Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lost Finale - The Incident

But ... oh my gosh, there is a lot to talk about. What does it all mean?? I actually wrote this long post and posted it, and then it disappeared, and I got very angry and yelled at the computer. SO... this is an attempt to rehash it all really fast, because I don't have the energy to do it all again in detail. I wanted to discuss the first scene in detail because it's huge, so I put that at the end.

- Isaac and I totally called that Locke is really dead and that the new Locke is actually... some other guy. I'm going to copy James from TIME's Lostwatch and call him Fred. In any case, we are awesome.

- I was so annoyed with the teenage mood swings and decisions based on nothing that was going on with Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Juliet. Please, people. Jack says that he had Kate and lost her, but is it really logical then to decide to blow everyone to smithereens with a bomb? I loved Miles' suggestion that they might be causing the exact incident they were supposedly trying to prevent, but it annoys me that the writers are acting like the characters aren't smart enough to at least consider that possibility.

- How funny was it that Rose and Bernard had been living peacefully with Vincent in the jungle for three years? Isaac loved it, and it sure seemed to me like a case of the producers browsing the net and realizing all the blogs were clambering to know where the two were and saying, "Oh yeah, we have to write them in somewhere."

- When Ilana came out of the cabin, she said that Jacob wasn't there and hadn't been in an long time, and that someone else had been living there. Umm.. does this mean that we can assume that when John Locke and others had encounters with Jacob in the cabin, it was actually someone else, probably Fred? Which would also then mean that the ghostly Christian Shepard is actually Fred, and that Fred has Claire, if she is still alive?


- It was John/Fred post-resurrection that gave Richard the compass to give to John and tell him that he had a purpose and that he'd have to die. So... Fred has manipulated John's life and death the whole time, and Locke was just a pawn....

- Fred/Locke made a comment that after he'd seen Jacob, they'd have to "deal with" the other Ajira passengers. That means he must KNOW that they are working for Jacob, and that perhaps is setting us up for a showdown next season. One blog suggested that it would be Fred/Locke, Ben, and Widmore vs.... everyone else. How awesome would that be? Locke and Ben are possibly the BEST actors on the show.


- What is UP with Jacob? He appears human (something I did not expect), but he jumps through time and places and has foreknowledge. It's strange to me that he has foreknowledge about the lives of our characters, because wouldn't that mean that he knew Locke would die? Did Jacob know about his own death?

- In his appearance in each of our Losties' back stories, Jacob intentionally touches each of them. Why? What is the significance of that?

- Funniest lines of the night
Locke to Ben: "Do you mind if I ask you a question?"
Ben: "I'm a Pisces"
Hurley: "Everything will be fine when Jack changes the past.... or the future... one of those."

- What happened when the bomb went off? Does everyone die? Are they blasted through time? I have NO CLUE what will happen with all of that.

- Apparently Alpert's answer to "What lies in the shadow of the statue" translates to "He whom we all serve.", which I guess is Jacob. I also totally called it that Alpert would be one of the "Shadow" group.

- Jacob's last words were "They're coming". Who? The shadow of the statue gang? The other group being blasted through time?

Really, Really Important Stuff
That very first scene on the beach with Jacob and Fred was CRUCIAL and really significant.

Lost - Jacob, Locke and Backgammon

Think about that scene after watching this scene. You can click to about halfway through it to see where Locke begins to describe backgammon to Walt:

People, that scene was from THE PILOT. I've watched it many times since then, because from this point on it was clear that the show was setting up a juxtaposition of the light and the dark, a good side and a bad side, and a game or war between the two. We've never been sure WHO are the good and the bad. Was it the Losties and the Others? Was it the Others and the Dharma Initiative? Was it Widmore and Ben? I think this is our final answer - Jacob is the light, Fred is the dark. When Jacob and Fred are on the beach, Jacob is wearing white, and Fred is wearing black. It's fascinating to me that they mentioned ancient Mesopotamia in the trailer, and we didn't see any of the ancient stuff played out until four five seasons later!

The conversation between Jacob and Fred is super important, and I don't fully understand it yet. They are watching what we assume is the Black Rock, which apparently Jacob has brought to the island. They seem to be discussing more broadly what happens when humans come to the island.
Fred: "They come, they fight, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same."
Jacob: "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that--it's just progress."
This is philosophy, which is one of the things I love about this show. It has depth and intelligence. Fred seems to be sort of anti-human. He doesn't like human presence on the island. He does SEEM to be right, though. It seems that each new group of people on the island does what our Losties have done - run around in circles being suspicious of everything and messing everything up while they try to fix things. They fight, kill, and destroy. It DOES seem to be ending the same.

Jacob, on the other hand, is... well.. I'm not totally sure. He's saying that all of this process of groups coming to the island is part of the process leading up to the end.... they are not individual things, it's all going somewhere, and apparently since he is manipulating things, it's going where HE wants it to go. My automatic thought was that Jacob is quite Darwinian - the idea of the evolutionary process of history seems to be there. Isaac thought of heilsgeschichte, which is a theological term that refers to God's formation of the grand meta-narrative of history as progressing to him, a grand story of salvation. Both of those things deal with the progression of history.

And... that leads me to the book that Jacob was reading when Locke fell to the ground behind him. It was so obviously displayed that the producers may as well have posted sign saying "NOTICE THIS BOOK!". The book was Flannery O'Conner's "Everything that Rises Must Converge". Now, I actually think the point was not the book itself but the title of the book, which O'Conner drew from a book by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, who was a Jesuit priest and philosophy and scientist. Turns out that he was known for his belief in the progression of space, time, and humanity to its peak - Christ. The Church was upset with his process theology and the implication of his evolution, but he stayed within the Church and was insistent about the primacy of Christ. You can read a section of the book that O'Conner was quoting here. Here is the actual quote:

Followed to their conclusion the two paths must certainly end by coming together: for in the nature of things everything that is faith must rise, and everything that rises must converge.
So... what are the producers trying to say with this? It seems like they're saying that Jacob believes in the ultimate path of the progression of the island towards an ultimate GOOD. Everything that happens and has happened in that Lost world is for a reason and a part of the path to that ultimate purpose. I guess my question is, is Jacob a divine figure? What is the ultimate good that he is pushing the island towards?

Interesting, interesting stuff.

I LOVE this show, and I love that I am yet again at a place where I feel like I've learned a lot but I'm still so confused.


  1. Wow! Great analysis.

    That opening scene was great. It just kind of bugged me that both Jacob and Fred had such nice, clean haircuts.

    Really freaky to think that he was pretending to be Locke when he gave Richard the compass to give to him. So the anti-Christ-Fred-guy put in motion the idea that Locke would be leader, which was really just so he could inhabit his body?? And that means, he also told Richard to tell Locke he would have to die! Wow!

  2. It's cool that you thought Locke was the Smoke Monster a while back (back around when Ben summoned it and only Locke appeared at first I think), but the fact he was also this Man In black/Fred character all along was a mighty big twist that I don't think Lost has managed to pull off before so well. In the past, whenever we had a twist (like the season 3 finale when Jack's flashbacks were revealed to really be flash forwards), it usually only lasted one episode. The Locke/Fred twist is something that we'll have to appreciate when everyone rewatches the season again on dvd or hulu (I wish they'd hurry up and put the shows on there).

  3. "Isaac and I totally called that Locke is really dead and that the new Locke is actually... some other guy"

    Excellent call there. I admit, when you mentioned you and Isaac thought Lock might be Jacob I didn’t see it, but you were dead on (no pun intended) that “Lock” was not who he appeared and never actually came back to life.

    LOST is brilliant, and I love the fact that unlike 98% of what is on TV it actually makes me think and I can’t guess the entire episodes plot from the preview the week before.

    What do you think of all the Egyptian parallels? Do you think that is some clue as to who Jacob and Fred are?
    That statue Jacob lives under, I’d bet my next paycheck that it is Anubis, the Egyptian god who ushers souls into the afterlife. Also, he was holding the Egyptian “life” symbol in his right hand, perhaps this is not the end for Jacob after all?

    Off hand I took “They’re coming” as a reference to Richard and the crew that showed up at Jacob’s request, but the survivors from the 70’s is an intriguing suggestion as well (assuming they are alive after the bomb incident).

    Also, what was with the sudden revelations that half the characters grew up together? Sawyer and Kate were friends as kids and Kate and Juliet are sisters?
    Way to just throw it out there J.J.

    One last thought (I get too worked up about LOST), if you follow Miles’ logic the whole 70’s group is screwed.
    If the progression is: incident – after effects of the incident cause the crash and subsequent island adventures – eventually the group is brought back to the 70’s – they then cause the incident – the incident causes the crash – repeat… then they are stuck in some sort of infinite loop unless another factor comes into play.

  4. Haha! AWESOME... I posted the same exact thoughts about the ghostly Christian actually being the Frienemy, and Locke being a pawn, on Green Jello's comment section. Brilliant, we are geniuses... If I have time I'm totally adding that part to my post and linking to you. :)

    Love your points about Teilhard... I stumbled across him about two years ago and have been fascinated ever since. I would say Jacob is definitely a divine character, but more in the style of Mount Olympus than anything... but gotta love the set-up for the Christ parallels even so. A divine figure, who is also mortal, and after dying, (presumably next season) comes back to life.

    In response to Mason -- the statue is apparently Sobek... who would appear to be one of the more morally ambivalent Egyptian gods, as well as a fertility god.

  5. Totally agree with the good vs. evil, and Jacob being good. Great in-depth analysis!

  6. Ok going back and re-watching the Jacob flashbacks it's not looking like it was Kate and Juliet together, and might not be Kate and Sawyer either. That said, they picked really really similar looking actors for those parts.

    Also, Sobek sounds semi-plausible but the ears look pretty Jackal like, which doesn't work for a god with a croc head.

  7. I'm just finally getting around to reading all the recap posts - sorry!

    ~~~~~ My Thoughts ~~~~~

    "Fred has manipulated John's life and death the whole time, and Locke was just a pawn." Wow, I didn't realize that - that is HUGE.

    And great call on the backgammon scene from Season One - gotta love it when things come together like that.

  8. Mason:
    Juliet's big sister in the parents divorcing scene was named Rachel, so that's not Kate.

    Kate's playmate in the store was never identified.

    I'm betting Sobek as the statue.