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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Lost: Random Guesses

It's quite dull here at the old office right now, so I was off reading the excellent Lost And Gone Forever blog. So I'm going to rattle off a couple random theories just to see what sticks as this season wraps up.

First some clarifications. Apparently the show producers are fairly adamant that Libby's and Ana's fate was sealed back when they wrote the show ... not when they got DUI charges. Truth or spin? Who know? Who cares? As long as the story wasn't subverted just to "fix" some casting.

And apparently the numbers in the log from "?" are sequential. So timestamps, not a second set of "numbers".


Desmond was a plant
Remember Des? He was the guy who met Jack while running, supposedly sailed across the world, and then "accidentally" ended up in the Swan Hatch when Locke decided to go blow it open. I'm guessing - no accident. Not running into Jack. Not being in the hatch. Guessing there wasn't even a sail across the world. When you track it all backwards, Desmond fits in with a group of characters who seem to be on the periphery of things. Claire's psychic. Sayid's American officer. Ecko's crazy daughter of Claire's psychic. They're always making some coy allusion or overt statement about knowledge they really shouldn't have ... or conveniently seem connected to an event which gets people on the island. They have day jobs ... but they also work for DHARMA/Hanso.

There is an actual disease
This is sort of assuming that Desmond's a plant ... but if that's the case then Desmond wouldn't have taking the drugs for nothing. He would have been taking them as a precaution. This disease might be what triggers all the flashbacks/visions/psychic whatnots in people. And it might cause some people to go completely nutters. The "QUARANTINE" is on the inside of the hatches as a reminder of this. The hatches themselves may be expirments to determine the effects (positive or negative) of the disease. Perhaps the purpose of the Swan's numbers being a "deadman's" style switch is to warn other DHARMA employees that something has gone wrong.

Henry Gale Imposter pushed the button
This has been the subject of much speculation. Did Fake Henry Gale lie to Locke when he said he didn't push the button? The general thinking is that if the button keeps something disastrous from happening then why wouldn't Gale push the button? And more specifically, lie to Locke aboout it and risk him not pushing the button?

1) Whatever the effect is ... it's not the catastrophic event Desmond described. Perhaps Desmond believed that, perhaps not. It may have been theater staged to convince Jack and Locke of the importance.

2) HGI, however, possibly knew he would likely be dead or rescued by the time Locke decided to stop pushing the button.

So it's not that HGI didn't want the effect to happen ... he just didn't want to be around when he did.

The button keeps old Smokey away
Something keeps the survivors somewhat safe while they are on the beach. Maybe The Others are just deciding it's time to let Smoke Monster take care of some problems. Course, that doesn't explain why Backwards Walt would be trying to get them to stop pushing the button. The idea that not pushing the button would be bad for people around the hatch might also be reinforced by the Others trying to steal away their "good" ones. Get them to safety, vaccinate them from the disease, etc.

Faith Based Powers?
Sounds odd, sure. But we know the island can heal people (Locke, Rose, Jin) and we know that the healing can go away (Locke). Locke's legs failing him in Season 1 occured at a time which would indicate that either a) he was psychosomatic and in control himself, b) his failing faith failed his legs or c) something or someone else can manipulate the healing on the island ( a combination of the LEP and remote viewing? ).

If this was true, then it would explain why faith is so important to the island's expirements.

Defeating Valenzetti
The Valenzetti Equation is a mathematical equation to predict the apocalypse, introduced via Gary Troup's website and also having been entered into Wikipedia by the show's producers ... now deleted since the Wikipedia really frowns on that kind of thing. Fictionally speaking, Valenzetti was a math genius who was the first to prove Fermat's theorem and died in plane crash over the ocean.

Basically it's a deathclock equation mixed with a bit of Asimov's Foundation series, I'm guessing. If so ... the numbers could represent a portion of the equation that Hanso is trying to disrupt. Altering (or removing) the lives of a few to keep the planet moving ... that kind of thing.

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Finster said...

As far as Lost is concerned, whether or not HGI pushed the button occupies most of my thought cycles.

I've been flipping back and forth between whether I think he pushed the button or not.

I think a lot of people are using the "?" episode to support that HGI did NOT push the button because the pearl orientation video kind of implies that it is meaningless. (BUT, I think that this is just more of the experiment. That the people manning the Pearl station NEED to believe that the buttons are meaningless.)

Let's posit that the buttons DO have a meaning. A very important one. Then getting Locke to lose faith in the importance of the button may very well play directly into HGI's desires.

Also, it's clear that HGI was trying to get into Locke's head the entire time. Anything to destabilize him.

I dunno... sometimes I feel like this show is revealing a lot, but at the same time revealing nothing.

Josh said...

Yeah, the show can be quite the tease sometimes. My favorite example is Ecko's encounter with the Smoke Monster. Revealing? Well, kinda. But it opens just as many questions at the same time.

I just don't like the "meaningless button" theory because it would really beg the whole point. This is a very elaborate trap just to prove that you can convince people to do something meaningless for extended periods of time. So even if the button does nothing, the expirement must do something more.

And a lot of people have said this is a good Skinner Box expirement. Except, it's not. Behavioral modification has ... well ... specific behaviors to modify. For instance, I "gave" a rat an OCD by positively reinforcing it's normal cleaning behaviors.

What's the hatch's modification? The button in a Skinner Box would result in some kind of triggered response. A Skinner Box that has no preceeding cause nor any resulting effect isn't a Skinner Box. It's just a button.

The button far more closely resembles a deadman's switch. It's the computer equivalent of "if someone doesn't get a call from me, they'll know something bad happened"

Finster said...

I just listened to the Official Lost Podcast, and the producers have said Desmond will be in the finale. I've been wondering what happened to him...

I think the whole "Island as Social Modification/Social Experiment" meme is rather popular, and I think the producers are playing into that. It's just too convenient an excuse, though, and doesn't explain the perimeter players like Claire's psychic, etc very well at all.

I didn't know about the Valenzetti angle. So, the Lost producers actually created wikipedia articles about Valenzetti? That's pretty awesome, really.

Josh said...

I wouldn't have known about Valzenetti if I hadn't been wadnering the Lostpedia. He's actually one of the few "non-show" factoids I've seen which seems potentially very important.

And yeah, I think the whole "social expirement" just feels narrow. Do you need your own private island with healing powers and supernatural security system for just a social expirment? We've really entered "Mad Villain's Secret Lair In Volcano" area here.