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Richard Alpert
 
 
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Portrayed by
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First seen
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Appeared in
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Episode count
30
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Name
Richard Alpert
Also known as
Richardus
Ricardo
Age
Between 170-180
Date of birth
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Profession
Advisor to the Leader of the Others
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Family members
Isabella - Late Wife
Connection
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Season(s)

S1 - S2 - S3 - MP - S4 - S5 - S6

"Richard" redirects here. For other uses of "Richard", see Richard (disambiguation).

Richard Alpert (also known as Richardus and by his birth name Ricardo) was a long-time inhabitant of the Island, having arrived in 1867 as a slave on the Black Rock, a slave ship that was washed onto the Island. Soon after he arrived, he asked Jacob to make him ageless, and in exchange for this, held a leadership position with the Others as an advisor and the sole intermediary between Jacob and the people who were brought to the Island, including Ben and Charles Widmore. Richard believed that even though he could not kill himself, others were capable of killing him. He perpetually appeared to be in his late 30s or early 40s, whether on or off the Island. He can also speak fluent Spanish.

Richard had on occasion left and returned to the Island. In the outside world, he monitored John Locke's early life, having visited him as a baby and when he was five. He also presented himself as a recruiter for Mittelos Bioscience, helping to bring Juliet to the Island in 2001.

After the crash of Ajira Flight 316 in 2007, Richard led the Man in Black, whom he thought was a resurrected John Locke, to Jacob. This resulted in Jacob being murdered by Benjamin Linus, at the prompting of the Man in Black. After Jacob's death, Richard tried to kill himself, believing that all of the years that he had spent on the Island were meaningless, as Jacob had promised him he would tell him everything he knew. Through the mediumship of Hurley, Richard found out from his long-dead wife, Isabella, that he must prevent the Man in Black from leaving the Island. After spearheading a plan to destroy Ajira Airways Flight 316 with explosives, Richard attempted to negotiate with the Man in Black to buy Widmore and the others time to hide, but was instead violently thrown through the air by the Monster. Richard survived the attack and realized he had begun aging normally. He helped Miles and Frank fix Ajira Flight 316 and left the Island with the two of them, along with Kate, Sawyer and Claire, to live in the outside world.

Before the Black Rock's shipwreck

Early life

6X10 ricardoRiding
Ricardo riding his horse in Tenerife, Canary Islands. ("Ab Aeterno")

Very little is known about Richard's past before 1867 except that he was once a Spaniard living near El Socorro on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He had a wife named Isabella and both lived in a small cottage in a rural area where they made a living out of farming. Ricardo and his wife were both hoping to travel to the New World in order to start a new life and begin a family. At that time, Richard had been trying his best to teach himself English to prepare for his travel to the New World. ("Ab Aeterno")

1867

6x09 MagnusHansoProperty
Ricardo is declared property of Captain Magnus Hanso. ("Ab Aeterno")

Isabella, who had become very sick, died when Ricardo was unable to bring her medicine in time, though it was unclear if the medicine would have saved her life. In the course of trying to get her the medicine, he accidentally killed the doctor after forcefully taking the expensive medicine which he was unable to purchase. Ricardo fled the doctor's house but was eventually caught, and was sentenced to be hanged. However, before the sentence was carried out, he was sold into slavery by the prison's priest, who had denied him absolution, to the first mate of the Black Rock, which was headed to the New World. ("Ab Aeterno")

After the Black Rock's shipwreck

1867

Richardonblackrock
Ricardo aboard the Black Rock ("Ab Aeterno")

Ricardo shipwrecked on the Island aboard the Black Rock in 1867. When Ricardo awakened, he narrowly avoided death when Jonas Whitfield began killing all the slaves aboard the ship. Before Ricardo could be killed, the Smoke Monster appeared and killed Whitfield, along with the rest of the crew. Ricardo was "scanned" by the monster and spared. Ricardo struggled to escape his shackles for a lengthy period of time, but ultimately failed. Not long after, a sudden storm brought rainwater cascading into the brig, but despite his struggles Ricardo was unable to catch even a drop.

A short time later, the Man in Black appeared to Ricardo in the form of his wife, Isabella, and later, in the form of a middle-aged black-haired man, who let Ricardo out of his chains in exchange for Ricardo's agreement to serve the Man in Black in whatever way possible. Ricardo left the wreckage of the Black Rock along with the Man in Black, and did not return for 140 years. ("Dr. Linus")

6x09 InstructionsFromMIB
Richard is confronted by the Man in Black. ("Ab Aeterno")

The Man in Black later tried to convince Ricardo to kill Jacob. The Man in Black enforced Ricardo's belief that the Island was actually Hell, and that Jacob was the Devil, whom Richard needed to kill. The Man in Black did, however, admit that he was the Black Smoke, when Ricardo assumed that this was Jacob, but managed to persuade Ricardo to murder the so-called "Devil" anyway, despite his hesitations. He instructed him to use the special knife that he subsequently handed him and advised him not to let Jacob talk to him, because "he is very persuasive".

Ricardo found the remains of the statue of Taweret on the beach and approached the statue's pedestal, where Jacob assaulted him. Ricardo struggled and attempted to stab Jacob but was disarmed. Jacob demanded Ricardo tell him who gave him the knife. Ricardo in turn demanded to know where his wife was. Jacob did not know her by name and asked if she had come on the ship with him, but Ricardo replied that she was dead. This logic irritated Jacob, who asked Ricardo if he had met a man dressed in black. Ricardo said he had, and repeated what the Man in Black had told him: that the Island was Hell and Jacob was the Devil. Jacob responded by forcibly immersing Ricardo in the nearby surf four times, forcing him to accept that he was still alive, until he declared that he wanted to live. Jacob then praised him for finally being sensible.

6x09 DoYouBelieveItIsHell
Jacob forces Ricardo to realize he is alive. ("Ab Aeterno")

Later the two sat together drying off by a fire. Jacob explained the nature of the Island to Ricardo by comparing it to a cork that stoppers wine in a bottle. Jacob compared the wine metaphorically to "malevolence" which could spread to the world without the cork. After revealing that he has brought other people to the Island, Jacob added that he wanted people to be able to tell the difference between right and wrong without him having to explain it. Jacob subsequently offered Ricardo the job of representative or intermediary for him to the people whom he would bring to the Island. As compensation Ricardo demanded to have his wife back, but Jacob said he couldn't do that. Ricardo then requested Jacob absolve him from his sins, but he again said he couldn't. Ricardo finally requested to live forever, which Jacob said he could make happen. He reached across and touched the Spaniard on the shoulder. With this, Ricardo became the first of the people who would later be known as "The Others."

Ricardojacob
Ricardo is touched by Jacob and becomes ageless. ("Ab Aeterno")

Afterward, Ricardo met the Man in Black again who realized that he had spoken with Jacob. Ricardo gave him a gift from Jacob, a little white rock, and the Man in Black reassured him that his offer to join his forces would always stand. Upon the Man in Black's departure, Ricardo buried his wife's pendant cross and said goodbye to his love before leaving to start his new job and help Jacob recruit people to the Island. ("Ab Aeterno")

1954

Ricardo's next chronological appearance was 87 years later, at the Others' camp in 1954, going by the anglicized name "Richard Alpert". Although Richard appeared to be in charge of the Others, it is unclear (and unlikely) since it has been alluded that he serves as advisor to whoever is leader at the time. Later it was revealed that two of his subordinates from 1954, Ellie and Charles Widmore, eventually became leaders.

Richardwidmore503
Richard and Widmore do not see eye to eye regarding John Locke. ("Jughead")

During this time period, the US government had sent military personnel to various Pacific islands to test hydrogen bombs. One such bomb, "Jughead", was brought to the Island. Richard told the soldiers to leave the Island and when they refused, the Others attacked and killed them. After burying the bodies, the Others took over their camp, weapons, clothes, tents, and other equipment. ("Jughead") Jughead was left on the Island, undetonated.

At the camp, Richard was presented with Daniel, Miles, and Charlotte, who had been captured by Ellie after time traveling back to 1954. Accused of being with the military, Daniel decided that it was safer to follow the misconception and responded that they were in the military but were only scientists, which Ellie doubted. Richard questioned them and eventually believed that Daniel was a scientist. When Daniel offered to disarm the bomb, Richard asked how he could trust that they weren't on a suicide mission in retaliation for killing the soldiers. Daniel's response that he loved Charlotte and would not want any harm to come to her convinced Richard, and he allowed Ellie to escort Daniel at gunpoint to the bomb. ("Jughead")

5x03 AlpertAndACompass
Richard observes Locke's compass in 1954. ("Jughead")

Before they left, a young Charles Widmore arrived at the camp explaining that he was captured by people in the jungle. Widmore questioned Richard's leadership in trusting one of "them" (the military). Soon afterward, a bald man in his late-forties arrived at the camp, calling for Richard, but Widmore stopped him at gun point. Richard approached the man who introduced himself as John Locke and said that he was sent by Jacob. At this, Richard ordered Widmore to stand down.

In a tent Locke showed Richard the compass Richard had given him, and explained that he knew Richard in the future, where Locke is leader of the Others. Richard was skeptical because the leader selection process begins at a very young age and is very strict. To prove his claims, Locke said that in two years he would be born in Tustin, California, and that Richard should go visit him. Locke then asked how to leave the Island, but Richard told him this was privileged information. Locke, who heard a time flash starting, pleaded with Richard to tell him, but before a hesitant Richard could answer the time jump occurred and Locke disappeared. ("Jughead")

Recruiting John Locke

4x11 TestingLocke
Richard arrives at the five-year-old Locke's foster home to test him. ("Cabin Fever")

In June of 1956, per adult Locke's suggestion, Richard Alpert visited the Tustin hospital where John Locke had been born prematurely a month earlier. Mrs. Locke was inquiring about putting the infant up for adoption when the nurse spotted Richard at the window. As he smiled at the confirmation that Locke had told him the truth, Mrs. Locke commented bemusedly that she did not know who he was. ("Cabin Fever")

Richard again entered Locke’s life in 1961, when he visited the five-year-old while he was in foster care. Richard told Florence (John’s foster mother) that he considered John special enough to join a school for “very special” children. ("Cabin Fever")

Richard noted a drawing on the wall of a black scribble, that is supposedly the smoke monster, attacking a person and he asked young John if he had drawn it, which he confirmed. He then tested Locke as part of the process of choosing the leader of the Others by presenting him with certain items: a baseball glove, a book of laws, a vial of sand, a compass, a comic book, and a knife. Locke was asked to identify which of these items were "already" his. Richard was pleased when Locke chose the compass and vial of sand, and smiled slightly as the child considered the book, but Locke ultimately chose the knife. At this, Richard turned cold and left, telling Florence that he was sorry to have wasted their time. ("Cabin Fever")

Years later, however, in 1972, Richard again contacted Locke through his high school science teacher, Gellert, offering Locke a chance to attend a summer science camp sponsored by Mittelos Laboratories. Locke refused to attend the camp since he was constantly bullied for his geeky interest in science and wanted to play sports. No further attempts to recruit him have been shown. ("Cabin Fever") In 1977 Richard would state to Jack (who had time traveled from 2007) that these three visits led him to find nothing "particularly special" about Locke. Jack told Richard not to give up on Locke, further solidifying Jack's faith. ("The Incident, Part 1")

Confrontations with DHARMA Initiative

3x20 DifferentRichard
Richard meets Ben for the first time in the jungle. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

Richard was one of the "Hostiles" present on the Island alongside the DHARMA Initiative. In 1973, a young Benjamin Linus encountered him after taking off into the jungle, searching for an apparition of his dead mother. Richard, at this time sporting long hair, was dressed in primitive clothing but had a twentieth century holster on his right hip. Richard reassured Ben and asked why he was out in the jungle alone. When Ben explained what he had seen, and that she had died off the Island, Richard was visibly interested in this explanation - likely recalling the Man in Black's earlier impersonation of Isabella. Richard then told Ben to return home, however, the boy pleaded with Richard to let him return to the "Hostiles" with him. Considering this, the older man told him that this might be possible, but that Ben would need to be "very, very patient." ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

5x08 richard truce
Richard approaches the Barracks after he thinks the truce is broken. ("LaFleur")

In 1974, Richard strode into the DHARMA barracks after dark, causing general panic. He placed a torch in the ground and waited, until Horace Goodspeed out came to meet him. Richard accused DHARMA of breaking their truce by having killed two of his men. Sawyer told Horace that he would talk to Richard, describing him as "your buddy out there with the eyeliner". Sawyer, having been stranded in that year after Locke turned the frozen wheel, emerged from a cabin and confronted Richard. Sawyer told Richard he was not a member of the DHARMA Initiative, as Richard originally assumed, citing his knowledge of the events in 1954 as proof. The two made a deal that the truce between DHARMA and the Others would remain unbroken (Sawyer having killed two of his men, an act that, due to him being a third party reacting in self-defense, did not constitute violation of the truce) if the Initiative surrendered the body of Paul, the man killed in the confrontation between the two groups, as payment for the two deaths. ("LaFleur")

5x11 RichardRecievesBen
Sawyer and Kate bring a wounded Ben to Richard. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")

In 1977, Sawyer and Kate, carrying the seriously wounded young Ben, attempted to find the Others so they could help Ben. After they were captured by the Others, Sawyer demanded that they be taken to Richard, because Ben's death would have repercussions on both the DHARMA Initiative and the Others. After telling them that Ben would remember none of this and would be "one of them" (an Other) for good after this, Richard carried Ben through the jungle and brought him into the Temple. ("Whatever Happened, Happened") After taking Ben back to the Others' camp, Richard was met by Charles Widmore, who berated him for bringing the boy back to camp. Richard informed Charles that it was Jacob's orders. ("Dead Is Dead")

5x14 DanielAndRichard
Richard is held at gunpoint by Daniel Faraday, demanding information about the bomb. ("The Variable")

A short time later, Daniel Faraday infiltrated the Others' camp with a gun and demanded to meet Ellie. Richard attempted to calm him down and told him that Ellie was not there at the moment. Upon hearing this, Daniel demanded to know where Richard had buried Jughead. Pointing his gun at Richard, Daniel said that he would count to three. Before he could do so he was shot from behind by Ellie. When Richard asked why she did it, Ellie replied that Daniel was threatening Richard. He then watched as Daniel revealed that he was Ellie's son before dying from his wound. ("The Variable")

Charles Widmore then appeared with Jack and Kate as prisoners. After Ellie read Daniel's journal and had a conversation with the two, she ordered that they be released despite Widmore's protests. She then asked Richard to accompany them to the Jughead. Richard, Jack, Kate, Ellie, and Erik soon reached a lake, which hid the passage to the bomb underneath the water. Kate tried to escape, causing Erik to aim his gun at her. However, Erik was shot down by Sayid, who suddenly appeared out of the jungle. Sayid joined the group and they soon reached the tunnels, where the Jughead had been hidden. ("Follow the Leader")

5x16 ProtectingMyLeader
Richard informs Jack and Sayid that they are on their own. ("The Incident, Part 1")

While Sayid was working to remove the core of the Jughead to bring it to the Swan site, Richard asked Jack if he knew John Locke. He told him that Locke had marched into their camp twenty-three years ago saying he was their leader, and that he had been off the island three times now to visit Locke, but had no reason to believe that John was special. Jack told him that he knew who Locke was, and told Richard not to give up on him.

The group then traveled further down the tunnels, where Richard used a hammer to break down a wall leading to a house in the Barracks. Ellie then decided that she should go into the house first, but Richard knocked her out with his gun, telling Jack and Sayid that Ellie ordered him to help them get the bomb, which he did, and that he was just protecting their leader. ("The Incident, Part 1") When the survivors successfully triggered the bomb, Richard witnessed the explosion from afar, believing for the next thirty years that everyone there had died.

Richard was next seen in 1988 at the Others' camp where Ben and Charles shared a heated argument over Danielle Rousseau and her daughter Alex. ("Dead Is Dead")

3x20 richard purge
Richard talks to Ben shortly after the purge is complete. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

On December 19, 1992, Richard led the Hostiles in the Purge when they slaughtered the DHARMA Initiative population with gas from their own station, the Tempest. After the gas had dissipated, he emerged from the Barracks with the other Hostiles to meet Ben, then in his late twenties, who had just returned from personally killing his father in the same way. Richard offered to go out and bring Roger's body back, but Ben coldly told him to leave the corpse where it was. The other dead members of the DHARMA Initiative were taken to a mass grave in the jungle. ("The Man Behind the Curtain") At some point, Ben became the leader of the group, succeeding Charles Widmore, which would evolve to become what Rousseau and the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 would call "the Others."

Sometime after the Purge, Richard was seen in the Barracks where the DHARMA Initiative used to reside. Richard approached Ben and informed him that the submarine was about to leave, telling Ben that he did not need to see its passenger off if he didn't want to. Ben felt he needed to, however, and went to the dock, where he saw a handcuffed Charles Widmore being exiled from the island. ("Dead Is Dead")

Recruiting Juliet Burke

307alpert
Richard and Ethan recruit Juliet. ("Not in Portland")

In 2001, Richard approached Juliet Burke in Miami. This meek fertility doctor was still under the watchful eye of her ex-husband, Edmund, as she conducted experiments in the hopes of impregnating her barren sister, Rachel. Ben sent Richard to recruit Juliet in the name of Mittelos Bioscience in his attempts to find the reason and cure for pregnant women dying on the island. Alpert's assistant referred to him as "Dr. Alpert." However, Juliet addressed him as "Mr. Alpert," suggesting that he might hold a Ph.D., but not be a doctor of medicine. Juliet declined after a cheerful slideshow about the Mittelos facility, supposedly located just outside Portland. She then joked bitterly that the only way she would be able to join Mittelos was if Edmund were hit by a bus.

3x16 TimeFliesBy
Richard assures Juliet that time will pass quickly on the Island. ("One of Us")

Later, Juliet discovered that her experiments had been successful, but as she told Edmund about it, he stepped off the curb and was hit by a bus bearing an Apollo Bar advertisement. After Juliet identified Edmund’s body, she was once again approached by Richard in the morgue, this time accompanied by Ethan. She was stunned as she remembered her dark joke to Richard, though he denied even remembering the comment. He once again offered Juliet a six-month job at Mittelos, carefully telling her that the facility wasn’t “quite in Portland.” ("Not in Portland")

Later, as Juliet and Rachel said goodbye to each other at Herarat Aviation, Richard and Ethan came down to greet them, telling them that unfortunately, they had to say goodbye at the gate. After Juliet signed the appropriate paperwork, Richard added powder to a glass of orange juice for her. When she asked warily about it, he was very forthcoming about it being a strong sedative for the "intense" journey. After Juliet drank the contents of the glass, Alpert presumably traveled to the Island on the submarine Galaga with Ethan and Juliet. ("One of Us")

After the crash

On September 22nd, 2004, moments after Flight 815 crashed onto the Island, Ben took Juliet to the Flame station, where Mikhail patched them through to a live broadcast of Richard filming in Miami. The broadcast showed Juliet's sister and nephew having a happy moment at a playground, with the date illustrated by Richard filming a Miami Journal newspaper header. Though Richard was not visible in the footage, Ben referred to him by name and urged him to return quickly, mentioning the possibility of new "visitors". ("One of Us")

Days 80–90 (Season 3)

3x19-richard-locke-speak
Richard suggests a different way to kill Anthony Cooper. ("The Brig")

Eighty days after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, Richard had returned to the Island in the interim. At Ben's home in the Barracks, Ben instructed Richard to bring him "the man from Tallahassee." The next day, after Locke blew up the Galaga, Richard helped Ben bring him to a room where that man was revealed to be Locke's father, Anthony Cooper. ("The Man from Tallahassee")

3x20 DemandingToKnowTheSecrets
Carrying his father's body, Locke demands answers from Ben and Richard. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

The Others, including Richard, soon abandoned the barracks and began heading for the Temple. That night while they made camp at the ruins along the way, Ben insisted that Locke kill his own father, but Locke refused. The next morning after the resulting public humiliation, Richard approached Locke, who was sitting on the hillside watching the camp. He introduced himself to Locke, who presumably did not remember his childhood encounter with him, and promptly took the conversation to a more serious level. He said that Ben had known Locke wouldn’t kill his father. In fact, Ben wanted him to fail in front of the group. Richard mentioned that they were all there for reasons more important than the fertility issues Ben had been focusing on. He then presented Locke with a file on Sawyer, suggesting that he should kill Cooper instead. Locke, confused, asked why Sawyer would want to kill Cooper; Richard simply told him to read the file. Richard later followed Ben and the Others as they left the ruins (and Locke) in order to make camp elsewhere. ("The Brig")

Two days later, at the temporary camp, as Ben reminisced over a wooden doll he had received from Annie as a child, Richard entered and asked what it was. Ben explained that it was a birthday present and asked cryptically, “You do remember birthdays, don't you, Richard?”, to which he received no response. Richard asked Ben if he wanted the tape recorder returned to The Staff for Juliet, prompting alarm in Ben, as he thought Richard had already done so. (In reality, Locke had delivered it to Sawyer.) They were interrupted when Locke returned to camp with Cooper’s body over his shoulders. Richard looked on as Ben reluctantly agreed to take Locke to Jacob, a startling turn of events. ("The Man Behind the Curtain")

When Ben returned alone, Richard asked what had happened, but Ben didn't reveal that he'd shot Locke, believing the latter had heard what was apparently Jacob plea for "help." Tense and irritable, Ben ignored Richard's protest against his plan to immediately raid the survivors' camp and take all the women. ("Greatest Hits")

Following the raid on the beach camp, Ben learned that the majority of the survivors had left the camp, leading him to take Alex and intercept them. Richard asked to join the father and daughter, but Ben refused, telling him to take charge and lead the Others to the Temple, as planned. He apparently then led the Others to this mysterious location. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")

Day 100 (Season 4)

Richard4x12
Richard emerges from the bushes ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")

Ben contacted someone via a signal mirror while on his way to the Orchid station. Later that day, it was implied to be Richard who had been contacted, when he showed up to intercept Sayid and Kate while they were searching for Jack. He told them to put their guns down, and when they refused, the remaining Others emerged from the surrounding bushes, guns at the ready. After disarming the two, Richard led them into the jungle. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")

RichardWelcomeHome
Richard welcomes his new leader. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 3")

He then made a deal with Sayid and Kate that if they helped the Others rescue Ben, they could leave the Island on the helicopter. After ambushing the mercenaries from the freighter, Richard saved Sayid from Keamy by shooting the latter in the back, though not fatally as is later revealed.

Ben showed up and thanked Richard, who replied somewhat curtly, "My pleasure." He then informed Ben of the deal with Sayid and Kate, and Ben expressed his approval. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2") Prior to leaving the Island via the Orchid, Ben told Locke that Richard and his people were two miles east of the station. Ben also said that Richard would answer all of Locke's questions about the Island and follow all his commands. Locke proceeded to the camp to be warmly welcomed by Richard and the Others. The two were talking when the sky began to glow as Ben began the process of moving the Island. Locke disappeared at this point, while Richard and the Others remained in the same time. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 3")

At some point after Ben left the Island, Richard buried Alex's body near where she was killed at the Barracks. ("What They Died For")

2007 (Season 5)

5x15 OldFriends
Richard greets "John", after 3 years of absence. ("Follow the Leader")

In 2007, Richard Alpert was working on a ship in a bottle when he was interrupted by the arrival of the Man in Black, in the form of the recently deceased John Locke. Richard, however, thought the individual was the latter. The Man in Black greeted him, saying it had been a while; three years, according to Richard. The Man in Black then told Richard that they "had an errand to run" and he would explain everything on the way. A few moments later, the two were approached by Sun, who showed Richard the photo of her friends from 1977, and asked Richard if he remembered seeing them in that year. Richard replied that he remembered very well, as he himself had watched them all die. ("Follow the Leader")

5x15 HardQuestion
Richard is surprised by John's intention of visiting Jacob. ("Follow the Leader")

Later that night, the Man in Black, Richard, and Ben made their way to the Beechcraft. Before reaching their destination, the Man in Black told Richard he expects to see Jacob later on; while Richard seemed surprised and reluctant, he agreed to listen to the Man in Black, now the leader of the Others. Once there, the Man in Black gave Richard a medical kit and told him that a wounded man would come out of the jungle. Richard was told to extract the bullet from the man's leg and tell him that he should bring back everyone who had left the Island and that in order to do that, the man would have to die. The Man in Black also tricked Richard to give 'his' compass to the man. The man emerged from the jungle, limping. To Richard's and Ben's surprise, it was the actual John before his death, who was time-traveling as a result of the Island's move. ("Follow the Leader")

5x01 WithATorchInHisHand
Richard encounters a time-traveling and injured Locke. ("Because You Left")  ("Follow the Leader")

Unknowingly following the Man in Back's orders, Richard approached the actual John. The time-traveling Locke said that he had been shot by Ethan, and Richard replied, "Well, what comes around goes around," referring to the survivors shooting Ethan. John questioned how Richard even knew he was shot in the first place, to which Richard responded that "Locke" told him so. Locke denied this, and Richard answered, "Well, you will." (Richard was still unaware that the present-day John Locke was in fact the Man in Black). Richard put on a pair of glasses and removed the bullet, demonstrating skills appropriate to a field medic. He covered the wound, told Locke to keep it clean and said the island would do the rest. ("Because You Left")

Explaining that John was about to "move on," Richard quickly explained what Locke had to do. Richard told Locke that the next time they met, Richard would not recognize him and gave the Man in Black's compass to John so he would be able to provide proof that they had met before. The last instruction Richard had for John was that in order to save the island Locke would have to bring the Oceanic Six (who had returned to civilization) back to the Island. As the Island started to "skip" again, John asked Richard how he could do that, and Richard replied, "You're gonna have to die, John." Seconds later, Locke vanished. ("Because You Left")

5x15 ITriedToKillHim
Ben reveals to Richard of his attempt to kill Locke. ("Follow the Leader")

Richard made his way back to the Man in Black and Ben, and seemed satisfied that the time-traveling John believed him. Richard was happy that Locke did not actually have to die (which he actually did) to which the Man in Black revealed to him that he did. ("Follow the Leader")

Shortly after, Richard, Ben and the Man in Black made their way back to camp. The Man in Black introduced himself to his people, and informed them that Richard is going to take him, along with the rest of them, to see their unseen leader, Jacob. Quietly, Richard wondered if the Man in Black would only cause trouble, to which Ben exclaimed that this was the reason he tried to kill him, a comment which elicited a surprised response from Richard ("Follow the Leader")

5x16 AnsweringHerQuestion
Richard answers Ilana's coded question. ("The Incident, Part 2")

Richard led the Man in Black and the rest of the Others to the ruins of the statue of Taweret, informing him that this is where Jacob lived. Along the way he told the Man in Black the reason for him being the way he was (seemingly unaging), was because of Jacob and he suspected that Locke's 'apparent' resurrection may have something to do with Jacob as well. Once they arrived at the statue ruins, the Man in Black wanted to take Ben with him to see Jacob but Richard objected, stating that the rules he follows says that only the Leader can meet Jacob and there can only be one leader on the island at a time. Despite hearing this and accusing Richard of making the rules up as he goes along, the Man in Black insisted on Ben's inclusion and Richard eventually gave in to his demand. Richard pushed in a stone at the base of the statue allowing access and departed after telling them both to say "hi" to Jacob.

Later, Ilana and her group arrived and asked for "Richardus". Richard came forward and corrected her by saying, “Actually, it’s Richard.” Ilana asked him the question, "What lies in the shadow of the statue?" To which Richard responded (in Latin), "He who shall save us all", apparently the correct answer. Ilana then said that she had something to show him. She opened the crate she and her people had been carrying around to reveal the corpse of John Locke. Richard asked Ilana where she found him and she explained thus revealing to Richard and all the Others that the "John Locke" whom Richard had been following was apparently an impostor. ("The Incident, Part 2")

6x01 You
Richard is shocked to meet the Man in Black again. ("LA X, Part 2")

2007 (Season 6)

After the revelation of John Locke's body, Richard attempted to deny Ilana and Bram entrance to the statue of Taweret, claiming that asking "what lies in the shadow of the statue" does not make them in charge. He repeated the maxim that nobody enters unless invited by Jacob. Immediately after, Ben walked out of the statue and asked Richard to go inside and talk to Locke. An exasperated Richard dragged Ben to the Ajira crate and tossed him on the ground, bringing Ben face-to-face with the truly dead Locke.

6x04 MorningRichard
Richard is released from captivity. ("The Substitute")

The following morning, Richard saw the Temple's warning flare, possibly alerting him to Jacob's death. Just then, the Man In Black descended from the statue in the form of Locke. The Others draw their guns on him but Richard implored them to not shoot. The Man in Black approached Richard and commented that it was good to see him "out of [his] chains." Upon hearing this phrase from his past Richard recognized the Man in Black. The Man in Black quickly knocked Richard unconscious and carried him off into the jungle, while the others on the beach watch helplessly. ("LA X, Part 2")

Deep in the jungle, the Man in Black tied up the unconscious Richard in a tarp and hung it from a tree. He then left Richard there for a short while as he explored the island in his black smoke form. Returning later in the form of Locke when Richard awoke, the Man in Black cut him down with a machete and began questioning Richard after providing him with water. He told Richard that he had always wanted Richard to come with him. Richard asked why the Man in Black looked like Locke, and the Man in Black replied that Locke could get close to Jacob because he was a "candidate". When Richard inquired as to what a candidate is, the Man in Black responded with restrained sarcasm, asking why Richard would follow Jacob without knowing what he was following him for and that the Man in Black would never have kept Richard in the dark. The Man in Black again invited Richard to come with him and promised to tell him everything, but Richard refused to go with him. At that moment, the Man in Black saw a mysterious blonde boy in the jungle exposing two bloodied arms. The Man in Black seemed disturbed, but Richard could not see the boy. After the boy seemingly vanished, the Man in Black walked away, saying he would see Richard "sooner than he thinks."

6x04 ComeFast
Richard encourages Sawyer to escape with him from the Man in Black. ("The Substitute")

Some time later, Richard emerged from the jungle near Sawyer, who was temporarily alone while the Man in Black was chasing after the mysterious boy. Richard warned Sawyer that the man who looks like Locke wanted all of Sawyer's friends dead, and urgently asked Sawyer to accompany him to the Temple. Sawyer pointed out to Richard that he had already left the Temple and that he wanted to learn the answers that the Man in Black promised him. Before Richard could argue with Sawyer any further, he heard the approach of the Man in Black and fled back into the jungle. ("The Substitute")

6x07 RichardReturns
Richard unexpectedly stumbles upon Jack and Hurley, while on his way to the Black Rock. ("Dr. Linus")

Richard eventually reached the Temple at some point after the massacre by the Man in Black. Not long afterward, Richard came across Hurley and Jack in the midst of an argument about the direction of the Temple. Richard indicated that the Temple was in another direction, and Jack and Hurley followed him. Hurley, curious about Richard's agelessness, asked if he was time travelling, a cyborg, or a vampire. Richard explained that the reason for his agelessness is because Jacob gave him a gift. The three of them then arrived at the Black Rock. Richard told Jack and Hurley that he never had any intention of going to the Temple because he already went there and saw that everyone was dead. However, he did not see Jack and Hurley's friends, and guessed they might have gotten out in time. Richard entered the Black Rock, followed by Jack and Hurley. Richard stopped to examine some chains and shackles and mused that he had been on the Island for a long time and this was his first visit back to the ship.

Richard started haphazardly handling some dynamite stowed in a crate, much to Hurley's distress. He tossed a stick on top of a barrel, but the dynamite did not explode. Richard explained that Jacob touched him, and ever since, Richard had been unable to die by his own hands. Because of this, Richard wanted Jack to light the fuse in order to kill him. He told Jack that his long life on the Island actually had no purpose, and lamented that Jacob had promised to share his plans with Richard, but did not do so before he died. Jack listened and lit the stick of dynamite, but instead of leaving, he sat across from Richard to have a talk. He told Richard about how the mirrors in Jacob's Lighthouse showed Jack's childhood home, and that Jacob had been watching Jack his whole life. Jack said he was not worried about the dynamite exploding because Jacob would not have invested all that time in him only to allow his and Richard's lives to end this way. As Richard watched intently, the fuse apparently extinguished itself just before reaching the dynamite. Richard declared, with a touch of sarcasm, that Jack was now the one "with all the answers," and asked where they should go next. Jack replied with a smile: "Back to where it all started."

6X09 RichardAndIsabelle
Richard is able to communicate with his late wife thanks to Hurley's abilities. ("Ab Aeterno")

Richard, emboldened by Jack's words, joined Jack and Hurley on their return to the survivors' beach camp, where they reunited with Sun, Lapidus, Ilana, Miles, and Ben who had already gone there for safety from the Man in Black. Richard stood apart from the group (as does Ben on the opposite side) and silently watched the friends happily reunite, and Ilana's introduction to Jack and Hurley. ("Dr. Linus")

6x07 QuestionsAndAnwers
Jack talks to Richard about Jacob's intentions. ("Dr. Linus")  (promotional still)

Later on the beach, Richard was bemused by Ilana's supposition that he knew what to do next. With renewed cynicism, he told the group that the Island is Hell, and that it was time to stop listening to Jacob and to listen to someone else instead. Richard then walked off into the jungle. Upon reaching the place where he had met with the Man in Black long ago, he dug up his wife's cross pendant and then called out for the Man in Black. He shouted that his previous choice was wrong and asked if the Man in Black's offer still stood. Hurley then arrived and revealed to Richard that he had been talking to Isabella, and that he followed him from the beach with her guidance. Hurley told Richard that Isabella loved him and, although she missed him, she was meant to die. Hurley then mediated the reunion of Richard and Isabella, after which Richard emotionally thanked Hurley and put Isabella's pendant around his neck. Hesitantly, Hurley added that Isabella said Richard must stop the Man in Black from leaving the Island, or else they would "all go to hell". ("Ab Aeterno")

Along with Hurley, Richard returned to the beach camp and joined the group, much to Ilana's relief. He soon learned that the Man in Black had visited Ben and told him that he could be found on Hydra Island. Richard then announced that the group's next move must be to go to Hydra Island and blow up the Ajira plane in order to prevent the Man in Black from escaping to the outside world. ("The Package")

6x12 WhereIsJacob
Richard calls Hurley's bluff about Jacob's presence ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

Ilana retreived some dynamite from the Black Rock for Richard, but accidentally detonated it, killing herself. Richard then led the group back to the Black Rock for more dynamite when he noticed that Hurley had disappeared. Moments later, Hurley came running out of the ship, yelling for everyone to get down. Then, the Black Rock exploded before Richard's eyes, Hurley having lit the remaining dynamite stores. An enraged Richard demanded to know why Hurley had destroyed the ship, to which Hurley responded that he felt they should simply talk to the Man in Black. When Hurley tried to justify his actions by claiming that Jacob had told him to destroy the ship, Richard detected his lie by asking a question that only Jacob could answer (how he'd described the Island to Richard when they first met), and recognizing that Jacob would never directly tell anybody what to do. After confirming with Ben that there were still explosives at the Barracks, Richard offered to lead everyone there to continue their mission. However, Jack, Sun, and Frank all chose to follow Hurley in reasoning with the Man in Black, and Richard took only Ben and Miles, determined to complete his mission and destroy the plane. ("Everybody Loves Hugo")

6x10 ConfrontingAlpert
Sun angrily confronts Richard about his intention to destroy the plane. ("The Package")

Shortly after arriving at the barracks, Richard's group was met by Charles Widmore and Zoe, who informed them that they were there by Jacob's invitation. Before any further explanation could be made, the Man in Black arrived via outrigger. Richard informed the group (quite incorrectly) that the only thing the Man in Black wanted was him.

As Ben looked on, Richard went down to intercede on the group's behalf. The Man in Black arrived in his smoke form and attacked, grabbing Richard by the throat, slamming him against a tree, and then throwing him. Ben returned to the front porch of his former house and sat down in a rocking chair to pensively but outwardly nonchalantly await the Man in Black. ("What They Died For")

Richard looks at his first gray hair
Richard discovers he is aging ("The End")

After the Man in Black and Ben left, Miles found Richard alive in the jungle beyond the barracks. Richard told Miles they had to get to the other island and finish what they started - they had to blow up the plane. Before they did, Miles noticed that Richard had gotten his first gray hair, making Richard realize (in good timing, according to Miles) that he wanted to live. On their way, they found Frank floating in the ocean with the debris from the submarine explosion and got him and their canoe. Richard told Frank what he and Miles were about to do, but Frank (being the pilot that he was) suggested they just take the plane off the island to keep the black smoke from leaving. Once the three got to Hydra Island, Claire came and shot at them, assuming the Man in Black had sent them to kill her, but Richard explained they had a chance to get far away from him, and offered Claire to come with them, but she refused.

As Desmond's removal of the cork at The Heart of the Island during a massive storm threatened to destroy the island, Richard helped Miles and Lapidus make repairs to the Ajira plane. They succeeded in doing so and Richard, along with Kate, Lapidus, Claire, Miles, and Sawyer, lifted off and escaped the island, making their way for the mainland. ("The End")

After the island

Nothing is known about what happened to Richard after the Island. But the gray hair he discovered before leaving suggests that he later aged as a normal person would.

Meeting the survivors

Year Alpert Survivors Key Event Episode
1954 1 8 Alpert meets captured survivors (Daniel, Miles and Charlotte). Then he lets Daniel disarm Jughead. After a few minutes Locke comes and gives compass to Alpert. ("Jughead")
1956 2 1 Alpert visits infant Locke. ("Cabin Fever")
1961 3 2 Alpert tests child Locke. ("Cabin Fever")
1972 4 3 Alpert (unseen) attempts to bring teen Locke to camp. ("Cabin Fever")
1974 5 9 Alpert meets Sawyer. ("LaFleur")
1977 6 10 Sawyer and Kate hand young Ben over to Alpert. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")
1977 7 11 Alpert meets Daniel Faraday as well as Jack and Kate when brought into camp by Widmore. Alpert (and Eloise) lead Jack and Sayid to the Jughead. ("The Variable") ("Follow the Leader")
("The Incident, Part 1")
2001 8 4 Alpert recruits Juliet and brings her to the Island. ("Not in Portland") ("One of Us")
2004 9 5 Alpert gives Locke Sawyer's file. ("The Brig")
2004 10 6 Richard meets Sayid and Kate and arranges a deal to save Ben from Keamy
After the battle at the helicopter, he shoots Keamy, saving Sayid.
("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1")
("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
2007 11 12 Alpert meets Sun and the Man in Black in the form of Locke. ("Follow the Leader")
2007 12 7 Alpert gives compass to Locke after saving him from injuries sustained from Ethan. ("Because You Left") ("Follow the Leader")
2007 13 13 Alpert meets Hurley for the first time when trekking through the jungle. (Though Hurley is aware of Richard's youthful appearance in 1977, suggesting he was told at some point Richard does not visibly age). ("Dr. Linus")

Name reference

  • The real-life Dr. Richard Alpert (aka Ram Dass) is a noted psychologist and Hindu spiritualist. In 1963, he was dismissed from Harvard University for his research (in collaboration with Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg and others) into psilocybin, LSD-25, and other psychedelic chemicals. He later traveled to India, where he was given his Hindu spiritual name "Ram Dass", which translates as "Servant of God". Alpert wrote of his experiences in an unusual tome entitled Be Here Now, and founded the Hanuman Foundation, and is credited as a "Dharmic" writer. See Bio and Wikipedia entry. Damon Lindelof confirmed that the character of Alpert was indeed named after a famous person. [1]
  • Richard Alpert's colleague Aldous Huxley wrote a book called Island, which has been referenced in Lost, most specifically with regard to the Pala Ferry; Pala is a Utopian island in Huxley's book.
  • The first episode of The Carpenters short-lived TV series Make your Own Kind of Music[2] featured a guest appearance by musician Herb Alpert[3]. Different versions of the show's theme song are featured in several Lost episodes, most notoriously during the opening sequence of the Season 2 premiere. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith"). Richard is also the first name of the male half of The Carpenters.
  • Richard is of Old German origin, and its meaning is "powerful leader".
  • Ilana refers to Richard as "Richardus", which is Latin for "Richard".
    • While "Ricardus" is another spelling variation in Latin, Richard's Latin name is confirmed as "Richardus" in the ABC episode recap for "The Incident, Part 2" (episode recaps are written by script coordinator Gregg Nations and based off the scripts).
      • The "Ab Aeterno" 6x09 recap broadcast on April 27 2010 had it spelled "Ricardus".
  • "Albert Richardson" was the name of the real-life first mate on the Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste was a merchant ship famously discovered in 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and apparently abandoned, in spite of the fact that the weather was fine and all crew had been experienced and able seamen. The Black Rock has a similar mysterious reputation in the Lost universe.


Trivia

  • Richard's final episode count is 29, as of "The End".
    • In Season 5, though a guest star, Richard appeared in more episodes than both Desmond and Charlotte, who were main characters, and as many episodes as Daniel, who was also a main character.
    • Nestor Carbonell was finally promoted to the main cast for Season 6, after being a guest star in 20 episodes across three seasons.
  • Richard was the thirty-second character to ever have a flashback.
  • Out of the main characters, Richard has met the Man in Black, Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, Locke, Ben, Juliet, Kate, Sayid, Eloise, Sawyer, Sun, Jack, Frank, Ilana, Hurley and Claire.
    • He has not met Ana Lucia, Boone, Charlie, Desmond, Eko, Jin, Libby, Nikki, Paulo, Rose, Bernard, Penny, Christian nor Shannon. He may have met Walt and Michael as they both spent time amongst the Others.
      • He was aware of Charlie, as he was present when Bonnie informed Ben of Charlie's arrival at The Looking Glass.
      • It is possible he met Pierre Chang due to the fact that he would have communications with the DHARMA Initiative about their truce.
    • To this point, Richard should have some recollection of prior encounters with Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, Locke, Sayid, Kate, Sawyer, and Jack from meeting them in the past. To this point, he has only seen Locke, Sayid, Kate, Jack, Sawyer and Miles in both the past and present.
      • In 1954, one of his subordinates brought him three prisoners — two men (Daniel and Miles) and a British woman (Charlotte), claiming to be part of the US military sent to the Island earlier. A few hours later, John Locke from 2004 walked into their camp and introduced himself to Richard, much to his surprise. ("Jughead")
        • Two years later, Richard visited baby Locke after his birth. He visited young Locke again five years later. Eleven years later, Richard tried to recruit teenage Locke again. ("Cabin Fever")
      • Twenty years later, Richard met Sawyer from 2004/5 when he entered the DHARMA-controlled Barracks, discontented with the breaking of the truce. ("LaFleur")
        • During their exchange, Jin watched them from Heather's house, but Richard was unaware of this. Daniel and Miles were watching too, but they had met him previously in 1954 (a week ago for them).
    • Richard briefly met Kate for the first time when she went into the jungle with Sawyer in 1977 for help to heal the young Ben, and again after she and Jack were captured by Widmore whilst lurking in the bushes. ("Whatever Happened, Happened") ("Follow the Leader") He would later meet her again, twenty-seven years later, in "There's No Place Like Home, Part 1".
    • Locke mentioned Jack's name to Richard in "Because You Left". Richard had already met Jack in 1977.
    • In 2007, after Sun mentioned the names of "Kate", "Jack", "Hurley", and "Jin", Richard told her that he saw them all die. ("Follow the Leader") It is unknown which, if any, of the other time-displaced survivors he saw die.
  • Richard, Widmore and Eloise are the only Others identified by name who are known to be alive and who belonged to the group before DHARMA arrived.
  • He is the only Other known to be off the Island at the time of the crash.
  • In the Season 3 DVD commentary for "The Man Behind the Curtain", Richard Alpert is described as someone who is not interested in leading the Others but is very influential in finding and selecting a leader. In the commentary for "The Man Behind the Curtain", he is described as being similar to a Panchen Lama choosing the next Dalai Lama. He and Ben keep each other in "check" by having the power to pick/veto each other's replacement on the Island. Ben's role would be to pick the next Panchen, should the need arise. This keeps the two in a sort of balanced power relationship. They are allies, yet they have some measure of control over the other should one get out of hand.
  • Season 3 DVD audio commentary confirms that Ben's line to Richard in "The Man Behind the Curtain", "It's a birthday present. You do remember birthdays don't you?", was written to be deliberately ambiguous.
  • On the DVD commentary for "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3", Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse refer to Richard as "the Dick Cheney of the Others".
  • Except when acting as a recruiter for Mittelos, or when dressed in the "uncivilized" disguise, Richard has been seen to wear the same style of button-up shirt in all of his appearances.
  • Despite the extremely long time he has spent on the Island, Richard seems to have a good knowledge of the outside world: He could easily use a PowerPoint presentation when recruiting Juliet, as well as a video camera while spying on Rachel, and was not confused at Hurley's questioning if he was a cyborg or vampire, suggesting a knowledge of popular culture.
  • The "Not in Portland" script describes him thus: "She is with RICHARD ALPERT. Black. Super CHARMING. Elegantly dressed. Mid-40s." However, Hispanic actor Nestor Carbonell ended up getting the part. (Lost: The Official Magazine)
  • In the Canary Islands, where Richard Alpert was born, there is an ancient and extended legend about an island that appears and disappears, an island that can move itself. Its called San Borondón (in Spanish and Portuguese; in English is usually called St. Brendan's Island) and throughout history have been people who claim to have seen or been on the island.
  • It is suggested that Richard was born on the Canary Islands. For the episode "Ab Aeterno", Carbonell researched the local accent and determined that it was similar to his own Cuban accent, so every time Richard speaks Spanish he does it with a slight Caribbean accent. (Official Lost Podcast/March 25, 2010)
  • In an Easter egg on the Season 5 Blu-ray set, an outline of "The Incident, Part 2" is seen on a white board. It contains a different description of the episode's conclusion: after Juliet detonates the Jughead, the people at the Swan site were enveloped by white light. The episode would then cut to Richard watching the explosion from a distance. This unused scene explains why Richard believes everyone who was present at the site in 1977 was dead.
  • Richard is one of 22 main characters to have their names appear in a soundtrack title.
  • Chronologically, Richard is the first main character to come to the Island, not counting the Man in Black in his original form.
  • Richard is, along with Eloise Hawking and Pierre Chang, one of the only 3 main characters to never appear without speaking lines.

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Richard Alpert/Theories
  • Why were Richard and the Others unaffected by the time flashes?
  • How much longer did he live after leaving the Island?
  • How much did Richard really know about the Island?

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