"Lost" Quick Thoughts: What's Black and White and Dead All Over?
* We finally meet Jacob and boy, it did not disappoint. On first viewing, it was hard to get the full impact of the first five minutes -- the emotionally direct conversation between two adversaries who apparently have no problem looking each other in the eye despite "the war" between them. Part of it was because we didn't know what we were looking at until the Man in Black calls the Man in White by his name -- Jacob. After a second, more thoughtful viewing, I came away convinced that it was one of the best (and probably the most pivotal) scenes in "Lost's" incredible history.
Man in Black: You're trying to prove me wrong.
Jacob: You are wrong.
Man in Black: They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.
Jacob: It can only end once. Everything before that is progress.
It would otherwise be preposterous to add two principal characters, two whose entire feud usurps everything we've seen at this point in the timeline (Ben/Widmore, Locke/Jack, Sawyer/Jack, Others/Dharma). Unless Jacob and the Man in Black represent Free Will and Fate, which is what "Lost" has been about since day one. The island is their chessboard; Man in Black actually accuses Jacob of summoning the ship (we'll presume The Black Rock) to the mainland. Quite a revelation: this is the war that has been referenced all along. Now we see the two physical manifestations of the island's great, seemingly endless conflict.
* The shades of black and white are, again, wonderful masterstrokes. The seed was planted on day one with Locke's backgammon game. Makes you feel as though -- despite the inherent wackiness of 1977 time travel -- Team Darlton had this master plan all along. Have to trust them for Season 6's end game.
* Obvious and unanimous observation of the day: Jacob touched everyone but Juliet in the flashbacks. It was initially alarming to see these occurrences happen at various stages of the castaways' lives: Sawyer and Kate as children, Jack and Locke as adults, Jin and Sun at their wedding, Sayid and Hurley after they'd already been on the island. But if you think about those moments and then begin to process the chess match between Jacob and his adversary, it would appear that the framework for each stage of his arrival is especially crucial to the character archetypes established in Season 1. How that impacts the show going forward is unknown to me (I'd love to hear your theories!), but it would appear that Jacob can ultimately win if the castaways make the "choice" to change their view of life from the point they were touched.
* "They're coming." Gotta be those touched by Jacob, right? Bizarro Locke looked like he was about to crap his pants.
* Perhaps Jacob had to die like a certain Biblical figure we know. That it came at the hands of Ben, all part of the master plan?
* Crocodile statue head? Has Lacoste been on the island? As Adam and I were discussing in person, I don't like to analyze this stuff to death. It's way beyond me, but I still enjoy the mythology. I may, however, go pick up Flannery O'Connor's "Everything That Rises Must Converge."
* How did Juliet not die on impact? How did the bomb not go off when thrown into the shaft? I think lazy writing is out of the question, so we'll have to go with some type of magnetic force allowing for a less-harmful face plant.
* The answer to "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Alpert's (Ricardus? Ricardos?) Latin translates to "He who will protect/save us all."
* No Desmond. Boo.
* Worst part of the night: Jack's rationale for wanting to detonate the bomb. Kate? Are you kidding me? That said, the acknowledgment that he and Kate will be strangers if Oceanic 815 lands safely ... but if it's meant to be ... indicates a belief in something destiny-laden. That's new territory for Doc.
* Can't see a Season 6 opening in LAX. I just can't.
-- Thomas Rozwadowski, email@example.com
* Two big callbacks to dearly departed Charlie Pace: Sun discovers his Drive Shaft ring (given to him by his slightly evil brother -- hint hint?), and Jacob supplies Hurley with a guitar case that, granted, we can only assume belongs to the former rock star. But while we're assuming, let's plow right ahead and say that the guitar case contains Charlie's immortal, glowing soul, a la "Pulp Fiction," and that his sacrifice back in Season 3 still has a pivotal part to play, whether or Dominic Monaghan reprises his role or not.
* I think we can all agree now. Rose and Bernard = Adam and Eve skeletons. (We can also agree that Bernard looks fantastic in that shaggy beard.) One nagging question, though: What happens to Vincent? Does he just curl up in front of their cave like Seymour in "Futurama"?
* So who, after all that build-up, was the "major death"? Can't have been Juliet, since she didn't, you know, actually die. Could it be Jacob? We only just met him as a full-bodied person last night, but he's definitely been a presence on the show since around Season Two. But we're more inclined to finally put the nails in the coffin (or take the nails out of the coffin, as the case may be) of John Locke. After tumbling out of the Statue Cult's ark-of-the-covenant box, we discovered that the walking, talking, mango-eating Locke who was having so much fun torturing Ben and plotting Jacob's death, wasn't Locke at all, but some kind of incarnation of Jacob's black-shirted nemesis from the first scene. Odds are Locke is gone for good, which is kind of sad in a way, since he was such a major presence throughout the series, and his presumed resurrection this season was all a trick -- he really did die at the hands of Ben's extension cord in that dingy hotel room. A sad end indeed..
* What is mercenary Statue Cult chick Ilana's relationship to Jacob? During her flashback -- where she's covered in bandages in what looked like the same hospital Locke was brought to after zapping into the Tunisian desert -- Jacob's talk with her betrays a certain level of familiarity. And what does he need her help with? Hmmm ... intrigue
-- Adam Reinhard, firstname.lastname@example.org