LOST and the Dual Timelines (Nothing Is Irreversible)

As excited and anxious as I was to view the premiere episode of the final season, I also had quite a bit of trepidation because I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment. Now that I’ve seen “LA X”, I understand why I was concerned. Don’t get me wrong. I thought it was solid, but it was extremely confusing…even for me. I say that because I consider myself to be quite a student of the LOST universe and I had a tough time keeping up with the twists and multitude of new information.

Let’s start with the most obvious twist…the dual timelines. Everyone had different theories as to what would happen as a result of detonating the hydrogen bomb. Most people said that they would either change the future and land safely in Los Angeles or that they would time travel to present island-time. However, I don’t recall anyone theorizing that they would show two different timelines. Not sure how I feel about this quite yet.

On to number two…we can finally say without a doubt that Jacob’s Nemesis is in fact the smoke monster and has appeared as many other “characters” throughout the first five seasons of the show. I (and many others) started to think that the smoke monster could take on the appearance of dead people ever since Mr. Eko’s brother Yemi appeared to him back in season three. You’ll remember that it was only seconds later that Mr. Eko was thrashed to death by the smoke monster. Fans immediately started speculating that perhaps the smoke monster had also appeared as Christian Shephard and subsequently as Ben’s mother, and even as Alex (to Ben).

It wasn’t until the season five finale when we met Jacob’s Nemesis (in 1845 – the year of the Black Rock) that we started to realize that perhaps he had taken on the form of John Locke as well. There was the scene where Ben called the smoke monster from Dharmaville and was waiting for it to come, but Locke appeared instead. Then there was the scene where Ben and Locke were crawling through the tunnels under the outer area of the temple…Ben fell through the ground and Locke supposedly went to get rope. Locke (who isn’t really Locke) appeared to Ben as Smokey and then as Ben’s daughter, Alex, in order to threaten Ben and scare him/manipulate him into doing whatever he wanted him to do, which ultimately was to kill Jacob. For some reason, he could not kill Jacob himself, but Ben was his loophole.

The fake Locke (Jacob’s Nemesis) has been manipulating the characters ever since they arrived on the island and even revealed how he “looked inside” Locke when he first arrived to discover what kind of person he truly was. He is the ultimate con man and has displayed little to no faith in humanity. The real battle between good and evil has just begun and I believe it’s up to our LOST heroes to band together and prove that humanity and free will is something worth fighting for.

That’s not going to be easy. Our characters have learned a great deal about themselves over five seasons and most have redeemed themselves in some way or another, but with Juliet’s death you can see some people slipping back into their old mindsets. Not that I can blame Sawyer for being upset, but he spent 20 years trying to avenge the death of his parents and, in the long run, killing the real Sawyer did not make him feel any better. Blaming Jack and hating him for everything that happened could be his downfall. It’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds.

I love Hurley taking charge and it’s pretty obvious that the temple will play a major role in this finale season. I think we can assume that the note in the Ankh from the guitar case was a list of names that Jacob put on a list and the names included Jack, Hugo, Kate, Sayid, Miles, James (Sawyer) Ford, and Jin (maybe others).

Juliet’s final important words as spoken by Miles after she was dead were, “It worked.” What worked? I think we can assume the “reset”, but how are the people living the island timeline supposed to know and/or believe that?

The ash we briefly saw surrounding Jacob’s cabin in Season 3, in the Season 5 finale, and now again in the premiere is definitely something useful against the “Nemesis”. I wish someone would give him a name so he’s easier to identify, but Nemesis will have to do for now. Anyway, the fact that “The Others” outlined the temple with ash to protect them was a good move after the way Smokey killed Bram and the others in Tawaret’s foot.

Sayid is dead. Wait…he’s not dead. The water in the temple’s “healing pool” wasn’t clear anymore so I don’t think that saved him. Who knows? This one was a severe mind fuck for me, but I’m glad he’s alive.

Great to see Cindy Chandler (the Oceanic stewardess) and Zach and Emma (the kids from the tail section) alive and well, but why can’t the Mr. Myagi looking dude and the other “Others” fill us in on what the heck is going on? It should be pretty damn obvious that Hurley and crew are “good” based on the message that Hurley delivered. That was the most frustrating thing about tonight for me. Share information people!

What did the Nemesis mean when he said he wanted to go home? Is his home the temple or is it off the island? And why did he have to kick Richard Alpert’s ass after saying it was nice to see him out of his chains? I need answers.

Notes from Onboard Oceanic Flight 815 and in LAX

For the most part, the characters seem to have retained their same back stories, but there are some slight and BIG differences too:

– Charlie trying to kill himself was a twist, but loved it when he said, “I was supposed to die.”
– Hurley is apparently the “luckiest guy in the world.” That’s actually a HUGE discrepancy from what he believed before.
– Shannon wasn’t on board, but Boone was. Interesting.
– Jack didn’t joke with Cindy that she was breaking FDA regulations when she handed him the additional alcohol. It could have still happened and was just edited differently. What’s the deal with Jack’s neck bleeding?
– Desmond being on the plane was the biggest on plane WTF moment for me.
– Love the way they inserted Arzt and Neil Frogurt into the action and how they used Greg Grunberg’s voice for the original character he played in the pilot back in 1994 (Captain Seth Norris), who was eaten by the monster.
– Claire must have been on the flight because there she was in the cab that Kate commandeered after escaping. You’d think the Marshall would have gotten smart by now. I wonder if Claire is pregnant. She must be, but why would the psychic still have sent her on the plane if it was NOT going to crash.
– Jin is in trouble (with the money) and back to his pre-crash douche-bag ways with Sun.
– No sign of Michael and Walt though it’d be tough to show Walt now since he’s 17 years old in real life. No Mr. Eko, Libby or Ana Lucia either.
– Locke is still crippled and Christian Shephard is still dead, so that didn’t change.

The conversation between Locke and Jack in the lost “baggage” area was surreal. As “pathetic” as Locke’s life has been portrayed and said to be by the “Nemesis”, he still displayed the gentle qualities of the spiritual man we all grew to love back in Season One.

Assuming they keep both timelines going for a while, it’d be cool to see if Jack “fixes” Locke’s paralysis. After all, “nothing is irreversible.”

Next week: “What Kate Does”

22 Responses to LOST and the Dual Timelines (Nothing Is Irreversible)

  1. Kat says:

    But wait… technically, Desmond really WASN’T on the plane, right? Jack had looked for Desmond when the plane landed, and Desmond was no longer there…

    And Shannon is the sister, right? The one to be saved from a bad relationship? That is a HUGE point, her NOT being on the plane, due to the fact that, initially, she was one of the crash survivors…

    As usual, great blog.

  2. cjblost says:

    I don’t believe the big differences (like Desmond on the plane) or the small differences (like Jack only getting one bottle of Vodka and spilling it) were unintentional. I completely believe that the changes we’re seeing were done that way on purpose. So, I don’t know beyond a doubt that Desmond was on the plane, but if the island is underwater, then it stands to reason that he couldn’t be pushing a button in The Swan. He only sat next to Jack due to the fact that person sitting next to him in his real seat was snoring.

    BTW – Calm Rose vs. Nervous Jack was a complete reversal from the pilot episode as well. Again, I believe it is intentional, but I do not know why. haha

  3. MickieMom says:

    All I can say is Hmmmm??? I am now more confused than ever!!!

  4. Elaine says:

    I believe Jacob has been reborn in Sayid’s body. That is why Jacob instructed Hurley to take Sayid to the temple. He knew that his people there would know what to do. Also, that is why they had to hold Sayid under the water untill he died so that Jacob could be reborn in him.

  5. CK says:

    I was talking about this with my brother last night…we think that Sayid is Jacob. If Sayid was truly dead, then Miles would have been able to “communicate” with him and it didn’t seem like he was able to do that.

    Not knowing the real name of Jacob’s nemesis is killing me.

  6. Michele says:

    But, I think Miles DID communicate with Sayid. There was a scene where Miles was staring at Sayid and had a brief startled look and tilted his head (from what I can remember). I thought right away that he got a message from Sayid…my initial thought is that he heard “it worked.”

  7. CK says:

    I think I have to watch it again. The first pass for me was that it looked like Miles was confused…either because the message didn’t make sense, or that there was no message. This show drives me crazy, but I love it.

  8. Josh says:

    what about locke?… he said that he went on his walkabout… was that just what he was telling people or did he really end up going?

  9. j. bond says:

    I thought Faraday’s idea would change things…or that they just wouldn’t. I didn’t imagine that BOTH would happen. I’m psyched to see them wrap THAT one up!

    “Not that I can blame Sawyer for being upset, but he spent 20 years trying to avenge the death of his parents and, in the long run, killing the real Sawyer did not make him feel any better. Blaming Jack and hating him for everything that happened could be his downfall. It’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds.”

    Reading you say this just made it clear to me that Sawyer HAS changed. He told Kate in last night’s episode that he ‘ain’t gonna kill him’..that it’d be a greater punishment to let Jack live with what he ‘done’. The old Sawyer would have probably made this his new lot on life…to kill jack. This new James is willing to let things go…….to let Jack pay his own penance.

    The Japanese actor in immediate charge of the temple was in Tom Cruise’s ‘The Last Samurai’ and is a pretty moving actor…I expect great things from him this season if he lives passed episode 2.

    A side note…when they showed that whole CGI island under water scene, (which I loved even though people will complain how CGI it looked like they did with last season’s submarine…’cause they don’t remember what special effects like that would have looked like 20 years ago on TV) …I kept yelling at the screen ‘Mer-people!…’Mer-men!’. I know they won’t….but if they somehow find a way to get Mer-people crammed into this show before it’s over…Let’s just say…I wouldn’t be dead set against it!

    Great job again as always, CB. I’ll send you some more of my thoughts once I rewatch again tonight or tomorrow. There was soooo much to take in…and I was excited about each and every moment of it!

  10. cjblost says:

    Jacob in Sayid’s body? We discussed briefly last night and anything’s possible, but I just don’t feel like they’ll go that way. I think the healing pool probably worked, but just took its sweet-ass time. I definitely think Miles communicated with Sayid while he was dead, but not sure what he could have heard.

    Everyone else seems to be calling Jacob’s Nemesis the Man in Black or MIB for short, but I don’t like that because he’s currently taking the form of Locke who isn’t in black. Maybe we’ll get a name soon.

    As far as Locke and the walkabout goes, I think he was probably lying to Boone, but who knows. It seems that anything is possible in the Alt-universe right now. People are calling it a Flash-Sideways instead of forward or back, but technically that’s not accurate because the Alt-LOST is taking place in 2004 while the current island timeline is 2007 or 2008.

    Anyone have any theories on Jack’s bleeding neck?

    And BTW – saw this from an ABC commenter. He now calls Smokey the Locke-ness Monster. haha

  11. j. bond says:

    “Everyone else seems to be calling Jacob’s Nemesis the Man in Black or MIB for short, but I don’t like that because he’s currently taking the form of Locke who isn’t in black. Maybe we’ll get a name soon.”

    I’m hanging on to the idea that his actual name hasn’t been revealed because it’s gonna be an ultra-cool surprise when we hear who…or what.. he really is.

    “Anyone have any theories on Jack’s bleeding neck?”

    This is a leap…..but, oh please let Jack’s injury be a foreshadowing that the characters involved in the 1977 ‘Incident’now have alternate realities in this ‘none plane crash’ universe BUT might feel some of the effects of being in 1977…and remember some things they’ve learned along the way. I don’t think I can sit through these misfits going down the same paths of personal destruction again after all they’ve learned about themselves. (does that make sense to you, Chris?)

  12. Al Straaik says:

    Great blog as always, if it wasn’t filled with strange twists & confusion then it would not be LOST. I can hardly wait until next weeks show & blog.

  13. cjblost says:

    Makes a bit of sense Jeff and I did consider that, BUT if this is a completely alternate timeline then there should be absolutely no continuity from their time on the island to the time back on the plane. basically, they NEVER went to the island because it blew up and submerged back in 1977.

    By that rationale, the only continuous storyline (timeline) for them is what we’re seeing happening on the island. Of course Juliet saying, “It worked” blows a hole in that line of thinking doesn’t it.

    Bottom line…we need more information. haha

  14. jamie Weston says:

    I like to think we will still see Walt, since we know he was “special”. But all along they said everyone had to come back, yet Aaron didn’t come back.
    I think the reason we saw Desmond is because he is the constant, but remember when Daniel said that the survivors are the variables? Maybe it worked and because Aaron isn’t on the plane, that is what changed the current flight. Or maybe Claire wasn’t on the same flight and had already given Aaron away?

  15. Tom Greeley says:

    Hey Coach,

    Good shit on the blog. The doppleganger past with Jack and the others minus a few key people, Shannon being one of them, on the plane was quite the mind F. I agree with some of the past posters believing that the characters will retain some sort of memory or recollection from there time on the island. I was intrigued by the reversal of attitudes with Jack and Rose.

    I propose we call Jacob’s nemesis either Esau to stay with the biblical images and allusions the show has had in it’s past or call him what he actually is and that is “The Shape Shifter”. The idea of shape shifters has been prevalent in cultures all the way back to the egyptians which as we all know the statue was of one the egyptian gods,Taweret which might tie the whole egyptian statue on the island together with acient egyptian beliefs.

    I am extremely excited to see how these two parallel story lines are going to run out and which one is in actual reality and which is not. Don’t forget that many people proposed that the island was actually purgatory. Would hate to find out that is where the future storyline is taking place!

    I believe the shape shifter was referring to the temple when he stated he wanted to go home that was why when Hurley said Jacob was dead the temple-others started taking up battle positions! Awaiting his arrival and hopefully keep the temple in the hands of “good”

  16. cjblost says:

    Nice Tom! I especially like the Egyptian information.

    I think we can safely rule out purgatory since the executive producers ruled that out during Season 1, but i also read something today where they said that it would be a mistake to call either timeline an alternate reality because that would imply that one of them wasn’t real and in fact they are parallel.

    The question to ask is will they eventually cross each other and what else did detonating the bomb affect in their lives prior to getting on the plane. We’ve already seen some differences…the biggest being Desmond on the plane and Shannon off, but there have been hints at others, such as Hurley’s good luck AND this video released at Comic-Con last summer…

    You’ll recall that Kate killed her stepfather at home in the flashbacks we previously saw. This new timeline shows that she killed her stepfather’s apprentice at his place of employment.

  17. Michele says:

    When the man in black, aka shape shifter, aka john locke possessor told Ben he wanted to go home, he said that was how he was UNlike Locke…Locke wanted to stay on the island. So, I’m not so sure the temple is home for him.

  18. Lauren says:

    Ok, I’ve taken in all the comments and think everyone made some great points. My 2 cents regarding the Lost premiere (that hasn’t already been mentioned):
    1) as the episode went on, I noticed how things started to take a turn for the worse on the plane (alternative reality #1). It starts out with things seeming calm and “the way they are supposed to be” BUT all of a sudden, things turn to shit (again). I think there is a lot to be said about that. I was thinking it was as if (sorry to be cliche) you can’t fight fate. Between Jin getting in trouble, Kate now on the run (with Claire), Jack’s father is missing, John’s luggage (ok, we’ve all been there!), Charlie all coked up (what was that in his throat, btw??)…I think we will start seeing more and more of their lives in the alternate reality turning to shit. (still waiting on Hugo and Sawyer) It’s almost as if they were never meant to be happy with their “normal” lives and would have been better off on the island all along.
    2) Did anyone notice the comment that Boone made to Locke about “you’re pulling my leg” and Locke responding “yeah, I’m pulling your leg” (or something like that). Ironic since isn’t that how Boone died? If I rememeber right, it had something to do with his legs.
    3) Are they going to bring back Ana Lucia, Libby or Mr. Ecko??? No mention of them at all. I guess Michelle Rodriguez is big-time now being in Avatar and all….
    4) Amazing how Ben went from being the leader and so intimidating to being scared and easily manipulated. I’m not sure if I liked him better that way or now, cuz he kinda deserves this. Remember, he let his own daughter die.
    5) I agree with whoever thought the Samuri guy reminded them of Mr. Myogi. I LOVED how he was cutting the Bonsai trees. I was waiting for him to say “wax on, wax off” or “Hugoson..”
    6) The big guy on the plane who made Hurley imitate his commercial…where have I seen him before?? Teen Wolf or something??
    7) What the hell was Kate doing in a tree at the beginning of the episode? Everyone else was on the ground.
    8) Just a thought…will what happened to Charlotte happen to anyone else on the island since they keep moving through time? Jin mentioned something about how he felt the same way before when they time travelled. And I wonder what year they are in now? Are they in 2004? 2007? Hope no one starts getting headaches…

    Sorry that Juliette died but glad to see Sayid lived. (though who knows who will be popping back up later on) Prediction: Juliette will be seen back in LA or Alternative reality # 1 at some point.
    The great thing about this show is that tiny pieces of the puzzle are solved each week, which has us coming back for more. What are we all going to do when the show is finally over???

  19. Kat says:

    I agree with Lauren; Juliet will absolutely turn up in the alternate timeline…
    We know that the characters are all somehow linked and must inevitably connect with each other in LA if they haven’t already- Kate connecting with Claire in the cab, Jack connecting with Locke in the airport…

    Whether it’s on the island as crash survivors or in the Alternative Reality, they are all destined to be connected.

    When is the very last episode airing???

  20. Glenn says:

    Last episode: May 23rd — a Sunday night.

    I LOVED LOVED LOVED this season opener! It far exceeded my hopes.

    A few comments:

    I love the dual-reality/parallel universe storyline. I feel like we’re getting twice the story for our money here! Like most people, I figured we would get only one of the two apparently possible outcomes to the detonation. And what an awesome surprise — without having to watch any extra commercials, we get to see BOTH stories! It couldn’t get any better, in my mind. And oh the fun we now get to have of trying to guess how the two threads will intersect!

    The biggest questions in my mind after watching:

    -Speaking of parallel realities… We’ve already had a very specific example of what that might look like — DESMOND, and his dual-existence in two realities! I bet you that that is the direction they will take this. The Losties will all begin to exist in both realities! Little by little, increasingly, the two realities will intersect, and they will each be aware of the other, just like Desmond was.

    -Can’t help but wonder if it is possible that Jacob has been orchestrating everything, including his own death? Also, is there any chance that Ben is actually following along with Jacob’s plan in all this?

    -Was the ash circle around the Cabin keeping Nemesis/Esau IN?

    Or OUT? Very important question. Also, when did the ash circle become broken (which would tell us a lot.)

    -Do Jacob & Esau/Nemesis both have the capacity to appear as a

    smoke monster, and also inhabit others’ dead bodies? I’m

    starting to believe that the early Christian sightings were

    actually Jacob, helping Jack. And the later ones (beginning

    with Christian’s appearance to Claire and then to John in the

    cabin) are Esau/Nemesis — with the express intention of

    manipulating John to get a body so he could find his loophole.

    But again, the question of when the ash was broken would give

    us a big clue about this.

    -And of course, where the hell is “home” for Nemesis/Esau?

    And a few thoughts:
    I would bet that we’ll see Juliet in LA – X Alternareality — most likely having a coffee with Sawyer and offering to go Dutch.

    This one is a little farther out, but: Will Jack heal John and somehow Locke will return to play a pivotal role in confronting Nemesis/Esau, thus earning his redemption in the process?

  21. cjblost says:

    Love the comments. I have a couple of new things to say and want to answer some questions that others may not have answered yet. sorry if i’m repeating…

    – it was a bag of heroin in Charlie’s throat
    – Boone saying, “you’re pulling my leg” to Locke was an ironic statement since Locke is paralyzed and Jack almost amputated Boone’s leg in an effort to save him during Season 1.
    – Ana Lucia, Eko, Libby, and others are all expected to make appearances this season. Haven’t heard anything about Walt.
    – It is somewhat possible that Kate was in the tree because it grew underneath where she was in 1977 and was full grown in 2007, but that seemed like a pretty big tree.
    – I don’t think the time travel temporal displacement sickness that eventually killed Charlotte will effect anyone else because they are not skipping through time. they just moved ahead once…30 years. AND they are definitely in same time (2007) with the statue folks because they saw the flare signal from the temple.
    – it seems like a pretty safe guess that we’ll see Sawyer and Juliet together in timeline X. probably going dutch for a cup of coffee
    – i don’t believe Ben is following some master plan orchestrated by Jacob. i believe Ben was manipulated like he manipulates everyone else.
    – i think it is VERY possible that the line of ash surrounding the cabin was actually keeping the Nemesis in, but it isn’t clear when the line was broken.
    – i do NOT believe that Jacob can change shape like Nemesis, but I’m not basing this on much more than a gut feeling.
    – i do not believe that Jacob is now in Sayid’s body. I agree that it’s a possibility, but most people seem to be guessing this because Nemesis is inhabiting Locke’s body, HOWEVER this is NOT true. Locke’s body is lying on the beach near the statue’s foot. Nemesis only takes Locke’s form AND retains his memories.
    – remember back when Smokey flashed (took mental images of) Eko’s past. i believe he was downloading Eko’s memories and was considering him as a possible candidate for the role he used Locke for. when Eko became stubborn, Smokey killed him. Locke has always been “amenable for coercion (manipulation)”

    Finally, a somewhat new thought. I’ve seen plenty of people comment about how Desmond is on Flight 815 in timeline X and speculate as to what his life might be like since he never went to the island in that timeline…perhaps he has a great life and Papa Widmore considers him an awesome son-in-law, HOWEVER, I haven’t seen anyone speculate about what’s happening with Desmond in the timeline we left him in. I don’t think that we should dismiss the fact that Desmond, Penny, and their son Charlie are all still in the hospital where Desmond is recovering from the Ben-inflicted gun shot wound. there were no mention of off-island happenings in the premiere, so as far as we know, everything off-island is exactly as we last saw it in 2007. Des is in the hospital, Aaron is with Claire’s mom, and Ji_Yeon is with Sun’s mother. Charles Widmore and Eloise Hawking are still wandering around as well. And yes, Walt too, though I think the actor’s real-life age will prohibit him from being on the show anymore. anyway, the point is that there are now two different off-island timelines and two on-island timelines. we have seen the other on-island timeline though…it’s underwater!

    Please remember that not all of what I say is based on facts from the show. most of it is, but a great deal of it is my opinions and interpretations of events.

  22. josh says:

    Also did anyone else notice that Rose wasn’t wearing Bernard’s ring on her necklace… She said she always carried it on her necklace when they flew…

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