Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lost - "Orientation"

Episode Title: Orientation

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: The word “orientation” means gaining your bearings, or becoming familiar with your surroundings. In this case, the word “orientation” has multiple points of significance, no matter where you look:

Jin, Sawyer, and Locke getting “oriented” to the new portion of the Island (or another island? I don't think so - it would complicate things too much) that they are now on – run wild with “Others”.

Ana-Lucia getting “oriented” with the remainder of the Survivors of Flight 815 – learning that there are other Survivors, and the two groups comparing their understanding of what in the world is going on on the island.

Desmond being “oriented” to the state of the world and the island. Do you remember his quote? “So the world is still out there?”

Jack, Kate, and Locke being “oriented” to the inside of the Hatch. Locke started to investigate last week before being confronted by Desmond with a gun. They should learn at least what Desmond thinks he is doing down there, what his mission was, and what he understands about the island vs. what they understand.

Lastly, this is a LOCKE EPISODE. Could we finally learn how Locke has the ability to walk on this island?! That would be the ultimate in “orientation” – a crippled man orienting himself to a new world where he can walk again. I drool at this prospect.

TV Guide Description: Jack, Locke and Kate learn more secrets about the hatch. Meanwhile, after being beaten and taken captive, Sawyer, Michael and Jin wonder if their captors are fellow survivors or the dreaded "Others."

TV Guide Breakdown: If you remember back before this season started, this is supposed to be the “big reveal” episode. Series creator Damon Lindelhof said we would see what was inside the Hatch in episode one, but wouldn’t understand it until episode three. Well, this is episode three! Start explaining! Jack, Locke, and Kate look to be the recipients of the secrets of the Hatch.
Meanwhile, the Rafters wonder if their captives are the “Others”. This brings up an interesting point. There are three theories that I can come up with about who those mysterious figures were charging at the end of last episode:

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They are The Others. The Others turn out to be savage beasts on the Island, the same people who killed CFL’s crew. They’ve either gone “Lord of the Flies” as a result of their time on the island, or they’re some cavemen-like race who live on this land that time forgot… the problem is – then who are the guys on the boat who stole Walt? These Others seem far less civilized than those Others, who had a boat, worked logically, and spoke intelligently (albeit like pirates). If they are the Others, there must be multiple groups / clans of “Others” on the Island.

They are The Tailers. We see Ana-Lucia in their camp, so it’s logical to assume that there would be other survivors from the tail section of the plane. Perhaps without the logical and calm guidance of people like Jack, Sayid, and Michael, the Tailers fell victim to “Lord of the Flies” syndrome much faster…

They are The Infected. Let’s say there is some sort of “4-8-15-16-23-42 Virus” on the Island. If this is the case, Desmond is pumping himself with some vaccine to keep from going crazy. Maybe the Others are doing something similar. Those who fall victim to the virus become “The Infected” who are running wild on the Island, and pose an immediate danger to not only the Survivors, but also the Tailers, Desmond, CFL, and The Others.

Whoever they become, how great is it that we went 24 episodes last season without really knowing if anyone else truly inhabited the Island, or if it was just the Survivors and CFL, but now we’re two episodes into the second season and we have at least 3 separate groups and 15 more people on the Island. It really makes you wonder how much is actually going on with the Island. We could be looking at a situation of having the Survivors, the Tailers, the Desmond / Dharma People, the Others, the Infected, and CFL all interacting on this island. Wow.

What Happened Last Week: Once again, here is the brief synopsis of last week’s episode, in as few sentences as possible:

Michael and Sawyer float debris from the Raft while avoiding sharks in the water. The current eventually brings them back to the Island where they encounter a tied-up Jin running out of the forest screaming about “Others”, who we see chasing him in the distance. We see the Hatch scene from 2.1 from Locke and Kate’s perspectives, which reveal a large stock of non-perishable food, artificial lights, and a clock “counting down” from 108 in the computer room.

So what? So let’s dance…

Polar. Did you catch the parting gift that Michael gave to young Walt in the flashback? A stuffed polar bear. Ironic, given that there was a polar bear roaming on the Island in the present. However, I don’t think this was any more than a little touch the writers threw in to make us smile. I’m a firm believer that the reason there was a polar bear on the island was because Walt saw one in the comic book that he was reading, not due to some repressed anger at his father embodied in a stuffed toy he got many years earlier.

Shark. In other animal action, did you see anything strange about the shark that Michael shot? No? Look closer…

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Yep! The Dharma logo! (without the writing). My first thought was that this was some sort of “mechanical shark”, like the Monster on the Island – however, when Mikey shot it, blood shot out of the shark and water – meaning it was a living thing… so how does a living thing get embossed with a logo? Either Dharma captured and “tagged” the shark with it’s emblem, or it genetically created this shark as a “guard” for the island. Either way, it plays big into the “monsters protecting the island” that CFL talked about last season.

Food. The Dharma logo was everywhere inside the Hatch! Even on the food in the storage closet Kate was thrown into. If you notice, everything was non-perishable, canned food… and there was a lot of it. It doesn’t look like Desmond has the source of fresh food that we thought after the first episode. He’s been down there for a while, and he hasn’t been coming out to go to the Island Grocery Store.

Countdown. Also inside the Hatch was this peculiar clock:

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What does it mean? When the beeping started, the clock was at 2:36 or so, counting down the seconds. Once Locke entered the Numbers on the computer and hit execute, it jumped back up to 108:00. I guess all my theories about the computer bringing forth the Monster are out the window. Speaking of theories out the window…

Desmond. This guy is nothing like I thought he was. He honestly seems as confused (if not more so) than the Survivors about what is going on. He thinks the world is all but gone (destroyed by the Virus?) and thinks that Locke is some sort of reprieve for his “watch post” on the Island.

But this brings up a whole lot of questions…

Based on this, Desmond doesn’t seem like the mastermind behind it all. Does that make it a coincidence that he ran into Jack in the stadium in the first episode, or is he being played by some higher Island Powers the same way that everyone else is?

He must have been given some sort of orders – someone must have put him there, warned him about the Virus, and stocked him with food inside that bunker… but who? How did he end up there on his “race around the world”?

He obviously thinks Locke is a member of the same “team” as he is, since he asks “Are you him?” Locke tries his best to play along, but falls subject to a brain-teaser / riddle / code of “What did one snowman say to the other snowman?”

Locke. John Locke is seriously going to have a mental breakdown. His whole time on the island, he believed in some higher power, some purpose, something more important that drew all of them there for a reason. He embodied all these hopes and dreams into whatever was inside the Hatch… and it turned out to be a confused guy with a funky logo everywhere. The previews hint at him losing it, and it doesn’t surprise me in the least.

Dharma. Okay, I’ll give it the old college try in working out this whole “Dharma” thing. This is why I get paid the big bucks folks, don’t try this at home…

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Based on the fact that Dharma is on everything inside the Hatch, they must have built the Hatch. This leads you to believe they are the “Powers That Be” that are guiding everything that is happening on the island. Desmond appears to be a pawn in their game, or perhaps some sort of watch guard for the Island.

In my mind then, Dharma becomes some corporation – I mean, they have a logo, for crying out loud – they must be incorporated in some way! So what is their purpose? The logo shows the word “Dharma” with the R backwards, a Locke Ness looking monster and some crazy Chinese I Ching Symbols around the outside. Let’s hit it one at a time…

Here’s the Chinese I Ching Symbol, and what each part represents:

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How freaky is it how those different attributes describe all the Survivors perfectly?!

Fame & Reputation? Charlie
Love & Marriage? Sun, Jin
Creativity & Children? Walt, Aaron, Claire, Michael
Helpful People & Travel? Sayid, Kate
Career? Jack
Knowledge? Locke
Family? Sawyer
Wealth & Prosperity? Shannon, Boone, Hurley
Health? None of them?

This just makes me think all the characters are part of some master plan. They’re all cogs in a big machine, or pieces to a puzzle, or some other overused analogy like that.

Instead of using the stand ying-yang, the logo shows a serpentine creature, which is all the more fitting given the “Monster” that is on the island, the shark with the logo, and the Polar Bear running around. So, the “Monsters” are at the center of it all, with all our Survivors surrounding them. Does this make them the central theme of Dharma? Animal cloning? Creating new super-creatures a la Island of Dr. Moreau?

Or is the company mission behind Dharma more related to the true center of the logo – the word Dharma itself.

In Hinduism, dharma refers to your ethical duty in life. Your task in life is to fulfill your dharma, or to live up to the expectations that your gender, caste, job, stage in life, family obligations, etc. place upon you. If you fulfill your dharma, it will create good karma and therefore allow you to move on to a better position on the cycle of life (reincarnation).

(God bless “Sara” for posting this in the comments section, whoever she is! Easily saved me a few hours of researching Hinduism)

Again, doesn’t this perfectly describe almost everyone on the Island? They’re all tortured souls with something terrible in their pasts that is keeping them from moving on with their lives. None of them really “fulfilled their Dharma” in their previous lives. I know I’ve re-hashed this theme a thousand times in my posts, but I’ll do it again. It’s my Blog, I can do what I want. You’re not the boss of me:

Michael – being a father to Walt
Claire – raising Aaron
Sun – standing up to Jin
Charlie – kicking the H habit
Jack – letting go of the emotional damage his father caused him
Kate – forgiving herself for her best friend’s murder
Sawyer – finding peace with the man responsible for his parents’ deaths
Sayid – reuniting with long lost love
Shannon – using her step-brother, hustling everyone
Boone – getting over his love of his step-sister
Hurley – not letting the numbers control his life
Jin – getting out of the mafia, loving his wife again
Locke – living the “outdoor” life he wanted, being able to walk

Some of those might be a stretch, but you see what I’m getting at. From this perspective, the Island has offered all them an opportunity to “get over” the hang-ups in their lives and start over, and do things right.

If you look at it this way, Dharma becomes more of a “Make a Wish” foundation that rights people whose lives have gone astray. I swear, if Ty Pennington comes out of the jungle in the last episode, I will break every TV I own.

It also really plays up the “They’re all dead, this is purgatory” theory from the first season. As much as I tell myself this can’t be true, there are an awful lot of signs that point to this being the master plan. Dharma becomes “God”, responsible for making everything on the Island, Desmond becomes “St. Peter”, or “God’s Keeper”, The Others are lost souls, and children who don’t have baggage or “sins” are taken away “to heaven” as soon as possible.

Pretty heavy, eh Doc Brown?

Google. One last thing – for some reason, the whole “The Numbers are coordinates for the Island” theory is popular on the Internet again. I know I touched upon this a few times last year, and depending how you write the numbers (degrees vs. decimals, where you place the decimal points) you can pretty much make them point anywhere in the world. Last year, we had them in Nigeria, France, and the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It also tied in with the whole “Bermuda Triangle” theory, remember? If not, time to hit the Blog Archives and read up!

The real reason I bring it up again is to pimp “Google Earth”. If you haven’t played with this yet, you absolutely must. Go here (http://earth.google.com/) and download it. It’s the coolest thing ever. Here is the Google Earth picture of the “Island”, using the Numbers as coordinates:

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PS – I’m fully expecting this episode to blow me away. Expect an incoherent rant about my love of the show sometime late Wednesday night.

PPS – The answer is “Smell the carrots?” Hilarious.


stinkowoman said...

Is it me? Why can't I see your cool pictures?! :(

bengalsfan said...

Rex, good work. I think they are on a different island however. It is a way to isolate the rafters for a while, and maybe continue to play up the Walt visions.

I think the corporate theme is starting to play into this, if an electronic pulse bomb goes off, I quit. Also, Desmond still has more knowledge about what is going on and it is definately more than coinsidence that he and Jack meant. I stand by my previous thought that he will appear in other back stories as he goes on his "Race around the world".

Brian said...

stinkowoman - Maybe give it a minute for the pictures to load - definitely working for me.

bengalsfan - The only thing really working against the "second island" theory is all those hidden previews we found that referenced "the other side of the island" when talking about the Tailers - and didn't the island look pretty big when Sawyer and Michael were floating towards it? If there were two huge islands, I think they would have seen the other island during their hikes around the island.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Here is a link about tonight's episode...


And this link makes me think that Brian writes for USA Today...


BEG said...

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Jen said...

Where did Desmond go???

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