DO NOT READ WITHOUT FIRST SEEING "WHAT KATE DOES"
So, my theories are forming on Lost and as the season starts (already 1/6th through) I am beginning to see where things are going - and where I think Lost will end up.
I want to start with essentially the basic theme of Lost. Something that's happened since the Pilot. And that is - there is a duality. A black & a white. Faith vs. Science meets Fate vs. Free Will. I read a lot of the super smart Lost bloggers out there (Jeff "Doc" Jensen) & (DocArzt's) and most of my theories come from a collection of their ideas and also from writing up a 20 page timeline of the events of Lost... IN ORDER for Season 1 - 5, how I can write Season 6 into that timeline... well, don't think it will/should happen.
So, with this Black/White meets Faith/Science meets Fate/Free Will themes, we have to boil it down even more... what does that even mean? Do we believe things happen for a reason, that everything is pre-ordained? Do we just have Faith, that everything will turn out alright? Or do we go by Science, things are just organisms trying to survive and we have free will.
The categories begin as such: to have Faith is to believe that you are somehow going to be taken care of, that things will just... work out. You believe in Fate, to some extent. I can't imagine if you didn't believe that God created the universe & was all knowing, that you can have much Faith in things... instead, I'd imagine you have to believe that you got to make your own path.
Faith / Fate = John Locke & Science / Free Will = Jack Shepherd
Faith / Fate = Jacob & Science / Free Will = Man In Black
However, since we now know (can make a pretty educated guess) the Man In Black can.... "claim" people, it seems that the LOOPHOLE is that the Man In Black had to "claim" one of Jacob's chosen ones... the touched. And it's fitting & ironic that the one that he "claims" is Locke, the one with Fate & Faith on his side, the one who most likely fit Jacob's philosophy (see "The Incident" and the opening scene).
Jacob, being a man of Fate, opens "The Incident" with a weaving loom (ahem creator)... he's waiting for The Black Rock and, being a seemingly "creator," isn't surprised when Man in Black shows up. He starts (after offering some fish) with this, "I take it you're here because of the ship." As in, you don't come around my statue very often... these guys don't talk much.
But here has Jacob gone: bringing people to the island and, as the Man in Black states, only to have them "... come, fight... destroy... corrupt," And, "it always ends the same." This obviously annoys the Man in Black because, so far, in all the incarnations of this "test" - he's been right.
But Jacob is kind of a dick and doesn't take just one "test" as a fool proof answer.
And so he keeps bringing new people to the island. The Black Rock, Ajira 316... but something went array - Flight 815: The Flight that killed Jacob. I believe this Flight was never supposed to happen. And Desmond (the special one) made it happen. He corrupted Jacob's original plan which was to bring Bram & Ilana, and possibly others to the island. (Frank Lapidis, "the canidate"?)
In fact, Desmond was... "a variable."
I believe that the Man in Black took advantage of this and manipulated the 815'ers until he was able to find his Loophole, eventually settling in on John Locke. When did he settle on John Locke? In episode 104 "Walkabout" when Locke first laid eyes on him.
Just as Miles can read the recent dead, Hurley can see dead people, Walter is semi-psychic... the Man in Black can see into people's pasts, can read their minds and when he read all that "faith & fate" spewing from Locke's brain, I think the Man in Black had a great smile on his face. (Isn't it ironic?)
I believe this is why Ben Linus was told to follow Locke in "Dead is Dead." All of this a grand manipulation to prove Jacob wrong. And what is he wrong about?
"That humans are just organisms trying to survive, nothing more & nothing less. There is no fate, there is no pre-determined destiny." The Man in Black IS philosophically season one's Jack Shepherd...
BUT! LOOK OUT! Because, Jacob... being the time traveling genie that he is, saw this manipulation and so went back - touched a few souls... and manipulated them into getting on that already destined to crash onto the island flight 316... And you know what else is happening... roles are REVERSING.
John Locke is now the PHYSICAL manifestation of "Free Will & Science" he IS the Man in Black... and the man he's butted heads with for all season's past... Jack, the man we grew to know as the "Man of Science," well, isn't he looking a lot more like Jacob? Sad eyed, knowing, a bit more giving to... fate.
Didn't he say in last year's finale, "this is our destiny!" WHOA!
So, how does it all end?
Well, the first three episodes (LA X part 1, LA X part 2 & What Kate Does) have given us a good direction - we are seeing both. We see the Faith/Fate Answers (Off Island Timeline) and the Science/Free Will Answers (Island Timeline)... it didn't work... it was all for nothing, there was NO destiny as Sawyer has clearly stated... it did work... it all happend for a reason!
And the answer?
Well, I think Jacob's right, "it only ends once and anything that happens before that is just progress." It all happened for a reason, it was all a path to a SINGLE end.
That end? Redemption. Our characters, as everyone knows, are Lost. Misguided & bumped off their way and each of them, I believe will finally find that Redemption OFF the island. The OFF island timeline will give each of our characters a chance to find peace and happiness.
And for the ON island characters? Well, they shouldn't be there. This wasn't their FATE, their pre-determined path and so, one by one - they'll die (Juliet, Charlie, Boone, Shannon, etc) or they'll be corrupted (Locke, Claire has been "claimed," now Sayid)...
The ON island life is going to be rough and awful because it's not the way it was supposed to be. They can't find Redemption. Sawyer is a wreck, Kate is a wreck, Jack is a wreck, heck even Hurley is... if they don't die at some point in the season, they'll end up dying when the island blows it's volcanic lid in the Series Finale.
"What Kate Does" was a perfect prelude to the season to come.
In Season One: Episode One threw us into the world... here's what you're going to get. Episode Two (Kate's episode) gives us the structure. Here you get ON island PRESENT Kate and OFF island PAST Kate... we discover what brought Kate to the island (and in subsequent back stories) why she NEEDS redemption, she killed her Father or more importantly she Lost her Mother. And coupled with this, her ON island PRESENT self is affected, in need of redemption.
In Season Six: Episode One threw us into the world... here's what you're going to get. Episode Two (Kate's episode) gives us the structure. Here you get ON island PRESENT Kate and OFF island PRESENT Kate... we discover what Kate does to spiral down further away from Redemption (What Does Kate Do? Run after the wrong guy, Sawyer)... And coupled with this, her OFF island PRESENT self spirals... towards Redemption (the way she looks at Jack Shepherd in this episode... it's going to end well for them).
Are we going to figure out what the Polar Bears mean? NO. Are we going to figure out where the food drops came from? NO. Are we going to figure out where Walt's powers came from? NO. It's funny that Hurley's "I can see ghosts" isn't that big a deal... but Walt "I Can Summon Birds" Power... must be answered...
These questions are fun to ponder and through all the Lost lore, we may be able to manifest some kind of answers for ourselves.
The Producers have stated very clearly that they don't want a "metachlorian" explanation to things that don't really matter... is our lives going to be that much better if we know WHY Libby was in the nut house with Hurley? Or can we just safely say, "you see and interact with hundreds upon thousands of people in your life, millions perhaps... is it not possible that you may run into them again... even if you didn't know it?"
Dead is dead. Fate is sealed. What Kate Does? Runs. She's always done it: in her past, her present, her future... her sideways self... this is what she does... this is who she is... and who she's destined to be until she is redeemed.
When Juliet set the bomb off in 1977, time shifted... and we're seeing the butterfly effect from 1977 to 2004... when Jack looks out from the airplane window at an unseen & sunken island. Things are the same, What Kate Does... is still what she does, but things are different and just as Faraday predicted and what Jack Shepherd wanted for his friends... "I want this to never have happened." It worked and through it comes redemption.
John Locke will walk because of Jack Shepherd, not through the magic of some mysterious island - and that my friends, is a beautiful thing.
Here's the ONLY questions I believe are going to be / and need to be answered:
1) A detailed explanation of the roles the Men in Black & Jacob had on the island and the nature of their relationship? What is the game they're playing?
2) What is Richard's role? Most likely a disciple like John Locke or Jack Shepherd, just a bit more advanced, having been on the island longer... and I believe once Jacob touches you... you're not going to age / die on the island.
3) Significance of Ilana & her gang of "shadow of the statue"?
4) Kate chooses Jack over Sawyer?
5) How does each character find... REDEMPTION?
6) Desmond is the THIRD wheel to the Jacob/Man in Black relationship... I think he's somehow connected to them.
7) As you can see Ben Linus wasn't part of the "big picture" - and it's starting to show, his character is reduced to looking wide eyed and bewildered... so, I think they're going to have to kill him off soon.
8) Adam & Eve. A Theory I Believe: Adam & Eve are Rose & Bernard... even though I think there's going to be a little time fuck up there in that they should of died in the 1950s or 60s... not in the 1970s.... maybe the time bomb going off in 1977 shifted them back to the 1950s... And also, this may be another answer we don't get. And that's alright.