LOST Recap: Season 5 finale: “The Incident, Part 2”

17 05 2009

Just in case you’re hitting the site for the first time here, please make sure you check out the recap for the first half of the finale here before reading through this entry.  It makes much more sense when it’s read in order.  That being said, let’s jump right in to the second hour of the finale!

“Close your eyes, count to 5, and then fix her Jack.”

Not sure about the rest of you, but when this scene was first described to us way back in the first season, I didn’t envision it with Jack’s dad being there, and giving him the suggestion of counting to 5 to get past his fear.  To me, it loses a but of its impact knowing that Jack wasn’t his own calming influence, but instead, his father needed to be there in order for him to gain control of his emotions.


Of course, the bigger news of this scene is Jack’s encounter with Jacob.  No major change to the pattern here though.  Jacob asks a question, comes in physical contact with Jack, and goes about his business.  The one thing “missing”, is Jacob encouraging Jack to perform any actions, or to steer him on the right course (as it seems he has done with the other LOSTies).  Nope, this time, all Jacob does is say, “I guess it just needed a little push”…

“5 minutes, that’s all…say what I gotta say, then you can do whatever the hell you want to.”

The conversation between Jack and Sawyer is pretty fascinating to me, not for what answers it gives related to the mythology, but more because it shows just how truly confused Jack is.  He’s so desperate for a purpose now that he’s simply creating one because the situation feels right.  Sawyer thinks Jack wants to set off the bomb to “fix” something that has happened.  That certainly would make some measure of sense, assuming it was a big enough problem.  But no…that’s not it at all.  Jack wants to hit the reset button only because it’s his destiny.  He was meant to do it, so he’s going to do it…the “why” doesn’t matter.  Of course, when Sawyer calls bull on that line of reasoning, Jack spits back a line that leaves pretty much all of us incredulous: “I had her, but I lost her.”

Whaaaaat?  Really?  You’re that fired up about detonating a hydrogen bomb that will likely kill everyone…for Kate?  Even though you could get her back simply by talking to her and working things out in the present?  Honestly, I don’t know what the real reason is for Jack to set off the bomb, and I think he doesn’t know either.  In fact, I think that’s the message the writers are trying to send to us.  Jack is completely conflicted at this point, and he actually is having a really hard time justifying any of his actions.

And of course, it’s just that complete lack of logic that compels Sawyer to try to resolve the matter with fisticuffs.  The battle carries on for several seconds, and is actually more even that I thought it might be.  Jack appears to get the upper hand for a second, until Sawyer plays dirty with a kick to the groin and takes control.  He’s about to pummel Jack into unconsciousness until amazingly…Juliet flip-flops.  Again.


So count this as time number 2.  Juliet originally wanted to take the sub out and try to have a real-world life with Sawyer.  But, for some reason, she thought she made a mistake and wanted to go back and help stop Jack.  Now, she’s thinking that perhaps she goofed again and wants to go ahead and let him erase the past.

“No stupid, they’re getting a divorce”

Two things to note about Juliet’s flashback.  First, and probably most obvious, is that it’s the only flashback of the episode that doesn’t include Jacob.  Based upon the events of the finale, that’s probably not a very good sign.  Second, and perhaps a bit more subtle, is the line delivered by Juliet’s mother.  “Just because two people love each other, doesn’t always mean that they’re supposed to be together.”  The thought that people are “supposed to” do something makes a very strong implication about fate, something I think is key to this entire episode, and may end up explaining why Jacob was not in this scene.

“If I never meet you, then I never have to lose you.”

Well, at least Juliet’s reasoning makes a ton more sense than Jack’s does.  And it’s for that reason that makes Juliet’s demise at the end of the show that much more tragic.  But more on that later.

“One wallet, 227 dollars cash, one ball-point pen, one fruit roll-up”


The longest of the Jacob flashbacks belongs to Hurley, and I believe that it’s also the most recent in relative time for all of the LOSTies.  In any event, the conversation is almost as if Hurley is getting a visit from a psychiatrist.  Almost everything that Jacob says to Hurley is in question form, or a statement that attempts to get him to think about his circumstances.  The only solid opinion that Jacob gives to Hurley is that he’s not crazy.  And then he leaves with him a choice…he can get on the Ajira flight…or not.  Again, he makes physical contact with Hurley, and then leaves…giving Hurley the option to decide what to do next.

“Nothing can save me.”

While on the face of it, it sure seems like Sayid’s comment is about whether or not he’s going to make it to next season, but I think there’s more to it than that.  In fact, I think Sayid’s comment is much more about where he is in his own head than about his mortality.  Sayid has come to grips with the fact that he has done some horrible things, and has not had the chance to atone for it.  He considers himself a “bad” person, and thinks that even if he had the opportunity to change, he wouldn’t.  I haved a feeling that Sayid’s going to surprise us all starting in January 2010…

“Only our leader can request an audience with Jacob, and there can only be one leader on the island at a time.”

Regardless of what “John Locke” says, I don’t think these rules are arbitrary.  I think there’s a specific reason why Jacob only allows one person to visit him at a time, and it ties in with my general theory of what’s going between he and “John Locke”.  I know, I know.  You want to know already!  That is, if you haven’t already guessed where I’m going with it.  But be patient, my big reveal is just around the corner…

“Has it occurred to any of you that your buddy is actually going to cause the thing he says he’s trying to prevent?”

Ah, you’ve got to love Miles.  Always trying to lend credence to the Whatever Happened, Happened motto.  Well, as most most of you know, I’ve been firmly in that camp from the beginning.  So, did the events of the finale cause me to reconsider?  How about absolutely, positively, NOT.  And in just a bit, I’ll explain how the events of the finale can still fit in to that rationale.  (But at the same time, I’ll admit that I could certainly be wrong…)

“Good for you, you got here fast.”

I really love how the writers are able to build a scene to such dramatic tension, and then just let it play out with pretty much zero dialog.  Another awesome gunfight, and way cool that the rest of the LOSTies didn’t leave Jack hanging.  But the really important point to take out of this is that Juliet (and the other LOSTies) change their mind yet again.  This actually marks the third time that Juliet flip-flops in the episode.  The rapidly changing events surrounding her really are messing with her convictions, aren’t they?


But I think what I loved the most about this entire scene is the sense of anticipation (or perhaps dread?) that is written all over the LOSTies faces when the bomb falls down the shaft.  Maybe it was because I had the very same emotion when Jack dropped the bomb in hopes of detonating it.  In any event, it really seemed to capture the moment incredibly well.

Of course, that was just the beginning.  The bad-assery jumps to a completely different level after the bomb *doesn’t* detonate.  It’s like the end of Season 2 all over again, as the electromagnetic anomaly starts pulling anything and everything electromagnetic into it, causing mass destruction, and at least one gruesome death.  And, as you know, it brings about the demise of Juliet.  Her character was truly tragic, as all she seemed to want to do was to help others as a doctor and a friend, and in this case, it ends up costing her her life.

But what struck me even more as I watched the scene was how much I finally came to enjoy Elizabeth Mitchell’s acting performance.  I think I’ve mentioned this before in a previous entry, but I really didn’t like her character early on.  And I found myself contributing that mostly to her acting.  But this whole season, she’s been nailing it, and the finale was no different.  If this was indeed her last moments on the show, then I’m certainly pretty bummed about it.  It felt like she was just now hitting her stride with her character, and now she’s headed elsewhere.  If nothing else, she’s got me interested in checking out her role in the new “V” remake.  Here’s hoping that she’ll be back in some way during next year’s final season.

“Which one of you is Ricardos?”


Alright, so I should have seen this coming a mile away.  Especially since I predicted long ago that “John Locke” was not really John Locke.  But I was as stunned as anyone when they opened the crate, and out came John Locke’s dead body, just as it was at the end of last season.  No, John Locke has not been resurrected.  No John Locke is not the man so in tune with the island.  In fact, John Locke has been dead since Ben strangled him just before the Ajira flight left LA.  Crazy stuff.  But then, as Sun asks, who *is* the man in Jacob’s hangout?  Yeah, it’s Man #2, and he’s got a surprise for Jacob, one that he’s been waiting to deliver for a long, long time.

But before I get there, let me just comment on what was in the shadow of the statue.  For those of you that haven’t done the translation yet (are there even any of you out there?), Richard says, “He who shall save us all.”  Clearly these shadow folk are in Jacob’s camp, and are ready to do battle with Man #2.

“You found your loophole…”

“And you have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here.”  Ah, but I think he does, “John”.  However, it was a very cool series of events you put into play to make this happen though.  So let’s take a little trip down memory lane and see just what you did to get there.  First, let’s go all the way back to Season 1.


As far back as the pilot, we have been given hints surrounding the concept of a larger game at work.  In the second half of the pilot, Locke teaches the game of backgammon to Walt, and describes it as “two players, two sides.  One is light, one is dark.”  Marry that scene with the one we got at the beginning of the finale.  Jacob is clearly wearing white, while Man #2 is wearing black.  Now add the line given by Man #2 to Jacob: “You’re trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?”

I fully believe that these two are playing a high stakes game of some sort to try to prove that one or the other is correct.  Many of you have probably already deduced this.  But much of what I’ve seen on this gets into the discussion of good versus evil.  Personally,  I’m not ready to buy into that, unless perhaps, it’s taken in a less that absolute way.  Instead, I actually think it’s a battle of fate versus free will.

About 2 months ago, I told my wife that I thought I had finally figured out what LOST’s endgame was.  I thought that Jack would end up detonating the bomb, but simply cause the Incident that he was trying so hard to prevent.  And at that point, he would come to believe that nothing he could do would change the course of events for him.  He’d give up his free will and believe that he was fated to do whatever actions he would take, and essentially stop trying.

While in principal I still believe that this is going to happen (more on that shortly), I think that the writers are actually going to take it to another level.  We’re going to be shown that everything that has gone on in island events has been part of this “game” that Jacob and Man #2 have been playing, with Jacob trying to prove that mankind is not “fated” for anything specific, whereas Man #2 is attempting to prove that mankind is fated to cause their own demise.

The events that we’re shown in Jacob’s flashbacks (and in his final scene) all point to him trying to prove the free will axiom.  Sure, he seems to have some supernatural abilities (like reviving Locke and giving agelessness to Richard), but at no time does he force the action.  He always gives the people he interacts with the chance to do what they want.  He wants to show that everyone had the opportunity to make their own choice, regardless of what that choice is.  Kate had a choice to stop stealing, but she does not.  Sawyer had a choice to stop writing the letter, but he did not.  Jin and Sun had a choice to not take each other for granted, but they did not.  Even Ben had a choice to not kill Jacob, but he did not.  In fact, in Jacob’s final scene, he almost has a knowledge of what Ben is going to attempt to do.  He is the one that walks up to Ben, not the other way around.  And he does absolutely nothing to try to stop Ben from stabbing him…in fact, you could almost say that he egged him on.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that all of this is due to Jacob wanting to prove that despite the shortcomings of individuals at times, he believes that they can learn and grow from those choices (“It only ends once.  Anything that happens before that is just progress.”)  He believes that free will is the eventual champion, and that mankind is not limited as to what it can become.  Man #2, however, is playing the game for fate’s side.  He believes that mankind is destined for their own downfall (“They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt.  It always ends the same.”) 

But what are the “rules” of this game?  Well, that’s something I don’t think we have enough information on, but I do think that some of them have been shown to us.  The first one, for example, seems to be that either of these two can take the place of the dead…but only if they died on the island, or if their corpse was brought to the island.  Let me give you some examples.

First, I think that the initial visit of “Christian Shephard” to Jack was actually Jacob using Christian to speak to Jack.  In fact, I think that the majority (if not all) of the visits from Christian have been via Jacob, and not Man #2.  However, I also believe that Man #2 has this same ability, at least since the ash line was disrupted.  Allowing myself to sidetrack for just a moment, let me say that I think that someone (maybe even Jacob himself) managed to keep Man #2 stuck inside the cabin area inside the ash, thus negating his ability to use the powers of the island to do his bidding.  But since the ash was broken, he has been able to manipulate the pieces of the island as much as Jacob.

But what I also think is a “rule” of the game is that neither side can kill each other directly.  And with Jacob staying in his hangout, and only allowing one leader into his abode at a time (and theoretically one of his choosing), he’d never have to be concerned if someone was going to try to kill him.  Thus, Man #2 needed someone to do the dirty work for him.  And thus the story of our LOSTies.  Man #2 likely granted Locke the ability to walk so that he would perceive the “island” as a mystical place, and be willing to do whatever it asked of him.  In fact, it’s highly likely that everything that Locke experienced since he came to the island was to convince him that he should do *whatever* the island asked of him, regardless of what it was…including having to die.

At the same time, Man #2 set a plan in motion to give Locke the leadership of the Others at some point in the future.  He showed Locke’s ability to get in tune with the island to all of the people that mattered.  Additionally, he allowed Locke to jump through time to meet influential members of the Others so that they would envision a time when Locke would take the reigns.

With both plans in motion, Man #2 hoped that Locke would be seen as the eventual leader of the Others, just as he managed to kill himself and have his dead body transported to the island.  This would allow Man #2 to become a doppleganger of Locke (just as he has of many other dead island folk), and march his way right to Jacob unquestioned.  Both plans had to be in motion, and both had to come to fruition at nearly the same time for it to work.

But one last piece of the puzzle had to fall into place.  He had to be able to bring someone with him, and that someone had to be both a somewhat trusted member of the Others, and also had to be willing and capable of murdering Jacob.  Despite Man #2’s ability to get into the Jacob’s dwelling, he still couldn’t kill him directly.  Enter Ben, the man who has been manipulated by “the island” his whole life.  To me, his tragic tale is not one of circumstance, but rather a devious plot by Man #2.  It’s likely that he’s been targeted for this task from the moment he was brought to the Temple by Richard after being shot by Sayid.  More than likely, he’s never had a chance.

So that’s my grand theory.  The apparitions, the whispers, the smoke monster…I think they’re all able to be used for both sides to try to prove their point and try to “win”.  If you think of it that way, then “Locke”‘s disappearance around the smoke monster makes a bit of sense.  Man #2 is only able to use one of the tools of the island at any one time.  After all, have we ever seen more than one apparition at a time?  Have we ever seen an apparition and the smoke monster at the same time?  I think the only thing that comes close is when we saw Christian and Claire at the same time…but then again, are we sure that Claire’s dead?

I’d love it if all of you readers took a minute to think it over, and let me know what you think.  Feel free to poke any holes in it, as I’m sure there are some things that I’ve missed that may contradict it.  But one last thing to keep in mind if my theory happens to be correct: Jacob could very well been simply using the human form we saw as a doppleganger of someone else that is dead on the island.  In fact, I would think that it’s quite likely.  I would argue that it’s more than possible that Jacob is not dead at all…that Ben simply killed the vessel that he was using.  Think about it from this perspective: if Ben unexpectedly decided to kill “John Locke”, would you think that either Man #2 or John Locke would be dead as a result?  I wouldn’t.

“C’mon, you son of a bitch!”


Wow, was that a brutal last scene with Juliet, or what?  As if her drop into the shaft wasn’t emotional enough, she didn’t end up dying right away?  That’s just wrong.  But of course, it had to happen that way.  Because she has to be there to pound the h-bomb enough times for it to go off.  And just so I’m clear on the subject, I do indeed think the bomb went off.  But as I stated earlier, I think the “Whatever Happened, Happened” axiom still applies.  That bomb was always supposed to go off over the electromagnetic anomaly.

So you may be thinking, how in the heck can that happen without the whole island blowing up?  Or, at least, the pocket getting obliterated?  Well, here’s my explanation, as crazy as it may sound: The pocket absorbed the energy.  Before you laugh too hard, remember that the pocket’s main ability seems to be sucking items into it, like a mini black hole.  Granted, the energy from an h-bomb is larger than anything that has come in contact with the pocket before, but think about it this way.  If the pocket is large enough that the hole drilled into it is just a pinhole, then perhaps we’ve only seen a very small part of its pull.  If perhaps, something blew the lid off the pocket, then maybe its full electromagnetic absorption abilities would be seen…and it would pull in the entire explosion.  And then perhaps it would need to release that energy every 108 minutes…just sayin’.

Something else to think about is that we know the Swan location to have some temporal capabilities as well.  Desmond initially received his time flashes after he turned the failsafe key in the Swan station.  I don’t think that it’s beyond the realm of possibility to think that the h-bomb blast coupling with the anomaly somehow factors into the LOSTies being able to jump forward in time to their rightful place.  Of course, I can certainly see how some might think otherwise, and it’s tough for me to argue.  But that’s how I think “Whatever Happened, Happened” can make sense, and also tie in with Jacob’s line that “they’re coming”.

So that’s that!  I think I covered everything, but if I didn’t, please leave a comment and ask!  This is the last off-season, and our last chance to seriously debate what’s going on in the show without having all of the answers!  I’d love to spark some discussion that can continue on for the 8 months the show will be on hiatus.

In any event, thanks again for reading!  I appreciate you stopping by!




7 responses

19 05 2009
D.P. and K

D: One conundrum though. Say I’m Man #2 and I hatch the idea to use a time loop and set the wheels in motion for me to embody the body of a dead leader of the others and enlist a form leader as a pawn to kill Jacob… where do I start? At which moment in time is my point of entry to my plan? How do I begin? I can’t make my essential moves in 1977 because the Losties have not been thrown back in time yet. I can’t make me essential moves in 2004 because the ‘Incident’ hasn’t happened yet to cause Flight 815 to crash and ultimately lead to the ‘Incident’. The only thing I can do is go to the regular world and interact with the various players off the island confer some influence. Coincidentally (?), that’s what we see Jacob as done….

P: There is no doubt that Man #2 has had much to work through in order to accomplish his tasks. But something to consider: time seems somewhat irrelevant to him. When the LOSTies were skipping through time, Locke fell down a hole in the well next to what will become the Orchid station. However, even though it’s clearly before Flight 815 crashes on the island, the Christian apparition still appears to Locke. Because he tells Locke that he was supposed to turn the Frozen Donkey Wheel (and not Ben), I’m led to believe that it’s Man #2 calling the shots. And if he can go back in time in that scene, then there’s no reason to think that he can’t do so at any other point. With time a non-factor, he can understand the causality of events better, and actually use the time-shifting to his advantage. Personally, I think it all kicked off when Ben brought Locke to the cabin. I think he’s been scheming the plan ever since, using both the past and present to come up with something that would be unquestioned by the Others and any other followers of Jacob.

K: Could Ben be working with Man #2? Here are some examples:
1) Ben also interacted with all of the castaways following around Locke to get them back to the island.
2) Ben could have been saved by Man #2 when he was shot
3) Ben turned the wheel instead of Locke
4) Ben actually killed Locke
5) Ben did bring Locke to the cabin
Maybe Ben is like Judas – he is fated to betray?

19 05 2009

Wow, awesome comments there! (For some reason, that P guy sounds a whole lot like me. Is Man #2 taking over my body or something?)

In terms of K’s comments, those are some good points. But one thing would lead me to believe that it’s not the case: Ben was confused when Jacob and Man #2 seemed to know each other. Thus, I don’t think he knew of Man #2’s plan from the outset. However, that doesn’t mean that Ben wasn’t unwittingly doing the dirty work for him. In fact, I think that’s exactly what’s happened…

Your 2nd point however, is not taken lightly. I’m sure that event has a ton to do with everything. Maybe Man #2 does have some small (or maybe not so small) measure of influence over Ben due to his revival…

20 05 2009


I’m a first time reader and have to say, some very detailed and persuasive arguments. I very much enjoyed your analysis. There are two main questions I have:

First, (Aside from Hurley’s visions of the dead) do you think all the apparitions seen on the island have been either Jacob or Man #2 “possessing” or using a dead body? While I would want to say yes, I cannot help but think of Walt and the scene when he stands over John Locke’s dying body and says “Get up John, you still have work to do.” If this is not either Jacob or Man #2, what/who do you think it is?

That leads to me second question. I have always considered Walt to be such an important character, that has been left out purposefully (with little glimpses of him here and there to keep you reminded he’s still there) only to be brought back in a substantial manner. I feel that he could be used in the final season in a critical role, I’m just not sure of how yet. (maybe he becomes to *true* leader of the others and is the force Jacob needs) I’m just not sure and would love to hear your take on Walt.

Thanks again for writing and I’ll be reading for the final season.


20 05 2009

Hi Jim,

Thanks for stopping by! And an even bigger thanks for considering my theory and trying to poke holes in it. I appreciate you giving it some thought!

Ah yes….Taller Ghost Walt. How could I have forgotten him? When he spoke to Locke, he wasn’t dead, and he wasn’t even on the island. How could either Jacob or Man #2 be controlling him if that’s the case? I’ll be honest, and say that you may have punched a serious hole in my theory. There is, however, one small possibility. And that is, perhaps Walt returns to the island in the future, either as a corpse, or he ends up dying there. Then, either Jacob or Man #2 could be controlling him and coaxing Locke out of the gravesite.

But I’ll admit…that’s a huge exception to the rule, and it makes me want to re-think my theory. I still think it works in principle, and makes way too much sense based upon what we’ve seen for me to abandon it completely, but I am going to try to find a better explanation for Walt.

In terms of Walt himself, I would love for him to come back to the show in the final season. I actually had hoped that when he visited Hurley in the mental hospital, that it was going to be a set-up for him to return to the island with the rest of the Oceanic 6. But not only did that not happen, but it seemed as though the writers said he’s not coming back to the show at all when Locke told Abbadon that “he’s been through enough”. I’d love to be wrong though, and have Walt come back and tie a neater bow on the whole Michael/Walt storyline in Season 6. That really didn’t end in an overly satisfying way. I wouldn’t be holding my breath though.

Thanks again for stopping by…I hope to see you back here commenting again in the future!

31 05 2009

I thought I remembered seeing Richard off the island when they were recruiting Juliet to come to the island to work for them. I may be wrong, am I? If I am not, that would be the third time he was off the island, or he made 2 stops the last time he was off.

31 05 2009

Hi Clint, thanks for taking the time to comment! I think the key thing is *when* Richard remarks about his off-island trips. He was in 1977 at the time, and his trip to recruit Juliet is in the 2000’s, somewhere between 2001-2004, if I remember correctly. So, if I have the timeline correct, he makes another trip off-island between 1954 and 1977. Whether or not it’s truly significant though, is another question…

1 06 2009

Regarding Jack’s seemingly thin reasoning, “I had her, then I lost her.” Maybe he wasn’t talking about Kate! What if he was talking about his wife who left him? That was just about the most devastating thing that’s ever happened to him. Perhaps he’s thinking that somehow this action will give him a chance to change his old life (even though all the events with his marriage happened before the crash).

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