Fate or Choice?

This has been a recurring theme throughout the series and one that we also encounter and perhaps question in our daily lives. Are our lives pre-determined and no matter what we think, feel, or do, we have no control over what happens to us or do we have the control to choose what we attract unto ourselves?

Desmond David Hume struggled with this question for some time and perhaps like Neo from the Matrix, he is reliving this life for the Nth time! Coincidentally (not!), Desmond’s middle and last name are the same as 18th century philosopher, David Hume, who often questioned if we, as human beings, have free will or a fated existence (determinism).

It almost seemed that he was going to change the course of his fate by purchasing the wedding ring, but he started doubting himself and once the old lady broke down the “4th wall” and helped him piece the puzzle of his existence together, he really started to lose his faith. That doubt in himself and the fear that he did not have control of his future led him to break up with Penny and it was only when he saw the events in the bar take place exactly as he had remembered them that he believed he could perhaps alter his existence.

Unfortunately, a blow to the head sent him back naked, as all time traveling folk travel, to the island and he woke up saying, “Please! Send me back one more time.” Haven’t we all questioned decisions and/or reactions we’ve had to our own life experiences that we feel somewhat hopeless to go back and change? The solution is simple. To control our life’s path, we must focus on what we desire and then have hope, faith, and belief that it will come. Only then can we allow it into our lives and control our destinies.

I’m starting to think that this “free will” vs. “fate” will ultimately be what makes or breaks all of the characters on the show. Think about Eko’s decision before he died. He stood up for what he believed when the “island” (Yemi/Smoke Monster) wanted him to confess his sins. Sure, you can argue with me and say that he died, but don’t forget what he felt and experienced when he died. He was walking happily with his brother to a better place.

For this reason, I think that Desmond’s decision whether to believe in free will or fate will affect the lives of many more island inhabitants than just his AND Charlie’s. Speaking of Charlie, won’t that be the ultimate test of what Desmond ultimately decides? If he truly believes in fate then maybe he’ll eventually just let Charlie die instead of trying to save him. If he keeps saving him, then he is holding onto the belief of free will and that belief may ultimately be his salvation.

Or maybe I’m just over thinking the whole episode. hehe

Okay, one “flashback” note regarding the previous week’s episode. When Sawyer, Kate, and Alex rescued Karl from room 23, you’ll remember flashing images, text, and very loud and annoying “music” beats. Well, some fans with way more time on their hands decided to play the music backwards and heard a voice clearly say, “Only Fools Are Enslaved By Time And Space.” Just something ELSE to ponder!


2 Responses to Fate or Choice?

  1. Ken says:

    Just who WAS that old lady, anyway? I kinda wish Desmond had asked her rather than apparently accepting at face value that she is some lady who happens to know everything about the future. Sharing some knowledge could have shed light on his predicament!! Nonetheless, it does seem the characters on the show are actually talking more. In past seasons, Hurley would never have shared his knowledge about Desmond in the first place. One confusing aspect to Desmond’s foreknowledge. When he gets knocked back in the past, I could understand him having knowledge of what was going to happen, because he’d lived it before. However, when he gets hit on the head, he goes back to his present, not another point in his past. He is living these events for the first time, so how can he be remembering what he hasn’t lived yet? Unless he has been knocked back to this point in time from ANOTHER point in the future? OK, now *I* am overthinking things! Anyway, I give this episode a B, very entertaining but unfortunately did nothing to move the plot along. I’ll change my grade to A if they actually kill Charlie though!!

  2. Chris says:


    Ken, I do think that perhaps Desmond wasn’t knocked back to present time! He may have gotten knocked back to present-time minus 4 hours or something, so he can see a very short-distance into the future because he’s lived it before. Electromagnetic Anomally’s are tricky like that. Or so I’ve heard.

    Ken, duck…phew, that was close!

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