Well, I didn’t intend to write a recap of the season opener, either, but I just can’t help myself. Strap in, bunkies, this is going to be longish. As a hat tip to Erika of LongLiveLocke, I encourage you to mouse over the images. I’m feeling a bit saucy tonight.
We finally got to meet the elusive Jacob, who (like all the smart guys in high school) apparently spent a lot of time in Home Ec.
After a tasty naked fish taco (fist pump to Miles!) he had a little confab with his apparent long-time frenemy, the Man in Black. Thanks to the Nameless One’s fashion choice, I will henceforth be referring to him as “Johnny Cash,” or Johnny for short. Which turns out to be a marvelously appropriate nickname, given what we find out at the end of the episode. THEORY: I am reasonably certain that Johnny Cash is Smokey.
Apparently, Johnny has a pretty poor opinion of humanity. Jacob prefers to keep it on the sunny side, insisting that progress is not only possible, but that it’s happening beneath Johnny’s very nose, if only he would see it.
Oh, and Johnny wants to kill Jacob with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. To which sentiment Jacob is all “Whatever. Keep dreaming, bub.”
Back in 1977, Kate and Sawyer bicker about whether or not they should attempt to escape the sub and put the kibosh on Jack’s plan to reset history. Juliet beats the snot out of the next guard to walk by, I’m pretty sure just to get the two of them to stop flirt-fighting, already.
I am probably the only person who was reminded of Expose, the Charlie’s Angels-esque show from the Nikki and Paolo flashback, where Billy Dee Williams was the suave, secretive boss of a team of female crimefighters. I’m just saying: Juliet and Kate as butt-kicking crimefighters in the 70s working for a pimped out Sawyer? Full. of. WIN.
Jack and Sayid successfully extract the far more portable, yet equally bombtastic, core of Jughead. After Richard does the whole “I’m knocking you unconscious for your own good” thing on Eloise and presumably heads off to the nearest nuclear fallout shelter, Jack and Sayid almost successfully tote it in a backpack right out of Dharmaville.
Unfortunately, Ben’s dad picks that particular moment to get all observant, and starts firing at Sayid, who probably should have broken out his mad Iraqi ninja skillz, rather than trying to go the diplomacy route.
Jack’s diplomacy skills may suck, but at least he knows better than to try them out while facing the gun-toting dad of the ‘tween you just shot a few days back. Just sayin’.
At this point, Hurley once again pulls his patented Dharma rescue van maneuver, and they all head off to the Swan station, with the magically bullet-proof yet supposedly still volatile thermal detonator thermonuclear device in tow. (If Artzt had been carrying that backpack, we all know what would have happened.)
Sawyer’s Angels make a brief pit stop at Rose and Bernard’s lo-fi Island condo, and after turning down a cuppa tea, strike an intercept course with the Dharma Van of Doom 2.0.
Sawyer repeats Ben’s line from the Season 3 finale about Jack owing him five minutes. Apparently, Jack will fall for that line every time. After unsuccessfully attempting to talk him out of blowing up the island, Jack and Sawyer commence to crack open the respective cans of whup@$$ that both have been wanting to dish out for five solid seasons.
Unlike a lot of fans, I enjoyed the “love quadrangle” stuff in this episode. I also think there was an important clue in what Jack said to Sawyer “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be,” a theme echoed more sadly in Juliet’s Jacob-less flashback. I think Jack may believe that somehow, some way, he’ll find Kate in whatever alternate universe they create. And this time, he won’t screw it up. More on this in a bit.
Back in 2007, Locke and the Others arrive at the Ginormous Foot of Jacob, and Locke gets Ben psyched about killing Jacob. Illana and her crew, along with Lapidus, catch up to the Others for a short Latin Q&A with Richard, and reveal the still-quite-dead body of John Locke, which they’ve been toting around in their stainless steel ark of the covenant. Unfortunately, it’s too late for them to stop Ben from killing Jacob in a fit of deity disappointment.
One comment from “Locke” that is way scarier now that we know he’s actually Johnny? When he tells all the Others to take a breather, because he has plans for them later. Bearing in mind his creepy “I’ve already eaten” comment from the opening scene, I’m inferring that these are not plans to make s’mores around the campfire.
As Jacob gasps his last (maybe) he tells Johnny “They’re coming.” Johnny does not take this news well, and angrily shoves him into the fire pit.
Back in 1977, all the pastaways (a term I have shamelessly coopted from Doc Jensen) finally come together to form the A-Team, and attempt to help Jack blow up the Swan just as the Incident starts electromagnetically yanking everything from Jeeps to winches down the drill hole.
The remarkably resilient nuclear device fails to blow up on impact. Miles saves his dad (but not his dad’s hand) in a very “Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi” moment. Jack gets knocked unconscious. Juliet gets tangled in some chains and dragged down the rabbit hole, despite Sawyer and Kate’s best efforts to save her, and then she successfully detonates the bomb with a rock.
And everybody dies. Maybe. But probably not, since we have a whole other season left.
My current crazy theory about where we go from here:
I haven’t mentioned the Jacob flashbacks because my whole theory about what’s going to happen next season hinges on them.
I think the pastaways are in “King’s Cross.” (If you’ve read all the Harry Potter books, you know what I mean by that. If you haven’t, I’m not going to be the one to spoil you.)
I don’t think Jack was telling Kate that none of them had gained anything from the experiences of the last three years in Follow the Leader. I think he was saying what the few had gained wasn’t, in the cosmic scheme of things, worth the death of the many.
Jack is acting on faith that given it all to do over again, he and his surviving friends can find some other path to redemption that doesn’t involve the death of the couple hundred folks on Oceanic 815. In other words, what if it wasn’t the Island, after all? What if they were all at rock bottom and ready to change, anyway?
“If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
Ultimately, I think all of the 1977 Losties made a conscious choice to sacrifice what they’ve gained to save the people who’ve been LOST.
They’ve made the sacrifice the Island demanded. A sacrifice no one in its long history has ever made. In being willing to sacrifice their gains and quite probably their own lives for just the chance, not even the certainty, of saving others, they’ve proven Jacob right.
I think Jacob allowed Ben to kill him, because he has a Longer Con going on than Johnny knows. His endgame includes his own death. The “they” who are coming? The Losties who have made a similar, parallel sacrifice. But they’re coming back with something extra. I think their collective choice to sacrifice themselves freed Jacob to go back to various points in their history and give them each a gift in return.
“Be good, Katie.” “Let it go, James.” “It’s not me who doesn’t believe in you, son.” “You’re not crazy. You’re not cursed. You’re blessed.”
Maybe they just needed a little push.
I think that little touch Jacob gave each of them contained the germ of a memory–the sum of what they’ve learned in this timeline. And that half-remembered dream will end up being, for each of them, the little push they needed to choose a better path. I think giving them that is Jacob’s loophole. He can’t interfere with their free will–but he can now give them a little push in the right direction.
What if Kate didn’t murder her dad?
What if James never became a con man?
What if Jack didn’t push his dad to suicide?
What if Sayid didn’t follow Ben on a vengeance-fueled killing spree?
What if all of them ended up on Ajira 316 anyway?
Well, we’ve got plenty of time to speculate.