Wednesday, May 20, 2009

LOST Season 5 Finale Thoughts, Part 2: Investigating "The Incident"

After posting those first thoughts about "The Incident" immediately following the episode last week, I tried to sleep for a few hours (still haunted by the image of a certain blond on the precipice of her demise) and then watched the finale again. Since then, I've been trying to avoid other Lost sites, podcasts and finale analysis until I had the time to share my own second round of theories.

I will not be able to address/integrate all of your comments, but I am very excited to have received over 50 of them! You have made this stellar season even better because of your participation here, and I will continue to thank you until we fade to white, black or whatever color ends our six year journey together in 2010.

Let's start with
Juliet, because I am still laughing at the number of emails, texts, IMs and even phone calls that I have received since the finale. Obviously I have never been shy about my love for that character and admiration for Elizabeth Mitchell, in a very non-stalker way. And yes, I reacted rather strongly and with great emotion to her apparent death scenes.
So thank you to all who reached out - I do appreciate the sentiment, and want to reassure the rest of you that I'm quite grounded in reality despite my attachment to a fictional character. It is likely that Mitchell will be making an appearance at Comic-Con this summer for her new series V, but rest assured that (given the opportunity to address the panel) I will not be the one standing at the mic lamenting her loss on Lost...although I will be in the front few rows for sure. :)


This is my take on Juliet, and one which I will probably stick with until proven otherwise in Season 6. Dead is dead; that applies to her and everyone else who has died on the island (who were not on flight 815). Regardless of whether or not her detonation of Jughead was a success (causing The Incident that flashes her friends forward in time), she was mortally wounded. Unless Guyliner swoops in and takes her to the Temple to heal, I seriously doubt she could survive after sustaining those injuries.

HOWEVER, her line to Sawyer, "if I never meet you, then I never have to lose you" may very well be a clue. IF the detonation of Jughead is successful, flight 815 never crashes on the island where Juliet is an Other Doctor...which means that she never meets Sawyer. Until she does. Like some of you, my ideal scenario is one where Juliet finally gets to leave the island, and somehow she and Sawyer cross paths and fall in love for the first time (that they know of).

[note the chains looming large near Juliet's feet. by the way, I'll never post photos of her down the Swan hole ...I can't even watch that scene, let alone have reminders of it here.]

To those of who assure me that Juliet will wind up like Desmond after he turned the failsafe key beneath the hatch (resulting in the similar white light), disoriented and naked in the jungle - I say thank you very much for that image and possibility.

I have to say that I love how both Charlie (in Season 3) and Juliet (in Season 5) sacrificed themselves because they both believed it would save their friends. I just now wonder if Jacob selected both of them for just that purpose, even though we didn't seem him touch either.


Frequent reader and comment friend Hillary makes an astute observation - that even if the detonation of Jughead results in Jack and co. back on Flight 815, that plane was off course by a thousand miles. It isn't certain that this flight would indeed get to Los Angeles as intended. Perhaps they'll land on ANOTHER island, and Darlton will get their wish for a 7th zombie season. :)


Darrin points out that Jacob grabs Ben after he stabs him, and offers a very interesting thought...that Jacob transfers into Ben as Mystery Man did into John Locke.

IF Juliet is dead, I look forward to Ben's reaction to this news.


After Alpert knocked her out beneath Dharmaville, he said he do so to protect "our leader." So if there can only be one leader at a time, and that leader reports to Jacob...I want to know when Ellie's leadership was officially over, and if it relates to how she eventually gets off of the island and does not return but knows exactly how to instruct others to do so.

I really like LostElena's assertion that because Ellie was pregnant with Faraday when The Incident occurred, he may still actually be alive. Of course that depends on many factors, one of which is WHERE and WHEN she winds up after the bomb is detonated. If that causes her to remain on the island, Faraday may never be born due to the island childbirth problem. Unless the detonation forever erases that particular issue...


Where were they hiding during the evacuation? We've seen Horace and Ethan in future New Otherton...


I can't quite figure her out, but I am actually looking forward to more of her story next season. This character has become a great deal more intriguing, given her mysterious history with Jacob.

Here is one theory I have about who she might represent on the island. And even though Ilana didn't recognize Alpert when she arrived w/Locke in the crate in 2007 (thus, the Ricardus inquiry), I am going to further explore the possibility soon that she could be Alpert's daughter but does not yet know it...


While Sayid is dismantling Jughead below Dharmaville, Jack specifically asks if he's done with Faraday's journal. Something tells me that when Jack and co. flash forward after the bomb detonation, that journal will be absolutely integral to their memories (or lack thereof) of and on the island.

Jack told Sawyer that "I had her. I had her and I lost her." That statement applies to Jack and Kate, Sawyer and Juliet, and Sayid and Nadia.


Do I believe that he's dead? Not for one second. I think that "the rules" don't apply to him either, as is the case with Desmond. Perhaps over the next few months I will explore the possibility that Desmond is Jacob's son. Faraday's assessment of Desmond as "miraculously special" could be a good jumping-off point for this theory. Then again, if the rules don't apply to Desmond, then perhaps HE is the true loophole and the only person who can actually kill Jacob...

When Jacob handed Jack the Apollo candy bar at the hospital, he said that "it just needed a little push." That is exactly what Jacob did with his off island visits to Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Jin and Sun...nudged them toward the island in very subtle ways (and back to the island, for Sayid and Hurley).

I'm still not sure which side in the good v. evil category that Jacob falls under, but the translation of the Latin phrase that Alpert provides in response to 'what lies in the shadow of the statue?' is "he who will protect/save us all." Of course Jacob resides IN the statue, and not in its shadow. But one can argue that he was LYING (verbally) in its shadow, while talking to Mystery Man on the beach. That the word "lies" is a homonym widens the pool of candidates: Jacob, MM, Alpert, Ben, etc.

p.s. Thanks to those of you who pointed out the obvious and fun possibility that the red fish that Jacob was preparing in the opening scene was a Red Herring. Of course I'm hoping it means that Juliet's Red Shirt of Doom was the actual red herring...


As soon as Ilana and crew dumped Locke's body out of the crate, I looked to see if we could see his shoes. Because either he or Not-Locke are wearing Christian Shephard's shoes, and that could prove to be very important when Season 6 begins. Now I'm pondering whether or not Hawking knew about Mystery Man and his plans...


Miles wasn't on Flight 815, so I am curious to discover WHEN he is upon the start of Season 6.

Frankly, I am thrilled that Miles has become an integral part of the cast and overall lore, that he was able to share a few moments with his father, and that he is one half of the best inadvertent comedy duos to ever grace a primetime drama.


In case you missed it, here is my separate theory about The Loophole, examining how and why I believe that Mystery Man became Not-Locke.

He clearly does not live in the foot of the statue with Jacob, so I assume he resides in The Temple...and not alone.

Not-Locke's insistence that Ben kill Jacob reminded me that Real Locke had others do his dirty work for him as well; manipulating Sawyer into killing Anthony Cooper, for instance. Although it was initially Ben who insisted that Locke kill Cooper, and Alpert who put Sawyer's personal file in Locke's hand, leading him to manipulate Sawyer to do the deed...what a wicked, delicious, confusing web of deception.

It makes sense that MM became Not-Locke when Real Locke's body arrived via Ajira 316. BUT, I keep thinking back to a key scene in the pilot episode of Season 1 which is making me question whether or not MM became Locke before flight 815. Locke made two statements to Walt that are now open to interpretation, given the nature of the game between dark MM and light Jacob:
LOCKE: "Backgammon is the oldest game in the world. Archaeologists found sets when they excavated the ruins of ancient Mesopotamia. Five thousand years old. That's older than Jesus Christ."
LOCKE: "Two players, two sides. One is light, one is dark. Walt, do you want to know a secret?"
Perhaps that secret is that MM/Not-Locke revealed his identity and plan to the special boy, which is why Ben later kidnapped Walt and attempted to get that information out of him in Room 23 (on behalf of Jacob).

There is great debate as to whether Jacob or MM used Christian Shephard as their messenger on (and off) the island.
Consider the end of last season, when Locke asked Christian Shepard to give him a hand before turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel, Christian declined. In light of the fact that Jacob specifically made physical contact with flight 815 people before they crashed on the island (including Locke) and after (Sayid and Hurley), I am beginning to wrap my head around the concept of MM using Christian due to his hesitancy to make such contact.


Logistically speaking, how is it that Rose and Bernard managed to avoid being caught/captured by either the Others or Hostiles during those three years on the island?


Many people have expressed the opinion that Jacob saved Sayid's life in the crosswalk. But after watching that scene a few times again, I still believe that Jacob was responsible for Nadia's death because he needed Sayid to return to the island.


I don't want to believe that Mystery Man and Smokey are one and the same. But after rewatching the scene from earlier this season when Ghost Alex appears and informs daddy Ben that he has to listen to and follow John Locke from now on...that makes a compelling argument in favor of this theory.

Hey Nurby, thank you for the suggestion - stay tuned for a Smokey-specific post here this summer!


We have seen Smokey "scan" and spare two people over the course of five seasons, Locke and Juliet (and no, I don't count Kate even though she was right next to her when it happened because I've always thought that he seemed more interested in Juliet). On both occasions, we/they saw Smokey as a white light rather than black smoke. Obviously this is more relevant now because of the prevalent black and white themes with MM and Jacob, and we know why Locke has been spared by this entity.

When we saw Smokey go after Keamy's mercenaries in New Otherton, INSIDE the sonic fences, it was proof that Juliet held some sort of power over it. In Season 3, Smokey stopped short at the sonic fence while confronting Juliet, but not because of the security system...because of what he'd seen when he scanned her previously. Regardless of whether or not Smokey IS Mystery Man/Not-Locke or still an unknown being, my feeling is that it knew exactly why Juliet was brought to the island and was not about to interfere with her eventual detonation of Jughead.

To Julie, who left a comment that perhaps Juliet IS Smokey, I would just like to say with every degree of friendly sarcasm - LOL, and share whatever you're smoking :). I pondered that for a brief moment when she was grabbed by the chains, but then I remembered the encounters above between Juliet and Smokey.


I doubt this is significant, but I did not see Mr. Paik at Sun and Jin's wedding.


In pilot episode, Kate looks in sorrow at the small airplane that Jack created (using leaves) to illustrate what happened to them. In The Incident, her childhood boyfriend Tom is holding the tiny toy airplane she brought with her to the island.

In the pilot episode, Jack asks for a pen to perform a tracheotomy on Rose. Something tells me it's the pen that Jacob gave Sawyer in The Incident.

In the pilot episode, Sawyer reads the letter he wrote as a boy to the real Sawyer. In The Incident, he wrote that letter.

In Solitary (episode 1.09), Sayid looks at a photo of Nadia. In The Incident, Nadia is killed as Sayid speaks with Jacob.


A line of ash surrounding a cabin. Jacob's eternal flame in the foot of the statue. A smoke monster. A Flame station. A doctor using the pseudonyms Candle, HalliWAX and WICKmund. The Frozen Donkey Wheel. Polar bears. Penny's snowy listening station. A snowman joke.

I am reminded of the following Robert Frost poem ("Fire and Ice"), and believe that we will discover at the end of S6 that the island is located either within a volcano or in a veritable snow globe (enclosed in an enormous research biodome housed in a frozen locale, being monitored a la philosopher Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon prison design):
Some say the world will end in fire; some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate,
To know that for destruction, ice is also great and would suffice.
Let's the end of S2, we see two men stationed in a very snowy and remote station in an unknown locale. At the end of S5, Jacob ended in fire. At the end of S4, Locke was in ice pushing the wheel beneath the Orchid. Locke has seemingly perished twice, and I'm sure that Jacob will survive this particular fire (and not for the first time). Both have known enough of hate. And remember, Everything That Rises Must Converge...


Right before he died, Eko whispered to Locke that "you're next." He was referring to Mystery Man's future use of Locke's body to gain access to Jacob. Mystery Man had tried out other candidates previously, including Eko (probably because he thought Eko's spiritual nature and religious background would appeal to Jacob). But Jacob appeared as Eko's brother Yemi, leading to Eko's death via Smokey, foiling MM's plan.

In my opinion, it is rather bold to kill off four main characters in one season on a popular show (Charlotte, Faraday, Juliet and Locke). So I tip my virtual hat in the direction of the writers and producers on Lost for taking chances and steering the series down the television road less traveled.

With regard to the entire series, nines9 is annoyed by the constant misdirection, but I don't mind the sharp turns at all. For example, many of us thought we were headed toward an inevitable Ben v. Widmore war, when in reality they may both be mere pawns in Jacob's centuries-old game with MM. To me that is brilliant, and I especially enjoy when they circle back to tie together stories and characters from previous seasons.

Given the amount of time I have dedicated to watching, researching and writing about Lost for the past five years, it is somewhat remarkable how surprised and delighted I am by the twists they provide in each new episode. This has never been a predictable show, and I look forward to Season 6 with great anticipation, mildly high expectations and a level of excitement that may be described by concerned loved ones and friends as feverish.

The Season 5 journey is far from over, as we have months to marinate in, theorize about and absorb what we witnessed over the last five months. I have some exciting activities planned for this site over the summer, including an official re-watch project with fellow Lost bloggers & sites, some cast interviews and live Comic-Con coverage of the last ever Lost panel.
So keep those comments coming, keep in touch and stay tuned!

Thank you, and good night.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jo :) and good night

lectric74 said...

I am only going to point this out once, "Whatever happened, happened!" You cannot change the past, and the detonation of the bomb, in my opinion, is the cause of the incident. According to Faraday the drilling would have pierced the energy pocket and that was what created the incident, however the finale showed me something a bit different.

Notice that as they got really close to the pocket, the drilling rig was pulled into the hole, meaning that there wasn't enough strength in the structure to prevent collapse. This means that the drill would have collapsed and never pierced the energy pocket. However, after the collapse of the drill, which would have been the end of the problem, Juliet(who I really wish was not dead, I wanted Kate to die) set off Jughead and opened the energy pocket. Therefore, they changed nothing, instead they caused the incident, and the crash of 815, and all of the stuff we have seen so far in the series.

I believe that had they instead left the site alone, the drill would have been destroyed and their plane never would have crashed because Dharma never would have pierced the pocket.

The whole Jacob/MM/Locke stuff I am still marinating on!

backup slayer said...

That was a GREAT sum up :-) Thanks !
and I may have missed this earlier but since you were mentioning the themes of black and white... Dont forget that for the 1st time the end title that they flash was reversed from white on black to black on white...That could mean something too ?

lectric74 said...

I should point out one other detail that lends credence to my idea, the concrete wall.

Electromagnetic energy would have gone through concrete, concrete doesn't provide a barrier to EM. The Swan station by design is a Faraday cage, the only known protection for EM energy. It had to be built that way to protect the equipment from the EM field which would destroy all electronics. Humans are pretty much immune to effects of EM, even under long term exposure. However, humans are easily killed by radiation poisoning.

The concrete was added to shield the Swan from the radiation left over from the detonation of Jughead. There is no other resonable explanation for the concrete walls, remember that they said it was like Chernobyl.

Anonymous said...

i still hope that the series will end with the idea that they are all season 1 should have ended...

memphish said...

Great callback to Mr. Eko. I hope that finally will mean something.

Tigerlily said...

Great stuff Jo. You make me laugh - your comments about Juliet at the beginning conured a picture of her wearing one of Hurley's huge tie-dye tees!!!

Nurby said...

Can't wait for the Smokey post. Now you have me wondering if people are scanned to see if they are MM candidates or to see if MM has already taken them over... I don't know, something might be there.

I have Season 1 arriving from netflix today. I am going to try to rewatch everything also and keep up with you all :)

Tresbien said...

I'm intending to re-watch the series over the hiatus so look forward to your thoughts, Jo, and everyone else's as we try to put more of the puzzle pieces together. Two small points for now:

1. I'm almost positive that I saw Mr. Paik seated at Sun & Jin's wedding (on the right-hand side when the camera shows the guests).

2. When I just re-watched the start if the series, I noticed that when Locke is explaining to Walt about backgammon he holds up the pieces and refers to them not as black and white but as light and dark. It may be a distinction without a difference but worth noting.

Hillary said...

I'm astute! That made my day. :)

I've had a feeling for a while that there will never be a cut and dry good guys/bad guys ending to the show. That it will be up to the viewer to decide which side they agree with.

Random/Pointless observation: In the pic above of Juliet being scanned by Smokey, it kinda looks like a Kate stunt-double in the background.

Kwijt said...

Can you give an idication on when you're planning to start with the re-watch program? I've started to re-watch this week, but if you're planning to start not too long from now I'll definitely wait for it. Are you planning to repost your old episode analyses during the rewatch? It would be nice to read which questions are answered already and which still stand valid (and hopefully are to be answered in s6).

Jo said...

Hi Kwijt - I will be doing a post about this very soon, but here are the details on Doc's site:

It is going to be so much fun to revisit older episodes, and I'm glad you'll be playing/following along!


Sean said...

Hmm, I like where you're going with alot of your theories, but I don't think Juliet had anything to do with what the Monster could or couldn't do in Season 3 and 4.

In Season 3, he couldn't break through the fence cause, well, that was part of its purpose. And in Season 4, it was able to attack Keamy and the mercs because they had already forced Alex to turn off the sonic fence, so it was down when Ben summoned Smokey.

neoloki said...

Please NO to Illiana being Richard's daughter and Des and Jacob! Haven't we had enough reveals on the he/she is this person's daughter/son? It is getting a bit old and not very relevant.

Locke became Man#2 once flight316 crashed. The personality difference was dramatic. Before the crash their is no reason for Man#2 to be Locke in the overall logic of the show nor is there any evidence. Locke was Locke and his personality proved it. No need to over complicate a story that is already complicated. Also, why are you trying to re-write the show? Just to be original? Locke's secret was about him being paralyzed. Don't you think that reveal, him being man#2, would have scared the shit out of Walt? He was just a child. I personally would be really annoyed if the writers revealed to us that that whole scene is now completely different then we wre led to believe in season 1. It really makes no sense at all. Also, your idea that a pen that never existed was given to Sawyer by Jacob is screwy. Boone asked Jack if he needed a pen to preform a trach. Jack was already frustrated with Boone because he wasn't performing CPR correctly and Rose had no need for a Trach right then because she did not have a blockage in her throat, so he said yes to Boone for the pen to get him out of the situation. A little later Jack is looking inside the fuselage and Boone shows up with a bunch of pens but the situation was long over and Jack never took one of the many pens Boone collected. So, their NEVER WAS a pen.

Look I read your blog regularly but it seems lately that you are coming up with theories that over complicate the story for no other reason than to be original. New theories should be invented based on the logic of the narrative and the facts that we know about on the show. Re-writing a scene from season 1 to make a pet theory have some kind of logic doesn't contribute anything to the overall enjoyment of the show.

Jo said...

Hi neoloki - I appreciate that you're a regular reader and that you leave comments often. That being said, you should realize that what I present is mere speculation from a fan perspective. Given the direction of Lost in Season 5, the door has opened wider for possibilities that I too would have scoffed at a year ago.

I would never attempt to re-write the show; I am simply returning to earlier episodes and exploring avenues that now may be applicable due to both the time travel and Jacob/notLocke storylines.

Everyone enjoys and experiences the series in various ways. I have never stated that mine is the best or that my theories are actually logical.

If my particular interpretation of and speculation about this show frustrates or upsets you, I recommend that you either create a site of your own to share your theories or choose to visit other Lost blogs instead. I won't be offended; there are several amazing Lost sites out there with far deeper analysis.


Marticus said...

I just started reading this blog but enjoy it very much. I'm a long time Lost fan and love to read your different theories here. Everyone has ideas and should discuss them openly.
Now to my point of interest.
I'm a bit baffled by Richard's comments to Locke that he'd never seen a dead person come back. That means to me anyway, that he is unaware of black shirt and his abilities. Jacob knew immediately who Locke was. Richard had no idea or at least he acted like he had no idea who he was. I'm thinking because of that, Richard has very limited knowledge given to him by Jacob. Black shirt Locke said he should know how he did it since he's the one that's been around all this time. Maybe he was testing how much Richard knew about him with that statement. It kind of bothers me that Richard wouldn't know if he doesn't being around Jacob all that time.

Julie said...

ha ha I quit smoking cigs a month ago. :) Seriously...the more I think about it, the more I believe it. We know that a character can exist in 2 time lines. So Juliet become Smokey in 77 and comes face to face with herself in 04. At the moment of the incident, Juliet is alive and well as a little girl and is still destined to be on the island in the future. Think about the look on Juliet's face when she and the Smokey were head to head. Juliet did not die at the end of Season 5...she evolved.

Ed said...

Excellent write up on the finale. I have the same theory about MM appearing as Christian. When he told Locke he had to die it was for his purposes. I wondered about the possibility of MM taking over Lockes body in Season 1 as well. I had thought possibly Locke could have died in the crash and when he stood up it was actually MM but now I don't think so. MM in Christian's body appearing to Locke and telling him he had to die wouldn't make sense if he was Locke then as well.

If you could re-write the finale here is a possible ending for you. Juliet tries 4 times to explode the bomb but it just won't explode. At the same time there is a flash and everyone including Juliet appears in a different time.

orangejack said...

Great recap. I think they really hit the accelerator this season and I love it! I'm still convinced that the conversation of Jacob and the other guy are very crucial to the entire show. I can't wait to find out how it plays out. I've been pondering it on my blog as well.

Oh, and the secret Locke had for Walt was that he couldn't walk before the crash. But that doesn't take away from the importance of that conversation.

Ashleigh Kate said...

Good show :)
I'm in the midst of coming up with a theory. I reckon Anti-Jacob/MM/Not Locke is definitely the black smoke and I reckon Jacob will now be a white smoke in his spirit form and inhabit the body of a deceased member of 815...Claire's long awaited return perhaps?

Charles Widmore knew exactly what he was doing when he sent Locke back to the Island. I'm thinking Jacob was the one who ordered him away. Widmore wanted to use the Island for profit and Anti-Jacob wanted to help him if he killed Jacob. Together, they plan a free reign over the Island, free of Jacob, who I see as a kind of moderator.

Anonymous said...

great theories, hate to be nitpicky but it isnt jeremy benthams panopticon, that is michel focault

Steve said...

"At the end of S4, Locke was in ice pushing the wheel beneath the Orchid".

Actually that was Ben pushing the wheel at the end of S4. Locke pushed it in the middle of S5 in "LaFleur".