I started writing this post several times and each time I ended up scraping the draft and starting all over. I really wanted to write about the theories of quantum mechanics and how I think they relate to Lost. Each time I tried, the post read more like a physics lecture than my commentary on a TV show. After all of the writes and re-writes, the point I wanted to get across kept getting buried in theories and thought experiments. So in an effort to not bore you with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle and Schrodinger’s Cat, I will put some references at the bottom of the post if you would like to read more about it and carry on with just some commentary and very little physics.
First things first. Did you see the kick-ass painting of the scales in Widmore’s office? I don’t think I ever noticed that painting in there before.
Now back to the theories. I believe tonight’s episode was very similar to the collapse of the wave function in quantum mechanics. There exists two concurrent timelines, the LA-verse and the Island-verse, one where the bomb exploded and destroyed the Swan Station and one where the bomb didn’t explode and Oceanic 815 crashed on the island. Those two timelines can exist simultaneously, but once one is observed, they begin to collapse into a single timeline or one is forced to cease existance.
We learned why Desmond is so special. Widmore thinks that Desmond’s ability to withstand huge amounts of electromagnetic energy (which I think also correlates to his ability to time travel) can do something to save the island. The experiment that Charles and his team perform on Desmond causes him to “split” again, but this time it is not into his historic timeline, but into the alternate timeline. He was able to witness himself living a completely different life in the LA-verse.
Now that each version of reality has witnessed the other, at least through Desmond’s, Charlie’s and Daniel’s eyes, the wave function is beginning to collapse. And in a Highlander-like fashion, there can be only one. It seems that love, or having someone be a constant, is going to be the deciding factor. Desmond’s Penny, Charlie’s Claire and Daniel’s Charlotte have triggered the peeks into the other lives that they could have all lead.
I have always thought that the LA-verse was flat and bland, but I didn’t realize until last night that the LA-verse seems to be missing something fundamental. I believe that that something might be love or passion, the same spectacular love that Charlie witnessed in his near death experience and drove him to prove it to Desmond. Could the destruction of the island have removed something fundamental from the world? Or did the destruction of the island tip the balance of the scales in the wrong direction?
More information on Quantum Mechanics: