LOST's Final Season presents Richard Alpert

Last night's episode of LOST, entitled "Ab Abeterno" (from all eternity) centered on the character of 'Richard Albert'. Richard is the epitome of Ponce De Leon's search for the fountain of youth.

Shown sporadically in flashbacks and in the present on LOST, we know that Richard Alpert has been around for a very long time, and never ages.

We saw him in the 1950's, and in the 1980's, looking the same as he does today. Last night's episode explained why that is, and at the same time, answered many questions. The creators of LOST, as they always do, give their viewers more questions to ponder as well.

We now know that Richard was a young man in 1867, when he accidentally killed a man while trying to obtain medicine that would save his wife's life. Sentenced to hang, Richard was 'bought' by a slave trader and put on a ship bound for the 'New World'.

The same anomaly that trapped Flight 815 and caused it to crash on the island, traps the slave ship, The Black Rock, and it also crashes onto the island, busting the Taweret statue into pieces, and only the foot of the statue remains, which is how we first see the statue.

Richard is the only survivor after the captain of the ship kills everyone else. The man we come to know as the Man in Black, also the black smoke monster, approaches Richard and agrees to spare him if he kills Jacob, the man who is supposed to represent good, while the Man in Black represents evil.

We find out that Jacob grants Richard 'eternal life' merely by touching him. Jacob also explains that he has been keeping The Man in Black trapped on the island; to contain the evil so it is does not wreak havoc on the rest of the world. We understand now why The Man in Black, now occupying John Locke's dead body, wants to leave the island; wants to be free.

Jacob also explains to Richard that he brings people to the island to help him keep the evil on the island. We understand now what the six survivors are candidates for now. This answered the good vs. evil question that we heard about through clues since the first episode of LOST. Jacob also explains the conversation Jacob and The Man in Black had; on the season premiere of LOST's season six. The Man in Black believes that all people are easily corrupted. Jacob wants to prove him wrong.

I find myself wondering, however, whether Jacob brought the Dharma Initiative people to the island. Numerous websites hint that the "Others" are the original inhabitants of the island, but they come and go from the island as they please, just as the Dharma people did. This leads me to wonder why The Man in Black has never been able to do that, since he inhabits the bodies of those who died on the island.

I also wonder that if the Dharma people did come to the island on their own, did Jacob bring the people onboard flight 815 to the island because no one in the Dharma Imitative is a candidate. Does the same apply to the "Others"? Were they incapable of keeping The Man in Black contained on the island?

I also want to know why they are dragging out the reunion between Sun and Jin.

What I love about this season is how Sayid's character is changing. He is supposed to be 'poisoned' with evil now and he has taken on a persona that is perfectly matched to what they are telling us is happening to him. Sayid was a torturer with the republican guard in Iraq. However, he was caring, dependable, and loyal to his fellow survivors and everyone trusted him with their lives. Now he plays someone who is turning into an evil person.

Naveen Andrews is playing this part beautifully. He is a brilliant actor and has had to play three different characters in one so far on LOST. I cannot wait until we see what the endgame is for Sayid.

In addition, Nestor Carbonell, who plays Richard Alpert, is another wonderful actor whose talents we had the privilege of seeing last night. Always a mystery, always quiet, mild-mannered, and helpful, we saw a completely new side of Richard on last night's episode, and I loved it.

One of the best moments on the show last night was when we see Hurley off to the side, speaking in Spanish to what appears to be no one. I am a little disappointed in what they are doing with Hurley's character this season. They are making him less innocent than he was in previous seasons.

I hope that LOST intends to answer other mysteries such as what were Walt's special abilities all about, and what Hurley's numbers have to do with all of the happenings on the island.

I was hoping to see the character of Desmond return to the island this season, and I hope they continue to feature Ben as a prominent figure.

There are only a handful of episodes left until the final show of LOST, now in its last season. I do not think I have ever seen a show that has so captivated its audience, with its cleverness in writing and its ability to glue its fans to their sets each week, always wanting more.

I also hope that all of the actors on LOST, have successful careers and many projects to work on in the future. All of them are talented actors and they deserve accolades for making the world fall in love with a group of people who crashed on what we thought was an ordinary island.

LOST is about many things, but an ordinary island is not one of them.