A random and alternate discussion to the issue of timeloops, time travel, etc.

I don’t know that it is important for me to decide where I stand on a particular side about whether there is a timeloop or not. I enjoy the discussion, but’I think the more time I spend working through technicalities of physics, playing itself out on a fictional television show, the more it feels like I am writing notes in a black-and-white speckled notebook that is sent through a chute and lands out in an empty field.

So, for a moment, humor me with a conversation that explains the PURPOSE of the time travel we see. Because if we have learned a few things about LOST, we know there are very few coincidences written in the show. Yes, we’ve seen a few scenes that reveal the concept of looping ‘ Danielle’s distress signal and the scene with Horace and the tree. These scenes appear to have multiple purposes, both at the original time for the characters and most likely for us as the viewer.

However, if we spend all our time figuring out the ‘How’ and ‘What’ we miss the conversations about the ‘WHY.’

Why are Widmore and Ben fighting for the island? Or, an even bigger question, is it definitely the island that they are fighting for? Is it something bigger? Is it the opportunity to manipulate the outcome(s) of a particular set of events?

Why do the Others exist?

Why does the island exist?

Why does the island have a say in when a person can or cannot die? Why can the island’s powers extend beyond the island in prohibiting one’s death? We’ve seen it happen with Michael and I believe we also saw it with Sayid in ‘The Little Prince.’ (Jack was dumbfounded how Sayid survived for days with an enormous amount of horse tranquilizer in him. Then, Sayid shoots fake-nurse guy with two darts and the guy is dead instantly.) I am pretty sure that this week we will also see Sun shoot at Ben with a loaded gun, and nothing happens.

Central themes from the last four seasons have to culminate to more than it being all about a certain way or experience of traveling through time. There has to be a reason. Black and white; light versus dark; parent-child relationships; fate and destiny; not to forget all the games’backgammon, chess and Risk’

And of course we know the theme of redemption has been one of the most powerful storylines woven throughout for many of the characters. And redemption only occurs for a person when they are given the opportunity, or dare I say, the time. I was just saying the other day, ‘if only I had more time.’ This of course, made me think of the show and this idea about exploring the purpose of time, not just how time works.

Here’s a random scenario to illustrate my point: Juliet’s ex-husband. The guy was freakishly hit by a bus, killed, done. His time was over and the guy was jerk, end of story. Sawyer and Jin, those guys were jerks. But, they’ve been given the opportunity for more, to be more and to do more. Jack, he hasn’t always been a jerk, but actually became more of a jerk once he experienced the island. So he seems to be the anomaly. (For me at least.

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21 thoughts on “A random and alternate discussion to the issue of timeloops, time travel, etc.

  1. kimberly, Great post and awesome questions. many of which I think we all are wanting answered.

    At the beginning of your post, I thought you were going for the ‘what’. Thank goodness. It’s time we get onto the why!

    Can I ask you to include in the top of your title: ….discussion to be continually updated?

    I think it’s a great idea.

    I am going to put my energy, focus and attention into they ‘why’ now! Hopefully, I can contribute something positive.

    Give me a day to think on some of these things.

  2. hope you didnt think i was gonna miss this one.
    Ok, so my take on the islands ‘control’.
    Its has none.Nope, no brain, or thought or anything. nada, zilch, zip. My isea is that Benjamin I always have a plan to manipulte others Linus, has known for quite some time, what the island is capable of. If he indeed, saw some Losties as a child/teen/younger version, he knows the island can time travel. and uses his benipulation skills to pull one of the greatest tricks ever. Knowing everything. He has met the Losties, as a child. Understood and studied the time travel properties of the island, his whole life. And now, his beautiful patients has paid off by using…everyone he has ever known to get whatever the hell it is he wants. And that, would most likely be redemption of his mother and lost love Annie, by well, traveling to the past and preventing their deaths.

  3. I think the pupose of the time travel is the same element that is the demise of many people looking. Power.
    As for the Others, why they exist may answer more questions on Lost than have been asked yet. Jacob, smokey, blackrock, why, why, why? How, who, when, where? They are definetly not opposed to us being..well..lost are they?

  4. AES – I have also thought that Ben could be motivated to undo or redo some situations surrounding Annie and his mother. Especially because his father was such an ass, piling up guilt on Ben for “killing” his mother. Then if Ben ended up purging Annie, there’s some more guilty motivation.

    BUT, lets talk about the island. Aside from physics or magnetism or anything of that sort…;)…how else could it be explained that Michael, Sayid and most-likely Ben can’t die? There’s gotta be more happening with the actual purpose of the island – there is some sort of “power” at work with it.

    Will the writers have us choose to believe that a loaded gun couldn’t work because of fate? Is the centrality of Jack as a character supposed to represent the issues we as the viewer will have to wrestle with?

    Because as much as I believe that Ben truly does always have a plan, and past/future knowledge, etc…there has to be more going on that incorporates Jack’s role.

  5. I have this thought, a theory in the works of all my love/hatred toward Benjamin Linus. How Ben is actually in a self projected timeloop. only he has learned how to make father time the fool, and actually beat him. Not unlike another ageless man we know. How he traveled to and from the island, via turning the wheel, or at least the same method of time travel.(hence, all the passports) He knew exactly where to go, what to do, and oddly and most interestingly, where and WHEN he would end up. He woos, the O6 to leave, knowing that they would be his ticket back.
    He uses a SLIGHTLY false bearing, leading Michael and Walt to either a previous time or alternate dimension of some sort. My guess is the past. As far as I can recollect, there was never a date given to us in Kevin Johnson. (if im wrong, please tell me)Hence, Michael is in the past, pre island, and because of that, he cannot die, because he has work to do. (not unlike Jack in the pilot missing peices, where Christian sends Vincent to wake Jack. But thats another theory)His entrance to whereever he went allows him to not be killed, because he technically did something in the future already.
    And I know, then why couldnt Jack die, well..he could, he just didnt jump. Thats the part of Lost I like. I think there is a clever ruse, misguiding us to believe that just because something happens to one person, its the same for all. In fact, i think thats the beauty, much like us, back and forth, timeloop, no timeloop. Religion?science, fate or freewill is not the overall question, but the perception of the character ultimatly makes the choice. With the exception of the people timetraveling at a specific time, they cannot make the decision of what do do beacause they themselves are as confused as we, trying to decipher the code. well, I’ll let someone else talk now.

  6. If Locke believes, i mean really belives he is to be the one chosen to save the island, he will. If Jack wants to nothing more than leave the island that has them trapped, torturing him with ghosts of his past, to save Kate, to go home. He will. And from what I can tell, they both have accomplished their goals thusfar. I think the problem with Jack is, Christian using in my opinion, some benipulation of his own, belittles his son..”you”ll never be a great man”, why would a father who cares about his child do this. To make them prove them wrong. Because a father knows the capabilities of his child, knows he CAN be a great man if he chooses to do so. But he just wont be one, he has to make it happen. And using trickery, much like the benipulator himself, he allows Jack to do exactly that. Becaome a great man as well as putting the thought in his head that it was well, his idea.

  7. Wow. Good thoughts!

    I like the part of Ben knowing where/when he was going, as that would explain the passports quite nicely!

    I seem to remember from “Meet Kevin Johnson” the scene where Michael visits his mother (in an attempt to see Walt) and his mother said “no, because you haven’t explained why you are lying about names, and what happened since I thought you were on that plane.” (Or something to that effect.)

    Then later, when on the freighter, Frank says something to Michael about the Oceanic plane and how he didn’t believe the plane on the floor was the real plane.

    So that to me pointed to Michael being off-island post-crash.

    And yes, the ‘misdirection’ of “what happens to one, happens to all” seems very, very possible.

    That too, goes back to some of David Hume’s theories I’ve been thinking on…(I think I mentioned on the ‘Jin travels Solo’ post)

    Example: “Hume notices that we tend to believe that things behave in a regular manner; i.e. that patterns in the behaviour of objects will persist into the future…”

    I really am leaning into the key role of perception as an explanation into many of the strange occurrences from seasons of the past.

  8. Now you’re really going for it!

    This point about Christian and Jack interplay…about the challenge for Jack to become a great man, just like was pointed out about Jacob…this is significant.

    The ultimate manipulation is always getting the other person to think that it was their idea. So Ben’s manipulating the O6, as we (the viewers) all know, but I *like* to think about this with Christian and Jack.

    I’ve been thinking about them and the Jacob connection for a long time, and this helps.

  9. Theory coming, unfortunatly not before tomorrows run, but its coming. I have been waiting for the right opportunity to post it. Much more clues with these characters, manipulation, and believe it or not Jacob.
    Consider this my preview ala next time on Lost Theories…

  10. One random thing…what are the similarities with Widmore, Christian and Jack?

    Since they have left the island they all have acquired a drinking habit. Ben, not so much…because I would cast my vote for him being the “antagonist” of the story. Why is this even worth mentioning? I think because we will see that Christian was on the island, pre-2004 plane crash, and this conversation about how Christian could have challenged Jack to become what he was supposed to become just reaffirms that…for me at least.

  11. Bring on the theory. I have been so distracted by all this other “time” talk, which is exactly why I wanted to start another discussion.

    Time is not nearly as important as to what is happening for the characters given the time they are in…or so I think, at least.

    And I think all the talk about time in a literal/physical/scientific sense keeps us on a trail that leads us to a conversation that just keeps going around, and around, and around. Until somebody’s nose bleeds.

    Anyway, I’m babbling to myself. 🙂

    Jacob, Jack, Christian, Claire, Aaron
    Ben, Richard, the Others
    everyone else all tangled and connected on flight 815
    why I watch LOST.

    Time looping, jumping, flashing, whispering, moving…that’s just the bonus fun stuff.

  12. Good point on the time talk…round and round huh? kind of sounds like your talking about a……………….conversation that just doesnt stop….hah, you thought I was going to say it

  13. Unfortunatly Kim, calling you Kim now because Im lazy, if you mind, yell at me. I cannot stop going to the time aspects.No matter what I do, theorizing characters right now, it leads me to some wonderful or sensless, depending on how you perceive it, revelation on time travel, i get sidetracked and make absolutly no sense. Its really why my comments sound better than my theories. I can discuss one thing with no problem, but everytime i start to right ONE, I either end up with a 42 page rambling on Everything Lost, and my ideas become the title of the show. Or I end up with 23 different theories that dont make sense unless you read them all in a row.

  14. So lets say that you were given a box…a box that within it could be anything…or anyone…and you are given this box because you are special. You can decide what to do with its contents. You can keep it for yourself, you can share it, remember, the contents are whatever you choose.

    Wait…could “time” be one of the things in the box?

    Am I making any sense?

    I don’t think that it’s wrong to go back to the time aspects, I just think that it’s the writers setting us up perfectly if that is where we dwell. Because then we start making choices, like “Free Will” versus “Destiny” type of choices. And I think LOST is presenting ideas that will challenge an “either/or” line of thinking.

    Have you Googled “What is time?” and read the link from ?

    Let me steal a quote:
    (The author’s response to ‘what is time?’)

    Although the model we have used describing time as another dimension agrees with relativity, it does have some unfortunate consequences, it says that the future is already determined! I dislike the idea that the future may be ‘already there’ just waiting for us to pass over it, because if true, where does that leave destiny and freewill?

    If on the other hand the future is not already there, then where does that leave the special theory of relativity ? If time is ‘real’ in the same way that the other three dimensions are real, this would indicate that it does exists and is there waiting for our consciousness ‘to move over it’. How much flexibility that allows for the future I do not know, but I must confess I don’t like the sound of it.

    I prefer to imagine time as … a fixed dimension that can be sliced up at any angle, but an ’empty’ dimension, a blank canvas waiting for us to put our mark on it. I just do not like the idea that just because time exists as a dimension, all events in time also have to exist.

    The truth of the matter is yet to be revealed, but personally, I have trouble in accepting the idea of the future being fixed, I believe that I exercise free will.

    I think that time is the biggest mystery of them all, and that it is somehow tied into and dependent upon our consciousness.

    Not much of an answer is it? But how do you explain something that is so apparent to us and so completely necessary to our every experience in life, yet has no form? It is as though it exists only in our minds even though its effects are perceived to be everywhere throughout the universe.”

    That’s all I got left in my head now.

    (And yes, Kim, is what everyone else calls me for real.)

  15. Great discussion! Sorry I missed out!

    I’ve already posted to AES, new theory, about the ‘family tree’.

    With any family, the family and their offspring can become dysfunctional, if a parent doesn’t tend to the family. In this case, it would be the entire extended family. The generational tree.

    Consider Jacob, as the ‘father figure’ who didn’t properly tend to his family. He makes this sudden realization that something disastrous will occur unless he intervenes on a grand scale.

    Wouldn’t it be natural for any father to bring them all together, in an attempt to change their future for the better?

    Therefore, securing his families futures and survival. Therefore, the ‘family tree’ continues to grow and blossom.

  16. I’m just stuck on Jack’s father telling him he’ll never be a great man being reverse psychology. Every one describes Jacob as a great man. Perhaps Jacob is a paralel version of someone we’ve known from the frist episode.

  17. I was wondering where you were on this one Dabs. I definetly feel a bloodline is in the works. Its just…I dont think all the major players are as major in the bloodline.
    I was thinking about the very first episode, remember when Jack wakes up in the jungle, that thing by his head…IM KIDDING.
    What I am actuall thinking is, the producers said Jack was to die in the premiere right? Well, I dont think he did or anything like that, but maybe he was supposed to, because in the end, he was going to be introduced as Jacob. Now, before fire rains on me for saying Jack is Jacob (although, its possible, very), i am just trying to play the bloodline, great man, Jack was destined to stay (as John says), logic to tie things together.
    Yes, it would be way to easy for Jack to be Jacob. But so would Locke, or Faraday, or Sawyer, or Christian, or whoever else. I say Jack because at the point where we are now, not much else makes more sense. Not saying others dont make as much sense, but I just think the hero will play his role by the end. Let Kate be with Sawyer, and sacrifice himself, much as John will/did, Ben (supposedly), and possibly even Christian. Aaron could be the last in the story to step into ‘great mans shoes’ and be the one…but personally, I think thats easier than Jack being Jacob, who knows…maybe you are Jacob.

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