Episode Review: Last Night's "Lost"

  • Comments: ↓ 9 user comments
  • Publish Date: March 24, 2010

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet seen this episode of Lost, you should avoid reading this article and the user comments, as they will discuss events that happened during the episode.

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Episode 9 Metascore
93

Season 6, Episode 9: "Ab Aeterno"

An episode focused exclusively on Richard Alpert, with no flash-sideways scenes in Los Angeles? Count us in. This week's ninth episode was easily the quickest-moving "Lost" this season thanks to its rare narrative focus, and it even managed to answer some questions without raising new ones. Throw in a romance, and a strong performance by Nestor Carbonell as Alpert, and it's no wonder the critics are saying good things about this one.

Let's see exactly what reviewers are saying about "Ab Aeterno," after a quick rundown of this season's scores so far.

Previous Episodes This Season
Episode Score   Episode Score
Episode 1/2: LA X 89   Episode 6: Sundown 82
Episode 3: What Kate Does 64   Episode 7: Dr. Linus 92
Episode 4: The Substitute 88   Episode 8: Recon 76
Episode 5: Lighthouse 71      
Reviews for This Week's Episode
Score Publication Reviewer
100 Los Angeles Times Todd VanDerWerff
This is yet another all-timer for the show, an episode that hearkens back to the days of season one in the best possible way: by filling in the backstory of a character we're intrigued by and like but don't yet really understand.
100 The Onion A.V. Club Noel Murray
I was entranced, even though I don’t know that “Ab Aeterno” was quite what I was expecting. ... There was a different kind of mood about the episode that drew me in early, and held me all the way to the end. [Grade: A]
100 Television Without Pity Cindy McLennan
[Full recap forthcoming; Grade: A+]
100 TV Overmind Sam McPherson
"Ab Aeterno," while not quite meeting the expectations that were set for it (most were expecting a HUGE mythology dump, but we only got a medium-sized one, with an emphasis on character development), was still one of the best episodes of the season so far. I'll place it in second, behind "Dr. Linus" and right in front of "The Substitute." [Grade: A+]
100 What's Alan Watching Alan Sepinwall
What made this one a highlight not only of the final season, but of the series' entire run, was what made "Lost" so compelling at the beginning, before hatches and fertility experiments and time-traveling Scotsmen and the rest of the mythology (which I really do like): it was both a great character piece and a white-knuckle thriller.
98 IGN Chris Carabott
The overall story of Lost benefits immensely from the clarity that this week's episode provides. And it's all capped by one outstanding performance by Nestor Carbonell.
90 Chicago Tribune Maureen Ryan
What was great about "Ab [Aeterno]" is that it showed us a story about one imperfect, well-intentioned man caught up in this terrible struggle.
90 Cultural Learnings Myles McNutt
As always, the performances are what really sells this, and this is particularly challenging when the episode features so little of the “regular” castaways. So, it’s a testament to Nestor Carbonell that he was able to sell Richard’s story so effectively in two languages.
90 Entertainment Weekly Jeff Jensen
A heavy, heady hour of TV... ''Ab Aeterno'' was a big winner in my book.
90 HitFix Drew McWeeny
The way the show presented all of this material was both emotional and exciting.
90 St. Petersburg Times Eric Deggans
This tour de force for Carbonell held up Lost's tradition of making supporting characters so much more interesting than the supposed stars, allowing an actor who has always sat on the periphery of action to finally grab some of the spotlight.
90 Time James Poniewozik
Last night showed us a fine hour of acting, plain and simple.
90 TV Squad Jason Hughes
Nestor Carbonell proved with his performance here that he could easily carry the lead in a dramatic series of his own.
80 TV Fanatic The Barnacle
The performance of the episode belonged to Titus Welliver, who made his return as the Man in Black.
80 Zap2It Ryan McGee
"Ab Aeterno" was so damn different than what I thought it was going to be, that I couldn't make sense of anything onscreen. ... It's below "The Substitute" and "Dr. Linus" in terms of top-to-bottom quality for me, but above everything else. [Read Ryan's full recap here.]

Individual critic scores are assigned by Metacritic (on a scale of 0-bad to 100-great) based on the overall impression given by a review. The overall Metascore listed at the top of this page is a simple average of the individual scores.

What did you think?

Did you enjoy this episode of Lost? Let us know in the comments section below. As a courtesy to other users, please do not include spoilers of any kind in your posts, although you are welcome to discuss all events shown in this particular episode of the show.

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Comments (9)

  • Mitch Sloan  

    Richard Alpert is the second most intriguing character on the show (second only to Sayid), and the acting is brilliant. They couldn't have picked a better immortal. I was a little surpised by how aggressive and physical Jacob is in this episode. Makes you feel a little more secure in his ability to defend the cork, er, the island, live or dead. And I love Hurley's ability to channel the dead now. He would be an excellent choice to be candidate #1 to pinch hit for Jacob.

  • FlaTEr1C  

    ingenious! one of the greatest, maybe even the greatest, mythology episodes of Lost and a great TV moment.

  • Mayhew  

    I totally agree with the general sentiment of the reviews. I went in expecting more revelations, but the overall quality of the story more than made up for that. In a season of pretty scattered focus, I really liked taking a longer, in-depth look at Richard's origin.

  • PRatts  

    @ Mitch Sloan... Sayid really!? I find him so boring.

    Good episode though! I was expecting more present-island material and maybe some Richard when the Others formed, but it's cool that he's been around since the early man in black vs jacob days. cool ep

  • Evan B.  

    Amazing episode. Why haven't I heard of Nestor Carbonell before? I hope he gets his own TV series when this show is over. This was a great way to start the 2nd half of the final season of Lost!

  • Phado  

    Found this a really disappointing episode. Running mostly as one single narrative meant that it took a long time to divulge any new information or supply any answers. I didn't feel I'd learned anything new by the end of the episode and was frustrated that we didn't see any progress in anyone else's stories. With so little airtime left before the whole story is over, there are so many many questions that remain to be answered. This episode would have been great in season 3 or 4 but here it felt like an unnecessary overindulgence that detracts from what I really care about, the fate of the survivors of Oceanic 815. If we really had to have a full episode devoted to a character who wasn't on that flight, it would have made much more sense to have found out about Charles Widmore. Why he left the island, when he left the island, how he made his fortune (he must be a multi-millionaire or billionaire) and why he wants the island so badly.
    Oh well, perhaps next week we'll have a full episode devoted to Vincent trying to find a bone he buried...

  • Fixman  

    Is there any way to see all of Lost episode's metascores?

  • Dawson H.  

    Phado, we have figured all of that stuff out about Charles Widmore. He got exiled from the island for having a relationship with someone off the island and also for leaving the island so much as shown in one of Ben's episodes. We know that his business is a partnership with Paik industries, i think.. (Sun's father's company) They're somehow related.. I know they've told us what he does though. He wants to get back to the island because he wants to be in charge again; the island meant a lot to him.

    Anyway, this was a great episode, filled with great acting from all the actors. Mainly Nestor Campbell in his role as Richard. Definitely one of my favorite episodes of Lost.

  • SomeGuy  

    This is all of the metascores. They are only doing a episode-by-episode rating of this final season.

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