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Live Together, Die Alone
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Season
Episode

2
23
Aired
May 24, 2006
Flashback
Desmond (Desmond runs across multiple characters during the flashback)
Days
Directed by
Guest starring

[[{{{transcript}}}|Episode transcript]]
[[{{{transcript2}}}|Part Two]]



Synopsis

After discovering something odd just offshore, Jack and Michael come up with a plan to confront "The Others" and hopefully get Walt back. Meanwhile, Eko and Locke come to blows as Locke makes a potentially cataclysmic decision regarding the "button" and the hatch.

Discoveries

  • Desmond's full name is Desmond David Hume, an undisguised and obvious reference to 18th Century Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776). Hume was influenced by the works of John Locke, and also a critic of some of Locke's theories, such as the people's consent of government, man in the state of nature, etc. Hume also believed that all reality was relative and might be a figment of one's imagination.
  • A phenomenon on the island causes continuous accumulation of magnetic charge that can be very dangerous to the world if grows too large, so the computer in The Swan and the requisite input of the numbers are used to discharge this magnetic energy every 108 minutes.
  • When the button is not pressed, the magnetic field grows and starts pulling magnetic objects, causing earthquakes. This may be the same phenomenon as "the Incident" said to have happened during the early days of the Dharma experiments.
  • Flight 815 crashed on September 22, 2004. This was the date Desmond failed to press the button on time, and the resulting excess magnetic field and/or energy discharge likely caused the crash of flight 815.
  • Kelvin Inman discovered and saved Desmond.
  • Kelvin was in The Swan before Desmond shipwrecked on the island. He made Desmond believe the outside was dangerous, and he shouldn't leave the hatch. Desmond learned the operating procedures of The Swan and many other things about the complex from him (such as inducing lockdowns). Desmond accidentally killed Inman in a struggle after following him outside, discovering there was no contamination danger outside the Hatch and that Inman had been secretly repairing Desmond's boat to leave the island, with Desmond on his own to continue pressing the button. This happened the day Oceanic Flight 815 crashed on 09/22/04. 09/22/04 is the 266th day of the year out of 366 days.
  • Kelvin's partner, Radvinsky (the actual spelling of this name is uncertain), painted the map on the blast door using laundry detergent, which Kelvin continued. Kelvin's partner allegedly knew the ins and outs of The Swan but went insane and shot himself.
  • Desmond rarely left the hatch, nor was he a willing participant for the DHARMA Initiative, however he knows about the Others. (Kelvin calls them hostiles)
  • The pneumatic tube at The Pearl simply dumps into a clearing whatever is put into it, rather than sending the notebook-capsules for analysis. This strongly implies that the people in The Pearl are the subjects of the psychological experiment, not the members of The Swan (as evidenced by the very real, very powerful electromagnetic discharge).
  • The hatch-like door on a rock wall in the Others' tent camp is a façade. The huts in the camp are unfurnished shells and appear unoccupied.
  • Desmond has been an inmate in a military prison. Upon release, he was dishonorably discharged from the British armed forces. That day, Desmond was approached by Charles Widmore, who tried to persuade Desmond to stop all contact with Penelope Widmore, and gave Desmond a box with his undelivered letters to Penelope. Widmore also offered Desmond a box full of money to buy his silence and stop the pursuit of his daughter. Desmond then decided to participate in a sailboat race around the world, sponsored by Charles Widmore, to win back his honor, prove his worth to Widmore, and perhaps finally marry his love, Penelope. This race is how Desmond came to be on the island.
  • Libby gave Desmond her late husband's boat, the Elizabeth.
  • While training to get in shape for this race, Desmond was tracked down by Penelope, and she confronted him one evening about his lack of communication (which we know was involuntary and perpetrated by her father) during the time he was in jail. That same evening, he then met Jack for the first time inside the stadium while both were running a Tour de Stad.
  • While traveling to the Others camp, Sayid, Jin, and Sun discover the remains (part of a lower leg, along with a four-toed humanlike foot) of a huge Statue along the shore.
  • There is a fail-safe system that terminates the magnetic anomaly on the island. When activated the island is trembled by a low-tone sound and a very bright light. Desmond is willing to sacrifice his own life to terminate the operation, in order to save Locke, who unknowingly restored his faith and hope during his darkest hour. Yet both Locke and Eko were still in the hatch as the system was terminated, and it is still unclear if Eko, Locke, or Desmond died. Charlie was also nearby, but he seems to have been unaffected. The Others were surprised by the aftermath of system termination, however upon the discharge's end, they seemed apathetic and indifferent. (This could be because they had witnessed it before, on September 22, 2004.)
  • Desmond's letters intercepted by Charles are of the same size and thickness as the three or four stamped letters placed on the left of the Portuguese technicians' computer terminal. The only exception is that the latter letters are not addressed to anyone yet. [[1]]
  • The fake Henry Gale responds to a query from Michael regarding the fate of Jack, Kate, and Sawyer with "they're coming home with us." The usage of the word 'home' may mean that the Others consider the Island (or wherever they are taking their prisoners) 'home', that is, they have no desire to be rescued or to leave the island.

Notes

  • It is said that only some major questions will be answered in this episode, the other questions will be answered in season 3.
  • At the beginning of the episode, just after the opening LOST title, when Kate is asking Jack what to tell people about the boat, the voices in the background are reversed.
    • Voice 1: "How many people?" Voice 2: "How many people can ___ on the boat?"
    • The same audio can be heard just before the voices are reversed.
  • Although it has been established that pushing the button serves an actual purpose (preventing the magnetic field from becoming too strong), we still do not know why the values are not (cannot be?) automatically entered by a mechanical device or computer program, rather than by human beings.
  • While Michael, Hurley, Kate, Jack, and Sawyer are making their way to the Others camp, a large Bird of Prey startles them. The bird's call sounds vaguely like "Hurley" and Hurley asks, "did that bird just say my name?"
  • At the end of the episode, one of the technicians says "We missed it again-". What he really said in portuguese was "A gente não percebeu de novo, eles vão matar a gente", which translates to "We didn't notice it again, they're going to kill us". Later, the other one says "SHUT UP AND MAKE THE CALL!", what he really said was "Cala a boca e chama ajuda" which translates to "Shut up and call for help". The somewhat odd choice of vocabulary - such as "não percebeu" (rather than, say "perdeu" or "não viu") for "missed", and "chama ajuda" (rather than "pede ajuda" or "liga para... (someone)") for "make the call"/"call for help" - implies that the scene might not have been written by a native speaker. The actors' odd accent also implies they are not native speakers. This may not be a clue of any kind, and simply have been due to the possible difficulty of finding native Portuguese speakers to write/translate and act the scene.
    • Having been exposed to both native Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, your assessment of their accents is spot on. I too smirked at the strange diction and the abbreviated translations. The only similar Portuguese that I've heard comes from Portuguese speakers from mainland Portugal, as opposed to those from Azores Islands, Madeira, Macao, Angola, Cabo Verde and Brazil. My guess is that they obtained their inflection from Lisbon, Portugal.
  • At the Pala Ferry scene when Alex is trying to pick up Kate, who has her hands tied behind her back and is gagged, Alex accidentally grabs Kate's breasts first. She quickly removes her hands from her breasts and you can see her smiling as she readjusts her hands.

Plot

The episode begins with the group of funeral-goers being distracted by the appearance of a sailboat moving towards the shore. Jack, Sawyer and Sayid make a mad dash for it and pull pistols upon boarding. Closer inspection of a closed hatch is met with gunfire, apparently from within the boat itself complete with bullets punching through the wooden cabin ending with the clicking of an empty magazine. The hatch is opened to reveal a drunk and otherwise surly Desmond, obviously upset about ending up back at the Dharma island (seeing the survivors confirms this).

Later, on the island, it is revealed that Desmond attempted to flee the island on his boat but ended up right back where he started. He describes it as being trapped in a "bloody snow globe".

A plan is hatched involving the use of Desmond's sailboat for a flanking maneuver on the Others' camp. Sayid, Jin and Sun will be on the boat and Sayid will survey the area before Michael's party arrives. He will then light a signal fire with black smoke ("this time it will tell them it's us that are coming"- Sayid paraphrased, relating back to the black smoke preceding the Others' abductions of survivors) when the coast is clear. Along the way they see on shore what appears to be the remnants of a statue: a giant, four-toed foot in a sandal.

Meanwhile, a series of flashbacks involving Desmond's past ensues including his release from a military prison complete with dishonorable discharge that moves right into meeting with Charles Widmore who is, coincidentally, the father of Desmond's estranged girlfriend, Penelope. Mr. Widmore bribes Desmond to stay away from Penelope and Desmond ends up in the states. He meets Libby (with a more conservative haircut or wig) in a coffee shop when he realizes that he has no American currency on him and she kindly offers to purchase his coffee for four dollars. They sit and have a conversation where she admits to him to have been recently widowed and oddly, she offers him her deceased husband's boat, the Elizabeth, so that he can enter a race around the world sponsored by Charles Widmore himself, explaining that David, her husband, would have wanted it that way.

Midway on their hike to the meeting with the Others, Kate spots two people following them. She and Sawyer open fire and kill one. At this point Jack loses his cool and drops the plan that he and Sayid had agreed upon- to allow Michael to continue to feel as though he is in control and not to tell Sawyer, Kate, or Hurley of Michael's plan, and demands that Michael tell the group what is going on. Michael admits that the Others already know that they are coming and that he is the reason they know this. Michael further confesses that he did indeed kill Ana Lucia and Libby as a means of persuading the group to meet with the Others and to free Henry Gale as per the Others' demands.

Elsewhere, Locke is fighting with what he thought was the faith that would pull them all through this. After seeing the Pearl station for himself he cannot believe that the island was ever what he had perceived it as. Charlie comes across Locke weeping in the jungle and haughtily informs him of Desmond's return. Locke then seeks out Desmond and explains his lament to him along with the conviction that NOT pushing the button will have NO effect on anything. We have a flashback of Desmond arrival on the island- washing up on shore and the blurry images of a yellow HAZMAT suit that picked him up off the beach and brought him inside the Swan Station. The HAZMAT suit is Kelvin who then enlists Desmond as his Swan Station partner.

In the present, Desmond, at Locke's insistance, manually causes a fake lockdown by manipulating wires (as he learned from Kelvin) to keep Eko out of the control room as Eko is set on entering the numbers. Locke is insistent on NOT pushing the button as he believes that the purpose of the Swan Hatch is nothing more than a psychological experiment. Desmond in turn asks Locke if he's sure he doesn't have the theory backwards- maybe it is the Pearl Station that is the psychological experiment, not the Swan.

Desmond then has a flashback about Kelvin (Inman) under the floor of the control (button) room with a key and lock marked "fail safe". Later, as Kelvin prepares to go outside, Desmond notices that Kelvin's "quarantine suit" has a noticable hole and thinking that he is being deceived follows Kelvin outside. It seems Kelvin was going outside to repair Desmond's boat using the guise of an infection on the island as an excuse for keeping Desmond in the Swan. Desmond follows him out and becomes enraged upon seeing his boat and accidentally smashes Kelvin's head against a rock most likely killing him. He takes the key and sprints back to the hatch where the countdown has reached zero. Alarms are sounding with "SYSTEM FAILURE" and the that same phrase is also on the monitor as Desmond desperatly struggles to input the number sequence. The entire island appears to being trembling as though at the center of an earthquake. He finally is given a prompt and enters the full sequence causing the shaking to stop.

Trekking still further, the meeting party stops when Kate sees a large mound of plastic containers in front of a tube protruding from the ground. Upon closer inspection we see that it is actually the pneumatic tube containers with the notebooks from the Pearl station. Clearly, there are at least 2 or 3 years worth of notebooks that ended up in the middle of nowhere being the end of the pneumatic tube. Sawyer finds Locke's copy of the Blast Door map. As they talk Sawyer is shot in the neck with a dart and hits the ground in a convulsive state. Hurley freezes, Michael stares around and Kate and Jack run for it. Kate is shot and then Jack. They are taken prisoner by the Others with their mouths gagged and their heads covered with hoods.

At or around the same time, Eko escapes through the original hatchway that was blasted off. He takes notice of the quarantine door laying next to the hatch opening. He makes his way to the beach and finds Charlie. He asks Charlie how the hatch was opened. Upon explaining about the use of dynamite, Eko insists that Charlie help him get the dynamite so that he can blast through the blast door to get to the button. Meanwhile, Locke gives Desmond the printout from the Pearl station and Desmond frantically scrutinizes the logs. He asks Locke when they arrived on the island and finds out that there was a system failure on that very day, presumably at the very time the plane crashed. He confesses that he believes he brought flight 815 down with the system failure. Locke is dubious and still believes that nothing will happen. Outside the blast door, Eko rigs the dynamite as Charlie pleads with both Locke and Eko. The fuse is lit and it detonates. Desmond becomes frantic as the timer reaches zero. He tries to input the numbers but Locke smashes the computer monitor. Desmond panics, opens the blast doors and bolts to bookshelf.

The meeting party is walked down a pier among the Others. The pier has a "Pala Ferry" sign on the roof. The four are made to kneel and their hoods are removed. Kate tells Mr. Friendly (through the gag in her mouth) she knows about the beard. Mr. Friendly does not understand so Ms. Klugh accidently uses Mr. Friendly's first name and says, "She says she knows the beard is fake." A relieved Mr. Friendly takes the fake beard off and mentions that it is itchy and uncomfortable. The same boat that was involved in Walt's kidnapping pulls up and "Henry Gale" gets off, barefoot. He greets the meeting party and asks Friendly why he is not wearing his beard. We realize that he seems to be in charge here. He explains that Michael can leave on the boat, that Walt is aboard, and that Michael will find rescue if he holds a bearing of 325 degrees. Michael and Walt leave. Hurley is also told that he can leave and that his job is to tell the people from his side of the island not to come to theirs.

Desmond has a flashback to opening a book and an envelope falls out. It's from Penelope and was written before he entered prison. It explains that she will always wait for him. He flips out and starts to tear the room apart, obviously despondent and possibly suicidal, when suddenly he hears someone pounding on a wall and screaming. It was Locke, pounding on the hatch asking why Boone had to be killed. He looks up to the where the hatch is and flips a switch making the hatch window light up, placcating Locke. The flashback ends and he is frantically looking for the same book right in the middle of a system failure. Upon finding it he removes the fail safe key and runs for the trapdoor to get to the fail safe. He explains to Locke that he now knows that it was he who was pounding that one night that he had given up on life, thus saving his life, and now it is his turn to save Locke's life. Charlie is seen staggering around trying to help Eko. Desmond inserts the key and the island is engulfed in a bright white/violet glow accompanied by a loud low droning sound causing everyone to cover their ears. It lasts for several seconds and then stops. The quarantine hatch door drops from the sky to the beach just missing Claire, Aaron, and Bernard.

On the pier, what's left of the meeting party is given one last look at each other before their heads are covered with hoods again.

The last scene shows us two men, speaking Portuguese, in a polar setting (they are wearing thick vests and there's a snowstorm raging outside). When playing a game of chess, one of them suddenly notices a computer beeping and a message on screen, reading ">\ 7438880 Electromagnetic Anomaly Detected". They seem to have witnessed it before, as one of them is shouting "That's it, isn't it? We missed it again" The other guy forces him to "make the call". The last scene is where we see a woman picking up the phone and the researcher says "Miss Widmore, it's us. I think we found it." Miss Widmore, who is Penelope Widmore, looks very surprised, but seems happy at the same time.

Theories

  • Charles Widmore, or maybe Widmore Labs (or some company or conglomerate owned and/or run by Charles Widmore), supports the experiments run on the island by the Dharma Initiative. Charles Widmore sponsored the race around the world so as to get Desmond to end up on the island, maybe to get Desmond permanently away from Penelope. (Or, the race around the world might be a scam, a trap to get sailors to end up on the island to become part of the experiments). Penelope, knowing this, and knowing that the experiments involve electromagnetic disturbances, has people (at least the two Portuguese-speaking men at the final scene) on the look-out for electromagnetic disturbances which may help her find Desmond (she still has a picture of him by her bed).
  • The Portuguese-speaking men are near the South Pole. While the North Pole tends to collect most of the electrically charged particles flowing around the earth (and would thus make for a perfect spot to monitor the earth's magnetic field and electrical/ionic behavior), this episode takes place during late November (September 22 plus 60-65 days), a time when the Arctic experiences darkness all day. The last scene of this episode, however, starts with an establishing shot of a snowstorm seen by daylight. It is also possible that the Portuguese-speaking men are on a high-altitude location, and/or on the northern hemisphere south of the Arctic Circle.
  • Henry Gale asks Mr Friendly "Where's your beard?" in an authoritative tone, which substantiates the theory that Henry Gale is the leader of the Others (possibly even "Him", though he alluded against this in a previous episode).
  • The scene with the Portuguese-speaking drillworkers (and Penelope on the phone) is the first non-flashback scene that doesn't take place on the island. This seems to confirm that the outside world is still there. It might also indicate that we will see more current events in the outside world in Season 3.
  • Henry's instructions to Michael will lead him and Walt into a trap, where more of the Others' group will want to further study Walt.
  • I think it is obvious that Charles Widmore has a signifigant role in the activities on the island. I think the island maybe a modern day Philadelphia Experiment. Desmond said it was like being in a snowglobe. So I am guessing that no one can get out of this magnetic field unless they know where the porthole is and no one from the outside can see the island. This is why they don't care if Michael and Walt leave. If they told anyone, they would never be able to find it, unless it was during a system failure. In its' invisable state, it is a very convinient place to run top secret experiments. I am also guessing that Penelope caught wind of desmond being there, but could not get the location out of her father.
  • It seems logical, given the theories of Libby (or Elizabeth) being Liddy Wales, a higher-up at Hanso, that she was sent by Widmore or Hanso to give the boat to Desmond in order to provide a way for him to reach the island
    • Explains why Libby "knows" that Desmond isn't joking when he mentions that he needs $42,000 to buy a boat.
  • Desmond's declaration of being stuck in a "bloody snowglobe" is perhaps a reference to the series finale of St. Elsewhere where an autistic boy is actually looking at a snowglobe with a model of the hospital (and focus of the series), indicating that the series had merely been taking place in the boy's imagination. Such a reference could mean that the island events are merely happening in Hurley's head or a creation of Walt's mind. Since the producers have refered this (very unpopular) series wrap-up in the offical Podcast, odds are that this is *not* the case.
    • A snowglobe (and the men in the arctic) could infer that the entire facility is fabricated and located deep under arctic ice and generated in a Truman Show sort of fashion.
    • In Marvel Comics, the "Savage Land" is a tropical region which is either under Antarctica or within Antarctica. The Savage Land was created by the Nuwali aliens as an intergalactic game preserve for the omnipotent Beyonders. The metal "Antarctic Vibranium" is found there, which is known as an "anti-metal". Antarctic vibranium emanates vibrations which cause nearby metals to liquefy. http://www.marvel.com/universe/Savage_Land

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