Season: 2-3 & 5, Episodes: 18, Faction: DHARMA Initiative
Dr. Pierre Chang was a DHARMA Initiative theoretical astrophysicist from Ann Arbor, Michigan who appeared in orientation films for the different stations on the Island. He was the husband of Lara and the father of Miles, and in 1977, he made his family leave the Island to save them from the impending Incident. In the orientation films, he used various pseudonyms, including Dr. Marvin Candle, Dr. Mark Wickmund, and Dr. Edgar Halliwax, which he used for security purposes.
5×09 – Namaste
Dr. Pierre Chang was a DHARMA Initiative astrophysicist living on the Island with his wife, Lara, and baby son, Miles.
After the arrival of the new DHARMA recruits, Chang was tasked with taking Amy’s place–because of her son’s birth. He was assigned to giving new members their jumpsuits and work duties. One of these newcomers was Jack Shephard, who was given the job of “Workman” based on his entrance exam. (“Namaste”)
5×13 – Some Like It Hoth
Two days later, Horace asked adult Miles to deliver a dead body to Chang at the Orchid station. At the station, Miles revealed to Hurley that Chang was his father; Miles himself discovered this information when his mother walked in line behind him at the cafeteria three days after the time shifts stopped.
Dr. Chang was unhappy that Miles brought Hurley along, and angry that Hurley knew about the body. He threatened Hurley with the task of weighing polar bear feces on Hydra Island if he talked, but Hurley agreed to keep the secret. Miles and Hurley then gave Dr. Chang a ride back to Radzinsky at the Swan construction site. Along the way, Hurley kept dropping hints about the relationship between Miles and Pierre, which upset Miles.
Later at night, Chang was reading baby Miles a story, when the phone rang and informed him that scientists from Ann Arbor arrived via the submarine. As he walked outside, he found Miles (who was watching his baby-self and his father’s bonding time), and asked him for a ride. The two arrived at the dock, and welcomed the scientists, along with Daniel Faraday. (“Some Like It Hoth”)
5×01 – Because You Left
The next morning, at 8:15 a.m., Chang woke up at his home in the Barracks next to his wife. He put on a record (“Shotgun Willie” by Willie Nelson) and gave baby Miles a bottle before getting ready for the day. Before he left, the record began to skip. Inside one of the buildings, he began shooting the first take of the second DHARMA Initiative orientation video, this time for the Arrow station, but was interrupted by a worker concerned about a problem at the Orchid.
Chang drove in a DHARMA van to the Orchid, still under construction, where underground excavators destroyed six drill heads trying to drill into a seemingly impenetrable wall of rock. The foreman told Chang that there was an open chamber behind the wall, and showed him an ultrasound print-out which revealed that there was something behind the wall. Chang disclosed to the foreman that an incredible amount of energy was sealed on the other side of the wall, almost limitless, and enough to make space and time travel possible. Chang told the foreman to do nothing more to the wall because the energy could be harmfully released by doing so. As Chang left the tunnel, he bumped into Daniel Faraday. (“Because You Left”)
5×14 – The Variable
After bumping into Chang, Daniel approaches him. He asked Pierre to order the evacuation of everyone on the island, claiming that in a matter of hours, the scientists at The Swan would drill into the electromagnetic anomaly, releasing an energy 30,000 times more powerful than that found in The Orchid. When Chang refused to believe him, Faraday told him that he was from the future.
He attempted to back up his claims by showing Chang equations from 20 years in the future, and tried to get Miles to admit to Chang that he was his son, and that he had traveled back in time with Faraday. Chang refused to believe Daniel, and when Miles denied being Chang’s son, Chang left. (“The Variable”)
5×15 – Follow the Leader
Chang followed Hurley, Miles and Jin and encountered them on their way back to the beach. He asked if they’re really from the future. Hurley denied it. To determine the truth, Chang quizzed Hurley with questions relevant to 1977. Hurley struggled with the answers, being unsure of his birth year, the current president of the U.S., or whether the Korean War was a real event. Flustered, Hurley finally admitted that he’s from the future. He asked Miles if it is true that he is his father, and Miles reluctantly affirmed that he is. Having confirmed his suspicions Chang revealed that he now believes what Daniel told him about needing to evacuate the entire Island.
Chang returned to the Barracks to see Horace and stumbles on the bloody and bruised Sawyer. He told Horace, Radzinsky and the others to stop the drilling at The Swan and ordered to evacuate the Island.
However, Radzinsky angrily insisted on continuing the drilling and when Chang appealed to Horace, Radzinsky claimed that he would be in charge now. Sawyer agreed with Chang and proposed a deal to Radzinsky: if he and Juliet could leave the Island with the submarine, he would tell Radzinsky everything he wants to know. As a result, he demanded that Sawyer draws a map of the position of the Hostiles. Sawyer and Juliet were then taken away to the sub. (“Follow the Leader”)
5×15 – Follow the Leader | 5×13 – Some Like It Hoth
Chang also ordered his wife and son to leave the Island as part of DHARMA’s evacuation. Miles and Lara left the Island without Pierre. Years later on her deathbed, Lara told Miles that his father kicked them out when he was a baby and that he had been dead for a long time. (“Follow the Leader”) (“Some Like It Hoth”)
5×17 – The Incident, Part 2
Chang headed to The Swan site, to demand the shutting down of the drill because of the potential dangers of hitting the pocket of energy. Radzinsky, who had arrived there previously, refused to stop the drilling. Chang attempted to turn off the drill, telling Radzinsky that the drill was growing too hot, but Radzinsky switched it back on, saying that they had enough water to cool the drill down.
Chang was continually concerned at the readings the drill produced, showing huge spikes in power and energy. When Jack approached the Swan site, Phil and the security team began firing at him. Kate, Juliet, Miles, and Sawyer came to his aid, and Pierre assisted them by taking Radzinsky’s gun and holding it to his head. Pierre again attempted to shut off the drill, but he was unable to. Eventually the drill hit the pocket of energy, and the Earth below started rumbling.
Objects (seemingly all made of metal) started to be dragged into the hole. After Jack dropped the bomb, which had failed to detonate on impact, he tried again to stop the drill. However, the pocket of energy dragged the entire drill down into the hole, crushing Chang’s left arm in the process. Miles helped him free his arm pinned under the beams, and Chang fled the site. (“The Incident, Part 2”)
Three years later, Pierre appeared in the Swan Orientation film, explaining the button protocol and briefly referencing the Incident. At this time he was seen with a prosthetic hand, the result of his injury sustained in The Incident. It is unknown what became of Pierre after 1980, as he has not been seen since. If he was still on the Island in 1992, he would have died in the Purge.
6×12 – Everybody Loves Hugo
Dr. Pierre Chang worked with Charlotte Lewis at the Golden State Natural History Museum. His son Miles worked for the LAPD and was the partner of Detective James Ford. He was also the Master of Ceremonies during a Man of the Year banquet held in honor of Hugo Reyes, who had donated resources for the museum’s paleontology wing. (“Everybody Loves Hugo”)
6×17 – The End
Pierre hosted the benefit concert at the museum, introducing Drive Shaft and Daniel Widmore. (“The End”)
Related Character Images
Symbolic DHARMA Station Association
Associated DHARMA Stations & Location
Decoded Family Members
Decoded Season 1 Characters
Decoded Season 2, 3 & 4 Characters
Decoded Season 5 Characters
Key Episode(s) to Decoding the Character
Hephaestus was a Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan. He is the son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Gods (or perhaps of Hera alone). He was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire, and volcanoes. Like other mythic smiths but unlike most other gods, Hephaestus was lame, which gave him a grotesque appearance in Greek eyes. He served as the blacksmith of the gods, and he was worshiped in the manufacturing and industrial centers of Greece, particularly in Athens. The center of his cult was in Lemnos. Hephaestus’s symbols are a smith’s hammer, an anvil and a pair of tongs, although sometimes he is portrayed holding an axe.
In one tradition clearly attested in Homer’s Odyssey and perhaps also in the Iliad, Hephaestus was born of the union of Zeus and Hera. In another tradition, which was only unambiguously recorded in late texts, but which may be an archaic survival of an autonomous Hera, she bore Hephaestus parthenogenetically; she is given the motivation in Hesiod’s Zeus-centered cosmology that she was engaged in a competitive quarrel with Zeus for his “birthing” of Athena, but Attic vase-painters illustrated the mainstream tradition that Hephaestus was already present at the birth of Athena, seen to be wielding the hammer with which he had split Zeus’ head to free her.
Fall from Olympus
Because he was lame, Hera threw him out of heaven in disgust; alternatively, he was rendered lame by the fall. Or, he was flung by Zeus, because he came to his mother’s rescue when Zeus had her in fetters for opposing him. He fell into the sea, where Thetis and the Oceanid Eurynome cared for him in a sea cave. Or he fell for an entire day and landed on the island of Lemnos, where he was cared for by the Sintians, an ancient Lemnian tribe. In every case, he remained forever lame.
Hephaestus was identified by Greek colonists in southern Italy with the volcano gods Adranus of Mount Etna and Vulcanus of the Lipari islands. His forge was moved there by the poets. The first-century sage Apollonius of Tyana is said to have observed, “there are many other mountains all over the earth that are on fire, and yet we should never be done with it if we assigned to them giants and gods like Hephaestus”.
An Athenian founding myth tells that Athena refused a union with Hephaestus because of his unsightly appearance and crippled nature, and that when he became angry and forceful with her, she disappeared from the bed. His ejaculation landed on the earth, impregnating Gaia, who subsequently gave birth to Erichthonius of Athens; then the surrogate mother gave the child to Athena to foster, guarded by a serpent. Hyginus made an imaginative etymology for Erichthonius, of strife (Eris) between Athena and Hephaestus and the Earth-child (chthonios). There is a Temple of Hephaestus, the Hephaesteum miscalled the “Theseum”, located near the Athenian agora, or marketplace.
On the island of Lemnos, his consort was the sea nymph Cabeiro, by whom he was the father of two metalworking gods named the Cabeiri. In Sicily, his consort was the nymph Aetna, and his sons two gods of Sicilian geysers called Palici.
Hephaestus crafted much of the other magnificent equipment of the gods, and almost any finely-wrought metalwork imbued with powers that appears in Greek myth is said to have been forged by Hephaestus: Hermes‘ winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite’s famed girdle, Agamemnon‘s staff of office, Achilles‘ armor, Heracles‘ bronze clappers, Helios‘ chariot as well as his own due to his lameness, the shoulder of Pelops, Eros‘ bow and arrows. Hephaestus worked with the help of the chthonic Cyclopes, his assistants in the forge. He also built automatons of metal to work for him. This included tripods that walked to and from the Mount Olympus. He gave to blinded Orion his apprentice Cedalion as a guide. In one version of the myth, Prometheus stole the fire that he gave to man from Hephaestus’s forge. Hephaestus also created the gift that the gods gave to man, the woman Pandora and her pithos. Being a skilled blacksmith, Hephaestus created all the thrones in the Palace of Olympus.
In Iliad i.590, Hephaestus refers to the occasion when Zeus threw him from Olympus. Hephaestus had released his mother Hera, who Zeus, after an argument, had suspended by a golden chain between earth and sky. Hephaestus fell all day before landing on the island of Lemnos, where the resident Sintians nursed him back to health; there he grew to be a master craftsman.