Friday, February 05, 2010

The Island Go Boom?

Well, that original post of mine is up to nearly 400 comments already (?!) and even I’m finding it hard to keep up, but I’m so glad I did because you guys are amazing. I’ve watched the episode one more time since then and found a bunch of new things, but by the time I catch up on comments you guys have them, too.

I’ve written up a long post and was going to post it all at once, but people are exhausted trying to make it through all the comments on the original post, so I’ve decided to break it up into sections. That way it’ll be a little more focused and you can comment on each post rather than having to slog through comments on various aspects of the same post. I'll time them to go live about an hour apart. If you wanted to discuss a certain aspect of the premiere that I've missed, let me know and I'll put a post for it, too.

So let’s start:

The key scene of the opening of the episode is the island underwater. I think what we’re to make of this is that on the new 2004 flight, the bomb really went off in 1977, and it caused the island to sink. What does that mean? Well… not only is the island gone, but any influence that island had on everyone’s life is gone. That suggests the island – or people ON the island like Ben, or Richard, or Jacob, or Widmore – really has been controlling their lives for, well, most of their lives.

Locke is still paralyzed, but maybe he wasn’t paralyzed by his father; it could have been another way. He doesn’t actually say when Jack asks him. Hurley hasn’t been cursed by the numbers, because they were never broadcast off the island, meaning Sam Toomey couldn’t hear them, meaning he couldn’t give them to Leonard, who never would have repeated them to Hurley. YET Hurley still won the lottery. Did he use those numbers or different ones?

But let’s think of the island itself for a second. Juliet hits the bomb, and when it goes off, she, Jack, Hurley, Miles, Kate, Sayid, Sawyer, and their VW van are suddenly sent to 2007. But did anyone else come with them? If not, then when the island sank, think of who it took with it: Richard Alpert, Charles Widmore, Eloise Hawking (and the unborn Daniel Faraday!), BEN LINUS, all of the Others, the Dharma Iniatiative, EVERYONE. Did Alpert know this was going to happen? Did he conk Eloise over the head at the end of last season and immediately take her off the island somehow to keep her safe?

What are the implications of the island sinking in 1977?

31 comments:

Robert said...

At least for now, the implication is that despite the absence of the island, these characters were bound to meet because it was their destiny.

What's interesting is that Kate seems to have triggered the first of probably many events that could lead to a big blowout. Geez, maybe the island is just an asylum for crazy people who is cursed by crazy karma.

SonshineMusic said...

Oh. My. Werd. I never considered that BEN would have sunk with the Island too. I don't think I can handle an alternate universe without Ben.

redeem147 said...

I think it's interesting that the six who got off the Island before in the other reality are all in LA now - including, I'm assuming, baby Aaron, in utero.

Joan Crawford said...

Yes! I think that is why Ricardos HotPants (it's his actual name, look it up) knocked out HELLoise. To save little Fetus Faraday.

PSE said...

(Long-time reader; first time commenter.)

Nik, I'm having a little trouble with your timeline assessment. Didn't Eloise shoot Daniel in 1977, prior to the big boom? (Then Jack and crew picked up the project of setting off Jughead.)

So how are you figuring that with island sunk, Daniel was never born? I guess I need a Hurley/Miles discussion of time travel to help me understand!

Benny said...

Nikki, maybe Sam did hear the numbers before the explosion and gave them to Hurley. But since the island no longer 'exists' then Hurley's bad luck was also nullififed.

Or he luckily used those numbers or different numbers. Hmmmm, I want to see his lottery ticket now.

tngdiablo said...

I haven't read the comments on the original post, but did anyone catch part of the ankh next to Four-Toed Foot? Was the statue intact in 1977 (most likely not)? If it was, where is the rest of the statue? If it wasn't, how did the ankh magically appear next to the foot? And where is the rest of it?

Benny said...

Nikki, I think your reference in the previous post to Hugh Everett is quite on the mark, but with modifications needed to be made (Lost would never take everything at face value). It further includes work by David Deutsch.

...and @PSE, this might help as well.

Everett and Deutsch allow for time travel to happen but only because you arrive in a separate universe than the one you left, therefore avoiding causality paradoxes.

What we see in here though is that Sun and Frank are on the island in the 2007 we know and have a picture of the others in 1977 Dharma - suggesting the same timeline/universe.

If we remember the Daniel analogy of the river stream, throwing pebbles will not alter the flow but dropping a boulder in will. I believe that we can include this analogy in the 'relative state' interpretation of Everett and Deutsch.

One can travel back in time in their own universe and interact, as long as they don't attempt to break causality. This is analogous to trhowing pebbles in the river. If one attempts to change the past significantly, the boulder/h-bomb, this will cause a branching of the universe at that point; one universe where the event does not occur (i.e. self consistency) and one where it does.

In that sense, the multiple universe aspect only comes into effect when causality is threatened. In that sense, the universe is sending energy through a quantum barrier, thus creating a different universe. (as alluded by Blam I believe? in the original posts).


More on Everett, Deutsch (and DeWitt) can be read in David Toomey's The New Time Travelers, Ch. 10 specifically.

PSE said...

Never mind previous post-- thought about it more and figured out why Daniel was never born.

However, I'm assuming that even with time moving sideways, someone in Ann Arbor is still trying to work on time travel projects... and is having a lot of trouble because the Widmore funding ended.

MarcG said...

My issue with all of this is the island sinking. I'm not convinced the bomb itself would have been sufficient to sink an entire island - especially sat the depth we seemed to be and nothing appeared to be showing above the surface. The elevations on the island were quite different in places, but the seafloor seemed to be quite flat. And I find it hard to believe that structures like the Otherton houses would still be relatively intact. And the swing set? :-) Hey, I know it's all fiction, just pointing things out.

Benny said...

@tngdiablo: this was asked in the other post, and it's an interesting question. Here are my thoughts as posted in reply to the same question.

@Orber: the ankh is there, no vision. But this is the new storyline being told. What we must understand is that, as far as we know, the statue may have been intact in 1977.

If that is the 'critical time' when the two histories diverge, one could think that the entire statue sunk with the island when the bomb detonated, hence the presence of the ankh on this submerged island.

As for why the statue is not there in our original storyline, one could hypothesize that the disruptions incurred from the incident caused the statue to lose integrity and crumble, leaving only a single left foot standing.


To which the reply from Orber was.

@Benny: "If that is the 'critical time' when the two histories diverge, one could think that the entire statue sunk with the island when the bomb detonated, hence the presence of the ankh on this submerged island."

I agree on this point, unless its proven later that the statue is not intact in 1977, then i would go back to being suspicious.

@Benny: "As for why the statue is not there in our original storyline, one could hypothesize that the disruptions incurred from the incident caused the statue to lose integrity and crumble, leaving only a single left foot standing."

okaaaaaay..... but where are the remains if it crumbled down? why would jacob still be living in the foot after its broken?


This all rest on the statue being in its entirety in 1977. It would be nice to find out what the history of 1977-2004 is in teh new storyline we're being shown.

Erin said...

I definitely think that Richard got Eloise the hell out of there. He was very concerned for her well-being (enough to clock her on the head)... Ben had a way out through his house, didn't he? He had that hidden closet, and all those passports etc. I'm not sure whose house it was in '77, but you'd think Richard would know about the secret passage.

We didn't see where Widmore went after Eloise decided to help Jack and co, did we? I wonder if he'd have escaped somehow too?

I also wondered how far off-island the sub got after Sawyer, Kate and Juliet demanded to be let off. It had baby Miles aboard, and little Charlotte, no?

Susan said...

Benny: "Maybe Sam did hear the numbers before the explosion and gave them to Hurley. But since the island no longer 'exists' then Hurley's bad luck was also nullififed."

Excellent idea, I never even thought of it!

The Question Mark said...

@Benny: I am in agreeance, good sir. We need to see the middle road, i.e. 1977-2007, to understand what could've possibly happened after Jughead's detonation.

I theorized a day or two ago that it could be possible that the scenes of the plane landing safely are actually in the SAME universe as the scenes of Juliet dying/Sayid being "un-baptised", and that the 2004 Los Angeles Losties will eventually catch up (story-wise) to the 2007 "If Juliet dies, I'll kill Jack" Losties.
This would mean that Season 6 is going to one ginormous course-correction, courtesy pof the Universe.
But then i remembered that the Island was still underwater in 2004, so now I'm stumped again! brain explosion!

Oh, and if anybody is a Futurama fan out there, check out the episode titled "The Farnsworth Parabox". It reminds me so much of what Season 6 has shown us so far, and who knows, maybe there's something in there that could give us some insight!

Glenn815etc said...

When the Bomb went off it created a rupture in the Time and Spatial Continuom causing two separate realities , both valid, to emerge.Now the physics of the Time and Spatial Continuaom are desperately trying to right itself, much as your brain would try to do after a severe concussion. Since we have been repatedly shown the reality of Historical Inevitability, we can see the Babysteps beginning (The wound on the Marshal's forehead, Charley's "I was supposed to DIE")
I predict it will take 15 weeks for Time and Space to correct itself and the two timelines to converge into one,

The Question Mark said...

@Nikki: from the looks of the picket fence in the snapshot you used for this blog post, it looks like jughead may have done some catastrophic damage to the Island, although that swing set must be made of tougher stuff than a Halliburton case. (Hallbiurton: impact velocity, my ass! We've got the toughest cases around!)
But I'm not wholly convinced (yet) that Jughead is the cause of the Island being underwater.
MAYBE...
Richard Alpert or someone else knew exactly when Jughead would go off, so at the last instant, they turned the donkey wheel, moving the island beneath the waves and protecting most of it from the explosion.

ckb said...

Nikki--new commenter here. Love all your books and the blog has no peer! I have learned so much from you all.

I'm on the fence about the cause of the "alternate" timeline. Was it really Jughead's detonation, and are we looking at a 2004 reset? Or could the cause be something we've yet to see, something that happens in the main timeline? And what might that mean for the date of the reset--could the reset be, from a storytelling standpoint, as much a flashforward as a flashsideways? Jugehead's history and science have always bugged me a little (e.g. nothing that small had been weaponized in 1954) so I'm kinda pulling for the latter--it would make for a most awesome snake in the mailbox moment.

Blam said...

I think what we’re to make of this is that on the new 2004 flight, the bomb really went off in 1977, and it caused the island to sink.
The crucial thing to keep in mind here is that the H-bomb, in combination with the energy of the EM lode, sank the Island in the Universe Next Door.
As I said in the recap thread: Either Jacob (or the Island itself) actively protected the timeline we know from the brunt of the blast, while also recalling the necessary players to 2007, or the Space-Time Continuum itself did so to prevent paradox, like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object [well, or one other thing; see below]. Had the blast actually sunk the Island in the 1977 we'd been witnessing, rewriting history from that point onward, then the castaways would never have traveled to the Island and ended up back in 1977 to detonate the bomb, meaning that history wouldn't have been rewritten, in a does-not-compute Catch-22.
There's also the possibility that the alternate timeline was created shortly before the blast, at the moment that the sheer force of will of the castaways in 1977 hit critical mass and broke free of destiny or course correction, so that if Jacob hadn't brought them back to the original timeline's 2007 at the moment the bomb went off in the Universe Next Door, the castaways from the Original Universe would've been atomized or resting in pieces underwater Next Door, their counterparts there never the wiser that versions of themselves had died decades ago on some mysterious Island they're flying over.

Joan Crawford said...

^ Aw, that last line is kinda sad :(

Something is going to happen any day here now with The Universe Next Door. Jack *almost* already remembers it - he just needs a knock on the head. Hmm, or a kick to the chest. Then their "awarenesses" (not a word in this universe) will meld into one. Like at the end of the Dark Crystal!

Jack said...

But in 2009, or the present timeline (Season 5), when Sun asks Richard if he knew her friends in 1977. He said he saw them all die. I wonder where this fits in???

Nikki Stafford said...

PSE: Eloise shot Daniel, but she's simultaneously pregnant with him at the same time (Widmore puts his hand on her belly and refers to her "condition" right before she goes with Richard, and then she mentions that she's pregnant). So if she dies, then he can never actually be born.

Nikki Stafford said...

Jack: But in 2009, or the present timeline (Season 5), when Sun asks Richard if he knew her friends in 1977. He said he saw them all die. I wonder where this fits in???

I've been wondering that exact same thing. Great question!

Fred said...

From a sci-fi point of view, if the island is sunk, then so is humanity. Both Jacob and MiB were on the island performing some judgement task on humanity. Jacob brings humans there and sees what happens. After some time, MiB concludes it always ends the same, so too bad for humanity. But Jacob is always trying again, calling each trial progress. However as the island was sunk, it means the task MiB and Jacob were performing on the island is over. Since Jacob would never have given up on humanity, it seems MiB's view will prevail. The implication is that if MiB's dismal view of humanity prevails, then humanity will come to an end. In Biblical terms, a dark archangel will come along and smite humanity. In Sci-fi terms, probably a cosmic event (asteroid, quantum event, the Hadron collider, take your pick) will doom the earth.

The Leonard's said...

Fred: After some time, MiB concludes it always ends the same, so too bad for humanity. But Jacob is always trying again, calling each trial progress.


So then the LA X could mean ...
LA 10 for the 10th time or tenth experiment.

Just a thought.

Fred said...

@ The Leonard's: No, X refers to experimental, like in X-15 the experimental aircraft. So this is an experimental or alternate world from the real one (we inhabit). As in the latest Fringe, we get the name of the city as "Manhatan," not "Manhattan." The missing "t" tells us that this is a different Manhattan. So the X after LA indicates this is a different LA/world from the one we've been experiencing for 5 Seasons.

As for the island going boom, it was not in the X-world from a hydrogen bomb. A better explanation is that Radzinsky drilled into the pocket causing the Incident. However, the force of the hydrogen bomb in the first world went somewhere other than the initial world; it went into the X-world. Radzinsky's incident became far worse than he had anticipated. Hence, we do not need to appeal to the presence of Daniel or any of the other Losties on the island in X-world.

This idea of other worlds/many worlds hypothesis has been playing itself out in the past Seasons. We've all noticed changes in the background (pictures change, places don't seem the same etc.). The writers have prepared us as viewers for this very possibility of multiple worlds. So what happens when you realize the world you are in isn't the one you're supposed to be in? Does it collapse on its own once this realization is made?

Desmond's appearance may be like Ms Hawking in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." He may be the one to help Jack come to the realization he does not belong here in this world--as Daniel said to Jack in 1977, "you're not supposed to be here." Will we see Jack go through moments in his life, as we once saw Desmond, only to run up against events he thinks he has knowledge of, but from where he doesn't know? This is a likely plot line, and if Desmond is Jack's Ms Hawking, then Jack will meet up with Desmond at some crucial moment in his life.

bowlhed said...

LA 10? Hmm got me thinking that

Jack
Locke
Boone
Bernard
Rose
Sawyer
Kate
Hurley
Charlie
Clare

and Des as the wildcard? I'm sure I missed someone out though

bowlhed said...

Haha just realised I missed Sun and Jin off that list so that was all a load of cobblers!

E-Bohm said...

what evidence do you have that the bomb thrusted the island forward in time to 2007?? Maybe they are still in 1977, did I miss something?

Benny said...

@E-Bohm: When they wake up, they are at an imploded station as opposed to exploded.

But most importantly, when the Others learn of Jacob's death, they send the flares up, which are noticed by Richard who, as we know from last season, is in 2007 with Ben, Sun, Locke, and so on.

You're not the first one to think that though, it was not as obvious.

DharmaLady said...

So what about Ben? (no pun intended). Did he survive being shot only to drown? The Others do not appear to have a quick way to leave the island.

Dave56 said...

Maybe the 2004 timeline isn't an alternate timeline. If the white flash at the end of S5 wasn't jughead exploding but the flash that sends the characters through time, sending them to 2007. The 2007 timeline will end this season with them going back in time again and igniting the bomb - maybe even before Ben and his father came to the island. The 2004 story is what happens to the characters when the plane doesn't crash.