Thursday, May 14, 2009

If it only ends once, anything that happens before that is just progress

Sticks and stones may break my bones…or detonate a nuke. We meet Jacob! And…his Man in black?!? Neither of them appear particularly old. Or scary. Or ghostly. Jacob has like Triple Elite Platinum SkyMiles from visiting Losties. He also likes to touch. Locke’s body is in the unnecessarily large box. Phil of the Eyebrows bites it. And not a second too soon. Talk about a long con…Ben’s been duped for 35 years as an eventual loophole. And the part of Locke was played last night by a stand-in who looks exactly like him.

Lost 5x16 and 5x17: The Incident

Rather than end with a scene that leaves us scratching our heads and palpatating, they punched us in the gut right from the top. So the island is a … chess game of good and evil? This is going to be an abridged recap of the two hours.

Island, 1800s:
The show opens with a man spinning threads for a tapestry - it is Jacob! He walks out to the beach, pulls in a fish trap and cooks up his breakfast. A man in a black shirt walks to the beach and they chat.

Man in black: Morning
Jacob: Morning
Man in black: Mind if I join you?
Jacob: Please. Want some fish?
Man in black: (He shakes his head no.) Thank you. I just ate.
Jacob: I take it you're here because of the ship.
Man in black: I am. How did they find the island?
Jacob: You'll have to ask them when they get here.
Man in black: I don't have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong aren't you?
Jacob: You are wrong.
Man in black: Am I? They come. Fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.
Jacob: If it only ends once, anything that happens before that is just progress.
Man in black: Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?
Jacob: Yes.
Man in black: One of these days, sooner or later, I'm going to find a loophole, my friend.
Jacob: Well, when you do, I'll be right here.
Man in black: Always nice talking to you, Jacob.
Jacob: Nice talking to you, too.

Geek alert: The fish appears to possibly be a red herring. Is this a clue that this scene and this episode are meant to be “red herrings” and throw us off of the truth? Or because Jacob fillets the fish, are we meant to believe that this is the end to “red herrings” on LOST. Are we done and moving forward with just the truth and the realities of…what lies beneath the shadow of the statue…and more?

Question: Jacob was using the spinning wheel – another wheel. They talk about it always ending the same. How many times have they experienced this? Is it a time loop? Will the killing of Jacob simply allow the loop to end or will it allow for evil – or, at the very least, unpredictability – to take over. Or do they mean that man will always resort to sin?

Geek alert: On the tapestry that Jacob is weaving, there's an Eye of Horus. I've mentioned the Eye of Horus several times this season in my blog entries.

Geek alert: Jacob (God) in white/other guy (Devil) in black. There’s much interweb speculation that the man in black represents Esau. Esau was Jacob’s older twin brother in the bible. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a meal. Jacob may have been helped by his mother, Rebekah, in deceiving Esau into accepting the deal. So is this a case of, like Ben and Widmore, the man in black – Esau – trying to get the island back after being tricked into giving up control? Or is it just a case of good and evil, God and the Devil?

Geek alert: Jacob caught and cooked what appeared to be a red herring. This might mean that the writers have ended all “red herrings” from this point on. Or it could be a clue that this scene/episode was a red herring – implying that Jacob is actually evil and the man in black (Esau) is good.

Geek alert: So the statue. I've been a big proponent of it being Horus. Doesn't seem that's the case. Sobek, perhaps? Taweret?

Jacob’s Frequent Flier Status:

We get a series of flashbacks. Jacob visited several folks at key points in their lives.
  • We see him at a store in Iowa where Kate was with her friend Tom as a girl as Jacob saves her from getting caught as a shoplifter
  • Sun and Jin meet him on the receiving line at their wedding and he speaks to them in Korean about love.
  • He visits Sawyer at his parents’ funeral and gives him a pen as Sawyer is writing the note to the real Sawyer that he carried all his life
  • At the moment John Locke after he was pushed by his father out of the window, Jacob was reading nearby and goes to John to tell him all will be ok.
  • Jacob is at the intersection where Sayid’s love Nadia was killed in a hit and run
  • Ilana is in a hospital, fully bandaged, and gets a visit from Jacob asking for her help.
  • He is there after the first surgery where Jack cut Sarah’s dural sac when Jack counted to 5 and fixed his error.
  • He’s at the jail when post-rescue Oceanic 6 Hurley was released after faking his confession to escape Ben

Was he there when those events happen, or did he time travel back to those moments to help influence them and get them to the island? Interestingly, Hurley’s and Sayid’s visits were post-Oceanic 6 rescue.

Did Jacob bring Locke back to life after the fall from the window? It seemed John took a gasp as though he hadn’t been breathing.

Jacob leaves a guitar case in the taxi with Hurley. What’s in the case and why did Hurley bring it to the island?

Geek alerts:

When Jacob visited each of them, he touched them. Did his touch somehow change them all? He barely interacted with Jack, yet he was there.

The NKOTB lunchbox was the one Kate and Tom dug up with the time capsule items inside.

Jacob was reading Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” a story with an underlying religious aiming to expose the sinful nature of man in the modern, secular world.

Living off the grid:
Sawyer, Juliet and Kate escape the sub and return to the island. They come ashore and Vincent greets them. He’s been living with Rose and Bernard off the grid in a cabin, somehow escaping detection for the last 3 years. Rose is not surprised to hear their plan and says that nothing’s changed – they went back 30 years and are still looking to ways to shoot each other. Bernard says that he doesn’t care if they die from the bomb, as long as they are together. Sawyer looks at Juliet, then she sees him look at Kate longingly too.

Question: Was Juliet pregnant? She put her hand on her abdomen when Bernard, with a seemingly knowing glance, asked her if she wanted to stay for tea.

“Jacob’s” cabin:
Ilana, Lapidus and the Ajira crew arrive at Jacob’s cabin. It’s daytime and the place is in even worse shape than before. It’s been abandoned. She finds a piece of tapestry on the wall and she announces that the cabin hasn’t been used by Jacob in a long time, that someone else has been living there, and they burn it and head off for the statue.

The Four-Toed Statue:
They arrive at the statue and Richard tells Locke that’s where Jacob lives. John and Ben follow Richard to the statue and Richard says Ben can’t come, but Locke insists. Richard pushes on the secret panel in the statue (you knew there would be one) and Locke and Ben enter. Locke hands Ben the knife and they find Jacob sitting inside.

Ilana and crew arrive at the beach, ask for Ricardus, and Richard steps forward. She asks, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” Richard answers in Latin: Ille qui nos omnes servabit.

Geek alert: Translation is: “He who watches over all of us” or “He who will save us”.

Inside the statue, Locke tells Ben to kill Jacob, and Jacob tells Ben that he has a choice. But Ben, fed up with being ignored by Jacob for 35 years asks, “What about me?” and Jacob answers coldly, “What about you?” Ben stabs him twice. As he lay dying, he says, “They’re coming.” Locke looks a little panicked and then rolls Jacob into the fire. (DAMN!)

Question: Did Jacob choose to die for his people to save them? Yet another Jesus allegory.

Geek alert: On Jacob’s tapestry in the statue is a quote in ancient Greek from from Homer's “Odyssey”, translated: "May the gods grant thee all that thy heart desires."

Question: So the man in black, Esau, somehow appeared as Locke and exacted his revenge. Is this the smoke monster? Did he also appear as Christian, Claire and Yemi?

Ilana tells Richard that she was told to show Richard what was in the box. Inside was the body of John Locke, very much dead. (My wife has been saying this for weeks and I've been denying her. I begrudgingly apologize.) Sun asks who, then, is inside the statue?

At the Swan Station:
The drilling has created a dangerous situation and Radzinsky called for Phil of the Eyebrows and other security folks. Jack and crew arrive, guns ablazing and overpower the Swan crew. Jack drops the plutonium core of the H-bomb into the drill and…nothing. But then the magnetic pull goes crazy and the drill begins to implode on itself. Chang’s arm is pinned, all the equipment is pulled down. Happily Phil is killed. (Hooray!) Juliet is entangled in chains and Sawyer and Kate try to save her, but can’t. She gets pulled down the pit into the darkness. And Lost’s “Titanic” moment has millions of relationshippers sob.

The drill continues to implode under the weight of the magnetism and we see Juliet at the bottom, dying. She sees the bomb next to her, manages to pick up a rock and smashes the bomb until the screen goes white.

And … see you in 8 months.

Geek alert: The screen cut to white this time, with black type. The first time in the history of the series that happens. So is this an indication that it worked? Were things re-set? Is this an indication of us going back to the beginning next season?

Wow. Eight months. That’s a whole lot of waiting. Will the island be there? I sincerely don’t believe they’d cheat us out of the last 5 years of following the show to just say none of it happened in a St. Elsewhere snow globe ending scenario. Was your mind sufficiently blown? Do you feel that the loose ends are being wrapped up well enough?

Post some comments below.

-Sean Salo


cheerios said...

I really cant stand kate and havent been able to for a while. the whole "changed my mind" bit from kate and juliet coupled with jack's "i had her once" is crap. it lost me.

Antony said...

One thing I immediately thought of when watching the scene with Jacob and his nemesis in their opposing white and black shirts was the white and black stones that were found with the skeletons of "Adam and Eve"...

Sean said...

@Antony - Certainly black/white, good/evil allusions, dating all the way back to the Adam and Eve stones. And the black type on white background title card was incredibly interesting and I can't wait to see how it plays out.

@cheerios - I would have taken you for a 'shipper all the way.

BTW, my wife wanted to post that I forgot to mention Sayid taking a bullet. I didn't forget...just thought it was a bit of a distraction as I can't see him going out that way. Kind of a minor plot point.

Antony said...

I have a feeling though that Jacob and the mysterious "Man #2" are neither good nor evil.

The black-on-white text was interesting. It could imply that from this point on, everything is reversed - whatever that might mean. Or it might have just been a cool visual effect following the detonation of the H-bomb, and we're just reading into it. :)

Sean said...

It seems that in the Official Lost podcast (haven't listened to confirm), that Michael Emerson said the bomb did in fact explode.

@Antony - whether one of them is good and the other evil or not, you know they'll drag it out for us for far too long this season. ;)

DJWildBill said...

Jacob is depicted as eating the red herring, symbolic of a new season of truths and a closure to the five seasons of "Esau's" loophole. At the start, Jacob is depicted as a weaver, carefully crafting a fine cloth and examining it for holes. Symbolic and substantive towards this episode.

The problem most are having with the episode is that the "flashbacks" showing Jacob with our Losties are not, in fact, flashbacks but instead are flash-forwards from Season 6. The interactions we saw our characters having with Jacob we from his re-weaving of Esau's loophole, thus closing each of them.

Think about it, Kate is no longer a criminal and petty thief, John Ford is prevented from becoming the vengeful Sawyer and can put his hatred behind him, Locke can be healed after the fall and indeed was saved from death's door. Sayid and Nadia were allowed to enjoy time together and although she may have been killed in the car accident (not fully established yet) she didn't have to be shot by an assassin's bullet. Think of her possible demise as being a reflection back to "Edith Keiller" in Star Trek's "The City On The Edge Of Tomorrow." She simply had to die. The Universe has a way of course correcting itself.

I still don't believe that "Locke is dead" theory fully either. There has to be a reason we were so boldly introduced to the Medusa spiders which succumbed Paulo and Nikki. I believe Locke is a victim of those spiders too. Did you noticed that when Jack was putting Christian's shoes on the body in the coffin that he had a two days' growth of beard? Compare the image of Locke in the coffin from season 4 with that shown in season 5. It wasn't a mistake in continuity, it was to let you know that he's still alive. Nonetheless, Jacob will make changes with his re-weaving to close the loophole.

We did find out that Adam and Eve turned out to be Ruth and Bernard. I liked that closure and knowing that they died together was a fitting closure to two comfortable and intelligent characters.

As to the bomb going off and wiping out everything...

That too was from Season 6 and was a flash forward. We'll have to revisit that scene again to garner more information. Juliet would certainly have been killed by 1) the fall, 2) tons of metal debris falling onto her body, 3) the nuclear weapon exploding (almost) in her hands. But, since the other Losties have to return from 1977 to 2004 then she'll probably be returned alongside them but with a few hairs out of place.

Lastly, before Jacob went down in flame, he stated, "they're coming" without mentioning whom. If it is indeed the rest of the Losties back to 2004 for a reunion, sobeit. I believe that "they" may refer to more Others from ancient Egypt to attend to Jacob's needs, Richard Alpert's needs for his group of Others, and to the needs of Esau in control of Locke's body double.

What happened next was a fade to white background with black lettering. This signifies a change in players in the game. Season 6 will present Jacob's closure of Esau's loophole and we'll see a lot more "healing" and revisits to key scenes. Personally, I cannot wait for Jacob to meet with John and Helen and officiate their wedding (no need for Abbadon's Walkabout admonishment).

What will happen once the loophole is closed and the Universe fully course corrected? Simple... Jacob and Esau restart the game again which leads right back to a replay of the beach scene with the offer of a red herring to Esau.

Hmmm. Something to think about?

Sean said...

@DJWildBill - Great comment and I love that that could be the direction. Very plausible. Thanks for the comment.

Zhami said...

Re: The Fish
A minute item, but I am at a loss why people keep thinking that the fish was a herring. Sure, it was red. But that fish wasn't a herring. Go look at images of herring. More likely the fish is indicative of the biblical nature of Jacob, as distinct from his hunter brother Essau. Recall that when John Locke enters the camp of the Others, he is carrying a boar ("dinner"). That was Essau-as-Locke, the Hunter. Well, at least that's my impression :-)

Greg Holzt said...

@DJWildBill -The only problem with your Locke theory is that Bram and Ilana say that they found Locke's body in the cargo hold of the plane. It would make more sense if they found his body in the jungle.

-H A said...

"He is there after the first surgery where Jack cut Sarah’s dural sac when Jack counted to 5 and fixed his error."

That wasn't Sarah, it was a 16-year-old girl.

robowojo said...

Thought exact same thing about Juliet being pregnant. Also, just remembered that the faux-Locke was surprised to find out that the smoke monster/Ben’s daughter convinced Ben to do whatever Locke asked of him. Is the smoke monster some separate entity from Jacob and the Man in Black which makes its own decisions and chooses its own sides? Like a judge, which Ben had mentioned it does, it is the scales of justice between Jacob and “Esau”? Doesn’t seem like Jacob has any sway over it if it assisted in his demise, or perhaps it just wanted to make things interesting by tipping the scales out of Jacob’s favor.

Skimming the wiki on Taweret (statue), some aspects seem to match. She’s the demon-wife of the god of evil who resides below the horizon (lies in the shadow of the statue?) and she’s also known as mistress of the horizon, perhaps why her statue has a high vantage point looking out to sea.

Really like the idea of Jacob weaving out the loopholes next season.