Plenty of MAJOR SPOILERS lie ahead...
Episode 9 - "Ab Aeterno"
Zach says: This week's focus is Richard, and we get to learn all about his heritage and who he really is. I was pretty excited for this week's episode, although after watching it, I felt it didn't quite offer exactly what I was hoping.
If you've been following any Lost related rumors in the past 3 seasons or so, then you would assume that Richard came to the island via the Black Rock ship, which was clued to more than a few times this season alone. This fact is officially revealed this episode, as Richard was dragged as a slave, but freed by the mysterious "Man in Black".
I personally believe that the time it took to get Richard to the island was a bit drawn out, and could have been shortened to reveal more about Richard's island doings, however, we only see him before he reached the island, and then the time period when he gets there initially; nothing in between from when he gets to the island to the present day.
Keeping it in the same period as when Richard lands though, gives us our earliest view of Jacob and the Man in Black though, which was nice. We see that they don't like each other, which has always been evident, and that MiB is up to his old trick, trying to get someone else to kill Jacob. Although we see Jacob actually defend himself and kick some ass, which was a bit odd.
Then, we learn of Richard's actual role on the island, and what the island is technically for; containing evil. So, the last 15 or so minutes were a bit more insightful, but overall, we did learn a bit about Richard's life off the island, and his overall motivation, kind of, but other than that, I thought the episode was a bit of a let down. Let's see if the candidates can keep it together, and contain that Man in Black from escaping.
Zach's Score: 7/10
JDW says: Well, for the first time this season, Zach and I are at a major disagreement. Why? Because I loved this episode. Sure, it's the only episode this season without flash-sideways, bringing back the flash-backs of old, and this episode goes back, a lot, to 1867 (hell, most of the episode is in Spanish). And sure, it didn't really give too many answers regarding the candidate's future. But I still think this episode was very relevant.
I really enjoyed the period piece that was Richard's flash-back, it was a new, interesting setting to see in the Lost world, and the relationship between Richard and his wife was actually kind of touching, albeit a bit cliche. The episode also showed off Nestor Carbonel's acting range, from a poor man on Spain's Canary Islands, which quite the fluent Spanish tongue, to a battered man trying to learn English in order to save his life and start anew, to the Richard we've known and seen before. It was like watching a different person on screen, and made Richard much more interesting, for me at least. So, it didn't really bring the show forward, but still, it filled in quite a few gaps.
It gave us answers to stuff like 'Who is Richard?' 'Why doesn't he age?' 'How, when, and why did he come to the island?' 'How was the statue destroyed?' 'How did the ship get to the middle of the island?' 'Has the Man in Black tried to kill Jacob before?' 'What exactly is the island?' and more. Heck, even the idea/rumor that's been around since the first season that everyone on the island is dead and in Hell and/or Purgatory is mentioned. If anything, this episode was the ultimate fan service for those that have stuck with the show and tried to dig out every detail.
JDW's Score: 9.5/10
Overall Score: 8.3/10
Missed the episode? Watch it on Hulu