Sunday, March 28, 2010

“Ab Aeterno” – The Walking Dead

There are so many little things to pull out of this episode, and I meant to do so much earlier than now but unfortunately my week has been, well, hellishly busy, to put it lightly. And next week is looking like it’ll be even worse. But I’ll pull out some tidbits we can use as talking points here.

First, a big question from this episode seems to be whether Isabella is a manifestation of the smoke monster or if she’s an actual ghost. Many people would like to believe (myself included) that when Richard sees her in the bottom of the Black Rock, she’s Smokey, messing with his head. But when she’s standing next to him with Hurley interpreting, she’s an actual ghost.

Another option might be that she’s actually a manifestation of Jacob in that scene, and he’s trying to manipulate people into killing the man in black, but it could really go either way. And I’d like to think that WAS Isabella.

So, then, who have we seen before who is a Smokey apparition, and who is an actual ghost? It would appear that whoever Hurley sees might actually be a ghost, or at the very least, in the Jacob camp: Eko, Charlie, Isabella, Ana Lucia, Jacob himself. But the others were either near Smokey or were in conjunction with him in another way: Yemi and Alex immediately come to mind.

Christian is a big question mark. Is Christian a manifestation of Smokey? Or is Jacob creating him? Or is he an actual ghost? Hurley DID see Christian – it was in “The Beginning of the End,” when Hurley looked into the cabin and saw the man in the rocking chair (Christian) and a second eye appear in the window. Miles saw Christian, and reported that a guy Claire called “Dad” came and took her and the baby. He never suggested Christian was dead, and since Miles knows the difference, you’d think that would have been a detail he’d have mentioned. Claire could see him. Jack’s seen him. And Locke talked to him in the cabin.

Walt also stands apart. He appeared to Shannon as if to warn her, and then appeared to John Locke to get him out of the pit of bodies. But Walt is “special,” and there’s something different about him, as if he’s astrally projecting himself. Perhaps he can create an image of himself in the same way Smokey can create one of Alex? The thing that sets Walt apart is, quite simply, that he’s alive. So if that’s the case, is the guy we saw standing at the pit of bodies something that Smokey created (which would be strange, since in the past he only creates images of people who are dead) or did Walt seem to know exactly when to project himself there to warn or help those people? Is the Walt that Shannon saw (covered in water, which could be an indication that the Others were dunking him in water somehow) and the Walt that Locke saw the same being? Or was one the actual Walt projecting himself and the other was Smokey or Jacob?

And then there’s that little blond boy. Smokey saw him, and was surprised when Sawyer could also see him. Is that a real ghost? Or is Jacob sending a message?

And what the heck was that black horse doing on the island?


latelylost said...

One more option might be that when Isabella appears in the Black Rock, Richard is hallucinating.

I think she's a ghost both times we see her.

If we suppose that the ash was keeping MiB out of the cabin (compare this idea to Bram in the foot attempting to save himself from Smokey) until Locke disturbed the circle, then Christian's early appearances to Jack are easily explained. If the ash was keeping MiB trapped, then it's not so simple.

Can we also assume that Horace was a ghost who appeared to Hurley, or was he also Smokey? Ilana says that MiB is recruiting and we've seen that with Sawyer, so maybe Smokey was manifesting to the candidates early on.

I'm still curious about the cabin being in a different location when Hurley found it. When Ilana and Co. found the cabin, it seemed to be back within the broken ash circle. Does it move around or are there two cabins?

Benny said...

Some jolting down of things I recall with regards to ghosts, apparitions, dreams, impersonations!

A root of a theory for me is that candidates (or those who are special) can see ghosts...
This would potentially include:
Ben -> Mother
Jack -> Christian
Kate -> Horse
Sawyer -> Kid
Hurley -> Christian/Charlie/Eko/Ana Luicia/Jacob/Isabella

-Because Richard sees Isabella in the first occurrence AND NOT in the second suggests, conclusively to me, that they were two different entities.
-Christian appears to Jack OFF-ISLAND. This seems to disprove the idea that all Christian appearances are smokey... or at least all the suit-and-white-shoes ones! This lends credibility to the two-Christian theory!

-The ash may have very well been keeping MIB out, in which case Christian's appearance to Hurley would indicate he was in Jacob's camp. Disturbing the ash allowed MIB to take control of it.
[Could the ash have been keeping the cabin from moving?]
-One question that arise is the 'help me' utterance.
[Could the conscience of smokey have been imprisoned? or something important?]

-As far as Walt is concerned, this is the only scary question mark for me.
-Do we KNOW or only BELIEVE that smokey can only impersonate dead people?

Note: We were told by the writers that Jacob does not appear in other forms (canon or not). This would align with the no-intervention policy Jacob has.

The Isabella hallucination theory is also plausible, but less likely in my mind. The hallucinations we've seen have always been resolved:
Boone -> substance-induced;
Locke -> Sweat lodge vision;
Locke -> Dream, woken up;
Eko -> Dream, woken up.
In Ab Aeterno, there is no on-screen display of hallucination, rather just stage play. There is no substance, no waking up, no inducing.
The idea of hallucination/dream comes from deprivation and Richard is in a drowsy state, this is, to me, only weak evidence.

So to me there are several important aspect of apparitions:
1. There are conclusively TWO different Isabellas;
2. There is at least one occurrence of Christian NOT smokey-related - and possibly more;
3. Dreams/visions are island-influenced (smokey, Jacob, general);
4. TRM: Candidates can see ghosts (significant to them?);

This was just a jolting down, still putting the pieces together.

latelylost said...

@Benny - I don't necessarily buy the hallucination idea either. Just mentioned it as a possibility. That said, I would think that being first imprisoned, then chained in the bowels of a ship, then going for an extended period of time with litte/without food, water, and possibly sleep, would constitute deprivation. JMO.

I do like your idea of all the candidates being able to see ghosts.

As far as the cabin - I think Hurley saw the eye in the window after the cabin had moved. As far as our first view of the cabin - Locke and Ben's visit - maybe it's something like this.

Locke and Ben approach, and Locke disturbs the circle. They enter and Ben talks to the empty chair (he admitted as much). Locke waves a light and all heck breaks loose. After things calm down, Locke hears the "Help me." plea. So maybe the stuff being tossed around was Jacob's exit and MiB's entry? Probably all wrong, but it fits with Ilana's declaration that Jacob vacated the cabin and someone else was using it.

Benny said...

That's exactly what I was calling deprivation. It's still all circumstantial and weak I think.

The cabin HAD moved indeed since Locke and Hurley didn't agree on its location. I'm not sure of what would exactly be THE disturbance in the ash. It could be Locke, but that didn't look like much so... I don't know for sure!

I still want to go through the history of the cabin, get a picture and how it fits in the jigsaw.

JS said...

(Similar to Benny’s argument, but with a different approach)

*PART 1*
I think we already know the answer. A few things to keep in mind:

First, On Jacob:

-- There isn't any evidence that Jacob has used anyone's likeness to influence anyone else. And considering his statement to Richard at their first meeting, that tactic would seem to be against his belief that people should be able to choose their behavior themselves. That was the purpose of creating Richard's job.

-- The only time we know for a fact that Jacob has been involved is when he has touched the candidates, and we see him doing that as himself. In those interactions, his words to them have arguably been influential, but the only time he actually tells someone to do something is with Hurley, and makes sure to tell him it is his decision. It is arguable he "pushed" Katie - don't steal anymore - or influenced Sawyer by giving him a pen, or even Sayid, depending on if you think he either saved him from being hit by a car, or let Nadia get in harms way. With Jack, the comment about the candy bar is benign, with Sun and Jin, his advice is not out of the ordinary, and with Locke, his words could be seen as comforting, but not necessarily influential. Only with Hurley has he told anyone to do anything.

Second, Ghosts vs. Smokey
Assuming Hurley does in fact see ghosts, I think we can extrapolate a few things when Hurley is NOT involved:

-- Only one person can see a ghost at a time (**with one exception, noted below) – Jack sees Christian (in a suit), Kate sees a black horse, Ben sees his mother – while Smokey can be seen by multiple people at once. Christian (in casual clothing) has presented himself to Locke (alone) but also to Frank and Sun and to Miles and Claire. Yemi presented himself to Eko (alone), but also to Locke in a dream.

** Sawyer may be an exception in being able to see other people's ghosts since he saw Kate's horse, and I am guessing the blond boy was a ghost Sawyer could see. It is not definitive in my mind that Richard couldn’t see the boy since Richard was facing away from him.

- Miles doesn’t SEE ghosts. He can only hear the final thoughts of the dead, but not communicate with them in any other way. He also needs proximity to the remnants of a body. Of course, the one exception is at the grandmother’s house, with the haunting grandson, but you can argue some part of the boy must have been in the room. Also, when Miles tells the father he cannot give him a reading, the boy’s ashes are already spread on the football field and had been for a while, and can therefore be assumed to be scattered/gone. The shirt didn’t have enough of his “remnants” (sorry).
- Smokey also needs a body, or an object (Isabella’s cross), or to scan the person for memories in order to come up with the person’s identity. Smokey has access to an object and a memory the first time with Richard. There is no remaining object or any memory when interacting with Hurley.

JS said...

*PART 2*

Christian is BOTH
Before Isabella, we’ve only seen one person in two ways – Christian. He is the only person we have seen in different outfits. I believe this, and the level of interaction, is the key to knowing when he is Smokey and when he is a ghost.

- IN SUIT – Jack saw him walking around the island, and sitting in the lobby of his office. Hurley saw him sitting in the cabin. Both times they were the only one’s who could see/hear him. Jack hears him on the intercom in the Hydra tanks. No one else hears or sees him. No suit, but no appearance either. There is no interaction besides the two times Jack hears him. (I do not think he is the one that says “help me” to Locke in the cabin, I think that was a different body, and it was Smokey.)

- CASUAL – The casual wear also corresponds with direct interaction with people, and generally with multiple people seeing him. Miles and Claire saw him in the jungle and Claire calls him Dad and goes off with him; Sun and Frank see him in the barracks and discuss the fate of the 1977 Losties. He is also seen by Locke at the frozen Donkey wheel, but they do have a whole conversation, and he very specifically says he cannot help him.

So, if we take those as rules/clues,

A. The FIRST Isabella very specifically tells Richard they need to go, and asks him to help her. Smokey is heard in the vicinity, and appears directly afterward as the original MiB. Smokey has access to Richard’s memories after scanning him, and he also has Isabella’s cross. Richard notices it is missing after the first scan. Smokey gives it back to Richard when the meet the second time, after Richard doesn’t kill Jacob.
B. The SECOND Isabella can only be heard and seen by Hurley, and her message to Richard is that she loves him and that they are already together. This is the only time we have Hurley + Ghost + another person, so Hurley is able to convey the message. I think that since the filmmakers clearly show a distinction between when Isabella is there and is not there, we can also assume that the last bit Hurley throws in there – that Richard cannot go to the MiB – is either Hurley trying to help himself and his friends, or he is conveying a message from Jacob. I think Hurley was smart enough to come up with that himself. He saw the opening, and took it.

I left Walt out of my discussion because he is not dead. Everyone else we are talking about is dead, so by definition, he is different from all the other apparitions, and probably isn’t anything we have already discussed. The only other person we have seen appear that isn’t dead is Shannon, but that was a dream induced by drugs.

Also, if they show us something in one instance, and not another (circle of ash disturbed, all indications of a dream/hallucination) I prefer not to infer it in other instances when they do not show it to us. That is just downright underhanded.

Benny said...

On JS's points:


--The words to Jack are "It just needed a little push." which seem to echo a lot about Jack and how a lot of what he's done only require a little push from external factors. He's also pushed a lot of people to do what HE wanted, so it's a double edge sword here. As for Hurley, he tells him he has to be on that plane but also adds "It's your choice Hugo, you don't have to do anything you don't want to."... though that could have been to comfort and convince him.

--I think the ghosts can be seen by multiples but usually appear when a single person is there. It could be that Sawyer is special but I'd rather say he just happened to be present those times and saw those ghosts as well.

--Miles... totally agreed.
--That's also what I think for smokey but I'm not completely convinced there's not something else happening with him/it/(her?). The difference is ultimately that Richard cannot see Isabella at the end.

-SUIT -- Indeed, definitely what I think. Aslo, why would they use a different actor for the man in the chair as opposed to John Terry, who was already recurring? Just to throw us off? Would have been the only time.

-CASUAL -- Q: Why does Claire refer to him as dad and as the new Locke as 'her friend' and not Locke? Also, this JUST hit me, Casual-Christian (this sounds just odd) appears to Locke in the Dharmacakra chamber IN THE PAST, thoughts?

Benny said...

(no need to read if you're already annoyed by this debate)

I have to add that I still disagree with the MIB comment coming from Jacob (of course me). There's another shot where Isabella is supposedly there but we don't see her. The shot is played from Richard's perspective. This is why I still believe it was her - I am not saying it couldn't have been Jacob. So let me add a new argument...

Imagine/rewatch that moving speech, and finish it this way:
"We are already together. [major tears] But right now, you have to stop the man in black or we all go to hell."

-First, not as moving as a viewer, it takes the emotion and just cuts it by adding this line. It is no longer a stand alone. I think the writers wanted the two as stand alones.
-Secondly, I think it allowed for Richard (and the viewers) to get his(their) emotions in check before being smacked in the face.
-Otherwise, I don't see why, at this particular point in time, Isabella would have sent Hurley after Richard. She could have talked to him earlier, but just as his faith was faltering and he was ready to join the MIB, that's when she needed Hurley to approach Richard.

I'm sure we won't get a resolution off-screen, and I think we use some same aspects of the scene as arguments in our opposing views, that's just a dead-end.
At this point it's just subjectivity.

JS said...

@Benny – Re: Christian-in-Casualwear - Why DOES Claire call him Dad? Well … maybe she couldn’t discern that he was something other than what was represented until AFTER she was claimed. Perhaps only the claimed can see his true image. That would certainly fit.

Benny said...

Ah! Now the question becomes, how was 'it' her friend if Locke's body was away from the island for three years? Did smokey assume the form of Christian over those three years but she STILL wasn't claimed... I may just accept that she refuses to call the Christian appearance anything other than Dad - emotional value.

Something else that just hit me... what happened to her when everyone else was traveling? We hear the others talk about her as if she's been in present-day island all this time, but everyone not an other was time shifting!
Soooo... this brings back the questions of who could time shift and all.

1. Losties/Freighties/Juliet = time-shift
2. True others = no time-shift
3. Claire = no time-shift
4. Smokey = time-shift (Christian in the cave)

Does it follow that those who are claimed do not time shift? There are some rough edges here!

LittleMo said...


I know this are side balls but (being in the UK) I have only just seen this episode and it made me think .......
1. If the MIB is inside FLocke then what has got into Claire and now Sayid. Dogen seemed to know. (but where did he and his temple group come from? - are they true others or just another group of people? ) And do we think it can be flushed out of Sayid - I hope so.
2. If Jacob is trying to protect the island and his candidates how does Dogen know so much about it, yet not be a candidate himself?

Duke said...

And I thought we were finally getting some answers in this episode! Thanks for setting me straight ;)

Anonymous said...

Christian wasn't embalmed - was he ever really dead? Hmmmm... Maybe he's just been hiding out on the Island - the coffin was empty.

Love the photo you're using with the article. It looks like a pre raphaelite painting.

EvaHart said...

Ok, this is a subject I have been wondering about for a long time, amd really hope we get some answers on so here we go:

Smokey or Not
I think that the only dead people
we see that are controlled by smokey, are those who have died on the island and their bodies are actually there for smokey to use. This would mean both Yemi and Alex were controlled by smokey. This also explains why the MIB needed Locke's body actually on the island for him to use it. Smokey then uses the dead to manipulate and use people, Christian causes a problem here but as he appears off island, I think he most be something different, but whether or not he is on team Jacob or team smokey is another discussion entirely.

All the other ghosts, that are mainly seen by Hurley,I believe are just that, ghosts of the dead, whether or not they died on or off island. The second Isabella we saw would come under this catergory as just a ghost. So this leaves us with the question, why are there so many ghosts seen and heard and seen in dreams by people on the island? I think that what Jacob said about the island keeping in all the darkness has something to do with this. Back in seaon 5 when Naomi eas trying to recruit Miles she siad that there was a lot of dead people that would help them find Ben. What if all the dead loved ones of the candidates are able to speak to them through the island? Could this be what the whispers are, voices of the dead?

I know this is an ongoing debate whether when we first see her if it is a ghost, hallucination or smokey impersonation. I am tending to go with hallucination, only because if she was a ghost then Richard should have been able to see her again at the end, yet he couldn't. And i don't think it was a smokey manifestation because of my whole 'he needs a body'theory. Hopefully time will tell!

Another Lost mystery that I hope will be explained is where do the
freaky real dreams come from? Jacob? TMIB? Or something else? Also the dreams/visions all somehow involve the dead-

Kate-Claire(not technically dead but there are theories that think otherwise...)

Maybe the dead use dreams to contact the living? And not just dreams but other people and living things. Wayne contacted Kate through Sawyer and Duckett Sawyer through a boar? Maybe the island is a overlap through which the living and the dead both can reside.

Blond Boy
The blond boy I think has to be a ghost, but why sawyer could see him is something I'm not sure about. The same goes with kate's horse. Maybe Sawyer has a gift to see other people's important-dead influences or however you want to describe it.

I think only the candiates can time travel, as I think it is pretty clear that the Others are not candidates but Jacob's followers. Claire was a candiadate but after she was claimed and went off to teh cabin she no longer became a candiate and so therefore could not time travel.

Benny said...

@EvaHart: Nice breakdown of your thoughts.
Locke had two visions/dreams involving Boone. A dream with Teresa, Boone was alive at the time, and a vision at the airport, Boone was then dead.

I'd forgotten Michael's and Kate's dreams. One common characteristic of them is that they both appear OFF-island. Maybe that's important...

One further touch on the time-travel. I get how you explain Claire. But now I'm wondering about Juliet and Miles. There are claims of 'Straume' in the cave/lighthouse, but we've been led extensively to believe that Juliet was never a candidate, could be deception. Just a thought.

JS said...

@Benny - maybe the first time Claire sees him, she does see her Dad, but once claimed, she sees the true Smokey, and only remembers her Dad. It's a stretch, I know, I am willing to got there.

@EvaHart - I am not sure Smokey always needs a body - I think he can use images from someone's memories to conjure up the identity of a loved one. I would be willing to believe Isabella's first sighting was a dream if only it was fuzzy in the beginning and MiB seems to be waking Ricardo up once he (re-)appears. But he did have her cross. I think as long as he has some possession of theirs (body would be best) than he can use their identity.

EvaHart said...

@Benny-I completely forgot those dreams were off-island. Hmmmm I'll have to re-think... It could mean something important, that both needed to come back to the island?

On Juliet never being a candiadate, I didn't see it myself, but according to Lostpedia Burke was on both the cave wall and at the lighthouse. Of course this doesn't mean it is mentioning Juliet Burke.

Tanyam said...

I found the transcript of the podcast where Damon and Carlton discuss the nature of the various sightings on the island. It was recorded 2 years ago, so some of the newer apparitions aren't discussed, but it may be helpful to some.,_2008

Tanyam said...

I found the transcript of the podcast where Damon and Carlton discuss the nature of the various sightings on the island. It was recorded 2 years ago, so some of the newer apparitions aren't discussed, but it may be helpful to some.,_2008

Cloe said...

hey's my 6 Cents for today...
in AB Aeterno when the MIB breaks the wine bottle...symbolism for "breaking" the rules???
I feel it is...OxO

EvaHart said...

@JS- Yes the first Isabella could be a dream, that would make sense due to his drowsy, food and water deprived state.

@Tanyam- Thanks for the link, that was helpful and also sugests that smokey was somehow involved with the Walt apparations. Interesting...

Sagacious Penguin said...

I go in depth on this in my own blog, but here's a summary of my thoughts:

Visions/apparitions come from three sources: They're actually dead people visiting Hurley; They're either FROM the MIB or the MIB himself; or they're pulled out of the losties' minds via the Island's "magic box" ability.

The MIB himself can take the form of dead people if he has had physical contact with their bodies (Yemi, Non-Suited Christian, Locke, and probably Alex).I believe Hurley actually saw the MIB with Christian's body getting ready to take his form in the Cabin in 4.01 The Beginning of the End.

The MIB can also IMPART visions to people that he's scanned based on their memories (Locke's S1 and S2 visions that lead him the to the Swan and the Pearl, Eko's S3 visions that lead him to meet MIB as Yemi in 3.05 The Cost of Living, and Richard's vision of Isabella on board the Black Rock). These sequences are usually dreamlike in some way and often occur as lapses in time, as opposed to the realtime multi-person interactions of the MIB's Yemi/Christian/Locke appearances.

And Finally, the "magic box." Probably the closest we'll ever get to a "will of the Island" or the Island itself influencing people -- which to some extent is people influencing themselves. These are things like Kate's horse, the suited-Christian Shepard, bloody-handed Kid, Ben's Mother, and many others. My personal favorite THEORETICAL magic box pull-out would be Harper in 4.06 The Other Woman. I think it a rather neat possibility that Juliet's subconscious was testing her loyalty to the Others via the Island's magic box ability - and ultimately freeing her from responsibility to them.

Benny said...

@SP: I'll have to check your full post on this, but just some thoughts on the highlights. It's definitely a sound theory.

-Christian also appeared off-island, so does the island's magic box ability extend beyond the island itself?

-The writers also said that Harper was an actual projection of the real Harper (I'll have to find the segment again).
That (1) Jack sees her and (2) the whispers pre and post apparition suggests it is not Juliet's subconscious (1) nor the smoke monster (2).

One thing I don't like about Isabella being a vision is that, all other visions have been shown on-screen to be such. As a stand alone, the scene does not show any clear indication that is the case. Only in light of what we've scene on the show can we suggest that possibility. Just a nitpick!

Sagacious Penguin said...

@ Benny:

Re the Island's "Magic Box" working off-Island, I like to think once touched, always touched. Meaning the ability was able to follow Jack off-Island because he experienced it on-island.

Re Harper: Don't recall the writers bringing up Harper being the actual Harper, but they certainly could have. Either way, Jack seeing her isn't a problem since these magic box things are frequently seen by other people. Sawyer saw Kate's Horse and the MIB's bloody-handed Kid. Could be a Sawyer-thing of course, but I have doubts about that. But if it was the real Harper I wonder if her ability to zap in out of nowhere will ever be an ability of the Others that's explained... if so, hopefully in connection with a few select Others' abilities to "leave the Island" or perhaps appear off-Island, like Richard, Ethan, and Mr. Friendly...

Re: The whispers - you bring up a good point with them. I currently have no clue what visions/happenings they're actually connected with. I mean they've always been associated a bit with the Others, such as with Harper or preceding their attack on our heroes in the S2 finale, but they also occurred during things like Sawyer encountering the Frank-Duckett-infused Boar which don't seem Other-related... Hopefully some form of clarification will come!

Re Isabella being a vision: The reason this was how I instantly interpreted it before even thinking or analyzing it in the framework of the show was how it was book-ended by Richard being unconscious. The combination of a character out of consciousness and experiencing something impossible was enough of a clue in my opinion. After further thought that it was seeing a dead person whose body was not available to Smokey AT THE SAME TIME as Smokey in Smoke-form... well I haven't heard a better explanation yet :)

Benny said...


I still have to find a reference to Harper being Harper. It's only recollection and that was a while back so I may be mistaken as well.

I hadn't caught on to Harper being a Magic Box-projection of Juliet's subconscious. I took those as separates, so to me Jack seeing her implied not a subconscious thing.

And for Isabella being a vision, I definitely agreed that there are reasons to believe so, the framing can be seen that way. I was just putting in contrast with how previous visions were always explicitly revealed as visions within the same episode.

Sagacious Penguin said...

Benny: Yeah, no, there isn't any good reason to assume Harper's a "magic box" happening - it's just sort of a "wouldn't that be cool" theory that kinda fits with other possible magic box happenings leading survivors to help "find" and/or "rediscover" themselves. And, of course, it's an attempt to explain something that has yet to be made clear :)

Benny said...

No yeah, definitely worth positing I think. Just as any theory, it may well lead to something!

Kiki said...

I may be late to the game here, but I trying to figure out who the six candidates are -- I didn't have the patience to try and figure it out from the lighthouse wheel. So I figure in he mix as possible candidates are Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Sun, Jin, and Hurley as the obvious. I'm guessing Sayid is out. What about Aaron? Or even Walt? I know he hasn't been around but stranger things have happened! Any other thoughts? Does anyone know for sure?

Thanks Nikki for a great blog! I've only been following it for a few weeks and I love it!

Benny said...

@Kiki: No one knows for sure. Jacob tells Ilana six while in the hospital, did that include Locke or not?
As for Walt and Aaron, wild cards right now.

I did a break down in the Nikki's Ab Aeterno post, you should check it out.

Ambivalentman said...

I totally understand the hectic schedule keeping you from writing, Nikki. I finally finished my thoughts on "Ab Aeterno."

As for the cabin? I'm still totally lost on that one. It moves around, but then its firmly in one place. It appears to be a prison, but its prisoner is still able to roam the Island freely. It's a contradiction.

Maybe it wasn't a prison for the Man-in-Black. Maybe it was keeping something away from him that made using John Locke as a loophole possible. Perhaps this was why Christian came to Claire -- in order to trick her into breaking the line in the protective ash.

Just an idea.

Enjoy LOST Tuesday tomorrow, everyone!

EvaHart said...

@Benny,SP- The Harper thing has got me completely confused. For some reason I though that she was dead, so I assumed it was a smokey manisfestation yet there is no evidence to say she is dead, apart from the whispers which we don't even know if they have anything to do with it. The magic box idea sounds much more interesting anyway!
Another way of thinking of the box is that there is a separate entity-but not smokey- that appears to everyone as something different, a bit like how the Wizard appears to everyone as something different in The Wizard of Oz.

Jack- Christian
Kate- Horse
Sawyer- Boar
Locke-'something beautiful'
Richard-Isabella (the first one)
Juliet- Harper
MIB- Blond boy
Hurley- Dave
Sayid- Cat?
Ben- His mother

Before I would of said it was Smokey appearing as all these people, yet as he sees someone it would seem that it is soemthing different. It would be interesting to think that all these people/animals are actually the same thing just in another form that help everoneto 'rediscover' themselves.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about Hugo and Dave, since he was imaginary in the hospital too (unless he's always been able to see ghosts, but that seems a recent ability.)

Benny said...

@EvaHart: Tanyam's podcast link has 'descriptions' and lists who is what, somewhat.

Boar and Cat are 'animals';
The cat Nadia also listed as coincidence';
Yemi as monster;
Emily (Ben's mother) as 'apparition';
Walt apparition as maybe monster-related;
Spiders (Nikki/Paulo) as monster;

Christian, Yemi, Horse are also listed as 'undead';

Also, the previous podcast (for The Other Woman) explicitly list Harper as being alive and should appear again - though that may be unlikely anymore.

Benny said...

@redeem147: The same podcast has him listed as figment/apparition. Given that Hurley also sees glimpses of the mental institution, I'm just calling figment.

This was in a season where they had to write stand alone episodes, some of season 1, 2 and 3 eps may not have anything to do with the general storyline/mythology. I think this is one that unfortunately resembles an important aspect of it.

DharmaLady said...

personally, I think Isabella in the Black Rock was Smokey. She tells Richard they are in hell & is then captured or attacked somehow (or is pretending to Smokey). I think Smokey was playing with Richard's mind...convincing him he was in hell for sure...and then convincing him that the only way to help himself & Isabella was the kill who he told Richard was the "devil" (Jacob)- so Richard would kill Jacob thinking he was the devil. Interestingly, I've never heard of killing the devil as a part of Christian thinking. It is not Christian type thinking to think PEOPLE can kill the devil. The ultimate battle is between God & the devil...and God will win. Also Christianity teaches that God will only allow the devil so much control over things...not full control (read the book of Job). This may be one reason that Richard doesn't buy Smokey's ideas wholeheartedly. They are foreign to him. That said, Richard appeared to be starving to death & also dehydrating to death in the Black Rock. He was under unimaginable psychological and physical stress. Such a person could certainly hallucinate easily and/or become delirious. I also think it's interesting that Smokey left him there until he was really pretty much dying b/f he helped him. He was setting Richard up. Also, people near death often describe seeing things that may or may not be real. They often sound like visions or hallucinations if the person survives and describes them to others.

NanX said...

When Richard first saw Isabella on the Black Rock it did seem like he was hallucinating since the woman appeared at first fuzzy and out of focus. But then I thought from what she said, that they were in hell, that it was Smokey. You hear him though making his Smokey sounds Before she runs up and then the Screams. I don't remember any occasion when we heard him elsewhere while he was appearing as someone else.

On the other hand, I can't fathom a ghost Isabella saying she was in hell, nor can I believe Richard would hallucinate her saying that.

I have thought for a long time there were two Smokies - Locke saw Jacob one when he saw something beautiful but the one that tried to drag him into the whole was not Jacob one.
I have not heard the podcast so don't know what to make of TPTB saying Jacob did not manifest himself. I was sure the Christian in the well was Jacob. He was not a ghost because he held the lantern but would not help Locke up - and now that seems like Jacob.

We have seen horses on the island so Kate's horse could have been real.

I thought the Hurley Isabella was a ghost. Richard did not see her but he did sense her.
And I thought Jacob told Hurley that Isabella said one more thing. Hurley does trust Jacob; hence why Jacob told Hurley about the cab situation at the Lighthouse.

scrvet said...

If Smokey has never left the island, how can he take the form of a person who has never been on the island (Isabella)? How would he know what she looks like?

Aside # 1- in season one did the Others take the children back to the temple because they were without sin and needed to be protected from Smokey. Could they be potential candidates?

Aside # 2- in season 2 Desmond said the numbers must be entered at the hatch to prevent the end of the world. Would Smokey be able to escape the island if that happened?

Benny said...

@scrvet: That's why a lot of viewers are putting much weight on the smoke monster scanning Richard in his invasion of the ship. That would be how to justified the impersonation or projected vision if Isabella.

Aside #2: it may be analogous to the incident, and the destruction of the island lets 'malevolence/evil/darkness' escape. Question is, how does a failsafe key nullify all that and why didn't they enact the failsafe in the first place?

LittleMo said...

I've just rewatched episode 4 and it makes a whole lot more sense now that we know the history of Jacob, the man in black and Richard.

Did someone say - I really do wonder if the blonde boy is a young Jacob?

knowledge is power said...

Zombies are becoming reality via H1N1 shots. Be prepared. These ARE the end days.

Mitch said...

When Kate first saw the black horse on the island, I thought, like most folks: "wow, magic island -- how did her horse get there!" Then some episodes later, we saw Patchy's listening station cabin with. . . horses!! I have since assumed that the horse was one he let loose to graze or otherwise got out of the horse pen at the Flame. Do we have any other reason to think the horse is a manifestation, and not just a real horse from the Flame?

Benny said...

@Mitch: The horse is listed (as of season 4/5) as undead (with Christian and Yemi) by Damon and Carlton. Whether you believe them or not (or take their words as canon or not), that's where the 'evidence' for the black horse being Kate's horse comes from.

Benny said...

Yes yes I know, this debate (Isabella/Jacob) is ages old. But since tonight is Hurley's episode, I was thinking a few things.

Hurley only knows the 'antagonist' as the smoke monster or, now, Locke. He does not know his name or that he used to dress in black.
This makes me think that, referring to him as "the man in Black" has to be either from Isabella or Jacob, not Hurley himself.

If not for viewer anticipation, why would Jacob refer to him as the man in black and not by his name, Richard surely knows it.

Just saying! Maybe we'll find out tonight.