Recap: Episodes 25-28 (Days 44-46)
Danielle kidnaps Aaron in hopes of making a trade with the Others who took her child.
When she is found, Charlie accuses her of setting the smoke pillar fire; that the are no Others. Locke blows open the Hatch. Jack reminds him it is a possible shelter for the survivors. The raft party makes contact with a not-so-friendly boat crew.
Jack and Locke argue over whether or not to enter the Hatch, especially when the Hatch door is labeled “quarantine.” While looking for Vincent, Shannon sees a dripping wet walt Walt mouthing a potential warning.
When Kate does down the Hatch opening and is lost, Locke lowers himself to find out what happened; he is captured by Desmond, the station operator. Jack changes his mind and returns to the Hatch to have a stand-off with Desmond, but when Kate escapes and hits Desmond from behind, his gun discharges and a bullet hits the computer console creating a panic in Desmond. Locke and Jack watch the orientation film about the station.
Jin, Michael and Sawyer all make it back to shore, but are taken prisoner whom they believe are the Others. They are thrown into a pit prison cell. Ana Lucia joins them, and is surprised with their story of the plane crash; and steals Sawyer’s gun and leaves them in the pit.
Jack believes that Desmond’s station duties were all just “mind games” because no one on the surface has gotten sick and pushing the button every 108 minutes was just a cruel experiment. Desmond was told he was “saving the world.”
Sensory deprivation was employed in parapsychology experiments during the 70's and 80's, especially with those involving clairvoyance and telepathy. Supposedly, if the subject's brain was not receiving input from the normal five senses, he or she could then tune into the psychic senses. The man in the contraption in the film may be in such a sensory deprivation test. Since the footage appears when the word, "Parapsychology" is spoken, this is quite likely.
A ganzfeld experiment (means “entire field”) is a technique used in the field of parapsychology to test individuals for extrasensory perception (ESP). It uses homogeneous and unpatterned sensory stimulation to produce an effect similar to sensory deprivation. The deprivation of patterned sensory input is said to be conducive to inwardly generated impressions.
Whether the Hatch (Swan station) and Room 23 video are part of parapsychology experiments from Dharma to being weaponized by the Others is subject to debate. Room 23 was a locked room in a facility within in the Hydra station where Karl and Walt were held captive by the Others and Karl was subjected to a brainwashing video. It is believed that Dharma used the video room to brainwash the natives to trigger amnesia after capturing them for information, so as hide a violation of the Truce. Claire’s amnesia may have also been triggered by the video, but that is unknown.
Walt being in two places at once (the jungle with Shannon and on the raft with Michael)
Sawyer taking out a bullet in his shoulder while bobbing on raft debris in the middle of the ocean.
Ana Lucia surviving the plane crash. Ana Lucia told her captives that she was in the tail section of the plane. When it broke a part, she was knocked out and landed in the ocean. She was unconscious under the water, then awoke and swam ashore.
Sayid fixing a bullet shattered 20 year old computer in less than 15 minutes. The genius staff at the Apple store could not put in that type of customer service with today’s advanced technology.
The Orientation Film and Dharma
The HATCH station and Number Input
The Others attacking the Raft and taking Walt
Quarantine on Hatch door
Deception and Manipulation. The Others are not DHARMA mad scientists controlling the Island, but “Hostiles” who purged the Initiative by a coup led by Benjamin Linus.
Reality and Illusion. If Jacob can only bring people to the Island, the DHARMA compound and plans were created by the dreams of the DeGroots and their followers,
who must have been shipwrecked or tricked on coming to the Island (Jacob as Hanso).
Self fulfilling prophecies. Viewers believed that the “incident” in the orientation video is a time travel atomic bomb situation which the 815 survivors themselves created where Juliet tries to set off the bomb to stop construction of the Swan station. But the film said that after the station was running (meaning Juliet never detonated the bomb or re-set the time line), the “incident” had to do with something else since the orientation film (spliced) as seen by Locke and Jack was created three years after the atomic bomb scene. The “incident” most likely refers to the “lockdown incident” when the Numbers are not put into the computer, setting off the alarm and defense mechanisms start by sealing off the living quarters and computer room from the rest of the Swan station. After a short period of time, the doors retracted back into the ceiling automatically. This event has become known as the lockdown incident. Locke learns of this during his time in the station. The station's power was then disrupted as the lights flickered. Later, a different set of ultraviolet 'black' lights that ran vertically along the corners of the living area activated, revealing a previously hidden map of the Island on one of the doors. A short time later, the blast doors retracted into the ceiling.
The argument between Jack and Locke; science versus faith. Part of the problem of both men is the inability to “let go” and move on with their lives after an important event. Locke could never let go of being conned by his father. Jack could never come to gripes with Sarah’s miracle recovery when in fact he admitted he could not fix her crushed spine. His greatest success (her recovery) turned into his biggest failure (his marriage).
But in reality, Locke is following B.F. Skinner’s platform of consequential based behavior.
Vincent as Jacob, watching the survivors from inside the camp, as Shannon sees impossible Walt image in jungle while searching for the dog.
The Numbers mark Jacob’s pieces in the game. Hurley again curses the Numbers as the code is inputed into the computer by Locke. When Locke misses the last number, Hurley says go ahead - - - but Jack corrects him with “42.” As the alarm clock ticks down to one second, Jack pushes “execute” to re-start the cycle.
Walt is playing a video game on the plane, but he acknowledges Hurley as he gets on the plane late. Hurley then opens up his polar bear comic. It seems that Hurley and Walt have a hidden connection during that scene.
Desmond telling Jack twice, “see you in another life,” is a tell that they are not “alive” on the Island, but reincarnated souls being tested in the afterlife.
Jack telling Desmond and Locke it is “all a mind game.” That the Hatch is a bunch of lies to make you do something meaningless. Flashbacks show more characters with mental issues, like Locke in group therapy, susceptible to suggestion or brain washing.
“ Temper, if ungoverned, governs the whole man. ”
— Lord Shaftesbury
In an effort to find the Big Premise of LOST, much effort was used to dissect the relationships between The Others, the stations, the other survivors of past shipwrecks and the roaming monsters on the island. As Jack told Locke, “you said all paths led here (to the Hatch).” Both Jack and Locke have short fuses at this point of the series; Jack now assumed the leadership role and fears he will have “a Locke problem” if his judgment is questioned. Locke has blind obsessive faith that the answers to all his questions (or problems) are destined to be found inside the Hatch.
The Orientation Film found in the Hatch was the biggest clue as Season 2 started to unfold. Many viewers believed that it contained all the answers to the big mysteries of the Island. A transcript from lostpedia:
The DHARMA Initiative
3 of 6 Orientation Screen transition fade. The DHARMA Initiative Swan Logo appears. Orientation - Station 3 - The Swan
(Screen transition to show a man in a lab coat. )
Welcome. I am Dr. Marvin Candle, and this is the orientation film for station 3 of the *DHARMA* Initiative. In a moment you will be given (a?) simple set of instructions for how you and your partner will fulfill the responsibilities associated with the station. But first, a little history:
(Screen transition to show activity on a university campus.)
The DHARMA Initiative was created in 1970, and is the brainchild of Gerald and Karen DeGroot, two doctoral candidates at the University of Michigan. Following in the footsteps of visionaries such as B.F. Skinner, they imagined a large-scale communal research compound where scientists and free-thinkers from around the globe could pursue research in meteorology, psychology, parapsychology, zoology, electromagnetism and utopian social... * ...(re)clusive Danish industrialist and munitions magnate, Alvar Hanso, whose financial backing made their dream of a multi-purpose, social-science research facility a reality.
(Screen transition back to man in the lab coat.)
You and your partner are currently located in station three, or The Swan, and will be for the next 540 days. The station 3 was originally constructed as a laboratory, where scientists could work to understand the unique electromagnetic fluctuations emanating from this sector of the Island. Not long after the experiments began, however, there was... an “incident” ... and since that time, the following protocol has been observed: (That?) every 108 minutes, the button must be pushed. From the moment the alarm sounds, you will have 4 minutes to enter the code into the microcomputer processor... * ...duction into the program. When the alarm sounds, either you or your partner must input the code. It is highly recommended that you and your partner take alternating shifts. In this manner you will both stay as fresh and alert... * (it is of the ut)most importance, that when the alarm sounds, the code be entered correctly and in a timely fashion. Now do not attempt to use the computer... * ...for anything...
...for anything else other than the entering of the code. This is its only function.
The isolation that attends the duties associated with Station 3 may tempt you to try and utilize the computer for communication with the outside world. This is strictly forbidden. Attempting to use the computer in this manner will compromise the integrity of the project and worse, could lead to another incident. I repeat, do not use the computer for anything other than entering the code.
Congratulations! Until your replacements arrive, the future of the project is in your hands. On behalf of the DeGroots, Alvar Hanso, and all of us at the DHARMA Initiative, thank you, namaste, and... good luck.
(Screen transition fade. )
© The Hanso Foundation 1980 All Rights Reserved
The orientation film reference to B.F. Skinner may also be a foundational premise to the series. Skinner was a psychologist and researcher with some radical ideas on human behavior. Skinner called his particular brand of behaviorism "Radical" behaviorism, the philosophy of the science of behavior.
He thought behavior was a function of environmental histories of reinforcing consequences. Such a functional analysis makes it capable of producing technologies of behavior (see Applied Behavior Analysis). He did not accept private events such as thinking, perceptions, and unobservable emotions in a causal account of an organism's behavior.
Skinner’s theory is that what is felt or introspectively observed is not some nonphysical world of consciousness, mind, or mental life but the observer's own body. He felt an organism behaves as it does because of its current structure, but most of this is out of reach of introspection.
Skinner believed that behavior is maintained from one condition to another through similar or same consequences across these situations. In short, behaviors are causal factors that are influenced by the consequences. His contribution to the understanding of behavior influenced many other scientists to explain social behavior and contingencies. Example, reinforcement is a central concept and was seen as a central mechanism in the shaping and control of behavior. He thought negative reinforcement as synonymous with punishment was a misconception. He acknowledged that positive reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior by the application of some event (e.g., praise after some behavior is performed), negative reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior by the removal or avoidance of some aversive event (e.g., opening and raising an umbrella over your head on a rainy day is reinforced by the cessation of rain falling on you).
By taking out mental qualifiers in the study of behaviors through exterior factors, Skinner’s philosophy seems to part of the fabric of the Island creed. Right or wrong are mental judgments which the Island does not seem to care about; it is the consequences of events that reinforce behavior of the characters to create more consequences (the “mouse trap” game analogy).
A main character turning point in the layered story arcs of the series occurs in this flashback exchange with Jack and Desmond running sections at a stadium. Desmond appears to be an agent of change in Jack’s life, setting the ground work for Sarah’s miracle and foreshadowing the Island “being chased by the devil,” racing through the jungle to “fix things,” and keeping promises of saving people without miracles. Desmond claims he was “almost” a doctor, but in reality was never a doctor, or even close. Transcript from lostpedia:
(Flashback - Jack running the steps at a stadium. Another person comes into view running faster than Jack. Jack tries to keep pace but hurts his ankle.)
JACK: Ow, damn it.
DESMOND: You alright, brother?
JACK: I'm fine. I'm fine.
DESMOND: Take it easy. Keep the weight off. Here, let me have a look. Does this hurt? [Jack shakes his head.] You haven't sprained it then. I don't fancy your chances of catching up with me tonight, though.
JACK: I wasn't trying to catch up.
DESMOND: Aye, of course you weren't.
JACK: What do you know about sprains, anyway?
DESMOND: I was almost a doctor once.
JACK: Small world.
DESMOND: You a doctor then? [Jack nods. Desmond offers Jack his water bottle.] So what's your excuse?
DESMOND: For running like the devil's chasing you. My excuse - I'm training.
JACK: Training for what?
DESMOND: For a race around the world. Impressive, I know. So your excuse better be good, brother.
JACK: Just trying to work a few things out.
DESMOND: Ah, a girl, right?
JACK: A patient.
DESMOND: Ah, but a girl patient. What's her name?
JACK: Her name's Sarah.
DESMOND: What'd you do to her then?
JACK: Do to her?
DESMOND: You must have done something worthy of this self-flagellation.
JACK: I told her -- I made a promise I couldn't keep -- I told her I'd fix her and I couldn't. I failed.
DESMOND: Well, right. Just one thing -- what if you did fix her?
JACK: I didn't.
DESMOND: But what if you did?
JACK: You don't know what you're talking about, man.
DESMOND: I don't? Why not?
JACK: Because with her situation that would be a miracle, brother.
DESMOND: Oh, and you don't believe in miracles? [Jack chuckles and shakes his head.] Right. Well then, I'm going to give you some advice anyway. You have to lift it up. (He may be saying "lift her up".)
JACK: Lift it up?
DESMOND: Your ankle. You've got to keep it elevated. It's been nice chatting.
DESMOND: Jack, I'm Desmond. Good luck, brother. See you in another life, yeah?
The Smoke Monster dragging Locke through the jungle and almost down a hole. The mechanical clanking sounds and loud percussion thuds in the brush all create fear in Jack, Kate and Hurley. But Locke wants to be let go and dragged under (which is very strange - - - either he knows what the smoke monster is and can’t kill him, or he is insane). Locke has blind faith in the Island without any fear of the consequences. Jack knows he is wrong in that belief because he has seen the monster and its evil intentions.
Last lines in episodes:
MICHAEL: Waaaaaaaaaaalt! Waaaahahahaaalt! No! Walt!
JACK: [recognizing that it's Desmond] You.
JIN:[obviously scared] Others. Others. [Jin sees the Others.] Others.
[Sawyer and Michael turn to look and we see a group coming of people coming toward them carrying crude club/mace type weapons.]
LOCKE: I'll take the first shift.
[The timer shows 107:00.]
New Ideas/Tests of Theories:
Mind games and altered reality are clear themes and clues in these episodes. In the jungle, Locke explains to Jack that a series of events have led them to the big event (blowing up the Hatch cover). He is really describing a series of stages in the game of Mouse Trap. Locke also says that Boone was a sacrifice the Island required to get them to his point. Throughout human history, mankind has given their gods sacrifices in exchange for rewards or blessings. Jacob, as the alleged ultimate power on the island, is not immune to the vanity of immortality or power, or to manipulate people to do his bidding.
When Hurley gets on Flight 815, the exchange with Walt is a brick in the theory that the entire premise of the series is a video mind game with Walt and Hurley’s overactive but child-like behavior controlling the collective dreams of the passengers. The Lost is a Video Game theory did not have many followers when the series first ran. But as an explanation after the series ended, it is entitled to a second look. The elements contained in the minds of Walt (father issues, video games, ESP powers) and Hurley (cursed Numbers, comic fantasies with science fiction and polar bear dangers) are the foundation for an interactive mental adventure. With the strong EM, when passengers fall asleep on the long flight their minds are transplanted into the Walt-Hurley story engine - - - and when they “die” on the island, it means that they have woken up on the plane (disconnecting from their dream state). In a child’s fantasy, anything can happen including Locke being able to walk again.
The idea that Jacob and MIB hiding in the skins of the characters continues to create new spins on character motivations and actions.
Jacob said he had “non-involved” in the process of determining whether humans are good or evil on their own, but the idea of Jacob hiding as Vincent the dog to observe the human souls from within their camp is growing stronger. When Shannon goes looking for “lost” Vincent, a soaking wet Walt (ghost?) appears before her and can’t speak a warning to her. One could argue that Vincent is a transforming smoke monster, changing from observational dog form into a Walt to give information to Shannon about the danger of the Others (who had captured Walt and destroyed the raft and rescue).
Jacob and MIB are immortals living on the Island. Jacob is the alleged protector. But as Rousseau states, the smoke monster is the security system that protects the Island. Smoke monster is Jacob? Or in these episodes, the idea of trying to kill Locke because of his faith that his answers are within the Hatch the way for MIB to keep the 815 survivors in danger and set up the conflict with the Others?
And Rousseau’s obsession with Aaron is like Crazy Mother’s obsession with Jacob and MIB, stealing them from their natural mother when her ship was wrecked on the Island (which mirrors Rousseau’s tale to Sayid). This is a concept during the first run of potential “transference” of old characters being transformed or projected upon new characters.
We can see the rotation of characters taking over other character’s roles. Rousseau has taken over the Crazy Mother role in stealing a child, Aaron. The Others took dominance and replaced the Dharma scientists as the Island’s overlords. Locke takes over Desmond’s role in the station. Ana Lucia takes over a Jack leadership role with the Tail section survivors, which has a mirror image of characters with the beach camp. Eko is like Locke, a man of faith. Libby is the mental institution patient and comforter like Hurley is with the front section.
Transference theory also ties into the aspect of the interconnected mental game of the island storyline. If one is trapped or lost in a complex, multiplayer game, one’s dreams (which can be used to mold your fantasy character) can “level” up your skill sets, ambitions, and testosterone risk tolerance that you cannot have in real life. Locke’s meager physical existence is transformed in the Island game field into an Outback hunter, a jungle king with unbelievable survival skills. Desmond, a Republican guard soldier, is suddenly an electronics genius on par with the Professor on Gilligan’s Island, who made a radio out of coconuts. The big premise of the series goes from science fiction to a fantasy world to explain the inconsistent elements of the story lines.
And those inconsistent story lines may be the collective memories of all Jacob’s visitors. All of the technological ruins on the Island have had to come from the conversion of memories of humans brought to the Island, and re-created by Jacob and his followers. For the temple, the weapons, the DHARMA stations, all are basic raw materials to decide whether humanity can take something good and turn it into evil applications.
And is it possible that Rousseau survived 16 years from being “infected” or taken down by the smoke monster? Probably not. The term “infection” could have a non-medical meaning, too - - - like one’s memories downloaded into the Island event engine. Rousseau’s motivations could have concentrated into a narrow band of commands or functions: as she said to the survivors: you can run, you can hide or you can die.
We will learn that Hatch door will confirm what Rousseau said about the smoke monster being a security system. In lockdown mode, the Hatch door drops and a map is shown which contains the reference to Cerberus, the three headed monster dog of Hell. The three “heads” or three smoke monsters of the Island could be Jacob, MIB and Crazy Mother, all in their own way guarding the Island from outsiders. MIB wants to leave the island but cannot; Crazy Mother had a habit of killing everyone who came to the Island; and Jacob is the guardian who brings people to the Island to play a game of human soul searching with MIB to kill the boredom of immortality. Who are the teams in this cosmic hide and seek game of war? Could Mother be the Others? MIB, who was fascinated by the Roman technology of the FDW be Dharma? New people and technology theories brought to the Island to test Jacob’s notion that human beings can avoid corruption?
Our previous new theory that Locke did not survive the crash, but was taken over by MIB as his way of observing the survivors and manipulating their actions, could be put into doubt by the Hatch obsession. Locke’s obsession to open the Hatch to find its answers seems very human curiosity gone mad. But if Jacob and MIB are playing an elaborate game, MIB may want to get inside to see what Jacob has set for him. But MIB would have already known about Dharma, the Hatch, the construction, the Incident(s), Desmond and the Others. But on the other hand, Locke’s expressions during his conflicts with Jack are more cold and calculating than Locke’s flashback emotional inability to stand his ground. If MIB was part of Locke, he may have disembodied himself from Locke’s mind and/or body (as shown by Locke’s paralysis returning at the Beechcraft with Boone). Or MIB may spiritually influence survivors throughout their time on the Island by telepathic manipulation through emotional outbursts (which lets down a person’s subconscious guard). We will learn that MIB does not need a physical body to create a Locke form when he marches Ben and the Others to the base of the statue to confront Jacob.
The Hatch was supposed to be the key to unraveling the Island mysteries. Or viewers assumed as Season 2 began in earnest. But for some, the Hatch and the Dharma back story were merely "filler" and not important to the resolution of the 815 survivors stories. Partial information are like "white lies," which are falsehoods covered by some truth. We are led to believe the Others are mad Dharma scientists experimenting on any person who makes it to their Island. But by the time 815 crashes, Dharma is long gone, purged from existence by Benjamin Linus and the older, "native" Hostiles for whom their back story is never fully explained but it assumed that some of them may have worked for Dharma or Hanso in order to control the Island power and fund its operations against a former leader now enemy, Widmore. The Hatch introduces us to Desmond, and the strange electromagnetic properties of the Island which is supposed to explain the Island magic. But it will not. What we take from the Hatch story arc is that it is most likely what Jack observed, a "mind game" on the station operators, which may be a metaphor for the viewers. As Locke's father told Locke, do you believe you were the first person conned by someone? The Hatch was a diversion that did not lead directly to the Season 6 reveal of the Jacob-MIB dynamic.