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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 02/15/2007

Lost Analysis: Episode 8 -- Time Travel, Anyone?

By Liz Kelly

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk or head over to ABC to watch last night's episode first.

Last week's episode kicked off a frenzy of theorizing not seen since the early days of the hatch, the button and the numbers and suddenly talk of "Lost" as a rudderless ship have evaporated, like so much black smoke. Why?

Turns out that the scene in which Karl (Alex's Other boyfriend) is subjected to some kind of sensory overload chamber -- and I dismissed as an homage to "A Clockwork Orange" -- held what looks to be a king-sized clue (or one whopper of a red herring). Thanks to some industrious fans, we now know that the scene contained a backwards message. That's right, a genuine Paul-is-dead moment right here in our very own "Lost:"


Newbrain
Uploaded by DarkUFO

Listen closely or you might just miss the voice repeating this cryptic message: "Only fools are enslaved by time and space." (Nevermind the creepy screeching noise that sounds suspiciously like a jet engine.)

And, after last night's revealing Desmond-centric journey through time, it's starting to look like we're finally getting some consistent hints from the sadistic brains behind this weekly brain bender.
Much more after the jump...

Jumping back to last week's episode again (see, we can time travel, too), EW's Doc Jensen has done a bang-up job of distilling the swirling conjecture into one coherent post. It seems that the theory-du-jour (helped along by a glimpse of one of the Others reading a Stephen Hawking book) is that the mysterious force in the hatch that kept Locke, Desmond, Eko, et al. busy pressing buttons was a black hole -- a place where "matter is compressed to the degree that the known laws of physics no longer apply to it." How convenient.

But are we to believe that the minds that brought us "Nash Bridges" and "Felicity" are brainy enough to devise a complicated, scientifically sound quantum physics-based storyline interesting enough to hold the attention of the average TV watcher (or Celebritologist) who may or may not have passed high school science?

Maybe.

Hawking's contention was that "intense gravitational fields of black holes somehow unravel the laws of quantum physics" which makes crazy-cool "Lost" sense considering the magnetic qualities (i.e. gravitational pull) in the hatch and other island oddities. But would this explain a black smoke and pirate ships? If you long to get utterly lost in this particular wormhole, head on over to the TheTailSection.com to continue the discussion.

Returning to this week's show, though, we find Desmond wrestling with the same notion. As he asks his physics-savvy friend: Is time travel possible? And, as quoted in the EW article linked above, the producers want us to consider: "When is a flashback not a flashback?"


Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) gets an earful from Mrs. Hawking (Fionnula Flanagan). (Photo courtesy ABC)

As we've learned over the seasons, there are flashbacks (filler) and there are flashbacks (scenes with direct bearing on the island storyline); Desmond's definitely falls into the latter category. Not only did we get more insight into his relationship with Penny, but we also had one of the characters in the flashback give us some pretty straightforward intel:

When Desmond tries to buy Penny an engagement ring, the kindly older woman suddenly tells him he does not buy the ring and goes on to tell Des that if he does marry Penny the world will effectively end. Until I looked up today's episode on IMDB.com, though, I didn't catch that the kindly older woman's name is Mrs. Hawking. Yes, as in Stephen and time travel and black holes and Damon Lindelof, what are you doing to us?

Mrs. Hawking has been inserted into Desmond's flashback, and the show, as a sort of guide (by who, though? Is she the great and powerful Oz or is she the big rabbit to Des's Donnie Darko?). She patiently explains that we can't escape fate, that the universe has a way of "course correcting" and that eventually everyone will play a predetermined part.

On a surface level, we learn that Charlie's lot in life seems to be dying to save Claire. And, considering Charlie's increasingly jealous and possessive treatment of her, I can't say I'm too sorry to see him go. We also seemed to learn that Desmond's pushing of the hatch button is the most important thing he'll ever do, so will he now fade into the background, emerging only when we need a prophet to help the plot?

On a deeper level, let's hope "course correcting" also applies to the circuitous route the show has taken over the last season or so and that this is the writing team's way of letting us know they have a specific end in mind. This may be the case. In last week's EW cover story, Lindelof said:

"I feel like we're playing a chess game and in the first six moves, we've lost our queen and two bishops, and the audience is saying 'They are the worst chess players in the world!' What they don't realize is that we're nine moves away from checkmating you. If we lose, we lose. But that's the play, and we're standing by it."

Fair enough. And with episodes slated to explain Jack's tattoos, Locke's wheelchair and the return of Cindy the Stewardess by season's end, I'm patiently waiting to be checkmated.

Best line of the night goes to Hurley: "Do you know any songs about drinking, fighting and girls with one leg."

We'll talk "Lost" in the last 15 minutes of today's Celebritology Live at 2 p.m. ET.

Next Week: Stranger in a Strange Land -- A power play ensues between Jack and "The Others" as Juliet's future hangs in the balance. Meanwhile, Kate, Sawyer and Karl continue on their journey away from "Alcatraz."

By Liz Kelly  | February 15, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Lost, Pop Culture, TV  
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Comments

Abrams got the same "rudderless ship" complaints from Alias for a while in the last season and a half, so I'm not surprised to hear that the same thing is going on with Lost, but then again, as far as I know, Alias never had any "play it in reverse and FREAK OUT!" scenes, either.

Posted by: 23112 | February 15, 2007 11:16 AM | Report abuse

So are we to assume that Desmond relived his entire life from the beginning of the flashback or did the cricket bat send him "back to the future?" I would put more faith in the latter, as it fits better with the rest of the story. It seems that extreme situations send him into this deja vu trance where he experiences 2 different time lines.

Can't wait for next week, I see a big struggle between Jack and the others as he has a pretty firm grip on their testicles at the moment.

Posted by: Ice King | February 15, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

So if Fate is "course-correcting", couldn't Desmond still have married Penny but still end up on the island?

I'm so glad it's Charlie that's going to die instead of Claire (keep the hot chick, get rid of the scruffy elf)

Did I hear the previews right that next week they're going to answer 3 of the islan'ds biggest mysteries?

Posted by: BF | February 15, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Okay. This week's episode worked much better for me than last weeks.Even though there was not a lot of linear progress made, it felt like the cogs of this Rube Goldberg were finally engaging and resolutions will be forthcoming soon.

Looking forward to those three answers promised in the teaser for next week. But, man, do I hate this 10 o'clock showtime!

So, is Mrs. Hawkings the Oracle from The Matrix, or what?

Posted by: Not Shlomo | February 15, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

hate the 10:00 time, too. Too tired to follow - by the end was truly exhausted. But seeing as Wed had turned into 'Must seeTv', I guess it is fine. It went from nothing to something every hour - and 2 shows in the 8:00 hour.

Posted by: tvtime | February 15, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Glad to see that Charlie will eventually get his.
As Desmond says "I can't keep rescuing you from fate, forever"
I said last time that Desmond would take Claire away from Charlie and that Charlie would try to take Bernard's wife away from him.--They end up in a fight on top of light plane hill and roll off-landing on their heads killing each other ( Bernard is the last of the main Tailies still alive ; so his days are numbered! ).

Posted by: NoCharlie | February 15, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

In Hawking's "Brief History of Time," nothing can exist in a black hole. So turning that key isn't *just* turning the key. As Mrs. Hawking says, turning the key saves the world. Is Desmond a Jesus figure? Just pondering ...

Posted by: polyester | February 15, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight. A black hole on the island is allowing Desmond to go back in time and keep reliving his life ala Groundhog day. By my account this must be his third time on the island since Charlie has previously been struck by lightening and drowned. This black hole has also turned the island into a giant magnet. Pushing the button released the constant build up of magnetism. That's why the magnetic pull crashed the plane when the button wasn't pushed in time. Turning the key caused a gigantic release of magnetism and explosion. Will the magnetism start building up again to dangerous levels in the future now that the pressure release value is gone? This all sounds sci-fi cool, but what the heck does it have to do with redemption, black smoke, polar bears, fertility experiments, etc. I guess the talk of one's unavoidable path in life and course correction is a message to viewers that the writers know where they are going ultimately, but I am not so sure.

Posted by: wha? | February 15, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

A couple of things:

1) I think the 10:00 time was so they wouldn't have to go up against the 9:00 American Idol, which actually had people that could sing on it this week!

2) Desmond had his "flashback" after turning the key and blacking out. Do we know it wasn't a dream? At the end of the flashback he wakes up just before Hurly finds him, so I'm leaning toward a dream. I think Ms. Hawkings was a guide in his dream helping him resolve things he didn't understand. He obviously did not know these things before he turned the key, so his dream is what "awakened" his notion that fate existed on the island and when someone was saved from one fate, they met a similar one later. He then began putting this to the test to his own amusement and now understands Charlie's fate.

3) Desmond also realized he is a failure. Hawkings says pushing the button is the most important thing he will ever do. Penny's father says he will never amount to anything. This theme of being a failure runs through the "flashback" even as he continually tries to save people. He foretells the bartender being attacked and tries to stop it. He is trying to protect Charlie. I think Desmond has a classic inferiority complex and does not recognize that he has been working hard to save people, or at least appreciate the fact. I think Desmond will, in the end, overcome this and be the hero of the show and marry Penny who we know from last season is working to find him.

4) The idea that gravity and a black hole's gravity are the same is wrong. If it was a black hole everything, not just metal, would have imploded and Desmond and Eko would not have made it out alive. I think its obvious that whatever the power is its a strong magnetic field that increased until Desmond turned the key. What happened then I have no clue but it obviously left a crater.

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Really loved the show at first, but I still believe it's run itself off the road into the ditch. LOTS AND LOTS OF FILLER LAST NIGHT. Egads. I walked away thinking, this really hasn't moved the plot all that much...... It's no longer so intriguing because I get the feeling that the writers and producers are grasping at straws to keep our attention. Remember this, and never forget -- all of television is about selling products!!!!!

Posted by: Pinky | February 15, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Is Desmond a Jesus figure?

Well, Henry Ian Cusick did portray Jesus in "The Gospel of John."

Posted by: Bender | February 15, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh look at how much smarter Damon Lindelof is than the rest of us, he's 9 moves ahead of everyone else. That's all well and good, too bad in the course of making these moves he's turned his once promising show into umitigated crap.

Posted by: Chris | February 15, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"By my account this must be his third time on the island since Charlie has previously been struck by lightening and drowned."

It would be the third time only if time was linear and part of a single universe. However, perhaps Desmond is somehow able to see into quantum alternate universes, one where Charlie is struck by lightening, one where he drowns, and so on, with a new universe being created each time Desmond saves Charlie (which would be the case in quantum theory).

Posted by: Bender | February 15, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"Bernard is the last of the main Tailies still alive ; so his days are numbered!"

Actually, we know from the previews that the Flight Attendant is still alive, and probably has been brainwashed into joining their side.

"Is Desmond a Jesus figure? Just pondering ..."

He does resemble the stereotypical image of Jesus.

"That's why the magnetic pull crashed the plane when the button wasn't pushed in time."

Only problem with that is that airplanes have very little metal that is susceptible to magnets. Most of the metal on airplanes is made up of aluminum, which a magnet would not be able to affect.

Posted by: Buck Dharma | February 15, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, but electromagnetism could have affected the plane's electrical and navigational systems.

Posted by: Jackie Treehorn | February 15, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"Ah yes, but electromagnetism could have affected the plane's electrical and navigational systems"

There have been numerous incidents where a plane's navigation and/or electrical systems have malfunctioned. None have resulted in the plane breaking up into 3 distinct pieces (tail,main fuselage, cockpit with first class)

I have trouble believing that the writers are going all Stephen Hawking on us with time and space while brushing off physics when it comes to the plane crash. If they are, then they are being very lazy, and it does not speak well for the rest of the show.

Posted by: Buck Dharma | February 15, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

does anyone remember from this seasons first episode of the conversation between Jack and Tom about Jack saying something to the effect.."if you have a boat, why dont you get off the island?" Tom answered..."the purple cloud..." then jack cut benry's artery by accident. Any ideas here?

One of things I listen for is dialogue and visual clues (books, eqipment (washer/dryer in the hatch, they were those new side by side front loading kind). Anyone else have theories about this?

I enjoy this show, it makes one think instead of staring blindly at some white washed sitcom.

Posted by: hooked | February 15, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Desmond DAVID HUME? The Scottish rationalist philosopher? A significant quote from Hume goes as follows:

"Methinks that I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd ship-wreck in passing a small firth, has yet the temerity to put to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to thi nk of compassing the globe under this disadvantageous circumstances...Fain wou'd I run into the crowd for shelter and warmth; but cannot prevail with myself to mix with such deformity. I call upon others to join me, in order to make a company apart, but no one will harken to me. Everyone keeps a distance, and dreads that storm that beats upon me from every side. I have expos'd myself to the enmity of all metaphysicians, logicians, mathematicians, and even theologians; and can I wonder at the insults I must suffer?... Can I be sure that in leaving all establish'd opinions I am following the truth?" (from A Treatise of Human Nature, 1739-40).

And in case you miss the Odysseus connection, his girlfriend's name is Penelope.

Posted by: thrh | February 15, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Desmond had a dream, or maybe an Out-of-body exp. If we getinto time travel with this show, then nothing is concrete. (nothing new about that)

If Desmond was MEANT to push the button, then why did he get whacked in the head and not make it to the boat in round 2? Was Ms. Hawkings incoorect about his fate? I think his mental past was influenced by the deterministic fateness of the island and gave him his vision, kind of like Locke seeing JAck in the Hut.

More details please...

About the backwards tape and "fools are limited by time and space". Is that really there or is some website making it up?

Posted by: dr | February 15, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

one other thought regarding magnetism...magnetic poles switching...maybe the button pushing was to prevent that...I know it's an outlandish theory!

Posted by: hooked | February 15, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Do a search on "high energy electromagnetic pulse" (without the quotes). A HEMP can bring down an airliner, according to one site. The idea that the plane was attracted by a static magnetic field simply doesn't fly (pun intended) because the passengers would have been attracted as well (and they weren't). HEMPs fry electrical circuits of all kinds, but have little to no effect on living organisms.

Posted by: dmm | February 15, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Buck is right, magnetism is not going to affect aluminum, nor would you see the ripples in the air that were seen by Ben and the Others when the plane was "hit" by the turbulence. The ripples were likely caused by sound.

One question I have. Desmond was telling Charlie that he's been saving him from the universe trying to correct itself by killing Charlie. Did this "saving Charlie" all start *after* Desmond turned the key? If so I'm starting to think that all the Losties are doomed. All survived the plane crash right? Maybe Desmond now realizes all the Losties are doomed, the universe trying to correct for their not having died in the crash where they should have died. Maybe pushing the button prevented fate. Now that the protection is gone, the universe is free to correct itself. And Desmond is not affected by this fate since he arrived by boat. He has not survived something that should have killed him, so he is not a target of fate. And now that he knows about fate and the universe correcting, he can use it to protect the Losties. In other words, now that the protection of the button pushing is gone, Desmond has taken it upon himself to be the one to protect the Losties.

This also explains many of Ekos statements and his willingness to go ahead and die with his last words being "you're next". The smoke that kiled him is fate.

This all sounds like the movie "Final Destination". In fact, that was what came to mind in the last episode when the bus hit Juliet's husband. The exact same thing in the exact same manner happened to one of the doomed characters in Final Destination.

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Excellent point Sully re fate and the universe correcting itself therefore all the losties are doomed! Very good point... it makes a lot of sense.

Posted by: love lost | February 15, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

More problems than answers. I think they're just going to walk over the crest of a mountain and find the wreck of a giant alien spaceship. If this all pulls together and ties up all of the loose ends, I will be truly astounded. We still don't know where the children are or why they are being kept - although this clearly has something to do with Juliet's specialty in treating infertility. I too think Charlie has run his course. I'm not sure we can keep adding characters to the show without getting rid of some of the old ones.
I was disappointed in the quantity of time they devoted to Desmond's "flashback". It seemed to take up more than half of the episode.
I'll see it through but they need to start wrapping some of the loose ends up. They can't afford to lose viewers because they've created such a mess of a storyline that no one can possibly jump in now and figure out what the hell is happening.

Posted by: Waning Fan | February 15, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

dmm wrote:
---HEMPs fry electrical circuits of all kinds, but have little to no effect on living organisms.---

Nor aluminum. The plane ripped apart in midair due to turbulence. You could see the density ripples in the air coming from the island. HEMP would not make turbulence nor would magnetism. And there was an increasingly loud noise when the clock hit zero. Remember, speakers use magnets to make sound by vibrating a membrane. The magnetic field that got stronger after the button was not pushed could have vibrated the earth sending the shock waves into the ripping apart the plane. I think I remember the ground vibrating in that episode yes?

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

The HEMP could have caused massive electrical, navigational, and instrument failure, thus leading to a tremendous and rapid drop in altitude, causing massive and catastrophic turbulence, resulting in the plane breaking up. Right?

Posted by: Jackie Treehorn | February 15, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

But when we see Ben and company watching the plane we don't see that. We see a plane, flying low and level, and not very fast, break up in midair. I focused on the shock waves in the air the plane moved through just before it broke up.

One thing I'm confused about though. If pushing the button is sooooooo important, why, after the near miss pushing the button by Desmond that brought down the plane, did Ben not send people to go push the button? It was Desmond who trained the Losties, not the Others. I can only conclude the button pushing was important at some point in the past, or for someone else, but not the Others. And eventaully the button is not pushed and the hatch implodes. Ben, standing on the dock with the captured Losties, appears a little annoyed, that's it. Why don't the Other's care about the button?

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

If Desmond's greatest success is pushing the button, then didn't he obviously fail at this success? I do believe he is pushing that button no more...

Posted by: Victoria | February 15, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I try not to over analyze the goings-on on this show. Too many philosphical, religious, and other subtexts which generally have no direct impact on the overall story arc. It's easy to get 'lost' if the minutae (as most hardcore fans seem to).

What I like about it is the fact that it actually makes people THINK... What is reality? Are there such things as miracles? Is fate pre-determined?... And it's a great character study.

To those who say the writers and producers have lost their way, I say you might be surprised when the show wraps up (my guess is next season).

Posted by: Cuse_and_Effect | February 15, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they didn't know that the button was what caused it. Maybe they knew about the button from the observation hatch which was over by their camp, but they had no idea what not pushing the button would or was supposed to cause. Maybe all they knew was that there was this hatch, where people were to sit and watch other people push a button. In other words, maybe they hadn't made the connection. I mean, have we really seen any evidence that Ben or anyone else really knows what Dharma and Hanso were doing on that island? Maybe I'm forgetting something, but they could be in the dark as well, although not as much as the crash survivors.

Posted by: Jackie Treehorn | February 15, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the Others are the "good guys", and are trying to reverse the bad fate of civilization, and the force that made Desmond push the button, killed Eko, etc. The Others were NOT aware of Desmond (his boat) per se. Did Jack talk about Desmond when they had Ben captive?

One Mystery question is: Why do the others want to keep people on the island. Julian, losties. If they were good, help them get back home...

Posted by: dr | February 15, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Charlie was a hobbit, not an elf.

Posted by: Ringlord | February 15, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm forgetting something, but do the Others even know about the hatch and the button? Has Desmond or Dharma had any contact with the Others? Do Mittelos and Dharma have anything to do with each other/have either company's time on the island overlapped? (assuming Dharma's work on the island has long been abandoned except the button)

Perhaps the Others don't know themselves what caused the plane crash or sky to "turn purple." When they were on the dock with Kate, Jack and Sawyer and the sky turned when the hatch imploded, it seems that the Other acted in the same amazement at the moment that the Losties did... they didn't seem to have much idea of what was going on...

Posted by: Lost at Work | February 15, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

When desmond woke up in the past with paint all over him, he had work overalls, and the overalls had the darma logo. Don't know what it means, but wanted to point that out.

Posted by: Ted | February 15, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

they're all going to end up in a bubble on Tralfamadore, I just know it...

Posted by: Sam888 | February 15, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

---Charlie was a hobbit, not an elf.---

No, Charlie was a hobbit, he's now an elf :^)

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I love all the banter but I truly just enjoyed Desmond last night. What was missing last fall was the "flashbacks" of the Losties and I liked learning about why Des and Penny don't get married and relaying it to what Desmond is going through with the button and on the island now.

I am a Lost lightweight though - I just want to be entertained. Next week's plug that there will be 3 secrets revealed sounds good to me. If the secrets don't get answered soon I will not watch - 10:00 is pushing it for me.

Posted by: cmac | February 15, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Do we know what happened to Walt and his dad? All I can remember is that they took off on the boat.

Posted by: Diane | February 15, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

---they're all going to end up in a bubble on Tralfamadore, I just know it...---

I wouldn't mind being stuck in a bubble on Tralfamadore with Valerie Perrine ;^) Hello, Goodbye, Goodbye, Hello!

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

We don't know what happened to Walt and Michael yet. The others told them that they should point their compass at a specific location to find rescue, but that's all we know. There is a Lost map circulating (I think the link to it may be found in last week's Lost comments or on the abc.com forums) that shows that the direction they were pointed in should run them directly into the "Alcatraz" island....not sure how legit that map is, but would be interesting if in fact the "rescue" they were promised was just on the other island... from what the producers have said though, we won't see their story line picked up again until probably next season at the earliest...

Posted by: Lost at Work | February 15, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Another nerdgasm here - sorry - but widmoreindustires.com - it's a silly site, probably not even official, but hilarious. I like the immaculate conception pregnancy test...

Posted by: nerd porn | February 15, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

We haven't seen Walt since last season. Next season he'll be a lot older than the few months the timeline on the island will have progressed. I wonder how they'll handle that ... maybe he'll go ahead in time to himself two years later. I wouldn't be surprised.

Posted by: Sully | February 15, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm late to the discussion, but does anyone know why the U.S. military guy who trained Said in "interrogation" is the same guy who trained Desmond to push the button?

Posted by: JPG | February 15, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm late to the discussion, but what are your ideas as to why the U.S. military guy who trained Said in "interrogation" is the same guy who trained Desmond to push the button? (Or am I just crazy.)

Posted by: JPG | February 15, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what the significance of that connection is... it might just be one of those instances where the connection doesn't have any deeper meaning other than to show us the six-degrees-ness of all the Losties and everyone else on the island... not sure if that's right, but I'm sure we're not going to get answers about every connection on the show, so I'm chaulking it up to a coincidence of life...

Posted by: Lost at Work | February 15, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Ted -- I don't think you're correct about Desmond's jumpsuit having a Dharma logo when he wakes up. Just after he turns the key we see a bunch of quick flashes of various images of Desmond, and in a couple of those he is wearing a Dharma jumpsuit, the one he wore in the hatch. However, once we go into his flashback he is wearing a very similiar jumpsuit, but I don't see the logo anymore.

Posted by: Eric | February 15, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Michael and Walt, I heard that Harold Perrinaux (sp?) wanted too much money to reprise his role as Michael and was shooting another pilot. If so, and the pilot is picked up, who knows when/how we'll hear about their fate...

Posted by: CG | February 15, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

so there was another Wizard of Oz reference last night too. The guy with the red shoes (ruby red slippers?) is killed by a building which collapses on him. And we already have Henry Gale. Significance?

Posted by: mike | February 15, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

well since it seems we're dealing with alternate realities/dream sequences right now that the wizard of oz connections would be right on track...

Posted by: Lost at Work | February 15, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

For those who are questioning whether or not the Others knew about Desmond, of course they did. One of the hatches used by the Others had cameras turned on in Desmond's hatch so they could observe. Did everyone forget this?

Posted by: Kat | February 15, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

I will be soooo disppointed if this all ends up as a dream. Maybe it's Walt's dog's dream. Wasn't that in some other program, the whole season or movie was a dog's dream. That would suck.

Posted by: Lost fan | February 15, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

No, but that doesn't mean they knew what would happen if the button wasn't pushed.

Posted by: Jackie Treehorn | February 15, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying my best to stick with the show, but its lack of direction is killing me. At the end of every episode I feel like I'm right where I'd be had I not even watched the show. Something big better happen next week or I'm done with Lost for good.

Posted by: BigBob | February 15, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Did the Others have a camera on Desmond or was it just the other Dharma hatch? Is there evidence that the Others work for Dharma or manned/currently man Dharma hatches (besides the Alcatraz island facilities which they could have come into possession of after they were abandoned by Dharma)? Looks like I better pull out my DVDs this weekend for a refresher course.....

Posted by: Lost at Work | February 15, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Did any one else notice that the actress playing Mrs. Hawkings was Fionnula Flanagan, the superb Irish actress who played a mysterious and eerie character in the movie "THE OTHERS"? By the way, there is no conceptual or storyline connection between the Others on Lost island and the eponymous Others of the Alijandro Amenabar's movie (which IMO is perhaps the greatest ghost story movie ever made!!!!).

Posted by: Steve H | February 15, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't say I'm a fan of the all the coding and decoding shoehorned into "Lost." Oh, I'm an old-time sci-fi fan, but catching all the references gets like mastering a video game for me - more effort than it's worth, like trivial pursuit.

The best moment for me in the last two episodes was a traditional dramatic scene: when Kate reminds Jack what he told her on the beach on the first day, and Jack tells Kate and Sawyer not to come back for him. It was reminiscent of the last scene in the airport in "Casablanca," where Bogart reminds Bergman that they'll always have Paris.

It's an old-fashioned bittersweet hero's moment, and the reaction shots from everyone on the beach are evocative. They are all learning in that moment - about who Jack is and, perhaps, who they are.

To me, these are the best parts of Lost.

Posted by: Alan Neff | February 15, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

One thing I didn't like about the Desmond flashback. This was yet another instance of a rich, controlling father being part of the flashback. Desmond going to his fiancee's Penelope's rich, controlling, powerful father, who offers him a job -- like Jin going to his fiancee's Sun's rich, controlling, powerful father, who offers him a job. Not to mention Charlie getting a job through the rich father of a girlfriend in one of his flashbacks. And then there's John Locke's rich, controlling father. And Jack's rich, controlling, powerful father. Oh, and somewhat related, Shannon's issues with her rich, controlling stepmother. I'm all for stories involving family conflicts, but what is it with the Lost scriptwriters and these "powerful father" issues???

Posted by: Steve H | February 15, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

This occurred to me. The way Mrs. Hawking was talking to Desmond was quite in parallel with how Desmond was talking with Charlie. She also seemed to have the same "abilities" as Desmond.

Remember that there had been a previous incident that the hatch/computer/button was created to avoid? If such an incident had occurred previously, would someone have been affected similarly to Desmond? Perhaps Mrs. Hawking?

I can't answer how she would have gotten into his flashback, but I believe we will see her again ... on the island. This fits in line with many of the other survivors' lives having overlaps. Something was already happening to these people before the crash. There was a purpose to this whole scenario (by whose design I do not know) from way before the crash.

Let's wait and see.

Posted by: mojo | February 15, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

---I'm all for stories involving family conflicts, but what is it with the Lost scriptwriters and these "powerful father" issues???---

I've been convinced since the 2nd season that the parents of these people are somehow involved. You gave a good list of the powerful parents. My theory is that these powerful parents were the primary members of Dharma. Taking it a step further, the results of the Dharma project gave them powers which they went back into the world and used, making them rich, powerful and arrogant. Just look at what Desmond can do. If you could predict the future, even in the spotty way Desmond seems to be doing it, you'd be rich and powerful very quickly. Maybe that's why he was sent to the island, to become like Penny's father and thus worthy of her?

And consider this power. It would be easy, if you could control seeing the future, to prepare events so you'd get a lot of people that you wanted onto the same plane. Since you could forsee events you'd be able to use and mold those events. Yes, the parents I think are key to how the Losties got to the island. Why I don't know, but keep watching those parents, they're not just plot fodder.

Posted by: Sully | February 16, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

The fall episodes felt like they belonged to another show - not an awful one, but not the one I had fallen for -, but these last two won me back completely. I don't care if lots of the clues are just meant to mess with us -- they're fun to find. I like that theywriters invite so much speculation and involvement.

Posted by: stella | February 16, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

---well since it seems we're dealing with alternate realities/dream sequences right now that the wizard of oz connections would be right on track...---

I agree. But I think they're put in there for fun, like superman references in Sienfeld. Maybe as a clue, but I'm convinced that the bus hitting Juliet's husband was an identical scene to the bus hitting a girl in the movie Final Destination, a movie about fate catching up with some people who averted death. That was certainly appropriate for this episode. I just hope that if the writers are putting this much effort into weaving these little jokes into the show that they have a real good handle on the overall plot.

I remember as a kid watching the TV show "The Fugative" and we learned at the beginning of the last season that it would end. People became frantic asking that the writers wrap it up so we would know who the "one-armed man" was. They did and it was a fantastic night as everyone I knew was at home watching to see how it ended. A night to remember...

Posted by: Sully | February 16, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

--- And consider this power. It would be easy, if you could control seeing the future, to prepare events so you'd get a lot of people that you wanted onto the same plane. Since you could forsee events you'd be able to use and mold those events. Yes, the parents I think are key to how the Losties got to the island. Why I don't know, but keep watching those parents, they're not just plot fodder.---

Look up Valenzetti equation on Lostpedia.com, that will give you good insight into how they could be doing what you think they are doing...

Posted by: Bilbo | February 16, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

--- And consider this power. It would be easy, if you could control seeing the future, to prepare events so you'd get a lot of people that you wanted onto the same plane. Since you could forsee events you'd be able to use and mold those events. Yes, the parents I think are key to how the Losties got to the island. Why I don't know, but keep watching those parents, they're not just plot fodder.---

Look up Valenzetti equation on Lostpedia.com, that will give you good insight into how they could be doing what you think they are doing...

Posted by: Bilbo | February 16, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm a LOST newbie; I've seen only the two-part pilot, the first 6 (or however many) of the "mini-season", and the recent new material. How can anyone be down on last week's ep? I was thrilled. Fionnula Flanagan (of "The Others" fame) was a fine choice for that role, and the paranoia of it all was lots of fun -- even though (1) Desmond-in-flashback was pretty lame and (2) it was weird to have Daniel Meade's father on the show, and being so unreasonable about his not-necessary-anyway consent to his daughter's romance. It all certainly beat people locked in cages, fish biscuits, Benry's false courtesy, people being shot at, and polar bears.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Remember that Star Trek: TNG episode in which Picard enters a self-contained alternate world and lives an entire lifetime therein?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 17, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Regarding time travel, black holes, etc. Here is what Damon Lindelof said in 2005:

As the show progresses, he added, it won't venture too far into science fiction as its mysteries unfold. "We're still trying to be ... firmly ensconced in the world of science fact," he said in an interview. "I don't think we've shown anything on the show yet ... that has no rational explanation in the real world that we all function within. We certainly hint at psychic phenomena, happenstance and ... things being in a place where they probably shouldn't be. But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn't any time travel."

So either the creator's clues are not reliable and thus all bets are off or the time travel hypothesis is toast. Assuming the latter, my guess is that the possible means of transcending space and time is not technological but based in manipulation of consciousess as for example is characterized in various Hindu and Buddhist texts.

If we go with the other possibility and consider time travel seriously then there are several things to question. First, as I recall time travel is via wormholes and not blackholes. A blackhole of any size couldn't be contained and passing beyond the event horizon would be certain death. Small blackholes such as might be created by particle accelerators only last for an instant and are highly unlikely in any event. Creation and/or manipulation of wormholes would require super-duper advanced technology, if it's even possible at all. Second, what kind of time travel is being invoked? Straight time travel requires a blockworld in which so-called past, present and future events are equally real (as implied by special relativity via the relativity of simultaneity). From a God's eye POV nothing happens in such a world and nothing can be changed. If you travel back in time and give Christ a drink of water then you always did. A couple good examples here would be 12 Monkeys and Dr. Manhattan in the Watchmen. Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five is presumbly in a blockworld but the problem there is some kind of meta-being is required--the one who jumps around through spacetime. Now if we take the business about universal "course correction" seriously, this implies not the determinism of a frozen spacetime jewel but the fatalism of an open universe in which some events must transpire no matter what else happens. Fate certainly seems to play a big role in Lost, but note that fate is inherently a supernatural notion beyond scientific explanation--let us hope that the Deus Ex Machina of fatalism is not the creator's final explanation for all the weirdness. A non-supernatural take on all this is a time travel story in which the future can be changed by mucking around in the past, such as Back to the Future. Better to call such stories possibility travel or travel through possible worlds. A good example and one that bears many similarities to Lost is John Varley's classic Millennium. Similarities include: plane crash, saving the world, end times, weirdness with giving birth, universal course correction, etc. Another kind of possibility travel story is one involving some kind of multiverse--a hot idea at the moment. Perhaps there are multiple copies of each character and maybe some characters such as Des "travel through" the multiverse. Thus all the unlikely interconnections between characters would span the multiverse but this means treating the flashbacks and memories as referring not to one world but to many. I do wonder sometimes if it's a mistake to take the flashbacks at face value--though the creator's comments always suggest the narrators are reliable.

If we take the creator's collective comments over the last couple of years as Gospel then we are forced to rule out almost every theory (such as supernatural, super-sci fi, time travel, virtual reality, dreams/hallucination/insanity, etc) that might explain all the weirdness. What's left? You know what Sherlock H. would say at this juncture. In any case some vast conspiracy is going to be required just to explain the highly unlikely interconnections among the characters, not to mention all the synchronicity, fatalism and karmic elements. How can it be true that all this will truly be explained and without recourse to either the supernatural or the super-scientific? Good luck! My guess is the mystical elements run deeper than the scientific.


Posted by: Michael S. | February 18, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Regarding time travel, black holes, etc. Here is what Damon Lindelof said in 2005:

As the show progresses, he added, it won't venture too far into science fiction as its mysteries unfold. "We're still trying to be ... firmly ensconced in the world of science fact," he said in an interview. "I don't think we've shown anything on the show yet ... that has no rational explanation in the real world that we all function within. We certainly hint at psychic phenomena, happenstance and ... things being in a place where they probably shouldn't be. But nothing is flat-out impossible. There are no spaceships. There isn't any time travel."

So either the creator's clues are not reliable and thus all bets are off or the time travel hypothesis is toast. Assuming the latter, my guess is that the possible means of transcending space and time is not technological but based in manipulation of consciousess as for example is characterized in various Hindu and Buddhist texts.

If we go with the other possibility and consider time travel seriously then there are several things to question. First, as I recall time travel is via wormholes and not blackholes. A blackhole of any size couldn't be contained and passing beyond the event horizon would be certain death. Small blackholes such as might be created by particle accelerators only last for an instant and are highly unlikely in any event. Creation and/or manipulation of wormholes would require super-duper advanced technology, if it's even possible at all. Second, what kind of time travel is being invoked? Straight time travel requires a blockworld in which so-called past, present and future events are equally real (as implied by special relativity via the relativity of simultaneity). From a God's eye POV nothing happens in such a world and nothing can be changed. If you travel back in time and give Christ a drink of water then you always did. A couple good examples here would be 12 Monkeys and Dr. Manhattan in the Watchmen. Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five is presumbly in a blockworld but the problem there is some kind of meta-being is required--the one who jumps around through spacetime. Now if we take the business about universal "course correction" seriously, this implies not the determinism of a frozen spacetime jewel but the fatalism of an open universe in which some events must transpire no matter what else happens. Fate certainly seems to play a big role in Lost, but note that fate is inherently a supernatural notion beyond scientific explanation--let us hope that the Deus Ex Machina of fatalism is not the creator's final explanation for all the weirdness. A non-supernatural take on all this is a time travel story in which the future can be changed by mucking around in the past, such as Back to the Future. Better to call such stories possibility travel or travel through possible worlds. A good example and one that bears many similarities to Lost is John Varley's classic Millennium. Similarities include: plane crash, saving the world, end times, weirdness with giving birth, universal course correction, etc. Another kind of possibility travel story is one involving some kind of multiverse--a hot idea at the moment. Perhaps there are multiple copies of each character and maybe some characters such as Des "travel through" the multiverse. Thus all the unlikely interconnections between characters would span the multiverse but this means treating the flashbacks and memories as referring not to one world but to many. I do wonder sometimes if it's a mistake to take the flashbacks at face value--though the creator's comments always suggest the narrators are reliable.

If we take the creator's collective comments over the last couple of years as Gospel then we are forced to rule out almost every theory (such as supernatural, super-sci fi, time travel, virtual reality, dreams/hallucination/insanity, etc) that might explain all the weirdness. What's left? You know what Sherlock H. would say at this juncture. In any case some vast conspiracy is going to be required just to explain the highly unlikely interconnections among the characters, not to mention all the synchronicity, fatalism and karmic elements. How can it be true that all this will truly be explained and without recourse to either the supernatural or the super-scientific? Good luck! My guess is the mystical elements run deeper than the scientific.


Posted by: Michael S. | February 18, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Nice middle-name for Charlie:
Hieronymus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieronymus_Bosch

In the television series Lost, the character Charlie Pace has the middle name Hieronymus. Previous episodes have shown Charlie having visions of characters on the island posed in a portraiture style similar to Bosch's, particularly Adoration of the Child (though the actual scene is a replication of The Baptism of Christ by Verrocchio).

Posted by: SEC | February 21, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"If Desmond's greatest success is pushing the button, then didn't he obviously fail at this success? I do believe he is pushing that button no more..."

If Sully's theory is correct Desmond has taken it upon himself to be the button and continue to save people manually, i.e. charlie, claire... so the button wasn't significant... Desmond is Neo!

What I want to know is what happened to Michael and Walt?

Posted by: soup | February 21, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"If Desmond's greatest success is pushing the button, then didn't he obviously fail at this success? I do believe he is pushing that button no more..."

If Sully's theory is correct Desmond has taken it upon himself to be the button and continue to save people manually, i.e. charlie, claire... so the button wasn't significant... Desmond is Neo!

What I want to know is what happened to Michael and Walt?

Posted by: soup | February 21, 2007 7:49 PM | Report abuse

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