Richard is a simple man – and stupid

I guess it’s clear now that Richard doesn’t know that much, as Flocke noted in “LA X”.

His job on the Island was to give a little bit of guidance to the people on the Island, to avoid that they immediately fall for Smokey’s tricks. It seems that Jacob has not really tought Richard a whole lot about the Island and about Smokey and given Jacob’s attitude to intervention this is probably completely intentional from Jacob’s side.

The attempted murder on Jacob gave him something to think about and he concluded that an adviser for the people might be a good idea, but not an adviser that would affect the game more than precisely what is needed to balance the game.

What strikes me after having watched “Ab Aeterno” is that Richard is a simple man on the border to stupid. Richard knows that MIB is the Black Smoke, i.e. he knows that the Black Smoke can pose as MIB or vice versa. Jacob told Richard that the female figure that appeared to him was not his wife. Richard should be able to deduce that the Smokey/MIB had try to fool him by posing as his wife.

But later on when Richard sees a resurrected Locke, he claims that he has seen things on the Island that he cannot describe but he has never seen a dead person come alive again. Richard seems unable to connect the dots even when Locke’s dead body is shown to him.

And Richard should know that MIB is interested in getting an assassin near the Statue to kill Jacob, considering that MIB once sent him to do exactly that.

But Richard doesn’t get it until Flocke says the magic words, “nice to see you out of those chains”.

Note that Richard is even aware that under certain circumstances, people can be changed. He told Kate and Sawyer that if Ben is brought into the Temple to be healed, he will not be the same and he will lose his innocense.

Richard has to be somewhat stupid.

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14 thoughts on “Richard is a simple man – and stupid

  1. Funny thing is, just after Richard said ‘Iv never seen it bring someone back to life’, he said ‘something seems different about you’.

    I mean really? How stupid do you have to be?

  2. I wonder how much contact Richard is supposed to have had with Jacob throughout these years. For a while I felt that Richard and Jacob had had almost no contact but I guess that those lists of names were passed on to Richard somehow.

  3. Another funny thing about Richard, he seems to have overcome seeing Jack, Miles and Hurley alive again pretty quickly, considering his earlier comment to Sun that he “saw them all die”. Ah, well.

  4. Hindsight is a wonderful thing though. I don’t know that Richard knows that smokie was his wife. Remember he was starving and dehydrated, close to death and you could still see smokie’s shadow etc… above decks when Isabella was with Richard. Jacob just tells him that if she is dead she can’t be here. To me it seems that Richard has just assumed that seeing Isabella was just an hallucination.
    I think this also goes a long way to showing us about Jacob’s core intentions – he has very much kept his representative in the dark, can Richard be accused of being stupid because he has not been told about stuff? Why hasn’t Jacob let Richard in on the secrets of the island?

  5. ilie, I finally returned a comment on your last post that would have fit better here. Sorry about that.

    I think Richard’s understanding (or lack of) about Flocke can be explained. It’s worth at the very least re-reading the transcript from “Follow the Leader” if not watching it. It points out the order in which Richard interacted with Flocke under the impression that he was still John Locke, not knowing that Locke had died.

    Remember after the whole conversation where FLocke directs Richard to go into the jungle to help him/tell “him” he’s going to have to die thing…1) Richard just encountered a 2nd John Locke in the same time and place at that point (from his perspective) and 2) he says, “Thank goodness that didn’t have to happen.” and he was referencing John Locke dying…

    It is at THAT point that Flocke says he did die. At that point, the very last (but first) time that Richard had seen Locke was in 1954. Locke and Richard had a very strange history, so I think it’s understandable that Richard didn’t automatically assume it was MIB.

    Again, just my take on it.

  6. Jacob explicitly stated to Richard that he doesn’t want to get involved, and it seems clear to me that Richard is aware that he has been kept in the dark about many things. According to Richard, Jacob had said that he had plans for Richard, and Richard was furious that Jacob died without telling him anything about these plans and about the Island.

    Alright, Richard might of course have thought that the appearance of his wife was a hallucination but then it had to be a quite realistic hallucination considering that he was touching it!?

  7. Kimberly, I am aware how Richard encountered Locke. If Richard was a smart man, he would have become suspicious the first time Richard appeared from nowhere on the Island.

  8. I think Richard was confused and not completely sure of anything until Hurley helped him contact Isabella.

    With both Jacob and MIB telling their side of the story Richard had to chose one side. When he doubted if all Jacob told him was true he came back to his idea that that place was really hell and that he has seen the afterlife appearence of Isabella. That’s why he goes after MIB to ask him a new chance to be together with her.

    Really I can’t understand how you can say that a guy with more than 100 years, which learned english all by himself and that was the advisor of one of the most powerful forces in the island and convinced Jacob with his words to get involved helping people is stupid. For me Richard is still a very intelligent person.

  9. Richard is stupid? Or do I dare say (which may be blasphemous on this site!) that the authoers have merely made an error in their script!

    Scripts are being written chronologically no? ie first you write LAX, then next episodes blah bah. not only are the writers of lost having to think over Jinnies, mythology, fate, free will, character’s past, so surely we can forgive the slip of Richard’s tongue he had not seen a dead person before?? 😉 PLus he lives eternally surely that affects your memory!! He s seen a lot of things!

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