Tag Archives: Ilana

Lost’s “Ab Aeterno” – Cliff Notes Version (Contains SPOILERS, obviously . . .)

Now, before you get all riled up, let me explain . . .

Tonight’s episode of Lost presented me with a bit of a conundrum.  You see, I have this little ritual I like to follow on Tuesday nights.  And “Ab Aeterno” totally f-ed it up. 

You see, normally, I watch my hour of Lost, with notepad in hand.  And then, immediately afterward, I plop down in front of my computer to draft a recap (complete with pictures  . . . some of Lost stuff, some of other stuff that I happen to find cool at the moment).  The purpose of my recap is to generally detail the events of the episode, and the small tidbits of information I gleaned from it, in a manner that is mildly sarcastic, and (I hope) a little bit funny.

The problem here is that Ab Aeterno was so jam-packed with information and answered questions, that I couldn’t imagine being able to succinctly convey all of the “facts,” while still successfully telling a story, let alone, being mildly sarcastic and/or at all funny . . .

Therefore, this is what I decided to do . . . I’m going provide YOU with a short and sweet list of of the long- held questions that tonight’s episode of Lost finally answered.  Then, once that’s out of the way, I’ll come back and tackle the story of the episode, in another blog entry (assuming my brain isn’t too fried, of course) . . .

So, without further adieu, here’s Lost “Ab Aeterno”:  the Cliff Notes version . . .

“Shut up and start talking!”

1) What the F does Ab Aeterno mean?

Ab Aeterno is a Latin term meaning “from eternity” or “since the beginning.”  I presume in Lost world it refers to the struggle between:

 Jacob versus the Man In Black a.k.a. Smokey AND/OR

The Man Upstairs versus The Devil AND/OR

Heaven versus Hell AND/OR

Life versus Death (Bet you didn’t know Lost was going to get all religious on you, did you?)

2) Why the F doesn’t Richard Alpert ever age?  And where can I get some of that for myself?

Still sexy after ALL these years . . . (and years, and years . . .)

Richard Alpert doesn’t age because he is immortal.  Richard received this “gift” from Jacob, in return for agreeing to work for Jacob against the latter’s nemesis, Man in Black a.k.a. Smokey. 

And, no, YOU can’t get any of that for yourself because YOU don’t work for Jacob.  So, YOU are going to have to get old and moldy and eventually die, like everyone else on this planet.

Sorry!

3) What do you mean Richard “works for Jacob?”  What exactly does he do?

Richard’s job is to work as Jacob’s emissary on the Island.  He is supposed to influence the Losties to do “good,” and help them to avoid the temptation to sin.

4) Huh?  Why the heck does Jacob care what the Losties do?  Why doesn’t he just mind his own beeswax?

Jacob Butt-in-ski

You see, Jacob and Man in Black / Smokey have had this little running argument going on since the dawn of time.  Man in Black (MIB for short) believes that people are inherently EEVVILL, and can be made BAD, with just the slightest push in the wrong direction.  Jacob, conversely, believes people are inherently GOOD. 

 So, to test out his little theory, Jacob keeps making people with dubious pasts crash onto the island, so that he can REDEEM them, and show MIB what’s what!

5) Man in Black / Smokey keeps talking about wanting to “Go Home.”  He seems like a pretty powerful mother f-er to me!  Why doesn’t he just LEAVE?

Remember that story you read when you were little, called Pandora’s Box?  You know the one where Pandora had this box that housed all the evil in the world.  And when she opened it, all the evil escaped?  Well, according to Jacob, the Island is kind of like “Pandora’s wine bottle.” 

Man in Black / Smokey is an EVVVIIIIL force swirling around in a vaccuum, kind of like wine in a bottle.  The island is like the bottle’s cork.  It keeps the EVVVIILLL from escaping out into the real world . . .

6) What’s the deal with Team Jacob?  Why are its members’ names listed on Jacob’s wheel and Man in Black / Smokey’s cabin wall?  And why is Ilana stuck protecting them all?

You see, EVVVILLL MIB believes that he can escape the island if, and only IF, he kills Jacob.  Worried that MIB is correct in his assumption, Jacob has to keep finding replacements for himself.  These replacements will ultimately take over Jacob’s task of keeping new Losties “good” and preventing MIB from blowing this island popsicle stand. 

Both MIB and Jacob appear to be “keeping score” on Jacob’s prospective replacements, in their own way.  When one prospective replacement dies or “turns bad,” he is crossed off both of their lists.  (Score One for Team EEVVILL.) 

Ilana has the dubious honor of keeping the prospective replacements both “good” and “alive.”

7) How about that slave ship, The Black Rock, that was found shipwrecked on the island?  How did that get there?

The Black Rock was a ship owned by Mangus Hanso during the late 19th century. (Get it?  HANSO, as in the “Hanso Foundation?” You know, the group that started the Dharma Initiative on the Island back in the 70’s?) 

The Black Rock washed up on the island, as a result of a tidal wave, back in 1867.  Richard first arrived on the island as a prisoner on that ship.  Yeah, he’s THAT old . . .

8) Is your brain hurting as much as mine is right now?

 More later, kiddies . . .

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Benjamin Linus is My New TV Boyfriend! – A Recap of Lost’s “Mr. Linus”

Just look at that come hither stare . . .  Who knew history teachers could be so sexy?

WARNING: This recap might not be particularly snarky.  After all, I am in love (with Benjamin Linus!).  And one of the side effects of falling in love is a complete loss of one’s sense of humor . . .

Who would have thought that the most uplifting, feel-good, episode of the entire Lost series, thus far, would belong to a character that will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best television villians of all time?  For all those women out there (myself included) who have always dreamed of roping in and taming a bad boy, this episode was the ultimate fantasy come true.  If Michael Emerson does not win an Emmy for his performance in “Mr. Linus,” the entire Academy of Television Arts and Sciences deserves to suffer the wrath of Smokey!

And when it comes to the Emmys, Smokey does NOT mess around!

But in order to truly understand the full extent of Benjamin Linus’s current redemption, both in flash-sideways world, and in real time, we should probably go back and revisit the single worst moment in the character’s entire life: the death of his adoptive daughter, Alex Rousseau.

At the time, Benjamin Linus and his band of Others were living at the island Barracks.  Things were going peachy for Ben, until his nemesis, Charles Widmore, sent over his head minion, Army Drill Sergeant from Hell, Martin Keamy, to ensure Ben’s surrender and departure from the island.  By way of collateral, Keamy kidnapped Ben’s adoptive teenage daughter Alex, and brought her to Ben’s house with a gun to her head.  Keamy told Ben to either surrender immediately or watch his daughter die.  Ben thought Keamy was bluffing, and stayed put.  He wasn’t.

A Principal Without Principles . . .

Back in flash-sideways world, Ben and his father left the island, presumably before all the sh*t hit the fan down there.  Now Ben is a reluctant European History teacher at a high school, desperately seeking more excitement from his humdrum life.  In his opening scene, Ben teaches his students about Napoleon’s exhile to Elba, an obvious metaphor for Ben’s own meteoric rise and fall as “The Chosen” One on Lost island.  

I love when Lost gets all “literary” on us.  You can bet that this episode’s shout out to the above-referenced book (apparently the castaways on-Island library offers both this tome and porn), will send hard core Losties racing to their nearest bookstores in search of clues . . .

“Elba was where Napoleon faced his greatest test.  Exhile wasn’t the worst of his fate.  It was the truly devastating loss of power.  Sure, they allowed him to keep the title of emperor.  But without his power, everything was meaningless.  He might as well have been dead,”  Dr. Linus tellingly, instructs.

Flash Sideways Ben’s only joy comes from being able to run the school’s History Club, and tutor its student members, especially Alex Rousseau (who, in this timeline, is a precocious teen with aspirations to attend Yale).  That is until the school principal cancels the club, citing “budget cuts.”  (Really?  How “expensive” is some lame club where all students do is get together and talk about history?)

When Ben vents his frustrations to his colleagues, former Flight 815er Doc Arzt and new “Substitute” John Locke, the latter suggests that Ben take on the principal position for himself.    The opportunity to do this arises, when Alex admits to Ben that she saw the Principal engaged in illicit activity with one of the school nurses.  With Doc Arzt’s help, Ben hacks into the Principal’s computer and finds e-mails implicating the Principal in the aforementioned naughty conduct. 

Ben confronts the Principal with aims to blackmail him and usurp his position.  However, the Principal warns Ben that, if he does this, the former will take revenge on Alex (just as Keamy did — on a significantly smaller scale, of course) by single-handedly ruining the young girl’s chances of attending the principal’s alma mater, Yale.  This time, Ben chooses Alex.  As a result, he doesn’t get to be principal . . . but at least he gets his History Club back?

And thus, our Flash-Sideways World Ben has redeemed himself.  Something Flash-Sideways Sayid was unable to do last week . . .

Ben and Team Jacob, BFF (Best Friends Forever For Now)

If last week’s Lost episode focused on Smokey and his dastardly team of crazies, this week’s episode spotlighted the above-referenced opposing team, led by Ilana, the Candidate Bodyguard.

“And Iiiiiiiiii, eeeee iiiii, will always love Jacccob!” 

(Yeah, I’m not really a fan of Ilana’s, so far.  The character is a bit like the above song, only one-note, and a highly annoying one at that.)

When Miles “I Communicate with Dead People” (or, in this case, Dead Ash) Straum conveniently leaks to Ilana that Ben killed her “father figure” Jacob, she gets a little pissed off at our boy.  So pissed off, in fact, that she chains his leg to a stake and forces him to dig his own grave.

Speaking of death wishes, Richard Alpert, he of the guy liner and the never-aging face . . .

finds himself exhausted, from a life of serving Jacob, and always looking so damn pretty day in and day out.  His solution, therefore,  is to off himself, a la Bill Murrary in Groundhog Day.

Yeah, it didn’t work for him either . . .

Apparently, one of the rules of Lost island, is that, if you are Jacob’s candidate, you can’t end your own life.  Someone else has to do it for you.  I guess this would explain why former candidate Michael Dawson couldn’t shoot himself in the episode “Meet Kevin Johnson” but was able to die later when the submarine he was on exploded. 

Richard Alpert must have watched “Meet Kevin Johnson,” because he commandeers Jack and Hurley to light his ass on fire with a stick of dynamite.  Hurley bails on the plan, but Jack stays and sets the dynamite aflame.  Jack tells Richard that both of them are meant to be on this island . . . alive.  Therefore, he is certain that the stick of dynamite will not explode.  He is right . . .

Meet Jack Shephard – Man of Science  Man of Faith

While Jack and Richard are busy NOT blowing themselves to smithereens, Smokey is visiting Ben, offering him a means to escape Ilana’s clutches and join the Darkside.

Smokey tries to entice Ben, by offering him the opportunity to govern the island once again.  After all, just like Napoleon, Island Ben has always been a man driven by power.  Ben takes Locke’s advice and makes a break for it.  But he soon finds himself at a standoff with a Ilana. 

Instead of shooting her, as old Ben would likely have done without so much of a thought, a tearful Ben explains to Ilana how his anger over sacrificing his daughter to serve Jacob and the island, ultimately, caused him to kill Jacob, an action he deeply regrets.

When Ilana asks Ben why he has chosen Team Smokey, Ben admits that Smokey is “the only one who will have him.” 

The line is one of the most endearing of the evening, as it paints Ben as an outsider – one who, deep down, just wants to have friends.   Ilana must have agreed with me, because, instead of simply letting Ben go, she replies, “I’ll have you.” 

(Don’t you be taking Ben from me, Ilana!  He’s MINE now!  All MINE!)

At the episode’s conclusion, Jack, Hurley, and Richard, reunite with Ilana, Sun, Lapidus, Miles, and, of course, Ben.   And thus, Team Jacob is born.

Team Jacob is definitely the underdog in this matchup.  After all, there are no supernatural powers in this group (not aging is cool and all, but it doesn’t really help you in a fight, unless your opponent is one of the Golden Girls . . )

Yet, my money is still on Team Jacob.  I think they will be the Cinderella story of the season.  How about you?

Oh, and I almost forgot, in the last few seconds of the episode, something EVIL made its way through the ocean toward the Losties . . .

No, not that.  It was just Charles Widmore in a submarine.  Still, pretty scary, no?

Well, that’s all she wrote, Lost fans.  What did you think?  Are you ready to start the Michael Emerson Emmy campaign with me?  Is your money also on Team Jacob for winning the Lost ultimate showdown?  Do you think Charles Widmore will fight for Team Smokey, or does he have his own agenda to accomplish on Lost island?

Only time (travel) will tell . . .

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