Lost: Season 5 finale

Jacob--with-his-enemy-1800s

The season finale of Lost has become an annual happy/sad day for my wife and I. We’re happy that it’s happening, then sad that we have to wait another 9 months for another season.
I don’t like waiting 9 months for anything.
So far, my favorite season ender has been Season 3 … the flash forwards and reveal that the people coming to the island weren’t the rescuers (the whole “Not Penny’s Boat” scene still resonates), but Season 5’s ender comes a close second. And for one reason alone — Jacob.

The single biggest island mystery is revealed in the first scene of the two-part finale, and it was a bonus to see “Dexter” alum Mark Pelligrino playing the island king/angel/guardian … whatever you think he is.
In the scene (pictured above), it’s the 1800s and Jacob (after weaving a tapestry in his lair) is seen frying some fish on the beach and watching a ship (which we assume to be the Black Rock, first introduced in Season 1) as it makes its way to the shore.
As he watches the ship, a man — wearing black to polarize Jacob’s white shirt — approaches … and the following foreshadowing conversation takes place:
Stranger: “Morning.”
Jacob: “Morning.”
Stranger: “Mind if I join you?”
Jacob: “Please. Want some fish?”
Stranger: “Thank you. I just ate.”
Jacob: “You’re here because of the ship.”
Stranger: “I am. How did they find the island?”
Jacob: “You’ll have to ask them when they get here.”
Stranger: “I don’t have to ask. You brought them here. Still trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?”
Jacob: “You are wrong.”
Stranger: “Am I? They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.”
Jacob: “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that … is just progress.”
Stranger: “Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?”
Jacob: “Yes.”
Stranger: “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.”
Stranger: “Always, nice talking to you, Jacob.”
Jacob: “Nice talking to you, too.”
He walks away … camera pans up to the Egyptian statue.
LOST

SO MANY things to pull from this conversation. I’ll begin with the quote, “I don’t have to ask … you brought them here,” which is what the man tells Jacob. We’re then shown a two-hour finale filled with flashbacks of Jacob mingling in the lives of the Oceanic survivors. Some of them, he approaches well before they’re ever on the plane, while others, he approaches in the three-year span since they’ve been back in the states after their “rescue.” I’ve been mulling about why Hurley and Sayid were approached AFTER and the others before … but I’ll go more into that later.
The man then tells Jacob, “They come. They fight. They destroy. They corrupt.” … which pretty much describes the Others, the Dharma Initiative and the Oceanic crew’s experience on the island. And there’s is the only experience we’ve “seen.” We still don’t know the story of the Black Rock and what happened when they came to the island. And apparently, people have been coming to the island for centuries, at the behest of Jacob and much to the chagrin of Jacob’s enemy.
Why does he want them here? Why doesn’t his enemy want them here?
Jacob’s quote, “It only ends once” was the foreshadowing, considering the finale ends with an atomic bomb explosion. Not sure if that’s what “ends” the island, but that would be a pretty good way to “end” things.
And then finally, he tells Jacob that he will one day find a way to kill him … more on that later.

So I’ve written this much already, and we’re just five minutes into the show. I’ll try not to write a novel …

The essential on-island plots — both for 1977 and 2007 — were continuances from the penultimate episode last week.

Locke, Linus, Guyliner and The Others
Locke was leading Richard Alpert, Ben Linus, Sun and The Others to find Jacob. He revealed last week to Ben that he was going there to kill him. He told Ben in this episode that Ben would be the one killing him.
Along the way, they stop at the crash site and eventual camp for the Oceanic crew. It’s there were Sun finds Charlie’s old DriveShaft ring in Aaron’s old crib. They eventually arrive at the base of the four-toed statue (now just a foot after the statue’s giant croc-snout reveal in the beginning of the episode), where Richard opens the door for Ben and Locke.

Ajira crew and Lupidus
Illana and Bram are leading Lupidus and a few others who are carrying a large crate through the woods to find Jacob’s cabin (the cabin Locke and Ben found where Ben saw “Jacob” for the first time and heard the words, “Help me”), only to find that the ashes surrounding it had been tampered with (I remember this happening in a previous episode, but can’t remember who did it).
Illana finds a piece of the tapestry Jacob was weaving at the beginning of the episode (showing the statue), and told everybody Jacob hadn’t been there in a long time and that somebody else was using it.
They set off for the statue, where they are “greeted” by Richard. They ask him, “What lies in the shadow of the statue,” and Richard replies (in Latin), “He who will protect/save us all.”
They then dump the contents of the box they’re carrying to reveal …….

1977: The quest to explode stuff
There’s a ton to go into as far as storylines go — Sawyer, Juliet and Kate leaving the sub to stop Jack from igniting the atom bomb; the three finding Rose, Bernard and Vincent and seeing that they’re all happy and not worried about the island’s fate; Juliet seeing that Sawyer really loves Kate just because of a glance he gave her, therefore changing her mind about stopping Jack; the Sawyer and Jack faceoff and fight; Miles’ revelation that maybe by exploding the bomb, they’re not changing time at all but instead, causing “The Incident” Dr. Chang talks about in the orientation films … and so on, and so on.
But the focus is Jack, Sayid, Eloise and Richard, who are on a quest to carry the bomb to the Swan Station. Jack, following the book left behind by Faraday, says it’s his destiny to blow up the Swan Station, therefore, changing time. His theory — it was the Swan Station’s blowing up in 2004 that caused Oceanic Flight 815 to crashland in the first place. By blowing it up in 1977, that doesn’t happen 27 years later … and the “Lostaways” don’t have to go through the hell the island has put them through the past five seasons.
Richard leads them to the Dharma camp via underground tunnels, but when they arrive, he conks out Eloise (protecting the leader) and tells Jack and Sayid that’s as far as he’s going. It was reminiscent of his opening the door for Locke and Ben and telling them he couldn’t go any further.
Sayid is shot en route to the Swann Station (before being rescued by Hurley and Miles), and after Sawyer, Kate and Juliet’s unsuccessful attempt to convince them NOT to blow it up, they all agree it’s worth a shot.
A shootout at the Swann Station ensues, and after our heroes win the battle, Jack drops the bomb into the hole … only, it doesn’t go off.
“This ain’t LAX, doc,” Sawyer says, disappointedly, referring to Los Angeles Airport.
The drill they tried to stop then hits something that causes a magnetic reaction, wrapping a chain around Juliet and tossing her into the hole. Sawyer’s attempt to save her was one of the show’s most emotional moments (made Jennifer tear up), but he couldn’t rescue, and she falls to her apparent death … only she didn’t die.
At the bottom of the pit, Juliet — in obvious pain, wakes up next to the bomb. She then starts to pound on it ….

The Flashbacks

This was my favorite part of the episode. The flashbacks for the finale were important (or not so important) moments in time when Jacob approached our castaways either long before they came to the island or before their return to the island.
And if you noticed, as I did when looking at the above photos (not when I watched it), Jacob TOUCHES each of them. Goes out of his way to do so … even seems to revive John when he touches him (more on that later).

• KATE: Jacob saves a very young and be-freckled Kate by paying for a lunch box (New Kids on the Block, of course) she tried to steal from a convenience store. Jacob taps her on the nose and makes her promise to never steal again.
What’s it mean?: I don’t have a theory on this one … would like to know what others think.

• Sawyer: It’s 1976, and Sawyer is at his parents’ funeral, writing a letter to the Mr. Sawyer (Anthony Cooper/Locke’s dad/Mr. Sawyer/con man) who conned his parents and made his father kill them both. Sawyer runs out of ink, and Jacob appears and hands him a pen … touching his fingers on the exchange. Jacob says he’s very sorry about his parents.
What is means: That letter is what drives adult Sawyer, and what eventually leads him to kill Locke’s dad in the future.

• Locke: After Locke is tossed out of the window by his father, who betrayed him, he falls to the ground after an eight-story fall. Jacob is sitting outside on a bench reading Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything That Rises Must Converge” and after the thud, he walks over to Locke, touches his heart (which seems to awaken Locke) and tells him he’s sorry this had to happen to him.
What it means: Well, he’s sorry this had to happen to him because this is all part of what makes Locke come to the island. But the touch, which seemed to bring Locke back to life … may have an important meaning down the line …
QUICK NOTE: I googled the aforementioned book, and found it interesting that it has nine short stories in it (published posthumously), and a few of the titles include “The Comforts of Home,” “The Lame Shall Enter First,” “Revelation” and “Judgment Day.”

• Sun and Jin: Jacob appears at their wedding, approaches the happy couple and (in excellent Korean) tells them to cherish the time they have together and never let it go. He then pats each of them on the shoulder.
What it means: This was probably more or less to be able to touch them, but why did he choose their wedding? Probably because it’s important in the “future” that they never stop looking for each other.

• Jack: We see the moment in time when Jack is operating and cuts a teenage girl’s dural sac and then goes into panic (he’d referred to this moment to Kate in an earlier season as his way of telling her to calm down). His father, who’s in the surgery room with him, tells him to count to 5 and calm down. After the surgery, Jack is angry that his father embarrassed him (and also angry because his Apollo bar got stuck in the vending machine). After the conversation, Jacob appears and buys an Apollo bar, knocking out the one Jack tried to get. He hands him the candy bar, touches Jack’s hand for a moment, and says, “Maybe all it needed was a little push.”
What it means: This may have been Jacob’s way of saying all Jack needed was a push in the surgery, or that all he needed was a push in the future to send that bomb down the hole.

• Sayid: In 2005, after Sayid’s return to the states, he and Nadia are celebrating their one-year anniversary and are about to cross the street. Jacob stops them to ask for directions, touching Sayid’s shoulder while looking at a map, and Nadia, who’s in the middle of the street, turns around to Sayid before she’s plowed by a vehicle (the driver of which is eventually killed by Sayid months later).
What it means: Sayid had to return to the island … and Jacob knew he wouldn’t unless Nadia was no longer in the picture. … possibly.

• Hurley: Just days before he boards the plane to return to the island, Hurley meets Jacob in a cab after being released from jail. Between them in the cab is a guitar case. Jacob reveals that he knows who Hurley is and asks him why he won’t return to the island. He convinces Hurley he’s not cursed and is instead blessed … he then tells Hurley he has to be on the plane (touching his arm as he’s talking to him). When he leaves the cab, he tells Hurley to keep the guitar case … that it’s not his guitar.
What it means: Again, another way to get somebody back to the island. This was Jacob’s most blatant approach though … the only person he actually told about the island (for unknown reasons).

There were two other flashbacks — an important one when Juliet is a teen and learns that her parents are getting a divorce (they say not everybody is meant to be together, which she remembers when it comes to giving up on a future with Sawyer … whom she very much loves but doesn’t think he loves her back).
And the other flashback was with a heavily bandaged, Russian speaking Illana, who is approached by Jacob in the hospital and given instructions to go to the island. Illana and Bram (as well as others on Ajira) seem to be a sort-of army Jacob is assembling.

The Endings

2007: OK, so I completely guessed this one the moment Illana showed Lupidus what was in the box.
Lupidus’ reaction, “Terrific.” Very sarcastically.
My reaction: “It’s gotta be Locke.” Then I made a really bad joke … “Must be a Locke box.” Sigh.
Then it started to make sense.
• Jacob’s enemy’s mention of “finding a loophole” to kill Jacob.
• Illana saying Jacob hadn’t been in that cabin in a long time (even though Locke thought he saw him in it in Season 4).
• The portion of the ash knocked away from around the cabin (meaning whoever was “trapped” in there could escape). Remember, the person Locke saw in the cabin said “Help me,” and we all assumed it was Jacob.
• The character of Locke, who for all his life was a follower, a weak man with lofty ambitions, suddenly becoming a leader and a manipulator after “rising from the dead” … even if one believes Locke could be resurrected, it was odd that he became a completely different person.
And when they finally revealed what was in the box to Richard Alpert near the end of the episode, the camera panned over the box much the same way it panned over Locke’s coffin in the Season 4 finale …
… to reveal a still-very-much-dead John Locke.
The Locke who’s been back on the island all along is, I assume, Jacob’s enemy … having found that loophole. And since he apparently can’t kill Jacob himself, he gets a very-much-manipulated Ben Linus to do the killing for him. Which he does, stabbing him in the heart.
After he’s stabbed, and before “Locke” kicks him into a fire, Jacob says, “They’re coming.”
… and that’s that.
Now, who’s this “They”?
Is it Jack and the gang coming back from 1977?
Is he referring to the Ajira crew, who were standing outside Jacob’s lair when all this happened?
Is it Widmore?
Argh.

1977: It wasn’t enough that we had to endure the painful, emotional good-bye between Sawyer and Juliet … but we had to see Juliet actually survive the fall and make the decision to pound away at the bomb … knowing it was going to kill the heck out of her and everybody around.
But she did it.
And Season 5 of Lost — the last season finale we’ll ever see (next year, it’s a series finale) — came to an end with a bright white light … and this time, black Lost lettering.

So many questions answered … so many asked. It’s going to be a long 9 months waiting for the final season … though I enjoy the anticipation, and to be honest with you, I’ll be incredibly sad when the show comes to an end for good.

So … what do I think Season 6 has in store? I have a few theories:
• The white blast did one of two things … it either changed history or it didn’t. I know, sounds simple. But if it changed history, then perhaps Season 6 begins with the Oceanic flight touching down safely in 2004. You would think that’s how the series would end, but Lost has a way of starting seasons off with what you thought would be an ending.
• If the blast didn’t change history and essentially killed our heroes, only to start the cycle all up again, then maybe Season 6 has time-traveling Desmond returning to the island to make the castaways do something different this time. Desmond was the only main character who’s not dead who didn’t appear in this episode … yet it was made very clear earlier this season that his work isn’t done. (I’m kinda hoping for this scenario).
• Lost goes completely weird and sends everybody back to the 1800s … and our heroes become the crew of the Black Rock (or maybe well into the future, where they once again try to make it to the island).

I’ve read a few theories from people who say Jacob’s enemy is Esau, his brother in Biblical terms, and the two are protecting the Garden of Eden … only, Jacob is the one who seems to think people can come to the garden, while his brother (or enemy) is adamant that God wants nobody there but them. As his enemy stated, jacob’s attempts to bring people to the island have failed in the past. Nothing he can do can make his “experiment” successful.

There’s a ton to ponder, and I’ve already written too much. I hope to write a little more in the future once news of Season 6 starts popping up, and when the season rolls around, count on me to write a ton more then.

Only this time, with a screaming baby in the background.

———–

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Doc Jensen of Entertainment Weekly, who wrote an incredible theory that I read after writing all this above …

THEORY! Much of the castaways’ history — including the crash of Oceanic 815 — has been molded and manipulated by the entity that is the Nameless Man In Black, an intricate, divine conspiracy whose ultimate goal was to kill Jacob. That was the significance of Alterna-Locke’s gloating line: “And you have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here.” But what the Adversary didn’t know was that Jacob had been doing some plotting of his own to counter all of his enemy’s moves. And in the last moment of the Jacob/Alterna-Locke/Ben showdown, I think what we saw was Alterna-Locke realizing that he’d been checkmated. ”They’re coming,” Jacob sputtered — referring, I believe, to Jack, Kate, Sawyer and the entire quantum leaping cavalry. I think the Adversary completely understood the significance of what Jacob was saying — and it pissed him off big time. Hence, why Alterna-Locke angrily kicked Jacob into the fire. Hence, that scowl on his face. It was the pout of defeat.

Read his full article here: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1550612_20245769_20278837,00.html

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7 thoughts on “Lost: Season 5 finale

  1. Here’s a thought and I’m too tired to think what it might mean. Only one of the people Jacob “touched” pre-island actually went on to be “good.”
    Kate continued a life of crime, Sawyer used his parents’ death to become a con man, Sun and Jin did not heed his advice and found themselves in a resentful relationship and Jack continued to be passive until his assertive Island self. Only Locke stayed positive even with all he’d been through.
    Were these tests? Is this how he determined Locke to be the new leader?

  2. Nice work as always.

    My theory: I don’t think that Alterna-Locke (acting through Ben) actually killed the “real” Jacob because I think the “real” Jacob is now inhabited by Christian. Or will be. I don’t even know anymore. Like Locke, Christian initially came to the island in a coffin, plus it would explain all the time Jack thought he was going crazy and seeing him. It also puts a kind of weird twist on Locke seeing him before the Donkey Wheel at the end of Season 4. Also, they (Alterna-Locke and possible Jacob/Christian) seem to know the island but also maintain past memories – which would explain why he said what he said to Locke about dying before he pushed the frozen donkey wheel (“That’s why they call it a sacrifice.”) but it muddies why he would want Locke to die in order to come back. I just confused myself typing that paragraph so feel free to discard all of that.

    This was also the first season finale not to feature Walt… who I still hope has something to do with how this all wraps up. He was too interesting of a character the first season to drop altogether. Plus, time travel could explain why he’s grown a foot and a half and doubled in weight.

    And as far as the “they’re coming” line… the island was built over an Indian burial ground. Twenty bucks says the first line of Season 6 is “They’re he-eere.”

  3. I guess we’ll have to see, but I actually think it is just as likely that Jacob’s adversary has been appearing as Christian, Locke, etc as needed to fulfill his plan…. ‘you have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here.’ But with the variety of twists we’ve seen before, who knows.

    I think it is also important to note that nothing is an accident in shows like this, so when I see things like a complex overhead shots of an intersection before Nadia is killed, I am tempted to go freeze-frame that portion and see what symbolism or direct references are contained.

    But one that comes to mind specifically isn’t situational, and is instead the encounter with Rose, Bernard and Vincent. I think that the conflict between Jacob and his nemesis, specifically the apparent disagreement about the fundamental nature of ‘man’…. is revealed to some degree in this short scene where Rose and Bernard profess their simple happiness and fulfillment. No scene, however small, is insignificant and I bet this one ‘matters’ 🙂

    I also think that ‘Locke in the box’ was probably the worst kept prediction of the season. I agree that was pretty predictable, although I had about 10% uncertainty so it still held some intrigue. I was almost hoping it would be anything else but dead Locke just to keep that ‘surprise’ interesting 🙂

    It will be a long wait until next season for sure!

    Al

  4. Thanks for your analysis, Billy. I was really hoping someone would comment on who did break the ash circle, because I think that’s a crucial bit of information.
    For the statue, check this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocodile_God
    I really think the parts about him nudging people along and repairing evil done are key to understanding Jacob.
    They’ve also tied in the Old Testament story about Jacob and Esau. If you recall, Jacob earned his birthright with a deception. He tricked his father into thinking he was Esau. So, he was no angel.
    And, in another element, they’re setting up that Man of Faith vs. Man of Science battle. On the beach, the Esau said, basically, men are evil and incapable of living in peace on the island. Jacob kept trying, a Hobbes vs. Locke philosophy on human nature.
    Who is smart enough to dream this stuff up?? It’s crazy, because there are so many layers!
    Ultimately, I was very sad that Juliet and Sawyer can’t be together. And, I was very disappointed that it wasn’t the real John Locke who got his mojo back. And, I wonder how Esau is related to the smoke monster. And, I was so happy to see Vincent! And, I think that comment Jacob made about Sun and Jin’s love conquering all might have great weight next season. I hope so! That will be my emotional catharsis moment!
    Please find out who broke the ash!!
    Namaste.
    Daune

  5. great post. jensen’s, too.
    just one thing — why not Egyptian times? just a thought.

    and re: 1800s possibility – there’s a hilarious video on web with Jack as a black rock pirate and kate choosing jack because he has “the bigger boat.”

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