Tuesday, May 18, 2010

LOST: Why no Other babies?

(This is a slightly edited version of "LOST: baby talk", that I posted at theoriesonblogspot.)

Some ramble-theorizing on the Island's no-babies-on-board policy...


It isn't really about fertility, right? On the Island you can certainly MAKE babies, but you can't HAVE babies. The sad problem is that mothers and babies do not come to full term and survive labor.


Consider this: the pregnancy issues on the Island only affect the Others. Conception is unimpeded, but delivery while on the Island is.

When you become an Other, you get baptized in the Temple spring. This automatically enrolls you in the Island health plan, gets you a place in the Other community, possibly grants you a specialty talent/gift, and infuses you with protection against monsters, courtesy of the Protector's life force/powers. In return for these benefits, at least one of which is basically an absolute requirement for long-term peaceful survival on the (Monster) Island, you must give up the possibility of siring a child and remaining on the Island. You can have and raise your child, but only as an Other/Island exile.

We really have only one test case to examine (Eloise Hawking and Daniel Faraday), so this notion of exile could go a lot of ways. Here's my reading...

THE RULES ABOUT BABIES (and some of their possible effects/reasons).

Parental leave exile (Eloise) is similar to taboo/violation exile (Charles) and wheel-turning exile (Ben)—the power of the Island will prevent you from returning. Of course, we've seen that there are exceptions to this, perhaps explicit in the Rules, perhaps loopholes to be exploited. Ben returns to the Island as part of a proxy re-creation (Ajira 316) of a previous snowglobe incursion (Oceanic 815), and Charles returns when the Island is Protector-less.

The child of an exile is welcome on the Island, just not the parent.

I believe that this Rule, this contract, has been in effect for centuries, since before Claudia's arrival.

On one hand, it's a pretty effective way to limit the exposure to the outside world of the Island's existence, its gifts, and its gift-giving. Those who become Others and enjoy the benefits of a simple life on a tropical island would have to think hard about giving it up for any reason. It's also a built-in population control measure, somewhat harsh, but not a bad notion given that we're talking about an Island in its own pocket dimension.

On the other hand, once people are capable of leaving the Island, this policy can create emissaries, or witnesses, who can testify to its wonders should they choose to. Of course, the question is, who would believe them, and how would they ever find the Island again as exiles?

Another effect of these exiles on the outside world would be to seed the general human population with potential for Island-gifted individuals over generations, by chance, or maybe by Island insiders (Jacob's agents, perhaps) on the outside working some kind of breeding program, to create the next Island "players" and Candidates. Chance may be behind the likes of Walt, while strategy might lead to an Aaron, each of whom proves to be an enigma before they have a clue about the Island.

In a big picture way, perhaps this would serve as an engine for the next chapter in human evolutionary development.


I'd say that the DI must have observed that the Hostiles' population suffered from this pregnancy phenomenon, but never received details about the Rules and Otherness from the mouth of a Hostile. So, erring on the side of baby- and mother-saving, they instituted their policy of subbing pregnant women off-Island before they go into labor, to safely deliver their children. However, we see that Amy delivers Ethan in 1977, so they may never have needed to set up that protocol.

Island baby roll call...

Jacob and Esau. Claudia's not an Other when she delivers.

Ethan. Amy is not an Other when she delivers.

Daniel. Eloise is likely off-Island when she delivers Daniel, and stays off-Island to raise Daniel on her own. This is the case for parental leave exile as a Rule. Of course, she's got Daniel's future memories in her hand, and her own gift tells her that Charles will stray ("Love can be complicated," remember?).

Alex. Danielle is not an Other when she delivers.

Aaron. Claire is not an Other when she delivers.

Am I missing any Island babies?

I'm not sure how this theory and the mystery itself will contribute to events to come. Its significance may remain completely on what's already passed in that the inability to (pro)create new Others on the Island necessitated that Protectors and players be brought to the Island by luck and design. Who knows? Maybe regime change on the Island will lead to a revision of the Rule/s that govern this.



P.S. LOST GENERATIONS (some bonus round rambling).

In early seasons I've believed that an outsiders' cabal was steering events and people to get just the right players groomed and ready to be placed on the Island for a final conflict. First I thought that they all agreed to sacrifice a child to the Island (or their search or project for the Island) as part of their strategy and to demonstrate their commitment. When I got a clue that Widmore had a history ON the Island, I realized that they're all more insiders than outsiders. They are group of those who left the Island, exiled because of the Rules explained above, and their children may have been part of a plan older than themselves.

Ray Shephard. Charles Widmore. Patriarch Paik. I believe that all were once on the Island and had to leave it in order to start their families and continue their bloodlines. The Shephard line was meant to produce Jack, a likely Candidate. I suspect that Claire, and then Aaron, are a secret "side project" of Christian's, an unscripted branch of the family tree. Widmore sires Daniel and Penny. Daniel's gifts of genius and understanding prove to be vital to Widmore's rediscovery of the Island, while Penny's gift manifests in her relationship with the one man who could be the key to thwarting Locke-ness. Paik's line produces Sun, who joins their blood to a Kwon (another Candidate line). Each on their own play important parts in the drama-puzzle of the Island in two eras, and together produce Ji Yeon, whose gifts have yet to be expressed as far as we know.

I feel like Ray Shephard is waiting for regime change on the Island for his chance to return, like Captain Pike in STAR TREK's "The Menagerie."

Keep on keepin on~

No comments: