Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jacob's Foot: What They Died For (Plus The List)

[caption id="attachment_1422" align="alignleft" width="800" caption="Jack stitches Kate up"][/caption]

I'm already getting teary eyed, or dusty as I like to describe it. It's really coming to an end. Only two and half hours remain. Tonight, in "What They Died For," the final pieces were set for the final hours of LOST. It's an episode that dealt with ideas of fate, purpose and destiny. Threads became tighter in the Sideways. The Island is a living memory, an actual place in the minds of our survivors. The seemingly final hours or day of the Island seems to be nigh. Jacob finally revealed himself to those he had brought to the Island. He told Hurley to bring his friends because The End is near. Let's begin there.

In Jacob's final hours, in the night as a fire crackled with the last of Jacob's ashes, as Jacob awaited to cease from existence and disappear into the world of death, he told Jack, Kate, Hurley and Sawyer why he had brought them to the Island. Jacob was a lonely man. Sure he had all of those Others who followed his orders but he was a lonley man. He was flawed just like the survivors of Oceanic 815. He, too, human and fallible. He made a mistake when he sent his brother into the cave of light because his brother became a pillar of black smoke. This creation could not leave the Island and was trapped in its smokeness, for lack of a better description of the situation. One has thought (allright me since no one comments but still in messageboards this hasn't been discussed) that the Man in Black was trapped on the Island, seemingly trapped by something Jacob did. He couldn't left whenever he want when he had a body but the smoke changed everything. He told Sayid that he doesn't want to die. One wonders: what exactly constitutes freedom for the Man in Black? He assumed the form of John Locke but he is still Smokey. Death is the constant of this show at least in the Island timeline. There is no difference between NotLocke destroying the Island and him leaving the Island. We've learned that it only ends one way: death, nothingness. Kate wanted to know why they were chosen and brought to the Island and especially wanted to know what her friends have died for. Contextually, she referred only to Sun, Jin and Sayid but mostly all of their friends have died on the Island; perhaps, for thinkers sake, for the Island. Kate really wanted to know that her friends did not die for nothing. Nothing, nothingness has been a subtle theme this season but it was introduced in "The Substitute," an episode that presented a true nihilistic world perspective through NotLocke. All three options he presented to Sawyer all, in the end, required that nothing be done. Last week, the mother's final word was "nothing" after MIB killed her. Damon and Carlton have spoken about water as a key word for the finale. Perhaps they were joking. One never knows with them. Jacob's Foot submits another key word: nothing and then will gently JUMP cut to the Sideways. Water, Nothing and Sideways. Perhaps I'll have more to write on this after the finale.

Back to the scene of discussion, Jacob explained the candidacy to those present. He told them he needed someone to replace him as protector of the Source and he needs them to kill his brother. Even Jacob is unsure that The Smoke Monster can be killed. Jacob has represented choice. He told each person he visited in "The Incident" that they had a choice. Jacob told Kate, Jack, Sawyer and Hurley that he wanted them to choose among themselves who wanted to assume the role of protector because he wanted them to choose. Jack stood up and stepped forward. His voice broke when he told Jacob that the job is what he's supposed to do and that the job is why he thinks he needed, or was destined, to return. Jacob told him "it's time." And in the darkness of the Island, with his friends watching on, Jacob passed on his role to Jack. Jack asked him how long he'd be protecting it and Jacob said sincerely and with empathy and sympathy, "for as long as you can."

The opening scene of "What They Died For" was quiet and mournful. Jack stiched Kate up to prevent her wound from being infected while Sawyer looked out as the wreckage of the submarine washed up on the shore as "Credit Where Credit is Due" played, the iconic song that played as Jack observed the carnage and wreckage of Oceanic 815 in the "Pilot." The first shot was Jack's right eye opening, just like in the "Pilot." Afterwards, after she had been stitched up, Kate and Jack joined Sawyer and Hurley. Kate silently comforted Sawyer, silently telling him not to blame himself for the deaths in the submarine. She rested her head on his shoulder. Jack suggested they go get Desmond from the well. Along the way, Jack mentioned something about the rules to Sawyer. Sawyer openly blamed himself for Sun, Jin and Sayid's death because he theorized the rules prevented NotLocke from actually killing them and that is true to an extent. Jack only told Sawyer not to blame himself because NotLocke killed them. It wasn't quite the moment between the two in "Exodus Pt 1" when Sawyer told Jack about his father in the Sydney bar but I think Sawyer is better for what Jack said.

I felt strong "Dead Is Dead" vibes in the early part of this episode. Recall the presence of Alex in "Dead Is Dead." Ben went to the basement of The Temple to be judged by Smokey because he felt responsible for his daughter's death because he chose the Island. It's an episode that set up what Ben would eventually decided to do in The Foot. Smokey took the form of his daughter and threatened him with death if he did not follow everything John Locke told him. Of course, it was massive manipulation by Smokey. Ben, Miles and Richard reached New Otherton and as they passed through the yard Miles heard from Alex. Richard had buried her body after Ben had left the Island. What she said we do not know only that Alex triggered that devasting grief in Ben and the anger when he saw Widmore again. We also know that Miles chose to run in the jungle and be far far away from Smokey once Zoe radioed in that His Smokeness had returned from Hydra Island. As far as Ben has come in the latter part of season five and the entirety of season six, he has not been able to get past his daughter. It's unfair to think he would because no parent ever recovers from losing their child. With the word of NotLocke coming, Zoe quickly returned and she and Widmore hid in Ben's old house. Miles fled. Richard thought he could convince the Monster to leave with him and give the others a chance while Ben was going to wait for him. He expected death but Smokey needed him again. Smokey showed up and demolished Richard and then told Ben that he needed him to kill some people. First: Widmore. Widmore and Zoe had no chance especially Zoe. She made the mistake of speaking to him and her reward was her throat sliced. Widmore had to tell Smokey why he had returned. Apparently, what Widmore told Smokey, is that Desmond is a failsafe (yes yes Desmond and failsafe are forever linked). Ben quickly shot Widmore because Ben didn't feel he deserved to save his daughter. Ben then asked NotLocke about the more killing thing. Ben seems game. But Ben is also a smart smart dude.

In The Sideways, Ben came to the aid of Locke again when he saw Desmond; however, all he got was his Island memories, his awakening. Desmond told him he wanted to help Locke let go and Ben believed in the purity of the idea and he convinced Locke that something bigger than all of them was in play. Sure Jack told Locke to not mistake coincidence for fate but in this case it is fate. It's the total opposite of the scene between Eko and Locke in season two and why Eko told Locke to not mistake coincidence for fate. But destiny and fate are in play in the awesome Sideways. As he left school for the day, he ran into Alex. Alex was concerned about his arm and told him that he shouldn't drive and offered him a ride with she and her mother--Danielle Rousseau (more on her later). Rousseau asked Ben over for dinner as a way to give thanks for everything hes done for Alex. He accepted. After dinner, Ben and Rousseau shared a moment. They were her parents pretty much in the Island. In the Sideways, she looks at Ben as a father figure and admires him because she never had such a figure in her life. Ben choked up after Rousseau told him that. With all of the "Dead Is Dead" references and vibes, I thought Ben's death was imminent. But no. His story continues.

And the mission of Desmond continues. He turned himself in only to share a cell with Sayid and to be jail neighbors with Kate. His plan: to take them where they needed to be. Hurley met up with him after ANA-LUCIA (Ana Lu-Lu as I call her in my head) set them free for 125,000 dollars. Before they were free, Desmond made Kate and Sayid promise to do him a favor. They promised. Sayid was sent with Hurley (who has ALL of his memories now) and Kate was going with Desmond to the concert that was mentioned by David at the beginning of the episode. The concert where Dr. Chang, Charlotte, Faraday, David's mother, Miles and probably Sawyer will be. It's all coming together. I imagine Claire's been invited too.

And, for good measure, Locke told Jack that he's finally ready to get out of his chair.

MORE THOUGHTS:

--Oh my GOODNESS is Emilie de Ravin adorable. Holy Smoke Monster did she look as cute as ever in her only scene in the Sideways. Her happiness to be with Jack and his son was so awesome. CLAIRE! I do wonder where she is on the Island. I hope that she is with Desmond. Maybe she's asking him about that vision of his that never came true. I think she's cured her own infection and is back to being Claire bear. I hope she meets up with the gang soon and hopefully she doesn't kill Sawyer.

--We're going to see the boxes in the outrigger again. Just sayin' don't forget about them. Also, I'm merely assuming we're going to see them again. The first sentence is in no way fact.

--DANIELLE ROUSSEAU! I got teary when I saw her. I know I'm a sap but I'm a sucker for any original season one character. Mira Furlan looked beautiful. It was just great to see Rousseau happy and active in her daughter's life. So wonderful.

--Jack awoke with a new scar in the Sideways. It's happened before. What does it mean? Who knows. I imagine we'll find out in FIVE DAYS when the finale airs. David mentioned that his mother would be at the concert and wanted to make sure his father knew because he doesn't his dad to act weird. I'm telling you this: if it's Juliet, it's going to get dusty. I remember the days of Jack and Juliet. I remember Elizabeth Mitchell and how she portrayed Juliet during those days. I always liked Jack and Juliet together. Of course, I have a feeling Juliet's final words about going dutch is in relation to Sawyer and that we might see this and it'll get dusty with that too. I want to see Juliet again! I'm also excited to see how the two timelines reconcile.

--I thought the end of Jacob was very poetic and poignant. He's the guy who we've anticipated meeting since season two and last week we learned he really never had a choice about how his life unfolded. People have criticized Jacob because of the way the show built him up because of what he turned out to be but I was really satisfied with Jacob's story. I thought Mark Pellegrino was outstanding tonight. He hit the right chord.

--It seems like Richard is dead. Jacob did give him the gift of eternal life so maybe he just got a massive bump on the head because Smokey effing WALLOPED him. Hopefully he's not dead because Richard's always been cool. We'll see.

--Widmore is most definitely dead. Never was a fan. Never will be. Jacob vistited him and convinced him of the error of his hiring Keamy ways. But still, Widmore is a true BLEEP.

--I love the Sideways theme--as in music. Michael Giacchino is amazing and has a lot to do with the specialness of LOST. The music he composes for the show is absolutely amazing. The Sideways theme is just out of this world good.

--I really enjoyed the reappearance of characters who left us in past seasons especially in an episode entitled 'What They Died For.' I'll be honest. I accidentally stumbled upon this title two months when researching Tucker Gates' IMDB page. He didn't direct this episode as the damn page said he did. I digress. I've never been a big Ana-Lucia fan but I was glad to see her. She had such lousy luck when Michael killed her. It was really a sad death because she realized murder wouldn't solve anything and then Michael shot her. She was a very sad character and it was a sad death. Perhaps I've been too hard on the character. I loved her small appearance and Hurley's line to her. She's not coming with the other Islanders though because she's not ready. Desmond is

--Ben got beat up one last time. It's been awhile since we've seen that.

--Jacob explained the names on the wall as simply that: names on a wall, a form of a list. He had nothing against Kate but she became a mother. He told her she could have the job if she wanted it. After all, he said, it's just chalk on a wall.

--Seems like we got a confirmation on who inhabited the cabin after Ben said that Smokey had been summoning him. I miss that cabin.

--DL & CC have said in the past that the penultimate episode is really the beginning of the finale and this was a fantastic penultimate episode and a great set up for the series finale.

--Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and Elizabeth Sarnoff wrote the episode and longtime camera operator and director of LOST, Paul Edwards, directed. I wonder why Stephen Williams left the show but Paul Edwards definitely deserved directing the penultimate episode of the season and the series. Eddie and Adam have been with the show since season one and Elizabeth Sarnoff joined the show in season two. I'd like to thank them for all their years working on last. The same goes for Paul Edwards.

--Only one more left. "The End" airs May 23 at 9PM. Before that, you should watch Damon and Carlton present the Top Ten on Letterman TONIGHT. They will be on Kimmel friday night. It will be their last appearance before they go into radio silence. ABC will be re-airing the full Pilot on Saturday night. I'd encourage going back to the very beginning as The End nears. Tomorrow night, Damon and Carlton will be doing a live interview that'll be aired live in hundreds of theaters across the country. Finally, television wise, the LOST series finale event begins at 7PM EST with a two hour recap. Everyone who gave up on LOST and is returning for the finale should watch the 2 hour finale. Just know you won't appreciate the end of the show as much as me or any of the fans who have been loyal for six years. As mentioned above, the season and series finale itself starts at 9PM EST. It's a two and a half hour epic. After the local news, Jimmy Kimmel's post-LOST finale will air and he'll be joined by the bulk of the cast. You know I'll be watching. Holy moly it is really coming to an end.

--As for the remaining days of Jacob's Foot, I've carefully thought about how to handle finale week. After careful thought, I've decided to simply write only recaps/reviews/whatever-you-wanna-call it for the final two episodes. Most the reason lies in the fact that my series finale entry/post/whatever-you-wanna-call it will probably cover anything I would have written about in the five days between now and Sunday. It's going to be an immense entry. The plan is to have it up Monday afternoon along with the final season six LOST rankings as well as the All-Time LOST rankings.

--And it's finally hitting me that it is ending. There will be no more episodes after Sunday. I'll really miss the excitement, joy and fun I experience watching an episode and writing one of these. I'll be re-watching the series for the rest of my life because that's what I do with television I love but this is how it needs to happen. Damon and Carlton made a very concious decision to end the show three years ago. It'll be rare if a network show chooses to end their story on their own terms. I doubt it ever happens again. Savor every scene on Sunday. Savor every character interaction. Just savor EVERYTHING in the finale because it only ends once. Also, I'm so excited for the final chapter of LOST. I think it's going to be absolutely amazing. Remember, the show has never been about answers and never will be. It's always been about the characters.

I shall return Monday with the final Jacob's Foot along with final rankings for the season and the series.

TO THE RANKINGS!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS
Well, here we are: the penultimate edition of the official LOST power rankings. I somehow forgot to mention the power part for awhile now. Anywho, no changes have been made after all of the deaths. I know, I know. The millions of people reading this who have been following the rankings since its inception in another blog and in old AIM chats are shouting "but WAIT! the rules have always been that when a character dies they are removed the following week!" Well guess what? Rules change. There's a few changes. For me, Kate has returned to the top five because she's been so damn awesome lately. Ben has returned to the top five. Jin fell to 6 and Claire to 7. I moved Richard, Jacob and MIB around. And Desmond has returned to the top spot because he's just so damn cool and suave in the Sideways. As for STEVE, Ben has returned to his top five. Richard moved up to four. His top three remains the same. But now it's time for YOU to check it out yourself:

AFTER EPISODE 16

RANKED: 5/19/2010

CHRIS

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Hurley

4. Kate

5. Ben

6. Jin

7. Claire

8. Sayid

9. Locke

10. Sawyer

11. Miles

12. Richard

13. Jacob

14. Man in Black

15. Frank

16. Sun

17. Widmore

STEVE

1. Desmond

2. Jack

3. Man in Black

4. Richard

5. Ben

6. Kate

7. Jin

8. Sayid

9. Frank

10. Sawyer

11. Miles

12. Claire

13. Locke

14. Jacob

15. Sun

16. Widmore

17. Hurley

And now: A SURPRISE!

THE TOP 50 ALL-TIME GREAT CHARACTERS RANKINGS LIST

Yes. The official list of characters for the all-time rankings is being released in this very entry. STEVE suggested it be the 50 greatest characters on LOST. I came up with more than fifty and went through an exhaustive process in which I whittled it down to just 50. You'll see that Lennon did not make the final cut. He's the only one who was once ranked (I'm pretendingt that we never ranked Zoe) but we had no idea he'd be killed off so quickly. I didn't really like Lennon and he's in no way deserving of being ranked with the great characters of LOST. This list consists of every character we've ranked (minus Lennon and Zoe of course) and some characters we were never able to rank but have played a huge role in the show's story. Come Monday, each character will be ranked from 1 to 50. Here is the list:

Jack

Kate

Hurley

Claire

Michael

Walt

Boone

Shannon

Sawyer

Sayid

Rousseau

Sun

Jin

Mr. Eko

Ana-Lucia

Libby

Rose

Bernard

Ben

Desmond

Widmore

Charlie

Tom

Alex

Karl

Juliet

Ethan

Aaron

Nikki

Paulo

Faraday

Charlotte

Miles

Frank

Keamy

Dr. Chang

MIB

Jacob

Mikhail

Ms. Hawking

Dogen

Ilana

Richard

Dr. Arzt

Mr. Reyes

Mrs. Reyes

Christian

Naomi

Penny

Vincent

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.