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.
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.