LOST Theories - DarkUFO

Time Loop Theory: Connecting The Dots by Emsizz

Hey everyone, I'm Emsizz, first time poster. I have never posted or commented before, because, well, I used the Lost Theories app on my iPhone mostly, and that app doesn't allow you to read or post comments, or post your own theories. A fix here would be nice. Does anyone else use this app? Anyway...

This theory is based off of ideas that I share with Michael Aaron, which he posted at http://theoriesonlost.blogspot.com/2010/01/preserving-loop-vs-ending-loop-stakes.html (it is very well written, I might add). I highly suggest reading it now, if you haven't done so, as I believe it is almost spot-on and can explain the Time Loop ideas way better than I could.

For those who haven't read it yet: what Michael Aaron basically states is that Lost is on a casual time loop, and that there is a group of people that are indigenous to the loop, requiring the loop to keep happening in order to exist. This is caused by time travel, with the Losties going back in time to affect the course of actions, people meeting, births and deaths. If they keep affecting the past in a manner that prevents key events from happening, the loop will be broken, and a new, non-loop future will exist- the loop will cease to be there. I believe a lot of us, as theorists, are on the same page about this idea. My theory will attempt to take the idea of a time loop and apply it to many specific sections of Lost, thus giving it enough validity to assume it to be true, and allowing new theories to be built off of this newfound "truth".

This theory began its roots in my head while rewatching s5e3 "Jughead," when I came up with the idea that Charles Whidmore is the same person as Charlie Hume. (I later found online that this is NOT an original idea... but it was my breakthrough.) I know some people don't agree with this idea, but it's what got my head going, and for the purposes of my theory, we will assume it to be true.

Anyway, I started thinking about it, and once the seed was planted, the theory grew. If Charles Whidmore is Penny and Desmond's son, only two options really make sense in my mind:

-Charlie Hume will eventually go back in time to the island, with or without mommy and daddy, and grow up to be Charles Whidmore, eventually go off island, adopt his own mother when she is born, and basically by raising her, he can shape the course of events
in her life to ensure she eventually meets Desmond and eventually give life to the baby version of himself. He becomes a caretaker of his own place in the loop.

-Same scenario, except more fun... Penny is Whidmore's biological child, and Whidmore is Penny's. They require each other to do very particular things at certain points in their lives in order to exist- to preserve the loop. Remember, we have no idea who Penny's mother is, if she is biological or adopted, etc.

This, to Charles, makes Desmond a sort of wild card. Desmond is not required to be part of the loop in order to survive, but in order to keep the loop going, and for his beloved Penny to exist, he needs to go to the island and push the button so that the pieces of the puzzle in the loop can fall into place. I started applying this to other Desmond and Charles scenes- it makes the season 2 finale make sense... why would Charles be a jerk to his own dad, knowing full well who he was? Because that's how he gets Desmond to go on the boat race, which will eventually find him on the island. That's Charles' way of keeping the loop intact. He doesn't hate Desmond, really, but he acts as required of him in order to influence Desmond to get to the island and keep the loop going. This makes a throwaway line in s3e8 "Flashes Before Your Eyes" much more interesting... I can't quote it exactly, but it's from the pier scene, right before Desmond throws the ring in the lake. Desmond ! doesn't want to get his picture taken, but then the photographer says something like...

Photographer- "C'mon, for the grandkids?"
Penny- "Yeah, Desmond, c'mon, for the grandkids."

Funny, because Penny is her OWN grandkid! I kind of take this to mean that the photo itself is somehow essential to the loop, as well... taking the picture will ensure the loop's survival, since it somewhat influences Desmond's actions while he reminisces about Penny on-island.

After these fun little easter eggs I noticed, I started toying with the idea of the loop in other aspects of Lost. At first I thought the timeline of this loop was like a spiral, with more and more information being passed through each loop instance through Faraday's journal. I later thought better of this theory, since at first I thought that the journal Eloise gives Daniel may have been full of previous-iteration info, but I am now under the belief that it's brand-spankin' new when she first gives it to him. She doesn't pass the info on to Daniel, but she does have the completed journal stashed away somewhere, for herself. This got me thinking about Daniel a lot.

I thought, wait, isn't Daniel Charles Whidmore's son? So that would mean HIS very existence also requires the loop. How many other people are involved in this little family tree? Somehow Eloise's existence is dependent on it, and I'm sure many more are. I personally know of one other Lost family whose existence COULD depend on the loop... if a key member of the Christian clan requires the loop to exist, then they all do. That's a LOT of characters that require the loop to exist- maybe not all, but a lot of them.

Now I'll apply it to the Whidmore/Ben scene in Whidmore's bedroom, a la s4e9 "The Shape of Things To Come"...

Whidmore- "Have you come here to kill me, Benjamin?"
Ben- "We both know I can't do that."

So, by applying the loop theory here, we see that Ben requires the loop. Maybe he doesn't need it to completely exist, but Charles has been a big part of Ben's life since his childhood, so it obviously directly affects his entire life. At first I thought it meant he physically couldn't kill him, which I guess is still possible, but I'm under the belief that it would wreck the loop somehow, causing ALT. But wait, ALT? I thought we were talking about a loop? Yes, and yes. Let me explain.

Okay, take a pen and a piece of paper. Go on, I'll wait. Okay, now draw a circle. This is our loop. It doesn't matter what time perioid is what part of the loop, all we need to know is that the loop exists, it has no beginning or end, it keeps going forever. We can call this loop WHH, if you wish- it's the idea that Whatever Happened, Happened, and it needs to stay this way for the loop to keep on going. Now, imagine our Losties are on this loop, moving at a rapid pace, going around and around. You could actually think of the island as something inside of the circle- sometimes following the circular track, sometimes bouncing around inside of it to different points (these would be our flashes). It's interesting to think about. Now draw an X somewhere on the circumference of the circle... what happens to an object traveling the loop if there is a break in it, a hole in the loop? Well, the object would exit at a line tangent to the circle, would it not? Draw that lin! e coming away from the X. Your picture should look something like a dumbed-down whistle. This tangent line is our ALT... an alternate reality where the loop doesn't exist. See how the show is so eloquently giving us WHH and ALT at the same time? The loop is WHH, the line is ALT. By detonating the bomb, ALT is created, thus breaking the loop, and creating a hole in the loop, a loop hole, if you will. Sound familiar, anyone?

So maybe the Man In Black's loophole is quite literally that- a hole in the time loop, created by the Losties, allowing him to no longer operate by the rules keeping the loop alive.

Ok side note- I just came up with this right now. It seems to me there are people that can, by their actions, change the loop, and others who are slaves to it. MIB obviously couldn't kill Jacob before the loop was broken, as well as Michael was unable to kill himself. Certain actions were just not possible to them. Jack and company, however, can break the loop by detonating the bomb. They are not slaves to the loop- it does not keep them from acting in a certain way. Seems logical. My guess here is that the people that want to keep the loop on track are scared out of their wits once they see people operating outside of the laws of the loop- something that they didn't think was even possible. That's why MIB gets Ben to kill Jacob- either the loop was already broken (by the bomb going off), or Ben doesn't actually operate as a loop slave... though he probably thinks he does. Hell, with this line of thought, we could ACTUALLY have TWO loop holes... one at the bomb site! in the 70's, and one in 2007 by Ben killing Jacob. My head is hurting just by the thought of this.

Back to the theory. Let's take this to the next step- ALT. What's so bad about ALT? Well, first thing is, it's probably missing a ton of people that were indigenous to the loop. Well, who cares? I know one person who will certainly care- Desmond. Penny will not exist. But how can Desmond even know Penny if she doesn't exist, never existed in the ALT world? Well, we all know Desmond is special. My thoughts on what this means exactly, is that Desmond can retain memories through loops. Desmond will remember Penny in ALT, and probably be the driving force trying to turn ALT back into the time loop scenario. Why do I think Desmond being special means that he retains memories throughout loops? I largely base it on the following hypothetical scenario:

Desmond meets Charlie on island.
Desmond watches Charlie die saving Claire.
(next loop)
Desmond meets Charlie on island.
Desmond remembers Charlie dying saving Claire.
Desmond saves Charlie from dying.
Desmond watches Charlie die to the lightning.
(next loop)
Desmond meets Charlie on island.
Desmond remembers Charlie dying saving Claire.
Desmond saves Charlie from dying.
Desmond remembers Charlie dying to the lightning.
Desmond erects the lightning rod, saving Charlie.
Desmond watches Charlie die on the rocks going for the birds.
(next loop)

Obviously, it seems to me like a plausible way of describing it- Desmond isn't seeing the future, he's remembering past loops. Each time through the loop, Desmond changes it a little, up until the loop we are witnessing now, where Charlie died in the Looking Glass station. Since Charlie lived up until that point, Desmond's "specialness" (time loop memories) have directly influenced a change to the loop- not enough to end the loop immediately, but a definite change, since the Looking Glass incident was a major influence on many events to come. We can now see a connection between Desmond's specialness and the eventual breaking of the loop. His memories of previous timelines are a significant catalyst to ALT happening, even in just this one instance. I'm not saying there is enough concrete evidence to make this 100% true, but if you apply the theory to the events on the show, the puzzle pieces fit.

So what else is bad about our loop-hole ALT universe? Besides non-existant characters, we still have this Valenzetti equation lying around. How can the time loop be applied to THAT?

Well, we can view it as predicting the end of the Loop, though I don't really think that's it. All that does is erase the existence of a chunk of people- certainly, it's not the end of ALL humanity.

So that leads us to another option- maybe the ALT timeline, now linear, is headed straight towards the end of all human life, the apocalypse? Pure speculation, but it seems like it could be true. And what's a way to prevent the apocalypse? Somehow get back to the island, time travel again, and create a situation where the loop again exists, thus negating the world-ending ALT. Desmond, my man, the task is up to you, with those special, special loop memories.

One thing I thought of that I don't really have answer to is, "What happens to the people that DON'T go back in time to continue the loop?" I'm talking about people off-island. Everyday people that know nothing about the island at all. Time needs to keep going for them, right? My guess is that this is the regular everyday timeline, a non-ALT, non-apocalypse timeline. It has to keep going for these people, right? A correct timeline that exists because of the loop, but keeps going after the loop. A safe status-quo for the rest of the world, if you will. This doesn't disprove the time loop, but it is something very interesting to think about.

One more thing I want to clarify before I go- some people believe when characters refer to the island (usually in a mystical sense, "the island won't let you," etc), they are referring to the time loop itself. This I agree with. It does not mean the inverse is true... when I say Time Loop, I am not talking about the island being in a time loop specifically... I am talking about the ebb and flow of time itself being in a loop. The island itself isn't looping (although it IS traveling through time), it is merely a vehicle the loop uses to preserve itself. This means that the time loop is in effect off and on island- you can do things to lead to a loop hole in either place.

I know this application doesn't explain everything on Lost- "Why is there a smoke monster?" "Why doesn't Richard age?" "Why is Jacob timeless, with apparent powers?" Who knows, really? We gotta wait and see. But if you think about the time loop theory while watching Lost, you'll see the show never really contradicts it, often supports it, slyly alludes to it, and allows for even more detailed, thought-provoking theories based off of its acceptance.

For those of you truly intrigued by this topic, I recommend to you the movie Primer- if you haven't seen it already, do so immediately. It relates to Lost in a considerable way, and it's compeltely thought-provoking and mind blowing. It was made in 2004 and if you have Netflix you can stream it to your computer or set-top box. Do yourself a favor, don't even bother reading about it, just watch it. I promise you, it's enjoyable.

Thanks for listening, guys, I hope this provokes some discussion, and I hope I was coherent enough for most of you to understand my thoughts. I know others have posted stuff similar to this before, but I did come up with most of this on my own, and I think what really makes a time loop special is when you accept it as true and then try to connect the dots. In closing, I leave you with a text message conversation I had this afternoon with my friend Steve:

Steve: Backgammon- takes 30 min to learn, but a lifetime to master. How was Walt able to beat #17 ranked Hurley after just learning how to play
Me: Time loops
Steve: I eat time loops for breakfast

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