Spoiler alert. If you haven’t watched the latest Lost episode (Jughead), you may want to check back here after you do!
I loved Wednesday’s episode, Jughead. There are so many things revealed in this episode: Desmond and Penny have a baby boy and they named him Charlie! (Awwwww!) Charles Widmore was on the island with Richard! Back in the 50s! (*gasp*!!) Is “Ellie” (the woman I totally thought was a young Danielle Rousseau at first. Oops!) really Ms. Eloise Hawking? Widmore is Daniel Faraday’s benefactor! “Richard has always been here.” Indeed. And, time keeps jumpin’ all over the place.
All good stuff.
So, after the episode, my mind was racing…and then something clicked. I totally caught a hold of a time-travel theory and it made sense. I was hoping I wasn’t dreaming it, and sure enough, I woke up yesterday with a clear picture still in my head.
I’ve got a theory to the time-travel, and I’m so excited to feel this calm feeling of understanding. How long will it last? Only until the next flash?
I’m going to try to share it with you, but without the help of a 3-D whiteboard, your eyes may glaze over and your nose may start to bleed. Bear with me!
The Case of the Flaming Frogurt
How can Frogurt be shot and killed by a flaming arrow in 1954 and still get on the Oceanic 815 flight in 2004? Doesn’t that create a paradox?
No, because he doesn’t get killed until after the plane crashes, and it just happens to be 1954 on the island when he gets shot by a flaming arrow.
Let’s say Frogurt was even unluckier than we thought and it was his 29th birthday on the day he was shot and killed by a flaming arrow. The first time 1954 happened, Neil wasn’t on the island. He wasn’t even born yet, and if he would have been, it would have probably been somewhere in the United States and not on some mystical island with magical properties. The second time 1954 happened for Neil, he was on a wacky island; he’d already crashed in a plane. The fact that he gets shot and killed by a flaming arrow in that version of 1954 doesn’t have any effect on the Frogurt who booked the flight on Flight 815, because it hadn’t happened yet.
He dies on his 29th birthday, regardless of when in time that is.
Rules are rules. Lost Rules are even more confusing.
Keep in mind we are playing by Lost Rules, which have been known to change slightly given their interpretation or knowledge-base of the viewer at the time. Remember way back when we didn’t know flash-backs were possible? Then, remember when we finally got a grasp of that and the writers threw flash-forwards at us?
Then Desmond’s consciousness got unstuck in time, and his brain nearly melted until he found his constant.
Your time-line marches forward, regardless of what the calendar says.
Well, here we are: another little piece to the puzzle. On the island, people can get “un-stuck” in time. Daniel reminds us that we can’t change the past, because it’s already happened. It’s like our little ticker-tapes keep running, regardless of what the calendar says. Luckily for us, the date on the calendar matches the time-stamp on our little ticker-tapes. But, when you’re un-stuck in time, your ticker-tape keeps on a-tickin’, the roll of paper tumbling out of the machine into a nice little coil onto the floor, regardless of what the date is on the island.
For example… And, for the record, I totally have this diagrammed on my desk, but showing you a photo of it would prove how crazy I’ve become.
On September 22, 2004, Oceanic Flight 815 crashes onto an island. Lots of confusing stuff happens.
On Day 108 (or thereabouts, right?), some people leave, and some people stay. For this example, I’m going to talk about four people: Sawyer and Locke stay on the island and become un-stuck in time, and Jack and Kate escape and become part of the Oceanic Six, but they remain stuck in time.
On Day 109, Jack and Kate are continuing on the calendar that you and I know, the one that is the same as the ticker-tape.
On Day 109 for Sawyer and Locke, however, their ticker-tape clicks forward, but the calendar turns to the date that the Beechcraft crashed onto the island. (Let’s just say it’s 2000, but I haven’t checked out any sources…I’m sure they have the exact date mapped out somewhere.) Locke sees the plane crash and gets shot by Ethan. He almost gets killed by Ethan, but time jumps just in time (ha! punny!).
Here’s where I hazard a guess…I totally think Ethan could have killed Locke and the only thing that would have been disrupted was The Grand Scheme Jacob and/or The Island has in place for John Locke. Like Frogurt, Locke could have died in this version of 2000 and still gotten on the plane in 2004, because his death really hadn’t happened yet.
I don’t know what’s up with The Island or Jacob, I just claim to have a handle on the time-travel stuff.
You only have one body, and being on the island is the key. [Edited to add: Okay, this one has been disproved with Some Like it Hoth. Check out the update here!]
Also, it doesn’t matter where Sawyer and Locke were in the original version of 2000, because they weren’t on the island in 2000. There aren’t two Sawyers or two Lockes running around. There was one Sawyer in 2000, back when 2000 happened for him the first time, and one Sawyer in 2000 on Day 109. (And the same goes for Locke.) It’s only the island’s time-line that is being tapped into.
Anyway, without recapping the whole past episode, the island eventually flips to 1954. Locke meets Richard Alpert and tells him to go visit him on the day of his birth, which won’t be for another 2 years in Real Island Time. John’s ticker-tape is still ticking forward, even though the island is in 1954.
How Richard fits into all of this is still a mystery. At first, in previous seasons, I thought he was traveling through time, but I am not so sure anymore. This latest episode “Jughead” leads me to believe that Richard is tied to the island and tied to its time-line. It was as though he looked up and the Island Calendar read 1956, so he traveled to the outside world and saw that John Locke was indeed born on that day in that hospital. (This was before Desmond turned the fail-safe switch and before Ben turned the frozen donkey wheel and everything got all wonky, so I’m assuming that Island Time and Real World Time were the same back in 1956. And, we know that Richard can travel to and from the island, as we’ve seen him do that before.)
Also, is Richard different from Ethan? My guess is, yes. I don’t know if Ethan “remembers” shooting John Locke in 2000, but Richard remembers talking to John Locke in 1954. I have a feeling Richard is tied to the island in ways that will shock and amaze us.
So, back to my theory that you only have one body…(Who knew you’d need a theory like that!? It just sounds so funny!) I think the people unstuck in time (for example, Sawyer & Locke) cannot run into themselves on the island. Personally, I think there is only one physical Sawyer & Locke, and they just happen to be in another version of the present. [Edited to add: Again, you win some; ya lose some. Oh well!]
Those pesky writers.
But, I do think Sawyer & Locke can run into people who happen to be in that same time-frame but aren’t unstuck at the time. (i.e. Kate & Jack respectively) That’s why, in past episodes, Sawyer says funny things to Kate about waiting so long to see her, and why John tells Jack he’s “not supposed to do this.” (Just because they can’t change what happens at that point in “time” doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try, or slip-up. Sawyer would be relieved to see Kate, and Locke would try to warn Jack…) All along, the writers could have been throwing in bits and pieces of the Unstuck-Sawyer and Unstuck-Locke! And, we would have never guessed!
Those pesky writers! I really wouldn’t put it past them!
But, keep in mind, we haven’t seen any of this really happen yet. It’s just a theory of mine. I just have always been bothered by that exchange by Kate and Sawyer, and what Locke says to Jack, and to me, this theory makes sense.
So, what happens now?
So, what happens when those who are un-stuck actually flip into a time when they were already on the island? I’m assuming they flip into where their physical bodies were at the time. Maybe? And, if their subconsciousnesses (is that even a word?) are being addled like this, will it cause nosebleeds? Do they need a constant like Desmond and Daniel Faraday? Speaking of nosebleeds, Charlotte is in bad shape, and I think she’s either been to the island before, or someone directly related to her is there.
Time will tell, I guess. (In more ways than one, eh?)
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again…I’m just glad to know who is in the coffin.
So, what do you think? Do you have any theories? How does this one sound? I can’t wait until next week for more pieces of the puzzle!