hat we learn:
I'm back in love with Lost and I ♥ Richard Alpert like so very much. Damn! That man had a hard life Seriously, his wife dies and he accidentally kills the bastard doctor who wouldn't give him medicine for his wife, goes to prison, won't get absolution from the asshole corrupt priest, is sold as a slave and ends up on the Black Rock destined for the Island. Then the stupid Englishman goes all crazy and starts stabbing the slaves. And ole Smokey comes and kills everyone but Richard but looks into his soul or whatever and I guess decides that Richard is worthy of the murder of Jacob or something. Then he tricks Richard into thinking that "the devil" has his wife and sends Richard off to murder Jacob who kicks the crap out of Richard.
Basically this story was all about how Richard ended up ageless on some mysterious Island with gods fighting or whatever the hell is going on. The original recipe Man in Black was back and he was trying to trick Richard into thinking that Jacob was the devil and they were all dead. He admitted to being the Black Smoke straight out though so I wonder if he can only lie by telling the truth, as the devil does. When he gave Richard the knife to kill Jacob, he gave the same rules that Dogen gave Sayid, don't let him talk to you, stab him in the chest. More evidence he was trying to trick Ricard into thinking that Jacob is the devil?
Jacob talks to Richard after the murder attempt. He says he brings people to the Island to prove MIB wrong, that people are not inherently sinful, but he doesn't like to interfere since he doesn't think he shouldn't have to and it would be meaningless if he had to tell them to be good. He enlists Richard to help. Richard wants his wife back, then absolution but Jacob cannot give him either. Then he asks never to die so he doesn't have to face Hell and Jacob smiles and says he can give him that and touches Richard's shoulder and that is how Richard became immortal. He also explained how MIB is bad. He picks up the wine bottle and says that the wine is evil/darkness and the cork is the Island keeping evil locked (ha, see what I did there) inside. So then Jacob is the keeper of the bottle?
MIB's offer to Richard still stands. The offer to take him off the Island? I'm not entirely sure. And he gives Richard his cross back who then buries it. 140 or so years later Richard digs it up and wants to take up the MIB on his offer, but Hurley pops up talking to Richard's dead wife who says he must let her go and that he has to stop the Man in Black from getting off the Island or they will all go to hell. DUN!
So all evidence is pointing to MIB being pure evil and Jacob is his brother's keeper or something. Oh he gives MIB the metaphor wine bottle who promptly smashes it showing that there is more than one way to release the metaphor evil/wine. They have a fairly friendly conversation before like people who have been together for a long time. But MIB is resentful of his imprisonment. Jacob also mentions that even if he is killed then there will be someone to take his place and MIB says he will kill all of them too. So, uh oh, for our dear candidates. This would explain the list on the cave wall and the scratching out of names.
Well, now one of the biggest mysteries on the Island has a back story and I thought this episode was really well done and we didn't have to endure any Sideways stories which is always a plus.