Excuse Me. Have We Met Before?

“He has turned, the hatches fail safe. He has leaped, all through time…only to be with you…only to be with you. And I think, Desmond found, what’s he’s looking for.”

Where do I start? In corresponding with some of my friends, we all agree that this episode needed to be much longer, but it certainly didn’t take away from its awesomeness and the conversation has definitely changed.

I’ve said since this show began that people sometimes need to lose themselves in order to find out who they truly are and realize who they have the potential to be. I’ve also always said, to anyone who will listen, that life is all about perspective. On the island, each character has been granted the opportunity to view their lives from a new perspective and to make different life choices toward a more purposeful life.

So far, the flash-sideways we’ve seen have negated all that they experienced and learned while on the island. Even so, they do still seem to have vague recollections of those experiences. A couple of past examples include Jack looking at the mark on his neck and questioning his appendix scar.

Now Desmond-X, Charlie-X, Daniel-X, and Eloise-X have all had flashes of their other sideways timelines and we the fans finally begin to understand how the timelines reconcile with one another.

So…Desmond wakes up on the island thanks to Charles Widmore and promptly attacks him when he learns that he’s back on the island. He is held down by Widmore’s people and Charles decides to push up the “test”.

The test turns out to be an electro-magnetic frequency machine that would fry the brain of pretty much anyone in the world, but Widmore knows that Desmond survived the Swan Station implosion (Season Two Finale) when he turned the fail safe key and believes that he can survive another blast of electro-magnetic energy during this test AND presumably on the main island at some point in the future.

I say presumably because of the two giant pockets of electro-magnetic energy Zoe showed Jin from the island map last week. I’m guessing that Jin has to identify a central location between these two points and Desmond is going to have to do “something” there to either destroy or contain MIB/unLocke. I’m not liking the fact that Widmore spoke of a “sacrifice” Desmond would have to make because that sounds to me like he might have to die in order to save everyone he cares about.

Anyway, after accidentally frying the brain of another Widmore employee, Desmond is forced into the EMF machine and his consciousness is transported to Desmond-X, similar to the way it jumped in the episodes titled “Flashes Before Your Eyes” and “The Constant”.

Lots of pretty cool Easter eggs at this point:

– First, before he “leaped”, Seamus called the white rabbit Angstrom, which is a term used to define the size of electromagnetic radiation wavelengths. Nerdy, but fun!
– Hurley tells Desmond that baggage is at carousel # 4.
– Desmond predicts that Claire will have a son.
– Desmond’s limo driver is none other than George Minkowski (from the freighter who died due to similar conscious-shifting experiences as Desmond).
– Desmond works for, and is Widmore’s right-hand man. As a matter of fact, they share MacCutcheon whiskey and Widmore actually says, “Nothing’s too good for you.”

This Desmond-X is not a believer in love and seems to only want to focus his efforts on obtaining Widmore’s approval. However, that’s about to change when Widmore asks that he goes and bails out the bass player from Drive Shaft who was arrested on Flight 815, none other than our friend Charlie. It seems that Drive Shaft is supposed to play at a charity benefit with Widmore’s son, Daniel (Faraday), who had the idea of combining classical music with modern rock.

It turns out that Charlie’s near-death experience on board Flight 815, when he nearly choked on the bag of heroin before Jack saved him, opened his eyes to something missing from his life. He saw a vision of a beautiful blonde woman (presumably Claire) and felt as if they’ve always been and always will be together. He described the experience as a revelation of love. A conscious-altering love that is more powerful and more real than anything he’s ever felt. He said he felt like he saw the truth.

Desmond listens, but is pretty dismissive of Charlie’s antics, describing him as a rock star with suicidal tendencies, but Charlie says he feels bad for him and decides to show Desmond what he’s talking about by grabbing the wheel of the car they’re in and driving into a harbor.

As the car sinks, Desmond swims to safety and then dives back down to rescue Charlie who opens his eyes and places his hand on the car window just like he did when he drowned in the Season Three finale. This is when Desmond sees a flash of Charlie’s hand with “Not Penny’s Boat” written on it and we all realize for certain that these two timelines are most definitely connected somehow.

Desmond pulls Charlie out of the water and the scene cuts to a hospital where Desmond wants to see Charlie, but is told he needs a brain scan first because he isn’t sure if he’s had a hallucination or not. The doctors perform an MRI, which we all know is going to have some trippy affects on our magnetic-sensitive friend. He sees a series of flashes all involving Penny and his life with her in the other timeline. He presses the panic button and demands to see Charlie.

The people at the front desk aren’t being very helpful when Desmond sees Jack and they remember each other from the flight. As he asks Jack for assistance, Charlie comes barreling down the hallway. When Desmond finally catches him, Charlie asks, “You saw something didn’t you?” Desmond starts demanding answers, wants to know who Penny is, and wants to know why this is happening. Charlie doesn’t know, but simply says, “None of this matters. All that matters is that we felt it. If I were you I’d stop worrying about me and start looking for Penny.”

Desmond is now a changed man and is even dismissive of Widmore when he gets upset with him for losing Charlie. Widmore tells Desmond to tell his wife the bad news and Desmond meets Eloise “for the first time.” It’s very obvious that she recognizes Desmond immediately, but she catches herself and says that it’s a travesty that they hadn’t met before. She handles the news about Drive Shaft not being able to perform remarkably well and even says, “Whatever happened, happened.” It’s not until Desmond overhears someone read the name “Penny” from the charity event guest list that Eloise gets irritated with Desmond.

She becomes very bossy and tells Desmond to stop talking. She expresses concern that someone has affected the way Desmond sees things and tells him that he needs to stop looking. This only serves to excite Desmond more because it’s obvious that Eloise knows more than she’s letting on. He asks, “Do you know what I’m looking for?” and “What do you know?” She responds with some bullshit about how he is looking for her husband’s approval and that he’s not ready yet.

Desmond starts to leave and his head is spinning, but just as he’s about to leave, he meets Daniel (Faraday) Widmore who starts talking about his true love the same way Charlie was talking about his earlier. It’s obvious that Daniel is talking about Charlotte based on the red hair, blue eyes, works in a museum description of her. He didn’t have a flash or anything. He just saw her and it was love at first sight. It was after that when things got weird for him.

Daniel woke up in the middle of the night and started writing Quantum Mechanic equations that someone with years of studying would have difficulty writing and he is a musician in the sideways world, not a physicist. This opened a window in his mind that turned him into more of a philosopher than a physicist. He expressed to Desmond that he feels like he set off a bomb (like an atomic bomb) to prevent a catastrophic event (the release of powerful energy) that changed things and that this wasn’t supposed to be their lives.

He went on to ask Desmond if he felt love too and Desmond protested saying that it’s impossible and that Penny is an idea and probably doesn’t really exist. This is when Daniel reveals that she is his half-sister and that he knows exactly where and when Desmond can find her.

Cut to Penny at the stadium near Saint Sebastian’s hospital where she’s completing a tour de stade. Desmond approaches her, asks her if she’s Penny and shakes her hand. Now, I’m assuming that since Penny is his “constant” that this physical contact, in the form of a handshake, is what prompted his consciousness to shift back to the island where Widmore and crew wake him up and tell him that he’s only been out for a few seconds.

Widmore starts to explain to Desmond why his talent is so vital and why he brought him back to the island, which I would have liked to hear, but Desmond cuts him off and says that he understands now and wants to know when they’ll start.

In the next scene, Zoe is confused as to what changed Desmond’s perspective in such a short period of time just as Sayid ambushes them, kills two men, and tells Zoe to run. He then tells Desmond, “We need to go now.” And Desmond replies, “Ay!”

Flash to the sideways world and Penny is helping Desmond back up after he feinted during their handshake. They agree to meet for coffee in an hour and Desmond seems genuinely happy for the first time in this sideways world, like the kind of real happiness that Charlie described earlier in the episode.

Desmond gets in the limo and George asks him, “Did you find what you were looking for and do you need anything else?” Desmond answers yes and that he’d like George to get him the flight manifest from Oceanic 815 because there’s something he needs to show the other passengers. Cool!

I know that this is more of a recap than a philosophical analysis of the events, but the events almost speak for themselves. Everything does indeed happen for a reason and there are greater forces out there than we can ever truly understand, but the one truth; the one thing that is real is love and happiness. Sometimes all we need to do is change our perspective and we can all find happiness. Desmond is on a mission again. What exactly will happen? Who knows, but I’m enjoying the ride.

Next week, “Everybody Loves Hugo”. You may remember a Season Two episode titled, “Everybody Hates Hugo”. This will be Hurley-centric as well. Check the comments below for the lyrics to the song playing during the preview for next week. Pretty heavy stuff!

On a completely different note, I heard a good riddle the other day…What did the Buddha say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything.

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6 Responses to Excuse Me. Have We Met Before?

  1. cjblost says:

    Song from preview is Nearly Home by Broken Records and the lyrics are (thanks CK):

    And oh my dear
    i had a good idea
    lets lay these bones to rest
    build it all over and start again
    cause i know
    that if you dare to hope
    that if you dare to try
    to rebuild the pieces of your life
    and you’ll find
    the things you held so dear
    the things you held so close
    were never ever really yours
    and whats left
    that empty vacuumless shell
    is ready to be refilled
    with all the love you should have had

    and rip it up
    rip it all apart
    this place that our parents built
    let it all burn down to the ground
    cause I’m tired
    of these suited lies
    of policy’s laid to break
    and words that will never ever shake

    we are nearly home
    and were nearly home
    and were nearly home
    and were nearly home *2

    and oh my dear
    i had a good idea
    lets lay these bones to rest
    build it all over and start again

  2. CK says:

    Another Easter egg, Widmore had a large painting in his office of a scale, one side with black stones, the other with white stones (the scale was balanced).

    After sleeping on it…not my favorite episode (like I said last night), but in the top 10.

  3. cjblost says:

    cool! I just saw a picture online. I also heard that the quantum physics equation in Daniel’s book said, “Imaginary Timeline”. I still have to watch it again.

    I think “The Constant” still might be my favorite episode over all, but agree that this is right up there.

  4. JK says:

    An additional interpretation of the bunny named “Angstrom” is the famous literary anti-hero Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom from Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Updike. Rabbit Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit is Rich and Rabbit at Rest. I thought this was a shoutout to another influence on the writers. Nice call on the bullet to the eye for Mikhail. Loved seeing him in a different setting within the show. He and the limo driver were both classic! Not Penny’s Boat! “You all everybody!”

  5. CK says:

    Speaking of Easter eggs, I just read this, does it mean anything? I don’t know, but it’s something cool to consider. It was discussed in relation to the symbol on Eloise’s brooch from last night

    “This episode aired during Easter week, which is the first week of the Easter season. So, what is Easter? It’s the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It marks the end of Lent and penance. And it ends 50 days later on Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples). You know when Pentecost falls this year? May 23—the same day as the finale of Lost.”

  6. cjblost says:

    love the religious tie-ins on the show, but I’d guess that this is simply a coincidence ala the Groundhogs Day premiere. it’s amazing how many different “coincidences” occur along with this show.

    JK – nice catch with Angstrom, the literary character, in John Updike’s novels that are apparently about life, death, and redemption! another perfect tie-in!

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