First, I'm sorry. Very, very sorry that this has taken so long to post. I started a new gig and have had little time to re-watch "The Incident," and even less time to write the long post that is about to follow. Now, with my boss leaving mid-day today, I figured I would embark on deciphering this awesome season finale. I know I went character-by-character in my preview post, but I think we'll go somewhat chronologically through the episode, and then score my predictions at the end. So, away we go:
*How freaking awesome were Jacob and the Man in Black, whom from this point forward I will call Esau? (Let me quickly say, that despite my quick posting about the Biblical Jacob and Esau, I do NOT think that the Man in Black will be named, or actually is, Esau. It's just too on the nose. However, as I don't want to keep typing "Man in Black" or "Anti-Locke," or whatever, I'm calling him Esau.) I loved the first scene. I think that was definitely the Black Rock. I don't think Jacob caused the ship to find the Island; to me it was happenstance. Just as Desmond not pushing the button caused Oceanic 815 to crash, something outside of Jacob brought the ship, and all the other people who have landed there, to the Island. How does Jacob get off the Island? Was he trapped there until the Dharma sub arrived? By the way, why does Esau want to kill Jacob anyway? Because of Jacob's sunny belief that humans, as a race, can improve themselves?
*I wonder why Esau can't kill Jacob directly. In other words, what are the rules and who defined them? The other set of rules we have heard about was in relation to Ben and Widmore. Have they received the imprimatur of Jacob/Esau as well, and are hence bound by the Island's rules? As we saw Locke and Jack receive the touch of Jacob prior to their landing on the Island, is that why Jack's gun didn't go off when he tried to kill Locke in Season 4? And why Locke didn't die when Ben shot him in Season 4 as well? We'll get back to Jacob's touch later. OK, we'll do it now.
*When Jacob said to Kate, "Be good Katie," and then touched her nose, was this a command or a wish? Did he know that Kate would never "be good" prior to Oceanic 815? What does Jacob's imprimatur mean? For all of them (Kate, Sawyer, Locke, Jack, Jin, Sun, Sayid and Hurley), it seems to have put them on a course to the Island, or a return to the Island. I have been under the assumption that Island helps people reach their full realization as a person, each redeemed in his or her way. Is Jacob's touch the catalyst or "push," as Jacob says to Jack, necessary to begin the road to redemption? Or was the touch just a marker to identify the army Jacob needs to defeat Esau, the "they" he means when, dying, he says to Esau (as Locke), "they're coming?" Notice, we didn't see Jacob touch Ilana when he visited her, although she seems to be on his side. In fact, he was wearing gloves! Just something I wanted to point out.
*Last on Jacob for now, but what side is he on: light or dark (remember Locke talking to Walt about backgammon in Season 1?)? Jay and Jack over at The Lost Podcast tend to think that Jacob is a bad guy. It seems the kind of thing Lost would do, as they put Jacob in white and Esau in dark colors in the first scene, the opposite of traditional character markings, but I don't know. I can't imagine Jack, Kate, Sawyer, et al. fighting on the side of evil. Then again, if the Lostaways and Ilana's crew are all on the same side, who are they going to fight? Esau, Ben and the Others? Something is wonky in that. And why choose Hurley and Sayid after they have left the Island? OK, I need to stop talking about Jacob for now, or I'll go crazy.
*It appears that when Esau copied Locke's body, he took Locke's memories as well. When did the copying occur? When Locke was scanned by Smokey? I don't think so, because that occurred very early in the series, and Esau exhibited knowledge of events subsequent to the Smokey/Locke meet-cute. Chalk me up on the side that does NOT think Esau and Smokey are the same being. That doesn't mean they aren't in cahoots though. If Alex was Smokey, then Smokey told Ben to follow whatever Esau said. So it appears they are in harmony, Smokey and Esau. And granted, we never saw Esau as Locke with Smokey in that scene, I still don't think they are the same. What would be the reason for Smokey floating about the Island the rest of the series then? Why did he kill the pilot and Eko? Was it Esau looking for recruits in the war against Jacob? It doesn't sound right to me.
*What is Lapidus a candidate for? Was Ilana given some authority by Jacob to recruit people to their cause? Now, we have no idea how or why Ilana was injured when Jacob visited her. We do know that Jacob didn't touch her. Did she know about Esau and Jacob prior to her injury? Was she injured by Esau? Do we know that her injury even occurred before 2007? I assume so as we're pretty sure Jacob just died at the end of the episode, but shouldn't we have seen some kind of remnants of her facial trauma on Ilana in the present? Why is Lapidus "safe" with Ilana and Bram? God, I've asked a lot of questions. I thought we were going to get some answers in the finale! Oh, and one last word about the Ajiran Army, the guy who plays Bram is absolutely terrible. I wish they could recast him. Couldn't Said Taghmaoui have played Bram, and this guy play Caesar and get blown away by Ben?
*Why did Juliet want to go back to the Island once in the sub? The cute Sawyer-Kate banter hadn't happened yet, and there was really nothing that Sawyer had done up to that point that would make Juliet think he would pick Kate. Yes, there was the "Freckles" moment a couple episodes ago, but Sawyer clearly chose Juliet when he negotiated their departure on the sub. I guess it had something to do with her parents' divorce, but we didn't see that until after the sub scene. Weird. While we're at it, the costumes in Juliet's flashback were waaaaay too modern. It was jarring. Secondly, Jacob didn't visit Juliet (nor Miles for that matter); does this mean her demise? Third, I want miss the Sawyer-Kate banter, so more of it please! Lastly, I loved the look Sawyer gave Kate when Rose said, "So we all die." Brilliant. Josh Holloway needs to be nominated for an Emmy for his performance all season, but especially this episode and "LaFleur."
*Who has been using Jacob's shack, and how was the ash line broken? Better yet, who broke the ash line and, ostensibly, released whomever was indie the cabin? We know the line was whole in 2004, but broken in 2007. I like to think Esau was imprisoned in the cabin, but someone (Richard?) let him out, perhaps accidentally. To be honest, I'm totally clueless about this.
*When Jacob revived Locke after his fall, Jacob said he was "sorry this had to happen to you." Did he mean the fall and injury, or the fact that Locke was going to be so prominent in Esau's plot to kill Jacob? And further, Esau said (in the present) that he has something "planned" for the Others. What does he have planned? Are the the unwitting troops on Esau's side in the battle to come?
*At Sun and Jin's wedding (how great did Yunjin Kim look, by the way?), Jacob Said to them "Never take your love for granted." Again, like his interaction with Kate, was this a command or warning? We had throughout Season 2 and, if I remember, Season 3, talk from Ben about how certain people were on or not on Jacob's list; if they were chosen and "good people" or not. Could Jacob's interactions with the Lostaways be tests? Seeing if they are good people or not? If so, most of them failed: Kate still became a criminal, Sawyer was a con man and killed the man he thought was the real Sawyer, Sun and Jin did take their love for granted, etc. Were they marked because they ended up being "bad" people? I have no idea. (As you can see, I'm clearly confused by this episode.) Lastly, I really hope Yunjin Kim and Daniel Kim get some meaty stuff next year. They're really great actors and deserve it. Listen up Darlton!
*What?? Jack is doing this for Kate?!?!? You've gotta be kidding me! Thank God for Josh Holloway because he beautifully expressed the incredulousness the entire audience felt when hearing that. That aside, I thought the Sawyer-Jack fight was great, but I want to see them work together. I know the tension between the two of them has been fundamental to the series, but as we move into the final act, I want our two heroes to band together to deliver their friends from whatever danger they find themselves in.
*Last scene in 2007: I totally thought Ben was going to stab Esau/Locke as they entered the statue. Michael Emerson was on fire in his last soliloquy, asking Jacob, "Why not me?" Jacob's cool response, "What about you?" was like an arrow to Ben's heart. I actually felt bad for the guy. I think Jacob knew what was going to happen and was ensuring Ben's actions with his response. And I agree with those who on the internet have said that Jacob purposely fell on Ben to touch him and mark Ben with Jacob's imprimatur. I feel Ben will get his wish to be important in the upcoming war. Esau seemed totally shocked upon hearing Jacob say, "They're coming." I believe it was at this moment that Esau realized he had been played the entire time. I am interested to find out for how long Esau had been formulating his plan, and to what extent he moved to enact it. Ilana said that she "found" Locke's body in its coffin, in the plane, implying she didn't know it was there. Did she find the body after she had her conversation with Locke in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham?" Or did she know it would be there? Muy interasante. Lastly, we had what was probably the best camera move of the season: after Ilana dumped out the contents of the crate, the camera was at ground level, shooting the crate. The camera then panned left and up and came over the crate, revealing Locke's body. This was exactly the same move as the one at the end of Season 4 that revealed Locke as the one in the coffin! That was freaking brilliant. I love Jack Bender.
*Last scene in 1977: I agree with Miles that the events surrounding the Swan Station/Jughead was "The Incident." We saw Dr. Chang have his hand crushed. We have been told a number of times that "What Happened, Happened." (See also: Sawyer's uncle telling him "What's done is done.") I enjoyed the gun fight, although how are they all the Lostaways such good shots?! I'm glad Phil got his comeuppance. And how amazing were Elizabeth Mitchell and Josh Holloway in this scene? Heartwrenching. Is it bad that I want "V" to fail? I know she's supposed to do at least a couple episodes of Lost, but I really want more Juliet next year. Oh, I guess I should mention that I don't think she died, or that Jughead exploded. I think the awesome white-out at the end was the release of the electromagnetic pocket that will send our Lostaways, including Juliet and Miles back to 2007. I do not think we'll see Oceanic 815 landing in L.A. in 2004; it would eliminate the whole reason for the series, and I think that if the Powers That Be give us the return of Boone, Shannon, Charlie, et al., many fans will just tune out. I want Season 6 to open on Jack's eye, and as we pull back, he is revealed in his bloody Dharma jumpsuit.
*If the bomb blows up the Island, Faraday is never born, as Ellie was still pregnant in 1977. If this happens, way too much of the future and past is changed. Hence, I don't think Jughead exploded.
*I think Ben told the truth for the first time: he has not met Jacob before.
*Where did Sayid get those "nuclear material handling" gloves from? And Richard travels with a sledgehammer?
*The Drive Shaft ring! I really hope it finds its way to Turniphead.
*Is whatever is in the guitar case Jacob's horcrux?
*Sayid said toward the end of the episode that, "Nopthing can save me." I took this to mean that nothing could save his soul because of what he has done in his life. Not that he couldn't physically be saved and was about to die.
Whew, that was a lot. But, we still have to go through my predictions from the preview:
Dharma/Jughead: Kinda right? I do think the Incident was the whole thing surrounding Jughead and the electromagnetism. I should be clearer than above: Jughead probably exploded, but it was fused with or altered by the electromagnetism, and sent the Lostaways forward to 2007.
Jack: Totally wrong. He came through and was successful in his mission to use Jughead. Now, we have no idea what the result of that will be, but it appears the Man of Faith remains.
Kate: Right. She told Sawyer Jack's plan and tried to stop him at first. I think she ended up realizing that Jack loves her, and was willing to help him. I think she is kinda motivated now.
Sawyer: Right, but then wrong, at the behest of Juliet. He tried to stop Jack initially, but agreed to help him after Juliet asked that he would. Sawyer is a lover now. I'm hoping he and Juliet get their happy ending.
Juliet: Mostly right. She did want to stop Jack at first, but realized that Sawyer will always have feelings for Kate. That combined with her parents' divorce, and she was willing to start it all over in 2004.
Sayid: Kinda right. He did have nothing left to live for, and may have unwittingly sacrificed himself (he didn't intend to be shot).
Jin, Miles Hurley: Mostly wrong. Jin didn't get to see Sun (did he do anything in this episode?). Miles did help save his dad from the crashing scaffold. We still don't know why Hurley went back to the Island, only that Jacob kind of nudged him there. Still have no idea about what's in the guitar case.
Locke: Mostly wrong. I was right in that I kinda figured Locke wasn't the true Locke, but had NO idea he would be the embodiment of another person/spirit. Yes, he really wanted to kill Jacob. Well, Esau did anyway.
Ben: Wrong. If Ben had a plan, it sure wasn't in effect. Ben was manipulated just as easily as he has always done. And, no, I don't think he had ever seen Jacob until he killed him.
Richard: Mostly wrong. We got no Richard backstory. We did learn that he received his non-aging quality from Jacob, but that's it. He does not seem to be in control.
Sun: Wrong. She still did nothing, except deliver a funny query for alcohol.
Ilana, Bram, Lapidus: Wrong. Ilana and Bram are not part of Dharma, they are Jacob's team (apparently). Seems Lapidus will not be against them, but will help them. What lies in the shadow of the statue? "He who will protect us all." What's in the crate? Freaking Locke's body!!
Rose and Bernard: Incomplete. I think they still will be Adam and Eve, but shouldn't they get transported back to 2007 also? If Miles and Juliet make it there without Jacob's touch, so should Rose and Bernard. Liked Bernard's Moses impression.
Phil: Right. Dead. (Yay!)
Jacob: Mostly right. We did get more than a fleeting glance of him. He was not Locke (although Locke was Esau!). He was not Jack. Independent guy, for which I'm glad. He did die though. Missed that one.
The Island: Incomplete. The episode did end on the Island, but we have no idea when we are.
Corpses: Kinda right. Phil is dead (yay!). Juliet appears to be dead. Sayid is dying. Had NO idea Jacob would be dead though.
OK, that's a wrap on Season 5. So sad to see it go. Already awaiting the DVDs (December 8th, I believe). One more thing, no freaking Desmond! What the hell was that all about? Was that because of his unfortunate legal issues? Hope not. He is the Variable! He's "special!" Anyway, I thought it was a great season finale. Great mix of action, suspense, heart and mind-blowing moments. Here's to you Damon, Carlton, cast and crew for a great season, and one more amazing one to come. Here's to you readers who actually got through my ramblings. It has been my pleasure. As always, please check out Doc Jensen and Erika's wraps on the season finale. If there is any Lost news over the next nine (!) months, I'll bring it to you here. Until then...