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‘Lost’ finale recap: We obsess over ‘The Incident’


Holy mother of the four-toed statue, what the HELL was that?

No, I couldn’t begin to tell you what the bomb’s explosion did to the island and our Losties – or what the wild inversion of the “Lost” logo (now it’s black letters on a white background, ooooh!) means for Season 6.

But I can tell you one thing: That was the most brilliant, frustrating, nail-biting, confusing, illuminating, gratifying, unsatisfying two hours that “Lost” has ever produced.

And with this show? That’s saying something.

With all that went on, where on earth should we begin?

With Jacob, who is apparently a real man of flesh and bone? He’s not a normal man, of course, but nor is he a ghost or a Wizard of Oz-like creation used by Richard, Ben, etc. to manipulate the Others. Not to mention Jacob 2.0 (or Jacob 1.0, as the case may be) isn’t a disheveled old dude trapped in a rocking chair, he’s young and – dare we say – kind of hot.

Or should we start with the flashbacks of our core 815ers, and how Jacob has been setting some of them on specific life paths since they were children?

Or with the presumed death of a severely injured Juliet, who shockingly, sadly, incredibly, was the one who pounded Jughead until it went off, sending them all … where exactly?

Or with the sudden appearance of Bernard and Rose, who retired willingly from the island insanity that always seems to surround Jack & Co. and have been living peacefully together in the jungle?

Or with the incredible number of fleeting references to moments we’d almost forgotten from past episodes – like Charlie leaving his Drive Shaft ring in Aaron’s crib – that were cleverly woven into the entire fabric of the finale?

That’s a lot of ground to cover, Lost-philes, so grab your guitar case and an Apollo bar and let’s get started with the man of the (two) hour(s)…JACOB.


It looks like the driving force of everything that’s happened to our Losties has been a direct result of a rivalry between Jacob and a mystery man, both of whom have been island residents for centuries. The man is never named, but hey, let’s call him Esau for convenience.

Why? Well, the Old Testament names that have been given to lots of the “Lost” characters (Jacob, Benjamin, Aaron, the Adam and Eve skeletons found in the caves) have been widely analyzed, and I’ve never paid much attention. But this episode made me think about the Bible story of Jacob, who was one of fraternal twins born to Isaac and Rebekah.

Jacob was actually the younger brother; his twin, Esau, was born first, which entitled him to his family’s inheritance. But that birthright was taken away from a starving Esau, who sold it to Jacob for some food. Depending on your point of view, Esau either gave it away willingly or was cheated by Jacob.

So in the “Lost” universe, could the mystery man be Jacob’s brother, who was stripped of his birthright, or control of the island? That could definitely turn a man murderous.

Interestingly, Mystery Man/Esau rejected Jacob’s offer of food – has he been down that road before? – before spying a ship on the horizon. Which has just got to be the Black Rock, right? Somehow Jacob lured that ship to the island, and Esau implies that he’s done that kind of thing in the past, only to end badly. He vows to one day find a “loophole” that will allow him to kill Jacob.

And boy, did he ever! My feeble mind can’t wrap itself around how this happened, but somehow, Mystery Man was reincarnated as a second version of John Locke. (I guess that’s why he’s been acting so creepy and all-knowing since being reincarnated.)

Yet how is this Mystery Man’s loophole? Notice, John isn’t the one to kill Jacob. He gets Ben to do it for him. Although John Locke No. 2 is the one who ruthlessly kicks Jacob into that fire.

Not to mention, what the hell is up with there being TWO Lockes? Is the Locke we once loved really, truly dead? How are there two of them?

And now that Jacob is presumably dead, what does that mean for the island? Also, how – and why – has Jacob kept Richard Alpert (or, should we say, Ricardus) from aging?

(Side note: Did you notice that the rule preventing Esau from killing Jacob echoed the rules that Ben and Charles Widmore once discussed? That’s one reason Ben went after Penny to hurt Widmore; for some reason, he isn’t able to kill Widmore.)


I watched slack-jawed as Jacob calmly insuated himself into the lives of the show’s core characters, tweaking events just enough to put them all eventually on board Flight 815.

He stopped a young Kate from getting prosecuted for stealing a lunchbox; he gives little Sawyer a pen at his parents’ funeral to write his revenge letter; he hands Jack an Apollo bar after his first surgery; he attends the wedding of Sun and Jin; he convinces Hurley to go back to the island and gives him the guitar case; he offered comfort to Locke after his daddy threw him out the window; and he saved Sayid from being hit by the car that killed Nadia.

First, there was something up with the way Jacob made contact with everyone. Did you see how he made a point of physically touching them all?

Second – and this is where my head REALLY starts hurting – why does Jacob want these people on the island? If you follow their fates down the rabbit hole, aren’t they the ones who bring Ben and Esau/John Locke No. 2 back to the island to kill him?

As long as we’re on the subject of things that don’t make sense, why would Jacob choose to reveal himself to Ben now? Wouldn’t it have been smarter to stay invisible and dodge that knife?


Ilana got the answer to her test question from Richard, who answered her in Latin. (It’s the language of the enlightened Others, after all). Lostpedia says his answer translates to: “He who will save us all.”

But who is the savior in the statue? Ben? John Locke No. 2? A presumably near-dead Jacob? Some as-yet-to-be-seen others (or Others) that Jacob may have been referring to with his dying words? (“They’re coming.”)

We also got the answer to what Ilana and her gang have been carting around in that box of theirs: The body of Original Recipe Locke.

And how does Ilana know Jacob? Why does she agree to help him? How did she sustain those injuries to her face in that flashback? How is her face healed now? What language were they speaking?


Jack continued his plan of erasing 815’s crash by detonating the bomb at the Swan, and along the way, Sayid is shot by Ben’s dad as they try to smuggle it out of Dharmaville. (That gutshot doesn’t look good, by the way.)

They’re driven to the Swan by Hurley, Jin and Miles in the Dharma van – and they meet Kate, Sawyer and Juliet along the way. At first, the unlikely trio tries to stop Jack – Sawyer and Jack even engage in the biggest smackdown in the show’s recent history – but eventually, they’re convinced to go along with him.

Juliet is the lynchpin of this shift, saying that she saw how Sawyer looked at Kate, so she knows they’re not destined to be together. If 815 doesn’t crash, she and Sawyer will never meet, so she’ll never have to lose him. (However, I’m guessing Juliet didn’t anticipate being sucked into a mineshaft and having to smack the bomb with a rock to pull this plan off.) And was Sawyer’s wails of anguish when Juliet let go of his hand heartwrenching or what?

Along the way, Miles drops a bomb of his own: What if detonating Jughead is what CAUSES the Incident? Maybe they’re actually NOT supposed to drop the bomb?

What if Miles is right? If the bomb is what caused the Incident, then 815 will still crash. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll still be on the island, but they’ll be slightly different people with slightly different futures.


So what does that fade-to-white ending actually mean? Theories will abound in the next nine months (damn you, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, damn you!)

Does it mean that the past five seasons of “Lost” have been erased? Will Oceanic 815 land safely in L.A.?

Or will the castaways wake up on the beach after the crash, but with knowledge of what’s to come and the power to change it? If they do find themselves on the island once again post-crash, does that mean that Charlie, Michael, Boone, Shannon, Walt and Claire will be there, too? (That would be awesome, in my  opinion.)

So is what’s done, done? Is what happened, happened? Can we change the future or the past?

It truly stinks that we didn’t get that question resolved, but then again, we do have one final season to go!


• Jack’s surgery flashback fleshed out the story that he told Kate in the very first scenes of the series. He deals with fear by counting to 5.

• Vincent’s alive! Walt’s doggie is doing very well, too, thanks to Rose and Bernard.

• Sun finds Charlie’s ring in Aaron’s crib, giving that scene some extra sentiment. The last time we saw it, Charlie was headed off to his death at the Looking Glass.

• If Desmond is so unique and special – according to Eloise and Daniel – why didn’t he appear in the finale? They’ve gotta resolve his part in Season 6, right?

• Why doesn’t Jacob live in his cabin anymore? And if Ilana burned it, does that mean Ghost Christian and Claire are now homeless?

• When Locke is pushed out the window, Jacob is rather prominently reading Flannery O’Connor’s “Everything that Rises Must Converge,” a collection of short stories. Is it relevant that one of those stories, “Revelation,” involves questioning God and a lineup of characters waking up in Heaven?

That’s all until 2010, Lost-philes! I know, start shrieking now! I’ll bring you any “Lost” news I come across in the meantime, but for now, post your reactions, theories and rants in the comments section below!

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 9:49 am by Heather Salerno. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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