Ian Rogers’ Oceanic Update: The End of Innocence

Still confused by all the time-travel craziness on “Lost”?

The title of last week’s episode, “Whatever Happened, Happened,” pretty much sums up everything you need to know about the “Lost” version of time travel.

Although it might seem like Sayid going back in time and shooting Ben would change the future, it doesn’t. The fact is, Sayid was always meant to shoot Ben. As we now know, having seen Richard Alpert agree to heal Ben with the caveat that a) he won’t remember any of this (explaining why Ben doesn’t recognize Sayid in the future), and b) the healing procedure will result in the loss of Ben’s innocence. Not completely sure what that means (the loss of his soul, maybe?), except that it explains how Ben turns into such a cold-hearted s.o.b.

Up until Alpert explained the bit about Ben not remembering any of this, I was going with the idea that maybe Ben did remember Sayid shooting him, that this was why he was so adamant that Sayid would make the perfect assassin. Not because he was a torturer, but because Ben recalled the incident in his past when Sayid shot him. I liked the idea that Ben knew who Sayid was ever since he crashed on the island.

We could go one step further with that theory, seeing as how Richard Alpert has encountered a number of Losties throughout his own past. Locke, Sawyer, Kate. What did Alpert make of them when they crashed on flight 815 years later? Is that why certain names appear on the Others’ infamous lists? Are they the names of people they have tagged from encounters in the past? People who should be taken, or people who should be left alone, based on whatever destiny they have to fulfill? Try wrapping your head around that one!

Time travel isn’t that complicated once you understand that these things were all meant to happen. The Losties were meant to crash on the island, they were meant to go back in time, and Sayid was meant to shoot Ben. Not to kill him, but to set in motion the chain of events that will cause Ben to be healed by the Others, lose his innocence, and grow up to become the bug-eyed sociopath we all love to hate.

The question to ask is, would Ben have become as bad as he is if he hadn’t been shot? He probably still would have joined the Others, since his mind seemed set on that even before he was shot, but who’s to say if he would have become their leader, much less done the terrible things he did in later life.

I have to say I wasn’t terribly interested in the story of why Kate agreed to join Jack on the Ajira flight, and what she did with Aaron. Maybe it’s because I already called it at the end of season four, when Sawyer whispered in her ear before jumping out of the helicopter. We already knew Sawyer had a daughter, and since she’s the only person off the island he has any close connection to, it wasn’t really hard to figure out what he asked Kate to do.

More likely it’s just because I don’t really like Kate. Yeah, boo hiss on me. Sorry, folks, but I think the writers have done everything they can with a character whose two big character traits are that she likes to run and she bounces back and forth between Jack and Sawyer. The rumoured death due to take place by the end of the season probably won’t be her, since the producers know that a large chunk of the fans watch the show for its asinine love triangle (or love quadrangle, if you want to include Juliet, which you should since she’s definitely a force to be reckoned with), but I wouldn’t be sad to see her go. Maybe they’ll give her something new to do now that we know she came back to the island to find Claire. Maybe she’ll get mauled by a Dharma polar bear. Maybe.

The plotline with Aaron did get me thinking about something, though. Kids. Not just Aaron but Sawyer’s daughter Clementine, Sun and Jin’s daughter Ji Yeon, and Desmond and Penny’s son Charlie. There’s a lot of kids running around on the show these days, and I can’t help but notice that all of them are off-island. I think they’ll have a role to play, if not in this season, then in the final, sixth season.

Another time-jump into the future, anyone?

Leave a Reply