Okay. First: WHERE ARE HURLEY AND SAYID?
And I can't remember all the names from the list Michael was given. It went Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley... was that it? Was there another name? Who the hell was it?
Second, here's my new Big Theory:
They crashed in the future.
Ten years, twenty, fifty, I don't know. It doesn't matter much except for the why'd-they-take-the-kids part, which I'll get to in a minute.
Things we know: The Dharma Initiative was a colony of scientific researchers, founded in the early seventies. They obviously brought a menagerie, worked on bio-research, had a marine base, studied plants, did things to human brains, whatever. They also had nukes. They also had super-magnets. They also had something that could vapourize large tracts of land, a la Big White Light from the finale last season.
The Dharma Initiative destroyed the world.
Somehow. I don't know how. They did *something,* or caused *something,* a disease or a mutation or an extinction event, something that made them quarantine themselves, cut themselves off. Something that made them make themselves a colony rather than a research base. Something that made them militant. Something that made them buckle down.
It explains why they have those files on everyone. If they're twenty years or whatever in the future from 2005, they *could* have detailed information that was probably available on the Internet in the past. They could have every record ever written about every single castaway twenty years back from their present.
"Yes, Jack, she's very happy," could easily be a metaphor. As she's dead and the Others believe in an afterlife.
Speaking of the castaways, it's obviously happened before. My mum said the Others knew they were coming, pointed out that when they ran outside they were all looking up, like they knew what was coming. I said she was nuts, but she's right. It's happened before. Maybe they didn't know exactly *who* was coming, but they knew what was happening, because it has happened before. Enough times, and with enough consequences, for them to have contingencies. Danielle's group brought a disease, maybe one that hit the Others, isolated and unaccustomed to the strain, hard. It must have been like smallpox hitting the Americas. So they killed them, and took the baby.
Danielle never did say what year it was when she shipwrecked - just that it's been sixteen years.
They take children.
The Others are the descendants of the Dharma Initiative. They're whatever's left. They take children either because they *are* the children, all grown up, because however many people were part of the Initiative weren't enough to make a viable gene pool. Another possibility was suggested by calantha42: that whatever happened to destroy the world made them sterile. Maybe they can't have children. Or maybe the disease killed off enough of them to make the first thing true. Either could be right - it really just depends on how far into the future the castaways travelled. Whatever happened, it did something to space-time.
They hit the tail section camp first because that was economy class. That's where the children were. Claire was in first class because she didn't pay her own way. They had a list of Good People. Either that means genetically or socially - maybe both. We know Jack was on the list. We know Claire wasn't, but Aaron was.
I want to know what happened to Hurley. I want to know why they wanted him.
I want to know what's up with Walt. But they're not going to let him go.
And damnit, now I care again. >.