Last night’s episode of LOST had a lot riding on it. Famously, the rules that apply to the rest of the characters don’t apply to Desmond, and Desmond episodes usually end up being exciting departures from a typical LOST episode. In addition to this, Desmond’s been MIA the whole season (save a few moments in the premiere) and the show is running out of time. This episode seemed to be as good a time as any to start sprinting towards the finale.
Remember when Desmond’s relationship with Witmore wasn’t any more complicated than Charles thinking Des wasn’t good enough for Penny? Times change, huh?
As with “Ab Aeterno” a couple weeks ago, the 2007 Island business mainly served as a frame for the feature story. This episode spent more time in the flash-sideways than any other episode this season, and while it didn’t necessarily answer a lot of questions, it certainly addressed a lot of things fans have been asking all season.
So how long ago did Ben shoot Desmond? End of Season 4? Mid-Season 5? Something like that? Either way, it was a bunch of episodes ago, but apparently Desmond was still in the hospital before his father-in-law had him drugged and shipped by sub to everyone’s favorite island of mystery.
Des just has time to wake up and freak out before he’s strapped into a giant magnet machine and zipped into the flash-sideways world, where we know from the opening credits that he’ll meet up with Charlie and Daniel at the very least.
In the flash-sideways world, Desmond is Charles Witmore’s jet-setting sidekick. Considering how his off-Island business usually revolves around Penny, the writers use (a somewhat jerky) Charlie to make a big deal about how single Des is and how he’s never been in love and all.
The episode is chugging along in a not terribly engrossing manner when Charlie decides to “show” Desmond something by driving them into the ocean. While Desmond attempts to free Charlie from the submerged car, Charlie slaps a palm with the words “Not Penny’s Boat” written on it against the window.
That moment literally gave me chills, which was awfully welcome in a season where they’ve been conspicuously absent. The lingering promise of this season is that the two timelines would ultimately merge, and this is the first true indication of that.
Rather than leaving us to stew on that for another week, the LOST writers decided to pour it on from there. Before long, Desmond is chatting with Eloise (Hawking) Witmore, who begins scolding him the way she did in his first adventure through time. Clearly, she’s the proverbial one-eyed chicklet in the kingdom of the blind, but she doesn’t give up all her secrets at once. Her comment that Desmond finally has what he always wanted – Charles’ approval – indicates that she recognizes a distinction between realities.
Up next is Daniel (Farraday) Whitmore, who is a music genius instead of a physics genius in this reality, even though he wrote a bunch of advanced quantum physics stuff when he woke up the other night. Daniel pretty much says that blowing up a nuclear bomb changed the world, but that he shouldn’t’ve oughta done that. That explanation still seems a little reductive to me, but I’m guessing this means we’re not done with Jughead and the Swan hatch quite yet.
Once Desmond meets Penny, he pops back to the Island, ready and willing to help Witmore. A minute later, Sayid kills one of Witmore’s boys and has Desmond come with him. Desmond goes along willingly, and we get one last look at 2004. Desmond makes a date with Penny and then asks his driver, George (an old friend from the freighter) for a copy of the Oceanic 815 manifest. He needs to “show” them all something.
We have five more episodes until the finale, so at the end of the episode this still feels like the launching pad for the rest of the season. Last night’s episode was fine, but I imagine it will look better in the context of the completed show than it does now.
- Looks like next week is a Hurley episode. We’re for sure getting an appearance by shouty ghost Michael, can we please get Libby, too?
- The key line in the preview is that Desmond is going to have to make a sacrifice. He’s at peace with doing this by the end, but anybody know what the heck it is?
- Desmond’s blissful calm carried between 2007 and 2004. Is his consciousness just passing freely back and forth right now?
- So I reckon a lot of people think that Desmond is betraying Witmore at the end by going with Sayid, right? I figure that whatever Desmond has to do, going with Sayid is either part of it or doesn’t affect what he needs to do.
- The writers keep insisting the flash-sideways isn’t an “alternate timeline”, but then what are we supposed to make of bizarro Daniel’s explanation of blowing up a nuclear bomb?