The Compass – Richard’s Tracking Device

So, watching the first two episodes again, I was thinking…..

Remember when Richard was dissapointed John Locke didn’t pick the compass as one of his items, and instead picked the knife.

In the first episode of season 5, we now have this conversation:

RICHARD: Second thing–no, no, pay attention. Next time we see each other, I’m not gonna recognize you. All right? You give me this. All right?

(Richard hands Locke something small, something we’ve seen before.)

LOCKE: What is this?

RICHARD: It’s a compass.

LOCKE: What does it do?

RICHARD: It points north,

I am thinking now the Compass is a sort of identification and notification system set up by the OTHERS, or HOSTILES or whatever to ensure safety from there own people. Obviously the time element is all over the place, so I am guessing Richard (and his people) were at a point where they make an agreement to trust anyone who has the COMPASS.

Now thinking back to the test, by Locke not picking the compass, Richard knows John’s not ready to be the leader….or further more, the Frozen Donkey wheel has not yet been moved.

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13 thoughts on “The Compass – Richard’s Tracking Device

  1. That was a juicy scene achara.

    The confusing part to me is that Locke has the compass. Richard gave it to him. Locke had it in his hand after he jumped/flashed.

    Not so sure the inference was for when he was younger.

    I actually thought Locke was handing Richard something when Ben turned the wheel. He (Richard) had his hand out as if he was taking something from Locke when Locke disappeared.

    Can’t forget how Locke gave away his compass to Sayid!

  2. You are right achara. When young Locke responds to Richard about the items, he asks if he can keep one. Richard goes on to say it already belongs to him.

    I’m still confused on why he (Locke) would be holding the compass.

    *pulls hair out*

  3. Hi acharaisthekey. I was wondering about the significance of the compass. It is a given, Richard gave it to Locke so he would remember him when they met again.

    I was wondering, if you thought it held any significance to Ecko’s ‘stick’. In both cases, “north” was used. Ecko told Locke to “look north”, and now Alpert is telling Locke, it points north.

    Can’t be a coincidence in my mind.

  4. Nice thinking but if you rewatch the episode, Locke did in fact pick up the compass. He chose the vile of sand, the compass, and the knife/comic book. Leaving us to believe that Richard was displeased with the fact that he did not choose the book of Laws, or just stick with the compass/sand.

  5. dbiatchishere-I think ‘north’ is very important. North on the island has to be the direction of the greatest EM pull (is my guess)

    shanimal44-Good point…hmmmm….well…I have to revisit my thought then and think of the compass as significant ITEM/RELIC of the island. I still think its passed on…Possibly one of the three things needed to stabalize the island….I donno, I have to rethink now

  6. Dont rethink, just expand. You were wrong about the items chosen during the test, but i love the direction your going. 1st thing i thought was there is the 1st of 3 very important items that will play pivotal plot points..say that 3 times fast.

  7. Each one being more important up until the 3rd that he was ‘supposed’ to choose. Always loved your theories on other sites,stick with this, you’ll figure it out faster than i will, and it is killing me.

  8. What I don’t get is if Richard gave Locke the compass to give to his past self – then where did the compass originate from?

    If Locke gave it to Richard in the past, then Richard has it up until he meets Locke in the future, but Locke only has the compass because past Richard gave it to him.

    Does that make sense?

    Other than that, maybe there is more than one compass… but I don’t think that’d be the case. It’d be too easy… wouldn’t it?


  9. So here’s a thought about the compass that I had before the season premiere (after re-watching Season 4.)

    Remember the flashback scene with Locke while he was in the wheelchair at the hospital and Abaddon wheels him to the elevator?

    (I can’t quote the scene, so if someone can, please do.)

    Basically, Abaddon is the one who suggests that Locke go do an Australian walkabout. (Ultimately Abaddon suggests the trip that gets Locke to the island.)

    Locke flippant says, yeah, but I can’t walk and what’s a walkabout… Abaddon says something to the effect of “It’s just you in the wilderness with a knife…”

    That struck me because of the earlier flashback where young Locke is with Richard choosing the objects that “are his” that you all are talking about. I seem to remember Richard getting pretty agitated when Locke chose the knife (which is what prompts him to leave and say Locke’s not ready) but he was pleased with the sand and the compass.

    It had me thinking that the knife suggestion by Abaddon is something like a counterpoint to the compass given to him by Richard, especially since Abaddon and Richard seem to be complete opposites when it comes to interest in and connection to the island.

    I’m a thinker more than a ‘theorizer’, but I am wondering if the role of both the compass and the knife will be highlighted as Locke moves through this series of events in time this season.

    Why would the knife frustrate Richard?
    Why would Abaddon make a point to mention a knife for the walkabout?

    I tend to doubt coincidences on this show, too.

  10. I doubt coincidences on this show also! BUT I do NOT doubt how everything strings together in some way, shape, or form. This leads me to what we have just learned in episode 3. During episode 2 we see that Richard gives Locke the compass. COULD this possibly be the key to being the leader of the island? Think about it…
    We now, understand that Richard and Locke have met before Locke was even born. When Richard and Locke talked in 1954, Locke says he is “their leader” and that “Jacob sent me”. Further along in their conversation Locke says he was going to be born in two years and that Richard should show up to the hospital if he doesn’t believe him. (sorry I can’t quote directly)
    Now, this leaves Richard to believe, someone that is not even born yet is their leader.
    Later on, Richard visits the young Locke and maybe just maybe Richard laid out those objects and was hoping that the COMPASS would be of most importance to Locke and Richard would be reassured that Locke is indeed their leader.

    What do you think?

  11. As pointed out Locke did pick out the compass so it still doesn’t make sense that Richard would be upset at YOUNG john when he gave the test. However the point of the compass has to signify some sort of leadership quality.

    If nothing else Richard is using the compass as a way to keep things straight.

    I do not believe Richard fully understood why he was following John througout his life until his FUTURE self was connected with the moment REAL TIME john flashed back and had the conversation with Richard.

    Furthermore John realized that the use of the name Jacob would keep him alive…. Not the compass.

    I think we still have a big piece of the puzzle missing…. The timeline of Richards action as it relates to the timeline of Johns action. The CONStANT so to speak has to be the outside worlds

  12. BadRobott444- Your whole comment is exactly what I believed happened and what we were meant to connect with the compass.

    Acharaisthekey- Am I remembering incorrectly but didn’t Locke choose the knife not the compass and that is why Richard was agitated.? He was expecting the compass to be chosen so he would be confident in locke being their leader.

    I absolutely agree Locke mentioned Jacob to Richard as at that moment it carried more weight than the compass. Which is also interesting that Richard knew who he was referring to back in 1954

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