You know me and Lost: Almost every episode gets my mind whirring and my theory-making machine churning. But “Ab Aeterno” has been exceptionally inspiring. I’ve been thinking about a number of things since Tuesday, including this observation that was brought to my attention by my Totally Lost co-host Dan Snierson: While the Jacob of 1867 preemptively thwarted Richard’s assassination attempt, the Jacob of 2007 all but walked into Ben’s knife in last year’s season finale. Since we now know that Jacob is more than capable of defending himself, we have even more reason to wonder if Jacob wanted Ben to kill him and if everything on the Island is more or less going according to Jacob’s plan.
Of course, I continue to think about Jacob’s metaphor of the corked bottle representing the Island keeping a world of evil at bay. (Do Lost and Buffy The Vampire Slayer occupy the same universe? Does the Island seal up another Hellmouth?) Jacob said he brings people to the Island to prove that the Man In Black is wrong about his dim view of human nature. But he didn’t really explain how he goes about trying to prove MIB wrong. I wonder what the castaways should be doing to win that argument for Jacob. And I’m wondering if all of Lost is building up to that moment.
But what I find myself thinking about the most is Jacob’s contention that the Island is a place where the past doesn’t matter for the people he brings to it. For me, Jacob’s dubious claim underscored what might be Lost’s biggest theme: managing our relationship to the past. Whatever happened, happened; nothing can be changed. How much of it do we let define us? Do we embrace it? Run away from it? Deny it? Do we get to control what it means to us or does someone else make those calls?
And while I’m thinking all these thoughts, I’m battling the flu. Which is why you’re not getting a full column from me this week, as promised. My apologies, dear readers. Hopefully, I’ll have recuperated enough by next week to produce my usual onslaught of absurdity and analysis. Until then, what do you make of this comparison of the final season of Lost to the final season of Buffy? And then there’s this: In my recap of “Ab Aeterno,” I speculated on a link between Mark Pellegrino’s Jacob and the character of Lucifer he plays on Supernatural. Many of you have pointed out that the actor who plays the Man In Black on Lost, Titus Welliver, also appeared on that show, playing the god of war. What are we to make of these alleged overlaps? More thoughts to come over the next few weeks. Have a great weekend, and be seeing you next week. — Doc Jensen