The latest recap from Luci Chavez:
I was so hoping this episode about Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell, a.k.a. Papi Chulo) would be at least 75 percent as interesting as the title "Ab Aeterno."
That's Latin for "from the eternal." Loosely, according to Wikipedia, it means from some time in the past, something created outside of time. Love that, especially since Papi has been Jacob's consigliere for a long time. Papi defies time. And looks fabulous doing it.
Turns out I loved this episode. It was the best telenovela I've ever seen.
We open with a scene of Jacob in Russia doing what he always does — convincing someone to do some craziness. This time it's Ilana. Ilana, you must protect these six people, my potential replacements. Whatever, dude.
Island. Campfire. Richard, Ben, Jack, Sun, Hurley and Frank. Ilana explains to Jack that they're candidates to replace Jacob. (Is it just me or is there an awful lot of Days of our Lives recap-type dialogue going on?) So what next? She explains that Jacob told her Richard would know what to do once they escaped from temple. Richard giggles.
He has no idea what to do! Then he leans in. Listen ... ooo wah ooo ... do you want to know a secret ... ooo wah ooo ... do you promise not to tell .. WE'RE ALL DEAD. THIS IS HELL.
No, it's not. Because Jacob said it wasn't. "I'm not interested in what Jacob has to say." (That goes double for me.) Richard stalks off.
OK, I'm guessing this is where Lindelcuse debunks the very popular and very old theory that the island is Purgatory or, in this case, Hades. It's not. But goosing the fan base for an entire hour could be fun, yes?
Island. Campfire. Ilana thinks about going after Richard. Jack doesn't want to waste the effort on Crazy Papi who is going after Jacob and Jacob is dead. Nope that's not who he's going after. Someone finally breaks it to Jack that Richard is chasing Black Locke and Dead Locke is in fact dead.
Meanwhile, Hugo (Jorge Reyes) is talking to ghosts, except in Spanish which is so cool. (Hurley tells said phantasma, "Yeah, I can help you but I don't know if I'm going to meet up with him or not.") Jack rolls up, all hard, like circa 2005 hard, on Hurley demanding to know what he was saying to Jacob. Hugo says he wasn't talking to Jacob. "Sorry, Dr. Feelgood. This has nothing to do with you." (I hate seeing Jack marginalized. It bothers me so much.)
Ben agrees that it's a waste of time to chase Richard. He says he's known Papi Chulo since he was 12 and explains to Frank, who apparently just did fall off the turnip truck, that Richard doesn't age. (See what I mean about the soap dialogue?)
1867. Tencrife, Canary Islands. Richard is racing through the jungle on horseback with a really ugly wig. He goes into a home to his wife Isabella (played by the lovely Mirelly Taylor), who is very ill. She reassures him she will be fine until she has a coughing fit that tells me she isn't going to be fine. Before Richard leaves to grab a doctor, Isabella gives him her cross and holds him close. "Close your eyes. We'll always be together." They kiss. "I will save you," Richard reassures her. (How very Shephard of you.)
Richard begs and pleads with the doctor to help but doesn't have enough money, even with the cross, to pay. They fight. Give me the medicine! Please! No! Yes! No! Take your hands off me! Richard finally throws off the doctor, grabs the medicine and runs.
Isabella is DOA. Richard cries until a man takes him away and locks him up . He has a visitor. A priest visits him and brings him food. Richard admits he's been reading his Bible to learn English. He gives his confession and asks forgiveness for killing the doctor. The priest is like, "Well I won't forgive you." But It was an accident! "Nope, you still did it. You need to do a penance but you don't have time because we're hanging you tomorrow." (Harsh!)
Richard is being dragged out of his cell and desperately prays for forgiveness. Please, God. Forgive me for my sins, he says over and over. They take him to Whitfield who wants to know if Richard speaks English. Richard doesn't respond. He's about to get passed over and sent to the noose when he finally cries, "Yes, I do!" Whitfield offers him a chance to go to the New World as a slave. Richard is going on an
ocean voyage. Come on. You know the name of the boat! The Black Rock.
Brutal voyage. The tiny ship was rocked. If not for the courage of the fearless crew the Black Rock would be lost. As it is, Richard is freaking out. The devil is coming for them! Then they crash. Richard and his buddies are still chained down inside the ship. They wake up and hear activity above board and start screaming for help.
But a guy comes down and, with his mighty sword, starts offing slaves. SLAVE ONE DOWN. SLAVE TWO DOWN. Captain Hanson explains the provisions shortage as one man says, "Don't do it. Please don't do it." SLAVE THREE DOWN. Then the Smoke Monster shows up to take out the Captain. (Um, thank God?)
Richard continues to freak out, trying to pull his chains out of the wall, trying to claw the chains out of the wood, etc. The monster comes down into the hull and Richard really loses it but the Smoke Monster starts kicking it kinda slow. It gets right up in Papi's grill. Richard prays. I can't quite hear what he's saying but no matter because the Smoke Monster bugs out. Whew.
Black Rock. Olden times. Richard is try to get loose when the rains come. He's... stretching ... for the ... water ... but the chains .... are ... not ... quite ... long enough ... to reach. Visitor. It's a boar. Oh, gross! It's eating Richard's dead buddies. It charges
Richard and he loses hold of the nail he's been using to try to get free. Reeeeeeach!
Richard is losing hope when someone speaks to him. Hello? Is anyone there? It's Isabella! I'm here, Richard says. They embrace. She says, "We're both dead. We're in hell. I have to save you before the devil comes back. ... I saw evil in his eyes." (It's HERE!) Leave. I can't. Leave. I won't. Go! Go! She leaves. But the smoke gets her and she dies again?
A hand reaches out to Richard who's fallen asleep exhausted. Hello Dude in Black (Titus Welliver), enemy of Jacob. Who are you? "A friend." Am I in hell? "Yes. But I was here long before your ship." Where is my wife? "She was here. ... She's not coming back. ... It means he has her. I think you know who." Richard wants to go save Isabella. "Of course, I'll help you. I want to be free too. I have keys. But I need to know you'll help me. Will you do anything?" Ricardo promises anything to save Isabella. He just sold his soul.
Jungle. Olden times. Richard is eating. After lunch, he and Man in Black go to to the four-toed statue. Man in Black explains the four toes (shipwreck) then gives Richard a knife to take care of the Devil. "If he speaks, it's too late. Here's this knife. Kill him."
Man in Black then explains how he is the black smoke who killed Isabella. (Awkward.) He explains the devil betrayed him, took his body, and took his humanity. "I'm not the one you need to worry about. The OTHER dude is the devil. Gotta kill him. We can talk about what is right or wrong all day but, do you want to see your wife again?" (This is getting old.)
Richard takes off to the beach, then to the statue with the knife. He can't do too much damage because then he gets cold-cocked by Jacob, THEN gets beat up some more. Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) wants to know why Richard is trying to kill him.
"The Man in Black told me you're the devil. He told me to kill you." Jacob does the verbal equivalent of slapping Rich upside the head. "That wasn't your wife. You're not dead." Richard insists they're in hell and I'm inclined to agree at the moment. Jacob tries to drown Richard just to show how wrong he is and Rich comes to his senses. "I want to live." You know, nothing good ever comes of these little chats with Jacob. They're like department meetings at work. But Richard and Jacob talk about how Jacob brought Richard to the island. And here's we're going
to celebrate with this wine. But then, I think, over the next 3-4 minutes, I'm supposed to believe that evil is the wine and it's in this bottle Jacob has. But then Jake is like, check out this cork. The cork is the island keeping the bad stuff at bay. And, by the way, there's a Man in Black on this island who has nothing to do with Johnny Cash.
So now I'm thoroughly confused because then Jacob starts doing his HR pitch to Rich. Hey, you want a job? Richard is just as confused as I am because he's like, so if I take the job as your "guy", convincing people to do the right thing because you're too much of a punk to do it yourself, will I be absolved of my sins, will I get my Isabella back? "Nope," Jacob says. "So then I want to live forever," Ricardo says. "That, my friend, I can do," says Jacob, who proceeds to touch Rich.
Lovely. And there you have it folks, the most long-winded explanation, for why Richard doesn't die, you ever hoped to have three seasons ago.
Richard goes back to the anti-Johnny Cash and slips him a white rock, courtesy of Jacob. Yes, it's kind of an inside joke. "You realize if you pick that blonde idiot you'll never see your wife again," the anti-Johnny Cash says. "But if you ever change you're mind, I'm here for you, dawg. The offer still stands." Well, that was considerate. The Man in Black gives Richard Isabella's cross, a little parting
gift. Richard buries it, kissing it first to say goodbye. Adios, mi amor. (Ay, que triste!)
Jungle. Modern day. Richard, still worked up, winds his way back to the place where he buried that cross. Looks like Rich has changed his mind. He says it out loud and waits. "Are you listening? I was wrong. You said I could change my mind. Does the offer still stand?" He's yelling over and over again. What the frak! It's Hugo, not the
anti-Johnny Cash or Black Locke, who comes out of the bushes.
Hugo admits Isabella sent him, which would be creepy on any other show but makes sense here. "She wants to know why you buried your cross? We saw you dig it up. She's standing right next to you." She tells Hugo that Richard doesn't believe him and Hugo says, he knows. Sometimes it takes people awhile. She wants to tell Richard he speaks great English. Hugo translates. She asks her beloved to close his eyes. Hugo translates.
"It wasn't your fault that I died. As much as you wanted to save me, it was my time." Hurley doesn't translate that part. But Isabella is holding Richard's face and he feels her presence and begins to cry. He says, "I miss you. I would do anything to be with you." And Isabella replies. "My love, we are together." (I'm crying even while retyping this.)
Richard puts the cross on, knowing Isabella is gone. Hurley plays killjoy. "She said one more thing. There's something you have to do. You have to stop the anti-Johnny Cash from leaving the island. If you don't, we're all going to hell."
Watching from not to far away is the Man in Black, who I wish had a name. Like Jeff. Anyway, he and Jacob exchange unveiled pleasantries. Jake says, hey, your hot Cuban guy tried to kill me. "Jeff" is like, what, you want an apology? Jacob just wants to know why.(Come on, Jake! Even I know why!)
"I want to leave. Just let me leave. I will kill you," Jeff says. Jake is like, I have minions. You gonna kill my minions? Jeff says yes. Then Jake gives Jeff the wine. "Something for you to pass the time. See ya, Jeff!" Jeff is angry and not up for drinking so he breaks the wine carafe, sending the evil wine all over the place.
Oooh, you're in trouble!