This theory is not dependent upon whether the core of ‘Jughead’ exploded at the end of Season 5 or, if a similar ‘incident’ occurred as what happened when Desmond failed to push the button in the Swan Station and resorted to employing the use the fail-safe mechanism.
“According to the ‘Variables’, in quantum mechanics, alternative ways for the same outcome to arise are said to ‘interfere’ with each other. The possibility of something happening can just as easily be diminished as increased, by the fact that it can happen in different ways”.
I believe what transpired from ‘the incident’ caused and created the ‘sideways’ flashes that the characters are presently experiencing. I believe this is why we are viewing ‘subtle’ changes in their lives and that we’ll see changes that will have much more dramatic and significant effect as time progresses. It is evident in the ‘flash sideways’ that things are definitely happening in very different ways in the characters lives.
Some situations appear to be much more ideal to their former circumstances. Hurley now sees himself as being the luckiest man, Rose has accepted her fate, living and dying with Cancer. Claire has accepted the role of motherhood, willing to raise Aaron on her own. Kate is happily ‘on the run’ as a fugitive, and most importantly John Locke is now engaged to Helen and appears that he was not the victim of his father pushing him out of an apartment window, but from some other malady. Jack is now father to a young son, and that via Christian’s ‘last will and testament’ that he will soon learn that Claire is his half-sister and likely meet her through that connection.
These are some of the positive changes in their lives. I suspect that we will see more changes in the lives of the other characters who have not appeared in the ‘flash sideways’ to date, and no doubt some of the changes in their lives will also appear fairly positive or ideal when viewed on the surface.
Herein lies ‘the rub’ with this entire scenario. They are slowly re-connecting with one another, as I believe they are meant to, but under very different circumstances. However, there were some major issues and problems that existed in each of their former lives, which caused major distress, upheaval and unhappiness. I expect that all will not end up going quite as smoothly, as it initially appears to us on the surface. While some situations have changed, I suspect that this will bring about other unforeseen perils. That is the nature of life itself. No matter what your choices and circumstances are, you cannot avoid the life lessons that you are meant to experience that define your fate. You cannot deny fate, you can only delay it. Nothing could have affirmed this more, than the death of Charlie Pace and Desmond’s intervention in delaying his fate and success in making his death count.
I also believe that the characters who died on ‘the island’, will also have to die in the ‘flash’ sideways, albeit under different circumstances, and perhaps by different hands. The balance between light and dark is always required and struggles to maintain order. The entire nature of the ‘flash sideways’ is very reminiscent of the theme of reincarnation, but I believe the overall purpose is to illustrate that although ones circumstances may seemingly change for the better; there will always be new life challenges and controversies to take their place. What is being highlighted has to do with certain aspects in life being pre-destined, regardless of ones individual choices.
I expect that this entire situation will culminate with some sort of crisis occurring that will act as a catalyst, that will bring the characters together in unison in the ‘flash’ sideways, but also provide them with a perspective and view of life, their fate and their destiny. They will, with full ‘conscious’ awareness gain new purpose that will guide them in accepting and acknowledging their fate. They will ‘reconcile’ through ‘conscious awareness’ this ‘sideways flash’ and fulfill what always has been their fate/destiny….their mission on ‘the island’. I believe that they will commit to this willingly and step through ‘the looking glass’ at the appropriate time.