Why Wouldn’t They?

I can’t believe I am opening this can…but there have been some things bugging me about all this discussion about alternate/multiple timelines, timeloops, and changing the past. I haven’t been decidedly against alternate timelines, and I also have thought the ‘changing the past’ angle from a storyline perspective could be really fascinating. (Not anything scientific, just fascinating.) I’ve been nearly swayed to think “whatever happened, happened” was a worthy explanation, and therefore anything we are seeing in the technical past accounts for how everything came to be that we have already seen.

BUT. I’m not sold. Here’s your chance to factor in a few of my questions and sell me on the idea.

There are so many good posts with GREAT comments that people are adding to the mix all over the place…explaining the Theory of Compossibility especially, and all the back and forth discussion and solid reasons as to why the past can’t be changed.

Here are a few lingering issues to consider…

First read Dabsi’s “Something Did Change” and plow through the billion comments to consider where I am coming from and why I’m not throwing in the towel on NOT changing the past.

And once again, AES posted another great scenario prompting me to think… (A Penny for Your Thoughts) where Ben kills Penny, motivating Desmond AND Widmore to return to the island.

This reminded me of two things, Desmond and the concept of “resurrection” via Lost.

We can all agree that Desmond is special. We can all agree that Desmond has had the unique (so far) ability to subconsciously time travel a period of years/locations; to ‘receive a new memory’ of an experience that happened in one person’s present (Daniel) but technically Desmond’s past; and to have visions of future circumstances.

None of this has been a waste. To me, the plain old, non-scientific viewer, it would appear that Desmond has experienced multiple timelines; that Desmond can interact with multiple timelines and that Desmond’s visions could be the ‘options’ for the timelines of the future. In one option, Claire boards a helicopter with Aaron. That option didn’t play itself out, it was Sun/Kate onboard with Aaron.

I can hear the arguments now: If I am thinking of what to eat for dinner, I could have chicken or I could have spaghetti. I can picture what both look like, but at some point, the REALITY will be whatever choice I make. So I go with the chicken. Right?

But that’s kind of boring for a television show. Why, wouldn’t it be enticing to think that maybe if I knew that the chicken had been undercooked and upon eating it I would suffer from a nasty case of food poisoning, I would have chosen spaghetti instead…???

Highbrow…I can hear you now. Stick with me.

Okay. So hold that thought, and now track with me on the death and resurrection thing…

I’ve written these words before on this site, but it’s time to say them again: the island is special. So as AES pointed out in his theory, Des would be ever so motivated to get back to the bloody island if he knew that the island had the ability to heal/resurrect his dear Penny.

I have to ask this is in the most dumbed-down way, because once again, I am playing the average viewer part…I’m just not as smart as some of you…

Isn’t it a ‘separate’ timeline in a way if a person who was dead actually comes back to life? I mean, their timeline ended. Christian Shepard died…his timeline existed (example here:) from 1944-2004. He DIED. But, Christian is appearing alive again in 2004. And in 2007, to both Jack and now Sun/Frank. And in whatever the heck year that was that he told Locke to move the wheel. He’s on a DIFFERENT timeline, no? I mean, for all we REALLY know, when Locke found the well, the well that Charlotte directed him to, which to me indicates that it was in a timeperiod that she would have known…then that is Christian existing in a year that he already existed in elsewhere.

So then this brings me to co-existence within a timeline. Again, this feels like another “why not?” kind of clue….John and the temporal-flashing-Losties were existing on the island during a time period that they were actually there physically. Since we are talking about timelines and not paradoxes, how does this not point to the possibility of multiple timelines if we are arranging time (and timelines) around people/objects.

This is where the little I know of David Hume’s theories and a few others make sense to me…that time is not an object itself, it is a point of reference centrally perceived and created by a conscious person. Or something like that. (It’s late.)

So, jump back to Desmond. We know the island isn’t done with him. Which would indicate that knowledge of what events/circumstances to come are ACTUALLY in the realm of being known (by Hawking at the very least). Which means that even though she was attempting to orchestrate getting the O6 back to the island – in a rather desperate, ‘something is coming’ sort of way – it would seem that she actually knows what COULD be coming. If Desmond does what he is ‘supposed’ to do, in whatever year it is that he does it, does she have knowledge of the past, or does she know one of the ‘options’ for the future?

I’m sure I sound like I’m all over the place, but really the dots are there to connect in one way or another. Have at it.

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47 thoughts on “Why Wouldn’t They?

  1. It is late…even for me.
    Des’s speacialness gives him the ability to do…what he does right?
    Not exactly.
    If Des has Penny, he is not ‘concience skipping’ through time.
    He absorbed the memory of Dan telling him to find his mother, through the dejavu type dream. Call it alternate timelines, change, or it always happened that way.
    Regardless, it is still different than concience jumping. So long as Des Penny is with Des, he is safe from this…but should something happen to her…

    I know this doesnt answer your questions fully, but I hope it helps a little.
    I will dissect more tomorrow.

    BTW ,going to throw this comment in comments in my theory.

  2. my personal opinion on the continuing timeline of a dead person,is that it really isn’t a seperate one. or even a real timeline i guess…The island is using their physical dead bodies but thats about it. I don’t think they are wandering around the island when we dont’ see them. So to me that means their not actually creating a timeline. just popping up when it’s needed(due to jaboc/the island, not the person who actually died)…..does that make any sense?

  3. Yes, yes…what Bailey said…
    It was late last night and you had me thinking more about Desmond…hence my little rant at the bginning.
    I think the ‘dead’ on the island are not in any timeline, the ‘haunt’ (dont think that word is appropriate, but you get the idea) the island in an outside of time sort of way.
    Therefor, if christian is on the island dead when the plane crashes, resurrects, and comes back to life, like a ghost, could interact with people throuout the rest of the islands life.
    When timetravel is involved, the ‘spirit’ or what ever, insted of only having a future to haunt, gets the ability to ‘haunt’ anywhere the island ‘move’ in place or time.
    The island goes to the past, and the ghostly figures it would, like the losties be their present/future as well.
    They possess vast knowledge and serve as a fallen or guardian angel in a way…cannot reach heaven/enlightment, no rest for the soul…science stepping in and showing god who’s boss.
    Thats kind of crazy sounding, but I think it may be the case…

  4. somewhere on the rumor mill there are quotes about the producers never intending to do time travel on the show, yet we are led to believe they had it all figured out from the start, so i guess it’s what’s the truth. maybe they only had time travel by the conscience thought?

    now with dead people, are they really, really alive? John seems to be somewhat resurrected, Christian just seems to a walking corps that remembers his son than we have all the dead people talking to hurley.

    none of it has any continuity that i can see other than, dead people can be spirits, possessed or resurrected?

  5. I think it may come down to if John is ‘physically’ able to help anyone, or if he has to walk around like a preppy Jason Vorhese, only giving instruction…
    …somebody get that man a knife…

  6. definitely a.e.s
    i can’t wait to see how they tie in all this if they ever do, maybe they will just hope us blogging keyboard warriors will forget about theses things by feeding us an awesome ending to season 5 and a mind boggling season 6.

    is it Wednesday yet? i’m going through LOST withdrawals. maybe i should take up drinking.

  7. AES you just made me think something…..the MacCutcheon whiskey how do we think it got to the island? Im thinking Widmore does come back with some of his favourite whiskey and they jump back in time and thats the reason why there was MacCutcheon on the island……I just find it hard to believe the Dharma or any of the Others would even think of wasting the money on such a thing as whiskey…..personally I would 😛 lol

  8. If only Highbrow was here to argue with…

    Here’s my thought on WHEN a multiple timeline scenario could have been created.

    But first, Highbrow made the point that I think I agree with over on the Theory of Compossibility. He said, “As for multiple timelines

  9. Bailey & AES, I see where you are coming from when it comes to Christian on island, but he appeared to Jack and Michael off island. So should we just be referencing him as a ghost? Because I think the problem with that is that in a way, the writers already showed us that Miles is one who can see and communicate with ghosts, and he did so in the presence of people who couldn’t see the ghosts he was talking to. Right? So does that mean that there are different ‘levels’ of ghosts in a way? Or am I completely missing your point?

    Is Christian and Locke dead, and the only place they can exist alive on island? Kinda like Anthony Cooper might have been dead getting to the island and then he got killed again by Sawyer?

    Do you see why I’m confused on how we have seen examples of certain things, but then we have these exceptions? I just can’t help but think that these exceptions are not simply exceptions for the sake of what they are doing purpose wise, but more and more I think they are clues to what is coming and what has been going on the whole time.

  10. I’m not down with the ghost thing either, so then it’s back to the ‘spirit’ or ‘vision’ or apparition type thing. Which I guess I can just leave be for awhile.

    Maybe it’s just worth considering though the implications of dead-people-visions existing “outside of time” that happens like you said AES, right?

    If there is an outside of a timeline thing happening, then some people call this another dimension, or in another way, it could be a reference point of a timeline unto itself.

    So the crazy Dharma village that Dabsi (WHERE ARE YOU DABS???) referenced in her post could be a vision of that very ‘dimension’ or location on the timeline that isn’t the real/living timeline?

  11. Oh geez, send it to Highbrow, right?

    I think I’m getting ‘stupider’ the more I try to articulate why it seems like there’s a possibility for an alternate timeline. I should leave this smart people stuff to smart people.

    I just don’t yet believe that the issue is black and white.

  12. You bring some excellent thoughts to the table, who’s to say who’s smart when theorizing a timejumping island, time jumping conciences, and time jumping people…

    By the way, I tried to tell you in another post…I dont think you are far off with the alternate timeline idea…
    An easter egg in our recent episode has shown us a possible reference…

  13. Thanks.

    I have been making dinner and can’t stop thinking about this dang watch thing. The last comment I made about it being the second 1977 for Jack and Sawyer (as examples) almost seems like indirect proof of the island allowing for alternate timelines.

    They already existed in 1977 once before. We saw Jack as a child, no? We saw Sawyer as a child. Fuzzy math could have put the scene where Sawyer’s mom gets killed in 1977. Or same thing for young Jack and his daddy belittling him. So this 1977 is thus a second 1977 timeline for them.

    Sure, for Amy, Phil, Horace, this could be the first (and only 1977) but for certain characters, this is the second, and therefore alternate timeline of their 1977.

    Where is Highbrow to tell me that this is their present…and yadda yadda?

  14. Seriously AES…thanks for helping me along. I was so in a hurry (multitasking with my laptop on the kitchen counter) to not pause enough to say thanks for the encouragement.

    What post are you referencing?

  15. It’s funny how quickly I forget the evidence to support my line of thinking. 😉

    Alright…since I’m PST…I’ll be back later. Come up with something brilliant while I’m gone! 🙂

  16. in the bible when Jesus was resurrected, i believe it was thomas that did not believe as ben points out to jack.

    this is a quote –
    Jesus rose from the dead in the very same physical body that He died in. This resurrected body was a glorified, spiritual body.

    so, it seems John has risen the same way, he eats, is physical, etc. Christian might be the same.

  17. We’ve always seen Christian in the same clothes on island/on the freighter, and then we see him in a nice suit off island. To me this says that on island, it’s the island using his dead body to get it’s messege across. Meanwhile off island, it seems like it’s a ghost, or i guess a figment of jacks imagination….

    AES- thats for the SHE comment, i started laughing as soon as he said it. and knew for sure you wouldn’t let that go by 🙂

  18. hey bailey, peace and sorry about the he, should have picked it by the avatar

    yeah, i’m having trouble with this Christian dude and what type of alive is he, John i believe is as i described above

  19. no worries, normally i wouldnt have even mentioned it, AES and i happened to talk about it just the other day, so i had to poke fun alittle 🙂

    i agree it’s confusing what kind of “alive” he is. John seems to interact and act like a real person confused by what just took place. But Christian seems to know he can’t touch/interact with other people all that well. Remember the first time jack saw him on the island? He was sort of floating forward and Jack was never able to approach from the front, or even catch up. But John is sitting on the beach next to people chatting away…

    hmmmm i don’t know really, and i’m sure that even if i thought i knew, it’ll probably be way off LOL

  20. Or maybe Christian is something entirely different than Locke. He does seem, at least, more spirit like…Guess we’ll have to wait and see if John can make himself appear out of thin air, ala Christian on the freighter.
    It may take something drastic, for John to realize what he is capable of. Or his resurection is of a different species, and is a human again.
    Regardless, I think they are going to try to make a huge leap, at relating a very popular religious belief, with a scientific (partially sci-fictitious) idea.

  21. Sorry if someone already said this… I haven’t read the comments yet but I promise I will…

    Multiple timelines. I’ve stated my case in other posts as to why only one timeline matters, no matter how many there really are. Think about it this way. If we look at two timelines with the Pasties (that’s for you Kim) in timeline A and someone has the ability to be in both A and B at the same time… whatever they do it timeline B can’t have any consequences to those in timeline A. And if we’re looking at two different timelines then we can basically invalidate everything we’ve seen so far.

    If you have Jack A and Jack B (in different timelines) and we’ve been seeing snippets of both then what events happened to Jack A and what happened to Jack B? We have no way of knowing. The only way for the show to make sense is if we’re watching either Jack A or Jack B the entire time. If we’re watching the same Jack then whatever happens to another Jack has no consequence. So throw multiple timelines out the window. No matter how many timelines there are we’re only watching one of them.

    If someone dies and then comes back to life is that a new timeline? This is where we need to be careful about the terminology. There are two different meanings to timeline. In this case you’re talking about the course of events that make up a person

  22. about the easter egg, the book ben gives sayid. i believe it could be just another ben manipulation. in givign sayid a book on alternate timelines… he is convincing sayid that is possible to change the past and shoot him… which might be the original timeline and necessary for ben’s spiritual and mental growth. highbrow might like this line of thinking.

  23. Where to start…

    Highbrow, I think it DOES matter if there are multiple or an alternate timeline(s) that exist, because what if one timeline is where there is massive destruction, death, doom, despair, (can’t think of any more d words) or something that happens before it’s ‘supposed’ to happen since we are dealing with people who have traveled in time?

    I get what you are saying about we have to be watching one timeline. That is relevant to the discussions to where people have proposed that what we see in the Pilot episode (for example) has ‘future’ Jack in it or future Kate or future whomever coming into the situation. And then the question would be how does a future Jack come back to a place (the island) that got him into that place (the future to the past) in the first place? Right? It would start to unravel rather quickly?

    But I think it matters that an alternate exists because my example about 1977 existing already once for people like Sawyer and Jack comes into play. There has to be a way of reconciling that events for Sawyer the child (his mom getting killed) and Sawyer the adult (living on the island as Dharma) are possibly in the same time frame because they have significant life events that effect the outcome of his future.

    And here’s what I think is most important…

    If we only say that one timeline matters, then why would the island send the Losties to the past?

    If it’s because they are supposed to do something or have done something, does that mean that what they were doing in their first go round of 1974-1977 wasn’t what was “supposed’ to happen? Or was it supposed to happen PLUS this new timeline of their experiences in the past was also “supposed” to happen? Because if both were supposed to happen, then that means that two timelines were supposed to happen.

  24. kimberly, some good thoughts here! I do think Faraday’s line of “Whatever Happened, Happened”, is one of the worst lines ever used to keep people away from discovering the truth!

    Of course, we know change is going to occur. There is absolutely NO question!

    We also know there is ‘time jumping’, etc., and Jacob using the dead bodies of Christian, etc., to act on his behalf.

    We also should have the idea in our minds, at this point, that ‘the island’ is fourth dimensional. A special place where the fabric of reality is different.

    What is confusing for most people is, getting around the future being pre-destined. While some things are pre-desitned, there are alternative outcomes.

    Thus, we are given an alternate view of the future when Sun & Frank arrive on the main island.

    That is not to say, that THAT future is the actual future, but only one outcome of past events! (It is the way Sun & Frank saw it).

    That is where change comes into the picture.

    We shouldn’t get too hung up on all of the minutia. I am not so sure that all that we are seeing can be slotted into one category alone.

  25. The Pasties are in the same timeline they started in, just a different time. Here’s the thing… if they were in a different timeline then sure, maybe change could happen, maybe it can’t. It wouldn’t matter anymore. Nothing they do in the timeline they’re in can have an effect on the timeline they came from (the one they set out to save in the first place).

    As for some things being pre-destined… I say nothing is predetermined. No actions or outcomes. The significant thing about the situation of the Pasties is that we’ve already seen some of the consequences of some of their actions. That’s not to say that they aren’t making decisions for themselves… but in a way, they’ve already made them. The idea that only SOME things are predetermined and some things aren’t just does not work. If free will exists then it must be all or nothing. If it’s not all or nothing then it must be that there is no free will because something is out there making decisions for people. We know that because there would have to be something out there deciding what is important and what isn’t and preventing people from performing certain actions.

    I can’t imagine what criteria that person/thing/entity would use to differentiate between the significant and the inane. Most theories I’ve read stating that minor details can change but outcomes and major events cannot basically state that things that are important to the show cannot be changed. Its fine if that’s the way they’re going with it I guess… but it would be kind of dumb, in my opinion, for them to ignore the fact that there is a whole world around them that also has to deal with the consequences of their actions.

  26. des told charley to dive down to the looking glass but des was lying.des was meant to go down there ,and it was des that was going to die.widmore told him he was a coward ,and he is.

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