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Tracking station

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"Listening Station" redirects here. For other possible uses, see Listening post.
Tracking station
[[{{{Video}}}|Orientation Video]]
The listening station
{{{Listen}}}
Constructed by
{{{Constructed}}}
Controlled by
{{{Controlled}}}
Connection
Used by Penelope Widmore to find Desmond
Number
{{{Number}}}
Purpose
Detecting electromagnetic signatures
Status
{{{Status}}}
Discovered by
{{{Discover}}}

The tracking station was a small structure operated by two Portuguese-speaking technicians, Mathias and Henrik. It was located in a cold, snowy place; a blizzard was seen outside and mountains were observed nearby. The station was in direct contact with Penelope Widmore.

Description

Terminalflat
The computer display

The purpose of the station was to detect any electromagnetic signatures emanating from the Island, in an attempt to locate it. The technicians, Mathias and Henrik, appeared to have missed a prior anomaly. After the discharge occurred, a console in the station displayed the numeric/text:

>/ 7418880
Electromagnetic
Anomaly
Detected

In the narrative of the show, the scene in the listening station was the first evidence indicating the world is "still out there". This was also the first time that perspective broke off the Island in real-time.

Penny's search

As a result of detecting the discharge, the Island was made visible to the listening station and they subsequently alerted Penelope Widmore. Naomi told the survivors that Penny hired her company to conduct a search and rescue mission for Desmond and that Penny gave them a set of coordinates in the middle of the ocean (presumably provided by the listening station). Naomi said she never met Penny herself and that the mission was seen by the freighter team as a fool's errand. ("The Brig") However, it is later revealed that the freighter was Charles Widmore's and Naomi and her team were hired by Matthew Abaddon. Minkowski, the ship's communications officer, said that he was ordered not to answer incoming calls from Penny. After Desmond got aboard the freighter, Penny told him that she knew about the Island and had been researching and looking for him for three years.

Trivia

  • In a Kristin Dos Santos E Online interview, Jack Bender talked about the choice of Portuguese as a language for the technicians as somewhat arbitrary. Originally, Russian was planned for the script, but they just happened to find two actors that spoke Portuguese. [source needed]
  • Mikhail claimed he was recruited while working at a listening post in Siberia.
  • There is a snippet of sitar music playing at the start of the scene - the song being played is "Make Your Own Kind of Music" by Mama Cass Elliot.
  • One of the technicians (Mathias) looks like Jack, but is in fact a different actor. Mathias is played by Len Cordova.
  • Their speech was Portuguese from Brazil. Although their accents do not exactly match any Portuguese accent (neither the native nor any colonial one), the sentence construction and some expressions they use are without any doubt Brazilian. The subtitles omitted a few key phrases spoken by the two men.
ListeningMen
The two listening station technicians: Mathias (left), and Henrik (right) ("Live Together, Die Alone")
  • There is a Brazilian research station in Antarctica at 62°08'S 58°40'W operating since 1984. Among other activities, the station does research on geomagnetic observations.
  • The yellow telephone that was in the station has no buttons (apparently for receiving calls or making a call to one number).
  • The number 7418880 is the product of the Numbers (4 x 8 x 15 x 16 x 23 x 42).
  • Leonard Simms and Sam Toomey served together at a listening post monitoring long wave transmission in the Pacific. Sam heard a voice repeating the Numbers. ("Numbers")
  • The computer was running a Windows 98 theme.

Terminal output

At the end of "Live Together, Die Alone", the following was shown on a computer screen in the station:

Delivery Subsystem 550 requested action taken:
> Received: by 10.48.24.11 with SMTP id m12mr1134482afg;
> Received: by 10.29.34.1 with HTTP
> Message-ID: Subject: AUTOMATED TEST
> MIME-Version: 1.0
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
> Content-Disposition: inline
>
AUTOMATED TEST -

1bbybby 77111790 ++++systems normal++++ 76555#722#0

zzzzzz330 7711345 ++++systems normal++++ QX10022005#311

TEST COMPLETE

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Delivery Subsystem 550 Requested action taken:
> Sent: by 10.28.224.18 with SMTP id m11mr1134484mfg;
> Sent: to 10.49.31.1 with HTTP

This appears to be a report from an email client. The message was sent through an web mail interface (thus HTTP) and delivered through one mail server with SMTP; however the 10. prefix indicates they are part of a private network, as opposed to the Internet. This could suggest that there were other terminals, perhaps at nearby listening stations, or an internet tunnel was being employed for use by the listening station crew. A 550 SMTP message is the normal response returned when a mailbox does not exist on the receiving server.

Analysis

Recurring themes


Recurring themes
AnimalsBlack and whiteCharacter connectionsChildrenCoincidenceDeathDeceptions and consDreamsEconomicsElectromagnetismEyesFate versus free willGamesGood and bad peopleImprisonmentIsolationLeadershipLife and deathLiterary worksMirrorsMissing body partsNicknamesThe NumbersPairingsParapsychologyParent issuesPregnanciesPsychologyRainRedemptionRelationshipsReligionRevengeSalvationSecrets

Unanswered questions

For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Listening station/Theories

  • How did Penelope know to look for an electromagnetic anomaly?

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