Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LOST Episode 6.09: "Ab Aeterno" (Initial Thoughts & Theories)



As far as I'm concerned, the entire series could have ended with this episode. That sums up how much I absolutely loved the ninth hour of the final season. 


In the interest of time and desire to provide more content than photos, I am not using any new screen grabs in this post. 


So let's untether ourselves and smash a bottle of analysis wide open together...


Meeting the Man in Black...


I found myself laughing out loud after the last scene, as one week ago I was sitting in a bar in Vancouver with the Man in Black, Titus Welliver...as he was drinking wine. Seriously. It does not get more surreal than that. 


I know that many of you get frustrated that I never share spoilers, but there is NO way that I will ever share what Titus and I talked about with regard to Lost. When I do get spoiled, and obviously I can't complain when it happens under amazing circumstances, it is my choice not to ruin the Lost experience for others. 


Ab Aeterno


The title of this episode is Latin for everlasting and eternity. In the S5 finale (The Incident), Alpert told notLocke that "I'm this way because of Jacob" and we are finally treated to the scene where that took place. It seems as if Jacob simply touched Alpert, which we've seen him do to others who have come to the island. Although those people are all still alive, they have aged. So Jacob's magic touch must have varying degrees of efficacy.


THE Conversation, Part 2




The S5 finale scene between Jacob and the Man in Black was, without a doubt, one of the most significant and overanalyzed in Lost history. And now we have a very illuminating second conversation to add to the collection:


J: "I see you got my present."
MiB: "Don't gloat, it doesn't become you."
J: "So you tried to kill me."
MiB: "You expect an apology?"
J: "No, I guess I'm just wondering why you did it."
MiB: "Because I want to leave. Just let me leave."
J: "As long as I'm alive, you're not going anywhere."
MiB: "Now you know why I want to kill you. And I will kill you."
J: "Even if you do, someone else will take my place."
MiB: "I'll kill them too."
J: "Here...something for you to pass the time. I'll see you around."
MiB: "Sooner than you think."


The Devil Wears Nada


They used the words Devil and Hell so frequently in this episode that I'm strongly considering them to be red herrings. It almost seems too obvious, especially given that the creators, producers and writers of this show have emphatically stated since the beginning that the island does not represent Heaven, Purgatory or Hell. 

  1. "We're all dead. We're not on an island, we never were. We're in Hell."
  2. "The devil awaits you in Hell."
  3. "I see the devil."  
  4. "The island is guarded by the devil."
  5. "We're dead, both of us. We're in Hell."
  6. "I am...in Hell?" "Yes, I'm afraid you are."
  7. "There's only one way to escape from hell; we have to kill the devil."
  8. "The devil betrayed me and took my body, my humanity."
  9. "Are you the devil?"
  10. "Think of this wine as what you keep calling Hell."
  11. "You have to stop him from leaving the island. If you don't, we all go to Hell."

Let's not forget Anthony Cooper's statement in S3 (The Brig) right before Sawyer killed him in the brig...of the Black Rock: "You're sure it's an island? Little hot for Heaven, isn't it? If this isn't hell, then where are we?"


Fight Club


As I recently stated, giving all credit to my friend Jack from the Jay and Jack podcast for originally suggesting it earlier this season, it now seems entirely plausible that Jacob and the Man in Black are one in the same. 


When the Man in Black said that "the devil betrayed me and took my body," I got goosebumps. The Man in Black took Locke's body, and now I feel as though we must consider whether or not the real, original Man in Black actually looks like Jacob. Or if they are the same person, obvious representatives of good and evil in everyone. 


The Game


Although it is an unpopular notion with many, it is hard to argue that the island is nothing more than a board upon which the players in the game change over the years. The one consistent aspect of this game has been the dangling carrots that always seem to tempt and test a player's fate and free will - loved ones. Ricardo only wants to see his wife again. Jack only wants to see his father again. Claire only wants to see Aaron again. Juliet only wanted to see her sister again. And so on. 


I Write Sins Not Tragedies


"The man who sent you to kill me believes that everyone is corruptible because it is in their very nature to sin. I bring people here to prove him wrong, and when they get here - their past doesn't matter....I wanted them to help themselves, to know the difference between right and wrong without me having to tell them. It's all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything. Why should I have to step in?"


Jacob's statement sums up exactly why certain people are pre-determined/destined to come to the island, and at this point the most obvious Candidate (who has proven to have the best grasp of right vs wrong) is Hurley. But taking a look back at the 7 Deadly Sins of those who are still alive...some are more character flaws than actual sins:


Hurley: gluttony and sloth (his weight led to deck collapse that killed 2 people) 
Jack, Jin, Locke: pride
Kate, Sayid, Sawyer: wrath (murder, torture, etc.)
Sun: lust (affair)


In Your Eyes


In S1 (White Rabbit), Locke described his first encounter with Smokey, "I've looked into the eye of this island, and what I saw was beautiful." In this episode, Ricardo described his first encounter with the Man in Black (as Smokey), "I looked into his eyes and all I saw was evil."


Locke's words of wisdom on the beach in the Pilot episode still ring true and have proven to be crucial to the overall series: "Two players, two sides; one is light, one is dark." 


Inside Joke


When Alpert gave the Man in Black a white stone from Jacob, my (very observant and much smarter) better half wondered out loud whether or not they exchanged the black and white rocks with every round...when Jacob saves/spares a soul and the Man in Black takes one away, for example. 


Whomever the Adam and Eve skeletons wind up being, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that each represented opposite sides and perhaps killed one another; one from Team Jacob and one from Team MiB. That a set of black and white stones was found with their bodies is clue number one. 


Loophole Failure, Pt 2


The Man in Black gave Ricardo the exact same instructions for killing Jacob that Dogen gave Sayid for killing the Man in Black earlier this season (Sundown). Plunge the dagger in his chest: check. If he speaks, it is too late: check. Both Ricardo and Sayid failed, but neither the Man in Black nor Dogen seemed particularly surprised. Why? Because they come, they fight, they destroy and they corrupt, but it always ends the same. 


Paradise...LOST


In Book 2 of John Milton's masterpiece, the epic poem Paradise Lost, Satan travels to a 'new world,' confronting Death, Sin and Chaos along the way. Upon arrival, he engaged in war with God. Sound familiar? 


Red Red Wine


"Think of this wine was what you keep calling Hell. There are many other names for it too; malevolence, evil, darkness. Here it is, swirling around in the bottle, unable to get out because if it did - it would spread. The cork is this island, and it's the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs."




I loved Jacob's use of the wine as an allegory for the island, and was instantly reminded of the Moriah Vineyards wine that was produced at the monastery in Scotland where Desmond met Penny in S3 (Catch 22). Incidentally, Moriah Vineyards is an anagram for Harmed Visionary. Given Desmond's vision of Claire and Aaron getting rescued on a helicopter, which led to Charlie's sacrifice...we only have a few episodes left to discover whether or not Des is in fact a harmed visionary. 


Team Jacob


Raise your hand if you think that the brilliant writers on Lost are closet Twilight fans.


Two episodes ago (Dr. Linus), Hurley asked Alpert if he was a vampire. In this episode, Jacob revealed that "no one comes in unless I invite them in."  As you may or may not know, a vampire is not allowed to enter a home unless invited in by the owner. 


If the Man in Black's real name is ever revealed to be Edward...I might be among the very few who would find that very amusing. For the record, I'm not on either Team Jacob or Team Edward, just as I'm not a Skater or Jater. 


Tenerife


Ladies and gentlemen, they have introduced us to yet another locale featuring a significant volcano and accompanying mythology. Ricardo and Isabella lived on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, which happens to house Mount Teide, the third largest volcano in the world. Legend has it that a devil abducted a god of sun, held him inside of this volcano and then when the tables were turned...the god prevailed and the devil was locked inside the volcano. This particular devil was frequently portrayed as a mythical creature or a black...dog.


In addition, Alpert lived on or near El Socorro, which (in reality) is a volcanic sand beach. And, of course, the Astrophysical Institute of the Canaries is located on Tenerife. Perhaps that is where Faraday used to holiday...  


Did anyone else notice that the homes in the village (where Ricardo went to the see the doctor) were yellow? One might say 'canary yellow.' [sidenote: yes, I am aware that they simply filmed the exteriors in New Otherton/Dharmaville. I'm just having a bit of fun.]


That's the Way the Statue Crumbles




File under: not how I expected. Clearly the water levels were very high during that storm, which explains how a ship can topple a statue and how it might land in the middle of a jungle when the waters recede. However, I am only disappointed because in my crazy mind...the ship wound up there after the island disappeared and was in the wrong place at the wrong time when it emerged again. 


Visual Parallels


In S1 (Walkabout), boars were heard in the fuselage as they heading to the deceased passengers for food. In this episode, a boar was in the Black Rock doing the same.


I don't know about you, but I saw a visual nod to the Tree of Souls in Avatar. The bench where Ricardo buried his wife's necklace sits beneath a giant tree that we've never seen before, and given that it also serves as a meeting point for the Man in Black...alluding to it as a tree of souls seems rather appropriate now.


ALPERT


Ricardo's promise to his dying wife, "I will save you," was so reminiscent of Jack's constant desire to 'fix' people. 




When I saw the vial that Ricardo took from the doctor to save his wife, I literally jumped off of the couch because I thought it was the same one he later brought young Locke in the foster home as part of that infamous test. Doh! Looking at the vial on the table in front of Locke, it appears as if it contains sand rather than the substance in Ricardo's vial. 




When the priest refused to forgive Ricardo for his sins in the prison cell, it reminded me of Ghost Yemi's appearance to his brother Eko right before Eko was killed by Smokey. Unlike Ricardo, Eko expressed no guilt for his sins; thus, smote by Smokey. After Ricardo confessed his sins with great guilt, he was spared (from death, but being chained in a ship that winds up marooned on an island from hell turns out to be almost as bad). 


When Ricardo yelled out "I was wrong" to no one in particular, I thought about Locke's "I was wrong" admission in the S2 finale (Live Together, Die Alone) after he stopped pressing the button and right before the Swan imploded. 




Can we finally lay to rest the lingering mystery about why Alpert appeared to young Ben looking like Captain Caveman after a bender back in S3? I think so.


CHARLES WIDMORE and the HANSO FAMILY




Although we did not see him in this episode, Widmore is quite significant because we saw him purchase the Black Rock first mate's journal in S4 (The Constant) at an auction. This ledger belonged to Tovard Hanso, who must be related to Magnus Hanso, the man who bought/spared Alpert's life and seems to have owned the ship as well.   


We were first introduced to the Hanso name in S2 (Orientation), when Jack and Locke watched the Orientation film that revealed how the Dharma Initiative was "funded by an experimental psychology research group, The Hanso Foundation." 


Later in S2 (Lockdown), we discover the blast door map in the Swan, which contains the following phrase in the bottom right quadrant: 'known final resting place of Magnus Hanso/Black Rock."


So what does all of this have to do with Widmore? He must have seen the Black Rock on the island before being exiled, and probably bought the journal to see if it contained information that would assist his journey back there. Widmore and Hanso seem to have two things in common: wealth and boats. Both have had vessels crash on the island as well... 


HURLEY


He is still a Candidate, but it certainly seems as though he is the new Alpert in an advisory role to Jacob. So I have to wonder if he does get off the island...will be return and report to whomever the final Candidate is?


ILANA


My first thought after tonight's episode was that her mysterious injuries occurred during preparation for her journey to the island. I had always assumed that Ilana had been to the island before, but now I'm not so sure.  


ISABELLA


During the episode, I referred to her as notSalmaHayek. 


In my eyes, Ricardo and Isabella give Desmond and Penny a run for their money in the sentimental-couple-to-root-for department. 


JACOB


It was subtle, but I think that I now know why Jacob appeared was wearing gloves when he went to see Ilana in the hospital, yet was dressed normally and without gloves to everyone else we've seen him visit off island. Shortly after their initial chat about the six people that Jacob needed her to protect, Ilana appeared to be fully healed. You may argue that an unknown amount of time had passed but I seriously doubt that Jacob waited around for several days or weeks while she finished healing normally. 




My theory is that Jacob wore the gloves en route to those he needed to touch, to avoid healing/directing/saving others he merely encountered in his travels; he took off the gloves, touched Ilana and healed her wounds quickly. 




I am struck by the violent arrivals of both the Black Rock and Oceanic flight 815 on the island. It seems that Jacob can summon them, but not control how they actually arrive. And yet no matter the vehicle, he determines who lives and who dies. 


MAN IN BLACK


Very few have been spared by Smokey, and now Alpert can be added to this elite list. Much like he flashed and scanned Kate and Juliet in S3 (Left Behind), and the "beautiful bright light" that Locke described after his first encounter in S1 (Walkabout), Smokey appeared to have assessed Alpert's past, present and future before deeming him worthy of use at some point. 


The only slightly baffling line of dialogue in this episode was delivered by the Man in Black to Ricardo on the Black Rock, "That probably means that he has her. You know who." Given that Ricardo had been chained on the marooned ship and not met anyone else, I am not sure who they are referring to...


When the Man in Black said "it's good to see you out of those chains" to Ricardo for the first time (chronologically, as notLocke said it to Richard earlier this season), I had to wonder if Alpert had truly not seen the Man in Black since that time. 
---


That wraps up my initial analysis of episode 6.09, Ab Aeterno. As we wind down to the final few episodes of the series, please allow me to reiterate how much I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to read my theories every week. Without your feedback and support, this site and my posts would not be the same. Every week, I look forward to your thoughts and theories almost as much as new episodes. 


As always, I encourage constructive Comments. Apologies for not providing follow-up posts after every episode; those of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter are probably already aware that my travel schedule this year has been rather busy and random, and I have not had as much time as I would like to dedicate to this site every week. 


Take care, my friends! Namaste.


-Jo

29 comments:

LoquaciousMuse said...

We were discussing tonight how Hurley seems like the front runner to take over tonight. Like you said, of all the candidates, he seems the furthest from evil. He can also see and communicate with the dead when they need to speak to him. This makes him special and useful in a way the others aren't. Another pointed out that someone who references Star Wars that often is too self-aware to actually turn to the dark side.

Side note - happy to see you bring up "I've looked into the eye of this island, and what I saw was beautiful."

Chris said...

Good entry. I'm leaning towards Jacob and Smokey being the same being but there is stuff to explain if that's the case. At least I'm not alone in thinking this, though.

Kathryn said...

Thanks for great comments. Can I throw in some theories? Along with your idea of split personality Jacob, could I propose that Jacob and MIB might be father and son. They would have to be pseudo-Greek demigods, special powers and all. Maybe Jacob treated MOM bad, maybe she was human. Maybe Jacob was a "she had it coming" type of Dad in his wifebeater shirt, and drove MOM insane. Son-MIB is mad, and being kept on the island to be taught a lesson, or just to heal his anger. Flocke-MIB does seem to keep that teenager angst (You can't have the keys to the car until you calm down, young man). The candidate could be seen as a baby-sitter/governess, and had to be on the island by the time Jacob was killed in order to restrain MIB, though they don't know yet that is their job. That's why 316 had to get there in time, loaded with the "candidates". But wait, a candidtate would have to have everlasting life like Jacob did, and to have pronounced that hope. I propose Richard as new Jacob, as only he has been 1) touched on the island, not in the previous life,and 2) has been elevated into demigod status by living forever, like Jacob and MIB. While MIB changes form by taking over another body, Jacob passes his role and continues to exist by offering someone the (compelling) choice to replace him- you are living forever regardless. Then maybe Richard is a better father/therapist to MIB, there is some "resolution" and the Losties get back to live their sideways lives, now that their game piece roles are over.

The Partyman said...

Such a great episode!!!!

I'm not sure we really know any more about why Richard was so rough and hairy when he appeared to Ben in the jungle.

We know he was short-haired and modern-shirted in 1954, but no problem that I can see with him growing it out again, and then changing styles again between meeting young Ben in 1973 and walking into Dharmaville in 1974. As we know, The Others have always been somewhat electic dressers!

With regard to the line you found baffling, I simply assumed that MiB was referring to "the devil". :/

So now it seems that when Young Ben saw his Dead!Mother outside the Sonic Fence, that this was not his mother, just as Isabella visiting Richard in the Black Rock was not his wife. Jacob seemed to be implying that it was a Smokey manifestation.

However if Smokey can manifest as a Dead!Person without their body being on the Island, then why did Locke's body need to go back on 316?

On the other hand, if Ben's Mother and Isabella were Smokey Maifestations, then it would totally explain why Richard was so interested in Young Ben. :/

lennyg said...

Jo - Great recap and analysis. I think you are on to something about Smokey sparing those who have expressed remorse for things they've done - or maybe that's a rule i.e., he can't kill such people. So maybe it's not so much he thinks he can use them. One of the best episodes! I kept singing "Sympathy for the Devil" after the show - to paraphrase, what's confusing us is the nature of his game.

Aaron said...

Just a thought on the "You know who..." comment from MiB: my guess is that he was talking about the "devil". Richard already believed that the devil guarded/inhabited the island so it was easy for MiB to play into that fear by implying it was the devil that took Isabella and setting up the motivation for Richard to kill Jacob.

mck said...

Great review per usual. I agreed with most of your theories, except...

"And yet no matter the vehicle, he determines who lives and who dies."

I don't think Jacob brought the Black Rock to the island with the intention of only keeping Richard alive. However, I do think he made him a candidate so he would be safe from Smokey. Jacob said very matter of factly that those who have come to the island in the past have all died. I am guessing they died of their own machinations or that Smokey killed them. But why does Smokey kill them? Are they not worthy of his game?

Also, it seems that Richard is responsible for the creation of the Others. He was shocked that Jacob would allow the people on the island to die. In addition to bettering the people, perhaps he protected them from Smokey.

Now that we've seen Richard's background I'm really hoping for a Whidmore focused episode. We still don't know when Jacob went into hiding at the cabin, protected by the ring of ash. If Horace really built it then it must have been while Whidmore's was the leader.

God I love this show. I wrote my own review here: http://mcklowry.blogspot.com

Steve said...

Can we finally lay to rest the lingering mystery about why Alpert appeared to young Ben looking like Captain Caveman after a bender back in S3? I think so.

But in Jughead, Richard had short hair and normal dress.

Erin said...

Such a fantastic episode. And so cool that you got to mull over some wine with Titus Welliver! That's an interesting point about the Moriah wine - and especially about the anagram... When, oh when, are we gonna see Desmond again??

I get the impression that Jacob gives a different gift to everybody - that nobody else has necessarily been granted a supernaturally long lifespan.

When Smokey said "You know who," I assumed he meant the Devil. Question: When are we finally going to get Smokey's name? I also thought of The Brig with all of the talk of Hell. If anybody deserved Hell I suppose Cooper did. Richard, not so much...

It was Isabella who made that statement about looking into the devil's eyes, and since Smokey wanted Richard to think Jacob was the Devil, I again wonder whether it's possible that John saw Jacob rather than Smokey. But I guess there's no real compelling reason to think that Jacob has a smoke form...

Man, the Black Rock did a number on the statue, didn't it? Maybe that's part of the reason Jacob was in such a foul mood. I think it's interesting that before Richard came along, Jacob's experiment was a colossal failure. At least there are remnants of later groups brought to the Island. Having an intermediary makes a huge difference.

I'm still curious about why Richard looked that way when he met Ben. He certainly didn't look like that back in the '50s. Were they between leaders or something, and he was just wandering in the jungle on his own?

How did somebody get ahold of the Black Rock journal to sell it? Must've been someone who was on the Island, yes?

Richard and Isabella give Desmond and Penny a major run for their money. And Nestor's amazing.

Interesting theory about Jacob's gloves. Makes sense!

Anyway, great write-up as always!

Scott said...

It doesn't bother you in the least that a WOODEN ship smashed a STONE statue? And remained completely intact? I can't get over that. I thought it was a weak way for the statue to bite the dust.

Brian said...

Jo, will you spill about your conversations with Lost stars after the show ends?

Since the show has often touched on Christian themes, and since I'm a Christian, I was interested in some of the Christian themes that stuck out in this episode. For one, a character is reading the Bible. Richard was reading Luke 4 - the beginning of that chapter describes Satan's temptation of Jesus, which, as you surely know, doesn't work.

Then all the references to the devil and hell, of course.

Finally, Jacob's discussion with Richard about the island. (Who would have thought the island wasn't hell, but the lid screwed firmly on hell!) Jacob's description of his battle with MIB suggested a "free will" theology - that God doesn't force us to do things but we all have choices to make and he wants us to make the right ones. (To be clear: I don't think Darlton are using orthodox Christian belief, but are borrowing from that faith, just as they borrow from all kinds of stories and mythologies to create a wonderful piece of fiction.)

Jacob then proposes something to Richard: that he becomes an "intermediary" between Jacob and others. My first association: Jesus is described in the Bible as the only mediator between God and man and he, like Richard, resisted the temptation of the devil.

It's not a perfect analogy - I'm not saying Richard is Jesus - but it works on some level.

And Mount Moriah is the mountain upon which Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac. That story prefigures the sacrifice of Jesus, which occurred on the same location approximately 2,000 years later. (I'm not buying the anagram, because "Moriah" speaks volumes all by itself.)

I'm expecting at least one major sacrifice by season's end, and it seems there are several "candidates" for that role.

A final observation: it seems that MIB will use all kinds of lies to get what he wants: to be free. I think it's hard to come to any conclusion other than Jacob is indeed on the side of good and MIB is on the side of evil. Still, this episode raises other questions: how does Jacob restrain MIB and keep him on the island (or, why can't MIB leave)? Why does the island keep moving? (To keep people from "uncorking" hell?)

The Key Lime said...

Yet another great recap (and what an awesome episode!).

One thing I noticed: While Richard is struggling to escape from the ship, at some point a moth flutters through. It just ties back so nicely to Locke's speech to Charlie about struggle and suffering allowing the moth to be stronger and survive. Ultimately, Richard was released though ("If you don't step in, he will"), but not for lack of trying.

Just, really, an amazing episode. So so much good stuff.

Valerie said...

I loved this episode because I love the character of Richard Alpert. And this episode was a magnificent showcase of Nestor Carbonell's talent.

And I love reading your re-caps. :)

bryanmurray70 said...

Great comments Jo. I want to say that I am extremely grateful you don't share any spoilers since there are so few sites I can still visit that don't spoil something. I'm the guy who doesn't even want to know the title of upcoming episodes if I can avoid it.

Extremely jealous of your convo with Titus/Man in Black. He was obviously great in Deadwood and had a few great scenes in Sons of Anarchy last year too.

L. A. said...

Cool episode - longest flashback ever surely?

I sort of agree about the "devil" and "hell" being red herrings, I simply think the are used frequently because they are metaphors that would make sense in the 1800s. Especially to someone with Alpert's religious background.

I also agree with the comment above - try to avoid as much as possible. Towards the end of Season 3, when Locke had been left in a ditch, I read a TV guide summary a later, discussing Locke! So irritating!

Keep up the good work!

Fads said...

Hi Jo,
Longtime follower and first time poster.
I have one niggling issue with how the black rock arrived on the island. In "THE Conversation" between Jacob and MIB we see the black rock in the distance approaching the island and the weather is clear and sunny as day, then in this episode we see all manners of stormy weather and wild waves bringing the ship to the island where it crashes into the statue and lands somewhere in the middle of the jungle!!!
Continuity error or do you have a theory?

Kinetic said...

Jo,

First, I 100% agree with you about this being one of the best episodes.

Second, I love you for bringing up the Paradise Lost reference. I posted on FB about a month ago that I was re reading it because of the many nods I kept seeing in Lost.

It's worth noting that Satan in PL was more of a character that the reader could sympathize with, sort of an antihero that didn't understand why his thoughts were 'sinful'.

If you go over the many dialogues the devil has with various characters, but especially with god in the beginning of the poem, it eerily resembles the conversations between MIB and Jacob. The devil(as well as all the demons) were shapeshifters, and a few times he is a formless cloud before he changes into something.

Your nod to the devil escaping Hell is also dead on. This is awesome because he has to trick another angel into showing him where Earth is...Interesting...noone but a select few knew how to get to this floating island in space.

Anyways, great writeup and thanks! Your blog is always the first I hit the day after a show :D

Grogferret said...

@scott

Don't think the Black Rock destroyed the statue, maybe the violent onslaught of huge tidal waves, would certainly level some skyscrapers/cities.

Satsu said...

Probably Jacob's antecessor was also killed by de MiB. I think that he plays a role that has been passing by "chosens" from very far. That the MiB is older than Jacob also.
Otherwise, maybe the MiB also has to leave a "successor" who plays his evil role and is preparing Sayid and Claire not so clearly. The MiB is convincing Kate to no let Claire raise Aaron, and how is it now, it's only possible if Claire don't leaves the island with them. And Sayid feels no reasons for leave or stay.
But also the alternative present could really be a flashforward from what happens when they leave the island, maybe a pact made when leaving alows them to erase the island from their lives.
But we can just wait..

Pavement Runner said...

This episode brought the season back for me. To date this season I have been ho-hum about the episodes... but I totally dug this one. way to go manscara!

I hope it's not a Fight Club scenario....

I also said "is that Salma Hayek?"

jasonbunch said...

Great recap.

I am just curious about something though.

In the season 5 finale, Jacob and MIB were talking in broad daylight with a ship in the background. I had always assumed that it was the Black Rock. But as seen on last night's episode, the Black Rock came during a storm at night. What are your thoughts?

Kinetic said...

@jasonbunch

There is always a time difference/drift from the island and the outside world.

It becomes more or less profound depending on where the island is in relation to space/time

Chris said...

AWESOME

You really don't need a follow-up post, your initial thoughts are consistently epic enough :) a thoroughly enjoyable read :)

Chris said...

One of my top Lost links for this month (100 more if anyone is interested)

http://superduperstream.blogspot.com/2010/03/lru5.html

richrag said...

"Ab Aeterno" first added the Canary Islands to the places featured in Lost. Of course, this focused attention on them because the writers rarely do something for no reason.

The most fascinating thing I found about the Canary Islands, of which there are seven, is that an eighth island has been thought to exist since antiquity. The island even has a name, St. Brendan's Island. The eighth island has been spotted many times but seems to vanish as people approach. Over the years a handful of people have found and landed on the island. Consider the following report from some monks who visited in the Middle Ages. They reported their stay as 15 days, while the ships expecting their return complained that they had been kept waiting a year, during which period the island remained concealed behind a thick curtain of mist. Sound familiar? For more details on the island see [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Brendan%27s_Island St. Brendan's]

Continuing our visit to the mysterious Canary Islands, we learn of the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanches Guanches], the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands who were wiped out by the Spanish. Others? The Guanches believed in a black demon named Guayota who kidnapped the sun and locked it inside the local volcano. Guayota was the king of evil genies.

Since genies (or [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genie Djinn]) have raised their head, let's see what is known of them:

* They occupy a parallel world
* They have free will and can be good or evil
* The root derivation of Jinn means to be hidden and other words deriving from it mean craziness and a baby in it's mother's womb
* Djinn can possess humans and assume human forms
* They can travel large distances at extreme speed
* People have a djinn assigned and it "whispers" to them
* Djinn can resemble tall men in white garb
* There are several types of djinn: Marid, associated with water, Ifrit associated with fire and live in ruins
* Of course, fairy tales have genies granting three wishes (Richard had 3 wishes but only got the 3rd)
* Genies are usually trapped in a lamp/bottle and can only be released by another and often come out of the bottle as a cloud of smoke

There certainly are a lot of similarities in the above. Of course, if you like double meanings to titles/names (like the Substitute), what's to make of Jin and Djinn?

Isn't speculation fun?

briguyx said...

One thing that occurred to me this week: If Walt and Miles had their powers since childhood, when did Hurley get his? Has he been talking to the dead all along? Is that what caused him angst originally, even before he possibly caused the deck to collapse at a party?

Chris said...

Great point, @briguyx

Sherylm said...

It was fun to read your analysis and see how in to the episode you were ;-)

One thing, though, is that I can't agree with saying Hurley is guilty of gluttony or sloth and he did NOT cause that deck to collapse. It was designed for 8 people and was holding 23, so with or without Hurley, it would have broken. What's more that actually happened in New Zealand in the mid-1990s, when a scenic outlook collapsed under the weight of way too many tourists, killing a large number of them. During one of Darlton's early podcasts, they talked about getting inspiration from bizarre tragic events (they mentioned an astronaut whose mother died while he was on mission) to use in their shows and I've always wondered if they got this storyline from that tragic event.

And the comment about vampires was Hugo Reyes' impromptu addition to the script as he explained in one of his podcasts and he wasn't sure they were going to let it in the episode.

I wondered if Jacob's comment about "no one comes in unless I invite them" was meant to hint that he let Unlocke and Ben come in to kill him. Perhaps his time as Guardian of the island was coming to its natural end with the arrival of the proper candidate.

Pikachao said...

I would like to mention that "As you may or may not know, a vampire is not allowed to enter a home unless invited in by the owner." Is not a Twilight made myth. This has been standing for quite a while