Analysis: 6.10 The Package

Indulge me a moment. I have, for a long time, held a penchant for Sun. And this episode delivered. We’ve not seen much of Jin this season, and we’ve seen even less of Sun. This episode certainly addressed this matter. . .



. . . with a little bit of teasing undressing, one button at a time. . .



Holy hell. How is a man supposed to make careful and considered analysis when this is happening?



Jin certainly couldn’t keep away, and for the first time in a long time we finally saw he and Sun reunited. But that was only in the Alternate Timeline – the Island Timeline reunion remains on ice, if it ever happens at all. The first big surprise about the Alternate Jin and Sun was that they were not married.

In the Original Timeline Jin and Sun did get together in secret before Jin finally confronted Sun’s father, Mr. Paik, and announced his intentions to marry Sun. This resulted in Jin being tasked with soul-destroying, tough work that almost broke his marriage, with Sun all set to elope. In the Alternate Timeline Sun’s intentions to elope were still present, she was just fully intent on including Jin in her plans.



What she didn’t bank on, literally, was that her father was well aware of it and planned on getting Keamy to kill Jin, this insolent employee getting fresh with his daughter. Are we to perhaps see parallel warning signs here? Only Widmore cropped up in this episode with talk of caring for his daughter, and having good intentions for Jin. Was this the equivalent of being told one thing when the intention is the other, like Keamy spelling out his intention to kill Jin to his face in calm, soothing tones knowing he wasn’t being understood?



Personally, I am still sticking with Widmore as being on the level. I believe he has a longterm plan, and I believe he’s been unscrupulous about achieving it, but I don’t believe he is a major threat. When Zoe and her people zapped Nameless’ followers they could have slaughtered the lot of them. They didn’t. They just took what they wanted and left the rest. Again, I am reminded of Widmore’s claim that he had nothing to do with all the people dead from the Ajira flight and I believe him.

The other pertinent difference about Sun in the Alternate Timeline was that she had never learned how to speak English. Now with this, potentially, we have been given an absolutely massive revelation.



The pivotal ‘mirror scene’ in the Alternate Timeline in this episode showed Sun looking somewhat confused at her own reflection, touching her head. Now there’s no easy way to state what I think happened here without it sounding crazy, but on the Island, just before this scene, Sun was running away from Nameless and smacked her head on a tree and knocked herself out cold. When she woke up. . . she couldn’t speak English.



Alternate Timeline Sun couldn’t speak English, and it’s very tempting to suggest this element of her crossed over to the Island Sun, when she was unconscious. And if this was utterly unprecedented I’d probably dismiss my own thoughts as mad, but we’ve seen Jack confused by an appendix scar he doesn’t recall receiving, one he surely received on the Island. Sayid in this episode, too, when he blankly handed Jin a knife with a token “Good luck” seemed rather unfeeling, don’t you think? Like the emotionless vessel of Sayid on the Island was somehow informing Sayid’s actions in the Alternate Timeline.



It’s like both these two timelines share a loose connection, via these people, and maybe this will grow stronger. I thought it was interesting that we paid a brief visit to Room 23, when Jin was held there. This was the place Dharma had used to experiment with subliminal testing – the idea being that a person could have their mind changed, their perception altered, via the introduction of almost imperceptible outside stimuli.




Could the Alternate Timeline be serving as just such a near-imperceptible outside stimulus? Possibly the people on the Island will become more aware of this Alternate Timeline. Maybe they will realise what their lives would be without the Island, without Jacob, and this will encourage them to fight for the Island Timeline and oppose Nameless. Alternatively there may be some kind of merging, or maybe the Alternate Timeline will be the dominant universe. . . but I personally prefer my first notion: that awareness will prompt action to fight for the Island and oppose Nameless.

Things aren’t exactly going great for Nameless, either. Sun didn’t have any problem with instantly not trusting him, running away from his insistent beckoning hand. (I am guessing that the moment Sun was unconscious Nameless was unable to do anything – I believe he needs his candidates to willingly choose to join him.)



To the matter of which of Jin or Sun is the candidate, I thought it might have been a subtle hint that there was only one Kwon on the Alternate Timeline (Jin, given that he and Sun weren’t married). As it was Kwon whose name was on the cave ceiling maybe it’s indication that Jin is the candidate. Maybe. Is that why Sun didn’t ‘zap back’ to the 70s with Jack and Hurley, because she wasn’t a candidate? Or was it a red herring? Or a meaningless interpretation? Maybe.

But like Mikhail on the Island only had one eye, his counterpart in the Alternate Timeline got a bullet through his eye – what happens in one timeline tends to resonate in the other. (With that being the case I do have a positive feeling that unborn Ji Yeon, in pregnant Sun’s shot womb, will survive. I wouldn’t be surprised if Doctor Jack Shephard played a part in that, too.)



Nameless indicated that in order to leave the Island he needs to have all of the candidates with him. Perhaps this is some kind of bizarre reversal of that same rule that meant the Oceanic 6 had to try and best replicate Oceanic 815 in order to return to the Island. It never really meant much sense but it working in this way does at least present a form of balance.



Nameless’ plans seem ever more unlikely. For one thing I don’t see the likes of Jack, Sun or Hurley suddenly figuring ‘Locke’ to be a man they can trust and follow off the Island. Nameless has his work cut out in getting them to come anywhere with him. And even the people he does have in his group are hardly safe as houses. Jin wants away, Sawyer’s plotting his own scheme and Sayid, as mentioned, is now unfeeling and therefore liable to lack allegiance.

Even Claire was concerned for her own worth within the group, but Nameless showed his true dark side beneath his crocodile smile with his insinuation that Kate could be dispensed with once she had served her purpose.



Any illusions anyone had that Nameless is a misunderstood good guy seriously need to give it up. Here we see him advocating cold-blooded murder once his own interests have been served. Case closed.

And so this brings me back to that other ‘bad’ guy, Charles Widmore.



Plainly he is in direct opposition to Nameless, this figure of myth and stories he claims to barely understand (as explained on the other side of a sonic fence, natch!). I expect Widmore still wants the Island as his own, maybe to reclaim his Island Chief role, or perhaps to utilise its healing properties. Right now that’s a tough motivation to identify, but slightly more immediate is the matter of what he wants to do with his ‘package’, Desmond (of whom I predicted was in the locked room a couple of episodes back for those not paying attention!).



I mentioned earlier that I had pegged Widmore as potentially having a longterm plan, and I can’t help but wonder if Desmond is a pivotal part of this plan. So I’ll run this through and see where it takes us. The first point to gather is what Zoe the geophysicist was doing, and why Jin was kidnapped. As was explained, they needed Jin because, during his time in the Dharma Initiative, he knew the locations of points on the Island Widmore’s team had pinpointed as locations of high electromagnetic properties.

OK. So they’re looking for strong electromagnetic areas as one part of their strategy. And they’ve got ‘the package’, Desmond, as a crucial part of their plan. You put those two together and. . . well. . . let’s face it, Desmond’s not exactly been a stranger to electromagnetism before has he?



From the years he spent in The Swan Station, to being at ground zero when the Fail Safe was turned, he has had his mind blasted back to his own past in Flashes Before Your Eyes and had his consciousness flipping from the past and the present in The Constant as a consequence of leaving the Island. Desmond is unique in having experienced and survived such extraordinary experiences. And there’s a case that would suggest this wasn’t even coincidental.

Consider:

Desmond had an experience where he blacked out after a lot of drinking and, when he woke, he suddenly found himself wanting to turn away from his old life and to go and spend time in a monastery.



I have previously theorised that this ‘blackout’ was a period of time where a future consciousness took over for a little while, but that’s a really remote theory. More pertinent is that the monastery was run by Brother Campbell who, via a picture on his desk, we know was connected to Ms. Hawking.



OK. Now this is getting a little juicier. Because Ms. Hawking was, as we know, with Charles Widmore on the Island for a long period of time and the two of them would have been aware of Nameless, of what the future may have held (indeed, Ms. Hawking knew a great deal about the future somehow, possibly through Dan Faraday’s journal!).



So being incredibly generous, we could suggest Hawking somehow knew that Desmond would prove pivotal. More realistically, we can surmise that Hawking, and Widmore, knew what type of person they’d need. Enter Desmond, at the monastery. Willing to do his solitary confinement in his room, holding to his vow of silence.

Sure seems like a strong candidate for time spent in a confined space pressing a button every 108 minutes.

And then Penny shows up.



On behalf of Widmore’s wine drop, Penny meets Desmond. Intentional? Could be. It certainly hooked Desmond in. Next thing is he’s totally in love with Penny and he arranges a meet with her father, Widmore, who basically instructs him that he is not good enough to earn the right of his daughter’s hand. This rich, imposing military man Widmore stares down at Desmond and perhaps provokes the next reaction from him:



Desmond’s life in the military further taught him discipline (again, military discipline required in The Swan - note that Kelvin Inman was also a military man), and then he also committed some still unknown crime (though surely this is something we will come to understand, and maybe another result of a ‘blackout’ caused by conscious-shifting that I shall further elaborate on) and wound up in prison. Widmore was there to meet him when he got out. Told him he still wasn’t good enough.



So Desmond trains for a boat race (on the boat that fortuitously turned up via Libby – jury’s out on whether that was coincidence but I’m thinking maybe not) that Widmore runs. And, through this Widmore-run boat race, Desmond finds his way to the Island. Now, of course, it’s been said by Desmond himself not to confuse coincidence with fate (or was that the other way around!?) but this all does seem suspicious. When it's all laid out in black and white like this, doesn't it just all seem more like design? And, if so, can we not credit it as Widmore's design?

Desmond is apparently a fundamental part of Widmore’s plan. Almost as though he had used Desmond, manipulated him steadily over the years to be this perfect tool he could use in this war he always knew was coming. You’re either reading this and nodding, onboard with it, or your brain is screaming a ton of different nagging reasons why it seems incredible. Fair enough, either way. Personally, I see a lot of potential loose ends tied up in one Desmond-centric episode and a reason why Widmore would find him useful.



I can envisage a future episode where Desmond is transported to one of these points on the Island that triggers another ‘time consciousness shifting’ episode, like Flashes Before Your Eyes and The Constant. Perhaps he’ll whip through his own past and explain some of those curious moments in his backstory, like how he woke up in the street and wanted to become a monk, brotha, and why he wound up in prison. And what else? Well, to shift into a point in time where he could find out something important, something that Widmore needs to know about the Island, or Nameless, that will prove crucial.

Even more outlandish? Desmond’s consciousness actually doesn’t shift into his own past, it somehow moves into someone else’s.



Ha! Surely that’s just too nuts. That Desmond shift into someone else! (But why are they battering him into a subdued state?) But hey, I was right about Desmond being the guy in the locked room so I figured I may as well address the imbalance by throwing out an idea that’s surely too crazy to be right. Right? Just keeping up the black and white, yin and yang balance of all things Lost. You want something more plausible? How about the obvious.

Maybe a lot of people have forgotten this, but the last time Desmond was on the Island he was able to see in to the future. Maybe that’s all Widmore needs Desmond to do. Get Desmond to an electromagnetic hotspot, trigger his brain into a future vision so he knows how to change it. It's almost so obviously simple it seems improbable. . . Happily Ever After is the next episode. Sounds like a fairytale. I suspect we’re not quite at the point of happy ever afters just yet, and I don’t need to be able to see into the future to make that prediction.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi AC, a lot of good ideas, though there's one I have to disagree with.

I also don't think Widmore killed the Ajira passengers, because limited evidence so far suggests it. He doesn't appear to have been there long, and we saw the subs arrival. Judging from the stench and insect activity, those people had already been dead for some time. However, there is no evidence that it was MIB who killed them. As the smoke monster, he can't go over pylons, needs to maintain a certain proximity to earth, and can't cross water. He's been so busy, I can't recall him having time previously to have made the trip as a man. That leaves...someone else. Maybe someone with a motive of not wanting MIB to collect enough people for leaving the island?

I've seen no evidence that MIB is any more manipulative than Jacob. Less so, in fact. No evidence that Jacob is good, no evidence that MIB is evil. Of those instances that we can attribute to the smoke monster, we're talking mercenaries and other would be cold blooded killers. No innocents. Many other deaths which were of innocent people, we saw either Jacob was directly involved, or nothing to provide clear certainty as to which of them it was.

We also have no evidence that Jacob's motives for trapping MIB on the island is based on anything legitimate. It could be the flimsiest of reasons for all we know. Maybe MIB broke a strap on the sandals he borrowed.
MIB may very well turn out to be a bad guy, but at this point there is nothing to substantiate the assumption that he is bad and Jacob is good. All we really know about Nameless is that he's been held against his will, he wants to leave, and he kills bad guys who are determined to kill others. The only things we know about Jacob is that he has trapped Nameless, has a private agenda he hides, and manipulates literally everyone he comes in contact with. Any name-calling by one against the other doesn't factor.

Sorry but I'm not buying the Nameless is the bad guy, not without a heck of a lot more than what we've seen. Even the Kate incident doesn't cut it for me. Yes, he's using her, but first there is the end result to consider, and second there is the matter of whether or not he would actually allow harm to befall her, or was just placating Claire.

I like your possibilities for Desmond. His previous mind traveling experiences are more than likely a factor in Widmore's intent to use him. Perhaps it makes him the right receptacle for Jacob's consciousness. Although, given Widmore's desire for the power of the island for himself, I can't imagine Widmore wanting Jacob success any more than MIB success. I have to wonder if Desmond isn't bait.

Kit Foster said...

One more clue as to the origin of Nameless, though... He's made from the same material as a Mattel hoverboard. He don't work on water...

Great post AC, some good thoughts as usual.

StitchExp626 said...

The appearance of Desmond on Flight 815 was one mystery that was raised in the first episode of the season.

We have seen the strange sleight of hand trick with the first episode of season 5. It opened on Dr Pierre Chang and his family and the start of his day. We got to see him in his role as orientation video star and the scene ended with him passing by Daniel Faraday.

So initially it looked like a flashback to Dharma days where we might learn something about Dharma but then the strange appearance of Faraday. That raised mysteries like had he worked with Dharma since the 70's, was he like Richard ageless?

Later near the end of season 5 we saw that this scenec was not really a flashback but a flashforward to events that would happen.

Are the writers coming up with the same trick? Will Desmond be on that flight as a result of something that Widmore does (or the Island does) to Desmond.

How does Desmond being on the plane change things?

Great read AC and great material for thinking about.

Stitch

Andre said...

great post AC

Ajira victims: Still think Ilana, Brams and her group whacked them before setting out with Frank and corpse Locke.

Desmond. If consciousness time travel is possible, why not alternate universe consciousness travel?
Ol' Desmond wakes up in a completely different reality with the mission of WAKING the Oceanic six up! By doing that he would merge the two realities. What an episode that would be!

I agree that the Sun strip was really distracting. More, more!

Fred said...

The way you describe Widmore, it sure makes him sound like Jacob. Just a little nudge here and there to get your man, Desmond, moving in the right direction. Only thing is, Wdimore is a little more proactive than Jacob. Must have to do with foresight.

One thing this episode showed was that Mib can't see the future. Otherwise, he would have know about zoe and her gang. But that doesn't mean he can't plan ahead. Was it MiB's objective to get Sun to run and smash her head in the tree? Maybe not, but if she hadn't would she eventually have gone with Jack on the canoe (next episode)? And if she goes on the canoe, is she going to be shot by Juliet? Or will that be Ilana? Really, if Jacob's crew loses Ilana, what direction do they have? If they lose Sun, how will that affect Jin? Bad news all around, as Jack would come into a leadership position with Hurley as "my man Richard."

It's been my opinion we'll learn that Ilana and Bram killed the remaining Ajira crew before leaving Hydra island. The more I think about Jacob's Others wiping out the US army in 1954, the Dharma Initiative, trying to select those on the list and willingly kill the remaining 815 passengers, the more like Nazi's they sound. What are they selecting for? I still feel very uneasy about Jacob's followers and their beliefs concerning other people.

luis aguilar said...

for the first time I made the association between the time-shifts Desmond got when leaving the island and the reason why they used to enforce a subdued state in order to travel to and from the island (in the DI submarine). It makes total sense: to prevent anyone who could have at some point been near some electromagnetic powerfull device from inadvertedly consciousness-time-travelling.. thank's for triggering that

Matt B. said...

Great post as usual, AC. I had some small points and questions to bring up, to get your feedback on.

1. In the alternate time line, Jin and Sun were apparently secret lovers, and Sun was pregnant. In the main time line, Jin was not able to impregnate Sun because of a low sperm count. Perhaps this is more evidence for your idea that the realities are bleeding through to each other; the healing powers of the Island in the main time line helped Jin produce sperm, and this bled through to the alternate time line.

2. I sort of disagree with your views on Widmore. I have been lately kicking around the idea that he is trying to force himself into candidacy, to forcefully take the role of Jacob. I definitely think he opposes Locke. An analogy would be Widmore being the captain of a soccer team, playing against another team to win the game (the Island), and to each team, Locke would be like a swarm of bees; dangerous to all involved but not necessarily part of the game itself.

3. As far as a convergence of the time lines, I believe this possibility has already been presented to us in Juliets death. Her parting words, "it worked," seemed to me to indicate that at death (which would probably happen in both time lines from the "resonance" between them you described), all would be made clear to the individual just before they died.

4. If the Island is responsible for "corking" in all the evil in the world, then wouldn't the Island underwater in the alternate time line indicate that its protection has been compromised?

5. I think the only reason Locke said he needed all the candidates to leave the Island is because he really needs all of them dead to be able to leave himself. ("I am going to kill you." "Someone else will just take my place." "Then I'll kill them too.")

6. Is it possible that Desmond was jailed for going AWOL during The Constant?

And just to go off topic to a random thought I just had: Remember when Juliets ex-husband was hit by the bus? At the time, it appeared that after she "suggested" it, Richard somehow pulled the strings of fate to make it happen. From what we know about Richard now, this is not very likely. Perhaps it was done by Jacob, who apparently is able to tweak small strands of fate in the past which eventually snowball into exactly what he wants to happen. The only problems with this is that: A) Jacob was (seemingly) not around during this time, and B) he didn't have years for his influence to play out but only probably a few days or weeks. Of course, the other possibilities are that it WAS just random chance, or perhaps Juliet "made it happen;" this would certainly show she had a little "special" in her.

Anyway, this was much longer than expected, I apologize. I'm sure you understand how easy it is to continue writing when the subject matter is Lost. Bye =)

AngeloComet said...

Anonymous - Seth Norris. Pilot of Oceanic 815. Killed after a minute of two of coming round and delivering a bit of plot exposition. I call that arbitrary.

I have flip-flopped over Jacob's 'goodness'. (The business with Sayid and Nadia's death didn't exactly look nice.) Yet his compulsion for men to be good, without his interference, seems to me a better agenda that Nameless' killing and manipulation to get free.

Kit Foster - That joke needs more power.

Stitch - Maybe the logical extension to Desmond's mental time shifting is physical time shifting? Capacity to be in places for a little while (Oceanic 815 in Alternate Timeline?). I mean, we have seen someone 'special' pull that kind of thing before. . . (WAAAALT!).

Andre - Nah, Ilana's too lovely and righteous for that, surely! (Unless she's working for the evil will of Jacob, in which case you and top Anonymous poster should swap notes!)

Fred - See above; another one for the anti-Jacob party! Good call on the canoe trip, though.

Luis - I had figured since The Constant that the subdued travelling state was to avoid those 'side effects', although the jury's out on whether those only started after the Fail Safe.

Matt B - Hadn't considered Jin's sperm, but it does work nicely. (Or maybe it was Jacob's touch that killed his sperm! I can see the growing evidence for Jacob is bad gathering!)

I do hope they make more of Juliet's death, as well. I still hope we see her and Sawyer have coffee. (Maybe she'll help save Sun's unborn baby and cop Sawyer will be called in to investigate and they'll hook up!?)

I totally understand the unspooling of words that can result from Lost. . . Every week I endeavour to be succinct and concise.

I keep failing.

Anonymous said...

Told you once before and I'll tell you again...the ALT is a flash-forward. When Sun woke up, her momentary state of unconsciousness brought her closer to the Sun she will eventually be...Alt-Sun. Imagine this microcosm event magnified by an explosion of exotic matter...it will cause her to wake up as Alt-Sun, in the Alt. This blast will sink the Island. Like Sayid, everyone will die, be submerged, and rise again. 'He won't remember anything and he'll never be the same'. This is what happens when you get saved on Lost. They're not influencing each other....the island timeline is merely prologue.
Just as Charlie saw the light and had visions of a life beyond, a life with Claire...the Island reality is a pre-cursor to a different reality.

Anonymous said...

AC, I forgot about Seth Norris, but we don't know anything about him or why smoky killed him, so there's nothing to say one way or another if he was innocent or not.

That's interesting about the alternate reality being flashforwards, but I can't get into the idea. When the bomb detonated, it sank the island and have to assume all who were on it perished at that time, including Jacob and wiping out his future intervention in people's lives. But originally the timeline had those people living and Jacob influencing them, and whatever happened, happened. The only way the universe could deal with the paradox was to create two timelines that seem to be connected by a thread.