Posted by SonyaLynn on Saturday, February 7th, 2009 at 9:38 am - filed under Lost Recaps, Lost Theories - (23) Comments
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Dancing on the strings of time

(Author’s Note: Before reading my piece below, read imfromthepast’s very well-written piece, “Time Travel for Dummies.” Then, read or re-read the Wikipedia article on Predestination Loops you should have read in a previous post of mine. I’ll wait.)

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger after “Jughead” and its potentially explosive reveals, the Lost timeline has somehow managed to get even more tangled and snagged thanks to “The Little Prince.” Unlike other writers whose recaps I’ve seen, I’m afraid I had to familiarize myself with the episode’s namesake novella as best possible via Wikipedia. As a former Comparative Literature major, I hang my head in shame.

Consequently, outside of the obvious analogy of Aaron to the titular Little Prince, I’m going to leave the literary allusions to that book to other, better-read individuals.

It’s a good thing so very much more was was going on, then. The predestination loop elements have clarified slightly, some characters tried a radical new thing called open communication, and Jack screwed things up with Kate even more…yay! ‘Sides, it’s not like Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land really seemed to have too much to do with the episode that bears its name:-P Shall we? Let’s.

I am the eye in the sky, looking at you…

I always feel like somebody's watching me!Before we get to the brain-melting, fangirl-squee-inducing stuff, let’s start with something much, much simpler. Revenge. It just never seems to be a good idea on this show, now does it. And right now, even more than Ben, revenge is embodied by the new Sun 2.0, Extra Vicious™.

So Sun wasn’t the mysterious client represented by one Dan Norton, Esq. In retrospect, I was clearly over-thinking things last week and ended up double-crossing myself to avoid the obvious conclusion that it was Ben just trying to pry Kate loose from domestic bliss to get her back with the rest of the Oceanic Six. Can’t win ‘em all…but that’s why we all love this show, right? (By the way, nice red herring on Brian Vaughan’s & Melinda Taylor’s parts catching us off-guard with Claire’s mum and having Jack nearly spill the O6 beans. I can’t help but wonder if an off-Island “Oceanic 815 Truth” movement spearheaded by friends and family of all the 815 passengers — the Littletons, the Dawsons, the Reyeses, etc. — might not yet end up being a prominent story element, even after the O6 and other Island refugees find their way back. If anything, its flames would be fanned by the O6’s sudden disappearance.)

But Sun still got to have her own chocolaty part of the episode’s intrigue after finding a rather unusual surprise of a gun at the bottom of her Godiva assortment. Somewhere, Chekhov is smiling on the Lost writers’ room! Couple that with surveillance reports and photos concerning Jack and Ben, and Lady Vengeance is all coiled to strike…just as soon as she gets Aaron to drop off to sleep in the back seat.

However, thanks to the delightful dual-reveal of Danielle Rousseau’s team of French Science(?) All-Stars and Jin’s “live” status, we now know for sure what many of us suspected since the bad ship Kahana blew up in last season’s finale: Her vengeance is pointless, albeit quite understandable.

As much as I’ve enjoyed seeing newly badass Sun take over Paik Heavy Industries and cast her lot with Charles Widmore in post-Island life, Sun has clearly not had the evolution that Jin has over the course of the series (the latter of which being a big argument from the “no, Jin is dead” camp from last year since characters who exorcise their demons do have a way of dying on Lost). She has yet to learn to let go of her demons and it’s going to hurt people. Herself, Jin, and Ji Yeon, certainly. The other O6ers and Island Refugees, probably. Many more, possibly.

Jin has become worthy of Sun over the first four seasons of Lost, but now Sun needs to become worthy of the reformed Jin and of Ji Yeon. I’m rooting for her here, but there’s entirely too much of a possibility she ends up like poor Michael and that scares me.

Getting back to Widmore, what’s his game in trying to have Sun kill Ben? Isn’t that against “the rules?” Hm. Let’s ponder what we’ve learned about those rules.

The first rule of Fight Club is, “you do not talk about Fight Club.” The second rule of Fight Club is, “you do NOT. TALK. ABOUT FIGHT CLUB!”

You did NOT just say 'really bad jet-lag,' boyo...The interactions between our time-tripping Lostaways and various parties in 1954, 1988 and other past times so far have proven that the on-Island Others, Widmore, Hawking, probably Faraday, and possibly more tell us that certain people have known about the crash of Oceanic 815 in 2004 and its survivors for a very long time. Given that we know there are some ground-rules in the temporal chess match between Widmore’s camp and the Others, I think we need to start delineating them. And I don’t mean agreements or concessions here, I mean hard and fast rules, the penalty for breaking which would inspire the now-common phrase, “God help us all.” What do we know so far?

Observation #1: Some events are known and cannot be changed even if you want to.

To quote old, reliable Vonnegut from Slaughterhouse-Five, “the moment is structured that way.” If an event is known to have happened, then it needs to happen or we’re in “crossing the streams” territory. Do not make Eloise Hawking come over there and scowl you to death, because you know she’ll do it. So, if events looked to us back in seasons 1-4 as if they’d conspired to put these people on that plane (or boat in Desmond’s case, or submarine in Juliet’s), it’s because there was a conspiracy to put them there.

This is why Ben sounded almost as though he was reading it from a script as he said, “there may actually be survivors” as he watched 815 crash in “A Tale of Two Cities.” He’d been rehearsing for that moment his whole adult life. It’s also why people like Ben, Alpert, Hawking, and Widmore kept their secrets even from their own associates and loved ones. It’s bad enough they themselves have to endure knowingly being puppets on fate’s strings knowing full well that they lacked the ability to change even what they might want to change, or that any achievement of theirs was fated, leeching away any satisfaction they might have taken from them…they would never have burdened the ones they cared about with that knowledge. Take a moment to reflect on just how corrosive that kind of knowledge can be. Just going a spoiler too far on “Through the Looking Glass” was enough to seriously disappoint me, so magnify that to the point where you know your life is a cosmic joke. As Sawyer so pithily observed, “Time travel is a bitch!”

That Locke appeared to feel no temptation to counsel his past self despite knowing his exact location on that night, even seeing it advertised in the night sky (and how cool was that?), gives me all kinds of hope that he’ll be necessary to the endgame, requiring the ultimate miracle in a life defined by them: resurrection. More on this later.

Observation #2: The existence of a wild-card implies the possibility to change the future beyond known events. That’s the ultimate prize.

Poor Charles Widmore. For all his dislike of Desmond Hume, he had to not only let Des date his daughter and enter his sailing race, he had to ensure it happened. Desmond’s “wild-card” nature meant that he required more forceful manipulation than the rest, given that the universe would “course-correct” to ensure the actions of the other Lostaways. (And doesn’t that put a very interesting spin indeed on Hurley’s epic-scale misfortunes? The universe or the Island had to intervene big-time to deal with Hurley’s inadvertent causality-hack of using the Numbers to play the lotto.)

What’s more, I put it to you that whichever side more successfully manipulates Desmond (and it could ultimately be Desmond himself, for all we know) will end up winning what they really want: the chance to actually affect the future.

Desmond’s actions have been crucial to enabling the trips to the past by a) turning the fail-safe key which made the Island visible to Penny’s listening station, and b) keeping Charlie alive long enough to shut down the Looking Glass Station’s jamming signal. These allowed Widmore’s freighter to first find the Island’s current coordinates and let the crew know Naomi had successfully landed on the Island, paving the way for Daniel’s team and Keamy’s mercs to arrive and the Oceanic 6 to leave.

All this had to happen or the time-trips wouldn’t. It’s prologue, already written and immutable. That there is uncertainty beyond a certain date in time must also follow, or there would be no game to be played.

But something was already different by the time we got to “The Shape of Things to Come,” or Ben wouldn’t have been so shocked by Alex’s death. It was clear from his reactions that this was not foreseen, that if anything Ben “knew” to the contrary.

I suspect this is why Others had such an interest in “special” kids like Walt, who seems to have the innate ability to manipulate probability around him in small ways that are desirable to him: for his thrown knife to his its target, for the backgammon dice to go his way, or for the bird he wants to see to fly into his own window. Clearly, they hoped to find a “wild card” they could indoctrinate from an early age. Ditto the DHARMA Initiative’s efforts on parapsychology.

My prediction here is that the time beyond which events are “known” is not too long after the Oceanic 6 return to the Island. Why else would Ben be so keen to hitch a ride? He knows they have to go back even if he doesn’t know the details.

Observation #3: Ben’s Others, Widmore, and Hawking had very incomplete data from the recorded time-trips and have worked extremely hard to extrapolate the rest. They now know how to map causality like nobody’s business.

Isaac Asimov created the fictitious science of “psychohistory” for his landmark Foundation series. It was the science of predicting what humans in large enough numbers — societies, basically — would do for centuries and millennia into the future with pinpoint accuracy. I assert that certain characters have likewise mastered the arts of extrapolating both backwards and forwards along the timeline of smaller groups and individuals, with Eloise Hawking and Daniel Faraday probably being the most accomplished practitioners of this science. The very odd, specialized nature of Hawking’s equipment and equations in her short scene with Ben in “The Lie” really drove home the parallel with Asimov’s psychohistory. Both Ben and Widmore act deferent toward Hawking, and this is probably why. It’s also why I suspect her and Faraday of having their own agenda, particularly where Desmond is concerned.

This explains the extreme subtlety and convolution of each “player’s” machinations. It explains the exhaustive level of detail in the Others’ dossiers on the 815 survivors. If speculation about Dan being Hawking’s son and Miles being Pierre Chang’s son are correct it could also explain why they were given names different from their parents’, so that Ben and possibly Widmore as well would be unaware of their true identity and role in the script of our little play. Heck, Miles might not even know his own true identity, given that he seems to have logged Island-time of which he’s unaware according to Dan’s Unified Nosebleed Theory. What does this imply for Charlotte then, hmm?

Finally, I think it also explains the need for Locke at the end because of his prodigious intuitive grasp of strategy. Somehow, some way, John Locke is going to make a brilliant move that trumps all the decades-long machinations of the rest once he understands the game better.

Communication breakdown, it’s always the same. I’m having a nervous breakdown…drive me insane!

What, there's no melatonin for time travelers?If there’s one thing on Lost that’s always driven me crazy, it’s the seeming inability of our Lostaways to share sufficient information with one another. The Others, at least, I can understand…they’ve got this whole time-travel cover-up thing going on, after all. But you’d think that, after all the things that have happened to them on Mystery Frickin’ Island, our heroes would have learned that silence really does equal death. Instead, they act like a bunch of riverboat gamblers, playing their cards so close to their vests even they can’t see their own hands rather than treating their fellow survivors like people on whom their lives depend.

But this episode finally had our characters open up to one another the way they should have been doing all along, or at least starting as soon as they realized just how bizarre their crash-site actually was.

Locke told Sawyer the story of banging on the hatch door and thinking the light coming out of it had more significance than there just being someone living in the Hatch. Sawyer told Juliet about seeing Kate and Claire delivering Aaron. Miles told Dan he was having a nosebleed. Jack tells Kate about Sayid’s would-be captor (wanna bet he’s working for Ben, too, serving the same function toward Sayid that lawyer Norton did for Kate, namely to flush him out into the open?). Of course, he neglected to tell her up-front about Ben, but hey…baby-steps, right? And he’d already shaved off that chin-badger, so we’ll cut him just a little slack despite being a dupe and a maker of Jackfaces.

Even Ben came clean about being Norton’s client as soon as he came face to face with Kate. Imagine that. Now, is it just me or has he seemed awfully…improvisational…since turning that Frozen Donkey Wheel? He’s let an awful lot hinge on his ability to directly persuade the O6 et al of their need to return to the Island. That he was temporarily outmaneuvered by Hurley should have everyone’s jaw on the floor, if you think about it. Though, that said, he’s almost certainly had his trump card over Sun of knowing Jin’s alive ever since he stole Alex from Rousseau then learned all the details about Jin after 815 crashed and he got his lists from Ethan and Goodwin, putting two and two together.

All I can say is that our Lostaways had better keep up this kind of open exchange of information because if they don’t, they’re going to end up someone’s pawns for sure rather than the captains of their own destinies.

La mer, des reflets changeants sous la pluie…

So young, so pretty, so not insane yet.At last, we have visual confirmation of at least some of Danielle Rousseau’s story as she related it to Sayid all the way back in “Solitary.” Yes, her crew did hear the radio broadcast of the Numbers emanating from the Island. Yes, they really were stranded by their dashed ship to wash ashore on the Island. Yes, Alex was a precious little bump in Danielle’s belly. They also just happened to pick up a time-displaced Jin, floating on a bit of flotsam from the Kahana.

And seriously, how awesome was it that the writers managed to make all the fan-geeks squeal with delight at seeing and hearing the long-awaited French team only to actually manage to trump that with the reveal of Jin still being alive? Audacious! Well played, Vaughan and Taylor, well played, indeed. Also, while I love Mira Furlan to death, it was kind of nice to have a Danielle Rousseau with an actual French accent.

Given that the next episode is entitled “This Place is Death,” I can only imagine that we’re also going to see the “sickness” and death of everyone in that party except for Rousseau, who is driven mad by slaughtering her compatriots and by the theft of her newborn daughter, and for Jin, who gets to time-warp out of there and presumably reconnect with his fellow Lostaways. Though somehow I’m sure there will be a bit more to it than that, n’est-ce pas?

We’ve got to go back…to the future!

Looks like the Island recycling program is picking up...Our first flash of the future — well, the first one of which we’re completely sure…I suspect that the jump where Alpert was Johnny-on-the-spot for Locke was also to the future, if only a near one — certainly looked grim, didn’t it. The camp was in ruins, the DHARMA beer had been drunk, Vincent’s leash was there without any sign of our golden friend, and strangers in outrigger canoes were shooting at our heroes.

That we finally got our first in-show appearance of Ajira Airways on the found water-bottle was rather telling here. Somewhere down the line, another airliner is going to crash on or around the Island.

I wonder who could have been on that plane in addition to the O6 that would do that to the 815ers’ camp. The exchange of gunfire could very well have been between time-shifted Lostaways, though likely not future versions of the same ones who were in Locke’s appropriated canoe. They would never have given chase and opened fire if that were the case because they’d remember.

But I also don’t think that any future-version Lostaways would have devastated the beach camp like that. No, there’s got to be someone actively antagonistic to the Lostaways on that Ajira flight, and they can’t help but figure prominently down the line as the story plunges into the (relative) future for our on-Island characters for whom it should be January of 2005.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this particular question isn’t fully answered until at least the latter half of this season, if not in Season 6.

That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet with strange aeons even death may die.

For all your soul-transference needs!Finally, the jumbo-sized easter egg. If you read this blog (or any of the other big Lost blogs) with any diligence, you’re already well aware that the company name on the side of Ben’s cargo van, “Canton-Rainier,” is an anagram for “reincarnation.” 

I find the choice of  the word “reincarnation” over the word “resurrection” there very telling. Reincarnation very specifically means the return of the same soul in a new body after death rather than the reanimation of an existing dead body. Maybe I’m nitpicking and going overboard with this a bit, but it inclines me to think that this is not to do with Locke, who I still very much think (and hope!) is going to be resurrected rather than reincarnated. 

Instead, I actually think it has to do with the leadership of the Others. As we all should know by now, the test administered by Alpert to young Locke to determine whether or not he was destined to lead the Others as time-traveling Locke had asserted was very similar to that administered by Tibet’s Panchen Lama to children who might possibly be the new incarnation of the Dalai Lama.

This makes me wonder if Ben and/or Widmore might not be slated to die so that one of the Lostaway babies — Aaron, Ji Yeon, or Charlie…but probably Aaron — could end up the Once and Future King of New Otherton™. And, lest there be any moaning about overlapping lifetimes, let’s not forget that we’re dealing with a show which now features corporeal travel through time rather than just consciousness-travel a la “Flashes Before Your Eyes” and “The Constant.”

That ought to be enough to chew on until next Wednesday. ;-)

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23 Responses to “Looking at the Little Things — 5.04 “The Little Prince””


  1. SonyaLynn says:

    Section head attributions:

    “I am the eye in the sky, looking at you…” —Alan Parsons Project, “Eye in the Sky”

    “The first rule of Fight Club is, ‘you do not talk about Fight Club.’ The second rule of Fight Club is, ‘you do NOT. TALK. ABOUT FIGHT CLUB!'” —Fight Club (I know…thank you, Captain Obvious!)

    “Communication breakdown, it’s always the same. I’m having a nervous breakdown…drive me insane!” —Led Zepplin, “Communication Breakdown”

    “La mer, des reflets changeants sous la pluie…” —Charles Trenet, “La Mer” as heard in Lost ep. 1.12, “Whatever the Case May Be”

    “We’ve got to go back…to the future!” —Back to the Future (So shocking, I know!)

    “That is not dead which can eternal lie, yet with strange aeons even death may die.” —H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

  2. zach says:

    “Though somehow I’m sure there will be a bit more to it than that, ne c’est pas?”

    The correct French is “n’est-ce pas ?”
    (I’m French, by the way.)

    And thanks for your article.

  3. brent says:

    Great post Sonya!

    There was a lot more to discuss in the episode than I first thought. By Lostpedia’s count, we’re now up to 7 flashes since Ben moved the Island. Flashes 2 and 6 do not have right-side boundaries of time. Flash 2 is when Richard tends to Locke’s leg and gives him the compass. Flash 6 is rediscovering the beach camp and taking the outrigger and finding the ajira water bottle. We think that both of these take place some time after the Oceanic 6 leave but it’s not very clear. In fact, it’s intentionally unclear. This season, more than any other, is full of classic misdirections. The idea would be to make the payoffs greater when we get more information down the line.

    The key line of your post is when you hypothesize the point on the timeline when all events cease to be known. This may be one of the biggest keys of the series. Think of it this way. In seasons 1-3, we thought the present was September 22, 2004 to December 2004. Then, in the finale of season 3, we see a present that is in 2007! A prop error led us to April 2007 but I guess it’s more like fall 2007, officially. But now, some of the scenes look like they’re taking place in 2008! OH NOES! So when is the present? I really like your assumption that the present may actually be when the O6 return. By “present” I just mean that no one can know with certainty the events that have yet to pass. Think about if the entire story of LOST is told from a perspective of April 2008 and everything we’ve seen is actually IN THE PAST. Then, if certain characters had knowledge of events up until April 2008, they would have a leg up on characters in say, October 2004, who didn’t, right? For instance, Ben. We know Ben was leaving the Island. A lot. Is it not possible that he knew how to leave the Island in a way that transcended time? We know that bearings play an important role in your Island arrival time. Could Ben have mastered that? Could he have gathered information about our Losties from the Present, moved back to the past, and used that information against them? I believe he could have. But now, Ben seems different. Widmore may have changed the rules and from our viewer perspective, events may be actually occurring in real time. Which means Ben no longer has all the answers and it’s irritating him.

    One of the biggest questions I have right now is did Ben know the ramifications of letting the Oceanic 6 leave at the same time he moved the Island. If my memory is correct, he decided to move the Island BEFORE he decided to let the Jack, Kate, etc. leave. Maybe he hoped they wouldn’t get off before he pushed the FDW? Did he only think he was going to hide the Island from Widmore? Did he not know that moving the Island + letting the O6 leave = disaster for the Island AND maybe the world? This really bothers me. It makes me think that he did not understand what he was doing just that he was supposed to do it. Now he has a big mess to clean up.

    • SonyaLynn says:

      Well, one thing we don’t know is just how much future-knowledge the Others (and Ben in particular) have.

      We do know the time-skipping had to happen since it’s what started everything, so that certainly means the wheel had to get turned. We don’t know that Ben necessarily knew it was going to be himself doing the turning until Locke came out of Jacob’s cabin with the message the the Island had to be moved but not instructions on how to do so.

      I think it’s strongly implied that at least a few cognoscenti knew about the crash of Oceanic 815 thanks to future-knowledge, and given the evidence of a second Ajira Airways plane-crash gathered by Locke, Juliet et al, foreknowledge of that event will also probably be passed along during a future time-skip.

      So yeah, when does the future-knowledge run out? That’s the question. And once it’s answered, you’re quite right that that’s going to finally be the “present” of the series beyond which events are at least unknown to all participants and possibly also changeable thanks to Desmond’s (and possibly Walt’s) influence.

      As far as Ben and the O6, he might very well not have been aware of their implications until consulting with the Delphi Oracle of time, Hawking, off-Island. Some secrets are probably jealously guarded specifically from others with foreknowledge in order to gain an upper hand in the endgame.

      Hell, who knows what Richard kept from Ben, given that he had at least a couple of decades to mull future knowledge before Ben ever came onto the scene? His feeding Locke info about Cooper in S.3 seems every bit as much about manipulating Ben as it is manipulating Locke. That Ben is giving the appearance of less-than-omniscience now certainly didn’t go unnoticed by either of us (though Ben’s improvising is better than most people’s well-laid plans… ;-) ).

  4. Chuck says:

    Something that popped into my head while reading this (poke as many holes as possible):

    What if turning the fail-safe key wasn’t supposed to happen. Daniel said you can’t change the past, but Desmond is special. Turning the fail-safe key allowed the people from the frater to find the island and let the O6 leave. Alex gets killed, thus breaking the rules, because this “never happened” because Desmond didn’t turn the fail-safe key and nobody came to the island. (Sawyer couldn’t bang on the door to the hatch and have Desmond come out because it didn’t happen. Perhaps, because Desmond is Daniel’s constant, that’s why he could come out? Perhaps, that’s why Desmond suddenly remembered it happening, because it didn’t happen originally but now it has happened.)

    The O6 need to return to the island because they weren’t supposed to leave. Ben knew turning the donkey wheel was a means of last resort, maybe because he knew that if anything was different than it was supposed to be, the island would go ballistic i.e. jumping through time. Perhaps, the flashes are the island’s immune system, it’s flashing through time trying to find a time where everything is as it should be.

    Again, this is all off the top of my head, and I think there were things in this article that contradict some of this, but I wanted to put it out there.

    • Chuck says:

      Adding on to this,

      With Locke, Sawyer, Juliette, Daniel, Charlotte, and Miles alive on the island, the island is never going to find a time with the right balance because those 5 aren’t supposed to be in whatever time it goes to. Even if it finds a time that they’re supposed to be there, there will be 2 of them on the island (when Locke didn’t want to go talk to himself on the hatch). Perhaps the nosebleeds are the island’s way of killing off the people that are keeping it unbalanced. Maybe it’s affecting the people that have spent the most time on the island first because they affect the balance of the island more than people who haven’t been on the island as long.

      • SonyaLynn says:

        Well, see other comments re: Des & the fail-safe and Des & Charlie. Those had to happen to precipitate the turn of the wheel and cause the time-jumping. Remember the biggest rule of paradox: no action is allowed that will prevent a time trip from occurring.

        Also, quite to the contrary, all the people doing the time-jumping absolutely had to be there or the time-jumping wouldn’t have happened as we know it did thanks to the past. The timeline we’re in can’t exist without it.

        And forget about Constants. They only apply to consciousness-based time-tripping. Bodily time-travel is a whole different beastie. If all you needed was something you cared about in both time-periods while traveling bodily through time, none of the current time travelers would be having any symptoms except for possibly Miles (’cause he’s kind of a flinty, sarky bastard…and we love him for it! :-P ). Dan & Charlotte do care about one another, as do Sawyer & Juliet (even if just as friends). Locke’s constant could just as easily be the Island itself. But the evidence says it doesn’t work that way. No…I think the nosebleeds are both exactly what Dan thinks they are—a symptom of bodily time-travel, aggravated by Island exposure—and a goad by “course-correction” to do what they need to do during their time-trips in order to make them stop (like Locke leaving the Island on his mission as Jeremy Bentham), lest they die.

        Des & Dan at the Hatch was all about the fact that Desmond is a temporal wild-card. Dan knew that non-Desmond-related changes can’t be made, but Desmond-enabled changes can. Could Sawyer have talked to Des instead of Dan talking to Des? I say “yes!” But I also think that Dan very intentionally persuaded Sawyer to leave before Des answered given that he knew roughly how long it would take Des to get all suited up and get to the door, and he had to implant his message for Des to go see ol’ mum.

        This was very clearly a change in the timeline, just as Des’ actions in “Flashes Before Your Eyes” were a change…just not enough of one to significantly alter his timeline by not dumping Penny, joining the Army, going to the Island, etc.

        The O6, on the other hand, had to leave and return. Case in point: zombie-Christian telling Locke that Aaron was “where he needed to be” upon Locke questioning Aaron’s separation from Claire in “Cabin Fever.” How could that be if Aaron’s time with “mommy” Kate off-Island wasn’t supposed to happen?

        • Gusteaux says:

          Here’s what has always bothered me about the Des/Dan Hatch scene: If Inman were still alive, he would have suited up and opened the door as he never let Des venture outside. If Inman were already dead, Des would not have put the Haz-Mad suit on as he would have known it was unnecessary. I know it’s a small point, but it bothered me nonetheless.

  5. Ryanguy7890 says:

    What if the new “Lama” leader is Walt?

  6. Andy says:

    Do you guys think Desmond was even suppose to be on the island? Maybe from the minute he landed he began changing events that were suppose to happen, which is what Widmore wanted.

    • SonyaLynn says:

      No…everything that led to the Island’s time-skipping had to happen in order to set things in motion in the past, and that very much includes Desmond’s turning of the fail-safe key. Without that, Penny’s listening station never gets a “ping” off the Island, Widmore’s boat never homes in on it, and the conditions for the O6’s departure and Ben’s turning of the wheel don’t come to pass. Any action that would prevent a time-trip from occurring is, by it’s nature, a paradox.

  7. Hipster Doofus says:

    I think you over-estimate the amount of knowledge that Hawking, Widmore and Ben have about all of the castaways pre-crash. I really don’t think they spent all of their time subtley making sure that everyone was in their place. I think many people really try to dig at anything they can to come up with some sort of omniscient persons on the show, but I think that’s a cop out. Even ageless Richard was ignorant about time travel when Locke showed up. I think things have happened the way they were meant to happen, but I don’t think that there are these time-cops out there who run around knowing exactly what will happen. Like when Ben saw the plane crash: I think he may have known there were survivors because he knew that planes don’t just crash on the island for no reason, but the idea that he actually knew it would crash at that moment and already knew of all the people on the plane….it seems outlandish to me.

    Regarding psychohistory: I’ve always had my own theory that the entire universe is entirely predictable, if you were able to exist outside of it with enough computing ability, and knew enough about the beginning of the universe. Basically, every subatomic particle, at some level, has entirely 100% predictable behavior. Nothing is truly random. If you could map out all of these subatomic particles and their various paths predicted, you could know exactly what every single one of them would do until the end of time. And from there, the rest is easy.

    • SonyaLynn says:

      Oh, I don’t think that Ben, Alpert, Hawking, Widmore, et al are “omniscient” by any stretch, but they did have 50 years to ponder and prepare for this time-loop after being alerted to its existence back in 1954 and it’s been established that Others are exceedingly well-educated and capable individuals by virtue of the rigorous training that they all undertook upon joining Other society. Focusing all that brain-power, time, and motivation on a problem will create characters who certainly look omniscient from the point of view of the Lostaways and of the audience, but I suspect that, much like characters in a Greek tragedy, they’re all just struggling against prophesy as well, only with more knowledge than the rest of us have. (Ben in particular seems quite morose during the last portion of S.4 that he wasn’t able to avoid his fate of turning the wheel and leaving the Island.)

      That Hawking and Widmore were playing “timecop” with Desmond at the very least is now completely established. That characters like Locke (by Abaddon), Jin (by Paik), Claire (by the psychic), Hurley (by rather extreme “course-correction”), and others were manipulated into being on that particular plane is so strongly implied as to be virtually certain.

      Finally, that more information is passed along than we’ve seen so far by means of bodily or consciousness-based time-travel is also known based on instances like Alpert’s convenient appearance to Locke in the jungle with a med-kit and compass, and Hawking’s foreknowledge of Desmond’s original timeline. Not all of that information had to come from the Lostaways, though. We know for a fact that Faraday succeeded in causing consciousness-travel as early as 1996, thanks to Desmond.

      Re: a fully-predictable universe given sufficient data, that thought gets explored more in Asimov’s brilliant short story, “The Last Question.” ;-)

      • Hipster Doofus says:

        I think the only reason that Ben was morose, as you put it, was because he understands the way the island works. Its not that he absolutely knew what was going to happen, but that he understood that if he was supposed to still be in charge, the stars would be aligning in such a way that that seemed evident to him. That didn’t happen, and he simply understood what it meant. Locke hasn’t been studying for 50 years, but he still understands the island in much the same way.

        • Hipster Doofus says:

          But, maybe you’re right about the various people knowingly pushing the Losties towards the plane crash…it just seems a little out there to me. My explanation for that is simply that the island wanted those people so it managed to have a different pull on events. I really don’t like the idea that time travel explains basically every spooky little thing about the history of the show. There’s more to it than that.

  8. Lottery Ticket says:

    Two things that you might want to review that pertains to this discussion. If you LISTEN to the scene with Locke and “Alpert” at Yemi’s plane where “Alpert” removes the bullet, you will clearly HEAR Ben talking. The actions, word choice, and cadence are all BEN. Compare this with the scene off-island where he stitches up Sayid. We think this is a flash future. Locke is given compass and told to bring to ‘me’ (Locke sees Alpert), and therefore, Alpert is mislead by Locke (“I’m your leader in the future, and “Jacob sent me”).

    The cabin scene with Locke enters and receives instructions (we do not hear this conversation) from Christian cannot be taken as instruction from Jacob. There has been a shake up in cabin ownership. Thus, when Locke tells Ben that “he wants us to move the island” Ben assumes Jacob. Again, the nondisclosure of information, and misdirection.

    I am watching this season with my NOT-playing-by-the-rules eyes and ears. I agree that Desmond and/or Daniel is the key. Daniel even says “here’s the key” or “I’m the key” and Desmond physically turned one.

    I can’t help but wonder to what end this game is being played. Capture the island, turn the FDW and THE END. There are just too many people with knowledge of this island for it to remain a secret from the world. So, does it really exist? I may have to flash away from reality theories an into the ‘virtual world’ theory constructs, or, failing that, check into Santa Rosa.

    Enjoy your comments every episode.

  9. brent says:

    I’m really just about out of conjectures until we have some new information this Wednesday. And I’m not usually in the habit of thinking about LOST over the weekend, which is why I love the Wednesday time slot. It always feels like I’m two days away from the next episode. But these first four episodes this season have been so maddening. Not in a bad way, mind you. It’s just that the fragmented storytelling and blatant misdirection is beginning to drive me to pull my hair out. I’m sure it’s all leading to big payoffs in 5×07, the end of Act 1, but man, this is a hard wait.

    Faraday’s comments to Ellie in 1954 re: “We’re from the fuuuuuture” seems to be the event that really starts this whole nonsense. That’s the earliest indication of time travel. Did Faraday KNOW what he was doing?? As has been said up above, Ellie (Eloise), Widmore, Richard, then had 50 years to hone their knowledge of the Island with this critical fact. I really love that it looks like the FDW isn’t just a throwaway one time use element now that we know Locke is heading back there in 1988. Could the FDW become as iconic as the crash of 815? How many times will we revisit it? It’s been surmised that both Locke and Widmore may have pushed the wheel at some point.

    Sonya, I’m still not sure the Oceanic 6 HAD to leave. I’ve thought about everything after their departure as a course correction. Their removal caused a major disturbance in the space-time continuum hence lots of stuff has to happen to bring them back and to bring balance to the Island. There seems to be some indication that if you leave the Island before your work is done, both the Island and your own mind are not “whole.” The Island keeps part of you. As a result, you are drawn back to it. And actually, that may be an element that caused the 815 crash. There were so many people on that flight who had connections to the Island that it was an inevitability. Especially true if you subscribe to the docarzt theory of the 815 crash we saw being the second time through the timeline. Then ALL the survivors had been on the Island before. In the end, I can’t help but think that most, if not all, of the 815 survivors are supposed to stay on the Island. Forever. And by doing so, they’ll save the rest of us who are hanging out in the real world.

  10. Mack says:

    Sonyalynn, your article is a very enjoyable read and I appreciate you taking the time to write it. It was well written, imaginative and funny without being overly cutesy. Another bonus is that I can tell you are a Locke fan as I am.

    Reincarnation or resurrection?
    Consciousness jumping demonstrates, at least within the confines of the Lost-verse and this may be applicable only on the island that the mind and body can separate although this separation may only be possible for short durations without permanent damage or death. What this allows for is reincarnation of some sort. What if the body dies? Shouldn’t the consciousness continue? Where would someone’s consciousness go, into another body perhaps? Could you trap it? If you could tray it, why would someone be motivated to do so? This brings up some interesting ideas about Jacob.
    The concept of reincarnation was there all along.
    When Aaron was born, Boone died. Boone’s death was brought up again in the Little Prince as was the birth of Aaron. The writers may be trying to die the concept of birth and rebirth….reincarnation. I don’t think Boone and Aaron is the same person but I believe the concept of the cycle of birth and rebirth was being highlighted again in the Little Prince for a reason. Reincarnation also fits into the entire theme of Dharma and Buddhism as well as the idea of time looping.
    I also think we ought to reexamine the items test given to Locke by Alpert. We all assume he failed but that conclusion was based on the assumption that Richard was coming from the future to the past and that at least one of the items would be owned by Locke in the future. Now we can safely say after the events in the episode Jughead that this assumption was incorrect. Richard likely believed that the correct choice was the compass and his angry reaction was based on this presumption but he was wrong.
    But I don’t think we should leave that scene for good. Watch it again; Locke places the vial and compass away from the other items. Why would he do that? It is meant for us, the audience. And it is no coincidence that the camera lingers on the Book of Laws, from young Locke’s perspective I might add, for a moment.
    Another question I think is very important is why Locke chose the Knife. The easiest simplest answer is the one I hear a lot, Locke’s character liked knives so naturally he choose the knife. This answer is too simple. The knife is old, even for the fifties. What does that mean? Is this an example of Reincarnation? Are we going to see this again. Have we already seen the next Dali Locke? It is perfectly possible that considering how time is not exactly linear. Has someone been trying to prevent this? When we see what happens to Locke’s body after he is brought back to the island things will become clearer.
    Again, very enjoyable read!

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