Watching the "Orchid Film" makes you wonder many things, in usual LOST fashion. The foremost question to me is, is it showing a smaller event before the Incident, or are we seeing the actual start of the Incident tragedy in the film? TPTB said that this piece of film surfaced in Norway, so does the rest of the film actually show something terrible that the DI/Hanso hid from the world, i.e., the entire Incident as it happened? I hope so!!!
Next came the question of where another station fit into the DI plans as we know them. In the Swan orientation film Dr. Candle says that, "Station 3 was originally constructed as a laboratory where scientists could work to understand the unique electromagnetic fluctuations emanating from this sector of the island...", which seems to say that the Swan was originally the Orchid station as many people (not me) guessed right away. Is that why so far only the Swan film mentions the Incident and damage control protocol? Because it used to be the Orchid and still needs to be kept a secret, the way that the Orchid station's purpose was cloaked? In the Pearl film, the Pearlies are merely instructed to watch the Swanies (to ensure that the Swanies kept up their post-Incident duties?) and nothing is mentioned of the event. I can imagine the DI failing to mention their little mishap to future recruits coming on board to work.
It's also interesting to think about what may have been the mindset of the Dharma Initiative after the Orchid event. Is that when the general stability and control of their organization began to breakdown, following failure after failure? It seems that the DIs didn't give up on all of their experiments and projects after the Incident happened, although hints of activities in the Pearl and other defunct stations seem to be vaguely bogus pseudo-science at best, and useless psycho-babble-ology at worst. If they had to reconfigure the Orchid station and construct the new Swan set-up and protocol, they still seemed to continue operating in a business-as-usual manner, albeit maybe just to keep up appearances in their reports to Hanso HQ. As anyone who has worked in research knows, scientists do not like to admit failure, and do not like to give up their "capital" funding, because that next wacky break-through might be just around the corner! And, they still had that pesky Sword of Damocles, the Valenzetti Equation, swinging overhead.
What also about Ben's place in all this chaos? He obviously had his own problems to deal with on a familial basis, which probably poisoned his attitude towards the DI. And I doubt if his inherited "Workman" status left him privy to much of the underground DI work. But I wonder what he saw of the social and scientific downfall of the overall DI infrastructure? Surely he must have seen the facade crumbling as the DI's structure collapsed, and must have some knowledge of the Incident and other freaky happenings that went on when he was mature enough to sense it. He has expressed his slant on how the DIs got along with the natives, but what else does he know about the DI's breakdown?
I really hope that TPTB dive right into many of the alluded-to depths of these delicious Incident secrets in season four. I don't want to complain (again), but so far we've held on for three seasons of layered mysteries like giant onions that have a million levels with only a few of them visible so far. According to Lostpedia, "...Cuse further described the [Orchid] film as 'something that will fire your imaginations about what you're gonna see in Season 4'..." My imagination doesn't need any firing at this point thank you, they've done a great job of that so far. But after seeing the mind-blowing Orchid film this summer, my eyes are dying to see some big fat freaky crazy Dharma station action!