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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 01/29/2009

'Lost' Dueling Analyses: Jughead

By Liz Kelly

In which we discuss this week's episode of TV's most confounding show with nary a mention of "Archie" comics (except this one). Share your theories and questions this afternoon at 3 p.m. ET in the "Lost Hour discussion.

Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) gets a closer look at Jughead. (ABC)

Jen: I believe we should start this week's analysis by raising a question once posed by Marty McFly in the time-travel classic, "Back to the Future." And that question is: "Are you telling me this sucker is nuclear?"

We all got a load of Jughead -- the hydrogen bomb located on the island circa 1954, and, coincidentally, the name of this episode. And I think it's safe to assume that said bomb will indeed be buried underground. And that the radiation seeping from it will eventually reach a certain Dharma station and be unleashed by a certain frozen donkey wheel. And, further, that it's the radiation that makes time travel possible.

And if that phrase suddenly has forced the song "Back in Time" by Huey Lewis and the News into your defenseless, little brain, it should. Because the sentence, "It's what makes time travel possible" was also uttered by Doc Brown in "Back to the Future," in reference to the flux capacitor. Which was powered by... plutonium, another radioactive nuclear substance. Just to bring this "Back to the Future" thing full circle, I'll also point out that the year the island flashes to is 1954, not that far off from 1955, the year our buddy Marty rode his DeLorean to in the aforementioned Robert Zemeckis flick.

Oh, and one more thing. "Lost" premiered this season on Jan. 21. And the flux capacitor needs 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to run. 1.21! What does it all mean? Hello, McFly? How am I supposed to know?

Liz: Someone spent her childhood parked in front of HBO. All I can say is I'm glad it wasn't "The Last Starfighter" that you watched ad infinitum. I couldn't handle references to a tarted up intergalactic Robert Preston every week.

But the "BTTF" similarities are indeed hard to deny. Sounds like more of an homage, though, than an actual clue to the unraveling of our tangled web of a story. And if Lea Thompson turns up on the show as a guest star, I may be forced to watch "American Idol."

Moving right along. Last night's episode had me again thinking hard about the Black Rock (that's what she said). If we consider that the frozen donkey wheel at its most basic level, looks much like a ship's wheel or even a capstan -- a device manned by sailors that could either free a stuck anchor or power pumps to empty a waterlogged ship. Which lends some heft to the idea that Richard Alpert and his merry band of armed mercenaries are either crew members from that ship -- or descendants from that ship. So, could the donkey wheel in fact be made from pieces of the Black Rock McGyver-ed into service as a time machine?

Much more after the jump...

The young Charles Widmore (Tom Connolly). (ABC)

Which brings us to the interesting revelation about Charles Widmore. We found out how he knew about the island. He'd been there before. He was the merciless young Alpert acolyte who killed his comrade without hesitation rather than divulge the location of the Others's camp. And with his known interest in the history of the Black Rock (remember that ship's ledger he bought at auction?), well, it does kind of make sense.

Jen: Hang on, I need to back up my DeLorean a second and tackle the first things you said first.

First of all, Chaney so did not have HBO. But I did see "BTTF" multiple times at the theater and approximately 80 bajillion more times on video, hence the strong memories. (Yeah, I had a crush on Michael J. Fox. Go ahead. Make fun.) It's entirely possible all of these references may merely be clever homages, as you said. But I wonder if there really is a message in it, one that contradicts my assertion in last week's analysis that time travel does not work in Marty McFly fashion, where the past can indeed be changed in order to affect the future. Perhaps -- as you have suggested, Liz -- it really does work that way, despite all that Faraday mumbo jumbo. Now on to this Widmore situation...

I love that idea that the ancient ship fuses with modern-day radioactive material in order to completely mess with time. Re: Widmore... I should have totally seen it coming that he was one of the pre-Dharma Brits. But I didn't. So when Alpert dropped the name Widmore, I actually gasped. Like, gasped out loud. I love TV shows that make me gasp.

Liz: Me, too, Jen -- I was always gasping back in the day when "Perfect Strangers" was on the air: "Gasp! How did this make it past the pilot!?!"

Jen: Liz -- don't be ri-deek-ulous.

Liz: Heh. But this definitely adds some depth to Widmore's character. He's not just a twisted businessman out to harness the island's supernatural powers for his own nefarious purposes. He's a possibly centuries-old sailor turned twisted businessman out to harness the island's supernatural powers for his own nefarious purposes.

Oh, and nice touch from the writers placing that abstract painting of a polar bear in Widmore's office (here's a screengrab).

Jen: An abstract painting that contained the word, "Namaste" (the preferred Dharma greeting), no less. I also found it interesting that Widmore was paying for Theresa Spencer's medical bills. And that Faraday mentioned that the gun-toting island native looked like someone else (presumably Theresa Spencer).

That leads me to believe that Theresa and the woman on the island are perhaps related. And that Widmore may have been funding Faraday's research because he wants to get himself -- and maybe Theresa or perhaps her sister, Abigail -- back to that island. You know, so they can go the Enchantment Under the Sea dance in 1955. (Sorry, just can't let it go....)

Liz: But the jump back to 1954 raised another question, this one about our pal Daniel Faraday. Had he actually been to the island before or are the writers just playing with us, using ambiguous lines like, "You just can't stay away, can you?" Is it possible that Faraday had a hand in putting the bomb there in the first place or is he just that smart -- that he'd figured out the island's power source long before his arrival?

Jen: Your assertion regarding Faraday putting the bomb there himself intrigues me. Do you think there are darker sides to our skinny lad than we previously thought?

Liz: Either there's something darker there or the writers are leading us hapless viewers astray on purpose. At this point we can assume that Daniel knows way more than he's revealed to the Losties and even his own freighter colleagues. We know that he's at least been accused of turning Theresa Spencer into a vegetable and that he seems to be the one responsible for the bomb's interment underneath what will eventually become the Orchid station (where we saw him turn up at the beginning of last week's season opener). So either he's got a hidden agenda or he [insert appropriate "BTTF" analogy here].

Now is a good time to re-invoke a few ideas we've explored in past seasons:

First, our favorite read from last year's installment of the "Lost" Book Club, "Watchmen" -- in which we (sorry, spoiler ahead) see the world destroyed by a nuclear blast. Are we being inevitably dragged towards Armageddon courtesy of Jughead and the competing agendas of Charles Widmore and Ben Linus?

Secondly -- the mysterious blast door map, which contained (as I recall) a portion of the Valenzetti equation and a bunch of other scribbles that, in the light of more recent developments, look suspiciously like Daniel Faraday's handiwork.

Jen: Well, the way the island looked when it -- poof! -- disappeared at the end of last season certainly resembled a panel straight out of "Watchmen," didn't it? The possibility of an Armageddon certainly exists, although I would argue that what's happening to the island right now is its version of Armageddon.

And wow, what an awesome call on the blast door map and messages being written by Faraday! I am seriously in love with that idea, though we know that map was created by Radzinsky, who lived in the hatch with Inman in the pre-Desmond days. But we never knew exactly who Radzinsky was. Lostpedia reminds us that he allegedly killed himself, and that Inman had to bury him within 108 minutes.

Liz: Well, he's still an unknown quantity, so it remains within the realm of possibility. And we do know that Daniel had infiltrated Dharma, so who knows...?

Jen: I think it's also notable that some of the notations were in Latin. Which, as we know, is the language used by the island natives. Why Latin ... well, isn't Latin one of the oldest languages on Earth? Based on what Juliet said, they were taught to speak it because it's something that cultured people speak. But I wonder, too, if there is a need to speak it because some of the natives (who never age) are so old that that's the language they know best.

It's also commonly referred to as a "dead" language. And given Miles's flippant comment last night -- "We're so dead," which I think may have a double meaning -- I wonder if that may be a clue of some kind.

Liz: Juliet says they speak it because it is the language of "the enlightened." Is she referring to the Enlightement -- which took place roughly around the time the Black Rock left England or referring to something else? Is it important, I wonder, that Latin is also the language of science, and scientists?

Also, I was interested in Juliet identifying herself as one of the Others. She's not, really, is she? Not in the same sense as Alpert and Co. And I don't think the book club was reading "Carrie" in Latin.

And speaking of Juliet -- does she know more than she's letting on? She said Richard Alpert had always been on the island and was "old."

Jen: True. Juliet said learning Latin was Others 101. Maybe a way for the Others to carry on the traditions of the natives. (And help decode any information they may have left behind.)

Liz: A couple of other details to note, though I'm not sure about the significance yet -- 1. Locke specifically identifies the Others's guns as .30 calibre M1 Garand rifles -- standard issue for many years for the U.S. Army, but also issued to the militaries of other nations. 2. Young Widmore is wearing a uniform emblazoned with the name "Jones." Which connotes that the Others are wearing the clothing belonging to the U.S. soldiers they allegedly killed. Could it be because the clothes they had previously worn were antiquated and threadbare?

Jen: I want to ask a question about Miles, though. Am I the only one who noticed that the dude is starting to turn a little gray?

Liz: Perhaps to look a bit more like his possible father, Dr. Marvin Candle?

Jen: No, seriously, if Miles was the baby we saw in last week's premiere, is it possible that being back on the island is messing with his system?

Liz: I suppose anything is possible. Look what it did to poor Charlotte, who we had also suspected of being born on the island.

Jen: Well, she's got a clear case of Desmond/Minkowski syndrome. But before we switch to Des/Penny, our other big plotline, I think it's worth noting that Miles detected the fresh graves of U.S. soldiers who had died of radiation poisoning. I have to think they are the people responsible for bringing the bomb to the island, either because the government wanted to blow it up or -- door No. 2 -- the government knows about the island's properties and realizes that, if you just add a dash of radiation, voila! It's Doc Brown DeLorean time!

The government is trying to control time and space, Liz. I always KNEW that's what they were up to!

Liz: Well, duh, Jen. There's a guy outside Farrugut West Metro station who could have told you that.

I think that, yes, the soldiers were responsible for trying to recover the bomb or to quell the native population in order for the U.S. to occupy the island. I just hope they weren't told they'd be greeted as liberators.

Jen: Let me just pause and gloat for one brief second. Did I not say many episodes ago that I could see parallels between "Lost" and the current situation in Iraq and the global/political climate? And didn't you -- Liz Kelly -- suggest that I was smoking some serious wacky weed? I'm just sayin'...

But let's talk Desmond now. Because, you know, he looked pretty attractive this week.

Liz: That's as good a reason as any.

Jen: I got a little verklempt when we saw he and Penny give birth to a son. And, toward the end of the episode, when he subtly dropped the bombshell about what his son's name is -- Charlie!! -- I got verklempt again. A gasp and two verklempts -- that's a good episode.

Another thing -- A number of people expressed doubt about our contention last week that Ms. Hawking is Faraday's mother. I think now that Desmond has found out she's in L.A., it's pretty undeniable.

Liz: Agreed.

Some food for thought: I wanted to draw our attention, Jen, to Doc Jensen's show preview from yesterday, in which he forwarded a theory first posited by a scientist named John Wheeler. Here's how he relates it back to "Lost":

Wheeler's theory of a participatory universe leans heavily on Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which contains the idea that the very act of observing impacts what is being observed. With this in mind, recall again that we now have two Dharma stations that were devoted to the act of surveillance: the Arrow, which was tasked with spying on the Island natives; and the Pearl, whose occupants monitored the action in Station 3, the Swan, and recorded every detail. If the observer can affect the observed via the act of observing, consider the implication for these stations: The people inside those hatches could have been manipulating the people and shaping the events they were watching. If this is accurate, we must wonder about the people who could have been in those hatches. If they end up being some or all of our time-traveling castaways, then you have an allegorical dramatization of Wheeler's ''participatory universe'' concept.

I'm not sure where Doc's going with this -- but it does lend a little more credence to the idea that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to time travel, at least for our purposes.

Jen: See, when Doc writes this kind of stuff, I sort of feel like I should charge him for the Advil I will inevitably need to staunch the headache caused by reading this.

I suspect we'll understand what the rules really are as we go. I still think you can't change the outcome of what happens in the very traditional, McFly-ish sense, only because Damon Lindelof said so. And I believe everything Mr. Lindelof states publicly. But the writers are definitely dropping hints that maybe Faraday doesn't totally speak the gospel, as roughly minute 3:44 of this EW video (courtesy again of our muse, Sir/Doc/Jeff Jensen) points out.

Liz: If we've learned one thing in watching this show -- trust no one. Live together, die alone. So, I'll reserve my judgment.

Jen: Can we at least agree that no good can come of Desmond forcing Pen and Charlie to go to L.A.?

Liz: Important distinction: Desmond doesn't force Penny to go. She chooses it.

Jen: Reluctantly.

Liz: Des was prepared to let Daniel's message go undelivered. She has sealed her own fate.

Jen: Hmmm ... is it possible she knows that? If they go to L.A. to find Hawking, they'll invariably run into everybody's favorite manipulator, Ben Linus. And he kinda wants Penny dead, what with his whole fixation on getting revenge for his own "daughter's" death and all.

Liz: Another note about Desmond -- he promises he will never return to the island again. Which obviously means he will.

Jen: Penny seemed to sense that, too. His response was "Why would I want to go back there?" If he has to in order to save Penny, that's why.

So should we look to next week, when apparently towheaded Aaron will take center stage?

Liz: Indeed, let's do. A teaser follows below... But first, we'll answer one of the leftover questions from last week's "Lost" hour:

So are Cindy and the other plane survivors that hooked up with the Others also unhinged in time? Any thoughts?

Jen: This is a great question, and one I am not sure I know how to answer. My inclination is to say yes, that anyone on the island is bouncing around in some fashion. But I believe Faraday also noted in last night's episode that either the island is moving or they are. And if the latter is the case, than maybe some individuals on the island -- depending on their location -- are immune from the time shifts.

Liz: I don't think so. My feeling is that Cindy, the kids and the rest of the nameless Others that followed Ben away from the Dharma encampment are not being subjected to the wear-and-tear of time travel. A couple week's back there was an article in New York magazine in which Michael Emerson implied they were all waiting for him at the temple. Perhaps the temple is immune from the jumps? Alpert was -- when he explained things to John last week, gave him the compass and said he wouldn't know him (John) the next time they saw him. Also, we saw that Ethan didn't travel through time after shooting John. So, I say Cindy and the kids are safe and sound for now.

Alright -- see you, Jen, and everyone else at 3 p.m. ET for the "Lost" Hour chat.

Jen: Absolutely. And next week again, of course, when hopefully Charlotte's nose will stop bleeding and maybe we'll understand a little more (maybe?) about time travel. Two things are for certain, though: 1. The power of love is a curious thing. And 2. Where we're going, Liz? We don't need ... roads.

(So glad watching that movie so much has finally paid off.)

Liz: Yes, me too.


New! Quote of the Week: "Gee, I didn't have time to ask that with Frogurt on fire and all." -- Sawyer (I now feel compelled to join an indie rock band and call it "Frogurt on Fire." -- Jen)


Next Week on "Lost": "The Little Prince" - Kate discovers that someone knows the secret of Aaron's true parental lineage. Meanwhile, the dramatic shifts through time are placing the lives of the remaining island survivors in extreme peril.

By Liz Kelly  | January 29, 2009; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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I'm pretty sure the gun-toting native is Daniel's mother. That why she looked familiar.

Posted by: trishs43 | January 29, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Okay...Ellie/Blondie seems to be short for Eloise which was Daniel's mouse's name. I think Ellie is Eloise Hawking and that Ms. Hawking and the young Charles Widmore were together on the island and have 2(!) children together, Penny and Daniel. There is a great rift between them over the island and that is how Penny comes to be raised by Charles and Daniel by Eloise. The woman is not Theresa as she appears to be the same age as Daniel in the photo at the lab. Wow.
I also realized that if Locke would have shot at "jones" that he could have killed Widmore (but who knows if he would have died or not as that would totally mess wth the can't change the future rule).

Posted by: kristifits | January 29, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: megman | January 29, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The thing about Locke noticing the rifles- those guns are over 50 years old, and he could tell they were in mint condition. That's how he knew they were in the past

Posted by: echovector | January 29, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Let me put it another way- those M1 rifles were manufactured 50 years ago, and Locke saw they were brand new.

Oh, and I agree that blondie is Mrs. Hawking

Posted by: echovector | January 29, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I too need Advil to watch Lost these days. Time travel always does that to me.

Any significance to Desmond naming his child Charlie? Was it just paying homage to his good friend, or could it be....? Ow my head!

Perhaps one of the reasons that you can't carry a child for long on the island is due to the time travelling. Could some of them end up their own parents? OWWWW. This is too much.

Posted by: hodie | January 29, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking the gun toting native is Penny's mom. Wouldn't it be something if Ellie IS Mrs. Hawking and she's both Daniel's and Penny's mom?

Personally, I think the bomb part is the worst plot twist since Nikki and Paolo. But if we must discuss...I didn't think Orchid when I saw it, I thought Tempest. Didn't the guy in the tent have similar chemical burns as Goodwin? And Dan knew how to neutralize the threat in 2004.

And I swear Widmore was a donkey-wheel-turner. I've been saying that since Ben mentioned that whomever turns the wheel can't come back.

I have to say, Alpert was pretty intense back in '54. He was also wearing a lot of eyeliner.

Posted by: eet7e | January 29, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought that, too, about Charlie, Dr. Hodie, but we've already seen hobbit-Charlie's parents, or at least his mom, and it's definitely not Penny and Des.

I obviously need more commas.

Posted by: eet7e | January 29, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Liz - I think you're way too obsessed with Back to the Future to know that the biggest explosion on Bikini Atoll happened in 1954. The peak of the US messing around with apparently/mostly uninhabited South Pacific islands.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | January 29, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Penny and Daniel possibly being siblings.

And is just me or does Daniel's love for Charlotte seem to be a bit more paternal than romantic?

Posted by: db_va | January 29, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse


Nestor Carbonell - the actor who plays Richard Alpert - has uncommonly thick eyelashes.

He does not wear eyeliner - that is what his eyes look like.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | January 29, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

And is just me or does Daniel's love for Charlotte seem to be a bit more paternal than romantic?

Posted by: db_va | January 29, 2009 10:28 AM

I think it is definitely romantic love although I still can't figure out why. However, have to admit her character has softened since we first met her. Someone remind me, who was with her on that dig in the desert? And what are your thoughts on that?

Posted by: hodie | January 29, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

By the way, does anyone else think of Jeff Probst when they see Richard Alpert?

Posted by: hodie | January 29, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads-up cham! I hadn't really noticed it before last night. I guess he just had a lot more close-ups this episode.

Is it bad that I laugh whenever a red-shirt gets killed?

Posted by: eet7e | January 29, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I love, love, love the BTTF references, and as silly/cheesy as they may be, I DO think that Liz & Jen are on to something w/ the bomb leaking radiation into the ground and causing the island to have all of its properties...which means that the inclusion of the bomb last night wasn't lame like the nikki/paolo episode, but was actually very important.

but, i think it leads us to the question: would the island still have those properties if the bomb had never been buried in the other words, is Farraday in fact changing the future (from the past) by instructing his *mom* (totally agree w/ that theory) to bury the bomb...which creates time travel possible in the future? advil please. all of this space/time continuim business is making my brain hurt; luckily, I have devoted a good many hours of my life to watching BTTF and so feel that I am well-prepared to handle the time travel puzzles that are surely forthcoming.

oh, and one more note: i love what is developing between john and alpert vis a vis: the compass, and all of their visits throughout different points in time. it totally explains the meaning of alpert's comment to john last season: "we've been waiting a long time for you"

Posted by: seanbredbenner | January 29, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I also noted Miles' very obviously graying temples as well. (All pics can be enlarged by clicking on them)

From the Season 4 Finale (pre Donkey-Wheel turn):

From "Because You Left"

From "Jughead"

He's noticeably graying, and in island time (well, from strict hour-by-hour basis anyway), not much time has passed at all.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | January 29, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

When the blonde told Faraday, "you just can't stay away, can you?", I think it means that Faraday will continue to jump through time (remember, he's cited Desmond as his constant back in Season 4) and one of his jumps will take him back in time. So to her, he can't stay away; to him, he hasn't met her before... yet. So I don't think Daniel knows more than he's letting on. He's not *that* good of a liar.

Also, I'm not convinced of the bomb causing time travel. Clearly Richard is old old old, esp if he is indeed from the orginial Black Rock. And this means he would be old before the bomb's radiation, so time manipulation was taking place prior to the burial of the bomb. I think the island has time/space properties that exist outside of any nuclear bomb. At least, that's my theory for now.

Also I agree with the previous person, Widmore's gonna turn the wheel himself, get booted off the island, and now he's trying to get back.

Posted by: Dr_Bob | January 29, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't Frogurt wearing a red shirt? Ha!

Anyway, I missed last nights episode so I don't have much to say until I watch it tonight, but I have to clear something up about Wheeler's theory of a participatory universe. I don't want to get to far into quantum mechanics and Heisenberg's uncertainty, just keep in mind that these things deal with elementary particles. They don't even apply to something as big as molecules, less people. Some have tried to exploit quantum mechanic's spookiness, describes by Einstein as "spooky action at a distance", to larger systems, but when you get up to anything bigger than a molecule, it disappears.

It seems clear to me the watching from station to station is akin to what the military has with those who have the keys to our nuclear arsenal. Just one distraught serviceman could launch a missile if it were not for the watching the watchers that the military has set up to prevent even two people going crazy and launching a missle. The island obviously has some real power. The stations it seems were set up so a few people would not use it on their own. Failsafes appear everywhere: the 108 minute button push, the cameras at other stations, polarbear guards, etc. So, though writers can write anything into a script, its probably best to leave quantum mechanics and Heisenberg alone.

But the nuclear angle does seem to explain Desmond's wearing protective yellow gear when he's manning the hatch in the early days. I'm starting to think a nuclear war happened and the island, using a nuclear device, went back in time to prevent it, and succeeded, but must continually work to prevent destiny from correcting itself. And this is why Ben and the Others (including Ben's friends off island) are the good guys saving the world. But it makes me wonder why Widmore would want to change that. Maybe the war lead to a better future and Widmore wants that future to prevail. Hmmm, funny how the theories of what the island is shift weekly !

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 29, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I myself had a "gasp" moment when the other was identified as Charles Widmore. My jaw was on the FLOOR! Of course, that turned into an "aw" when I heard Charlie's name at the end.

I'm not sure I agree with the nuclear bomb being the center of the island's powers, but I do agree with reason for Charles Widmore being kicked off the island, and I might be leaning towards Ms. Hawkings being Faraday's mom (which seemed ludicrous to me last week).

I guess we'll see, huh?

Posted by: flutterbyjen | January 29, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

eet7 said:
"And I swear Widmore was a donkey-wheel-turner. I've been saying that since Ben mentioned that whomever turns the wheel can't come back."

I've been saying that, too! I think he becomes leader of the others, then is usurped by Ben and has to turn the wheel (thus the belief that Ben has taken everything from him). This episode also has me questioning Ben's characterization of Widmore as, essentially, more evil than him. After all, he's taking care of the Spencer girl. An angel, he's not, but I'm now finding him a ambiguous character like Ben: one who does evil, but perhaps thinking it's for the greater good?

"I have to say, Alpert was pretty intense back in '54. He was also wearing a lot of eyeliner."

My hubby and I have called him "Eyeliner Man" from tne outset!

Posted by: PQSully | January 29, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Dr. Bob said: "Clearly Richard is old old old, esp if he is indeed from the orginial Black Rock. And this means he would be old before the bomb's radiation, so time manipulation was taking place prior to the burial of the bomb. "

I think the island may have had time-traveling properties all along, but Richard's reaction to John's claim to time-traveling tells me that Richard and the others were unaware of it until that time. I think it is only when the Dharma people come and start their scientific experiments, and then the Others take over all their equipment that the Others actually begin to play with time themselves.

Posted by: PQSully | January 29, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

And let me echo those who got verklempt when Des mentioned his son's name as Charlie. Waaaahh!

Posted by: PQSully | January 29, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I think you two are taking the bomb to seriously as an island power source. What we already know about the Orchid is that there is exotic matter and huge amounts of energy. This doesn't sound like a buried bomb. I think the explanation for the Orchid and the frozen donkey wheel is going to turn out to be something completely different (and now for something completely different!). I think a more likely explanation for where they bury the bomb will be near the Swam, where we've seen a ton of extra concrete ...

Posted by: eprice29 | January 29, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

eprice29 wrote: "I think you two are taking the bomb to seriously as an island power source."

Agreed. Nuclear material can generate a lot of power, either all at once through an uncontrolled chain reaction (boom!), or in a nuclear power plant, where a controlled chain reaction heats up water to make steam and drive turbines. You'd need a lot more power than just heat and radiation to time travel. But why a bomb? Maybe as a failsafe should the island fall into the wrong hands? And the donkey wheel is not a natural thing. Someone made it, so either it exploits existing exotic material or the donkey wheel and what it turns is all man made. I'm sticking to it coming from the future ... for now.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 29, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why, but my first thought about where the bomb is now is under the 4 toed statue. Daniel asked blondie if they had access to lead or concrete to encase it in. My mind immediately jumped to the statue.

Posted by: jes11 | January 29, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

What surprised me was that Richard was surprised (even incredulous) to hear about the time-warping. I had figured he must know all about the island's interesting effects.

Posted by: csteiger | January 29, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

First, kudos to the commenter last week who tagged the brit-talking soldier as Charles Widmore. Excellent call.

Second, this episode explained Richard's frustration and anger at young John Locke picking the knife. Richard really wanted to believe what past-visiting John Locke was telling him about time travel and becoming his leader (Richard appears to be a chief of staff rather than a leader, following Ben and John and Jacob and who knows who). "Which one belongs to you already," i.e., you owned it but gave it to me 10 years ago. If John chose the compass, then all would be true, but he chose the knife instead. Fantastic.

Third, a great episode that will go down as one of the best. My wife and I were horrified when it ended. Next week can't come soon enough.

Posted by: jhusson1 | January 29, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I think the bomb on the island is there by accident: as someone mentioned, the US performed a lot of tests in the pacific in the 50s. I think the bomb landed on the island randomly, but perhaps didn't explode because of the island's properties. The soldiers were just another set of accidental visitors to the island.

Posted by: PQSully | January 29, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

The producers specifically stated in a podcast last season that the time travel was not like "BTTF" and they weren't going with that angle. I had to stop reading this discussions for two reasons... you two couldn't get off the "BTTF" angle and now you are putting spoilers in these discussions... come on!?

Posted by: gocaps71 | January 29, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"verklempt?" Not in my [old]Cassell's German Dictionary. Did you perhaps get it from the Madeline Kahn character in "Blazing Saddles?"

Posted by: thrh | January 29, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I am not convinced that the others aren't moving through time as well. I think they are moving. Ethan does not count as example because he is dead. Because Ethan was not alive then the time shift happened, he of coures, would not move in time.

Posted by: skitch00 | January 29, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Verklempt – choked with emotion (German verklemmt = emotionally inhibited in a convulsive way; stuck)

According to Wikipedia and Coffee Talk on SNL, anyway.

Posted by: PQSully | January 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I think you guys missed the most obvious BTTF reference, which is when Faraday corrected Sawyer and said something akin to "the correct question is "when the hell are we?"" Didn't Doc say that in the first movie?

Posted by: GreenRich | January 29, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

no, no, no. an atomic bomb leaking radiation does not cause time travel. I will throw my tv out of the window if that's what is causing this. it has to be the "exotic mater", like behind the wall in the hatch.

atom bombs create giant ants/spiders/godzilla; not marty mcfly and doc brown.

Posted by: konflikt | January 29, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I have to agree with eet7e, when i thought of Faraday and the soldier with the chemical burns, I immediately thought of the Tempest station and Goodwin and Faraday's quest to stop the Tempest station from leaking lethal poisons.

However, a nuclear bomb would leak radioactive elements, not jsut your run of the mill poisonous chemicals. A leak from the Tempest, like the one that whipped out the Dharma Initiative by Ben would irradiate the entire island and make life impossible.

Posted by: konflikt | January 29, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Question -- How come Charlotte is the only one suffering from too-much-time-travel induced nosebleeds/headaches? Why are Sawyer, Locke, Julia and Miles all safe? We know Faradey is safe because he has a constant. Does this mean Sawyer et. al. have constants too?

Posted by: MizAngela | January 29, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"Verklempt" is Yiddish, not German, according to the sources I find. But a good word, whatever its origin!

Posted by: thrh | January 29, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Ok, just a few thoughts from the new season:

1. Nuance. Ben is not surprised when he picks '342' as the number at the deli. He's pissed off, as it's not the number he wanted.

2. Hurley's dad (Cheech Martin, no less) is the voice of reason in the second episode. Very funny.

3. Hugo's mother is similar to a priest. She believes him, even though she doesn't understand him. Very cool.

4. You guys need to watch a bit of Star Trek. The BTTF reference is ok, but ST:TNG has better time/space conundrums.

5. The 1950s thing is suspiciously reminiscent of the Bikini Atoll. And Jughead? When does the Archie comic strip come into the plot?

6. Is it just me, or does Ms. Hawking look a bit like Judy Dench? And don't you love how she wouldn't sell the ring to Desmond in Season 3?

See ya at 3. 3:42 to be exact...

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | January 29, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

To pick up on what Chasmosaur1 said earlier about the Bikini Atoll tests...something interesting here (from Wikipedia):

"In 1978, however, the islanders were removed again when strontium-90 in their bodies reached dangerous levels after a French team of scientists did additional tests on the island.[5] It was not uncommon for women to experience faulty pregnancies, miscarriages, stillbirths and damage to their offspring as a result of the nuclear testing on Bikini."

If this is the case then the nuclear material could explain the problems that the others had with pregnancies....perhaps the bomb eventually started to leak more and more...I'm just glad it wasn't Betty or Veronica as Daniel's mom...I couldn't take that kind of abuse.

Posted by: deltaxi | January 29, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I think that Daniel and Charlotte are related, he might be her father. Because that's the whole gag, as it were: they've had us thinking that he has a romantic, schoolboy crush on her, and that's he's too nerdy and bookish to do anything about it, but in fact, he's her father (and that's a secret), and that's why he's got such strong love for her. They Sixth Sensed us — I bet there's nothing he's said about her that necessarily indicates romantic love, we've just been assuming that. And their true relationship is going to be a dramatic issue in coming weeks, because he'll be that much more motivated to save her life.

I'm also apprehensive that the "jughead" bomb is going to be used to explain too much of why the Island is what it is. That's too 60's Marvel comics, where radiation is the thing that gives everyone and everything super-powers, blecch.

Posted by: HJArey | January 29, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The frozen donkey wheel chamber has hieroglyphs, so that would let us believe that it is older than 1954 (much, much older), so I seriously doubt 1 h-bomb can account for the Island's exotic matter's entergy. Marvin Candle would know the difference between plutonium and exotic matter.

I like the theories that Daniel is Charlotte's father. That is really cool if it turns out to be true.

Posted by: EGTuna | January 29, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

This may have been brought up before, but the time-travelers, probably explain all the whispers that everyone hears.

In 1954, Richard had never met John Locke when they encountered in last nights episode. Locke told him his birthday and said 'why don't you come visit me' so, isn't locke traveling through time affecting the future because the others clearly visit him in the future. Or is it just part of Locke's destiny, (which has already been written according to Faradays time on a record player theory) my head hurts too

Posted by: tjkass | January 29, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Owe the schpilkes this show gives me!!

I can't think about this episode too much or my head will asplode.

Posted by: wadejg | January 29, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Bob said: "Clearly Richard is old old old.....

jes11 said: "I don't know why, but my first thought about where the bomb is now is under the 4 toed statue."

If Richard Alpert is shown to have four toes...heh heh heh. Just kidding. Maybe.

And when Richard said that there were strict rules about chosing leaders I have to wonder if Fratricide is one of them. Ben killed his father and became the leader. Locke killed his father (ok, he got Sawyer to do it for him, but that's like a contract hit, which makes him just as guilty) and became the leader. Widmore certainly looks the type to kill his own father.

Posted by: louiesully | January 29, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

that's a very good point tjkass -- but maybe it can be explained like this: maybe it's okay and is still w/in the time traveling rules b/c locke is telling him to do something that never happened, he's not telling him to change something.

Posted by: seanbredbenner | January 29, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I think the "Back to the Future" references aren't quite right- try "Quantum Leap". It seems like every time the light flashes and time changes, it's right after one of them accomplishes a task that's setting them back on their way (Putting Right What Once Went Wrong). One of the flashes occurred right after Richard gave Locke the compass, and last night's came right after Locke talked to Richard and Farraday told them how to handle the bomb. The Island is the new Quantum Leap accelerator. I'm just waiting for Farraday to say "Ho Boy"

Posted by: echovector | January 29, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I love it, I hate it, I love it, I hate it, I love it, I hate it...ARGH!!!

Posted by: MAM1 | January 29, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

All the theories about what the power source is continually brings me back to one question: What is the smoke monster?

It cannot be a result of the nuclear bomb or its radiation. Its a machine. Ben called it to kill the militia men after they killed his daughter. Also, remember the images inside it when it "scanned" Eko?

No, none of this could be from a nuke and I really doubt it is from the past (hieroglyphs). I'm sticking that it comes from the distant future where something bad happened, the Others are its original inhabitants also from the future, they built the power source and traveled to the past to prevent something bad, succeeded, and must continue to work against destiny trying to reverse what they did (the Others on the island and elsewhere). But people from today discovered the island (Widmore, Dharma, Lostees) and the Others must deal with them AND continue to save the world from destiny. Whew!

One other thing. Widmore and Ben cannot kill each other. They say its impossible. That only makes sense when you think about Faraday explaining to Sawyer that the past cannot be changed and what has happened happened. That means that both Widmore and Faraday are in a past and thus each comes from, or has been to, the future where they both exist, so they cannot kill one another in the past they are living in.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 29, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I awwed when Des revealed that he named his son Charlie too, until I remembered that Charles is Penny's supposedly hated/feared father's name.

I don't really buy that she'd be cool giving her son the name Charles.

Posted by: Meems | January 29, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

we now understand why Alpert was mad when he went to visit Locke as a boy. When he laid out the objects, he asked Locke, "which of these items is already yours?" He was hoping that Locke would choose the compas that he gave Alpert in 1954. that way, it would have been verification that Locke was telling the truth, but instead child Locke chose the knife.

Posted by: skitch00 | January 29, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Liz & Jen spend too much energy trying to be funny

Posted by: Shaft_in_DC | January 29, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

If Faraday says you cannot change the past, then why does he bang on the hatch until Des opens up and tells him to go find his mother? Then Desmond wakes up in the present having had the "dream" of Faraday's message? Isn't that changing things?

Widmore was certainly more sympathetic in this episode than in the past and even in his dealings with Sun. Oh, how Darlton manipulates our emotions...

So Des is going to take the whole family to LA, where presumeably Faraday's mum (Mrs. Hawking?) is now, working in an Oxford-doppelganger chamber. That would explain how Ben got there so quickly, and maybe he will threaten to kill Penny if Des doesn't go back to the island.

An, oh yeah, Nestor Carbonell has some deep dark eyes, but in hi-def you can see he's also wearing eyeliner. Maybe he escaped from "Pirates of the Caribbean" before joining the crew of the "Black Rock."

Bomb theory: maybe Faraday's efforts don't disarm the bomb completely. He's only able to reset the timer to keep it from going off. That's why they had to type the codes in every 108 minutes to reset the bomb's timer. When Locke forced the issue, the chain reaction started.

And, one final thing. Last year in the Lost promos, the island was shown with an LA skyline reflection in calm water. This year, there's no reflection, just very rough waters. Seems to be a metaphor for what's to come.....

Posted by: doobrah | January 29, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I can't believe you guys remember all those facts. I'm gonna have to get the dvd sets to understand all this.

So what about Charlotte digging in a desert? Anyone know about that?

Posted by: hodie | January 29, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

What about the "70 hours" comment that Ma Hawkings makes to Ben? They've only got 70 hours to get back to the island? And how is Desmond going to sail (b/c they're traveling/living in a boat) to LA from the UK in less than 3 days? Unless his story is on a different timeline... hmmm.

Posted by: reychel | January 29, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Agreed re: the skinny Dan is Penny's brother theory. I did note that Faraday appeared in the ep when Dr. Marvin Candle warned the Dharma station builders not to breach the donkey wheel chamber. This is confirmed, I think, by the line about how Faraday 'just couldn't stay away.'

Is that a glimpse of a separate leap [apologies to Belasario] in the current pattern of slipping through time, or is Faraday somehow present there [then] due to some other reason?

Also, I'm not buying the 'Alpert's eyes just look like that' theory.


Posted by: Irwin_Fletcher | January 29, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

>> I love that idea that the ancient ship fuses with modern-day radioactive material in order to completely mess with time. <<

Except that, the only way that the Black Rock could end up in the middle of the Island is if the Island suddenly materialized underneath it in what used to be the middle of the ocean. In other words, the Island was moving BEFORE the Black Rock.

Posted by: ooyah32 | January 29, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@Irwin Fletcher --

After watching the episode twice, I believe it's entirely possible or even probable that Ellie's line about Faraday not being able to "stay away" is founded on her idea that he is connected to American soldiers who "invaded" their island. Same with Richard's comment about coming back "for your bomb."

Maybe Faraday was there before, like he was at the construction of the Orchid. But I think they just were treating him like one of the U.S. soldiers who kept giving them trouble.

Posted by: jcrhoo | January 29, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

First of all, thank you jhusson1 for the props for calling the Widmore thing last week on this form. Oh yeah, go ahead and look it up people. Second, that's never happpened before (i'm always confused by this show). Third, love the theories going on right now on this board.

Had lunch with my fellow Lost freak and brother Mikey today and we were going through all that's happened. One seemingly minor thing that we remembered: how bout the other island where Sawyer, Kate, etc. were being forced to build that landing strip? Is it possible that Ben (more likely, Jacob) are building that for the future return of Ben, Jack, Kate, Locke, etc.? Not sure why they would need a strip since everyone seems to arrive at the island crashing into trees or via sub, but got me thinking.

Good call on the smoke monster being from the future, and on the Others being on a mission to prevent disaster; that is starting to make some sense.

Posted by: chadlow22 | January 29, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Charlotte found the Dharma patch and polar bear bones in the desert.

at some point, Dharma was using the polar bears to test time travel / turn the wheel. ben turned the wheel and fell into the desert...

Also, I can't remember, did Ben fall into the future when he moved the island?

Posted by: tjkass | January 29, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

After seeing the preview for next week and hearing Sawyer say "I saw Kate in the jungle" I have the feeling that the Losties who are bouncing through time are actually the Whispers. They are observing things that they already have experienced and are commenting on them as they reoccur.
Why they can be heard and not seen I can't answer...

Posted by: carolm1 | January 29, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

My question is: why did the young John Locke not pick the compass from Alpert? If he was predestined to be the Others's leader shouldn't he have intuited the correct choice? Was it an act of self-preservation on the part of young Locke? Just a mistake? (Unlikely) Or was the young Locke gotten to by someone else before Alpert's appearance and told to not select the compass? Perhaps a time travelling Ben, in trying to preserve his perhaps falsely usurped role as head of the Others, wanted to steer Alpert away from the true anointed one.

Posted by: pg658387 | January 29, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, did anyone else notice this in the preview for next week? Sawyer on the island says "I just saw Kate in the jungle," and we see a shaft of light rising into the night sky, like the light from the hatch when Locke first uncovered it. It looks like at some point in all this time-jumping, our Losties are going to end up in the time after the 815 crash and before the opening of the hatch! Talk about your potential nosebleeds!

Posted by: PQSully | January 29, 2009 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and another thing from last week: Ben tells Jack to go home and pack a suitcase with "anything from this life" that he wants because they will not be coming back. This is a new wrinkle, I think: Ben's not just saying "you all have to return to the island" but that "you have return to the island for good"! The fact that Jack accepts this with relief says a lot about how far he's fallen since returning to the real world.

Posted by: PQSully | January 29, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"Also, I can't remember, did Ben fall into the future when he moved the island?"
Posted by: tjkass

Yes, he moved around 9 or 10 months into the future; Sayid had married Nadia and just lost her in a car accident, which Ben claims was deliberately caused by Widmore's people. BUT... I don't believe Nadia WAS murdered. I think Ben just told Sayid that to manipulate him into working for him. After all, what evidence was presented? A picture of (what Ben says is) a Widmore killer behind the wheel of a car. So?... There's clearly been some break between Ben and Sayid when we enter the events of this season: I think Sayid found out that Ben misled him about Nadia's death in order to use him. And that's why he tells Hugo to do the opposite of anything Ben tells him.

Posted by: PQSully | January 29, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

carolm1, I think you hit it right, the whisperers are out Losties bouncing through time. Good thinking!

doobrah asked: "If Faraday says you cannot change the past, then why does he bang on the hatch until Des opens up and tells him to go find his mother? Then Desmond wakes up in the present having had the "dream" of Faraday's message? Isn't that changing things?"

Sort of. When Faraday lands on the island Des does not know who he is. When Des is on the boat and mind-tripping back to his younger days, Faraday tells him via the radio that the next time he mind-trips back he should go see Faraday (himself) at Oxford, which he does. He does not recognize Faraday then either. The reason is that Desmond has no memory of Faraday banging on the door, even though it happened, until time catches up to the present. Let me give an example:

Its 3pm today. You go back in time to 9am and tell me a secret at 9:05am. While you are away I "remember" the secret at 3:05pm. In other words, consciousness and memories can time travel and change, but between 9:05 and 3:05 there was no memory. The secret you tell me is not implanted in my memory until 3:05pm. Now I'm still trying to understand how the Losties are time traveling, or maybe its the island traveling and they are staying put. That actually makes more sense to me.

There is a physical property called "entanglement" that sort of is like what we are seeing with Faraday and Desmond's memory. In entanglement, two elementary properties are places so close together they become "entangled". Information about their state (spin, position, etc) cannot be determined until observed. You now send those two particles far away from each other (the record so far is more than 100 miles). You then observe one to see its state. At that exact moment (faster than light) the other particles state is revealed. This is being experimented with to develop quantum computers. It cannot be used to send information faster than light, but taking this and applying it to Faraday and Desmond, Faraday tells Desmond something after traveling back to say 1980, but that memory is not actually created in Desmond until Desmond catches up in time to when Faraday's time exists (today). That is why Desmond suddenly wakes up, the memory did not implant until then. So Faraday did not change the past. His actions only took effect in the present.

Advil time....

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 29, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Desmond does not remember visiting Faraday at Oxford in 1996. At least not until after the events of "The Constant". So, here is another instance Desmond/Faraday altering the past and their memories of it.

Posted by: roswellian54 | January 29, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

roswellian54: "Desmond does not remember visiting Faraday at Oxford in 1996. At least not until after the events of "The Constant". So, here is another instance Desmond/Faraday altering the past and their memories of it."

Right. Its as though the stream of time is constant, once something happens it cannot be changed. So for example, when Faraday bangs on the door Desmond could have killed Faraday since it was Faraday from the present, which explains why Faraday was scared Desmond might shoot. But Faraday could not kill Desmond since it was Desmond from the past, and killing Desmond would change the past, which is not allowed. Even Desmond's memory does not change in the past after Faradays's visit at the hatch door. It only changes when Desmond catches up to Faraday's "present".

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 29, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

One problem the mine that was shown is a claymore mine that came into service in 1960 and still in use. Also if the troops were american they might have carried the M-14 instead of the M-1

Posted by: crudeone | January 29, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

When Desmond visits Faraday in 1996, Desmond gives Faraday settings for the time-travel device, which had been given to Desmond by the future Faraday. I got the sense that until he was given those settings, 1996 Faraday had been failing in his time-travel experiments. So was future Faraday guided by a memory of having been visited by Desmond in 1996, or was he purposefully changing the past? And that would be quite a major change, since the settings allowed the time-travel device to work at all! And how did the future Faraday know the correct settings?

Posted by: roswellian54 | January 29, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for getting off into "The Constant", but it is relevant to the whole time-travel issue. For further headaches, consider: where did the compass come from? Richard gives it to Locke, who then travels into the past and returns it Richard, who later meets Locke and gives it to him, who...augh!

Posted by: roswellian54 | January 29, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Agree with you completely, Kristifits, on "Ellie" being young Eloise Hawking. Also strongly suspect she may be Daniels mother as he sends Desmond to find his mother who is named ". . . " - indicating their surnames are different.

Less sure same Eloise is necessarily Penny's mother, however.

Also not at all sure I would agree that Widmore had also been around since the Black Rock days. Richard Alpert never ages - Ellie and Widmore clearly have - though perhaps that's just because they left Fantasy Island whereas, Richard, who's "always been here" (per Juliette) never leaves. Well, that's what happens when we leave Shangrila isn't it? We age - immediately - and supposedly can never get back there again. Mrs. Hawking and Widmore may be on the quest to get back there to avoid mortality- and mabye that's their overhwhelming motivator.

Posted by: jqw3827 | January 29, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

that british chick with the gun is TOTALLY faraday's mother.

Posted by: rudestyle | January 29, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Richard has been off the Island several times, e.g. to see the young Locke, to recruit Juliet, and to observe Juliet's sister.

Posted by: ooyah32 | January 29, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

What surprised me was that Richard was surprised (even incredulous) to hear about the time-warping. I had figured he must know all about the island's interesting effects.
Posted by: csteiger | January 29, 2009 11:57 AM

Me too- I figured Alpert was jumping around in time and he should definitely know about the time warping.

Gawd- the hair on the back of my neck stood when the young Charles Widmore identified himself.

Posted by: plamar1031 | January 29, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh you're making my head hurt more roswellian54. Good reasoning though. I assume the future Faraday finally figured out the settings. But having Desmond take that info back in time and having past-Faraday not only hear the proper settings but use them DID change the past significantly.

But there may be a catch. If Ms. Hawking is Faraday's mum, and Ms. Hawking is from the future where the island was created, then information passing to Faraday may have different rules. Faraday may be able to change the past when information is passed to him through time.

Here's another thought. Lets say Faraday is actually 30 years old and his "present" is 1996 (People have noted he does not seem to have aged since we saw him in 1996). He travels to the future where he gets on the freighter and then the island. Desmond's present is 2004 on the freighter. Ff Faraday's present is 1996, then 2005 Faraday could give Desmond the information in 1996 and not change the past since Faraday's present is 1996. So Faraday can take the information and use it in 1996 and not change the past. But Desmond could not use the infromation since he is in his past in 1996. And I think Faraday got the information he gave to Desmond from working with Dr. Marvin Candle during a time trip to Faraday's future, not by working it out in Faraday's lab.

This leads to an interesting idea, that each person has their own "present". The Losties is 2005. The Others may be way in the future. Faraday's may be 1996. All however exist on the island at the same time, but they cannot affect their pasts but can change their futures. But since they all have different pasts and futures some have abilities others do not. It also may be why some, like Patchy, do not seem to be able to die. Maybe because he is in his past and is killing those who are in the present.

But what I fear most is that none of this will ever be clearly explained when the final episode runs next year, leaving this headache of mine, forever.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 29, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"My question is: why did the young John Locke not pick the compass from Alpert?"

Well, technically Locke as a child couldn't have known which object already belonged to him. This is because older Locke never told his younger self that he will have the compass in the future. Older Locke knew about the compass, but younger Locke had no idea. So when Alpert goes to see Locke, young Locke had no inclination that the compass was his. Don't know if that makes sense (sorry).

Furthermore, it doesn't mean that Locke wasn't destined to be the leader. Alpert didn't go to see Locke because he was going to be their leader. He wants to go to see if the Locke he met on the island in the 50s was telling him the truth.

Posted by: lilmissgiggles | January 29, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

We've yet to see the time travellers meeting 'themselves'. Whispers?

Posted by: nier | January 29, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It's a damn good thing the economy is the way it is and I got laid off because I'd never have time for all of this otherwise. (hmmm, maybe that's the wrong way to look at it ... oh well)

so, roswellian54, I think Faraday had in his notes the correct settings for that machine, and knew that he would soon be discovering those settings on his own and therefore had Desmond tell him about it in order for Desmond to help convince him, he just sped up the process a smidge, by like a couple days or weeks or something. plus, if Desmond is different, then it seems likely that Faraday would be, too. especially if Desmond is his constant. maybe they can both make changes in relation to one another, but not to others (not THE others, just other people).

this is a lot for my brain to take all in one day. whew!!!

Posted by: flutterbyjen | January 29, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I keep thinking about the compass. Richard gave it to Locke sometime after the drug plane had crashed on the island in the late 90s early 2000s. Richard tells Locke to give the compass to him the next time they meet because Richard will not know Locke at that meeting and it will serve as proof to Richard that Locke is telling him the truth. Then Locke flashed back to 1954 and he meets Richard and gives him the compass which convinces Richard that Locke is telling him the truth. My question is, does this mean that at that time in 1954 Richard now has two compasses on him? Obviously the compass meant something to Richard in 1954. Why did it mean something to him? I think Bevsims purmutations are going too far in their analysis. Figuring out the compass question might solve the entire time travel loop issue. I agree with lilmissgiggles that young Locke didn't pick out the compass when it was presented to him by Richard back in the real world in the late 70s or early 80s because he would not have ever seen it before that time in his life. On the other hand, wouldn't the Locke who received it from Richard in the 1990s/early 2000s have some memory of the compass when Richard gave it too him? Or was he too young to remember the incident. Personnally, I think its tylenol time here, not advil time.

Posted by: dojemc | January 29, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

any posters agree with this theory, My first thought was the bomb is under the hatch, and thats why they have to put in the numbers to keep it from blowing up. That's why Des has the key to turn if the numbers don't get input in time

Posted by: sivwiz | January 29, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Jen, I think that you aren't thinking big enough about the bomb. Remember the old theater adage: if a gun is introduced in Act 1, it will go off in Act 3. That's the reason why Locke had to stop pushing the button.

That bomb was introduced in this season so that we can watch it detonate sometime next season -- I would guess probably during the show's finale. You don't bring in a nuclear weapon just for a bit of leakage -- it is going to go off. As Joe Namath said, I guarantee it.

By the way, the show's rule about time travel is NOT that you can't change the past. It's that the universe is self-correcting, so that it will tend to reach the same outcome regardless of what you did to try to change its direction. Mrs. Hawking explained this very clearly to Desmond in the jewelry shop last season. In his flashback, Desmond DID change the past. He bought the ring he wasn't supposed to buy. He spoke to an old friend about his time-loop predicament. What he WASN'T able to change is the outcome.

Posted by: jerkhoff | January 29, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

So, did young Widmore turn the donkey wheel previously and get banished from the island while setting in motion whatever process it was that required that computer button to be pushed every 108 minutes?

Posted by: HardyW | January 29, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

"I have the feeling that the Losties who are bouncing through time are actually the Whispers. They are observing things that they already have experienced and are commenting on them as they reoccur.
Why they can be heard and not seen I can't answer..."

That is about the best thing I have read today on a board full of really good theories. If this is the case... wow... awesome.

Posted by: allison777 | January 29, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I have spent WAAAY too much time reading blogs, dissecting last night's episode, and I'm enjoying all of the theories. There is ONE thing no one seems to have considered yet: how could the red shirts be killed in the 50's when most had not even been born yet? Don't tell me Frogurt was older than Locke. Yet we saw him get decimated by a flaming arrow. Does not the killing of losties change the future? How can you get killed when you haven't even been born yet? Or does this mean Frogurt will resurrect to annoy yet again in some future episode?

Posted by: laurelnev | January 29, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

bevjims1, you are making MY head hurt. I
can't wrap my mind around everyone having their own present.

jerkhoff, you make a good point. But "outcomes" are relative. Desmond couldn't stop Charlie from eventually dying, but he did change the time an place of his death, and this made huge difference is subsequent events, as the manner of his death sowed doubt about the freighter folk and lead the the split of the Losties.

Posted by: roswellian54 | January 29, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

flutterbyjen, I think your theory jibes with what Faraday said about the "specialness" of Desmond. And Desmond is Faraday's constant; they are linked and able to somehow together get around the rules that Faraday says apply to everyone else.

Posted by: roswellian54 | January 29, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

In "Jughead" we see one of Alpert's people (believe it was in fact Widmore, but wearing the Jones uniform?) hesitating not at all in killing his companion to prevent him from speaking to the losties. We see this also in some of Ben's people--I recall McPatchy kills the woman who has with him at the radio station after she practically begged him to do it, to save herself from being captured and/or questioned by Locke. McPatchy himself seems willing to let himself die, and always reappears after seeming to die (except after finally taking on the grenade outside the Pearl). Is there a common thread? Sometimes these folks want to be killed, but only because they know that dead isn't really dead? Maybe Locke does this, too?

Posted by: PeoriaAndrew | January 29, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Huge fan of the analysis, a serial reader... When it comes to the question of Faraday's past, and whether he was previously on the island (other than a jump back), there are two things that make me doubt that he was: 1) Why would he ask Jack and Kate about how the light scatters? If he had already been there wouldn't he know the island's properties? and 2) Why would he be surprised by his beacon test that was sent by Regina?
Since Daniel's motives are still fuzzy to me, i guess he could be faking to play it off to the crashies that he doesnt know but I doubt that. Thoughts?

Posted by: GhostofXmasFuture | January 29, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

"Yet we saw (Frogurt) get decimated by a flaming arrow. Does not the killing of losties change the future? How can you get killed when you haven't even been born yet?"

Does anyone else agree that this is a bit of a game that the writers play with the audience from time to time? (e.g When the cottage compound was bombed and Claire was injured? The random/brief appearance of Nikki and Paulo?) Where do all these victims in death scenes come from? The absurdity is humorous. It always makes me laugh.

Posted by: therestherub | January 29, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for that wonderful post. I just wanted to add that I noticed that the paintings in Widmore's office look very much like the paintings in Thomas's apartment (Thomas=Claire's boyfriend/Aaron's father). Maybe there is a connection between Widmore and Thomas. I think it was in episode "Raised By Another".

Posted by: joanne214 | January 30, 2009 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Well last night I watched the episode for the first time and I have to say, watching AFTER reading the comments about the show was pretty cool! Richard was the most interesting character. In previous episodes he seemed in control, the one who had the answers even if he didn't say what they were. But in this episode he knows nothing about the future, nothing about the Lostees. Of everyone there, he seems to be the only one who is traveling a straight line through time while everyone else bounces through time.

I'm now doubting that Richard and the Others are from the future. If they were they should know more than they seemed to last night. But Ellie perplexes me. Women were not in the armed forces of any western nation back in the 50s yet Ellie seems well trained in using the rifle. Also, Richard was the only one without a British accent or uniform. That would make sense if the brits were not soldiers but were mercenaries, hired by Richard and brought to the island to protect it from the Americans who came to blow it up via a nuclear test. We know American soldiers were killed and buried thanks to Miles' shiver as he walked over their graves. But why would America not respond to soldiers being killed and a nuclear device left hanging on an island. Those things are pretty valuable and dangerous. My guess is the island had been moved by then, or cloaked, so America cannot get back onto the island.

I agree with the poster who said the bomb will go off one day. You don't write such a thing into a story just to bury it and forget about it. But hydrogen bombs cannot last forever. Hydrogen is notoriously leaky. After 50 years none would be left, leaving just an atomic bomb, which might also be degraded as the uranium/plutonium's radioactivity has deminished over time, not to mention the TNT which implodes the uranium. But if it did explode it would still do a lot of damage.

I'll have to think about the compass and its time travels a bit more. The compass seems to be in a loop that has no end or beginning if this sequence is correct:
1) Locke gives the compass to Richard in 1954
2) Richard shows child-Locke the compass around 1960 but keeps it.
3) Richard gives the compass to Locke after Locke gets shot by Ethan, ~2000?
4) Go back to #1

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 30, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Oooo, i just thought of something:

"Richard tells Locke to give the compass to him the next time they meet because Richard will not know Locke at that meeting and it will serve as proof to Richard that Locke is telling him the truth."

How does Richard know that the very next time Locke sees him, they won't know each other?

Posted by: PQSully | January 30, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I was definitely getting a biblical allegory vibe as Richard told Locke that he must die to bring everyone back to the island - to "save" everyone. That, and the thought that he will somehow come back from the dead.

Posted by: kschoen | January 30, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree with sivwiz, that the h-bomb might be burried under the hatch. perhaps farady couldnt totally dismantle it, but could only reset its detonation, hence the need to enter the numbers every 108 minutes to prevent it from going off. desmond used the fail safe to save the island from the nuclear explosion (although not really sure how the fail safe worked).

Posted by: skitch00 | January 30, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Another thought.
1954: Richard and the Others are on the island.
1960-1970 Dharma is building stations on the island to build a utopian society.
1996: Desmond is on the island and is told he must wear a radioactive protection suit outside.
2004: Our Losties arrive.

This tells me the nuke went off around 1985, after Ben and the Others gas the Dharma folk and before Desmond arrives. That would give the island time to regrow vegetation by 2004. It also gives time for the radiation to still exist around 1996 but not 2004. It also may have blown up the giant statue leaving just the foot, so we may see the whole statue if anyone gets to that side of the island during a flashback in time. Maybe the nuke was encased in the statue?

On a further-out-there-note, is anyone thinking that the Others are all very old, like thousands of years old? That latin may be their native tongue? The uniforms they were wearing, that had names not matching their real names, could have been American uniforms taken from the American soldiers they killed. Could the Others be imortal as long as they stay on the island, and Widmore wants to get back since he is aging off the island?

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 30, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

"On a further-out-there-note, is anyone thinking that the Others are all very old, like thousands of years old? That latin may be their native tongue?"

I think they use Latin not because it's their native tongue, but because it will be unintelligible to nearly everyone else on the planet, being a dead language. In Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin books, Dr. Maturin and his medical associates often speak in Latin so that their patients won't understand them and thus won't freak out upon hearing about their upcoming treatments.

Posted by: PQSully | January 30, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Interesting theory, but we have a few things to work through to make that timeline work (and I do like it for the most part)

1)Say the Bomb goes off sometime between do the Others live in that kind of environment? Also why does Dharma keep dropping food on the island?

2) Wasn't the whole radioactive "story" told to Desmond, just a hoax to allow his partner at the time explore the island?...if you remember his suit was all torn up towards the end when Des kills him

Just a few thoughts

Posted by: deltaxi | January 30, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse


Actually I just checked on what the story Kelvin told to Desmond was. According to Kelvin (Des' partner in the hatch) the suits were to be used because there was an "infection" on the island, the same infection Russeau said killed the people from her boat. So there seems to be no evidence a nuke exploded on the island. Oh well, thought I was onto something there...

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 30, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

There is no way a nuclear explosion could have taken place on the island sometime after 1970 and the island would then be habitable not only to the Others under Ben's leadership but also to the Losties in 2004. Bikini Atoll is still uninhabited long after it was used for nuclear testing in the early 1950s. Even if it was somehow inhabitable, we certainly would have had some evidence before now that an explosion on the island had taken place. So the nuclear device has now been revealed because (1) it might be eploded in the future or (2) maybe it was buried under the hatch and has some tie-in to the 108 minutes (I like the theory by skitch00).

I still think that Richard and the rest of his gang may be original sailors from the Black Rock. But my previous theory that Widmore might have been its captain is probably now shot since he would have been clearly too young to be a captain on that ship (assuming the Widmore in 1954 hasn't aged since the time of the Black Rock). The point about Richard not speaking with a British accent is a good one which might mean that he wasn't on the Black Rock but may have been on the island a lot longer. I'm going to assume however that the accent thing is not an indicator in this case.

I think the fact that Widmore and some of the other Others were wearing uniforms without their names on it is simply that they took them from the dead Americans (someone else suggested this above). They probably just needed new cloathes. I'm assuming while they might not age clothes will degrade over time.

Finally, in response to PQ Sully, I think that Richard would know that the next time he would meet Locke was in 1954 because he knew that is the first (and perhaps only)time he met him other than in the present time in which the Losties are on the island (2004). In otherwords, Locke couldn't have met Richard earlier than 1954 or Richard would have known him in 1954 when they met. Richard would have the benefit of his entire memories from 1954 to 2004 and know that he never met the present day Locke again until 2004. The ony exception to this timeline is that Richard in 2004 would know that he met Locke in the 1970/80/ when Locke was a boy. Clearly though Richard wasn't referencing that time when he spoke to Locke in 2004. Confused now : - )

Posted by: dojemc | January 30, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

So when Desmond turned the fail safe key I seem to recall that there was a huge flash of light on the island - similar to the flash of light that occurs just before the losties "leap" each time. So does that mean that somehow Desmond enacted some disruption in time when he turned the key, too? And how is it that after he turned the key he was still alive?

Another thing to note - the painting in Widmore's office with the polar bear also had an image of Buddha upside down in the corner. I was thinking that maybe the 4-toed statue might be a Buddha? I think that one of the supposed physical characteristics of Buddha is that has 6 toes (or something??)

Posted by: kschoen | January 30, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Yea, its looking like Widmore was not the Black Rock's captain. That is now pointing more to Richard or Jacob. Maybe they were stranded when the island appeared beneath their boat, stranding them ages ago.

I'm still puzzled by Ellie. Women were not in the military, especially not infantry or trained to use rifles, back in 1954. Her seemingly military training seems out of place.

Richard seems old, as Juliet pointed out. His mannerism is one who thinks and reasons like someone with a lot of experience, unlike young Widmore or Ellie, hotheads both. But why was he also not wearing a uniform? Do his clothes not age?

dojemc, I think you have it right about Richard knowing when he would see Locke in time. Richard is unaffected by the time shifts and can remember Locke visiting him in 1954 and so knows that is where Locke will go during a time shift. I'm still confused about the compass though. Where did it originally come from? One other thing about the compass. It can point north but Sayid made a compass out of materials from the plane but could not get it to work because of all the electromagenetism on the island. So what is special about Richard's compass?

The Swan hatch 108 minute resets were to release electromagnetic energy building up behind the concrete wall. That's been stated by the writers. When the button was not pushed, it built up to a critical level, thus all the metal flying around the hatch. The failsafe released that energy and imploded the hatch, but I'm not sure why they no longer have to worry about the energy building up. But the hatch and pushing the button don't seem to have anything to do with the nuke, where ever it is.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 30, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

kschoen wrote: "I was thinking that maybe the 4-toed statue might be a Buddha? I think that one of the supposed physical characteristics of Buddha is that has 6 toes (or something??)"

Here is Lostpedia's page on the four toes. There about about 50 theories, everything from the island having been a Disneyland in the future (many Disney characters have four toes) to the statue being of Sawyer, who recently hurt his foot in a scene given way too much significance that might have left him without a toe. Right now there seems to be no consensus though I like the Cerberus theory. Cerberus was the guardian to the gates of hell and was said to have four toes. Gates of hell seems appropriate for the island.

Posted by: bevjims1 | January 30, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

There are four-toed Buddhist deities and four-toed Chinese guardian dragons. There are many theories about why they have four toes - most of which have to do with the idea that toes were lost (or gained!) while statues were being moved from one place to another! Travel Toe Syndrome!

Four is a hugely significant number in Tibetan Buddhism, as is 108. There are lots of Buddhist references on Lost. Starting with The Dharma.

I still think they are all going through a kind of "Bardo" experience. In Tibetan Buddhism, The Bardo is the "In Between" experience, the transition from one event to the next. But mainly it's known as the experience between death and rebirth.

You go around and around in a cycle of birth, death, bardo, and rebirth until you learn your lessons and get it right. Groundhog Day ish.

You cannot change what has happened, but you can learn your lessons, make up for past misdeeds and make choices that lead to a brighter future.

The Bardo experience is said to be very confusing, until you start to go through it with a clearer understanding of what is happening and why. It's a personal thing but you encounter "others" too.

Also, now that the characters seem to be giving birth to each other (whoah) - I'm reminded of the Buddhist teaching that all beings were at one point our mother and should be respected as such.

There's more Buddhist stuff, but that's it for now. I'd hate to get off on a tangent, haha.

Richard and Locke meeting. I can see why Richard would remember enough to know that he won't recognize Locke the first time he sees him on the island. But why does Locke remember who Richard is before they actually meet? Seems like they would both remember meeting or not remember it.

I've exhausted myself. And anyone reading this too, probably.

Posted by: camis | January 30, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh and.... You gotta love Hurley for getting himself arrested right after "Anna Lucia" specifically told him NOT to get arrested. And so proud of himself for it.

Posted by: camis | January 30, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

A few things on my (splitting) mind:

Wednesday was Jackson Pollacks b-day, did anyone else notice (what looked like to me)one of his paintings behind Widmore's secretary's desk (when she tried to stop Des).

Also, maybe this has been brought up before, but it seems relevant given the increasing amounts of Buddhist references.
Richard Alpert (in this life) was a psychiatrist who hung out with Timothy Leary, William Burroughs, etc. He eventually wound up in India, changed his name to Ram Dass, studying Buddhism. He wrote some really good books concerning the true (a.k.a. hidden, or maybe more appropriately "lost") nature of reality and existence. I'm just wondering if others have noticed this, and their thoughts on the subject. It seems more important now that we're beginning to see all of the multiple realities being experienced simultaneously (which is something he spoke of).

Also, we've all been trying to figure out the timeline of events concerning the implications of influencing the past. But would it be wrong to assume that time is no longer moving in a linear direction? Everything is interconnected in an action/reation sense, but maybe all points in "history" are occuring simultaneously, and in the brain's attempt to not overload, the characters are (unconsciously) using the concept of time itself as their "constant".
If this is the case, then maybe some sort of version of Schrodinger's Cat theory would apply, where something does exist and doesn't exist at the same time; or maybe more like something does happen and doesn't happen at the same time, i.e. Jughead both does explode and doesn't explode. And that something about the island's "unique properties" juxtaposes the simultaneous events into something of a mix of potentials. Alright, now I'm beginning to confuse myself. I guess all that has the potenial to be real is real, independent of time, and has the capacity to remain in a constant state of flux.
(Mmmm.. BTTF: Flux Capacitor anyone?)

Posted by: thecossum | January 31, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I hope people who ask questions come back to this board:

Locke did choose the compass for people who keep writing that he didn't choose the compass - he chose it, the vile of sand and a knife. He did not choose the book of whatever. That's why Richard was disappointed.

Charlotte is sick because she was born on the island left and returned. Therefore, she needs a constant.

Posted by: KPaige1 | January 31, 2009 2:44 AM | Report abuse

I'm wondering if Penny and Desmond's baby is named Charlie after Desmond's friend Charlie who drowned or after Charles Widmore (after all, he's the baby's grandfather).

Posted by: alisamkeith | January 31, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Love the theories!

1) Two that got me thinking in another direction:
a) most of the characters are the children who left the island.

b) Penny and Faraday are brother/sister.


2) Something that hasn't been addressed:

After Faraday chats with protector Desmond in the bomb suit, the light comes and he can't tell Des the name of mum. He then shows up at the beach and Sawyer asks where he's been ... and it was 2 hours later.

Where was he for those two hours?

3) Someone explained Richard/Locke quite well here. I totally understand what is going with this one.

4) Yes, the bomb was named Jughead ... I simply think the correlation between the Archie Comics and Jughead ... The bombshell was that Charles Widmore was Jones (Jughead's last name in Archie comics is Jones.) Now there's the play on the title of the episode. (Young Widmore was wearing an army uniform with a Jones name tag.)

5) I have posted elswhere that I believe Penny and Des' Charlie is Charlie (who drowned) and Charles Widmore. How? Penny is NOT Widmore's daughter, at lest not biological. So then ... it is Daniel that Ben will be after.

6) Thanks to the person who posted about the No. 342 ... I've been wondering the significance myself.

Posted by: LAD3 | January 31, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

LAD3 - "Someone explained Richard/Locke quite well here. I totally understand what is going with this one." Could you elaborate on this? I'm still don't get it.

I had the very same thought that Penny is not really Widmore's daughter. And I think she knows it and may be part of a bigger plan, still to be revealed.
Then again, there are a lot of secrets about parenting in this story.

thecossum: Great information ! Thanks ! Also, "interconnection" is another core topic in Buddhism, everything exists in relation to everything else. The Butterfly in the rain forest. Nothing is "separate" - we just perceve it that way. Big difference between our perception of things and the true nature of things. As for the past, present and future being the same - I don't think time is linear, may need a physicist to explain current thinking on that.

Time jumps around so much for some of the people on the show. They all remember the past, which makes sense, but some of them seem to remember the future, too, when they are tossed into the past... which is strange partly becomes when they are tossed into the past, that becomes their present, which make it really odd (but cool) that they remember the future.

What's it all about, Alfie??

Posted by: camis | January 31, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

with all the time travel going on, I keep thinking of why all the women on the island die in childbirth. Charlotte definately had been there before, that came up last year, so she couldn't have been conceived on the island, but maybe born there and left? But now we see the dharma guy/sorry can't think of the docs name that does all the dharma infomercials, but we see him with a baby that some think could be Miles, he's time travelin just fine, but we don't know if he was conceived/born there either. So is there some kind of low level radiation on the island that's seeped out over time from the buried bomb that causes miscarriage?? There's a clue in there somewhere.....also LOVE the idea that the whispers are the losties watching themselves...Rousseau always heard the whispers too, but we never see the others hear them do we? This show makes me absolutely nuts

Posted by: vlb2 | January 31, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

The Island is all knowing and all powerful at least in some ways. It's able to keep people from killing themselves wherever they may be in the world (e.g. Michael/Kevin Johnson--on the freighter or in America). Maybe this is how the time travel paradox is resolved--the island doesn't allow people who go back in time to kill themselves or their relatives.

Posted by: Seytom1 | February 1, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Seytom1 wrote: "Maybe this is how the time travel paradox is resolved--the island doesn't allow people who go back in time to kill themselves or their relatives."

I think its "simpler" than that. We've seen the island's ability to move time around and take our Losties with it. We've also seen Desmond move his mind back and forth in time. But fate is more likely what is preventing Michael from killing himself. As Tom told him, you have something important to do. This tells me something has already happened. Michael would do his job on the freighter and that fact is so significant that it cannot not be altered. Michael tries to kill himself, but cannot. Just as fate seemed to follow Charlie to his death, fate kept Michael alive, at least until he had completed his significant event. So it seems clear our Losties are living in the past.

This takes me back to when Hurley bought the chicken restaurant. Before that Hurley realized that everytime he used the money from the lottery, whatever he bought was destroyed, like the house he bought for his mom. At that time I thought people were causing Hurley's problems, until Hurley's chicken restaurant was hit by a meteor. That changed everything and I realized it was not active sabotage by people, but fate itself coming into play.

But what I am finding fascinating is the anticipated events. For example, when Ben first went to the Orchid with Locke he needed supplies and simply went to a nearby rock and found them underneath. When Ben was in the hotel room with Jack he removed the heating vent cover and pulled out a briefcase. When Michael was on the boat and ready to explode it he found a note saying "not now". Its clear to me these things were done by somehow changing the past based on knowing the future. I think that is what the large number of people in the real world are doing, taking messages from Ben and the others, who know the future thanks to the island, to place something here, kill someone there, and thus prevent a future they see. They also use this to get out of jams, like Ben who needed supplies to contact the Others just looks under a rock and voila, its there because the need for the supplies was sent as a message to into the past to someone who then put the needed supplies under the rock. But Ben and Widmore are working against one another, so I'm imagining a sort of time war where Ben and Widmore are affecting events against one another.

But even though they have this ability to prepare for the future, Ben could not save his daughter from being killed. He seemed stunned but beforehand seemed convinced she would not be killed. His vision of the future had been altered and so he did not prepare. This altered view of the future is what I think Ben meant by Widmore "changed the rules", which probably means the rules allowed everyone to view the future and prepare.

Posted by: bevjims1 | February 2, 2009 8:18 AM | Report abuse

re: theories on why babies cannot be conceived and then born on the island.

I believe the reason behind this is that, wherever or whenever the island is, it exists only as a subset or reflection of what exists in the real world. Everything that lives or exists there comes from somewhere else; nothing new can be created there. Thus, a child conceived off the island can be born because it exists in some form in reality. however, when "conception" occurs on the island, the mother's immune system does not recognize it as a real child because in reality no such fetus exists, and thus the immune system attacks the "child" (Julia said as much to Sun).

Posted by: PQSully | February 2, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

dojmc said: "Finally, in response to PQ Sully, I think that Richard would know that the next time he would meet Locke was in 1954 because he knew that is the first (and perhaps only)time he met him other than in the present time in which the Losties are on the island (2004). In otherwords, Locke couldn't have met Richard earlier than 1954 or Richard would have known him in 1954 when they met. Richard would have the benefit of his entire memories from 1954 to 2004 and know that he never met the present day Locke again until 2004. The ony exception to this timeline is that Richard in 2004 would know that he met Locke in the 1970/80/ when Locke was a boy. Clearly though Richard wasn't referencing that time when he spoke to Locke in 2004. Confused now : - )"

I get that Richard would know that he WILL meet John in 1954, but now does he know when he gives John the compass that John's next leap will take him to that specific encounter and not, say, into a future encounter he doesn't know about yet? Or am I overthinking the details here?

Posted by: PQSully | February 2, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

PQSully wrote: "I get that Richard would know that he WILL meet John in 1954, but now does he know when he gives John the compass that John's next leap will take him to that specific encounter and not, say, into a future encounter he doesn't know about yet? Or am I overthinking the details here?"

Its a good question. My thought is that since Richard is moving in a straight line in time (not jumping around), and he knows Locke is jumping around in time, and Richard knows when he has met Locke in the past, and Richard has the compass but Locke gives it to him in 1954, so when he gives Locke the compass he knows the next jump will take Locke to 1954 where he will give it to Richard. Unless Locke had the compass, the island could not take Locke to 1954. So, in a way, giving Locke the compass might have helped him thruogh the time jumping. Hmmm, maybe that is not less confusing :-(

I'm still trying to figure out the timeline of the compass. It does not seem to exist before 1954 when Locke gives it to Richard, or after the time Locke is shot and Richard fixes his leg and gives the compass to Locke. The compass is a major prop so I can't imagine the writers put its existence into a time loop by accident. Maybe the reason time is jumping is due to the compass being in a time paradox and the only way to stop the jumping is to destroy the compass. I'm not enamored to this idea mind you but the compass needs explaining.

Posted by: bevjims1 | February 2, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Do we know if the compass even works? If it's broken, maybe it needs to get fixed to help everyone get their bearings. Wouldn't that be the most simplistic and anti-climactic resolution. So, never mind. But still, you're right that the compass "functions" in a significant way. I'm going to start looking more carefully for other map-type props.

Like - when Kate pulls into that gas station ( just before Sun calls her on her on cell phone), she gets a map out of the glove compartment, opens it very briefly then folds it up again. There was a close-up of the map. Too fast to reveal details, but obvious enough to give the map dramatic emphasis.

Things that bring order and direction. Things that give you your bearings. Things you need to stay on course. People, ships, planes, time. Order vs Chaos.

Posted by: camis | February 2, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: bevjims1 | February 3, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Not to beat a dead horse (or polar bear which is really dead), but I don't think that Richard necessarily knew that Locke's next jump after he gave him the compass would take Locke back in time to 1954. All I recall is that Richard said something to the effect that the next time they met he (Locke) should give him (Richard) the compass to help Richard believe Locke's story about time jumping. That happened to be in 1954. Locke could have made any number of other jumps before going to 1954. It's just that he didn't meet Richard until 1954.

The question as to where the compass came from and whether, when Locke gave it to Richard in 1954, it meant that Richard now has two compasses has not been explained. I sure hope they don't leave that as an unanswered question. It's got to be relevant somehow.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

Posted by: dojemc | February 3, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

roswellian54 has a point about the incongruity of timelines for desmond and faraday. it seems like people are operating on personal timelines rather than community timelines. this may explain why, for example, michael couldn't kill himself last season. once you catch up to your personal present, you operate under the rules of normal time.

that got me thinking about "the rules." faraday told desmond that "the rules" don't apply to him (which may be why he feared desmond might shoot). ben knows how the rules work, and presumably he has traveled to the future many times and knows who lives, etc. he knows how these rules work and uses that knowledge to manipulate people. the rules are that you can't change the past (that certain people cannot be killed). perhaps this is why he's so shocked about alex's death last season. it's not so much his human emotion that startles him but his realization that widmore has learned how to change the rules. he thought alex was invincible, but widmore "changed the rules."

i think these "rules" are what have everyone between the faraday account of time and the doc brown account of time. the point to a rule is that there are always exceptions, especially when they've been changed.

Posted by: plathman | February 3, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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