Tuesday, May 4, 2021

LOST: It Wasn't Purgatory, Season 2, Episode 24, Live Together, Die Alone part 2

On-Island Events: Charlie brings Eko the hidden dynamite, which Eko brings to the hatch. Eko pleads with Locke to let him into the computer room; Locke refuses and Desmond assures him the blast doors are strong enough to withstand a dynamite blast. Eko eventually lights the fuse but the blast doors do not open. Desmond talks with Locke about his beliefs; Locke tells Desmond about the night he found the hatch in the jungle just after Boone's death. In explaining what he found in the Pearl Station, Locke inadvertently causes Desmond to reevaluate his position on not pushing the button. Desmond looks through the sheets of entered numbers printed out from the Pearl Station and determines that one of his late entries resulting in a "system failure" warning may have also caused Oceanic Flight 815 to crash.

Desmond demands that the button be pushed; Locke seizes the computer and throws it on the floor, ruining it. Desmond opens the blast doors, finds Inman's key and attempts to execute the failsafe procedure as the numbers count down. Desmond tells Locke his pounding outside the hatch after Boone's death saved his life so that Desmond could save Locke's. The numbers count down to zero, the hieroglyphics seen before in red and black flip down, and the metal objects inside the hatch begin flying toward the hatch walls. Eko helps move Charlie out of the hatch but refuses to leave without Locke, who is terrified but admits he was wrong. Desmond, remembering the words of Penelope's letter, flips the key inside the Dharma octagonal
switchpiece marked "System Termination." 

Jack, Hugo, Kate, Sawyer, and Michael see Sayid's smoke signal a few miles inland and begin to argue about where Michael has been leading them but are taken down by tranquilizer darts and transported to a dock near the shore. The bearded man appears with several others; Kate tells him she knows his beard is fake and he removes it. "Henry" pulls up to the dock in a boat, and just as he begins to talk to Michael, a loud buzzing occurs and the sky becomes purple. "Henry" explains Michael can take the boat following a compass bearing of 325 and he will be able to find rescue with his son. He adds that once Michael leaves, he'll never be able to get back to the island. Michael finds Walt inside the boat, the two embrace and depart. Miss Klugh tells Hugo to return to camp and to tell the rest of the survivors they can never come to this area. Hugo asks about his friends; "Henry" announces they are coming home with them. As the others put a cloth bag over Sawyer's face Kate looks worriedly at Jack, who tries to smile back at her. 

Flashbacks: Desmond watches Inman augment the map on the blast door, which he explains was started by a man named Radzinsky. When Desmond asks what became of Radzinsky, Inman shows him a mark on the ceiling, a stain from Radzinsky's suicide. Desmond begs Inman to allow him out of the hatch, stating he's been locked inside for two years, but Inman refuses. Later, Desmond finds Inman drunk, hiding a Dharma Initiative key which he says is a "failsafe," which fits into an octagonal switchpiece. He further explains that pushing the button releases a buildup of electromagnetic energy that has been leaking out of the area under the hatch, which is why someone always needs to be there, "saving the world."

The next day Desmond follows Inman outside back to his sailboat, which Inman has been secretly repairing. The two struggle and Desmond accidentally kills Inman. Desperate and suicidal, Desmond finds a gun and grabs his special Dickens book, Our Mutual Friend (which as explained in Live Together, Die Alone part 1, he has saved to read just before he dies). Inside it is a letter from Penelope; Desmond reads it and cries. Moments later, Locke (who, after fleeing the caves after Boone's accident, is up above pounding on the outer hatch door) surprises Desmond. He then switches on the light that will convince Locke the island has given him a sign.

Greater Meaning
: Locke is proven wrong in his thinking that none of his actions had meaning when the hatch begins to dangerously hyper-magnetize. The button indeed needing pushing, but what does its legitimacy say about the Pearl Station and the Dharma Initiative? Of course Locke was right in feeling manipulated (and we saw the field of pneumatic tubes filled with notebooks, for what, exactly?) If their experiments were to spy on whoever was in the hatch tasked with pushing the button, and if they were just going to throw away the notebooks of observations, then it does seem like it was all pointless, unless the Pearl Station itself was the subject of the experiment, NOT the hatch. Would the subjects do as they were told? Was there anything to be learned about the people in the hatch? Was it an elaborate monitoring system in case (as with Kelvin, Desmond, and eventually Locke) the button-pushers decided to mutiny or abandon their posts? Were the duties in the Pearl Station meant for some sort of punishment? Were potential members vetted there? Philosophically, the experiment seems to examine how men respond to their orders, whether or not they question them, and how they deal with unknowns. 

Given what we've seen of the island's special abilities, one wonders if the Dharma Initiative factored in any policy or procedures for things like the monster (which we haven't heard from in a while), the mysterious healing properties, or any additional unknowns. Finally explained was the "Quarantine" warning on the outer hatch door; Kelvin tried to sell Desmond on it not being safe outside of the hatch but ended up admitting it was a lie when he was caught trying to leave with Desmond's boat. Kelvin and Desmond, though they both performed the same duty, are different. Kelvin stated he willingly left the armed forces to join the Dharma Initiative; Desmond (like the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815) crashed onto the island by accident. When Locke mentions the printed logs of the numbers, Desmond works out that he, by entering the numbers in late, caused the crash by verifying the time and date. Later, as Desmond prepares to kill himself, Locke pounds and shouts outside the hatch and prevents the suicide from happening. Were both men destined to save each other? Locke's importance on the island has thus been connected with his faith and appreciation for nature in contrast to Jack's skepticism and devotion to science, how is Desmond important, and where does he lie on the faith/science spectrum? If unaffiliated with either, is he the link between Locke and Jack?

Further Questions: 

1. What will the others do with Sawyer, Kate, and Jack?

2. What is the reason for the costumes? 

3. Will Michael and Walt make it back home?

4. What is "Henry's" real name? 

5. What will become of the hatch?

6. Will Locke get his faith back now?

7. How did the explosion of the hatch affect the island?

Monday, May 3, 2021

My Octopus Teacher

My husband was watching this and I came in less than halfway through. I watched about thirty seconds of it and knew it was going to make me cry but of course I had to finish it. I won't spoil anything. I won't even describe any of the events that happen because it's just better to discover it your own way, uninformed (don't even google anything because the spoilers come up immediately). What I will say is, this is humanity, the way it should be. 

My Octopus Teacher, 2020. d. Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed

Starring: Craig Foster 

Summary: " A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world," (IMDB). 

I think we all know people out there who walk around like Clint Eastwood characters, hating everything, scowling at everyone, but who are able to feel safe in showing kindness and love to animals. This film is important because Craig Foster shows us how to take that kindness and tenderness (which we may keep hidden) and take steps to share it outward, toward other humans, toward the land, and toward ourselves as well.  

See others' existences. Protect the land, protect the seas. Allow yourself to feel and empathize. Take your humanity seriously and challenge yourself to do better.