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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Lost’ blogging: “Ab Aeterno”

(previous: “Recon”)

There’s no way to “review” or “analyze” or even “discuss” this show on an episode-by-episode basis — it’s more like you just have to react and try to guess what the hell is going on. So I’m not even gonna try to impose any sense or reason upon it: I’m just going to react. Maybe when it’s all said and done there will be something cohesive to say. Till then…

Perhaps needless to say, Lost doesn’t make much sense while you’re watching it. My ramblings will surely make even less sense if you haven’t seen the episode… and something may get spoiled for you that you don’t want spoiled. You have been warned.

So, here are the thoughts I jotted down, pretty much in order as they occurred to me as I watched:
Richard says they’re in hell, which is what a lot of us had guessed from the beginning…

Okay, so Richard had a dying wife in 1867 and accidentally killed a man and then a priest treated him badly and then Hanso bought him and then he got shipwrecked on the island on the vessel that Arzt would later find the dynamite on and then he survived an attack by the smoke monster and then he saw his dead wife (who saw the devil) and then she gets killed by the smoke monster (or maybe by Jacob) and the smoke monster tells him he has to kill the devil/Jacob and then Jacob tries to drown Richard to prove to him he’s still alive and then Jacob tells him that the darkness is corked up in the wine and then he offers Richard a job and then Richard says he wants to live forever and then Jacob says, “No problem, dude” and then Richard buried his wife’s crucifix and then the smoke monster guy told Richard to let him know if he ever changed his mind and then Hurley shows up and then Hurley sees dead people and then Hurley says Richard has to stop the man in black and then Johnny Cash showed up on the island…

And we still know fuck all about Jacob or how he’s able to do what he does or why he does what he does or what makes the island so special or why the statue had only four toes or where the wormholes come from.

Oh, and the bottle of wine is busted. And we’ll never know what the hell that’s all about, either.

(Watch full episodes at ABC’s official site for the show.)

(next: “The Package”)


MPAA: rated TV14-V

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  • RyanT

    Oh, and the bottle of wine is busted. And we’ll never know what the hell that’s all about, either.

    The Man in Black is saying there are more ways to get the wine aka The Darkness out of the bottle than popping out the cork (the Island). I thought it was pretty clear and foreboding…

  • Dan

    And we still know fuck all about Jacob or how he’s able to do what he does or why he does what he does or what makes the island so special or why the statue had only four toes or where the wormholes come from.

    The statue had four toes because the deity it represents had four toes. I doubt we’ll get concrete answers for Jacob or WHY the island is what it is, because that would take away the mystery. Does it matter? Jacob’s a deity, the island’s his mystical realm.

    Oh, and the bottle of wine is busted. And we’ll never know what the hell that’s all about, either.

    As the commenter above said, just symbolism. The MIB is determined to get past Jacob’s hard and fast rules, by “smashing the bottle” so to speak.

    It occurs to me that the race is on for Jacob to get his #1 candidate to takeover his role, because right now Smokey has an opportunity to leave and unleash “hell”.

  • bitchen frizzy

    The priest treated Richard strangely – refusing him absolution but then saving his life the next day. Setting Richard up? And on whose authority was he spared the gallows? Probably no answers to that either.

  • Dave

    I don’t think it was actually his wife on the island but was the MIB tricking him (we know he can look like dead people) so that he would kill Jacob for him.

    Also it’s looking more and more like Hurley is going to end up being Jacob’s replacement as he is doing most of the “gathering” work for the group on the beach.

  • JoshDM

    Richard says they’re in hell, which is what a lot of us had guessed from the beginning…

    But they aren’t. That concept is being used to the advantage of the struggle between Smokey and Jacob.

    … then he survived an attack by the smoke monster and then he saw his dead wife (who saw the devil) and then she gets killed by the smoke monster (or maybe by Jacob)

    She was never there. Smokey / Man in Black scanned Richard’s mind, discovered her strong memory, and used it, not unlike he did with Mister Eko.

    … Jacob tells him that the darkness is corked up in the wine …

    … Oh, and the bottle of wine is busted. And we’ll never know what the hell that’s all about, either.

    Blatant symbolism, but I think you were being facetious because it was so blatant.

    And we still know fuck all about Jacob or how he’s able to do what he does or why he does what he does or what makes the island so special

    I’m sure it will have to do with compromised technology from the distant future.

    or why the statue had only four toes or where the wormholes come from.

    The statue was revealed to be Taweret, a god who apparently has four toes. The existence of this statue leads me to believe the island was originally a landmass, situated in Tunisia, before being co-opted to be wherever it is. By the way, the ocean between the Canary Islands and the Americas is the Atlantic; so how did the ship get to there from there, considering the “island” was in the Pacific when Oceanic (Australia to LAX) and Ajira (LAX? to Guam) crashed on it?

  • JT

    How are you so smart 99% of the time but completely thick when it comes to Lost?

  • bitchen frizzy

    “…so how did the ship get to there from there, considering the “island” was in the Pacific when Oceanic (Australia to LAX) and Ajira (LAX? to Guam) crashed on it?”

    The island moves around – the Pendulum Room indicates the present position of the island. Some viewers with more time on their hands then me say that the map on the floor shows the path the island follows as it drifts loops through the Atlantic.

  • The final episode is going to reveal that the entire cast are actors suffering from drug-induced amnesia being dragged across fake sets by crazed television producers looking to sell a 6-season-long mind screw series that the geeks will obsess over for decades.

    …what? it’s been done?

  • JT (Wed Mar 24 10, 5:37PM):

    How are you so smart 99% of the time but completely thick when it comes to Lost?

    It’s kinda weird, right? But I guess she’s just venting because a show she used to love has turned into something she doesn’t like at all anymore. This is fine, of course, but it is pretty silly week after week for her to be asking all these questions that have such obvious and easy answers.

    But it’s MaryAnn’s website! So what can we do? Just ignore these like I try to do (but fail)… there are hundreds of blogs on lost out there that do enjoy the show. I recommend Slate’s season 6 TV Club blogs if you want a thoughtful, positive take on the show: http://www.slate.com/id/2242745/entry/2248634/

  • bitchen frizzy

    Well, there are the fans who really enjoy getting all in-depth on every episode; and then there are those of us who are doggedly watching Lost through to the end but just don’t want to invest the hours of research per episode required to answer all the questions and decipher every clue. MaryAnn writes for the latter group.

    I can totally relate. I’m mildly interested in the answers and explanations, but not interested enough to go to great effort to get them. And no slight intended: I do get geek-obsessed about other topics.

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  • Dan

    Well, there are the fans who really enjoy getting all in-depth on every episode; and then there are those of us who are doggedly watching Lost through to the end but just don’t want to invest the hours of research per episode required to answer all the questions and decipher every clue.

    I find it hard to imagine there are ANY such people watching Lost like that at this late stage, but I’m obviously wrong. And that’s fine, but I think you’re going to be totally bewildered when this show comes to an end, and will probably HAVE to dip into some fansites to understand it all.

  • JoshDM

    I find it hard to imagine there are ANY such people watching Lost like that at this late stage, but I’m obviously wrong.

    I knew plenty of people who watch LOST and continually tell me they “don’t get it”, but persist in watching. Which makes me wonder why they keep watching. I should ask.

  • bitchen frizzy

    Ummm… because it’s a good show?

  • bitchen frizzy (Thu Mar 25 10, 12:36PM):

    Well, there are the fans who really enjoy getting all in-depth on every episode; and then there are those of us who are doggedly watching Lost through to the end but just don’t want to invest the hours of research per episode required to answer all the questions and decipher every clue. MaryAnn writes for the latter group.

    Actually no, MaryAnn write for a third group: these are the ones who don’t like the show at all anymore but keep watching it out of habit (or stubbornness) — it’s not like the questions she asks require any research, you just need to have seen the previous episodes and cared enough to pay attention.

    I am not one of those who researches everything (or anything, really), and yet I can still answer 99% of MaryAnn’s incredulous questions. All I do is watch the show and pay attention to what is happening. Her question about why the Man in Black breaks the wine bottle… I mean, really… this is a basic metaphor; it is blatantly overt and is referenced both within the episode itself and the “previously on” bit at the start. And yet MaryAnn acts as if it’s some sort of new mystery with a hidden meaning.

    Essentially, these stream-of-consciousness blog posts are more about MaryAnn expressing her exasperation with the show, and less about actual criticism.

    Of course, those of us who continue to express surprise at the “content” of these Lost posts are being just as stubborn, I guess. :)

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