Friday, February 12, 2010

A Good Point

Paula Abdul Alhazred from
the Totally Amazing LOST Blog of Awesomeness makes a very good point regarding the Sickness in the comments from my last review:
I think this episode sort of retroactively answered a lot of questions about the Sickness. Obviously it has something to do with the black smoke, and I would guess the DHARMA vaccine protected people from the negative effects of exposure to the island. (The vaccine was labeled with CR, and the C probably stood for Cerberus). Ethan must have been injecting Aaron with the serum in order to protect the fetus from the influence of the monster. I really like that just by answering one or two questions, we can extrapolate the answers to many other questions from previous seasons.
I like this theory a lot, especially since it does tie a lot of stuff together from the early seasons. And if Smokey is the one causing the Sickness, it also explains why none of the survivors ever got sick - the Monster, by-and-large, really never came into contact with most of them. Who has had prior exposure to the Monster before (first encounter)?

1) Locke (Walkabout)
2) Jack (Pilot, first seen in Exodus)
3) Kate (Pilot, first seen in Exodus)
4) Charlie (23rd Psalm)
5) Eko (23rd Psalm)

Hurley was part of the Exodus crew too, but didn't see the smoke then. Aside from that, Smokey really never contacted many of them. So the question now is, if DHARMA really did come up with a vaccine to the Sickness, how did Claire get infected since she was one of the very few who actually received the vaccine. Furthermore, how the heck does the vaccine work? Do most of the Others have anti-Monster antibodies in their blood?

This (along with the sonic fence and summoning portal under Ben's house in the Barracks) also suggests that DHARMA must have known a lot more about Smokey than we've seen on the show. Very cool.


Missie said...

I'm trying to figure out how Alex would fit in. She would've gotten the same protection as The Others one would imagine, yet Smokey uses her form. Does the vaccine only work on live people? If so, that would explain Claire. I also liked the point that Smokey doesn't seem to touch buried bodies- possibly because of consecrated ground? If so, what a lovely irony that Yemi, a man who dedicated his life to the church and God, can be utilized as a dark agent, but Eko, who did not repent, is protected because of a burial by near strangers.

Paula Abdul Alhazred said...


Thanks for the shout out! I was excited about this theory too. I hear you on the question of how could Claire be infected if she used the vaccine. But we never really saw her use it that often, and the series has implied that it takes constant, repeated injections of the vaccine just to be on the safe side. (Every nine days was DHARMA protocol for the Swan, if I remember correctly). It's probably not even clinically a "vaccine," necessarily, just a sci-fi trope that has something to do with weird alien clouds of black smoke. But yeah, "What Kate Does" connected so strongly and intentionally to moments from "Solitary," "Maternity Leave" and "This Place Is Death" (the episodes which most directly deal with the Sickness) that it really seems to clarify a lot of these old questions, though I still can't make sense of the whole Claire's implant thing.


From what we've seen on the show, there seems to be a difference between the black smoke actually copying and mimicking the bodies and personalities of the dead, and the "infection" which somehow slowly changes people. So as you said, the vaccine is probably meant for the living, but the dead are fair game. I'm not 100% sold on the idea that we're seeing Zombie Claire but anything is possible at this point.

Also, I consider it a good thing that Eko did not repent. He rejected the island's illusion of Yemi, and therefore the monster's false redemption, only to be killed and freed to be reunited with Yemi in a more genuinely spiritual way. I think this idea resonates much more strongly than it did three seasons ago, considering the themes being set up in this new season.

Jay said...

Yeah, Claire's implant was weird. But that could be just a Ben thing, I suppose.

I do like the idea of a false redemption with the Monster - that certainly fits with the evil Nemesis personality. But there also seem to be certain rules surrounding Jacob and Smokey's conflict. Perhaps that's why Ben was able to summon him - maybe there's a rule in place that if someone summons the Smokey in a certain manner, he's bound to protect the Island by the rules of the game. Furthermore I wonder if Smokey has to offer a chance at repentance to any of Jacob's "chosen," but not to anyone else. That's why Smokey outright killed the Pilot and Keamy's team, but offered Eko a chance before he killed him. True, we don't know for certain if Eko was chosen by Jacob, but he certainly seemed to be important.

Another idea: Smokey offered Eko a chance at redemption because he knew Eko would decline it. In other words, he only offered it to him to spite Jacob, to prove Jacob wrong about human nature.

Paula Abdul Alhazred said...

I agree. The smoke monster's function as a security system is almost mechanical, in that it has to do its job when summoned.

As far as Eko goes, yeah, I think it tested him and offered redemption because its duty is to study and test human nature. But considering how it feels about people, it's no wonder it acted the way it did when Eko refused its "forgiveness". But its opinion on human nature is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy, at least partially.

Have a great weekend, Jay!