Five seasons of Lost down, one more to go. If you watched tonight’s episode, it was quite a complex ride.
I just got home from a friend’s house where we had about seven or eight people watching the two-hour season 5 finale of Lost. Some have watched all along, some only a few episodes and some had no idea what was going on. It was an interesting dynamic to say the least seeing the reactions and questions coming from the non-fans. It really makes you think how this show, more than any other I can think of, is truly impossible to follow unless you’ve been there all along.
Now, on to the finale… Where do I even start?
First off, if you’ve not seen the finale, you best watch it or catch up in the show and watch it before reading on. Do that and come back to post your thoughts, we’d love to read them. This article and the comments will be discussing spoilers.
If you’re still here, it’s time to talk Spoilers.
As briefly as I possibly can summarize the episode: we finally meet Jacob, we see the four-toed statue in full form, we discovered why the unwilling members of the oceanic six came back, why many of the characters seemed to be destined (chosen) to come to the island in the first place, how Locke “survived” his death (twice?), how Jacob is the key to connecting many (all?) of the characters with the island, we find out why Locke knows everything he knows and who he really is, the losties all come together again annndddd the island gets hydrogen bombed the same year Star Wars came out.
I read in the papers this morning that after tonight’s episode, fans would not know how the show could continue – that it acts as a sort of conclusion. Of course, for us Lost fans, this is no conclusion at all, but the start of a bridge leading to the real conclusion that will come in the form of 17 new episodes starting a full eight months from now.
From the final official Lost podcast of the season, producers and writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse revealed that this finale would give fans all the tools they need to form together a proper theory of what the show is all about and possibly how it may end. Well, they certainly did do that with the season closer and many theories of old can be officially trashed now.
In traditional Lost fashion, the first episode opens mysteriously in the distant past where we get to see the four-toed statue in full form. While that was a cool reveal, the big reveal came moments later when we see two unknown men talking with each other on the beach beside the statue with the Black Rock ship in the ocean background. The conversation of the two strangers hints at them being long-term enemies and it ends with one referring to the other as Jacob and promising that one day he would find a loop-hole to kill him.
Wow. No messing around.The first scene of the show give us Jacob after all this time and speculation – Awesome!
Well, kind of. While Jacob was a cool character throughout the finale, appearing at key points in each character’s lives and seemingly recruiting them with his golden touch, it did feel very haphazard to see it happen all at once in this finale.
In two back-to-back episodes, we met Jacob and his nemesis (his brother Esau?), saw how he was involved with our main Losties, and how he seemingly dies – All in a two-parter out of 103 episodes of the series so far. Why not develop that some more over the last two seasons? It seems a bit much to have all of it in one episode and have it all so convenient, like it was made up in this certain way afterwards to find some way to explain what we’ve seen in past seasons.
That being said, the religious themes and characters were incredibly interesting and we can certainly tell there is a ton of work behind-the-scenes being done to tie everything together. It is creativity at its finest. Looking back on the episode, even the intro where we see Jacob wearing white and Esau wearing dark representing good and evil, mostly everything that occurs over the two hours is very precise and intentional.
A dumb thing for me was Ben telling Locke that he made up that conversation he had with Jacob when he brought Locke to the cabin back in season 3. That seems like a bit of a retcon and they’ve yet to address how/why the cabin disappears or moves. I felt that it was a weak cop-out of sorts and Ben saying he did it because he was embarrassed didn’t make sense with his character and what else happened in that cabin scene. It seems that Ben turned into a more of a childlike character motivated by jealousy. That being said, we have seen him like that before with regards to Juliet…
Speaking of which, Juliet and Kate make no sense to me. They seem to have no earnest motivation for their actions and often seem to change their mind or support different characters simply out of spite of others. I don’t get their characters and we saw plenty of that this episode. To make it worse, there was one flashback for Juliet about her parents divorce thrown into the show for no purpose whatsoever other than to add lame dialogue for her to say to Sawyer.
Alright, let’s get biblical! The episode was ripe with religious connotations with the most focus obviously on Jacob and his enemy Esau who has taken the form of Locke in an attempt to take advantage of a loophole to kill him since he cannot himself. What did I just say? That’s not confusing.
This dynamic we witnessed was cool but it was from the perspective of Esau (the other dude from the intro scene with Jacob) and I hope next season we get more of him and Jacob. Specifically, I want to see more history on Jacob and episodes focusing in on his perspective over the previous seasons and leading up to the events in the show.
Since I don’t have months to do all the research needed to grasp the history and knowledge required to completely understand the show, I’ll cheat and cite some things from the Lost wiki:
Jacob envisioned a “Ladder to Heaven” (described in the Book of Genesis 28:11-19) during his flight from his brother Esau.
In all three – Hebrew, Muslim, and Christian interpretations, Jacob’s ladder can be considered as a bridge between two worlds… a connection between God and Man. In the Bible, Tanakah and the Qur’an, Jacob was the younger twin of Esau. Benjamin was Jacob’s youngest son. Jacob died in Egypt in slavery… but Jacob’s descendants went on.
Egypt… like an Egyptian Statute perhaps? Could Jacob’s descendants be the losties he has chosen in the flashbacks… Likely relating to that list we kept hearing about starting in season 3. Remember when Pickett says that Jack’s “not even on Jacob’s list”?
In the Bible and Tanakah, Aaron is a direct descendant from Jacob.
Aaron? How interesting. Good thing Kate left him off-island or else, baby go boom!
According to the Book of Malachi, God “loved Jacob but hated his brother Esau” (Malachi 1:1-3).
Remember that “God Loves you as He Loved Jacob” video that Karl was forced to watch back in season 3? That same room that Walt was likely put in when held captive and forced to “take tests” back in season 2? Things are starting to come full circle!
There’s also mention in the religious texts of a guardian/guardian angel for Esau and him being evil. Could this be Smokey the monster? That would certainly explain it taking the form of young Rousseau and telling Ben to follow Esau (in Locke form) which led to Ben’s willingness to kill Jacob for him (Hence, Esau find and using a loophole). Also, this explains why Locke tells Richard to tell the real Locke during that time loop paradox that he needs to die in order to bring back the Oceanic Six to the island – It was actually Esau telling Richard that!
We can extend this further to say that Smokey/Esau’s Guardian/Esau took the form of Jack’s dad, Christian Shephard and pretended to speak on Jacob’s behalf in older episodes. The phrase and episode title “dead is dead” sure means a lot more now in relation to these characters.
The Smoke monster, also known as Cerberus from the map we saw hidden in the hatch made by Radzinksy and Kelvin, seems to be the protector of the temple and so it has some connection to the ancient folk who built the structures and the statue. That map from the hatch also had several spots labeled “CV” which was confirmed to mean Cerberus Vents, likely the holes we’ve seen where the smoke monster comes from. As for the name “Cerberus,” in Greek and Roman mythology Cerberus is a multi-headed dog which guards the gates of Hades. Hades has multiple meanings, some of which refer to the ancient Greek underworld and its God, or the domain of the dead and the lord of the dead. Could that be Esau?
I wish I had a pet Smoke Monster!
If any of this is right, it’s starting to make sense! I really need to re-watch everything from the beginning of season 3 onward.
This is just barely scratching the surface – there is so much more in the episode and infinitely more online about this that I’ve just started to read. If you’re a hardcore lost fan, you’ll have plenty of reading to keep you busy during the long wait till season 6.
The finale concluded with a bang (literally). In the 2007 timeline, we witnessed Ben kill Jacob with a knife on behalf of who we thought was Locke, but really was Esau. And in the 1977 timeline, a should-be-very-dead Juliet set off the hydrogen bomb by hitting it with a rock. Since she seems to be immortal, she probably walked away from that blast with no issue.
Jacob dies without a fight at the end, seemingly unworried. My guess is that he knows about the bomb going off in the past that will reset everything, but I’m guessing not in the way Jack hoped it would. One theory out there is that Faraday’s plan (now Jack’s) to use the bomb to prevent everything that happened is actually to ensure everything happens again. The course of events did seem to re-occur as they should with Dr. Chang losing his hand, Radzinsky living to push the button in the hatch and Jacob’s dying words saying “they’re coming” possibly in reference to the Losties returning to their proper time after the white flash from the bomb.
Here’s a twist: what if Jacob was intentionally changing things on his own. We saw him give the pen to young Sawyer which caused him to continue writing his letter and therefore get caught by a family member which leads to him promising not too write the note, possibly dropping his personal vendetta against the real Sawyer. We also saw Jacob convince young Kate to not steal again. Could that be Jacob changing everything for his disciples or was that what happened before anyway? (“What happened happened.”)
I wish I could say more, but so much happened that I’m starting to forget many of the scenes. I will definitely be re-watching the finale later this week to help take it all in.
So, what did you think of the finale and the good vs. evil religious themes? What about Jacob? How do you think next season will start?
Some Discussion Points
- We see the old sailing ship, the Black Rock, in the intro and it is revealed that Jacob brought them there. Will we see how the ship got to the center of the island or how Jacob brought them there?
- How does Jacob leave the island and keep coming back?
- Did Jacob let himself die, knowing that the bomb would change things in the altered 1977 timeline?
- Who was Jacob referring to when he said “they’re coming”?
- Will Jacob and Esau’s history be explored and to see how they get their immortality and powers and how old are they?
- Who built the statue and temples and how old is it?
- What are Jacob’s lists for and what were the others doing with Walt and the children back in season 1/2?
- If Ben didn’t really see Jacob in the cabin back in season 3, who called out “Help me” to John and what made the cabin go nuts in that scene?
- What’s with Christian Shephard and why was he the one to tell John to move the island?
- How did Juliet survive the fall?
- Why did some survivors of the second plane crash land in 1977, others in 2007?
- Who are the folks who brought Locke’s body to Richard?
- If all Esau needed was a someone else to kill Jacob, why are all these other survivors involved? Why can’t they kill each other?
- Will the Smoke Monster’s origin be explained?
- Is Esau the Smoke Monster or does the Smoke Monster protect Esau? Or is it neither?