Question: Who was/is Richard Malkin working for?
Given the dearth of Lost news, I'm going to periodically post some musings I've had on the show to see what y'all think about some of the pending mysteries. To me, this first question hits at one of the central themes of the show itself - namely that everything happens for a reason. Many of the connections on the show can be chalked up to simple chance, i.e. seven degrees of separation, small world phenomena, etc...
But Claire's presence on the plane and her relationship to Jack can absolutely not be an accident - she was put on that fight for a very specific purpose by a very specific person: Richard Malkin.
Malkin is the psychic who insisted that Claire take Flight 815. Later on, when Eko visited him to investigate his daughter's "miracle" in "?,"we found out that he's a fraud:
|Mr. Eko||And why is your wife so convinced otherwise?|
|Richard Malkin||Because she's a zealot! All of this, everything she's doing is to spite me.|
|Mr. Eko||Why would she spite you?|
|Richard Malkin||Because she knows I'm a fraud. Because I make my living as a psychic. You see, that's what I do. I gather intelligence on people and I exploit it. Every day I meet people looking for a miracle. Desperate to find one. But there are none to be had. Not in this world anyway.|
Now we suspect this the first time we him too, but it's nice to have it officially confirmed. So the question is who was he working for? Who hired him to gather intelligence on Claire and why?
Here's what we know from "Raised By Another." Malkin tells Claire that she must raise the baby herself no matter what. Then he tells her that she must get on Flight 815, that fight and no other:
|Claire||You spent the last 4 months telling me I have to raise the baby myself. Now you're giving me money and saying I don't have to?|
|Richard||I found a couple in Los Angeles who are very eager to adopt. The baby will be safe in their care. Now, I've foreseen...|
|Claire||Heh, foreseen? I don't even know why I'm here. I'm sorry.|
|Richard||I know this sounds ridiculous, Claire. All this psychic business and I appreciate that you must think I'm a raving madman. But this is what must happen.|
|Claire||So you're giving me 6000 dollars to give my baby to a couple of strangers in Los Angeles?|
|Richard||12,000. The other 6 when you arrive in Los Angeles. And they're not strangers, Claire. They're good people.|
|Claire||I can't go tomorrow. I have to get my...|
|Richard||It has to be this flight. It can't be any other. They're already scheduled to meet you when you arrive. Flight 815. Flight 815.|
The "good people" line strongly suggests that he's working for the Others, which was my initial assumption. However, there are two problems with this:
1) From "Tale of Two Cities," we saw that Ben and the Others were completely surprised by the plane crash. It truly seems that the crash was an accident caused by Desmond failing to push the button.
2) Furthermore, in "One Of Us," Ben suggests to Juliet that he had no knowledge of Claire being on the plane:
|Ben||I'm not a liar Juliet.|
|Juliet||[Crying] I want to go home.|
|Ben||That's not our agreement. You need to stay here until your work is finished.|
|Juliet||[Crying] It's impossible. The mothers keep dying.|
|Ben||Then we'll find more mothers. Who knows...maybe there's even 1 on that plane.|
He could be lying here, but given the surprised he and everyone else showed in TOTC, I don't think he is.
So if Richard Malkin isn't working for the Others, then who was he working for and how did he know that Fight 815 was going to crash? Was he tipped off by Desmond's psychic ring peddler, Ms. Hawking? Could the bad guys on Naomi's ship have orchestrated all this? What about a few bad daddies, including her own? Mr. Paik and Charles Widmore have money and influence as well.
So have at it! What do y'all think? :)