Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Lost Theory Question #9: Smokey and the Others
Last week's show brought up a few questions about the Others and Smokey that have been percolating around in my brain for some time now. When Locke asked Ben what the Monster was and Ben blatantly said he didn't know, I immediately thought he was lying. Dog, new tricks, etc.
Of course, I thought the exact same thing in "One of Us" when Juliet said the exact same thing to Kate. However after thinking on this the past week, I've come to doubt myself somewhat, especially since Locke also didn't seem to know what it was and he's now Jacob's newest BFF. So who's telling the truth here? Let's go through a couple current Smokey questions based on the little we know about him/her/it:
1) Did DHARMA bring Smokey to the island?
According to the Blast Door Map and the Lost Puzzle Clues, Smokey is called "Cerberus," served as DHARMA's security system (what Danielle called it in "Exodus" too - why doesn't someone ask her how she knows what the heck it is), underwent a "catastrophic malfunction," and pops up around the island through certain "Cerberus Vents."
This all seems to suggest DHARMA brought Smokey to the island to protect the Initiative, but then it went crazy and they had to construct the Sonic Fence to protect the Barracks. But you'd have to think that Ben, who's been with the DI since he was very little, would have to know something about the Monster. After all, even if DHARMA tried to keep the Monster a secret, once it went insane and they had to erect a giant fence for protection, you would think they would have had to tell everyone something about it for their own protection. Sure, they could have said the fence was to protect everyone from the Hostiles, but I can't believe everyone would have kept the DI's freakin' security system a classified secret like the Swan.
And any way you cut it, you have to figure Ben knows more than he was letting on. If the Monster was a DI creation, Ben should know something. But if the Map is wrong and Monster is actually something indigenous to the island, Ben should know something about that too given how chummy he's been with Jacob. Bottom line: Ben, at the very least, has to be lying somewhat. But it is possible that even he doesn't know what the Monster's origins are or how to destroy it. He and his father were mere work men, after all.
2) Whose side is Smokey on?
All evidence seems to suggest its own. Smokey has attacked both the Losties and the Others, tried to convince Eko and Locke (as Yemi in their dreams) to keep pushing the button for its own purposes and really seems to have no affection whatsoever for anybody but Locke.
I'd really love to see a Ben/Smokey stare down sometime and see what happens. Might not be pretty. :)
3) What is Smokey's agenda?
Again, it seems unclear. On one hand it seems to have some sort of moral code, judging people through its freaky, smoky mind reading trick, trying to get them to repent and redeem themselves. I think this might be why it spared Eko upon their first meeting because, at that time, he was honestly trying to be a "good person."
On the other hand, it desperately wanted the button to be pushed. Was this for self-preservation (maybe it didn't know the failsafe was a possibility and it didn't want to get sucked into magnetized oblivion) or was the Monster really looking out for the best interests of the island?
Regardless, while part of me now kinda believes Juliet may have been kept in the dark, I really think Ben knows a lot more about the Monster than what he's letting on. What do y'all think?
Addendum: As Shelly points out below, the fence was already up and running when Ben came to the island for the purpose of keeping out the "wildlife." This certainly makes it more likely Ben was kept in the dark about Smokey since the fence really seems to be tailored to keep Smokey out. And if the Monster was originally DHARMA's security system, that would mean it likely went crazy long before Ben arrived on the island.
But what I really can't wrap my brain around here is that Ben lived with DHARMA from childhood to adulthood. Assuming Smokey was on a rampage that entire time, I have a hard time believing Ben never was able to find out any information on it from anyone nor anything from all the binders and manuals of info DHARMA left behind. It's one thing to keep your underground bunkers a secret, but crazy, giant Smoke Monsters? Really?
Eh, maybe I am totally off base here. The more I seem to write, the more I can see how the DI wouldn't want to tell their scientists the Monster is a DI creation gone horribly wrong (provided it really is a DI creation - Danielle said the Monster protected the island, after all).
Anyway, maybe my gut reaction that Ben is always lying got too carried away with this one. =)