Last night when my head hit the pillow I realized something: The best season of LOST had just ended with the best episode ever. My opinion of course, but it was also my pillow. Way too many things to talk about, so no clever intro. Things I Noticed:
What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue? Red Snapper
Nothing could be cooler than opening the finale with this amazing scene. Delivering Jacob two minutes into the finale was awesome writing... waiting until the end to reveal him would've definitely been too little too late. In what's possibly the most pivotal scene in all of LOST, Jacob and the stranger in the dark shirt reveal an ageless battle between light and dark, fate and free will, maybe even between good and evil itself. All this while the Black Rock sails along in the distance, within the shadow of what now looks to be Anubis, jackal-god of death.
The dark man is annoyed at Jacob's attempts to keep bringing new players, or pieces, onto their chessboard. "They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt"... these are the points he makes to indicate once again that Jacob will fail to prove him wrong. He seems to suggest that the darker sides of human nature won't allow the circle to be broken. No matter who's on the ship, or the next ship, (or the airplane...) "It always ends the same". Jacob's response: "It only ends once. Anything that happens before that? It's just progress".
This conversation is the crux of the entire show. The dark man is resigned to the fact that LOST's loop will never be broken. He argues that Man's destructive history and propensity for war will never allow anything but corruption. This is an inner corruption too; one of the heart and soul. The dark man is judging humankind here on a very general basis - it doesn't matter who the Black Rock brings to the island, he believes Jacob will never be right.
Jacob on the other hand, believes in change. Maybe even an inner change, brought about by sacrifice and purity. All throughout LOST we've seen the terrible things done by everyone throughout their flashbacks. They've each been guilty of being impure on one level or another. Lying, cheating, stealing, killing - there are skeletons in every closet. At one time or another, every single one of our characters has done something to prove the dark man right... something that could be judged to be impure by his own definition of human nature. Everyone, of course, except for one person: Hurley.
So just as the dark man believes this wheel will spin round and round, forever unchanged, it's Jacob's opposite belief that there will be an ending. One single ending. And everything else that happens up to that point? It's nothing but practice. Progress. Evolution. Because eventually, Jacob believes that someone will be born out of all this record-skipping mayhem that will have the purity needed to end this really long game. Someone who passes judgment. Someone who can actually change things.
"Do you have any idea how badly I want to kill you?" The casual coolness of this line totally made the scene for me. It summed up the power struggle between these two entities (demi-gods?), and how neither one has been able to triumph over the other. When the dark man suggested "I'm going to find a loophole", I could've sworn he said "We're in the final loophole"... after replaying it a half-dozen times I'm going with the obvious first choice, but I also wonder if maybe it wasn't made to sound that way intentionally. Jacob's answer to the dark dude's death threat? Bring it.
What can we conclude here? It's obvious to me at least, that the guy in the dark shirt represents the smoke monster. This fits well with all the judging we've seen smokie do throughout the show. He abhors Jacob constantly bringing in all these tainted outsiders to violate the sanctity of his island. He killed Mr. Eko for refusing to repent. He destroyed the pilot before he could radio for help... to keep other slimy corrupt humans from finding the island. The smoke monster is the island's judge and jury, but he's also locked in a timeless power struggle with Jacob - one that goes by a very specific set of rules (the book of laws?) These dictate what they can and cannot do, and one thing they seemingly can't do is move the chesspieces around the board with their own hands. They can indirectly influence these moves by manipulating certain things, but the ultimate choices must eventually be made by the pieces themselves.
Perhaps this also explains why the kids, Zach and Emma, were taken away so early in the show. While they're almost certainly innocent and pure, they also haven't grown up yet. They haven't had the chance to be exposed to the vices of man, or to make any potentially corruptible decisions. Therefore, they don't count. And because they don't count, they cannot be pieces in this game... and are quickly removed.
I also found it interesting how the dark man refused Jacob's offer of fish with the line "I just ate". I'm probably not the only person wondering exactly what, or who, he just ate. The whole scene absolutely rocked. I think it opened the finale by shedding all new light on the way we'll view the island, the show, and everything else from here until the end of the series.
Juliet... Master Architect of The Great Sub Escape
If anyone took charge of their own destiny this episode, it was Juliet. She made some very command decisions last night, and all of them were key to bringing about the final resolution at the end. You had to feel bad for Sawyer, too. Even to the very last minute, Sawyer fought hard for his off-island fantasy. Seems like he really wanted to give living an honest life with Juliet a try, but as she points out later on, it probably wasn't ever meant to be.
I also give Juliet credit for knowing and accepting a lot of really hard things. For one, even though she knew her life with Sawyer wasn't ever meant to happen, she loved and clung on to it with both hands. This is why she agrees with Kate to go back to the island. If Jack were allowed to hit the show's reset button, it would erase everything she had with James. Juliet would rather give up any chance at freedom if it meant still having a life with the one man who really made her happy. She even looks back woefully at the sub's periscope as it disappears, inwardly knowing it was her last shot at ever leaving the island.
Richard - Now 0 for 2 When it Comes to Picking Leaders
As Sayid dismantles Jughead according to Dan's crazy scribbles, 1977 Richard has a few questions for Jack. He explains that he's visited a young John Locke three times already, and in none of those instances did he see anything that would indicate Locke to be 'special'. As we'll see later on, maybe John Locke wasn't special after all. He was a puppet in life, and a puppet in death: nothing more than a vessel used by the smoke monster on his quest to find a loophole.
Richard's instincts are correct here, but then Jack tells him not to give up on Locke. Maybe it's these very words that cause Richard to approach Locke on that hill a few seasons ago, incorrectly pushing the role of leadership upon him. Locke was never supposed to be chosen. He didn't have any more of a claim to leadership over the Others than Ben did. Richard was wrong on both counts... or so it seems that way. More on Locke later.
The one thing however that Richard is very serious about: protecting those leaders once they're chosen. Pistol-whipping Eloise was a good start to the violence that overwhelmed the whole second half of this episode. As much as Eloise wants to prevent the death of her son by helping Jack's mission succeed, Richard's loyalty to keeping her (or maybe her child?) safe precludes that. So it ends up with just Jack, Sayid, two jumpsuits, a bomb, and a whole lot of flying bullets.
Hurley & The Van to the Rescue - Parts II and III
This isn't the first season finale where Hugo drives to everyone's rescue in a periwinkle van. In fact, he even does it twice this episode. When the shit hits the fan, it seems like Hurley's always there to turn the fan off. And Jack's look as he saw Jin helping him load Sayid into the van was priceless.
Also priceless? The angry Jackface we got right after Roger put a bullet in Sayid's stomach. Jack went OFF this episode! He served bullets to anyone who looked hungry. I also have to say, Sayid's "Don't shoot me because I'm carrying a nuclear devic-" argument was a little weak considering the current situation. When Dharma's at DefCon 1 and you're staring down the barrel of Roger Linus' rifle? It's time to duck. Diplomacy goes out the window, here.
And just as it was lucky that Jack had the key to the janitor's closet a few episodes ago, it's equally lucky that Hurley just happens to know where the Swan station is. It's a good thing he and Miles are in the circle of trust, because it's not like they could stop at a gas station and ask directions.
What's in the Shadow of the Statue? A Whole Lot of Anti-Aging Cosmetics
All our little LOST lives we've been waiting for cool interactions like the ones between Locke, Richard, and Ben - and now we get them rapid-fire, all at once. In another great scene we see Richard pull Locke aside to call bullshit on his resurrection. Locke responds by calling double-dog bullshit on Richard for never aging. And that's when we get at least a partial answer to a BIG question we've always wanted the answer to: "I'm this way because of Jacob".
Finally seeing the origins of Richard Alpert will be one of the great scenes of Season 6, and I'm looking forward to it. And now that we know Richard's eternal youth is Jacob's doing, we can theorize he left him altered that way as the ageless keeper and counselor for the Others. These are Jacob's people, and apparently the dark man hasn't been able to touch them. Probably because they're island-born: they maintain a certain purity by living on its soil, drinking its waters, fishing its oceans. They're not intruders, and so he has no beef with them. That's my guess anyway.
Of bigger importance this scene is what Locke says will happen after Jacob is killed. He tells Richard that they're going to need to "take care of" the rest of the people from Ajira 316. Smokie has it out for the shadow-statue people, putting them firmly on the side of Jacob. The fact that he plans on doing anything after Jacob is dead also tells us that the battle isn't fully over, and that the monster will most likely keep using the form of John Locke next season. Which is awesome, because none of us want to see the end of Terry O'Quinn.
Someone's Been Sleeping In Jacob's Bed
And they trashed his whole cabin, too. Maybe ghost Claire had some friends over? Whoever it was, they even took down all his cool dogs playing poker paintings - something that was totally uncalled for.
And as Illana rummages through the ruins of Horace's once great vacation spot, we see the cabin for the first time in stark, revealing daylight. This time there's nothing spooky or supernatural about it: it's just a very run-down cabin. We don't need Illana's words to Bram in order to realize that whoever or whatever was using the cabin is now long gone. We also learn that Jacob hasn't been there for a very long time, and that "someone else" was using the cabin. Oh, and the machete note pinned to the wall? That's left there by Jacob, to let Illana know where she and the shadow-statue people can find him.
My theory on this is long and complicated, and probably has some holes in it... but here it is:
The man in the dark shirt was somehow imprisoned in the cabin, kept there by the circle of ash. This is who we first saw say "Help me" when the cabin was introduced. Maybe Jacob tricked him in there and trapped him, and maybe Richard even helped. This could explain why the dark man could at first only appear in one of his most ancient forms - the smoke monster - because his physical being was stuck in the cabin behind the circle of ash. We also saw him appear in the forms of Yemi and Alex, but only after having scanned the minds of the people who knew those characters.
Whatever the case, once the circle was broken the entity was allowed to leave. It took the form of Christian, but it also knew that Richard would never lead Christian to where Jacob was hiding out. It therefore needed to take the form of John Locke, a man who Richard envisions should be the true leader of the Others. As Richard points out, only the leader of the Others would be permitted an audience with Jacob... it's part of "the rules" and the smoke monster knows this.
And so the dark dude/monster develops an elaborate plan: To become Locke, it knows the original John Locke needs to die. But the island (Jacob?) won't let allow Locke to die; this is best evidenced when Ben shoots him point blank and he somehow lives. It realizes it needs to get Locke off island in order to kill him. It then uses ghost Christian to manipulate Locke into turning the wheel, where it knows/hopes Locke will be killed, while at the same time planting seeds in Locke's head that he'll need to die in order to come back. Ben dutifully brings Locke's body back on Ajira 316, thinking he's doing the island's bidding when he's actually doing the opposite.
The smoke monster takes over from there. All that's left at that point is to gain a weapon with which to kill Jacob. That weapon is Ben, and the dark man has been sharpening that weapon for a long time now.
That's The Door to the Hatch, Where You and I First Met
After breaking through a thick wall of sarcasm, Locke asks Ben about his initial meeting with Jacob in the cabin. Ben admits to never having seen Jacob, even opening up to being embarrassed that he'd been living a lie. He'd lied to his people, Locke's people, and Locke himself. Bitterly, Ben realizes he was never special. He wasn't ever supposed to be chosen, and Richard made the wrong decision in bringing him to the temple. Ben's sacrifice wasn't a sacrifice at all - he was taken without ever given a chance to decide... forced to lead a people whom he didn't belong to, made to follow a leader he could never see. His whole life has been nothing but a big lie, and he tells Locke so. And once he admits it, Locke seems satisfied with the answer. Is this the smoke monster judging Ben again, trying to get him to admit his big charade? Hell yes.
Then Ben asks Locke why he wants HIM to kill Jacob. Locke responds by throwing more fuel on the fire... giving Ben's motivations against Jacob a huge push. The dark man/smokie wants to breed anger and resentment toward Jacob, causing Ben to lose control of himself again the way he did when he killed Keamy. The smoke monster is honing Ben to a razor-sharp edge this last episode, breeding the anger and resentment needed to strike the killing blow.
The act of actually finding Jacob is being taken care of by Richard. The dark man needs to locate him, and Richard is obliged to lead him there in the form of Locke. When they finally get there: "Well that's a wonderful foot Richard, but what does it have to do with Jacob?" Look at the sideways glance he gives Richard when he responds by telling him that's where Jacob lives. Almost like "Damn, that should've been the first place I checked!"
Jacob's Oceanic 815 Round-The-World Tour
In some of the coolest moments this episode, we get to watch Jacob visit a bunch of the main characters at all different points in their lives. Some were kids, some were adults. Sometimes Jacob spoke, and sometimes he didn't say much of anything at all. As I watched these meetings I wondered what the purpose was. I couldn't understand why Jacob was taking the trouble to show up in all these characters lives for such brief moments. But then I watched the episode a second time, and suddenly I saw a common thread that ran through every single one of the meetings: In each scene, Jacob *touched* the person he was visiting.
* Jacob buys Kate a New Kids lunchbox, then tries to tell her not to steal again. A moment later, he touches Kate on the nose.
* Jacob hands James Ford a pen so he finish writing his infamous letter to the real Sawyer. As he does that, his hand lingers on young James' fingers.
* With Sayid, he's even sneakier. Jacob waits until Nadia gets creamed, then reaches up and touches Sayid on the arm as he turns his head.
* After his fall, Jacob touches Locke distinctly on the shoulder. His touch also seems to almost revive (or resurrect?) him.
* At Sun & Jin's wedding, Jacob reaches out and pats them both on their shoulders at the same time. He then goes on to speak flawless Korean and mows down the shrimp cocktail (deleted scene).
* Jacob hands Jack his Apollo bar and holds it just a second too long, lingering enough so that their fingers touch. Jack responds with a creepy stare.
* And with Hurley, Jacob reaches over the guitar case and touches him pointedly as he explains about flight 316.
Only in the meeting with Illana does Jacob not touch her. But we can't see his hands, and he does lean in really close to her... so it still might've happened. Then again, Illana wasn't a passenger on flight 815 as the others were, and seemed more of Jacob's agent. Touching her didn't seem as important.
So, why does Jacob touch each character at some point in their past? I'll bet it's got something to do with knowing (and reading) their thoughts, their memories, and their lives. Remember all those crazy coincidences between everyone all throughout LOST? Duplicate places, people, objects we've seen over and over again, like MaCutcheon's whisky? My theory has always been that the island's (or Jacob's) knowledge consists only of a finite amount of these things. What if it obtained these images and memories by reaching out and touching these characters, absorbing the major events in their lives, kind of like the way the smoke monster can scan people in it's own special way? There you go.
In retrospect, it does seem that Jacob's showing some genuine compassion for each of these people when he meets them. I totally believed him as he apologetically told Locke "I'm sorry this happened to you". He seemed concerned for Sawyer, and genuinely happy for Sun and Jin. Maybe he even visited Sayid at the exact moment he would've crossed the street and gotten killed, effectively saving him from being buried along with Nadia. And maybe Sayid dies from the gunshot wound he receives this episode because course correction puts him back where he belongs? Let's hope not.
The Jacob scenes were all good, but the most vital one by far was his visit with Hurley. Here, Jacob takes the time to actually speak with Hugo. He convinces him that he's not crazy, which is all-important to getting Hurley back on the plane. It's probably the one thing he needed to hear, and leaving him that guitar case to remind him of Charlie was probably another great motivator in Hugo boarding that flight. What's in it is another story.
I believe Hurley is the most special character on LOST when it comes to ultimately changing the game. He's the dark man's nightmare: someone who's totally above judgment. Hugo is the one pure, good, innocent and untarnished person lost in a sea of people who did some really bad shit. Nothing can ever corrupt him: not even the tremendous amounts of money or power associated with winning the lottery. Hugo's untouchable, and Jacob knows it. He allows Hurley make his own decision, and his decision was to come back to the island.
The Drive Shaft Ring Scene
Totally cool. Classy and awesome. Just watching Sun picking that thing up flooded my head with memories of all the old characters we don't even realize how much we miss anymore.
Didn't Y'all Hear Meet at the Creek?
Rose, Bernard, Vincent! I didn't think I'd be all that happy to see them, but this scene was so totally cool. For about five minutes, it broke up all the seriousness and tension building up during the other two hours of the show. And wow, it sure looks like Bernard got into the canned goods.
Now Rose hasn't had all that many lines in LOST, but when she does speak it's usually something filled with wisdom or purpose. So as Sawyer and the she-commandos burst onto the scenes with pistols and rifles ready, Rose echoes some of the very thoughts the dark man brings up in the opening scene this episode by telling them "It's always something with you people".
Rose and Bernard have retired, which is an interesting way to phrase it. If the island were a great big bunch of kids all playing tag, it's like these two kids just quit in the middle of the game and went off to do something else. They don't care about bombs, guns, or flying through time - all they want is to chill out and enjoy each other. This might be their own personal redemption; to stop running around looking for the next best thing and finally just smell the roses.
In the cool, coy way they seemed to regard Sawyer, Kate, and Juliet... it almost seemed to me as if they knew something the other three didn't. This was magnified when Bernard stops Juliet on the way out of camp: "Are you sure you don't want to stay for some tea?" Call it foreshadowing, sixth sense, whatever you want... I got the impression Bernard somehow knew Juliet should've stayed for tea. But sadly she didn't.
There's No Shortage of Klaxon Horns in Dharma
Seriously, they're everywhere. And just look at Radzinski: I haven't seen anyone this hellbent on drilling a hole since Armageddon. WTF did he think was gonna happen when he hit that pocket? Dumbass.
Well it Was a Long Time Coming...
Finally, we get to see the knockdown drag-out fight between Sawyer and Jack. As with past Locke/Jack battles, one of them takes the logical road and the other is pushing destiny down everyone's throat like a furious drug dealer. Jack's on the complete opposite side of his past arguments now, and Sawyer's on the opposite side of his past responsibilities. Both of them make good points, but as is often the case with LOST, it's nearly impossible to know which side is right and which is wrong.
Sawyer's "Think you can do whatever the hell you want?" line refers directly to Jack messing up his cozy Dharma lifestyle, but it also steps on the toes of free will. Jack's response is equivalent to "Hey, if I'm not supposed to do this then something will stop me". They beat the snot out of each other here, and I'm pretty sure the makeup department had to borrow some fake blood from the set of the Twilight sequel next door.
Juliet's flashback interrupts this scene, where she learns that sometimes two people love each other but aren't meant to be together... just like her and Sawyer. Suddenly everything's clear to her on this subject. I'd wondered why Juliet had the only flashback that didn't include Jacob, but that's because she wasn't ever necessary to the island's whole plan. She was someone Ben brought in for his own purposes only, and never really place in the grand scheme of things. More lost than anyone, really.
Sawyer's freakout at her sudden flip-flop to Jack's side of the argument is squashed when Juliet tells him "I saw the way you looked at her". Sure enough, she caught the glance Sawyer gave Kate back at Rose & Bernard's condo. Knowing they probably weren't meant to be together is one thing, but realizing they couldn't be together forever is another. At this point, Juliet realizes she'd rather go back to living an Other life - without ever having known Sawyer - rather than suffer the pain of losing him.
Holy Shit He Really Beat The Crap Out of You!
This line was cut from the original script, but it's probably what Kate was thinking. In a direct parallel of their first scene ever, Kate's cleaning Jack up. He pulls the Aaron and Claire cards from his sleeve, and asks her to trust him. Suddenly he talks a good game, and Jack's pretty convincing here.
I'd wondered why we got to see a flashback where his dad actually gave him a timeout, but what Christian was trying to do was instill Jack with a firm belief in himself. The lesson here was to forget about what everyone else was thinking and concentrate on your own beliefs and abilities. Jack uses this confidence to win Kate over. He somehow knows what he's doing is right. He makes her realize that if she truly did come back for Aaron, this is the only way to help Claire. Kate searches her feelings and agrees with him: all or nothing.
And the "See you in Los Angeles" line was GREAT.
Nothing Can Save Me...
Sayid, close to death - close to unconsciousness... it's only then that he realizes he can never be saved. It doesn't really matter what Jack does, the sum of Sayid's past sins is just too great. Even if he makes it, he can never atone.
It was everything it needed to be, and it completely exceeded my expectations. The incident was a total clusterfuck for Dharma, for the 815'ers, and for the sanity of LOST fans everywhere who have to endure a *very* long eight or nine months of not knowing exactly what happened. But they did it up right! They made it awesome.
Did whatever happened happen again? Or did things change? There's no definitive answer here. Until we see what happens in the opening scene of next season, you could easily make arguments for both sides. Jack and company definitely accomplished Dan's goal: to detonate the bomb as close to the magnetic pocket as possible. But was that a big enough boulder to make changes in the great river of time?
Personally, I think so. Although Miles made a good argument that perhaps the 815'ers showing up with the bomb is what actually *causes* the incident, it's pretty obvious that there was going to be an "incident" no matter what. Nobody was going to stop Radzinsky from drilling - apparently not even Chang physically shutting the drill off. They were going to break through to that pocket - gunfight or not. Everything metal got sucked into that hole, jeeps and everything, and that was going to happen even if Jack's crew was drinking tea back at the swing set.
Chang lost his arm, just like we knew he would. Radzinski lived. Phil got what was coming to him. Bad stuff went down. But it was only after all of this had already happened that we saw Juliet set off the nuke by banging it with a rock. THIS could be the thing that changes everything... including the LOST logo, which for 100+ episodes has always been white on black, but is suddenly reversed to black on white. Hmmm.
Now of course you could argue that the nuke itself was always part of the original incident. Maybe this is why so much cement is poured on top of the Swan site. Maybe this is why the area gets quarantined, and everyone stationed there gets fancy yellow suits. Maybe this is why Desmond needs to inject himself with serum every time he wakes up to Mama Cass. All decent arguments.
However (and I'm definitely not an expert), I'm thinking the detonation of an atomic warhead would cause the following big problems:
1) Everyone would be thoroughly and completely dead.
2) The whole area would be a molten mess.
3) Radiation at the site would be deadly for a really long time.
To me, if that bomb went off things are looking pretty grim for Radzinsky, Chang, and the future of half the island. I can't see a way around that. I'm guessing that the whole plan to change things might've finally worked... something happened to create ripples way too big for even course correction to overcome. But again, that's me.
No matter what happened here, it leaves us with tremendous questions regarding our main characters. What the hell happens next?
I think we can safely rule out everyone being dead. As great as Ben, Richard, Locke and Sun might be, they can't carry the show. And while the possibility of them all landing safely in LAX sounds plausible, I don't know how it could fit into the storyline with a whole season left to go.
Could they wake up on the beach just after the crash, at the beginning of the show... but retaining all their current memories? I love this idea. But I also don't think this type of result is doable from a production standpoint. It would require Boone, Shannon, Charlie, Michael, and a very young Walt. Can't see this happening.
The most likely possibility is that our main characters wake up on the island in 2007. Maybe the release of magnetic energy flashes them back to current time a split second before they're evaporated. If so, who goes? Just the people from 815? Wouldn't Juliet go too? Rose, Bernard, Vincent? Big questions.
Finally, let's consider this scenario: the bomb never went off. The flash we saw was just like all the other flashes, spinning everyone through time. Maybe the drill broke into the pocket just before Juliet could detonate the nuke (in which case maybe she's still alive). This would be a pretty big lie to carry on for eight or nine months, but I could totally see them doing it. ;)
He Who Will Protect Us All
Halfway through the episode I was pretty sure I knew what was in the box... and it was exactly what I thought it was. The major death this episode was John Locke, a man who died the same way he lived - completely bamboozled by someone he trusted.
But was Locke really nothing special, as Richie Ricardus would have us believe? Or do remnants of Locke's consciousness still remain within the form currently being inhabited by the dark man/smoke monster? If so, they didn't get there on the ride back on Ajira. Locke was dead as a doornail by then, and so was his mind.
Although he's dead, I'm pretty sure we're going to see lots of Locke next season. Knowing he's someone else - and only someone else - would put a pretty negative spin on his character for a lot of people. This is why I think there's a lot of John Locke still left inside that person in the now green shirt. And maybe it even got put there by Jacob. Just speculation here, but Jacob did touch each and every one of the characters he visited... but he touched Locke in an extra special way. Maybe he took something from him when he did that - and that's all I've got to say on this subject before someone gets all Search for Spock on me.
Jacob... Disrespecting Benjamin Linus for 35 Years And Counting
The final scene of the present-day storyline was every bit the incredible confrontation it needed to be. Jacob recognized immediately who had come for him. He looked saddened, not scared - expressing a form of pity instead of fear. His arch nemesis goes on to tell describe the incredible amounts of trouble he had to go through to arrive at this moment, and Jacob looks stoic as his adversary savors what finally looks to be victory.
It was surprising to me how fast Ben's role in everything was reduced to nothing more than a tool needed to commit murder. Sure, it's the murder of a demi-god... but I still thought Ben would've seen something like this coming. Instead, he didn't. The dark man used Ben as his very own dagger, finally using his long-sought after loophole to plunge Ben's knife deep into Jacob's heart. And Jacob just stood there and took it.
We've finally seen the entirety of Ben's character - from his beginnings as an innocent kid to the calculating, quick-thinking liar who ruled the island as an adult for so many years. In the end however, his emotions are reduced quickly back to that of a needy child, one looking only for some type parental recognition. Jacob never acknowledged Ben... whether he refused to do this or simply couldn't we really can't say. What we do know is the complete absence of Jacob caused a void in Ben's life, one that got filled with hatred and vengeance once Alex was killed. These fires were further stoked by his banishment after thankless years of obedient service.
At the exact moment Ben stands before Jacob, all he wants is that recognition. All he needs is a little attention from the person he so faithfully and blindly served for so many years. But Jacob offered him none. And as Ben closed on him, Jacob offered no resistance. There were probably a hundred things he could've said to ease Ben's 35 years of pain, maybe even explain some things to him. Instead, Jacob actually egged Ben on by answering his servant's query with his own sardonic version of the same question: "What ABOUT you?"
This triggers kill-crazy Ben, the same unstoppable force we saw in Keamy's last moments of life. Jacob knew this. He knew those words would elicit Ben's killing response, and he stood there and took each blow of Ben's knife without trying to stop it or fight him off. The smoke monster couldn't kill Jacob directly, but instead provided Ben with a weapon, a motive, and a confrontation with his enemy. This was his loophole. Ben kills Jacob by choice, but I also believe that Jacob chooses to die here.
In short, I think Jacob has a plan. That plan has something to do with Illana and the shadow-statue people. It might also have something to do with Illana's mention of Frank possibly being a 'candidate'. While I'm not exactly sure how he'll survive, I'm pretty sure we haven't seen the last of Jacob. I can't help but keep thinking about the ending to the movie Legend. Darkness needs light, light needs darkness. One cannot exist without the other - it's both poetic and cool.
Guys, Gals... it's been real. This season was my favorite one. The story's circle is closing, and I love where the writers are going with it. I've enjoyed all these weeks writing this stuff, reading your own thoughts and ideas, and talking about LOST with everyone. I know I've promised this before, but I'll try really hard to be around in the off-season. This is our last hiatus. It's going to be the longest, and possibly the worst, but we'll stick it out together.
As always, here's wishing everyone an ass-kicking summer!