Friday, February 29, 2008

LOST season 4 episode 5 (and a big theory)

Last week I said that while season four of Lost may be my favorite season thus far, each episode was hitting the same note: building tension for the horrible event that resulted in the "Oceanic 6" (or the story about them). I wanted something ELSE and this episode gave it to me in the form of looney time travel romance.

Back in season three and parts of two as well, there were flashbacks that had little relevance to the main story other than a thematic connection. In Season Four the flashbacks seem to all have blood in them again. Here it is less of a flashback and more of the main story occurring in two timelines, jacking up Desmond's first "time travel" flashback.

Desmond is flashing back from 2004 to 1996, but remembers only 1996 so that he has no idea where he is in 2004. The beats come fast and furious: Fisher Stevens is going through the same thing; Davies knows what is going on, and tells Desmond that when he gets back to 1996 to go to Oxford and look him up, and give him setting for his machine; he needs a constant and -- oh how silly LOST is but how much I love it for all of its "(Fuzzy )MATH = LOVE" foolishness -- Desmond can find a constant in his love for Penelope, which exists in both time periods and will prevent his brain from exploding. If only Fisher Stevens had been blessed with the swarthy good looks of the hero on a romance novel cover he would not have died bleeding out of his nose (did LOST actually hire Fisher Stevens for only one episode?). Hume is Davies constant -- many people thought Charlotte was testing Davies for psychic ability with the cards, but I thought, from the way he reacts, it would be a memory thing, and it is. That is why he does not remember meeting Hume before and why the only flashback we got of him in episode 2 was him crying -- he has no memory and thus no flashbacks not from someone else's perspective.

PLUS: the island experiences time differently -- a 20 minutes helicopter ride off of the island feels like a day and a half for the castaways. Plus Hanso is selling a diary off of the Black Rock Pirate Ship lost on the island to Penelope's dad. Nuts.

After the show my friend Jason launched into his big theory, which I am going to mangle a bit, but which I will let you know the gist of (we were all adding things and it is very ramshackle): the island is what remans of a collapsing, shrinking universe, something caused by the creation of a singularity (by Davies?). There is nothing outside the island. Communication and travel is essentially a time travel or an alternate universe thing. Time travel explains why all the castaways have intertwined pasts -- the universe getting smaller brings them together, or they were mechanically brought together by some outside force that controls it. The bunny from the season four preview -- plucked from the time stream. Locke's healthy body -- plucked from the time stream before he lost his legs (remember Desmond's body does not time travel which we established with the ink on his hands -- just his mind does). Ben's "magic box" plucked Locke's dad from the time stream. Babies cannot be born on the island if they were conceived on the island because they cannot be plucked from the time stream -- they were never born "out there" to get to the island.

By plucked I do not mean people would notice they were gone -- I guess I mean something more like copied?


Geoff Klock said...

And is it possible that the hatch was keeping the shrinking universe at bay? And now that it is destroyed the island will slowly implode into nothingness so that the series will end with no island at all?

Anonymous said...

Well I doubt the show will end with the universe collapsing upon itself, otherwise there wouldn't be any point to showing the flash-forwards, right? Of course they could make the argument that the flash-forwards are simply theoretical.

One thing I speculate on is that maybe the last season or the last few episodes of the last season will take place completely and totally off the island, showing whoever's left what happens to them when they get back to the USA.

Also, why has fisher Stevens been receiving a credit in EVERY episode thus far this season when he's only appeared in ONE episode! Did I miss him?


neilshyminsky said...

chad: Every cast-member is given a credit for every episode. So Harold Perrineau (Michael) has gotten his name on every episode, despite not having appeared yet.

Geoff: On Farraday's memory - I'm not sure that he 'forgets' meeting Desmond. Farrady remembers the name of the rat - why wouldn't he remember Desmond? I'm also not entirely sure that Desmond is actually changing the past. Notice, for instance, that Penny doesn't directly respond when Desmond says how happy he is that she didn't change her number.

And as for the time differential - I've seen it noted elsewhere that the difference is actually far more significant than it's made to seem in this episode. Sayid says that it's December 24th, but if had been following the passage of time as closely as some Lost fans have, he'd have noticed that it's December 26th on the island - he's actually traveled back in time.

Josh Hechinger said...

Fisher Stevens is Minkowski, the guy the freighter people were talking to on the phone for the first few episodes of season 4.

They had some trouble reaching him recently, and I guess now we know why.

brad said...

If something goes wrong, Geoff Klock will be my constant!

ND said...

One thing that botches that theory is the fact that Aaron is alive and well in the future (as seen on ep. #4), which means that babies that were born on the island do exist outside it's "continuum".

Man, this episode brought me back into the series. Hope they don't stall as much as they did on previous seasons...

brad said...

Penny's Dad is The Economist. This theory just popped into my head and absolutely nothing about it is worked out.

He bought Hanso's diary AND told Desmond that he wasn't the one who hated him (even though he previously drove Desmond to join the army) AND leaves the sink on to act as an hour glass AND it's his boat race that leads to Desmond getting stranded.

He has puppet master written all over him. He knows what's going on. He's guiding Desmond towards his destiny.

Why this makes him The Economist, I don't know. But someone has to be the Economist and he's my vote.

DoktorJericho said...

The thing about a singularity is, the whole notion of "past" and "future" gets wonky so the "flash forwards" could be "flash sideways" or etc. like what happens to Desmond. "Jack" could be simultaneously both on and off the island or some such.