Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Because You Left" and "The Lie" Two-For-One Analysis!

In many ways, Lost is like college.


It started out pretty easy in the beginning, and we were just focused on getting to know the people. Over the next few years, they slowly started to introduce some pretty heady concepts and hinted at things much more complex that would be coming down the road. Now that we’re in the fifth year of Lost, it’s like graduate study time. Really complicated stuff that if you weren’t paying attention for the first four years, there’s no way you’re going to understand it. But for those of us who have put in the time and dedication, it’s going to pay off big time – in what I anticipate will end up being “the greatest story ever told”.


Now, let’s get down to analyzing the first two episodes of the season…


Ground Rules. Before we start, we need to lay out some ground rules. Now that Lost has officially opened the door to some degree of “time traveling” on the show, it brings all sorts of crazy theories out of the woodwork – and you could also probably drive yourself crazy (like, Minkowski nose-bleed-brain-scrambled-style) by asking too many “what if” questions concerning with time travel. As Faraday said, he would have a hard time explaining what is happening to another physicist, let alone normal people like us (I apologize to all the physicists who read this Blog – you might be normal, but I’ve just never met one to prove it one way or the other).


Instead, he gave us simple, easy to follow rules:


“You cannot change anything. You can’t. Even if you tried to, it wouldn’t work. Time is like a string – you can move forward, or reverse, but you cannot create a new string. If you try to do something different, you will fail every time. Whatever happened, happened.”


So although it’s going to be difficult for us to accept, because like most people we were raised on the time-traveling principles of “Back to the Future” where any little thing you do will change the future – that isn’t the case on Lost. We could debate for hours about what happens to the people in the past that Locke killed at the end of the episode, or if Ethan would suddenly have memories about Locke once the plane crashed – but at the end of the day, I guess it doesn’t matter – because nothing can change.


(Note: there seems to be at least one exception to this rule, but we’ll get to that later)


On to the episodes…


The Opening. Great opening, in the vein of the Season Two opening with Desmond – featuring an unknown character starting their day, leaving the audience confused as to when and where we are, only to reveal it all as someone we know, someplace we knew, in a time we knew – but had never before seen. Well done.


However, there were a number of big questions raised during the brief three-minute opening…


Baby Chang. The first question many have asked is “who is the Pierre Chang's baby?” The Internets were all aflutter immediately after the episode with people predicting that the baby was none other than ghost-whisperer Miles, which would potentially tie another character to the Island. I think the timing would work – Dharma was building their various stations around 1980, and Miles looks to be about 25 years old. It might even explain why he has the weird ability to communicate with the dead – some residual Island power? But there are also questions – why is his last name Straume instead of Chang? How did he survive the Purge? Or are we all being racist by that he must be related since both Chang and Miles are from Asian decent?


The other question for me is how was Mrs. Chang able to have a baby on the Island? Is it simply because Baby Chang was conceived off of the Island? Or is the inability to have babies on the Island a more recent development that suddenly started after Ben took control of the Others after the Purge? Or maybe Island Natives could never conceive babies, but Dharma people had no problem with it?


At the end of the day, there’s not enough information to confirm or deny any of these theories yet, but we’ll keep them in the back of our minds as we progress through the season. We have bigger things to worry about from this episode…


The Orchid. This episode confirmed that when Dharma arrived, the FDW was buried behind a lot of rock underground – meaning that the Others were not actively using it for quite some time. They might not have even been aware that it existed. It also confirmed that the wheel itself was not a Dharma invention, but one that has existed for ages (maybe since the Black Rock days? It has a pirate wheel-esque quality to it). But since it’s so buried, how did Dharma find out about the energy contained in the first place? How did Chang know that if harnessed, they would be able to manipulate time?


Time for a crazy theory.


Did you ever wonder how the Black Rock journal ended up back in the “real world” for Widmore to eventually buy it at the auction? If the Black Rock ship ended up in the middle of the Island, the journal would have been with it at that point. What if the Black Rock Crew kept up with the journal, describing all the weird events that they experienced and everything they discovered on the Island – including an ancient tunnel that led to a frozen subterranean area under the Island. Maybe they were clever enough to figure out how adding a wheel to the wall could control it, maybe the wheel was there before even they got there – but either way, they documented it in their journal.


At some point, a person carrying the journal must have turned the FDW / fallen into the exotic matter (or they just chucked the journal through it in hopes that someone would find it and come to rescue them) – and that journal ended up in the hands of Alvar Hanso, who would go on to found the Dharma Initiative.


Once they arrived at the Island, they began digging to find this FDW area, which had since been filled in by rocks / land thanks to a volcano eruption on the Island / errant stick of dynamite tossed nearby. Thus, they knew exactly what they were dealing with and where to look.


(The conclusion to this story, of course, is that eventually Hanso dies, the journal goes up for auction, and Widmore buys it as a way to find the Island, which he intends to use for financial gain.)


But back to the scene we actually saw – Daniel Faraday, dressed in full Dharma garb, inside the Orchid Station around the year 1980.




There are only two possibly explanations for this scene:


1. Faraday was originally a member of the Dharma Scientists. This would help explain how he knows so much about Dharma Initiative. It’s possible that Faraday could have been the first Dharma Scientist to test the FDW, which shot him forward into the future a few years (similar to what happened to Ben). From there, Faraday settled into a nice little job at Oxford University – secretly dabbling in how to manipulate space-time since he knows that it’s possible thanks to his experiences on the Island.


2. The Island will eventually “skip” back to 1980, and while in that time period Faraday sneaks into the Orchid facility in a Dharma disguise to try and stop the skipping / bring them back to the proper “present” timeline. When he does this, perhaps it transports him off the Island, into the future a few years (from 1980) – where he could again settle into a nice little job at Oxford University and continue his life.


The cool thing about either theory is that they would indicate that Faraday had some prior knowledge of the Island and Dharma when we first saw the character introduced in the 2004 timeline last season – which could provide the explanation for why he was crying when he saw the footage of Oceanic 815 on the news.


Personally, I’m hoping for the second theory. Not only does it seem the most logical, but it has the most potential to be an amazing storyline.


The problem with the first theory is Daniel’s appearance. Faraday doesn’t seem to have aged much from his “Dharma Days” in the early 1980s to 2005, so unless at some point he jumped forward a LOT of years due to the FDW, it wouldn’t make sense – and even this isn’t really a possibility since we know that he was working at Oxford in the 1990s.


On the other hand, the second theory would indicate that Faraday is attempting to take matters into his own hands to stop the “skipping” and save our Survivors – way heroic and exciting, and it would totally be Lost’s style to have Season Five open with a “flashforward” of an upcoming scene that will actually be a “flashback” on the overall “timeline” of Lost. Tricky!


Skipping. I guess this is as good a time as any to address the skipping that is happening on the Island. Again, it’s best to approach it as logically as possible to try and figure out what’s going on. Here’s what we know:


Since our Survivors have been on the Island, it had not previously “skipped” until Ben turned the FDW. This means that Desmond imploding the Swan Hatch was something totally different, even though the sky went crazy with both.


Per Faraday, “The record is skipping. Whatever Ben Linus did at the Orchid station, I think it may have dislodged us from time… Either the Island is, or we are (moving through time). It’s just as likely that we are… (We’re) either in the past, or the future. We can’t stop it.” When asked who could stop it, we shifted scenes to Locke (a hint?).


Locke: “How did you know there was a bullet in my leg?”

Alpert: “You told me… you will.”

Locke: “When am I?”

Alpert: “That’s all relative. When the sky lit up, I didn’t go anywhere. You went. You’re going to be moving on soon. You need to clean out the wound; the Island will do the rest. Next time we see each other, I’m not going to recognize you. I wish I had more time to be sensitive. The only way to save the Island is to get your people back here. The ones that left. You have to convince them to come back. You’re going to have to die, John.”


Taking all that into account, it would seem as though our Survivors (non-Island Originals) are skipping – but the Island and its original inhabitants are not. However, we saw in last season’s finale that the Island itself did appear to move as well – maybe not necessarily in time – but definitely in space, since it vanished before the eyes of the Oceanic Six. Also, when you think about Yemi’s airplane (that left from Africa) crashing on the Island, it must have been located in the Atlantic (rather than the Pacific) during that time period for it to be possible.


Like Alpert said, it’s all relative. For an Island Original, they would be experiencing our Survivors suddenly appearing and disappearing, but they just keep traveling along the same timeline that they always have. Even if the Island’s physical location around the world changes, they may be oblivious to it since the Island seems to have its own unique weather patterns and protective bubble around it keeping it hidden from sight.


On the other hand, for our Survivors, they have become dislodged from the timeline, and are skipping from one point to another. If they appear to Island Originals at a point after their crash (2004), they will know them – like when Alpert recognized Locke to clean his wound. If they appear to Island Originals at a point before their crash (pre-2004), they will not know them – like when Ethan shot Locke in the leg.



A question that a lot of people are asking is “wouldn’t Ethan recognize Locke in 2004, since he shot him and talked to him pre-2004? Wouldn’t Desmond recognize Faraday in 2004 since he talked to him multiple times pre-2004?”


It’s pretty confusing, but I don’t think so – because that would change the past, which may change the future, which you can’t do. I think that the easiest way to understand it is to think about “The Constant”. Desmond’s consciousness was jumping between 1996 Desmond and 2004 Desmond. When he jumped from 2004 Desmond to 1996 Desmond, the 2004 Desmond didn’t disappear (a la “Back to the Future”). Instead, it was almost like both Desmonds existed simultaneously.


So – 2004 Ethan wouldn’t recognize Locke because he doesn’t shoot him until after Locke starts skipping in 2005. Perhaps, 2005 Ethan would suddenly have a memory of Locke from pre-2004 (if he were still alive) – but he didn’t start having that memory until that moment… just like Desmond didn’t have a memory of talking to Faraday (pre-2004) until after Faraday started skipping in 2005.


Does that make sense? It does in my head, but it’s really hard to put into words!


Back to the skipping.


I have to assume that the current skipping situation is an accident. Although it would be a sweet defense mechanism for the Island (turn the FDW and any non-Island Originals will spend the rest of their lives skipping around through time!), I think if this had happened in the past, we would have seen characters suddenly appearing – being all confused – and then disappearing within a few hours or days. I also think there is a risk that these skipping people could be dangerous. If Keamy and his soldiers were still alive and started skipping through time, they may suddenly appear in the middle of an unexpected group of Island Originals – and kill them all before they have a chance to react. I don’t think so.


Instead, I think that the FDW is “stuck” between spokes, and that is causing the skipping. I think the intended result of the turn was to permanently move non-Island Originals into the past or future, where they would be stuck for good. Did Ben screw up by not turning the wheel properly? Maybe – or maybe he’s actually so smart that he did this on purpose…


What if Ben knew that this would happen? He would know that the only way to stop the skipping would be for someone else to turn the wheel back to where it was, or at least solidly onto one spoke, instead of being stuck in between them. Perhaps he knew that Locke would be the one to do this (since he’s the only one of our Survivors who truly knows about it, thanks to visiting it with Ben in last season’s finale). This would send Locke off the Island, but if his destiny is truly to be on the Island, then Ben would be able to help him return to the Island, and tag along for the ride.


If Ben turned the FDW properly, the Island would have been protected, Locke would have been the leader of the Island Originals, and Ben would have spent the rest of his life off the Island.


However, by not turning the FDW properly, if Ben’s plan works, the Island will still be protected, Locke will eventually return to the Island to be leader (assuming he comes back to life in some fashion), but this way – Ben returns to the Island along with him.


Is Ben this smart? Who knows – but he’s outsmarted us all in the past, so it’s possible.


The other option would be for Faraday (the only other character who is skipping who has at least some knowledge about the Orchid) to turn the FDW to stop the skipping… which is precisely what we may have seen with the opening scene of the season - Faraday, having recently skipped back to 1980 sneaks down into the Orchid to try and stop the skipping.


Pretty cool stuff, either way.


So when have our Survivors been so far? Here’s my best guess:


Skip One – back to when Yemi’s plane crashed on the Island (roughly late 1990s)


Skip Two – after the Swan hatch imploded. Most likely this was back to “the present” (2005) since Alpert knew Locke, and referenced him skipping


Skip Three – the biggest clue here is that Locke looks up and Yemi’s plane is still smoking, which would make you think it was the same time period as Skip One (late 1990s). However, after the scene break, we see a flash from the Sawyer / Juliet / Faraday perspective – which appears to be the same flash. We then see the Desmond-Faraday scene. Since Desmond arrived on the Island in 2001, Yemi’s plane crash might have actually taken place in the early 2000s instead of late 1990s.


Skip Four – as Faraday is telling Desmond the name of his mother, another flash occurs. The only evidence we have for this timeframe is that none of our Survivors’ supplies are on the beach, and there are some new soldier-type people on the Island who threaten to cutoff people’s hands. So it could be anywhere pre-2004.


Soldiers. So who are these mystery men who temporarily capture Juliet and Sawyer at the end of the episode? They’re wearing uniforms with names on them (Jones, Mattingly, and Cunningham), but have no Dharma logos on them. They have guns and talk with British accents. Their propensity to cutoff hands reminds me that Pierre Chang (who had two functioning hands when we saw him in this episode) did seem to have a prosthetic hand when we saw him in the Swan Hatch Orientation Video.


So if they aren’t Dharma, and they aren’t Island Originals (since guns and nametags don’t seem like their style), who are they?


I suppose anything is possible, but if I had it my way, they would be Widmore’s men – on their first attempt to takeover the Island from Hanso / Dharma back in the 1980s. Remember, Miles said that Widmore had spent “20 years looking for the Island”, which would be around 1984. Since he told Ben that he stole “his Island”, it makes me think that either he has been there before, or he has sent his mercenaries there before. It would also help explain how he knew so much about the Island (giving Keamy the “Secondary Protocol”).


Maybe back during the Dharma days, they were not only under attack from the Island Originals, but also from Widmore’s men trying to claim the Island for themselves. Remember, Chang was very generic during the Arrow Station Orientation Video when he said “the purpose of this station is to gather intelligence and devise defensive strategies against the Island's hostiles.”


It’s a fun thought – and one we hopefully should be able to confirm or deny with next week’s episode. As for Widmore, it seems as though he has recruited Sun to his side in his quest to takeover the Island. Their meeting in the airport showed that they shared a common interest – killing Benjamin Linus – but Sun’s later meeting with Kate showed just how far she had gone. Remember the Sun we met in Season One? The meek girl who would do whatever her husband said? Suddenly, she’s manipulating her former friends (the meeting with Kate – probably about 75% lies) in an attempt to exact revenge upon the man she holds responsible for her husband’s death… and has pretty much become a cold hard bitch. It could be that Widmore’s first two attempts to claim the Island failed (in the 1980s and 2004), but now that he has a partner in Sun, his odds just got a lot better.


Compass. One of the other items this episode that caught a lot of fans’ attention was the compass that Alpert gave to Locke, saying “Next time we see each other, I’m not going to recognize you.” Most people remembered the scene from “Cabin Fever”, where we saw Alpert visit a young Locke and lay out items for him to chose “which are his”. One of the items looked like this very compass, leading to a lot of speculation about some connection between Alpert giving Locke the compass this week.



I don’t see it. For me, it’s a fun easter egg-type item showing storyline consistency, but not one that holds any huge deeper meaning. Remember, 1960s Alpert wouldn’t even “know” Locke yet (which is why he warned that he would not recognize Locke the next time he saw him), and in the end – isn’t the compass actually Alpert’s? If you rewatch “Cabin Fever”, you’ll also see that Alpert isn’t overly excited when Locke goes for the compass – but rather when he goes for the “Book of Laws”.


I think the curious thing here is that Alpert seems to know where Locke is going to “skip” to next, which may indicate it’s not as random as we all are assuming. From what Faraday told us, it’s a pretty random process, which is why he needed time to figure out “when” they were. But if Alpert knows that he won’t recognize Locke, he must know that they are going to skip back to the past, rather than the future – which is way more convenient for us, the viewers, since it means we’ll get more insight into the history of the Island!


But does this mean that this skipping has happened previously? So that the Island Originals know how it works? Or is this another example of Jacob / Christian Shephard / The Island Spirit telling Alpert something that he otherwise would have no way of knowing? I’ve got no good answers for this one… yet.


Charlotte. As for Charlotte, her nosebleed and memory loss these episodes were strangely familiar to symptoms we’ve seen from other characters over the years.

  • We saw a Dharma worker bleeding from the nose and “freaking out” after drilling too close to the FDW.
  • We saw Desmond bleeding from the nose and slowly becoming “unstuck in time” after leaving the Island.
  • We saw Minkowski bleeding from the nose, becoming “unstuck in time”, and dying on the Freighter.
  • We saw Horace Goodspeed bleeding from his nose when he appeared to Locke in a dream, telling him that he’s been dead for twelve years.
  • We saw Faraday becoming visibly upset about not being able to remember three cards.


Is there a common thread between all these?


I think we can throw out the Horace Goodspeed example because all the members of Dharma who died in the Purge seemed to be bleeding from the nose as a result of whatever the toxic gas was that was released on the Island. But all the rest seem to be variations / varying degrees on the same overall symptoms.

But what is the cause? Here’s my best crazy theory, so far:


It all has to do with the bearings used to come and go to the Island. Faraday kept emphasizing to Frank how important it was to fly on the 305 bearing, or else there would be “side effects”. Perhaps it doesn’t matter what bearing you enter the Island on, but you have to leave on the same bearing you came in on – or else there will be consequences ranging from nosebleeds, to memory loss, to becoming unstuck in time.

  • Desmond felt the effects because his boat crashed on a different bearing than 305.
  • Minkowski and friends were taking the Zodiac Raft to and from the Island to get a closer look at it while docked offshore on the Freightor, taking random bearings each time.
  • If Charlotte was born on the Island and left at some point, it may have been a different bearing than when she returned to the Island.


If you are someone who has been exposed to high levels of electromagnetism or radiation, not only could it make you go crazy – but also become unstuck in time... which is where the whole “having a Constant” thing comes into play. If you are a normal person, who doesn’t mess around with wacky science experiments or play around the nuclear power plant, you simply go crazy and die. Faraday, knowing that he had a high level of exposure to radiation over the years, had a Constant before he went to the Island (Desmond). Unfortunately, he didn’t know that Charlotte had been to the Island before, and thus is surprised when she starts to exhibit the nosebleed symptoms.



So if you only go to the Island once, or only leave the Island once – you appear to be fine. But coming and going multiple times is what requires you be very careful about the bearings involved, or else the unique electromagnetic properties of the Island can mess you up in a variety of ways.


Here’s the big hole in this theory – upon finding out that Charlotte is in trouble, Faraday bangs on the Swan Hatch backdoor and talks to Desmond, telling him:


“You’re the only person who can help us because the rules don’t apply to you. You’re uniquely and miraculously special. If the helicopter made it off the Island, you made it home. My name is Daniel Faraday. Right now, me and everyone else you left behind are in serious danger. Go back to Oxford University, where we met. Find my mother – her name is…”


Remember, Faraday has just told all of our characters that they can’t go alter the future by changing the past. Likewise, he showed no urgent concern for their time skipping until Charlotte got the nosebleed. So the question is – is Charlotte simply the first to show the symptoms, and all our Survivors on the Island are doomed? Or, is Faraday sending Desmond on a mission to simply save Charlotte – and if all the others end up being saved along with her, added bonus? And who is Faraday’s mother? And how could she possibly be able to help the current situation?


Ms. Hawking. I have to say, I didn’t see this coming in a million years. I always thought Ms. Hawking would be one of those “throwaway characters” that we wouldn’t see again, even though we never really understood who she was or why she knew so much. For those who don’t remember, she was the woman working in the jewelry store during Desmond’s trippy “Flashes Before Your Eyes” episode in Season Three. She told Desmond that he wasn't supposed to buy the ring for Penny, because not buying it would lead to his original fate of ending up on the island and turning the fail-safe key. She also states that "if you don't do those things, Desmond David Hume, every single one of us is dead."


Now, she appears to be working in the basement of some church – using the world’s oldest computer and a series of pendulums to determine when and where the Island is going to appear again. Seeing as she was the only new older female character introduced in the episode, a lot of people are assuming that she is Faraday’s mother.


It would make some sense. She was feverishly writing on a chalkboard; just like Faraday would do and she seemed like a big science nerd. Also, she’s probably the only person that would make sense visiting to save the Survivors on the Island, since she seems to be one of the few people who actually knows what is going on with the Island. Even though Daniel told Desmond to go to Oxford to find her, we saw this week that she was currently meeting Ben in Los Angeles. While at first this seems to be a problem, I think it’s more of a great plot device to have Desmond travel to Los Angeles and reunite with the Oceanic Six. He goes to Oxford, finds out who she is and where she is, and then travels to America. If we go with the theory that Faraday, Charlotte, and Miles each have some connection to the Island, it would also provide Faraday’s connection. I’m not sold on her being Faraday’s mother – but it’s the best guess we’ve got at this point.


But who is she? How could she have appeared to Desmond within his flashes? How is she able to find the Island? I’m putting her in the same category as Abaddon – someone very mysterious, who seems to know a lot more about EVERYTHING than anyone else, Ben included, and who is working for some greater purpose.



God Help Us All. This phrase was uttered twice in the Lost season premiere, once by Chang at the beginning of the episode (“There are rules. Rules that cannot be broken. Risk releasing that energy – if that were to happen, God help us all.”), and once by Ms. Hawking at the end of the episode:


Ben: “Any luck?”

Ms. Hawking: “Yes.”

Ben: “Really?”

Ms. Hawking: “Really. What about you?”

Ben: “I’m having some difficulties.”

Ms. Hawking: “Well you better get busy – you only have 70 hours.”

Ben: “What? No – that’s not enough time.”

Ms. Hawking: “What you need is irrelevant. 70 hours is what you’ve got.”

Ben: “I lost Reyes tonight. What happens if I can’t get them all to come back?”

Ms. Hawking: “Then God help us all.”


So here’s the thing – we’re not simply concerned about the fate of the Survivors left on the Island, or the Oceanic Six, who have miserable lives since leaving the Island. There’s something much larger at play…


Desmond. How important is the character of Desmond? Well, if he's the only person that can actually change the past - he could have the power to save lives, stop Hitler, and make the world a better place… he’s a wild card. The rules of space and time apparently don’t apply to him thanks to his extra large blast of electromagnetism when he turned the failsafe key in the Swan Hatch. I don’t think Faraday wanted to resort to using him, but found himself “forced” to do so when the girl he likes was in trouble… and this is a very bad thing.



Remember how pretty much every movie / television show that has ever dealt with time travel has told us about how risky it was? How the slightest wrong move could rip apart the fabric of time, ruin the space-time continuum, and pretty much bring about the end of existence? I don’t think Lost is any different.


If we believe what we have been told, the universe will course-correct itself, which means it will get the Oceanic Six back to the Island. Apparently Locke was right – it was their destiny, their fate, to be on that Island – and them being off the Island is “breaking the rules”.


Unfortunately, with the Island “skipping”, it’s much harder to get them back to the Island – maybe making it so hard that even the universe can’t course correct it… and unless Ben is able to get them all back when the event window is opened in 70 hours, they won’t get another chance. It’s kinda like in the movie “Dogma”. If you prove God wrong, existence undoes itself. If you prove universe can’t course correct, God Help Us All.


As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts in play here – and a lot of big bad consequences if they don’t all work out perfectly. So who are characters like Abaddon and Ms. Hawking? I think they are characters who understand it all – maybe former Island Originals now living in the “real world”, people who have mastered time and space, and are now doing everything in their power to make sure that people don’t screw it all up and accidentally end the world. They’ve been putting the pieces in place for years – putting the thought in Locke’s head to go on the walkabout, making sure Desmond didn’t propose to Penny so he would turn the failsafe key, and helping Ben to get the Oceanic Six back to the Island.


…and this is why Lost makes my head hurt. Okay, let’s wrap up this insane theory. In summary:


It’s really important for everyone that the Oceanic Six make it back to the Island.


Faraday, in trying to save his girlfriend (who isn’t even that cute), might accidentally destroy all of existence.



Phew. I think I’m spent. Discuss the insanity below! I must say, I’ve been super excited by how intelligent the conversations and discussions have been so far this season. Keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

what if desmonds scenes arent 3 years in the future like the O6...

his scenes are actually right after they get rescued and we are yet to see his scenes progress to the time when the O6 is trying to get back to the island...

we may hvae 3 years of desmond and penny to see in order to catch up to "present"

Brian said...

True, Desmond's storyline could be taking place anywhere from 2005 to 2008. He may have 3 years to figure out what the heck he needs to do to save the Survivors before reuniting with the Oceanic Six.

But if I had to guess, I'd say his storyline "present" is the same as the Oceanic Six - it's just easier that way :) Plus, they never used the "Three Years Ago" screen before each Desmond scene, did they?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry.....Walt will come back and save everyone!

Anonymous said...

Nope, Desmond is definitely in 2008. When he wakes up from his "dream," he tells Penny, "I was on the island." Penny's reply is, "You've been off the island for three years now."

Anonymous said...

In Season 4, an older Walt comes to Santa Rosa with his Grandmother to talk to Hurley. Walt is upset that none of the Oceanic 6 came to see him when they returned to the real world, but he wants to see Hurley because Jeremy Bentham, aka Locke, came to talk to him. That is, Bentham/Locke wanted to talk to Walt just like he wanted to talk to the Oceanic 6. All of this leads me to ask the question, why doesn't Walt seem to be included in any of the discussions Ben and others have regarding who needs to return to the island?
I think we can assume that Michael is dead, not because the freighter blew up, but because Christian Shephard (representing the island) gave Michael permission to go/die. I suppose you could argue that Walt doesn't need to go back because Ben allowed him (and Michael) to leave in Season 2, but I don't buy it. If they "all" need to go back, that should include the O6, Locke, Ben and Walt.

Ben said...

"I think the curious thing here is that Alpert seems to know where Locke is going to “skip” to next, which may indicate it’s not as random as we all are assuming."

I think it's actually simple logic. Alpert tells Locke that "the next time we meet I won't recognize you" because it has already happened. Alpert - in the past - met the time-skipping Locke, who then gave Alpert his compass and told him who he was (and that he'd be found with a leg wound at time x). Now, however many years later, Alpert has the memory of this past interaction (similar to the Desmond memory of Faraday), and completes the cycle by finding Locke.

The time skipping rules in Lost seem to follow Twelve Monkeys time travel rules, if you've seen it.

Anonymous said...

Great review Brian, once again. I just have 2 questions, regarding the Locke/Alpert situation:

1 - Isn't it possible that, the Alpert visiting Locke in 1960, is actually a post-2005 Alpert? His hole "not-aging" thing points to the possibility that he can also time-travel... And, in that sense, when he shows the compass to young Locke, at that time he would already know him.

2- About the fact that Alpert knows where Locke is going to skip next, isn´t it possible that Alpert encountered 2005-Locke in Alpert's past, but it hasn't happened for Locke yet? And, much like it happened with Desmond when Faraday pleaded for help, this "memory" of meeting Locke wasn´t triggered in 2005-Alpert until the actual meeting took place in the past.

Does this make any sense to you, or am I way off?

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE WRONG, Brian. But please read this, I think I figured it all out:

Faraday, who the LOST writers use to explain teh rules of tome travel has clearly stated both:


couple this with Richard saying next time I see you, I wont remember you AND that he says Locke tells him to pull the bullet out of his leg, To means that they will meet in the past for RICHARD but the FUTURE for Locke. Which means Richard remembers and has already experienced his meetings with Locke seeing as how they take place in the past.

Which means that everything that is happening right now, where the Survivors are jumping all over, was always this way, it was never different.

here, let me explain it like this... in a way that you didnt bring up... but I'm sure will be happen in some way (probably next year).

Lets say... Sawyer and Juliet continure skipping through time... and eventually they end up 100 years before the crash of Oceanic 815 and.. they get trapped in a cave... and they die.. and then 100 years later. 815 crashs... Jack finds the cave... and in the cave... he finds a man and a woman skeleton... and name them ADAM and EVE.

I'm not saying thats exactly whats going to happen, but yo uget what im saying. Everything that the Losties are doing in the past HAS happened, there are NO alternate timelines... atleast as far as the past goes.

Faraday didnt change the past...Desmond simply forgot that the incident Faraday had happened. Desmond's "Specialness"
obviously results in some kind of Supernatural Amnesia, which anything that happens to him in the past that is related to the future gets completely forgotten by him. This goes back to last year's "The Constant" in which 1996 Desmond walks away from Penny's house after begging for her number and, while subconsciously he smiles knowing that he is now better, it is obvious that 1996 Desmond must immediately forget everything that has happened.. and he doesnt remember until 2004 desmond starts to jump back to 1996

Really what drives this home is that Desmond has some type of abailty to create Paradoxes in the universe. In "The Constant" Faradday tells Desmond in 2004 what frequency to set his machine to in 1996... Which 2004 Faraday only knows about because Desmond will then tell him about in 1996.

Its a Paradox in which one event explains the other, but there is no explanation as to where the number actually comes from, it just always WAS.

This was also illustrated in the Season 3 "Flashes Before Your Eyes" which was makes WAY more sense now thenn it has for the past 2 years. In that although Desmond keeps saying how he remembers this and that, implying that he has already lived the events one way and is now changing it, thats obviously now known to not be true, the way he lived those moments was always the same, except now that is Consciousness is back in the past, he's remembering it but not realizing he's living it exactly the same way.

Everyone always remembers how FlASHES ends with Desmond getting hit in the face with the bat, explainging how he could then wake up and not remember anything that happened. But remember how it begins as well, Desmond is unconscious on the floor, having fallen off a small ladder. meaning that his 2004 consciousness had taken over his body as he was on the ladder and caused him to fall off the ladder unconscious.

Oh and the way to know that Desmond had always lived his life the way it had, had always talked to Miss Hawkings and all that, is that the classic picture of Desmond and Penny is taken during that episode. Which is already with Desmond before he ever jumps back. MEANING Once Again! Though he had forgotten about it, it had ALWAYS happened that way.

YOU CANNOT Change the past... Pretty cool thinking with Adam and Eve right? haha

-Rob Rose.

Brian said...

Rob Rose - Good thoughts, but I feel like there are some holes in that logic too. For example, Alpert was so rushed in telling Locke about how to "save the Island" by bringing back the Oceanic Six - if he had already known that Locke would be skipping through time, why not just tell him earlier?

For that matter, why not warn him about getting shot by Ethan when they first met? I suppose you could say that Locke wouldn't believe or listen to him at that point, but I think there would have been a lot of things that the Others could have prevented (that we have seen over the past four seasons) that they WOULD HAVE if they had already known how all this was going to go down thanks to the skipping of characters they had already experienced.

Anonymous said...

wow 2 good analysis in one !! thanks brian and rose !!

Anonymous said...

Am i the only one hearing Faraday said.. ''Time is like a STREET – you can move forward, or reverse, but you cannot create a new STREET''

I watch the epidod with subtitle and im pretty sure that i read street too.... is it only me ?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure its as simple as the wheel 'getting stuck'. Rather, I think the Swan Station, or the source it was controlling, must have had some role. With that anomaly gone, maybe the energy released by the FDW wasn't as contained as it would have been otherwise.

I'm also not sure Daniel's concern is as simple as just for Charlotte (who is cute, by the way, just not a supermodel like Kate.) After all, he's kind of stuck too. Maybe it added urgency, but I think he just came to a realization that Desmond could help them, but didn't want anyone else to know about it because Sawyer would want to barge in again. The one thing that doesn't quite make sense to me is why 2008 Desmond is getting the message, not 2005 Desmond... Unless the island shifted 3 years into the future, so that the 'present' on the island is now in 2008 as well.

I don't buy that Mrs. Hawking is Daniel's mom--if she was already an expert, why would Daniel have to spend his adult life researching time travel? Mrs. Hawking is an almost goddess-like figure, like a guardian of time. Speaking of, did anyone else get the sense that her lab was an off-island Dharma station? That was a pretty hefty door leading into it...

heliopath said...

the biggest hints at Desmond as specially is that Most of his episodes have involved time travel. Whether it was flashes before your eyes, or saving charlie from death, or the crazy reality remix of constant. no one else seems to be as jump in timey.

Also i guess its obvious but he has changed the past, a little, helped save charlie (at least long enough to help them with their efforts) the penny remembering thing worked.

its all odd odd odd.

and what is with charles widmore funding a boat race around the world that could so easily leave a sailer like desmond straight to the island? why does widmore Really hate desmond, or is that a facade to actually use him for something?

thoughts thoughts thoughts.
exciting season can't wait.

Anonymous said...

Brian- Rob Rose again, haha.

I see exactly what you mean, but lets say that my way of thinking is correct. It could be possible that Richard did know all along, However, its pretty effectively been established that Richard is pretty smart about these things and knows alot about the island. If Richard knows as much as Faraday knows about the time travel of the island, he would know that it would be useless to warn John and in fact, impossible to warn John about those things happening because again, "You Cannot Change the Future" Its the "You're gonna die, Charlie" thought process, in that regardless of what Richard did, this was all going to happen the way it did.

Really, the only way we're going to settle this is when someone finally explains in on screen... Hopefully by next May haha.

Anonymous said...

Just to explain my theory on how the time travel, specifically Desmond's, works in Lost
As its been said:

Past, Present, Future is all relative

Okay, and lets say you're 50 years old. Now lets say.... there's a scar on your face, a long thin line on your right cheek, something that's just been on your face for so long it just is apart of who you are. For as long as you can remember people have asked you about the scar and everytime you tell them the same story "I got drunk one night and woke up in my kitchen, with it sliced down my face" But everytime you tell it there's just something inside you, a little voice that tells you something is wrong, but your conscious mind dismisses it, You can never quite put your finger on the feeling, but subconsciously you know its there.

Now, while still 50 years old, You accidentally are exposed to whatever it is on the island that causes this time travel, and you're mind jumps back to when you were 30 years old. You wake up as 30 years old, and have no recolection of being 50 years old... because your conscious mind knows that you're 30 and the next 20 years hasn't happened yet. At most though you feel like you've had a very vivid dream and begin to experience Deja Vu with your surroundings.

Now 1 of 2 things can happen depending on why you're jumping, You can either "FLASHES BEFORE YOUR EYES" jump which is where you will stay as 30 years old, until something shocks your mind into returning you to 50 yrs old or you will jump back and forth between 30 and 50 until you either find a constant to keep you grounded or die.

lets go with Scenario 1: "FLASHES BEFORE YOUR EYES"

You will live your life as if you are still 30 years old, you're conscious mind will believe you are 30 years old but your subconscious mind will know that you are in fact 50 years old...seeing things that somewhat remind your subconcious of anything that happens between 30 years old and 50 years old (The Microwave beeping, the number 815)will make this feeling stronger. Eventually that feeling of your subconscious and conscious' deuling beliefs will begin to drive you insane, you will know something is wrong, and if you see something (Charlie) that you greatly associate with the events that unfold between 30 and 50 years old, it will trigger your memory and you will realize what has happened, you will not understand it, and because your mind will still be dueling, it will be very hard for you to remember exactly what happens between 30 years old and 50 years old. Now, that you've figured this out, You panic. You rush to the phone in your kitchen to call someone for help, in your rush you trip over a wire, and as you're falling you smack your head on the side of the counter slicing a part of your face down your right cheek.

The shock of this blow sends your consciousness back to your 50 year old body, where you wake up only seconds after you initially jumped ... atleast this is how it would seem to you.

THE TRUTH Is that after the shock to the head of your 30 year old self, 30 year old you will wake up several hours later, with no recolection of what had just happened, 30 year old you would completely forget everything out of neccesecity, because your consciousness will push everything back into your mind. The only time you will feel some type of uneasiness is when you look at the scar on your face and it reminds your subconcious of how you got that scar. But thats it.

Then 20 years later when you're 50 and youre exposed to the island, you will finally live through everything you had done 20 years earlier because the truth is that only your SUBCONSCIOUS will jump back to when you are 30 years old, because you're CONSCIOUS will now know that you're actually 50 years old. In a reversal the effect on your body when you were 30. And so while you are living experiencing this through your subconscious, it will feel as though you are living the events of 20 years earlier, but when you get to the part where you hit your head, your Subconcious will rejoin your Conscious, in the real world, at 50 years old with only a few seconds in the real world having past.

Now that you have lived through the experience through the eyes of your 50 year old self, the experience at 30 and 50 will finally cancel each other out and you will be able to remember everything, and finally know where that scar had come from... (Penny's picture) even if you never conciously thought about the fact that you didnt know where it came from.


WHY Did I just do that? God I love this show

Hobnail_Boot said...

On the other hand, the second theory would indicate that Faraday is attempting to take matters into his own hands to stop the “skipping” and save our Survivors – way heroic and exciting, and it would totally be Lost’s style to have Season Five open with a “flashforward” of an upcoming scene that will actually be a “flashback” on the overall “timeline” of Lost. Tricky!

You blew my mind with this.

Anonymous said...

i need a very large aspirin!

Anonymous said...

At the end of the second episode, does Ben ask? "Annie Locke" or "Any luck"??

I had originally thought he had said "Annie Locke" and that she was the mother of John... but on second thoughts I may be totally wrong...

Anonymous said...

Why do you presume that Widmore wants the Island "for financial gain"? Maybe Widmore has some historical claim to the Island. Maybe Widmore is as much of philanthropist as the DHARMA folk. Why does capitalism have to be presumed evil?

Anonymous said...

Ben turned the wheel "improperly" on purpose?? Holy crap does that make sense based on one single line of dialogue,
"How many times do I have to tell you, John. I always have a plan."

I still think that we still have almost zero clue as to just how powerful Ben is and how much he knows.

Anonymous said...

Didn't it seem that Juliet is more hip to the time travel thing than she is leading on?

Also, why or how did Whitmore indirectly retain Faraday to travel to the island if Faraday's interests are inconsistent with his own?

Anonymous said...

What if Dan Faraday turns out to be an island original all along like Richard Alpert. He could be the the island originals "mole" inside Dharma and is sent back to civilization to learn about the Donkey wheel so the island originals can harness the power to protect themselves from Dharma and Widmore. Faraday and Alpert seem to be the only ones who know what is going on. Not sure if this is possible but maybe that is why he was in the Orchid with Dr. Candle at the beginning of the season and looked like he hasn't aged.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have a couple thoughts/theories that I just have to throw out there. They're actually thoughts that I had when I first started watching Lost during season 3, but only now do they make sense.

1. One of my early thoughts was that the numbers somehow were related to the location of the island. However, plugging them in as latitude and longitude didn't work, so I set that aside.
Today I was looking at a screencap of Ms. Faraday's pendulum map from "The Lie," and I was able to make out that the name of one of the nearby island was Kiritimati (Christmas Island). Long story short, after looking it up on Google Earth, I figured out that if you plug in the numbers as "4°8'15"N, 162°3'42"W", you get what looks to be the exact location where the pendulum is marking. (The screencap I'm referring to can be found at .)
Not sure if this means anything, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

2. Another thing I noticed early on with Lost was that the names/symbols of the DHARMA stations all seemed to coincide with constellations. I again thought maybe this would have to do with where the island was located, but it didn't help me. Now I'm wondering if it has to do with when the island is located. I'm wondering if that device Faraday has is used to somehow chart the positions of constellations. Maybe the ones the stations are named after are the ones that are important to figuring out what time the island is in. Again, it's just a theory, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

Also, I've become convinced that Miles has to know something about what's going on. He claims that the boar he finds just "died in the jungle" and he found it and that it's only been dead three hours. Anyone else think someone else, maybe Miles himself, put that boar in the jungle for him, knowing he would be there at that time, and that he knew it would be there?

TheycallmeVic said...

Like the anonymous person that commented, I need an aspirin! lol

Rob Rose, I think you're definitely on to something with your theory.

Lisa, great stuff too.

Anonymous said...

Been reading the blog for a while, but never commented. Read this post and the comments 3 times over, and my head is still spinning - I also need an aspirin...or two. Best idea for me is to go through the blog making notes on my theories as I go along so as not to pass out by the end of it!

heliopath said...

anonymous at 4:20 raises a really good point. Widmore handpicked these people to go on the freighter back to the island. why?
he, a man of his power and access, must know all of their histories and their "connection" to the island.
it would seem weird then if Faraday is an island original aka "alpert and by relation ben's team" to send him.

seems a bit odd. unless widmore is using them to just find the island again. he must have known the time travel could be activated.

i guess we have to wait and see wat widmore is really after...

heliopath said...

sorry to tripple comment. about the miles boar thing maybe it was a simple case of him seeing a boar that had just died with his special abilities and finding where it's body lay

Anonymous said...

Alpert knows where John is going to skip next because John told him... in a future skip. He told Locke that HE told him where he was. So Locke apparently did make a change, by telling Alpert to come look for him to help his wound?


B. Cook said...

Has anyone else noticed that the training videos, by the way, are all stored on different mediums? Is it possible that there was skipping going on while those were being recorded? How else would we explain that one was on VHS, one was on BETA and one was on a film strip?

Anonymous said...

(Long time reader; first time commentor)

Is it possible that the whispers we have heard in prior seasons are "time travel survivors" and not the Others as assumed?

Anonymous said...

Once again.. I'm drawn here to explain... really don't know why...

Think of the World on the island as a Novel, a BOOK. Past, Present and Future is all relative to how far into the book you have read.

Now the thing is that The Survivors on the Island, are reading this book. But instead of reading the book straight through, they are simply opening the book to any page and reading the page and then skipping to another page.

Now, because they're IN this world, you'd have to also think about them as the characters IN the book, IN THAT NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU READ THE BOOK, NO MATTER HOW YOU READ IT, THE EVENTS WILL NEVER AND HAVE NEVER CHANGED.

If on page 23 Locke shows up and gets shot by Ethan this is just the way it was written, It doesnt matter that the plane doesnt crash until page 42...because when you get to page 108 you will see how he disapears and at the point arrives THEN arrives at page 23.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, Helipath's reminded that the freighter crew also included Michael. Nobody in Whitmores camp appeared to know that Michael was a mole for Ben. So...let's not give Whitmore to much credit for his due diligence in selecting this gang.

Secondly, does anyone know what Ben took from the vent duct in the hotel room he and Jack were in? He later gave it to either Mrs. Hawkins or to the meat counter lady. Either way, it appeared to have real significance.

Brian?? Anybody?

Anonymous said...

hey Lisa....for whatever it may or may not prove to be worth, great work on your part in figuring this stuff out.

Anonymous said...

Did Desmond and Charlie change the future by not allowing Charlie to drown in the surf or get struck by lightning?

The theory presented then was that Charlie was going to die. But the original method (lightning) was avoided and while he evntually died, he played a part in the ultimate rescue.

Desmond's flashes must have been some sort of time travel, or memories of time travel. If that is the case, each different opportunity for Charlie to die actually did represent a different string (or street) because he could not have died more than once.

If Farady is right, and you can't change the past or the future, why are people as smart and connected as Mrs. Hawking, Ben, Richard and Daniel trying to?

And what is the value of time travel if you cannot affect the future? Aside from a really cool theme park (a la Jurassic Park), nothing can be gained if nothing can change.

But...the one thing almost every time travel movie or discussion includes is lottery numbers - HURLEY!

Maybe each of the survivors somehow either intentionally or unintentionally used their subconscious memories (experiences) to alter the future and they all need to get back to the same place to allow the universe to course correct.

For example, Hurley's experience with the hatch numbers makes him pick those numbers at "random" (time travel allows him to do this before the crash). His lottery win results in all sorts of bad luck - mostly because he has alterd the future. Maybe Hurley didn't even intend to pick those numbers and change the future, it was an unintended or unexpected consequence of time travel.

Steve said...

An argument for all this happening in the 'main' timeline. Adam and Eve in the caves early in season 1. It's always been suggested that this could be someone like Jack and Kate. We do not KNOW that this isnt some ancient culture burial, however, it IS feasible that this time skip IS part of the main timeline...
If I can wrap my brain around it...... that would mean that faraday was supposed to come back and be in the dharma suit. It would mean that Locke was SUPPOSED to get shot by ethan, and that ethan had already encoutnered Locke, and possible other losties prior to the actual crash. It could mean that many so called 'changed' may not be changes, but part of the main stream.

Steve said...

Rob Rose,

I didn't read your message before, but you and I are of the same thought.

Brian, Alpert didn't tell him before because to tell him would inflence Locke to try to 'change' the past. He had to let it happen. He did reveal that he had to die.

However, I do agree that there are some holes. I'm thinking back to season 3 when Alpert went over Bens head to give him those documents. But to argue, it could be that BEN was trying to change the future, and Alpert wanted to let things flow their proper course.

Also, as for Desmond, I kind of see now that it's possible that Desmond may not have seen charlie dying, but rather himself saving him. They didn't say that, but it's possible.

Ben: I do agree with the 12 monkees thing. I've said that myself in instant reactions. Damon and Carlton have also said that 12 monkees was the model for doing time travel right(I believe this was in a podcast a long while back, they also blasted Heroes time travel pretty harshly)

Some toher notes: Could it be that Michaels purpose was ALWAYS to die on the freighter.. and coule it be that Walt is supposed to be off the island. It's the oceanic 6 and Desmond that need to go back.

As for Charlotte. I know it's suggested that she may have been born on the island. The question is, what are the rules for jumping vs not jumping. The others don't jump.. apparently Dharma or the Soldiers don't either. What are the rules for who jumps and who doesn't? Example, say Faraday is with Candle, as in the first scene, Lets say they jumped to the future. Would Candle and the Dharma workers go to? Why didn't demsond go too when he flashed.. because he's in the past? Could you go back to the past, hold Candles arm, and flash to the future with him? they say what you're holding goes with you.

That's enough, my brain is about to explode!

Anonymous said...

Re the soldiers who wanted to cut off hands. When I didn't see Dharma logos on them my first thought was that they were part of CFL's team.

Remember that a deleted part of the script was that her team was there "to investigate aspects of time". They might have been Widmore's team.

Anonymous said...

imagine they were widmore's team... And ALEX was Cfl and Widmore's child... Would be Ironic considering ben is going to kill his daughter.

Anonymous said...

A see a glaring inconsistency in this episode. After the wheel was turned and Locke was all alone, why did Juliet not disappear like the Others/Richard? She is one of them!

For those that say she was brought to the island, then why did people like Cindy (flight attendant who joined the Others), and Zac/Emma (captured kids) not stay with Lock

Anonymous said...

Lisa, those are really good thoughts. However, for #2, constellations are generally stable over millenia, so that wouldn't be true. However, Faraday could determine the year by examining the relative positions of the planets, for example. As for Miles, I figured that it was killed by the army-like people and the fact that it was taken tipped them off to 'enemies' in the area.

Heliopath, Abbadon is the man who selected the specialist team led by Nadia: Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, and Frank. We don't know exactly what Abbadon knows or what his relation is to Widmore or the island. Widmore was trying to stop Ben from using the Orchid by providing Keamy with the Secondary Protocol.

We should also remember the reference to rules when Ben said that Widmore "changed the rules".

ColumEx - re: tape formats. Not necessarily, though it could indicate when the particular station was completed and started.

Re: Desmond saving Charlie from dying. Charlie was the only person who could have broken the code on the radio jammer of the Looking Glass, which is probably a big part of the reason why they were finally able to get off the island. If Charlie hadn't broken the jamming, they would never have left and the problems wouldn't have begun. Desmond changed the future in a big way--the question is, was it for the better or for the worse? That said, i don't think these necessarily represented actual alternative strings, just the direction the string will take if nothing changes--and nothing would without the knowledge of what would happen.

Hurley got his lottery numbers from another guy in the mental hospital, so time travel doesn't explain how Hurley got the numbers.

As far as why Cindy doesn't seem to be jumping, was she actually in the camp with Locke and the other Others? Remember a while ago that Ben sent many of them to the Temple--maybe that has protected some of them from the effects of the shifting. Cindy though could have been an Other plant on the plane, though that doesn't explain the kids.

Anonymous said...

Great discussion, everyone.

I just wanted to get on my soapbox and say that I'm going to be pretty upset if Walt is not factored into things from here on out. His weird random appearances to the Lost dwellers earlier on in the series has not been explained, to my knowledge, and it would be pretty weak to just let that hang.

It feels like the show only has a few more episodes left (not so, of just feels that way), and there are so many weird things left up in the air that still need to be explained (ie. Walt, the numbers, etc.).

i heart joan said...

The first time we saw Mrs Hawkings, there was a picture of her on her desk with Tom (you know - he's one of The Others - that one with the fake beard)... I wondered when we'd be seeing her again

Anonymous said...

with Tom ?? i think you want talk about the piture with the monk.. not Tom...

Anonymous said...

Remember the episode with Desmond at the Monastery? duh, of course you do. The 'head monk' he was always being counseled by there had a picture on his desk of himself with Eloise. I've been waiting for that to mean something, and this may be happening sooner than later.