LOST Theory: Quarantine?

I’ve been rewatching LOST with my dad since last fall, and we finished up Season 5 on Father’s day. We watched the last three episodes of the season—“Follow the Leader” and “The Incident” (Parts 1 and 2)—in one sitting on Father’s Day. Watching them a second time gave me a little more insight into the seasons’ goings-on, and I actually enjoyed the finale much more than I did the first time.

While we’ve been watching, I’ve been keeping my eye out for shout-outs to the past seasons that will help tie the narrative together as the sixth season starts and the series draws to a close. One of the main things that I’ve been on the lookout for was this: why did the Others give Claire and Aaron prenatal vaccinations, and why did Desmond have to inject himself every nine days (if I remember the dosing correctly) while he was in the hatch? There have been no overt mentions regarding these incidents, but the Season 5 finale gives me a good idea of what could have caused both.

If you haven’t watched all the way through Season 5’s finale, then I suggest you stop reading here, as the rest of this post will contain spoilers.

My theory: The injections are to combat radiation poisoning from Jughead’s detonation.

Ethan’s birth on the Island in the ‘70s proved that whatever catastrophe prevented mothers from carrying to full-term had not happened yet. Even if Juliet had not been able to successfully deliver him, it would have signified the same thing because none of the other mothers were able to even get to the point of labor. As such, he very well could have been the final baby born on the Island prior to the Incident. I theorize Jughead’s explosion is what made the future mothers’ bodies reject the pregnancies. Not being able to carry to full-term was an effect of lingering on the Island among the residual radiation from the bomb as well as the Island’s natural electromagnetic properties. I would not be surprised if the injections Claire was given when she was kidnapped were the Others’ attempt at protecting her unborn child from radiation. While she was indeed an experiment, it was not a malicious one. The Others were doing so only to protect her and her baby (which makes additional sense thanks to ghost-Christian having a more prominent leadership role lately; he just wants to protect his little girl).

Desmond Hume’s self-vaccination also supports this theory. He said that while he was trapped in the Swan pressing the button every 108 minutes, he had a stash of medicine with which he injected himself every nine days. His doing this could be due to his proximity to both Jughead’s detonation site and the Island’s existing electromagnetic anomaly. If he did not continue to do so, he would become susceptible to the eventual effects of living at ground zero. Not only would radiation poisoning make sense for why he had to be so regular in giving himself shots, it also explains the QUARANTINE warning found on the hatch itself. The warning was not, however, inscribed on the hatch in “Some Like It Hoth” when Hurley and Miles watch workers initially stamp the Numbers, making me assume that it is another door is installed at the Swan after Jughead’s detonation destroys this one (or they could just paint QUARANTINE on this one after they clean up the mess, but either way, it’s after Jughead goes nuclear).

Am I completely off base with this one, reaching for straws? Did I overlook a crucial bit of information that renders this theory obsolete? Or am I actually onto something here? Either way, here’s hoping it gets explained in Season 6.

By B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.


  1. Didn't read the entire article as I haven't seen much of Lost and thought I'd better not spoil it just in case I ever do 🙂

    Lost isn't really my cup of tea. I always got the impression that they never meant it to last for the length of time that it has so the writing was a bit artificial.

    I'm sure I'll get round to watching it all one day though 🙂

  2. I disagree on this one, actually. The series was halfway through when the creators sat down with ABC execs and worked out a plan so they could tell the entire story they wanted to. The Writers' Strike hurt that a little, but as far as I know, from that point on, they've had a 6 season length they've been steadily working toward.

  3. Yeah, the show did start to majorly drag in the middle, which is when the producers decided to negotiate an end date. Once the end date was set, the pace picked up in a big way, because the writers were able to begin some real forward momentum toward the show's conclusion and begin rationing out actual answers.

  4. So wait, a guy that says he hasn't watched it has an impression about the writing. . . of the show he doesn't watch. . . Well played sir.

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