Tuesday, August 11

Man of Science, Man of Faith (S2 ep. 1)

Man of Science, Man of Faith (S2 ep. 1)

Desmond Hume: "Good luck, brother. See you in another life, yeah?"


-- During Desmond's morning prep we get a quick look at a Dharma Swan Station symbol. We also get a glimpse at the labels on the 'medicine' Desmond is injecting. 4 8 15 16 23 42 is clearly marked on all of them.

-- If it weren't for Hurley's apparent good/bad luck, I'd suggest that The Numbers are the show's way of illustrating Apophenia - the tendency to see connections in random data - to 'mistake coincidence for fate' by assigning meaning to the arguably meaningless.

-- Adam Rutherford dies when Jack makes the choice to save Sarah, his future fiance. Rutherford is Shannon's father.

-- We get our first look at the "Quarantine" warning on the inside of the Hatch door. My current theory for the Quarantine labels: During the Purge, the Swan crew was not discovered. The gassing of the Island through the Tempest Station rendered the air toxic, and someone in the Swan discovered this either through communication with Dharma or through unfortunate direct experience. Because of this, and because of the threat posed by the Hostiles, Quarantine labels were put up. This is why the suits that Kelvin and Desmond use were originally needed.

Locke: "Why don't you want to go down there, Jack?"

I'm enjoying the idea that the descent into the Hatch is a metaphorical descent into the sub/unconscious. The allusion to Alice In Wonderland is right there, after all (and is further shaded in by The Looking Glass). Maybe that's just because I like the idea of my subconscious being piloted by a twitchy, wild-eyed Scotsman.

-- Sarah's then-fiance is supposed to sound like a jackass when he starts asking about whether he'll have to help Sarah use the bathroom, or whether they'll be able to make love, and he does in fact sound like a jackass. But I can't help thinking that these are the sorts of things that almost anyone would at least think, including good-hearted, loving people.

Jack: "That's false hope, Dad."
Christian: "Maybe. But it's still hope."

-- Shannon sees ghost-Walt in the jungle, and it's effectively spooky business. Good ol' Walt is dripping wet and speaking backward. Then he vanishes. Farsight, how does this sudden appearance fit with your 'Walt has glimpsed Le Future' theory?I went ahead and checked to see if anyone had made sense of Walt's creepy-speak, and there are some conflicting views. One site seems to think Walt is saying "Push the Button. Don't push the Button. Bad."Another site has it as "Don't push the Button. Bad."Anyone know if there's a definitive answer?

Either way, what does this mean as far as Walt's concerned? We know that Mrs. Clugh says Walt can be in places he's not supposed to be - is that a literal comment? And why is he soaking wet (other than to be eerily incongruous with his surroundings)? Is this actually Walt? Is it Jacob/the MiB?

-- The shot of Jack running up the stadium steps from far away is wonderfully disorienting at first. One of my favorite shots in the show so far.

-- Jack's encounter with Desmond at the stadium points up the question of these people and their interconnectivity. Is this fate/the Island/Jacob/Widmore/something/someone pulling the strings and moving the pieces into place? We learn that Desmond is training for a race around the world, but not why.

-- Speaking of Desmond, everyone already knows about the way the name is a subtle reference to philosopher David Hume. Two interesting facts about Hume worth knowing:

(1) He was an Economist.

(2) "Hume, along with Thomas Hobbes, is cited as a classical compatibilist about the notions of freedom and determinism. The thesis of compatibilism seeks to reconcile human freedom with the mechanist belief that human beings are part of a deterministic universe, whose happenings are governed by the laws of physics.

Hume defines the concepts of "necessity" and "liberty" as follows:

Necessity: "the uniformity, observable in the operations of nature; where similar objects are constantly conjoined together..."Liberty: "a power of acting or not acting, according to the determinations of the will..." Hume then argues that, according to these definitions, not only are the two compatible, but Liberty requires Necessity.

In other words once again: Science requires faith, determinism requires free will, fate requires coincidence.

-- When Jack climbs down into the Hatch after Locke and Kate we see him pass a very familiar concrete wall, and we watch as the key to the Marshall's case floats up and slowly toward the wall. Decades earlier, Jack is standing just above where he is now, attempting to stop any of this from ever happening. If he and the others end up causing The Incident, then he's just unknowingly strolled by his own handiwork.

-- The electrical box that Jack examines for a moment has a large 'W' stamped on it. I'd like this to be the first appearance of a Widmore product on the show, but I doubt that it is.

-- Jack also stumbles onto the '108 Mural.' I remember scanning it for clues back when this episode first aired, but now, looking back, there's not really any information conveyed in the mural that's useful or interesting. The 'Eye M Sick' declaration hints that the infection Rousseau talks about could be real, but we've seen nothing in five seasons to support that. The number 108 is clearly the 108 minutes in the countdown between button pushes, and the number 42 could mean any number of things, or nothing at all.


  1. I'm really enjoying reading your rewatch. Thanks!

    A couple things:

    I remember when first watching this thinking that it was about Jack vs. Locke. But I recall reading somewhere that it's all in reference to Jack and the duality of his personality. This would clearly work with the theory regarding Lost's stance on moral ambiguity/the shades of grey that are real life. Even the Jack-face is both infuriating and hilarious. Pain and joy.

    Also: 108. You, sir, should play some more JRPGs. (Or...not.)

    The 108 Stars of Destiny is a Chinese myth about 108 former demons who are reborn as humans that band together in the name of, uh, justice and stuff.

    It's also featured in a video game series: Suikoden.

    The themes of rebirth, vindication, destiny, and forgiveness are clearly evident in Lost.

  2. Hobbes,

    Thanks for the kind words and the thoughts. If you read a little further into the S2 recaps you'll see that I make the observation you're making here with regard to the duality of personality. The more Jack and Locke argue/talk, the more that they sound like two halves of the same personality. It's certainly interesting, whether it's meant literally or figuratively.

    I'm assuming that JRPGs means "Japanese Roleplaying Games," and if so, I confess that I've got no interest in them. But the factoid about the number 108 is interesting - thanks for sharing it!

    Glad you're enjoying the rewatch, and I hope you'll comment again when moved to do so.