Ab Aeterno - Recap

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A brief dialogue between an injured Ilana and Jacob is presented, it appears to be in the past. Jacob tells Ilana to protect the remaining candidates.

The group on the beach talk around a campfire. Jack and the other candidates on the beach are informed that they are candidates to replace Jacob by Sun. Jack enquires as to what to do next and the group look to Richard Alpert for answers. Richard laughs in bewilderment saying that they are all literally in hell and that everything Jacob ever said is a lie. Richard leaves with the plan of going to someone else for advice ( assumably John Locke). Jack finds Hurley talking to a dead person who they assume to be Jacob, he states that it isn't Jacob and that it's nothing to do with them. A conversation about Richard's immortality is brought up and Ben states that he has known him since he was a child and that Richard doesn't look a day older.

Richard's past is then presented, showing him as having a wife Isabella who is very ill in bed. Isabella refers to Richard as Richardo here, she coughs blood into a tissue and Richard sets out to get a doctor for her. Isabella gives Richard a cross asking that he deliver it to the doctor, it appears to have sentimental value and Richard pleas against it.

Richard rides to the doctor on horseback requesting medical help. The doctor states that he will not make the long journey in the pouring rain to get to Richard's wife in the bad weather. Richard is offered expensive medicine and he offers all he has in exchange, but the Doctor claims it is not enough. The doctor claims Richard's golden cross is worthless and there is a struggle; the doctor hits a hard surface in the struggle and dies. Richard leaves with the medicine after being seen by the help of the house.

When Richard returns to his wife she is already dead, so he is imprisoned. Richard encounters a priest before he is to be hung for his crimes. The priest admires Richard's bible being in English and Richard states that he is learning the language. Richard asks for the lords forgiveness and the priest refuses to grant him salvation. Richard is told that the devil awaits him in hell.

As Richard is approaching the time where he will be hung, a man approaches him and purchases him on the grounds that he speaks some English.

Richard and presumably other purchased slaves are transported on a boat which crashes on the island. As they approach the island one of the fellow slaves see's the large statue featured in previous episodes referring to it as the devil, the boat crashes into this statue destroying it. When the survivors awaken they are still chained down, the captain of the ships comes to kill the slaves one by one to maintain the chance of his own survival. The black smoke appears to save Richard Alpert and kills the other crew members.

Richard is left chained down for some time without water before his dead wife Isabella appears to him. Isabella appears to be taken by the black smoke and shortly after Richard awakens to a man ( Jacob's nemesis) presenting him with water. The man frees Richard and tells him to kill the devil (as Richard believes he is in hell). Richard is presented with a special knife and is told, not to hesitate or let the devil speak before killing him. Richard is offered the chance to see Isabella as a reward.

The devil under the foot of the statue is revealed to be Jacob who Richard attempts to attack. Jacob stops Richard with a few strikes and asks why he is there. Richard asks where his wife is and says that he believes his dead. Jacob repeatedly places Richard's head underwater to prove that he isn't dead. The two then move on to a conversation with a bottle of wine. Jacob says he brought Richard's ship to the island and then explains his reasoning with a metaphor.

Jacob refers to the wine in the bottle as "evil" and he said if it ever got out it would spread, he says the cork to the bottle is the island keeping the darkness where it belongs. Jacob explains his philosophy of bringing people to island explaining that he tries to prove that people are inherently "good". Richard is then hired as Jacob's representative on the grounds that Jacob doesn't want to interfere with the people he brings to the island.

Jacob asks what Richard wants in return and Richard asks for his wife, Jacob states that he cannot do that. When Richard asks for the ability to live forever then Jacob says that he can do that.

Richard speaks to Jacob's nemesis again who he gives a white rock from Jacob, assumably having a metaphorical meaning to them. Richard is then told that if he goes with Jacob then he will never see his wife again but that the alternative offer would always be available. Richard is then given his wife's cross, being told that it was found on the ship. Richard tearfully buries the cross.

Back in the present time Richard digs up and cross and begins shouting that he has changed his mind ( regarding his allegience with Jacob). Hurley then finds Richard saying that Richards wife sent him, Richard is initially in disbelief. Hurley states that Isabella wants to know why Richard buried her cross and that she is standing right next to him.

Hurley begins relaying Richard's wifes speech, she complements Richards english. Isabella says it wasn't Richard's fault and that it was her time before disappearing as swiftly as she came. Richard puts the cross around his neck. Hurley then says that Isabella said one more thing, she told Richard to stop "the man in black" from leaving the island or they will all go to hell.

Past Jacob and his nemesis are presented as Jacob hands over the wine bottle they talk about the intent to kill Jacob. Jacob says that as long as he is alive "the man in black" will remain stuck on the island. Jacob's nemesis then swiftly smashes the glass bottle of wine as Jacob leaves metaphorically representing his intentions to leave the island....