The Whispers

Oh those whispers. Those mysterious voices in the air, usually heard in the jungle and sometimes audible prior to the appearance of an Other, or Others. Here I shall delve into these whispers – where they appear, some of their content, how they relate to The Others – and the various complications that make forming a definitive conclusion tricky. But I’ll try to form a definitive conclusion anyway!

The Whispers first appear in the episode Solitary. Sayid is alone in the jungle, having encountered Rousseau, and these strange voices surround him. So it is here I can present the first startling piece of information about The Whispers from the man (David Fury) who wrote the Solitary episode.

When questioned about what he thought The Whispers were when he wrote the episode, David Fury had this to say:

“They were supposed to be The Others, lurking in the jungle. At that time we hadn’t yet settled on what The Others would be. . . I had imagined they were going to be more feral, gone native. . . I just didn’t imagine they were going to be spirit-gum, fake beard wearing, boat driving, faux hillbillies. . .”

I don’t know about you, but that made surprising reading. It’s a real poke in the eye for all those people that (foolishly) like to believe the Lost creators had the whole thing worked out from the start! But still, even if The Whispers were not fully worked out at first, it’s fair to say that the creators must have a firm idea of what they are now. Let’s hope so, and let’s get stuck in and see what we can make of them.

You can read transcripts of The Whispers dialogue here: (I would encourage you – it’s worth it.)

In the majority of incidences The Whispers take the form of a small group of ‘people’ talking amongst themselves about what is happening. For example, when Sawyer is hunting boar during Outlaws The Whispers mention, “I knew he was American,” and, “My guess is to shoot the pig.”

At a point where Sawyer pauses, listening, The Whispers say, “What did he see? / Nothing, he was following it.” There are other occasions, too. Just before Mr. Eko and Charlie see the Black Smoke, The Whispers say, “There’s Charlie.” When Jack is in the Hydra Station aquarium cell, prior to the intercom crackling into life, The Whispers mention, “Let him go free.”

So the take home point about The Whispers so far is that they are a small group of ‘people’, talking amongst themselves and discussing what’s happening as it happens. The commentating on current events is crucial, I think. For one thing it dispels the idea that they are voices from a previous timeline. The Whispers remark about what is happening – they are not captured voices being replayed; they are active, objective participants and can see what is going on. This is a consistent truth except for one nagging incident which I shall refer to as The Duckett Voice.

The Duckett Voice

The Whispers being active observers is true except for one troubling instance. During the episode Outlaws, amongst the chatter of the observers, a more familiar whisper is heard: Frank Duckett saying, “It’ll come back around.” Frank Duckett, as you may recall, was the man Sawyer mistakenly shot and killed, believing he was the “real Sawyer”, before he boarded Oceanic 815.

The identical whispered replay of “it’ll come back around” is certainly troublesome; it’s a Whisper that does not fit with the idea of a small group of talkers speaking amongst themselves. These are the last words of a dying man, captured and being replayed to Sawyer on the Island, amidst the ‘regular’ Whispers. Problematic, for sure. Given this all took place during Season One, I could argue that the explanation for The Whispers hadn’t been officially nailed down. This Duckett Voice anomaly may prove to be a pervasive inconsistency – a fly in the ointment, if you like – once the whole mystery is revealed.

I will try to incorporate ‘The Duckett Voice’ into my main conclusion towards the end but I wanted to isolate and identify it here to highlight how troubling an element it may be.


So let’s set The Duckett Voice aside. Where were we? With the idea that The Whispers are a small group of voices chattering amongst themselves about events that are happening. OK. Let us not forget David Fury’s earlier remark, about The Whispers originally being The Others. We can be reasonably sure that’s not true, but The Others and The Whispers have on several occasions been intrinsically linked. Off the top of my head: at the pneumatic tube when Jack, Kate and Sawyer were stunned with electric shots by The Others; when Harper appeared to tell Juliet to go to The Tempest; The Others attacking Keamy and his men – all moments where The Whispers sounded as a precursor to an appearance by The Others.

And yet, troublingly, we’ve got instances where The Whispers appear without The Others. Like Sayid and Sawyer alone in the jungle, for example. I get to three conclusions about The Whispers from this (in order of least preferred):

1: The Others create The Whispers / The Others are The Whisperers. The Others are entirely responsible for them. They use them as a means of confusing those they wish to attack, such as Keamy and his men. It panics their prey and confuses them, allowing The Others to win.

This is my least preferred option. The Whispers have been heard without The Others showing up (you could argue that they just didn’t reveal themselves, but from what we know of them that wouldn’t make much sense). And that time when Harper showed up The Whispers sounded. If Harper could create The Whispers by choice then their seemed little purpose in using them at that moment, which convinces me she didn’t create them (but I’ll get on to why I think they were heard a little further down).

2: The Whispers and The Others have no connection. The Whispers are entirely independent of The Others. The Others attacking the Oceanic people is such an interesting, heightened event it increases the volume of the chatter amongst ‘the whisperers’ so they become audible. The inference here is that The Whispers are constantly chattering on the Island, it’s just moments of intense drama or attunement by an individual that allow them to be heard.

The idea that ‘the whisperers’ are always whispering, and it’s only in bursts that they can be heard is not one I will discount – but this is not my favoured explanation because it denies that The Others and The Whispers are linked.

3: The Whispers are a part of the Island that The Others have learned how to use to their advantage. They are a phenomena on the Island, or even OF the Island, and the link between The Others and The Whispers is purely down to The Others having learned enough about them to use them to their advantage.

If it helps, we can perhaps think of Ben’s apparent ‘summoning’ of the Black Smoke during The Shape Of Things To Come. I am of the belief that The Others, Ben included, do not control the Black Smoke. But Ben, at least, appears to have some understanding on how he can use it to his advantage when required. I believe The Whispers fall into the same category.

Right. OK. So probably you’re getting impatient now and wondering, What are they? Of course I don’t know, but the best guess based on evidence is they are voices of the dead.

We know that dead people on the Island aren’t entirely restricted to staying put. I can’t out and out call these manifestations ghosts in the strict sense that they are the corporeal spirit of a deceased body roaming the world – but somehow the entity of a dead person persists with people on the Island. Maybe they are genuine ghosts, or maybe they are the activated memories from within the living. (Note how we no one sees ‘ghosts’ of people they don’t know!)

Perhaps The Whispers are a lesser level of this same effect. That’s what I think. The Whispers appeared, for example, when dead Libby turned up to confront Michael on The Freighter. When The Whispers are heard prior to Shannon being shot and killed, one of them remarks, “Hi, sis”. Was that Boone? Who else could it have been!? In the same ‘conversation’ of whispers one of the voices remarks, “Dying sucks.”

And there are other voices that talk of how they know what it’s like “for a plane to crash”, and they are also heard at what is arguably the epicentre of all the ghostly weirdness – Jacob’s Cabin. When Hurley goes there for the first time during The Beginning Of The End The Whispers are briefly heard. “You have to be believe it’s me, Nikki,” is one amongst them. Yeah. Nikki!

That these are ‘the whispers of the dead’ becomes hard to argue against. If these voices are from a ‘pool of the deceased’ (in whatever form that is on the Island) then it at least allows for The Duckett Voice problem to be reconciled. And, interestingly, at some stages The Whispers discuss the idea that they could reveal themselves to certain individuals (Sayid and Sawyer), but then don’t. Maybe the ones that do reveal themselves are the likes of, you know, Christian or Yemi. . .

So that’s the main point. The Whispers are an Island phenomena linked in to the dead being ‘alive’ (again, I cannot stress enough I am not strictly calling them ghosts!) and existing on the Island because of whatever strange power the Island withholds. The voices exist as a constant chatter (indeed, there are hidden voices buried in the show’s soundtrack when even The Whispers themselves aren’t even audible – incredible, don’t you think!?) on and around the Island in a kind of ‘lesser state’ than fully-fledged apparitions like Christian and Yemi and Libby.

“You can go now” if you like. This has been a long read, I know, and there are more than enough big ideas to try and wrap your head around. But, for those that don’t know the meaning of the word ‘enough’, let me just throw one last big idea at you in relation to The Others and The Whispers.

Whispers Through An Open Door

I mentioned previously about The Others perhaps having some means of harnessing The Whispers to use for their own ends. The main purpose we have witnessed, so far, is as a means of distracting an enemy to stage a surprise attack. But let’s think about that moment Harper appeared to Juliet during The Other Woman. There are whispers heard. Pop! Harper appears from nowhere. More whispers are head. Pop! Harper disappears into thin air.

Now really what I am talking about here is that The Whispers permeate all over the Island in another dimensional level. But I can understand why you might read that sentence and roll your eyes. So let me posit the idea as a large room, and within that room all ‘the whisperers’ exist; they chatter constantly, unheard and unseen by everyone else on the Island whilst they watch what’s happening and discuss it. And then someone opens the door. . .

With the door open, anyone outside on the Island can hear The Whispers as those in the room chatter. Then the door is closed and The Whispers are silenced. Now what if The Others know how to open the door? So when they are staging an attack they can open it up and let The Whispers be heard and then make a move. And furthermore, what if someone like Harper knows how to open the door, go inside, and walk out through another door that allows her to appear at a different point on the Island?

I’m mostly joking in the above image that suggests the fake door Sayid found is ‘The Door To The Whispering Room’! But you get what I am saying, right? That this room allows a person to pop up in space out of nowhere and disappear again. And the fact that The Whispers were heard prior to Harper appearing and then prior to her disappearing could be considered as basis for the principle that she simply opened the door, appeared, closed it behind her, then opened it again, disappeared, and closed it behind her. Sounds pretty crazy, I know. But guess what? Someone else who pops up in and out of thin air also did so when The Whispers were heard.

Suddenly this idea feels even more compelling. And, for sure, I probably don’t have it exactly right but I’ve got a feeling I am certainly on the right lines. The Whispers, and the whisperers, exist in a plain that’s beyond our earthly realm but it’s a realm that can be used for astral travel.

Of course, for some people the door doesn’t have to be open for The Whispers to be heard. If you’re alone in the jungle and you listen closely enough, maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to hear the voices speaking amongst themselves. . .

Lost ARG 2008 - Part 4

So good old Hans Van Eeghen has been in touch via e-mail once again! On 29th July I received an e-mail entitled ‘Recruiting Volunteers NOW’ which contained the following information.


Recruiting Volunteers NOW.Join the Dharma Initiative's latest groundbreaking research project.
Visit and complete an 'Eligibility Test'.

Our innovative research has brought together someof the brightest minds on the planet.And we'd like you to join us.



So, this was what I had been waiting for, and I went to to see what it was all about. . .

If you stick around when the site first loads you will see various slogans swirl around the screen. If you're impatient and press 'Skip Intro' you will miss the following:

Does the world fill you with wonder?
Marvel at human ingenuity
A better tomorrow for everyone?
Join us

Then I was presented with the main page that asked me if I was new, already registered, or registered at Comic-Con. Alas for me I was not yet registered, so I clicked on: ‘Are you a new recruit?’ I was informed that I was to be tested to check for my eligibility and that I would have to answer 17 questions.

I clicked on Commence Test and went through it. Basically the test was in two sections: a Visual Test (where various images were presented with four optional words that you had to select one of in accordance with what you thought was most appropriate) – such as below.

And there was a Perspective Test (where various statements – like you are running down an unfamiliar street – were posted with four options for you select one of in accordance with which seemed right to you) – such as below.

Once the test was complete my results were processed and I was informed that I had passed. To be honest, I suspect it’s impossible to ‘fail’ the test. It’s just a weird, sometimes creepy, kind of test just designed to make you feel like you’re getting involved in something. To that end, it’s quite slick.

Anyway, I registered my details and it now appears that I have been recruited by the Dharma Initiative! Exciting stuff! Back on the site the main page has options to view ‘My Progress’ and a leaderboard – but all of these are so far awaiting me to complete my volunteer assessment, something that should be headed my way over the next few weeks. Maybe my performance there will dictate what kind of ‘level’ I get to. . .

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Last bit of business about this. If you check out the site address, which shows the e-mailed content, and as with previous mails view the source code, our good friend ‘Ruckus Guy’ has embedded a message there.

meta name="Alert1" content="Banks Claw" /
meta name="Alert2" content="DOUBLEYOUDOUBLEYOUDOUBLEYOUDOTyoutubeDOTcom
!-- Banks Claw --

Phew! Let’s pick the bones out of this one.

Firstly, “Banks Claw” is an anagram of ‘Black Swan’. In reality, a Black Swan is a metaphorical term for something that ought not to exist. Like all swans are white, so a black swan showing up is a random, atypical event. Perhaps this is how Ruckus Guy sees himself, or is a comment about the new Dharma Initiative.

So the spelled out website address (they are both the same) is as follows:

The link takes you to youtube where you can watch a video of the new Dharma Inititive’s promo video that was playing at Comic-Con. Alternatively, you can see it below!

Ruckus Guy also left a message next to the video on youtube saying: “Here it is! Told you I’d get it. More to come. . .”

Lost ARG 2008 - Part 3

Octagon Global Recruiting got back in touch with me (and the thousands of others who signed up to their recruitment drive!) via e-mail.

The full e-mail content can be seen here:

And for those that can’t be bothered to click, here’s what the e-mail and the site states:



Octagon Global Recruiting, on behalf of the Dharma Initiative, is pleased to announce that Dharma's Head of Recruiting, Mr. Hans Van Eeghen, has confirmed his availability for the launch of our latest recruiting drive at Comic-Con 2008.

"My colleagues at Octagon Global Recruiting assure me that Comic-con hosts some of the brightest minds in the country," said Mr. Van Eeghen. "As Head of Recruiting it is my intention to personally assess the very best of this talent in the hope that they may join us."

The Dharma Initiative will be conducting eligibility assessments at Booth 3529 at Comic-Con, San Diego between July 24th - 27th.

If you are attending Comic-Con and would like to submit your name for a randomly selected drawing to secure one of ten (10) pre-release appointments with one of our recruiting officers, please click here.

The volunteer eligibility assessment will be available online from July 28th for a limited time at

The Dharma Initiative hopes you will spread the word. Invite your friends to join the team at

So before I get into some of the juicier aspects from this latest development, I’ll just review what this piece of information tells us. The important aspects are that Mr. Hans Van Eeghen now has a job title: Head Of Recruiting at Dharma.

There’s also the strong suggestion that he will be making an appearance at Comic-Con. How far they’re going to take that remains to be seen. But it seems clear Octagon Global Recruiting will be a presence there. I expect there will be a ‘proper’ recruitment thing for people to try, and then a version of it - whatever it is - will be available online for the rest of us to have a go at.

I wish I was going to Comic-Con! But I am not. So I am one of these people that has to wait until July 28th when the online assessment will be available. (Incidentally, current has a message:

We can expect this site to develop a lot more over the coming weeks. . .!

Now, onto a little bit more juice (and a potential ‘star’ character for this ARG) back at the site At this site, if you view the source code, there’s a message contained within. Full transcription below:

…If you’re reading this, wanna hear something cool?
I’ve got intel about his little “recruitment drive.”
They’re doing some kind’ve personality/IQ testing or something down in SD for ComicCon.
Buddy of mine works down there and has the approvals for their “booth,” he says once you go in no one knows what happens inside and you need an appointment to get in. He also said to make sure you’ve got your Bluetooth on and visible – he’s rigged up a little something.

The whole thing sounds like elitist B.S., doesn’t it?
Well, I’m getting in that booth and taking the test.
As many times as I have to before I “pass” (whatever that means?)
And then…
If I can?
I’m gonna tape it so EVERYONE can see what these idiots are up to.
Should be fun, right?
See ya in SD. RuckusGuy OUT.

So we appear to have someone leading us through this game and he goes by the name of RuckusGuy. (I’ll have a play with some anagrams of that and see what pops up, but nothing jumps out at the moment.) Potentially the story of the ARG may involve this RuckusGuy getting recruited by Dharma and reporting what is happening like a mole. That would be cool, but is total guesswork by me.

What he should certainly be providing is taped evidence of the recruitment process. It does all sound very interesting. Let’s just hope there’s a lot of thought and effort gone into this to make it bear out the intrigue. So, until Comic-Con, or any other unforeseen correspondence, I guess this puts us up to date. I’ll deliver more when I got more to deliver. . .

Top 5 Best Episode Endings

For the purposes of this Top 5 I am deliberately omitting Season Finale episode endings. From the Listening Station to Jack and Kate at the Flashforward airport, there have been some killer endings to seasons. But here I’m concerned with those knockout kiss-offs Lost has delivered during regular episodes. Those endings that prompt a jaw-to-floor interface. The ones that, when that Lost title pops up on the screen, your brain does a somersault whilst you howl in shock or disbelief. These are my Top 5, in chronological order, and I can tell you getting this list down to just 5 was not easy. . .

Episode 1.10 – Raised By Another

There was always something a bit shifty about Ethan when he cropped up early during Season One. A few little scenes with him here and there, hunting with Locke or talking with Hurley, gave him an air of not-quite-right. But it was only at the end of this episode did that suspicion explode into full-blown OH MY GOD revelation.

The set-up was so sweet. Claire had gone into labour and Ethan had been sent to go off and get Jack. Charlie was with her but, really, at that time, we as an audience wanted Jack there. The hero. He’ll make sure she’s all right. He’ll deliver this baby safely. And then we go to a scene with Jack, where a breathless Hurley comes running in with urgent news. There’s a problem, he is saying. There’s a problem with the manifest. . .


Someone was in their group that was not on the plane. That's a massive revelation right there. For the first time confirmation that this strange Island has people on it already! Holy FUCK! And, sure, we know who it is before anyone else does, of course. It’s that sneaky Ethan guy! And we can bet that he hasn’t gone to Jack at all. And that means Claire and Charlie are alone, and vulnerable, but they’re making their way to camp now. . . Maybe they’ll make it. . . Maybe they’ll be all right. . .

And then Ethan stands before them. “Hello there,” he says. And he’s got a total sinister vibe going on. A creepy ogling gaze fixated on Claire. And it’s as he’s standing there do you realise how big and intimidating he looks, and how small and pathetic Charlie and Claire look against him. And yeah, OH MY GOD, things are definitely not good. And pow! That’s where the episode ends. Anyone fancy tuning in next week to see what happens? You bet your fucking ass we do!

Episode 1.19 – Deus Ex Machina

You have to transport yourself back to the time when you didn't know what was in 'the hatch'. You can remember those days. We used to guess and speculate and wonder about what could be contained within. The need to know was palpable. The possibilities limitless. Back then, we were thankful that good old Locke was on the case, trying to work out how to open the hatch so he could see what it was all about.

Locke had a vision. The vision lead him to a drug plane. Boone got in the plane and was fatally injured. Locke delivered Boone to Jack at the caves and then, desperate, despairing, returned to his obsession: the hatch he cannot open. He pounded against the metal (really it's more a bit of a dull thump and should no way have sounded as loud as it did for Desmond later on. . . But hey, I'm moving away from that glorious time when we didn't know what was in 'the hatch'!). And then something amazing happened.

Locke is stopped, transfixed. He sees it as a sign, an affirmation of his faith being tested which renews his will to continue despite all obstacles. Me, I didn't see it like that. What I saw was a ‘HOLY SHIT WHAT IS IN THERE?' moment. If the definition of a good end to an episode is one that leaves you desperate beyond shame to need to know what happens next then this moment - just a simple light appearing from within 'the hatch' - is a stormer.

And yeah, sure, later on down the line when we know what created the light and the circumstances that surround it a lot of the magic of this moment gets washed down the plughole. This is why you have to cast your mind back to the days before you knew, see? Those happy, innocent times. . .

Episode 2.20 – Two For The Road

This ending manages to pack in three successive surprises that are good enough bombshells to have been delivered individually - packing them all in one after the other made for one hell of a climax. What you probably didn't notice, watching first time, was how well executed this scene was to deliver maximum impact. The whole thing plays out uninterrupted. There's no music. Anything that can distract you or remind you that, hey, this is just a television programme is stripped away to concentrate on character and drama. As stated, you probably didn't notice all this when you were watching, but trust me: it's what made the scene work so well.

The first of the of the surprises, then, is a slow build, as Ana Lucia's character reaches a moral maturity; she finds she is no longer capable of revenge-killing and thus has found a form of 'salvation’. Unfortunately, her mercy is her weakness and it costs. She hands Michael the gun to do her will for her, only it is turned against her. The moment Michael apologises, we know what's coming about a second before Ana Lucia finds out. Bang! Ana Lucia is shot in the gut and is dead almost immediately.

A gasp reveals Libby has witnessed the whole event and if it's a shock to the audience it's a bigger shock to Michael who, startled, accidentally pumps a couple of bullets into her. She drops down (leaving us with the sneaking suspicion she might survive - a surprise left over for the next episode). Two main cast members down, Michael then opens the door and confronts the man we know at this stage only as Henry Gale. No words are exchanged. They look at one another. Then Michael points the gun at himself and pulls the trigger, and before our eyes can react to what we saw the screen is black and the episode is over. . .

It's perhaps only at this moment do you notice you haven't taken a breath during the whole sequence. Until you know better, it's unclear if Michael killed himself, if Libby is dead, and what a now-freed Henry will do. This ending is, seriously, just about as dramatic as Lost gets. Like a smash and grab, it hits hard and leaves you wanting more.

Episode 3.18 – D.O.C.

Pardon the pun, but the notion that the survivors' existence on the Island since the crash of Oceanic 815 was actually a form of purgatory was long dead by the third series. There may have been the odd few viewers still convinced that the characters on the Island had really all died and just didn't know it yet, but everyone else had decided that such an idea was way too obvious and lazy for a show like Lost. Yeah, we smart bastards all knew the purgatory idea was crap. Thing is, the writers knew that we knew it, too.

And then the parachutist - Naomi - drops in. Literally. And she doesn't say much at first – and most of it isn't even in English. But when she does finally open her mouth to speak words that we can understand. . . Whoa! Recovering from her punctured lung she manages to hold a conversation with Hurley as he tells her he is a survivor of Oceanic 815. The parachutist - Naomi (though we don't even know her NAME yet!) - is confused by this idea. He can't be, she tells Hurley. The wreck of Oceanic 815 was FOUND, she adds. All the passengers were DEAD, she then caps it all off with.

A beat of time is allowed to exist, like the last mote of sense in a senseless world, whilst we as an audience struggle to wrap our minds around this information and desperately will this woman to explain herself. Instead, Hurley just manages to drop out a dumbstruck "What?" at just about the same time the same question occurs to anyone watching. And, yes, naturally, this is where the episode ends and a million Lost fans all over the planet clap their hands over their ears as if to block out the madness that has already been implanted in their minds.

The concept of purgatory gets flung right back in your face, screaming at you to deny its existence, and there's going to be at least another WEEK before you get to find out if there's going to be any kind of clarification on the subject! What did that bitch say? Oceanic was FOUND? They’re all DEAD? WHAT. THE. FUCK!?

Episode 4.07 – Ji Yeon

It’s really the ending that makes this episode; one of those rare conclusions that don’t just chuck a cliffhanger surprise in but actually add a new angle and depth to the proceedings. Because what we had seen was what we thought was another flashforward episode, this time featuring Jin and Sun (who we assumed were therefore the last of our Oceanic 6).

Sun was heavily-pregnant and going into labour, and meanwhile Jin was dashing around trying to get a hold of a panda as a birth present. Will Jin make it to the birth on time? Will something terrible happen to the child? Or to Jin? Or to Sun? Those are the pressing concerns.

Trouble is, we don’t realise the trick that’s being played until the end. We see Jin deliver a panda to someone that’s not Sun, and he makes that weird remark about how he’s not been married very long, and slowly we begin to realise something’s up. And then Hurley arrives, and joins Sun as they journey to the graveyard, and then the penny drops.

We’ve been had! But in a good way! Sun’s story was in flashforward, Jin’s story was in flashback! The tragic irony that Jin was NEVER going to make it to the birth of his child is compounded by the stark reality that he is for all the world dead. For me, this is an ending with real resonance and sophistication – one that can send you re-watching the episode with an entirely new appreciation about what transpired. Shocks and surprises and cliffhangers are fairly easy to drop in, but endings like THIS don’t come along very often. Treasure it.

The Implant Rant

The incident when Claire suddenly became ill because of the implant that had been ‘activated’ in her was, and is, one of the sneakiest cheats Lost has ever produced. It smacked of a writing contrivance designed to facilitate one thing: Juliet’s acceptance in the camp and the surprise reveal of her duplicitous infiltration.

The incident in question occurred during the episode One Of Us. To recap: Juliet was introduced to the Oceanic camp and, rightly, many were not willing to trust her. Then Claire became ill, and Juliet claimed to know what was wrong and got the antidote and saved Claire’s life. The Oceanic group then trusted her, only for it to be revealed that the whole scheme had been set-up, an implant in Claire activated, as part of Ben’s plan to initiate Juliet into the group as a spy.

Convenient, don't you think? That someone had the foresight to implant Claire way back when for just such an occasion? But let me suspend cynicism for a moment and consider this implant on its own terms. Since Claire was implanted during her term of capture with The Others we are posed two questions. Was the implant the sole purpose of Claire’s capture? Or was it a contingency measure, like a failsafe?

I am forced to believe the implant was inserted as a contingency plan because the alternative is ludicrous. If the goal had been to plant an implant then they could have drugged Claire unconscious, put the implant in and then left her in the jungle somewhere. The elaborate staging of a Staff Station and a nursery. . . Give me a break. Ben is fertility-obsessive, for crying out loud!

Ben went to the trouble of capturing a pregnant woman to stick an implant in her and then release her? No he didn't.

Ethan was sent in so he could risk himself (he’s the surgeon!) to pull a con to implant an innocent woman from the survivor's camp? Doesn't make sense.

So, let's be clear: Claire was kidnapped for her baby. Full stop. No arguments. Therefore the implant was inserted as a contingency measure. Right. Great. Only Claire escaped, right? So maybe, you know, that might have been a good time to employ the contingency plan. Don’t forget, after Claire escaped Ethan went back and died trying to re-capture her. Perhaps using the implant before Ethan was sent in, alone, might have been a good idea, no?

What Ethan did was find Charlie and threaten to kill Oceanic people until Claire was given up. (So much for Ben and his ‘don’t kill innocent’ people policy.) Maybe a better plan would have been to trigger the implant and then have Ethan tell Charlie that, unless Claire was returned to him, she would die. That might have produced a better result. That might have avoided the death of Ethan, the surgeon, who Ben might have found useful for that spinal tumor he knew all about before any of this happened.

Clearly there was no way this implant was part of the writing plan when Claire was kidnapped. The implant was not the original intention – it was invented as a plot mechanism to get Juliet into the Oceanic group and that’s that.

Notice how we don't get details. I mean, how exactly did that implant work? How did they get it in there? (Injection? In Claire's head? And wasn’t Ethan administering injections to Claire while she slept in camp? Could he not have injected an implant into her and everyone else in this fashion!?) How did they activate it? (Remote frequency that's not inhibited by the electromagnetic anomaly or distress signal or Looking Glass jammer?) How does it cause Claire's pain? And how does the vaccine Juliet give Claire manage to stop it? Is the implant de-activated now? Or just on standby? Good grief. . .

Maybe the implant had another mode where it makes Claire give up her baby and leave it in the jungle and go off following her father in a strange cabin that appears and disappears at intervals. To be honest, it’s just as plausible.

Who else is implanted now, by the way? Jack and Kate? Michael? When it appeared blood had been taken from them was it really just implants being put in? I guess when Ben was fake-putting-in-pacemaker for Sawyer he quickly had an implant popped in there, too. Why not? You never know when an implant comes in handy! Whether you’re an Other just looking to make some friends, or a writer in a fix, those implants will do the trick!