Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ab Aeterno

WOW. Was that an amazing episode, or was that an amazing episode. Lets just get cracking eh? For starters, this episode wasn’t even trying to hide the religious connotations. I thought they executed that perfectly, and we shall actually speak about that soon Anyways, lets begin.

So we are finally given the back story to Richard. In it, he is arrested for murder. Instead of being executed, he is sold off to Magnus Hanso. So who is Magnus Hanso? Magnus Hanso is a great grandfather of Alvar Hanso, the man that financed the Dharma Initiative. If you recall, in season 3, Widmore was in an auction house trying to bid on the boat ledger from the Black Rock. It was the only thing found of the lost ship. Though not shown, Magnus was also on the boat. We know this because a notation on the Blast Door Map mentions knowledge of where Magnus is buried on the Island. He is reportedly buried under and actual black rock. This actually led me to believe that MIB was indeed Magnus Hanso for a bit. So much for that idea.

Now, there seems to be some discrepancies in time here. Reading about the Black Rock, it mentions the ship was lost in 1845, but the events of Richard’s past and the crash on the Island only occur in 1867. On top of that, the LOST Experience mentions the ship was lost in 1881. OOOOOOKKKKK now.

Another thing, when Jacob and Man-In-Black(MIB) were sitting on the shore looking out to the ocean, they see a ship. We assumed it was the Black Rock. The problem is, that scene occurred during the middle of a calm blue sky. The events with Richard on the boat happened during the night in a storm. In fact, I recall thinking just how IS the black rock going to end up in the middle of the jungle in such calm waters. So, did the writers simply forget about the initial sighting of the boat when they filmed this episode?? Well, maybe not. Allow me to explain. I think the scene with Jacob and MIB on the shore looking at some ship happened long before the Black Rock. The ship they saw, was a different ship. How do I know this?? Two things:

1) When MIB and Jacob were talking on the beach, MIB said ONE DAY, he will find a loop hole. Meaning, he had not found that loop hole yet. In last nights episode, you see that he found that loop hole, which is to get somebody else to kill Jacob. If the original boat that they saw together WAS the Black Rock, I doubt that on the beach, MIB would not have known about a loop hole, but only a couple of days later, discovery it.

2) When Jacob was talking to Richard, he mentions that there were other humans on the Island before, but they were all killed. Obviously, the only way for humans to get there is with a boat.

Ok, so the Black Rock crashes on the Island due to a tsunami and crashes into the giant four-toad statue. Now we know how it was destroyed. A few days go by, and the MIB(Smokey) attacks the ship killing everyone, or just about. He heads to Richard in an attempt to read his thoughts. This is how MIB is able to take the form of Isabella, Richards dead wife.

And so, starts the great struggle. The whole episode is full of religious —particular Christian— theology. The concept of penance vs damnation is very well represented. Since Richard’s state of mind was that he was in Hell, MIB used this for his advantage. He convinced Richard that both of them are in the clutches of the devil and that in order for Richard to see his wife, and MIB to leave this Island (ie. Hell) Richard must kill Jacob (que loophole). Of course, this all sounds familiar. This is the exact same sweet proposal MIB (Locke) gave Sayid. That if he helped him, Sayid would see Nadia again. This MIB is sounding more and more like the Devil himself. So off Richard goes prancing around looking for Jacob to kill. Instead, Jacob opens a can of WOOP ASS on Richard. After a good clobbering, they sit and talk. It was a talk, that was in my opinion, one of the best on the show. It really summed up the nature of Jacob, and the nature of the island. It’s all really giant ‘cork’ keeping in some rotten evil from spilling out to the rest of humanity. It doesn’t explain why this Island has exotic matter and can time travel, but I am sure we will get to that.

Now, here is something that I am a bit confused about. Jacob and the Island’s role seems to be to simply be the guard dog to this evil MIB right? Ok, so why is Jacob bringing people the Island. I get it, I get it. He says he wants to show that humanity is good and not what MIB thinks, which is that they are prone to sin. But, who cares? I thought Jacobs only job was to keep MIB “locked up.” If so, then who cares what MIB thinks. As long as he is kept on the Island, everyone is safe.

Hmmmm…Perhaps we will get an eventual answer to this when we learn more about MIB’s past and how he was betrayed. For now, it seems to me that Jacob is trying to water down some of MIB’s hate.

Another option maybe that Jacob knows he can only be there temporary. That eventually, he will need a replacement. He actually even said something of the sorts when talking to MIB at the end of the episode. Jacob asked him what will he do if he finds a replacement, to which MIB replied that he would kill him as well.

With all that though, Jacob says that he cannot interfere. That man must find its own way (more religious theology). Richard jumps in and tells him that if he won’t, than MIB WILL interfere. To this, Jacob agrees and appoints Richard as his helper. So I was thinking, what does this represent? Is it sort of a God & a Christ/Moses relationship where God sends his son/spirit/teacher down to earth to help influence and teach man the right path? Ben did complain to Jacob that Locke(MIB) got marched in as if he were Moses. I almost see it as though there is a God, Jacob is like Christ and gets betrayed by man while Richard is sort of like an apostle... continuing the role in which he was chosen by his Mentor.

Richard, decides not to kill Jacob and returns to MIB, who gives Richard back his lost cross necklace (more religious symbolism). As a gesture that he is not taking up MIB’s proposal of being reunited with Isabella, Richard buries the necklace.

Fast forward to our time, and you see confused Richard digging it back and calling on MIB to join him. Richard, I guess still fragile over everything, decides to take MIB’s offer. Now, I thought this was going to happen because if you look at this poster of the LOST supper, you see Richard on the other side, along with the people that are supposedly on MIB’s side. But, not so fast. Who else, but Hurly comes and saves the day. He ‘reunites’ Richard with his wife as a sort of intermediate between the living and dead. This was one of the most heart warming scenes in all of LOST. We really saw a side to Richard that we never saw in four years of this show. My guess is, by putting on the cross around his neck, Richard has finally found his faith again and is ready to ‘represent’ Jacob again. And just in time, because Hurly warns that if they don’t stop MIB from leaving the Island, they are all going to HELL!!!!!!

PS- if you get a chance, watch this episode of the Twilight Zone called "The Howling Man." It is about the Devil being captured by a group of monks and held prisoner so that he does not terrorize the world. The devil is able to convince a man to unlock his cell door by simply removing the wooden staff that shuts the door..... something that presumably, the Devil himself can reach out and do himself, but couldn't. He needed to trick a man to do it for him.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dr. Linus and More.

Holy Mother of Cheese, its been a while since I have last posted. Did I actually tell you guys about the cheese factory? Oh well nevermind. Anyways, we have a lot to talk about. Let us begin, shall we? To tell you the truth, I am not sure where to begin since I have written for a while. Whatever.

Anyways, are given an answer to the numbers. As mentioned in the episode “Dr. Linus” only 6 people are left representing candidates. Kate is mysteriously not mentioned. Why? Not sure, either she dies soon, or Jacob just has a thing for Asian women over brunettes. As we progress alone, an interesting scene is shown where we meet a young little Danish boy staring at fake-Locke. Clearly, this is Jacob. But what is interesting is that Richard was not able to seem him, but Sawyer was. Wee little Danish boy tells fake-Locke that he knows the rules and cannot kill him (ie Sawyer). Why? Well, we know Sawyer is a candidate and I guess there is some rule that just like fake-Locke cannot kill Jacob himself, he is not able to kill a candidate since, as we learned last night, a candidate will eventually take the place of Jacob. So what are these rules? You may have remembered them. Lets stroll back a bit to season 4 to the episode “The shape of things to come.” There Linus comfronts Widmore in bed. Wait, that diden’t sound right. Anyways, Widmore asks Ben if he is going to kill him to which Ben responds that he knows he can’t do that. Is there any connection between Jacob vs fake-Locke to that of Ben vs Widmore? It seems there is. A writer (that I will link at the bottom) has a very interesting perspective. That really LOST, is not about Jacob vs fake-Locke, but really about how their long fued gets reflected to the humans in the Island. Maybe that goes without saying, but its still interesting to always keep in mind. Anyways, the rules are something that definitely intrigues me. Perhaps its simply that just like fake-Locke can’t kill the rightful boss of the Island (and vice-versa) the same applies to the battle between Linus and Widmore.

So what about this Danish boy. Why a young boy? Does this have something to do with fake-Locke’s past? Well, given that LOST has always introduced as to weird visions, based on somebody’s troubled past, I would say, yes! Were they childhood friends? Brothers? Don’t know yet.

I love the juxtaposition of fake-Locke to real Locke and Jack. In season 4, it was Locke that said the Island needs protecting, and here, fake-Locke repeats exactly what Jack had said. That its just a damn Island and needs no protection.

On we go to Claire and her new best friend, fake-Locke. Which, she knows, is the Smoke Monster. But at the same time, she mentions that her father, Christian, has also been keeping her company and told her the baby is the Temple. Ok, so I am going to spend a bit of time trying to figure out old Christian because I think he is such a key to something important. Is he a good guy, or bad guy? Is he playing a double agent here? So here we go:

1) The first time Christian is shown, is the deleted scenes of the Pilot, where he sends Vincent (the dog, not Price) to wake Jack. Christian says “He’s got work to do.” This sounds almost the same as what Jacob told Hurly. That Jack has something important to do. From this, you would garner Christian is a good guy.

2) Next, we officially see Christian for the first time in the episode “The White Rabbit.” Here, Jack follows him only to be lead almost to his death by nearly falling off the cliff. Was he trying to kill Jack? Perhaps not. This lead to Locke rescuing Jack and explaining to Jack what a leader must do. Jack then finds water for the survivors including an empty coffin of his father (we will get back to this). This is really the episode Jack takes up the mantle of leadership. Perhaps that was Christians intent in making Jack follow him into the jungle. Ok, Christian is probably still good. No problem.

3) We then don’t hear much about Christian for a while till Hurly sees ol’Christian rocking on the rocking chair in Jacob’s Cabin. Sooooo, what does that mean? Not sure.

4) We then really don’t see Christian, but we do see Yemi, Eko’s brother. Why is this important? Well, both the bodies of Yemi and Christian go missing after they died. Neither of them were buried. Add to this that the producers confirmed that when Eko was talking to his Yemi, right before his death, he was really talking to the smoke monster. Ok. So does that mean that Christian is also the smoke monster?

5) The next time we see Christian is while Sawyer, Miles and Claire are camping out. Claire wakes up to see Christian. Later Locke walks into the Cabin to see Christian saying he can speak on Jacob’s behalf. Christian tells him to move the Island. Now, given what we know about Claires infection, and her odd behavior way back inside the cabin, it would seem Christian is moving a bit toward the bad side no? I mean, why else would Claire and Christian give each other that weird evil look.

6) Next up, we see Christian down at the well after Locke falls down in order to push the donkey wheel. Christian tells Locke, that he told Locke to turn the wheel, not Ben. But this would mean that Locke would be banished and not Ben. Hence, Locke would never have been killed, the survivors never would return to the Island and Smoke Monster would not take over his body? So why did Christian (ie smoke monster) initially want to banish Locke out? Could it be that initially, the smoke monster was trying to get rid of all the candidates from the island? Not sure. Also, if Christian IS the smoke monster, why would he tell Locke to tell Jack “his son” hi? Clearly, if he is the smoke monster, its not really his son. And, by passing this message via Locke to Jack, wouldn’t it make a greater impression to Jack to come back to the Island???? Something I doubt the smoke monster wants. OR, perhaps its all part of the plan, to have Locke die and Jack bring back Lockes body in order to take over his ID. Could be.

7) The biggest clue that Christian is the smoke monster is when Lapidus and Sun row back to the main island. There, they hear the smoke monster and the next thing you see is Christian in the barracks.

Ok, lets go on. Lets talk about this infection thingamabob. Claire is infected, and now Sayid is infected. My thoughts are really, when someone is close to death, or has died, they are in fact very susceptible to come under the influence of the smoke monster (ie, the infection). Does this mean that Ben was infected? He was nearly killed and when taken to the temple, Richard said he will never be the same again. Actually, something tells me that he is probably not infected. Going through the temple rite, is akin to what Dogen and Richard went through. By being given a gift by Jacob, you are a changed person and you are never the same.

Oh, oh oh, so now speaking of Dogen, what was with that scene with the baseball falling. Well, I think it may be, again, part of the rules. The baseball falling was simply a ‘reminder’ to Dogen about the agreement he made with Jacob. Making an agreement with Jacob, means you go by the ‘rules’ and once again, NOBODY can kill a candidate. Sayid was a candidate and no matter if he is infected, the rules are solid.

So now lets skip to last nights episode. It really was amazing. Had lots of layers to it. In the sideway flashes, we see Ben Linus as a teacher. We are also given to amazing pieces of information. One is, that Ben and his father WERE on in Dharma but left. Why did they leave? Was it when Dr. Chang evacuated the Island???? Or is there something else entirely. The second, is that we see Alex. This is important because it gives us a bit of extra information as to when the Island disappeared. Alex was born in 1988/89. This means she was never born on the Island…because most likely, Rousseau never landed in the Island in the first place because it was not there. So for now, I am of the opinion that the Island was already gone by 1988.

Now, the beauty of this episode was the amount of parallels it had with our regular time line. In this sideways flash, we see Ben having the same drive for power as he had on the island. The way he seeks to aquire that power is to blackmail the principle about an illicit affair he had. Does this ring any bells dear readers??? It should. This is exactly what happened when Widmore was banished and Ben took over. Widmore had an affair with an outsider. The interesting part is, this whole crave for power (of being the principle) started because Locke told him HE should take over. Is this some sort of clue as to some outside force (ie, smoke Monster) pushing Ben to banish Widmore due to the affair and he gain power of the Island? Anyways, it did end rather nicely, because here, in the flash sideways, Ben does not let Alex down. He sacrificed power for her. Later on, we see Ben telling Ilana that he made a mistake in choosing the Island over Alex. Ben of course, tries to make up for this by choosing to stay with Ilana rather than take the offer of power that fake-Locke told him he would give him.

Speaking of fake-Locke, he mentioned they are heading back to the Hydra Island. Why? What’s there? All I can think of is that they may want to repair the Ajira plane and take off, but that can’t be it. Is there something unique about that small Island that has always evaded us???

Moving on, to Jack (my man) and Hurly. They end up meeting Richard, who takes them to the Black Rock. We now of course confirmation that Richard was on that ship and that, that is probably where Jacob rescued him. Richard as it goes, has begun to loose all faith in the Island and Jacob. The writers I thought really handled this scene well. It goes to the heart of the issue of faith. For years Richard served Jacob and was never given the whole picture of what his purpose is. Finally, Jacobs death is the last straw. He ultimately looses that faith. But fate, always steps in. This time, the irony is, that faith is rescued by Jack. Richard tells him that anyone Jacob touches is blessed (which now he feels is a curse). Richard asks Jack to him by lighting the dynamite. This is where Jack steps in to test whether any of this is true. He displays the ultimate act of faith, something he would never have done before. Jack tells Richard about the lighthouse and that he has something left to do. The dynamite of course, does not blow up and this revitalizes Richard’s faith, that in fact, there is reason to all of this even though he has had to wait for so long. Jack says they have to basically start all over. By the way, this does pose an interesting question. If anyone that is touched by Jacob cannot die, how on earth is real Locke dead??

This episode had a lot of nostalgia to it. Ben even felt it. Ben, after entering Sawyers tent says he feels like Oceanic broke up happened only yesterday, insisting even that he actually misses those old days. I think he echos the views sentiments. Look how far we have come and we know its almost soon to end and nothing will ever be the same. The ending, too, was quite beautiful. In a node to the 3rd season’s “One of Us” when Jack comes back after his capture by the others and everyone runs to hug him, the same happens in last nights episode. Our characters (at least half of them) are once again reunited in some semblance of happiness in their old camp. The music even matched the mood. Now the pieces of each side have been set, the game now begins.

OH, and how can I forget the final surprise of the evening? Widmore? He's back? Is this the guy that Jacob has been waiting for? If you recall, Widmore told real Locke off the Island that there was a war coming and that Locke needed to be there. How did Widmore know this? My guess is that somehow Jacob told him. Of course, I am assuming Widmore is actually good here? We don't know his true intentions yet. But it seems to me that he is coming to claim the Island, which is rightfully his. But if Widmore is the one Jacob was waiting for, what is the point of the candidates? Ilana made it clear that the candidate is supposed to take over Jacob's position and last I saw, Widmore was not one of them. Perhaps, simply, Widmore is to once again carry the mantle of leadership as he once did. Jacob, requires a human being to lead and help the candidate assume the position.

Anyways, terrific story telling. I am really enjoying it.

A writer, linked below, has come up with a theory on the sideways flashes:

During last week's discussion of "Sundown," some of you speculated that if I'm right, we're seeing key differences in the endings of the characters who sided with Jacob and those who went with Smokey. Sayid goes with Smokey, and in the alt-timeline has a kind of monkey's paw fantasy where he's near Nadia but not with her, and still placed in situations where he has to be the killer he doesn't want to be. Hurley, meanwhile, goes with Jacob and ends up far happier and luckier than he was in the original timeline.

It’s interesting. Read the rest here.