May 15, 2009

The Incident

What can I say that hasn't already been said by Lost fans and bloggers? It's been a couple of days since the season 5 finale, and I'm still not sure if I loved it or not. It had great moments and had some dragged out plot elements. But overall, it was a satisfying ending to one of the best seasons of Lost.

The Opening Scene
The first scene of "The Incident" may be one of, if not the, most important scenes shown on the show. This scene, while very vague in its presentation, basically gives the answer that fans have been longing for ... what is the island?

While we don't necessarily get a clear answer, we are given a good idea of what's been going on for thousands of years. We are finally introduced to Jacob, the most mysterious character in the history of the show. He looks like an average guy. He's making string, catching fish for lunch, just hanging out on the beach. Then we see the Black Rock in the distance and things get interesting.

Another guy walks up dressed in black. Jacob is wearing white. The guy in black is agitated that people are coming to island. It seems that Jacob brought them. He says that it always ends the same with destruction and corruption. To this Jacob replies (a very important line), "it only ends once and anything before that is just progress."

The guy in black tells Jacob how badly he wants to kill him and that one day he'll find a loophole. So they can't kill each other. This reminded me, and a lot of other fans, of Ben and Widmore's relationship and the rules, where it looks like they can't kill each other. We learned more about the loophole later in the finale.

Upon first viewing of this scene, I was like, OK this is cool. Jacob's like Richard, he's been on the island a long time. But after watching the entire finale, there's a lot more to it.

There's rampant speculation among fans about who/what Jacob and the other guy are. The two are clearly taking differing opinions. Whether its a good vs. evil, free will or a humanity issue, they are opposites with their point of views. Fans are are debating whether they are Egyptian gods, angels, or Jacob and his bother Esau from the Old Testament. I'm sure we'll get a clearer picture of their relationship early next season.

Back to what is the island? Let's assume that Jacob and "Esau" have been running things for many, many years on the island. Jacob continues to bring people to it to prove "Esau" wrong and show him that humanity is good. The island is a magical place, sort of like their Garden of Eden, and it serves as a testing ground for this debate. What if we bring humans here and give them all these endless scientific miracles. How will they react? How will they use it? "Esau" believes that it will always end the same, with the people fighting each other and causing problems. Jacob agrees that this happens, but calls it progress. He says it only has to end once.

That's a loaded line, and I can't wait to see how it ends. What does Jacob know? Is he talking about the 815 survivors? They have caused quite a bit of death and destruction on the island, so we'll see.

The Statue and its shadow
The opening scene ended with a spectacular shot of the four-toed statue, in all of its glory. The statue looks to be Sobek, with its crocodile head. They keep showing only the backside of the statue, so fans continue to debate exactly which Egyptian deity it represents, but Sobek is starting to win out. I'm not up on my ancient Egyptian gods, so if you'd like to know more about Sobek, check out the link above.

For a few weeks now, we've been wondering about the "Shadow of the Statue" group. They've been asking people, "what lies in the shadow of the statue?" Some questioned whether this was just a question used to identify someone in the know, like Desmond's question to Locke to see if he was his replacement, "what did one snowman say to the other snowman?"

It turns out the answer is Jacob himself. Richard gives the correct answer when Ilana asks him toward the end of the episode, but he answers in Latin. Fans were quick with their translation, and Richard actually told her, "He who will protect/save us all."

Traveling Man
Staying on the topic of Jacob, in the flashbacks of this episode, we see him visit Kate and Sawyer when they were children, Sayid just before Nadia is killed, Ilana while she is heavily bandaged, Locke just after he is pushed out the window by his father, Jin/Sun at their wedding, Jack just after the surgery that he told Kate about in the pilot episode (where he had to count to 5 to let the fear go) and Hurley where he tells him about Flight 316 and leaves a guitar case. Each of these visits were at an important moment in their lives. The only other flashback in the episode was when Juliette found out her parents were getting divorced.

The Ilana flashback was interesting because she was all bandaged up. Had she just been in an accident or did she change the way she looked for some reason? Unlike the other flashbacks, she knew who Jacob was. He asks her to help him and she says she will.

With the flashbacks with the 815 survivors, all take place before Flight 815 except Sayid and Hurley. In each instance, Jacob physically touches them, and that's probably an important point. Why would they go out of their way to show that he touches them? It's most obvious with Locke, as it looks like Jacob saves his life when he touched him.

Has Jacob always known that they would come to the island or was this how he chose the people he would bring there? Seeing how Hurley ended up on the flight was payoff for one of the season's lingering questions. But we are still left to wonder what's in the guitar case.

So that's where they've been
Back in 1977, Kate convinces Sawyer and Juliette that they need to stop Jack. They get off the sub, and who do they run into but Vincent, Rose and Bernard. I thought this part was pretty cheesy, seeing Bernard with a beard and long hair, but they had to fill in the audience on what's been going on with them.

We can assume that they experienced the flashes through time that the rest of the group went through, just on a different part of the island. They were separated from Sawyer's group during the flaming arrow battle and didn't meet up with them at the creek later. Rose and Bernard are "retired" and enjoying the life they've made for themselves. They sort of call out the rest of the group for always wanted to pick up a gun and try to stop somebody. While this scene played out like they were just updating us on Rose and Bernard, I think Rose's comments will play a larger role in the end game of if humanity is ultimately good.

A fight, 5 seasons in the making
After Jack and Sayid have the core of Jughead that they need to blow up the Swan, a gun battle ensues at the DHARMA barracks and Sayid is shot. I thought for sure that he would die, as there's been rumors of a major character dying in the finale. They teased us throughout with Sayid's condition. Hurley, Miles and Jin rescue them, and they make their way to the Swan, only to be stopped by Sawyer, Kate and Juliette.

Sawyer asks for five minutes of Jack's time, and the two have a heart-to-heart about destiny, Kate and what Jack's about to do. They end up in a fist fight that's been building up for more than three years for the characters. These guys have been friends and enemies for so long, a fight like this was believable and one that fans knew would happen one day, but it's eventually stopped by Juliette, who says that Jack needs to do this.

Turns out, the way Sawyer looks at Kate has Juliette questioning their relationship. She loves Sawyer, but sometimes people in love just aren't meant to be with each other, as Juliette learned from her flashback.

The Incident
This leads to the incident that we've been hearing about since the first Swan orientation film. Everyone ends up joining forces to help Jack complete his mission of throwing the hydrogen bomb core down the Swan shaft. All heck breaks loose after Phil and the security team arrives. Jack drops the bomb down the shaft, but it doesn't go off. Then, just like when the counter wasn't reset after 108 minutes in the Swan, metal items begin being pulled to the electromagnetic source.

Jack gets knocked out, Pierre Chang's arm gets smashed and Phil gets killed. Fans were happy to see closure on the Chang arm situation and to see a jerk like Phil get his due. But the joy was soon short-lived as Juliette was pulled into the shaft. Sawyer and Kate tried to save her, but they couldn't, and she fell in. This scene was a heartbreaking one for many reasons.

Juliette has slowly become a fan favorite. Many fans didn't know what to think of her double-agent role in her early seasons, but seeing her with Sawyer this year made everyone grow to like her. It was also heartbreaking to see Sawyer lose her. This is right up there with Sun watching the freighter blow up. A great scene by all involved.

Man in the Box
All the 1977 stuff was interesting and fun, but I was more excited about the present day trek to Jacob. Come to find out, there were two groups making the trek: the Others and the Ilana led "shadow of the statue" group. Ilana's group dragged Frank along and filled him in on some of the details of their trip after Ilana called him a candidate. A candidate for what? They even showed him the contents of the crate, which had to be mind-blowing (it was for the audience later in the episode).

First they made their way to Jacob's cabin. After seeing that the ash around it had a path cut through it (some fans have speculated that Hurley made the path in the ash when he visited the cabin, so what did Hurley unleash?). Ilana doesn't find anyone inside, but we do see the strange dog painting again. She finds a cloth picture of the statue stuck on the wall by a knife. She says that someone else has been using the cabin and they torch it and leave.

A few questions here. We've seen Christian and Claire inside before. Are they the other people that Ilana mentioned? Also, the cabin looks a lot like Rose/Bernard's cabin, so is it? We've been lead to believe that Horace built the cabin. Lastly, what is its purpose? If Jacob lives at the statue, then was he trapped in the cabin, as we previously thought? or was "Esau" trapped there and is he the one who has been manipulating all the visitors to the cabin? Remember, someone said "help me" to Locke the first time he visited the cabin. We thought it was Jacob, but perhaps it wasn't.

When Ilana's group gets to the statue, she asks for Ricardo and asks him the shadow of the statue question. Richard answers correctly, and she shows him what's in the crate. Turns out, it's Locke's body from the cargo hold of the plane. WHOA! Locke is dead after all. So who's with Ben inside the statue?

Business Time
Locke had been pretty convincing and told Ben that he would kill Jacob. Ben had admitted that he'd never seen or spoken to Jacob and lied about it to not be embarrassed. He'd been a willing servant to someone he'd never seen and what did he get for his service? Cancer, a dead daughter and banishment from the island. Nice reward.

Inside the statue, the two confront Jacob, and the muddy water starts to clear up. Locke turns out to be "Esau"/black shirt guy from the opening scene. He'd found his loophole. Ben asked Jacob, "what about me?" Jacob says, "what about you?" and gets stabbed by Ben. Just before he dies, Jacob says "They're coming." Locke then kicks Jacob's body into the fire.

Killer scene. Crazy that after all these years of waiting to know more about Jacob, they give us so much in one episode, then kill him off. A few questions linger after he's killed. What happens next? Did Jacob know that Ben would kill him? Is that why he never had any interaction with him? Did Jacob know that his enemy would find a loophole? Who is he referring to when he says they're coming? Does he mean Jack and company or Richard and Ilana outside?

What will Ben and Locke do now? Everyone outside knows that it's not the real Locke, but they don't know how that's possible, unless Ilana's group knows even more about Jacob. Is Ilana like Richard (ageless, a confidant of Jacob)? Remember that Walt had a dream where everyone on the beach was trying to kill Locke. Is Walt's vision about to come true?

Bram had been saying that his group was the good guys and the side that will win. It looks like they've been working for Jacob all this time, but the Others claim to be the good guys too. So who's really good? Lastly, how does Widmore play into all of this? He said a war was coming and Locke had to be on the island.

So many questions to ponder while we wait for season 6. But wait, there's one more thing to get to.

It's over
The final scene of the finale shoots back to the shaft, and Juliette is conscious at the bottom. She is badly injured, but sees the bomb lying there. She beats it with a rock and gets it to go off and BOOM! White screen, black letters: LOST. Season 5 is over.

Now the offseason question will be what happened to them? Did they change things or was this how the incident always played out? Miles brought up a great point that no one seemed to think about. Was Jack really working to prevent the future from occurring or was he actually causing things to unfold? We are left with 8-9 months to ponder these questions.

Other Tidbits
Was that really the Black Rock in the opening? Was Richard a part of the crew or aboard the ship? If that was Black Rock, then how does it end up so far inland? If Jacob brought them there, did he move the boat to the island or move the island toward the boat?

Kate tries to steal a New Kids on the Block lunchbox. Jacob buys it for her. Her and her childhood friend Tom later buried their time capsule in the New Kids lunch box.

Sawyer started writing the letter to Mr. Sawyer just after his parents funeral. The guy (his uncle maybe) that comes to bring him to the cemetery makes him promise not to finish the letter. I got a weird feeling about his uncle. Is he somehow tied into all of this or was he there just to provide Sawyer with the what's done is done line?

The DHARMA barracks are built right up against the tunnels. Richard busts through the wall, and they come out in Horace's basement.

We learned that Eloise was pregnant in 1977 and she, not Widmore, was the leader of the Hostiles. So was she pregnant with Daniel at this time or is she Penny's mom as well? From what we've seen, it's probably Daniel, but I'm just throwing the Penny possibility out there.

We saw Ilana's group in the outrigger, but didn't see them shoot at Sawyer, Juliette and company. Maybe that scene's still to come.

Richard said that he's the way that he is because of Jacob. Why did Jacob chose him to be ageless? What made him pick Richard for this?

It was cool that Sun found Charlie's Drive Shaft ring. Are they reminding us of Charlie/Claire because one or both will be back?

If Richard saw them all die in 1977, where was Richard with Jughead blew up? Did he mean he just figures they died because of Jack's mission?

Does "Esau" = Smokey? I'm saying yes.

Next on Lost: Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof will go into radio silence and not do any interviews until giving fans a sneak-peak at season 6 during Comic Con. We've learned that those appearance/videos aren't canon, but it's still the first chance to find out details on the upcoming season.

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