Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Island Needs a Constant...

One of the more provocative speculations this off-season has been Doc Jensen's that turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel moved the Island into the past. This possibility got a boost from recent promos apparently depicting Daniel Faraday encountering an intact Swan Station. I'm all in favor of such a scenario, which would be a great way of exploring the Dharma Initiative. But because this is Lost, I'll bet there's a twist. What if the Island itself is now unstuck in time?

All indications are that the Island is accessible via one or more wormholes. People passing through the wormhole(s) risk becoming unstuck in time like Desmond and Minowski. This presumably is what Ethan meant when he warned Juliet that the trip to the Island can be "intense." Turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel apparently moved the Island through a wormhole to whenever they are now. If people can become unstuck by wormhole travel, maybe the Island can as well.

But what could it mean for the Island to be unstuck in time? In the Constant, Desmond's consciousness jumped between various points in his past. I'm guessing that an unstuck Island will do much the same. Its "consciousness" will oscillate between key periods in the Island's history. People and things from different times will appear, interact, then disappear like ghosts. I have in mind somethng like Jacob's cabin, which may already be similarly unstuck.



Here's where things get really whackadoo. According to the Constant, people unstuck in time must find someone or something to reorient themselves. Desmond's constant was Penny; Dan's is apparently Desmond. In the case of Jacob's cabin, I'll bet that ash-like circle serves as a kind of temporal anchor. I believe the Island's constant was the Swan Station until it imploded. That may even be why Swan was originally built -- the Incident unstuck the Island previously.



If so, the Island needs a new constant to resolve its temporal confusion. Maybe that's the Oceanic 6, as a group, which is why they all need to return together. I'm guessing, however, that there's another Dharma station, either on the Island or somewhere else across the planet, capable of exerting the same stabilizing force the Swan once did. Finding it will be the key to the Oceanic 6 getting back to the Island...

26 comments:

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hey, Big. Great post as always. The mention of the Faraday trailer intrigues me. That's brilliant thinking that the Island "knows" the O6 from before AND after it moved in time. And to add to your wackadoo-ity, maybe there IS another Swan station somewhere else, but wouldn't it be crazy if those two Constants, Faraday & Desmond, worked out a way for the timelines to merge?

Capcom said...

Great idea!

If the O-6 were/are destined to remain on the island to support what it needs to stay stable (the way other people have been destined for being there like Locke and Ben) it will be a strange thought to consider how it would feel to be one of the poeple who finds this out. That is, how it would feel when you realize that you are destined and needed to stay on a remote island for the rest of your life, regardless of what you have actually planned for yourself in the real world.

It's not like we all don't have this happen to us occasionally or on a regular basis (like the saying goes, "Life is what happens when you're planning something else") but on a scale like this, it's really weird to think about. For some of the people like Sawyer, it would be a better future than what he had before most likely, like he's said. But for others who had careers, etc., not so much.

Capcom said...

P.S. I think that Juliet's reaction to her six-month's-duty-turn-eternity is on the level of what I mean. Although, she got no warning in advance like the O-6 or choice of staying, leaving, or going back.

Bigmouth said...

Wayne: I like your thinking! It evoked an image in my mind of Desmond and Daniel somehow meeting in the past, where the latter picks the former as his constant. This might also explain why the acronym for Dharma includes the words "Desmond Hume" and "Penelope." Come to think of it, maybe this is how Des and Penny become the skeletons in the cave, as I once speculated.

Capcom: I definitely agree the Oceanic 6 were supposed to stay on the Island. That may very well be because they're its constant. But I'm actually working on another post exploring the possibility the O6 are the fulfillment of the Valenzetti Equation. I believe they were manipulated to the Island for that reason. Their rescue has disrupted that plan.

Here's where your comment about wanting to leave the Island really resonates with me. That description actually reminds me of Kelvin, who sought to shift the burden of saving the world onto Des. I'm beginning to think that description applies to Jacob, as well. His whole plan has been to escape from the Island using Aaron as his vessel. In so doing he's delayed fulfillment of the Valenzetti...

Capcom said...

Yes, Kelvin certainly did seek to do that. Heheh, big Special Ops guy, trying to get out of saving the world. Oh well, I guess that a guy like that is not one to spend the rest of his life tied to a computer room. :o)

Oh wow, if they are a part of the VE solution, that will be so incredible! As if maybe someone has/had done the time traveling to figure out that each of these people is a part of either the cause of "The end" or a part of the solution to the VE. Neat!

lil-beeyotch said...

Hey BM! Great post as usual ... it has got me thinking though, why would only the O6 be part of the Island's constant ?? Surely everyone whose left it would be part ... like Michael and Walt??

Des left the island with O6 ... so wouldn't he have to come back too? Maybe Penny will come back with him ... maybe not ... oh I don't know =(

Capcom said...

Right! And if they have to take dead Locke back with them, do they have to find all the little pieces of Michael who got blown up, and bring them back as well? He was definitely needed by the island, as we were shown. :-D Maybe they won't though, since C.S. told him that he could go now.

I saw a rumor about Walt, but I won't say it.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Big, Cap, and l'il: I'm hoping that what I've said all along about the Equation was right, and l'il b. illustrates my point as to why more survivors aren't the Island's Constant. I have always played with the idea that each number represented a person, and they were moved around like pieces on a chessboard. Charlie died thinking Claire was going to be rescued because he wasn't meant to be one of the O6/Numbers (and then we see that Claire wasn't, either). Re: Adam & Eve, Big, I think nobody saw the Island going back to the 70s, nobody. When Jack first sees the skeletons, he speculates the bodies were 45-50 yrs old, so of course the red herring is Amelia Earhart and Patrick Noonan. But if Des & Penny stay behind in the 70s (what better hiding place from Ben, who is trying to kill Penny, I guess), when they do die (during the Purge?), they will likely be in that 45-50 age range. The guys writing this show had us thinking logically forward, if we had ever looked backwards, I think a few of us might have had more concrete thoughts about the O6 role. I've always said the Numbers represented people simply because of the chessboard (really, backgammon) image. But once Des sent Charlie through the looking glass, I knew for certain it was part of the equation shifting the numbers around.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Also, the reason we always saw backgammon instead of chess is because 1/no individual identities to the pieces and 2/possibly showing how a survivor could turn from good to bad (white to black) or vice versa. Annnnd: we see the "game" escalate from backgammon, to chess, finally to Risk. The name, various colors to muddy the waters, the colors partially making me think of the above ground fake Orchid.

Bigmouth said...

Capcom: I'm glad you like it! I'm actually working on a much longer post re the possibility that the O6 are the fulfillment of the Valenzetti. A key premise is that Ms. Hawking, Brother Campbell, and maybe Matthew Abbadon are from the future, which has been put at risk by the efforts of Dharma and the Others to tinker with fate. They know the O6 must get back to the Island and will work to make that happen as soon as possible.

lil-b: Desmond is an interesting question. His principal role in destiny's plan was to activate the Fail-Safe, thus neutralizing the threat created by Dharma. I also happen to think Des and Penny will end up in the past as the skeletons in the cave. But it's certainly possible he'll play some part in helping the O6 return. Remember, people can have key roles in effectuating fate without necessarily being a core factor of the Valenzetti. See, e.g., Michael.

Wayne: Precisely! The game metaphors underscore that the characters are all simply pawns of prophecy -- i.e., the Valenzetti. The problem is that these pawns have a measure of free will. They can delay their fate, even if they can't avoid it entirely. In so doing, however, they simply postpone the inevitable, causing needless suffering for those affected.

I think you hit the nail on the head with your point about the past being a great hiding place for Penny and Desmond. But I'm not sure the timing works right for them to have been killed in the Purge. Jack's estimates put the skeletons' death in the 1950s or '60s, before Dharma was even on the Island. And I have it on good authority that the Purge occurred much later -- around 1992.

Capcom said...

Wow, great thoughts guys! I wonder what kind of relationship the VE and the DI efforts have with the course correction thing, that is, maybe it doesn't matter if Hanso and the DI can stop The End from happening the way they'd like to, it's just going to happen eventually anyway and can only be postponed. Will LOST end with the world coming to an end? :-D

Bigmouth said...

Capcom: Careful...the Valenzetti Equation predicts the time left before human "extinction." Dharma simply assumed this meant the end of the world.

Humanity, however, could also become "extinct" by evolving into a new post-human species. That's what I believe Hawking and Co. are trying to ensure.

Anonymous said...

Big,

Been on a "Lost" Fuse hiatus myself. Been Con-Fused about "why" rather than "where" "Lost" is going. For example, good thing that the Zero Haliburton suitcase Sawyer was smashing against the rocks in “LOST” episode, “Whatever the Case May Be,” didn’t contain a small thermo-nuclear device, “The Shape of Things to Come.” "The Whole Truth" is we wouldn’t have to wait for the Swan Hatch clock to countdown from 108 to see the “House of the Rising Sun.” In “the Long Con”-Fusion that would “Flash Before Your Eyes,” the “Losties”, if they were sent back to the 70's, would find “Life on Mars” more interesting.

Interesting too that Kate only wanted to retrieve the toy plane from Marshal Mar’s case; a small nuke could be delivered “Par Avion.” If it landed in LA, “Something Nice Back Home,” it would really be the “Beginning of the End” of US all.

The real question is who is the “Man Behind the Curtain? Who would lead US on this “Collision” course? Is he “One of US?” Well, if you’re watching “LOST” “Through the Looking Glass” then you’re not “LOST.” A “Man of Science, Man of Faith”, Philo Farnsworth AKA Doctor X, the inventor of electronic television, also designed the Farnsworth–Hirsch Fusor to create nuclear fusion.

the clock is ticking....

G-MAN

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hey, Big. Maybe we need to see if Hawking and Donovan have only four toes, ha ha (he laughed shakily). True what you said to Capcom, its in the wording. Extinction is not about Cold War brinkmanship, rather more what you suggest, but I can see the Dharma's misconstruing it simply because they were in the Age of Aquarius. If someone said the word extinction to me now, I would clearly know what was meant, and not from reading X-MEN comics, either! Re: when Des & Penny die, if they are indeed the skeletons, I mentioned the Purge simply as a means of justifying the age. Maybe Jack did say 40s or 50s, but was Jack talking years of age or time frame? THAT'S what I was getting at, how is he to know, anyways? He threw out a guess at how long they were there, but I also thought he meant their age.

Capcom and I can get into a few good discussions, but your posts knock it out of the park each time. You ever want to hear a really cool story about me and a few of the Mad Men cast, let me know, be glad to email you.

lil-beeyotch said...

Hey Wayne!

That does sound quite plausible ... Des and Penny going back in order to hide from Ben ... but didn't Widmore tell Ben that he would never find Penny? So if Penny was on the island wouldn't Ben find her?? Unless Widmore meant he (Ben) would never find her because they went back on time ... but HOW would they go back on time? And how would Widmore know of this??

BM & Capcom ... any ideas on Walt's significance (or what it used to be? I'm assuming he doesn't have one now that the island let him leave)

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

L'il B: First, I think Widmore is just blowing smoke at Ben. Just as Ben has never told the complete truth to, well, anyone. Second, I reread the link Big added to his comments up above, and I gather he thinks that Des & Pen will end up further back in time than the 1970s. It is strange how many things I thought were "way out there" seem to be right on target, or close to it. I'm thinking Penny will follow Desmond where(when)ever he decides to go--they may not even know Ben wants to kill Penny--but I'm not sure when they'll end up on the Island.

Walt must have a role because of his powers, maybe he can talk to Jacob, or even understand Aaron or the backwards whispers. The O6 may be the Island's Constant, but there certainly could be a bigger group returning. I'm hoping for Lapidus, myself.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

By the way, Li'l B, were you born in India? Just asdking because I have a comic, THE STONE PILLOW, being published in Delhi. Handicapped kids get super powers. It is set in Mumbai.

Bigmouth said...

G-Man: Very clever use of the titles! I'm not sure I buy the notion of a suitcase nuke, but you raise an interesting possibility re nuclear fusion. I could easily see Widmore and Paik wanting to control a natural source of fusion, which would be extremely valuable. The reference on the Blast Door Map to "heavy water" could be a nod to this possibility. Good thinking!

You also asked who is the real man behind the curtain. I'm increasingly convinced that's actually Jacob. As I mentioned above, I believe he's been manipulating the Others to produce a baby so he can be reincarnated That baby was Aaron, which is how Jacob escaped the Island.

Wayne: We're on the same wavelength re the Age of Aquarius! The way I see it, humanity was poised at this time to make the evolutionary leap we've discussed. But Dharma's meddling with destiny postponed that evolution, changing the "picture on the box." That's why Chronology Protection Agents must intervene -- to prevent further changes along these lines.

I'm not sure, however, that I follow your comment about Adam and Eve. In House of the Rising Sun, Jack estimated how long the bodies had been in the cave based on the fact that it "takes 40 or 50 years for clothing to degrade like this." Are you saying he meant they were actually 40 or 50 years old when they died?

lil-b: Good point -- Des and Penny will have to go back further in time than the Dharma Initiative if they want to hide from Ben. I think the notion of them hiding on the Island makes even more sense if Ben was correct that whoever turns the Frozen Donkey Wheel can never return.

As for Walt, he represents the type of post-human evolution I mentioned previously. The problem is that the Others have been using these special post-humans to do their own unwitting damage to the timeline. But Walt may need to return to the Island to send that message back to Locke when the latter was lying shot in the ditch. Here's a really whackadoo thought: what if Hawking or Abbadon recruit Walt for the temporal police?

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Bigmouth: I meant that Jack isn't an expert on everything. They are in a dark cave, he touches clothing, we've seen the skeletons once (or twice), so I just don't go with Jack's word. For me, the scene was a red herring of sorts (were they Amelia Earhart & Ed Noonan?), with the emphasis being that whatever Jack says, pretty much half the camp believed as gospel.

We'll find out soon enough, I hope.

Thirty-Fiver said...

Big: If Jacob was looking to be reincarnated through a child then why was Alex passed on? Also, if the island did indeed go back in time (which I believe to be the case) how does this NOT cause there to be two islands occupying the same space? Or is it that when the island's 'consciousness' becomes unstuck it is only the people and the structures on the island that 'jump' from time to time? And if the answer to the last question is yes, then why did the island disappear from view at all for the O6?

I hope that makes sense, lol.

Bigmouth said...

Wayne: Gotcha! You raise an interesting possibility about Jack's assessment of their age being a lie. But I'm personally skeptical that the time interval is a red herring relating to Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan. In fact, I'm pretty sure Damon has expressly denied that speculation. He also mentioned that the skeletons were something viewers would eventually look back upon and say the writers knew where they were going from the start. So I'm hoping there's a satisfying explanation, presumably involving time travel -- or an Island unstuck in time.

Thirty-Fiver: Good question re Alex! Perhaps she wasn't suitable? As you may recall, I've speculated previously that Jacob was a Shephard, which would make Aaron his great-great grandson. Maybe Jacob wanted to keep it in the family?

As for time travel, remember how Desmond and Minkowski became unstuck -- i.e., by traveling physically through a wormhole to the Island. When the Island moved physically through a wormhole (thereby disappearing from view of the O6) its "consciousness" similarly became unstuck. I expect we'll see lots of interactions like Locke's encounter with Horace Godspeed last season. That's what I have in mind when I say people and things will appear, interact, then disappear like ghosts...

Come to think of it, didn't Horace have a nosebleed, the telltale sign of being unstuck?

Bigmouth said...

Annebeth writes:

I too think that the island is unstuck in time. You can see a new flash (appearing by night) in one of the promo's.

Another idea I have is that maibe the whole island isn't in one time, but different parts of the island are in different times. That could explain all the different years the losties appear to be in (from the black rock to 2001 and perhaps even season 1 events)

Bigmouth said...

Annebeth: I like the unstuck in time analogy because it's something we're familiar with already on the show. But I also love the idea of time being different at points across the Island -- good thinking!

LotteryTicket said...

I think that Adam & Eve are Rose & Bernard. I think that Rose is separated from Bernard in the shift (end of S4). Leaving Bernard in search of Rose through Season 6. They somehow are shifted back together (pre-Dharma) and end their lives knowing that Jack will find them in the caves in the future. They hold a clue in their hands. This is why Rose does not want to go to the caves. "SOS" (S2) ends with camera pan-out of unmade sign, Rose and Bernard intertwined next to black & white stones.

I like the idea of the island needing a constant. But that would mean that the island has a conscience. Self-awareness. Maybe I could think of it more like an 'anchor' as in a ship untethered.

As for the O6 and others being VE numbers . . . can you elaborate. How does one human action become mathematical? How does a physical change in the island effect the VE? Link me up, Scotty! if you know where I can read more.

Bigmouth said...

Lottery Ticket: I've always believed that Adam and Eve are Penny and Desmond, but Rose and Bernard work well, too. In fact, the latter are even more plausible insofar as they're characters we've known since Season 1. Supposedly, we'll be able to look back on the identities of Adam and Eve as evidence they had the show planned well in advance. Good thinking!

I go back and forth on whether the Island has consciousness. I do think it's a Vast Active Living Intelligence System (i.e., VALIS) like in the Dick book of the same name. I'm not sure it's conscious the way we are, but I do think reality on the Island is somehow constructed by the VALIS like our brains construct reality. Movement through a wormhole may disrupt the VALIS with attendant disruptions in Island reality.

Hmmm...that just spurred a speculation. What if the core battle is really the Island vs. Jacob?

The Oceanic 6 could be core factors of the Valenzetti in a variety of ways. Maybe they carry some key genetic material required for humanity's evolution. Or maybe they're key players in some psycho-historical prediction ala the Foundation series. Keep in mind that the premise makes no real scientific or mathematical sense. The point is to present the O6 as the fulfillment of prophecy in pseudo-scientific terms.

lil-beeyotch said...

Wayne:

I'm not Indian =P I was born in Bangladesh =D

Sorry for the late reply btw!

BM: I thought when they show Walt talking to John in the ditch that was just Jacob speaking to John using Walt's illusion??