“Ab Aeterno” Recap and Analysis …
Previously, on Lost: Richard built a ship in a bottle and was so bored by the experience that he wanted to kill himself.
This week, on Lost: We open on a mummified eye. Well, the eye itself isn’t mummified, it’s just attached to a person who looks mummified. It’s Ilana. She’s a little busted up. Jacob walks in and says hey sugar, he needs some help. She’s gotta bodyguard the six remaining candidates and he hopes he can count on her.
Back on the Island, Ilana, Jack, Hurley, Sun, Ben and Lapidus are sitting around a fire, telling ghost stories. The topic of conversation has shifted to the candidates, and Sun explains to Jack that the candidates are a list of people that could replace Jacob. Jack and Hurley are on the list, and she says that Ilana told Sun that she was on the list. Way to play telephone there, Sun – she said a Kwon was on the list, and she didn’t know if that meant you, Jin or both. Lapidus says that’s great and all, but what now? Ilana doesn’t know. Jack wants to know who does know what to do.
Cut back to the hospital. Ilana’s face no longer looks like a ten-day old persimmon and she’s asking Jacob what she should do after she brings them all to the Temple. Ask Ricardus, says Jacob. He’ll know what to do next.
Back on the beach, Hurley wants to know about this Ricardus fellow. Ilana turns around and motions at Richard, sitting in the shadows – that’s Ricardus. She asks him what they should do next. Richard let’s out the craziest little laugh ever and tells them all that he’s clueless, too. He then starts telling them all that he was about to kill himself and now everyone’s looking to him for a plan. Not a smart decision.
Seriously, Richard’s tee hee is almost Joker-worthy. Or maybe he could play the Riddler in the next Batman movie.
Ilana asks why Jacob would say what he did and Ricardus tells them that everything Jacob says is a lie. Jack, of course, is totally confused, so Richard leans in and says he’ll let Jack in on a little secret. He’s dead. They’re all dead, everyone of them. And the Island, it’s hell. Richard says that he’s tired of listening to Jacob and that it’s time to start listening to someone else. Then he picks up a torch and heads off into the jungle of mystery.
Cue the swirling Lost!
On the beach, Ilana wants to go after Richard, but Jack says there’s no use because Richard doesnt’ know anything and is now a few fries short of a Happy Meal. Ilana insists that he does. Jack states that if he knew and believed in Jacob, he wouldn’t be talking about listening to someone else. Ilana gives a worried look and walks away, leaving Jack confused. “Wait, do you know who he meant?” Jack calls after Ilana. Ben mutters under his breath, “Ohhh this should be interesting.” Good call, Ben. Let’s watch Jack’s tiny head asplode.
Hey girl, you’re looking fine in this campfire. Besides looking damn cute, I thought it was awesome that Sun was like the Oracle during this episode – she knew everything about everybody.
Sun explains that Richard meant Locke. But Locke’s dead, states Jack. Ben then puts his brilliant two cents in and tells Jack that if it’s any consolation, it isn’t exactly Locke. Jack gets the glazed look again, and then notices Hurley off in the shadows talking to someone in Spanish.
Jack goes over to Hurley and wants to know what Jacob is saying. Hurley tells Jack that he should just mind his on beeswax and that this isn’t called The Jack Show, so not everything revolves around him. Then Hurley turns and walks off.
Around the campfire, Ben tells them that there’s no use in going after Richard, because he’s known him since he was 12, so it should count for something. Lapidus assumes that they both met as kids, but Ben straightens that out for him. Lapidus wants a little clarification – is Ben saying that this guy doesn’t age? That’s exactly what Ben is saying. Lapidus furrows his brow and wonders, “Now how exactly does something like that happen?” Hold onto your butts, friend. We’re about to find out …
Tenerife, Canary Islands – 1867
Ricardus gallops through the brush on horseback, his long locks tied into a pony tail which whips in the wind. It’s like the cover of a Harlequin romance novel, really. He ties his horse to a post and enters his humble stone and thatch home. His wife, Isabella, is inside and she is very, very sick. She coughs into a handkerchief and Ricardo notices blood. He needs to ride to the doctor, and fast. Before he leaves, Isabella gives him the necklace and cross around her neck so that he may have enough to buy medicines. Ricardo protests, but his weakened wife tells him to close his eyes. She tells him that she loves him and always will. Ricardo says that he will save her and gallops off into the pouring rain.
It’s night, and very stormy when Ricardo arrives at the doctor’s house. There are protests from his servant when Ricardo tries to enter, but the man will not be deterred. He wants to save his wife. He begs that the doctor help him, as Isabella is coughing blood. Turns out that the doctor is a greedy little dick and can’t be bothered to ride all the way to Santa Poco or wherever Ricardo lives, but that Ricardo can buy medicines if he has enough money. He doesn’t. He tries to persuade the doc with Isabella’s necklace, but the doc tosses it. Bad move, dude. There’s a scuffle and Ricardo shoves the doctor, who falls and breaks his neck on the edge of a table. Ricardo is stunned, but sees the bottle of medicines in his hand and makes a run for it.
When Ricardo returns home, he is too late. Isabella is gone. Ricardo cries and wails lamentations. It’s not long before his grief is broken up by the local authorities, who burst into the home and arrest the heartbroken Spaniard.
Ricardo is in the pokey, reading his Bible. A priest enters and brings him food. He wants to see Ricardo’s Bible, and notices that it’s in English. See, Ricardo and Isabella were going to head to the New World and Ricardo was learning English. I didn’t know they were still referring to the ol’ US of A as the “New World” in 1867, but I digress. Turns out that Ricardo has been sentenced to death, and he asks the priest if he can absolve him of his sins. The priest says that murder is unforgivable and that he can’t help Ricardo and that he’s going to hell. Man, Ricardo was really surrounded by a bunch of assholes.
“No, señor, you’re goink to hell. I theeenk.” This guy looks so Spanish that he makes Antonio Banderas look like a Swede.
Later, the priest and guards blindfold Ricardo and drag him out to be executed. Waiting in the hallway is an Englishman, a Mr. Whitfield, who examines Ricardo and asks him if he speaks English. Ricardo is confused and does not respond, so Whitfield tosses him back. Ricardo comes to his senses and says that he does, he does speak-a English! Whitfield is pleased. He hands the priest some money and says that Ricardo is now the property of Magnus Hanso, and that Ricardo now has a one-way ticket to the New World.
Pretty much the coolest freakin’ shot EVER.
It was a dark and stormy night … at sea. On the Black Rock, to be precise. Ricardo and some other unlikely bastards are chained up down in the hold. The ship’s getting tossed about like a bathtub toy, and they figure they’re all going to die. One of the slaves spots an island, and we see the familiar outline of the Statue in the distance. It’s the devil, the slave exclaims. Suddenly, the Black Rock is swept up by a mother of a wave and sent toward the Island, rising up to collide with the head of the statue. Everything goes black.
I guess it’s better than running into an iceberg.
It’s day now. We’re in the jungle of mystery, where the Black Rock has come to rest in the spot with which we’re all most familiar. Down in the hold, a few slaves have survived, as have some officers topside. We hear that Captain Hanso has bit the big one. Soon, Whitfield comes down into the hold and starts getting all stabby with his sword, taking out the surviving slaves one by one. He soon reaches Ricardo, who doesn’t understand. Whitfield explains that if he frees Ricardo, it would only be a matter of time before he tried to kill the Brit. Ricardo reaches down to take hold of Isabella’s necklace, but it’s no longer around his neck. Whitfield rears his sword back and gets ready to plunge it into Ricardo’s mid-section when we hear the familiar battle horn of Ol’ Smokey and the ratchety cricket sound starts up. Oh, there’s gonna be some shit going down, now.
There’s the usual cacophony of screams and wails and bodies being thrashed about topside, and Whitfield looks like he might have just soiled his underoos. A man dies just above him on deck, and the blood seeps down and spills on Whitfield’s shirt. Ricardo’s eyes are practically bugging out of his head – have been the whole episode, honestly. Whitfield wants a report from topside. He’s answered when a big gust of black smoke pours down through the hold grate and yanks him up to what we can only imagine is a gruesome fate. Ricardo loses his shit and starts pulling on the shackles.
It’s not long before Ricardo stops. He knows he’s not alone. He turns to see Ol’ Smokey come winding down the staircase. Smokey stops for a minute, analyzing Ricardo. Ricardo closes his eyes and prays. There are a few flashes of light, as if Smokey is taking some pictures like he likes to do from time to time, and then he’s gone. It seems as though there’s a touch of grey that MIB likes in Ricardo’s soul, and so the Spaniard lives another day.
Ricardo and Smokey have a little face to, um, puff showdown.
A few days later, we see a blue butterfly float down toward the Black Rock and into the hold (more on the significance of that later), where Richard manages to pry a nail from one of the floorboards. He spends the next few days using the nail to scrape away at the bolt that attaches his chains to the ship. It’s a slow, painful process, especially since Ricardo is without food or water.
Days go by. Ricardo wakes up one night to a wild boar feeding on the dead bodies of the slaves, still chained to the wall. He yells and it runs off, scattering his precious floor nail out of Ricardo’s grasp. He cries in desperation.
More time passes. Ricardo awakens to a voice, asking if anyone is in the hold. It’s his precious Isabella. He’s justifiably confused, and his wife explains to him that they’ve both kicked the bucket and are in hell, and she needs to get him out of there before “he” comes back – the devil. It’s not long before we hear the sounds of what we then assume Isabella means is the devil – Ol’ Smokey. Ricardo tells her to run, and as she gets to the top of the stairs in the hold, she screams and is apparently dragged away by the black smoke. Ricardo is pretty bummed.
With nothing else to do, Ricardo cries and sleeps, waiting to die … until he is awakened by someone else in the hold. Surprise, it’s MIB, at least the 1860s version of MIB. He has water for Ricardo, who wants to know MIB’s identity. MIB confirms that Ricardo is in hell, and that he’s a friend that wants to help. Ricardo recounts the tale of his wife and how the black smoke got her. MIB says that probably means that “he” has her. Who is he? MIB thinks Ricardo knows.
“Well, gosh golly, I found these keys and, shucks, maybe they might work on your chains.”
MIB has conveniently found a key to Ricardo’s restraints, but before he lets him go, he makes Ricardo promise to do anything that MIB asks of him. Ricardo, not having many options, agrees. MIB frees the Spaniard, and he says that it’s good to see Ricardo out of those chains – just as he does 150 years later in the form of Locke. MIB tells Ricardo that he needs his strength if they are going to escape. Escape? asks Ricardo. Yes, MIB says, as there’s only one way to escape from hell – they’re going to have to kill the devil.
MIB takes Ricardo out to a clearing where there’s a stone bench, probably where MIB thinks all his Machiavellian thoughts, and they have a real nice pig pickin’. MIB tells Ricardo that he has to walk due west, where he’ll find the statue that the Black Rock smashed to pieces. MIB produces a knife – the same one that Dogen would present to Sayid – and explains that Ricardo needs it to slay the devil. Ricardo is, again, confused. How can a knife hurt black smoke? MIB explains that he is the black smoke, and that Isabella was not running from him – he was trying to save her from the devil, who took her.
Ricardo has a few moments of clarity in his and MIB’s ensuing conversation, but MIB continues to feed Ricardo what he needs to hear and to believe. Ricardo objects to murder, but MIB tells him that it doesn’t matter what’s right and what’s wrong – it only matters if Richard wants to see his wife again.
Ricardo takes the knife and sets off into the jungle, and straight out onto the beach, towards the statue, where he promptly gets his ass kicked by Jacob. Jacob wants to know who gave Ricardo the knife, and it’s pretty clear that the Spaniard isn’t going to run him through before Jacob opens his mouth. Ricardo wants to know where Isabella is, but Jacob has no clue and asks if she was on the ship. No, replies the Spaniard, she is dead. Then why the hell is Ricardo asking about a dead woman? wonders Jacob. He asks if Ricardo met a man, dressed in black, and Ricardo tells him he has and that MIB told Ricardo that Jacob was the devil. This makes Jacob grin.
Ricardo exclaims that both he and Isabella are dead and that the Island is hell. Jacob says Ricardo has fallen off his high chair, because he’s not dead. To prove it, Jacob drags Ricardo’s ass out into the ocean and commences to dunking him like a day old donut into the surf. It’s not long before Ricardo is begging for his life. Very smooth, Jacob. Very smooth.
“I don’t care if it DID tie the room together!”
Jacob drags Ricardo back to shore, wraps him in a blanky and hands him some hot cocoa. Ricardo asks Jacob if he’s the devil. Jacob smiles a bit and tells him no. He says his name is Jacob and that he’s the one that brought the Black Rock to the Island. Why? Well, in order to explain that, Jacob has to resort to the old cork in the bottle analogy.
“Okay, so you see all this wine in here, that’s like what you call hell, or evil or one of its many other names. It’s all swirling around in this bottle, wanting to get out. Well, the cork on this bottle is like the Island – it sits there, preventing the evil from getting out. Got it?”
Ricardo is still a bit confused. Jacob explains that MIB believes everyone is corruptible because it’s in their nature to sin. Jacob believes otherwise, and so he brings people to the Island to prove MIB wrong. There have been others before, asks Ricardo? Yes, many, replies Jacob. And what happened to them? asks Ricardo. They’re all dead, replies Jacob. Dude, that’s not a very good score. MIB – a whole bunch, Jacob – 0.
Jacob explains that he didn’t help any of the people because they needed to help themselves. He doesn’t want to have to hold their hands, he wants people to know the difference between right and wrong on their own. It’s meaningless, otherwise. Ricardo says that if Jacob doesn’t, MIB will. That’s when Jacob grins and offers Ricardo a job. Since Jacob can’t step in, Ricardo could do it for him. He’ll be Jacob’s consiglieri, if you will. Ricardo agrees, but wants to know what he can expect, in return. Name your price, says Jacob.
“I want my wife back,” says Ricardo.
“Ummmm, yeah, about that – can’t do it,” says Jacob.
“Get out of hell free card, then?”
“Fine,” Ricardo huffs. “I guess I want to live forever.”
Now that is something that Jacob can definitely do. And so he touches Ricardo’s shoulder and the partnership is underway.
Ricardo returns to MIB’s thinky place and finds him sitting on the stone bench. MIB rises and figures that Ricardo let Jacob talk. He did. Ricardo hands MIB a white stone, a gift from Jacob. MIB grins. He tells Ricardo that he understands, that Jacob can be very convincing, but Ricardo should also know that he’ll never see his wife again. MIB also tells Ricardo that if he ever changes his mind – ever – the offer still stands.
MIB’s thinky place. Notice the tree behind the bench.
MIB then pulls something out of his pocket and puts it in Ricardo’s hand. He opens it to find Isabella’s necklace. When he looks up, MIB is gone. Ricardo takes the necklace over to the stone bench, digs a hole and, crying, kisses the necklace before dropping it into the hole. “Goodbye, my love,” he says.
150 years later, Richard stomps out of the jungle and into the clearing where MIB’s thinky place is still standing. The stone bench is there, beneath a tree which has grown tall behind it. He gets to his knees and digs through the topsoil, finding Isabella’s necklace, just as he left it.
MIB’s thinky place, circa 2007. The tree is quite a bit larger. Really nice touch.
Richard gets to his feet and says that he has changed his mind. He calls out to the Man in Black, reminding him of his deal and that the offer would still stand. He reiterates that he’s changed his mind quite a few times. “Does the offer still stand?” Richard yells, angrily.
“What offer, dude?” asks Hurley, coming out of the brush.
Richard is suitably perplexed. He asks if Hurley’s been following him, and Hurley says kinda. Richard tells him to get the hell out, because he doesn’t know anything and just to leave him alone. Hurley tells him to calm down, because Richard’s wife Isabella sent him, and she wants to know why he buried her cross. Richard’s eyes widen, and his perfect eyelids flutter a bit.
“How’d you know about that?” asks Richard, astonished.
“Because she just told me,” answers Hurley. “She’s standing right next to you.”
Richard doesn’t move a muscle, which is odd, because if somebody told me an invisible dead person was standing next to me, I might jump back just a little bit. At any rate, we now see Isabella standing next to Richard, and she remarks that he doesn’t believe what Hurley’s saying. Hurley says that it takes some people more time.
Richard starts to believe and turns toward where Isabella is standing. Isabella remarks that Richard’s English is wonderful and Hurley translates it into Hurley-speak. Isabella asks Richard to close his eyes, and Hurley says it’s okay, that he’ll tell Richard what she says. He closes them. She says that it wasn’t Richard’s fault that she died, and that no matter if he tried to save her, it was just her time. Richard cries. Isabella cradles his head in her hand and tells him that he has suffered enough. Richard tells her that he loves her and that he would do anything for them to be together again.
“Ya estamos juntos.”
She kisses his cheek. And with that, she’s gone.
Richard places Isabella’s necklace around his neck and thanks Hurley. Hurley shuffles a bit and says “you got it,” uncomfortably. Richard asks if something is wrong. Hurley hesitates, but says that Isabella told him one last thing. There’s something that Richard has to do. Richard has to stop the Man in Black. He has to stop MIB from leaving the Island. Because if he doesn’t …
“Todos vamos al infierno.”
Off in the distance – unbeknownst to Hurley and Richard – MIB, in the guise of Locke, watches intently.
Cue the … Waitaminute, we’re not done yet.
150 years ago, MIB is sitting on a log, surveying his own personal hell – the Island. Jacob strolls up, and the two nemeses chit chat. Jacob notices MIB palming the white stone that he gifted and mentions it. MIB tells Jacob not to gloat, that it doesn’t become him. Jacob doesn’t exactly like that MIB sent a guy to plunge a knife through is heart, but MIB says that he did it because he wants to leave. As long as he’s alive, Jacob will never let MIB leave. MIB remarks that this is why he has to kill him.
Jacob tells MIB that even if he does manage to punch his ticket, someone else will take his place. This definitely agitates MIB and he says that he will just have to kill them, too. Jacob hands MIB the bottle of wine that he used in his analogy to Richard, earlier. He tells MIB that it’s just something to pass the time.
“I’ll see you around,” says Jacob.
“Sooner than you think,” remarks MIB, as he grips the bottle firmly before bringing it down on the log, smashing the glass and sending the wine – the evil – pouring out, free.
Cue the THONK!
I hope everyone is happy after that episode, because we certainly got a boatload of answers. Hah, get it? Boatload? Shipwreck? Eh, never mind. Not only did we find out why Richard has been pulling a Dick Clark all these years, we also saw how the Black Rock ended up in the middle of the jungle, why all those slaves died down in the hold, and what a really, horribly bad liar the Man in Black can be.
As the series starts to wind down, we’re going to find out more and more about the Island and its secrets, so it’s going to become less important to analyze and speculate about what’s going to happen down the road. However, even though this episode laid bare a whole lot of answers to long-held questions, there’s still plenty to analyze and speculate. Let’s get to it!
SPY VS. SPY
When you see Jacob and MIB having their little talks down by the beach, is anyone else reminded of the MAD Magazine comic strip Spy Vs. Spy? Is it just me? Just like those two mischievous intelligence agents, Jacob and MIB are embroiled in a deadly game of cat and mouse, and have been for untold centuries.
Instead of bombs and dynamite and tanks and gadgets, though, Jacob and MIB wage their war with very personal weapons – people. In this episode, we get to see how each of them subtly manipulates Richard toward their side of the battle.
MIB’s manipulation seems the most elaborate. While Richard is still in chains down in the hold, Isabella appears to him, telling him that they need to get out of there before the devil returns. The sounds of Ol’ Smokey start up in the distance and Isabella has to make a run for it, eventually getting swept up by something as she reaches the top of the hold. MIB would later tell Richard that she was running from Jacob, not the black smoke, as MIB is the black smoke.
This week’s episode-inspired drink recipe is a no-brainer. With locks like those and the world’s most perfect eyelashes, this week’s drink could only be …
THE SPANISH FLY
- 1 part Jose Cuervo Tequila
- 1 part Licor 43
- Crushed Ice
- cinnamon stick
Brush the hair from your eyes, grab the tequila gently yet firmly, and pour it and the Licor 43 slowly over the crushed ice in an old fashioned glass. Turn up the heat with a sprinkling of cinnamon and then plunge your cinnamon stick deep into the whole mix. Repeat until exhausted.
Isabella’s cameo in the hold is a bit confusing and contradictory to what we’ve seen of the reappearance of the dead in prior episodes. We now know that MIB has taken the form of the dead in the past in order to coerce the living, but we’ve never seen him engage in such an elaborate ruse. He seemingly appears in two places at once – in Isabella in the hold, and out in the jungle, making all that noise. Is it possible that Isabella was Jacob? We’ve speculated that Jacob may shapeshift like his nemesis. Or was Isabella really MIB and Jacob truly did shoo him away, in his own smokey form?
More than likely, the simplest explanation is the truth, in this case. MIB simply put on a little show for Ricardo so that he could later use all of it to motivate Ricardo into killing Jacob. Isabella had to be MIB, since the sequence of events that led up to her appearance are nearly identical to those we saw of Mr. Eko and Yemi, back in seasons two and three. Eko first encountered Ol’ Smokey out in the jungle back in season two in “The 23rd Psalm.” During their brief encounter, we see Smokey analyze Eko, gleaning tidbits about his past. Satisfied that Eko may be of some use, Smokey zooms off. Later, Yemi appears to Eko, subtly manipulating him through his guilt. In “The Cost of Living,” Yemi appears to Eko again, asking him if he will atone for his sins. When Eko says that he has nothing to atone for and that everything he did, he did simply to survive, MIB sees that he has lost and Eko will be of no more use to him. That’s when he throws a tantrum and tosses him into some trees, killing Eko.
MIB further solidifies the sequence of events – and his clear role of the trickster – when he gets caught in his own lies in this episode. When he rescues Richard, Ricardo demands to know the whereabouts of his wife. MIB plays dumb and says that he doesn’t know, but that it’s likely that “he” has her. Ricardo isn’t sure what MIB means, but MIB says that he thinks Ricardo knows who he’s talking about. Later, at the pig pickin’, Richard starts asking a lot of questions and doubts that he can kill Jacob because Jacob is just black smoke. That’s when MIB has to come clean and admit that he is the black smoke. And then he starts talking too much and admits that he did see his wife come out of the hold and that he saw Jacob take her, but he was powerless to stop him. In my mind, it’s now case closed, and MIB had better check his pants, because they’re certainly on fire.
In the end, all of the actions and words of MIB in this episode point to one thing: our speculation of how light versus dark may be switched with Jacob and MIB probably has to be discounted. It’s becoming increasingly clear that MIB is this malevolence that has long been purported, and the survivors better wake up and do everything they can to stop him from getting off the Island.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT
So, raise your hand if you noticed the pretty blue butterfly drift on the wind and float down into the hold where Ricardo was working on his chains. It’s subtle, and a nice little cinematic effect that reestablishes the shot of the brightness of the Black Rock and brings us down into the dark hold where Richard is held captive. The butterfly signifies freedom, and it can come and go as it pleases, while Richard may never be free of his chains – both physically and emotionally. But is that really all the butterfly could signify? Sure, it could be just the director, Tucker Gates, and editor having some fun and using the creature for a nice, cinematic transition. If I left it alone, though, where would be the fun in that?
In many cultures – the Irish, ancient Greeks and Chinese, to name a few – the butterfly has long since symbolized the soul. In some artistic representations of the Biblical Adam, his soul is symbolized by the butterfly, or depicted with butterfly wings. In an ancient Chinese legend, the butterfly comes to symbolize eternal love and the union of souls, as two spurned lovers are forced to commit suicide in order to be together forever.
In the context of that mythological symbolism, our little blue butterfly may be more than just a cinematic effect – it could be representative of Isabella’s soul, as she has been watching over Ricardo while he is on the Island. This is, by far, the most romantic and beautiful interpretation of the butterfly, but there is another, much darker possibility. The butterfly could be MIB.
In “Exposé,” back in Season three, we are privy to the shenanigans of those two out-of-place jewel thieves Nikki and Paulo. In that episode, Nikki wrangles a female Medusa spider to bite Paulo, paralyzing him. Her plan backfires, however, as Nikki is bitten, as well. Just before she is bitten, we hear the ratchety clicks of Ol’ Smokey. It was later confirmed by Lindelof that the Medusa spider was a manifestation of MIB. Knowing that MIB is not only capable of manifesting as a human, but also as an insect, we may conclude that the butterfly could have been MIB, drifting down into the hold to watch Richard and time his next nefarious move.
Personally, I’d like to think it was Isabella, watching out for his love. But, then again, I’m an old softie.
It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet. While just doing some background research on the Canary Islands, I came across tales of a legendary eighth island in the Canary chain. This island was known as San Boróndon, named after St. Brendan, and Irish monk who legend tells took a trip to an island of happiness and wealth.
In the Canarian legends, there were tales of a mysterious eighth island that could sometimes be seen west of La Palma and El Hierro. However, when anyone sailed out to find the island, it would become covered in fog or mist and disappear.
The legend of the island permeates the Canarian culture, and maps of the eighth island exist. One resides in the main museum in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. There are many detailed accounts from sailors and fishermen who claim to have been on the island before it disappeared. And there are still seafarers on the westernmost islands today that will tell you that they sometimes spot San Boróndon off in the distance, covered in a strange mist.
Pretty cool, huh?
THE RANDOM BITS
The Spanish prisoner is a confidence trick where the grifter convinces his mark that he has been in touch with a wealthy person imprisoned in Spain under false pretenses. The grifter asks the mark to help him with money so that they can get the wealthy person out of jail. Upon the wealthy benefactor’s release, the mark will be rewarded handsomely. Unfortunately for the mark, there’s no benefactor and the mark was often cajoled into giving up everything for the hope of greater riches. What does this have to do with this week’s episode? Other than both MIB and Jacob using similar techniques to convince Ricardo to join their ranks, nothing. I just thought it was an interesting aside, and because Lost has a big theme of the art of the grift.
It’s awful nice of Ol’ Smokey to make a lot of noise before he attacks. He could just sneak in all quiet-like since he’s just a giant puff of smoke.
Jacob dunks Ricardo into the ocean to convince him of his life. Sayid is dunked into the Temple Spring to save his life, but ends up dead – or, rather, undead. In both instances, the person was then consecrated into duty in the ranks of Jacob or MIB. The act of submerging in water is very reminiscent of a traditional baptism, as depicted in the Biblical account of John the Baptist dunking followers into the river to allow the Holy Spirit into their hearts.
Jacob mentions to Richard that only those he invites into the statue may enter, sort of like a reverse vampire rule. This is reminiscent of God’s decree that only those that are invited to enter his temple in heaven may do so.
Isabella’s cross and the significance to Richard is very similar to the one that Yemi carried with him and Eko kept in remembrance of his dead brother. In “The Cost of Living” Locke presents Eko with the cross after he had lost it, and he says he just came across it. MIB says the same thing to Ricardo when he hands Ricardo the cross. That’s a pretty nice parallel. Good going, Lost team.
For Richard, the Island represents hell. His perspective is one of religion and faith. The Island can be whatever you want it to be. The powers that be said that we would find out what the Island really is in this episode, but I don’t think that the Island is hell. If Jacob’s bottle analogy is any indication, the Island is simply the locked gate on top of the portal to hell or another dimension, or whatever we choose to call it. This would also fall in line with Ol’ Smokey’s Dharma name – Cerberus. Cerberus, of course, was the three-headed dog in Greek mythology that guarded the gates of Hades, making sure that souls trapped there could never escape.
Ab Aeterno is latin for “from eternity,” or “since the beginning of time.” You know, just in case you guys didn’t already know that.
Being damaged goods is the way to enter Jacob’s service. Richard had nowhere to turn and didn’t want to die because he’d be sent to hell. Ilana was beaten, possibly disfigured, and Jacob may have restored her face. He seems to help people, and even heal people, if his touch to Locke after he was pushed from the window is any indication. But even though his actions seem altruistic, he does ask a lot from his servants. There still seems to be a level grey seeping into that white.
Hurley’s conversation to Isabella on the beach can be translated roughly as: “Why? Why is he going to do it? Yes, I can [word garbled] but I don’t know how to find him if …” Again, just in case anyone is curious.
Is it just me, or does Isabella have the craziest damn eyes? They’re yellow. She’d fit right into a Twilight movie, except she’s not all sparkly in the sun. Yeah, I’ve seen Twilight, don’t judge me.
And that about wraps things up for this week. Is there something I missed? Surely there must be. I didn’t even get a chance to talk about how Hurley can talk to dead people that he hasn’t even met. We’ll have to save that for another time, as unfortunately I am now out of it. Until next time, though, keep thinking those thoughts and if you have an epiphany, tell me something good.
[Editor’s Note – And if you haven’t read our interviews yet with Mark Pellegrino (Jacob) and Alan Dale (Charles Widmore), make sure to do so. Trust me, there’s some good information about the show in them – you don’t want to miss out.]
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. Michael Emerson, Lost’s Benjamin Linus, called Kirkman’s recaps “one of the smartest articles I’ve ever read about what goes on on our show.” Kirkman is still hoping that Lost will end when Bob Newhart wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette, complaining of a strange, strange dream. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.