Thursday, May 14, 2009
Lost: "The Incident"
What lies in the shadow of the statue?
Thanks to babelfish translations, Ricardo Alpert tells Illana, "He that will save us."
Long ago when I first saw the line of ash and then the cabin for the first time, I postulated that perhaps the island was an eternal prison for an evil being, or Jacob. The extreme version of this story would be the Lucifer one; the island was the place on Earth that the fallen angel Lucifer fell when he was cast out of Heaven.
In "The Incident," we got a new twist in the war between good and evil to control fate. It has long been established in Lost that there seemed to be two dueling sides vying for the island, and thus perhaps the world. Was it the Others vs. Dharma? Widmore vs. Ben?
Apparently this duel, this time loop has been in motion for much longer than any of us anticipated. Enjoying a fresh-fish taco, Jacob stares out into the Ocean and upon the incoming Black Rock and probably it's long expected cargo, Ricardo Alpert. And then he is joined by his opposite, the Man in Black.
You see, Jacob isn't the only powerful force on the island. As Locke once explained to Walt via backgammon, for every white piece - there is black. There is evil. The Man in Black (MIB lols) hates Jacob so much for his belief that humanity can be saved. All he sees out of men is their desire to control, destroy, and make war. Still, Jacob beckons more of his chosen few to the island.
For what? Well it seems that Jacob has been weaving a tapestry in the shadow of the statue; literally though, it seems the man in white has been carefully weaving certain events and people together. Jacob travels the world touching lost souls at their exact time of need, thus binding them to the island so that they may enact free will within the waves of time and change themselves, and maybe change the final outcome: humanity's destruction by their own hands.
The MIB despises humanity, for he knows how this every loop ends in men destroying themselves. More importantly, he despises Jacob for his faith that men can break the cycle of destruction through their choices, through the illusion of free will. How many times has Jacob done his little experiments with incorrigible men? The MIB is sick of it. Endless loops - endless times having to go down to the wheel and reset it all before everything is destroyed.
"It can end only once. Everything up to that point is progress."
Progress? An eternity of living multiple lifetimes, watching the same events unfold. All the while Jacob weaves his timeline tapestry, ferrying his chosen saved to the island, while the MIB is forced to feed on the damned. A thousand lifetimes, and all MIB wants to do now is end it:
"You know how much I want to kill you right now?"
Ah, but there is a catch. It seems these two opposing demi-gods cannot directly slay each other. Disgusted, MIB returns into the jungle - returns to his cabin. His hatred festers. He begins to actively plot, so much so that Jacob is forced to bind him behind a wall of white ash so that he cannot spread his influence and discord.
"I will find a loophole."
The big revelation in Season 5's finale was that Darth Locke (as I have come to call him) actually is way more Darthy then we thought. In fact, he isn't even John Locke at all. It seems the Man in Black finally found his loophole. I am sure we will eventually find out how the MIB broke free of his cabin bondage - how the ash turned black. The important part is that he is free. Ben is just some sort of apprentice-level manipulator compared to his new master, easily falling under Darth Locke's spell and becoming the loophole by finally killing Jacob.
Yet the MIB should have known. Things seemed a little off when Ben told him that his dead daughter appeared to him and made him promise to do exactly what Darth Locke said. He was surprised - could it really be that easy? The MIB didn't even have to convince Ben to kill Jacob.
"They are coming."
From his dying lips, he sputtered the last words to his nemesis. Checkmate. Everything finally ended for Jacob; yet the chosen - the destined - were about to be summoned via an atomic bomb.
Jack the Shepherd and his tribe are coming.
Jacob had planned for this all along. He had been there in all their lives, touching them, binding them to the island and weaving their fates together. They were his ultimate end game in case the MIB had ever found his loophole. Disgusted by this realization, Darth Locke scowls and kicks Jacob's body into the fire.
Some people I have talked to said they were pretty upset that we didn't get our answer on whether or not Jack changed the future.
I think that we did though. I believe Faraday was ultimately right before that whatever happened, happened. Like Miles said, the castaways probably are the ones that caused the incident in the first place, because they had to. Akin to what happened to Desmond after the hatch imploded, I think through Jacob's grace (and Juliette exerting her free will), the castaways will be transported back to the present so that Jack and Locke (well the MIB) can have their ultimate showdown.
You see, I think the swerve is that the real game-changing "incident" wasn't in 1977. I believe the real incident was when the MIB finally broke the cycle and killed Jacob. Everything after that point is going to be different. It's funny, because it seemed destined from season 1 that Jack and Locke would ultimately be the driving opposing forces in Lost's conclusion. Locke the man of destiny against Jack the man of science.
Yet the real Locke is gone. Dead is dead. It sort of sucks, because you felt like the new Locke was a BAMF, that he had finally realized his potential. The only caveat to him maybe being REALLY dead is that Jacob not only touched him, but brought him back to life; we'll see.
No the real people of destiny appears to have been Kate, Sawyer, Sun, Jin, Sayid, and Hurly with Jack probably assuming the leadership role of a lifetime.
Jacob's death has signaled the end of the eternal backgammon game with the MIB, as well as the end of the time loops. Lost can and will end only once. The tapestry is complete (can't wait to see the finished product) and Jacob's hand picked team will either exert free will and make the right choices that will save themselves and the world, or they fail before the MIB's hatred of humanity.
So how do you think it will end? Was Jack the destined one all along? Will Ben become Sith-apprentice to his new (or maybe destined) master? Is the real Locke truly gone forever? Is the monster and the MIB one and the same?
There is a war coming.