Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lost's Season Finale Was An Incident

Holy shit.  If you haven’t watched the season finale of ABC’s Lost yet then stop reading now for God’s sake and watch it! Its on ABC’s website and surfthechannel.  Here be Spoilers.   This episode, The Incident, Parts 1 & 2, changes everything.  Or does it?  (FYI- Theories for the most part will be below my review in footnotes.)

The episode begins with some Mennonite looking guy, Rita’s dead ex-husband Paul from Dexter, in an old timey outfit spinning up some tapestry with ancient Greek writing on it.  We then see this guy catching and making up his lunch, which looked delicious, when some yuppie looking dude wearing a black shirt, khakis, and sandals—your typical island garb.  The man in black has come to watch the approach of a ship, presumably The Black Rock, which the Mennonite, who in the first of the episodes bombs that go off turns out to be the ever mysterious Jacob, evidently summoned somehow to prove his neighbor (who I will refer to as the Adversary from here on out) wrong.[i] The Adversary doesn’t appreciate the approaching ship peoples, saying “They come, fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.”  Most of the rest of their conversation I have reprinted below, I am sure all of it will prove important:

Jacob: It only ends once. Anything that happens before that, its just progress.

The Adversary: Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?

Jacob: Yes.

The Adversary: One of these days, sooner or later, I'm going to find a loophole, my friend.

The next thing we see is the statue, still completely intact, which depicts an ancient Egyptian looking god-type-thing with the head of what might be a crocodile.  Hmm.  Wonder what that was all about.  First of all, when did that scene happen? and, hey, doesn’t the statue look like the cave painting Ben saw underneath The Temple when he was getting his “judgment” on ala Monster a few episodes back?  And what was that?  Loophole you say?  Progress?  But most of this stuff gets forgotten for the moment with the revelation that the guy who has brought the ship there is none other than this Jacob character we have heard so much about.  That trickster.

But now, with hind site, lets take a look back at the discussion line-by-line.  First, there is the line about the people who are just about to dock and come to the Island to fight and destroy and corrupt.  This implies that the Island is peaceful until these people come.  I am thinking that they are the only two on the Island at this point and this is where everything gets set into motion.  Probably when the Others first show up on the Island and when Richard becomes the seemingly permanent fixture of their jungle-running tribe.  But then he says the bit about it always ending the same way which implies they have done all this before, either in the past or literally they have already done this specific thing since all the time traveling stuff means they could be participating in that loop-on-a-skipping-record thing that Faraday tried to explain to Sawyer post backhand to the face, a smack that was called for, but left him and the audience saying “wha?” with the appropriate head rubbing, our minds having been blown. When I start thinking about it, like when reading philosophy, this starts to happen, and is right now, my head is like swimming trying get a grasp on this whole abstract business.

Then we get the whole “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that, its just progress,” and that is when the “Holy Shits” start to get uttered.  So this line, yeah, it is HUGE. Now wait a minute, isn’t this answering the mystery everyone on the show and watching at home has been trying to figure out all season long?  It would seem so and that you can change things when you have an apparently unlimited number of tries.  But do they have infinite lives like they are using a cheat code on a video game or does something determine when all this ends will be the question that the final season will hopefully/need to answer.  This coupled with the last few lines, the wanting to kill Jacob but not being able to unless he finds a loophole stuff, I take to mean that these two are actually going through some kind of power struggle and all the time warping and cycle of events are all part of some sort of game of cosmic backgammon being played out by beings with much significance who must adhere to a determined (by who? God? I will throw up if that happens) set of rules.  Sort of like the chess match going on between Widmore and Ben, they having this same no killin’ each other rule and all, on a much larger scale.

Throughout the rest of the episode we see Jacob inserting himself into the past of the Oceanic Six and other Losties at key times in lives.  For example, when Sawyer is pinning the infamous letter to Anthony Cooper his writing utensil quits working and Jacob gives him his.  Because of this act, Sawyer’s uncle catches him and reads the letter, telling him to move on because “What’s done is done,” presumably ending little Sawyers quest for vengeance.  It seems he is changing the past events that we know happened to them in some instances, this being one, Kate being an other, telling her not to steel any more, and Sun and Jin being a third, visiting them at their wedding, providing them with solid marital advise, saying they shouldn’t take their love for granted.  His Korean was flawless by the way.  But at other times, its more like he is bringing about events that we know took place, like Nadia, Sayid’s wife, being killed in an attempt on Sayid, which he survives with Jacob’s aid, and it appeared he brought Locke back to life after his fall that paralyzed him.  And then when he comes to the hospital bed of Ilana who has her face bandaged up like a burn victim, it seems he is possibly directing future action since in the scene depicting 2007 we see no signs of scaring.  But then again he could have healed her or something in return for the “help” he asks from her.  In the course of the episode he also visits Hurler in a cab after he was released from jail, which explains why he joined the other five on Ajira Flight 316, where they talk about seeing dead people and such and Jacob leaves a guitar case carrying a guitar one can only assume but who knows.  Charlie’s maybe, I don’t know, its significance was hinted at but its contents were not. The apparent results from Jack ’s flashback though aren’t that clear, Jacob visiting him after his first surgery, mentioned in season one, when he sliced a girl’s dural sac and gets all panicky before the old man, Christian, tells him to count to five and what not.  Serenity Now!  Walking away, pouting after he doesn’t get his Apollo Bar from the vending machine, Jacob stops him and gives him the candy, saying “Maybe all it needed was a little push.”  I suspect this was to get Jack to be more forgiving of his father so he wont turn him in when he performs surgery bombed that would stop him from drinking himself to death in Australia.  But I don’t know about all that, it is an awfully long stretch.  Then again, maybe they all were.  Maybe none of this changes anything.  Who knows.  Juliet was the only other flashback of the episode, which gets discussed later, and was Jacob free.

The next development in the episode was the whole blow up the Island gambit that seems sort of stupid and anti-logical and all.  But it does make for some good TV watching.  Or sort of does.  First there was the getting out of the sub part of the story since she wants Sawyer to stop Jack from detonating Jughead, which answered the question of how Kate was going to fuck up everything in this episode.  The next thing I write about on here is going to be about How Kate Austen Fucks Everything Up on Lost.  God I hate Kate.  She sucks at life.  Once Kate—annoyingly on the sub why exactly?—convinces Juliet who knocks out the guy passing out pills—or party favors as I like to call them—they go back to the Island and who comes running up to them on the beach but the cutest dog on TV ever Vincent who is being cared for by Rose and Bernard who haven’t been seen since Frogert got shot by a flaming arrow incident.  Now they are living out their days chilling in a cabin in the jungle while Bernard perfects the professor look by growing an awesome neck-beard.[ii]  They are done with all the Island craziness and are living out their days pretty magnificently, we should all be so lucky as to get stranded with the one we love on an island with a super cool dog.  Damn, that would be sweet.  I want to do that.  I would give up anything for that.  I sort of hate Rose and Bernard.

What followed didn’t make all that much sense and was sort of weak plot/logic wise.  Ok, earlier, Kate had infuriated me when she miraculously talked Juliet into helping her despite the whole we-are-a-team bullshit conversation her and Sawyer just had.  But guess what, Juliet is incredibly fickle, uncharacteristic of her, being more Kate’s department in her bouncing back and forth from the beds of Jack and Sawyer, and she just up and changes her mind in the most unconvincing Lost moment ever aired.  After Sawyer finally repeatedly punches Jack in the face, Juliet is all like “Have at it Jack, lets burn this mother fucker down.”  Huh?  She has become a proponent of the reset thing now all of a sudden because she thinks Sawyer still loves Kate and, as we see, she has had issues since childhood with this sort of thing since her parents sat her and sister Rachel down telling them they are getting divorced, saying something like they love each other but aren’t meant to be together.  Horse shit.  That is just dumb.  I guess Jacob’s absence in her flashback was supposed to mean something but then again maybe he was there waiting to spin some of that didactic bullshit but little Juliet wouldn’t come out of her room.  In any case, with the Island’s pending nuclear holocaust and all, Miles finally asks the obvious question I and probably everyone else has been asking since Faraday showed up acting (and looking) like the fucking Unabomber, what if Jack is about to cause the much hyped incident instead of preventing it.  Well, should’ve probably thought of that sooner, because now Jack and company have gotten themselves into the longest, lamest shootout in television history. 

But the shit gets done, Jack drops the fucking bomb down the hole.  Everyone awkwardly waits for blast…  And waits…  Then, nothing.  Shit, no reset button on this Island.  Dr. Chang tries to stop from drilling into the pocket of energy that Radzinsky is hell bent on unleashing but shit has already hit the fan and electromagnetic force starts pulling shit down the hole.  A toolbox hits Jack in the back of the head in hilarious fashion knocking him out Jack really takes a beating this episode), Phil takes steal rob to chest, Chang’s arm gets pinned (explaining his dubious motionless arm in the Swan video) so son Miles gets him loose and calls him Dad, and Juliet gets a chain wrapped around her waste and gets sucked down the hole where she grabs onto some pole before plunging in.  Sawyer manages to grab her and they have a puke worthy semi-awkward last moment together where she professes her love to him, saying “I love you,” to which Sawyer says “No you don’t” I guess in reference to her letting go but it seemed like it was to the I-love-you comment with his poorly worded sentence.  Though I can’t really prove this, I blame Juliet’s death on Kate as I do the deaths of Jin (though it did turn out he’s alive) and Faraday among others, more one those in the next post.  So when Juliet is dangling for her life and Sawyer grabs her, Kate grabs onto Sawyer instead of climbing down there with him and actually like puling her up or anything.  Oh, nice effort, Kate. Way to help out.  Again she proves worthless.  But instead of Juliet going splat on the rocks and shit at the bottom of the hole, she survives, though, as you can imagine, she is royally fucked.  Despite her injuries and what have you, she gains consciousness and manages to bang on the H-bomb with a rock.  After hitting it eight times, one of those magic numbers, we are made to believe it explodes as the screen turns white and the L-O-S-T comes in in black, the negative/reverse of the usual black on white as the season ends.  This was sort of lame, the way it happened, but the possibilities are ones to get excited about.  I can’t believe I have to wait till January of next year to see how all this plays out. 

But there are more and better things to be discussed about the finale.  Back to the future, in 2007, we have some interesting developments coming to life (literally) on the Island that has for the most part lacked much action (though know what I do now, I have got to rewatch the stuff that takes place after the second crash).  We have these new people who seem guard Jacob and/or the mysteries of the Island and are kind of like the weird cult in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade guarding the secretes of the Holy Grail that Indy kills for the most part after visiting the catacombs of Venice.  This is not the only time this episode reminded me of that awesome flick, the other being the Sawyer-grasp-fail with the subsequent Juliet falling bit that was nearly identical to Elsa slipping out of Indy’s hands when she is trying to steel the Grail out of that cave thing.  They are there to deliver a metal box to the Others/Jacob and something else, it is implied, that is yet unknown.  How they are conveniently there on the Island is also a mystery.  When they wash up on shore, the recently kidnapped Frank wakes up as they are saying something about him being a candidate, for what though is frustratingly unknown.[iii]  They then show him what is in the box, which freaks him out, saying they are going to use it to “show people what we are capable of,” making everyone think it is a weapon.  But this has happened before and Lost is not that simple of a show. 

After we see Locke trekking his people toward Jacob so he can thank him for bringing him back to life by killing him, a job he convinces Ben to do, we see what is in the box they have brought an awfully long way—it contains—the BODY OF JOHN LOCKE.  Holy shit.  What the fuck?  Oh, shit, now I see.  Oh no. NO!!!  By the time everyone realizes that the guy leading them who is with Jacob right then is not Locke, it is too late to do a God damn thing about it.  It turns out the Locke imposter is none other than the Adversary we saw at the beginning of the episode and he has indeed found his loophole.  This revelation caught me completely by surprise, and there were so many clues!  There was the time when Ilana was about to open the Locke crate but stopped when distrustful Ben sidled up and the time when he knew exactly when the time-traveling Locke would show up explaining it by giving the old lame “the Island told me” excuse which seemed sort of weird and beyond his previous range and when Ben talked to I think Locke about his apparent resurrection and said that “dead is dead” and then the moment between Richard and Ben when Richard wondered if Locke wasn’t the great leader he had previously thought thinking now that he will only cause trouble with Ben saying that this is the reason he killed him and then when Richard tried to figure out how or if Jacob brought Locke back from the dead having spent God knows how long on the Island and seeing all of its amazingness but never seeing anyone being brought back from the dead which Locke totally deflects by comparing it to Richard’s lack of aging saying it had something to do with that which was also bullshitty but in a Lost sort of way.  And these are just the ones from memory.  The clues were right there the whole time.  But I didn’t pay them too much thought until the big spoiler went down.  It was such a game changer that it took me a minute to realize what it meant, at first I was under the impression that Locke had somehow been totally recreated whole, but then the reality of what was going on set in and it sucks since Locke practically is the Island having so much faith and reverence for it and all but it was quite a good and unseen move.

The whole Locke thing makes me sad to think about.  I have long said that when the show comes to an end, if Locke isn’t practically worshiped by the Others I would be highly disappointed.  After this episode, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen.  Earlier in the finale, we find out that Ben has been lying to Locke and everyone else about talking to Jacob this whole time.  So the obvious question is was the cabin Ben took him to really Jacob’s or was it the Adversary who has now overtaken the Locke persona.  Which begs the question of why the circle of ash surrounding the cabin had been broken.  This is why the whole thing turns out to be really, really sad and screwed up, it might have been the Adversary who was pulling the strings this whole time: getting Locke to lead the Others, acting as the ghost of Christian Shephard to get him to get Ben to move the Island, again as Christian to get him to turn the wheel getting him off the Island telling him he had to be sacrificed, and having Richard go talk to the real time-traveling Locke and give him that compass and tell him he has to die to the Oceanic Six back to there just so he can achieve his loophole, its possible that he may be responsible for the reappearance of all of Locke’s visitors including Horace and Walt, and so on and so forth.[iv]  So maybe John’s destiny was never in his control and he was being manipulated by the Adversary to take part in his death-game against Jacob.  Shit if that is true this stuff is really twisted.  But then again it could have been Jacob talking about sacrifice after all, after his talk with Hurley it seems that he too can take other forms, Jacob knowing that the final outcome depends on the Adversary taking over Locke’s form.

And now it makes sense that Locke didn’t want to get his friends back … those aren’t his friends.  Now we get why Locke just up and stops giving a flying fart about wanting to get his friends that he died for back, those really aren’t his friends.  So with the Monster having already ensured that Ben do Locke’s bidding, confronting Jacob with a pathetic monologue that is basically summed up in his question “What about me?”  Jacob goes and gets himself killed with his poorly chosen answer of “What about you?”  And Ben stabs him to death more or less because he was pissed that Jacob had never talked to him, the Adversary having found his fucking loophole.  The silence when it comes to Ben thing though may not hold up if Jacob can take on other forms like his like counterpart.  In that case there are probably numerous instance of Jacob coming to Ben for a little chat, though the only one I can definitely remember was the one with his dead mom in season three.  In any case, the stabbing thing already happened last year when Ben’s rage got the best of him and killed Keamey.  Maybe Jacob knew Ben would act in the same way and blame him for the death of Alex making his death a sacrifice.

 But before he croaks, Jacob manages to squeak out “They are coming” before the Adversary humorously kicks the dying Jacob into the fire.  The comment though gets to the guy posing as Locke and he sort of freaks out (hence the kick into flames).  Ok, what the hell.  Several things to consider while waiting for season six, Lost’s endgame.  First off, I take this warning or whatever it was from Jacob to be pointing to the “coming war” that Widmore mentioned a while back in the season, and Jacob and the Adversary are stand ins for abstract concepts that favor/represent opposing ways of life and they are the warlords or gods or whatever who pull all the strings.  The they in the comment I believe refers to the team from the plane but it could refer to another as of yet unknown party since we really don’t know anything about these new Island dwellers, though you just know these newbies—Ilana, Bram, some other dude—are going to be of super significance, claiming to be “the good guys,” and all that. 

BTW, where does Widmore fit into all this if at all?  The whole Hanso Foundation, are they ever going to cover that?  For some reason I don’t think so.  And what of Ellie’s motives, what the hell are they exactly and whose side is she on?  Richard told Sun he saw them all die, so presumably they died back in 77’. However, Radzinsky survived the explosion and he was right there with likes of Sawyer and Jack and Kate having had his jeep fipped over in the electromagnetic pull.  Unless Kelvin Inmann is the most unreliable character ever, Radzinsky lived to save the world by pushing the buttons every 108 minutes.  Chang who I guess got a little farther away survived too albeit minus an arm. So what happened to Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Miles, Jin, Hurley, and Sayid? I don't think they died, but they are flashing in time again… Or maybe they are fine and Richard was referring to the purge as the time when he saw them die.  Thanks for the heads up btw Richard.  Perhaps it was the 77’ Seven Jacob was referring to when he said “they're coming.”  Whatever the case, there is no way the show can just allow them to reset everything with a whole season left, can they? As I gather, the final outcome of the show, which we will see in 2010—ugh, so far away—depends on whether or not one can change the past.  I guess we’ll see if the throw the bomb down the well thing makes it all go away or if they caused the incident.  Whatever happened as a result of the nuke exploding via rock pounding, Jack is going to be pretty disappointed I think.  Hopefully I won’t be though.

[i] Right now, I have this crazy notion that these two are Aaron and Charlie—Desmond and Penny’s boy—but this will likely change and is probably wrong since pretty much all of my theories have proved to be way off with a few notable exceptions.  I am more confident in the Aaron being Jacob part than in the Charlie thing, this basically resulting from the fact that he is close to Aaron and him being spawn of Widmore who may or may not be evil. It hurts my brain thinking about it too much.  I just want to go record if Aaron is actually Jacob or whatever.

[ii] After this encounter, I almost certain that Bernard and Rose are the Adam and Eve that the Losties found in the cave way back in season one, and they died during the purge when the Island was gassed and everyone not in a hazmat suite was killed.  They said that they had been dead for 40-50 years, however, everyone knows that hotter climates accelerates the decomposing process and would make the 25-30 years since the purge plausible for the date of death.

[iii] I assume they mean membership of the Others.

[iv] My theory is that this guy is actually the Monster, which we see can change forms like he seemed to when posing as Yemi just before the Monster killed Eko.  Also, the Locke/Adversary and the Monster are never at the same place at the same time.  Like, for instance, notice that when Ben goes into that little chamber to summon the Monster, the Locke form shows up but falls into the basement of The Temple Locke goes to find some rope and poof, the puff of smoke appears.  Then when it goes away after taking the form of dead daughter Alex telling him to do all that Locke says or get destroyed, which makes getting him to do the dirty deed of offing Jacob conveniently easy, Locke isn’t again seen with the rope he went to go find until the Monster is clear out of there.  Nor was the Locke figure around when Christian Shephard was instructing in the barracks.  I’m just saying, it all seems mighty suspicious. 

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