Juliet wasn’t touched.
Long after ”The Incident,” I remain haunted by this. In last year’s season finale, we saw flashbacks to moments when Jacob touched his ”candidates.” They were: Kate; Sawyer; Jack; Jin and Sun; Sayid; Hurley; and John Locke. We also saw that Jacob visited Ilana as she recuperated from unspecified injuries; it was clear they had a pre-existing relationship. Had he given her the ”gift” of a magic touch in the past? We don’t know. ”The Incident” also gave us a flash into Juliet’s past. It was the only pastward peek that didn’t have a character crossing paths with Jacob. In the context of the episode, the scene offered psychological shading for Juliet’s decision to break up with Sawyer and support Jack’s plan to blow up the past with Jughead. But in light of what we’ve seen so far this season, I’m beginning to wonder if that Juliet flashback in ”The Incident” was more important than we realized. I’m beginning to wonder if the scene was setting us up for the new season’s parallel-world gambit, and even better, offering us the proper way to view it. Got your attention now? Good! Buckle up for the bumpy-but-brain-blowing ride that is…my final Tuesday column ever! It’s true! No joke! No lie! No more after this, and I’ll explain why at the end. But first: Let’s try to go out with a bang, with what I’d like to call:
THE RAMBLING RIVER OF SUN’S UNBUTTONED BLOUSE!
In which Doc Jensen throws everything and the kitchen sink — Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, Chaim Potok, George Bush, George Lucas, Coldplay, Rainn Wilson, Christian theology, obscure 19th century novels, dead British prime ministers, the pain of divorce, self-help blah blah blah, poetry, and yes, even pornography — into an epic, possibly offensive, certainly poorly researched, no doubt crazy theory that tries to explain Lost’s parallel-world structure and various deeper meanings of the show.
WARNING: COHERENT NARRATIVE WILL BE FREQUENTLY INTERRUPTED WITH SIGNIFICANTLY SIZED TANGENTS. But trust me — the tangents are good, too!
Before we get back to Juliet (and fair warning: It’ll be several hundred words before we do), we must first begin with a…tangent! (Toldja!) Still, if you hang in there with me, you’ll see how it’s actually extremely relevant to the whole. The tangent is somewhat Juliet-related, as it deals with the man who brought her to the Island. Last week on Lost, Benjamin Linus got an offer he thought he couldn’t refuse. Sentenced to death for murdering Jacob by the castaways’ new Queen of the Beach, Ilana, Ben found himself digging his own grave on Boone Hill when Frankenlocke showed up with one of his Faustian bargains: Join me now, and I’ll let you rule the Island later. It was a key moment in an episode that saw Ben grieving the loss of Supreme Other status. Fake Locke was giving him the chance to be emperor for life — to live the ”Vida La Vida” forever. ”I used to rule the world/seas would rise up when I gave the word…” But in a spontaneous movement of the soul that even surprised him, Ben turned Smokey down and accepted Ilana’s forgiveness and invitation to live among the castaways. Not as a leader — as a follower. Ben earned his shot at redemption by doing something that doesn’t come easy: He told the truth about himself, about his anger, about his sin. I am reminded of another part of that Coldplay song: ”Never an honest word/but that was when I ruled the world.”
And so Ben was humbled. Recall the Beatitudes: ”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Speculation:
Ben will rule the Island again.
NEXT PAGE: How many worlds are we really seeing on Lost right now?