This is going to be our first attempt at providing an episodic review based on the commentary associated with The Man Behind The Curtain post (it’s not quite as easy as it would seem, summarizing 600 posts). We will take some direct reader commentary and then incorporate our own opinions, but this will definitely be a collaborative effort.
- Is Locke Dead? My opinion… no way! Locke is too important to the show in general and let us not forget that he was previously a paraplegic. I don’t think a single bullet will stop our fast-healing friend and neither do most of you, which is summarized by reader Bryce: “I seriously doubt that Locke is dead. First, why would the writers kill off a very popular character just one episode before the finale if they truly want him dead? Wouldn’t it make much more sense to build up the suspense with teasers saying that a fan favorite would die in the finale? Second, far too many issues with Locke and the Island are still up in the air; for being a fairly essential plot line, this is too quick of a way of tying off this story line. Third, and as with most of what I have to say this is just my opinion, I think the writers were in an odd position with Locke in these last couple of episodes. Obviously they want a major confrontation between the Others and the Losties, but whose side would Locke be on?”
- Who, or what, is Jacob? At this point we have seen the image of Jacob (which I think is too ambiguous to speculate the identity of the person in the photo), which would seemingly imply that he/it has some human form. From reader Mardacara “I think that Ben has entrapped Jacob, whatever he might actually be – a person caught in a parallel dimension or ghost or whatever – Jacob is clearly a power unto himself. I think that he is the link with the Island or that he knows how to manifest the Island’s powers. Ben is threatened because Locke, by being able to hear Jacob, could potentially communicate with Jacob and together they could collude to strip Ben from his place of power…”
I would tend to agree with this initial summarization of what Jacob might be, if we were 100% sure that the show in the cabin was not manufactured by Ben. I believe it is still possible that Jacob does not exist at all and that Ben uses the threat of Jacob to manipulate the people around him for his own nefarious reasons. Also, the initial concern from the Others/Hostiles, as well as Alex providing the gun to Locke prior to the journey, could lead one to believe that Ben has perhaps taken others to see Jacob before, and they did not return either. After all, there were a lot of corpses in that hole.
- Bad make-up job or Island time? One of the more interesting parts of this episode for me was that we now understand there is an additional level of history to the Island, via the Hostiles. How long has Richard Alpert been on the Island and how old is he? I do not think the lack of Alpert’s aging was a mistake by the producers. This would lead us to believe that the Island, or the medical research completed on the Island, has lead to the anti-aging characteristics that Alpert’s appearance would suggest. To take this one step further and I know this is minor, but Ben’s comment to Locke about Jacob not appreciating technology was peculiar to me as well. Flashlights were invented back in the 1890’s and are not something I think any of us would consider to be technologically advanced circa 2004. This could also be an implication of how long the hostiles/Jacob have been on the Island too.
Let’s keep the discussion within this post focused upon the three questions referenced above.