First thing's first: SPOILERS ABOUND. Second thing: What lies in the shadow of the statue? A whole lotta win. "Lost" certainly delivered another one of its trademark "epic" season finales. The episode titled "The Incident" should be renamed, in hindsight, "Because of Jacob." Because of Jacob our Losties are all on the island in the first place. Because of Jacob we have a reason for all of this madness and a real chance at a great final season. Most importantly, because of Jacob, Richard "Ricardos" Alpert was made immortal and non-aging in all his attractive glory, and for that we are truly grateful.
The cast list this week was immense, but "The Incident" closed more doors than it opened with former and current cast members. Another alternate title for the episode might have been "Vincent's Return," a situation pondered by fans since the whole frozen donkey wheel mess began. Never fear, Vincent is living happily with Rose and Bernard (who inhabit what later becomes Jacob's cabin). Wisely, the two want nothing to do with the rest of the Losties, but instead are retired in a cottage living each day as it comes and unconcerned about death. Black-and-white rock/Adam and Eve, anyone?
Pretty much everyone on the original Oceanic 815 flight got a shout-out tonight, mostly in regard to Jacob's role in his/her past, which helped bring them to the island. Plenty of questions answered there, one of the biggest being how Hurley was released from prison and gained access to Charley's guitar.
As far as closing chapters, we seem to be out of Dharmaville for good, now. Juliet, in possibly the most heartbreaking scene in "Lost's" canon (with Charley's death coming in a close second), releases everyone from the shackles of 70s living by hacking an unfathomably sturdy plutonium core with a rock, causing a counter-explosion to the release of electromagnetism on the island, effectively doing ... what exactly? Negating the fifth season?
Other heart-wrenching moments included Ben's flood of insecurities while confronting Jacob with "Why not me? What's wrong with me?" and Jacob's cold, unfeeling response, "What about you?" That helped Ben find the courage to kill him but -doh!- what about this bad dude standing to your left, Ben? No, that's not John Locke. And speaking of sad, John Locke actually appears to be dead, his life of "not amounting to much" seems to have ... not amounted to much.
Backtracking a bit, last night's episode introduced us to ... Jacob! (aka Julie Benz's drug addicted husband on "Dexter") as well as a mysterious antagonistic figure most message-board users have come to regard as Esau. For those of you who need a Biblical refresher:
Rebekah bore Esau first and Jacob was birthed second, holding onto Esau's heel. Thus, this subsequent occurrence traditionally entitled Esau to inherit the wealth of his father after his death. Genesis 25:29-34 shows him willingly selling his birthright to Jacob in exchange for a "mess of pottage" (meal of lentils). Controversy has surrounded this scripture, in that some have noted that Esau may have been in danger of starving to death and was taken advantage of by Jacob in a vulnerable moment.
The Esau theory has merit after all, the-man-now-referred-to-as-Esau seems as ancient as Jacob as well as his opposing figure, and most likely the force behind Olde Smokey. From the opening dialogue we might surmise he views himself as a protector of the island, or at the very least takes a very pessimistic view of those who visit it. Speculation now is fun but pointless, and though I don't like guessing where "Lost" is headed (since I'm usually wrong), I will go out on a limb anyway and say Richard, Jacob and Esau's roles and relationships are probably going to be a strong secondary theme throughout the final season.
"The Incident" was like a giant camera pan-out in narrative structure. "Lost's" main struggle isn't between Jack and Locke (or Jack and Sawyer, or Jack and himself, or Jack and audience), or Ben and Widmore, or Jacob and Esau, but maybe between salvation versus damnation, or good versus evil. Maybe it's about how no matter what circumstances beyond your control brought you to a place or a time, it's up to you to define yourself through your choices and through your actions. Season six will undoubtedly explore such themes more deeply, having most likely left Faraday and the time traveling island behind. In the end, it will be about personal struggle between the two greatest forces in our universe, which reminds us sometimes the oldest stories are the best. For now, "they're coming" .... fade to white.
Musings and Miscellanea:
- Speaking of ancient things, some people have pointed out that the statue looks like it has a crocodile head, possibly as a goddess of a fertility known for protecting mothers. Did the statue's destruction cause the fertility problems on the island?
- New Kids on the Block lunchbox, holler! The first time Kate's shown good judgment.
- Greatest Ben quote of the night: "I changed my thinking ever since my dead daughter threatened to destroy me if anything happened to you and I don't do what you say." Dead daughter was likely Olde Smokey manipulating Ben twice once there and once again as Locke!
- Second greatest Ben quote: "Yes John, I'm a Pisces" (another lie, his birthday is December 19!)
- Regarding Jacob and Esau, recall the season one Locke quote: "Two players, two sides, one is light, one is dark."
- Speaking of Locke, Will the real John Locke please stand up? "Don't tell me what I can't do!" He really did die though, it seems.
- Understatement of the year by Sayid: "Don't shoot, I'm carrying a nuclear device." Although, that thing was shot at, fallen upon, dropped and hacked at before it exploded. Poor craftsmanship!
- I am ignoring the setup for the Sawyer-Kate-Jack triangle to continue out of respect for Juliet, the HBIC (RIP). If anyone is still on the Kate-Sawyer ship at this point you are in serious denial, explain yourself.
- Richard's Latin response to "What lies in the shadow of the statue?": ILLE QUI NOS OMNES SERVABIT: "He who will save us all"
- Ben was portrayed as especially vulnerable and unknowing in this episode, as opposed to prior seasons when he seemed more or less omnipotent. We learned that he lied about seeing Jacob that time in the cabin, and was just as confused as Locke when things started flying around. But it was just Ben being Ben. "I lied. That's what I do."
(Photo courtesy ABC)
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