'Lost': Michael's Coming Back...But How?

Lost, Elizabeth Mitchell

First thing's first: Yes, you got me — it's Obi-WAN, not Obi-WON. But you know, it SHOULD be Obi-Won, don't you think? ''Wan'' is just so...wan. Still, I goofed, and so to atone for my fanboy sin, I'm making it up to you in the form of some scoop from Damon Lindelof about the Numbers — complete with a cool, fact-checked Star Wars reference. Wizard! But first, some other burning questions — and answers:

''Doc: Harold Perrineau is the spy...but maybe he's actually the grown-up Walt! The vector that Ben sent them on may have caused them to lose 15 years. Thoughts?'' —Bill

Bill: Good one! Let's make that Possibility Number 3!

''My theory is that Ben's spy on the boat is...Ben. Here's why. We don't know that the freighter and the Island are happening at the same time. Maybe the freighter is in the future. Also, when Ben tells Locke who the spy is, he tells him to sit down — which you would definitely say if you were telling someone you can travel through time. People keep saying Ben is right where he wants to be — that is, in captivity — so no one can see when he goes catatonic as he time travels. It would explain how he knows so much of what's going on even though he's a prisoner. What do you think? Maybe this is impossible, but it would be fun.'' —Will

Will: Your last sentence sums up my reaction — probably impossible, definitely fun.

''In 'The Constant,' when Charles Widmore was in the bathroom with Desmond and turned on the faucet, he very purposely used a towel so that he wouldn't touch the knob directly. Later, when Desmond touched the faucet directly with his hand, he was 'transported' to another time. Do you have any theories on the significance of this?'' —Maria S.

Maria S: Your curiosity about Widmore's curious bathroom routine is shared by a number of readers. I can't quite recall Chuck's paper-towel act (he's probably just a big germaphobe), but I definitely saw what other people saw: that Penelope's papa left the water running. Many have suspected that Widmore was keenly aware that Desmond was time-trippin' and somehow knew that by leaving the water on for Desmond to turn off, it would trigger another quantum leap. Maybe water serves as a kind of activation for cross-time consciousness transfer, at least for Desmond.

But here's another idea. I think Widmore knows the future — some or all of it. He's used this foreknowledge to build his financial empire. Now, the example of Desmond has shown us that those who have flashes of the future, and wish to facilitate that future, become slaves to predestination, because in order to get the desired outcome, you must make sure that the flashes play out in real life EXACTLY as you see them. So maybe the reason Widmore left the water running was simply because that was the way it HAD to happen, per his knowledge of future events. Even if I'm wrong about applying this theory to the bathroom business, I think the theory itself holds: Papa Widmore knows the future, and it drives everything he does.

''Jeff: I am convinced that Harper, as she appeared in the jungle, was indeed a manifestation of Smokey/the Island. What is your opinion on this matter?'' —CS

Clay: You are not alone. Many of you e-mailed suggesting the possibility that Harper could be the Monster. Was Harper's profession a clue? Harper was an all-knowing psychotherapist — and Smokey has the power to probe minds. I have long argued that Smokey is capable of taking human form, and more, that he/she/it has more on its cloudy mind than just killing castaways. Smokey could be manipulating our heroes toward various ends, much like the Island's other resident evil, Ben. Which suggests a possibility: Is Ben a manifestation of Smokey? Or, put another way: Is Smokey a manifestation of Ben? Tune in next week when I put some more flesh on this theory.


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