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Speculation: My Questions after the First Four Season-Three Episodes
Lost is good at making us question just about everything, then making us wait for the answers. As with all my questions, I’m confident that Abrams, Lindelof, and Cuse will someday provide most of the answers—or lead me in a different direction so that I don’t care so much about my old questions in light of newer, even more intriguing ones. But at this point in the third season, here are some of my questions and speculations:
About the Islands
- If there really are two islands close together, and not just a trick with geography, huge mirrors or projections, or mind games, are both islands hidden from the outside world to all but those who know how to find them?
- Is the Others’ home base island the “control” and the castaways’ island the test site in a larger experiment?
- Are both islands now cut off from the outer world except for some limited, possibly dying technology, such as television and periodic food drops?
- Are the Others being “punished” on their island, which is why they’re so adamant that they’re good and so good about knowing how to correct others’ behavior?
- Or are the Others the children of the original Dharma Initiative folks who initially conducted research on the island and eventually lost touch with the outer world?
- Or are the Others the remnants of the Dharma Initiative’s later recruits, who once were idealistic but who lost faith in humanity when their funding ran out and they were bought out/run out by a larger, meaner organization?
- (Or none of the above?)
About Ben and Juliet
- How are Juliet and Ben connected?
Other critics have speculated that they’re siblings, which might not be a bad guess. They don’t quite seem like exes, and I believe Juliet when she says that she doesn’t work for Ben. His power seems to come more from a powerful personality and sense of “divine right” rather than a typical business structure; plus, if Lost’s Powers That Be want to set up a comparison of governance systems, the Others seem more like a form of socialism than a democracy or dictatorship.
- Could both Juliet and Ben have been born on the island and grown up together there? That also would set up a rivalry and long-standing relationship that would make their recent remarks to each other plausible.
About the Others’ Children (or Lack of)
- Are the Others infertile?
We’ve learned that they 1) take children as soon as possible to join their “family,” 2) believe in a family structure and apparently in the strength of a family unit, and 3) wanted Claire’s baby to join the family, although Claire wasn’t really invited to come along; also, 4) Juliet says she’s a fertility doctor. Of course, Juliet could be studying fertility of lots of mammals; perhaps she was meant to study changes in fertility among mammals faced with rapidly changing environmental conditions or to experiment in ways to increase/decrease fertility among mammals under specific test conditions. (I really hope that’s not why the Others prettied up Kate and put her in a cage opposite Sawyer. Ewww—not a direction I want Skate to take. It’s a little too Planet of the Apes for me!) Although we just may not have seen the kiddies yet, the only younger people we’ve seen are Carl—who might be the child of another unlucky castaway—and Alex, who was conceived elsewhere and born on the island.
- If Ben is telling the truth (always a big If), he was born on the island. Actor Michael Emerson is a bit over 50; Ben surely isn’t still in his 30s, which is what he’d have to be if his parents were part of the initial Dharma Initiative in the early 1970s and didn’t arrive on the island until then. So were Ben’s parents castaways, or could they be part of the society evolving from those who built the four-toed statue?
- If people could bear children on the island prior to, say, the last 16 years, what made the change?
About Radiation Sicknesses
…which brings me to my next speculative set of questions: When did the “incident” take place that required stations to be quarantined?
- Could it have been shortly before Rousseau’s expedition arrived?
- Would that account for her team’s “sickness”? Was there some form of radiation sickness to wipe out most castaways?
- Why was Rousseau immune—or how did she survive—if radiation sickness is the disease that drove her crew mad? And if Rousseau is somehow immune (I attribute her “craziness” to being alone and feeling persecuted for many years), could she have passed immunity to her baby, Alex, who seems to be a quite healthy young woman?
- Could some form of radiation or electromagnetic fluctuation have rendered the people working on the island sterile? Could it cause tumors—such as the nasty spinal tumor shown on x-rays in the Others’ surgery?
- Are the Others today the survivors of an abandoned experiment, who may not be able to survive in the outside world? (After all, Ben alluded to the fact that they know how to leave but choose not to.) Could they be supplied and provided just enough materials to stay alive for the rest of their natural lives, as long as they stay put and don’t let the rest of the world know what happened on the islands?
What are your theories about these speculations and questions? I’ll post more after the first six episodes have been aired, but these are the questions most on my mind right now. Of course, I’d love to know why the hatch imploded but apparently left few physical marks on the people inside it, and why Desmond’s clothes disappeared but Desmond is OK—but I’m most interested in the even bigger mythology. How about you?