Richard Alpert visits little John

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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by Igs on Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:44 pm

Hey all,

While I think the time-travel point for Richard Alpert is interesting (SBP, WTF, Irocz), I'm not sure if Richard visiting Locke and Ben via "time-travel" has me convinced.

One, why would Richard go "back in time" to observe the leadership qualities of Ben and Locke while they were leaders on the island.

Isn't it significantly easier to examine one's leadership qualities by studying how they lead in the present then going back in time and asking odd questions to the child-version of that person.

Two, if you do think it's time travel, I think this raises another set of paradoxes to resolve. Whereas believing his apparent agelessness is the result of, say, life-extension treatment, avoids any such time-travel paradoxes.

Three, I don't think we have yet seen that anyone has such control over time-travel that they can selectively choose when and where they will appear in the past/future. We have seen (i) consciousness time-travel; (ii) time-distortion on the island; (iii) and see one person get moved in space-time (Ben) only after turning the wheel. All these things have something in common -- people aren't controlling their "time-travel".

Now, there are hints this might be the case (the bunny, the message). But I am waiting a bit longer before I make that total jump.

Four, Richard Alpert (at the time of the Purge) also looks the same as he does now. Since this was 30 something years ago and he still looks the same, this raises another time-travel issue. Either he was time-traveling again here at the time of the purge, or he does truly have a slow-aging or ageless quality about him. Thinking he was also time-traveling during the Purge starts to get a little too far afield for me. (i.e. does Adult Richard Alpert see his younger self during the Purge? -- another paradox issue)

I just worry about getting caught up in time-travel to the exclusion of other interesting ideas.

I mean -- we have this idea of life-extension treatments being performed by Dharma. Then we have a gentlemen who never seems to age. IMHO, This seems like both a simple and interesting explanation.


Last edited by Igs on Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:12 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by Igs on Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:59 pm

WTF,

To your point, I would be more in line with Dabs...he seems older in the 60's scene b/c he is dressed professionally as opposed to the native look he has in the 70's. It's the style here that I think creates this impression not his actual looks.

Also, wtf, it still doesn't resolve the initial problem I raised. For Richard to look like hippy Richard to Ben, he had to look like hippy Richard at whatever point in the future he time-traveled from. Yet, we never see Richard look like this after his encounter with young Ben. In fact, we know from the Purge forward -- he has never looked like this (at least when we have seen him).

So when was he time-traveling from? I can't figure this out so I am not yet convinced he time-traveled (in these cases).

As mentioned above, I am also confused why Richard is time-traveling to determine things he already knows (will Locke/Ben be the island's leader, etc.). And if his reason for visiting is that they are bad leaders, why doesn't he do anything to prevent that from happening?

These questions make me look to something else -- i.e. life-extension treatments -- which have significantly less complications. Then again, I will be the first to post a picture of the beer I owe you if (when?) it turns out you are right.

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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by Irocz28 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:09 am

Good stuff Igs. Sounds like a future debate club topic. I'm 50/50 on this one right now. There is good support for both sides.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by wtfsignmeup on Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:39 am

Great points Igs. I can't find any holes in your arguments for now pirat
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by wtfsignmeup on Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:56 am

One small hole is that the Dharma initiative was founded in the early 1970s and didn't begin conducting experiments on the island until that time, and yet we see Richard hasn't aged for the past 20 to 30 years in the seventies when he meets young Ben..so his lack of aging isn't likely to be due to experiments.
If Richards' agelessness or slow aging is because he is a native it makes me wonder under whose authority he was scouting for the future island leaders in the 50s. There's obviously still a lot of back story to be told.
I know the Lost Experience discusses life extension but we don't see much of that on the show.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by StitchExp626 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:31 am

But if Richard's slow aging is a result of the Dharma Initiative then surely Richard would have aged normally up until the 1970's when the Dharma Initiative was formed.

This does not seem to be the case.

In fact 1950's Richard does not look any older than 2004 Richard and yet surely that at the absolute minimum he should look at least 15 years older!

I subscribe to time travel. I think that although he sees Locke in the present, he travels back in time to either a) ensure that certain events occur in Locke's life or to b) test Locke to see if he is fact the "him" that they have been waiting for. Both Desmond and Kelvin were expecting a "him" to show up a "him" that would know the answer to the riddle "What did one snowman say to the other snowman?"

Slow aging, if true, can not be the result of a dharma initiative project, the DI was formed too late for that, unless they have developed a rejuvenation project as well.

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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by wtfsignmeup on Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:41 am

cheers Yay! So far we have Irocz,Stitch,SP(i think) and myself on the time travel side of the argument. We still need more converts though.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by StitchExp626 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 9:43 am

WTF,

What I think is that Richard arrived on the island via the Black Rock.

I think that he met Jacob and learnt about moving the island, and that whoever or whatever moved the island would be cast off.

So I think that he got someone to move the frozen donkey wheel and moved the island forward in time to the 1960's.

Then with the other survivors of the Black Rock they lived on the island in a happy manner until the arrival of the DI.

The 1970's were hard for the survivors of the Black Rock as they were seen to be hostiles in the eyes of the DI. Although they had actually a better understanding of the island and had a connection to Jacob.

Jacob, I believe prophesised that a leader would emerge who would lead them to some sort of Nirvana. This person would be born of a woman, but not raised by them and who would murder his father. This person would also be known by their like for the Law.

Ben, I believe fitted this picture as did Locke, but maybe the reality is that the "him" they have been expecting is actually a "her". My guess is that the "her" is actually Kate.

I think that they misunderstood the prophecy, Kate killed her father and my guess is that the prophecy is supposed to read the "her" who is born of a man but not raised by him will kill that father.

Sons not raised by mothers and daughters not raised by fathers. Kate fits the bill equally as does Locke and Ben. My guess the promised and prophesised leader is Kate.

The only one that knows this is Richard.

The others just expect a "him" to be a leader but I think that everything is leading to it being a "her" that is the leader.

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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by wtfsignmeup on Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:49 am

Stitch, frikin awesome.
Have you posted these thoughts before as a theory? If not do so now.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by AngeloComet on Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:33 pm

Whoa, whoa. . .

Dharma/Hanso may have been conducting research into life extenstion - but nowhere is it said they created it!

They didn't create the healing properties the Island possesses, did they?

I would suggest the Island has a power source, a property, that enables life extension for certain people (Alpert) and once Dharma/Hanso got wind of this they set about conducting study into the phenomenon.

So they went to the Island and, amongst other things, started looking into it. So Alpert does not need to be a product of Dharma (indeed, he's a "hostile", he was never part of them so far as we know) to have the life extension properties and, therefore, time travel is still, for me, a more unlikely (and logically problematic) explanation for Alpert's agelessness.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by mortoncombat on Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:20 pm

Stitch

Good stuff, off on a bit of a tangent but i too would love to read this theory in more detail if you have one. I'm intrigued
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by Irocz28 on Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:15 pm

Whatever the case may be, I think we can all agree on one thing: We need at least one Richard centric episode in Season 5.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by mortoncombat on Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:40 pm

Irocz

I read yesterday on Dark UFO that Darlton have said Richard Alpert will feature heavily throughout season 5.

Fingers crossed that means he will make much more sense come may this year.... though i wouldn't hold your breath!!
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by Igs on Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:52 pm

Stitch/WTF,

Good point. But I submit that we have only seen Richard two times prior to his appearance to Ben in the forest. 1956 and 1961. Not too unlikely that he wouldn't look so different btw. those two visits (nevermind, we saw him for just a few seconds in the 1956 shot).

By the time he appears on the island to Ben, this may already be after any LET (life extension treatment) -- or whatever may have happened on island to affect his aging.

Thus, we are comparing a Richard Alpert that is likely only 15 years different in age (as opposed to 20 or 30 years younger) than when we first see him. Either way, I think that is a good catch and challenges my "theory".

Right now, my first thought is that perhaps I misunderstood the purpose of making Richard look native in the 70's (although, no doubt, it served more than one purpose).

See -- in 1956, we only see Richard quite briefly. Assuming for the moment, that Richard had already had contact with Dharma prior to meeting Ben in the jungle, the only time we have an extended look at him, therefore, is the 1960's (in his visit to Locke). Thus, assuming fans would use this view of Richard in the 60's as their basis of comparison, the purpose of having Richard go native in the 70's becomes a bit clearer. It obfuscates (to a degree) how much older he looks (given that its 10 years later) the "next" time we see him.

As pointed out, after that, everytime we see Richard he has a clean-cropped, shorter haircut, that may denote a slightly older looking Richard.

A/C, I agree -- kind of. We haven't heard Dharma performed life-extension treatments on humans. However, we have heard that Dharma claimed "to perform" life-extension treatments on an orangutang called Joop. Supposedly, Joop celebrated his 105th birthday (even though Orangutan's lifespan averages in the 60's).

Now, while I concur that Richard seemless aging may be attributable to some quality of the island (and he is a unique or special beneficiary of it), I think the LET is also another way to go (given we have seen claims that this can be done). Of course, Dharma could be claiming to have an LET (and just be somehow either observing or harnessing this LET property). I'm on board with that as a potential as well. In fact, in my initial post, I referenced the properties of the island as likely being involved no matter how we slice it.

I also like the LET b/c it might explain why Richard was the one leading the charge on the purge. If Dharma tested on him against his will (like some lab animal) that is a hell of a motive for him to hate Dharma and seek their removal from the island altogether.

Finally, as was noted above, LET's are clearly not even a part of the show yet. This is probably a strike against them. In the other corner, we have often seen that part of the extended Lost Experience acts as a precursor to the release of similar information on the show. I think this could be the case here.

If it turns out that Richard had an LET, I'm posting a huge smiley in this thread.

As a side note, Stitch -- I dug your theory. Interesting take.

Irocz, you said it best. We need some clarity on this mysterious Richard Alpert fellow. Question though -- is this a mystery that the show may never answer?


Last edited by Igs on Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by Lateralus on Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:55 pm

AngeloComet wrote:
he's a "hostile", he was never part of them so far as we know


I'm starting to think maybe Alpert was maybe part of the original Dharma that defected and these defectors became know as “Hostiles” to the new Dharma recruits.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by AngeloComet on Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:19 pm

Yeah, I was careful to add the "so far as we know" element because there is a question mark about Alpert's origins and relationship with Dharma.

However, press me for an either/or response, I say Alpert was never part of Dharma and was on the Island before they ever got there.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by SamiLost on Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:31 pm

Stitch: Have you posted this as a theory? If not plz do so! I'd love to read more on this. Very interesting indeed!

Ben: "You DO remember birthdays Richard, Don't you?" What does this imply?
a) That Richard time travels backward to always avoid his birthday and hence not age?
b) Or that Richard's time passes in a slower rate?

I tend to think the first one because even if it is in a slower rate but there will still be a birthday. Wouldn't it? Just that the appearance would look not much older and the person would celebrate many many birthdays as opposed to forgetting about them which imply celebrating none!!
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by MollyCocktail on Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:59 pm

I'm with ya WTF.

I've always suspected time travel at work where Alpert is concerned.
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Re: Richard Alpert visits little John

Post by wtfsignmeup on Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:54 pm

*big hug* It does feel like the writers are implying that to me too scratch But then when I think about the comment Ben made to Richard about not remembering birthdays....that does imply that he is ageless (as mentioned by other posters), so I'm still open to both arguments I suppose.
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