I just rewatched ‘One of Us’ from Season 3. One of the big island mysteries we were introduced to last season was that no woman that conceives on the island can bring the pregnancy to term. Sun has been given what amounts to a death sentence by learning that she conceived on the island. What do we know up to this point?
What we know:
- All women who conceive on the island die before reaching the third trimester. (D.O.C.)
- The fetus is lost as well. (One of Us)
- Juliet thinks that the condition occurs at conception. (One of Us)
- The woman’s body rejects the fetus (One of Us)
- A young woman on the island may have the uterus of an elderly woman (Not in Portland)
- Ben is desperate to bring a pregnancy to term (One of Us)
Why it matters: There is no doubt that the others have made a significant investment in trying to bring a pregnancy to term. They even recruited Juliet who did the impossible by helping her sister conceive. A birth of a child conceived and brought to term seems to have personal significance to Ben. It even seems to be more important than his allegiance to Jacob’s purpose. The other evidence that Ben is operating solely on this purpose is that the other ‘natives’ question it.
This whole issue sets up another layer of depth to Ben’s character. What are his motivations? It was apparent that Annie was important to him, and something happened to her. Is Annie disguised as Charlotte? Or, was Annie pregnant with Ben’s child and then died? It was important enough to Ben try to get Sawyer and Kate to ‘sign the deal.’ It was also important enough that Ben wanted a fresh supply of mothers for Juliet to continue her gruesome work.
Speculation: This is as big a mystery as what was in the hatch. Some are guessing that Ben is attempting to reincarnate his mother or Annie. Others say that bringing causing a child to be conceived and born outside the view of God would bring about the “Ubermensche” (ref. Neitsche) and lead the world out of its dependence on religion (Doc Jensen, sound familiar). Some say that it will result in Jacob.
More Speculation: The failure of a pregnancy is symptomatic of the nature of the island. It is evidence that the island either exists outside of the existence of time and/or outside of the influence God. We have more evidence of a time shift or other time phenomena from the rocket and Richard’s uncanny Dick Clark ability to resist aging. I think the babies cannot be brought to term because the mother’s body rejects the changes that the island causes in the fetuses. The child would be infused with island’s unique properties and powers and would therefore seem foreign to the mother. Remember, Juliet in ‘One of Us’ was careful to tell Ben that the mother was rejecting the fetus. The body worked against the fetus as it would an infection.
The above argument could also be used as evidence that a child conceived on the island reincarnates one of the ‘ghosts’ of the island.
Juliet’s remedy was to take a mother off of the island to complete her pregnancy. Ben was adamantly against it. He refused to allow her or anyone else to leave. So, now that the Losties have an opportunity to leave, does it change anything? Will a mother that conceives on the island be able to come to term off the island? Will the mother die and the fetus live? Will the mother live and the fetus die? If both survives, what will the effects be on the fetus for transitioning from the island? Birth defects? Special abilities?
This is still one of those big mysteries to which I am waiting to know the answer. And this season, we are learning more questions to ask, not necessarily getting any answered.