The dialogue between Miles and Hurley pretty much explains everything we ever wanted to know about two contradictory theories of time travel.
The “Back to the Future” theory is based on the ability to adjust the future by changing events of the past. This creates a time paradox which disrupts the space time continuum. In the movie, Marty travels back 30 years to 1955 and accidentally interrupts the moment when his father and mother fall in love. This event causes a paradox because if his mother and father don’t fall in love and get married, he will never be born and will cease to exist. Hurley subscribes to this theory of time travel.
On the other hand, Miles (and Daniel Faraday) subscribe to the theory that “Whatever Happened, Happened”. This is the pre-determined destiny theory where the events that the LOSTies are experiencing 30 years back in 1977 have effectively already happened, but they just haven’t experienced them yet. A movie example that subscribes to this theory (at least the original) is “Terminator”. In that movie, John Connor sends his best friend back to a time before he was even born so that he can protect his mother from a Terminator who is determined to kill her so that John is never born. The catch is that his best friend actually ends up becoming his biological father.
Ben is not dead and the events that we are watching now have always happened. The events not only keep Ben alive, they help make him the adult version of the man we have come to know and, um, love?
Richard Alpert makes it pretty clear that by taking Ben, he will never be the same. He adds that he will forget any of this happened and that his innocence will be gone. This explains the one thing that Miles couldn’t explain to Hurley. You’ll remember that Hurley wondered why adult Ben wouldn’t remember a crazy Iraqi who shot him when he was only 12. We don’t know exactly what will happen to Ben in the temple, but it’s clear that it’s a critical turning point in his life and Richard doesn’t care what Charles Widmore or Eloise Hawking find out about it because he doesn’t answer to either of them.
Next week looks like judgment day for adult Ben. The previews show him telling Locke that he broke the rules and it appears as if he summons the smoke monster. I’m hoping we’ll also see what happened to him as a kid in the temple and what happened to Penny, Desmond and their young son Charlie on the dock.
As for the rest of this episode:
Evangeline Lilly was excellent and that compliment doesn’t come easily from me. I have been bothered not so much by her acting as by her character, Kate, but I like the Cassidy/Clementine storyline and when she gave up young Aaron to Claire’s mother, it may have been her best scene in five seasons. Finding out that the reason she is back on the island is to find Claire and not because she wants Sawyer back was a huge relief and showed just how much she has grown in three years.
As for Sawyer, I thought it was quite a twist to have his ultimate heroic moment (jumping off the helicopter) twisted into a moment of cowardice. I can hear all the Sawyer-loving women out there cursing under their breaths because he’s their man and the truth is that he has indeed grown in the past three years. His relationship with Juliet is the most mature relationship he has ever known, but he still has a lot to learn.
In similar fashion, I was shocked that Jack didn’t agree to help save Ben. It turned out that the good “guys” in this episode were two women – Kate and Juliet (not to mention that Cassidy is a pretty strong representation of a heroic woman in her own right). Sawyer did the right thing by helping Kate, but he is still being extremely stubborn when it comes to seeking help and working together.
Jack has transformed into this character of great faith. He blindly believes that he is supposed to be there, but doesn’t know why yet. It’s somewhat nice to not see him jumping around fixing everything right away and the conversation when Kate told him she liked the old Jack was perfect. I’ve been saying that it was his biggest fault and he knows that now too. His response to her was perfect; though I’m sure he lost a lot of respect for calling her out and saying that she did NOT like him the way he used to be.
I feel like I could go on and on about how each character has evolved, but I’d be repeating a lot of what I’ve already said in other blog entries. I fear that Sawyer helping Kate bring Ben to the Hostiles is going to turn things upside down for them with the DHARMA folks.
Everything is changed now or I guess I should say that everything is still as it ever was. We just didn’t know it yet and neither did they.