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Lost Thoughts : Ab Aeterno
© Peggy Hailey and Mark Finn
March 26, 2010

Peggy Hailey and Mark Finn (the one in italics) try to understand the final season of Lost. Watching them flail about is fun.

I am non-plussed.

On the one hand, it's cool that some of the fan theories about Richard turned out to be true: former slave, came on the Black Rock, etc.. But oddly, mere confirmation is dull and unsatisfying, perhaps because I internalized those theories as "fact" a long time ago. Poor Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse; they finally really do provide some answers, and those answers are not wackadoodle statements from the Phantom Zone but solid and borne out by clues in the show, and I'm still not happy.

I know we love Ben, but if Richard doesn’t get an Emmy nod for that episode alone, there is no justice in this world. Fantastic all around.

Agreed. Seeing this really makes it a shame how little we've seen of Richard through the years. Nestor Carbonell nailed it.

Well, you can just imagine how I had to calm my wife down.

“BUT YOU SAID THEY WEREN’T DEAD!”

“Honey, they may not be.”

“BUT HE SAID THEY WERE!”

“Well, he could be wrong.”

It went downhill from there.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure Demon & Curse were just taunting to try and stir the fans up, but I admit I had my own "I KEEEEEEEEEEEEL YOU!" moment.

I was mainly satisfied in the cork and bottle explanation. And, even though I think we’re firmly entrenched in Eastern Philosophy, I could not help remembering Neil Gaiman’s “Seasons of Mist” story wherein Lucifer hands the keys to Hell off to Morpheus and says “I need a break, you deal with it.” It’s almost as if J and E are the different aspects of that plot point.

Or different aspects of the same being, perhaps? A hyper-extended metaphor for the duality of mankind?

The TWOP boards have been hopping. My favorite new (to me) theory is from a poster called global77: Jacob & Esau are not good/evil, light/dark, order/chaos or whatever dichotomy you subscribe to. They're two guys who were given a job a long time ago: stay on the island and keep evil from getting out into the world. Over the years, their different views of humanity have led to friction. Jacob believes that even imperfect people who have made bad choices can still choose to do the right thing, and therefore humanity deserves to be protected. Esau believes that people are inherently bad -- that evil already exists in the world in each of us, and therefore staying on the island to keep the darkness in is ridiculous: the darkness is already out there. If evil is already out there, then this really is "just an island," and he should be free to go.

I like it, mainly because it doesn't cast Jacob as "good," which gets harder and harder to swallow: "I have this theory about people, so I bring them here to try to prove it. I won't help them or explain anything, and they all die. So I bring more people. I'm sure I'll get it right eventually -- I'm the Good Guy!"

Interesting theory. I would fine-tune that to include a Pandora’s Box idea, but then again, why stick around if the evil is out there? Jacob is an idiot if that’s the case. I personally don’t think the island is just an island. If it’s the cork to the underworld, then it’s a terrible cork, since people clearly CAN get to it, and move it, and so forth. On the other hand, I do so like the kind of clockwork contrivances that appear to operate the island. It’s all rather Post-Steampunk, from the clicky-wheel that makes the Island move to the brass lighthouse and even the fancy-schmancy pendulum on the campus. It’s like Jules Verne threw up all over H.G.Wells…hey, wait a minute. Nah. Never mind. That’s just silly.

Biggest WTFilk moment of the night: Isabella appearing to Hurley. Other than Hurley's Dave, has any other apparition been someone who'd never come near the island' Smokey appearing as Isabella on the ship makes sense, because Richard had just been scanned. But the real, actual ghost of Isabella? That bears some thinking.

That may just have to be taken at faith. We’ve known for a while that Hurley can do that, so it’s not that big a stretch to think that he can talk to someone who didn’t die on the island, from hundreds of years ago.

Or maybe Hurley’s ability is getting stronger as the candidates narrow and the time to take over draws near.

Good point. We know that people who have died on-island have appeared to Hurley off-island. Ben's dead Mama could easily have been Smokey, who gathered the info from scanning young Ben. Maybe the fact that Smokey scanned the info and appeared in her form somehow allowed her access to the island?

Is there any truth in anything Esau says, or is it always a con? I ask because of his claim that Jacob stole his humanity. Is that merely an excuse to be a monster, or is there something to the notion of humanity -- people connecting to other people despite outrageous circumstances or terrible wrongs -- being vital on the island? Did Jacob steal it, or, to follow the biblical parallel, did Esau trade it for a mess of pottage, which he now regrets?

I don’t think Esau is conning, not really. I think that sometimes he’s so direct that he’s ignoring larger pictures and questions. I did like his admission from last show that “Now Aaron has a crazy mom, too,” and so it would appear that he’s got the full range of human experience. He’s definitely the “Free Will” guy, no doubt about it.

But how can Esau be the "Free Will" guy when he's the one making conflicting promises and influencing events? Wouldn't Jacob be the "Free Will" guy since he literally stands back and literally let's things happen as they will?

If you buy into the “Two Guys on the Island” theory, Jacob is the public face, and so that would make Esau the Enforcer, and the monster by default. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Jacob was Lucifer? After all, he was a fallen angel. He could still be nice, even if he’s in charge of the Underworld. And that would mean that this isn’t a Baptist/ Miltonian definition of Hell, but more like an underworld from the other myths—a Land of the Dead, or some such. Does that make the island, then, the Original Eden?

That might explain Adam & Eve, eh?

Probably not, but now I’ve got all of these questions in my head. Thanks, Television!


Peggy Hailey can be found at Rampant Biblioholism. Mark Finn can be found in his den with his Tales of the Gold Monkey DVDs.

 
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