9:28pm – After a season filled with all manner of time-bending, paradoxical hijinx and hilarity, I’m sure many are asking the question, “is this show ever going to make sense again?” One would hope the finale of Lost’s penultimate season will set things on a clear, straight path to mental salvation that will help us keep our sanity until 2010.
So, did the finale do just that? I dunno, it’s 9:30pm and I haven’t fired up the DVR yet. So, please, sit tight for a moment.
7 pages of furiously-scribbled notes and 90 minutes later…
11:05pm – ads;lkjasdgp;iupa8suf;galisgja; reitvaweei8uqpvw3oijs;lasijv;asdfkja asd;klja;sdlkujqa4w;5 paw43iuae;liajsd aes;alw34ik5234;8p845aw;lkaj baw basea; aslkijas;ditjasd;dlkjas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need the break from writing these recaps each week, but hot damn! Is it 2010 yet?
My mind’s a-racin’ and I’m not sure what I want to focus on, so let’s just go chronologically through the episode (as if the term “chronologically” could ever be applied to this show).
All of This Has Happened Before
They didn’t make us wait long to meet Jacob, manning a cotton gin as he weaves a tapestry of Egyptian hieroglyphs and perhaps some Greek text?
Exiting the humble abode to rustle himself up some lunch, the man in white sits back to watch the Black Rock arrive offshore, signaling to the audience that this is taking place sometime in the 1800’s.
He is soon joined by a man I think we should all start calling Esau, dressed appropriately in black. The black and white motif should be familiar from season 1. Recall the black and white stones found in the bag with the corpses of Adam & Even in the Caves in season 1. Recall Claire’s dream in which Locke has black and white eyes.
Jacob and his twin brother, Esau, were born to Isaac and Rebecca after 20 years of marriage.
Rebecca was extremely uncomfortable during her double pregnancy and went to inquire of God why she was suffering so. The Midrash says that whenever she would pass a house of Torah study, Jacob would struggle to come out; whenever she would pass a house of idolatry, Esau would agitate to come out.
She received the prophecy that twins were fighting in her womb and would continue to fight all their lives, and after they became two separate nations. The prophecy also said that the older would serve the younger; its statement “one people will be stronger than the other” has been taken to mean that the two nations would never gain power simultaneously: when one fell, the other would rise, and vice versa. [Genesis 25]
That fits pretty well, yeah?
Jacob and Esau converse about the former’s apparent history of bringing people to the Island to do…what? Whatever it is, he’s at odds with Esau about it.
Esau: “You brought them here” (referring to the crew of the Black Rock). “Still trying to prove me wrong, aren’t you?”
Jacob: “You are wrong.”
Esau: “Am I? They come, fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.”
Jacob: “It only ends once. Anything that happens before that…just progress.”
Esau: “You have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?”
Esau: “One of these days, sooner or later, I’m going to find a loophole, my friend.”
Have we just had the entire framework of the series handed to us? Is this exchange “The Answer” we’re all wanting to the “What does it all mean?” question? Jacob’s been bringing people to the Island (weaving disparate threads/castaways to create a tapestry/success) to accomplish some goal. That goal seems to be proving that the human race is worthy of salvation; that for all their faults, humanity is inherently good.
Generally speaking, it’s a battle of the forces of light versus the forces of darkness; good versus evil. Jacob puts all of his pieces together to accomplish that goal, while Esau is forced to serve his younger brother.
That doesn’t mean Esau is happy with the arrangement, however, as he continues looking for a “loophole” that’ll allow him to circumvent the prophecy I quoted above and vanquish Jacob so he can take over control of the Island (and whatever greater force it represents). It looks as if this is a chess match (or backgammon, if you prefer; we know Locke does) that’s been underway for countless years. And while Jacob’s attempted to prove Esau wrong many times, he’s apparently failed each time thus far. “It only ends once.” What does that mean? Does he have a set time period within which to win this war? Does he only have enough credits for 10 games of “Shipwreck Survivor?”