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Old 05-01-2009, 02:32 PM   #676
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:04 AM   #677
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Except that they've gone to pains to tell us (last episode notwithstanding) that their stint in the 1970s is their present and they could die at anytime.

If the bomb detonates (which it doesn't because we see the Island in 2004 and beyond) then everyone dies, but that doesn't mean they were never born because their own personal lives are on a single timeline. So if 1977 is their present, that means they were always there and it is as it's always happened.

There's people that think the story will eventually reveal a time loop, and some that think that the struggle being played out is to change that loop.

I don't know, though. My head hurts trying to figure all this out.
I try to think of everything in Back to the Future terms. So since the bomb has a possibility to detonate (according to this episode where things can change) it may very well put an end to the island. I don't think that anyone has "one single present" since it's all relative. It's the present now. It's the present now. It's the present now. The sentence you just read is the past. The sentence that follows is the future, but right now it's the present.
If the bomb detonates, everyone on the island will die. Everyone. Fortunately, however, the Oceanic 6 have two lives living in 1977. Jack is simultaneously running around the island and is also in school working on a math test. If Island Jack dies, it won't affect School Jack in the slightest. And since School Jack will eventually get on the flight after the bomb has been detonated, then School Jack will arrive in LA.
All that matters is if the Oceanic Six are willing to believe that they will continue living, just not their present self.

This is almost like The Prestige also, where Hugh Jackman's character creates multiples of himself. One can kill the other while still being alive. There's only one present for everyone at any given time.

I hope that makes sense.

Doc Brown will explain further:

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Old 05-02-2009, 01:11 AM   #678
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That's probably the single best explanation I've heard, period.
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Old 05-02-2009, 03:13 AM   #679
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I try to think of everything in Back to the Future terms. So since the bomb has a possibility to detonate (according to this episode where things can change) it may very well put an end to the island. I don't think that anyone has "one single present" since it's all relative. It's the present now. It's the present now. It's the present now. The sentence you just read is the past. The sentence that follows is the future, but right now it's the present.
If the bomb detonates, everyone on the island will die. Everyone. Fortunately, however, the Oceanic 6 have two lives living in 1977. Jack is simultaneously running around the island and is also in school working on a math test. If Island Jack dies, it won't affect School Jack in the slightest. And since School Jack will eventually get on the flight after the bomb has been detonated, then School Jack will arrive in LA.
I agree with your basic premise explaining the way Lost is handling time travel, but I'm not so sure I agree that this episode showed us that things can change. In fact, I think it showed the opposite, despite Daniel's sudden insight that people are the variables of the equation that can bring about change. Instead, it seemed to prove what they've told us all along, that "what happened, happened." Just like every other time, he warned young Charlotte about the island, then met with the Losties-playing-Dharmites, and then went to find his mother so that he could change things. But the result was that he ended up dead, just like he did in the past, because what happened, happened.

I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that whatever they (Jack, Kate, Alpert, Hawking, Chang, whoever...) do with the information Daniel gave them will end up causing the incident, as opposed to preventing it. I do think though that one of the tasks that needs to be completed before the end of the series is to get them out of this time loop they're in, so perhaps someone will eventually find a way to make a change of some sort that will accomplish this.
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Old 05-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #680
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so perhaps someone will eventually find a way to make a change of some sort that will accomplish this.
The one person we've been told is an exception to the rules, and can change the "picture on the box": Desmond.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:18 PM   #681
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In fact, I think it showed the opposite, despite Daniel's sudden insight that people are the variables of the equation that can bring about change. Instead, it seemed to prove what they've told us all along, that "what happened, happened." Just like every other time, he warned young Charlotte about the island, then met with the Losties-playing-Dharmites, and then went to find his mother so that he could change things. But the result was that he ended up dead, just like he did in the past, because what happened, happened.
Well there's the rub.

But that almost doesn't make sense. Daniel has never died before, or at least I don't remember any references to a dead Daniel Faraday prior to this episode. I still think he walked into that camp rather aggressively for someone who had just asked for a weaker gun not ten minutes earlier. Whether or not he was proving something about his mother or time travel in general is still a question in my mind.
But like I said before, maybe he sacrificed his Island Self so his mother would be shocked enough to leave his 1977 Child Self alone and not force him back to the island. I think that this is a tangent universe they have created. Although 1977 has already happened no matter what, right now we are witnessing the present 1977 where things can be changed and that will create an alternate 1978, 1979 so on and so forth until September 22, 2004 when the plane does not crash and arrives in LA as intended.

I'm a time travel freak, so I love and all explanations of it. I don't think I finished watching Great Expectations, but there seems to be a bit of what you're talking about in there. I seem to remember Guy Pearce traveling back in time to stop someone he loved from dying by being hit by a carriage, but no matter what he did, she would always die.

This also reminds me of Michael, who could not commit suicide off the island. I want to believe that it's because he was always meant to die on that freighter. Whether it's destiny or "whatever happened, happened," I don't know for sure.
I hope these questions will be answered in the finale. They've got a lot of work to do.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:51 PM   #682
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so on and so forth until September 22, 2004 when the plane does not crash and arrives in LA as intended.
This would be such a terrible way to end the series but it did cross my mind that it could end that way. I'm sitting here thinking about how their lives would be if the plane hadn't crashed.

Kate would be going to jail.
Sawyer would still be a loser.
So would John Locke, but in a wheelchair.
Hurley would still have money problems.
Ana Lucia would be facing a murder charge.
Charlie would still be a drug addict.
Jin would still be making Sun feel bad about herself.
Desmond would still be living underground and pushing a button.

The crash was the best thing to ever happen to some of these people.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:22 PM   #683
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I'm a time travel freak, so I love and all explanations of it. I don't think I finished watching Great Expectations, but there seems to be a bit of what you're talking about in there. I seem to remember Guy Pearce traveling back in time to stop someone he loved from dying by being hit by a carriage, but no matter what he did, she would always die.
That was not Great Expectations. It was a remake of The Time Machine (the original one was much better).
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:24 PM   #684
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Desmond would still be living underground and pushing a button.
Not if the bomb destroys the exotic matter. Desmond would, instead, probably have died in the storm which claimed his boat and marooned him on the island to begin with.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:46 PM   #685
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The one person we've been told is an exception to the rules, and can change the "picture on the box": Desmond.
Yes, that's the way I've always understood it, too. Unless they're going to introduce some new twist into the mix.

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Well there's the rub.

But that almost doesn't make sense. Daniel has never died before, or at least I don't remember any references to a dead Daniel Faraday prior to this episode. I still think he walked into that camp rather aggressively for someone who had just asked for a weaker gun not ten minutes earlier. Whether or not he was proving something about his mother or time travel in general is still a question in my mind.
But like I said before, maybe he sacrificed his Island Self so his mother would be shocked enough to leave his 1977 Child Self alone and not force him back to the island. I think that this is a tangent universe they have created. Although 1977 has already happened no matter what, right now we are witnessing the present 1977 where things can be changed and that will create an alternate 1978, 1979 so on and so forth until September 22, 2004 when the plane does not crash and arrives in LA as intended.

I'm a time travel freak, so I love and all explanations of it. I don't think I finished watching Great Expectations, but there seems to be a bit of what you're talking about in there. I seem to remember Guy Pearce traveling back in time to stop someone he loved from dying by being hit by a carriage, but no matter what he did, she would always die.

This also reminds me of Michael, who could not commit suicide off the island. I want to believe that it's because he was always meant to die on that freighter. Whether it's destiny or "whatever happened, happened," I don't know for sure.
I hope these questions will be answered in the finale. They've got a lot of work to do.
What made me think that Daniel's death was what had always happened is that his mother seemed so subtly regretful and remorseful (and blatantly so when talking with Widmore outside of the hospital) for much of the episode, as though she was aware of what was going to happen, but was powerless to stop it. She seemed to emotionally distance herself from him, and set him on a path, as though already knowing the outcome. She seems to be a huge proponent of determinism. Plus, the writers and the Cuse - Lindelof duo have drilled "whatever happened, happened" into our heads for a season or two now, so for them to just up and change the rules - unless they're doing it via Desmond, a clear exception to the rules - seems like a cheat. I took the whole scene with Daniel in the others' camp to be similar to what happened with Sayid shooting child Ben. Sayid thought his actions would change the chain of events, but all he did was cause them to play out just as they always had. It's true that no one had ever referred to a previously dead Daniel, but there are many things that fall under the what happened, happened rule that haven't been referred to until we actually see it on screen. And, the time-travelling Losties wouldn't know about it until after it happened, anyway. I know that last point doesn't make sense, and I don't know how to explain it better, but it makes sense in my head.

Unlike you, I know very, very little about time travel. It's been eons since I've seen Back to the Future (although everything I've read about Lost time travel, people say that first off, in order for time travel n00bs to grasp it, they should put the BTTF rules out of their minds), but after a ton of reading and thinking, and considering, I think I've finally got it. What sort of helped me was coming to the realization that there are parallel worlds occurring simultaneously. Anyway, the one thing I keep reading over and over is that the rules of time travel that Lost seems to be adhering to so far are most similar to those used in the novel The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. I've never read it, but maybe you have?

I've never really thought of Michael's death in terms of whatever happened, happened, but I supposed that's valid. In his case, and in Locke's, I've always thought more in terms of the island needing them to fulfill a purpose, and until they do, they're automatically given a "temporarily immortal" card. But I suppose WH,H would also hold true.

Anyway, I could be talking out of my ass, and you could be totally right, but those are just my thoughts on the whole thing. That's why I'm bordering on obsessed with this show, it's endlessly discussable, and there are so many puzzles and ways it could play out.

Speaking of them finding time before the series ends to cover the plethora of things they need to cover, I recently found out a plot point that's not going to be addressed before the end of the series, and I'm really pissed about it. It's not a major thing, but it's one of two smaller things I was *really* looking forward to learning more about. I'll spoiler it.

 
In a Cuse - Lindelof podcast recently, they said that they're not going to cover the Libby storyline. Bitches.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:29 PM   #686
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To speak to your spoiler, that was one of the things that turned out to be a casualty of the writer's strike. They wanted to do a Libby-centric episode, but ran out of time. Who knows where the show would have gone, or what they would have covered, had they not had to rush things due to that strike?

I'm sure the overall arc of the story has remained true, but the writers have had to deviate from their original plans a number of times. One such occasion that comes to mind is when they killed off Mr. Eko. Originally, they envisioned making him central to the story, but after the actor that plays Eko wanted out, they transferred much of that storyline onto John Locke.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:43 PM   #687
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But like I said before, maybe he sacrificed his Island Self so his mother would be shocked enough to leave his 1977 Child Self alone and not force him back to the island. I think that this is a tangent universe they have created.
Assuming there is one timeline, we have already seen what Faraday's mother does. It's evident to me in the episode that when she continually pushes Daniel to follow a path of science, she knows that he will one day travel to the past, and she will kill him. She knows it when she talks to Widmore, and Daniel himself said it as his dying words.

I'm brought back to what she told Ben Linus at the start of the season, that if the Oceanic Six do not make it back to the island within 70 hours, "God help us all." In my mind, she's like a Time Cop, making sure that everything happens as it should, or else there may be unforeseen and possibly dire circumstances for all of humanity. This is why she sent Daniel back, even knowing what would happen to him. He had work to do, and set a chain of events in motion that would happen as they always had. She sacrificed him for the greater good.

My head hurts.




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so on and so forth until September 22, 2004 when the plane does not crash and arrives in LA as intended.
Would this not create some sort of grandfather paradox? Similar to me saying that I'd go back in time to kill Hitler before he takes over Germany. If I do that, and he dies, then my future self would never have a reason to go back in time in the first place.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:10 AM   #688
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That was not Great Expectations. It was a remake of The Time Machine (the original one was much better).
Ah yes. I don't know why I thought Great Expectations! I didn't see the whole thing since I have heard from multiple sources that it was a horrible movie. I'll have to check out the original.

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Anyway, the one thing I keep reading over and over is that the rules of time travel that Lost seems to be adhering to so far are most similar to those used in the novel The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. I've never read it, but maybe you have? [/SPOILER]
I haven't read it. I'm starting to think that Lost is creating its own time travel rules anyway. I'm really eager to see them roll out a real time machine after the series is over since they have claimed that all of this is plausible in the real world.

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Would this not create some sort of grandfather paradox? Similar to me saying that I'd go back in time to kill Hitler before he takes over Germany. If I do that, and he dies, then my future self would never have a reason to go back in time in the first place.
This is probably the biggest issue with time travel. There's no way to get out a gaping plot hole. Each movie/tv show/book has its own paradox if you think about it too long.
There are three choices in this scenario:
1. You can't kill Hitler. Something will stop you.
2. You kill Hitler and cease to exist, probably because the world will be completely different with an extra six million people, plus all those who did not die in a war. Your parents would have likely never met, having married someone else.
3. You kill Hitler and return to a world that you don't belong to at all. I think of it as going into your own "It's a Wonderful Life."

I've also heard of theories that there are an unlimited amount of planes of existence, so you may just be traveling into another dimension where you kill Hitler as history has always planned it.
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:35 PM   #689
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God I love Hurley!! That was hilarious, how he came clean!!

This show just keeps getting better and better...

Locke is getting to cocky
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:02 AM   #690
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Wowza.
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