Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Jughead" Analysis!

Remember back in the day, when the storyline for most episodes of Lost were very straightforward, slow-moving, and methodical? We'd learn a little tidbit about a character's past, the Survivors would march around on the Island and have conversation, and once in a while there would be some heavy "action". We would spend most of our analysis of the episode picking out minor details in the background, references to other episodes, and any mention of the Numbers. Don't get me wrong, Lost was still a great show back then - but it's nothing compared to how great the show is right now.


I was thinking about how little of that "peripheral analysis" stuff has existed for the past two seasons. The Numbers have basically disappeared, the flashbacks are mostly done, and the backgrounds of the scenes have had a lot less stuff in them that requires pausing, zooming, and image enhancing to see some Easter Egg. It's almost like the Lost creators put all that stuff in the early episodes to get people to obsess about their show and over-analyze it, knowing that someday, they would need these skills in order to grasp the main storyline. We've been conditioned to use 100% of our brainpower each week when we watch, looking for minor details and then jumping on them with such gusto that each episode can lead people to totally change their opinions about what actually happened in almost every previous episode in the series.


So now, instead of worrying about what a billboard in the background of a flashback said or meant, we're worrying about what the main storyline action on the show means in the grand scheme of things, leading people to develop new theories that stretch back to the start of the show just as much as theories about where the show is going... and I love it.



On to the analysis...


Time. Something tells me this is going to be a common start to the weekly analysis, at least for the foreseeable future. After last week, I had my mind set that the "skipping" on the show would work a certain way - where characters would suddenly have memories of their interaction with our Skipping Survivors in the past - but this week totally turned that theory on its head.


Whatever happened, happened.


Let me make sure we're all on the same page here. There aren't two timelines, one where Locke shows up and talks to Alpert in 1954 and one where he doesn’t. There's just one - the one we saw - where Locke shows up and tells Alpert about Jacob, that he will be the future leader of the Others, and the date of his birth. Even though we didn't know about this interaction until this episode, it's always been there. Alpert has known about it since we first met his character in Season Three. The confusing part here is that it brings up a tricky "chicken or the egg" scenario in my mind that seems to create an infinite time loop. Here's what I mean:

  • In 1954, Locke tells Alpert information about his birth and that he will be the leader of the Others.
  • Because of this, Alpert monitors Locke from his birth, and is in effect "waiting for him" to arrive on the Island (you could even argue that Alpert sent Abaddon to put the thought in his mind about going on the Walkabout).
  • Because of this, Locke ends up on the Island and becomes leader of the Others.
  • Because of this, he visits Jacob's Cabin and finds out about moving the Island, relaying the message to Ben.
  • Because of this, Ben turns the FDW which causes him to skip in time.
  • Because of this, Locke visits Alpert in 1954 and tells him about his birth.


If you think about time in a straight-line fashion, similar to the "string" example that Faraday used in the season premiere, this initially sounds impossible because the first step in this timeline can't exist without the last - and the last can't exist without the first. If we were robots right now, smoke would start coming out of our ears.


However, if a person thinks about time as more of a loop - where there is no beginning and no end, this would make total sense - of course the events are circular. The end becomes the beginning and the cycle repeats, which means there isn't any problem with having an "infinite loop" like this.


But let's not get caught up on these deep, philosophical questions about the nature of time and space. Just like I wrote on my Philosophy 101 Final back in college, "the smartest men in the history of the world have been debating these questions for centuries, without coming to any overall conclusion. What is the point in my feeble brain thinking about it for a few hours? I'm pretty sure I'm not going to come up with anything better than their best theories." (Note: this probably explains the B I got in that class). Instead, let's focus on what this means for Lost.


For one, it opens up a lot of super tantalizing possibilities for Lost, the first of which were hinted at during the preview for next week's episode. As I mentioned in my Instant Reactions, it looks like our Skipping Survivors have skipped to roughly October-November 2004… which just happens to coincide with Season One of Lost. Why is this a big deal? First, it will give us the chance the opportunity to see past events on Lost from a different perspective, which may shed some new light on things (Note: this is actually what I was hoping for with the Nikki / Paulo flashback from Season Three, but never really got). It could also suddenly reveal new things to our Skipping Survivors. Suppose Sawyer stumbles upon a formerly "secret" conversation between 2004 Locke and Boone at the Hatch, or Juliet learns that Sawyer used to be an absolute jerk when he first landed on the Island. Something like that could definitely affect the relationship that our Skipping Survivors have with the other characters on the show moving forward - especially when they all eventually reunite in the same time period (which is inevitable, right?)


Even crazier, what if we suddenly see a scene from Season One, only to realize that it's actually Skipping Sawyer or Locke in the scene rather than 2004 Sawyer or Locke. Remember how Locke always gave those cryptic speeches about the Island to Jack back in the day? Well, what if it was because it was Skipping Locke actually talking to him! That would be absolutely insane, and prove to me that the writers on Lost have known exactly what they were going to do all along. Once you open the door to our Skipping Survivors interacting with the 2004 Survivors, it might force us to go back and review episodes from Season One in a new light. Like I said, if the writers go to this length and pull it off successfully, it will easily be the most ambitious plot device ever seen on television - one that took 5 seasons to develop.


However, I don't know that the writers will go to such great lengths due to the risk involved. As we all learned in Back to the Future, if your future self were to meet your past self, it might tear apart the space-time continuum and bring about the end of existence…or something. All I know is, Marty was able to make out with his mom, help his dad, inspire Doc Brown, and invent Rock and Roll - and that was all good… but if he came face to face with himself in Back to the Future II, it's the end of the world as we know it.


So assuming those same rules apply to Lost (which, they might not), as soon as our Skipping Survivors realize that they are in the same time period as themselves on the Island, they will realize they need to avoid them at all cost, lest they risk running into themselves. I know that the preview also showed the Skipping Survivors on a canoe paddling away from the Island - perhaps headed to the secondary Island with the Hydra - which would be a foolproof way to ensure that these interactions don't happen. I guess I’m hoping the writers at least give us a little of this potential interaction before our Skipping Survivors realize the danger, just because it opens the door to so many fascinating possibilities.


Enough about time travel. Let's move on to space.


Space. I mentioned it last week, and I'll mention it again this week, because I still don’t quite have a firm grasp on it and no one else seems to be talking about it. This week's episode seemed to confirm that only our Survivors are Skipping - none of the other people on the Island. However, we saw the Island itself disappear in last season's finale. So each time that there is a skip, does that mean that both our Survivors move in time AND the Island moves in space? Or did the Island only move once, but our Survivors have moved multiple times? If the Island is skipping around in space each time we get a flash, that would go a long way in explaining why the Island is so hard to find. Even if the US Military knew where the Island was in 1954, shortly thereafter there was a flash - and the Island moved to a totally different location, taking their Jughead along with it. But if this were true, what would it mean for the Island Originals, the people who aren't skipping? Would they feel it? Would the climate on the Island change? Could they leave the Island one day in the Pacific, and have it move to the Atlantic tomorrow? Do they have a feel for the "schedule" of the skips, to know how long they have in any given location? Or is that why the Looking Glass so important, because it provided Dharma with a beacon for them to find the Island, no matter where it ended up in the world? If the Island is moving around so much, how is it possible that Dharma could schedule Periodic Ration Drops of supplies to the Island?


Ms. Hawking's wacky pendulum computer confirmed that the Island has at least moved in space ONCE. The fact that the Black Rock and Yemi's Beechcraft are located on the Island prove that it's moved a few times. But is it constantly moving along with these skips? Remember- whatever happened, happened. So if the skips in space are tied to the skips in time for our Survivors, that would mean the Island moved in 1954, 2001(ish) and 2005 - at least. Is that why it is so hard to come and go from the Island?


So many questions. Not many answers.


If you go along with this theory, it would mean that the Island wasn't truly "hidden" initially - it was just randomly moving all over the place. It also makes me wonder if Dharma actually had a "stealth shield" around the Island that made it invisible… or if it was just in a new location every few months, making it hard to find. Personally, I'm leaning towards Dharma adding the bubble around the Island in the 1980's, courtesy of the Swan Hatch, making the Island near-impossible to find, at least until the Hatch Imploded. But that would also mean that from the beginning of time until the 1980's, all you had to do was be in the right place at the right time to stumble upon the Island… and that's exactly what happened.


Island Originals. I've used the term "Island Original" for quite some time on this Blog, basically referring to anyone who was living on the Island before Dharma. But how many people are truly "original"? Where did they come from? How long have they been there? As time goes on, it's looking like there might be just one Island Original - Richard Alpert. I think that everyone else who joins him is a transplant to the Island - someone that stumbled upon it at some point in their life, spends some time there, and eventually dies / leaves / goes back to work as a butcher in the "real world". If the Island is so hard to find, stumbling upon it may be viewed as "fate" or "destiny", and Alpert is able to smooth talk people into becoming believers in the power of the Island - something worth protecting, something worth dying for, and something worth keeping secret. Think about how he "recruited" Ben and convinced him to kill everyone in Dharma. I have to think if he could convince Ben to commit mass murder, he could convince most people into sticking around on the Island.


So who is Alpert?


The "out there" answer is that he's some sort of physical embodiment of the Island. He's responsible for picking leaders, making sure people stay in line, and providing a consistent presence as other Others come and go over the years. As Juliet said "Richard is always there"…. But from now on, I think I'm going to go back to calling them "Others", at least until we get any evidence that there are other Island Originals besides Richard Alpert.



Of course, this raises the question of how characters like Ellie and Widmore ended up on the Island. Both seemed to have English accents, which is unique among the other Others we know… and may indicate that they knew each other before ending up on the Island, or crashed on it together in a plane / hot air balloon / boat / flying saucer. We may never find out how they ended up on the Island in the first place, but how they got off and who they became is what I'm interested in…


Ellie. As I mentioned in my Instant Reactions, a huge bombshell was revealed during the normally idiotic "enhanced" version of "The Lie" that aired before "Jughead". Normally, the pop-up words on the bottom of the screen provide such worthwhile information as "This is Juliet. She is talking to Sawyer" - you know, things that you could understand yourself by just watching what was happening on the screen. But at the end of "The Lie", they said "This is Eloise Hawking".




Maybe I missed something, but I believe this is the first (and thus far, only) confirmation we have about Ms. Hawking's first name… and it came via a pop-up during a Lost repeat. Incredible. Of course, once we met "Ellie" during "Jughead", sporting a similar bun-style haircut as Ms. Hawking, and Faraday made his comment about her "looking familiar" to him, all the pieces started to fall together…


Ellie = Eloise Hawking = Faraday's Mother


(also, = Faraday’s Rat, but that’s less important)


Last week, people were debating whether or not Ms. Hawking could be Faraday's Mother. It seemed like the obvious choice - too obvious for some - but could definitely help explain how all the storylines were going to come together. After this week, it seems to be all but a lock. It would explain how Ms. Hawking would have knowledge about the Island, how she would know how to find it, how she might know how to save the Skipping Survivors, and provide Faraday with his "tie" to the Island that would explain why he was chosen for Widmore's mission. I agree that it's obvious for my liking – but so was Michael being Ben’s mole on the Freighter – and that turned out to be true. In the end, it just makes too much sense, and helps all the pieces of the story fall together, for it NOT to be true.


But Ellie wasn't the only familiar face we found among the Others. In the most jaw-dropping moment of the episode, we found out that Charles Widmore himself used to be an Other.


Widmore. I have to admit, I didn’t see that coming. I’ve always pictured Widmore as a true “businessman”, so when he said “That island’s mine, Benjamin. It always was. It will be again”, I thought he meant so in more of a financial sense – like he found it first or successfully developed it through Dharma, giving him the “rights” to the Island over Ben. It never dawned on me that maybe he actually was ON the Island before Ben as a full-fledged Other. Suddenly, his comments about the Island take on a whole new meaning. First of all, they seem totally incorrect based on what we saw in 1954.


In 1954, Charles Widmore was a hot-headed tough guy who seemed to be a card carrying Other through and through. Heck, he was willing to kill a fellow Other who risked leading our Skipping Survivors back to their base camp, which reminds me of Ben’s comments about “how far” the Others would go to protect the Island. Killing one of their own? That’s pretty far in my book.


But the thing is – he clearly wasn’t the leader of the Others in 1954. Alpert, the person responsible for choosing the next leader of the Others, didn’t seem especially fond of him, or to be treating him any differently than the other Others. So where does Widmore get off in saying that the Island was “his”. Not only “his”, but “always his”. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t his in 1954!


 There’s still the question of how Widmore ended up on the Island, but there’s also the question of how he ended up off the Island. If he was so in love with the Island, why would he ever leave it? I think there are a few possible choices:

1. He got kicked off. Based on what we saw, it’s the most likely scenario. He seemed to be a bit of a loose cannon, quick to judge, and not particularly fond of Alpert’s decisions. You could easily see where he does something to anger Alpert, causing him to be banned from the Island.

2. He accidentally left the Island, through turning the FDW or leaving the Island on some Others’ mission (picking up supplies, recruiting new Others) and having the Island “skip” in space while he was gone, leaving him unable to return. Since then, he’s been doing everything he could to try and find it again so he can return – like buying the Black Rock Journal to try and figure out where the Island might be.

3. He voluntarily left the Island. This brings up a new concept about the Others that I’ve started kicking around in my head. Protecting the Island is all well and good, but in order to do so, it might require having some people on the “outside” to be working for the Island’s interests as well. What if a commitment to the Island means that you do whatever is required of you to protect it, even if it means that you get “stationed” back in the “real world” to make sure no one else uses it for testing nuclear bombs or starting wacko scientific Dharma-esque experiments. Widmore, Ms. Hawking, Abaddon, Butcher Jill – they all might be former Others who were sent out to the rest of the world to make sure that Desmond ended up on the Island, Locke went on his Walkabout, etc.

Of course, this opens up an interesting thought – if you can’t change destiny, would any of this matter? Even without Ms. Hawking talking to Desmond or Abaddon putting the thought of the Walkabout in Locke’s head, wouldn’t they have eventually ended up on the Island anyways, because of some other reason? Doesn’t the universe have a way of “course correcting itself” to ensure “whatever happened, happened”? I really like this theory – but this represents one big hole in it for sure.


4. The fourth option is perhaps the wackiest, but one that a lot of people have been discussing on the Internet this week. What if Others have NEVER been able to have children on the Island? If Widmore and Ellie ended up hooking up, and Ellie got pregnant, the two might have left the Island in order to give birth to their child… Daniel Faraday.


This line of thinking has sent people down some pretty outrageous paths, since it might mean that Faraday and Penny are brother and sister – or step siblings at the very least. My biggest problem with this theory is that we’ve already got it on Lost with Jack and Claire. Would the writers repeat the same storyline twice? I doubt it.


The other thing we have to keep in mind is that Widmore knows who Benjamin Linus is, and that he seemingly “took over” the Island from him. Since this didn’t happen until the Purge in 1992, that would mean Widmore was either still on the Island in 1992 – or at least aware of what was happening on the Island up until that point.


Here’s where it gets tricky.


Penny is roughly 30 – 40 years old, meaning she was born in the 1960’s. This would mean that she was either born on the Island (which is a pretty mind-blowing thought, that would explain why she might end up back on the Island due to her tagging along with Desmond – although you would think she might have mentioned her “childhood on some Island” to Desmond over the years), or that Widmore was off the Island shortly after we saw him in 1954 so that he could meet Penny’s mother (which opens a whole new round of questions and theories that I won’t get into here) and start a family. The other thing to keep in mind is that Widmore is the successful owner of the Widmore Corporation when Desmond talks to him in 1996. Although it appears that there are some ties between Widmore and Dharma, Paik Industries, and Hanso – I think the employees there would ask questions if Charles suddenly showed up and said “I’m running the show.” What I’m getting at, is it’s likely that Widmore built that company from the ground up – probably using the resources of the Others to succeed very easily – but still putting in some time there to get to where he is today.


One last thing to keep in mind is that when Widmore sent the Freighter to the Island, he instructed them to get Benjamin Linus and then kill everyone else there / “torch” the Island. We can debate whether or not the Freighter was REALLY sent by Widmore, but if it was, he’s seriously pissed at everyone on the Island and wants to kill them all and take it for himself. This brings into question who the 2005-era Others actually are. We saw that Ben was recruiting some folks (like Juliet), but are most of them newbies that Ben brought to the Island once he “took over”? Or are there still a bunch of Others that have been there since the 1950’s? Aside from Alpert, it’s hard for us to tell – but I have to think that if Widmore really wanted to kill them all, most of them are “new recruits” from Ben that Widmore views unworthy of being on “his Island”.



Longtime readers – who remembers my “Cowboys and Indians” theory from a few years ago? This could very easily tie into it! Once Ben took over, he started doing things wrong – things the Island didn’t like. The Others slowly started to get away from their roots, lose their “spiritual relationship” with the Island, using electricity and the Dharma Barracks, having Book Club and drinking Dharma Beer instead of living off the land and listening to Jack Johnson music. Widmore is willing to destroy the Island to give it rebirth, to get it back to where (in his mind), it’s supposed to be.


Maybe he’s not the evil capitalist that we all thought he was (that one’s for you FOB Freedom!) - but that’s just a lie that Ben told Locke to ensure he would stay on his side instead of realizing that Ben is the one who doesn’t have the Island’s best interests at heart.


Lots of things to think about – but as many have pointed out, it doesn’t seem that there is a clear distinction between “good” and “evil” on Lost – and Widmore might be the latest case of this. Up until this point, it was very easy to view him as the “Big Bad” (and I have called him that more than a few times on this Blog) – but maybe he’s really just the opposing force to Ben – and we’ve only heard Ben’s side of the story thus far.


One other note – you know how we all wondered why people like Charlotte, Faraday, and Miles were chosen to join the Freighter team? How about because Widmore saw that they were on the Island in 1954, and KNEW that they were going to end up there. He was fulfilling destiny by putting them on that boat. Whoa.


Ms. Hawking. One more question about Ms. Hawking, who may or may not be Daniel Faraday’s Mom. Widmore knows where exactly she is, and tells Desmond that she’s “a very private person.” Ben is working with her to find the Island. Yet Ben and Widmore are sworn enemies. You would think that Ms. Hawking would fall on one “side” or the other, rather than playing both.


But to tie it in with an earlier theory – maybe Ms. Hawking and Abaddon are truly just ambassadors of the Island, working for the greater good of all… or to make sure that the world doesn’t come to a crashing end thanks to the hijinx of Ben, Desmond, or the Oceanic Six. They’ll work with Ben when needed (to get the Oceanic Six back to the Island), they’ll work with Widmore when needed (assembling the Freighter team to send them to the Island), but stay out of the overall “debate” about which side is right and which side is wrong. They’re just making sure that both sides are able to continue to fight it out, by existence continuing.


Okay – that’s enough big thoughts. Time for some small, quick ones to wrap this up:

  • Although it looks like Charlotte might die in the first moments of next week’s episode, I don’t buy it. We haven’t learned enough about her character yet to lose her quite yet.


  • As much fun as this skipping through time is, I really hope that it wraps up mid-season. Likewise, I hope the Oceanic Six return to the Island by mid-season, rather than having the 70 hours until the world ends last for the entire season. Part of me is really not excited to spend extended periods of time with the Oceanic Six off the Island in next week’s episode, and I think the quicker they get back to the Island, the quicker we’ll get all the characters into the “Grade A Storyline”.
  • I don’t think the Jughead in this episode ends up in the Swan Hatch or the Orchid. Nuclear bombs don’t need to be diffused every 108 minutes, and if you imploded them, I think a lot more than a flash of bright light would have happened. The Orchid didn’t exist until Dharma, and the Others had to deal with the Jughead in 1954. I hope that it does tie into another storyline down the road, but am afraid it will be similar to “The Tempest” Dharma station, which served no greater purpose than providing drama for an individual episode.


  • I think Juliet knows more than she is letting on. She seems overly calm about all this “skipping”, and even went so far as to interrupt Locke this week before he could tell Sawyer about Ethan shooting him in the leg. I’m thinking that Ethan reported back to the Others about his experience with the Others, and they were all aware of the skipping in time – and Juliet just accepted that she is going to go through it thanks to people like Alpert telling her that he saw her in 1954. In effect, Juliet might know exactly how all this is going to end, but isn’t telling anyone.



That’s it for this analysis. Let me know what you think, or if there is anything I missed.


Until next week!


Andrew Steger said...

Brian, seriously great analysis. Thanks again for doing this for so long. You've always been my favorite Lost blogger. keep up the good work.

I'm with you i hope we see some 2004 Losties interacting with Time Skipping Losties in scenes we've already seen from earlier seasons. that would be awesome!

I was totally shocked by the Widmore reveal too. Good thing Locke didn't shoot him when Sawyer told him too.

Unknown said...

What about Miles and his ability to locate graves and speak to the dead? What the heck!

TheycallmeVic said...

Awesome analysis as always Brian.

That chicken or the egg question is very simple to me, I believe God created everything. So God simply created an adult chicken, and then it reproduced, having eggs (just like us humans).
However, trying to solve the "time loop" situation on Lost is a lot, lot more complicated than that.

Question: why was young Widmore called Jones?

Theory on the 4 toed statue (not mine either):
Did anyone notice in the previous episode how Sawyer stepped on something and hurt his foot?
Perhaps it gets infected and he loses his pinky, and during one of the time jumps does something heroic.
And contradicting that, is this promo shot with Faraday's foot missing:’s-faraday’s-foot/

Brian said...

VictorC - ah yes, the four-toed Sawyer theory. I forgot to mention that in the Blog, but I also read it this week.

It's so ridiculous that initially I dismissed it... until I realized that having four-toed people on the Island was even more ridiculous.

Part of me would hate for Lost to take such a "cheesy" out for the four-toed statue, having our Skipping Survivors worshipped as Gods for inventing fire or something, and having statues built to honor them - but part of me would also hate for us to find that the ancient people on the Island were four-toed freaks that lead to the whole 4-8-15-16-23-42 Numbers.

I guess I have no opinion on it yet, since I can't find a theory that I actually like.

Anonymous said...

As awesome as it would be, I don't think they can do the whole season 1 Locke is actually skipping Locke since his scar is pretty much healed now.

TheycallmeVic said...

Brian I don't like the theory either. But I do have to say, I never thought of it as there being 4 toed people on the island before, but a 4 toed man that did something heroic enough for them to create a statue out of him.
Doesn't necessarily mean they worshipped him or anything, just that he was so important to them, kind of like the Lincoln memorial, etc.

I also don't know what to make of the Faraday 4 toes theory, simply because of the bad photoshop job on that picture (it does seem deliberate though).

Either way, we're supposed to learn more about that statue this season, I trust the producers/writers that it'll be good.

Anonymous said...

Brian, great analysis. But what about the Cindy/Zac/Emma storyline? Are they jumping through time? Are they still at "The Temple"

If they aren't jumping through time, why isn't Juliet?


Anonymous said...

Yep, I agree with Ellie/Eloise being Faraday's mom. And while those characters are aligning through time... what about a couple more? What if Penny & Desmond's child Charlie turned out to be our drowned-but-not-forgotten castaway Charlie? And what if Miles turns out to be the child we saw at the opening of last week's episode - son of the Asian scientist in the Orientation films? Still waiting for Ben's childhood friend Annie to show up somewhere... maybe Butcher Jill?

cjhadley said...

the part about seeing scenes from past episodes in a different view. on the preview for next week it showed locke and the other skippers looking at a beam of light shooting into the sky what if it is a scene from when the find the first station and are trying to get into it and locke beats on the door and a light comes on. does anyone else remember that scene?

Anonymous said...

One more possible "connection"... now that Penny & baby Charlie are going with Desmond, what if they turn out to be the island's skeletons in the cave known as "Adam & Eve"?

Anonymous said...

This is great!

Especially one thing you wrote got me all WHOA-esque. That some scenes in previous episodes would be reinterpreted due to visits by the skippers, that I had anticipated. But I only imagined that they would hide in the bushes and obeserve. But that Locke etc in some old scene could actually be skipping-Locke! That would be a thrilling way to knit together the story even more.

I agree re the uncertain status of the others (formerly known as originals). But it seems unlikely that Alpert is the only island native. He repeatedly hints at being part of a chain of command. And we've seen some other seemingly high-rank characters earlier in the show (te.g. he white haired "sheriff" that made a ruling over Juliet).

Anonymous said...

About Widmore and his island: maybe over time his memory got a bit distorted, or he thinks he should have been the next leader and not Ben, and he thinks more and more of the island as HIS island.

Interesting observation about Juliet, she doesn't seem to be the least concerned as if she has been going through it all before...

Rebecca said...

Great analysis Brian! I think the writers have done an excellent job creating such a complex storyline but keeping it (almost) easy enough for us to follow & figure out.

I hope we do find out more behind things like the numbers that seemed like such a focus, maybe they don't mean anything and were just there to distract us but they seemed to repeat too many times - at least in important areas like the being engraved on the hatch & in a distress call that Hurley heard via crazy guy in the institution.

As far as time skipping and our current Losties running into 2004 Losties I hope we don't see too much of that. Would it make sense if current Sawyer were talking to past Kate and he just disappeared in front of her, but then she sees past Sawyer at the camp - that could get really confusing for the Losties & us if we had to look at past seasons to figure out which character we were seeing. Maybe something 'fixes' the time skip before the plane crashes?

I was trying to figure out how many times the Island moved on Ms. Hawking's board but couldn't tell. If it continues moving in space how could characters like Tom travel to & from the island without getting lost along the way? Or like you said maybe it's a risk they take?

I think you're right that Ellie is Faraday's mom and Widmore is Penny's dad - no other relation. It would add more twists to the storyline but doesn't add up.

As far as good vs. evil, it's definitely not clear cut. I think it could end up that Ben & Widmore both have the same intentions - saving/protecting the island/world from exploding but have different ways of doing it. At some point Widmore must have thought that he had 'rights' to the Island if he claimed that it was always his. Maybe it was always his since Ben was on the Island, Widmore could have been in the 'application process' of becoming the next leader but then Alpert saw something special about Ben (or had an encounter with the time skippers) and chose him instead??

Thanks for your notes about Jughead, I didn't think it could have been in the hatch because a nuke does more damage than a purple light but the Orchid seemed to make sense. Maybe the location of the Orchid was built around the cemented Jughead by Dharma at a later date?

Also, a thought on Locke's convo with Alpert & getting off of the Island and having to die to convince the O6 to return to the Island. I think that Locke somehow got off of the Island (either by FDW - which could explain the 70 hour deadline somehow, it's only allowed so many turns?? OR in some Other way of traveling) then talked to the O6 trying to convince them to return and then did what Alpert told him he would have to do - die. The newspaper article that Jack saw makes sense, he committed suicide for a greater cause, so the O6 would return and save the Island/world.

PS I know Island isn't a proper noun but I think it's a character all in it's own. =]

Rebecca said...

PS Sorry for such a long comment. =]

Unknown said...

Well, about the numbers:

I think it is all revealed after season 2, in the Lost Experience. They are the CONSTANTs in "the valenzetti equation" that is predicting the remaining time of men-existance and they are only related to Dharma, not directly to the island.

but since they are constants in an equation, and also time travellers have to have a "constant", should there be a correlation? I don't know.

BTW, Great work Brian!

Dana said...

Great thoughts, as always, Brian. You sparked this one in me. I’d love to hear what you think about it.

What if the reason it is so important for the entire Oceanic 6 to return to the island is that they must change what happened when they left the island. They were “never supposed to leave.” What if them returning is the universe’s way of “course correcting,” and they have to go back in time and change it so that they don’t leave? Then once that correction occurs, time quits jumping because they fixed what went wrong.

Unknown said...

Nice work Brian, you almost take the fun out of watching the show by predicting everything that is going to happen. almost.

Anyway, i think the Jughead is definitely buried in Desmond's hatch. Think about it:

-there is a 10 foot thick concrete wall protecting 'something'
-the hatch says 'quarantine' on it
-they have to wear chemical suits to walk around the area

As Faraday said, the bomb is leaking radioactive chemicals. If it were buried, it would still be leaking those chemicals and adding pressure to the area that was containing it. Desmond's job in the hatch was to slowly vent those chemicals to prevent them from creating too much pressure behind the concrete wall.

I'm still not sure exactly what turning the failsafe key did though. But if the bomb were to detonate, it would emit an electromagnetic pulse that would have been detected by Penny's surveylance station. If the bomb were buried deep enough, i'd imagine its detonation wouldn't cause too much damage. After all, subterranean testing of nuclear weapons is the only method currently allowed because it is the safest. I did a little research on Wikipedia (which i know is never 100% accurate), but it says that if the bomb is buried at a sufficient depth, it wouldn't create much more than a small crater when detonated, and it wouldn't release any radioactive chemicals above ground.

Well those are my thoughts, let me know what you think.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Re Victor's question of why Widmore was called Jones...

Just as the Others were living in the tents of the American soldiers, they were probably also using their equipment and clothing - thus Widmore happened to wear the uniform of a soldier named Jones - and as the viewer we assumed that was his name. It was a very clever Lost diversion of springing the surprise of who he really was.

Anonymous said...

Very Thorough!

One thing I thought of while reading this is.. and it's not very logical.. but I have to mention it. Could John have met his future self in season 1? At least to get a message of come sort? Even if it was carried by another messenger(like smoke monster)

Anonymous said...

Could it be that locke has to die to break the time loop?

Anonymous said...

Question about the time loop theory:
When skipping-Faraday visited past-Desmond in the hatch at the back door, didn't that memory get implanted into Desmond's head at that exact moment? And that's why Desmond just "remembered" it in his "dream" when he woke up next to Penny? If this is the case, wouldn't that mean that 2004 Alpert suddenly had the "memory" of Locke telling him about him becoming the Leader, and 1956 Alpert wouldn't know about it?

Did any of that make sense? Basically, did Desmond's memory of Faraday get implanted in 04, when Faraday actually skipped back and told him, or did he just forget that Faraday ever visited him in 01until he "dreamed" it in the first episode this season?

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Anon at 11:37 pm... the show has said or implied many times that Desmond is "different" in regards to time-traveling abilities. I'm not 100% what is means, but as Faraday put it "he doesn't follow the rules"

Anonymous said...

The thing with the four-toed statue is that it looks like the four toes are normal--the big toe looks as big as it should, and the other side looks flush. In other words, it doesn't look like any toes are missing.

Anonymous said...

as for Juliet, I hope the writters elaborate on her lack of concern demenor. She is hip to the entire issue of time travel reflected by her knowing about Albert and doesn't seem concerned about the time skipping. Also, be reminded how she stood down Smokey in previous season!

Anonymous said...

Jason: re: the Hatch. That doesn't really explain the electromagnetism going haywire if the numbers weren't entered. Also, the bomb wasn't leaking radioactive chemicals, it was leaking radioactivity. And again, why would they haul an unstable nuclear bomb all the way over close to the beach? Plus, the Swan hatch was built by Dharma, not by the Others... what reason would Dharma have to either know about the bomb explicitly or to build a station to control it somehow? It just makes no sense.

Steve said...

I don't see a time loop. I see Brians logic, but it's not logic at all. But this is the 12 monkees time example again.

The string has a loop in it, but time continues. Man goes back to save the world but it was actually his going back that caused the events that led to him going back to save it.

This has always been my time theory, that any time travel that happened would have had to be part of the normal flow of time.

Point being, Locke goes back and influences his future, which inevitably sends him back in time. But the loop is closed at this point. Locke isn't 'stuck' in a loop, he's moving forward.

He's moving forward, he doesn't need to die to get out of it. He's still going forward, when the island stops skipping, his timeline or 'string' will continue from that point on. Apparently, that is somehow 2007/2008 and being dead.

I have to say I'm very pleased at where they're going with this. Hero's abused it. That show could be the worst use of time travel logic wise as any, and believe me, there are a lot of bad time travel stories out there.

At least Back to the Future was comical, and Dr Who explains it's insantity with multiple strings or 'alternate' timelines and parallel universes. Terminators logic was always bad as well. The classic "i'm coming back to save the world" but if you save the world you would never have had to come back to save it. Damon and Charlton have stated these scenarios many many times as what they're NOT going to do. And to run things into the ground, they've also mentioned 12 monkees as a model of how it's done right.
I was very worries with the desmond skipping, but I think he's unique.. the rules don't apply to him.

I'm hanging on and enjoying the ride!

brett said...

> characters would suddenly have memories of their interaction with our Skipping Survivors in the past -

Seems like this is exactly what happened to Desmond - he wakes up on the boat and suddenly has a memory of Faraday talking to him in the hatch.

> There aren't two timelines, one where Locke shows up and talks to Alpert in 1954 and one where he doesn’t.

But aren't there two Desmond timelines - one where Faraday talks to him and one where he doesn't?

Anonymous said...

Found the following on a blog on the WWW. It made me think of how the Others are not really the Others but rather they are (as Juliet stated) The Enlightened.

"A Prayer for the Future
I want to live forever. Forever. I want to smile at pretty girls at a picnic in the country on a hot summer day. I want to sip cappuccino while watching the sunset in Nice. I want to swim in a black sea with the gibbous moon overhead and bottomless depths below. I want to do these things again. And again. And again. I am not alone. You out there. I need to tell you something. You are going to die. So am I. can live forever. Follow me and I will tell you how.

Forget the myths of ages past. Forget the Volcano god called Jahweh. Forget Isis who is Mary. And Hercules the son of god and his miracles who rose from the dead and ascended to heaven. Forget the sincere hopes of tribal horsemen 6000 years dead. We will talk with them one day and they will thank us for abandoning their false gods.

Put aside the imprint of the ages and quickly you will see that the life eternal is not going to be found in the folk tales of dead civilizations. The victors write the history. The victors also write the religion and I want no part of a religion written by Constantine the ‘great’ or Innocent III whose general Simon de Montfort coined that great phrase “Kill them all, god will know his own”. Yet long after we have outgrown Santa and Zeus and Jesus, life eternal will still await.

Here is but one possibility. One possibility in a sea of hope. But it rests on many, many ‘ifs’. If we don’t let religion kill science. If we get off the planet before it is smashed by a meteor or flash fried by a gamma ray burst or decimated by our own foolish actions. If we inspire imagination and creativity. If we can restrain our violent nature. IF IF IF IF. Then we shall live.

And now I am going to talk about stones. And ponds. Are you confused yet? Shhhh, don’t interrupt you’ll make me lose my flow. When you drop a stone in a pond it creates a ripple. If you throw another stone the ripples meet and mix. The overlapping ripples create interference patterns. And the amazing thing about these patterns is that they contain all the information of their origin. If you look carefully at the pattern you can unwind time. You can read the past. By looking at the interference pattern you can find out exactly where those stones fell, how big they were, how fast they fell. All the information you can imagine. The amazing thing is: waves remember. Now think on this. We are all composed of quantum particles. Quarks and Electrons. Just Bosons and Leptons. Each of which can be conceived as a wave. And these waves are constantly mixing and interacting and interfering with each other and everything else. And it is possible that the waves remember.

Today we can clone a sheep. We can take a cell and produce an exact genetic copy of a living being. Cloning is not science fiction it is science fact. Today we believe that there is a zero point field. A pond for our living stones.

A thousand years from now. We may finally be able to read that field. And in it will be you and me. Everything we ever did. Everything we ever thought. Every blemish and zit and memory. A soul for the scientist. A thousand years from now our children’s children will be able to read our DNA from the field and clone it anew. They will be able to replicate the pattern of our consciousness, and you and I will awake. Why you ask? Because everyone who ever lived has dreamed of life eternal. Because everyone is fighting the same war. We are comrades in arms scattered over a million years of evolution. And one day. We will win. On that V-day we shall be reborn. To smile at pretty girls on hot summer days. And swim in dark waters. And see sights unknown to all for now. I am but a peasant in this war. And perhaps we won’t win with the pond. Or the ripple. But we will win. The future is greater than we can imagine.

And all we have to do is pray. Pray that we can learn to believe in the potential of the human mind. Pray that we can abandon the beliefs that will kill all tomorrows. Pray that we will come to understand that life eternal awaits us all...but that it will not be given to us. We will have to earn it."

Anonymous said...

anonymous 2:13...

are you imlpying that the island is in fact "Neverland" and maybe the others are "lostboys/lostgirls"???

Is Jacob "Peter Pan"???

Anonymous said...

Is there a chance that the "flashbacks" in the earlier seasons were actually time skipping? I know they were always labeled as flashbacks, but that might explain how Desmond just happened to walk by Charlie on the streets of London (?) in an earlier flashback.

I also think there is a distinction between "time skipping" and "time travel". It seems to me that the only people "skipping" are the few crash survivors (are Locke and Sawyer the only ones left?), the 3 from the freightor and Juliett. The Oceanic 6 do not appear to be skipping back in the real world and those "island originals/Others" also appear to be stuck in time - including Richard.

These "skips" seem to be random in their timing, length and landing point (if it is not random, then who or how are they controlled?).

But there also seems to be "time travel", which I would call an intentional trip to a specific place in time and to a geographical location. As far as I can tell, Richard is the only one who has the ability or power to control his trips, as evidenced by his trips to see Locke in his youth. Obviously in 1954, he has no idea that he will eventually acquire this power.

Back to the skipping. The fact that it affects certain people and not all people indicates there must be a fundimental difference between Widmore and Juliett, Miles and Sawyer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian, my comments:
- The Lost writers (in the somewhat obscure way that they do give us ‘answers) have told us that the Island has moved in space more than once by way of the Mrs Hawking Pendulum map with the various star markings on it.
- The discussion about Skipping Survivors encountering themselves is great as I’ve always thought this is what was going on especially when we’d see Locke being so wise and cool one minute (eg encounter with Ben in Man from Tallahassee) then well just a bit dumb the next (eg encounter with Ben at start of Eggtown).
- Think what proved Locke was the leader was when he crashed on the island and was healed – remember Richard saying how impressed they all were about that and that he was therefore very special.
- Brian I believe you’re still right that Widmore has financial interests in the island in that he saw the island’s external potential and went off island to start Dharma but then Ben came along later and purged Dharma (‘you took away what was mine’). Reminder Widmore knew about Orchid, Tempest – Dharma built facilities – therefore he is Dharma.
- Juliet is just a cool girl – she knows things but not everything. She seemed just as shocked as Sawyer about the time skipping in the first episode.
- Anybody else annoyed that Charlotte is so lame in this season –what’s happened to the gutsy gal she was?
- Question do you think O6 need to be there to stop Jughead going off – hence the urgency and the 70 hour deadline business?

Anonymous said...

Is is just a coincidence that Widmore is loaded off the island. Rich & powerful, and connected as well as Ben - master of karate with his stick - multiple passports and also loaded as Miles indicated. Both claiming ownership of the island, both being very well off in the real world. Did the island make them rich? I dont know. hmmm.

Matt said...

Had a theory to throw out - and Brian, you touched on it a little bit: What if there is a mind, body and spirit fr the island? Jacob is obviously the mind, Alpert is the Body (which you mentioned as well, Brian), and the Smoke Monster is the Island's Spirit, protecting itself from outsiders.

Just a thought - Love this week's analysis!

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm a week or so behind, but thought I'd add one small point here. I think the reason Richard's crew chopped of a hand from new arrivals to the island (those who stumbled across it with no knowledge of what it was) was to convince them to join his group and accept him as their leader. When the hand grows back, I think most folks would do just about anything Richard asked of them!