Wednesday, March 24, 2010

LOST: Ab Aeterno - Unchained Melody

Jacob dunks you as He dunked Richard. Hurley pushes a penny up a door to prove to Demi Moore...uh...Richard Alpert that he’s talking to Isabella. (“Molly, you in danger, girl…”) Richard giggles like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Jacob’s a fighter and not so much a lover…and kind of a douche? And the Man In Black is kind of a nice guy? Break out the 1867 Evil Island Vineyard Cabernet... Salud – let’s drink to LOST.

Lost 6x09: Ab Aeterno

Nerd alert to start out: Ab Aeterno is Latin for "from the beginning of time". Epic? Near-perfect? Mind-blowing? Last night’s episode of LOST was among the best 66 minutes I have spent in my life. Jacob was pretty intimidating in this one, and on the other side, Man In Black was fairly polite and friendly, despite being the “bad guy.” So…Jacob brings people to the island to prove a point and never really does time after time, year after year, and the people die in the process? He’s supposed to be the good guy, right?

What did you think? All coming into focus? Or more blurry than ever? Drop a comment below with your thoughts.

Ilana’s hospital – date...?:

We open in the hospital room from season 5’s finale ep, "The Incident", where Jacob visits a bandaged Ilana, asking her to do the job for which she’s been preparing: protect the six candidates. She asks him what to do after she’s brought them to the Temple. Jacob replies, “Ask Ricardus. He’ll know.”

2007, On island:
On the beach, Sun’s explaining that she and Jin, Hurley and Jack are candidates to replace Jacob. Ilana says that Richard will know what to do next, and he giggles like a little girl and tries to set them straight. “You’re dead. We’re all dead…every single one of us. And this – all this – it’s not what you think it is. We’re not on an island. We never were. We’re in Hell. So I’m not interested in what Jacob has to say. In fact, maybe it’s time we stop listening to him, and started listening to someone else.”

Ilana tells Jack she’s going after Richard, and then explains that he was going to find Locke. Jack sees Hurley talking on the beach – in Spanish – and asks him what Jacob was saying, but Hurley says he’s not exactly talking to Jacob.

Ben says that Jack’s right and going after Richard’s a waste of time, and that he’s known Richard since he was 12, and hasn’t aged in all that time.

1867: Tenerife, Canary Islands:

A scruffy Richard – Ricardo – is rushing home to see his dying wife, Isabella. He takes all of their money and her gold cross and chain to persuade the island’s doctor to come to help her. She tells him, “We’ll always be together.”

He rides through a rain storm, through the night, to get to an unmoved doctor who’s more concerned with how much money he brought him than saving Isabella. (Tenerife is in need of some healthcare reform, too!) In a struggle, Ricardo pushes the doctor, who hits his head in a fall and is killed. He takes the jar of medicine back to Isabella to find her dead.

A priest visits Ricardo in jail with food and essentially taunts him, offering no salvation. He even steals Ricardo’s bible – an English version he’d been reading before his trip with Isabella to the New World. He says the only way to forgiveness is through penance, which he has no time for as they’re hanging him tomorrow.

Nerd alert: Richard was reading the Gospel of St. Luke 4:24-30. Chapter 4 of Luke tells of Satan's temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, just as Man In Black (and Jacob) tempts those who come to the island.

While being walked to his execution, a sailor – Whitfield – stops him and asks if he speaks English. “I understand you’re interested in going to the New World? Well this is your lucky day. This man is now the property of Mr. Magnus Hanso,” Whitfield says. “I hope you don’t get seasick.”

Nerd alert: Magnus Hanso is the great grandfather to Alvar Hanso who started the Dharma Initiative.

Was there something about Ricardo that made them choose him besides that he spoke English? Was he already pre-chosen based on his interaction with the priest?

Aboard the Black Rock slave ship, Ricardo is in the hull with the other slaves during a massive storm. He asks one of the others, Ignacio, if they can see anything out of a crack in the hull, and he says he can see land, but then says he sees a devil – the still in-tact statue of Taweret on the island – and suddenly the ship on the crest of a tsunami or rogue wave smashes into the head of the statue. Ricardo wakes up in the ship with the other slave who yells for help. Whitfield descends and kills all the slaves because he realizes they would otherwise kill him. He’s about to do in Ricardo, when the Black Smoke Monster kills the entire crew, including, we believe, Magnus Hanso. Smokie comes down and scans Ricardo, but leaves him alone. Unfortunately, he also didn’t help Richardo out of his chains.

Question: Was Magnus Hanso killed? Or was he taken by Smokie? Could Alvar Hanso actually have been Magnus? He was known to be doing life extension experiments.

Ricardo tries escaping, but is unable to – no food, no water for days – and he starts to lose all hope. Eventually, he sees Isabella in the ship, who tells him that they’re both dead and in Hell. She says that they have to get out before the devil comes back, when they hear Smokie return. He tells her to run, and as she does, she’s killed by Smokie. (Clearly, she was a manifestation of Smokie, who was putting on a show for him to somehow gain his loyalty.)

What was up with the bad computer graphics butterfly that flew in to the ship?

Man In Black arrives with water for Ricardo, telling him he’s been on the island long before the ship arrived. He tells Ricardo that “he” has Isabella. He says he’ll help Ricardo if he agrees to help him in return. “It’s good to see you out of those chains”, he says, mirroring what UnLocke says to Alpert outside the Temple in 2007. He helps him out of the ship, saying that he’s going to need his strength to escape, and to escape from Hell, he’s going to have to kill the devil.

Ricardo is told to walk east to the ocean and to the statue that their ship broke. (Over exposition, much?) He hands him the same dagger that Dogen gave Sayid to kill UnLocke, and gives him the same instructions – to stab “the devil” at the statue before he even speaks a word. The devil took his body, he says. Ricardo says no, and that murder was the reason he was there in the first place. MIB fires back, asking if he ever wants to see his wife again.

As he approaches the foot of the statue, Jacob punches him from behind and drops him. Jacob asks who gave him the dagger, and Ricardo asks where Isabella is. Jacob asks him if he met MIB, and tells him that was not Isabella. He says he’s in hell, but Jacob takes him and dunks him in the water numerous times until he says he wants to live. (Ricardo was literally baptized…re-born in the name of Jacob.)

Jacob brings Ricardo some wine, and explains that he’s not the devil, but he did bring the ship to the island. He gives an analogy where the wine is Hell – malevolence, darkness, evil – unable to get out. If it did, it would spread. The cork – the island – is the only thing keeping the darkness in. Jacob says that MIB tries to prove that man will always be corrupted by sin, and that he brings people there to prove MIB wrong. He wants those he brings to figure it out themselves and know right from wrong, but Ricardo says that without Jacob’s help, MIB will just tempt them too easily.

Jacob offers Ricardo a job as an intermediary between him and the people he brings to the island. In return, Ricardo asks for Isabella back (no go, says Jacob), to be absolved of his sins (uh, nope, not that either), and says "I want to live forever" (Fame!), so he doesn’t have to face damnation. Jacob touches him on the shoulder and tells him he’ll make that happen.

Question: Both Jacob and MIB touched Ricardo. Was he given some sort of gift from MIB, as well?

MIB sees Ricardo and knows he didn’t accomplish the task, but says that Jacob can be very convincing, but offers him a chance to work with him, his offer still stands. He then hands Ricardo Isabella’s cross, which Alpert buries as he was unable to bury her.

2007, on island:
Richard arrives back at the same spot he buried the cross and digs it up. (What, no soil erosion in 140 years???) He yells out that he’s changed his mind and he’s ready to work with MIB. A rustling in the jungle, and out walks…Hurley.

He tells Richard that Isabella sent him. In a scene right out of Ghost, he gets all Whoopi on him and has to convince him with several lines of dialog that she’s indeed there. Isabella says it wasn’t his fault she died, and she tells him he’s suffered enough. She kisses him on the cheek and disappears. He puts on the cross, and Hurley tells him that they have to stop MIB from leaving the island, or we all go to Hell.

Question: Did Isabella actually tell Hurley to say this, or was it Jacob?

Question: With the similarities to Ghost, was I the only one waiting for “Unchained Melody” to actually start playing as Richard’s theme? ;)

As Richard and Hurley start to walk away, we see UnLocke on a hill nearby surveying the scene, looking all evil and angry.

1867, on island:
Jacob finds MIB in the jungle, and both of them are fairly calm, just as with the encounter on the beach at the end of last season, though MIB tells Jacob not to gloat. MIB says he just wants to leave, but Jacob won’t let him as long as he’s alive. Jacob hands him the wine to pass the time, and MIB takes the bottle, turning it over just as Jacob had with the cork at the bottom, and smashes the bottle on a rock.

Hit me up with your comments below.

- Sean Salo


Katie said...

Great episode. Couple of questions - why did Jacob refer to Richard as Richardus to Ilana? He's always been Ricardo or Richard. Would love to see what Ilana's back story is with Jacob. She obviously knew him for a while before her hospital encounter. I thought it was Russian she was speaking and I was thinking Chernobyl disaster, but could be wrong.

And to comment on Jacob - if you think about it what he is doing is very "god-like". He just watches and doesn't intercede, but still has faith that man will make good decisions. I agree it's sort of heartless. If MIB did not get Richard out of chains he would have died. And why was Jacob so violent with him? Up until this we've only seen a gentle Jacob - I mean he let Ben kill him without defening himself.

And do we think that they are all in Hell and all dead? It makes sense, but the writers and producers have disputed that since the first season. Is it purgatory? Back to the same questions again.

Sean said...

Not purgatory - it can't be. They've said no from day one.

Chernobyl is a good thought. We'll have to see if we get more on her. I doubt we will. (And kind of hope we don't really...) The Ricardus thing makes little sense...unless Jacob has been there since Roman times. Though he doesn't refer to anyone else by Latin names...but then again, none of them "work" for him.

I think Jacob was strangely harsh. And I get the idea of God and free will. But God didn't give man free will on a relatively small island with an evil smoke monster chasing us around, so it seems particularly strange that he'd be so hands-off when it comes to his little social experiment here.

Katie said...

The god thing can all be metaphorically. You can say smoke monster is war in general. We're all trapped on one big island - earth. Could get really existential with it.

I don't really need a full Ilana backstory, just how she knows Jacob. You should look up if Richardus is the name of someone important.

Marcus said...

I hypothesize that the Oceanic 6 will form the new Voltron. They all have their own powers that have not fully been revealed yet.

Rich said...

Ricardus Anglicus was a Priest who was most well-known for invoking scientific judicial procedure in the 13th century. There's also a Ricardus Corculum vineyard... kinda funny. Other than that, I came up with nothing meaty on the name. Still wanna know how Ricky got his last name... not a particularly Spanish name. Oh, and the Canary Islands are one of the places Atlantis freaks think that lost civilization is... overall a wonderful episode.

Owen said...

I'm not sure if they're all considered "powers" or just "styles", but we know so far:

- Hurley is a spirit channeler
- Jack is a miracle healer
- Sawyer is a skilled lier
- Kate is an escape artist
- Jin/Sun is ???
- Locke was a general (tactician/hunter)

Whether or not these are gifts from Jacob, or something innate in them which is why they are/were candidates, remains to be seen...

Phil said...

I am really starting to lean towards jacob being the evil one in this battle. Or at least not quite the saint they are setting us up to think he is. The sideways flash has shown the island under water. So we might assume that smokey got off thisland in that reality. If that is true and he is such a malevolent being, why are all the losties lives better now? Ex.lucky hurley, sawyer PD

cheerios said...

i also think jacob is the evil one - the way he just granted neverending life to richard in his lowest moment is just not something a "good" powerful person would do....

and he has evil face sometimes.