Richard reflects on his own place in the struggle between Jacob and Nemesis, as he considers defecting to the other side.
Note: "Lost in the Vines" is made for discussion of the series "Lost" on ABC. As such, here be spoilers! We talk frankly about the events of the night, speculate about future events, and so on. Read no further if you don't want spoilers.
Richard Alpert faces a difficult choice.
The Big Reveal: Richard Alpert was brought to the Island in the 1800s, and Nemesis tried to trick him into killing Jacob.
Ilana wakes up in a hospital bed. Jacob approaches her and pulls up a chair. He says he's sorry he couldn't make it sooner. She says she's happy to see him. He says he needs her help, and she agrees. He tells her there are six people he needs her to protect, and that it's what she's been preparing for. She asks who they are, and he tells her they're candidates.
Jack asks what the candidates are for, and Sun explains they're candidates to replace Jacob. She says she, Jack, and Hurley are all members. Frank asks what they should do now. Ilana says she doesn't know, and Jack asks who does know.
Ilana asks Jacob what to do after she brings them to the Temple. He says to ask Ricardus.
Hurley asks who "Ricardus" is. Ilana points to Richard and asks him what they do next. He laughs and says he has no idea. He points out that he was trying to kill himself, and asks if that sounds like someone who has a plan. He says Jacob was lying when he said he had a plan. Jack asks what he's talking about. Richard tells Jack that he's dead. He says they're not on an Island, they never were. He says they're in hell, so he's not interested in what Jacob says. He claims it's time they stop listening to him and start listening to someone else. He says that's exactly what he's going to do. He picks up a torch and leaves.
Richard walks through forest. Ilana cocks a gun and says she's going after Richard. She says he knows what to do next, and that she trusts what Jacob said. Jack says that he's lost his mind, and wouldn't be talking about listening to someone else. Sun tells him that he meant Locke. Jack says Locke is dead. Ben tells him that it's not "exactly" Locke. Jack walks to Hurley, who's speaking Spanish. Jack asks what he's saying. Hurley says that he isn't speaking to Jacob, and Jack presses him. Hurley says it's not Jacob, and tells him it has nothing to do with him.
Ben tells Ilana that Jack is right to advise against going after Richard. Ilana asks what makes him so sure. Ben says he's known him since he was 12 years old. Frank asks if they met when they were kids. Ben says he was a kid, but Richard was the same. He doesn't age. Frank asks how that happened.
Richard, dressed in a tunic and with a beard, rides on horseback in 1867. He comes to a cabin and tells a woman, Isabella, to go back to sleep. He notices her fever and puts a wet rag on her forehead. She tells him it's alright, then goes into a coughing fit. He unfolds the rag to see blood from her cough, and says he's going to get a doctor. She kisses her crucifix and gives it to him to give to the doctor. He starts to refuse, but she says to take it. He starts to cry, and she tells him to close his eyes. She tells him they'll always be together, and she kisses his cheek. He promises to save her.
He rides through the rain, and bursts into a doctor's house ignoring a servant. The doctor, sitting at a table, says to get him some blankets. Richard explains about his wife, and begs him to come. The doctor says it's a half-day's journey and refuses to ride in the pouring rain. He offers medicine to save her life, but says it's very expensive. Richard offers anything, and the doctor gets up. Richard gives him some coins, and the doctor asks if that's all he has. Richard gives him the necklace and tells him that now he has everything. The doctor tosses it aside and says it's worthless. Richard begs, saying he'll work off the debt. They two get into a struggle, and Richard throws him against a table, killing him. The servant, coming in with blankets, witnesses it. Richard takes the medicine and runs outside and onto his horse to ride back.
When he arrives at his house, Isabella has already died. He checks for a pulse and cries over her body. A guard enters the house and finds him there.
Richard reads a Bible inside a jail cell. A priest comes with some food and asks to see his Bible. Richard explains that he's been teaching himself, that he was going to go to the New World and start a family with his wife. The priest asks if he's ready to make his confession. Richard kneels and begs forgiveness for killing a man. The priest refuses to grant him absolution. Richard tells him it was an accident, but the priest insists. Richard says there must be some way to earn forgiveness. The priest suggests penance. Richard says he'll do anything, but the priest says he doesn't have time. Tomorrow he'll be hanged. He tells Richard that the devil waits for him in hell, and he leaves.
Two guards come in to restrain Richard, and the priest tells them to blindfold him. He recites a prayer as they take him down a hall. A British man asks if this is him, and then checks his teeth. He asks the priest if he speaks English, and the priest tells Mr. Whitfield yes. He asks Richard if he speaks English, but when Richard is silent he tells them to get him a new one. Richard cries out that he speaks English, and the man asks if he works with his hands. Richard says yes, and the man asks if he wants to go to the New World. Richard says yes, and Whitfield takes him. He says he's now property of Magnus Hanso.
On the Black Rock, the prisoners below deck see the Island. Richard looks out and sees the statue, as the prisoners cry out that they see the Island guarded by the devil. The waves rise so high that the Black Rock crashes into the statue.
Hours later, in daylight, Richard wakes up. He says God has spared them. Above the deck, they hear the captors talking about being stranded. The prisoners shout for help. Whitfield comes down into the prisoner deck, pulls his sword, and murders the prisoners one by one. Richard shouts what he's doing. Whitfield explains that they're shipwrecked with limited supplies and only five officers. Richard holds his hands up in surrender and asks why Whitfield is doing this. Whitfield says if he freed him, it would only be a matter of time before he tried to kill him. He draws his sword, and above the cabin they hear the sounds of the Smoke Monster. It kills the other officers. Whitfield asks what happened, and then the black smoke kills him too. Richard tries to break free, and turns to see the smoke heading towards him. He closes his eyes and recites a prayer, and when he opens them again the smoke is gone.
Richard tries to loosen a floor board, and then hears a storm outside. Water drips in and he struggles to stretch to it for a drink. Hours later, he's still trying to loosen the nail from the floorboard, and finally gets it. He uses the nail to wear down his chains, but can't loosen them enough. He wakes up finding a boar in the cabin. The boar runs by, knocking the nail out of his hands. He struggles to reach it but can't.
Later, he sees a dark figure, Isabella. She rushes to hug him, and she tells him that they're both dead and in hell. She says she's come to save him before the devil comes back. She asks if he's seen the devil too, and he says he thinks he has. They hear a noise, and he tells her to go now. He says he wants to save her like he promised, and she leaves the cabin. He hears a scream, and he shouts to leave her alone, and then crumples on the floor crying.
A man enters with a lantern and some cups with a drink, and touches Richard's shoulder. Richard slowly wakes up with a start. He sees the man in black, who offers him water. Nemesis calls himself a friend. Richard asks if they're in hell, and Nemesis says yes. Richard observes that he wasn't on the ship, and Nemesis says he was here a long time. Richard asks about his wife, and explains about the Black Smoke. Nemesis says that probably means "he" has her. Richard asks, who? Nemesis tells him he knows who. He tells Richard he wants to be free too, and offers to unlock him with the keys if Richard will help him get free. Nemesis unlocks him, and says it's good to see him out of those chains. He says the only way to escape from hell is to kill the devil.
Richard eats a meal, and Nemesis tells him how to get to the statue. He tells him the ship broke it into pieces, and that's where he'll find the devil. He gives Richard a knife and tells him that if he speaks it's too late, since he's very persuasive. Richard asks how he can kill black smoke. Nemesis says he's the black smoke. Richard asks if Isabella was running from him, and Nemesis says she was running from the devil but he couldn't stop him. He says the devil took his humanity and betrayed him. Richard protests that he killed the officers. Nemesis says he'll have to kill him. Richard says murder is wrong, but Nemesis asks if he ever wants to see his wife again. Richard reluctantly says that he does, and Nemesis hands him the knife.
Richard travels to the beach and sees the remains of the statue there. He walks towards it, finding the entrance and drawing his knife. As he approaches, he's hit in the face and falls down. He tries to come again with the knife, and Jacob disarms him. He demands to know who gave it to him. Richard asks where his wife is. Jacob says he doesn't know where his wife is, and asks if she came on the ship. Richard says she's dead, and Jacob asks why he's asking where she is then. Jacob asks if Richard met a man in the jungle dressed in black. Richard explains about the smoke monster and his wife, and the deal they made. Jacob tells him he's not dead, and he's not in hell. Richard insists, and Jacob takes him to the water, holding him under. He brings him back up and asks if he still thinks he's dead. He keeps repeating it, until Richard asks for him to stop. Jacob asks for his name, and Richard tells him. Jacob tells him to get up, and says they need to talk.
Jacob pours Richard a drink. Richard asks what's in the statue, and Jacob says no one comes in unless he invites them in. Richard asks if he's the devil. Jacob says no, and Richard asks who he is. Jacob introduces himself and says he brought the ship to the Island. He tells Richard to think of the wine as what he thinks of hell, or malevolence, evil, darkness. He says it's swirling in the bottle unable to get out because if it did, it would spread. He says the cork is the Island, and it's the only thing keeping the darkness where it belongs. He says that the man who sent him thinks everyone is corruptible because sin is their nature. Jacob says he brings people here to prove them wrong. When they get here their past doesn't matter.
Richard asks if others have been here, and Jacob says there have, but they're all dead. Richard asks why he didn't help. Jacob says he wanted them to help themselves, and if he stepped in and did everything for them there would be no point. Richard points out that if he doesn't, Nemesis will. This gives Jacob pause. He asks Richard if he wants a job. Richard asks, doing what? Jacob says, maybe Richard can step in for him. He says he can be an intermediary for the people he brings to the Island. Richard asks what he gets in return, and Jacob asks what he wants. Richard says he wants his wife back. Jacob says he can't do that. Richard says he wants to be absolved of his sins so he doesn't go to hell. Jacob says he can't do that either. Richard off-handedly says he wants to live forever, then. Jacob tells him that, he can do.
Richard approaches Nemesis, who observes that he let him talk to him. Richard says he told him to give him a small white rock. Nemesis says that he'll never be with his wife again, but says he understands, because he can be very convincing. Nemesis tells him that if he ever changes his mind, his offer still stands. Nemesis says he has something for him, and gives him the gold necklace with his wife's crucifix. Richard looks down at it, and Nemesis is gone. Richard kisses it and buries it in the soil, and says goodbye to Isabella.
Richard finds the spot where he buried the necklace and digs it out. He says he changed his mind. He shouts to Nemesis that he was wrong, and that the offer was supposed to stand. Hurley approaches, asking what offer he's talking about. Richard asks if he followed him. Richard shouts that he doesn't know anything, but Hurley interrupts, saying his wife, Isabella, sent him. He says she wants to know why he buried her cross. Richard is skeptical, but he says Isabella is standing right next to him. Isabella says he doesn't believe him, but Hurley says that sometimes it takes people a while. She says to tell him that his English is beautiful, and Hurley tells him. He starts to cry and asks if she's really here. She says something, and Hurley tells Richard that she wants him to close his eyes.
She speaks, and Hurley translates. He says it's not his fault, and as much as he wanted to save her, it was her time. She says he suffered enough. He says he misses her and would do anything to be with her again. She says that they're already together, and kisses his cheek. She disappears, and Hurley tells him that she's gone. Richard puts on the necklace again, and thanks Hurley. He asks Hurley if something is wrong. Hurley says she said one more thing, something Richard has to do. He tells her, she said that he has to stop the man in black from leaving the Island. If he doesn't, Hurley says, they all go to hell.
Nemesis watches from a distance.
Jacob approaches Nemesis, palming the white rock. Jacob says he got his present. Nemesis tells him not to gloat. Jacob says he tried to kill him. Nemesis asks if he expects an apology. Jacob asks why he did it, and Nemesis says he wants to leave. Jacob says as long as he's alive that won't happen, and Nemesis says that's why he wants to kill him. Jacob says if he does, someone will take his place. Nemesis says, he'll kill them too. Jacob hands him the bottle of wine and tells him it's something to pass the time. He says he'll see him around. Nemesis says, sooner than you think, and smashes the bottle.
Cut to LOST
The Big Questions:
- "We're in Hell," "We all go to Hell" -- why all the talk of Hell?
- Why did Dogen's comments about Nemesis echo Nemesis' own comments regarding Jacob?
- If Richard was recruited to be a proxy for Jacob, why did he interact personally with candidates?
Lost in the Vines Trivia Question:
How many candles were lit on the doctor's dining room table?
This Week in Original Articles:
Once again those who write original articles this year will be entered (once per week) in this year's contest. Contributing original articles or being the first to answer the trivia questions are the ways to be entered, so feel free to write!
- Sabastian's Guide To Understanding Time Travel, Jumps, Shifts and Multiple Worlds (Sabastian Palpatine)
- "Ab Aeterno"...What does it mean and where does it come from? (Debra Murphy)
- Did Charles Widmore know Ben Linus would kill Jacob? (Michael Sautter)
Next, on Lost: The Package