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Up to date as of February 07, 2010

From Lostpedia

"We were brought here for a purpose, for a reason, all of us. Each one of us was brought here for a reason." -- John Locke

Viewers and the characters themselves are left to wonder whether the events that are occurring are predestined by fate, or whether the characters have the free will to change what will happen to them through their actions. Fate or coincidence is a central theme on Lost (Through the Looking Glass-Enhanced transcript).

Contents

Fate

In a pivotal moment of "Walkabout", Locke expresses his frustrations to the travel agent.
An early screencap showing that early on after the crash, Charlie wrote the word "LATE" on bandages wrapped around his fingers.
A later screencap from "Fire + Water" showing that in a dream sequence, the letters on the bandages change back to their original "FATE".
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Season 1

  • In the pilot, Charlie writes the word FATE on his bandaged fingers with black marker. ("Pilot, Part 1")
  • LATE, on Charlie's fingers, if spelled backwards is "ET AL" which is Latin for "and others."
  • In a moment when Shannon is finally seeing the gravity of the situation, Boone doesn't listen to her. She points out that the man at the gate who wouldn't let then have their first-class seats probably saved their lives. ("Pilot, Part 2")
  • Locke tells the tour operator: "Hey, hey, don't you walk away from me! You don't know who you're dealing with! Don't ever tell me what I can't do, ever! This is destiny, this is destiny. This is my destiny. (yelling) I'm supposed to do this, damn it! Don't tell me what I can't do! Don't tell me what I can't. . ." Locke later believes that it was arriving on the Island that was the destiny that he previously sensed. ("Walkabout")
  • Locke asks Jack "What if everything that happened here, happened for a reason?" ("White Rabbit")
  • Two pens fail to work when Claire is attempting to sign the paperwork to give her baby up for adoption. ("Raised by Another")
  • Walt is reluctant to help Michael build the raft, to which Michael tells him, "You think working with your old man is punishment? No, man, this is us taking control of our destiny." Walt retorts that it feels like punishment. ("Special")
  • Christian Shephard says to Sawyer: "Don't beat yourself up about it. It's fate. Some people are just supposed to suffer. That's why the Red Sox will never win the damn Series." However, as Jack later learns in "The Glass Ballerina", the Boston Red Sox did win the World Series shortly after the crash. ("Outlaws")  ("The Glass Ballerina")
  • Rousseau says to Hurley: "Numbers are what brought me here. As it appears they brought you. Since that time I've lost everything, everyone I cared about. So yes, I suppose you're right. They are cursed." ("Numbers")
  • Jin tells Sun that he has to leave on the raft because "I'm in this place because I'm being punished. I made you suffer. You don't deserve any of this." Later, Sun asks Shannon if she believes they are being punished by fate, to which Claire pops in with her opinion: That she doesn't believe in fate. ("Exodus, Part 1")
  • After the dynamite incident, Locke asks Jack "Do you think we crashed on this place by coincidence -- especially, this place? We were brought here for a purpose, for a reason, all of us. Each one of us was brought here for a reason... The island brought us here. This is no ordinary place, you've seen that, I know you have. But the island chose you, too, Jack. It's destiny." Jack retorts in a heated moment, asking if Boone's death was destiny, and Locke says he was a sacrifice. Jack then opines: "I don't believe in destiny," to which Locke replies, "Yes, you do. You just don't know it yet." ("Exodus, Part 1")

Season 2

  • Eko says, "Do not mistake coincidence for fate." ("What Kate Did"). Locke later repeats this phrase. ("The Cost of Living")
  • In a dream sequence, Charlie is wearing the words "FATE" on his left hand. ("Fire + Water")
  • Christian Shephard tells Ana Lucia, "Maybe fate has thrown the two of us together, like two drinks in an airport bar." When Ana Lucia asks why fate would do that, he replies, "Same reason fate does anything: So we could help each other out. You do need help, right?" Later in that same conversation, Christian tells her "That's right. Fate's calling, Sarah."("Two for the Road")
  • "So it was just a coincidence that he came wandering out?" - Locke to Jack about Michael returning from his second attempt finding Walt ("Two for the Road")
  • "My my my. Look what fate has delivered up this time." - Christian to Ana Lucia right after they see a bar called Last Call from their rental car. It's ironic that the bar is called Last Call because Christian begins drinking himself to death there.("Two for the Road")
  • Locke, who originally believed that his fate lay in the Swan, is suddenly disillusioned when he finds the secrets in The Pearl. He tells Eko, "I was never meant to do anything. Every single second of my pathetic little life is as useless as that button! You think it's important? You think it's necessary? It's nothing. It's nothing! It's meaningless! And who are you to tell me that it's not?" ("?")
  • Desmond tells a jaded Locke, "Three days before you came down here, before we met, I heard a banging on the Hatch door, shouting. But it was you, John, wasn't it? You said there isn't any purpose -- there's no such thing as fate. But you saved my life, brother, so that I could save yours." ("Live Together, Die Alone")

Season 3

  • Desmond affects the future (fate), by constructing the lightning rod. ("Every Man for Himself")
  • Ben hints to Jack that his belief in God is supported by the appearance of Jack (a spinal surgeon) on the island only days after tumors were found on Ben's spine.("The Cost of Living")
  • Penelope tells Desmond, "I say we celebrate that fate has spared you a miserable existence under the employ of Widmore Industries." ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
  • When Desmond asks Ms. Hawking why she didn't save the man wearing red shoes, she explains: "Because it wouldn't matter. Had I warned him about the scaffolding tomorrow he'd be hit by a taxi. If I warned him about the taxi, he'd fall in the shower and break his neck. The universe, unfortunately, has a way of course correcting. That man was supposed to die. That was his path just as it's your path to go to the island. You don't do it because you choose to, Desmond. You do it because you're supposed to." ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
  • Desmond tells Charlie, "I've tried twice to save you, but the universe has a way of course correcting and -- and I can't stop it forever. I'm sorry. I'm sorry because no matter what I try to do you're going to die, Charlie." ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
  • Charlie eventually accepts his fate and sacrifices himself in the Looking Glass. ("Through the Looking Glass")
  • While in Room 23, a slide appears saying "God loves you as He loved Jacob". This is a reference to the Biblical passage from Romans 9 in which the Apostle Paul appears to be making an argument for predestination, i.e. fate.

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Free will

At a memorable moment in "?", two men of faith find that their beliefs are at odds with one another.

Season 1

  • Locke and many others repeat variations of the line "Don't tell me what I can't do!" ("Walkabout") and on...
  • Jack tells Sawyer "that's why the Red Sox will never win the Series" was "Just something my father used to say -- went through life knowing that people hated him. Instead of taking responsibility for it, he just put it on fate. Said he was made that way." The implication was that his father was making excuses, and that Jack believed taking personal responsibility for events could change outcomes. ("Outlaws")
  • Martha Toomey says to Hurley: "You make your own luck, Mr. Reyes. Don't blame it on the damn numbers. You're looking for an excuse that doesn't exist." ("Numbers")

Season 2

  • Many instances in which Locke says they don't have to push the button and nothing would happen if they didn't, especially after his encounter with the Pearl station ("?"). He finally ended up not pushing the button and causing the system failure ("Live Together, Die Alone").

Season 3

  • Juliet says to Adam: "Here I am thinking that free will still actually exists..." ("A Tale of Two Cities")
  • Locke responds to Desmond's comment regarding the convenience of Eko's and Locke's destination being the same: "Don't mistake coincidence for fate"("The Cost of Living"), quoting Eko's words to Locke in Season 2.("What Kate Did")
  • Ben talks to Jack about his plan to break him and reveals his true intention saying, "Then of course we'd lead you to believe that you were choosing to do whatever we asked you to do." Ben finalizes saying "I want you to want to save my life." ("The Cost of Living")
  • Juliet, referring to Ben's surgery, says to Jack, "You probably feel like you don't have a choice, but you do, Jack. Free will is all we've really got, right? ("The Cost of Living")
  • Desmond tells Ms. Hawking, "I can choose whatever I want.", however, she responds "You may not like your path, Desmond, but pushing that button is the only truly great thing that you will ever do." Later on, after leaving Penelope and his "lucid flashback" for the island again, he is full of regret about his choices. He begs "Please, let me go back. Let me go back one more time. I'll do it right. I'll do it right this time. I'm sorry, Penny. I'll change it. I'll change it." ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
  • Ben tells Locke, "You'll never be free until you release the hold your father has over you.... When people join us here on this Island, they need to make a gesture of free will, of commitment. That's why you're going to have to kill your father." ("The Brig")

Season 5

  • In The Variable, Daniel explained that he was wrong about his previous view, and that people are variables in the equation that can change the outcome of events.
  • In The Incident, Parts 1 & 2, Jacob tells Hurley: "It's your choice Hugo, you don't have to do anything you don't want to," and Ben "Whatever he's told you, I want you to understand one thing -- you have a choice."
  • In The Incident, Parts 1 & 2, Jack tries to change the future by stopping the Incident by blowing up an atomic bomb.
  • In The Incident, Parts 1 & 2, Jacob and his enemy have a disagreement. The enemy feels that Jacob is perpetuating a cycle of violence and destruction by bringing people to the island, a fatalist viewpoint. Jacob seems to imply that cycle can be broken. He says it only has to happen once - everything that comes before is progress. Jacob pointed out to several people that they have free will.

Season 6

The Lost Experience

  • The Valenzetti Equation predicts the exact number of years and months until humanity extinguishes itself. This suggests that fate of mankind can actually be calculated scientifically. (The Lost Experience)
  • However, the stated purpose of the DHARMA Initiative is to change the numerical values of any one of the core factors in the Valenzetti Equation in order to give humanity a chance to survive. This suggests that those responsible for the Initiative believed that the results of the equation, and thus the fate of humanity, could be altered by their actions. It also suggests that those responsible for the Initiative intended to re-engineer fate in bigger ways. (The Lost Experience)

Trivia

See also


This article uses material from the "Fate versus free will" article on the Lostpedia wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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