Tuesday, January 27, 2009

LT187: The MJ Theory


A reader of TIDBITS, MJ, posts his thoughts on time travel. They were so excellent that it got me thinking about a whole new theory that goes like this:

The present is yesterday.

To explain this we need a reference point. Should we use the island’s move date of December 30, 2004? Or should we use the timeframe of the Oceanic 6 which is 2007? Or should we use one of the Jump Dates?

The answer is pick one. It doesn’t matter. All the dates of reference are in the past!


If we were giving out awards for consistency then the writers of LOST deserve the Constant Award. Repeatedly the producers have reminded us that we will see that this show was not throwing out oddities merely for the sake of distracting or misleading from the real meaning of the show’s plot.

Starting in Season 4 we started to see this consistency factor begin to appear. Now this isn’t to suggest that some things were not merely for the sake of entertainment. For example, the inspiration for this new theory, MJ, even stated his doubt about the Numbers. He said that they should drop inserting the Numbers into everything since they probably have no direct meaning to the storyline. I beg to differ and his own foundation for The MJ Theory opposes his prediction.

In fact, the Numbers are not there just to show inter-connectivity. While they do reinforce the connections between everything, they have a higher purpose. One suggestion that has been on boards for some time is that the Numbers can have a date meaning.

4 8 15 16 23 42

This sequence can be transposed into a date. April 8, 2015 (4/8/15). The time is in hours, minutes and seconds (16:23.42) or 4:23 p.m.

The suggestion has been that this is the Doomsday Date from the Valenzetti Equation. This is the exact moment that the world will end. In fact, the Dharma Initiative’s stated mission is to do as much as possible change the numbers. This means that Dharma is then attempting to change the date of our demise.

Now consider all of the odd phrases of past episodes that we have routinely dismissed. Like Desmond saying, “So I started pushing the button, too. And we saved the world together for awhile, and that was lovely.” With this MJ Theory in mind, consider how literal Desmond was being. And keep in mind that Ms. Hawking describes Desmond’s button pushing as the most important thing he will ever do.

Even the Survivors, like the viewers, scoffed at the literal meaning. Jack thinks the explanation offered by Desmond is insane, “Because the last time I saw a computer that was going to save the world, it didn't look like that.” When that line was uttered, millions of viewers dropped their attitude of “what if” and replaced with, “of course Jack is right.” Well, maybe not.


My favorite author once wrote, “Whenever you have a contradiction, recheck your premise…one of them is wrong.” Let’s apply that to LOST.

Consider the Season 5 premier when Daniel gets Desmond to open the hatch door. Many viewers suggested that Daniel cheated. Daniel had just explained to Sawyer how it wouldn’t matter what he did because he couldn’t change the past. The MJ Theory agrees 100% with this.

Yet, Daniel sees Charlotte’s nose bleed and proceeds to change things by giving Desmond a psychic message via his dreams. That would be cheating according to Daniel’s own explanation.

Further, I argued early on that Daniel changed the past merely by knocking on the Swan Station door. Imagine if Desmond was about to mix himself up a nice big milkshake. No matter how you spin it, if the first time loop Desmond finished his task and drank it all up…then this time loop, he gets interrupted by someone knocking at the door. To me, that is changing the future.

When you consider this contradiction in light of the Butterfly Effect, the calories in Desmond’s body were forever altered. The temperature of the milkshake dropped while he answered the door. The hazmat suit got one more added wear and tear to its durability.

This seems liked cheating by the writers. It seemed like an apparent contradiction.

But The MJ Theory can explain this and other contradictions. It welcomes this “course correction” and here is why:


To explain the gist of The MJ Theory let’s keep the Desmond-Daniel encounter in mind. The ONLY way that Daniel’s knocking didn’t alter the past if is when this even occurred in the past, it happened just like this!

Sort of tough to wrap my mind around this, but the suggestion is that the first (and only time) this event took place…Daniel DID knock on the Swan door. The first and only time these events happened, Daniel uttered, “I hope this works.” These events only happened once and precisely as we have seen them displayed.

How can this be? Because 100% of LOST has been a review of history! These events don’t contradict because these are exactly how they played out the first and only time they occurred.


To help clarify the intent of The MJ Theory let me offer a new reference date. When the show began the date on the calendar of the walls of the writers read, “April 8, 2015”. Yes, EVERYTHING we have seen has been historical.

Ben didn’t time jump into the future ten months after turning the Dharma Wheel. Even scientific theories – which the producers admit they will allow on the show – do not really support time travel in a forward manner. So how do we explain the perceived ten month jump forward?

Easy, Ben obviously jumps in the physical sense, but not in the time sense a second time. The date of his second jump is in October 2005.

Even the Oceanic 6 events of 2007 are historical events from the LOST writer’s perspective. The entire show is a history lesson.

The REAL reference point is Doomsday, April 8, 2015. We all know the tendency for LOST to connect to literary works. It should be no surprise then that April 8, 2015, is found in a Stephen King book as a Doomsday deadline. This is where the writers got their series of numbers. It isn’t the jersey numbers of Hall of Fame Yankees, it isn’t some longitude/latitude sequence, it is the date the world ends.


If LOST was written in proper time sequence it would begin on April 5, 2015. Notice this is three days prior to the Doomsday Date.

If the show was aired in chronological order, then The MJ Theory suggests that the show would begin with Ms. Hawking doing her calculations in the basement of that church. That was 2015.

A reader of LOST TIDBITS shared with me another apparent contradiction. They noticed that Ben was in Los Angeles with Jack and making arrangements to put Locke’s body on ice at the butcher shop. Now IF, I repeat, IF Ms. Hawking is Daniel’s brother then she should be in Oxford so Desmond can go find her. So then how did Ben get from LA to Oxford (England) that quickly?

He didn’t. That final scene was not 2007 – the time when Desmond is pulling up anchor and heading to the college to find Ms. Hawking – no, that final scene was April 5, 2015. It was 70 hours away from the Doomsday date and time!

Giving kudos the writers of LOST once again, the Season 5 is about two hours old when we see the scene of Ben lighting candles in the church. Three days if often referred to as 72 hours, but being two hours into the season, I’m guessing that said, “No, we are now 70 hours away from blowing up the planet.” They get a pat on the back for at least mirroring the real time as the show unfolds with the real time in April 2015. I’m getting a little “24” déjà vu feeling now! HA!

Side note: The actor who played Yemi is the only actor to be in “LOST”, “24” and “Heroes”.

Indeed, the world does end on April 5, 2015…or in about 70 hours now. This is the proper reference point of LOST. What we see after this is everything that has led up to this point in time. LOST is a historical story in it entirety (other than the final scene in Episode 2). I expect more scenes from the “proper present” in episodes to come.


I formulated the details of this theory from MJ’s comment about the fancy walkie-talkies that Naomi and Daniel brought to the island. The line from Sayid about not recognizing this technology had obviously sat in MJ’s mind long enough. When he pointed it out to me, a light went on. The only way to avoid time travel to the future, is for everything on LOST to be in the past already.

If we let this MJ Theory sit and stew for some time, it alerts to other possibilities. For example, we assume that Ms. Hawking is Daniel’s mother. With the show jumbling up historical events, this opens the door of possibilities. It could very well be that Ms. Hawking is Daniel’s future daughter. Of course, it isn’t the future, but the past…but when we are allowed to peek at history via the TV show…it seems to be the future for Daniel. But not so.

This means that Aaron could be someone’s grandfather. Only if we knew how to piece together the historical timeline can we then make sense of the entire show. This is like the Sixth Sense on steroids!

This theory also means that Ben knows everything that happened. His job, if you will, is to make sure history actually repeats itself exactly as it did the first and only time. This explains his tendency to know the rules, have a plan, and always be one step ahead.

This from the future approach would help explain why Richard never seems to age. For indeed some people are special and can jump through time, but he appears to be the only one we see at different times who looks the same.


While I was researching to assemble this theory, one thing really caught my eye and bugs me to no end. Recall that the final beach scene with the Survivors, the timeframe is 2001-2002. The camp is missing. Well, when the group was at the Swan Hatch hole, it was present time. So the Survivors on the beach should have seen their stuff re-appear, right?

Perhaps they scratched their heads in amazement, but I’ll bet when it disappeared again, they would be chattering like school children about how they would grab what they could the NEXT time and scarf down some food and stuff.

We didn’t have a visual contradiction because we were never shown the beach when the island jumped back to 2004. Visually, we didn’t see the beach until it was back to 2001-02 and Sawyer leads the group, minus Daniel who lingered at the Swan door, back to the beach. While they are making their way back, the island shifts time again.

Here is my problem…where then did Sawyer get his shirt from? It seems that only what a person has in their possession survived the time jumps. So unless Frogurt was wearing or holding both shirts at the time…see my problem?

Technically and depending on the “rules”, the Survivors should have been naked when they jumped back to 2001-02. This led me to the “if you are holding it or wearing it” rule. Think the bottle of rum that Juliet was holding on to.


The biggest drawback to this approach is that we still need some time travel – the walkie-talkie makes it back in time (on the island), Richard makes it back (Locke’s birth), and so on. This just points to special people in my mind. This would suggest that someone brought the technology back in time and maybe not Naomi. The special ones would be Richard, Locke, Walt, Daniel, and Charles Widmore. The list might include Ben and Ms.Hawking.


So there you have The MJ Theory. The writers have taken the history of the story, cut it up into little pieces, thrown them into the air, and spliced them back together as they see fit. You should be thinking about that first clue of the splicing of the Swan Orientation film. If the show is nothing else, it is consistent…a promise the producers have been repeating for some time.

This means that the purpose of LOST is to see if within the last 70, 69, 68…hours of mankind whether the Enlightened Ones can somehow change the only future that exists within LOST on April 8, 2015 at 4:23 in the afternoon.

Now it seems that Desmond was indeed pushing that button in order to save the world. And now it seems that around 2004, a man named Locke smashed the computer. In the three years after that event, Ben and other Watchers have been trying to figure out how to save the world in a different way. The next two seasons will be a history lesson on how well that succeeded. The series will end at the present, April 8, 2015, and only then will we find out how well that planned worked.

I most definitely welcome feedback on this theory!


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