge place in mythology. Weavers are big in Greek mythology as those controlling the destiny of others, although they are technically referred to as spinners. The ‘spindle of necessity’, which is part of the Greek Myth of Er, tells of souls dropping from the skies, then being sent back to Earth in new bodies. This could hold some significance, but I’ll get to that later.

Jacob, the man, the myth, the legend

The next thing we learn about Jacob is that he seems to have a counterpart on the island. After he finishes weaving, he goes out to the beach to catch a fish and a nameless man wearing black (Jacob is wearing all white, by the way) sits down next to him to have a chat. Their little talk is clearly filled with tension and passive aggression toward each other until the man in black asks Jacob the question, “Do you have any idea how much I want to kill you?” Jacob’s response is a simple “yes”. What they were discussing is the arrival of a ship, seemingly the enigmatic Black Rock, the ship that Rousseau and her crew arrived in. The two men had very different views of how things would turn out. On one hand, the man in black cynically predicted that things would happen as they seemingly always had: “They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.” Jacob, on the other hand, had a very different view on things: “It can only end once. Everything before that is progress.” These two opposite beliefs seem to mirror the beliefs of other characters on the show. It’s almost like Man of Science vs. Man of Faith, a la Jack Shepherd vs. John Locke. Nameless is the man of science, Jacob is the man of faith.

The dark and light between these two characters is extremely interesting. My first thought was that this man on the beach was the new “Bizarro Locke”, reincarnate (or, pre-incarnate?). But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s look at the two characters in terms of mythology. Clearly, they are opposite forces at work to control the way things play out on the island (or should I say The Island, since it has become such a large character in this tale?). Jacob would seemingly be the force of good and Nameless would be the force of evil. But sometimes appearances can be deceiving. More on that later.

Throughout the episode, we see flashbacks of Jacob touching the lives of the survivors. We had wondered up until this point whether there was one thing that connected all or some of the survivors, or at least the Oceanic 6, before they got on the ill-fated Oceanic flight 815. We had previously seen one or more characters run into each other in their previous lives, but we never saw a single thing that connected them all. Well, it seems there is a connection with some of the characters. Take note of who Jacob visited off the island, as this will no doubt be of great importance in the final season. Also, take note of the fact that he made physical contact in some way with each of the people he visited. Here are the survivors he had previously visited, in this order in the episode:

Kate: Young Kate was seen with an unknown childhood friend as she attempted to lift a super cool New Kids on the Block lunchbox from the Ames General Store in Iowa. After being caught, Jacob came to the rescue and paid for the lunchbox, but told Kate to “be good” and made her promise to not steal anymore, before touching her on the nose.

Sawyer: This scene appears to take place at Sawyer’s parents’ funeral, both victims of the murder-suicide that resulted from being conned by the man whose name James would later assume himself. Sawyer is 8 years old in the scene and is writing his “Dear Sawyer…” letter when his pen runs out of ink. Jacob to the rescue! He pulls a pen out of his jacket and hands it to James, brushing his hand as he does so. A family friend then sidles up next to him and makes James promise to not finish the letter, stressing that “what’s done is done”, a line we heard Sawyer repeat later in the episode, and a belief that was bestowed upon him by Locke himself.

Sayid: Jacob visited Sayid shortly after the Oceanic 6 returned from the island. Sayid is happily married to his love, Nadia, at the time when Jacob stops Sayid as he crosses the street to ask for directions. Nadia keeps walking and when she turns to look back at Sayid, she is run down by a speeding car. You couldn’t help but wonder if Jacob knew that Nadia would be hit by the car if he stopped Sayid.

Ilana: This scene takes place in an unknown location, but it seems to be some kind of primitive hospital (looks almost like an army barracks). Ilana’s face is heavily bandaged when Jacob walks in to ask for her help. It seems as though Jacob already knows Ilana at this point. Could Ilana have been working for Jacob when she kidnapped Sayid and brought him onto Ajira 316? Methinks this scene happened soon before the survivors went back to the island.

Jacob first meets Locke right after the fall that breaks both of John’s legs and paralyzes him from the waist down. Jacob closes the book he is reading (Everything That Rises Must Converge) and walks over to the apparently dead man on the pavement. He touches John’s shoulder and all of a sudden, John seems very alive again. It seems almost like Jacob is the reason that Locke survived the fall.

Jin and Sun:
Jacob visited Jin and Sun at their wedding and while they did not know who he was, he apparently spoke excellent Korean. Jacob told them that their love is very special and not to take it for granted. The interesting thing to note here is that he visited both Jin and Sun together, which furthers the belief that they are tied together as a single entity in this storyline.

Jack: Jack had just finished his first major surgical procedure, the one where his dumb, old father embarrasses him in front of his new team by trying to calm him down after slipping up. Jack did calm down and fixed his mistake, but confronted his father afterward. He told real-life Christian that he humiliated him in front of his new team and he needs his team to believe in him. Christian’s response was that maybe he himself didn’t believe in Jack, or possibly that Jack didn’t believe in himself. Maybe Jack was just upset that his Apollo bar got stuck in the vending machine. No need to worry, though. Jacob shows up and gets the candy bar out of the machine for him, telling him that it “needed just a little push.” Interesting, because that’s all Jack needed to go back to the island.

Juliet: This was the only flashback that did not include Jacob and it wasn’t by accident. After learning of her parents’ impending divorce, Juliet stomps off to her room, yelling that she doesn’t want to get over it. This scene features another line that is later spoken by the character, when Juliet tells James that just because two people love each other doesn’t mean that they should be together. From this point on, it seemed that 1977 Juliet was doomed, as Jacob did not visit her in the past.

Hurley: Jacob visits Hurley one day before Ajira flight 316 takes off en route to the island. Hurley is released from jail and Jacob is already sitting in the cab that Hurley gets into. This was a great scene because the interaction between Jacob and Hurley was very well written. Hurley thinks Jacob is a dead person at first since Jacob wants him to go back to the island. Hurley lamented his “curse” that he can see dead people, but Jacob made it seem like it might be a blessing in disguise. He makes it clear that it is Hurley’s choice to go back to the island. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to”, says Jacob. He also tells Hurley that the guitar case he leaves in the cab is not his, which again raises the question: what is in the damn guitar case?

There a couple of recurring themes in these flashbacks. Jacob physically touches all of the survivors in some way. Also, Jacob apologizes in many of the flashbacks. He tells James that he is sorry about his family; he apologizes to Sayid because he is lost; he apologizes to Ilana because he couldn’t get to her sooner; he apologizes to Locke that his fall happened but assures him that everything will be alright.

Let’s go back now. The main plot of the episode follows Jack and Sayid as they try to get the hydrogen bomb to the future Swan station site to detonate and hopefully reset the timeline. The episode also features Locke, Ben, Alpert, and the others trekking to that ever-familiar traveling theme music as they hunt out Jacob (literally).Kate convinces Juliet, who convinces Sawyer, that letting Jack detonate the bomb is a bad idea, so they take the captain of the sub hostage just long enough for him to steer them to shore and let them out. While all this is going on, Alpert is knocking out Eloise to save her from the chaos that is about to ensue. Jack and Sayid try to disguise themselves are Dharma folk, but don’t do a very good job and Roger Linus shoots Sayid in the stomach. We see Jack has made his full transformation to Man of Faith here by telling Alpert that Locke should be trusted.

Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate meet up with Jack and the now-bloodied Sayid so that Sawyer can have a little chat with Jack. Jack gives probably the worst reason in history for wanting to reset the time loop, but nonetheless, his intentions seem to be good. Sawyer fails to see Jack’s reasoning, so he starts beating the bloody pulp out of him, until Juliet appears to give the second-worst reason for wanting to reset the time loop. Jack lumbers off to continue his quest, while Juliet spills her heart to Sawyer. Later, Jack tells Kate that Aaron would be back with Claire in this alternate reality and that seems like a more reasonable motive to reset the time loop, since clearly things weren’t working out with Aaron and Kate. One thing to note in this whole fiasco: Jack never seems real concerned with saving Sayid. He tries to stop the bleeding, but his only intent is keeping him alive until he can detonate the bomb. That means he really does believe in this idea more than anything else he has ever done (i. e. Man of Faith).

Jack sneaks into the Swan site not-so-stealthily and is immediately spotted by Phil, but his friends come to the rescue with guns blazing. Finally the shooting stops when Sawyer takes Phil hostage and Jack can toss the bomb down the hole. And… nothing happens. The drill keeps on drilling and all of a sudden all hell breaks loose. The bomb does not detonate and the plan seems to have failed. Everything that is magnetic starts to get sucked down the hole while the castaways struggle to get away. There is a final confrontation between Sawyer and Phil (which is totally not believable, by the way) in which Phil is ultimately impaled by about 5 metal rods. Then the dreaded event happens: Juliet is sucked into the pit by the metal chains wrapped around her. Sawyer tries to hold on but eventually loses his grip and Juliet is gone. Interesting thing to note in this scene: Jack is smacked in the head with a toolbox and rendered unconscious for a few minutes. Kate runs to help Jack, but then sees Juliet get sucked toward the pit and changes course. It could mean nothing, but it also could be another sign that Kate really chooses Sawyer over Jack. Or it could mean that Kate really wants to save Juliet because she know how much Juliet means to Sawyer. Or it could mean nothing.

We see the others scurry away and then see Juliet come to at the bottom of the pit with the bomb still intact. Interesting that she decides to try and detonate the bomb herself. She uses her free will to try to carry out the plan as it was designed by Faraday. She starts beating the bomb with a rock and… we’ll get to that in a little.

In the meanwhile, Locke, Ben and Alpert reach the statue where Jacob lives. On the way there, Locke informs Ben that Ben will be the one killing Jacob, not himself, after Ben tells Locke that Smokey/Alex told him to do whatever Locke tells him in the temple. We learn that Ben is a Pisces (although he’s actually a Sagittarius) in the following scenes that include more riotous dialogue from Michael Emerson. We also see the other Ajira 316 survivors make landing on the main island and take Lapidus in as a “candidate”. We aren’t quite sure what they means just yet, nor do we find out before the end of the episode. We follow them through the jungle as they carry a large crate and search out the cabin (how did they know where it was?) that seems to have been deserted for quite some time. They know now that they must hurry to the statue.

Finally, Ben and Locke head into the base of the statue, where Jacob calls home. This scene is one that I definitely need to watch again and again to fully capture what is going on. Jacob greets them and Locke responds in a tone that would assume he knows him, almost as an adversary. He tells Jacob that he has no idea what he’s been through to find him (although I think Jacob has a rough idea, what with the whole weaver thing and all). Then, it’s Ben’s turn to unleash on Jacob. After shamefully declaring to Locke earlier that he had never actually met Jacob, he lets Jacob have it. He releases all his pent-up anger toward Jacob, asking him why he was made to wait to see him all the time and finishing with a “What about me?” Jacob responds simply with the same sentiment: “What about you?” But he does not say it in a mean or condescending fashion. Ben, however, takes this as an insult after his 35 years of service on the island and stabs Jacob with Locke’s knife as the contented Locke stands and watches.
Jacob utters one last, dying phrase: “They’re coming.” Who is “they”? Could it be his supposed followers, the other surviving Ajira 316 people? Or could it be Locke’s former friends and the original survivors? We also finally find out what lies in the shadow of the statue from Richard (of course he knows; also his Latin is excellent). The translation for what he says is: “he who will save/protect us all”. So it is a good thing or a bad thing that Jacob was killed? But the major bombshell (no pun intended) is the fact that the thing in the their giant box is actually John Locke’s dead body. Wow.

Creepy Bizarro Zombie Locke with Puppet Ben

Theory time! First off, my theory about Jacob vs. Nameless Man. This seems to be a pretty widely-regarded theory based on what I have read so far, but I did come up with it on my own (kind of). The Nameless Man is the Smoke Monster. In order for Smokey to take form, he must do it in the form of a dead person. My belief is that Smokey has taken the form of a number of different dead people throughout this series. In fact, I think every dead person seen on the island has been Smokey. Christian Shepherd? Smokey. Alex? Smokey. Bizarro Locke? Smokey. Why else would Locke have mysteriously shown up right after ghost Alex met with Ben to tell him to follow everything Locke tells him? Why would Alex tell Ben to obey Locke, his former sworn enemy? Smokey/Alex/Locke manipulated Ben to further its cause: to kill Jacob. We already know that the Nameless man is a sworn enemy of Jacob and that there seems to be some kind of rule in place where they cannot kill each other. Well, Nameless man found his loophole in the form of Benjamin Linus. He took the form of Locke via Smokey to manipulate the defeated Ben to do his bidding. And yet, Jacob still didn’t seem in the least bit worried about dying. And here is the big question… was this event, Jacob dying, supposed to happen? Did Jacob dupe Locke by simply carrying out the plan as it was set forth? Did he weave this into his design? The theory by Lost columnist Jeff “Doc” Jensen assumes this. Maybe Jacob was building his own loopholes off the island by visiting the survivors and helping to bring them back to the island. Maybe they are all reincarnated back into their bodies in the present-day, a la the Myth of Er. Doc thinks that they will either be reincarnated back into their bodies at the time of the crash OR be flashed back into the bodies at the moment in which Jacob touched them, retaining all previous memories. This would give each character the chance to change his or her destiny, a destiny which could include going to the island or their own free will. Hence, “they’re coming.”

More questions! What really caused the flash of light? Was it the bomb exploding or was it Jacob being killed? My initial thought was that it was Jacob being killed, but now I think it was the bomb. I was thinking, Jack hasn’t been fully redeemed yet and he won’t be until near the end of the series, most likely. But really, Juliet is the one who redeems herself by playing hero and detonating the bomb. So yes, I think it is the bomb because Juliet dies (we think, maybe) because she was redeemed. But why did the bomb not detonate on impact, like Sayid said it would? Did Sayid get cold feet and try to sabotage the operation? Another thing to question is… if the bomb detonating reset the timeline, does killing Jacob restore it? You have to wonder why Jacob touched the lives of the people he did while off the island. Maybe it was to bring them back to the island to actually restore the timeline that they were trying to reset because he knew that bringing them to the island would result in his imminent death (and possible resurrection?).

More on Jacob vs. Nameless. Which one is good and which one is evil? It would seem like Jacob was the good one and that Ben just royally screwed things up by killing him. But things aren’t always what they seem on Lost. Just because Jacob is wearing white and speaking softly and touching people on their shoulder does not mean he is all good. It could, in fact, be the exact opposite. If you think religiously, there is an ongoing battle between good and evil, heaven and hell, God and Satan. So why doesn’t God just kill Satan? Or vice versa? There is an unwritten rule, much like the one between Jacob and Nameless. So no matter how much Nameless wants to kill Jacob, he can’t unless he finds a loophole. These powers need vessels to carry out their work in the form of humans. The loophole for Nameless turned out to be Benjamin Linus, or Jesus? Far-fetched, maybe, but we’ll see. We see Jacob eating a fish in the opening scene; the fish is a symbol for Christ. But why, then, would Jacob be eating the fish? If he were the Christ figure, then he would be eating the very thing that symbolizes himself. Further, if you take a closer look at the dialogue between the two regarding the ship, it would make sense that the Nameless Man represents good. He laments the fact that the shipmates will come to the island only to fight and destroy and corrupt, almost as though he would do something about it if he could. Jacob says that it’s all part of progress. Progress toward what? Killing the good forces that are trying to kill him? Corruption would be a good thing for an evil spirit. The final indication could be in the statue in which Jacob lives. We all thought the statue was Anubis but it turns out we were wrong. The head of the statue is a crocodile head, not a dog’s head. This symbolizes Sobek, a morally ambiguous dark god who oversees dark waters and preys on sinful souls in the afterlife. Even worse, Set, the Egyptian god of chaos and evil was a shapeshifter who often morphed into crocodiles and hippos in his clashes with his enemy Horus (thanks Doc!). Could Jacob be a shapeshifter, disguising himself as a force of good when he is really evil? The whole relationship between Jacob and the nameless man could be one big bait-and-switch. I wouldn’t put anything past the writers of this show.

This statue is very ominous and should play a large role in the remaining mythology of the show.

Finally, the whole issue with the Cabin and with Smokey. Personally, I believe that Smokey is working against Jacob and never really had Jacob’s interests in mind. I believe Smokey was out to manipulate a weak soul into killing Jacob. So who was in the Cabin? Not, Jacob for sure. It was Smokey, in disguise as Christian Shepherd and/or Claire. This could be proven by the fact the Ilana believes the Cabin has been used “by someone else”, meaning that the “psychopomps”, as my fiancée and I call them, are actually evil (or good, if Jacob turns out to be evil). My belief is that Smokey was working his plan for the last 35 years, starting with Ben taking over the Others. Smokey fed Ben the B.S. for all those years to frustrate him and saw Locke as his opportunity to capitalize on the loophole theory. Thus, Ben became a pawn in his own game. The puppet master becomes the puppet and Ben ends up turning against the one person he actually believed in. I’m thinking more and more each week that Ben is really good at heart and has the Island’s best interests at heart. I see Widmore as a greedy S.O.B. that just wants revenge on Linus for kicking him out of the leader post after Widmore lost touch with the Island.

Aw, hell no! BERNARD! They found us!

So what about Hurley? He sees dead people too. Ok, this is a little out there but, what if his ability to see dead people really isn’t a symptom of schizophrenia, but rather a way of counteracting Smokey? Maybe Jacob was right when he told Hurley that his ability is really blessing and not a curse. Miles’ abilities could factor in the same way. This would point to Jacob being a good guy. Maybe Hurley is Jacob’s right-hand man, through and through. He did spend the most time talking with Hurley out of all the survivors he talked to, which might make him the most important one to return to the island. I have a feeling we may be seeing more of Hurley’s imaginary friends next season and we will definitely be learning more about Smokey and what exactly he is in the final 16 installations of this series.

Anyway, enough for now. Tell me your thoughts. How did I do? Do my theories make sense, or am I rambling fool? Let me know in the comments!

Also, read Doc Jensen:,,1550612_20245769_20278837,00.html

Also, yay for Vincent and Rose and Bernard! Their scene was done to perfection!

And fade to white... clean slate? Alternate reality? And whose eye was that???

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