Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lost Theory Question #7: The Capsule Dump

Note: I'm immersed in thesis writing right now. Posting will be slight for a little while. Management thanks you for your understanding. Yes, that means you, Missie.

One of the unanswered things Memphish's latest question brought to mind was the capsule dump. Along with the statue, it was one of the weirdest happenings in the Season 2 finale. The fact that the dump was a dump, i.e. a tube that emptied into the middle of nowhere rather than another station suggests DHARMA really didn't care much for their contents. This further suggests that the Pearl inhabitants were in the station for something other than simply monitoring the inhabitants of other stations.

In "Live Together, Die Alone," Desmond suggests it was the Pearl inhabitants who were the subject of an experiment:

Desmond Tell me about this other hatch you found... this Pearl.
Locke What do you want to know?
Desmond Details.
Locke The Pearl is a psychological station full of TV monitors. And uh... 2 men sat in viewing chairs and filled notebooks with observations on what happens in here. And then they put the notebooks in pneumatic tubes and send them back to their headquarters so they could evaluate us... as an experiment. What?
Desmond What if you've got it backwards?
Locke Backwards?
Desmond What if the experiment wasn't on the 2 men in here, but on the 2 men in there? I want to see that tape, John?
Locke No, you can't. There's no way to see it down here.

The dump seems to corroborate that assertion, but what was the experiment? An examination of note taking abilities? A trial run for the Swan to see if they get cabin fever? It just seems like an odd set-up to me.

Furthermore, the computer in the Pearl that was connected to the Swan does seem to suggest DHARMA was making sure the button was being pushed. But perhaps the note writing was merely cover. In other words, DHARMA didn't want anyone to know what was going on in the Swan, but they needed it monitored, presumably by underlings. So they concocted a phony story about the Swan inhabitants being the subject of an experiment so the underlings wouldn't suspect anything. The Swan gets monitored. The unsuspecting underlings get nothing but writers cramp. Win-win all round.

Of course, why they chose to have the capsules dumped in the middle of nowhere is still very odd. They certainly could have had them sent to a station so they could be destroyed or something. Seems awfully trashy for a bunch of hippie scientists, doesn't it?

So whatcha think? Do you agree, or do you have a totally different take?


memphish said...

The Orchid video clearly demonstrates that the Dharma folks are not above misdirection and out right lying, so telling the Pearl Station one thing and doing another is consistent with their modus operandi.

As for the the dump. It is strange that hippie types would litter the earth man and just leave all those canisters. But there are a couple of possible explanations for that as well.

Explanation #1, the Pearl inhabitants were skipped in the Purge, kept filling out their notebooks for their 3 weeks and no one picked them up. Seems like there are too many canisters for that though.

Which leads to Explanation #2 it was Roger Linus' job to pick up and deliver the canisters to some different location. Roger realizes that no one notices whether or not he does that part of his job (unlike the beer delivery whose failure to arrive would be immediately reported) and so he stops picking them up and there they lay in the field.

The oddest thing to me is that the computer in the Pearl shows when the button in the Swan was pushed, but there are no instructions in the video to print that out at some regular interval and include that in the report. I guess it must have been someone else's job to monitor that computer. There's no other mention of the computer in the Pearl film either.

Good luck on the writing Jay.

capcom said...

Great subject and questions. I agree with you Memphish. We know now for sure that these elitist hippie scientists were not beneath fibbing to their underlings. And as shown with "Roger(I didn't sign up for being a stupid janitor!)Linus", some people were cleverly tricked into believing things that weren't true from the moment they signed up.

The observation thing is pretty normal for psych experiments in the 1960s plus. Even our grade school teachers were doing it in CA to some extent when I was a kid. But the big Q as you say, is who exactly was getting experimented on? Someone in our circle of bloggers here (sorry, can't remember) suggested that some of the DI recruits might have been tested for being time watchers to keep the universe in check, while the DI went around changing the past to fix the V-Equation. So if that's the case (or anywhere near the case) the Pearlers might have been being tested for how well, and how long, they could do observation before they went nuts. Or as to how accurate they were. Maybe that's all that the time watchers do, is watch and watch. This sounds good to me until we get more info.

So far I've also been thinking like you Memphish about the dump site. That the Purge didn't quite make it to the Pearl for a while, and they just kept on churning out the notebooks even after no one was going to pick them up. Why they dumped into a field instead of some internal holding tank, even if they are useless info, is beyond me.

Paula Abdul Alhazred said...

If I could offer my two cents, I'm guessing that someone was initially meant to pick up those capsules. But, since DHARMA fell apart over an extended period of time, it eventually got to the point where no one was collecting them. And I definitely think that the Pearl was both a psychological experiment as well as an attempt to keep the Swan monitored at all times. I wouldn't be surprised if we eventually see that the Pearl is part of a larger station which studied psychology and parapsychology. (After all, the people in the Pearl were being watched, too. Where does that camera feed?)