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Tom, The Others and Free Will

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I'll make this one quick.

Juliet jokes in the opening scenes of season 3 about losing free will on the island. Do the Others do as instructed, or are there consequneces for their choices? We know that there are in Juliets case (they were going to kill her, but marked her instead for conspiring to kill Ben). What are the consequences for having free will in other cases?

We have seen Tom in season 3 have a somewhat authoratative role within the Others (scolding Ethan, spokesman for the Others, etc.). We have also seen him tell Kate that "you're not my type." We later learn in S4 that Tom is, in fact, gay. Lifestyle choice showing a clear sign of free will. He also mentioned that when he gets off the island that he likes to indulge himself (perhaps with food/drink, perhaps with his lover).

My question is if Tom has been having these types of lifestyle choices, does it have any impact for him as an Other? Do the Others even know of his free will? Is it even at all important? The producers said in S3 (I think) that there is a gay character on the show, later to be revealed as Tom. So, if the producers wanted this to be known within the show, then it must have some sort of ramifications, right? Does anyone have any ideas on this or do you think it may become unsolved due to the writers' strike in 2008?

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