An Offer He Can Refuse

The concept of rejected prophets is one we can relate to the story of Jacob and Esau (in terms of Lost, if not their Biblical counterparts). Both of them could be regarded as such, telling the castaways what shall/can come to pass if they follow one or the other. Perhaps more applicable, however, is placing Richard in the role of Elijah, serving as mouthpiece for Jacob (the Island’s god) over the many decades.

jacob ricardo

And while I don’t expect him to start raining fire down from the skies, Richard has a role yet to play if Ilana is correct and he knows what to do next in the present day. And whatever happens next, I’m guessing his role is to help bring about the coming of the Messiah-of-sorts that will ultimately save them all and the Island: Jacob’s replacement.

(Random tangent: I think I’d be entirely pleased if the final shot of the series echoed the one below, with Jack and Locke substituted for Jacob and Esau.)

jacob esau

I won’t rehash the rest of Ricardo’s story in detail; suffice it to say he meets up with both Esau and Jacob at different points and ultimately makes the choice to align himself with the latter. As for what that ultimately means in terms of the white and black-wearing pair of nemeses and their true natures, we don’t get too much more to help us figure it out. Jacob still appears to be the good guy; Esau the bad (although he does come across as sort of the fun-loving, “cool” uncle, doesn’t he?).

As far as the vague analogies I alluded to earlier, Jacob gives us another for the Island vis a vis his bottle of wine. The wine itself represents hell (or “malevolence,” or “evil,” or “darkness”), and the cork is the Island, preventing hell from escaping and enveloping the world as we know it.

jacob wine

Carrying on with that logic, we assume Esau/Locke/Smokey is the devil, continuing his attempts to prove man is corruptible because it is in their nature to sin.


His desire to get off the Island then is a metaphor for loosing hell and eternal damnation upon the world. So, while the Island itself isn’t hell, as Richard starts off the episode thinking, it’s not far off.


I’d love to attempt to ground some of this in reality and correlate it with the pockets of electromagnetic energy on the Island, with the Dharma Initiative, with all the other ephemeral events we’ve witnessed in six seasons of Lost, but I’m content for this week to accept the metaphorical nature of the description Jacob’s given us.


10 thoughts on “An Offer He Can Refuse”

  1. Ok, lots of comments I have:

    1. I thought it strange that when Jacob asks Richard what he wants (and is turned down for, a) his wife back, b) revenge?) that all of a suddent Richard comes up with “well, then I want to live forever?!? Where is the logic in that request?

    2. The white rock to which you refer, I don’t remember as being the one that was thrown by Esau out of the cave in an earlier episode. I recollect that there was a white rock earlier in last night’s episode being handed amongst two characters, but I don’t remember which two. And, therefore, the same rock that was shown earlier in last night’s episode.

    3. I believe that it was Ilana that told Sun a couple of episodes back, that she and Jin were “on the list”, so that is how Sun knows she (or Jin), is on the list. Illana also had told Sun that she didn’t know which one she was supposed to protect, so therefore had to try to protect them both.

    4. I am not so sure that the Isabella manifestation was a result of a “smokey” trick, or of Hurley’s faith. I believe the real turning point here is “faith”. Richard gains faith in Jacob through the manifestation of beleiving that he is feeling/hearing/experienceing Isabella. It is after that he acheives “peace” and calm, and a belief in Jacob. Hurley already believes, so that is why Hurley can see “dead people”. Hurley has faith. That is also why Jacob uses Hurley as a messenger to the “unbelievers”. I believe that Paul in the Bible, would be a corresponding character/figure.

    5. The necklace. Didn’t Richard take that when Isabella died? So, the preist was simply returning it? I don’t remember for sure.

    Thanks for great write up, as always…I enjoyed the episode, too!

  2. I think it is the “baby” Kwon…whatever her name is…and she is back on the “mainland”…so, it is neither Sun, nor Jin. This could tie in with the fertility problems, the Others “stealing” the kids, etc. ie, they were told a “savior” would be born, so it was important to the islanders to protect mothers giving birth? (kind of like Moses in the bullrushes, except that Jin and Sun have a girl, and not a guy) …again, something Cuse and Lindelof have said repeatedly, that they originally wanted their “Hero/ine” to be a woman, not necessarily a man. (Kate was originally supposed to be the “Jack” character during their earlier imaginings…something that I read many seasons ago, I think?)

  3. Skater,
    Richard, after being denied being with his wife and forgiveness of his sins asked to live forever because that would save him from hell eventually being sent to hell for murdering the doctor…that’s my theory at least

  4. Need some theories now, on the “babies” that have been born….Claire’s baby, Aaron; Sun’s baby; Pen and Desmond’s baby; Juliette’s sister’s baby…there should be some correlation, no? (and, of course, the blood on Aaron’s looking similar to Christ on the cross type wounds….)

    Jeff, I like your idea about the last “shot” mirroring Esau and Jacob…

    I’m going through withdrawal already!

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