You knew this was coming …
The last line — so funny!
You knew this was coming …
The last line — so funny!
Here’s the promo for 6×13 “The Last Recruit.” First time through is how it was shown on TV. Second time through is in slow motion:
The strange, creepy music in the background is a song called Through the Loop by Pendulum, which in turn is a remixed version of a song sung by Gene Wilder in the movie Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Pedulum is an Australian group, which recently arrived in Los Angeles aboard Oceanic Flight 815. Okay, I made that last part up, but they really are an Australian group, now located in the UK where, according to Wikipedia, they are immensely popular. Through the Loop is from their 2005 album Hold Your Colour.
These are the lyrics that are sung (and shouted) in the LOST-promo version:
There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
Are the fires of Hell a-glowing
Is the grisly reaper mowing
Yes, the danger must be growing
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing
There are a lot of lines in the lyrics which apply to the situation of the LOST-ies, but the line about the fires of Hell a-glowing jumped out at me. I had come up with (ahem) a theory, back when The Incident aired, that fire plays some kind of important role in the lives of Jacob and the Man in Black. The fire in Jacob’s lair was so prominent at the beginning of The Incident, and it was into that fire that Flocke kicked Jacob’s body at the end.
I still think fire must be important, though three-quarters of a season later, I don’t feel much closer to knowing why. But think about this: Jacob is now ashes, and the MiB is now smoke. It’s ashes that are used to form a magic circle to keep Smokey away. And Frogurt was killed by a flaming arrow.
Joking about Frogurt, but I do think there must be something about fire that has to do with Jacob and the MiB — in particular, perhaps, with the limitations that are placed on their powers.
I’ve been catching up on some of the official podcasts —
March 25 audio podcast
Darlton, punchy after having just finished writing a draft of the finale, rehashed Ab Aeterno, prehashed The Package, considered the possibility that Flocke was not evil — and revealed the title of the finale — on the March 25, 2010 audio podcast.
March 30 video podcast
In this short video podcast, Darlton answered a fan question about whether the fish that Jacob was cooking in the Season 5 finale, The Incident, was, ahem, a red herring.
I love the idea that it was a kind of visual pun, and in fact, someone left a comment on this blog back in September putting forth the “red herring” idea — an idea I found really funny at the time and still do. Alas, in this podcast, Darlton deny that was their intent. But the whole podcast is so jokey, I don’t know if they can really be believed:
April 1 audio podcast
Darlton briefly rehashed The Package, talked about who might win in a Flocke-Widmore showdown, prehashed Happily After Ever, and answered questions about Richard Alpert’s hair, the squirrel baby, and, of all things, grammar. April 1, 2010 audio podcast
April 8 video podcast
In this video podcast, Nestor Carbonell gave a tour of the set of the Black Rock. He talked about how they filmed the scenes there in Ab Aeterno — how they created the illusion of the smoke monster, and how they got the boar, who wasn’t hungry, to gnaw on a body (don’t worry, it was just a dummy). Very interesting!
Illustration of old microphone by Peter Suneson
We know that Jacob brought the LOSTies to the Island, and before that, he brought the Black Rock ship, and before that, he brought other people — the ones who came, fought, destroyed, and corrupted, in the words of the Man in Black.
The big question, of course, is why is Jacob bringing all these people to the Island?
One thing we know about the LOSTies is that, as a group, they have an extraordinary number of Daddy issues.
What if that were actually the reason that Jacob chose them?
And if that were the case, then why?
Suppose that Jacob himself has Daddy issues. Suppose, also, that Jacob is on the Island not because he wants to be, but because he has to be. There’s a hint of that, I think, in Jacob’s oddly impassive reaction to the Man in Black when the MiB said he wanted to kill him.
Combine the two ideas: Jacob having his own Daddy issues, and Jacob being stuck on the Island for centuries against his will. That suggests some sort of crime and punishment, with the Island being a place of exile, a prison. Because of the Island’s strange time-warping properties, Jacob’s sentence spans far more than a normal single lifetime.
Such a long sentence implies there must have been a horrible crime. And the worst crime that exists that involves Daddy issues would be patricide. Maybe, like Oedipus Rex, Jacob — way back in his original life, eons ago — had killed his father.
And now he is stuck, seemingly forever, on an Island prison. Maybe there is only one way for him to end his sentence — by restoring some balance to the world by doing something that would counteract his terrible crime. Only in that way could he atone and be forgiven.
Maybe Jacob’s task is to heal people who have been harmed by terrible rifts with their fathers. More precisely, maybe he is trying to show them how to heal themselves. Success in this task would be the only thing that could release him from his centuries-long sentence.
Perhaps he has tried, and failed, with all the previous groups he brought to the Island — which is what was frustrating the Man in Black. But the current LOSTies do seem to be responding to Jacob’s guidance, and many of then have, while on the Island, come to terms with their Daddy issues and grown beyond them.
Two possible holes in the theory: (1) If the Island is a prison, how did Jacob get off so many times? and (2) What is the role of the Man in Black?
Perhaps Jacob was able to leave only when certain conditions were right, and only for the purpose of choosing people to bring back. As for the second question, maybe the MiB was a participant in, or at least an accessory to Jacob’s crime. Since the MiB does not believe that Jacob will ever be successful in his task, maybe the MiB sees killing Jacob as the only way to bring his own long exile to a close.
And perhaps Jacob could not succeed in his task of guiding enough people beyond the Daddy issues which had warped their lives. At the end of “The Incident,” when Jacob told Ben that he had a choice — he could choose to listen to notLocke, or he could choose to walk away –Ben was so caught up in his Daddy issues, projecting onto Jacob all the rejection he had felt from his own father, that he could not make the right choice. Ben, at that moment, could not get past his Daddy issues, and for Jacob, that meant both failure, in his task as a guide, and death.
Picture of Oedipus Rex from an 1896 production, via Wikipedia
Some slightly belated thoughts on the pop-up hints in the enhanced version of “The Incident” shown on Tuesday:
NemesisA pop-up hint said the Man in Black is Jacob’s nemesis. You’re probably all thinking, “duh, no kidding,” but I had my doubts. I had been struck by how Jacob didn’t seem to mind that the MiB wanted to kill him, and I thought that the black shirt/white shirt contrast might have been a trick by the writers to fool us. But I was wrong. The MiB is definitely, officially, inarguably the nemesis of Jacob.
That still leaves the question of why Jacob seemed so calm when the MiB said he wanted to kill him. Could it be that Jacob had heard the MiB say the same thing so many times before that it didn’t even really register any more? Or, perhaps, did Jacob believe that it was his fate — his destiny — to be killed by the MiB, and therefore it would be pointless to get all worked up about it? Or was he so blasé because he thought the MiB was incapable of carrying out his threat?
The ShipA pop-up hint said the ship was an early 1800s sailing ship. That would be consistent with it being a slave ship.
But another hint said the scene was taking place over 140 years before the present day. If by “present day” they meant 2010, rather than one of the many “presents” in LOST time, that would put the scene at approximately 1870. That’s a little later than the last known slave ship headed to the U.S.
Perhaps the ship was heading elsewhere, or perhaps it is meant to be the real last slave ship, unrecorded in the history books because it disappeared on the Island.
The TapestryThe hints told us that Jacob’s tapestry contained the Egyptian Eye of Horus, and that surrounding it was a sun disk representing the sun god Aten — a name that was new to me. The hint describes Aten as the symbol of life and prosperity.
There is some connection between the two. Wikipedia says “There is a possibility that Aten’s three-dimensional spherical shape depicts an eye of Horus/Ra.” Don’t know what to make of any of that, except that life, prosperity, and sunshine are all very positive, and Jacob seems like a positive kind of guy.
The Feud between Jacob and the Man in Black
The hints say that Jacob and the MiB have a long history between them, and that the exact nature of their feud has yet to be revealed.
My guess is that they are brothers, and that the fans who dubbed the MiB “Esau” were really on to something.
A transcript of the pop-up hints is available on Lostpedia.
You can watch the entire enhanced episode on abc .com
And then just one more week till the Season 6 premiere!
This is the tapestry that Jacob was weaving in the Season 5 finale. The photograph is another sneak peek from the Season 5 DVD set. I don’t know where the photo was taken — on the set? in the prop room? — but wherever it is, you can see the details on the tapestry very clearly if you click through to the larger picture.
The hieroglyphics are Egyptian, which is odd because the writing is Greek. Why does Jacob combine the two in a single tapestry? Is it possible he lived in both Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece during his supernaturally long life — and is now telling his own story through the tapestry, using weaving as a form of autobiography? Or is Jacob simply an inventive artist, the kind who likes to create something new by mixing bits of different cultures together?
For more info about what’s known, so far, about the tapestry, see Lostpedia.
Photo courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. ©ABC Studios. Season 5 DVDs go on sale tomorrow, December 8, 2009.