As always *SPOILERS* and in season finale fashion, these are mind blowing!
The episode opens on the mysterious Jacob and he is making a tapestry. As he goes outside to eat his breakfast, a ship is on the horizon, perhaps the Black Rock.
Another man comes up to Jacob and they begin to speak, this man (currently nameless, so we'll call him Esau in honor of the biblical Jacob's brother, and because that's what Alec called him at the finale watching party) argues with Jacob, ostensibly about the purpose of the Island. He asks why the people on the ship are coming, Jacob says you'll have to ask them, then Esau says that they're coming because Jacob brought them hoping to prove Esau wrong.
(In the bible, Esau, besides being Jacob's brother, was his twin, he came out minutes earlier, however, and was therefore considered the elder. Jacob, with the help of his mother Rebecca, confused Issac, his father, into giving him the birthright that legally belonged to Esau, so there was some tension there. Okay, enough of the Bible lessons, for now anyway).
Esau tells Jacob that the people who always come just fight amongst themselves and destroy everything in the end, to which Jacob replies that the end only comes once, everything until then is called progress. Esau tells Jacob that he wants to kill him and one day will find the loophole allowing him to do so. Jacob says, when you do, I'll be here. We then see where he is sitting, next to the still, at this time, complete statue.
Cut to the end of the episode where we find out that our Shadow of the Statue people are carting around Locke's dead body. He wasn't as resurrected as we all assumed. Instead, Pseudo-Locke, is in actuality our friend Esau from the beginning of the episode believing he has found his loophole.
And that which lies in the Shadow of the Statue is none other then Jacob himself, "He Who Will Save Us All" as Richard answers in Latin. "Ille qui nos omnes servabit."
Personally, I don't think that Jacob is that surprised to be finding himself facing death at the hands of Benjamin and Esau/Pseudo-Locke, after all, he is right where he said he'd be when the time came. Not only that, but he tells Pseudo-Locke that "They're coming" which just pisses Pseudo-Locke off. I think that perhaps Jacob knew what he was doing all along. And his cavalry is on it's way consisting of our LOSTies.
After all, Jacob has been in contact with each and every one of them at key moments of their past, moments that have shaped who they become. Kate and her toy plane carrying boyfriend, Sawyer as he writes the note that will put him on that plane, Dr. Jack at the moment of his (incomplete) story to Kate in the Pilot, Sayid as his beloved Nadia is killed, and Hurley as he actually makes the decision to get on the plane and head back to the Island. In fact, the only flashback in which Jacob does not appear is Juliet's. That doesn't bode well for her future after she gets the bomb to blow up.
As for that, I have been arguing that the LOSTies themselves are the ones that cause the Incident with Jughead, and I still believe that to be so. Miles asks in the epsiode if any of them consider that it might in fact be their actions that bring about the Incident in the first place and the more prudent action would be to do nothing. I think that he was right.
Sure the site got a little crazy, but that doesn't mean that the Incident had actually occured. In fact before Juliet actually set off the bomb, it seemed to have settled down. I believe that so far, everything that happened, had happened. After all, we saw the cause of Chang not having his arm in the orientation video for the Swan.
Therefore the setting off of the bomb is what ultimately caused the Incident. The area will be covered in concrete causing Sayid to compare it to Chernobyl, another place that had a nuclear incident. I don't believe that the LOSTies have changed anything, however I do believe that the Incident will bring them back to their proper place in time in which they can work for Jacob's purpose against his enemy.
Although if they do disappear from the effects of the Incident, why did Richard tell Sun that they disappeared? Simply because he assumed he had sent them to their death when they went off with the bomb and then that bomb exploded? I suppose that that is possible.
I did love the inverted title sequence at the end, spooky. And did you know that this is the first season finale of the show not to feature Walt? Very interesting.
Lastly, the book that Jacob is reading before Locke falls (and is brought back to life by Jacob, apparently the only time that this has actually occurred) is Everything That Rises Must Converge a collection of nine short stories written by Flannery O'Connor. It was written as she was on her death bed and published posthumously.
Until Next Time, we get settled in for a long wait before the final season begins in 2010. I for one will be taking the real John Locke's advice and will be watching everything that we've gotten so far again.