Analysis: Lost in My Thoughts: A Lost Dissertation – Season 2

Plot: Hatch is opened and we learn about the Dharma Initiative, Tail section survivors merged with the main cast with disasterous results, Shannon is shot by Ana Lucia, Ana Lucia and Libby are shot by Michael, Henry Gale/Ben Linus makes his first appearance

Themes
Us vs. Them – From The Tail Section struggles versus The Others (made suddenly real through their experiences and the taking of Walt), to the Tail Section versus The Fuselage Survivors, to everyone vs. The Others, this season was all about how that newly formed community in Season 1 dealt with external clashes. The tail section was a dark mirror for the fuselage survivors, with its own Jack in Ana Lucia and Locke in Mr. Eko. But these reflections were corrupted and toughened. Then, suddenly, when Michael shot Ana Lucia and Libby, it was suddenly Us vs. Us. That theme that would permeate into the next season.

Coincidence vs. Fate – A subset of free will vs. destiny and science vs. faith, another immortal line, this time uttered by Mr. Eko: “Do not mistake coincidence for fate.” In Season 2, Locke fell from his Island shaman rule as he felt too strongly that the Island wanted him to push the Hatch button, then later, lost that faith too quickly and in his stubbornness, destroyed the Hatch. Was Locke wrong to believe? No. He was wrong to go all in with his faith when the cards he was holding were weak. Also, was it coincidence or fate that Desmond was in the Hatch, being someone Jack already knew? Since no one comes to the Island uninvited by Jacob, one would have to say yes, it was fate. And that Jacob somehow knew that Jack and Desmond would play a key role in the destruction of the Man in Black.

Redemption/Personal Acceptance – Again, this theme pops up. Shannon is killed in an episode that centers on her struggle to be needed. Her flashback reveals that her stepmom cast her aside and she feels like Sayid finds her useless in their romance on the Island. But Sayid assures her this is not the case and they are momentarily happy until Shannon chases after Ghost Walt and gets shot by Ana Lucia. Likewise, before Ana Lucia is shot by Michael, she finally admits to him (and herself) that she cannot kill anymore (this following a previous episode which revealed she killed a criminal in cold blood after he shot her and killed her unborn child). It seems that on the Island, if you grow, you die. At least, in the first two seasons.

Skinner Boxes – Skinner boxes, as it has been explained to me, are essentially physiological tests conducted in a closed room, where the subject doesn’t know they are being tested. Locke eventually thought the Swan Station (The Hatch) was a Skinner box and lost faith in the Island. In actuality, the Pearl Station (the one with the TVs) was the Skinner box. The larger question became, was the Island itself a Skinner box for some unknown force?

Identity – From Dr. Candle/Halliwax/Wick/Chang in the Orientation videos to Henry Gale/Ben Linus, we saw a few characters pop up with different aliases. Each iteration seemed to bring up another personality. This further looped back to James “Sawyer” Ford.

Mysteries
Dharma Initiative – In Season 5 we learn more about them, but they are a hippie-ish research group, founded by Alvar Hanso (whose grandfather was the captain of The Black Rock) and the DeGroots, graduate students at the University of Michigan (whose fight song is played in the polar bear cages in Season 3). Essentially, on the Island, they were trying to create a utopia/prevent the end of the world (through the Valenzetti Equation, which had the Numbers, and was seen in the online game between Seasons 2 and 3). But they had to battle The Hostiles/Natives/Others and they turned into a bit of paranoid mad scientists, with psychological experiments like The Pearl Station and their actions against Sawyer and Juliet in Season 5. They were essentially wiped out by The Purge

Interesting aside: one can say that Dharma was the “science” counterbalance to Jacob’s “faith.” Jacob and Dharma wanted to save the world, Jacob, save it from Smokey (Man in Black), Dharma, from our own destructive tendencies (which is epitomized, not surprisingly, in the Jacob/MiB dynamic).

Related Mystery: The Pallet Drop – If Dharma was wiped out, why was food continually dropped? Revealed in the extras of the Season 5 DVDs, Ms. Hawking (who was a Hostile/Native/Other) assumed control of a Dharma station (The Light Post, seen in Season 5) and continued the drops after the Purge. Why? To keep the Others supplied, one can guess, with the ironic help of the group the just destroyed.

The Incident – Referenced by Dr. Candle in the Swan Orientation video, it is the reason why the Hatch works the way it does. We learn in Season 5 that this incident was caused by the survivors of Oceanic 815 when they traveled back in time. They exploded a nuclear bomb to counteract the electromagnetic energy of the Island. In a bit of foreshadowing, Desmond’s partner in the Hatch, Kelvin, had a former partner he called Radzinsky who killed himself. Radzinsky was seen in Season 5 to be the pompous scientist who pushed for the Swan Station.

The List – At the end of Season 2, Michael betrays the castaways and tries to lure Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley into an Others trap. Why those four? Well, on the surface, it is because Ben needed Jack to remove his spinal tumor, Sawyer and Kate were leverage (and he hoped the duo would be “Caged Heat” and possibly get Kate pregnant), and Hurley was meant to convey a warning to the survivors. However, look at who remained at the end of Season 6 of the potential candidates: Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and Hurley. Another example of Lost using repetition and mirroring of itself.

Note: the list of these four names was not Jacob’s list. It was only made by Ben. It was commented upon in Season 3 that some of the Others were disgruntled over this fact.

Four Towed Statue – Seen more in Season 5, it is all that remains of the Egyptian god Tawaret, the goddess of fertility. It is where Jacob lived.

Henry Gale – Identity assumed by Ben Linus to infiltrate the survivors. In reality, Gale was a balloonist who got stranded on the Island and killed.

The Others – We see more of them in this season, but they look scruffy, where old clothing, and no shoes. We know from Season 3 and Season 6 there are two sects: The Others who live in Dharmaville, who look modern, and those at the Temple, who are clothed in an older style. One can surmise that the Others who wear the older style of clothing, either as a disguise or in their everyday life, are trying to mimic their “god,” Jacob, who wore similar clothing. Jacob also never wore shoes. The other reason why the Dharmaville Others wore the old style clothing was that they were pulling a con on the survivors (or anyone else not a part of their group): they did not want intruders to know how well they live or the resources available to them. Better to be hillbillies with high technology to surprise your enemy than to be true. We see that this is an Others’ philosophy, to assume different identities, when the castaway time traveled to the 1950s and the Hostiles/Natives/Others were pretending to be military folk.

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Analysis: Lost in My Thoughts: A Lost Dissertation – Season 2”

  1. Analysis: Lost in My Thoughts: A Lost Dissertation – Season 2 (via Creative Bender) | Life After LOST Says:

    […] Plot: Hatch is opened and we learn about the Dharma Initiative, Tail section survivors merged with the main cast with disasterous results, Shannon is shot by Ana Lucia, Ana Lucia and Libby are shot by Michael, Henry Gale/Ben Linus makes his first appearance Themes Us vs. Them – From The Tail Section struggles versus The Others (made suddenly real through their experiences and the taking of Walt), to the Tail Section versus The Fuselage Survivors, … Read More […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: