Season 5 – Episode 16/17: “The Incident.”
The final Lost Monday of the year is upon us. We have much to dis-
…Wow, sorry about that. We have much to discuss.
Lost prides itself on mind-blowing season finales, and although they manage to raise the bar ever-higher each year, I think the Season 5 climax was just as good as any other. The idea that Faraday’s plan might have actually worked really tosses a monkey wrench into a lot of theories out there, setting the stage for a giant Reset Button press, or perhaps even that nothing happened, and the Islanders need to scrap together a Plan B. Either way, I dug it.
I even took enjoyment out of the cliffhanger, where in normal years I’d be hurling half-empty bottles of Blatz, Schlitz and/or Billy Beer at my television. Truth of the matter is that me and Lost have had a major up-and-down relationship over the last few years, and the best plan of action for both of us is to spend a little time apart, find new television shows to fall in love with, and resume our courtship in 2010. If it’s meant to be, it shall.
There was death, destruction, intrigue, explosions and a goddamn LOCKELGANGER! You can’t really go wrong with that, even though any Desmond-free episode of Lost is a bummer to me (Post-Season 1, of course). So, as this is about as special of a Lost occasion as you can ask for, we’re going Old School here on the CDP, with a whopping 4,500 word Lost Monday like we haven’t done in forever. Hey, for what we’ve gone through together this year, don’t we deserve it?
Open wide, unhinge your jaw and breathe through your nose, because it’s time for The Thick & Meaty!
JACOB’S 19th CENTURY FLASHBACK (GIVE OR TAKE A CENTURY).
Beneath the four-toed statue (Marilyn Monroe? Wait, didn’t she have six toes? What? That was an Urban Legend? Son of a bitch!), we get our first look at Jacob, tearing up a tapestry loom like nobody’s business, rocking a white tunic that only an omnipotent could wear without threat of a serious ass-kicking. We see that he’s roughing it a bit, catching fish with wicker traps, cooking them on wicker rocks and eating them between slices of wicker bread.
As he savors the flavor, we see what looks like the Black Rock on the horizon. It’s hard to tell because we didn’t see the part where it gets shot smack-into the middle of the jungle for no discernible reason. Jacob begins a tense discussion with another man who accuses him of summoning the Black Rock to the Island, in a manner of speaking. The non-Jacob guy claims that people brought to the Island always bring destruction, corruption, and “that it always ends the same.” He mentions to Jacob that he wants to kill him, and that some day he will find a Loophole in which to do so. This is eerily similar to a rum-soaked conversation I had with my father on Christmas 1999.
As the scene ends, we get our first full look at the Statue, which is some sort of Egyptian creature-type thing that I refuse to look up on Wikipedia right now.
SAWYER’S FLASHBACK: CASKETS AHOY!
A young James Ford sits on the steps of a church following the funeral of his folks. We see him begin to write the letter to ‘Sawyer’ that would eventually lead to…you know…the rest of his life and whatnot. Jacob appears and gives him a pen, apologizing to him about the whole murder-suicide thing before warping himself away. Just then, James’ uncle Doug shows up and tells James to move on, saying ‘What’s done is done.’
James agrees with him, yells ‘Psych!’ and strangles him to death with a short length of chain.
JULIET’S FLASHBACK: BARELY NECESSARY.
Juliet’s parents tell her and her sister Rachel that they’re getting a divorce. They say they love each other, but they aren’t meant to be together. Juliet is enraged at her parents and runs off, refusing their offers to help her cope. She cannot understand how two people can love each other but not stay together. Her mother tells her she’ll understand when she’s older.
And you know what? She does! Awesome! Apparently, Jacob missed his flight or something, because this is the only flashback that doesn’t involve him in some way. Perhaps Jacob was Rachel in disguise; never know.
KATE’S FLASHBACK: HANGIN’ TOUGH.
Kate attempts to steal a New Kids On The Block lunchbox from a convenience store while her friend Tom keeps a lookout. She’s caught on her way out the door, and the clerk threatens to call the police and her parents. Jacob pops in and offers to pay for the lunchbox, which satisfies the clerk. He then makes Kate promise to never steal again. She agrees and Jacob touches her nose.
I’m beginning to see a pattern, here. Jacob is trying to do the right thing by steering these people in the right directions concerning their lives, yet they flagrantly disobey him because they’re self-centered jerks with zero moral compass. I have yet to see this guy do anything even remotely evil.
JACK’S FLASHBACK: YOU MAKE SIX FIGURES, YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE 60 CENTS.
Jack is in surgery, operating on a teenage girl. He accidentally nicks her dural sac and goes into a panic. Christian tells him to count to five, and that if Jack doesn’t calm down Christian will do the surgery himself. Later, after his candy bar gets stuck in the vending machine, Jack tells Christian he’s angry that he was ‘put in a time-out’ and disrespected in front of his team. As he starts to walk away, Jacob offers him the Apollo Candy Bar from the vending machine. Jacob touches Jack’s hand for a moment and says, ‘Maybe all it needed was a little push.’
Man, Jack has his hands on more sacs than Adam Lambert. High-five. Touchdown.
SUN & JIN’S FLASHBACK: WHO INVITED THE CREEPY WHITE GUY?
At Jin and Sun’s wedding, Jacob pats them on the shoulder, tells them (in Korean) to cherish the time they have together, and saunters off to the reception, where he more or less inhales the open bar.
LOCKE’S FLASHBACK: WHO NEEDS A SPINE, ANYWAY?
Jacob is reading on a bench, while we (hilariously) see John Locke fall to his doom in the background, after being pushed out of the eighth story window by Anthony Cooper. He appears to be fairly-to-mostly dead, but after Jacob touches his shoulder, Locke gasps and opens his eyes. Jacob tells him that everything will be fine, and that he’s sorry for what happened to him.
‘Everything will be fine?’ You do know that he was murdered, right?
SAYID’S FLASHBACK: NADIA JAYWALKS FOR THE LAST TIME.
In 2005, Sayid and Nadia are discussing how to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in Los Angeles. Sayid says they need to find the perfect place to celebrate, suggesting Paris. Nadia remarks that she would settle for finding her sunglasses. As they start to cross the street, Jacob tells Sayid he thinks he’s lost and asks for directions, touching his shoulder as he does so. Nadia continues across the street, turns back to face Sayid and Jacob, saying that she has found her sunglasses. She is immediately pummeled by a car. Sayid runs to her and she tells him to take her home.
Clearly, Sayid is just bad luck for Nadia. Everytime she’s around that guy, there’s drama. And when I say ‘drama,’ I mean ‘rampant torture and ocassional death.’
ILANA’S EXTREMELY SQUARE-HEADED FLASHBACK.
Ilana is in a hospital, heavily bandaged, Invisible Man-style, when Jacob comes to visit her. In Russian, he asks her to help him and she says she will. Thanks for that.
HURLEY’S FLASHBACK: AIN’T NO HAM LIKE ASYLUM HAM.
In 2007, Hurley is being released from prison. He tries to convince the guard that he shouldn’t be released because he is a murderer and current, reigning and defending Prison Competitive Eating champion. The guard says he’s been discharged and should go to a cab standing in front of the building. Hurley shares a cab with Jacob, and on the seat between them is a guitar case. For the duration of the ride, Jacob impresses both Hurley and the cab driver with his haunting acoustic take on ‘Classical Gas.’
Jacob asks Hurley why he won’t go back to the Island. Hurley says he believes he is cursed and has caused all of the death and tragedy that has surrounded him. Jacob tells him he is blessed to have the ability to speak with the dead and that he is not crazy. He tells Hurley about Ajira Flight 316 and tells him all he has to do is be on that plane. As Jacob leaves the cab Hurley tells him he left his guitar. Jacob says it’s not his guitar. Hurley eats the guitar.
ON THE ISLAND – 1977: DROPPING A DISCO BOMB, BABY!
Juliet, Sawyer and Third Wheel are on the sub leaving the Island. Kate convinces Juliet and Sawyer that they need to stop Jack from detonating the H-Bomb, so they get the captain to surface the sub and make their way back to the mainland. Someone gets pistol-whipped and an innocent two-way radio loses his or her life. Semper Fi, CB.
When they arrive on the island, they are greeted by Vincent, who has been in the care of Rose and Bernard for the past three years. Rose explains to the trio that she and Bernard are now retired and live a quiet life near the beach, scavenging food and avoiding detection from the Dharma Initiative. On Kate’s request to show them where the barracks are, Rose points them in the direction of the barracks and they leave. And thus closes the chapter of Rose and Bernard in what could be the weakest way possible. Seriously, the writers just forgot about them.
Meanwhile, in the tunnels under the Dharma Initiative’s barracks, Jack and Sayid dismantle the hydrogen bomb in order to remove its core (mostly Sayid, to be fair). Richard Alpert and Eloise Hawking assist Jack and Sayid in entering the barracks via the basement of one of the houses (Ben’s, right?). When Eloise is about to enter the basement to secure the area, Richard knocks her out to prevent her traveling with them to detonate the bomb because she is pregnant.
Who is she pregnant with? Another gripping Lost mystery!
Afterwards, he leaves Sayid and Jack on their own. As a plan to remain undetected, Sayid dons a Dharma jumpsuit in order to fit in at the barracks, but Roger Linus recognizes and shoots him in the intestinal region, all because of that little ‘tried to murder your kid’ incident. A gun fight emerges, but Jack and Sayid escape with Jin and Miles in a van driven by Hurley, who drives toward the construction site of the Swan station while Jack treats Sayid’s wounds. Hurley has to stop the van when he sees Juliet, Sawyer and Kate standing in his way. During this drive, the H-Bomb, which has been rigged to detonate on impact, gets conked around more than Pete Townshend’s guitar.
Jack and Sawyer discuss the situation away from the other survivors. Sawyer expresses his opinion that ‘what’s done is done’ and that they shouldn’t try to change the past (fine time to start following uncle Doug’s advice, jackass). Jack claims that it his destiny to change the past and that John Locke has always been right about the island. Jack and Sawyer get into an epic fist fight, which is broken up by Juliet, who now agrees with Jack that they must detonate the bomb. When Sawyer asks why she’s changed her mind, she tells him it was the way he looked at Kate. She tells him that although they love each other, they are not meant to be together, and that if they never meet then she will never have to lose him.
Come on, Juliet. It’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. You could have missed the pain, but then you’d have to miss the dance. Garth Brooks, bitch!
With everyone now on the same page, Jack enters the construction site of the Swan station at the same time that security officer Phil arrives with a team of weasely, armed, 70’s men. On the orders of Radzinsky, Dr. Pierre Chang continues drilling into the energy source beneath the construction site. A massive gunfight ensues, wherein the survivors gain the upper hand, allowing Jack to drop the bomb into the pit at the same time the drill hits the energy source.
The bomb, however, does not detonate, because Jack is a failure. Suddenly, all metal items are being pulled into the pit (as is the custom of electromagnetic energy), causing Phil to be stabbed by a rebar, Dr. Chang’s arm to be trapped by a falling beam and Juliet to be dragged into the chasm by a chain. Miles manages to lift the beam and release Dr. Chang’s injured hand. Meanwhile Sawyer grabs a falling Juliet’s hand. His and Kate’s efforts to save Juliet are futile, although to be fair, it didn’t seem that Kate was trying very hard. After a tear-jerking goodbye where Juliet realizes Sawyer’s deep love for her, she lets go of Sawyer and falls to the bottom of the pit.
Severely injured, Juliet sees the bomb lying next to her, undetonated and cushioned by the mud. Realizing her mortality, she picks up a rock and hits the H-Bomb 8 times until it seemingly detonates.
ON THE ISLAND – 2007: THE LOCKELGANGER EMERGETH!
Locke, Ben, Sun and the Others follow Richard toward the remains of the four-toed statue (just the foot in present day), where Jacob resides. Locke assigns Ben the task of killing Jacob and provides motivation by reminding Ben of all the bad things that have happened to him. The group stops to take a brief break at the survivor’s old campsite. Sun sees the crib Locke made for Aaron, and when she turns it over she finds Charlie’s ring with “DS” engraved on it.
Touching. It allowed me to take a moment to embrace the idea of Charlie and Claire off of my television.
At the same time, a group of survivors from Ajira Flight 316, including Ilana and Bram, paddle a canoe to the main Island, with Frank Lapidus and a giant metal crate from the cargo of the plane. When Frank wakes, they tell him he may be a ‘candidate’ and could be a friend to them. They reveal the (super secret) contents of the crate to a dismayed Frank. The group travels to Jacob’s cabin where they find the ring of ash around the cabin disturbed. Ilana enters the cabin and finds it deserted except for a scrap of cloth bearing a picture of the Statue. Ilana tells the others that Jacob hasn’t been to the cabin for a long time and that someone else has been using it. She orders the cabin set on fire, and the group proceeds to the Statue.
A quick word on Frank Lapidus, played to perfection by Jeff Fahey. When I was 10 years old, I saw the cult classic The Lawnmower Man, where I instantly proclaimed it to be my favorite movie ever for the next three years. I even remember watching the Oscars that year, completely bewildered as to why The Lawnmower Man wasn’t nominated for Best Picture. I, of course, was an idiot, but the point is that I love Mr. Jeff Fahey. Dude rules, end of story. Where Frank Lapidus could just be a secondary, whiny character, Fahey gives him a comedic timing, a stunned acceptance to the surrounding circumstances, and he easily steals every scene he’s in. Pretty impressive, considering the relative auxiliary nature of his role. I salute you, sir.
Moving on, at the remains of the statue, Locke demands to be led to Jacob, and brings Ben with him against Richard’s wishes. Richard pushes a stone door open, and Ben and Locke enter a chamber in the base of statue. Locke hands Ben a knife, telling him that ‘things will change’ once Jacob is gone. No kidding, things will change; the total tapestry output of the Island will probably decrease by 100 percent.
Outside, the Ajira group arrives, and Ilana asks for ‘Ricardus.’ Richard identifies himself and Ilana asks, ‘What lies in the shadow of the statue?’ Richard replies in Latin, ‘He who will protect/save us all.’ Ilana reveals the contents of the crate: John Locke’s dead body.
Uh-oh. If Locke really is dead, and always has been dead, then who’s kicking it with Jacob?
Inside the chamber, Jacob deduces that Locke represents his old rival (Skinwalker!) and that he has tricked Ben into coming there. Jacob tells Ben that whatever he has been told, he still has a choice. When Ben asks Jacob about all the times he has been neglected, putting to him the question, ‘What about me?’ Jacob’s only reply is, ‘What about you?’ Ben promptly loses his shit and stabs Jacob repeatedly. Jacob whispers to Locke, ‘They’re coming.’ Locke rolls Jacob into the fire pit in the center of the room and Jacob burns.
Inverted smash cut, Season 5 over.
You know, I think that sometimes concerning Lost, fans tend to get too caught up with the question of ‘what’s going on; I want answers!’ over the question of ‘am I being entertained?’ I think by now, people should understand that a lot of their questions have already been answered in an indirect way, more questions will be revealed during the final 17 episodes of the series, and there might even be a few questions we’ll never get the answers to. However, what’s most important is that you keep coming back every week and enjoying the hell out of the ride. For as hard as I am on this show from time to time (and believe me, there were plenty of reasons to criticize this season), I defend it because it’s awesome. It’s visionary, it’s genius, it’s in good hands and they’ll tell me what I want to know when they feel it’s right for me to know it.
Now let’s bust out the cardboard, track suit, boom box and Grandmaster Flash cassette, because it’s time to Break It Down!
1. In retrospect, the idea that John Locke wasn’t who he appeared to be following his ‘death’ is fairly clear. The idea that the Island was telling him where to go, the constant pummeling into our heads about the irrefutable truth that ‘dead is dead,’ his perfect timing of Island activities, his newfound sense of purpose and seemingly senseless murdering of Jacob. Looking back, it seems as if Jacob’s rival found a worthy host in Locke’s husk, and used it as his Loophole to finally get what he wanted. More information to come on this guy as Season 6 kicks off, but until then…damn, that was a total surprise to me.
2. H-Bomb detonation or not, I’m sorry to report that Juliet is indeed dead. Elizabeth Mitchell will be playing a major role in an upcoming ABC television series, and quite frankly, she can’t do both shows at once. They gave her a send off that was full of emotion, wonderful acting and nobility, and I thought it was a great way to send off her character. For someone who was introduced as such a cold and manipulative bitch, her transition was handled masterfully by Mitchell, and I commend that.
3. The ‘Black Swan Theory,’ as coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, refers to an event in history that might- by it’s sheer unlikeliness- change the course of history, and might come as a surprise, even though in hindsight, it all appears to be plausible and foreseeable. The unlikely events during The Incident, the name of the site being The Swan and the surprising (in an empirical sense) change of the title card from black to white echo these assumptions. Something to chew on. I also liked the subtlety of Jacob wearing a white shirt, while his ‘nemesis’ was wearing a black shirt.
4. This episode continues the tradition of having a significant plot device of the season be pulverized by explosion in the Season Finale:
Season 1 – The Swan Hatch.
Season 2 – The Swan Hatch…again.
Season 3 – The Others (Dynamite!).
Season 4 – The Kahana.
Season 5 – The Swan Hatch…once again (and arguably, the H-Bomb).
5. The desire for Jacob’s nemesis to find a Loophole in which to finally kill Jacob seems to have resulted in what amounts to a massive con involving the need to deceive Locke, Richard, Jack, Ben and most everyone that has ever been involved with the Island ever. As is the case with Lost, the most important character on this show is the one we know the least about. Did we even catch that guy’s name?
The ratings for Lost continue to be through the roof on a weekly basis, but they tend to keep dropping each season as casual fans get too confused and jump ship (yeah, I’m blaming the casual fans; I cannot understand how someone can passively watch a television show). For those that know how to keep focused and interested, here are a few tidbits that even you may have missed. Make with The Numbers!
4 – At the very beginning, we see Jacob cooking a ‘Red Herring’ on a ‘Black Rock.’ It’s stuff like that which reminds me that the Lost writers and producers are geniuses.
8 – In Kate’s flashback, the lunchbox she’s trying to steal is the one that she and Tom (also in the scene), buried as a Time Capsule. In addition, Tom is seen playing with the toy airplane. In the Blooper department we see packs of Medium cigarettes behind the counter, which weren’t introduced until 1991. It would seem to me that the flashback took place prior to ’91.
15 – Speaking of the Jacob-injected flashbacks, I like how he managed to touch each of the castaways in some fashion, leading to speculation about his ‘powers’ and intentions. Also, concerning the Sayid flashback sequence, I don’t feel as if Jacob was responsible for Nadia’s death, but actually that he was responsible for saving Sayid’s life by having him avoid the runaway car.
16 – In the very first episode of Lost, Jack gets Kate to sew him up by telling her a story about a botched surgery where he allowed himself to count to five and get his bearings back. This is the very same surgery that we see in his flashback.
23 – When Sawyer is greeted by Vincent on the beach, you can see the treat in Sawyer’s hand, which Vincent proceeds to eat. Also in Sun’s flashback, she’s wearing a different dress than the one she was wearing in the Season 1 episode ‘…In Translation.’
42 – One of the biggest Lost Nerd mysteries since Season 2 was the story behind Dr. Chang’s hand. Although it was never mentioned, referred or eluded to, the word around the Internet campfire was that Dr. Chang had a prosthetic hand in all of the Orientation films (filmed after the ‘Incident’). This suspicion was confirmed when we got a beautiful shot of Chang’s mangled arm following the destruction of the Swan Hatch.
This is one of the many reasons why I love so much. For 90% of the fans out there, this was just another dude getting injured. But for the hardcore fans, it was vindication. Just more proof that the show can be appreciated on multiple levels.
Still though, this episode raised questions concerning where the show will be headed in its Sixth and final season. Let’s spotlight a few of the more interesting ones, shall we?
1. Who is Jacob’s nemesis?
2. Why did he want to kill Jacob?
3. What is the ‘loophole?’
4. How did Jacob’s nemesis take on Locke’s appearance?
5. How does he know everything that Locke knows?
6. How does Jacob ‘bring’ people to the Island?
7. How did Jacob come to be on the Island?
8. Why did Jacob choose to visit each person at pivotal moments of their lives?
9. How does he get on and off the island?
10. Why did Jacob arrange events to lead up to people returning to or reaching the island?
11. Why did Richard say he does not age because of Jacob?
12. What is Ilana’s connection to Jacob?
13. Why was she heavily bandaged?
14. What is Frank a ‘candidate’ for?
15. What is in the guitar case that Jacob left with Hurley?
Awesome stuff. Lots of ground covered, lots of new avenues to explore; let’s spotlight just a handful of greatness from ‘The Incident,’ with Five Awesome Things!
1 – Kate’s New Kids On The Block Lunchbox. I always preferred Donnie, because he was a bad boy.
2 – Jack and Sawyer’s epic fistfight. More specifically, how bloody each of them got in less than a minute.
3 – Juliet’s deathbed (deathhatch?) noble act in detonating Jughead with a rock. Proof that either love conquers all, or a nuclear blast can turn every atom in your body into a single-file line, shredding you of your very genetic makeup. Whichever happens to be stronger at the time.
4 – Both Locke falling from the eighth story window, and Nadia getting racked by the unobservant pedestrian/hitman. I love CGI human obliterations like that; they always crack me up. In fact, the only reason you should every watch the pile of crap that is Bride Of Chucky is for the brilliant scene where the dude gets demolished by a semi (it’s at around 1:45 in the clip).
5 – The mere theory that the flesh of Radzinsky and Horace Goodspeed were horrifically melted off of their bones in a unfathomably nightmarish spectacle of gurgling death.
Well, there you have it, another year of Lost in the books. Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your week. I hope you enjoyed this season of Lost Friday/Monday, and to keep it going just a little bit longer, here are links to every CDP recap this year. Thanks much.
Season 5 – Episode 1/2 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 4 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 5 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 6 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 7 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 9 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 10 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 11 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 12 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 13 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 14 Review.
Season 5 – Episode 15 Review.
Season 2 Caption Edition.
Season 3 Caption Edition.
Season 4 Caption Edition.
Season 5 Caption Edition.