Lost's biggest technology-related disasters

The mysterious island on ABC's hit mystery-drama seems to approve of network-related technology as much as John Henry loved steam power.

Lost's biggest technology-related disasters

Characters who use network technology in ABC's hit mystery drama Lost are a lot like silly teens who attempt having sex in horror movies: for it seems that anyone who engages in either seems to have a cloud of doom hanging over them. Indeed, the mere presence of network technology anywhere on the show is a harbinger of destruction and chaos, whether it comes in the form of imploding electromagnetic research labs, exploding communications centers or flooded sonar stations,. As the show prepares to kick off its fourth season later this week (January 31 at 9 p.m. on ABC ), we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at Lost 's biggest network-related catastrophes.


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Catastrophe #1: Sayid gets bopped in the head for using a transceiver

For the uninitiated, Lost is the story of several plane crash survivors who have found themselves stranded on a strange tropical island full of polar bears, giant smoke monsters and spooky four-toed statues. Early in the show's first season, Sayid Jarrah, a plane crash survivor who used to be a communications officer for the Iraqi Republican Guard, takes a transceiver with him into the jungle in order to triangulate the signal of a mysterious radio tower located somewhere on the island. Big mistake. Within seconds of picking up the signal, he is thumped from behind by John Locke, who seems hell-bent on stopping any and all contact with the outside world.

Catastrophe #2: Boone uses a radio, gets crushed by a plane

After crash survivors Boone Carlyle and Locke discover a broken-down plane hanging upside down in the jungle, Boone climbs up to investigate it. When Boone foolishly attempts to call for help by turning on the plane's radio, the plane falls from the tree and kills him.

Catastrophe #3: The Swan Station implodes

The Swan Station was an electromagnetic containment facility discovered by Locke and Boone toward the end of the first season. Apparently, the island has uniquely volatile electromagnetic properties that must be contained within the Swan and then discharged every 108 minutes to prevent something very bad from happening. How bad, you ask? Well, erstwhile Swan caretaker Desmond Hume's failure to discharge the electromagnet on time was what originally caused the survivors' plane to split apart in midair. In addition to its large electromagnet, the station contains a large food pantry, full restroom facilities, a gun closet...and a computer that's capable of communicating with other stations around the island. Although the presence of any networked computer on the Island should be enough to make any sane person run away screaming, this particular computer is needed to discharge the electromagnet. The station eventually implodes after Locke destroys the computer and forces Desmond press the dreaded failsafe switch that destroys the entire station once and for all.

Catastrophe #4: Locke blows up the Flame Station

The Flame Station, which was built by the same team of long-deceased scientists who built the Swan electromagnetic station, was the main communications center on the island, complete with a satellite dish capable of transmitting and receiving outside television feeds. This, of course, also makes it a prime target for destruction, as Locke decides to dynamite it to prevent his fellow castaways from seeking rescue.

Catastrophe #5: The DHARMA Initiative build Island-wide telephone

The DHARMA Initiative were a group of hippie scientists who came to the island in the 1970s to study its unique electromagnetic properties and see if they could use them for the betterment of mankind. Unfortunately, their peaceful intentions couldn't mask the fact that they'd built out an entire communications network on the island that included telephones, surveillance cameras, satellite television reception, and even computers with primitive instant messaging technology. The island's natives, who are referred to alternately as "The Hostiles" or "The Others," didn't take too kindly to the DHARMA Initiative's love for networks and they eventually gassed the entire crew.

Catastrophe #6: Charlie succeeds in calling the outside world

Crash survivor Charlie Pace, a washed-up rock star who once played bass in the one-hit wonder band Driveshaft, swims down to the DHARMA Initiative's thought-to-be-abandoned underwater submarine docking station in order to turn off the jamming mechanism that's been blocking all radio and satellite transmissions off the island. After he flips off the jamming switch, he receives an incoming message from a woman named Penny Widmore, who's been searching for her stranded boyfriend Desmond. Uh-oh. Just as Charlie lets her know that Desmond is on the island with him, a sinister one-eyed Other named Mikhail detonates a grenade near the control room, thus flooding it and taking poor Charlie's life.

Catastrophe #7: Naomi uses a satellite phone, gets a knife in the back

By now, everyone on the island should know not to use network technology, as every attempt to communicate with other people using methods more advance than signal fires has lead to inevitable carnage. So what in the world was Naomi Dorritt (a woman who claimed to have been searching for Desmond and whose helicopter crashed on the island) thinking when she decided to switch on her satellite phone and call the freighter that her helicopter took off from? The phone hadn't even begun to ring when WHAM! - Locke threw a knife right into the back of her neck.

Catastrophe #8: Oceanic Airlines employee's girlfriend disappears on Oceanic Flight 815

Network technology isn't just bad for people on the island - it seems to bring suffering to those who live off it as well. Consider the case of Sam Thomas, a former employee of Oceanic Airlines whose girlfriend, an Oceanic stewardess named Sonya, was on the same flight that crashed on the island. What was poor Sam's job at Oceanic Airlines, you ask? That's right - he was an IT technician.

What catastrophes will happen next?

Even though Lost has seen its fair share of network technology-related destruction over the past three years, it's a good bet that there will be more to come in its fourth season, which begins on January 31 at 9 pm on ABC. What do you think will happen? Will Locke blow up the radio tower? Will the island's new arrivals foolishly bring their cell phones and laptops with them? With Verizon and AT&T come to the island and start fires while installing FiOS and U-Verse ? Give us your predictions in the comments!