On the season finale of Lost, both Jack and Locke are working toward very specific goals that they think will change everyone's future on the island: Jack wants to detonate a hydrogen bomb that could potentially erase the crash of Oceanic 815, and Locke wants to murder Jacob, which, in his mind, will restore logical order for those remaining on the island. I won't spoil how it all goes down way up here in the first paragraph, but here's your SPOILER ALERT, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER if you haven't already watched the finale and don't want to know what exactly happens during "The Incident." But I will say this. Over the course of the two-hour finale, we see how the previously unseen Jacob has actually interacted with all of the Oceanic 6 (minus Aaron and plus Locke and Ilana) before. Jack gets an unexpected assist from Juliet in his efforts. Several main characters are in mortal danger at the moment of the thump. And Locke finally comes face to face with Jacob. Plus: Vincent, Rose and Bernard are all safe and sound!
Namaste, y'all! Where do I begin? Let's start at the beginning...
GOOD VS. EVIL, a long time ago
First up, we see Jacob (Dexter's Mark Pellegrino) and an unnamed companion (ABC refers to him as Man No. 2, and he's played by Titus Welliver, aka Deadwood's Silas) on the beach discussing the nature of man. It's a real God vs. the Devil-type conversation, which is underscored by their contrasting white (Jacob) and black (Man No. 2) tunics. They're contemplating the arrival of a ship, which looks an awful lot like the Black Rock. Jacob appears optimistic about man's potential; Man No. 2, not so much. Man No. 2 changes the subject by mentioning how much he wants to kill Jacob, who replies that maybe some day he'll find his loophole.
JACOB GUMP, everywhere and everywhen
Over the course of the two hours, we see how Jacob has met the Oceanic 6 and Locke before, so let's cover that now:
Jacob is there when cutie-pipsqueak Katie Austen and a friend are attempting to shoplift a lunchbox from a general store in Iowa. He covers for them when the shopkeeper catches them, and warns Katie not to steal anymore.
Jacob is in attendance at the funeral of little James Ford's parents. James is writing that famous letter to Tom Sawyer, the man who doomed his mom and dad. Jacob gives him a pen so he can keep writing. A relative arrives and asks him to never finish that letter. "What's done is done," he says.
Jacob momentarily distracts Sayid when he and Nadia are crossing a street in Los Angeles. She is, of course, struck in a hit-and-run and killed.
Jacob visits a bandaged Ilana in a Russian hospital and asks her to help him. She says yes.
Jacob is reading Flannery O'Connor's Everything That Rises Must Converge outside the building from which Locke is pushed by his dastardly dad. Jacob appears to revive him and says, "Don't worry; everything's going to be all right. I'm sorry this happened to you."
Jacob crashed Sun and Jin's wedding, and wished them good tidings in Korean. Quite the linguist he is!
Jacob is wandering the halls of the hospital where Jack has just performed his first procedure, during which Christian embarrassed him by undermining Jack's authority. It's not made explicit, but it appears to be the surgery that saved Sarah, his future wife, from paralysis. Jacob hands him an Apollo bar that got stuck in the vending machine and their hands touch briefly, significantly.
There's another flashback in which an emotional Juliet and her sister Rachel learn that their parents are getting a divorce, but unless Jacob was hiding under the sofa cushions, he appeared not to be present.
When Hurley is released from prison (thanks to Ben and his henchmen), Hurley shares a cab with Jacob. He encourages Hurley to return to the island on the Ajira flight, gives him a guitar and assures him that he is not cursed, but in fact blessed.
KATE, SAWYER and JULIET, 1977
On board the sub, Kate fills Juliet and Sawyer in on Jack's plan to fulfill the salient points of Faraday's Operation Boom Boom. She convinces them that they have to go back to stop him. They subdue the crew and get them to turn around and drop them off. They meet up with Vincent! Rose! and Bernard! who are all safe and sound, but have no desire to rejoin their craziness. "Aw, hell no, they found us!" Rose says hilariously. "We traveled back 30 years in time and you people are still trying to find ways to shoot each other," she also says, speaking for those of you in the audience who wonder if things just couldn't be a little simpler for these people.
Rose and Bernard are perfectly happy as unorthodox retirees who scavenge for food and have the occasional spot of tea together, each other's company being all they really need. So the renegade trio is like: Aw, nice, but see ya because we have to go shoot a bunch of people, including maybe Jack, so he doesn't blow us all to Kingdom Come. But it's a nice interlude anyway, and maybe goes a long way toward the theory that says that they are the Adam-and-Eve skeletons from the cave.
JACK, SAYID, RICHARD and ELOISE UNDERGROUND, 1977
The quartet successfully extracts Jughead's plutonium core, but before they can all escape through a tunnel that connects to a house in New Otherton, Richard knocks out Eloise and tells Jack and Sayid that they're on their own from this point on.
WE'RE OFF TO SEE THE JACOB, 2007
Along the way to see Jacob, Locke and Richard agree that Jacob is the reason that Locke is alive again. Locke tells him that that's why he's going to see him — to thank him. (Um...) He also says they're going to have to "deal with" the rest of the Ajira passengers — and you know what that means.
Ben tells John about his run-in with Alex, and pledges his fidelity to John's leadership. Which is good, because, um, Locke wants him to kill Jacob. Uh-oh.
At the site of the old Oceanic 815 camp, which is now in ruins, Locke asks Ben why he lied about seeing Jacob. Because he was embarrassed and he didn't want Locke to know he didn't have enough juice to get an audience with the big guy. Ben asks why he has to kill Jacob. "Because despite your loyalty, you got cancer, you had to watch your own daughter gunned down right in front of you, and you were banished, and you did all this for a man you've never met. So the question is: Why wouldn't you want to kill Jacob?" Locke asks. Makes sense to me!
Also: Sun finds Aaron's old crib, with Charlie's DS Driveshaft ring tucked inside. Sniff.
Soon enough, they arrive at the foot of the giant statue because, apparently, that's where Jacob lives. But when Locke explains that Ben is going to join them, Richard says that's not how it works; only the leader can request an audience. "I'm getting the feeling like you're just making up these rules as we go along," Locke says to him. "Ben is coming with us." He acquiesces, and Ben and Locke enter the statue's foot through a stone Richard has effortlessly pushed aside. Richard stays behind.
ILANA IN CHARGE, 2007
Ilana and a cohort (I forgot his name) argue about bringing Lapidus with them, but perhaps he's "a candidate," whatever that means. They show him what's in the cargo container they've carted along. We don't see what's inside, but judging by Lapidus' reaction — "terrific" — it doesn't bode well.
The group arrives at Jacob's cabin, and there's a path cut through the ash that surrounds it. Ilana finds a swatch of fabric with a hieroglyphic on it, pinned to the wall with a knife. Jacob isn't there, and hasn't been for a while. Someone else has been using it, Ilana reports. So... what to do? "Burn it," she instructs.
IN THE SHADOW OF THE STATUE, 2007
Ilana & Co. show up at the statue and she asks Richard: What lies in the shadow of the statue? She finally gets her answer when he replies, in Latin, "That which we protect." She has something they need to see. It's Locke's body, which they found in a coffin in the cargo hold of the Ajira flight. Zoinks! So if Locke's still dead, then...
Meanwhile, inside Chalet Foot, Locke and Ben find Jacob, who is quite proud of the tapestry he wove by hand. "So I guess you found your loophole," Jacob says, and it becomes clear that Locke is actually Man No. 2! Ben is all: You dudes know each other? But clearly Ben is a man with a mission. Jacob tells him he has a choice: He can either kill him, or leave them alone to discuss their issues. "Now you've decided to stop ignoring me," Ben seethes. "I never questioned anything; I did as I was told. But when I dared to ask to see you yourself, I was told to wait, to be patient. But when he asks to see, he gets marched up here as if he was Moses!" His jealousy is flaring. "So why him? What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?"
"What about you?" Jacob asks. And with that final insult, Ben stabs him several times and just before he appears to die, Jacob whispers, "They're coming." Unmoved, Pseudo Locke rolls his body into the fire.
OPERATION BOOM BOOM, 1977
Jack and Sayid put on Dharma uniforms and attempt to "hide in plain sight" in the panicking New Otherton. But Roger Linus recognizes them, and a gun battle ensues, in which Sayid takes a hell of a slug to the gut courtesy Roger's shotgun. Jack goes kind of nuts and shoots, um, everyone. Just when it's starting to look like Jack is the crazy guy in the belltower, ready to go down in a hail of gunfire, Hurley, Jin and Miles arrive in a Dharma van, and they're off to the Swan site, Jughead core in tow.
Jack and a wounded Sayid explain the plan to their comrades, and Sayid explains that he needs to modify the core so it will detonate upon impact. But! They come upon Sawyer, Kate and Juliet, guns drawn. Sawyer wants five minutes to talk to Jack, and it doesn't sound like his demand is negotiable.
Sawyer tells Jack the story of his parents' death, explaining that what's done is done, and Operation Boom Boom is not going to make things right. Jack appears to explain that he's doing all this for Kate, but Sawyer points out the obvious: If 815 lands in L.A., he and Kate will be strangers, and she'll be in handcuffs. Jack is all: talk to the hand, and they're driven to very bloody fisticuffs, which is only broken up by Juliet, who announces that she has changed her mind, as is a woman's prerogative: She thinks Jack is right.
"Why did you change your mind?" Sawyer asks. "I changed my mind when I saw you look at her," she replies. (Ouch. Cold, black heart of mine breaking.) Juliet appears to back-track on their relationship, explaining that if she never meets him, then she never has to lose him. Sniff.
Meanwhile, Jack and Kate have snuggly time, remembering how they first met, when Kate stitched up his wounds. Jack convinces her that Operation Boom Boom is the right thing to do, since it will put Aaron back where he's meant to me, which is why Kate returned to the island in the first place. He is successful, and badass Kate is on board.
With everyone on board (including a dumbstruck Sawyer), Jack makes his approach to the Swan site, while his comrades hang back. While Jin attends to Sayid's wounds, Miles asks this noodle-baker: "Has it occurred to any of you that your friend is going to cause the thing he's trying to prevent? So maybe the best thing to do is nothing?" Oh Jesus, Miles, now isn't the time for equivocation; let's just get on with this.
But Phil has called ahead to Chang and Radzinksy, so they know Jack is coming, and they're packing heat. Just when Jack has another Butch-and-Sundance moment, his comrades appear, guns a-blazin', ready to cover his approach to the drilling pit that leads to the pocket of unique electromagnetic jazz.
[Insert bang-bang-bang here], as something goes wrong with the drill and they can't turn it off. Jack drops the bomb into the hole anyway, and... everyone kind of exchanges I-love-yous and meaningful glances and tears and... nothing happens. "This don't look like LAX," Sawyer cracks. But soon enough, a magnetic event begins, with everything metal being pulled into the pit, similar to what happened when Desmond forgot to punch in the numbers.
Phil is impaled on something metal and killed. Jack is knocked out by an airborne toolbox. Miles saves his father, whose hand has been crushed under some falling debris. Juliet is pulled to the edge of the pit by some flying chains, and despite Kate and Sawyer's best, heartbreaking efforts, Juliet lets go of Sawyer's hand and falls into the pit.
Jack wakes up and sees Kate trying to get Sawyer away from the pit. "This is going to blow any second," she says. Cut to Juliet, who wakes up at the bottom of the pit, sees the bomb lying next to her, grabs a rock and bashes it until... the screen goes white. Thump!
Let me say that again: Thump! THUMP! Thump! THUMP! THUMP!
What in the name of dead Jacob is Season 6 going to look like, you guys? Well, let's look at this promo: "Lost: The Final Season. 2010. Destiny Found." And then... what appears to be a fair-skinned female's eyeball (Juliet's? Kate's? Claire's?) opens. Wow!
So, deep breath, what did you think of "The Incident"? Did Jacob live up to your expectations? Who is "Man No. 2"? Do you think Juliet actually detonated Jughead? And again, what the heck are we in for when Lost returns in 2010?
Need to take a second look? Watch "The Incident: Part 1" and "The Incident: Part 2" in our Online Video Guide
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As a special season-finale treat, here's a roundup of my colleague Matt Mitovich's awesome video series Getting Lost:
Getting Lost: Producers Talk Time Travel
Getting Lost: Inside Scoop on Three New Faces
Getting Lost: Scoop on Jin's "Excellent Adventure"
Getting Lost: Ben's Revenge, Big Reunions and More
Getting Lost: Is Locke's Island Return a Bad Thing?
Getting Lost: Mystery Woman Makes a Special Delivery!
Getting Lost : Kate's Sacrifice, Finale Talk and More
Getting Lost: Scoop on Young Ben and MIA Characters
Getting Lost: Has Rose & Bernard's Time Run Out?
Getting Lost: Death Pool Update, Finale Tease and More
Getting Lost: The Season's Biggest Shockers, and More
Getting Lost: Richard Alpert Theories Revealed, and More!