3:06 AM – After writing the recap, I like this episode. It’s not one of my favorites of the season, but I like it. I did enjoy the references to past favorite episodes, like “Flashes Before Your Eyes”, “The Constant” and “The Variable”. I’m tired… Hope you enjoy the recap. Please give me your feedback. Thanks for reading!
There were moments I liked in this episode, but I’m not crazy about it. It’s due to how Charlie was used in the episode. Perhaps writing the recap will change my thoughts, because I want to like this episode.
SPOILERS AHEAD (And really, you’re reading this recap because you’ve already watched the episode and are fanatical like me.)
First of all, we don’t get a “Previously, on Lost…” to open the episode. And really, why would we need it? If we’re watching Lost at this point in the series, we’re die hard fans. We know the key points of the show. We don’t need to waste a minute of the show reminding us that Desmond use to push a button in The Swan Station.
The episode begins with Desmond’s right eye opening. How many times has that happened? It was the first scene of the series (Jack), the first scene of season two (with Desmond), the first scene of season three (Juliet), and a number of other episodes
where it started with someone opening their eye. What’s the representation? I’m guessing it correlates with the Eye of Horus
, an Egyptian hieroglyphic.
Desmond opens his eyes and is disoriented. Zoe, our favorite geophysicist, is explaining to him what’s going on. He’s been unconscious for three days. Desmond finds out he’s not in a hospital (he’s at the Hydra Station
but doesn’t know it yet), reaches for his shoulder (where he received the gunshot wound
from Ben), and starts asking for his wife. Widmore enters into the conversation and says it won’t be possible to see her. Desmond is a bit despondent by seeing Widmore again.
The two being to talk and Widmore tells him how he was shot by Benjamin Linus. Desmond still wants to see Penny, but Widmore tells him that he took him away from them. Penny and Desmond’s son (Charlie) are safe, though. Widmore goes on to say he wanted to explain, but if he would have Desmond never would have come with him. Desmond asks the obvious question, “Come with you, where?” And Widmore says what Desmond fears, “I brought you back to The Island”.
Fury registers within Desmond. Widmore tries to stymie the fury by saying, “I can’t imagine what you’re feeling,” but Desmond attacks him. Widmore’s cronies pull Desmond off of Widmore while Desmond screams “take me back”. Widmore tells his cronies to be careful with Desmond, then calmly says that can’t happen. Why? The Island isn’t done with Desmond yet. (Of course, we find out later it’s not really The Island that’s not done with Desmond yet. It’s just Charles Widmore that’s not done with him yet.)
Widmore leaves the room, and Jin is at the doorway wanting to know what’s going on. Widmore says it will be easier to show him, and then asks for Jin to go to the generator room. Zoe is unnerved by this because it accelerates when the “test” will be. (Guess she shouldn’t have taken Jin
when she did.)
Zoe and Jin are walking the grounds around the Hydra Station, and we see a wooden box with heavy electrical wiring going into it. Inside the generator room there is action as Widmore’s people try and ready the generator. Zoe tells a guy that Hume is coming down now and that everything needs to be ready. The guy responds that the room hasn’t been operational in twenty years. (Nearly twenty years ago was The Purge
.) Doesn’t matter, they are running a test.
By the way, nice to see a rabbit
Widmore’s team begins running a test, but power is not going to the box. A man (Simmons) goes to make sure the connections are secure within the box. While he’s doing that, another man realizes a breaker isn’t flipped on. He turns it on, and the box turns on with the man inside it. This freaks everyone out and they tell the man to turn the breaker off. He does, but it’s too late. The man inside the box is dead from electrical burns. Everyone runs down there to check on him. Widmore walks up, completely unaffected by the dead body, and asks Zoe if they are ready to run the test. Desmond is behind Widmore, and he sees the dead body.
The body is taken out, and Desmond is promptly put inside the box and strapped into a chair.
WIDMORE: I know how this looks Desmond, but if everything I’ve been told about you is true you’ll be perfectly fine.
How would Widmore know about Desmond and his ability to handle electromagnetism? This would imply that Widmore knew about Desmond being at The Swan Station and surviving the blast at the end of season two. How would Widmore have known? Eloise? Remember, Eloise was present when Desmond experienced his first “time slip”. It was in the season three episode “Flashes Before Your Eyes
“. While the episode took place in 1996, Desmond’s mind was from 2004. Right after he turned the fail-safe key at The Swan Station. He crossed paths with Eloise Hawking during this episode, but Eloise knows that Desmond is from the future. Remember that, we’ll dig into it more later.
WIDMORE: I hate to resort to forcing this upon you, Desmond, but once it’s over I’m going to ask you to make a sacrifice. And I hope for all our sake’s, you’ll help me.
DESMOND: Sacrifice? What the bloody hell do you know about sacrifice?
WIDMORE: My son died here, for the sake of this Island. Your wife, my own daughter, hates me. And I’ve never even met my grandson. But if you won’t help me, Desmond, all of it will be for nothing. Penny, your son and everyone else will be gone. Forever.
A bit disingenuous of Widmore, but what do you expect from him? Has he really made a sacrifice to The Island? No. He has sacrificed others for his own goals, but those sacrifices have not been personal. He didn’t sacrifice Daniel Faraday, and it was his own wrong actions that caused the rift between himself and Penny. He’s trying to manipulate Desmond here. I have no sympathy for him.
And, like I said, is it The Island that’s not done with Desmond, or is it Widmore that’s not done with him?
Back to the episode “Flashes Before Your Eyes”. In that episode, Eloise told Desmond that he had to go to The Island to turn the fail-safe key. If he didn’t, they’d all be dead. Eloise is trying to prevent Desmond from marrying Penny, because if he doesn’t marry her then he winds up on The Island. Key dialog from that episode? If someone manages to forestall fate, the universe will “course correct” itself and find another way of forcing them on their prescribed path.
Eloise, and now Widmore, have implored Desmond to do something to save the world.
Desmond is left in the box, and Widmore goes up to the generator room. Widmore wants the test run on Desmond, but Jin wants to know what’s going on.
WIDMORE: That man is the only person I’m aware of in the world who has survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event. I need to know that he can do it again, or we all die.
Really? Everyone is going to die if Desmond doesn’t play his part? Man In Black’s foil is Desmond? Is Widmore trying to kill Man In Black? Because, Man In Black has been trapped on The Island for who knows how long. Wouldn’t Widmore’s better play be to convince someone to replace Jacob? This, of course, would mean Widmore knows about Jacob’s death, which we don’t know he does. And, it would mean Widmore knows about candidates, which we don’t know he does.
Once again, how would Widmore have known about Desmond surviving The Swan Station blast?
Desmond is freaking out inside the box, and Widmore starts the test. He turns on the electricity inside the box to see if Desmond can handle it again. Desmond conveniently walks between the two electrical machines, and then he collapses. We see sky and clouds, and then the scene transitions to Desmond at LAX in the flash sideways timeline.
Desmond is looking at an arrival screen, and the numbers are present. Sydney flight 815, arrived at 10:42 AM, gate 8. It’s status? It’s blank, which probably symbolizes the unknown with the timelines. Hurley walks by and tells Desmond their baggage claim is number 4.
At the baggage claim he helps Claire get her bags and strikes up a conversation with her. He’s wanting to help her out, but she politely declines. He tells her that she’s going to have a boy, which we know is true.
Waiting for Desmond is George Minkowski
. I liked this. In the episode “The Constant”, where Desmond’s consciousness was going back and forth from 1996 to 2004, Minkowski was also in the episode experiencing the same condition. Now they are together in the flash sideways timeline.
In the time it takes for them to walk to the limousine, we get the picture that Desmond is a focused businessman who is excellent at what he does. All work no play. He is the boss’ right hand man. Who is his boss? Of course it’s Charles Widmore.
When Desmond walks into Widmore’s office, we see briefly see a painting of a scale. On the scale we see a black rock on one side, and a white rock on the other side. (Remember the scale from “The Substitute
” when Man In Black took Sawyer down to the cave?)
Back from commercial, and Desmond is staring at a boat. A reference to Desmond’s boat race around the world
, a race that was put on by Widmore. A race that ultimately brought Desmond to The Island. Widmore is yelling at someone on the phone, and he needs Desmond to fix the situation. Someone is in jail (Charlie) that needs to be at a charity event Widmore’s wife is hosting. Their son, a talented musician, is performing and needs Charlie to be there. Desmond has to babysit Charlie and get him to the event. Desmond accepts the job.
Widmore is grateful and is beaming. He trusts, and somewhat envies, Desmond. It’s like Desmond is a son to him in this timeline. Widmore goes over to his alcohol and pours shots from his MacCutcheon’s scotch whiskey. Desmond is honored as he realizes Widmore has poured him a shot. It was in the episode “Flashes Before Your Eyes” that Widmore told Desmond his life was worth less than a shot of MacCutcheon’s scotch whiskey. Widmore said this when Desmond asked to marry Penny.
WIDMORE: (To DESMOND) Nothing’s too good for you.
In the current timeline, we’d never expect Widmore to say that to Desmond.
Desmond goes to pick up Charlie, and Charlie ignores him. Charlie walks across the street without looking, almost getting hit by several cars. Desmond chases after him and follows him to a bar across the street. They sit at the bar and start talking, and here is my main complaint with the episode. Charlie playing the psychologist and analyzing Desmond. I didn’t buy it. I realize it’s done to push the story along, but it wasn’t believable to me.
Charlie asks Desmond if he’s happy, and Desmond says he is. Charlie doesn’t buy it, and starts talking about life and love. A “consciousness-altering love” is one way Charlie described it. Charlie then explains how he came to be caught with heroin. He tried to hide it by swallowing it, but then choked when the plane hit turbulence. He begins to “slip into the abyss” when he sees her, and he describes Claire. He describes a feeling of being with her, which is what he experienced with Claire in the first three seasons of the show. Charlie comes out of the feeling, and is frustrated because he no longer is experiencing the feeling.
CHARLIE: I’ve seen something real. I’ve seen the truth.
Desmond retorts by presenting Charlie with two choices and the subsequent ramifications of those choices. Desmond accentuates the choice he wants Charlie to take, which has Charlie thinking there’s not much of a choice in the matter. Desmond says, “There’s always a choice, brother”. This reflects their thinking throughout the show. Desmond never accepted fate, and Charlie did. Remember when Charlie would write “FATE” on his knuckles during the early part of season one?
We next see Desmond driving Charlie and they engage in some banter. Once again, Charlie plays the psychologist role (which really annoyed me tonight) by saying Desmond isn’t happy. Desmond scoffs at Charlie and says, “Because none of this (life) is real”? Charlie then offers Desmond two choices. Charlie will either show Desmond what he’s talking about, or Desmond can leave the car. Of course, Desmond laughs, but then Charlie takes the wheel and somehow manages to drive the car off a pier. Desmond just let Charlie drive the car off a pier. Didn’t apply the brakes or fight of someone who is much smaller than him. How convenient.
I didn’t like Charlie in this episode, but I know why he was used. Before, Desmond and Charlie had a history on The Island. Desmond would always see how Charlie was going to die. Desmond tried to stop this by saving Charlie’s life multiple times, but no matter how many times he did this it wouldn’t matter. “Fate” wanted Charlie dead. Desmond and Charlie were together, at the end of season three, when they infiltrated The Looking Glass
. Desmond watched Charlie die when the room Charlie was in flooded.
Back in the flash sideways timeline, Desmond escapes the car and tries to save Charlie. As he does, he has a deja vu and sees a scene from when Charlie and him were in The Looking Glass. Charlie seems to be too aware of what’s going on, and seems to be giving up on life. Like he hopes death will take him to that timeline where “his love” is.
We’re at the hospital now and Desmond is getting examined by a doctor. He’s being asked questions, and pauses when asked if he’s hallucinated. Desmond is uncertain, so he is then given an MRI.
Desmond is getting ready for his MRI. He’s strapped down and given a button to press if he panics. (referring to his time pushing the button every 108 minutes) The MRI starts, and he starts seeing flashes from another timeline, another life, when he was with Penny. What caused this? The magnetism from the MRI? He then hears Penny’s voice saying, “Desmond”. He panics and pushes the button. He gets out of the tube and goes looking for Charlie.
Since he’s not related to Charlie, no one will let him see him. Then, Jack enters the scene. He tries to get Jack to help him, but then Charlie barges through. Desmond begins to give chase. Randomly, Charlie stops so the two of them can talk.
Desmond asks why he tried to kill him, but Charlie says he was only trying to show him something. How Charlie would know this only a few hours removed from his own experience is a bit of a leap in logic, but leaps of faith are necessary with Lost. Desmond wants to see his hands, and Charlie realizes that Desmond experienced the same thing he did.
CHARLIE: You think I’m going to play a rock concert after this? This doesn’t matter. None of this matters. All that matters is that we felt it.
Charlie then walks away and implores Desmond to look for Penny. Charlie Pace, life coach.
Desmond calls Widmore to tell him what’s going on, that he doesn’t have Charlie, and Widmore is furious. Desmond doesn’t understand why it’s a big deal, since it’s only a concert. Widmore then tells him to go tell his wife it doesn’t matter since it’s only a “bloody concert”.
From Widmore and Minkowski’s words, we’re led to believe that Desmond is going to be chewed out by Mrs Widmore. We then see that Mrs Widmore is indeed Eloise, and she is laying into one of the workers at the event for not properly setting a butter knife on a table.
Desmond walks up to Eloise and introduces himself. There is a look of recognition on Eloise’s face of who Desmond is, who he is in the other timeline. Eloise says “it’s about time” that they met. She asks why he’s there, and he begins to explain what happened with Charlie. As he’s apologizing, Eloise tells him not to worry about it. This is completely against what Desmond expected of her response. Some more of Eloise’s dialog?
- Certain unpredictability comes with the territory.
- What happened, happened.
Everything appears to be fine, so Desmond walks away. As he does, he hears someone going over a seating chart and hears Penny’s name. Desmond stops and inquires about Penny, but this time Eloise storms over and tells him it’s none of his business. Desmond presses the matter more, but then Eloise tells him to come with her. As he walks away, we see the back of the head of Daniel Faraday. Daniel is staring intently at Desmond. Remember, Desmond is Daniel’s constant
Eloise orders everyone out of the tent, except Desmond. She tells Desmond to “stop”, but she doesn’t say clearly what he is suppose to stop. She implies that it’s the way he see things, which would be Penny. She goes on to say, “It is, in fact, a violation”. (I do hope at some point all these ambiguous rules are explained that Widmore, Ben and now Eloise know about.)
ELOISE: So, whatever it is you’re doing, whatever it is you think you’re looking for, you need to stop looking for it.
DESMOND: Do, do you know what I’m looking for Mrs Widmore?
ELOISE: I don’t know why you’re looking for anything! You have the perfect life. On top of it you’ve managed to attain the thing you’ve wanted more than anything, my husband’s approval.
DESMOND: How do you know what I want?
ELOISE: Because I bloody do.
DESMOND: I need to see that list, or you need to tell me why I can’t.
ELOISE: Can’t. Because you’re not ready yet, Desmond.
DESMOND: Ready yet, ready for what?
Eloise clearly knows about the current and flash sideways timeline. How does she know this? We saw her last at The Lamp Post
, a reference to C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
. Could she have some sort of apparatus that acts like a wardrobe in which she can travel between two worlds?
What good does it Desmond to have Widmore’s approval if he doesn’t have Penny? Earning Widmore’s respect is what motivated Desmond to set out to win the boat race around the world.
Desmond isn’t ready yet. So, does that mean he will be at some point? What then? How does Eloise now when he’ll be ready?
Desmond doesn’t get answers, so he heads back to the limousine. As it is ready to drive away, Daniel “Widmore” knocks on the window and tells Desmond that they need to talk. They begin to talk and Daniel asks Desmond if he believes in love at first sight. A similar theme that Charlie brought up. Daniel then begins to describe when he first saw Charlotte a few weeks ago. (One of the things he mentioned was seeing her eat a chocolate bar. If we ever see that, I guarantee she’s eating an Apollo candy bar
.) Daniel says that the feeling he had, at first seeing Charlotte, was that he already loved her. And, that’s when things changed with Daniel.
When he woke up the next day, he wrote out quantum mechanics equations in a journal. (On the page, we see “space time interval”, “real space” and “imaginary time”.) The equations are so advanced that only someone who had been studying their entire life could come up with them, and in this timeline Daniel is a musician. (Like Jack’s son, David.)
Desmond inquires about the equations, and Daniel explains. Imagine a catastrophic event and the only way to prevent it is to release a huge amount of energy. Like setting of a nuclear bomb. Then…
DANIEL: What if this, all this, what if this wasn’t suppose to be our life. What if we had some other life, but for some reason we changed things. I don’t want to set off a nuclear bomb, Mr Hume. I think I already did.
Were they suppose to set of the bomb at the end of season five? They did, but now none of the characters know each other. Is Daniel suggesting fixing an event that was suppose to fix a timeline? A course correction, which is what Desmond dealt with before. No matter what you do to fix or change things, fate will intervene and course correct.
While Desmond is intrigued, he doesn’t want to buy into what Daniel is saying. He gets ready to leave, but then Daniel asks him why he inquired about Penny. His silence confirms to Daniel that Desmond understands. Desmond “felt it”.
DESMOND: I don’t know what I felt.
DANIEL: Yes, you do. You felt love.
Desmond gets frustrated and says Penny is an idea because he has no idea who she is or if she even exists. Daniel then says that Penny is his half-sister, and how Desmond can find her.
And there we are at the stadium, where we first saw Desmond’s face in the series. He was running stadium steps then, and now it’s Penny. Desmond walks over to her as she runs down a flight of steps, uncertain of even what to say or do. He introduces himself to Penny and holds out his hand. She takes it, and then he wakes up in the current timeline.
As he wakes up, Widmore’s team comes into the box. One of the guys expresses surprise that Desmond is okay, but Widmore is pleased at this result. Desmond is calm, saying he’s fine. He asks how long he was unconscious, and Widmore says no more than a few seconds. In the other timeline, Desmond experienced a few hours. (Desmond always seems to be shifting through time.)
Widmore helps Desmond up and says how his talent is vital to their mission. Widmore is ready to explain, but Desmond says he understands. This surprises Widmore, Desmond’s change of tone.
DESMOND: You told me you brought me to The Island to do something very important.
DESMOND: When do we start?
Why the change of heart? Does Desmond think that if he goes through with the plan it will save Penny and he? Because, regardless, it is fate for them to be together?
Desmond walks away with Zoe, conveniently without Widmore, and two of Widmore’s cronies. As they walk, Sayid attacks and kills the two men. He points a gun at Zoe and tells her to run. (Conveniently not killing her.) Desmond doesn’t seem affected by Sayid’s actions. Sayid then tells Desmond that these people are extremely dangerous and that they need to leave. Desmond tells Sayid to lead the way. Sayid also was with Desmond when Desmond’s consciousness was going back and forth from the present, in the episode “The Constant”.
Is this purposeful on Desmond and Widmore’s part, for Desmond to be taken to Man In Black? Desmond can withstand electromagnetism. Man In Black may have issues with it, especially as the smoke monster. Is Desmond bait to lure Man In Black, who is then hit with electromagnetism, since Desmond can withstand it? Or, is it back to a hatch, like I speculated last week?
Back in the flash sideways timeline, Desmond is recovering from fainting. Penny is his constant, so did that do something in his consciousness in the flash sideways timeline? Penny asks, “Have we met before”? Desmond says, “I think we’d remember if we had”. Desmond then seizes the opportunity to ask her on a date. They are both smiling, enjoying the moment.
Desmond walks back to the limo. He gets in and talks with Minkowski.
GEORGE: So, did you find what you’re looking for?
DESMOND: Yes, George, I did.
George then asks if there is anything else he can do for Desmond, and Desmond says there is. He wants the flight manifest of Oceanic 815. What is the impetus for this? Is it Charlie? Is it Jack? Is it Daniel? Is it Penny? I’d like to think it was Penny, and the fact she is his constant. Something happened when he connected with her in this flash sideways timeline. A merging of the two timelines, of Desmond’s two consciousnesses? What then? What is the play? Is the merging a course correction of life, fate intervening despite the choices of others that forestalled fate?
DESMOND: I just need to show them something.
Is Desmond going to show them what Charlie showed him?
How does this flash sideways development affect Man In Black’s power play?
- Widmore saying scheduled as “shedshuhled”.
- One more time, I did not like how Charlie was used in this episode.
- Where’s the war? I hope the war isn’t anti-climactic, like the season one finale of Heroes.
- What are the rules? Ben and Widmore have mentioned it before, and now Eloise hints at it tonight.
- Why wait this long for developments with the flash-sideways timeline? Some of the other flash sideways timelines, this season, seem somewhat like wasted time.
- What is Widmore’s endgame? What is he trying to accomplish? Before, all we’ve known is that he wanted The Island again. This would seem to be against Jacob’s ideals.
- Is the bit part, Simmons, a reference to Bill Simmons, as Carlton Cuse hinted at on Twitter last week?
- Why all the guys with guns? Bullets don’t hurt Man In Black.
- What is Jin’s role. What’s he doing besides standing around now.
- Daniel’s experience, in the flash sideways timeline, took place before Oceanic flight 815. Before, all the characters had their deja vu experiences during or after Oceanic 815.
- How did Eloise escape The Island after the bomb went off? Why did she leave The Island?
- I did like how the episode referred to some great episodes from seasons past.
It looks like next week’s episode is Hurley-centric. It appears we’ll have Michael back. Will Libby be back as well? I think so.
Why hasn’t Locke shown himself to Hurley? You’d think out of all the dead people, he’d be one to go speak to Hurley.
Where is Walt?
In my prediction of which characters will have episodes centered around them, I’m going to add Eloise to the fray. I believe Widmore and her will share an episode. How does she know so much in both timelines?
Check back as I’ll be posting another Lost lingering questions post in the upcoming days.
As always, there’s more I want to discuss, but I’m tired. Really tired. Thanks again for taking the time to read!