The Incident (Lost)

"The Incident" is the season finale of the fifth season of ABC's Lost, consisting of its 16th and 17th episodes.[2] Both parts of "The Incident", the show's 102nd and 103rd episodes overall, aired on May 13, 2009, on ABC in the United States. The episode was written by executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Jack Bender.[2]

"The Incident"
Lost episodes
Jack, moments before causing the DHARMA Initiative's incident.
Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) prepares to use the hydrogen bomb core on the electromagnetic pocket.
Episode nos.Season 5
Episodes 16 and 17
Directed byJack Bender
Written byDamon Lindelof
Carlton Cuse
Production code(s)516 & 517
Original air date(s)May 13, 2009
Running time86 minutes[1]
Guest appearance(s)

Mark Pellegrino as Jacob
Titus Welliver as Man in Black
Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana Verdansky
Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus
Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert
François Chau as Dr. Pierre Chang
Eric Lange as Stuart Radzinsky
Brad William Henke as Bram
L. Scott Caldwell as Rose Nadler
Sam Anderson as Bernard Nadler
John Terry as Christian Shephard
Alice Evans as Young Eloise Hawking
Patrick Fischler as Phil
Jon Gries as Roger Linus
Andrea Gabriel as Nadia Jazeem
Emily Rae Argenti as Young Kate Austen
Keegan Boos as Young Sawyer
George Gerdes as Mr. Springer
Amy Stewart as Juliet's mother
Savannah Lathem as Young Rachel Carlson
Daniel James Kunkel as Anesthesiologist
John Pete as Prison clerk
Sally Davis as Woman
Kevin Chapman as Mitch
Tanner Maguire as Young Tom Brennan
Agnes Kwak as Aunt Soo
Rylee Fansler as Young Juliet Carlson
William Makozak as Captain Bird
Sonya Masinovsky as Nurse
Colby French as Uncle Doug
Michael Trisler as Juliet's father
Adam Bazzi as Taxi driver

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Follow the Leader"
Next →
"LA X"
Lost (season 5)
List of Lost episodes

Jack Shephard's (Matthew Fox) plan to change the future is met with resistance from others, while John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) assigns Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson) a difficult task. This episode features the first appearance of the mysterious leader of the Others, Jacob, after being mentioned several times throughout the series. Jacob is portrayed by Mark Pellegrino, and appears in the flashbacks of various Oceanic Flight 815 survivors and mysterious Ajira Flight 316 survivor Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson).

The episode was watched by 9.428 million viewers,[3] and was well received by critics and audiences. It was also nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 2009.



The episode opens with Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) weaving a tapestry inside a temple-like room. He is then shown on the beach of the island eating a fish near the large four-toed statue of Taweret,[4] where he is visited by a man in a black shirt (Titus Welliver). The man comments on a sailing ship on the horizon, suggesting that Jacob has brought it to the island. The man states that no matter who comes to the island the same thing happens over and over, and that the man will eventually find a "loophole" so he can kill Jacob.

In flashbacks, various characters encounter Jacob. As a little girl, Kate is visited by Jacob when she is caught shoplifting a lunchbox. He pays for it to placate the shopkeeper and tells her to be good. At age eight, Sawyer is visited shortly after his parents' funeral. He has begun writing his letter to the con man "Tom Sawyer", but his pen is out of ink. Jacob gives him a replacement. Sayid is visited at the same time that his wife Nadia (Andrea Gabriel) is killed; Jacob asks Sayid for directions and as they start crossing the street Nadia is hit by a car. While recovering in a Russian hospital, Ilana is visited by Jacob and he asks for her help. Immediately after being pushed out of an eighth-story window by his father, Locke apparently dies. Jacob arrives and touches him on the shoulder, and Locke reawakens. Sun and Jin are visited by Jacob at their wedding and he tells them that their love is special in fluent Korean. After performing his first solo surgery on a young girl (a story he recounts to Kate in "Pilot, Part 1"), Jack tries to buy a chocolate bar from a vending machine, but it gets stuck. Jack argues with his father (John Terry) for interrupting him during the surgery. Jacob buys the same chocolate bar and when two come out, he gives Jack one. Hurley is visited after he is released from prison, between the events of "The Little Prince" and "316". Jacob tells him that he may not be cursed or crazy, but blessed, and that his ability to see dead people could be a gift. He tells Hurley about Flight 316, giving him the choice of boarding it. Jacob leaves a guitar case behind for Hurley to take. One thing all these flashbacks have in common is that Jacob makes physical contact with each of the characters in his or her respective scene, except Ilana.

In a flashback not featuring Jacob, Juliet's parents tell her that they are getting divorced, greatly upsetting her; they claim that though they love each other, they were not meant to be together.


Following the events of the previous episode, "Follow the Leader", Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly), Juliet Burke (Elizabeth Mitchell) and James "Sawyer" Ford (Josh Holloway) are on a submarine leaving the island. Kate convinces Juliet and Sawyer that they need to stop Jack from detonating a hydrogen bomb on the island. They force the captain (William Makozak) to surface so that they may leave, instructing the captain to continue on course away from the island. They arrive on the island, where they are greeted by Vincent the dog, who has been in the care of Rose Henderson (L. Scott Caldwell) and Bernard Nadler (Sam Anderson) for the past three years. Rose explains to the trio that she and Bernard are now retired and live a quiet life near the beach, scavenging food and avoiding detection by the Dharma Initiative. Rose points them to the Dharma barracks and they leave.

At the same time, Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) and Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) dismantle the hydrogen bomb in the tunnels under the Dharma Initiative's barracks, in order to remove its core. Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell) and a younger Eloise Hawking (Alice Evans) assist Jack and Sayid in entering the barracks via the basement of one of the houses. Richard knocks out Eloise to prevent her traveling with them to detonate the bomb because she is pregnant. Sayid dons a Dharma jumpsuit in order to fit in at the barracks; they almost escape when Roger Linus (Jon Gries) recognizes him and shoots him. Jack and Sayid escape in a van driven by Hugo "Hurley" Reyes (Jorge Garcia), along with Jin-Soo Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim) and Miles Straume (Ken Leung). Hurley drives to the construction site of the Swan station, while Jack treats Sayid's wounds; however, they are stopped by Juliet, Sawyer and Kate.

Jack and Sawyer discuss the situation away from the other survivors, with Sawyer expressing his opinion that "what's done is done" and that they shouldn't try to change the past. Jack claims that it is his destiny to change the past and that John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) has always been right about the island. Jack and Sawyer get into a fist fight, which is broken up by Juliet, who now agrees with Jack that they must detonate the bomb. "I changed my mind." She tells Sawyer that although they love each other, they are not meant to be together (echoing her parents), and that if they never meet then she will never have to lose him.

Meanwhile, Dr. Pierre Chang (François Chau) is forced to continue drilling into the energy source beneath the construction site of the Swan station on the orders of Stuart Radzinsky (Eric Lange).

With everyone now in agreement, Jack enters the construction site at the same time that security officer Phil (Patrick Fischler) arrives with a team of armed men. A massive gunfight ensues, wherein the survivors gain the upper hand, allowing Jack to drop the bomb into the pit at the same time that the drill hits the energy source. The nuke fails to go off, and the pocket is breached, attracting every metal object in the area. In the ensuing chaos, Dr. Chang's arm is crushed by part of the drill mounting, Phil is stabbed by a rebar, and Juliet is dragged into the chasm by a metal chain. Sawyer attempts to pull her up in vain, and Juliet professes her love for him before falling. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that Juliet survived the fall. She finds the undetonated nuke and begins hitting it with a rock, until it finally goes off. The screen then cuts to white as the episode ends.


Locke, Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson), Sun-Hwa Kwon (Yunjin Kim) and the Others travel to the remains of the Taweret statue, where Jacob resides. Locke assigns Ben the task of killing Jacob, and provides motivation by reminding Ben of all the bad things that have happened to him. Ben admits that he has never seen Jacob and was lying about talking to him, because he was embarrassed he had never met Jacob. All communication with Jacob was through notes brought by Richard, including the lists of people to be taken from the Oceanic 815 survivors.

At the same time, a group of survivors from Ajira Flight 316, including Ilana (Zuleikha Robinson) and Bram (Brad William Henke) travel towards Jacob's cabin, with Frank Lapidus (Jeff Fahey) and a giant metal crate from the cargo of the plane. They find the cabin deserted. They set it on fire after realizing that someone else has been using it. They then travel to the statue.

Their group arrives shortly after Ben and Locke enter a chamber in the base of the statue's remains. Ilana asks Richard the question, "what lies in the shadow of the statue", and Richard replies, "Ille qui nos omnes servabit" (Latin for "He who will save us all."[5]). Ilana reveals the contents of the crate: John Locke's dead body.

Inside the chamber, Jacob immediately recognizes Locke as the Man in Black from the opening flashback, who has been masquerading as the resurrected Locke since the crash of Flight 316. Ben stabs Jacob repeatedly. Jacob's final words are a warning to the man: "They're coming." The Man in Black then kicks Jacob's body into the fire and watches it burn.


Throughout the previous seasons, the final scene of each season had a secret code name. This was to prevent spoilers from leaking out. Another factor to prevent the leak of spoilers was that only the writers, director, and actors involved with the scene were allowed access to the script. During a May podcast, executive producers/writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse invited fans to choose the code name for the finale of season five. After numerous suggestions, the two decided upon their favorite thirteen. These thirteen were then allowed to be voted on by fans as the name. The resulting name was "The Fork in the Outlet".

This episode breaks the tradition of ending with the "LOST" title screen, with the words in white and a black background. Instead, "LOST" is in black, and the background is white.

The Swan construction site was built in the same place the Hatch was shown in seasons 1 and 2, in He'eia. Due to being in a state park area, the producers had to get permits and work with geologists to excavate and build the set, as well as restoring the location to how it was before. The base of the statue where Jacob lives was a live-action set, but the stone foot was built with computer-generated imagery.[6]


The finale has been well received by audiences and critics alike. In a review for IGN, Chris Carabot praised the finale, calling it "heart-wrenching", and praised the performances, especially Michael Emerson and newcomer Mark Pellegrino, calling him "yet another example of some of the brilliant casting choices we've seen on this show." He went on to give the episode an overall score of 9.8, saying that he was "excited to see how this cliffhanger plays out in the final chapter of the series."[7] Alan Sepinwall of the Star-Ledger reviewed the episode positively, but complained about the episode being "another explosive chapter" of the love triangle. Sepinwall also called it "so exciting, so mythology-intensive, so loaded with great performances and great character notes, so all-around kick-ass, that I feel more than satisfied."[8] Jeff Jensen of PopWatch said that the opening scene with Jacob and his nemesis was enough to make the episode legendary.[9]

Jay Glatfelter of The Huffington Post felt that the season finale was more of the first act of the show's final act, and thought that many of the themes were left unresolved.[10]

Variety's Cynthia Littleton was pleased when Rose and Bernard returned in the episode, having been absent for most of the season.[11] She speculated that they are the Adam and Eve skeletons found by the survivors early in season one,[11] which Jeff Jensen from Entertainment Weekly also suspected.[12] (This was not correct). James Poniewozik of Time also liked their appearance in "The Incident".[13] Chris Carabott of IGN "love[d]" this scene as the characters were no longer watching the island mysteries, but had become part of them.[14] He said "Their outlook is refreshing" and hoped they would feature more often in season six.[14] Alan Sepinwall from The Star-Ledger called it "one of the best, most moving scenes of the finale".[15] Noel Murray from The A.V. Club thought the scene was useful in both practical and thematic senses, as it allowed the characters to leave the show, but also it caused him to question whether opting out was "the voice of reason, or the voice of evil".[16] The Huffington Post's Jay Glatfelter incorrectly thought their decision not to participate "all but solidified them as the 'Adam and Eve' from the caves".[17] "Words [could not] describe" how pleased Maureen Ryan from the Chicago Tribune was with Rose and Bernard's scene, and she agreed with Rose's sentiment "It's always something with you people".[18]

At the 2011 Young Artist Awards, Savannah Lathem received a nomination for Best Performance in a TV Series under the category "Guest Starring Young Actress".[19]


  1. ^ "Lost - Netflix". Netflix. Retrieved 24 November 2017.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Lost (5/13-2; Season Finale)". ABC Medianet. April 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2009.
  3. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 19, 2009). "Top ABC Primetime Shows, May 11–17, 2009". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
  4. ^ Lost - Season 5, Episode 16 (The Incident Part I) Recap - and Lost - Season 5, Episode 17 (The Incident Part II) Recap -
  5. ^ Godwin, Jennifer (May 13, 2009). "Lost Redux: What Just Happened?!". E!. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
  6. ^ Lost: On Location - The Incident. Lost: The Complete Fifth Season - The Journey Back, Disk 5
  7. ^ Carabott, Chris. "Lost: "The Incident, Parts 1 & 2" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 11, 2009.
  8. ^ Lost, "The Incident": Reviewing the season finale
  9. ^ 'Lost' finale: Did 'The Incident' blow you away?
  10. ^ On Lost: "The Incident" Season Finale
  11. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia, (May 14, 2009) ""Lost": "The Incident, Parts 1 and 2" -- Take two Archived 2009-05-18 at the Wayback Machine", Variety. Retrieved on June 15, 2009.
  12. ^ Jensen, Jeff, (May 14, 2009) "'Lost' recap: Starting Over ", Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on June 15, 2009.
  13. ^ Poniewozik, James, (May 14, 2009) "Lostwatch: Everything That Rises Must Converge. Eventually. Right?", Time. Retrieved on June 15, 2009.
  14. ^ a b Carabott, Chris, (May 14, 2009) "IGN: The Incident, Parts 1 & 2 Review", IGN. Retrieved on June 16, 2009.
  15. ^ Sepinwall, Alan, (May 14, 2009) "Lost, "The Incident":Reviewing the season finale", The Star-Ledger. Retrieved on June 16, 2009.
  16. ^ Murray, Noel, (May 13, 2009) ""The Incident"", The A.V. Club. Retrieved on June 19, 2009.
  17. ^ Glatfelter, Jay, (May 14, 2009) "On Lost: "The Incident" Season Finale", The Huffington Post. Retrieved on June 19, 2009.
  18. ^ Ryan, Maureen, (May 14, 2009) "'Lost's' season finale: Touched by a Jacob", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on June 19, 2009.
  19. ^ "31st Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2012.

External linksEdit