"The Constant" follows Desmond and Sayid on their journey to the freighter. Their tourguide and pilot, Frank tries to heed Dan's advice to stick to the bearing they came in on. However when they pass through a storm cloud (or as Sayid branded a "Thunderhead"), Desmond goes all haywire. As opposed to "Flashes Before Your Eyes" last season where Desmond's PRESENT mind traveled back to the past where he was living with Penny; here we see Desmond's PAST consciousness experiencing and living out moments in the future (or PRESENT island time) then returning to the past at an exponentially quicker rate. Depending on where Dez's mind was at a particular moment, the other time period's Desmond would lose consciousness. Of course, it is important to know that Dez's PRESENT consciousness is nowhere to be found and his prior self must find his way back through "THE CONSTANT" in order to survive and send Dez BACK TO THE FUTURE!.....errrr bring his present mind back (doesn't sound as cool!)? Bottom line: That hatch really screwed this guy up!
- Sayid asks Frank why he's flying directly into this "thunderhead." I would assume this is because he was scared to sway from his course that Dan provided. 40 Miles N @ 305" 7 K East. Hmmm....Miles AND Kilometers? That's interesting! I guess the drawing isn't to scale either as the 7 Kilometers East looks like a longer trip than the 40 miles! Also, is it important to note that Frank's Gauge was reading 31??? If you recall, the difference between the Island and the Rocket fired from the freighter was 31 minutes. If only they could've punched in November 5th, 1955 we might have been able to stop Old Biff from giving Young Biff that Sports Almanac!
- As Desmond sits and waits and hopes to find answers on the freighter, we head towards the "thunderhead" and then Dez takes a trip back to 1996 when he was in the Scottish Army. Or really, Dez's past consciousness somehow took a trip to the future where he was on a helicopter! Thus we begin our crazy time tripping affair!
Life on the Freighter
You know, I was starting to think we may actually never see this crazy freighter! I thought they would do a bunch of hyping up of it, but never actually show us scenes on the freighter. Well, I can happily say, my fears were set aside! We met some new and interesting characters on the ship and I can easily say we're probably more confused than Desmond who has no idea where and when he is at this point!
- WE meet 2 new characters, Keemee (excuse the spelling, I have no idea what he said. I tried for a pronunciation!) from Las Vegas, and Omar from Florida.
- Keemee and Omar don't seem too thrilled with Frank from bringing Sayid and Desmond back to the freighter. Further showing that our Island Freighter folk are nowhere near the brains of this operation.
- They also mention they left port in Fiji so they know they are the Pacific Ocean somewhere. Hmmmm....seems like this island is sticking in one place for the time being. Flight 815 Pilot said they were headed towards Fiji or something after they were off course I think. Getting there from Florida and Nigeria (and apparently, Madagascar!)still To be Determined!
- These two NEW Freighter guys seem to know what is happening to Desmond (kinda) and they take him to the sick bay and lock him in there. This causes some Scottish screaming and rants and the almighty line from CLERKS "I'm not supposed to be here!!!"
- In the sickbay, is none other than our Radio buddy George Minkowski strapped to a bed. He reveals that his mind is traveling through time as well. Except, he is fully aware in the present of what has happened. So he must be tripping BACKWARDS in time as opposed to Desmond tripping forward? Speaking of which...this must be tied to Desmond's Flashes of the Future right? But we never got the impression that he was experiencing them as much as seeing them. He never passed out, just went into a bit of a daze while he watched images of events that led to a moment in the future where Charlie would ultimately die. (Don't worry...we'll get more into Dez's travels in a section below. There is no clean way to break this stuff up!)
- Then Creepy Doctor, Ray, arrives to inject George with some stuff. Dez's flipping out ensues! We didn't learn much about this doctor yet, but something tells me we haven't seen the last of him! It would seem that no one believes what is happening to George. He mentions that it's going to happen to everyone "ONCE THEY GO TO THAT ISLAND" I guess there are plans for everyone to go there? Ray tries to check Desmond's eyes with a light and then Dez trips back to the past. Connection? Oh I have no idea!
- Meanwhile, Sayid exchanges his gun for Frank's phone to call Jack and tell him what's going on. To Be Continued iin the sections below! ...
Meanwhile on the Island
Jack and Juliet are still waiting for a call from the freighter. Dan starts getting into differences in time, which Charlotte is aware of and not very fond of Dan's straight-forwardness.
- Dan says that Sayid and Desmond may not have been gone as long as they THINK they've been gone. There are potential Side-Effects with the flight. Hmmm Jack also mentions they've been gone a day before the communication but to the Chopper people, it seems like an hour or so later right? But they can still communicate in real time. Makes me think again back to that 1930's broadcast of the Glenn Miller song on the radio. I'm also confused with Jack saying it's been 100 days and it actually only being 92/93 days. It is noted later in the episode that it's Christmas Eve in the Freighter. I can only assume that Jack rounded up because it would make no sense (based on the past few episodes) that more days are passing on the island than off of the island!
- Anyway, they get the call from Sayid and he says Desmond is acting strange. Jack puts the phone on speaker. On the other end of the line Frank helps Sayid get to Desmond (well isn't he a nice guy??)...then the magic happens!
- By the way, it is revealed that the SAT Phones can only talk to each other, so they can't call anyone else for help.
- Desmond and Dan begin their connection through time. We find out that the Dez we're hanging out with is 1996 Desmond. Dan, in 1996, is working at Oxford University in the Queen's College Physics Department. Dan gives Dezzy instructions to GO TO HIM (Marty/Doc Brown style) for help!
- Dan finds his journal to find information from 1996 that would help 96 Dan believe Desmond about '04 Dan. The directions? Device must be set to 2.342 and must be oscillating at 11Hz. If the numbers don't convince him say "I know about Elloise" We didn't get to speculate about Eloise too long, for she is revealed to us in Desmond's travels.
- Dan also mentions that the splits are unpredictable, sometimes lasting for years, sometimes for hours. Jack is confused asking if this has happened before. Hmmm....Is Dan a TIME-MIND traveler as well? Or was he referring to his "Eloise" experiments? Based on our cliffhanger, I with think it might be the former.
- Dan also asks Jack if Desmond had any lengthy periods of exposure to Radiation or Electro-magnetism. We, of course, know that Desmond did when the Hatch blew. Does Jack even know that Desmond turned that key and the whole thing blew? We never saw it on camera...but I guess we have to assume he was filled in. But he never learned of his Flashes of the future did he? I don't think so. Anyway, apparently Desmond was more succeptable to this "SIDE EFFECT" based on his Electro-magnetic event. Well kids, this may be the only explanation we get for what happened to Desmond after the hatch imploded. I'm still hoping for more! But it was still intriguing regardless!
All Roads (and Times) Lead to Penny
So here we are, the part of the blog I've been avoiding, but the part I want to discuss the most! Desmond's Travels through time. We follow Desmond's 1996 consciousness back and forth from 1996 (the military era) and 2004 (the freighter/island era). In both eras, Desmond has a goal in mind and has objectives in both time periods to accomplish in order to FIX himself. 1955 Doc Brown (errr...1996 Dan Faraday) helps Desmond find his way.
- Well first, let me say I'm happy that we got to spend sometime with Desmond during his military days. I remember saying at the end of season 3 that we couldn't entirely be done with flashbacks because we needed more Desmond backstory for why he's eventually in military prison and dishonorably discharged from military services. Well, we didn't quite see that yet. Instead we see Desmond and his unit being punished for him spacing out a couple times during the day. But eventually, through conversations he realizes that the only thing familiar to him in the future was Penny. He saw the picture of Penny in his hands so they must still have some sort of tie.
- Desmond calls Penny and it is revealed, just as we speculated, that Desmond broke up with Penny and joined the military (just as we saw beginning to happen in season 3's "Flashes Before Your Eyes"). Penny wanted nothing to do with Desmond and hung up on him. Keep in mind.
- By this point, Dez has talked to Dan in the future and has his mission to head to Oxford. He finds Dan there, sporting some kind of pseudo Mullett (love it!!) and unloads the information he was instructed to. As an aside, Jeremy Davies is a great addition to the LOST cast. He pulls off this nerdy, intelligent, creepy Scientist guy perfectly! He felt he was being put on by his colleagues but at the same time seemed to be anticipating this moment by all his meddling with the space-time continuum. Haven't you ever sat around wondering...."if we've invented time travel in the future, couldn't there be people from the future here right now???" Okay...maybe that was just dorky, teenage me!
- Dan takes Dez to his lab where he performs experiments that the university "frowns upon." Dan starts setting his equipment to Desmond's specifications. He also puts on a radiation vest (looks like one of those things you wear at the dentist when getting an x-ray!) There is a mention of why isn't Dan protecting his HEAD from long-term effects of the radiation.....perhaps that's why he has gone completely nuts?
- Anyway, it turns out Eloise is a RAT that Dan has been experimenting on. After the his equipment is set, he takes some type of Lightning device and ZAP...strikes Elloise with it. Eloise's consciousness slips into the future, then comes back and runs through a maze that she wasn't to learn until an hour from then.
- Dum dum dummmmmmm Time Paradox #1! So was future Dan the one to tell past Dan how to make the mind travel through time? How could this happen without causing some major ripple in TIME? Are the producers willing to explain this? Probably not....but they definitely knew they were opening this door with the Time Travel element of the show! I'm sure smarter brains than I can poke more holes in or support what they did here! Feel free to comment to make ME smarter!
- Oh, in case you want to look at Dan's scribbles on the chalkboard, here it goes. Best thing I can get out of it is the reference to Steven Hawking who wrote "A Brief History of Time" which also has been referenced on the show. Plus you get to see that fantastic Mullet!
- Another potential paradox, but sounds like something they will explain on the show: Past Dan mentions that Future Dan referenced this particular meeting with Desmond. So does that mean Future Dan remembers the encounter? Desmond says "Actually no, maybe you just forgot?" Since the producers have mentioned we will only have one TIMELINE (no alternate time universes will be created by the time traveling...remember the BAD 1985 that Doc and Marty returned to in Back to the Future II?), how does this impact it? Does Dan eventually remember the encounter? Again, the cliffhanger at the end of the show seems to suggest he doesn't. Speaking of which. Does Present Day Desmond, remember his time travels? Based on his smile in the past at the end of the episode, it would seem he does! Crazy crazy crazy! My mind is tripping!!! (but I'm still in present day, don't worry!)
- Speaking of One Timeline, it is reinforced by Dan that "you cannot change the future" another reference to Course Correction that Mrs. Hawking (there's that name again!) referred to in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" hmmmm wait...maybe Mrs. Hawking was Mind Traveling too??? Hold the PHONE! Maybe the chalkboard is referring to Mrs. Hawking and NOT Steven Hawking! Is Dan related to Mrs. Hawking? woaaaaaaa And then...does Dan know Desmond's former Monk friend/boss? Ahhh crazy crazy crazy!
- Anyway, with the course correction comments, we are reinforcing PREDESTINATION on LOST. Anything that is changed in the past will ultimately be corrected to provide the same future. Remember Desmond trying to save Charlie? Yep, exactly.
- Let's return to present day for a sec shall we? Keemee and Omar come in to interrupt Dez's conversation with Dan. Frank tries to explain to them what's going on. They are furious that Frank let Dez and Faraday talk "Faraday can't even help himself!" A reference is made to taking Frank to the Captain. Whom Sayid also wants to see. Hmmm something tells me this Captain is going to be a character we're going to need to know a little better. Do you think it might be someone we already know?
- George Minkowski gets wind of Desmond's name. He then provides us with some answers that we've been trying to piece together since that season 3 finale. He revealed he is the Communications Officer on the freighter. The freighter folk picked up Penny's various attempts to contact Desmond (which Charlie gets once the Rousseau's message is stopped at the radio tower). George was ordered never to pick up the call. But someone on the ship did their homework on Penelope Widmore. Just like they did their homework on the Flight 815 crew. Could this explain why Naomi was carrying a picture of Dez and Penny? It doesn't explain how they got that EXACT picture!
- George also talks about how he's been cursed with the Time travel bug. He and a fellow freighter, Brandon got bored out of their minds waiting for their next instructions and wanted to see the island. They took a boat from the freighter and started heading that way. But before they got there Brandon started acting strange. He ended up in a body bag. And George is heading that way too.
- '96 Dan explains to Desmond, after Eloise died, that eventually the time shifts become exponentially shorter until you die. The only way to kill the shift is to find a constant. Something that is familiar to you in both eras. We already knew where this was going right? PENNY!!!
- Desmond leaves Oxford and heads to London to find Charles Widmore (ahhh finally! we're getting somewhere with Widmore!). We enter an Auction for paraphernalia from the BLACK ROCK!!! Woaaaa. In particular, the 1st Mate's Journal which contains information never revealed to the public. We get information that the Black Rock set sail March 22, 1845. The Journal was found in Madagascar 7 years later. Book has "Edgar" on the binding. So Madagascar is in the Indian Ocean. Bali' is in the Indian Ocean. The expedition crew that found FAKE Flight 815 was in search of the Black Rock. But if they're in the Pacific Ocean...how did the Black Rock end up on the island? And why was the journal in Madagascar?
- Oh right, the former owner of the Journal? Tovard Hanso! A descendant of Alvar? Whomever it is...we finally have linked Charles Widmore to the Hanso Corporation which thus links to DHARMA! We will learn later this episode that Penny knows about the island through research. Through her father's research? Our speculations are TRUE! Widmore is involved! FREIGHTER level of Involvement?? Well...not quite sure about that yet.
- Charles and Dez have their meeting. Charles doesn't seem terribly disappointed to see Desmond. In fact he gives him Penny's address. He does make a few snide remarks that Penny has moved on and she will tell you herself. But he isn't at the point yet where he FORBIDS Desmond to see his daughter. (Season 2 finale - Our First Desmond flashback)
- Desmond, back in 2004, realizes he must get in contact with Penny. Apparently, George tells usk, something happened on the freighter where the communications room was destroyed. Based on the Producer's comments of the strike abbrevited season, we might not find out WHY until season 5. Anyway, we all know Sayid can work magic with wires and electronics, so they head towards the door and realize it's open. George mentions that they "must have a friend on this boat" Hmmmm Walt? Michael? Frank? Frank was visiting the captain. So perhaps whoever Ben's contact is...is the one that opened the door?
- George eventually spaces out and it's too late for him...his time traveling causes his death. RIP George, we barely knew ya...even if we've heard of you since the end of season 3!
- They get to the control room and Sayid mentions he will have something up in running in a "few minutes." That's Sayid for you! Have I mentioned how patient and understanding Sayid was through this entire episode even though Desmond was acting completely nuts?
- As mentioned before, it is indicated that it is Christmas Eve. And apparently, the ENHANCED LOST episode that aired prior to "The Constant" indicated that 93 days have passed on the island. So Jack must've just estimated to 100 days. MERRY CHRISTMAS LOSTIES!!!
- Sayid mentions that he needs Desmond to remember a phone number to contact Penny. But he doesn't! CUE TIME TRAVEL!
- Desmond heads to Penny's address 423 (the numbers yet again) Cheyne Walk. Just thought I'd point out that 4 and 23 are indeed 2 of our infamous numbers!
- Man what did we do prior to the Penny/Dezzy storyline? What did we have to look forward to? This is powerful stuff! Desmond explains to Penny how he knows it's over but he just needs her phone number so that he can call her in 8 years on December 24, 2004. As much as she tries to resist. She DOES give it to him. And Desmond keeps his promise not to contact Penny until that date. Even though we know Penny contacted him at the stadium where Desmond meets Jack.
- Desmond returns to 2004, nose bleeding and all, with a phone number. Sayid mentions the "perfect timing" which I couldn't help but laugh when he said it. That Iraqi dude just cracks me up!
- And then if you didn't cry during this scene (or almost cry) you're not human! Penny picks up the phone! Past Desmond leaves Penny's house realizing that everything is fixed. Present Desmond returns and realizes where he is and who Sayid is and tells Penny what's been going on. Penny tells Dez she knows about the island. She's been researching and looking for him for 3 years and when she talked to Charlie she knew she wasn't crazy. And that she won't give up her search. They express their love for each other. And then the battery dies. GREAT SCENE!
- Desmond finds his constant and now he's perfect. Does that mean his POST Hatch "SIDE EFFECTS" are now at an end? Sounds like it. For now at least.
- So, let's tie the PENNY events together shall we? Penny says she's been looking for Desmond for 3 years (which was our speculation after the season 2 finale when she said "with enough money and determination you can find anyone") .....she also says in the recent episode "i know about the island" so she must've done research on the electro-magnetic activity too, because that's what she was looking for. And then of course...once they detected this she had an idea of where she should be directing her lines of communication which at the end of season 3 we see reaches the eyes and ears of charlie. Yet, also apparently was reaching the freighter folk too. Enter Desmond/Penny's picture that Naomi had. So what on earth happened here? I think I'm repeating myself from up above, but I'm too lazy to check! Was Naomi really looking for Desmond? Was that her mission? Or was that her cover before she knew Flight 815 was there? But then again, she asked Abbaddon "What if there are survivors of flight 815?" So she must've known they crashed there. Yikes..
When all is said and done, we see Dan looking through his journal only to come to a page that said "If Anything Goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant" BOOM LOST! Well, he sure looked surprise to see that note didn't he? More Paradoxes???? Yikes! I'm not even going to try to analyze it. Because it sounds like we have more time traveling for Dan ahead of us. If you want to look at some pages of the journal, feel free!
(instead of Coffin watch this week)
Someone shared with me a very excellenet observation. You know how we saw Desmond, George, and heard about Brandon going nuts and getting SICK from the eyes of everyone else? Well, what if this is what Rousseau was referring to when her people got sick and she killed them? Woaaa....George did mention that it would happen to everyone that went to the island. But why hasn't it impacted all of our 815ers? Does it have to do with traveling to the island by Boat? That's how Desmond got there, how Rousseau's people got there, AND how George/Brandon were getting there. Ahhhh interesting. DISCUSS!
Quick note: we're back to getting 8 episodes prior to the break, so we have 3 more to look forward to before the end of April! That's it folks. Sorry for the novel. I'm sure you were all wondering how on earth I was going to recap this episode. By doing exactly what I did. Pretty much re-writing the script! Lots of crazy Time Travel elements to this one. And I look forward to seeing what you guys came up with. CUE CDSTEDMAN's Copy/Paste NOW! lol See you next week everyone!
Disclaimer: Many thanks again to Sledgeweb (lost.cubit.net) for always having the ability to capture so many wonderful screen stills from the show! If I had the technology to do it myself, you bet I would! But since I don't, it's nice to know someone out there does!