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Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 04/ 7/2010

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'Happily Ever After'

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
Lost

In which Jen and Liz attempt to make sense out of last night's narrative shift. Which is really just fancy terminology for saying LindeCuse changed the game on us, yet again. Read along, then join them at 2 p.m. for the "Lost" Hour live chat. In the meantime, visit "Lost" Central to brush up on your island back story.


Penny (Sonya Walger) and Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) meet again. (ABC)

Liz: As Desmond said at the end of last night's episode, a lot can happen in 20 minutes. And even more can happen between 9 and 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night. For instance, our favorite show can throw a big-time curveball and leave us wondering if we're getting somewhere or only sinking deeper into confusion. Or maybe that's just me.

Here's the thing. I really really liked this episode. It ranks up there with "The Constant" (one of the other big Desmond episodes) in terms of deft storytelling and revelations. In fact, I liked it so much that I am now wondering what the heck we've been doing for the past several weeks watching that other show -- you know the one with that creepy Man in Black and Jacob and that goofy temple -- that has nothing to do with this one.

One thing is certain: we made some big discoveries tonight about sideways world -- what it is (or isn't) and how it functions and I can't wait to talk about that.

But first Jen, I have to know: what was your gut reaction to the ep? Love it? Hate it? Indifferent?

Jen: Honestly, Liz, I am still processing. I was so ready for a Desmond Dies episode, so primed for a weeper, that this wasn't quite what I was expecting. There were a lot of things about the episode I liked very much -- all the clever but subtle references back to previous Desmond episodes, the return of Mr. Daniel Faraday and, as you mentioned, a slightly clearer sense of what is going on in sideways world. But a few moments seemed contrived. I loved seeing Charlie again, for example, but the way our characters got forced back into a watery sense of danger felt a little forced to me. (But then, maybe it was forced because Charlie was, well, forcing Desmond to face his island memories.) And why did Widmore ask Des to babysit Driveshaft Man if he knew they were on the same plane together? Why not ask Des to keep an eye on the dude all the way back from Sydney? Maybe I'm nitpicking about all the wrong things, but what can I say? When I see a nit, I pick. But perhaps we should focus on the big picture and talk about tonight's narrative shift, especially since yesterday evening, Carlton Cuse Tweeted this: "Tonight a new chapter in the season commences."

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Liz: It's that narrative shift that likely has me feeling as if we were watching a totally different show. Or, to be more precise, like we were watching "Lost" again rather than "The Continuing Adventures of Jacob and the MIB."

I get what you're saying about the contrived feeling, but maybe that will make sense if we look at sideways world itself as an utterly contrived place. The title of this week's episode -- now that we've seen the thing -- is pretty telling. It's "Happily Ever After" and that fits in well with the idea that Daniel Faraday (or Widmore) was trying to sell Desmond -- that this world, the one we've been calling "sideways," is not real. It's a fairy tale, a chimera, a matrix. And -- like the theory I quoted in yesterday's Lost 5 post -- perhaps designed to hold our characters, or at least their consciousness, in some kind of pleasant prison.

Oh, and there were some details on the island that didn't quite jibe for me, either. Like wouldn't all of that electromagnetism have affected the cameras they had monitoring that experiment chamber?

Jen: I also liked that one of the dials Widmore's people was fiddling with said "magnetic flux density." Which is just a hodge podge of words from "Back to the Future," really. Come to think of it, that actually makes it pretty awesome. Anyhoo, let's discuss this prison business.

In tonight's episode, our core characters -- Charlie, Desmond and Daniel -- all seemed suddenly aware of their island lives. They were having flashes before their eyes, if you will. The pleasant prison metaphor may apply nicely to them. But what about Jack, who seems to finally be learning in sideways world what it means to be a good father? Or Ben, who, in his way, has taken the high road for the sake of a student? Are they in a pleasant prison, or has this "reality" actually proven that they are capable of greater integrity?

Liz: That is an excellent question. Is it possible to answer "both?" Perhaps sideways world has given them the opportunity to realize that they can be better versions of themselves. But also -- if we stick with the pleasant prison idea -- we can perhaps assume that somewhere inside of their brains or their spirits live the lessons of their past mistakes. So Jack can be a better man, son, doctor and Ben Linus is finally free (yet in prison, bear with me!) to be a good man because of the lives they've already led. Again, all part of the pleasant prison. Why stir from this place where you are your best self?

Jen: All right, I'll roll with pleasant prison for now, especially since it ties in nicely with MIB's contention that he, too, is essentially incarcerated.

Liz: Speaking of awareness, I think we also need to talk about Ms. Hawking and Charlie together and here's why: Because they both, to some extent, know what is going on. Ms. Hawking was surprised to see Des show up at her event, but quickly pulled herself together and yanked Des aside to tell him that his inquiries about Penny were a "violation" and to back off because "he isn't ready yet." So she's, in a sense, some kind of Agent Smith -- a sheriff set loose in sideways world to make sure no one gets too curious or discovers a glitch.

Sideways Charlie, on the other hand, is a junkie who has realized that he had a whole other life, glimpsed thanks to a near death experience, in which he met Claire. But since we also know he's actually dead, could he be some kind of guardian angel sent to sideways world to open Desmond's eyes to his higher calling? Remember, Charlie keeps telling Desmond things like "None of this is real" and "None of this matters at all." The implication being that "this" = sideways world.

Jen: Right, and both he and Daniel said a variation of: "The important thing is you felt it," as in felt the existence of that other world. But let's consider this: according to Charles Widmore, the Artist Formerly Known as Faraday is the one who wanted Driveshaft at his party. And if that's the case, that means perhaps he knew Desmond would need to shepherd (poor word choice) him to the function, putting him in the same place as Penny. Hawking, as ever, wants to keep Des from Penny. It's what she did in the jewelry shop back in season three, and it's what she is doing again here. Why does Desmond + Penny = disaster in Ellie's mind?

Liz: Because Ellie and Widmore want two different things: Eloise (whose hair was so Joan Collins circa "Dynasty" in this ep) wants Des and the other Losties to stay put, safely in stasis. So she contrives to keep Des and Penny apart while allowing her husband to keep Des close, so she can keep an eye on him. Widmore, on the other hand, almost seemed to be pushing Des in Penny's direction by having him babysit Charlie and suggesting he explain things to his wife when Des lost Charlie. But, as we know, island Widmore is anxious to force another electromagnetic event. And the last one, as we know, spawned sideways world. So should we assume Widmore wants to undo what his son did?

Meaning we've got another set of adversaries: Eloise vs. Charles (again). Interesting considering the art in Widmore's office: the scales of justice with one side containing something black, the other something white. Again, the light vs. dark/good vs. evil motif.

Jen: Hmmm. That's interesting. Another slightly less complicated theory: Widmore and Eloise both want to keep Penny and Desmond apart. Why? Because, as Widmore said tonight, he is going to have to ask for a sacrifice from Desmond. That sacrifice may involve his death. And both of them may feel that by keeping them apart whenever they have control over that, they're saving both of them from the pain of separation that is inevitable.

Liz: Question: We'd never definitively learned that Widmore was Faraday's father until tonight, right?

Jen: It was strongly implied. I feel like Eloise may have referred to him as "our son" while talking to Widmore last season, but I could be wrong. In any case, the guy had never held the last name Widmore before, that's for sure.

Liz: Right. I think Ms. Hawking did make some mention of it last season. It was Penny's mother who we have been left completely in the dark about.

Speaking of Faraday, it sure was nice to see that stringy hair and patchy beard again.

Jen: Sure was. And nice to see Charlie again as well, not to mention one ... George Minkowski, aka Fisher Stevens in the role of Desmond's driver. Relevant, of course, because that guy once flashed back and forth through time himself.

Liz: Indeed. He was, as I recall, the first victim of time travel sickness we encountered in our narrative. Always good to see him without a fatal nose bleed.

Jen: Speaking of that, maybe we should talk about Desmond's fun little experiment with electromagnetism. Was it just me, or did that remind you a lot of Dr. Manhattan's metamorphosis in "Watchmen"?

Liz: It did. Dr. Manhattan was transformed by being exposed to high levels of radiation thanks to a government experiment and here's our Des -- stuck between two massive coils that resemble nothing so much as Princess Leia's buns (hair buns, that is) and living to tell the tale. Sadly, Desmond didn't end up a skyscraper-tall naked blue man.

Jen: No, but he can, in a manner of speaking, beam himself places. So there's that. And those coils didn't remind me of Princess Leia so much as they did of huge speakers, especially when Des was stuck in that chair in front of them. Brought to mind those old Maxell ads of yesteryear. Yes, I am old. Thanks for asking!

Liz: Speaking of that experiment, it seemed to have a similar effect on Des as when he pressed the fail-safe key -- he was sent careening through time, in this instance to sideways world. And he only woke up back on the island after making physical contact with Penny, his constant. He shook her hand, passed out in L.A. and awoke on the island.

Jen: Right. This is the third time Des has done this time-toggling thing, for those keeping track at home. It happened initially after the fail-safe key incident, and again -- in the episode "The Constant" -- after he took the chopper to the freighter.

Liz: One nerdlinger detail re: the experiment. The rabbit named Angstrom.

Jen: Ah, yes. I noted this, too. We're both dorks.

Liz: For those playing along at home, an angstrom is, according to Wikipedia, "often used in the natural sciences for expressing the sizes of atoms, lengths of chemical bonds and the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation." So, just a little joke between physicists, apparently.

Jen: Also, the bunny: you remember him from a certain Dr. Marvin Candle video in which one of them seemed to fall from the ceiling in an experiment gone awry. I'd say Desmond is a bit like a bunny in this scenario.

Liz: And, of course, from an episode in which Ben pretended to scare a bunny to death in order to keep Sawyer in check.

Jen: And a couple additional notes about Constants: Daniel also said that Desmond would act as his Constant. And again we see Daniel reaching out to him, helping Des connect with his own Constant and restabilize things somehow. (According to this theory, though, perhaps all the Losties are each other's Constants.)

Liz: Maybe we should talk about Dan and his midnight scribblings. If you want to talk about contrived, well that was a bit of a stretch: "I woke up and scribbled these really complex quantum physics equations. Here, let me show you."

Jen: Yes, that was a little bit odd. And it happened to Daniel after he met ... Charlotte. Who was eating a chocolate bar, a reference to what she said before she died in Dan's arms: "I'm not allowed to have chocolate before dinner."

Are the "Lost" writers just trying to tell us that all you need is love? Because the Beatles kinda covered that.

Liz: Right -- but you have to hand it to them for being able to tie love to quantum physics.

Jen: True. But seriously, why are they all having flashes at the same time? What changed in the island timeline -- which, I think we can all fairly presume at this point, is unfolding concurrently -- that refreshed their memories? Personally, I think maybe it was Desmond starting to time toggle. I'm not sure how that synchs up with Faraday's encounter with quantum physics, though. Remember, Desmond on the island was pulled directly from the hospital, post-Ben shooting. Which is a pre-Second Incident event. And now he's in a post-Second Incident island world. Maybe yanking Desmond from one timeline to the next caused the bleeding of the worlds.

Please tell me that makes sense. It does in my brain.

Liz: I get what you're saying, yes. It could be Widmore's experiment -- he perhaps didn't mean to send Des careening through time yet, but he's not, I think, 100 percent sure of what he's doing.

Jen: I noticed that during a conversation with Charlie -- who is suddenly a clear thinker despite going through what would have to be withdrawal -- Desmond says, "No matter what you do, there is always a choice." That's quite a contrast to what Des said just before they last time those two guys found themselves underwater: "No matter what you do, you're going to die, Charlie."

Which would mean the writers are telling us that everyone really does have free will, just like Jacob says, right? Well, no. Because destiny also plays a part, too. It's why Desmond has to meet Penny, and no one can stop it. Not even Eloise and her poufy hairdo.

I think the takeaway, ultimately, is that there is no winner in the Jacob vs. MIB fight. It's a pointless argument. Sometimes destiny plays a hand, and sometimes you can control your fate. Both forces are always at play in the world.

And with that, I thank you for attending this session of Philosophy 101.

Liz: Well, but that could also tie in to Dan's equations. Perhaps when free will meets destiny things are somehow rearranged on an atomic level and the outcome is, as Dan said, love.

Jen: I was wondering about this, and so are some people on Twitter: How come Desmond was wearing a wedding ring when he was on the plane with Jack in the season premiere, but in tonight's episode, he isn't?

Liz: Perhaps to keep in-flight cougars from hitting on him? Seriously, though, that's a fair question. Either a continuity error or part of the bleeding over? Could Des's wedding ring be similar to those puzzling wounds Jack found on his neck when he looked in the airplane bathroom mirror?

Jen: Given the debacle with Claire's ultrasound, it totally could be an error.

I like to think it means something, though. What, I am not sure. Just putting that out there. Another thing about Penny, besides the fact that she clearly is not alarmed by men randomly approaching her when she's jogging at a stadium alone in the dead of night: Her last name in sideways L.A., based on tonight's information is "Milton."

Of course, my initial thought was of John Milton, and that perhaps, she is literally Desmond's "paradise lost." But if you type Milton and Hume into Google, guess what bundle of fun you find?

Liz: Umm, the first Australian born explorer?

Jen: Right! This guy. Dang, how'd you know?

Liz: I cheated.

Jen: So we get a guy who discovered the Darling River in his travels to Australia. Put Hume and Milton together, and you get the undeniable notion that one must go to Australia to "explore." Meaning Desmond, and all of our Losties, had to. Maybe it's a stretch? Perhaps, but I thought that was a funny little connection.

Liz: One more observation about that stadium scene: When Desmond asks Penny out for coffee, alarm bells started ringing in my head. Why? Because as Juliet lay dying in Sawyer's arms at the beginning of this season she mumbled something about going to get coffee. Could it be that as she passed from this world, Juliet had some kind of vision of sideways world. A vision in which she didn't see herself, but others?

Jen: I thought about that, too. I think that's entirely possible. Also, and this may be obvious but not necessarily to everyone, the stadium scene was a nice reference back to the first flashback scene in which we saw Desmond. Then, he was arguing with Penny about why he had severed contact with her. Here, they were connecting for the first time. Which was nice to see. Oh, and I have to say something about that coffee house, which related back to Juliet.

They were supposed to meet at a place in L.A. near Melrose and Sweetzer. There happens to be a coffee house establishment near there. And it's called... The V Cafe. Yes. Really.

Even when the V countdown clock goes away, the promotion doesn't end.

Liz: Hmm... their cabbage, radicchio and apple slaw with red wine vinaigrette looks pretty good.

Jen: So let's talk about where we ended this episode, which has officially been proclaimed the best "Lost" episode ever by many Twitterers. And obviously, Tweets never lie.

No. 1: Desmond, having sufficiently flashed to L.A. and connected with his constant, is now totally on board with helping Widmore.

Liz: Yet he was content to walk off into the jungle with Sayid.

Jen: Is Desmond doing that intentionally? Did Widmore tell him to? That was a little fuzzy to me. Desmond seemed to just passively follow along.

Liz: I don't think Widmore did. Des just seemed happy to follow Sayid. It's as if Des knows that accomplishing Widmore's goal will involve coming into contact with MIB. Although Widmore himself may not realize that.

No. 2: Sideways world is crumbling. I would expect the deterioration to accelerate exponentially now that we know Dan Faraday, quantum physics detective is on the case.

Jen: Sweet. Daniel Faraday: Quantum Physics Detective. Another "Lost" spinoff.

And then there's this matter of Desmond getting his hands on the Oceanic manifest. I think he wants to do for the others what Charlie did for him. Encourage them to find their Pennys, feel the love, all that crap.

Liz: Maybe we should stop here and reconvene at 2 p.m. ET?

Jen: I'll plan for all of our worlds to collide then. Between now and 2, though, ponder this theory related to Faraday's drawing, which refers to the "imaginary time" we alluded to earlier. Is it possible that it's not the sideways world that is imaginary, but instead, the island timeline?

Liz: Head exploding. See you at 2.

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly  | April 7, 2010; 10:27 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
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Comments

Daniel has his moment of clarity w/Charlotte and the chocolate...I'm wondering if Sawyer will have his when he meets a certain blonde and she asks HIM for coffee...in fact maybe they'll be having coffee when Des and Penny are having theirs. Double date from Sideways world to the island...
There was so much in Happily Ever After that it is hard for me to decide whether I like where it seems the end is heading.
Certainly Sideways Des isn't going to convince all the Losties that their new happy world is something they want to leave and embrace sad lonely island world.
Is the 'sacrifice' Widmore will ask of Desmond is that he become the new Jacob?

Posted by: ronstamant | April 7, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

not to pick more nits, but as a physics grad I must tell you "magnetic flux density" is just another name some people use for "magnetic field".

Posted by: konflikt | April 7, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Why do I get this nagging feeling that this sideways world means that the plane crash never happened? That none of it is real. Or the plane crash did happen, but somewhere else and they're in comas or something. I know I'm pulling these out of nowhere - but I get this bad feeling that it'll be a Soprano-esque ending... anyone else feeling this? Maybe it's just the stress of the show ending soon messing with my head.

Posted by: JenEFur | April 7, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Liz, I always feel that way after Desmond episodes. It seems like the show makes sense and Jacob is irrelevant. Then the next week you get a Jacob (or Hurley) episode that makes it seem like that character and his/her associates are the keys. It only makes sense globally if all the subplots are part of the Answer.

Maybe I missed something...DID Charles know Des and Charlie were on the same flight back? Even if so, perhaps Eloise didn't get on his case about Charlie until after the flight had landed. That seems likely as what kicked off this particular round of concern for Charlie was his arrest, which hadn't happened until after the flight of course.

Just a hunch, but I think the sideays world will matter even if Charlie thinks it's not supposed to.

I read Eloise's concern as being about Desmond being aware of the alternate relaity at all, not specifically of Desmond hooking up with Penny. I don't the idea that Charles is subtly btrying to force Penny and desmond togetehr can be justified, BTW. Desmond is Charle's main man but doesn't even seem aware that Charles has a daughter. If Charles wanted them together I think he could and would have set something a little more definite in motion...like introducing them to each other for a start.

Desmond is content to be led off by Charles or Sayid or anyone because he knows he'll be able to straighten things out regardless of who tries to pull his strings.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 7, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I didn't get the feeling that Widmore was self-aware of the dream state in his Imaginary Time self.

Eloise, for sure, but during her white-haired lady phase, she's always been self-aware outside of linear time.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I think it would be safe to say that none of us has any idea what's really going on.

And I think that's pretty cool.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Didn't producers say lost can be explained in a one 4 letter word. I think we know what that word is now. "LOVE"

We are going to see some heartbreaking stuff coming up in these final episodes. They are setting it up for a couple complete full blown cry fests.

Posted by: Skotie68 | April 7, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I am pretty sure Desmond did some awesome consciousness time-traveling as soon as widmore hit the button on the EMF machine thingie... so he got a sense of the FS world, and then when he shook his 'constant', Penny's hand in the FS world, he flashed to the island... so both his realities are now definitely aware of each other...

Eloise I think is special in the same sense as Desmond, but the fact that Charlie and Daniel are now aware of their island timelines I think may be connected to the fact tht they are dead in the island timeline.. maybe tht is something that would make people not special like Desmond, also bridge the gap between realities...

Although Charlotte is the one thing against my hypothesis, she shouldve had an inkling when she met Sawyer then... or maybe she did... and we just don't know it yet...

Posted by: elwingt | April 7, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Jen and Liz, there was a second meaning to the lab rabbit named Angstrom. "Rabbit Angstrom" was the name of John Updike's protagonis in "Rabbit, Run."

Posted by: jesharris | April 7, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Ok, so now Faraday thinks the bomb was a mistake - or that what's happening now isn't right (and WOW was that a stretch in Faraday's logic: "I fell in love with this redhead and then I wrote down some strange equations, so I must have detonated an nuclear advice", but never mind that...)

But setting off the bomb seemed to be the whole point of the previous season and the excursion to Dharma. I'm guessing that for storytelling purposes the bomb won't turn out to be a mistake, because if that were a mistake than most of Seasons 4 ("We have to go back!") and 5 (Losties in Dharmaville) would have been a waste of time.

So what purpose will the bomb have served? Is it somehow closing an unexplained loophole and keeping MIB contained?

Possible motivation for Widmore and future source of conflict: he may be looking to destroy MIB, whereas Jacob and the Candidates (what an awful band name that would be) instead "just" want to imprison him. I very much doubt we're going to find Widmore on the same team as Jack and friends - but just what will the conflict be?

And as always, the script's attempts to ensure that characters in the know never ever explain anything stretch credulity... Widmore to Jin, "It's faster to show you than to explain"; Desmond telling Widmore that he doesn't need to explain. I know it's one of the show's gimmicks, but come on! And when is Jack going to ask Richard, "OK, thirty years back, after you carried off Eloise, and we carried off the bomb - what the heck happened?"

Question 2 for Richard: "What were you Others up to when we first came to the island?!" Because their actions back then don't seem to make any sense at all.

Posted by: lostinasia | April 7, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

It may have been a Physics reference too, but you missed the obvious rabbit one. Rabbit Angstrom was the name of the main character in John Updike's novels.

Posted by: jf76 | April 7, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

elwingt said: "Although Charlotte is the one thing against my hypothesis, she shouldve had an inkling when she met Sawyer then..."

It's only been the very close bonds that have punched through or almost punched through. Charlotte and Sawyer were not that close. But Jack seemed to recognize Kate in LA X, Kate was deeply drawn to Claire, etc.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, I do realize Charlotte is dead in the Island reality. But she hasn't had a near death experience in LA or run into Daniel yet. He saw her, but, presumably, she didn't see him.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"Sideways Charlie, on the other hand, is a junkie who has realized that he had a whole other life, glimpsed thanks to a near death experience, in which he met Claire. But since we also know he's actually dead, could he be some kind of guardian angel sent to sideways world to open Desmond's eyes to his higher calling?"

But Island Charlie isn't dead yet! Sideways Charlie and Des drove into the water on the same day they arrived in LA, in September 2004. Island Charlie won't die until several months later -- I forget the exact date, but it was right before the freighter came, and it was late December when Des and Sayid saw the calendar on the freighter.

Ow, all this is making my head hurt again.

Posted by: Janine1 | April 7, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

@skotie68 - Lost has messed with my brain so much over the years, another four-letter word comes to mind.

Posted by: telecomic | April 7, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

MeriJ said: "It's only been the very close bonds that have punched through or almost punched through. Charlotte and Sawyer were not that close. But Jack seemed to recognize Kate in LA X, Kate was deeply drawn to Claire, etc."

I agree... it does seem to be the more important the relationship the more the semi-awareness..

I only worried about Charlotte because she was dead in the island timeline... which according to my hypothesis would make her a lot more aware of the realities, more like Daniel remembering the details of the bomb...

but yeh.. it could just be that Charlotte would need to encounter Daniel in order to be more aware...

Posted by: elwingt | April 7, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

In response to Lostinasia's comment:

"Question 2 for Richard: "What were you Others up to when we first came to the island?!" Because their actions back then don't seem to make any sense at all."

The Others were systematically removing anyone from the survivors who wasn't a candidate and taking them back to the temple for safe keeping (e.g. Cindy & the kids). The candidates were left to their own devices on the island, and exposed to Smokey, perhaps to test their worthiness?

Posted by: nataliezundel | April 7, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I agree with MeriJ. I didn't get the sense that Charles knew of the other world state.

Posted by: twinbrook | April 7, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

This was an excellent episodem.

I think this is the LindeCuse motto:

"It's better to have loved and LOST, than never to have loved at all."

Posted by: mat00 | April 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

And not only was it an excellent episodem, it was also an excellent episode.

Posted by: mat00 | April 7, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Also regarding "angstrom," Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom is the main character in John Updike's "Rabbit" novels.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_Angstrom

Posted by: HJArey | April 7, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand, after all the progress we made last week tying in lost with D. Darko, seeing how a parallel world must've been created by either the plane crash or the bomb; remembering the rabbit duplicating itself (a parallel rabbit?) ... why are we getting into this whole "pleasant prison" business?

What I understood, specially when Widmore and Desmond smiled at each other confidently and knowingly at the beginning of the show is that, "It Worked!". Meaning the bomb worked in re-setting their lives from the Island, after 1970s. It also created a parallel world (a la D. Darko, swan rabbit), and now one of them must be destroyed (not sure which), or the [anti-matter?] two worlds will collide causing a catastrophe of sorts.

Is the Jacob/MIB conflict relevant in sideways world? Was the evil bunny rabbit relevant in D. Darko real world?

And I don't think Desmond may realize that Sayid is on the other team... they were friends afterall, weren't they?

And matt00 - excellent motto!

Posted by: Mia13 | April 7, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

In reply to lostinasia:

I think Faraday didn't just make a leap of logic, but seeing Charlotte in the FS world triggered in him an awareness of the island timeline, prolly also his memories regarding advising to detonate 'jughead'...

though I agree that the LOST writers use many storytelling devices in order to keep the mystery up, I really doubt that they want us to believe that Daniel just thought up a nuclear bomb in his head out of nothing...

Posted by: elwingt | April 7, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

"I only worried about Charlotte because she was dead in the island timeline... which according to my hypothesis would make her a lot more aware of the realities, more like Daniel remembering the details of the bomb..."

But, as of September 2004, Charlotte also hasn't died yet in the island timeline.

Posted by: Janine1 | April 7, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

In reply to Janine1

You're right.. she probably isn't even on the island as of sept 2004...

Though I wasn't really thinking of the two timelines running concurrently.. because then almost nothing in my theory holds up... I think it is more or less a case of the FS timeline being spawned out of the island timeline through jughead... so they are independent of each other in that sense...

And the dead in the island reality seem to have a way of bridging the gap between the realities, as do the 'special' Desmond and Eloise...

Posted by: elwingt | April 7, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Mia:

Whatever theories gain strength each week are inevitably put aside in favor of alternate theories the next week! That's what I mean when I say we have no freaking idea what is really going on here.

Donnie Darko didn't make sense until the very end, either. And at the time -- that is, before one had websites to explain it all -- very of us really understood it until a day or two of reflection had passed. Ditto for Mulhohand Drive, another head-game fave of mine.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I understand. It is puzzling, because it does make sense that those who die in one timeline might have a special awareness in the other -- but how could that come about before the moment when they cease to exist in one? We've already seen Sideways Charlotte on her post-landing date with Sawyer, and I don't recall that she seemed to have any such awareness.

(By the way, as of the date that 815 landed, Island Charlotte was just an archeologist who hadn't yet been recruited by Widmore to go look for the island. And I've forgotten -- did Widmore put together the freighter team after 815 crashed, or after the hatch blew up?)

Posted by: Janine1 | April 7, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

You're totally right MeriJ - which is what makes this incredibly frustrating and exciting at the same time, right?

I am totally Lost and lovin' it :-)

Posted by: Mia13 | April 7, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

@ Janine1

yup.. Charlotte not knowing Sawyer was what threw me off scent there.. but like MeriJ mentioned it may need stronger relationships to cause an 'awareness' moment..

and I obviously have no scientific backing or knowledge for thinking this, but I did not consider the two timelines to be running concurrently... but well.. this was the first explanation that came to my mind.. so put it forth... quite ready to have it blasted to pieces with next week's episode :)

Posted by: elwingt | April 7, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I think elwingt is right about the dead. Island 2007 and LA X 2004 seem to be linked in ways that transcend linear time.

If LA X is even real, that is.

Three clues that suggest it may not be, as Liz and Jen mentioned, are the episode title, Daniel's Imaginary Time note in his journal and Eloise's comment to Desmond to the effect that, "hello, you got what you wanted, right? Widmore respects you enough to share his bloody Scotch."

The dream prison thing is a new hypothesis which Liz and Jen pasted from Dark UFO yesterday. But it's just an idea at this point. That LA X might not be real, seems more likely after last night, but we really don't know what it means.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Jen, your comment about why didn't Widmore ask Desmond to watch Charlie the whole time on the plane. Widmore probably didn't feel it was necessary because he didn't know Charlie would be choking on a bag of heroin, almost dying, and then getting arrested on the flight, preventing him from going to the concert. Also, had Charlie not done any of that on the plane, he probably would have gone on with his life all the same and headed straight to the concert. Secondly, I find it kind of interesting as Charlie was close to dying, he saw what seems to be an apparition of Claire and not a memory from our world. Could this mean that Claire is actually already dead? (along with Sayid?) Was that actually Claire's soul welcoming Charlie to the afterlife where they could finally be together?

Posted by: AlexM138 | April 7, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I feel like you might be reading too much into Charles Widmore’s actions in sideways world. He seemed totally happy go lucky. Not the Widmore we’re used to. I didn’t see any instances in this episode that hinted at Charles specifically wanting to get Desmond and Penny together, OR wanting to keep them apart. He didn’t seem to have any awareness of the alternate “island reality” at all. Meanwhile, it was Eloise who was able to recognize what Desmond was doing and tried to stop him. So I don’t see this turning into an Eloise vs Charles scenario.

Posted by: DCUMD | April 7, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else catch how Desmond mentioned something along the lines of getting the manifest for "him" or "he" wanted it? I was left wondering if Desmond was getting the list for Widmore? Or if this was meant to be after he left with Sayid and he was "working" for MIB? And what would he be looking for on the Sideways manifest that would be of use on the island?

Posted by: PostReader4 | April 7, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I think that Eloise didn't want Desmond to meet Penny because that meeting will lead to the end of the Sideways timeline. And she likes the Sideways timeline because she didn't have to force Daniel to study physics (preventing him from playing the piano, as he really wanted), and so causing him to be exposed to the radiation when he was experimenting at Cambridge (messing with his brain so that he was in a confused state until he met his Constant Desmond on the Island), and ultimately sending Daniel back in time so that her earlier self would kill him.

Posted by: Ghak | April 7, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I believe Desmond said he wanted the manifest to show "them" something. Most of us assume "them" meant the other passengers on the flight.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Rabbit Angstrom also is the protagonist's name in John Updike's series of "Rabbit" novels. Not just an inside joke among physicists, but yet another literary reference.

Posted by: jmcgavin52 | April 7, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

There's been talk about how sideways world is an improved/happier existence for our characters. I believe that Eloise told Desmond that he had what he always wanted; Widmore's approval. However, he doesn't have Penny or his son. Hurley is happy, Sawyer is a cop. So sideways world is where everyone gets what they really want, but that doesn't necessarily make them happier. Careful what you wish for.

Posted by: lostincanada | April 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This was the most satisfying episode of the season for me. It feels like some of the pieces of the puzzle are finally falling into place. The rip in the fabric of Sideways world was a revelation and the thread that connects all these disparate parts is slowly emerging. Do I have a clue what it means? Not by a long shot, but I'm liking the hints I'm getting.

What's happening in LA X reminds me of the planet in "A Wrinkle in Time," where everyone was an automaton and life was regulated and regimented, controlled by a Super Being--It. It took love in the novel to break the spell It had over everyone. But I do wonder about the positive lives that Jack and Ben seems to have in Sideways World.

Desmond so eagerly following Sayid was right in character for someone who, after what he'd just been through, now understands his mission. Des knows Sayid is going to take him where he needs to go and I can't wait to see what happens when Des meets MiB.

Oh, and great call, Jen, pointing out the parallel effects of Dr. Manhattan and Desmond after their close encounters with megawatts!

Posted by: CafeBeouf | April 7, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Desmond wasn't Charlie-sitting from Sydney because he hadn't been arrested yet in Sydney.

Posted by: HardyW | April 7, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I think you guys were on to something about destiny versus free will that Forrest Gump figured out years ago:

"Jenny, I don't know if Momma was right or if, if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. I miss you, Jenny. If there's anything you need, I won't be far away."

Posted by: Stalagna | April 7, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

This is awesome, mat00: "It's better to have loved and LOST, than never to have loved at all."

Posted by: mat00 | April 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I LOVE it/I LOST it!

Posted by: jmcgavin52 | April 7, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I've thought for weeks now that the "Sideways World" was your fondest wish - and now Eloise Hawking has simply confirmed it.

Be careful what you wish for.

In wishing to be better liked by her father, Desmond almost loses Penny.

And I've also thought for weeks this was much less about good and evil and much more about free will and predestination - and that was also confirmed in this episode: You always have choices.

That some of the characters have more than just a simple case of deja vu about their other lives is interesting - but also maybe not so surprising. Maybe that's how Charlie could pop around and keep visiting Hurley, for example, and how Desmond always seemed to pop and travel quite consciously.

Forcing Desmond to endure the Flux Capacitor experiment was interesting. Will he be forced to go back in time down in the shaft to defuse the nuke so that it never happens? Is that what he understands he must do? Or not blow the hatch? Or what, exactly?

Posted by: jqw3827 | April 7, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

LA X possbibly not real:

Remember also that Jack had trouble remembering key elements of his supposed life history in LA X:

1. That his appendix was taken out as a child
2. How old his son was when he started playing piano, despite supposedly having been overly focussed on it at the time.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Pre-determination vs free will. What happens when we GET what we want rather than what we really need (cue in The Rolling Stones; You can't always get what you want...).

This takes me back to Jacob and MIB sitting on the beach with the Black Rock in sight. Could this discussion somehow relate to Jacob's and MIB's views of free will and pre-determination? The references to progress being made each time, but it only ending once?

Posted by: lostincanada | April 7, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Is it the flash-sideways timeline that is the fantasy world or is it ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFK1rvL2NoQ

Posted by: jmcgavin52 | April 7, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

This week was SUCH a game changer & by far the best episode so far.

Or maybe I just loved it because of Des & Daniel. Either way, things make so much more sense after Daniel explains things to us.

One of my favourite things about this season is seeing all the old faces we thought were gone.

For me it was the first time this year that I had a few OMG!! type moments. They were sorely lacking up until last nite.

I'd say Des followed Sayid because he knew he'd take him where he needed to go & if he didn't go, he'd probably end up dead.

Posted by: wadejg | April 7, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I misheard, but I seem to remember Faraday saying that Penny was his "half-sister". This would mean that the parentage of Penny and Daniel still isn't as clear as the two of you were discussing.

Posted by: pcperrinjan | April 7, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

pcperrinjan - Penny was always Charle's daughter, Daniel was always Eloise's son... We presumed last season and received as fact yesterday, that Daniel is also Charle's son... that makes Penny his half-sister, since they both share a father.

Posted by: Mia13 | April 7, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Before reading everyone's comments --

It seems to me that the ending was quite significant. After the reveal by Daniel (and his notebook notation on Imaginary Time) and Charlie that that is not the real world, once Desmond touches Penny, he returns to the real world on the Island. But the moment he goes with Sayid, he is transported back to the "sideways world."

That would seem to indicate that the sideways world, the false reality, is MIB's world, the world created if he wins, the world that prevents the Losties from stopping him. MIB wants them in the sideways world.

Posted by: ooyah32 | April 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Someone was wondering what might happen when Desmond meets MIB. How about a rendition of 'Sympathy for Devil' by the Rolling Stones? I digress, that's my second reference to the Stones today and my last.

Posted by: lostincanada | April 7, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

At one point while watching Des and Mrs. Widmore talk I had a flash to "Stepford Wives" (Glen Close/Christopher Walken). Could Eloise have crafted this reality in order to serve _her_ wishes that her son survive??

And what was with Charlie? He was suicidal and so dark. Dead man walking.

Posted by: beta1 | April 7, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

pcperrinjan and Mia13-

Also, didn't we learn at an earlier point that Widmore had broken a rule by fathering a child with someone off the island (and we always assumed, correctly, that the child was Penny)?

Posted by: Janine1 | April 7, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

[Oh, never mind. I don't know what I was getting at with that comment. Need a nap.]

Posted by: Janine1 | April 7, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Life in LA X:

I’m in pattern-seeking mode. How is life in LA X playing out for each character...

----------------------------------------
Happy so far:

Kate: Learns to be responsible for someone else, endangering herself to help Claire/Aaron

Locke: Finally accepts his limitations and seems on track to be happy

Jack: Is a good father and seems on track to accept that about himself

Ben: Chooses Love over Power

Hurley: Lucky instead of cursed and seemingly at peace (We’ll find out next week!)

Des: Gets what he thinks he desires most (Widmore’s respect) but loses what he actually valued most … until Charlie and Daniel come along.

Claire: Not clear if dead in island 2007, but will get to keep Aaron in LA X. (So far…)

Widmore: Seems more content to me – freed from responsibility for the island’s outcome

-----------------------------------------
Unhappy or ambigious:

James: Is cop instead of con man. This is an improvement but he doesn’t seem content. The original Sawyer still haunts him.

Sayid: His brother marries Nadia instead of him. Then he fails to escape being a natural killer.

Jin & Sun: Lead secret (duplicitous) life to be happy, and are pregnant. But her father causes tragedy.

Eloise: Same time cop as always.

-------------------------------------------
Those dead in Island 2007 timeline:

Charlie: still an addict but not clear if happy or unhappy prior to near-death experience -- > wake up!

Daniel: gets to be musician instead of pushed into physics. Seems happy until Charlotte wake-up call

Charlotte: unclear whether any change in LA X

Boone: unclear whether any change in LA X

.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

To ooyah32

I don't think Des was transported back to sideways world. I think that we were just given a look at what the Sideways Des did after the Primary Des left the Sideways world.

Posted by: Ghak | April 7, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

ooyah32,

Agree that sideways LA is MIB's "pleasant prison" world. I don't know if anyone else has commented on this but it was emphasized in this episode that there is nothing outside LA. In previous seasons the characters traveled the entire world; in the sideways universe everything and everyone is restricted to a single locale. Greater LA is about the same size as the Island. It needs just one more addition, MIB himself. That’s probably why Desmond wants the manifest.

Posted by: strao172 | April 7, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I think that Boone's change might be that he has finally learned not to drop everything when Shannon calls. This impression is from the tiny bit we heard him say on the plane in "LA X".

Posted by: Ghak | April 7, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Haven't read all the comments yet, but just wanted to say....Great Episode. Picked up the Dr. Manhattan reference right away.

Loved seeing Charlie and Des and Daniel again. But if sideways world unravels becuase Des gets all the Losties together there the spirits of Charlie and Daniel and Charlotte will be Lost too, won't they? Will they willingly destroy that pleasant prison in order to keep MIB in his prison? I think they will, and that makes me both happy and sad.

Posted by: louiesully | April 7, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

When seeing Penny jogging in the stadium, I first recalled the Jack and Desmond encounter.

Posted by: VAjyd | April 7, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

strao172: "Greater LA is about the same size as the Island."

What a great observation!

Last night after during the initial limo scene, my son predicted that Widmore would be Desmond's boss. I said, "yeah, that's the obvious choice, but he doesn't live in LA."

Intriguing...

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

i was going to wonder whether the sideways folks are all in the SAME sideways world, or whether sideways world keeps changing based on what's happening on the island. Then I started to confuse myself. So just ignore that.

Pleasant prison? But it's not for all. And if it were of MIB's making, wouldn't that conflict with the whole "if MIB gets free, evil will be unleashed on the world" theory? Because the world doesn't look more or less evil sideways.

I thought the most startling thing was when Des returned to the island and immediately told Widmore that he didn't have to explain, he knew what he needed to do. I think people are overlooking that. I don't think he was saying "It's okay, Charles, I understand your plan and support you." He was saying "I, the special one for whom there are no rules, now truly understand what is happening on this island and I know what to do! Ha ha!"

And what about Scarecrow's brains?

Posted by: PQSully | April 7, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Tad Williams' Otherland books:

Otherland was a superb sci-fi story that the current story arc puts me in mind of. More so than The Matrix...

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Eloise says two important things to Des...
1) What ever happened happened and 2) it's all about time

I probably don't have the exact wording, but both struck me as strange the way she said them.

Posted by: SSDF1 | April 7, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

While not entirely evident, I think there's the possibility that Desmond will play, either on the Island or on LAX, a similar role as the one that Locke played in LA trying to bring everybody back to the Island. Desmond will try to convince the main characters that something needs to be done, and perhaps will be killed (sacrificed) in the intent. And maybe that will provide Jacob or one of the candidates the needed loophole to win.

Posted by: for33 | April 7, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Comment back from the chat: the thing on the rabbit's neck is called a dewlap and totally normal.

Posted by: beta1 | April 7, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

His name might be Daniel Whitmore but he prefers to be called "The Edge".

Posted by: Matt_in_Austin | April 7, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I am not so sure about the "positive prison" thing -- I think the beta universe is still related to time travel. When you go back in time and change something you don't "change" the future -- whatever happened, happened -- but rather, you create a new, parallel reality. That is, you can change one event but not the whole reality, because it already happened - all you can do is create a new one. In a weird way, that makes more sense to me than the concept of changing the future by changing the past.

Posted by: bjk25 | April 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Eloise seems to be the only one (until now) who knew that LA X was a fantasy world where people got their wishes--with some caveats. She tried to keep Des and Penny away from each other in the original timeline because she knew that for them to be together in LA X would be a "violation". If they had stayed apart in the original, they could live in fantasy world together. She wants LA X to continue as fantasy island so she can have her son back, and now Des is about to unravel the fantasy, and there will be more violations that will result in her son's death. I predict Hurley in LA X will be the first one, he will give up being lucky so things can be set right.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 7, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Late to the game today and too many comments to read through, so bear with me if anyone else has posited this.

With all the hype about the island being the container for evil from Ab Aeterno, and the fact that what seems to break through the Flash Sideways are moments surrounding the love stories on the show, has anyone thought that love is what will contain/destroy MIB?

That's a fairly standard theme in literature, most currently and famously used in the Harry Potter series (i.e. Voldemort can't reside in Harry because of love...)

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | April 7, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

**you create a new, parallel reality**

When they showed Daniel's notebook for a second, he had a notation on Imaginary Time.

According to Wikipedia, Imaginary Time is not a reality that parallels the first, but instead intersects the original reality at some point, thus creating a new second reality, such that both exist simultaneously.

Posted by: ooyah32 | April 7, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Chasmosaur1: I think you're right about Love. But don't underestimate the awesome power of Love + cataclysmic Electro-Magnetism!

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Eloise's motivations:

I don't buy the idea that she's doing anything for personal gain. No doubt she is happy to have Daniel with her in LA X, but a person in her position doesn't get the luxury of looking out for his or her own needs. Ditto for Widmore, which I'm truly amazing to hear myself say.

Eloise is a time/alt-reality cop of some kind. Not a fun person to spend any time with, but she's definitely devoting herself to the collective interests of the greater good. As she perceives it...

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

From ooyah32's wikipedia article:

"However, imaginary time is not imaginary in the sense that it is unreal or made-up — it simply runs in a direction different from the type of time we experience."

Whoa. I guess we need another episode before we go too far down the "LAX is not real" path.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Just sneaking in from work to say that a show with Desmond, Daniel and Ms. Hawking in it had to be terrific, and it was. By the numbers of comments already, I would say the show energized the base supporters quite nicely.

Posted by: Emcdoj | April 7, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

i'm with the general consensus that stopping/restraining/destroying MIB is the "right" thing to do. but i found it interesting that MIB repeatedly tells people that if they come with him, they can have "whatever it is they want" ... which especially after last night seems like *most* charecters (certainly in different degrees) have what they want. so now i'm wondering if that indeed is the world he's promising them to help get him off the island- but once he's there- all hell breaks loose?

i thought it worth pointing out that what MIB is "promising" people in his deal for having the losties go with him - sounds exactly like what Ms. Hawking/Widmore was saying to Desmond last night... not implying that they're on the same "side" or "team".. but it really struck me last night as a blatant similarity.

Posted by: Jere1570 | April 7, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't get Jen and Liz's insistence that MIB and Jacob were dropped into our laps late in the game. In the chat, they agree that Jacob was an important, yet unseen, character going back to Season 2, but don't seem to agree that MIB was important back then. Heck, MIB was in first or second episode as black smoke. The black smoke has been important the entire series.

Posted by: DTS1 | April 7, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

**you create a new, parallel reality**

When they showed Daniel's notebook for a second, he had a notation on Imaginary Time.

According to Wikipedia, Imaginary Time is not a reality that parallels the first, but instead intersects the original reality at some point, thus creating a new second reality, such that both exist simultaneously.

Yes! That makes even more sense to me -- I guess that by "parallel" I really meant simultaneous, in that they are taking place at the same time but, of course, they are going to intersect - they hinted at that loads last night.

Posted by: bjk25 | April 7, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

A thought about the why Desmond was not Charlie-sitting since Australia:

Charlie is presumably in one of the world's hottest rocks bands at that 'time'. Celebrities like to travel low-key and most seem to prefer to not have throngs of people stalking them when in public. I especially imagine that goes for celebrity heroine-junky.

Charlie's incident on the plane made his whereabouts publicized.

My assumption is that Widmore learned of Charlie's arrest via the news or TMZ or Eloise or Daniel and then ordered Dez to pick him up from the local prison because it would have been all so cool to have him Daniel jam with the hobbit.

Posted by: sloppyawn | April 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and I didn't think twice about Desmond going with Sayid. Our old, EM-affected Des had flashes of the future. And he seemed to understand exactly what Widmore wanted from him after the test.

I'm thinking Widmore didn't have to tell him anything - Des already knew. And he went with Sayid because he just knew he had to.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | April 7, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

VAjyd wrote:
When seeing Penny jogging in the stadium, I first recalled the Jack and Desmond encounter.
----------------------------
That meeting is the same thing I thought of.

If I could bronze an episode of television, it would have been this one. Des and Penny...one of the best love stories ever done on television.

As for the free will versus destiny argument, to quote "Young Frankenstein":
DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME! DESTINY! DESTINY! NO ESCAPING THAT FOR ME!

;-)

Posted by: olivertray | April 7, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

regarding my post above, i was referring to the Sideways Reality

Posted by: Jere1570 | April 7, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Has everyone forgotten that Charlie went with Jack and Kate to find the cockpit in order to retrieve his drugs he hid in the loo?

Posted by: cd_huntsville_AL | April 7, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Just read the 2-hour chat. Someone was concerned about the rabbit's "tumor". Well, no worries it's a natural thing that happens to some breeds in female rabbits. It's called a dewlap - it is basically stored fat. They pluck hair from this area to keep new babies warm. You learn something new everyday.

Posted by: dixie_kiwi | April 7, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Couple of things:

1. Will everybody wind up with a head injury before the show is done? A lot of forehead bleeding in the past few weeks.

2. Did you catch the nod& wink to "Flash Forward" created by the LOST creators? Not only is FF being set up as the inheritor of LOST's audience (promos are identical with the skyline & ominous ocean), but I couldn't keep Charlie & Penny in their LOST characters. And Desmond losing consciousness in the stadium a la FF? Priceless.

3. Hoping Desmond will be the new Jacob and the sacrifice is that he will have to mind MIB on the island for all eternity. Because we now know that you can't kill the immortal Mr. Hume.

Posted by: doobrah | April 7, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

PQSully said:

"i was going to wonder whether the sideways folks are all in the SAME sideways world, or whether sideways world keeps changing based on what's happening on the island. Then I started to confuse myself. So just ignore that."

Too late! Since it was you who said it, I have to think about it now.

Think think think

. . . Nah. But definitely worth thinking about. I don't remember a single sideways moment that confirms that they're all experiencing the same LA X. But since some of the characters are in more than one sideways vignette -- Jack and Claire, for example -- I'm guessing no.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 7, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Charlotte - does anyone remember exactly when (YEAR) she actually died? As I recall, it could have either been in the past (in which case it doesn't matter) or in the future from the sideways year.

Posted by: WillSeattle | April 7, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh man am I confused. And that's a good thing! But I have decided theories are just not working here. So instead I'll just state some observations to consider:

-Eloise knows the world is sideways and seems to want to protect it.

-There is bleed-over from the the island experiences to the sideways world, so sideways world seems fragile.

-Its been noted everyone is getting what they want in sideways world but Kate certainly isn't. Either is Sayid or Jin. Jack may be a good parent but he is divorced, not something HE wanted. Sawyer has not caught Cooper. But Widmore and Eloise ARE happy and seem to know they are in sideways world. Maybe sideways world is a reality they created ... oh there I go making theories, nevermind ... I think it might be worth revisiting the other Des episode where he ran into Eloise when buying the ring. Might be a connection there since that might have been sideways world Des was "dreaming" about.

-After Des is zapped he seems calm and understands what Widmore is doing. So calm he even goes off with Sayid. Its worth noting that the last time he got zapped, after turning the failsafe key, he could see the future. It was difficult for him, driving him crazy at times, but he learned to live with it and used it to save Charlie. He may now have a very good grasp of the future after the second zap and, knowing the future, is quite calm in the face or an impending war and harsh treatment. Maybe he thinks sideways world is the future and he will meet Penny and all will be well?

-Why did Sayid let Zoe go? He says he has no feelings. Why not just shoot her?

-If sideways time is "imaginary", meaning it is not part of the real world, could it be that this world was created by Eloise as a con? To con MIB? Consider that conning is central to LOST: Sawyer cons; Ben and the Others are better at conning; MIB conned Jacob by creating a loophole; Jacob seems to be conning everyone for good reasons and MIB is conning for bad reasons. Maybe sideways world is a huge con and Charlie just opened up a possible rip in the fabric of this world (must .. stop .. coming .. up .. with .. theories.....)

The pollen is killing me and so I'm heading to bed early, or maybe my nosebleed is being caused by something other than the pollen....

Posted by: Fate1 | April 7, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Fate 1 said "Its been noted everyone is getting what they want in sideways world but Kate certainly isn't..."

But actually, if you think about it, Kate always wanted to be free, to get away from her captor and be out there running away. So, technically, she did get what she wants.

And Sayid wanted Nadia to be alive, and she is. Just not with him, but that wasn't his wish.

It's like other commenters have said, "be careful what you wish for."

Posted by: smynola06 | April 8, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I think I agree with others who say that flash sideways isn't imaginary, pleasant prison or a "dream world", but a sort of new path on a"fork in the road" in the timeline started with the nuclear explosion (like the Rabbit in the orchid). Maybe Eloise doesn't want Des to know because he'll try to join the two timelines, which would cause a catastophe of sorts (maybe release MIB from his watery grave?). The characters are having memories of Island world, because, linearly, it happened before the bomb was set off (although not necessarily chronologically).

I also like Fate1's idea that sideways world is a Con for MIB... although I wouldn't even know where to begin explaining that one! :o)

Posted by: Mia13 | April 8, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyourr | April 8, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

If the nuke going off is the intersecting event (creating imaginary time), then the Linuses (Ben and Roger) had to leave the island before the explosion as well as Widmore with pregnant Eloise, since they are alive in the imaginary timeline. It's possible, but seems tight for them to get off the island. But there's no reason to suspect the nuke is not the intersecting event at this point.

What I hate is all the rules. The island has rules. Now we have rules in LA X, that can't be violated. Who made these rules? Are they like gravity-- naturally created, or was it a higher power? Or will they leave that unanswered, allowing us to speculate?

Desmond doesn't care anymore about what happens on the island. He has seen/lived the imaginary time, and maybe he assumes it is/will happen in spite of what happens on the island. I don't know why he would understand anything more than we do about the two realities.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 8, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Ok, if Desmond is out of the time line, as was properly noted in the review, then so is Widmore and his whole gang of merrye men [& Tina Fey].
That really throws a curve at all of the theories I have read, as how can Desmond bring all of those people through time with him?

Posted by: AmericanBadOZ | April 8, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Mirriors are significant to the storyline because the two realities are reflections of each other. So Imaginary time / LA X world exists and is real, just as its reflection (the original island world) exists. So there are a lot of characters looking strangely in the mirrior in LA X world to draw our attention to the fact that it's not the intended world, but only a reflection or one created from the intersecting event. For example, Jack stares in the mirrior in the plane and later at his appendix. Sawyer looks in the mirrior then smashes it. Sun looks in the mirrior for awhile before opening the door. Des looks at his reflection in the Oceanic sign after he jumps to ALT world. There are more.

Also if the intersecting event is the nuke explosion (as the writers seem to want us to believe) then Eloise and Widmore not only escaped the island before it sunk, but Eloise has the advantage of having her son's notebook. Dan's notebook could have information about the characters and events that Eloise is using to police the LA X timeline.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 8, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

AmericanBadOZ- Desmond physically exists in both realities. His consciousness traveled between the two, but nothing/no one physically traveled.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 8, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

> I also like Fate1's idea that sideways world is a Con for MIB...

That is the pleasant prison hypothesis, orginally posted by someone named Battousaiken at Dark UFO -- according to Jen and Liz, at least.

MIB/smokey "read" everyone's wishes and created an illusional alternate life for them based on what he thinks they want most -- starting with Flight 815 not crashing. But it's not real, just a dream state to give them the illusion of contentment.

However, Smokey isn't entirely wise, so he thinks Widmore's respect is what Desmond wants most. Sayid wanted Nadia not to be dead, Daniel wished he could have been a musicician, Claire wanted Aaron back, Ben wanted a redo on Alex, Hurley didn't want to be cursed by the numbers, Jin and Sayid want to be together with their child, etc.

I'm embellishing here, since I haven't seen the Dark UFO person's posts, but you get the idea.

I have not signed onto to the pleasant prison hypthosis, btw. Just trying to explain it...

Posted by: MeriJ | April 8, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I have got to ask again: are we really sure that H-bomb really exploded? We assumed it had because when Julia was banging the detonator with a rock, there was finally a bright white flash. BUT there is always a bright white flash when a time jump happens, and everyone DID time-jump to 2007. If the bomb had actually gone off, wouldn't there have been more evidence of devastation on the island, latent radioactivity? The only damage we saw was to the Swan station, and that was consistent with its destruction in 2004 when Locke stopped pushing the button.

Posted by: PQSully | April 8, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Oops. I get it now. Fate1 was saying that LA X exists to con MIB, not the other way around.

Never mind!

Posted by: MeriJ | April 8, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

PQSully:

Exactly. The destruction looks like what you'd expect from the original EM "incident." We saw Juliet banging away and assumed that the bomb went off.

See. This is why I read your posts even when you tell us not to!

Posted by: MeriJ | April 8, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

What follows is not me writing. It's the Dark UFO post that Jen and Liz mentioned, that introduced the pleasant prison idea. It was posted prior to the Desmond episode but not everyone at Dark UFO is averse to spoilers, so the writer might have known more than we would have at that time:

-------------------------
http://theoriesonlost.blogspot.com/2010/04/retcon-theory-endgame-theory-by.html

I call it the "Retcon" theory.

Under this theory, the Alternate Universe is a "mirror", a creation of MiB to trap the candidates so that he can escape the island.

At some point in the near future (island time), maybe in one of the last episodes of the series, MiB will find a way to trap the candidates in a simulated universe where 815 never crashed. He does this because in doing so, the candidates will have no knowledge whatsoever of the island, and thus will have no need or want to be Jacob's replacement, and if there are no replacements for Jacob, MiB can be free.

The reason why I call it the "Retcon" theory is because this is not really a new, alternate universe that has always existed parallel to the main one, nor is it one that diverged from the main one during jughead, making everything before that event the same in both universes. Nope. This universe is an artificial construct that begins right when the viewer starts watching it, meaning that everything that happened before seating on the plane is false, a construct, implanted memories. In short, a retcon created by MiB.

We see the Losties looking closely in the mirror and we see bleeding between the universes. This is probably because the AU was created recently and the people in it are not fully integrated to it. With some convincing, they might be able to return to where they belong (the island).

In LAX, we see Desmond briefly entering that universe close to the point of its creation, and I believe he is there to snap the Losties out of it, to help them get back to the island.

I believe MiB will fight Desmond and Widmore for that very reason; to prevent them from helping the candidates get out of the "mirror".

Posted by: MeriJ | April 8, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

MeriJ - That is not how I understood the pleasant prison thing, but the way you explain it I can actually buy it.

I've always thought that MIB/Smoke Monster was a master of illusions and all "smoke and mirrors"... (lol) hence why he could appear as Alex to Ben in the temple while stuck in Locke form.

So in that case, Eloise is actually an apparition of MIB's making... and it makes perfect sense that she/he doesn't want Desmond or Charlie or Daniel finding out about the real world.

And we've seen him posess the dead (Sayid, possibly Christian), so that may explain Charlie and Charlotte having individual thoughts in sideways world.

This would also mean that MIB won and escaped... And Sun, her daughter, Penny, her son, etc, have "ceased to be" as they once were.

Sounds simple enough to work, right? :-)

Posted by: Mia13 | April 8, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Except that it wouldn't explain why magnetism makes Desmond travel between both.

Posted by: Mia13 | April 8, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm definitely not on-board with the pleasant prison thing. I don't get, for example, why Eloise would be a part of it.

But it's interesting.

Another thing that other people are suggesting is that it's not just mirrors and EM but also water that is key to understanding MIB, the island and LA X.

Some think that MIB is averse to water. Thus, Desmond and Charlie being under water in the car is part of what enabled Desmond to see through the illusion.

But I could have sworn I remembered MIB/Locke standing in the water, helping Sawyer with his boat thingie going out or returning to the Hydra island.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 8, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe in Locke's body, MIB can handle water, but not in EM smokie form? Like that would electrocute him or something? Maybe that's why the survivors were historically safer on the beach?

But I am totally blowing smoke here. Someone who has more time should go figure out what other people are thinking about the mirrors/water/EM angles and report back to us!

Posted by: MeriJ | April 8, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

But, MeriJ, if it was a Pleasant Prison - An Illusion - wouldn't Eloise be an apparition? She's not a candidate or on the Island.

Posted by: Mia13 | April 8, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I have not seen every second of every episode of Lost, so maybe I missed something...

If Desmond was on the island for such an extended period of time, pushing buttons on a system that may or may not have been the MIB's prison, why was there no interaction between Des and MIB? At least as far back as Richard, the MIB has been whispering in people's ears to get them to help further his cause. Why would he have left Des alone?

While I do find the Jacob\MIB war to be interesting, I have issues with why great chuncks of the series don't seem to have anything to do with other parts of the series as a whole. It's difficult at times to tell whether something is important to the story, or just to the Lost mythology.

Posted by: afarrell | April 8, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Mia, I totally agree. Eloise makes no sense in the pleasant prison scenario. I don't buy that she would be an MIB illusion.

Also, we were given LA X episodes for Locke and Kate, who are no longer candidates, at least in MIB's mind. And getting an episode for Locke in particular makes no sense whatsoever in the pleasant prison scenario.

But it's still an intriguing thought, and one intriguing thought often lead to other another, which is why I'm still talking about it.

There is no "theory" to explain Lost that works for me yet. They've done a great job of giving us so much and yet not giving us enough!

I put "theory" in quote marks because I usually don't use that word to describe conjecture. In science, a theory is a hypothesis that has already met the test of time.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 8, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

lol. A hypothesis then?
What i'm really starting to wonder -
We're all pretty regulars on this board... Fate, MeriJ, Kevin, Dojem, everyone... Where are ya from? :-)

Posted by: Mia13 | April 8, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Takoma Park, MD -- right on the DC border

My first name is Meriwether, but most people shorten it to Meri.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 8, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The producers of Lost said the show can be explained with one four letter word. Skotie68 mentioned that this word is probably “love.” I was just looking at my Lost DVDs and noticed something interesting on the plastic outer cover that came with the 3rd season. Scrawled next to the word “LOST” is the phrase “Jacob loves you.”

Posted by: vaphotogal | April 8, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I am thinking LA X is a "lucid dream" a la Vanilla Sky. The lucid dream started at a specific point but began to break down. The main character realized something was wrong as he stared at himself in a mirror.

From wiki description of Vanilla Sky: "...the man offers David a choice, either to be reinserted into the rectified Lucid Dream ...or to wake up in the real world once again. The latter option requires him to take a leap of faith... The movie ends with an extreme closeup of a right eye opening up"

Posted by: PortlandMaine | April 8, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Okay, I have got to ask again: are we really sure that H-bomb really exploded?
Posted by: PQSully

That's a complicated question. What we saw was a white flash and the Lostees were then in 2007. The bomb may have gone off but if it did it would have been in an alternate timeline (sideways world). As you say, there wuold be evidence of a bomb going off, and we don't see that in the island but do see a sunken island in sideways world.

I want to ficus on electromagnetism (EM) for a minute. The "sonic barriers" were only called that because of the sound McPatchy heard when he walked into it, but I think it is emiting an EM field. EM plays large in this story. There are pockets of high EM on the island. Dharma was interested in it for time travel. If the barriers emit EM and that is what stops smokey, then this explains a lot about smokey and MIB, who we saw cannot cross it in Locke form.

Someone above mentioned the importance of water. I think there may be something to that. As Sawyer noted, smokey cannot just fly away from the island. He cannot go over the barriers either. And if the island has EM fields it may be the perfect prison for him. However people may be able to move him, which is why he needs the help of people and the conning to get that help.

As for Desmond, it seems he is doing what he did before, passing consciousness but instead of through time it is through alternate realities. EM generated by Widmore is how he ended up in sideways world but touching Penny is how he came back. So there may be something to LOVE in LOST. And if Desmond is the secret weapon, using Widmore's EM to consciousness trip from one reality to the other, well, I have no idea what that could be used for.

And someone asked why MIB never bothered Desmond. He lived in the Swan where EM existed (remember Jack's neck chain being pulled toward a door. And the "blast doors" may have been to keep MIB out.

And I'm from Bethesda, lived here all my life, no better place on earth to live and I've been to many (ok, San Diego was pretty nice...).

Posted by: Fate1 | April 8, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to the wonders of teh google, I find support for Vanilla Sky theory --

http://fanaticspeculations.blogspot.com/2009/03/lost-and-vanilla-sky.html

Posted by: PortlandMaine | April 9, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree with MeriJ that I don't yet have a "theory" that I can buy at this point, which is why I have to keep watching. Although the LOST writers are pushing me towards the imaginary time theory right now, so I'll go along for the ride.

Mia : "all "smoke and mirrors"... (lol) hence why he could appear as Alex to Ben in the temple while stuck in Locke form."

I love the smoke and mirrors!

But I went back to check on MIB's human form appearances after Aljira plane arrives:

MIB appears as Christopher Shepard to Sun and Frank in Dhamaville,
then travels to Hydra (somehow)and appears on Hydra as John Locke
(I believe he needs to be in human form to travel over water)
then he travels back to main island with Ben as John Locke;
among other things he appears as Alex to Ben in the temple cave,
then we have the long march to the Foot to see Jacob where MIB remains as Locke.

After Jacob is dead, Ilana informs us that MIB is now stuck as Locke when in human form. (I assumed stuck because Jacob is dead).

I believe this to be true because we have not seen him in any of the other human forms since then. Hurley only has seen dead people which is his special gift.

So I don't believe he was stuck as Locke when he first took on Locke's form, but only after Jacob's death.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 9, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Considering the importance of EM to the story, remember the "Lamp Post" station? From lostpedia:
"The station was built in Los Angeles over a pocket of electromagnetic energy linked to other similar pockets all over the world. Through monitoring or manipulation of this energy, the Initiative was able to deduce the existence of the Island."

So LA also has a pocket of EM, and the cast has gathered there in LA X world. Is this important? Is MIB stuck here now, or is he repelled by the EM?

Posted by: KevinAF | April 9, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

So I was talking to my husband about this episode (he just got to watching it, I know!) and I was wondering why Desmond ended up naked after the Swan implosion, but not after Widmore's electromagnacuting (like my new word?).

I mean, if Des is supposed to be naked, well, writers, let him be naked!

Posted by: smynola06 | April 9, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Naked Des" - I think the Swan EM event was much more powerful, and it had an explosive quality that tore his clothes off. Although it was a bit over the top, in my opinion.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 9, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

A naked Des is never over the top.

Posted by: smynola06 | April 9, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

> A naked Des is never over the top.

Nice. I thought the same about Sun in a bra. Gratuitous? Who cares? Bring it on!

Posted by: MeriJ | April 9, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The show is definitely filled with eye candy.

Posted by: smynola06 | April 9, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Milton and Hume (Penny's new last name and Desmond's last name). Patrick Hume annotated John Milton's Paradise Lost. Patrick Hume was the first known systematic commentator of an english work (Milton's Paradise Lost), and lived about the same time as John Milton. Not much is known about Patrick Hume other than he was a Scot. It seems to me that by making Penny's new last name Milton, they are drawing attention to Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. Maybe just another cultural reference to keep us guessing.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

PortlandMaine & KevinF:

Cool link on the Vanilla Sky. All of this is wonderful grist for the thinking mill.

Although the long list of similarities between those movies and Lost reminds me of why I don't like looking up symptoms of rare & awful diseases on the Internet: Headaches? OMG, *I* get headaches! Trouble sleeping? OMG, *I* have trouble sleeping! Born in the Twentieth Century? OMG...

Thanks, Kevin, for the post-Ajira Locke recap. I too was wondering about that. Like how did he get over the water to Hydra prior to assuming Locke's body/avatar, and how did he manifest as Alex after already assuming Locke's body. But you probably answered the second question already. So that's one less thing to keep me awake at night. OMG!

Posted by: MeriJ | April 9, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Sun in a bra was such a suggestively ultra sexy scene. Yowser!

As far as Des' clothes - maybe the first time it was so severe they were burned off... The [my guess Dharma] guy with Widmore that died by accident in the little shack last episode was burned pretty badly...

Posted by: Mia13 | April 9, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of MIB and the Hydra island...

Does anyone remember sonic barriers at the Hydra station? Because if there were none, that would suggest that, prior to MIB assuming Locke's body, the Others and the Dharma Initiative didn't worry about Smokie crossing the water.

Somehow, taking Locke's body was a game-changing move for MIB, even before he persuaded Ben to kill Jacob.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 9, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Call me crazy but I found the most important thing about this ep to be that the Sideways world is entirely Eloise's construct. There is no reason to believe Charles Widmore thinks it is not his one and only reality. And no clue that MIB is in control of this sideways construct or that Eloise and MIB are working together. In 1954 Eloise shot her beloved son. Perhaps she constructed Sidedom as a utopia where anyone who knows about Daniel's death lives in ignorant bliss. This was only a Desmond episode as much as it was a Charlie episode. To me, it was an Eloise episode!

Posted by: a68comeback | April 9, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Good point MeriJ-- we saw Widmore's submarine crew setting up the sonic barrier on Hydra island, and I immediately assumed that Widmore brought it with him.

Dharma only put it up around the Barracks-the living area-not around the work areas, and the Others didn't seem to have a need for a sonic fence before Dharma. So did the Others employ the ash circle around their camps to keep it out? It seems the most logical, but I don't understand how Dogen gave power to the ash circle.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 9, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I just don't think that Hydra island was worth the time and effort for Smokie to travel over there very often anyway.

Also speaking of Eloise's construct, she was the one who insisted Jack put something of Christain Shepard's on John Locke's dead body. Then Smokie who was using Christain Shepard's human form a lot (in my opinion), took on John Locke's form when the Aljira plane arrived (but he did copy Shepard's shoes Jack had put on Locke).

Did Eloise think that using something of Christain Shepard's would appeal to MIB to use John Locke's form? Was she somehow manipulating MIB? It seems however that MIB would want to use Locke anyway to get Ben to kill Jacob. So nevermind. That's one piece of Eloise's manipulation that I dont understand.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 9, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

He did NOT copy Shepard's shoes on John Locke's body. sorry

Posted by: KevinAF | April 9, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Just want to say, I just started keeping up with this "blog" for the last couple of weeks, now I check it every day. I love it and the imput people put on here.

My question: if in "side world" love is the thing that makes "island world" bleed through, how come Ben didn't get any kind of glimpse of island world when he seen his daughter. He did love her right?

Posted by: armous | April 9, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Maybe platonic/paternal love doesn't do the trick?

Posted by: smynola06 | April 9, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

armous:

So far, the only LA X characters who remember the island are Charlie and Daniel (both dead in island 2007, plus they only remembered during near-death or dream states) and Desmond, who only remembered after a massive push from Charlie plus an EM jolt.

Jack seemed puzzled at various times and several people seem drawn to those they were close to on the island. But it's not like just meeting someone you loved is necessarily enough.

However, those who have broken through all remembered the same thing -- a person they loved deeply on the island.

Posted by: MeriJ | April 9, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

"Call me crazy but I found the most important thing about this ep to be that the Sideways world is entirely Eloise's construct."
Posted by: a68comeback

I agree to an extent. What we learned was that Eloise at least KNOWS about sideways world just as she KNEW about the world Des dreamed about, where he was buying Penny the wrong ring. What I found interesting was her attitude, expecting Des to be happy that he had what he wanted in life even if the reality was not, well, real. It seems contentedness is what Eloise is seeking and may explain why, if true, she has sided with MIB, possibly to get Daniel back, who studied nothing related to physics in the sideways world. I'm guessing Daniels dream about physics was Daniel in the real world using his device to conscious travel into sideways world, at least for a moment.

It was also evident that Eloise is worried that Des could change things. That he was "not ready", whatever that meant. I'm wondering if she is hoping this reality wins out as others are destroyed, if that makes sense.

Based on Eloise and Widmore not being the best of friends in previous episodes, and Eliose being happy in sideways world while Widmore is busy fighting MIB in island world, I'm guessing they are working at cross purposes, Widmore intent on killing/trapping MIB and Eloise living in sideways world, possibly with MIB's help.

But what is actually happening, I think, is not clear yet, and what I have learned after all these years is that LOST is like quantum mechanics where it is said that if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you do not understand quantum mechanics. I think it is fair to say that if you think you know what is going on in LOST, you do not know what is going on in LOST.

Posted by: Fate1 | April 9, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Morning all. Based upon the number of comments, this was clearly a show that grabbed our attention; much more than the previous week. As I said above, a show with Des, Daniel and Eloise had to be a great one and I should also add Charlie to that equation.

Good thoughts and theories have been noted above. Personally, I'm not buying the imaginary prison concept yet (but I agree none of us really know yet what is the real story and how it will end, which, when you think about it, is why this show is so amazing. We are only 5 or 6 weeks from the series finale and we're still trying to figure out what's going on!). I think everyone exists in both time lines/realities. Well, except for the now dead people in the island reality. Both time lines/realities are real, not imaginary. However, it may be that the two realities are only tentatively separated and could be merged together and this is what Eloise is afraid of. Because if there is a merger, then her beloved son Daniel would have to die again. Thus, she is afraid of Des doing something preciptiously before the realities are totally separated for all "time." Pun intended.

I'm a bit puzzled by Daniel's comment that his current reality isn't real. If he has any idea what his real reality is (he's dead), why would he want to go back to that reality? I think he had flashbacks/premonitions of his island world life when he saw Charlotte, or as I like to call her, Big Red, which led to his dreaming up the equation. I don't think he saw that he was dead in the other reality. If he had, I suspect he wouldn't have been so emphatic on concluding LAX reality was imaginary.

I think Fate1 or KevinAF eventually concluded correctly that MIB can't cross water while in Smoke form but he can cross water in human form, even if in the form of another human.

Above there were some comments about MIB being stuck in Locke's form/body. It may be that he is stuck in the sense that he can't take on someone else's form but he sure can transform himself back into smoke monster and he has both to kill folks in the temple and to kill folks in the statute's remnants.

Mia, I'm from Centreville, Va but I'm originally from Maine. So I'm wondering if PortlandMaine is indeed from PortlandMaine? If so, I went to law school there. Great city.

Posted by: dojemc | April 10, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

dojemc wrote: "I think everyone exists in both time lines/realities."

Agree. And lets contrast this with the Lostees flopping back and forth in time, going to times when they existed and so there were two of each Lostee. For example, when Sawyer watched Kate helping Claire have her baby, the Sawyer of that time was on the beach, so there were two Sawyers. This is not the same since the island is sunk in sideways world and the crash never happened. So its a different reality.

dojemc wrote: "Well, except for the now dead people in the island reality."

I don't see why that would matter but the bleed-over of memories is good reason to consider the affect of death on people in the sideways world. Charlie walked into traffic without a care. Did he do so because he is already dead, because he has determined he is not in control of his fate, or because he does not believe the world he lives in is real (I'm guessing the last).

dojemc wrote: "Both time lines/realities are real, not imaginary."

But what is "imaginary"? That they do not exist, are not real? A dream? I think they are real and that imaginary time is not "imaginary" in the sense we understand that term to mean but is imaginary in the sense of mathematics. Imaginary numbers in mathematics use to be a strange concept. They are all numbers that are multiplied times the square root of -1. But we have found use for them and these numbers are real. So if imaginary time is akin to imaginary numbers, then both can exist but have separate realities. In that sense sideways time could be "imaginary time", just as real as real time but separate. And real and imaginary numbers do intersect in places, so again, if time is real and imaginary in this sense, we could be convinced that they too intersect. Such intersections create Mandelbrot figures and are used every day in computer programs to create virtual images.

dojemc wrote: "However, it may be that the two realities are only tentatively separated and could be merged together and this is what Eloise is afraid of. Because if there is a merger, then her beloved son Daniel would have to die again. Thus, she is afraid of Des doing something preciptiously before the realities are totally separated for all "time." Pun intended."

I don't see how they can be "merged" but I can see how one can become the one that wins out and the other is destroyed. I agree Eloise is behind sideways world and it is her "solution" to the whole island issue. Widmore is working on his own solution, confronting MIB directly with the goal of imprisoning him, since he is likely immortal. So I'm seeing these two worlds as Eloise vs Widmore, and Eloise does not want her reality to lose because of Daniel, who I think will be the one to expose and destroy sideways world (just guessin').

Posted by: Fate1 | April 10, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

dojemc: Yes I am :)

armous: Ben does remember island world - only up to the point where he left as a child, though (in the sideways reality).

Posted by: PortlandMaine | April 10, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

"Ben does remember island world - only up to the point where he left as a child, though (in the sideways reality)."
Posted by: PortlandMaine

Right, but that that sideways world is entirely parallel to the real world, or it split off from the real world sometime before Ben and his father left. The question I have is whether that was before he was taken to the Temple and saved or after. I'm guessing before. So, if sideways world was a split off of the real world, it happened before the nuke/flash set off my Juliet. And since Eloise seems to know what's going on, she most likely caused it. But I can't think of anything Eloise was up to that might give a clue as to when that happened. Presumably after she shot Daniel. I'm ... LOST!

Posted by: Fate1 | April 10, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Fate1,

I agree that imaginary time doesn't mean imaginary but rather, as it was so well explained by someone above, it is a scientific or mathematical concept. That's why I feel that the events that are happening in LAX reality are, indeed, real.

Re the merger (not in the Survivor concept), I'm not sure how that would happen. Your idea of one reality being destroyed is maybe more likely. Desmond is going to have some play in the matter in LAX reality when he tries to bring all the passengers on the Sydney flight together, or at least the Losties. Maybe he will be able to demonstrate to them somehow that they have parallel lives in another reality. Why, and for what purpose, I don't know yet.

I think Ben and his father must have left the island in sideways world before he was "saved" in the temple. There is no indication of his having gone thru any type of abnormal event while on the island, at least as he described in in his sideways storyline.

I believe this week's episode will feature Illana to the extent that we will get her backstory and how she became an acolyte of Jacob. So maybe it will also be a backstory of Jacob as well. If this is accurate, it should be a great show as well.

Posted by: dojemc | April 11, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

I believe this week's episode will feature Illana to the extent that we will get her backstory and how she became an acolyte of Jacob. So maybe it will also be a backstory of Jacob as well. If this is accurate, it should be a great show as well.
Posted by: dojemc

I've been waiting for her story since we first met her. When Jacob recruited her they already knew each other and her wounds suggested she had fought for him before. How she came to work for Jacob will be interesting since I don't see how she could have come to know Jacob on the island or how she could have gotten off.

Two predictions:
1) Jacob and Ilana go WAY back, to ancient times, and she is immortal like Richard. Only confusing part of this is why Jacob needs someone off-island when MIB is bottled up on the island.
2) Ilana was an Other and was wounded when the Others attacked the Americans in 1954. She turned the donkey wheel to get off-island and get medical treatment, propelling her to 2007. But I didn't see Richard recognize her when they first met, but maybe I'm forgetting that.

Can't wait for Tuesday.

Oh, and another prediction, about the series as a whole. I'm sure ABC does not want this series to die and it won't if, when we find out what is really going on at the end of the season, they start replaying the series for another 6 years. We will watch with different eyes, knowing why Ben is doing what he is doing, knowing why events are happening as they are. We will watch and go "ah ha!, that's why Desmond could forsee Charlie's death" or "ah ha! That's why the Nicki and Paolo episode was shown". A new way of making TV and keeping it going long afterward.

Posted by: Fate1 | April 11, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

My thinking on real Vs imaginary worlds (in LOST)follows Fate1's views above. I also think the mirrors are key, in that when we look in a mirror we see a "real" image. It's not imaginary, it's real, but it is not the original. Of course if you break the mirror, the image world is gone--but what if you broke the original? Is the image world gone now too? I think the LA X world is more real than just an mirror image, but I would still call it imaginary time, and until our known real time is extinguished, I don't think it can be called "real" time.

As to Eloise, I still believe that she is using Dan's notebook to manipulate/control LA X. The "intersecting event" between the two worlds had to be after the Dharma initiative came to the island in the early 1970s because we saw the sunken barracks and Roger Linus took young Ben there. The writers seem to want us to believe it was the nuke event because that's when they started showing us the new reality (LA X) and Juliet said "it worked".

Someone suggested it was before Ben was taken to the Temple, not the nuke event--so Eloise may have time traveled to before the losties arrived in 1974 and sank the island after evacuating it. It's possible that the actual "intersecting event" has yet to be revealed.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 12, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

When we start talking about time travel my head hurts and my nose bleeds. So I try to keep it to a minimum, but it should be noted that only Daniel left the island in the 1970s to interact with the rest of the world--so what was he doing, and did that change something?

I originally wrote more but my head started to hurt, so I erased it. Once you introduce time travel into a story it makes it difficult to discuss cause and effect of events, or what happened before what.

Posted by: KevinAF | April 12, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Alrighty then. I'll try another comment. First time didn't work. Mirrors are significant in Sidewayslandia. Look particularly at the second take Sun takes looking in the mirror. There was a mirror in the lighthouse that connected the island with the outside, which Jack smashed (out of some level of knowledge?). Is there another mirror still on the island that connects the island with Sidewayslandia?

Posted by: drzook | April 14, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

yay, it worked! Future comments on MIB/unlocke, dead people, sidewayslandia, jacob, and ben as a killer (through and through), last images of last episode, and unresolved issues.

Posted by: drzook | April 14, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

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