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?

What They Died For Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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