The Bottle

The bottle-wine-cork metaphor was just one of the great parts of Ab Aeterno. I loved the scene of the bottle being smashed open, a loophole of sorts, to get the wine out.

If the cork is the island, the wine is “evil” and it is contained in the bottle so it doesn’t spread. If the island is the cork that keeps it from spreading, then what does the bottle represent?

In my previous post on Water/Ash=Life/Death, a few of us contemplated the purpose of the water encircling the island. I’m not suggesting that water is the bottle.

My thought is that people are the bottle, and more importantly, the people that have been brought to the island.

If what Flocke (and in the past, MIB/Smokey) has done up until this point is ultimately destroy/kill people, he is in a way, destroying the bottle. Especially on his quest for a loophole.

At this point with the candidates, it gets tricky because he can’t kill them…but he can “break” them. If you look at the way that he manipulates people, cutting right to their weaknesses, and then exploiting it/them to do what he wants, it is a way of ‘breaking’ their will. Sayid and Claire are not functioning on their own accord at this point, and it is obvious he is strategically maneuvering with all of his conversations with Kate, Sawyer, Ben… and we’ll probably see soon enough a second try with Richard.

Back to the bottle…if people (and especially candidates) are represented by the bottle, it fits with how Dogen explained that everyone has good and evil in them. Even the subjectivity of “what is good and evil?” (as played out perfectly in Richard’s backstory) fits with this, too. A bottle contains the contents but is not defined by or ‘at one with’ its contents. I also think it ties together people’s connection to the island, as the bottle and cork would not be complete without each other. A cork without a bottle is pretty useless, as is a bottle without a cork.

Anyway, I have yet to re-watch Ab Aeterno, and it really is most deserving of a second/third viewing before going much further on the implications of the other parts of Jacob/MIB/Richard conversations. This one just made sense the first time around.

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9 thoughts on “The Bottle

  1. I get the feeling there’s more to being a candidate then just being a potential replacement for Jacob. I like the idea that they’re represented in Jacob’s metaphor by the bottle… the water seemed a bit too obvious. Saying that the island is the cork is one thing because we’ve known for a long time that the island isn’t just a regular old island. To come out now and say that there’s something not quite normal about the water around the island might constitute shark jumping at this point.

    I suspect we’ll get to see exactly what it is that has happened in sidewaysland that has the island under water… then we’ll know for sure what the bottle represents.

    I’m also interested in the wine in the bottle. Jacob says it represents evil… I wonder if the “evil” actually exits on the island… or under it. We know of two pockets of energy existing under the island at the sites of the Swan and Orchid stations… I wonder it that’s it. Pure, concentrated evil, right there under the island. I think next week we’ll see a group of time traveling midgets arrive on the island… don’t worry though, they work for Jacob.

  2. hmmm. I think you are on the right track, but I think you got off a little. I don’t think we need to read into a metaphor any more than you already read into it. I think that the wine is representative of evil and the cork is representative of the island keeping the evil trapped.

    When he smashed it, that is most likely a metaphor for the island being blown up…. I seem to remember here not too terrible long ago, there was possibly some sort of explosion and we saw the island in ruins under the sea…. 🙂 I am sure you are getting my hints!

  3. @ highbrow – you say TWO pockets of energy, aye? Yin and Yang, one pocket good and on evil. Which makes you think that the swan station was diffusing little bits on energy…hmmmm gears working…

  4. That’s what I’m talking about! Was trying to wrap my head around what the bottle represented and it’s really not that much of a stretch. If he “breaks” the island dwellers then the evil can escape. He’s already broken Claire and Sayid and I’m sure is looking to break who he can and kill who he cannot. Well thought out Kim.

  5. Highbrow, there are multiple things going on that I like. I like that we have a metaphor where a few things were actually explained more than they have been before. Your thoughts about the energy pocket/”evil” energy is cool and I think it works even with the idea that people are somehow represented in the bottle metaphor because it seems that everything has a sort of dual meaning as it is, why not make it so in thinking through these ideas?

    I agree that the candidate’s purpose(s) will be well beyond simply overseeing the island. Besides, there is nothing simple about that job. Especially if it has to do with replacing Jacob who also doesn’t age, has the ability to bestow ‘gifts’ (albeit limited ability as we learned), and all the other things that we have learned about him. And yes, then of course there is all that is there with the tension of keeping ‘evil trapped’ and such. I think that is why I like the possibility of them being factored into the metaphor.

    The other side of that is why wouldn’t they be factored in? Otherwise it is island vs. “evil” and that just seems a bit incomplete. (Much like Faraday’s, “I forgot about the variables…” speech.)

    Anyway, yes, the wine itself is worth thinking on, too. Have fun with that! 🙂

  6. Yes Highbrow, you have reason to be proud of your geeky self.

    I had another thought on this whole people/bottle thing…even though it might seem like a tangent. It’s more dissection of the metaphor and how it is at play…

    Let me preface this by saying I’m not definitively choosing MIB or Jacob to be good or evil. I’m just trying to weigh out what we’ve seen.

    It seems as if MIB/Flocke has a way of looking like he’s telling the truth but then contradicting himself at another time. So the whole statement about Jacob stealing his humanity and his body leaves me wondering what he’s saying and not saying…because there is obviously more to this.

    For a moment, lets say that way back whenever, MIB wanted to be more than what he was (power hungry type of thing) and he himself made a trade of sorts (much like he offered Richard and Sayid) that is ultimately what got him to where/who/what he is. (Jacob had the ability to change Richard’s lifespan, so it’s something similar.)

    So, was MIB the first candidate who made a ‘deal with the devil’ sort of thing that left him trapped? And ultimately Jacob (good or bad) has the ability or power to create/sustain the environment that keeps the wine trapped and the people coming to the island.

    In a way – as we know that “Jacob drives a hard bargain” – it makes sense that MIB might be half-right when he says that Jacob stole his body and his humanity. I just wonder if he willingly traded it, the way that we have seen Sayid and Claire (as well as Dogen and even Hurley) take the bait from MIB and Jacob.

  7. OK everything seems symbolic, metaphorical on this show.

    Is it not quite symbolic that during Jacobs explanation about the bottle and its contents, he also turns the bottle over?

    But because the bottle has a cork, the wine does not flow out. ie smoke monster/evil is still trapped.

    If the island is like a cork, which he clearly stated, then SLU is like the bottle being turned over. So one ould argue that Jacob is affecting both timelines, not MIB. After all, it was through faith that our Losties blew up the atomic bomb, not through temptation or easy choice. Jack led the way as well, as he believed (had faith in what they had to do).

    Anyway, maybe it doesnt mean much, but I believe these two parallel universes are Jacobs doing rather than MIBs. Plus the mirrors we are seeing all over the place in SLU are very similiar to the ones seen in the lighthouse which we are assuming Jacob used?

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