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Author Topic: Lost Season 4 thread - Spoilers Welcome
Elizabeth
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Speaking of things borrowed from other time travel stories, in Outlander, a person from the past sometimes dreams of people in the future, and appears as a ghost to people in the future. But, they are not dead, they are alive, just coming to visit from the past. Somehow.

Maybe Charlie and Michael are doing that.

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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by Fitz:
Has anyone else mentioned the "friend on board" comment which was made in relation to someone opening the door to the sickbay, thus allowing Desmond, Sayid and the communications officer to escape? I think this reinforces my guess made a couple weeks back that Michael is on board the boat, and is also Ben's contact.

I kind of assumed that the door was either opened by Frank or Ben's man on the boat. But why would Ben's man on the boat be helping the Losties escape and even worse, make a phone call to someone who is trying to find the island. I guess it could make a little more sense if Michael was Ben's man on the boat, but why the heck would Michael be helping Ben out. Seemed their relationship ended when Michael did what Ben asked, and Ben let him and Walt go.
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Strider
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Some stuff about this last episode and a throw away theory about the nature of flashbacks and the character connections.

Okay, so up until last night I had sort of been thinking about this past episode in the old standard events happening on the island with a flashback formula. And that the storm had caused Desmond to forget everything that's happened to him and travel back to his past. Hence my question earlier in this thread about what 1996 Desmond experienced. But talking with a friend last night he made the point that he thought it was interesting that this episode broke the flashback formula by sending Desmond's 1996 consciousness into the future and that it wasn't really a flashback OR a flashforward. And I realized he was right. I was looking at it all the wrong way because my head was stuck in the flashback formula. What happened was that 1996 Desmond's consciousness became unstuck in time and traveled to the future. Which is why Desmond doesn't know where he is or who anyone is. The consciousness that is in 2004 never experienced the last 8 years.

So given that, I have some questions. One of the reasons that i looked at it the other way around is because the event that causes it happens in desmond's future. For instance, with the experiment on the rat, Faraday exposes her to the radiation, sends her consciousness into the future, and then it comes back. But desmond gets exposed in 2004, and yet this somehow causes his 1996 consciousness to travel to the future. that doesn't make sense to me.

Also, if this is a Time Traveler's Wife type timeline and everything happens just once, it's all fate and there's no changing it, then the Desmond we're familiar with would have always known about going to the island right? His 1996 self experienced traveling to the future, learning he had been living on an island, and getting Penny's number so later when he's on that island he can call her. But the Desmond we know doesn't know all that. So what's going on? Can the timeline be changed? Is Faraday wrong? And yet, one of the reasons I assume Penny looked for Desmond so hard is because she *knows* that he's there and he's alive. So she always knew right? That event with Desmond getting her number *always* happened...

So all this thought about Desmond and time travel and flashbacks made me think about the nature of flashbacks on the show. We'd had conversations about this before, I think in last years thread when discussing the nomenclature of calling the season finale a "flashforward" or saying that future off island events were really "the present" and the island scenes was the "flashback"(in the end I had said it doesn't make any difference, it's all just events in time, and that our timeline had just widened). But I think a relatively important distinction to make when talking about the flashbacks is whether you think that flashbacks are just the shows' way of giving us backstory about these characters when it's appropriate to understanding their characters better, etc...or whether that characters is actually remembering those events in their lives during those episodes. I've gone back and forth about that myself.

Desmond's experiences would tend to bolster the latter interpretation. And the interaction of the black smoke/island with the characters would as well; jack seeing his dad, kate seeing the horse, hurley seeing his imaginary friend, Echo seeing his brother, etc...

So here's the thought that came to me. What if the reason all the characters have these really unlikely connections in their past, is because the Island has actually created all these connections. Which is not to say the past events didn't happen, but in a weird twist on cause and effect and the nature of time and whether it can be changed, these people all crash here and the island created these intertwining pasts for whatever reason.

I don't know that i buy that at all, but I thought it was worth sharing. It would certainly go a long way towards explaining what is a series of infinitely unlikely events and connections.

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Elizabeth
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Well, in the Time Traveler's Wife, he can change the future somewhat, or at least use the past, because they play the stock market with info he knows from his various travels.
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Strider
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but that's not *changing* the future. it's just using information from the future.

to change the future the events would have to transpire like this:

at point A he doesn't know about which stocks will rise. at point B he still doesn't know and doesn't invest. at point C in which he is not rich he finds out which stocks do well. travels back to before point B and informs himself of which stocks to invest in. invests in those at point B and by point C is now rich. this is like the back to the future theory of time travel in which there are now two different time lines.

the way the time traveler's wife explains it is the events ALWAYS transpired like this:

at point A doesn't know which stocks to invest in. before point B is told by his future self which stocks to invest in. invests in them at point B. at point C is rich and goes back to tell himself which stocks to invest in(this isn't how it happens in the book, just using it as an easy example).

the whole point of the time traveler's wife is that events in time can NEVER be changed. they happen once, in one way and that is all. the same way they do in your life. the addition of time travel does not change the nature of cause and effect or the timeline in any way. Kind of like when a future version of his teenage self tells an earlier version to ask out a girl that he's terrified of talking to. and says "trust me". well, he would never have asked her out in the first place if he had never told himself to. but he only tells himself to, because he told himself to, and it ends up working.

now again...this is just one theory of how time travel works, and isn't necessarily how Lost is doing it, though Faraday's comments would lead me to believe that HE at least believes that time works that way, whether he's right or not in the mythology of Lost is still up for debate.

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Elizabeth
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This is why I said "or at least uses the past."\

But really, it does affect the future, doesn't it, because if he did not know about the stocks in the past, he would not have acted on the knowledge in the present, and his future finances would be dim?

Asking, not being argumentative, because the whole thing makes me head spin.

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Strider
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it comes down to the difference between "affect" and "change". it obviously affects the future(maybe even effects the future! [Smile] ), but that doesn't mean the same thing as change the future. it's a question of free will/fate/determinism.

lets say you looked at your life, from birth to death, on a timeline that went from A to Z, after the fact. the sum of your life is contained within that time line. Something you do at point B affects the outcome of your life at point F, but not visa versa because of the direction time flows. you can't change the past. once something is done, it's done. now, assume you can time travel and tell yourself things at different points in your life. You're life still goes on a timeline from A to Z, but now things you do at B can affect yourself at F and things you do at M can affect yourself at C and so on. BUT that doesn't mean you can *change* something that's already happened. if your whole life, including time travel is laid out on this timeline, then it contains everything that happened. all the jumping around in time, all the advice from a future self to do or not do anything. and given that timeline as one complete entity, there's nothing you can do to change anything. it all happened that way.

you can't do something, then go back and warn yourself not to do it, because then you never would've done it and wouldn't have to go back to warn yourself not to do it. that would create alternate realities or timelines or whatever, and the theory espoused in TTTW was that those don't exist, things happen only once and only in one way.

does that make any more sense? I may not be explaining it very well.

edit-the point of using the timeline analogy was because if all the events that happened, happened on one time line, there's no room for change. changing things necessitates multiple timelines where different events occurred in different ways in different timelines. the theory in TTTW wife was that only one timeline exists and could ever exist. that the universe doesn't allow "changing things".

Lost has skirted around these issues from the beginning. Fate/destiny vs. free will. course correcting. we're not "supposed" to leave this island. you're not "supposed" to make that call. we weren't "supposed" to leave, we have to go back.

[ March 02, 2008, 07:44 PM: Message edited by: Strider ]

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Elizabeth
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Thanks, that makes sense.
That is how it is in Outlander, too. Claire is worried about one person dying, and then someone else not existing in the future. What they realize is that the thing they thought happened is not really how it happened, and that nothing changed except their perception of the event. (vagueness so as not to give spoilers)

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The Reader
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quote:
But desmond gets exposed in 2004, and yet this somehow causes his 1996 consciousness to travel to the future. that doesn't make sense to me.
Are you assuming that time flows in one direction? I think that because 1996 already happened, then it would be easier for Desmond to go backward to that time.

quote:
What if the reason all the characters have these really unlikely connections in their past, is because the Island has actually created all these connections. Which is not to say the past events didn't happen, but in a weird twist on cause and effect and the nature of time and whether it can be changed, these people all crash here and the island created these intertwining pasts for whatever reason.
I like the time theories you have, but I think that this has more to do with Mittelos/Hanso/DHARMA meddling.

When Sayid and Desmond were on the boat, there was a calender that showed that it was Christmas Eve 2004, and Desmond's call to Penny confirms that this isn't just a ploy. I have a question about this: How is it that the time on the island can be so screwy, and yet the same date is still maintained?

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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by The Reader:
quote:
But desmond gets exposed in 2004, and yet this somehow causes his 1996 consciousness to travel to the future. that doesn't make sense to me.
Are you assuming that time flows in one direction? I think that because 1996 already happened, then it would be easier for Desmond to go backward to that time.

yeah, but remember, that's not what happened. Desmond didn't go back to 1996. His 1996 consciousness was sent forward to 2004. hence why i'm curious as to how an event in 2004, causes himself in 1996 to be sent to 2004.

Your comment about time flowing in two directions is i guess still valid though. BUT then my question still stands about why 1997, 1998, 1999 Desmond and so on, doesn't remember the events that transpired in 1996(i.e.-him traveling to the future) and know all along that he's going to end up on the island.

quote:
I like the time theories you have, but I think that this has more to do with Mittelos/Hanso/DHARMA meddling.
that's what I had always originally assumed. But if that's the case, there still needs to be a good explanation for WHY those particular people are being meddled with. Why do they have all these random path crossings before they get to the island? My theory was an attempt to explain this as the connections were made after the fact. But again, I don't necessarily believe that theory myself, I'm just trying to think of ways to explain these connections and the recent playing with time in Lost has got my brain working.

quote:
When Sayid and Desmond were on the boat, there was a calender that showed that it was Christmas Eve 2004, and Desmond's call to Penny confirms that this isn't just a ploy. I have a question about this: How is it that the time on the island can be so screwy, and yet the same date is still maintained?
Because the call was made on the boat, outside of the range of the island's influence(which is two days behind the time on the boat).
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Strider
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quote:
My speculation is that in one of the coming few episodes Daniel will explain to us what "pushing the button" was all about, and that it will have something to do with keeping the island's time in sync with the outside world.
I think your theory is right on Tres. I think since the hatch exploded and Desmond turned the failsafe the island time has been getting more out of whack with real time.
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zgator
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If Desmond's consciousness from 1996 came forward in time to 2004, it seems like he would have periods of lucidity in 2004. Whenever his consciousness is, his other self goes catatonic. I can understand that for his 1996 self, but wouldn't his 2004 self regain control when his 1996 self went back?
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Strider
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It seemed like there were no periods of lucidity in either time. Each time he would jump to a particular time it seemed like he was jumping into an empty shell which had just been lying around since his last jump.

reasons pointing toward it being his 1996 consciousness that's doing the leaping:

he doesn't recognize anyone from the future
he doesn't know where he is or why he's there
he thinks the year is 1996 and is shocked to find out it's 2004
basically, he has no memory of events he should have experienced. one explanation is that his 2004 consciousness was sent back to 1996 but also wiped of all memories that happened after 1996. I think a more straightforward explanation is that we're watching 1996 Desmond jump around in time.

[ March 04, 2008, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: Strider ]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by The Reader:
[qb] Because the call was made on the boat, outside of the range of the island's influence(which is two days behind the time on the boat).

If you consider the easter egg Jack laid when he said "I can't believe its been 100 days since I've seen a game", you get a time difference between the island and the boat of 6 days (with the island being ahead 6 days. When the missile was sent to island, there was a time lag of 31 minutes between the boat and the island. The process which took only a few seconds in boat time took 31 minutes on the island. Then when Sayid and Desmond fly to the boat it takes ~ 2 days in island time, minutes in helicopter time and we have no idea how long in boat time.
Then add in the fact that the boat and the island are able to communicate by radio in real time.

In summary, the time shift between the island and the boat isn't constant but seems to be dependent on how matter and energy traverse between the island and the boat.

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zgator
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Exactly. What happened to his 2004 self? Once he found his constant, he was back to normal, but during the time he was unstuck, his 2004 self was just gone.
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Strider
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yeah, i have no idea "where" his 2004 self is during all this time!

Rabbit, are you sure about this 6 day difference?

oh, and in that snippet you quoted it should read 2 days ahead of the time on the boat. not behind.

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The Rabbit
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One more piece of possibly relevant data. Charlie's conversation with Penny occurs ~2-3 days island time prior to Desmond's conversation with Penny from the boat. At that point Penny was asking "what boat?". Then we find out that Penny was calling the boat prior to when the communication guy took off in the dingy for the island which was prior to when the team left for the island.

The bottom line is that we have no idea how long ago Penny received the call from Charlie.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:

Rabbit, are you sure about this 6 day difference?


From Sept 22 2004 (date of plane crash) to Dec. 24 2004 is 94 days. Assuming Jack's comment about "100 days since he'd a game" meant 100 days on the Island, you get 6 days.

As I mentioned the first time, it is far from certain that Jack's comment means 100 days on the Island. Maybe he hadn't seen a game since before he left for Australia -- nevertheless I think its unlikely that they threw in the comment about 100 days if it wasn't supposed to be a clue about the time shift between the Island and the rest of the world.

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Strider
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I assumed Penny's "calls" to the boat were of a similar nature to the call she placed to Charlie in the Looking Glass. She didn't have a phone number for the looking glass right? It was a particular frequency she was transmitting on.

I guess the question is, why was she transmitting on that frequency and who was she trying to reach? And were the "calls" that Minkowski talked about just her transmitting on that same frequency, and they were ordered to not pick it up, or where they calls of a difference nature? I assumed the former.

edit - and also, why was the looking glass station set at the same particular frequency Penny was transmitting on.

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Strider
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Given some of this new stuff we've talked about, and if you're most recent theory about time on the Island is correct Rabbit(i.e. - if it's not just getting exponentially out of whack, but is jumping around), I'd like to resurrect my theory about who Hurley saw in Jacob's cabin. Here's what I had said:

quote:
I assumed it was Locke as well. But if it isn't, could it have been Jack? And the scene happened in some sort of time warp(i.e.- the scene inside the cabin happens in an episode later in the season).
I think time warp is now suddenly looking very likely. Jack being in there would explain why Jacob appears to him as his father and why the face Hurley sees is kind of freaking out.

I really doubt Locke or Ben would ever look like that.

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The Rabbit
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It's definitely not Locke. The eye color was wrong (judging from frame grabs on the internet).

What color eyes does Ben have?

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The Rabbit
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It just occurred to me that at least 2 days passed on the Island between when the helicopter departed (Jack's 100 day comment) and when Desmond calls Penny on Christmas Eve. That would up the time shift to at least 8 days.
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Strider
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well, for it to be Ben the time warp theory still has to be correct. It has to be someone who would have been alone at that point in time. Doesn't really leave room for any of the Losties. It would have to be an Other(maybe Mikhail?), or a time warp type scenario.

I don't know what color eyes Ben has.

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Strider
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I checked on Lostpedia Rabbit, and their time line doesn't reflect this 6 day difference at all. You might want to submit it for discussion.
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The Rabbit
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Here's another odd thought. Daniel indicates that prior exposure to EM radiation was the cause of Desmond's "side effect when leaving the island.

So far all the Losties (except Aaron) who've made it off the Island weren't near the hatch when it blew. Jack, Kate and Hurley were prisoners of Ben et al. Sayid was on the sail boat. The others who weren't present near the hatch include Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Michael and Walt.

At this point it seems that ones location during the massive EM explosion may be the determining factor for who is able to leave the island. Aaron could be an exception because his age or the fact that he was born on the island.

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Strider
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But having side effects when leaving doesn't necessitate not being able to leave. Desmond fixes himself through the use of a constant. Anyone else having side effects upon leaving would also be able to use a constant to right themselves I'd think.

Also, I would argue that the only people exposed to the EM radiation were Desmond, Charlie, Echo and Locke. Half of which are dead now.

Though you're right in that anyone exposed to the radiation would have more problems leaving the Island than someone not.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
But having side effects when leaving doesn't necessitate not being able to leave. Desmond fixes himself through the use of a constant. Anyone else having side effects upon leaving would also be able to use a constant to right themselves I'd think.

Also, I would argue that the only people exposed to the EM radiation were Desmond, Charlie, Echo and Locke. Half of which are dead now.

I think everyone who heard the sound and saw the sky turn colors was exposed to some level of radiation. Radiation exposure typically decays as the square of the distance from the source so all those closer to the source would have gotten a higher dose than those farther from the source.

I think Desmond's ability to fix himself through use of a constant wouldn't be widely applicable since it would be very difficult for most people to find something that was both present on the rescue boat and in their pre-island time. Desmond is only able to do it because Penny is calling the boat in 2004 so he knows that she exists in both his past and his present. He makes this connection and is trying to find her in 1996 even before Daniel tells him he must find a constant.

[ March 04, 2008, 03:46 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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Strider
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good point.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Here's another odd thought. Daniel indicates that prior exposure to EM radiation was the cause of Desmond's "side effect when leaving the island.

So far all the Losties (except Aaron) who've made it off the Island weren't near the hatch when it blew. Jack, Kate and Hurley were prisoners of Ben et al. Sayid was on the sail boat. The others who weren't present near the hatch include Sawyer, Jin, Sun, Michael and Walt.

At this point it seems that ones location during the massive EM explosion may be the determining factor for who is able to leave the island. Aaron could be an exception because his age or the fact that he was born on the island.

Are you the one who posted that theory on DocArtz's site?
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The Rabbit
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No, I've never been to the DocArtz site.
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Lisa
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Great minds, I guess.
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Uprooted
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DocArzt.

Sorry, poor guy got blown up and he hated it when people said his name wrong, so I just have to speak up on his behalf. Even if it was intentional. ;-)

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Lisa
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Heh.
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Strider
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Why does Whidmore give Desmond Penny's address?

And why does he leave the water running?

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MightyCow
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Why does Whidmore give Desmond Penny's address?

And why does he leave the water running?

I think, "Because he's a D.B." answers both those questions.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
I think, "Because he's a D.B." answers both those questions.
Not really. Even D.B.'s generally have reasons for what they do even if decent people would not consider them good reasons.
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akhockey
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So. My parents think that Sayid is Ben's man on the boat, but I don't see how they got out of the locked room if it was Sayid. I've been thinking it was Michael for a while now, but when the announcer said it was someone "you never thought you'd see again" for some reason Patchy came to mind. He's escaped brain-melting-fields and harpoon guns, why not underwater grenade damage?

Ben is creepy. I used to think he was creepy in a rational way, but now he just seems creepy in a socially-maladjusted possessive way. Which is creepier.

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Shawshank
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I'm fairly certain the writers said that Mikhail finally died. It couldn't be Sayid.

And we know that Michael should be coming back. I'm pretty positive it's him or Walt.

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Strider
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I heard them say that Mikhail is definitely dead also. Though I was sad to hear that cause I totally thought he was still alive!

I guess I can buy the Michael talk. Ben got Sayid to work for him eventually through guilt and manipulation, he could've done the same thing with Michael. Though I also won't be surprised if it isn't Michael.

Who's the captain of the boat? Does Whidmore really want the island for the reasons Ben stated? What exactly was happening with that power station? Why was it about to release the gas right then? How did Charlotte and Dan know it was going to happen? When did Ben have a chance to set it off? And what was he going to do to protect himself? I'm worried that Juliet dies eventually.

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Shawshank
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I'm pretty sure that was when he killed off all the Dharma guys (including his dad) and he wore a gas mask.
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Strider
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?

was that in response to me?

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Bokonon
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I think they didn't "disable" the power plant/gas, so much as hack it so they have control, rather than Ben. There's appears to be some sort of power struggle over the island between Ben and his organization and Whidmore and his organization.

-Bok

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Strider
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yeah, that makes sense.
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Strider
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so what's the significance of the therapist showing up admit the whispers, and then disappearing along with them as well?

And who is the woman that Juliet looks just like?

Ben was awesome in this last episode. "see you guys at dinner!"

And Juliet's line about how stressful it is being an Other was brilliant.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
And who is the woman that Juliet looks just like?

It could be the girl he liked, but I think it's his mother.
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The Reader
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quote:
so what's the significance of the therapist showing up admit the whispers, and then disappearing along with them as well?
I think this is more evidence that the monster is pulling off acts like this. She just disappeared in a flurry of backward whispering, leaving Jack and Juliette confused.

As for Ben's man on the boat, it may be Sayid. In his flash forward, he was probably killing people involved with Charles Widmore. If Widmore's interest in the Island is interrupted by unfortunate deaths, Sayid's friends, the survivors, would be protected. The irony here is Ben is the good guy because he is preventing exploitation of the Island, which would also keep its inhabitants secret.

I'm not ruling out Michael being Ben's (other) man. He must have made a major deal with Ben in order to take Walt away, who Ben and the rest really wanted. It was probably an agreement for Michael to work for Ben off the Island, possibly another anti-Widmore deal, but not involving murder.

This may explain why Ben is off the island in the future. As long as Sayid and Michael keep up their work, Ben's people on the Island are safe. It's the off-island people who are in danger from Widmore, and Ben needs to stay close to them to keep them safe. Staying close means staying away from the effects of the island.

By finding Desmond, Penny may have doomed him because the location would have been revealed. She probably knows that her father is a man capable many things, but she doesn't have a clue about the island, as far as we know, so she doesn't know that her father is looking for it.

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MEC
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I'd be extremely surprised if the man on the boat was not Michael.

I'm not ready to buy Whidmore being bad right now.

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Lisa
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Juliet calling herself "an Other" was kind of funny.
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Strider
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I don't see how Ben's man on the boat can be Sayid. Ben said that before Sayid ever got there, and was given all the information about the people on the boat. It's just not possible for it to be Sayid.

I think a plausable explanation for Michael helping Ben(besides being manipulated through guilt for what he did), is that he is now a free man who can't reveal himself for who he is because he's supposed to be dead and there will be way to many questions to answer. He might be working for Ben simply in exchange for money and protection.

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akhockey
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I think that's the most likely scenario. I figure when Michael left one of two things happend. Either Ben gave him a fake bearing so that he would just get lost at sea. He wants the island kept secret and it makes zero sense for him to allow Michael to run back to Normal World and tell everyone about a mystery island. So either Michael is floating around lost at sea, or he gave Michael the bearing to the freighter, and told him off-camera that if he spies on them then everything will be hunky dory.

There seems to be so much importance put on bearings...Daniel telling the pilot that he has to make sure, regardless of what his eyes tell him, to follow the same exact bearing they came in on.

I think that Whidmore is trying to find the island, but I think Ben is making him look bad to Locke, because he knows the only reason Locke would help him is if Locke thought the island was in danger.

Do you think it's possible that Whidmore's boat is actually a different boat than Creepy Skeletal Guy's boat with his team of Faraday, CS Lewis, Naomi, and Miles? We haven't actually received direct confirmation that CSG is working for Whidmore, and it would be pretty typical of the writers to have us accidentally conflate the two boats into one.

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