Sunday, March 28, 2010

LOST: Isabella, my wife. She was here.

6.09: "Ab Aeterno"


Isabella appears to Richard on the Black Rock. How? I see three possibilities.
  1. As a hallucination.
  2. As Esau in corporeal drag.
  3. As her actual self, allowed communion via supernatural power or ability.

I'm gonna chuck Occam's Razor and for the sake of keeping things interesting, and (a kind of) consistent with her Hurley-mediated appearance at the end of the episode, I'm gonna nix possibilty number one.

As for possibility the second, well, I'm sticking with the Esau-can-only-wear-a-body-on-the-Island rule for that one. So, number two is, well, number two. (I'm going to do everyone the favor of restraining myself from conspiracy-theoretically going down the road of the Monster being in cahootz with the Spaniard priest and arranging for her body to be loaded onto the Black Rock with his indentured prisoners.)

Which leaves possibility number three. It seems that Isabella made a genuine post mortem visit to her man. This tells me that Richard is special in a way that many Island visitors seem to be. Special in the way we know Walt, several Candidates, and probably Aaron, are. At this laissez-faire stage of Jacob's meddling, Jacob may not have known that anyone special had landed in the Black Rock, but perhaps sometimes, when the Island wants what it wants, it really is the Island, and not Jacob, eh?

Anyhow, Esau seems surprised to hear that Richard saw Isabella on the Island, and that she was reportedly scared off by none other than himself (ack, unless there's another Black Smoke Monster... Jacob, perhaps? =). Aware of her significance to Ricardo (thanks to the flash-scan he ran on him earlier in Monster form) he clunkily assimilates her presence into his story, looking to increase Richard's motivation to kill Jacob, aka the devil...
RICHARD: Did you... Did you see my wife? Isabella, my wife. She was here. Then the black smoke came, and she ran.
ESAU: And she hasn't come back... That probably means HE has her.
RICHARD: Who...?
ESAU: I think you know who.

And later, over roast boar...
RICHARD: How, how can I kill him with this, he' smoke.
ESAU: No. I am.
RICHARD: My wife Isabella, she was running from you?
ESAU: She was running from him. I'm sorry. I saw him take her but I couldn't do anything to stop it.

Not very convincing to me, or Richard, it turns out, as he begins to question the not-so-consistent logic of Esau's storytelling. But when he attempts to get more on the whys and wherefores, Esau FOXnews-es him into focusing on all that *really* matters...
ESAU: I'm not the one you need to worry about. The Devil has your wife, and you are going to have to kill him if you ever want to get her back.

So, I think that Richard's vision of Isabella is genuine, not engineered by Esau, and in the end explains how little Ben's story of seeing his mother's body would especially impress Richard.


Richard's Isabella and Ben's mother. These two cases of Island reanimation/apparition feel like they're connected, because they both seem non-Monster-ous, thanks to the body-on-the-Island rule. I had to concoct quite a backstory to make Ben's mom's appearance a Monster thing, and I *like* my story, especially the part where Esau cuts a deal with Horace and the DI, but I'll admit it takes some stretching.

It occurs to me now that maybe I've been too hard on Ben. That the vision of his mother may have been genuine, and that Ben IS Island-special. I thought that the Monster would have had to fake the vision to give Ben the cred needed to get him in the Temple door and baptized into Other-dom, but maybe Ben was always meant to be an Other. After all, he certainly proved himself to be gifted in the arts of deception and manipulation to a preternatural degree, and mostly held it together as Leader in a very trying era of Other history. So maybe Esau didn't have to craft his loophole weapon from scratch, but rather identified Other-to-be Ben and his situation as making for the ideal clay from which to mold it.


I think it's an expression or a gift of the Island, meant to connect with a specific, special, individual on the Island. It seems obvious that the Island enlists Ben's mother to tell him what he needs to hear and know. It's his mother, but with the Island whispering in her ear about how he can be a great leader of the Island's people so many years down the line. I've said it before, but here it is again... The things she tells Ben lead him to leave the DI and meet Richard and the Others, and the story of her very appearance gives him potential Other cred, which leads to his being baptized as an Other, succeeding Charles Widmore as Leader, and ultimately playing his part as Esau's loophole against Jacob.

With Isabella and Richard, her interaction with him doesn't seem to give him all that much insight or foreknowledge. The Island might have whispered to Isabella that she is in hell, home to the devil, and her husband has been sent here as well. Or perhaps the Island didn't need to whisper anything, just allow her to see Richard's predicament and conclude for herself as to their location and the identity of the Monster. But consider her visit in the same light as Ben's mother's, as information he needs to know to move on and forward.

The way Esau stumbles while assimilating Richard's story about her puts doubt in his mind about the whole devil business. Esau even owns up to BEING the Monster, which pretty much scrambles the fear factor and logic in his framing of Richard's situation. And ultimately, Isabella's situation and insistence that they both belong in hell also leads Richard to make his fateful wish—to never die—making him the man he is today.

There's more to comment on, from Poor Ricardo's Almanac, it's true, but this is all I've had the time to bang out this week. Foo.

Thanks to JK for poking my brain about LOST this week.

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. I still say Richard should be ages-older than his story reveals, and Egyptian. Nyeah. : P

No comments: