We see fire in The Incident almost immediately, just a few seconds after the episode begins. This is the fire in the open pit in the center of Jacob’s room, and the camera lingers on it, then turns back to Jacob — and then fire is back in the shot, behind Jacob, and then the fire is again in the foreground, and then it fills the frame.
Cut to Jacob wading waist-deep into the ocean. We’ve gone abruptly from fire to water, which together make up two of the four classical elements — earth, air, fire, and water — of ancient philosophy.
Aristotle assumed all substances to be compounds of four elements: earth, water, air and fire, and each of these to be a combination of two of four opposites, hot and cold, and wet and dry.
Jacob walks back to land with his fish. And there’s a fire. We didn’t even see him making it. When the camera catches a glimpse of it, it was already there.
Almost at the very end of The Incident, we return to where we began — to Jacob’s room, with its central fire, the fire this time augmented with torches ringing the walls. At the end of this scene, after Ben stabs Jacob, NotLocke pushes Jacob’s body into the fire, and then fire fills the frame.
What does the fire mean?
If the four classical elements have anything to do with this story, could the Island be the earth element, and Flight 815 represent the air?
Does the Smoke Monster tie into this in any way? Where there is smoke, there is fire …