I’m just going to go ahead and get a little personal in this post. I’ve been feeling a bit depressed lately. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason but in thinking about possible whys, it got me thinking about recent events. But not in my life… on Lost (of course).
This season on Lost we’ve been dealing with two universes. We’ve got the the original timeline that I’ll refer to as the Island Universe and then we’ve got an Alternate Universe where we are watching events unfold in Los Angeles. The two universes are alike in some ways and very different in others. The Alt Universe seems to treat the Lostaways differently than the Original Universe thus extracting different types of responses from its inhabitants. But what did this have to do with my life? Plenty.
Last month my Alternate Universe persona died in an earthquake in Manhattan. How do I know this? I watched it on TV. And she wasn’t just my Alt Persona, she was my TV Alt Persona from an Alt Universe. And since then, I’ve felt a bit… oh, I don’t know… Off?
Delusional? Me? No, I’m not delusional. I am quite sane. I’m just someone who has an old friend who writes for the show Fringe and when he needed to come up with the name of a character who had to die in the first scene of an episode, he thought of me. I tuned in that night and watched “TV Alt Pauline” talk about being from California (like me) and make comments indicating that she too was a coffee nut. I watched her say goodnight to her coworker, then another earthquake hit and bam, she was dead.
Here, perky TV Alt Universe Pauline gives Ted the "Call Me if you get extra coffee" signal just moments before her death.
It was an awesome moment for me. Well, an awesome moment for this universe’s Pauline… not so much for TV Alt Universe Pauline. And it was a nice feeling for about a week. I felt somehow lighter. But then something changed and I got a bit depressed. I felt empty… but why? My friend posted a comment on his FB page and said, “Pauline already died a horrible death in episode 14 and seems none the worse for wear for it.”
But was I none the worse for the wear? I was feeling disconnected to life. I couldn’t seem to feel passionate about anything. What the hell was wrong with me? What if my Alt Universe death had some sort of effect on me on some kind of molecular level? Perhaps it threw off my brain chemical equilibrium? Think about it… I used to be a nice mix of pessimistic/optimistic and suddenly I was just pessimistic. And so quickly after my happy-go-lucky, Alternate Universe self died. WTF?!
And then I did something stupid. The very LAST thing a person should do when they’re feeling depressed. I googled myself. Needless to say, that only made matters worse. I found that even though I’ve started this very important Lost blog… TV Alt Universe Pauline was getting so much more play than me. Her google hits to mine were more than 2:1. And she was DEAD!
This all got me thinking, of course, about that episode of Fringe and about the physics involved when dealing with more than one universe. Walter, Fringe’s scientific genius, had put it like this, “The universe seeks balance. We sent a car over there, so a car of equal mass came back. Now, a building from the other side appeared here. The laws of physics demand both sides of the equation balance. I calculate that a building from this side will be pulled over there, inhabitants and all…”
So, with TV Alt Universe Pauline dead… what did that mean for me? There was only one place for me to turn to seek out these answers. Season 6 of Lost. Like Lost’s Alt Universe, my TV Alt Reality self had similarities with me; she was from California, LOVED coffee…. but she was also upbeat to a point where she was almost chirpy. Have a look for yourself:
(a group of alternate universe business people work into the evening at Dodst & Rathje Architecture Ltd.)
PAULINE HESS: Hey. Thought you were getting out of here.
TED PRATCHET: Afraid not. It’s gonna be a late one.
PAULINE HESS: Wait a second. Is that — is that real coffee? Where did you get that?
TED PRATCHET: I don’t know. I have my sources.
PAULINE HESS: Aha.
TED PRATCHET: I’ve got a cousin in Hawaii. She has a secret stash. She sends me stuff every – (building shakes) – this is getting nuts. What is that, six since yesterday?
PAULINE HESS: Yeah, well, I’m from California, so I’m used to it, you know?
TED PRATCHET: But this is New York. Don’t you think it’s strange?
PAULINE HESS: Hmm.
TED PRATCHET: What are they saying on the news?
PAULINE HESS: That they’re just these little quakes, you know? Microquakes. Probably just some byproduct of global warming. Well, see you tomorrow. Oh, and if you, uh, have any extra coffee… call me.
TED PRATCHET: Good night, Pauline.
PAULINE HESS: Night.
The Pauline in this universe… I mean, Me… I wouldn’t have been so dismissive of microquakes in New York City! I wouldn’t have let the media make up my mind… I would have researched it and had a much better answer than shrugging it off on global warming. I would have also said, Climate change. But perhaps Fringe’s Alternate Universe has better journalists who dig deep and get all the facts to a story leaving its citizens able to just accept what it’s told? Or perhaps there are severe consequences for being a snarky, anti-mainstream woman? Who knows? But despite the fact that things look so similar… I’ve noticed that the universe acts differently, sparing some and harming others. Shaping lives in different ways.
I’ve also noticed this in Lost. In Lost, it seems that the people in the Alt Universe seem to act differently or at least respond differently than the people on the Island do or would have. Just like how TV Alt Universe Pauline just accepted she’d be going without coffee, I would have tried to scam some off my co-worker…or at least schmooze myself a sip. It’s just like how Alt Universe Locke laughed when he fell off his hydrolic lift onto the lawn while Island Lock would have pulled his knife out and stabbed that lawn like it was a rogue boar trying to eat him.
This led me to wonder… what if the Lost TV Universe shared things in common with it’s sister show Fringe? What if the two universes had to remain balanced at all times? And that of course got me thinking about Charlie. Or, more specifically, Chayid. Yeah, you knew that was coming.
In the Island Universe, Charlie is long dead. In Alt Universe, Charlie is still kickin’. That seems pretty imbalancey to me BUT… Charlie died on the plane just before they landed in LA. He swallowed a bag of Heroin and stopped breathing. Then Jack yanked the dope out of his throat and brought him back to life. He got mad at Jack telling him he was “supposed to die.” (wonder where he got that idea? Did he talk to desmond on the plane before going to the bathroom?)
Meanwhile, in Island Universe, Sayid was being drowned by a bunch of Others. And when he woke up, he wasn’t quite right… and oddly he sounded just like Charlie when he asked, “Wot Happened?” He also thanked Jack for saving his life. But Jack didn’t saved Sayid’s life… but he did save Charlie’s… on the plane… in the Alt Universe.
Basically, what I’m getting at is that Charlie was dead in Island Universe so Alt Universe was going to let him die in an attempt to balance things out but Jack stepped in and disrupted that balance. And resurrected Island Universe Charlie back in the freshest available island body. Also allowing Island Sayid’s Skin suit, a tiny bit like Locke’s being up and about. Not including FLocke though… could this be what the illness is? The resurrection of spirits into unburied bodies in an attempt to achieve some sort of body count balance? (Living body count, that is). Makes me wonder about Adam and Eve and the new skin suites they might be wearing.
I realize that this theory of mine is as holy as swiss cheese… especially because there are more people alive on the plane than there are on the island. Many people on the plane in Alt Universe are dead in Island Universe. Locke, Boone, The Federal Marshall and of course Charlie. But one thing is constant. Jack’s dad’s body is missing in both timelines. Another constant? Desmond. What is Desmond doing on that plane? He would have been on the island when the plane was flying over… he may have even been under water. But one thing we know about Desmond is that he is special. And, as labeled by Faraday… he IS the constant. Would that make him the center of the scales that balances both universes? And speaking of time travel… I mean, Faraday…
I remember a young Faraday playing piano just before his mother Eloise Hawking told him he should focus on science.
Jack plays piano… so does Jack’s son David in the Alt Universe. I have no idea what that means but there has been a lot of time travel going on in this show… who knows whose seed has been spread and where? But three piano playing brunette’s boys can’t be all that coincidental can it? But I digress…
It sounds nuts, this Universe Balancing Theory of mine, no..? but the way I see it… we’ve got more people alive in the Alternate Universe than we do in Island Universe and if it keeps going like that, Alternate Universe is going to grow so heavy with people and souls that it’s going to crush poor little Island Universe. But this can’t happen can it? I mean, what’s going on in Island Universe is far too important for the development of the Lostaways as people, as souls… for them to get crushed by another universe. So… according to what Walter over there in the Fringe Universe believes, we need to start sending some of the Alt Universe people to the Island Universe otherwise the island will sink from just from the weight of sheer loneliness.
Hey! Wait a minute! What if that scale indicates whose Universe is winning? What if the way FLocke is going to get off the island involved crushing Jacob's Island Universe with the new Alt Universe? Wow... I think I like the sound of that.
And I’ll just go ahead and apologize now. I really don’t know how this post about the mechanics of Alternate Universes turned out to be another resurrection of my Chayid theory… okay, yeah… I knew it all along but give me a break… I’ve got a bad case of Alt Reality Angst of my own here. And I think that makes me uniquely qualified to talk about this stuff. Though… I guess that depends on what Universe I’m currently in… which I’m not quite sure of myself.
But all of this led me to a few predictions I have for upcoming episodes. I think that the people coming to the island are of the group Desmond, Faraday and Hawking. Not sure if they are all coming but some configuration of the group. I also think that some of the Alt Universe characters need to either die or that there needs to be some more jesus style resurrectin’ going on in Island Universe.
I would also like to put out there that I think Jack might make a trip from Alt Universe to Island Universe. He is the one character in Alt Universe that we’re seeing with missing memories. This I think will cause Alternate Universe to slowly unravel on him and he’s going to remember that he has someplace else to be… just like Sarah in Labyrinth the numerous times she’s tricked by Jareth into thinking she’s in a better place.
And lastly. I do actually know what is missing in my life. I lost my dog a month ago tomorrow. I’m sure that is why I’ve been depressed. It’s coming from feeling like a lesser person. Dogs bring out the best in us, in fact, they demand that we be our best. And when they suddenly aren’t there… it is easy to not be your best and just sink into being sad and crabby and not really passionate about much.
And on the off chance, I just hope while TV Alt Pauline died just as my sweet dog died, that she is taking care of him for me so he won’t miss me as much as I am missing him. And if perhaps she too had a dog over there in TV Alt Universe… I hope that I’ll somehow be able to find him so he won’t be missing her so much either.
The sweetest dog ever, waiting for Alt World Pauline to get home.
Until Next Time: All work and no play makes Claire a dull girl…