Last Night’s Richard Alpert Episode Of “Lost”—Sliced, Diced, And Chopped
Last night’s episode of “Lost” was, well, dope on a rope. The 9th episode of the 18 in this final season, it’s the halfway point—where writers had to give us some serious info. And boy did they deliver. Since some of you no doubt have the episode waiting on your DVR at home, I won’t spoil it here. But after the jump, my thoughts after watching the episode. Until now, Richard Alpert has been incredibly mysterious, what with his not aging and his dreamy eyes and all. (Side note: Nestor Carbonelli tells People that it is not, in fact, eyeliner but just his naturally lush lashes which he hated as a kid. “I took a pair of scissors and actually cut my eyelashes. I had such a complex about them.”) And now we know his full story. He started out as Ricardo, a field worker in the Canary Islands with a dying wife. When he tries to get her medicine, the local doctor denies him and they get into a scuffle. Ricardo accidentally kills him. When he arrives home, the s**t really hits the fan—his wife dies anyway and he is jailed and sentenced to execution for murder. Until he is sold into slavery and boards the Black Rock for the New World—which shipwrecks on the island instead. The ship’s captain kills all the survivors. The Smoke Monster arrives and eats him before he can stick a sword through Ricardo.
I love Richard’s back story—especially that, like all the castaways, his former life is filled with moral ambiguity. Yeah, he didn’t mean to kill that doctor. But he certainly doesn’t show much remorse, either.
Carbonelli says this episode was truly key for him as an actor. “It’s been an enormous challenge to play a character about whom I knew very little,” he said. To prepare for his big scenes he says, “I drank a lot of scotch.”
But back to the show. What made this episode so incredible is that it gave us not one but two viable theories for what the heck the island is. The first is given to us by Isabella when she appears to Ricardo. Presumably, this is the Man in Black’s theory, since he has the ability to take the dead’s form. Theory #1: That everyone on the island is dead, that it is hell, and that Jacob is the devil. No wonder he wants to leave so bad.
But then we get another theory from Jacob himself, in the conversation where he stops Ricardo from aging. Theory #2: That the island is like a cork on a wine bottle of evil, and that it keeps the darkness from spilling out into the regular world.
So which theory are we supposed to believe? Until now, the supposition has been that the Man in Black is bad and that Jacob is good. Nearly everyone on the show has walked to Jacob’s drum beat and followed his orders, presumably for some higher purpose. The friend I watched the episode with is still in Jacob’s corner and thinks the Man in Black is the master manipulator here. But I’m not so sure. All of a sudden, I kind of trust the Man in Black. After all, when he’s talking to Ricardo, he confesses that he is the Smoke Monster who killed (Ricardo’s vision of?) Isabella. He could have easily lied and said it was Jacob—then Ricardo would have killed Jacob immediately and the Man in Black could have avoided the last 240 years of being trapped on the island. Also, in the end, Richard seems to go with the Man in Black/Isabella’s interpretation of the island as hell.
At this point, I think both Jacob and the Man in Black are bad. The Man in Black for killing oodles of folks as the Smoke Monster. And Jacob, for bringing the Black Rock to the island in the first place, knowing that out of a ship full of people, only one would survive. He also called Flight 815 to the island—killing hundreds for the six he needed.
What are your interpretations of what’s happening on “Lost”? Please share in the comments. I need more theories!
Next week, we’ll no doubt get back to the Oceanic Six and find out what the heck they are candidates for. As in, what does taking over for Jacob entail anyway? I’m spending way too much time thinking about it. Also, when is Desmond coming back?