Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Why Do The Others Need To Be Good Conmen?

Ben tells Sawyer,

We did all this because the only way to gain a con man's respect is to con him. And you're pretty good...Sawyer. We're a lot better.

What is the Others mission and why does it require seabilly costumes, canvas tents, pacemaker cons, women that look like your ex-wife? This question drives me nuts. If you're engaged in some sort of scientific mission or spiritual mission why all the deception? Deception muddies both of those fields of inquiry. What is up Ben?


capcom said...

Heheh, you'd think that with living on a deserted and isolated island that no one can find, they would not have the need for conning of any sort. But, people do manage to "fall into" their island space, so someone at their helm is obviously making contingiency plans for the human intrusions when they happen to come along, as you point out.

My guess is that the answer to some of this maybe lies within the transfer of the island "ownership" from the DI, to the Hostiles. The DI had there own purposes for deception, that we got a glimpse of via Roger's story (and TLE). But the Hostiles seemed to be working at crossed purposes with the DI, so when they took over there had to be a complete change (or dare I say it -- paradigm shift) in the big game called "Protect The Island At All Costs".

The DI were sneaky to protect their secret missions, and we are led to believe that the Hostiles/Others are sneaky to protect the island itself. But how they got so good at conning and outwitting people is a good question.

maven said...

I agree with Capcom that Ben and his group are protecting the island from outsiders for some yet unknown reason. Also, since they purged the DI, they obviously feel that they have to protect themselves, too, from anyone who may come and seek revenge against them.

Also, the hostile's history with the DI people seems pretty violent. They attacked Otherville enough that a sonic fence had to be constructed. "Hostile" drills were common in the school rooms. The Hostile's didn't have elaborate ruses or cons...they just attacked. Once Ben joined them, the manipulations began.

The question of why all the conning and subterfuge against the Losties is a major one! If I had a tumor on my spine and a spinal surgeon fell out of the sky, I would think I would be nice to him and politely ask if he could help me. But I guess the main objective of protecting the island is more important.

capcom said...

Right Maven! Maybe Jacob told Ben that the island was more important to them than Ben's tumor, so he couldn't come right out and ask Jack for help. So Ben had to use his minipulation skills to satisfy Jacob's commands, while at the same time planning a way to include Jack in those plans so that the operation could happen as well. Maybe Jacob said to Ben, "OK, as long as you can complete Plan A, you can include the Doctor in on the scheme." Just a thought that your post gave me when I read it.

Lost 2010 said...

You have to assume to some extent that Ben's group once welcomed someone with open arms and honesty. In return they were met with betrayal. My guess is that the Dharma Initiative showed up and the "hostiles" welcomed them with open arms and showed them all the island had to offer. Then Dharma basically turns around and takes over their island and treats them as if they were the interlopers.

Once you got rid of Dharma, wouldn't you be a little hesitant to open up to anyone else. So you'd use little cons when it was one or two people. And since you'd already established that as your MO, you'd tend to go to a more elaborate long con to deal with a large group of 48 survivors.

I think it matters too, how long it took them to find out Jack was a spinal surgeon. Once Claire got kidnapped, Jack was all out of trust if I remember correctly.

capcom said...

Wow, that's a very good idea Lost2010!!! I bet your theory here is correct. I can very easily see those kumbaya-granola-scientists promising compromise and harmony, and then going ahead and taking whatever they want in the name of science and their pretentious mission of single-handledly saving the world from itself.