The following is a speculative theory about the finale. Everything is based on what we’ve already seen in Season Six, so if you are one of those few who haven’t been watching Season Six and don’t want it spoiled or you don’t like speculation, don’t read this.
What viewers have been calling “the altverse,” “alternative timeline” etc, is in fact a “reset” timeline that began at the time of the jughead blast. However, there was something else, another “variable” besides jughead that caused the Island to sink.
We know that in what we call “alt-2004” the Island is on the bottom of the ocean. Yet Smokey doesn’t seem to be lurking in the world and life goes on. Alt-2004 isn’t exactly hell. Some people are pretty happy. It’s understandable why Eloise doesn’t want anyone messing with it.
So somehow “it worked.” The Island sank and the threat of darkness overtaking the world sank with it. How?
During the finale we will see a final return to the past. When? It has to be some point after the swing sets and dharma houses were built since we see them in the bottom of the ocean as the plane flies above them in alt-2004. The writers have recently reminded us about the “donkey wheel”. It’s like a gun on Chekov’s mantle piece (and I don’t mean Chekov from Star Trek). It’s going to be used again before this thing ends.
Prediction: They go back to 1977. Specifically, the day of the jughead blast. Daniel was right that we are the variables and Juliet was right that it worked, except it didn’t quite work, at least not yet. The reset happens when the island sinks setting off the alt-timeline which is in fact the “real” timeline. Jughead alone didn’t cause this to happen. Jughead plus another factor involving our steadfast survivors on a final mission (and act of faith) will.
I don’t know what the final battle will look like, but it will be well-written and involve community, heroism and sacrifice. Des will play a key part. It will provide a definitive end to the Island and it will “only end once.”
So back in 1977 as our friends are trying to blow up jughead, they will be “joined” — but probably never meet themselves from 2007 or as Miles might say “last week.” (Imagine Sawyer from the future having to watch himself try to save Juliet while future Jack (or Kate) tells him that he has to let it her die.)
Before jughead goes off and whatever else has to happen to sink the Island (probably involving electro magnetic fields, Jack’s finding the source, Des making a sacrifice, Flocke/Smokey getting trapped), the 2007/Losties will be helping to make sure that some of the Dharma folks safely leave. Little Ben and his Dad will be evacuated. My money’s on 2007/Miles making sure that this time Dr. Chang is on the sub with his wife and baby Miles. Or maybe everyone is evacuated to Hydra Island and waits there for rescue.
Those we think of as “original” timeline Hurley, Sawyer, Jack, Des, Kate and Ben all sink with the Island or die in the battle and in the reset timeline aka “the alt-verse” those who are “ready” remember everything. They don’t all have to. Maybe Jin and Sun aren’t at the concert, but each remember having the same crazy dream where they were drowning or Miles doesn’t remember anything because he doesn’t need to. In this timeline he never lost his dad and wasn’t an embittered ghost hunter. Charley will meet Claire though neither need to remember all the details to begin their happily ever after life.
This would explain why Ben and his Dad remember being on the Island and why they left. Damn thing sank! Some Asian guy put them on the last boat to Hydra with Dr. Chang and his family. This would explain why Rousseau never got shipwrecked there. Jacob never went back in time select those particular candidates by screwing with them, so Kate didn’t get away with her lunchbox caper and maybe learned something. Sawyer still sought revenge but had a little counterweight of reason, choosing to be a cop rather than a con. Jack never saw Jacob when he left the operating room. Maybe he calmed down on his own, figured something out. Maybe this had some indirect effect of his not marrying his first wife and instead marrying, well, you know who, and it didn’t quite work out. The reset no doubt had many consequences, but it’s not “alt” or parallel. It’s what happened.
Here’s Part II which I don’t feel like posting separately:
If I’m Right….
If I’m right then what are some other “predictions” that logically follow?
Well for one thing, people, at least one in particular, are still being manipulated, but it’s not Jacob or “the Island” pulling the strings. If my theory holds water than Eloise and Widemore must have been rescued before the Island sank. Elosie is not a physicist but she took Daniel’s book with her. I don’t think she shared everything she knew with Widemore, but she knew about Daniel’s constant, Desmond Hume. Desmond didn’t have exactly the same life because he wasn’t exposed to the EM and didn’t have “flashes.” It was the flashes that led him to certain situations like joining the monastery and meeting Penny. So that doesn’t happen. But Eloise has the book and knows he’s important and Eloise also knows that her only hope of not shooting her son in 1977 is tied to keeping the present timeline in tact, so she tells her husband to hire the guy and keep an eye on him. Doesn’t share why but there’s enough stuff she’s told him that he’ll go along. My guess is that his being on Oceanic 815 was a coincidence. It wasn’t in Daniel’s book so Eloise didn’t know to stop it. Otherwise, she would have to protect the time line.
Another person who knows something is Dr. Chang. He knew that grown up Miles, LaFleur’s assistant visited him and probably saved his life on the island. He knows that time travel is possible and how dangerous it is. If he’s met Detective Ford and he probably has, it must have been an interesting meeting and one where Change had to keep his mouth shut. (Wouldn’t it be hilarious if they used “lefleur” as a codeword because for some crazy reason Dr. Chang keeps calling Jame, LeFleur. It should be interesting when he sees all those familiar faces from 30 years ago at the museum. (I’m guessing the Widemore’s are big patrons.) I predict we’ll get some explanation from Chang before the night is over.
There is coincidence,fate, course correction and then there’s the butterfly effect. There are some differences we may not be able to account for. Jin was sterile in initial time line. Sun got pregnant because of the power of the island. In the reset, there was no magic involved. So maybe whatever made him sterile didn’t happen. Jack’s appendix came out when he was a child. The accident leading to Locke’s being in a wheelchair was different in each time line.
Because Des happened to be (or the universe course corrected to put him) on flight 813 he came in contact with the Losties and because of his experience with Charley he learned that even though his life was pretty great in the reset, he was missing something, and then he found it — Penny. The poignant part and maybe this is the sacrifice that the Island demands is his Charley. He and Penny may have a child but will the “reset” Charley be the same one? For that matter, will Sun and Jin have the same daughter?2
Final thought update (5/22): If I’m write that the Island is destroyed in 1977 and the alt is the reset timeline which makes the most sense given that the creator of Lost is the same guy who did the Star Trek reset and (possibly) saved the franchise, then it might be possible that one or more of the original Losties don’t get killed and get rescued along with Chang, Eloise, Widmore, etc. What if it were Hurley? What if in this reset he gets the magic lottery numbers from himself instead of the crazy guy? I hope I am right. Not just because it would feel immensely satisfying, but because structurally it would provide the least dumb alternative and the best possibilities for all the characters.
Anyway, if you are out their receiving the transmission, please feel free to comment.
5/23 — 90 minutes to go before the finale, so I’m adding one more bit of speculation. So Damon says in a New York Times interview (you’ll have to find the link yourself) that Walt will in the finale. This was after he talked about writing the character out because the actor looked too old (and tall) to play him. There’s also been speculation/spoilers out there that MIB will be killed and the killer will be a surprise. So here’s my thinking and how it could work with my theory above. The day the Losties go back to 1977, they find a “new” Dharma recruit. It’s Walt sent there from 2012 or whatever year he’ll look his age by Jack from the future after this attempt failed and he was the only survivor or maybe Eloise, who knows, not important. So Walt will be there with them and he’ll be the one who ultimately throws Flocke in the stream or does whatever. Sure it sounds ridiculous but no more so then that episode of Voyager where Seven of Nine kept getting sent back in time till the scenario worked. I think ultimately it will be more on the side of “science fiction” — electromagnetic fields shifting time versus “magic” and even the manifestations of the dead and healing will be sort of explained.