I want to flesh out something that came up in yesterday’s entry. Or rather, I want to expand upon it, since "fleshing it out" implies I have some grand answer to the topic at hand. As per usual, I don’t. Far from it. Just a lot of ideas zigzagging underneath the bald exterior of my Bert-like head. (Some people have Ernie heads. I have a Bert head. Just one of God’s fun little pranks upon me.)
I want to think more about the city reflected in the water in the print ad for Season 4 of Lost, the Oceanic 6, and The Orchid Station, take all of those, stuff them in a blender, and then take that delicious Lost-shake along the submarine Galaga and see if we can’t figure out how time works on the Island, why the difference in time separates it from the real world, and why that barrier is literally the barrier between life and death.
Let’s start first with the print as. As I described it yesterday, it shows the main characters of the Island on the shore, at the edge of the ocean. However, instead of themselves reflected in the water, what we see is a reflection of what appears to be a modern city with the number "6" just below this reflection (relative to the eye of the viewer of the ad). This reflection calls to mind the promise of the title of the last episode of Season 3, "Through the Looking Glass." One must literally go through the (watery) looking glass in order to get back. But that’s not to say it’s easy, and certainly not to say it’s safe.
The notion of the Looking Glass underwater hatch as a waystation between our world and the Island world is further suggested in the Looking Glass’ design: namely, in its ability to hold a submarine for docking. The moon pool can serve no other purpose than as a holding station for the Galaga. This design, coupled with evidence within the show, strongly points to the fact that the Galaga has long been the more reliable way to get from the real world and the Island world.
But given the peculiar nature of time on the Island, is such a voyage preferable? One can look at Ben’s reticence to let people leave the Island as a way to psychologically control those with whom he comes into contact, but one could also rightfully suggest that Ben has an extremely good reason for keeping those on the Island right where they are. And that reason could be inside the Orchid Station.
Let’s take another look at the Orchid Station Orientation tape.
What’s important, at least to my discussion today, is Halowax’s terrified look at seeing two rabbits with the number 15 in the same room at the same time, along with his shouts to make sure they don’t touch. He also asks a female in the room, "When did you set the shift?" She answers, "Negative 20! " One (ie, me) could assume that what we’re looking at is the same bunny sent back in time twenty minutes…hours…days…the point is, that whatever shift was set failed to do the one thing it was supposed to do: produce Rabbit 15 in a location nowhere near itself.
One can only imagine just how dire the circumstances would be should these two touch, but given Halowax’s response, I don’t think the response would be bad on a level with, say, I dunno, the outrageous ticket prices one must pay to see a Hannah Montana concert. I mean, that’s dire, but not as potentially dire as Rabbit 15 V1 and Rabbit 15 V2 gettin’ all snuggly with each other. Such an anomaly could fall under one of the hallmarks of time-travel fiction: meeting yourself is bad, bad juju…potentially universe-ending.
"But," you interject, "You Bert-headed buffoon! People come and go from the Island! We’ve seen Richard! We’ve seen Ethan! Clearly it can’t be cataclysmic to travel to and fro via the Looking Glass on the Galaga!" Well, this is all true, but luckily I’ve anticipated your question, which I in no presented with a counter-argument handy, no sirree.
But that answer will have to wait until tomorrow. But I’ll let you posit your own theories below in the meantime. But think about whom Ben trusts, think about the shifts, and think about the bumpy ride that the Galaga takes in order to make the trip. Also, bone up on your paradox theories. I have a feeling Ben’s trying to fulfill an ontological paradox, while trying desperately to avoid a grandfather paradox. (However, he really has no opinion of Alanis Morrissette’s song "Ironic" either way.)
Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude.