LOST Recap: Season 5 Finale: “The Incident, Part 1”

16 05 2009

Hi everyone!  Thanks for waiting it out and stopping by for my recap.  Right off the bat though, I want to let you know that I have a lot to share here, so I’m going to break this thing up into 2, maybe 3 parts.  I’ll be sharing part 1 with you today, and spreading the rest out in daily increments.  After all, there’s no rush, right?  The next season is over 8 months away…

So wow, was that finale amazing, or what?  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was thoroughly impressed with and satisfied by this season’s finale.  It’s hard to top Season 3’s excitement and amazing twist at the end, but Season 5’s last episode comes in a very close second.

But what differentiates the two episodes for me is just how much we were given in this one.  To me, it’s as if the first 4 seasons and 15 episodes have shown us pieces to a puzzle in various segments, scattered somewhat haphazardly.  In the finale, the pieces seemed to move next to their rightful spots in the overall mosaic.  The little glimpses here and there have given way to the grand spectacle of what this entire story has been about all along.  And amazingly, it started with the very first scene…

“You’re trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?”

Jacobintheflesh

Fascinating first scene of the finale.  How many of you expected to get introduced to Jacob so soon?  Brilliant set-up though, as we needed to meet these characters right from the beginning of the episode in order to fully understand the magnitude of what happens at the end.  I have so much to say about this scene, the discourse between the two characters, and what it all means, but it makes a ton more sense when given some of the events of the finale in retrospect.  So I ask you to bear with me as I quickly skip over that first scene until much later in this recap.

Statue

The one thing I *do* want to talk about in this scene, however, is the statue.  Typically, I’m not one to get deep into the meaning of the hieroglyphics in the show, or to try to decipher what all of the not-so-subtlely dropped literary works mean.  But this statue has become a great point of focus of the show in many aspects, so I feel compelled to give my best guess.  In any event, this is clearly the best glimpse we’ve had of it so far, but it certainly is not a foregone conclusion as to what it is.  However, our new view allows us to mostly eliminate the possibilities of Anubis or Tawaret.  In my mind, it narrows the focus down to two choices: one of which is Sobek.

sobek

On first glance, the face of the statue (at least as best as we can see it) looks more like a crocodile than anything else.  That would seem to indicate that it’s Sobek, who in egyptian mythology is credited with creating the world from out of the water.  However, I’m not going to completely rule out Set at this point, who is known as the god of chaos.

set

I’m certainly no expert in Egyptian mythology, but I believe that either god will make sense in the grand scheme of things.  However, the fact that we’re still not 100% sure leaves the door open to also not being 100% sure about exactly what the two characters in the opening scene are up to…something I’ll touch on in greater detail later on.

“You’re not going to steal anymore, are you?”

JacobandKate

So, not only do we get to finally get to see Jacob in the very first scene of the finale, but he manages to pop up once again in the scene right back from commerical!  Very cool to see him playing an incredibly small role in each of the LOSTies lives, starting here with Kate.  The key thing to notice (if you haven’t already) is that he comes in physical contact with each and every one of them.  With Kate, he taps her on the nose and tells her to “be good”.  What could all of this mean?  Well, let’s look at what happens in each of the other encounters before we venture a guess.

“I came to this island to change the world Pierre, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do!”

Interesting words coming from Radzinsky, who we all know (or at least were told) doesn’t survive his time pushing the button in the hatch.  But really, when you think about it, he may do exactly what he set out to do, but just didn’t realize it.  If Ms. Hawking was correct in stating that Desmond needed to push the button in order to save the world, then Radzinsky drilling into that electromagnetic pocket was indeed an action of great importance.

“I’m this way because of Jacob.”

Interesting dialog here between Richard and “John Locke”.  Clearly, “Locke” doesn’t want to give up any of his secrets, even though Richard allows a bit of insight into his.  For what reason, we don’t know, but Richard was granted his status and longevity thanks to Jacob.  This tells us two things: one, that Jacob indeed has the ability to change the human condition in some way, and two, that he saw Richard as a meaningful or trustworthy enough man to grant him his ageless status.  I’m sure we’ll get the rest of that story next season.

But one thing I want to point out here based upon the final events of the episode (and the events leading up to it as well, really): nothing that “John Locke” says can be taken at face value.  He’s an even more accomplished liar than Ben, probably because he’s been doing it longer.  We simply cannot trust anything said or done by that man since the Ajira flight landed on Hydra Island.  Of course, there may be some exceptions.  For example, you certainly believed him when he said he wanted to kill Jacob.  And when he says he wants to “take care of” the people on the Ajira flight, you know he means business there as well.

“What, you think he’s a candidate?”

Well, I sure hope so.  I’d love to see good ol’ Frank get a chance to do something cool to be a part of the proceedings in the final season.  The thing I’m most curious about though, is how one gets to be a candidate, and how you go from being a candidate to being part of the team.  Let’s hope we get some answers there next season. 

“Need a pen, son?”

Sawyergetsapen

Two things to notice about this scene: first, this time Jacob goes out of his way to apologize to Sawyer for his loss.  It’s the first time that he shows empathy to our characters, and it endears us to him.  But be careful about going too far with that feeling, as I think it may lead you to draw some conclusions that may not necessarily be the case.  But more on that later.

The other thing to notice is that Jacob is not directly forcing or encouraging any actions.  He first asked Kate whether or not she was going to steal anymore, and then follows that up by aksing Sawyer if he needs a pen.  While he’s changing circumstances by buying the NKOTB lunchbox and providing a pen, he’s not looking for any specific action from Kate or Sawyer.  This is an interesting point to keep in mind.

“I made a choice and I’m sticking to it.  I decided to leave, and I’m leaving.”

I didn’t notice this exact line when I first watched the episode, and I find it almost humorous in retrospect.  In reality, this is the first of many times that Sawyer and Juliet change their mind about what they want to do.  In fact, it’s an incredibly overwhelming theme throughout the entire episode.  And I think that it actually goes even further than that.  But rather than spoil myself so soon, let me just make sure you notice: Sawyer and Juliet have changed their mind in the episode for the first time about one-sixth of the way through the episode.  I’ll kep track of the rest of them as we go.

“I’ve gone off the island 3 times since then, 2 to see him…”

Alright, so we’ve seen the 2 times Richard’s left the island to visit Locke.  Once immediately after he was born in the hospital.  And then again to give him the “Dalai Lama” test to see if he was ready to be the leader of the Others.  Richard’s third trip off-island is still unknown, but keep that in the back of your mind as we go into the final season.  I’m sure it’ll end up being important.

One other really key thing to notice in this scene that could have possibly gone unnoticed…Richard says to Jack, “He (referring to Locke) never seemed particularly special to me.”  Jack retorts, “If I were you, I wouldn’t give up on him.”  Really, you could see this in one of two ways: First, you could buy into what Richard is saying, and couple it with the end of the episode.  Locke was never special…he was never going to be the leader of the Others.  He’s dead, never was resurrected, and an apparently evil force has become his doppleganger in an attempt to follow through with a plan for murder.

But for you Locke fans, let me give you a ray of hope.  The story of LOST is as much Jack’s as anyone else’s, and if he says that we shouldn’t give up on him, then we just might get ourselves a surprise next season.  There’s also a very interesting scene later in the episode that might show a feasible way for Locke to be Locke again, but I’ll touch on that a little later on.

By the way, let me just say that nothing that has happened in these last few episodes that has tempered how fascinated I am with the Richard Alpert character.  Based upon the events in the last few scenes, as well as everything about Richard that has led up to the finale, I *really* hope that Nestor Carbonell gets picked up as a regular for the final season, and that we get to see him in every episode.  I love his understated delivery and the way he gives his character an enigmatic sense.  Please bring him back full-time next year Team Darlton!

“I started thinking differently about things when my dead daughter threatened to destroy me if I didn’t do everything you said.”

Huge, huge, huge piece of information here in just a little bit of dialog.  Ben shares his experience with “Locke”, but “Locke” seems truly puzzled by the encounter.  Normally, we might second-guess the trustworthiness of Ben, but we saw it happen, so we know it’s true.  Again, I feel as though there are 2 distinct possibilities for this response.  First, “Locke” could still be playing with Ben.  Ben doesn’t know that Locke is “Locke”, (neither do we at this point), so it’s certainly possible that he’s just playing along.  “Oh yeah, I didn’t know that…tell me all about your encounter with the Smoke Monster”…wink, wink…nudge, nudge.  That could certainly be it.

However, there is another option.  “Locke” could actually be surprised by Ben’s info.  What would that mean?  Well, for starters, it would mean that he’s NOT the smoke monster incarnate.  That his disappearance when Ben met Smokey was either coincidence (doubt it), or has more to it than just “Locke is the Smoke Monster”.  And I’m led to think that’s exactly the case.  And more than that, I have a theory as to why.  But as you might expect, I’m not quite ready to share that with you yet.  Let me give you a few more pieces before I spell it out for you directly a bit later on.

“I’m sorry, I think I’m lost…are you from Los Angeles?”

JacobandSayid

Although it’s probably the most disturbing Jacob flashback, I found it to be the most interesting.  Let me explain why with a question: what did you think when you first saw the scene with Sayid and Nadia?  I ask because when I first saw it, I interpreted it as Jacob saving Sayid from the murder attempt he knew was coming.  But surprisingly, at my LOST party (thanks again to everyone who came up, it was a blast!), there were folks that immediately interpreted it as Jacob killing Nadia.  So why do I find that so fascinating?  Because it’s that very uncertainty that helps to further my theory on what’s going on between Jacob and Man #2/”John Locke”.  Just to reinforce things, note that Jacob again comes in physical contact with Sayid, but again asks a question of him, and does not try to elicit a specific action from him.  Sorry to keep stringing you along on what my grand theory is, but I’m building a case here, and I want to show you all of the evidence first.  I promise I’ll spell it out at the end.

“It’s one of the Dharma houses.  I’ll go first.”

Well now, Dharmaville is just the hub of all things supernatural now, isn’t it?  While we knew that the Smoke Monster summoner was right under the Barracks, I didn’t think that The Tunnels were as well.  While we’re on the subject, note that despite all of the revelations we got in this episode, we never did see the Temple proper.  I’m sure we’re still in for a pretty big surprise when that place finally gets revealed…

“You’re the son of a bitch who shot my kid!”

Jackfiring

Just when it looks like Sayid & Jack are going to make their escape, Ben’s dad Roger has to come out and spoil everything.  And he doesn’t waste any time either, getting a solid shot into Sayid’s gut.  Amazingly, Jack goes absolutely bonkers.  The only man Jack has shown to have killed in the entire run of the show was way back when he put the FBI marshall Edward Mars out of his misery.  And obviously, that could be argued as an attempt to “fix” something.  In any event, Jack throws caution to the wind after Sayid is show, firing on pretty much anything moving so that he can escape with his precious cargo.  In a way, you almost feel as though he’s more pissed about the chance that his h-bomb is going to get shot than he is about Sayid taking a bullet.  Regardless, he buys them both enough time to be rescued by Hurley, Miles, and Jin.

“I got no idea where the hell we are…”

Bernardwithbeard

As if it wasn’t enough to get so many of the answers we really wanted in this episode, we also get some of the answers that were a little further down our list.  Yep, it was nice to get to see Vincent again, and Rose and Bernard provided some great comic relief to an otherwise tension-filled episode.  On top of that, I expect that the writers are giving us a bit of foreshadowing with Bernard’s line, “So we die…we just care about being togther.  That’s all that matters in the end.”  I don’t imagine we’ll see a whole lot more of those two next season…until we learn that they’re Adam and Eve in the caves.

“We need to show it to somebody…so they’ll know who they’re up against.”

At the time, this line seemed incredibly cryptic.  But after seeing Locke in the box, we know now that the “Shadow people” are indeed trying to help out the Others in the upcoming war.  We’ve pretty much determined the fact now that there are only two sides, and not multiple factions, and that the whole Ben vs. Widmore thing had almost nothing to do with the real battle at hand.  In fact, did you even miss Widmore in this episode?  If I had mentioned to you prior to the finale that he wouldn’t be in it and that you wouldn’t care, would you have believed me?

One other thing about “sides”…Frank notes that the folks who go out of their way to tell you that they’re the good guys are often the bad guys…after the events in the episode, it’s important to keep that in mind.

“Will you help me Ilana?”

JacobvisitsIlana

This is the only flashback of the episode not to one of our LOSTies, but instead to someone we just met this season.  Additionally, this is the only person that he directly asks for help from, and isn’t explicit in giving them a choice.  In the end, however, it still is a question he asks, despite how much it appears he needs her help.  Finally, one last thing to notice is that he doesn’t make physical contact with her.  My initial guess on why is because he doesn’t need to…

“Look at the ash!”

The visit to Jacob’s old cabin was quite fascinating.  The place is in complete disarray…perhaps from when John dropped the lamp way back in Season 3?  Something tells me that it’s more than that.  What’s even more interesting is that Ilana is able to determine that Jacob hasn’t been there in awhile, and that someone else has “been using” the cabin.  Two really important things to take out of that.  One, and probably most obviously, is that the entity that we thought we were introduced to way back in Season 3…the one we thought was Jacob…was not Jacob at all.  The most obvious choice as to who it really was is “John Locke”.  That could also go a long way towards explaining the break in the ash.  But I’ll expand on that further a bit later.

jacobsburningcabin

The other thing to note, however, is almost lost when you have that “wow” moment of realizing we’ve never met Jacob before now.  But it’s important to process.  And that’s the idea that the cabin is being used.  And I don’t necessarily mean as a home.  The fact that Ilana and her people burn the cabin is a testament to the idea that the cabin is in fact some sort of tool to be wielded with purpose.  But what for?  I’ll get to that later as well.

“I guess we know where we’re goin’…”

clothincabin

The cloth that Ilana pulls from the cabin gives us all a pretty good idea of where they’re going, and in fact, appears to show us a bit more of the statue.  Sure looks like Sobek there, doesn’t it?

“Don’t worry, everything’s gonna be alright.”

JacobrevivesLocke

While this is the shortest and apparently least informative of the Jacob flashbacks, it doesn tell me one thing: Jacob has some measure of healing power.  We know that he can make Richard ageless, and he appears to revive Locke from his fall.  The question is, did he simply revive him from unconsciousness, or could it be that he was actually dead and Jacob brought him back to life?  More importantly, think about this in terms of what happened at the end of the episode.  Is there still a chance for the Locke we know to return?

“Locke” plants the seed

Before I get into the details of the conversation, I think it’s important to note something about “Locke”‘s memory.  He clearly can recall his time in the hatch with Ben, even though we know that’s not the real Locke.  So his ability is not specifically confined to possession…there is clearly something more going on.

But really, the best part of the scene is “Locke”‘s dead-on recap of Ben’s woes, and all of the horrible things that have happened to him.  As I discussed in an earlier post when recapping young Ben getting shot, the character of Benjamin Linus is a  tragic one indeed.  And if this conversation has been carefully constructed through pureposeful previous actions, then it becomes even more sad than ever.  Ben’s been dealt a bad hand, and “John Locke” is happy to help him stand back and realize it.  My question to you might be…do you think “Locke” had anything to do with actually dealing it?

Sun finds Charlie’s ring

Wow, this was a really cool part of the episode.  It would have been easy to think that it was lost forever, but I’m glad that won’t be the case.  Now, when Sun meets up with Claire next season, she can pass it on…

Jacob finally makes a request

JacobJinSun

In Sun’s flashback (with Jin), Jacob finally makes a request of our LOSTies, and that’s for Jin and Sun to never take their love for granted.  Which, of course, we know they do.  If you’re following closely, a pattern is starting to emerge.  First, Jacob recommends that Kate avoids stealing, which she doesn’t.  Then, he provides a pen to Sawyer to write his note, even though his relative suggests otherwise.  Now, he’s asking Jin & Sun to cherish each other, which they fail to do.  Coincidence?  I’ll give you my take later.

And that pretty much ends the first half of the episode!  The bomb’s trip to the Swan gets a little side-tracked thanks to Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate, but I’ll get into the details of that in my next post.  This one is already about 50% larger than my usual entries, so I want to stop things here for now.  I’ll be back tomorrow with my analysis of the second half of the show, and more importantly, what I think it all means, and what we can expect in the show’s final season.

Thanks again for stopping by!

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8 responses

17 05 2009
jakjonsun

Awesome blog, I still think the statue could be Tawaret though. check out my theory jakjonsun.wordpress.com

17 05 2009
Brad

Very well articulated, Pablo, you certainly do it justice. I’ll just babble randomly my thoughts, so here goes…
– Now that Jacob has endowed the Fantastic Six with the Power Cosmic, I wouldn’t be surprised if Locke sprang back to life shortly after being dumped on the beach. (Does this mean Terry O’Quinn could win TWO emmies at the same time next season??)
– Richard’s comment about going off-island 3 times–wasn’t the third time “Not in Portland” where he recruits Juliet?
– The statue: Jakjonsun’s got a point; at the very least, the headpiece is definitely more Taweret than Sobek, but the rest is more Sobek (doesn’t look like a female hippo from this angle!) So my guess is that it is a combination of the two, as to include fertility with repairing evil.
– Anti-Locke: I know you didn’t discuss this yet, but I’ll throw my $0.02 in and predict that the man-in-black underwent multiple reconstructive surgeries to become the doppelganger, instead of conjuring or possessing or cloning Locke’s body. Yes, it’s mundane, but that’s Occam for you. I’m just thinking that he could have don’t his research in order to find out all the things he knows about Locke. After all, this guy is Jacob’s nemesis, so he is probably somewhere near-par with Jacob’s abilities.

Favorite line from the episode? Bernard’s reaction upon seeing Sawyer & crew!

And lastly, great vidcap of Jack’s muzzle flash! With 80,000 frames of video per episode, it’s gotta be hard picking the best ones for the blog.

17 05 2009
hablodepablo

Much more to come on the finale, but I wanted to reply to a couple of your observations really quick.

Richard’s comment about being off-island 3 times comes in 1977. He recruited Juliet circa 2004. He still has an off-island trip unaccounted for between 1954 and 1977.

As far as the Sobek/Tawaret/Set discussion, I’ll freely admit that I’m no expert in Egyptian gods. But in addition to the visual evidence, I’m trying to make logical sense out of who it might be…especially considering Jacob makes his home out of the base. Tawaret just doesn’t make a ton of sense to me…but that doesn’t mean that can’t be the case!

I’m reserving my commentary on “John Locke” for later, but that’s an interesting theory! Reconstructive surgery, nice!

21 05 2009
Happymon77

It’s really a good theory too.
hope you know that there’re a lot of people enjoying your website in Korea.

21 05 2009
hablodepablo

Thanks a bunch Happy! I actually have noticed the extra traffic from Korea, and it’s been a truly pleasant surprise! To me, that’s why I do the blog. If sharing my insights can provide even one LOST fan a little bit more enjoyment of the show, or help them to think about things differently, then it makes it all worthwhile. I hope you continue to stop by and share a theory or two of your own!

22 09 2009
pau

Richard “I’ve gone off the island 3 times since then, 2 to see him…”

Alright, so we’ve seen the 2 times Richard’s left the island to visit Locke. Once immediately after he was born in the hospital. And then again to give him the “Dalai Lama” test to see if he was ready to be the leader of the Others. Richard’s third trip off-island is still unknown, but keep that in the back of your mind as we go into the final season. I’m sure it’ll end up being important.

The third time Richard’s left the island was to visit Juliet and take her to the island. I don’t remeber the episode, but Richard talks with Juliet about a false project to investigate about her science tihings in the island.

22 09 2009
hablodepablo

Hi pau,

Thanks for the comment! The thing to keep in mind about this scene is when it was said. Richard says this to Jack back in 1977, about 25 years before he makes the trip to visit Juliet. So he wouldn’t have made that particular jaunt prior to his conversation, and it wouldn’t count for his 3 trips off-island up to that point. It’s possible that it could be an oversight by the writers, but I prefer to think that they had the timeline worked out, and are dropping a clue about what’s to come in the final season.

22 09 2009
El blog d’en Peixe » Arxiu » Teories pròpies sobre Lost (I)

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