Tag: Richard Alpert

Lost 6.9 – Ab Aeterno

Is it just me, or was tonight’s episode completely underwhelming? The mystery behind Richard Alpert has been built up so much over the course of the last few seasons that I can’t help but feel like we were all expecting something more. It’s not that the episode was bad (Nestor Campbell delivered one helluva performance, and Titus Welliver was brilliant yet again as the Man in Black), but rather that when it ended, I didn’t have very much to say. And considering that we’re already midway through the final season, shouldn’t every episode be somewhat memorable?

It may have ended well – and really, that’s all anyone is going to remember when people gather around the water cooler to discuss the episode tomorrow – but the first half was dreadfully boring. Granted, we now know approximately how old Richard is, as well as where he comes from, but did they really need to spend so much time on the death of his wife, his inadvertent murder of the local doctor, and his eventual incarceration? Just get him to the damned island already, because while it may seem important that he got there by way of the Black Rock (and as a slave no less), none of it really matters once he meets Jacob and the Man in Black.


Their feuding relationship is far more interesting than anything in Richard’s history, namely because the writers still haven’t given us a reason to believe that one is good and the other is evil. Obviously, the Man in Black is being set up to be the villain of the pair, but for someone who so desperately wants to get off the island, he sure has the patience of a saint. Okay, so maybe he doesn’t always tell the truth (I don’t believe for a second that Jacob is the Devil), but why didn’t he kill Richard along with the rest of the Black Rock survivors? It can’t be because Richard is a candidate, or Jacob wouldn’t have to worry about finding a successor. And if all the Man in Black wanted was someone to kill Jacob for him, couldn’t he have picked someone that was more likely to do the deed? (Like, say, that crazy officer who started stabbing all the slaves.)

Then again, maybe he just needs to prove to Jacob that Richard is capable of killing again. That’s certainly Jacob’s theory, who tells Richard that he brings people to the island to challenge the idea that it’s human nature to sin. But how does that make him any better than the Man in Black? He may not be asking anyone to kill for him, but he’s still interfering with their lives by dragging them to the island. The island, of course, isn’t Hell like Richard thinks. Instead, Jacob likens it to a cork on a wine bottle that acts as a barrier to Hell. So essentially, it’s like a Hellmouth, only instead of Sunnydale, it’s located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

All kidding aside, I think the island is like some sort of Purgatory. Not in the religious sense (that theory was debunked as far back as Season Two), but rather as a gateway between the two realities I’ve come to call Earth-1 and Earth-2. Prove yourself worthy of atonement and you’ll be rewarded by being sent to the reality where Oceanic Flight 815 doesn’t crash. Fail to repent for your sins, however, and you’ll be stuck on the island for eternity; or at least, until you can find a loophole of your own. I know it’s not a perfect theory, but it’s the best I’ve got.

Lost 5.8 – LaFleur

After last week’s good but not great Locke-centric show, it probably wasn’t the best idea to air another character-heavy episode so soon. That hasn’t stopped the powers that be from doing just that, however, and though it probably won’t go down as one of the season’s stronger stories, it was still a solid, more traditional hour of “Lost” that finally gave Sawyer his day in the sun. Fortunately, he’s also currently one of the best characters on the show thanks to his recent pairing with fellow island dumpee, Juliet.

The two of them have quickly assumed leadership of the B-Team since, well, Jin still can’t talk very much English, Miles is a total slacker, and Faraday is mourning the death of Charlotte. With Locke gone and no sign of the well even having been built yet (though did anyone notice the four-toed statue being erected in the background?), the island is moved one final time before, as expected, it stops for good. From here, the episode shuffled back and forth in time from their newest location to three years into the future, where they currently exist when the Oceanic 6 return to the island.

Lost 5.8

Over those three years, the B-Team somehow managed to warm their way into the hearts of the Dharma Initiative and become full-fledged members. Granted, we never actually find out how that happened (which was probably why I felt so lukewarm about the episode when it ended), but we do know that they’re stuck sometime in the 1970s and that Sawyer in particular (now going by the name Jim LaFleur) has become somewhat of a leader in the camp. He’s not the leader, mind you, but after saving the life of a woman named Amy (played by Reiko Aylesworth, who will now be referred to as Michelle Dessler) and smoothing out a broken truce between Dharma and the Others, Sawyer wins his place among them.

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Once more, for the record: Nestor Carbonell does NOT wear eye make-up!

During the panel for ABC’s “Lost” at the TCA Press Tour a few weeks ago, executive producer Carlton Cuse said that the true mystery of the series is, “Is Nestor Carbonell wearing make-up?”

Those familiar with the man who plays Richard Alpert, advisor to the inscrutable Benjamin Linus, have pondered this question for quite some time, and millions more wondered about it after seeing Carbonell playing the Mayor of Gotham City in “The Dark Knight,” but Cuse’s fellow “Lost” producer, Damon Lindelof, swore to an audience of TV critics that Carbonell is not guilty on all charges.

“When we first saw dailies of Nestor, we were, like, ‘Someone’s gotta talk to him about the eyeliner situation,’” Lindelof said. “And he does not wear any mascara, no eyeliner, nothing. He is completely 100 percent sans makeup. That’s the God’s honest truth.”

And, yet, there are those who still refuse to believe it.

Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to talk with Carbonell in connection with the DVD release of “Killer Movie” (he has a small but hilarious part as a Hollywood agent), I figured that this was the perfect opportunity to get confirmation straight from the horse’s mouth. Word of the TCA tour had clearly gotten back to Carbonell, however, since the mere mention of the event led him to start laughing (“My brother told me about it,” he explained), and the laughter increased dramatically, however, when I told him that the changing of my status to indicate my impending interview with him had immediately resulted in one of my friends – okay, it was Mekeisha Madden Toby, who writes for The Detroit News’ TV blog – replying, “OOOH! Ask him if he uses eyeliner!”

So I asked him.

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