Friday, September 22, 2006

The Love Triangle

Remember when Jack and Kate got caught in a net? (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?)

That scene reminds me of the myth of how Vulcan exposed Venus's affair with Mars by trapping the lovers in an unbreakable net. It occurs to me, moreover, that such love triangles are increasingly central to the show. Aside from Jack, Kate, and Sawyer, we've also seen Boone, Shannon, and Sayid, as well as hints of Jin, Sun, and her tutor just to name a few.

Forget about the Bermuda and Devil's Triangles -- I'd say the Island is at the center of a love triangle.

More specifically, I believe the show is building towards an Island backstory involving a similar love triangle between Karen DeGroot (Venus) her husband Gerald (Vulcan) and a Hanso (Mars). I further believe that MDG stands for Magnus DeGroot, who was a product of this extra-marital coupling. The remaining question is which Hanso did the dirty deed?

The obvious answer is Alvar, which would make Magnus the namesake of his grandfather. Sometimes, however, I wonder if the electromagnetic "ghost" of Magnus Hanso was the real daddy. As I've discussed on several threads (e.g., Human Stash and Extinction or Evolution?) ghostly possession could be causing the mysterious pregnancies on the show via parthenogenesis.

In fact, if you really want to follow me down the rabbit hole, consider the possibility that the triangle in question predates Dharma. Many, myself included, have wondered if Adam and Eve were the DeGroots. Perhaps they crashed on the Island by chance. Shortly after their arrival, Karen became pregnant and gave birth to a baby she named Magnus after his true father.

I like such a scenario because it raises some intriguing possibilities. For example, could the AH/MDG Incident have related somehow to a dispute over or revelation of Magnus's true lineage? What if the younger DeGroot is actually a reincarnation of Magnus Hanso? The latter scenario would certainly put a wild twist on speculations that Magnus DeGroot is Him...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Extinction or Evolution?

Remember Alien X from Walt's comic?

Turns out he was originally misunderstood due to a failure to communicate with the first Flash and Green Lantern. By the time the latter two realized that Alien X wasn't a threat, it was too late. I'm beginning to think a similarly serious misunderstanding characterizes the Valenzetti Equation and what precisely it predicts.

The Sri Lanka Orientation leads us to believe that the Valenzetti marks the time left before humanity's extinction. Hanso and Dharma's efforts were reportedly devoted to influencing the core factors of the Equation in an effort to postpone this doomsday, whether by "nuclear fire, chemical and biological warfare, conventional warfare, pandemic, over-population."

But what if they got the doomsday part wrong? I believe that metaphors like Locke's tabula rasa and Charlie's moth are hints that the Equation doesn't predict the apocalyptic end of our race so much as a new beginning -- in a profoundly different "post-human" form.

This is why, despite all of THF's efforts, the world remains subject to the "tyranny" of the Numbers. Preventing nuclear war, overpopulation, disease, etc. is pointless because none of those things will be the ultimate cause of our "death." Rather, it will be humanity's rebirth as a new species (i.e., evolution) that signals our extinction (thanks, NeillT).

So what might this post-human existence look like? One possibility I've raised previously is Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. A scientist, he is reduced by a freak accident (the Incident?) to a state of pure electromagnetic consciousness. Another candidate is the Star Child from 2001. Catch a Falling Star and the Black Rock may both be nods to the Kubrick classic.

But perhaps the simplest analogy -- the one meant for popular consumption -- is to electromagnetic "ghosts" or "spirits." The clues along these lines have been in front of us for some time. Turn of the Screw is a novella about ghostly possession. The Others is a film, inspired partly by Turn of the Screw, about spirits who believe they're still alive.

These references, coupled with the mysterious appearances of the dead in whispers, dreams, and visions all contribute to a strong inference that the Island is haunted. Whether because of natural electromagnetic phenomena, Dharma's technology, ancient science, or some combination thereof, bodies have become optional on Craphole Island.

Some, however, may be more adept than others at separating body from soul. Remember Ms. Klugh's question to Michael whether Walt had ever appeared someplace he wasn't supposed to be? That's likely a reference to astral projection, which is the ability to transfer one's consciousness to an energy double or "twin" of one's material body.

Ms. Klugh also asked Mike if he was Walt's biological father. Some have interpreted this as a clue the two are not, in fact, related (thanks, koralis). This suspicion is bolstered by the fact that the bird Walt atracted to the window in Special was supposedly a Bronze Cuckoo -- a species known to dupe other birds into raising their young (thanks, punky).

Walt could be the result of a hybrid union involving one of the electromagnetic ghosts mentioned previously. Perhaps, in the spirit of Turn of the Screw, Susan was "possessed" by a post-human. This spurred pregnancy by parthenogenesis (thanks, waltisfuture) mutating Walt's DNA. Susan's blood disorder may have been an unfortunate side effect of this mutation process.

The result, however, was a truly special child genetically suited to take the evolutionary leap of shedding his physical form. My guess is that Aaron is similarly the product of such possession, which may explain Thomas's abrupt change of heart (i.e., he began to doubt he was really Aaron's father). This dynamic could also account for Sun's miraculous pregnancy.

It may even mean Emily Locke wasn't lying about John's virgin conception after all...