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 6.15 – “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

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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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