Who’s Got the Time (for Time Travel)?

That’s right.  Who’s got the time to think about all the crazy time traveling on Lost?  Well apparently I do, so please indulge me while I try to get my head on straight about all this time travel stuff.

Okay the first time we ever explicitly notice time traveling going on was in the episode “Flashes Before Your Eyes” inSeason 3.  Desmond meets Ms. Hawking in England who tells him he can’t marry Penny (or buy her an engagement ring) because his destiny is to push a button on the Island for 3 years in order to save “all of us”.  He breaks off his engagement to Penny and sails to the Island (though not intentionally) where he ends up pushing a button every 108 minutes.  Obviously Ms. Hawking knew about events that had not happened yet. That is why Ms. Hawking is called a temporal policeman (aka Time Cop) by the writers.

Also in “Flashes Before Your Eyes“, Desmond “sees” Charlie die by drowning and warns him that whatever he tries to do to keep this from happening, Charlie is still going to die just as he said.  Sure enough Charlie dies in the Looking Glass when it floods underwater.  Again Desmond seemed to “see” the future.

Now in this most recent episode “La Fleur“, another person comments about the future.  I’m talking about Juliet.  She tells Daniel, Miles and Sawyer that she used to live in one of the Dharma barracks.  But she is talking about living there in the future, since it is 1974 and she ends up living there from 2001-2004.  

So it seems anyone can see into the future if they have been to Lost island (or knows someone who has lived there).

Now who else has popped up here or there?  Well we have seen a soaking wet Walt appear to Shannon.  And Harper appeared to Juliet.  Ana Lucia and Charlie appeared to Hurley.  And most famously we saw Jack’s dad appear all the way back in Season 1 and again in the “Something Nice Back Home” in Season 4.  (Jack makes reference to this visit in the finale for season 3, when he says something like “you tell my father to come down here and we will see who is really drunk”).  Most people thought Jack was out of his mind on pills, causing a hullicination, but with all this evidence of time travel, I think we can safely say that he really did see his father as he had traveled in time.

But how could Jack’s father who died in Sydney in 2004 travel to visit Jack in 2007?  The writers say once someone dies they are really dead.  But Locke died this season (killed by Ben) only to show up again a few weeks later alive and well back on the island.  How could this be possible?

Well consider this.  There are two ways to time travel.  The first is through “flashes” where you remember something that happens in the future.  This is just like Deja Vu.  “Deja Vu” in French means “already seen”. It’s where we have a dream in the past about something that happens in the future.  When the “future” arrives we remember the dream we had in the past, viola! Deja Vu.

Desmond experienced this in “Flashes” where his conscious mind jumps back and forth to his body in different time periods between 1986 and 2004.  Of course too much flashing will cause death without a constant (i.e. a single frame of reference in both time periods).

The other way to time travel is to “die”.  John Locke did this and so do I think did Jack’s dad.  They both died and they both appeared on the island alive again.  The island controls their destiny (maybe if you are the guy who turns the donkey wheel this is your “fate”).  The “fate” being to die, but to always return to the island and a future time.

Hope you enjoyed this time traveling adventure.  Now it’s time for me get lunch.


4 Responses

  1. Do you mean the two means of time travel are to be zapped by electromagnetism, thus causing the consciousness to experience dejavu. But also those that have been exposed to this radiation if travel to the island not bearing at the correct alignment can also time skip due to the side-effects. And the second means is due to the donkey wheel, which not only teleports the one turning the wheel, but the entire island and it’s inhabitants. I’m guessing the temple must shield the occupants against these time-shifts. There’s no rule that says you must die, because Ben did not when he left.

    Against all popular beliefs that Richard Alpert was actually time-travelling, is not what is happening. I believe he is able to travel to and from the island, but still nothing suggests to me that he is time travelling, the only unique ability he has is to not age at all. All he is doing is travelling to and from the island in his own time. I don’t think he has worked out how to time travel. Which suggests to me that maybe he’s dead and has been ressurected like Christian and John Locke.

    The Hostiles/Others have a fascination with dead people. Remember in the episode LaFleur when Richard wanted Paul’s body. what I think is, either it’s the island that resurrects the body or, the others have some part in doing it, another thing that can be done in the temple. The Egyptians were famous for preserving the dead for the afterlife.

  2. Yes. I like the Egyptian angle. If the dead are not really totally dead, but can be resurrected by the island, it would explain why Richard would want the bodies. I still can’t help but remember that line that Locke said to Nikki and Paulo, “Things don’t stay buried on this island”. Creepy.
    I am thinking a person does not have to die to time travel off the island using the donkey wheel, but there will be consequences to leaving. Locke had to die to return and Ben had to crash land (nearly dying himself).

    • I think when Locke was talking about things being buried don’t stay buried, he was referring to secrets or lies. I’m not sure, but that’s what I thought, and it could be taken in a physical sense, like you are suggesting. I would have liked the seas to errode the beach enough to reveal the bodies of Nikki & Paulo.

      What is it with 3 years. In LaFleur we see two time periods seperated with a 3 year span. We know Juliet has been on the island 3 years prior to the time jumps. The O6 have been off island for 3 years. Is 3 years enough to get over someone? So what is the significance with 3 years or even the number 3. It is part of the Ajira flight ‘3’-16. Are there new numbers, apart from the old 4,8,15,16,23,42?

  3. I don’t know. I am thinking the 3 years has to do with the first flash forward (with Kate meeting Jack at the airport in the S3 finale). The writers wanted to put the story in the then “present” time. Which back then was May 2007 and about 3.5 years from when the Oceanic plane crashed in September 2004.

    Nikki and Paulo “eroded” reminds me a bit of Adam and Eve. I am still hoping Adam is Jack and Eve is Kate who went back 40 years to correct all of their mistakes on the island. Somehow they could not get back to the future and died there in the caves. It’s just a theory, but I like it a lot.

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