The Why of Alpert
I find Richard Alpert to be one of the most intriguing characters on Lost. He is certainly one of the most mysterious. One of the few things we know about Alpert is that Jacob is responsible for making Alpert ageless. I’m fascinated on the ‘why’ aspect and have been trying to come up with possibilities. Why would Jacob make Alpert ageless and seemingly immortal?
And the possibility that I came up with is that it is a reward from Jacob. I believe Richard did something that was of great benefit to Jacob and Jacob granted Richard the ability to stop aging and longevity of life. But what could Richard have done? We know that Jacob and Nemesis have opposite philosophical views and that they have been trying to prove each other wrong. Maybe the situation involving the crew of the Black Rock (which most of us are assuming Richard was on and is the same ship we see in the Season 5 finale) and Nemesis got so out of hand that it called for drastic action on Jacob’s part. Since Jacob can’t kill Nemesis according to their rules the next best thing that Jacob could do is imprison Nemesis. From what we’ve seen so far it is implied that Jacob and Nemesis can not take direct action against each other but maybe they can interfere with each other’s plans so Jacob has Richard imprison Nemesis in the part of the Island that the cabin is eventually built on. So as a reward for doing this Jacob grants Richard agelessness and longevity. Not only that he makes Richard his liason to the Others and tasks Richard with keeping an eye on the Others. And ever since then Richard has done Jacob’s bidding.