“Why don’t you start with the DHARMA Initiative?” Why yes, why don’t you! Fans screaming for clues to the underlying mythology of the show, especially after last week’s feel-good character fest, get a heaping spoonful of information in “Enter 77.” We get an actual conversation with real questions and answers, and then follow Sayid into his epiphany that things are topsy-turvy. What did we know, or thought we knew, about the DHARMA Initiative, and the Othersâ€¦ or the Hostiles.
Our heads are still spinning, but this seems to be the deal:
Ben has been on the island his whole life, and leads a group of Hostiles, apparently residents of the island that predate DHARMA. When DHARMA showed up, built facilities and started conducting experiments, the Hostiles revolted, even set about rescuing the children DHARMA was using. We learn tonight it escalated to a full-scale war, but clearly, the Hostiles were victorious. They took over DHARMA’s facilities, wore DHARMA clothes, ate DHARMA ranch dressing.
When Flight 815 crashed, the Hostiles suspected (perhaps correctly?) that it was just the next batch of subjects in DHARMA’s evil work. They grabbed the kids, and sought to find the “good people.” Otherwise, our survivors were intruders, just like DHARMA, and were similarly treated poorly.
What about Ethan, and Juliet? We thought they were part of the Hostiles, as they played house and played doctor in Ben’s village. But we also know Ethan worked with DHARMA to recruit Juliet. Whatever happened to the rest of DHARMA, I guess Ben found a use for them (as he has for Jack). Remember, Juliet’s outsider status has been evident from the beginning, and she herself referred to DHARMA in the past tense when explaining The Hydra to Jack.
What about Desmond, and Kelvin? Kelvin was another DHARMA recruit, and had mentioned the Hostiles. Was he aware that DHARMA had fallen? (Or had it? The timeline isn’t clear just yet.) I’m guessing yes. He was obviously happy to find a successor for button pushing duty, but he also wanted off that island, something that wouldn’t seem so urgent if DHARMA was still humming along.
And what about Danielle? Boy. She’s turning out to be a creepy, suspicious mess. I bet she’ll take a bad turn fairly soon… but we don’t mind. We still love Mira Furlan.
Even if the above ramblings are correct, of course, more questions remain. But one can finally see a path emerging in the wilderness of “LOST.” They’ve stumbled into a war, and they’ve yet to figure out what side they’re on. And even after they decide, they’ll probably discover they were wrong. My guess at an overall arc is that our survivors may very well succeed at subduing the Hostiles, but quickly find they’ve merely done the dirty work for DHARMA, which will rise again and create allies out of former adversaries.
Or maybe there’ll be zombies.
Surely, we’ve learned by now that “LOST” may just be messing with us. But when it comes to shameless manipulation, this feels pretty good. Where “Tricia Tanaka Is Dead” reacquainted us with our old friends, “Enter 77” grounded us and revived our interest in what’s going on. Things are getting good.
Notes and Notions:
- I must admit, when we met a cow and saw a ping pong table in the first five minutes, I was worried.
- Locke! Oh, Locke. What is it with you and pushing buttons? The moment the computer asked, “Ready to play?” Jen was screaming, “Don’t do it!” Sure, only Sayid knew about the C-4, but after we learned how DHARMA deals with mission failures (Swan Station), how could he have not guessed what the result of “77” would be? Just figures that in the episode they don’t kill someone before getting some answers, they go and blow up a “last chance” for outside contact.
- Mikhail’s eye patch = glass eye in The Arrow station in “The Other 48 Days.” (Kelvin’s predecessor, Radzinski, supposedly hid the piece of the orientation film in the Bible that was also found there.) Is that something a DHARMA employee would do, or a Hostile? Namecheck: Mikhail Bakunin, a well-known Russian revolutionary, and often considered one of the â€œfathers of modern anarchism.”
- Good flashback. You knew Sayid did it, and would probably have to confess to it, but it was handled very well. That scene should earn Naveen another Emmy nod.
- Nadia the cat. Coincidence? Or mind game? DHARMA or Hostiles, these people have ways of gathering information. Still, finding a picture of Nadia Comaneci just to mess with Sayid seems a bit much.
- Speaking of which… did “Patchy” expect Locke to beat the chess game, and enter “77”? Jen figures he probably watched enough of life in the Swan to know a bit about Locke’s itchy fingers and insecurities. “Don’t bother playing. You can’t win.” Don’t tell him what he can’t do!
- It was good to see Ms. Klugh again. For exactly four, non-English lines, at least. Anyone translate all that Russian yet?
- Jen remains frustrated with where Sawyer’s head has been lately, considering the ordeal he just went through. Still obsessed with his stuff, and getting whipped by Hurley the ping pong shark?
- I actually kind of like Sawyer giving up nicknames, though, gimmicky as it is. Because in the last two episodes in particular, I was starting to think we were getting too much of a good thing. I don’t like imagining “LOST” writers trying to come up with the next best nickname, rather than a real plot.
- So, anyone else warming up to Nikki and Paolo yet? Thought not.
- Both restaurants were played by CafÃ© Laniakea at the historic downtown YWCA on Richards Street. Photos here.
- “The Flame” was out at Kualoa Ranch. Our daughter’s Girl Scout field trip there was mysteriously cancelled a couple of months ago, and “LOST” was the most likely culprit.