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Lost – Flashes Before Your Eyes

February 15th, 2007

In case you missed it, LOST is back on track. Really. Last week’s episode, Not in Portland, was top notch, and we got Kate and Sawyer off Alcatraz, Ben is now not only humorless, but tumorless. Ben has a daughter and Pickett got the double tap to the chest courtesy Juliette.

But none of that matters at the moment, we’ve moved back a few days or hours in the Lost timeline and the focus of our zooming eyes is Desmond today. You know, Desmond, the ex-German spy that got screwed by Jack Bauer, then got stuck on LOST island with Kelvin the once immortal and now dead CIA operative. We’re reminded with the pre-show glimpses that something about Desmond is odd ever since he’s saved the world and all. First he gets found by Hurley all naked and running in the jungle. Then he saved Claire’s roof with a well placed five iron (slightly left to right, but safe in the middle of the fairway, take that Paulo).

(Aside: two epis in a row without Paulo and Nikki – how long will the streak last?) (Aside Part Deux: Seven epis without Rose and Bernard) (Pointless Aside: It’s been 30 Artz-less episodes, but really, who’s counting)

The point is Desmond seems a bit pre-cognitive about some things. But he failed in predicting that Smokey would bum-rush Eko, so let’s put pre-cog in the ‘possible but probably not column for now). Des shows up at castaway beach to find Charlie and Hurley jonesin for pr0n and sorting through Sawyer’s tent. Charlie always trying to justify his habits says that Sawyer would want them to, Hurley isn’t convinced, but hasn’t yet taken to tackle Charlie with a massive man-hug.

Desmondo, as Hurley has dubbed him, ask Charlie and Hurley to come with him. They walk down an island path and find Locke and Sayid looking sadly back at them. Locke breaks the news that ‘The island killed Eko’ – which confuses Charlie, since the island hasn’t killed anyone since that lady drowned.. er.. the pilot got tore apart.. er.. well I guess Charlie finally got it. Locke wants Charlie and Hurley to react correctly when Locke breaks the news to the rest of the camp. Desmond looks around for Nikki and Paulo, then realizes that he’d better make a head call before Paulo takes all the good leaves.

Actually, Desmond had an uncontrollable impulse to swim in the strong rip currents off the north shore of Oahu. No wait, someone is out in the water… It’s Claire! (okay, pretend for a moment that you didn’t watch the previews, its better that way). Des’ rescue effort is rewarded with glaring looks and accusations from Hurley and Charlie.

*cue LOST twirly opening music thingy*

Des is looking at a creased photo of he and Penny, and Claire stops by to thank Desmond for the whole saving my life thing. I’d like to stay and talk, except Charlie doesn’t have nipples and Aaron is starving, so okay then.

Charlie isn’t taking the whole Desmond the prophet angle, saying, “If the bearded wonder can predict the future he wouldn’t have wound up here.” Hurley counters with, “you know he’ll already know whatever plan you come up with.” And Charlie settles the matter with the predictable, lets get him pissed then. (pissed as in drunk, not pissed as in angry… must I always explain British slang to you?)

Charlie and Hurley approach Desmond on the beach, at first it looks as if he’s writing, ‘let him without sin, cast the first stone’, but really he’s starting the bonfire, because really you can’t have a rum-soaked (or whiskey soaked) beach party without a bonfire, ask Jack Sparrow. Charlie apologizes to Des for not being more greatful, and offers a peace offering, and Des initially defers the bottle, until he’s faced with the fact that its good McCutcheon Whiskey, which he’s been jonesin for since like forever! No cups for Des, he knocks back the 60 year old blend and starts the party off.

Six hours later, the sun is down and the lightweights still haven’t finished off the bottle. Charlie figures that Des is has had enough of the truth serum to shed some light on his pre-cognitive activities. Des explains that he’s got really good hearing and could hear Claire’s water-logged screams. Charlie keeps pressing and calls Des a coward, and then Des really get pissed (mad pissed this time) and pushes Charlie to the ground choking him and screaming, “You don’t want to know what happened to me when I turned that key
!”

cue flashback to the hatch imploding and Des turning the key… then FOOM – series of flashes and the Lost Eye trick on Desmond. Covered in a sticky red substance… its paint of course, not blood. He’s back in his flat with Penny, who immediately lays into the nagging with the ‘its our flat love, not yours blather.

1:08 on the alarm clock (much like the 108 minutes between the button presses) as Des is getting dressed for a job interview. Penny fixes his tie, and tells Des that he doesn’t really need a job from her father, its not like its the end of the world. “Honey, let me tell you about the end of the world,” Des is about to say, but is interrupted by the hatch countdown alarm.

Des is at the reception desk asking to see Charles Widmore, when the UPS guy shows up and says he got a parcel here 4 8 15. Which confuses Des and upon repeating it is a parcel for 815. Widmore is reading Des’ resume thinking that he is just right for an administrative department for one of his paper company’s in Berkshire – Wernham-Hogg. Des says he’s not looking for a role in a comedy he’s here to ask for Penny’s hand in marriage. Widmore smiles and breaks out the 60 year old McCutcheon and then doesn’t share a drop with Des. Des isn’t worthy of sharing good whiskey, and definitely not his daughter.

Des thinks he’s stuck in Deja Vu when he see’s Charlie, sober, and playing a tune on the street. He can’t place Charlie and freaks him out telling, “We were on an Island.” Charlie, quips back, “We are on an island mate, England — This is why we don’t do drugs folks!” Des goes Raymond Babbitt on Charlie and like Locke did in season one, predicts a passing rain shower.

Des needs help, and who else can help someone stuck on delusions of the super natural but Mohinder’s friend Nirand, except in this wormhold his name is Donovan, and he likes downing pints in English pubs. Donovan thinks that Des isn’t caught in a time warp, and Des is overcome by a deja-vu that isn’t, and Donovan dismisses him with a “There is no such thing as time travel.” Donovan is a much a wet-blanket as Nirand, but he does give Des a push to the ‘True Love’ side, so he’s not totally a Magical Max.

Des weighs both Widmore’s and Donovan’s opinon vis Penny and true love, and the next day he is ring shopping. What is it with ring shopping today, first Matt Saracen and now Desmond… Anyhoo, Desmond finds a gem of a ring, but the Oracle won’t let Des cause a glitch in the Matrix and demands the sodding ring back, so that Des can join the military, go to prison, train for a world race, then get ship-wrecked and push the damn button and save the world again. Hey, who let the Wachowski brothers loose in the LOST writers camp? Next week, Des will slay the architect with his stammering words of TRUTH!

See the ring-lady is trapped in the day along with Des and Bret Hopper, and only when Des figures out how to save Rita (Moon Bloodgood) will he be able to end the day.  Oops, got a bit confused with Day Break a bit… sorry.  Des is a bit dismayed that the Oracle knows that a the reaper has the guy in the red-shoes post-it, and doesn’t do anything to save him.  Its hopeless she explains, if she saves him from the scaffolding, then he’ll get hit by a taxi (okay, at least it wouldn’t be a bus… because that would be a little too blatant…right?), if she warns him of the bus, then he’ll die in the shower.  The universe, unfortunately has a way of course-correcting.  Des’ destiny is to push the button and turn the key and save the world.

Des gives destiny the finger and decides to go on with the propsal, but then realizes that he and Pen take horrid photos, and can’t possibly show the rotten things to the grand kids.  So he breaks up with Penny, and tosses the ring in the drink (where later on Gollum will find it and will follow his path to the Mountain of Doom).  See to be truly fit for Penelope, Desmond must first … oh sod it, where is a pub?  Drowning his sorrows with the cheapest stuff available, because McCutcheon is so damn expensive.. and tastes bad too.  Then the deja-vu from the previous night with Donovan starts up, with the song from the first glimpse in the hatch playing on the juke box.  Des tries to save the day and warn the bar-keep about the cricket bat and gets whacked on the head, and wakes up.  On the island… naked.  Open the pod bay doors Hal…

So see, Charlie you really don’t want to know about hitting the damn button!  You can’t change it, no matter what you do!

Charlie takes Desmond back to his tent, and then Charlie has Desmond tell him what happened.  When he pressed the button his life flashed before his eyes, and hasn’t stopped flashing.  Charlie asks if the flashes is what showed him Claire was drowning.  Desmond says, it wasn’t Claire drowning, it was Charlie, it wasn’t Claire that got struck by lightening it was Charlie.  Desmond has been saving Charlie.  But he can’t stop him from dying.  Brett Hopper pick up the white courtesy telephone.

———–

Some neat things happened in this episode, but given the ratings of Day Break, I’m thinking the viewers are gonna be more confused than ever.

I liked that what happened to Desmond with the turn of the key is answered, but in an unexplainable way.  That much like the 18 hours of static in Contact, it will remain a question.  I like that Desmond is staying true to trying to change things, even if he knows he can’t.  Perhaps something will happen, or keeping Charlie alive allows Charlie to do something to save someone else. That even though he changes one thing, his flashes still continue, which puts us into groundhog day endless loops that Desmond has experienced/ing.
This was a nice aside, a regrouping, and it shows the difficulty that the producers have in trying to ‘time the break’… had we gotten ‘Not in Portland’ back in December, it would have rocked, and then this story back from the break would have been a let down.  LOST, like 24, needs the total string of episodes in a long stream.

I thought this episode was great, and had a lot to like about it.  I liked the references to the number, the polar bear painting in Widmore’s office, the time shifting questions.  Most that it makes you think and wonder about just about everything.  Is Locke able to know when its going to rain because he has ‘flashes before his eyes too?’  Did Desmond know that Eko was going to get whacked, or are his flashes only good for Charlie?

Looking forward to next week.

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  1. February 15th, 2007 at 14:47 | #1

    When Desmondo threw the ring into the river, I was thinking of gollum as well. How could Desmondo throw away the One Ring?

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