Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Package

This wasn't a GREAT episode by any length (especially following Ab Aeterno) but to me, it set the stage for the rest of the season. This was the beginning of the end; whether you consider Sayid's infiltration, Jack earning Sun's participation, Richard taking lead, the Widmore and Locke facedown. By the end of next week's Happily Ever After (also mentioned by Keamy), everything should have started unravelling.


Along with getting confirmation of Sun and Jin being unmarried, we also realize, sadly enough, that they are as they had always been, back to strict tradition and Jin being run by Paik. But only we are fooled into feeling such way. Sun and Jin really appear to have a different intimate relationship when in private, he'd rather be with her than go to the restaurant deliver the box. She is a priority this time around, not his job. He looks like a priority to her as well, intending on running away with him. This certainly shows hope for 'redemption' on the island.

Now we are also told that Jin was supposed to deliver the watch and the money at the restaurant. To Paik's associate, Martin 'freaking' Keamy! (The first, though unofficial', connection to Widmore.) We unfortunately find out that the money was intended as Keamy's fee to take out Jin. Paik certainly has a knack for knowing things, and we know his attitude towards delivering messages. There certainly seems to have been karma in the air, and irony. Paik takes away the money that would have been used as replacement for the hit fee!

Mikhail remains exciting, no matter where he is... did they say 23 languages?
Mikhail getting shot in the eye... that's what he was destined for I guess.
Sayid definitely acted like an asshole... "Good Luck." What? That's it?

Oh shit... Sun getting shot! Saw that coming a little bit.
Oh shit... Sun is pregnant? Did not quite see that one coming! I expected her to say she was pregnant earlier in the episode. By then, I had dropped that idea, seem I shouldn't have.


Locke seems quite intent on getting all the candidates together. Either he needs them for a specific purpose or it'll be easier to get kill them! Does he really need them to leave the island? Are they something like his passport off the island?
We are given a glimpse of Sayid still being present, his worried "I don't feel anything" suggests he is still 'in there' but just not in complete control - anyone think there might still be hope for him?
One thing that really hit me later in the episode is how Locke claims to be short 3 to get off the island? At that time, he's in 'possession' of Kate, Sawyer and Sayid. With Jin off with Widmore, this leaves Jack, Hurley, and Sun missing from his group. Does this mean that the candidacy still applies when claimed - read: Sayid.

While this is a Sun and Jin episode, there still isn't much Sun and Jin story development on-island. They are getting closer to each other but only end up further apart.

Locke sticks with his one choice motto: "They could have chosen to come with me."
It does not sound like a choice at all. The Abrahamic god says: "If you do not believe in me. You shall be in hell." That is certainly not a desirable choice.

Trip through memory lane as we visit Room 23 - which turns out was DHARMA brainwashing before being Others brainwashing. Was Ben just having fun with Karl or were they also using that room heavily? It's interesting to see how Jin was responsible for identifying EM pockets in the 70s. There's more and more reasons to believe Widmore is not on Locke's side. Widmore mention of him to Locke certainly shows disbelief, and disrespect: You're a combination of myths, ghost stories and noises through he night."

But given that Locke is being deceptive facing Widmore, there's certainly some animosity between the two. Locke claims to come in peace and, while HE may be doing so, but Sayid is lurking and scouting the for package, aka Desmond... the island is not done with him, or at least Widmore isn't.

With a faceoff between Locke and Widmore, and Richard leading the group to Hydra to stop Locke, a reunion between Ben and Widmore seems inevitable... will Desmond step in as well? Talk about a hate triangle!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Theory: Flash Sideways - Time Divergence - Branching

Where does it all start? [Only a Theory]

Sooooooo.... many viewers believe that the bomb detonating in 1977 created the universe we see in the flash-sideways. In other words, a branching of universes happened at the time of the incident: one where it didn't work and everything that we were told had happened had, indeed, happened; and the other where the island was destroyed and history starting in 1977 was altered.

This means that both 'universes' shared an identical past up to the point of detonation! Well, this is the reasoning I use to disprove that theory! Follow me.

Let's start by naming our original universe/timeline U0, the flash-sideways show UA.

Assumption: The detonation of the bomb created the UA.
-Corollary: Both universes share an identical past up to the point of detonation of the bomb.
Proof of corollary: In the U0, Christian shows Sun and Frank a picture of the DHARMA recruits, indicating that they were at least in U0's past. If the detonation of the bomb created UA, then it follows they were also in UA's past, therefore U0 and UA share a common past up to the detonation.

In 1977:
-Ben was still recovering when the bomb went off on Day 3 of the Oceanic 6's arrival (Whatever Happened, Happened, Dead Is Dead). The incident happened on Day 4. It's not clear whether Ben was returned to DHARMA (Widmore tells him soon, but how soon) and made it on the sub.
-Roger was still in the camp a mere hour or two (estimate) before the bomb detonated (The Incident). He wasn't with his son and it doesn't give him much chance to evacuate.

In 2004:
-We are told that Roger and Ben did spend time on the island as part of DHARMA in UA. This is irrelevant as it coincides with what we already knew of U0. What is relevant is what Roger says to Ben:
"Imagine how different our lives would have been if we'd stayed. [...] Who knows what you would have become?", (Dr. Linus).
This suggests that they left out of choice and not through an evacuation and leaves the possibility of having stayed on the island, which is contrary to the bomb sinking the island. According to what they know, the island had at least a short term future when they left.

Given that both Ben and Roger are alive and seem to have left the island out of choice at a time where the island was still in good health (figuratively), this contradicts the corollary that U0 and UA share a common past and therefore contradicts the starting assumption.


I propose an alternative theory in which not only is the bomb not, itself, directly responsible for the island sinking and also aligns with the whatever happened, happened school of thought.

Let's start with what we know.

In 1867:
-Year when the statue was destroyed (Ab Aeterno) in a storm that brought the Black Rock inland through the statue itself.
-Corollary: Sawyer, Jin, Juliet and Miles jumped as far back as 1867 and possibly earlier as proven by the full-body statue (This Place Is Death, LaFleur).

Pre-1867 (let's call it Tx):
-there is a random rope sticking from the ground (This Place Is Death),

and since Sawyer let go of it before the next flash (LaFleur) the rope remained in Tx.

In 1974:
-The well that Locke used to lower himself down to the Dharmacakra chamber was filled by DHARMA times (LaFleur).
-Corollary: The well was dug prior to the DHARMA Initiative and after Tx - no time known.

At any given point:
-A giant Tawaret statue has been on the island for a long time
-An elaborate Temple occupies a section of the island
-Ruins have been found on different occasions on the island dating back to 1867 and Tx.
--The dense presence of cultural symbols and artifacts suggests the presence of one or more civilization dating possibly as far back as Egyptian times, at least significantly further back than 1867.

Here, I posit a theory suggesting there is a branching happening at Tx - when the rope was left into the ground.

I assume that everyone is aware of the butterfly effect (with respect to time travel) that the smallest change can alter history, as small as a rope sticking from the ground as opposed to no rope. But how do I think it happened?

Assumption: Tx is significantly earlier than 1867. The presence of the statue only proves it was earlier, it does not suggest it was soon before.
Assumption: Tx happens during or between the presence of civilization(s) on the island.

Once Sawyer's group left the rope in the ground, it was laying there for a member of an existing group to find it and try to dig it out. They eventually found the cave, and possibly the Dharmacakra wheel, and ultimately released the smoke-monster/MIB -- and... maybe Jacob? (no confirmation)

This would result in the conflict between Jacob and MIB taking form and controlling all aspects of life on the island from this point forward, leading to Hanso and Richard ending up on the island, the conflict with the US army and DHARMA, the bomb creating the incident, leading to the Swan issue with Desmond and Oceanic 815 crashing and everything we've seen since the beginning of the show.

The absence of time travel, the rope is never left in the ground. Preventing the escape of the smoke monster, there would never have been this conflict and ultimately no time travel. Ben would never have been recruited by the Others and Roger angered by the hostiles - they may have left earlier. DHARMA would have created the incident as normal that would have possibly resulted in the island sinking.

This opens the possibility that an earlier civilization had imprisoned the smoke-monster (with the help of Jacob?).

There may obviously be some holes in this theory, but hey, I'm just having fun!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ab Aeterno

what we've been waiting for 'since the beginning'

First off: reaaaaally emotional scene with Richard and Isabellae


{FLASHBACK: Ilana was waiting for Jacob and they already know each other,
he tells her about the remaining candidates}

Jacob's been keeping Richard in the dark but also tells Ilana he will know.
Conflicting, or Richard forgot ?

Hurley's step in for Isabella was awkward at best.
But seems like he definitely managed to turn him around.
And Locke doesn't look too happy about it!

RICHARD FLASHBACK (standard flashback sound)

Nice scruff Richard. Scruffy Richard (calling it!)
This may have been the Canary Islands, but it was in 1867, birth year of Canada, the Canadian connection continues!

The start of Richard's backstory really starts off morose! Poor with a dying wife and a doctor who won't accept his compensation for medicine. Killing the doctor and coming back to a deceased wife and gets sentenced to hanging!

So Richard was indeed a slave, this continues the series of unfortunate events in Richard's life leading to the island.
PAUSE... Captain Magnus Hanso... [note to self remember to breathe]

It's funny how the Egyptian goddess is perceived as the devil by the crew.
Note, this was a kick ass kill by the smoke monster, through the grate!
Neat recall to the boars.

This is an interesting story plot. Is this Isabella? Or rather a manifestation perpetrating the myth of Hell so that the black smoke can easily recruit Ricardo. This would make sense from the smoke monster hovering in front of Ricardo and reading his mind rather than killing him. Able to use him as a pawn, appearing as his dead wife and claiming hell. Now he need to kill the devil (assumedly Jacob)
"I want to be free too"

CALLBACK: "It's good to see you out of those chains."
My question: what happens when you die in hell?
[they're still playing hard on that name aren't they?]

Now we officially know what happened to the statue. But this raises an interesting discussion topic: pregnancy issues. There were still good pregnancies on the island in the 70's, so what happened between 74/77 and the 1990s?

It seems MIB learnt the speech well, it's the same one Dogen gave to Sayid.
It's also interesting how he declares they could argue all day "about what is right and what is wrong", this is really at the core of many fan discussions and echoes our thoughts well.

Jacob's not playing with Ricardo's story and tries to convince him otherwise rather than using it. He's got mad fighting skills but also mad philosophy skills, attempting to 'kill' Ricardo to make him see he's not dead (goes back to my question).

The discussion with Jacob and the birth of Richard as the intermediary is FILLED with great imagery and analogies. Richard's role is almost entirely explained in this discussion, including why he is kept in the dark on many issues.
-The island is the cork to hell;
-"He believes it's in their nature to sin";
-"Their past doesn't matter";
-"I want them to help themselves", "I can't intervene";
-"If you don't, he will", this one struck a chord with Jacob, leading to Richard's role;
-Jacob's brutal honesty to Richard "I can't do that" seems contrary to his vague ways we've known before.
-We now know the origin of Richard's longevity: I never want to die.

The discussion between Richard and MIB is really respectful, MIB doesn't even try to kill him or hurt him or anything. Just as Locke did in present day island. His was also clue of Richard's overall importance in both Jacob's and MIB's plans.
The discussion between Jacob and MIB was more revealing. The colour associations and stated intents (coupled with Isabella's message) seemed like placing the sides in order.

As for the hell-in-a-bottle analogy, it seems MIB will no longer be looking to uncork it, but break it all loose!