Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lost Puzzle Clues

In 2006, four Lost jigsaw puzzles were produced, each giving hidden clues to the show once assembled. Various people across the net assembled them and worked to decode the messages. Lostpedia has a great page summary of all the info they contain.

Because I'd like eventually review the Blast Door Map now that we have another entire season under our belt, I thought I'd talk a little bit about the puzzles first since many of the hidden clues refer to abbreviations and missing notations from the Map that were heavily debated when it was released. Let's take them one-by-one.

1) Abbreviations

There were about a dozen different abbreviations on the Map, some easy to decipher and some which caused some head scratching, especially one in particular: "CV." There were several CV markings on the map, numbered with roman numerals: CVI, CVII, CVIII, CVIV. However, because CVIII also equals 108, there was a lot of discussion as to whether these were simply numbers (even though CVIV is not the correct notation for 109 (which would be CIX).

One of the theories was that CV stood for "Cerberus Vent," i.e. something the Smoke Monster could pop out of from underground. From the puzzles, this turned out to be correct. The abbreviations:

Periodic Supply Drop (PSD)
Alvar Hanso (AH)
Dharma Initiative Hanso Group (DIHG)
Cerberus Vent (CV)
Emergency Escape Protocol (EEP)

The others were nice to have confirmed even though fans had pretty much guessed them (EEP was still somewhat being debated, but the others were pretty clear). But CV actually being Cerebus Vent was huge because 1) it actually suggests Smokey = Cerberus and 2) that he uses these vents to pop out at certain places on the island from underground. This explains a bit as to why it tried to drag Locke into that gaping hole in "Exodus." I'll reflect on this a bit more when I talk about the Map.

2) Missing Notations

The second set of info gleaned from the puzzles was the writing at the top of the Blast Door Map that you couldn't pick up from the screen captures. This was mostly in the top right-hand corner near the Arrow Station. Here's everything we couldn't read:

On the left, near the crossed out station (italic writings are old)

Believed to have divested from project in 1985 following AH/MDG incident.
Know to be a hub for EFP conduits
DHARMA Protocol - no stations past security barrier
Why a DHARMATEL Intranet presence past this border?
Carcharodon carchareas selective breeding facility?

On the right, near The Arrow

Possible offshore data dump
Arrow Station Primary Function: Restocking and staging area for DIHG
Possible terminal point for subterranean EEP tunnel network?
Final destination in case of code 42?
Hub of DIHG road system or other major route of overland travel?

While this doesn't give us a wealth of new information from the Map itself, it's nice to have everything filled in. EFP could have been a typo since EEP fits much better there. Code 42 is interesting because of the codes the computer in the Flame used (42 wasn't one of them). It also seems that DHARMA does have a bunch of escape tunnels across the island that the Losties have yet to find and explore. They also say the breeding facility is for Great Whites, although I don't think the shark Michael shot was one of those.

The Arrow being a restocking or restaging area is curious too. This makes it sound like The Arrow was merely a point station for shipping supplies to all the others (although we did see some of that happening in the Barracks too). But Horace Goodspeed had an arrow insignia on his jumpsuit and he was a mathematician - maybe more went on there than Radzinsky and Kelvin suspected.

3) Phrases

Lastly, there were four phrases also included with the notations, two which seem to be jokes, and two which hit home at a central mystery of the show:

The Jokes

Need More Mac And Cheese
What Good Is Peanut Butter And Cereal Without Milk

These seem to be inside jokes from the writers with a sideways nod to Henry Gale's terrific "got any milk" line. But the other two are a bit more serious...

The Clues

There Is No Sickness
Quarantine Is A Hoax

Whoa, eh? While this has been suspected for some time (and somewhat confirmed by Kelvin using the sickness excuse to keep Desmond in the Swan), it's a pretty big deal to see it in writing. So why would DHARMA do such a thing?

It could have been added incentive to keep people from exploring the island and getting themselves killed by the Others or the Monster. What better to quash scientific curiosity than with the fear of a deadly illness? Remember "Quarantine" wasn't just written on the Swan's Hatch, it was also written on the door of The Arrow. This suggests it wasn't just made to keep people pushing the button, it seems to be to keep people from exploring the island in general.

So the question remains, what happened to Danielle's crew? the first time we ever heard of "The Sickness" was when Danielle told Sayid that she killed them all after they got sick and went insane. However, we have to remember that 1) Danielle's been on the island for 16 years and, aside from being slightly bonkers from the exile and having her baby stolen, her health is fine and 2) No one from the Losties or the Others seems particularly ill either. Perhaps Danielle's crew did get sick and go insane. But it seems plausible that their sickness is unrelated to the DHARMA hoax.

This is pretty good stuff for a puzzle sales pitch: They said there would be clues when assembled and they delivered on the goods. They gave us several answers to questions we had on the Map and threw in a bonus answer to one of the central mysteries of the show. I'll refer back to this a bit when I talk about the Blast Door Map later on.


someGirl said...

PHEW! Just read your entire synopsis. GREAT JOB! I think I might actually like it better than Lostpedia! Anyway, I did have some questions:
-Do you know if what Bea Klugh said to Mikhail was translated?
-The whispers. What's your take on the whispers? I've read the transcripts and it seems like there is an entirely different group present, just 'watching' Weird.
-I've had this nagging idea that Ben and Jacob are no longer on "speaking" terms. I think that Ben has lost communication with Jacob because his vision is clouded. A hint would be when Richard says to Locke (when he gives him the Sawyer file) that Ben has been wasting their efforts on the baby-issue. Maybe that can explain his fury at Locke being able to see/hear Jacob. Ok that wasn't a question. Sorry!
-Naomi. OMG!! I was on Daniels site after the finale and EVERYONE kept discussing the 'casket' and I was like "Did I miss something" I thought the most important part of the finale was WHO IS NAOMI WORKING FOR!!! That’s the million $ question. I've rambled. Great site, easy to read, not cluttered, and just the facts. LOVE IT.

Laura said...

WOW Jay you rock! Cant wait to read more

Carly said...

Jay you are way smarter then the average bear. Plus I like the fact that you are not arrogant about it. :)

I also read the comments and wholeheartedly agree that the conversation between Ben and Richard is very important. It has bugged me for awhile now.

Keep up the insights. They are very helpful!

Jay said...

Thanks for reading everyone! :)

To answer your questions (sort of)...

What Bea Klugh said was translated:

Klugh: Mikhail. Mikhail! You know what to do.
Mikhail: We still have another way [out].
Klugh: We cannot risk it. You know the conditions.
Mikhail: There is another way.
Klugh: They captured us. We will not let them to get into the territory.
Klugh: You know what to do. That's an order.
Mikhail: We still have another way!
Klugh (in English): Just do it, Mikhail.
Mikhail: Forgive me. (shoots)

The whispers I'll address in a separate post sometime.

It seems like Jacob is still talking to Ben (it looked like he was really talking to him in the shack), but Ben is concerned because he used to be the ONLY person that could hear him. And I think this is because he might be a bit disappointed in Ben.

Also - remember that 1) Jacob asked Locke to help him - he seems to be in trouble 2) that weird ring around Jacob's shack could be there to contain him (or protect him, hard to tell). Regardless, Ben is certainly jealous of Locke and feels threatened by him.

I can't wait to find out who's on Naomi's ship.

someGirl said...

Thanks Jay! That conversation has been buggin' me for a while. Ms Klugh seemed like an important character for the Others and I really wanted to know what that dialogue was

Laura said...

Jay, If Ben can still hear Jacob why did he ask Locke what Jacob said? It would be cool if Jacob could only be herd by the person he is speaking directly to. I got the feeling that Ben has some kind of control over Jacob ... (maybe with the ring around the shack) I think the only reason for him to ask Locke for help was because he couldent get that help from Ben or he needed help because of Ben.

Jay said...

I think that's it exactly. The only person who can hear Jacob is who he's talking to - kinda like telepathy.

Ben brought Locke to the cabin to see if he was really special. And when Locke actually heard Jacob, Ben became threatened and jealous and shot him. :)