'Lost' Preview: All About Richard Alpert
'Lost' Preview: All About Richard Alpert
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Tonight promises to be a very pivotal episode of Lost.  Three of the shows most mysterious figures, Richard Alpert, Jacob and the Man in Black, will take center stage in the ninth episode of the final season, "Ab Aeterno."

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If your Latin is a little rusty, the title for this episode translates to "Since the beginning of time," an indication that the origins of the Island will be explored.  Richard Alpert has made veiled references to being on the Island for a very long time, so "Ab Aerterno" will most likely reveal many of his secrets, including why he never ages.

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As always, the official plot synopsis released by ABC doesn't provide much detail: "Richard Alpert faces a difficult choice."  But the trailers promise that Richard's secrets will be revealed.

The guest cast for the episode provides more insight.  Aside from Mark Pellegrino as Jacob and Titus Welliver as the Man in Black (returning for the first time since his brief but important scene at the start of the season 5 finale), "Ab Aeterno" will feature many Spanish characters, including Isabella, Father Suarez, Ignacio, a doctor, a servant and a prisoner.

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So why doesn't Richard age (other than being touched by Jacob) and what was his life like before the Island?  What is the real story behind the rivalry between Jacob and the Man in Black?  How did Richard become so important to the Island?  All of these questions, and hopefully many more, have the potential to be answered.

Lost airs at 9pm on ABC.  If you're recording it, set your DVRs a little over because the episode is scheduled to run for one hour and six minutes.

(Image courtesy of ABC)