Sunday, June 10, 2007

LOST: timeline cobbling...

Okay, so there's the Dharma Initiative. They discover the island, by luck, accidental rip in spacetime, electromagnetic survey, however, they discover it. Maybe a founder had connections to the Black Rock, or recovered Black Rock castaway, lost at sea many years ago. Anyhow, Dharma moves in in the decades following WW2. They build their hatches, set up their experiments, settle into their village. On the mainland, some Dharma hippies play good Samaritan to Ben's parents-to-be, getting his mother to the hospital so that Ben can be born. His mother dies in childbirth... I think that's right, no? Yeah, cuz Roger refers to Ben's birthday as the day he killed his mother... It's hard to celebrate. Anyhow, pops Roger has fallen on hard times, but lucky for him his new Dharma buddies offer him a job on their island, as a janitor, aka "workman."

Roger and Ben don't quite get along so well, with Dharma or with one another. When Ben gets past the sonic fence and runs away, he encounters one of the Hostiles, up close and personal. Richard Alpert. He seems to size Ben up instantly, maybe even expected him? They talk, Ben reveals he'd rather be with the Hostiles than living and working for Dharma, and they end up cutting a deal that's realized years later, when workman, Jr. Ben betrays Dharma to the Hostiles, kills his own father, and eventually (or quickly?) earns, or perhaps takes his rightful destined place as, leader of the Hostiles. His ability to communicate with Jacob seems like it would secure that position, eh? Who spoke to Jacob before Ben arrived?

Dharma types know of the Hostiles and periodically successfully defend against Hostile attacks. They seem to be the closest things to "natives" of the island. Their origins? Descendants of the crew (and manifest?) of the Black Rock? Or, given the longevity of the island's denizens, and the complications surrounding fertility and childbirth, the original crew of the wrecked ship?

Having killed all of Dharma's personnel on the island, at least, all of them whom they can get to (Kelvin's left alone in the Swan), the Hostiles then proceed to assume the identity of Dharma in dealings with the outside world. How long does it take for Dharma to learn that their people have been killed? What can they do about it? They continue to regularly/automatically drop supplies onto the island. This seems to indicate that some of the legit Dharma types (Mikhail?) were converted/defected to the Hostiles, unless on his own workman Ben was able to learn enough about Dharma's ways, communications, and protocol to fool real-world-Dharma into believe that island-Dharma was functioning within normal parameters... Perhaps... At least until something catastrophic, like perhaps the implosion of the Swan. I think some of the Others must be converted old school Dharma personnel.

That makes sense. That Ben and the Hostiles assume the identity of Dharma's island contingent, keeping up appearances so that from the outside, all seems to be well. Maintaining that illusion would allow them to operate in the real world as apparently legit agents of Dharma, using real-world-Dharma's resources and clout to conduct operations and even recruit new agents, such as Juliet, as recently as 2001 (she's been on the island for three years, right?).

Or... Did Dharma always want the Hostiles to come into technological power on the island?

Or... Does Dharma not care who runs their island operations, but just that certain goals are reached, regardless of the means?

I'll put aside those two ors for now...

Why do the Hostiles, now Others, care to bring more people to the island at all? Seems like they've got two ongoing priority projects... One, collecting Good people. And two, solving the dangerous fertility issues connected to the island. Oh, I guess there's also the third one of abducting and testing those with possible extrasensory/paranormal abilities and/or a connection to the island, i.e. Walt and Locke.

So, Ben wacks his dad sometime in the 70s. You can tell cuz he snuffs him in the Dharma VW mystery machine. Ben and Richard and company move into the Dharma village. They apparently eliminate the occupants of many of the hatches/stations and abandon the projects and experiments that are of no interest to them. It seems that it may have taken some time to get into the Pearl, the monitoring station, as we see that a pyramid of pneumatic tubed notebooks has accumulated since the Hostile's attack. They free the polar bears (the Einsteins of the bear community) from their pens, if only to make room in the cages for prisoners. They continue to put on a show in front of the cameras as the raggedy Hostiles for the benefit of the stations they can't infiltrate.

Sometime around 1988, a pregnant Danielle Rousseau, on a research vessel of some sort, along with her husband and a team of scientists, are drawn to the island by the broadcast of the Numbers. They end up shipwrecked, and every member of their crew and team is either abducted or killed by the Hostiles, or maybe died from an as yet unidentified/unconfirmed virus. One or more of them might have been done in by Rousseau herself (she spoke as if she killed her husband, and her child, Alex, was "lost" to her, somehow). Eventually, she locates the radio tower that transmits the Numbers and replaces the recording with her automated looping "iteration" distress call. She then proceeds to go native, living in the jungles of the island on her own, and sometimes at odds with the Hostiles, aka the Others. Rousseau believes, or wants to believe, that Alex is dead, when in fact, she's been abducted and then adopted by Ben.

Why were the Numbers being broadcast in the first place? Was it a beacon or guide of some sort for Dharma operatives? Was it part of one of Dharma's experiments that the Hostiles didn't bother to shut down? Was it something the Hostiles initiated to draw new blood to the island? Ordered by Jacob? And the power of the Numbers? Does anyone know how these numbers can influence reality? Were they discovered by accident? No one but Hurley and Danielle have had any direct experience with them.

Allright, dropping the Numbers for now...

Sometime in the 90s, back when Eko was still a crimelord in Nigeria, a small plane carrying the body of Eko's priest brother and one of his soldiers crashes on the island. There are no survivors and the plane is left undisturbed by islanders for years.

Sometime else, an eccentric (wealthy?) adventurer-type, Henry Gale, and his wife set out to circumnavigate the globe in a hot air balloon. Their journey ends on the island. I can't remember if the exchange between Sayid, Anna Lucia, and Ben reveals anything about whether the Others had an explicit hand in their deaths. They do find both of their bodies buried, tho, right? Someone had to bury them.

Can anyone remember how long Desmond's been on the island? Well, however long ago that was, Desmond is sucked into the island by a freak storm. He's welcomed by Kelvin, who's hoping that he's there to relieve him ("What did one snowman say to the other?"), and then pressed into button-pushing duty.

Did the Hostiles intercept and kill or abduct and convert Kelvin's assigned Dharma relief personnel? Are any of Ben's current Others converted or brainwashed Dharma agents?

In 2001, Richard Alpert and Ethan successfully recruit Juliet. I can't recall if they ever use the name Dharma in any of their discussions. They seem to have all the trappings of representatives of Dharma in their dealings, and they have access to some resource which can cause a bus to kill a tyrannous ex-husband.

In 2004, Desmond kills Kelvin. He lets the clock run down to zero, tilting the Swan and knocking Oceanic 815 out of the sky. On one side of the island, the 815 survivors encounter the black smoke monster, which has apparently roamed the island since the original Dharma people arrived (they built a sonic fence for protection). On the other side, the tailies are quickly thinned out by abductions by Ben's Others.

Juliet knows enough to be afraid of the Monster when she and Kate are handcuffed together. I don't know that any other member of the Others has acknowledged the creature. Did the Hostiles coexist w the Monster peacefully? Is it because they are all "Good?"

In the season finale, Ben explains to Jack that Naomi, the woman who parachuted to the island from a helicopter, is *not* the rescuer that she claims to be. She is not part of Penny Widmore's search for Desmond. In fact, she's working for Dharma, who apparently is intent on reclaiming the island and killing off the Hostiles, and anyone else who doesn't belong to the Initiative. Or so Ben would says.

Naomi is not surprised to be on the same island as Desmond, but she *is* surprised to find the survivors of Oceanic 815. This leads me to believe that the faked airplane wreckage and bodies were conjured up by the Others. That would keep the outside world from launching any search and rescue action for the missing passengers. They might have come up with a story/body for Desmond as well, except they didn't know he was on the island (he was taken in by Kelvin and his boat was somehow never spotted by the Others). If Dharma knew about the 815 survivors, they would have given Naomi a cover story that included the search for them, right?

With Dharma not knowing about the 815 survivors, they may not necessarily wish to do them in. Although, if they prove to be unwanted complications, it would be no big whup PR-wise, as the rest of the world already believes them to be dead.

I like the idea that Dharma may be the greater evil when compared to the Hostiles/Others. Sure the average Dharma scientist type seems like a hippie, but there's big money weapons makers and industrialist moguls backing it all, right? Evil, no? One which would force the survivors and the Others to cooperate. A team-up, or series of team-ups, will make for some fun episodes next season. With Locke being a possible island/Jacob oracle, at least as connected as Ben, you've gotta wonder who the island might choose to support in some way. Maybe it's a fickle god type of ancient mythology, y'know? Throwing its weight behind whatever city-state or people happen to amuse or honor it in a pleasing way at a particular moment...

Right. I know I missed some things I wanted to ramble out, but I'm just about tapped out for the late night...

Keep on keepin on~

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