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Lost: new theory under construction

In midseason 2009, television, tv on 01/29/2009 at 8:54 am

You’ve been here before. No, that is not my commiseration that you and I are once again, contrary to all good sense, spending every Wednesday night pursuing something between an aneurysm and a Slurpee brain freeze. That is to say, watching Lost.
It IS true. Lost fans have been here before, fretting that the series that began as plane crash survivors waiting for rescue on a deserted island might have finally jumped the rails entirely.
But like any good addiction, Lost can pull us back. Granted, fewer get pulled each year, but still. We are the believers and coming up with theories is what makes us tick.
You’ve been here before is my theory.
You’ve been here before and you missed something important. Or someONE important.
In other words — and I have a lot of them as you know — who or what is your “constant”?
When Desmond was hit with the out of control time travelling back at the beginning of last season, he was advised to pick a constant, someone he knew before and who was essential to him. He made the call to Penny and rerooted in time. Now someone from the past has made a call to Desmond, via dream/memory, for the same reason: Desmond is Faraday’s constant, or Faraday’s link to his mother, the white-haired woman returned from her appearance as a jewelry store clerk in Season 3, Episode 8.
Back in Flashes Before Your Eyes, Desmond was told by Mrs. Hawking — aka Faraday’s mother scratching madly on a chalkboard while Ben pours himself a cup of tea — to not avoid fate because it is unchangeable and there will be “course corrections” to redirect to the unchangeable fate.
What did Desmond miss, or did we miss, in his encounter with this woman who, we now see, might be at the apex of the fulcrum of the series, as at the focal point of chalk lines that are being drawn by some medieval-looking affair on the floor as she taps away on a very old-looking computer at the end of Episode 2? Certainly, she is someone to whom scary Ben must answer and who reveals there are only 70 hours to get everyone important back to the island. But is she THE boss? And 70 hours in real time or combined jump-travel time or…?
I admit this is weak and it’s not really a full theory yet but I’m still working on it. Which is the real smack isn’t it? That it is knowable. Ha. One of these days I’m going cold turkey. But for now, I’m mainlining Sawyer with his borrowed shirt (a red shirt, the garb of all marked men on Star Trek); Sun and her revenge; Desmond and Penny and wee Charlie sailing to their new destiny; Hurley and his new cop friends that Ana Lucia warned him away from.
And what of Locke? He knows he must save the island and must die to do it, courtesy of very, very old and ageless Richard. Locke knows how to throw around Jacob’s name to save his skin. But at the end of Episode 3, he’s just met young Widmore. Will he be able to resist trying to change the future? Or is rupturing the timeline his destiny?
Despite Faraday’s insistence — and Hawking’s earlier warning to Desmond — that nothing should be changed during a jump, is some event from the island’s past — young Ben meeting the young hotheaded Charles Widmore on the island? — meant to be interfered with? Is it perhaps the island itself that is jumping people around to get them to interfere?
And isn’t Faraday speaking from both sides of his physicist’s mouth by saying nothing can be changed? After all, didn’t he plant the directive to find his mother into the ear of island Desmond so future Desmond would suddenly have the new “memory”?
Is this exception because Desmond is, as Faraday tells him and us, one of the exceptions? Or is Faraday using everyone’s fear of further catastrophe to keep them in line?
Other questions:
When they jump, what if they run into their past selves? I like Entertainment Weekly writer Jeff Jensen’s theory that the ominous whispers people have heard on the island are past selves, “forbidden by Fate from being seen or interfering”. And is this why Jacob can be seen only fleetingly by Locke?
When will we meet a young Christian Shephard on the island?
Will they jump far enough back in time to know more about the Black Rock ship dumped in the jungle? Far enough to see Jacob as a real person?

What’s that? I’m full of malarkey? Wouldn’t be the first time. But do share your own theory. The lines are now open…
— Denise Duguay


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