Thursday, June 21, 2007

Lost Theory Question #1: Richard Malkin

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. EkoAnd why is your wife so convinced otherwise?
Richard MalkinBecause she's a zealot! All of this, everything she's doing is to spite me.
Mr. EkoWhy would she spite you?
Richard MalkinBecause 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:

ClaireYou 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?
RichardI found a couple in Los Angeles who are very eager to adopt. The baby will be safe in their care. Now, I've foreseen...
ClaireHeh, foreseen? I don't even know why I'm here. I'm sorry.
RichardI 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.
ClaireSo you're giving me 6000 dollars to give my baby to a couple of strangers in Los Angeles?
Richard12,000. The other 6 when you arrive in Los Angeles. And they're not strangers, Claire. They're good people.
ClaireI can't go tomorrow. I have to get my...
RichardIt 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:

BenI'm not a liar Juliet.
Juliet[Crying] I want to go home.
BenThat's not our agreement. You need to stay here until your work is finished.
Juliet[Crying] It's impossible. The mothers keep dying.
BenThen 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? :)


someGirl said...

I think....I think that LOST is going to drive me insane. The fact that we find out the psychic is s fraud really pissed me off when I first saw that episode. At the time, I was in awe of Locke and his "destiny" madness, and then to hear from this man that he simply "gathers intelligence" on people----it just really made me mad!! But after TOOO much thought about this very same question, I came to a simple conclusion: What if it just Christian Shepherd orchestrating the whole show? We already know that he wanted to see Claire, but he was clashing with Claire and her Aunt, which throws a voluntary reunion right out the window. What if it was Christian's way of getting Claire to LA??

Jay said...

Y'know Ana, that's actually brilliant. Brilliant!

How about this scenario: Christian Shepherd is still alive. He faked his own death and arranged for Jack and Claire to end up on the same flight together. He took an EARLIER flight to get back to LA and planned to meet them both there, reuniting his family in America.

However, the plane ended up crashing instead. This also would explain why in Jack's flash forward, he says his dad is still alive.

This also fits with the reaction of Ben and the Others. They had nothing to do with Claire being on the plane.

Great theory, Ana! :)

someGirl said...

Oh, Jay, how you make a girl blush...You know its just my practical side that couldn't grasp the idea of bringing down an entire plane in the hopes of finding some fertile (and alive!) Mommas!

And I must admit, I forgot about Jack referring to Daddy Shepherd in the present tense in the FF!! Duh...Great catch!! It all makes sooo much sense this way!! You should definitely post it on TLD...everyone will have a field day with this one!

Hannah said...

I was hoping they would go more into this next season. I always loved that episode when we first meet him, it was so errie.

Remember when Claire tells Charlie all about the psychic and Charlie suggests that maybe he "knew" the palin would crash?

Maybe he was so startled when he fiorst met Claire becasue it was the first itme he had a real vision? Or maybe you're right and it was all a huge plan. I am stummped.

Hannah said...

Duh. I meant to write PLANE not PLAIN. It's been a long day. LOL.

Missie said...

I agree with Hannah. I honestly thought the psychic saw something that first time with Claire, and that's what startled him into kicking her out. He may still have been hired to do his usual schtick, but something happened. Incidently, it was that first episode with Claire that got me hooked for good on the show.

I think I've already talked to you about Jack's father. The fact they never found his body in the closed coffin never sat well with me. And the present tense referrals to him add support. Of course the alternate universe theory you proposed could account for that.

Jay said...

Hi Missie! Now if we could only get Matt caught up so he can join in! :)

His having a real vision was one of my first thoughts after seeing the episode, but not after seeing "?"
It just seems the writers went out of their way to point out that he was a fraud. You would think that if he really did have a real vision, there would have been a line like "I've only ever had premonition once in my life" or something like that. You would think if he did have a real vision, he would have been much more accepting of his daughter's miracle, doncha think?

Expanding on Bad Daddy theory, his urgency instead could have been because Christian Shepherd promised him a lot of money if he convinced Claire NOT to give the baby up for adoption and got her on that flight to Sydney with Jack.

Make sense or am I taking it too far?

Missie said...

Are we certain that the Claire episode had already occurred when Ekko arrived? I'm thinking his one true vision happened after...

Also, you keep saying how certain you are Mikahl is alive. I have to say, Ed and didn't think that was even a question since we see him swim off after tossing the grenade. Are we missing something?

Jay said...

Remember Eko took Flight 815 out of Sydney after visiting Malkin's family. So that visit took place likely before Malkin handed the ticket to Claire (the day before teh flight took off), but a couple months after her first visit to him.

Did Mikhail really swim off? I wasn't so sure, but I assumed he did. He's got to still be alive - he's definitely become one of my favorite characters on the show. :)