WOW. Right?? What a fantastic episode. Nestor Carbonell and is beautiful eyelashes totally rocked it last night. Just amazing. This week we didn't have any of those pesky Sidways Reality stories, so I my recap will be more straighforward. Woo!
(Oh, and for those of you who wanted to know, the title, Ab Aeterno, is Latin and literally translates to "from the eternal." It refers to something that is from the beginning of time, or before time existed. You're welcome.)
We start back in "the real world" with a scene we have seen before. Ilana all covered in bandages (Why? Did she look like someone else before? Is this why no one, including Richard, knows her? Or have we already discovered this and I just forgot?!) in a hospital bed with Jacob (in black?) coming to ask for her help. He wants her to protect the 6 remaining candidates. And once she finds them, Richard will know what to do. This is interspliced with a really funny scene on the beach as Ilana, Ben and Sun recount all that has been going on to Jack and Hurley. Including the whole "Locke" fun. When they all turn to Richard to find out what to do, he just goes into a fit of crazy giggles, because he doesn't have a friggin clue! Of course! It's so hard to find good help nowadays, Jacob! He tells them that they are all dead and this island is hell. (No it's not, Richard. Kristin's clue said that there was no "e" in the word!) Richard decides it is time to stop listening to Jacob and start listening to someone else, which can only be MIB, which seems like a bad idea, Richard! But he wanders off into the jungle. Hurley wanders off and starts speaking in Spanish to someone. Jack mistakenly thinks it's Jacob, but Hurley tells him, it's not always about you, Jack! So needy, that surgeon! Hurley wanders off into the Jungle too.
And cut to Tenerife, Canary Islands in 1867! (For those who don't want to do the math, that puts Richard on the island for 140 years. Oy. He must be sick of warthog and mangoes.) He enters a hut where we find poor Isabella (who isn't Salma Hayek's sister, but I was convinced that she was the entire episode.). Isabella is Richard's love, and she is dying of that mysterious disease all people die of in movies and TV that have them coughing up blood into a hankercheif. Richard promises to get the doctor to help her no matter what, so off he rides to see him. The doctor lives in a huge mansion like he is the king of this island, and being that he has all the medicine, he essentially is. And is a total dick about it. Richard offers the doctor literally all he has, including Isabella's necklace, but the doctor still says no (dick!) so Richard shoves him and the doctor hits his head just right on the table and dies. The butler guy comes in and sees so Richard grabs the medicine and dashes off, back to Isabella. As fate would have it, it was all for not - Isabella is already dead when Richard arrives, and he is carted off to jail.
While waiting in the prison cell the priest comes to see him. He has Richard confess, and then says he can offer no forgiveness because he does not have time to do all the praying he needs to do to God in order to gain his forgiveness before he is going to be hung tomorrow, so off to Hell with you! Apparently being a dick was contagious on the Canary Islands in the 1800s! As he is blindfolded and heading off to the gallows, he is stopped by a Mr. Whitfield who asks if he speaks English, which Richard reveals that he does (he had been practicing with Isabella so they could go to the New World) he buys him as a slave for his ship... The Black Rock! As we already knew, The Black Rock gets caught up in a storm, and crashes on the island. As they approach one of the other slaves sees the big statue with 4 toes and says "The island is guarded by the Devil." In the morning they all wake up to find themselves in the middle of the jungle. Whitfield comes down to the slaves and kills them off one by one because he knows they will eventually try to turn on the officers. Right before he can get to Richard, we hear that familiar sound of Smokey. He kills all the officers, including Whitfield, and looks at Richard for a bit. He spares him, but doesn't unlock him either, because Smokey is funny like that. Richard spends who knows how long trying to get a nail free from the floorboard, and once he does he is so tired he can't even dig out his chains. Then he wakes to a warthog eating another slave (ew.) and when the hog runs away, he knocks the nail just out of reach. Darn those warthogs - can't live with them, can't survive on the island without them for food! And then Isabella arrives, or at least Richard sees her. She says that they are both dead and this is Hell and she is here to save him before the Devil returns. But Smokey comes and gets her, of course, because she is dead and MIB is a tricky fella! MIB finally shows himself to Richard (we've missed you Titus Welliver!) and brings water, because he isn't completely evil. He tells Richard that he is a friend and will unlock Richard if Richard does what he tells him to. He wants Richard to "kill the devil" aka Jacob (man, he's been at this awhile!) and gives almost identical instructions that Dogen gave to Sayid... Don't let him talk or it will already be too late and all that jazz. MIB tells Richard that he is Smokey, but it was the Devil that took Isabella. So off into the Jungle Richard goes, to find the statue that, thanks to The Black Rock, is now only a foot.
And here is where it gets really crazy! As Richard approaches Jacob, Jacob gives him a beating and quite easily takes the knife away. To be fair, who knows how long Richard was chained up! Jacob asks if Richard talked to a Man in Black and wants to know what he said. Richard said that he is dead, this is hell and the devil took my wife. Jacob refutes all of this, and to prove he isn't dead, Jacob tries to drown Richard. When Richard begs him to stop, Jacob asks why and Richard yells, "Because I want to live." Then Jacob says "pffftthhh! so there!" Ok, maybe not, but he should have. They sit down on the beach to enjoy a bottle of wine. The MOST IMPORTANT BOTTLE OF WINE EVER! Jacob tells Richard he is not the Devil, he is here to protect the island. The island is like the CORK in the wine bottle, and the wine is the darkness or evil (hell). The cork/island keeps the evil bottled up. I'll put the full and totally rad quote in my quotes section at the bottom. Jacob brought the ship here. MIB thinks that people are all sinners and corruptable, however Jacob believes in freewill and that people can make their own choices, and their past doesn't really matter. (Redemption, people!! I told you this is important!) Jacob asks Richard to be his intermediary on the island. Richard wants Isabella back or absolution for sins, which Jacob can not provide. Instead he gets the prize behind door #3: eternal life. Richard returns to MIB, with a white rock in hand, because Jacob is a cheeky bugger. MIB tells Richard that Jacob can be convincing, but if he ever (and since the whole eternal life thing happens, he means EVER) changes his mind, MIB will be there. He leaves, and Richard buries Isabella's necklace at the foot of a tree.
Back to 2007! Richard is digging up the necklace. He yells (to UnLocke, where ever he may be) that he has changed his mind, and does the offer still stand? Instead of UnLocke, Hurley appears in the woods. Bring out the hankies people, because here come the water works. He has a message from Isabella, who is with them. She, through Hurley (though to make it more powerful we only hear her) tells Richard that it is not his fault she died and that he has suffered enough. He tells Isabella that he will do anything for them to be together. And she tells him to stop MIB from leaving the island or bad bad things will happen! Cue UnLocke looking extra creepy while watching on from a distance.
And back to 1867 - MIB and Jacob are on the beach. MIB tells Jacob he wants to kill him so he can get off the island. Jacob says if I die someone will just replace me, to which MIB responds, that he woud just kill the replacement. Nice. Jacob walks off. MIB looks at the wine bottle as the wine (darkness) swirls around inside and then in the most chilling moment of the season, breaks the bottle on a rock. Seriously... major chills when that happened!
OK, Quotes before I get to some other thoughts...
Richard: Did you tell your friends that I was trying to kill myself when you found me? Does that sound like someone who has a plan?
Jack: But Locke's dead.
Ben: If it's any consolation, it's not exactly Locke.
Jacob: Do you want me to stop?
Richard: Because I want to live!
Jacob: That the first sensible thing you've said.
Jacob: Think of this wine as what you keep calling hell. There's many other names for it too - malevolence, evil, darkness - and here it is, swirling around in the bottle unable to get out because if it did, it would spread. The cork is this island. And it's the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs.
Hurley: She says your English is awesome!
Isabella: You have to stop the man in black. You have to stop him from leaving the island. Because if you don't we all go to hell.
Alright... so if the cork pops, if you will, who comes to the rescue first - Buffy and the Scooby gang or The Winchester Brothers? Because this island sounds like it is sitting on a Hellmouth/Gate. (That article you sent me, Annette, just added another comparison!)
This episode was fantastical. I loved every minute of it and I'm hoping it is proving to the naysayers that Team Darlton has an obvious endgame in sight. I can't wait, but I'm not sure what I will do when this is over. Thoughts? I always forget stuff, so comment away. (I added the capture to the comments because I was getting spam.)