Wow, curse you Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for writing what might top the Season 1 finale for most unsatisfying finale ever! Juliet striking a hydrogen bomb core with a rock was emotionally and visually stirring. Then a flash of white, cut to LOST. Except this time, it is a white background with black lettering. The inverse of what we have seen for 5 seasons. Good thing we have 8 months to think about it.
Esau and Jacob?
We don't know if Juliet succeeded in detonating the bomb; we don't know the fates of anyone. All we really have is the somewhat cryptic, "They're coming" from a dying Jacob. Jacob, the mysterious head of the Island, who we saw for the fist time today as he was literally touching the lives of many of our favorite Losties. So let's start off there. We open to a scene introducing the simple life with Jacob. We are also introduced to what seems to be an adversary/friend. He remains nameless but the striking divide between the two is one is wearing white (Jacob) the other black (Anti-Jacob?).
I am already getting theories that this Anti-Jacob is named Esau after the Genesis tale of Jacob and his brother Esau (Ee-Saw). It is a tale of the elder son Esau starving, selling his birthrights to his younger twin brother Jacob for a bowl of red lentil soup. Jacob also tricks his father Isaac (son of Abraham the founding patriarch to the Jew's, Christians, Muslims, and founder of monotheism) to give his deathbed blessing to Jacob instead of Esau. Esau told Jacob that he wanted to kill him, for what he did. Jacob went on to be renamed Israel by God and founded the Israelites tribe. Esau formed his own tribe of people the Edomites, they became associated with Romans/Europe by Jewish history.
So is Esau (I'm going to call the Anti-Jacob Esau just because its nice to give him a name) evil? This episode pegged Jacob as the "Good Guy." I'm just not sure. The "good guy-bad guy" lines have been thrown so many ways. I'm just not sure who to trust. Also, we found out that the self-assured re-born Locke doesn't seem to be re-born at all.
The second we saw Esau and his Jacob death wish, I feared that Locke, one of my favorite characters, was actually being personified by Esau. Is this a just end to one of our favorite and best characters on Lost? I think it would really upset me if the evil, conniving Ben actually ended the redemption of Locke's character. That would just make his life a sad, pathetic mess, and after all he/we was/were put through. His character deserves far more than that.
I still trust the writers enough to not lose sight of the fact that humans, while flawed, can be redeemed. There is only one season left and if I'm not mistaken, every original character's island redemption has been thrown out the window by this episode's close, aside from Rose and Bernard, who actually may have gotten it right by just living out their lives together. The reveal about where their characters have been and their life choice has all but solidified them as the "Adam and Eve" from the caves of Season 1.
While I really enjoyed this finale and it had so many great moments and reveals, my biggest gripe is that nothing was resolved. The "Losties in Dharma Time" story has not been resolved as far as we have seen. We do not know if Faraday died in vain or not. We do not know the fates of any of the characters we love whatsoever. It's all up to assumption. I understand this was the writers/producers choice, but this isn't Season 1. We don't have an unknown amount of seasons left. To me, the end of the finale last night wasn't a true season ender. None of the themes from the season were resolved. At least in Season 1 we knew that they opened the hatch. As Season 5 is officially over, we don't even know for certain if the bomb exploded or not. In Season 2, we found out what happens when you don't push the button and that outsiders actually found the island. Season 3 we found out that some of our Losties made it off the island and they have to go back. For Season 4's finale, we found out who was in the bloody coffin and that Ben was going to be a part of going back. While the Season 5 finale gave us so much in terms of answers, I think it left too little to resolve this season and set up its last. I would count this 17th episode of the 5th season as more of a 5.0 and next season as a concluding 5.5. Or to be more specific this season is the first half of the last act.
In the end, this season to me is the first half of the last act. Incomplete until we go into next season. If anything, this finale left a lot of plot left for its final season, but I don't know if it gave enough plot to this season. I guess only time will tell. One thing we do know for sure: it's going to be another long 8 months.