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Season five of “Lost” came to a close with a feature-length, two-part spectacular, “The Incident.” Quite a lot happened in the ninety minutes of screen time, but as always with “Lost,” there was much more of a tease of what’s yet to come.

In terms of pay-off, “The Incident” answered many questions for us, some that have been hanging for several seasons, and others that were only posed this season. Mainly a Jacob-centred episode (played by Mark Pellegrino), we nonetheless got quite a few off-Island flashes, revealing to us that Jacob has interacted with many of our heroes before they came to the Island (in some cases, before they were even played by adult actors.) What this means for the characters remains to be seen, but it’s clear that their destinies have been laid out since even before their past adventures with the Dharma Initiative in 1977.

Most notable were the flashbacks for Sayid, Locke and new character Ilana: for many of the others, Jacob has been a passing presence, but for these three, Jacob’s actions have had a significant effect on their lives (and in Locke’s case, it looks like he might even have brought him back to life.) Ilana’s flashback might have been brief, but it gives some badly needed fleshing out to a fairly underused new character. It also hints that while Ben complains of never meeting Jacob, the same cannot be said of everyone connected to the Island.213px-Fourtoedreconstructed

In an episode filled with WTF-moments, the biggest (well, physically largest, anyway) came before the opening credits even rolled, with Jacob sitting on the beach, in the shadow of the statue no less, and talking to another man whose malevolence became obvious pretty quickly. Out at sea, a sailing ship that looked quite like the Black Rock approaches the Island, before we’re treated to a full (albeit profile) of the statue that has loomed over the series since season two.

No longer just a four-toed remnant, we see the full thing for the second time this season, a loincloth-wearing, ankh-carrying, and this time, a visibly snout-faced figure, the symbology of which might require an explanation (especially if the writers have manipulated it to their own ends) but appearing to be straight out of Egyptian myth. The ankh is typically taken as a symbol of immortality associated with the Egyptian gods, often linked to the Pharoahs as a sign of their divine lineage and right; what little we see of the face might seem to give a crocodile-like face, but the snout is in keeping with the facial features of many Egyptian gods, including Sobek and Apep/Apophis.

By the end of the episode, when time skips forward once again, one of my big questions of season five has been answered: “what lies in the shadow of the statue” is discovered to be Jacob’s home throughout all time periods, a temple in the pedestal at the statue’s base, still there even when only a foot remains. It also provides the setting for one of the most unusual, but potentially epic, scenes that “Lost” has ever seen, as John Locke makes good on his promise to kill Jacob, or rather to manipulate Ben Linus into doing so. It was a curious confrontation, one punctuated by invisible strings, pulled by both Locke and Jacob, and it was immensely fun to see Michael Emerson play a manipulated Ben Linus, no longer holding any of the power, but a puppet in the hands of Locke’s machinations.

To its own failings, “Lost” recycled something from last year, disappointingly so. Remember, the crate that Ilana and Bram were trying to open on the beach? Well they opened it, showing the contents to Lapidus (hidden from the audience, of course) and eventually tossing them onto the beach when they met up with Richard at the statue’s foot. Yet again, a season of “Lost” ends with John Locke’s dead body in a box. And in the biggest shock yet, we’re left wondering just who has been using Locke’s image.

Jacob--with-his-enemy-1800sThe hints point towards the same figure sitting beside Jacob at the beach in the opening scenes, now using Locke as the loophole through which he can kill Jacob. It might prove speculation, but all the clues indicate that Jacob and his companion are deities (or certainly, individuals in possession of enormous power) locked in some sort of struggle and manipulating the human inhabitants of the Island to their own ends (although with some of the scenes that Jacob shares with the survivors of flight 815, it would seem that his own manipulations are far more benevolent, rather making people aware of the choices they have towards their own destiny, most notably giving Hurley the choice of whether or not to return to the Island.)

Hurley and Ben weren’t the only ones facing a choice, the lines between choice and destiny providing the most action in the finale in 1977, where Jack and Sayid continue on their quest to use Jughead to blow up The Swan. We got some heartbreaking scenes between Juliet and Sawyer (everyone’s favourite couple, right? RIGHT?) as they weigh up their own fates when compared with the horrors they’ve seen, all before Juliet kicks some ass and gets herself, Sawyer and Kate off the submarine and back to the Island.

This led to not one, but two shoot-outs, as well as some 800px-ConstructionSitebloody fisticuffs between Jack and Sawyer, but when it came to discussing their plans, it took the soothsaying Miles to finally ask the question on viewers’ lips, to wonder if the combination of Jughead’s explosion and the electro-magnetic energy underneath The Swan station might cause the Incident and the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, rather than prevent it.

While underused this season, Miles has earned his place as a cast-member of “Lost,” and one wonders if the writer’s intentionally include him as the voice of reason, or at the very least, the voice of the audience. Some of his conversations with Hurley this season have been especially humourous and entertaining, along with being incredibly insightful, something of an insert on the writers’ part to keep themselves on track and to contradict stupid theories with some cold, hard facts.

It might have been overshadowed by some much deeper pathos, but Miles also provided one of this episode’s two sweetest moments, as he runs to help Dr. Marvin Candle/Pierre Chang at The Swan, calling him ‘dad’ as he runs. Despite their differing opinions, Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet accompany Miles to help Jack’s suicide run, culminating in a sucker-punch to the gut as Jack drops the bomb down the pit into the electro-magnetic disturbance that the Dharma Initiative have released.

Lost-Juliette-deathAs if the swelling music and the emotional reactions of the characters weren’t enough, audience and survivors alike are left to watch helplessly as a chain wraps itself around Juliet’s waist and pulls her into the pit. After bidding a tearful farewell to Sawyer, she comes to in agony at the bottom of the pit, next to Jughead’s core, and it is her final actions of the season that cause the explosion. Whether it triggers the Island’s reset button remains to be seen: all we saw was the trigger of a new title card for “Lost,” with the familiar letters now black against a white background.

What this means for Juliet is another matter entirely: actress Elizabeth Mitchell has already been cast in the re-make of “V,” a role that producers of both series are quick to explain is simply that of a guest star. Really, Juliet’s fate is dependent on whether or not the proverbial ‘reset button’ has been pushed, and Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed on the Island. If so, we can hope that Juliet is never brought to the Island, and is instead safe at home looking after her sister and delivering babies; if not, maybe we can hope that there’s some more time-foolery afoot that will bring her back in the next season.

But then there’s the one, little, maybe not-at-all-important thing that happens to her in this episode: she gets a flashback (her as a kid, being told about her parents’ impending divorce) but it’s the only flashback not to include some Jacob-time. In context, the scene works, but it’s a stark contrast to the other, Jacob-heavy scenes. There always has been more to Juliet than meets the eye, and maybe, just maybe, that’s a very big hint that she’ll be back for more in season six.

Which, of course, all the rest of us will be too…dammit, if only we had time-travelling powers so it could be 2010 already.

  1. Paul
    May 15, 2009 at 9:59 PM

    Quality episode. I’ve got my review up too. So long to wait 😦 And going back to who gets the best lines, Hurley or Ben, remember Hurley decided to use his time in 1977 to write Empire Strikes Back and write the Ewoks out of Jedi. Brilliant!!!

    • burnallzombies
      May 15, 2009 at 10:07 PM

      I think Ben has better reactions/one-liners, whereas Hurley gets the better rants. I’ve just realised, have they ever addressed whether or not Hurley saw Revenge of the Sith?

      • Paul
        May 18, 2009 at 8:26 PM

        He wouldn’t have seen it initially as they crashed pre release of that film. It’s never been mentioned if he saw it when he got off the island.

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