A Look at The Usual Suspects
When ‘the losties’ flashed back to 1954 they encounter a 17 year old Charles Widmore and a young Eloise Hawking. It was not made entirely clear at the time who ‘the others’ leader was, but we can rely on the fact that John Locke was directed to speak with Richard Alpert. Given the young ages of Widmore & Eloise in 1954, accompanied with the fact that 50 years have since passed, we can therefore be reasonably certain that there isn’t anyone at present among ‘the others’ currently residing on ‘the island’ in the same age range as Widmore or Hawking who would be aware of ‘the island’ and its history.
This might indicate that Richard was the leader of ‘the others’ in 1954; for what length of time is unknown and eventually Widmore & Hawking took up that role; followed up by Benjamin Linus upon Charles Widmore’s exile from ‘the island’.
Given this situation, we can also be assured that Richard would have been the only person who informed ‘the others’ about Jacob, his beliefs, ‘the island’, etc., as it appears that nobody had direct access to Jacob except him. Richard Alpert has been on ‘the island’ longer than any of ‘the others’. It is logical to presume that it was Richard Alpert who has shared this knowledge throughout his time on ‘the island’.
After Nemesis leaves the statue having killed Ilana’s men, he makes the following statement to ‘the others’. “I’m very disappointed in all of you”. You might recall that it was Nemesis who insisted that ‘the others’ accompany them to the statue. Nemesis makes the following statement: “Hello, everyone. My name is John Locke. I’ve been told that… for some time, you all have been accepting orders from a man named Jacob. And yet, oddly enough, it seems that no one has actually seen him. Now I’m sure there are very good reasons why his existence and whereabouts are secret. I just don’t know what they are. And to be honest with all of you, if there’s a man telling us what to do, I want to know who he is”.
I believe at this point, Nemesis is illustrating a point. He is upset with ‘the others’ because they have followed Jacob blindly, solely based upon the word of Richard Alpert. Even when Ben questions Jacob before killing him about all of ‘the notes’ and following his orders unquestioned, that he received via Richard; Jacob shows him nothing but contempt in his response.
If that weren’t enough to start questioning the motives of ‘the others’, we have to look into the words, actions and deeds of Dogen and Lennon. When ‘the losties’ first arrive at the Temple, and Hurley demands to know what the note inside of the ankh says, Dogen tells them in reference to Sayid, that “the paper said that if your friend there dies, we’re all in a lot of trouble.”
However, Dogen doesn’t appear to make much of an effort to save Sayid and shows little concern upon learning of his death, nor the inference supposedly made by Jacob regarding what would happen if Sayid were to die according to the paper. Eventually when Sayid breathes life again, it is Dogen who tries to kill him because Sayid has supposedly been possessed by an ‘infection’ that would eventually turn his heart to darkness. He tells Jack that Sayid has been ‘claimed’, just as Claire had been.
The only time we have actually witnessed anyone coming close to laying ‘claim’ to ‘the losties’ has been when Jacob meets up with each of them and touches them in some manner. It is unclear at this time, that if it were Nemesis, how he would lay ‘claim’ to any of them; but perhaps this is something that will be made clear in future. As usual, with ‘the others’ ‘the words and the music’ don’t go together. At this point we should be very suspicious of their motives, actions and degree of sincerity.
In addition, the only time that we see Dogen take any immediate action or show any concern whatsoever is when Hurley informs him that Jacob is dead. The Temple quickly turns into chaos and they hurry to protect themselves from what obviously appears to be the anticipated arrival of Nemesis or ‘the smoke monster’.
We must also consider Claire and Christian, their roles and status. Prior to Christian leading Claire out of the woods, ever ‘intuitive’ Miles can’t stop staring at and observing her. He has the same intent look on his face when he is observing Sayid in the Temple. Perhaps, Miles is observing behaviour that might fall under the wide umbrella of ‘Noetic Sciences’ with each of them. Christian exact status still remains a mystery.
Locke, in addition to others have conversed with or seen Christian and Claire, and it would appear that Jin is about to make his own acquaintance with Claire. Regardless of Christian and Claire’s status they do not appear to be following ‘the others’ and/or Jacob, in light of Dogen’s statements regarding Claire. We have yet to learn if they are following Nemesis or some other unknown or unseen force.
What we do know for certain is, that Richard Alpert, the longest ‘living’ resident on ‘the island’ knows the history between Jacob and Nemesis above anyone else. He not only has ‘history’ with them, he also has the power and the ability to say whatever he likes about either of them to ‘the others’, albeit under the direction and expressed interest of Jacob, so far as we know. Not one of ‘the others’ has ever met Jacob or Nemesis, and are only aware of the information that has been imparted to them by way of Richard’s words. Perhaps, this is the point Nemesis was trying to illustrate and why he is so disappointed. We could also consider that Nemesis is ‘manipulating’ them in order to gain their favour and fight for his side.
Perhaps, Richard hasn’t been exactly forthright in his dealings with ‘the others’. The only ‘players’ who would know if this were true or not, are Jacob and Nemesis themselves. Presently, it would appear that aside of being disappointed with ‘the others’ Nemesis also appears to be very angry with Richard. You have to wonder the reason for his anger. We only know that Nemesis wants to go home. Did Richard play some part in preventing Nemesis from going home and/or something far more egregious?
As Apache mentions in his/her theory ‘Dominoes’, sides are being chosen up and people from both sides are being recruited and/or choosing sides for specific reasons. Friends who were once aligned together in friendship will be divided and perhaps fight against one another on opposing sides.
Richard Alpert, ‘the man of mystery’ has become one of the ‘leading’ suspects in this mystery. He is the man that should be kept a very watchful ‘eye’ upon.