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Monday, March 29, 2010

"Ab Aeterno" Discussion

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the JoshMeister and fellow LOST fans discuss Season 6 Episode 9, "Ab Aeterno".

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Season 6 Episode 9 "Ab Aeterno":
Unknown date, Ilana flashback:
  • Jacob: "Will you help me, Ilana?"
  • Jacob says he has 6 names of "people I need you to protect"
    • So Jacob gave her the exact 6 names, but she doesn't know if Sun or Jin is the Kwon?
  • Jacob: "They're the remaining candidates."
2007 on the Island:
  • Sun: "She said I was one of them. One is you [Jack] and one is Hurley."
    Unknown date, Ilana flashback:
    • Ilana: "After I have brought them to the temple, what do I do?"
    • Jacob: "Ask Ricardus.  He'll know what to do."
    • Richard: (laughs) "I have no idea what we do next. ... Because everything he ever said is a lie.  You want to know a secret, Jack?  Something I've known for a long, long time?  We're dead. ... We're in hell."
      •  Oh, great.  This scene was in the preview last week and we thought we were going to get a major revelation in this scene, but it turns out to just be Richard's own speculation—and something the executive producers have repeatedly shot down
    • Richard: "Maybe it's time we stop listening to him and start listening to someone else.  And that's exactly what I'm going to do."  (he walks off)
    • Hurley speaking Spanish to someone on the beach, and Jack wants to know what Jacob said
    • Hurley: "It's not Jacob, man.  Sorry, Jack, but this has nothing to do with you."
    • Frank to Ben: "So you're saying this guy doesn't age?"
    1867, Canary Islands:
    • Richard (Ricardo) speaks Spanish!
    • Isabella: "Siempre estaremos juntos." ("We will always be together.")
      • Was Hurley talking to his deceased wife Isabella?  (We find out later that he was!)
    • Richard: "Te voy a salvar." ("I'm going to save you.")
    • Richard accidentally kills the doctor — the same way Desmond accidentally killed Kelvin in the Season 2 finale, "Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1" (see the Lostpedia article Kelvin Inman; for a blast from the past, see also my original blog post about the episode)
    • Richard is reading an English Bible in prison
      • Prop error: the text in this Bible was far too modern for an 1867 edition (screenshot)
      • Very interesting: the passage he's reading is Luke chapter 4, which is about when the devil tempted Jesus; I mentioned this passage recently on the blog and podcast, and I thought about it again during this episode because of the things the MIB promised Richard later
        • "i really like when you talk about this stuff Josh, cause I know NOTHING about it.  I learn so much about the show." -Spivvy
    • The Catholic priest told Richard that he didn't have enough time to repent for murder because he was being hanged in the morning, and that the devil awaited him in hell
    • A man (named Jonas Whitfield according to the casting call) purchases Richard on behalf of Magnus Hanso and is taken as a slave aboard the Black Rock
    1867, the Island:
    • The Black Rock crashes into the statue, presumably breaking it and leaving only the foot behind
      • "wasnt the diary of the first mate of the black rock what widmore bid on at the auction? the auction where desmond confronted him?" -diesel929 (see the Lostpedia article Black Rock ledger; this scene was in Season 4 Episode 5, "The Constant")
        • "at that auction though, they said that the Black Rock set sail in 1845, and the journal was found in 1852" -Spivvy
        • "but someone told me that the MAIN issue was that Dynamite wasn't invented until 1866 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamite" -Spivvy
        • "BR left England in 1852, hijacted by slave traders, then took Richard in 1867" -nnnn803er
    • "Sir, Captain Hanso's dead."
    • Smoke monster saves Richard's life by interrupting Whitfield's killing spree
    • The smoke monster analyses Richard and chooses to spare his life
      • Why did it choose to save him?
        • Perhaps part of the agreement between Jacob and the Man in Black is for the MIB to allow certain people to live whenever a new group comes to the Island — people who have the potential of living righteously and not choosing war and destruction, so that Jacob can have a chance of winning the debate between the two of them
          • Not so; see later in the episode
      • "didnt we see Richard flashing?" -MsFlipper
    • As far as we can tell, Richard seems to have been the only survivor of The Black Rock
    • He tries to free himself but is unable to
    • Isabella visits him (or so it seems) and says they're in hell and she looked into the devil's eyes and saw only evil
    • The monster apparently kills Isabella, which is weird because she was already dead
      • Anthony Cooper also thought he was in hell when he was on the Island, and yet he died (again?) when Sawyer killed him
    • The Man in Black visits Richard and gives him water
    • Richard: "I am in hell?"
    • MIB: "Yes, I'm afraid you are. ... I was here long before your ship. ... I want to be free, too.  As luck would have it, I found these [keys] on one of the officers outside. ... You'll do anything I ask?"
    • Richard: "Yes, promise."
    • MIB: "Then we're agreed."
    • MIB: "It's good to see you out of those chains."
      • This is the same line as when he (as Locke) spoke to Richard after Ben killed Jacob
    • MIB: "I'm afraid there's only one way to get out of hell.  You're going to have to kill the devil."
      • The Man in Black tried to get Richard to kill Jacob, much in the same way as when he (as Locke) tried to get Ben to kill Jacob
        • This line also seemed very similar to Dogen trying to get Sayid to kill the Man in Black — it's almost as though there aren't good or bad sides, but just two players in a game
    • MIB gives Richard the same exact instructions (and perhaps the same dagger?) that Dogen gave Sayid when instructing him to kill the MIB, only this time the instructions are given by the MIB for killing Jacob
      • "If one is in Hell, can you kill the Devil, and thus escape it? yeah it was the reverse, and I think it's the same dagger" -Spivvy
      • "jacob wasnt dead after he was stabbed by ben, he was alve when mib kicked him into the fire. so really mib killed him, finished him off anyway" -didntbelievehim
    • MIB claims that Jacob took Isabella, even though we heard smoke monster sounds when she was taken or killed
      • Was Isabella an illusion, nothing more than a form of the smoke monster?  This is the same way the MIB tricked Ben; using his deceased loved one (Alex, in that case) to play on his emotions to trick him into killing Jacob
    • MIB: "The devil betrayed me.  He took my body.  My humanity."
      • "I think what happened is Jacob stole his physical form from him and he is now always the smoke. But he can assume human form as his old self(MIB)" -Spivvy
      • "he's manipulating a religious man and is using the devil thing to convince him Jacob is the bad one" -nnnn803er
      • "Why did he take his body? Do you think he has trapped MIB on the Island cause he's dangerous?" -Spivvy
      • "if mib wasnt evil then why wouldnt jacob just send himback to the real world and out of his way, much easier he let others leave like widmore&walt etc" -didntbelievehim
        • "Well I do think the Island needs both of them" -Spivvy
          • "i don't think the island needs either one of them. i think the island is special on it's own" -kane
        • Personally, I think it's somewhat like Pandora's box; Jacob is making sure that the Man in Black stays trapped on the Island because of the terrible destruction that the smoke monster would cause if let loose in the rest of the world
    • MIB makes the same promise to Richard that he made to Sayid: you'll get your deceased woman back if you do what I say
      • "during this whole episode i was thinking of the usual suspects...when they say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didnt exist. its not the same...but its like one guy is saying the other is the devil...but maybe he really is! :) maybe HE really is..the one who's saying it i meant" -thelostgringa
      • "i am say smoke and mirrors this season" -jennielyn
        • smoke monster and mirrors in the flash-sideways
    • Richard tries to kill Jacob, but Jacob fights Richard and proves to him that he's still alive by dunking him repeatedly in the ocean until Richard says he wants to live
      • "when richard was being dunked into the ocean by jacob did it remind anyone else of baptism?" -diesel929
        • I actually didn't think of that, but the executive producers specifically pointed out the similarity to baptism on The Official LOST Podcast
    • Richard: "Are you the devil?"
    • Jacob: "No."
    • Richard: "Then who are you?"
    • Jacob: "My name is Jacob.  I'm the one who brought your ship to this island."
    • Richard: "Why?"
    • Jacob: "Think of this wine as what yo're calling hell.... malevolence... if it did [get out] it would spread.  The cork is this Island and it's the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs.  That man believes every man is corruptible because it's his nature to sin.  I believe he's wrong. .. It's all meaningless if I have to force them to do anything."
      • Ugh... "that man"?  We still don't get his real name!  Stop torturing me, LOST writers!  How can his name be so important or special that you have to keep it secret so long??
    • Richard: "If you don't, he will." (meaning, "if you don't force them to do something")
      • According to some Christian philosophies, taking away freedom and forcing people to act a certain way is Satan's plan
    • Jacob says he can't give Richard his wife back, or absolve him of his sins so he can't go to hell
      • Clearly, Jacob is not supposed to be God or Jesus.  In the Bible, Jesus openly forgave people of their sins
      • "so jacob isn't god. but he could be an angel" -kane
    • Richard: "Then I want to live forever."
    • Jacob: "Now that I can do."  He touches Richard on the shoulder.
      • "Jacob seems to want people to make the choice not make a trade" -jennielyn
      • "then again they had Sawyer and Ben say God has nothing to do with this,   Just sayin. they wrote that in twice for a reason ,  maybe. many themes are referenced, but only up to a point, then it's TV" -nnnn803er
    • "I'm not very familiar with the bible but could Jacob somehow me evil?" -baileybear
      • Based on what we've seen, I kind of doubt it.  Aside from the Man in Black's statements, almost all the evidence on the show so far points to Jacob being the good guy and the Man in Black being the bad guy
    • "idk, but jacob leaves the island all the time,lol" -kane
      • The Man in Black can't leave the Island but Jacob can; is Jacob more powerful than the MIB?
    • MIB: "I want you to know that if you ever change your mind, and I mean ever, my offer still stands."
      • Aha! That must be where Richard is going in the 2007 storyline
    • MIB gives Richard his cross necklace
      • Oh, the irony; the Man in Black giving Richard a cross necklace is akin to the devil quoting scripture in Luke chapter 4.  Evil has no qualms about pretending to be good.
      2007 on the Island:
      • Richard digs up his wife's necklace and says aloud "I've changed my mind.  ...  Does the offer still stand?"
      • Hurley: "Your wife sent me.  Isabella.  She wants to know why you buried your cross.  Isabella saw you dig it up, man.  She's standing right next to you."
      • Hurley passes along messages from Isabella, and then (it seems) Richard can communicate with her directly for a few moments
      • Richard puts on the cross necklace
      • After she leaves, Hurley tells Richard that she said something else: "She said you have to stop the Man in Black. You have to stop him from leaving the Island.  Because if you don't, todos nos vamos al infierno." ("...we all go to hell.")
      Flashback, presumably to 1867:
      • MIB says if someone else takes Jacob's place, he'll kill them too
        • "MIB gonna need a lot of loopholes!" -nnnn803er
      • MIB smashes the wine bottle
        • perhaps symbolic of the end of the world
      • "Do you think MIB is stronger because he is now in the body of one of the candidates?" -Lostgeek108
        • As a reminder, the Man in Black is not in Locke's body.  Locke's body was seen lying on the beach when the Man in Black (with the appearance of Locke) walked by.  At present, Locke's body is buried on the Island.
      • Theory: "He cant kill candidates, he is trying to manipulate them into killing each other" -nnnn803er
        • Why, then, did he not just let Claire kill Kate?
          • "he was using Claire. MIB saves Kate from Claire to gain her trust. he's recruiting her" -nnnn803er
            • Someone in the chat had the theory that maybe he gains power by bringing people to his side, building up an army to defend him
      • Theory: "kate will join illana and the others" -kane
        • I don't think so because she'll want to stick with Sawyer.  Also, she doesn't know the whole picture regarding the MIB, etc.
      • "I think MIB lies to everyone. he told Sawyer the island didn't need anyone, then he told Ben he could be the leader, which is it?" -nnnn803er
      • "do you think that MIB and Jacob are one? I heard it from Jay and Jack" -baileybear
        • "lol  that's Jack's Crackpot theory. Jay makes fun of him often for it  lol" -Spivvy
        • "i don't so either after seeing this episode" -baileybear
        • "maybe Jay and Jack are the same person  ;)" -Spivvy
      • "Can we assume it was a FlashBack not Flashside Ways" -Jeremy_Bentham
        • Yes; all of the flash-sideways have been in 2004 and based on changes that took place in 1977 (specifically, it seems, Juliet's detonation of the hydrogen bomb)
      • "People are saying that Juliet's Flash Back with her parents divorcing that was actually flash sideways. i think it's interesting" -Jeremy_Bentham
        • Interesting, perhaps, but not significant to the overall plot
      Screenshots and Easter Eggs:
      • The episode title, "Ab Aeterno", is a Latin phrase meaning "from eternity" or "since the beginning of time"
      • Ricardo's English Bible was open to Luke 4 (screenshot; read the full passage and see above for commentary)

          Preview for next week's episode:
          • MIB as Locke: "I come in peace."
          • MIB to Sun: "I found your husband.  I can take you to him.  Jin is waiting."
          • Sun lying on the ground
            • Does the Man in Black hurt her?
          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVSlFj40qlA

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