It was very nice to get some answers about Richard tonight, or at least that is what I first thought. We do seem to have hard confirmation that he was on the Black Rock in some capacity. However, his explanation of why he could not kill himself (that he was touched by Jacob) really excited me at first. But as I've been thinking about it in the last hour I still think there is much more to learn about Mr. Alpert and his strange relationship to Jacob. He said that he could not kill himself because Jacob touched him, so at first I assumed that the same would apply for each of the losties we saw Jacob touch in The Incident. However, if Jacob's power does extend to all he touched then the touch alone cannot be the reason for Richard never aging. Why? Well, Jacob touched both Kate and Sawyer when they were children and they have aged since the touch. Maybe Jacob's touch only prevents those touched from killing themselves. It does not prevent those touched from being killed (i.e. Locke and the fact that Richard thought he could die if Jack or Hurley lit the fuse on the dynamite). So, was it not simply coincidence that Ben showed up to kill Locke? Would his suicide attempt have failed if Ben didn't show up? More importantly (to me, and to the rest of the season, I think) why does Richard not age even though the rest of those touched do? Not really a new question but a more nagging one to me now that I thought for a few minutes it had been answered.

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