“primum, non nocere,” – Talking About the Lost Hatch

Good thing Boone went with Locke, and Jack went with Kate – otherwise the story of Lost: Season 1 would have been totally different. Boone wouldn’t have died in the Beechcraft crash. Kate would have never been able to be manipulated, as much as Boone would have been. Kate felt established in the Losties’ tribe. She had tracking expertise, weapon skills and a wily mind. She would have, thankfully, told someone else about the Hatch, leading to no one dying in the Beechcraft.

However, Locke would not have wanted someone, with a mind of their own, alongside him, on this trek. Cult leader Locke needed an impressionable person, like Boone, who was desperate to prove himself. Locke recognized the same gullibility and the same deep need to matter, in himself, as Locke’s dad, Cooper, the con man, rightfully pegged in Locke. Con men and cult leaders.

The whole fascination with a frozen alternate dimension and polar bears, reminds me of the Narrator’s spirit animal dream, in the ice cave, with the penguins – a happy space, that subsequently gets invaded by thoughts of his crush. This was in the movie Fight Club. The connection between fire (or a hot jungle) and ice – polar opposites – seems to have been a big fascination, in the late ’90s. Just look at the opening sequence and thematic plot points of Die Another Day, in the 007 franchise – a film which came out around the same time.

Lost Atlantis and a nuclear submarine sound cool, but they’re not as central to the Island, as the Hatch, one of the Dharma Stations, is. This may be a confirmation bias, but all other ideas sound random, compared to the Hatch – even though frozen donkey wheels, submarines and nuclear bombs do later make it into the series. There’s a time and a place for everything.

At the bottom of the Hatch, is a lair: the underground Swan Station (swan song). A lab rat, Desmond, must press a button, every 180 minutes, or the world will end. It reminds me of an old short story, I wrote in college, before I saw Lost, of an avatar being able to restart the universe, on a set schedule, with the latest updates – like a Windows operating system. This mirrors how the Numbers and the Equation concern the end of all time, in Lost. That and electromagnetic anomalies, in this pocket dimension, are what the Dharma Initiative and Rousseau’s expedition, came to the Island to study.

The Hatch was originally going to be found, underwater – which explains, why polar bears (which can swim adeptly) or an ice bio-dome, or Atlantis, or a nuclear submarine, were supposed to be at the bottom of the Hatch. You can see strains of this, when, in later seasons, the Egyptian statue’s foot, ends up underwater. The Black Rock slave ship and Rousseau’s expedition, both shipwreck, on the island – following in the vein of a seafaring story.

By definition, Atlantis is a lost land in the Atlantic Ocean. Given all the references to LA and Sydney, – despite that one blip, about drug planes, from Nigeria – all hints and clues point to the Island pocket dimension primarily residing in the Pacific – somewhere between Australia and Hawaii. Atlantis is its own legend, a whole other set of myths – and the Island being in the wrong ocean just wouldn’t be on brand, for Lost.

Another axed idea, in the writing room, for the Hatch, was a nuclear submarine, that had run aground, and then been covered by a mudslide. Nuclear submarines, in polar waters, are thematically very Cold War (The Hunt for Red October, with Sean Connery), but the idea of how such a thing would get on the Island, and end up buried, is super unrealistic, and stretches viewers’ suspension of disbelief way too much – even for Lost. The Black Rock – a wooden slave ship and mining ship – flying through the air, on a huge wave, during a storm, and snapping the Egyptian statue, in two, at the legs – only to end up in the jungle, almost completely intact, full of un-exploded boxes of dynamite, will already be a big plot point, to swallow, later on.

The names of some the characters touch on the philosophy of the political science, of the Island. Less government is inherently better, because even though human nature is inherently flawed, more government means more people are held at the whims, of fewer people – and those leaders are inherently flawed. Rousseau, the thinker, is right in that the only solution for human nature, is to keep people as far away from each other, as possible, governance-wise. The few common goods available are governed by the Social Contract, so there is some government – but as little as is functionally possible.

Lost’s “Solitary:” Karma Hole

Said would be very good in the Gulf Wars version of Apocalypse Now, (not Jarhead, although that’s also a good movie). The Men Who Stare at Goats also comes to mind. Intel and comms.

In Survivor: Borneo, and other seasons, the tribe-mates eat rat. They’re not eating rabbits on the Lost Island. Speaking of rodents, here comes the Island plague. The Losties begin lathering up, to prevent disease. Got to stop the boar rash. Avoid a genetic bottleneck.

Rousseau is a genius. She built her whole bunker and several bunkers – like my underground Minecraft lair, in 2011-2013. She is good at signal, SERE and EOD. She knows her weapons: can’t shoot an M9 without a firing pin.

Rousseau says there are no monsters. Hell is other people. Some people, on the island, are way scarier than random beasts, like polar bears or obscure smoke monsters. Sartre. Cut to Soldier Said executing a prisoner. Nadia’s real name is Nur, Arabic for Light.

There are polar bears on the island, but humans are the most dangerous animal. In a museum I went to, as a kid, they would show you a mirror, after asking you what the most dangerous animal was. They were holding up a mirror to the darkness of the human condition. The true heart of darkness.

As noted earlier, the B plot is a bamboo aqueduct. The Losties get a plumbing system, like in ancient Rome. Showers and bathrooms. Unfortunately, for Rome, many of those pipes, back then, were made of lead. Plumbum. Pb. That certainly made for some wild Saturnalia feasts, near the Winter Solstice.

The Staff Station reminds me of the caduceus, carried by the god Mercury, namesake of another dangerous element. This mystical staff is also often connected, mistakenly, to medicine. Moses lifted up a serpent, on a staff, to heal the Israelites of a disease, in the Old Testament.

Rousseau faced the disease that killed her expedition – an epidemic from the slave ship, the Black Rock, like smallpox blankets, given to the New World. The Black Plague followed one of the Crusades, and was featured in the film, The Seventh Seal. The flu outbreak, that followed World War I, took the lives of millions.

The Others. Polar Bears. Two shipwrecks. Dharma Stations. There are so many threats on the Island. It is a quantum space-time sinkhole, the bottom of the world. One step above the Netherworld, the Other Side. One Step away from the global spirit world. Rocket scientist Wernher von Braun believed that there was life after death. He created the Saturn V rocket that took us to the moon.

The Dark Territory. Smoke monsters. Remnants. The island is a very dangerous pocket dimension. Survivor: Ghost Island is the Lost Island. Rousseau’s expedition was there to study space-time. The Numbers (from the equation) involve all of the planet’s history and time. And of course, the Hatch is a time capsule.

The whole island, itself, is a conduit and a time capsule, from ancient times. It folded away, from the rest of the world, almost 6000 years ago, only to be reconnected by wormholes. The Lost Island is a place that is a medium. The spirit of that place is very strong, like Genius Loci, in ancient Roman spirituality. Some of the statues, of those spirits, that have survived, held up snakes, to offer pilgrims protection and healing. Snakes and rats. Mercury and lead.