March 24th, 2010
08:46 AM ET
[Editor's Note: You know the drill by now. If you haven't seen this episode of "Lost" yet, DON'T READ ANY FURTHER.]
Tuesday night's episode of "Lost" mostly took place in 1867, with the story of how ageless Richard Alpert came to the island. This was probably the second most highly anticipated episode for many "Losties" aside from the series finale itself, and it didn't disappoint.
One of the best parts of "Ab Aeterno" was the lack of any flash-sideways scene, which have been hit-or-miss thus far. Instead, we got a bonus flashback scene revealing that Jacob asked Ilana to protect the six candidates before sending her out on her quest.
Ilana was also instructed to ask Richard about what to do next. However, as we learned two weeks ago, he is officially fresh out of answers. Jack the believer was told by Richard that they're all dead and in hell. When Jack turned to Hurley for answers from Jacob, Hurley was actually conversing in Spanish with another unseen person.
Without too much ado, it's on to the big enchilada: in short, Richard lost his wife and accidentally killed a doctor on the same day. Condemned to death by hanging, even a priest offered him no comfort. At the last minute, he was saved by Magnus Hanso (great-grandfather of Alvar Hanso from the Dharma Initiative) and placed on the infamous Black Rock, which as we all know, shipwrecked on the island (taking out Jacob's statue in the process).
Between Black Rock officer Whitfield and the smoke monster, everyone but Richard dies. He's visited by his beloved wife who first tells him that they are dead and he is in hell. On the brink of death, he is touched, and saved by ... not Jacob, but the Man in Black. Once again, we see "Smokey" offering something that someone really wants in exchange for allegiance to him. The price for Richard's freedom? He must kill the "devil," Jacob.
Needless to say, Richard doesn't succeed in his quest, but Jacob does give him the gift (or curse?) of immortality. The Man in Black tells Richard that the offer to join him is always on the table, and 140 years later, Richard has changed his mind ... but not before Hurley shows up with a message from his dead wife Isabella, which keeps him, for now, on Jacob's side.
Wow. A lot to digest here ... specifically:
I could go on and on, but let's turn it over to you for now. Share your thoughts and theories on video, or in the comments below. Meanwhile, check out what iReporters have to say about it here and here.
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