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.
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.
|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|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|"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.]|
What did you think?
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