Before I dive into this week’s rundown, I wanted to throw a shout out to frequent contributor Chris – a longtime friend – who along with his wife Melissa welcomed their first child, and son, Anthony to this Earth. Chris is already teaching Anthony about complex string theory and quantum physics in hopes that his son can help him follow all these time travel shenanigans on Lost.
Now that Chris is sleepless in Somerville (I’m not revealing his true whereabouts but that’s close enough), I’m sure he was hitting this site last night ’round midnight cursing me for not having the recap up sooner. Sorry dude – you’ll just have to make do with TNT’s constant airplay of the Patrick Swayze hillbillies vs. the mob flick, Next of Kin.
And now – on with the show.
1. It’s official. The trademark flashbacks are gone. As are the flash forwards of last season. Or, I guess, the whole show is now a flashback and flashforward depending upon your perspective. What we know is that the Jack Pack – including Desmond, Penny and Charlie the 3rd are in the Lost present (which is actually 2008) while Locke’s stock are on the island, 3 years prior, in 2005. We know this from Desmond’s episode last season – where on Christmas Eve 2004, he reached Penny from the evil freighter. Now, it may not be an exact 3 years later for Jack and company (give or take a few months) but the island activity is definitely occurring sometime around January or February 2005, as that picked up right after the island disappeared.
2. Of course, we know that Locke and compnay are technically in 2005 but are temporally, all over the map. ‘Jughead’ sent them back to 1952 – when the Others were facing off against another in a series of invaders – this time the US Government and their South Pacific H-Bomb testing. More in a moment.
3. First, we met a new Charlie in an episode brimming with them. That first scene, with Desmond present for Penny’s birth, introduced their son, Charlie, to the world. Now, I am pretty sure that Pen didn’t name the boy after dear old Dad. She doesn’t really seem to carry much love for the man who sent a freighter full of goons to kill Dezzie and his merry men. Nope, I’m guessing Charlie Hume is named after the dearly departed rocker, who sacrificed his life for his fellow survivors and acted as the conduit from Penny to Desmond.
4. The birth obviously happened at a minimum of 9 months after Desmond left the island (if I recall my Biology 101 correctly) which makes Charlie about 2 1/2 years old.
5. So, we have Desmond on a mission into the lion’s den, and the island he left a long time ago (Great Britain) to seek out Faraday’s mother at Oxford. Of course, when he gets there, he finds that Daniel Faraday’s slate at Oxford has been wiped clean. A little snooping confirms that they got to his chalkboard too. Who the mysterious “they” are is revealed when the school janitor points Desmond in the direction of a girl who was tragically caught up in Faraday’s experiments.
6. And this is where we call back to last season’s Desmond-Faraday time trip, where we were introduced to the idea of a Constant. Again, Faraday’s theory is that the conscience is time warped – not the body. He proved it with his mice. He proved it with Desmond. And apparently, his knowledge of this phenomenon came through human experimentation. When Desmond comes face-to-face with Theresa, the girl that Faraday “hurt”, he’s told by her sister that her brain is fried. “Some days she wakes up thinking she is 3 years old and clutching her dolly. Just yesterday, she was chatting with our dead Dad.” The sister thinks she’s nuts. We know better. Her brain is tripping through time, only she’s unable to get out of it. She lacks a Constant, an anchor to the present. I have a feeling that this is Daniel’s ultimate endgame. To figure out how to reign her back in. This appears to be his true love even if he did profess his love to another woman – Charlotte, who appears destined to follow in Theresa’s footsteps.
7. Now, the big reveal at Theresa’s home is that Charles Widemore was financing Faraday’s experiments… AND… is keeping Theresa alive. Which makes me believe that Widemore is not just interested in returning to the island… he’s wants to return to a specific point in time on the island. (More in a moment).
8. That’s a good place to return to the island. So, on the island, we discover that Locke and the group have traveled back to 1952. A fact that Locke keys in on when he notices the brand new M1 Garand that his captors are wielding.
9. And Juliet intuits that they are others based on their proclivity to speak Latin. She tosses off a quick “Others 101” quip, but I think there is something more here that drives at the true origin of the original Others. I think the references to The Temple (their sacred place), the huge 4-toed marble statue we saw on the shore at the end of Season 2 and the Latin language point to an ancient, ageless culture. We see Richard again in 1952 looking exactly the same as he always does. As Juliet puts it, he’s “Old“.
10. And it’s this stuff in 1952 that answers quite a few lingering questions – or at least gives us some more supporting evidence.
11. First, Jughead – or that dangling hydrogen bomb that the US is planning on testing. Here’s my theory. Jughead is part of the reason that Desmond is later placed in a hatch and told to push a button every 108 minutes. We know that in the hatch, there was a massive wall of concrete that contained something warm and vibrating. In this episode, in 1952, Daniel Faraday tells the Others chick that her people need to bury the bomb and surround it with concrete. Now, I think the bomb coupled with the unique properties of the island are the reason that the button-pressing commences. Now, I don’t think that just because the bomb is buried is the reason for that – I think something happens along the timeline that necessitates those marching orders and my guess is, we’ll see that event at some point.
12. We also came full circle with the compass. The ageless Richard Alpert was present for John Locke’s birth. We saw that last season. And then he visited Locke again sometime in the early 60’s and presented him with a test. “I want you to choose the item that belongs to you.” Locke chose the knife. Locke chose poorly. Years later, Alpert visits Locke, who he feels is the true leader, and in a bid to set things right, hands him a compass and tells him to give him the compass the next time they meet even though Alpert won’t know what he’s talking about.
My guess is that despite Faraday’s claims that you can’t change the future, Alpert is gambling that you can by putting in motion these events to get Locke that compass. He tells Locke that their means of choosing a leader is very specific and begins at a very young age (allusions to the Dali Lama). I think the first time this happened, Locke’s lifelong desire to be the great warrior made him choose that knife and thus he interrupted his destiny – thus casting Ben in the role as surrogate leader. Now that Richard is face-to-face with an aged Locke, and time travel is on his side, he intends to change fate and cast Locke as the rightful leader – and at the time it should have happened. This might be why he warned Locke that he needs to die.
13. And finally, we learn what we’ve theorized for two years. Charles Widemore was on that island and more importantly – was an Other. In 1952, he appears to be just another foot soldier in Richard’s army. What happened to drum him out of there? I’m guessing a power grab at some point. But, now we know where he came from. Now, the big question is whether Charles Widemore is an original Other – and thus ageless like Richard – or at least was ageless until he got voted off the island.
Next week, ‘The Little Prince’.