LOST EPISODE 6.15 – “ACROSS THE SEA”

"For an episode that many fans allegedly disliked, “Across The Sea” has inspired some of the most spirited and thought-provoking commentary I’ve ever seen from Lost fandom." --Doc Jensen (And I couldn't agree more!)

Well, we finally got the history between Jacob and his twin brother, “He Who Shall Remain Nameless!” The story played out in one continuous narrative, à la the “Ricardos” episode earlier this season. The story was both mystical and intriguing, as it painted the forces of “good” (Jacob and his mother) as somewhat malevolent and prone to dabbling in the dark side from time to time… See Mother killing Claudia with a rock as soon as the twins were born, bashing MIB’s head against the cave wall, killing his people and burning their camp to the ground, as well as Jacob killing the MIB (sending him downstream to a fate he knew only as worse than death), and thus he himself creating the island’s resident killing machine, the Smoke Monster. The side that has long been associated with good, white, lightness, God, benevolence, etc. has had its image tarnished. And I thought that point of view was intriguing.

Doc Jensen:
”Across The Sea” promised oodles of noodle-cooking Island mythology, and we got just that — which is to say, a yarn that played like myth, albeit with a mean deconstructive streak. You got the sense that the drama that unfolded in this hour left some indelible grooves on the psychography of the living Island, laying track for all future drama to follow. Did the Mother/Jacob/Man In Black drama curse this world like the Biblical fall of man? Did this tragic trio doom future Island visitors to suffer through adaptations of their same sad story? So many shared elements. Shipwrecked castaways. A deadly first encounter with a supernatural Island entity. ”Special” children and child abduction. Ghosts. Suspicion and conflict with Others. Mystery boxes and games. The war between faith and reason. Betrayal and murder. Does the current iteration of this repeating myth involving Jack, Kate, Sawyer, and the rest of the surviving Oceanic 815 lot represent one more manifestation of the cycle that will continue forever and ever, Amen? Or is the great twist of the entire Lost saga is that everyone, friend or foe — from the castaways to Fake Locke to Dead Jacob — are actually striving toward the same end from different angles: reversing the curse; breaking the chain; cleaning the slate; reboot. We shall see.

Ancient Roman (?) Times

Claudia washed ashore approximately 2,000 years before the crash of Flight 815. She is immediately shown with a billowing RED dress, and heavily pregnant. She is now the 3rd woman to arrive on the island with an advanced pregnancy (Claire and Rousseau are the other two). She immediately finds a stream to have a drink of water, and in the reflection (how very Sideways world) of the water she sees a woman. They first converse in Latin, then switch to English, but as Claudia’s questions get too numerous, the woman tells her to get some rest. ”Every question I answer will simply lead to another question.’‘ I’m sure a lot of us would agree that’s the overarching theme of LOST, a source of much intrigue and frustration over the last 6 years… Probably the reason I’m writing and you’re reading this blog in the first place! (wink wink)

But Claudia quickly goes into labor. Jacob is born first, quiet and swaddled in a WHITE cloth. Claudia has chosen his name, and decides on it definitively. And then came the unexpected twin, the Baby in Black! Born agitated and restless, he is is swaddled in a BLACK cloth while his mother, stumped, says she has only chosen one name. But she doesn’t have time to decide on one, as the woman says “I’m sorry” and kills Claudia with a rock. Brutal!

Content Jacob, restless Baby in Black.

It is unclear as the story unfolds if the Baby in Black was ever given a name, as he is always referred to with pet names (“My Love”, “Brother”) and personal pronouns. Previously, Ben stated that “[they] don’t even have a word” for the Smoke Monster. Now we learn that he is literally nameless.

Doc Jensen:
We’ve been told repeatedly that names mean something on Lost. So what does a mean for a life to be denied a name? It suggests to me a life without meaning or challenged by meaninglessness — fitting, given the life in question was destined to lose his humanity and decohere into polymorphic smoke. Still, I’m going to say that Mother did give the Babe In Black a name and Lost decided to keep it from us to keep the character something of a blank slate for us to project ideas upon.

Thirteen Years Later

The Boy in Black (here on out, known as BIB!) finds an ancient Egyptian game on the beach called Senet, which is the oldest known board game in the world. Senet boards were often placed in the grave alongside other useful objects for the dangerous journey through the afterlife. For the BIB, the Senet box was exciting and exotic — proof of the “something more” from across the sea that Mother said did not exist.

Senet. Note that this is the same black beaded bracelet that Sideways Sawyer wears in his desk at the police station.

The BIB says he “just knows” how to play, and makes Jacob promise not to tell Mother they found it. However Jacob immediately tells Mother about the game, because as she says, Jacob “doesn’t know how to lie.”

I think this was a really important line for the show because it confirms that everything Jacob has ever said has been the TRUTH. And as she was comparing the two boys, one would assume that she mentioned this because the BIB does tell lies. She refers to his qualities as “special.” Besides being deceitful, he exhibits special insight such as intuitively knowing the rules to Senet, predicting the weather, and knowing that the wheel mechanism will help him leave the island. She tells the BIB she left the game for him to find, which I am not buying. It washed ashore, and saying it was her doing was damage control to keep him from thinking there was somewhere else to go.

He questions what is out across the sea (she says nothing), he asks what dead means (she says something he’ll never have to worry about). Interesting. At this point, she was hoping the BIB would take her place as island guardian. But as she herself AND Jacob can attest to… The island’s guardian is a mortal that may have stopped aging naturally, but can be killed. She knew her own death was imminent… So why wouldn’t he have to worry about death?

The boys chase a boar, but it is killed by three unknown hunters. They demand an explanation of the Others from Mother, and she says they’re not like them, “we are here for a reason.” (Sounds a lot like the original John Locke.) She tells them the Others are dangerous because “they come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt and it always ends the same.” (Sounds a lot like the MIB on the beach.) She tells the boys that she has made it so they can never hurt each other. So SHE is the reason they can’t kill each other, but they can urge others to kill them on their own free will.

The boys being led blindfolded...

They arrive blindfolded at the cave of light, The Source. The BIB says that it is beautiful, she agrees and tells them that a little bit of the same light that is in the cave is inside every man but that people always want more. Mother says that while the other people can’t take the light, they might try and if the light goes out here it goes out everywhere. I think this is exactly what will (or will attempt to) happen in the final act of the series… Widmore and others have come to take more of the light. They can try to possess it, but attempting to do so will put it out. If it goes out here, Sideways world (where the inactive island lies at the bottom of the ocean), will be the consequence: putting out the light of the world. But the Sideways characters are connecting with their island world counterparts… Does this mean the light can be put out, but not for good? She has protected the place but when she no longer can then it will have to be one of the twins who protects it.

The Source, bathed in light. But the light also harbors the darkness of the world, aka Smokey.

”I suddenly realized that in the language, or at any rate in the spirit of the Glass Bead Game, everything actually was all-meaningful, that every symbol and combination of symbols led not hither and yon, not to single examples, experiments, and proofs, but into the center, the mystery and innermost heart of the world, into primal knowledge. Every transition from major to minor in a sonata, every transformation of a myth or a religious cult, every classical or artistic formulation was, I realized in that flashing moment, if seen with truly a meditative mind, nothing but a direct route into the interior of the cosmic mystery, where in the alternation between inhaling and exhaling, between heaven and earth, between Yin and Yang, holiness is forever being created.” — Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

Some time later, the boys are again playing Senet, and the BIB tells Jacob that he can’t make a move because it is against the rules. He says that one day Jacob can make up his own game and then everyone will have to follow his rules.

Doc Jensen:
BIB took delight in his power… but in that moment, I was reminded of the scene in ”The Substitute,” when Ghost Jacob stood over Fake Locke and reminded him of the rules of his game, and Fake Locke raged: ”Don’t tell me what I can’t do!” Turnabout’s a bitch, ain’t it, Nameless? The bottom line is that there is no bottom line when it comes ”the rules.” ”The rules” are, for the most part, pure whimsy — an expression of the unique interests and will of The Island’s guardian. They are arbitrary inventions of The Island’s custodian. And I suspect he or she can reinvent them any time he or she wants. I am reminded of the scene in season 4, when Keamy assassinated Alex and Ben said, ”He changed the rules.” I always thought Ben was referring to Charles Widmore. But after ”Across The Sea,” I’m thinking that Ben was talking about Jacob.

The game is interrupted by the BIB’s vision of Claudia in the jungle. Notably, Jacob can’t see her. BIB abruptly leaves to follow her. She reveals she is his real mother, and she was killed by Mother. Enraged, he wakes Jacob in the middle of the night and tries to persuade him to go to the Others’ camp. The boys fight, and the BIB leaves while Jacob stays behind with Mother.

Thirty Years Later

Jacob's weaving, in Candidate BLUE.

Jacob finishes a piece of cloth, and leaves for the other side of the island to visit his brother for a game of Senet. The MIB says Jacob is mistaken about his people seeming to be good since he is “looking down from above”, and crazy Mother was right — these people are BAD (the irony of his own greedy-manipulative-untrustworthy-selfishness went unacknowledged) — but he needs them to leave the island, they are merely a means to an end. He wildly throws his dagger at a well they’ve been working on, and it is magnetically pulled to the wall. This illustrates his method of leaving. Jacob insists on staying, as the island is his home. The dagger is the same one the MIB gave Richard to kill Jacob, Dogan gave Sayid to kill the MIB, and the MIB used to kill Mother.

Electromagnetism.

Doc Jensen:
”She’s never going to die!” MIB: ”Jacob! Everything dies!” This was a provocative exchange, and it made me wonder how much of this conflict is relevant to the castaway drama. Smokey’s conspiracy to kill the candidates is also a means to an end. But I wonder if the villain uses Jacob’s unhealthy denial of death to rationalize his evil. This could be Smokey’s defense: Jacob’s touchy-feeling tampering and his idealistic redemption schemes have undermined castaway free will and kept them alive longer than what is right and proper. Seen from this point of view, MIB’s assassinations are more like mercy killings and affirmations of the natural order of things. I’m not excusing MIB’s actions. But if my assessment of Jacob is correct, I think MIB’s critique is valid.

Jacob tattles to Mother about the MIB’s intentions, so she pays him a visit while he’s working down in the well. When she first arrives, she is bathed in light but he is tinkering in the darkness. She wonders how he knows that constructing a wheel mechanism will work (and does not deny that it WILL work), and he says he knows because he’s “special”. She feigns a goodbye hug, knocks his head against the wall, then kills the rest of the Others and burns their camp to the ground. The well is filled in, and the MIB is enraged. We know that the wheel chamber does eventually get built… So I’m thinking Smokey finished the job after taking the MIB’s body.

Early stages of the donkey wheel.

A very upset MIB with his hopes dashed, his livelihood in flames around him. A tragic aftermath of epic Smokey proportions, in fact! Just what WAS Mother... something of a smoke monster herself, perhaps?

Sure now that the MIB is not the chosen one, she takes Jacob to the cave of light and as she says, “You’re going to protect it now,” she symbolically passes her torch to him. Although she first asks Jacob to choose to protect the Source, Mother finally tells him he really doesn’t “have a choice.” She adds that she realizes “it was always” meant to be Jacob who would replace her (therefore cementing his fate regardless of his free will). In a ceremonial display, she makes him the island’s guardian. Drinking wine from the chalice and her incantation were almost exactly like the Catholic Holy Communion. With that, they were “the same”. Jacob asks what is in the cave, and she replies: Life, death, rebirth; it’s the source, the heart of the island.” To go down there would “be so much worse than dying.” (umm, yeah…you get Smokified! i.e. forever bound to the island, your immortal soul gets severed from your mortal body, and you are held captive for all eternity.) She tells him “It’s going to be you,” sensing that her death is approaching; Sayid says the same thing to Jack after telling him to rescue Desmond just before the C4 explodes. Hint, hint.

Doc Jensen:
Jacob tried to fight her on it. He called her out on preferring MIB over him. ”You wanted it to be him,” Jacob barked. ”But now I’m all you have!” Mother tried to convince him otherwise. She said if she had been grooming MIB for the job, she had come to realize she was wrong and that Jacob was always supposed to have the job. I don’t know if I believed her. I think at best, she was pulling an Obi Wan and telling the truth ”from a certain point of view.” I think she always saw her boys as a means to an end; she just didn’t know which one was going to play which part. I truly believe she wanted one of them to become The Island’s guardian — but I also think she wanted one of them to put her out of her misery. That misery? Loneliness. Madness. The endless dead end job of being Island guardian. Or maybe, just maybe, the fate-worse-than-death damnation of being a smoke monster. (!)

"It's going to be you."

When they arrive back, Mother finds the camp wrecked, says a “storm is coming”, and sends Jacob off for firewood. She finds the Senet pieces, and as she lifts the black piece, she is stabbed through the chest with the MIB’s ancient dagger. With tears in his eyes, he asks why he is not aloud to leave, and she says, “Because I love you… Thank you.” Sooo… Was he able to physically leave, but she just wanted to keep him there? And by killing her, and incurring Jacob’s revengeful wrath, did he cement his own unwanted fate of being forever bound to the island as Smokey? Very interesting… Mother was also killed per the same instructions we’ve heard given before — “Kill [the Monster] before [he] has a chance to speak… [He] can be very persuasive.”

Doc Jensen:
With her dying breath, she thanked the son she loved the most, the one that was most like her, the ”special” one with the angry spirit — the dreamer; the gamer; the liar; the cynic — for stabbing her in the back and through the heart. Were the boys nothing but an escape plan? Did she raise one to take her job and the other to take her life? Is this the way The Island works?

Backstabbed, and grateful.

Jacob discovers the MIB hovering over Mother’s dead body, and in a rage drags the MIB through the jungle to the cave of light. Production note: Titus Welliver (the MIB) broke 2 fingers in this scene because of Mark Pellegrino (Jacob)’s rough dragging. Jacob says he has no intention of killing him. Nope, worse than death in fact! The MIB is thrown into the stream, hitting his head on a rock…as he enters, the light goes out, and Smokey emerges. As does the MIB’s dead body. Makes me think that Smokey wouldn’t have been able to take the MIB’s form if he was alive when he entered the cave. That little unintended accident had very unfortunate consequences for both of them…

Smokey is born. And after Mother's peculiar and Smokey-esque story, we're left to wonder, does anyone who go down the chute to the Source emerge as a smoke monster? Are we dealing with multiples?

And just as Room 23’s brainwashing slideshow predicted, Jacob’s actions produced a major cause of his own suffering for many years to come.

That fateful day, Jacob (avenging his Mother's death), tossed the MIB down to the Source, and Smokey emerged to haunt the island's protector for more than a century.

As the MIB is laid to rest by his regretful brother, we get a big answer! The Adam + Eve skeletons were actually the MIB and Mother. The black and white rocks were their Senet game pieces. Jacob placed them next to each other and had them hold hands. On September 28, 2004, Jack and Kate discover the bodies at the caves, hides the rocks in his pocket (is this important?), and Locke comments that they’re our “very own Adam and Eve.” In the original scene, Jack says that judging by their clothing, they’re about 40 or 50 years old. But the likelihood of any clothes surviving unprotected in a tropical environment for 1500 years is nil. Details, details!

Admittedly, I was slightly let down by this revelation… I was hoping that either (A) it was Rose and Bernard, or (B) Hurley was right when he speculated that it was them, and they died here while time traveling. Though, upon further consideration, I suppose the fact that it was NEITHER of the options I was expecting, I’m glad the show can still keep me on my toes, haha…

The original Adam + Eve skeletons discovery.

Overall, we learned in this episode that the MIB seems to subscribe to a scientific worldview, associating with men who want to use technology to harness the power of the Source. Jacob faithfully follows his mother’s teachings. This makes the MIB the “man of science” and Jacob the “man of faith.” However, in a twist of irony, the MIB eventually assumes the form of John Locke, the “man of faith.”

I’m still in shock that the finale is less than a week away!!! Excited, sad, nervous, etc… Up next, the 2nd-to-last episode, the setup for the story’s endgame: “What They Died For.”

Thanks for reading!

Jen / desmondismyconstant

Share/Bookmark//

Advertisements


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

Share/Bookmark



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.

Thanks for reading! Share and comment.

Jen / desmondismyconstant

Share/Bookmark