Tuesday, March 30, 2010

LOST: Poor Richard's Frontignac...

6.09: "Ab Aeterno"

Some scattin' on the Richard episode...


What's up with "the new world?" 1867 and a Spaniard refers to the Americas as the new world? I'm no historian, but it seems conspicuous, no? I feel like the use of the phrase calls attention to itself. There are the Americas as the new world, but then there's the Island, too, isn't there? And then again, in season 6, there is a truly new, alternate, world as well. Hrmm...

And here's a silly little stretch. Isabella... Not the queen, but sharing her name, like the queen, she "funds" her explorer Richard's unplanned journey to a new world... with her crucifix pendant.

Isabella's ghost/visitation. This seems similar to Ben's mother's apearance to little Ben. Which might be strong versions of other spectral projections we've seen, like Ana Lucia's to Eko as well and Boone's to Locke? Maybe the Island is like Spiderman with its granting of post mortem visits? "Everybody gets one."

What to do next...?
JACOB: Ask Ricardus. He'll know what to do next.
ILANA: So, Richard, what DO we do next?

If we trust Jacob, then what's next is the message Hurley passes on from Isabella (or IS it Isabella? =) ...
HURLEY: She said you have to stop the Man In Black. You have to stop him from leaving the island. Cuz if you don't... todos nos vamos al infierno [We all go to hell.]

Not a huge surprise as far as instructions go. No doubt Richard will hook Ilana and the Candidates up with Other/Island resources to help them.


Richard is not Ricardus, he's Ricardo. Boo. He's ages younger than I personally hoped. This also means that Jacob's phase of active meddling is just under 150 years old. That's not a short time, but seems short-ish, given his apparent immortality, no? I mean, Jacob DOES live, at last part-time, in a statue of frickin Tawaret, right? So, y'know, barring his being swept up in a massive time jump, he's lived thru and since ancient Egyptian times. That is a LONG TIME to be running his and Esau's Job-ian challenge in a laissez-faire manner, donchathink?

Where/when/whence do Esau and Jacob pick up their (as far as I can suss) 21st century North American English-speaking accents? Is that just how WE hear them? Or could it be a clue to their origin? Or perhaps it's just the influence of the time-travelling satellite TV dish hook-up they're pirating.

Priestly refuses to give Ricardo absolution. It moves the story along, sure, but Man, that seems conspicuously harsh. In the end, it serves as great preamble, set up, for a calculated follow-thru of selling him into servitude and making it look to Ricardo himself like a blessing. A stay of hell-execution, a chance to do the penance that will earn him salvation.

Captain Magnus Hanso dies. I had it in my head that the LOST mythology was that a Hanso was shipwrecked, survived, and found his way back to civilization. I presumed that he (and his heir/s) somehow parlayed his discovery of or experience on the Island into practical advantage in war, industry, and business. Perhaps the reports of his death were greatly exaggerated in his episode?


If we take his words to be true, he is saying that he, Esau, originally lived in the body that Jacob now wears. This implies that Jacob was a non-human being who required or desired a human body, and he took Esau's. Leaving Esau as the Monster. The body that he wears when speaking with Richard may be an Island loaner, the form of someone who lies dead on the Island somewhere. It's a body that Jacob is familiar with, as he describes it to Richard when he determines that Esau sent him to kill him.

I think this brazen attempt on Jacob's life would have been successful, too. Jacob may not have formalized his methods by 1867, but he definitely claims responsibility for bringing Richard to the Island, so Richard is one of his people, and we know that Jacob can be (and will have been) killed by one of his people, as long as it is the killer's own desire which drives him.

Jacob wins Richard in the way that Esau wins Sayid. The deck is stacked in Esau's favor by Infection, but the scenarios and process are remarkable LOST mirror images.

Esau and Dogen each give their agents the same weapon and nearly the same instructions—as soon as you are aware of him, strike to kill, before he can say a word. Sayid follows his instructions while Richard never gets the chance. Both end up engaged in conversation with their targets. I don't believe that simply hearing the sound of either's voice is the issue, it's letting them speak to you, charm, persuade, seduce, and influence you.


I wish that when we finally get to see Richard's assailant on the beach that it was Christian. O well.


Jacob's explanation of Evil and the Island using the wine, bottle, and cork. Also, as melodramatic as it was, Esau's smashing of the bottle. To me it implied a strategy for his escape (or perhaps the spread of the Infection beyond the Island) that bypasses the Island. Something that might result in the destruction of the pocket dimension or snowglobe. Now, what would that look like...? Sunken Island, anyone? Whether that's actually what's in store, well, I guess we'll hafta wait and see.

That Richard's story is a love story. I don't know why that appeals to me, exactly. Maybe because it's the last thing you'd expect given Richard's behavior and demeanor on the show so far.

I was half-hoping that Richard, before the Island, was kind of a screw-up. Maybe the Gilligan of his ship, the guy that causes them to be shipwrecked somehow.

That the going-to-hell framework is made to fit so well. Priestly's set-up of no absolution. The statue of Tawaret in the dark and stormy night. The Monster's attack. The ordeal of Ricardo's industrial arts project: escaping the Black Rock brig on his own. Highlights include the dripping rainwater being out of reach and the loss of his digging nail, thanks to a wild boar rush. The visit from Isabella. And then Esau's clunky manipulation of the situation.


We've seen two face-to-face meetings between Jacob and Esau so far. One on the beach, as part of last season's finale, and another in this episode, on Esau's log with a view.

When Esau visits Jacob on the beach, they talk about the arrival of a ship, visible on the horizon against clear skies and calm seas. At the time, I assumed it was the Black Rock. However, in this episode, we see that the Black Rock does not so much arrive as crash land in the middle of a massive nighttime storm.

When Jacob visits Esau at his log with a view, the timing seems to be immediately following his hiring of Richard. I gather this from Jacob's referring to the stone that Richard delivered to Esau. In this conversation, Esau seems to state or acknowledge his murderous intentions to Jacob for the first time.
JACOB: So you tried to kill me?
MAN IN BLACK: You expect an apology?
JACOB: No. I guess I'm just wondering why you did it.

So, this must have happened before that morning on the beach, right? Because in their discussion there, Esau speaks as if he's got a history of attempts on Jacob's life...
ESAU: Do you have any idea how badly I wanna kill you?
ESAU: One of these days, sooner or later... I'm going to find a loophole, my friend.

The ship on the horizon that day must have been a different ship, carrying a crop of Jacob's Good People.

But, that morning on the beach, Tawaret was complete and intact. The arrival of the Black Rock smashed the statue to bits.

Frack. I thought that talking it thru would untangle things, but I'm still unclear on the order of these two Jacob and Esau heart-to-hearts. In the end, I suppose it doesn't matter, except maybe to connect one of the ships' arrivals with one of the time-skipping flashes.


Maybe when we see him speaking wit Jacob Esau's wearing Magnus Hanso's body?

Doesn't the stone appear to be much brighter and polished than when Richard handed it over? Is this an indication of time having passed since that delivery?

Maybe Isabella didn't actually tell Hurley that last bit to pass on to Richard? Maybe that was from Jacob.

Keep on keepin on~

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