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

Richard Alpert, also called Ricardus, is a long-time inhabitant of the Island and holds a form of leadership position with the Others, a group known to the DHARMA Initiative as the "Hostiles." According to Ben, Richard is some sort of "advisor." From his first appearance in 1954 to current events on the Island, Richard perpetually appears to be in his late 30s or early 40s (which appears to indicate some form of supernatural longevity or possibly immortality, given to him by Jacob), though his hairstyle and manner of dress change depending on the circumstances on or off the Island. He has credited Jacob, who like him appears ageless, for this unusual characteristic. In the outside world, he presented himself as a recruiter for Mittelos Bioscience, and helped bring Juliet to the Island in 2001.

Before the Crash



Richard and Widmore don't see eye to eye regarding John Locke. ("Jughead")

Richard's first chronological appearance was at the Others' camp in 1954; Richard was the leader of the Others at this time. During this time period, the US government sent military personnel to the Island and other Pacific islands to test hydrogen bombs. One such bomb, Jughead, was brought to the Island, but the Others attacked the soldiers before Jughead could be detonated. The U.S. Army camp on the Island was taken over by the Others under Richard's leadership, appropriating their weapons, clothes, tents and other equipment.

At the camp, Richard was presented with Daniel, Miles and Charlotte, who had been captured by Ellie after flashing back to 1954. Accused of being with the military, Daniel responded for all that they were scientists, but Ellie doubted their claims. Richard questioned them and discovered that Daniel was in fact a scientist; Daniel offered to disarm the bomb. Richard explained to him how the US military refused to leave under peaceful circumstances, leading to the hostilities. Daniel affirmed that he would not cause the bomb to explode, because he loved Charlotte and would not want any harm to come to her. Richard believed him and ordered Ellie to take Daniel to the bomb.


Richard talks to John Locke in 1954. ("Jughead")

Before they left, Jones (a young Charles Widmore) arrived at the camp, explaining that he was captured by people in the jungle. Widmore questioned Richard's leadership when concerning trusting one of "them", the military. Soon afterwards, a bald man in his late-forties arrived at the camp, calling for Richard Alpert. After introducing himself as John Locke to Richard, he stated that he was sent by Jacob.

In a tent, Locke showed Richard the compass he had given him, explaining it was the way he could convince him that he knew Locke in the future. Locke added that in two years he will be born in Tustin, Calif. and that Richard should go visit him to see proof. Locke demanded to know how to leave the island so he could reunite the Oceanic Six, but the island jumped through time before a hesitant Richard could answer. ("Jughead")

Recruiting John Locke


Richard stands at the window watching baby Locke. ("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")

He tested Locke 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, though, and no further attempts to recruit him have been shown. ("Cabin Fever") In 1977 Richard would state to Jack that these three visits led him to find nothing "particularly special" about Locke. ("The Incident, Part 1")

Confrontations with DHARMA Initiative


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 Ben encountered him after taking off into the jungle, searching for an apparition of his dead mother. Richard 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'd seen, and that she had died off the Island, Richard was visibly interested in this development, but told him to return home. Ben, however, 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 Barracks after dark, causing general panic. He placed a torch in the ground and waited, until Horace Goodspeed came to meet him. Richard accused DHARMA of breaking their truce by having killed two of his men. Sawyer told Horace that he will 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 will remain unbroken (Sawyer having killed two of his men, an act that, due to him being a third party reacting in self-defense, does 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")


Richard takes Ben to the Temple. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")

In 1977, Sawyer and Kate, carrying young Ben's body, 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")


Richard kneels before Daniel Faraday after he is shot and killed. ("The Variable")

Short time later, Daniel Faraday infiltrated the Others' camp, threatening them with a gun and demanding to meet Ellie. Richard tried to calm him down by telling that Ellie was not present there at the moment. Upon hearing that, Daniel demanded to know where Richard had buried Jughead. Pointing his gun at Richard, Daniel told that he would count to three. Before he could do so, he was shot from behind by Ellie. Richard asked why she did it, to which 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 to release them 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 go away, making Erik aim his gun at her. However, Erik was shot down by Sayid, who suddenly appeared out of the jungle. With Kate left and Sayid joined, the rest soon reached The Tunnels, where the Jughead had been hidden. ("Follow the Leader")


Eloise and Richard disagree on Jack's plan. ("The Incident, Part 1")

While Sayid was working to remove the core of the Jughead to bring it to the Swan Station, 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")

Richard was next seen in 1989 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 thirties, 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


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 woman 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 (an anagram reference to Amelia Earhart) 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 Galaga with Ethan and Juliet. ("One of Us")

After the Crash

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")

Season 3 (Days 80-90)


Richard suggests a different way to kill Anthony Cooper. ("The Brig")

Eighty days after the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, 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")

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")

3x20 DemandingToKnowTheSecrets

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

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, to whom Jacob had appealed 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")

Season 4 (Day 100)


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")

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.


Richard welcomes his new leader. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")

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. 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 2")

Season 5 (2007)

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 Jacob's Nemesis, pretending to be John Locke. "John" greeted him, saying it had been a while; three years, according to Richard. "John" 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, "John", Richard and Ben made their way to the Beechcraft. Before reaching their destination, "Locke" told Richard he expects to see Jacob later on; while Richard seemed surprised and reluctant, he agreed to listen to "Locke", now the leader of The Others. Once there, "John" 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. "John" also told 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")

Unknowingly following Jacob's Nemesis'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." (At the time, Richard did not know the man he thought was John Locke was actually Jacob's Nemesis.) 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")

5x01 WithATorchInHisHand

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

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 John a compass so John 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")


Richard pushes open the statue wall to see Jacob. ("The Incident, Part 1")

Richard made his way back to "John" 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 "Locke" revealed to him that he did. ("Follow the Leader")

Shortly after, Richard, Ben and "John" made their way back to camp. "Locke" 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 "Locke" will only cause trouble, to which Ben exclaimed that this is the reason he tried to kill him. ("Follow the Leader")

Richard led "John" and the rest of The Others to the ruins of the statue, informing him that this is where Jacob lived. Along the way he told "Locke" the reason for him not aging had something to do with Jacob. Once they arrived at the statue ruins, "Locke" 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. Despite hearing this, "Locke" insisted and Richard eventually gave in to his demand. Richard pushed a stone at the base of the Statue in, allowing access to Jacob's living space.

Later, Ilana and her group arrived and asked for "Ricardus". 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 protect/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, thus revealing to Richard and all the Others that the "John Locke" whom Richard had been following was an impostor. ("The Incident, Part 1")

Meeting the survivors

Click on the icons to sort the table.

Year Alpert Survivors Key Event Episode
1954 1 7 Locke 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 8 Alpert meets Sawyer. ("LaFleur")
1977 6 9 Sawyer and Kate hand young Ben over to Alpert. ("Whatever Happened, Happened")
1977 7 10 Alpert meets Daniel Faraday. Alpert (and Eloise) lead Jack and Sayid to the Jughead. ("The Variable") ("Follow the Leader")
2004 8 4 Alpert gives Locke Sawyer's file. ("The Brig")
2004 9 5 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 10 11 Alpert meets Sun and Jacob's enemy in the form of Locke. ("Follow the Leader")
2007 11 6 Alpert gives compass to Locke. ("Because You Left")

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. 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 "Ricardus", which is Latin for "Richard".
  • "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.


  • Richard's episode count so far is 20, as of "The Incident, Part 1".
    • In Season 5, though a guest star, Richard appeared in more episodes than Desmond, who is a main character, and as many episodes as Daniel, who was also a main character.
  • Out of the main characters, Richard has met Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, Locke, Ben, Juliet, Kate, Sayid, Sawyer, Sun, and Jack.
  • 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, and Kate 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.
      • 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.
    • Twenty years later, Richard met Sawyer from 2004/5 when he entered the DHARMA-controlled Barracks, discontented with the breaking of the truce.
      • 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).
        • In "Follow the Leader", after Sun mentions the names of "Kate", "Jack", "Hurley", and "Jin", Richard tells her that he saw them die. It is unknown which of the time-displaced survivors he saw die.
    • 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.
    • Locke mentioned Jack's name to Richard in "Because You Left". Jack would later meet Richard in 1977, which had already happened for Richard.
  • 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 from Tallahassee", 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 from Tallahassee", 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, Part 2" Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse refer to Richard as "the Dick Cheney of the Others."
  • Juliet said Richard is "old", and that he's "always been here [with the Others]"
  • Alpert informed (or reminded) Horace Goodspeed that the Sonic fence would not stop the Others and that the only thing that kept them out was the truce.

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

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