Richard Alpert is Locke's father - the timeless man, maybe a time traveler, perhaps an eternal like John Amsterdam who doesn't seem to age, who knows, who helped get Juliet to the island, who helped Ben kill the Dharma people, who has a life as a "hostile" on the island that seems to transcend the Others, Dharma, and everyone - well, he's Locke's father. He impregnated a teenage girl - Emily, half his age, who dug Buddy Holly in the 1950s. She has the baby, names him John, gives him her last name (Locke), and leaves the hospital. Her mother gives John Locke up for adoption - but not before we see Richard Alpert in the hospital...
Before we go any further - if the name Emily sounds familiar to you - that might be because someone named Emily was also Ben's mother. So, are Locke and Ben at very least half-brothers (same mother), and who knows, maybe full brothers (if Richard not Roger was Ben's father) .... I've long been saying that inexplicable coincidences which are really explicable, if only we knew all the facts, are the key to understanding Lost. And Locke and Ben having the same mother, and maybe the same father, would be one wild example - which would explain a whole lot of things.*
*[Note added 12 May 2008: At very least, Richard's fatherhood would explain why Ben and Locke both developed strange powers associated with the island.]
Later in the story tonight, on the island, Ben tells Locke that the island wanted Locke to take over from Ben - that's why the island made Ben sick and cured Locke. One of the best and most instructive lines in the series. (And preceded by another great line from Ben to Locke: "Destiny is a fickle bitch.")
Back in the past and off the island, Richard comes to test Locke as a boy - who fails the test. Perhaps this shows that Locke has qualities which go beyond what Richard expected.... Or perhaps young Locke chooses the knife rather than the book, because he isn't quite willing to accept his true destiny, and the knife seems cooler than a book at his age...
Locke manages to get to the cabin on the island tonight, too. Christian (Jack and Claire's) father is there in the chair - and Claire's in the cabin, too, having been collected last week by Christian. Best guess about this is, sadly, both are dead. We already know that Locke can see the dead.
And while we're on that subject .... The hapless doctor who washed up dead on the island last week, but was still alive on the ship off shore, winds up getting his throat cut tonight on the ship .... A little more evidence that the ship off shore exists in time a little earlier than the island.
Sort of like all of us viewers of Lost ... meaning, the next three episodes already exist, but we've got to wait a few weeks to see them ... a few weeks to see the best stuff ever on television.
See also... A Theory of How the Oceanic Six Were Chosen
Further Questions about Lost 4.4: Jack and Aaron, Kate and Sawyer and More about Season Four: Baby Aaron and the Oceanic Six and More About Lost 4: (ii) Michael and Ben, Good and Evil, Alias Echo
1. Lost's Back Full Paradoxical Blast 4.1 ... 4.2: Five Flashbacks and Three Rational Explanations ... 4.3: Thirty Minutes and Big Ben ... 4.4: Kate and ... ... 4.5 Desmond 1 and Desmond 2 ... 4.6 The True Nature of Ben ... 4.7 Flash Both Ways ... 4.8 Michael and Alex ... 4.9 Daughters, Rules, and Some Truth about Ben ... 4.10 Almost a Dream Come True ... 4.12 Hurley's Numbers on the Dashboard
2. More Thoughts On Lost 4.1: Those Who Went with Hurley and Those Who Stayed with Jack and Two More Points about Lost 4.1
additional discussion of this episode of Lost in 12-minute podcast
The Plot to Save Socrates
"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News
"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book
more about The Plot to Save Socrates and its time travel ...
Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!