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.

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