Master Procrastinator

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Rambling Thoughts on LOST

Posted by Andrew Zercie on February 17, 2010

Four hours into the new season of LOST, and the mysteries just keep on coming. Of course, mysteries lead to new theories, which I enjoy concocting when I have time on my hands (something that I’ve had precious little of in the last month, sadly).  If you’re not a fan of LOST, or not a fan of my writing when it’s unrelated to sports, take heart: I’ll post something Yankees-related soon, now that pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training. And, if you’re not a fan of my writing at all…what are you doing here?

Parallel Realities Thoughts:

I am calling them parallel realities, even though they appear to take place three years apart. I say “appear to take place three years apart,” because there is no way of knowing at this point whether or not this is true.

On the surface, it would appear to be true: Claire was pregnant in 2004 and is pregnant in the parallel reality off The Island. But is it possible this pregnancy is child #2 for Claire Littleton? Or could the world have skipped ahead three years as a result of a worldwide white flash?

It seems unwise to be married to the idea that the Off-Island Reality occurs in the year 2004 just because the plane from Sydney to LA was carrying many of the same folks who were on the Oceanic 815 flight in the pilot episode (not all of them, remember. Shannon was not on-board, for instance). It is entirely possible that time travel may not be exclusive to The Island, especially in the wake of The Incident.

Perhaps the Big White Flash at the end of season 5 was a final release of the cosmic energy that made The Island special. If that’s the case, then why couldn’t time travel happen in other places in the parallel reality off The Island?

Another reason to think about timelines is the idea that The Island, in the parallel Off-Island Reality, was submerged in the ocean, and seemed to have been there for many years. Based on the fact that structures from The Island remained intact, it would appear to be a longshot that Jughead was the cause of its underwater location. How would an entire community of houses survive a nuclear bomb? How would the four-toed foot statue have not blown to bits?

Something else had to have put The Island underwater, with all those structures intact. What that something else is, I wouldn’t have the first clue. Jughead would have likely caused widespread damage though.

Jacob/Temple Others vs. Man In Black/Smoke Monster/Locke:

Charles Widmore stated last season to John Locke that there was a war coming in the episode “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham.” It’s pretty clear to me that one major story arc that will be resolved is which side wins this war.

There is no question the Temple Others are on one side of the battle lines, and the being that is now John Locke is forming the other side. Where the Oceanic survivors fall on either side of those battle lines will be interesting.

Some early speculation has Sawyer siding with Locke, based on the most recent episode “The Substitute,” but I’m not 100% sold on that idea. While Sawyer quickly noticed there was something different about Locke, he didn’t back down from him, even pulling a gun on him at one point, believing that Locke was going to kill him first.

Sawyer has never subscribed to destiny. Why would he start now? Because Locke took him to a cave with his name scrawled on the ceiling? With everything Sawyer has seen and experienced (hello, time travel?), why would he willingly give himself over to Locke without having an ulterior motive or a hidden me-first agenda? This is Sawyer we’re talking about here! The guy who raided the remnants of the plane for supplies. The guy who conned people for a living in a former life. The guy who conned the entire Dharma Initiative (and himself to some degree) for three years.

Who may side with Locke? Kate perhaps. Her name wasn’t written in the cave, making it unlikely that she is a “candidate” to replace Jacob. If one were to believe in destiny, if she didn’t have one with Jacob, then it makes sense to think her destiny is to side against him. Then again, Jacob did make it a point to touch Kate when she was a child, so who knows what the story is behind her name not being amongst those in the cave. Claire could side with Locke perhaps, because Locke could promise her an escape off The Island to find Aaron. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s best guess.

As for who would be on Jacob’s side…it’s clear that the Dogen-led Temple Others are anti-Locke, as is Richard Alpert (who seemed genuinely scared of New Locke in the latest episode). Whether or not they can effectively retain the services of the Oceanic Folks (plus Miles) remains to be seen.

Quickly on the Temple Others before I move on…Richard Alpert has to, at some point, become the head honcho doesn’t he? Why would the show-runners invest so much air time on this character for him to continue to be a supporting player? Dogen doesn’t strike me as someone who the time travel-weary Oceanic + Miles crew would follow for very long, and while Dogen and Jack seem to have built a bit of a rapport in the episode “What Kate Does,” Jack’s statement about not being able to trust himself makes it hard to envision him as the “go to” guy either.

Viewers have yet to be given much background information on Richard Alpert, even though he’s been on the show for several seasons. He doesn’t age for a reason. He knows a lot about The Island. There is too much unanswered about Alpert for him not to be a major player in the final stretch of episodes. He has to have a major leadership role as the show winds down.

Jacob’s Ashes

Overlooked in the Locke-centric storyline was the interaction between Ilana and Ben in Jacob’s lair. Ben doesn’t admit to stabbing Jacob, but he does mention that New Locke kicked Jacob into the fire, burning him into ashes. Ilana went right to the fire pit and extracted a healthy amount of Jacob’s ashes upon hearing Ben’s story.

What is the significance of these ashes? They strike me as a big part of some future storyline. Ashes are used to protect The Temple. Ashes are used by Bram to protect himself when he encounters the Smoke Monster form of New Locke. Ashes ring a circle around the cabin in the jungle as well. Whether or not these are all related or connected remains to be seen, but why incorporate them into the story otherwise? And why make it a point to have Ilana pick up Jacob’s ashes and put them into a pouch for herself? What purpose do they serve?

In a Twitter exchange with Entertainment Weekly‘s Jeff “Doc” Jensen, he hypothesized that Jacob has likely died several times over, and that the ash from his many deaths is used for protection. Jensen also theorized that the ashes may have an effect on the Temple spring. (Thanks to Jeff for replying to my tweet by the way.)

If true, (and I totally buy this. It makes a ton of sense.) I like the idea of Jacob being a role and not strictly a person. In other words, there have been several Jacobs over the years and, likewise, several Men in Black over the years. New Locke is the latest incarnation of the Man in Black/The Smoke Monster. If this theory comes true, someone will likely take on the role of Jacob at some point this season.

I originally thought Sayid was inhabited by Jacob, because he seemed dead and because Miles seemingly couldn’t get a read on him (watch the last few minutes of “LA X, Part II” to see what I mean. Miles, looking intently at Sayid, replies to a question from Hurley by saying, “Nothing,” as if Miles is expecting to hear Sayid’s final thoughts but doesn’t.).

Perhaps, instead of Sayid being taken by Jacob, the ashes collected by Ilana will be used by Dogen, Richard, or some other Temple Other to allow Jacob to inhabit the next candidate to be killed. Or, perhaps one of the candidates will offer themselves up in sacrifice for the good of The Island. Could Jack, who seems to feed on the idea of fixing things or seeking redemption, offer his body as a vessel for Jacob, especially now that he has lost faith in himself?

More importantly, Jack giving himself up for Jacob would set up the obvious Locke vs. Jack final battle that many fans have expected for a few seasons now. Jack isn’t dead yet, but perhaps his newfound appreciation for destiny would lead him to believe that dying for Jacob is the path he’s meant to take.

Like all theories, it’s just food for thought. If any of these pan out, it would not surprise me. If I’m way off base, that wouldn’t surprise me either. At the very least, I’m not afraid to put these theories out there for consumption and, most likely, for people to shoot them down. Thanks for reading.

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