I love Clancy Brown. He's got one of the best voices in the business and a calm, menacing presence on the screen. His Kelvin is one of the most enigmatic characters of the entire show - all we really know about him post-Iraq is what he told Desmond while they were in the Hatch together. However, since we also know he was just stringing him along so he could steal the Elizabeth and escape, how much of what he said to him is really true? Let's first take a look at what he told Des in the Hatch:
|Kelvin||Are you him?|
|Kelvin||What did one snowman say to the other?|
|Desmond||What are you talking about? Who are you?|
|Kelvin||I'm Inman. Kelvin Inman.|
|Desmond||What... what happened to my boat?|
|Kelvin||I found you washed up on the beach. There was no boat.|
|[The alarm sounds and Kelvin enters the numbers]|
|Desmond||What was all that about, then?|
|Kelvin||Just saving the world.|
|[Shot of Desmond watching the Orientation Film]|
|Marvin||Not long after the experiments began, however, there was an incident. And since that time the following protocol has been observed. Every 108 minutes the button must be pushed. From the moment the alarm sounds you will have 4 minutes to enter the code into the microcomputer processor.|
|Kelvin||How many times are you going to watch that thing?|
|Desmond||Why are there missing parts?|
|Kelvin||Radzinsky made some edits.|
|Kelvin||He was my partner?|
|Desmond||And what happened to him?|
|Kelvin||Just make sure you put that back behind Turn of the Screw when you're done with it.|
|Desmond||Why do you wear that suit?|
|Kelvin||So I don't get infected out there. Give yourself a shot of this every 9 days. You were out there a while before I found you. Hope it's not too late.|
Later we see Kelvin working on the Blast Door Map:
|Desmond||How do you even remember where you left off from?|
|Kelvin||Slowly, Des. Very, very slowly. You should have seen Radzinsky do this. He had a photographic memory. I mean, this whole baby was his idea.|
|Desmond||Yeah, right, Radzinsky. Radzinsky figured out how to fake a lockdown. Radzinsky created this great invisible map. More and more tales about your former partner. Yet for some reason, you never want to tell me what bloody well happened to him.|
|[Kelvin walks over to Desmond and points to a spot on the ceiling]|
|Kelvin||See that brown stain, there? That's Radzinsky. He put a shotgun in his mouth when I was asleep. The bitch of it was I only had a 108 minutes to bury the poor bastard.|
|Desmond||Well, if you don't want me to go crazy, next time let me go out.|
|Kelvin||Well, you want to go out there with the quarantine and the hostiles?|
|Desmond||I haven't been outside for 2 bloody years! Yes, I want to go. I was in the army for God's sake!|
|Kelvin||Oh, right, Her Majesty's Army, correct? Tell me, Desmond, why'd you leave that nice old lady's army? Oh, I remember now. You got kicked out because you couldn't follow orders.|
|Desmond||And why did you leave your army, Kelvin, huh?|
|Kelvin||Because men followed my orders. Ah, but then thank God I joined the Dharma Initiative. Namaste, thank you and good luck.|
|Desmond||Please, Kelvin. Let me go out. Huh? Just once?|
|Kelvin||Sorry, Des. You stay here. You push the button. That's an order.|
So what can we glean from this?
1) Radzinsky - I think Kelvin's probably telling the truth when he says Radzinsky edited the Orientation Film and made the map with a photographic memory, but I bet he's lying about how Radzinsky died. On one hand, you would think he wouldn't want to kill him and be trapped in the Swan. On the other, maybe Radzinsky was planning on abandoning his partner, much like Kelvin was planning to do with Desmond, and Kelvin shot him before he could go through with it.
It seems to me that at some point we're going to have to hear Radzinsky's story. He obviously pre-dates Kelvin, but the fact he was making a map of stuff he knows about DHARMA suggests he was really kept in the dark about everything. Furthermore his notations on the map also suggest he was in the Swan 1) Post-incident and 2) Post-Purge. Thus he may have been someone DHARMA recruited after the purge to keep the button pushed. While Kelvin says he joined DHARMA voluntarily after the CIA, maybe both he and Radzinsky were abandoned by DHARMA in the Swan. The Snowman Joke certainly suggests Kelvin was waiting for his replacement. Either way, it does seem that for some reason, DHARMA failed to send anyone else, even though the food drops continued. Maybe the Food Drop Station (Symbol: Apollo Candy Bar) failed to get the memo. :)
Memphish recently asked who the heck "Him" was and why were they making the map in the first place? It seems to me that Kelvin and Radzinsky were recruited post-purge and abandoned by DHARMA. They were kept in the dark about a lot of things except for the Swan station, where they were essentially kept prisoner by the button. Remember that, according to Darlton, Ben had no knowledge of the Swan until Locke uncovered it - DHARMA wanted to keep the station secret. It stands to reason that DHARMA really wouldn't tell any of their recruits any more than they absolutely needed to know. I imagine once their replacements failed to show up, they started venturing out to see if they could find out why and, hopefully, someone they could get to replace them.
From the Blast Door Map, we know they knew about the other stations (although they didn't seem to know their location) and they seemed to know the computer could be used to talk to other stations. Eventually they must have decided to head out and explore as much as they could, in the process discovering the sickness was a fake. They made the map in black light just in case there was a hidden camera watching them. I have no idea if this works - you have to imagine the writers tested it, right?
The big question for me here is why did Radzinsky edit the Orientation tape with regard to using the computer to communicate? Was this part of his plot to abandon Kelvin?
2) Kelvin's men - This sounded genuine to me too, genuine guilt. We know he forced Sayid to torture people so he's certainly capable of making underlings do horrible things. But is there more to it than that? Kelvin sounds an awful lot like all of our Losties here - a sordid, possibly murderous past from which he's running away.
Now we get to the fail-safe. There are two separate flashbacks that address this:
|Desmond||What is this?|
|Kelvin||This is the only other way out, partner.|
|Desmond||What are you talking about?|
|Kelvin||Failsafe. Turn this key and this all goes away.|
|Desmond||What's behind that wall, Kelvin? Huh? What was the incident?|
|Kelvin||Electromagnetism, geologically unique. The incident... there was a leak. So now the charge builds up and every time we push the button it discharges it before it gets too big.|
|Desmond||Why make us do it... push the button? If we... if we can just...|
|Kelvin||[Laughing] Here's the real question, Desmundo... do you have the courage to take your finger out of the damn and blow the whole thing up, instead?|
Then we flash-forward to Desmond confronting Kelvin outside the Hatch.
|Kelvin||Well, gosh, I didn't think you had the stones to come after me. I was a spook for 10 years, Des. I know when I'm being followed.|
|Desmond||What are you doing with my boat?|
|Kelvin||I'm fixing it.|
|Desmond||You were leaving?|
|Kelvin||Well, I mean, not yet. It's still about a week away. You wrecked it pretty good, Des. What do you think? Want to come with me?|
|Desmond||Come where? What about the button?|
|Kelvin||Screw the button, man. Who knows if it's even real?|
|Desmond||That's not what you said when you were going on and on about dams and electromagnetics and failsafes!|
|Kelvin||Well, I was drunk.|
|Desmond||Why did you lie to me?|
|Kelvin||I lied to you because I needed a sucker to save the world after I left.|
|Desmond||You crazy old bastard! You stole my life!|
|Kelvin||Oh, come on.|
|Desmond||What else did you lie to me about huh?! What else? Tell me?!|
First off, what do we learn here?
1) The Sickness is a red herring - Kelvin confirms this here. And you have to wonder if Kelvin and Radzinsky discovered it the same way Desmond did - "Oh look, an errant hole in the biohazard suit. Hmmm.., I haven't gotten sick. Let's go out without one and see what happens."
2) The Incident - The incident is real and the magnetism is real. Kelvin obviously believes in it or he wouldn't still be there pushing the button. However, after Desmond catches him, he dismisses the button as a possible hoax!
This, to me, is incredibly perplexing at face value. From the first flashback, Kelvin sounds like he's genuinely scared of the button. In the second, he not only disses it, he even suggests that Desmond abandon it after spending three years scaring him into staying! The only thing I can think of here is that he was just trying to calm Desmond down and get him to lower his guard.
But what exactly was DHARMA doing with the electromagnetism? Why didn't Kelvin blow the fail-safe earlier? Did he know the Swan would implode? Was he told that the world would be destroyed if he turned the key? We still don't really know what the ultimate consequences of the Discharge are going to be, however I can imagine they're not going to be good for anyone on the island.
Now I'm going to ask the big question: Is Kelvin dead? Let's take the two possibilities:
1) He's dead - In this case, I imagine the Monster scavenged his body like it did with Christian Shepherd's and Yemi's.
2) He's alive - If he's alive (which is what I hope), then where is he and why didn't he take the Elizabeth? If the Others found him in the harbor, they would have found the Elizabeth too. It's possible he might have been captured on the way back to the Swan, bloodied and disoriented from his fall. But even saying that, where have the Others been keeping him? The Temple? He wasn't kept in either the Barracks or the Hydra, that's for sure.
Occam's Razor says he's dead, but the reasons I think he might be alive are because 1) It just seems like a stumble on some rocks is an awfully cheesy way for a major CIA spook to die and 2) His flashbacks seem to be greatly important.
We have a dearth of information from the Purge up until Kelvin arrived on the island. Ben is certainly going to get another flashback and fill a bit of that in, but I doubt he could fill in all the blanks since he didn't know about the Swan. I, for one, would welcome Kelvin Inman running around the island again. Just wait until he sees what's left of the Swan. :)