Yes, yes, I know. That is an unnecessarily long title, but it rhymes! It has a nice ring to it for a reason, its something fun that ErasedSlate and myself put together to kick off the 8 month long hiatus.
Duality has been a major role on the show since the first episode aired. You may remember John Locke teaching young Walt about the game of backgammon, “Two players. Two sides. One is light and one side is dark.” This meaning, of course, the science vs. fate or Jack vs. Locke storyline. As well as the many other duality plot lines– Ben vs. Widmore, Dharma vs. Hostiles, Losties vs. Others– just to name a few.
Ok, well, I knew that. What’s your point?
These dualities co-exist on the island, which is a “mirror”. This mirror follows some simple rules:
- It reflects the dualities (or conflicts) so that they co-exist and are complementary (Newton’s Third Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction).
- It is completely dynamic, the dualities change by looking at it from different angles and it can reflect past its boundaries.
- The mirror loses its strength if it cannot balance. (Imagine having all day and no night, what would happen to the ecosystem?)
- The mirror operates in two realms, Physical and Reflection (Science vs Faith).
- The conflicts cannot destroy/kill each other (Ben and Widmore, Jack and John)
- The mirror holds the reflections of everyones past, present, and future. (failures and potentials)
This can explain the events that happened at the end of the episode– the civil unrest on the island, the island’s disappearance, and John Locke’s “death”.
The island is “guarded” by the very dualities it sustains. If the island loses a side, it will plunge into chaos. All the dualities can be seen as conflicts (ala Ying and Yang– if you will). The current main conflict on the island is Jack vs. John, whereas the old conflict (or “old guard”) was Widmore vs. Ben.
After Jack left the island, John Locke was a ying without his yang, the island was unbalanced, and allowed for some pretty crappy things to go on.
There are two possible reasons why this hasn’t happened before. The first is going back a bit to the island as a dynamic mirror. The guardians don’t necessarily have to be people they can be groups, as in Dharma vs. Hostiles or Losties vs. Others. Having two groups constantly in conflict with one another would allow for complementary opposing ends.
The second is that the guardians have to be people (and chosen leaders of the island). But while Ben had the island all to himself, he had the Swan Station to keep things under their cool.
Since the island is one giant mirror, turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel flipped the mirror over. What is seen now is its reflection side. The physical appearance of island flipped to one side and Ben flipped to the other, sealing his fate forever outside the island.
This is the duality of Science and Faith, science being the logical and physical manifestation of the island and faith being the spiritual and fantastical side of the island (stuff that you can’t see).
Note: Another random theory is that the Dharma Initiative has a Somebody Else’s Problem Field Generator to cloak the island. (or SEP)
John has always been trying to destroy the image of himself to grow past it. By killing his physical body, it allows his reflection (the potential he has always seen in himself) to break free from the reality.
When his body is returned to the island his reflection becomes the true image of John Locke and he becomes immortal.
All Together Now
It is getting late and my ability to write coherent sentences is failing, so I’ll leave you with one more thought.
The reason everyone needs to return at once is to undo the islands “flipping” that occurred during the turn of the wheel (“The Great Spin” we’ll call it). It will require all the people who have had a relationship with the island (even Desmond) and are on the “other” side of it. When they all push to the physical side, there will become an imbalance and the island will right itself.