One of the last things Sayid wondered about when he was last able to talk was to query with Hurley where he would go when he died. In just the first couple of episodes of Season 6 it’s a question that is being put to us, but it’s always been a part of the Island. Right back at the start when probably each one of us, however briefly or otherwise, thought that the Island might be a place of purgatory for the people that died in Oceanic 815, death and beyond has been a matter of interest.
The ‘beyond’ part remains a mystery, but we know that death can certainly not spell the end of a particular character. Like Christian Shephard, or you-know-who.
That Locke’s body would be subverted and used by an altogether darker force was proposed back in Season 3. Recall Mr. Eko’s dying words to Locke – “You’re next.”
Mr. Eko had refused to repent, perhaps proving an unyielding ‘soul’ whose body could not be used. Locke, more wide-eyed and willing to believe, came next and we know how that all ended up. Nameless, in the body of John Locke, told Ben that he has just one agenda now he has killed his nemesis, Jacob. He wants to go home.
Like the question of what’s beyond death, the question of what a restless soul like Nameless calls ‘home’ is an interesting one. I don’t know the answer, but I suspect that the path there, and Season 6 in general, is going to be an altogether more spiritual one than ever before. And as for Sayid. . .
. . . it’s hard not to reach the conclusion that Jacob has now subverted his body in a similar fashion to how Locke’s was used by Nameless. When Jacob met with Hurley there was a moment where he stared at Sayid, bleeding out, and I couldn’t help but think Jacob was sizing up his new home! Only are we to believe the first words the all-knowing Jacob would say are, “What happened?” Doesn’t seem to fit. But the ‘resurrection’ of Sayid wasn’t quite as clear, literally, as it could have been since the pool he was ‘reborn’ in was now murky.
At the same time, it was hard not to think some form of resurrection took place as Sayid, when lifted out of the water, had a very Christ-like crucifix pose going on that looked almost heavy-handed in its symbolism. I guess you can’t help but draw parallels when a person that was supposed to be dead is miraculously brought back to life.
We can appreciate the pool itself was supposed to be the source of healing properties. The Temple Others (I’ll get to them) leader, Dogen, cut himself with a knife and put his hand into the water where the intended result was surely for it to heal. It didn’t because the water was impure and contaminated. Why? Probably because Jacob was dead, and Jacob’s lifeforce and the rejuvenating qualities of the Island, and this water, appear to be intrinsically linked. One cannot be without the other.
To take the point to its logical conclusion, if someone like Locke, with a broken back, were to crash land on the Island now Jacob is dead we have to assume that they wouldn’t miraculously find themselves able to walk. Or, like Rose, have their cancer cured. Or, like Jin, have full-power sperm! (Did we ever get an answer as to why fertility was suddenly enabled? I don’t think we did.)
Miles had a very curious look on his face just before Sayid’s awakening. Having already proved his pedigree at beyond-the-grave communication ‘chatting’ with Juliet, Miles’ confused and concerned expression gave off the vibe that whatever was going on with Sayid was not what usually happens.
My guess? Miles wasn’t getting any communication from Sayid because Sayid wasn’t yet dead. The person that woke up probably was Sayid, mostly. But my hunch is that now he has become imbued with a little bit of Jacob. I suspect Sayid will inexplicably find himself knowing things he didn’t previously know, and in possession of power he didn’t otherwise have. And he will, for sure, be an absolutely essential ally in the battle against Nameless.
Quite what Nameless’ next move is certainly feels vague. The last we saw of him he was striding into the jungle with the unconscious Alpert slung over his shoulder. That was, of course, not before briefly remarking how much nicer it was to see Richard out of those chains. Hm. Is this really as obvious as it sounds?
We’ve seen the Black Rock approach the Island many years ago. . .
. . . which we know was a slave ship, with slaves and chains. . .
. . . and Richard was seen playing with a ship in a bottle, suggesting some form of link between himself and the Black Rock. . .
. . . and since Richard doesn’t age he can certainly have been around all those years ago. Maybe Richard was a slave on the Black Rock and came to the Island and there met Jacob and Nameless and somehow became a servant, interminably. (Is that not also a form of slavery?) Heck, we know he was once known as ‘Ricardus’, but he quickly corrected Ilana when she referred to him as that and said he was just ‘Richard’. Why? Was Ricardus his slave name, a part of his life and identity he has rid himself of?
Or, you know, is all this slavery and chain and Black Rock thing just one big obvious misdirection? I can’t wait to find out. (Since I think we’re due a story about the Black Rock, and how it ended up in the middle of the jungle, I am kind of hoping the obvious is true and we get that whole tale told in flashbacks in an Alpert-centric episode.)
Nameless was very quick to silence Alpert from saying anything further with a strike to the throat. As though he didn’t want anyone else, like Ilana and the rest, realising who he was. Makes me wonder if Nameless, in Locke’s body, isn’t going to try and pass himself off as Jacob in light of John Locke’s body being revealed on the beach.
Even still, The Temple Others have fired their warning fireworks, which surely must mean something to Ilana. And let’s not forget Bram and a few guys went in to see Jacob and all ended up dead, before Locke and Ben came wandering out of there as sinister and cocksure as you like. If Ilana and the rest still believe ‘Locke’ is trustworthy then they’re more foolish than I gave them credit for. But even more foolish would be Nameless to underestimate Ben.
Ben now knows all about Nameless, and has been used by him in the most devastating ways imaginable (his own dead daughter’s vision coaxing him to commit the murder of his beloved icon Jacob). Nameless, as Locke, provoked Ben into murdering Jacob. Now that question can be asked of Nameless: Why would Ben not want to kill him after all he had been put through? Let’s not forget that this is still Ben, much as he may have been cowed and humbled recently – he’s still fiendishly clever, a master manipulator and a cold-hearted tactician. There’s a reason Ben is keeping what he knows quiet. Nameless would do well to keep a very close eye on him, as should we.
Meanwhile Hurley was taking point on a ‘save Sayid’ mission as directed by Jacob. Jin lead the gang to the Temple walls and, following an inevitable sequence of whispers and disappearing people, The Others had kidnapped our heroes and lead them to The Temple – prompting a good deal of us to wonder how on Earth no one had ever found this place before now.
Despite the fact Dharma gave The Temple a logo on a map, this place was very definitely nothing to do with them and very much to do with The Others. Genuine, original Others. It’s tempting to think we may have even glimpsed these guys already, in Season 2 – when Jin and Mr. Eko hid as Others traipsed by their faces in the jungle.
Maybe this really was a small part of ‘Temple Others’ – or it was just The Others we know already, in disguise. At least we now understand where the template for the disguise The Others used to wear came from. And since 2004 Cindy has very much integrated herself with these new people.
She went from being an air hostess, to being captured and taken in with The Others. Not soon later she was appearing to Jack when he was in a cage, talking about how she was there to watch. And then she journeyed with Alpert and the Others on an exodus to The Temple. It would seem she has stayed there since, under the leadership of the Temple Master, Dogen. I consider these the true Others, ones that refused to involve themselves with the modern luxuries of the Barracks, and who remain loyal to the cause of Jacob.
Still, that the spring water had turned impure without them noticing and that they didn’t know what was happening with Jacob (or that Jacob, evidently, had to get ‘outside help’ in the form of Jack and Kate and the rest) doesn’t inspire much confidence in this bunch having what it takes to get things resolved. If Hurley hadn’t spoken up and handed over the ankh from the guitar case The Others would have shot and killed them all without blinking.
Let’s hope they start making a better impression soon. Holing themselves up in The Temple, surrounding it by ash in a siege mentality, isn’t going to get anything done, I feel. Yet if Sayid really is conveying the spirit of Jacob, at whatever level, further instructions can’t be far behind.
In the alternate timeline, having touched down in the airport, many of the main counterparts found themselves almost trapped in the place – as though they were never supposed to be there and events were conspiring to prevent them from going further. Locke had lost his case of knives. Jin and Sun were detained at customs. Kate, of course, was apprehended but managed to get herself free and, as is standard for the girl that was born to run, make her escape. In the same taxi as Claire.
It was impossible to see if Claire was pregnant though I can’t imagine any real reason why she wouldn’t be. Mind, if Aaron really is a special child that Claire needed to raise then her not being pregnant would be further evidence about how this alternate time was not supposed to exist. Whatever the way of things, it seems Kate and Claire, having been thrust together in this way, are set to share some kind of future plots in this alternate world. Similarly Hurley caught Sawyer’s attention with his lottery win remarks, suggesting the con man might try and gain some of those riches for himself. First stop would be a Mr McCluck’s for James Ford, I guess! Lastly, inevitably, Jack and Locke met face to face and will surely meet again should they ever get out of that airport.
During their conversation Locke once more raised the issue of what happens beyond death. Jack said the airport authorities did not know where his father was, but Locke corrected him to state that they only didn’t know where the body was. Not only was this a direct reference to an everlasting soul it’s also a reminder of events we’ve seen before, in Season 1 episode White Rabbit.
Jack found the coffin on the Island but his father was gone. Curiously in the alternate timeline Jack cannot, once more, find his father’s body. It can’t help but feel significant that the body has disappeared like this – like Christian’s attachment and belonging to the Island was so strong that even in the alternate timeline the bond was too strong for him to be brought along with it. I doubt those airport authorities will ever find the body. I am less doubtful that Jack, even in the alternate timeline, won’t ever see his father again.
Christian has appeared to Jack before, and not always on the Island. If he can cross oceans I won’t be surprised if he can transcend timelines, and serve as another reminder and guide to get his son to where he needs to be: back on the Island, assuming the role of leader. In the alternate timeline Jack met with Locke and offered to help him walk again. I expect Jack and Locke, as Nameless, will ultimately meet on the Island for the showdown they’ve had coming for a long, long time. Previously Jack was more a man of science – his victory will come as a man of faith. It may actually take the alternate timeline Jack to find faith in the Island life he left behind, turn away from it, for the Jack in 2007 to fully awaken and acquit himself to the task set before him and his friends.