LOST: Flash Sideways

LOST: Flash Sideways September 22, 2009

LOST has one season left, and clues, set photos and interviews with the producers all point to the next season featuring characters we’ve come to know and love living in an alternate timeline, one in which the plane never crashed on the island.


A major question which is as yet unanswered is whether that means that the “losties” who are on the island, and who “reset” the universe, have now vanished from it, or whether the island is a sort of bubble universe in which it is possible to exist in a timeline independent of the rest of the world. The scene in an earlier season when the ship’s doctor’s corpse washes up on the shore of the island even before he has been shot on the boat suggests that perhaps temporal paradoxes are perfectly “normal” on the island.

If I had to venture a guess, I think the “flash sideways” that have been hinted at will not simply be moves between the island and elsewhere – after all, we’ve already had those for several seasons. I think the “flash sideways” will involve moving between parallel timelines or universes, and that in the end they will come together, a loop that is completed when the losties still on the island in the past achieve what now must be their goal: to make sure that somehow, some way, they make it to the island after all. Because if there is something the universe can’t stand, it is events without a cause, and that’s precisely the paradox we’ll be left with if things continue as they are now.

Perhaps the whispers will turn out to have been their own voices all along, as parallel universes intersect and the time-travelling losties seek to make sure that history and time disentangle themselves sufficiently so as not to cause the universe to implode.

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  • Hey, James. Is it January yet? ;-)My wife says the whispers are simply the underground tunnels. I think she's brilliant.Did you notice wounded Locke coming out of the jungle in the finale? Previously in season 5, Locke had been wounded *after* coming out of the jungle, while attempting to climb up the cliff.I think any "side flashes" would have to play out as extreme rewinds or fast forwards, given your point about causality."It only ends once. Everything before that is an improvement."Last point: as a Hamlet fan, I keep thinking of Desmond & Charlie in Season 3 as "the play within the play". But will Hawking be right about the universe course correcting? Or will Faraday be right that *we* are the variables? Can't hardly wait to find out. 🙂