Totilo At Play

May 14, 2009

Game Diary - May 14, 2009: No Games, Just Lost Finale

Filed under: Totilo Game Diary — Tags: — stephentotilo @ 9:00 am

lost

I don’t play games much on weeknights anymore. Something about still trying to sort through my new work schedule. But last night, the reason was because I was watching the Lost finale. Spoiler-filled discussion of it ensues below.

I end most Lost episodes complaining to my wife that not enough happened in the show we just watched.

She always tells me that plenty happened.

And then she’s proven right when we can’t stop talking for the next hour about events in the show.

Last night we were trying to untangle the identities and allegiances of the factions in Lost, as they stand post-Finale.

The mind-blower for us, which spun us in all sorts of directions, was how the finale re-wrote what may be the key scene in the season for me. It’s a scene that wasn’t even in the finale, but was in last week’s show: future Locke telling future Richard to tell past Locke that he needs to die to make things right. After last night, we can substitute “future Locke” for “anti-Jacob” and that’s what starts spinning our heads.

Let’s sort this out.

So there’s Jacob and anti-Jacob who both have a mystical sense of people and place. They each seem to know how to be in key places of the Lost cast’s lives: for example, Jacob is waiting at the foot of a skyscraper for Locke to be chucked out of its window; anti-Jacob somehow knows when leg-shot Locke will time-hop to the crashed drug-smuggling plane.

Jacob is aligned with Elana — who he recruited when she was bandaged — and her crew of husky statue-worshiping acolytes. Elana brought Said to the island via Ajira airlines. Jacob got Hurley on that plane. So we can assume that Jacob wanted some of the Oceanic 6 back on the island. They seem to be tight with Richard, who has yet to do anything that would make him seem like a bad guy. The only odd behavior among this group lately is them knocking Frank out with a gun and then bringing him along on their trek to the statue.

Anti-Jacob is against Jacob, of course. He masquerades as a dead man, Locke. We know from the finale that someone other than Jacob has been using the cabin. That possibly has been anti-Jacob, who may well have been using the visages of Jack’s dad, Claire, and… Shannon and Walt (?)…to get our cast members to do stuff. If he’s been using the cabin for a while, then perhaps he had been giving Ben bad orders for years? I’m not sure about that, because one would think Jacob would have intervened. This aspect is odd, unless you’re buying Jacob as a God-figure who doesn’t intervene in mortal affairs except at times of his own choosing, even when a Devil is impersonating him.

The faction I’m having trouble placing is/are Eloise Hawking and Charles Widmore. It is certain that Widmore has led forces against Ben, who he loathes and from whom he wanted to usurp the role of leader of the island’s people. His vendetta may have been of his own making, but could he have been guided by anti-Jacob? That doesn’t quite work if anti-Jacob was in the cabin directing Ben’s life too. So, no, I can’t sort out how Widmore is aligned.

Hawking is a puzzle as well, because the younger version of her was seemingly put on a path this season toward raising her son so that he could go back in time and be killed by her. She seemed to always be supporting a time loop, either because she hoped that someday it would be broken or because she believed that what happened in that time loop was the true course of events that she had to support. In other words, she’s either lived a life of trying to support the status quo timeline or of trying to change it. It could go either way! And to make things more confusing, the older version of her was able to be civil to Widmore and to Ben during this season, so it’s not clear where she stands vis a vis the men’s rivalry.

I think that’s it for possible string-pullers. Everyone else in Lost is a pawn or a rogue agent. They are the fun characters, blown about by the whims of the above power-players or their own impulses.

A question for folks: what’s the significance of Jacob crossing paths with so many Lost characters at such different times in their past? He’s meeting some of them after their first island visit.  To what end?

Let me leave you with two theories, one old and one new.

An old theory I still like: In the past, Eloise is informed — via Jack or Faraday’s notebook — about who will be the passengers of flight 815. She then spends her life making sure those people get on that plane. Their presence on it, therefore, is not a coincidence but the satisfaction of another time loop.

A new theory I like: The emotional finale of season three — Charlie’s sacrifice in the underwater base — was ruined for me when in season four the prophecy the future-seeing Desmond predicted to Charlie — that Claire and the baby would leave the island in a helicopter if Charlie died — was disproved. That vision can’t come true if Claire’s been killed/disappeared. But what if Season 5 splinters the cast into a new timeline? And what if, in this new timeline Claire and the baby do get off the/an island in a chopper? Then we’ll have to look at Desmond anew: as a man who doesn’t just see the future, but who sees multiple possible futures.

So, what did you think of the finale?

19 Comments »

  1. Great observations! Most of these points came up in my group’s lengthy Lost discussion last night, though most of us with absolutely no idea what the next season would entail.

    What happened when the bomb detonated? Obviously, some sort of time event, but did the island sustain damage? Was the Swan station destroyed? That would certainly change the future, which it seems the show’s writers are showing cannot be done.

    However, I don’t think the future was changed in last night’s episode. The Swan wasn’t destroyed by the bomb.

    Check out the Swan orientation video again. Dr. Chang’s left arm is actually a prosthetic, something that people usually get when steel beams shoot through their appendages. Had last night’s “incident” not happened, Chang’s arm wouldn’t have been mutilated, and his arm wouldn’t have been fake in the video. As Miles predicted, they caused the incident instead of preventing it.

    So where do they go from here? I can’t honestly believe the show’s writers would succumb to one of the weakest storytelling devices — “But it was all a dream!” — and will likely cause the Incident to push the 815ers (and friends) back into the future with Ben, Sun, Fake-Locke (anti-Jacob, it would seem) and Jacob’s corpse.

    Also, they’re all robots, in a massive robot experiment. I’m 100 percent certain about this.

    Comment by Griffin McElroy — May 14, 2009 @ 10:33 am

  2. It seems to be the Losties are creating the future they’ve lived in. Sayid shot a seemingly decent young Ben, then Jack refused to save him, so Kate and Sawyer gave young Ben to the Others who warned he would never be the same. Had Sayid not shot him, or had Jack saved him, I think Ben would be a very different adult than what we see today.

    And now at the Swan, I think the bomb is what “caps” the event, allowing Dharma to continue their operations. Had they not dropped the bomb into that phenomenon, perhaps the island would’ve been destroyed right there. Even without the bomb, how much did their attack on the Swan worksite change how this “leak” was handled?

    And does it strike anyone else that all these people are really casual about shooting each other?

    I’m riding the show out mostly due to sheer stubbornness. I hate how they seem to keep dropping plot lines with no real explanation. Remember when “The Numbers” were important and kind of mystical? Remember when the Others were all about kidnapping children? What happened to those children?

    I’m sad about Juliette. I had come to like her character quite a bit. Of course if she miraculously survives, I’ll be annoyed by that.

    I think my favorite part of the finale was Rose and Bernard. :) Though how they’ve lived 5 miles from the Dharma camp for 3 years without being detected, is beyond me.

    Comment by Pete S — May 14, 2009 @ 10:46 am

  3. I agree with Pete, that the bomb capped/stopped the Incident, and that the combination of radiation and electromagnetism caused DHARMA to pour concrete and build the ‘dam’ with the computer/button to discharge it in small ammounts occasionally.

    I think Richard/Ricardo was on the Black Rock. I think Ilana may be a descendant of someone from the Black Rock. I think the Black Rock’s captain, Magnus Hanso, had children on the Island, they built the well leading to the Donkey Wheel, and one of Hanso’s descendants left the Island. That leads to Alvar Hanso finding and funding the DHARMA Institute to find the Island (already encountered once by the US Military). They form the Lamppost station, find the Island, and build Dharmaville, complete with sonic fence knowing about the smoke monster. Who, I now am sure, is Jacob’s nemesis, taking the form of the dead (including their memories when in their form). Montand (when we heard him call in the rest), Yemi, Christian, Locke, Alex… dead people that didn’t get burials.

    Horace built the cabin, and Jacob’s enemy ended up being locked there, with the ash surrounding it. Someone, perhaps post Locke’s visit where he asked for Locke’s help, removed some ash and set him fully free. When Hurley looked into the cabin, he saw Christian (a vessel for Jacob’s enemy) and the eye of somebody else — who? Unless Jacob’s enemy can be 2 people at once, I think that may be someone recruited by Christian to help set Jacob’s enemy free.

    As for Claire — with Christian’s memories, I think Jacob’s enemy ended up taking her and somehow trapping her, leading her to reach out into Kate’s dream to try to prevent her from bringing Aaron with her when she returns.

    I love Lost. So complicated!

    Comment by Shauntu — May 14, 2009 @ 11:23 am

  4. PS: Another possibility with the smoke monster though, is that it is a pet of Jacob and his enemy.

    Comment by Shauntu — May 14, 2009 @ 11:31 am

  5. While I have no grand insights into last night’s episode, I wanted to add on to Pete S’ comment on the losties creating their own future. In addition to everything he mentioned, it looks like Juliet may have created the very problem she tries to solve, which is women not being able to give birth on the Island. The radiation from the nuke could easily be the explanation for that issue.

    Comment by Alex G — May 14, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  6. Wouldn’t Jacob be Lucifer, because he betrayed his godly beach friend by leading the pirates to the island? Or are they just Demi-Gods or Greek Gods who are condemned to the island by Zeus? Also, thinking ahead, how can the story end, if Jacob, will continuously bring people to the island? Jacob made an emphasis on human choice, Ben is evil because he chooses to be, not because Jacob made it so.

    An interesting note, how did Jacob and his friend speak modern English, when the pirate ship dates them to the 1400s to 1600s…?

    Comment by Juan — May 14, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  7. I always enjoy your insights on Lost, Stephen! Your two theories are interesting. Regarding the first one: I find it more likely that it’s some sort of unexplainable force bringing them all to the island, and not Eloise.

    The best proof of this would be that 815 passengers had personal connections reach the island before them. Echo’s brother’s body reached the island due to a sequence of events completely unrelated to Eloise. I admit, though, that Desmond could (arguably) have reached the island because of her influence. However, I think it’s more likely that the first time through his life he reached the island on his own.

    Also, I don’t think anti-Jacob was giving any false orders to Ben. It seems that Ben never had what could be considered “contact” with Jacob before last night’s episode. Any orders or instructions were passed to Ben through Richard. I doubt Richard would’ve accepted those orders from a false Jacob. Ben probably didn’t even know where Jacob really lived until last night’s episode.

    Comment by Minor Setback — May 14, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

  8. You completely opened my eyes with the whole brother vs brother/good vs evil comparisons between Jacob and anti-Jacob, Stephen. It all just makes sense. With all the conflicting beliefs, i.e faith vs science and destiny vs freewill, it just fits together so nicely that I don’t know if it can just be a coincidence. We can probably assume that Jacob is(was?) a fan of faith/destiny, so then anti-Jacob(and I’m convinced that the other man in the first scene where we learn Jacob’s identity is fake-Locke. He said someday he’d find a way to kill him…) would naturally be for science/freewill, catering to the people more susceptible to that way of thinking. I think they very well could be gods or some higher beings, though not specifically God/Lucifer. I did hear about a theory relating those two to a biblical story, but I don’t really know enough about it to pass judgment.

    Comment by Christian — May 15, 2009 @ 12:14 am

  9. There’s definitely a few things I’d like to point out:

    1.
    Jacob is a biblical name and there’s more than a few very striking parallels between the biblical version and the Lost character so it wouldn’t surprise me if it turns out to be “that” Jacob.
    The biblical story (in the shortest form), is that Jacob is the second born of twins to his brother Esau. Jacob was born holding the heel of his brother.
    Now just from that you should see where this is going….The Anti-Jacob = Esau.
    The important thing about this biblical reference is that it was prophecy that the second born would rule and the first born would follow and then rebel causing the viscous cycle of one nation of power thriving from the downfall of another, ie. rivalry.
    However, something to keep in mind is that the biblical Jacob eventually gained his rule through deception.

    Jacob eventually was given the new name “Israel” which was the nation he ruled…and after his rule he resided in Egypt, which he loved…hence the Egyptian theme of statues and hieroglyphics.
    (Another neat point is that one of the meanings of the name Jacob can also be meant as a “leg-puller” so we can obviously expect a surprise in store from him…my theory (which is quite obvious will happen)…Jacobs not dead, he tricked Esau while Esau was trying to trick him and find a “loop hole”…Hence Jacobs interactions with each character in the finale…he was setting everything in motion for a plan that we have yet to see.

    2.
    Benjamin is also a biblical reference…and this is where it gets really cool…BENJAMIN is the biblical SON of JACOB, who coincidentally enough ALSO had his mother die during his child birth.

    3.
    As to your theory of another time travel plot line for the next season…they TOTALLY set themselves up for it in the finale…and a whole slew of flashbacks to explain missing pieces to the storyline.
    Think about it…the statue, the Spanish boat on the horizon at the beginning of the finale, the cabin and how we found out it wasn’t Jacob in there…remember the episode where Ben and John went to see “Jacob”?
    I clearly remember the glimpse of the person we saw was just long enough to see that they had a beard not too unlike the one this “ant-Jacob” person had. And the one that I caught that no one else I know has realized yet…remember when they found the Dharma van, and they found the shot dead body with long hair and a Dharma suit with the name Horrace on it? Did you notice who’s Dharma suit Sayid grabbed?

    4.
    So with a little knowledge of the biblical similarities for SOME of the characters (by the way I’m an Atheist…I just figure that if you’re going to argue your point of view with a christian you better be prepared for what kind of crap they can throw your way.
    And although they probably will, I’m really hoping they don’t go with some divine omnipotent ruler story for this show…anyhoo…back on track)

    So…if you connect the dots…(GOOD POSSIBILITY OF A SPOILER ALERT!!)there’s going to be a blood connection between Jacob and Benjamin and we’ll find out that the “Anti-Jacob” is Jacob’s brother and therefore Ben’s uncle who’s been stringing him along to do his bidding, Ben turns out to be a good guy after all…it’s just a wild guess but, Ben’s what stands in the shadow of the statue, (seeing as Richard’s answer is loosely translated to “He who will save us”) then we find out that Jacobs not dead…or at least has set a plan going in motion after his death, ALL the people that have EVER set foot on the island have all played their part in events leading up to Jacobs plan to undermine Esau’s plan of taking over…and the survivors of flight 816 are the most important of all and the last of the people to come to the island and solve/fix some grandiose problem…However..this still doesn’t explain anything about what the hell the island IS, how it functions, what we know is limited, it can move through space and time on Earth (presumably on Earth), which explained a few big questions, but we don’t how it came to be of WHAT it actually is …we don’t know what the actual IMPORTANCE of the survivors is, or…who and what the “others/hostiles” are or were, and what their purpose or goal is, and what the hell that smoke monster is and where it came from.

    So..all I can say is…KICK ASS SHOW!!!

    I’m a well educated person and I’m usually quite good at forecasting scripted events by how writers will unintentionally foreshadow events more so than they intend to…but not these writers…although I’m sure I’m at least %80-%90 right on my predictions…that’s just a portion of the story line… the most unpredictable part is the survivors and what they’ll do…their characters are as in the dark as the viewers are, which is one of the biggest reasons why I think this show is so well done.

    Comment by Matt Wade — May 15, 2009 @ 3:12 am

  10. @matt wade…. Interesting idea about Sayid’s possible future dead body!

    Oh and I love the theory mentioned above (why do I not see it now?) that Juliet blowing up the bomb may have triggered the radiation that caused the problem of women not being able to have babies that she was brought to the island to cure.

    Comment by stephentotilo — May 15, 2009 @ 7:12 am

  11. I don’t think there is any evidence that Christian is evil (he was a drunk who neglected his kids but he always meant well). He seems very serene whenever he appears and so far has not lead any of our guys into any danger that we know of. It seems to me that whenever we see “ghosts” they are usually giving a positive message/guidance (Hurley seems pretty comfortable with them and Jacob told him he is lucky to be able to talk with his lost friends). Perhaps the ghosts work for Jacob (if he is the good guy). Also, I think the smoke monster either is, or is controlled by the anti-Jacob (if he is the bad guy) - it gave Ben pretty specific orders to obey John Locke no matter what he asked him to do. Also, I don’t think Claire is dead. I think she has been recruited by Christian and he must have been pretty convincing to have talked her into leaving Aaron. BTW I love the Jacob/Esau ideas.

    Comment by catherine — May 15, 2009 @ 11:31 am

  12. The dead body in the DHARMA van was Roger, Ben’s father. He had the Roger Workman name tag and they also showed Ben killing his father before the Purge in the Van, then telling Richard to leave his father’s body in the van. So, no Horace shirt there and no Sayid there.

    Comment by Shauntu — May 15, 2009 @ 11:48 am

  13. Shauntu is right about the body in the van. It was Ben’s dad. Horace’s body was found by Locke in the mass open Dharma grave after he had the vision/dream of Horace repeatedly chopping down a tree to build a cabin. I think maybe Matt Wade got those two bodies mixed up.

    @Catherine: I’m starting to think that Christian (and all of the visions of dead people) have been the anti-Jacob guy all along. Christian hasn’t done anything discernibly wrong or evil so far, but don’t forget that Smokey was seen around the Dharma house that Sun and Frank met him in. Also, during that meeting, Christian instructed Sun to wait there for fake-Locke. It seems to me that Smokey/Christian/Alex/fake-Locke all had the exact same agenda.

    The more I think back on the visions, the more I realize they’ve been pretty malevolent in nature. Here are just a few examples:

    In the first season, when Jack first saw his dad, the vision almost caused him to run off a cliff and die.

    Shannon’s vision of Walt ultimately resulted in her getting shot.

    Mr. Echo’s vision of his brother seemed to be very threatening just before he disappeared and Smokey showed up to kill him. Also, don’t forget one of Echo’s last lines: “You’re not my brother! Who are you?!”

    Finally, Juliette’s vision of the Dharma therapist (forgot her name) instructed her to stop Daniel and Charlotte from disabling the gas capable of island-wide genocide.

    Those visions don’t seem very friendly to me! :)

    Comment by Minor Setback — May 15, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

  14. Wow, Minor Setback, you have a great memory! I had forgotten most of what you stated. What do you think about Hurley’s ghostly visitors?

    I think the white flash at the end was another time-jump to bring the characters back to the present because Jacob said “they’re coming” right before he died. I don’t think Juliette will survive even if she does flash forward because she would be buried at the bottom of a very big mess where the hatch used to be.

    Comment by catherine — May 16, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

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