Part of “Old Info And News”
ANALYSIS Being the geeky Romeos that we are, we’ve become immediately smitten with Juliet, Lost’s Stephen King-reading, Petula Clark-grooving new Other. But when we began to dissect her Must List for Big Theory clues, we began to worry for the melancholy tropical suburbanite. Take ”Downtown,” Clark’s 1964 smash, which begins: ”When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go… downtown!” But without a hipster party zone on the island that we know of, one wonders if Juliet might consider chasing her blues away by following the tragic example of her Shakespearean namesake. Things get more foreboding when you scrutinize the ”Downtown” sequence and see that the Clark disc was tucked inside the case for Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tongues, which features ”Burning Down The House.” The strange musical pairing becomes downright chilling when you pause, squint, and see that Juliet’s ”favorite book” is King’s Carrie, which ends with the pig blood-drenched telekinetic teen not just burning down the gym (and incinerating her cruel classmates), but also burning down her house (and killing her abusive religious mother), then burning down the roadhouse bar where her miserable mutant life was conceived. (If this is Juliet’s ”favorite book,” I wonder what the rest of her top ten looks like.)
THEORY Juliet and the Others were psychic Dharma Initiative lab rats who rebelled against exploitive ”parapsychology” experiments, which were probably intended to create mind-control and mind-swapping techniques; hence, Juliet’s huffy book club speech about ”free will.” (FYI, if we are correctly interpreting the Map that John Locke found in the Hatch, one of the Dharma facilities ”divested” — revolted? — from the project in 1985.) The Others aren’t actually malevolent; their lonely island mission is to redeem Dharma’s demented legacy and guide the lost souls who reach their strange shores toward the same kind of personal enlightenment that they possess. Which is the real reason why Mr. Friendly told Kate she wasn’t his ”type.” Spiritually speaking, she’s not good enough for him. Yet.
ESTIMATED CHANCE OF BEING RIGHT 75%. But please: We never want to see Kate and Tom getting too friendly.
4. THE DHARMA ZOO
ANALYSIS: When Juliet casually revealed that Jack’s cell inside Dharma’s former zoology facility, the Hydra, had been a lab for studying sharks and dolphins, I naturally began to wonder what kind of weird science was being conducted inside this station. I thought, ”Doc, aren’t sharks and dolphins natural enemies? Perhaps these brainy, aquatic rivals were being used in experiments designed to purge aggressive behavior and reconstruct hostile survival-of-the-fittest instincts. Just imagine if that research could be applied to human beings. In fact, maybe Dharma was trying to turn the Utopian dream of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ into a genetically engineered reality.”
And then I thought to myself, ”Nah! That’s crazy talk, Doc! Bring it back down to plausible science. Clearly, what Dharma was really trying to do was… manufacture human/animal hybrids, just like The Island of Dr. Moreau!”
THEORY: Think about the Others. Think about their cute, simple pet names. Ben. Tom. Juliet. Think about their bare feet, padding silently and easily through the jungle as if they were born to it. Think about ”Henry Gale,” and how he links to The Wizard of Oz, which includes one of the most famous human/animal hybrids in pop culture, the Cowardly Lion.
In fact, the more you think about it, the more it makes sense that there’s some kind of dark animal magic on Lost. Mr. Friendly/Tom could be part polar bear, a seemingly cuddly yet very dangerous predator. (Hence, why Kate isn’t his ”type,” and why he knows that it only took two hours for the bears to crack the food puzzle.) Henry Gale/Ben could be part shark, allegedly villainous but actually misunderstood. (Again: ”We’re the good guys…”) And Juliet could be part dolphin, playful, empathic, and always coming to the rescue, like the way she reached out to Jack when he was drowning in flashback angst. Her Flipper-esque nature also explains her uneasy relationship with Ben; remember, dolphins and sharks don’t mix. Just like ”Fire + Water,” the title of the weirdest Lost episode ever (it was the one where Charlie was inexplicably overwhelmed by religiously tinged hallucinations), and the episode that just may explain all of this theoretical monkey business.
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