Monday, April 30, 2007

D.O.C. Podcast...

The latest podcast is out, and it seems to support the Island of Lost Children, but to contradict my multiverse explanation for the Oceanic 815 wreckage mentioned by the Parachutist (who we also learned is named Naomi Dorritt). Here's a summary and link courtesy of Dark UFO's blog:
Thanks to Sick_Passenger for the extended highlights below.

- Jin IS the father of Sun's child.

- The sperm count of males on the island is 5 times greater.

- Sun is responsible for Jin's "mob-life" - It's a catch 22.

- The parachutist's name is Naomi Dorrit (sp?)

- The Losties are NOT in purgatory.

- Other possible explanations for Naomi's comment about 815 (1. She's lying, 2. Conspiracy theory)

- In the next episode she will delve further into what her mission is.

- Mikhail is alive (1. The fence was not turned up high enough to kill him, 2. He DID NOT come back from the dead)

The Brig:

- The Other's are on their way to "someplace".

- We will find out how Cooper got to the island.

- What happened between Locke seeing his father tied up and when he said good-bye to Kate.

- A lot of things will be answered.

- The flash on Hurley in Catch 22 was only a lens flair.

- Think pseudo-science and borderlands of the supernatural for explanations of LOST.

- They will be revisiting the psychic's predictions for Claire in the future as well as Walt's abilities.

- The Others' obsession with children & pregnancy goes beyond the inability to successfully bear children on the island.

- The Other's definitely have an interest in children with special abilities. That's why they took Walt.

- There are two factions of The Others & and are in no relation to the hatches/stations.

- They will be getting back to the statue before the show ends.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thoughts on D.O.C....

I'm going to start with the obvious -- what did the Parachutist mean when she said they found Oceanic 815 and there were no survivors? One possibility is that the Others collected the wreckage and staged a fake crash scene elsewhere to protect the Island. But so many people survived the crash -- where did they get all those replacement bodies? I think there's another answer that better fits the facts we know thus far. As I've argued previously, the presence of a second photo of Penny and Des implies that the latter's trip back in time created a causal paradox. Yet, if we have a second photo, why not a second plane -- one that crashed killing everyone onboard in the part of the multiverse that Penny and the Parachutist are from?

It's a brain fryer to be sure, but recall the image from In Gott We Trust of the universe with branching baby universes -- those various branches are dimensions of the multiverse. Each time someone special like Desmond creates a causal paradox in one of these dimensions, a new branch of the multiverse is created, thereby resolving the paradox. The Island appears to be a kind of interdimensional nexus of the multiverse, outside of spacetime and thus accessible from all branches equally. In the dimension where Des is originally from, Penny probably doesn't have a photo and isn't even looking for him. But because Des created a parallel dimension (or branch of the multiverse) by traveling back in time, there now is a Penny who does and is.

This is actually how some scientists, including Gott and noted string theorist Brian Greene think time travel might work. Fellow fans of the show Heroes should watch for an even more explicit (spoonfed?) take on this science in the upcoming episode String Theory. I'm not quite sure how course corrections figure into the equation, but here are some further signs to look for that the Island is an interdimensional nexus of the multiverse. One will be further inconsistencies between the Parachutist and our Losties over recollections of the past. She may remember meeting some of them, but they won't remember her, or vice versa. Another intriguing possibility is that they will use the Satellite phone to make contact with Penny, who will have no recollection of having sent the Parachutist.

* On another note, the Island boosts sperm production. (Way to go Apa Jin!) I'm not sure that kills the immuno-contraceptive idea, especially since the consensus seems to be that Swan was creating the effect electromagnetically. But his vigorous sperm count does rule out the specific kind of immuno-contraceptive used to control wildlife populations like the squirrels of Santa Monica, which tends to inhibit egg and sperm production. By that same token, the apparent boost to the immune system provided by the Island could still be caused by rTMS.

* Jin's uncertain parentage raises some interesting questions. Just who was his father? And could Jin have been born on the Island -- or conceived by someone who was? Perhaps as such, he can only reproduce on Craphole Island...

* Interesting how Sun's borrowing the money to payoff of Jin's mother appears to have been what prompted Mr. Paik to "promote" his son-in-law to enforcer...

* Funny how, the more we get to know Jin and Sun, the more sympathetic the former gets -- Jin's story arc is one of the most remarkable of the show. It's been said before but merits repeating the writers deserve major praise for handling his (and her) story so beautifully.

* Mikhail is back! Two possibilities occur to me, both of which involve Smokey. First, it's possible that Smokey can possess people, in which case Mikhail's trip through the sonic fence may have cleansed Smokey from his system. Alternatively, perhaps Mikhail died and the Smoke monster snatched his body like it apparently did Christian's and Yemi's...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

In Gott We Trust...

As doomsday equations, time travel, and causal loops seem increasingly central to the mysteries of Lost, I find myself pondering possible scientific/pseudo-scientific inspirations for the show. In the Schizophrenic Theory of Lost, I suggested that the controversial work of psychologist Julian Jaynes might be one such inspiration (i.e., for mind control aspects). In this post, I introduce another potential source, astrophysicist J. Richard Gott, who has written extensively on all three subjects mentioned at the start. I'll begin by discussing Gott's theories, then explain why they lead me to believe that Desmond and Penny may ultimately turn out to be "Adam" and "Eve" in the Caves.

Gott first captured my fancy back in 1999 when the New Yorker profiled his eerily accurate mathematical predictions of the future. The piece described how Gott used the Copernican Principle (i.e., that there's nothing special about our position in the universe) to calculate the probable closing dates of 44 Broadway and off-Broadway shows with 95% accuracy (more or less). Back in 1969, he used the same method to predict a 75% probability that the Berlin Wall would be gone by 1993. And, perhaps most relevant for Lost, Gott similarly calculated a 95% chance that the human race would go extinct no less than 5,100 years, and no more than 7.8 million years, from now.

That last estimate, while comparatively imprecise, is nonetheless reminiscent of the Valenzetti Equation's prediction of the "number of years and months until humanity extinguishes itself." Gott is, of course, hardly the first to have set a date for our species' extinction. Earlier that same year, in fact, physicist Brandon Carter independently offered a more exact estimate, calculating with 95% confidence that we would go extinct in 9,120 years. What distinguishes Gott from other doomsayers are his deep thoughts on subjects like time travel and causality, which also seem germane given Desmond's trip to the past and the resulting appearance of a mysterious second photo of Penny and himself.

Gott has, for example, written a well-regarded popular science book titled Time Travel in Einstein's Universe. Its main point is that time travel into the future via time dilation is not only theoretically possible but empirically proven (e.g., by experiments involving atomic clocks). Gott also argues that time travel into the past is theoretically possible via warped spacetime geometries (i.e., closed timelike curves) analogizing such trips to an MC Escher drawing or Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe. Gott's hypothetical time machine uses cosmic strings to warp spacetime without destroying the traveler. Much of his book is actually available on Google Print, but minus the chapters on backwards time travel.

That brings me to Gott's embrace of causal loops. He theorizes that a closed timelike curve could explain the creation of the universe, which Gott believes was paradoxically birthed from itself at some later date. You read that correctly -- Gott speculates that the universe was actually its own mother! As the early universe rapidly expanded following the Big Bang, quantum fluctuations created many baby universes like branches from a tree. One of those branches then curved around to form the main trunk. According to Gott, this theory avoids the problem of the universe being created out of nothing and explains time's arrow -- anything traveling backwards in time gets caught in the original loop.

I think a similar chronological loop may account for Adam and Eve's presence in the cave. Before I explain why, recall my prior speculation that the Island is home to an emergent species of psychic post-humans (Homo Superior). It's possible they're descended from the Fourtoes or survivors of the Black Rock's wreck, but I believe that Adam and Eve are the likeliest source given the symbolism of their names. Since Desmond is the one character who we're pretty sure didn't inherit his psychic powers (they resulted from activation of the Fail-Safe) I'm guessing that he'll become Adam. After Penny/Eve finds the Island, the two will somehow travel back in time, giving birth to Homo Superior in the past.

One intriguing clue to this outcome is, as others have noted, the black and white stones in Desmond's apartment during his time travel episode. Another huge hint, courtesy of Doc Jensen of, is that the letters in "DEPARTMENT OF HEURISTICS AND RESEARCH ON MATERIAL APPLICATIONS" (i.e., DHARMA) include "DESMOND HUME" and "PENELOPE." For me, however, the principal appeal of this scenario is its ironic potential. As I've argued previously, Dharma probably concluded that Homo Superior was a threat to humanity. They tried to limit its reproduction using the electromagnet in Swan Station, which "plugged the dam" by creating an immuno-contraceptive effect on the Island.

The irony is that Dharma's attempt to save humanity by limiting Homo Superior's reproduction in the present will be what creates this species in the past, paving the way for humanity's extinction in the future. (Whoah, dude...) Like a branch that loops around to form the tree, or a snake that swallows its tail, Dharma's preventive measures will cause the very problem that originally spurred their adoption -- not to mention the Initiative itself. When Desmond and Penny's children finally lay their parents' bodies to rest in the Caves 40-50 years in the past, the circle of Lost will be complete at last.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thoughts on Catch-22...

* The title Catch-22 seems to be a reference to Desmond's dilemma -- i.e., save Charlie or risk changing the future. So did Desmond affect the identity and/or fate of the parachutist by saving Charlie's life? That's not exactly how Ms. Hawking explained course corrections to him. If she's to be believed, Desmond shouldn't be able to affect the parachutist at all because the universe will just course correct...

* Is the cable in the sand how the Others have access to information feeds from the outside world?

* Interesting how Sawyer recovered his mojo in ping pong against Jack, who seemed no slouch himself despite not having played since he was twelve. Hurley was presumably a superior player to both but I wonder if Sawyer's drubbing in prior episodes wasn't partly the result of his brainwashing in the Room. I have a feeling he's a luck-maker just like Hurley (not to mention Carl) and the brainwashing film is designed to control that power...

* What language was that translation of Catch-22? My guess would be Portuguese...

* I'm now wondering if there are multiple entrances to the Island snowglobe, only some of which the Others know about and/or can access. The helicopter presumably arrived through the same conduit as the food pallet. Is there something inherently traumatic about entering Island airspace, even though Swan has been destroyed?

* Did I spy Ms. Hawking in one of the photos on the Abbot's desk?

* Is the second photo of Des and Penny that the parachutist was carrying indication that Desmond's trip through time created paradox? Recall that the photographer took only one shot and made only one copy, at least so far as we saw.

* On a related note, Doc Jensen of has suggested several times that this might actually be the Desmond Hume and Penny show. He notes, for example, that their names are contained within the letters that make up "Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications Initiative" (i.e., DHARMA). My radical new theory, which I'll expand upon in a subsequent post, is that Des and Penny may paradoxically be Adam and Eve, not to mention the source of this new species on the Island. Stated succinctly, activation of the Fail-Safe has given Des a panoply of psychic powers. Penny will find him, and they will somehow travel together into the past, becoming Adam and Eve. The irony is that Dharma's efforts to use Swan to prevent reproduction by a new species on the Island will paradoxically be the source of the very same species! Anyway, stay tuned for In Gott We Trust...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Squirrels of Santa Monica...

I recently moved to Santa Monica, where the city has long had a problem controlling the squirrel population. They tried poisoning, gassing, and otherwise euthanizing the critters, but such methods ticked off the animal lovers. Recently, in an effort to control the squirrels non-lethally, the city began vaccinating them with an immuno-contraceptive that inhibits reproduction. So what does all this have to do with Lost? I believe that the Purge was a similar -- albeit more lethal -- effort to limit reproduction on the Island. The motive was Dharma's realization that children born there represent an emergent new species that could very well spell humanity's extinction if allowed to go forth and multiply.

I've speculated previously that the Valenzetti Equation actually predicts humanity's metaphorical "extinction" by evolution into a new post-human species like the Star Child in 2001:ASO or Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen. It turns, out however, that the threat may be more literal, as evidenced by our own history as Homo Sapiens. Most of us think of Neanderthals (i.e., cavemen) as our ancestors. In fact, recent mitochondrial DNA analysis indicates that we Homo Sapiens are a distinct species that evolved separately between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago. Around 80,000 years ago, we swept out of Africa in a mass migration, displacing other Homo species like Neanderthalis, eventually rendering the cavemen extinct. Well, mostly...

Let's say the Island is a kind of fountain of evolution, mutating fetuses into post-human psychics. Think of the mutant children in John Wyndham's sci fi classic, the Chrysalids, which was recommended to me by a poster named gusthepolarbear. Dharma may originally have sought to harness these psychic powers in an effort to influence the core factors of the Valenzetti. At some point, however, they realized that the psychic children could not be controlled. If allowed to leave the Island, the kids would quickly take over the world. If allowed to reproduce, they would eventually displace Homo Sapiens, rendering us extinct like we did the Neanderthals. But how to prevent that parade of horribles from happening?

Dharma couldn't just poison or destroy the Island -- not if they wanted to continue using it for experiments. And efforts to terminate the children probably encountered resistance from those responsible for their care. I've speculated previously that such a conflict over the kids' fate could account for the "AH/MDG Incident" notation on the Blast Door Map. Eventually, Dharma probably decided (much like the city of Santa Monica) that the best solution was to prevent all further procreation on the Island. What they did ain't exactly clear, but some clues to the nature of this biological Purge can be found in Juliet's claim that pregnant women on the Island all die because their bodies attack the fetus like it's a foreign object.

Interestingly, one persistent mystery of science is why all mothers don't similarly "reject" their fetuses, which contain foreign DNA from the fathers. The body's immune system is designed to purge such foreign DNA -- that's why organ donation recipients (e.g., Anthony Cooper) take immuno-suppressants. Somehow, the pregnant mother's body manages to suppress her immune response naturally where the fetus is concerned. The aforementioned vaccine used to limit Santa Monica's squirrel population causes the animal's own immune system to produce antibodies that interfere with the reproductive process. Dharma apparently relied on a cruder and more lethal immuno-contraceptive that spurs the body to attack fetal DNA directly.

Even if the foregoing is true, plenty of questions remain. Why, for example, didn't Danielle or Claire die as a result of exposure to the immuno-contraceptive? Is there something about conceiving off the Island that protects expectant mothers from the contraceptive's effects? And if the latter is true, why don't the Others just avoid the problem entirely by having mothers conceive elsewhere then give birth on the Island?* Any answers to these questions would be sheer speculation. All we know (or think we do) is that someone doesn't want people giving birth on the Island. And if the squirrels of Santa Monica are any guide, an immuno-contraceptive is probably causing the effect. Come to think of it, Ben's chicken could even be dosed with the stuff...

Of course, if you're willing to follow me through the looking glass, consider an even more radical possibility. What if the Island itself is somehow reproducing via parthenogenesis? Perhaps where the fetus is conceived has little bearing on whether mothers live or die -- what really matters is the how. The immuno-contraceptive I've described assumes that the fetus contains some foreign DNA (i.e., from the father). Parthenogenesis, however, involves reproduction using just the mother's own genetic material, which presumably wouldn't trigger immune attack. This raises the intriguing possibility that the Purge wasn't meant to prevent all childbirths, just those that aren't the result of "virgin" conceptions by the Island. Did somebody say Emily Locke?

*ETA: A poster named Johnny Reb offers an excellent answer to this question of why the Others don't take women off the Island to conceive -- there's probably a direct cost to coming and going. My guess would be that each time they open the "door" to the Island dimension, it becomes accessible to new uninvited "visitors." Oceanic 815, for example, arrived when Richard left to photograph Rachel. (System Failure caused the crash but opening the Island "door" placed Oceanic 815 in the Island's vicinity.) Similarly, Desmond arrived when the Others brought Juliet. And Danielle? Perhaps her crew arrived when the last surviving Dharma scientists fled the Island...

Friday, April 13, 2007


As a result of my error, a number of your comments weren't posted yesterday. They should be available now and I'll be responding shortly. Sorry for any confusion!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thoughts on One of Us...

* The Others knew about Sawyer's murder of Frank Duckett, an act with no witnesses besides the perp and victim. How?

* The trip to the Island is apparently bumpy, even when done by submarine. I'm again thinking wormhole/wrinkle in time...

* Aaron was the first child born on the Island in some time...maybe even the first since Alex.

* Does the Island reproduce by mutating fetuses exposed to its energies? Perhaps only those originally born on the Island can reproduce there. Regular women just reject the mutated fetuses as foreign bodies...

* A poster named lostimio notes that the crash of Oceanic 815 was doubly lucky for Ben, who needed both a spinal surgeon and another pregnant woman for Juliet to study.

* Did Ethan fall in love with Claire? Someone (I wish I could remember who) once raised this intriguing possibility, which last night's episode made me totally recall.

* What does Rachel think has happened to Juliet? Did the Others say she died? This might explain why Ben was so adamant that Juliet not speak with Rachel.

* Was Juliet lying when she said that Claire had been treated with an experimental vaccine to prevent rejection of Aaron in utero? Or did she seize upon that grain of truth as a convenient cover story?

* How crazy is it that creepy Richard Alpert is played by the same guy (i.e., Nestor Carbonell) who cracked me up as Batmanuel on theTick? Talk about range...

* Does Jacob really exist? Ben's references to Him continue to remind me of the Wizard of Oz...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Many Thanks... Doc Jensen of for featuring Eye M Sick in his Lost column. If you're coming to the site via his link, please make yourselves at home. Unlike Mr. Friendly, I welcome you to take off your shoes, to put your feet up on my coffee table, to eat my food, and to open any doors. In his column, Doc asks an interesting and provocative follow-up question regarding the psychic children scenario I described in Island of Lost Children:
But here's the nagging question that I have about this psychic-kids business: WHY? Why would Dharma want to create a generation of superpowered people? To create super-soldiers? Eh. Maybe. Not very original, though, unless Lost has a unique spin on the idea. Perhaps the Dharma karma cops were trying to meld Children of the Corn with The Brothers Karamazov to create a priestly class of adolescent, parent-hating Grand Inquisitors charged with purging the world of bad adults. (Sorry, Dad: You're a workaholic who neglects his family. Go to hell! ZAP!)
I see at least two related but distinct motives that might explain the interest in psychic kids. First, I've speculated previously that certain characters -- e.g., Walt and Hurley -- have the power to make their own luck by affecting probability. I suspect Dharma may originally have wanted to tap and aggregate this psychic power to affect luck in hopes of influencing the core factors of the Valenzetti equation. A poster named koralis uses the lovely metaphor of many little magnets that combine to create a strong attractive force. The problem, of course, is the inevitable course correction that would result from successfully altering humanity's fate.

That leads me to motive two, which might help explain not just the orphanage but the Others generally, too. Assume some faction within Dharma discovered the course correction problem, leading the Others to give up trying to affect the Valenzetti's core factors. Perhaps the Island has become a place where "luck makers" can safely learn to control their abilities. I've always been struck by Juliet's transformation from mousy ex in Miami to woman of action on the Island. Maybe her own ability to make luck caused problems in the timeline -- e.g., by killing her ex-husband who wasn't supposed to die. On that note, could 9/11 have been the course correction that resulted from Edmund's premature death?

Of course, just because Others no longer seek to affect the core factors, that doesn't necessarily mean they view the Valenzetti as irrelevant. As a poster named todell notes, the Island orphanage may be a kind of "stash" of special kids. I could also see Ben trying to con Fate through some strategic reinterpretation of the Valenzetti Equation. In a prior post, for example, I discuss the possibility that the Equation might actually predict our extinction via evolution into a new trans- or posthuman species. Maybe the Others think they can make an end run around Valenzetti's grim mathematical prophecy by reproducing this new species, which explains why they desperately need a fertility doctor.

We shall see! In the meantime, welcome again to Eye M Sick...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thoughts on Left Behind...

Here are my thoughts after re-watching the scenes with Kate, Juliet, and Smokey in Left Behind.

* I noticed again that the Smoke monster seems to appear during moments of tension and conflict (the same was true of Charlie and Eko)...

* Those flashes could have been of Juliet's fear...

* They also could be her mind overloading Smokey's sensors...

* Also, someone could have intervened to throw Smokey off just as it was about to attack the two...

* That someone could be Ben, who I believe may secretly exert some control over Smokey using the kids...

* Whatever the source of the flashes, they were visible to Kate, as well...

* Smokey seemed almost to be herding them behind the sonic fence...

A few questions I had:

* Is Juliet telling the truth about the Others' limited knowledge of Smokey? (According to the most recent podcast, probably not.)

* Why doesn't Smokey, who travels underground a lot, go under the fence?

* Did its strange behavior have anything to do with Juliet's eight-sided star brand?

On that last note regarding Juliet's brand, I stumbled on this interesting connection noted by a blogger named the lostmeister. The eight-sided star is virtually identical to the mark on a Cadbury chocolate egg. As lostmeister notes, it's almost certainly an ironic reference to the "easter eggs" that the writers hide for fans throughout the show.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Island of Lost Children...

With the much unfairly maligned Expose' (razzle dazzle!) I believe a huge piece of the mythological puzzle has fallen into place. It turns out that Helen Lovejoy and Whitney Houston were right where Lost is concerned -- it's all about the children.

The big clue is the story within a story, a device typically used to foreshadow plot and highlight themes. Two great examples of this device at work are Tales From the Black Rock, the comic that a black child named Bernard reads throughout Watchmen, and the Grand Inquisitor, the story that Ivan relates to Alyosha in the Brothers Karamozov. In these works, which both have been referenced on Lost, the story within a story serves as a metaphor for characters' motivations and conduct. Like others (e.g., Dr. Suds) I believe the same is true of Lost.

To review, Lost's story within a story focused on Mr. LaShade, a "Charlie" character whose team of sexy "Angels" could have been drawn straight from the mind of Homer Simpson (but Marge... crime SOLVING strippers!). In the Expose' season finale, Agent Corvette -- played by guest star Nikki -- realized that LaShade was actually the Cobra, a notorious villain the team had spent the past four years chasing. The key to Corvette's realization was her discovery that LaShade had misappropriated money that was meant for "the orphanage."

A lot of speculation thus far has focused on the identity of Lost's LaShade/Cobra, which I agree is key -- I'll return to that question shortly. For now, I want to emphasize the orphanage aspect, which other interpretations have tended to ignore. I believe this is a mistake given the clear importance of children generally, and their adoption specifically, to the show. Locke, Kate, Sawyer, Walt, and likely Alex were all adopted by someone, at some point. Claire, of course, was on Oceanic 815 to give Aaron up for adoption in America.

This emphasis on children is reflected in the Others' general willingness to kidnap children like Alex, and to commit murder in pursuit of certain special kids like Walt and Aaron. Children also seem relevant to the Island's backstory. Benjamin Linus claims to have been born there, and I've speculated previously that he might well be the child of Adam and Eve and/or Gerald and Karen DeGroot. Even the Dharma Initiative seems to have been home to children at some point, as evidenced by the nursery in the Caduceus Medical Station (i.e., the Staff).

That last point strikes me as particularly relevant because the Staff may also have played a role in Dharma's ultimate demise. The Blast Door Map states that the Staff likely "divested from [the] project in 1985 following AH/MDG Incident." The Map further suggests that the Staff may have been "abandoned due to AH/MDG Incident of 1985 or possible catastrophic malfunction of Cerberus system." I read these notations to mean that the Staff was probably the epicenter of the AH/MDG Incident, a Cerberus malfunction, or both.

I'm guessing, moreover, that the foregoing events related somehow to children subconsciously channeling the Island's energies. I've argued before that Walt's metaphorical "bad twin" subconsciously caused Susan's fatal blood disorder because he was jealous of her relationship with Brian. Perhaps the children of Dharma, especially those born on the Island, did similar damage on an even larger scale, subconsciously causing the "Cerberus malfunction" and animal revolts. It may even be that their fears and nightmares literally manifested...

If so, the "AH/MDG Incident of 1985" could represent a conflict within the "project" over the Staff children's fate. Most likely, some of the scientists decided that the kids should be terminated. I'm guessing that this decision caused the Initiative to split for good, as the Staff scientists seceded to protect the children. The remaining scientists attempted to purge the secessionists, who retaliated against their attackers. Following this conflict, Jacob began recruiting exceptional people to protect and train the orphaned kids to control their powers.

At some point, however, some of the children were removed from the Island. Perhaps they were evacuated during the chaos of the purge. Or maybe Jacob was Himself forced to flee the Island and hid a few kids for safekeeping like Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. Along related lines, I wonder if Ben usurped Jacob as leader of the Others like Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. However it happened, Jacob left behind a master list of the names of these "lost" children of the Island -- Jacob's List -- which includes at least some of the survivors of Oceanic 815.

All of which brings me back to the identity of Lost's LaShade/Cobra equivalent. An obvious answer is Jacob -- but who is He? I've speculated elsewhere that Jacob might be an alias for Alvar, a scenario that still strikes me as plausible. Another intriguing possibility for Him is Christian Shepherd, whose medical background and comments that Jack is a "a good man, maybe a great one" could hint at some past association with the Staff secessionists. I personally would welcome a Christian resurrection in the Season 3 finale.

In closing, however, I offer a final LaShade/Cobra candidate for your consideration -- one that doesn't depend on the identity of Jacob. I mentioned previously that Ben might have usurped His leadership at some point. I'm guessing, moreover, that most of the Others have no idea that Ben helped orchestrate Jacob's departure -- just that He's gone and left Ben in charge of the orphanage. Maybe Ben told them that Jacob was absorbed by the Island or went in search of the children on His list. In this scenario, Ben is the Cobra and Jacob a mere Corvette.

Like the Wizard of Oz, Ben maintains control over the Others through a combination of lies about Jacob and leftover Dharma technology. Perhaps he tells them that Jacob is watching and will someday return. In the mean time, the Others continue to train children who are brought to the Island. This training apparently involves periodic brainwashing sessions in the Room for rebellious children like Walt and Karl. It may even be that Ben uses this brainwashing to harness the children's power to channel the Island for his own nefarious purposes.

That power could conceivably include control over Smokey, which sets up an intriguing possibility. There are hints that Smokey is a body snatcher and uses corpses to impersonate the dead. If Christian Shepherd really is Jacob, and Ben secretly does control Smokey using the kids, then the arrival of his body on Craphole Island presents a remarkable opportunity for Ben, who can now use Smokey to trick his people into believing that Jacob has returned. If Christian reappears on the Island, therefore, don't be so sure it's really Him...

Sunday, April 01, 2007


A friend pointed out something curious about the Pikki flashbacks on the Island. In at least two cases, Paulo could very well have saved lives if he had decided differently. If, for example, he had climbed up to the Beechcraft, Boone might never have fallen to his death. Similarly, if Paulo had told people what he saw and overheard inside Pearl, Michael might never have shot Ana Lucia.

Is this simply further sign that certain events on the Island are fated? Could Pikki's -- or at least Paulo's -- terrible demise have been some judgment of the Island for failing to intervene? Not quite sure what to make of this, but I thought it was interesting...