With last night’s episode, we got our first glimpse at what the alternate timeline may be all about. As I watched the episode, one thing really stuck out for me. When Desmond was asking about Penny, Eloise Widmore pulled him off to the side and, just as she had done before, laid down a few ground rules for Desmond. She straight up told Desmond that he had to stop looking for whatever he was looking for. She also came through with a line that I believe might be the key to discovering what the alternate timeline is all about.
She told Desmond that he should be happy, because he finally has the one thing he’s been trying to attain his whole life…Charles Widmore’s approval.
When I heard this, I got to thinking. When you take this statement, and combine it with Daniel’s theories of variables and the atomic bomb from last season, I really feel like we can figure out this alternate timeline. In the original timeline, the atomic bomb was detonated in an attempt to change the character’s miserable lives. Daniel theorized that if they could set the bomb off, none of them would ever come to the island, and their lives would be much happier. As we all saw, Jack believed this and made sure Daniel’s plan was carried out to its end. And this is when we started getting glimpses of an alternate timeline where most of our characters seem to be living much happier lives, despite a few flaws.
What I’m proposing here is that the alternate timeline is not only one in which the characters never come to the island, but also one in which they finally get the few things they truly want in life. In our original timeline, we’ve seen the characters be miserable, and led to the island. What if the reason their lives were so miserable, is so that they could be led to believe the island was a much happier place. John Locke may be stuck on an island, but at least his father isn’t trying to kill him. With the island underwater, there’s no reason for our characters to ever come to it. And so they lead happier lives, getting the things they’ve always wanted.
To help me explain this better, I’ve decided to take it on a character-by-character basis:
From what we’ve seen in the alternate timeline, it looks like Jack may still have a few issues with his dad. Though they don’t appear to be as extreme as in the original timeline. He seems to be happier in his job, and doesn’t appear to be harboring a deep need to fix things. The most important element of this timeline is the fact that Jack has a son. He appears to be estranged from his son’s mother, but David seems very important to him. Something Jack is searching for in the original timeline, is the acceptance and love of a father figure. His father was hard on him, and this in turn led to a lot of hardships in his life. In the alternate timeline, he’s able to establish this exact kind of relationship with his own son, and that’s why he’s better off.
In the original timeline, Locke had arguably the most difficult life of any of our characters. His father conned him and tried to kill him. The love of his life left him. He’s in a wheelchair, and permanently paralyzed. The alternate timeline shows some similarities, but also some major differences. Locke’s still in the wheelchair, but he seems to have an established relationship with his father, and instead of Helen leaving him, they appear to be getting married. Why is this so important? Because as we’ve seen from Locke, he just wants people to love him. He wants his father to love him, and he wants Helen to love him. He’s better off in the alternate timeline because he has both of these things.
We haven’t seen too much in difference in regards to Kate’s timelines. We know that she’s still on the run, and maybe this is what’s important. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Kate just loves to be a fugitive. I know that’s a real stretch, but from what we’ve seen, she seems to be enjoying her fugitive lifestyle in the alternate timeline. I’ll also make a prediction here and say that I’m guessing in the alternate timeline, Kate’s mom doesn’t hate and resent her for what she’s done.
This one is tricky. In the original timeline, Sawyer’s a con artist seeking revenge on the man who caused the destruction of his family. In the alternate timeline, he’s a police officer seeking revenge on the man who caused the destruction of his family. Different professions, same outcome. The difference? In the alternate timeline, Sawyer has unlimited resources to actually hunt this man down. In the original timeline, he’s only relying on information gathered by outside sources, most of which seems to be unreliable. Alternate Sawyer seems to be just a few steps away from catching his perp.
Hurley is easy. In the alternate timeline, he still wins the lottery, but instead of running into a streak of bad luck, he ends up being the luckiest guy on the planet. He has a fortune, and good luck to boot. Exactly what he wants
Another difficult one. When we boil everything down, it seems that at the core of Sayid’s story, are his feelings for Nadia. He wants her to be protected, and he wants her to be a part of his life. He has both of these things. Not to mention the fact that she’s strangely affectionate towards him. I have a feeling we’re going to see a little more on alternate Sayid, and we’ll be able to assess it better by the time the season is out.
Sun and Jin
In the original timeline, what was the most miserable part of the Kwon’s lives? The fact that they were married. The alternate timeline does away with this, and has Jin playing the role of bodyguard to Sun. Of course, they’re still hooking up on the side, and Sun ends up being pregnant. Before Sun took a bullet, it seemed like Jin had everything he wanted. A beautiful woman he could leave at home if he wanted to, and a baby on the way. He didn’t know about the baby, but still the fact remains that Jin has always had that unconditional love for a potential child. This is shared by Sun. Now that Sun’s been shot in her baby oven, we can only strap in and see where this roller coaster takes us.
In the original timeline, Charlie was a drug addict who was still wishing he could live the rock star lifestyle. Much to his dismay, his band had broken up, and he was out on his own. In the alternate timeline, Charlie is still a drug addict, and he’s still a rock star. He’s still in the music spotlight, and living the life he’s always wanted.
With Ben, we have to look at the same father-son dynamic that influences most of our characters’ motivations. Original Ben is shunned by his father, and this turns him into a cynical, lying bastard. He’s cutthroat and ruthless in his desire to be an island leader. In the alternate world, things are a little different for Ben. It seems as if he still went to the island, but his father got him off in an attempt to give him a better life. In this timeline, Ben has the fatherly affection he’s been searching for.
In the original timeline, Daniel is a physicist obsessed with time travel. His mother is pushing him towards the island, despite the fact she knows it’ll kill him. He’s the laughing stock of his campus staff, and he’s been almost blacklisted for his radical experiments. All he ever wanted was to be a musician. Well, guess what? In the alternate timeline, Daniel is a musician. And it seems he’s a pretty successful one, too. He has the love of his mother, another thing he seems to have been craving.
That’s all I have for now. There are more characters this can be applied to. Desmond is obvious, as that’s already been laid out in the show for us. There are also a few characters who we don’t really know too much about at this point, so I left them out. As far as I can see, this could truly be an answer to what the alternate timeline is all about. I’m sure there are going to be more than a few people who don’t agree, but that’s part of the fun of it all. If you have your own theories, be sure to head over to our forums to let us know!