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Theory: The new story telling medium.

By Koobie,

  Filed under: Lost Theories
  Comments: 24

Hey guys, Tapdawg here!

So I’ve been stuck on one comment from Damon and Carlton at Comic Con. They said that for this season both flashbacks and flash-forwards would be used for story telling purposes but they also alluded to a third time of story-telling device which we haven’t seen really. They gave us an example of the Jin-Sun centric episode in season 4 in which Jin’s portion is a flashback and Sun’s portion is a flash-forward. This got me thinking about what exactly the new format will look like… and then it hit me!

I believe the new story telling device will be episodes with no flashes at all… and the audience will have to figure out when and where in the grand story scheme the story is taking place. Similar to how we were unsure what was going on with Jack in the season 3 finale until the end when we found out it was the future…  but in these episodes we might not find out the timing of the episodes until the season finale or when the DVD comes out.

What do you guys think? Agree, disagree, have an idea of your own? Post your thoughts in the comments below and if I like you’re idea I might just ask you to write and article for us on your theory!

  • oioioio

    That’s dumb. The third storytelling method is the obvious one: Third person omniscient. AKA, telling the history of the island without flashing through anybody. I guess this would sort of fit in to your theory. We could have an episode in Season 5 could take place entirely in 1974, or even in the distant future, after all of our Losties have passed away. Basically I think Season and Season 6 mean “no more rules”

  • I think you’re generally headed in the right direction. My guess is that they’ll string us along for awhile (if not the whole season) on where/when the Island was moved to. Then the “big reveal” in the finale is that the Island moved forward in time to approximately the same 2007/2008 date that the O6 return to it on, meaning from the perspective of people on the Island the O6 were only gone for a matter of days rather than years.

    (Or maybe as if they never left at all. I have this vivid picture in my head of Sawyer & Juliet staring out at the ocean when everything turns white when Ben turns the donkey wheel, then having the light fade and a boat row in captained by bearded Jack to which Sawyer says “Back so soon, Doc?”)

  • I agree with both of you. I can see how both could be true. I tend to think that Tapdawgs idea is easier to write, but oioioio’s idea explains how they are going to do Rousseau’s flashback.

  • tapdawg

    Interesting ideas guys, I especially like your idea, LBDG… I can totally see Sawyer saying that if it were to happen.

    Oioioio also makes a good point, maybe they just pick a year and show what happened on the island in that year… as Izikayazo pointed out, it would explain the Rousseau flashback… although I hope Ben or Richard will be in that flashback. I’m also still pulling for Montague to end up being Pierre… both lost their arms after all… haha

  • tapdawg do you mean montand? and yeah good call i always kinda thought candle would turn out to be montand. im not sure about having to guess where we are throughout the whole season though, and especially not keen on the idea of having to wait until the dvd to come out to find out where everything fits.

    yes it would be fun for us diehard losties but you forget that other people watch this show who dont spend half their time on the internet or dont pick up the clues as easily as us (people like my mum who watch it because they like sawyer and sayid and the love stories but then have to have all the sci-fi elements of the show explained to them at the end). This show can be confusing enough and a whole season of not knowing where we are would lose too many viewers.


  • Hey Tapdawg!
    Just wanted to let you know that I gave you a few mentions on my blog-
    I’ve posted most of my theories there.
    You ROCK man!
    Thanks for all your hard work!

  • WLN

    Or, the story telling technique for season 5 could be frames as follows…

    “Season 5’s story telling technique will be to show what’s happening on the Island’s “now” and the rest of the worlds “now,” even though they are 30 years apart.”


  • Zonker


    See, I don’t think that will work. We still have Locke’s arc to tell: all the bad things that happened on the Island as a result of Jack leaving, up to Locke’s departure from the Island to the mainland as Jeremy Bentham. Darlton have said in Lost there is only a single timeline past/present/future that course-corrects itself in order to prevent paradox. So if Jeremy Bentham is ultimately responsible for the O6 returning to the Island, then we need to at least have enough on-Island time elapse to tell the story of Locke’s journey to becoming “Bentham.”


    LBDG said:
    I think you’re generally headed in the right direction. My guess is that they’ll string us along for awhile (if not the whole season) on where/when the Island was moved to. Then the “big reveal” in the finale is that the Island moved forward in time to approximately the same 2007/2008 date that the O6 return to it on, meaning from the perspective of people on the Island the O6 were only gone for a matter of days rather than years.

    (Or maybe as if they never left at all. I have this vivid picture in my head of Sawyer & Juliet staring out at the ocean when everything turns white when Ben turns the donkey wheel, then having the light fade and a boat row in captained by bearded Jack to which Sawyer says “Back so soon, Doc?”)

  • Fair point Zonker. I agree the “they never left” vision with the Sawyer line is possibly wishful thinking, though I still think compressing the Locke/Bentham/’Bad Things’ story into a matter of days or weeks isn’t too far fetched.

    (Then again, now that Locke and Richard are in cahoots, who’s to say Locke doesn’t go back in time to recruit the O6 to return so they can prevent the bad things/ The producers have said that things we see on screen aren’t subject to change, but if they are only talked about and never actually shown, that might be fair game.)

    As for the 1974 stuff, if Daniel is really back there as we suspect from the Chang video that would be a neat way to have it both ways. The Dharma origin story can be told through his eyes, not really as a flashback but more of a trippy Desmond type episode. And if Daniel is in 1974 now but his “side effects” cause him to bounce around in time, he might give us the Rousseau story too and ultimately be the new storytelling device himself. (I can’t decide if that would be cool or cheesy; depends on how it’s executed I suppose…)

  • I agree with you tapdawg, that’s a good theory. I’ve had similar thoughts but I was thinking more along the lines of seeing the four-toed statue being built and ancient civilizations on the island (but I expect anything like that to happen in Season 6, along with the reveal of the smoke monster) Sort of like a “history of the island” episode akin to “The Other 48 Days.”

    I think the nature of where we start in Season 5 is the most mysterious thing we’ve had to ponder in between seasons. Season 1 it was the raft/hatch, Season 2 it was Jack, Kate & Sawyer being captured along with the hatch explosion and Season 3 it was the idea of rescue coming along with the mystery of how they’d handle flash forwards. However now we’re left with a fairly baffling mystery as to what’s going to happen. The fact that we don’t know what story is going to be told when makes it very hard to even guess HOW they will tell that story.

    I can’t imagine Lost without character centric episodes. So let’s say they drop the flashforward/back device in favor of something new. I think whatever they do now would still have to incorporate some sort of device to focus on that character, other than just writing an episode around a person.

    Maybe the flashes will work like this (and now I’m just sort of rambling as I type): If someone has a “flash” perhaps instead of focusing on them in the past or future it focuses on someone or something that is going on on the island that pertains to them. So if Jack had a flash while he was off island it would take us to an island story revolving around Jack, even if Jack wasn’t there (ie; because Jack left bad things happened).

    Even if the character centricity is dropped to a degree I could still see the idea of flashes between on and off island time between the time of the O6 survivors (and Desmond, Widmore, Penny, Paik, etc) off-island.

    Did that make sense?

    I’m done now. 🙂

  • eric

    i think, from the video we saw at comic con, we can 100 percent guarantee that one of the narrative techniques will focus on Dharma and the Purge in the late 70s, early 80s. We know that the videos they produce for the con often pay off, and we know that Faraday was the man behind the camera, so instead of learning about dharma from ARG and what not, we will actually be there with Pierre, Horace and turning-evil Ben when all the stuff went down.

    There are going to be multiple displacements of time:

    Faraday with the purge
    The O6 trying to get back home
    and maybe Locke, Sawyer, Charlotte, etc. in a different time (not sure when) on the island.

  • jonp

    I see the new storytelling as a combination of different things. They will have episodes dealing with several time periods, locales at the same time. So in one episode, we will follow the O6 off the island and those remaining on the island (perhaps in a different time period).

    I’m still not sure how the island moved. Will it reappear in the same place, or physically move or move through time.

  • jojo323

    My feeling is that when the show returns that the O6 Ben and Locke’s corpse the first episode will be them setting foot on the Island right after the Island has “moved”. The people left behind on the Island are totally unaware that it had moved and that they are now in the future. I think that season 5’s flashes will be a combination of telling the story of how they get back to the Island and of Faraday’s exploits in the past. I have two reasons for thinking this. The flashes have almost always been character mysteries not plot mysteries. In seasons 1-3 it was who are these people and what led them to the Island, in season 4 it was what happens once they leave the Island. I can’t think of any bigger mystery pertaining to characters more than how they came back. My second reason is more of a production reason and my reasoning on this might be 100% wrong but it seems to me filming in Hawaii would be expensive. If six of the biggest stars of the show aren’t going to be on the Island for most of the season and the reason the show is shot in Hawaii is because of the tropical requirements for the Island then why wouldn’t you just split the production have one team in LA and one in Hawaii. But that seems like it would be even more expensive.

  • I really like that idea Jojo. I’m not so sure it will happen in the very first episode, but certainly wouldn’t be surprised if the return of the O6 happened within the first 3 or 4 eps with “how” they got back doled out in Flashbacks. Though I still think they’ll jump around in sequence and not reveal where/when the Island moved and the “surprise” that the O6 weren’t really gone for all that long until late in the season.

  • jojo323

    LBDG, I’d agree with you about it not happening for a few episodes but I just can’t envision how it would happen. Though I was dead certain that the first thing we would see in season 4 would be Michael on the freighter and it took a long time just to even get to the freighter let alone Michael. Since I first posted though I’ve done some more thinking and changed my mind about the Island going to the future. I think what really may have happened is that the Island went back in time. I mean really what better way to hide the Island from the Widmore kabal then to put it in the one place that they can’t get to, the past. So here’s what I think happens. The O6 somehow get to the Island we are led to believe that it’s sometime after the Ben and Jack meeting at the funeral home and technically speaking that’s true. The O6 seem to be harboring some deep secret that they can’t share with the rest of the Island dwellers. Finally towards the end of the season we learn along with the islanders that the Island went back in time, this also sets up who Adam and Eve are. I think it was Entertainment Weekly where I read that Adam and Eve were put into the show to prove that the writers knew where the story was going way back in the first season.

  • aidan

    Okay they have always said you cant change the future. That the universe has a way of correcting itself.

    Now picture this

    Past(1992) Present(2004) Future(2007)

    If Daniel/Sawyer/Juliet go back from the Present on the island and go back to the past and stop the purge from happening. I think that they will still be able to carry on to the present but when they hit the day of when they went back in time in 2004/5, then everything will transfer back to normal. They may have the knowledge of changing the past/stopping the purge, but the universe will correct itself and Jack/kate/sayid in the future will be non the wiser of them changing anything in the past because the universe will have course corrected itelf by the time it reaches 2004/5.

    But I’m thinking somehow Daniel’s book is from the past? It holds secrets of the alternate past that he has no memory? I think it’s pretty clear that the reason he cried when he was watching about 815 on the news that he had previously encountered the 815ers but didn’t remember it?

    What you think?

  • Tom


    I like the idea of the island going back in time – especially to before the purge took place, but what you said about Ben putting it into the past so that Widmore couldn’t find it doesn’t add up. If the island moves into the past, it’ll still be there in the present – would it not?

    i.e. if you went back in time 5 years to 2003 and burried a time capsule in your garden with the intention of not touching it for 20years, wouldn’t it be there today in 2008?

  • jojo323

    Tom, to use your exact example then I would say yes it would be there until I or someone else dug it up. But for my argument lets say that there is no initial time travel involved. For whatever reason I decide in 2003 to bury a time capsule. Now lets suppose that sometime between 2003 and 2008 I learn how to go back in time. Then on some day in 2008 I decide to dig up said time capsule and travel to sometime before I buried it to begin with and I destroy the capsule. Now lets suppose that every time I bury the time capsule all the events that happen after I bury it play out the same leading to my decision on that day in 2008 to dig up the time capsule and go into the past with it. After that exact moment when I take the time capsule back in time it ceases to exist in the present time. That’s basically what I think is happening on the Island. It’s a closed loop. I think I’m going to actually take the time to really flesh out this idea though Tom.

  • noblelawyer

    I think that we will be seeing the various character arcs for both the character on the island and off the island, but without knowing when the stories are occurring. So we might see a story with Locke also then showing Jack, but to find out that they are during different times. In fact I think not only will we not know “when” a story is occurring, but there will be times that it won’t even be clear “where” the story is occurring,that is we will think it is on the island only to realize later that it is not, and vice versa.

  • jim

    I am very excited about the new season however I too am worried that viewers who are not like us are going to be confused as hell and tune out. I’ve gotten many of my friends into the show and many of them were completely confused during season 4.

  • I’m not sure that any flashes, forward or back, will be used at all…

    Here’s my thought, if you want to call it that! Knowing that Ben has been thrust into the future and the O6 are in the now with him, my theory is that the island and everyone on or around it, Locke, Sawyer, Juliet, Faraday, etc… have been thrown back 30 years in time (reference the 30 year comment by Marvin Candle in the new Con vid) and have joined the Dharma Initiative group on the Island in 1978 or so. This would be the simplest way to explain most of our LOST questions…by reliving the past 30-year history of the Island with our LOSTIES and the DI plus living in the now with Benry and the O6.

    And just to repeat, Darlton has said that you can’t change the FUTURE…but can you change the PAST? It would be interesting to see if Locke can stop Benry from purging the DI.

    ***so hoping that Marvin Candle is Montand!***

  • Oh, and jim…I’ve had problems with my friends understanding the complexity of the show since some stopped watching after S2 or they haven’t been involved with TLE online…I’ve turned them on to Sci Fi Channel rerunning the series starting Monday, September 15, four epis each Monday!

    Sorry for the second post…

  • ian

    i think it’ll be told in a present time , but the survivors on the island will be in a different time than those who are off the island. Before jack and them can get back to the island , sawyer and co will have to a) turn the donkey wheel back , b) get help from richard & co, or C) get help from thos of the dharma initiative, which i believe will be ressurected thanks to the islands time shift.

  • Perhaps this is too simplistic, but what if we will be witnessing events in Season 5 through the conversations that Miles has with the deceased on the island? He would have countless options: his father (if it’s Dr. Cheng), purged Dharma folk, Radzinsky, Roger Linus, Inman, flight 815ers (Ana Lucia, Libby, Eko, Charlie, the pilot, etc.)…not to mention Rousseau (and thus, her backstory will finally come to light).