The Looking Glass is an underwater DHARMA Initiative station used as a beacon to help guide in submarines approaching the Island. A secondary purpose appears 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 is located a short distance offshore from the beach where Sayid first discovered a mysterious cable.
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 serves as a beacon in the ocean aiding the sonar navigation of submarines approaching the Island from the outside world. The station also appears 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 appears 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 are 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.
It is not clear exactly when, but at some point Ben assigned a security team of two Others: Greta and Bonnie to guard the station and monitor the jamming equipment. The story presented to the rest of the Others was that they had been sent on a mission to Canada. The team had the ability to communicate with Ben, but otherwise were ordered to maintain radio silence. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
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 discovering the station was, in fact, not flooded. Celebrating his good fortune, he was subsequently captured by Greta and Bonnie. ("Greatest Hits")
Charlie uses the equipment inside the control room of the station.
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 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 per her anger at 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 appears to show signs of age and neglect but is still functional. It can be surmised that the Looking Glass must possess some sort of working air circulation system.
The round shape of the station in the schematic found by Sayid in the Flame
Desmond and Charlie use the cable to find an underwater station ("Greatest Hits")
A number of cables run from the Flame to other DHARMA stations and facilities all over the Island. One such cable emerges from the jungle, crosses the beach and disappears into the ocean - leading directly to the Looking Glass. Mikhail describes the cable's purpose as being for communication. ("Enter 77") ("Greatest Hits")
The documents found by Sayid show the cable in a different configuration than is seen by the survivors in 2004. The side view shows the cable to be an anchor structure near shore where the cable goes inland, yet the top view has a notation indicating the cable is anchored to land. ("Greatest Hits") Why a facility the size of the Looking Glass would need to be anchored is unclear, although the Island does appear to experience some peculiar tides from time to time. ("Whatever the Case May Be")
The exterior of the Looking Glass - Bunny logo is visible.
The station sits offshore from the Island, elevated from the ocean floor on a series of support towers. The schematic of the Looking Glass suggests that the station is located 70 meters (220 feet) below sea level, although in 2004 it is clearly visible from the surface. As it was reached without scuba gear by both Charlie and Desmond, this suggests the station is 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.
Inside the "Looking Glass", in the submarine port, with the hatch to the control room in the centre background, half hidden
The center of the Looking Glass is taken up by a large industrial bay containing a large moon pool set into the floor. Open to the sea, the pressurized interior prevents the station from flooding and allows submarines to "surface" inside the station. Along the walls are a number of racks and lockers housing scuba gear, at least one speargun, and other equipment. Several watertight hatches lead to other rooms including the control room and the living quarters.
At one end of the bay a watertight hatch with a window opens into a control room. One wall of the chamber is taken up by a large control panel. The panel appears to have several functions, including the ability to send and receive transmissions and also controls the jamming apparatus used to block transmissions across the Island. The equipment is designed to be able to continue operation even if the station were to be flooded. The jamming equipment appears to be enabled or disabled by entering a numeric code sequence on a keypad. It is likely this room also controls the station's sonar array, which sends 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 exits the moon pool chamber. Although not shown, it can be surmised this door leads 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 image of water surging into the station through the open porthole at high pressure is inaccurate - and is based upon a wide exposure of submarine-like submersibles wherein the interior pressure is less than the surrounding sea pressure. For such vessels the hull is holding the sea water out and the pressure on the shell increases as the vessel goes deeper. As the moon pool does not flood the station, therefore the air pressure inside must be higher than the sea pressure outside. The portholes around the station's exterior are therefore resisting outward pressure of the air, rather than inward pressure of the water. Thus, losing a porthole would result in station air being lost, while the water would rise proportionally (by volume) into the station via the moon pool (see explanation of moon pool hydrostatic pressure). As such, the Looking Glass cannot be flooded any higher than the top of the broken porthole as the air above has nowhere to escape. The ceiling in the control room is about 4–6 feet above the porthole, and much more than this, perhaps 12 feet, in the submarine pool. Realistically, both Desmond and Charlie should have been quite safe and able to stand with heads above water in a half-flooded chamber with plenty of air above them.
- Radio waves are 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 is a reference to the book Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll.
- In Through the Looking Glass, Alice has two kittens that are black and white. Both kittens are descended from Dinah, Alice's cat in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alice blames her black cat for all the mischief caused in the book, but the white kitten is deemed completely innocent.
The logo on the schematic
- The logo for this station is 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 differ in that their outer portions are color inverses of one another. Also, the schematic version features a black 'hole' on the rabbit's neck that on closer inspection appears 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||"Greatest Hits"||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||Lived in this station for an unknown length of time until Charlie swam down and entered the station on Day 90.|
|Greta||"Greatest Hits"||"Through the Looking Glass, Part 2"||Lived in this station for an unknown length of time 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.|
Schematics of the Looking Glass, labeled: GVS-199288472982
- 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 dies, he makes the sign of the cross. However, he does it with his left hand, and touches his near-shoulder first (i.e. same side as the hand he's 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 has a cryptic notation: "Possible offshore data dump?" which may reference this station.
- The security code to disable the jamming is the musical note sequence to "Good Vibrations". The incomplete numerical sequence of sixteen numbers dictated by Bonnie is 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 is: 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 do not correspond to the sequence of changes given by Bonnie, assuming that each key only plays one note.
- The security keypad contains 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 is limited to full-notes, then then there are only 7^19 possible codes.
- If you include the half-notes, then there's only 12^19 possible codes.
- If you include every key on the keypad, then there's 16^19 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 have jamming equipment installed at the station?
- Why did Ben lie to the Others that the station was flooded?
- "Looking Glass Half Full", orchestral piece on the Season 3 soundtrack
- "The Looking Glass Ceiling", orchestral piece on the Season 3 soundtrack