August 25, 2010

"The New Man in Charge"

Let's talk about LOST!  The New Man in Charge.

Here are my notes  about the long awaited 12 minute epilogue; which I will write up in the vein of the Missing Pieces Mobisodes. Remember to click the pics because they're posted here for a reason.
Epilogue "The New Man in Charge"

Orote Peninsula, Guam: Dharma Logistics Warehouse
                                                      THE PRESENT   {uh, as in "gift"}
Two Dharma men {Provisions} are working in the warehouse.   We get a shot of the printing press label maker with  its "backwards/mirror image" plate.
Glen- "How soon do you get those peas labeled?"
Hector-"I don't know. Couple hours."    {He hand cranks and hand cuts the labels.}
Glen- "Hurry it up, man. I already got the rest of the palette loaded."
Hector- "I don't know why you're always in such a hurry, man."  {The fucking White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland!}
Glen- "That's why. We're gonna miss our launch window. I don't wanna be up half a night loading damn boxes."
Ben- "Excuse me."   {Ben wears an Island shirt under his blazer.}
Glen- "Who the hell are you? How'd you get in here?"
Ben- "My name is Benjamin Linus. I'm from the Home Office."
Hector- "Nobody from the Home Office has ever come out here."
Ben- "There's a new man in charge, he sent me."
Glen- "Sent you to do what?"
Ben- "Tie up a few loose ends. Your services are no longer required, gentlemen. Closing this place down. So, you're free to go."
Hector- "But we've been loading the palettes under the drones for like...20 years now."
Glen- "What are we supposed to do?"
Ben- "This is your severance pay. I'd say you can do pretty much anything you want." {Ben hands them envelopes of American cash in hundreds}
Glen- "So, work with the Dharma Initiative?"
Ben- "The Dharma Initiative hasn't existed in almost 20 years."
Hector- "That's not true. We still get a teletype before every drop."
Ben- "It's automated. Comes from the Lamppost station in L.A.. There hasn't been a person posted there since you two started. That's why the man in charge has me going around closing up shop."
Glen- "Lamppost station?"
Ben- "I've already said more than I should've. Before you leave, please lock the doors, turn out the lights."
Hector- "Wait. You can't just walk out of here. We deserve answers!"
Ben- "All right. Before I go I'll let you each ask a question. But just one. So, make it count."
Glen - "Where have we been sending these palettes? Where are they dropped?"
Ben- "An Island."
Glen- "How's that possible? The coordinates are different every time."
Ben- "The Island moves."
Glen- "How does the Island..."
Ben- "Uh-uh! One question. Your turn." {Technically Glen got to ask three.}
Hector- "We're on Guam. So this Island is somewhere in the tropics, right? So explain this. Polar bear biscuits. How is there a polar bear on a tropical island?"
Ben- "Polar bears, actually. Plural. You guys have a DVD player?"
Ben- "So we watch it together and then we all leave. Is that a deal?"
Hector- "Deal."
Glen- "Deal."
Ben- "Sorry about the quality. It's a transfer from an old Betamax." {Ben pockets a Dharma granola bar and eats a Dharma granola bar}

The film/dvd begins...{Be warned! This video is riddled with skips, warps, glitches, and missing bits.}
1 of 6
Dr. Pierre Chang {Wearing a Swan station logo medical/lab white jacket}-  
"Hello, I am Dr. Pierre Chang. And this is the orientation video for station one of the Dharma Initiative, the Hydra.  For purposes of security, please do not divulge my name to any outside parties. I wouldn't want to have to resort to using an alias in the future.   The chief purpose of this station is to conduct biological and behavioral research on various animal, bird and marine subjects. {6 caged rabbits}  Here are some of the duties you may be asked to perform... {A crazy voice says "Hurley. Hurley"} ...Genetic alteration.  These fascinating hybrids, or "hy-birds" as we call them, will be released and monitored to see how they adapt to the unique properties of the island... successful advanced studies in larger mammals.  Ursus maritimus, or polar bears, possess a keen sense of memory and adaptability.  These traits make them ideal candidates for electromagnetic studies that will be conducted at a secondary site where their comfort in cold temp... It's important when dealing with the bears that you do not show affection or become attached in any way.  Also, do not underestimate their intelligence and cunning. These rules must always be followed. I repeat, the bears are not your friends.  Rewarding the bear with a fish biscuit, once it has successfully performed a complex puzzle. After the training is completed, you will tranquilize the bear. Affix this tracking device around the subject's neck.  At which point it will be transported to the Orchid station for the next phase of researchRemember, be sure to confirm that the female bears have not been impregnated before transport, as the electromagnetic levels at the Orchid have an extremely harmful effect on early term gestation.   As you've already learned, we do animal research here at Hydra.  Unfortunately, one must consider the most dangerous animal of all... humans.  And so, there is another more secluded test site, where we are conducting significantly more sensitive work. The island's indigenous population, some of you may have heard them referred to as "Hostiles", are acquired on the main island, sedated and brought here, to Room 23. {A "dummy/mannequin" is shown strapped in, in place of a person.}   Because the subjects are unwilling participants, security personnel should always be present during these sessions. Under no circumstances are you to engage subjects in conversation.  The purpose of these interrogations is to better understand the Hostiles' way of life, their origins, and particularly their worship of an island deity they refer to as "Jacob".    After the research team has concluded their tests, inject this into the back of the subject's neck.   Then place these goggles over his or her eyes. Hitting this switch will commence the visualization while the drugs take effect{The lights turn off, loud techno music plays while the video shows images and quotes} The dream-like quality of the film combined with the cutting edge pharmaceuticals will create an amnesia of sorts.  Any memory of his or her interrogation will be effectively wiped clean.   While these interrogative measures may seem extreme, rest assured, they are temporary truce with the Hostiles is not violated.  This concludes your orientation of the Hydra station. Good luck and remember do not discuss the nature of these experiments with other members of the Initiative.  
Enjoy your time here on Hydra Island. Namaste and good l..." 
The two men are stunned.

Hector- "I think we're gonna need to see that again."
Ben-"Sorry, we're out of time." {Ben collects his DVD}
Hector- "What did they do to those bears? And what the hell's a 'Hostile?"
Ben-"Goodbye, gentlemen. I have another call to make. Namaste."  {There is an obvious buzzing of a fly/bug}

Ben is wearing the same clothes as he wore to the warehouse in "Guam".
Ben- "Hello, I'm here to see Keith Johnson."
Nurse Susie Lazenby- "Are you on his visitor's list?"
Ben- "No. But I'm sure if you give him this note, he'll want to see me."

Walt, a kid in a grownup mental institute,  plays Connect Four solo in the game/rec room.
{The same familiar artwork and colorful cutouts decorate the room}
Ben- "Hello, Walt." {He doesn't call him Keith}
Walt-" What are you doing here?"
Ben- "Like my note said, a friend of yours sent me."
Walt- "I don't have any friends."
Ben- "We all have friends. Even me."
Walt- "You here to kidnap me again?"
Ben- "I'm genuinely sorry about that. But what's done is done. I can't change the past. I can only take responsibility for it. Walt, I understand what you've had to go through. I know the difficulties you've had pretending to be someone you're not.   {Walt takes off the legs of the Connect Four grid} Walt, I'm here to help you."
Walt- "Why?"
Ben- "Because you're special. And I bet nobody's told you that in a very long time."
Walt- "What good does that do me?"
Ben- "We need you. You have work to do. Starting with helping your father."
Walt- "My father's dead."
Ben- "Doesn't mean you can't help him. Will you go with us, Walt?"    {Ben places a wrapped DI granola bar on top of the red game pieces. Walt picks it up.}

Outside the building at night, Ben is encouraging cautious and unsure Walt as they walk through the picnic area and get into a blue Dharma van.
Ben-"Come on, it's OK. You ride shotgun."
Walt- "Hurley."
Hurley- "It's great to see you, Walt."  {Jacob music plays}
Walt- "I kept hoping one day somebody would come back for me. They said I was crazy."
Hurley-"You're not crazy, dude. Not even close. You just need to get back to the island, that's all. It's where you belong. It's where you've always belonged."
Walt- "Why?"
Hurley- "I wanna talk to you about a job. All right, Ben, let's get out of here. It's time for us all to go home."
Ben starts the van and they drive away.
Things to Note...Questions to ask...
* Everything blurs together!  "This Place"-the "Island"-Guam-Santa Rosa-On "Island and off "Island", etc.
* Ben and Hurley travel to and from the "Island".   If you have to be sedated to "transport" to the "Island" then who sedates and wakes the other?!! lol
* The {"Hy"- "high"} bird is in a covered darkened cage...SLEEPINGDrugs! Altered State of Consciousness!
* Confined. Alone. Solitary. Shutoff. Shutdown
* The Hydra Station is number 1; the Orchid Station is next step of the research.
* Computers, Programs, Drones, Machines. {"acting" on behalf of a human.}
* Drugs-High (hy), Hallucinogens, Sedatives, Tranquilize, Injections, Hypnosis, Brainwashing.
* Mind games, manipulation.
* GAME. Rules.
* Dream Dreamlike
* Mental health. Feeling alone. Lost. Santa Rosa.
* Tabula Rasa
* The Lamppost station is automated; hasn't had a person there in 20 years and The Hydra video shows a dummy/mannequin in place of a human
* What is real and what is not real?
* The "date" on the printout is not a real date.
* The "Island" is a place of learning.  An Institute is also known as a place of learning.
* Faraday's rat maze
* Tests. Experiments.
* Challenges
* Walt's name is Keith Johnson.
* Walt is presented with a "job".
* Walt is not 20 years old and we just learned the DI hasn't existed in almost 20 years.
* What does "dead" really mean?
* Walt is wearing a zip up hoodie like Michael and Hugo wore in Everybody Loves Hugo
* You need to consume a Dharma food product to be "transported" to the "Island".  The use of sedative and/or hallucinogen is what brings you to the "Island"
* The Island the "Island" really a ship?
* The handle on the door to Room 23 is like one that is on a refrigerated room or meat locker.
* Candle, Halliwax, Wickmund all represent "light".
* The Lamppost's "church" ends up being the place where Jack, Christian and friends are embraced by the warm bright "light".  The "light" lives in all of our hearts and the heart of the "Island".  Ah, lovely metaphors at work.
* The Dharma Initiative info from the film/dvd brings us back to the information we learned in the first ARG "The LOST Experience". 
 - I also want to provide you with The Psychology test video from The LOST Experience from back in June of 2006.

Vocabulary and Research...
* Logistics-word comes from "Pertaining to logic"

* Hydra- Also means a persistent or many-sided problem that presents new obstacles as soon as one aspect is solved.

* Drone-
   1). A Bee, a male wasp, a male ant.  (BUG)
   2). An abbreviation referring to one of two psychoactive drugs (Mephedrone "Methoxymethcathinone"), commonly known as methedrone

* Hostile-  opposed in feeling, action, or character.
   2). characterized by antagonism
   3). angry, aggressive, not warm, unfriendly or hospitable
   4). enemy
   5). alien

* Bear- carry, convey, transport, ferry, fetch, move,pack, take, transfer
  - Mental state, Endure,
  -Refuse to throw away,
  -Give birth.
  -Bare- To uncover, reveal or expose.

* Peas are contained in a pod.
* Indigenous-inherent; feelings indigenous to human beings.

What the "hex" going on?!  Well, people, things and places are not what you think...Ha, imagine that.

First...For those of you who feel disappointed that we didn't get a look at life on the "Island" under its new management...We did!!  Because it's all "the Island". 
They are NEVER out of the confines of the "ISLAND" or whatever the "Island" really is. We've all been down the rabbit hole which just happens to be over the rainbow in OZ.

It is obvious (and not all in my head) events and places we've seen in the six years happened within the "confines" of the "Island" adventure.  It was shown all over this 12 minute epilogue.
This also connects my Wizard of Oz-Alice in Wonderland idea...what we saw happened in a sleep state and/or altered state of consciousness where things are blurred together. 

This Zen Buddhism based journey involves altered states of consciousness and levels of consciousness (sleep state), and states of existence/being along the path.  The "Island's" role in this may also be aided with the addition of mediation, sedation, drugs, hypnosis, and/or even a computerized merged reality experience...the matrix.

If everything is really occurring and blurred within the confines of a specific space, one with distinct boundaries, then we still need to wonder...where this place is.   Is it all completely in the mind, consciousness/subconscious {with the use of drugs and or meditation aided by machine/computer}
or is it literally on an island or in a building or a prison, or are they on a ship in confined pods?  Is it possible that this adventure can happen all while you're in the comforts of your own home?

Let's look at the first part of what we're shown:
The "cutting edge" out of existence Dharma Initiative has only two clueless dudes in "Guam", hand cranking labels and packing pallets on autopilot (Automated) for 20 years! They don't even know about the Lamppost station. Really?!   These people are literally "trapped in a fucking box"!
Not only are we being shown the DI surviving under an auto-piloted front, but we're also seeing more people who are metaphorically "stuck" and oblivious that there is a whole entire world out there that they could and should be living in.  These two men are living in a redundant cycle with no comprehension of how to do it any other way.
Interestingly Ben, who just turned Glen and Hector's lives upside down,  limits the men's questions and is obviously restricting them from learning more even though they are curious.  Ben's entire demeanor is very mysterious and cunning and kind of suspicious.
Walt, a child who is residing at a mental institution for adults {I've only ever seen adults there}, is called upon by Ben via Hurley.    Hurley, Jacob-like, wants to talk to Walt about a "job" but also refers to Walt belonging on the island and also feeling positively that it's time to get out of there and that it's time for all of them to go home.  Is it just Walt's turn to watch the "Island" or is he "indigenous/hostiles" to the "Island"  {Ahem, as Candle mentions "there are"} and is he just being returned?   And I must ask what Walt's "special" role on the "Island is; although now we see he must become the new man in charge.  Is his role to take the place of the Jacob or MIB identity?   {John was "special" and connected with Smokey.}   Hurley states it's time for "all" of them to go home, so if the "Island" and the outside world are not really of the same space is Hurley gathering up all the natives to return them to the "Island" as well, or are they just all ready to go home?  Where is home?   It must be somewhere over the rainbow.

Are we still the victims of a Long Con?   Well, there continues to be a game element and the story still reeks of "Smoke and Mirrors", magic, illusion and lots of razzle freakin' dazzle.

The still seemingly vague and inconclusive {glitchy} information we received from the Hydra orientation film connects many things we learned in the first ARG, The LOST Experience.  Do I disregard any of that valuable time consuming researched shit load of information I learned with playing that game?  Nope.  Because we know and accept this story is multi layered.  Nevertheless, I found this Hydra Orientation film to be filled with a plethora of insight and answers.

We have been fed hints to breeding and "using" the natives of the "Island" all of these years along with the path to enlightenment part of the story.   Keep in mind the story is a wonderfully huge metaphor being narrated via all the puzzling problems and imagery we see on and with the "Island".    So the information Candle gives us can be perceived as him talking about Jack, John and the rest of the  people on the "Island" and not "bears" and "birds". 

But who knows, maybe Walt is a hybrid {or really  a "hy" bird, as in they're all "high", again as Candle outright states},  maybe they all are.   Or they're all Hostiles, native to the "Island" and they're the ones being broken down and reprogrammed. 

Marvin Candle's drivel about the viewer not telling anyone his name lest he be reduced to needing an alias is total nonsense, but his statement, "The Hostiles are acquired on the main island, sedated and brought here" is not.
Think about it...Are we really talking about "hostiles", as in natives to an actual island or are we really talking metaphorically about angry and lost people?  Have we witnessed the literal kidnapping of natives to an island and their being used as test subjects by the Dharma Initiative or about is it about a lost person who can't bear his burden any longer and is in need of a life changing journey to put him in the right light so he can live the life he is meant to live.  That may be a form of therapy or rehabilitation.   It very well may be that it is a combination of some of these clues.
We can watch the orientation footage literally, accepting the information Candle is telling the viewer as facts regarding the D.I. and their "programs".   And you can watch it understanding the subliminal and metaphoric connections to Jack, John, Hurley and the rest of the Castaways while ignoring the bits about the DI and their programs.  Of course you can also watch it while mastering how all of those factors fit and work together.

The visual of the white rabbits in the orientation video again for  me, correlates to a trip down the rabbit hole and not to some gobbledygook Marvin Candle's video is trying to distract us with. 

Hurley, the new man in charge, seems to be literally moving stuck people forward; liberating them.
Bah! Maybe he's just pushing the clueless people out.

"This Place"...the "Island" is a place of learning.  It doesn't matter if  you think it's run by a bunch of crackpot scientists, doctors, inventors, the military, actors, gamers or it's a real island that you can go on a journey to find yourself,  you're purpose there is not only to be challenged and tested, but you will learn, heal and be free and reborn.   It is part of the journey to enlightenment.

I do want to reflect on a moment we spent with Hurley and his adventure on the "Island" with his being confused on whether "Island" events are real or part of his subconscious.  We're given so much important information from his friend, Dave.  Dave hints to things being faked.   But more importantly is the dialogue Dave has about the "need to wake up" Hugo.
Dave tries to get Hurley to fall back off the cliff, not so he can kill himself but so it will "wake" him up.   Hugo perceives the going over the cliff as an act of physical death but what it really represents is a metaphoric "death", an ending and a means to bring you back to life.  It is very Zen.

So with this "Big Finale" it's time for us all to go home.   After all, Home is where your Heart is.  
It is also where you end up after you run all the bases on the field, or you work your way all the way around the game board indicating the completion of the game...back to home.

Now, if you're ready and only if and when you're really ready...
Come on, do it, I know you want to...Close your eyes, tap your heels together three times and think to yourself...There's no place like...Home.
...And now you can wake up.
At least until your next adventure, that is.

Love to all who are "LOST"™

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