But there's also a third category. I would call it "stuff that isn't integral to the plot at this point, but over which fans of the show would go crazy if no explanation at all were given."
So, even though we didn't really NEED to get this answer, we got one nonetheless. I'll leave aside the inconsistencies created by this solution for the moment, because I've never been the nit-picky type of fan. As long as the big stuff makes sense, I'm good. I think we'll get a few more heavy-handed explanations checked off the list before we get to the finale.
But does the resolution of this question give us any information that helps the plot along?Perhaps, but only to the extent that it reinforces the notion that "death" on this island brings with it a merger with oneself in another reality. Michael says he (and others) can't move on because of "what they did."
Like most things on the show, this is ambiguous. It could refer to a component of moral judgment. My suspicion is that it refers to how the person interacted with others on the island. Not necessarily from a moral perspective, but, rather, in terms of whom they affected, and how that interaction relates to space-time. This may keep them "stuck" on the island in the same way that certain people hopped through time after Linus turned the wheel, but Richard and the Others did not. Richard also apparently can't see the mysterious young boy, while Sawyer and Desmond can.
Likewise, when Hurley later asks if there's anything he can do to help Michael, Michael replies, "Don't get yourself killed," perhaps implying that completion of this long-awaited endgame will release these trapped souls.
I've said this before, but I think the island is an "out of bounds" area where the normal laws of physics work slightly differently. More to the point - I think that things that would normally disrupt space-time can operate on the island without ramifications to the world at large. That explains why the Man in Black can exist on the island, but, if he leaves, some very bad things will happen. See my previous blogs for more elaboration on this.
I bring this up because it occurred to me that the island is a hub of sorts for these multiple realities. I was thinking this week that Jack's story about his first surgery may be a metaphor that helps to explain the island's role. For those who have forgotten, Jack explains that:
"When I was in residency, my first solo procedure was a spinal surgery on a 16 year old kid, a girl. And at the end, after 13 hours, I was closing her up and I, I accidentally ripped her dural sac. Shredded the base of the spine where all the nerves come together, membrane as thin as tissue. And so it ripped open. And the nerves just spilled out of her like angel hair pasta, spinal fluid flowing out of her and I … And the terror was just so … crazy. So real. And I knew I had to deal with it. So I just made a choice. I'd let the fear in, let it take over, let it do its thing, but only for five seconds, that's all I was going to give it. So I started to count: One, two, three, four, five. Then it was gone. I went back to work, sewed her up and she was fine."
While the metaphor isn't exact, I'm wondering if the island is a kind of "sac" that maintains the integrity of space-time, perhaps with the nerves as analogous to realities or different points in time, and the MiB is a threat to all of it - or at least the primary reality. Perhaps Jack will be called upon to do something on the island that would mirror what he did in that surgery in a way.
In any event, this episode: I thought the flash-sideways story itself was fine, but nothing special. Basically, every scene that included Desmond in either timeline was fascinating, and the rest was just so-so. The lighter tone of a Hurley episode seemed a bit out of place since we're getting into some very serious waters now, but maybe that was by design. This is the last stop before the endgame begins. The point of no return. The writers may have left this comic relief for this late in the season because they didn't want to have eight or nine super-serious episodes to close the show.
The on-island story was strong again. The most important components were the interactions between Desmond and MiB. We've now moved into a strange area where, although MiB still knows a lot more than he's letting on, there seems to be an element of confusion. During their initial conversation, Desmond's tone was one of calm, confident awareness. This puzzled MiB, as did the reappearance of the mysterious young boy (more on him in a second). Desmond's response - and MiB's reaction - to MiB's question of "Do you know who I am?" seemed particularly loaded.
Perhaps even more significantly, this question immediately followed an answer by Desmond that indicated that he's previously been blasted with massive amounts of EM energy. This is probably self-serving in light of my "Lost Theory of Everything," but I don't think that sequence of questions is as disconnected as it might appear.
Ilana's death was rather abrupt. I thought it was interesting that she died BEFORE we got any real backstory on her. I think we may get that when Jacob's history is revealed. Also of note was Hurley's reaction to the sack with unknown contents he found among her things after her untimely demise. I would presume it isn't the same sack that merely contained Jacob's ashes, as the musical cues and his secretive response indicates an independent significance.
I thought the split of Richard, Miles, and Linus sealed their fates as well. Ben's speech about the island being done with someone was telling. It makes sense for Miles (who has had very few lines for about a month now), and even for Richard (who just had his "for your consideration" episode with Ab Aeterno), but I would be sorry to see Linus die as suddenly as Ilana. One thing Lost does somewhat clumsily is get rid of characters for which it no longer has a use. Not always, but Rousseau, Libby, Ana Lucia, and Ilana all come to mind. I hope Ben gets a "good death." I think it's becoming more apparent that we're going to see a lot more characters killed off as we approach the end of this series.
Big-picture: As I said last week, Desmond is the "bridge." Bolstered by his meeting with Penny, he's crossing names off the 815 list to show them all this alternate reality. I assume his new awareness includes knowing which names he needs to contact and which names are meaningless. I think it's noteworthy that he's fulfilling a Jacob-like role in the FST, albeit without supernatural abilities beyond his unusual understanding.
People are able to become aware of the other reality either by love or by near-death experience (or, in Desmond's case, both). But I think "love" is just a shorthand for something broader, like "destiny." For instance, Locke seems to have found his true love in FST, but it's going to take a near-death experience to show him his destiny is linked to this mysterious island. By that same token, Jin and Sun have also found each other in FST, but the FST Kwons have no real understanding of the OT at this point, despite their love.
Therefore, I think the reuniting of Jin and Sun in the OT will be critical to the merging of the two timelines.
It's easy to forget this, but Jin and Sun haven't actually been together in the OT since 2004 (when Sun thought Jin perished aboard the freighter). That was Season 4. Most notably, they haven't made contact since the Jughead-powered Incident. I think that's very significant.MiB and Desmond's walk to the well was also intriguing. They saw the mysterious boy that we previously saw in The Substitute. His hair looked darker, almost brown in this episode. I wonder if that was a response to dissuade rampant speculation that the boy is Aaron, or if it was just happenstance. What's clear is that the Man in Black is irritated (and perhaps frightened) by the presence of the boy.
Then there's that pesky well. The wells have been built over the pockets of electromagnetism, and, of course, the one that was on top of the Orchid led down to the time wheel. Of course, the time wheel seems to have preceded the wells, but not the tunnels. But I digress . . .
Two things jumped out at me about MiB's explanation of the creation of the wells. First, he made reference to the builders of the wells in such a way as to suggest that they preceded his presence on the island ("God knows how long it took them [to build it]"). Since we can't take MiB at his word, this may have just been a lie used to perpetuate his desperate agenda.
Secondly, he said that these well-builders decided to build on these spots based on where their compasses spun. Here's the problem . . .I think it's safe to assume that cultures as old as ancient Egypt have interacted with the island. The evidence of this has been rampant, including the statue and the tunnels with hieroglyphics.
Ancient Egyptian culture, however, predates the discovery of electromagnetic navigation (i.e. the compass) by thousands of years. I believe that current conventional wisdom among historians is that the Chinese were the first to use what we would think of as a navigational compass in the eleventh century. That would place it about 700 years after the abandonment of hieroglyphics, and far longer after the height of Egyptian culture.
Of course, given how time interacts with the island, none of that may be significant. But I think it's worth noting, since the premise is that MiB and Jacob had been on the island since the beginning of history. Certainly, if my wacky theories about the show are correct, that would be the case, at least for the "second iteration" of history.
I would file Desmond's comment to MiB of "You read my mind," under the category of "stuff said on Lost that may or may not be really important." MiB clearly has psychic abilities in smoke monster form, but I'm not sure those abilities carry over when he's just John Locke.
But Locke is confused again by Desmond's lack of fear. He gives his anti-Widmore sales pitch, and, not only is Desmond not convinced, but he's not frightened. This shows again that MiB attempts to tap into fear (or love) in order to persuade and convince. Because Desmond doesn't have that fear, he doesn't cave when MiB implicitly gives him an "out" to this frightening situation (i.e. to join him against Widmore).
So, MiB goes to Plan B - and throws Desmond in the well.
This was the first time that MiB didn't seem to be in control of the situation. Desmond clearly perplexes him. Desmond now seems to have a knowledge advantage over everyone but a handful of people in both timelines. I'm not sure if Desmond knows MiB's true identity. He might, but the important thing is that MiB seems to suspect that he does.
I think we're headed for the inevitable reuniting of all the remaining candidates. That begins with a trip to the Hydra island by our heroes. In the FST, we'll get more of the Desmond recruiting effort.
I think we know who the surgeon will be who works on both Locke and Sun in FST.
I also think we know who the lead detective will be on the hit and run investigation.
That all leads to the timeline merger, followed by the MiB/Jacob backstory, both of which will serve to set up the finale.
I still believe that some of these people are from the future. I expect that my master theory will be shot to hell sooner or later, but, so far, that hasn't happened yet.
See you next week.
--Montecore's Revenge 07:08, April 14, 2010 (UTC)