Top 5 Worst Theories

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!

See also:


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. . .


Acharaisthekey said...

So, reading through this was very enjoyable. Spot on with the first 4 theories.

With the 5th theory (the Constants) I take a little issue (not because of language...but because I disagree with you) with the statement:
"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."

Defining "KEY" can be tricky I suppose, but the SHOWS most highly regarded episode of Season 4 (by popular media, etc....I don't necessarily agree, was a great episode) let us in on a trick and solution to being UNSTUCK IN TIME...and I think this will prove important to the shows TECHNOLOGY MYTH that will unfold over the next two seasons.

The whole TIME ELEMENT is huge on this show. Now, I'm not saying it is as KEY as JACK v JOHN or even Ben v Widmore or redemption, etc...but to say it's not a key factor I think is selling it short.

I've been guilty of using the CONSTANT and UNSTUCK in time to explain things on the island, so maybe i"m just defensive :)...but though probably nothing to do with the PURGE or GODSPEED or most rediculous sentiments, I think it's an important factor of the show.

That is my long winded, but small disagreement with the 5th example of bad theories.

AngeloComet said...

No worries with the disagreement. My Top Fives do tend to go full throttle so leave little in the way of wiggle room. I write them that way purely for the entertainment value.

In reality, I wouldn't go so far as to say Constants will never make another appearance (indeed, I'm finishing up a theory that concludes that at least one character almost surely must experience something similar) - but the idea that they will unlock the mystery of Lost in the way some theories propose is surely not going to ever happen!?

I wait for the moment any one of these five end up in the show with dread!

Acharaisthekey said...

The idea of "the constant" should not, and hopefully will not have anything to do with the PURGE. That would be rediculous, and I agree that it should not have anything to do IN MASS use.

However, I do think it is important for the audience to understand. I can see someone trying to use this "unstuck" or getting "unstuck" and not knowing about "the constant" issue. This leads to major drama on the much that we are hoping the person does or does not find there constant in hope to save or kill the character who screwed up the idea of the use of THE CONSTANT. That's why I think it's important, we as the viewer have to understand what's going on, so we can know to root or root against someone who has become UNSTUCK.

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly enjoyable! In one page you have justifiably and correctly decimated the endless dronings of credulous minds who should know better. There is a plethora of those types of theories, an infinite abyss of what is always fundamentally one bad idea, which is then macro-mutated over and over until in a large proportion of people fact & reason are replaced by myth & urban legend. This post ought to be available on the forums, in fact it should be used as a benchmark, a measure of the acceptable rationality that theorists will tolerate.
Or it could alternatively be incorporated into the add-a-theory framework i.e. When someone decides to write TPTB said so and so, there should be boxes they have to tick like 1)Have you actually seen or heard them saying this? 2)Give the link now so everyone can see this for themselves.
With just those criteria, think how many exasperating theories we would NOT have to read! it would Force the theorist to double-check their facts, and if they can't provide the link, then nothing gets added.
Believe me I am up for the rack, public flogging and dragging them over cobblestones by huge shire horses, it INFURIATES me to have to read so much crap all the time, I do not claim to be any master-theorist, and indeed I am not, but it was with a huge sense of satisfaction that I read this blog, you have voiced the sentiments which have been frustrating me for so long, and I imagine there are many others who feel the same.
You tell 'em mate!
P.s my particular pet-hate is most definitively the so and so is so and so coz they look vaguely similar, so I was glad to see that got short shrift from you too.
More please!

Mingpan said...

I, for a while, well ok, until I read this post, had a liking for the Thomas is Ben's son idea. Now I feel stupid for even thinking it. The truth hurts! and after I had read all this, my mind was purged of all of those 5 ideas permanently. Will you be adding this to lost-theories? just remove some swear words and it will be fine, and personally, I think it would be a very good thing for everyone to read it.

Anonymous said...

probably the biggest douche ive come to known in my entire existence in cyber space

theVOID said...

I agree with all of your points except post #1, there might be some significance to jack waking up so far away from the wreckage, landing on a hard jungle floor, no broken bones e.t.c...

While i don't think that jack turned the FDW, i still believe that there is a reason for this other than a 'lucky landing' though i believe it has more to do with the island 'not being done with him'

Emzi said...

I admit I posted a theory similar to the first one mentioned here. In my defence, we were ten days behind the US so I avoided all Lost sites until the season finished and then when I wrote the thoery I'd checked to see if there were any similar, but couldn't find any. So, I posted away thinking I'd stumbled upon something great, only to be told that a lot of the same theory appeared after that episode aired. Of course, I'd missed all that so... umm... yeah ;)

I've now realised that the big clue in the pilot episode is nonesense, but I still think there is some significance between the two scenes. However, I do not want it to be that Jack goes back to the beginning to start over again, cause that would just ruin it. Of course, for that scene to be significant how else would they explain it?

Hmm di hum.

I agree with all your other thoughts though. The Thomas is Bens son theory is the worst! They look nothing alike!

Nicole said...

Excellent, just...excellent!

I really can't stand some of these idiotic theories that have been around... and here's a new one:

"The four toed statue is of Sawyer because his foot got infected when he stood on stuff in the jungle so obviously he'll lose a toe, and that's how the statue is of him!!"

Um, no. Go away now and play with the traffic.

Anonymous said...

So someone has a theory (wrong or right) you can just call them stupid, tell them to f off or go play in traffic without backing up why you think they are wrong and that makes you right or informed or even intelligent? Nice.

AngeloComet said...

Nicole - I did think that dart thing Sawyer stood on was going to have some significance, mind. Otherwise, what was the point? Just to slow them up so they didn't walk right into the soldiers (that captured them anyway!)?

Anonymous - Not sure who you are directing your comment at. Surely not me, who spent an entire post discussing why I think those particular theories are wrong! But either way, I think you're missing the lighthearted nature of this post. It's not LIFE AND DEATH.

Nicole said...

Anon: Sorry, who are you? I can say whatever the hell I like.

I do not have to say why someone is wrong when they state that awful theory because there is absoultely no evidenciary support to back it up!

He stood on a dart. He pulled it out.
Worst case scenario he gets a bad scar. Stepping on something does not equal getting a toe amputated.

And F.Y.I, the statue was originally supposed to have 6 toes, which again blows that theory out of the water.

Have a nice day, and get a sense of humor.