Wednesday, April 7, 2010

LOST 6x11: There's always a choice, brother

Desmond gets all magnetic and does a little flashing before our eyes. Charlie (!) uses the skills learned in years of playing Frogger and darts across several lanes of LA traffic unharmed. Minkowski doesn’t have the sickness, but offers to help show Des a sick time in LA. Widmore convinces Desmond to play along…then Sayid breaks some necks and convinces Des to follow him instead. On the downside, some guy named Simmons gets electromagnetized to death. On the upside, he points due north no matter which way his coffin is positioned.

Lost 6x11: Happily Ever After

Desmond episodes never disappoint, and Happily Ever After was certainly no exception to the rule. There was a bit of gratuitous exposition and over-explanation in this episode, but as we wind down, I’m sure the pressure is on for them to clearly vs. ambiguously answer questions. (Here’s a question I’d like answered: Why is Zoe getting so much screen time?) The merging of the timelines is spelled out more clearly now. And it’s great.

Did Happily Ever After leave you smiling or scratching your head?

2007, On the island:
Desmond wakes up in the infirmary on the Hydra Island and it takes a minute for him to realize that Widmore is telling him he’s on the island. (Maybe the dingy room, annoying nurse, Charles Widmore by your bedside and jungle sounds outside your room were a clue?) He smacks Chas with an IV stand.

Demanding to know why Desmond is there, Widmore tells Jin it’ll be easier to show him. He barks at Zoe that they’re doing the test now and Zoe freaks out saying they’re not scheduled until tomorrow. And then Chas corrects her American pronunciation: “it’s SHED-you-uled, you poor man’s Tina Fey! And we’re doing it now.”

They pass a giant box with coils leading to it and Zoe tells Seamus, the gunman guy who used to be the kid on Kate and Ally, that they must start the test. Seamus protests, saying they haven’t used the generator in 20 years, but they have no choice. They try to power up, but cannot. Seamus tells random dude, Simmons, to check the contacts on the solenoids. In a cage on the desk is a bunny rabbit named Angstrom who he says is going next.

Nerd alert: Angstrom is a measurement equal to 0.1 nanometers used in electromagnetic radiation, named after Swedish physicist, Anders Jonas Angstrom.

As Simmons is poking around the giant box with the solenoid coils, Worker-bee Dude said that he figured out that it was a bad breaker on the generator and flips the switch. Poor Simmons gets electromagnetized to death as they try to flip the switch back up.

Nerd alert: Probably just a continuity error, but Worker-bee Dude flips the switch down in both cases. Should have been UP to turn the coils off.

Down in the giant box, they pull out a crispy Simmons. Unmoved, Widmore asks if they’re ready to start the test. Two goons strap Desmond to a chair in the box. Widmore says once this is over, he’s going to ask him to make a sacrifice. Desmond balks, and asks what he knows about sacrifice, and Widmore replies, “my son died here for the sake of this island. Your wife, my own daughter, hates me. And I’ve never even met my grandson. But if you won’t help me Desmond, all of it will be for nothing. Penny, your son, and everyone else will be gone forever.” Desmond tries in futility to free himself.

Jin tries to stop them from the test, but Chas says that Desmond is the only person in the world who can survive this, and they flip on the machine. Charles turns it up to 11 and we see Desmond looking like when you accidentally put a fork in the microwave. (Or is it just me that?)

2004, Los Angeles:
Flash to LAX, and Hurley tells Desmond to go to carousel 4 for the baggage from Oceanic 815. There, he meets Claire and tells her she’s having a boy. Desmond’s picked up by a limo driver, and it’s George Minkowski, the communications officer from the freighter. Minkowski offers to arrange a little female companionship for Desmond, but Des is all biz and just wants to go to the office. There, he goes to his boss’ office, and in this timeline, he is Charles Widmore’s right-hand man. He tells Des that his son wants to mix modern rock with classical music at his wife’s event, but the rock band’s bassist was just arrested at LAX.

Nerd alert: At Widmore’s office, Desmond is staring at a sailboat on the wall (like the one he bought from Libby and used in the solo race around the world?), and there’s a painting on the wall of a scale with a black rock on one side and a white rock on the other. The scales are even in the painting.

Breaking out the MacCutcheon Whiskey for Desmond, Widmore tells him that he’s indispensable and nothing’s too good for him. (Nothing’s too good for him in this reality, but he wasn’t good enough for anything, certainly not Penny, in the original timeline.) Charles sayd that Des is lucky he doesn’t have any family commitments.

Desmond arrives at the Superior Court, out walks Charlie, who just keeps walking right past him and into traffic. Not hurt, he walks straight past him and across the street into a bar called Jax, with a picture of a kangaroo on it.

Nerd alert: Building on the mirror theme from last week’s blog recap, Desmond stares at his reflection in the courtroom glass doors.

Nerd alert: Charlie walking into traffic reminded me of either Juliet’s husband walking into the street and being hit by the bus, or Sayid and Nadia walking into the street and Nadia being struck and killed. Charlie obviously makes it across the street safely, though.

Desmond joins him in the bar. Charlie asks if he’s ever been in love – “spectacular, consciousness-altering love”? Charlie tells him how he was choking on the bag of heroin on the flight, when he “saw” her (Claire) and that he knew he loved her. Desmond tells him he has a choice on whether or not to cooperate with him and Widmore – “there’s always a choice, brother” – and Charlie agrees to go to the hotel with him.

Nerd alert: There's an unlit neon sign behind Desmond that says "Surdut Exceptional Island Colors". Looked this up, and it seems someone named Beth Surdut did a story for Hawaii magazine in 1992 with this title. Guessing just something that was in the bar they decided not to cover up.

“You All Everybody” comes on the radio in the car, and telling him that he’s going to show him what he experienced, Charlie grabs the wheel and steers them into the marina. In the car, as Charlie is drowning, he holds up his hand to the window, complete with the “Not Penny’s Boat” message, and Desmond gets another flash of his other reality. He manages to swims with Charlie to the surface, saving him, unlike in the timeline we all know and love, where we mourned Charlie Pace.

Now in a hospital, a doctor is asking Des if he’s had any hallucinations, and she tells him that he’s going to need an MRI. (MRI is a big magnet, of course.) The MRI tech asks for an emergency contact, but Desmond tells him to put Charles Widmore down, as he’s strapping him in. The tech hands Des a button for him to push – d’oh! – if he panics. The MRI kicks in and the noises are similar to the noise of the countdown clock in the hatch, though they are the actual sounds of an MRI.

Nerd alert: The tech tells him not to push the button, or they’ll have to start all over again – a nod to the fact that this timeline has started over, but also to the fact that the timelines appear to be merging.

He has a flash of Charlie’s hand again, and then begins to remember more of his life with Penny and baby Charlie. He wigs out and hits the panic button. Looking for Charlie, he runs into Jack, just as Charlie bolts past in just a hospital gown and down a flight of stairs. In pursuit, Desmond corners him and asks to see Charlie’s hand, and with that, Charlie knows he’s seen something too. Charlie tells him to stop worrying about him and to start looking for Penny.

On the phone, Widmore is telling Des that he needs to bring Charlie to the event or face telling Mrs. Widmore that he isn’t able to bring him there. Minkowski wishes him luck dealing with Mrs. W, who turns out to be Eloise Hawking. Eloise is relatively calm, at first. She says it’s not a big deal that Charlie isn’t there. “Whatever happened, happened.”

As Des is heading back to his car, he overhears the reading of guest names, including a Penny Milton and stops dead in his tracks. He asks to see the list, and Eloise pulls him aside and tells him to stop looking – that whatever he’s doing is “a violation.” He already has Widmore’s approval, which she says is what he was looking for. He heads back to the car and pours himself a drink when Daniel Faraday (aka Daniel Widmore) knocks on the window and invites him to talk.

Nerd alert: Milton is Penny’s sideways last name. John Milton was the English author of Paradise Lost, an epic poem about the Fall of Man and Satan’s temptation of Adam and Eve to sin.

Faraday asks him if he believes in love at first sight, because he fell in love with a redhead eating a chocolate bar (“Daddy says not to eat chocolate before dinner.”) and it was as if he already loved her. He shows Des a notebook with a scientific equation in it that he wrote, but doesn’t understand how he would have known this. (In this timeline, he’s a musician.) He asks Desmond: what if this wasn’t supposed to be their lives and there’s another reality where they were happy or in love? Des says it has nothing to do with him, but Daniel calls him out and asks why he wanted to see the guest list for Penny’s name otherwise. Desmond dismisses her as just an idea, but then Daniel fesses up that she’s his half-sister and can tell him where and when to meet her.

Question: Was the phrase “exactly where and when you can find her” a nod to Daniel’s sideways knowledge of different realities and time being fluid?

At the stadium where he first met Jack, Penny is running up and down the stairs. She’s strangely un-creeped out when Desmond approaches her – alone…in a dark, empty stadium. He introduces himself, and as he shakes her hand, he wakes up back in the magnetic box.

Question: Did Desmond touching her hand cause him to flash to the alt timeline?

2007, On the island:
Widmore tells him he wasn’t out for more than a few seconds and helps him up, apologizing. But Des doesn’t need to hear any of it – he understands he’s there for an important mission. To me, he looks vaguely zombie-like here – like a happy version of Sayid –vacant, though happy and obedient.

Speaking of Sayid, Sayid shows up out of nowhere and knocks out (kills?) one of the henchmen, kills another and tells Zoe to run while pointing a gun at her. He tries to explain that Des needs to go with him, but Des doesn’t put up a fight and heads away with Sayid, smiling.

2004, Los Angeles:
At the stadium, Desmond is being woken up by Penny – he’d fainted. He asks her to coffee, and she says yes. Back in the limo, Minkowski asks if he found what he was looking for and if there’s anything else he can do for him. Des asks him to get the passenger manifest from flight 815, because he just needs to show them something.

And cut to black.

Nerd alert: He asked Minkowski for a list of passengers, just as Ben asked for a list of passengers after the crash, and just as Jacob asked for and created lists of people.

Question: Was this a nod to Juliet’s dying words to Sawyer were that they were going Dutch on coffee? Or will they perhaps meet for coffee and see Sawyer and Juliet having coffee as well?

So what did you think? Comment below with your catches, thoughts, theories...

-Sean Salo


Rich said...

What a delicious episode, but it left me wanting more. Ever since the mirror concept was brought up I find myself finding reflection in a lot of episodes. I particularly like the tiny references lost on most, like Black Rock (in the painting). Part of me wants for a connection between Lost and V and FlashForward, what with all the same people in the shows. And what about the zoom-in on the handshake between Des and Penny... reminiscent of a Jacob touch, no?

debcruger said...

Can't believe there are only 5 episodes left. What a great ride it has been. This week's episode was no disappointment. I am confused. Just a few comments / questions to share.

Demonds was on the plane; how can that be since when the plane crashes Demond is already on the island?
In the alternate timeline does the island NOT exist?

In the Kwon Episode, in the alternate timeline they are madly in love, not married and she is pregnant. Does this mean that everything that happened before they crashed on the island did not happen as well? In previous seasons the Kwons were not madly in love, in fact she was cheating and leaving him for another man or NY??

Sajid, it has been said that he has the darkness growing inside of him, similar to Clare. However Sajid is can feel nothing, no emotions. It is clear that Clare has emotions

debcruger said...
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