Lost: The Incident

Lost likes “events” – twists or fast-paced, dramatic story-shifters – to end its seasons:

  1. The Hatch
  2. The Turning of the Key/Stopping of the pushing of the Numbers
  3. The Destruction of The Looking Glass
  4. The rescue of the Oceanic Six and their decision to return to the Island
  5. The Incident (which could be the electromagnetism/nuclear bomb OR the loophole)

If you haven’t listened to the latest (last) Lost Audio Podcast (dated May 11), do yourself a favor and start there.

Damon & Carlton (who penned the second hour tonight) talk a lot about “Good” and “Evil” as absolute concepts and Damon even hints that those of us fans who have been paying attention (that’d be you and me, friends) should have a good idea of how the series will end from watching The Incident.

I could just start blathering about plot points or themes or memes, but I’ll try to stay rational and organized.

From the very beginning, Lost theorists posited that the island was either purgatory or the garden of Eden. I think the producers are still tweaking us a little bit, dressing Jacob in white (good/God) and Man #2 (his name in the credits) in black (Devil/Loki/entropy?).

I think the major theme of the episode – if not the whole damn show – is fate/destiny versus free will. The whole series seems deterministic to me, but I think there are two camps obviously vying to push the powers of the island one way or another to satisfy their own agendas.

Put another way: the island itself is merely the manifestation of power and men will see fit to use/abuse that power to fit their own philosophies.

Or I could just be pulling this all out of my ass, but that’s what I think.

As to how I think the show will end or how they’ll deal with the final season?

I think most of our characters will wind up just like Rose, Bernard & Vincent: happy wherever they end up; happy with the lives they’ve chosen.

I think Sawyer (whose character really grew this season, I think) had it right: what’s done is done and we can only chose how to respond to what happens to it, not try and fix/change it. But maybe that’s my own personal philosophy bleeding through.

I also think (since I’m starting each and every sentence in the first person) that Jacob’s insistence that each of the people he encounters embrace their free will, their “choice” and do good with it is in direct opposition to Man #2, who may, in fact, be the one pulling the strings on getting everyone to the island.

I’ll admit to not having a clue about the exact conditions of the “loophole” but I think that, far from drawing people to the island, Jacob’s intercession in each of their lives was his reminder to them to live their lives better and embrace the choices they could make. That doesn’t quite explain why he’d intercede and get Sayid’s wife Nadia killed, but it’s my theory.

So picking up on the theme of big events outlined at the top, I think one of the other big changes from season to season is our understanding of all the interested parties – the constituencies – of the island.

What started as “Others” became “Others” and Dharma become “Others”, Dharma & Jacob then “Others”, Dharma, Jacob & Widmore and now “Others”, Dharma, Jacob, Widmore, Eloise, Man #2, Ilana’s crew (who may be aligned w/ Jacob) and the internal schism of Dharma folks (Radzinsky versus Chang).

So here, finally, are my good, old-fashioned bullets, now at the end of the post for your confusion:

  • Black & White
  • Can it really be that simple? Is there a good & bad? Is it as simple as “Live together, die alone”? Is happiness the same thing as acceptance of the happenings of life?

    Here are the clothing dualities I noted tonight:

    Jacob (White)/Man #2 (Black)
    Jacob (White/Locke/Man#2 (White)
    Chang (White)/Radzinsky (Black)

  • Colossus of Rhodes
  • It’s been speculated previously that the statue was Anubis because of some of the paintings in the temple, but some folks are now speculating that it is Taweret. Interesting theory, since the history of that Goddess literally moved her to be both good and evil and to have an influence on fertility & motherhood.

    Basically, she’s a good catch-all deity for island events, though why she guards the cost (a la The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world) is beyond me.

  • The Incident
  • The title immediately made me think of Ambrose Bierce’s An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge which is sometimes called An Incident at Owl Creek Bridge. Some eerie themes of false futures, death, twist endings and supernatural phenomena.

    I’m still debating if The Incident is a better reference for the bomb/electromagnetism or the death of Jacob/return of Man #2 via the “loophole”.

    What do you think?

    Speaking of which …

  • The Loophole
  • Any theories?

    Dead people who arrive via coffin get a free pass?
    People whom Jacob has saved (a la Locke after his great fall) get to come back/be reborn?

    And just where are Christian Shepherd and Claire and how do they fit into the cabin/ring of ash mythos?

  • Things in plain sight
  • Charlie’s DriveShaft ring
    An Apollo Bar
    Anything else I missed?

  • Flannery O’Connor’s Everything That Rises Must Converge
  • A morality story (really a series of shorts) that plays with the duality of individuals, their own personal hypocrisy and the interconnectedness and similarity of apparently disparate folks.

I’m sure I’m missing a ton and I’ve got loads of questions, I’m sure you do too (I sound like Mr. Rogers).

I want to know Locke’s fate, and I don’t mean that in a “purpose” kind of a way, I mean I want to know if the death he got is the final story arc for his awesome character.

I want to know who the Ajira folks work for and who eventually “wins” control of the island and what they “decide” – if that’s even the right word – to do with/for it.

I want to know if the island has any philosophy of its own apart from what those who use its power have deigned to do with it.

I want to know if the change our characters seek is possible, probable or in their best interest.

I want to know that some folks (maybe all the folks) find happiness.

I’m bad at this now. It’s nearly 1am.

Leave better questions and theories and notes than mine. Teach me.

Good night and I’ll see you next season.

5 thoughts on “Lost: The Incident

  1. Stephanie says:

    I think that Locke is dead. Completely dead. The loophole, in my opinion, is that “Man #2” couldn’t kill Jacob himself. He had to find the right way to do it via another person.

    I think Man #2 is Smokey and can only communicate with people by using the bodies of the deceased. He has spoken through Alex, Locke, Christian, Eko’s brother, etc. I think early on in the show when Smokey encountered Locke in the jungle…he realized that this was the loophole. The chain of events let to Locke’s death and then Smokey was able to use Locke’s body, and Alex, to convince Ben to do the unimaginable.

    There are several reasons I think smokey is using the body’s of the deceased…Amy’s insistence that her dead husband’s body could not be left out in the field. The way “Locke” suddenly knew where to find Smokey. It was also very Superman/Clark Kent like when Locke took Ben to Smokey. Locke and Smokey were not shown in these scenes at the same time and both were absent when Alex just happened to show up. And suddenly Locke reappeared after Alex left.

    The events led to the end where “Locke” is finally face to face with Jacob and Man #2 (In Locke’s body) was finally going to be able to take his revenge. However, the rule still prevailed that he couldn’t kill Jacob with by his own hand. The ultimate loophole was that he had Ben do the dirty work for him.

    That’s my theory anyway. I have a lot of other thoughts as well…especially on similar themes to the Bible. Cane and Able come to mind…..also the way Satan tested Job trying to prove God wrong. I think my comments above are probably confusing enough and I won’t ramble any longer.

    It was a great finale! I shall miss it this summer!

  2. We’re shown that Jacob is flesh enough to eat. He catches a fish in a trap, prepares it, and eats it. (He also offers some to Man #2, who refuses it.)

    Ben says to Locke, “I’m a Pisces.”

  3. Wilder says:

    @ Stephanie:

    This is exactly the conclusion I came too – that Smokey IS all the “ghosts” we’ve been seeing. That he inhabits the bodies of the deceased (Claire, Christian, and now Locke) and he’s the one manipulating everyone on the island.

    The only sticking points that have me a little confused are how Locke seemed genuinely surprised when Ben told him that his daughter had told him to do everything Locke asked. Though, this could just be a bit of fake acting on Smokey’s part. And how does Smokey inhabit bodies OFF the island? Like when Hurley sees Charlie at the police station or when Jack sees Christian at the hospital.

  4. Anne Fitzgerald says:

    Here’s what I thought of Lost: So what? Big effing deal.

    Jacob’s friend (black shirt guy) figured out the loophole how to kill him (the black shirt guy is probably Smokey; the loophole is he had to convince someone else to kill Jacob. Smokey’s most likely a dead-body-inhabiter, and all the “dead” folks we’ve seen on the island are just Smokey/black shirt guy manifesting itself).

    Juliette maybe possibly perhaps detonated the bomb (we didn’t see for sure). Locke is dead for real. I actually adored the first 53 minutes (and I *heart* Bernard and Rose — who may have been Smokey at this point), but after the final 7 minutes I thought, “So what?”

    Bottom line: it’s only a cliffhanger if i care what comes next.

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