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There is one very interesting theory presented at the beginning of Marc Oromaner's most recent (and otherwise terrible) blog entry, which basically states that time jumps (as seen in the first few episodes of the 5th season of Lost) may be caused when an unstuck character (i.e. John Locke) mentions another point in time (i.e. his own birth) to a non-traveling character (i.e. Richard Alpert circa 1954). This theory (I like to call it "Marc's Razor") makes a lot of sense if you look at the first four time jumps (see Timeline:Post-moving). They are as follows:
Jump 1) Locke tells Ethan that he is the Others' leader from the future and within moments he jumps.
Jump 2) Locke discusses with Alpert what needs to be done the next time they meet (in another era) and soon John jumps.
Jump 3) Daniel tells Desmond that he needs to seek out mama-Faraday in the future, and he is cut off by a time jump.
Jump 4) Locke returns the compass to Alpert and tells of his own birth, but is cut off again from asking how to leave the island by another time jump.
The problem with "Marc's Razor" is that it's no longer consistent with character interaction and subsequent time jumps after the fourth jump. The next two jumps are as follows:
Jump 5) Sawyer witnesses Kate delivering Claire's Baby, and without any further discussion or interaction the "unstuck" jump again.
Jump 6) The group is in the open water and are being shot at by another boat when they are conveniently saved by another time jump.
As you can see, these two examples are completely inconsistent with "Marc's Razor". Not only do the unstuck avoid mentioning another time to stationary character, they fail to have any conversation at all with the people they encounter in each case. So, although it's an "interesting" theory, I think we can disregard "Marc's Razor" and chalk it up to a clever but incorrect guess.
All this got me to thinking. Although closer analysis has shown that Marc's initial theory (much like the rest of his blog entry) is unsubstantiated, and based on some false assumptions and misconceptions, it does raise a very good question:
IS THERE A SPECIFIC CAUSE/TRIGGER FOR THE TIMING OF EACH TIME-JUMP?
and if so
WHAT TRIGGERS THEM?
The one unifying characteristic that we know of in each example of a time-jump is that they only occur after one or more of our "unstucks" comes in contact with one or more time-stationary people (pasties). Even with the case of Sawyer watching Kate, although they do not interact, there is a direct connection made between on an "unstuck" and a "pastie". Also, in the case of the sixth jump, the group gets a look at their assailants from the other boat and certainly makes a direct connection with them (shooting back) before making a jump.
Is there a more specific (and perhaps consistent) trigger, though, that we can find?
At first I thought not,and was ready to chalk the unifying time-jump "trigger" up to Plot Convenience. The main foil for my theory that unstuck-pastie interaction caused jumps was in the case of Lock-and-co. running into Jones (Widmore) and the next jump. This example provided a glaring inconsistency in the duration of interaction. Whereas they span (perhaps) hours between their run-in with Widmore (or even the fire-arrows for that matter) and their next jump, they spend only a few fleeting seconds in the presence of Kate and Claire (for example) before jumping.
Just when all seemed lost, I realized one difference between the Jones/Widmore example and all the rest...in every other example (in which the jump closely followed the interaction/connection), the "unstuck" come into contact with not just any old person, but actually someone that they HAVE MET BEFORE!!! In other words, strangers may not have any affect on them, but contact with someone they already known from another time may by the immediate trigger. That's why they don't jump until JOHN SPEAKS WITH ALPERT!
Lets go back and look at who they meet up with just before each of the six jumps:
Jump 1) Ethan
Jump 2) Richard Alpert
Jump 3) Desmond
Jump 4) Richard Alpert
Jump 5) Kate/Claire
Jump 6) ??????
That's right. Each of the first five jumps happens only after an unstuck encounters someone they already know. And in each case the encounter lasts a pretty consistent length of time: about 30 seconds to one minute. This could be it!
So that leaves one question. One very important question:
WHO IS IN THE BOAT THAT SHOOTS AT THEM?
If in fact (as most have probably theorized to this point) the boat is full of people they already know (maybe even themselves) then the theory will continue to hold water. Only time will tell!!!
What do you think??????