Cinematically Correct Thinks That After “Ab Aeterno”, Flocke & Richard’s Favorite Song Is “My Body Is A Cage”
It seems silly for me to start writing about how sick this week’s episode of “Lost” was. If you watched it, you know it was off the charts. It was epic. I’m talking “The Constant” epic. I would be remiss to not point out that my idea that the Island is simply a jail to keep Smokey/Flocke/The Man In Black away from the rest of the world is now 100% officially correct. So…yeah.
Who would have guessed that Richard (or Ricardo) is actually around 170 years old? I really was thinking older, like ancient Egyptian old. Not only that, he lived on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Why is that a big deal? Oh, it’s just the location of one of the largest plane accidents in history. Creepy fact #2? There is a myth regarding a so-called eight island, St. Brendan’s, in the Canary Islands. Seriously. I looked it up. There are old Spanish maps that even have the island on them, but the island is nowhere to be found today.
History lesson about phony islands aside, could they have made Richard’s story anymore of a tearjerker? The true beauty of “Lost” is that they gave us a boatload of geeky Island myth and mystery but did it while focusing on Richard and his dead wife.
Looks like we can add Richard to the list of Losties that have killed someone in their lifetime. Even though it was clearly an accident, Richard was going to be put to death for killing a doctor that wouldn’t give up what appeared to be a vial of nose candy. So Richard is left with a dead wife, a hangman’s noose, and a priest that would not absolve him of his sins. Needless to say, Richard was having a crap week.
Along comes some white dude named Whitfield and he buys Richard up for a couple bucks, sticks him on the Black Rock slave ship, and is going to whisk him away to America. We all know that this three hour tour was most definitely destined to fail, but did we think that it was going to be because the Black Rock crashed into the freaking head of the Taweret statue? Umm, that one was not on my theory list.
While I still question just how the heck the Black Rock got in the middle of the jungle, I’m willing to accept that it happened. I mean…there’s a smoke monster running around so whatever. That white dude Whitfield is really intent on keeping the little man down. So much so that he starts stabbing away at the slaves that survived the crash. Thankfully for Richard, Smokey shows up and takes out those silly English knights. Smokey does his bit when he scans your face to Richard, then spares him. Since I’m not concerned as much as how this works, it’s not apparent that Smokey does it to learn the best way to go about manipulating a person.
Richard is all alone and chained to the Black Rock. He slaves (no pun intended) and digs at nail in one of the floorboards. Then, in a move that would make Andy Dufresne proud, Richard uses that tiny nail to try to dig around his shackles. All that was missing was the warden and a Jayne Mansfield poster. Unfortunately, Richard loses his nail after being attacked by an evil boar. I’ll admit, this was fairly tough to watch. Of course I knew he was going to be okay, but it sucked watching Richard struggle like that.
Later on, Richard is woken up by his wife, Isabella. We’ve all seen this trick before and by now, we know that is Smokey. Isabella tells Richard that they are in Hell and she tries to free him. Here’s where I get a bit confused…if Isabella is Smokey, then how did Smokey show up and make it seem like he killed her? Hmm…that’s some trickeration huh?
Now that Richard is beaten, battered, and emotionally crushed, who should show up? Why, it’s the Man In Black himself. Remember, the Devil only shows himself when you are at your lowest. The Man In Black frees Richard in exchange for…well…exchange to do whatever he wants Richard to do. Naturally, he wants Richard to kill Jacob. He creates the ruse that Jacob is in fact the Devil, they are in Hell, and the only way to free Isabella from Hell is to kill the Devil.
Well…that plan doesn’t work out too well for Richard. After going to the statue to find Jacob, Richard gets jumped and Jacob pretty much knocks the Spanish off his ass. After convincing Richard that they are not dead or in Hell, we get what will go down as one of my favorite moments on “Lost” ever.
The bottle of wine and the cork. Could it be explained any simpler? The Island is keeping the Man In Black from getting to the rest of the world. What happens when he does get out? Ask Hurley or anybody else who used the numbers. Why does Jacob bring people to the Island? He wants people to learn the difference between right and wrong, but he never really interferes with their choices. If he did, he wouldn’t have let Ben just murder him.
It doesn’t need to be spelled out any further for me. I am now sure that Jacob is either God or his character is darn sure based on God. As I’ve believed for quite some time, the Island is a jail for the Man In Black, who I also believe is the Devil. The conversation with Jacob doesn’t cement all of this, but it’s undebatable now that the Island is indeed a prison.
After Jacob offers Richard the position that we are all familiar with, Richard wants his wife back or to be absolved of his sins. Jacob nixes those two request, but does tell Richard that yes, he can arrange it for him to live forever. So one touch on the shoulder and voila, you and me are gonna live forever. Richard tells the Man In Black that he isn’t down with his noise and gives him a white rock from Jacob, which is so rubbing his nose in it. The Man In Black gives Richard his wife’s gold cross back and then Richard buries it. Then…I cried a little bit.
The second time we get a chat with Jacob and the Man In Black completely owned the first. How can so much tension be created between two characters that have shared about five minutes of screentime, if that? It was simply tremendous.
So now what? Well, in present day, Richard is pretty much fed up with the Island and he storms off, leaving Jack, Hurley, Ben, Sun, Ilana, Frank, Frank’s whacky hair, and Miles just chilling on the beach. This is particularly confusing for Ilana whom was told by Jacob that she must a) protect the five candidates and b) talk to Richard to see what to do. Whoops…
Right away, I assumed that Hurley was chatting with someone that knew Richard because, you know, it was in Spanish and they are the only two Spanish folks around. Now did I know that Richard left the beach to go dig up his wife’s cross? Nope.
There are moments from “Lost” that I will never forget. When Sawyer told Jack about Christian Shepherd and the bar in Sydney. When Locke backed away from that desk in his wheelchair. Charlie drowning. Desmond’s phone call to Penny. These are all spine tingly, beautiful, tear-inducing moments that have all contributed to why I am obsessed with this show and its characters. Listening to Hurley relay the thoughts of Isabelle to her distraught husband Richard can be placed on that list. It was simply amazing.
Richard puts his cross on and Hurley tells him one last thing that Isabella said: stop the Man In Black from leaving the Island. From the distance, Flocke watches all this happen, then leaves.
Wow. I never thought that “The Constant” could ever be topped, but this may have done it. It’s a shame because he only means that the next episode, unless it physically removes my brain from head and implodes it in my living room, will only be a letdown. Sure, there are still questions that need answered and ideas spinning around as to what is really going on, but that stuff really is secondary to this: Why are we all so hooked on a guy that, up until this week, we really knew nothing about? Richard Alpert has officially arrived as yet another beautifully written and acted character on what should be on the short list of Best Television Show Of All Time.
He has pretty eye lashes too.