Lost Season 6 Episode 9 - Ab Aeterno Review - All The Answers You've Been Looking For?

This past episode, "Ab Aeterno," gave more answers to the overall secrets of Lost than any other season or episode has done before. This episode's story centered around Richard's character and how he came to be on the island. *Spoilers ahead*


Episode Summary

The episode started with Jack, Hurley, Lepidus, Miles, and Sun, sitting around a camp fire as Alanah explained to them that Richard was supposed to tell them what to do next. Richard just laughed and exclaimed to the group, "This place isn't what you think it is?" He then went on to make the world's collective jaws drop as he explained that the losties and himself were all dead and the island they are all on is really hell (Island not actually hell and losties not actually dead). Richard then went on to state that everything Jacob had told him was wrong and then went off into the jungle to find Locke.

The episode continues as Richard's flashback showed him as the same age in 1867. After a struggle with a doctor from whom he was trying to get medicine for his sick wife Isabella, Richard acidentally kills him. On his way to being hung for the murder, Richard is sold into slavery and taken aboard The Black Rock. The ship crashes on the island and the black smoke kills everyone, but then comes to Richard as the man in black and frees him from the chains."Nice to see you out of those chains" he once again tells Richard. The man in black then spins a tale for Richard where he tell him that they are in hell and the only way for them to leave is to kill the devil, which he tells richard is the man living in the statue(Jacob). Richard then goes to find the devil and kill him so he can be with Isabella as the man in black suggests. After a quick scuffle, Jacob sits Richard down and lays everything out for him and in the clearest explanation of what is going on with Lost and the island, Jacob tells Richard to imagine the small amount of wine at the bottom of the bottle is hell or evil and then tells him to imagine that the cork on top is the island, it is the only thing from allowing evil to escape the bottle and spread.

The Biggest Revelations from the Episode

- Jacob and the Island are guardians of sorts that prevent The Black Cloud, The Devil, Evil Incarnate, whatever you would like to call him, from escaping the Island and regining down hell on earth in his wake.

- Jacob brings people to the Island because The Black Cloud thinks that everyone, at their core, is corruptable and evil. The island is a sort of clean slate where everyone is tested in their own way as to who they really are. As Real Locke told Walt in season one as he held up a white and black piece of the backgammon game; their are two sides to everyone, one light one dark. Very cool to see that they knew where they were going all along with this show and we are now getting the big picture.

- Richard was a slave on the Black Rock and was given the gift of never dying by Jacob, as a reward for taking the job as his intermediary.

- One of the 6 candidates left have to take over Jacob's job and make sure the devil does not leave the island. As Jacob told the man in black, "As long as I'm alive you can not leave the island." To that the man in black replied, "Why do you think I want to kill you so bad." Then Jacob explains that it does not matter because he would just be replaced by someone else.

Things Left to Answer

- What are the whisphers? I think they are going to be explained as the loved ones of the people on the island. As isabella appeared in the end of the episode and Hurley translated to Richard what she was saying, although it seemed like when Richard closed his eyes he could hear or feel her there as we continued to hear her talk but Hurley was no longer translating.

- Who is the man in black? As he exlpained, his body was taken from him and he is trying to leave the island, but who or what was he before that happend? Will we fully see a lucifer character that gets cast out of heaven and banished to the island to be guarded over by an archangel of sorts, that being Jacob?

- Who will be the new Jacob? I think it obviously has to be Jack as this would be the purpose he feels he has in coming back to theisland.

One Final Detail About This Episode That May Get Overlooked

Lost is so good at not only the amount of detail they put into each episode, but the amount of accuarate detail they use. I always say that Lost has to to have a history professor, physics professor, and theology professor on staff to keep all of these details that accurate and tonights episode was no different. After Jacob talks to Richard and Richard goes back to the man in black, he hands him a small white stone and tells him Jacon wanted him to have this. Now this is something that most people probably will not grasp, but its very cool if you do. In the bible, God says that when you get to heaven you are given a white stone on which your new name is written. So the significance is basically Jacob telling the man in black that Richard is my guy not yours, and it's why Jacob calls him Ricardus instead of Richard, its becuase Ricardus is the new name he has been given. I thought that was a very cool detail, maybe you appreciate it maybe not, but I thought I elaborate on the significance.

So how do you feel about these new revelations and what they will mean for the remainder of the show. Do you like or dislike the direction that Lost is taking?



Default avatar cat
Mar 24, 2010 1:54AM EDT

I, and probably everyone else, still have enough questions to fill a book. what's bothering me the most, however, is the line that this show is now treading.
LOST began as a show that was realistic, with the occasional anomaly that deliciously added to the mystery. this image remained, even throughout the introduction of time travel, and all the physics and science related to the island. However, recently a trend has began that is more fantasy oriented. the biblical references in this episode, for example, make me think that the smoke monster is actually an evil force akin to the devil, and that jacob is the gaurdian of mankind, trying to prevent mankind's corruption.
this unclear separation of reality and fantasy (not reality and pseudo-sci-fi, which is what i was used to) that LOST has recently become, is making me me uncomfortable and doubt whether the writer's really know how to appropriately end the show.

Default avatar cat
Mar 24, 2010 2:19AM EDT

@asdfasdfasdf: you have to see it in a different way. Those aren't christian references, those are general mythological references.Death, Afterlife, Good and Evil,... those have always been strong topics humans based their greatest stories upon.It doesn't matter wether you look at ancient religions, mythology or fiction-writing, those strong topics are always there.
Lost is just bringing them all together into one new fictional story...
I like the way it's going. I see it more as a philosophical approach to the big questions with reference to similar thoughts in mythology.
I don't see the religion-topic comming up to be the big problem, because I can clearly see how religion is presented as a failed attempt to explain the mysteries of the world, without mocking the fanatic christians who could radically influence the series ratings if offended.

Default avatar cat
Mar 24, 2010 6:45AM EDT

In regards to who will replace Jacob, if you remember in season five, Richard told Sun that he saw Jack, Kate, Hurley and Jin die. Whether or not this is true, or whether it is completely forgotten by the producers and becomes a continuity error is yet to be seen. But if it proves true, it may mean that Sawyer, Sayid or Sun.
Maybe I'm way off, but just a thought.

Default avatar cat
Mar 24, 2010 10:34AM EDT

I enjoyed this ep the most since the begining of the season. I don't like the whole 'we can explain everything thru the demigods' vibe the show now has. I mean, with an omnipotent (or near-omnipotent) being, all the mystery is gone. It's simply enough to say that Jakob wanted something and thats why it happened.HOWEVERI did enjoyed this ep, as Jakob and Smokey are great to see on screen.I've got a question though. Why doesnt Smokey kill off the Candidates? As in, Season 1? Now there's something I'd like answered.
Also, Jakob is the Devil. In Supernatural. THey had to have a blast when they shot that scene.

Default avatar cat
Mar 24, 2010 11:45AM EDT

@Yourand, I think that smokey would not be able to killl them, just like he couldn't kill Jacob by himself he needed someone else to. Smokey has had face to faces with Locke and didn't kill him and locke was a candidate until Ben actually killed him, so my guess would be that when smokey goes to someone and does the pulse thing in front of them he is reading whether or not he thinks he can use them for his own plan, as with Richard, or he sees if they are someone he needs to get someone else to kill, as with Locke, he then appears to him and tells him as Christian Shepard that he needs to die and he doesn't kill Ben because he wants to use him, he just takes the opportunity to make him promise to do whatever Evil-Locke tells him(killing Jacob)
Also, I dont think the everything being explained away through the "demigod vibe" is a fair statement, because Jacob has been one of the underlying mysteries of the show since early seasons and the smoke monster was there since episode 1 so there has always been those elements, they just were not fully explained, they had to built to revealing it cause if in season 1 they would have explain the black cloud was evil incarnate and jacob was the opposition to that force then a lot of the mystery would have been gone early, but if you cast a cloud of black smoke in your show, chances are that you know what you are trying to have it represent, even in the very first episode, if you look at all the signs they gave throughout the first 5 seasons, this whole demigod religious angle makes perfect sense.

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2010 12:19PM EDT

@ak10Thanks for taking the time to post. I'm not saying the religious angle doesn't make sense. I just think it fails to deliver the payoff we've been waiting for for 6 years. What bothers me most I guess is, how all the answers were there all along. The black smoke, jakob, the nature of the island and so forth. Our heroes didn't do anything to actually find any of this stuff out. WE as the audience learned all about everythign because the producers decided that season 5 was time to show us what they had in mind all along. We didn't get to see it through the eyes of the characters. I feel like the only reason the island was misterious, is because the producers of the show needed it to be. I mean, it's just a bit too evident. Hope that makes sense. Cheers!

Default avatar cat
Mar 27, 2010 3:54PM EDT

See, I complete disagree and I guess that is just my view on things, but if you go back to season 1, Jack sees his dad in the jungle and then chases him and ends up finding his empty casket, Kate with her black horse, Hurley with the crazy guy from his mental hospital. All of those things were the smoke monster appearing to people as things in their past. The smoke monsters purpose for doing it was to get them to the point where he could use them for his own purpose, Jacobs point for allowing it was to give all of these people a chance to change and prove that all people are not corruptatble so looking back at those things that happened all of the way back in season 1 you can see how they were led to this point.
Its like a game of chess, the first seasons were the man in black setting up his attack getting everyone in the places he wanted to lead them, and now this season we are seeing the final moves. Now once again in this final season the idea of chances to change are presenting themselves both on the island the through the flash sideways and the choices they are making now is deciding what side they are on for this final (war). Ben gave up his power/chose to save alex in the sideways flashes, and on the island he is on the good side. Jack's whole thing is the son repeating the sins of the father, and his sideways flash showed him choosing not to make those same mistakes, and on the island he is on the good side. Syid, has repeatedly been given chances and he says he wants to change but ultimately still kills and tortures, and he is with thebad side. Swayer has been on the fence thorughout the entire show, having both good sides and bad, as seen by the fact that we was a conman, and then a cop but in both he was still trying to kill anothey cooper, he did in the first side of things, now we dont know if he will or wont this time, if he does he will be on lockes side, if he doesnt he will be on the good side. When it comes down to it you dont need to think about it as a religious thing, you can simply think about it as a metaphor for good and evil and throughout the seasons we have seen through the characters and the choices they have made, the sense of good and evil and who they are going to be. Jacob. the man in black, the island, that is just the arena in which the characters are and the people who are presenting them with their chances to change. Thats why to me, this show makes perfect sense and all these things they are doing seems to fit right in line with that line of reasoning. I could be dead wrong, its just what I get from the show. Thanks

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