Sunday, May 18, 2008

Purple Sky...

Recently, we learned that Locke and Co. must "move" the Island using the Orchid Station. I believe this means they will shift the Island in spacetime so Charles Widmore can no longer find it. I also think I can summarize how they'll do this in two simple words: purple sky. I predict that, before the end of the season, there will be a purple sky event involving the Orchid. This event will reorient the Island such that a bearing of 305 no longer provides safe access. A secondary effect may be to free characters like Michael who are prevented by fate from dying.



Ever notice how they're always playing golf on the show? That's because, as a poster named lostmio notes, golf is a great metaphor for why it's so hard to find the Island. Think of the golf course as the topography of 4D spacetime with the Island located in the hole. To get something to the Island with no temporal distortion takes the equivalent of a hole in one. If you're off by even a degree, you miss the hole completely, necessitating further strokes. The more strokes you take, the greater the temporal distortion. That's why Daniel is so insistent that Frank follow a precise bearing of 305.



That brings me to the purple sky. A poster named kansasgal speculates that the Orchid Station contains a particle accelerator capable of warping spacetime. One clue is Ben's Dharka with the Orchid logo. Another is the "frozen donkey wheel," supposedly the writers' code name for a big scene in the season finale. Kansasgal quotes one Dennis Mackey, who notes that the Large Hadron Collider, a massive particle accelerator in Switzerland, looks a lot like a donkey wheel and requires very low temperatures to operate. Like them, I believe the "frozen donkey wheel" is the particle accelerator in the Orchid.



Some scientists believe that the Large Hadron Collider may be capable of producing micro black holes. In Fixing A Hole, I described how the evaporation of these micro black holes yields Casimir force capable of warping spacetime. Another byproduct of their evaporation is high energy Hawking radiation -- hence the purple sky. The Casimir force generated by the frozen donkey wheel will reorient the Island randomly in spacetime, hiding it again from Widmore. That's why Ben checks with the hotel clerk what month and year it is after landing in the desert -- he's testing the effects of the event.



I further suspect that using the Frozen Donkey Wheel will do more than move the Island. The purple sky may also have implications for Michael, who has proven improbably impervious to death of late. Every time Iron Mike survives another brush with the Reaper, I'm reminded of Dan Simmons's description in Olympos of the Greek warrior Achilles as a freak of quantum probability:

"I see a quantum singularity," says the goddess Nyx. "A black hole of probability. A myriad of equations all with the same single three-point solution. Why is that, Artificer?"

The god of fire grunts again. "His mother, Thetis of the seaweed tangled breasts, held this arrogant mortal in the celestial quantum fire when he was a pup, little more than a larva. The probability of his death day, hour, minute, and method is one hundred percent, and because it cannot be changed, it seems to give Achilles a sort of invulnerability to all other attacks and injury."

To be clear, I'm *not* suggesting that the time of Michael's death is similarly set in stone. I do, however, believe these purple sky events function like the "celestial quantum fire," locking in certain probabilities along the timeline. Anyone who is present for such an event has a 100% chance of being there even if it means cheating death to make it. Take Charlie, who was present for the Swan implosion and accompanying purple sky. Before that event, he miraculously survived heroin abuse, a catastrophic plane crash, a cave in, and his hanging. Afterwards, by contrast, he couldn't die quickly enough...



I suspect the same may be true of Michael. Because he has a 100% chance of being present for the next purple sky, this grants him a kind of immunity from death until then. That's why he survived his suicide attempt, and why Keamy's gun repeatedly misfired. In each case, the universe course corrected to ensure Michael's survival, however slim the odds. But all bets are off once the purple sky occurs. As with Charlie, Iron Mike will be released from the grip of fate and free once again to die. Let us hope that he chooses to make his death a noble a sacrifice like Charlie's...

29 comments:

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

I think if this thing is a mini-particle accelerator, made more powerful by the Island's energies, this might be the point we see Paik's involvement. His business is Paik's Heavy Industries, and in Sun's D.O.C. flashback, her father is yelling at his underlings about a lost shipment. This was the only scene in any episode not translated from Korean. I've avoided the theories on Lost Donkey Wheel (though CapCom encouraged me to peek), because basically that's the way I roll, like Rorshach in WATCHMEN. I'm trying to figure it out on my own. Do the light cones in Faraday's notebook imply frozen wheels? There's key in donkey, maybe there's a failsafe key like in the Swan, I'd assume there'd have to be if the Orchid has such energies harnessed. My word play doesn't amount to much, but I do think this is where we see Paik's involvement.

Capcom said...

I'm luvvin the possibility of the DI buiding their own particle accelerator, oh yeah! And TPTB have said in a recent interview that they have a shared special interest in the Hadron unit. Soooo maybe! :-D

And don't forget, in addition to more purple sky, we need lots of noise!

Anonymous said...

Hello there... this is KansasGal
Thank you so much for mentioning me. I cannot tell you how great it made me feel. Isn't it amazing how just one nod for a good idea makes all the research, and late nights worth every minute.

You are, and always will be the best Lost Theorist!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to state the obvious and point out that the DI logo of the bagua matches the shape and framework of the Large Hadron Collider-particle accelerator. Kind of amazing how the writers have been able to merge science and faith in one symbol and it's been right in front of us since season 2. I love ths show!!

Capcom said...

Although most of the time I think that we see things in the show's production aspects the way we see pictures in cloud formations, I agree with you Anon about the merging of concepts that TPTB have accomplished. One can only imagine how cool it would be to be included in the creative processes of this show on any level, or to just be a fly on the wall. :-)

Jason said...

I just hope when he dies he isn't yelling WAAAALT.

I like this, cheers.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bigmouth

A couple questions: Why would whatever device is within the orchid produce a purple sky event when the first event was the result of a release pent-up electromagnetic juice? In other words, why would two different events produce the same effect?

Also, one question I haven't seen addressed is how did Richard Alpert get to and from the island before the Dharma Initiative began and the Orchid was constructed? We know he was on the mainland at least as early as 1957. Do he and and his cohorts have special, separate space-time bending powers, are there are more than one of him?

Aaron

Anonymous said...

IMO the particle accelerator is very ancient. Some have speculated that the island is the lost island of Atlantis, Mu, or Lemur. The particle accelerator was found when The Black Rock started mining. Thus the reason why Dharma came to the island in the first place. The purple sky event could just be a way of saying that it is some island-affecting even...

KansasGal

SKID said...

Capcom said: "One can only imagine how cool it would be to be included in the creative processes of this show on any level, or to just be a fly on the wall."

I would love a DVD feature showing several hours worth of brainstorming during the writing process. We NEED a brief glimpse into this window. Maybe that is something they would do once the series ends???

Capcom said...

Oh Skidddddd, from your typing fingers to TPTB's minds! Droooool.

Didn't someone on some blog (maybe here???) theorize the relevance of the pruple color of the magnetic release? I forget. Anyway, TPTB have said that the DI broke a dam, of sorts, when they drilled into the natural "magnetic force" on the island, so they had to build the containment feature and button pushing protocol to put their finger in the hole in the dam. So, the the Swan blew, it released all that magnetism that was backed up. Will creating a black hole (or wormhole) with all of the things in Dan's notes, create a similar huge magnetic pulse? If so, it could still be purple. If not, an acid-green sky would work for me too, and also be very X-Files-ish. :o)

Bigmouth said...

Wayne: You may very well be right about Paik's involvement with the Orchid. My guess is that he and Widmore were the other two members of the Hanso Group mentioned on the Blast Door Map. I think I may need to find a better picture of the Large Hadron Collider because it's supposed to resemble a donkey wheel in appearance.

Capcom: I'm glad you like it! I tend to think the sky will be purple (or violet) because that's a nifty way of implying the electromagnetic radiation released is very high energy (e.g., ultra-violet). But I can also get down with a green sky, too -- or how about yellow, which is opposite of purple on the color wheel? Come to think of it, don't yellow and purple make green?

kansasgal: I'm so glad you stopped by to take a bow! I also agree that the particle accelerator in question is either the remains or a recreation of some ancient alien device. Or what if it's a mechanical approximation of some natural feature of the Island?

Anonymous: Agreed -- combining science and faith in one symbol captures well what this show is all about. That's actually something I loved about the Matrix trilogy -- scientific metaphors were used to express religious concepts and vice versa.

Jason: LMAO! I'm happy you like it!

Aaron: See my comments to kansagal above. The Orchid accelerator may be Dharma's recreation of some alien device or natural property of the Island itself associated with the Swan. The Incident may be what inspired them to build the Orchid in the first place. Perhaps that's why people in the Orchid Orientation are wearing lab coats that sport the Swan symbol.

As for Richard, what makes you think he left the Island before Dharma began? If time travel is in play, he could have made those visits at any point, including after the Purge. I'm reminded of one of my favorite episodes of Dr. Who, the Girl in the Fireplace. Robots from the future visit Madame de Pompadour at various points in her life waiting for her to be "ready." Richard's visits may similarly be from a single future point in time.

SKID and Capcom: I completely agree -- it would be incredibly cool to get a glimpse at the writers' creative process. For a while they did that on Battlestar Galactica, releasing video podcasts of brainstorming sessions and script read-throughs.

Bigmouth said...

I just had another thought. What if using the frozen donkey wheel reorients the Island in spacetime such that the entrance and exit is now in Tunisia? Widmore can't find the Island and Jack's efforts to get back are doomed to failure because both are only familiar with the South Pacific entrance.

annebeth said...

Nice theory.
But can anyone explain to me then what was the significance of the purple sky when Desmond turned the key? The island wasn't moved back then, right? And Desmond wasn't time-space traveling fysically (probably).

I hope someone can help me out :)

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hi, Annebeth. Where are you from? I agree with bigmouth that you "speak" English better than most, and can certainly "type" English better than I can at times :) I'm going with purple sky as the color of an orchid. And maybe the Swan and the Orchid are at exact opposites on the Island, hence the same color (if that happens again). If the Orchid is the Secondary Protocal, maybe the Swan pushing the numbers was the First Protocol? And from your other post, for the life of me, I've heard the 325 bearing mentioned before. Rouseeau's wreck? Desmond's?

@Bigmouth, yes, Nestor Carbonell is perfect as Alpert, though in the scene when Locke was born, I thought that was Joe Hamm, who plays Dan Draper on MAD MEN, because of the period clothes.

annebeth said...

I'm from The Netherlands. You know, with the premier looking like Harry Potter ;)

http://www.cuteandfluffy.co.uk/diary/img/balkgevallen.jpg

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

annebeth, i'm a writer in chicago with several stories translated into dutch. i trade american book for dutch books with a seller named kees buis.

bigmouth and everyone else: just realized as i saw minkowski's name as i reread valis, wasn't he on a ferris wheel when he was unstuck in time? and he died because he couldn't get back, because he was perhaps frozen? just thursday morning speculation from my job...

Capcom said...

Heheh, now that you mention it Wayne, Alpert did look like Draper with his slicked back hair and suit. :-D

The purpling of the sky might be connected to what TPTB had Daniel say about the light scattering differently. Since the failsafe blew the "plug in the dyke" and released the natural magnetism/anomaly, the magnetism most likely created a lensing effect that would split, filter, or bend the visible light. Now why TPTB chose purple, I haven't a clue.

It was also interesting on the enhanced show last night that it was mentioned that the dead doctor and the radio waves were apparently not going through the barrier via the proper 305' bearing. Sooooooo this makes me wonder, if you get stuck in the barrier of the Mystery-Island-Effect, you slide either forward or backward in time instead of staying on course with linear time. Maybe. Do we know of any scientific theory on blackholes or wormholes where a barrier effect like that exists? It seems like once you're near a blackhole, you either fall, or not, through the event horizon into the BH. So far I haven't read anything that states a sort of sideways traverse (to past or future) along a BH or WH horizon, but maybe I just didn't read deep enough into that yet.

And speaking of people losing arms near praticle acceleraters, there's been a story in the paranormal news recently about a woman scientist who showed up dead and burned, with her arm missing (in 1964). She was supposedly working on a secret project to clean a cancerous monkey virus out of the early polio vaccine that all of us boomers received back in the day. :-( Check out: http://drmarysmonkey.com Weird. Anyway, maybe TPTB heard of that story too when they dreamed this whole thing up?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

ok, capcom, but what about minkowski's ferris wheel? it was an early morning epihany for me via pkdick. and i'm still thinking purple for orchid because, well, that's the way i roll. i know i'm wrong, but one never knows. particularly with these guys.

and there was an enhanced rerun on last night? as sawyer would say: Son of a...BITCH!

Capcom said...

Could be! But my brain doesn't want to put too much into the frozen donkey wheel term literally, cuz they keep saying that it is a typical ploy of TV recently to give a surprise ending a code name, like they did with the snake in the mailbox...it didn't really mean anything per se, just something shocking. But, if I'm wrong, I'll say it here first! :-D

tamnic34 said...

I completely agree about the purple sky! and i am so glad I read your blog because this had never even crossed my mind before but it makes complete sense!

Bigmouth said...

annebeth: The purple sky is just a symptom or side effect of whatever force warps spacetime. The Swan implosion may not have moved the Island, but it did send Desmond's mind back in time. That event may also have moved Charlie, Eko, and Des forward physically in time so they survived the implosion. Perhaps the Orchid will do the same thing on a larger scale, moving the Island forward in time so they survive Widmore.

Wayne: Yes, as a posted named yung pointed out to me some time back, the bearing 325 appears on Danielle's maps. So the number had significance even back then. I actually don't watch Mad Men, though a friend keeps telling me it's amazing. Hard to believe AMC is putting out such quality original programming -- I'm a huge fan of Breaking Bad. As for Minkowki's ferris wheel, I like the symbolism but think it relates more to the theme of eternal recurrence than the Frozen Donkey Wheel.

Capcom: I can't remember where I read this, but I think Darlton mentioned in an interview that the Swan implosion sealed whatever breach Dharma opened. They didn't blow the dam so much as plug it permanently. As for the question of 305 and radio waves, I agree this is key. Darlton have flagged the point several times now, so this is clearly a puzzle worth pondering over the long hiatus. As I recall, they specifically mentioned that using a satellite to avoid the time anomaly is important. BTW, that's a super creepy story re the cancer researcher!

tamnic: Thanks for the kind words! Unfortunately, if Lost has taught me anything, it's that a lot of theories that make perfect sense turn out to be totally wrong LOL!

Capcom said...

Big, what do you mean about the satellite? You mean that the radio waves go up and hit the satellite and then come down, somehow avoiding the distorting or time slipping effect of the island?

Yes it's pretty freaky, I first heard about that scientist last week listening to the Art Bell show. Theoretically she lost her arm via possible sabotage to the grounding of the accelerator, and she got zapped when flipping the switch, by zillions of volts. It kind of made me wonder if sabotage is what caused the DI problem that blew off the Dr.'s arm (if the Hostiles were being aggressive that early), but then I thought not. It's probably just the incident in general. Although there's the fact that monkeys, a virus, and vaccines are involed, so it made me think of TLE.

Bigmouth said...

Capcom: Here's the excerpt from the Popular Mechanics interview:

DL: Here's the scoop for Popular Mechanics: According to the rules of our show, a communication between sat phones is not affected by temporal distortion, but if you were to send a radio broadcast and/or a telegraph message, it would be affected by temporal distortion. That's the scoop for Popular Mechanics and Popular Mechanics only, and it will make a lot more sense after you've seen the first episode back.

Capcom said...

Soooooo, we just file that detail under "rules of the show"? OK, I can do that. :-D

Thanks!

Bigmouth said...

Capcom: Actually, I take their comments as indication that there's some real scientific rationale to this particular rule.

Capcom said...

I hope that they tell us what it is. :o)

Anonymous said...

Hello Bigmouth.. It's me KansasGal... I have been doing some thinking about the whole "the island won't let you die"

If you had some way to go back in time, what would you do? Would you go back and kill Hitler? However, you are unable to kill Hitler no matter what you do, the gun will not work, you push him off a very high cliff, and he survives... You attempt to kill his mom while she is pregnant with him, and he survives being born premature... No matter what you do, you are not able to kill Hitler. What do you do now? Would you go back in time and try tweaking the little things in his life... like buying his paintings... only small things that time travel paradox will allow...you go different dates in time that you believe were events that put Hitler on the coarse to become... well Hitler...

Now, I am by no means saying Aaron and Walt are evil or good. But they are children who will grow up to do big things... Two factions have the ability to conscious travel, one group wants these special children to stay on course, one group does not....

One group would want these children to be on an invisible island where they can be raised as necessaryto become great people, the other group will do everything they can to change the lives of these special children...

Bigmouth said...

Kansasgal: Deep thoughts! I'm not sure there's any way to stop Hitler from becoming leader of Germany in your scenario. But I like your suggestion that one might be able to make small nudges that change what kind of a leader Hitler becomes -- i.e., good or evil. I'd like to think there's some parallel reality out there where Hitler grew up loved, surrounded by goodness, and neither WWII nor the Holocaust ever happened. In Desmond's terminology, this would be "changing the picture on the box." Check out my post the Course Correction Conundrum for more along these lines...

Juanita's Journal said...

Let us hope that he chooses to make his death a noble a sacrifice like Charlie's...


Do you believe that other characters who have blood on their hands - Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Juliet, Sayid, Sun, etc. - will be able to die and pay for the consequences of their actions, as Michael and Charlie have done?