LOST: Ab Aeterno

Every week, the actors of LOST continue to amaze me! This week was all about Richard Alpert and the answers that we have all been waiting for. Or, maybe they just turned the tables on us again. Nestor (Richard) almost had me in tears with his story of love. FYI: the title of the episode, Ab Aeterno is Spanish for “From the beginning of time.”

The episode starts with some of the candidates and Illana discussing what to do next. They look to Richard for the next step and he lets out a little laugh and proceeds to tell the group that they are all dead, and the island is Hell! Which is awesome, because this is the first theory that erupted from the fans. So, the creators are either joking with us and pushing this in our face, or they are finally saying that we are onto something. After Richard runs off into the forest, we really don’t see anyone else from the episode. We get a shot of Hurley speaking Spanish to someone dead that Jack tries to pry into.

The rest of the episode goes into the beginnings of Richard Alpert and where he came from. He originated in the Canary Islands in the year 1867. His wife was sick and he would do anything to save her, but when he accidentally kills the doctor he came to for help, he is sentenced to death. He lost his wife that night too. He is spared from death because he can speak English and he is purchased to work for Magnus Hanso and put on The Black Rock, chained, like we had already figured out. Did anyone else notice that the man who bought Richard from jail was named Mr. Whitfield? Possibly a descendant to Whitmore?

One new discovery tonight was how the statue was knocked over. The Black Rock hit a huge storm on the sea and with sea levels way higher than they should have been, the ship was thrust into statue and crashed inland. Genius, as this is a perfectly logical explanation and I was shocked at how I didn’t see that outcome before. Once he comes to the next morning, the Whitfield man starts slaying all the slaves for fear of running out of food. Just when he is about to kill Richard, or Ricardo back then, the black smoke appears and kills every man up on deck and soon comes down for Whitfield. He spares Richard for something, probably just to come back and get him to work for him. The Man In Black actually admits that he is the black smoke to Richard. He shows up and frees him from the chains and throws out the “good to see you out of those chains” line, which just proves (for those doubters) that Locke is MiB/smoke monster.

Just to prove the Hell theory again, Isabella, Richard’s wife, shows up in the ship and says. “we are both dead and this is Hell.” MiB later confirms that this island is Hell and they are trapped. He tells Richard that there is only one way to escape Hell, and that is to kill the Devil; which, he is saying that Jacob is the devil. This episode has done a fantastic job of changing up theories. Everyone has assumed that it’s as simple as black and white, evil and good. It is now possible that the one who’s wears white is the evil one.

MiB tells Richard that Jacob is the devil and he must plunge a dagger into his heart and before he speaks a word to him. This was exactly what Dogen said to Sayid about killing Locke. This must be part of the rules that they play by. Richard plays along for the sake of seeing his wife again and when he approaches the statue, Jacob totally kicks his ass! He quickly proves Richard wrong about being dead and tries to drown him. Jacob either used to be, or can be a total bad ass!

Jacob sits down to talk with Richard and gives a lot of insight to the island. As they are sitting and drinking wine, he says he isn’t the Devil, he is a protector of the island and keeping the evil that exist on it from leaving the island. He also says that MiB believes that it is human nature to be corrupt and evil. Jacob brings people to the island to prove that they can be good. He had brought many others here before, but Jacob says they are all dead. I would venture to guess that Smokey killed them all just because he doesn’t want to lose this bet or game that is occurring. He says he can’t help them, he wanted them to help themselves. Jacob then says, “Why should I have to step in?” Richard responds with, “if you don’t, he will.” Which gives Jacob a great idea to hire Richard as the one who steps in. Although, we have already seen in flashbacks that Jacob does step in at various points in the candidate’s lives, so that went out the window at some point.

When Richard agrees to help, he wants his wife back, but Jacob can’t do that, he then wants his sins erased so he doesn’t go to hell, Jacob can’t do that. Richard then says he wants to live forever, so he won’t go to hell, Jacob touches him and poof, he’s immortal.

Flash back to the present, Richard finds where he had buried his wife’s necklace and Hurley had been following him because Isabella had been speaking to him. She tells Richard to close his eyes, which is what she said to him in the beginning and it’s kind of their thing. There is a sweet moment that you feel like he knows that she is there. Richard is ready to go to MiB’s side just when Hurley says Isabella said one more thing. He has to prevent MiB from leaving the island, otherwise, we all go to Hell.

One last scene is between Jacob and MiB sharing a lovely morning conversation. Jacob gives him a bottle of wine and they talk about MiB just wanting to leave. Jacob won’t allow it. MiB smashes the bottle and gives the message that he intends to spread evil. Or does he? This episode has really confused me as to who is evil and good. It seems a little too obvious to have MiB evil and everyone following him is evil. And vice versa. We also don’t know when exactly that conversation between Illana and Jacob took place and how she ended up in the hospital.

I have to say that this episode was truly epic! I am very excited at what we have discovered and how the writers are still able to leave us in such suspense every episode. Next week’s episode, The Package is centered around Jin and Sun. This is the moment so many have been waiting for, yet in the preview for next week, it looks like Sun is dead under a tree, did anyone else pick up on that? That can’t be! Until next week…

I give Ab Aeterno 5 “candidates remaining (I think Sayid is out)” out of 5

by Angela Davis

About Angela

Angela is the Editor-in-Chief of Lost in Reviews. She and Ryan created Lost in Reviews together in 2009 out of a mutual hatred for all the stodgy old farts currently writing film reviews. Since launching the site, Angela has enjoyed reviewing indie films over all other films, picking up new music from all corners of the world and photographing live shows. She is the co-host of Blu Monday and a member of the Kansas City Film Critic Circle.

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