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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Televangelist: 'Lost' Season 6, Episode 9

click to enlarge jacobgif2jg5thl
  • FOREVER YOUNG: Maybe he's born with it, maybe it's Maybelline

I had to watch "Lost" this morning instead of last night, so I woke up about two hours before my alarm with the anticipation of a child on Christmas morn.  The Richard episode!  The most anticipated "Lost" episode ... ever?  Ever since "The Man Behind the Curtain" aired, we've wanted to know more about Richard. Why doesn't he age?  What is his role on the island?  What is the island? Who are Smokey and Jacob?

The episode was devoted almost exclusively to Richard's backstory (with a momentary fake-out that we were getting Ilana's story instead), complete with major cameos from The Man in Black and Jacob.  In the first segment we get Richard ranting that everyone is dead and they are in hell.  I had to pace around my room for awhile until I let it play on to discover that, of course, "dead is not dead."  It was one of the earliest fan theories, pervasive in some circles, and now it has, at least, been laid to rest.

Let's tally up some other discoveries and confirmations:


  • Richard came to the island aboard the Black Rock
  • Smokey and Jacob are engaged in an elaborate morality play
  • Dead is not dead, and the island is not hell
  • Richard is Jacob's spokesman / agent so that Jacob does not interfere with their lives on the island
  • Terry O'Quinn is an amazing Smokey, and I'm so glad that he didn't have to leave the show when Locke died, but ... Titus Welliver is still the best Smokey in my opinion


  • The statue was utterly destroyed when a not-as-flimsy-as-I-thought 1800s ship crashed into it
  • Jacob does not have the ability to grant life or absolve sins
  • Richard chose immortality rather than eternal damnation for his sins
  • The island is a "cork" containing evil
  • When played right, a "Lost" episode can actually make me tear up
  • Jacob may have manipulated the actions of the characters to get them to the island, but once there, their choices are their own.
  • Smokey believes man is ultimately fallible because it is in his basic nature to sin.  Jacob has brought people to the island to prove him wrong ... all of whom are currently dead.

Still At Large:

  • Who is Smokey and who is Jacob?  And is it really as simple as Good versus Evil?
  • "To escape you must kill the Devil" - is this what they did when they blew up the island? Is that why their lives are so much better in the alt timeline?
  • How did Jacob take Smokey's body?  Where is that body now?
  • If Richard's home was half a day's journey from the doctor, how did they arrest him for murder seconds after he rode in?
  • Was the Dharma Initiative a giant red herring?  My only theory to its necessity is the creation of the Swan Station so that the bomb could hit the energy within the island and destroy it.
  • Is the cave Smokey took Sawyer to his own tally of who might replace Jacob?  Does he just kill everyone who's not a candidate right away, and then manipulates the candidates to kill each other?

Next Week: Looks like the Jin/Sun reunion ... that or Sun dies.  It's hard to tell from the promos!  They'd better not pull that.

Musings and Miscellanea:

  • Pretty much taken care of above, except I did like the word play where Smokey originally says the line, "good to see you out of those chains" to Richard, which is of course how Richard will know Locke is Smokey later on.
  • Another example of that is how Smokey tells Richard about Jacob what Dogen told Sayid about Smokey: "kill him before he speaks or it is too late. He can be very persuasive."
  • What did you guys think of this episode?  Did it meet, exceed, or fall far short of your expectations?  And does anyone care at all about the 815 survivors now?  It's all about Jacob and Smokey for me!

Glad we finally got that Ricardos episode, but now I need more island mythology!


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