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Lost – The Constant

February 29th, 2008 1 comment

Sayid: What do you expect to find when you get there?

Desmond: Answers

Amen, you and me both, Brutha.

It appears that Desmond’s magnetic implosion survival has put his brain squarely in the middle of a tesseract (or perhaps more properly a wormhole, but I prefer Madeleine L’Engle’s terminology, and need to start scraping the bottom of the Lost easter egg basket for a copy of A Wrinkle in Time to appear in Sawyer’s hands — found it Sawyer read it in Deus Ex Machina back in season one. ). The complications of a brain square in a tesseract are evident when the brain moves outside of the arc of protection that surrounds our favorite island. While zooming along the same bearing that Michael and Walt crusied away from Ben’s island, 305° T, Frank Lapidus pilots the helicopter into a thunderhead and perhaps in the turbulance drifts of the bearing a bit, and Desmond ends up drifting 8 years in the past, in the middle of boot camp in 1996, a few months after taking a picture with Penny, then ditching her as so much worthless copper. After the stress of 100 crunches have stressed our favorite time-traveling messiah a bit, his addled brain ends up back in 2004 in the chopper, but only remembering 1996.

Oh this is gonna be fun!

Back in Isle de Camazotz, Daniel Faraday and Charlotte Staples Lewis are chatting with Juliet and Jack about the paradox of a helicopter with limited fuel being lost for more than a day. Juliet keys on the fact that C.S. has no worries about it, which perhaps she should being that might be the only way our new lostees may get back off the island. Daniel lets slip that, “your perceptions of how long your friends have been gone its not necessarily how long they’ve actually been gone.” Which puts Jack into a whole batch of confusing thoughts, looks like our ‘Man of Science’ needs to bone up on his theoretical physics, though I must give a nice bow to the writer’s in filling us hapless viewers with some of the more arcane things regarding time travel. And the hints on the whole time travel mess have been dropping like rain in a Texas thunderstorm, if you’ve been paying attention to the clues. Daniel lets on that their might be side-effects if Frank strayed from the bearing.

Speaking of side effects, back on the helicopter, Desmond is in full on FREAK mode, while Frank manuvers for a landing on our ‘freighter’, pretty small thing actually, with a make shift helo pad on the stern. (aside: convenient as that may be, totally not happening, a helicopter needs maintenance and even more in an at sea environment, and maintenance without a hanger, there in the salty air… sorry, isn’t conducive to well constructed flight ops. Which may have something to do with how poor the helicopters have fared in the two times we’ve seen them. (1 crashed at sea, and 1 crashed on land though was still flyable) But lets leave it to the professionals to poke holes in Lost’s avionics exploits.) and we meet some of the cheery crew. In the middle of being taken to sickbay (in which the crew seems to be totally nonchalant about his loss of memory of the present) Desmond heads back to ’96. ’96 Desmond has good memories of his boat experience, and he remembers his lucky Penny. Heading off to a payphone (yeah, they still existed in ’96) Desmond gets bumped by another solider and gets shoved back to ’04. He gets the name of the helpful crew members (Keamy from Vegas, and Omar from Florida) and their present location (somewhere in the Pacific last port Fiji), then is shut in the ‘sick bay’. There he meets another person trapped in the tesseract, George Minkowski (we know of him from the phone calls on the island).

Meanwhile, on the fantail, Sayid is pacing while airdale Frank is getting reamed by the OOD. Frank comes down and Sayid starts asking questions (like “why we took off at dusk and landed in the middle of the day?” which frankly is a good question). Frank tells Sayid that he want to help him, and Sayid says help me by giving me your phone. Frank end up trading his phone for Sayid’s sidearm, and Sayid phones Jack back at the beach. Sayid relays the problems that Des is having, and Jack queries, “Side effects?” Which launches the good doctor Faraday into a frenzy of thought and activity. “Has he been exposed to large amounts of radiation or electromagnetic forces…?” Um yeah, a hatch implosion might count. “Going to and coming from the Island, some people may get confused” … and “No this is not amnesia” are salient points.

Back to the boat and Desmond in the sick bay with Minkowski who is catatonic while having a er… side effect. Doc comes in and sticks Minkowski with a needle, then turns on Desmond. Doc flashes a light in Desmond’s eyes, then Des is back next to Bill & Ted’s telephone booth, trying to make a call to Penny. The call doesn’t go well, Penny is pretty darn mad to be dumped by the likes of Desmond. Frankly, Desmond isn’t very convincing in his explanation, and Penny has moved on, emotionally and physically out of Desmond’s life. annnnnnd *poof* were back to the freaky doctor. Who notices that he, um, left for a bit.

The examination is cut short when Frank and Sayid burst in with the satellite phone, Daniel has to talk with Desmond immediately. Daniel asks Des what year he thinks it is, and Desmond is thinking its 1996. Daniel continues to question Des, asking where he physically is in 1996, and then has him go to Oxford to find Daniel who is a professor there in 1996. Daniel finds his notebook, conveniently still in his carry-on bag. And gives some obscure adjustments that Desmond is supposed to relay to his past self, and gives him the code Eloise. Security arrives in sick bay, and Desmond escapes to 1996, Queen’s College, Oxford.

Daniel is a professor reaming out some undergrad for “aboriginal thinking” in his rather thick ‘Thesis on Quantum Theory: Quantum Physics and Wave Mechanics’ (the joys of HD and screen caps) and Daniel is not impressed. The conversation with Desmond convinces 1996 Danny that his colleagues are playing a prank, but the notebook hints get old Danny on board, and we’re clicking on to Danny’s lab, complete with rat-maze and a cuddly rat named Eloise.

Danny gets on his mad-scientist getup complete with lead apron, none for Desmond, because he doesn’t do it twenty times a day like Danny. Desmond ask what about for your head, and the nervous Danny laugh might make us better understand his memory problems of last episode. Eloise does with a carefully calibrated dose of radiation maneuvers a new maze that she won’t learn for another hour. Which to me begs the question, does she really need to go through the process of learning it if she already know it. The answer to this question become moot later when Eloise ends up dead in the cage… so she ended up running a maze she never learned. Excuse me, need to get ice for my overheating brain.

Back in the timeline, or wherever, the thugs drag Frank and the phone out of sick bay, leaving Sayid and Des with Frank, the troubled communication officer has been getting prank calls from a Penny Widmore that he never answered.

Aand were back again, a five minute jump in 2005 takes 75 minutes in 1996, which explains rap music … I’m sure… somehow. Danny provides some dialog about what’s happening to Desmond, and says that he thinks the brain gets short-circuited since she had now anchor to be able to lock into which time one is as their consciousness shift back and forth. Desmond needs a constant to be able to break out of the shifting tesseract of time, and decides to elect Penny as a constant. But Penny moved, the number doesn’t work.

Shifting back to 2004, Minkowski relates that the communication room is busted up, and Desmond can’t call Penny (which is now his highest priority, contacting his Constant to fix his shifting mind). And so we go back and forth. In the past Desmond finds Charles Widmore and after Chuck grabs the last remaining log of the Black Pearl Rock (lot 2342) for a cool 380,000 pounds sterling. In the john, Chuck gives Desmond Penny’s new address, hoping, I think, that Penny will tell Desmond to sod-off, in her best English accent.

In the present they get back into communication room, and find it a mess of wires, but don’t worry, it’ll only take Sayid a minute to fix it. Minkowski goes into his tesseract, but before he joins Eloise on the planet Uriel (i.e. Dead) he relates that he and another crew member got bored anchored at sea, and tried to take the ship’s tender to the island to see what it looked like, only Brandon went mad, and ended up dying. As does George in a spastic effort stating, “I can’t get back”. Sayid needs a number, and Desmond doesn’t know it… so we

shift back to the washroom, where Desmond takes the address and heads off to Penny’s, and explains the mad scenario, and in the most unbelivable pickup line victory EVAH! scores her digits to make a call on Christmas Eve 2004. srsly, if I ever need a gals number, I’m using desmond’s line promising not to call for 8 years. And man, Penny needs to stop giving out her number to every freak that enters her door.

Back in the comm room, the digits flow off Desmond’s tongue to Sayid’s fingers and we get a patched ship-to-shore call to casa de Penny, and the odd British ringer tone. After way too many rings (Penny doesn’t have an answering machine apparently… maybe she primarily uses her cell, which is amazing, because I don’t even know where my land-line phone IS) The time/star-crossed lovers catch up in a cheery conversation, before the batteries die, and at the end of the call, Desmond’s brain is back where it belongs, and he remembers where he is, and who Sayid is.

Back on the isla de muerta, Danny is reading his diary, and finds out that if anything goes wrong he should use Desmond Hume as his constant.

And we’re set for next week… see you then.