Monday, March 29

Ab Aeterno (S6, Ep. 9)

The Back to the Island Column for "Ab Aeterno" has been eaten by a boar for your reading pleasure on

If you enjoy what you've read and you wish to share it with others, I encourage you to do so - but please give credit where credit is due. Conversely, if you hate what you've read, feel free to give derision where derision is due. I'm "equal-opportunity" that way.


  1. Great stuff Morse! I look forward to reading the entire thing.

  2. You could also see the near-drowning of Ricardo by Jacob as a baptism (which immediately makes me remember Aarons baptism from S2).

    But you probably covered that, didn't you? Can't wait for your column. :)

  3. It's incredible what kind of assholes there are. Where is Sayid with Bamboo splinters when you need him?

  4. Fantastic read- worth the wait. will digest and comment later, but consider taking more time in the future

  5. Sorry you had to rewrite the whole column, but it certainly hasn't suffered for it... great stuff.

    I'm one of those people who feels a bit iffy about the increased religious vibe, but when it's done as well as it was in this episode I can't really object. Besides as you say, there are a fair few episodes to go yet and I suspect science will still pay a substantial part - it's not just been thrown out of the window as some have been asserting.

    On a sort-of-related note, when I rewatched this episode it really struck me just how shiftily Jacob acts in that first confrontation - everything, from the way he is performed to the way he is shot makes it difficult to see him as 'good'. He looks positively creepy at points. I appreciate the whole attempted murder thing might have made him understandably tetchy, but still... Add to that the almost childlike banter between him and Smokey and I really don't trust Jacob. Or Smokey for that matter. I'm increasingly convinced the ultimate endgame will see our losties denouncing both island forces - but hey, I'm almost certainly wrong.

  6. Dave,

    Thanks for the kind words. I'm keeping an open mind about Jacob. As of now I see him as the "distant God" figure (or, since you're science-inclined, as the "distant Observer" figure), but I think it's very possible that Lost will pull a switcharoo on us, so I think your suspicions are, at the least, understandable.

    My own bias is showing here, but I hope that Jacob ends up being shown as the "better" half between he and the MiB - largely because, as someone who has a modicum of "faith," the Jacob we see presented really does line up ncely with what ive always percieved a potential "God" to be: hopeful for us, quietly working in the macro sense, but largely leaving us to grow on our own, without the influence of a divine "parent" interfering and stunting said-growth.

    I've heard it theorized that Jacob and the MiB are essentially like the brothers of the game Myst (I won't spoil what that means if you don't already know, and if you don't there are sites out there to tell you), and having the Castaways truly and solely responsible for themselves would be a Very existential ending, but I can't help hoping that the image of Jacob that we have now ends up beingmore or less the truth of him. Bias again.

  7. What I enjoyed most about this episode is how fast it seemed to go. When the end credits rolled, I asked myself aloud, "It's over already?" The episode was 48 minutes long, about five more than an average episode, but to me it felt like 20 minutes. I could have easily watched another hour of Richard's backstory right then without feeling like more time had gone by. It's a mark of good entertainment when you're so immersed that you have no idea how much time has passed.

    I thought it was interesting that Jacob's face wasn't shown when he was fighting Richard, given that Mark Pellegrino is a martial arts master. According to Nestor Carbonell, Pellegrino performed all of his own stunts for that episode.

    I think it's great that this is (apparently) the first time Jacob has explained himself to anyone he's brought to the Island, and the person he explains himself to is (apparently) the first person who's tried to kill him (at least at the behest of the MIB).

    If the Others' role is supposed to be intermediaries between Jacob and the people he's brought to the Island, they seem to have gotten off track by the time the castaways arrive. Not once does Richard or any of the Others formally introduce themselves to the group of castaways, explain why they're there, etc. I know Jacob probably wouldn't want the castaways to know that they've been brought to the Island to turn over a new leaf (and I doubt the Others know that's what the Island's role is either), but whatever happened to common courtesy? If you have a new neighbor, you should stop by, say hello, and drop off a Jell-O mold or something.

  8. I just started reading yourt blog on CHUD, and have been catching up all day today, reading all of this season's recap by you, and I give you props on your writing.
    Out of all the bloggers i read because of LOSt, you, Vozzek, Fishbuisquit and doc jensen are the best. I'm glad I found tour blog, very entertaining and fulfilling read.
    Growing up a Dominican in Harlem, and Washington Heights in NYC, its hard finding other fans of Lost.
    I am one of the people who read about Lost while it was being thought about. Ive been a fan from the time ABC bought the show until death i
    Anyway, I wanted to say I look forward to keep reading, and I got one mopre question....

    I always wondered what you, Doc Jensen, Vozzek, and fishbuiscuit sere writing about before lost. You and the rest, have such great insight, that I wonder what other shows you worte about, like you do for lost?

    Krims One Roc

  9. Hi, Krims. Thanks for commenting, and for reading. I can only speak for myself, but this is the first time i've ever tried about a tv show like this. Lost has a lot of aspects to it that interest me anyway - theology, philosophy, pop culture, and that sort of thing.

    When Lost finishes I'll be writing about other things. Hope you'll stick around for that.

    - M

  10. MMorse, I'll fess up to having the same underlying bias - and from your earlier columns - for the same reason. I trust Hurley who in all of his wackiness has spoke more truth on the island than anyone else

    (after all, his guess as to the contents of the Hatch at the end of Season 1 was by far the most accurate: HURLEY: Stacks of TV dinners from the 50's, or something. And TVs with cable, some cell phones, clean socks, soap, Twinkies -- you know, for dessert, after the TV dinners. Twinkies keep for, like, 8000 years, man.)

    Anyway, between Jacob having won Hurley and also the fact that he hasn't been lying to people (that we've seen) and has done the opposite of promising people their heart's desire to coerce them, I remain pretty confident that Jacob is the better path.

    That said, that doesn't mean he is the best path or that he is pure good. But i agree that his behavior seems more consistent with literary God who doesn't take an active hand in his people's lives typically.

    - As far as to how the Others became corrupted, well it would seem that Ben - through fear and insecurity - got them off track and that without any counsel otherwise they meddled the wrong way with the Castaways. It's still not clear what lists Jacob sent and what Ben just did. It sure seems like Ben received a lot of lists from Jacob that he believed were real.

  11. Morse,

    Your comment about the "Jacob stole my body line" was intriguing. I caught the potential dual meaning, but did not take it further into Aaron territory.

    One thing I did note, however. Back when we were calling the MiB "Esau" since that was the brother of the biblical Jacob, someone commented that Jacob stole Esau's birthright in the bible. What could be more a birthright than his body?

    Keep up the excellent work.