Tuesday, August 28, 2012


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 

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?
JACK: 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.
JACK: Jack.
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:

EP 25:
MICHAEL: Waaaaaaaaaaalt! Waaaahahahaaalt! No! Walt!

EP 26:
JACK: [recognizing that it's Desmond] You.

EP 27:
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.]

EP 28:
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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Recap: Episodes 21-24 (Days  42-44)

After burying Boone, tempers flare as the castaways' suspicions of each other grow -- and Shannon vows revenge. Locke shows up at Boone’s funeral, and is blamed for his death by Jack and Shannon. Locke takes Sayid to the light plane crash. Later, Shannon tries to kill Locke, but Sayid intervenes and the bullet grazes Locke’s skull. 

With the second raft complete, Sawyer and Kate fight over a seat on the raft. After Michael is poisoned, Sawyer tells Kate’s secret to sabotage her escape plans.  The mysterious Hatch is shown to a few of the survivors, and Walt gives Locke a warning not to open it.

The French woman shocks the survivors by showing up with a dire warning about "the Others." Rousseau reluctantly leads a party to the Black Rock to get dynamite to blow open the Hatch, which Jack believes holds equipment or could be a shelter. Sayid thinks otherwise.  The second raft  leaves the island with Jin, Sawyer, Michael and Walt.

As the castaways brace themselves for an attack, Claire’s baby is kidnapped by Rousseau, who in Claire’s mental flashback of the scratches on her arm, knows Rousseau (not Ethan?) attacked her before causing her amnesia.  Charlie and Sayid  try to find Aaron on a dangerous chase into the jungle. While the threat of the Others bears down on the castaways, the raft crew continues their flight from the island - and almost lose hope when the rudder falls off the raft; but Sawyer swims to save it before it sinks.



Dynamite is an explosive based on nitroglycerin with an earth like absorbent substance such as powdered shells, clay, sawdust, or wood pulp. Dynamites using organic materials such as sawdust are less stable and such use has been generally discontinued. Dynamite was invented by Alfred Nobel in 1867.
Dynamite is usually sold in the form of sticks. The maximum shelf life of nitroglycerin-based dynamite is recommended as one year from the date of manufacture under good storage conditions. Nitroglycerin by itself is a very strong explosive, and in its pure form it is extremely shock-sensitive (that is, physical shock can cause it to explode), and degrades over time to even more unstable forms. This makes it highly dangerous to transport or use in its pure form. Absorbed into diatomaceous earth or more commonly sawdust, nitroglycerin is less shock-sensitive. Over time, the dynamite will "weep" or "sweat" its nitroglycerin, which can then pool in the bottom of the box or storage area. (For that reason, explosive manuals recommend the repeated turning over boxes of dynamite in storage.) Crystals will form on the outside of the sticks causing them to be even more shock, friction or temperature sensitive. This creates a very dangerous situation. While the actual possibility of explosion without a blasting cap is minimal, old dynamite is still dangerous.


The Black Rock ship found deep in the jungle.

Dynamite in Black Rock still good after more than 100 years in a tropical climate.


The Black Rock was a fully-rigged 19th century British trading ship that was found shipwrecked deep inside the Island and overgrown by the jungle. The ship carried a cargo of slaves, dynamite, and other equipment intended for mining. In the midst of a large storm at sea, a massive wave swept the vessel inland, causing it to crash violently into the Taweret statue, thus toppling the structure, leaving only the foot of the statue intact. This wave carried the ship far into the interior of the Island where it finally came to rest in an area known as the Dark Territory. The Black Rock brought the third oldest inhabitant, Richard Alpert, to the Island. Richard survived because the smoke monster, who killed all the other crew, used his mind to show him his long lost wife.

The Hatch

The Hatch was a large steel entrance to DHARMA Station 3, called The Swan. The Swan was an underground facility built during the late 1970's. It was located somewhere in the southwest region of the Island, about a mile inland from the survivor’s camp.

The DHARMA Initiative had originally designed the station to be a laboratory to study and manipulate the "unique electromagnetic fluctuations emanating from this sector of the Island," as described by Dr. Change in the Swan orientation video. However, after the “Incident,” a 1977 drilling accident at the Swan construction site that unleashed a large amount of electromagnetic energy,  they enacted a special protocol to prevent a potential global catastrophe. Two individuals manning the station took shifts entering The Numbers in a computer console every 108 minutes, apparently to release any EM build up at the site. On November 27, 2004, the Swan exploded and imploded on activation of the fail safe key by Desmond, a previous castaway.

The Others
The Others, referred to by DHARMA as the Hostiles or the Natives, and also by the tail section survivors of Flight 815 as “Them,” are a group of people living on the Island who predate visitors and  who were followers of Jacob. Jacob never showed himself to his people, but used Richard Alpert as his intermediary. The Others  took orders from a succession of leaders including Eloise Hawking, Charles Widmore, Benjamin Linus and briefly John Locke.

The background Others.
Jacob and his brother, MIB were born on the Island. Their real mother was killed by a Crazy Woman, who adopted them. Crazy Mother was the Island guardian for the Life Force. After her death at the hands of MIB, and Jacob throwing MIB into the light cave (and roaring out as a smoke monster), Jacob assumed the guardian role for the Island and its secrets. But Jacob had long been bringing people to the Island to prove his  brother (MIB) wrong about his view of human nature. According to Jacob, it is the Man in Black's belief that all people are inherently corruptible, whereas Jacob wished to show him that people could know the difference between right and wrong without his interference. For some time, the people Jacob brought to the Island were simply killed by the Man in Black or each other, without Jacob stepping in. That rule changed in 1867 when Richard arrived to the Island on the Black Rock and, in exchange for the gift of immortality, he agreed to act as an intermediary between Jacob and the people he would bring to the Island. This was essentially the beginning of the Others.


You can’t trust secrets to anyone on the Island. When Kate tries to get herself on the raft, Sawyer uses her secret (a convict) to turn the camp against her when it is found that Michael was poisoned by someone. The survivors begin to manipulate each other to get what they want; which is what the Others will do to them.

Atonement. Reparation for a wrong, injury or a sin. In early 15th century medieval Latin, it was meant to mean “unity” as unification with God. The Island and its tests of the survivors has been equated to Hell. Jin recognizes that he is being punished for his past deeds; that he needs to make amends by leaving the island to save his wife.

Hope.  The raft is the last hope for rescue. That is why everyone in camp pitches in to get it launched before the monsoon season. Locke also answers Jack's question of what is inside the Hatch is "hope."


“Special” people prior to the Island. Locke was called “special” by his mother. Walt was called “special” by his stepfather. Hurley was once called special by his mother, who was trying to boost his confidence to be more social. Locke, Walt and Hurley all slowly appear to have a special connection with the Island, able to sense strange things or make things happen.


“ Genius is eternal patience. ”
— Michelangelo

Jin tells Sun that he has to leave the island in order to save her. He believes that they are on the island to be punished. He tells Sun: “No, don't you understand, Sun. I'm in this place because I'm being punished. I made you suffer. You don't deserve any of this.”

Later, in the caves, after Aaron is kidnapped and Shannon is still despondent over Boone’s death:

SUN: [to Shannon] He died bravely.
SUN: Your brother.
SHANNON: Yeah. Thanks.
SUN: Do you think all this -- all we've been through -- do you think we're being punished?
SHANNON: Punished for what?
SUN: Things we did before -- the secrets we kept, the lies we told.
SHANNON: Who do you think is punishing us?
SUN: Fate.
CLAIRE: No one's punishing us. There's no such thing as fate.

Fate is defined as the development of events beyond a person’s control because of the determination of a supernatural power.

Here is the basic fan viewpoint of the series. Were the characters dead and trapped in Hell (the Island) looking for redemption of their souls, or were they trapped, alive, in a supernatural place, being toyed with like the Greek gods did with their human subjects?

After Boone’s death, Walt's opinions of his friend John changed and he stopped talking to him. Instead, he focused his attentions on his father and building the raft. However, when Michael fell ill just before the raft was supposed to be launched, Jack suspected foul play. Walt, however, wanted Locke to know that he didn't poison Michael (thinking Locke may suspect it after he burned the first raft). When Locke grabbed his arm, Walt ominously told him to not "open that thing” - despite having no previous knowledge of the discovery of the hatch. After Michael recovered from his poisoning, Walt finally told him that he burned the raft. Michael asked if he wanted to stay on the Island but a changed Walt said that they "need to go.”

Did Walt’s  “special” insight foreshadowed the future (time travel consciousness)? Or did his “touch” of Locke give him knowledge of the Island, the Hatch and future events?

The day  that the raft was intended the launch, Walt, having woken first and gone into the woods to relieve himself, spotted Rousseau  arriving in the camp, and bringing with her a dire warning of the Others  imminent attack on the camp and recalled that the day her own child was kidnapped, she saw a pillar of black smoke. (a fire or the smoke monster?)  Despite much skepticism about Rousseau's warning, it was Walt who noticed a pillar of smoke in the distance, implying some truth in the French woman's warning.

We get the short story of Leslie Arzt, the high school science teacher who is smarter than “the cool group” of castaways. He forces himself into the dynamite expedition, but chickens out at the dark territory. But he is flushed back to the group as he is being chased by the mechanical sounding smoke monster. During that attack, Rousseau takes part of the team under the banyan roots (where some cultures believe protects one against evil spirits). Rousseau tells them that the monster is a “security system” that protects the Island.  Meanwhile, Locke tells Hurley to stand still as the monster approaches/chases the group. It is the opposite of human behavior to stand still in the midst of danger (further evidence that Locke may not be human at all). Arzt returns muddy and shaken. Then he takes over the removal of the dynamite. In a script formula of knowledge plus arrogance equals disaster, Arzt blows himself up. Instead of taking that as a sign that the dynamite won’t work - - - Locke and Jack pack up 6 sticks and head back to the Hatch.

After the raft launch, Charlie tells Claire his picture of their rescue, by helicopter. This is the premonition that Desmond would have latter in the show, when he gets Charlie to go on the underwater mission to his demise. Desmond’s vision was not the future but a hope Charlie put in his mind. It may show that the Island pieces together conscious memories in order to test individual souls, since we will learn that Jacob and MIB have been playing a game throughout their time of determining whether humans brought to the island are corrupt.


Suspension of normal chemical properties and time (dynamite inert in tropical conditions after 100 years).

The Others and Whispers. We will know that the whispers are trapped dead souls on the island. Rousseau says that the whispers are the Others, which infers that the Others, as a group may be trapped spirits taking human form.

A bird comes flying through the jungle during the trek to the Black Rock, calling out the name “Hurley” as its screeching call. Some believe that it may have been a Dharma experiment; others believe it may have been a phoenix, sent to warn Hurley about danger. In some cultures, people have the concept spirit animals to guide them on the right path.

Last lines in episodes:

EP 21:
SAYID: John, no more lies.

EP 22:
KATE: Yeah, me too.

EP 23:
WALT: We did it!
[More waving and whooping. Jin and Sun share a long goodbye look. Long shot of the boat moving out toward sea.]
[Shot of the pillar of black smoke.]
EP 24:
HURLEY: Whoever named this place Dark Territory? Genius.

New Ideas/Tests of Theories:

What could be the darkest territory? Hell. It is a concept that TPTB attempted to quash in Season 1 fan posts, saying the show was not about purgatory. But in The End, the sideways world turned out to be a purgatory waiting room and the unanswered questions left viewers feeling a bit puzzled and taken for a ride.

There is nothing wrong with a show about human souls trying to find redemption and hope in Hell’s test of character and moral values. Dante’s Inferno is classic literature on the subject matter.

There may be many layers of this “fate” or punishment. When Sawyer tells Jack about his encounter with Christian at the Sydney bar, one could say that acknowledgement of Christian that his son was right, he was wrong and that he could not even pick up the telephone to tell Jack - - -  his personal hell.

And we can see characters being moved into the Island realm to pay penance for their past sins, like Sayid.  He was in Sydney trying to find Nadia, he claimed girlfriend that he tortured in Iraq (but they were only childhood acquaintances - - - now as an adult, Sayid turns obsessive stalker to find her), but is sidetracked into working for the CIA to betray his college friend in a terrorist cell.  When his friend commits suicide over Sayid selling out his principles for a girl he wants, Sayid changes his plane ticket to the next day (Flight 815) and the fate of the Island punishment.

Jin is the first to openly say that the Island is a place of punishment. He tells Sun just before he leaves on the raft.  As a result that Jin realizes that the place is Hell, and he must find a way out, he basically takes himself out of the game of candidates. That is why in the End, Jin is not a factor to replace Jacob.

Through the first season of LOST, references to Hell in the language used by the writers is clear. It is not a premise that many fans wanted to believe, but in the overall supernatural elements and dead end story arcs, it is still the most plausible answer to all the mysteries.

The idea that the whispers are dead souls trapped on the Island and the Others are also trapped on the island brings to mind the fact that MIB used to kill new arrivals, steal their memories, then create “humanoid” representations to haunt any survivors. Can the Others just be ghosts of people brought to the island? Avatars of Jacobs and/or MIB? If Jacob and MIB are supernatural beings, these avatars could be like children playing toy soldiers in a sandbox. It would also explain later on how Michael, “Patchy,” could be killed multiple times but not die. It is a show paradox: what is real is not real, and what is not real is real.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Recap: Episodes 17-20 (Days 32-42)

When the raft the survivors have been building mysteriously burns down, Michael  is convinced that Jin  is responsible for the sabotage, which only further escalates their rivalry. Boone gives Sayid a warning about Shannon.

When Hurley becomes obsessed with the French woman and heads into the jungle to find her, Jack, Sayid and Charlie have no choice but to follow. Meanwhile, Locke  asks Claire  to help build a mysterious item.

Locke begins to suffer physical difficulties as he and Boone try to find a way into the Hatch; Jack is reluctant to offer assistance when Sawyer begins to experience excruciating headaches.

Claire goes into labor while a helpless Charlie goes into panic mode. Meanwhile Locke is missing, Jack tends to a critically injured Boone as Sayid begins a romance with Shannon.

1.   Infection & Headaches: Causes

Headaches may be caused by virus infections, stress, fatigue, influenza or common colds and respiratory ailments.

Mayo Clinic literature defines the primary causes for headaches:

A primary headache is caused by dysfunction or overactivity of pain-sensitive features in your head. A primary headache isn't a symptom of an underlying disease. Chemical activity in your brain, the nerves or blood vessels of your head outside your skull, or muscles of your head and neck — or some combination of these factors — may play a role in primary headaches. Some people may carry genes that make them more likely to develop such headaches. Other headache patterns that are generally considered types of primary headache but are less common. These headaches have distinct features, such as an unusual duration or pain associated with a certain activity. Although these headaches are generally considered primary, each of them could be a symptom of an underlying disease. These headaches include chronic daily headaches, cough headaches, exercise headaches and  hypnic headaches (that awaken a person at night).
A secondary headache is a symptom of a disease that can activate the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. Any number of conditions — varying greatly in severity — may cause secondary headaches. Sources of secondary headaches include Arterial tears (carotid or vertebral dissections), blood clots in the brain, aneurysms, tumors, carbon monoxide poisoning, concussion, encephalitis, inflammation of lining of arteries, glaucoma, hangovers, influenza, hemotoma, side effects from medications, meningitis, sinus infection, trauma or stroke.

Medical dictionary definition of “infection”
1. invasion and multiplication of microorganisms in body tissues, especially that causing local cellular injury due to competitive metabolism, toxins, intracellular replication, or antigen-antibody response.
2. an infectious disease.

An airborne infection  one that is contracted by inhalation of microorganisms or spores suspended in air on water droplets or dust particles. Droplet infection  infection due to inhalation of respiratory pathogens suspended on liquid particles exhaled by someone already infected (droplet nuclei) .
Endogenous infection  that due to reactivation of organisms present in a dormant focus, as occurs in tuberculosis, etc. Tunnel infection  subcutaneous infection of an artificial passage into the body that has been kept patent. Opportunistic infection  infection by an organism that does not ordinarily cause disease but becomes pathogenic under certain circumstances (e.g., impaired immune responses).

2. Schizophrenia.

A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations (most reported are hearing voices) delusions,  (often bizarre in nature), and disorganized thinking and speech.  The latter may range from loss of train of thought, to sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to incoherence. Social withdrawal, sloppiness of dress and hygiene, and loss of motivation and judgment are all common in schizophrenia.  There is often an observable pattern of emotional difficulty, for example lack of responsiveness. Symptoms include social impairment, paranoia, social isolation.  Difficulties in working, long term memory, attention, executive functioning and speed of processing information can occur.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness that affects about 1% of the population, more than 2 million people in the United States alone. With the sudden onset of severe psychotic symptoms, the individual is said to be experiencing acute schizophrenia. Psychotic means out of touch with reality or unable to separate real from unreal experiences. There is no known single cause of schizophrenia. Genetic factors produce a vulnerability to schizophrenia, with environmental factors contributing to different degrees in different individuals.

Schizophrenia is one of the psychotic mental disorders and is characterized by symptoms of thought, behavior, and social problems. Symptoms of schizophrenia may include delusions, hallucinations, catatonia, negative symptoms, and disorganized speech or behavior. There are five types of schizophrenia based on the kind of symptoms the person has at the time of assessment: paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual. Schizophrenia is considered to be the result of a complex group of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.

It is highly unlikely that Rousseau, after 16 years of lonely, paranoid existence, would learn the skills of a trained Army ranger to booby trap her camp with explosives. It is similar experience that wheelchair bound Locke fantasized being the great hunter-Outback survivalist coming to reality on the Island.

The “illness” or “infection” that Rousseau told Sayid about. We will learn about it from the Others as a byproduct of Claire’s abduction and Juliet’s research in why babies don’t come to term on the Island. The “illness” is an unspoken change in a person; the Temple dwellers believe that it is the transformation of a person (Sayid) into evil. Apparently, there is no cure.

What is the Island? We have more information that the Numbers may have been coordinates or the "magic box" that the Numbers opened when Hurley played them in the lottery. It is clear that the Island is a supernatural place which may or may not be in reality. Whether the Island is a place or a supernatural being is still open to debate.

Both Locke and Jack yell “you can’t tell me what to do” when faced with an adverse situation. This sets up the duality of faith vs. science theme (Locke vs. Jack).

Separation is also a theme. There appears to be two types of survivors now: those who desperately want rescue or to get off the island (Jin, Michael, Sawyer) and those who do not want to leave (Locke, Walt).

Parental issues go beyond par with Locke’s backstory that his father paid his crazy mother to help with his con to get a kidney from him. But even with Jack’s pending marriage to Sara, a woman he miraculous saved from a life of paralysis, Christian tells Jack that it is that commitment is his strength, but “letting go” is his personal demon.


The biggest clues were the the references to games.

When Locke was working at a toy store, he tells a young boy about the game, Mouse Trap. He says the object of the game is to put your game pieces on the board and then have your opponent land on a certain square to set off the trap.

When Hurley visits Leonard at the mental institution, Leonard (who knows about the Numbers) is playing Connect Four.


“ Imagination is more important than knowledge. ”
— Albert Einstein

There are two significant plot arcs in these episodes. First, is Rousseau warning Hurley about the “sickness” when he seeks her out about why she wrote down the Numbers. She wrote down the numbers because that is the signal she heard with her science crew, who changed course and crashed. When the “sickness” took all of her people, she went to the radio tower and changed the message to the distress call. In talking with Hurley, who believes the numbers are cursed, Rousseau (who Sayid believes is crazy) agrees with Hurley because it was the Numbers who brought them both to the island. Hurley is relieved that someone finally agrees with him (that he is not thinking crazy talk) and hugs her.

The “sickness” or “infection” that was a part of the show never clearly manifests itself, except when we see Sayid becomes overtly evil at the Temple. We may see the beginning of the sickness in Sawyer, as his headaches now appear daily. Jack diagnoses his situation as being farsighted (all of a sudden?) but headaches may be caused by infections, viruses or disease.

The sickness may manifest itself in the brain. It alters perception or reality, as Rousseau says the sickness changed her crew to the point where she killed them all in self defense. In that situation, we know her crew members were dragged into the Temple outer wall by Smokey, and returned “changed” and plotting against her.

Second, and possible corollary to the sickness is the issue of mental illness. There is a series of references to mental instability in these episodes: Locke’s mother was institutionalized (at the same place as Leonard and Hurley); Jacob and MIB’s adoptive murderous guardian was called Crazy Mother by show viewers. John Locke begins to talk crazy to Boone when they cannot open the Hatch, proclaiming that “the Island” was telling him what to do or what he needed to do.

Who is Locke begging to? Jacob? His Crazy Mother? The island itself?
There is another magic box cause and effect - - - as he is begging for an answer, the light goes on inside the Hatch.


The process of thinking of something deeply coming to come to pass on the island (“the magic box”) is forefront in these episodes. As Locke needs to find a sign, the island scans the memories of other people on the island to create the memory on the island (Eko’s brother’s Beechcraft plane crashing into the island).  Hurley’s crazy friend, Leonard, screams that the Numbers Hurley used to win the lottery “opened the box!”

Last lines in episodes:

EP 17:
HURLEY: Son of a bitch.
[He takes his headphones off and throws them on the sand.]
EP 18:
CHARLIE: I bare my soul, and all I get is bloody jokes!
[Shot of the hatch and the container it's attached to. The camera pushes in to reveal the numbers etched in to the side: 4 8 15 16 23 42.]
EP 19:
LOCKE: I've done everything you wanted me to do, so why did you do this to me?!
[A light goes on inside the hatch.]
EP 20:
JACK: To find John Locke.

New Ideas/Tests of Theories:

The Numbers were firmly planted into the conscious mysteries of the show with Hurley’s “unlucky” back story. And they were firmly put in the forefront when the Numbers appear on the mysterious Hatch cover.

We know that the Numbers represent Jacob’s candidates (Locke, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, Jack and Jin.) All are socially awkward with father issues. We were told that only Jacob can bring people to the Island. And these were his “candidates,” but that may be a misdirection. Candidates may mean “game pieces” between Jacob and MIB. In Jacob’s lighthouse, people’s names and numbers are kept. But the names and candidate numbers were also kept in MIB’s cave. So it is clear that both Jacob and MIB were on the same page in regard to castaways.

During the Show’s initial run, there were a few theories about the premise being one giant, interactive video game (with the characters being avatars). The reason for this theory was that over time, the characters kept on going on “missions” into the jungle for little rhyme or reason (just like in many video games) in order to “level up” to get more information, more weapons or more power. The clear references to games (mouse trap and Connect 4) add a foundation to this theory.

But what type of game is Jacob and MIB playing? The first early reference was to backgammon (white and black, like the stones found in the cave). Then there was the idea of the ancient Egyptian version, Senet, where the object is to take your pieces off the board first to win. Now, with the reference to Mouse Trap, the game may be to set up “traps” and situations to “capture” humans in such a way as to “win” the contest. In the last season, MIB is clearly disturbed by the fact that Jacob continues to bring humans to the island and things “never change.” What is becoming clear is that both Jacob and MIB are trying to curry favor with the castaways. It appears that the Others worship Jacob. MIB is trying to get the 815 survivors on "his team" to fight the Others. Locke continually tells the plane survivors that they are not alone and must get ready to fight the Others.

But it may be a combination of all the games. The final six candidates are the game pieces that MIB and Jacob play with. They both are allowed to set traps or illusions based upon the memories of the people brought to the island. The goal: to have four (connect four) candidates come to your side. In the End, we can see Jacob winning not by Flocke’s “death,” but in the tally of people who sided with Jacob. MIB “captured” Locke and Sayid in the Island darkness (his color) and Jacob “captured” the souls of Hurley, Sawyer, Jin and Jack, with the latter two seeing the light of personal sacrifice.
There is also a tangent of alchemy that pops to the surface in these episodes. The basic  principle of “equivalent exchange” means that in order to gain something, you must give something of equal value up. In the case of the birth of Aaron, to give new life, Boone had to die. Boone’s death was a senseless lie of Locke’s cover-up of his secret, the Hatch.

The new theory that Locke is really MIB from the beginning was challenged by Locke losing control of his ability to walk. However, when the trebuchet fails and huge spear chards go into his leg, Locke feels no pain. It freaks out Boone. Locke takes out several inches of bloody wood without a grimace. But he begins to lose his grip as Boone challenges his obsession with the Hatch and his mental stability of talking about the Island as a person. In an alchemy twist, in order to open the Hatch (what Locke wants), he must give up his best friend on the Island, Boone.

One has to take Boone’s “accident” into context. Jack leaps to the conclusion that it was murder because Locke suddenly “vanished” in an instant (like a puff of smoke?) when bloody Boone was delivered to the caves. And Jack may be right. For the Beechcraft was allegedly fixed in place for more than a decade, and only lost its balance after Boone got a connection on the plane’s radio.  Locke’s facial expression was that he had to “stop” Boone mayday and potential rescue - - - resulting in the plane tumbling down the cliffside. The mixed motivation of Locke is apparent after what happens to Boone in the plane.

In the context that the MIB may still “inhabit” Locke as a player in Jacob’s game of Mouse Trap, MIB may take on the schizophrenia in Locke’s genetic profile. Can MIB co-exist in the mentally unstable mind of John Locke? If not, does this mean that MIB can “change” players during the course of the game itself (as a signal - - - Locke reverting to his old body dynamics). It is more probable that MIB takes the illusion of Locke than Locke himself.

The Island, as its own person, may be the cruel gamekeeper. It may have given Locke the miracle “healing” of his legs that he had dreamed of, but at the cost of his sanity. Locke has always been a pawn in other people’s games. It is no different on the Island.

In regard to the Numbers as a combination Lock tumblers, Leonard’s outrage that Hurley used the Numbers “opened the Box” infers that the numbers were a lock to keep Jacob and MIB from bringing souls to the Island for their games. If the Island itself is the magic box, it is creating matter from memories, reality from illusions. We don’t know if the Island is benevolent or cruel.

What is apparent in a tumbler context, is that in each realm Jack had a similar situation in which to find a solution. In the flashback world, he “fixes” Sara by miraculous surgery skills. In the Island world, he “can’t fix” Boone who asks Jack to “let him go.” In the sideways world, he tries to “fix” a paralyzed Locke. He succeeds in the FB and SW tests, but fails on the Island - - - but that failure is the key to unlocking his deep rooted personal flaw: the inability to let go.

The Island may be the second round in a series of tests of the character’s deepest flaws in order to determine if they truly change their deep seeded personal issues toward personal enlightenment in the sideways world. But in order to find that true understanding, the Island must bring them to brink of their own humanity.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Recap: Episodes 13-16 (Days 24-31)

When Boone gets frustrated with Locke’s obsession to get into the Hatch,Locke ties him up and drugs him.  When Locke learns that Boone wants to tell their "secret" to Shannon, Shannon’s life is placed in sudden peril (showing a clue that Locke has secret powers of evil like Flocke), and the shocking truth about her past with Boone is revealed. Meanwhile, Kate is puzzled by Sun’s mysterious behavior, and a hungry Hurley must repay a debt to Jin.

Michael starts to build a raft to get his son rescued. Locke and Michael’s animosity is put aside when both of them must save Walt from a polar bear. Violence ensues and the smoke monsters re-appears when Michael and Locke clash over Walt’s upbringing. (Did Locke call upon his pet Cerebus to attack Michael for interfering with his new friendship?) Meanwhile, Charlie is tempted to read the missing Claire’s diary.

Locke and Boone find Claire in the jungle. She is suffering from amnesia. A survivor is killed, and Jack, Sayid and Locke plan a way to capture Ethan. Ethan returns and threatens to kill off the other survivors unless Claire is returned to him.

Kate and Sawyer’s outcast relationship continues to blossom while they are boar hunting. Kate and Sawyer divulge dark secrets to each other while tracking a renegade boar that Sawyer swears is purposely harassing him. (more smoke monster manipulation of matter to evoke human reaction?)  Meanwhile, Hurley and Sayid worry that Charlie is losing it after his brush with death, and a shocking, prior connection between Sawyer and Jack is revealed (Sawyer met Jack’s father just before his death).

Compass works on magnetic field, a magnetized piece of metal suspended in air will point to true magnet north. However, some electromagnetic surges or anomalies can adversely affect compass readings. It is said that the Bermuda Triangle area has unusual EM properties that disrupts electronics and compass readings in airplanes (leading to mysteries of missing boats and planes).

Claire escaping Ethan after two weeks in the jungle.
Also, Ethan asking for her return when he infiltrated the camp and is stronger than any of the survivors.

The “defective” compass that does not point North.
Sections of Rousseau’s maps that form a triangle, which may not even be part of this island, or the location of the “Black Rock.” We will learn that the Black Rock was an old slave ship that was shipwrecked on the Island, with all occupants killed except for one, Richard, who is spared by the smoke monster (MIB) but later becomes Jacob's immortal right hand man.


Fate. Christian believes it is his fate to die an alcoholic in Hell, estranged from his son because he does not have the courage to pick up the phone and make things right.

Revenge. How difficult events tell what kind of man you really are. Sawyer is conned into killing the wrong man out of revenge. Charlie kills Ethan out of revenge for kidnapping Claire, the only person in his mind he can care for.

Christian tells Sawyer in the Sydney bar, “we’re in Hell.” Sawyer replies, “you’re here too.” Australia was founded as a penal colony. We don’t know if Christian is already “dead” in the bar when he has the discussion with Sawyer, or is about to die regretting that he never had the courage to pick up the phone and call his son to make things right. (In one way, Christian’s Sydney trip was his “island” journey; then his appearances on the island itself is like his own “sideways” world holding pattern until Jack’s soul catches up with his.)


The compass malfunction and the map with a triangle can be considered a clue that the island is like the Bermuda or Devils triangles . . . areas of danger and mystery. Speculative science believes they may contain portals to other dimensions.

Locke tells a story about his family. He says a sibling dies, and his mother goes crazy in grief. Then a wandering dog comes into their house and sits by his mother for five years to her death. Locke says the dog was quiet; it was like her sister telling his mother that it was not her fault. The idea that Locke has a crazy mother is a clue to the future Island first family: MIB and Jacob's mother was crazy, too. It may point to Locke being possessed by MIB from the beginning. It also gives us a clue on Vincent, who may be the spirit of Walt's dead mother, looking after him.


“ Life is a system of half-truths and lies. Opportunistic, convenient evasion. ”
— Langston Hughes

It is clear that Locke is orchestrating events on the island. He is leading characters into dangerous events and experiences. He is the puppet master manipulating their souls. We also see for the first time the expressed idea that somehow the characters are going to be divided into teams. Locke stops Boone from confronting Sayid by telling Boone “we want him on our side.”  In the End, Sayid has gone completely to the dark side of MIB’s team. Flocke is already recruiting players for his game with Jacob. Locke has Boone clearly on his side after “giving him the experience” of the smoke monster killing Shannon (quite possibly near the site of the Light cave, where MIB himself was killed by his sibling). Here, illusion becomes reality and changes Boone’s path away from Shannon and becoming a pawn of Locke. 

We will learn that Jacob and MIB played the game of Senet, two sides, one black and one white; and the object of that game is to get your pieces off the board first.

In another situation, Locke leads Michael in the search for Walt. But this is after Walt has come to Locke to learn about knives. Locke tells him to “see it before you do it,” which is like the magic box principle Ben will speak of; Walt does and throws the knife perfectly. Michael interrupts and threatens to kill Locke if he has any contact with them again. Michael burns the comic with the polar bear and the “moving” island that Walt has kept from the crash; they are about to grow irreversibly a part until Walt wanders off with Vincent. He is attacked by a polar bear, but finds shelter in the banyan roots. Locke and Michael do a aerial rescue of Walt, with Michael giving Walt a knife to protect himself. Afterward, Walt and Michael bond; but also there is a truce between the Locke-Michael feud.

Walt’s “talent” of seeing things first then making them happen is foreshadowed in a flashback where Walt reads about a bird, then kills one on the patio in order to get attention from his parents. This spooks out his adoptive father, Brian, who after his mother’s death, in 1 day he is in NYC giving Michael plane tickets from Sydney for Walt and himself. Of course the legal ramifications of this guardianship are all wrong in reality but maybe not in a child's world.

When Claire returns on her own from her ordeal, she is beat up and cannot remember anything. She is upset with Charlie that he kept the Ethan warnings from her. “I am already in the dark,” she scolds him. The question raised here is whether Claire has already met her demise by Ethan’s capture. Has Claire’s memory erase part of the “infection” or soul re-boot that the smoke monsters take over a human soul? We know in the final season, Claire turns feral and crazy in the jungle, as a member of Flocke’s team. Is this the point where Claire is recruited? Recall, Ethan was hanging out with Locke in jungle before the kidnapping. If he infiltrated the 815 camp, Ethan could have also infiltrated “Jacob’s camp” run by Ben.

The other interesting reveal that feeds some evidence in a theory about multiple island realms is the “I Never” game Kate and Sawyer play. It is clear that both had troubled childhoods. Kate never went to Disneyland. In the Sawyer memories, we see his father kill his mother and himself after being conned out of their savings. One theory during the original airing of the show was that Sawyer has “blocked” part of that reality, being killed by his own father, so as to be moved by Jacob into the next level of existence (alternative reality) at the “funeral.” We can also say the same about Kate, who runs out of a store stealing an item, and may have been hit by a car driven by Locke’s father. The theory was that all the characters died in their childhood, and the afterlife is giving them all second chances to “live” and “experience” a faux life in order to mature into fully developed human souls.


A boar that harasses one man, Sawyer, is a comic relief element but also puts light on the idea that all the things on the island have magical properties. The boar may be a symbolic illusion for another person (memories into matter and events).

The Asian cultural idea that good spirits live in banyan tree roots which provide safe harbor from evil is also seen twice in these episodes: in Boone’s illusion of Shannon being attacked by Smokey and Walt being trapped inside while the polar bear attacked him.

Also, the Whispers now are heard by Sawyer. We know the Whispers are the voices of the trapped souls on the island, apparently giving the characters warnings. It may also be that when people begin to hear the whispers, they are slowly becoming spell bound by the Island or its guardians. Mental fatigue can lead to one’s personal defenses going down.

Last lines in episodes:

EP 13:
LOCKE: Yes. Time to let go. [Locke gets up and grabs his pack.] Follow me.
[Boone follows.]
EP 14:
[Claire emerges from the bushes looking awful.]
LOCKE: Claire?
EP 15:
CHARLIE: Goodnight, Claire.
EP 16:
SAWYER: No reason.
[Sawyer leaves. Jack snaps a log of wood with his foot.]

New Ideas/Tests of Theories:

Original fans always hoped that the Numbers would mean something special in the mythology of the series. The Numbers would up to be the designation of 815 characters Locke, Hurley, Sawyer, Sayid, Jack, and Jin. No special formula like the Vanzetti equation that re-sets and saves the world from mass destruction. The Numbers were a planted red herring. An empty Easter egg found throughout the scripts.

Taking in the series a second time, and knowing what we know of the characters fates, one tries again to put a new “spin” on the Numbers. It would seem promising that the first number, 4, Locke, would be engulfed into the Island first. Whether Locke is possessed by the island or is actually Flocke from the crash forward (MIB in human cosplay), this may be the first turn in a combination to open the secrets of the Island safe. Hurley is next, but in the first season he is a background character. But in the end he takes the guardian “role” of the Island from Jack, like winning the silver medal. Sawyer makes the most dramatic change when he is sent time traveling in reverse, and finding new responsibilities and commitment with Juliet. Sayid is a character that makes the least change from his torture soldier roots. He is taken over by the darkness and follows Flocke in his evil plan against his friends. But in an odd, out of place, resolution, Sayid winds up in the church with Shannon (not Nadia). Jack learns to take leadership and responsibility of making tough decisions to save his friends, including “dying” in the process. The consensus is that Jack had to sacrifice himself in order to save everyone else; but in the sideway world he had constructed a better life than in his flashback memories. Jin was a secondary character, almost a Sayid-light. Jin was a self-centered individual whose entire life, in the end, resolved around Sun. The six named Number characters really have nothing in common; no common redemption moments; no final grand judgment on how their lives turned out.

But the Numbers (people) as a combination lock got me to rethink an earlier theory that the Island itself was the safe, and the movement in time and space were tumblers that the Numbers were supposed to release change upon its spirit world. What we know is that Crazy Mother shipwrecked Jacob and MIB’s mother on the Island. Crazy Mother then stole the children and killed their real mother, trapping Jacob and MIB on the Island for eternity: Jacob as the Life Force guardian and MIB as a smoke monster. It is the freedom from the Island (rescue) is what was an underlying motivation for both Jacob and MIB. Jacob was looking to retire from being a guardian, and MIB was tired of the humanity games of any castaways brought to the Island by Jacob. MIB wanted to leave the island as badly as Michael did (which is ironic, since Michael remains trapped on the island as Whisper).

After one month on the Island, it is apparent that the Island inhabitants (Jacob, MIB and Crazy Mother) are dividing up the survivors into teams. I include Crazy Mother because it is not certain that killing a guardian actually ends their existence. Jacob was stabbed and burned by Ben and Flocke, but later showed up to talk to Hurley and a dying Sayid. Jacob’s brother was “killed” by Jacob and tossed into the Light cave, only to fly out as the smoke monster. The assumption was that Jacob’s brother was transformed into the smoke monster, but it may be they were all immortal smoke monsters (spirits). For afterward, Jacob and MIB sit on the beach discussing all the humans Jacob brings to the Island to prove some unknown point in their ageless argument. We know that MIB can shape shift and transform memories into matter (Flocke, even without his actual body).

One telling situation was when Sawyer is eye to eye with his harassing boar. Kate is observing off in the brush. She is clearly waiting for Sawyer to kill his nemesis. But when Sawyer does not shoot, Kate is clearly disappointed that it did not play out. One wonders if the intelligent boar was another manifestation of Locke (or Flocke himself) and Kate is or being controlled by Crazy Mother, who was killed by MIB in the past and may hate the loss of her past human form. The other observation about the boar incident was that even beyond revenge motivation in Sawyer, the beach camp still needs food and there has been no boar meat in almost a month. Shouldn't Sawyer shot the boar just for survival?

The diverse paths of the characters that wind up on 815, the Island, in flashbacks and flash-forwards, while at the same time “creating” a sideways purgatory soul holding life until Jack “awakens” from the Island realm are hard to explain. In the Olympic spirit of fair play, a diagram is in order to explain the possibility that the Island precursor to the afterlife may have just been one stop in a chain of “island” lives (like tumblers in a safe lock; each separate but connected to one final goal: opening the final door).

The characters may move through the various worlds, seemingly "living normal lives" even though it is one long journey through multiple layers of an afterlife existence. Each circle is a reboot or continuation of a soul's journey of experiences. As they move through them, they start to be sorted into like human characteristics and gathered together for a grand group "experience" on the Island. Their experiences and memories are the information feed stock in order for the next circle of existence to re-create events in order to determine whether each soul has any redemptive qualities or can change their behavior.

It is clear that the Island is not part of real Earth. The supernatural elements of the island cannot be explained away by science and normal human experience. It is understood now that the Island brought these people together in order to break them a part (into "teams") for a final showdown between the Island's two forces, Jacob and MIB.