“Happily Ever After” Recap and Analysis …
Previously, on Lost:
Nobody can tell ya,
There’s only one song worth singing,
They may try and sell ya,
‘Cause it hangs them up to see someone like you …
But you’ve gotta make your own kind of music,
Sing your own special song,
Make your own kind of music,
Even if nobody else sings along …
This week, on Lost: We open on an eye, of course. Desmond’s eye. He’s groggy. Zoe’s there, and she explains that he’s coming out of sedation, and that they had to move him from the hospital. Desmond wants to know where he’s been moved, and he also wants to see Penny. A familiar voice informs Des that won’t be possible, and the plucky Scot looks up to see ol’ Chuck Widmore. The look on Desmond’s face and the sigh of disgust say that he’s not glad to see his bastardly father-in-law.
Desmond is understandably perturbed, and Widmore urges everyone to leave so he can take care of things. Chuck reminds Des that he was shot by Ben. Desmond just wants to see Penny, and Chuck tells him that his wife and son are perfectly safe. Chuck apologizes for taking Des away so quickly, but he had to do it this way because there’s no way Des would come with him if he hadn’t. Come where? asks Des.
“I brought you back to the Island. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling, but if you’ll give me a chance to explain …”
“Explain?? Explain it to this IV stand, you old British bastard!”
A couple of members of the Geek Squad rush in and stop Desmond from beating the Boddington’s out of Chuck. Desmond struggles, screaming his Scottish lungs out, demanding to be taken back. Chuck tells Desmond that he can’t take him back – the Island isn’t done with Desmond just yet.
Widmore wipes the blood from the huge gash in his balding head and saunters into the hall. Jin is there, wondering why Desmond is on the Island. Chuck tells Kwon that it would be easier to show him than tell him, because nobody who knows anything about the damn Island likes to talk about it. Widmore orders Zoe to get the test ready for Desmond, but Zoe reminds Chuck that the test wasn’t scheduled until the next day. Chuck knows when the bloody test was sheduled, just get his machines ready. Then he storms off in a particularly British way.
Zoe takes Jin on a little walk to one of the Hydra facilities, past one of the old Velociraptor enclosures.
Tell me seriously that this scene doesn’t remind you of the opening of Jurassic Park. Dharma could have had Velociraptors. It’s a time-travelling Island, you know. I’m just saying.
Zoe takes Jin into a control room with nobs and geegaws and all sorts of ex-military and steampunk technology. The rest of the Geek Squad are there, running around, flipping switches and acting important. Zoe informs Seamus – that’s the chubby one – that Widmore is moving up the schedule, and Seamus gets all agitated, saying that these are 20-year-old generators and there’s no telling what will work and he’s not even supposed to be here today, etc. Seamus decides to do a power test, and he turns some nobs and flips some switches, and then pulls back on the gearshift from a 1971 VW – and nothing happens. He orders one of the other geeks, Simmons, to go down and check the solenoids, and then informs a white bunny named Angstrom that he’s going in the box next.
Simmons runs down to the Velociraptor enclosure and goes inside. He uses a PKE meter or something to test the shininess of two ginormous copper coils, facing each other on opposite ends of the box. There’s a chair with straps in the middle between the two coils.
Nothing good will come of this.
Meanwhile, up in the control room, Zoe and Seamus watch Simmons on a monitor. Over in the corner, one of the geeks yells out that he’s found it – it being a bad breaker on the generator. He grips a large switch and says that he’s gonna bring it back online. In classic comic book secret origins manner, he flips the switch and we all see what’s coming.
It’s funny, he wasn’t even wearing a red shirt. Also, raise your hand if that lone chair in a room reminded anyone of Jacob’s cabin?
Zoe yells no, Seamus yells for the geek to shut it down, the box gets all bright and shiny, and they all run down to see what the hell happened. Just as they’re about to enter the box, there’s a large growl, the box shakes and then a giant, green fist pops through the side, splintering the wood into a billion pieces. Nah, I’m just kidding, Simmons is a crispy critter inside.
Widmore walks up and asks Zoe if everything’s ready. Two heavies escort Desmond up to the door and he sees Simmons on the floor, still oven fresh. Des looks a tad upset.
And all this happens before the swirling Lost!
Simmons’s burnt body is pulled out of the box, and Desmond is dragged in, tenderized a bit and then strapped into the chair. Widmore apologizes that he has to do things this way, but after it’s all over he is going to ask Des to make a sacrifice and he hopes it will all be worth. Um, sacrifice? That doesn’t sound too good. Des says that Widmore doesn’t know anything about sacrifice, but the Brit straightens him out real quick. His son, Daniel, died for the sake of the Island, his wife and daughter hate him, he’s never even seen his grandson and he just got a hangnail. All of that doesn’t matter, though, because if he and Desmond fail, all of it will be over and everyone will be gone. Forever. And ever.
Chuck and his peeps leave, shutting the door behind them, and Des wigs out, bashing the chair and freeing himself. It’s no good, though – that enclosure was designed to hold in Velociraptors, so there’s no way he’s getting out. Up in the control room, Widmore tells them to light it up, but Jin protests. Chuck explains to Jin that Desmond is the only person he knows that has survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event and he needs to know if he can do it again, or they all die. So dramatic, Chuck. Turn it on, he orders.
They do. Seamus hesitates at the VW gearshifts, so Widmore pops it into second gear for him. The coils start doing their thing, the gauss meters go up to 11, and Desmond is lit up like a Christmas tree.
Desmond Hume – future superhero.
Everything goes white. And then, clouds.
Desmond is standing in front of an Oceanic display, in the baggage claim area of LAX. He seems a bit dazed. Hurley walks by and mentions that the Sydney bags are on carousel four. Desmond smiles and thanks him.
At the carousel, Claire is having trouble with her bag. Des is right there to help, as always. He asks her if she’s expecting a boy or a girl, but Claire hesitates. He apologizes for prying, but she says that she simply doesn’t know yet. Des grabs his bag and they walk along, chit chatting. Des offers Claire a ride, but she declines and they say their goodbyes. “A boy,” says Des, pointing at her tummy. “I’ll bet it’s a boy.”
Just past baggage claim, a man stands, whistling, holding a sign that reads HUME. It’s George Minkowski, the ex-communications officer of the freighter Kahana that came unstuck in time back in “The Constant.” In this reality, he’s a chauffeur. He takes Desmond’s bag and then starts gabbing. He tells Des that he can get him whatever he wants, and then eludes to escorts, if Des gets lonely. You might be an okay communications officer, but you’re a lousy chauffeur, George. Des explains that he’s not here for companionship, he’s here to work. George gets the picture.
Des arrives at an office, and greets the receptionist. She says to go right in. Des walks into a finely appointed office suite, with art adorning the walls. Within the office, behind his massive desk, sits Charles Widmore. Desmond smiles, Chuck gets up and the two hug it out, just like old friends.
Widmore’s lovely sailboat is still in its place here in LA X, but the painting of the polar bear has been replaced by one of scales, balancing black and white objects. A little heavy-handed, but a nice touch.
Long story short, Chuck and Des absolutely adore each other in this reality, and Chuck needs Des to go down and bail out the bass guitarist for Drive Shaft who is supposed to play with his son at a charity function that his wife is putting together. As we all know, that’d be Charlie. Des says no worries, sir, and Chuck expounds with platitudes. Widmore goes over to his liquor cabinet and pours them both a shot of MacCutcheon’s scotch – the same scotch, you all may recall, that he said was worth more than Desmond’s miserable life, back in “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” Charles remarks that nothing is too good for Desmond, and they cheer. “Slainté,” says Des.
Des drives over to the courthouse, and an attorney walks Charlie out to meet them. Desmond tries to introduce himself, but Charlie just takes his stuff and, without saying a word, walks across the street, never bothering to pay attention to traffic. Several cars swerve and slam on brakes, but Charlie pays no attention. He walks into a bar called Jax. Desmond follows.
Charlie orders a drink and Desmond sits down next to him, telling the bartender he’ll have the same. They proceed to have a very colorful and enlightening conversation, wherein Charlie recounts how he has seen the truth – a spectacular, consciousness-altering love. On the plane from Sydney when Charlie got the heroin stuck in his throat, he was about to die, but as he was about to be swallowed up by the abyss, Charlie had a vision of a beautiful blond woman. He felt all-encompassing love, as if they had always been and always will be together.
There are bits and pieces of props from the show scattered all over this bar, and the sign behind Desmond says something about “exceptional island colors.” I love the set designers.
Desmond tells Charlie he should write a song about it, and then tells him he has a choice – stay here and drink, or come with him and get his rock thing on and have Charles Widmore owe him one. Charlie mentions that it doesn’t seem like he has much of a choice, to which Desmond replies, “There’s always a choice, brotha.”
Out in Desmond’s car, “You All Everybody” is playing on the radio. They drive by a very familiar marina, and Charlie mentions that he feels sorry for Desmond and his life. “Why, because it’s not real?” asks Desmond. Charlie says that he could show Desmond what he’s talking about, or Des could get out of the car. Desmond is confused by this choice, so Charlie simply grabs the steering wheel and they do a Thelma and Louise straight into the marina water.
The car sinks down, down, down. Desmond escapes his seat belt and tries to free Charlie, but has to come up for air. He dives back down and tugs at the passenger-side door. Charlie’s eyes open and he turns to Desmond with a very creepy and telling look, pressing his hand to the window. Desmond looks toward Charlie’s hand and has a vision.
This would be about the time I peed my pants.
Charlie drops his hand, turning back around, unconscious. Desmond frees him, pulls him to the surface and over to the embankment of the marina, sirens blaring in the distance.
A doctor checks Desmond out, mentioning that he’s had quite the bump on the noggin. “Any hallucinations?” she asks. Desmond doesn’t know how to answer that question since he’s just caught a glimpse into an alternate reality. The doc sends Desmond down for an MRI. Hrm, magnetic resonance – this ought to go well.
The MRI tech straps Desmond into the gurney and hands him the Button. “The button?” asks Desmond with an air of strange familiarity. Yeah, the tech says – the panic button in case claustrophobia kicks in. The tech places the head guard over Desmond, the gurney slides into place and the machine hums into life. Des immediately sees a vision of Charlie as he’s drowning in the Looking Glass station, back on the Island, then a procession of his other life with Penny, his true love. He hears Penny call out his name, and then the visions end. That’s when Desmond pushes that panic button and hightails it out of there to find Charlie.
Out in the hall, one of the attending nurses is being obstinate and not telling Desmond where he can find Charlie. Des notices ol’ Jackie boy and recognizes him from the plane. He asks for Jack’s help in finding another guy that was on the plane and is now in the hospital. Jack repeats what Des just said, reiterating that the guy was just on their plane and is now in the hospital. I guess Jack thought that was a rather odd tidbit.
Jack didn’t really have much time to explore the ramifications there, as Charlie chose that time to jackrabbit past him and Desmond, an orderly hot on his heels. Desmond gives chase down a flight of stairs and backs Charlie into a corner. Des wants to know why Charlie was trying to kill him, to which Charlie replies that he was just trying to show Des something. Des wants to see Charlie’s hands, and then demands to know who “Penny” is. Charlie’s eyes get real big and he knows that Desmond has, indeed, seen what Charlie wanted him to see – the truth.
Charlie turns to leave, but Desmond stops him. Charlie shrugs Desmond’s hand away, telling him that there’s no way he’s playing a rock concert after what just happened. He urges Desmond to stop worrying about him, and that Desmond should start looking for Penny.
So that’s what Desmond does.
But first, he has to tell Chuck Widmore that his son won’t be playing with Drive Shaft that afternoon. Widmore’s true colors come to the fore and he gets all pissy, telling Desmond that since he’s failed, he has to go over to the benefit and tell his wife that she can’t have her way.
George drives Desmond over to the charity event, wishing Desmond good luck in dealing with Mrs. Widmore, since Des has never met her. Inside one of the tents on the lawn at the charity function, a woman scolds one of the servers about the proper way to place a butter knife. It’s none other than Eloise Hawking, our resident Time Lord. She walks away, pissed that her cutlery is not receiving proper attention.
Desmond brushes his hand through his long locks and braces himself for the showdown. He gets Eloise’s attention, and the queen of quantum turns as he introduces himself. Eloise shows it all on her face – a moment of shocked recognition. She then smiles and says that Charles has mentioned him quite a bit. She insists that he call her Eloise, and it’s all very pleasant and, well, British.
Ellie asks Des why he’s come down to the benefit, and Desmond cuts right to the chase. He tells her that Drive Shaft won’t be performing with her son, and he takes full responsibility. She waves him off, saying it’s no big deal. When dealing with rock stars, she states – one must deal with a certain degree of unpredictability. Anyone else feel like that was a very leading bit of dialogue? At any rate, she dismisses the whole thing, saying “what happened, happened.” That saying must be burnt into her entire bloodline.
Hello, AlternaEllie. Nice brooch you have there. We’ll get to that in a bit.
They exchange pleasantries, and Desmond excuses himself. He passes by two of the benefit organizers, as they read through the guest list. Des hears “Milton, Penny,” and he gives pause. He asks the servers if he could look over the guest list, and takes the sheet. Eloise takes it back, telling Desmond that the list is confidential, and reprimands the Scot. Desmond is suitably flustered, and Eloise asks him to come with her.
She marches Desmond over to one of the tents and dismisses the help. Desmond tries to explain why he was looking at the list, and Eloise tells him to shut it. She’s heard his say, and she wants him to stop. “Stop what?” asks Des. Eloise says that it’s clear someone has altered his way of seeing things, and it’s wrong. In fact, it’s a violation. Of what, I have no idea – Time Lord code, I reckon. Anyway, she urges him to stop looking for whatever it is he’s looking for.
Desmond wants to know if Eloise knows what he’s looking for. No, she says, and she doesn’t know why he’s looking for anything. He has the perfect life, and he finally has the one thing he’s always wanted – Chuck’s approval. “How do you know what I want?” asks Desmond.
“Because I bloody do!” shouts Eloise.
Desmond demands to see that list, or at least know why she won’t show it to him. In desperation, she says that he’s not ready yet. Desmond turns in desperation. “Ready for what?!”
Desmond returns to the car, looking distraught. George remarks that it looks like it didn’t go too well. Des gets in and pours himself a scotch, telling George to just drive. The departure is interrupted, however, by a musician, knocking on the window. It’s Daniel Faraday – now Widmore in LA X. He tells Desmond that they need to talk. The ominous violins play and it’s time for a commercial break.
Dan takes Des over to a bench along a stone wall, and asks Desmond if he believes in love at first sight. Des is confused. Dan recounts how he first saw her, a beautiful, red-haired beauty, eating a chocolate bar – of course – and how he just knew, immediately, that he loved her. The same night that he saw the woman, he woke up and drew a little something special in his journal.
Desmond doesn’t know what he’s looking at, so Dan explains that he took it to one of his friends at CalTech who informed Dan that it’s quantum mechanics, something that someone who had been studying it their entire lives might come up with. Desmond probes further, wanting to know what it means. Dan tells Desmond to imagine that something terrible is about to happen, something catastrophic, and the only way to stop it is to release a huge amount of energy – like setting off a nuclear bomb. This concerns Desmond quite a bit, and he asks Dan if he plans to set off a nuclear weapon. Dan counters by saying that what if all this, this reality, is not their real life, not the life that was meant for them, and that they somehow changed things. He doesn’t want to set off a nuclear bomb – he’s afraid he already has.
Desmond’s noodle is getting good and cooked, as is ours, and he doesn’t understand what any of it has to do with him. Dan wants to know why Des asked his mum about a girl named Penny. Desmond hesitates. Dan says that Des knows now – he felt something. Desmond doesn’t know what he felt, but Dan insists that it was love. Desmond refuses to accept that it’s love since he doesn’t know anything about Penny, and he doesn’t even know if she exists. She’s an idea, says Desmond.
“No, Mr. Hume … she’s my half-sister,” says Dan. “And I can tell you exactly when and where you can find her.”
It’s night. Desmond walks into a stadium – the same one where he and Jack first met back before Des became the man in the Hatch on Island Prime. This time around, however, it’s not Jack doing the tour de stade – it’s Penny. Penny comes down the steps and stops, exhausted, in one of the stadium seats. Desmond asks if she’s Penny, and she is disarmed, but affirms. He introduces himself, she smiles, and they shake hands.
Then Desmond wakes up on the floor of the box, back on Island Prime.
Widmore and the gang open up the door and examine Desmond. Des asks how long he’s been out, and Chuck tells him only a few seconds. He helps Desmond to his feet, apologizing for having to do things this way, but Desmond’s “talent” is vital to his mission. He offers to explain, but Desmond says there’s no need. He understands. Chuck is surprised, but Desmond says that Chuck brought him to the Island for something important, and asks when they start.
The group walks back to the control room and Zoe wants to know what the hell happened to Desmond – 20 minutes prior, he was beating Widmore to death with an IV stand and now he’s Mr. Cooperative. “A lot can happen in 20 minutes,” says Des. It sure can. A lot can happen in 20 seconds, too, as Sayid pops out from the underbrush and dispatches two of the geeks. He points a gun at Zoe and tells her to run. She wastes no time.
Sayid tells Desmond that he doesn’t have time to explain, but that the people he’s with are extremely dangerous and that Des needs to come with him. Boy, that’s really the pot calling the kettle black. Desmond looks at the Iraqi with a detached resignation and says of course, lead the way. They walk off.
Desmond wakes up on the floor of the stadium. Penny asks if he’s okay, because he just fainted. He says he’s fine. She wants to know if they’ve met before. Oh, you could say that, darlin’. Des asks Penny if she’d like to go for a coffee, and she agrees to meet him there in an hour. They both grin like two high schoolers who just agreed to go to prom together. Penny walks away, looking back over her shoulder and giggling. Des is very happy. He breathes a deep sigh of contentment.
Des returns to the car, still smiling. George asks him if he found what he was looking for. Des says he most definitely did. He gives George the address of the coffee shop where he’ll meet Penny. George tells him no problem and says that if there’s anything else Des needs, to just ask. Des thinks for a minute and leans forward. There’s one thing the Scot would like – the manifest for Flight 815, just the names of the passengers. Sure thing, says George, but he wants to know why Des would need it.
“I just want to show them something.”
Cue the THONK!
I don’t know about you, but I just swallowed my gum. We’ve had some good episodes this season, but for the first time in a long time, I had several of what I like to call “Lost moments” during this episode – periods when a big smile would come across my face and I’d find myself pumping my fist in the air a few times, or saying “wooohoooo!” In other words, acting like a crazy person. Speaking of crazy, what the H-E-double hockey sticks is going on around here? I can’t promise you that I can come up with any answers, but I’m just gonna ramble on about stuff I think I know – or, perhaps, just stuff that my alternate reality self really knows since he went into philosophy or physics or, more than likely, screenwriting.
YOU’RE JUST NOT THINKING NINTH DIMENSIONALLY
We’re gonna get to the part where we talk about love and fate and free will and Eloise’s fancy new brooch, but first I want to take a peek under the hood at the mechanics of Desmond’s little quantum leaps. A definitive guide to how Desmond’s consciousness leaps throughout the timeline has been established during his mind’s time abroad in “Flashes Before Your Eyes” and “The Constant.” I rewatched both of them after this week’s episode, and I’m sad to say that there’s not a whole lot new I can add when benefited with hindsight. What it did do, however, is remind me of how I described time as a string, and how that can still explain some things in the context of Island Prime and LA X.
I first covered all this way back in season four during my analysis of “The Constant.” However, I revised my theories and introduced the tangled string in my analysis of the season five opener, “Because You Left,” and “The Lie.” Feel free to go back and look that over, but I’m going to repeat some of it here so that I can be lazy and stand upon the shoulders of a guy who was a year younger and a few brain cells richer.
Excerpt from A Quantum Leap Forward:
In our temporal analysis from last year, I talked a bit about the simplistic view of space-time existing as an extra dimension beyond our conventional three dimensions. Now, however, it’s important that we start to look further into viewing time through string theory. Imagine, if you will, that time is like a string. An individual’s personal timeline can be represented as a straight piece of string, with birth at the beginning and death at the end.
We started out talking about all this in much the same way.
The points along the string represent the individual moments of a person’s lifetime. If you could somehow put the two ends of the string together, life would be a loop.
Now, if you could somehow coil the string – ball it up like a big bit of yarn for the cats – then various moments of your life would intersect or touch another moment. Theoretically, you could jaunt from moment to moment along the string, allowing you to move back and forth along the string within your own lifetime. If you want to know more about all this from a far more entertaining aspect, go catch some repeats of Quantum Leap.
Of course, the string could be messier, with more intersects, looser with less intersects, or more organized, with exact intersects. I like to think of the coiled string as just a bit messy, much like life.
At any rate, Desmond’s experiences from last season imply that it was simply his consciousness that was shifting across the string. He was able to view and interact with moments along his timeline, but his “present” physical self was not transported to that particular moment. Again, this is much like how Sam Beckett jaunted his conscious mind about in Quantum Leap.
I go on in that analysis to talk about how the survivors’ “strings” have all become connected to one another in the past or through alternate timelines, or rewritten timelines, and a lot of that is still good stuff that relates to what’s happening between LA X and Island Prime. I urge anyone interested to check it out. It gets your brain juices flowing.
For this week’s analysis, I just want to go a bit simpler and focus on Desmond’s ability to “leap” and how he is able to do so to an alternate timeline. In “Flashes Before Your Eyes” and “The Constant,” Desmond leaps back in time to 1996 – a very pivotal year for him, apparently. This is the year that he was going to propose to Penny, but broke things off and joined the army. Through his actions, he was able to alter the past a bit, and, as a consequence, the present. Daniel talks a bit about his ability to do this in “The Variable.” We’re not going to get into all that right now, I just want to establish that his quantum shift in consciousness had been, up to this point, only into the past – from the year 2004.
Now, bear with me, but I have two theories as to how it’s now possible that Desmond can “leap” sideways to another reality – in essence, into another dimension. For that, I have to break out another little sketch.
In this example, Desmond’s life prior to the detonation of Jughead in 1977 would have been fairly linear (for the sake of this example – in reality, it would be jumbled together as in my third figure above, but I only have so many hours in a day). After the detonation of Jughead, a new quantum state was created wherein the Island was sent to the bottom of the sea, and most of our characters never set foot there. I’ve been calling this reality, or alternate timeline, LA X.
After Desmond’s two realities diverged, the quantum consciousness string continued to remain attached all the way back to Desmond’s past, as well as continuing to loop and become intertwined. In essence, while the strings were looping in around themselves, they were also looping and getting tangled together. Therefore, when Desmond’s mind goes on walkabout, he’s able to access LA X through intersects in the two timelines.
The other theory is a bit more esoteric.
When Jughead was detonated in 1977, the survivors created a paradox. Since the Island was now on the bottom of the sea and none of the Oceanic group would ever set foot there, there was no way for them to travel back in time and for Juliet to detonate Jughead. In mutable non-branching timeline theory, this would mean that the versions of the survivors who had committed the action would cease to exist, replaced instead by the versions now inhabiting LA X. Because the paradox exists because the Island exists, the Island has become separated from the main timeline altogether. It now exists – and, possibly, may have always existed – outside the conventional domain of the space-time continuum. It could exist in a sort of phase bubble, tucked away neatly outside the normal stream of things. It would account for the time dilation that Daniel noticed and for the peculiarities in finding the Island once you’re off it. This opens up a whole can of worms worth of discussion, but we’ll have to save that for now. The focus of this theory this time around is its effect on Desmond’s leaping.
If the Island has become more than just an Island in space, and is now truly an Island in time, then the past that Desmond was leaping into in “Flashes Before Your Eyes” and “The Constant” no longer exists. When Chuck submitted Desmond to the EM pulse in the box, Desmond’s consciousness could not leap back into his known past – the only constant that still existed was the year 2004, the year he lept from previously. The events in this year are now, of course, the events that have occurred to the occupants of Oceanic 815 that never crashed. In essence, there is a gap between the “time” that is surrounding the Island, and the last known entry point into or out of any timeline, the 2004 of LA X.
Of course, none of this explains how Charlie can, essentially, do what Desmond does for a brief moment just before death. I’ll wager that it has to do with his consciousness slipping away into another phase state. This may account for Hurley’s ability to see the “dead,” because they’re not really dead, their consciousness has just slipped into another state of being, or even another alternate timeline or dimension from the one enveloping Island Prime. I could go on about this for at least a couple of days, but it’s time to move on and talk about everyone’s favorite Time Lord (my apologies to Tom Baker).
SHE’S HAVING THE TIME OF HER LIFE
First off, let’s talk about those magic brooches, shall we?
On the left, we have the brooch Eloise was wearing in “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” This is representative of the Ouroboros – the mythical symbol of the snake eating its own tail. It signifies that everything is cyclical. I’ve brought up this brooch and its significance several times. Now in this week’s episode, her brooch – on the right – seems to reflect two cataclysms. Does that represent cataclysms occurring across two parallel worlds? Or does it reflect the cataclysmic event that was supposed to happen back in 1977, and the larger release of energy that Daniel brought about when Juliet smashed Jughead, down in the Hatch shaft? It could signify a cataclysm that has yet to occur. Or it could simply be a symbol of the two realities we are witnessing. I do find it fascinating that one starburst is larger than the other. Whomever designed this brooch did a nice job.
For this week’s episode-inspired drink recipe, I thought it would be fun to make a Desmond-inspired twist on an old favorite, the Eye-Opener. Our favorite Scot has a new trick in his temporal repertoire, and now with the help of Charlie …
- 2 teaspoons Pernod
- 1 jigger of gold rum
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon simple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Creme de Cacao
- 1/2 jigger of Triple Sec
Take each ingredient and slowly pour into a chilled shaker, filled with ice cubes. Take your time. Contemplate each pour. Listen the sound the ice makes as it melts. Shake it well and strain it into a small highball or sour glass, noting the ethereal aroma. Down the first one quickly, and then make yourself another, taking it all in. After all, there’s no rush – everything’s getting clearer now, and you’ve got all the time in the worlds.
Speaking of Eloise, in “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” when Desmond tries to buy the ring for Penny, she tells him that he doesn’t do it – and that if he continues on his path and does not end up on the Island, in the Hatch to turn the failsafe key, then everyone is dead. This is pretty much the same mantra that Widmore, Jacob, Ilana and many others have been spouting about MIB getting off the Island.
Eloise makes sure that every single person that was on Oceanic 815 makes it back to the Island, but why? Is it because she is looking after the Island, as either a servant of Jacob or as a free agent? Or were her intentions more self-serving and a bit devious? Let’s think about this for a minute – Eloise created a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy with her son Daniel. She shoots her own son who has time-traveled to the past, and she has to live with the knowledge of this for all her life. She chooses not to tell Daniel, however, and urges him to pursue physics, knowing full well the fate that would be in store for him. Now, with all that said, she may have also concluded that Daniel may have found a way to gum up the works, which he does with Jughead. By Daniel’s actions of telling the survivors to detonate Jughead, he created an alternate reality where he lives, and Eloise gets to keep her son and be married to her Island partner, Charles Widmore. Could this be why she is so ticked at Desmond, because she’s afraid he’ll screw the whole thing up?
We have to also remember that Eloise is the one that re-focused Desmond after his first quantum leap, informing him that he was not supposed to buy the ring, and if he continued on his present course of actions, he would jeopardize the whole world. Maybe she said that so MIB could continue to be contained – but maybe she said it because she knew it could protect the path that her son would need to take in order to shake the heavens and break some temporal laws. Perhaps it’s not Desmond who has been perpetrating violations – it’s Mrs. Hawking, herself.
Also bear in mind that in “This Place is Death,” Christian Shephard appears to Locke down in the Great Wheel room, shortly before he resets it and keeps the Island from jumping around. Christian tells Locke that he should get in touch with Eloise when he gets to LA. It’s from this contact with Eloise that she is able to set in motion the plan to get everyone back to the Island. We’ve speculated many times now about the real identity of Christian Shephard – has he been the true mouthpiece for Jacob? Can Jacob shapeshift like Ol’ Smokey? Or has Christian Shephard been MIB, pulling strings all along? If the truth is the latter, that would make Eloise’s actions in getting everyone back to the Island a bit nefarious – if she really knew the truth about it all.
Of course, Eloise could simply be the resident time cop, making sure that everyone is staying within the boundaries, lest all humanity cease to exist and octopi or flying squirrels or even Velociraptors would become the dominant species.
THE RANDOM BITS
We can now draw the probable conclusion that LA X is the timeline that branched off from the detonation of Jughead. The release of energy created a dual state for the survivors. In one reality, the Island was taken out of the equation altogether and they all lead very different lives. No one really dies in this reality, per se, but they also haven’t been free to experience all they can experience. This is what Charlie mentions when he speaks to Desmond of love. Yes, Charlie on Island Prime sacrificed his life, but he also knew the love of Claire. Desmond sees the truth in this when he has a vision of Penny.
The only person who can break the veil between the two realities, other than Desmond, is Charlie. Is this because he’s dead in the Island Prime timeline? Charlie saw a vision of his other self right as he was about to die – indicating that his consciousness was slipping away and over to another reality. Is the same thing true for those who died on Island Prime? I’m thinking particularly about Juliet’s mention of “going dutch for some coffee” shortly before she died in Sawyer’s arms.
The number of references to past events in this episode, and their alternate outcomes, are mind-boggling, and fun. A list of important ones of note:
- Desmond is helpless to save Charlie from drowning at the Looking Glass station, but manages to save him from drowning in the marina.
- In the MRI, the tech tells Desmond that he shouldn’t push the Button, but on Island Prime, Desmond’s job was to repeatedly push the Button.
- Daniel Faraday always wanted to be a musician, but Eloise pushed him to study physics. In LA X, his mum is content with her life and leaves him be, so he’s free to become the musician and leave the physics behind, until his quantum mechanics vision.
- Eloise speaks of a “violation” when Desmond comes searching for Penny in LA X. Eloise mentioned the same thing when Desmond’s consciousness leapt back in time in “Flashes Before Your Eyes.”
Daniel plays the piano in The Variable – does he just know how to play the piano, or was he having some sort of vision about an alternate reality for himself, like his musician counterpart in LA X? Has the alternate reality always existed, and it was Dan’s experiments and leaping that allowed him to see the possibility of changing things?
Watching “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” some questions come to mind – Was Desmond placed in the Hatch for a reason? Was he called to the Island by Jacob because Jacob can observe things as a casual observer outside of the quantum entanglement? Desmond was brought there for a reason – maybe by Jacob, maybe by someone or something else – but he is the Variable, the one monkeywrench in the works. Also, whomever or whatever brought him there knew that he would end up in the Hatch and possibly/definitely turn the failsafe that would result in him and his consciousness bouncing between realities. Eloise Hawking was very definitive in this in “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” We talked a bit about this back in that whole part about Eloise and her magic brooches.
In “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” Desmond meets with his friend Donovan, who is a physicist. As Desmond explains what is happening to him, Donovan remarks: “There’s no such thing as time travel, Des. True love is just as unlikely.” I just thought that was a neat corollary.
What would you do if you knew you had a second chance at everything? What if you knew that you would die a lonely hermit at the bitter age of 63 because you chose to go to prom with her instead of her? What if you had decided to tell off that abusive boss 15 years ago and were no longer shackled to a dead-end job, and knew you could instead move onto greatness, free to move mountains? What would you do with that knowledge? If you knew that, no matter what you did in this life, you could have it all in another? Would that frighten you, or make you invincible? Just something to think about as you sit and ponder the possibilities that somewhere, somehow, somewhen, there might just be another you, sitting at their holocube, reading about this week’s episode of Found and thinking about you. I can guarantee you they have a goatee.
That’s about it for this week. I wish I had more time to get into the significance behind what Desmond learns and speculate a bit about what’s to come and what he plans to do with the Oceanic group over in LA X, but that would take me further down the rabbit hole than I have time for right now. I would be more than willing to hear some speculation and engage in some quantum philosophizing down in the comments, however. Break out your mortar boards and monocles, and let’s hear what you’ve all got. I’ll try to expand more on this particular topic next week, especially as we see more of Widmore’s plan and how Desmond will ultimately interact with MIB. Until next time, keep thinking those thoughts and if you have an epiphany, tell me something good.
Chris Kirkman is a graphic designer/photographer/journalist/geek extraordinaire with way too many Bruce Campbell movies in his library. Michael Emerson, Lost’s Benjamin Linus, called Kirkman’s recaps “one of the smartest articles I’ve ever read about what goes on on our show.” Kirkman 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.