Lost: Ab Aeterno

Last modified on March 25th, 2010

Without a doubt, the Lost episode the other night was one of the better ones I’ve seen. If you haven’t seen it yet, then don’t read any more, since there are a few spoilers.

Seeing Richard’s back story helped put some of the pieces together. Like most people on the island, Richard’s past isn’t all rosy — he lost his wife and accidentally killed a person. He’s been on the island now over 150 years, and obviously hasn’t aged at all. We’re led to believe that he is an immortal now due to Jacob’s touch.

I found it a bit odd how irritable the Jacob in the past was. It seemed like this was deliberate by the writers, most likely to contrast the Jacob in the future who seems to have all the answers. He reveals to Richard his ultimate motivation for bringing people to the Island – to prove to his enemy that malice and benevolence are not inherent in all people. While it seems a noble goal, I have to question bringing people to the island for the main purpose of dying in order to prove it. Look at how many people on the Black Rock were immediately slaughtered, and likewise the people on Oceanic 816 that died upon crashing. If Jacob’s a God, he’s not a very considerate one.

There were a few problems with the episode, and I’ll point them out here:

  • When Jacob and the Man In Black are first introduced, we can see the Black Rock in the distance about to arrive on the Island. At this point though, it’s the middle of the day. When the Black Rock crashes, it’s in the middle of the storm during the night. So the times don’t quite match up. Also, if Jacob is the one who brought the Black Rock to the island, it seems a bit strange that he would crash it deliberately into his house (although we now have an explanation about why the top portion of the statue is missing)
  • Richard walks up to Jacob and tries to kill him with the knife. Ultimately Richard reveals to Jacob that the Man In Black sent him to kill Jacob. Jump ahead to the future when Ben walks in with Fake Locke, and Jacob says to him “looks like you finally found your loophole” – given that the Man in Black has already tried to kill Jacob, that line doesn’t really make sense anymore, since Jacob knew what the Man in Black was planning. This is even more clear at the end of the last episode when the Man In Black reiterates his intention of killing Jacob and getting off the island

Other than that, I have to say that the episode was really great, mainly for the performance and backstory of Richard. You can really understand his anguish now, and what he’s had to endure on the Island for over a century. I thought the scene with Richard and Isabella near the end was really well done as well.

Did you see the episode — what did you think?