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Posted at 3:38 PM ET, 03/23/2010

The 'Lost' 5: Points to ponder ahead of 'Ab Aeterno'

By Liz Kelly

Who is this man? Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert. (ABC)

Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached the midway point of season six. Flash forward three months -- "Lost" will be TV history and Jen and I will be spending our Tuesday nights and early Wednesday mornings on totally alien pursuits, like quality time with the family. Or sleep. Crazy talk.

Maybe it's because we've reached the middle of the see-saw or perhaps because today is (nudge nudge) the 23rd, but tonight's show will be six minutes longer than usual, so you may want to adjust your DVRs accordingly.

Anyhow, as we prepare for tonight's episode, "Ab Aeterno," I offer five questions (and a few answers)...

1. What does 'Ab Aeterno' mean anyway?

"Since the beginning of time," according to Wiktionary. Which makes sense since we're in for a Richard Alpert-centric episode which promises to explain why the guy hasn't aged since, well, the beginning of time (where "time" equals Nestor Carbonell's arrival on the show in season three). Will it include a flashback that explains Ilana's greeting Alpert as "Ricardus" at the end of season 5? We can only hope. A toga-wearing Richard Alpert would be a refreshing change from the guy's usual LL Bean wardrobe.

2. Who is Zoe?

At first blush, Zoe -- played by Sheila Kelley conjuring her best island-hardened Tina Fey look -- appeared to be something of a Girl Friday for her employer, Charles Widmore. Sawyer met her last week on Hydra Island where she was posing as the last survivor of Ajira Airways flight 316. But according to a new interview, (WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERAGE AHEAD) Kelley claims Zoe is far from a throwaway character. In fact, says the actress, Zoe could be the key to the whole show. Said the newcomer, "This beautiful journey of this entire show, between good and evil, between science and faith, lies within Zoe." Delusions of grandeur or are the writers really going that far off reservation to wrap this story up?

3. Okay, so since we're talking new-ish characters, who is Ilana really?

We don't know much about Ilana aside from the fact that she was personally recruited by Jacob to come to the island to protect "the candidates" -- which somehow involved dragging a handcuffed Sayid onto that Ajira flight and bringing only a dapper vest to wear over her T-shirt. But in yet more mouthy-actors-giving-revealing-interview news, actress Zuleikha Robinson tells New York magazine's Vulture blog that not only will we get some more info about Ilana's M.O. tonight, but that we'll soon find out some revealing details about her -- f'rinstance why she was in a Russian hospital, whether she's been to the island before and whether or not she has a last name.

Here's a sneak peek from tonight's show in which Ilana gets specific marching orders from Jacob:

4. Are we done with the new characters already?

Maybe not. (AGAIN: SPOILER WARNING!) According to EW know-it-all Michael Ausiello, the upcoming 15th episode will be chock full of faces we've never seen before and feature only a few of the series regulars. Writes Ausiello, "Let’s just say it’s a big mythology episode and leave it at that."

5. Did you get enough Sawyer last week?

Me either. So, thank you ABC for putting together this "Cowboy Casanova" video set to the Carrie Underwood song of the same name. Dude, you can't do too much to please your core audience. Lots of shirtless shots, bon mots and those dimples.

Comment and share your own burning questions below...

By Liz Kelly  | March 23, 2010; 3:38 PM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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I so hate my work web nanny right now. Will have to rush home to see your second video.

And thanks for the DVR setting advice. This week is exam week for my sons who are fans and will probably be cramming tonight. You saved me from much whining and complaining.

Posted by: hodie | March 23, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I have been excited for this episode since 10:01 PM last Tuesday. BRING ON R.A.!

Posted by: Osteph | March 23, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I gave up on this show mid-last season, but I still enjoy reading this blog. And I especially like seeing Sawyer wearing glasses.

Posted by: Jeannie8 | March 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

So sad you said midway through the season but thank you for posting two times a week! I anxiously await what you have to say Wednesday morning!

Posted by: mannc | March 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Don't miss the youtube spoof "Brokeback Island" for more insights. Here's the link:

Posted by: beta1 | March 23, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Ilana means "tree" in Hebrew. Zoe is Greek for "life. Ab Aeterno - latin for "from the beginning of time. The "tree of life" was in the beginning. Hmmm Hebrew, Greek and Latin three of the big Biblical languages which were used during the life of Christ.

Interesting, but I'm sure I can't be the first to notice this.

Posted by: hims | March 23, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I guess those extra six minutes were all "V" commercials.

I agree with a friend who thinks Ilana would have been Ana Lucia had Michelle Rodriguez not "left" the show.

Posted by: metatext | March 23, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Post-show comment:

Well -- I for one was NOT surprised.

OK, a little. I still think there is a bit more divinity to Jacob than he is letting on, although the alternative of Jacob being the jailer of a prison keeping in the devil (MIB) was on my short list. (From the Twilight Zone episode.)

So, Ricardo is Jacob's prophet. We always knew he was an intermediary, but now it is confirmed that he was chosen specifically because Jacob felt that he should not have needed to tell people to do the right thing, they should already know.

And now, Hugo is Jacob's prophet.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 23, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Sin and redemption, a new beginning, theodicy, free will, evil, stopping evil.

And some folks say it is a dumb, nonsensical show.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 23, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Funny how over at TWOP, some do not have a clue.

Posted by: ooyah32 | March 23, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Liz and Jen:

While I thank you for putting the spoiler alerts in the middle of your paragraphs, could you just say up front that this is going to be a spoiler heavy post?

Having to speed scroll through what is usually a "safe"/non-spoiler LOST post was kind of annoying. I'm trying so hard to avoid spoilers for this last season, and the entertainment media are making it very difficult. Sometimes I'm not even looking to read about LOST but a spoiler-ific headline pops up somewhere I'm simply not expecting it. To start reading a post and then have to end up not reading it is almost as frustrating.


Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 24, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Sawyer... yummy! Thank you for the video.

Posted by: privacy3 | March 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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