I had to take an Advil before I could write this post. My jaw actually hurts from the number of times it dropped open over the last two hours. Let's jump right in and list a few of the jarring moments, shall we?
1. We finally see Jacob, and he's...well, we're not sure exactly who (or when, or what) he is. But he's verrrry interesting.
2. Kate and Juliet join forces to save the island from Jack Shepherd, then change their minds and decide to help him blow it up. Fickle, fickle girls.
3. Rose and Bernard are alive and did not join Dharma because (what a great Lost line), they're "retired." It wasn't exactly central to the plot, but it was surprising (and heartwarming) to see these great characters again.
4. The contents of the mysterious box shock Lapidus, and it keeps us guessing until the end. Turns out the body of John Locke is in there, which means that somebody other than John--the smoke monster?--is inside the four-toed statue. (For the record, that is the weirdest sentence I've ever written in my life.)
5. Sayid has a rough episode, witnessing the murder of his wife and then getting shot. Have I mentioned once or twice or 87 times that he's my favorite character, and I desperately hope we haven't seen the end of him?
6. Sawyer and Jack beat the holy heck out of each other in the jungle, a fight that probably should've happened a long time ago.
7. We learn that Jack's motivation for blowing up the island is that he wants his girlfriend back. We learn Juliet's motivation for blowing up the island is that she doesn't want her boyfriend to hurt her. It's nice to know our characters are making decisions about cosmic destiny and nuclear holocaust based on ninth-grade emotions.
8. Juliet, poor girl, gets sucked down into the hole, only to survive the brutal fall and have to trigger the nuclear bomb with a rock. I don't know about you, but I'd say that qualifies as a very bad day.
While there has always been much religious imagery in Lost, it was especially thick in this episode. The Ajira passengers carrying the mysterious box looked very Ark-of-the-Covenant-ish, and Ben struggles with the age-old faith issue of feeling abandonded by the one he's serving. I'm resisting the urge to dissect it all; It's being heatedly discussed at the message boards, so you can read up over there. I can't say I'd recommend anyone gain their spiritual sustenance through network television (ahem), but it is interesting to see the imagery being woven through the episodes.
Jacob's character is truly fascinating. We saw him visit our Losties at various stages in their lives, in what appeared to be a direct "summons" to the island. Did anyone else notice that in his visits to each of them, he made physical contact with them through direct touch (touching John's shoulder, his shaking Sun and Jin's hands, tweaking Kate's nose) or through transferring an object (handing the candy bar to Jack, giving Sawyer the pen, giving Hurley the guitar case, holding the map with Sayid)? I have no idea what the significance of that is, but it struck me.
Also striking about Jacob's visits to the Losties is that he appeared to them at widely varying life stages. He appeared to Sawyer and Kate as children, but he appeared to Sun and Jin in young adulthood. He appeared to Hurley after Hurley had already been to the island the first time. That seems to indicate a strong sense of destiny; a message of "you're just supposed to be there."
The big question of the night is what the blast at the end means for our characters. First of all, did the nuclear bomb actually detonate, or was that one of the time "flashes"? Whatever it was, did it cancel out all the events (I'm guessing no, since there's a whole other season left), or was it "the incident" that actually caused it all in the first place (which would certainly support the WHH theory)? Just for grins, here's a poll--I'd love to hear what you think:
One last thing (can you tell I'm stalling, to ignore dealing with the fact that it's 8 months until we see new Lost?)...here were my favorite quotes of the night:
Rose: "It's always somethin' with you people."
- and -
John: "Well, it's a wonderful foot, Richard, but what does it have to do with Jacob?"
I'd love to hear what you though of tonight's season finale. If you're blogging Lost at your own blog, feel free to leave your link in the comments section.