Locke and Ben finally meet face-to-face with Jacob, while Jack receives unexpected help in his attempt to change history.

Written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
Directed by Jack Bender

Near nightfall, the Others arrive at the statue, which is nothing more than a single foot here in the present. Locke asks what this statue has to do with Jacob, and Richard says it’s where Jacob lives.

That night, Richard sets up a camp for his people and then asks Locke if he’s sure he needs to do this, because if he waits, Jacob would eventually come to him. Locke says he’s tired of waiting, and wants to go see him now. Nearby, Sun asks Ben what happened to the rest of the statue. Ben says he doesn’t know, that it was that way when he got here. Locke tells Ben to come along as they head for the statue, but Richard protests. Only the leader of the Others can request an audience with Jacob, “and there can only be one leader on the island at a time.” “I’m beginning to think you just make these rules up as you go along, Richard,” Locke replies. He insists that Ben come along, so Richard opens the door in the side of the statue’s base, but then leaves them to it. As they enter, Locke asks Ben if he’ll be able to do this. “I know it won’t be easy, but things will change once he’s gone,” Locke assures him. Ben accepts a knife from Locke.

Outside the statue, Ilana and her group arrive and the Others draw their weapons. Ilana tells them not to shoot, that they’re friends, and they’ve come to help. She asks which one of them is “Ricardos,” and Richard steps forward. “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” she asks him pointedly. In Latin, he replies, “He who will save us all.” Ilana is visibly relieved that someone finally answered the question correctly, and shows him what’s inside the steel crate: it’s John Locke’s body! He’s still dead! Ilana says the body was in a coffin in the cargo hold of Ajira 316. Sun asks the question on everyone’s minds: “If this is Locke, who’s in [the statue]?”

Inside, Locke and Ben come upon the large room with the fire pit where we first saw Jacob at the beginning of the episode. Ben notices the large tapestry hanging on the wall and goes to examine it. Jacob, watching from the shadows, asks if Ben likes it. “It takes a very long time when you’re making the thread. But I suppose that’s the point, isn’t it?” he says. Locke bids him hello, and Jacob recognizes him at once for who he is: “You found your loophole.” It’s the 2nd Man from the beginning of the episode! Only now he looks like John Locke. “You have no idea what I’ve gone through to be here,” says Locke. Ben is stunned to see that the two of them know each other. Locke asks Ben to do what he asked him to do. Jacob steps forward and says he wants Ben to understand one thing. Despite whatever Locke has told him, Ben still has a choice. Ben is angered that Jacob ignored him for thirty-five years but no longer. Ben recounts his history, reminding Jacob that everything he was asked to do in Jacob’s name, he did, without question. He asked to see Jacob once but was told by Richard to wait. But when Locke asked to see Jacob, he was brought straight here. “Why him?” Ben asks. “What was it that was so wrong with me? What about me?!” Jacob looks at him sadly and replies, “What about you?”

Outraged, Ben stabs Jacob twice in the chest. Jacob collapses and starts spitting up blood, mumbling about someone coming. Locke kneels quickly and asks what Jacob is talking about. “They’re coming,” Jacob repeats, and Locke stands to his feet and kicks Jacob into the fire pit. Jacob immediately catches fire and a stunned Ben and an angry Locke watch him burn.

In 1977, Jack gets out of the van and Sawyer asks for five minutes of his time to talk. The two of them walk into the jungle to find a private spot.

Sawyer tries a friendly approach first, telling Jack about how his parents died when he was eight years old. Then he points out that that happened a year ago, in 1976, and if he wanted to, he could have gotten on the sub and gone to the mainland and changed things. “But what’s done is done,” he concludes. Jack argues the point, but Sawyer cuts through his scientific logic, pressing him for the personal and emotional reason Jack is doing this. He believes Jack screwed up something so bad, he’s willing to detonate a nuke to get a second chance, but Jack says that’s not what this is about. “I had her, and I lost her,” Jack says, referring to Kate. Sawyer suggests that if Jack wants her back, he just has to go ask her. Jack says it’s too late, but Sawyer says that if Jack succeeds, Jack and Kate will be strangers and Kate “will be in handcuffs.” Resigned, Jack believes it’s meant to be. Sawyer realizes that he can’t talk Jack out of it, so he resorts to fisticuffs instead, and the long-brewing tension between these two finally comes to blows. Sawyer gets the best of him after a prolonged fight, but Juliet finds them and tells him to let Jack go. Juliet says Jack is right, and they have to do this. Outraged, Sawyer points out that she’s the one that told him to come back to the island and stop Jack. “What happened?!” “I changed my mind,” she replies.

Sawyer follows Juliet through the jungle, trying to get an explanation out of her, but she’s resigned to letting Jack do what he intends to do. “I changed my mind when I saw you look at her,” Juliet finally explains. “I don’t care who I looked at,” Sawyer replies. “I’m with you.” “And you would stay with me forever if I would let you, and that is why I will always love you. Just because we love each other doesn’t mean we’re supposed to be together,” says Juliet, repeating the words her mother told her as a child. Sawyer doesn’t buy it, and pushes her to tell why she’s really doing this. “If I never meet you, then I never have to lose you,” she says sadly.

At the Swan site, Chang tries again to get Radzinsky to stop the drilling, noting that the drill’s readings have suddenly gone off the charts. Radzinsky gets a call from Phil back at the Barracks, telling him about Jack and Sayid and the shootout. Radzinsky realizes the two of them are on their way to the Swan site, and he orders Phil to get out there on the double.

Jack watches this exchange from a safe distance, through the jungle foliage. Kate catches up with him, and the two have a heart-to-heart. She reminisces about the day she sewed him up when they first came to the island. He asks why she made him promise to never ask about Aaron. She says she was angry at him for making her come back, but she came back so Aaron could be with his mother, where he belongs. Jack points out that if his plan works, Claire will never come to the island, and Aaron will be born in L.A. Kate argues that Claire intended to give Aaron up for adoption, but Jack says they can’t know what she’ll decide once she gives birth and sees him for the first time. “Nothing in my life has ever felt so right” as this plan, he tells her, pleading with her for her help and support. An alarm sounds at the Swan site, and steam pours out of the drilling hole. Jack says the Incident is about to happen, and asks if Kate is with him or not. She affirms that she is.

Jack and Kate return to the others, where Hurley’s trying to reassure Sayid that he’ll be fine once Jack changes history. Sayid has prepped the bomb to explode on impact, and tells Jack to get the bomb as close as possible to the source of the electromagnetism. “This is going to work,” Jack assures Sayid, “and it’ll save you.” “Nothing can save me,” Sayid replies. Jack takes the bomb and leaves. He passes Juliet and Sawyer coming back to meet the others. “See you in Los Angeles,” he says to Sawyer.

While the rest of the group waits back at the Dharma van, Miles brings up a very important notion: “Has it occurred to any of you that your buddy is actually going to cause the thing he says he’s trying to prevent? Perhaps that little nuke is the incident. So maybe the best thing to do is nothing.” When no one answers, he adds, “I’m glad you all thought this through.” They spot Phil and some other security men driving to the Swan site, and they decide to go help.

At the Swan site, Phil and his men set up a perimeter. Chang protests again, but his words fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, Jack sneaks up on the drill area, gun in hand. But before he can get inside, Phil spots him, and a huge gunfight ensues. Jack’s friends ride in to the rescue in their stolen Dharma van, and now everyone is shooting. Many of the Dharma men are killed in the fight, but remarkably, none of the survivors are hit.

Sawyer gets the drop on Phil and has him order the other men to drop their guns. The shooting stopped, Sawyer tells Jack to come on out and do his thing. Chang tries to turn off the drill, but it won’t disengage because the electromagnetic pocket has been hit, and it’s pulling the drill downward. Jack gets out the bomb and prepares to drop it down the tunnel. He turns to Kate, and she nods approvingly with tears in her eyes. Sawyer and Juliet likewise make eye contact, and this time Juliet smiles that he’s looked at her instead of Kate. Jack drops the bomb and everyone closes their eyes, waiting for the blast. But it never comes.

Instead, the electromagnet goes into overdrive, and equipment from all over the site starts being pulled into the hole. Dr. Chang is pinned down by the drill, but Miles saves him, telling his father to get as far away from here as possible. Even Radzinsky runs. Phil almost shoots Sawyer, but a scaffolding falls on him first and a long piece of rebar impales him. A length of chain entwines around Juliet, and she’s dragged toward the hole. Kate manages to catch her at the last second, but the pull is too strong and she can’t hold on. Sawyer runs to help and grabs her by the hand. They share a very emotional moment as Kate tries to get the chains off of Juliet, but she can’t reach and the pull increases, the drill collapsing around them. “Don’t you leave me!” Sawyer shouts. “It’s okay,” says Juliet, smiling. “I love you, James! I love you so much.” To save their lives, Juliet pulls free and falls. Sawyer is utterly destroyed, collapsing into tears.

Moments later, Kate tries to pull Sawyer back from the hole before the drill collapses on top of him, but she can’t budge him. Jack helps and they manage to pull him away. The magnetic effects grow worse until the entire drill is dragged into the hole. Down at the bottom, Juliet’s broken body lays trapped, blood pouring out of her mouth and numerous injuries. But she opens her eyes and coughs — she’s alive! Nearby, she spots the nuclear bomb, which still hasn’t gone off. She grabs a rock and bitterly smashes it against the bomb, until finally, it explodes.

And everything goes white.

  • According to Sawyer, this episode takes place in July, 1977.
    Question: When, prior to 1980, did “the incident” occur?
    [2.03]
  • Chang’s hand was crushed by a large piece of metal during the powerful electromagnetic catastrophe known as the Incident.
    Question: Marvin Candle appeared to be wearing a prosthetic arm. Why? What happened to his real arm?
    [2.03]
  • From what we can glean about Jacob in this episode, the island seems to be his domain, or at least the shared domain of him and the Man in Black. So since the Others work for Jacob, then in a sense, yes the island is theirs, though the word “belong” implies an ownership that they can’t really claim.
    Question: Does the island belong to the Others, as they claim?
    [2.11]
  • Again, since the Others work for Jacob, then they no doubt see their actions as justifiable for the greater good. It doesn’t appear that Jacob gives specific instructions on how his orders are to be carried out — such as bringing new people into the Others’ ranks. It’s the Others themselves who decide to violently kidnap the people on Jacob’s lists.
    Question: Ethan told Claire that the Others “are good people,” a “good family.” Yet we’ve seen them commit acts of unspeakable cruelty. How can they be good if they do such bad things?
    [2.15]
  • Though a definitive answer is yet to come, it seems pretty conclusive at this point that most or all of the dead people seen on the island are probably the smoke monster in human form, including Yemi.
    Question: Who was the Yemi that Eko confessed to? Was he, as it appeared, the smoke monster taken human form?
    [3.05]
  • Emily Linus was no doubt another example of the smoke monster taking on human form.
    Question: Who or what was the Emily Linus we saw on the island, when she is known to be dead? Is she in the same state as Christian Shepherd, and other dead people who have been seen on the island?
    [3.20]
  • This was most likely the Man in Black.
    Question: Who was the second person Hurley saw in Jacob’s cabin (the one that appeared at the window)?
    [4.01]
  • Jacob gave him a little nudge.
    Question: Why did Hurley change his mind and decide to go back to the island?
    [5.06]
  • He didn’t — it was the Man in Black the whole time.
    Question: How did Locke wind up standing in the ocean just off the shore of Hydra Island, apparently resurrected after killing himself in Los Angeles?
    [5.07]
  • Locke was never resurrected! Ben was right — dead is dead. Instead, the person everyone thought was Locke was really Jacob’s Nemesis in disguise.
    Question: How exactly was Locke resurrected?
    [5.07]
  • Locke’s body — the real Locke.
    Question: What’s in Ilana’s steel crate?
    [5.12]
  • “He who will save us all,” which is undoubtedly a reference to Jacob.
    Question: What’s the answer to the question, “What lies in the shadow of the statue?”
    [5.12]
  • Knowing the answer to the question appears to be an identifier for the personal servants of Jacob.
    Question: Why did Ilana ask this question to Frank? Is it some kind of pass code?
    [5.12]
  • He doesn’t — Jacob’s Nemesis does.
    Question: Why does Locke want to kill Jacob?
    [5.15]

  • How did the Man in Black take on Locke’s form? Can he assume the form of anyone he wants, or does it have to be a dead person?
  • What all did the Man in Black “go through” to get to Jacob?
  • Since we’ve seen other dead people (like Locke) on the island before, such as Alex Rousseau and Yemi, who very likely were the smoke monster taken human form, does this mean that the Man in Black is the smoke monster? Could they be one and the same?
  • Who was Jacob referring to when he warned the Man in Black that “they’re coming”?
  • Were Jack, Juliet, and the other survivors successful in altering history by detonating the hydrogen bomb?

I don’t quite understand Jack’s personal motivations for wanting to detonate the bomb, if for him, it was all about being with Kate. I could see his desire to wipe away the mistakes he’d made, such as his drug addiction and how he pushed Kate away. But he has to know that it’s unlikely that they’ll ever meet if history is changed. Maybe with his newfound belief in fate, he now believes that if he and Kate are meant to be together, they still will be, in the new timeline.

How awesome is it that Jacob lives under the statue? That’s just plain cool.

I was really hoping Sun and Jin’s long-awaited reunion might take place by the end of this episode, but it looks like we’re going to have to wait until next season for that.

Another mystery that will have to wait is finding out what’s inside Hurley’s guitar case. I’m guessing it’s something that’s going to come in pretty handy for Jacob’s people.

According to Jacob, Hurley isn’t crazy and isn’t just hallucinating visions of dead people. He really is seeing them. How did Hurley get this “blessing”? Did Jacob give it to him?

Do you suppose there’s any significance to Ilana calling Richard “Ricardos”?

We got an answer to “What lies in the shadow of the statue?” Richard’s reply was in Latin (naturally), translated as “He who will save us all.” A certain reference to Jacob.

I have to admit, I’m a bit bummed that John Locke is really dead, and now this new Locke we have appears to be evil. This is his long-awaited grand destiny? Not to be leader of the Others, but their greatest enemy? It’s a twist to be sure, and that’s what this show delivers consistently better than any other. But poor Locke deserved better. And if he always was destined to become evil (after a fashion), why did Jacob save him after his fall? Of course, there’s always the off-chance that the new Locke might not be evil at all, but the evidence is stacked against him. He’s been lying to everyone, has no interest in saving the 1977 castaways, plotted to kill Jacob, and next plans to take out the Ajira 316 survivors — likely because he knows that Ilana & Co. are agents of Jacob. These are not the actions of a good person. And yet, this 2nd Man-in-Locke’s-form possesses Locke’s memories and personality, in addition to his own. So is Locke in there somewhere, downloaded into this other being? Could he fight his way to the surface and take control?

I’m really curious about all of these past events that Jacob appeared at, physically touching the castaways at pivotal moments in their lives. The takeaway we’re supposed to get out of this is that all of the connections and ties that these characters have to each other from their pasts is not coincidence at all — Jacob himself has been involved in directing them towards their destinies on the island. Okay, so they were all meant to end up on the island. I can swallow that. What I’m having trouble with is that Jacob didn’t really do much for some of them. Sure, he saved Locke after his fall, influenced Hurley’s decision to go back to the island, and prevented Sayid from dying alongside Nadia. He gave Kate a little nudge toward being a good girl (which didn’t completely take), and offered Sawyer a pen to write his fateful “Dear Mister Sawyer” letter. But all he did for Jack was give him a candy bar. He attended Jin and Sun’s wedding. Big whoop. Is it enough that he was merely present at these important moments in our characters’ lives?

Who was Jacob referring to, when he told not-Locke that “they’re coming”? Ilana and Richard? Or could it have been Jack & Co., returning from the past?

What we learned about Jacob:

  • he can come and go from the island as he pleases
  • he appears to have the power to heal
  • he does not age
  • he is, despite all his incredible power, a mortal being, capable of bleeding and (possibly) dying
  • he has some prescient knowledge of things to come

What was the deal with Jacob’s tapestry? It’s a clear metaphor for all of the puzzle pieces he seems to have put in place: i.e., the survivors from Oceanic 815. The fact that it took him a long time to do it also points to this, since we know Jacob has been directing things on the island for a long time. But is it more than just a representation of things on the island? Is he channeling his powers through the tapestry, catalyzing certain events through the process of weaving? Perhaps it’s no coincidence that we saw Jacob working on his tapestry right before the Black Rock arrived. Did his weaving somehow cause the Black Rock to go off course and come to the island?

Richard Alpert told Sun in “Follow the Leader” that he “watched them all die,” referring to the survivors in 1977. Yet we didn’t see him anywhere around during their climactic showdown at the Swan. Which can only mean this hasn’t happened yet — and it’s something we’ll see in Season 6. Assuming, of course, that the detonation of the hydrogen bomb didn’t change history. (And I don’t accept that it did.)

Everything about Locke’s initial encounter with Jacob in “The Man Behind the Curtain” is now put in a whole new light, and much or all of what we learned or assumed from that episode could very possibly be untrue. I’m most interested now in the voice that said “Help me” to Locke. Was this really Jacob’s voice? Or was it the 2nd Man?

The fan-chosen code name for the big twist, “The Fork In the Outlet,” turned out to be surprisingly appropriate. And I loved that the final fade in of “LOST” after the last scene was washed in white, instead of the customary black. Clever.

The twenty-million dollar question: Who are Jacob and the 2nd Man? There are certainly parallels between the biblical notions of God and Satan between them. Or maybe yin and yang. Much like God and Lucifer held a “cosmic wager” over the fate of Job, Jacob and the 2nd Man’s early conversation hinted that these two had a similar arrangement: bring people to the island, see if they’re capable of something more than fighting with each other. Even Jacob’s “What about you?” reply to Ben was reminiscent of God’s answer to Job’s questioning why so much trouble had come upon him. The 2nd Man saw no end to the cycle of violence, while Jacob believed that one day a group might come to the island and choose a better way than violence. In this scenario, the island would be presented to each new group of visitors as mankind’s ultimate prize. Which fits with what we know: various warring factions have fought over possession of the island, very likely throughout its entire history. They wanted to control the island and all of its miraculous powers, and to get it, they’d eventually turn on each other.

Jacob hammered home to Ben in that final scene that he had a choice. He could choose to kill Jacob, or he could choose not to. Is this the ultimate message behind Lost? That we all have a choice, and our choices define us? Could it be that this is the nature of the wager between Jacob and the 2nd Man? It’s an experiment of sorts, to see if man is capable of rising above his sinful nature?

Here’s a thought that’ll make your head spin: What if Jacob and the 2nd Man, together, constructed the island?

It seems apparent now that the war we’ve been told about for a while now that’s coming for control of the island is going to be waged between Jacob and his followers, and the 2nd Man and whoever he can persuade to join his side. Whatever limitations once stood between them engaging in open conflict have now been erased, since the 2nd Man found a way to take on Locke’s form. If Jacob is dead — and I’m not convinced he is — could he take on a new form as well? A new avatar or representative, if you will? Who might that be? Someone well suited to go to war against the former John Locke? Someone… like Jack Shephard? Or Benjamin Linus? Hmm.

Jacob seemed unsurprised that Locke and Ben showed up at his door. He was expecting them, methinks. I wonder if he might have even been indirectly manipulating the entire situation. Did he know that Ben would kill him on this day? Could he still be directing events, even after his death?

For a while there, I was convinced that the 2nd Man was going to turn out to be Christian Shephard. The actor playing him had a bit of a resemblance to Jack’s pop. But that seems less likely in retrospect. Though there is a new question that needs to be posed about back-from-the-dead Christian: is he, like Locke, a manifestation of the 2nd Man? Dead is dead, after all, and undead Christian hasn’t been seen in quite a while. He claimed to speak for Jacob, but what if he was lying, and he really works for (or is) the 2nd Man? What has Christian done that can truly be labeled good, after all? He sent Locke to his death, when he told him to turn the wheel and leave the island. He took Claire away from her friends, and she hasn’t been seen since. He told Michael when it was okay for him to die, which admittedly does seem more like he was speaking for the island itself. But his ray of hope to Sun about reuniting with Jin could have been nothing more than the 2nd Man manipulating her to serve undead Locke’s endgame of killing Jacob. What do you think? Christian Shephard: good or evil?

“The Incident” provided us with perhaps the most important intel we’ve received yet on the smoke monster, even though Smokey didn’t put in an appearance. See if you can follow my logic on this: We’ve never seen the monster do anything that can be considered “good.” In fact, you could call it downright “evil.” It judges, brutally attacks, and kills people at will. Ben was told by the monster in human form (Alex) to do everything that Locke told him to. But we know now that the Locke Alex was referring to was really the 2nd Man in Locke’s form. If the monster knew the truth about Locke when Alex told Ben this (and I’m willing to bet it did), then that means the monster is in league with the 2nd Man. Making it possibly even an agent or tool of the 2nd Man. Did the 2nd Man create the monster? The 2nd Man seems to be “the bad guy,” which means that the monster is evil, too.

So here’s my theory: the dead people we’ve seen on the island are really the smoke monster/Man in Black assuming their form: Alex, Yemi, Emily Linus, etc. I still do wonder, though, about Christian Shephard. Sure, it’s possible that he’s another guise of the smoke monster/Man in Black, but there almost seems to be more to him, somehow. I wonder if he could be Richard’s opposite number, serving the Man in Black the same way that Richard serves Jacob. There’s a certain symmetry to it — Richard was made a symbol of life by Jacob when Jacob made it so that Richard doesn’t age, whereas the Man in Black used a symbol of death as his servant.

Is Juliet really dead? She seemed to have survived her long fall remarkably well. How exactly did that happen? I’m sure she has lots of serious injuries, but if the survivors are transported back to 2007, she would surely go with them since she didn’t die yet. And as for those injuries, the island is known for its healing powers… But I’ll freely admit I could be reaching, just ’cause I don’t want her to die. On the other hand, Juliet is the one person we witnessed in flashback tonight that Jacob never went to visit off the island. Significant? Is she not as important as the rest of them?

And what about Sayid? We didn’t see him die, so we have to assume he’s still alive and kicking, at least for the time being. His quest for redemption is probably still yet to come.

What will become of Pierre Chang? Will we ever see him again? Will he and Miles get some closure on their father/son relationship?

In the end, we’re left with this: What happens in the final season if Juliet succeeded in changing history? Would the survivors return to their former lives, but still somehow be drawn to the island, and spend some of Season 6 trying to get there? Might they somehow remember all of the events that they managed to erase, and reunite with one another due to that? And consider some of the people who died that would be alive once more: Boone, Shannon, Ana-Lucia, Libby, Eko, Charlie, Charlotte, Daniel, Juliet, and get this — Jacob!

So it all comes down to whether or not that bomb reset the timeline. My initial instinct upon seeing the episode was that there’s no way it could have. There’s just too much evidence to the contrary, such as Richard remembering that all of the survivors died (presumably from the bomb blast) in 1977. If the bomb blast changed history, he wouldn’t remember their deaths in the original timeline version of 2007. Or consider Chang’s hand/arm injury, which we’ve known to be part of continuity all the way back to the earliest Dharma orientation videos of Season 2. This episode finally showed us how his hand was injured, so wouldn’t that point to an unchanged timeline? Yet we know from all of the hints we’ve seen since way back at Comic-Con ‘09 that alterations to the timeline are something the show is going to play with heavily in Season 6. Is it possible that somehow the bomb both did and didn’t change history? We’ll find out soon.