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What Lies in the Shadow of the Statue: Tracking the Variables Before Tonight's "Lost" Season Finale

Will Jack succeed in his plan to avert the crash of Oceanic Flight 815 in tonight's season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two") by detonating Jughead, the hydrogen bomb left behind in the 1950s?

Just a guess but I'm going to say hell no. After all, Jack's theory has a few central flaws, not least of which would be that there wouldn't be a series if Oceanic Flight 815 did manage to touch down in Los Angeles, rather than crash land on that creepy island.

But putting that aside, I was pretty upfront last week about my feelings that there was no way for Jack to alter his own future, even if he was working to counteract the flow of events in 1977. The Jack in 1977 is the culmination of all of his previous experiences. He's there now because the plane did crash on the island, because he met up with his fellow castaways, and because he went back to the island on Ajira Airways Flight 316.

Altering (or attempting to alter) the future won't change any of that. In fact, if Jack were somehow able to detonate the bomb and destroy the entire island, his actions would result in the creation a divergent reality, separate from the one he's living in now, where the plane landed safely because there wasn't an island for them to land on, nor a man in the hatch choosing not to press the button on that particular day. But as for 1977 Jack and everyone else on the island, they'd be dead... as they would have blown themselves to smithereens along with the island.

Can the island exist and not exist at the same time? You betcha. It's called paradox and it speaks to a belief in an omniverse where there are a multitude of realities in which certain events did or did not happen, creating a cascade of possible outcomes for each and every action. Team Darlton has been upfront about the fact that they don't want to introduce paradox to Lost, nor do they want to tell an alternate reality story. It that is the case, then there is no way that Jack will be able to destroy the island or alter their pasts. Their appearance in 1977 is that of variables, yes, but The Incident will still happen because of their very involvement. The truth is that they were always there in 1977 and, even if they attempt to go against the flow of history, they will still bare witness to the fact that everything is happening in 1977 as it always happened.

I do think The Incident, with its massive release of electromagnetic energy, is the ticket for Jack and the others to ride the cosmic particle stream back to the present day and be reunited with Sun, Locke, and Ben. But I don't think that the island will allow Jack and Eloise to detonate the bomb. As for why Eloise Hawking sent the group back to 1977, the answer is simple: she remembered them being there. If they are not there, if they don't go back, time will unspool because she experienced their presence on the island the first time around.

As for what Bram and Ilana are up to in the present day, I'm still not sure. I don't believe that the answer to their riddle ("What lies in the shadow of the statue?") has a physical answer. (I'm not one of the viewers, for example, that believes the solution is, say, Jughead itself.) I think it's something completely different, like, say "death." We know that this group is operating at cross-purposes to Charles Widmore, given that they tried to get Miles not to join Widmore's expedition. So what do they want? To reclaim the island, if they are new Dharma Initiative recruits? To destroy it completely? A death cult that predates even the hostiles? Someone associated with Avellino and the heretofore unseen Economist? In any event, their MO is firmly opposed to Widmore's alleged desire to protect the island.

So what's in the crate? Is it something simple like guns and ammunition? Or something far more significant and nefarious? Have they brought a Doomsday device to the island and will they force the castaways and the Others to unite against a common enemy? I'm still not sure. I have a feeling that the ultimate reveal about Ilana and Bram's plan and the contents of the crate will have a major impact on the final season of Lost, kicking off in 2010.

As for Locke, I can't shake the creepy feeling I got when he expressed his intent to murder Jacob in last week's episode. Sure, he wants to prove to the Others that Jacob is the man behind the curtain, a faux all-powerful Oz, a false idol, so that he can assume complete control over the Others. But will he go through with his plan to kill Jacob? Is it a test of sorts for himself? Or for Ben? It does seem like there can only be one leader of the Others at any given time, so is this the way to ascend to the throne, as it were? Hmmm...

What do you think will happen in tonight's fifth season finale of Lost? Will Jack succeed in his plan to detonate the bomb? What are Ilana and Bram up to? Does Locke really intend to murder Jacob and just what does Ben have up his sleeve? Discuss... and come back tomorrow to share your thoughts on the season finale after it airs.

Previously on Lost...:

On tonight's two-hour season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), Jack's decision to detonate the hydrogen bomb is met with resistance from those close to him; Locke assigns Ben a difficult task.


Heatherette said…
No matter what happens I do hope that, as you said, Jack's actions lead to the group being reunited in present day.

I liked having a glimpse into the past and seeing the Dharma initiative in the 70's but having the group so broken up (in both place and time) is getting to be a little frustrating.
jason said…
well on season 5 the last episod the incident part 2 u will find out that it was locks dead body which was in the box which ilana and bram were carring all the time but i wonder just as sun said : if this is lock then whoes in their ? exactly , how can lock be their while he went to meet jacob while his dead body is in a box with the others , and as u saw jacks plan for the hydrojen bomb was succesfull the bomb was detinated but will it reely sent them back to present day and oceanic 815 will land ? if so then lock and sun and every one on the island would stop existing and the island would not exist , but if i were you i would mostly focuz on the smok monster , its reely intresting to me ........
bf said…
A good season 6 finale would be Daniel Faraday beeing honored for an important achievment explaing how is it impossible to change the future.

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