Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Extended explanation of Lost (Spoilers)

Apparently, what follows below is an extended explanation of Lost by someone from Bad Robot. In a nutshell, the Dharma Initiative were people brought to the island to help Jacob devise a way to kill the Man in Black. But the Man in Black used Ben to destroy them. The sideways world was the bardo/limbo, where souls bound to one another meet before passing on to their next life. The group that meets and leaves in the church is a group of bound souls (Ben for example, must be waiting for other people bound to him, like Alex, to die before he can go on). If you like the concept, then you should try Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt - - it's all about a group of bound souls being reincarnated together over and over again through an alternate version of our history where most Europeans were killed by the Black Plague.

Anyway, here you go:

Good stuff on here! I can finally throw in my two cents! I've had to bite my tongue for far too long. Also, hopefully I can answer some of John's questions about Dharma and the "pointless breadcrumbs" that really, weren't so pointless ...

First ...
The Island:

It was real. Everything that happened on the island that we saw throughout the 6 seasons was real. Forget the final image of the plane crash, it was put in purposely to f*&k with people's heads and show how far the show had come. They really crashed. They really survived. They really discovered Dharma and the Others. The Island keeps the balance of good and evil in the world. It always has and always will perform that role. And the Island will always need a "Protector". Jacob wasn't the first, Hurley won't be the last. However, Jacob had to deal with a malevolent force (MIB) that his mother, nor Hurley had to deal with. He created the devil and had to find a way to kill him -- even though the rules prevented him from actually doing so.

Thus began Jacob's plan to bring candidates to the Island to do the one thing he couldn't do. Kill the MIB. He had a huge list of candidates that spanned generations. Yet everytime he brought people there, the MIB corrupted them and caused them to kill one another. That was until Richard came along and helped Jacob understand that if he didn't take a more active role, then his plan would never work.

Enter Dharma -- which I'm not sure why John is having such a hard time grasping. Dharma, like the countless scores of people that were brought to the island before, were brought there by Jacob as part of his plan to kill the MIB. However, the MIB was aware of this plan and interferred by "corrupting" Ben. Making Ben believe he was doing the work of Jacob when in reality he was doing the work of the MIB. This carried over into all of Ben's "off-island" activities. He was the leader. He spoke for Jacob as far as they were concerned. So the "Others" killed Dharma and later were actively trying to kill Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley and all the candidates because that's what the MIB wanted. And what he couldn't do for himself.

Dharma was originally brought in to be good. But was turned bad by MIB's corruption and eventually destroyed by his pawn Ben. Now, was Dharma only brought there to help Jack and the other Canditates on their overall quest to kill Smokey? Or did Jacob have another list of Canidates from the Dharma group that we were never aware of? That's a question that is purposley not answered because whatever answer the writers came up with would be worse than the one you come up with for yourself. Still ... Dharma's purpose is not "pointless" or even vague. Hell, it's pretty blantent.

Still, despite his grand plan, Jacob wanted to give his "candidates" (our Lostaways) the one thing he, nor his brother, were ever afforded: free will. Hence him bringing a host of "candidates" through the decades and letting them "choose" which one would actually do the job in the end. Maybe he knew Jack would be the one to kill Flocke and that Hurley would be the protector in the end. Maybe he didn't. But that was always the key question of the show: Fate vs Free-will. Science vs Faith. Personally I think Jacob knew from the beginning what was going to happen and that everyone played a part over 6 seasons in helping Jack get to the point where he needed to be to kill Smokey and make Hurley the protector -- I know that's how a lot of the writers viewed it. But again, they won't answer that (nor should they) because that ruins the fun.

In the end, Jack got to do what he always wanted to do from the very first episode of the show: Save his fellow Lostaways. He got Kate and Sawyer off the island and he gave Hurley the purpose in life he'd always been missing. And, in Sideways world (which we'll get to next) he in fact saved everyone by helping them all move on ...


Sideways World:

Sideways world is where it gets really cool in terms of theology and metaphysical discussion (for me at least -- because I love history/religion theories and loved all the talks in the writer's room about it). Basically what the show is proposing is that we're all linked to certain people during our lives. Call them soulmates (though it's not exactly the best word). But these people we're linked to are with us duing "the most important moments of our lives" as Christian said. These are the people we move through the universe with from lifetime to lifetime. It's loosely based in Hinduisim with large doses of western religion thrown into the mix.

The conceit that the writers created, basing it off these religious philosophies, was that as a group, the Lostaways subconsciously created this "sideways" world where they exist in purgatory until they are "awakened" and find one another. Once they all find one another, they can then move on and move forward. In essence, this is the show's concept of the afterlife. According to the show, everyone creates their own "Sideways" purgatory with their "soulmates" throughout their lives and exist there until they all move on together. That's a beautiful notion. Even if you aren't religious or even spirtual, the idea that we live AND die together is deeply profound and moving.

It's a really cool and spirtual concept that fits the whole tone and subtext the show has had from the beginning. These people were SUPPOSED to be together on that plane. They were supposed to live through these events -- not JUST because of Jacob. But because that's what the universe or God (depending on how religious you wish to get) wanted to happen. The show was always about science vs faith -- and it ultimately came down on the side of faith. It answered THE core question of the series. The one question that has been at the root of every island mystery, every character backstory, every plot twist. That, by itself, is quite an accomplishment.

How much you want to extrapolate from that is up to you as the viewer. Think about season 1 when we first found the Hatch. Everyone thought that's THE answer! Whatever is down there is the answer! Then, as we discovered it was just one station of many. One link in a very long chain that kept revealing more, and more of a larger mosiac.

But the writer's took it even further this season by contrasting this Sideways "purgatory" with the Island itself. Remember when Michael appeared to Hurley, he said he was not allowed to leave the Island. Just like the MIB. He wasn't allowed into this sideways world and thus, was not afforded the opportunity to move on. Why? Because he had proven himself to be unworthy with his actions on the Island. He failed the test. The others, passed. They made it into Sideways world when they died -- some before Jack, some years later. In Hurley's case, maybe centuries later. They exist in this sideways world until they are "awakened" and they can only move on TOGETHER because they are linked. They are destined to be together for eternity. That was their destiny.

They were NOT linked to Anna Lucia, Daniel, Roussou, Alex, Miles, Lupidis, (and all the rest who weren't in the chuch -- basically everyone who wasn't in season 1). Yet those people exist in Sideways world. Why? Well again, here's where they leave it up to you to decide. The way I like to think about it, is that those people who were left behind in Sideways world have to find their own soulmates before they can wake up. It's possible that those links aren't people from the island but from their other life (Anna's parnter, the guy she shot --- Roussou's husband, etc etc).

A lot of people have been talking about Ben and why he didn't go into the Church. And if you think of Sideways world in this way, then it gives you the answer to that very question. Ben can't move on yet because he hasn't connected with the people he needs to. It's going to be his job to awaken Roussou, Alex, Anna Lucia (maybe), Ethan, Goodspeed, his father and the rest. He has to attone for his sins more than he did by being Hurley's number two. He has to do what Hurley and Desmond did for our Lostaways with his own people. He has to help them connect. And he can only move on when all the links in his chain are ready to. Same can be said for Faraday, Charlotte, Whidmore, Hawkins etc. It's really a neat, and cool concept. At least to me.

But, from a more "behind the scenes" note: the reason Ben's not in the church, and the reason no one is in the church but for Season 1 people is because they wrote the ending to the show after writing the pilot. And never changed it. The writers always said (and many didn't believe them) that they knew their ending from the very first episode. I applaud them for that. It's pretty fantastic. Originally Ben was supposed to have a 3 episode arc and be done. But he became a big part of the show. They could have easily changed their ending and put him in the church -- but instead they problem solved it. Gave him a BRILLIANT moment with Locke outside the church ... and then that was it. I loved that. For those that wonder -- the original ending started the moment Jack walked into the church and touches the casket to Jack closing his eyes as the other plane flies away. That was always JJ's ending. And they kept it.

For me the ending of this show means a lot. Not only because I worked on it, but because as a writer it inspired me in a way the medium had never done before. I've been inspired to write by great films. Maybe too many to count. And there have been amazing TV shows that I've loved (X-Files, 24, Sopranos, countless 1/2 hour shows). But none did what LOST did for me. None showed me that you could take huge risks (writing a show about faith for network TV) and stick to your creative guns and STILL please the audience. I learned a lot from the show as a writer. I learned even more from being around the incredible writers, producers, PAs, interns and everyone else who slaved on the show for 6 years.

In the end, for me, LOST was a touchstone show that dealt with faith, the afterlife, and all these big, spirtual questions that most shows don't touch. And to me, they never once waivered from their core story -- even with all the sci-fi elements they mixed in. To walk that long and daunting of a creative tightrope and survive is simply astounding.
Via these fine sites.

*Buy Dharma Initiative collectibles at eBay.


  1. What I'm trying to figure out is how the majority of viewers didn't get this, because I did.

  2. How the hell do you know what the majority of viewers did or didn't get?

  3. very helpfull. Two questions though. If Ben was MIB's pawn and the others meant to corrupt the people that Jacob brought to the island, then why was Richard with them and not the Dharma initiative? And why was Whidmore allowed to leave the island? I think what he did was worse than what Michael did.

  4. Have you read the posts on the fan boards or on facebook or on other people's blogs, or hell even on the news (cnn had an blerb on it monday). To summarized everything I've read (and is been a lot) is that people can't figure out if the island was purgatory or in the slash sideways was. Also the no understanding why everyone was in the church or why some people were missing and what was going on with Ben.
    I found it to be pretty clear during the finale. In my opinion I think people were just looking for answers that weren't there as opposed to what was.

  5. Wasn't Libby in the Church scene at the end? She wasn't a season 1 character...So the writers must have changed the ending a bit to include her, right?

  6. Wait, what? Alex died loooong before Ben will have ever died. And Hurley was immortal and should have lasted a good couple hundred years at least so the Lost purgatory must have waited a looong time to wait for his chubby arse to get there.

    Basically it looks like it makes sense from a distance until you get close (i.e. watch any episode) and notice the glue is worn thin. Go ahead and watch Flashes Before Your Eyes and try to get that to correlate with the current Lost formula.

  7. yes, she died way before Ben and Hurley died maybe centuries later. How is that contrary to whats being said here?

    They waited a long time for everyone to be there notice Boone saying to Hurley: you took your sweet time.

  8. das chupa: "there is no here and now". Time is not linear in the sideways/purgatory/bardo universe.

  9. That's a good question about Richard... but we don't really know his full role in all of this. It seems that Jacob wasn't really much for sharing his plans or keeping folks in the loop or really doing much of anything, other than bringing people to the Island and then letting them stuble around helplessly trying to figure out what to do. So, it's totally possible that Richard didn't know Jacob's plan for the D.I. or anyone else, really. He didn't know about the candidates, so he obviously didn't know about Jacob's plan to kill MIB, since that seemed to be the purpose of the candidates. Jacob was a terrible, terrible leader and protector of that Island.

    It seems like Richard was just as manipulated as everyone else by MIB and by Jacob's submissive, "I don't get involved" nature.

  10. Wow, just because they died at different times doesn't mean they couldn't have gone to purgatory together... I feel like that was explained with what Christian said about how some died before Jack and some lived for a much longer time after...

  11. Not only Libby was there, but Desmond and Penny too, neither of whom were in the first season. I'm guessing the writers felt it safe to add them without upsetting the idea behind the ending.

  12. That was fantastic! I couldn't say it better myself.

  13. Why was Clare's baby still a newborn?? Wouldn't Aaron be all grown up, or die and old man. We know he was a least 3 years old when he was with Kate? Was the most important part of his life being a baby with his mom???

  14. Jason C says...

    The problem with the purgatory/sideways timeline are the ages of everyone involved. For instance, Kate and sawyer left the island in the plane. Ok, so they died sometime after jack. It must've been no more than 5 years later 'cause they didn't age at all. This is assuming the age you die is the age you appear in purgatory land.

    In the purgatory/sideways world : If the links weren't connected, if the souls didn't find eachother, do they continue to age? do they die from old-age-in-purgatory land?

    I love the idea of it, don't get me wrong. It's just the age thing gets me. For instance, I understand why hurley didn't age, he was the replacement protector. But ben as his number 2 had to of died somehow, and by the sounds of it i.e. "You made a great number 2" , ben was around for a long time.

    in summary, kate, sawyer, ben should have shown some signs of aging... or are we to assume no matter how old you are when yo udie, you end up in purgatory lookin' younger?

    new thought: perhaps an explanation could be you end up looking as you did in those special moments of your life, with those special people.

    meh, it was ok.

    penny shouldn't have been there.

  15. Reading that explained a lot, but it confused my thoughts on Richard's purpose. According to this, Ben killed the Dharma Initiative because he was manipulated by the Man In Black to do so. But, from what I remember, Ben killed the Dharma Initiative with the help of Richard. If Jacob brought the the Dharma Initiative to the island to help get rid of the smoke monster, what side does that put Richard on? Is Richard actually working against Jacob?

  16. excellent summing up. this was how i saw it too. I think that the whole soul mate reconnecting theme is amazing and really meaningful to me as a human being. I think that it made so much sense. I got the dharma initiative thing after i remembered what happened with Richard/Ricardo when he met the mib after shipwrecking. mib was so persuasive and so intuitive. if i was faced with the choice i would believe and trust the person making the changes, speaking out, doing things not the 'sit back and be like yoda' sort of guy. its about those choices we make in life or maybe the bargains we make instead.
    And ben never really saw much of jacob did he, just richard? ahhh i love lost. i will miss it so much!

  17. i think if, as a writer on the show, you need to explain all of this stuff after the fact then maybe you didn't do such a great job writing the show in the first place... and it also seems to me that the people who dove deeper in to the show, following all of it's clues, piecing together the entire puzzle, are the ones most frustrated with how it ended... on the other hand the people who watched superficially and passed over the fine details tended to be more satisfied with the conclusion... an interesting read, nonetheless. still, this is the internet. who knows how real this is.

  18. What about Dr. Chang (Mile's father), why did he change his name for each dharma station? this is a lovely theory until you plug up the wholes as to why walt had magical powers, libby's whole role in the mental hospital as well as so many other things.

    the people who were "good" got to have a bardo. why keemy? micheal did bad things and couldnt move forward. why would people who did bad things be in the bardo. why couldnt ben and widmore kill each other? why were they playing by the rules? wht did widmore need form the island?... to kill mib? okay.

    there are still MANY MANY questions left open!

  19. I think this theory and explanation is great. Can someone give me their thoughts as to why the sideways world had so many differences to their real lives? i.e. why does Jack have a son in his sideways life? Why is Sawyer a cop? etc...

  20. How is what Michael did worse than Ben? There was an argument for Widmore as well, but I don't think anyone did as much damage as Ben did, yet he was allowed to awaken... that argument doesn't hold up there.
    Michael killed Libby, and did some backstabbing. He's the best of the Widmore, Mike, and Ben trio, yet wasn't allowed to awaken.

  21. None of this explains the absence of Michael and Walt in the church.

    Actually, it just makes their being left out that much more egregious.

  22. I think the whole age Thing was that Aaron died when he was still a baby. That's why Claire became crazy and in the flashforwards with Kate she might of died with Aaron so he aged in her eyes. Remember Claire said they took him. She never seen him so her only recollection of Aaron was when he was a baby before she disappeared or when she died.

  23. Sideways/Limbo/Purgatory world differences.

    I think the differences in the Sideways world were things that each character were subconsciously holding in and allowed to create in this place, until they were ready to remember and "let go."

    For example:
    Jack: always felt that his father had failed him as a father, and was looking to be a better father himself someday, but never had a chance. thus subconsciously wanting a son like david. also his failed marriage to sarah was something he couldn't fix, and it seemed like him and juliet had a "working" divorce in the sideways world.

    Kate: always running. she knows nothing else, and it makes sense that she would continue to be on the run in another life.

    Sawyer: he is interesting, because I think he was still upset about never getting the closure of losing his parents, so the hunt for "Sawyer" continued. however, being part of the DI changed him into a "good-guy", so he played out his flashsideways as a combination of both James Fords we got to see: Sawyer & LaFluer.

    Locke: through all his pain and suffering, the one thing he wanted was a relationship with his father. In this sideways world, he got just that, and although there was tragedy, it was not a hateful relationship. Also, he got to be with Helen.

    Sayid: (ps. reuniting with Shannon was dumb) Got to see Nayid live a life that she didn't before, one with a family and children. (cough, cough Lame).

    Hurley: Lucky vs. unlucky. Everybody loves Hugo.

    Sun & Jin: I think for them, just being together no matter the circumstances was important enough. If you looked at their marriage in real life, it seemed that Marriage itself ruined their relationship. So them being "unmarried" but together made them happier.

    Charlie: I have no clue about this one...

    Claire: When the family who was supposed to adopt Aaron said they couldn't, I think that was some relief to the Claire, as she has always worried about someone taking Aaron. In this case, they didn't want him, thus forcing her to realize she always wanted him.

    Ben: Seeing an Alex who doesn't resent him, who looks at him as a father even though he does not, instead of her hating him as the father he isn't.

    On the "Age" topic.
    The charachters are "bound" together by what? Oceanic 815. So in reality, it doesn't matter how old they were when they died, or how long Ben/Hurley lived. That was the place where they met, so in their FlashSideways/purgatory/limbo whatever, that is where they met again. Aaron wasn't born when they took that flight, so when they met there again, he wouldn't be born. Kate could have grown up to be 89, old and grey, and still returned to that same spot - because they were bound there.

    PS. no one likes Michael anyway, I didn't care that he wasn't at the church.

  24. Aaron didn't die as a baby. Kate took Aaron off the island and raised him for 3 years before returning. Did you even watch the show?

  25. So science - all the gee-whiz physics stuff about electromagnetism, time travel and the like - was essentially the "macguffin" of the show. I kind of knew this from the beginning, but it was disappointing to me that the show backs down from interesting, provocative scifi to a simple magic, faith-based good vs. evil story. A fairy tale about the afterlife complete with celestial light FX, no explanations required. Would've been more interesting to see how the science worked out, IMO.

    Still, terrific writing and characters.

  26. The absence of Michael is explained..." Remember when Michael appeared to Hurley, he said he was not allowed to leave the Island. Just like the MIB. He wasn't allowed into this sideways world and thus, was not afforded the opportunity to move on. Why? Because he had proven himself to be unworthy with his actions on the Island. He failed the test. The others, passed."

    Walt was absent because he was only a child on the island and he had a lot more living to do and most probably formed stronger connections with other people. These are the people he would into the next world with.
    Penny was at the church with Desmond because what they went through with the rest of them formed the most powerful connections with those people. We didn't see Penny on the island but you must remember what she went through to find Desmond. Just because they werent in Season 1 didn't mean they shouldn't be there.
    Aaron is a baby in the church because, as mentioned earlier, everyone appears as they were when the connections were being made. Aaron was born in the middle of it so why would he appear older. Aaron as an adult would have his own connections to move on with, he is in the church as an extension of Claire and Charlie because they identify themselves as a family unit. That is how they were when the connection was being made.
    Mr Eko, and many other people weren't there because they must have built more powerful connections with other people in different circumstances, and these are the people they will move on with.

  27. remember, Claire got off the island with kate and sawyer on the plane. So clarie did probably see aaron again. Maybe evern raised him after she got home. Maybe he was still a baby because that was the most memorable time with him and she missed out on him being a baby. Aaron may have lived to be an old man. I loved every minute of it!!

  28. Never apologize, never explain. That is the harsh phrase that haunts us all when the narrative of our live overtakes and betrays our other "assets," be they charm, good looks, clever phrasing, great acting, production values, interesting tonality in background music, and on and on.

    Its is especially relevant here because the narrative just got lost, on Lost.

    Hollywood is famous for its mistreatment of the people who create the plot. But many times the creators are also the ones who lose it -- its not always the editor's fault.

    Lost became a parody of itself because nature abhorred the vacuum that the show created around itself.

    I as a consumer and fan find that especially frustrating. Just like I did watching Truman Capote slide from incredible story teller to muddled knitter of bad yarn.

    Its a failure, and as F. Scott Sawyer once so famously said: "There are no second acts in prime time, but maybe a movie."

  29. Is anyone excited to think that Richard got to live in the future? Think about it, he was from what, the 1800s? Then he gets to go on a plane and live in the New World? Man, he could have written a great history book.

  30. I've got a question for the people who say that they wanted to see how the science worked out: Really? You thought a finale based on the finer details of electromagnetism and string theory would have made for a satisfying end to the story? Should we have brought out Bill Nye and a blackboard and maybe some overhead slides? Hell, I work in neuroscience research and even I know that would make for two and half boring ass hours of t.v.

  31. I love how people are getting hung up on how old people appeared in the church. Why does it matter? Their appearances are just representations of their souls. Appreciate the story for what it is and don't get lost in the minutia.

  32. The one thing that really needs explaining is Sayid ending up with Shannon. Nadia was Sayid's one true love and that was forced home hard by everything he did, even in the sideways world. It makes no sense whatsoever that he would want to spend eternity with Shannnon. It was just a way to get her and Boone back on the show. And don't say it was because Nadia wasn't on the plane because neither was Penny!

  33. I think Ben stayed out of the church at the end because he wasn't ready to let go, like the others were. He wanted to spend time with Alex, as her death in the real world was his fault. I don't think it had anything to do with JJ Ambram's (who didn't write anything but the pilot) ending. It was all Darlton & Cuse.

  34. i didnt like the finale, sure it explained sideworld and jacobs plan and all that, but as i see it, the big question trhough the whole show was "what is the island?". Just saying it balances good and evil in the world is not good enough, for my taste anyway.
    And protect the island? from what? if there is no MIB who do you need to protect it from? Maybe i misunderstood but you needed to be taken to the island, right? Or you can just drop by, and take a dump in the "bright light" if jacob wasnt there to stop you?
    And the notion that linus was waiting for someone, or the whole getting together when all "soulmates" have died doesnt make sense, since time didnt exist you dont have to wait for anyone. But i guess that comes down to theology, or myth or whatever.
    I liked the lost show, but the finale didnt cut it, it explained season 6 but didnt give a good enough explanation regarding the island.
    Hurleys, magic numbers was a way to get hugo to the island? so why did it have to drive alot of other people insane before that?
    I understand piecing it all together is hard but, and i dont doubt the skill of the writers but then you shouldnt press shit in to make it exciting if you cant fit it. But im sure i missed alot of the logic, but at the same time, you shouldnt have to be in mensa to understand a show, i think.

  35. As artful and "right" as the concept of the Sideways world was, there's one connecting reason why everything happened as it did in the Sideways world:

    The writers wanted to trick the audience into thinking it was a bomb-created parallel timeline, which bothers me.

    There are a mountain of details big and small that ONLY exist if you were trying to fool an audience. To wit:

    If it really were a place for everyone to find each other, why wouldn't they remember everything upon arrival? Were they waiting for Desmond to wake them up?

    Why imagine horrible circumstances (such as real/fake(?) Keamy/Omar/Mikhail hassling Sayid/Jin/Sun, or Locke damaging his father)...did they create a world where they could seek revenge? That's pretty dark, if you follow the show's logic of this sideways world.

    I won't go through the list of people who should or shouldn't be there, or are real or fake, because it's a long one.

    Again: theme-win, plot-fail for the sideways world. Had the rest of LOST not been amazing, I don't know if I'd let it pass.

  36. It seems to me that all of it was real, just different planes (pardon the pun) of existence, and that time can be sideways because the characters are working things out on multiple levels at the same time. Remember Dharma means purposeful karma, not just fateful karma. With that in mind the Island plane of existence can be a place to workout one's purpose in the field of battle with evil, and the sideways plane be a place for working out one's purpose in the field of helping and healing others. All planes of existence are real, before the crash, on the island, amid the time travels, in the sideways plane, and beyond.

  37. Taking it a step further, if all planes of existence ARE real and the characters are working out multiple Dharmic issues simultaneously in multiple dimensions, then it would seem that the characters ARE multi-dimensional. By extension, if this is true, then it's possible to view the "group" (and by extension us) not just as separate characters united by way of converging dharmic paths, but also as “living” manifestations/projections/avatars of a single being. That is, “they” are “living” characters/manifestations of the various inner dramas/issues of a single multi-manifest being, played out simultaneously in the life “before” the crash, “after the crash on the island”, and “sideways, as if the crash had never happened”. If so, we could also be (somewhat Matrix-like) projections of a single hyper-dimensional being. I doubt that either Lost or the Matrix take it this far. It just fits in the same way that one can, in layering this explanation upon most any religion, provide a deeper esoteric explanation to some of the more simplistic notions such as purgatories, limbo, and bardos.

  38. All of this is well and good, but there is one huge problem with the final story.
    If you say Jacob brought everyone to the island, that still doesn't explain how our losties ended up there in the first place.
    The whole reason the plane crashed was because Desmond refused to press the button once (ultimately he regretted it and pressed it before things went 'failsafe') and thus the burst of electromagnestism yanked the plane to the island.
    It was an act of Desmond's FREE WILL that brought the plane down, not Jacob's plan. Sure you could say Jacob knew Desmond would exercise his free will in that way, but that explanation is just a cheap cop-out.