Sunday, March 21, 2010

LOST: Aaron is Infected...

OK. This is a riff on a theory that I encountered online. As a rule, I avoid poking around online LOSTiness as much as I can, but I found out this site was directing people to some of my posts, so I had to have a peek. I ended up re-posting a couple of my blabs there... to little fanfare. What-EV.


The original theory posits that Aaron is actually the first victim of Infection that we get to meet on the show. Claire's baby passed away in the womb, the result of the shock, injury, and trauma sustained in the crash. The theorist cites Claire exclaiming that she hasn't felt the baby move, post-crash. The first time Aaron moves is after Jin gives Claire some sea urchin, remember? And she embarrasses him by pressing his hand against her belly to let him feel the kicking. A harsh basis for a theory, but one with logic and ramifications, both forward and backward in time, that I like.

Firstly, Infection is Bad. Infection until 2004 has apparently been limited to the Island, contained in the snowglobe. Infection sets in once a person dies on the Island. Its first order of business is reviving its host. Once revived, the host is apparently him or herself, unchanged, except, as time goes on, the individual's inclinations and behavior become darker and darker. They become dark versions of themselves, less motivated to follow thru on any of their selfless inclinations, Good intentions, and more likely to act on their darker urges, and more susceptible to selfish temptations, Bad influences. I know it's vague, but you get the idea, right?

The Others, once baptized in the Temple spring, are somehow immunized against Infection. Ben's dip was successful, back in 1977, saving his life and making him forever an Other. Sayid's dip in 2007, not so much. Jacob had been killed, robbing the spring of its vitality, before Sayid could be dipped.

I submit that for Infection to spread successfully and completely throughout its host, to swallow the individual's heart in darkness, the host must be an adult, must have had enough of a life and experiences to develop that scale of good and evil that Dogen refers to. So, in cases where the host is a baby or child, Infection does what it can to keep him or her healthy until s/he's "ripe" for complete Infection.

So, let's assume that three-year old Aaron, who was left in the care of Claire's mother by Kate in 2007 Los Angeles, is Infected. How does Aaron come to be that way...?

When we rewind Claire's story, we find that it's because in 2004 she listens to Aussie fortune teller Richard Malkin's warnings about the fate of her child. We gather that he sees that if he's raised by anyone other than Claire herself, he will be the cause of a Big Bad on the order of the end of the world. Claire insists that she can't raise him alone, and when he presents Claire with an apparent out, a plan to have her fly to L.A. to give her baby up to a "safe" couple, she agrees. Of course, this plan actually turns out to be a cover for his real plan—to save the world by tricking Claire into raising Aaron herself out of necessity, by trapping her on the Island at the time of his birth. We presume that Malkin sees that this will ensure that she will keep him and raise him, perhaps to adolescence on the Island, a very special environment. A pretty ingenious solution within the framework of the LOST story and a satisfying bit of early LOST unpuzzling for us. In retrospect, on the Island, Claire herself realizes this truth.

We should have known better, right?

Now, three years later, we know that things didn't go as the fortune teller had foreseen or planned... Or did they?

If we jump tracks to Richard Malkin's story, what do we find? He's met Mr. Eko, who is sent to Australia by the Church to investigate the merits of a proclaimed miracle—the resurrection of Malkin's daughter, Charlotte, dead by drowning. I can't quite place Eko's visit in time compared to Claire's fortune reading sessions, but given their Oceanic 815 itinerary, I think it's safe to say there's some overlap.

During the course of Eko's investigation, we find that Charlotte's return from the dead is pretty convincing as a genuine miracle—remember the audio recording of Charlotte's revival during the M.E.'s autopsy? But her father tells Eko that there was nothing miraculous about his daughter's recovery. Her mother insists that it's a miracle and Richard explains to Eko that she does that to berate him for his ongoing business as a fortune telling charlatan, admitting that he is a fake with no psychic abilities. At this, Eko decides that the girl's survival is non-miraculous. Later, the girl finds him at the airport before boarding 815, and she gives him a message from his brother Yemi, whom she met while she was "between places."

I think it's safe to say that we are meant to know that Charlotte's spontaneous resuscitation IS supernatural in origin. Malkin's daughter is brought back from the dead. Malkin tricks Claire into having her baby on the Island. Does anyone see a quid pro quo here?

I want to believe that Malkin is the real deal, with a seer's gift bestowed upon him by the Island or its agents, perhaps thru an Islander bloodline, perhaps thru Jacob's touch, or even a combination of both. As a psychic, he could foresee his daughter's death, and would know it to be final. At best, using his ability, he might repeatedly forestall the inevitable, the way Desmond does for Charlie, saving her from immediate danger and then dealing with cosmic course corrections as they come. Perhaps he's already been engaged in this for some time when...

One of the Island's bigwigs/aspects contacts him. Originally, I had Esau reaching out to him, but as far as I know, he's never been free to leave the Island or affect the outside world the way Jacob can. Unless... Can you imagine Esau placing a collect call from the Island? Right. But I don't see how it would suit Jacob to manipulate these lives to this Infectious end, so... I'm gonna go with the restrictions of the Rules, which don't allow Esau to leave the Island, and thusly...

Esau contacts Malkin thru an intermediary. Maybe it's someone in cahootz with Esau. Maybe it's someone who's being extorted by Esau. Maybe it's one a regular Joe Infected. Maybe Malkin's own abilities allow communication with the Monster from afar, perhaps even thru the visions of Claire's future themselves.

However he makes contact, Esau explains to Malkin that he will eventually have to let fate take Charlotte, but that he, the Monster, has the power to bring her back, and that's what he will do... if Richard does one thing for him. When he meets a young mother-to-be whose reading is "blurry," he must use any and all of his influence to persuade her to board Oceanic flight 815 on September 22, 2004.

Her presence on that flight leads to...
  1. Unborn Aaron's demise in the aftermath of the crash.
  2. Unborn Aaron's exposure to Infection on the Island.
  3. The birth of Infection-resuscitated Aaron on the Island. The first successful birth on the Island in a long time, perhaps since Alex Rousseau. (I'm okay w the possibility that she was Infected as well.)
  4. Claire's death by mercenary RPG.
  5. Claire's resuscitation by Infection and subsequent abandonment of baby Aaron.
  6. Kate raising Aaron as her own for three years off Island.
  7. The escape of the Infection from the Island, with Aaron as its probably superhuman vessel.

Even if Malkin's doomsday vision about Aaron is a fabrication, given his pedigree (Christian's grandson) and his singular experiences and exposure to who-knows-what energies and phenomena as a baby on the Island, I'm totally ready to buy him as an extrasensorally gifted individual. A potential Walt. If this was the Marvel Universe, he'd be an Omega class mutant, a Phoenix, destined to be a Dark Phoenix. So, I think it's safe to extrapolate that the release of an Infected Aaron into the general population leads to an end of the world.

Let's say you're some kind of superhuman somethin-or-other who views reality as your aquarium and the human lives within it as your pretty little fishies. You've discovered that your jerkass roommate has squeezed a drop of some kind of fish ebola into the water, certain to kill off all your pretty fish. Well, what are you gonna do? Set up a new aquarium, of course!

If you survived that lame analogy (I'm certain there's a better fit, but one's just not coming to me right now), hopefully you get that I'm talking about Jacob and Esau and LOST reality. By releasing the Infection into the outside world, Esau's gone and fouled it all up, so, Jacob sets things in motion that will reboot events so that that Infection never occurs, creating a reality in which the Island is submerged, and Oceanic 815 does not crash on September 22, 2004.

A long longshot here, but maybe Esau's long game here is to have tricked Jacob into RE-creating a reality that previously existed. The one from which Jacob originally plucked or seduced him. The home that he tells Ben he can no longer return to.

Frack. I'm puttering out on this. May return to it in a follow-up post or comments...

My thanks to JG and KP for digging up names and corroborating parts of my madness. =)

Keep on keepin on~

p.s. I was hoping to work in this weird hint at Kate's own specialness...
KATE: Oh, I think Choo Choo knows better than that. He goes into that tunnel, he's never coming back out.
... but couldn't quite crowbar it in. I see it as a sign that on some level that as secular and mundane as her story consistently seems to be, Kate may yet *know*, or be somehow in tune with,... things. I'll work it into a future post.

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