The Lost season five finale was, apparently, all about answering questions and replacing them with even more mind bobbling ones. But the big question of the night is, of course, who is Jacob?
We get a partial answer to this question in the first moments of the episode, when we finally meet Jacob face-to-face. We first see him as he weaves an intricate tapestry (you can bet it will be important in the final season). He goes to the beach and prepares some fish he has caught, and we see he is at the foot of that mysterious statue we’ve seen in bits and pieces-literally-throughout the Lost island’s history. Another man comes and sits with him, and together they watch an approaching ship; we might be able to presume that this ship is the Black Rock we’ve heard so much about. The second man tells Jacob he wants to kill him, and is looking for a loophole to allow this. Jacob’s response to this death threat is simple: “I’ll be here.”
Lost has been known for its impressive use of flashbacks-and in this season, flash-forwards-to tell a story, answer questions, and give us more questions to make up for the ones we just finished answering. But in the season five finale, the show’s writers and producers took flashbacks to a whole new level. In this episode, titled “The Incident”, flashbacks were used to reveal one very important, yet very confusing, fact: Everybody knows Jacob.
Jacob, apparently, was there for little Kate when she got caught shoplifting as a child; she promised him she would never steal again (we all know how that worked out). He stopped Sayid in the street, disabling him from being able to save Nadia when she is run down by a car (one could also say he saved Sayid at Nadia’s expense). He was there after Jack’s surgical miracle in which he saved his future ex-wife. He was there when Hurley was released from jail after he was cleared for the murders he claimed to have perpetrated to escape Ben; he is also, apparently, the one who gave Hurley the guitar Hurley takes back to the island. He blesses Jin and Sun at their wedding, in what Jin calls excellent Korean. He also knows Ilana, a newbie to the Lost universe who came back to the island with the other Oceanic survivors; he visits her in the hospital, and asks for her help. Jacob is, literally, the most connected man on the island.
Or, he was. Because, thanks to Locke’s plan, Jacob is one more thing: a dead man. And while I won’t go into too much detail (because I’m still a little, er, “Lost” about some of them), I will say this. Jacob and Locke’s-or should I say, “Locke’s”-final showdown is, in a word, classic. I do say “Locke’s” showdown, because apparently the man we’ve been following on the island this season isn’t Locke. Ilana and her group of who-knows-who-they-are carry out her promise to help Jacob by delivering a container to Richard Alpert that contains the dead body of none other than John Locke.
Ben finally gets his face-to-face with Jacob, which doesn’t go exactly the way he wanted. In a classic spot of dialogue in which Ben reflects on his disappointment and shame in having never been allowed to meet him before, Ben asks Jacob, “What about me?” Jacob’s response, to Ben’s disdain and our delight, is a simple, “What about you?” This, as you might guess, prompts a not-to-friendly response from the former Other’s leader; he stabs Jacob . . . and stabs him again . . . and again . . . and again. So now the elusive Jacob is dead (presumably-you never know on this island), and we still don’t know why.
Besides the Jacob drama, the Lost season five finale also gave us a final showdown of our favorite conflicted couples: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Juliet. With Jack’s plan to reset the Oceanic Flight 815 survivor’s life tracks with the help of a hydrogen bomb in full swing, the finale leads us on a very bumpy track to finding out whether or not the plan will actually work. Kate doesn’t think so, and tries to enlist the help of Sawyer, who claims he couldn’t care less about the plan as long as he and Juliet are safe. Unfortunately, Juliet is not so passive, and demands that Sawyer return to help stop Jack. Viewers probably felt a little for Sawyer, who was probably envisioning a nice new life on the mainland when Juliet convinced him to return, when Juliet suddenly changed her mind. The mind change, by the way, came in the midst of a major beat-down between Jack and Sawyer Lost fans have seen coming since Season One.
Now, we all knew it wouldn’t be as simple as setting of a hydrogen bomb (that’s right: simple). This half of the episode’s complex story comes to a head with Jack dropping the bomb’s core down into the belly of the island and BOOM . . . nothing happens. With the bomb failing to go off, Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Juliet are now smack dab in the middle of the spot of, you guessed it, “The Incident”. (This incident, you may recall, is what leads to the building of the hatch where Desmond pushes a series of numbers into a computer, except for that one time that happened to lead to the crash of Flight 815.) We all knew everyone wasn’t going to make it out of this unscathed, and sadly the scathed one is Juliet. When the electromagnetic-whosamawhatsit starts sucking all the metal in the vicinity into the belly of the island, Juliet gets caught in a chain, and dragged into the hole. Fortunately-or unfortunately, we’re still not sure-she isn’t dead, and manages to save the day-or ruin it, we’re still not sure yet-by taking out her romantic frustrations on the undetonated hydrogen bomb’s core with a rock. And we finally get the boom we were all waiting for.
Now that we’ve had some questions answered, Lost delivers a whole new set of questions. Who was the man posing as Locke if the real Locke is still dead? Did Eloise know all this was going to happen when she got the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors and her son to return to the island, and if so, why did she want it this way? What’s with the statue? We now know it’s where Jacob lives-or, lived-but we still don’t know why, or even if, it is so important. Who is Ilana, and who are the people she has with her, and how do they know so much about the island? And, perhaps most importantly, did the explosive finale of this season actually save the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors? We’ll have to wait until 2010, when we finally meet the final season of Lost and, as a short preview of that final season revealed at the end of this episode “Destiny [is] found”!
The classic lines of the night come mostly from Locke and Ben. In one scene, Locke asks Ben, “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” Ben coolly replies, “I’m a Pisces.” Locke has another gem when Richard leads him and the Others to the collapsed statue and shows the remains to Locke; Locke replies, “That’s a very nice foot, Richard, but what’s it got to do with Jacob?” Later, when Richard tells Locke he cannot take Ben with him to meet Jacob, Locke replies in frustration, “I’m beginning to think you just make these rules up as you go along.” Then there was Miles’ quip to Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Sayid, and Hurley when it seems they haven’t thought about the possibility that setting off the bomb might just kill them all and not fix anything: “Glad you all thought this through.” These and other lines, as well as the extremely exciting action of the episode, make this a season finale to go down in the record books! Too bad we’ll have to wait a whole year to answer another Lost question: What happens next?!