Before we talk about what happens here, we have to examine the circumstances leading up to this flash-sideways. On-island Sun is knocked out cold, and off-island Sun is just waking up. We've seen this happen time and time again, most noticeably when Jack gets put under for his on-island appendectomy and immediately wakes up in the Oceanic Six timeline.I love these ideas. Whether things will play out exactly like this I don't know, but I definitely think that Sun losing her English was WAY more than some goofy, soapy plot device (as has been suggested by frustrated fans in some places). I've always had the feeling that Desmond's "CTT" (aka Consciousness Time Travel) had to be a set up for something bigger coming along later. Could this "sideways universe" bleeding into the "island universe" be the final twist in what was set up with Desmond's CTT? Maybe. It is certainly a really intriguing thought.
"See you on the other side..." - Ben's words, right before Jack puts him under. Think he's just being cute here? Do you really think, when Sun looks into the mirror this episode, that she's not actually looking into the other side? That she really doesn't start to remember her past self? Do you think it's coincidence that Keamy's knock conveniently and pointedly pulls her back into the 'real' world, exactly the way Juliet got pulled out of her own little mirror staredown by the island burning her cookies?
I said it a few weeks ago, and Sawyer said it again last night: "Of course not. Because that would be ridiculous."
Watch Keamy's reaction as he introduces himself to Sun: he cocks his head and squints a little bit, almost as if to say "Don'tcha remember me?" There's actually a lot off about Keamy this episode - much more than usual. As a criminal we can all agree he's creepy awesome... but as someone who potentially knows things, he's got some pretty odd knowledge. Much more of this gets revealed later on, during his encounter with Jin in the walk-in fridge.
"She hits her head and forgets English? Are we supposed to buy that?" No Miles, we're not. I mean, yeah, some people may be buying it... but not me. And if you're reading this, hopefully not you either, because the mental transition from island to LAX back to island again hasn't caused Sun some obscure medical condition where she can no longer speak English, no matter how deep Jack digs into his patient history. No, what we're seeing here is the first concrete evidence of the next major reveal:
BIG Answer #3: The ALT Timeline is Actually Bleeding Through To the Island's Current Events
So many questions get potential answers here, it's actually kind of frightening. Were Desmond's "flashes" really just him experiencing the ALT timeline, but we were thrown off by this because he was visiting a past version of it? And while we're at it, exactly how many different timelines exist? Just because our LAX characters seem to have blasted themselves into the "Jughead" universe, it would be ignorant to assume there's only one. Was the Oceanic Six season nothing more than another alternate timeline, one in which Flight 815 really did hit the Indian ocean? Did Ben/Jacob really cure Juliet's sister's cancer, or was Mikhail pointing the Flame's monitor at a different timeline, in a different universe, on a different playground where that cancer didn't exist?
If Sun's memories starts crossing over from the ALT universe, where will they stop? Will all of our on-island characters begin 'remembering' their LAX lives? If so, it makes sense that everyone on the island would end up enlightened by their own off-island experiences. This might be what drives them to make the right decisions - ultimately breaking the seemingly endless cycle of repeating their own mistakes, and thus being the cause of their own suffering.
And if the two timelines merge, will it go both ways? Will the LAX characters gain sudden knowledge of their on-island experiences, and use them to move on with their lives? Is this where everyone's consciousness ends up when they die? Is this how on-island Juliet and on-island Sawyer can eventually go out for off-island coffee?
These are all tremendous questions. The floodgates have been opened here, starting with Sun smashing her head into that tree branch. The possibilities are endless. The stories can wind in any virtually direction. The merging of character consciousness allows for both timelines to remain relevant, and for both timelines to mean something. It seems to be the answer as to where everything is going, and yet at the same time it also seems to be something that's always been there.
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Interesting thoughts by Vozzek69
Vozzek analyzes this better than I could: