Next: “Ab Aeterno” (Episode 6-09)

It was the best of episodes, it was the worst of episodes. A tale of two LOSTs came to us tonight, and the chasm between fans who liked it and fans who didn’t will probably never be wider. Perhaps “Ab Aeterno” was a breathtaking, deep, and daring voyage into the heart of a man and, therein, the heart of the whole series. Or, perhaps it was merely an extended flashback for a secondary character that ended with absolutely no forward momentum on the island.

We choose the former. We loved this episode.

If only for tonight, we forgot about numbers and vaccines and time travel, and immersed ourselves in the story of Ricardus — the rich Spanish settings, the lingering moments of terror and despair aboard the Black Rock, the eternal chess game between the Man in Black and Jacob, and throughout, Nestor Carbonell’s fantastic performance. When Richard is visited by the form of Isabelle, we were enthralled. We couldn’t believe this eerie scene was part of the same show that started with a plane crash five years ago.

Before we even thought about where the pieces fit, “Ab Aeterno” reaffirmed our love of the picture being painted. In the end, will it be incomplete, fragmented, and confounding? We have no doubt. But six seasons in, “LOST” is still taking chances, posing big questions, and for that, we still think it’s the best show on television.

Nonetheless, the puzzle pieces demand some study.

No, the island is not hell, nor purgatory… yet it is the closest thing to it, in both the corporeal and metaphysical sense. Indeed, Alpert’s early declaration that they’re all dead is not entirely untrue. Souls come to the island to be tested, and have so far unanimously failed. Sounds like hell to us. We also learn that the island is a “cork” that keeps malevolence and evil contained, and that our survivors are pawns in an epic battle between darkness and its captor.

So: Before the Man In Black escapes, can the last of the candidates prove Jacob’s case? Can they demonstrate that people can choose the right path?

That seems to be “LOST” in a nutshell. The players and stories are simply human. Jack, Kate, Hurley, a Kwon… Their pasts don’t matter, yet obviously inform their future. But stakes are huge. Biblical, global, and universal. It seems impossible for “LOST” to satisfactorily resolve these grand themes in the next seven episodes, let alone a million other frayed threads. We’re afraid vindication may only come after re-watching the series from the beginning, after seeing everything through Season Six eyes.

Interestingly, we saw a distinct parallel between Richard’s failed attempt on Jacob’s life and Sayid’s failure to kill the Man in Black. The fact that both sides may be intent on murder certainly muddies the “good versus evil” waters. Also, even though we still don’t know what rules are in force (and thus what “loophole” Ben stepped through to finally stab Jacob), I was surprised by the suggestion that Alpert was the first to try. Coming to the island in the 1800s, his story already began much more recently than I’d assumed. Which means that the conflict has only recently turned ugly, maybe as Jacob’s candidates have started to run out.

On the questions checklist, meanwhile, we can cross out both “what destroyed the statue” and “how did the Black Rock end up in the jungle” with the same stroke. The physics seem a little iffy, but then again, there’s also a smoke monster on this show. Speaking of which, it’s now clear that said smoke monster “scans” people to find their motivations and weaknesses, if not also their usefulness. Conjuring dead wives, or daughters (Alex), or brothers (Yemi) is a useful power to get people to do things for you, and it’s a power that Jacob explicitly admits tonight that he lacks.

He can, however, grant immortality. And I’m curious why Alpert became Jacob’s ageless intermediary, when all who came before and after him were merely candidates to test. I’m guessing Alpert was a candidate himself, explaining why was he the only person on the Black Rock that the smoke monster didn’t kill. But did he end up extra special because he was the first to come at Jacob with a dagger, demonstrating to Jacob that he needed a helper?

And now, decades later, Richard is weak and tries to join the Man In Black. His dead wife, through Hurley, puts him back on track. Like Ben, he’s nearly led astray, but sticks with Jacob’s team. But also like Ben, I now wonder what else is left for him to do. I don’t know who’s going to be the last man standing against the Man In Black, but I’m pretty sure it’s not either of them.

We’re glad “LOST” took us on a ride into the past this week. But next week, we better rack up some serious mileage on the island.

Notes and Notions:

  • Jen’s now fixated on Anthony Cooper. The man who appeared mysteriously on the island, and whom Ben prodded Locke to murder. With a knife. Quickly, before he had a chance to think. Was that whole scenario yet another “move” between Jacob and the Man in Black? And if so, who’s side did Anthony Cooper represent?
  • Alpert’s backstory was almost flawless. But the ease with which the greedy doctor was killed was a bit silly. Coupled with Kelvin’s noggin knock at Desmond’s hands, it seems skulls on “LOST” are especially fragile.
  • Now that we see even more significance and history to Alpert’s character, it’s hard not to think about some of the things he’s done in seasons past. The fact that he was merely a thug for Ben in “The Brig” seems ridiculous, as does his apparently pivotal role in “The Purge.” Was he acting in Jacob’s interests then? And how does that jive with his efforts to sustain a truce further back in 1977?
  • Richard’s devotion to Isabella was well acted, but I couldn’t help but think it was an interesting choice to motivate him with his love for a spouse, rather than for a parent or especially a child. With all the generational issues explored on “LOST,” hanging things on a husband and wife bond seemed almost quaint.
  • Some great, lighter moments: Richard’s almost girlish giggle when he’s asked what to do. Hurley telling Jack it’s not about him. And the look on the Man in Black’s face when Alpert hands him the white stone.
  • The captain of the Black Rock was one Magnus Hanso. Presumably related to Alvar Hanso of the nearly forgotten Hanso Foundation, which funded the DHARMA Initiative. I wonder if this one mention of the Hanso name will be all we’ll see in the show from the Season 2 ARG? Or will the arrival of Charles Widmore open the door to a little more Hanso/DHARMA backstory?
  • Lots of overtly Christian elements this week. God, the devil, a bible, a cross, sin, absolution and forgiveness, penitence… There was a lingering shot of Luke 4:24-29, in which Jesus asserts that prophets are often rejected in their own neighborhoods, and angers the people of Nazareth by telling them not to expect any special treatment even though he’s from their town. I’ll leave it to more qualified scholars to tease out how the passage applies to “LOST.” I’m also sure the nail Richard found on the Black Rock was symbolic, but don’t know how.
  • At the end of Season 5, Jacob and the Man In Black see a ship sailing on calm seas in the middle of a bright, sunny day. Yet we now know the Black Rock arrived on a stormy night… delivered by a huge wave, no less. Presumably the first ship wasn’t the Black Rock, but one of many other vessels that Jacob has summoned.

What did you think? We’d love your feedback! Share your thoughts, theories, and reactions to “Ab Aeterno” via a comment below, e-mail us at, or call the LOSTLine at (815) 310-0808.

404 Responses to “Next: “Ab Aeterno” (Episode 6-09)”

  1. Rich in Cleveland says:

    A couple of small details now that I finished the rewatch. Did you catch the butterfly (or was it a moth?) floating through the hold of the Black Rock? I wonder how long it took them to get that shot. Hope at the bottom of Pandora’s Box. Also, listening with the head phones, the same tree frog that Sawyer killed chirped all throughout this episode. In fact we had many of our favorite fauna: horse, pig, moth, & frog.

  2. Gustavo Delgado says:

    About the island’s nature: in theologie, St. Thomas Aquinas (and the Catholic church with him) stands that before Christ came to earth to save men, the “justified” people (Abraham, Isaac, David, Salomon) waited for salvation in a place like hell (because of the original sin), which in spanish is called “Seno de Abraham”.

  3. KC Bob says:

    About the island in the flash sideways being under water, I saw this news story today about an island that disappeared due to rising ocean levels:

    Perhaps in the sideways universe, global warming is REALLY bad! 🙂 (just a tongue-in-cheek observation….NOT trying to start an ecology debate)

    Something I’ve been wondering about last weeks show and Locke’s father Anthony Cooper still being a con man….are we sure Locke in the flash sideways is really a good guy? Is it possible he’s conning Helen and has taken up the family business too? Is it possible he’s really Flocke there too?

  4. @Rich: Sure Jacob and MIB has been there for a long time and maybe they are Roman and since Ricardo is Roman Catholic he speaks latin also… This might be the way latin get to be the language of the Others.
    Jacob would then call him Ricardus when he talks to Ilana and thus Richard would answer in Latin when she calls him this name. Richard thought he was keeping hell in so no wonder he answers in Latin because it would be very Roman Catholic like…
    As he been manipulated about the whole Hell/Hell keeping due to his heritage? Guess we will find out before the end.
    I am still wondering about the “I am very disapointed with all of you”… makes me wonder if MIB is not the one that hope that people will do a good thing one day on this Island also (insteed of trying to shoot him before even talking to him) except he is angry about that while Jacob is very zen.

  5. Josh says:

    Hugo impressed me in this episode. He has increasingly developed the most, I think.

    Apart from that, this episode has become my favorite that doesn’t involve Daniel Faraday. Many thought that he arrived via the Black Rock and those who did, were, of course, right. MiB saying to Richard, “Nice to see you out of those chains.” when he is in the form of Locke still gives me chills, but seeing the actual MiB say it gives me even more chills. Something about that guy. He looks sinister without even trying.

    As I was watching Lost, I got to thinking. Now bear with me this was before the episode was done. When MiB said that the island was Hell, I thought that if it is Hell, then those who die while in Hell, are sent to the other dimension in which Oceanic Flight 815 lands safely at LA X, but those who die and then are sent to Hell, the MiB is able to take the form of ie. Izabella, Locke, Christian, etc. Maybe that is why Juliet said, “it worked”, because when she died, she was sent to the other dimension.

    That is what I was thinking anyway, but once Jacob said that it wasn’t, then it went all kapuff. I’m still torn though on who truly is the bad guy and the good guy. On one hand, Jacob seems like the good guy, yet Widmore told Locke that if he doesn’t go back to the island, the wrong side would in. Locke went back (dead, mind you) and Unlocke is winning, seemingly. On the other hand, MiB just “wants to go home”. MiB told Richard to kill Jacob and do not let him talk to you. Dogen told Sayid to kill Unlocke and not let him speak to you. Both failed. Many will say, “how can you even ask? Jacob is clearly the good guy!” I just don’t wan tto pick a side just yet. Anyway, this is a pretty long reply so I’ll end it.

  6. Jacob can know the people back story with the Lighthouse, he brings “unfixed” people in the tabula rasa Island to see if they get a second chance if they are good or bad. He writes the people he picked in the Cave so that MIB knows who are the “Candidates”. This way MIB can scan them to know as much as Jacob knew. Then MIB is their to “test” them to see if they can change or not while Jacob does not interact. I think they are both testing humanity hoping it can redeem itself yet MIB is sure that it is, alas, not the case and don’t want to do this anymore and leave. Yet if he leaves before “redemption” it would mean that humanity is hell. If he leaves after someone is “redeemed” I think the world would not go to hell then because humanity would have been saved and MIB would accept (and want) that.
    I was not on the Jacob is MIB wagon but since MIB said “he took my body and humanity” I can now understand someone would go that way. The other things that bug me is that Jacob can’t absolve someone of their sins… if he is a good guy why could he not do that? Yet he can gives you eternal life? That is Faust’s wish! That is one of the thing the Devil could do!
    On the other hand I said it before but: Jacob can heal, bring immortality and is linked with the “Ankh” the protector of life. While MIB can kill, take the form of death/dead, maybe animate corpses (Sayid) and is linked with Anubis the protector of death.

  7. Cat says:

    @KC Bob – if the flash sideways are what would have happened had the crash never occured, then I think Locke is Locke – he wouldn’t have been killed by Ben and had his body taken over by MIB. Think he seems good.

    @Carol – I am with you on the happy ending. Well…at least for those who actually make it out alive – including Vincent. I get that there will be many deaths, many open items, but for the few who survive, I hope they go into the sunset at peace with themselves and in a good place.

    I agree with those above who are disappointed in the title for the finale – kind of a cop out.

  8. By the way: Tabula rasa is one of the main theme of Locke philosophy so it is not strange that it is now Locke who is MIB. The whole purpose of the show now is to see if “good” is possible faced to a harsh situation (as it has always been the question through the whole show) and the answer will change MIB point of view on the world and it will lead to how the world (represented by our Losties in the sideways) will go once the Island is done for.

  9. Andy in England says:

    Wow, I can’t believe how praising everyone is of this episode! For me it was the most tedious episode ever (except maybe Stanger in a Strange Land).

    I had better explain. Whilst the story was well done and the acting fantastic I found it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know or strongly suspect. I feel they could have given us the entire thing in half the time and used the rest to progress things a little.

    We got more of the relationship between MiB and Jacob but nothing that really changed or enlightened that dynamic, I guess that will come in a later episode.

    We got how Richard came to the island and became Jacob’s front man but we knew all that already this season, just a few more details given.

    We got that Hurley talks to dead people but we already knew that.

    We got that MiB impersonates dead people to manipulate others but we already knew that.

    The only really new facts were that it was the Black Rock coming ashore that knocked down the statue (like we cared) and that Richard accidently killed a man while trying (and failing) to save his sick wife.

    We got flashbacks (I thought this season was supposed to be all about flash sideways but I guess they decided to make an exception).

    We got no more flash sideways stories.

    We got nothing more that a few seconds of our main characters (except Hurley but he was used entirely as a plot device).

    The only thing I think I got out of it was a growing conviction that the cave had nothing to do with Jacob and was MiBs way of manipulating Sawyer.

    Sorry to put a downer on it, I have liked this season a lot (probably the best yet) but this one just felt like filler which is something we certainly don’t need at this point. It could certianly have all been said much quicker while moving the story on a bit as other episodes this season have done in the last couple of minutes.

  10. Yann From France says:

    And remember the second time we saw Jacob name: God loves you as he LOVED Jacob! Lol Now… Who is Lucifer?
    Team salvation (that only MIB can grant. Not Jacob)

  11. Carol from Boston says:

    @cat- I agree about the title of the last episode but in their defense maybe it is the only way to keep us being spoiled. The title could mean several things. Plus it says definitively they don’t want a spin off.

    @yann – team salvation, I like that. 🙂

  12. Mark B says:

    Sorry I’m late to the party but I’m still in flux.

    Do I love this episode or do I think it’s just so-so?

    On one hand it was what I’d been waiting for, Alperts back story, but on the other was it really that surprising ? Did it really add to the overall story ? Did we not all guess he was a prisoner on the Black Rock ? Sure it was great to see how Alpert got to the island but really had many not guessed that. Did we really care how the four toed statue got broken ? Again it was interesting but there are more important issues. The interaction with MiB and Alpert and Jacob and Alpert was what made the episode for me. Howver I’ve thought for some weeks that Jacob=Jailer and MiB=prisoner so it was confirmed but did we need an entire episode to make that connection ? I think not.

    On balance I think that this is not, as many are saying “the best episode ever” but it was a good episode, one that is better than some but not as good as some. Top ten, yes, top five no. It was basically, as Ryan said in his blog, an extended flashback for a character that we all wanted a flashback for but I for one did not see the need for a whole episode dedicated to it. I’m glad the writers provided us with Richards backstory but not at the expense of an on island, move the story forward episode.

    Maybe I missed something, I’m usually wrong, just ask my wife.

  13. Kyle from Pittsburgh says:

    I agree with @sam, who posted earlier that the struggle between MiB/Jacob, is parallel with the story of the Swan station. The island is holding something back, and keeping the cork in place is a two-person job, but the job really sucks and gives you cabin fever, like Radzinsky and Kelvin. In this position, their options are to recruit a replacement, or somehow summon up the courage to “blow the whole thing up instead.” So…maybe there’s a fail-safe somewhere?

    @yann – I’m wondering why it’s so important that Jacob convinces MiB that people are good. Here’s an idea: Jacob cannot kill MiB, so he makes him a prisoner, but he knows that he can’t keep him a prisoner forever. So the only way to neutralize MiB is to convince him that he’s wrong, to change his point of view. That in mind, I think there’s still plenty for Ben to do, and he will be the pivot point. If Ben is able to redeem himself, that would be a pretty convincing argument.

  14. Bonita in Atlanta says:

    @ John Fischer: you & Bonnie must have some great water-cooler moments!

  15. @Cat and Carol: about the title of the last episode… The pilot behing “Pilot” it is just fitting that the last episode is called what it is called… I would say they should have removed the.
    @Mark B: I agree with you but I would say the best part to me was Jacob and MIB… the characters are awesome and the way they interact with each other is even more so! Funny how MIB is zen in this episode and Jacob is the one getting angry.
    @Kyle: we had so many “call backs” and the Swan is now very representative of how the Island works for sure. Jacob “killed himself” a la Razinsky (being the ones who build the “thing” in the first place for both of them) and MIB a la Kelvin trying to get away… Desmond will turn the Donkey Wheel being the safekey of the Island? Going in the past should “resurect” Jacob no?
    About the “good point” I am telling now: if Jacob can’t grant salvation then it must be MIB’s job. I don’t know if my theory is true but I like it for now and I think the flashsideways are the answers on how people have obtain salvation on the Island or not. Ben is now defenitively looking in the right direction (in both “ways”) yet the story is not over for any of them yet… the last episodes are going to be awesome to watch on the new perspectives we have been given now!
    What could be the crazy mother of pure evil? We keep saying “Pandora’s box”… How about Pandora? How can pure evil have a “mother” while the devil was a creation (an angel) of God. Are we going to learn that God is Alanis Morissette again? (hey… that would be fitting! And Ironic! (ok I stop right now))

  16. Katie says:

    Were Rose and Bernard candidates?

    And if not, are only candidate’s eligible to prove Jacob’s theory regarding the inate goodness of man?

    R and B, rejected the continual fighting and strife of “you people” when they chose a life of love and simplicity. Perhaps they were not directly tempted by the Mab in Black? They were still subject to the general lures and temptations of the island: power, secrecy, and us-against-them-ism.

  17. Oh my god… how come we have not dwelved more into the Pandora’s stuff: Pandara name means “all giving”/”she who sends up gifts” or “all gifted” dependand on the interpretation. Athena’s gift is “weaving” (guess we have never seen that before in the show right?). Hermes’s gift is a “power of speach” or lies (no I don’t see any connections there).
    So Pandora released all the evils in the world except one! “Hope” which is not the hope we think first when we hear the word… “expectation of evil” is one of the most used interpretation. If this got released, life would be unberable not due to the “evil” in the world but due to the “inevitable doom” we would all feel. Life would have no more meaning (Sayid I am looking at you being claimed by “Hope” when I write those line).
    Ho… and one more thing about Pandora: she is refered to has “Anesidora”, the fertility of the earth and its capacity to bear grain and fruits (Taweret, the Egyptian goddess of birth I am looking at you now)
    Now the one thing I would like to “point” you to: Room23 (a room two “help” Candidates?)

  18. Isaac says:

    Does MIB reside in John Locke in the alternate universe as well?

    that is something to think about……

  19. soko says:

    1. What is the New World? Is the U.S. still called the New World in 1860’s? This Richard story is after the Civil War. We know that the US had made it’s choice for exploitation. Would someone be bringing spanish prisoners to the US for labor? Is this another case of the destination making no sense or being a lie because they are never going to get there anyway? Like Sayid being taken to Guam.
    2. Is this season going to negate everything interesting that we learned about Dharma? Which isn’t much at this point. Their being on the island is a really big deal because they weren’t there by accident and came and went as they pleased for a good while. In fact, why did the island run it’s course for so long in Smokey was all about killing and getting off of the island by any means?

    The Priest really bugged me as well. He had some kind of made up / TV theology written by an aethiest or something. But then again Catholicism is known for instilling fear with fire and brimstone strictness found nowhere in the Bible.

    Jacob seems to be very powerful, but not very wise.

    I thought Hanso would be Japanese… hmm

  20. Russell in Raleigh says:

    The religious dichotomy between Jacob and MIB is often assumed to be God v the Devil. I personally hope we ultimately get a non-religious conclusion but if not, I it would be interesting and provocative if we were actually witnessing the Old Testament God (often judgmental, interactive and hot tempered) vs. the New Testament God (forgiving and laissez faire).

    Orthodox Christianity has synthesized the different portrayals of God with theological explanations of a new covenant but before the canonization of the Bible there were some early Christians, notably Marcion, who thought these were two competing Gods.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to suggest that the yin-yang/light-dark balance was not so much good vs. evil as it is the need for two different parenting styles (so to speak.)

    I’ve often wondered if the Daddy issues in Lost are a veiled criticism of a God who never clearly reveals himself and leaves his children to sort through a marass of false profits and imperfect revelations.

  21. Isaac says:

    Mikhail will be in next week’s episode

  22. Thumper says:

    The significance of Luke 4:24-29 and the significance of the nail.

    It’s probably no coincidence that the flashbacks on LOST highlight the specific shortcomings of each character; Kate the bankrobber, murderer; Sawyer the con man; Locke the paralytic; Jack’s trouble relating to his father; Jin and Sun’s relationship troubles with each other. etc.

    It’s probably no coincidence that the glimpse of Richard’s Bible would also be one of the Messianic prophecies of the Bible, where the reference to Elijah in the OT is about helping the poorest of the poor and the most socially outcast, widows and lepers. The flashbacks in LOST seem to highlight each characters biggest need or transgression. The question is, “Who is the Prophet?” Is it Jacob, or Richard, a candidate? (I’m not ruling out Ben Linus.)

    I think the symbolism of the nail is two-fold. The nail is symbolic of redemption… Grace (substitutionary atonement of Christ), having been shown in such close proximity of all the Christian references. The second symbolism, in typical LOST tension with the first, is the meticulous “work” that Richard is shown going through to free the nail from the floor, gouge at the screw in post, and even the effort to sustain himself with the drips of water. Ultimately, though, his work is fruitless, since he brokers a deal with the MIB for his freedom. This highlights the (apparent) tension btwn salvation by Grace or by Works. See Eph. 2:8 & James 2:14-26

  23. @Soko: As an “old europe”an I would say that it is the old school fashion, even now, to sometime call “new world” what Amerigo Vespuci called “new world”. So the whole continent is the new world… The slavery issues are not resolved even in our days so back then the line was even thinner I guess.

  24. jdogk says:

    Just had to post a bit about the wave that destroys the statue and puts the Black Rock in the jungle. We know the Black Rock was leaving the Canary Islands heading for probably Central America. This puts them in the Atlantic Ocean, which since we’ve been told the island moves does somewhat makke sense. On November 18th 1867 there was a massive tsunami in the Virgin Islands. Waves measuring from 20 to 39 feet. It does all fit if you think about a little.

  25. @Everyone: I am totally into spoiler territory myself (but I usually totally disregard them in my theories as long as I have not seen them on tv) but I know some of us are. So please: Don’t say who is doing what or who is in or who is centric in A FUTUR episode! And don’t write the names of the episodes in advance!
    I sometime would like to talk about what we found out on what will happen but this blog is not the right place to do so. You know what: come to my blog I don’t care if you answer about lost on my one message after all “we are standing on the shoulders of giants” apply to Lost also and that’s why I love this blog but please don’t spoil those who don’t want to be spoiled!

  26. NuckinFuts says:

    @Rich in Cleveland Says: March 24th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
    I can’t believe no one else has jumped on the barrenness of the island when Richard comes for Jacob. It’s such a big clue, in my opinion. It’s like an A-bomb went off. If so, this could easily provoke a tsunami as well.

    Hey Rich…well…I never would have thought of this, but the writers may have. I have not gone back and looked at the scene, however, if I think you have it backwards a little. I guess if the tidal wave / tsunami came ashore it may have knocked down everything in it’s path…including the trees and jungle at the shore. This could explain the barrenness without the need for an A-bomb. If this explains it then the writers & prop people deserve a lot of credit.

  27. Rich in Cleveland says:

    @jdogk @ soko @yann
    Why must it be North or South America? Not exactly the new world as Soko points out and English wouldn’t benefit you a great deal in South America. We just had a reference to the Dutch East India trading company, overseen by the English, and much closer to our island’s neighborhood. As I wrote that, I could almost hear myself pronouncing it like Zeke (This is our island…..)

  28. Rich in Cleveland says:

    I’m with those who wish to stay spoiler free. I never get to hear the forward cabin. However, I think titles should be fair game. You don’t walk into a movie theater with a blank marquee. What is the policy in this case?

  29. Isaac says:

    there are no such things as spoilers when it comes to Lost…..very little is revealed before each episode, like the title, a one-sentence plot, and what actors are going to appear in each episode… they’re not really spoilers….its kinda like knowing the title of a movie and what actors are in it and what the movie is about…..if a person knows the details of an episode before it comes out, you obviously have insider information with the producers…..

  30. Brian Meehan says:

    Did anyone hear what sounded like Morse code in the background, several times during this episode? I thought I was going crazy at first, but I kept hearing it.

  31. @Rich: Maybe next week episode since you can find it in any tv guide (or just watching at the end of the episode) but not more I guess… you really don’t want to know the antepenultimate title! The last episode title is a good private joke tho…
    The New World… What is more fitting than the Island? A place new where you start afresh.
    @Isaac: If I told you Faraday, Desmond or Christian are in next episode would you percive it the same way as if you didn’t? Knowing Widmore was credited 2episodes ago really spoils the “thud” moment for sure!
    @Brian: I heard a girl on Keys to Lost who said she saw “dots pattern” that could be code to the show… I know I am overthinking things but I was happy that people are even more so! No problem with you tv? It reminds me of the time back in season2 where I would go search for the “whispers” decripted… I could never understand how people could pick that up! (but again… Room23 proves that sometime searching for things that are not “there” might be usefull! I guess Candidates are not slave of “time and space” since they went back in time!)

  32. Isaac says:

    If i hear that an actor will be in the next episode, that is all i will know….i wont know which timeline he will be in, what his/her role will be in the timelines…..for example, i know that Jin and Sun will be in next week’s episode but i dunno what their roles are in the alternate timeline….some people say they are not married yet cuz Sun goes by her maiden name so i dunno much else….so if someone tells me that Faraday will be in the next episode i will still get that “thud” moment cuz i dunno what to expect from these characters….

  33. Luke in California says:

    The content of this post has more to do with the Island as a whole and with some observations based on the Dr. Linus episode, but it was prompted by a comment above.

    @MrZ: I like your idea about MIB being let loose on the world in the parallel timeline. After all, if the Island is the cork that holds him in the bottle, what else could happen once it’s detroyed?

    Here are the only facts we really know about the Island in the parallel world:

    1) It did exist until at least the ’70s, when Ben Linus and his dad went there with the Dharma Initiative. From Roger’s statements (i.e. wondering what might have happened had they not left), I am assuming the Island was still there when they chose to leave.

    2) It is now underwater.

    It seems to me that whatever sunk the Island was not Jughead’s detonation. That would imply some sort of actual explosion, which would likely have killed everyone left on the island. In addition, I no longer believe that the timeline split as the result of the Losties’ intervention with the bomb at the end of Season 5. That definitely got Jack and Co. back to the present, but I don’t think it caused the split. My reasoning is based on Roger’s apparently positive impressions of their time on the Island. If the split occurred with the bomb at the Swan site, and the timelines had been unified up to that point, when everything was going crazy in the DI–with little Ben actually being shot–I can’t believe Roger would simply forget that and say, “But things were looking so promising for us on that Island.” Granted, this is an argument based on impressions, and on my hopes that the writers are giving us a consistent story, but I think it works. I think the sideways flashes are giving us one of two things: either an extended denouement, or a glimpse at what would happen if MIB were ever freed, as MrZ suggested. For the record, if the writers can somehow connect the timelines elegantly (and that’s a big “if”), then my preference would be for the former. At least then we’d have some sense of where the characters are going after the finale.

  34. KC Bob says:

    @soko…I agree the priest bugged me too, if for no other reason its opened up a can of worms about the priesthood and Catholicism which didn’t need to be opened.

    As a former theology student, I can say that the writer’s take on the sacrament of penance/reconciliation is not accurate to Catholic teaching, however, a priest who uses his station to profit off of death row prisoners probably isn’t a good theologian to begin with.

    As for priests in real life instilling fear with fire and brimstone strictness found nowhere in the Bible….that’s never been my experience in the last 50 years. The only time I’ve ever seen most priests get perturbed is when Notre Dame is having a bad football year! 🙂

  35. Connie in Oregon says:

    @Isaac, I understand what you are saying. For some people little “spoilery” details do not detract from the enjoyment of the show, but for some of us they do. For instance, I somehow learned in advance (I am not sure where) that Widmore was going to show up in the Dr. Linus episode-D’oh! So when, at the end of the episode, the the sub showed up and we hadn’t seen him yet, I knew immediately that it had to be him on the sub. And yes it annoyed me and detracted from my enjoyment of the scene.

    Now you and others may be giving me a collective eyeroll and muttering “oh, brother” under your breaths…I understand. But now you know where the unspoiled among us are coming from. Besides, what is the point of mentioning advance details of an episode when there can be no real discussion of them on this blog. Thanks for listening, erm, reading.

  36. docjkm says:

    @RussellinRaleigh- Paternalistic and God styles? I like it. Certainly has traction in the mire we find ourselves in.

    @everyone (and Yann)- Am split on spoilers. If someone had a real ‘spoiler’, that is, one that would truly Spoil, then yes, not here. But how many of those are there, have there been? In the interest of furthering our conversations, I think a lot is fair game. Ryan and Jen include the ‘Forward Cabin’, and the biggest spoilers I have for this season have come from there. But, my wife and I have agreed (a couple weeks ago) to quit listening to FC, as the contents really did have ‘spoiling’ content. The final episode title? Hardly a spoiler. Actually a ‘reliever’ to me, the end will come. Sad, too. “Circle” would have been better.

    @jdogk- Tsunami on the Virgins? Kudos! That’s some serious knowledge sharing.

    @CarolfromBoston- Too wrapped up? Totally Lost? Don’t feel alone, even if it may be a geekly place to be? I am getting used to enjoying your input(s). First, I have said that ultimately I expect and hope that our Losties will put forward the Savior. Could be Sawyer, but I’m leaning Hugo. Team Salvation? Then yes, I’m aboard, officially, as you say. But, I think the road to salvation goes through Flocke/MIB. I do not trust Jacob, don’t like him, either. And I think it is too ‘easy’ to go that route at this point. What I most admire about Lost (and S. King) is that the easy route is often opened and then quashed, often with a sort of joyful abandon. So, I will ‘offically’ remain Team Dark. (see ‘butterfly’ this post) Second, I am too wrapped up in this whole thing as well. I am also exuberantly so. The ending is becoming a personal thing, as it should be after so much time donated, on the part of all of us. I hope ‘our’ characters will be central, they should be. And they transcend the Jacob/MIB dichotomy and struggle. That all the answers are not given, but a framework is exposed that allows us to continue this… interchange amongst ourselves. Ultimately providing the satisfaction we all are searching for.

    @RichinCleveland- Yes, the butterfly. Not a mistake. But in hi-def has a real CGI look. Not a difficult shot, painted in, definitely purposeful.

    @Yann- Pandora. Island is the proverbial ‘box’. Good post, and I think important. Focus placed well. I will undoubtedly find myself going there mentally in my next few days. Know your mind control will be working.

    Halfway home. This has been one incredible ride, and will be fun to complete. I will share one mechanistic ‘theory’ that has been hitchhiking along for a while. This last episode was written by Melinda Sue Taylor and Gregory Nations. I suspect this has been their project for a while, waiting for Darleton to spring it. The Darleton written episodes tend to be the structural ones, while alternative writing talent tends to offer the fill-ins, and also tend to be the ones that are ‘off’ on occasion. This episode takes context to criticize it. This was backstory on a major Peripheral character. As an episode, a gem. As part of the ‘show’, yes, I can see the maddening aspect. Here’s the theory, and back to the spoilers, if Darleton are the writers, and J Bender is the director, a Major Episode is yours. Anything else and you’ve got a connector, not one of the main dots. I think the real spoilers may be those, not characters or titles. We’ll see, no?

    Always, thank you Ryan and Jen. Thank you. And to you, y’all everybody, thanks for making this show what it is to me, and to my wife.

  37. Thumper says:

    stuck on the religious references, sorry.

    *Dharma – “phenomenon” or Ones righteous duty, one’s path… interesting!

    *Are any of the candidates “Good”?? Kate, Sawyer, murderers… Sayid, torturer… Sun, adulterer… Jack? (other than his pride issues), Hurley?? hmm… I could really see Hurley pull off the candidate thing. He’s just so likable, very much like Rupert on Survivor 🙂 Sorry to bring in an unlikely TV reference.

    *The use of philosophers names, etc. seems to be an early clue toward the seeming underlying moral or religious tone seen now. “fileo-sophia” love of knowledge.

    *Jacob offering the corked bottle to the MIB. This is just oozing with possible meaning/foreshadowing.
    **Jacob giving the wine to MIB- offering reconciliation to the MIB,
    **Red wine -blood, saving power
    **dashing the glass on the rock- spite, adversarial nature, rejecting the gift
    **spilling the wine – MIB playing into Jacob’s Sovereign plan? How about the freeing of good into the world. Ascention of X, Pentecost, giving of the Spirit to the World (Christian) “It is better for you that I ascend to heaven, so that my Father will send the helper, comforter, spirit… “com-forte” lit. “with power” a.k.a. Holy Spirit.
    **Jacob’s death- all part of the master plan of redemption. Who’s playing who? For this reason, I’m not necessarilly sold on the yin-yang, equal struggle between good-evil. It may play out that way, have to see.
    **very much waiting to see how Jacob’s bringing. touching plays out – divine sovereignty vs. human responsibility.

  38. Isaac says:

    i will refrain from talking about future episodes….instead i will talk about the past episodes and/or offer insight into what i think will happen…..

  39. Mimi says:

    OK, if Jacob cannot bring Isabella back to life, as he said in this episode… does that mean that he does not have the power to do so… or he just doesn’t feel like it?

    If Jacob doesn’t have the power be bring the dead back to life than who brought Dogen’s son back to life and made that deal w/Dogen? We have not seen MIB off island that we know of, but we have seen Jacob off island… quiet a bit actually, including last night.

    So you have to conclude that it was Jacob who brought Dogen’s son back to life.

    Why then is Jacob not telling Richard the truth about what he can do? Maybe Richard is right? Maybe everything that Jacob says is a lie!

  40. Isaac says:

    any significant scenes in the alternate timeline as of now?

    seeing Dogen in the alternate timeline was significant

    Ben and his dad talking about the Dharma initiative was significant

    does the alternate timeline work as of now for Lost fans or does it just slow the series down?

    im gonna start to think that its pointless or it was a bad idea to add a flash sideways cuz nothing is happening

  41. Russell in Raleigh says:

    Did Jacob bring Dogen’s son back to life or heal him before he died? I can’t remember exactly what was said.

    We’ve already seen Jacob heal Locke so we know he has that power.

    Its interesting to that the pool in the Temple used to be a healing pool (infused with Jacob’s power?) but after Jacob died it turned dark (infused with Smokey’s power) and could no longer heal but could resurect.

  42. Thumper says:

    @Mimi et al- personally, I don’t think jacob’s saying he can’t bring someone back from the dead is a problem for the “good guy” hypothesis. Or Jacob’s attempt to assasinate MIB through Sayid. Or Jacob’s withholding information… Corporal punishment, (corpus, body, flesh), the penal code (penitentiary, penance) death as a punishment are not necessarilly incongruent.

    Not doing a particular action– something bad, evil, or logically contradictory does not equal to impotence. Consider the ancient logical fallacy “If (flying spaghetti monster) cannot create a rock so big that FSM cannot lift it” Either answer would seem to imply a lack of power, however the scenario is a logical contradiction, and not answerable.

    Jacob refusing or unable to voilate his nature is a real possibility, without tarnishing his ability. MIB/fake locke didn’t actually bring people back from the dead, Jack’s father, Isabella, just represented their persona for his gain. It could well be fitting with Jacob’s character not to “stoop to this level”.

    Dogen’s son… I must have missed that part. hmm, stumper.

  43. Michael says:

    # tvscifi Says:
    March 24th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Jacob spoke to Ben before he killed him. Wonder why it worked that time? Because he was invited into the temple?

    Ben was the leader at the time. I think for a “candidate” to kill one…It has to be the first “meeting” with no words spoken… It was the same line that was told to Sayid..but Sayid let the MIB/Unlock speak first..then stabbed him.

  44. Isaac says:

    lets go back to the First episode this season when Juliet said “it worked”

    can Juliet travel between both timelines?

  45. Harold says:

    Andy in England, I liked the ep because it was a redemption story for Richard that was well told and well acted. I found his story, both in the flashback and the present very compelling and moving. I was excited also by Richard’s interactions with Jacob and MIB. These characters are so special in the narrative, I just like to have them on scene to directly contribute to the narrative.

    True, the major plot edifices did not progress. The fireside chitchat at the start was nothing more than a means to enter Richard’s story. (I did love Ben’s dry lines and drier delivery.) Your objections are valid, your points are well taken, but I disagree with your sentiments.

    That it was a moving story was more than enough for me.

    I’ll still appreciate your site and your work on it but I’m nevertheless very disappointed in you and you should now know why I have to kill you.

  46. dharmaboy says:

    I am puzzled by the following::

    1. Sayid tries to kill MIB and sticks a dagger to his heart, but nothing happens to him.

    2. Ricardo tries to kill Jacob and is hammered out.

    3. Ben tries to kill Jacob and Jacob does not even resist ….No karate chops, no kickboxing nothing. Does that mean that Jacob wanted to be killed ..?

  47. Tina says:

    There is an episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “The Howling Man” that reminded me of the whole wine/cork metaphor Jacob gave. Wikipedia ( gives a better, more thorough description than I can, but I think the parallels with the flashback narrative, among other themes (don’t want to spoil it for anyone) are interesting. I think Doc Jensen referenced this too, but “The Twilight Zone” happens to be one of my fave TV shows of all time so I happened to catch that. 🙂

  48. airwin says:

    Awesome episode. Loved the extended flashback a la Meet Kevin Johnson.

    One quick question:

    If everyone on the Black Rock other than Richard was killed shortly after crashing on the island, who did Jacob intend to bring to the island? I guess he was bringing Richard, but Jacob doesn’t seem to recognize him or have him in mind for the advisor “job” before he talks to him.

  49. Carol from Boston says:

    @airwin – good question, maybe Jacob was just bringing them all over for his experiment without a “candidate” in mind.

    I wonder if Smokey killed the officers because it was a “slave” ship and he didn’t condone holding slaves as prisoners since MIB himself is a prisoner. MIB didn’t kill the prisoners, Widmark did. (was that his name? and did it later turn into widmore throughout the years)

    @Doc- You are lucky to be able to share the show with your wife. My husband doesn’t watch but he does support my Lost habit by buying me the seasons on DVD and now Blu-ray, and he knows that he has to be quiet during the show.

    @Issac – I wondered if Juliet was having a moment like Desmond where his conscious mind time traveled but his body stayed put. I also wonder if they die on the island if they are destined to die in the flash sideways.

    @mimi- I don’t think Jacob could bring Isabella back to life since so much time had passed and he wasn’t with the body. I think he was with Dogen at the time his son had just passed and that made it easier. Has it ever been said that Jacob time travels?

    Who invented the frozen donkey wheel?

  50. Carol from Boston says:

    @everyone – I agree no spoilers please, half the fun are the surprises. Charlotte was a real fun one. I am glad I didn’t see it coming.

    I was on reading a Survivor board and someone posted a spoiler and ruined the rest of the season for me. So please no spoilers. I will sometimes read light ones but I know going in I will be spoiled. I don’t expect them on boards.

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