Analyses of hints we receive in SLU Oceanic 815
Written 9th March
I wrote the “theory” below in response to a coworker’s friend’s theories that were emailed to me– she dismissed the SLU timeline almost entirely after season 6’s premiere and I found that very problematic (as most in this forum would agree). A lot of the points I make below have been made or perhaps even confirmed at this point… but I was encouraged to post this, and hopefully it’s not too late, so here it goes:
The fact that your friend is somewhat dismissing or at least bored of the alternate timeline though… I think she may be missing a lot of fortuitous clues. I think you probably remember, but I was definitely bothered by the alternate timeline at first– until I decided to rethink the parts of the LA X episode that were different, and that made me think twice:
1. Shannon did not fly back with Boone from Australia. Even if this is just because Maggie Grace didn’t feel like coming back, they could’ve just said she was in the bathroom. Removing her from the flight entirely is a hint that there is something important about this alternate timeline.
2. We didn’t see Claire on that specific flight, we only assume when we see her in the taxi that she came in through Oceanic 815. This could be unimportant, but since she’s such a pivotal character, why didn’t they just show her briefly on the plane?
3. Why is Desmond on the plane? At that time, he was already on the Island. Which we assume in the alternate timeline has somehow sunken to the bottom of the ocean.
– But how did that alter the lives of those who were inhabiting the Island? We know Ben is off Island as a teacher… does that mean Juliet is going to pop up in another place? (Ex. as David’s mom?)
– This is really crazy for me, because I think Desmond plays a pivotal role. I think, as a catalyst, he may be even as important as Jacob. But which side he’s playing for (and if he’s even aware that he’s playing a side) is unknown. ***I’m going to post a much larger theory on Desmond as 108! Please look out for it!
4. Charlie says his line to Jack, “You weren’t supposed to do that. I was supposed to die.” Again, could be another instance of neat storytelling, or inside jokes. To me, it signifies some sort of back-of-the-mind understanding that the universe has of these characters’ fates (no matter which “timeline” they are functioning in). Sort of how in the Many Worlds Theorem in quantum mechanics, the worlds can (and will) converge in any given instance. (I will expand in a later post, but this is pretty similar to other threads I’ve seen… basically with the time lines bleeding through.)
5. Since I watched the season 6 premiere online, I saw the episode’s title was “LA X” and not “LAX”. At first I kind of thought, okay they just mean LA unknown/variable. Or even LA 10 (like 10th possible scenario/world), which sounds like over-analyzing… whatever.
Anyway, this is saying, hey, input a new situation into the unknown and see what happens (plug in “safe landing” instead of “crash”). This is important because I also think they want to show that no matter the circumstance (Sun/Jin back to crappy relationship and no Ji Yeon, Locke still with Helen), the outcome might still be the same (they cross paths in each others’ lives no matter what, play distinct roles etc) and they still end up on the Island.
(Note: A.E.S. and others have since made the section below much more clearer to me/been able to articulate what I could not… spiral timelines, and concurrent timeline explantions abound. So thank you! But definitely let me know what you think of my questions after this bloc.)
My whole thing that I have been unable to articulate is that I think the way we assume the timelines work (not only the new alternate timeline, but the flash to the 70s), may not work the way we think they do. This is most evident in whatever season Daniel/Charlotte/etc. came in (4?). Daniel and Desmond are somehow able to transgress the idea that you can’t alter time since Dan sends Desmond a message from different time points. Like in a lot of sci-fi shows/movies, not only is time NOT fixed at a certain point and able to move along in a linear fashion, time can loop around. Not only that, multiple versions of a timeloop can branch off of a pivotal moment into a new timeloop (like when Desmond turned the failsafe key, Ben moved the Island, Juliet set off the H-bomb, etc.).
The main questions I feel now are:
1. Why are we being shown these two particular timeloops? It’s probably because MIB has– or is on his way– to finding the “loophole” he told Jacob he would find.
2. Will these timeloops converge somehow? No, that would be even trippier. Dead Locke and a Chaired Locke in a meeting of the doppelganger?! But I guess can’t rule it out since these writers are nuts.
3. If MIB has found his loophole, does it signal a new world or the end of days? It seems likely that this will be the main question of the outcome of the struggle between opposing forces on the Island (dark and light whatever that may be, just two sides– not necessarily pure good vs. pure evil or Christ vs. AntiChrist figures). And either one side will emerge victorious and a new world order is created/the world as we know it ceases to exist OR everything will reset and continue looping as it has been since infinite timeloops prior. (i.e. MIB must search on for his loophole)
Last note: Since sending this email, I’ve been presented with the idea that Jughead was not the “moment” that changed things, and that we are being shown the SLU timeline because it is what will happen at the end of this season… another “Jughead moment” if you will, except this time, it will work, and things will be different. Would that be trite, to end the entire show almost in the same manner as they did the penultimate season? Perhaps. But I wouldn’t put it past them for us to trip out and realize at the end, we’ve been seeing what was GOING to happen, rather than what MIGHT have happened all along…