Season 6 Episode 9

Ab Aeterno

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 23, 2010 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
1,486 votes

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Episode Summary

Richard Alpert faces a difficult choice.

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  • Can't undersant on how you have so many doubts on who's the bad guy question! the "Man in black" and Jacob are both bad Guys.

    I got to say that i can´t understand why you ppl have so much doubt on who's the bad Guy question!!!!

    1º- White Rock vs Black rock, In all the beliefs the black is always the evil and the white allways represents good.

    2º- Second and in my opinion the most obvious, the "Man in Black" Kills ppl, inocent ppl! Jacob never interferes! The ritters are shouting... the "man in black" is a bad guy! Now, why did i said A bad guy and not THE bad guy?

    Because one might say that Jacob is also bad. How?

    Jacob is responsable for all the crashes on the island, and those same crashes kills ppl on the process. So you can reach to the conclusion that Jacob also kills ppl, and there for Jacob is also a bad guy.moreless
  • Does the offer still stand???!!!!

    In tonight's episode we learned that Richard Alpert was actually a cast member of Roots way back when and that Hurley is auditioning to replace Jennifer Love Hewitt on Ghost Whisperer. A lot of people were excited about this episode, but to me it was just okay. The first 30 minutes were pretty boring, but the last half definitely answered some questions (finally) and was very entertaining. Jacob and Richard may not have been original cast members but you actually got the sense that what the two of them were doing was premeditated and that the writers are not simply making things up as they go along.

    I am still waiting for that classic episode though.moreless
  • Incredible Ep!

    What an incredible episode. This was one i was hoping and waiting for for a long time. Finaly we got some answers from all the mystery going on on the island. Richard is one of my favo characters together with Benjamin Linus. His acting was great in this ep with a lot of emotions his with his wife and Jacob.

    I can realy feel there is big qlimax coming up. A battle between keeping the smoke on and of the island. And the selected ones have to make sure this will happen. Also the scene in the end where Lock is looking from a distance at Richard. One word GREAT!moreless
  • Enjoyable but this show isn't what it was back in the earlier seasons...

    I loved the first season when it was just a plane crash on a mysterious island. Now everything has gotten totally out of hand and confusing. There's now another island...the main one has moved...the black smoke has possessed Locke and everything is crazy.

    Anyway...this was an interesting episode which told us about Richard and it gave us a few answers. How he got there, why he doesn't age and the whole black rock boat thing. It was satisfying to see these things unfold but I still can't help but feel too lost with Lost.

    It was emotional and well done...but I think the writers may have dug themselves into a hole which they can't escape from.moreless
  • Ricardos ! ..

    Richard = PERFECTION ! ..

    It's IN the Top 5 episode of Lost History . it's Have everything you ever wont it in Lost .

    it's a an Acting phenomenal = Oscars not an Emmy Crap !.

    Note : if this show wont one an Emmy ill Never ever watch the Emmy , so far Lost deliver there best season after 1 and 5 . it's Has Answers ( Richard Past , Black Rock , The Giant foot , MIN & Jacob Game , Hurly seein dead people etc ) ..

    it's has emotional as far as it's could be done , Tears and Tears in just short 10 sec that you will never forget about ! . * Most Important line ever : Jacob tells Richard that he brings people here to the island to prove him wrong. AND when they get here, their past doesn't matter.

    at Last [ "You wanna know a secret Jack... You're dead... We're all dead... and this.. all this.. its not what you think it is.. we're not on an island.. we never were.. we're in hell. ] !

    10/10 ..moreless
Naveen Andrews

Naveen Andrews

Sayid Jarrah

Nestor Carbonell

Nestor Carbonell

Richard Alpert (Season 6, recurring previously)

Emilie de Ravin

Emilie de Ravin

Claire Littleton (Seasons 1-4 & 6)

Michael Emerson (I)

Michael Emerson (I)

Benjamin Linus (Seasons 3+, recurring Season 2)

Jeff Fahey

Jeff Fahey

Frank Lapidus (Season 6, recurring in Seasons 4 & 5)

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox

Jack Shephard

Mirelly Taylor

Mirelly Taylor


Guest Star

Steven Elder

Steven Elder

Jonas Whitfield

Guest Star

Juan Carlos Cantu

Juan Carlos Cantu

Father Suarez

Guest Star

Mark Pellegrino

Mark Pellegrino


Recurring Role

Titus Welliver

Titus Welliver

man in black

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (14)

    • The white rock that the Man in Black is holding in the last scene is small, round and polished. This is not what the stone looked like when Richard handed it to the Man in Black.

    • In the scene where Jacob is talking to Ilana, it is the same scene as the one in "The Incident Part 1" with a bit added on. In the new part of the scene, Ilana's bandages are in a different position.

    • In the Official Lost Podcast of March 24, 2010, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse confirmed that the ship approaching the island under bright, sunny skies in "The Incident, Part 1" is in fact the Black Rock. According to them, shortly after Jacob and the Man in Black's conversation, a storm suddenly formed and threw the Black Rock inland.

    • International slave trade had been abolished in the Western Hemisphere by the time this episode's flashbacks take place (the US abolished international slave trade in 1809). As such, the Black Rock should not have been bound for the Americas.

    • In the scene where Richard and Ignacio are yelling for help after the crash, the subtitles "Help us!" and "We're down here" should be reversed.

    • Europeans by the middle of the 19th Century had long given up referring to the Americas as "The New World."

    • The bible Richard was reading is a bible printed with modern printers as opposed to a Rotary printing press or a Block feed printing press. Also, Richard was reading a King James Bible, i.e. a Protestant version of scripture, despite being Catholic and seeking absolution from a Catholic Priest.

    • The Numbers:
      -When Richard was in jail, he had the Bible open to Luke chapter 4.
      -Jacob dunks Richard in the ocean 4 times.

    • The clasp on Isabella's necklace is not period.

    • During the closeup of Richard's eye while in chains on the Black Rock, you can see his contact lens.

    • The subtitle at the beginning of Richard's flashback places the events in 1867, yet the Black Rock was thought to be lost at sea following its departure from Portsmouth, England, March 22, 1845 heading to Siam (in "The Constant") and the ledger was discovered in 1852.

    • Richard's home island, Tenerife, was made infamous by the deadliest plane crash in the history of aviation on March 27th, 1977.

    • Ab Aeterno is Latin for "from eternity". The phrase is used to mean "since the beginning" or "for long ages".

    • The readable text on The Bible from St. Luke:

      24....And he said. Verily I say unto you, "No prophet is accepted in his own country"
      *25... But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the "days of Elias, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
      *26- But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a  city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow
      *27- And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian
      *28- And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath
      *29- And rose up and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might[...]

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (9)

    • This episode received an Emmy nomination in 2010 for Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series.

    • Sonya Masinovsky appears as the Russian nurse in archive footage. According to Jorge Garcia and Nestor Carbonell in Garcia's Geronimo Jack's Beard podcast, Masinovsky filmed new footage, but it was cut.

    • This is the fifth episode where most, but not all of the episode is a flash back. The other ones being season 2's "The Other 48 Days", season 3's "Flashes Before Your Eyes", season 4's "Meet Kevin Johnson" and season 5's "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham".

    • This is the ninth extended episode (not including double-length season premieres/finales) running 5 minutes longer than the standard 1 hour episodes of Lost. Previous extended episodes were: "The Other 48 Days," "What Kate Did," "The Long Con," "Maternity Leave," "Dave," "?", "316", and "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham".

    • This is the first episode this season not to have any flash-sideways. As well as being the first flashback episode of season 6.

    • As of this episode, Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) has been missing for 8 episodes, beating Harold Perrineau's absence in Season 2 for the longest streak of not appearing in an episode while still being a regular.

    • This is one of two episodes to end in a flashback scene, the other being Dave. (Both episodes also end in a flashback of a different character than the centric one, yet take place during the same time period.)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Canada: March 23, 2010 on CTV
      United Kingdom: March 26, 2010 on Sky1
      Portugal: March 30, 2010 on FOX
      Spain: March 30, 2010 on FOX
      Australia: March 31, 2010 on 7TWO
      Latin America: April 6, 2010 on Canal AXN
      Finland: April 15, 2010 on Nelonen
      Norway: April 28, 2010 on TVNorge
      Germany: May 12, 2010 on FOX
      Sweden: May 26, 2010 on TV4
      Czech Republic: May 31, 2010 on AXN

    • A Richard Alpert-centric episode.


    • Stephen King's The Stand: In the Official Lost Podcast of March 24, 2010, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse reported that the scene where the Man in Black releases Richard is a reference to this work, specifically, part of the novel where the Man in Black relases criminal Lloyd Henreid from being trapped in a jail cell. The Man in Black makes Lloyd promise to do exactly what he says.

    • Pugio: the Man in Black's knife is a Roman pugio. On the sheath there is a depiction of the Roman she-wolf suckling Remus and Romulus, twin founders of Rome.

    • This episode greatly alludes to classic literature and mythology. The ongoing contest of a man's inclination to good or evil is an allusion to Goethe's "Faust"; the limbo in purgatory is an allusion to Alighieri's "Divine Comedy"; and the "devil" statue that reels in ships on the island is a reference to Scylla and Charybdis from "The Odyssey".

    • Episode Title: "Ab Aeterno" comes from the Latin translation of the Bible found in Proverbs 8:23 : "I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began."

    • Absolution: In prison, Richard seeks absolution, which forgives the guilt associated with the penitent's sins, and removes the eternal punishment (Hell) associated with mortal sins. The penitent is still responsible for the temporal punishment (purgatory) associated with the confessed sins, unless an indulgence is applied.

    • Gospel of Luke: Richard is seen reading the Bible opened to Luke Chapter 4, verse 37. In Chapter 4, Jesus has returned from his time in the desert, where he thwarted the temptation of the Devil, and attends Temple in Nazareth. As verse 37 approaches, a man with "a spirit of an unclean devil" challenges Jesus, who then summons the devil out of the man, much to the amazement of the those present.