This post is a departure from my “normal” posts…whatever that is. I’m a huge fan of the show Lost. Well…I fell in love with Season 1, which was an utter masterpiece in television drama, perfectly fusing a depth of character development with a level of plot development that was pretty much incredible. And now, watching it is more of an exercise in maintaining that initial enthusiasm. It’s still a good show though.
It’s been confirmed. The “Time-Loop Theory” for the TV show Lost is legit.
I am aware that the writers of the show have said no wacky time-travel related plots will be in the show. Well, they lied. Or made a mistake. Because this theory is too solid.
Basically (and I repeat, this is a very basic summary), what the guy who came up with the theory states is that when the Oceanic plane crashed onto the island in 2004, the entire island was stuck on a continuous time-loop of the year 1996. The island was being sent back in time every 108 minutes, which is how often “the numbers” in the Swan station had to be entered. So by crashing onto the island, everyone on the plane broke through some kind of hole in the time-space continuum and traveled back in time to 1996. (The hole was created when Desmond failed to enter the numbers in the Swann station the first time.)
That explains why Rose and Locke have their former health restored because both Locke and Rose were perfectly healthy back in 1996. That’s also why Jack’s dad is alive on the island (I think), because his body made it on the island, and his body wasn’t dead in ’96. It also explains why the outside world can’t find their way to the island. And it explains a bunch of other stuff too.
The theory also explains the origins of the DHARMA initiative (they’re the bad guys…Charles Widmore is one of them); the motives of Ben, Richard, Jacob, and the Others (they really are “the good guys” as Ben put it); why births can’t occur on the island; what the hell that Black Smoke Monster thing is; and it just explains almost the entire show and what exactly has been going on (even the polar bears). However, it doesn’t really explain how the show will end. That’s not what the theory is. It is basically just a breakdown of how the universe of the show works…and what the rules of the world of the story are.
One very important part of the theory is that Ben and the Others are actually from the future, but in a fairly normal way. They stole the time-machine from the DHARMA initiative in 2007, and went back to 1996 to kill the entire DHARMA organization off…well, except for those members of Dharma who weren’t on the island in 1996, like Charles Widmore (possibly…more on that later). This also makes Ben and anyone else basically invincible until time catches back up to 2007, which would have been never if the island stayed on its continuous loop of 1996.
So…the island was going on in its nice 1996 bubble while the world kept going forward in time outside of it…until 2004, when Desmond failed to enter the numbers, causing Oceanic 815 to come crashing into their 1996 world. And Locke further screwed things up by not entering the numbers at all, leading to the destruction of the time machine.
You can go and read the theory in detail at the “Time Loop Theory” page. It’s quite lengthy…it took me about 20-30 minutes, but really, most of it fits together remarkably well. That guy has seriously put some thought into this. It’s almost like he was a writer for the show or something. Now, as much sense as his theory might make, I’m sure he’ll turn out to be wrong in some aspects — for example, I think he was just a tad off on Widmore. And the actual writers of the show are most likely aware of the theory, and will modify any parts if necessary. But I think he’s really onto something with the whole time-travel/loop business.
All right, so the “basic” run-down is done with.
This “Time-Loop Theory” has been around for a couple of months now and has been covered and discussed in forums, Lostpedia, blogs, and probably a million other places. But while it seemed pretty logical, I wanted to wait for the show to start up again to watch for any bits of confirmation. And I think I got it with the last episode (Season 4, Episode 9).
The first clue came when Ben told Locke or Sayid or someone (I forgot when he said it) that “‘when’ is a relative term.” Of course it’d be relative, if you’re a freakin’ time traveler!
Another was when it showed what appeared to be a “flash-forward” of Ben and Sayid in the year 2005, after the “Oceanic 6” make it off the island. In that flash-forward, we see Ben recruit Sayid to be his personal assassin. He uses the trauma of the recent death of Sayid’s wife as a motivating tool to use Sayid to kill off key members of DHARMA. But…in light of the time-loop theory, this is actually a flash-BACK, my friends. Look at Ben’s contemplative face, when the story shifts back to the events of the island after his supposed “flash-forward”:
“Hmm…I remember back in 2005, when I met Sayid off the island. Too bad I’m back in 2004 now.”
(Sorry I couldn’t come up with a better caption.)
Also, in that flash-forward, when Ben checks into a hotel, he double-checks and confirms with the front desk woman what the date and year are. Seriously, who doesn’t know the year? No one! No one except a time traveler. You’d have to make sure what year you were in if you happen to travel through time once in a while. I think this was one of the biggest confirmations of time-travel playing a big part in the plot.
But there was also that last scene, when Ben confronts Charles Widmore at his penthouse. It had a whole bunch of clues in it…some of which I’m not too sure what they’re hinting at.
First of all, Ben says that he can’t kill Widmore and that they both know he can’t kill him. Which is weird, because, really, what’s stopping him? He could’ve brought a gun. He could wack him to death with his super-stick that seems to be his weapon of choice. He could choke him, stap him, punch him, whatever. But no, he “can’t” kill him, for some reason…
Then they both talk about “rules,” with Ben accusing Widmore of breaking them when he killed his daughter, Alex.
Widmore also says that the island was his, and that everything Ben got, he got from Widmore.
This is where my addition to the theory comes in…
All this leads me to believe that both Ben and Widmore (along with the Others) traveled back in time. Widmore was the leader of DHARMA up to 2007 and, up to 2007, DHARMA was in charge of the island. That’s why Widmore claims that the island was his and it will be his again. In 2007, Ben joined with the Others to hatch a plan to steal DHARMA’s time machine to go back in time to 1996 in order to exterminate DHARMA from the island. It was at that time that Widmore, after he realized he had lost, made a deal with the Others, and Ben, to save himself. “The Rules” are what the Others laid out for Widmore in exchange for sparing his life. And everyone who traveled back in time from 2007 was made invincible at least up to 2007, because they were all alive up to 2007. That’s why Ben can’t kill Widmore.
One of the “rules” that were laid out would be that Widmore leave the island immediately. But he was still allowed to try to find any way possible to find it again — which explains why he was at the auction of the captain’s log of the “Black Rock” ship (it contains the ‘325 bearing that is needed to make it onto the island). This was an easy compromise for the Others to make because they knew the island was invisible to the outside world — and they didn’t expect Desmond (or Locke) to fail in entering the numbers, which served to both keep the island in 1996 and keep it invisible to the outside world.
Another one of the “rules” would be that no innocent people would be killed, a rule that Ben has repeated throughout the show to both the Oceanic survivors and everyone else. When Alex was murdered, Widmore had apparently violated this rule. BUT, he maintains that Ben in fact murdered her himself — which may be true. Because of the fact that she died indicates that unlike Ben, Richard, and Widmore, she actually did not live through the year 2007; She died sometime before that (perhaps 2004? Which is the year of last week’s episode). Ben could have knowingly killed her for some necessary reason, banking on the fact that he could take her (fatally wounded, but not dead?) body back to 1996 and keep her alive there. As long as she didn’t make it to 2004, she’d be fine. But “fate has a funny way of course correcting,” as evidenced by Charlie, so of course, she died anyway, exactly when she died before — and that’s what Widmore is pointing out.
So…yeah, I’ve concluded this “Time Loop Theory” is legit and give it my stamp of approval. If all this didn’t make sense, I promise it will make sense if you go back and read through the Time Loop Theory that I linked to above.
I’m sorry if this was all esoteric babble for all you non-Lost fans. We will now resume regularly scheduled blog-posting.
Song of the Day: