It’s funny to think that a show that was initially about a group of people trying to get off a mysterious island has suddenly become about those very same people trying to get back, but credit Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof (the brilliant masterminds behind the series) for one thing: they sure know how to keep it interesting. “The Constant,” one of last season’s best episodes (and arguably one of the best the series has ever produced), changed the show forever when it brought the concept of time travel into the fold. So when it was announced that the series would be using this complicated storytelling device even more in the final two seasons, it was pretty much a given that the writers couldn’t wait to blow the collective minds of its audience. And as it just so happens, my mind has been officially blown.
As far as this whole island-moving, time travel thing is concerned, let me express my absolute gratitude over the decision to set some ground rules from the get-go. You see, it’s very easy to introduce something like time travel into a sci-fi story, but it’s even easier for it to get out of hand and come back to bite you in the ass later on. This has been a recurring problem on “Heroes” lately, and unfortunately, the more that they mess with the space-time continuum, the more the series digs itself into a hole it’s never going to be able to climb back out of. I mean, seriously, how many different futures are they on now?
Thankfully, “Lost” has a character like Daniel Faraday among its ranks, who is quick to point out to anyone who challenges him (ahem, Sawyer) not to try and change the future. Because no matter how hard you may try, you can’t undo anything that has already happened, even if, y’know, it hasn’t actually happened yet in relation to when you are. How funny, then, that the minute Sawyer gives up on trying to contact Desmond through the hatch door, Faraday does exactly that. It just so happens that Desmond’s time travel powers allows him to converse with Faraday without him actually knowing it (Penelope suggests it’s a dream, but Desmond says it’s a memory), and I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up playing a major role in the Oceanic 6’s eventual return to the island.
Of course, the Others (as they’ll now be known) are hardly given a second to adapt to their new surroundings when they’re thrust once again into a different time. Faraday likens the whole phenomenon to a record skipping, and though they’re transported back and forth several times in a matter of hours, their final destination (or what seems like their final destination anyway) is most certainly pre-crash. I’m not sure exactly what time period that is, but online reports seem to indicate that it’s sometime in the 1970s, which sounds about right, except for the fact that Dharma workers are running around the woods shooting fire arrows at unsuspecting trespassers like they’re living in the Middle Ages. And on that note, a brief moment of silence for poor Frogurt (er, Neil), who was turned into a human shish kabob before he could even speak his peace.
All this talk about the past and there’s so much happening in the present. Okay, maybe not, but one thing that did pop into my head while watching tonight’s episode was a) how would the Oceanic 6 return to the island if it’s constantly moving through time, and b) what happens if they return during present time, but the Others are still “trapped” sometime else? Maybe the island hasn’t even begun to stop moving and Jack and Co. have to figure out how to fix that before they even try to return, but if that’s the case, Charlotte is in serious trouble, because it doesn’t look like her nosebleeds will be getting better any time soon.
Plus, before they even attempt to stop the island from moving, Jack and Ben have to convince the other four (Kate, Sun, Hurley and Sayid) to go back with them. That’s going to be pretty difficult considering that Sun wants Ben dead, Kate is on the run from the law (again), Sayid doesn’t trust anyone, and Hurley has just turned himself over to the police for killing three men that Sayid is responsible for. Oh yeah, and not only is Hurley still seeing dead people (cue Michelle Rodriguez cameo), but they’re giving him instructions on how to avoid the authorities. “Lost” is back folks, and it’s even trippier than usual.