Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lost Episode 6.11: "Happily Ever After"


I just felt a great disturbance in the force. Like a million brains exploding at once. Honestly, I'm not even sure what to think or write after that episode, which my wife declared "best Lost episode ever." I wouldn't go that far, but it definitely was exciting and revelatory, while also somehow still managing to remain super confusing. I'm not sure if I understand things better or not after that. We'll have to work together to figure this one out. Fortunately, there was no "V" countdown blocking the screen this week. I'm a little sad about that because I had a good line ready in case it returned: "They should count down the minutes left until V is canceled, then it would be up for less time." Oh well.

For this mind-numbing episode, I'm going to try to break things down to new stuff we learned or new questions that arose, as opposed to a straight play-by-play of what happened. Though it might be a little of both. Ok, brace your eyeballs and brain-containers, there's about to be a lot of words to read.


WIDMORE KIDNAPS DESMOND FROM THE HOSPITAL: The last time we saw Desmond, he was in a hospital in LA after getting shot by Ben. Widmore was last seen outside the same hospital getting slapped in the face by Ms. Hawking. So apparently, he went inside and somehow was able to smuggle Desmond out. I guess because he has tons of money, he was able to just pay people off or something. Speaking of Widmore's vast resources, now that he appears to be a good guy, what are we to make of Widmore's business partnership with Mr. Paik, Sun's father? Does Paik know about the island, and even possibly the danger of the alternate timeline? Because in the flash-sideways, it looks like both Sun and her baby might die. Does Paik know about that and want to prevent it? Anyway, Desmond was under for 3 days before awaking on the island to become the savior of everyone, so I think maybe this episode counts as a Lost Easter Special.


DESMOND HULKS OUT: Desmond is apparently related to the Beserker line of Scotsmen, as demonstrated by his smacking Widmore on the head with medical equipment and his Lou Ferrigno-like demolition of the chair he was restrained in while inside the crazy electromagnetic box. The box itself was pretty cool, kind of a Jurassic Park/Primer combo. This box might be similar to the "magic box" described by Ben long ago to Locke, which he claimed Anthony Cooper came out of (and later claimed was a metaphor.) Is there another box like this on the island somewhere built by Dharma that Widmore and Ben know about? Just wonderin'.


WHAT'S WIDMORE'S PLAN? So, apparently electromagnetic pulses can send Desmond to the flash-sideways time line. But I'm still not sure what Widmore's plan is with Desmond beyond that. He claimed this first blast of magnetism was a "test." And he told a confused Jin that he needed to know if Desmond could withstand the test or they would would all die. He also told Desmond later that he would be asking him to make a sacrifice. What is the sacrifice? What is the plan now that Desmond can travel between time lines? How does that help Widmore?


WIDMORE'S SACRIFICES: Widmore claims he's made several sacrifices in order to carry out this plan. He lost his son Daniel, his daughter hates him, and he's never met his grandchild. Here's what my wife and I think happened to cause the rift between Penny and Widmore. First, Desmond comes to Widmore to ask for Penny's hand in marriage. But Widmore already knows about Desmond's destiny. Perhaps he read about Desmond in his dead son Daniel's journal, which must have been on Daniel's body when he got shot by his mother on the island back in the 70s. (We know that Daniel's journal talked about Desmond, and even said that Desmond was his "Constant".) So Widmore would also possibly know from the Journal all about Desmond's capabilities (which Daniel knew about somehow) and that Desmond had a possible role to play on the island. So he immediately decides to object to the marriage, because he knows that Desmond's fate is linked to the island, probably at the cost of his life, and he doesn't want to see his daughter become devastated like he saw his wife become devastated by losing her son. He also begins to do his best to get Desmond to the island. Including hiring Libby to offer him a boat. I'm not sure how much more explanation we'll get on that topic, but I think given what we know that scenario kind of makes sense.


REFLECTIONS OF A BRUTHA: The electromagnetic box works and after a flash of light we see a shot of drifting clouds (very Donnie Darko-esque) before fading to Desmond staring at his reflection in the Oceanic Six airport display. And so begins the flash-sideways that lasts for the majority of the episode. At first, Desmond is not conscious of his sideways travel through time. He meets Claire at the terminal and accurately predicts her baby's sex, so perhaps he does remember some things subconsciously. Then he offers her a ride in his car, and I think the writers had him do this in order to demonstrate that he's lonely and that his life is missing something. That fits with what we learn in the very next scene, when George Minkowski (the communications officer from the Freighter) crassly offers Desmond some lady companionship. Desmond refuses, illustrating that he's not looking for a one night stand, but a real relationship. We also learn that Desmond's job is to work for Mr. Widmore as a "Fix-it Man", which I guess is very similar to George Clooney's job in the movie Michael Clayton.


WIDMORE'S BAD ART: Widmore's painting of the scales on the wall is interesting. Who's painting these things for him? Seems weird if the whole island drama is such a matter of life and death to even bother getting a painting done of it. Maybe he's really into the mythology of the show. If I'd been through all Widmore has, I'd probably be more into peaceful paintings of flowers or meadows.


CHARLEY'S DEATH WISH: Widmore gives Desmond the assignment to escort rock star Charlie to what sounds like the worst Charity event known to man, and we soon see Charlie emerging from the police station and into Desmond's care. Unfortunately, in this timeline Charlie seems to be playing his annoying character from the show FlashForward. Kind of grating. Charlie demonstrates right off the bat that he's not concerned for his life anymore, and attempts to Bowfinger across the street. After his accidental near-death experience on the plane, he's become aware of the existence of the other time line and his relationship with Claire. So it looks like now Charlie WANTS to die, so he can be reunited with her. But would that even work? All we know at this point is that if you're about to die, you can peek into the other time line. This is similar to when Juliet glimpsed the sideways world right before her death in Sawyer's arms. Why does being near-death let you see this? I'm not sure. Apparently magnets, near-death experiences, and love are all able to give you glimpses of alternate time lines. You know, like you would expect.


TIME LINE ENVY: So I think the show is now building to a very messy situation. Some people's lives appear BETTER in this time line, while some people's seem to be worse. In fact, despite the fact that both Daniel and Charlie want to get back to the original time line, they both die pretty nasty deaths in there. And their love interests either die or go bugnuts insane. So, do they think the momentary experience of love is better than never having love? Or do they not know about the death part? I guess that's what's implied, but based on this show's logic I would actually recommend now that Daniel and Charlie just track their girlfriends down in this time line now that they know they're meant to be together and start working their charming magic anew. Much easier than crossing the streams or whatever's going to have to happen to fix things otherwise. But, instead of doing that, Charlie decides to end it all and take others with him by driving their car off a pier and into the familiar marina water below. (It's the same marina Ben shot Desmond at in the other reality.)


TAKE ME DOWN TO THE HOSPITAL: After the crash and a cat scan in the hospital, Desmond is able to start remembering things from the other time line. He tries to find Charlie, then chases him down a flight of stairs in a scene that was just like Alice chasing the white rabbit through the rabbit hole, even ending similarly with Desmond discovering the existence of another world. (Thanks to Zach for that catch.) This might be a lame stretch, but I noticed Charlie's also wearing black and white checkered vans as he runs from Desmond. Like the black and white stones, maybe? Or an Alice in Wonderland inspired chess thing? Or just coincidence? I'm insane. Jack gets involved briefly as well, and seems to be confused at all the folks from his seemingly benign flight showing up in the same hospital. Join the club, Jack. Charlie claims "none of this matters" and proves that by running off naked in his hospital gown.


LADY WIDMORE: Here's where things get zany. Desmond goes to the site of the ill-conceived Classical/Modern Rock Fusion Charity Event to tell Mrs. Widmore that the Modern Rock part is not going to make it. Mrs. Widmore/Hawking seems okay with that, and I assume that's only because she's relieved that she's not going to have to witness the promised musical performance. Desmond overhears "Milton, Penny (solo)" on the guest list and freaks out. (Penny's last name is Milton? As in Paradise Lost? Uh-oh.) Mrs. Widmore freaks out and tells Desmond that he's committing a "violation" and needs to stop. He asks her how she knows what he's looking for, and she replies "Because I bloody do". Ok, this is mildly confusing so let's pick it apart. First of all, I'm assuming she does not want Desmond to fix anything. She's now reunited with both her son and her husband. Is this why in the other time line she was so committed to making sure that Daniel became a physicist and went back to the island to detonate the bomb? I'm guessing she had to go through with that with the hope that the bomb going off would change everything. Now that it has, somehow she's able to retain the knowledge of both time lines (too many CAT scans?) and doesn't want things to revert back to the time line where she shoots her son. Which is understandable. But why did she tell Desmond long ago that the Island wasn't done with him? Wouldn't she want Desmond NOT to interfere? Because it seems like Charles Widmore wants Desmond back in order to STOP this flash-sideways from happening. And I'm assuming that's because something BAD happens in the flash-sideways. Like maybe, as I theorized before, the Man in Black is from the Flash-Sideways and is going to do something evil there?! I dunno. (As I side note, I was featured on the last Jay and Jack Podcast as a call-in listener with that last theory. Kinda cool. My voice sounded insane, but it was a nerd validation of sorts.) Also curious is Mrs. Widmore's parting comment that Desmond can't see the guest list because he's not "ready yet." So does she want him to continue his mission or not? Or is it just that SHE'S not ready yet, even though she knows the right thing to do? This show is pretty amazing. By amazing, I mean totally confusing.


WHAT DOES FLASH-SIDEWAYS WIDMORE KNOW? It seems like flash-sideways Mrs. Widmore is somehow fully cognizant of what's going on. Is Charles Widmore? It looks like he's not, or he'd be offering more instruction to Desmond, I think. Though who knows.


IN THIS TIME LINE, DANIEL WEARS STUPID HATS: Daniel is back (perhaps my favorite Lost character), and he's wearing the dumbest "musician" hat I've ever seen. It looks like the hat a piano player would be wearing on a snazzy tie from the 80s. No wonder he wants to get back to the other reality. He desperately needs a girlfriend bold enough to tell him to take off that ridiculous headpiece.

CHARLOTTE EATING A CHOCOLATE BAR: For Daniel, just the sight of Charlotte eating a chocolate bar was enough to propel him sideways in time, at least mentally. He didn't need a near death experience or an expensive magnet. So, I have to wonder: Was it an Apollo bar? I would guess yes. I have a quick, lame Apollo Bar theory to throw out here. I still think the Man in Black is trying to get to the alternate time line in order to somehow kill everyone in the world. That's his home, where he's from, somehow. And, that's why that time line can not be allowed to exist. But how is he going to kill everyone? In the Lost Experience game, there was a mention of deadly chemical testing going on in the world. Could this be part of his plan? Could he be planning to spread a deadly infection... THROUGH EVERYONE'S APOLLO BARS?!? Once again, it's probably a good thing I don't write for the show.

DANIEL IS SORRY HE BLEW UP AN ATOMIC BOMB: After espying Charlotte from afar, Daniel jots some quantum physics into a notebook. Ah, love. Yet again, the mysterious paradox of this mysterious journal. So, WHICH notebook did Ms. Hawking give Daniel at his graduation dinner in The Variable? The one from this time line? An empty one? The full one from the original time line she found on his body after shooting him? *Brain explodes.* Either way, Daniel is now aware that he is the cause of this flash-sideways world. And he wants to set things right. I'm assuming he doesn't know that Charlotte will die a horrible death if he does. He also confirms to Desmond that Penny is alive and real.


THE STADIUM?? WHA?? So Desmond tracks Penny down, and in this time line she jogs in the same stadium that Jack and Desmond jog in during the original time line. Then Penny and Desmond have a REALLY awkward meeting which Penny seems to take in stride. Personally, I would have been a little more freaked out by it. After all, he just basically walks up to her and says "Are you Penny? Hello, I'm Desmond." Then passes out. Then awakes and says they've never met before. Then asks her out for coffee. I guess it's quite an entrance. Anyway, Desmond touches Penny, his constant, and is instantly transported mentally back to the island. Ah, love.


DESMOND UNDERSTANDS EVERYTHING?!: Oh, man. I wish he'd explain it to me. I liked Desmond's renewed sense of purpose upon his awakening, though. But is there more to it than what we know? What does Desmond know that he needs to do? How much does he know? He tells Widmore: "It's alright, I understand. You brought me here to do something very important. When do we start?" Is Desmond being totally truthful? Wouldn't he wonder why Widmore would NOT want to live in the timeline where his son, daughter, and wife are totally alive and well? I kind of hope we can just take Desmond's word for it, and assume that Widmore is good and Desmond is on board with his plan. However, the next scene kind of left things a little open ended...


LOOK OUT FOR THE FLASH SAYID-WAYS: Desmond is being escorted somewhere by Zooey (one of the least cool Lost characters to date) when Sayid appears out of nowhere and takes everyone out. He tells Desmond he's in grave danger, and Desmond just calmly replies "Of course, lead the way." What's going on here? My vote is that Desmond somehow knows that Sayid isn't right and is just trying not to get himself killed. Or does he want to be taken to the Man in Black to defeat him? But how would he know about the man in black? Argh. 5 episodes to go and I'm still not sure 100% who's good and who's bad and who's fighting who for what and why. *Brain explodes.* All I know for sure is that you DO NOT want the island to be uncorked. Whatever that means.


MANIFEST DESTINY: We jump back to the flash-sideways and Desmond gets back in the limo. He accepts George's offer for help and asks him to get him the flight manifest for Flight 815 so that he can "show them something." Awesome. Little does George know, if he helps Desmond out, in exchange things will switch back to the other reality and George will die a painful death on the freighter as his nose bleeds from time travel complications. That said, it's cool to know we're finally going to start seeing these flash-sideways stories connecting to our regular show, already in progress. Now, here's a question: At this point in the limo, is Desmond still jumping back and forth in time? I mean, is the progression of time exactly what we've seen in this episode for Desmond's consciousness? Desmond walks away with Sayid but then suddenly finds himself back at the stadium? I don't think so. Could be, but it's also possible that Desmond only flashes back ONCE, and what we're seeing in the taxi is a part of what happened BEFORE he awoke in Widmore's box. Maybe he goes and talks to the other 815ers, figures out what's going on a little more clearly, and THEN wakes up and asks, "How long was I unconscious?" That would explain his resolve a little better. Guess we'll have to wait and see. Gets pretty confusing, though.

That's it. I skipped over a ton, I'm sure, so please feel free to bring other stuff up in the comments. One thing I do want to get into, though... It occurred to me that some folks are going to really benefit from the flash-sideways timeline, and some folks are going to benefit from sticking to the original time line.

Let's take a look at where a few key players stand:

DESMOND: Loses current son if everything goes to sideways time. ADVANTAGE: Regular time line.
JACK: Loses flash-sideways son if he stays in this time line. ADVANTAGE: Flash-sideways?
JIN: Possibly loses both Sun & Ji Yeong to death in Flash Sideways. ADVANTAGE: Regular time.
WIDMORE: Actually seems better off in the flash-sideways, strangely. His only loss would be a son-in-law, as he already has Penny, Daniel and his wife. (One possible, lame explanation: He does mention in the flash-sideways that he envies Desmond's unencumbered lifestyle without wife or kids... Could his motivation simply be to get more alone time? I kind of doubt it, so I'm going to say ADVANTAGE: Flash-sideways?)
CHARLIE: Doesn't meet Claire in Flash-sideways, but doesn't drown either. But according to him: ADVANTAGE: Flash-sideways
MS.HAWKING: Better off in Flash-Sideways for sure.
SAYID: Looks bad either way, but less bad in flash-sideways, perhaps.
BEN LINUS: Better off in Flash-Sideways for sure.
SAWYER: Juliet's dead on the island. In the Flash-Sideways, he's not a criminal and not a murderer, yet. Unless he still shot that guy in Sydney while looking for Anthony Cooper. ADVANTAGE: Flash-sideways.
KATE: Mother of Aaron in one, on the run from the law in the other but we don't know why yet. ADVANTAGE: ??
CLAIRE: In the flash-sideways, she lost the adoptive parents, but isn't a crazy person raising a creepy squirrel baby. ADVANTAGE: Flash-Sideways??
ANGSTROM THE BUNNY: Seems to be fine either way.

POLL RESULTS: For those following the polls on the right column of my blog, the winner of last week's "What mystery do you most want solved?" was a tie between "Who was that kid Smokey chased?" and "What up with Christian Shepherd?" Out of those two, I'd much rather learn about Christian Shepherd, personally. Cause he's been freaky since Season One. The kid was cool for a second, but now I find I don't care as much. Plus, I'm pretty sure we'll get an answer to that. A close second was "What up with Walt?" followed by "Adam and Eve?" No one cares about the Dharma supply drops, I guess. HOW DID THEY KEEP COMING? Bad paperwork?

PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK: Here's what I saw in the preview for next week. Hurley visits Libby's grave. Michael's ghost appears there and says "people are gonna die and its your fault." Then a totally out of place rock song kicked in and we saw a ton of shots of characters spinning around to face the camera. Which was odd. It ended on Hurley saying to Jack "I know what we need to do, trust me." Next week's episode is obviously Hurley-focused. It's entitled "Everyone Loves Hugo." I'll let you know if more things start to click in my exploded brain before then.

9 comments:

Davis said...

Angie said she thought this was by far the best episode of the season. I might have to agree. On your breakdown of winners and losers, I'm not sure we can say that Widmore loses a son-in-law in the flash-sideways, since Desmond and Penny presumably are about to meet for coffee. Caffeinated sparks may still fly, in which case we can't say that Desmond loses a son in the flash-sideways, either. Things in the flash-sideways seem to keep working to ends similar to those in the regular timeline (Mikhail's eye, Ben's dad breathes gas (oxygen this time, but still), Keamy and Omar get killed, etc.) so it seems not impossible that Desmond and Penny will hit it off, get married, and produce an heir.

I have more thoughts on this episode, but I've got to run now. I did want to thank you for the many, many pop-culture references, both blatant and subtle, in your posts. Dude, is there any movie you haven't seen or book you haven't read?

Old Man Crews said...

early on widmore said "shedule" instead of "schedule", then i remembered that he's from australia or somewhere... or is he? it screwed up the whole episode for me. I was confused the whole time.

Wes W. said...

Ha. He's from England, I believe. Hence the "Schhedule." Desmond and Penny used to live in London. I'm not sure why Widmore lives in LA in this time line, I guess because that's where Ms. Hawking lived.

Davis, I haven't seen The Notebook. Or read it.

Andrea said...

I couldn't remember Widmore's heritage either. And I thought it was strange that he had the exact same office in LA that he had IN England or wherever he told Desmond he couldn't ever deserve the whiskey. That wasn't LA right?

About the Dharma Drops, I think I told myself the others were doing it to ensure the candidates were safe...maybe I just didn't care. I am pretty good at suspending reality to a point.

I like the theory of much more happening in Desmond's flash than what we saw. I love these many-dimensional characters! They can change their faces to mean ANYTHING.

OH yeah and about Eloise, she totally did the same thing when Des was about to propose to Penny many seasons ago. Talking about how it wasn't supposed to happen this way..yada yada. I am holding out that she is a HUGE part of the puzzle. She has been everywhere and seems to know a lot. PLUS when she killed Daniel SHE was the leader, even though Widmore was on the Island! What's up with that? Why haven't we talked about it? THe show acts like Widmore was the leader and got banished and then it was Ben, but in Jughead, Richard knocks her out and says "I'm protecting our leader". Weird!

Amber said...

Andre - I agree about Ms. Hawking being a major role, but in the background. She was a leader on the island and in the flash-sideways it seems like she is still leading Widmore (he seems afraid of her power) even though his the big business man.

Maybe everyone will eventually meet their "true love" in the flash-sideways timeline and that is the right timeline. Maybe in that timeline Desmond gets to be with Penny AND gets Widmore's approval. And maybe if the Man in Black gets off the island that is the timeline that ceases to exist.

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ツイッター said...

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