23 Questions About Lost Episode 609 'Ab Aeterno', Answered!

Previously on Lost: Ageless mystery man Richard Alpert visits five-year-old orphan John Locke (original, not Smokey) in his foster home. Richard gasses the Dharma Initiative. Richard convinces Juliet to take a fun submarine ride to the island with him. Richard suddenly emerges from some dense flora in the jungle, then disappears back into it just as quickly. Richard experiences acute existential angst after his god is killed. A distraught Richard unsuccessfully attempts suicide through Jack.

Please chain yourself to a wall in the hold of the Black Rock and prepare yourself for a bumpy ride across an ocean of new questions, with your journey abruptly ending in a shipwreck of uncomfortable answers shaken loose by an impact with a four-toed statue.

Who is Richardus?

Oh good, we're going to start out slow. Richardus is Richard. And also Ricardo. Over the centuries he really didn't get too ambitious with the name-changes. Why not stick with what works?

Does Richardus know what to do next, now that all the castaways not conscripted into Smokey's Army of Darkness are just hanging out on the beach, awaiting a plan to be presented to them?

Richardus is going through some very personal stuff right now, OK? He has no idea what to do next because Jacob is a big fat liar who went and died on everybody just went they needed him the most! Who does that after making his Guyliner Friday immortal so they can spend eternity hanging out and getting into adventures? Not a nice god who lures people to his magical island so that they can perform little experiments to prove the inherent goodness of the human soul, that's who.

Is everyone dead?

See, again, Richard's working through his own issues of abandonment by telling everyone at the beach camp that they're dead. They're not dead. They might be soon if Smokey has his way with them, but not quite yet.

Hold on, is everyone in HELL?

No! But that was really adorable when Richard screamed that at everybody, given that's the first theory everyone formulated about the show about three episodes into season one.

So who was Richard, before all this Jacob craziness came into his life?

Richard was Ricardo, a handsome, but poor, man living in the Canary Islands in 1867, with his hot, terminally ill wife Isabella and a very fast horse he could ride to and fro between the estate of a very rich, but very lazy, doctor who refuses to treat Ricardo's sick wife because it's raining outside, and also because Ricardo can't afford his expensive medicine on a meager peasant income. So an angry Ricardo gives Doctor Lazy a good shove, which, as such impulsive actions usually do on television but rarely in real life, results in an instant, fatal head trauma. Our Ricardo is now a (mostly accidental) murderer. He takes the medicine, rushes out past the servant who obviously wasn't treated well enough to bother attempting to apprehend the man who just killed his boss, and rides his very fast horse back to Isabella.

She's going to be dead when he gets there with the medicine, isn't she?

Of course she is. This must end in tragedy for everyone.

If the journey between the doctor's house and Ricardo's place is half a day's journey, how could Ricardo leave his wife when it was dark out, arrive at the doctor's when it was still dark out, and return home, still in the dark?

It feels like the sun should have come up at some point. But nighttime races against the clock atop a mighty steed seem so much more dramatic than ones in daylight, you know?

Was all the rushing back and forth to try and save Isabella, only to return, find her dead after the terrible ordeal he went through, and then get arrested for his trouble, a little English Patient-y?

It's a little English Patient-y. Or Tenerife Patient-y, as the case may be. Perhaps Cuse and Lindelof are big Ralph Fiennes fans?

Are jailhouse priests allowed to withhold absolution for murder because the prisoner's execution is happening too quickly to allow time for his penance?

This seems suspect theologically, but we imagine that Canary Islands jailhouse Catholic clergy circa 1867 were operating under their own sketchy rules. We'll let it slide.

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  • stolidog says:

    So, it seems now that smokey changes it's appearence. I'm going to guess that it also needs candidates. So, Jacobs candidates are in the cave, while Smokey's candidates are listed in the lighthouse. Jack, at least, is a candidate for both.

  • Padraig McAvish says:

    Does anyone else think that the image of Ricardo tied in chains and staring down the black smoke monster in his face is a clear reference to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum"...
    1. He's spanish and Poe's story takes place during the spanish inquisition
    2. He's tied down in chains
    3. He's in a dark ship (like a pit) which later is finally infiltrated by light
    4. The smoke gets closer and closer just like the pendulum.
    I love finding little references the writers throw in there; there are many! And just look at the resemblance http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/PitandthePendulum-Clarke.jpg

  • Eric says:

    Richard Ricardo's backstory was "borrowed" from three different things. Lazy doctor who doesn't want the peasant's money? Steinbeck's The Pearl. Rushing back to dead wife? English Patient. Pulling a nail out of the cargo hold wall of a slave ship? Amistad.

  • TimGunn says:

    This was the best Lost episode ever -- right after Expose.

  • haven't watched it, however, i'm lucky that my son is recording it

  • bierce says:

    Damn! The over-under for guyliner jokes this week was 2.

  • Matthew DH says:

    I live in the '609' area code. Fairly certain this is a clue.

  • Liz Lemonazi says:

    But does that mean that Smokey has been watching Jack since he lived in his childhood home? Does it?!

  • Joseph Nobles says:

    Am I the only person in America that fell on the floor howling when Jacob used Richard in his best imitation of shoving the Dude's head into a toilet?

  • snickers says:

    Obviously, Jacob is not a golfer.

  • Andre Richards says:

    Are these supposed to be funny or are these questions meant to poke holes in the plot? It fails at both.
    We've seen time and time again that some new arrivals to the island sometimes turn inexplicably murderous. The officer stabbing the slaves on the ship is no different than the behavior exhibited by Rousseau's companions.
    And just because a lazy doctor characterizes the distance as "half a day away" doesn't mean it is. Maybe he's intentionally exaggerating to be an ass.
    Anyway, whatever. This list is annoying.

  • Amir says:

    BTW that's Magnus Hanso, not Hanson. (Some relation of Alvar Hanso, of the Hanso Foundation)

  • Kthnxbai says:

    someone's got sand in their vajayjay...

  • Jimmy says:

    @Andre, I agree, the title of this article should really be "23 Questions About Lost Episode 609 'Ab Aeterno', Answered BY THE EPISODE!"
    There are no answers here, just a list of what happened in the episode.

  • El Duderino says:

    You're getting warmer.

  • Joyzee says:

    All I know they're all dead!!!