At last we meet Jacob, and he's awfully appealing: Aaron Eckhart–ish, with the weaving and the fishing — basically Outward Bound Jesus. Moreover, he's got fingers in every chronological pie, whether lending bereaved boy Sawyer a pen, getting kiddie criminal Kate off the hook, going all John Gottman on newlywed Sun and Jin, reviving Locke, dishing candy philosophy to Jack, urging Hurley onto Flight
516 316, or deputizing Ilana. Inconsistent, manipulative, soothing, sad-eyed, morally ambiguous! If there are no footprints in the sand, maybe Jacob carried you, or maybe he dragged you to win some game &mdash hard to tell &mdash but he seemed a gentle sort.
As a finale, this double-episode was somehow both thrilling and totally ridiculous, replete with soul mate heart-tuggers, a few zingers, Biblical philosophizing, a dash of physics, the triumphant return of Rose, Bernard, and Vincent, NewLocke Revealed, headachey quadrangularity galore, questionable changes-of-mind, and quite the double-ending — featuring the tragic death and/or timely reboot of the formerly villainous, now beloved, ultimately kick-ass [REDACTED].
But we have only one thing to say: Now you'll be sorry, Sawyer. Worst breakup ever!
Spinning wheel. Fire pit. Loom, threaded by Aaron Eckhart, and as he fetches a fishing net and cooks the fish, he is joined by a salt-and-pepper companion, who remarks on an incoming ship.
Apparently, Eckhart lured the ship there to prove Pepper wrong. "They fight, they destroy, they corrupt, it always ends the same," gripes Pepper. But Eckhart is smug (and meta) about, well, mankind, we suppose, or possibly the series itself: "It only ends once, but anything that happens before that, it's just progress."
"Do you have any idea how much I want to kill you?" says Pepper, assuring Eckhart he'll find "one final loophole," at which point Eckhart notes, "When you do, I'll be right here."
"Always nice talking to you, Jacob."
Pan up! Big statue! Crocodile head, ankh — and a nation Googles frantically to discover that this is Sobek, son of a goddess of war, fertility god, generally scary, but we haven't had time to look into it further, and these recaps are supposed to be short. Discuss in comments! (Update: Actually, the official Lost recap, plus several sharp-eyed lay Egyptologist commenters, says it's Taweret, Goddess of Fertility. Don't smite me, Taweret!)
The Episode: Eventually, Everyone Follows Jack or Locke
Flashback: Shy boy (with toy plane), sassy girl, caught shoplifting. It's Kate, pinching a NKOTB lunch box, when a stranger saves her: Jacob. "You're not going to steal anymore, are you? Come into my white van." Except not that last part.
On the sub, the miserable triangle glowers. Kate's there to rescue them, she argues, and they must stop Jack the Mad Bomber! But Sawyer was happy in Dharmaville; if Jack wants to blow up the island, good for Jack.
Jack and Sayid analyze the bomb in mind-numbing fake-science detail. Richard worries: They only have two imaginary hours to get to the Swan.
Radzinsky and Chang bicker about drilling, which Radzinsky won't stop because he wants to change the world.
Tramping down the beach, Sun consults Ben about Jacob: He's in charge, Ben explains, and Locke, the leader, just answers to Him — though former leader Ben never met Jacob. Meanwhile, Richard interrogates Locke about that niggling "aren't you dead?" issue, but Locke dodges, weaves, and redirects to Richard's longevity. Turns out Jacob made Richard ageless, so Richard asks if Jacob also revived Locke, and Locke lies, "Yeah, that's why I'm gonna thank him." Also, they have to deal with the Ajira passengers, nudge-nudge, wink-wink (kill them).
Ilana and her friendly thug discuss open-shirted Frank: He didn't answer the riddle, but maybe he's a "candidate." What's in the box? Massive tense music, then the reveal is concealed. "Terrific," says Frank.
Flashback! Ah, poor Boy Sawyer. He's at his parents' funeral, writing that letter, when Jacob lends him a pen. A kindly man approaches to say he knows Sawyer's angry — hell, he's got every right, but what's done is done, stop the letter-writing, "c'mon, let's say good-bye."
More triangular wrangling: Kate's hot to fix things, Sawyer won't, then suddenly, Juliet goes seriously badass, clocks a guard — and she's with Kate, wanting to save everyone. Sawyer's understandably flummoxed, but eventually Bonnie and Clyde (and Clyde's ex) force the captain to turn the sub around.
Sayid dismantles the H-bomb with sighs of expertise. Richard fills Jack in on his history with Locke: Bald fella showed up twenty years ago, he's visited him three times, what's up with that? Yes, Jack knows Locke, and if he were Richard, he wouldn't give up on him.
Locke and Ben confer over Locke's plans to kill Jacob. Why didn't Ben snitch to Richard? Because Ben's dead daughter told him to do everything Locke says. "Cool," says Locke, asking Ben to dance like a chicken. Or actually, kill Jacob. (Hey, didn't Locke already do this with Sawyer, manipulating him into killing Locke's dad? What is he, the undead Tony Soprano?)
Flashback! In L.A., Sayid would've made it into the crosswalk, had it not been for Jacob asking for directions. So Nadia's slammed by a car. Take me home, she murmurs, dying.
The Mad Bombers tiptoe through the Temple, but when they break into a Dharma house, pregnant Eloise gets stroppy and Richard clocks her, to protect his leader. Huh? Anyway, Jack and Sayid, toting bomb, sneak in, donning Dharma drag to slip through the evacuation. They bypass Phil, but Ben's dad shoots Sayid in the gut. Big shootout! Heroic van rescue.
In a raft, Juliet gazes, ignoring the repulsive chemistry of Skate. The raft lands, and Vincent runs up the beach! And Rose and Bernard! And Claire! Well, not Claire.
Jack treats Sayid's unfixable gut wound and reassures Jin he'll get him back to his wife (except that it would be back to the worst part of their marriage, but Jack doesn't mention that).
Wonderfully, Bernard and Rose are pissed to have been found. They're retired. With the best lives ever! Dharma food, cute dog, cuddly nihilism. "It's always something with you people," says Rose, pointing out that they're always trying to shoot each other. So they die, so what? They just care about being together! The triangle is subtly shattered psychologically.
"I wish you'd never showed me what's in this damn box," Frank teases us, and Thug claims they're "the good guys." Aaaand we're at Jacob's shack.
Look at the ash! It's broken. Ilana approaches.
Flashback! Ilana, swathed in bandages, gets a visitor — Jacob, speaking Russian, asking for help. She agrees, unhappily.
Anyway, now she's in Jacob's cabin, noting weird dog picture, plus a spike jabbing a fabric scrap into the wall. Jacob isn't there, and someone else has been using it. And the scrap shows the statue, so they head there.
Flashback. Jacob is reading one of our favorite books! Everything That Rises Must Converge, by Flannery O'Connor — then in the background, hilariously, Locke gets thrown through the window. Jacob approaches, heals him, says, "Don't worry, everything will be all right. I'm sorry this happened to you."
Locke and His People reach the Losties' old camp. As usual, NewLocke is unbearably jocular, though at least he lets them rest. He approaches Ben, reminding him of their meeting at the hatch. "Mind if I ask you a question?" I'm a Pisces, deadpans Ben. "What happened at the cabin?" Ben sadly admits he was talking to an empty chair, pretending, embarrassed, surprised when things flew around. "So yes, I lied. That's what I do."
"Why do you want me to kill Jacob, John?" says Ben. Locke hones in, Bennishly, on Ben's insecurities: Despite his Island Loyalty, Ben has cancer, watched his daughter get gunned down, and was banished — all in the name of a man he'd never met. Why WOULDN'T he want to kill Jacob?
Sun finds Aaron's crib, with Charlie's ring. Strangely, it makes her remember not her kid, but her wedding day. Jin's vows are sweet: They'll never be apart, like sky and earth. Afterward, Jacob tells them not to fuck up a good thing — but nicer, and in Korean.
As Jack fiddles, Sayid burns, convinced he's dying, and they should focus on the bomb, but there's a distraction: Sawliet and Skate, there to stop them.
Whom do we root for? The least aggravating people? Which ones are they?
Locke and the Lockites arrive at the Foot. "It's a wonderful foot, Richard, but what does it have to do with Jacob?" "He lives in it."
Flashback! It's Jack, performing the surgery he described in the pilot episode, as his dad coaches him — count to five, so he won't be afraid. But afterward, as he tries to get an Apollo bar out of a candy machine filled with wonderful fake brands, he's mad. His dad doesn't believe in him! "Are you sure I'm the one who doesn't believe in you, Jack?" his father says, atypically un-drunk and insightful.
Jacob offers him an Apollo bar. "Guess it just needed a little push."
As Jack and Sawyer confab (abandoning Sayid, may we note), Sawyer shares his horrific family backstory. Which happened a year ago — he could have hopped on the sub, stopped his dad. But he didn't, because what's done is done. What is Jack willing to blow up a nuke to change?
Jack blathers about Destiny, but Sawyer doesn't speak Destiny: A man does what he does because he wants something for himself. What does Jack want? Kate!? Fucking Kate? He had her and he lost her. You crazy, crazy men. Sawyer points out that if the bomb works, Kate and Jack will be strangers, but Jack's all "what's meant to be is meant to be," so Sawyer slugs him, and we've got marvelous fisticuffs, strangling, and demands of “Will you stop!” until Juliet steps in.
She's changed her mind, again: Now they need to set off the bomb. What the?
Flashback: Juliet's parents say they're getting divorced. She doesn't want to understand. It's wrenching.
Sawyer insists he has a right to know why Juliet changed her mind. She changed it when she saw how he looked at Kate, and, oh, very sad, she's repeating her parents' divorce speech: Sometimes people aren't meant to be together. If she never meets him, she never has to lose him. We and our fellow recapper weep together, for we are romantic suckers.
Radzinsky and Chang, drilling. Phil calls to warn him about the Losties.
Jack and Kate, sitting by a tree, talking about when she sewed him up. Achieving intimacy, Jack asks why she didn't want him to ask about Aaron, as if trying to sew up a narrative plot hole. She was too angry at Jack!, Kate explains, making no sense, because ... the sex? But anyway — is she doing this for Aaron? asks Jack, making a quasi-reasonable case: Erase time, and Claire and Aaron will land in L.A. together. She notes that Claire was going to give Aaron up, but no matter, he's hypnotized her into changing her mind, and ours, strangely. Go bomb!
Flashback. Hurley's released from prison, then splits a cab with Jacob. "I was there 'cause I killed three people. Well, not really. I guess they figured it out," he mumbles adorably. Jacob's not from prison; he's also not dead. He just wants to know why Hurley won't go back to the island. Hurley explains he's cursed — but maybe he's blessed, suggests Jacob, since he gets to talk to people he loves (except for the part where he's crazy, objects Hugo, but Jacob says he's not crazy). Anyway, Jacob encourages him to choose to take the flight, leaving the guitar.
Hurley reassures the Losties: "Everything will be fine when Jack changes the future, or the past. One of those."
Sayid's dying wish is to get the bomb as close as possible to the electromagnetism.
Jack heads off, bomb in backpack. Everyone furrows. See you in Los Angeles, he tells ravaged Sawyer.
Meanwhile, in Footville, Locke gets impatient, bullying Richard to let him see Jacob. Ben lies to Sun, probably, about the statue. And while Richard initially won't let Locke bring Ben along, Locke insists, and finally Richard pushes a wall-brick in, dryly adding, "Tell him I said hello."
Locke hands Ben a knife.
Miles asks a key question: "Has it occurred to you that your little buddy is going to CAUSE the thing he's trying to prevent? Maybe the nuke is the Incident? Glad you all thought this through!"
Phil races by in pursuit. Juliet says, "Live together, die alone" (huh?). Basically, the Losties are all Jack converts, anti-Dharmite, viva the bomb.
The Dharmites — Phil, Radzinsky, Chang — yell, as Jack sneaks around. There's a massive shootout, with Sawliet, Kate, et al. playing defense. Sawyer takes Phil hostage! Jack's ready to drop the bomb! But first the quadrangle must make much eye contact, and there's ominous, moving music — and he drops it. Kaboom?
Oh, hilarious and outstanding: nothing happened. "This doesn't look like LAX," says Sawyer.
Then: Electromagnetism roars up, dragging everything metal into the hole. Chang loses his hand; Miles saves him. Radzinsky's in the jeep; Phil threatens Sawyer, then is speared satisfyingly by metal rods; and finally (oh no!) Juliet is pulled down by chains — Kate tries to save her, then Sawyer, then ARGH! She lets go, it's agonizing, crying out, "I love you, James," sucked into the tube, devastating him and us.
Richard and Sun talk about drinking. Sunchard? Just a suggestion.
Ilana arrives to question Richard (she calls him Ricardus). "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" He answers in Latin. She opens the box: it's LOCKE'S DEAD BODY. Sun asks for us all: "If this is Locke, who is in there?"
Ben, with Evil Fake Locke, inspects hieroglyphs. Jacob asks, metaphorically on behalf of the writers, "You like it? I did it myself. It takes a very long time when you're making the thread, but I suppose that's the point, isn't it?" But apparently, Jacob's enemy has found that loophole: This is not Locke, it's Pepper, or possibly Esau, from the first scene! Gentle Jacob points out that Ben has a choice: He can leave them and let them discuss their issues.
"Now, after all this time, you've decided to stop ignoring me," says Ben. After 35 years, slips of paper, lists, Ben never questioned, but when he dared to ask to see Jacob, he was told to wait, to be patient! And Locke gets marched straight up as if he were Moses. "Why him? What was so wrong with me? What about me?"
"What about you?" responds Jacob unhelpfully.
Ben stabs him to death. "They're coming," chokes out Jacob. Locke kicks him into a fire.
Metal pours down the tube. Juliet comes to, at the tube's bottom. She looks to the side and sees the bomb. Bashes it with a rock, weeping.
White Lost logo.
What We Know Now
• Jacob and this other dude are Big Fat Philosophical First Movers, making Widmore and Ben pawns, and Jack and Locke mere specks.
• Locke was resurrected before. But at this point? Dead.
• Rose and Bernard make the Quadrangle look like a bunch of romantic quislings.
The Wha? Factor
• Argh! Are we to believe that Kate Austin is the valentine around which the Lost Man Universe revolves? REALLY?
• A few motivations made us groan, from Juliet's waffling to Jack's faith (whatever happened to "whatever happens, happens"?) to the general insistence that romance justifies everyone's desire to REBOOT TIME AND SPACE — apparently, electromagnetism scrambles even the most cynical lifelong con men into weepy monomaniacal soul mates.
• Who is Ilana? And who are Jacob and ... Esau? Egyptian gods who enjoy playing The Sims? 2010 can't come fast enough.