Therefore the Swan will be built, the plane will crash, the freighter will show up and Daniel will go back in time and the detonation will take place.
Thus the Swan will be destroyed before it's finished, the plane will never crash, the freighter will never come to the Island, Daniel won't go back in time and the detonation won't take place.
Thus the Swan will be completed, the plane will crash, the freighter will show up and Daniel will go back in time, meaning the detonation will take place.
Thus the Swan will be destroyed...
That was, in essence, my reaction to the plans Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) revealed a couple of episodes ago... just before he was shot in the back (literally) by his mommy (Eloise Hawking, alternately played by Alexandra Krosney, Alice Evans and Fionnula Flanagan depending on the day and age). Now that's darn rude!
Of course, around that same time we were informed that Daniel's father is actually one Charles Widmore (alternately played by Tom Connolly, David S. Lee and Alan Dale) depending on the day and age). This makes Daniel the half-(at least)-brother of Penny (Sonya Walger), the true love of Desmond (Ian Cusick) who may or may not be the father of Charlie (Dom Monaghan) who eventually falls in love with Claire (Emilie deRavin), the daughter of Christian (John Terry), the father of Jack (Matthew Fox), which makes him the uncle of Claire's son Aaron (played by various kiddos), who is being raised by Jack's true love Kate (Evangeline Lilly) in spite of the fact that Kate's really in love with Sawyer who is really James Ford (Josh Holloway), the man who has found himself in a loving relationship with Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) after having come to peace with himself following the death of the man who caused the death of his parents... a con-man who went by the pseudonym of Sawyer (Kev' Tighe) sometime after fathering John Locke (Terry O'Quinn), the new leader of "The Others" following the exile of Ben Linus (Michael Emerson), the arch-rival of Charles Widmore, father of Penny whom Ben recently tried to kill to avenge the death of his own daughter Alex (Tania Raymonde), though she is really the daughter of Danielle Rousseau (Mira Furlan) whom Charles Widmore ordered Ben to kill years ago when Charles himself had John Locke's job before BEN inherited it!
Is it any wonder that this show is completely inaccessible to new viewers these days? I follow the show faithfully and even I got confused just writing the above paragraph. Amazingly, this is just the TIP of the Iceberg of the intertwined and deep saga. However, for all of this, Lost is never "Convoluted"! It's got more crisscrossing threads than a pair of John Varvatos All*Stars, but there is such a method to the sanity in Lost that it somehow never became a train wreck.
It's been a while since I've reviewed an episode of Lost, not because I haven't been interested, but because it became almost pointless to do so. After all, every episode gets five stars! That's the predicament about Lost however. You can tell your close friends and family what a wonderful show this is and even explain how it leaves the best shows on television up until now in the dust. Then when they try to watch the show they get nothing but confused. The excuse is that one has to watch the show from the beginning. Have you tried, though? As a fan, going back to the first season of this show (that originally actually seemed to be about plane crash survivors on a desert island) has proven to be nearly impossible after knowing this much. Imagine those who know just enough from Lost Season 4 or 5 to recognize actors in their debut! For just one small example, imagine the aftermath of the Balloon Ride of Henry Gale! Popped!
Never has the richness of Lost been better exemplified than in this, its fifth (and second-to-last) season. As Season 3 came to a close it looked like the castaways were all going to be rescued, thanks to the arrival of the aforementioned freighter Kahana. In fact, our flashbacks changed to flash-forwards as we were shown certain key islanders home safe in the USA. The question was... how? Season 4 started to answer those questions by detailing the fact that rescuing the survivors was not exactly the "primary objective" of the Freighter's crew. The chilling aftermath(s) of this revelation have impacts that follow certain characters three years into the future and others thirty years into the past.
Yes, as Lost Season 5 has revealed, all the suspicions about "Time Travel" are legitimate. Ben's turning of a certain "Donkey Wheel" caused the Island (in Faraday's words) to start skipping like a record (probably playing some Mama Cass song) through time. This sent those left behind (basically anybody still alive who didn't become one of "The Oceanic Six" backwards and forwards in time revealing more answers and even more questions (in true Lost fashion). As the Oceanic Six (plus a few and minus some others) fought for and against returning to the island, those who woke up stuck in the mid 1970s soon found themselves working for "The Dharma Initiative". Quite a turnaround there, no?
Even stranger than the fact that our survivors ended up in Dharma is the idea that they actually liked it there and carved out quite a life! Sawyer (now known as "Jim LaFleur") is even head of Security (for Marvin Zindler's sake). Miles Straume (Ken Leung) is now speaking to the dead as part of LaFleur's security team, meanwhile Jin (Daniel Dae-Kim), who is surprisingly still alive, is now speaking ENGLISH as part of LaFleur's security team. Juliet doesn't share in the security glory, but instead shares in Sawyer/ Ford/ LaFleur's bed. Daniel is still doing his own weird thing back in the US (of the '70s).
This quaint life (marred only by occasional run-ins with "The Others" - or "Hostiles" as the Dharmans called them) is interrupted when Jin finds three survivors of Ajira Airways Flight 316, a plane that took off in 2007 but dropped them back on the Island in 1977. You might recognize them as Kate, Jack and Hurley (Jorge Garcia). The rest landed safely in 2007, thanks to the skilled piloting of Captain Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) right? Well, except for Sayid (Naveen Andrews), who shows up just in time to be mistaken for a Hostile and arrested.
To make a convoluted recap even worse (thanks to my writing, not theirs) in 2007 Frank and the other survivors - including a new faction led by Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson) and Bram (Brad William Henke) - are trying to figure out what the hell happened. Ben Linus wakes up to discover that John Locke (whom he strangled before the plane took off) has popped up out of his coffin (like a morbid Jack-in-the-Box) to say "Boo!" One person isn't bothered by this, however, as she's willing to do anything and work with anyone to get back to her husband. Yep, I'm talking about the incredibly hot Kwon Sun-Hwa (the super-sexy Yunjin Kim) who has no idea that getting back to her husband means "going back in time" if possible.
Who can reunite this group across time? Could it be... Jacob? Our first hints about Jacob being the leader of The Others came in Season 3. However, season 5's finale, entitled "The Incident" calls into question whether this representation really was Jacob at all! What we do know is that the newly returned leader of The Others, (smilin' John Locke) has just set out to lead his people to Chez Jacob with deposed leader Ben in tow. This is whether ageless advisor Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) likes it or not. Though John promises the sun-hot Sun that he plans to work with Jacob to reunite the original gang, he tells Ben something far more chilling. Ben, however, can't do much but follow after Alex (or what appeared to be Alex) gave a ghostly warning to Ben that he must follow everything that Locke said to the letter. The problem is that these letters spell out something scary as hell!
What it is takes us way back in history to before even the Black Rock arrived on the Island (we think). There we see two men (played by Mark Pellegrino and Titus Welliver) watching the tide roll away. During this conversation it is revealed that the first man is named "Jacob". We also get our best look yet at "The Four-Toed Statue", which was still intact at this time. From the angle we see, this looks to be a Colossus-Sized statue of the Egyptian Idol Sobek, the Crocodile god, complete with Ankh in hand. Whatever long life this promises is proven out as we see this Jacob visiting our main characters (Kate, James, Sayid, Jack and Hurley) at important times in their lives seeming to age almost as much as Richard does. Who we don't seem to see is this other man, confirmed to be "Jacob's Enemy" due to his vocal desire to find a loophole through which he can kill Jacob. Again, darned rude!
The main plot of this two-part finale (appropriately entitled "The Incident Part 1" and "The Incident Part 2") follows two main threads over two main timelines (1977 and 2007). In 1977 Jack has assumed the quest that Faraday left behind (after his mom shot his ass) to detonate a nuke at the Dharma-Station-To-Be we will eventually know as "The Swan" (and, alternately, "The Hatch"). This will destroy the Swan before it's... oh, hell, just re-read the first paragraph a few times, you get the idea. Jack and Sayid's unlikely ally in this is Richard Alpert who is convinced by 1970s Eloise that this is the way to go to prevent all of this from happening (including her unfortunate killing of her own son). Meanwhile, back in the future, Richard Alpert is still the same age as he guides Locke and the Other Others to what's left of Sobek/ Chez Jacob. "Well, it's a wonderful FOOT, Richard, but what does it got to do with Jacob?", he asks.
True to experience, writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse lead both story threads to amazing ends that serve only to make the audience curse the fact that we have to wait almost a year to find out what happens next. I tell you, the only thing worse than the wait is the fact that this next season will be marked with the words "Final" and the show will be no more. It's amazing how these two showrunners keep each episode feeling like a piece of one massive overarching movie. Great credit should be given to director Jack Bender as well, who balances flashbacks, flash forwards and divergent timelines to create a unified story that somehow never comes off as disjointed. This is especially noteworthy considering the fact that each moment must fit not only between the past and future told to us in this single episode, but also with the past and future episodes that make up this saga.
The special effects here are brilliant (and there are a lot, especially leading up to the final act) and the Music is brilliant, accentuating, but never overtaking the sights and sounds coming from the TV. The acting is dead-on and each player seems to be in touch with their characters to the point that they evoke the exact pathos for each moment that is necessary. This is especially true for Josh and Elizabeth, whose Josh and Juliet share a few heartbreaking moments. There are just as many exciting moments resulting in the culmination of certain grudges and the building feeling that something must be done, right or wrong, to change where this disjointed family is right now. Among the most excellent surprises was the appearance of three favorite, if more minor, characters. First we see Vincent the Dog (played by Madison I presume). Soon Vincent leads us to the married couple he's been hanging out with. Yes, we're talking about Rose (L. Scott Caldwell) and her husband Bernard (Sam Anderson), two retired voices of reason on this show full of determined craziness.
Craziness this episode has plenty of. If "The Incident" has any real flaws it has to do with the changing nature of each well-developed character. Each one of our folks may be adamant about something one moment, only to change their stance completely at the behest of the script. Is this logical writing up to a brilliant standard or just a collection of McGuffins to get all our main folks back together? We don't know yet.
What we do know is this: Faraday told us all that we can't change the past or future. "Whatever happened, happened!" he says. Later he changes his mind and begins to entertain the possibility of "Variables". What if the past can be changed (again, see first paragraph for the potential paradox even this could create). It's Miles who postulates that "The Incident" (known since Season 2 to be a magnetic event that caused denizens of The Swan to enter the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 into a single computer to save the world) might not have been merely the result of Dharma's construction efforts. It's possible that the detonation of this bomb IS the incident. If so, which Faraday hypothesis was correct... or is the answer "both".
Yes, once again, the more the show that Lindelof created with J.J. Abrams and Jeffrey Lieber shows us the more questions truly arise. Can they tie all this up with only one additional season? Time will tell (no pun intended). Time is going to be a killer, though, as the new season of Lost doesn't kick off until 2010... and the wait is going to be longer than the season. Who knows how long and convoluted my reviews for those episodes might be? As for this one, Lost Season 5 Episode 16 "The Incident" gets Five Stars out of Five! Will Faraday's Mother send him back in time, even knowing she will shoot him in the back (30 years ago)? Will "Samuel" kill "Jacob"? Will the Incident be prevented by the blast or caused by it? Will Hurley re-write The Empire Strikes Back? Will the future be prevented? Will we truly know the meaning of the question "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" Will Zuleikha Robinson go on to play "Octomom" in a T.V. Movie? Will Sun reunite with Jin or decide she has more of a "thing" for Irish Film Critics from Southern California? The world may never know, but 2010 will be the year we make contact with Lost Season 6. No question about it... I'll be there. See you then, in the next reel!
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