Let’s Do The Time Warp Again And Again And Again
Last night’s episode “The Constant” gave us some big-time insight into Desmond’s strange future-predicting abilities and what kind of ‘side effects’ can be produced by leaving the island (all those who had their money on drymouth are out a couple bucks this morning). In mid helicopter flight, Desmond suddenly reverted back to his 1996 self, forgetting everything about the island, not knowing Sayid’s name, and getting back into the Gin Blossoms, then continuing to oscillate between the present-day boat conundrum and wacky situations in Scottish “Private Benjamin”.
While in 1996, we see Penelope’s father, Charles Widmore, winning an auction for the journal from the Black Rock slave ship currently sitting derelict on the island, whose contents have never been revealed to anyone besides the previous owner, thus giving Mr. Widmore exclusive access to passages like:
Thayre be a mighty un usual nature in this place
Age and Tyme shalle be beyond the grasp of the Mighty Lord
Also what the f*ck is the smoke monster?
Does this mean that Mr. Widmore — the winner of last night’s “Shady of the Week” Award — sent Desmond on his sailing trip knowing he’d end up on the island and find the ship? Or was there another reason for sending his near son-in-law there? Did he just reeeeallly want to get Desmond out of his daughter’s life? Either way, I have a feeling Mr. Widmore may be running into Sayid on a golf course sometime in the future…
Like “Boat Trip”, Only Funnier And More Gay
We finally got to see the Other Others’ ship this week, though still no word on who Ben’s “inside man” is — I really hope they’re not expecting to shock us by revealing Michael to be the spy (and, possibly, the captain of the ship as well?), we’ve been hypothesizing that since like the third minute of the season premiere. Other theories have Sayid as the inside man, jumping through time (?) or Ben as the ship’s captain somehow (wearing a mustache, I hope), or maybe the inside man is just some other weirdo character actor that we’ll all kind of recognize and Harold Perrineau will unrelately just show up on the island again and say “hey”. For the record, I love all these options.
Anyway, the ship’s crew is immediately angry that Frank the pilot has brought two island survivors to their crappy boat, but the alpha A-hole quickly becomes receptive to Desmond’s memory problem (I love when Daniel says “it’s not amnesia”, like he was literally getting the show’s writers off the hook from the ol’ soap opera hacky plotline) and slams Des into the ship’s sickbay down below. While there, Desmond encounters George Mintkowski, the ship’s communications officer, who is experiencing a similar time-jumping problem after getting too close to the island, and he’s already entered the stage of a nosebleed and a possible aneurysm. Why are these two (and another deceased) experiencing the shift and Sayid and Frank aren’t? Daniel mentioned radiation exposure, likely relating to Desmond’s hatch meltdown, but perhaps there’s more of a Desmond’s-destiny element to the whole thing? Aka, DEStiny? What will happen to the other islanders if they make the trip?
Don’t have much to say about the 1996 Oxford scene other than I definitely went to school with a bunch of 1996 Daniels, even if they didn’t talk quite as Beatniklike; I was half-ready for him to solve Desmond’s problem by arrhythmically wailing on some drums. I didn’t understand Daniel’s comment about “you can’t change the future,” because that’s pretty much exactly what they were doing the entire episode, or Daniel wrote “Desmond Hume is my constant” in his notebook before coming to the island and knew it was there the whole time and forgot ever meeting Desmond, which seems impossible. I was also expecting the 1996 conversation to end with Desmond and Daniel agreeing to swap hair.
Two things about the episode that bugged me: 1) When Desmond jumps through time, his actual body in 1996 or 2004 goes catatonic for a longer period of time than the flash takes. This means that he was standing upright in the middle of his military peers for what, 30, 40 minutes, and they hadn’t approached him, felt his pulse, and rushed him to the hospital?
2) I also wasn’t totally buying it when every single wire in the control room had been ripped out of the wall, but Sayid managed to MacGyverly hook up a phone to reach the mainland, and Desmond called and immediately reached Penny back in the UK. Even if Sayid does have amazing phone-making-work abilities, have you ever tried calling internationally?? It’s soooo difficult, am I right people?? And another thing, when my wife uses the bathroom, she takes so long!!!
Bitches Got More Literary Allusions Than Librarian Houdini
First the obvious (oh please, like anyone could have missed it — *puffs pipe*) I Googled “unstuck in time” to see if it was a real phrase outside of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five and turned up sparse results. I’m sure other sources have used it in the past too, but that’s as on-the-nose as literary references get. Expect Sun to visit Tralfamadore in the coming episodes.
The name “Desmond David Hume” is based on the Scottish philosopher David Hume, who sought to differentiate a connection between how humans perceive things versus how things “are” or “must be.” And before you puff your pipe this time and tell me “duh”, I’ll have you know, later in his life, a semi-senile Hume sometimes would leave a room, shut the door, then open the door back up real fast to see if the room had suddenly changed, sticking with his philosophy that we can never really say “this is how things must be,” we can only perceive them. Sounds a little like what happened to Desmond last night, doesn’t it? This would be a bit more revelatory if every character on the show weren’t also named after nine philosophers.
Finally, as this post mentions, last night’s episode was awwwfully similar to the “Star Trek: TNG” series finale, when Picard jumps through time and even visits Commander Data at Cambridge. I really, really hope “Lost” ends with all the characters getting together to play poker in space. It’d be so much more satisfying that whatever they have planned.
As always, throw your own thoughts / crackpot theories in the comments!