Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ab Aeterno “A Very Long Time Ago, or the Beginning of Time"(Lost episode 6.09) Recap and Analysis

A long time coming, and as many fans have theorized Richard is indeed from the Black Rock, and we have more information on the Black Rock, probably all we will ever get also,with only 7 episodes left until the Lost finale.

 Tuesday’s episode answered Richards back story, and added to the aspects of game play within the show. Man in Black / Smokey, and Jacob were making their play for Richard and Jacob won giving MIB the white rock.

 No flash sideways, very little island time – mostly Richards flashback

 Ab Aeterno
Opens with Jacob visiting Illana in the hospital telling her she needs to protect six people that are candidates to replace Jacob. He mentions this is what she has been preparing for and it seems to be very upsetting to her. The scene picks up later after Illana is healing in mid conversation. Jacob then tells her she needs to ask Richard (Ricardos) what to do next after they are at the Temple.

When she asks him this on island as they are all sitting around the campfire, he goes a bit crazy laughing about how he doesn’t know what to do next, and tells them they are all dead, and this isn’t an island, that they are in hell. “This isn’t what you think it is, we are not on an island we never were” He believes Jacob is telling lies and it’s time to go listen to somewhere else, so he marches off into the jungle to find FLocke. Illana wants to go off after him because she believes he does know because I guess Jacob would never lie to her.

Suddenly Sun has all the answers? Sun fills Jack in that Richard is going off to talk to Locke, who is not exactly Locke as Ben points out.

Picture it Tenerife the Canary Islands, 1867

Richard riding on a horse back to his “house” to his wife Isabella who appears to have consumption / TB. He rides off to the wealthy ignorant doctors house who would not go help but would give him medicine for a price ( which Richard just didn’t have enough) Richard offers to help work off the debt, but this guy could care less (must be a republican) and in a heated moment and minor scrabble, Richard kills the guy by accident. Once he returns home his wife is already dead and he is taken to prison moments later.

The priest who visits him can not absolve him of this mistake, and says only penance will help which he cannot do since “he doesn’t have time to do anything” since they are about to hang him. Richard is reading the bible, Luke, 4 37 ( which is about Jesus asking a demon to come out of a man, and the demon does without harming the man, the reports of Jesus spread throughout the land) Richard though is teaching himself English and lets the guy know he and his wife wanted to travel to the new world. Mr. Whitfield comes as a representative of Magnos Hanso and purchases him from the priest.

Through a rainstorm much like the one Rousseau’s crew experienced when they crashed on the island, the black Rock was hurled onto the island breaking apart the statue and crashing about a mile into the jungle. The mystery of why the ship was in the middle of the jungle now solved. Before the crash one of the slaves below deck believed the statue was the devil seeing it all ominous off in the distance, and it was guarding the island. Interesting since we originally were told Smokie was the security system of the island, and has also been referred to as evil incarnate by Dogen.

The crew awakens to discover most including the Capitan are all dead. Then things get even better for Richard when those not dead were slain by Whitfield, because he fears its kill or be killed, “if I freed you it would only be a matter of time before you killed me” due to being shipwrecked with no supplies or fresh water. Smokey comes in and takes out the remaining crew and Whitfield before he gets to kill Richard, whom he must of found interesting, took some photos of him as usual and was gone. Maybe he took pity on because he was also trapped, or he figured he would be a candidate for the game him and Jacob are playing. Hard to say what are the intentions of a pillar of black smoke.
Richards Life Sucks the Big one, Should Make you Feel Better about Yours

 All of this must be weird enough for Richard whose life just went into the shitter before he wound up there, with the death of his wife, going to prison and about to be executed to be saved by being sold into slavery, now they crash which he survived, next he is about to be killed, but is spared four times now, I guess when your destined to live, your destined to live. He survives trying to get himself free from his chains, he can’t reach the water that is pouring in the ship, and if being around a bunch of dead bodies isn’t bad enough, here comes a boar to come eat some of his fellow traveling companions all while he is trying to loosen the nails from his chains.

He is first visited by his dead wife who believes they are in hell, saying she has seen the devil and when she looked into his eyes all she saw evil. While she is trying to free him, we hear Smokey coming, so thoughts on her being Smokey kind of evaporate. We hear here scream and Smokey leaves so Richard gets to lose her all over again.

I Fell into a Burning Ring of Fire..and now I am Just the Smoke from the Fire

 Sometime later the man in black(MIB) appears with some water and he has been here (in hell) and that he has been there a long time. He also says he doesn’t know where Richard’s wife went and believes “he has her now”. The Man in Black tries to strike a deal with Richard, he frees him and just asks for the small favor of killing the devil in return, since this is the only way to get out of hell. This will also allow him to be with his wife again. He warns him to not let the devil speak or it will already be too late, since he is very convincing. Very reminiscent to what Dogen told Sayid in Sundown about the man in black, with the same looking dagger.

 Richard is confused how a dagger could kill some black smoke, then MIB confesses he is the black smoke, and Isabella was not running from him, but from “him”. He couldn’t do anything to stop him, and he interrupts Richard to tell him he is not the only one who lost something. The devil betrayed him and took his body, his humanity. Of course it doesn’t dawn on Richard why this guy would want him to go kill the devil, why didn’t he do it after all, or why not go with him. What is he really concerned about his welfare?

“Still Think Your Dead!”

 Jacob though jumped Richard once he saw him and the poor guy was still very confused and believed he was dead and was in hell and he is just looking for his dead wife. Which Jacob tells him that it wasn’t his wife he saw. Jacob proved to him by trying to drown him in the ocean he was not dead.

 He also tells him about his own rules on visitors.No one comes inside the foot of the statue unless he invites them in. He says he is not the devil but is the one who brought the ship to the island. Sure he wants to prove the MIB wrong, but why?

 One of the most important moments of the show happens when Jacob explains to Richard a little bit about where they are. Explaining that evil is like the wine in the bottle swirling around and the island is like a cork that is holding hell, darkness unable to get out because it would spread. Cork is the only way to keep the darkness where it belongs.

 He goes on to explain that the man he met believes people are corruptible because it is in their very nature to sin. Jacob brings people to the island to prove him wrong. He says everyone there gets a fresh start, their past doesn’t matter. When he finds out everyone before him has died Richard asks "well, if you brought them here why didn’t you help them?" Jacob wants them to help themselves if he intervenes then they don’t learn anything, knowing the difference between right and wrong is meaningless if he has to step in. When Jacob asks Richard why he thinks he should step in, Richard points out if he doesn’t MIB will…and thus seals the deal on the job. Jacob gives a look like, “well I never thought about that.” Richard can be the intermediary to people he brings to the island, his representative.

Jacob Cannot Bring the Dead Back to Life on Request, he can not Absolve Anyone of their Sins, but Eternal life? Gotcha Covered!!

Jacob gives Richard a white rock to return to the Johnny cash,i mean Man in black(lol) I imagine as a token of his “win"; in the inside joke of a game they are playing.  MIB’s offer still stands if Richard ever changes his mind, and he gives him the necklace of his wife, that he must have dropped on the ship. Richard buries it and when we get back to our time he is digging it up. It took Richard 140 years to change his mind and admit he was wrong, he starts yelling to get MIB to come out, but only Hurly does. Because Richards wife sent him. She finally after all this time tells him it wasn’t his fault that she died and he has suffered enough. The main reason she found hurly was to tell Richard to not let the MIB leave the island. Otherwise they all go to hell.

Nah Nah I won Richard!!

The episode closed with a flashback of Jacob giving the MIB the bottle of wine for him to “pass the time”. They discuss that MIB wants to leave but Jacob can’t let him while he is alive, and MIB states he will kill anyone who keeps him from leaving. Jacob gloats that MIB got his present of the white rock, and is slightly gloating. Jacob leaves him with the wine and MIB smashes it. (Another way to get the liquid out).

Could be that this moment fueled MIB's plan, it is not fully clear still what these rules are, but it is very clear there is a game going on as we have all noticed with all of the games referenced throughout the show. Answers were given more or less, but the big one of WHY is still elusive.

Questions Answered
  • Richard came to the island in 1867 on the Black Rock as a slave
  • Jacob gave Richard eternal life in exchange for being his go between
  • The island is a cork keeping out the darkness
  • The Statue was destroyed by the Black Rock crashing into it 
  • Everyone that has been there before then is dead

 New Questions 

  •  Why did Isabella think they were in hell, was that even her?
  • Who took her, MIB or Jacob?
  • Why does Jacob have to prove MIB wrong? Is he playing this game to keep him entertained?
More answers than questions finally! No rabbits to report either for Rabbit Watch, but if I missed something please comment. Overall great episode, alot of game play, alot of repeating of things we have heard. and always I have said, Life is a circle and a circle has no point, thus is Lost.

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