[Remember That Time On LOST is a daily post running the entire month up until the season premiere of LOST on February 2nd. I’m going to just pick something awesome, noteworthy, or ludicrous about LOST when I wake up that morning, and hopefully get you geeks talking about it with me.]
When we first met the Others, they came off like a pack of child-stealing pederasts. Their beards were fruitful, and filled with childrens’ screams and the echoes of a dungeon’s walls. At least, that’s what I imagined. I mean, all they seemed to want was Claire’s kid, and Walt. How the hell else am I supposed to interpret that? I made sense with the sort of preconcieved notions the viewer holds about the Island. It appears to be largely uninhabited, or scourged by the advancements of modern man. Anyone who would be on the Island would have to be a pack of savages.
I mean, what is man without a twenty-gallon drum of pretzel sticks, and a thirty-nine liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew? A fucking savage!
So when Tom Friendly rolls up crackin’ about needing Walt, and the dude looks filthy and has a giant beard, it made sense to me. Typical, non-colonized world. Over time though, I began to realize that the Others were something scarier than a pack of homeless child molesters, and that’s saying something. They were a well-organized, modernized peoples whose agenda was even more murky and unfathomable than kidnapping little kids.
Things started getting really bananas at the end of Season Two. The bearded guy who seemed like he just wanted to snag kids to diddle rips off his beard after The Chick Who Breaks Up Every Good Relationship tells him that she knows it’s fake. The Slut Who Probably Made Out With the Smoke Monster calls the guy out after realizing that the shitty beard she found in some Dharma birthing-baby-stealing center belonged to the same creepy guy. For some reason the dude instantly complies, and tears it off. I imagine in the real world of Secret Island Cults and Gangs, this breaks all sorts of protocol. I mean, if someone admitted to lies every time someone hurled a blind guess their way, nothing would stand up for very long.
Then a newly freed Ben rolls up to our boy Mr. Friendly and is all “Where is your beard?”, making it pretty clear that they only wore the shitty ragged clothes and fake beards in an effort to confound the already ridiculously confused survivors of Oceanic 815. I mean, weren’t they already confused enough? They’re on an Island with Smoke Monsters, Mysterious Distress Calls, and glowing Hatches. If you guys couldn’t divide and conquer them amidst all that, you’re riding the fail boat.
And this is when things begin to get complicated. At the time, you begin to wonder, wait, are Dharma and the Others really the same entity? Or are they separate peoples, on the same Island? Huh? What the fuck?
And then comes the intro to Season Three. The opening starts off mundane enough. It’s a bunch of people palling around in some typical suburban neighborhood. You know, typical happy bullshit. Everything is modern, comfy, gorgeous. A bunch of douchebags sit around and debate the merits of a Carrie by Stephen King. Some asshole named Adam rails against the book, saying it lacks metaphor and whatever. And then you get to meet this big breasted, intelligent chick who is pissed off at his dissin’ some Mr. King flavor. And as she’s spouting off “Here I am thinking that free will still exists on…” there’s a rumbling.
Props to them for both working in Stephen King, and the obviousness theme of free will from the show into the first two minutes of the season.
I don’t remember if I realized that they were on the Island at the time. I probably should have, since the writers used the same gimmick at the beginning of Season Two. They show you something that absolutely, positively, cannot be happening on the Island. And then, oh shit! They’re on the fucking Island!
The merry band of suburbanites run outside and look up at the sky, and holy shit, there she is. The exploding, rupturing steel eagle that dragged everyone into the heart of the Island in the first place. There’s madness, and then Ben comes out, and he starts addressing everyone. Ben, whose name we still don’t know, tells Ethan and Goodwin to each address one of the crash sites. And at that moment, I began to barf with excitement.
What the fuck is a neighborhood doing in the middle of an Island, in the middle of nowhere? The Others weren’t a bunch of monkeymen running around demanding children! They were a bunch of suburban pedophiles! Or something! Who the fuck knows.
It’s amazing, since we still don’t know who the others are. I mean, they work for the Island. Maybe. Or something. And they’ve been here for a long time. Maybe. And they are Jacob’s pals. Supposedly.
What we do know is that they’ve managed to defeat the initial idea of people inhabiting the Island. Instead of savages, or ruffians, they’re living out a quiet, mundane lifestyle. They’re comfortable in the same way that we’re all comfortable. Vomiting up nonsense at book clubs, repairing cars, populating our lives with the white noise of existence.
That is, until Oceanic 815 plummets to a thud, seemingly at Jacob’s behest. A boat, a plane, dude brings people here it seems. And it shatters the lives of the Others, who seem content to engage in the same sort of life you’d expect from any middle class neighborhood.
Who are the Others? Who fucking knows! But we do know they like themselves books, and modern appliances, just like the rest of us.