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The Sciences

On LOST, Time Travel, and the Final Season

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With one week until the premiere of the final season of LOST, let's consider the possibilities for what might happen next... At this point in the story, the island has stopped jumping through time, but some survivors stuck in the past have just detonated--or attempted to detonate--a conveniently placed nuclear bomb. If successful, they could change everything. Their plan was first concocted by the island's resident physicist, Daniel Faraday, who figured out that variables (i.e., time travelers) may be able to alter the future, but unfortunately, he was shot by his own mother--who was pregnant with him at the time. So the other survivors took up Faraday's mission to change what's to come, reasoning that if the island and its mysterious energy no longer existed, their plane would not have crashed, they would not meet each other, and the entire first five seasons would never take place! Where are we now? It also seems that master manipulator Benjamin Linus was just a pawn for the even greater master manipulating smoke monster (

a.k.a., the Egyptian god Set?

) who found his loophole to kill Jacob in John Locke. However, we suspect Jacob anticipated what would take place and set a series of events in motion by visiting each of the main characters before they reached the island, possibly derailing the smoke monster's plan so his own murder would never happen. Further, it appears that this is a sort of game the two play: Endlessly calling travelers to their island to move them about like chess pieces. And Jacob always triumphs... so far. Still with me? So this thread's just for fun for all of the LOST fans out there. Let's speculate on what's to come in the final season and whether Jughead can actually change the future--or if it's all been done before. What do readers think? I’ll get us started with a similar question to one I posed last year: If you theoretically travel back in time to change the future--only to realize you've already been there and failed--might free will result in different choices leading to new and alternative realities?

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