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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Ab Aeterno": Chris has to watch tonight's LOST three times to take it all in!!!

This is what storytelling on television should always strive to be like. Not since Babylon 5 has there perhaps been so much good payoff for all the long hours invested in watching a dramatic series.

We finally, finally got Richard Alpert's backstory in "Ab Aeterno", this week's episode of Lost. And it did not disappoint! I would even say that this was the best character-centric origin story since Ben's episode "The Man Behind the Curtain" in Season 3. Maybe even since "Numbers" all the way back in the first season.

Something I couldn't help but catch: Tenerife was the location of one of the worst airline disasters in history. Was that something intentional on the part of the producers, to have Richard start out his life there? Anyways, what we have is a good man who was caught up in a tragedy composed of complete assholes: first that despicable doctor, then the even more despicable priest, followed by the officers of the Black Rock and then Jacob's adversary. Richard in some ways is the most tragic character we have seen on Lost: a person who longs for absolution from God more than anything else. I like to think that in the final scenes, he knew that he had that at last.

We also now know how the Black Rock came so far inland, and how the statue of Tawaret got demolished... all in one fell swoop! And most of all, we're starting to finally understand what the Island is: nothing less than a prison for the Man in Black and a material battleground between the cosmic battle between good and evil.

I've watched this episode three times so far, and it's still blowing my mind. I have unquestioning faith now in this show: that we are going to get solid answers to all of the big mysteries before the end two months from now.

"Ab Aeterno" gets 10 out of 10 from this viewer!


Lee Shelton said...

I agree. Great episode! One thought on the priest: he was part of the "plan" to get Richard to the island, being responsible for sparing him from the gallows. He gave him the opportunity to redeem himself.

But my biggest questions have to do with the flash-sideways...es. Richard hasn't had one. Does that mean he would have perished with the island when Juliette "reset" everything? And if so, doesn't that mean Ben would have died as well, since he was a kid and would have been in Richard's company?

Or maybe I missed something along the way.