Lost Review: Did We Find Jacob's Successor?

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So... that was it?!?

After going through so much to bring certain castaways to the island, all with the purpose of finding a successor and protecting mankind's light, Jacob simply sat around a fire, explained the situation to Hurley, Sawyer, Kate and Jack and accepted Jack's decision to assume the position?

This scene from "What They Died For" was either one of the most anticlimactic in Lost history, or a tease that a lot more is set to go down on this Sunday's (yes, Sunday, viewers) series finale.

Weeks (heck, seasons) had led to this meeting between four of Jacob's chosen ones, and it played out like a meeting with God. Kate essentially asked him why He allows suffering in the world; Sawyer asked: "why me?" Hurley wasn't taken aback because he's spoken to Jacob before, and Jack remained silent, intrigued.

Jacob revealed nothing we didn't already know during the discussion, but he referenced his "mistake" with Smokey and the "light" on the island, which did serve to give last week's controversial episode more resonance. It provided points with more gravity, as viewers saw the events that led to them.

But the process of Jack volunteering to follow Jacob as island protector led to one of many questions the episode left us with. To wit:

Four Candidates

Will Jack truly end up in this role? Can we really put a lot of stock in that water drinking ceremony? It seems as random as any other rule on the island, including the names of the survivors on Jacob's cave well. Jacob dismissed one of the coolest reveals of season six as nothing more than "a line of chalk" and said Kate's crossed-off name was irrelevant if she wanted the gig. This was either an interesting development, or a frustrating one to those that are sick of supposed answers either leading to more questions... or not being answers at all.

Where does Desmond fit into all this? The special Scotsman does at least look the part of the next Jacob, doesn't he? He's serene, all-knowing, clearly important to the island. Widmore dubbed him a "fail safe," which is the same term used for the key with which Desmond blew up the hatch.

Have we learned everything about Charles Widmore? One of the more mysterious characters in Lost history met his demise at the gun of his lifelong enemy, Ben. Count me among those that will be disappointed if the finale doesn't shed more light on Widmore and Ben's relationship and rivalry. It's been fascinating from the start.

Based on Ben's cryptic words last night that the monster was actually summoning him all along, we can assume Ben was duped into believing he was speaking to Jacob this entire time. But if Widmore was actually the one who had contact with the real Jacob, it sheds new light on past exchanges between these two. Has Widmore been in the right from the beginning? Was his desire to return to the island based around the fact that Smokey was the one giving orders to the man in charge of it and Charles knew this could doom society?

RIP, Widmore. But I hope we haven't heard the last about you.

What brings one to enlightenment? Events from the Sideways World led us to believe that near-death experiences can wake one up to one's (previous? alternate?) life on the island. But Ben saw these flashes when he was being beaten; and Desmond seems confident that Kate's attendance at Jack's son's concert will do the trick.

We'll finally learn what this universe is all about on the finale, but one of the best moments from it occurred when Hurley arrived and casually referenced Ana-Lucia. Guess he's fully awake now and on board the Desmond train.

Is Ben playing a long con? The redemption we saw in Ben from "Dr. Linus" didn't last long if we're to belive that he's truly teamed up with Smokey. That seems unlikely... or does it? Michael Emerson's incredible performance in this role has kept us guessing from the first time we met him, and we can't presume to know his character's motives at this point.

But I'm gonna say that Ben is legitimately on the dark side. He was reminded of Alex's death this week and of how the "rules" were changed on him. He feels duped by Jacob, for good reason. I can't wait to see what happens to Sideways Ben (the nicest man in the world, right, Alex?) when he is awoken to who he is/was on the island.

So, the stage is set for the (gulp!) series finale. It's good vs. evil, heaven vs. hell.

Smokey wants to destroy the island, a plan that Jacob must have known about all along. Why else would he be so intent on stopping his quasi brother? After all, the light still exists (it was not extinguished when MIB became Smokey, as some theorized last week) there. It actually resides near the location where Jack was tossed from the plane, an interesting tidbit.

Are you ready for Sunday's two-and-a-half hour farewell to Lost? What are the most pressing questions you want answered during it? Sound off now on "What They Died For" and on what you hope to see on the finale?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (43 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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i seem to be in two minds about this programme which i have adored from the very start. i do think the writers owe the audience better explanations but i guess the beauty and the reason to why so many people love lost is because of the mystery surrounding it and all the theories which come along with it. however, there must be a resolution. if the writers have continuously said that they knew where they were heading from the beginning then there has to be a justifyable conclusion - one that the audience and loyal fans will be happy with. otherwise it would be a devastating end of six dedicated years for fans. i definitely agree with those of you who have said that the whole "protecting the light" reason was disappointing and to be honest asthough the writers made it up on the spot. but me being the ever optimist i guess you have to look at it as a metaphor as most of the series has uniquely suggested. but still i'm in two minds. i just really want to believe that this show will come to a worthy end because it definitely deserves one after gripping audiences every episode for six years. let's hope the sunday finale gives us all decent closure. and if not i'm still going to remember this show as one which got me hooked in the pilot and created some of televisions most intriguing and beautiful characters.

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I'm with you Smurfette...thanks for the support!
Also, thank you for catching on to my not-so-subtle smurf references! Also, "The Answer," I agree with you except for Jin and Sun...their death seemed poignant and meaningful to me. I really enjoyed that episode. (however, their reunion several episodes earlier was very anti-climactic and plot driven).

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"What they died for?" Jin and Sun - nothing! They gave up their lives, took parents away from a daughter, for nothing. There is no meaning in their deaths. Zoe and Widmore - nothing! They did nothing. They did slow down the MIB, there were merely "bumps" in the road. The "others" in the temple - nothing! Their lives were meaningless. Sayid - maybe the only meaningful death.

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Is that 36 minute show / 24 minutes commercials right? It sure seemed like it. Anyone else, like me, angry as hell and not going to take it anymore!

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Obviously, without a end date the writers were forced to add fluff such as Nikki and Paulo, but one would think that with an end date in sight that they would take more time, effort, and thought to work through proper resolutions to issues, questions, and problems without resorting to simplistic non-answers. Does anyone really know "what they died for?" Simply to protect some hokey light in a cave? Have these people turned off their brains and have swallowed the kool-aid? I mean, after I have lost my friends, been plane-wrecked twice, and had my life thrown into ruin such as Jack I probably would not have been so willing to quietly sit down and enjoy the "kumbaya" campfire. What, no anger towards a guy who has manipulated you all from the start? Even God willingly accepts and patiently handles out anger at him -- (see Psalms).

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I'm thinking Ben is going to have the last laugh on Smokey. Since Smokey seems to trust him, Ben may be the only one who can get close enough to him to get his dagger and kill him. Everyone has known from s1 it would come down to Jack and Locke, so this was no surprise at all. I just want to know if these people are really dead and in hell or its something else.

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And by the way, you make our point for us when you point out that "any 5 yr old who watched the show more than once could have predicted" the plot. 5 year olds should not be scripting a show that viewers have been intensely loyal to for 6 years. I'm not discrediting the show. It has had beautiful moments, as evidenced by my loyalty. The Desmond-centric episodes this season are beautiful examples of what the writers are capable of when they are inspired. I am just pointing out that a show is only as good as its ending, and this should have been plotted more intricately.

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"MLevine,"I think you are missing the point of the comments posted here. They are not asking the writers to explain, "what happened, what happened" like "little kids." Rather, they are frustrated that the writers are feeling a need to provide exposition and rationale, and in doing so, are pushing out some very generic material. I think the comments here attest to the fact that the show would be better if the mystery were sustained rather than providing answers that merely pose more questions. Focus on characters, forget about the Jacob and MIB garbage.

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you guys are being very closed minded if you really think the across the sea episode was a waste of time. There had to be a large portion dedicated to jacob/smokeys history,(I might not have spent an entire episode on it, but i would have spent at least half of one) and there was no way they could have put it in much earlier than they did(now that would have been anti-climatic). Another thing, why is everyone acting so shocked that the writers are teasing us with the plot and dilly dallying with characters, they have been doing this scince the pilot(were flashbacks really nessesarry in every episode?. Does anyone remember we went almost an entire season before we found out what happened to Walt after he was kidnapped. Not to mention that they never told us how he and michale got back(the others gave them a boat, so what? Sawyer even said that the boat they were given was a short range boat, so it makes absolutley no sense)or why they wanted him, though I assume they wanted him to be their next leader. The main question that seems to be getting the attention right now is the "why are we here?". Don't whine about it not being satisfying, they answered it, theyre here to save the island/world. theyre good and mib's not. Jacks the new boss,they won't be seeing jacob again, and ben got his revenge on charels, wich any 5 yr old who watched the show more than once could have predicted. Really there should have been absolutley no surprise with that one, Chareles to Ben: "I'll be seeing you boy." Ben to Charels: "I'm gonna kill your daughter." It's actually all falling together nicley, that is for viewer who aren't like little kids who need to have everything spelled out for them. then what happened? then what happened?? then what happened??????? WE ARE NOT GOING TO FIND OUT. DEAL WITH IT

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I'm so glad you noticed the ridiculous amount of commercials. During the show, my wife asked if the finale was going to be 2 1/2 hours, and I said, "yes, but not really...they had to allow for 45 minutes worth of commercial advertising." I'm also glad you pointed out Widmore hiding in the closet. That was ridiculous. A self-assured billionaire mastermind who has known of this danger and prepared himself for decades allows himself to be killed in Ben's closet. C'mon! (Although, I feel a little guilty in saying that I laughed when whatsherface's throat got slashed. Morbid, but that actress was incredibly annoying).

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