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Golden Compass: Theories, Revelations, and Reveals on "Lost"

Oh. My. God.

Three episodes into its fifth season, Lost is proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will not be treading water until its series finale at the end of Season Six but will be pulling out some neck-snapping plot twists on a regular basis.

This week's episode of Lost ("Jughead"), which I had watched during the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour a few weeks back, contained not one but several gasp-inducing revelations likely to rouse Lost's rabid fanbase into discussion mode.

Those of you who read my advance review of "Jughead," know that I was absolutely blown away by this installment, which focused on Desmond and the time-tossed castaways rather than the Oceanic Six, and that I've been teasing you by withholding a theory I had after viewing this episode. Rest assured, you can read my bound-to-be-controversial theory below.

A brief disclaimer before we begin: With the third episode of the season now having aired, I'm now caught up to the on-air transmissions of Lost and have no knowledge of any future events nor have I been spoiled about any future developments on the series.

Widmore. One of the biggest shockers so far this season is the dramatic revelation that Charles Widmore is... an Other. I was absolutely gobsmacked by this reveal as it puts his war with Benjamin Linus into stark perspective since Widmore (wearing the US military officer uniform of Jones) was on the island as a youth. I have to hand the writers some credit for keeping an inkling of this firmly under wraps. I've always made the assumption that Widmore was desperate to find the island for personal gain but never for a second thought that he came FROM the island and was trying to get back.

How absolutely shocking. It completely changes his role in the grand scheme of things and points to some sort of civil war within the Others' camp between Richard Alpert and Ben on one side and Widmore on the other. Given last week's reveal that Ben has a network of operatives working for/with him (like Jill the Butcher), one can make the leap that so too does Widmore and that these were the people that Ben instructed Sayid to kill off. It also means that people can leave the island far more easily than Ben originally made it out to be. Hmmm... And it was a Very Good Thing that Locke didn't shoot "Jones" as he would have undone the entire space-time continuum by killing off Widmore.

Baby Charlie. I loved the reveal at the episode's start that Penny was in labor with Desmond's child and that, with all of the time that has passed since they left the island (three years, no less!), the baby boy isn't quite a baby any more but a little boy... named Charlie. Seriously, my heart leapt into my throat when they said that they named the baby after our dear departed Charlie, whom Desmond tried over and over to save in vain. A beautiful nod to the history of the series and the relationship between Charlie and Desmond during Season Three.

Kids. It's interesting to me that there's now three children who are connected to the island, between Aaron, who was born on the island, Ji Yeon, who was conceived there, and Charlie, who is the son of the very "special" Desmond after he left the island. (Let's also not forget that Juliet is an aunt.) It's also equally interesting that the series should suddenly be flooded with wee bairns, given the Others' fertility problems and inherent fatalities from pregnancies. Could it be connected to the time-hopping that's going on? Did Ben unintentionally cause the end of the Others' reproductive capabilities by turning that wheel? Curious.

Locke. How awesome was it that an injured Locke just casually walked into the Others' camp demanding to see Richard Alpert? Seriously, John manages to continually impress me with his pragmatic attitude about just about everything. The scene between the two of them as Locke gave Richard the compass (after stunning him into submission by saying that Jacob sent him) was fantastic as Locke tried to plead with Richard into telling him how to get off the island and then told him where and when he would be born. Now we know just why Richard Alpert was present at Locke's birth, as seen during Season Four, and why he made repeated visits to Locke when he was growing up, testing him to see if he was the Chosen Leader.

Charlotte. Could Charlotte be the very first fatality from the Sickness? She's clearly feeling the effects of the time-skipping and her symptoms are most definitely the same as the construction worker who nearly pierced the donkey wheel chamber in "Because You Left." I had a feeling that Charlotte Staples Lewis was a goner as soon as Faraday admitted that he was in love with her... and she seemed to return his affections. Love is never a good thing on this series (just look at poor Shannon) and every happiness turns out to be way too short-lived. I'll be pretty crushed if Charlotte dies before we learn her full backstory (after all, she claimed to have been born on the island and has been investigating Dharma-related sites), so I'm hoping that she sticks around long enough to clear up her past. But poor Faraday, really.

Jughead. Loved that Jughead referred to an undetonated hydrogen bomb that the US military attempted to test on the island, as it did many South Pacific islands in the 1950s. Only problem: this bomb casing is cracked and causing radiation leakage. Faraday claims the only solution is to use lead to reinsulate the casing and bury it in concrete. As he says, the island exists in the future, so the bomb clearly hasn't gone off yet. Which is troubling as it means that the bomb is still sitting undetonated on the island and could go off at some point in the future. The fact that Faraday tells Ellie what to do also concerns me as Faraday has influenced the past now. Could it be that he is just as "special" as Desmond is or Ms. Hawking? Are they able to course-correct the timestream without following the same rules that everyone else does? Hmmm...

Desmond. I loved the stuff with Desmond at Oxford as he attempted to track down Faraday's mother and uncovered a conspiracy that was concealing all evidence that Faraday was ever employed at Oxford. We also learn just what put Faraday into the care facility we saw him in at the start of Season Four. After he was able to send those rats' mind back in time, he clearly attempted to replicate his study on a human subject: his lab assistant Theresa Spencer (who, one might also believe, was his lover), who fell into a vegetative state as her mind drifts backwards in time. Desmond gets a first-hand sight at Faraday's work when he meets Theresa's sister Abigial and also learns that Widmore not only pays for Theresa's medical treatment but was Faraday's benefactor and financed his research. WTF?

Meanwhile, despite promising Penny that her father would never know they were in England, Desmond goes to see Widmore and storms into his office. He's there for some answers and to find the location of Faraday's mother, since he now knows that Widmore knows Faraday. And sure enough, Widmore has the location of Faraday's mother: she's in LA.

All of which brings us to...


I've thought for a while now that Faraday's mother was Ms. Hawking since I saw "The Lie" in December. Given that Widmore tells Desmond that she's in LA, it's now all but confirmed that she is his mother. But that's not the interesting bit that has me practically foaming at the mouth.

In the 1950s, Faraday encounters a young blonde woman named Ellie on the island, who is headstrong, good with a gun, and clearly a rising star in the Others' camp. Staring at her, he's instantly reminded of someone he knows; when Ellie questions whether it was a woman other than Charlotte (whom he's just declared his love for), Faraday smirks. The woman she reminds him of his none other than his mother: Ms. Hawking.

But there's more. Ellie and 1950s Charles Widmore are about the same age. In the present day, they're still about the same age. Widmore knew Ellie on the island; he knows Ms. Hawking in the outside world in the present. They're not just mere acquaintances, either; Widmore knows Hawking so well that her location is right within his reach: in his address book in a box on his desk.

We never learn Ellie's last name and we still don't know Ms. Hawking's first name. Both are of British extraction and have similar coloring and facial features.

Therefore, I rest my case: Ellie and Ms. Hawking are one and the same.

Which might not seem like a major revelation but it does raise some interesting questions about just what happened all of those years ago between Richard Alpert and Widmore's faction. And it makes me wonder just how close Hawking and Widmore really are. Is Widmore just Faraday's benefactor? Or is there a closer relationship there? Something like father and son? Hmmm...

It also explains why Hawking had to interfere with Desmond proposing to Penny because she needed to course-correct the time stream in order to ensure that he would eventually end up on the island... and then come looking for her in LA.

Meanwhile, I'm very worried for Penny after Ben promised to kill her last season. Not good now that she, Des, and Charlie are heading to LA...

What did you think of this week's episode? Were you shocked by the revelation that Charles Widmore was an Other? Do you agree with my theory about Ellie/Ms. Hawking? Will Charlotte survive more than a handful of episodes now that she's sick? Discuss.

Next week on Lost ("The Little Prince"), Kate learns that someone knows the secret of Aaron's true parentage; the shifts through time place the lives of the remaining island survivors in extreme peril.


Jason said…
Re: Your questions at the end.
Definitely yes.
Umm ... yeah!
Anonymous said…
Cool theories Jace. I agree with most of them.

I always thought Widmore had been on the island at some point and was trying to get back. Actually thought he was linked to the Black Rock though.

Loved, loved, loved that Desmond and Penny named their baby after Charly. That was so awesome.

Lost continues to amaze.
Anonymous said…
I really like your theory on Ellie/Mrs Hawking. I pretty much figured Mrs Hawking was Daniel Faraday's mom. This would be a fun little extra twist to the story!

And I love that Des & Penny named their son Charlie (I'm assuming as an homage to Charlie Pace, and not Charles Widmore).
Rae said…
So this episode didn't quite blow me out of the water like I expected after all the hype. My own issue I think, though, as I let my expectations get too high. Plus after discussions last week, had already figured out that Widmore had been on the island or, more accurately, had speculated that'd be why he was trying to get back. So that reveal wasn't quite as surprising to me. HOWEVER, it was still a great episode and my favorite of the season so far.

But on to your theory. Definitely think you are right. In tonight's repeat, they showed Ms. Hawking's first name and memles, on Twitter, reminded me that it said: Eloise.
Anonymous said…
Interesting theory about Ellie and Mrs. Hawking being one and the same. To add on to it, perhaps it's this encounter with Daniel that sparks her interest in the science of time travel.
Anonymous said…
How great are the Lost people with casting? I was really impressed by Cabin Fever, but here, as soon as he said "Widmore," you could see it. You could also see a resemblance in their speech patterns.

And yeah, they could of made a stinker of an episode and I would have still loved it if only for the "Charlie," at the end. Fortunately, the rest of the episode was incredible as well.
Anonymous said…
OMFG! She totally is Ellie. Didn't even think about that. Good call!

Great ep overall. Didn't even think Widmore could be an Other!
Unknown said…
Absolutely jace I agree with you that the episode was amazing!

I also have a theory. Maybe the whole reason why Ben became the leader of the others is that Locke told Richard that he should be. Obviously the fact that Locke knows about Jacob carries a lot of weight with the Others.
Anonymous said…
Definitely agree with your theory about Ellie being Mrs Hawking. Good job! I also wonder if Faraday did influence the past by showing up there and telling his mom about time travel putting her on a path to eventually save him by getting him off the island. Time loops anyone? Like you said I love that Widmore is an Other and it gives him more relevance to the story of the island and its past.
Anonymous said…
@Chris Just saw your comment above. Yes I think it influenced her path later. And I think it means that Faraday is special like Jace said as he doesn't have to follow the rules.
Anonymous said…
As far as your theory, I totally agree that Mrs. Hawking is Daniel's mother. It would just be too big of a coincidence if she wasn't. As far as Ellie being Mrs. Hawking, it makes sense. If this is true I almost guarentee that Charles Widmore is Daniel's father.

As far as Charlotte dying, I don't buy it. It just doesn't make sense to me. Lost hasn't wrapped up her storyline yet and I don't see Lost just leaving out a storyline. The only way I could see her truly being dead is if her storyline is still addressed somehow even after her death.
Anonymous said…
Widmore is an Other! It seems so clear now and yet they totally blindsided me with that one! You definitely have to hand it to the writers for weaving such an amazing story and for always keeping us guessing.

As for your theory about Ellie being Mrs. Hawking I think you're spot on. Especially now that we know Widmore has her address on file. It looks like those two go a long way back and I can't wait to see what happened to cause them to leave the island in the first place.
Caro said…
Seconding Rae's comment: as much as the little "Enhanced" subtitles on reruns aren't supposed to technically be canon, the one under Mrs. Hawking in last night's replay of "The Lie" definitely said that her name was "Eloise Hawking." This makes it seem almost certain to me that she and Ellie are one and the same.
I wonder if the marketing department (who I have read are the ones who make up the "enhanced" subtitles) put that in there on purpose as a clue, or if that was a mistake and they weren't supposed to give her first name away yet!
Jace Lacob said…

I don't watch the pop-up enhanced episodes as I don't really think of them as canon either. I would be surprised if they approved the use of "Eloise Hawking" in that episode or the marketing department used that without thinking that it could actually impact future reveals. In any event, I feel vindicated as Ellie is definitely short for Eloise... which is also the name of Faraday's rat. :)
Unknown said…
I actually came to the same conclusion about Ellie last night after the episode but took it one step farther to possibly guess that Whidmore is also Faraday's father. The writers did already put in a double-duty-daddy (Christian Shepard) but that could just mean they are making it a reoccurring thing. Might be to obvious but that's the conclusion I eventually got to last night.
The Whidmore as an other thing completely shocked me but it helped me get to my conclusion about him and makes him so much more complex as a character.
In the previews for this season that were shown after the first two episodes showed Charlotte with a bloody nose and Faraday hugging a red headed woman and looking desperate so I assumed Charlotte was gonna kick the can. But in previews for next week's episode we see Charlotte chilling there in the background of one of the scenes!
Damn the people who are shitty editors!
Great recap Jace, can't wait for next weeks!
Anonymous said…
Much like Rae, this episode didn't quite blow me out of the water, but I certainly liked it better than the premiere. I think I need to temper my expectations. Too many people (you included) told me how amazing this ep was, so I built it up in my head too much.


The reveal of Widmore as an other? Now we're talking! That's what I needed - good jolt.

(and led to a really funny moment while watching. My friend, "Why is young Widmore talking in an English accent, but old Widmore doesn't have an accent?" Me: "Because Alan Dale is a bad actor. He DOES have an accent, but he is so bad that he can't pull it off and it's way to subtle.")

Loved that Des and Pen named their baby Charlie. Awesome.

And while I love Des, and would like to watch him every week, I still just don't care enough about Myles and Charlotte to have them be such a big presence in eps. I missed everyone else.
Anonymous said…
The idea of Ellie being Daniel's mother is very, very possible, and Widmore being the father also seems like something that they would do. The only problem I see with those theories is this: that would make Daniel and Penny half-brother and sister. How is it possible for them to be related? I also don't get, if Mrs. Hawking is Daniel's mom, why doesn't Daniel have an accent?

As for the "Jughead," I'm guessing that we may have already seen the effects of the bomb. Assuming that Ellie took Daniel's advice and had the bomb buried, then that would mean it's probably still on the island in the present. Is it possible that the Jughead plays a part in one of the Dharma stations? Perhaps it has something to do with the "incident" that took place in the Swan?
Page48 said…
Charlie (Charles Widmore)
Charlie (Son of Desmond & Penny)
Charlie (Dead Rocker)
Charlie (Charlotte)

Four Charlies, only one Hugo. What gives?
Nicole said…
Charlotte Staples Lewis???? Homage to C.S. Lewis???
Nicole, Charlotte's name is most definitely a tribute to C.S. Lewis. Maybe we should re-read The Chronicles of Narnia and/or some of his other works - it might give us some clues about Lost! ;o)

Page48, yep, a LOT of Charlies. Not sure what the significance is, but the recurrence of that name must mean something.

I am thinking more and more that Ellie is Mrs. Hawking, and that Mrs. Hawking is Daniel's mother. Now, whether Charles Widmore is Daniel's father is a completely different matter - that is more up in the air for me. It would make sense though, since Widmore funded Daniel's research; but I guess Widmore's history with the island would also be a compelling reason for him to fund time-travel research.

It's just so fun to obsess over this show, and talk theories with fellow fans.
Anonymous said…
Yes, I had also figured that Mrs. Hawking and Ellie were one and the same, and she's Daniel's mother. I also agree that Charles Widmore is a likely candidate for Daniel's father. But I have questions from this episode beyond these:

1) Why is it that Daniel seems to have such a ready answer for the bomb's presence? He claims not to know about it to Charlotte and Miles, but he sure acts like he knows what he's talking about.

2) Why did the Others say to Daniel that it was "your people" who put the mines in place? Why do they seem to know who Daniel is, and why are they enemies? I think that current-Daniel has been to the Island in the future, and knows precisely what is going on.

3) Since parental lineage seems to make such a big difference on this show, do we know anything about Desmond's parents? Could he be a half brother of some sort with Daniel? (Not by Charles Widmore, since that would make his and Penny's relationship sick.)

4) Does everyone who needs to be on the island have some kind of blood relationship with the Others?

5) Is John Locke's constant Richard Alpert? What does this constant relationship mean, anyways?

Just some more thoughts from this episode. :)

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