Lost 5.16 / 5.17 – The Incident

This season of “Lost” has been one of the best (if not the best) in the history of the series. The season finale? Not so much. While we’ve been hearing for weeks that the finale would prove to be a game changer – prompting many to even wonder how the show could go on – I just don’t see how anyone could come to that conclusion. Was tonight’s finale really better than the flash-forward of Season Three? Hardly, and though it may have changed the series more than we think, we still won’t know anything until Season Six starts up in 2010. After all, the show may have ended with a literal bang, but it felt more like a whimper with that fade to white.

Tonight’s episode also had way too much going on for me to even attempt my usual format, so instead, I’ve decided to break my recap down into more general ideas so that I can discuss each one in a little more depth. Hopefully it’s not too difficult to follow along and will make it easier for commenters to address certain topics without having to go into too much detail. I apologize in advance if it does the complete opposite.

1. Jacob – He certainly wasn’t at the top of my list of questions I was eager to see answered, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed by the lack of explanation we received for Jacob. Apart from the fact that we know he has some kind of magical power (including Richard Alpert-like immortality and the ability heal), Jacob remains shrouded in mystery. Oh yeah, and now that Locke’s convinced Ben to kill him, we may never find out who he really is, where he’s from, and how he was able to leave the island so frequently throughout the last 30 years. Which brings me to…

2. Jacob’s Flashbacks – Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have always had fun trying to connect each character to one another, so it was cool to see Jacob pop up throughout the Losties’ history. Even more important, however, was that he seemed to always do so during a crucial moment in their lives. Okay, so I’m not exactly sure what significance paying for a stolen New Kids on the Block lunchbox has for Kate, but the others all made perfect sense. The funeral of Sawyer’s parents; the death of Sayid’s true love; Sun and Jin’s wedding; and the list goes on and on. The most important of the bunch, however, is Locke’s crippling fall from the apartment building. Many people called in to question how someone could possibly survive such a fall around the time that original episode aired, and now we know the answer – Jacob revived him. Which brings me back to my first point: just who the hell is Jacob?

3. Rose, Bernard and Vincent – The writers have been promising all season that we’d eventually get to see what happened to the beloved secondary characters, and as it turns out, they’ve been time jumping with the rest of the survivors all this time. That was pretty much a given, but the fact that they were able to do so without anyone the wiser is pretty impressive. Apparently, they’ve not only decided to retire in a nice beach house since the “flaming arrows three years ago,” but they’ve also become hippies in the process. I could have done without the whole “All We Need Is Love” speech that Bernard delivered, but seeing as this is probably the last time we’ll ever see him or Rose again, it was an admirable send-off for a couple that could have easily been excised from the series after Season Three.

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Lost 5.14 – The Variable

It’s not very often that we welcome back a character the same night we say farewell, but if the end of tonight’s episode is to be believed, Daniel Faraday is no more. To which I say, fuck you Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. Killing Charlie was bad enough, but if this death sticks, I’m going to be pretty pissed. Okay, maybe not. It’s kind of hard to stay mad at you when you continue to deliver top-notch episodes like this, but that doesn’t mean I’m not upset. Nevertheless, just like Charlie’s last few episodes at the end of Season Three, Faraday’s last hurrah was one for the ages.

First, we find out that Eloise is Faraday’s mother, and then we find out that Widmore is his father, but honestly, anyone that didn’t see that one coming hasn’t been paying attention these last few years. Still, Faraday’s connection to the island certainly has to be the most interesting of all the characters, and the fact that Eloise willingly sent her son back knowing exactly what was going to happen takes serious guts. Of course, if the Others were able to save Ben Linus from a gunshot wound, what’s to say they won’t be able to do the same for Faraday? It seems plausible, and wouldn’t it explain Faraday’s memory loss in the future/present?

Speaking of which, Faraday’s flashbacks weren’t quite as revelatory as some might have hoped, but it was fun to revisit key moments (like his reaction to the Oceanic 815 recovery footage) knowing more about his journey after those events. The same goes for the opening scene from the season premiere, where we saw Faraday passing Marvin Candle/Dr. Chang in the Swan station, but nothing more. Now we know that Faraday not only spoke with Candle about evacuating the island, but also broke several of his own time travel rules by telling Candle that he’s from the future and that Miles is his son. Candle didn’t seem to buy into either claim, but how could he not? The only Chinese guy on the island with the name Miles? Yeah, it seems like a pretty airtight argument to me too.

Whatever Faraday was expecting Candle to do, he seemed to believe that he was going to do it after their little talk, and let’s hope that he does, because Faraday’s ultimate plan is explosive to say the least. Some of the commenters on this blog were insistent that ‘ol Jughead would rear its head again in the future and, well, they were right. Personally, I completely forgot about the hydrogen bomb between all the time jumping during the middle of the season, but once Faraday mentioned blowing up the Swan’s mysterious power source using the bomb, it suddenly made a lot of sense. Of course, Faraday’s plan doesn’t exactly work under his initial theory that “whatever happens, happens,” but since the Losties currently are experiencing their present, they still have the power to change their future. It’s a pretty cool theory for sure, and it’s really the only way the writers could have gotten out of the hole they conceivably dug themselves into.

Now that Faraday’s dead, though, who will carry out the plan? Jack and Kate are probably stuck in Others territory, Sawyer and Juliet have been outed by Radzinsky, and Hurley and Miles are stuck in the middle of it all. Plus, with three more hours left to go, there’s still more than enough time for a couple of wild cards to be thrown into the mix – namely Locke, Sun and Ben, who will no doubt play a role in all of this before the season is over. Oh yeah, and there’s no way the Losties erase the past by blowing up the Swan. At least, not with an entire season still to go. Can this show really get any better? God I hope so.

  

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