'Lost': Time goes by...so slowly...

Malcolmdavidkelley_lost_240_001Over the last two weeks, I've seen a marked increase in reader email. Some emails are supportive, which is fantastic. Others take the tone of "I don't believe in time travel, but if I did, I would go back in time and make sure your parents never conceived you." I find these emails less fantastic. If I've learned anything in these past few days, it's this: a whole host of Lost fans really hate time travel.

If you read the comments on my most recent Lost recap, you know the vehemence with which some people treat the notion of time travel within the Lost universe. It's not so much that they disagree with my assessment; they outright dismiss it with great vengeance and furious anger. It's almost as if time travel took their unrequited high school crush to the prom or something.

There's an extremely good chance I've been wrong in accurately depicting just how time works differently on the Island and the real world, but I think these commenters are incorrect when they state that there is no possible way in which time anomalies can exist within the show. I just think there's too much evidence to the contrary. Off the top of my head, here are ten examples that point to the fact that there's something off when it comes to time on the show.

  1. The appearance of Walt at the end of Season 3. Not only did we the audience notice it, but Locke himself discussed it in "Confirmed Dead."
  2. The unnaturally aged womb show in "Not from Portland." Juliet states the womb belongs to someone in her 70's; Richard states that she's 26 years old.
  3. Richard Alpert himself. That's not just Botox keeping him that young.
  4. Mittelos Bioscience itself. The name of the group is an anagram for "Lost Time," an anagram confirmed by the producers as intentional.
  5. Naomi's phone. Sayid would have been in a position to have knowledge of military-grade equipment. The fact that he did not recognize the phone is perhaps a clue.
  6. Desmond's Billy Pilgrim routine. He's unstuck in time, brutha.
  7. Radio Free Dharma. Remember in Season 2 when Hurley and Sayid pick up the Glenn Miller Orchestra on WXR, and Hurley casually notes that the recording could have come from anytime? That little joke may have been the show's first hint of lost time.
  8. Joop the Orangutan. One of the Hanso Foundation's research arms consisted of the "Life Extension Project," which potentially ties in not only to Richard, but the Island itself.
  9. Charlotte Lewis. One of the Boaties, her initials match that of author C.S. Lewis. As others have noted, in "Prince Caspian," in which the Pevensie children return to Narnia after a year only to find a thousand years have passed on the Island.
  10. Damon told us so. I'm not sure how one can utterly refute that time works differently on the Island if Damon Lindelof himself said at ComiCon '06, "It's interesting that you should ask about time because... you know... you're making a basic assumption that they've been there, y'know, as long as they think they've been there."

I mean, that's a lot of evidence, as far as I'm concerned.

As I stated before, perhaps my descriptions of such phenomena have led to the comments received here at Zap2It. And I'm totally fine in owning up to my shortcomings in describing the specifics of time travel. And maybe "time travel" itself is incorrect in describing what's going on in Lost. But if Oceanic 815 crashed onto an Island in which time works differently that it does in the world from which they departed, what would YOU call that phenomenon?

Leave your answers, insights, and other examples below!

A quick programming note: Zap2It reader Roger D. suggested I dedicate one entry per week to answering questions from you, the readers. I told him that sounded like a fine idea, and then told him to kiss my ring. He refused to do so, and didn't seem too pleased when I then referred to him as an "unworthy plebian." Nevertheless, I would like to roll out the first installment of this series before the next episode of Lost airs. So email me and fire off your questions! I'll run the best later this week.

Ryan also posts every 108 minutes over at Boob Tube Dude. Download his podcasts here.