Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jacob's Cabin: The Season Five Finale 'The Incident'

Written by Chris Monigle

 

[caption id="attachment_512" align="alignnone" width="180" caption=""If it only ends once, anything before that is just progress""]'If it only ends once, anything before that is just progress."[/caption]

Well, they got me again. Every year! And I love it every year even if the realization of the 8 month hiatus sweeps over me and hits me like the 50 year storm in 'Point Break.' I absolutely loved every moment of the season finale. I was on the edge of my seat for the final twenty minutes! My jaw dropped when the dead body of John Locke rolled out of the cargo carried by (I believe them!) the good guys. Very intense fight scene between Sawyer and Jack. But I guess I'll save these thoughts for their usual place. This finale solidifed LOST as the greatest show ever created. That's not even hyperbole. It is the truth. No show, for a long time, will ever match the brilliance of LOST. Lindelof and Cuse, you are the kings. 

But you know all that talk about this recap being epic? Well, I lied, in the context of it being epic in the blowhard sense. I had an epiphany. I don't like turning these LOST recaps into an english essay, full of blowhardiness. I'm going back to how I used to do it. A paragraph or two about what interested me most followed by a extreme amounts of bullet thoughts about the episode. No insane analysis. I've always been about this story and letting it unfold itself and I will continue to do that until it ends next year. It'll probably be pretty long still but hardly the blowhardiness I've indulged the last few weeks. With that said, I'm going to talk about Jacob!

"If it only ends once, anything before that is just progress," says Jacob to the man who eventually will hijack Locke's body. No name given. He is a man who looks like he could be Radzinky's father (and no i'm not going there). He spoke with contempt, acknowleding to Jacob that he is aware that the only reason he brought the Black Rock to the Island is to prove him wrong. Jacob says that he is wrong. The man tells him that it all ends the same: 'they come, fight. They destroy. They corrupt. It always ends the same.' To which Jacob replies: 'if it only ends once, anything before that is just progress.' The man then asks, rhetorically, if Jacob realizes just how much he wants to kill him. Jacob knows. The man says that, sooner or later, he will find a loophole and that he will Jacob. Jacob tells the man that when he does, he'll be on the Island. 

What a way to open the season finale, which is a launching point for the final season of the show. I expected them to open with something like this because, well, this is how Lindelof and Cuse roll with the finale. For so long, we fans have wondered and wondered about Jacob. Hell, when I wrote about the season three finale on my livejournal, I even placed pictures of Jacob, just wondering. Last year, in my season four finale recap, I included a huge excerpt about Bentham and the Jacobeans. After all the wondering, we finally meet Jacob. With Jacob comes a whole new set of ideas and questions. I watched the opening scene three times. It's one of the most intriguing scenes I've seen on the show. What does Jacob think the man is wrong about? What in the world does 'If it only happens once, anything before that is just progress' mean? There's so many questions about Jacob. So, of course, he dies. I'm probably going to be dreaming about that scene until January. It's going to be one of those scenes that I just watch and watch. So, yeah. It had quite an impact. The most interesting thing about Jacob was/is his insistence on free-will and choice. For five seasons, we have heard about destiny and fate from Ms. Hawking, Ben, Locke, ect. I've written incessantly about destiny. And Jacob, who might be the Island literally or something, is talking to our favorite castaways about choice and free-will. The mere presence of Jacob though is the lives of the castaways suggests something about their destiny on the Island though. He was there when little Kate, with the help of her friend who would eventually die for her in 'Born To Run.' Jacob was there to console little Sawyer at the funeral for his parents. He was there to, in a way, bless the marriage of Jin and Sun. Jacob told Locke that everything would be allright after his father pushed him out of the building. He was there after Jack's first major surgery, when he cut the girdle sac we heard about in his first conversation with Kate. Jacob was the one to turn Hurley around, telling Hurley that it is his choice. But, really, what does choice mean to Jacob? There's little choice for those who are kidnapped to be with the Others. But that's for another time I suppuse. But why? Why these people? What is their destiny? Add to that are the lists. Those lists which were responsible for the fun times the tailies and losties had during the first 48 days. Why? I am really eager to find out in the final season of LOST. Back to the unnamed man, why did he want to kill Jacob? It seems as if he could not kill Jacob. He needed Ben to do it. It was really something, seeing the role reversal. Ben was in Locke's shoes while "Locke" was Ben. The scene when Jacob is killed by Ben is one of the greatest scenes in the show's history (we even saw Jacob in his chair!). Michael Emerson knocked that out of the ball park. We finally saw the human element of Ben, a man who questioned why he never saw Jacob, expressed frustration because of that fact and the lists, and his time as a leader. We also learned that John Locke is not John Locke, something that has been speculated about for some time now, but seeing the dead body of Locke still had quite an effect on me. My jaw literally dropped. John Locke really is dead. It's very sad. So, this raises the question about the unnamed man: is he Smokey? Is "John Locke" just another "Yemi" and "Alex"? It explains why Smokey as Alex threatened to destory Ben if he interfered with Locke at all. Should that be true (and seems pretty damn plausible to me) then that raises yet another set of questions. The most important question has got to be: what does killing Jacob mean? What are the consequences of such an action? My good ol' friend STEVE (and rankings buddy) thinks that Juliet's detonation did not cause the white flash but rather the death of Jacob. It's something to chew on during the next 8-9 months. I'm eventually going to get to the white out but not right now. I've been talking about game-changers throughout the season. This I know: killing Jacob is a game-changer. That's all anyone knows right now except for Lindelof and Cuse and their band of writers. I can't wait to see what killing Jacob means. With all of this going on with Jacob, I have the prevailing idea that Jacob is good. There's no way OUR John Locke would kill Jacob. The presence of Jacob in the lives of the castaways means a lot of different things. An interesting aspect of Jacob's presence is simply that: his presence. He never interfered (though it seems he distracted Sayid so Nadia would be hit by the car). He was always there. Our beloved characters' fate and destiny lies with that Island. But maybe Jacob dying changes things. Who indeed knows. That is something for 8-9 months from now. It's time for some other thoughts about the brilliant season five finale:

--We finally saw The Incident, the event which is responsible for the entirety of season two and the intrigue of the latter half of season one. It was a blast to the past of season two, seeing the power of the electromagnetism. I liked how we learned of Radzinky's intentions with The Swan. He wanted to change the world. He gets his wish with The Swan. The poor guy has to push that button for a long time. I mean, Radzinky wasn't all bad. Sure he was annoying and he yelled a lot (sort of like Pickett actually) but he wasn't a bad guy. He was all about The Swan. That's why he was so damn paranoid. Phil, on the other hand, was a bad guy. He had a taste for blood, folks. He would've shot Sawyer too if not for those poles. The Incident pretty much happened as described. Dr. Chang will eventually lose his hand because of what happened to it at the site. That was such a nice scene when Miles rushed to his dad's aid immediately. One of the most underrated stories of the season: Miles and his dad. I'm so glad the writers told that story. 

--The Incident also killed Juliet. In fact, the body count might be three when all is said and done in 1977. Does that blow my belief in whatever happened, happened? NO! 1977 was their present. Faraday didn't die in '77 (well he did but he didn't) just as Juliet did and didn't. I think Sayid will live. Never saw him die! It's exactly like what happened with Michael and Jin in the season four finale. We know Michael was toast because the bomb detonated just as Juliet's gone because she detonated the bomb. Never saw Jin die. Never saw Sayid. Very fitting that it was Jin that kept taking care of Sayid. Lindelof and Cuse talked about time loops in their interview with Doc Jensen and his friend on EW.com. Don't mistake it for a paradox because it's not. They referenced Ms. Hawking with Daniel at the piano when she was in tears (as Doc Jensen interpreted: because she just got back from the Island where she killed her little boy Danny Faraday) and her insistence on Daniel devoting his time to science and physics, hoping that he can create a time loop which would prevent what happenes in 1977. Once again, don't mistake it for a paradox. Yes, Daniel died in 1977 but little Daniel is going to grow up to have the life we witnessed and it will end. If detonating Jughead worked then Daniel succeeded in the time-loop. It's all or nothing basically. Either time doesn't change or it changes so that everything that happend didn't happen. There will be no paradox and this is the 1,354,789th reason that LOST kicks the hell out of that fraud of a show HEROES and blows that show out of the water. Just walk away from Heroes, Kring. End the show. You'll never, ever, EVER be LOST.

--How bad-ass was Jack in this finale? Probably the most bad-ass he's been in the five seasons of LOST. I loved how he had Sayid's back the moment Sayid was shot by Mr. Linus. Jack's a loyal guy. He always looks out for the people of Oceanic 815. 

--People were worried about Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet getting off the sub being a paradox. Once again, no paradox because Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse are brilliant. I always love when Juliet just completely owns someone. Such an underrated bad-ass. I remember back in season three, I wrote something about 'Left Behind' (it hadn't aired yet). The previews previewed a Juliet/Kate fight. Back in season three, Juliet rubbed me the wrong way but I've since grown to love her but I digress. I wrote that there was no way Kate would lose in a fight to Juliet. Well, I was proven wrong. Don't mess with Juliet. Ah I will miss Juliet. Elizabeth Mitchell did a wonderful job portraying her especially Juliet's final moments as she hit Jughead. Very powerful. One of my favorite Juliet moments happened this season: when she delivered Amy's child. It's those stories that I really love about LOST. Never underestimate my love for the characters of LOST. Juliet had a hell of a time delivering babies because the mothers and the child died on the Island. So, I'm glad that moment happened. The fans and the character deserved it.

--The fight between Sawyer and Jack was five seasons in the making. They've had their good times and their bad times. Jack's plan to change everything seemed to be just an excuse for Sawyer to kick the tarnation out of Jack (Jack got his shots in too). The whole thing blew up when Jack expressed his regret for losing Kate. I've never been into the love stuff on LOST (and apparently Matthew Fox thinks the show is too intense for a triangle) but I didn't mind the love stuff in the finale. In particular, when Sawyer was holding onto Juliet...damn. It nearly got a little dusty in my family room. Josh Holloway is terrific. 'DON'T YOU LET GO!' And then Sawyer breaking down when she dropped. Holy moly. Kate and Jack pulled him back. You see, Jack always has their backs. 

--No one drives a Dharma van like Hurley. He had no problem driving that thing through the battlefield the future New Otherton became. I really enjoyed the scene with Hurley and Jacob. Jacob's perspective that Hurley is blessed because he can still talk with Libby and Charlie was very nice. In fact, I loved the return to season one which we got with Jacob and, well, how the season ended. But I'm going to write more about season one in a bit.

--Poor Jin. Not enough of screen-time for him in season five. 

--Loved Miles' line about Jack causing the Incident. Once again, Lindelof and Cuse are brilliant. Always anticipating fans thoughts.

--I loved how everyone got together to protect Jack at the site of The Swan. I love this show and these characters.

--Richard knocked Ms. Hawking out because he said she was pregnant. We know Daniel is alive. So, who is Daniel's sibling?

--VINCENT!!!!!!!!!!!! VINCENT!!!!!!!!!!! ROSE AND BERNARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was overjoyed to see Vincent run out of the jungle, and then Rose, and then Bernard. They had a nice set-up. I got a kick out of Rose guessing that Jack is doing something Sawyer, Juliet, and Kate don't agree with and their purpose to stop him. Bernard had a particularly touching line when he said 'then we die.' It was really great seeing those three again.

--I will now turn it to the 2007 story. Wait, what's that you say? I didn't address the insane cliffhanger they left us? Patience, my lads. Patience.

--The central story, obviously, of 2007 was the journey to kill Jacob. "Locke" and Ben. My favorite part of the story, as noted earlier, was/is Ben. They really opened up Ben in this finale. Since season two, Ben has been shrouded in mystery, always lying and deceiving. But he was different. He just seems exhausted or tired. His response to Sun after she said something about his lies was full of weariness and a sense of 'no use in lying anymore.' The disposition of Ben crescendoed in the four-toed statue of Jacob's, when he was baited and proded by the man who hijacked John Locke's body, thirty five years coalesced into one moment with Jacob, when he spoke about the lists, and never being able to see Jacob, and Richard delivering Jacob's instructions, and the fact that Ben devoted his life to the Island and, as "Locke" reminded him, all he got was cancer, a dead daughter, and banished. Everything for Ben has always been about the Island so it was quite a moment (I was on the edge of my seat, completely immersed in the world, feeling the emotions of Ben) when Ben asked 'What about me?' and all Jacob said was "What about you?' After all of the years of devotion, Jacob never really cared for Ben at all. Ben was never special. You best believe that was a powerful moment. And then Ben stabbed Jacob, just like he stabbed Keamy. And then, in what will stay with me for a long time, "Locke" coldly kicked Jacob into the fire, torching the leader of the Island, solidifying his death. Holy moses. Before Jacob is kicked into the fire by "Locke," he says they're coming to which "Locke" pauses for a moment, and then with contempt and disgust, kicks Jacob into the fire while Ben looks on like he just realized the immensity of the act he just did. Who, indeed, is coming?

--More Ben: he finally admitted that he realized he was talking to an empty chair when he took Locke to see Jacob in season three. I just really enjoyed everything Ben's been through in season five. Great character development. He had no idea what happened when the cabin went wild. Locke heard 'help me.' 

--I'm glad we finally figured out that the Ajira crew seem to be good. This is really something. The Others are the good guys now. For the first three years, the Others were the enemies and now they are the good guys. Jacob went to Ilana, who was hospitalized and banaged (burned?). Jacob most likely healed her. He then asked for her help. Jacob probably saw all of this coming. They torched Jacob's cabin. They carried around cargo which we find out contains Locke's body. I still have no idea what lies in the shadow of the statue because I didn't understand the language Richard answered the question in. Hopefully Doc Jensen has the translation (I will be reading that recap as soon as I'm done this). But, you know, I like the Ajira crew.

--Poor Sun. All she wants to do is find her husband and she's having a heck of a time doing so. "Locke" isn't even Locke. When she saw Aaron's cradle, I thought we might get some Claire. Only for a second or two. I realized it would send get her thinking about Ji Yeon and her husband. I appreciated her finding Charlie's ring that he gave to Aaron before heading out to the Looking Glass. I enjoyed seeing the camp again even though it was pretty much destroyed. 

--We learned Richard doesn't age because Jacob made him that way. The most obvious question is: why? He told "Locke" this after asking him about dying and then resurrecting. I think Richard is going to step up big time in season six or at least provide a lot of answers. Whatever way you look at it, he'll step up. Richard just seems like a nice guy. He offered Sun water. He's never been malicious. I think, and hope, he is a good guy. But we'll see.

--Good ol' Frank. That's really all I have to say about Frank. I didn't want to ignore him in the recap.

--I love the official LOST podcast. I've listened to it since it began in 2006 during season two. Lindelof and Cuse never cease to crack me up. After the finale (since it's taken me a bit of time to finish this and it's thursday), I listened to the podcast previewing The Incident. I couldn't contain my laughter while walking my dog when Lindelof joked that Jacob was 60 feet tall and made of flames. Ah man. Terrific. You gotta hear it to get the full effect of the joke especially with Lindelof's idea for how Follow The Leader should've ended with the acknowledgement that Jacob is 60 feet tall and made of flame.

--Back to 1977 and the detonation of Jughead!

--So, Juliet survived the fall. She woke up and saw that Jughead never exploded on impact. She grabs a rock, crying, and hits it and hits it, until it explodes...and white. The first whiteout for LOST. And with that, we go into the sixth and final season of my favorite show of all-time.

It's the classic LOST cliffhanger. I still remember how I felt, five years ago, when the Others took Walt, and the feelings I had when Jack and Locke looked down the Hatch. This finale felt like that season one cliffhanger. No, no children were abducted. But that same creepiness and, hell, frightning feeling was present when we discover that Locke is really dead and the unnamed man hijacked Locke's body, and Jacob's death. The big thing of it all is: did everything change? Or will they sent to 2007? They are coming, Jacob says. I will write a little the sixth and final season.

Everything is beginning to fall into place. Not Locke tells Jacob that he has no idea what's he done to get to this point. The Ajira crew are there for Jacob. The battle is going to begin. We've got Widmore, Hawking. Desmond's around. And we still have to see Claire again. And believe you me, we are going to see her in the sixth and final season. I know it.

I won't even beat around the bush here. The sixth season is going to reflect the first season. How do I know this? Damon Lindelof and Cartlon Cuse have said so. The time-travel stuff is season five. Season Six is going to be, simply put, 'destiny found.' It'll be more grounded and character-centrice. I believe everything is going to coalesce. Jacob says, "It takes a very long time when you're making a thread. I suppose that's the point, isn't it?" It's something that Damon or Carlton could say to their fans. It has taken five years and now these threads are going to create the complete design that Ben sees on the wall. It goes without saying that I'm delighted to hear about season six as a reflection of season one. I think season one is the most brilliant television season ever produced. I won't even say 'one of' because I don't believe it. The character stories of the season one are mind-blowing. The first episode I ever saw was 'House of the Rising Sun' and it blew me away so I watched every week from then on. Season six is going to be about these characters, their stories, and their destinies. It already began in this finale, going back to key moments in the childhoods of our characters. Going back to season one moments. I already get sad thinking about this show ending but I know it's going to be fantastic and that it's for the best that this show ends. I can already see where it is going a tiny bit. But as always, I like for the story to tell itself.

All in all, for season five, and the finale, it kicked ass. The cast and crew deserve so much applause and accolades for the season it was. I really, really enjoyed it. It was exciting storytelling and all that jazz. As for the finale, I went through the usual flurry of emotions. They shocked the hell out of me and sent me to the floor as the whiteout engulfed the screen and LOST appeared. An absolute A+ finale. Thank you, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. I'm going to be thinking about this for the rest of 2009. You are the kings.

"If it only ends once, anything before that is just progress."

TO THE RANKINGS (with commentary!)!

THE OFFICIAL LOST RANKINGS!

Me and STEVE did a commentary on each character last year. I liked it so much that I suggested we do it again. We did. My rankings contain a first that will probably never happen again. But no need for setup. Read and enjoy!

AFTER EPISODE 16 & 17
RANKED: 5/14/09

CHRIS
1. Desmond-He's been missed
2. Sayid-he'll survive that bullet wound or land safely in LAX
3. Jack-The most bad-ass Jack has ever been was this finale
4. Richard-the coolest Other ever
5. Hurley-No one drives a dharma van like Hurley
6. Sawyer-what a goodbye with Juliet.
7. Jin-Only dude taking care of Sayid.
8. Ben-Probably my favorite Ben season yet
9.  Juliet-I'll miss her. I really warmed up to her since she first appeared.
10. Miles-The second most logical character on the show plus agreed with me about Jack causing the Incident
11. Kate-Good ol' Kate
12. Sun-Poor Sun.
13. Frank-Always liked Frank. Just doesn't get enough screen time.
14. Daniel-Did he, in fact, make time?
15. Widmore-Nature of the Rankings Beast
16. "Locke"-No idea how to rank this dude now

STEVE
1. Desmond-Please come back
2. Sayid-Alive or dead at numba 2
3. Kate-Sexy
4. Miles-Miles is jaboy for using his head at times where no one else would
5. Sawyer-We loved his emotion in the last episode
6. Ben-Mans up and stays at 6
7. "Locke"-R.I.P. John Locke
8. Jin-Didn't get enough exposure this season
9. Richard-Wild for not aging
10. Frank-Frank's a good guy. He means well and he needs more airtim.
11. Sun-poor Sun, stuck with a dead locke, a real locke, a man who doesn't age, and a man she doesn't trust.
12. Jack-Jack
13. Widmore-We don't know enough about him yet I feel
14. Hurley-Only reason he was ranked that high is because of last week's laugh he gave us.
15. Daniel-Last time he'll be on the rankings hopefully.
16. Juliet-She is dead last for trying to control Sawyer and being a famous 5 letter word that begins with B. She deserved to die.

I'll write about LOST sporadically during summer and fall but this blog will branch out a bit. To what exactly? Wait and see.

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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.