Tuesday, March 23, 2010

6.09 Ab Aeterno

“Ab Aeterno.” Latin for “from the beginning of time.”

Since the beginning of season 3, I’ve been coming on here and writing up the episodes in my typical episode guide format: Did you notice this and that? Here are my questions... ooh, nitpicks! Wow, here are Hurley’s numbers!!

I’ve probably published more words on Lost than anyone else. I’ve spent more time writing about Lost than about anything in my entire life. And I’ve written about a LOT of other things. Despite that, I’ve referred to The Wire as the smartest show on television, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer still holds that place in my heart as my all-time favourite television show. But Lost is right up there... each week I marvel at the minutiae, giggle with delight at finding things in the background, piecing together the puzzle that has slowly unfolded over six years. But it has always engaged my mind more than my heart... despite my heart being fully engaged (please don’t get me wrong) my love of this show has always been in the piecing-together of it. I care about these characters, but I care equally about the war, the backstory, and where we're headed.

But tonight... tonight. I just finished watching “Ab Aeterno,” the episode I’ve been waiting for since Richard Alpert was standing outside the hospital window looking at baby John Locke. The episode that promised us answers. The episode that would go right back to the beginning. I expected a lot from it.

But I didn’t expect this. Guys, I’m writing this through tears. Tears that Lost just moved from the epic to the sublime. Tears of happiness at the answers we finally got. Tears of sadness from Isabella’s moving speech to Richard at the end (I sobbed like a baby through that entire scene). Tears of sheer wonder at Nestor Carbonell’s UNBELIEVABLE performance.

THIS is the episode we’ve wanted from the beginning. THIS is the hour of television that just made almost six years of loyalty worth it. THIS is the stuff I just KNEW in my heart was coming. THIS is the episode that all of those naysayers will have to eat their words over. This is my new favourite Lost episode ever (oddly, structured unlike any other Lost episode before it with the exception of Meet Kevin Johnson, which also flashed back to Michael’s backstory and didn’t do a constant back and forth throughout the episode) and I will defend it against any critics to my dying day.

I am still crying. I am SO HAPPY to have seen this. It was like watching a series finale... and MAN if the series finale can conjure up the wild emotions in me that this episode just did, then this really will be the greatest TV show of all time.

Buffy, move over... you officially have to share that “Nikki’s all-time favourite show” mantle with Lost.

I almost launched right into a video podcast, folks, but I’m blubbering and would be sobbing and sniffling and crying and laughing all the way through it and it would probably look more crazytown than sincere, so I’ll just stick to writing for now. I am just so over the moon right now, I’m literally shaking. Too much? you might say. Not for me: I’ve devoted YEARS of research to this show, and for it to have moved me the way it just did, to have engaged my heart so much more than my brain... all I can say is thank you. Thank you, Team Darlton... thank you thank you thank you. I am just so freakin happy right now I can barely form words to type.

But I must!!!!!! Ahem... :::wiping away tears, composing self::: On with the blog!!!

(OK, just watched it a second time and I’m BAWLING again!!!)

“The cork... is this island. And it’s the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs.”
Last week I said that I thought Smokey’s speech on the beach with Kate gave him a lot of sympathy... his mother was crazy, he was trapped, he just wanted out. But after this week’s episode, I’m convinced that it was just the writers trying to lead us away from the clear thing: That Jacob really IS the good guy, and Smokey the bad.

The way that Smokey and Jacob talked to Richard is telling, and if you use the biblical stories as your guide, you’ll see how each one fits into it. The devil has a silver tongue, is persuasive, and will tell you whatever you want to hear. He’ll want your allegiance above all else, and will offer you something in return... but you have to give him something first. Smokey finds the keys to free Richard from the chains, but only when he gets his allegiance first does he unchain him. He tells him that if he does what he asks, he’ll get him his wife back. He tells him he’s the good guy, don’t worry, we’re the same, you and I... he tells him everything Richard wants to hear.

Jacob hits him before talking to him (not exactly endearing him to him). He shows him that he’s not actually dead or in Hell. He asks him if he wants to work with him, but doesn’t promise him anything for it. He tells him point blank that he can’t get his wife back, and he can’t absolve him of his sins. What he CAN do is give him immortality that will prevent him from ever having to go to Hell and face up to those sins.

And what of Isabella? At the end of S5 we were pretty convinced that Smokey and the dead people on the island were one and the same, but as I’ve pointed out repeatedly this season, I’m starting to doubt that, simply because Smokey doesn’t inhabit their bodies... he simply looks like them (as in Locke’s body existing separately from the lookalike Smokey). But he doesn’t wear the man-suits lightly, and I’m not sure he can easily create those beings. But if Isabella is telling Richard to kill the Man in Black, she’s clearly NOT the Man in Black. (OK, that and I just want that speech of hers at the end to have been REAL.) Perhaps on the island the dead can cross over and actually reach out to their loved ones?

Jacob says that he wants people to come to the island to prove the Man in Black wrong (looks like the Man in Black’s score is way higher so far, but Jacob hasn’t given up faith). He said he won’t intervene and won’t help people, but maybe he somehow lifts the barrier on the island so their loved ones can help prod them along? Perhaps Christian and Yemi and Isabella aren’t evil hallucinations, but good ones, trying to help the people they love to make the right decisions. Maybe Yemi was begging Eko to repent for good, not bad.

Jacob appears to be the good guy, but unlike Jesus, he’s not going to tell stories and die for their sins. There’s an interesting reference to Jesus near the beginning, when Richard is in the jail cell and the merciless priest comes in. Richard is reading the section in Luke where Jesus is rejected in Nazareth. The full story is here (what we see on the screen is verses 24 to 28):

16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
22And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
23And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
24And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
25But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
26But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
27And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
28And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
30But he passing through the midst of them went his way

In this scene, the people tell Jesus to heal himself, or to prove that he’s actually a miracle worker, and he refuses to prove it, just as Jacob won’t do any of that.

Jacob came off as a bit of a dick in “The Lighthouse,” but when he said to Hurley that he’s just leading them along without helping them, we now know that’s how he believes Jack might be the guy to finally make the right decision. But, as Jacob said then, Jack must make that decision on his own, without Jacob’s help.

And now Richard just might be the one lying in the shadow of the statue... if he kills the Man in Black, he could be the one to save them all.

• Nestor Carbonell.
• Um... the entire episode?
• Nestor Carbonell.
• The look of the episode... visually it was stunning... even the crapola CGI of the stormy seas didn’t disappoint me, simply because it was still pretty terrifying.
• Jack: Do you know who he meant? Ben: Oh, THIS should be interesting.
• The look on Jack’s face when he was told that Locke was the bad guy (I cannot WAIT for these two to come face to face again, even though Smokey isn’t Locke... I still believe Locke is in there somewhere).
• Richard giggling like a crazy girl when Ilana asks him what to do next?
• I saw Titus Welliver’s name in the opening scene as a guest star and I squealed.
• Nestor Carbonell.
• Richard crying over Isabella’s dead body was heartbreaking.
• Jacob referring to the other guy as the “Man in Black,” which is how the fans have been referring to him since “The Incident.”
• Richard screaming, “Does the offer still stand?” and Hurley saying, “What offer, Dude?”
• “She says your English is awesome.” (This is where the tears started for me, by the way.)
• Hurley telling Richard if he doesn’t stop the Man in Black, they all go to Hell.... and the cut to Locke turning to us. ACK!!
• Nestor Carbonell.

• Magnus Hanso (previously seen mentioned on the blast door map as being buried next to the Black Rock) was the captain of the ship... something most of us assumed.
• And THAT is how the Black Rock ended up in the middle of the island... a massive tidal wave.
• And THAT is how Tawaret, the statue, was destroyed.
• Jacob (if his speech is true) lives on the island in an effort to keep the ultimate darkness from leaving the island and spreading throughout the world. The island is the lid on Pandora’s Box, and Jacob is the man sitting on that lid keeping it closed.
• The Man in Black believes that man is essentially corrupt. I suggested in my first Finding Lost book that if we have a Rousseau and a Locke, all we’re missing is a Hobbes, the man who believed that man was essentially corrupt. It looks like we’ve finally got him.
• Jacob brings people to the island to try to prove to the Man in Black that man is NOT corrupt and will choose good.
• Richard is immortal because he cannot be absolved of his sins and doesn’t want to go to Hell.
• His actual job is as Jacob’s intermediary between him and everyone who comes to the island.

Did You Notice?:
• Richard says to Jack, “Wanna know a secret?” the same way Locke said it to Walt.
• When Richard tells them all that they’re dead, how many fans’ jaws dropped? (I just assumed it was crazy rantings, but the fan service in that moment was all kinds of awesome.) Remember, it’s the same story that Anthony Cooper gave Sawyer when he was ALSO (like Richard) chained up in the Black Rock in season 3’s “The Brig.”
• Richard’s backstory begins in 1867 on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, a group of Spanish islands off the coast of Africa. Beginning in the 16th century, many inhabitants on the island succumbed to disease or were sold into slavery thanks to the immigration of people from the Spanish Empire. Richard and his wife were probably descendents of the original immigrants who came during that wave, so it’s a sad irony that they succumbed to both of those things.
• 1867 was the year of Canada's Confederation, i.e. the year we became a nation. Interesting they chose that year for when Richard's life fell apart. I guess when Canada came together, evil really WAS unleashed on the world!! Ha!
• The name “Isabella” means “My god is a vow.”
• When the doctor gets up to go to the medicine cabinet and the camera’s on Richard, the lightning flashes and there’s a large chair in the background that looks like an electric chair in the effect of it.
• The powder is white... another in the black/white imagery, but notice how to get this white powder, he murdered someone to get it and still lost his wife. “White” didn’t save him the way he hoped it would. A hint of what Jacob is or a red herring?
• Richard is abandoned by the church and his religion as the priest walks out of the cell with his Bible and his hope of absolution. The organized church has failed him... the priest is merciless and unforgiving. But he still has his faith, regardless.
• Did anyone else think Jonas Whitfield (the guy who recruits Richard for the ship) looked like Colin Firth?
• I think I said this in a comments thread a couple of weeks ago, but interesting that the ship is called the Black Rock, and there’s a black rock on the scale in the cave (Smokey’s thrown the white rock away).
• When Smokey moved in on Richard, he flashed the same way he did when Juliet and Kate were trapped in the tree in “Left Behind.” Notice Richard closed his eyes, whereas previously we saw Eko stare down the monster and that’s what we thought made Smokey go away.
• Here’s what I would have done if the rain had started and I couldn’t reach with my tongue... slide my shoe out with my foot, and then drag it back and drink it. Why didn’t the guy ever use his feet (like when the little nail was out of reach?) Small, eensy nitpick. In fact, forget I said anything. ;)
• Two words for that boar eating the dead guy: Dis. GUSTING. Oh my God that was gross.
• “It’s good to see you out of those chains.” That’s the same thing Not-Locke said to Richard on the beach right before whacking him in the neck.
• Nestor holds his body in a slight slouch as he walks up to the statue with the dagger, making Richard look completely emaciated.
• When Jacob brings out the wine bottle, I thought for a second it was the same bottle that Richard built the little ship in a bottle in last season (but if Smokey smashed it, it can’t be the same one).

So Many Questions...
• While I’m not sure, with 7 episodes left, I really want an Ilana flashback, I am curious about her link to Jacob, and I think if it’s more of an Ilana/Jacob flashback, I’d love to see it... how did she know him already? Did she wish that SHE were one of the candidates? You can’t mistake that look of disappointment on her face when he tells her he needs her help protecting the candidates, but doesn’t actually offer her a candidate position.
• Was her head bandaged in a battle trying to save another candidate?
• So wait... Sun is definitely one of the candidates? When was that determined? Do we know that for sure or is Ilana just telling her she is because she’s assuming that’s what “Kwon” meant?
• Does anyone speak Spanish out there and could tell me what Hurley was saying at the very beginning when he was talking to invisible Isabella when Jack came up to him?
• I’m wondering about the dead people on the island now... do you still think they’re manifestations of the Man in Black/Smokey, or are they actually there in some way? Could their spirits transcend death on this island to reach out and help their loved ones? I mean, if she’s a manifestation of the Man in Black, why would she tell Richard to KILL the Man in Black? Hm. I want to believe that speech by her at the end was sincere.
• The words that Man in Black speaks to Richard – telling him to plunge the dagger directly into his chest, you only have one chance, do it quickly, don’t let him speak or it’ll be too late, he’s very persuasive – were all the words Dogen said to Sayid when he was telling him to kill Smokey... AND he handed him the exact same dagger. How did the dagger move from one side of the war to the other, with exactly the same instructions being spoken?
• Jacob has the same crazy superhuman strength that Ben exhibited in S2... is there a link?
• When Jacob is killed, does his soul enter the next person who fulfills their candidacy? So, like the way Smokey looks different but is the same person inside, is Jacob still in there somewhere?

I feel like I have SO much more to say on this episode, but I have to watch it 15 more times tonight and cry some more and try to form my thoughts into something cohesive. I'll post more tomorrow and Thursday but until then... let's discuss!

A reminder that I’m going to be appearing on Space on Thursday night at 11pm! I’ll be on Innerspace in the opening and final segments talking about this episode (oh what a GLORIOUS episode for them to have invited me in to discuss at length!!) So be sure to tune in!!

And listen in to Marshall and Forbes on The Ocean 98.5 in Victoria, BC at 6 a.m. local time, 9 a.m. EST. Go here and click on the Listen Now button if you’re out of the listening area.

And tomorrow at noon I will once again be participating in the Globe and Mail Lost chat from noon to 1pm EST. Go here to ask questions and comment. See you there!

Next week on Lost:


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Blam said...

“Ab Aeterno.” Latin for “from the beginning of time.”

I thought it meant "'The Situation' is never... going... away."

VW:unbunper — Pastry rationing in franglais.

Hutch said...

I was and am so blown away by this episode...What great writing, what great acting, what a great story. LOST keeps topping itself every week.....

J. A. Holten said...

First time commentator here but I have read all Nikki's "LOST" books and recently emailed her regarding the continuity of Adam and Eve in 'Lighthouse'.

I absolutely loved 'Ab Aeterno'. The only things that disappointed me were the arrival of the ship and the answers for the destruction of statue and The Black Rock being inland. I thought the storm (possible tsunami) was a bit weak of an answer. I also think it's unlikely the ship could crush the statue, especially without being destroyed itself.

I was hoping the arrival of The Black Rock would be similar to the scene at the beginning of "The Incident" ... the ship off the coast of the island in daylight, followed by an amazing, sweeping panoramic shot of the island and the front of the Statue. Then the storm could have come - the sky suddenly darkening, coming out of nowhere, and cut to what we did see. But just opening with that storm scene and the muddled CGI was a little disappointing.

Still, other than those small gripes of mine, I thought it was an amazing episode, with lots of 'rewatch' potential.

Structure-wise, a little thing I loved was the framing device - how it opened with the flashback of one character, featured the flashback of another character, and then ended with the flashbacks of two more characters!

J. A. Holten, Ireland said...

First time commentator here.

I absolutely loved this episode. The only things that disappointed me were the arrival of the ship and the answers for the destruction of statue and The Black Rock being inland. I thought the storm (possible tsunami) was a bit weak of an answer. I also think it's unlikely the ship could crush the statue, especially without being destroyed itself.

I was hoping the arrival of The Black Rock would be similar to the scene at the beginning of "The Incident" ... the ship off the coast of the island in daylight, followed by an amazing, sweeping panoramic shot of the island and the front of the Statue. Then the storm could have come - the sky suddenly darkening, coming out of nowhere, and cut to what we did see. But just opening with that storm scene and the muddled CGI was a little disappointing.

Still, other than those small gripes of mine, I thought it was an amazing episode, with lots of 'rewatch' potential.

Structure-wise, a little thing I loved was the framing device - how it opened with the flashback of one character, featured the flashback of another character, and then ended with the flashbacks of two more characters!

Marebabe said...

Nikki, how DO you slam together such a massive recap and analysis so fast? You've amazing, but we already knew that.

To start off, there were a couple little things I especially liked. Richard’s high-pitched giggle in response to “What do we do next?” And then there was the square nail that Ricardo pulled out of the wrecked ship. I’m not sure if nails were used in shipbuilding back then (maybe a ship like that was all pegged together), but if nails were used, they would’ve looked just like this square one.

I think Nestor Carbonell should get an Emmy nomination right alongside Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn. He was brilliant in this heartbreaking episode.

Is it possible that Darlton knew all along that they would need an actor who was fluent in both English and Spanish way back when they were casting the part of Hurley? It was always incidental before, but today we saw the importance of Hurley’s character speaking Spanish. And while we’re on the subject, I find it remarkable how completely Richard’s accent disappeared. In real life, it takes a concerted effort to lose an accent. Why would Richard have made that effort, living on the Island? Just a small thing I noticed.

I was really glad when that priest in the prison turned out to be a no-good, money-grubbing so-and-so. Because his statement that God would not forgive Ricardo went COMPLETELY against the grain of my personal Christian belief, which is that God is all about love and grace and mercy. Poor Ricardo. His life ever since his wife’s death has sucked as badly as John Locke’s.

And I loved the imagery of the wine bottle and the cork stopper. The door to understanding the Island has cracked open a tiny bit.

J. A. Holten, Ireland said...

Oops, sorry, my comment posted twice, had an internet connection error in the middle of posting.

Benny said...

Soooooooo great! How can we comment further on this, really!

ARTAR said...

stunning performance by Nestor Carbonell! this episode delivered and will be worth plenty of recaps! nikki, thanks again for the fabulous research and enthusiasm. richard and jacobs exchange on the beach was fantastic! great call on Hobbes from book one! once the season ends ill be rewatching the dvds and rereading your books!

Benny said...

Full personal story analysis available at: http://theoreticalisland.blogspot.com/

1. How far has Nestor Carbonell come from Suddenly Susan and The Tick? Really far!

2. Reaaaaally loved the scene between Richard and Isabella. It was moving, emotional, really captured the broken Richard we were introduced at the beginning of his flashback.

3. 1867 - the birthyear of Canada, the Canadian connection lives on!

4. The really down life Richard has at the time he his 'brought' to the island.
Poor - dying wife - killed doctor - dead wife - sentenced to death - bought as a slave.
His first days on the island are not really better either.

'Squee' Moment: Captain Magnus Hanso!

5. Transposition: goddess of fertility perceived as the devil.

'Squee' Moment: "It's good to see you out of those chains.".

6. We know what destroyed the statue, now the question is with respect to the pregnancy issues on the island. There were still pregnancy in the 70s!

7. MIB saying they could argue all day "about what is right and what is wrong" really echoes the fan opinion on who's on the right side. His speech was also a replica of what Dogen told Sayid.

8. The discussion with Jacob and the birth of Richard as the intermediary is FILLED with great imagery and analogies. Richard's role is almost entirely explained in this discussion, including why he is kept in the dark on many issues.
-The island is the cork to hell;
-"He believes it's in their nature to sin";
-"Their past doesn't matter";
-"I want them to help themselves", "I can't intervene";
-"If you don't, he will", this one struck a chord with Jacob, leading to Richard's role;
-Jacob's brutal honesty to Richard "I can't do that" seems contrary to his vague ways we've known before.
-We now know the origin of Richard's longevity: I never want to die. It's his reward for helping Jacob, self-requested as well.

9. The discussions between Richard/MIB, Richard/Jacob, Isabella/Richard and Jacob/MIB seem to place sides where they belong, Jacob good, MIB bad.
Key word: SEEM!

10. Hell-in-a-Bottle: it seems MIB is no longer be looking to uncork it, but break it all loose!

pete said...

Seriously, Nikki; did you get a sneak peek and watch this episode YESterday?! Amazing speed on the recap of an amazing episode, so odd and unlike others before it. Nestor was brilliant - the guy finally got to show his acting chops. The dialogue between Jacob and NotLocke was intense and poetic. Excuse me now while I go watch it again.

Nikki Stafford said...

Benny: ACK!! I saw 1867 and jotted down, "Birth year of Canada, HA!" and then didn't include it. I'll go stick that back in... thanks for the reminder!

Marebabe: My thinking on the accent is, if the only people he has around him are the English-speaking Jacob and Man in Black, he'll just pick up their way of speaking. As you say, in real life it's hard to drop an accent. Not so hard when you have 150 years to do it in. :)

Kimberly said...

Okay, so here's some freaky trivia. Teneife Canary Islands is the sight of the deadliest avaiation disaster in history. Two 747 planes crashed into each other in the 1970's in Tenerife, killing almost 600 people.

Walter White, on Breaking Bad season premire talked about it this weekend. When I saw that was where Richard was from, I couldn't believe it was the same reference, but I checked it out and sure enough. These Lost tie-ins never end!

Great job on Recap Nikki. You make all the epidsodes so much more enjoyable. This one was amazing!!!

SenexMacdonald said...

Wow, where do I begin? What a great episode. I think that this is the first ep this season to only feature true flashbacks... and all of it about Richard! I am even nore in LOVE with this season... :)

Where to begin...
Nestor deserves an Emmy for this episode. He was sooo good. The emotion was consistent throughout the ep, with wonderful highs and teary lows. Wonderful work.

I was prepared also for this to be a 'standard' ep but for this story, I am so glad that they decided to do it in this manner. Team Darlton - you guys rock!!

I have lots of other stuff to say and questions that have come out of the two viewings so I have included my list below:

1) How long has Ilana been preparing for protecting the candidates? How did she meet Jacob and who beat her up so badly?
2) Hurley telling Jack that the conversation he is having in Spanish is not with Jacob and has nothing to do with him. Poor Jack - not the centre of the universe in this ep.
3) I was so taken to see that Richard was alive in 1867. For those who are not Canadian, that is the year our country was born. Nothing to do with LOST, just an historical footnote. LOL
4) I am thinking that Isabella must have had TB. I believe coughing up blood was a symptom. I loved Richard caring for her and her trying to comfort him.
5) "We'll always be together." That cross means so much to him (and Nestor showed that so well) - and it is obvious that he gave it to Isabella. I so Richard!!!
6) Richard has ALWAYS worm eyeliner!! Yes...! LOL
7) Richard giving the doctor his most precious possession outside of his wife and the doctor telling him it is worthless. How heartless!
8) As the Doctor dies, my husband Justin says, "so that is how he came to be on the slave ship..."
9) Richard's confession to the priest... who walked out with his bible. I am sure the priest was thinking of how much money he would get as soon as he knew Richard was teaching himself English. Then I thought - how like Sun! Richard also wanted a different life - but he was planning on a life with his wife, unlike Sun who wanted to leave hers.
10) Captain Magnus Hanso? Ooooooooooo...
11) I had expected that most people in the hold would be African slaves...not Spanish. Why you ask? Because Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and were settled by the Spanish. The Canary Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa - which is why I was expecting African slaves.
12) How did the Black Rock end up in the Pacific?
13) The Black Rock smashing into the head of the statue - that was some wave/storm! A cyclone maybe - with a tsunami? That might create enough force to bring the statue down.
14) Smokey!!!!!! Shades of the pilot being pulled from the cockpit. Watching Smokey come down the stairs... shades of Mr. Echo. So glad Richard closed his eyes and prayed. I am thinking the right thing to do. :)
15) How long was Richard in there? Days at the least I think.
16) Ewwww moment - the boar feasting on the dead bodies!
17) Isabella repeating to Richard what Locke said. Her screams mixed with the sounds of Smokey... my poor Richard. How much can one man take? I thought it might be Jacob coming in but when I saw the black sleeves... MiB = evil slimeball!
18) "It's good to see you out of those chains." FLocke to Richard...
19) Was that the same knife that Ben got from FLocke to kill Jacob?

...and now an aside...
Sharp commercial with George Takai... screaming like a little girl. LOL

To be continued...

S Donk said...

love love loved this episode! for sure my favorite in the season thus far...

favorite part - when jacob hands richard the white pebble to give the man in black.. i love this little game they're playing with the white/black (good/evil) stones.

@Nikky - i loved your pandora's box reference.. it'd almost be interesting if the show ended with smokey escaping and that image of the cork falling out of the wine bottle

can't wait for next week!

SenexMacdonald said...

Part 2:

20) Roasted boar made me hungry again. haha
21) Dogen's speech to Sayid - again. More dunking? Made me think more of a baptism this time.
22) Jacob touching Richard and the music changing to reflect the change in him.
23) Loved Jacob's description of the island's evil as demonstrated by a bottle of red wine... and then MiB's paroding the same movement until he broke the bottle. He must have been watching...
24) The ruins that Richard buried the cross in are the remains of a building. He buries the cross in front of a seat of some kind.
25) Loved the discussion with Hurley. I could not stop crying and crying when Hurley told Richard what his wife was saying and that they let those two characters speak - even though it was suppose to be Hurley talking... soooo beautiful!
26) Great cuts in that sequence... loved that Richard did not look directly at Isabella as if he could not quite remember where to look exactly after all these years.
27) Hurley looking uncomfortable....and then angry at the last message he needed to tell Richard from Isabella. This could turn into the OK Corral!
28) FLocke watching from afar.

I need to go to Hawaii to see that last magnificent view!!

I have now watched this ep twice tonight and am with you Nikki as I too am crying AGAIN! I need more time to take things in but I am more than satisfied with what was revealed, what questions were answered and that the theory of the survivors being in HELL is mostly wrong. LOL

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Many, many "wow" moments for me. My family was silent as statues watching this episode. No silly questions, no bugging eachother. Barely breathing. It was like watching a wonderful epic movie that you never want to end. Brilliant. Beautiful. I need to watch it again by myself in the morning so that emotional impact can take me over and I don't have to rush around after it's over and get everyone to bed...I love sharing LOST with my kids, but sometimes I need it to be just for me.

Amsted said...

Here in Manitoba, this episode aired at 6:00 PM, and I have been waiting for three hours to read your post Niki. I agree with all your points.

In my opinion the best episode of this series. Carbonnell was amazing and the scene at the end with Hurley moved me as well.

JS said...

I loved this episode. I don’t think I have actually ever said that.
I am glad they gave us a flashback, I was worried we would somehow have to stay in the present since Darlton said no more flashbacks
THANK YOU: Nikki, for your excellent recap. I feel the same way – just tweeted Damon Thank you!
I was typing so furiously, with my mouth agape, and my heart breaking. RICARDO had such a hard life before the island. I guess he is reliving the dick of a priest abandoning him when Jacob “abandons” him. He is in the weak position, but managed to stay alive. And he has been so calm and knowing – I guess I would be too if I had 150 years to learn stuff, and seen it all, and know I won’t die. But what was the end game for him. Was he never going to die?

STABBING: I wonder too how the speech MiB gave Ricardo can be the same Dogen gives to Sayid. Jacob does have the knife – or did Richard give it back. I can’t remember. And what is the thing about talking before being stabbed? Ricardo didn’t have a chance against super strong Jacob.

THE SIXTH CANDIDATE: I agree, Sun thinks she is one, but I do not think that is confirmed. Unless we count both Kwon’s. Who are the six again? And when exactly did Jacob visit liana that there were six candidates left? It had to be after Locke died.

WHAT HURLEY WAS SAYING: I think Hurley was saying – I don’t know where he went, I want to help him but I don’t know how to, I don’t know where he is going. Makes sense that Hurley says he “kind of” followed him. Isabella probably told him where Richard is going. AND this is hwy Hurley is so important – if he didn’t speak Spanish, and couldn’t see the dead, Richard would be with MiB right now.
I think some of the dead (like the ones Hurley sees) are actually dead. Some are manifestations of the MiB. I always thought there were two versions of Yemi.

NOT DEAD YET: I was going nuts when he said they were all dead. That couldn’t be! I’m glad it wasn’t because a-it wouldn’t make sense and b-hopefully will shut all those people up.

RANDOM: Who is Whitfield? Any relation to Widmore? I was totally waiting for Widmore to be the slave buyer.

MIB: We still do not know MiB’s name. And if Jacob took his body, who’s body is he using? Some other person that was brought to the island and is now dead?

BLACK AND WHITE: I like that this is not just good versus evil, but the nature of man – basically corrupt versus if given the chance, able to choose “good”. And Fate vs. free will is still a strong theme. Jacob is confirmed as a proponent of free will, so even though he nudges, he doesn’t coerce. The Dogen deal still seems like a Smokey deal, but I will leave that aside for now.

I am posting before this gets too long. WOW. AMAZING EPISODE, amazing acting, great answers. Thank you LOST.

Benny said...

@Marebabe: Yeah on the accent, I agree with Nikki. After only two year living in Vancouver, BC, I had completely (or nearly) lost my French accent, my friends could barely hear it. More so, I picked up an English accent when speaking French!

@Kimberly: Even more interesting, the event happened in 1977 (ring a bell) and was ultimately caused by terrorist detonating a BOMB! seriously, a bomb in 1977 caused planes to crash... how Lost is that?

Sagacious Penguin said...

On Dead People and the MIB:

I've discussed this on my blog a bit, but more than ever after this one, I stand by my theory that the MIB has only ever appeared as four different dead people: Yemi, Non-Suited Christian, Locke, and briefly Alex. I think to do this he needs that person's body.

Like other things on the Island, however, dead people can be SEEN as part of the Island's "magic box" ability to pull out of people what they bring with them (like the Dagobah Cave in the Empire Strikes Back). So Christian wandering around in Tennis shoes, Ben seeing his mother, etc. were not necessarily the MIB since they didn't present SPECIFIC REQUESTS AND/OR AGENDAS.

It's all in behaviour when the Island talks to you, whereas it's bargains and missions when the MIB talks to you. Hurley's power, however, lets him tap into the actual dead conversationally (Charlie, Jacob, Isabella).

And all this is the fault of the crazy electromagnetic power the Island is keeping bottled inside - the source of all supernatural phenomena in the world of LOST, whether occuring actually on Island or the result of proximity to other specific locations (as Issac of Ulurhu indicated in S.O.S).

It's not too hard to intuit which Island vision/appeareance is probably the source of which of these three things (Visions, MIB, Actual Dead), but hopefully before the show is done, we'll have a few more criteria to help us sort it all out!

latelylost said...

Wow. Just wow. I don't think I can be even remotely coherent about this episode, so I'm going to content myself with reading what Nikki and everyone else has to say.

Through the Richard (and Hurley) goodness, I did remark to myself about one other thing - Titus Welliver and Terry O'Quinn are matching each other perfectly in speech patterns and cadence.

Nikki Stafford said...

pete: Seriously, Nikki; did you get a sneak peek and watch this episode YESterday?!

I wish!!! I get the 7pm feed, so I watch it twice and write this up and try to get it out just as the EST ABC feed ends, but tonight I had too much to talk about so it was a little later than that. :)

Kimberly: Okay, so here's some freaky trivia. Teneife Canary Islands is the sight of the deadliest avaiation disaster in history. Two 747 planes crashed into each other in the 1970's in Tenerife, killing almost 600 people.

Fantastic! Thanks for pointing that out.

I love when my fave shows come together (I'm almost done S1 of Breaking Bad and I love it... must get S2). :)

Blam said...

I really liked both this episode and your reaction, Nik. Outside of some nitpicks that have already been mentioned, I'm pleased with what we got, even though it wasn't what I was expecting — my biggest reservations can probably be explained away by Richard still being somewhat in shock by the very fact of Jacob's death and his attendant feeling of betrayal. I probably can't comment further tonight due to being totally wiped out, but I really look forward to seeing what everyone has to say and joining in tomorrow.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Word Verification:


Really? I'm game.

Benny said...

@Sagacious: I agree on most bodily appearances of the smoke monster, but I think it was him who was Isabella in the ship. Here's why I think that.
He had previously 'read' Richard's mind and saw he had recently lost someone. He decided to use that to his advantage, appearing as his beloved and claiming this was hell, then getting 'caught' by the devil.
When MIB comes to help Richard, he tells him everything can be fixed if he kills the 'devil'

This is analogous to the long con he's been running with Christian-Locke-Alex to use Ben.

The intriguing part for me is Isabella appearing in the end. Are there rules as to where the dead can appear to Hurley? Richard cannot see her but Hurley can, so I think this is the real one and earlier it wasn't!

Anonymous said...

Colin Firth, gad! Bite your tongue (or fingers...)!
Now I'll go back and finish reading the rest.

Susan said...

(Please don't hate me.) I didn't love it, it was OK, definitely better than last week.


1. no flash sideways, just a good old-fashioned flashback

2. some time after Isabella died, my daughter guessed that she was the one speaking to Hurley. That made so much sense to me, I guessed that Hurley would show up after the flashback and save Richard from joining MIB.

3. return of Titus Welliver

4. the wine metaphor -- that was so cool

5. Richard's half-loony giggle was really funny

6. Hugo saves the day -- we're supposed to think it's MIB rustling through the jungle but it's good ol' fun time Hurley. And for those who say Jorge isn't that great an actor, his range in that scene was awesome.

7. I probably left something out, so I'll just say, better than I expected, and way better than last week's episode.

Anonymous said...

If the island is the cork keeping all evil in the bottle, then in the flash sideways, where the island has sunk, is the «malevolence» out in the world?

Benny said...

Nikki, great notes really. This was such a full episode and so hard to try and write while watching! Great job on that (lucky you had two viewings eh?)

Geek alert! The reference to Pandora's Box is so hitting home for me as I've been playing God of War III and this is a key aspect of the game. Since Pandora's Box holds the power to killing a god. Question is, what is really in OUR Pandora's Box?

Here are my thoughts on Isabella and the dagger/instructions.

On Isabella:
--The smoke monster had previously 'read' Richard's mind and saw he had recently lost someone. He decided to use that to his advantage, appearing as his beloved and claiming this was Hell, then she got 'caught' by the devil.
--When MIB comes to help Richard, he reinforces the idea this is Hell and tells him everything can be fixed if he kills the 'devil'. He's tricking Richard (as he's tricked Locke and Ben) into killing Jacob.
--The Isabella we saw at the end was the real one, as she's a ghost only Hurley can see and not Richard.

As for the dagger:
He gave the same instruction because Jacob "can be very persuasive" and will likely convince Richard if he listens. Dogen's instructions to Sayid were probably to prevent him from hearing Locke's voice and becoming claimed (different powers of persuasion). The dagger is now in Jacob's camp and it may not have moved since then. Richard doesn't bring it back!

Now here's an interesting question... how did the conflict between the 'natives' and DHARMA really start? If Jacob is looking for the good in humans, why are the Others killing the DHARMA folks?

Sagacious Penguin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sagacious Penguin said...


Yes, I too think it was DEFINITELY the MIB showing Richard Isabella on the ship, but here's the difference: that was a vision. It never actually happened. We clearly cut to it happening as Richard lays losing conciousness, and afterward we cut to him asleep again. This is EXACTLY like the visions that Locke was given (by the MIB I bet) when searching for the Swan and Pearl Hatches.

So my take is that on the Island you can either see a manifestation (from the magic box, other people see it, it doesn't make bargains with you), see the MIB (he's taken the likeness of a corpse he has physical posession of), be given a vision by the MIB (dreamlike), or talk to the actual dead via Hurley (Charlie, Jacob, Anna Lucia, Isabella).

I'm currently trying to break down all such sightings into those categories for my upcoming blog post on this.

Also worth noting: If the MIB directly gave Locke the visions that lead him to both the Swan and the Pearl, you can bet your butt the MIB wanted that failsafe key turned and the Swan hatch destroyed -- an action that reset the Island to its uncorked status (the result of the Incident) and is slowly leaking out the evil/dark/electromagnetic wine from the bottle.

In the Altered Universe this leak resulted in the Island ending up at the bottom of the ocean... and maybe that's exactly where the Island is headed even now as our characters are choosing sides... But what are the consequences for the world beyond the Island? Maybe that's what the Altered Universe is going to show us...

Working on exploring this further for my blog...

Benny said...

@Sagacious: hadn't thought of 'vision', that's also highly likely.

And where can I find electromagnetic wine?

Anonymous said...

I didn't read all of the other comments.. sorry if I'm repeating something but I just wanted to point out a few things that I noticed...

A God/Jesus -- Jacob/Richard parallel.
I'm not sayin' that these are absolute character parallels, just that there are similarities.
First, Jacob is all "I brought you here." This shows that he is powerful, for sure (like God.) He also talks about giving the people that come to the island a chance to prove that they're good. Essentially, giving them a choice to follow his morals. Which, if you believe the Bible, is exactly what God does, He gives us a choice to follow Him. Still with me?
Then Jacob goes on to give Richard a job as his mediator, essentially. Okay, according to the Bible, God gave this task to Jesus... to be the mediator (and ultimately the sacrifice for us, again, if you believe the Bible... could this be foreshadowing?)
One more thing, Jesus began his ministry right after he got baptized. Don't tell me that you missed the epic "baptism" that Richard went through! Right after he was dunked, Richard was given the job by Jacob.

To sum up, God gave a job to Jesus, and after Jesus was baptized, he started his work. In Lost, Jacob gave a task to Richard after he was "baptized," and then we all know that Richard has henceforth become the mediator that we know and love to this day.

Oh, and come on, was Richard totally Passion of the Christ tonight or what? OR WHAT I SAY!

Could Richard be the redeemer for the Losties? I don't think its a stretch to hypothesize that he could be the one that overcomes the Man in Black, through great personal sacrifice.

Okay, one more biblical parallel between Jacob and the Man in Black from this episode.
When Richard first hung out with the Man in Black (I like to call him Esau, just easier...), he prepared Richard food. Esau (MiB.. Smokey.. whatever you wanna call him...) straight up killed a beast and gave it to Richard for chowin' down. In the Bible, ESAU was totally the hunter out of the account of Jacob and Esau. Esau was the manly man who went out and hunted and brought home the bacon. Jacob from the Bible, on the other hand, was totally a momma's boy. He stayed at home and hung out around the house. In Lost, Jacob is the one weaving tapestries and now apparently lending clothes (not food!) to others (Richard!)

I'm not saying that Jacob and "Esau" are necessarily brothers, but I think they have a huge connection in their past.

Oh and metaphor of the day at the end:
When MiB smashed the bottle of wine... anyone else think "all hell's breaking loose"?

Unknown said...

HOLY #$C@!! I agree - Emmy for Nestor! I was not expecting Richard's backstory to be so heart-wrenching!

@marebabe - regarding Richard's accent - I also noticed that his Spanish accent seemed to lessen from being in prison to talking to Jacob! Maybe the island also has accelerated language learning powers! And it would be very difficult for Richard to teach himself English without someone to actually converse with unless he had a secret someone giving him private lessons! Or an early version of Rosetta Stone!

And also, marebabe, I too was so glad the priest was crooked cuz I've never met a man of God who would be so cruel, especially to someone who was so obviously remorseful.

There was a purple or blue butterfly that fluttered down into the Black Rock. Was that significant?

I think Sun should have told Jack, etc, that she MAY be a candidate cuz Ilana told Sun that either she or Jin or both of them were candidates.

The analogy of the island being the cork that keeps evil, the wine, in the bottle and nikki's analogy of the island being the lid on Pandora's box - now those are ideas I can actually wrap my head around!

So we know the Black Rock smashed Tawaret - crazily unbelievable, but very cool - but we still don't know how the statue got there in the first place! We need more time!

And, are we supposed to assume Jacob visited Ilana in the hospital more than once. At first she had some pretty serious bruising that would have taken a couple weeks to clear up. Or did Jacob's touch heal her wounds immediately?

scrvet said...

'Physician heal thyself' - Jack??

Maybe he's first in line to take over for Jacob- if he can become un-broken.

JS said...

@ J. A. Holten, Ireland – I think the tsunami broke the statue, not the ship.

@Marebabe – that high pitched giggle was him on the edge of insanity! I liked it too. Also, if the island is the cork, and the wine is the darkness, what is the bottle? ^-^

I think the emmy nominations should only go to LOST actors. No one else.

Convergence said...

JS said: MIB: We still do not know MiB’s name.

Well of course we do. He is "The Man Who Must Not be Named" :-)

I agree, awesome episode. My loved ones and I could barely think after seeing this one, there was so much to digest.

There have been fan discussions of Egyptian mythology, and Greek mythology, but has anyone ever explored Japanese mythology to see if there are parallels? I know too little about Japanese myths, but the whole white-black, yin-yang, the game of "Go" thing seems to be a big deal in that culture.

PS: This episode was the first time I watched the plane splitting into two pieces in the sky in the original Flight 815 crash (it may have been shown in the coming attractions) and thought, "Of course, two different paths, two different fates, two different realities, a good side or evil side, etc" It seems obvious now that the physical split mirrors the soul-split. It just never dawned on me before.

Benny, I agree with you, that was my biggest question, too, and something I can't get past and hope is answered. If Jacob is "good," and those working for him are good, and Jacob is trying to prevent evil, then why is Jacob's right hand man Richard so complicit in Ben's mass murder of the Dharma folks? Was Richard and the others worried the Dharmians would unleash the evil accidentally, so killing them was the lesser of two evils? That really seems to call into question just how good good really is here.

DavidB226Morris said...

First things first. I must say a mea culpa.In a post on my blog, I said that I didn't understand why the writers said that they basically took The Stand, and put it on an island. I said there were superfiicial connections, but the big themes weren't there.

To quote the REAL Locke, "I was wrong."

In fairness, the writers picked up this theme in 'The Incident' with Jacob and the Man In Black, but I didn't quite get the message that time (something I also elucidated in an earlier post) Now, of course, Stephen King's epic story of a struggle between good and evil in a postapocalyptic America seems to fit the structure of the series very well.

This episode also went a long way towards convincing me that Jacob might be on the side of good after all.I won't bore you by trying to repeat the themes that we saw in this episode (Nikki, as always, has it down cold)But it does go to sy that this island may not be hell (as Richard would have us believe) nor heaven , but rather some place in the middle. Now it does seem just as Flagg and Mother Abagail chose people (through dreams) for a chess game for the survival of the human race, the Man in Black and Jacob are doing the exact same thing.

The difference is when the A-bomb went off in The Stand (just like on the island) it was a triumph over Flagg, but it didn't kill him. Also the people who had joined Flagg's side wer not, truly, evil incarnate. And we've seen that Jacob's being killed has not ended his influence oreven taken him out of play. You can't defeat true evil; the fact taht FLagg survived to fight another day is proof of that

As for this episode, I am loathe to consider any episode of a series, the best ever. And right now, The Constant, The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham, and this seasons Dr. Linus are still pretty high on my 'best ever' list. What this episode did, however, was finally demonstrate whow great an actor Nestor Carbonell is.

This is something, BTW, I've had doubts about as would anybody who even glimpsed at Suddenly Susan or Jesse would. I've doubted it here because, for the most part, all Richard's really had to done is act mysteriously or stand around knowingly. But the death of Jacob has caused his character to finally let go of that sense of knowledge he's had, and seem like a human being. And in this episode, we finally saw that's all he was before he came to the island. A man who loved his wife, committed a mad act, lost her anyway, was sold into slabvery, and watched the entire crew of his ship die. Then he was torn between the two sides of the conflict between the inhabitants on this island. Yet despite the last 140 years, he has not gotten over the loss of his wife.Maybe Nikki was right that it's all going to come down to love.

And let's me honest wasn't everyone glad to see that for almost all of this episode,Richard after centuries of being properly coiffed spent most of the time in the episode unkempt and dirty haired?

I'm still not fully convinced that absent Jacob's touch, the passengers of Flight 815 would have been a lot better off. And I don't know why, if there were six candidates why Kate was touched by Jacob. But for once this episode finally gave us some 'frigging answers' and showed that this long epic journey we've been taken for five and a half seasons might be worth the trip. Shows like this are the reason we watch TV in the first place

And for the record, I still think The Wire was the better series of the century Any series that can make us care about the death of a leader of a drug syndicate is something special. Lost will just have to settle for being the most consistendly brilliant show on Network television so far this century--- no small acheivement when you consider the competition.

Benny said...

@Convergence: ...or where those orders really came from.

The Question Mark said...

Nikki, you beautifully summed up my feelings on the episode in your introduction to this post. Nestor Carbonell wowed me. I was choked up so many times during that hour and six minutes that my throat is still dry and sore. That was, as you said, an IMMENSE reward to all those who stuck it out over the past 6 years.
I think I'm still in a slight bit of shock over how affected I was by richard's tragic story. there were so many moments where I felt overwhelming pity & sorrow for him. Nestor portrayed the character so, SO, beautifully.

This is my new favourite LOST episode: none have affected me this much.
And if Mr. Carbonell doesn't win some kind of award or recognition, I will eat my hat.

Lesley C said...

Great episode - I think it's my favorite of Season 6 (so far).

I only have a couple of points to add:

1. Did anyone else think MiB moved in awfully fast to recruit Richard? We've seen MiB manifested as the Smoke Monster since Season 1 but he's never gone recruiting so soon after a new face landed on the island. Or did he recruit amongst the US Army contingent, the Dharma Initiative, the Tailies, etc. and we weren't aware of it? Did he only recruit when he had the dagger, which has been in Jacob's/Dogen's possession for the past few years?

2. Jacob seems really... driven by emotion this episode. Up until now we've only seen him as cool, calm, and collected, with all the answers. Did the recruitment of Richard take place so early into the MiB vs. Jacob "game" that the rules weren't set and passion still ruled some of the moves?

That's it for now!

Benny said...

@Question Mark: Just curious, what kind of hats do you have? Which one are you wearing right now? and which one are you planning on wearing at award ceremonies?

You know, just in case!

Benny said...

@Lesley C.: Remember that this is the first (chronologically) recruitment we've seen. Over 140+ years, we might expect him to change his strategy if he constantly fails.
But that's a neat observation!

Also.. we're all also wondering on the details of the dagger!

The Question Mark said...

@LATELYLOST: regarding Titus Welliver and Terry O'Quinn: Agreed! When MIB was speaking to Richard, I was catching little flickers of his eyes, tilts of his head, intonations of his voice that all perfectly matched how O'Quinn is portraying the same character.
Just another reminder of how the actors on LOST are so many leagues ahead of the actors on almost every other television show.

The Question Mark said...

@BENNY: I own two fedoras and one "Justin Timberlake" hat (I have no idea what they're called. I also have a hat that I made for Halloween, a replica of the hat Luigi from "Super Mario bros." wears.
All 4 of those hats are being worn to the Emmys, and all 4 WILL be ingested if awards are not given to Senor carbonell. LoL

Austin Gorton said...

Mmm...electromagnetic wine.

I've never born more convinced that Jacob really is the good guy (or the closet thing to it): no one with such elegant metaphors could be evil.

What a brilliant episode. I was hoping to get Richard's backstory. We got that PLUS an explanation of one of Lost's fundamental mysteries all wrapped up in one of the show's most beautifully crafted episodes ever.

Zari said...

In Roman Catholic theology: Whether the material universe was created in time or with time,
– or on the contrary, ab aeterno -- is the question which the human mind cannot solve without the aid of divine revelation.

When the priest held open Ricardo's Bible, it showed Luke 4:37: Christ comes down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and He began teaching in the Temple. There he cast out an unclean demon from a man possessed. All his miracles showed Christ to be a controller and conqueror of Satan, a healer of diseases. Where Christ gives a new life, in recovery from sickness, it should be a new life, spent more than ever in his service, to his glory. Is this the new life – the eternal life – the life forever in Jacob’s service – that Jacob gave Richard?

Richard, the Advisor, tells the Candidates “You’re dead. All of us are. We’re not on an island; we never were. We’re in hell.” This goes back to earlier references to Dante’s Inferno . Dante has a very rigid view of good and evil. His Hell is a place where sinners deliberately chose their sins and did not repent; now they are unable to repent forever; each vice is personified in the Inferno; the soul IS the vice; it retains those qualities which sent it to hell in the first place. Consequently, there is no possible hope of change or salvation for sinners. We see that Ricardo could not repent his sin of murder, even though it was an accident and he was truly sorry and did want to repent. He wants more than anything to be with his Isabella, but is forever separated from her. Again, this is Dante: The innocent Beatrice, who stands for pure love, is taken to the underworld, so Dante plummets to Hell in order to save his beloved. Beatrice does finally lead Dante to Paradiso, where Dante is then able to gaze upon the supreme radiance of God. Are Jacob and the MiB playing out Dante’s dual allegory – the progress of the soul toward Heaven, and the anguish of humankind on Earth?

Jacob states that he does not intervene; that the people he brings to the Island are supposed to know good from evil without him having to tell them. That reminds me of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epic, Faustus . Goethe makes clear that Mephistopheles (Satan) is meant to test men, either proving that they are unworthy of Heaven or that they are indeed faithful to God and Truth.

It was interesting that in last Thursday’s episode of “FlashForward”, the window washer-preacher stated so insistently that it “must be fate and faith.”

Word Verf: mizape : Polite form of address to a female gorilla.

Lesley C said...


Good point, it is the first recruitment by MiB that we've seen. Jacob alluded to other folks coming to the island in the past so we could perhaps assume that was not, however, MiB's first recruitment attempt ever. On the other hand maybe it was, the dagger was then neatly deposited with Jacob, and it didn't return to MiB until Sayid's failed assassination attempt two (?) days ago Standard Island Time.

Too many timelines to keep track of of...

Sagacious Penguin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sagacious Penguin said...

@ Convergence: You asked "Was Richard and the others worried the Dharmians would unleash the evil accidentally, so killing them was the lesser of two evils?" I answer: They arleady HAD unleashed the evil. Let any worry that Dharma was an unimportant sidestory be put to rest RIGHT NOW! Dharma came to the Island, and UNCORKED it with The Incident. They were able to temporarily waylay what they had done with the Swan Hatch, but because of the Incident and perhaps other unseen meddling afterward, Jacob rendered his verdict on them, and it was GUILTY. I doubt Jacob is the ultimate force for Good - he just doesn't believe man is inherently bad. What he IS the ultimate force for is protecting the Island. And Dharma had to go! The question now is with the Swan Hatch gone, is the the Island in a current state of being UNCORKED, and if so, is this the same state that led to the Island being underwarter in the Altered Timeline...

@DavidB226Morris: You say "I'm still not fully convinced that absent Jacob's touch, the passengers of FLight 815 would have been a lot better off." I'm beginning to think that the Altered Universe might not be just about showing us the untouched 815ers, but also showing us the consequences of an UNCORKED Island... Does catastrophe loom on the AU's horizon? Methinks so...

Rainier said...

Damn that was good!!! Richard has been a favorite character of mine for a long time now...I just love those pretty, pretty eyes... and I could not be happier with this episode! Nestor Carbonell definitely deserves some serious recognition for this one; an Emmy would definitely be in order.

A few points:

- As a gratefully recovering Catholic, I know that the priest's refusal to grant Ricardo absolution is not in accordance with Catholic doctrine. Yes, murder is considered to be a mortal sin, but given the way it happened - it really was an accident; there was no intent - the priest should have absolved him.

-The wave that threw the Black rock up onto the island was probably not technically a tsunami - those are associated with earthquakes, not storms. That would have been a "rogue wave". Rogue waves can be very large and can come out of nowhere; a friend of a friend was killed by one that literally snatched him off of a clifftop (when there wasn't even a storm!) from amongst a small group of people. So a rouge wave that came up in a storm with seas that high could have been very large indeed. And it might have thrown the ship a fair distance(probably not so far inland, though).

BUT...I really do not think that there is any way that such a wave would have taken out that statue; that kind of destruction would far more likely be the result of an earthquake. And the sequence and timing of events was all wrong for an earthquake to have occurred, causing a tsunami and destroying the statue. Maybe they should have skipped the (sloppy) CGI storm and just gone with an earthquake/tsunami scenario...

-Hurley's ability to speak to and for the dead makes for some very interesting interactions. I LOVED the scene with Richard, Hurley and Isabelle. So, so beautiful and moving and sad. I agree that this is the real Isabelle and the one on the ship was the MiB, one way or another.

- Interesting, how in so many books, movies, etc., that people who are granted immortality eventually tire of living. The fact that Richard now considers his immortality a curse is a fairly common theme when dealing with the immortality question.

-I am seriously reconsidering my opinion that Jacob is somehow evil. But since this is Lost, I am not abandoning it completely ;)

- Like some others, this ep left me wondering about the status of all that evil in the alternate reality, with the island on the bottom of the ocean... that, for me, was the biggest question posed by this episode.

@ Marebabe: I have been wondering for a very long time about the accent! Even today, almost all of the Europeans (and people from other countries as well) speak English with a British accent. Richard sounds like an American. Why in the world would he have acquired that accent???

@ SenexMacdonald: I agree that what Isabelle had looked a lot like TB. But for her to have gotten so sick and die that suddenly, she must also have had a secondary infection, probably pneumonia.

And I also was wondering what on Earth the Black Rock was doing in the Pacific, traveling from the Canary Islands to the New World. But since the island moves...maybe at that particular time, it was not in the Pacific!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. That was so intense and so beautifully acted. I never did care that much about/for Richard before, actually, but this could have been a stand-alone story about anyone and it still would have fascinated and compelled.

I am now left wondering why the person who was chosen as intermediary between Jacob and the people he brought to the island would have become involved in the feud between the "others" and the Dharma folk. (I'm thinking of the night when Sawyer and his gang were time traveling and ended up killing the guys who killed the Dharma picnicker.) Unless...were the "others" all the people Jacob brought and the Dharma folk showed up unexpectedly and uninvited, not a part of Jacob's plan?

Superbad said...

"And while we’re on the subject, I find it remarkable how completely Richard’s accent disappeared. In real life, it takes a concerted effort to lose an accent. Why would Richard have made that effort, living on the Island? Just a small thing I noticed.
" - Richard has lived for years. He can pick up ANY language and grow a natural accent as much as he can. Ha

- I was sooo happy to see a badass Jacob and not touchy, puppy eyed Jacob tonight. He CAN manhandle people!
- Esau touching Richard at the very beginning. Just to confuse us? or something else.
- LOVE the shot where Hurley and Richard were talking then Isabella: You NEED TO KILL Esau. Then pans to Locke 2.0 and his face was like: OH SHIT. Priceless!


Did we ever consider that Jacob CAN show up as dead people as well? Say maybe that was him as Isabella at the end of this episode.... Just throwing it out there.

Mr.Straume said...

Long time reader of Nikki's blogs and books, but first time commenting. Great episode and phenomenal acting by Nestor Carbonell. Really loved Richard's story, very sad and emotional indeed. Everything about it was sooo amazing:the Black Rock, Richard, The Man In Black, Jacob, How the Statue was destroyed, everything. Did anyone else think that when the priest introduced him to Jonas Whitfield, that maybe Charles Widmore may be related to him? The last names sound alike. They are both rich, and wealth could have been passed on from generation to generation. I know it's a bit of a reach, but I was just wondering.

Also, once I heard Magnus Honso, I was hoping we could put a face to the Hanso name, but nope. I really hope we get another Hanso reference or even get to see one. It was the first reference to the Hanso name since the Constant I believe. Anyway, amazing episode, amazing story that did not dissapoint, definitely my favorite so far, I know I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Nikki - I had the exact same thought about the English guy looking like Colin Firth. For one second my mind did this weird trip where I thought, 'is Colin Firth in this show?' and then I remembered no, I was watching Lost on TV. But he definitely came to mind.

Also, when Richard is talking to the MIB, and the MIB is trying to get Richard to agree to kill Jacob, and Richard says "but murder is wrong! That's what brought me here!", MIB replies, "My friend, you and I can talk all day about what's right and wrong, but the question remains the same..." and all I could hear was that line from Monty Python - "Let's not be bickering about who killed whom."

Rufus said...

Just what Jacob has been a puzzle for a long time but it was the symbols in "The Lighthouse" that first helped make up my mind. First there is the Mirror:

Mirror: The Latin word for Mirror (speculum) has given ust the verb 'to speculate'; anoriginally speculation was scanning the sky and the related movement of the stars by means of a mirror.

I see the characters as the stars being watched by Jacob who watches and considers his candidates from afar. I also see that mirror as us who speculate endlessly about everything Lost. Leading me to the Lighthouse.

in the Christian tradition: the lighthouse, whose LIGHT guides the SHIP of life, or the citadel tower that protects the faithful against the forces of Satan.

Jacob has been watching everyone for a long time and though he watches and with the help of Richard guides a little he leaves the hard choices up to us with the hope that all the killing and destruction is only progress to transformation.

Unknown said...

Great episode. Only one thing bothered me and I know I'm in the minority as everyone else seems to have loved this part. But when Hurley became interpreter for Isabella to Richard, I felt like I was watching an episode of Ghost Whisperer. That was an “ugh” for me. It was very distracting and I wound up not really paying much attention to what Isabella said.

So if everybody but Richard died after the Black Rock landed on the island; how did the log from the ship wind up back in the civilized world for Widmore to eventually buy at auction? I doubt that is a question that will be answered, so we’ll have to figure that one out for ourselves.

Joshua said...

I have to admit, I was really worried about this episode, certain that it couldn't possibly hold up to my expectations for it, but I was sooo wrong. Truly incredible, I thought, and the second time this year these amazing writers and actors have reduced me to tears. A great write-up too, Nik, as usual -- in particular I loved the highlighting of the differences between Jacob and Esau's methods of communication with Richard, and the volumes inferred by these details.

A few quick things from my notes:

-- Was it just me, or did the two opening flashbacks between Ilana and Jacob seem to be immediately concurrent? Because if so, then she was all bandaged and bruised one minute, and she was completely healed the next, implying to me that Jacob must have miraculously healed her himself. And if they weren't supposed to be concurrent, then the details between the scenes sure synched perfectly, right down to Jacob wearing the exact same jacket and scarf.

-- El Socorro, where Richard (Ricardo) said he lived, happens to be a Northern coastal area of Tenerife, directly adjacent to and including the beach. So he traveled directly from one island/beach environment to another.

-- Luke, chapter 4: the passage Richard was shown to be reading was the story of Jesus' rejection at Nazareth, as you said Nikki, but I think it is worth noting that the section immediately preceding it (verses 1-13) is the recounting of Christ's temptation in the wilderness by Satan, just as Richard was tempted by The Man In Black. It makes me wonder how long he fasted down in the hull of that ship... Also brings my mind back to a reference I tracked from a couple of seasons ago to an apocryphal Dead Sea document referred to as the "War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness," in essence a military strategy guide for a foretold war against dark forces that included the nation of Edom, which was the name given the descendents of Esau.

-- "There's only one way to escape from Hell: you have to kill the Devil." This episode was just filled with epic lines that I plan to memorize and repeat ad nauseam until my friends want to throttle me.

-- I thought the correlation between images of first a boar eating slave and then a slave eating boar was horribly awesome.

-- Did anyone else notice the similarity between the vial of medicine intended for Isabella and the vial from Locke's Dalai Lama test, also provided by Richard?

Okay, how sad is it that it's after 2am and I'm still tempted to go back to the sofa and watch it again?

Anonymous said...

What Hurley says in Spanish at the beginning:

Por qué? Qué va a hacer? Sí... Yo te puedo ayudar, pero yo no sé cómo encontrarlos y no sé......

Why? What will (he/she) do? Yes... I can help you, but I don't know how to find them and I don't know how to....

Mr.Straume said...

Also, in the last flashback where Jacob and the Man In Black have that epic scene full of epic dialogue, was the Man In Black staring out at The Mesa? It looked like The Mesa and I thought that it was. Anyone else?

Genevieve said...

In season 5's finale, with Jacob and the Man in Black talking in the beginning of the episode and watching The Black Rock coming toward the island, wasn't it daytime and relatively calm seas? And then it's nighttime and stormy when it makes its crash landing on the statue? Huh?

rainyday said...

Thanks for the instant review--it is amazing how quickly you write these! I was surprised that you never used the word "Hellmouth" in your review. I'm not well schooled in Buffy, but it was the first thing I thought of when Jacob explained the island. Can you enlighten us on this topic?

I really enjoyed this episode--so glad you did too!

Rufus said...

rainyday: May I just hop in here on the subject of the Hellmouth. There are a few differences between the HM and the Lost island. First, there are more than one Hellmouths and second they are in populated areas. The Lost island is an ever moving point in time. The similarity is that if you open either (or in the island case pop the cork) then evil escapes and pollutes the world.

Batcabbage said...

Awesome episode, I have nothing to add in regard to which part was awesome, because the whole, in fact, was awesome. (Jesus, I just sounded like my seven year old niece.)

But I do have a comment in regard to the Smokey-Be's-Dead-People thing. I agree with both Sagacious and Benny. MIB appears as a PHYSICAL manifestation of a dead person, ie Yemi, non-suited Christian (awesome moniker, Sagacious!), Alex and so on. I completely agree with Benny when he says The intriguing part for me is Isabella appearing in the end. Are there rules as to where the dead can appear to Hurley? Richard cannot see her but Hurley can, so I think this is the real one and earlier it wasn't! Yes, it totally is intriguing, and I completely agree that Isabella on the ship was Un-Locke (wanted to use his current alias just once), and speech Isabella at the end was real, simply because Richard couldn't see her. I mean, everyone can see Un-Locke (OK, twice). Hurley sees REAL dead people. The mere fact that Richard can't see her proves to me that it ain't Un-Locke (THREE TIMES!).

Anyway, yay for Lost!

VW: sorestro - A minor member of the Sinestro Corps (Sinestro's younger brother, maybe?)

flexible said...

I am delighted for you Nikki that you felt so emotional about it. :)

I haven't felt that satisfied in ages about any TV show. Maybe Greys every now and then but LOST hasn't done that in a while. Last week was pretty gratifying for me and @anonymous on the RECON comments page, thanks for that whatdemydid Recon video. It should be in a LOST 101 book.

This episode was interesting but I wasn't quite as emotional about it. Maybe because I am not one of those who was really dying to get the answers. It will come when it comes is my approach to all this myth stuff.

Here's what I noticed and wondered: Was MIB, MIB by the time he rescued Ricardus from the boat? Was he the smoke that killed those on the ship or was he not MIB by then?
-I am not sure who is bad anymore. Is anyone really bad? MIB just wants to get off the island. Who is Jacob to tell him he can't go? I don't get it.
-So Jacob brings evil people to the island to save the world from them and hopes that they will find redemption on the island, if not they would have to stay there. Maybe this is why Sawyer never got to leave the island on raft, helicopter or sub? He is yet to find redemption? Maybe thats why the 06 were dragged back and were so miserable off island? Or were they? Kate seemed to have found redemption off island...and speaking of Kate..
-Now we know that Jacob has a soft spot for Kate. LOL. All the men on the island do. He did not reveal/choose her as a candidate because he knew that would put her life at risk or did he forsee that HER redemption was off island? We now know that smocke is gathering the candidates because he wants to kill them all. We know that he knows that the candidates are supposed to replace Jacob and protect the world from the likes of MIB. So he is getting them on side, to kill them. Thats why Kates name was not in the cave or as Darlton later said "struck out". Maybe that was to confuse MIB. Her name was in the Lighthouse though and MIB does not seem to know where the Lighthouse is or if it even exists. So, Kate may just be the game changer in this whole battle. I suspected something along those lines but this episode has made me think I am on the right track. Kate was touched by Jacob so it would be odd if she was the only one touched who was not a candidate. So, there must be a reason and this episode I think gave us a hint.
-So it was Richards boat that broke the Statue?
......I think that was about it for me. I can't help thinking there must have been some point in seasons 4 and 5 that this episode could have comfortably slotted into. We have 7 episodes to go. Interesting and revealing as it was, at the end, when I realised that we had just 7 episodes to go, I thought what a waste of an hour! This was great to know but why on earth did they keep it till now?

There is so much that they will not get to answer and so many things will seem rushed and I kind of think it could have been avoided.

For me, the greatness of LOST, lies in they way it is pieced together over the seasons and how things from season 1 can be revealed in season 3 etc. Like a whole big puzzle. Sometimes they go too far(see ricardus episode in final season) but thats the greatness of LOST. As for the story itself and the stories of the characters, its all great but its not like its the best story ever written in the history of television.

As for the myth, there are better. LOST is LOST because of the characters and how they deal with the myth and themselves.

Batcabbage said...

Oh, crud, I forgot to mention YAY TITUS WELLIVER! Man, that guy rules. Bring back Deadwood, you HBO bastards! RRRAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!!

OK, I'm done. Sorry!

VW: mundi - 1. Day after Sundi, before Tuesdi. 2. Rex's last name.

Batcabbage said...

DavidB226Morris, thanks for reminding me of something! When MIB gets the key for Richard, I said 'Wow, it's like when Flagg busts Lloyd out of prison in the Stand."

Unknown said...

Hi Nikki. Love your blog!

This is what I think. The Black smoke can read peoples memories etc... think.. it looked at Richard and then his wife showed up. It looked at Eko and his brother showed up etc etc. So smokey can change form to people who he has seen, or been in physical contact with.
Also though, I think Isabella was herself at the end of the show, and maybe Jacob brought her there to sway Richard and motivate him to his true path.

v said...

@Convergence & Benny: If Jacob remains as hands-off as he implies during his first chat with Richard, then he’s not really involved in the purge either way (for or against), he’s only observing. Jacob didn’t even take a position against his own murder; he only HOPED Ben didn’t stab him. I would say he’s better described as the “free-will” side, instead of the “good” side. He usually hopes for the “good” outcome, but only if it is reached independently of his influence.

Maybe the loophole has something to do with MIB being able to manipulate Richard, who is operating in a position of power with limited information. He made the decision to heal Ben (telling Widemore Jacob wanted it), followed Locke’s life, gave him the means to join the Others (Sawyer’s file), told him he had to die, and led Ben and FLocke directly into Jacob’s foot/home. It seemed like Richard made all of those decisions by himself.

As far as the dead people seen on the island: Smokey seems the most likely candidate, they seem to happen around the black smoke and are manipulative. We’ve seen Flocke, the physical manifestation of Smokey, be extremely manipulative. But, when Ben saw his mom, she was in Dharmaville and he followed her toward the jungle. She was able to cross the fence barrier, which Smokey cannot cross, and she stopped Ben from following her, suggesting it was still on.
@Sagacious Penguin: I always thought Christian was manipulative, getting Claire to leave Aaron and the group, but I never realized the distinction between the outfits he wears, I'll have to look at the differences. The idea of two different sources makes sense, but if that's the case, I think the Isabella on the boat was the manipulative force.

@SenexMacdonald: I think the knife Ben used to kill Jacob was more of a hunting knife, like Locke carried around. The dagger we saw tonight was the one Sayid used to kill Dogan. Dogan had the knife to give to Sayid, because Richard left it with Jacob and Jacob recruited Dogan. I assume it’s been out of rotation in the meantime, buried in the side of the planter.

bowlhed said...

Hi guys.

Great episode and cracking summary Nik!

But, am I missing something but aren't there 18 hours this season? Someone said there is only 7 episodes left. I count 9 hours to go? So 8 episodes including the 2hour finale.

Please tell me I'm not wrong - I'd be gutted to find out there are two less hours than I thought!

Nestor for the Emmy!

Lee said...

Some observations I had about this episode:

-- When Hurley tells Richard his English is awesome, it's the first thing he also says to Jin when seeing him for the first time in 1977.

-- I was a little disappointed we didn't get a dynamite easter egg in this episode. At this point, dynamite and the Black Rock are like peanut-butter and jelly, and I would have liked to see a shot of it on the Black Rock at some point in Richard's flashback. It's played such an integral part in the show -- it blew up Dr. Arzt; was used as a weapon against the black smoke; killed numerous Others; and was the means for which Richard was attempting to end his miserable existence. If it was in the background somewhere, I missed it. Dynamite was patented in 1867, the same year as Richard's flashback, so it would make sense timewise. It makes me wonder if this was just something nobody thought of...or if the dynamite was a later addition. I keep thinking of the Army that came to the island in the 1950s; in addition to bringing along Jughead, they might also have brought along dynamite. After disposing of the Army, Richard had his people send the dynamite away someplace where it would be safe and where he would never see it again, a.k.a. the Black Rock. Because, as we learned in a previous episode, he hadn't stepped foot in the ship since he escaped from it in 1867. It's a minor quibble, and in the grand scheme of things, it's a "Who cares?" sort of moment, but it would have been a nice easter egg for the fans.

-- What changed Richard's way of thinking when it comes to killing? In 1867, as a religious man, he is horrified at the act of killing, even accidentally. When the Army arrives 80 years later, he tells Daniel he was "forced to kill them" but he doesn't seem remotely remorseful about it. Who forced him to do this? Jacob? The Man in Black? Someone else? Or maybe he just did it himself; perhaps, when he buried his wife's necklace, he shed his old persona and took on a new one, the kind of person that would kill to protect the island.

-- Nestor Carbonell was AWESOME in this episode. No doubt his best acting in the entire series.

Brian Douglas said...

So the Others aren't descendents from Black Rock survivors, and they don't appear to have been on the island then (although they didn't mention that Jacob had brought others to the island before Richard). So where did they come from?

How did the Honsos learn what happened to the Black Rock? Surely it's no coincidence that their Dharma Initiative ended up on the same island.

humanebean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
humanebean said...

An extremely satisfying episode. Nestor Carbonell was finally given the center stage and he held it with power and grace. I have to say that I was not as powerfully blown away by this installment as you and many others were, Nik - but it was rich and compelling throughout. Busy, busy day today, so I'll just chug my electromagnetic wine (Manischevoltz, no doubt) and offer up a Few Things That Jumped Out At Me:
1) For a moment as we reviewed the Jacob/Ilana scene again, I thought, "Holy COW! This takes place AFTER the current timeline on Island!!! THAT'S how she was injured!!". Ah ... not so much.

2) The bible verse tying together both Jesus' casting out the devil from a man and Jesus' rejection in Nazareth was perfect. Man always seems to reject the divine presence in various mythologies. If Jacob is meant to represent this divinity in some way, he brings people to the Island over and over again, allowing them to reject him repeatedly out of their free will.

3) I was fascinated by MIB's words to Ricardo, "The devil betrayed me. He took away my body ... my humanity". A reference to his having been "cast out" of the body he had been occupying before? Does this have anything to do with Ilana's previous comment that MIB is now "stuck" in his current visage as Flocke? I think we will find that MIB was responsible for his own loss of "humanity".

4) Jacob dunks Ricardo 4 times in the ocean. Gee, he really DOES have a thing about the numbers, eh?

5) The little touches in this episode resonate for me. Ricardo buries the cross necklace and (much more than 3 days later) the cross is "resurrected". A wonderful metaphor for the many, many 'risen' souls we see on the Island.

6) Another: Jacob sending the white stone to MIB via Ricardo. I think we see now that the cave by the waterline that Flocke brought Sawyer to was not Jacob's Hideaway™ but rather MIB's own. HE set the stones upon the scales, scrawled the names and numbers on the walls and spent his years plotting revenge on Jacob, searching for his loophole amongst the candidates.

7) Yet another: the analogy of the wine in the bottle neatly ties together religious imagery (the blood of Christ, among many other meanings) with the theme of light and darkness .. or protection from darkness. The image of MIB simply smashing the bottle to let the darkness out was powerful.

8) I think what the voiceover was stating is that there are only 7 hours remaining UNTIL the season finale. This was the 9th hour, 7 more to go ... and then the 2 hour finale, giving us 18 hours in all.

9) Titus Welliver ROCKS. Batcabbage, I have to tell you that I recently came into possession of an original pilot script for Deadwood, autographed by Powers Boothe AND his daughter Parisse, who also acted on the show (as one of the Bella Union's 'working gals'). You are one of the only people I know who might fully appreciate how utterly elated I was to receive the script. BOO-YEAH!

Verfication word: "pectne" - acne on your chest muscles. Ick.

Second verification word: "wheese" - the result of consuming too many dairy products, clogging the arteries and leading to shortness of breath.

JenniferS said...

Haven't read the other comments so this may be a repeat: I think when Isabella comes to Richard on the ship, she's a manifestation of Smokey. But, when she comes at the end, she's the "real" Isabella. The clue for me was that Richard could see Isabella the first time, like everyone can see the smoke manifestations, but at the end only Hurley could see her.

I also wondered why Richard didn't use his feet on the ship, but I think they must have been restrained, or just numb, or too weak. When he dropped his nail, though, it looked like all he had to do was move his head and drag the thing. On the other hand, if he's been hacking at his chains for days with this lousy little nail, dropping it out of reach would have been, shall we say, . . . discouraging.

I was crying by the end too, which surprised me because I've never been emotionally invested in Richard like I have been with other characters. Nestor Carbonell is going to get a lot of (deserved) praise, but what about Jorge Garcia? He too was awesome.

My question: if Jacob doesn't want to intervene, why are there "rules"? And does Richard get to decide when to intervene on Jacob's behalf, or does Jacob tell him what to do?

Anonymous said...

I have things to say about free will/predestination, and the destruction of religion as seen through Jacob, but I'm off to work.

Haven't read all the comments, so perhaps it's been said.

Obvious parallels between Richard and Sayid.

Loved the episode.

JS said...

@genevieve – they never said it was the black rock approaching on that day. Jacob said he has brought many to the island. I am willing to believe it was a different ship.

@marebabe, @rainier, et al - It is funny to me that we wonder how Richard lost his accent over 100 or so years, but no one questions why Jacob and MiB are speaking American English in the first place! :)

JS said...

@Mr. Straume – that is exactly what I was thinking, and mentioned in a previous post. And, now that Hanso has been introduced, I am even more interested in how his descendant came to be a presence on (or even found) the island. @brian Douglas – exactly, how did Alvar figure out where his ancestor ended up????

@Deb – I think Richard could have brought the book back to civilization, or maybe Widmore stole it and snuck it onto the sub before he was exiled.

@Joshua – I am still wondering about the timing of the Ilana flashback (I mentioned this in my earlier post). How is it that Jacob is able to say there are 6 candidates left before they ever got onto Ajira 316? They would have to be Reyes, Ford, Jarrah, Shepard, Kwon, and Austen. Locke was already dead. So the timing is somewhat sketchy to me.

JS said...

@flexible – Yes, evidence points to MiB being MiB. He read’s Ricardo’s mind, and then takes the shape of his wife, then makes a deal with him to kill Jacob. He “misrepresents the truth” when promising to get him together with his wife. The smoke killed everyone for no real reason other than not finding someone he can manipulate into killing Jacob. Anyone who has come up against him and not been killed has been someone who can be manipulated – Richard, Locke, Eko (until he was unrepentant), Kate, though his is on the fence on her. MiB lies, Jacob does not.

@Lee – I was wondering the same thing, why is Richard OK with killing. Well, he is never going to be punished for it, that might be a barrier removed. As a very religious man (just regular religious for those times), things were black and white for him. It wasn’t about morality in an abstract sense. So now that he will never go to hell, it seems it is worth taking a chance.
Oh, and I wanted to see the dynamite too.

JS said...

@ ? – re: timing of the episode. Had we had this episode in S5, it would have taken away the surprise of seeing Richard in all the timelines looking exactly the same, and it would have completely predicted Richard’s reaction to FLocke. The power of Richard’s reaction for us was that it was so different from everything he was before that point. We didn’t know WHAT this thing would have to be in order for Richard to freak out. And Richard’s desperate attempt to kill himself, that needed to be before this as well. If everything were told in time line order, the mystery would be minimized, and the story less interesting.

FATE VS. FREE WILL - Maybe the reason everyone on the island so far is dead is because they haven’t chosen good, even though Jacob believes they can. His first assistant has definitely influenced future “others”. Now we have to re-watch every instance of what Jacob “wanted” and measure that against Jacob’s goal of keeping MiB contained. E.G. How does killing baby Alex do that? Or, if Widmore was listening to MiB, why does he want Alex dead, aside from preferring people to be dead? Or in

DEAD IS DEAD, Richard first thought the vision was his wife, but after talking to Jacob, understands that the dead can not come back to life. That is why he is baffled by the new Locke. I am wondering why he couldn’t tell earlier, or could only the candidates tell – Jarrah, Ford, Austen, Kwon all knew immediately – but no one else. Richard didn’t know it was MiB until the chains comment.

Lastly, I predict we will see the original sin, so to speak, in the finale – how MiB came to be exiled to this island, lost his body (snake, anyone?) and how Jacob came to be the protector. I like the idea they are angels of some sort, as we’ve discussed in previous episode recaps.

OK, I really do have to go to work now.

Gillian Whitfield said...

Love, love, love LOVED this episode. One of the best episodes of Lost. My favourite episode of Lost ever.

Richard is officially my favourite character. Sawyer is up there too, along with Ben, Charlie, Hurley and Daniel. I've been waiting for this episode since season 3.

Jonas Whitfield? While it was cool having the same last name, I didn't like him that much. He was snarky. But not in the cool, funny Miles snarky. Evil snarky.

I LOVED Ben's line "This should be interesting". I laughed out loud. And Richard's nervous little giggle was funny too.

If Nestor Carbonell doesn't get an Emmy nomination for this episode, then the world is not right.

Uh, Hurley . . . change that red shirt ASAP! I loved Hurley in this episode. When he was speaking Spanish to Isabella at the beginning, at first my mom and I were like, "Is he talking to his grandpa Tito?"

I'll post more once I've seen the episode again. Oh, it was amazing

mgkoeln said...

Much has been said about this great emotional ride of an episode - so, I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned Michael Giacchino's amazing score yet!

The episode got me the moment we saw horseriding to this beautiful new musical theme that seems to have been written especially for this character's back story. (And, of course, the fact that the scene was set on Tenerife did its part as well, as I just spent a nice vacation there.) I loved the score so much, I even wondered if I had shed any tears without it as well. I cried my eyes out just like you, Nikki - and I think the music had a big hand in that!

Someone should give Michael Giacchino an Oscar! Oh well, they just did ;-)

Nikki Stafford said...

Hey guys: Really busy again but definitely reading all your comments today!! GREAT STUFF!

Someone asked about the number of episodes... I believe the commercials are saying 7 episodes are left... until the finale. Which is 2 hours, so that means we have 9 hours left.

Anonymous: (Oh, I hate when there's an anonymous who leaves such fantastic insights!! Just sign your name at the bottom if you can't get a sign-in so we can all give you proper credit!) Yes, I did catch the baptism, and great rundown of it. It's a beautiful moment, and after that moment Richard has a new outlook and new lease on life, and it was wonderfully done without being too obvious.

Great stuff, everyone!! Keep it up. :) I'm loving reading everything, even if I'm not darting in often enough to respond.

Nikki Stafford said...

mgkoeln: Much has been said about this great emotional ride of an episode - so, I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned Michael Giacchino's amazing score yet!

Yes yes!! I was thinking that when we flashed back, that the music was new and unique and that it had been blended so beautifully into Richard's story. Thank you for saying this!!

Nikki Stafford said...

rainyday: HAHAHAHA!!! OMG, I can't believe I didn't even think of that.

Ahem... ladies and gentlemen, the reason I loved last night's episode as much as anything on Buffy is because Jacob is officially guarding the hellmouth!! BRILLIANT.

Rebecca T. said...

A. Maz. Ing.

I wish every episode could be like this. Wow.

Nestor Carbonell is brilliant and I'm so glad he's finally been able to do more. He's definitely become one of my favorites this season (though Ben still beats him - though only by a hair after that ep.)

Re: the accent - he also would have no one to speak Spanish with, and probably wanted to do whatever he could to put his past behind him.

Re: Isabella - my take on it was that there were two different appearances. In the beginning it was Smokey using her appearance as a way to break Richard and use him as the loophole. After all, chronologically this happened directly after that conversation where MiB tells Jacob that someday he's going to find a loophole. It would make sense that he saw in Richard a way to do that. He protects him from getting stabbed, waits until he is weak from thirst and hunger, dangles his dead wife in front of him and then "kills" her all so that he can get Richard to agree to kill someone he has never met.
The one with Hurley was the actual Isabella. If it had been Smokey, wouldn't Richard have seen it too?

@bowlhed: it says, 7 episodes BEFORE the finale, so total of 8 more. It's worded kind of oddly, but they're all still there :)

All right, now onto a few thoughts of my own, though Nikki of course has hit many of mine in a much more eloquent way.

1. Richard's loony laugh was so hysterical. Oh goodness, I'm snickering just thinking of it.

2. Ben only had, what, 2 lines? And they were both favorites for me: "Oh, THIS should be interesting."
"Well, if it helps it's not EXACTLY Locke." hahahahahahaha

3. I have NEVER been so excited to hear that whoosh that means a flashback is coming. NEVER.

4. Pig eating slaves = gross, gross, gross, gross

5. Richard was "touched" by both MiB and Jacob. Will this be significant?

6. Everything always seems to come back to the beach. When the Losties don't know what to do they go to the beach. Richard goes to the beach to find Jacob. I don't know if it means anything, I just find it interesting that there have been at least 3 specific times in this season alone where they have determined they have to go to the beach.

Oh, wow - as I was thinking about that I realized that Jack (I think) last episode or the one before that said they were going back to "where it all began" meaning the beach. But chronologically the beach is where this story all began. That is where Jacob and MiB are waiting for the Black Rock. That is where we hear about the loophole. That is when Richard first arrives and is the beginning of the story we are currently in. If all the previous candidates died, then Richard really is the beginning of this story.

7. It is SO fantastic to finally seeing Hurley become more important. Even Jack doesn't press him too much and he's become more autonomous, doing what he believes needs to be done regardless of what everyone is doing or telling him to do.

In relation to him, though - what made him able to see dead people? And why couldn't he do it before. It would seem to me that perhaps this is Hurley's gift - the one given to him when Jacob touches him right before he gets on the Ajira flight, because it is only after this that Hurley begins to have conversations with the dead. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong) Did Jacob know that he might die and gave Hurley this gift so that he might be able to continue to relay his instructions even after he was killed?

Wow. So many things to think about. Love. It.

VW: undemi - fake jeans

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Re. MIB taking on bodies of the deceased vs. the "souls" or "ghosts" that apparently only Hurley can see and talk to:

Many of you have mentioned the possiblity of two Christians. The one in the cabin, down by the donkey wheel with Locke, talking to Sun and Frank in 2007 newOtherton, etc. Then there's the Christian that Jack followed around in "White Rabbit". If this was not a manifestation of MIB, why was Jack able to see him? Because of this, I'm confused why Richard was not able to see Isabella, but Jack could see his father. Is this another indicator of Jack's "abilities" and his destiny? Jack has something to do. What is that? Now I'm thinking of Sawyer again and him seeing the boy with the bloody arms. Oh well...more answers to come.

Still haven't rewatched the episode. I'm getting too caught up in all the other blogs that I read. But this is the only blog with such competent, smart, insightful and courteous posters. You should all be very proud of your passion, knowledge, generosity and sense of fun and wonder. It's truly a joy to take part in. THANKS!!!

Anonymous said...

I think the whole "dead people on Island" thing is pretty obvious.

"Ghosts" everyone sees: manifestations of the Man in Black. Yemi was definitely one of them; Christian was too, probably, since:
a) We saw him in Jacob's old cabin (which, according to Ilanna, Jacob left a long time ago) with whom we then assumed was Jacob, but was probably MiB (unless it's someone else entirely, who was trapped in the cabin by the ashes... but I doubt it);
b) He told Locke about his "sacrifice", which was MiB's plan all along - after all, he's the one who wanted Locke dead.

The Isabella Richard first saw on the Island must've been Smokey as well, manipulating Richard with apparitions after "downloading" his memories.

Hurley's "friends" - The actual dead people. E.g. Charlie, Eko(?), Ana Lucia, et cetera. The Isabella from the end of the episode was the real one, then.

Indetermined - the Horace Goodspeed in Locke's dream, who probably was also in line with MiB (seriously, does Season Four's "Cabin Fever" still make any sense these days?), and Ben's mother Emily back in "The Man Behind the Curtain". Smokey had never seen him then, and Emily seemed really concerned for Ben's safety, so... I don't know.
Speaking of young Ben and his mother, maybe that's why Richard protected young Ben so much - as both saw someone they cared for (Richard - Isabella, Ben - mommy) on the Island, he could relate to him.

Sedated Ape said...

If the smoke monster hated Jacob from the begining why were the others able to call the monster to protect them? Why would he be a security system for the followers of the man he wanted to kill? Seems counterproductive.

I still don't buy Jacob as the good guy. His bringing people to the island has destroyed the lives of all the characters we're supposed to care about and killed other people for no purpose - like the other passangers on the planes.

I think that's what Locke is doing.

CBP68 said...

Ab-solutely awesome episode! Richard was amazing!

I don't know if anyone wrote this, since I haven't finished all the comments, but...I don't think Isabella said the last part Hurley intrepreted. I think that is Jacob through Hurley, telling Richard that the man in black must be stopped. I have to re-watch the episode.

Susan said...

SonshineMusic "In relation to him, though - what made him able to see dead people? And why couldn't he do it before. It would seem to me that perhaps this is Hurley's gift - the one given to him when Jacob touches him right before he gets on the Ajira flight, because it is only after this that Hurley begins to have conversations with the dead. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong) Did Jacob know that he might die and gave Hurley this gift so that he might be able to continue to relay his instructions even after he was killed?"

Hurley did see dead people before Jacob touched him. He saw Charlie, Eko, and AL before he turned himself into the police, and Jacob touched him after he got out of jail. However I think (just a theory) that Jacob had to have touched him (and Sayid) before 815 as well.

GWallis said...

Nestor Carbonell performance from this episode alone is emmy worthy.

Jessica said...

Wow, so I have to say that I have many mixed feelings about this episode. Although I can appreciate the love-fest for Nestor's acting, the "Ghost" scene at the end, and the overall backstory for Richard... it just fell flat for me.
Every time a character was leading us somewhere and I would get all excited, jumping up and down, then blah... ahh not so much.
With appx. 7 hours left, I don't want to hear characters talking about and convincing other characters that the Island is Hell; we know it's not (according to Darlton)! A simple "picture this wine is evil...." not so awesome when we've already heard that Jacob is keeping the evil MiB on the island and away from the rest of the world.

I'm sorry to be a debbie-downer, but I want to be blown away by these final chapters of what I consider to be the best story ever told on television, not just told the same cryptic messages by different characters in slightly different ways.

And I agree with what some others mentioned about the tank that is the Black Rock. I laughed out loud when I saw where it was headed! Really that piece of junk wooden sailing vessel took down a 100ft+ rock?? Ugh!!

One more thing before I get a lashing... I appreciate that the creators, directors, and producers attempt to keep the realism and/or follow previous precedents by allowing non-english speaking characters to speak in their own language with us having the benefit of subtitles. Unfortunately for my poor fiance, who is slightly dyslexic and doesn't understand a word of spanish, he did not get to enjoy the episode at all. Usually when one or two scenes employ this method in an episode, I have to read the subtitles for him or else he can't even see what's happening which then of course takes away from my experience, but this episode was so full of subtitles that if I did that, I basically would have just been reciting the script without the full benefit of the visuals, which is a great loss considering the benefits we get from watching this amazing cast of actors.

Austin Gorton said...

@Nikki Sun is definitely one of the candidates? When was that determined? Do we know that for sure or is Ilana just telling her she is because she’s assuming that’s what “Kwon” meant?

As I recall, Ilana told Sun that "Kwon" was a candidate, and she didn't know if that meant her or Jin. I think last night Sun was just simplifying things for Jack.

Speaking of which, how crazy was that? A scene in which Character A shares information with Character B? That NEVER happens on Lost. :)

@Joshua And if they weren't supposed to be concurrent, then the details between the scenes sure synched perfectly, right down to Jacob wearing the exact same jacket and scarf.

I saw them as occurring further apart in time, as indicated by Ilana's condition. First, she's badly injured...time passes...she's healed a bit. Though to be fair, I didn't notice that Jacob was dressed the same in both scenes.

Did anyone else notice the similarity between the vial of medicine intended for Isabella and the vial from Locke's Dalai Lama test, also provided by Richard?

I did not; thanks for pointing it out.

@Batcabbage I said 'Wow, it's like when Flagg busts Lloyd out of prison in the Stand."

Oh, I can't believe I missed that. It IS just like that scene: I'm kinda surprised MiB didn't morph the key into a talisman or something. :)

@Brian Douglas So the Others aren't descendents from Black Rock survivors, and they don't appear to have been on the island then (although they didn't mention that Jacob had brought others to the island before Richard). So where did they come from?

After getting Richard's backstory and some clarification as to Jacob's motives in this episode, I feel like the Others, in general, now stand as the biggest remaining mystery (not that there aren't plenty of others).

The implication I got from the scene on the beach with Jacob and Richard was that the Others came about AFTER that moment; that MiB had been killing all of Jacob's subjects and that Richard made Jacob realize a little help wouldn't be a bad thing. So with Richard in place in his new job, he was able to keep MiB from corrupting/killing all the new arrivals, and the people that, with Richard's help, sided with Jacob, remained on the island and eventually grew to become the Others as he we know them.

Now, that's just my theoretical take on things, and it's all based on an inference I made from one scene. For all we know, the Others are already hanging out in the temple by the time Richard shows up. I'm just hoping sometime in the next ten hours we get an "origin of the Others" episode.

@mgkoeln Much has been said about this great emotional ride of an episode - so, I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned Michael Giacchino's amazing score yet!

Indeed! He continues to knock it out of the park.

Something I noticed when MiB was convincing Richard to kill Jacob: MiB says "my friend" a lot, just like Caesar did, and in the same manner as Caesar.

By no means do I think this late in the game the writers are going to circle back around to Caesar and make him a significant character, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

PS Blam, if I recall correctly, it was you that insisted we not refer to the ship seen in "The Incident" as the Black Rock until told as much, and I argued that narrative simplicity suggested it was the Black Rock, until told otherwise.

We have now been told otherwise. Touche, my friend, touche. I doff my cap to you.

annie_a said...

I agree with you Nikki, this episode was great. Even though it felt like a completely different show than LOST. no other episode ever felt like that.
(just think... if Nestor Carbonell's other show wouldn't have been cancelled, we would have never got this treat!)

at the end, when the Man in black samshes the bottle, he held it upside down for a minute, and for some reason, the (empty) bottom of the bottle made me think immediately of the "island is a snow globe" from a few seasons back.

did anybody else notice that?

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Here's what I'm thinking about Isabella...

Smokey came into the hold of the ship and stared Richard down. Probably read his memories, found out what was most important to him. Disappeared. Then Isabella turns up (but it's not really Isabella, is it? I think it's Smokey pretending to be her, hence telling him that they're both in hell). Total emotional upheaval for poor Richard. She runs off (at Richard's urging) and we only hear what happens. Then MiB turns up, gets Richard to agree to do "anything I tell you to" in order to set him free from his chains, tells Richard what he wants to hear (here's what you have to do, then you can get your wife back) and sends him off to kill Jacob.

I think sometimes when we see dead people on the island, we're really seeing them. Other times, I think MiB is manipulating people's memories and showing them people they want to see in order to try to get them on his side.

I think the Isabella at the end, the one Hurley saw, was really there. I really hope she was. Because after all this time, I think Richard deserved that time "with" her. It was heartbreaking.

Like Nikki, this episode had me weeping. Amazingly powerful. Nestor Carbonell is a genius.

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Oh, another thing...

So Jacob said no one could go into the statue unless he's invited them, right? But NotLocke and Ben just went storming right in there, didn't they? I wonder if there are any repercussions for that?

Lebowski Achiever said...

In one of the first episodes of the season when Iliana and her crew met up with Lapidus didn't one of the crew mention that Frank could be a candidate? Does anyone remember this scene and how Iliana responded? The reason I ask is because we learn in this episode that Iliana has a list from Jacob of the 6 candidates who she is to protect. I'm interested in her answer because she would obviously know the answer from the paper Jacob gave her.

Benny said...

@Rainier: Who says the Black Rock was going to the New World? It's more likely Jacob 'touched' Magnus Hanso to come to the island. It probably was their intention all along. It's a 'new world' but no THE 'New World'.

@Deb: Widmore buys the log circa 1996. This gives 130 years for anyone who came to and left the island to carry it. It may have been Richard, an US army crew or DHARMA member. Maybe even Widmore had once sold it on one of his secret trips to start his fortune, but now he needs it to find the island again.

@Genevieve: Yes it was. The simple explanation would be it's near the end of the day and at night a storm erupted.

@flexible: Just curious, what do you believe are better TV stories than Lost? Better mythologies?
-As for being rushed, you use the analogy of a puzzle. When you put a puzzle together, it takes longer to do the first half than the second. You put MANY pieces together in the last leg than when you take it out of the box or even when half-done.

Rebecca T. said...

@Susan: right... I forgot about those moments with Hurley. But he didn't see anyone the first time on the Island, right? I don't know, it just seems odd that it's suddenly such a BIG part of his character when there wasn't even a hint of it before.

Benny said...


We discussed Christian's dress patterns in an earlier episode or last year (thought I think it was for LA X) and what it means in terms of it's composition. I listed all the different appearances of Christian as Suit-Christian and Cabin-Christian.

Another difference in the two forms was their overall attitude/bahaviour.

Unknown said...

Nikki - I hear you on the Jacob is good; MiB is bad. But I still get a sense that the writers are pulling a long con on us.

For a bad guy, the MiB is sure patient and forgiving. Richard fails his task and the MiB pretty much shrugs it off. Heck, he even offers to take MiB back if Richard changes his mind.

Sure, Smokey has killed some people, but who has it killed? The captain and crew of a slave vessel? Eko, an unrepentant drug dealer?

In the scene where MiB breaks the wine, I get the sense that he's mad not at being bottled up, but that Jacob used that metaphor to woo Richard.

I've posted this before, but I'll post it again: in the Sideways world, I think we see how the Castaways are faring without Jacob's intervention. And their lives are much better.

With Jacob's intervention through his touch, their lives are much worse.

I'm probably wrong but the skeptic in me can't help but think we're being conned and Jacob isn't the good guy in this story.

humanebean said...

Can't believe I forgot to mention this earlier, so consider this another Thing That Jumped Out At Me:
10) We finally get a brief (albeit lightning-flashed) look at the front of the statue and ... it doesn't at all appear to be a female icon. Wha? If this is Tawaret, as officially confirmed by Darlton, what are we to draw from this? I know that there are many, many different representations of these various Egyptian (and other) gods ... but if you are going to go out of your way to choose Tawaret in a storyline that highlights female reproductive issues and the seeming inability to come to term on the Island - shouldn't you at least represent the key figure in the most commonly understood way - as a woman?

This may sound a bit strange, but in freeze-framing the brief views of the statue as The Black Rock is cresting towards it, the chest area of the statue has two visible horizontal lines, almost as if it is meant to suggest a double-mastectomy - if this was indeed a female figure. Given that we may never see the backstory on the statue (now that we've seen it's destruction) I am left searching for some explanation as to its purpose. I mention this only because the usual representations of Tawaret emphasize her breasts as a symbol of the nurturing/childrearing role of the figure. Thoughts, anyone?

Lebowski Achiever said...

@genevieve – I think they had the conversation about Danielle's and the french teams ship coming to the island, not the Black Rock

Austin Gorton said...

@Pan: Sure, Smokey has killed some people, but who has it killed? The captain and crew of a slave vessel? Eko, an unrepentant drug dealer?

Also, the pilot from, uh, the Pilot, who, as far as we know, did nothing to warrant it. Rousseau's crew. Keamy's mercenaries. Bram and the other Shadow Seekers. Everyone at the temple. Potentially, the Ajira survivors.

Basically, an assortment of "deserved it, didn't deserve it, debatable if they deserved it".

Personally, I've long maintained that while Jacob may not be the good guy, Smokey isn't a good guy either. I just can't cotton to the idea that the guy who kills first and asks questions later is the "good" guy in an epic like this.

Maybe there is no good guy at all, but I have to believe Smokey is a bad guy. "Join me...or die!" is just so Dark Side.

Benny said...

@V. I'm not claiming he's involved in the purge, unless you believe in the phrase "Jacob's orders", then it is somewhat contradictory. But I'm just saying that Richard intervening ON BEHALF of Jacob (as stated this week) seems off in light of the conflict with DHARMA... the Purge is a different thing.

@bowlhed/humanebean: Indeed! 7 until the finale. Tricky like that. You're right, 9 hours of Lost left.

@Brian Douglas/JS: My guess is that someone (i.e. Widmore) sold Hanso's log off-island to start his wealth. They used it to find the island. And now, Widmore wants it back to find the island again! Just creative thinking on my part, no evidence!

@humanebean: yes, certainly looks like evidence it was NOT Jacob's cave in the cliff!

JS said...

@Pan – “good” is subjective, and if we are defining it as everyone is happy and getting what they want, then, yes, Jacob is not good. BUT, if we think of gods and God, they/He never really made anything easy for followers, nor necessarily grant wishes. I think we are carrying around this idea of ultimate good, when, in history anyway, “good” gods/God haven’t/hasn’t necessarily been all that easy to deal with, nor made things easy for people. If the God Job dealt with could allow satan to kill all his wives, children and animals just to prove a point, then, Jacob is pretty tame in comparison.

JS said...

@sonshine music – Hurley spoke to dead people before Ajira. He saw someone in the cabin, he spoke with Dave, and off island he spoke to all kinds of dead people. You can count dave as before the first time to the island. I think that is the first in the timeline that we have seen. Not sure when he figured out he could talk to dead people. Also, are you talking about the pig-eating slaves, i.e. Richard, or the pigs who are eating slaves. I assume the latter.

@Lisa(ufn) – I think the best we can assume is candidates can see ghosts and non-candidates cannot. If this is a continuity or logical error, I will be very upset.

@Mythos – I think the undetermined examples you give is precisely why the rules on ghost sightings isn’t obvious. Again, this better all work out and make sense in the end. They can’t screw this one up.

@debbie-downer, I mean Jessica :) – I would like to think the statue was hollow. That helps me believe the wave (not the ship) took the statue down.

@Teebore – re others. Jacob did say everyone else he has ever brought to the island was dead. I wonder when/how the temple was built – with the statue? ALSO, I am still wondering why Richard is the second and not the first. Why isn’t/wasn’t he a candidate? Is he just there to help with the candidates? Then why didn’t he know what Ilana was talking about re: candidates? This is still an open question for me.

@Annie_a said: (just think... if Nestor Carbonell's other show wouldn't have been cancelled, we would have never got this treat!) Perish the thought!!

word verif: folly - I know!

Rad said...

I thought the acting in the episode was phenomenal, I didn't know Nestor Carbonell had it in him (I forgot he played Moth in The Tick, great call Benny). Now I wish we would have gotten more Richard in previous seasons. But I agree with Susan, I expected a little more out of the episode in general.

Richard's always saying he's seen "amazing things on this island" so I was hoping we would see more of the things he's seen (I know we only get an hour and the back-story they gave us for him all seemed necessary and very well told). Also, the BlackRock destroyed the Statue but didn't seem to have sustained much damage itself even with crashing into the Statue and riding a tidal wave into the middle of the jungle.

I'm also not sure I'm completely in love with the idea that the reason for all of the past events (time travelling, Dharma, Spring of Life, the Others, etc) is all in the name of proving to MiB that people do make the right choices and are not always corruptible. There could be more to the story, and I hope there is, but I'm not sure if that is a great reason for why "The Candidates" were originally brought to the Island and have been through all of this (for me anyway).

Questions I had:

-MiB says Jacob "took my body," so who's body is he using now?

-Richard's wife appeared to Hurley even though she's been dead for over 100 years, is this because Richard had her necklace buried on the Island? Yemi's, Christian's and ALex's bodies were all on the Island but Isabella's was never there as far as we know.

-Jacob beat the hell out of Richard before asking him a single question, very different from the Jacob we've known thus far. He also dunked him in the water 3-4 times to prove to Richard that he was in fact alive. Yet, when Ben came to kill him he didn't make a single defensive move, even though he knew FLocke had brought Ben there to kill him, why the sudden acceptance of death (well not sudden, there was 150 years in between)?

All in all, the storytelling and acting were the best I've seen on the show for a single episode and Nestor Carbonell should get some serious Emmy buzz for this one. I just wanted to see more, isn't that always the case with LOST :)

WV: mysalst, it's mine and I don't have to share if I don't want to

Anonymous said...

You ask whether Isabella was sincere at the end of the episode and why she also told Richard to kill Jacob. These were 2 different manifestations of Isabella. The 1st was the Man in Black pretending to be her, the 2nd was her actual ghost talking to Hurley. So, the 2nd was sincere, the 1st was not.

Hannah said...

I was thinking that the dead loved ones are in fact their loved ones but the veil between worlds is thinest on the island...hence, them needing Jacork to keep out Black Wine.

I think it was weird that the directions Smokey gave to Ricardo were exactly what Dogen said to Sayid. Maybe the mythos got messed up over the years...a very deadly game of telephone.

All in all, this episode was so GLORIOUS! It was just what I need after last week's Sawyer meh-pisode.

I can't wait to watch it again next week with the little added info bar!

Hannah said...

I was thinking that the dead loved ones are in fact their loved ones but the veil between worlds is thinest on the island...hence, them needing Jacork to keep out Black Wine.

I think it was weird that the directions Smokey gave to Ricardo were exactly what Dogen said to Sayid. Maybe the mythos got messed up over the years...a very deadly game of telephone.

All in all, this episode was so GLORIOUS! It was just what I need after last week's Sawyer meh-pisode.

I can't wait to watch it again next week with the little added info bar!

Benny said...

@Mythos/Lisa: those who see dead people are special/candidates. Ben (his mother), Jack (his father), Hurley (everyone), Kate (horse), Sawyer (boy).
Richard cannot see his wife since he is not a candidate.
This makes me believe even more that there are two Christians the real one, in a suit that Jack sees (and Hurley has a glance of him sitting in the cabin) and the plaid-dressed Christian helping Locke, talking to Claire, Sun and Frank.

Locke talking to Horace was a dream, so that one remains a mystery!

@Sedated Ape: Who says it's a security system? There's more to the island than just those two, as evidenced by the presence of the Temple and all ruins/relics present. Prior civilization who once worshipped him?

@CBP68: We also don't see/hear her on the beach, nor do we see her mention the necklace think when Hurley first walks in on Richard. This was more of a Richar's perspective scene. Doesn't mean it's her, but doesn't mean it's not her.

Austin Gorton said...

@ JS I wonder when/how the temple was built – with the statue?

Yeah, if the Others are one of the biggest remaining mysteries, the island itself, and all it's Egyptian motifs and ancient structures and fertility statues, is another one.

Then why didn’t he know what Ilana was talking about re: candidates?

This is all rampant speculation on my part, but given how secretive and "hands off" Jacob is, I figure he didn't tell Richard about the candidates (or compel him to offer them specific assistance) because it would have violated his "leave them to their own devices, whatever happens, happens" mentality.

Then, at some point, he realized someone was going to need to more directly protect/organize the remaining candidates (possibly, he saw MiB's endgame coming to fruition) and, for whatever reason, he turned not to Richard but to Ilana for that task.

@Palindrome ...needing Jacork to keep out Black Wine.

Jacork and the Black Wine? Bwa-hah-ha! I love it!

SenexMacdonald said...

@Nikki wrote: "Did anyone else think Jonas Whitfield (the guy who recruits Richard for the ship) looked like Colin Firth?"

No only looked like him but sounded like him. I told my husband, Justin, this - and got that 'look'. haha

I love Colin Firth! :)

Benny said...

@Teebore/Blam: We have not been told it wasn't the Black Rock, simple inference leads some to believe it wasn't. I still see no evidence it is or isn't. Therefore I infer that it is... Prove me wrong!

@Erin: Sagacious Penguin and I were debating that exact topic of appearances earlier and the con being perpetrated by MIB. To summarize, we're pretty much in agreement with you.

@Lebowski Achiever: That was in The Incident. Bram wonders why they're bringing Frank with them. Ilana tells him he may be important. Bram asks if she thinks he may be a candidate, to which Ilana does not answer.

Benny said...


I've read every comment and have not read anyone talk about the significance of MIB breaking the wine bottle. Jacob tells Richard the cork/island is the only thing keeping evil in.

MIB breaking the bottle is the realization to both him and the viewers that there is another thing keeping evil in: the bottle itself. Break that casing and evil can come out!

latelylost said...

@JS - "MiB lies, Jacob does not."

I think this is the crux of the matter. Jacob is not necessarily benevolent, but he is a truth teller. I am not religious so I don't know if "God helps those who help themselves." is in the Bible or is a homily, but it fits.

I woke up this morning thinking about The Stand. DavidB articulated the parallels really well. I had forgotten about Flagg releasing Lloyd from jail as well. So is Richard still Lloyd in a sense - because Lloyd did come to doubt Flagg (or at least was terrified of him). Or did Jacob's intervention turn Richard into Mother Abigail's Stuart? Or maybe Jack is Stuart.

While watching the enhanced episode of Recon, I was struck by Flocke's conversation with Sawyer about people wanting to kill him - and Flocke not wanting to be killed. So, does that presuppose that Flocke CAN be killed? I would think so, and perhaps by a means other than the Magic Dagger of Don't Talk To Me First. So, who is Trash Can Man?

We still need to know how Ben was able to call Smokie to deal with Keamy and Co. Smokie's hijinks seem so inconsistent. We can draw a distinction between Locke/Ben/Richard and Eko, because the former were repentent and the latter was not. But what about the pilot and Montand and Nadine. They were all attacked and killed when they'd barely set foot on the island.

I do love all the Python references that have popped up in the comments. Puts me in mind of the miniseries based on The Stand, with Jareem Abdul Jabar (sp?) wandering through the bodies shouting "Bring Out Your Dead."

Austin Gorton said...

@Benny: We have not been told it wasn't the Black Rock, simple inference leads some to believe it wasn't. I still see no evidence it is or isn't. Therefore I infer that it is... Prove me wrong!

...I can't.

Besides, I was the one saying it WAS the Black Rock at the beginning of "The Incident", so I'm inclined to agree with you. I suppose you're right: we weren't given any more solid evidence that it was or wasn't the Black Rock.

Break that casing and evil can come out!

Brilliant! I completely missed that.

So, if the island is the cork, and Smokey/Evil is the wine...what's the bottle? Jacob? Is he the mechanism (glass bottle)that allows the island (the cork) to stopper Smokey (the Evil Wine)?

With Jacob's death (the glass is shattered), the cork is just a cork, and Smokey is free to move around it (off the island).

That seems the simplest (ha!) explanation. Maybe the glass bottle is the ocean. Smokey's going to destroy the ocean! :)

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Listened to Geronimo Jack's Beard with Jorge and Sidekick22 with their guest Nestor Carbonell. He talked about the whole "accent" thing. He researched the accent that would have been spoken on the Canary Islands at the time, and stated that it is very similar to the way Cubans would speak English, which is his descent, so that's what he used. He then discussed that over time, Richard obviously lost his accent, although Nestor states that in reality, losing your accent usually doesn't just "happen" if you are 16 or over. It is something that would have had to be "taught". So slight continuity issue, but it is forgiven by me :)

Austin Gorton said...

@Latelylost: Or maybe Jack is Stuart

Jack is probably Stuart. Sawyer is Larry, maybe (scoundrel turned hero), which suggest a bad ending for him. Ben is kind of a reverse Harold, Sayid kind of like regular Harold now. Locke (regular, dead, non-Smokey Locke) is the best candidate for Nick.

The direct parallels are inexact, of course, but this is fun!

Benny said...

@Teebore: Hey, inferring it is NOT the Black Rock is not wrong either... one of the questions that will never have an answer I presume!

If smokey destroys the ocean, we'll now have a big ass desert. On the plus side, Yay for riches lost in sunken ships!

Hmmmm... how DO you destroy the ocean? Freeze it?
Yay for giant outdoor skating rink!

Austin Gorton said...

@Benny: one of the questions that will never have an answer I presume!

Yeah, in the end, probably not that important. There are certainly bigger fish to fry at this point (and it'll be easier to fry them once Smokey kills the ocean).

Stan said...

I share Pan's scepticism about Jacob being "good." When Richard asked him what he gets in return for the "job" offered by Jacob, Jacob says that absolving Richard of his sins is not something that he can do. That struck me as odd for someone seeming as godlike as Jacob. Even the corrupt priest had the power to absolve Richard and a priest is at the bottom of the Catholic Church hierarchy. It would seem logical that the devil could not (and would not want to) absolve a person of his sins, but would definitely have the power to grant immortality. Perhaps Jacob, if "good" is a Michael the Archangel figure, but has no power to forgive the sins of mankind. I don't think that we can yet say with certainty that Jacob is "good" and MIB is "bad" although the writers are definitely pointing us in that direction. The "long con" has had a lot of play in this long epic, perhaps as a metaphor for the long con the writers are playing on all of us!

Secondly, didn't it seem strange for Jack to say "please" to Hurley to get him to reveal who he was talking to near the campfire? Quite a change for the all-knowing and sophisticated Jack who was always condescending to the uneducated Hurley!

Telmo Couto said...

Hi Nikki and fellow commenters!

I couldn't read all comments, but I just want to state my impression of Isabella. When Richard sees her, I believe her to be a manifestation of the Black Smoke, a elaborate scene staged to convince Richard that "the devil" took her.

When Hurley sees her, though, Richard can't see her. I believe this is the real Isabella, and that's why she says the opposite from what Smoke Isabella said.

Austin Gorton said...

Okay, a thought occurs: my initial assumption was that, if the island is keeping evil in check, then having the island sunk in the sideways world means evil is running rampant.

Which seems incongruous to the generally accepted notion that most characters are better off in the sideways world. So maybe some big catastrophe is coming their way, as a result of free-roaming evil in that reality.

What if, though, the endgame we're heading towards is one in which Smokey is defeated by sinking the island, and him with it. Just like Jughead was meant to destroy the pocket of EM energy at the Swan site, perhaps Jack and co. will try another crazy scheme in which they attempt to destroy the "pocket" of evil that is Smokey, and in the process, sink the island.

As a result, we get the Sideways world, a place where the evil in the world is more what we're used to, and not fueled by the evil bottled up on the island? Thus, evil still exists, so Sayid still can't escape his past, but it's more balanced level allows other characters to live happier lives.

Rebecca T. said...

off topic question: I'm attempting to join the Globe live chat, but after my first two comments appeared backwards of my posting them nothing seems to be working? Is anyone else having this problem? I tried refreshing and re-logging in

Benny said...

Hmmmm, yes there is a dis-congruence. But ultimately, we may be seeing a life where this evil never actually existed.
Definitely not sure, obviously. Let's wait for that fish to be fully cooked!

And if the ocean is gone, fishes will be frying without our help... self-serve?
Hmmmmm, sun-fried beluga!
Hmmmmm, sun-fried great white shark!
Hmmmmm, sun-fried turtle!
Hmmmmm, sun-fried red herring!

Fred said...

When MiB came to free Ricardo from his chains, we once more see that "the man in charge" holds the keys. First it was Jack, with the key round his neck; then Desmond using the key to turn the failsafe; then Charlie who knew the Key (tune) to the Looking Glass. If we desire Biblical references, think of St. Peter, who holds the keys to the Pearly Gates.

Just a quibble, but how did Radzinsky know where Magnus Hanso was buried? There didn't seem to be much time between one officer calling out the Captain was dead, and then Smokie killing the crew. It is unlikely Richard would have buried the Captain, as he didn't want to ever return to the Black Rock. I am thinking that the Radzinsky of the Swan that Kelvin knew may not have been the Radzinsky we knew from 1977.

Breaking the bottle is such an apt metaphor, much like Gordian's knot. A nearly impossible knot to untie, until Alexander just cut it with his sword. Perhaps the realization of "breaking the bottle" was the various Dharma engineering projects which inadvertantly tapped into the explosive power of the island. In the end, that volcano may explode on its own or with help, freeing MiB.

Finally, we've made mention of Pandora's box. But as legend goes, the thing that remained in the box was Hope. Some Classical scholars regard the Greek view that Hope was the most terrible thing, and this is seconded by Nietzsche, another influence in this show. But if Hope really is all that is left on the island, then does that imply MiB is Hope--Hope would therefore be a great evil.

Nietzsche: "Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man."

latelylost said...

@Teebore - I agree that Sawyer is Larry but does that make Kate Nadine? Probably not. Claire is more likely the Nadine analog. So, I guess that would make Kate Frannie's analog.

I was thinking that Jin was Nick because of the communication issues. Locke is more likely Big Tom (I know, that's waaaay inexact. But remember that Sawyer said that Locke was afraid all the time). Or maybe Locke was the Judge.

@Lee - "What changed Richard's way of thinking when it comes to killing? In 1867, as a religious man, he is horrified at the act of killing, even accidentally. When the Army arrives 80 years later, he tells Daniel he was "forced to kill them" but he doesn't seem remotely remorseful about it."

Excellent point. Ben was also willing to kill in the name of the island. This is where Jacob's motives get a bit dicey for me, if, in fact, this was all at Jacob's behest. Or even if it wasn't Richard (and Ben through him) seem to think they are doing it for the island and Jacob. An island which MiB claims doesn't need protecting.

Susan said...

SonshineMusic, yes, but the simple answer is that maybe there was no need for Hurley to see dead people until he left the island. That's all I can come up with for now.

And JS, the producers have confirmed that Dave is just a figment of Hurley's imagination.

I will say again how much I appreciated Jorge's acting in the scene with Richard and Isabella. I didn't know he had it in him.

Nikki Stafford said...

Hey guys: Lost chat starting now at the Globe and Mail!


Nikki Stafford said...

Weird... for some reason I typed that 45 minutes ago and it didn't post. And I forgot to come back here to check.

Stan said...

Nikki, you may have to change the cover of Lost Season 6 to that of a broken wine bottle!!

Unknown said...

The dead people connection:
Smokey can appear to be dead people. Hurley can talk to ghosts. So the first Isabella was the smoke monster. The second one (who Hurley spoke to) was the read deal, albeit, dead.

Rebecca T. said...

Gah! I seriously need to read The Stand now. Stupid bookstore being sold out of a book I need to buy. Pete's sake.

VW: betaken - Reichard betaken from his old life and bedropped into a new one.

Fred said...

An island without God. This idea was first raised by Ben who said that God doesn't see the island. When Richard asked Jacob for three wishes, Jacob turned down the first 2. We've know that dead is dead, so Jacob could not bring back Isabella. But the second one was odd. Richard asked his sins be forgiven, to which Jacob replied he could not do that. Was this a limit of Jacob's power, or simply that Jacob doesn't believe in sin?

I am opting for the latter answer. If Jacob is very old, then his concept of good and evil doesn't include the Christian notion of evil=sin. Jacob certainly has an idea of good/evil, but it is more like Zorastrians or even early Greeks. So Jacob couldn't fulfill Richard's second wish because Jacob doesn't believe in sin.

The whole three wishes by Richard reminds me of stories of genies granting three wishes. In this case, the first 2 are not grantable either because they are impossible or nothing of the sort exists.

Austin Gorton said...

@latelylost: Yeah, I figure Kate=Frannie. Nadine=Claire, that's a good one.

I lined up Locke with Nick just because Nick was Mother Abigail's chosen one, and then that mantle passed to Stu, just like the role of the candidate-most-likely-to-succeed-Jacob has seemingly passed from Locke to Jack.

But I can see Locke=Tom, especially since Tom seemed more in touch with the wishes of "good" (though, Tom seeing Nick also suggests Hurley could be Tom).

Seriously, this is fun. I could do it all day. But I really shouldn't. :)

Michele said...

Wow! I haven't read any of the comments yet but I just wanted to say..."WOW!"

I LOVED this episode!

SenexMacdonald said...

@Jessica said... "And I agree with what some others mentioned about the tank that is the Black Rock. I laughed out loud when I saw where it was headed! Really that piece of junk wooden sailing vessel took down a 100ft+ rock?? Ugh!!"

I believe it is really quite simple. Jacob mentioned the ship smashing the statue - but I doubt that is exactly what happened knowing how Jacob talks. The shots of the ship in the storm show it moving directly towards the head of the statue... NOT the body. Therefore, the head of the statue brought down the Black Rock.

It is the tsunami that brought down the statue. There is a lot of power wrapped up in even just one of those waves. There is also nothing to say that the wave the Black Rock was riding on was not actually a series of waves either. We just don't know.

Now re. the ship we saw as Jacob and MiB were talking on the beach. I believe it to be the Black Rock. As we know or assume, anything passing near the island does not naturally 'see' it. I believe that the Black Rock sailed past the island into the storm and that the storm blew it back to the island. This would allow for the ship to not just be anchored off shore - and possibly get away, but to also be wrecked so as to ensure that no one would get off the island. Think of Danielle and her crew's ship - wrecked. Think of Oceanic 815 - wrecked.

I would think that the simpliest way to keep someone on this island is to make sure they have no way OFF the island. What better way than a plane crash, or a wrecked ship.

humanebean said...

A couple of quick thoughts:

Have to credit blogger JOpinionated with this observation: last night's mention of Tenerlife in the Canary Islands gives us another island with a volcano - Mt. Teides, the worlds' third largest!

I think I understand now: Jacob is just trying to protect the world from Secondhand Smokey! HAHAHAhahahaha ....

... anyone? Bueller? *sigh*

Amy Lynn said...

I don't normally comment because by the time I get to reading all your amazing comments gang, everything has already been said. However, last nights epi was sooo great it got me thinking about this whole thing coming to an end. It feels to me like the last few weeks of Senior year in high school. You are so excited for it to end and be over, however you know you life won't be the same and you won't see some people with whom you have spent years with ever again. It's bittersweet I suppose.

Just thought I would let you know now how much I will miss you all and these characters with whom I have come to love.


Thom Stark said...

On the beach when Hurley was talking to Isabella, he said, "I don't know where to find him, but..." (that's a paraphrase from memory).

Marebabe said...

I’ve been reading comments for a good long while today. Time to stop and do some responses. A few of the things I was going to reply to have already been handled.

@Rainier: I was interested in your reference to forgiveness for murder, as if only an accidental murder could possibly be forgiven. I just want to remind you of the Apostle Paul. Back when he was known as Saul, he was responsible for the murders of countless 1st-century Christians, back before they were even called Christians. Not only was it deliberate, but he actually believed he was doing right, stamping out heresy. Then the Lord spoke to him on the road to Damascus, and Saul had a complete change of heart, became a new creation, and was free of ALL his sins. As always, God looks on the heart, and will always forgive someone who repents. So I look on the priest who told poor Ricardo that God would not forgive him as a lying, evil bad guy.

Excellent call about the Island moving, so we have no idea where on earth the Island was, (which hemisphere, which ocean) on the night the Black Rock crashed onto it.

@Rainier and Jessica: You both mentioned that it’s unlikely the Black Rock and the waves could’ve packed enough of a whallop to knock down the Taweret statue. But consider the fact that we have no idea how old that statue was. Everything decays with age, and maybe the structure was weakened and crumbling already to the point that it was easily broken. Just a possibility.

Zari said...

Why was this episode 1 hour-6 minutes? Why not 1:08?

Word Verf: expir : “Warning! Your phone minutes are about to expir....”

Susan said...

Good one Zari and I loved your word ver!

Fred said...

@Marebabe: "But consider the fact that we have no idea how old that statue was. Everything decays with age, and maybe the structure was weakened and crumbling already to the point that it was easily broken."

Wow! So what you're saying, and tell me if I'm wrong, is that Jacob lived in a slum-brown-stone? Or in his case, slum white-stone. Of course, considering we've seen where Claire lives, Jacob's open roofed home is a paradise. Think of all the crappy buildings on the island. A church without walls and roofs; a shipwrecked barque; underground stations that blow up leaving owners with a hole in the ground; barracks that have gone to seed; tarp covered poles serving as tents. Talk about temporary dwellings.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Black smoke was up above the ship's hold and making noise at the very same time that "Isabella" was down talking to Richard. I agree with what's been said here about whether or not this is "ghost" Isabella or MIB. Just sayin...

Titus Welliver is all kinds of AWESOME sauce in this episode. I sure hope we get to see him again. MIB sure knows how to avoid answering questions...just like a politician!!!

So Jacob steps in to get them to the island, but steps back after that. Seems a little deceptive to me.

How does Isabella know about the MIB and that Richard has to stop him from leaving the island?????


Brandon said...

After years of expectation for the inevitable Richard episode, the writers really delivered on this one. Nestor Carbonell gave an amazing performance as Richard, and had a damn good accent (perhaps from playing Batmanuel on 'The Tick'?).

"Ab Aeterno" is spanish/latin for "since the beginning"

Richard's story kept reminding me of a classic Greek tragedy. A man tries to save his love, loses her, and then will do anything to gain her back. It's simple, but oh so effective when used with a good protagonist; Richard Alpert is a very good protagonist. The viewer is in just as much confusion and pain as Richard is throughout his story, and it's beautifully done.

As expected, this episode has a bunch of revelations.
- Richard's actual age is probably around 167 years old. This is assuming he was about 30 years old in 1867.
- We now have 100% confirmation that Richard was on the Black Rock.
- Richard was originally met by the Man in Black, then joined Jacob.
- Those special daggers must be the only way to kill either Smokey or Jacob (before they speak, of course).
- Richard gained his long life from Jacob in return for being his messenger for Candidates
- Richard chose eternal life to avoid going to Hell, which is seemingly unavoidable for him.
- The Smoke Monster is essentially the embodiment of the evil of Hell, and if he leaves the Island, perhaps the entire world will be destroyed/plunge into darkness.

I believe that when Isabella appeared to Richard in the holds of the ship, it was really the Smoke Monster, making Richard believe that Isabella was attainable again.

If the Smoke Monster is representing Hell, Jacob is clearly representing God in Heaven. In the Bible, God very rarely interacts with humanity, whereas the Devil often appears in the forms of temptation, greed, lust, etc. The way Jacob avoids contact and chooses to use Richard as a representative is very similar to how God sent Jesus to act as a representative of His Kingdom.

The Smoke Monster told Richard that Jacob "stole his body". Is this true? Did Jacob steal The Monster's role or his physical appearance? Or both? Personally, I believe, if anything, he stole his physical appearance, since their roles seem to have been cemented for a very long time.

Richard is now the final person in Jacob's "team" to regain his faith in himself (well, with the exception of Miles and Frank, who are kinda just going along with things). Everyone on Team Jacob has found faith and purpose on the Island recently, while Team Smoke is full of characters who are either "zombies" (Sayid, Claire) or are still just aiming to leave the Island (Kate, Sawyer).

The Monster eavesdropped on Hurley's and Richard's and Isabella's conversation, and now knows that Richard is against him. Jacob said that when he would be killed, another person would take his place. Is this person Richard? Is it Jack? "Lost" has relied heavily as a series on the conflict between Jack and Locke. Locke is currently the form of the Monster. Will Jack become the new Jacob and elevate this conflict between the two characters?

Richard would now seem to be the leader of Team Jacob. He is now tasked with stopping Hell from literally overtaking the earth. What will happen if the Monster is killed? What role will Widmore play in all of this? Will Ben and Widmore be able to work together in stopping the Monster?

Brandon said...

One continuity thing that did bug me was this:

In "The Incident", it's a nice sunny day when Jacob and The Monster see the Black Rock sailing towards the Island.

In "Ab Aeterno", the Black Rock arrives in a big hurricane. I know this explains why the Statue is destroyed and, more importantly, why the ship is in the middle of the jungle, but that storm must've set in FAST.

Gillian Whitfield said...

This episode . . . wow . . . the writers really know how to pull on the heartstrings.

I just finished it for a second time. And WOW, that scene with Richard, Isabella and Hurley . . . my head was swirling with all the revelations that I didn't really take it in. The second time around, I was grabbing Kleenex when that scene came.

How long do you suppose Richard was stranded on the Black Rock before the Man in Black shows up? A week? More? Less? He was slowly going crazy and dying by the time the Man in Black found him.

After last night, I'm convinced that Jacob's the good guy.

Richard was probably 29 or 30 in 1867, so he's 169 or 170 years old in 2007.

Austin Gorton said...

@Brandon: Benny and I have discussed it a bit, but basically, it was never stated (only assumed by most of us) that the ship at the beginning of "The Incident" was the Black Rock.

I took the Black Rock's presence in the hurricane as seen in this episode to be evidence that the ship at the beginning of "The Incident" wasn't the Black Rock, but Benny pointed out that there's nothing to suggest that both ships couldn't be the Black Rock.

Perhaps the Black Rock sailed past the island, as seen in the "The Incident" and then a hurricane/tempest came up several hours later, and in the course of that storm, the ship was thrown back towards the island.

Bottom line, we simply don't know, conclusively, if the ship in "The Incident" was the Black Rock, and the events of this episode do little to support or refute that notion.

Benny said...

@Brandon: - Those special daggers must be the only way to kill either Smokey or Jacob (before they speak, of course).

But Ben stabs Jacob with 'some other dagger' AFTER Jacob speaks to him. Should we infer that Jacob is not really dead?
Just a question!

peacockblue said...

I don't know if its ABC or my DVR, but this is the second time I've missed the last minute or so of an episode (the first was Sundown). My recording stopped just as Hurley told Richard his wife was standing beside him. Son of a Bitch! I'll have to wait until I get to work to see the end because its way too frustrating to watch at home for 3 seconds and wait for it to buffer for 5 seconds. I am just so $)^*JFWF)%UYJ%(%*)@$*!!

WV: pedil: latin for sore feet

Jazzygirl said...

I am going to go back and read all the comments but right now I can't since I'm at work. But, I needed to post this...I'm at my desk and I have a LOST page a day calendar. Today's "LOST in Thought..." was most interesting. It reads:
Can Jacob affect outcomes off the island? Or are there coincidences, like Juliet's sister's recovery, that Ben has exploited with some sort of "future knowledge"?

Hmmm, I thought. Good questions! I bring this up because you are the best people to run this by. And now that we know more about Jacob, what do you think? And do you think the story will arc back to WHY Ben always seemed to know so much? Will the time travel thing come back? Because right now I cannot see a connection between that and Jacob/MIB. It's almost like a whole separate story or plot, no?? Thanks guys! "I'll be bahk" later!

Benny said...

NOTE: Finale title will be revealed later today, as per Carleton Cuse.


While unlikely to be answered, I present the following question:

If the statue of Tawaret (goddess of fertility) was destroyed in the 1860s, and if Jughead (a radiation heavy h-bomb) was buried in the 1950s, AND given that Amy gave birth in 1977 and Mrs. Chang was pregnant and successfully delivered (possibly off-island), then how did the pregnancy issues start on the island?


Not a shipping theory, but a sides/flash-sideways one! Just for the fun of it. Been mulling for two days now so here goes.

FS Sawyer: He's a cop as opposed to a criminal, but he still suffered the tragic loss of his parents and is obsessed with Anthony Cooper.

FS Kate: She is still a fugitive (though maybe not for killing her father, per ComiCon) and claims innocence (which she never did as we know her).

Could they HAVE NOT CHOSEN A SIDE. So while their lives are somewhat altered, they are still tormented (especially if Kate is innocent - pending). They played by their own agenda in trying to escape. So while not helping the wrong side win, they also did not help the right side, therefore receiving a bitter improvement on life.

Benny said...

@peacockblue: You must have missed the "ends at 10:06" warning.
I know it wasn't shouted from a mountain-top, given that most viewers watch live.

@Jazzgirl: In the same line of "future knowledge", how did they know to build the runway/landing strip?
But your callback to Rachel is definitely interesting!

Austin Gorton said...

@Benny So while not helping the wrong side win, they also did not help the right side, therefore receiving a bitter improvement on life.

I like that! It fits the poorly-worded "The flash sideways are a reward for some, punishment for others, for their role in the end game" theory.

(Though I have to admit my faith in that theory was shaken a bit by the whole "island is a cork" revelation).

Jessica said...


In regards to my comments about the ship and the statue...
I wasn't thinking much of the wave's power in my complaint, but my complaint I guess was more based in disappointment... like really? This statue with four toes that we were all gaping our jaws at 4 years ago was taken down because of that crappy ship in the middle of the jungle (which, if someone is ever gonna map out the island... isn't the black rock on the complete other side of the island from the statue??)

I guess part of my issue with this explanation is the fact that in my circle I am the LOST-fanatic. Everyone else comes to me to complain about the show and I always tell them "Just be patient! It will all work out in the end and it will be AWESOME!!" and give them some juicy morsels of the intelligent theories you lovely people discuss. So when a friend comes to me and says "So, the whole four-toed statue... that was destroyed in a storm? That's it?" and all I get to say is "Uh huh." It's kind of a let down.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

You're not alone. I don't know who here is reading this guy, but it is great and a complete stress reliever for all of us who are really looking for answers!!!
He feels just like you did about the statue.

See his link below:
Fun to end my round of blogs with after an episode.

Unknown said...

Aren't we led to believe that the first mate of the Black Rock survives somehow and takes the ship's log with him. As mentioned in 'The Constant'. We all assumed that Widmore purchased it to keep the island secret for himself. Anyone have additional thoughts on this?

Austin Gorton said...

@Jessica So when a friend comes to me and says "So, the whole four-toed statue... that was destroyed in a storm? That's it?" and all I get to say is "Uh huh." It's kind of a let down.

That's one of the reasons I try never to get too attached to any particular theory: odds are, the theories are, by their nature, going to be wilder and crazier than the narrative would allow, and thus, the answers don't quite match the extravagant theories.

I was sure, SURE back in season three that Jacob was Jack from the future, time traveling from the future in order to set things right.

Thus, when Jacob showed up at the beginning of "The Incident" a part of me though "oh, that's it? He's just some dude we've never seen before?"

But I tried not to let my disappointment in the story not being what I imagined it to be interfere with the story I was being told.

Theorizing is fun and I have a blast every week discussing all the crazy ideas Lost sparks, but at the same time, I try to remember that more likely than not, the simplest, less extravagant answer is going to win out in the end. Which helps temper my expectations.

Also, at the moment, I'm doing my best to just enjoy the fact that we're getting answers, period, and not worry too much about whether those answers fit with my expectations.

Genevieve said...

I’m wondering about the dead people on the island now... do you still think they’re manifestations of the Man in Black/Smokey, or are they actually there in some way? Could their spirits transcend death on this island to reach out and help their loved ones? I mean, if she’s a manifestation of the Man in Black, why would she tell Richard to KILL the Man in Black? Hm. I want to believe that speech by her at the end was sincere.
It would make sense that the people that Hurley sees are real because he sees them off the island, which MIB would not be able to do, and it seems that Smokey needs some kind of connection or at least a dead body to be able to recreate a dead person. For instance, after Smokey examined Richard, he didn't come directly back to confront him with Isabella. Instead he waited a while.

How did the dagger move from one side of the war to the other, with exactly the same instructions being spoken?
It seems to be some kind of a ritualistic dagger, and nhow it got from one side to the other is that when Richard tried to stab Jacob, Jacob then nabbed it from him.

• Here’s what I would have done if the rain had started and I couldn’t reach with my tongue... slide my shoe out with my foot, and then drag it back and drink it. Why didn’t the guy ever use his feet (like when the little nail was out of reach?) Small, eensy nitpick. In fact, forget I said anything. ;)
Richard's feet were aso chained!

Fred said...

@ Steven Christopher Coleman: Yep, the first mate should survive. But as there are only 18 episodes for this season, things are seeming to get a bit rushed. So minor plot points are perhaps going to hell in a handbasket. All the writers need do is remain faithful to the major points, and the minor ones can be elided over. My feeling is just go with the flow.

What I am waiting for is the other canoe where someone shot at the timetravellers. Will it turn out to be Sawyer bringing MiB?locke and other survivors to Hydra? Or will it be Widmore's group coming from Hydra? Will we even find out? Again not a big plot point, and perhaps one they'll either just quickly deal with or skip altogether for pacing the narrative.

ermlash said...

Am I the only one that didn't like the end of this episode? I thought I was watching Ghost Whisperer.

Benny said...

@Teebore: That cork seemed to put a cork in other theories!
But maybe it's one aspect of protecting the island.

@Steven/Fred: I call the 'first mate' was actually Richard sending the log out for others to use it and find the island! One way for Jacob to 'bring them' to the island!

@Genevieve: His feet were chained together but not to the wall. When they first wake up they are lying feet outwards. Enough length to have him take off his boot.
I guess he was way too tired to think of it.

Austin Gorton said...

@Fred But as there are only 18 episodes for this season, things are seeming to get a bit rushed. So minor plot points are perhaps going to hell in a handbasket. All the writers need do is remain faithful to the major points, and the minor ones can be elided over. My feeling is just go with the flow.

That's been my feeling too. There are plenty of little questions and mysteries that we should be able to answer fairly conclusive once the show is done and we know the whole story.

Like whether or not the ship at the beginning of "The Incident" was the Black Rock or not: it's not really worth the remaining narrative time to clarify that. We can come to our own conclusions on our own, methinks.

That'll be half the fun once the show is over!

Blam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blam said...

Whoa... I'm falling desperately behind. Here are three things I found remarkable, followed by replies on the comments I've read so far:

Jacob has serious combat skills.

Richard cries and there's no runny makeup, proof that he's not wearing eyeliner.

Tawaret was apparently made of papier mâché.

Nikki: [D]espite my heart being fully engaged (please don’t get me wrong) my love of this show has always been in the piecing-together of it. I care about these characters, but I care equally about the war, the backstory, and where we're headed.
Again, I really appreciated your reaction. The episode was quite emotional, and everyone from Carbonell to the set designers did a great job with this pivotal chapter in the series. I, too, love Lost largely for its thought-provoking storytelling and the community discussion, but it's neither the out-and-out best show on television nor even my favorite; installments like this, however, remind us that it is art and not just a brainteaser.

J.A. Holten: Welcome to the party!
The only things that disappointed me were the arrival of the ship and the answers for the destruction of statue and The Black Rock being inland. I thought the storm (possible tsunami) was a bit weak of an answer. I also think it's unlikely the ship could crush the statue, especially without being destroyed itself.
Uh-huh. It feels like for the ship (big and partly hollow, after all, not a makeshift missile like a straw in a hurricane) to hit the statue with enough force to break the statue apart, the ship would have been pulverized. Also: Does Jacob only have enough control over summoning vessels to (1) bring them to the Island and (2) keep certain passengers alive but not (3) keep them from destroying Hotel Tawaret?

Marebabe: I loved the imagery of the wine bottle and the cork stopper. The door to understanding the Island has cracked open a tiny bit.
Yeah, I couldn't believe we were given an explanation of the purpose of the Island, or at least Jacob's guardianship and what he was there to keep in check (even if it was still in the form of an analogy with props).

VW: Ingstan — A Middle Eastern nation of gerunds.

The Shout said...

Do I need to say this was a fantastic episode?

It says everything about how great this show is that we can have a episode centring around a character who wasnt introduced until the third season and two who we didn't see till the end of the fifth, and it manages to tie so much together and carry such an emotional impact.

I couldn't help feel that since the beginning of the show Darlton has been our Jacob- asking us to keep the faith, to follow the path and all will be revealed. With so few episodes to go, I really feel like our faith is being rewarded.

Jessica said...

@Jazzygirl said...
I'm at my desk and I have a LOST page a day calendar.

I'm looking at the same thing!! Love my daily dose of LOST!

JS said...

@Jazzygirl – I have been thinking the same thing, the way Ben, and Widmore, and Eloise Hawking know what is going to happen. How do they know? I am less sure now than ever.

@Benny – yes, did Jacob cure Rachel? I would think he’d need to make a deal with Juliet. All his other deals were direct, this one was not. I doubt MiB can heal people, or can he?

JS said...

@Lisa(ufn) – I read that guy – hilarious. He still misses Toga. LOL.

LT McDi said...

great great episode...and that's saying something because Lost has had it's share of great episode.

The statue and the wave...I'm thinking one of those big killer waves could take a statue down..what we saw was the Black Rock aiming at it's head.
There is not enough praise for Nestor Carbonell. He owned this episode and can that dude ride.

Kudos to Jose Garcia as well.....he was awesome in his scenes with Richard.

I like how things are starting to type up....mind you I'm more of an
"in it for the ride" viewer but still. I'm also thinking it's getting very difficult to think MIB motives are going to be good for anyone else. Jacob uses people too but MIB...Claire is certifiable, Sayid is dead inside, and I can see the same attempt with Richard..."I'll give you whatever you want if you just do this one bad thing for me" Keep him corked up.

Last comment....love the whole "island is a cork over the..let me think...Hellmouth"...

I'm going to read that as an homage to Joss Whedon..

Zari said...

Check out the pix Jorge posted with his blog entry & bathroom podcast for this episode! http://geronimojacksbeard.blogspot.com/

Word Verf: Syphysta : Sisyphus’ older, more elegant sister.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading these posts every week.
Being that this season's 1st episode showed no island, is it safe to say that evil has been "uncorked" in the flash-sideways world?

Anonymous said...

If MIB is confined to the Island, howcum faux-Christian (with Smokie sound) could appear to Jack at the hospital?

Would Richard have lost his accent for his off-Island missions in the US?

MIB presents Christian theology (all are born in sin). In that theology, Christ offers redemption through his sacrifice. Jacob made it quite clear that he offered no such redemption. He's a 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps' kind of guy (not a New Testament concept.)

So I don't think the Devil/God analogy holds (not in a Christian sense, anyway.)

I think the destruction of the statue by a ship Jacob called to the Island could represent Jacob tearing down religious symbols.

BTW, that was one crappy priest.

I'm a Doctor Who fan. MIB's statement about Jacob taking his body was the lie The Master told Chang Lee about The Doctor. Hey, and there was time travel last year. ;)

And Nestor rocks like a big rocking actoring thing.

Benny said...

@redeem147: I just rewatched Something Nice Back Home to confirm and indeed there is NO 'tika tika' sound when Christian appears to Jack off-island.

This reinforces my Season 5 theory that there have always been two instances of Christian
1. Suit-Christian (aka Ghost-Christian)
2. Cabin-Christian (aka Smokey Christian)

Appearances can move around, smokey has physical constraints!

Sagacious Penguin said...

Got my blog post on Ab Aeterno up! It shouldn't be surprising that this one's a REALLY juicy one.

I focus on things such as breaking down everyone's dreams/visions/hallucinations through the seasons as well as the ultimate and key importance of the Dharma Initiative in the show's current situation.

Check it out at:

Let me know what you think! Thanks, guys!

Genevieve V. said...

There are two Genevieves on here now, so I'll differentiate myself as "Genevieve V." Anyway, I'm the one that posted about The Black Rock crashing into the statue at night during a storm. I did think about maybe the ship we saw in "The Incident" was a different ship, but thought that was too easy. If our assumption that it was The Black Rock when "The Incident" aired is wrong, and wrong because we have the added information from last night's episode that that Jacob brought others to the island, then I guess we'll just have to accept that! Ugh, that seems too easy, though. Oh well.

Rebecca T. said...

@redeem147: concerning the God/devil Jacob/MiB analogy. I was thinking the same thing when I rewatched it tonight. There is such a mixing of theology with both sides representing pieces of it. I think that's one of the things that makes it so hard to nail down who is what and which is where. I also find it fascinating. Since they never set out to make it a straight up theological parallel it will be interesting to see how all of these pieces play out.

Captain Peabody said...

Great episode, like everyone's saying. I have just a few comments:

(1): The Bad Priest (or BP for short). Though I'm not Catholic, it would be good to clear up some misunderstandings of Catholic doctrine and practice brought on by his example.
Basically, what the priest did and said is directly opposed to Catholic doctrine and canon law.

Catholic canon law (the Book of Laws for the Catholic Church, you might say) states that in the sacrament of penance, so long as the priest believes that the penitent's confession is sincere, "absolution is to be neither refused nor deferred." (Can. 980)

In addition, the priest's justification for denying absolution, the statement that he "cannot absolve murder," is actually heresy according to Catholic doctrine and dogma. In particular, it seems to espouse the heresy of the Novatians, who taught that taught that mortal sins (primarily idolatry, but also murder, fornication, etc) performed after baptism could not be absolved by the Church. "[The sinner] might repent and be admitted to a lifelong penance, but their forgiveness must be left to God; it could not be pronounced in this world." (Catholic Encyclopedia) This doctrine was condemned and suppressed in the third century AD.

Also, his understanding of the idea of the Catholic idea of penance is also incorrect. The performance of acts of penance normally occurs after, not before, absolution, and is seen not as a full "paying for" of the sin, but as a portion of "temporal punishment" that the sinner (though fully absolved from his sin through Jesus's sacrifice on the cross) must undergo for his own betterment and the satisfaction of God.

In the normal course of things, it is true, the performance of some penance is required for the granting of absolution by the priest; but the idea that Richard simply doesn't have the "time" to perform a penance (which can be as light as a few recited prayers, and under which his coming execution and his current imprisonment, as examples of temporal pain as a result of his sin, could easily be included) is ridiculous. And, indeed, the priest in saying this also seems to disavow the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, a place where after death the soul is purified and does penance for sins committed in this life.

Basically, a faithful Catholic priest in this position would be required to hear Richard's confession, absolved him of his sins, and give him whatever amount of penance he could reasonably perform in these conditions (with the faithful endurance of the various deprivations, including death, resulting from the murder possibly being included among them). From a Catholic point of view, Richard would then be absolved of his sins and (probably after some amount of purification and penance in purgatory, and assuming that Richard had made a full and sincere confession) ready to meet God face to face.

Yeah, that was really long, but I think it's helpful information.

(2): I liked the fact that Jacob was a little more...well, violent in this episode. Up till now he's been pretty darn passive, and it's good to see him actually getting angry and doing things. It's also nice to know that he's got at least some strength of his own, even if it isn't exactly up to the Man in Black's giant pillar O' Black Death.

Captain Peabody said...

(3): I really can't wait to see Jack's reaction to the Man in Black/Flocke, and I really hope we get to see a good old Jack vs Locke Man of Science vs Man of Faith (with reversed roles this time) battle of words and blows, before the end is out.

(4): Is it just me, or does Old Man in Black seem a bit more...chill than Flocke? It could just be the result of hundreds of years of imprisonment and finally achieving his objective, but it makes me wonder whether or not he's still got some of Locke's memories in him, and they're starting to affect his personality. Maybe this always happens when he takes over other people's bodies?

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else read this interesting post on Lostpedia? I did not see it mentioned on the posts I read. There is a legend that there is a eighth island called St. Brendan Island in the Canary Islands. This island has allegedly been seen only several times in the Canary Islands history and there are some ancient maps that show it on there. There is a link you can click on and go to Wiki's encyclopedia and see a map and read more about it. It is probably just a coincidence that it does sound a lot like our island cork but Team Darlton does like to do things like this to make you think. And for you Nikki so I am not anonymous I am Lostfan6676277. I hope this makes some of you go hmmmm..... like it did me.

Di said...

When Jacob was telling Ilana what her duties were, she seemed scared - like she was really nervous about what was ahead for her. She was shaking! Any thoughts on that?
As for wrapping up the series, I would like to know (among tons of other things) why Ben pulled Kate aside and gave her breakfast. That one's always intrigued me.

Susan said...

Lostfan6676277 I looked around Lostpedia a bit and couldn't find the article you mentioned. Do you have a link for it? Thanks.

Convergence said...

Maybe it's been speculated elsewhere before, but I just had a wacky idea...

Maybe MiB's name is ... "Jacob."

Didn't Dogen talk about how every person has essentially a split soul, a scale in them with varying balances of good or evil?

Could the island be sentient, and Jacob its soul, a soul asunder?

What got me thinking along these lines are the incongruities in the actions of MiB and Jacob. I'm not convinced by the theories yet about how maybe Jacob represents some conception of goodness or faith or loyalty different from the modern view of good versus evil.

It troubles me that Jacob sometimes acts a lot like an evil MiB kind of guy, allowing so much death, and in this episode, actually fighting Richard.

It made me wonder when MiB's touch of Richard's shoulder on the Black Rock seemed to bring him back to life - just like Jacob's touch of Locke after the push from the skyscraper window.

I don't buy the idea of a special, mystical knife getting passed or stolen back and forth between two warring tribes, like a high school football mascot being stolen in a Brady Bunch episode.

As these episodes progress, it seems to me that Jacob is being portrayed more and more as having qualities more commonly associated with MiB, and vice versa.

What REALLY got me thinking this way was Richard's dilemma. Should he switch sides? Should he go with one side, or the other? First he went with MiB in the Black Rock ship's hold. Then he switched to working for Jacob. Then he decided to quit Jacob and take his "you can always change your mind" chance with MiB. And then Hurlabella convinced him to switch back to Jacob's position again.

To me, the island, and Jacob and MiB, are seeming more like physical manifestations of the struggle each person holds within their souls. No person is entirely good, or bad.

So I think in the final reveal MiB's name will be revealed to be ... Jacob.

And that's why Darlton have hidden it from us. Once they reveal that, the jig is up.

What do people think? A valid theory?

lorogomo said...

i haven't read all the comments, so i hope im not repeating an idea, but i got a theory on the dead people...

i think the ones that hurley can see are the actual spirits of the deceased, and the black smoke can take the form of dead people, so mayble the Isabella in the ship was the black smoke playing with richard's mind (making him believe jacob was "the devil) and the isabella at the end (the one only hurley can see) is the real one

Dave Vachon said...

I simply can't buy that Jacob is the good guy in this that easily.
It's just too obvious.

Anonymous said...

When you go to Lostpedia, click on the link for the Ab Aeterno stay on that page the article do not click out to theory or discussion then scroll down to where it says cultural references. It says St. Bredan Island in a light blue you can read what it says there and click on the word and it will take you to the Wiki encyclopedia page on the sightings and a more detailed history of the legend. I hope this helps you Susan! Lostfan6676277.

Anonymous said...

the link that pops up on my address bar is lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki /ab_aeterno and then just scroll down the page with the instructions on my last post to you let me know if you find it. Lostfan6676277

Genevieve V. said...

@ Sagacious penguin:

I see your name all the time here, but didn't know you had your own Lost blog! I tried to put a comment on it, but it won't let me just type in my name; I have to sign up for an account. Anyhoo...nice analysis!

Jessica said...

Okay, so it's early and I haven't had my coffee yet...but ya'll are so good, I'm sure you can correct me if I'm wrong...

We have all been speculating that the Isabella on the Black Rock and the Isabella chatting with Richard through Hurley are two different entities. And that most likely the Isabella speaking at the end was really the ghost of Isabella communicating through Hurley. On the flip side, we have seemed to agree that the Isabella in the Black Rock was actually MiB taking her form to manipulate Richard. Now, I haven't rewatched the episode but somebody was talking about the scene and how Richard told Isabella to run because El Diablo/Smokey was coming. Richard and the audience knows he's coming because of the roar and tika tika sounds, right? Well how is it that Smokey is outside making his trademarked tika tika sound and conversing with Richard inside the ship as Isabella?

Now this may seem silly to ask how a big pillar of black smoke that was once a man does anything, but have we seen this before? During any of the apparitions of smokey in another form (Yemi, cabin Christian, Alex, the Black Horse, etc.) have we heard Smokey sounds/movements in the background? If not, why the sudden change in m.o.? And if it's not a change in m.o., than who/what was the Isabella inside the ship?

Austin Gorton said...

@Jessica: have we heard Smokey sounds/movements in the background? If not, why the sudden change in m.o.?

As far as I can recall, have not heard Smokey "throw his voice" so to speak, in the past, but that's exactly what I think he was doing when Isabella was talking to Richard in the ship.

As for why the change in MO, I think it just boils down to his manipulation of Richard. He appears as Richards wife, sets up Jacob as the Devil, but then needs some reason for Isabella to leave Richard alone again so he throws his "voice" to make it seem like Isabella got scared off, leaving Richard in an even more scared and desperate position and thus making him easier to manipulate into killing Jacob.

Sagacious Penguin said...

@ Dave Vachon: I also doubt Jacob is the good side - though I also doubt there IS a good side. I think the closest we can get to "good" around here is the action of protecting the Island. So Jacob ultimately DOES a good thing, but that doesn't mean he's a nice guy or he's particularly happy with his Job. I suspect he wants humanity to prove themselves precisely because he's not so sure we're worth protecting the Island for...

@ Genevieve: Thanks for the feedback! Maybe there's some setting I have ticked somewhere on there that shouldn't be that doesn't allow anonymous comments. I'll have to look into that! This (Nikki's Blog) is my favorite place to discuss Lost and read viewer theories, but I often end up not commenting on a particular thing because sometimes I just have too much I want to say on it, and comments posts don't necessarily lend themselves to a higher level of organization and analysis. So after five years of thinking it would be neat to actually collect my LOST thoughts and the way I organize the show's mysteries somewhere, I finally decided to do it for the last season I'd be able to.

Sagacious Penguin said...

@ Jessica & Teebore: I think Smokey giving Richard a dream sequence on the Black Rock would be a simpler explanation. The clues being that the vision seemed to happen not with time but as a pause or insert into time (as Richard lost consciousness), much like the visions Locke and Eko have experience in the past. I think Smokey can do this to people he's scanned.

The reason this is different than him appearing as Christian/Yemi/Alex/Locke is that those, as opposed to being dream/visions were actually HIM approaching a person IN REAL TIME (not a vision), capable of being seen by all, and wearing the look of someone WHOSE BODY HE PHYSICALLY HAS HAD CONTACT WITH. There's no way he could have touched Isabella's body to take her form, so rather than being in two places at once, he simply walked up to Richard as he slept and gave him a vision of his wife being killed so as to give further incentive for Richard to help him.

Austin Gorton said...

@Sagacious Penguin: Good point! I like the idea of it being a Smokey-created dream, which handily explains away the apparent problem in having Smokey inhabit a body that's never set foot on the island.

Susan said...

Lostfan6676277 thanks for the info. I read the article and it's pretty cool. Maybe the writers chose Canary Islands because of the legend.

no soy josé said...

First: Excellent review! I love coming to your blog immediately after I watch it and your wonderful recap is always there, never disappointing.

Spanish is my first language not english, (so please excuse my errors but) I noticed that nobody (well, I'm guessing I did not read every comment) told you what Hurley was saying at the beginning of the episode. He was saying something like “yes, I’ll help you but how do you want me to help you” then Jack appeared

Now a couple of observations:

One: I think that Jacob says: ok, this cork will keep evil at bay, but MIB says yeah, but what about if there were no bottle, meaning: a world with no Island is world with evil roaming free, so the flashsideways story would be the evil version of the world.

Two: Richard reaction to Jacob´s death is somewhat parallel to Jesus disciples when Jesus got nailed to the cross. They felt disappointment, they felt betrayed, they denied Him, and so on. Unless at first. That makes Hurley sort of an Angel or even Jacob/Jesus reincarnated somehow if we keep the Jesus analogy. Bringing comfort to Richard, his dearest disciple after his death. Telling him to keep the faith. Everything is part of a bigger plan. Don’t despair, etc.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just me, but...you seriously expect me to accept that the WHOLE purpose of the island is that some dude is designated to sit there and monitor some dude who can turn into black smoke, might be evil incarnate and can wreak havoc on the world if he leaves?


What the hell is the point, man? Why even bother bringing people to an island to prove the guy wrong? I mean, seriously...what a time waster. So, all this time, all these crazy episodes, the dharma intiative means nothing, the flashbacks, the future sideways flashes, aaron, locke, desmond, charlie's death...all the craziness of the past 6 years, comes down to THIS?

Bad writing. Bad, bad writing.

I'm sorry, Nik...I know you love this show and I did too until the other night. I'm still gonna hang in there for the rest of the season and who knows, maybe my mind will be changed somehow...but the whole show just took a big giant nosedive into utter nonsense for me on this one...

...and my tears....NOT of joy...

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