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Marc Oromaner’s Lost In Myth: Unwrapping “The Package”

By Marc Oromaner,

  Filed under: Lost In Myth
  Comments: 83

In “The Package” Jin is distraught over having his $25,000 confiscated at the airport, Sun is panicked that her lavish bank account was emptied by her father, Widmore is angry that events aren’t going according to plan, and Desmond didn’t seem particularly happy about being drugged, stuffed in a sub, and brought back to the island. But if there’s anything that life and Lost teach us, it’s that our plans aren’t always in our own best interest. They say that man plans and God laughs. The question is, is God laughing with us, or at us?

Before we get to the question of God, I think we first need to explore whether or not the Lost writers are laughing with us or at us.  So as to not mislead with questions I don’t plan on answering, I’m going to state upfront that I won’t be answering this very question. However, after sifting through some puzzle pieces that are starting to fit together, hopefully you’ll be able to. Well, I’m not literally looking for an answer to the “laughing at us” question. What I’m hoping is that you will be able to help piece together these ideas because to be honest, I don’t know entirely what to make of them yet.

At the end of the Lost In Myth column last week, tspete posted a comment that I find very intriguing. He stated that he liked the idea of comparing the island to a cork because of its parallels with the whole button pushing exercise in the Swan station. His thought was that just as the button had to be pressed every 108 minutes to reset the system, Jacob and MIB are doing the same thing with people. Not pressing the button would destroy the world, just as letting MIB escape would destroy the world. After Locke lost faith, Desmond turned the failsafe key. This is like Locke’s downfall and Desmond possibly being a key to the island. So, is this all the same sequence of events, only one being through DHARMA and science, and the other being through Jacob and faith? Immediately, I realized he was onto something, and based on what we learned this week, really feel he’s onto something.

While I don’t remember where I heard it, about a month ago, Damon Lindelof (I believe) mentioned that we’ve already seen the scenario that’s now being played out in the final season, we just don’t realize it yet. Lost has been about the dichotomy of science and faith since the beginning. Perhaps it is now beginning to illustrate the point it was making all along—that they are not opposing forces but one and the same. That for every scientific element we can recognize in the world, there is a spiritual one that represents it. As they say in kabblah, “As above so below.” This is exactly the sort of “bigger picture” element that I’m talking about that makes what we’ve been watching so much richer for me. Yes, the bigger picture has always existed within the mythology of the story, but I have really been hoping that at some point a curtain will be revealed on the show and we will finally get to see what has been behind it all along. We now have some solid clues.

Thinking back to the Swan station fiasco, Locke had lost his faith that the button had to be pressed because Ben had hinted that it was all pointless. The two of them then were responsible for causing the system failure that caused the pocket of energy in the island to begin to escape. Specifically, the sequence of six numbers were not entered into the computer after 108 minutes and this is what caused all hell to break loose. In the last moments however, Desmond decides to sacrifice himself by turning a failsafe key, destroying the Swan station and causing him to be reborn. This seems to be the exact same story we are seeing now.

Instead of six numbers preventing the energy of the island from escaping, we now have six people representing those very same numbers. The energy of the island is illustrated as the black smoke monster which has taken the form of Locke. During the Swan station failure, Locke had lost his faith and almost caused the energy of the island to escape. Now, Locke’s image has given Smokey a way to escape from his island prison. Jacob seems to represent the faith of pressing the button—that which had been keeping the energy of the island contained. But the combination of the soulless/fake Locke and Ben kill Jacob, just as the real Locke and Ben brought about the end of the button-pushing. This led to releasing the energy pocket that would’ve destroyed the island had Desmond not stepped in. Desmond did however, using a failsafe key.

Now, we see that, just as Eloise Hawking promised, the island isn’t done with Desmond yet. Widmore has brought Desmond back to the island and considers him to be his secret weapon against fake Locke/Smokey.  Based on what we’ve already seen then, Desmond will likely once again sacrifice himself to prevent Smokey from escaping the island just as it seems imminent that he will do so. My guess is that just as Desmond destroyed the Swan station, he will somehow destroy the island, leading to it being underwater as we saw at the start of the season. Just as the Swan station had to be destroyed to prevent the energy pocket from destroying the island, now the island must be destroyed to prevent Smokey from destroying the world. But then is that it? Will this be how the series ends? How will this connect to the flash sideways? Hopefully, there is still way more to this. The question though, is what?  If you have an idea, feel free to chime in. If we truly are just seeing a different version of a story we’ve already seen, is the joke on us? Or is there a deeper message here? Are the flash-sideways the result of resetting the spiritual story that creates the events of the physical world?

Personally, I really like the idea that there is a spiritual realm that parallels everything that happens in the material realm and I think this could definitely work with what we are seeing in the flash-sideways. Despite what some readers have presumed, I don’t need a simulation resolution to be happy with the ending of the show. I’d just like a resolution that can plug into the mysteries it has given us up to now. Since these mysteries are similar to those we have in our world, once we have that key, we can use it to help unlock the mysteries of our lives.  Interpreting the mythology of the show helps, but it would be so much easier if we just had a formula written into the storyline. Of course, life doesn’t usually make things easier for us, and in fact, this was one of the themes of “The Package.”

The package represents all the things we think we want—the material pleasures that include money, sex, jewelry, power, etc. In life, we are often looking for the whole package or the perfect package and more often than not we don’t get it. And that can get us pretty pissed. Most of the time however, getting what we want is not actually in our best interest. For example, Jin was very angry about having his $25,000 confiscated at the airport. But had he gotten it, he’d be dead since it was supposed to be Keamy’s fee for killing him. Had Jin been able to run away with Sun so easily, their relationship would not be built on as solid a foundation. The island (aka, the universe) is making them work to be together. Being a man completely engulfed by materialism, Keamy assumes that Jin and Sun just aren’t meant to be together. My take is that they are, and that’s why they will have to work for it.

Just as a fraternity or sorority makes you jump through hoops to get in, you appreciate things more when you have to work hard to attain them. This is why in love, women often play hard to get while men play it cool. Or why they say everyone wants what they can’t have. Or why you have a better chance of being hired for a new job if you already have one—the recruiter sees you as being more valuable. The difficulty of attaining something is proportional to the worth we assign to having it. Gold and diamonds are hard to get and worth a lot of money. Sand and water are easy to get and worth nothing. Similarly, even in its heyday, nobody spent much time pondering the inner message of a typical episode of Three’s Company, yet a challenging show like Lost inspires quite a bit of discussion.

This is not to say that everyone wants something that’s hard to get. I have no interest in scaling Mount Everest anytime soon. But, I have to say I’d feel pretty damned proud if I had. Similarly, those who are born rich tend to not appreciate it as much as those who had to work hard to get there. And a knight who has to go to the ends of the earth to rescue his love from the clutches of an evil dragon will generally appreciate her more than someone who got a one-night stand. Of course, like any rule, there are exceptions. Arranged marriages might be one, but really, a lot of work goes into making them happen that might lead to their higher-than-average success rates.  The point is though, some things just require effort to be truly appreciated. From this perspective, God (the universe, whatever) isn’t making things hard on us because it’s a sadistic SOB. It’s doing it to see how bad we really want something and to make us really understand the value when we get it.

So the next time things don’t seem to be going your way, be grateful. Be grateful that you are being given an opportunity to appreciate what you perhaps had been taking for granted.  No matter how crappy you think your life is, there’s always someone who has it worse. And even the person who has it worse than everyone, well, he has nowhere to go but up. In many ways, that’s better than the person at the other end of the scale because they have everything to lose. So, love the struggle. It gives you something to aim for and something to really appreciate once you get it. And once you learn to appreciate something and be grateful for it, the universe has a way of giving you more of it. Okay, so maybe you don’t need to love the struggle that much…just enough to appreciate where it takes you.


Marc Oromaner
is a New York City writer whose book, The Myth of Lost offers a simple solution to Lost and uncovers its hidden insight into the mysteries of life. He can be contacted in the discussion section of The Myth of Lost Facebook page.

The Myth of Lost is available on Amazon and barnesandnoble.com.

From TVFrenzy:

  • Susie

    Oh! Like how Locke was so convinced that the button pushing was for nothing! Now SmokeLocke tells James that Jacob was wasting his time protecting an Island from nothing!

    I… I think you’ve got it.

  • Leo

    Nice parallel!

  • Dharma Chameleon

    Fate vs. Freewill (when convenient),

    I’m having trouble understanding why there is freewill on the island but more often than not the choice to go the island is not extended. Flight 815, the Black Rock where brought to the island by Jacob. I’m quite sure most of the abducted would have chosen to land in LA.

    Spiritual vs. Science

    If we look back to when MIB was first incarcerated, the world was prodominantly a religuous environment.

    I feel that as science and technology advances over the years, it is both a blessing and curse for the MIB.

    On the one hand the safisticated sonic towers can be used to contain/exclude him. Perhaps on the other, S & T are helping him smash the wine bottle eg. H-bombs, manipulating the EM fields, or locating the proper heading to leave etc.

    I find that spirital/mythical aspects of the show have provided the motivation and direction to exlore key aspects of humanity. Science is now providing more tools and avenues to supplement/substanciate the journey.

    PS
    It was interesting to me that there where 6 areas of interest with high EM activity and there are 6 candidates (I’ve mentioned this in the Rate and Rant). Not sure if this is significant.

    Loved your insight.

    • Fate vs Freewill: Since the island is sort of a microcosm of our world, I guess the same question can apply to us. It appears as though we have freewill here, but was it our choice to come to this world to begin with?

      Spirituality vs Science: Ultimately, I think they are saying the same thing through different lenses. As man becomes more advanced and lose their faith in spirituality, yes, it gives more power to MIB. But as you point out, the reverse is also true. Some people look at science (as I do) as slowly uniting with the philosophies of faith.

      I agree that LOST probably won’t be providing the answers, just giving us more to think about.

      As for the six pockets of energy, I hadn’t noticed that. Perhaps there is something to it with the main pocket over the Swan station being like the main candidate. Glad you liked the column.

      • Dharma Chameleon

        I have to retract the observation of the “6 areas of interest with high EM activity.” I watched it again and there were only 3. I guess the ear wants what the ear wants.

  • Beena

    All this time we have been led to believe that 815 crashed on the island because of the one time Desmond didn’t push that button. Now, it seems that 815 would have crashed anyway, because Jacob brought it ti the island. And also, Desmond pushing that button all that time did actually save the world…it kept Smokey from leaving the island somehow. But there must have also been other fail safes in play to keep MIB a prisoner on the island.

    After watching this episode a second time, it also dawned on me that not just one candidate, but all, may be needed to keep MIB in line on the island (you need the combination of all six numbers, not just one!)

    As far as the flash sideways are concerned, I think it is simply another timeline that resulted from the bomb. Just as in 1977 the losties were simultaneously both on the island, as well as back home somewhere…it is not a stretch, that this is yet another example of time not following a linear path.

    I’m so psyched that Desmond is back!!!! It will be interesting to see how he figures into the ending of LOST!

    • I guess Desmond didn’t push the button because that was simply meant to happen. It was fate, and if he hadn’t left the station something else would’ve prevented him from doing it.

      While it seems the writers want us to think that the flash-sideways are connected with the Incident, I’m still not so sure. Why would it have effected say, Locke’s life? It should be the same prior to the bomb exploding. If you attribute it to Jacob’s influence, well, I suppose that’s possible but that influence should have continued until 1977. That was after he would’ve given the pen to James, so why would his life be different? Perhaps the point is more of a butterfly effect thing which I’m open to believing. We shall see.

      • Beena

        We jumped in to the new timeline during flight 815. But you have to assume it (that timeline) was always there prior to that and could still have been there all along as a result of the bomb. Your butterfly effect thing is spot on….just remember that the effect isn’t in a straight progression and effecting things from 1977 on to the present. You’d see the effect on everything that happened before 1977, too, to have led up to that point.

    • tinaw

      I think Jacob conveniently used Desmond’s not being in the hatch as a way to bring Flight 815 in. He steered seemingly random events to produce the result he wanted.

    • wheresmyluggage

      Whoa!

      “it also dawned on me that not just one candidate, but all, may be needed to keep MIB in line on the island (you need the combination of all six numbers, not just one!)”

      But all the numbers add up to 108, so maybe that’s why Hume, if he indeed is the “Wallace” in the lighthouse, is potentially so powerful. Perhaps he embodies the potential of all six combined!?

  • Wafs

    Your post reminds me of the Ian McKenna “Timewave Zero” Theory, that all events are repeating themselves constantly as we move forward in time, but at a more compressed rate (he views time as a spiral, so the closer we get to the middle, the faster everything gets, however we won’t notice a literal difference in time as we’re moving at the same wavelength). I have a feeling that this is what the writers of lost are doing with the series.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faBd_0eyMFw a link to the man’s ideas, ignore the HURR DURR 2012 IS COMING!1!1! parts of the video.

    • Very interesting! I have also thought of time as a spiral with repeating events. The idea that it is spiraling in on itself though like a record makes even more sense and fits in with Ian Lungold’s Mayan Calendar theory. I’m not sure if this is where LOST is going, but it certainly seems to be where our world is going!

    • adam118

      Hmm. it’s hard to ignore the HURR DURR 2012 IS COMING OH NOEZ OMG LOL JK!!!!! stuff
      So, essentially, the guy says he’s excited for 2012 because he has no idea what the hell is going to happen. Makes me think of the Joker, a line he had about disturbing order.

  • adam118

    That fucking V logo. I declare war on…something. That show sucks. So annoying.

    • I’m not sure if it’s online yet yet, but you’d appreciate last night’s rant on The Colbert Report: Stephen lamented that last night’s LOST hindered his enjoyment of the highly gripping “V” Countdown clock that ABC aired simultaneously. I’m not doing it justice. You have to see it. Hilarious.

      • tanzio

        That was great. It’s at http://www.colbertnation.com/full-episodes/wed-march-31-2010-craig-mullaney at the 7:30 mark.

        Awesome recap. I want to print out your final paragraph and put it on my mirror.

        • “Awesome recap. I want to print out your final paragraph and put it on my mirror.”
          Good idea–I should probably do that too!

      • cfc

        Thank you! It *was* hilarious.

      • adam118

        haha thanks. The Opie and Anthony show ripped ABC into pieces over the damn countdown.

  • Jamaste LeFleur

    Who’s Echo in all this? Charles Widmore Perhaps? Desmond was initially with Locke, therefore opposing Ecko’s viewpoint. But eventually he came around and failsafed everyone. Just as is, Des has always opposed Widmore but at the end he’ll come around realize the importance of his act and what he can do to save/protect everyone and he will again failsafe, and when he does he’ll be doing in complete agreement with the way Charles viewpoint. “It always ends the same” “It only ends once everything else is just progress”

    • I’m not sure if it’s going to be that literal. I was thinking of things like if Richard would be like DHARMA since he put the people in tune with the energy. I’m not even sure if this will ever be explained or if the writers are just going to leave it to us to figure out.

  • Matt

    Lurker of affection posting first time here.

    Outstanding piece of writing and really thoughtful. Best I’ve seen in the barrage of blather and brilliance that comes with media art like Lost.

    On the mark or not your piece fits with my attachment to the show; watch unconditionally, enjoy the quality of the actors and the clever folks working the back of house. Then seek like minded souls for interaction and ideas.

    Upset with not enough answers? Not quickly enough? Fear you’ll be disappointed if they are not all answered?

    Take my hand.

    • Dharma Chameleon

      Well said.. Are you the new Jacob?

  • accessoire

    Reading your review always feels like going to psychologist ;)! I love your advises you are so right about so many things you always write. It’s really weird to me the whole show seems to be about redemption not just for the characters but also for us to learn a lesson in life.

    Or maybe you are just making up so many things but anyway they are great ;)! Keep up the nice writing!

    • Good thing there are other forms of storytelling besides LOST that offer these kind of answers or I’d soon be running out of new medications to prescribe to patients.

  • dksrox

    Nice, Marc. Another solid post, and thanks for expanding on the idea that ‘we’ve seen this all before.’

    One thing that I didn’t really take the time to realize, or appreciate, until I saw that screencap of Jin and Sun is that, whatever else was going on in their lives in Korea in the sideways, they were happy – far different from the fueding folks who crashed on the Island, and who seemed destined for splitsville. They weren’t married, and seemingly didn’t neet to be – they were in love. Sun didn’t go and learn English so she could leave Jin, Jin didn’t resent her for his having to become involved with Mr. Paik…

    If we’re seeing an alternate universe created by the destruction of the Island (the theory I’m beginning to lean heavily toward), I’m going to walk away satisfied with the Jin/Sun conclusion (as long as, in the end, Sun and in utero Ji Yeon survive). Unlike Keamy’s ‘you just weren’t meant to be together’, the Island has shown us that they were/are supposed to be together through their character arcs…I’m just hoping they don’t get Romeo, er, Sawyer & Juliet-ed.

    • I think the difference is that in the original timeline, Jin was involved with Sun first, and then had to work for her father to stay with her. In the new timeline, he seems to have been working for Paik first and then became involved with her. Otherwise, why why Paik try to kill his future son-in-law? I agree that now they seemed happier/ Probably because they felt like they had freedom of choice and Jin didn’t have to resent working for her dad b/c he’d required it. Just a guess based on what we know.

      • dksrox

        To be honest, it doesn’t really even matter to me – at this point in the story – why Jin and Sun’s ‘sideways’ love is different than in the ‘original’ timeline. I’m just glad for the characters that they’re together (and again, hope that they’re not split apart by Sun’s death). It would be a nice end to their story if it worked out for them.

        I think we, as fans, have to fully recognize that there’s not a lot of story left for these folks, and that all the individual stories for the changes we see in the new timeline are less important than whether they live improved lives or not (as compared to the original timeline). We know they’re showing us the flash sideways for a reason, and we know they’ll show us ‘how’ the Island ends up on the ocean floor, whether its from blowing up an EM source, or detonating another nuke, or Desmond killing Smokey, or whatever – that said, I think we need to invest in the sideways like we did with the flashbacks: they let us know who the character was, and how they got that way; in the sideways, we very likely are getting to see what they become, and it doesn’t matter whether its because of an alternate universe, or ‘never touched by Jacob,’ or whatever. Sort of like meeting up with an old friend again after 30 years – you may know intimate details of their life up to a point, but its a new person you’re meeting with life experiences that have changed them and made them different. You may want to know what all the new intimate details are from the last 30 years, but what really matters is whether you still like the person, and whether you can still relate to them – and if you can, whether you are happy for them, or think they got what they deserved in life.

        The “why and how” of the sideways will be exciting and fun – and I can’t wait to know and see what happens with smokey and jacob – but I’m also glad that we’re getting the sideways. I think the story will be better for knowing how all of these folks turn out (as opposed to “…and they all lived happily ever after.”)…

        • gusteaux

          I don’t know why folks keep making references to: “if Sun dies in the sideways it means she dies in the island time line.” Why would that be the case? Characters who died on the island are alive in the sideways (Charlie, Boone, Shannon, Nadia, Helen, John Locke, etc. So why would someone dying in the Sideways prevent a character from living in the island universe? I am still of the opinion that EVERY character will have to die in one or the other universe and live in one or the other universe. Thus, every character gets a happy ending and every character gets a sad ending and the two universes can continue to co-exist without paradox.

          • dksrox

            Definitely wasn’t saying anything about Sun dying in the sideways meaning that she would die in the island timeline. I think the island timeline is going to get blown away by whatever gets done to sink the island, so in a sense I think the world of the island timeline will be completely negated, i.e. everbody will die – but out of that destruction will be the sideways timeline. All I was trying to relate is that I’m hoping that in the sideways timeline Jin and Sun have a happy life together

        • gusteaux

          Sorry, I did misunderstand.

  • OtherJacob

    I believe it was actually Michael Emerson who had said something to the extent of “what if you had already experienced what you’re seeing, but didn’t realize it.” as a season 6 clue. It’s on one of the “Totally Lost” videos on EW.com

    • Okay, cool thanks. In some ways, that gives the idea less credence because he’s not doing the writing, but in some ways, it gives it more because maybe the writers would consider that too big of a hint. If he knows, then I’m guessing he was either told about the endgame, or, it gets explained before the finale.

      • cfc

        My guess in re: the Emerson comment above is that he wasn’t tipped off, but that he is just a very educated man — lots of stage experience — who really ponders his scripts. I think he says as much when he and Jorge Garcia talk on the Dr. Linus epi of Geronimo Jack’s Beard.

    • OtherJacob

      I just tracked down the video. M.E. says “what if you saw what the show meant, but couldn’t recognize it”. It’s in the final few seconds of the the video labelled “Totally Lost(2/9/2010) – 3”

  • B.A.Y.

    How does sinking the island destroy MIB? The island is his prison. No island, no prison=MIB is set free. You suppose he will drown/die if the island is under water?

    I don’t think so. Because….if eliminating MIB were as simple as drowning him, then he would have been executed by water from the get go, a long time ago. Why keep this very dangerous monster, with the power to end life as we know it, locked up when if you can guarantee your safety by holding his head under water? If we can believe him, MIB had a body once. It was possible to drown him.

    Seems to me that whoever imprisoned him did so because it was the only solution at the time. Perhaps those who sentenced him to the island created the island. Or maybe they discovered it and saw it’s potential.

    We know the monster is vulnerable to sonic waves. But how is the island’s energy–those electromagnetic pockets–useful in keeping Smokey from escaping? I’ve wondered if MIB was affected when the donkey wheel slipped on it’s axis? He’s never said he was or wasn’t.

    It seems that Widmore is going to use Jin’s map indicating where the energy pockets lay to defeat Smokey’s plan. I wonder if it’s possible to trap MIB, enclose him in a tighter circle, through the island’s energy. Or send him via a time-space doorway into another dimension?

    If this could be done, Widmore would have to locate a “wheel” other than the donkey wheel Ben and Locke used to leave the island.

    Back to the scenario of the sunken island….it exists in the sideways reality but not in the other reality. In my opinion, the sunken island is not a result of what happens in the other reality because: The sideways reality is like the right arm of the letter H. “Normal” reality is the left arm of the letter, and the “connection” between the two realities is the crossbar on the “H.”

    The two realities are connected but separate. Absolutely separate. I can imagine consciousness (as in feelings of deja vu) crossing from one side to the other, but there is no cause and effect relationship between the two sides. (Not unless the H collapses on itself and we are left with one reality.)

    A disclaimer: I don’t know anything about Lost for sure. Even though I think about this show a hundred times a day. I have gut feelings about Lost and I use my head to justify those feelings.

    • To answer that question, I guess you have to ask why destroying the Swan station prevented the complete release of the energy? It seems counter-intuitive. If you blow up the cork, it won’t stop the wine from spilling. Perhaps though, it will vaporize the wine.

      I don’t think MIB can be destroyed, only contained–even if the island is destroyed, he just may be trapped somehow.

      Perhaps whatever destroys the island is the connector of the “H”

      • B.A.Y.

        Thanks for responding, Marc. You offer some interesting possibilities–3, in fact–in your response. Now I have to think about Lost 103 times today instead of just 100!

      • Flocke’s Crazy Mother

        That’s what I always wondered. Why build the hatch and button set-up instead of doing what the failsafe did from the beginning? I.e., if there are two ways to save the world by containing the EM energy and one involves a succession of people to push buttons for an indefinite time period and the other involves a one-time “whatever the failsafe did” that caused the sky to turn purple and make a funny noise, but otherwise had no apparent side effects, why not go with the one-time event? And what did the “failsafe” do? Release the EM energy in a way that was not dangerous to the world? Contain it by some other mechanism? and if it relates to MIB, why continue with the Jacob/button pushing method? Why not just “failsafe” MIB and get it over with?

        Lastly, Darlton have said that everything we need to figure out Lost is in the pilot and there is nothing about energy containment in the pilot that I remember.

    • OtherJacob

      I think this was sarcastically answered by Sawyer last episode. Remember, he asked Flocke why doesn’t just turn into smoke and fly over to Hydra island, and Flocke says “if I could do that, do you think I would still be here?”

      This was followed by what might be one of the funniest responses in the series.

      “No. Because *THAT* would be ridiculous…”

  • cheyroze

    Great post, very buddhist @ the end.

  • dpretty

    Anyone think the map in the swan has anything to do with the pockets of energy or a flocke trap

  • bps

    For the record…..I loved Three’s Company.

  • tabula rasa

    The rules don’t apply to Desmond. He is unique and special. These are both things we’ve been told.

    With the revelation that the Widmore group is looking for the pockets of electromagnetism, we finally have an idea of the endgame. They are looking to hit one of the remaining pockets of energy. The Hatch pocket is no more, due to the nuke set off in “The Incident”. The donkey wheel is one possibility, the other could be one we don’t know about yet.

    My theory is this. Desmond was brought to the Island for the purpose of setting off one of the pockets of electromagnetism in order to once again “move the Island” through time and space(Hurley alludes to this when they find Adam and Eve by asking what if they go back in time again). The reason Des has to do this is because the high dose of magnetism shouldn’t bother him anymore after he countered its effects in the epsiode “The Constant” by speaking to Penny in both his past and present timelines. Somehow this may give Desmond the third chance he asked for after the Island sent him back to 1996 and he screwed up his chance with Penny for the second time, prompting his plea for another chance when he wakes up back on Island naked.

    Here’s what I mean. If Desmond once again goes back in time to 1996 and in fact buys the ring and marries Penny, the Hatch which is being monitored by Kelvin no longer has a replacement to push the button. Therefore, if Kelvin decided to pull a Radzinsky, Desmomd is not there to push the button. He is not there to NOT push the button which leads to the crash of Oceanic 815, which ultimately brought more candidates to the Island to continue this ridiculous game between Jacob and MIB. This also means all the energy builds up to the critical point where the Island implodes and sinks. MIB can’t leave, Jacob is dead, and there are no more candidates to “play the game”.

    It’s a Back to the Future scenario, where Marty’s dad (of his own accord) has to punch Biff out and subsequently kiss her at the dance or the future timeline is screwed up. Just like the movie, we are seeing in the Flash-Sideways that some things are different but also the same, and in some cases our characters seem to have a better disposition in life than before even if their circumstances still kind of stink. In the end of the movie, Marty’s home life and parents are vastly different, because his father earns the love of his wife in a much different way than the original timeline. Similar to what we’ve seen so far of the 815 crew.

    • bps

      Like it, but I see a problem….It appears that Eloise Hawking and Widmore are on the same team. If Desmond marrying Penny would “fix everything”, then why didn’t Mrs. Hawking encourage Desmond to marry Penny, rather than discourage him from doing it. Why now, do they want him to go back and change things when they had every opportunity to have him change them already and steered him clear of doing it?

      Perhaps, his “specialness” is needed for an additional task. So they steered him clear of making changes the second time around to make him special. And now that he’s “special” he can go back again a third time and make everyone happy?

      So on one hand I think its a good idea, but there just has to be more to it than that.

      • tabula rasa

        Agreed. It can’t be this simple, it is Lost. Good point about Eloise. I would like to think her and Widmore would like to erase what has happened though, considering their son was killed by Eloise in the past. Maybe all they ever cared about was the Island though.

    • adam118

      Ok, but what does that have to do with Adam and Eve?

  • Great post Marc.

    I love symmetrical elucidations! I’m good with the cork = the hatch, the 6 numbers = the 6 candidates. Electro-magnetic energy = smoke monster? (Err, no – I don’t think so.) I think the energy being released is the same electro-magnetic energy in both instances – and here’s why:

    “Protecting the island”
    -Flocke mentions that the others were protecting the island and insinuates they were protecting it from him, but says he just wants to leave.
    -Since it’s difficult for smokey to leave, he must be an important aspect of the “security system” on the island.
    -He wants to take the numbers (candidates) with him. Or does he want to “push” them? He’s already “pushed” Locke (#4).
    -Maybe Smokey represents the computer and countdown clock in the hatch? He just wants to go home, back to 108 minutes.

    Huh, whatdaya think?

    • Glad you liked it! You bring up some legitimate points but I still say MIB/smokey is the electromagentic energy. Remember, Jacob said that even if you killed him there would be a replacement and MIB replied that he would kill the replacement. I think he wants the candidates off the island so he can dispose of them. With no numbers, there’s nothing holding him back. Just as Locke caused the first implosion, he looks like him now in order to bring about his escape.

  • wldktz10

    Just an additional point to add to your argument, it was Locke’s loss of faith in ghis ability to get the O6 back to the island which resulted in his attempted suicide and eventual murder by Ben. And obviously this led to the MIB being able to take Locke’s form.

    I wonder since Ben, Richard, and Jack have all had their faith reaffirmed lately if Locke (who many people seem to think lays dormant within the MIB) will some how have his faith reaffirmed by Desmond and “come out” conquer the MIB from the inside? Kind of far fetched, but I feel like so many of the early episodes were spent establishing that John had a special connection to the island and to just kill him off seems like a waste to me.

    • B.A.Y.

      I can see Locke conquering MIB from within, and I like that idea a lot. I just don’t see Locke having his faith reaffirmed by Desmond. Some other way, perhaps. Like…via that blonde kid. We don’t know much about him, but he seems to be crucial to the plot.

  • Sharonlost

    Excellent analysis. If this is the case, then is there a connection before the incident? Meaning, Black Rock comes to the island and Magnus Hanso is the captain. Hanso funds the Dharma Initiative, Dharma Initiative seems to know about Jacob (brain washing room) and they are responsible for releasing the electromagnetic energy that requires the Swan Hatch and Desmond to push the button. Then the ones who left come back, drop the H bomb and we have the sideways world. It seems to be loops within loops. None of what I am saying makes sense, I know, I am just trying to find the different paths to “it only ends once.” 🙂

  • dksrox

    Possibly stupid question: Any thoughts on the Island being the cork in the jug of wine, and the explosion of “Jughead”? Can’t imagine this was accidental…

    • dksrox

      As in, the cork’s already been blown…

  • BJM

    I have to say, I disagreed with last week’s post quite a bit but I think this one is the best I’ve seen on this episode. Another parallel is that Jacob is an “experimentalist”: he brings people to the island and then leaves them along to see what they’ll do. A bit like the Dharma initiative to be sure. Is that why Dharma was “allowed” on the island for so long, because Jacob tolerates experimentalists? But when they broke the rules of the treaty and would not leave … that led to the Purge.

    I’m still trying to reconcile the Purge with the pictures of Jacob and MIB we’ve been given this season. If this week’s theory is true it would mean Jacob can be trusted … at least more than the MIB!

    • greg dharma

      @BJM: agree with you that this week’s post was far better than last week’s, even if it was missing the direct mythology references. I think marc may have solved the show, or at least is very close to figuring out the endgame.

      also, i dont think jacob is intolerant. so far Mib has killed all or most of the people he’s brought to the island. as far as we know Jacob didnt order the Purge, and it’s likely that Ben was manipulated by MiB from a very early age. Another possibility is that drilling into the Swan and Orchid EM pockets threatened to release Smokey or the Smokey energy on the world and resulted in all the DI candidates (like Horace) being crossed off the list. I’m not sure that we’ll ever get a direct answer on jacob’s involvement in the purge. Just like i’m not sure we’ll ever find out whether the subliminal “God Loves You as He Loved Jacob” message in Room 23 was used by Dharma before the others’ takeover.

  • I too must agree. This is one of my most favourite of your show-theory posts. I definitely see bigger things from Desmond, and as Lindelof said when asked to comment on the finale: “water”.

    • flumfletta

      Do you think that since that smokey cant travel over water the best way to trap him is in water!!! He cant leave the island so sink it!!!

      • tabletop1

        Wouldn’t Smokey had to have travelled over water to appear as Christian to Michael before the ship exploded?

  • At minute 29:50, Keammy says to Jin while putting that tape in his hands..:

    ”Just in case you figure out what’s about to happen TO THE ISLAND. I cant have you frea..ing out.”

    The subtitles said it was ”… what’s about to happen ” to YOU”, but i am sure he said TO THE ISLAND.

    Keammy certainly possibly knows there is a connection of the timelines…maybe the wormholes that Chang talked about…and if he knows , Widmore does too…

    Thats why Widmore said to Jin that if MIB leaves the island, everyone will ”cease to be”… meaning another timeline will be created and things would happen differently to everyone.

    When Flocke is talking to Claire, he says that after he gathers everyone he needs and gets off the island, WHATEVER HAPPENS HAPPENS, in a clear reference to Faraday’s Whatever happened happened.

    I thing what he means is that after leaving the island, another timeline will be created, so whatever happened happened in the previous one .

    • maxpurr9

      i totally thought he said “the island” also!! glad to see i wasn’t the only one who thought i heard that.

    • adam118

      he said “to your EYELID”

      • Ajira Luggage

        “What’s about to happen to your eyelid” makes no sense at all.

  • Jack’s Sidekick

    Speaking of the button….if desmond was never there to push it, would the island get all crazy-magnaitized and sink?

  • i’m still not sure how the sideways timeline is going to fit into all of this, but i’ve always had the sneaking suspicion that Lost will have a similar “sacrifice” themed ending much like Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” comics

  • Ament

    I think what we’re going to witness, come closer to the end of the show, is something similar to “The Butterfly Effect” combined with Eloise’s explanation in “course correcting” and WHH. If a minor event changes in the past then the outcome of whats to come will be changed, but with “course correcting” then it will change but somehow change back in another way. Patchy’s eye, Jack’s appendix scar, Sun being pregnant, Claire having the baby with Kate nearby…the list goes on. But the question is what event changed to alter everyone’s paths?

    I have a theory that branches from this which is out there, I know! Charles Widmore is back and he brought Desmond. Eloise somehow knows Desmond is special so there is a good chance Widmore knows Desmond’s special and always knew. Thats most likely why Widmore didn’t want him near Penny, not because he’s poor but more because he doesn’t want Penny to grow attached to him. I think Desmond will BE the “sacrifice the island demands”. We’ve always seen Charles as a bastard thats a given and in “Lost” they make us wait to see two sides to every story, perfect example S1 Jin. Charles, IMO, is exactly this except it lasted the entire series.

    Widmore needs to somehow contact his younger self to convince him on what needs to be done and at the same time he can possibly get Eloise’s son back. Granted I know time travel is done, but Desmond has “flash power” that can effect the current course of whats to come, example calling Penny on Christmas eve. Using Desmond to relay something quickly to Daniel Faraday could not only save his life, but alter whats to come when Daniel meets Widmore’s group. Allowing us to see Widmore do something heroic for redemption and ultimately being a good guy.

    “An Out There” Explanation of underwater island – The donkey wheel is still in play. When Ben used the wheel he ended up somewhere in the Tunisia desert with no camera set up yet and made it to a hotel that had his alias on file (which is still weird) and he asked playfully what year it was? Ok….when Locke used the wheel, just aday or two after Ben, it was 3 years later off island and Widmore’s camera was set in that location. Now here’s an unexplained WTF, the polar bear that Charlotte found in the Tunisia desert, did it happen yet? What IF Desmond was given present day information that he could pass along through his Flashes to Danny Faraday, who then takes that info to Richard who goes to Jacob. Jacob orders Richard to create a truce with DI and Doc Chang who then sedates a trained polar bear to use the wheel at the same time the drill hits the energy pocket and evacuating everyone off the island…sinking the island, putting a polar in the desert 10k years ago, evacuating the island leaving the Dharma barracks up and our alt timeline begins.

  • Handsome Smitty

    Man-oh-man, where to start…

    First, the parrallel of the cork and the button, Jacob and Desmond, very nice. It takes a writer to really appreciate such a parrallel. Great writing on the part of The Darlton and crew.

    But then you go and ruin it with your usual soap-box preaching. Seriously, rich people don’t have to WORK for it and don’t appreciate their status. What a crock. IF as you say we’re all on these journeys of growth and experience, how are rich people left out of that equation? You’d probably fit it into some need to learn humility and charity, probably, if you had any true value for life. Disgusting, your need to continually judge.

    Your continuous insane reach to cookie-cut your buddhist beliefs to life in general is as bad as Fish’s apparent distaste of religious meaning found in Lost and as usual ends up ruining a fascinating idea.

    • You write as though rich people don’t have problems. They have plenty.

      If you want to watch LOST just for the story, great. Nothing wrong with that. There are millions of interpretations of the show and all of them are valid. If mine resonates with someone, great. If not, maybe someone else’s will. The point is that I feel the show is more than just entertainment. I feel that, like all great mythology, it is helping us to understand how our world works. For some people, this is obvious. For some, fascinating. Some disagree and some don’t care. I don’t write with any of these readers in mind. I just write what comes to me.

  • Medzed

    Nice Article – really enjoyed your points/theories.

    Here is one add-on – if there is a parallel between the numbers put into the computer to contain the EM power and the people that are represented by the numbers now in season 6, perhaps the ‘EXECUTE’ button is also meaningful? After every enterance of the numbers, the person also had to hit ‘EXECUTE’ which I always thought was weird. Why not simply say ENTER or something like that?

    Two of our numbers have been ‘EXECUTE’d… Locke & Sayid. If you think about it, both of them have been killed and sort of, maybe, resurrected.

    Just a thought!

    • Perhaps the “execute” will be to get all the numbers in the plane and to blow it up.

  • whateverhappenedhappened

    I just realised something. Season 1, Pilot: One of those throwaway lines from Jack that was speculatedd about in probably too much detail, never addressed in flashbacks, put on the list of red herrings… “I had acouple of flying lessons, it didn’t work out.”
    How do Team Smokie intend to get off the island?

    • I guess Smokey will kindnap Frank Lapidus.

    • OtherJacob

      Or at the very least download Frank’s memories and fly away himself. Sort like in The Matrix when they suddenly needed to be able to fly a helicopter – they just downloaded the information and away they went.

  • tabletop1

    Marc,
    When all is said and done, I really hope you end up writing a book with all of your Lost essays. I’d buy one.

    • Thanks. My publisher has promised me an update. What I plan to do is leave what I have in the book as LOST Seasons 1-3. Then, there will be a Seasons 4-6 section. For that, I will organize what I have written in these essays by topic, i.e., timelines, time travel, proxies, challenges, etc. and reference the episodes that had the themes and then interpret them for life as I do here. I will also include a final section that analyzes the show as a whole, interpreting the finale, how the meaning is different/similar to the book’s original theory, etc. If you are a member of The Myth of Lost page on Facebook, you’ll get info about it as I go through the stages.

      • tabletop1

        That’s FANTASTIC!!!! I can’t wait! Reading your essays has been one of the most fulfulling parts of the Lost experience.

        Do you know if Darlton or TPTB plan on putting out a book about the entire process of creating the show? I’d buy that, too.

  • kellyleighj

    Locke is dead. So how can the numbers be relevant, when used as a whole/sum of its parts? Dead is dead right?

  • tabletop1

    I posted this another entry, so sorry for the repeat. Just looking for an answer…

    Don’t know if this has been brought up yet, but I’m dying to get an opinion on this. Locke says that he can’t turn into the smoke monster and travel across the water to get to Hydra Island. Isn’t that what he would have had to do in order to travel to the ship to appear in the form of Christian to Michael before the ship exploded?

  • Lynn

    This was an awesome post and included a very important lesson… be grateful! We are all where we’re supposed to be! Love it!

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