Thursday, May 11, 2006

Locke and Eko Switch Places

If you aren't up to date on Lost then you are going to see some spoilers.

Last week's episode - when a friend with a gun says "sorry", duck. I wonder how long before someone notices the flashburns on Michael?

This week's episode - When Locke and Eko first met, Eko handed Locke a scrap of film that he had found, hidden in a Bible in an abandoned hatch. Locke saw this as so unlikely, something had to have caused it. Eko's reply was, "Don't confuse coincidence with fate."

Now, the plane containing Eko's brother crashed on the spot marked on Locke's map with a "?". Both Eko and Locke dreamed of Eko's brother telling them to find the station. This does seem to go beyond all coincidence, even for this show.

Eko took this as a sign that the message his brother said in a dream - that the work being performed in the Swan Station is very important - was the truth.

Locke, on the other hand, decided that he has been tricked. He had been doubting since "Henry" said that he hadn't pressed the button and nothing happened. The orientation tape for the new station, the Pearl, indicated that it was all a test to see how the people in the Swan Station would react.

When Locke saw the orientation film for the Swan his first reaction was, "We're going to have to watch this again." After watching the tape for the Pearl Station, Eko asked if he wanted to see it again and Locke said no.

So it appears that Eko will take over the button.

But, are things what Locke thinks they are? There were six TVs in the Pearl station. Only the one for the Swan worked. The tape said "one of the other stations" but did not say which. Since he could see that Swan was being monitored and it fit with pushing the button, Locke assumed that this was the task in the tape. It might not have been.

Pearl has its own camera so somewhere, someone was probably monitoring the people in Pearl as they monitored the people in Swan. This is important. There was a study in the 1980s in which monitors were supposed to ask volunteers questions and give them electrical shocks when they answered wrong. The study was actually about how people react when they can administer pain anonymously. The real subjects were the people giving the shocks, not the people being shocked (even that was a fake).

This might be going on in Pearl. The real study might be how "monitors" will react when they are told to record the actions of people who they think are performing a meaningless task. It might be the people at Pearl who were being studied, not the ones in Swan.

Given everything that we have seen, it is probably better to keep pushing the button for now.

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