The Looking Glass was an underwater DHARMA Initiative station used as a beacon to help guide in submarines approaching the Island. A secondary purpose appeared to be related to communications; the station was used by the Others in 2004 to jam transmissions being broadcast to or from the Island. (The World of the Others) The station was located a short distance offshore from the beach where Sayid first discovered a mysterious cable.
- 1 History
- 2 Layout
- 3 Inaccuracies
- 4 Name
- 5 Logo
- 6 Notable visitors
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Unanswered questions
- 9 See also
The Looking Glass was built and installed in its current location on the sea floor sometime before 1971 or '72, and was one of the first built by Initiative. According to Mikhail Bakunin the station served as a beacon in the ocean aiding the sonar navigation of submarines approaching the Island from the outside world. The station also appeared to be equipped with a sonar array which could be controlled from the Flame. ("Enter 77") One of the original DHARMA engineers who set up the jamming equipment was a musician. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
The station appeared to have been continuously manned by DHARMA personnel. In 1977, at Jin's request, Radzinsky sent out an Island-wide broadcast asking any station to call in if they spotted a plane in the area. The Looking Glass reported in last, informing Radzinsky that only a submarine was approaching carrying new DHARMA recruits. ("Namaste")
During a meeting of the high ranking DHARMA Initiative members in "He's Our You", two Looking Glass personnel were present: Rosie, who worked as a nurse at the Looking Glass in 1977, and another unidentified woman.
Later, in caring for young Ben Linus, Juliet was informed that the DHARMA doctor was currently at the Looking Glass and would be there for some time. ("Whatever Happened, Happened") According to the Lost Encyclopedia, the reason medical personnel helped man the station was due to the danger of being down so deep.
The Others were aware of and gained control of the Looking Glass sometime after the Purge. Considering the station to be a major component in maintaining security of the Island, Ben created an elaborate fiction within the Others that the station was flooded and inaccessible due to an accident. Only a small number were aware of the truth, and of the station's role in jamming communications.
Following the detonation of the Swan Station, Ben assigned a team of two Others, Greta and Bonnie, to activate the jamming equipment located in the Looking Glass. He ordered them to remain in the Looking Glass, and used their presence to allow only certain communications to be sent and received (such as Michael Dawson’s recruitment onto the Kahana and orders to kidnap Anthony Cooper). The story presented to the rest of the Others was that they had been sent on a mission to Canada, and that the lack of communications was a result of the Swan Station’s detonation. The team had the ability to communicate with Ben, but otherwise were ordered to maintain radio silence. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
Days 90–91 (Season 3)
Learning of the Looking Glass from a schematic (found by Sayid at the Flame) and from Juliet's information, Jack sent Charlie and Desmond to disable the jamming equipment at the station. Desmond also had a vision that Charlie would enter the underwater station, "flick a switch" to stop the signal interference, then drown in a flooded room. Despite this ominious foreshadowing, Charlie swam down to the station, entering via the moon pool, and discovered the station was, in fact, not flooded. Celebrating his good fortune, he was subsequently captured by Greta and Bonnie. ("Greatest Hits")
Ben, on learning of Charlie's arrival over the radio, immediately sent Mikhail to take over the situation. Mikhail arrived at the beach a short time later, sighting Desmond out on the boat above the station, and began shooting at him. Desmond managed to dive down to the station and concealed himself in a storage locker while Greta and Bonnie were in the control room. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
Using scuba gear, Mikhail swam down to the station - where, on Ben's orders, he killed Greta and fatally wounded Bonnie before being shot in the chest by Desmond with a speargun. Charlie convinced the dying Bonnie to give him the code to turn off the jamming equipment due to her anger towards Ben's betrayal.
With the code, Charlie was able to disable the jamming, subsequently receiving an incoming video transmission from Penny. Unnoticed by Desmond and Charlie, Mikhail had revived himself and slipped into the moon pool. He appeared underwater outside the control room porthole with a grenade and activated it. Charlie closed and sealed the control room door to protect Desmond, just as the grenade went off, killing Mikhail and shattering the porthole. Charlie drowned as the control room filled with water. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 2")
Located entirely underwater, the station appeared to show signs of age and neglect but was still functional. It can be surmised that the Looking Glass must have possessed some sort of working air circulation system.
A number of cables ran from the Flame to other DHARMA stations and facilities all over the Island. One such cable emerged from the jungle, crossed the beach, and disappeared into the ocean - leading directly to the Looking Glass. Mikhail described the cable's purpose as being for communication. ("Enter 77") ("Greatest Hits")
The documents found by Sayid in the Flame showed the cable in a different configuration than was seen by the survivors in 2004. The side view showed the cable to be an anchor structure near shore where the cable went inland, yet the top view had a notation indicating the cable was anchored to land. ("Greatest Hits") This anchoring may have secured the station during the Island's periodic movement. ("316")
The station sat offshore from the Island, elevated from the ocean floor on a series of support towers. The schematic of the Looking Glass suggested that the station was located 70 meters (220 feet) below sea level, although in 2004 it was clearly visible from the surface. As it was reached without scuba gear by both Charlie and Desmond, this suggests the station was not nearly so deep. The Looking Glass was well illuminated by underwater lights and a large logo of the station was displayed prominently on one side.
The center of the Looking Glass was taken up by a large industrial bay containing a large moon pool set into the floor. Open to the sea, the pressurized interior prevented the station from flooding and allowed submarines to "surface" inside the station. Along the walls were a number of racks and lockers housing scuba gear, at least one speargun, and other equipment. Several watertight hatches led to other rooms including the control room and the living quarters.
At one end of the bay a watertight hatch with a window opened into a control room. One wall of the chamber was taken up by a large control panel. The panel appeared to have several functions, including the ability to send and receive transmissions, and also controlled the jamming apparatus used to block transmissions across the Island. The equipment was designed to be able to continue operation even if the station were to be flooded. The jamming equipment appeared to be enabled or disabled by entering a numeric code sequence on a keypad. It is likely this room also controlled the station's sonar array, which sent out pings assisting submarines to safely approach the Island. Previously a porthole window opened in the outer station wall.
To the left of the door into the control room another hatch exited the moon pool chamber. Although not shown, it can be surmised this door led to some sort of living quarters for station personnel. Given the time that Greta and Bonnie were stationed here, this area can be assumed to contain some sort of sleeping accomodations and kitchen space.
The diagram obtained by Sayid at the Flame station, is titled "Looking Glass Hatch", not "Looking Glass Station". "Hatch" was Locke's name for Dharma stations, as "Others" was the Survivors' name for Dharma's "Hostiles". A Dharma diagram would not have called this station a "hatch".
Water would not have surged into the station through the broken porthole at high pressure. The moon pool's presence in the Looking Glass proves that the station's air pressure equaled or exceeded the external water pressure. Otherwise, the station would flood through the pool. This distinguishes the station from a submarine, whose interior pressure is less than the surrounding sea pressure, and whose hull holds the sea water out. The station diagram shows the water level of the moon pool to be 70M (230 feet) below sea level, which establishes the air pressure throughout the whole station as equal to the water pressure at 70M sea water depth - 702kPa, 102 psi. The exterior pressure at the porthole depth would be about 15kPa / 2psi less - so, when the grenade opened the viewport, water would not have surged in. Two scenarios are possible, depending on whether the electronics room was completely sealed off from the moon pool chamber (i.e., no ventilation ducts or other openings between the chambers).
If air can pass between the compartments with the door closed, then water would rise into the station through the moon pool, as air vented out through the broken viewport. If closing the door completely isolates the electronics room (a likely design feature..), then air and water would compete for access to the porthole, causing an intermittent "burbling" flooding of the compartment.
Separately, water could not flood the room any higher than the top of the broken porthole because the air above would have nowhere to escape. The ceiling in the control room was about 4–6 feet above the porthole. Realistically, Desmond and Charlie should have been able to safely stand with heads above water in a half-flooded chamber with sufficient air above them.
With the station maintaining an internal pressure of around 700kPa / 100psi, anyone breathing air within the station would rapidly accumulate high levels of dissolved nitrogen in their blood and body tissues. Scuba divers breathe air which is equalized to the depth they are diving at - U.S. Navy dive tables indicate that anyone breathing air at 220FSW (feet sea water) for longer than 5 minutes must make a "decompression stop" during their return to the surface, In the case of a 5 to 10 minute exposure to air at 220FSW pressure, a diver should ascend no faster than 30 feet per minute (6:20), then hold at 20 ft depth for 3 minutes. This is only possible with an air supply. Failure to observe decompression protocols causes a diver to arrive at the surface with excess dissolved nitrogen, resulting in "decompression sickness", with widely variable symptoms depending on the specific depth/time profile. Occupants of the Looking Glass station are subject to the same physical conditions and risks as a scuba diver at the same depth. Anyone surfacing directly from this station requires immediate treatment for DCS in a hyperbaric chamber. Given the length of Charlie's stay in the station, all of his tissues - including his bones - were fully saturated with nitrogen equalized to the 102psi pressure. Had he attempted to surface, his bloodstream would have been instantly filled with nitrogen bubbles, like the fizz on opening a carbonated beverage, while all of his bones disintegrated from microfractures caused by expanding gas bubbles.
Radio waves are also extremely poor at propagating through water, let alone crossing over to the air, due to a huge mismatch in the transmission medium impedance.
The name of the station was a reference to the book Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll.
- The logo for this station was a rabbit, as seen on the Looking Glass schematic, on the top and in the interior of the station itself. The schematic and exterior logos differed in that their outer portions were color inverses of one another. Also, the schematic version featureed a black 'hole' on the rabbit's neck that on closer inspection appeared to be a clock/watchface with the hands set at 8:15.
- The station insignia (a white rabbit and watch) is a reference to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, also by Lewis Carroll. In that book, when Alice first sees the White Rabbit, she is struck by the fact that he is checking his watch: "...suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her... when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. In another moment down went Alice after it..." [Emphasis in original].
|Picture||Name||First visit||Last visit||Reason for Visit|
|Bonnie||unspecified time||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||Lived in this station for an unknown length of time with Greta until Charlie swam down and entered the station on Day 90.|
|Greta||unspecified time||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||Lived in this station for an unknown length of time with Bonnie until Charlie swam down and entered the station on Day 90.|
|Mikhail||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 1"||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||Visited this station on Day 91 and discovered that it was in fact not flooded and that Bonnie and Greta weren't on an assignment in Canada.|
|Charlie||"Greatest Hits"||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||Discovered this station on Day 90 when he swam down underwater to turn off the switch which blocked all radio signals off the island then drowned in the comms room.|
|Desmond||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 1"||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||Swam down to this station when he was being shot at by Mikhail from the beach on Day 91.|
- In the book Through the Looking Glass, one could look through the mirror but could not be seen by those on the other side.
- A looking glass is a Victorian term for a mirror.
- Just before Charlie died, he made the sign of the cross. However, he did it with his left hand, and touched his near-shoulder first (i.e. same side as the hand he was using) before reaching across to his far shoulder, as Orthodox Christian and Eastern Rite Catholics do, so that to the viewer it appears identically as it would appear in a mirror, or "looking glass" if he were Eastern Rite or Orthodox.
- The blast door map had a cryptic notation: "Possible offshore data dump?" which may have referenced this station.
- The security code to disable the jamming was the musical note sequence to "Good Vibrations". The incomplete numerical sequence of sixteen numbers dictated by Bonnie was 5-4-5-8-7-7-5-5-4-3-7-7-6-1-1-3. Along a C-Major scale, the full nineteen-note code as played by Charlie was: A G A C C D D F G G G F A A G F C D C.
- The changes in these notes of the actual melody in the audio track did not correspond to the sequence of changes given by Bonnie, assuming that each key only plays one note.
- The security keypad contained sixteen numbered keys, along with four function keys along the bottom row.
- The 19-note code could therefore have 1619, or 7.55578637 × 1022 possible combinations, assuming the security code could contain any of the 16 keys.
- However, there are only 7 musical notes, and 5 half-notes, for a total of 12 possible musical notes
- If the key space was limited to full-notes, then there are only 719 possible codes.
- If the half-notes are included, then there are only 1219 possible codes.
- If every key on the keypad is included, then there are 1619 possible codes, but this would allow for digits beyond the actual musical range.
The existence of an underwater DHARMA station was hinted at during the 2006 Comic-Con in San Diego, approximately a year before the station appeared in an actual episode. This Lost panel discussion was also rebroadcast as The Official Lost Podcast on July 31, 2006.
Fan 7: I was just curious if next season, we were going to finally see the underwater hatch?
- The Looking Glass station is a communications station. Its role is to emit the ping that guides the submarine to the Island. (Season 3 DVD commentary)
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: The Looking Glass/Theories
- Why did the DHARMA Initiative install jamming equipment at the station?
- Why did Ben lie to the Others that the station was flooded?
- Who programmed the signal jammer's code?
- "Looking Glass Half Full", orchestral piece on the Season 3 soundtrack
- "The Looking Glass Ceiling", orchestral piece on the Season 3 soundtrack