'Lost': Letters from the Flame, 'The Incident' edition, part 3
You know how we're rollin' this week, "Lost" fans: I'm answering the questions you have in response to the season finale. And this train's gonna keep rollin' a little while longer. Onto your continuing queries!
So, if we saw the Black Rock in the immediate vicinity of the island, where does that leave the old theory about how it came to be in the jungle?
Darn good question. Like many others, I subscribed to a variation of the speech in the movie "Malcolm X" to explain how the Black Rock ended up so deep in the jungle. ("We didn't land on Plymouth Rock! Plymouth Rock landed on US!") But now we saw the Black Rock a few miles off-shore, somehow having penetrated the barrier around the Island. Maybe Jacob visited a few crew members and gave them a handshake before their journey?
I will say this: the Black Rock currently sits in an area known as the Dark Territory. I'm notorious for reading too much into things like this, but while Randall Flagg (my name for The Man in Black) could not overtly kill Jacob, he's probably capable of placing a ship a few miles inland. Giving that skeletons of slaves are still shackled together, it seems as if something befell the crew right after landing on the Island.
My question is whether warning Walt gave Locke in NYC that he's having dreams about Locke on the island, surrounded by people who want to hurt him, tells us something important now that we can review it having seen the finale.
Does this imply that Ilana's team is on the wrong side?
I think it implies that Walt had an incorrect vision. What he saw was in some ways factually correct, in that he saw someone who looked like Locke on the Island. In some ways, it's unimportant whether or not he saw the scene in "Dead is Dead" in which Ben killed Ceasar or the season finale at the statue. What's important is that this psychic child, so gifted at sensing the future, got it wrong.
And frankly, that scares the heck out of me. According to the mobisode "Room 23," Jacob told Ben to take Walt. In hindsight, what probably happened was that Richard passed on the message, but assuming wasn't acting on Randall's behalf, Jacob needed Walt for some specific purpose. So in taking over Locke's body, Randall went and either diffused or confused Walt's ability. Reminds me somewhat of Ozymandias' tricks to counter Dr. Manhattan in "Watchmen."
(Speaking of false/meddled visions, maybe this at last explains Desmond's vision of Claire getting on the helicopter with Aaron? Still might be a Season 6 occurrence, but man, Charlie and Locke might be in a bar in heaven thinking, "We died for squat.")
Has anyone else noticed that the dude with Ilana when they meet up with the Others is the same dude who was in the van that kidnapped Miles after Widmore offered him millions of dollars to go to the island and help kill Ben? Another indication that Widmore is either aligned with TMIB or at the least somehow against Jacob, no? And where does that put Eloise's allegiance?
Given the penchant of "Lost" to rework existing themes and structures to present information in a new light, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Season 6 episode in which Randall visits several people at moments in their past to put them on what he feels is the proper path. But are Widmore and Hawking consciously working for Randall? Doubtful. Widmore is an easy target for manipulation, but wants to be Island Leader, not Jacob Killer. However, his desire for power makes him a mark for Randall.
As for Eloise, Darlton essentially confirmed what I thought: she pushed her son ridiculously hard so that he might find a way out of the time loop. But maybe we'll see a scene in Season 6 in which Randall visits her. Say, as Daniel is playing Chopin on the piano. We don't know what prompted her to suddenly put off his piano playing ability. The look on her face could bespeak years of dread finally put into motion, or could also bespeak a recently inserted horror from an encounter with a stranger.
In short, I don't think Randall has any followers per se; he merely uses the fallen. He uses people's weaknesses against them to achieve the effects he desires. So, in some ways, his Army vastly outnumbers Jacob's. Which makes those touched by Jacob all the most vital going into the final season.
Why was the importance of Jacob's visits at those certain times? I think that each visit was the test that they must change. And I would love a season 6 where Kate doesn't steal that lunch box, Sawyer doesn't finish that letter, Jack thanks his father for the advice, Sun and Jin follow their vows and Sayid saves Nadia.
As much as I like that idea, I'm not sure how that works as a 17-hour season. Seems like a lot of lifting, and furthermore, potentially means that the events on the Island suddenly never happen. If they find a way to show what you've described, and then put those people on Oceanic 815 to crash on the Island with newfound knowledge/perspective? That's potentially better. Whatever way they go, I hope they keep in mind this exchange from "The Little Prince" as Sawyer and Locke discuss flashing to the night Boone died.
LOCKE: Why would I wanna do that?
SAWYER: So you could tell yourself to do things different, save yourself a world of pain.
LOCKE: No, I needed that pain to get to where I am now.
It's not as if I wish pain upon the Lostaways; I just want the last five years to mean something for those involved. And for that, they need to remember what they've gone through, and more importantly, the mistakes they have made along the way. If they simply re-crash on the Island without any memory of that, it feels cheaper to me. These people somehow unconsciously zigging where they once zagged at some point after crash landing on the Island seems a cop out.
It all depends on if the show shows Round #2 as a fresh iteration of Jacob's Island Experiment or a continuation of the one that started in the pilot episode. I'm hoping it's the latter. I'm all about more progress for these people.
Do you think Locke as we knew him is just gone forever, and the Locke we'll see next season will be a straight up bad guy?
Well, dead is dead, but is Locke gone forever? In a show with flashbacks, ghostly visitations, and the chance for a reboot of major proportions come Season 6, I think Terry O'Quinn as the Locke that both elated and frustrated us for four and a half seasons will be back at some point.
As far as the reboot potential, I'll deal with possible shapes of Season 6 in my final edition of "Letters from the Flame" tomorrow.
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