Being something of a keen Lost Theorist, I happen to read a lot more theories than I ever write. (Stands to reason: where else do you think I steal all my ideas from!?) There have been, over the years, some great theories proposed. Shit, some of them have even turned out to be accurate. Alas, there are also the other kind. . .
Now I’m not wailing on wrong theories here. God knows I’ve probably had more than my fair share of those off-the-nose babies to last a lifetime. No, what I am bringing to light are those persistent, ever-repeated theories that are so logically unsound it makes you want to scratch out your eyes. These old chestnuts invariably crop up again and again, in some form or other. Look out for them. Beware their varied incarnations.
Jack Waking In The Jungle
I’m not even going to get into the generic myth about the ‘clue in the Pilot episode’ that Lost enthusiasts have been seeking. Fact is there isn’t one. There is no secret nugget to be worked out from that first episode. No hidden clue that solves the whole show. If you’re looking for it, go find me some fool’s gold at the end of a rainbow whilst you’re at it.
No. The theory goes that, how Jack looked here. . .
. . . is remarkably similar to how Ben looked here. . .
. . . which means that Jack, when he woke up in the jungle, has come from a different time and returned to the Island to do the things over, correctly. This is dumb. It ignores cause and effect ripples. It ignores Course Correction. It ignores character logic. It is dumb.
What happened was this. . .
. . . was followed by this. . .
. . . which resulted in this man landing here. . .
And no. Before you say it. That thing beside Jack’s head is not a baton like the one Ben carries around and used to batter those guys in the desert with. Because if Jack took the trouble of bringing it with him why didn’t he pick it up?
Thomas Is Ben’s Son
You all remember Thomas, right? Yeah. He was the father of Aaron. That dropkick guy that Claire shacked up with who absconded before the baby was born because he couldn’t handle the pressure of it. The guy that Richard Malkin stated would have no further part in the life of the baby.
You remember him, right? I mean, sure, he was only in a couple of scenes of that one episode about seventy-five episodes back, but come on! You gotta remember him! It’s this guy!
What’s that you say? He looks familiar. Wait. . . Now you say it. . . Yeah, he does look a lot like someone else, now I think of it. . .
Holy shit! Do you know what this means? Thomas is Ben’s son! I mean, he must be! They look just like each other! Never mind that it makes absolutely no FUCKING SENSE whatsoever, be it via timelines, pregnancy issue plots, Ben’s character or even plain old real life casting decisions on the show. Never mind any of that old-fashioned bullshit like REASON!
Some people genuinely believe this. Some people will argue the ‘logic’ of it until they’re blue in the face. Some people will refuse to listen to the sensible points about plot timelines and character progression that render this idea dumber than a bag of dumb. Some people, it turns out, they just don’t give a fucking shit, do they?
Lost Is Biblical
Look, I know all you religiously devout types are batshit crazy. Trust me, I respect that. I’m not going to fuck with your God. (Indeed, I think the creators of Lost probably know that, too, and they’d be inclined not to fuck with your God, or anyone else’s God, either.) You’ve got your faith. I’ve got Nintendo Wii. Let’s leave it at that and be in peace. But let’s get something straight. . .
The Island is not the Garden Of Eden. Nor is Ben actually Jesus Christ. Jack, for sure, is not Moses. His surname being Shephard is not a clue. And whilst Black Smoke’s real name may be ‘Cerberus’ I don’t think it’s actually from hell. Jacob, just so we’re clear, is not Satan. Indeed, any riffs on the above are not true.
Lost, ‘tis true, does like to use religious iconography, metaphor and parallel to resonate with its plots and themes. But a lot of TV shows, movies and books do that. Probably there’s a fancy term for it, but I have a degree in English Literature so what the fuck would I know? What I do know is this. . .
. . . is not a handy reference guide or instruction manual for this. . .
God can’t even see the Island, remember? He’s stuck watching Heroes and, last I heard, he’s been pissed off with it ever since that dead shit Season One finale.
No Time Travel On Lost
Damon and Carlton said it, you know. Yeah. They said, right from the start, there was going to be no time travel on Lost. Fact. I mean, sure, no one can actually show you the direct quote. Yeah. No one can trace the precise source for this concrete statement. But it’s still a fact.
So any theory that bases its foundation on the principle that there is no time travel on Lost uses this fact as back-up, ignoring the possibility that even if Darlton had once stated it they always have the capacity to change their minds.
But, see, here’s a thing that contradicts the ‘no time travel’ on Lost idea.
Here’s Ben in 2004.
And here's Ben a moment later, in 2005.
And we know that time travel made this possible because this man. . .
. . . said so in that video about rabbits. And even though there are some people that will suggest that even this is not entirely straightforward, you and I can rest easy in the knowledge that such people are dicks.
The Constant Factor
The flip-side of the ‘no time travel on Lost’ notion is the idea that every-fucking-body is time travelling all over the fucking shop. Here’s one such train of thought for you.
This man died by time travelling in his head. . .
. . . and the nose bleed indicated as much. Meanwhile, this man died in ‘the purge’ with blood all over his face. . .
. . . and showed up with a nose bleed in a dream. . .
. . . which indicates he died by time travelling in his head. Therefore: ‘the purge’ was really a case of mass mental time travelling experienced by a bunch of Constant-less Dharma folk.
Never mind all that business with gas canisters and gas masks.
And if that’s not enough for you: Rousseau and the French team that went crazy so she shot them? That was all because of having no Constants. (Rousseau had her unborn baby, apparently, so she was OK.) The Season 5 promo shows Miles with a nosebleed, which has lead to theories about how the Island moving in time has lead to people being without a Constant and probably that’s ‘the incident’ that Dharma have mentioned. . .
And so it goes.
Let’s put this into perspective. How many episodes of Lost have there been as of Season 4? I make it 85. Now how many of those episodes have incorporated, or made mention, of Constants? I make it 1. A form of bent logic would therefore propose that the odds of ‘Constants’ being the key factor to Lost are 85/1.
I’d go a little further than that. I’d guess the chances of ‘Constants’ being the key factor to Lost are precisely FUCK ALL.
So, that’s your lot. I’m not saying these are the only bad theories out there. But, for me, they’re the highlights. (Or, indeed, my Top 5!) They are, of course, all absolutely wrong. I mean, Jesus. Everyone knows that the Island is really Purgatory – the clue was in the Pilot. . .