Let’s list all the possible explanations for the numbers playing while Ajira flight 316 was landing in the LOST episode “Namaste”. I’ll then suggest one is more plausible than the rest.
1) The flash that took away most of the returning Oceanic Six caused the plane to pass through/touch/hear 1977. This is unlikely because we hear the numbers after the flash when the plane seems to be solidly in one time.
2) Someone has started the broadcast again.
3) There is a second broadcast tower on the smaller island where the Hydra station is that never stopped broadcasting the numbers.
4) History has been changed, and the numbers were never stopped from broadcasting.
On the one hand, this last possibility seems the most likely – the deserted Dharma stations in 2007 (“30 years later” than when Jack, Kate, James, Juliet and the rest of them are) seem to make this conclusion necessary. Yet if the numbers have been continuously broadcasting, then some of the experiences that got the survivors into the past never happened.
I wonder if we are going to be told in the end something that wraps things up nicely, and yet is ultimately unsatisfying. I wonder if the reason this island is constantly moving and movable through time and space is precisely because it is a place where the Oceanic survivors have created time loops and other temporal paradoxes.
In other words, even though history has changed and thus it has been proven untrue that “whatever happened, happened”, it may also turn out to be the case that time travel is possible on the island because time travel happened on the island. The ultimate temporal paradox!
Are there other explanations/scenarios I’ve missed? If so, please leave a comment and share them!