Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Nothing less than a five-star crushing opening scene to get us underway. We start out with three clay jars in the corner. Wonder if those will eventually be as important as that fire, which takes up a bit of screen time early on. As soon as we saw the dude’s face and it was a new one, I was pretty sure that had to be Jacob, couldn’t believe they were just dropping the Jacob-centric on the way out of Season Five. The guy they got, Mark Pelligrino, knocks it out of the park. Just the stride, man, the way he struts up out of the water with the fish. Totally in his element. Then sits down to enjoy a fish/leaf sandwich and just casually scopes out the Black Rock on its way in. Which makes this 1845*. Meaning his important tapestry is all done by now. And up walks the man in black. Esau, everyone’s calling him, after the biblical Jacob’s brother. Their exchange seems to provide a clue to the Ultimate Question, What The Hell Is Going On With This Island? It’s a proving ground for human nature? “Esau” believes that mankind will always corrupt, fight, and destroy, while Jacob has faith that we can rise above our baser nature? And there have been, one presumes, many many iterations of this, if they’re talking like such veterans 160 years ago. I love what a smartass Jacob is to him, just the cadence of, “Please,” and “Yes,” completely defiant. The way the shot cuts in tight on the man in black for the line, “I’ve just eaten,” makes one suspect that fish was not on the menu. So, mention of the loophole, Jacob lets us know where he’ll be (and the next time that foot comes around in 2.23, it’s going to be a much huger moment), and we’re back to swirling title.

That little girl they got to be young Kate destroys it. Jacob makes physical contact with her, clearly the point of the encounter. He needs for her to be good to in some way overcome his nemesis. How can paying cash money for a New Kids lunchbox be considered good on any moral spectrum? I think lil’ Katie had it figured out at the top of the scene.

Radzinsky is such a dick. You’ve got to love the shaft-cam.

Is Lapidus a candidate for what? Alternate leadership to the Locke ghola? That’s the only title that seems to be up for grabs round these parts.

Wow, Jacob gives lil’ Sawyer the pen to write the letter. That’s some pretty heavy revision.

And Juliet takes it upon herself to effect their release. She’d have to, getting dragged along, doing anything but firmly deciding, would make the end just horrific. More horrific. I dig how when the sub starts rising, that Jules Verne music from the end of last week swells back up, but then cuts off abruptly mid-measure when the scene cuts back underground.

Something to consider: Jack asks Sayid if he’s done with Faraday’s journal. “Take it,” is the reply. We know, though, that that journal is sitting in Ben’s Alcatraz office in 2008. Wonder what path THOSE pages took**. Shades of Artz with all that plutonium core handling. It’s a finale! Anyone can go boom at any moment.

Locke acting like such a badass to Ben seems really inconsistent and annoying until you get to the end of this episode.

Okay, wow, Jacob just pretty much straight-up distracted Sayid while Nadia got run down? Was that a good thing to do? It certainly doesn’t seem very nice.

Richard bailing out on Jack and Sayid certainly makes everything ominous, as soon as he and Eloise are safely out of range, anything can happen. It does render his claim at the top of last week a bit after-the-fact suspect (Something to the effect of, “I remember all of these people very well. Because I saw them die.” Does he SAY “saw”? Maybe not, but he sure seemed to be pretty certain that they all bought it. Feels like a cheat, right now at the moment).

Ha, they came out in Horace’s place. And walked right by Phil only to get tagged by Roger. Firefight! Did not expect Sayid to get gutshot. And, of course, after missing Roger (who Cannot Die, until the moment that his son poisons him so that he can earn the nickname Skeletor), Jack turns into the serious marksman, multiple single-shot kills until losing the cross-hair perfection the moment he takes aim at a bus being driven by Hurley.

It was right at first cool to see Rose and Bernard and Vincent again, but something about the way they carried themselves put me off (Vincent was fine, I suppose, 'e's a good dawg). Just so above it all. It’s a damn hydrogen bomb. It does affect you. “At least we’ll be together”? Blah, unfortunate dip in an otherwise immaculate script (that probably still would have lost to MAD MEN without it, but we’ll never know). The point of which is to slam home to Juliet that she will never have this innate connection to Sawyer that Kate does and so that’s the motivation to hit the reset button. I don’t know, I like the idea of unrequited love/broken hearts being the impetus behind Jack and Juliet signing up to do something really dangerous and paradoxical with the EM anomaly, but it rang a bit false the way things played out, especially with Juliet literally deciding on the way that Yeah, fuck it, nuke the Swan. I can get behind Jack getting all zealot crazy, but this felt like too much of a stretch, too quick of a leap for Juliet.

Jacob needed Ilana’s help. To get Sayid on 316? Or that was a detour and what he really needed was for her to show up at the statue with Locke’s corpse? Stay tuned.

“Someone else has been using” Jacob’s cabin. Meaning, it’s been the man in black all this time, that was him messing around with Locke and Ben back in 3.20. At some unspecified point, Jacob quit using his cabin as a meeting point for his disciples and the other guy moved in.

Jacob reads Flannery O’Connor. What taste.

That conversation between Locke and Ben, the latter’s “That’s what I do,” is just a bit too on-the-nose, no? Yes, Ben lies. Jack saves, Kate runs. Sawyer cons/talks shit. But Jack saying, “I save people,” we don’t need to hear that, right? Watching that scene on 5/13, I was immediately like, “And they’ll probably fucking give him the Emmy for this after snubbing him for the far superior Season Four (good evening, 4.9),” and of course that’s exactly what happened. And, you know, cool. It’s just that Locke should have an Emmy for the first not the third season and Ben much more deserved it last year, but, tear it up and grab what you can.

Man, Sun finding Charlie’s Driveshaft ring in the ruined crib that Locke built for Aaron was a heavy moment.

And, oh, Jin’s vows seemed to be hurting. But he saved it in the last line.

Too, watching Jin & Sun there, couldn’t believe that we hadn’t ever been here, actually seen the ceremony before now. Of course, Jacob shows up and does not fuck around in any way, conveys blessing and sentiments and out. More than his Korean is excellent, Mr. Kwon.

Sayid’s “You can’t stop the bleeding,” was I think my #2 take-home line, only losing to the last scene, just haunting. If that guy, who’s seen what he has, is looking Jack in the eye and saying those words . . . not much of a prognosis for Allah’s Favorite Torturer. “We need to be there at the moment of the Incident.” Isn’t ANYONE thinking that being there with an H-bomb would make a fine root cause for such a thing?

Can’t believe that after all this time we just get the famous counting scene. Catherine didn’t watch this until the night after it aired. We had angel-hair pasta for dinner.

So, Jacob didn’t actually touch Jack, right? He just put it in Alvar’s Apollo bar? “Sometimes we just need a little push,” is pretty blatant.

Sawyer: “I don’t speak destiny.” With one season left to play, James Ford is beating out Locke and Eko in my heart and mind as best character, which I never saw coming. We’ll have to see about Jack’s endgame, I guess.

But that fight, for a couple of seconds I thought Sawyer was just going to end Jack, right there. Reminds me of Hurley and Charlie in Roger’s bus right before Three Dog Night kicked in back in 3.10. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t die. What matters is that right there, in those instants when anything can still happen, that you the viewer really believe that to be the case, back then that Hurley really could die, it was his –centric. This time, yeah, let’s just take out Jack before the sixth season, he wasn’t supposed to clear the pilot in the first place, or maybe a last-minute cut-Sawyer’s-throat play. That’s the finest fiction, when it causes us to rise above our jaded selves and actually believe that anything can happen.

And the Juliet flashback, notable only for Jacob’s absence. So yeah, I’m not sure about pretty much anything about next season except Juliet being dead dead and dead. Blown up reeeeeaaaal good. I kept wanting her little sister in the flashback to call their dad a cheating cocksucker, but that’s just the borders breaking down, we’ve got to shore those up.

The “I don’t want to understand” transition line back to Sawyer & Juliet, I’ve just got to point out, that’s some straight 80s Alan Moore, I mean, this show’s always doing that, greasing the transitions with that trick, a line/image that catapults you into the next thing. As someone who’s read WATCHMEN maybe more than Lindelof, it’s wonderful to see that bit translated to another medium so effectively.

Jack Bender is so proud to have that hatch door, fresh and new, out where he can shoot it.

“But nothing, nothing in my life has ever felt so right. And . . . I just need you to believe that.” That is the bell tolling doom from the mouth of our protagonist, dear ones.

And last flashback. You have got to get behind Hurley’s “Well, I didn’t really. I guess they figured it out.” This is fantastic work, because we have had sooooo many things thrown at us since 5.06 that I completely wrote off the mystery of Hurley’s guitar case, just assuming that it was the Charlie ghost who got him to sign up for the flight. But, no, here at the end of the season, we see that it’s Jacob who gave him the case. We have no idea what’s inside. Does Hurley? One would think he'd check. He’s had it on him this entire time in 1977, even drove it out to the Swan. Where it presumably did/is about to do whatever Jacob intended. “Not my guitar.”

Jacob’s scene with Hurley is my favorite of his. Not counting the opening. It’s interesting to me that Jacob answers Hurley’s “Who are you, dude?” with “I’m just up here on the corner.” Any other show, you wouldn’t read anything into that, but that seems massive, here.

And, oh man, I was seeing epic Wes Anderson slo-mo during Jack’s “See you in Los Angeles.” Can’t believe that’s in real time. I swear the Earth skipped an orbital beat.

Ha, nice final comedy beat between Ben and Sun. So true.

Unless you count, as comedy, Miles completing his usurpation of Hurley’s Everyman role and dropping the We Are! The Incident! argument.

So Juliet gets to drop the Live Together, Die Alone. Which looks to have been taken a bit more literally this season than it was for the second finale.

(did anyone else see like a digital readout on Chang’s left arm at this point? The clock ticking away)(not literally)

Radzinsky’s “Who’s this?” recalls a couple of STAR WARS climaxes.

Oh, and the way Jack dropped the lightsaber-looking core down the chasm. Straight out of JEDI. Great trick, we get the look/nod between him and Kate, Sawyer/Juliet, Giacchino’s Live Together, Die Alone theme kicks in, and we’re ready to say white flash good-bye. So, of course, that isn’t what happens.

I really don’t have anything to type after watching the scene before the final commercial break except to point out how stupid it is that Holloway didn’t even net a Supporting Actor nom this season. Especially when you take "LaFleur" into account. Come on.

(wow, and the final commercial for this episode is for FLASH-FORWARD, and it straight-up gives up the 2:17 premise right there back then, before Sun on the beach. I guess they knew their audience.)

Ilana’s been looking for Alpert all this time. The translation’s something like, “He who protects that which must be protected.”

You’ve got to respect the exact same shot and music for the end of Season Four (It’s LOCKE in the coffin!) used here for . . . It’s LOCKE in the box!

So, after all of this, insane to see Jacob just sitting there in firelight, hanging out where I guess he has been this entire time. Esau Locke’s line, “And you have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here,” suggests material for Season Six flashbacks.

What about you, Ben? What about the reaction shot of Jacob, firelight on the left, all shadow on the right? Pretty spiffy composition, that.

“They’re coming.” Well, the obvious answer to whom that is would be our beloved ’77 exchrononauts, blessed as they are (except for Miles), so, like Kate implicitly referencing Sawyer at the end of Season Three, we have to doubt it. But who else could it be? The Egyptian Pantheon?

Last scene. Kate and Jack make a relatively casual rescue of Sawyer as that wreckage finally buckles. We follow it down not realizing we’re done with them for many months, again. Juliet’s alive! But in the only position to complete the mission. Weird thing, this entire season, “Sonuvabitch” has been like the go-to remark, seems like Sawyer started doing it as early as the premiere, it tripped my Cartman-sense. This episode, even, Bernard drops it in its usual punchline zone. But it takes on an added weight as the last line of the season, no doubt.

And so now what? That’s the beauty of it. DID Juliet just incite the Incident, reinforcing Faraday’s Whatever Happened, Happened theorem? Or did everything change? We never got anything about what happened to Daniel in Ann Arbor, he went through something that changed his mind. Right now, we're in a pretty mind-blowing place. It might be completely dispelled by however Season Six actually opens, but for now, it’s possible that we’re going to just see Oceanic 815 come in for a landing at LAX and 14+ passengers we really know and love go their separate ways with a foreboding that something is not as it should be, one of these things is not like the other.

So, it could be a whole new timeline. Or we could open in the 19th century and catch a glimpse of whatever the hell was going on with the Black Rock’s landing and Jacob and his maybe-brother and young Ricardus and whoever else was hanging out back when the Sobek statue was intact (well, not inTACT). Or we could start out with the same white flash that brings the blessed back to the present. But don't people still need to stay in the past? To record distress signals and die in caves and such? Will there be one final perfect opening track, to shepherd us back into the maelstrom?

All I know for certain is that I can’t wait. And Juliet’s dead.

Oh, Namaste, you beautiful Island faithful! I bow to you, always and forever.

*and I just want to trap-door here on the Black Rock. Smart money that Alpert was on it. What about Widmore and Ellie, though? Was Widmore buying the first mate’s journal because he knew him? Or was him? (which, yeah, would make him the youngest first mate, ever, but he was always full of pluck, young Charlie)

**and, for that matter, how the hell did the Black Rock’s first mate’s log even get recovered and up for auction, if the frigate is still as far as we know to this day many improbable miles inland on a mobile Island space/time craft? Riddle me that, children.