The main thing I got from this episode has to do with Alpert: he seemed genuinely surprised about the whole time-travel thingie. By all accounts he's been on the island a looong time and he himself doesn't seem to age. Yet the possibility that Locke and the losties are skipping through time seem to utterly bewilder him. Maybe he's faking it? Maybe the way the actors play these scenes doesn't really matter because they haven't been told everything. But Alpert really, truly does not seem to know about time travel in the way that Locke is experiencing.
Does that mean that Alpert didn't know about the donkey wheel? Or didn't know the donkey wheel could cause time skipping? Were the others not aware of the donkey wheel until Dharma found it? Because Ben sure seemed to know about it!
Does Jacob know about the donkey wheel? Who built it anyway?
Now, it is possible that once Alpert had been made aware of time-traveling, that the Others then started looking for reasons for it and eventually, maybe through Dharma, they found the donkey wheel. Still, Alpert's incredulity over the donkey wheel initiated time-skipping intrigues me. Especially since it seems Jacob's nemesis has specifically used the time-wonkiness the wheel create the loophole he needed to kill Jacob. What is going on with all that?
Is it possible that just like the compass, knowledge of time travel and the donkey wheel are in some kind of loop?
- Locke and the losties time skip because of what Ben does to the wheel.
- They end up in the 1950s and the Others become aware of time travel as a possibility.
- This leads to The Others researching the matter, and eventually to Dharma becoming aware of it.
- Then the wheel is uncovered and then Ben knows about it and tells Locke.... and so on.
More mind-bendiness in the episode: When Desmond goes to Oxford searching for Daniel's mother, a lady at the university helps him look on the computer for Faraday. This woman is played by the same actress who also played one of the airline employees checking people on to flight 815. Does she work for Widmore? Was she part of the conspiracy to get the losties on that plane?
Meeting young Widmore in this episode is interesting. He's arrogant, brutal and violent. But Richard totally orders him around.
Also interesting is the exchange with Locke:
Right here we see a lot of things coming together. We understand why Richard went looking for baby Locke, and why he subjected kid Locke to some testing. We also understand why Richard was later somewhat inclined to think that Locke was supposed to be important. Also interesting: leaders are selected starting at a young age. Which means Widmore and Ben as well as Eloise went through this process?
LOCKE: I expect you to tell me how to get off the Island.
RICHARD: That's very privileged information. Why would I share it with you?
LOCKE: Because you told me that I had something very important to do once I get there. And because I'm your leader.
RICHARD: You're my leader?
LOCKE: That's what you told me.
RICHARD: Look, I... certainly don't want to contradict myself, but... we have a very specific process for selecting our leadership, and it starts at a v--very, very young age.
LOCKE: All right. All right. What year is it right now?
RICHARD: It's 1954.
LOCKE: All right. May 30, 1956--2 years from now--that's the day I'm born--Tustin, California, and if you don't believe me, I suggest you come and visit me.
Also, Alpert knows of a way to get off the island. How? Submarine? Or something else?
And this is also in some ways the start of the con, the con perpetrated by Jacob's nemesis. Right here seeds are sown that will eventually lead to Locke becoming the leader of the others and then ending up dead, with Ben as a willing tool to dispose of Jacob.