Richard Alpert (Lost)
From Television Wiki
- REDIRECT Template:Underconstruction
|First appearance||"Not in Portland"|
|Portrayed by||Nestor Carbonell|
Richard Alpert is a recurring fictional character played by Nestor Carbonell in the American ABC television series Lost. Alpert is introduced in a flashback of the character Juliet Burke (Elizabeth Mitchell), where he claims to be a doctor for a bioscience company called Mittelos Bioscience; however, he is later revealed to be a member of a native island faction called "the Others," where he plays a role in the group's hierarchy that has been compared to that of the Panchen Lama in Buddhism by the series' producers. A major facet of the character is his seeming agelessness; he has been seen with a similar physical appearance both in the show's present events in 2004 as well as flashbacks dating as far back as the mid-1950s.
While originally introduced as a guest star in the third season episode "Not in Portland," Alpert reappears throughout the third season, both in flashbacks and present-day island events. However, in the spring of 2007, shortly before the conclusion of Lost's third season, Carbonell was contracted as a regular on the CBS television series Cane, which jeopardized his future on Lost. However, the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike caused Cane to be cancelled and allowed Carbonell to return for the final three episodes of the fourth season and several in the fifth. Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse confirmed in January 2009 that Carbonell had been contracted for the show's sixth and final season in 2010.
The earliest chronological time period in which Alpert has been seen is 1954 in the episode "Jughead." Alpert was leading some of the Others at this time period (Richard implies that at this time, he answers to someone else) when a US military detachment of 18 soldiers landed on the island with a hydrogen bomb. Alpert asked the troops to leave the island peacefully; when they refused, Alpert was "forced" to kill them. Upon being asked by Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) who told him to kill the troops, Alpert merely hinted that someone higher in his chain of command gave the order. The Others capture Faraday, Miles Straume (Ken Leung) and Charlotte Lewis (Rebecca Mader) in the jungle after the third "skip" through time to 1954. Alpert is under the mistaken impression that the three were sent by the military to retrieve the bomb, a misconception Faraday goes along with in order to gain access to the bomb and repair a crack in the casing. Alpert reluctantly allows Faraday to see the bomb after Faraday professes his love for Charlotte as a way of proving he does not intend to detonate the bomb. A short time later, a member of the Others who had encountered Juliet, James "Sawyer" Ford (Josh Holloway) and John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) in the jungle arrives and informs Alpert of their presence. Locke enters the camp shortly afterwards and asks to speak to Alpert to continue a conversation the two will have in the future. Alpert is initially untrustworthy of Locke until Locke claims Jacob, the Others' leader, sent him, and gives Alpert a compass that Alpert himself gave Locke in the future. Alpert then unknowingly reveals to Locke that the name of the young Other is Charles Widmore, the man who will send a freighter with violent mercenaries to the island in 50 years, but Locke keeps quiet about this knowledge and asks for information on how to leave the island. He tells a reluctant Alpert that if he is suspicious of Locke's claims of time travel, Alpert should visit Locke's birthplace in two years for proof. The island then jumps through time again before Alpert can tell Locke how to leave the island.
Alpert apparently took Locke's word and visited a Tustin, California hospital two years later on May 30, 1956, where he was spotted smiling at a baby Locke by Locke's grandmother and a nurse. Alpert later visited a five-year old Locke and gave him a test not unlike those administered by the Panchen Lama to Dalai Lama potentials, under the guise that he was recruiting children for a special school. He showed Locke several items, including a compass he would later give Locke as an adult, and asked Locke to identify which item belonged to him. The child picked a knife, which caused Alpert to express anger at Locke's apparent failing of the test and leave in a hurry. As a teenager, Locke learned that Alpert was trying to recruit him for a special summer camp, but declined the offer because he disliked science. Around this time in the mid-1970s, Alpert encountered a young Benjamin Linus (Sterling Beaumon as a child, Michael Emerson as an adult) in the jungle. In this appearance, Alpert was wearing dirty clothes with long, unkempt hair. Ben expressed a desire to run away from his father, a member of the scientific research group called the DHARMA Initiative, and join the Others. Alpert realized Ben was special when Ben said he saw his deceased mother (Carrie Preston) in the jungle. Alpert said that Ben could eventually join him, but it would take patience. As an adult in the early 1990s, Ben assisted Alpert in killing the members of the DHARMA Initiative with poison gas.
In 2001, Alpert visited Juliet and recruited her to join Mittelos Bioscience, a company he claimed to work for that was stationed in Portland, Oregon. Juliet initially denied the offer because she was employed by her ex-husband and made a joke that he would need to be hit by a bus for her to change her mind; shortly afterwords he was rammed by a bus after stepping into the street. Alpert claimed to have forgotten Juliet's joke when she mentioned it later, and she agreed to join his company. Alpert then admitted the company was not really in Portland and that Juliet would need to be sedated on the trip to the company's real location. She was then taken by submarine to the island. Three years later, when Oceanic Airlines flight 815 crashed on the island, Alpert was in Miami, Florida, filming Juliet's formerly cancer-stricken sister playing with her young son, footage Ben showed to Juliet.
Alpert later encountered Locke when the latter infiltrated the Barracks, the Others' community. Locke destroyed the submarine to prevent Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) and Juliet from leaving the island and was captured. Alpert was told by Ben to fetch "the man from Tallahassee," who was then revealed to be Locke's father, Anthony Cooper (Kevin Tighe). Locke ventured with Alpert and Ben to a new camp, where Locke was informed he had to kill his father to join the Others. Locke was unable to do this and was publicly humiliated by Ben in front of the Others, but the next day, Alpert hinted to Locke that he was unhappy with Ben's leadership and informed him that Sawyer had a connection to Cooper that would make him kill the latter. This connection was revealed as Cooper being the man responsible for Sawyer's parents' deaths. Alpert was then instructed by Ben to take the Others to "the Temple," a safe haven, while Ben negotiated with the flight 815 survivors and was captured.
Alpert next reappeared to "capture" Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly) and Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) while the two were in the jungle looking for Jack and Sawyer. However, their capture was really part of a plan to rescue Ben from Martin Keamy (Kevin Durand), which was successful. Alpert shot Keamy several times in the ensuing rescue, but Keamy survived due to a bulletproof vest. Ben then ventured to a DHARMA station called the Orchid and "moved" the island by turning a large wheel; this action caused the island to begin skipping through time like a broken record. Alpert found a wounded Locke in the jungle and healed him, giving Locke the compass that Locke would give Alpert himself in 1954, and telling Locke that the only way to save the island was to get the Oceanic Six, six survivors who left the island, to return. When Locke asked how he could do this, Alpert responded that Locke would have to die.
The mysteries surrounding his ageless character were heavily discussed among the fan community. Although being present in scenes from the 1950s to the 2000s, Richard does not appear to age. In "The Man Behind the Curtain" Ben says "You do remember birthdays, don't you?" to Richard. When asked at the 2008 Comic-Con International how old Richard is, lead Lost actor Matthew Fox guessed 125, which Lost producer Damon Lindelof said was wrong. When Locke asks Juliet how old Richard is in "Jughead", she simply replies "old".
Richard shares his name with Richard Alpert, an Eastern-influenced writer and figure from the 1960s and 70s. Lost producer Damon Lindelof confirmed that Richard is named after someone famous, but did not elaborate. Nestor Carbonell was originally contracted to guest star in "Not in Portland", with the possibility of the role becoming recurring. After the producers enjoyed his performance, his contract was extended to five further appearances in season three. During production of "The Man Behind the Curtain", Carbonell shot the pilot for CBS drama Cane.
While producing the final episodes of the third season, Carbonell was cast in a starring role on the new CBS series Cane. The writers modified their original story plan for the third season in anticipation for Carbonell's potential unavailability. Despite Carbonell's willingness to return to Lost, CBS president Nina Tassler ruled out another Lost guest appearance. Cane was canceled during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, freeing Carbonell from his contract with CBS. Executive producer Carlton Cuse cited this as an unintended positive consequence of the strike.
When Richard made his first appearance, Erin Martell of AOL's TV Squad was disappointed that Carbonell did not use the accent he used in Suddenly Susan. Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Jensen was pleased when Richard returned in "One of Us", saying "[Carbonell]'s Slick Willy performance as Mittelos exec Richard Alpert is on par with his superb embodiment of the half-bat, half-lothario superhero known as Batmanuel in the gone-too-soon sitcom The Tick". He also "loved [Richard's] matter-of-fact way of telling Juliet that he had spiked her orange juice with a massive amount of tranquilizer ... his silver-tongued temptation was so persuasive, I think any of us would have gulped down that [orange juice]". Chris Carabott from IGN thought Richard featuring in Ben's flashback as a Hostile was "one of the more surprising revelations of the ["The Man Behind the Curtain", because] Alpert doesn't seem to have aged a day in thirty-plus years".
Many reviewers were pleased when Richard returned in season four's "Cabin Fever" after being absent for ten episodes. Jay Glatfelter of The Huffington Post called him a "fan favorite" and speculated that although it is less plausible that his appearance at Locke's birth is due to time travel, this seemed more believable than Richard not aging. Carabott called it "The biggest and most welcome surprise" because "He's one of the most enigmatic characters on the series and his appearance in Locke's past is an exciting and shocking revelation." Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune said "I get absurdly excited every time Richard Alpert (the wonderfully spooky Nestor Carbonell) arrives on the scene. I just know he’s going to bust out some major-league Dharma Initiative goodness one of these days, and his mere presence boosted my enjoyment level of an already good episode." Cynthia Littleton from Variety said "Just the sight of Richard puts me on edge. Actor Nestor Carbonell is fantastic."
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "Jughead". Rod Holcomb, Writ. Elizabeth Sarnoff & Paul Zbyszewski. Lost. ABC. 2009-01-28. No. 3, season 5.
- ↑ Lachonis, Jon (18 July 2007). "Cane Star Nestor Carbonell Leaves Lost Future in Doubt". BuddyTV. http://www.buddytv.com/articles/lost/cane-star-nestor-carbonell-lea-8398.aspx. Retrieved on 7 July 2008.
- ↑ Lindelof, Damon, Cuse, Carlton & Fox, Matthew, (August 1, 2008) "Official Lost Audio Podcast", ABC. Retrieved on January 29, 2009.
- ↑ Ryan, Maureen (May 9, 2008). "'Lost' recap found: Alpert, Jacob and Keamy, oh my!". Chicago Tribune. http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2008/05/lost-recap-foun.html. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
- ↑ Jacobs, Evan (December 10, 2007). "Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof Explain Lost: The Complete Third Season". Movieweb. http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEuxzxxAYwtGyz. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Topel, Fred (January 29, 2009). "What's up with Lost's Nestor Carbonell not aging? And the 'guyliner'?". Sci Fi Wire. http://scifiwire.com/2009/01/whats-up-with-losts-nestor-carbonell-not-aging-and-the-guyliner.php. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Lindelof, Damon & Cuse, Carlton, (September 21, 2008) "Official Lost Audio Podcast", ABC. Retrieved on January 30, 2009.
- ↑ Sepinwall, Alan (18 July 2007). "Lost at CBS". The Star-Ledger. http://blog.nj.com/alltv/2007/07/lost_at_cbs.html. Retrieved on 7 July 2008.
- ↑ Ausiello, Michael (12 March 2008). "Ausiello on Grey's, Lost, Smallville, Tree Hill and More!". TV Guide. http://www.tvguide.com/Ask-Ausiello/080312. Retrieved on 7 July 2008.
- ↑ Jensen, Jeff (22 February 2008). "7 Writers' Strike Postscripts". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20179357,00.html. Retrieved on 7 July 2008.
- ↑ Martell, Erin (February 8, 2007). "Lost:Not in Portland". TV Squad. http://www.tvsquad.com/2007/02/08/lost-not-in-portland/. Retrieved on 30 January, 2008.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Jensen, Jeff (April 12, 2007). "Bringing Up Babies". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,1550612_20247060_20034600,00.html. Retrieved on January 30, 2008.
- ↑ Carabott, Chris (May 10, 2007). "IGN: The Man Behind the Curtain". IGN. http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/787/787049p1.html. Retrieved on 30 January, 2008.
- ↑ Glatfelter, Jay (May 9, 2008). "On Lost: "Cabin Fever"". The Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jay-glatfelter/on-ilosti-cabin-fever_b_100971.html. Retrieved on 30 January, 2008.
- ↑ Carabott, Chris (May 9, 2008). "IGN: Cabin Fever". IGN. http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/872/872893p1.html. Retrieved on 30 January, 2008.
- ↑ Ryan, Maureen (May 9, 2008). "'Lost' recap found: Alpert, Jacob and Keamy, oh my!". Chicago Tribune. http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/2008/05/lost-recap-foun.html. Retrieved on 30 January, 2008.
- ↑ Littleton, Cynthia (May 9, 2008). ""Lost": Episode 11, "Cabin Fever"". Variety. http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2008/05/lost-episode-11.html?query=lost+cabin+fever. Retrieved on 30 January, 2008.