Best LOST Theory

ABC’s LOST: the ultimate theory and explanation


The hatch is a symbol of the island as a whole….  Desmond (hoping for a replacement) was trapped in the hatch pushing the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 to save the world similarly to how Jacob (hoping for a replacement) was “trapped” on the island pushing the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 (metaphorically pushing their buttons) orchestrating the events that would ultimately save the world. Desmond was constantly battling time trying to hold off the past in the hatch just as Jacob had spent his entire life battling the past and that gets old after awhile. 🙂

Jacob wants a replacement as every Father Time before him and every Father Time after him wanted. Yet with Dharma and the “Others” constantly resetting time, Jacob needed to clean up some messes in time (namely the monster he helped to create). Using time to his own advantage Jacob begins to choose candidates to replace him. These candidates all had a flawed past. They all had reason to dislike the past which would work in Jacob’s favor because Jacob needed people that were willing to battle their past (figuratively and also in reality).

See me weaving the tapestry of time?
Look at me… I am weaving the tapestry of time.

Jacob orchestrates events that bring people to the island that might be good candidates to take the role as “Father Time” or protector of time, Jacob can see the candidates through the mirrors in the Lighthouse which reflects images from any point in time. Ultimately what Jacob wants is for somebody to uncork the island releasing all the pent up time and then to have somebody place the plug back in properly so that time can flow normally and the past (at least to that point) can be “let go”. In a way, Jacob is being merciful to the MIB by orchestrating events that allow the MIB to become mortal again and then be killed so that he is essentially released from his duties just as Jacob is being replaced by Jack and eventually Hurley. Why doesn’t Jacob do the job himself you might ask? Well, after seeing his brother get merged into the smoke monster he certainly didn’t want the same fate. Therefore Jacob sets into motion a series of events that will prepare Desmond to do the task for him.

In the sideways world the past and the future and in balance as indicated by Widmore's paintings.
In the sideways world the past and the future are in balance as indicated by Widmore’s paintings.

The future and the past need to be in balance for the fabric of reality to flow properly. Thinking of the future as the white rock on the scale and the past as the black rock on the scale they should be of equal weight keeping all things in check, yet our island was dramatically out of balance. It seems like the past, AKA the smoke monster, was winning the battle. He was tipping the balance of time into his favor and he knows it and demonstrates it by tossing the white rock in “Jacob’s cave” out into the ocean telling Sawyer this was an “inside joke”, this also explains why the water in the temple was going dark, as the future was in jeopardy of being consumed by the past.

Yet Jacob was not going to go down easy, Jacob drank the “time Kool-Aid” that Mother gave him and therefore Jacob has light/time inside him similar to the MIB being merged with the past. Therefore Jacob is the embodiment of the future and when he touches people he can pass a bit of that light/time on to them (when you are time… you can travel anywhere in time that you want). This is how Jacob’s powers worked, he could place aspects of time into other people. He couldn’t absolve Richard of his sins nor bring his wife back to life but he could make Richard not age because that was within Jacob’s powers. Jacob eventually places these powers fully into Jack, who in turn passes them on to Hurley. Jacob wanted to die and move on just as “Mother” wanted to die and move on. Yet Jacob needed to get his replacement set and also attempt to get the balance of time reset and in proper working order. Jacob ultimately achieved his goal with the help of all of our Losties but most notably Jack and Desmond by their flushing the past down the cosmic toilet and then resetting the hourglass so that time could flow in a balanced way as it was intended.



Don't be consumed by your past, just ask Mr. Eko, Nikki, and Paulo.
Don’t be consumed by your past, just ask Mr. Eko, Nikki, and Paulo.

Knowing that the smoke monster represents the past, it’s no wonder that the sounds that the smoke monster made were a mix of sounds from clocks (chains of winding a grandfather clock, a distorted ticking sound etc.) as well as sounds from the past of our LOST characters (Locke’s adding machine from work and Christian Shepard’s cash register purchase from his final drinks, etc.). Another sound that the smoke monster made was that of a receipt machine from a taxi cab which I believe symbolizes the moment you have to pay for your past.

This also explains why the smoke monster can only appear to people as things from their past: Jack’s dad, Kate’s horse, Ben’s mom, Richard’s wife (in the Black Rock), Mr. Eko’s brother, Yemi, etc…

In the Season 6 episode "The Substitute" Smokie asks Sawyer who he thinks he is, Sawyer says... "I don't care if you are the Ghost of Christmas past." Smokie smiles in amusement as if to say... you are very perceptive!
In the Season 6 episode “The Substitute” Smokie asks Sawyer who he thinks he is, Sawyer says… “I don’t care if you are the Ghost of Christmas past.” Flocke aka the Smoke Monster nods and smiles in amusement as if to say… you are very perceptive!

This brings us to a very interesting point about the smoke monster. Think back to the very first episodes of the show LOST, where in flashbacks we find Kate running from her past figuratively (as a fugitive) and also literally as she ran from the smoke monster (the past) when she, Jack, and Charlie hiked out to the front piece of the plane to find the transceiver. Charlie, on the other hand, ran from the smoke monster (the past) but was slipping and sliding and getting stuck in the mud similar to what his actual past was like as we saw in flashbacks with his drug addiction. Yet, in that scene they never once show Jack running from the smoke monster, instead a few episodes later (White Rabbit) we see Jack chasing after his father, not just in a real life flashback, but also on the island… Jack is chasing his past while Kate is running from it. You can look at all the characters from LOST and see the same types of connections when we view the smoke monster as the past the story on the island makes even more sense.

Here are just a few examples…

– Jack: chasing his past and refuses to let go (flashbacks and island action reveal the same story).
– Kate: Running from her past (flashbacks and island action reveal the same story).
– Sawyer: searching to kill a part of his past he ultimately finds out that his lust for revenge was misplaced (flashbacks and island action reveal the same story).
– Locke: manipulated by his past, his father manipulated him out of his kidney and the undercover cop manipulated him into revealing the pot growing operation in a flashback. Locke is also manipulated by the smoke-monster/the past on the island.
– Charlie: Made a mess of his past and now it haunts him, his dark past (drug addiction) keeps trying to make a mess of his life over and over again (flashbacks and island action reveal the same story).
– Mr. Eko: attempting to get redemption from his past but ultimately is consumed by his past (flashbacks and island action reveal the same story).
– Sayid: his past turned him into something he never wanted to be yet in the end he redeemed himself (flashbacks and island action reveal the same story).

I'm not judging you! (really I am not)
I’m not judging you! (no, really I am not)


One thing that many folks battle with regarding LOST is they mistakenly assume that the light is goodness and the smoke monster is pure evil which seems confusing because they can’t figure out why sometimes it seemed like Jacob was bad and the MIB wasn’t so bad. For instance, Jacob distracted Sayid which caused Nadia to be hit by a car and killed, how could the guardian of goodness do such a thing? Conversely the MIB seemed to have a legitimate beef regarding being trapped on the island, he was a man of his word, and even a caring father-figure for Claire, how could someone like that be pure evil??? The answer is this theory I am presenting in this blog post. After all… the past isn’t always dark, and the future isn’t always bright.

Furthermore, many folks (myself included) believed that the smoke monster was somehow judging people when it would confront them in the jungle, for instance if you played your DVD player frame by frame you could see images from their past flashing through the smoke monster when it would confront people on the island. Yet now knowing that the smoke monster WAS the past we can deduce that the smoke monster wasn’t judging our losties but instead our losties were merely seeing their own past within the cloud of smoke that was the past.

This, of course, also explains why when Mr. Eko looked into his past what he saw was very dark indeed and it eventually consumed him, yet when Locke looked into his past, what he saw was beautiful. Locke’s past wasn’t as dark as Mr. Eko’s was, but more importantly, the past was manipulating Locke because the MIB/Smoke Monster/The-Past saw a vulnerability in Locke which was his innocence, naivety, which led Locke to being manipulated so many times in his past. Therefore the past showed Locke what Locke wanted to see to gain his trust and begin to manipulate him.


After watching all six seasons of LOST twice, I began to watch it a third time with my sister and her husband and early in season one I asked them what they thought the smoke monster was. My brother in-law, Gordon, said he thought the smoke monster was like their “id” similar to the monster in the classic 1956 movie Forbidden Planet, and he was more right than even I realized at the time. In the movie Forbidden Planet Dr. Morbius has unknowingly created the monster that is trying kill them all from his own conscience. The monster, who is kept away by a force-field fence can only be killed by killing Morbius because the monster is an extension of his conscience. Similarly, the smoke monster in LOST is an extension of our characters because the smoke monster is their past and therefore in a very real way they are battling an extension of themselves.

Where’s Robbie the Robot when you need him?? 🙂

Have a monster problem? Just put up a fence!
Have a monster problem? Just put up a fence! The id monster from Forbidden Planet is stopped in it’s tracks by the force-field fence similar to Dharma’s sonic fence.


451 thoughts on “ABC’s LOST: the ultimate theory and explanation”

  1. So at the end and in the church, everyone’s pass was resolved and they were able to move on which was what? Why didn’t Ben join the group? So what happened to Vincent? Also what you are saying is that, there was a time difference for each one as to when they were actually dead and would go to the church and when they all had died, then they would go to the church. Was Boune’s sister in the church?

  2. There were a few eps in the second and third seasons where a plane crash underwater was mentioned (by people outside of our original group of passengers only), and it was flight 815. All the bodies were there. How is this explained within your theory?

  3. I’m halfway into watching season 2. I watched Lost when it came out. Totally didnt have a clue then. Now, with 15 years of living, learning, making mistakes behind me, I see! I see! At least the twist & turns don’t trip me up any more. I can see my life that I’m living now, my past, in Jin & Sun’s battles with their past

  4. Just finished watching it. And yes, I had heard the spoiler that “they were dead the whole time” which kinda ruined it for me because I kept waiting for that shoe to drop and it didnt. They were NOT dead the whole time. It was also difficult to wrap my mind around the alternate universe/purgatory while the same characters were still living on the island. When Christian said at the end that there “is no now”, then that made sense everyone had died at different times and ended up at the church with Jack to help him move on much like Rose in Titanic. I think because Jack was clearly a non-believer up to a certain point, it was harder for him to accept the afterlife. The DVD contains a short feature on what happened AFTER the end where Walt becomes the protector. I liked that and I’m glad they added it in.

  5. This may have already been addressed, but why is Penny in the church at the end? She was not dead. Ben threatened to kill Penny as he believed Charles Whitmore was responsible for Alex’s death, but he never went through with it. Instead, he accepted the fact that he was the cause of Alex’s death, not Whitmore. Therefore, Penny should still be alive. Am I missing something?

  6. great insights!!
    Regardless of the vehicle used in the series, to me it was all about the title.
    All these people were truly lost in their lives, suffering tremendously due to their own doing or circumstances. They were pathless and leading to self destruction. To find their way back to balance and happiness they had to confront their greatest fears and let go of the things they should stop to try to control, that are actually controlling them. The island is an evolving mechanism with a variety of pitfall for them that they must endure and overcome. Once they let go they find inner peace, and meaning to their lives and experiences, and a shared love of life and people they have known.
    Just my take:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *