Posted by: cousinbrandon | May 13, 2009

LOST – Season 5, Episode 16 (Part 2): “The Incident”

And now, Part 2…

16. The Wedding.  We flash back to Korea, specifically the site of Jin and Sun’s wedding.  Sun delivers her vows, followed by Jin’s, which includes a line about being apart from Sun would be like the sky being apart from the Earth.  Interesting metaphor, I thought, considering it kind of defines the distance that now keeps them apart.  Following the ceremony, Jacob appears in the reception line and offers the couple his blessing.  He touches them both on the arm, and tells them never to take their love for granted.  Again, neither have any idea who this man is, yet Jin comments on his excellent Korean.  We then move to…

17. The Standoff.  Jack and company are racing in the DHARMA van to the Swan site.  Sayid explains that in order to time everything correctly, he needs to modify the bomb to detonate on impact.  Driving frantically, the van comes to a sudden halt, as Juliet, Kate and Sawyer are in the middle of the road, guns in hand.  Sawyer explains that he wants five minutes with Jack, and that Jack owes him that much.  Jack agrees to the sit-down (which, by the way, was a little odd, considering not only the time constraint under which they were operating, but the fact that Sayid was bleeding out in the back of the van.  Maybe it’s me, but I might have mentioned that, in the hopes that at least Juliet could have tended to Sayid in the meantime.)  A lot of quick jumps here, first stopping at…

18. The Foot of the Statue.  Literally.  It’s nightfall, and Locke and crew come upon the base of the statue, which is literally a foot.  And much like Jack demanded in the previous scene (verbatim) when Hurley slammed on the brakes, Locke demands to know, “Why are we stopping?”  Richard explains they’re stopping because that’s where Jacob lives.  We then flash back to one of the show’s earliest references…

19. The Surgery.  Jack is performing the very surgery he described to Kate in the debut episode of LOST, in which he accidentally cuts the sac of the girl he is operating on and fluid begins pouring out “like angel hair.”  Christian, who is in the operating room, attempts to calm Jack, and tells him to count to five and relax or he’ll take over the procedure himself.  Jack follows his instructions and completes the surgery.  Out of the O.R., Jack tries to get an Apollo bar from the vending machine, only to have it get stuck.  Christian confirms that the girl will be fine and won’t be paralyzed (hmmm, a lot of paralysis in Jack’s past, no, not to mention Locke’s paralysis, as well).  Jack, irritated with his father, says he embarrassed him in the O.R. by putting him on a time out in front of his staff.  “I know you don’t believe in me,” says Jack, “but I need them to.”  Christian responds by asking, “Are you sure I’m the one who doesn’t believe in you, Jack?”  This is an awfully telling question, considering Jack’s certainty in this episode as to fulfilling his destiny.  A voice comes from behind, asking Jack if this second candy bar is his.  The man asking is Jacob, who touches Jack’s hand as he hands him the bar.  “I guess it just needed a little push,” he tells Jack, again acting as a metaphor for Jack, who also needed “a little push” to get to where he was supposed to be.  We then cut back to 1977, where we encounter…

20. Fistacuffs.  Jack and Sawyer sit in the jungle, as Sawyer explains to Jack about how his father killing James’ mother and then himself, all because of what happened with a con man.  “It was a year ago,” says Sawyer.  “I could have walked on that sub and stopped my daddy from killing anybody,” he explains, meaning when he had the chance to leave the island in 1974.  Jack wants to know why Sawyer didn’t, to which Sawyer replies, “What’s done is done.”  If nothing else, Sawyer wants to know what’s motivating Jack to do this, that everyone wants something.  Jack explains that he had Kate, and he lost her.  Sawyer points out that she’s on the other side of the trees, and he should just go tell her.  “If it’s meant to be,” says Jack, “it’s meant to be.”  Again, Jack has adopted destiny as his guide as opposed to free will, which is, of course, ironic, as he’s intending to blow up the island, thereby exercising free will despite believing it’s his destiny.  Does that make sense?  In other words, here is the paradox.  Jack believes he is destined to blow up the island, but is going to do so of his own free will.  Oh, the conundrum.  Convinced that it is the wrong decision, Sawyer attacks Jack, and the two bloody each other in a rather violent barrage of rights and lefts.  Sawyer, on the verge of strangling Jack, is stopped by Juliet, who now wants Jack to detonate the bomb.  Now I’d stick with this moment, but must first jump to a flashback, namely…

21. Juliet and Rachel.  This flashback jarred me.  Completely.  And why would such a simple flashback manage to do so?  Well, for two reasons.  First, it was the only flashback in this episode that didn’t include Jacob, thus forcing me to question why they’d even include it.  (I mean, we realize its relevance after the flashback, but still, it makes no sense to have this as the only non-Jacob flashback in the entire episode.)  Second, didn’t something seem “wrong” about the actual flashback?  Stay with me.  Two parents are explaining to their daughters, Juliet and Rachel, that they’re getting a divorce — that they love each other but sometimes that’s not enough, and this just wasn’t meant to be.  A distraught Juliet runs from the room.  Okay, so we should assume this is Juliet and her Cancer-ridden sister, Rachel (which, by the way, is the name of Jacob’s wife in the Bible.)  The only thing the concerns me, though, is that the flashback — specifically the clothing of the parents — looked ridiculously contemporary.  I mean, if we’re basing this flashback on a time period, we have to assume it’s a good 20 years earlier for Juliet.  Yet looking, for instance, at her mother’s clothing and hairstyle, it looked completely contemporary.  Is this a continuity error, or is there something more to it?  Anyway, we then return to…

22. Juliet’s Explanation.  Sawyer is beside himself, completely incapable of understanding how Juliet could change her mind about the bomb, as it was her who convinced him to get off the sub and come back to stop Jack.  Juliet explains that she changed her mind when she saw Sawyer look at Kate.  Juliet wonders if maybe they were never meant to be together, and if Jack is successful in detonating the bomb and “resetting” things, Sawyer will never come to the island and she’ll never have to lose him.  Sad, really.  Meanwhile, we cut back to the man with the plan…

23. Jack and the Swan.  Back at the Swan site, the readings are off the chart, according to Chang.  Phil radios Radzinsky to warn him about Sayid and crew, thus prompting Radzinsky to order Phil and his cohorts to drive out to the Swan for the sake of protection.  In the meantime, Kate tends to Jack’s wounds, asking if she remembers the first time she sewed him up on the island.  Jack then asks the verboten, which is why he’s not permitted to ask Kate about Aaron.  Kate explains that she was infuriated with Jack for making her return to the island, but did so in order for him to be where he belonged.  If Jack’s plan works, he explains, Aaron will be with Claire.  Kate reminds him Claire was going to give Aaron up for adoption, but Jack quickly retorts, “You don’t know that.”  Here, again, we witness new Jack, which was nice actually.  Jack again makes his plea to Kate, insisting that nothing in his life has ever felt so right.  Kate, at last, agrees to get Jack’s back.  Jack returns to his “crew” and retrieves the bomb.  Jack tells an apparently dying Sayid that he’ll set off the bomb and save him.  “Nothing can save me,” replies Sayid, which seems to be a double entendre.  On the surface, he’s obviously saying nothing can save his life, as he’s physically dying.  On the meta-level, though, he is again referring to his soul, in that he can’t be saved.  Regardless of detonating the bomb, Sayid is convinced that his soul can not be salvaged, for he is, as we know, a torturer, murderer and hired assassin.  Jack leaves to detonate the bomb and passes Juliet and Sawyer en route.  “See you in Los Angeles,” Jack says to Sawyer in a rather snarky fashion.  We then flash back to…

24. Hugo Reyes, Ex-Con.  Hurley is being released from prison and his things are being returned to him, namely a fruit roll-up and $227 cash.  (I thought, for sure, I could find some significance to this number, other than the famed Marla Gibbs sitcom.  The only thing I could come up with is page 227 of Hindle Wakes, a play by Emma Goldman, featuring two brothers, Christopher and Nathaniel Jeffcote.  Christopher, as it turns out, is an “old weaver,” which certainly recalls the opening scene, while his brother “loved power and social approval.”  Again, I will return to the significance of this later.)  Hurley gets in the back of a cab, which he shares with Jacob and the infamous guitar case.  Hurley asks what Jacob was “in for,” but Jacob explains he wasn’t in prison; rather, he was waiting for Hugo.  Hurley, somewhat surprised but perhaps not that this stranger knows his name, assumes Jacob is dead.  Jacob wants to know why Hurley won’t go back to the island.  Hurley points out that he’s cursed, to which Jacob makes the following response:  “What if you weren’t cursed?  What if you were blessed?”  Jacob assures Hurley that he’s not crazy.  He then tells Hugo to take Ajira 316 tomorrow to Guam, but then insists that, “It’s your choice, Hugo.”  Hmmmm.  Interesting he should put the option out there and tell Hugo to take the flight, only to clarify that Hugo has a choice.  Again, is this free will or is this destiny?  I mean, here is Jacob more or less telling Hugo to board this flight, only to remind him that he’s got a choice as to whether or not to board.  Jacob exits the cab, leaving his guitar behind.  Hurley points out the guitar, only to have Jacob tell him, “It’s not my guitar.”  We jump forward to…

25. Locke, Richard and Ben.  Locke is standing at the foot of the statue, wanting to know what the hold-up is.  Richard explains that Jacob will come to see the leader, but Locke insists that he’s tired of waiting.  Locke follows Richard up the small, rock hill to the statue’s entrance and tells Ben to join him.  Richard, clearly flustered, tells John he “can’t bring him in.”  Locke accuses Richard of making up the rules as he goes along, and tells Richard, “Ben is coming in with me, and if that’s a problem I’m sure Jacob and I can work it out.”  Richard reluctantly agrees.  He finds the “door” to the statue, pushes it slightly ajar, and tells Locke to say hello for him.  Ben and Locke enter the statue, where John offers his knife to Ben and assures Ben that “things will change once he’s gone; I promise.”  Notice that “change” does not necessarily translate to “improve”?  Yeah, me too.  We take a step back to…

26. Shootout at the Swan.  Miles, suddenly coming to his senses, points out that Jack may, in fact, be causing “the incident” by trying to prevent it from happening.  Clearly the rest of the crew suddenly realizes this possibility, as well.  They notice Phil and additional security driving the jeep along the road that leads to the Swan site.  Phil arrives and positions his men to provide security around the site.  Jack creeps through the compound initially unnoticed, before Phil spots him and the shootout begins.  Jack is pinned down, but lo and behold the DHARMA van pulls up with Jack’s crew, guns a’ blazing!  Sawyer eventually captures Phil and orders the DHARMA folks to drop their guns.  Chang attempts to shut off the drill, but to no avail, as the core’s been breached.  Jack walks to the drill well and releases the bomb, creating a moment of unbelievable tension as he, Sawyer, Kate and Juliet all brace themselves.  Strangely, nothing happens, as the bomb doesn’t explode.  Instead, the unleashed magnetism begins to draw all things metal to the drill well, as a tool box conks Jack on the back of the head and knocks him out.  The drill rig collapses, crushing Dr. Chang’s hand/arm beneath it, and thereby explaining his prosthetic arm/hand we’ll later see in the orientation films.  (Wouldn’t this, then, suggest that things are, in fact, happening as they’re supposed to, or at least course-correcting enough to ensure Chang’s injury?)  Phil grabs a rifle sliding along the ground and points it at Sawyer.  Before he can fire, another metal rig collapses around Phil, and a metal pipe impales and kills him.  (And the crowd goes wild!)  A long piece of chain wraps itself around Juliet, dragging her to the drill well.  Sawyer does everything he can to keep her from falling, but eventually she stares him in the eye, tells him “I love you, James,” and lets go, falling to her certain(?) death.  (Kudos, by the way, to Juliet and Sawyer on some fine acting here.)  With that, we jump forward to…

27. What’s In the Box?  Ilana and crew approach Richard and the Others on the beach, looking for Ricardos.  “It’s Richard, actually,” answers Alpert, emerging from the pack.  Ilana looks at Richard and asks, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”  Richard confidently and calmly responds, “Ille qui nos omnes servabit,” which translates to “He who will protect us all.”  (Granted, I had to look that one up, as my Latin’s not so great.)  A clearly relieved Ilana exhales and opens the crate, dumping its contents on the ground.  Richard walks around the crate where we see a body, which turns out to be none other than one John Locke, still dressed in the suit in which he was to be buried.  The question posed, then, is if that’s Locke, who’s in there with Ben?  Okay, let me point out a couple things here.  First, I’ve been saying since his “rebirth” that the John Locke walking the island was not John Locke, and that he was, in fact, dead.  As Ben so eloquently put it, “Dead is dead.”  Secondly, if that’s the real John Locke, who is in the statue with Ben?  Well, let’s cut to…

28. The Assassination of Jacob by the Pawn Ben Linus.  Sure, I was playing off the great Pitt/Affleck movie (which I highly recommend, incidentally).  Locke and Ben enter the center of Jacob’s “room,” where a fire is burning in the middle.  Jacob, hidden in the corner of the room, asks if Ben likes the thread and wall mosaic.  Jacob turns to Locke and tells him, “You found your loophole,” to which Locke responds, “You have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here.”  Jacob realizes what Ben is intending to do, and tells him that he has a choice.  Ben, who appears a shattered, shell of himself, is incredulous that only now Jacob has decided to stop ignoring him, as for 35 years he never questioned any of Jacob’s instructions.  And in one of the greatest, albeit brief, soliloquies perhaps ever uttered on LOST, we get these words from Ben Linus:

“When I dared to see you myself, I had to wait.  He comes marching straight up here as if he was Moses.  Why him?  Why not me?  What about me?”

I don’t know what gave me greater chills:  Ben’s heart-wrenching speech to Jacob, in which he has suddenly become the manipulated John Locke, who’s whole life has suddenly been stripped of purpose and meaning, or the three cutting, Ben-like words comprising Jacob’s response:  “What about you?”  Ben, no longer able to contain his anger, heartbreak, and confusion, stabs Jacob twice in the chest.  Jacob manages to mutter, “They’re coming.  They’re coming,” before Locke kicks his body over into the fire.  Holy hell!  And what’s more, that wasn’t even the last scene.  No, the episode ended with…

29. The Bomb.  Jack wakes up and helps Kate pull Sawyer from the rig.  The camera pans down the drill well, where we find an injured yet still breathing Juliet, alone, bleeding and terrified.  She sees the bomb to her right, only it obviously hasn’t detonated.  Juliet picks up a stone and begins to smash the bomb until, at last, it detonates, casting the screen in a white light as the word “LOST” appears.  Triple-ZING!  There it is from a plot perspective, which leads me all the way back to the theory I wanted to get to since this all began, namely…

[EDIT: Two more things I noticed after recently rewatching this scene: 1) Juliet smashes the bomb eight times, which is obviously a significant number in the LOST canon; and 2) throughout the episode Juliet is wearing a red shirt. Um, duh! This, of course, goes way back to the old Star Trek days, in which characters in red shirts always died. It became a sort of running gag/foreshadowing among television shows. How in the hell did I never notice Juliet’s apparel previously?]

30. Esau and Jacob.  One of the themes/motifs that appeared perhaps more heavily this season than in seasons past was that of religion.  Consider, for instance, Ajira 316, the painting of Doubting Thomas, and the many other conversations of life, death, and resurrection.  With that, the opening sequence of “The Incident” was heavy with biblical allusion, particularly the story of Esau and Jacob. 

AboutBibleProphecy.com describes Esau in the following manner:

Esau and Jacob were twins, born to Isaac and Rebekah. Esau was the first of the twins to be born. He was covered with red hair, and was called Esau. Some scholars believe that the word Esau means ‘hairy.’ (And if you recall from the opening scene, the man dressed in black was clearly unshaven and disheveled compared to Jacob, my italics.)  Esau became the ancestor of the people of Edom, which was a country near Israel during ancient times.

Before Esau’s birth, the Lord told Rebekah that her older son would serve the younger son.  This was an unusual concept in ancient times because the oldest son was regarded as the heir of the father’s wealth, power and authority.

Esau was born first. But when his twin brother Jacob was being born, Jacob’s hand was holding onto Esau’s heel. This was taken as a sign that Jacob wanted to be born first. Later in life, Jacob continued to show that he wanted to be his father’s heir.

One day, Esau returned from an unsuccessful hunting trip and was famished. He saw that Jacob had been cooking food and he asked for a serving. (Again, we saw Jacob cooking food in the opening sequence and offering it to the man in black, only he refused, my italics.)  Jacob asked him if he would be willing to sell his rights as the first-born son in exchange for a bowl of food. Esau agreed.

Regardless of whether Esau was being serious or flippant in selling off his birthright, Jacob sought to make good on the deal and, with his mother’s help, tricked his aging father into giving Jacob the blessing that traditionally would been reserved for the first-born.

After Jacob had gotten the blessing from his father, Esau vowed to kill Jacob. (Again, we saw the man in black promise to kill Jacob one day, my italics.)  To protect Jacob, his mother arranged for him to live with her relatives in Haran. Jacob lived in Haran for about 20 years, working for his uncle, Laban. When Jacob returned home, his brother, Esau, who now had wealth and a 400-man army, forgave Jacob.

So, if we assume that Jacob and the man in black are actually brothers Jacob and Esau, we can also assume that Jacob is, in effect, the good son, whereas Esau, who is clearly in “possession” of John Locke’s form, is the bad son.  The man who led Ben to “kill” Jacob was not John Locke, but Esau in the guise of John Locke.  Perhaps, then, the “loophole” they reference is that it cannot be Esau who kills Jacob, as he had forgiven him; rather, a surrogate must be utilized, which we see in the form of Ben Linus.  And perhaps, too, Jacob is so cold to Ben because, despite acting in the interest of the island and following Jacob’s orders, he has still murdered, he has still sinned.  Perhaps Jacob stands in judgment of Ben.  And perhaps the impending war that has been spoken of for oh so long was not in fact the war between the physical selves, but the war between good and evil, between brothers, twins, equal sides of the same coin, two “concepts” holding each other together for balance.  In the metaphor of Esau and Jacob, we see so many themes touched upon by LOST that it’s hard to ignore its significance and likely allusion.  Again, this could be way, way off, but considering the influx of religion and faith this season, I’d like to think it’s so.  But to carry it one step further, what if Jacob is an “angel” of sorts whereas the man in black is a demon?  After all, it was necessary for Jacob to touch all of the Oceanic 815 passengers at some point.  Was this a way of protecting them, or a way of “reading” them, a la Smokey “reading” people?

All I know is that next season would likely promise the backstories of Jacob, Richard and the man in black, not to mention the Black Rock.  Furthermore, will we actually get to watch Season 6 from the perspective of the cast having completed their flight to Los Angeles?  All I know is that I’m already frothing at the mouth for yet another, albeit final season. 

So, until next season, have at it, you vultures!

BD

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  1. […] We see Jack get an Apollo bar from the candy machine, harkening back to the season 5 finale, “The Incident.” The two sit down and Claire asks about Christian. Jack tells her that his body was found in an […]


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