“The Constant” Recap and Analysis …
It begins like this:
Listen: My brain has come unstuck in time.
It ends like this:
Yes. And so …
Previously, on Lost: Kate’s up on trial for counts in just about everything except kicking a dog after returning from the island and we find out, in a fun twist, that the fifth member of the Oceanic Six is – Oh, who the hell cares? Desmond is freakin’ time traveling in this episode!
Without further ado, The Constant …
We open with the famous picture of Penny and Desmond in front of the fake marina, as Desmond is daydreaming about getting back to his beloved. Des, Sayid and Frank are making their way to the freighter via the chopper. Sayid gets on the horn and wonders why Frank has to have a cheatsheet from Dan in order to find his way. Frank tells Sayid to mind his own damn Iraqi business. The trio enter a stormhead and Frank briefly deviates from the 305 heading and things get a bit hairy. Des grabs hold of his seat and
wakes up to the sound of a Scottish drill sergeant wondering what the hell Hume is waiting for. Des is suddenly back in the Scottish Regiments and getting his ass chewed out for taking too long to get up. Des is a bit confused, as are we, and he says he was just dreaming about being in a helicopter, and a storm, and he doesn’t remember. At least it was a military dream, screams the sergeant.
Des and his company are out in the rain-soaked barracks field now, working out. His friend, Billy, asks him what the hell is up with him, which gets him in trouble with the Scottish R. Lee Ermy, who starts yelling again and
Des is wide-eyed in the helicopter, now frantically unstrapping himself and wondering who the hell this Iraqi behind him is and how he knows Des’ name.
Cue the swirling Lost!
If your head was spinning as much as mine was after this week’s episode, or, hell, even after getting through this feature, then you’ll appreciate the episode-inspired drink recipe I have in store for you. Have you ever wondered what it might feel like to slip into another consciousness and wander through your own personal timeline? Barring that, have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be absolutely catatonic like Desmond and George, suddenly coming to and thinking to yourself where the hell am I and who are all these people? Well, mix yourself a few of these suckers and you’ll get to live out your dreams – if you can remember them.
Now, I give you one of my favorite shooters …
The Mind Eraser
- 1 oz. Vodka
- 1 oz. Kahlua
(or Tia Maria if you like, it won’t matter for long)
- 1 oz. Soda water
Get an old-fashioned or cocktail glass, put in some ice cubes. Pour in the Kahlua, then the vodka, then the soda water. Insert straw, preferably a thick one. Suck it all down at once. Repeat until it’s 1996 again. You know, back when you had a liver.
Back on the beach, Jack is not happy, as usual, and starts grilling the lovely Charlotte about why his friends aren’t on that freighter yet. She swears she doesn’t know anything, until Juliet calls her on her bullshit. You know, the only thing that could keep me from going on for half a recap about those two beauties being in a scene together is time travel. That’s right, she’s a cruel mistress that fourth dimension, but she is my first love. Ahem, anywho, Juliet informs miss Charlotte that she knows ol’ Red is full of shit because she’s not worried about the helicopter or getting back to her ship. Daniel finally just lets the cat out of the bag
“Maybe we should just tell ’em,” says Dan.
“Dan, let’s not confuse anyone,” berates Charlotte.
“Well, Dan, maybe if you talk real slow we’ll be able to follow,” quips Juliet. Ooooh, snap.
Dan explains that the perception of how long Jack’s friends have been gone isn’t necessarily how long they’ve really been gone. Jack just kind of stands there dumbfounded as if someone finally told him that his Dad is really Santa Claus and he’s been banging his mother all these years on Christmas Eve. Things’ll be just peachy as long as Frank stays on the course Dan laid out for him. If not, though, there might be … side effects. Understatement of the show, there, Dan.
Back on the chopper, Des is going apeshit and Sayid barely keeps him from crashing the heli. Frank makes a sharp bank and suddenly there’s the infamous freighter, just waiting. They land on the back, safely, and it’s not long before Des is out of the bird and on the deck, wondering who the hell Beefy and Mr. Stocking Cap, who just came running out yelling at Frank, are supposed to be. Beefy and Cap make a move toward Desmond, but Sayid blocks the way. They just want to take Des down to sick bay for a bit, that’s all. The Doc is going to want to take a look at him. Desmond doesn’t want to go, though, because he’s not supposed to be
here. Back in the barracks yard, rain pouring, Des standing up while everyone around him continues their exercises. It’s not long before the good Sergeant is back in his face again, and he’s gotten the whole squad in trouble once again.
Billy and Des begin stacking some ammo boxes. Billy wants the story, and Desmond tells him that he’s jumping back and forth between the regiment and the island/helicopter/boat. Billy wants to know who was on the boat that he recognized. Des gets a dreamy look and then … Penny. Penny was in a photo. He has to get in touch with Penny.
Des makes his way to a phone booth and digs out some change, but is bumped by one of his pissed-off squadmates. He bends to pick up the falling change
and stumbles on the deck of the freighter. Beefy and Cap take Desmond below decks and they introduce themselves – Keamy and Omar. They’re from Vegas and Florida, respectively. As for where they are … well, the last port was Fiji, so they know they’re at least in the Pacific somewhere. Very mysterious. They lead Des into the sick bay and then lock the door, which Des soon starts pounding against and declaring that he’s not supposed to be here, over and over, again. Yeah, we heard you the first time, Dante. Buncha savages in this town.
“Hey,” a weary voice says from behind Des. He turns and finds Fisher Stevens looking as though he’s had better days, strapped into a bed.
“It’s happening to you, too, isn’t it,” Fisher says, quite insanely.
We’re back with Sayid topside. He gets in Frank’s face and wants to know what’s happening to Desmond and why they took off at dusk and landed in the middle of the day. Frank says he’s just trying to help, to which Sayid offers that it would be more help if he could use the ol’ satphone to reach out and touch his friends back on the island. They spark a deal – the satphone for Sayid’s sidearm. Sayid agrees.
Back on the beach, Jack’s got a phone call. It’s his agent, telling him that Vantage Point was number one at the box office last weekend, but not to get too excited since the only other movies out at the time were the crapfests Jumper and Fool’s Gold. Just kidding, it’s Sayid. He says that something happened during the flight. Jack puts him on speaker and Dan hears all this and starts in with the crazy questions. Has Desmond recently been exposed to high levels of radiation or electromagnetism? Boy, has he ever! Jack’s got the Santa Claus look again. Dan doesn’t know why, but going to and coming from the island, some people can get confused.
“Is this amnesia?” asks Juliet.
“No, this is not amnesia,” says Dan. No shit, says I.
Back in sick bay, Fisher is catatonic. Des is trying to wake him up. Fisher slowly jumps back into his current consciousness, and remarks that he was just on a Ferris wheel. Cool, was Johnny Five with you?
The doc enters the room. His name is Ray. We know this because Fisher calls him that and also tells him that he said he wasn’t crazy. Ray preps a needle with some sedative and injects Fisher, who briefly goes a little apeshit before passing out. Ray asks Des how he’s feeling. How do you think he’s feeling, Doc? Dumb ass. Des doesn’t want to get stuck like Fisher, but Ray only wants to check Desmond’s eyes. He gets out that little pocket flashlight that every doctor in the world seems to have with them and starts flashing it in Desmond’s eyes. Ray just wants to know the last thing Desmond remembers
back in the rain. Desmond has his change in his hand, just as confused as ever. He gets it together and gives Penny a ring. She’s not happy to hear from him, but he needs help, needs to see her. She’s not having any of it and tells him not to bother calling because she’s moving. She tells him not to call, but he’s desperate, he needs
her. Ray wants to know if Desmond “just experienced something.” Wow, this guy is quick. Speaking of quick, here comes Frank and Sayid and they have a phone call for Des. Ray tells them they’re not supposed to be down there, that Daniel isn’t talking to Desmond, and soon Sayid is doing the Sayid thing and throwing the ol’ Doc against the wall. Ray trips an alarm and the tension ratchets up a notch. They give Desmond the phone and Sayid slams the door to give them all a little privacy.
Despite the loud, annoying alarm ringing in the tin can that is the freighter, Desmond can hear who’s on the other line – it’s Dan. He introduces himself. They don’t have much time to talk. Dan asks Des what year it is, and he responds – 1996. Dan wants to know where Des is right now. Sick bay, says Des. No, says Dan, he wants to know where Des is supposed to be right now. Camp Miller in Scotland, says Des. Dan instructs Desmond that the next time it happens, he’s supposed to get on a train and go to Oxford, Queen’s College Physics Dept.
“Why?” asks Des.
“Because I need you to find me,” says Dan, ominously. Oh, it’s ON, says I.
Dan’s searching frantically for his journal, now. Jack still wants to know why Desmond thinks it’s 1996. Dan doesn’t know, really, it’s a random effect. Sometimes it can be a couple of minutes and other times it can be years.
“You mean this has happened before?” asks Jack. Give it up, Jack, you can’t have all the answers.
Back on the phone, Dan is telling Desmond that he needs to tell 1996 Dan to set the device to 2.342 and have it oscillating at 11 hertz. Oh, and one more thing, if the numbers don’t convince him, Desmond needs to tell Dan that he knows about Eloise. That’s when the door busts open and in pours Keavy and Omar, and Dan is screaming to Desmond to remember Eloise, just remember
dial tone. Des is in a heap at the bottom of the phone booth. His hands are all pruny. He jumps up and springs into action.
We’re at Oxford, now, or at least a university that’s supposed to represent it. The bell tower is ringing and there are students going to and fro and it’s all very academic. Desmond is making his way toward a stone alcove, and soon he sees Dan, long, crazy hair slightly mussed, arguing with a student. Desmond asks if he’s Daniel Faraday and then introduces himself. Des says he thinks he’s just been to the future. Desmond spoke to Dan in the future and he told Des to get in touch the Dan of 1996. Understandably, Dan thinks it’s all a big prank until Desmond tells him that he got that bump on his head while he was trying to hang a clock in his bathroom and slipped, and when he came to, that’s when he had a vision … of the flux capacitor, which is what makes time travel possible. Or something like that.
Dan ushers Des into his workspace, cluttered with all sorts of crazy physicsy stuff. A large wooden maze is in the center of the room, and a strange contraption that looks like an antique dentist’s light is hanging above on a boom with lots of cords snaking out. This is where Dan does the things Oxford frowns upon.
Dan starts manically questioning Desmond about contact with his future self. If Dan told Des to meet with his 1996 self, then Dan would remember their meeting. Des tells him no, he doesn’t remember, and Dan is doubtful of that. Dan puts on a radiation chest shield and starts flipping some switches. Des wonders if all this is to change the future, to which Dan has to tell Des that he can’t change the future, just like the Jeweler told him last season. Come on, Des, you’re not thinking fourth-dimensionally.
Des wonders why Dan is shielding himself and doesn’t offer him a chest shield. Dan tells him that it’s just for repeated exposure. He does this sort of thing about 20 times a day.
“So what do you put on your head?” asks Des, wisely.
Dan just laughs and we now know why he’s a bit confuzzled in the future. Dan has forgotten to remember what he’s already forgotten in the future and what’s happened has passed. Or something like that.
Dan grabs a white mouse and introduces Des to Eloise. He places Eloise in the starting point of the maze, then lowers the dentist’s light over her. If the numbers Desmond gave Dan work, then Dan will be able to unstick Eloise in time. He fires up the device and zaps Eloise with a concentrated beam of PURPLISH LIGHT. You guys remember a big, purple light on the island, right? Hold onto that thought. We’ll talk about that soon enough.
After the zap, Eloise starts to come to. Dan lifts the gate to the maze and Eloise runs it like a champ. Dan is elated. Des wants to know what’s so bloody great about a mouse running a maze. What’s great, says Dan, is that he just built the maze this morning and he isn’t going to teach Eloise how to run it until an hour from now. Whoa. Cool. Dan explains that he sent Eloise’s consciousness to the future, but Des doesn’t really care because he needs Dan’s help. Dan thinks that his future self sent Des to help him, and Des is even more confused. All he knows is that Dan is on a bloody island. Wait, says Dan, why would he go to an
island. Ship, rather. Keamy is wrestling the satphone away from Desmond. The alarm is finally shut down and things calm a bit. Keamy is steamed that Frank allowed Desmond to talk to Dan, but Frank says that Dan just wanted to help. Ray says that Dan can’t even help himself and they order Frank out into the hall where he’ll no doubt get a good faceful of spite from the heavies on board. Sayid and Desmond remain in the sick bay and start to get to know Fisher … or, rather, George Minkowski.
Y’see, George was communications officer on board the boat, at least he was before he went crazy. Upon hearing Desmond’s name, he tells the duo about his duties at the radio. Every now and then, he’d get this flashing light on his console. He was under strict orders never to answer it.
“What’s that got to do with me?” asks Des.
“Those calls came from your girlfriend,” says George. “Penelope Widmore.” Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn.
Des is napping in a leather chair, back in Dan’s Oxford cubbyhole. Dan tells Des that he’s been out for nearly 75 minutes, going catatonic in the middle of a sentence. Des wants to know what the hell is happening, and then notices that Eloise has gone to that great Maze in the Sky. Dan says it was probably a brain aneurism, but he’ll have to do an autopsy later. This makes Des a tad unsettled, understandably, and wants to know if it’s going to happen to him. When Dan seems a tad nonchalant about Desmond’s predicament, Des gets a little grabby.
“Am I going to bloody die?!” spews Des.
“I don’t know,” says Dan, a bit humbly.
Dan thinks that Eloise’s brain short-circuited. Her brain couldn’t deal with the jumping back and forth because she had no anchor, nothing familiar to tie the disparate times together. Every equation needs stability, states Dan – a constant. Dan tells Desmond that he needs to find a constant, something important that exists in both timeframes. After Desmond wonders if it could be a person, Dan says yes, but he needs to make contact. Des picks up the phone, dials and gets a disconnected message. He’s all a man of action now, dashing down the stairs until he
falls against a table in the sick bay. Desmond finally sees himself in the mirror. George speaks what Desmond is thinking – that he looks a lot older now. Welcome back, George says.
Desmond tells Sayid that he needs his help, he needs to call Penny. George puts the kibosh on that little plan, though, as he tells the duo that the radio was smashed up two days ago by someone on board. He could’ve fixed it, he says, but he kinda went nuts. I need to remember that excuse at work, sometime.
Sayid wants to know the location of the radio room, oh, and also where the kitchen is so he can grab two coconuts, some tin foil and a collander and turn them into a brand new ham radio. George says he’ll take them there, so they begin to untie him. Sayid wants to know how they’re going to get out of the room, and George says through the door, duh. Seems as though they’ve got a friend on the boat.
Desmond gives George a hanky to wipe the blood from under his nose, and Sayid turns to tell him that it’s
clear. But drowsy. Desmond has come to, collapsed in the stairwell. He gets himself together and springs down the stairs … and straight to an auction. The auctioneer is explaining all about The Black Rock (you know, the ship) and how it set sail in 1845 and was lost at sea. The only surviving artifact was the journal of the ship’s first mate, found seven years later. The contents had never been made public and is only known to the family of the seller, Tovar Hanso. Sound familiar? The bidding begins. Well, lookee there, one of the bidders is Charles Widmore. Shocking. He wins, of course, and gets up to walk out, only to find Desmond waiting for him. Walk with me, he says.
Charles is taking a piss and wants to know what Desmond’s up to. Des wants to get in touch with Penny, of course. Charles gives Des the usual drubbing, but eventually gives Desmond Penny’s address, so that she can tell Des how much she hates him. Charles, being a right bastard, has left the water on in the sink and Des reaches out
to turn it off. George comiserates with Des and tells him he knows how hard it is to be jumping. As the trio make their way down the hall, Desmond wants to know what happened to make George jump. George says that they were anchored here, waiting for orders, bored to tears, when he and another crewmate, Brandon, decided they wanted to see the island. So they set sail … until Brandon went nuts and they had to head back. Brandon’s now in a bodybag, natch.
They enter the radio room and it’s busted all to hell. Really, really busted, like super-busted. Which means, of course, that Sayid will have it up and running by the time the coffee’s perked. George starts to say something again until he goes catatonic and slams into the desk.
“After your call, someone has got to tell me precisely what is going on,” says Sayid, dryly. Always unflappable, that Sayid.
Desmond wants to know if Sayid can fix the radio. He answers in the affirmative, that it will just take him a minute. Of course it will. The dude’s better than fucking MacGuyver. George comes to and collapses, convulsing, into Desmond’s arms on the floor. Desmond urges George to come back, but George goes catatonic again. Sayid asks Desmond for the number to call, but Des doesn’t know it yet. Des glances up at the calendar and realizes that he really is in 2004. It’s Christmas Eve, says Sayid, as if he had always celebrated the birth of Christ while he was in the fucking Republican Guard. Still, I guess he just, well, knows things. Anyway, Desmond’s nose starts to bleed and then George comes to, having a seizure, bleeding from his eyes, and ranting that he can’t … get … back … thud. Yup, he’s dead. It seems like an awful waste to have Fisher Stevens on for just one episode. I still get this feeling that we haven’t seen the last of George. He could still be the mysterious eye in Jacob’s cabin. I’m not quite giving up that ghost just yet, so to speak.
The tap is still running and the sink is overflowing now. Desmond’s in his usual spot, collapsed on the floor. Des takes a moment to collect himself, once again, grabs the business card with Penny’s address, and gets a move on.
Penny lives at 423 Cheyne Walk, a rather famous street in Old London where many a celebrity and debutante have called home over the years. Des knocks on the door. Penny answers, incredulous that Desmond is standing there. She reiterates that she’s wanting to make a clean break and starts to close the door, but Des stops her. He knows it’s too late to change things, but he needs her new number and he needs her to listen to him. They go inside. Des tells her that eight years from now he needs to call her and he can’t call her unless he has her number. He pours his heart out to his beloved, and tells her that he will call her eight years from now, on Christmas Eve. Eyes wet with tears, Penny finally agrees to give him the number if he’ll leave immediately. 7946 0893. Des repeats it, out loud, and Penny kicks him out.
Des bangs on the door once again. “I’m not crazy, Penny! You have to believe me, you have to
“I do trust you,” says Sayid. “But you still have to remember that number.”
Desmond repeats the number several times, and Sayid remarks that it’s excellent timing since he’s finished fixing the phone. He’s hooked up a standard lineman’s receiver to some wires and a battery and I start shaking my head because I just can’t suspend my disbelief long enough to forget that I worked three years climbing telephone poles and there’s no way in hell this is going to work. But, hey, Desmond is jumping back and forth through time, so the realism of telephone technology in the middle of the Pacific is just plain nitpicking.
The phone is ringing, and Desmond puts it to his ear. It rings several
times. Des walks away from Penny’s place, slowly glancing up to her window only to see her draw the blinds. He lowers his head and exits stage
“Hello?” answers Penny.
Desmond smiles. “Penny?” he asks.
Penny is in her apartment, a Christmas tree in the background. She’s practically speechless. She wants to know where he is. On a boat somewhere, says he. He’s been on island. The crying starts.
“You believe me,” says Desmond, elated. “You still care about me.”
“I’ve been looking for you for the past three years,” cries Penny.
She knows about the island, and says something about research, but static starts to break them apart. She knew that he was still alive, though, after she spoke to Charlie. Desmond tells her that he loves her, that he’s always loved her. She feels the same. More static. Desmond doesn’t know where he is, but he promises he’ll come back to her. She’ll find him, she promises. They say a final goodbye, one last I love you, and then the phone dies. We all wipe the tears from our eyes. C’mon, you cried, admit it.
“I’m sorry, the power source went dead, that’s all we have,” says Sayid.
“Sayid,” says Des. “It was enough.” He smiles.
“Are you all right now?” asks Sayid.
“Aye. I’m perfect.”
Back on the beach, Dan is flipping through his journal. Lots of scribbled equations, some diagrams, and a final page with some red writing inside a bold, red box. Dan looks up, wondering if he really wrote this, long ago. There, the page reads: IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG, DESMOND HUME WILL BE MY CONSTANT.
Cue the thonk!
Next week on Lost: I don’t know. My TiVo chopped off the preview. But I’m pretty damn sure it’s not gonna be as cool as this episode.
Good gravy boats, what an episode. Other than last week’s Kate-fest, I have been really, really satisfied with this season, thus far. The powers-that-be have cranked everything up a notch, given us some great answers to some age-old questions, and introduced a whole slew of new ones, naturally. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover this week, so I’d better get to it. Time, she is a predator.
YOU’RE JUST NOT THINKING FOURTH-DIMENSIONALLY
Unfortunately, I won’t have as detailed an explanation for Desmond’s time-jumping consciousness as I did for gravitational time dilation, although the two can be intertwined within the realms of special and general relativity and speculative quantum theory. The primer for understanding what Desmond is going through is found more in the metaphysical than the physical. We’re obviously not dealing with time travel in the traditional sense – in that, I mean physically transporting a three-dimensional construct backwards and forwards through a warp in space-time. For the majority of those that think about such things, that particular method has been deemed impossible. The energy it would take to accomplish that task is beyond anything we can currently produce or even imagine. Unfortunately, the addition of plutonium and a flux capacitor just won’t solve our problem.
That’s not to say that time travel is completely impossible. The theoretical particles called tachyons are often thought to be existing in an extra-dimensional state. Some believe the particles actually age backwards, although that’s a simplified way of looking at it. In order to truly comprehend what’s happening to Desmond, we have to imagine what the realm of an extra dimension would be like for us third-dimensioners. Bare with me, the ride might get a little bumpy.
For now, let’s put aside the debates as to whether this other dimension is actually temporal or spatial. For our purposes, this dimension will be temporal, although we’re going to look at it from a more spatial perspective. Ready? Here we go.
This image represents how humans have traditionally represented time throughout much of our history. Time, to us, is linear. Things have a beginning and an end. This is where we get the term timeline. It’s important to remember, however, that this representation is a wholly human construct. It is only because of our perceptions of the physical world that we hold this representation as true. In a mathematical sense, this type of representation would be equivalent to what would constitute our first dimension – a line, with length.
In terms of human consciousness, this representation would be more fitting. This shows the “timeline” of an individual’s consciousness in a circular fashion. We can imagine what has happened and will happen outside of our personal experience, but for each individual, their timelines are restricted to what they’ve seen, heard, felt, etc. throughout life. It’s important to note that, in the physical realm and in mathematics, this would constitute the second dimension. The shape has width and height. It can form a circle.
Now, just for a second, imagine what that two-dimensional object would appear like to us if we added a third dimension, depth. We’d have a sphere instead of a circle. We are able to perceive the circle as a sphere because our senses are trained to interpret things in three dimensions. Hold tight to that analogy, cause the next part is tricky.
If we were to apply our third-dimensional perceptions into a representation of our circular consciousness timeline, we would find that objects on parts of the sphere would be visible from multiple angles and positions. For instance, if Desmond’s mind was attuned to the dimension of time and we can hold onto this imagined existence in third-dimensional terms, he could “see” anywhere along his personal timeline, like, say, back to 1996. This is represented by the black dotted line with two arrows. That’s “time vision,” so to speak. This is sort of how Desmond was able to see flashes of what would happen to Charlie last season. The accident in the hatch freed his mind to peer into this extra dimension and call forth events on another part of his timeline. The red line on the sphere indicates a method of movement along Desmond’s personal timeline. The first jolt of electromagnetism from the Hatch was enough to enable his consciousness to perceive other areas of his timeline. The second jolt from the helicopter ride enabled his consciousness to actually “travel” along the timeline, essentially existing in two separate points along his personal timeline. The risk of his traveling back and forth between two separate points is, as Dan said, the lack of a Constant. Our three-dimensional brains are not used to interpreting the input from an extra-dimensional realm, and without a point of reference, our consciousness could become lost amongst this “sphere.” Like a ship at sea without a star, or a lighthouse or some sort of beacon ahead to use for navigation, the mind could, essentially, become lost at sea.
This is a very simplified explanation as to how Desmond could accomplish his jumping, and it’s not entirely succinct, but it will have to do for now. I’ll go back to talking about something more simply now, like, say, physics.
WOW, DOC, THIS IS HEAVY
Let’s take a look at some selections from Dan’s personal journal, shall we?
This image shows the machine settings Dan gave to Desmond so that Des could convince Dan’s 1996 self of his validity. On the same page, we can see some of Dan’s notations on the variances in space-time. Dan is a physicist, and as such, was trying to piece together the perception of relative space-time and the metaphysical experience I described above. He has noted, in a two-dimensional perspective, the space-time invariance that can describe the consciousness timeline, along with some representational calculations on objects at the speed of light (relativity), and physical perception.
This page shows some of Dan’s computations in relation to the Lorentz Invariant. This is an actual property in physics to describe quantities within the special theory of relativity. It is a subset of the Lorentz Covariant, which basically is a set of computations that allows mathematical understanding of the fourth dimension – space-time. It deals with all kinds of things like scalars, four-vectors, tensors, spinors and crazy shit like that – some of which I understand and some of which are reserved for bearers of bigger brain than I. Essentially, all you need to know is that all this stuff is related to relativity theory, understanding of space-time and the mathematical computations that make all of Einstein and others’ theories feasible.
Ohhh, this is a good one. Basically this is a plot-point sketch where Dan was trying to understand the overlap of the physical theories of relativity, space-time and the metaphysical consciousness timeline that I mentioned above. Note his use of the terms “real time,” “space-time,” “imaginary space” and “imaginary time.” I also really, really like this drawing because it looks an awful lot like traditional convergence maps used to locate and describe ley lines along the sphere of the Earth, something I mentioned a few posts back.
You know, I’m just sayin’.
Just a quick note here to say that this episode only firms up what I’ve believed for a couple of years now – the root of most of this evilishness is Charles Widmore. In this episode, we see more of Widmore’s ties with the island and, perhaps, Dharma and the others. Widmore is the winning bidder on lot #2342, the first mate’s journal from The Black Rock, lost at sea and now currently residing on our mysterious island. The family selling the journal is that of Tovard Hanso, obvious relative of Magnus Hanso (the presumed owner of the Black Rock who is now buried on the island as referenced on my ever-favorite Blast Door Map), and Alvar Hanso, founder of the Hanso Foundation, one of the backers of the Dharma Initiative. Penny tells Desmond that she knows all about the island, something she could have only gleaned from her father’s dealings. All the pieces are starting to come together rather nicely.
So, I mentioned that purple light coming from Dan’s device in his Oxford cubbyhole, right? Well, I figure most of you were reminded of the same color light in the finale of Season Two when Desmond turned the failsafe key. After Des does so, he is instantly transported back to when he and Penny had just moved in together and he relives those following weeks, gradually remembering his activities on the island before the detonation of the Swan device. Now that we’ve seen Desmond’s transference of consciousness in The Constant, we can now surmise that the radiation/electromagnetic force released after the turn of the failsafe key was basically a large-scale version of the device Dan used on Eloise.
The only unanswered question from the episode that showed us what happened to Desmond after the hatch explosion (Flashes Before Your Eyes) is the interaction Desmond has with The Jeweler. For those of you who might not remember so clearly, Desmond meets The Jeweler when he goes to buy Penny’s engagement ring and is told categorically by the woman helping him that he cannot buy it. In fact, he’s not even supposed to buy it, and doing so is purely futile. This mini-Oracle then proceeds to take Desmond for a walk wherein she explains how the universe likes to do a little housekeeping, or “course correcting,” when someone starts trying to futz around with predestined events.
Who, exactly, is The Jeweler? Is she someone who is able to access the extra-dimensional consciousness at will? A true “time traveller” perhaps? Or perhaps she’s something akin to a Time Lord. You know, Doctor Who? Seriously, you don’t know about Doctor Who? Good god, watch PBS every now and then. You know, when you’re not watching Lost.
Oh, and here’s a little nugget I dug up on the internet, just for all you fine people.
Here’s our little Time Lord in a picture found on Brother Campbell’s desk in the episode that showed Desmond’s past at a monastery in Scotland. Intriguingly, the arches in the background are the same ones that Des walks through to find Dan in The Constant. Coincidence? Serendipity? A lack of gothic locations on which to shoot the episodes? You decide.
MY DENSITY HAS BOUGHT ME TO YOU
I will close out this week’s feature with a simple plea: if you haven’t read Slaughterhouse Five, please do so – if not for experiencing one of the greatest books of the 20th Century and seeing the duality between Desmond and Billy Pilgrim, then at least so you can admire the genius of how I started out this article.
Until next time, practice accessing your personal time line and let me know if you succeed. Just don’t do it 20 times a day. You’ll go blind.
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. He is still hoping that Lost will end when Bob Newhart wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette, complaining of a strange, strange dream. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.