Archive for four-toed statue

ab aeterno: hellish deeds

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 30, 2010 by eyeoftheisland

Daybreak. The air is thick, hot, sweaty. Thick with sweaty hotness. For we are onan island. And it is generally hot on islands. Except for, say, islands off of Canada or maybe Antarctica or something like that. BUT THAT IS NOT WHERE WE ARE SO THAT’S PRETTY MUCH IRRELEVANT.

this is a HOT island... to be clear

Said Island of Hotness is called Tenerife, a Spanish island located off the coast of Africa. And — LO! What now?! Is that mayhaps a timeless-looking, eyeliner-wearing man approaching?

it is!

Indeed! And he, like the island of Tenerife, is sweaty, hot and thick… with beard. His name is Ricardo, a rugged Spanish farmer lover, his unruly locks being tossed by both the ocean winds and his inner turmoil: his true temporary love is about to die from the consumption! THE HORROR! But sweaty, hot, thick, unruly Ricardo’s untamed heart cannot stand such misery!

baggage

so, instead of riding all night to see chicken-eating Dr. Douche and then accidentally killing him over some meds, leading Ricardo to become convicted of murder and sent to the New World as a slave for Magnus Hanso, but then never making it to said New World and instead becoming a pawn for two dueling demi-gods trying to prove each other wrong about human nature, INSTEAD OF THAT, Richard–err–Ricardo hops in a canoe and paddles across the Atlantic toward his true love, a breathtaking young red-ish haired maiden with an affinity for serial television and Chimay Blue who awaits his arrival… longingly…

WHOA THERE LOST FANS! I think I fell asleep at the blog there for a moment. You know, I talk in my sleep. I didn’t say anything embarrassing, did I?

it was a long night

Anyway, on to Ab Aeterno, the long-awaited Richard-flashback episode aired last week. It was, in my humble opinion, quite excellent. Part-Harlequin-Historic-Romance, part-Count-of-Monte-Cristo, part-Dante’s-Inferno, Ab Aeterno was very back-to-basics LOST: a flashback gives a glimpse into the as-yet-unknown history of an intriguing character, whose present predicament is relevant to events in said flashback.  Some good guesses about Richard’s history were confirmed: he did indeed come on the Black Rock, as a slave, and since has served as the go-between for Jacob and the Others, or people he brings to the island. Oh, and yes, he is immortal, thanks to J-Woww’s magic touch.

There was one major curveball:

THE BLACK ROCK BROKE THE STATUE!!!!!!!!!!

 

are you effing kidding me?

Wait… you mean… that huge fucking statue… of taweret… was.. broken by a WOODEN SHIP COMING IN OFF A TSUNAMI-LIKE WAVE?! Jigga what? Not that a wooden ship breaking a multiple-stories tall cement statue is the most incredulous thing in a story about black smoke monsters that read your mind or anything, but… that seemed a bit of a random development, non? Since the end of season 2, when Sayid turned to the Kwons and said, “I don’t know what is more disturbing, the fact that the rest of the statue is missing, or that is has four toes,” we’ve been wondering what the eff happened to that mofo-ing statue and, lo and behold — it’s the Black Rock? This incident smacks a bit of, “Well, we have to solve the mystery of how the Black Rock got into the middle of the jungle and how the statue broke (along with 10 trillion other mysteries), so let’s just kill two birds with one stone, shall we?” That or Jacob has a really shitty contractor. You know, J, you should really check those guys out before commissioning them to build giant statues of Egyptian deities. Just sayin…

But Richard’s soon-to-be-dead amigo didn’t know about Egyptians or contractors — he thought Ole Four Toes was EL DIABLO — the devil. Hell and heaven were very much on the brain in Ab Aeterno. But then again, Richardo did claim to be a Catholic (if only for Isabella) and when isn’t going to hell not on one’s mind in Catholicism? Actually, right after RA announced to Jack and Co. that they were in hell, I wondered if he hadn’t given it all away — despite Darlton’s insistence that they’re not dead, it’s not Purgatory etc. Being on the island is a rebirth, a resurrection after all. They emerged from literal and figurative wreckage to newborn selves (noting, of course, Jacob’s harsh baptism of Richard in this ep).

That’s what Jacob wants for them, anyway. But he is no coddling father. He wants them to come to the right conclusions themselves. Sort of. Notice that Jacob tells Richard that he’s all hands off, but it is who he puts his hands ON which is precisely what may have altered the lives of six of the casta-dates (candidates + castaways). Jacob is just as manipulative as MiB and I don’t doubt that he conned Richard into being his eternal consigliere. “What?” Jacob says. “That guy in black over there? He might get to them FIRST? Golly gee, bearded guy. I never thought of THAT!” Sure, J. Suuuuuure.

But like many of our castaways, Richard drank from the cups of both Heaven and Hell. Both Jacob and MiB offer the parched Richard some of their sweet wine in an attempt to cajole him to his side. And both are tricky fuckers. The image of the body and the blood repeated throughout both exchanges between RA and Jacob and MiB. The most fascinating line in the episode for me was when MiB (played so deliciously by Titus Welliver, who scared the crap out of me when I switched over to The Good Wife the other week and he popped up) said:

“You aren’t the only one who’s lost something, my friend. The Devil betrayed me. He took my body. My humanity.”

For a moment I entertained the idea that Jacob had pulled a switcheroo on MiB and who we think is Jacob is walking around in MiB’s skin and vice versa. But I think he means that Jacob has imprisioned him in this form: half-human, half-smoke thing, all bitter immortal. MiB also feeds flesh to Richard by putting the boar on the spit. Here MiB has roasted one of Richard’s enemies — that foul beat which caused him to lose his precious nail, perhaps his only salvation. (Side note: I thought RA’s time alone in the ship reminded me both of Sisyphean tasks (which Dante saw on his journal with Vergil through hell in Inferno) and of Jesus’ 40 days in te desert, where he resisted all the devil’s temptations and emerged victorious).  It is a display of power. Now if only Richard would sacrifice the Devil for him, then Richard will be further rewarded.

But Richard cannot take the Devil’s body. Jacob reminds RA of his own mortality by baptizing him anew in the ocean, only to make that humanity, the body, eternal only a few moments later. The blood, or the wine, was a central image too, as the bottle served as a symbol of the conflict between Jacob and MiB’s desires. Richard drinks of the blood; he is a converted believer. But Jacob controls who is allowed to partake in it. Or something. This whole body and the blood symbolism is getting a bit muddled, but you get the general idea… right?

QUICK HITS:

the significance of the cros: when RA had to take it up, use it to barter, toss it aside, bury it, dig it up.  Smokey’s stealing f it from Richard and then using it to manipulate him. More Christian imagery blah blah blah.

— several eye close ups: starting with Ilana, continuing with RA, and thecurious line uttered by ghost Isabella (presumably Smokey?): “I looked into his eyes and all I saw was evil.” This is a nice counterpoint to Locke’s famous “I looked into the eye of the island and what I saw was beautiful.”

— The page of Richard’s bible that we got a close up from was the book of Luke, Chapter 4. The camera focuses on the line “No prophet is accepted in his own country.”

luuuuuuuuuuuuke

— The rock that Jacob gives to MiB proves to at least me that the cave that Smokey took Sawyer to belonged to His Smokiness himself and not Jacob. When they enter the cave, Flocke makes a point of tossing the white rock into the ocean. He’s won. Jacob’s cheeky little present isn’t needed anymore.

— Hurley totally pulled a “Ghost” in this episode. Richard Alpert + Swayze? I’m in.

With only eight episodes left, things are certainly heating up. MiB/Flocke is ready to pop some bottles and make it rain (death) all over this club (island). I’ve reprinted their final convo below for your reference. Tomorrow I’ll take a look at what we have in store for episode 610, “The Package.” Until then, namaste, and sweet dreams!

prefers white

JACOB: Good morning

MAN IN BLACK: Morning.

[Jacob sits down. The Man in Black is lightly juggling the white rock given to him by Richard earlier.]

JACOB: I see you got my present.

MAN IN BLACK: Don’t gloat, Jacob. It doesn’t become you.

JACOB: So you tried to kill me?

MAN IN BLACK: You expect an apology?

JACOB: No. I guess I’m just wondering why you did it.

MAN IN BLACK: Because I want to leave. Just let me leave, Jacob.

JACOB: As long as I’m alive, you’re not going anywhere.

MAN IN BLACK: Well then, now you know why I want to kill you. And I will kill you, Jacob.

JACOB: Even if you do so, somebody else will take my place.

MAN IN BLACK: Then I’ll kill them too.

[Jacob reaches into his pouch and pulls out the bottle of wine. He offers it to the Man in Black.]

JACOB: Here. Something for you to pass the time.

[The Man in Black takes the bottle.]

JACOB: I’ll see you around.

[Jacob departs.]

MAN IN BLACK: Sooner than you think.

what a croc!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 14, 2009 by eyeoftheisland

along with many, many, MANY things that happened last night (many of which still have me reeling — locke 2.0, much), one thing that can be confirmed is that more of the four-toed statue is revealed. we’ve viewed him from the back and the profile and i’m hoping that sometime we might get a frontal view.

it is widely believed that our four-toed friend is the egyptian god sobek who is half-alligator, half-man. some sects believe sobek was the creator from the world and that he emerged from the “dark water.” cities in ancient egypt where water was important were particularly devoted to sobek, with one city even earning the nickname “crocodilopolis” (i’m there). this is what we saw last night:

jacob chomp chomp chomp

jacob chomp chomp chomp

here is a photo of an ancient sculpture of King Amenhotep with the god, Sobek:
hello, friend!

hello, friend!

(there is a better quality image of this statue over at artstor if you click the link above). this statue seems to be a good parallel for the mythology we saw last night; a god gently guiding a king. (reminds me of, perhaps, what ben may have experienced in the temple. jacob’s response to whiny ben was “what about you?” but maybe it was more of an existential question than a rebuff. it seems very possible that ben and jacob were once in communion with each other — when his “innocence was lost” in the temple — and perhaps they will be again).
more general information on this god, followed by links for further reading.
certainly plays into the whole good or bad theme, non?
“Sobek (also known as Sebek, Sebek-Ra, Sobeq, Suchos, Sobki, and Soknopais) was the ancient god of crocodiles. He is first mentioned in the Pyramid Texts and his worship continued until the Roman period. Some sects believed that Sobek was the creator of the world who arose from the “Dark Water” and created the order in the universe. Sobek was a god of the Nile who brought fertility to the land. As the “Lord of the Waters” he was thought to have risen from the primeval waters of Nun to create the world and made the Nile from his sweat. One creation myth stated that Sobek laid eggs on the bank of the waters of Nun thus creating the world. However, as well as being a force for creation, he was seen as an unpredictable deity who sometimes allied himself with the forces of Chaos. Sobek first appeared in the Old Kingdom as the son of Neith with the epithet “The Rager”. According to some myths his father was Set, the god of thunder and chaos, but he also had a close association with Horus.”

more info at: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/sobek.htm 

walk like an egyptian

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 9, 2009 by eyeoftheisland

apologies for the delay folks. herewith is the screencap (GASP!) of the backside of the statue (!) that we saw in “lafleur” :

meow?

meow?

to refresh, the first image we had of the statue was this:

four toes... smaller shoe size?

four toes... smaller shoe size?

what we know: the statue is located on the shore of the island. it appears to be egyptian in nature (cat ears, long hair, human body — sphynx/anubis-like). it is holding an ankh, an egyptian symbol of eternal life.

what this means: the statue can be seen by those approaching the island. its position indicates that it is some sort of beacon — or siren — leading people to the island. is it welcoming and benevolent or deceiving and evil? (come to the island, unknowing traveler, and become a smokey snack!)

— EGYPTIAN?! it seems like lost really wants us to think that the history of this island goes wayyyyyy back. lots of egyptian influences throughout the show: the hieroglyphics on the “smokey” door in ben’s house, thr inscriptions on the temple that we saw this season (where rousseau’s team was made into pod-people by smokey), and, OF COURSE, the red alert display on the hatch clock: has

hatchclock

back in season 2, some lost scholar infomred us that this sequence of glyphs means: to cause to die.

this place is death, eh, charlotte? hmmmmmmm.

and with all the dead/not dead/resurrected question that have been raised this season, egyptian seems to be an appropriate influence. notice, also, in “lafleur” that richard asks for paul’s dead body from the dharma folks. while some may argue this is a strategy on rochard’;s part, to show his people tht an”eye for an eye” sort of justice has been taken. yet, with all these egyptian refs, i’m thinking that the others do something with resurrecting bodies. (remember that mummies were created with the notion that one would need one’s organs in the afterlife. is the island an afterlife of sorts? one while we are still alive?)

ALSO: while we enjoyed sawyer’s eyeliner comment for its comic value… didn’t egyptians (men and women) famously wear eyeliner as well?

— the ankh (definition form an aticle by ellison on touregypt):

ankh9The Ankh was, for the ancient Egyptians, the symbol (the actual Hieroglyphic sign) of life but it is an enduring icon that remains with us even today as a Christian cross. It is one of the most potent symbols represented in Egyptian art, often forming a part of decorative motifs.

The ankh seems at least to be an evolved form of, or associated with the Egyptian glyph for magical protection, sa. However, what the sign itself represents is often disputed. For example, Sir Alan Gardiner thought that it showed a sandal strap with the loop at the top forming the strap, but if so, the symbolism is obscure and so his theory has found little real favor early on. However, this interpretation seems to have received some acceptance among modern writers. It would seem that the ancient Egyptians called that part of the sandal ‘nkh (exact pronunciation unknown). Because this word was composed of the same consonants as the word “life”, the sign to represent that particular part of the sandal, was also used to write the word “life”.

a SANDAL, eh? you mean, that thing that covers a four-toed foot? but beyond that, we also know this image happens to be the same one that was on paul’s necklace. eternal life iseems to be a growing interest of the island’s inhabitants: perhaps dharma, as a scientific utopia, is trying to achieve this. perhaps the others already have. richard certainly has. perhaps this is why widmore wants the island so bad?

regardless, we can now be certain that egyptian culture has played a significant role in the island’s history.

(then again, can we be certain that the statue we saw in “lafleur” and the four-toes that we saw in “live togehter, die alone”  are from the same structure?)