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!