Lost’s “Ab Aeterno” – Cliff Notes Version (Contains SPOILERS, obviously . . .)

Now, before you get all riled up, let me explain . . .

Tonight’s episode of Lost presented me with a bit of a conundrum.  You see, I have this little ritual I like to follow on Tuesday nights.  And “Ab Aeterno” totally f-ed it up. 

You see, normally, I watch my hour of Lost, with notepad in hand.  And then, immediately afterward, I plop down in front of my computer to draft a recap (complete with pictures  . . . some of Lost stuff, some of other stuff that I happen to find cool at the moment).  The purpose of my recap is to generally detail the events of the episode, and the small tidbits of information I gleaned from it, in a manner that is mildly sarcastic, and (I hope) a little bit funny.

The problem here is that Ab Aeterno was so jam-packed with information and answered questions, that I couldn’t imagine being able to succinctly convey all of the “facts,” while still successfully telling a story, let alone, being mildly sarcastic and/or at all funny . . .

Therefore, this is what I decided to do . . . I’m going provide YOU with a short and sweet list of of the long- held questions that tonight’s episode of Lost finally answered.  Then, once that’s out of the way, I’ll come back and tackle the story of the episode, in another blog entry (assuming my brain isn’t too fried, of course) . . .

So, without further adieu, here’s Lost “Ab Aeterno”:  the Cliff Notes version . . .

“Shut up and start talking!”

1) What the F does Ab Aeterno mean?

Ab Aeterno is a Latin term meaning “from eternity” or “since the beginning.”  I presume in Lost world it refers to the struggle between:

 Jacob versus the Man In Black a.k.a. Smokey AND/OR

The Man Upstairs versus The Devil AND/OR

Heaven versus Hell AND/OR

Life versus Death (Bet you didn’t know Lost was going to get all religious on you, did you?)

2) Why the F doesn’t Richard Alpert ever age?  And where can I get some of that for myself?

Still sexy after ALL these years . . . (and years, and years . . .)

Richard Alpert doesn’t age because he is immortal.  Richard received this “gift” from Jacob, in return for agreeing to work for Jacob against the latter’s nemesis, Man in Black a.k.a. Smokey. 

And, no, YOU can’t get any of that for yourself because YOU don’t work for Jacob.  So, YOU are going to have to get old and moldy and eventually die, like everyone else on this planet.


3) What do you mean Richard “works for Jacob?”  What exactly does he do?

Richard’s job is to work as Jacob’s emissary on the Island.  He is supposed to influence the Losties to do “good,” and help them to avoid the temptation to sin.

4) Huh?  Why the heck does Jacob care what the Losties do?  Why doesn’t he just mind his own beeswax?

Jacob Butt-in-ski

You see, Jacob and Man in Black / Smokey have had this little running argument going on since the dawn of time.  Man in Black (MIB for short) believes that people are inherently EEVVILL, and can be made BAD, with just the slightest push in the wrong direction.  Jacob, conversely, believes people are inherently GOOD. 

 So, to test out his little theory, Jacob keeps making people with dubious pasts crash onto the island, so that he can REDEEM them, and show MIB what’s what!

5) Man in Black / Smokey keeps talking about wanting to “Go Home.”  He seems like a pretty powerful mother f-er to me!  Why doesn’t he just LEAVE?

Remember that story you read when you were little, called Pandora’s Box?  You know the one where Pandora had this box that housed all the evil in the world.  And when she opened it, all the evil escaped?  Well, according to Jacob, the Island is kind of like “Pandora’s wine bottle.” 

Man in Black / Smokey is an EVVVIIIIL force swirling around in a vaccuum, kind of like wine in a bottle.  The island is like the bottle’s cork.  It keeps the EVVVIILLL from escaping out into the real world . . .

6) What’s the deal with Team Jacob?  Why are its members’ names listed on Jacob’s wheel and Man in Black / Smokey’s cabin wall?  And why is Ilana stuck protecting them all?

You see, EVVVILLL MIB believes that he can escape the island if, and only IF, he kills Jacob.  Worried that MIB is correct in his assumption, Jacob has to keep finding replacements for himself.  These replacements will ultimately take over Jacob’s task of keeping new Losties “good” and preventing MIB from blowing this island popsicle stand. 

Both MIB and Jacob appear to be “keeping score” on Jacob’s prospective replacements, in their own way.  When one prospective replacement dies or “turns bad,” he is crossed off both of their lists.  (Score One for Team EEVVILL.) 

Ilana has the dubious honor of keeping the prospective replacements both “good” and “alive.”

7) How about that slave ship, The Black Rock, that was found shipwrecked on the island?  How did that get there?

The Black Rock was a ship owned by Mangus Hanso during the late 19th century. (Get it?  HANSO, as in the “Hanso Foundation?” You know, the group that started the Dharma Initiative on the Island back in the 70’s?) 

The Black Rock washed up on the island, as a result of a tidal wave, back in 1867.  Richard first arrived on the island as a prisoner on that ship.  Yeah, he’s THAT old . . .

8) Is your brain hurting as much as mine is right now?

 More later, kiddies . . .


Filed under Lost

11 responses to “Lost’s “Ab Aeterno” – Cliff Notes Version (Contains SPOILERS, obviously . . .)

  1. Pingback: Lost Ab Aeterno | VsCon

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  5. You know what, I heard them say his name was Hanson, darn it! I did all this research on line on that name, came up with crap. This is why I needed my husband with me last night, he repeats all those little things I missed. Good for you for coming up with that one! Awesome, so jealous, lol!

    I laughed when I read you take notes, because so do I. I remember when The Constant, probably my favorite episode playesd … I had like nine pages. From one show!

    I agree that MIB is bad-ass, and why can’t he just leave if he wants. This makes me half convinced that he isn’t the devil. I keep having fantasies that Jacob is more evil than MIB, because it would be fun to switch it up that he really was the more manipulating one.

    • Thanks so much girlfromtheghetto!

      We haven’t heard from Hanso and his foundation in a while! They ARE sort of a blast from Lost’s past (or, in this case, future) aren’t they? The Black Rock was a clever tie-in on Cuse and Co’s part, I think.

      Do you remember back a couple of seasons ago, when they used to have all of those fake Hanso Foundation commercials during Lost, to promote the online game? I miss those! Maybe they will bring them back to promote whatever Lost spinoff they ultimately come up with . . .

      To be honest, I was a bit nervous about posting a recap this way. It felt lazy to me. However, I was just so overwhelmed by this episode, notes and all 🙂 (In a good way, of course.) Aside from the vast amounts of information conveyed, and theories suggested, the structure of Ab Aeterno was so different than typical Lost episodes. It just goes to show that when it comes to Lost, you can never get too comfortable with anything . . .

      I still might attempt to try a full recap tonight. We’ll see . . . I got a lot more traffic on this post than I typically do on my Lost recaps. So maybe I have been attacking these episodes the wrong way, all along!

      I too can’t imagine a world without Lost. However, for now, I am really enjoying seeing all of our long hard hours of TV watching (and note taking :)) FINALLY pay off with some answers!

      Thanks again for stopping by! See you next week!

  6. finally a Richard heavy episode, it just confirmed that old Ricardo is one good lookin’ 200 year old.

    • He sure is, Lola!

      Lost never did answer for us the burning question of where Alpert gets his “guyliner,” though. This is a money opportunity seriously wasted, as far as I am concerned, because that stuff would be FLYING off the shelves today, and ABC could have really cashed in on a percentage of that . . .

      By the way, was it just me or did MIB bear a striking resemblance to Javier Bardem? Think Bardem could be related to the Devil? His No Country for Old Men role would make a lot more sense, if so. . .

      • it’s hard for me to say anyone looks like JB, i can see the resemblance, but Javier belongs in that special realm of men who are too sexy for their shirts, so it’s hard to really give an accurate comparison 😀

        i actually looked up Alpert’s guyliner after i saw “The Dark Night” & (according to the interweb) that’s not makeup, those are his actual lashes & lids.

  7. I read that somewhere too, Lola. But I don’t believe it for a second. NOBODY’S lashes are that perfect! 😉 Nestor Carbonell should really sport his guyliner with pride! There’s nothing wrong with a little “enhancement” . . .

    If you ask me, Matthew Fox would do well to include some guy liner into his daily “beauty” regimen. Don’t get me wrong, he’s cute and all, but, you have to admit, those are some forgettable peepers . . .

  8. Pingback: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Physician Assisted Suicide are NOT FUNNY AT ALL – A Recap of Grey’s Anatomy’s “Suicide is Painless” « TV Recappers Anonymous

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