LOST EPISODE 6.16 – “WHAT THEY DIED FOR”

Jacob explains what they died for....

In what is dubbed the “penultimate episode” (next-to-last), Jacob passes his torch on to Jack after nearly 2,000 years of service to the island. I think we all knew it was going to be Jack, but I kept expecting them to throw us for a loop. But maybe they still will. Jack drinks from the blessed cup and his eyes nearly pop with revelation. I wonder just what island secrets were downloaded from leader-to-successor in that moment… Looked pretty intense!

Sideways Timeline (2004)

Jack wakes in his apartment, and has another mirror moment. This time the nick on his neck is much bigger than on the Oceanic flight, and it’s bleeding quite a bit. I think they are showing his “symptoms” are more pronounced… He’s getting ready to cross-over to his island self. Showing a mirror incident from the season 6 premiere is indicating we’re about to come full circle on the season.

Jack's mysterious neck wound is still there... And it's getting bigger. Thanks Sideways mirror!

David prepares breakfast (cereal), and while they eat, they discuss going to the concert later. Jack asks if David’s mom will be there, and as they’ve kept her identity a secret all along, I think this was thrown in to get us wondering who she will be… So it’s someone important. Rule out every Sideways woman we’ve seen so far, and I think we’re left with… Juliet. And I believe that’s where she and Sawyer will reconnect (Sawyer said he wasn’t going if Charlotte was, but I bet Miles talks him into it.)

Shephard family breakfast, a hearty bowl of Super-Bran.

Claire joins them for breakfast, and while a quick scene, I liked how awkward it seemed… That they are all just strangers that are thrown into a family situation and getting used to having each other around. Jack gets a call from “Oceanic Air” (aka Desmond) saying they found his father’s coffin. Why would Desmond wreak this havoc in Jack’s life just as he’s finally getting over the whole thing? Perhaps he saw Jack getting too comfortable with his life with his loving son and new sister, and was trying to irritate Jack’s natural angst and destabilize his grounding in Sideways to keep him open to dabbling in his island life.

Desmond, fresh from running down Locke, is back on the scene getting his Candidates together in Sideways. As he spots Locke and starts the car, Ben recognizes and catches him, and Desmond beats the crap out of him. Desmond appears to do this to spur Ben’s memory. The experience (though not a near-death one) flashes Ben momentarily to his post-island 2007 self, who was once in that very same situation, getting pummeled by Desmond on the dock after his attempt on Penny’s life, again referenced later this episode (“Dead is Dead”). Ben seems moved and perplexed by his vision for the rest of the episode. Calmly Desmond tells him that he is not there to hurt him but to help Locke “let go”.

"You want to know who I am?"

Ben is being treated by the school nurse (who previously played an ER nurse who treated Desmond for his gunshot wounds in 2007… Ironically, wounds Ben himself inflicted!)

ER doctor/school nurse

Ben is having his Sideways mirror moment, fresh off his island vision, when Locke comes in. He tells Locke that the man was trying to get Locke to “let go”, not to hurt him, and that for some reason Ben believed him.

Locke is sporting a Sideways head wound, like Keamy, Jin, Sun, and now Ben.

Miles and Sawyer are discussing the benefit concert that evening at his father’s museum, Miles asks Sawyer to go as his “date” (I thought Miles was seeing someone?), but Sawyer declines because Charlotte will be there. Desmond arrives and turns himself in for running down Locke and beating Ben. He smiles as he joins Kate and Sayid in the holding cells. All is going according to plan!

Alex runs up to Ben, now sporting a sling and beat up pretty bad. She compares Ben to Napoleon because he holds his arm near his stomach as a result of the sling he wears as Napoleon was reputed to do. Napoleon was referenced earlier this season in teacher Ben’s classroom in “Recon”. Shots of Ben in a sling also recall injured Ben during his Swan hunger strike.

Ben's sling. Now I know there are a TON of color references in this show, but I totally noticed at the school that everyone was wearing red, blue, and purple. Including Ben, Alex, and Rousseau.

Alex is incredulous at the prospect of anyone wanting to hurt “the nicest guy ever” (cough cough). Alex insists that her mother give him a ride home, and as Danielle greets him they both insist he stay for dinner. Danielle words it, “even if we have to kidnap you.” (“One of Them” and “Dead Is Dead“). Nice to see Rousseau with heels, a dress, and combed hair! After dinner, Danielle says Alex’s father died when she was two, and Ben is the closest thing to a father she’s ever had. Ben’s eyes start to well up (was he connecting with his island self?) He passes it off as the onions, but Danielle says NEXT TIME she won’t use so many. And I love this storyline, because getting romantic with Danielle means he gets a second chance at both love and being the father he wanted to be to Alex.

Alex's fated-to-be father figure.

Locke stops by Jack’s office and explains that he doesn’t understand why, but it seems he’s meant to be fixed by Jack. He observes that his encounters with Jack have been serendipitous: he and Jack were on the same flight; when he was hit by a car, of “all the doctors in Los Angeles” he happened to be treated by Jack; the same man who ran him down beat up a teacher at his school and said that he wasn’t there to hurt him but to help him “let go” – and that these were the same words Jack had used when they were last together. Jack suggests that he is mistaking coincidence with fate (nod to the “Don’t mistake coincidence for fate” line spoken by Eko in “What Kate Did”). Locke says whatever it is called he is ready to get out of his wheelchair. We get the feeling his change of heart has to do less with walking than finding out the meaning behind all these darn Oceanic 815-related incidents.

Doc Jensen:
But more than anything, it was a choice. Like Island Jack, Sideways Locke seized the opportunity life had given him: the chance to decide who and what he wanted to be. […] In the Sideways world, Jack will fix Locke’s spine and facilitate Locke’s awakening. On The Island, Guardian Jack will defeat Fake Locke and protect the spiritual circuit between the ”real Lockes” of both worlds. It’s sweet happily ever after… but I worry about the implications of what we saw in the opening moments of the season some 15 weeks or so ago, an ominous image that has been left for the last episode of Lost to explain: The Island, dead and underwater.

At the police station, the 3 criminals are being transferred. Kate makes a last ditch effort to flirt her way to freedom with Sawyer. While he looks tempted, he ultimately tells her it ain’t gonna happen. In the back of a holding van, Desmond proposes an escape plan, but in exchange for their freedom, he says he will exact a promise of each of them. They both agree skeptically. Just then, the van pulls over and Ana Lucia (still a dirty cop in this timeline as well), lets them go.

Sweet freedom!

Hurley arrives (in his Sideways yellow Hummer) with her payoff and instantly recognizes her as Ana Lucia. He asks if she’s coming too, but Desmond says she’s not ready yet. ”It was nice not knowing you,” Ana Lucia said, speaking more truth than she realized.

"Not ready yet." Not now, or not ever?

Hurley’s Camaro (that he originally got from his father) is parked nearby. Desmond hands Kate a dress. Recall this is the second time someone is handing her a dress to wear for a specific purpose, a la breakfast with Ben on the island in Alex’s dress then being held in the cages in “A Tale of Two Cities”, which coincidentally introduced us to Juliet (ahem, David’s mother). Desmond tells them they’re going to a concert. Aha, the concert is where it all goes down in The End! Desmond’s scheming Island Enlightenment on a GRAND scale, with everyone, all together at once. Perhaps a rousing rendition of ”You All Everybody’‘ will do the trick?

Kate's new cocktail dress, inset with her new dress for breakfast with Ben.

Known concert attendees:

  • Jack
  • David
  • David’s mom (who may or may not be Juliet)
  • Claire (might possibly tag along with her brother and nephew)
  • Desmond
  • Kate
  • Sayid
  • Hurley
  • Miles
  • Charlotte
  • Pierre Chang
  • Eloise (planning it)
  • Widmore (financing it)
  • Daniel (playing in it)
  • Penny (on the guest list)
  • Charlie (supposed to play as the rock act)
  • Sawyer (who I think will change his mind, despite Charlotte, and go with Miles)

So who’s missing? Sun is still in the hospital and Jin is by her side, but if she is released, they could be there. Maybe Jack mentions something to Locke about it. And maybe, just maybe, this will be Ben and Danielle’s first date (wink wink!)

Doc Jensen:
”What They Died For” gave us a scene in the Sideways narrative that could be seen as a metaphor for the Jacob/Loststance on the relationship between free will and fate. Desmond, the Jacob analog, broke Kate and Sayid out of jail — but they had no idea they had been liberated until Desmond spelled it out in the van. And even then, they didn’t really believe it. Kate and Sayid had been oblivious to Desmond’s machinations, but they were also powerless to stop the prison wagon from reaching Desmond’s destination for them. Still, during the trip, they retained total authority over their inner lives, and upon their arrival, they had the freedom to do as they wish. Their actions may have forced Desmond into a response, but at no point did anyone hold a gun to their heads. In fact, the only manipulation Desmond used was holding them to their word to do as they promised — to have integrity, to be people of their word. We can’t control our circumstances, but we can control our response to our circumstances..

On the Island (2007)

BEACH AND JUNGLE:

On the beach, Jack prepares to stitch Kate up, which is definitely a nod back to the very first episode of season 1 when Kate needs to stitch up Jack. Kate had asked which color thread he preferred and he replied “basic black”, which is the same color he used on her last night.

Thread of choice? "Basic Black."

In the Pilot, Jack told her the story of counting to 5, which is how his father had taught him how to manage fear during crisis (“Pilot, Part 1“). Kate reflects on Ji Yeon, and remarks that Jin had never even met his own daughter. They both decide that “He” must be killed.

Jack stitches Kate.

Pieces of the destroyed sub and the red life vests wash up on shore, heartbreaking. Kate leans on Saywer’s shoulder and everyone pauses to mourn Sayid, Sun, Jin, Frank. Which was nice, because as last week was Jacob and the MIB’s story, they really didn’t give the castaways any time to deal with the loss of their friends.

Doc Jensen:
Perhaps they were also silently bidding adieu to the dream of returning to the home sweet home that lies somewhere across the sea. I think when you decide to kill the devil, you have to make peace with the prospect of not coming back alive. This isn’t a Fantastic Four story — this is a Suicide Squad mission. Did you see Kate slump against Sawyer? Was that Lost‘s way of telling us that Kate had ”made her choice”?

Reflecting on their loss.

At Jack’s urging, they set off in the jungle looking for Desmond. Because if the MIB wants him, they they’re going to need him. Sawyer, looking completely defeated, starts to take responsibility for the deaths on the sub by attempting to diffuse the bomb despite Jack’s advice. Where in the past, these two would normally settle their problems with their fists… It’s definitely different now. Jack interrupts Sawyer’s sad-sap admission, and says, hey, “I’ve made mistakes too.” They’ve come this far and finally made their peace with each other. Finally allies after all these years, just in time to team up for the final showdown.

Hurley sees a vision of boy-Jacob in the jungle, whom notably Kate cannot see. Yet. The boy demands the bag of ashes, then runs off. I think this is the first time they’ve shown a physical aspect to Hurley’s apparitions… He was able to grab an object from Hurley.

"They're mine." (PS - nice snaps on your vest, authentic Roman garbed boy Jacob!)

As Hurley chases him, he comes across adult Jacob seated at a fire. Jacob tells Hurley that the ashes are in the fire and that when the fire goes out, he will not be seen again. This is very reminiscent to the rules of The Source itself (if its light goes out, everyone will die). Good thing Ilana knew to save those ashes! And good thing Hurley found them. It was a convenient chain of events that led to a final scene with Jacob’s “essence” so he could pass the torch to his next Candidate. Jacob adds, for good measure, “We are very close to the End“.

Jacob proudly welcomes his remaining Candidates.

Hurley leads the others back to the fire, and Jacob greets each of them by first name. Hurley is surprised that they can all see him. In the Big Scene of the night, Jacob provides them (and us) with some definitive answers: He did indeed create the smoke monster, it has been trying to kill him ever since in retaliation, and since Smokey succeeded, one of them must replace him as the island’s protector. Jacob didn’t drag them all out of a happy existence — they were all flawed. He chose them because they were all like him – alone, all looking for something that they couldn’t find.

Doc Jensen:
From a timeless, spiritual perspective, the castaways are better off than they were before they crashed on the Island. Yes, they have suffered, yet their adventures together have brought them to a place where they find themselves more self-aware and liberated from ruts of self-destructive behavior. Jacob has also given them something which I’m not sure they yet fully recognize and appreciate, at least not in the Island world: a community of fellow souls deeply invested in each other’s survival, growth, and flourishing.

We find out Kate was crossed out because when she left the island, she became a mother (while the rest of the Oceanic 6 remained flawed/incomplete). But she could still have the job if she wanted it. Jacob explains that they must do the one thing he couldn’t: kill the smoke monster. Jack wonders if this is even possible, and he says he hopes so. But how does one kill a cloud a smoke, a spectral being that’s made up of one angst-ridden soul? The answer will surely be one of the series’ biggest revelations.

In closing, Jacob says he is offering them a CHOICE about assuming this role, something he never had. Jack immediately steps up, knowing that this is what he’s on the island to do.

Jack eagerly takes the job on his own free will.

Jacob leads Jack to a stream in the distance, explaining that while Jack has never seen the light before, he will be able to find it now that he has been chosen to protect it. Jacob says it’s just beyond the bamboo field where Jack landed when he fell from the sky. Jack is disbelieving, but it appears he just didn’t have the eyes to be able to see it before, just like the Lighthouse he didn’t see until he was looking for it.

Doc Jensen:
I am reminded of the C.S. Lewis novel The Pilgrim’s Regress, about a spiritual seeker who has a dream as a child of an island offering the promise of great meaning to his life, but after years and years and years of searching, he discovers that the place he’s looking for… is right back where he started. See, Jack? You had the magic inside you all along…

The Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis

Which actually makes a lot of sense… The Source, for Jack, is in the location where he first arrived on the island; just as the Source for Jacob was at the stream where Claudia delivered he and his brother. The Source can change locations depending on where it all began for its designated guardian.

Jacob says an incantation and takes some water into Jack’s cup and offers it to him. Before he drinks, Jack asks about the duration of the job – “as long as you can.” Jack drinks, Jacob embraces him and says “Now you are like me.” Interesting that it doesn’t have to be wine, the same cup, or even in front of the light of the Source to make this protector-deeming ceremony official. The other 3 watch from fire, and Hurley says ”I’m just glad it’s not me.” Famous last words… I’m now highly suspicious that Hurley might end up with the guardian-gig by the end.

Doc Jensen:
The Island needs The Source — but does The Source really need The Island? We’ve been told that a little bit of the light exists in everyone. Well, why not take a cue from Hurley’s Parable of the Hatch Pantry and just divide the rest of The Source equally among all people? Why not make humanity itself the exclusive dwelling place of The Source? It’s time to decentralize! It’s time for Mystic Reformation! That’s my theory of Desmond. I think super-Buddha is going to get dropped into the Holy Wormhole and will absorb all the energy into himself and then redistribute it throughout all of mankind. The Source needs a guardian. But what it needs even more is for all of us to guard it. And as I finish the preceding parenthetical, another one hit me. What if once upon a time, The Source did reside within all of humanity? What if we stopped believing in The Source, or we convinced ourselves that The Source stopped believing in us, so much so that now The Source exists as an anomaly that’s hidden away from us — as something lost that must be found. The Truth Is Out There — but once, The Truth Was In Here.

AT THE BARRACKS:

We finally see Richard, Ben, and Miles’ group again after a 3-episode absence. They are taking Ben’s shortcut to the Barracks to pick up some C4 to blow up the plane. In a big nod to the Sideways story, Miles senses Alex’s resting place, and Richard admits to burying her. Ben looks stricken for just a moment, and after only saying a quick “thank you”, offhandedly continues on to his secret room. He opens the safe and takes all 6 bricks of C4 (to “blow the plane to hell”), and when Miles asks about this other, secreter room, he said he thought he could summon the monster from here, although he later realized that the monster was summoning him.

Doc Jensen:
This is interesting to think about. If Ben has always been wrong about being Jacob’s chosen one for a period of time, then that means his tenure as the leader of the Others was fraudulent and invalid — which means that Charles Widmore was probably quite sincere in his persecution of Ben. Megabucks Chuck never wanted to get back to The Island to exploit it. He wanted to get back to The Island to save it from Ben’s corrupt administration.

Collecting the C4. I'm guessing this will come in handy for the MIB (or Team Jack?) in their final mission.

They hear a noise in the kitchen and discover the world’s most awful actress, Zoe. Charles immediately appears and holds them at gunpoint while Zoe goes to check on the outrigger. She sees the MIB approaching and runs back. Charles, upon learning of their plan to rig the plane with C4, tells Ben he’s “three steps ahead”, as usual. He reveals Jacob visited him shortly after Ben destroyed the freighter and told him all he needed to know “for this exact purpose.”

As the MIB approaches, they all scramble about what to do. Miles runs, Charles and Zoe hide, and Ben says he will do neither because it’s no use. Richard decides to try talking to Smokey, but he overestimates Smokey’s desire for Richard’s help anymore and is immediately pummeled by the creature.

Well, I guess he didn't need Richard anymore after all!

Ben turns, wide-eyed, and very deliberately sits on the porch. The MIB comes around the corner as Locke to speak with Ben, “just the man he was looking for.” And he cuts right to the chase: He needs Ben to kill some people, and in return, the whole island could be his. Ben agrees, and the first order of business was to give up Widmore’s hiding spot. When MIB suggests he wait outside, Ben says he wants to see this.

"You can have the whole island to yourself." I'm wondering if Ben is genuinely joining him...or if he realizes he's being played, and merely playing along with hopes of conning the MIB back in the near future. Ben saw that he was needed... MIB was coming to him out of weakness, not strength. I hope Ben is playing upon that. Because I'd like to think his Sideways arc as "the nicest guy ever" proves his apparent island redemption in recent weeks wasn't all for naught.

Ben sarcastically apologizes to Charles for giving him up. MIB asks who Zoe is, and before she says anything, Widmore tells her not to speak (rendering her pointless). MIB reacts by cutting her throat. Bad-ass, and thoroughly awesome (hated her!!)

She even looked terrible dying... Good riddance!

Threatening Penny’s life, MIB gets Charles to talk. He whispers just what he needed to know (about Desmond’s usefulness) before Ben fires multiple bullets at Widmore. His reasoning? Widmore doesn’t deserve the chance to protect his daughter. Payback’s a bitch! MIB says that Ben never ceases to amaze him but luckily Widmore had already told him what he needed to know. Ben then asks whether there are some “other people to kill” (awesome, classic Ben). Locke gives a gloating look.

Ben finally takes his revenge on Widmore.

AT THE WELL:

MIB takes Ben to the well where he threw Desmond. Ben wonders why MIB chooses to walk, when he could just fly as the smoke, but MIB likes to feel the ground under his feet… It makes him feel human again. One wonders if his desire to feel human, or reignite his feeling of humanity, will be his downfall (the key to killing him). They arrive and surmise Sayid helped Desmond escape instead of killing him. MIB reveals Widmore’s secret: Desmond was a fail safe. That if he killed the “beloved candidates” he was one final way for Jacob to be sure that he would never leave this place. In 2004, Desmond turned the failsafe key and destroyed the Swan hatch. In 2007, the MIB believes Desmond is the Island’s failsafe that can destroy the island.

Ben wonders why he is happy that Desmond is still free, and he replies when he finds Desmond he will get him to do the one thing he could never do himself: “Destroy the Island.” (dum, dum, dummmm…) So now we know he’s not only trying to leave it, but also destroy it. By the way, nice blow to Ben: The MIB offers Ben the job of leader of the island, yet not long after reveals that he intends to destroy the island instead. Nice con, MIB.

Desmond is one in-demand guy right now!

—-
Needless to say, I am beyond excited for the 2.5 hour finale, aptly titled “The End”, now just 4 days away. I’m also, like so many others, completely unprepared for the entire series to be over! It’s both rewarding, and bittersweet. I was thinking earlier back to the first time I saw “Pilot: Part 1” back in 2004… I was about 3 weeks late jumping on the LOST bandwagon, but quickly got into it and caught up, thanks to the insistence of my stepbrother John, who was telling us about the premiere weeks before it aired! It’s hard to believe that 6 years ago, this all began… And so much has happened in life since then: Three houses, a dog, and a husband later, I’m just as intrigued with the show as I was from Day One. And I think that’s really something special.

Now, off to decide which character I’m going to dress up as for the finale party! Suggestions?

Happy FINALE-watching… *sniffle*

Jen / desmondismyconstant

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LOST EPISODE 6.13 – “THE LAST RECRUIT”

Reunited. And split. And reunited some more!

Well this week we got a story that furthered along the Sideways arcs of ALL our castaways in one fell swoop. And I’m beginning to think it’s also impossible for them to die in Sideways, as it is on the island (fate/the island/Jacob/God/etc. isn’t done with them yet, which was reiterated by Jack to Sawyer in this episode)… See Sun and her baby surviving a gunshot wound to the abdomen, and Locke being saved by Jack the surgeon after surviving being hit by a speeding car.

The title “The Last Recruit”, I think referred to quite a few people. Desmond seems to be hopping all over Sideways gathering up as many Oceanic passengers as he can, at least the ones he recognizes from his Island timeline. In that way, I think he’s been recruiting the castaways to open their eyes to their other timeline. Also, Jack ended up staying behind with the MIB, he is likely the most important recruit, and the last to arrive in MIB’s camp. Jin was also the only one not in MIB’s group at the end of the last episode. And Claire was wanted by some but not by others on the sailboat… Kate said she wasn’t leaving without Claire, so she hopped aboard. And what about Desmond himself… He was busy in Sideways recruiting others, but on the island, Widmore sure did want to get him back!

Doc Jensen:
‘The Last Recruit” didn’t blow me away. Some of it really bugged me, actually, but it was a necessary staging episode for the final act of the season (and the series!), and I won’t judge it too harshly. But can I just say that the Lapidus quip ”Looks like someone got their voice back” was maybe the most cornball line ever uttered on Lost? (Like I said: not too harshly.) Still, there were plenty of meaty things in this busybusybusy outing to chew and savor. Jack’s torchlight chat with [MIB] was dense with significance. (Mystery Resolution Alert! Christian Shephard has always been a Smokey apparition! But did you believe M-T’s claim?) Sayid’s wellside conversation with Desmond also captured my imagination (do you think Mr. Designated Assassin executed his kill order?), as did Sideways Sun’s freak-out over seeing Sideways John Locke. And then there was the set-up for the next episode: Sideways Jack’s scramble to save Sideways John’s life. That passing reference to Locke’s obliterated neural sac was a nod to the classic moment in the pilot when Jack recounted his most harrowing moment as a young doctor. It led me to wonder if Lost is about to come full circle and give Jack an encounter with mind-clouding fear in both worlds. Count to five, folks: I think things are about to get scary.

Some quick thoughts from each story:

Sideways Locke, Jin and Sun:

Sun exclaims in Korean “It’s him! It’s him!” as they are wheeled next to each other at the hospital. Seeing as how they haven’t run into each other in Sideways at all, she was most likely crossing over into her island life through her traumatic brush with death.

"It's Him!"

And I think Locke was having a similar experience in his traumatic state. In the ambulance he said “My name is John!” (just as his mother insisted “His name is John!” the day he was born), but he also remembered that he was supposed to marry Helen Norwood. The pathetic past tense of that statement is all John Locke, but as soon as Sun recognized him he smiled: MIB.

Also in this scene, the paramedic suggests Locke’s wheelchair probably saved his life. Just as in the island timeline, his missing a kidney saved his life after being shot in that very spot.

Sideways Sawyer, Kate and Sayid:

At the police department, Sawyer waltzed to his desk biting into an apple… symbol of the Tree of Knowledge, of course. Sawyer and Kate flirt but don’t hit it off like their island counterparts.

Sayid is on the run after killing Keamy and his men and heads back to Nadia’s to pack. Sawyer and Miles see Sayid on video surveillance footage and states: “That’s our bad guy.” As he escapes out the back door, he’s tripped by Sawyer holding a taut garden hose. This is reminiscent of Rousseau’s trapping methods used to catch Sayid back in season 1.

Sideways Desmond, Claire and Jack:

Desmond catches up with Claire, his next target, and creepily pushes her into Ilana the lawyer’s office so she can bring Jack and Claire together at the reading of their father’s will. Jack is taken aback, but gets called in to work to perform a complicated surgery. In other words, he is forced to abandon Claire at the lawyer’s office just after reuniting with her, just as he abandons her in the jungle on the island. But… Duty calls! At the hospital, Jack sees Locke’s reflection in the mirror (Sideways mirrors), and recognizes him immediately.

Island (2007):

Jack and MIB talk civilly apart from the group. We find out for sure that the MIB can only impersonate those who are dead, and whose bodies are on the island. He said he took the role of Christian simply to show Jack where to find water. Not sure we can believe this completely, but sounds plausible…

Doc Jensen:
”Because you needed to find water,” he said. There was an implied ”Duh!” in there, as well as some implied irony. Back in season 1, Ghost Christian was a storytelling device that revealed Jack’s character and solved a castaway survival issue (finding water) — but did it mean anything more than that? Did the writers really know that Ghost Christian was a manifestation of The Monster, or was that something they decided after the fact? I know many of you are debating the question today, and my answer is that I don’t really care because either way, I am satisfied with resolution of the Ghost Christian mystery.

Claire was following them, and when she gets time alone with her big brother, says cryptically that because Jack let the MIB talk to him, whether he likes it or not, he is now WITH HIM. So then all the rest of the castaways are with him too… right?

Doc Jensen:
To be honest, I think the Jack-Claire twist hasn’t panned out to be as cool as it first seemed to be. Making them related by blood nourished the important thematic idea of interconnection between characters that existed prior their Island meeting. It also ratcheted up Jack’s angst over abandoning the castaways and during his Oceanic days. Perhaps there’s time to squeeze more out of it.

Zoe comes into the MIB’s camp threatening to get Desmond back by nightfall (though she doesn’t refer to him by name. Widmore’s team refers to him as the “package”, MIB keeps him hidden from the rest of the Candidates, everyone’s trying to keep his presence on the island hush-hush).  Zoe has a warning shot fired using her radio. She leaves the device with the MIB, who promptly smashes it. Just as Locke smashed Naomi’s radio from the freighter. He says “here we go” and lays out an elaborate plan for the group to split up, get the sailboat, and meet at Hydra. Sawyer has plans of his own, based on his deal with Widmore (why on earth did he still think that was valid??), and recruits Jack, Kate, and the rest of the castaways to steal the sailboat, rendezvous with Widmore, and take the sub off the island. Good point about the plane plan not working… Everyone comes and goes via sub!

Sayid goes to kill Desmond, but Desmond (presumably) talks him out of it. Sayid lies to the MIB later and says the job is done, hoping he’ll trust that it is.

"What will you tell her?" Desmond's question breathed life back to zombie-Sayid. Doc Jensen: Nadia's reaction (''Did you hurt someone?'' And then, chilling: ''What did you do, Sayid?'') only confirmed what Island Desmond had said to Island Sayid about the cost of reunion.

Jack decides that this “doesn’t feel right”, and after talking to Sawyer, jumps off the sailboat and heads back to the island. This is reminiscent of their last escape attempt via helicopter… Frank urged them to drop all the weight they could, when Sawyer decided one less passenger would help them make it out alive.

Doc Jensen: "We were brought here because we were supposed to do something, James. And if Locke — if that 'thing' — wants us to leave, then maybe it's afraid of what happens if we stay?'' In that line, it seemed to me that Jack was applying several lessons of his Island experience, including all the hard lessons Ben had taught him over the years about Island bad guys. Island bad guys figure out what you want most in life, then exploit it. They motivate you with fear and urgency, and make it sound like you share common interests, but in most cases, whatever it is they want you to do is actually the exact opposite of what you should be doing.

The sailboat arrives, and Sun and Jin are finally reunited after 29 episodes apart… yay! And with her constant back, she’s able to speak English again. The celebration is short-lived when Zoe gets word that Widmore’s deal is off and holds them all kneeling at gunpoint.

Jack makes it back to the beach and is met by Locke and his group, who guesses that Sawyer took his (well, Desmond’s) boat. After saving Jack from the explosions, he reassures him: “You’re with me now.” Eek! Also: Jack is saving Locke’s life in the flash-sideways timeline, while in the original timeline, the fake Locke is saving Jack’s life.

Sidenote: We didn’t see Richard, Miles, and Ben at all this episode. Methinks their quest to destroy Ajira over on Hydra will be key to the endgame!

Miscellaneous:

• Trailers for this episode featured the Pendulum song “Through The Loop“. The song features samples of The Rowing Song, as spoken by Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which was again adapted from “The Rowers”, a 1959 poem by Roald Dahl. In the movie it is part of the selection process of choosing a Candidate to succeed Willy Wonka.

• Ilana’s office where Desmond, Claire, and Jack go is on the 15th floor.

• Drinking the Kool-Aid: Sawyer tells Kate that Claire can’t come with them because she “drank Locke’s Kool-Aid.” This may be a reference to the Jonestown cult mass suicide of 1978, when over 900 followers of Jim Jones committed suicide at their Guyana camp. Jones had cups of Flavor Aid or Kool-Aid dosed with cyanide.

Jonestown Massacre

• Regarding MIB’s role:

Doc Jensen:
My recap hinges on a reading of Lost that I’ve had since ”Ab Aeterno.” In the climactic scene of the episode, the Man In Black vowed to kill Jacob and any of his replacements. It’s been my stated theory since then that MIB has been lying to the castaway candidates about getting them off The Island alive. Instead, what he’s been conspiring to do is get them killed by either trying to escape — or by trying to stop him from escaping. MIB can’t kill the candidates himself, per the implied rules expressed by the Ghost Boy that’s been haunting him, so he needs to manipulate Widmore into slaying the castaways, or trick the castaways into killing each other. All this said, MIB’s homicidal ambitions may not be ”evil.” I have previously speculated that the castaways have lived long past their natural expiration date and need to pass into the afterlife, which may or may not be represented by the Sideways world. Thus, killing the castaways isn’t wrong, but rather the means to end their unnatural state of being. Among the flaws in my line of thinking: it does seem to be increasingly likely that the Sideways world is some manufactured reality that represents the pay-out of MIB’s happily-ever-after promises to the castaways. The following recap leans more on the latter perspective, though it doesn’t quite square with my characterization of MIB as a tough love angel/afterlife traffic cop. Indeed, with each passing week, it does truly seem that MIB is as Satanic as we fear him to be.

• Regarding Hurley’s role:

Doc Jensen:
Should we be skeptical about the legitimacy of Hurley’s ability to see and converse with the dead? Ghosts have visited Hurley since ”The Beginning of The End,” the season 4 premiere, when Charlie’s specter visited him at the mental hospital in the flash-forward time frame and began wooing him to go back to The Island. That was also the episode where Hurley got lost in the jungle and stumbled upon Jacob’s haunted shack and peeked in the window and saw Ghost Christian in a rocking chair. Then an eyeball popped into the frame and glared right back at him and scared the hell out of Hurley. Or maybe it scared the hell into Hurley. Assuming that Jacob’s haunted shack didn’t belong to Jacob at all, but was instead a prison for The Man In Black, I wonder if the dark man literally got into Hurley’s head in that eyeball moment and has been messing with him ever since. Consider Ghost Jacob. In the season premiere, he instructed Hurley to take Sayid to The Temple for healing. How did that turn out? Sayid came back to life and helped MIB lay waste to The Island’s spiritual epicenter. In ”Lighthouse,” Ghost Jacob instructed Hurley to take Jack to the lighthouse by evoking his father’s memory. (”You have what it takes.”) How did that turn out? The experience left Jack convinced that Jacob was a perverted voyeur who had been spying on him since childhood and further convinced him that The Island was not a place where he’d find healing for his brokenness. Putting Jack in such a place helps MIB’s cause because it sets Jack up for one of his Faustian bargains. What do you want most in the world, Jack? Reconciliation with someone you love? Your father, perhaps? Because I can do that.

~ I wonder though if this can be true because (A) Hurley saw ghosts off-island in the original timeline before he came back to the island, and (B) Ilana mentioned quite a few episodes ago that the MIB is now stuck in John Locke’s body. We’ve since seen him turn into the smoke monster, but he hasn’t inhabited anyone else but Locke since then…

• Sawyer refers to Lapidus as a guy from a Burt Reynolds movie… People are saying this points specifically to the Burt Reynolds movie, Deliverance. I’ll be exploring this option eventually (as I’ve never seen the movie), but in the meantime I’m pointing you in the right direction. Take note!

Deliverance could hold some Lost clues.

Next week: “The Candidate” …But which one? I’m guessing another Jack episode, but we’ll see!

Sorry so short this week, I may add in if free time allows! Lost is taking a week off next week, and I wish they left us with a bigger cliffhanger to explore for 2 weeks, but maybe things will reveal themselves the longer I mull them over! Thanks for reading, as always. Comment and share!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

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LOST EPISODE 6.12 – “EVERYBODY LOVES HUGO”

The episode’s title, “Everybody Loves Hugo”, is a nod to the season 2 episode “Everybody Hates Hugo” both were written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Ironically, in the island timeline, not everyone loves Hugo after he blows up the Black Rock and leads the group right into the MIB’s clutches.

Whereas in the original timeline, Hurley’s lottery winnings only brought him bad luck and despair, in Sideways he uses the money not to buy fancy cars and houses, but to give back to the community. The whole experience is fully rewarding for him… But he is still unlucky in love and feels unfulfilled. Until Libby comes along (again) and changes everything…

Everybody Loves Hugo

Sideways Timeline (2004)

The off-screen master of ceremonies, Pierre Chang, narrates over a short retrospective film and slideshow of Hugo Reyes’s life. Hurley didn’t get a conventional Sideways-mirror moment, but rather a retrospective film. Despite no apparent connection to the DHARMA Initiative or its orientation films, the Pierre Chang of Sideways world is nonetheless narrating a video presentation. He describes Hurley’s success at establishing Mr. Cluck’s empire and his philanthropic undertakings. The slideshow features Jorge Garcia’s actual baby pictures and his dog Nunu.

Hugo... What a guy! Noteworthy... He and everyone else are dressed in BLACK.

Mr. Cluck's ribbon cutting – Hurley and the kids in WHITE, everyone else in BLACK, also lots of RED.

Wow... Photoshop!

He announces that a new paleontology wing of the Golden State Natural History Museum (the museum where both Pierre Chang and Charlotte Lewis work) is being named after Hugo Reyes. Hugo is introduced as the Man of the Year. He stands up to the audience’s applause and accepts his sweet T-Rex award.

Doc Jensen:
The Sideways Hurley of ”Everybody Loves Hugo” leveraged the wealth, power and privilege generated from his ”lifelong love affair with chicken” to feel cherished and adored. ”Hugo and giving became synonymous,” Dr. Chang said in his ode to Hugo. What he didn’t mention was the unhealthy psychological return he got on his investment: a fraudulent sense of self-worth. Ah, the things we do for love.

RED tie. WHITE dino.

[re: T-Rex] An interesting allusion for an episode about leadership, but also an ominous symbol for a season that finds the castaways shuddering under the dark cloud (literally) of potential extinction — provided, of course, you actually believe Charles Widmore and Richard Alpert when they say that some kind of reality-blotting catastrophic event will occur should Smokesaurus Rex succeed in escaping The Island. Yet the psycho-spiritual-celestial-quantum mechanics of the Lostverse seem to allow for the continuance of mind and/or spirit provided that one has love in their life. The best articulation of this Good News comes to us in Penelope’s ”Live Together, Die Alone” epistle. Bottom line: The castaways need a constant, a better half, an Eve to their Adam or vise versa. […] ”Please don’t give up, Des. Because all we really need to survive is one person who truly loves us. And you have her. I will wait for you. Always. I Love you, Pen.” — The closing lines of Penelope’s letter to Desmond, ”Live Together, Die Alone,” Season 2

After the ceremony, Hugo walks out with his mother, who says everybody loves Hugo except women and that he needs to meet a girl. Harsh! He says he doesn’t have time. She then tells him she has set up a lunch date with a neighbor of friends, Rosalita.

RED flower + lipstick.

The next day Hugo is waiting at a Mexican restaurant, Spanish Johnny’s.

Doc Jensen:
FUN FACT! Spanish Johnny is a character in a novel called The Song of The Lark, about an opera singer’s rise to artistic self-fulfillment. Of course, Spanish Johnny is also a character in the Bruce Springsteen song ”Incident at 57th Street,” in which the young romantic is described as being ”dressed just like dynamite.” You can find the song on the same album that includes the song that shares its title with the name of the woman Hurley was supposed to meet at the restaurant: Rosalita.

Libby tentatively walks up and asks if he’s Hugo. He jumps up saying he wasn’t expecting someone so pretty. She admits that she is not Rosalita, his blind date. She takes his hands and asks whether he believes that two people can be connected like soulmates, and asks if he remembers her. Her doctor, Douglas Brooks, interrupts and takes her away. Hugo follows them out and watches as she gets into a van from Santa Rosa Mental Health Institute, where he himself used to live in another life.

Libby wore a whole lot of PURPLE this episode (as well as Ilana), which I theorize is the exact muddled mix between Candidate BLUE (Hurley's Sideways color) and Candidate-guiding RED (Hurley's island color). But purple is also a prominent religious color, specifically during Lent. Purple is the color of the garment that covered Jesus, when he was taken to the crucifix. Jesus Christ's face and eyes turned purple in color when he was tortured during crucifixion. Purple sashes are draped over crosses during Lent, leading up to Jesus' resurrection on Easter. So does PURPLE in Lost = Resurrection??

Hugo moodily orders a family size “bucket” at a Mr. Clucks store. And judging by the preview for next week (which contained the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory psychadelic boat trip song) his ordering a bucket was a pretty direct nod to the story’s star: Charlie Bucket.

One Bucket Please...

Charlie Bucket

Sidenote: Any Freaks & Geeks fans?? Did you catch NEIL working at the Mr. Cluck's counter?!

As he eats he sees Desmond staring. He has clearly procured the flight manifest over the past week and is tracking the passengers down, one by one. He comes over and asks if he was on Oceanic 815. Hugo explains that he eats when he is depressed, and that he met an awesome woman at the restaurant but there is one problem, she lives in a mental institute. She said they already know each other and that Hugo would certainly remember her if they did. Desmond tells him he should follow his gut and try to find out how she thinks they knew each other before he gives up on her. Desmond leaves when his order #42 comes up, having successfully sent Hugo on his mission to connect with his island counterpart. Well… that was easy!

Mission accomplished... Surrounded in guiding RED...

So off he goes to Santa Rosa to find Libby. Her psychiatrist (who also used to be his), Doctor Brooks, is reluctant to let Hugo see her because she has issues with reality. Hugo writes a donation check for $100,000 as a bribe to meet with her, and it works. (Fun Fact: Jin’s mother also demanded $100,000 for not revealing to the public that she was a prostitute.)

Dr. Brooks' office: BLUE and BLACK

When Hurley walks in, we see a chalk drawing of an island on the blackboard, butterflies on the wall (the Butterfly Effect?), and a patient playing Connect Four. It’s not Leonard, but in the original timeline, Connect Four was the game played by Leonard Simms, who played both colors at once while repeating the numbers over and over.

Leonard Simms

Island drawing, butterflies, and RED and BLUE plastic bins on the table.

Hurley asks where Libby thinks she knows him from she admits the explanation will not make sense. She saw him on TV a lot of memories came rushing back from her life, except that it was another life. She says there was a plane crash, that she was on an island and that they were there and they liked each other. She also believes he was at this clinic. He still doesn’t remember, but asks her if she wants to go on a date. She agrees, because she is after all in the clinic voluntarily.

Hugo refers to Libby’s knowledge of a “bizarro alternate universe”. “Bizarro World” is an alternate version of Earth in the DC comics (Superman) universe. It has all the same people as the original Earth, but everyone acts opposite to how they act on the original Earth.

Bizarro World

The picnic from another life.

On a beach, Hugo and Libby set up a cheese picnic. She says that being at the beach with Hugo is familiar, like a date they never had. He asks why she would want to be with him, and she says because she likes him, they kiss, and Hugo immediately has vivid visions of the time they had on the island. He hesitantly says that he thinks he remembers stuff, and he doesn’t think she is crazy after all. Similar to Desmond’s experience, Hugo is recalling future events from the original timeline.

Flashes of their island romance.

Desmond watches from a car nearby, looking pleased, then drives off. Blooper alert (?) When Desmond was watching Hurley and Libby on the beach the license plate was 4PCI264, when he runs over Locke it is 2FAN321.

Later, Desmond sits in his car outside the school where Ben and Locke work, watching Locke wheel himself across the parking lot. Ben knocks on his window, suspicious, asking him what he is doing. Desmond lies about moving to the neighborhood and looking for a school for his son, Charlie. (Was Des remembering his island-timeline son, pulling the name from his recent inspiration from Charlie Pace, or adding another nod to Charlie & the Chocolate Factory? All three? I thought so too!) Desmond keeps his eye on Locke and dismisses Ben politely, starts the car, and races across the parking lot and runs Locke down. He appears to be seriously injured but still alive. Ironically, Locke is murdered by Ben in the original timeline, but Sideways Ben is the first to run to his aid:

Ben to the rescue.

Well, this shot sure looks familiar....

Locke also lay on the verge of death, face up, with blood running down his cheeks, after he was pushed out the window by his father and Jacob showed up to revive him.

And just like that, Sideways Locke just bought himself a one-way ticket to the hospital… St. Sebastian’s hospital… To meet again with his island nemesis, Dr. Jack.

My Theories: I believe Desmond, now connected with his island timeline counterpart, knows that Locke now isn’t really Locke and is the masquerading evil MIB who pushed poor Desmond down the well. Each of Desmond’s characters has figured out what his ultimate purpose is: to stop the MIB… to make Sideways a reality… to destroy Sideways… Whatever it may be! So he has begun rectifying the situation. Personally, I think he is trying to keep the island INTACT with a new guardian in lieu of Jacob’s death (my money’s on Jack), which in turn creates a NEW timeline, similar to Sideways, but devoid of the MIB because the island that was keeping him contained is no longer rotting at the bottom of the ocean. The new timeline has our heroes connecting with their doppelgangers from another timeline, and leaves them free to decide if they will stay on the island and help the Jacob-replacement… Or begin anew in Sideways with a preserved memory of their past experiences in both timelines, allowing them a “new lease on life” to move forward in the direction of their choosing using experiences they regretted in the past. If the events of Sideways aren’t desirable (i.e. Sun getting shot), they may choose to stay on the island. It’s up to their own free will. After all, “whatever happened, happened” and cannot be changed. Therefore, I think Kate will stay with Jack on the island, as her life on the run doesn’t suit her anymore; Sun and Jin will sacrifice Ji Yeon to stay together; Sawyer will connect with Juliet in Sideways and have coffee; Hurley will stay with Libby who is alive in Sideways, etc. etc. etc.

Doc Jensen:
Again, another scene that left me chilled and baffled, which made me dig it even more. I think we have to wonder if Sideways Desmond is now fully self-aware with all of his Island memories, past, present and future. I don’t think Desmond ran down Sideways Locke for revenge. I think it’s possible that Desmond tried to kill Sideways Locke to prevent Fake Locke from migrating into Sideways Locke’s body, but that strikes me as cruel that Desmond would basically murder an innocent man just to prevent his future corruption. So I’m thinking the most likely scenario for a hero like Desmond is this: I think Fake Locke has been inside Sideways Locke all along, and Desmond tried to kill him to force Fake Locke back into the Island world.

— That’s what I’ve been saying all along, folks (pats self on back, hehe).

Original Island Timeline (2007)

Hurley is at the survivors’ burial ground, placing a flower and talking to Libby at her grave. He asks why she hasn’t visited him, like Charlie, Ana-Lucia, and the others have. I think she doesn’t have anything keeping her in limbo, she was allowed to move on.

RED flower

Ilana interrupts and asks if he is ready to go to the Black Rock where they will get dynamite to destroy the plane. She isn’t sure that it is the right thing to do but it is the only move they have. Hurley tells her Libby was murdered before their first date. The Whispers precede Michael’s sudden appearance. He has come to stop Hurley from getting everyone killed. Hurley doesn’t trust Michael, as he murdered Libby, but Michael says that it doesn’t matter because if Hurley blows up the plane a lot of people will die and, due to the fact that people are listening to Hurley now (Jacob’s right-hand-man in persuasive/guiding RED), it will be his fault. Jack arrives and hurries him along.

Michael appears, but whose side is he on? If his wardrobe is any indication, he's on Team Jacob (WHITE). Also his arms are outstretched like Jesus/the mysterious blonde boy.

At the beach camp, Ilana arrives saying that they must make it to Hydra to destroy the plane before nightfall. She tells Richard that she has 4 sticks of dynamite. Hurley overhears and says this isn’t a good idea, especially since the dynamite is so unstable. Ilana says she must protect them, prompting Hurley to ask how blowing up the plane will protect them. Ilana thinks it’s the only way to prevent that “thing” from leaving, and repeats that Jacob said to follow Richard, and Richard says to blow up the plane. But as she speaks she drops her pack and the dynamite explodes, killing her and knocking the others down. Ilana had just finished talking about how she has “trained her whole life” to protect the candidates when she is suddenly killed by her careless handling of dynamite. Not so sure the island was “done” with her… Left to their own devices, the Candidates marched themselves right into MIB’s camp! They clearly still needed her.

So long, Ilana... Nice knowing you!

Hurley goes through Ilana’s possessions and finds a small bag, looks inside it and then keeps it. Jacob’s ashes.

It's assumed to be Jacob's ashes, since Ilana has been known to carry them around.

He also finds a book… Notes from Underground, a Russian-language copy of this 1864 short novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It deals with the conditions of existence of the individual and their emotions, actions and responsibilities principally attempting to validate free will as opposed to determinism.

Notes From The Underground

Doc Jensen:
This isn’t the first time this season Lost has cited a seminal text in the canon of existential lit. In ”LA X,” Lost cited Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard, a writer whose fingerprints seem to be all over the season. For example, have you noticed the conspicuously repetitive practice of presenting characters would either/or choices? Kierkegaard’s oeuvre includes a work called Either/Or. (And Repetition, too. And before I get the e-mails: Yes, maybe The Sickness Unto Death has something to do with The Sickness, as well.) But I think last week signaled an even deeper dive into existential thought with that rabbit named Angstrom. ”Angst:” a word that comes to us from Kierkegaard. ”Angstrom:” a unit of measurement in electromagnetic radiation and other natural sciences. It’s almost as if Lost is now declaring existentialism as the philosophy that fuels its intellectual engine, especially here in the mirror-fixated season 6; a key tenet of existentialism, be it the Christian brand endorsed by Kierkegaard or the godless kind represented by Jean Paul Sartre, is the idea that reflection creates identity. Perhaps The Island isn’t a magical place that traps souls or spirits. Maybe its unique physical properties allow it snare energy patterns of consciousness. Heck, maybe ”trapping” and ”snaring” are the wrong verbs. Maybe The Island unlocks, cultivates, or even makes consciousness. […] But it was also an apt choice for an episode that offered a comic take on Dostoevsky’s tale of a not-so romantic date from hell, and also illustrated the author’s philosophy of the mind: tortured and tumultuous, torn between action and passivity, a riotous collection of conflicted voices that’s close to could be called neurotic and has been often likened to schizophrenia. In other words: chaotic. Or: ”highly unstable.”

As you read the following excerpt from critic Richard Pevear about Notes From The Underground, think of Spiritually Numb Sayid and Spiritually Alive Hurley — points on an upward arcing curve of existential heroism, from sleepwalking to waking life, from lost to found:

”The one thing that [Dostoevsky’s] negative characters share, and almost the only negativity his world view allows, is inner fixity, a sort of death-in-life, which can take on many forms and tonalities, from the broadly comic to the tragic, from the mechanical to the corpse-like… Inner movement, on the other hand, is always a condition of spiritual good, though it may also be a source of suffering, division, disharmony, in this life. What moves may always rise.”

Richard tells Hurley that they must get more dynamite or Ilana’s life will have been in vain, but Jack says the message is the dynamite is too dangerous to handle. He adds that he has promised Sun to get her off the Island, to which Richard replies that he wishes that Jack hadn’t made that promise, adding that Jack should put the blame on him for breaking it. Hurley speaks up authoritatively saying Richard is right and that it is the only choice they have, he looks Jack in the eye and asks him to trust him. After a long pause Jack agrees. After all, Hurley would never steer them in the wrong direction. It’s all about trust!

As the group treks to the Black Rock, Ben cynically says that Ilana, hand-picked by Jacob to protect the candidates, tells them who they are and then blows up. He adds that the island was done with her and he wonders what will happen when it is done with them. They arrive at the Black Rock to find Hurley running out of the ship, shouting to run. The Black Rock is destroyed.

Poof! Richard's bad memories are gone forever.

Richard demands to know why Hurley did it, to which he replies that he is protecting them. Ilana was done, and now Hurley is stepping up to the challenge. Richard storms off, and Miles also asks why he did it. Hurley says that Michael told him to, though Miles doesn’t know who he is talking about (he knows Michael but as Kevin Johnson). Hurley says he is one of the dead people who come and “yell” at him. Miles wonders why he just does whatever the dead people say, and Hurley says the dead people are more reliable than the living. Aha! It seems most of the people still living don’t really know what they should be doing, they’re blindly following one island power or another, unsure of their purpose or intent. Even Hurley is now blindly following ghost-Michael even thought it was clear he didn’t completely trust him. Plus, Miles was noticeably skeptical of Hurley’s encounters with the ghosts. He clearly hasn’t had the same experience with them.

Jacob's over there. Richard calls Hurley's bluff.

Jack suggests they should talk about it, but Hurley (falsely) says that he knows what they need to do and it is to go talk to Locke. Ben says he is trying to get them killed and Hurley points to a place in front of them, saying Jacob has told him that they have to talk to Locke. Hurley used the magic word: Jacob. Richard is disbelieving, he claims Hurley is lying because Jacob doesn’t tell people what to, yet ironically Jacob had recently given Ilana and Hurley specific instructions to carry out. Hurley approaches and, as he stands alongside Richard he says that he doesn’t have to prove anything to him, that he can either come with him or keep trying to blow stuff up. Jacob (as well as the MIB) are all about free will and not forcing anyone to do anything they don’t agree with. Which makes me think that the times Hurley thought he was talking to Jacob’s ghost was actually the MIB in disguise (giving him instructions). Richard adds that if that “thing” leaves the island, it’s over… Everything. Now I’m skeptical of what Richard says because we saw his backstory episode, and he knows about as much as we do at this point!

Richard asks for help to destroy the plane, and only Ben and Miles join him. Jack trusts Hurley and says they should talk to Locke. Sun and Lapidus join them, hence the group breaks up. With Ilana gone, the group ends up confused and in shambles.

On their hike, Sun writes a note to Frank asking whether they have made a mistake and he says "probably" (foreshadowing).

Hurley asks what they should say to Locke, Jack says not to worry because Locke will do most of the talking. Hurley admits that he didn’t see Jacob back there, which Jack already knew. He explains that ever since he got Juliet killed that all he wanted to do was to fix it.  Jack muses that the lesson of all his failed attempts at fixing things is that he really ought to “let go” (a regularly spoken phrase).

Jack makes it clear that he is going to trust Hurley about talking to Locke. And just as any trustworthy individual would do, Hurley adds that he has no idea where they are going, haha. Just then the Whispers start and Hurley runs off to speak with Michael. Hurley asks if there are others like him. Michael says they are the ones who can’t move on. Yay, an answer! Unfortunately, it sounds a lot like purgatory… Damn you, Lost writers!! So does Hurley hear only the whispering of lost souls that are relevant to his mission? And why is Michael lingering behind… Is he being held for his relevance to the island’s endgame (guiding Hurley), or truly unable to reconcile his inner demons even though he appeared to before his death on the freighter? TBD. Michael shows Hurley where Locke’s camp is, and tells him not to get himself killed. He adds if he ever does see Libby again to tell her that he is very sorry.

MIB/Locke is working on a large wooden stick, Sawyer asks him if he is fashioning a spear, but Locke says he doesn’t know…when the time is right it will tell him. This reminds me of Mr. Eko’s inscribed walking stick, reminding Locke at one point to “look to the north”.

It will tell him what it is when the time is right. Cryptic much?

Eko's stick, an appropriate reference in an episode featuring 2 of Eko's tail-section pals: Michael and Libby.

Locke explains to Sawyer and Kate that they are waiting for Hugo, Sun and Jack to join them, because just as they needed to be together to return to the island, they also need to be together in order to leave “this god-forsaken rock”…interesting choice of words, it has been forsaken by God. Kate expresses doubt about the others joining them, just as Sayid returns from his mission and asks to speak with Locke in private.

Sayid says Widmore didn’t see him but that his people did. He didn’t see the point of killing them when he had what he came for (Desmond, who is tied to a tree, and the rope is wrapped around his chest 4 times.).

Desmond, sporting RED and needlessly being held captive.

Locke apologizes for tying him up and frees him. Desmond calmly says he understands, but he has nowhere to run anyway. Locke accepts it as a good reason against captivity and cuts his bonds. He took a second to consider this, as surely he was referring to himself being held captive on an island for hundreds of years… Nowhere to run? Clearly he wants to leave the island, but by this point he has nothing left in the outside world to run TO.

Locke asks Desmond why Widmore brought him to the Island. Desmond says that he was kidnapped (brought against his will), so that question will have to be directed to Widmore; he adds that he was thrown into a wood shack and blasted with a huge amount of electromagnetism, which he knows from “experience.” Desmond, perhaps not knowing yet or just playing coy, says that the MIB is John Locke. This prompts the MIB to take him for a walk. He offers his hand to Desmond and pulls him up saying that there is something he would like to show him.

Locke asks Desmond to remind him of long it was that Desmond was in the hatch pushing the button. Desmond says three years. Reflecting that here he is, back again, Locke says that if he didn’t know better he would say the island has it in for Desmond. Desmond says that there is nothing special about him and that the Island has it in for all of them. Locke agrees, and gets distracted by a mysterious boy standing nearby. Desmond asks who it is but Locke says to ignore him. As Desmond looks at the boy, the boy catches Desmond’s gaze, smiles and runs off. The boy in this episode had dark hair (MIB?) opposed to the blond in The Substitute (Jacob?), although the 2 boys are played by the same actor. Methinks they are supposed to be the same boy; one younger, one older.

The creepy boy is back, with darker hair.

Mysterious blonde boy who appeared earlier this season, in exactly the same pose as Michael appeared to Hurley at Libby's grave in this episode.

Doc Jensen:
I thought it was the same ghost kid, but older. My theory is that the ghost kid is Jacob, and that he is changing and growing rapidly on the Island and that when he reaches adulthood Jacob will become incarnate again. The ghost kid then is a kind of ticking clock for FLocke; I think he has to accomplish whatever it is he needs to accomplish before Jacob is restored to power.

Locke leads Desmond to a well, one of several on the island. The existence of the well implies the presence or previous existence of another energy pocket in that location, just like the Swan and the Orchid. He drops a torch down and shows that it is very deep, then explains that the well is very old, that it was built by hand by people who were looking for answers. They had noticed that compass needles spun at points like this location. I think he was one of the people that dug the well looking for answers, thus became bound to the island forever.

Bad prop, guys!

But he says that digging the well did not give them answers, and that he brought Desmond to the well because Widmore is not interested in answers, that he is only interested in power and that Widmore has brought Desmond back so he could help him find what he was looking for. Desmond expresses doubt that this is the only reason Locke brought him to the well. He knows what’s coming. Locke asks Desmond why he isn’t afraid. Desmond asks what is the point of being afraid, and Locke pushes him into the well. We see in the previews for next week that he lives… whew! It seems Desmond’s island fate is to always end up in some kind of electromagnetic hole in the ground (a setup for Desmond’s coming need to time-jump and save them all). And while Locke pushes Desmond down a well, ironically Sideways Desmond runs over Locke with his car.

Doc Jensen:
You know what I loved about The Well? I can’t explain it. I literally have no idea what the hell happened there. I spent a lot of time researching the significance of Desmond getting thrown down the well. I found so many rich allusions, beginning with an Chinese folk tale called ”The Man Who Was Thrown Down A Well” that just feels so dead-on Lost and so specific to this episode that it gave me goosebumps. It tells the story of an unredeemed soul who gets unjustly thrown into a well where he encounters spirits who are trapped and yearn to move on into the afterlife. They help do his penance and become a better person, an then after three years (the same amount of time Desmond spent in The Hatch), he returns to the surface world, forgives the man who threw him into the well and fulfills his promise to the lost, trapped souls. Then again, there’s ”The Man Who Lived Underground” written by Richard Wright, a provocative existential novel whose anti-hero protagonist has a pretty irresistible Lost-esque name: Damon Cross. Then again, there’s the story of Joseph, the seer who was thrown into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery, just because they were jealous that Daddy loved him so much to give him a technicolor dream coat. Daddy’s name? Jacob. And then there are number of ancient gods who resided deep below the Earth. They were known as Chthonic deities, and they include such names as Hades, The Furies, and Iacchus, born in the Underworld and considered the ”torch bearer” of mysteries and herald of the goddess Demeter. You know how the ancients paid homage to Iacchus? By tossing a torch. And what did Fake Locke do right before he told his strange tale of mystery hunters (Dowsers?) who dug in the dirt searching for answers and finding nothing? He tossed his torch into the well.

Locke returns to the camp and tells Sayid that they don’t have to worry about Desmond anymore. Hurley walks into the camp and hesitantly calls for a truce so no one is killed. Locke gives Hurley his knife and his word. Frank, Sun and Jack then show themselves, but Locke only greets Jack and they stare at each other. Jack shows concern, Locke shows satisfaction. So by Hurley’s rash decision to go talk to the MIB instead of blowing up the plane, he unwittingly furthered the MIB’s plan to get the rest of the Candidates together, and even hand-delivered the PILOT who’s going to fly the Ajira plane home. DOH!!

MIB gains 3 Candidates and a pilot in his supergroup.

Ahh, the Man of Science vs. the Man of Faith: Round 2!

Last thought — Plato’s concept of Anamnesis could be exactly what the characters have been experiencing the last  couple weeks. It means “recollection, reminiscence”, literally “loss of forgetfulness”) is a term used in medicine, philosophy, psychoanalysis and religion first used by the Greek philosopher Plato to equate learning with remembering.

Doc Jensen:
The epiphanies produced by anamnesis bring us closer to that which Plato and pals called ”The Good.” The emotional response to these discoveries: euphoria. In Plato’s dialogues, Socrates says that knowledge recovered by anamnesis is the only knowledge worth knowing, because the knowledge connects us, or rather reconnects us, to spiritual, eternal realms. Socrates says that any other kind of knowledge doesn’t matter. Think: Charlie’s testimony of secret knowledge, his experience of consciousness-altering love — and his zealous belief that ”nothing else matters” except to gain even more of that secret knowledge and remain in the light of transcendent revelation.

Raphael's Plato

Doc Jensen:
It means to recollect or remember. But it’s a special kind of recollecting or remembering. When a doctor asks you to recall your entire medical history for the sake of compiling a complete patient history so he or she can know how to treat you, that’s anamnesis. (Think: Smokey’s psychically probing the castaways; the Others and their extensive case files on each castaway.) When Christians partake in the Eucharist, i.e. Holy Communion, the remembrance of Christ’s ”last supper” with his disciples, that’s anamnesis. Or so Wikipedia tells me. (Were Lost‘s ”Last Supper” promos meant to point us toward anamnesis?)

The Lost Supper

Next week… AWESOME preview:

The title is “The Last Recruit”. Now that the MIB has the rest of his Candidates, sounds like he’ll be off to recruit his last guy: Jin. The song from the preview was pulled from this creepy RED/BLUE-heavy Willy Wonka boat scene:

The complete Roald Dahl poem recited:

There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction they are going!
There’s no knowing where they’re rowing,
Or which way they river’s flowing!
Not a speck of light is showing,
So the danger must be growing,
For the rowers keep on rowing,
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing…

Other Charlie & the Chocolate Factory references:

  • 5 Golden Tickets in the candy bars. The Oceanic Six in the island timeline received Golden Tickets good for lifetime free flights after they were rescued.
  • One of the other ticket winners was the gluttonous overeater Augustus Gloop, while this episode was centered around Lost’s “gluttonous” golden ticket winner slash depressed overeater, Hurley.
  • The Golden Ticket winners in both stories were huge celebrities.
  • In the chocolate factory, the tour turns into a punishment for the bad children as one child after another falls victim to his or her particular vices and is removed. The MIB and Jacob appear to be exploiting the castaways’ vices as a sort of test of viability.
  • Charlie is the only child who does not misbehave throughout the factory. Seeing that he is the only one left, Wonka announces that he has “won.” He receives the entire factory and will take over the company after Wonka retires. The reason Wonka had sent out the Golden Tickets was to find a child to be his heir, as he himself has no family to carry on his work. Sound familiar? (wink wink)

There's no earthly way of knowing, which direction they are going!

Sorry this was posted so late, but thanks for sticking with me!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

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LOST EPISODE 6.11 – “HAPPILY EVER AFTER”

The end begins now! So what did we learn last night? Not space nor time nor parallel worlds could keep Desmond from his one true love, Ms. Penelope Widmore! (Awww.) But we also got a glimpse into what Sideways world actually is… A parallel universe, one in which the castaways don’t belong. They are starting to have glimpses into the lives of their island counterparts’ lives, and learning that everything that’s around them might not even be “real”… That they’re not supposed to be there, and their “happily ever after” may not exist…. Finally! Connection between the Island world and the Sideways world. Desmond is the first to travel between the two, distinguish them, and start on the road to changing things.

Desmond gets it.

Doc Jensen:
Indeed, the most intriguing possibility to come out of ”Happily Ever After” — just a smidge more intriguing that the possibility that Charles Widmore could actually be a good guy — is that the castaways might actually have a choice between happily ever afters. Wow. See, Juliet? Free will does exist on The Island, after all!

Original Timeline (2007)

Desmond wakes in an unfamiliar room and Awful Zoe explains that he has been unconscious for 3 days. She gave him a shot to wake him up. Disoriented, and in need of his constant, he starts calling out for Penny. The last he remembers, he was shot by Ben Linus as he was unloading groceries where his boat was docked and Penny was waiting for him. He tackled Ben and a fight ensued, from which he still bears the battle scars. In the hospital, Eloise and Widmore dropped by. Clearly they were scheming to get Desmond out of the hospital and back to the island. When Desmond freaks out when told he’s back on the island, he is restrained and Widmore says, “the Island isn’t done with you yet.” It was the same line that Ms. Hawking had told Desmond after he refused to take part in her Ajira 316 plan.

Widmore gets a good whack to the head... And then sports a similar gash to Sideways Jin, Sideways Desmond, and Island Sun.

When Jin asks what Desmond is doing there, Widmore asks Zoe to take him to the generator. As Zoe leads Jin outside they pass generators and capacitor equipment and major cabling as well as one large central piece of equipment shaped like a cube (the magic box).

The Hydra compound.

Upstairs in the control room of the Hydra Station preparations are underway with laptops, monitors and electrical controls, but Seamus iterates that they aren’t even close to being ready yet. As they turn the controls up to full power, a circuit fails. Seamus sends a technician — Simmons — in to check the toroidal coils, as he tells a white rabbit named Angstrom that he’s next. The rabbit’s name references Harold C. “Rabbit” Angstrom, the main character in five of John Updike’s novels. The novels follow a theme of the human themes of life, death, and redemption. Also, Ångström is a unit of length often used to measure the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation or other scales of wavelengths of light. It is named after the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström (1814 – 1874) who worked at the Stockholm Observatory in the field of astronomy. Ångström studied terrestial magnetism, light, and optical phenomena – including studying light spectrums and wave lengths of light.

John Updike novels: Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit Is Rich; Rabbit at Rest; Rabbit Remembered

In the Orchid orientation film, Dr. Edgar Halliwax talked of a how the island’s properties allow Dharma “to conduct unique experiments of both space and time”. He placed rabbit number 15 inside the “vault”, which was constructed adjacent to “negatively charged exotic particles”. He explained how the rabbit would travel 100ms ahead of four dimensional space — three consisting of space and one of time.

But back to the story, we all knows what happens next… Simmons = toast.

Ouch.

Doc Jensen:
EXTRA CREDIT! The Simmons Theory Challenge! Did you think Simmons referred to: A. John Simmons, noted philosophy professor and author of such pieces as The Lockean Theory of Rights and On The Edge of Anarchy, or B. the character Simmons from Red vs. Blue, the sci-fi animated series with Lost-esque themes and tropes (long con conflict, existentialism, ghosts, disembodied minds and spirits, electromagnetic hoo-ha) set within the world of theHalo videogame series?

Simmons = RED, Desmond is wearing RED in the island timeline.

Widmore arrives and asks Zoe whether they are ready as Desmond is dragged, struggling, in. He looks aghast at the dead man but orders Desmond to be taken inside. He says if what he has heard about Desmond is true then he will be fine. Widmore tells Desmond that once the experiment is over he will ask him to make a sacrifice. Desmond cynically asks Widmore what he knows about sacrifice and he responds that his son (Daniel) died here for the sake of the Island, that Penny hates him and that he hasn’t even met his grandson (Charlie). In other words, he gave up the love of Eloise and his children and instead focused on material wealth (hint hint…that’s where Sideways Desmond seemed to be heading). He adds that if Desmond won’t help, it will all be for nothing as everyone will be gone forever. Desmond is locked inside and tied to a chair but is unable to escape before they power up the toroidal coils. It reminded me of Jacob’s chair in the cabin. I suppose it could’ve been the same one, hmm…

Jacob's chair? And there's the toroidal coil.

Doc Jensen:
Widmore then ordered his minions to prepare Desmond for ”the test.” Zoe objected. ”The test” was supposed to take place the next day. Interesting. It’s clear that Widmore came to The Island with a timetable for how and when stuff should be going down. But for the second time in as many episodes, Team Widmore conspicuously went off-script. Last week, it was Zoe abducting Jin a couple days early, incurring Widmore’s anger. Last night, it was Widmore caving to impatience and getting guff from Zoe. (The intrigue over the proper or expected timing of events was mirrored in the episode’s Sideways storyline; more on that in a minute.) I’m wondering if these improvised decisions and seemingly rash actions will make a difference in the end — if Team Widmore’s lack of discipline will yield an unintended, perhaps unwanted result.

Jin demands to know what is happening and Widmore explains Desmond is the only person known to have survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event (when he turned the failsafe key and the hatch blew up, sending his conscious into a time-traveling world where he first encounters Mrs. Hawking… But if he’s the only one that “survived”, then is everyone else dead??) He needs to know that Desmond can do it again “or we all die”, so he orders the equipment to be turned on. The closed circuit video shows Desmond free of his binds frantically trying to escape, but Widmore pulls the switches to start the toroidal coils himself and Desmond is engulfed by the flux.

Cue the Sideways whoosh!

Doc Jensen:
My comic book-soaked brained recalled Watchmen and the story of Jon Osterman, a physicist who was accidentally locked in a room and bombarded with energy that removed the ”intrinsic field” that held his being together and became unglued… only to reconstruct himself through sheer force of disembodied will into an omniscient, omnipotent Nietzschean Ubermench capable of experiencing past, present and future all at one. He became a superman. Codename: Dr. Manhattan. The problem? He found himself stripped of his humanity, neither needing nor wanting companionship or love. The story of Dr. Manhattan should remind you of the Man In Black, who told us in ”Ab Aeterno” that his humanity had also been stripped from him, hence his smokey physique. But it should also remind you of Desmond’s Sideways story in ”Happily Ever After,” for it told us the tale of a man considered something of a super-stud by the culture, but suffering from a malaise of emotional detachment. ”Happily Ever After” broke this Humpty Dumpty apart and put him back together again.

Dr. Manhattan

Desmond

Sideways Timeline (2004)

Desmond is examining the Oceanic arrivals board (ahem, Alt-timeline mirror alert! Daniel’s reflection is later seen in Desmond’s car window.)

Desmond's own "looking glass"... How fitting that it's a fate-fulfilling Oceanic logo-emblazoned board.

The Oceanic flight schedule contains all six of the Numbers in various places. Hurley passes and tells him the baggage is at carousel 4 (a number). At the carousel Claire is struggling with her baggage and Desmond helps her. He asks whether she is expecting a boy or a girl, but she doesn’t know. He says she is braver than he as he is “not a fan of surprises”… Which is what MIB told Sawyer last week. It wasn’t the only time Desmond would be given a line previously uttered by one of the island’s two god-like power players. He offers her a lift and after she refuses he says that he bets the baby is a boy. His first premonition, which he doesn’t even realize he’s done many times in his past island life.

Desmond's encounter with the blonde girl of Charlie's dreams.

Desmond is met by George Minkowski… You know, the doomed time-traveling communications dude from the freighter. Desmond asks George (clad in sinister BLACK) to be taken to the office. George offers lovely ladies for companionship and when Desmond says he is here to work George says that that is why Desmond is the bosses right hand man and he is the driver.

A new Man in Black...

Doc Jensen:
Sideways George was an operator, too — a valet of vice, clad in sinister black. What’s your heart’s desire? He can fetch it for you. Perhaps George stands as an analog for Smokey during better days on The Island; perhaps once, Smokey functioned as Jacob’s right-hand bagman. […] Back in season 4, George Minkowski was pretty consistently referred to as ”Minkowski,” while in ”Happily Ever After” he was exclusively referred to as ”George.” Minkowski, a reference to physicist Hermann Minkowski, was a definitely a good name for an era of Lost that was keenly interested in quantum physics and spacetime. But given how much George emphasized his role as Desmond’s personal Santa Claus, I wonder if Lost was repositioning George as a reference to George Santayana, famous for a saying that now looms large here in season 6: ”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Santayana’s major philosophical work was The Life of Reason, which explored the ”phases of human progress” in various arenas. Santayana took as his project an attempt to find a way to motivate people to virtue ”without the stimulus of supernatural hopes and fears.” Apparently, he didn’t feel he succeeded. But he did place his faith that men might be motivated to selflessness by love and family. Which was exactly the theme ”Happily Ever After” took for itself, too.

Blooper alert (?) Desmond wears a wedding ring on Sideways Oceanic in the season premiere, however in this episode he is not wearing one and is clearly unattached.

I think we could be looking at a situation where the migration of consciousness from Island world to Sideways world is more than just a mind-swap. I think the combining of lives and minds and histories could create whole new people, reboots of individual timelines. Perhaps this process is volatile and ongoing. The mystery of Desmond’s peekaboo wedding ring? Perhaps his ”story” was in flux or even remains in flux until the entire matter of castaway transmigration is settled.

Glimmering little wedding band. Mistake or intended?

At the offices Desmond and Widmore greet each other warmly. Desmond looks at a sailing ship model and a super-in-your-face painting of a scale balanced with white and black rocks.

The painting... The sailboat... And lots of black and white.

Doc Jensen:

Assuming the painting means something (historically speaking, this has not always been the case), we could interpret it to mean that in the Sideways world, the opposing powers represented by Jacob and the Man In Black are balanced. I might argue that what the scale represents is the tension between the Dionysian and the Apollonian — the timeless conflict between chaos and order, passion and reason. Our aforementioned friend Nietzsche was a big fan of the Apollonian/Dionysian conflict; it formed the crux ofThe Birth of Tragedy, in which he suggested that effective, inspiring tragedy is one in which the hero of reason struggles to make sense of unreasonable fate — and loses. But in the process of the struggle, he affirms eternal values and stands as an inspiration to others. I would argue ”Happily Ever After” dramatized this idea by showing how Charlie’s seemingly meaningless tragic sacrifice three seasons ago provided an inspiring, redeeming moment for Desmond in the Sideways world.

The Birth of Tragedy

As Widmore speaks on the phone saying to “Get him arraigned and get him out of there” (Charlie). Widmore explains that his son, the musician (Daniel) wanted to combine classical music with rock (cue the Widmore eye roll) at a charity event that Mrs. Widmore (Eloise) is hosting. He says that the bassist for Driveshaft overdosed and was arrested, he asks Desmond to get him to the event otherwise Mrs. Widmore will “destroy” him… Interesting choice of words. When Desmond agrees to help Widmore is grateful that someone he trusts will do the job and adds that Desmond really has the life being free of all attachments… Ironically, Sideways Widmore is lamenting the relationships (aka the “sacrifices”) Island Widmore had to make and yearned for. It appears either life is lose-lose for him anyway. Widmore pours a 60-year-old glass of MacCutcheon’s whiskey to celebrate Desmond’s indispensability. While Island Desmond wasn’t worth the MacCutcheon’s… Sideways Widmore insists on it.

Here, have a nice glass of MacCutcheon's with me, son.

At the courthouse, Charlie walks out and Desmond introduces himself but Charlie ignores him and walks across the street into oncoming traffic (welcoming death), into a bar named Jax (paging Dr. Jack S.) The two share a pint. The moment evoked the season 3 episode ”Flashes Before Your Eyes,” when Desmond and Charlie forged their tragic rapport during an acrimonious night of drinking scotch.

Notice the "Exceptional Island Colors" sign.

Charlie asks him if he is happy, and when Desmond reels off evidence of his material success Charlie says that what he is talking about is “spectacular, consciousness altering love.” Charlie described Kate in handcuffs, and the marshal Edward Mars that was giving him the once-over and apparently knew he had drugs on him. Charlie didn’t try to kill himself as we initially thought, he was just spooked. At the exact moment he swallowed the bag of heroine, the plane hit turbulence and he choked. “I’ve seen something real. I’ve seen the truth.” Charlie had a vision. ”A woman. Blonde. Rapturously beautiful. And I know her. We’re together. It’s like we always will be. This feeling. This love. And just as I’m about to be engulfed by it…” Jack brings him back to life. Poor Charlie didn’t need to meet his demise to run into his lovely Claire, as she was on the same plane as him! Desmond says the real truth is not this vision of love but to make a choice between continuing to drink or coming with Desmond to play at the charity show. He is urged not to throw his life away. Charlie says that it didn’t seem like much of a choice (he doesn’t want this life anymore after glimpsing into the island world). He chooses the Widmore option anyway (or seemed to). Desmond says there is always a choice (fate vs. free will). Desmond did a great job of channeling the MIB in this scene: he impressed upon Charlie the idea of free will and then presented him two choices.

Charlie complies. For now. He'll exercise his free will when the timing is right.

In the car You All Everybody (does that song have any other lyrics? haha) is playing on the radio, which Charlie says was “the beginning of everything great”. Charlie says that Desmond THINKS he’s happy, and Desmond asks if he’s implying that this isn’t real (hint hint). Charlie then offered his own brand of MIB choices to Desmond: he could have a chance at the kind of epiphany Charlie had on the plane, or he could get out of the car. Desmond unwittingly makes his choice by refusing to get out of the car. Charlie grabs the steering wheel and they careen over a pier into the water.

What else is underwater in Sideways? The island. What a fitting place for Desmond to have his epiphany.

Desmond struggles to free himself and surfaces, but Charlie appears to be unconscious. His eyes suddenly open and he holds his hand up to the glass in the car window and in a flash, written on Charlie’s hand, are the all-too-familiar words NOT PENNY’S BOAT. The sound dropped out of the scene and Desmond was left staggered. He looks again and the vision has passed. Desmond gets the door open and brings Charlie to the surface. Desmond was not successful in rescuing Charlie from drowning in the original timeline, but is successful this time.

A staggering silent realization.

Doc Jensen:
‘NOT PENNY’S BOAT.” They might be the most chilling words in all of Lost lore. (Runner-up: ”We’re going to have to take the boy.” — Mr. Friendly, season 1.) When we first saw them penned in black marker on the palm of Charlie Pace’s hand in the finale of season 3, they expressed a heartbreaking discovery. Desmond Hume’s vision of escape, reunion with loved ones, and happily ever after for all the castaways was a lie at worst, plain wrong at best. Last night, a different Desmond plunged into the oceanic depths and read a different Charlie’s palm. He saw nothing at first — and then he saw everything. In a flash, Sideways Desmond Hume forged a link with his Island world doppelganger and downloaded his memory of ”NOT PENNY’S BOAT.” Yet what was a dispiriting moment for Island Desmond was full of spirit for Sideways Desmond. For him, ”NOT PENNY’S BOAT” was a call to hope; a call to faith; a call to something more hopeful than the lonely island of himself. In the gloomy shadows of a watery underworld, the Scotsman with the famous philosopher‘s name found enlightenment.

A doctor examines Desmond and asks whether he has had hallucinations; Desmond pauses and says that he’s not sure. The doctor wants to do an MRI but Desmond says he doesn’t have time and needs to find the person he was brought to the hospital with, but the doctor insists he have the MRI. He’s given a panic button and pushed inside the machine. Desmond immediately sees the vision of Charlie at the Looking Glass hatch showing the message on his palm. He then sees a glowing cavalcade of his life with Penny.

Charlie's ominous island warning, but Sideways indication of HOPE (for meeting Penny).

The OTHER Charlie... Little Charlie Hume.

Desmond, a little freaked out, pushes the button, just like his island counterpart’s job at the Swan hatch.

Desmond experiences flashes when subjected to electromagnetism. Notice the gash on his forehead, matching Sun's, Jin's, and Widmore's recent forehead boo-boo's.

Shortly after, he asks at the nurse’s desk where Charlie is… Mirroring this season’s Sawyer episode (“Recon”) when Charlie’s brother Liam was badgering a desk attendant as to Charlie’s whereabouts.

Everyone's always asking about Charlie's wherabouts 😉

He sees Jack and reintroduces himself. He starts to ask for help in finding Charlie, but just then Charlie runs down the passageway pursued by an orderly.

Could they make the BLUE in this hospital any more obvious??

Desmond gives chase and when he corners him Charlie says he is running because no one at the hospital can help him. He denies trying to kill Desmond but instead says that he was trying to show him something. Desmond wants to see his hand, and Charlie realizes that Desmond must have seen something. Desmond asks “Who is Penny?” Charlie says he is not going to perform because “none of this is real”. As he leaves, Charlie says to stop worrying about him and to start looking for Penny.

"None of this is real."

Desmond calls Widmore to say he has failed in securing Charlie for the show. Widmore says he can explain to Mrs. Widmore what happened himself. At the Widmore mansion George asks whether Desmond has met Mrs. Widmore before implying that she is a difficult person, but when Desmond introduces himself to Mrs. Widmore/Hawking she is charming and says it’s about time they met. She says her son will understand because employing rock stars means some unpredictability must come with the territory. I get the impression both Charles and Eloise hated Daniel’s idea from the beginning. Desmond asks if she is angry, Eloise says “Not at all dear, what happened, happened.

The brooch Eloise is wearing in the shape of a starburst is very similar to the mark branded on Juliet. Eloise wears two of these brooches which may symbolize the two timelines.

TWO brooches.

As he leaves Desmond hears the name “Milton, Penelope (solo)” read from a LIST of guests. Widmore apparently raised Daniel in the flash-sideways timeline, while he raised Penny in the main timeline. The last names of Daniel (Widmore or Faraday) and Penny (Milton or Widmore) reflect their different relationships (and subsequent daddy issues). The surname Milton is likely a reference to poet John Milton, author of the epic poem Paradise Lost, a 17th Century poem which deals with themes of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Wiki:
Milton incorporates Paganism, classical Greek references, and Christianity within the poem. It deals with diverse topics from marriage, politics […]and monarchy, and grapples with many difficult theological issues, including fate, predestination, the Trinity, and the introduction of sin and death into the world, as well as angels, fallen angels, Satan and the war in heaven. Milton draws on his knowledge of languages, and diverse sources — primarily Genesis, much of the New Testament, the deuterocanonical Book of Enoch, and other parts of the Old Testament. This epic is generally considered one of the greatest works in the English language.

Paradise Lost title page of the first edition (1668)

When Desmond tries to see the list Eloise intervenes sternly, and takes the list from him. She takes him aside and tells him to stop, that whatever it is that he thinks he is looking for he should stop looking for it. She says that he should not need to look for anything as he has the perfect life and has attained the thing he wanted more than anything, the approval of Charles Widmore. She adds that it is, in fact a violation. When he presses her about the list she says that he can’t see the list because he is not ready yet… Mirroring the last time his conscious time-traveled and he met with Mrs. Hawking after he turned the failsafe key in “Flashes Before Your Eyes“. Eloise definitely seemed to understand the origin, purpose, and more importantly the rules of the Sideways world. She also seemed to have knowledge or vision for what should be happening and when, and Desmond’s search for Penny threatened the implicit order. Again, we have this idea of plans and schedules being undermined by the variable of human free will.

Sidenote: Daniel is playing Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, by Frédéric Chopin, the same sheet music Jack found on David’s desk (Lighthouse“) and the same song being played by Daniel as a young boy.

Daniel Fara...er, WIDMORE.

At his limo, Desmond has a drink when a knock comes at his window. The man knows Desmond’s name and introduces himself as Daniel Widmore and says they need to talk. Desmond starts to apologize for Charlie’s absence but Daniel asks if he believes in love at first sight. Daniel tells of his encounter with a REDhead with BLUE eyes who works at the museum (Charlotte). He says when he saw her it was as if he already loved her. That night he woke and wrote in his notebook, showing Desmond the entry and explains that a mathematician friend said that these were advanced quantum mechanics equations which would need a lifetime of study to understand, even though he is a musician. In the original timeline, the young Daniel wanted to be a pianist, but was convinced by Eloise to pursue physics instead. In Sideways, Daniel achieved his ambition of being a musician, as I believe Eloise was trying to protect him from his time-traveling island death at her hand in 1977. Daniel shows Desmond the same journal page he was studying on the beach in the original timeline. Daniel was also talking to Desmond then, albeit via satellite telephone. He tries to explain to Desmond that it is like something catastrophic was about to happen and the only way to stop it was to release a huge amount of energy, such as exploding a nuclear bomb. He rhetorically asks whether this life was not meant to be our life and that there was another “life” and for some reason “we changed things.” He adds that he doesn’t need to detonate a bomb because he thinks he already has. Well, actually, he didn’t… His mother shot him, and upon realizing her fatal error, helped his friends detonate the bomb to prevent this future of son-killing from becoming reality… It appears she has succeeded, and in Dan’s Sideways childhood, she nurtured his musical talents instead of forcing him to pursue science. In young Faraday’s piano scene, he insisted he could do both. ”I can make time,” he said. Eloise sighed. ”If only you could.” And it sounds like he did — if you believe Dan’s theory.

The quantum physics ramblings of a musician.

Desmond says he doesn’t know what this has to do with him, and Daniel asks why he is looking for Penny. He doesn’t know, and describes her as an “idea” that he doesn’t even know exists, but Daniel tells him “she’s my half sister”, and fills Desmond in on when and where to find her.

Back at the stadium...

Penny is exercising in the stadium doing a tour de stade, a nice twist on the Jack-meets-Desmond scene in the season 2 premiere, ”Man of Science, Man of Faith.” In the original timeline it was Desmond training for his race around the world, an exercise devised purely to prove his worth to Widmore. Desmond watches and then approaches her and asks if she is Penny, introduces himself and offers his hand. Penny takes it and they shake hands. A lingering handshake, much like the recent allusions to making a deal with the devil, sealed with a handshake. And then Desmond’s conscious decides to take him time-traveling… And in a breathtaking segue, quick and silent, we were back on the island.

Sealing the Sideways Deal.

Original Timeline (2007)

The technicians go into the chamber and find Desmond alive. Widmore asks how he is and when Desmond asks how long he has been unconscious, he is told that only a few seconds have passed, though his conscious was gone for quite a few hours. Having passed the test, Widmore says his talent is vital to the mission and begins to explain. Desmond interrupts, states that he understands and is ready to get started. Anything to be back with Penny. I couldn’t tell if Widmore was expecting this shift in Desmond, but he certainly welcomed it.

Desmond is escorted back to their base. Desmond explains his cooperativeness by saying a lot can happen in twenty minutes. Sayid leaps out, overtakes the two escorts and points a gun at Zoe telling her to run. She does. Awesome. He tells Desmond that “these people are extremely dangerous” (despite just snapping some necks himself) and that he and Desmond need to go now. Desmond cooperatively answers, “Of course, lead the way.”

MIB's primary henchman.

Doc Jensen:
But Desmond didn’t seem to mind being abducted by Sayid — mostly because I don’t think it really affects the mission he has now given himself. In fact, hooking up with Sayid might actually expedite his mission. We got a sense of what that mission might be when the story toggled back for a coda in the Sideways world….

Sideways Timeline (2004)

Desmond revives and Penny explains that he fainted and that she must have quite an effect on him. He agrees. It is clear he is only time-traveling in consciousness, like he had before on the island. Desmond invites Penny for coffee and she says she’ll meet him in an hour. Any connection with Juliet’s dying ramblings about meeting for coffee?? The coffee shop is on Melrose and Sweetzer in LA. There is no coffee shop at that location, however, there is an antique shop called “Thanks for the Memories” (fun fact!) Desmond returns to the limo with a huge smile. George asks Desmond whether he found what he was looking for and Desmond says he did. George asks if he can get Desmond anything else and Desmond asks for the Oceanic Flight 815 manifest saying, “I need to show them something.”

The "glow" of realization.

i.e. THIS, on the brink of death (or with the aid of some strong electromagnets), you can glimpse into a very different life. All of this isn’t real, it’s designed by the MIB to entice you to stay… All the material possessions you could want. But even these are no replacement for the meaningful human relationships they left behind in their former life. So will they choose to stay, or will glimpsing to their alt-selves with Desmond’s help void Sideways world entirely… OR ensure it’s their new reality?

Doc Jensen:
I think the great work that lies ahead for Desmond will require sacrifice, as Widmore indicated, because Desmond has the most to lose. By choosing to help Widmore and his friends in whatever capacity that is required — fighting Smokey; shepherding souls — it will mean giving up the life he fought so hard to attain in the Island world. His one consolation will be that he’s seemingly assured a second chance at the same happiness in the Sideways world. […] I think Desmond’s ”talent” is to help each castaways open up a psychic channel for the crossing to occur. That means that Sideways Desmond has to work his people and Island Desmond has to work his people. And I think both iterations of the individual has to agree to create the channel. If Sideways Jack doesn’t want to merge with Island Jack, is isn’t going to happen.

Next week: Hurley! And he’s visiting Libby’s grave. Maybe we’ll finally find out what she was doing in the mental institution, haha… The episode is titled “Everybody Loves Hugo”, mirroring season 1’s original timeline episode “Everybody Hates Hugo”.

AND… It was just announced that the Lost series finale on May 23rd will be a FIVE HOUR EVENT… Too much Lost you say? Never. Hehe.

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Jen / desmondismyconstant

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