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?


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+.


I have followed and lived the LOST experience for 6 years and I share much of the frustration that "Gargamel" expresses. First, I timed 36 minutes of show to 24 minutes of commercials last night. That is what we get with a show winding down to its ending with so many unanswered issues? Will Sunday's finale be similar? That would mean the 2-1/2 hours actually translates into 90 minutes of show. Secondly, things that have been building for years just end like that? Widmore who came so prepared and protected "hides" in a closet and is dispatched with little effort? Richard, an immortal, is "blown" away like a dried leaf? And, worst of all, a camp fire with Jacob where all that was missing was a chorus of "Kumbaya"? Come on, this is where this program was heading from the start? I think we deserve better!


Lost is a character driven show. I love these characters, and I will follow them to the end. I'm extremely hesitant to critique the show, as I am very concerned that these last few hours are going to taint six years of fascinating character development and pop culture bliss. With that said, the last two episodes have filled me with...I can't believe I'm saying this...frustration and dread. It's like I want to turn the tv off and imagine what happens rather than watching it unfold. The mythology episode last week was terrible: the worst episode of Lost to date, if not one of the worst television episodeds I have seen. It was extremely forced, corny, and disappointing. And despite their attempts, the writers' ploy to legitimize this episode by making references to "the light" at the center of the island (see Jacob's discussion with Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Hurley) only reinforce the overall "corniness" of this pitifull "answer" to our mystery. I feel as Dorothy and her friends must have felt when Toto pulled back the curatin to reveal an old man...HOW LAME. The show would have been better off if this pathetic drivel had never been explained. The mystery was much more fascinating than this poor attempt at mythology. And as precious minutes are being spent on useless moments like these, we miss out on important discussions between Jack and Sawyer...will there ever be a good exchange of dialogue between these two characters? Kate and Jack...closure? resolution? Richard, who has seemed so poignant from the beginning of this story, just gets knocked off in an instant? What the? I feel like crying CHEAT! CHEAT! Widmore just shot...like that? Bang! The end. Killing off characters without closure or significance? I felt like the dingos ate my baby. We deserve more. This is a show about character development. If you can't explain the "mythology" behind the whole show...fine. You've had six years to do it, but fine, I'll accept that. But to kiss these characters goodbye without closure or poignancy, after yearning, debating, hoping and waiting for six years...well that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. As I said, I almost wonder if it would be better to end now, and imagine my own ending. Like many of the characters on the show, sometimes you're better off not knowing.


Is Richard dead? That's my biggest concern. I thought he was immortal, but Smokey tossed him aside and he was never mentioned again. Also I think Ben is pulling a long con.


To me, the Jack/Jacob scene was played out perfectly. It's all been leading to that point - and I, for one, did not find it the least bit anti-climatic.

Mr probst

I've got to disagree with ML House about Ben. Too much has been put in to Ben's redemption to have him suddenly turn back to the dark side. He may still be confused by Jacob, but I don't think he's figured anything out yet. Especially if he thinks the monster summoned him, not Jacob.

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