Thursday, December 07, 2006


HIATUS WEEK FOUR: December 7th, 2006

Bonus Section 1:

The Black Rock

This week’s special edition of The Lost Alternative Newsletter concerns the sea-trading frigate The Black Rock. But first, an epic poem concerning the fate of this slave ship turned trader…

The Black Rock Sea Trader
(To the tune of “[The Wreck of the] Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot.)

Which e’er way the wind turns
My son, first you must learn
Of that dangerous realm called the sea…

The seven seas they’re unkind
And they’ll leave you behind
That’s the future that fate kept for me…

‘Twas said Magnus alone
Could’ve killed Davy Jones
With a steely look or a frown…

Four score odd the crew,
Filled with gold it is true,
To Portsmouth forever now bound…

At the New World quay
Twenty-three vacant each day
‘Cept for grieving wives, sons and daughters…

No one’s ever claimed
Or were found the remains
Nor precious metals to fill up the coffers…

O’er ancient whale roads
That entwine the whole globe
And along the trade winds of wrath…

The ocean, it’s said,
Never speaks of the dead
When the cold winds of winter tack back…

The first mate made rounds
And the rigging odd sounds
As great waves broke o’er the railing…
And every man knew,
As Magnus did, too,
That the hull of The Black Rock was failing…

When the storm came a stealing
With every man reeling
Came the wreck of the ship The Black Rock…
Then the gales came a slashing
And the lightening flashing
Never again to find New World dock…
Where lies this man brave
Lost in some watery grave
As the mariners all know so well…

That a ship filled with gold
Or slaves ever so bold
Is destined to run ‘ground in hell…

Their fate remains lost
Their lives an uncommon cost
And the widow’s pine, wasting their prime…
In Portsmouth they prayed
Over every bare grave
And the church bells chimed forty odd times…

Now here is the mystery
That’s hidden from history
The ship found a tropical land…

A mysterious place
That rose out of the waves
A place touched by the Almighty’s hand…

Which e’er way the wind turns
My son, first you must learn
Of a dangerous realm called the sea…

The seven seas they’re unkind
And they’ll leave you behind
That’s the future that fate kept for me…

The Alternative One

The Black Rock


The Black Rock was owned and operated by the British trading group the New World Sea Traders and was one of three slave ships the company employed. The institution of slavery had been banned in August 1834 by the “Abolition of Slavery Act” in Great Britain, suggesting that the New World Sea Traders operated for over 50 years in the black market slave trade. At the time, the reputation as a slaver was the equivalent to piracy, one of the more unpopular enterprises of the day.

Magnus Hanso, grandfather of Alvar and a former ship’s captain who became a shipping industry entrepreneur, owned and controlled The New World Sea Traders. While no direct ownership has ever been verified, it is known that The Black Rock sailed out of slip 23 in Portsmouth docks and was scheduled to return there. Hanso's trading group managed slips 18 though 27. It is possible that the Hanso Foundation may have been seeded with money made from the proceeds gained through the slave trade by the New World Sea Traders.

The Black Rock disappeared in 1881, on a return voyage from gold mining operations in the South Indian Ocean. According to traders on Papua New Guinea, the ship sailed away from port in an easterly direction, rather than west to Africa, where it would exchange gold from the mines in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea for more slaves. According to a mysteriously discovered ship’s manifest, The Black Rock initially sailed from Portsmouth, England. A crew of approximately 40 men, along with an uncounted number of slaves, was presumably lost at sea. Magnus Hanso was known to retain a hands-on passion for the sea and insisted on captaining several voyages every year. It is thought that he was captaining The Black Rock himself, or on board, when the ship disappeared (based on the note on the Blast Door Map.)

The sale of the company in 1882 to the East Ocean Trade Group saw the remainder of the New World Sea Traders slavery and military vessels converted to legitimate trading ships.

(This webpage contains addition information concerning The Black Rock: The New World Traders)


From what has been revealed to date, it seems that the ship may have reached the Island on its way back from Papua New Guinea. Its mission was to reach Africa, where it was to exchange gold for more slaves. However, since the ship ended up to the east of Papua New Guinea it would have been traveling the wrong direction and it was stated by traders that the ship set sail east instead of west. One possible explanation of this discrepancy may lie in the composition of the island itself. The magnetism here is disorderly and may have caused the ship’s compasses to give incorrect readings. A good sextant, however, would have told them that they were sailing in the incorrect direction. The ship’s final resting place is a great distance inland, a phenomenon that has yet to be explained. Some believe that like the great continent of Mu, the island rose out of the ocean and trapped the ship well inland. This is, of course, only a theory.

On the Island

The Black Rock was a British slave ship turned trader found far inland on the Lost Island by Danielle Rousseau, the location of which she later shared with survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 (episode “Exodus, Part 1” [123]). The reason for its inland resting place and most of its history are a mystery. Portions of its story and accounts were revealed through The Lost Experience alternative reality game during the summer of 2006. Rousseau, Jack, Kate, Locke, Hurley, and Arzt explored the ship looking for dynamite to blow open the Swan Station hatch so that they would have a place to hide from The Others. The Dark Territory, so named by Rousseau, is where the Black Rock is located and is the “primary nexus of Cerberus-related activity” according to the Blast Door Map.

After Rousseau left, Locke, Kate and Jack entered the ship through a very large hole in the hull of the vessel. Outside, Arzt and Hurley conversed about their situations. Inside the ship, skeletons were found shackled together, supposedly the remains of the slaves. Old mining equipment was also found, including the dynamite. At least two cases were located inside the ship's hold. According to Locke the ship “must have been in route to a mining colony, probably set off from the eastern coast of Africa, Mozambique.” The Survivors removed one of the cases from the ship. While handling an unstable stick of dynamite, the unfortunate Arzt was killed when the dynamite ignited. After Arzt exploded the remaining survivors left the ship with a number of sticks of dynamite and have never returned to the site. The hole in the side of the ship may indicate that it crashed up on rocks but does not explain how it got so far inland. The skeletons also pose a problem, as they do not resemble the normal method in which slaves are shipped. However, as a black marketeer this inconsistency may be overlooked.

When The Black Rock was revealed as a slave ship this past summer it raised several interesting questions. In which era did it originate? The ship appears to be a multi-mast steamer from the late 19th or early 20th Century when ships used a combination of sails and coal-fed engines as power. It also looks too modern to be from the conventional period of African slave trade, which took place, for the most part, on the west coast of Africa and had been banned by most countries by the early 19th century. According to John Locke it was probably headed from the East Coast of Africa to a mining colony. Also, if the ship is truly over 100 years old, how did a wood and steel vessel survive the heat and humidity of the jungle for so long?

The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 discovered the Black Rock about 45 days after the crash. However, its existence was established much earlier in the series. The Black Rock was first mentioned in Danielle Rousseau’s radio distress signal, though Shannon did not translate this at that time.

The ship had been discovered long before the arrival of the survivors of Flight 815. Both Rousseau, a survivor of a separate shipwreck 16 years earlier, and Radzinsky or Kelvin Inman, previous “occupants” of The Swan station, located the ship independently of each other. Radzinky or Kelvin mapped The Black Rock and recorded it on the hidden map on the inside of the blast door. The note reads, “KNOWN FINAL RESTING PLACE OF MAGNUS HANSO/BLACK ROCK”. This appears to indicate that Magnus Hanso was captaining, or at least on board, the ship when it disappeared and is buried in or near the wrecked vessel.

Rousseau mentioned The Black Rock to the captured Sayid in the episode “Solitary” [109]. Also, a section of her map, stolen by Sayid after his escape, was labeled “Back Rock” Rousseau later claimed that there was a Radio Tower near The Black Rock, from where she broadcast her long-running distress signal.

The Black Rock Theories

The Black Rock is found so far inland because the Island, like the lost continent of Mu, has the ability to raise itself up out of the ocean, thus capturing nearby vessels.

The Black Rock was wrecked on the island because of the mysterious magnetic field ability that the island has that enables it to attract boats and aircraft. While the Black Rock does not appear to be a metal ship, the magnetism could have affected the ship's instruments. The island may have the power to attract other vessels as well, including Desmond's race-around-the-world sailboat, Henry Gale's hot air balloon, and the Nigerian Drug Smugglers' Plane.

It is possible that The Black Rock could have landed there through a tidal wave or tsunami. It could have simply carried the ship there and dumped it in far into the island. Such a huge Tsunami could have also wiped out any indigenous population at that time, and would also explain why the rest of the Four-Toed Statue is missing.

Some or all of the Others could have descended from the crew of The Black Rock.
Adam and Eve could have been survivors of The Black Rock’s crash.

“The Black Rock” could refer to the black stone found with Adam and Eve. This could mean Adam was Magnus Hanso.

The ship may have suffered a mutiny and sailed east for refuge in the south Pacific islands rather than return to England.

The note on the Blast Door Map could have dual or misunderstood meanings. While most think that the note, which reads, “Known final resting place of Magnus Hanso/Black Rock” means that Magnus is buried there it may mean the final resting place of Magnus Hano’s Black Rock. The slash between “Magnus Hanso” and “Black Rock,” indicates an uncertainty and is rather vague as to its true meaning.

It could have crashed on the shore originally, and the strange tides of the island shifted to reveal more land. In season one, the survivors mentioned the beach washing away with the tide, covering some of the wreckage of the plane. Perhaps this area used to be a beach, but the islands shape has changed dramatically.

The Black Rock is depicted in the mural of the Swan station.

Bonus Section 2:

Magnus Hanso

Magnus Hanso is the grandfather of Alvar Hanso. A 19th century sea captain and shipping merchant, he commanded the Black Rock. The Blast Door Map suggests he is buried near the site of the ship wreckage.

In The Lost Experience

A page from the rare book New World Sea Traders was posted on Rachel Blake's website (see link above). It revealed Magnus Hanso to be the owner of the New World Sea Traders, a company prominent in the 1880s, with connections to the slave trade.

Hanso sold the company to the East Ocean Trade Group, which was bought in the 1950’s by the Hanso Group and renamed Allied Copenhagen Marine Merchants.

After acquiring the New World Sea Traders' fifteen ships (including two sloops and a frigate), East Ocean Trade Group converted them into legitimate trading vessels.

The article also mentions that Hanso continued to captain several voyages each year, which explains how he could have been aboard the ship when it “wrecked.”

Meanings of the Name and References

The name “Magnus Hanso” is equal to “The Great Hanso”, or “Hanso the Great”.

“Magnus” is a Latin word for “great”, “large”, “big”, “very”, “very much” or “important”, etc.

Magnus is the Latin form of the Dutch surname “de Groot” (both meaning "The Great"). Karen and Harold de Groot created the DHARMA Initiative.

Albertus Magnus was a German philosopher and theologian.

Magnus was one of the greatest alchemists of all time, and was also the discoverer of the legendary "Philosopher's Stone" (which may have been the progemnator to the Life Extension Project.)

Additional reading:

“Lo!”, “The Book of the Damned”, “New Lands”, & “Wild Talents” by Charles Fort
(Charles Fort )

“The Illuminatus! Trilogy” by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
(The Illuminatus! Trilogy)

“Foucault’s Pendulum” by Umberto Eco
(Umberto Eco)

“The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown

“The Voynich Manuscript” Wilfrid M. Voynich

“Fortean Times” Magazine
(Fortean Times)

“Stonehenge Complete” by Christopher Chippendale

“Centuries of Darkness” by Peter James
(Centuries of Darkness )

“The Study of Yōkai” by Inoue Enryo
( Inoue Enryo)

“Science Frontiers” & “Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena: Eyewitness

“Accounts of Nature's Greatest Mysteries “by William R. Corliss

“Alternative Realities” By Leonard George
(Leonard George)

“The Anomalist” edited by Patrick Huyghe and Dennis Stacey
( The Anomalist)

“The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena” by Bob Rickard and John Mitchell

“Borderlands: The Ultimate Exploration of the Unknown” by Mike Dash

“Remote Viewing Secrets” by Joseph McMoneagle

“The Conscious Universe” by Dean Radin

“Mr. Wilson's Cabinet Of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology” by Lawrence Weschler

“Philosophy of Science and the Occult” Patrick Grim, ed.

“The Engines of God” by Jack McDevitt
(Jack McDevitt/)

“The Egypt Code” by Robert Bauval
(The Egypt Code)

The Alternative One
Kenosha, Wisconsin
December 7th, 2006

P.S. I am looking for suggestions on what to include in next weeks Bonus Section. If anyone has any ideas or subjects you’d like me to discuss please feel free to e-mail me.

4 8 15 16 23 42

The Alternative One –


HIATUS WEEK THREE: November 30th, 2006

Hacking away at a story!

For your amusement and entertainment!

This week’s issue of the newsletter is not your standard fair of Lost related ephemera. I apologize in advance to anyone who was looking forward to the normal exposé concerning some detail of the world found on that tiny island called Lost. As Douglas Adams is fond of saying, “Don’t panic!” I certainly intend to continue producing the newsletter each week. However, at the risk of self-promotion (and those who know me know that I rarely do so) I’d like to introduce you to a new fiction that I and another fan, Amelia Crater, have been pursuing over the past few weeks.

I have always imagined myself a writer, of sorts. It is something that has quite consumed me for a very long time. While poetry has always been my main interest the short story and the novel have also been very appealing to me. Writing this newsletter and receiving your compliments and encouragement (you know who you are) has giving me the confidence to stretch my literary legs a bit, so to speak.

Amelia and I have created a story that takes place in the world of the Lost Experience and also contains threads of the weekly series, as well. It is called “The Apocalypse Equation” and we have already finished a number of chapters and have posted them to a new blog site.

The story concerns a hack writer named Iben Powned who is dragged into the world of Alvar Hanso and Thomas Mittlewerk simply because he wanted to write for a TV program. He has been a writer for such famous weekly programs as “Frankenfreaks”, “Deathwatch”, “The Lost Barbarian”, “After Night Falls” and “The Opened Eye.” Iben moves from exploit to adventure (sometimes in the same chapter) bumbling his way and unraveling some of the questions posed during the Lost Experience (NOT!). We’ve attempted to create a character that is humorous, unwitting, and unhurried yet smart enough to know that he has entered a world that is well beyond his limits to comprehend.

The address to our site is:
We encourage you to visit, read, and respond by e-mailing us or leaving a comment (be nice please.) Let us know what you think. Let us know if you have ideas that could be incorporated into the story. But in any event… let us know!

We now return you to your normal programming!

The Alternative One
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Date November 30th, 2006

P.S. I won’t bother to detail who wrote what concerning the story (in reality it really doesn’t matter) but ask that you, our closest Lost friends, critique and inform us of your opinions concerning our creation. Remember we are doing this for fun and for our own amusement. We’d like to invite you to enter our fictionalized world today. And hey… after reading the story, if you think you’d like to write a chapter or two then let me know, send it to me, and we’ll do what we always do… edit the living daylights out of it.

P.S.S. The famous weekly programs that Iben wrote for are fictional and exist only in the minds of the writers.

P.S.S.S. I am looking for suggestions on what to include in next weeks Bonus Section. If anyone has any ideas or subjects you’d like me to discuss please feel free to e-mail me.

4 8 15 16 23 42

The Alternative One –

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


HIATUS WEEK TWO: November 23rd, 2006

Bunnies (or “Rabbits I Have Known”)

This week’s article concerns some of the many references to rabbits and bunnies in the Lost world and some trivia concerning the number 8.

As a young man I remember reading “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. What struck me then about the book was the idea that rabbits, when trapped will always try to find a way out, even going to the extreme of a chewing a leg off to gain freedom. Now, many years later I correlate that story to the Lost Island and see that it fits nicely into what I have been saying for weeks. The premises for many works of literature are constantly being re-written and supplanted into the Lost episodes.

There are too many uncanny connections to recount in full but here are a few of my favorites. Adams created an entire culture for his rabbits, including a language (Lapine), proverbs, poetry and mythology. More than one chapter consists of examples of rabbit lore. Is any of this sounding vaguely familiar? The book opens with the runt rabbit Fiver foreseeing the destruction of the warren. We now see Desmond as someone with the power to see into the future. Albeit in tiny bits he still seems to have the ability. A dissatisfied group of rabbits want to leave the warren but the main group continues to hold on in the old ways. The two Lost groups are made up of those who wish to remain on the beach and seek rescue and those that wish to explore (push buttons, etc.) Both groups must face the problem of furthering their own society. The rabbits have no does to increase the warren population which will stagnate and die out without children and the Lost Islanders who, without hope of rescue, must build their own world on this small island. Many of the rabbit characters in the book have counterparts on the Lost Island. I’ve already mentioned Fiver and Desmond but there is also Hazel, the rabbit leader, who reminds me of Jack, General Woundwort, a tyrannical Chief Rabbit who is obsessed with control whose counterpart is none other than Ben Linus and Bigwig the strongest fighter of the group which I think represents Locke.

In the pilot episode of Lost Boone is seen reading “Watership Down” on Flight 815. Later, in episode 108 “Confidence Man” he notices Sawyer reading the same novel which leads him to believe that Sawyer found his bag which contained Shannon's asthma medicine. A great argument within the camp grows from Boone’s argument that because Sawyer had his book he also had the medicine.

Two articles by Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly (October 31st, 2006) make a connection from the bunny number 8 to Stephen King.

The complete article can be found here:
EW Article

Doc Jenson’s slant:


In last week's episode of Lost, there was a scene in which Ben seemed to kill a bunny by shaking its cage so violently that the rabbit had a heart attack and died. If you saw the episode, you know that it was all a ruse; Ben was trying to get into Sawyer's head — to rattle his cage, so to speak — and to prove that the castaway con man was no match for the former Henry Gale in the art of psychological warfare.

Quick — what's the one thing you remember about that rabbit, besides its fake death? My assumption is that what you most vividly recall was the ''8'' that was written on its white fur. I'm going to make that assumption, because a better mind than mine tells me that that's the assumption most anyone would make. His name is Stephen King, and it turns out that the 8-branded bunny is a reference to his memoir, On Writing.

The passage can be found in the chapter titled ''What Writing Is.'' The first sentence of the chapter answers the implicit question, and from a Lost theorizing perspective, it's kind of a doozy. What is writing?

''Telepathy, of course.''

And he's serious, too. I think. Read the book and decide for yourself. In this short chapter, King tries to argue his point by painting a word picture. ''Look — here's a table covered with a red cloth. On it is a cage the size of a small fish aquarium. In the cage is a white rabbit with a pink nose and pink rimmed eyes. In its front paws is a carrot stub which it is constantly munching. On its back, clearly marked in blue ink, is the numeral 8.''

It's King's belief that upon reading that, and reflecting upon the bunny, we would all agree that ''the most important thing here... [is] the number on its back.... This is what we're looking at, and we all see it. I didn't tell you. You didn't ask me. I never opened my mouth and you never opened yours. We're not even in the same year together, let alone the same room... except we are together. We're close. We're having a meeting of the minds.''

Do Bunnies + Telepathy = Doc Jensen's Animal Magic Theory?

Station to station

But some other things about On Writing. Earlier in the brief bunny-referencing chapter, King refers to books as ''an escape hatch'' out of the ''purgatory'' of life. He also talks about the place where you, the reader, like to be when you read a book. He calls this place your ''far-seeing place, the one where you go to receive telepathic messages'' from an author via the broadcast frequency of the printed page. King describes his own ''far-seeing place'':

''I'm in another place, a basement place where there are lots of bright lights and clear images. This is a place that I've built for myself over the years. It's a far-seeing place. I know it's a little strange, a little bit of a contradiction... but that's how it is with me.''

Does that sound familiar to you? It should. You've been there before. And tonight, you're going to go there again.

You know it as The Pearl Station.”


Of Mice and Men Connection

This novel, written by John Steinbeck, is one that Sawyer is seen reading while in prison in “Every Man For Himself.” Both he and Ben quote the book to each other on the way to the Hydra Island Lookout.

The story is the tale of a simple and childlike but physically powerful man named Lenny who is befriended by George a smaller, weaker man with a quick wit. The ideal situation for both men, who are struggling to find work, is to save enough money to purchase a farm and live off the fat of the land. Lenny dreams of owning a farm with a few rabbits.

The dream collapses; however, as Lenny accidentally kills their bosses' son's wife, while she is talking to him about her own failed dreams. To save Lenny from what could only be a long and painful death in prison; George shoots Lenny and distracts him by talking about the bunny farm he always dreamed about.
(In the novel, the character Lenny has frequent dreams and visions of rabbits.)


Number 8

The Dharmachakra, a Buddhist symbol, has eight spokes
In tarot, card No. 8 is "Strength"
In numerology, 8 is the number of building, and in some theories, also the number of destruction Songs with the number eight in their title include the Byrds's Eight Miles High and the Beatles' Eight Days a Week
"Eight maids a-milking" is the gift on the eighth day of Christmas in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" carol
Using hyperbole, the Beatles sang about loving their addressee "Eight Days a Week". Also from music is the 8-track cartridge
Magic 8 Ball is a randomized process of predicting the future or answering various questions, packaged to resemble this ball and often sold as a fortune-telling device
The atomic number of oxygen.
In physics, the second magic number.
All spiders, and more generally all arachnids, have eight legs. An octopus has eight tentacles
Timothy Leary identified a hierarchy of eight levels of consciousness
As of 2006, in our solar system, eight of the bodies orbiting the Sun are considered to be planets.
The Noble Eightfold Path in the Buddhist faith has eight steps
The Eight Immortals are Chinese deities
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that humans are responsible for their actions by the age of 8. Before that age, children lack sufficient knowledge to commit sin and are therefore exempt from judgment for their actions.
There are eight bits in a byte
"Section 8" is common U.S. slang for "crazy", based on the U.S. military's Section 8 discharge for mentally unfit personnel
In Colombia and Venezuela, "volverse un ocho" (meaning to tie oneself in a figure 8) refers to getting in trouble or contradicting one's self.

The Alternative One
Kenosha, Wisconsin
Date November 23rd, 2006

P.S. I am looking for suggestions on what to include in next weeks Bonus Section. If anyone has any ideas or subjects you’d like me to discuss please feel free to e-mail me.
4 8 15 16 23 42

The Alternative One –

Thursday, November 16, 2006


HIATUS WEEK ONE: November 15th, 2006

Supplement to Episode 306: I Do

A running list of the number of “I do’s” from this episode:
* I do – Want to invest in marriage (Kate purchasing and buying wedding veil and dress)
* I do – Want to do it (Kevin to Kate in the opening scene and visa versa)
* I do – Want to get married (Kate to Kevin at the altar)
* I do – Want to kill Sawyer (Picket to Sawyer for Colleen’s death)
* I do – Want to do it (Kate to Sawyer – Cage love scene)
* I do – Love you! (Sawyer to Kate after cage love scene)
* I do – Want to know what killed Eko (Sayid to Locke)
* I do – Want to bury Eko in the jungle (Locke making the decision himself)
* I do – Want to stop running (Kate to Edward Marsh and Kate by committing to the marriage.)
* I do – Want to warn you (Alex to Kate – “They’re going to kill your boyfriend)
* I do – Have an answer (Eko’s Jesus stick – “lift up your eyes and look north”)
* I do – Want you to see the monitor of Kate and Sawyer (Ben allowing Jack to “escape” from his cell again.)
* I do – Want to “fix” you (Jack to Ben on his surgery, finally)
* I do – Want to leave the island (Jack to Ben for doing the surgery)
* I do – Want to live (Ben on his upcoming surgery)
* I do – Want Alex here (Ben to Juliet before the surgery)
* I do – Want Ben to die (Juliet during the operation)
* I do – Want Ben to live (Tom after Jack’s coup)
* I do – Want to play mind games (Jack to the Others during the coup)
* I do – Want to follow orders (Juliet to Jack before the surgery)

Bonus Section 1

Focus has changed from the Swan Station over to the Pearl Station this season. The Swan Hatch, now a large hole in the ground, is no longer a location of importance but the Pearl appears to be presenting a number of new questions. Because of that I have switched my attention to it and have prepared the following information.

The Pearl Station

A note about the Pearl Station: I have always believed that the sequence of events on the island in season two dictated that the Pearl Station was actually the Hatch depicted as the question mark “?” on the Blast Door Map as seen by John Locke in the episode “Lockdown.” Visual evidence seems to confirm this as Locke spotted the question mark in the ground under the drug-runners plane. We, as viewers, have also seen this image and there is no doubt that a question mark was found in the dirt near the plane wreckage. I am convinced that the Pearl Station is the “?” as depicted on the Blast Door Maps. However, a group of loyal posters and viewers maintain that the Pearl Station may not be the “?” If the question mark is not the Pearl Hatch then it remains an unknown Station to date and may play a prominent part in future events. Some believe that the eye patch man may be located in the “?” Station but I strongly disagree.

Locke and Eko located the Pearl Station when they went in search of the question mark using the Blast Door Map as a guide in the episode “?”. Locke was familiar with the area near the smuggler’s plane and lead Eko here. In a dream sequence Yemi tells Locke/Eko to climb the cliff next to the plane and when at the pinnacle views the circle in the vegetation near the plane. This circle, combined with the fallen plane, formed a question mark. However, the question mark was only formed after the plane fell from the cliff, which was after Radzinsky and Kelvin drew the blast door map. In fact, the station marked as "C4?" is likely to be the Pearl Hatch, as the word "The Pearl?" is written next to it on the map.

The function of the Pearl Station (DHARMA Initiative # 5) is to observe the inhabitants of the Swan Station using a “Remote Viewing” system. The purpose of the Pearl appears to be to study the movements and daily activities of the individuals located in the Swan Station. It is presumed that this activity may have actually been the experiment as the filled notebooks were found later in an abandoned heap elsewhere on the island. That it is a research facility primarily used for experiments in psychology there can be no doubt. The question is exactly who is being experimented upon?

The architectural components of the Pearl Hatch include an octagonal-shaped concrete vertical shaft leading down into the hatch with a metal ladder attached to the shaft wall and one large octagonal room at the bottom of the shaft. On one wall are nine numbered video monitors, which are currently being fed static. These presumably are to feed live surveillance footage of other areas of the island. On another wall is a table or desk, which contains a computer and dot matrix printer, a pile of computer-paper, and a stack of Dharma notebooks. A bookshelf or cabinet is also found near (or on) this same wall. A pneumatic tube for sending the notebooks out of the station is anchored to the wall. A working bathroom, which has a sliding pocket door, is located in another wall. There are two lounge type chairs with trays located in the center of the room facing the monitors. This station has sustained some damage, either through neglect or lack of use. The paint and walls appear to be warped and moldy, there are missing ceiling tiles and loose wires and there is a rather large rock in the room. There are no living quarters found in this station as it was intended for eight-hour shifts only.

Also, just as the pneumatic tube requires power to operate so do the monitors at the Pearl Station. While we are aware that all the Stations still have electricity we continue to wonder where the poser supply originates. Could the solar power generated at the Others village be piping electricity to the different Stations?

Pearl Orientation Video

Mr. Eko discovered the Pearl Orientation videotape (U-matic tape) in a bookshelf while he and John Locke were exploring the Station. According to this orientation film (see transcription below), the initiates of the Pearl Station live for three weeks inside the station and monitor the occupants of the other stations in eight-hour shifts. After each shift they make their way to the barracks by way of the Pala Ferry. When an observation notebook is filled it is to be placed inside the pneumatic tube. A man who introduces himself as Dr. Mark Wickmund hosts this orientation video, however, he looks to be the same person as Dr. Marvin Candle from the Swan Orientation film.

Pearl Orientation Transcription

Dharma theme music plays

“The DHARMA Initiative

5 of 6 Orientation

The Pearl DHARMA Logo
Orientation - Station 5 - The Pearl

Hello. I am Dr. Mark Wickmund and this is your orientation film for station five of the DHARMA Initiative.

Station five or, the Pearl, is a monitoring station where the activities of participants in DHARMA Initiative projects can be observed and recorded, not only for posterity but for the ongoing refinement of the initiative as a whole.

As Karen DeGroot herself has written, “Careful observation is the only key to true and complete awareness.”

Your tour of duty in the Pearl will last three weeks and during this time you and your partner will observe a psychological experiment in progress.

Your duty is to observe team members in another station on the island. These team members are not aware that they are under surveillance or that they are subjects of an experiment.

Working in eight-hour shifts you and your partner will record everything you observe in the notebooks we provided. What is the nature of the experiment, you might ask? What do these subjects believe they are accomplishing as they struggle to fulfill their tasks? You, as the observer, don’t need to know. All you need to know is that the subjects believe that their job is of the utmost importance. Remember, everything that occurs, no matter how minute or seemingly unimportant, must be recorded.

Each time a notebook is filled with the fruits of your diligent observation, roll it up and insert it into one of the containers provided. Then, simply place the container in the pneumatic tube and… presto! It will be transported directly to us.

At the end of your eight-hour shift proceed to the Pala Ferry, which will take you back to the barracks to prepare for your next tour. On behalf of the DeGroots, Alvar Hanso, and all of us here at the DHARMA Initiative, thank you. Namaste and good luck.

© The Hanso Foundation
1980 All Rights Reserved.”

The Monitors

The monitor rack consists of nine screens configured in a 3x3 array and numbered one through nine.
1 – 4 – 7 This configuration represents the # 15 (diagonals 7,5,3 and 9,5,1
2 – 5 – 8 and centers 4,5,6 and 8,5,2) which is one of the numbers.
3 – 6 – 9
Each monitor has three dials in a vertical column. The upper two are of similar designs, but the third dial (lower) is very different and about twice the size.
In activating the monitors, Locke used the large dial to activate screens one through three and the upper smaller dial to turn on screen seven. Screen seven received a live video surveillance feed from the kitchen of The Swan station, showing Jack walking by. This image pans in another direction when John Locke next looks at it. The other six screens displayed only static. Screen five was used to display the Pearl Orientation Video. Above each bank of monitors, mounted on the wall, are three speakers (circa 1960’s). When working, these probably transmitted audio from the station that was being monitored at the time.

The Hydra Station has a small room with a similar group of monitors, which may be linked to the Pearl but are recording very different areas of the island.

It is revealed in the episode “The Cost of Living” that the Pearl Station is designed to monitor several different stations at once. While inspecting the wiring to the monitors, Sayid manages to patch a signal from a station, which appears very similar to the Swan Station. It is also revealed that the resident of this station, a man wearing an eye-patch and a jumpsuit with a Dharma logo, is aware that he is under observation.

The Computer

There is a Dharma brand computer present similar to that found in the Swan Station. There is also a dot matrix printer located next to the printer. The screen displays the message prompt “Print log? Y/N” when Locke first discovers it. When he types “Y” to the prompt the printer begins to print off a repetitive log that consists of a repeating series of numeric codes, interspersed by the word “accepted” and later “system failure.” (i.e. “accepted 922044:16 system failure”, etc.) The log numbers indicate the exact time the “Execute” key is depressed after entering the numbers into the Swan Station computer. It appears that everything that is entered into the Swan’s computer is logged. The Pearl's computer actually bears the logo of The Swan. In keeping with the rest of the vintage Apple hardware, the printer is an Imagewriter II, first produced in 1985.

The Pneumatic Message Tube

There is a still a working pneumatic tube in the Pearl station but because a pneumatic delivery system requires a compressor to force the air through the tube then there has to be power coming from somewhere. Where does the power supply for the pneumatic tubes in the Pearl Station come from? The personnel stationed at the Pearl were supposed to insert their completed logbooks into a message capsule and send them up the tube. Their logbooks would then be delivered to what was described as 'us' in The Pearl's Orientation video. The actual location turned out to be a dump where the tubes were simply piling up, without anyone of the DHARMA initiative checking on them. Locke took his sketch of the Blast Door Map and sent it up through these transport piping; it also ended up in an empty field, which was discovered in episode, “Live Together, Die Alone” by Sawyer, Kate, Jack and Hurley.

The Notebooks

The notebooks all contain the Pearl Station logo on the front cover and there appears to be huge number of them considering the large pile found by Kate, Jack, Sawyer and Hurley. It is evident that while a huge amount of daily activity has been recorded in the notebooks it is also apparent that no one is actually using or reading the information in them.

The Lounge Chairs

There are two leather lounge chairs each with a writing table and a magnifying viewing lens mounted on an adjustable arm assembly to the side of the chairs. There is a small bank of controls on the arms of the chairs. On the left arm of the left chair, a rocker switch similar to older style power windows can be seen. On the right arm of the right chair, Locke used the conventional stove dial to brighten the lights in the room. On the dial these words can be read, starting on the right and moving counterclockwise: “HIGH”, “MEDIUM”, “WARM”, and “OFF”.

The Alternative One
Kenosha, Wisconsin
November 16th, 2006

P.S. I am looking for suggestions on what to include in next week’s Bonus Section. If anyone has any ideas or subjects you’d like me to discuss please feel free to e-mail me.

4 8 15 16 23 42

The Alternative One –

Thursday, November 09, 2006


S3E6 (306): I Do

Air Date: November 8th, 2006
Production Code: 306
Official ABC pre-air summary:
“Jack makes a decision regarding Ben's offer; Kate feels helpless when it looks like Pickett is going to make good on his threat to kill Sawyer; Locke discovers a hidden message that may help unlock the island's secrets.”

Episode Re-cap:

Kate enters her hotel room after a shopping spree and opens up a box to reveal a wedding veil. There is a knock on the door and when she opens it there is a Miami policeman standing there. We find out that he is her fiancé.

Kate and Sawyer are still stuck in the cages and Sawyer throws rocks at the food button for a little light entertainment.

Jack examines Ben’s x-rays and tells him that in one week the tumor will be inoperable. Ben believes that Jack is going to perform the surgery but Jack refuses and tells Ben that he wanted him to know how he was going to die!

Kate and her fiancé, Kevin, have just 12 hours before they are to be married. We find that Kate is using the alias “Monica.”

Locke, Desmond, Sayid, Paulo and Nikki discuss the events surrounding Eko’s death. Nikki asks if they should take Eko back to the beach for burial but Locke decides to bury him in the jungle reasoning that the Survivors have had too many funerals lately. Sayid asks Locke what killed Eko and he tells him that the “monster” killed him.

Kate, Sawyer and some of the others are working at the construction site when an alarm goes off. “Compound breached!” blares over the loudspeaker as Alex runs into the compound shooting a wrist rocket. The Others capture her and as they drag her off she yells to Kate, “they’re going to kill your boyfriend.” Kate and Sawyer are sent back to work but not before they witness Picket and Juliet arguing. Juliet hands Kate a burlap sack and asks her to put it on her head. Juliet tells Kate to come with her or Picket will kill Sawyer.

Kate is seen in a vestibule of the church in her wedding dress prior to her marriage to Kevin. Her future mother-in-law gives her a necklace. Kate (as Monica) marries Kevin.

Kate is taken to the Hydra Station in the burlap hood to Jack’s cell. She tells Jack that he has to do the surgery on Ben or they’ll kill Sawyer. Jack still refuses to do the surgery. Ben is monitoring the conversation from his security room and is not happy.

Kate is shopping at the grocery store when she takes a detour to a phone booth. She sets a timer and calls Edward Marsh, the U.S. Marshall that has been tailing her. She asks him to stop following her and that she no longer wants to run but he knows that she will continue to run and tells her so.

Danny Picket tells Sawyer to say his goodbyes to Kate.

Locke’s detour, prior to Eko’s burial, was to collect the Jesus stick. As they bury Eko Locke notices a new inscription on the stick. “Lift up your eyes and look north”, it reads.

Kate escapes her cage again and breaks into Sawyer’s cage. When she asks him to run with her he tells her about the second island and the futility of escape. They spend an intimate night together.

Kate is surprised to receive two tickets for a honeymoon to Costa Rica from Kevin.

The communicator in Jack’s cell begins to issue static. Jack hears “try the door” and finds it unlocked. He searches through the halls and notices Ben’s security room and an armory. He takes a handgun from the armory and returns to the monitor room to witness Kate and Sawyer lying on the ground together in the cage. Ben enters the room and Jack tells him he’ll do the surgery if he’ll get him off the island. Ben agrees.

Kate finds out that she is pregnant and tells Kevin about her past but not before she drugs him on her way out the door.

Jack and Juliet begin the surgery on Ben. During the surgery Picket and another man leave the observation room and take Sawyer out of his cage. Picket sets Sawyer on his knees and points a gun at his head. Back in the operating room Jack makes an incision in Ben’s kidney and tells everyone that he has an hour to live unless Kate and Sawyer are set free. Jack takes the walkie-talkie from Tom and tells Kate to tell him a specific story when she and Sawyer are safe.

I’ll be watching you!

Kevin, played by Nathan Fillion of Firefly fame, worked for the Miami Dade Police Department. I think Kate may have become involved with a police officer in the hope that he might be able to help her with her present dilemma. But when Kevin calls her “Monica” that fragile house of cards came tumbling down for me.

Kate is pregnant so we assume another episode will flashback to this situation. At a guess I’d say the episode will be entitled; “And baby makes two” or something along those lines. Did anyone notice if Widmore Labs manufactured her pregnancy test?

The tickets to Costa Rica from Kevin to Kate for their honeymoon trip are on Oceanic Airlines. Obviously, this was the impetus that caused Kate to drug and confess to Kevin about her past. There was absolutely no way that Kate could get a passport and she knew it. Once this and the pregnancy occurred she had to start running again.

The new writing on Eko’s Jesus stick, “Lift up your eyes and look north” appears to be a definite clue to some secret of the island. Is it a clue to the location of the unknown hatch where the eye-patched man is located?

A new character is introduced tonight. While Danny Picket and one other Other are going out to Sawyer’s cage Danny says, “Shephard wasn’t even on Jacob’s list!” So who is Jacob and maybe more importantly who is on his list? And what is the list for?

It’s apparent that Danny Picket blames Sawyer for Colleen’s death but I still can’t figure out why. It’s possible that since Picket cannot hurt Jack, because of their need for him to complete Ben’s surgery, and Kate is a woman then Sawyer, by default, becomes the only Survivor left for him to blame and therefore punish. Obviously, this makes for good drama but shouldn’t he have been out in the jungle looking for Sayid, Jin and Sun? It seems to me his anger is misplaced yet Sawyer is, by far, the easier target.

When the communication device in Jack’s cell went off a voice said “try the door.” This voice sounded like Alex to me. But why would she let Jack out of his cell? Did she know that by doing so it would force him to see Sawyer and Kate in the cage and thereby force him to change his mind? If so then Alex is the smartest person on the island. Or is also being manipulated by Ben.

Having sex on the island has not been kind to the women of Lost. Here’s the list: Shannon and Sayid were intimate. The next day Shannon was shot dead by Ana-Lucia! Ana-Lucia and Sawyer were intimate (Ana-Lucia wanted his gun). The next day Ana-Lucia was shot and killed by Michael. And Libby was just thinking about having sex with Hurley and we all know what happened to her. Is Kate next??

The Questions:

1) Did Mr. Friendly seem to anyone overly concerned with Ben’s condition? Does he have feelings for Ben? When Jack performed his extra-curricular surgery Tom looked so shocked that he almost couldn’t believe that it was happening. And it continued through the whole sequence of events, which included the relinquishing of the walkie-talkie. It certainly appeared as if Tom was emotionally invested in Ben’s welfare. Am I over-analyzing?

2) Is Alex Ben’s daughter? Just before Ben has his surgery he asks Juliet if Alex has asked about him. When she answers no he seems to be very saddened by the news. Is Benjamin Linus the father of Alex? It appears that his concern is more than just passing and is paternal in nature. What does that mean though? Was Rousseau married to Ben? Is Ben part of the original survey group that got stranded on the island? Or is there a shadow story that has not yet been told? When Rousseau caught Ben in the jungle she did not seem to recognize him. Why then would Ben be so concerned about Alex? Something here does not yet add up.

3) Will Kate and Sawyer run? *** Spoiler Alert*** Don’t read this next section if you don’t want to know the answer to the question. I warned you! In the coming episodes trailer we see that Kate and Sawyer do escape. Kate gets a handgun from the Other in her cage and she and Sawyer are seen running in the jungle. Sawyer has the gun in his hand. I had to slow down the DVR to see all this but it is confirmed. ***Spoiler Alert Ends***

4) Will Kate and Sawyer escape? Since Sawyer already knows that they are on an island and has told Kate this there is only one thing they can do. They must find where the boat is docked (or the submarine but I doubt either could pilot it.) My guess is that they will try to find the dock and steal the boat back from the Others.

5) Will Jack finish the surgery and if he does will Ben survive it? Jack has gambled and is playing the odds. If Ben bleeds out and dies Jack can fall in with Juliet’s group and “be protected” by them. If Sawyer and Kate are allowed to go free then he will probably save Ben and may be sent home. At least Ben will look on him favorably since he saved his life.

6) And who is Jacob? Picket tells the Other he is with that “Shephard isn’t even on Jacob’s list.” I repeat, who is Jacob? This new entity is brand new and will, I am sure, be debated heavily on the forums. (By the way I do not frequent any of the forums and only use Lostpedia occasionally, so most of what you find here is from my own mind… and how scary is that!)

7) Was Jack’s escape engineered by Ben? I think it may have been. It looks like this was the plan all along. By allowing Jack access to the security room he could see that Sawyer and Kate had become intimate. I am certain this was Ben’s plan all along. It is why he had Jack separated from them in the first place. Jack’s isolation was an intricate portion of Ben’s plan!

8) Is the eye-patch man, seen on the Pearl Hatch monitor, the mysterious Jacob that Picket talked about? And by lifting up his eyes will Locke head north to find the newest hatch?

9) One last question that is out of place and time – this question really does not fit into this episode but I’ve waited too long to pose it. Perhaps the lengthy hiatus will give us more time to contemplate. Without further rambling… Last year when Ana-Lucia, Libby, Bernard and Eko were bringing Sawyer back to the beach on their make-shift stretcher a fifth member of the Tailies was present. When Cindy disappeared there were only two real conclusions that one could come to. Either she was captured by the Others or was one of them. We have since seen the Others’ camps and compounds and most of the people in that group. I ask now then, what ever happened to Cindy?!?


After Jack tells Ben that he won’t do the surgery Ben says, “I’m disappointed in your decision.” Jack retorts, “ You won’t be disappointed long!”

Kate to U.S. Marshall Edward Marsh: “I don’t want to run anymore!”

Alex to Kate: “They’re going to kill your boyfriend!”

Ben says, “See you on the other side” just before succumbing to the anesthesia. Is Ben a fan of Ozzy Osborn or Korn? Ozzy has a song named this and Korn an entire album. And I have to look this up later when I have more time but didn’t one of Stephen King’s characters say this once? Lawnmower Man? The Stand? The Dark Tower?

Bonus Section 1:


From an idea by Kim

The term mind games refers to the passive/aggressive behavior used specifically to demoralize a subject while making the aggressor look superior. The objective of mind games is to induce high levels of anxiety, confusion, mental exhaustion and sub-optimal information processing. It is used primarily to cause mental exhaustion and ensure limited constructive problem solving.

During the first five episodes of season three of Lost we have seen our share of head-trips or mind games played by the characters. A loyal reader has asked us to expound on the many different psychological games that are being played. There are a lot and I’ll try to touch on at least one aspect of each instance we can bring to mind. Feel free to e-mail me or make a comment on the blogsite if you can think of others. Especially if you think they are important.

Mind games in Episode 301: “A Tale of Two Cities”

Early in Episode 301 “A Tale Of Two Cities” Kate is given a shower and a dress and taken to breakfast with Ben on the beach. When she asks him why he is treating her to clean clothes and breakfast he replies, “The next two weeks are going to be very unpleasant.” Ben has sent Kate a message that a certain amount of pain will be involved with her capture and captivity. Of course, we are not sure if it will be physical, mental or both but we assume it won’t be fun for Kate. This is, of course, a threat of future or potential future pain and a very effective method to control behavior. Will it work on Kate? It has been noted that Kate tends to run when cornered but in this particular case she has nowhere or no one to run to.

An interesting side note mind trip here is that during the shower scene Kate tells Tom (Mr. Friendly) that she won’t change in front of him. He tells her, “You’re not my type!” What does he mean by this? Is it possible that Tom really is “Mr. Friendly”? Again, we can only assume that this is another mind game played by the Others. We’re guessing that we’ll find out more concerning this statement as the story continues.

Sawyer is being held in a large animal cage and is introduced to Karl, a young teenage boy who ultimately helps him to escape. Subject escaped! blares over the loudspeaker as they escape in different directions but both Sawyer and Karl are recaptured quickly. (It all seemed rather concocted to me!) This was a pure mental experiment by the Others in determining Sawyers state of mind. Would he leave Jack and Kate and escape? Or would he hold back and try and find them? To me, the experiment is inconclusive. Sawyer may have tried to hide, assess the situation (numbers and positions) before attempting to find Jack and Kate (at least I like to think he would). Or he may have headed straight to Locke and the rest of the Survivor army! When they bring Karl back and make him apologize for including Sawyer in the escape it all seems to swirl about in a state of confusion for me. Why would they make one of their own apologize to captives? Is Karl an example? Are they trying to teach him while punishing him? Like a parent? Or like a warden?

There is also a very strange back-story flashback concerning Jack’s jealousy and obsession concerning his ex-wife’s “boyfriend.” The creators wanted us to know that Jack was flirting with an epic emotional breakdown. Why? Showing him at his most vulnerable here it appears that we are being set up for a future reversal of circumstances and that the strongest side of Jack has yet to be seen. However, when they portray Jack in a guise other than what we have seen in the previous two seasons we have to ask ourselves why they would have to go to such extremes.

We speculated last season that the entire island might have been a big Skinner’s box. We now think that perhaps only segments of the islands can be defined in this manner. This includes the Pearl Hatch (where the reward is information) and now Sawyer’s cage (where the reward may be survival)! Another example of a mind game in this episode centers on the idea of problem solving. In order to acquire food Sawyer has to solve a complicated puzzle once used for bears. This form of problem solving for reward is based on the case approach. The most effective way to learn something is to be placed in the actual situation. Being told before hand that the cage would electrocute Sawyer if he tried to manipulate it would not have been as effective as throwing him in the cage and letting him learn for himself.

The book club is discussing Stephen King’s “Carrie” which Juliet says is her favorite book. This is the story of a young woman with extraordinary powers who is ostracized by her peers and eventually snaps… Will Juliet be threatened emotionally in the future and explode? Juliet argues with Adam… this may have been an insertion of power on her part. Perhaps, this scene was produced especially for the viewing audience so that we could see that a clash was occurring or that factions within the hierarchy of the Others was taking place.

And why did Kate and Jack both have bandages on their arms? It is obvious that the Others want them to think that they either drew blood or injected them with something. But what purpose does this serve? Or did they really draw blood? Why?

Mind games in Episode 302: “The Glass Ballerina”

During this episode Sun’s father plays mind games with his daughter. The glass ballerina, which belonged to the family when Sun was a little girl, is a metaphor for her apparent willingness to see others hurt to protect herself. Even when she knows that the ramifications will be disastrous she lies to shelter herself from harm. The figurine is a representation of how lies can shatter lives and the fragility of both. This game when played as Mr. Paik plays it can be disastrous to fragile little minds. Whatever lesson he intended to teach was lost in Sun’s need to protect herself from retribution.

Kate and Sawyer are taken out to what looks like a rock-covered landing strip where many of the Others are laboring. Ben, it seems, plans on using Sawyer and Kate as free labor. (Experiment or lesson? Research or chain gang? Hmmm…) Kate demands to see Jack before she’ll do any work but Pickett zaps Sawyer with a taser shock for her insolence. That the Others would resort to pain stimulus as punishment to perform manual labor comes as no surprise. What is surprising though is that whatever this project is it is important enough that members of their own group are hard at work in completing the task. Or, this too may be a mind game to make Kate and Sawyer think that what they are working on is important to the community of Others.

Later in the story Mr. Paik demands that Jin “deliver a message” to Jae Lee as he has taken something important from him. By not telling Jin of the situation he has also asserted a future power over him. When Jin refuses to do Paik’s bidding and quits his job Mr. Paik appeals to his honor and tells Jin that their shame is shared. As a matter of fact, he is telling the absolute truth and Jin realizes it but not the depth of that truth. He relents and accepts the job after Paik calls him “son.” Appealing to his emotions and the need to belong Paik has deceived Jin into believing that he has been accepted.

Sun and Sayid attempt to play Jin by lying to him (or at least not tell him what is going on) but he catches on very quickly. Back at the Pala Ferry site Jin demands one of Sayid’s guns when he understands what is happening and explains to Sun that he understands English better than they think. When Sayid hands the gun to Jin he asks him if he knows how to use it and Jin surprises Sayid by checking the magazine in a manner that makes it clear that he knows exactly how to handle a handgun. Jin has been playing the non-understanding “foreigner” and Sayid and Sun both tried to deceive him.

Sawyer, on impulse, walks over to Kate and kisses her passionately when he is supposed to be working breaking rocks in the hot sun but his motives are dual in nature. A fight develops and Sawyer lands a few punches before he grabs a gun. Sawyer holds the Others at bay with the rifle but Juliet who is pointing her gun at Kate calls him James and tells him to put the gun down. When he does he is tasered once again. When Sawyer and Kate are returned to their cages he tells her that he was testing their strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, he tells her that Juliet would have pulled the trigger without a problem. Ben observes all this on closed circuit television. Is Sawyer protecting Kate by telling her that Juliet was capable of murder? Or is he also playing mind games? This ploy seemed to me to be a way to keep Kate close to him. And Juliet called Sawyer by his real name in an effort to confuse and distract him.

Ben attempts to solicit Jack’s trust by apologizing and allowing him to know his real name. At the time we did not know why Ben would need Jack’s absolution but we have since found out why. Jack refuses Ben’s attempted reconciliation. Ben offers his hand and tells Jack that his real name is Benjamin Linus and that he has lived on the island all his life. Jack refused to shake hands. Ben then offers Jack a chance to go home telling him that he can make it happen if Jack only does what he asks at the correct time and place. To help convince him Ben tells him a number of facts about the end of 2004 including the date and that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. When Jack is amused by the thought of the Sox winning the Series Ben shows him a television monitor. Ben repeats his offer, telling Jack that if he listens to him and trusts him, he will eventually take him home. There are a lot of head games happening during this exchange. Most we did not realize until we knew that the x-rays Jack saw were of Ben’s spine. When Ben tried to reconcile with Jack it was for selfish purposes and not to resolve open issues. Jack saw through this odd attempt to apologize and even though he did not know that Ben needed his help Jack’s refusal was a head-trip in itself. There is no doubt that Ben is panicking inside knowing that the only man who can save his life is a mortal enemy.

Later Ben tries to lay a guilt trip on Juliet. His statement, “You never made soup for me,” implies that either, Ben and Juliet had once been in a relationship, or less likely that Ben was once Juliet's prisoner. In either case, this statement is made to elicit a sense of guilt in Juliet. We are not sure what the relationship is or was between Ben and Juliet but we can certainly guess that it is falling apart. The flippant remark is to make Juliet feel regret concerning the current conditions. We do not know at this point whose is at fault for the falling out.

Juliet calls Sawyer “James” and Colleen calls Sun, “Sun-Hwa Kwon.” They obviously know more about the survivors then first realized. Calling someone by their entire or real name in a stressful circumstance is a form of adding familiarity and trust to an otherwise unfamiliar situation. This is a notably successful tactic in situations involving hostages where familiarity tends to make people believe in a fictional friendship. More head games… More head-trips….

Mind games in Episode 303: “Further Instructions”

Is the mysterious island itself playing mind games? Inside the sweat lodge Locke takes drugs and begins his internal adventure. His spiritual guide who appears in the guise of Boone soon meets him in this “other” state. He tells John that he was “the sacrifice the island demanded” and that John needs to bring the family back together. Their journey begins when Boone tells John that he must get back into the wheelchair. Boone then wheels John through an airport (with obvious Oceanic logos) and tells him “someone here is in danger.” The camera then pans to Charlie, Claire and Aaron in line for airline tickets. Hurley, the gate agent in this dream sequence, is entering the numbers into a computer terminal. Jin and Sun are standing in line with Sayid while Desmond walks by in a pilot’s uniform with three flight attendants. Kate and Sawyer, looking every bit the couple, are in security line as is Jack, who is alone. Ben is the security guard. Boone tells Locke that “they’ve got him” and that he needs to “clean up his own mess.” Locke is scared from his trance by the face of an angry growling polar bear in the fire. Has the island thrown a head-trip at Locke? While intentionally answering a specific question (where is Eko?) it also gives Locke a great deal of information to contemplate.

Locke believes that the island is an entity that can both reason and communicate. What he did not know was that it could (and would) also play mind games with him. His internal mental walkabout in the sweat lodge was done only to accomplish communication with the island. And the island responded! In the fire as John comes out of his trance he is frightened by the growling image of a polar bear telling him the exact nature of Eko’s trouble.

Why do so many episodes of Lost begin with the opening of an eye? This is a great scene device and very creative but I have often wondered if there was a deeper meaning. Since the eye is the world’s portal to the mind I presume that it may have something to do with mind control or psychological manipulation. The symbol of the “Illuminatus!” is the opened eye and the All-Seeing Eye is found in many eras and cultures. It is generally a symbol of the watchful and protective power of the Supreme Being. It appears on the Great Seal of the United States, and is among the many beautiful symbols of Freemasonry, where it represents the Great Architect of the Universe. It is also known as the Eye of God. Is the island God?

Mind games in Episode 304: Every Man For Himself

Ben convinced Sawyer that they had installed a pacemaker in him that would erupt his heart if overstressed. This head-trip was designed as a simple means to keep Sawyer in check. While Sawyer fell for this con it seemed a bit elaborate and irrational in many ways. That this tactic worked surprised me, as Sawyer appears smarter than that. A pacemaker is major surgery and requires a great deal of recuperation and has a slow and painful recovery time. Besides, a pacemaker would not do what Ben suggests but a defibrillator would. Again, this particular mind game was administered to keep Sawyer from attempting to escape the island.

Bearing the stretcher of Colleen’s injured body past Sawyer and Kate’s cage was designed to specifically give them a false sense of hope of rescue. By bringing an injured Other near, Sawyer and Kate were under the impression that a rescue attempt was being made. The loud noises and shouting may have given Sawyer and Kate the false hope that the survivors were on their way in making a rescue attempt. Another mind game played to create an emotional response… but why did they bother? And the burlap sack over Jack’s head is a recurring theme among the Others.

The Others placed Sawyer back in his cage even after they knew that Kate could get out of hers. This particular test was designed to assess Kate’s emotional attachment for Sawyer and whether or not she would leave without Sawyer or Jack. In this particular instance neither Kate or sawyer knew that mind games where being played as they did not know yet that they were being watched.

When Sawyer is brought in for his mock “operation” the communicator is left on in Jack’s cell and he hears Sawyer’s voice. The idea that he was being tortured was probably foremost in Jack’s mind. There are many reasons why this might have been done. Jack as a doctor would feel compelled to help an injured or hurt human being and his compassion and oath assured that he would be concerned for Sawyer’s health.

Jack is allowed to hear a conversation that stated it was a mistake to bring Kate and Sawyer “here.” This conversation fabricated in advance and designed to be overheard so that Jack would know that Ben had come for him. While Jack had no idea what Ben wanted from him it was obvious that Jack was the “one” that Ben wanted.

Jack is summoned by Juliet to perform surgery on Colleen. Juliet may have already known that Colleen was beyond help. However, no one but a doctor would have known this. Juliet’s summoning of Jack was so that he would see the x-ray of the spinal tumor. The Others run “a hooded Jack” past Sawyer and Kate's cage. This head game was designed so that Sawyer and Kate would know that Jack was alive but would continue to keep Jack isolated. The loud music playing over the loudspeaker was to insure that Jack would not hear Sawyer and Kate.

Ben made sure that Jack was handcuffed to Colleen’s gurney for quite a while. This may have been done for a number of reasons, including monitoring Jack’s emotional response to losing a patient. This is a recurring theme in many of the flashbacks that took place at St. Sebastian Hospital where Jack worked. It is also possible that Ben was giving him more time to observe the spinal x-rays and to examine the available medical equipment.

Later Ben admits to Sawyer that he conned him with the scheme of placing a pacemaker inside him. In the process this gave Sawyer information on just how smart Ben could be and at what lengths he would go to in being deceitful. A word of caution about Ben: There is very little that we can believe when it comes to Ben. He has done nothing but lie to the Survivors since he met them. Therefore the claim that they are on two different islands remains unfounded. Also, that the spinal x-rays are his may be suspect too.

Mind games in Episode 305: “The Cost of Living”

The Pearl Station may be part of a larger psychological experiment. In this case, the experiment would involve the observation of the “subjects” in the Swan Hatch. The subjects of the Pearl would be told, through their own Orientation film that they are to observe subjects in an experiment already in progress and are to record their observations in notebooks. They would not be told the whereabouts of the Swan experiment, however. The experiment would be monitored, as well, as described by the presence of cameras inside the station. It is not known where this experiment is monitored or by whom. There is still a possibility that whoever is monitoring it could also be the subject(s) of an experiment.

Jack’s attendance at Colleen Picket’s funeral is a definite mind game played by Ben to make Jack feel sympathy or guilt for her death. In the end this is a ploy to enlist Jack’s surgical expertise for Ben’s eminent spinal surgery. The white linen clothing was a nice touch too. Surgical, clean and without blemish…

It appears that Juliet has an agenda of her own and it doesn’t seem to include Benjamin Linus. Is she working to rid the Others of a tyrant or is she the usurper with a plan to take over? It looks like she may not be as nice as she pretends to be. Juliet tells Jack she is going to play To Kill A Mockingbird for him. What Juliet tells Jack and what she shows him on the “home movie” tell completely different stories. She tells Jack that Ben is a great man and that he deserves to live but her cue cards certainly don’t back up that notion. There is an apparent ruthlessness to Juliet’s plan as outlined in the cue cards. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Ben is a skilled con man. Juliet’s behavior may be part of some elaborate plan on his part. Juliet’s animosity towards Ben could be a ploy. Juliet and Ben may know that Jack could never consciously harm a patient and by asking him to in an elaborate scheme to murder him may very well save his life.

Juliet’s cue cards read: “Ignore everything I’m saying”, “Ben is a liar”, “And he is very dangerous”, “Some of us want a change”, “But it has to look like an accident”, “It has to look like we tried to save him”, “And that’s up to you, Jack”, “It’s a complicated surgery. No one would ever know”, “And I would protect you”, and “Now tell me to turn off the movie.” Can we believe anything that Juliet says? Is she playing Jack for her own benefit? It is possible that Juliet wants Ben to die but why? What happened that would make her hate him so much that she would conspire to murder him? Juliet is definitely a character to watch and may be the one person who knows more than anyone else about what is happening on the island.

Juliet may be conning Ben. It seems to me that Ben had a plan set in motion to convince Jack to do his surgery and to make Jack think he wanted to. Juliet upended that scenario when she “mistakenly” allowed Jack to see Ben’s
x-rays. This was most likely done on purpose as we now see that Juliet would rather see Ben die than continue to lead the Others. Why is there so much friction between them? Does Juliet truly plan to remain on the island? Or does she have an entirely different agenda?

Mind games in Episode 306: “I do”

When Kate gets married under the assumed name of “Monica” she knows full well that someday she will have to run. Her “ideal” marriage is destined to fail since it is based on a lie and Kate is simply playing a mind game with Kevin. She may love him but there is no doubt that she run, even in her own mind. Why else would she have called Marsh?

(A note about Nathan Fillion who played Kevin in this episode – An interesting déjà vu moment occurred last night for me. When Nathan starred in “Firefly” in one episode he was drugged by his then newlywed wife, with a drug on her lips when he kissed her. In Lost his newlywed wife “Monica” drugged him with a Mickey in his drink. It appears that a lot of déjà vu moments are occurring, even across networks and writers/creators. Some I may not have even happened across yet. Since this is such a major recurring theme in the show I’ll keep you posted when I find others.)

Jack not only plays mind-games but he manages to achieve an entire coup on the Others. Ben is convinced that Jack will operate and save his life. Juliet believes that Jack is in her corner and that he intends to “accidentally” kill Ben. In either event Jack has set himself up pretty well. Consider this: If Ben bleeds out and dies he can fall in with Juliet’s group and “be protected” by her. If Sawyer and Kate are allowed to go free then he will save Ben and may be sent home. At least Ben will look on him favorably since he saved his life. I like the twists that this episode has taken but do not like the idea that I have to wait 90 days to see what happens next.

General Mind Games

Why do so many of the people have look-alikes? People who look like the Others appearing in flashbacks: The nun in Eko's flashback reminded some of Miss Klugh; the alter boy in Nigeria of a young Walt; some saw Michael or a Michael look alike in another episode; the guy in the hospital in Jack's flashback looked like Mr. Friendly (Tom); the leader of the "family" in Locke's flashback reminded some of one of The Others. I even confused Penelope with Juliet early in the premiere and I think that Adam (book club guy) resembles Ben. Of course, then there is Ben telling Jack that Juliet was chosen to try to manipulate him because she resembled his ex-wife. If the black smoke monster can take any form...what does that mean about the reality we've been seeing? Did it just happen that there was an individual in their remote and marginalized population who looked a lot like Sarah, or is nothing what it really “looks like” on the surface? (See our theory on plugging in or tuning in below.)

Bonus Section 2:

From an idea by Deb:
(Note: Deb was kind enough to write an article herself, which I’ve included below. And if you get a sense of déjà vu while reading it… well, don’t blame us!)

Déjà vu (or looking backward in a forward manner)

The term déjà vu is French and means, literally, “already seen.” Those who have experienced the feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn’t be familiar at all.

Beyond Desmond’s precognition, déjà vu, is the real theme of this season.
Charlie tells the same joke “you never call never write” to John that he told last year to Eko. “Boy, you bunk with a guy for 48 days -- now he doesn't call or write.” (Bernard to Eko in “SOS”). “You don't call, you don't write.” (Charlie to Locke in “Further Instructions”, and to Eko in “Live Together, Die Alone”).

The opening shot of Locke waking up in the jungle is a shot-for-shot replay of the scene in the pilot when Jack wakes up in the jungle.

There is even an instance when Hurley mentions Déjà vu: From Episode “Further Instructions” Hurley says to Charlie, “I just got hit with, you know, deja vu.” This after Desmond tells Hurley that Locke will say something specific in his speech, which hadn’t yet occurred.

We can even use the repetition of the numbers and other items (such as the many inclusions of polar bears and toys) as déjà vu. Hurley saw the same numbers he used to win the lottery on the side of the hatch. Walt is given a stuffed polar bear as a small child then sees a polar bear in the comic book he’s reading. Also, polar bears appear in the Swan Orientation film and on the island itself.

Our Weird Theory Concerning Mind Games and déjà vu
(As posited by The Alternative One and Amelia Crater)

We’ve come to the very strange conclusion that the island and the survivors are plugged in or tuned in somewhere and are being force-fed mentally all their Experiences. We believe that the memories and experiences are being culled from major works of literature, from music videos, from pop-culture and from history. Scenarios from major works of literature appear in various forms including many of the books from Jack’s bookcase and they repeat with frequency. Bob Dylan, the Who and other rock bands appear in veiled moments throughout the past few seasons, including an entirely fictional band known as Geronimo Jackson. Not to mention Mama Cass Eliot, Patsy Cline and Brenda Lee. Somewhere in the world our survivors (and perhaps even the Others) are in comas or stasis plugged into each other via a cable and given memories and interactions by an unknown puppet-master. The reason we, and the Survivors, are experiencing déjà vu so often, is because many of the memories are being recycled and reused. I can’t say that this theory has been totally fleshed out but we are constantly testing the validity of the idea and keep coming up with the same conclusion. Someone is feeding them all their Experiences… the only questions we have at this point are who and why?

For more theories see out Lost Theories website at:

Recycled lines and themes:

In support of our weird theory above we’ve compiled the following recycled lines and themes, which we have experienced (déjà viewed) a number of times times before before.

Recurring Lines

“Are you him?”
Desmond says this to Locke when they first meet in “Man of Science, Man of Faith”, Helen says it to Anthony Cooper at the Skyline Motel in “Lockdown”, and Kelvin says it to Desmond after he hauls in from the beach in “Live Together, Die Alone.”

“Don’t tell me what I can't do”
There are a number of versions of this saying but they all convey the same meaning. Locke says it to Randy, who was giving him a hard time about going on his walkabout. During a long monologue and tirade Locke says it to the travel agent who denies him admission onto the bus and Locke says it to Kate, all from the episode “Walkabout.” Jack says it to Sun when he is trying to save Boone’s life in “Do No Harm.” Claire says it to Charlie and Sayid in “Exodus, Part 2.” Jack says it to Desmond in “Man of Science, Man of Faith.” Locke says it to Jack in “The Hunting Party.” Jin says it to Sun in Korean in “The Hunting Party.” Eko says it to Locke when Locke tells him the button pushing task is pointless in “?”. And most recently Charlie says it to Locke in “Further Instructions” when he wants to go on the polar bear hunt.

"Every Man for Himself"
Jack's speech to the castaways in “White Rabbit” includes this line. Sawyer tells Jin this in “...And Found.” Sawyer says it to Charlie in “Dave.” And Sawyer says it to Kate on three different occasions in “Every Man for Himself.”

Sawyer tells Jack that he gets to be a hero again by fixing everything up nice in “Confidence Man.” Jack tells Boone he can fix him and Sarah tells Jack that she’ll dance at her wedding because he fixed her in “Do No Harm.” Desmond asks Jack “What if you do fix her?” regarding Sarah in “Man of Science, Man of Faith.” Jack talks about fixing their marriage to Sarah and she tells him that he’ll always need something to fix in “The Hunting Party.” Rose tells Isaac of Uluru that she is going to tell Bernard that he fixed her in “S.O.S.” And Sarah tells Jack that he’s always had to have something to fix in “A Tale of Two Cities.”

"From the dawn of our species, Man has been blessed with curiosity"
This is an exact quote by Alvar Hanso (1967), as seen on the official Hanso Foundation website (2005) and spoken by Carleton Cuse in the Hanso Foundation commercials that aired during the Lost Experience (2006). Tom quotes the following to Jack in “The Hunting Party” – “You know, somebody a whole lot smarter than anybody here once said: ‘Since the dawn of our species, man’s been blessed with curiosity. ‘”

"Let go" or “Let it go”
Sawyer says it to Kate and then Jack in different circumstances in “Confidence Man.” Locke says it to Boone in “Hearts and Minds” and Boone repeats it to Jack in “Do No Harm.” Locke says this to Jack in “Exodus, Part 2”, as the smoke monster is pulling him into the hole in the ground. Desmond tells Kelvin that he’ll never let it go in “Live Together, Die Alone.” Christian Shephard tells Jack to “let it go” several times, including in whispers through the communication intercom in “A Tale of Two Cities.”

"Live together, die alone"
Jack also says this line in his speech to the Survivors in “White Rabbit” and establishes himself as a leader. Sayid quotes this line from Jack’s speech in “House of the Rising Sun” and Kate does the same in “Man of Science, Man of Faith.” Jack says it to Michael in “Live Together, Die Alone”, and Kate to Sawyer in “Every Man for Himself.”

"Not a killer" or “not murderers”
Hibbs tells Sawyer that he’s not the killing type in “Outlaws.” Colleen tells Sun that she’s not a killer just before Sun shoots her in “The Glass Ballerina.” Eddie tells Locke that he’s not a murderer in “Further Instructions.” Ben tells Sawyer in “Every Man for Himself” after revealing that the pacemaker threat was a con, “we’re not murderers.”

“See you in another life”
Nadia wrote this to Sayid on the back of a photo of herself, as read to Danielle in “Solitary.” Anthony Cooper says this to Locke shortly before surgery in “Deus Ex Machina.” Desmond says it to Jack in “Man of Science, Man of Faith.” Dave says it to Hurley before jumping off the cliff in “Dave.” And Desmond says it to Locke in “Live Together, Die Alone.”

“There's a line”
Christian Shephard tells Jack, “There's a line, son. You know it's there. And pretending it's not -- that would be a mistake.” in “The Hunting Party.” And Tom says to Jack in the same episode, "Right here there's a line. You cross that line, we go from misunderstanding to something else.”

“What did one snowman say to the other snowman?”
(A recognition password of some sort….)
Desmond to Locke in Man of Science, Man of Faith.
Kelvin to Desmond in Live Together, Die Alone.
Locke to Desmond in Live Together, Die Alone.


Recurring Themes

Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute

There are multiple connections between some of the characters and the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. In flashback scenes several characters including Hurley, Libby, and Emily Locke (John’s mother) were shown to be patients at the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute. Hurley was admitted after a deck he and 23 others were standing on collapsed under him causing the death of two people, which he insists happened because of his weight. Hurley's psychiatrist was Dr. Brooks and during his stay he befriended a man by the name of Leonard Simms, who was obsessed with The Numbers (which is where Hurley got his lottery ticket numbers). Hurley also had a friend named Dave during his stay. Dave would frequently encourage Hurley to eat which would eventually make him gain weight therefore extends his misery. Dr. Brooks explained that Dave was not real, only a figment of Hurley's imagination.

Also, it wouldn’t surprise us if St. Sebastian, the hospital Jack and his father worked, and Santa Rosa were affiliated in some way.

It is not known how or why Libby became a patient, but she was there during Hurley’s stay, without his knowledge. This explains his constant question about knowing Libby from somewhere. Emily Locke was admitted to Santa Rose several times, suffering from schizophrenia. She also believed that John Locke’s conception was immaculate.

Other Characters Undergoing Treatment

Ana-Lucia, after being shot and suffering a miscarriage, gets help from an LAPD counselor. He judges her fit to return to the force but her problems continue until she kills the man who shot her.

Christian Shepherd is in counseling with the Friends of Bill (Alcoholics Anonymous) for his alcohol abuse problem.

John Locke attends a support group where he meets Helen.


The repetition of the hunter and the farmer is seen a number of times. John is depicted as the hunter in both the commune and on the island (boar hunting, etc.) The members of the commune are farming hemp while on the island Sun tends her garden. Locke also builds a sweat lodge on the island similar to the one in the commune in California. Hurley continues to challenge his own sanity. The theme of a con repeats over and over again, mostly affiliated with Sawyer but there are other plans being hatched by many of the other characters.

Although Libby attended the Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute as a patient, she claimed to be a clinical psychologist on the island and actually used a psychological technique to help Claire regain her memory. And Hurley asks Sawyer on two occasions if he is hoarding psychotropic drugs.

The Stations

The Swan Station

One of the Dharma Initiative’s main fields of study on the island was, among other things, psychology. It was originally presumed that the Swan Station was part of a psychological experiment. In this case, the experiment would involve the task of pushing a button every 108 minutes. The subjects of the experiment would be told, through the Swan Orientation Film that failing to push the button would result in a catastrophic disaster. People in another DHARMA station, the Pearl, which the participants did not know about, would monitor the experiment. However, it is now clear that failing to push the button does actually result in an electromagnetic disaster, so it is unknown what role the Swan plays, if any, in any real psychological experiments.
The Pearl Station

The Pearl Station may be part of a larger psychological experiment. The experiment would involve the observation of the “subjects” in the Swan. The subjects of the Pearl would be told, through their own Orientation film that they were to observe subjects in an experiment already in progress and to record their observations in notebooks. They would not be told the whereabouts of the Swan experiment, however. The experiment would be monitored, as well, as described by the presence of cameras inside the station. It is not known where this experiment is monitored or by whom. There is still a possibility that whoever is monitoring it could actually be the subject(s) of an experiment.

The Hydra Station

Another example of Psychology is problem solving. This is shown when Sawyer is captured by the Others and in order to gain food, had to solve a problem of food acquisition once used on bears. (see B.F. Skinner) The Hydra Station may have been built to be used for experiments in communication and to study animals.

The Lost Experience

From The Lost Experience, we know that the H in DHARMA stands for Heuristics, a field of psychological study, which looks into how algorithmic learning develops. Lacanian psychoanalysis is a type of Freudian psychology pioneered by Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan. A key feature is the definition of the self in terms of the Other. Lacanian psychology is highlighted as a useful pre-requisite for the job of Personal Assistant to Thomas Mittelwerk on the Hanso Careers Website (as part of the Lost Experience). The Vik Institute is the flagship psychiatric hospital of the Mental Health Appeal. It was run by Dr. Armand Zander, but instead of treating patients, The Hanso Foundation is secretly exploiting autistic savants in the basement to recalculate variables for the Valenzetti Equation.


Numerous fears have been portrayed by various characters in various situations during the show. There is:
* Fear of being taken (usually discussed by the tail section members).
* Fear of the sickness (especially by Danielle Rousseau).
* Fear of the end of the world, related to pushing the button (specifically by Locke, Desmond, and Eko.
* Fear of the smoke monster (or the Security System, "the black smoke", Cerberus).
* Fear of a returning or redeveloping illness or disease.
* Fear of relapse into addiction (by Charlie, and Claire and Locke for Charlie).
* Fear of the numbers (Hurley and to some extent Locke)
* Fear of the Others.
* Fear for he safety of Aaron (especially by Claire and Charlie).
* Fear of wild animals, like polar bears and boars.

Featured Guest Article on Dharma déjà vu by Amelia Crater:
Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger…

Déjà vu isn’t just a passing fancy on the Lost Island these days. Not only do the islanders repeat themselves, or, spookier, repeat something they did not hear the first time it was said on the show, they’re also giving repeat performances or suffering from the kind of ongoing mind glitch that makes strangers look like someone you've met before.
I doubt that we can blame these dialogue do-overs on lazy writers:
Charlie tells the same joke, “you never call never write” to John that he told last year to Desmond.
Last year Eko said “Don't mistake coincidence for fate.” This year Locke said it.
Previously on Lost, in a flashback, at Shannon’s dad’s funeral, someone said, (I think it was Boone) “I hate funerals,” a sentiment apparently shared by Juliette who said it to Jack at Coleen's Viking funeral.
Then there are the oft-described cheeseburgers. Dave said it to Hurley in the Santa Rosa asylum: “Oh, oh, oh... can you taste that? That is freedom, baby. You know what tastes even better than freedom? Cheeseburgers.”
Last year when Locke offers prisoner rations to Ben(ry) he responds:

GALE: No cheeseburgers, huh?
LOCKE: No cheeseburgers. Bon appetit.

Jack had better luck in last week’s episode when Juliette went out and “killed a cow” and “rendered animal fat” in order to slack his cheeseburger cravings.
And that burger reminded us of the one Ben(ry) didn't get... and the conversation that he had with Locke that cheese-free day. Here's what they talked about:

GALE: Is that true -- what you said about Hemingway?
LOCKE: You have good ears.
GALE: You have thin doors.
LOCKE: You read Hemingway?
GALE: Sure, guy ran with the bulls, fought in the Spanish Civil War, stuff I can wrap my brain around. This is I can’t get through five pages of [indicating the Dostoyevsky novel].
LOCKE: Well, Dostoyevsky had his virtues, too. He was a genius, for one. Bullfighting isn’t everything.
GALE: So, which one are you?
LOCKE: I’m sorry.
GALE: Are you the genius, or are you the guy who always feels like he’s living in the shadow of a genius?
LOCKE: I was never very much into literary analysis.
GALE: I just don’t understand why you let the doctor call the shots.
LOCKE: No one calls the shots. Jack and I make decisions together.
GALE: Right, okay. My mistake.

[Locke leaves the armory, starts to do the dishes, and then loses his temper, swiping all the dishes on the counter to the ground.]

Huh? Didn’t Jack and Juliet have a similar face to face...about Ben(ry)? Oh yes, here it is from “The Cost of Living”:

Jack is watching cartoons in his cell when Juliet enters with a tray of food.

JULIET: How are you doing today, Jack?
JACK [sarcastic]: Great.
JULIET: You seem frustrated.
JACK: Am I going to keep watching cartoons or are you going to tell me why I’m here?
JULIET: I hope you like blueberry. If not, I can...
JACK: Should I talk to Benjamin?
JULIET: Sorry?
JACK: Should I talk to Benjamin? Because I’m starting to think that you're just the person who brings me my food.
JULIET: You can talk to him all you want. But he won’t tell you anything.
JACK: You work for him?
JULIET: No, I don’t work for him.
JACK: He’s in charge.
JULIET: Well, it doesn't work that way over here, Jack. We make decisions together.
JACK: Really? Because when I was holding that broken plate at your neck he seemed happy to just let you die. I mean, it felt like he made that decision on his own.
JULIET: You don’t know what you’re talking about. I don't answer to him.
[ Ben enters.]

That’s not the only time that Locke and Jack seem to be channeling each other. In the opening scene of “Further Instructions” Locke wakes up in the jungle we witness a shot-for-shot replay of the scene in the pilot episode when Jack wakes up in the jungle (see above). Ditto the scene in “The Cost of Living” in which Eko stumbles into the “garden” of red flowers to meet that carbon copy of his brother “Yemi.” Haven’t we tiptoed through these posies before? Yup, with Hurley when he was being led astray by island “Dave” in last year’s episode of the same name

These are mind games for sure, but there doesn’t seem to be any particular pattern to the madness, we don't know who is zoomin’ who, or to what end? One thing’s for sure, if the black smoke monster can take any form...we all might need a radical reality adjustment in order to keep up with reality we're seeing? Wasn’t that the season three teaser? The characters asking themselves “Who am I?” The announcer’s eerie intonement, “Find yourself on Lost.” Couldn’t we just get the cheeseburger, please?

Amelia Crater (A.K.A. Deb)

Note: The next episode will not air until Wednesday, February 7th, 2007. I will, however, continue to publish this newsletter every week. Please let me know if there is a particular subject you would like to see discussed. Until next week then…

P.S. For the non-observant viewer… I have included a number of references I feel came directly from literature, music or pop-culture throughout this newsletter. How many can you find? Now that you’ve found them can you identify the source? Have fun! By the way… that’s a challenge!

The Alternative One
Kenosha, Wisconsin
November 9th, 2006

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The Alternative One –