The latest episode of Lost may have been a Kate-centric episode, but it's Claire who made the biggest impact. Jack's Aussie half-sister made a big splash in the altverse and made her triumphant return to the Island after being MIA since she was briefly seen in Jacob's Cabin two season ago.
So what has Claire been up to for three years on the Island? And what can we learn about Claire's slightly different altverse backstory?
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Three years ago Claire was walking through the jungle and then vanished, only to be seen in Jacob's Cabin hanging out with her dad, Christian Shephard. Now she's a rifle-shooting Rousseau clone who, according to Dogan, was infected just like Sayid.
Putting together the pieces, the mystery seems easy to solve at this point. The Smoke Monster is a being capable of existing in multiple forms at once. Any time someone dies on the Island without being buried, their body becomes infected or "claimed" by the Smoke Monster and comes back to life. Slowly the darkness eats away and eventually, the person becomes another separate part of the Smoke Monster.
In other words, Claire, Sayid, Locke and Christian Shephard are all possessed by the same entity. As such, Claire is free to track down the Others, walk among the survivors and serve as a spy for Fake Locke. At least that's the theory I'm currently operating under.
Due to the bomb exploding in 1977, some things in the altverse have changed, such as Ethan Goodspeed becoming a nice doctor. But obviously Claire's life is largely similar. She's still pregnant and still boarded Oceanic 815 to give up her baby to new adoptive parents.
The big question is whether the same chain of events led to Claire's arrival. Let's assume that, once again, Richard Malkin is the one who urged Claire to take the flight and that he had found some "good people" to adopt the baby.
In this sense, Malkin's motive works either way. In the regular universe, if he knew the plane would crash, then sending Claire would ensure she keeps her child. In the altverse, if Malkin knew that this couple had broken up, sending Claire would also ensure that she would be forced not to give up the baby.
For fun, we can also ask questions about the baby daddy, Thomas. He was artist who presumably had one of his paintings hanging in Charles Widmore's office. But in this timeline, Widmore was on the Island when it blew up, so he doesn't exist to buy the painting. What does that mean for Thomas? More likely than not, it means nothing, and I'm just asking a pointless question that will never be addressed.
But whatever the case, one thing is clear. Whether the plane crashes or lands, Claire is supposed to have this baby and Kate is supposed to help her raise it. That's what fate wants.
(Image courtesy of ABC)