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Monday, March 22, 2010

LOST Episode 609: Ab Aeterno

Pre episode:
A Richard Alpert episode! Yay! Will we find out why he wears the eyeliner? Hmmm...

A much more interesting question than the ABC summary- Richard Alpert faces a difficult choice. Yawn. I'm sure it will be good, though. He's a mysterious character whose history promises to give us some answers.

Guest Stars:


pictures
http://lost.about.com/od/photosbyepisode/ig/-Lost--6x9-Photos/

Isabella?? She looks to be aboard Black Rock... Is this Alpert's mother? MIB's? Jacob's? The latter were kids in 23AD, though.

Speaking of Jacob and MIB... I wonder how Alpert fits with them. Is he related? A brother? Stepbrother? Best friend? Arch enemy? Jacob and MIB appear to be around the same age like brothers or twins in spoilers I've seen. Some people speculate they are the same person. That could be. MIB said he had a crazy mother and that could be genetic- and he's "working through issues" related to that. Jacob's dead, but can still influence the outcome since Hurley can see him. MIB's not dead, but occasionally goes on rampages as the smoke monster and now looks like John Locke.

Who else is pulling a MIB on us? Maybe Widmore's not really Widmore or Desmond isn't Desmond, but someone taking their image after their death or "trapped" in their body?

Jonas Whitfield??

MIB and Jacob will be in this episode quite a bit it seems...

*** *** *** *** ***

Post-episode:

No word on the eyeliner, but this was a pretty good episode. Not too much in the present time line, but maybe it wasn't needed since we learned something from the past that may help. No redemption for poor Richard, though he actively sought it. There is redemption for Nestor Carbonell, one could say since he has been popping up periodically and finally got a very very Richard centric episode - awesome.

There were so many lines and events that mirrored things we've seen, which I enjoyed.

We see Ilana wrapped for a bad burn (maybe) head to toe (at least I'm sure about the head) and upon seeing Jacob, she says she's happy, so this father figure thing must have happened before then? Can she live forever? He needs her help and she has apparently been preparing to protect the remaining 6 candidates (for a long time? is that how she got burned?).

Sun (She didn't mention it could be Jin? On purpose?) calls herself, Jack and Hurley candidates. She volunteered what she knew and was acting pretty confident. I thought it wasn't Sun-like behavior... maybe she knows more...she does have some ownership in her father's company and hence has some connection (however small?) to Widmore. The Widmore thing is what makes me think the candidate is Sun and not Jin. Maybe she's just excited or curious about the candidate thing and so speaks first.

Jacob tells Ilana to bring the 6 to the Temple, then ask Richard what to do. He's clueless, though and still mad at Jacob and wants to follow MIB. Brings up the fact that Jacob's lying. ??? Repeats what he was led to believe (we find out later Isabella- or the form of Isabella told him that and he believed it for awhile) that they are all dead and in hell and never were on the island. I don't believe that.

Hurley was talking to Isabella in Spanish. Ben agrees with Jack that Richard doesn't know anything, though he could be lying. I am liking the theory I heard that Ben is with MIB even though he appears to be with Jacob- he told the Others to build a runway (which the Ajira flight used), he killed Locke, he killed Jacob, etc. Maybe he is infiltrating again and trying to get people to not follow Richard's direction which is Jacob's desire. Or Jacob knew Richard would turn and is using Ben to turn them against Richard.

Richard has kind of a sad story. He can't seem to catch a break. He travels all night to get the doctor for his very sick wife, Isabella. Before he leaves, she tells him "we'll always be together." (Jin's wedding ring that Sun gave him said, "we'll never be apart.) The doctor doesn't seem all that compassionate and says he's not going to go out in the rain, but he's got medicine and it's expensive. I thought he was going to sell his soul right there. It appears that the doctor was talking about real money and gets mad that he obviously didn't receive the payment he required (1st blow). In the struggle, the doctor falls and hits his head, killing him. Richard returns to Isabella, who is dead (2nd blow). He is blamed for the doctor's death and thrown in prison. The priest can't absolve him of his sin; he doesn't have enough life left to do the necessary penance apparently (3rd blow). Interestingly, later, Jonas Whitfield will intervene in the execution and take him in chains on Black Rock because he speaks English (did the priest arrange it-he noticed the English Bible- for penance/punishment because he knows about the island or to be a translator and to get him out of the situation) and Jacob will grant him eternal life. I guess he will be able to do penance?

Richard is said to be reading this in the scene where the priest notices the English:
Luke 4:37And the report about Him was spreading into every locality in the
surrounding district.

The previous verses are about Jesus throwing a demon out of someone...

Didn’t see exactly what part of Luke 4 Alpert was looking at, but …
Luke 4:1-13 Satan tempts Jesus
Seems like the game MIB and Jacob are playing…

verse 14-30 people of his hometown reject Jesus
verse 4- rather famous concept- ‘no prophet is accepted in his own country’
??? I’m at a loss… unless daddies and sometimes mommies (daddy issues) are the hometown and the child is the prophet… being rejected by your own?

verses 31-37 Jesus casts out a demon
We have spirits being conjured and MIB is in Locke- some call him demon Locke…

verse 38 he heals Peter’s MIL of a fever on command
Isabelle was Richard’s wife, but she had a fever…

verse 40 healing
The island heals…

verses 41-42 Jesus wants to get away, the crowd follows, he’s got a mission the crowds don’t understand
Many on Lost have had a mission others don’t understand…I have thought Ben was in the know, then Richard, then Locke, etc


The speaking English thing reminded me of how Sun learned English in secret and planned to go to the US to free herself of her marriage with Jin (or start over?), but ended up on the island. To take it back to Alpert, Richard planned to go to the New World with Isabella, ended up on Black Rock going to the New World in different circumstances, but ended up on the island.

On Black Rock, he is property of Magnus Hanso... DHARMA was funded by Hansos...A Hanso sold the Black Rock's journal written by the first mate to Widmore. Is the body MIB has in this episode his own or that first mate's or someone's?

The people on the Black Rock said they saw the devil on the island. Were they talking about the devil or that statue?

Jonas kills all in chains but Alpert to conserve supplies. Smoky kills those above in the ship, then grabs Jonas, going through the grate and bringing him up. Alpert is alone? Smoky uses the stairs, gets in his face, but goes away. ??? Some say he was being "scanned"?

Isabella appeared to him in the Black Rock and told him they were both dead and in hell and they had to get away (wasn't aware on could get way from hell...) before the devil (black smoke?) came. She said she looked into his eyes and all she saw was evil. We've heard Dogen say that about Sayid and I think it's been said by others, too. And there's what Locke or Ben said about looking into the eye of the island and it was beautiful... a little different... Smoky appeared to get Isabella when she ran from it. How does one kill the dead? Another tough break for Richard as he tells her to run when they hear Smoky and she's the one who ends up getting taken or killed or whatever.

MIB touched Richard like we've seen Jacob touch people... Richard asks if he's dead- MIB says yes. I wonder if MIB isn't forthcoming like I thought, but simply goes along with whatever the person thinks, appearing to give answers and gain trust just to manipulate them into helping him off the island. Richard asks about his wife- I think MIB knows exactly- but says you know who has her (setting him up for thinking black smoke=Jacob=devil?). Kind of like Locke telling Claire the Others have her baby. When MIB frees Richard from the Black Rock, he tells him he's glad to see him out of those chains, which is what he said when he as Locke saw him in our Losties' time line this season. Before freeing Richard, MIB tells him he has to help him and do everything he asks. MIB calls Richard his friend which reminded me of Claire calling MIB "my friend."

Richard's physical chains obviously parallel MIB's confinement to the island or certain form. MIB frees Richard and in return wants Richard to free him.

MIB said Jacob was the devil and Richard had to kill him with the dagger before he said anything in order for them to escape and leave hell. That was what Dogen told Sayid to do to MIB- kill him with the dagger before he speaks. Richard didn't kill Jacob before he spoke and Sayid didn't kill MIB before he spoke. MIB reveals he is the black smoke. Richard is alarmed that MIB took her, but MIB says she was running from Jacob and he took her. A lie, perhaps? The devil took his body, so he is smoke? Does he mean the real devil or Jacob took his body? Is this a lie, too? Also, Richard tries to object, telling MIB murder is wrong, that's what got him here (could be hell or just chained on Black Rock). MIB said they could debate it, but the question is do you want to see Isabella again? This is like Locke, Ben, and Jaocb's infamous choices.

Alpert talks with Jacob after not killing him. He repeats what MIB told him. Jacob looks confused and tells him that wasn't his wife (like it wasn't really Alex?) and he isn't dead.


Jacob's convincing him by shoving him in the ocean that he's not dead and he says he wants to live. I think I've heard maybe MIB as Lcoke say that? Or maybe someone else? Even if I'm dreaming, here, there's a theme of life and death overall- we see a few suicides; Richard tries to die with the dynamite in Black Rock; there are murders, judgments, and births; and the choice to stay and die or go and live- Temple, the purge, and I'm pretty sure it has been said by various groups of Losties about one camp or another.

Richard asks if Jacob's the devil and he says no. Is that a lie? Jacob brought him and many others before him to the island (their past doesn't matter) to prove a point to MIB. I hope that's not all there is to it. The point being that people will choose to do good; MIB thinks people are corruptible because it is in their nature to sin. Jacob wants to prove him wrong. He shows him him a wine bottle and says MIB is evil, hell, malevolence and is trapped and the island is the cork. Is this right or is he lying so they will focus on MIB and Jacob will be able to continue doing evil? Also, Jacob and Richard drink the wine, the "malevolence," and MIB doesn't. Not the first time MIB refuses alcohol. Maybe that is reading to much into it.

Jacob says some God-like things. He addresses the common question of why is there suffering, why didn't Jacob stop MIB from killing everyone- Jacob wanted them to help themselves. He wants them to choose right on their own because if he steps in, it's meaningless. Jacob offers Richard a job as intermediary between him and the people he brings here so that Richard can step in and tell them to choose the good. Richard asks for his wife back in return, then forgiveness of sins - he can do neither. He does grant the request to live forever, though, by touching his shoulder. It seems he couldn't be God if he can't or won't do the first two or at least the second one...

This idea that Richard is a go between for Jacob seems like the same thing Dogen did with the unneeded translator. Jacob chooses to have an intermediary because he wants people to choose the right way without them being led directly; Dogen chooses one because the people accept it better when he makes a decision they don't like. Good leadership or manipulative? Seems like the old Jacob vs MIB debate.

The fact that the priest couldn't forgive Richard and Jacob couldn't either bothers me. It seems to be a clue of some sort. Is there no forgiveness in one time line? Is this a consequence of evil getting uncorked and out into the world? Reminds me of movies and such that explore the possibilities and consequences of what would happen if Jesus never died - his death and resurrection being what gives us forgiveness of sin- not automatically, but we have to obey/follow him. Maybe that's reading too much into the Christian theme... I thought about it when Jay and Jack (see side bar) mentioned on their podcast that Catholic crucifixes have Jesus on them and the Catholics on the show carry just crosses.

The white rock appears again when Jacob tells Alpert to give it to MIB. A signal that Alpert's with Jacob? MIB says his offer still stands. That is a little more like God (than Jacob) in that he can give him his wife and his offer always stands. I still am not convinced on which is good and which is evil. MIB gave Alpert Isabella's cross, why, to taunt him, to remind him he's there when he changes his mind?


MIB's giving Richard Isabella's cross reminded me of Ben giving Sun Jin's ring which gave her a reason to return to the island- to find him.

Richard appears to try and take him up on it at the end in the Losties' time line. Was this a message via Hurley for Alpert, or was this MIB delivering on Alpert seeing Isabella and now he has to do what MIB wants? I guess it shows Alpert what he has to do (he didn't know last episode) - not let MIB leave the island. But that means he's still with Jacob.

Ryan and Jen, who do The Transmission podcast, mentioned that when Richard dug up Isabella's necklace, she appeared and said she'd missed him, like the necklace brought her (spirit) to him and during the time it had been buried she hadn't been able to see him. This reminded me of Desmond's picture of him and Penny and his time jumping. Perhaps the picture was more motivation for him to fix/change things rather than a connection like the necklace appeared to be. That and Desmond and Penny were alive and Isabella was dead. The photo has shown up with Desmond, Penny, and Naomi and possibly survived the hatch explosion.

Jacob talks to MIB and gloats over Alpert. MIB wants to leave and Jacob won't let him. How does Jaocb have the upper hand? Did he win a freaky game of backgammon? Jacob repeats a "rule" that people can't come into the statue, he has to invite them. Did a higher power give Jacob the rules? Is Jacob making them up like Unlocke accuses him? What happens if you go in uninvited? If Jacob is making them up, why is MIB following the rules? Anyway, MIB says he want to kill him to get off the island. Jacob says he'll get a replacement if he dies and MIB says he'll kill them. It seems Jacob is a bit selfish here, unless he's really doing this to keep evil from spreading (and wasn't lying)?? Jacob says see you around and MIB says "sooner than you think" and smashes that bottle Jacob used as the metaphor for the island containing the evil. "Sooner than you think" line has been said a few times I think. Unlocke says it in The Substitute after seeing young Jacob with blood on his hands- "I'll be seeing you, Richard, sooner than you think."

MIB shatters the bottle. Could this be alluding to the loophole he said he'd find? If island destruction were the key, he would have done something to the cork, which is the island. The wine is th evil. Is the bottle Jacob? It would make sense since MIB said he'd kill Jacob's replacement and he could keep breaking the bottle...but he'd have to keep someone from replacing Jacob to really be free since the replacement keeps him contained.

Speaking of contained...how does a sonic fence keep the devil contained- Widmore or Ben or Juliet want to answer that?

We've got 8 episodes to go. I thnk it's too soon to say Jacob's good and MIB is evil and the conflict of the story is to keep MIB on the island... though the story definitely seemed to go that way... I thought the episode had a sufficent number of questions and answers. I am asking 'are they lying' a lot more. And not just for Ben!

***
Geronimo Jack's Beard podcast--

Things I heard or what I thought while listening:

Nestor is a guest! Yay!

One form of deception was repeated. MIB tells Richard Jacob is the devil and he must kill him (a la Dogen) if he wants to see Isabella. Upon reaching Jacob, Jacob wants to know what MIB told him and Jacob says it isn't true- proves it to some degree with the dunking under water.

This is like when Dogen tells Sayid to kill MIB before he speaks because MIB is evil and wants to kill everyone. Upon reaching MIB, MIB asks what "they" told him, Sayid tells and MIB says he doesn't want to kill them, just to go home. MIB feels sorry for Sayid.

Also, MIB tells Ben not to hesitate to kill Ilana because she won't. Upon reaching Ilana, Ben does hesitate and MIB is wrong that she won't hesitate (but she did want to kill him badly though). Perhaps both had a change of heart? Ben is the convincing one in this scenario. MIB and Jacob are described as persuasive or convincing...

This episode has a theme with the eyes. Maybe it's been there, but it's just more obvious now? Isabella when she is sick tells Richard to close his eyes and she talks about how much she loves him. Hurley relays to Richard that Isabella is telling him to close his eyes. I could have sworn I heard Isabella's voice say close your eyes when she appears on the ship, too, but I think he does close his eyes when the smoke monster arrives. Did closing his eyes or praying or saying whatever Richard said cause the smoke monster to go away? Could the sonic fence apply?

Loopholes- Richard apparently knows a loophole that he can't kill himself, but someone else can? Anyone or the right person or is the loophole an illusion- it didn't actually work, after all but maybe Jack wasn't the right person. Certain people can't kill each other- MIB can't kill candidates, Ben can't kill Widmore, Ben can't kill Anthony Cooper, Widmore can't kill Rousseau. What's up with these rules?

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