Season 6 Episode 9

Ab Aeterno

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 23, 2010 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (58)

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out of 10
1,487 votes
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 ..
  • This was a complete waste of 50 minutes of precious time where they could have been actually explaining important things not giving us a bullcrap back story about how Richard became immortal. We already know how, Jacob!

    Seriously this was a complete joke and almost all of this season has been crap. It is apparent that the writers have no clue where this is going and are just making things up as they go along. The only reason I am going to keep watching is because I have invested 6 freaking years of my life into this show but I really have to force myself to watch these retched episodes.

    On nights where I am not watching lost, I watch well written shows, like Breaking Bad or Dexter. Screw you Lost, you have jumped the shark.
  • Worst Episode Ever!!!!

    I dont understand people taking about nestór´s acting, it was terrible!!!, he was suposed to be from Spain, but he spoke like Sebastian the crab from the little mairmaid, people in spain speak very diferent from Cubans.
    they didnt answer a thing, probably everything jacob said was a lie, as he never answers a thing.
    the dialogs where VERY bad, when they saw the statue they showted, "el diablo!!" jajajajajja ridiculous!!, then Hurley saing, "todos nos vamos al infierno", one stupid apocaliptic thing after another. Please I really wanted a good episode, but ended being just as disapointing as Across the Sea.
  • The best!

    This is my favorite episode of season 6 and one of my favorite ever! Here we get the long awaited backstory of Richard Alpert. His story goes back a lot further than most would guess and his history on the Island is closely linked to Jacob and the man in black. It's here that we learn more about the struggle of good and evil on the Island and what the stakes are. The last few moments of this episode with Hurley being the translator between Richard and his deceased wife Isabella are great and so well acted. This one gets 10stars!
  • a top 5 episode!

    The fact that LOST can pull off an episode like this in the final season of the show is a true achievement! This feels like a season 1 episode in the best possible sense. Everything in this hour feels fresh and new and is like a game changer. The performances are amazing and the scope raises the stakes yet again as we see that the Island is something that has been around since the beginning of time and it has tremendous power that eventually corrupts most people except those rare pure souls who can withstand the temptation for whatever reason. It's not unlike the Lord Of The Rings in that regard. Truly one of the best eps. of the entire show.
  • One of the most powerful hours of tv. ever.

    I cant say more better things that those already said in other reviews... but this episode stands as one of the most magical moments in tv history. This hour stands par with "the man from tallahasse", "through the looking glass", "flashes before your eyes", "the constant", "the man behind the curain"... the biggest classics this series ever delivered... and theres only a bit written here.

    A new star is born... Nestor Carbonell must win the emmy.

    I cant say more better things that those already said in other reviews... but this episode stands as one of the most magical moments in tv history. This hour stands par with "the man from tallahasse", "through the looking glass", "flashes before your eyes", "the constant", "the man behind the curain"... the biggest classics this series ever delivered... and theres only a bit written here.

    A new star is born... Nestor Carbonell must win the emmy.
  • The best episode of Lost yet!

    This brilliant show keeps on getting better and better. The acting of Nestor Carbonell is worthy of an Emmy! More and more background between Jacob and the MIB is revealed, and Richard's long awaited storyline is finally revealed. This brilliant show keeps on getting better and better. The acting of Nestor Carbonell is worthy of an Emmy! More and more background between Jacob and the MIB is revealed, and Richard's long awaited storyline is finally revealed. This brilliant show keeps on getting better and better. The acting of Nestor Carbonell is worthy of an Emmy! More and more background between Jacob and the MIB is revealed, and Richard's long awaited storyline is finally revealed. This brilliant show keeps on getting better and better. The acting of Nestor Carbonell is worthy of an Emmy! More and more background between Jacob and the MIB is revealed, and Richard's long awaited storyline is finally revealed.
  • Lost finally reveals the history of one of its most enigmatic characters, Richard Alpert.


    I melted into my chair for this episode, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire hour. First of all, the story was amazing. I still have no idea whether Jacob or MIB is the "good guy". The episode shed a bit of light on their motives, and revealed a lot of mythology for the series. It was great.

    The best part was Nestor Carbonell's deliverance of his character's past. I can't picture any other actor playing the role of Richard Alpert. Carbonell was a chameleon, switching between confusion, tragedy, old-style Spanish, modern English without the trace of an accent, lover, killer, etc. with grace most actors could never muster. He was SO intriguing. Carbonell is one of the best actors Lost has ever seen, in my opinion.

    The entire hour was incredible. "Ab Aeterno" has been the best episode of Season 6 so far, and one of my favorite Lost episodes of all time.

    The ONLY flaw I found was the rather unecessary panning to Locke's face toward the end of the hour. When it comes to him, the writers would do best to reel back a little; viwers already know he's an ominous bad guy, so we don't need the incredibly obvious face shot after one characters mutters that everyone on the Island may end up going to hell.

    Apart from that, there was incredible cinematography the entire episode through. Viewers had very high hopes for the quality of this Richard-centric episode, and the producers did not disappoint. It was great!
  • This is the game changer. This is the episode.

    Many people have been awaiting a Richard Alpert centric episode ever since his introduction in season 3. Finally, after 3 years, we get what we asked for and it certainly doesn't disappoint!
    The first 30 minutes of the episode are amazing. We are presented with an incredibly convincing love story between Richard and Isabelle, which reminds me a bit of the love story between Desmond and Penny. Often the writers are criticized for the love triangle and the romances on the show, but they certainly broke the mold for Ab Aeterno. We also watch the Black Rock crash onto the island, all done with nice CGI.
    The later half of the episode lives up to the first half and present many answers to the show, mainly what the island is (I won't spoil it for you, but it's certainly not what you expected), the purpose of Jacob and the Man in Black, and how Richard got his agelessness all answered with spectacular writing.
    All in all, this will be known as one of the most important episodes in Lost history.
  • LOST is back!

    I've been waiting for this episode for so long, the episode that finally answers so many questions. The black rock, Richard Alpert, the statue and so much more. Nothing felt rushed, nothing felt out of place. A few seasons ago I was under the impression that the show was doomed (after the season 3 finale, and all the time traveling stuff). But after this episode, I've realized that all the time traveling stuff isn't entirely impossible. I have a big theory swimming around in my head that will not appear here, but everything is finally making sense to me.

    The acting, the visuals ... the story; flawless and breath taking. It's been so long since LOST has had be on the edge of my seat like it did tonight, and now there are only nine more episodes left. The end is near, and it's going to be absolutely brilliant.

    Week after week this show picked up pace, and now the road is paved with success and this episodes truly shows that even after five and a half seasons, this show is nowhere near to running out of steam. This is television, this is pure art.
  • A portuguese review from Portal de Séries

    Mesmo antes da temporada começar eu já sabia que o nono episódio seria centrado em Richard Alpert e que conheceríamos a toda a sua história. Bastaram estas duas informações para que eu ficasse desesperado para ver e finalmente hoje chegou o dia. As expectativas eram altas e o episódio não desiludiu. Aliás, até surpreendeu ainda mais do que eu estava à espera.

    Todas aquelas pessoas que estavam desesperadas por respostas viram as suas preces serem atendidas com este 'Ab Aeterno'. Foi tanta informação dada que até custa acreditar que os argumentistas responderam a isto tudo em apenas quarenta minutos. Finalmente vimos como a estátua foi destruída, como o Black Rock ficou dentro da ilha, de onde vem Alpert e porque não envelhece e, mais importante que tudo, soubemos o que é, na realidade, a Ilha! Mas antes de comentar estes mistérios resolvidos, vamos lá conhecer o Richard que existia antes de naufragar. Homem simples e com uma mulher quase a morrer, Alpert tem a triste infelicidade de matar inocentemente um médico só para obter a cura para a sua esposa. Como se não bastasse chegar a casa com a mulher já morta, ele ainda é preso e nem o perdão do padre consegue. Deu para ver que ele era uma pessoa bastante religiosa, algo que certamente era normal para a época em que ele vivia (1867), ou seja, actualmente Richard tem uns 170 anos (tendo um conta que quando ele naufragou tinha uns trinta).

    É então que um homem o compra (como as coisas funcionavam há dois séculos atrás!) e ele vai no Black Rock, começando, assim, a chuva de respostas que falei acima. Com uma violenta tempestade de sucede a tarde prazerosa que vimos no início de 'The Incident', o Black Rock é levado por uma onde gigantesca devido ao mar revolta directamente para a estátua. O choque entre os dois acaba por partir a estátua (o barco devia ser mesmo forte!) e o Black Rock vai parar ao meio da ilha. Tive pena que não pudemos ver exactamente como é que ele foi parar lá, mas acho que ficou suficiente claro toda esta história, tanto a do Black Rock como da estátua. Mas não foi só isso que ficou esclarecido! Num episódio centrado em Richard Alpert, tínhamos de ver a cena em que Jacob dá-lhe o poder da imortalidade, e não deixa de ser curioso o facto de Jacob negar a possibilidade do perdão de Deus perante o homicídio. Ele podia convencer ali logo e já o Richard ao dizer que Deus o perdoa, mas optou por não o fazer, tratou este tema com muita seriedade. Será que Jacob tem alguma relação com Deus?

    Depois de vermos como é que Richard sobreviveu e foi solto das correntes do Black Rock, sabemos finalmente um pouco mais da ilha em si. Numa maravilhosa analogia entre o vinho e a rolha que o impede de sair, temos a confirmação de que aquilo que os losties estão a lidar é algo verdadeiramente poderoso e muito maléfico. O inferno foi muitas vezes mencionado neste episódio e o final, com o Hurley a deixar aquela deixa a Alpert, foi de arrepiar. A batalha mais épica que a televisão já viu está prestes a começar e os caminhos começam a ser traçados. Por falar neste momentos finais, adorei toda aquela cena incrivelmente emocionante entre Alpert e a sua mulher e espero mesmo que seja ela mesmo e não Jacob. Os produtores disseram que esta seria uma temporada de zombies, agora tenho a certeza quem sim… e eu gosto!

    Podia-me estender muito mais a comentar este episódio, mas prefiro ficar por aqui para que o review não fique demasiado cansativo. Na lembrança fica quarenta e seis minutos diferentes daquilo que Lost costuma apresentar com a cada vez mais certeza de que o final da série não irá desiludir, mas sim surpreender pela positiva.
  • Finally the episode we all we've waiting for!!

    Ricardos Story is here! and its Awesome. Love tonight's episode from start to finish .
    We get a glimpse of the whole Ilana's mission with the candidates we get some inside story about Jacob's and Smokey Past, and we get full depht story of our man Richard.

    Sickness, Love, Passion, Death, Prison, Ship's Slave, Fight, Eternity. All these words can describe Richard's Life. He made a deal with Jacob to be his representative to help others who came in the island. But now that he is dead he has no one to represent to he thinks the only thing left to do is go to Locke.

    At the End before Locke comes to Richard, Hurley Saves the Day.

    OK so all we need to know is How will they defeat Smokey, Smokey Origin, and where does Charles Widthmore comes to the equation? Cant wait for next episode!!!
  • About Locke being shown at teh end...

    I think it didn't spoil much showing Locke at the end in the camera pan. I felt that it reinforced the possible upcoming stage that Locke will hold, after all it is now down to his ability to sway the candidates in helping him so that he can escape the Island and havoc on the world.

    Re: Ab Aeterno

    I absolutely loved this episode. It was an amazing piece of storytelling and acting. It's 3am here and I was wide awake wondering if this was actually LOST I was watching because I've not seen this level of presentation in LOST for a long time now. This is what it's all about and totally makes up for the slower mid series build-up.

    As someone already mentions, it's clear now what the Island is most likely all about, it's a game between two gods, one (Jacob) trying to stop the other from damaging the world - or at least it seems that way.

    Next week can not come sooner...
  • This was everything I wanted...and MORE!

    This is the episode that diehard fans like my self have been waiting for since we first realized Richard does not age. His story was so heartwarming and tragic that it reminded me alot of a Desmond episode. I was worried that 45 minutes was not going to be enough to tell Richard's story, but the writers managed to use every minute to perfection. I am very satisfied with how they answered historic questions, and look forward to learning more about Jacob and the Man in Black. I am really starting to get attached to this season and learned to block out the fans who complain and ask for more then what we are given. Lost has never dissapointed and I don't expect them to on the final stage.
  • Ab Aeterno - Instant Classic

    One of the biggest mysteries on the island..richard alpert..and we finally get to hear his story. I loved that this episode was almost all uninterrupted flashback only because they needed that time to tell his story. We finally get to find out his backstory, motives, how he accidentally killed to get medicine to save his dying wife, how he was part of the slave trade, how black rock made it to the jungle and how the statue broke. The three main characters of this episode were the ones we have been waiting to see (jacob, mib and richard). We get to see how richard was persuaded by the mib and then jacob gave him the power to live forever. Jacob also convinced him that he is not dead and MIB was lying to him, basically telling him everything he wants to hear. We get to see a new side of jacob and not the calm, cool and collective man we are used to. Other answers..Magnus Hanso was captin and if jacob is telling the truth he lives on the island to keep smokey there. ALso that MIB thinks all man is corrupt and jacobs one goal is to prove him wrong. This episode lived up to all the hype in every way. If this episode didn't do enough it sets up an interesting story for next week too how the MIB needs to be stoped or they all go to hell.
  • we are in the black rock we are in the black rock!!

    Hi, im from Argentina. This is one of the greatest episodes in the history offfff TV!!!! not only Lost!! This is why i watch tv. This is lost again!! and its orgasmic. Moments like this donttt must bee commented with too much words. This is perfect. About the thing of subtitles, dear northamerican people, i have to say, im spanish so i must read subtitles all my life. ha ha ha. The talk between Richard, Hurley and Isabella was brilliant. The face of Richard when Jacob and Men in black speak to him was brilliant too. Too much quality, i have a orgasm now jaja. Greetings from Mar del plata, Buenos Aires. Argentina.
  • This episode satisfied my interest in Richard Alpert and wrapped up all questions about him.

    This episode was really amazing from start to finish. Though I'm sure a lot of fans were bored 2minutes in due to not seeing Jacob or Smocke, true friends appreciate history of characters and how their life before the island affects the choices they make.

    We start off by seeing Richard Alpert in the 1800's trying to save his wife's life and accidentally killing a man, leading him to be a slave on 'The Black Rock'. The question of how the statue was broken is answered. The one thing I don't understand how the ship could of went through the statue all the way to the middle of the island.

    The struggle between Jacob and Smocke to gain Richards alliance is evident. The writers are doing everything they can to make us believe Jacob is the good guy by making Smocke lie and kill. I know all the evidence screams evil for Smocke but I do sincerely believe he is good. Simple facts like he could of killed all the Oceanic plane as soon as they landed on island for the fun of it. What good is taking everyone off the island with him and not leaving them behind?

    The symbolism of the bottle was very good in representing Jacob's belief about the Island to Richard. My only question is if Smocke actually got back to the real world would he still have his powers. I mean would he be driving in traffic or would he be smock'ing his way around town.

    All in all this episode was very good for those who love answers. There's only 7 episodes left and I really hope the writers rap everything up perfectly.
  • Amazing episode.

    I knew going into this week that we were going to get a Richard episode at long last, but I was absolutely stunned by this episode. It's episodes like this one that every television should strive to achieve; memorable, emotional, intelligent, and talent bursting out of every seam from every department involved with the show.

    I'm not going to summarize the episode, pretty much everyone has done that already.

    I would like to compare this episode to my favorite episode of House, the premiere of the current season. In both, the writers and producers basically took a block of television time (two hours for House, an hour+ for Lost) and created what could be viewed as a standalone feature film. Sure, there is a ton of information that is fully appreciated by knowing how it fits with the series, but the episode also shines on its own because of its production values, the talent of everyone on and off screen, and for lack of a better term "movie magic."

    I hope the bar keeps being set higher and higher all the way past the series finale, I can't wait for next Tuesday to come.

    P.S. There aren't 7 episodes left, there are 7 episodes left *until the two hour finale* which makes 9 total. That's all.
  • So many questions answered..

    Wow. Where to begin. This is easily the best episode of the season and easily among the best of the series. For 6 seasons we have pondered and wondered about the island, Jacob, Smokey, Richard, and more. Well we finally got some big answers to some big questions.

    We learn the full back story of Ricardo Alpert aka Richard Alpert. He was a poor field hand from the Canary islands in the 1860. Expect some spoilers from here on.

    He tries to save his sick wife but accidentally kills the doctor when he refuses to help. He is sentenced to death and the priest refuses penance and sells him into slavery. The Black Rock is carrying him and crashes on the island during a huge storm and destroys the statue. Couple questions answered there.

    The surviving crew and slaves are killed and he is alone. Smokey eventually frees him and tries to get him to kill Jacob. Jacob manages to stop him and turn him to his side. Since Jacob can't bring back his dead wife or offer salvation, Richard chooses eternal life. This is his penance. Jacob explains that the island is not hell, but merely a plug between hell and the rest of the world. It is too keep evil from spreading to the rest of the world. Major answer right there. The series is making a lot of sense now.

    Richard finds his dead wife cross necklace and tries to rejoin Fake Locke's side. Hurley relays a message to Richard from his wife and learns he has to help stop Smokey other wise there is hell on Earth.

    This was a tour de force for Richard and he pulled it off masterfully. This episode has me salivating for the next. I need to know more and I need to know now!
  • Nestor Carbonell gives the performance of a lifetime in one of the great episodes of the series.

    There are two things that are very easy to take for granted when watching a show like Lost; the acting talent, and the incredible production values. For so many episodes we've been treated to nothing but the best in these two domains, so much so that we - the faithful audience - can eventually begin to take it for granted as the seasons rolls by.

    Normally it's only when these things falter that you become aware of them. And I was aware of both the acting and the production values in 'Ab Aeterno'. But this wasn't because they had faltered, rather because they were both so unbelievably insanely perfect. The bar for Lost has always been high; 'Ab Aeterno' didn't just raise that bar, it cracked the bar over it's knee and promptly threw both halves into the ionosphere.

    It's no secret old Nestor can act, but in 'Ab Aeterno' he turned up the heat like someone told him his contract is about to run out. This is partly thanks to the script, which provided him with scene after scene after scene (and then more scenes after that) of brilliant, razor-sharp drama; asking the Priest for redemption, the Captain killing the slaves off one by one, hanging by the chains for days, Jacob's impromptu baptism, his final goodbye to Isabella. But I cannot describe how blown away I was by his performance. He transformed himself, and his character, into something entirely new and fully realised, not only illuminating his past but bringing the Richard we've known before - wise, patient, knowledgeable - and the Richard we know now - betrayed, verging on unstable - into crystal focus.

    On the production value side of things, there wasn't a single thing that let it down. It featured ship-wrecks totaling a giant statue, a Smokey attack, 1800s set pieces and costumes, not to mention the brilliant score. And somehow, despite these demands, everything seemed completely believable? Think about that for a moment! For one episode Lost basically turned into a period piece! It's like watching a 45-minute movie for cry out loud!

    To justify my 9.5 rating rather than the perfect 10, here are a few things that I didn't like about the episode (emphasis very strongly on "few"). The whole Black Rock knocking out the statue thing felt a bit odd. What kind of wave could throw a ship that far into a jungle, and what kind of ship could smash a stone statue but remain in tact? How far is the Black Rock from the foot anyway (the Losties have been to the Black Rock many times....pity they didn't just look over that hill earlier...) At any rate it kind of seemed like a bit of any after thought on the writer's part. Oh, and the other thing I really didn't like was....oh, no, wait, that was it, the episode was pretty perfect. And if putting up with some flying ships is the price I pay for getting my head caved in by 45 minutes of the best television in history, then get me aboard that ship! But preferably something in Business class...the Economy seats looked like hell.
  • Was this a feature film?

    Firstly let me praise Tucker Gates who is one of the lesser known directors on this series for a very fine production. This week was a quality hour on par with some of the better theatrical releases this year. Ab Aeterno felt like a movie. Lost's first period piece. Amazing set, costume and makeup design that should win the show several technical Emmy's next year. Next I have to bow down to Nestor Carbonell for possibly blowing away any other performance I've seen on the show. Yes, that includes Emmerson and O'Quinn. His fear, his desperation, his sorrow, all brilliantly played; the crown for most tortured island-goer no longer belongs to Sayid. What really struck me was that even though we didn't see much of him with his beloved Isabella, he completely sells the love and the loss, and I feel this tragic tale trumps just about any other character's. An amazing feat, especially considering unlike most people, Richard was never of particular interest to me.

    But I'm sure for those who did wrap themselves up in who this Jacob adviser was, this episode had to be better than sex. More so than providing tons of answers, Ab Aeterno provided tons of confirmation, the biggest being the Black Rock, which many speculated Richard arrived to the island in. Check. But it was also cool to see it was this slave ship that destroyed the statue. On a characterization front, Ricardos is established as a God-fearing religious man, and that played deeply into the mythos surrounding Jacob and Man in Black. The word Devil is tossed around alot. Interestingly, MiB was straight up honest about being the black smoke, but tried to manipulate Ric into killing Jacob- the same way Dogen instructed Sayid: plunge the knife into his chest without letting him speak. The Jacob we met seemed very less passive and totally kicked Richard's ass. He's exasperated and much more lively. To prove to Richard he was not dead or in Hell (another theme that popped up alot) He dunked Richard in the ocean, symbolic of baptism. Then, in another orgasmic bombshell, Jacob explained just what it is the island does. Hell, the Darkness, that Malevolence Richard fears so much is stifled by this magical place, lest it be released upon possibly the entire world. The bottle analogy is layered with metaphor, but like the black & white stones on the scale, it seems to be a truism for the peramiters of how Jacob and MiB are connected. (Note this still doesn't completely explain the whys and hows of the Island, but what it does is a lot more interesting than what Kate does- slam!)

    So Jacob gave Richard a job. He has been bringing people to the island, for ages, to prove to Smokey that all people aren't inherently bad. Jacob interfering would negate his point, but because MiB has no bones about getting involved, Jacob needs Richard to help 'guide' his people in the right direction. It was weird to me that this had never occurred to Jacob much earlier in his little game, but Richard's ageless origins were finally explained. However, we're still left to question why it is Jacob can do this? He couldn't bring back the dead, or absolve Ric's soul, but he can grant immortality. Oh, okay, that's reasonable.
    Also interesting was that MiB's offer to Richard still stood, and at his moment of most despair, Richard cried out to switch teams. Thankfully Hurley (who's ghost chats have been more useful than Miles) dropped by to give Richard the skinny. This was a lovely scene with Isabella's spirit, but now we're told if they don't stop Smokey, they'll all go to Hell. Huh? Curious what and how they mean. MiB (who I was stoked to see again, btw) shared the final scene with Jacob, and it echoed the opening moments of the S5 finale. This smokey was much more irritated, but no less determined to kill whomever is keeping him from leaving the island. I loved this exchange, and hopefully any talk of 'maybe MiB is the good one and Jacob is the bad one' will finally be laid to rest. I don't know how this wasn't clear from the beginning (so many theorists overthink this show- Flocke is NOT Aaron) but its great to see LOST explode onto a new level as we move forward. An excellent self-contained entry that should leave audiences buzzing.
  • Amazing.

    What an amazing episode. We get the full backstory of "Richardo" Alpert. The episode runs like a full movie, we now learn more about Richards motives, feelings and actions.
    There are also much things revealed like the backstory of one of the most interesting characters in the show, and more information about the battle MiB Jacob.

    We now know for sure that the MiB uses the bodies of friends, lovers or family members to get the "canditates" on his side (and later kill). Jack sees his father, Eko saw his brother Yemi, and now Richard sees his dead wife. The little talk between Richard and Jakob is absolutely awesome, just like the use of Hurley to talk to Richard's death wife (very clever use of the fact that Hurley can speak Spanish).
    We now also know what the motives are of the MiB: killing the remaining candidates. This episode was extremely important to clear things up.
  • Fact I should have known before watching this episode: Ab Aeterno means "from eternity" in Latin.

    Maybe Lost season 6 has too easily impressed me, that's why I've been leanient with my tens but "Ab Aeterno" was a ten of a different level. I'm talking about 48 minutes of backstory about the ageless man Lost fans have come to not know but wonder about. Since there are too many things I enjoyed about this episode, I will give you five that stood out.

    5. Lost en español: Choosing to show the beginning of Lost in subtitles was a bold choice but a successful one nonetheless. Given the information about Richard being a "passenger" on the Black Rock, I knew he was from colonial times but it never occurred to me he was of Spanish descent. Making Richard "Ricardo's" origin a spanish-speaking slave adds a deeper, more intriguing dimension to this mysterious character.

    4. Hurley's sixth sense. Hurley serving as the medium for Richard and Isabella is yet another example of how the writers perfectly craft character continuity. I had not heard Hurley speak spanish since the earlier seasons but as proven in the previous episodes, the writers did not forget those subtleties. This was a nice reminder. More importantly, I love what they've done with Hurley's ability to speak with the dead. I love how intergral his sixth sense has become to the plot especially in season 6 when he speaks to Jacob and Isabella.

    3. Are they in hell/are they not in hell? While the man in black calls this island "hell," Jacob reassures Richard that not only is he alive, but this island is the very thing that keeps hell away. At this point, who's really good is up to a matter of interpretation. There are so many biblical references in Lost and inititally these remained merely references. I'm glad that references have added up to one of the biggest questions (or possibly answers on the show).

    2. The Richard-Isabella love affair was comparable to Penny-Desmond affair. For me, the Penny/Desmond love affair ranked above Jack-Kate, Sawyer-Kate, Sawyer-Juliet, Rose & Bernard and even Sayid-Nadia. The episode "The Constant" knew how to pull my heart strings and care about two characters I had not really considered before. While the Richard-Isabella love affair did this to a lesser extent, Nestor Carbonell made me believe the powerful love he had for this woman being on screen for such a short time period.

    1. Nestor Carbonell as an actor/seeing Jacob + Man in black again. These aspects are tied because I can't decide which is better and I don't care to because they are what made this one of the best Lost episodes ever! A. Seeing Jacob + Man in black together again for the first time since "The Incident" reminded me of the bigger picture. Whether these men represent God and the Devil or something entirely different is not relevent right now. Lost in the sixth season has been about tying up loose ends, coming full circle. In the beginning, as far as we know, there was Jacob and the Man in black. If plot lines continue to come full circle as I anticipate, I feel in some way Lost will either end with Jacob and the Man in black or two other forces from the Oceanic 6 that will come to represent Jacob and the Man in black.

    Nestor Carbonell-the actor. Many times throughout the series I asked of Richard "Who the hell is guy?" I ask the same question but of the actor, Nestor Carbonell. This man is such a brilliant actor that he makes not want to find out not only more about Richard but more about the actor himself. All I knew of Nestor before last night was his ability to portray a mysterious man. Now that I know his capacity for portraying love, pain, anger, sadness, ect in a mere 48 minutes, I have to know more about the roles he's played and exactly how far his potential reaches.

    Best episode of the season so far and possibly the best episode of the series so far. I hope I will continue to use the word "so far" for the coming episodes.
  • WOW! that was by far the most important episode of Lost ever!. Period.

    This was beyond a doubt the most revealing, fascinating and informative episode ever aired. We Finally got a Richard Alpert flashback (much needed),and Nestor Carbonell absolutely stole the show with his breathtaking performance. Many of the lingering questions were answered, and this gave us losties some closure, and the man in black and Jacob scenes were amazing too. I still need to know who's really the 'bad guy' and who's the devil is. I'm sure that our producers/writers will not leave us hanging for much longer. I can't believe there are only a few episodes left and i am hoping that they build up on the momentum so far, and deliver us all 10/10 episodes for the remainder of the series. WOW!!!
  • Perfecto Ricardos!

    I've now watched Ab Aeterno and feel my MiB-antichrist theory has only been further fortified.

    Wow! What an amazing episode. I think that was my favourite episode to date, even better than Season 3 Finale when Charlie drowns. I thought Ricardos was just unbelievable as a character - what a flash back and what quality acting.

    I agree with most other reviewers here that the production and acting in this episode beats most movies hand-down. To think that the producers knew what an actor Carbonell is, yet they held him back til this episode shows what incredible patience they have. This makes me think that we will not get all the answers until the very last episode, I'm sorry to say. However I, for one, am happy to enjoy the ride until the finale to end all finales arrives.
  • Is this triple-centric flashback episode one of Lost's best?

    Ok I'm already happy to concede that this review is going to get a million people disagreeing with it due to only being given an 8. However as there is no comments section for reviews it doesn't really help much so I'm happy to write these mainly to get my opinions out (incidentally if you would like to respectfully disagree with my comments please feel free to IM me here, always love a good Lost conversation!:)). Right, with that out of the way let's get into the review.

    On the surface this episode was everything I've wanted but never thought we'd ever get. An episode about a character who's been on the island so long that to see their story would shed light on many of the biggest mysteries. However having seen both Ben and Roussau's story play out on the island before while still managing to hide the huge reveals, it was something I didn't think we'd get. But here we did, and then some!

    Richard's (or Ricardo's) flashback was the main part of the episode so I'll start with that. Having been on the show since the start of the second part of season 3 he's one of the more mysterious characters. Now that he's been bumped up to series regular status he's given the flashback treatment here which fully shows how he got to the island and managed to get his position. Having his main driving force be a love interest was a little clichéd; however I can forgive it for two reasons. Firstly at this stage in the narrative it's something that's easy to identify with and, while not up there with Desmond and Penny's epic romance, it was very well played out. Hats off to Nestor Carbonell for a great performance throughout (aren't all the Lost actors awesome!).

    Mystery wise we got a boat load of information. We found out how Richard ended up on the Black Rock, as well as seeing it crash. I have mixed views on the latter. Firstly despite being linked to Richard I didn't think we'd find out how the ship ended up in the middle of the jungle, so that was great to see. However after all these years that Arzt's theory of a tsunami landing it there was right all along was a bit disappointing. However seeing that it was the ship that destroyed the statue was an awesome moment! And then we got yet more Black Smoke action. As a main character this season I'm loving how much of the CGI smoke form we're seeing. While most of the action was heard off-screen, it was fine as we were seeing it through Richard's eyes. The Monster scanning him was a cool call back to earlier seasons as well as working plot-wise too.

    Unfortunately I'm not sure what to make of the fact that Richard saw his wife while hearing the Monster. Are we meant to assume the Monster can appear in two places at once (we have seen it come apart in black smoke form in season 3) or was Isabella someone/thing else? It's not a huge point but was enough to annoy me. Seeing the "original" Man in Black again was great and again he's a superbly cast actor. Despite only having one scene on the show and being in the superb Terry O'Quinn's shadow he rose to the occasion and had some great stuff. His conversation with Richard almost exactly echoed Dogan's with Sayid earlier this season, presumably in an attempt to really confuse us as to who the villain of the piece is!

    Richard getting beaten up by Jacob was a great thing to see. Having seemed like a more passive character, getting to see him let loose was very cool. Also noticed how Mark Pellegrino changed his voice a bit for that scene, don't know if that was intentional or not. Jacob was very convincing to Richard to confirm he wasn't in Hell and also cleared a few things up. Establishing why he couldn't speak to anyone on the island made perfect sense and it was great to see the moment where Richard got his position on the island. Although I was hoping for more from the moment where Richard got his immortality.

    So while the content of Richard's story was mostly fine my main issue was the pacing. As I'm a big fan of fast moving stories it might come as a bit hypocritical to complain about getting too much, but it felt like a lot of issues were jumped over. While still a very interesting character, and NC's performance and love interest made him very relatable I still wish his story could've been fleshed out more. Also to get things moving they had to incorporate another cliché, as Richard accidentally killed the doctor, which came off quite poorly. Unfortunately as time is running out for the series some more poignant moments may have to be overlooked. Also while Lost is a big show it is only a show and this was clearly an expensive episode. As well as CGI ships, statues and Monsters I think loads of extras in 19th century attire was a bit out of their means. It didn't hurt much but the distinct lack of extras was noticeable here. The prison in particular felt very empty.

    My other complaint was that it was all one long flashback. Again this mainly seemed like a time thing. It didn't really hurt the episode much (mainly thanks to having two other flashbacks too) but I think a full traditional flashback episode interspersed with on island action would've been better here.

    So as mentioned Richard's flashback wasn't the only thing we got here, we also had scenes from both Illana, and more amazingly, the Man in Black! Illana's stemmed from a scene from last season's finale. Unfortunately the transition between stock footage and new stuff was very poorly done, as the lighting and makeup on Jacob was significantly different. The camp scenes were very cool as it was almost all we got of the 815 passengers. It was really needed and managed to tie these events from 140 years ago into the main story nicely. Ben's line when Jack heard Locke's name mentioned was brilliant! Ben does snarky really well (what doesn't Emerson do well though!?).

    And just when I thought the episode was over we got one last flashback, from none other than Locke/Man in Black. Cutting from his current guise to his past one was a great visual. Again confirmation was the name of the game here as we found out why he wants to kill Jacob. Although the smashing the wine bottle was a bit dodgy. Yeah I know it's a metaphor and everything, but was one of those moments that felt a bit too self-referential for my liking.

    And we can't forget Hurley. Who was superb as he gave Isabella's message to Richard. I used to think that Hurley wasn't really seeing dead folk, but now I'm not so sure. Will we find out how or why he can suddenly do this? I'd like to think so, but either way he was great and managed to balance emotion and humour the way only Hurley can. The scene hit just the right balance and was stronger for it.

    I did really enjoy this episode, however my main complaint is probably that despite the bucketloads of information there's still some crucial questions that I'm worried won't get answered. These being why can the Man in Black turn to black smoke that can seep through grates yet grab a man and why does Jacob's touch make someone immortal. With only a few episodes to go I don't think any answers to this will be satisfactory. It seems bad to complain about, as the main point is how well the story ends for our main characters. However in an episode that could easily have completely ignored most of the main cast this was relying on the show's mysteries. But to end on a positive note: we had flashbacks for the first time this season! It was like seeing an old friend after a long time. They'd changed (a three-way flashback involving the furthest we'd ever seen back before) but that familiar whoosh sound effect was great to hear!
  • Simply put: PERFECT...

    Ab Aeterno was one of the most anticipated episode of TV ever and it didn't disappoint, it fulfilled all expectations. Spoiler-free:

    We Finally learn Richard's backstory. The story of the MIB & Jacob & Black Rock. This was a game changer episode. The only sad part is that after Ab Aeterno, everyone's hopes and expectations are too high and that will make the next few episodes a bit harder to watch.

    One thing is for sure, Ab Aeterno will not be forgotten so easily. Lets hope the finale & the pre-finale episodes are at the same level as this.

    LOST is the best show on TV, ever.
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