LOST RECAP: Happily Ever After – Fairy Tales For No Child

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This is a Recap of Lost Season 6 Episode 11, “Happily Ever After,” originally airing April 6, 2010. It’s full of spoilers. Sideways ones. Nothing about the flash-sidewayses, actually, but tons of information from the movie Sideways. Paul Giamatti was the wine the whole time. That’s just one of many.

CAN’T SPELL “BESTD” WITHOUT D-E-S!

Strap on yer fake beards and unbutton your shirts to island-casual, brothah, cause it is Desmond episode time!

We instantly join Des waking up in the clutches of Zoe (aka “Fake Tina Fey” – Every Commenter Ever) with no Previously On Lost segment (how’d they get on this island??), waking up disoriented and asking for Penny and joking “Wouldn’t it SUCK if I was on the island, where I promised myself and Penny 600 times I’d never go again?” Charles Widmore quickly greets him and explains “Good morning, son in law I’m underwhelmed with, you’re on the island! You’ve been WIDMORE’D! I’m shooting the pilot for a new elaborate island-related prank show.”

Desmond reacts to the news as anyone would: By instantly beating the crap out of Widmore, also known as “Season 4 Bennin’ It”. Widmore’s men calm Desmond down, restrain him, and beat him up a little bit for no damn reason, then prepare their box o’ electromagnetism, which they accidentally test by setting off once and frying some extra. Widmore is confident Desmond can withstand the electroride, according to “everything I’ve heard about you,” presumably because Desmond has his constant and can withstand time travel, or possibly because the show wouldn’t randomly kill off an actual character in that lightbox.

A bright light flashes, and a completely unfazed Desmond wakes up in a flash-sideways collecting his luggage at LAX, then hits on Claire a little bit (waaait a minuuuute…what about Penny? Are they not together in this reality or something, cause that would be SOOO SIDEWAYS). If we thought Sawyer’s flash-sideways was Opposite Day, hoooo-boy, was Desmond’s life different — let us count the ways:

  • Desmond is single and unaware of Penny’s existence.
  • Desmond not only works for Widmore, he’s Widmore’s most trusted employee.
  • Desmond is worthy of sharing Widmore’s scotch (after Widmore drank his billion-dollar pirate juice in front of Des back in Season 2).
  • Desmond is black.
  • Desmond calls everyone “sistah”.
  • Desmond wears his shoes on his head and hats on his feet and all the buildings are upside-down.

The episode took one of Lost’s occasional “What is this, Sex And The City?” unsubtle turns, spelling out Desmond’s situation so explicitly, it might as well have been half F-words: His limo driver notices he isn’t wearing a wedding band, then Widmore points out “You sure have the life! No attachments! Isn’t that different that who you might’ve been in another life?” But alas, Desmond has no emergency contact at the hospital. FROWN FACE.

Can the cosmos get Desmond to rent The Family Man in time for him to realize he needs to be with Penny? Find out after the jump:

MORE LIKE DRIVE-RECKLESSLY-SHAFT

Desmond’s first task in his new reality? Widmore needs him to babysit a bassist who choked on heroin and just got arrested. Lemmie guess…Charlie? Aw, no way, it’s Keamy again!! Didn’t see that coming.

Desmond grabs Charlie from the copz, and the two proceed to re-enact a classic viral video:

However, Charlie’s flagrant badittude isn’t just a record label mandate to make him seem like the bad boy in Driveshaft — he’s seen visions of his true love in some other world and knows she’s real, and no longer buys the whole flash-sideways charade. Desmond only half pays attention, until Charlie wheels their car into a salmon hatchery or something, and as Desmond is rescuing him from the water, he sees clips from Season Two of Charlie holding up “not Penny’s boat” written on his hand.

Des is taken aback by the vision, but decides “no big deal, I’ll just get a nice, non-memory-inducing MRI to calm me down and forget about this whole mess,” but during the MRI his other-world memory goes apesh*t, and he vividly recalls being with Penny, then hits the MRI panic button and storms out of the hospital in pursuit of this character. For some reason, the MRI technician isn’t Walt.

MEET THE HAWKINGS

Desmond arrives at a musical event for Widmore’s son, and at Widmore’s request has to explain to Mrs. Widmore (who is Rose) that Driveshaft won’t be performing as planned. Mrs. Hawking/Widmore/Hawkmore cares a lot less about this bad news than she cares about knife placement, which surprises Desmond, but when Desmond then overhears that someone named “Penny” is coming to the event, he tries to read the guest list and Mrs. Hawking flips her all-knowing-lid. It turns out, she probably did care about the lack of Driveshaft, but needed to get Desmond away from there as quickly as possible.

Hawkmore tells Desmond that whatever he thinks he’s doing, to stop doing it. Demond’s like, “You mean shaving?” She answers, “No, all this time travel, Penny-finding business — you have no idea what you’re getting into and you’re not ready to see the list yet.” She drops in the Lost “Whatever happened, happened” catchphrase (they’re trying to spin that phrase off into an SNL movie), and leaves Desmond shaken and confused yet again, just as he was in the other reality when he tried to buy a wedding ring from Mrs. Hawking and she was like “NO RING I KNOW EVERYTHING STOP THIS TIME TRAVEL BS!”



Desmond leaves the event but is approached by Hawking’s son Daniel Faraday, now Daniel Widmore the musician, who tells Desmond that he too had visions of his phantom true love and describes seeing Charlotte and instantly knowing that he loved her, just as Charlie loved Claire and Desmond loved Penny and Widmore loved Ben (just make-up sex already, you two). Daniel shows Desmond a book of ultracomplex physics equations that he wrote down after the Charlotte visions, which explain in more complicated math than he’s capable of knowing (he’s writing in tongues) that he once set off a nuclear bomb, and that indeed, everything in this reality is kind of…off (uhhhh, we know dude, we saw Slightly-Less-Creepy Dr. Ethan).

Daniel tells Desmond where to find Penny — Daniel’s half-sister! — and Desmond meets her in the same stadium he once met Jack, thus marking a massive improvement in this reality. He chats with Penny briefly then immediately flashes back to the island just long enough to encounter Sayid, who murders some of his handlers and tells him “these people are dangerous, come with me” and Daniel complies, exuding an apathy similar to that of Charlie in the sideways-flash. Desmond flashes back to the stadium, learns that he fainted in front of Penny, and kicks sideways destiny in the balls by asking her out for a coffee. Penny agrees. Destiny!

In the final shot of the episode, Desmond asks George the limo driver to take him to the coffee shop, and asks if George can get him a copy of the Oceanic flight register. Why? “I just need to show them something.” LOST. Now I just need something to wear, amIright?? LOST AGAIN.

WHAT WE MAYBE LEARNED

– Desmond appears to be unstuck in time again by the episode’s end; no one else was fainting in their flash-sidewayses when the show jumped back and forth, and no appeared to learn/retain information from the flash-sideways into the island reality or vice versa aside from a vague, isolated detail here or there. As Widmore guessed, Desmond appears to be the only one who can do something about rectifying the two realities. I thought it would’ve been up to Hurley’s Dad – way off on that prediction.

– There’s a connection between people in the flash-sideways seeing their “true loves” and having visions or memories of their island lives. It happened to Desmond, Charlie, and Daniel, but what about Locke, who lived his entire flash-sideways with his loving wife and didn’t appear to have any island knowledge? Was this because his wife was never on the island at any point? Or is his true love actually, like, Ana Lucia? Also, note that Sawyer’s flash-sideways cut off just as he saw Kate; maybe we’ll learn that this triggered something? Other than a BONER! High-five!!! Did I mention I have a fifth grade class in my office right now and I’m trying to get them to high five me for my Lost writing? I thought I mentioned that in the italics up top.

– When Des tells Claire “I’ll bet it’s a boy,” does he actually subliminally possess this knowledge, or is it just a random small-talky throwaway line? If it’s not the first thing, then blow me, Lost producers.

Overall, as one would expect from a Desmond episode, last night’s ep was extremely entertaining, at least enough for me to overlook the Oliver Stone level of subtlety in explaining Desmond’s life situation. Plus it’s a bit of a “careful what you wish for” scenario; we’re always clamoring for things to be explained more clearly, so we shouldn’t complain when the producers do exactly that. Next week, Damon Lindelof’s gonna open the episode by standing at a podium reading off the things that are different in Hurley’s flash-sideways life with a Powerpoint presentation, ending with “Alright, now on to the episode.” Unfortunately, this will set off an internet firestorm of “but was that actually the producer reading to us or has that not happened yet?”, but, well, we’re Lost-watchers — this is the life we’ve chosen for ourselves.

Only five episodes to go, with Hurley on deck — thoughts on last night’s episode? Theories? Questions? Predictions? Leave ‘em in another comments section, brothah (no, this one).