Sunday, November 4, 2007

"Post-Orchid Dharma Thoughts"

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!


memphish said...

Nice post Capcom. I especially liked your observations about how non-scientific and non-imperative DI seemed to approach its work at least at a time we presume is post-Incident.

I really hope we get more information about what DI was really trying to do to change the Valenzetti variables (or rather constants since they haven't made them change). Did the Incident undo all their efforts or just the effort to change one of the numbers? And what did/does Ben's group know about this mission? And what sort of projects was Karl referring to in his boat trip with Kate and Sawyer that the Hostiles were still engaged in?

capcom said...

Thanks Memphish! And hey, that's a great question about how much Ben's new group knows about the VE mission. Do you think that might be what Richard thought was one of the more important things than fertility that he told John about?

Karl mentioned projects? Oops, I have to go back and check that out!

Amused2bHere said...

my head hurts, Capcom. I think it's the Valenzetti Equation...

I hope we get more background with Dharma, but I doubt we'll get more on Hanso or the VE, or anything TLE related. They are serious that they don't want viewers to feel that they missed a crucial piece if they did not know about the Lost Experience.

feh. They don't know what they are missing.

capcom said...

I know what you mean. I was just thinking today how much more fun that TLE made the whole Lost thing for me. I love the espionage/intrigue aspect that TLE gave the show. Too-bad-so-sad for the peeps who don't know about TLE.

At the very least though I hope that TPTB just fill in the blanks of how the Swan, Orchid, and other shown stations fit into the whole DI bag of tricks from what they have hinted at on the show.

Paula Abdul Alhazred said...

I'm no longer thinking the Swan is the former Orchid station, though that was a cool idea. I think we'll pretty much just have to wait and see what really happened to DHARMA, though I think we know the basics by this point. As for the Others, I doubt they care about the Valenzetti Equation. They seem more interested in protecting the island than protecting the world.

pgtbeauregard said...

Fantasic post Capcom.

I hope TPTB (when they're through with all the strike stuff) address some of these questions.

I remember from the ep with Karl and Kate/Sawyer that he talked about projects , and Sawyer said something about the take the kid off the raft project, that's a hummdinger or something like that.

What perplexes me (along with many things), is how did Ben find out about all the Dharma scientific projects, and how did he become so integral in it? Where did his scientific knowledge come from? Where did he get his info on the Valenzetti numbers, and what they mean.

memphish said...

Excellent point PGT. How did the "Work Man" know enough to be the boss?

capcom said...

Thanks! :-)

Right PAA, I don't think that the post-purge Others care about the VE, but only whatever way that they might utilize the existing facilites and technologies to protect the island, and follow whatever Ben's pet projects seem to be, e.g., the fertility thing. And I'm starting to think (for lack of any other ideas) that the reason Ben cares about fertility is to keep the island populated enough in the future, for there to be people to protect and hide it.

I'm up for grabs about the Orchid/Swan myself, ANY answers or coverage about the stations will suit me at this point! :-)

PGT, my only guess about Ben's knowledge of the DI and it's facilites, supplies, projects, etc., is that once the Hostiles were able to snoop around after the purge, they helped themselves to using everything that was there and usable for their own purposes.

And the Ben As Boss thing still perplexes me Memphish. I know that it is thought that Ben was special by way of the fact that he Jacob/Island could commune with him (his vision of mom, etc.), but why would he be automatically higher up than Richard or anyone else? Beats me.

capcom said...

P.S. In fact, I don't even care if TPTB have a Lostie find a big thick DI manual, and then sit there reading it out loud to the other Losties, as to what the stations were all about! :o)

Paula Abdul Alhazred said...


I totally agree with you that Ben is trying to keep the island populated. You've totally hit the nail on the head.

It wouldn't be too hard for Ben to learn his way around DHARMA. He was with them for years, and probably knew his way around the island pretty well. And I'm guessing he probably earned his way into the Others' world, and usurped Richard because Ben can see Jacob and Richard cannot. In essence, Ben is sorta their chosen one.

The reason why I gave up on the Swan/Orchid connection is because, well, (very very minor spoiler) I recently saw a photo on Dark's site of the Orchid logo. It looks to be a separate station. Have you seen these pictures?

capcom said...

Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!

OK, yes! I admit! I looked at the spoilers of the new station!! I'm weak! Heehee. :o)

Yeah, I hope that it's the Orchid, but it looked like a toucan(sp?) to me, haha. Maybe the orchid door got blasted off? Or maybe it's at the end of a different tunnel hatch? Or maybe it's going to be shown in a flashback? Then it could still be that the Orchid turned into the Swan. I guess that we'll just have to wait and see. Crud, I sure hope that the new door is in the first 8 episodes, because of the strike.

Paula Abdul Alhazred said...

--spoilers if you're not Capcom or myself--


So, if you looked at those pictures, what did you think of those bones? I caught myself having a seriously WTF moment.

capcom said...

**More Spoiler Talk**

Oh yeah, PAA! D'em bones are sweet! I sure hope that it is for real. Of course, it could just be a big huge open end visual that will be quickly shown and never talked about, like Mr.Fourtoes. :-( But it would be nice to know if the bones are from a land mammal, a whale, or some kind of Nessie even. :o) It was interesting that the ribs didn't go around to the front, like on a human anyway. So I guess that anyone who is a bone-ologist might be able to narrow it down some by Feb.

**Spoilers Over And Out**

Cool_Freeze said...

I am still crying about my favorite station being blown to bits..

capcom said...

Me too CF. Long Live The Swan!

That is, assuming you mean the Swan and not the Flame, heheh. :o)

Cool_Freeze said...

yeah yeah! I do mean the Swan. Yet it was so cruel to blow up the flame as soon as we are introduced to fitting though.=]


capcom said...

Right CF, it's as if TPTB say to us, "Lookee here at this really neat thing! NO! You can't have it!!!" Haha. :-p