Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Lost" Season 3 Episode 8 - Flashes Before Your Eyes

WOA!!! (yeah not just WOW this week, it's a WOA week!) Now that was one crazy episode! Where do we even begin talking about it? Well let's ease into it. Let's ask this question first. Is anyone still doubting the power of LOST? I'm sure there will be complainers that this episode dealt primarily with a season 2 addition and to top it off, it was mostly OFF the island (well...sorta!). But on the flipside, Desmond has been a fan favorite ever since we saw him riding his bike in the hatch to "Make Your Own Kind of Music." And his backstory seems to have some major relevance on the overarching mythology of LOST with Penny and Charles Widmore. Others may complain that we didn't see Jack or Kate and Sawyer.....well these were the same people complaining that we didn't see anyone else on back at the beach. I'd like to consider this the passing of time as Sawyer and Kate travel back to the beach, and time away from the OTHERS (while possibly meeting MORE others). Of course, the non-stop season of LOST should help lessen the complaints, until we run out of episodes in May again! But me? I LOVED the episode! It totally blew me away mentally, but in a good way! The wheels are turning again folks!

Well let's get into it! Watch the episode again or read recap if you want at (I still don't know why I keep doing this! Just seems out of habit these days!)

Okay, well last night was definitely an episode that requires discussion, so I expect all of your feedback after this one. Obviously, I haven't got it all figured out but I will share with you my thoughts as I was watching the episode, and discussions I had after the episode that made me see the episode in a whole different way.

Plot Synopsis

Basically, Desmond has another vision on the island and rescues Claire from drowning, meanwhile pushing Charlie aside at every change he gets. We are reminded of him knowing about Locke's Speech before it happened and about him knowing about the lightning that struck Clarie and Charlie's tent. Charlie and Hurley go on a mission to get Desmond drunk and ultimately get him to spill the beans on his new found skill of premonitions. From here on out we get what seems to be a flashback of when Desmond turned the key in the hatch. We are taken off of the island and into Desmond's Past. Another flashback episode....hmmm but there's a twist! Desmond feels like he's been there before and has brief flashes of another life (ON THE ISLAND!!! woaaaaa!!!). By the end of the episode Desmond tells Charlie that he saw his life flash before his eyes, how the flashes never stopped when he caught up to the present day, and that he has been trying to save CHARLIE from certain doom (the lightning struck him originally and Charlie originally drowned by trying to save Claire). Hints of Groundhog Day, Quantum Leap and Final Destination (AGAIN!!) ensue! Now let's discuss some theories of what happened! Then we'll get into some crazy easter eggs.

Well there are a few different ways you could've looked at Desmond's "experience" (for lack of a better word). Let's try and make some sense of it:

  • Desmond never left the island. It's all in his head and someone is meddling with his mind - I just assumed that this is what was going on. Based on all of the crazy visions everyone has been having on the Island. There is clearly something messing with all of their heads. We've seen dead people come to life on the island, many of the survivors have had very vivid dreams or visions. But never have we seen someone that traveled back into his own flashback. So it might just explain more of the island's power....especially with the introduction to MITTELOS (LOST TIME) last week.
  • Desmond turning the key ACTUALLY made him travel through time and get to relive his life. - I just don't know if I can get onboard with this one, but it does suggest some intriguing possibilities. If Desmond actually DID go back, did he return to the island once Jimmy knocked him out? Was this the universe course correcting itself because he was going to tell Penny how he really felt? Why wouldn't he just wake up after being knocked out and then go tell Penny? Why wouldn't everything play out until he got back to the island again? How would the island bring him back if he actually traveled through time? Or what if he DIDN'T return to the island at that exact point; and the producers are just saving room for more flashbacks? Could this lead to why Desmond told Jack "See you in another Life" at the stadium in Jack's season 2 flashback? Maybe Desmond had a future flash of Jack on the island before he even met him?

    Drives the mind a little nuts doesn't it? Time Travel will do that! It's a risky subject in the movies and on tv because there are so many chances to screw it up! But the dork in me (which is a lot of me) loves the possibility!

Obviously Desmond is seeing flashes of the future for some reason. Is it because he already lived it? Or is it because someone/something or the island has already seen it? Or is someone causing these flashes to occur like the visions Locke, Eko and Charlie have seen? It might not even be the real future that Desmond is seeing, just what he THINKS the real future is. And maybe that is what's important for now.

But what's up with the Old Lady in his "flashback?" She seemed to have a lot of knowledge on what DESMOND did do in his original past, and what his destiny is. Her purpose seemed to be to drill into Desmond's head that he can't change his or anyone else's destiny as the universe will course correct itself until it gets his way (Predestination, good times). Desmond's destiny is to save the world by pushing the button and then being forced to turn the safekey. She also implied that this is the "GREATEST THING he will ever accomplish" and that "WE ALL" will die if he doesn't push the button. So was that the entire world? or just "WE ALL" on the island?

Desmond even refers to his subconscious and that she's really not there. Was she there in the original past? ARrrrgh my head is spinning! Anyway, the Old Lady had a very "ORACLE/Architect meets NEO in the MATRIX" type of discussion with Desmond. And she drilled into his head that he cannot change what he is destined to become. Just like she couldn't stop the man with the red shoes from dying (more on him in a second), Desmond cannot avoid is island destiny. So 2 weeks in a row we get the Final Destination shout outs. I really hope they aren't turning LOST into a lousy Teen Horror flick!

(Tons of Clocks in this store. TIME (tick) TIME (tock) TIME (tick) TIME (tock))

Alright, I think it seems like I'm all over the place. It's probably because I am! Fantastic episode, but too many questions and too many possibilities to make any sense of it!

Desmond's Flashback (What we learned happened in his past)

Thought it would be interesting to try and capture what ACTUALLY happened in Desmond's past

  • Desmond tried to win over Penny's father in order to marry her. But with his lack of education and military background Charles Widmore found Desmond to be not worthy. This seems to have caused Desmond to join the military and then eventually be dishonorably discharged (for what we've yet to see)
  • Desmond originally went ring shopping, but then did not buy a ring to give to Penny. In this alternate version, he TOOK the ring.....but STILL didn't propose (universe course correcting itself?)
  • We learned how the infamous picture of Penny and Desmond was taken. We all tried to guess where that picture was taken, and it was just a backdrop of a marina that they chose for a quick picture.

Other Stuff:

In no particular order, I noticed the following things and thought I'd share:

  • Clock in Desmond's "FLAT" said 1:08
  • Sarah McLaughlin's "Building a Mystery" plays while Desmond looks around confused in his apartment. Touche' writers....touche'
  • Delivery man said "Delivery for 815"
  • Painting in Charles Widmore's office had Polar Bear, Buddha Statue (from the brainwashing film) and a message written semi-backwards (would be front ways in a mirror),"NAMASTE" (Dharma Guy loves saying it). From this can we conclude that Widmore is backing island activities? Or are we in a mirrored past that only RESEMBLES what Desmond actually went through?
  • Old Lady points out Guy with Red Shoes - and then he gets smashed by a building....kinda like Dorothy's house came down on the Wicked Witch of the East and her red shoes. LOST loves its Wizard of Oz references. Apparently Kelvin wore the same Red Shoes as well. I can't confirm this right now. Heard it on the radio this morning.
  • Hurley: Desmondo!
  • Charlie was in the "flashback" - does that mean he was there the first time too? He sang a clip from Oasis's "Wonderwall" conveniently the lyrics say "Maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me" Nice foreshadowing! Also, Charlie's Middle name is Hieronymus.

    From Wikipedia:
    "Hieronymus Bosch, (latinized; also Jeroen
    Bosch or his real name Jeroen van Aken) (c.
    1450 – August, 1516) was a prolific Dutch painter of the
    15th and 16th centuries. Many of
    his works
    sin and human moral failings.
  • "Make your own kind of music" plays 2 times in "flashback." This song will always remind you of Desmond any time you hear it, won't it? Any other relevance to them using the song again? Beats me.
  • Desmond found his book after the hatch implosion. The one he wants to read before he dies. (and the name is escaping me right now. I'll fill it in later if I feel like it!)
  • During the Soccer games if you take a closer look at the ads on the wall, you'll see OCEANIC, Hanso Foundation, Buddies Diapers (Charlie Commercial), Apollo Candy Bars, Mr. Cluck's chicken shack, Kronos (reference to time), etc... All LOST related corporations
  • Hurley is found reading "Laughter in the Dark" by Vladimir Nabokov and John Banville.

Okay, so what's the bottom line? Do we think Charlie is destined to die now? Does this upset anyone? I think it'll be pretty hard to get rid of his character at this juncture. There is still that storyline hanging out there of him abducting Sun, plus he's CHARLIE! He's Merry from Lord of the Rings! You can't just kill him! He is bloody DRIVESHAFT! That is why I believe this whole Desmond thing is all a manifestation in his head and that their future is not predestined. (Except that they were all destined to be on that island). Of course, we don't know WHEN said death of Charlie would occur. It could be next episode, it could be next year, it could be 50 years from now.

Other bottom line? This Old Lady is probably a character we're going to get to know a bit better. Looks like we see her talking to Jack in next week's episode...ON THE ISLAND. Can it be a coincidence that Desmond had some kind of crazy vision with her in it too? Just a lot of uncertainties.....but this is when LOST works best. When people CARE about the confusion that the show causes! This episode stands up to some of the greatest from season 1 that simply just boggled the mind at the time.

I'm going to keep racking my brain on this one and may come up with a totally new theory, but this is where I stand for now. Anyone else want to share their thoughts? Please do! I'm going crazy over here!

I also apologize at the lateness of this blog, but I did give you advanced warning last week. This is probably a more realistic time to expect them in the future. Until you readers start coughing up some money, I'm going to have to put my day job first! Hope you enjoyed the read and see you next week!


Mike V. said...

Looks like I was pretty lazy on this one. Here's more info from ROB...thanks man!

"Ms Hawking ( the jewler) " aka the old lady"
Her last name is the same as that of the physicist Stephen Hawking, who wrote A Brief History of Time, the book seen being read by Aldo in "Not in Portland". –
It seems as though the writers are showing the Time and space/ Black Hole easter eggs down our throats.
She was wearing The Ouroboros pin - an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. It has been used to represent many things over the ages, but it most generally symbolizes ideas of cyclicality, primordial unity, or the vicious circle.

The actress was also in the movie "The Others".
The Painting in Charles Widmore's office has the word "Namaste" backwards, along with a polar bear and a picture of an upside down buddha statue. This painting was displayed as if it was to Desmond's right, and he was sitting to Widmore's right in the room with a chair between him and the painting, but in both the wide shots and the later close-up where he turns to the right to see the boat model, we can see that he was sitting to Widmore's left, and the chair was on his other side. Also, the painting was not there. In a reverse angle wide, there was an unidentifiable painting on the other side of the room, which may have been the 'Namaste' painting.
More on Namaste :
Namaste is a reverential Hindi salutation frequently accompanied by a pressing together of the palms at the chest and a slight bow. It is commonly used in yogic practice. Translations range from the more literal "I humble myself to you" to the more poetic "May the good in me honor the good in you" and "My spirit bows to your spirit." Conceptually, speaking "namaste" pays homage to the inner light in all living things
Side note on " Desomnds book"- which mirrors His relation ship with Penny and Kaleb from the OC
Our Mutual Friend is the last completed novel written by Charles Dickens. The book is largely believed to be the most challenging that Dickens produced and is known for the seemingly rushed ending.
The novel is about the son of a tycoon who must marry a specific woman to inherit his father's fortune. He shuns this, leaves, and is presumed drowned which is untrue. He returns under a new identity, gets hired at a company related to his father, marries the same woman on his own merit, not on his father's riches, and only afterwards, assumes his original identity and inherits his fortune."

Anonymous said...

Why do people keep referring to history and old symbols? They can't have any relevance coz more people don't know what they mean as opposed to knowing what they mean. Hope that makes sense! Lol

Loved this bit...

plus he's CHARLIE! He's Merry from Lord of the Rings! You can't just kill him! He is bloody DRIVESHAFT!


Miles Balzard said...

I'm a flat out hetero guy, but I gotta say Desmond damn near charmed the pants off of me in this episode. To be honest, I didn't even miss Jack. Funny how THE hero character rubs me just a little in the wrong way, even as I like him and respect him.

The time travel aspect has been dancing around the edges of this show from the beginning, and whether it really happened or was all just a dream doesn't matter. It was such a joy to see the Jewelry Store Lady just lay it all out in crystal clear fashion to the utterly befuddled Desmond.

C'mon, Charlie ain't gonna die, but it's fun to watch him sweat. I'm sure the show will figure out a clean way for Charlie to exorcise himself of this apparent curse. He's too Davy-Jones cute to do away with!

This was one of my favorite episodes as well, Mike. But man I can't keep up with all the speculative theorizing, and you say it's only gonna get worse with all the commentary rollin' in later this season?? Oh my! ...But it is fun!

You know, the main reason I don't ask a ton of plot questions or birth a dozen bizarre theories is because YOU do most of the appropriate asking and theorizing in your recap! I mean, what else can I say after you slice and dice the episode into neat little cubes? Job well done, Mr. Lostie.

Mike V. said...

Yeah....Desmond episodes are truly the best. His relationship with Penny became one of the greatest love stories of the show even though their screen time was really not that high. This was a great Desmond episode, but his best is yet to come! (that's all I'll say for now) does kinda matter. Not too long after this episode on the podcast Damon and Carlton stated that Desmond actually did relive his experiences. He did travel through time. There wasn't meant to be any ambiguity. But yes, Mrs. Hawking was awesome.

At the time of LOST airing, we though Dominic Monaghan wouldn't die because he was a popular character from Lord of the Rings. Now we're going way back to Davy Jones cute? lol Anyway, obviously I won't comment either way on if you're right!

Yes absolutely, when you get to around episode 17 or 18 of this season (maybe later..definitely before the finale), you're going to see the internet explode and the blog get discovered. It only snowballs from there. Every season the blog got bigger and bigger and the comment threads got longer and longer. I don't think you're going to be able to read it all! But scanning is recommended to see how crazy the fandom was. The funny thing ridiculous as things got here, we had a lot of intelligent discussions. It was definitely fun!

Thanks for the props Miles. I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

My goodness this was an awesome episode! I've liked Desmond from the get go.. but even more after this! You can just sink your teeth in to his storyline, and you gotta love his character!

Loving the blog so far, Mike! You have done an amazing job. I hope I am able to keep up with all the comments, as it sounds like it's only a matter of time before this place explodes with newcomers! :D This has been such a fun series to watch. Binge-watching is nice, but I have to take a break every now and then and process what just happened. Anyways, just wanted to let you know I'm loving LOST !! Awesome show.

Mike V. said...

Desmond is a favorite of mine as is this episode! Glad you're enjoying the blog! You're probably about 10 or 11 episodes away from the mass arrival of commenters and then it just grows exponentially throughout the rest of the show.

Binging LOST is certainly addictive, but I'm kinda glad I got to take my time through it the first time to go through Internet/Watercooler phenomenon of discussing the show with everyone. It was a unique experience! But on rematches? The binging is great!!

Glad you're enjoying the show and thanks for dropping in to comment again!

Lesley Anne Brown said...

A lot of people from the UK criticised this episode for the unrealistic view of London. Maybe I gave the writers too much credit but for me London was so Disneyfied that I thought it was deliberate so that we would wonder if Desmond was dreaming or if it was a genuine flashback.

Mike V. said...

I never really thought about London not looking real, but I really did love this episode! It's one of the ones that when I think about it it makes me want to go back (hmmm...thinking of a quote that I'm not supposed to talk about here lol) and watch it all again. I know in a future episode they actually were in London when they filmed it. But this one yeah...was probably a lot of green screen or just making something in Hawaii look like London.

Lesley Anne Brown said...

So glad you replied. I didn't think you would see my comment after all this time. I'm in the middle of season 5 now and always read your blog after each episode. The power of lost is such that my husband is hooked. He rarely stays awake when the TV is on yet he is the one wanting me to put another episode on.! Thanks for filling in some of the info I miss.

Mike V. said...

Absolutely! Glad you’re enjoying! And yeah I get notified when people comment so I still try to keep up! :)

Ahmed Jeager said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon Sandiford said...

This episode for me was good at making me think back to earlier scenes like when we first see Desmond (but surely by 3rd time he would know that Locke was not a threat?)... And yes the "see you in another life" when he said it to Jack in the stadium and to Locke in the hatch makes it clear he knows what is going on... So why bother trying to save Charlie, or is he testing the logic?

So that leads me to the next point... Hurley and the numbers and his friend Dave... We had been led to believe through the obvious Dave being his subconscious and that he was relapsing to his mental home state... It was more obvious here as we got the mental health backstory... But we know Linby was also a resident there... Is everyone really part of this or a network of these mental homes and their sub consciouses are playing out in a joint effort thanks to some experimental work to see if you can influence people's minds... Reminds me of the Black Mirror episode - which was amazing if you have not seen it called San Junipero and how they played out their lives (no spoilers in case you have not seen it) but similar logic fits reasonably here.

The fake London was funny but my only thought was that Charlie was being as Manc as possible by singing Oasis (probably one of the most famous Manchetser bands) and later the island used what I have always taken to be a Manchester expression for drunk "wankered"... Does anyone else know the word (especially in the US) or is it much more widespread than I imagined?

Simon Sandiford said...

Whoops made some typos in the above... Hope it still makes sense. I'm writing comments on my phone after watching the episode so am rushing what I am writing so as not to forget the next p point! Despite that I did miss one... I actually made a note straight after the opening section before the Lost logo comes on after a couple of mins... But then Hurley spoilt it by pointing it all out to Desmond and he then went on to explain it! This is what I noted at the time anyway 😀

He sees the future.... Well not based on that, as all he saw was the present despite being out of sight and sound of Claire. The future was her being rescued. Unless he sees the darkest timeline of the future where she is having her funeral having drowned, but then how would he know it was happening right then. This led me to remember the Community episodes where Abed would choose the darkest timeline and the show would replay scenes using that logic... Seemed like something similar could be going on!

Simon Sandiford said...

Just though of more things I wanted to share just before I start episode 9... My wife wanted to know what I was watching for hours after she goes to bed and I get the TV at last... And she said that she watched the 1st two series of Lost but when it went weird she stopped watching.

This led me to think that yes when you first start watching, you think you are watching a show about people surviving a plane crash lost in the ocean... But by mid season 2 it clearly evolves into a different show and unless you plough through some oddness and come out the other side, the show may cast you out as a non-believer in it and you stop watching... I also felt that way mid season 2... But then the newly evolved show catches you and it is even better than when it started.

I also spoke to someone who has watched it all and (spoiler-free) they said first 2 seasons great, meh middle and the great final season though many people apparently were very disappointed with the ending. The point about the ending was the only thing I had ever heard about the show before and it seemed to be a common theme... But I am actually enjoying season 3 must more than 1 and 2 despite the fact that I started watching Lost to see a show about survival after a plane crash!

Simon Sandiford said...

Sorry for yet another post about this episode but I also wanted to mention about Make Your Own Kind Of Music song... I must be one of the only people who had never heard it before that episode of Desmond having on in the hatch... But now it will forever be the lost soundtrack! However as I'm not a fan of 60s and 70s music I had a look if there were any more modern dance remixes of it to blast out on the car stereo... And I found a great one here

Mike V. said...

Wow lots of great stuff here. I definitely watched black mirror and San Junipiero (sp) was an all time great ep. this ep of lost is one of my faves too. All the Desmond ones are fantastic. Don’t want to spoil too much but youre hitting on some good themes in your posts. Yes the show got weirder and weirder. It wasn’t for everyone. They lured people in with the broad strokes in the beginning but then got weird which for me made it even better. People were not in on season 3. The back half is some of the best lost episodes ever. But it stated with those 6 eps on the other island then took a Long break before coming back to air the other 13 uninterrupted. I think you might be close to the worst ep of the whole show soon. You’ll know it when you get to it. But it all worked in negotiating an end date for the show. And in season 3 you’ll see they make moves towards that with where it goes. Season 5 is really weird but it’s my favorite season to rewatch. Season 4 has one of the greatest episodes of television of all time. I loved the final season and the finale but yes it was met with a lot of disappointment. It was one of the first shows that had to stick an ending with so much anticipation. Now we’ve seen it over and over again. Game of thrones being the latest. It holds up well with binge watching. Maybe not for you because you’re really getting into the analysis as we did. But I separated the crazy theories from what we actually eventually got and just appreciated the great dramatic television they were making. If you can do that you’ll be fine!

I forget what else you wrote but I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll always just talk broadly unless I think you’re really chasing a rabbit hole into nothing! :) keep on trucking! Interested to live vicariously through your first watch! Super jealous. Lol

Anonymous said...

Great blog. Rewatching lost after a good 13-14 years and I’m finding it so much more enjoyable as I’m older and can appreciate the nuances of the story compared to a 20 year old in university!

Desmond is by far my favourite character in the series. His story (to date) is heavy with regret and I was, and still am, heavily invested in his journey.

This episode for me truly was a tipping point into the madness of the entire show and I loved it.

I remember on my first watch through being sat in utter disbelief at what had just happened, it was such a crazy concept.

Also, shout out to you Mike, I appreciate the work that must have gone into this blog all those years ago.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why I can’t log in to my g account to leave these comments - Stephen, UK

Mike V. said...

Thanks for the comment Stephen! Don’t get many repeat viewers on here! Lots of first time bingers so be careful what you say! Lol

Definitely was a labor of love that ended up feeling like a full time job when the comments section took off. But loved every minute of it! It was great having some well thought out discussions with everyone on here. And I agree. Watching the show without worrying about what’s going to happen next or all the baggage of theories that you had. It’s a relief. Just enjoy the awesomely constructed drama for what it is. I did that when I watched back then. I’d watch first time with my notepad for the recaps. Then The next day id turn my brain off and just enjoy the episode on a 2nd watch. I was in awe with how well it was written, performed and just how amazing it looked. The show was lightning in a bottle and we’ve never really seen anything like it again!

All these recent comments are giving me the itch to ummmm “go back” :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these reviews/recaps. I'm a Johnny-come-lately, having discovered Lost only two weeks ago. I was searching for a series to binge-watch after seeing Dark on Netflix. I consistently return to your recap/review after each episode. Your reviews are excellent, as they contain no spoilers.

Mike V. said...

Thanks for the comment and for reading! Jealous you get to experience it all for the first time. I’m itching for my next rewatch. It’s been a bit now! Never really thought about this blog living on as a spoiler free experience in the era of streaming and binging! But it definitely seems to be benefitting lots of people. And I always love returning to discuss my favorite show! Feel free to drop comments along the way and I’ll stay spoiler free!