'Lost' Theory! 'A Tale of Two Cities,' indeed

Howdy, folks. I’ll let you guys continue debating the merits of last night’s Lost and the whole I’m-getting-fed-up-with-all-the-darn-stalling! thing over in the TVWatch message boards. But being that I’m crazy with the theories, I couldn’t help but want to get this out there — a big new theory inspired by last night’s episode, the last installment for, like, three freakin’ months. (Maybe not a great idea, in retrospect.)

Remember all the speculation last season about the possibility that maybe there were two groups of Others? To wit, there was one group out in the jungle still connected to The Dharma Initiative, and another group opposed to Dharma, and both were harrassing (or maybe helping) our castaways. The debate was kinda abandoned at some point during the Henry Gale storyline. But if we return to the idea, Season 3 reveals itself.

(Read Doc Jensen’s big new theory after the jump. Spoilers from last night’s episode abound.)

1. Two months ago — that is to say, when Oceanic 815 came tumblingdown from the sky — ALL of the Others lived together in an idylliccommune, to the north of the island. (This is the meaning of thepassage on Mr. Eko’s stick; it is directing Locke and co. to where theycan find the village that we saw in the season premiere.) Let’s callthis larger body The Collective.

2. The leader of the Collective is the mysterious He/Him, referredto by Mr. Friendly and "Henry Gale" last season. He/Him is all aboutthe lists, the kidnapping of the kids, and the fixation with goodpeople/bad people. This leader could very well be "Patchy," fleetinglyseen last episode on one of the monitors in the Pearl station.

2a. My theory? The Collective was originally part of Dharma, whosepurpose is to save the world from destruction by bringing people to"enlightenment." (See: The Lost Experience from this past summer.) Themission is multi-faceted, radical, and radically weird. It couldinclude testing experimental new forms of education. For example, thecastaways could be an object lesson in social dyamics for all thosekidnapped kids, who are watching the drama via mental telepathy. (Ithink the kids are responsible for the whispering voices.) I also thinkthat the initiative involves a great deal of psychodrama, with themembers of the Collective playing various antagonistic roles designedto motivate the test subjects to action. But with that said, they arebarred from ripping away the curtain and revealing themselves; all thischange toward enlightenment MUST happen organically, or at least seem to.

3. Juliet was the sister of Ethan, the Claire-abducting Other fromseason one. Goodwin, the Other killed by Ana Lucia in season two, wasmarried to Mr. Friendly. Yep: Tom is gay. Hence, the "You’re not my type" comment to Kate in the season premiere.

4. At some point, there was a schism within the Collectivepertaining to the policy toward the castways. Specifically, there was agrowing bitterness toward the castaways in light of the killings ofGoodwin and Ethan. The dissenting group — the Others — wanted revenge.

5. Number One, who clearly wielded a hyper-controlling,svengali-like hold on the Collective, opposed the Others’ demand forbloody justice. To be clear, the Collective’s mission is high-stakesenough to permit killing; Goodwin had to murder one of the Tailies toprotect his mission. But vengeance is another matter altogether — notpermitted. (As for Ethan, remember: he became obsessed with Claire andwent totally off mission.)

6. Ben was the Number Two of the Collective. He agreed to help theOthers escape the rule of Number One, in exchange for a promise — tocoerce Jack into operating on his tumor.

7. At some point, the rebellion took place. The Others skipped awayto the other island. This is the true meaning behind the title of theseason premiere, "A Tale of Two Cities." It pertains specifically tothe fact there are two encampments of Others, each very different andin ideological conflict with each other. The castaways are caught inthe middle.

8. Since the split, the Others have been pursuing a two-fold mission:

a. making good on their promise to Ben;
b. executing a plan of eye-for-an-eye vengeance against those whohave killed Others among the castways: Ana Lucia, Sawyer, Charlie — andnow, Sun.

9. It’s possible that Ben’s initial plan to get healed from hiscancer was to become part of the castaway beach encampment. Rememberhow the island seems to have healing powers? (See: Locke’s legs, Rose’scancer.) My hunch is that the healing power is linked to the "uniqueelectro-magnetic energy," which radiates only from the beach section ofthe island. When Ben was exposed as an Other, his plan was to shot toheck. Also, I think the Hatch was shielded from the effects of theenergy, which is why it had no effect on Ben while he was incarcerated there.


A. Juliet is going to help Kate and Sawyer escape — although the dealis that she gets to go with them. Her goal: to get back to the beachand kill Charlie, who killed her brother, Ethan.

B. Juliet will gain the trust of the Beach Camp by outing a spy intheir midst — perhaps this mysterious Jacob fellow name-dropped in lastnight’s episode. With their trust gained, Juliet will take advantage ofit to try and kill Charlie.

C. Ben’s whole "I want to change your perspective, Jack" line may berooted in a kind of reality. If I’m right that the Collective has/had abenevolent mission, and Ben’s only interest in being with the Others ishis operation, Ben might still be sympathetic to that mission. I betJack performs the surgery on Ben. Ben survives, and then makes good onhis promise to Jack by helping him escape the Others.

Okay: Here’s where you shoot this theory down. You might as well. We have nothing else to do for three months.


Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • Josh

    And people wonder why ratings had been lower this min-season, jiminiy. BTW, where have Rose and Bernard been?
    I used to defend “Lost” to people who said it was to slow by describing it as the most amazing novel ever, each chapter telling us more about a character, the novel being brought to life in front of our eyes with incredible production values from the acting to the directing to the dialogue to the music. But if you’ve seen my other comments in the other “Lost” thread of today, you know I no longer feel that way. It’s a shame. I don’t read nearly enough, and I felt okay about that with “Lost.” Now I feel as if I need to stop by the library

  • The Other Kyle

    Sorry don’t buy it. Stretches things way too thin.
    Although I do like the idea from the episode review that Ben has a twin and it’s the dude wearing glasses. He didn’t need glasses in Season 2 when he was reading his books in the Hatch.
    Also I think Mr. Friendly is gay with Ben. Did you see his look of shock when Jack pulled his move? He wasn’t angry or defiant he was frozen with fear.

  • cj


  • css

    I agree w/ CJ – I think Ben and Mr. Friendly are a couple, just by the way he said “it’s Ben” on the walkie-talkie, it sounded like he was about to lose his lover.
    Doc – didn’t the others kill some Tailies on day one, long before they had a reason for vengeance? (Unless the airplane landed on and killed an other…)

  • Will

    One thing that doesn’t make sense is you say the Others rebelled from the Collective and now inhabit Hydra island, but when Juliet showed Jack that video with her holding the cue cards, she was clearly standing in a kitchen back in Othersville. Also, I’m of the opinion that Ben is the top of the line. Juliet’s video implied he’s the leader, and he was the one that ordered Ethan and Goodwin to infiltrate the castaways, not some higher-up.

  • Toppuh

    Good point about Juliet, Will.
    Jeff, your imagination never fails to amaze me. You have a pretty interesting theory there, as Zeke would say. However I would like to point out a couple problems with your logic:
    1. Benjamin Linus has lived on the island all his life (allegedly). That means he, and probably some of the other Others, predate Dharma (what was the language he was speaking at Colleen’s funeral, btw?).
    2. Locke’s legs worked inside the Hatch.

  • The Other Kyle

    I’d like to state that it was actually I, The Other Kyle, that put forth the theory on Ben and Mr. Friendly or “Biendly” if you will, being a couple.
    not CJ.

  • Todd

    What about the statement that “Jacob” had Kate and Sawyer on the list, but not Jack? Kate hasn’t killed an “Other,” so why would she have been on the list?

  • Jess B.

    What if the island doesn’t heal Ben precisely because he’s lived on it his entire life? I mean, I dunno’ how all that electromagnetic stuff works, but maybe he’s somehow “immune” to its effects? Like, whereas that electromagnetic energy is out of the usual for the castaways, Ben’s body would be used to it.
    Also, remember the faith healer at Uluru in Rose’s flashback? He told Rose that the same force couldn’t heal everyone. In other words, the fact that the island’s electromagnetism has supposedly healed Locke and Rose doesn’t mean that it could heal everyone.
    Is it February yet?

  • Jason Flum

    What if Rose and Locke’s “conditions” never existed? They were never cured, but the memory, along with all the flashbacks, of the maladies was created somehow? It would certainly explain how the Others would know EVERYTHING about the castaways…

  • Ashley

    i think alex will be the one to help sawyer and kate escape, if they do escape with the help of any of the others. i love the character to juliet but i don’t trust her yet and i bet she’ll still stick pretty close to jack over the episodes when we get back.

  • brandonk

    Why wouldn’t Ben have already been at that spot on the island if it has healing properties? How do the Others keep in contact with the outside world?

  • fre

    What show have you been watching? The Others were never, ever bloodthirsty animals.

  • Colleen

    What other did Sawyer kill?

  • cj

    don’t you remember when they introduced mr ecko and that blue crash girl everyone hated,the others had killed a bunch of them.remember what they did to charlie and jack had to bring him to life?check your dvd,eckos people were so scared thats why claire died by mistake.remember now?

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