The following is a recap of the Lost Season 5 Finale, Episode 16 entitled â€œThe Incidentâ€, originally airing May 13, 2009. If you follow the show but haven’t seen the finale yet and you’re still checking BWE, we’re flattered, but you’re an idiot – Spoilertowne U.S.A. ahead.
IS THIS ONE BIG ANGELS AND DEMONS CROSS-PROMOTION?
“Jacob” is a transparently biblical name. Jacob wears white, his adversary wears black. Jacob believes in unobtrusive guidance; Guy In Black wants to kill him. Jacob has faith in the Black Rock visitors’ ability to “progress”; G.I.B. believes they’re hopeless and doomed. Jacob recommends Ajira Flight 316. Jacob wades deep into the water to catch a fish, calling to mind the visual of a baptism. Ben and The Others have taken orders from Jacob and attempted to carry out (or manipulate) his will based on conjecture, intuition, and faith, despite never actually seeing him. During Ben’s confrontation with Jacob, he mentions that he’s long desired a face-to-face meeting but was told to wait (for Heaven?) and even compares Locke to Moses, envious of his closeness to Jacob.
In short: The dude couldn’t be more God if he were ex-Providence basketball player God Shammgod.
Next question: So what is God doing with waves of island mortals? The simple answer (??) would be, Jacob and his scruffy adversary testing their disagreement by putting different groups of humans — probably not beginning with the Black Rock crew, but certainly involving them — through an island boot camp, observing their attempts to live and progress and to ultimately destroy themselves (like, say, by letting off a bomb or drilling into a mine of failure juice, like Radzinsky). Along the way, Jacob provides guidance, albeit through secondhand means or through the interpretations of a leader (perhaps Richard is a sort of clergy figure? All priests wear eyeliner, as do pirates), with the deceptive, disguised other guy — we’ll just call him “Mike Thedevil” — doing his best to tempt and confuse the human pawns. The cycle repeats itself again and again, like the spinning wheel that opened the episode HOLY CRAP SYMBOL SYMBOL THERE’S A SYMBOL RIGHT THERE EVERYONE — it also represents the circle of time that the islanders keep traveling along, and I fully expect them to wake up in 2004 when Season 6 starts (unless Abrams reads this recap, which I’m sure he does, gets intimidated, and changes the plot so they appear in like 1929.)
Ben is fulfilling the role of a sort of Job character, following the will of Jacob with complete faith despite never seeing him face to face, but (as Bizarro Locke points out) it’s only gotten him a dead daughter, failure with Juliet (more Ben’s own molestey fault than God’s), his humbling removal as Others’ leader, and the sh*t beat out of him every three episodes — when Bizarro Locke lays this information out for disillusioned Ben, he whines to Jacob like an abandoned teenager, and stabs him a bunch of times, just like Job stabs God in The Bible. Or it would be, if the Bible was awesomer.
If you dare doubt any aspect of this theory, I’ll clinch it for you right now: Jeff Fahey, aka Frank Lapidus, played a character named Jobe in The Lawnmower Man. God, set, and match. And time travel. And bombs. And impalement. Pretty sweet finale, all things considered – onto the rest…
JACOB’S LADDER (NOT A LADDER, BUT THAT’S THE LAZIEST PUN I COULD COME UP WITH BESIDES “JACOB AND THE FAT MAN” WHICH I’M NOW THINKING IS BETTER)
During his numerous flashbacks, an unaging, obviously clairvoyant Jacob…
1) Pays for Kate’s lunchbox (New Kids On The Block…OF TIME???)
2) Gives lil’ Sawyer a pen to write his adorable death threat.
3) Asks Sayid for directions just before his girlfriend is hit by a car (saving Sayid’s life? Bachelorizing Sayid so he can hook up with Ilana and get dragged to the island? Or was Nadia secretly eeeeeevil?)
4) Wishes Jin and Sun good luck at their wedding (in “excellent” Korean, just like God)
5) Waits for Hurley in a cab and straight-up tells him he’s not crazy and should return to the island, gives Jack his stuck vending machine treat, and…
6) Touches Locke’s shoulder after his paralyzing window-fall, seemingly rejuvenating him. In all, seems that Sayid and Locke got the sweetest plums, having their lives saved and all compared to Sawyer’s pen and Jack’s candy, but Jacob’s conscious presence in the lives of the future Oceanics followed a pattern; Jacob sums this up best in his seemingly innocuous line to Jack about the vending machine, “just needed a little push.” Indeed, Jacob’s mission is to guide the Oceanics without overtly intruding or making his presence known, just like, oh, I don’t know, GODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGODGOD.
Or maybe “just a little push” is a reference to the Billy Joel song “Captain Jack.” Crap, it’s probably that. Scrap the previous eleven paragraphs.
JACK VS. SAWYER = MEEE-YOW
It says something about the innate connection us dedicated Lost time-wasters fans have developed with the show that my immediate reaction to Sawyer’s line “well I guess there’s nothing I can say to change your mind” was to throw my hands up in anticipation for a punch. Another way of saying “innate connection,” for those of you too lazy to type it into an online thesaurus, is “Jacob-damn was that predictable,” but who’s counting? You can watch the Sawyer/Jack fight again here.
Juliet snaps on the sub, knocks out some Dharmas and gets herself, Sawyer, and Kate back to the island to stop Jack from blowing everything up / actually being involved in a plot and trying to act, but later interrupts Sawyer’s dominant fight over Jack and pleads with him not to interfere with the bomb detonation because she finally picked up on Sawyer’s 670,000 conspicuous looks at Kate and decides “or maybe we should blow everything up.” Who does she think she is, GEORGE W. BUSH am I right people oh snap I went there wooo satire I tell it like it is move over Doonesbury yeaaah baby yeaaaahhhh show me the money!
The islanders regroup and head for the Swan, arriving at the peak of Radzinsky’s “I’m an a-hole so I’m gonna demand we keep doing this and kill ourselves” plan (he’s from the Doctor Octopus Spider-Man 2 School of Villainy), and engage the Dharmas in a Western-shootout, with Sawyer eventually capturing Phil and allowing Jack to drop the bomb down the mineshaft unmolested. He prepares himself, he looks at Kate, then Sawyer looks at Juliet, then Sawyer looks at Kate, then Juliet looks at Jack, then Kate looks at Phil, then Chang looks at Sawyer, then Miles looks at Baby Charlotte, then Roger Linus looks at a cartoon raccoon that shrugs at the camera as if to say “these crazy people!”, then finally drops the bomb towards the electromagnetic energy center, but nothing happens. Nothing, until all metal starts flying down the shaft, impaling Phil with tuning forks and dragging Juliet to her apparent doom after one of the most intense “HOLD ON!” scenes this side of the Cliffhanger opening sequence (and the Good Son climax). Hurley then turns to the camera and says “Talk about a chain of fools!” in the version of the episode I directed in my mind.
At the very end of the episode, Juliet springs back to life — now looking like the example photo on a Halloween fake blood kit — and with her last ounce of strength, manages to detonate the bomb by hitting it with a rock (this is how all bombs are detonated, no exceptions). This causes the first-ever fade-to-WHITE “LOST” end titler. I would’ve bet money that the show was gonna end with the first minute after the explosion, showing us something super-cryptic before cutting off for the season, but they didn’t even give us that; I say they all wake up in Bizarro Locke’s time, but with their prior knowledge intact and Jacob still dead. I can’t imagine everything will have been undone, it’d be a total waste of five seasons, but I definitely see the series ending on more of an “everything coming back together” note than a “one final weird ending twist” note. We’ll see (in a damn year).
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, ROSE & BERNARD
Finally, the answer to about 12 commenters’ queries per week: Rose and Bernard are alive and “retired.” They’ve been living in intentional isolation in a shack by the beach, hoarding food, dodging Jin’s “sector sweeps,” and deliberately avoiding being pulled back into the ongoing problems of Sawyer and the other Dharma impostors. For all the crap we gave the producers every week for conveniently ignoring these two, this eventual resolution, however last-minute, actually makes a great deal of sense, and wrapped up their subplot more satisfactorily that I would’ve expected from seven-second out-of-nowhere scene.
As a reward from the producers for making it through the season without complaining about screentime, playoff-bearded Bernard even got to say his very own “son of a bitch!” line.
LOSTDS AND ENDS
— I imagine Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse argued for months like kids with a lemonade stand about who got their name first in the writing credits, and came up with this compromise:
— Funniest moment of the episode? Jack getting hit in the head with a magnetic box of tools. Hahaha…hit in the head with a magnetic box of tools. I’m still laughing! Someone please submit that two seconds for Best Comedy Series Emmy consideration.
– What’s the relationship between Jacob and Ilana? Jacob remains anonymous when he appears to the rest of the Oceanics, but he consciously recruits bandaged Ilana and she appears to know who he is. Her too-late arrival at the statue foot with the body of Locke appears to be Jacob’s last-ditch effort to warn people about Mike Thedevil (personally, I assumed the diamonds from Reservoir Dogs were in the case, but my film professor disagrees), also indicating that Locke’s death was the “loophole” Devil was looking for. What makes Ilana so special? How does Devil assume the physical body of Locke even though Locke’s corpse is still there and still dead?
— Flannery O’Connor: Everything That Rises Must Converge. Didn’t manage to read this book last night in anticipation of the recap (sorry, sorry) but if it’s about things rising and converging, that seems significant. Suck on that dynamite analysis, Doc Jensen. Or should I say, DUCK Jensen. I said you are like a duck!
— Another theory, proposed by a friend: what if Jacob ISN’T the good one? What if the white and niceness were in place to throw us off, like how 24 always has one character act overtly shady but it turns out he was nice and the other character was behind it the whole time? Doesn’t really make total sense plot-wise, but Jacob was semi-responsible for a lot of bad outcomes (tons of deaths, broken hearts, etc.) but so is God, so that doesn’t disprove anything.
— Jacob and Mike Thedevil have been crashing things into the island for a very long time:
— Episode codename, “The Fork In The Outlet”? Prrrrobably refers to the huge explosion that ends everything. This is the only thing the Recap I’m confident about (ooops, keep forgetting not to let the readers know I’m completely full of sh*t when it comes to Lost or anything else…better say something smart quick…) “John Locke” is the name of a philosopher.
— And finally, in the “Next Season On Lost” teaser, the spoiler to end all spoilers:
THERE’S AN EYE IN SEASON 6!!!!!!!!!
Whose eye do you think it is???? God???????? The Devil?????????????? I’m gonna go out on a limb and sayyyyyyyyyyyy…Locke’s Body. Because everything turns out to be Locke’s body. In fact, the whole show is taking place inside Locke’s body. Hate to spoil that for all of you, but I’m positive — I saw the final script, and the last shot of the series is Locke’s body. The episode is called “Locke’s Body” and the script itself is shaped like Locke’s body.
Just try to act surprised when it happens.
Finale thoughts, theories, predictions, favorite/least favorite parts, Rose/Bernard love, and anything else Lost-related — leave ‘em in the comments. This is your last chance until 2010, and who knows, the internet may not even exist then.