by Billie Doux
Desmond: "That's your sixty year old scotch, Charles."
Widmore: "Nothing's too good for you."
This episode was romantic. And creepy. And mysterious. And satisfying, in a strange way. In fact, it was awesome. Possibly one of my all time favorites.
What's really fascinating is that Los Angeles Desmond wasn't just an alternate version of himself; he was traveling back and forth in his mind the same way he did in "Flashes Before Your Eyes." Is that why Desmond is the key to saving the universe, or both universes? Maybe he's the key to bringing both worlds together. At any rate, Desmond has figured out what the alternate universe is, and he's going to contact people on Flight 815. I assume he's going to try to get them to understand what he discovered in the MRI machine. Hopefully he can do that without drowning all of them.
I had so many wild theories going on in my head after his episode that I had to take an Advil PM to get to sleep. I've been operating on the assumption that the alternate world was created by the Incident back in 1977, since the changes were so long-term. But now I wonder if it happened when Desmond turned the key? In season two's "Live Together, Die Alone," Kelvin told Desmond, "Fail safe. Just turn this key, and this all goes away." It did, didn't it?
Desmond got Charlie released from the Los Angeles Airport Court House. I had jury duty at the Airport Court House once, and that wasn't it. (Yes, I know they film in Hawaii.) I laughed out loud when the lawyer told Charlie not to leave the state of California. I'm starting to imagine the Los Angeles alternate universe as this big bubble full of everyone who's ever been on Lost, with a vast drop-off to a huge chasm of nothingness at the edges of town.
The callbacks to previous scenes in the series were like a gift to the fans: the stadium but with Penny instead of Jack, Charlie's race down the hallway, the confrontation in the jewelry shop repeated at the garden party, and especially Charlie's death in the Looking Glass. When Charlie, who should have been drowned already, turned and pressed his palm against the glass, I got chills down my spine. Charlie and Desmond were so strongly connected on the Island because of Desmond preventing Charlie's death over and over and ultimately, being with him when he finally died. It was just so touching that Charlie was the one to give Desmond the answer.
Apparently, love is the answer. Desmond had everything he'd ever wanted, success, happiness, Widmore's love and approval, and it wasn't enough because he didn't have Penny. Charlie "woke up" when he remembered loving Claire (while choking to death on the plane). Daniel "woke up" when he fell in love with Charlotte at "first sight." Eloise was already awake, though. I think she knows what the alternate timeline is, and she's playing along. We don't want to create a violation now, do we?
Widmore told Desmond that only he could save everyone, and that there would have to be a sacrifice. The title of this episode is "Happily Ever After." I get the feeling that Desmond isn't going to get a happily ever after. Damn.
What have we learned?
-- I think this episode confirmed that the LAX timeline is a construct of sorts, caused by time travel and/or electromagnetism. Or Jacob. Or possibly Smokey.
-- Island Widmore did love his son Daniel, after all.
-- I hate Dancing with the Stars.
-- Desmond had a good long scene with Claire at the airport. Probably so we'd remember her when Charlie started talking about her.
-- I actually almost liked Widmore. And I mean Island Widmore. Has he actually had a good world-saving reason for all of this terrible crap he's been pulling?
-- Penny Milton? Milton as in Paradise Lost? How double entendre-y of them.
-- Eloise was wearing a double brooch that resembled the pattern left by the Foucault pendulum.
-- George Minkowski was Desmond's driver in the LAX timeline. That was fun.
-- Daniel had become the musician he'd wanted to be; he was playing the piano when Desmond arrived at the party. But he still had the same notebook. When he opened it to show Desmond the equations, I expected him to go to the words, "Desmond Hume is my constant."
-- Charlie called Desmond "Perky." I had a parakeet named Perky when I was a kid.
Bits and pieces:
-- Desmond got not one, but two "eye scenes." One for each of him. And both were of his right eye.
-- Loved the scene in the opener where Desmond completely lost it and attacked Widmore with his IV stand.
-- MRI at St. Sebastian's, and I knew Jack would turn up. I wonder if running into so many people from flight 815 helped Desmond figure it out sooner?
-- Drive Shaft apparently did a lot better in the alt-universe, since Charlie talked about "You all everybody" as "starting it all."
-- Widmore's office contained a ship model that looked like the Black Rock, and a painting of scales with black stones on one side and white on the other. The painting was in the same style as the one with the polar bear, Buddha, and Namaste.
-- Another car accident. Except it wasn't an accident. Desmond just keeps ending up at harbors, doesn't he?
-- There was a sign in the bar that said "[something] Exceptional Island Colors."
-- Another time traveling bunny, except Desmond ended up going in his place. The bunny's name was Engstrom. I'm sure it means something.
-- The FlashForward commercial that aired during this episode included Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger. Talk about alternate universes.
Widmore: "I can't take you back. The Island isn't done with you yet."
Eloise: "Someone has clearly affected the way you see things. This is a serious problem. It is, in fact, a violation." Of what? Of someone's contract with Jacob?
Daniel: "Do you believe in love at first sight?" I could tell from Desmond's face that at first, he thought Daniel meant him. :)
Why are Desmond-centered episodes so good? Yes, it was still more tantalizing than question-answering, but I still loved it. Five out of four polar bears, and only five more episodes until the series finale,