Richard Alpert is one of the mysterious Others and lived with them at the barracks. He acted as a representative of Mittelos Bioscience. He is played by Nestor Carbonell and appeared in thirty episodes.
Before Oceanic 815
Sometime around the 70s, Richard Alpert was living on the island as one of the hostiles; a name given to the island's original inhabitants by The DHARMA Initiative. One day in the jungle he came across a young boy named Ben Linus. He learned that Ben had seen and spoken to his mother who had died off the island when he was a baby. This intrigued Richard. He told Ben to return home, but Ben refused as he hated it there and wanted to be taken in by Richard. Richard agreed that it may be possible for him to do, but only if Ben was very, very patient. And so many years passed and Ben became a young adult and work man for the Initiative. At that time Richard made good on his promise as the hostiles launched a gas attack on the barracks to purge the island of DHARMA. Everyone was killed in the attack, but Ben was spared as he was given a gas mask.
Roughly three years before the crash of Oceanic flight 815, Dr. Richard Alpert was in Miami, Florida with his associate, Ethan Rom. Alpert approached Juliet Burke with a job offer from his employer, Mittelos Bioscience, a privately funded company located in Portland, Oregon. He believed Juliet was special, notably in regard to her fertility research, and wanted her to lead a team of highly trained people. Much to his dismay, Juliet declined the opportunity as she believed her ex-husband would have to be hit by a bus before he would let her go. The next day Juliet's ex-husband was hit by a bus. Alpert once again approached Juliet, this time at the morgue, and reiterated how serious they were in getting her to come work with them. He referred to the rather convenient incident with the bus as a "tragic accident." With Juliet's renewed interest in his offer, Alpert revealed that the facility was at a remote location and not in Portland. He saw Juliet off on her first leg of the journey to the island, giving her a glass of orange juice mixed with a substantial amount of tranquilizer to help her through the ride.
Roughly three years later, Alpert filmed Juliet's sister, Rachel, and her baby son when Juliet believed Rachel's cancer was never cured by Ben. It was the day Oceanic flight 815 crashed, and Ben recalled him back to the island due to the new "guests" that had arrived.
After Oceanic 815
Richard appears to be one of Ben's right-hand men, much like Tom. The two notified Ben of Kate Austen and Sayid Jarrah's intrusion into the barracks. Ben specifically asked Richard to bring him the "man from Tallahassee." John Locke was captured after he destroyed the Others submarine, and Richard brought Ben in his wheelchair to see Locke. The two brought Locke to see the man from Tallahassee - Anthony Cooper.
Ben demanded that Locke kill Cooper, that it would be a gesture of free will necessary for Locke to join with the Others. Locke was unable to bring himself to murder his father. Richard later approached Locke in private, telling him that Ben wanted him to fail and to embarrass him in front of the gathered Others. He believes Ben has been wasting their time on "novelties" like fertility problems when what they're looking for is something to remind them that they're on the island for more important reasons. He believes Locke is special and wanted him to find his purpose. As he knew Locke wouldn't kill his father, he gave Locke a dossier on James "Sawyer" Ford and suggested he be the one to kill Cooper - the real Sawyer.
Richard's suggestion worked, as Locke returned to the Others carrying Cooper's body on his back. Ben's hand was forced as he made a deal to explain the island's mysteries to Locke should he succeed in killing Cooper, but Mikhail Bakunin's return to their camp offered him a way out. Mikhail related news of a parachutist - Naomi Dorrit - who landed on the island with a satellite phone that was now in possession of the Oceanic survivors. Ben decided to put off Locke, but Locke beat Mikhail violently as Richard watched, refusing to lift a hand to stop him when Ben looked to Richard for help. After this beating, Ben was forced to take Locke to see Jacob. The day after they left, however, Ben returned without Locke and only told Richard that Locke had an "accident". With news that Jack Shephard was leading the Oceanic survivors to the radio transmitter in a bid to contact Naomi's ship, Ben decided to intercept them by himself and talk them out of it. Richard attempted to dissuade Ben from going, but Ben ordered him to take the rest of the Others to the temple as originally planned.
- 3x07 - Not in Portland
- 3x13 - The Man from Tallahassee
- 3x16 - One of Us
- 3x19 - The Brig
- 3x20 - The Man Behind The Curtain
- 3x21 - Greatest Hits
- 3x22 - Through the Looking Glass (1)
- 4x11 - Cabin Fever
- 4x12 - There's No Place Like Home (1)
- 4x13 - There's No Place Like Home (2)
- 4x14 - There's No Place Like Home (3)
- 5x01 - Because You Left
- 5x03 - Jughead
- 5x08 - LaFleur
- 5x11 - Whatever Happened, Happened
- 5x12 - Dead Is Dead
- 5x14 - The Variable
- 5x15 - Follow the Leader
- 5x16 - The Incident (1)
- 5x17 - The Incident (2)
- 6x01 - LA X (1)
- 6x02 - LA X (2)
- 6x04 - The Substitute
- 6x07 - Dr. Linus
- 6x09 - Ab Aeterno
- 6x10 - The Package
- 6x12 - Everybody Loves Hugo
- 6x16 - What They Died For
- 6x17 - The End (1)
- 6x18 - The End (2)
- Information is shown in chronological order. Episodes in bold are flashback episodes.
Before Oceanic 815
- 3x20 - The Man Behind The Curtain: Met Ben as a young boy on the island.
- 3x07 - Not in Portland: Recruits Juliet with Ethan.
- 3x16 - One of Us: Sees Juliet off to the island, films Rachel to prove she's alive.
- 3x13 - The Man from Tallahassee: Reveals to Locke that his father, Anthony, is on the island.
- 3x19 - The Brig: Gives Locke a file containing information on Sawyer's past.
On the Island
- 3x13 - The Man from Tallahassee: Helps Ben in showing Locke the "man from Tallahassee".
- 3x19 - The Brig: Suggests Sawyer to Locke as the man to kill Anthony Cooper.
- 3x22 - Through the Looking Glass: Tasked by Ben to lead the Others to the temple.
- What's in a Name?: Richard Alpert may be a possible reference to real life Dr. Richard Alpert, a contemporary spiritual teacher and former Harvard professor. Between 1960 and 1962, Alpert conducted the Harvard Psilocybin Project with his close friend and associate, Dr. Timothy Leary. The project was a series of loose experiments in psychology using psilocybin and other psychedlics. Concerns about the legitimacy and safety of the project resulted in the firing of Alpert and Leary. Alpert later traveled to India and embraced a variety of spiritual traditions and practices.
- 3x07 - Not in Portland: "Well, actually... we're not quite in Portland."