Once upon a time, a vengeful Benjamin Linus crept his way into Charles Widmore's London penthouse bedroom at night. His face was half in light, half in shadow.

 

"Wake up," he said to Charles, who admitted he'd been having nightmares (were these related to the visit from Jacob he would reference in "What They Died For"?, ala Scrooge's visit from another "Jacob" in another famous London-based story?), and as such now slept with a bottle of Scotch by his bedside.

 

"Are you here to kill me, Benjamin?" Charles asked.

 

"We both know I can't do that," replied Ben, his words heavy and loaded with meaning.

 

So, what has changed? In this penultimate episode of LOST, the next-to-last one we're ever going to get, Benjamin Linus shot his rival and fellow former leader of the Others Charles Widmore three times, killing him. His stated reason? "He shouldn't get to save his daughter."

 

Hmmm. Somehow, I thought we were past this. I thought Ben was past this. He already had his chance to make sure Penelope Widmore didn't get to go on living, but ultimately, when he saw she was a mother, he stayed his hand, enduring a savage beating from Desmond as a result, just before boarding Ajira 316.

 

And again I ask: what's changed? Did walking past the spot Alex was buried snap Ben - whose story of forgiveness and redemption we were so enjoying - back into rage-filled maniac mode? Did learning of how Widmore was saved from the error of his ways via a personal off-island visit from Jacob boil his bitterness? Was it a snarky bit of foreshadowing during the scene in Ben's kitchen when Charles told him, "If you shoot me, then your last chance of survival will be gone"? Is Ben ticketed for death in the finale now?

 

Or… could it all be a ruse, one last gambit from humbled super genius Ben Linus, champion of liars and schemers? Might he be less bitter about losing Alex than he is about being played upon like a violin ("I was told that was where I could summon the monster. Until I realized he was summoning me")? Is his too-quick-for-my-tastes acceptance of Smokey's plan and the chance to do some killing a ploy to get close enough to Smokey to find a way to extinguish the evil menace?

 

Was Charles Widmore merely a sacrifice in that battle? One Ben was kinda happy to make? One where Ben was perhaps actually trying to kill Charles before Charles could tell Smokey his secret? One where Ben viewed letting his former leader die quickly by his hand as a more honorable death than letting him be squished to jelly by the Smoke Monster?

 

I sought out one of my best friends, Scott Bartley, a champion of the character of Ben Linus, for comment. Scott says, "The rules are different since Jacob died. Ben will sacrifice himself destroying Smokey. He doesn't like that he was manipulated, so he's doing the same to Smokey now."

 

I don't know if Scott's right, but I hope he is. This would explain Ben's motives and sudden seeming switchback to his old ways. It would keep his redemption arc intact. It would explain why Ben can kill Widmore now where before he could not (dead Jacob = rules not currently in play; the Island possibly done with Charles now, etc.). And it would make for a cool end to Ben's story. I honestly don't believe for a second he any longer is motivated by the "when I leave, you can be King of this little rock with no people on it" line Smokey sells him. That's just not where Ben's journey ends.

 

All in All, It's Just a Little Chalk on the Wall

 

Another journey comes to an end when our Final Four meet the temporarily-risen-from-the-ashes Jacob. We'll discuss how we got to this point and where we went from this point in greater detail below. But for now I want to concentrate on the answer Kate was given and the issues it creates for me.

 

  • Jacob admits he wrote the names on the wall. I wasn't a fan of this reveal, because I really felt it worked better having the nice, orderly Lighthouse bunch of names / numbers / scratch-offs belong to Jacob, and having the dark, subterranean, haphazard cave wall chalk names / numbers / scratch-offs belong to his nemesis Smokey. It didn't sit as well with me knowing the cave is Jacob's. That means if the Lighthouse is also his, that Jacob is a bit dualistic, perhaps unstable. Or it could mean that the Lighthouse belongs to the MiB, who we do know was more adept at construction and science, but this would be problematic because it would associate Smokey more with order and reflection, and Jacob more with chaos.
  • Jacob tells Kate why her name was scratched off. Okay, I like that he explained it. I like that it was because she had accepted the supremely important job of raising a child. I like his phrasing of "It's just chalk on a wall," as it resonated almost like a biblical treatise on not being locked into any fate, on God being willing to forget things like our sins, and all that. But here is what I most definitely do not like:
    • If, as we have been led to believe, the big answer / reveal about "The Numbers" is that 4-8-15-16-23-42 = Jacob's Six Candidates, then why and how can Kate actually be one? Yes, Kate was touched by Jacob when she was a girl. Yes, Kate's last name was on the wall. Yes, it had a number next to it (51). But that number was NOT one of 4 (Locke), 8 (Reyes), 15 (Ford), 16 (Jarrah), 23 (Shephard), or 42 (Kwon). So here's my problem: if "the job is yours if you want it, Kate," then Kate is a Candidate. If Kate is a Candidate, then "The Numbers" are meaningless. And what did we just go through for six seasons of "The Numbers" if ultimately they don't mean anything, if all they are is "chalk on a wall?" Is this bothering anyone else? That one of the show's best and biggest mysteries could be reduced to meaninglessness?
  • I also assume that Sun becoming a mother answers the question of which Kwon was the actual Candidate - Jin, the one who never left the Island and never had the responsibility of raising a child.

I'm holding out hope that the rumors are true - that Kate has a major role in the finale, one that will help explain the above in acceptable detail.

 

All I Need to Know about France (Little Dictators, Good Cooks, Shameless Romantics) I Learned from LOST

 

I realize I began this blog entry - the last of our Thursday blogs following a Tuesday episode - with two elements I didn't really like. So let's focus for a while on what I really did like - the Bizarro Alternate Universe goings-on.

 

We begin the penultimate episode of LOST the way the very first episode of LOST begain - with Jack Shephard's eye opening. Except here, he's at home in Los Angeles in late-September 2004. He's got that strange cut on his neck, a great relationship with his son, and a new housemate. And perhaps most strange of all - none of these relatively young, healthy people mind sitting down to a yummy breakfast of… Super Bran? Hey, I get that the doc's family may be into good nutrition, but they never heard of Special K? What's with the big brimmin' bowl o' Colon Blow? A subtle message that our characters need to be cleansed from the inside out? ;-)

 

Claire doesn't look uncomfortable at all to be staying with her long lost family. She does make mention that Aaron kicks a lot at night.

 

David will be playing piano at the concert at the museum that night. His mom will be present, and Jack has to promise not to "get weird." Oh, but apparently things are going to get very weird there, David, as the entire cast of LOST is going to descend upon you!

 

But what does dead Christian have to do with any of it? What is Desmond's strategy behind calling Jack and pretending to be an Oceanic rep who has located Christian's coffin? I mean, Jack is already going to be at the concert. His son's playing there. If Desmond's goal is to get all the 815ers and friends into one place, then making up a story about the missing coffin, telling Jack that it should be available "by the end of the day" would seem to be a potential road block to Jack being there. Is that part of Desmond's plan? Gather everybody except Jack Shephard, Island Protector, at the concert?

 

As to David's mother, I'm sticking with what I wrote a few weeks ago: "The less time we have left, the more this feels like a big reveal. As in, not Sarah, Jack's wife from the original timeline… My hope? It's Juliet. She and Jack could have met in medical school, but their careers drove them apart. And, being divorced now frees her up to still have that cup of coffee with Sawyer. Cut, print, make it happen."

 

Speaking of that "all about love" coffee shop ending that I still kinda hope is coming, I always wondered whether Ben would have a soulmate to share a latte with, and who that might be. I LOVE that it's Danielle Rousseau. This was my absolute favorite part of this week's episode - seeing Rousseau again, and watching Ben get misty-eyed upon learning that he has been a meaningful father figure to Alex. But this is also what made seeing Ben's apparent turn back to the dark side on the Island extra disturbing.

 

Oddly enough, Ben has Desmond to thank for his newfound love connection and more. It was one of the many joys of this week's episode to see Desmond Hume yet again parked outside Washington Tustin High School looking to run down John Locke. Or was he? Maybe this time he only wanted to appear to be running down Locke so that Ben would do just what he did - try to stop him. Me, I think Desmond is operating on such a higher plane of faith that he is good either way. Run down Locke again? Fine. Get stopped by Ben? We can work with that, too. All roads end at the same place. I must simply do my job as the prophet to help them see. When Ben wants to know who Desmond is and what his motive is, he gets a beating that flashes him back to the day at the docks where he couldn't pull the trigger on Penny, and Des pounded him silly. His injuries here, down to the sling, are very similar. And he believes Desmond when he tells Ben that his intention was never to hurt Locke, but to help him "let go."

 

Ben passes this information on Locke in the nurse's office. It does indeed mean something to Locke, who is indeed starting to open his eyes. He hangs up on his call to the police (just as the officer answering the phone is approached by the very man turning himself in for the crime the phone call is in reference to), and goes to visit that nice Dr. Shephard.

 

In Jack's office, we get one of those stick-out lines when Locke looks at a photo of David and mentions how much he looks like Jack. Why? Why the small talk? It's not like we need to establish something for these two to discuss. It's lines like this that tell one to make a mental note: remember how much David looks like Jack. The resemblance is probably going to end up being important somehow.

 

But then Locke and Jack really get down to brass tacks. Classic LOST lines like "Don't mistake fate for coincidence" and "What if all this happened for a reason?" make cameos. But the bottom line, as Locke puts it, is: "Call it whatever you want; here I am. And I think I'm finally ready to get out of this chair." Faith and action. No quibbling over details, just: belief, letting go, moving on, embracing change, and doing something. Together.

 

The Magical Mr. Hume

 

Desmond, meanwhile, goes on to hook up with Sayid and Kate in jail, and enlists the help of Ana-Lucia and Hurley in busting them all out. Even Hurley's Hummer and his Camaro end up playing their parts! You couldn't not love how Hurley has clearly undergone his full Desmondic conversion, as evidenced by his slip of "Hey, you didn't tell me Ana-Lucia was going to be here." He recognizes her on sight. She of course has no idea who he is, and is content to take her $125,000, call him Tubby, and be referred to as "not ready yet" by Chef Desmond. Kate and Sayid, however, have already been asked by Desmond to grant him their "trust" if he were to succeed in freeing them from custody. Sayid goes off with Hurley in the Hummer, while Kate is given a skimpy black dress and is to accompany Desmond in the Camaro. This concert is going to be some event.

 

Miles is looking forward to it so much he's already putting on his tie, and Sawyer is so scared of seeing Bitter Charlotte that he'd just as soon skip out on his invitation. So something's still got to happen to get James Ford to the event. But we can count the following…

 

Already having RSVP'd: Pierre Chang (museum), Charlotte Lewis (museum), Miles Straumme, Jack Shephard (intends to come anyway; we'll see if he makes it or is sent on a fool's errand for the missing coffin), David Shephard (performing), Kate, Sayid, Hugo, Desmond, Claire (with Jack, David), Juliet (assuming she's David's mom)

 

Assume they're coming: Dogen (son probably playing), Eloise Hawking (benefit organizer?), Charles Widmore (with Eloise), Daniel Faraday (probably playing in the concert; anything to see Charlotte some more), James Ford, Libby (with Hugo?), Penny (with Desmond?)

 

Not responded yet: Frank Lapidus, John Locke, Helen Norwood, Charlie Pace, Benjamin Linus, Danielle & Alex Rousseau, Jin & Sun Kwon, Boone Carlyle, Shannon Rutherford, Rose & Bernard Nadler, Arzt, Frogurt, the Marshall, Dr. Ethan Goodspeed, Matthew Abaddon, Naomi Dorritt, Nadia, Ilana Verdansky

 

Highly doubtful: Michael (and Walt) Dawson (didn't they live in NYC?), Anthony Cooper, Ana-Lucia Cortez (Desmond says she's "not ready yet")

 

Regretfully unable to attend: Mr. Eko. If you didn't already know, the producers could not reach an agreement wth Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje to return.

 

‘Zoe' Means Life… Or Not

 

Back on the Island, Ben sells out the duo hiding in his closet to the Smoke Monster. Smokey dispatches with Zoe the moment Charles tells her not to speak (there's that "don't let it/her speak" thing again). Smokey says hey, I just inferred since she wasn't allowed to talk that she was of no use or importance anyway. And nobody liked this character, so see ya!

 

He has also inferred, however, that Charles is "clearly unafraid to die," so he comes up with a different threat - Penny. I don't think Charles believes that he won't hurt Penny, but if there's a chance, he is willing to take it, since I think he also believes that even if he tells Smokey what's up with Desmond, the Monster won't be able to do much about it (and would find out soon enough himself anyway).

 

What we do know is that Widmore, as speculated two weeks ago, was indeed visited by Jacob, who showed him the error of his ways. The Charles Widmore we were seeing when John Locke arrived in Tunisia, the one who helped Locke - via Abaddon - find his friends and attempt to recruit them, the one who said, "war is coming to the Island. And if you're not there, the wrong side will win" knew what he was talking about, and was indeed on the side of "good." R.I.P. Charles. And you too, Zoe, I guess. Though your existence and geophysicist background and search for the pockets of energy sure seem completely pointless now. (Note to self: Next time you watch Season 1-5, notice things like the look on Charles' face when Desmond marches in looking for "Daniel Faraday's mother." In hindsight, it's the expression of the true believer, of the person who was told that one day, your son-in-law you haven't seen in ages will come walking through that door looking for the mother of your son. Cool).

 

We've covered Ben already, but the fact he "wants to see" bloodshed, and so quickly asks if there's anyone else to kill? Creepy. And on his question about who else needs to be done away with, both the episode and we cut away to…

 

"And I Thought that Guy Had a God Complex Before"

 

This line from the guy who was just let off the hook over his guilt for being responsible for the deaths of Sayid, Jin, and Sun. And to his credit, he knows it's not the time or place for his sarcasm. James Ford is just really confused about everything he has just learned. Why it took Jacob, however, to convince him point-blank that he wasn't "doin' just fine" before coming to the Island, I don't know. Seems like we would have hoped these Candidates would have, like Jack, figured that out long ago.

 

I wonder: did everyone who did not survive the 815 plane crash have a happy, content, well adjusted, unbroken life? Like all the folks whose "eulogies" Claire read the night they burned the fuselage? Did everyone who died ON the Island come to it flawed and broken, but complete their freedom-purpose-redemption story during their time there, and so passed on? And are those who are left the ones who are still overcoming things? Was Charlotte right? Is "this place death," in every way, shape and form? You either come to it dead, die getting there, pass on while there, or prepare yourself to die redeemed through what you experience there? All at once staging area, proving ground, purgatory, ghost land, heaven, hell?

 

Apparently, it wasn't the wine, or the cup used, that turns one into an Island protector, but it's the incantation that is said, or else the simple act of faith in drinking what is given, or both. After Jack accepts his role and drinks the water, Jacob tells him, "Now you're like me," similar to what Mother told him so long ago. What does "like me" entail? Long life? Almost surely. Special knowledge? Probably. Ability to find the waterfall? Definitely. The right to make one's own rules pertaining to the protection of the Island? I say yes (I also say this is how Mother and/or Jacob were able to wipe out the Roman village and fill in the Orchid well). Becoming a target for Smokey? Absolutely, and so Jack is told. "I hope [he can be killed]. Because he's certainly going to try to kill you." What's interesting to me is that Jacob after all this time isn't even sure if you can kill a Smoke Monster (be sure to read more on this below in the "The Answers" section).

 

As indicated above, I liked Jacob's answer about why he chose these candidates, that they were broken, that they were just as lonely as him and searching for something they were not going to find out there. This is one thing the show has always been about. But I do also have a problem with one thing - Jacob never "touched" Sayid until Sayid was completely happy. And in fact, Jacob's touching Sayid as he and Nadia crossed the street is what caused Nadia to be killed! I suppose it's arguable that Jacob knew Nadia was gonna get run down by a car no matter what, and so he was there with knowledge of what a deep wound that would cut in Sayid, but he sure had to drag Sayid back to the Island (in cuffs!) against his will anyway!

 

When Jacob explained to the Candidates that he wanted them to have the choice he never had, you'll have to excuse me for thinking it sounded an awful lot like Lestat to Louis in Interview the the Vampire. Are we to infer that the only reason "free will" has been such a huge deal on the show is because Jacob is pro-free will because he was never given a choice to accept his role (Mother having said, "I'm afraid you don't have a choice"), and because the Man in Black was likewise changed/imprisoned/kept from leaving against his will as well? I still think it's bigger than that, and that the show isn't just about free will (more like how free will & determinism co-exist, just like constants & variables and order & chaos and faith & reason), but that this does make a very convenient explanation for why we were always hearing how important is has been for people to make their own decisions on the Island.

The One Thing I Could Never Do Myself

Our final scene had Smokey realizing that Sayid might have done him a favor (not wittingly, of course) in failing to kill Desmond. He learned from Widmore that Desmond was Jacob's "one final way" to make sure the Monster can never leave. So Locke's plan is now to capture Desmond. Somehow, Desmond's imperviousness to electromagnetism is something he feels he can use as a way to "destroy the Island." Does he succeed? Well, the Island does, apparently, end up "blown to hell" and underwater at some point... but anything else is just guessing. I do have to hand it to the show that the greatest accomplishment of Season Six seems to be how they have kept the timelines separate with no apparent answer to how they are going to come together until it finally does. And at that point, all criticisms aside, I think we are all going to stand up and cheer.

 

The Mirrors

  • Jack's reflection in his bathroom mirror as he examines his neck. Has it struck anyone else as odd that such a competent, fix-it obsessed doctor just shrugs recurring and unexplained bleeding off as no big deal? (I must point out here that my brain is having a bit of a chuckle remembering the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "'Tis but a scratch! It's only a fleshwound!")

  • Ben's reflection in mirror in the school nurse's office.

  • There's a dressing mirror in Ben's secret room beside his suits.

  • Jack's turn to stitch up Kate with black thread, harkening back to the Pilot episode. I loved the visual metaphor of him unraveling the thread, just as we slowly unravel the thread of the mystery of the show.

  • Danielle tells Ben he's coming to dinner with her daughter, "even if we have to kidnap you."

  • Ben's injuries from Desmond's beating are almost identical to the ones he got the last time Desmond beat him up.

So Who's Left?

  • Jack.  He sipped the sacred Kool-Aid, and had a sudden look of realization on his face. All hail the new Protector of the Island! And to those of you who don't like this because you don't want your favorite character's fate to be one of sitting on a stupid rock in the ocean for millennia, I wouldn't be too worried. I'm not convinced Jack's tenure is going to last nearly as long as Jacob's did.

  • Jacob?  I wanna see what happens when the fire burns away. Does Jacob get a cool send-off? Does he do the Obi-Wan thing and float off into the ether? What?

  • Kate - Sawyer - Hurley.  Why was Hurley so "glad it's not me"? Why were Kate and Sawyer so reticent to take the job? What do they have to go back to? What are they still hoping for? What do they still have to accomplish? Will they / can they die now that the status of Candidate is a moot point? From what Kate told Jack about Ji Yeon and how Smokey is responsible for her being orphaned and Jin never getting to know her, we know that Kate's big remaining goal is a Dead Monster.

  • Ben.  See introduction.

  • Miles. He freaked out at Alex's grave, sensed something wasn't right with Smokey coming to New Otherton, and struck out on his own. But not before Ben gave him a walkie "in case I need you." He's most definitely still got something to do.

  • Richard - Frank.  As Sawyer watched the empty life preservers wash ashore, it was not only a powerful image, but it made me pause and ask, "Huh. I wonder if maybe Frank found his way into one o' those." My candle in the window is still burning for he of the hairy chest. Ditto for Richard. I'm not sure how anyone survives a Smoke smushing like the one Alpert received, but neither can I believe that LOST just dismissed such an integral character so swiftly and without dignity. That said, not like this hasn't happened before (Ilana). If Richard is dead, then his story comes to something of a sad close, as he would have died never really "getting it" even after 140 years on the Island. His final strategy was to talk to the Monster, still believing that HE, Richard, was the object of Smokey's desire ("I know this man. All he wants is for me to join him"). Um, no. He no longer requires your assistance, Ricardo. You may go be with Isabella now. But I do hope we'll see you and Frank again before you go.

  • Desmond.  Sayid gave him a rope to climb out of the well. Where has he run off to? My guess is he'll be found at the spot this season began, which happens to be the same spot where Desmond spent so much time on this Island - the Swan hatch crater. Once upon a time Desmond became what he is when he saved the day by turning the Failsafe. Now we learn he IS the Failsafe. Should be an interesting way to come full-circle on that story.

  • Claire.  Crazy Claire does not like being abandoned. She had just begun to embrace the hope of seeing her son again when Smokey, whom she had thought was "her friend," tried to kill everyone else who was promising to make a way for her to get back to Aaron, and now he has just left her stranded on Hyrda Island. Why didn't he bring her with him to the main Island? No idea, but I'm pretty sure she's not okay with it, and it may come back to haunt him. Bring on the Revenge of Mother of Squirrel Baby!

  • Rose & Bernard?  Like I said in last week's recap, now that we know they aren't "Adam & Eve," I'd love to, nay, I need to know their on-island fate (along with Vincent). I assume they flashed into 2007 when Jughead was detonated just like everyone else. Speaking of Vincent, an interesting thought occurred to me when Jacob told Jack where the Heart of the Island may be found: beyond the bamboo field. Way back when Jack first woke up there, the first living being he saw was Vincent, who was coming from… which direction? Not the beach (south of Jack)… not the lagoon (east of Jack)… beyond the bamboo field, maybe (north of Jack)? Has Vincent been to The Golden Waterfall?

  • Eloise Hawking?  You can't tell me this woman will not be appearing in the finale. She must have something to do with it, as she's always seemed to know more than anyone else what's actually going on and what's going to happen. I fully expect she'll be at the museum concert - perhaps even organizing it - but will she show up in the Island timeline, too?

Other Items of Note

 

That brief exchange in the jail between Sawyer and Kate before Ana-Lucia hauls the prisoners away - what was that about? Why show us Kate pleading with Sawyer to let her go? How much or how little should we read into these words? Is it truly a statement about innocence? About identity (Sawyer insists he's "a cop;" she's not so sure that defines him at all)? About "letting go" (ala Locke? Or perhaps in a "you loved me but now you have to let me go" foreshadowing type of way)?

 

Another choice that made me wonder: Widmore getting a glass of water from Ben's sink. It's odd how many times this season we've seen people fill up cups or canteens or glasses with water. Is Widmore really this thirsty? He didn't even let the tap run, and it likely hasn't been on in three years. That water's kinda murky, too. But he gulps it down like it was his beloved MacCutcheon's whiskey. Anyone have any theories? Would love to hear ‘em.

 

Don't forget - though Widmore and Zoe are dead, their equipment remains in their outrigger. Smokey noticed it, but did nothing with it or to it (another underestimation on his part, methinks).

 

Great line by Miles: "I lived in these houses 30 years before you did, otherwise known as last week." It's completely inaccurate (young Ben and Miles lived in Dharmaville concurrently from '74-77), but it's fun anyway.

 

Ben has enough C-4 on hand to destroy the plane "10 times over." Richard - for some reason - wants exactly that kind of firepower, so they intend to pack it all. I think what we're really being shown here is that there exists on the Island enough explosive to make a bomb so huge it might be capable of… sinking the Island if rigged in the proper location?

 

What is the magic behind Kid Jacob pouring his ashes into the fire and getting to rise Phoenix-like as adult, corporeal Jacob?

 

The Answers

From now to the end of the series in this space, we'll be taking notes on how the show is doing in answering the questions we posed at the midpoint of Season Six in this blog, as well as those posed or expanded upon since then

 

Answered

 

Who rigged the C4 into the electrical system of the Ajira plane?

Widmore. As to why? Best guess comes from what Smokey said: "Widmore knew I would kill these men," the guards he set outside the plane. Seems like it was a trap, a hope that the Monster would make his way to the poorly-guarded plane and try to use it to fly away, only to blow up.

 

Whose headquarters, respectively, were the seaside cave and the Lighthouse?

It currently appears that Jacob was responsible for the Candidate names in both locales. 

 

Who/What is Jacob?

There's not really anything left we don't know about him at this point, except how he came and went from the Island. Did he use the donkey wheel? Or some other method?

 

What side was Widmore on, what did he know, when did he know it, and who told him?

At some point after FreighterGate, Jacob came to visit Widmore and told him to stop staging plane crashes and sending mercenaries to extract Ben, and told him what was really up. And Charles had a purpose, a way back to the Island, and a way to redeem himself.

 

Partially Answered

 

Who/What is the Smoke Monster?

We've gotten a LOT of information on this recently, but the story still remains incomplete (as it should be headed into the finale). The biggest things we learned this week are that he prefers to take human form so he can have his feet in touch with the ground to remember he once was a man. And it became more clear that Mother was probably not ever a Smoke Monster. Jacob takes full responsibility for making this entity the way it is, calling it his "mistake." I don't like the implication that this means the Monster wasn't created until 2,000 years ago when Jacob threw his brother into the Source. The hieroglyph at left strongly suggests otherwise, seeming to date the Monster to Egyptian times at least.

 

Jacob doesn't flat out SAY the Monster is his brother, but he does call the Monster a "mistake" he made, that he, Jacob, is "responsible for the way he [Smokey] is," and the reason why he had to choose Candidates, because one day, the Monster would figure out a way to kill him. And any new candidate is going to have to keep the Monster from finding the Heart of the Island.

 

I still have several problems with admitting that the Smoke Monster is merely the warped and twisted essence / spirit of Jacob's brother. The biggest problem I have is how letting the guy we met off the Island would possibly cause "God help us all" and "everyone would cease to exist" to happen. This entity told Jacob it wanted to "go home." Well, if this is the Man in Black, the only home he ever knew was the Island. If by "home" he means the place across the sea from where his people came, then what would he have to gain by destroying the world rather than seeing it?

The Smoke Monster continues to seem so much more evil and menacing to me than the Kid/Man in Black ever did. But what I can admit is that this is where the show seems to be pointing - that regardless of what we knew of the MiB's personality or the hieroglyphs, the Smoke Monster really is the result of Jacob sending his brother into the Source, resulting in a "worse than death" existence that turned him into a really angry, really evil being who will somehow spell the end of all life if he ever escapes the Island. (But I still like to believe the Monster was a a trapped evil spirit / fallen star who was imprisoned in the Golden Waterfall and released, genie-like, when MiB was washed down there. And the reason it can't destroy Jacob directly is because Jacob "released" him, kinda like a genie being released from a lamp, and as much as he hates Jacob for not letting him leave, he also is beholden to him). And it will be Desmond's job, ultimately, to put the genie back in the bottle. My pet theories die hard).

What are The Numbers?

We thought we had this one figured out (they correspond to the candidates), but Kate and the explanation Jacob gave her had to go and throw a big monkey into that wrench.

Expanded Upon

 

Jack's neck wound - what's up with that?

He had it on the plane, and he has it again at least a week later. We can't be sure if it's been there every morning in between, but it's a good guess it has. It doesn't just appear in the mirror, but is visible on his actual non-mirrored skin as well. Somehow it feels like the wound is a connection between the timelines. But how?

 

The Donkey Wheel

This didn't appear in this week's episode, but I had some thoughts about it since we saw it last week. I still wonder who ever installed it and set up the whole "move the island, get flashed out to Tunisia, time-travel, can't find the Island system," but the theory I like the best is that project stayed incomplete until Dharma showed up and their brainiac scientists completed it. I think when they drilled down and took this image of what was behind the wall where their drills kept melting, that seeing this image of the uninstalled wheel is what convinced them to go in. I will grant, however, that it's possible (as referenced vaguely above) that Jacob is the one who completed this project so he could leave the Island (which would theoretically be "allowed" since it was in service to the Island as a way of finding candidates to be the new Protector).

 

Posed

 

Is Richard dead?

 

How does it all come together? What will go down at 'the concert'?!
Can't wait!

 

Tonight, May 20, the New York Times is interviewing LOST producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, and the event is being broadcast live via satellite to select movie theatres across the country. I'll be attending tonight and writing a review blog tomorrow! Look for it!