Episode Report Card
Daniel: B | 1 USERS: A+
The petty details of so-and-so's life

Back in the hatch-hole, Jack and Locke are setting up their little filmstrip while Jack interrogates Locke about what was going on down here before he showed up. "Kate was tied up, Desmond had a gun on me. I think you pretty much caught the gist of it." Will that be all, Dad? Locke says Desmond had all kinds of questions about the Lostaways, like were any of them sick. "You didn't ask anything about him?" says Jack, who could think maybe about saying just one thing without a sneer in his voice. "He was the one with the gun," points out Locke. Jack says Locke seems calm for someone who thinks the world's going to end in forty-five minutes. "He'll fix it," says Locke, who seems to have transferred his faith from the hatch itself directly to Desmond. Jack says what Desmond's talking about is insane, and Locke wants to know why he thinks that. "Because the last time I saw the computer that was going to save the world, it didn't look like that," whatever that means. Jack's got a big, fancy G5 at home, I guess. ["Never mind the fact that they're already arguing about 'believing' Desmond, despite the fact that what he said really made no sense, and realistic dialogue would have had them asking some follow-up questions, like about what the button actually does -- no, the train just goes straight to 'scuffle over who's going to push it' with no stops at Credible Writingville." -- Sars] Locke asks if Jack's really upset because Desmond recognized him. "Because that would be impossible," says Locke. Locke thinks it's plausible that the Apple II is preventing the world from ending, but it's impossible that Desmond and Jack have met before. Check.

Now, as in all the great social studies classes of my youth, we watch an outdated film. Locke is rapt. The title screen has the Dharma swan with "The Dharma Initiative" written over it, and "3 of 6" and "Orientation" below. Then, underneath the full Dharma logo on the screen it reads "Orientation -- Station 3 -- The Swan." The film is grainy and full of skips and jumps, and looks a few decades old, but I've done my best to make everything out, since I imagine if I miss something, it will wind up being a crucial detail. We fade up on a handsome Asian man (who is not Daniel Dae Kim) standing in what looks like a research lab.

"Welcome, I'm Dr. Marvin Kandel, and this is the orientation film for Station 3 of the Dharma Initiative. In a moment you'll be given a simple set of instructions for how you and your partner will fulfill the responsibilities associated with the station. But first, a little history."

Cut to a college campus. "The Dharma Initiative was created in 1970, and it is the brainchild of Gerald and Karen DeGroot -- two doctoral candidates at the University of Michigan." Shot of a blonde hippie professor and a bearded professor not working so hard at their research that they can't wave at the camera. "Following in the footsteps of visionaries such as B.F. Skinner ... imagined a large scale communal research compound where scientists and free thinkers from around the globe [shots of the DeGroots teaching] could pursue research in meteorology [we're flying through clouds], psychology [some blindfolded guy strapped into a rotating apparatus], parapsychology [blindfolded woman pointing at a red ball, the DeGroots looking on approvingly], zoology [polar bears fighting, Walt nowhere nearby], electromagnetism [Gerald DeGroot, wearing goggles, looking at some...uh...gadget], and utopian social ... Danish industrialist and munitions magnate Alvar Hanso, whose financial backing made their dream of a multi-purpose social science research facility a reality." Zoom in from outside a building on a man standing motionless. It's too blurry to get much of a look at him.

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