Friday, March 26, 2010

Lost - Richard's backstory

We finally got the story on Richard. There weren't any real surprises. All of the major points had already been hinted at.

[spoiler alert]

We started out with Richard explaining that the island is Hell. Deja vu. That was a theory floating around in the first season. It's wrong, of course. If the people on the island are dead then there would be no body count - they'd already be dead.

We got our first flashback of the season to Richard (Ricardo) in the 19th century. His wife, Isabella, was dying, probably from Malaria. The closest doctor was hours away and a jerk. He told Richard that he would not travel in a storm at night to save Isabella but he had expensive medicine. Ricardo offered all of his money and Isabella's gold cross (we know it is real gold because it stayed buried for over a century without corroding). While pleading with the doctor, Ricardo accidentally trips him. The doctor hits his head on a table and dies. Ricardo takes the medicine but arrives too late. Isabella is already dead.

While in jail for murder, Ricardo is visited by a priest. He confesses but the priest refuses to give absolution (another jerk). Instead he arranges for Ricardo to be sold as a slave. He is chained in the hold of the Black Rock.

The ship is caught in a storm and a huge wave carries the ship deep inland, smashing Nathan's statue on the way.

The officers decide to kill the slaves before they can revolt. The captain is in the process of doing this when the Smoke Monster appears and kills everyone on deck. It then comes through a hatch and kills the captain but leaves Ricardo, still chained to the hull. Ricardo tries to escape. He is visited by the Smoky appearing as Isabella who tells him that they are in Hell. Later Smoky appears as the Man in Black and releases Ricardo. He gives Ricardo a dagger and sends him to kill the devil (Nathan). The dagger and instructions are the same that Sayid was given.

Nathan seizes Ricardo from behind, disarms him, and convinces him that they are still alive. Nathan explains that the island is like a cork, keeping evil bottled up. Ricardo joins him and Nathan makes him immortal.

Back in the present, Richard is in despair. After devoting decades to serving Nathan, he is left without a purpose. He digs up Isabella's necklace which he buried back in the 19th century and tried to join Locke's side. Instead Hurley shows up along with Isabella's ghost. Richard becomes reconciled.

Several questions remain. Nathan said that he summons people to the island and tests them. Just who is he to be able to do this? The show keeps switching back and forth between science and magic but this seems to have taken it over the edge. In an earlier episode, Smoky referred to his mother. Nathan is looking for a replacement. Are both of these characters regular people who have taken on a supernatural role? What determines who Smoky does and does not kill? What was the effect of destroying the island in the alternate time? Did this release Smoky there?

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