Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Lost, "Happily Ever After": Not Desmond's life

Well, a brief window has opened in my family time schedule, and we're about to find out if my brain is operating at enough candlepower to adequately discuss tonight's "Lost." A briefer-than-it-deserves review coming up just as soon as I accost a man in a dressing gown...
"There's always a choice, brother." -Desmond
It's not an epilogue-in-advance.

Clearly.

The whole epilogue theory, which I began noodling with as much so that I could pretend that the flash-sideways meant something as because I believed in the idea, was pretty concretely disproven by "Happily Ever After."

(Apologies if the next few paragraphs read like complete gibberish, but between my recent sleep deprivation and the usual mechanics of a "Lost" story arc, it's inevitable.)

Instead, it appears that some event - perhaps the detonation of Jughead, perhaps something we've yet to see - has rewritten the timeline, in a way that has given nearly every character what someone, somewhere, thought would be a happy ending for them, whether it worked out exactly or not. Locke has the love of Helen, Ben has a relationship with a living Alex, Jack overcomes his daddy issues, etc., etc., etc. The dead rise up and have more palatable existences (Daniel Faraday, pushed by his mother to become the world's greatest doomed physicist becomes Daniel Widmore, pampered by his mother into becoming a musician who wants to combine classical music with the works of Driveshaft). Not all of it quite works out - Sayid is still a soulless killing machine who can't be with Nadia, Kate's still a fugitive (albeit hanging with the mother of her son from the real timeline), Sun's gutshot - but enough of it does to suggest this wasn't designed as a kind of monkey's paw existence.

In fact, everyone is supposed to be so happy in these alternate lives that they'll never notice how much the universe has changed, or the cost that was paid to attain these lives, or what evil - Smokey, presumably - is busy running amok while Jack's busy having a catch with his son and Sawyer and Miles are acting out unproduced "Nash Bridges" scripts.

And while some people are capable of recognizing the artificiality of this other universe (if that's what it is; for all I know, this could be The Matrix, and Jack and the others are all hanging in suspended animation inside a global cloud of black smoke), the only one capable of sharing knowledge between his two lives is Desmond.

Desmond is "special." Desmond knew the universe wanted Charlie dead well before the universe finally won that battle. Desmond can travel back and forth through his own lifetime, "Quantum Leap"-style. Desmond can survive the time travel sickness because he has Penny as his constant, and can alter the timeline when no one else can. He is, in fact, cool enough that for the first time in forever my "Lost" gag reflex didn't rise up when a character was offered an explanation and declined(*).

(*) That's part Desmond coolness, part that Cuse and Lindelof's "Happily Ever After" script pretty strongly implied what was up, particularly in the scene where Desmond comes face to face with Eloise, who in a universe where she didn't kill her own son wound up marrying Widmore and giving his name to their son. In every timeline, she knows more than everybody else, and here she doesn't even have her son's time-looped notebook to explain it all.

So now there are stakes to the sideways stories. Desmond exists in both realities, and is working a plan in both. Now we know that the sideways world is tied to the one we know, and that it needs to be stopped - that, like the Oceanic Six had to go back to the island, all of the important Oceanic 815 passengers have to accept that this is not their beautiful house, their beautiful wife, etc. That knowledge doesn't retroactively improve dull sideways stories like "What Kate Does" or last week's "The Package" in the way that we might have hoped, but it does make the sideways world matter moving forward into this last rush of episodes.

And with Desmond back in action, and working towards a reunion with his beloved Penny in at least one timeline (if not trying to woo her in the other), I'm pumped to see what comes next.

In the interests of my REM cycle, a few other thoughts and then you guys fire away:

• We see Widmore's scientists have a rabbit on hand (named Angstrom, as a tip of the hat to John Updike), just like Dr. Chang did in the infamous Comic-Con video where the island duplicates the rabbit. At first I assumed the idea was that Desmond was the only man who didn't exist in both timelines as separate entities, but perhaps not. Perhaps Darlton just like rabbits, given how many contexts they've place them in.

• I liked how much of Alt-Desmond's life mirrored what we know of him from the real world: still protecting Charlie Pace, still dancing to Charles Widmore's tune (albeit willingly here), and now it's Penny who's running the steps at the stadium. Eloise says "whatever happened, happened" (but says it to the one man on the show who proves that axiom's not always true). And I literally got goosebumps when we flashed from alt-Charlie's hand to the "Not Penny's boat" scene."

• Like Daniel Faraday (and Keamy, and Bakhunin and many others), George Minkowski comes back to life in sideways-ville, here a talkative limo driver instead of a talkative radio operator.

• So is the sound effect used to transition into the sideways world supposed to sound like an MRI machine?

Lots more of the episode to unpack, but I'm losing steam. We'll see what state I'm in next week - and also whether next week's episode inspires me to power through the fatigue the way this one did - but for now, vis a vis "Happily Ever After," what did everybody else think?

161 comments:

Daniel said...

I was under the impression that Desmond wants the passenger list in order to show Charlie that Claire's name, i.e. the golden-haired woman from Charlie's vision, is there, which will give Charlie something to live for.

Schmoker said...

Hello, Chuck Widmore---a guy who just wants to kill his son again so that all will be right with the world.

So, Ded is apparently going to try and keep it from happening and fix it after the fact---all at the same time.(Put that in your space-time pipe and smoke it)

What's up with Ellie? Is she warning Des off simply because she really does want to stick to a timetable, or does she simply want to stay in Sideways World? Does she feel she gave enough to that damn Island, and now she just wants to save her son before all else?

It's clear that the Sideways World is even more unstable than it appeared before. It's so unnatural, in fact, that it appears it's trying course correct itself all over the place.

R.I.P. Epilogue Theory, April 6, 2010.

Andrew said...

Not to denigrate a pretty good episode with a rather inane comment... but now we know why Flash Forward went on such a long hiatus! Their actors had to play their better characters!

Tom Dickinson said...

So. Could they not get Lance Reddick, and they just decided to settle for Fisher Stevens?

I know Minkowski has the Desmond connection, but it seems odd not to have Widmore's driver be Matty Abbadon.

Mac said...

So, I guess this is the first time "Lost" has had an Oscar winner appear?

Tripp said...

I enjoyed just seeing Damon Lindleoff tweet "Desmond is a trending topic, people!"

Hopefully it's finally clear to the show's creators that most Lost fans have come to like Desmond-centric at least as much as, probably more than, any others.

I think Desmond's mission in both timelines is now the same: to inform everyone else of the truth of the other timeline.

Yet I can't see how it will benefit everyone yet: even IF everyone in both timelines is fully aware that the catastrophic event (H-bomb) launched them into a world not meant to be, what can be done about it at this point?

And how does this tie in to Juliet's "It worked" proclamation several episodes ago? All in all, excellent episode, brotha

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help thinking "Academy Award winner Fisher Stevens" every time he was on screen.

Chrissy said...

I was expecting Desmond to turn blue, a la Doc Manhattan after he got blasted with energy. Ah, well, can't have everything.

I took away from this "choice". My guess is that the characters will be asked to choose between reality and the alternate universe (I don't believe the alternate universe is real - I hate to dig up the rotting corpse of the American Life on Mars, but that's the vibe this gives off. So many familiar faces...too many for verisimilitude.)

Also of interest - was Desmond's holding pen meant to invoke the cabin? The plain wood planks, the chair, the shimmering...hard to say.

I liked how this episode revolved around three men in love. At first I assumed that you needed to get close to death to see the truth (as Charlie did), but Daniel's experience implies that's not necessary. Desmond and Penny still give me the shivers, even after all these years and her terrible new show. Their chemistry is ridiculous.

Josh M. said...

I loved Desmond's reaction to the word "button."

Michael said...

When alt-Charlie put his hand up to the window for alt-Desmond, my immediate thought was "that's a sideways nod to NOT PENNY'S BOAT." Then I did a double-take when they showed it. Which, I'm sure, was exactly the intended reaction.

How would Widmore have known about Desmond's abilities? From Faraday's journal that ended up in his mom's hands in 1954?

WV: "bless". I don't have a joke for that.

Crit said...

Juliet knew that it worked, according to Miles, she was in love with Sawyer.

Charlie had a near death experience and felt love for (presumably) Claire.

Faraday randomly got the ability to do quantum physics when he saw Charlotte and then thought he blew up the bomb.

Desmond fainted when he touched Penny and that took him to the island and then he knew about the island.

Are these all their constants, and are their constants the catalysts for the memories between the two timelines to come back?

TimmyD said...

Alan, you're the man for doing this write up! I'm in awe.

Anonymous said...

@Mac--No, Michael Giacchino holds that honor (as far as I know).

Toeknee said...

Great ep, as would be expected with a Desmond episode - this one jumps right up there with the Constant and the Variable among my all-time faves. Des is so essential to the show, and apparently to the end-game of the series, that it's hard to believe he was originally slated for just a couple episodes. Which leads to the question, when did D & C figure out the oveall story arc, and when did they figure out des's role? If they concocted the end game in S1, then perhaps des is taking the place of some other character? (which one?)

Going along with Alan's take that the FSW represents "happy endings" for the characters, it's interesting to hear Eloise's claim that what Des wanted was Charles's approval.

Interesting to see that apparently both Eloise and Daniel have some knowledge of the "real" timeline. I do wonder how that will play out. Will other characters somehow become aware of it as well?

I was worried that Faraday was going to show the "Desmond Hume is my Constant" page of his journal, which would disprove my thinking that that scene from the end of "The Constant" was just a bit of dramatic fluff, and has no real meaning in the context of this show, and no connection to how things really work in the show's universe.

Anonymous said...

I was cooking while this was on so that's my excuse for not quite understanding why the sideways world is "evil" and not just an alternate reality. I can understand the interpretation that it is somehow fake; but couldn't it simply be that all the denizens of Flight 815 just sense that something has changed? Charlie and Desmond perceive in that change that they're missing something better. So I must have missed something that binds in the concept that the world had become evil, or a smoky matrix. Can someone flesh out what Alan was referring to there? Thanks!
anonymoose

Mac said...

Giacchino hasn't appeared on screen, has he?

Wondering why Sayid didn't kill Zoe. It seems unlikely that it was that he won't kill a woman or a noncombatant, what with him being dead inside and all. So I'm guessing he had instructions from Smokey/MIB/Locke.

medrawt said...

Anonymous @ 11:18 -

I'm not sure exactly what Alan had in mind, but I don't think we have enough information yet to actually "know" what's up. I presumed that the sideways flashes were in fact more or less what they seem to be, because it was the simplest explanation: what Faraday said would happen, happened, only way back whenever Eloise Hawking also said that the universe has a way of working stuff out, so eventually the divergent timelines were going to ... re-verge. From a dramatic perspective, though, (while acknowledging I don't know where it's going), I understand Alan's desire to have the flash sideways' "matter" in some sense other than "we're seeing this because it's the plot prolongation we came up with."

OTOH, the show's habit of playing obvious moments like spine-tingling reveals is something that bugged me through the episode. (The hug between Widmore and Hume getting a sting in the score, the "not revealing who this is" shot of Faraday/Widmore from behind.) But they've done that since forever, so there you go.

kishkeking said...

Still absorbing the episode but it was very cool seeing the painting of a scale, black and white rocks and all in widmore's office during the sideways scene when Desmond and widmore first meet.

Are mr and mrs widmore the only people fully aware of their sideways world?

James said...

I'm also unclear on if/why sideways reality is a smokey triumphant world - was this actually inferred or is it just speculation? cuz my initial hunch is that it's a loophole against smokey if anything. curious as always, gonna miss this show.

Flap Jackson said...

So, this was not the "Dayenu" episode I expected, but it was still pretty good.

I have many thoughts, but I think the Myles McNutt's post on his blog sums it up perfectly for me at http://cultural-learnings.com/2010/04/06/lost-happily-ever-after

Anonymous said...

I want to say what's apparently missing from the alternative universe is love. Not the idea, but it's presence in all of it's unadulterated glory.

Nobody has it. It's at their fingerprints but none of them have jumped off the cliff as we have seen each of them do throughout the show.

Anyways, I've loved this show through thick and thin.

JWIII

Anonymous said...

So wait. If true love is the connection between the two worlds, and Jack seems to be making that connection only using mirrors---does that mean Jack's true love is himself? That would explain a lot, actually...

Anonymous said...

yowsers, I laughed hard even with Jack being my favorite character.

JWIII

Question Mark said...

Des is so essential to the show, and apparently to the end-game of the series, that it's hard to believe he was originally slated for just a couple episodes. Which leads to the question, when did D & C figure out the oveall story arc, and when did they figure out des's role? If they concocted the end game in S1, then perhaps des is taking the place of some other character? (which one?)

One rumour I heard is that Desmond was more or less slotted into the storyline/role that was planned for Eko before Adewale A-A left the show. This is just internet speculation, though, from some random messageboard.

LAP said...

I was worried that the first Lost episode I watched in real time wouldn't have an Alan recap ready for me as soon as I was finished and lo and behold- Alan is my constant.

Raz Cunningham said...

well, we don't know for sure that Eloise doesn't still have Faraday's notebook. Depending on whether or not those Dharma events happened in both timelines, and I think they did, its still possible she has it. Unless she's somehow like Desmond, there's no other explanation.

Anonymous said...

aww, man, I miss Eko. He was another favorite.

JWIII

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"I'm also unclear on if/why sideways reality is a smokey triumphant world - was this actually inferred or is it just speculation?"

Jacob described the island as the cork that keeps the man in black contained. And in LA X we saw the island, destroyed, underwater.

On another hand, at the end of the Richard episode a few weeks back, the man in black smashed the bottle, not the cork, which could represent him somehow "destroying" the world as we (and the Losties) know it and leaving the sideways-verse in its place.

Jim said...

We had 3 men tonight waxing poetic about their One True Loves: Desmond about Penny, Charlie about Claire, Daniel about Charlotte. Add to the list Sawyer-Juliet, Jack-Kate, Jin-Sun, Sayid-Nadia, Locke-Helen, Hurley-Libby, Rose-Bernard -- I mean, is there a major character on Lost who doesn't have a True Love? More than just a lovely Hollywood narrative device, is True Love (part of) the key to this mystery?

We'll know if Cary Elwes and Robin Wright show up next week.

thezoomzoomkid said...

You should all wiki House of M. This episode tells me that it's key source material

Jack got that bomb detonated with the intention of making things better for everyone, and the universe made a reality where everyone is happier.

"I want to show them something." is one of the best lines ever.

Jim said...

And I forgot Ricardo y Isabella!

Ben, I suppose, is stuck with creepy mother issues and perhaps a new job as the Next Jacob.

Matt S. said...

I HAVE SHORT CIRCUIT 2 IN MY DVD PLAYER RIGHT NOW!!! Seriously--i found it for 5 bucks at the dwayne reed on my break from work just the other day--i was pretty psyched! AND NOW THIS!!!

FISHER STEVENS WHY ARE YOU HAUNTING MY LIFE AND OR TIMES?!?!?!?

(cut to me watching an early edition marathon on the syfy network tomorrow afternoon) NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Honestly a friend of mine did some freelance work for Fisher Steven's production company (yes the same company that financed The Cove--the doc he won the oscar for///why would the oscar go to the guy who produced it but not the guy who directed it--the oscar for best foreign film goes to its director? why not best doc? i don't get how it works.) anyways she said he was a pretty nice guy tho quite annoyed anytime someone brings up the short circuit movies. (apparantly someone has been stopped on the street too many times about them throughout the 1990's hahahaha!)

pbrl said...

Here's one thing I don't get - why was Desmond so calm and happy when he woke up back on the island at the end of the episode.

It didn't make any sense to me. THis isn't like The Constant where something was cleared up for him. How does meeting Penny in one timeline make him calm and collected and totally willing to help Widmore in the other?

Anonymous said...

IMO they were making it up as they were going along for the first 2 seasons with no big plan in mind. Season 2 was easily the worst and most frustrating out of them all. Then after season 2 the writers had to come up with a plan/plot to tie everything together to make it seem like they had a plan all along. I think its pretty obvious. See season 2 examples like Libby, Kate's horse, most of the Tallies dying.

Marc said...

My initial reaction/theory. If Smokey gets off the Island, the current reality will cease to exist and the Alt will be locked in forever. Desmond's normal and alt consciousness were linked by touching Penny due to their strong connection (almost like she was his constant). He must now seek out the 815ers in the Alt and make them aware of the situation. My guess is they will have him physically touch them and they will sort of flash and their consciousnesses in each reality will become linked and self aware. I think Widmore explained to on island Desmond what he needed to do to stop Smokey in an off camera moment. He seemed pretty confident when he went along with 'Sayid'.

medrawt said...

I've become pretty confident that when they worked out the end date with ABC, whenever that was in Season 3, Lindelof and Cuse then laid out pretty much the major plot lines of the past three seasons. I just watched the entire run of the show in a couple of weeks, and whatever else you want to say about the show, the main storylines of Seasons 4-6 (so far) all pretty much work together. The big divide, I think, is that the prior three years largely make very little sense. Even if we keep our options open as to what kind of a demigod Jacob really is, I'd be astonished if they satisfactorily explain how pretty much ANYthing the Others did in Seasons 1-3 match up to what we've since been shown about Jacob's motivations, or what we've been told about his methods.

Byron Hauck said...

Five words: The Last Temptation of Christ.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with @medrawt, and was compelled to comment here after lurking for a while. I too caught up to the show in a compressed time period, and while "Happily Ever After" was a joy to watch, I feel frustrated that all the show seems to care about resolving is what the flash-sideways mean and the biblical Jacob/MiB conflict.

I'm fine with red herrings and they keep fans on their toes, but what I most care about is -- what's with all the ancient Egyptian stuff? What were the Others doing after the arrival of Ricardos and before the tensions with Darma? What society or connection to the island were the Others protecting, and why did they have to kidnap Lostaways rather than just saying "Hey, we have food and hot showers over here"? And yes, who Jacob and MiB are and what are the origins of the statue, the temple, and the other land-before-time stuff.

It just seems like all those threads (or many of them) have fallen by the wayside in favor of white/black metaphors, split realities, star-crossed lovers and petulant dieties.

Still love the show, but wonder - am I supposed to still be asking these questions, or forgetting about them?

belinda said...

Desmond does not disappoint!

I hated the epilogue theory (because I didn't like that Jacob's gang got 'better' endings than Locke's gang did), so I'm pretty relieved. And much less of that good vs. evil stuff (which goes back to the epilogue theory) but back to time traveling crazy (but at least attempting at a scientific explanation, which was my main gripe about this season thus far with the huge religion anvils) but actual science type stuff, so also, a huge yay! (Though, I guess the idea that if this fake world is Smokey's matrix cocoon, that's uh, quite supernatural.... it's probably too early for me to be completely relieved that they're still basing it on Jacob and Smokey as good/bad.)

I got a little sick of them talking about love again and again, but it was really sweet to see Desmond and Penny again, as always. Also, I thought it was excessive to pan to the back of Daniel's head again and again, when most lost watchers would have figured it out when Widmore (island time) mentioned his dead son (and then Widmore (fake world time) mentioned his musician son).

And how does this tie in to Juliet's "It worked" proclamation several episodes ago?

Well, if this not an alternate timeline is in fact some kind of fake matrix type cocoon to 'keep everyone happy', then perhaps when one dies, she got a glimpse of that matrix, and seeing that, thought, it worked, not knowing that it's the 'wrong' world.

Yet again, Jin is stuck with a bunch of people he doesn't really know or understand. How many times has that happened to Jin on the island? He really is the unluckiest sod on the island.

Stephen S Power said...

I really like the idea noted above that the sideways world is one in which the Man in Black was released by Jughead's explosion and in which there is no love as a result. Forget the besottedness of Daniel, Desmond and Charlie and their various Beatrices. Here are other signs of frustrated or broken love:

1. Widmore and Eloise are clearly antagonists.
2. George asks if Des wants some female company.
3. Charlotte sees through Sawyer's lines, but ends up just another lay, then tells him to go to hell. And Sawyer's father still killed his mother.
4. The couple that were going to adopt Claire's baby divorced, and they cared so little for the baby that they forgot to pick up Claire at the airport. The baby, of course, remains the product of her own broken relationship.
5. Jack is divorced.
6. Sayid can't be with the one he loves because she, who loves him too, is married to his brother.
7. Hurley has no Libby. He remains as asexual as Shaggy.
8. Locke is loved by Helen, but doesn't love himself, and that's causing troubles.
9. Sun and Jin are in love, but her father would see the former in a cage of tradition and the latter dead.

This is a world where many ofthe characters might have gotten what they want, but they wanted the wrong things. For love, which they should want, cannot be sustained. It's a sad, terrible place.

Brian said...

The key is Faraday's comment that it is all quantum mechanics. Like a quantum state, the two universes exist simultaneously until they are observed and the wave-front collapses into a given state.

Desmond is going to "show them" the universe they are in (they have been living in it but not observing it as a phenomenon) thereby resulting in the collapse of one of the universes (Desmond can bop between them because he is "special").

I could see this being an individual thing where each person chooses whether to collapses their own existence into a particular universe.

WV: "torkedn": Thinking about quantum physics makes my brain feel torkedn

Vic DiGital said...

I think it's all going to come down to CHOICES. Jacob set it all up when he said that given the choice, man is inherently good while MiB believes man is corrupt.

We had the CHOICES line tonight.

We have two timelines where one is fantasy and one is reality. One had horrible things happen and one had nice, if bland, things happen.

I believe the endgame of Lost will be the players choosing what reality they want, even when given all the facts, as I'm sure they will be. Will Charlie, knowing his fate is death, choose the original timeline if that means he gets to experience that all-consuming love he was talking about? Will Hurley choose Libby's love even if it means it ends in her death and his own bad luck? Will Sawyer choose Juliet and her death over what he has now with Miles?

I think it will be revealed just how WRONG this timeline is, especially to everyone who was on 815. Desmond is going to show them and they will have to choose.

AND, I'm thinking that is who they "They're coming" refers to.

I still don't know how EVERYTHING ties into this yet...

Paul Worthington said...

Thanks for that link, Flap -- good analysis there.
And overall a really enjoyable episode!

meg said...

Like pbrl, I too wondered about Desmond calmly agreeing to go off with "Sayid". They had exactly the same zombie-like demeanor. The fact that the show then flipped back to the alt-timeline made me wonder if, like in The Constant, are seeing a switch of consciousness instead of two separate fates? For example, Desmond fainted in the alt timeline, only to regain consciousness in the main timeline. As they are "working" through their alt timelines, maybe Sayid and Desmond are zombie-like in the main one? Perhaps we haven't seen this in the others because they aren't "working" through it? Or, maybe it is just what happens when the main timeline starts to bleed through to the alt?

Either way, great episode.

tribalism said...

It's great to have Desmond back in action after not really doing much since the middle of season five. I think that his conversation with Daniel confirms that the destruction of the Island as seen in "LA X" was indeed caused by the detonation for Jughead. If that's true, and the Island has been totally nuked in the sideways universe, I think that means that the Man in Black got his wish in that particular reality. If we're to believe Jacob's followers and the MiB requires the destruction of the Island to be set free, than he must be roaming around free in downtown LA in this particular reality.

If anyone is interested, you can find more of my thoughts on my blog where I go into detail about why Desmond was so willing to fulfill Widmore's request for sacrifice and how this episode completely reshaped my views regarding the meaning of the sideways universe. Click my username for the link.

Vic DiGital said...

I think the two Desmonds are now one. I think what one knows and experiences, the other will also experience.

Desmond, Daniel and Charlie have all "felt it", not unlike Richard Dreyfus in Close Encounters. They don't know what it means or how it all ties together, but they KNOW. We'll find out all the others have felt something, but can't put it into context, and Desmond 'showing' them will trigger that same flash of understanding for everyone who was on the plane.

Until Desmond throws this in their face, each one will have experienced their "Happily Ever After". What will they choose now?

Anonymous said...

When I saw the white rabbit all I could think of was the Matrix. Then Charlie showed up and revealed a glitch in the matrix then faraday posited his theory that maybe this was not real maybe we really should/are be living some alternate life.

Matrix=Lost?

just a thought

Tan

jasctt said...

Alan, remember when you kept on about how the flash sideways wasn't doing it for you?

I do.

This is a top 10 episode.

Vic DiGital said...

There was a great issue of "Astro City" (brilliant comic book by Kurt Busiek) where a man kept having these haunting dreams of a woman. He had vivid dreams of a life spent with her, but there was no proof of her existence.

Finally (spoiler alert), he was visited by some sort of pan-reality entity that explained to him how there had been a massive universe-altering event where some supervillain changed history. The heroes changed it back to normal, but there were some glitches, including this guy's wife. She now no longer ever existed in the new reality.

So the entity offered to let the man have his memories of this woman who no longer existed, or to have those memories wiped out and be blissfully ignorant.

He chose to keep the memories.

Perhaps this is a direction Lost will go. Bland, empty "Happily Ever After" life, or love-filled, full experience of the Island. Even Locke, who has found love off the island is still 'dead', because he's just a neutered shell of who he was on the island.

thebitterhero said...

I feel like it is essentially a sequel to the other Desmond episode where he first meets Eloise. I think without really directly saying anything, we get a lot out of the sideways universe. I wonder how that ties in with Jacob and Smokey though and hope that'll be addressed soon.

Faraday is finally a musician! Love him.

Also I want to add that I got all tingly when Penny's touch transported Desmond back to the old world. She is always going to be his constant.

Tyroc said...

@ Vic DiGital,

I thought the Astro City issue was showing how a classic comic event, The Crisis on Infinite Earths, would effect a regular citizen (much like Marvels showed the regular man's view to the major early events of the Marvel Universe.) In any case, a brilliant issue.

And this was a brilliant episode of Lost. I heart Desmond and Penny.

Rob S. said...

Chrissy -- that's just what I was thinking! I turned to my wife and said "Desmond is Doctor Manhattan!"

Anonymous said...

To Brian and Stephen Power. My god man(s) I think you've both got something there.

Peter said...

It's too bad now that we know the alt-universe is just a mask for whatever is happening in the real world that all the time we have spent in the alt-universe has been a GIANT waste of time. When we thought it was an epilogue in advance at least then it had some sort of a point. Now we learn none of it really matters? Thanks for wasting our time.

John S said...

I, for one, am glad to see the epilogue theory go, and I'm working on a hypothesis of my own: http://npinopunintended.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/getting-lost-happily-ever-after/

toonsterwu said...

Ridiculously glad that the epilogue theory can be put to rest. That would've been a horrible ending to a great show (essentially, evil wins ... unless they throw us a curve and say Smokey's not evil). Admittedly, I've been a tad worried the epilogue theory was true.

Now, we know that the results of the Sideways world have implications, which makes the sideways world matter (at least for me, the idea of the epilogue theory would've diminished the process in some respects).

Quick point - the sideways would do justice to Sayid and Kate in some respects. Sayid wanted to see his love alive. I think he'd give anything for that to happen, even if he couldn't be with her. He's able to protect her. Kate wanted to see Aaron reunited. Those things happened.

I think the purpose of the Sideways was to not only show us some sort of resolution that this false world might've addressed, but also to show that, deep within each of these characters are core characteristics that guide them, and will eventually, help them realize that they aren't in reality anymore.

Anonymous said...

http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?threadid=50645

NRAMA: Tempting as the may be, let’s put all kidding (sort of) aside, and get back to the subject at hand. Let’s start with your own secret origin as a comic book reader? Can you tell us about how you became a comic book fan?

What are some of your earliest memories? What were you're favorite books as a kid?

DL: My secret origins. Hmmmm…. It all began with regular visits to cons and Forbidden Planet in New York City with my Pop to hunt down and replace his original comic collection (tossed away by his Mom when he was thirteen and at Boy Scout Camp)... and of course, I got hooked myself.

As a kid, I loved everything Batman and Spidey and really started getting into the Marvel Universe when Chris Claremont was working his magic on X-Men.

NRAMA: How about as you grew older? Have you been reading comics steadily since?

If not, what brought you back as an adult? And what are some of your all-time favorite books and creators?

DL: Yup. Books all my life. I feel so unoriginal saying Watchmen changed everything for me... obviously that and Dark Knight Returns are two of the books that made me want to become a writer.

NRAMA: How about contemporary titles and creators?

DL: I love all things Astro City - big fan of Kurt Busiek's since his Avengers run... and really love JMS' stuff -- specifically Rising Stars. Right now, I'm a huge [Robert] Kirkman dork - really loving Walking Dead and Invincible... and of the creator-driven books, Y: the Last Man is still my favorite. [Brian] Vaughn rocks.

GregM said...

Vic DiGital--that's a great issue, possibly one of my favorite standalone comics issues. Maybe even on a par with "The Sound of Her Wings."

I *never* liked the epilogue in advance theory, and knowing that theory actually made it even harder to like the flash-sideways, so I am glad, glad, glad to be rid of them now.

Scott J. said...

Vic DiGital said...

Perhaps this is a direction Lost will go. Bland, empty "Happily Ever After" life, or love-filled, full experience of the Island. Even Locke, who has found love off the island is still 'dead', because he's just a neutered shell of who he was on the island.


I strongly disagree with this view of the alt-world. Island Locke was a tool. Don't get me wrong, he's absolutely my favorite character on the show. And I hope he is ultimately redeemed. But at this point, what does his life amount to? What did he ever do that wasn't really someone else's maneuvering? He wanted to be a man of will and of action, yet every action he took was someone else's move. He was a pawn every step of the way.

Alt-Locke doesn't get to hunt boar or blow things up, but he's living his own life, humble as it may be. A humble life is not meaningless. A man is not a neutered shell just because he needs a wheelchair (and I know that's not at all what you were implying, but it's clearly what Locke thinks of himself).

In the end, I think Locke's greatness will be shown not in the things he did, but in what other people do because they knew him. Those who can't do, teach. That's Locke's story in both timelines.

As for the comments that the alt-world is a loveless one: what about Rose & Bernard? They are as loving as always. Yes, Rose may die, but they both may have died on the Island when the bomb went off. They accepted that possibility and chose to live whatever time they had left in peace. Just as they have in the alt-world.

Scott J. said...

P.S. The only thing that would have made this episode better is if we'd heard Daniel playing a bit of "Good Vibrations" on the piano. But at least we know his musical tastes went beyond classical.

Mike F said...

I'm surprised more of you and Alan aren't seizing on the most important revelations of the last few weeks. The good guys and bad guys are being revealed one by one.

The major good guys all the way through the story are Jacob, Richard Alpert and Charles Widmore

The major bad guys are and always have been MIB (Smokey Locke) and Eloise

Ben was doing the bidding of MIB all the years, though he actually thought he was doing the bidding of Jacob.

Sayid and Claire have chosen the bad guys side.

Jack and Hurley have chosen the good guys side.

Sun, Sawyer, Kate and Jin are are still up in the air, seemingly out for themselves primarily.

Desmond and Daniel are special and perhaps ready to work together.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what Faraday believes, the viewers know that the sideways universe is the "good" one.

The characters may feel incomplete and as though something or someone important is missing from their lives, but that's fixable and they have all the time to fix it. (E.g. Desmond finds Penny and they get a date). Also, I think it's hinted that Faraday is secretly in love with Charlotte (? I couldn't make out what he ways saying at that scene about the redhead with the love for chocolate).

What I don't get is how the two universes are synchronized. The one we know from the past 5 seasons is currently in 2007 era and the other from the sideways is in 2004. Yet people in 2004 get memories that won't happen in the first universe until months later (Season's 3 "Not Penny's boat" for example).

Also, if Faraday's theory holds, then the bomb caused the separation of the two universes (back in 1977). But if that's true then was it pure luck that everyone who timetraveled later on (especially Desmond) did not end up in the sideways universe -which existed then-, as Desmond did in this episode?

Anonymous said...

Disagree with the whole "there's no love in sideways world" scenario. Ben loves his father enough to take care of him in alt-world (in stark contrast to Ben killing him on the island). He also loves Alex enough to give up his power play for her. Sayid still loves Nadia as much as ever. Sun and Jin are much more in love than they were in the pre-plane crash/early island days. Sun seemed to almost hate him back then. Locke and Helen seem very much in love and Jack clearly loves his son.

IMO the whole point of this episode's "love" theme was to show how the deep emotional connections between these people triggers memories of the island when they encounter each other in the alt-world. (Like the way people in various states of unconsciousness respond to the voices of their loved ones and not to strangers - make sense?)

Anonymous said...

"The major good guys all the way through the story are Jacob, Richard Alpert and Charles Widmore."


Widmore a good guy? I can't get past the fact he sent the freighter people to the island to get Ben and then kill every single person on the island.

Anonymous said...

Alan said: "We see Widmore's scientists have a rabbit on hand (named Angstrom, as a tip of the hat to John Updike)"

The first I thought of was the ångström (or angstrom), an internationally recognized unit of length equal to 0.1 nanometre, which seems appropriate in the context. Never heard of this John Updike fella.

Anyway, great episode as always when Desmond is involved. I am excited to see how all the dots will connect.

Totter said...

@Stephen S Power, spot on mate perfect description, i couldnt agree with you more.

great episode, its really starting to ramp up, will really miss this show once the ride is over

Toeknee said...

Mike F :
“….The major bad guys are and always have been MIB (Smokey Locke) and Eloise

Ben was doing the bidding of MIB all the years, though he actually thought he was doing the bidding of Jacob.

Sayid and Claire have chosen the bad guys side…..”


Good points overall but I disagree with the parts quoted above. I don’t think Eloise is a bad guy. In S5 she stressed the importance of the O6 returning to the island or “God help us all”, and in last night’s episode and in previous seasons she has expressed the importance and specialness of Desmond and the things that he’s supposed to do or not do.

I also think that Ben was doing work for Jacob all along, as directed by Richard. Unless we are to believe that Richard was taking orders from MIB all these years, but I don’t think that’s the case, after seeing Richard’s flashback a few weeks ago.

And while Sayid and Claire are on MIB’s side, I don’t think they “chose” to do this. MIB infected them, perhaps after they died, or just before they died.

Anonymous said...

If what Mike F turns out to be right, with the exception of Hurley (come join the dark side!), I have no doubt I am so totally rooting for the 'bad' guys (and the in betweeners)!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and this - whatever happened to Paik Industries being involved somehow in all of this?

Jennifer Finney Boylan said...

I still don't really understand the connections between Sideways-world and Original Recipie, but it doesn't matter: This was a great episode. It was great because the writing was spectacular. And it was populated with an abundance of mostly non-815 characters, all in top form. Charlie! Widmore! Eloise! Farraday! Minkowski!

While Henry Ian C. is a fine actor (love the combinaion of Peruvian & Scottish!), let's also praise Dominc Monaghan, who actually got a real part in this episode. Most of the dead folks who've returned have just had a short walk-on-like Minkowski this week. But Charlie was CHARLIE, and the connection between Des and Charlie was a grand one--then and now.

This time, you've got to die, brotha.

This episode brought me back to the cheering section for the series and the season. I confess: I was starting to lose hope. This one rocked.

Alfred A. A. said...

Honestly, this should've been the second or third episode of the season. Then this season would've been so much more engaging.

Stef said...

Oh, LOST, how I love you though you make my mind bend. I need to rewatch this episode for sure, because as I watched it Daniel Widmore's speech about how he already set off the bomb resolutely confirmed the epilogue theory for me. But after sleeping on it, and reading more, I'm seeing lots of holes there.... Like how would all of Season 6's on-Island story fit with Jughead creating the sideways universe if sideways is epilogue? Doesn't seem to fit... so now I've got to make a mind shift in how I understand what the heck is going on. I love it, but I'm not quite there yet.

Manton said...

Along with the "Good Vibrations" ref earlier, this is starting to feel like Vanilla Sky, which is fine with me.

I'm just not sure who set up the Altverse. Having Desmond as a man who has no love, no idea of Penny, no family, and is devoted solely to Charles? It just stinks something rotten, doesn't it? He has to be involved in setting up the parameters, and effectively takes away Desmond's "choice" to not work for him because Penny hasn't entered the picture, and Farraday can't alter the time line because he isn't a brilliant scientist. How much of this was by design?

Very good episode (and it just looked fantastic, kudos to Bender and crew) that has me anxiously awaiting next week.

PS I guarantee Whitmore is behind Dharma - who else could fund the operation? And now he's using all this Dharma equipment to aid him. Just wait til they get a supply drop of ranch dressing at the Whitmore camp....

Rodolpho said...

Well, I got to tell y'all this was the most incredible episode I've ever seen.
there are lot of answer yet to be given, but i got astonished to see how Des saved Charlie again, and actually when he first shaked his hand out for Des on the window.
That was awesome!
I think that Des is going to get all the important oceanic passengers together to show them that they are yet missing something on the alt-reality, what might means that the alt-reality isn't really another "reality" but a "smokey play-out".
If that works out I just can't know how it will be able to unlock all the secret we've got about the both realities once sayid is still a unhearted-killer, and the others carcthers got their happinness back, or lack thereof.
Maybe we'll figure out that in the shorm term, and as the week goes by I'll read all those last week's comments to see what's going on out there, and by this "out there" I mean the alt-reality.

See you next week.

Follow me on twitter @rodolphocuenca

The Mutt said...

Driveshaft's hit song was "You All Everybody," but the song on the car radio sure sounded like "You Are Everybody" to me. Did anybody else hear it that way?

Anonymous said...

Peter: Thanks for wasting our time.

What a joyless life you lead. Go back to American Idol or Dances with the Kardashians or whatever.

Larry C said...

Was it me, or was anyone else really annoyed by the "spoilers" in the "Next Week on Lost" at the end? I won't post details here (everyone else, please abide too) but suffice to say there are more characters from the past appearing in next week's episode, and the scenes from next week just came right out and showed them.

Chris said...

I still see examples of love in the sideways world so can't say I buy the theory that releasing MIB took all the love away from that timeline. Perhaps what was transferred from the island after the explosion was that babies will no longer be born in the new reality and humanity will eventually die out. Maybe starting when the plane landed at LAX? Sun very likely may have lost her baby at this point, so all seems to rest on Claire. And Charlie's description of the love he felt for Claire seemed more like protective maternal love than romantic passionate love. Desmond's flashes involved the birth of his own child.

So I don't think MIB makes love go away. I think he makes the product of love go away.

JOHN said...

Faraday's journal is the answer. The alttimeline is an IMAGINARY WORLD.

Kujo said...

Superb acting by Henry Ian Cusick throughout, especially during the scene when Widmore told Desmond he brought him back to the island. The twitching in his face, you could feel his rage.

Very very strong ep, makes up for last weeks.

Jeff C. said...

So, did the conversation change this week, as Damon Lindelof claimed it would? Ummm... nope.

carly said...

I dug the sign in the bar behind Des and Charlie about "sporting your true island colors".

Toeknee said...

Larry C:
”Was it me, or was anyone else really annoyed by the "spoilers" in the "Next Week on Lost" at the end?....”

Well, it didn’t annoy me last night because I learned years ago to turn off the TV/change the channel as soon as the final “LOST” appears on-screen. Ditto any time during the week when I’m watching ABC and a Lost preview comes on. Too many episodes ruined early on by the misleading and/or spoilerish previews.

Jen said...

As far as I can tell, Widmore is the only person in the storyline who is completely or purely happy. He has his wife, his son, and his daughter- all the things (minus his grandson) that he described to Desmond as his sacrifices in the Island reality. And so because his Island self seems to be working to undo the sideways timeline, I can't help but think that he is a good guy after all.

Like Chrissy said earlier, I immediately thought of Jacob's cabin when we saw the magnetic field thingamabob (actually, the first thing I thought of was the opening scene of Jurassic Park when they're releasing the raptors into the park- eek!). But I was momentarily convinced we'd see that cabin scene from The Man behind the Curtain from Desmond's perspective as the man trapped in the cabin throwing things around.

srpad said...

Maybe I was in a grumpy mood but I didn't see what everyone else sees in this episode. For me it was a let down and a pretty solid "meh".

Having Desmond's alternate path be as Widmore's errand boy and friend was about as cliche as it could get and was no big surprise.

We had pretty much already learned the nature of the flash sideways form last week. This just confirmed it and drove the point home.

It was not bad. The performances were great as always. Having Faraday show up was always welcome and seeing the "real" timeline bleed into the new one was fun. I guess I just expected "amazing" and got "pretty good".

Matt said...

Lost just went Donnie Darko on us

Jeff said...

Alan, frankly, I never bought your "epilogue" theory. I thought you were overthinking it. The idea seemed too dramatically inert to me. I always thought the sideways universe was going to be the scene of some dramatic action on its own, once we got everyone's individual flash-sideways episode out of the way (and the only one we haven't seen so far is Hurley's), rather than being explained after the fact. I didn't think Cuse and Lindelof would waste our time in the final season by not connecting these two worlds somehow.

It's always been pretty obvious that the flash-sidewayses are an alternate universe. Remember what Miles said in last season's finale about Faraday's plan to detonate Jughead, prevent the Incident, and alter the timeline: "Has it occurred to any of you that your buddy's actually gonna cause the thing he says he's trying to prevent? Perhaps that little nuke is the incident."

Who was right: Faraday or Miles? They were both right.

It was clear from the season premiere that the flash-sideways universe is a result of detonating Jughead at the Swan, in accordance with Faraday's theory. We saw the Losties detonate the bomb, fade to white... and then we see Jack on the plane.

But after the commercial, we saw the Losties detonate the bomb, fade to white... and then they're back on the island in 2007.

Both realities are true. In detonating Jughead, the Losties created a paradox: if their plane doesn't crash on the island, then they'll never wind up on the island and they'll never go back in time to the 1970s and they'll never detonate Jughead, which means their plane *will* eventually crash, etc. Classic time-travel paradox. These universes are both equally real because they're both plausible results of the detonation. And now that we're in the second half of the season, they're going to start to interact, although it would be nice if we had gotten to this plot development a little sooner.

So yeah, I never got your epilogue theory.

Chrissy said...

Jen said:
"As far as I can tell, Widmore is the only person in the storyline who is completely or purely happy. He has his wife, his son, and his daughter- all the things (minus his grandson) that he described to Desmond as his sacrifices in the Island reality."

I'm trying to decide if it's meaningful that Desmond had never heard of Penny before. Working so closely with such an important and prominent man, it seems unlikely. Are they estranged? She was invited to the party, so perhaps not, but it seems odd that there wouldn't be any pictures, society write-ups, etc. that Desmond, as the right-hand man, would have at least heard about.

More a curiosity than anything else, but you never can tell what is intentional on this show and what is just a bit of circumstance.

Jeff said...

Another thing I wanted to point out: looks like ABC got the message about how much everyone hated last week's constant "V" promo at the bottom of the screen. I don't think there was anything other than the translucent ABC logo down there this week. Thank god.

Swedge said...

The impression this episode left me with was that our heroes had, willingly or not, made some sort of deal with a genie.

In classic genie stories you are given a wish but then there's some terrible catch. Like Sayid can have Nadia in his life, but she's married to his brother. Or Sun can be with Jin but loses her baby, or Desmond can impress Penny's father but doesn't know Penny.

And how is a genie usually represented? As swirling smoke inside a bottle, as in this show if you combine the image of Smokey and Jacob's wine bottle metaphor.

How that will play out I haven't a clue, it may never be said directly but it's an impression I have been getting and it was strongest this episode when Eloise talked to Desmond.

Eloise is starting to look like a villain. She seemed almost to be speaking for Smokey this episode, and she seemed to be helping his escape plan when she helped the Oceanic 6ers get back to the island, and wasn't she in charge when the Dharma mass-murder was ordered?

Anonymous said...

There is no coffee shop on the corner of N Sweetzer Avenue and Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

Anonymous said...

"There is no coffee shop"...
in THIS reality!

Scott and Steve said...

I liked this episode a lot, but I couldn't help but thinking throughout "I wish I knew how much longer until V was on".

Anonymous said...

George Minkowski was the perfect choice for the role of the limo driver. As the ship's radio operator, he helped Desmond hook up with Penny by phone, as the driver he hooks them up at the stadium.

Stephen S Power said...

Re Anonymous, who disagrees with the whole "there's no love in sideways world" scenario, I would respond to your exceptions this way:

1. We don't know if Ben loves his father any more than he once did. What we do know is that he feels the same level of responsibility toward him in the sideways world that he feels toward the Island in that world. Responsibility isn't the same thing as love.
2. He also feels a responsibility toward Alex. It's not necessarily love. His passion is helping his students. As to his power play, I think he'll find he has more power working from below than he would have had on top.
3. As Sayid & Nadia and Sun & Jin, those loves are continually frustrated. Which is even worse than not knowing love at all. It's like Charlie knowing true love only in a vision.
4. Locke's situation is even worse: Love is slapping him in the face, trying to wake him up, but he's so self-centered he can't appreciate it.
5. Good point re Jack and his son, and the same could be said of Claire and her baby, as well as Ben and his father and Ben and Alex. I would thus qualify my comment to say that ROMANTIC love is frustrated or unknown in the sideways world.

Another example: Jack and Kate see each other and there's something there but they can't figure it out. The same's true for Sawyer and Kate. I think romantic love in this world is like the word on the tip of your tongue you just can't remember.

Anonymous said...

Not to sound ungrateful for seeing Desmond and Penny again, but telling the audience what many expected to hear is not changing the conversation.

Vic DiGital said...

Lots of great theories making my head spin. Good job Lost fans! We're a smart bunch! Or at least the ones that read Alan's blog.

There's still a lot of moving parts that we can't yet slot into one unified theory. Some things that don't line up:

1. "They're coming". Was that Locke and friends, ore a group we haven't seen yet?

2. "It worked". What did Juliet see and what was she referring to (and WHEN was it)? Clearly, the alt-timeline is an example of it NOT working.

3. "There's only one ending. Everything else is just progress." Is all of this (MiB's seeming potential stab at victory) part of Jacob's master plan? Or is he legitimately scrambling to defeat MiB? The Narnia connection implies that like Aslan/Jesus, Jacob knew he was going to die and that it was part of his plan to defeat evil.

Mike C said...

I haven't read all of the comments, so forgive me if I'm repeating someone else's idea.

After Jacob gave his "bottle of wine" demonstration a couple weeks ago, one thing that came to mind was the 2nd season plot thread of "pushing the button" to prevent the release of world-threatening energy.

That whole plot seemed self-serving at the time, but now it makes so much more sense. The "button-pushing" is a parallel role to Jacob's, but without the important moral values attributed to the Jacob and Smokey relationship.

Desmond's role as the long-time "button-pusher" may be why he is so important now. Perhaps his prolonged exposure to that environment has something to do with the "special" qualities he has, but the concrete reasons why he is special are less compelling to me than the possibility of season 2's plot becoming more than just a device to raise a faith vs science argument.

Also, many of us discuss these characters as having "true natures;" Sayid, deep down, is a killer, or bad, or however we've all put it in the past. Something that I think the show has been trying to impart is that belief in a "true nature" like this is false. This episode restated the idea that "there's always a choice." So rather than believing that Sayid (or anyone else) is truly good or bad, I think some of these characters have just given up on believing they can be anything more than what they were. So the alt-timeline has never really seemed to me as a reward or punishment even though the "epilogue" theory seemed possible to me.

I really don't see how Desmond having sudden memories of the events on the island in the alt-timeline defeats the epilogue theory. (I suppose Alan means this in terms of the idea that the final episode would lead into the alt-timeline or something.) That Eloise mentions "rules" implies that these characters made some sort of agreement that put them where they are now, which to me supports portions of the "epilogue" theory.

Mike C said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SaneN85 said...

Aaron is not and has never been Kate's son. That is all.

Jeff said...

Vic writes:

2. "It worked". What did Juliet see and what was she referring to (and WHEN was it)? Clearly, the alt-timeline is an example of it NOT working.

It's an example of it working, actually. "It worked" referred to the alt-timeline. The alt-timeline resulted because Faraday's plan did work.

JMC said...

I have to chime in and agree w/ Mike C., and others. I really don't get why Alan thinks this episode negates the 'Epilogue' theory.

Moving along, it feels to me that the overriding dilemna that the entire series will center on is: "Is it better to have love and LOST than to have never loved at all?"

Jennifer said...

Really good points made in the comments today:

(a) In altverse, Smokey is out there doing...something. As who? I wonder.

(b) Eloise seems to think (or claim, really) that Desmond's HEA would be to be kissing Widmore's ass, completely ignoring that Desmond's real HEA would have been something else entirely and getting along with Widmore would have been a secondary want, motivated by ah...someone else. Whoever made up Desmond's HEA was not someone looking out for Desmond's best interests here.

Which makes me wonder WHO has chosen the HEA's for these people. Someone who'd be entirely biased at keeping Desmond away from Penny, GEE, I WONDER WHO THAT COULD BE.

annabel said...

I don't know where this is all going; everyone has so many theories, and though they don't all make my head hurt like trying to think through all the time-travel last season, at this point I'm just on board for the ride and am very interested to see where it all ends up.

Yay to see Jeremy Davies again. Daniel Faraday was one of my favorite characters since he showed up and I was most disappointed when he died last season.

So very strange to see Widmore and Desmond embrace!

When Widmore got the call about Charlie and then said "my son is a musician" the first thing that flashed through my mind is "Charlie is Widmore's son in this timeline???"

Suzombie said...

the heack is HEA? And I have read all the comments.....

viv said...

"Sawyer and Miles are acting out unproduced "Nash Bridges" scripts." hahahah

Scott J. said...

HEA = Happily Ever After

I don't think their alt-lives really were "designed" though. Nobody would sincerely believe that Desmond wanted Charles Widmore's approval above all else. That was just Eloise's weak justification. She got what she most wanted in the alt-world (her son), so she'd like to pretend that everybody else got a HEA too.

Anonymous said...

Like Annabel, I'm still not sure where this is going.

Though, I believe this episode MIGHT negate the epilogue in advance theory because why would the epilogue have the characters trying to reach into our character's reality, their past lives?

The only reason is to have an happily ever after in an existence where the island does not exist and the characters still know each other. Maybe a switcheroo of conscience will occur where all the experiences we have seen will jump ship into the alternate verse. This would be silly, can you image island Jack switching over and being a father?

I'd rather see both verses smashed into each other and a creation of a new one.

It also feels like Desmond's sacrifice is for him to take Jacob's position hence abandoning Penny. :(

JWIII

Bix said...

Annabel-

Not just you. The way that scene was written was a little confusing at first.

highbrow said...

So you actually watched last night's episode and you still think that Desmond has the ability to travel into the past and change the timeline? The same timeline he travelled from?

It's fairly clear that Desmond travels from the island in the Crash Landing Timeline into the Safe Landing Timline. There he is able to do whatever, even if it doesn't match the things he remembers from his past in the Crash Landing Timeline. He seems to flash into the past because, as it was made clear a couple seasons ago, on-island and off-island times are not aligned.

Lepidoptera said...

I am trying very hard to follow the Daniel Faraday/Widmore story arc.

So, on the island, he was in love with Charlotte, but never had the courage to tell her, before she died of a nosebleed?

But in alt-timeline, he has seen her in the museum, and just "known"? So, was this the same day that she had a blind date with a really angry, emotionally unstable cop that she nevertheless ended up boning about 96 seconds into their date? Wow, that is a REALLY dark take on the concept of "soulmate."

Also, if the ability to draw a full-page triangle qualifies one as an expert in quantum mechanics, I am really going to start thinking about going for early acceptance for next fall at M.I.T. for my 5 year old.

Vic DiGital said...

I was liking the Imaginary World theory for a while, but I'm off that concept now. If it was imaginary, then there wouldn't be any point in Desmond having to gather everyone from 815. Clearly that's supposed to indicate that this timeline is indeed real, and that the people in it are all alive.

Someone asked a question about Smokey running around in the Alt-verse. I think he is. I think we'll get a scene where we see Smokey off-island in all his glory. The question is, is he Smokey, or is he in the form of someone else?

And there's also the question of the Frozen Donkey Wheel. Time travel is still in play, so will we get one final turn of the wheel? I think the end of the whole show will be someone (the Candidate?) turning the wheel and going back in time to start the whole process over again, like in Land of the Lost.

Janie said...

I think it was interesting that Charlie and Faraday were the ones who had the clearest idea of what they were feeling when they saw Claire & Charlotte. It's like their deaths in the Island world put their consciousness fully in the Sideways world. That lends credence to the idea that Juliet was crossing over and saw that it had worked and that she was having coffee with Sawyer (*fingers crossed*). Whereas for everyone else, the timelines seem to be happening simultaneously (given Desmond waking up in Fluxy, as Mo has dubbed it, and waking up in the stadium after fainting). So for the characters who are alive in both, they seem to be experiencing a sense of deja vu. But Desmond is special and enlightened in both worlds, so he can fulfill his mission to show everyone else.

Scott J. said...

@highbrow: When Desmond time-traveled in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant", he was not in the alt-world. He was in a past where Penny's last name was Widmore, and they'd been together long before 2004.

I'm not certain that Desmond ever actually changed anything in the past, but I'm pretty sure it was his own past, not alt-Desmond's.

Chrissy said...

@Stephen S Power:

I think the "love doesn't work" theory regarding the alt-verse is flawed because most if not all of the romantic relationships in the regular-verse are just as frustrated.

Sun had an affair, Jin became a cruel man, and after they finally rediscovered their love they were separated for years and remain separated.

Desmond and Penny are constantly thwarted by Charles, and by Desmond's own insecurities.

Juliet died.

Charlie died. Claire lost her child and went nuts.

Faraday never told Charlotte how he felt, and then they both died.

Helen and Locke were split by his anger at his father, and then she died. And then he died.

Libby died before she and Hurley ever got a chance to figure out if they were in love.

I don't consider Jack and Kate a great love story, but if you do, they have seen obstacles including Sawyer, Juliet, Kate's obstinance, Jack's savior complex, Jack's alcoholism, Aaron, and eventually just not liking each other very much. Now they are in different camps and neither seems particularly motivated to find the other.

The only currently happy couple that I can think of is Bernard and Rose (assuming they survived, which I would like to assume), and they are happy in the alt-verse as well. So if the difference is that love is thwarted in the alt-verse, there is no difference.

I think the difference is that the characters in the regular-verse went through an insane event together that united them and forced them to bare themselves in ways we don't normally. For some, this allowed love to bloom where it might not have in the regular day-to-day world. It also allowed people to see past each other's pasts (would Juliet have fallen for a woman-using con man in her regular life? Unlikely. Would Sun have asserted her independence and insisted Jin love her as a strong woman rather than a weakling? Probably not. Would Charlie have kicked heroin and become a man worthy of Claire's trust? Possibly, but addiction is a bear.)

Jeff said...

With all due respect, I really don't understand how the epilogue theory makes a lick of sense.

Again, in the season premiere, we saw the Jughead detonation/fade-to-white twice, leading to a different consequence each time. One idea in quantum mechanics is that something can exist in two states at the same time. The Losties created a time paradox by detonating Jughead, and the result of that paradox is that both possible consequences of the detonation exist, each in a separate universe: one in which the detonation prevented the plane crash (Faraday's theory), and one in which the detonation actually caused it (Miles's theory).

Anyone believing that the flash sideways is one big epilogue, instead of one of the possible results of the detonation of Jughead, has to explain why the fade-to-white in the season premiere was immediately followed by Jack sitting on the plane in a crash-free universe. It happened because it was a direct narrative consequence of the detonation, and for goodness' sake it's what Faraday spent the final few episodes of season 5 talking about, so I don't understand why someone can think something else is going on instead.

Theories are fun, but they can't just be "that seems like it would be a neat idea." A theory has to connect to what happens on the show.

Dan Nicholls said...

The epilogue theory is dead.

And I beg you all to return and think of previous flashbacks. Specifically, Jack's stadium runs. Remember that cool, calm Desmond he met who told him 'you have to lift it up brotha'? We met him again properly at the end of this episode.

JDubTrey said...

"Eloise, who in a universe where she didn't kill her own son wound up marrying Widmore and giving his name to their son. In every timeline, she knows more than everybody else, and here she doesn't even have her son's time-looped notebook to explain it all."

I diagree about the notebook. Ellie got the notebook before the bomb went off. In fact, the notebook actually has the instructions for detonating the bomb. The notebook should actually exist in both timelines.

Mike C said...

@Jeff

I completely recognize and agree with the points you've made about the alternate timeline not being an epilogue, but if it were as (relatively) simple as you describe it we wouldn't have had Eloise telling Desmond that there are "rules" to living in this alternate timeline, nor would we have Desmond, Charlie, and Daniel experiencing memories, feelings, or talents from the other timeline.

Furthermore, that Eloise brings up "rules" and how having Mr Widmore's approval is all Desmond ever wanted suggests that he made an agreement - perhaps a "sacrifice" - in exchange for existing in this current scenario.

Jack said...

When Jacob was waiting for Locke to fall out of his apartment window, he was reading Flannery O'Connor's All That Rises Must Converge. The title is a clue. The Jughead detonation created an alternate reality, all right -- like diverting a stream off of a river. But nature doesn't like this. The alternate reality is forcing its way back to where it originally came from. It rose from the explosion, but it wants to converge with "real" reality. So Island Sun suddenly can't speak English, not because she bumped her head but because alt-Sun can't speak English, and alt-Sun is converging in on her. Alt-Charlie sees Claire's face, Desmond sees Charlie's hand. Going the other direction, the "real" Eloise Hawking speaks to Desmond through alt-Eloise to back off. Sayid doesn't feel anything because alt-Sayid is resigned to his frustrating life. This re-converging process may also end up resurrecting Locke, since Locke is alive in alt-world.

The alt-world is "pushing" its way back to where it first came from.

I don't think Smokey will know what to do about any of this. He might also be some sort of uber-evil being from a similar parallel, but he doesn't seem like much of a quantum physicist to me.

Greg said...

People, don't get too hung up on "Imaginary Time." It's a very real mathematical concept akin to imaginary numbers. It's not some sort of window into a fantasy world, it's just a way of quantitatively expressing equations in a time-like interval.

Anonymous said...

I Can't

Live

In A (Sideways) World

Without Love


Puff

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"The notebook should actually exist in both timelines."

But the notebook only existed in the past because Daniel carried it through time, and if 815 never crashed, Daniel wouldn't have time traveled. I am wondering if the alternate timeline is one completely free of the 815ers' effects on the timeline -- no encounter with Jughead in Fonzie times, no role in the Incident in 1977, and so on.

Ross said...

When I saw that the rabbit was named "Angstrom," I immediately thought of Angstrom Levy, a character who travels through parallel worlds in the comic Invincible, which Lindelof said he was a big fan of in that Newsarama interview somebody posted earlier.

Juanita's Journal said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ladypeyton said...

Am I the only person who thinks that Desmond looked like he'd gone quietly but completely off the deep end by the end of last night's episode?

Peter D Bakija said...

JDubTrey wrote:
>>I diagree about the notebook. Ellie got the notebook before the bomb went off. In fact, the notebook actually has the instructions for detonating the bomb. The notebook should actually exist in both timelines.>>

Except that:

A) The notebook exists 'cause Daniel was a physicist. In the sideways (I vastly prefer World Without Shrimp, but anyway...) universe, Daniel isn't a physicist. He is a musician.

B) Eloise got the notebook in the regular timeline 'cause her physicist son went back in time, got shot, and left behind the notebook. In the sideways universe, Daniel was never on the island, never time traveling, and never went back in time to get shot and leave behind the notebook.

C) We already saw the notebook in Daniel's hands in the 2004 sideways timeline as he was showing it to Desmond. As it never went back in time, Eloise doesn't have it.

As Eloise seems (as usual) aware that the sideways universe is something other than a regular time/place/existence, it is probably safe to assume that the sideways universe is something different all together.

xrayspx said...

@Matt S.
... he was a pretty nice guy tho quite annoyed anytime someone brings up the short circuit movies.

I would think Fisher Stevens would be more annoyed at people calling him "Mister The Plague" on the street, like I would do if I ever saw him.

MJ said...

Did anyone else notice that Desmond WAS wearing his wedding ring in the season premiere this year when he sat next to Jack on the plane. This episode made a point to mention the fact that he WAS NOT wearing a wedding ring. It didn't simply have George ask if he was married or anything, but specifically pointed out the lack of a wedding ring. I've got to think that there is something to that, I just don't know what. Perhaps the Desmond we saw in this episode isn't the same Desmond we saw in LA X, and maybe that explains his mysterious disappearance. Damon Lindelof tweeted something about this situation, which makes me think it's very intentional.

Also, another thing I think is true but can't quite piece together is that people who have died in our island time line have some sort of extra knowledge about what's going on in the sideways. Charlie, Daniel, and George all seemed to have suspicious way about them, like they knew the truth but couldn't come right out any say it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else catch that Penny's last
name is Milton in the Altverse?

"Milton, Penny, Solo"

John Milton? Paradise Lost?

Sareeta said...

I enjoyed this episode more than most of the other episodes this season, mainly because it was Desmond-centric, but it wasn't a perfect episode. Story-wise, I don't feel like we learned very much and with so few episodes left, that bothers me.

There were still a lot of eye-rolling moments that have been present throughout the season. Every episode seems to have the same format: show a character we know in a completely different situation (in the sideways universe), cut back to the island character, then back and forth showing how different the character's life is in the other universe. It was interesting in the beginning, but at this point I get the picture.

This season is lacking what pulled me into Lost. I really miss the character interactions---the characters in the real universe, that is. By "real" I mean the one universe we've been following since the series debuted. They used to bond. They used to make the most of the situation. Now they just sit down and say "hey" to each other and regurgitate what has happened, I suppose to "update" us viewers. They all seem so fed up and angry, which I guess is understandable, but doesn't make for fun viewing.

Also, the acting seems very off for these characters. Aside form the scene between Jack and Sun last episode, Jack seemed like an actor just going through the motions for one final season. And I have always been a Jack fan. Don't even get me started on what they've done to Sayid.

As excited as I was to see the return of some of the characters who had died, they seem to just be filling up air time rather than adding to the overall quality of the story. The only characters consistently genuine and believable are Locke/Smocke, Sawyer, and Desmond.

Henry Ian Cusick's Desmond saved this episode, because the man is such a talented actor and Desmond is such a unique character who I think everyone instantly fell in love with from the moment he was introduced in season 2.

While I am glad someone is finally figuring out something is wrong with the other universe, I almost feel like this is happening too late in the season. Anyway. I'm still sticking around for the ride. I'll be able to better assess the season when it is over.

bruce flitt said...

Slow episode

Anonymous said...

Charlie's description of envisioning "true love" during a near death experience (NDE) is similar to how some people have described NDE's in the real world. Some describe the feeling of "love" as if it is the unconditional love of a supreme being. Yet another religious allusion in Lost?

Anonymous said...

Hm. Funny how no matter what else is different, Widmore will always be a tycoon of some sort, eh?

Also, to all saying "pfft, the conversation hasn't changed!" Maybe Darlton just meant that we'd stop hearing about the sideways flashes as epilogues in advance theory once yesterday's ep aired... and sure enough... that topic of conversation is now dead and buried, no?

Peter: "It's too bad now that we know the alt-universe is just a mask for whatever is happening in the real world that all the time we have spent in the alt-universe has been a GIANT waste of time. When we thought it was an epilogue in advance at least then it had some sort of a point. Now we learn none of it really matters? Thanks for wasting our time."

When you remember an awesome, realistic, life-like dream you had upon waking up and finding out it wasn't real, does it make it totally pointless? .... The sideways things may not be reality, but they DO matter. If for no other reason than providing additional character development for all the people we know, love, hate, etc. from Lost. Seriously, isn't that enough? What were the flashbacks for in season 1? Same thing, right? Come on, man.

GregM: "I *never* liked the epilogue in advance theory, and knowing that theory actually made it even harder to like the flash-sideways, so I am glad, glad, glad to be rid of them now."

Who says they're gone just because they're not epilogues? We still haven't seen Hurley's "sideways flashes" ep, though he briefly appeared in Locke's, of course.

Anon @ 4:01AM: "What I don't get is how the two universes are synchronized. The one we know from the past 5 seasons is currently in 2007 era and the other from the sideways is in 2004. Yet people in 2004 get memories that won't happen in the first universe until months later (Season's 3 "Not Penny's boat" for example)."

This so-called alternate reality isn't another universe, it's just a Matrix-like illusion (created by what or whom, that's the question). The reason it's 2004 in the illusion is that the plane lands and all the people living this lie think it's 2004 because that's the way the illusion works. In reality, it's 2007. How people's MINDS are going to resolve these delusions into their "normal reality selves" (like Desmond already is doing) is another matter, but there is no temporal issue here with the 2004/2007 stuff. No more so than in a person feeling emotions and thoughts they had 3 years ago while looking at a photo or a video from 3 years ago while he or she is with us here in the here and now.

Henry said...

See! That's what I'm talking about! When Lost's producers said to look at the Sideways World more carefully because it's important, they should be delivering an episode like last night's, which focused on Desmond's experience in the Sideways World. Desmond's episodes on Lost tend to be the best episodes of the show as it turns out (fans still cite "The Constant" as probably the greatest episode of the series so far) and the most recent one should be counted among them. Desmond's story has always been one of the more emotional stories of the entire show and the writers certainly delivered on that front.

Consciousness-altering...

Henry said...

I apologize if it's been mentioned already, but it'd be funny and ironic if the person who created the code to unlock the Looking Glass station was actually Charlie. Charlie, somewhere in the nether-world or crossing over from the Sideways World (or perhaps merging with the Island World) and creating the code and entering into a small time loop since Charlie was the one who entered the code in "Through The Looking Glass." I'm sorry. I couldn't help but think of the stuff in the Looking Glass throughout the whole discussions on music and musicians.

Henry said...

It's probably not gonna be delivered what with five episodes left until the series finale and Dom Monaghan on that sodding show FlashForward, but if they could do an episode that follows Claire in the Sideways World and sees her be happy with Charlie and Aaron, that'd be great. I was just pondering that while Charlie and Des talk in the bar and Charlie describes that Claire and he are together in his vision.

Henry said...

Oh, also occurred to me during the car drowning scene: the flashes into the Island World are conducive only to changes in a person's brain chemistry. So we have Charlie trying to kill himself on the flight, Desmond flashing to Penny after the bump on the head and the MRI, Daniel's brain chemistry changing after falling in love at first sight with Charlotte (I've read psychological and neurobiology studies that have said "love at first sight" is a result of a significant change in brain chemistry and neurotransmitter production). Hell, we could even apply it to Sun's "aphasia" from last week's episode. Sun could be "leaking" into the Sideways World.

Andy said...

Smokey and Jacob represent what this show has represented from the beginning. Science vs. Faith/Religion. Smokey (Science) and Jacob (Faith) each view the other as evil. Desmond will prove to them all that the only thing that matters is Love and Faith and Science can coexist.

Andy said...

I don't think lost is trying to criticize religion or science. I think it's telling us that religion and science are meant to coexist.

Anonymous said...

Why would Smokey represent Science?

Anonymous said...

How does the notebook exist in both timelines?

drbristol said...

"Wondering why Sayid didn't kill Zoe"

Because we needed something as obnoxious and annoying as the "V Clock" in this episode, and Sheila Kelly fit the bill. She might be Mother Teresa in real life but I hope she keeps "running away" and doesn't come back.

JDubTrey said...

"Except that:

A) The notebook exists 'cause Daniel was a physicist. In the sideways (I vastly prefer World Without Shrimp, but anyway...) universe, Daniel isn't a physicist. He is a musician.

B) Eloise got the notebook in the regular timeline 'cause her physicist son went back in time, got shot, and left behind the notebook. In the sideways universe, Daniel was never on the island, never time traveling, and never went back in time to get shot and leave behind the notebook.

C) We already saw the notebook in Daniel's hands in the 2004 sideways timeline as he was showing it to Desmond. As it never went back in time, Eloise doesn't have it.

As Eloise seems (as usual) aware that the sideways universe is something other than a regular time/place/existence, it is probably safe to assume that the sideways universe is something different all together."

Item B actually alludes to a paradox that I've brought up numerous times in different discussions but I won't get into that here. It's more of a tangent that asks how a guy could ever determine his own fate before he's even born. Anyway, let's just say that if the bomb went off, and it went off because Jack and Sayid followed Daniel's instructions, and those instructions were in the notebook, than you must allow for the fact that the notebook was in the timeline. There's really no other explanation that makes sense, given that you believe that the adult Daniel from the original timeline was there in 1977.

Items A and C are at the core of this "two-timeline" approach....but it really doesn't preclude the notebook being there. Again, the notebook = the detonation. If the alt timeline follwed the detonation, than the notebook was "there".

Susan said...

Anonymous @ 11:33 am said:

This so-called alternate reality isn't another universe, it's just a Matrix-like illusion (created by what or whom, that's the question). The reason it's 2004 in the illusion is that the plane lands and all the people living this lie think it's 2004 because that's the way the illusion works. In reality, it's 2007. How people's MINDS are going to resolve these delusions into their "normal reality selves" (like Desmond already is doing) is another matter, but there is no temporal issue here with the 2004/2007 stuff. No more so than in a person feeling emotions and thoughts they had 3 years ago while looking at a photo or a video from 3 years ago while he or she is with us here in the here and now.


I was having trouble wrapping my mind around the sideways world but this interpretation works for me and finally clarifies things, thanks.

That being said, I couldn't agree with Sareeta more when she said:

This season is lacking what pulled me into Lost. I really miss the character interactions---the characters in the real universe, that is. By "real" I mean the one universe we've been following since the series debuted. They used to bond. They used to make the most of the situation. Now they just sit down and say "hey" to each other and regurgitate what has happened, I suppose to "update" us viewers. They all seem so fed up and angry, which I guess is understandable, but doesn't make for fun viewing.

Anonymous said...

Lindelof posted his comment on Twitter. It's clear that when he wrote that "the conversation will change," the conversation he was referring to was about Justin Bieber.

Mike-EU said...

Could it be that Desmond & Penny = Adam and Eve?

drbristol said...

Stephen S Power - agree with most of what you said, certainly the thin veneer of what is supposed to be "happiness". Each person seems to have gotten something but not exactly what they want and not really fulfilling.

Perhaps it's as simple as "live together, die alone" - if they (as Smokey is trying to get them to do) want to focus on a single need, they'll get it - but at a cost of the greater good.

Also had thoughts similar to Jane's in that those who had died on island seem to be more enlightened here - Charlie walked across that street without a care and states "this doesn't matter". George

Meg, I don't think Desmond looked "zombified" like Sayid; I think he looked calm, like a person who knows what's going on and has no fear. Faraday has some pretty metaphysical thoughts for a musician. Others recongize something different in their reflections but haven't put it together yet; that's what Desmond wants to show them.

Matt - Donnie Darko! Exactly. So is Desmond or Faraday Donnie?

Jack - alt-world converging explaining discrepancies like Sun's non-English crossing lines - bingo.

I think Widmore and Eloise are like Desmond; having awareness of both universes, but only Desmond can actually exist in both (until the "sacrifice", that is).

medrawt said...

OK, this is probably too late in the thread to really enter the conversation on this point, but:

(1) for all but the last episode or two of Season 5, the show was working under a simple and intelligible, internally consistent model of time travel (and the one I find most theoretically persuasive, though that's irrelevant): "whatever happened, happened". There never was a time that Sawyer & Co. weren't living on the Island in the 70s.

(2) Even very special Desmond, who has tumbly-wumbly-time-stuff properties unique to him, isn't really exempt from this (I'll come back to this point).

(3) Then in the last episode or two of S-5, Faraday suggests that he was wrong, that there are variables, and that he can change time by detonating the nuke at the electromagnetic source to prevent/subvert the Incident. Forget that he doesn't seem to consider that this might have been the Incident itself (that's a little rabbit-wormhole of its own I'm going to step around).

(4) My presumption has been that Faraday was, in the short term, right ("It worked"; the sideways timeline) and in the long term wrong (he created a paradox, the world abhors a paradox and will resolve it; Eloise Hawking told Desmond as much when she explains why she didn't warn the man in the red shoes that he was going to be crushed). Ergo, divergent timelines that are re-verging.

(5) Other people think the sideways timeline isn't a "real" timeline, but some sort of illusion.

(6) Either way, how the hell did the people in the 1970s make it back to the present day? Unless you say "the release of electromagnetic energy did it" and leave the extent of "it" as unspecified as possible, that doesn't seem predicted by any of the pre-existing theories (Faraday thought it'd create a no-Incident reality, other people thought they'd all die in a thermonuclear explosion).

(7) There's more to say here, but it starts gesturing at more fundamental questions about The Island that are maybe better left alone for now.

Peter D Bakija said...

JDubTrey wrote:
>>Item B actually alludes to a paradox that I've brought up numerous times in different discussions but I won't get into that here. It's more of a tangent that asks how a guy could ever determine his own fate before he's even born. Anyway, let's just say that if the bomb went off, and it went off because Jack and Sayid followed Daniel's instructions, and those instructions were in the notebook, than you must allow for the fact that the notebook was in the timeline. There's really no other explanation that makes sense, given that you believe that the adult Daniel from the original timeline was there in 1977.>>

Ah, ok. I see where you are coming from. Well, yeah, I suppose that if the sideways timeline is a representation of the continued timeline from the point at which the bomb exploded, then yeah, the paradoxical notebook has to exist in a pardoxical form. Except that we are yet to be given any solid indication that the sideways timeline is the result of that--the whole "let's look at the sunken island" aspect of the first episode indicates that apparently the island sank either after or before 1977 (or at least that is what I remember the conversation being at the time), and all indications that take place in the sideways time indicates that the island timeline in the sideways world was different *before* 1977.

If we go with the "the sideways world is some sort of matrix-y non conventional universe/reality", there is no paradoxical notebook. If we go with the "the sideways world is the result of the bomb going off", there is a lot of incongruity, and not the paradoxical kind.

Jeff B. said...

Trivia: The lawyer who sprung Charlie from jail was Sundra from Survivor: Cook Islands.

She was one of the contestants who couldn't start a fire in the tiebreaker for the final three.

7s Tim said...

Still think there is a chance for my long-lobbied-for theory that Alt-2004 is a result of Smokey escaping or some action/choice of the Losties (and which many others seem to come around on recently), although Daniel's comments seemed to build a stronger case that Jughead actually did something hinkey to make the new reality. Eloise seems to contradict him even before he shows up though with her intimation that there was some Prime Mover behind the creation of Alt world. So maybe we're all just wading through red herrings.

One quibble: I heard it as Eloise saying "what happens, happens", which would certainly parallel Daniel in S.5 saying "what happened, happened", but is more about ratifying the realness (um, is that a word?) of the Alt-2004 to us viewers, not telling Desmond that he's made his bed and now has to lie in it.

I wonder how much of the different worlds each Des can remember... Does he just now have a weird confirmation of its existance? Does he feel the emotions of both of his separate selves? Does he have memories, or just vague glimpses of a life gone differently? Perhaps his cooperation with Widmore was a result of Alt Des working so closely with him, or maybe our Des just feels a need to accomplish something, to learn more about his weird dream world?

Anonymous said...

There's a 1992 novel by the australian writer Greg Egan, 'quarantine', that's probably a source for Lost. I'm surprised it never comes up in lost forums.

In this story, and if my memory is correct, one genetically modified man has the power to chose one among all the parallel universes that are created each microsecond, for each random event the universe has to deal with.

That makes sense in quantum mechanics: he's like a Schrodinger's cat who can decides if he dies or not

During his training period, this candidate is trapped in a bunker and he has to guess random numbers.

Of course he's always right because all his "copies", who don't guess the good numbers, disappear instantly.

I'm guessing Desmond conscience is capable of being in both universes at the same time, but, at some point, he will have to pick one and sacrifice the other.

Choo said...

During the scene where Des is being strapped to the chair by the two goons, did anyone else believe that one of them looked and sounded like Matthew Fox for a split second?

I have re-watched this portion on Hulu several times now and I honestly believe it was Jack. I mean, a different actor walked in and out of the scene, but when the person looked up and said the line, I have no doubt it was Fox.

Don't understand the basis for that, but it is driving me crazy.

Addison said...

Like Al, I was convinced that it was an epilogue in waiting. How wrong we were.

The FSW isn't the end of LOST, it's the beginning!

Stay with me, people.

The list of folk in the Lighthouse & the Cave - where did Ole Smokie & Jacob get their lists?

Does Desmondo get the passenger manifest somehow travel back in time (he couldn't do that, could he?), leave it with Jacob, Jacob then sets in motion the events that bring everyone to the island, including Des causing the crash, season 1 starts & then they all go through this again & again & again.

I know, I know, it's improbable but you gotta remember. Time! people think time is a strict progression from cause to effect. It's not, Time isn't a straight line, more like a.........big ball....of wibbly wobbly......timey wimey....stuff.

Allonsy!

Michael said...

Excuse the rant, but... I'm so sick of Lost's bullshit! I respect that it's an ambitious sci-fi/fantasy show with amazing production values that has changed mainstream TV forever, but the storytelling is just sloppy and the characters are irrational walking clichés. It's so convoluted and cheesy I just keep rolling my eyes and asking why I'm still watching this show... the exciting moments are outweighed by the constant misdirection and ridiculous dialogue. I guess since it's almost over I might as well keep up with it.

The dialogue between Charlie and Desmond was just too much to take. People do not actually talk like that and it was distracting. And am I really supposed to believe that a woman greeted by a strange stalker in a deserted place at night would not be creeped out? I just don't understand how people aren't as frustrated with this show as I am... but I guess most people who've stuck with Lost this long are die-hard fans anyway.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"My presumption has been that Faraday was, in the short term, right ("It worked"; the sideways timeline) and in the long term wrong (he created a paradox, the world abhors a paradox and will resolve it; Eloise Hawking told Desmond as much when she explains why she didn't warn the man in the red shoes that he was going to be crushed). Ergo, divergent timelines that are re-verging."

I would add to this, that if whatever happened, happened, and the sidewaysverse is in fact the ultimate result of The Incident, then the sidewaysverse has always been there.

Emmanuel said...

I don't think the "epilogue in advance" theory should be abandoned. I think it just requires a little shift: we are seeing an epilogue in advance, in my opinion, but it isn't the 2004 LA timeline, but rather the 2008 island timeline.

Here's my theory: Jughead resulted in the alternate timeline, and Alt-Desmond and Alt-Daniel (aka Dan Widmore) will do something in the finale that will result in the restoration of the "regular" island timeline. Everything that happens on the island - in fact, pretty much everything that happened in the entire series (other than the parts that didn't happen in the 2000's, perhaps) - will be the result of what the Alt-Losties will do.

Mister Derp said...

Sideways Penny is named Penny Milton, evidently a reference to he of Paradise Lost fame. Paradise Lost is about Satan inspiring original sin in...Adam and Eve. Therefore! Adam and Eve = Desmond and Penny!

Vic DiGital said...

DrBristol: I think I'm starting to believe the "Live Together, Die Alone" concept is going to be what this all boils down to.

Each of them was given a slice of happiness that sort of resembled what we knew they wanted (and what Smokey was probably able to scan them and think they wanted). But they are each alone, or at least separated from the others. In order to continue to live that life of seeming 'happiness', they will have to reject that togetherness that seems to be coming our way.

Each of them will be shown that by coming together (or by ALL of them getting back on the plane or going to the island), that this false reality can be thwarted or that Smokey can be defeated. Each one will have to make that CHOICE to sacrifice happiness for the greater good. Jacob believes that mankind WILL make that kind of sacrifice when given the chance. MiB believes man is corrupt and won't make that choice.

It could also be that they are all forced to choose to spend eternity on the island, cut off from the rest of the world in order to save the universe. In that sense, they all get a happy ending, but have to sacrifice the other happy ending they thought they had.

kishkeking said...

The thing I keep going back to is how "island time" differs from everywhere else. The show has been fairly consistent throughout. When Desmond and Sayid fly via helicopter to the freighter in season three, for them it was a twenty minute ride. On island, it was over a day.

We know that the island's exact whereabouts are always moving vis a vis the Foucault pendulum from season 5.

Wasn't a very old polar bear skeleton with dharma stuff on it found off island?

How was the Black Rock lost at sea in 1845 when it didn't capture Richard to at least 1867?

Maybe it's all because island time moves so fast or so slow or just plain differently is the reason Richard, MIB, and Jacob can live so long. Maybe everything that happens to the losties really all happens in the blink of an eye.

That will suck, but I have a feeling this will be part of the ending.