Welcome to this week's edition of the Lost Rewatch!
Without question, The Constant is a fan favorite and arguably both one of the best episodes of Lost and one of finest hours in television history. It is the perfect companion to my personal favorite, Flashes Before Your Eyes. Combined, these two Desmond episodes are absolutely essential to the overall series and have truly paved the road to S6.
So let's strap ourselves in for the ride and hope there are no side effects...
Alternate Reality Bites
Although I tend to think that this is a prop discrepancy rather than a hint of an alternate reality or timeline, it sticks out nonetheless. When we get our first glimpse of Michael in the hospital after he attempts suicide in his car, the patient in the bed next to him has a breathing tube IN his nose. Cut to a close-up of Michael after he sees Ghost Libby, and the patient next to him now has a breathing mask OVER his nose and mouth. The only possible scenario is that they somehow wanted to show us the time when Michael was in the hospital after getting hit by a car (S1, Special).
Back in Black...Rock
We learn that the Black Rock originally set sail from England in 1845 before it became "lost at sea." It is safe to assume that Jacob brought the ship to the island (given that the ship is out in the distance during the conversation between he and MysteryMan on the beach in the S5 finale), which is an indication that their feud dates back centuries.
Widmore knew that the Black Rock was on the island because he himself had been there (he was not exiled from the island until the early 1990's), so he bid on and won the only artifact recovered from the ship. One guess is that he wanted that journal from the ship's first mate because it might have contained clues as to the island's possible whereabouts. Another possibility is that Richard Alpert was the first mate. After all, in the S5 finale, Alpert addressed his agelessness, admitting that "I'm this way because of Jacob."
A dubbed version of Nikki's show Expose was on in Sun's hotel room in Ji Yeon.
Desmond: "I've never had a dream so vivid; it was like I was actually there."
Faraday: "Your perception of how long your friends have been gone, it's not necessarily how long they've actually been gone. As long as Frank flew on the bearings I gave him...if he stayed on it, it will be fine."
Jack: "And what if he didn't?"
Faraday: "Then there might be side effects."
Faraday: "Your friend Desmond - has he recently been exposed to high levels of radiation or electromagnetism? We don't know why, but going to and coming from the island...some people can get a little confused."
Jack: "Why does he think he's in 1996?"
Faraday: "It's unpredictable, a random effect. Sometimes it takes place for only a couple of hours, sometimes it's years.
Faraday: "If the numbers you gave me are correct, what this will do is unstick Eloise in time...just like you."
Desmond: "So you sent her to the future?"
Faraday: "No, her consciousness - her mind."
Faraday, to Desmond: "Each time your consciousness jumps, it gets harder to jump back."
Faraday: "I think Eloise's brain short-circuited. The jumps between the present and the future, she couldn't tell which was which. She had no anchor, something familiar in both times. All this...see, this is variables, it's random, it's chaotic. Every equation needs stability, something known. It's called a constant."
Des: "I'm on a boat, I've been on an island. Penny, is that really you?"
Penny: "Yes, it's me!"
Des: "You believe me? You still care about me?"
Penny: "I've been looking for you for the past three years. I know about the island. I've been researching, and then when I spoke to your friend Charlie...that's when I knew you were still alive."
Des: "I love you, Penny. I've always loved you."
Penny: "I love you too."
Des: "I don't know where I am."
Penny: "I'll find you, Des."
Des: "I promise..."
Penny: "No matter what..."
Des: "...I'll come back to you."
Penny: "...I won't give up."
The Other Woman
Juliet: "I'm only going to be here for six months."
Ben: "Right, of course. But we want you to feel at home."
Harper Stanhope: "Ben is exactly where he wants to be."
Jack: "You people had therapists?"
Juliet: "It's very stressful being an Other."
Juliet, about Ben: "He's been good to me."
Harper: "Of course he has; you look just like her."
Ben, to Locke: "I always have a plan."
Goodwin, to Juliet: "You're worried about Ben? What's Ben going to do?"
Ben: "This is Charles Widmore. This is the man whose boat is parked offshore. This is the man that's been trying to find the island. Charles Widmore wants to exploit this island, and he'll do everything in his power to possess it."
Juliet: "They're children. Do they really belong here?"
Ben: "They're on the list. Who are we to question who's on the list and who's not?"
Juliet: "You knew this would happen, you wanted him to die. Why?"
Ben: "You're asking me why, after everything I did to get you here, after everything I've done to keep you here...how can you possibly not understand that you're mine!"
Juliet: "These people came here to wage war against Ben, and Ben's going to win."
Desmond: "This is Charles Widmore's boat?"
Captain Gault: "That's right, you know him."
Bernard, to Jin: "It's all about karma. You make bad choices, bad things happen to you. We must be the good guys."
Gault: "Some of my crew has been dealing with what might be best described as a heightened case of cabin fever. I think it's got something to do with the close proximity to the island."
Gault: "This black box comes from Oceanic flight 815. A salvage vessel recovered it from the bottom of the ocean. It took a considerable amount of Mr. Widmore's resources to procure it. It was found with the wreckage of the plane, along with all 324 dead passengers. That's not the complete story, as you are well aware, Mr. Jarrah...given the fact that you are standing here breathing. The wreckage was obviously staged. Now can you imagine what kind of resources and manpower go into pulling off a feat of that magnitude? Faking the recovery of a plane crash, putting 324 families through a grieving process based on a lie. But what's even more disturbing - where exactly does one come across 324 dead bodies? And that is just one of the reasons we want Benjamin Linus."
Sun: "I thought I had lost you."
Jin: "You will never lose me."
Meet Kevin Johnson
Ben: "Once they have me, their orders are to kill everyone else on this island."
Claire, about Ben: "So he's one of us now?"
Sayid: "Why are you on this boat?"
Michael: "I'm here to die."
Miles, about Ben: "He wants to survive. He's a guy who gets what he wants."
Ben, to Alex: "These people are coming, they know who I am. They're here to capture me. They'll kill anybody who gets in their way. If they knew who you were, that you were my daughter, they would use you to get to me."
Tom, to Michael: "You can't kill yourself; the island won't let you. No matter how bad you want to, no matter how many different ways you try...it won't happen. You've got more work to do."
Tom: "That's not your plane, it's a phony. A man named Widmore put it down there and he staged the whole wreck because he doesn't want anyone else finding where the real plane ended up...except for him."
Miles, to Michael: "Your name isn't Kevin. Don't worry, 80% of the people on this boat are lying about something."
Frank Lapidus, to Michael: "What would you say if I told you that the plane they found in that trench wasn't Oceanic 815? I signed up for this trip because the owner of this boat believes me - Charles Widmore. He believes that 815 is still out there somewhere."
Ben, to Michael: "There are people on your boat who are innocent. They have no idea that the man they work for is a monster, a killer without conscience or a greater purpose. I had to show you the difference between him and me. When I'm at war, I'll do what I need to do to win, but I will not kill innocent people."
Ben, to Michael: "What wouldn't a man do for his son? Consider yourself one of the good guys."
Alex: "I don't like taking orders from my dad...but I know he doesn't want me to get hurt."
LOST Book Club
Before she jumped to her death from the freighter, Regina was reading The Survivors of the Chancellor by Jules Verne. This book chronicles the last voyage of a British ship, as told through the eyes of someone aboard.
Black Rock and first mate journal, anyone?
We meet Keamy and his team of mercenaries on the freighter.
Minkowski confirms that Penny has been calling the freighter looking for Desmond. Presumably, they were ordered by their boss (Penny's father) Charles Widmore to not answer those calls.
We are introduced to the Others' shrink and Goodwin's wife, Harper Stanhope.
We discover that Juliet had an affair with Goodwin before he died.
We find out for the first time that Ben does indeed know who Charles Widmore is.
We are introduced to a new station, The Tempest.
We learn that Sun is one of the Oceanic Six, as is her daughter Ji Yeon...but Jin was not rescued.
Jin finds out from Juliet that Sun was unfaithful to him before they crashed on the island. Sun thanks Juliet by delivering the slap heard 'round the island.
It is revealed that Michael is Ben's man on the boat. His alias is Kevin Johnson.
We see Walt off island for the first time.
We are led to believe that Jin died, but the date on his tombstone was the date of the crash...so his actual circumstances are unknown and part of the Oceanic Six lie.
It turns out that Ben's Other henchman Tom is gay.
We see Tom in New York. So far the only Others to be seen off island are Tom, Ben and Richard Alpert.
Tom confirms that Widmore is responsible for the fake 815 wreckage and bodies.
Jack and Juliet share another kiss. More sweet than passionate, it would be their last.
The Temple of Doom
Ben reveals that the Temple is a sanctuary, and "the last safe place on this island" for only the Others. In addition to housing and protecting the remaining Others and children, all of the island's healing powers may originate or emanate from the Temple. The last time we saw Young Ben in the late 1970's, Richard Alpert was carrying him into the Temple with a potentially fatal gunshot wound.
The Visual & The Visceral
When Ghost Libby appears to Michael in the hospital, she is carrying a stack of blankets. Michael shot and killed her on the island as she was holding a stack of blankets.
When Ghost Libby then appeared to Michael on the freighter before he died, she is wearing the exact same green t-shirt that she was wearing when he murdered her.
Pending danger alert! When Michael first joins the freighter in Fiji, Miles is eating an orange. As I've mentioned before, oranges have come to signify death on screen. Cue the Godfather theme...
Michael presses the Execute button the bomb in the engine room, thinking he would blow up the freighter. Desmond, Locke and Eko all continued to press the Execute button at one point on the Swan hatch computer, thinking that they were saving the world from blowing up.
The Watch Men
Add this to the tall stack of lingering Lost questions...will we ever find out who the intended recipients were of the two watches from Mr. Paik that Jin was supposed to deliver? One was for someone in Australia, the other in Los Angeles.
Gault knew who Desmond was, and that Des knew Charles Widmore. Widmore financed Gault's freighter, but why also inform him about a non flight 815 person of interest? This confirms that Widmore knew for a fact that Desmond was on the island. In her brief phone call with Des, Penny said that she'd been looking for him and knew about the island. So did Widmore finally discover its whereabouts from his own daughter's search?
When he travels back in time to 1996, Faraday instructs him to say "I know about Eloise." Although Des did not find out the name of the mysterious woman who predicted his future in Flashes Before Your Eyes, we all know that it was Eloise Hawking...Faraday's mother. So yes, Desmond, you really do know about Eloise.
When she appeared in the rain to Juliet and Jack to tell give them instructions from Ben about Faraday and Charlotte, I am now wondering if Richard Alpert sent her (either on his own or as instructed by Jacob). Ben was being held in New Otherton by Locke, so it was not an order from him directly...
Nurses at the hospital referred to Sun as one of the Oceanic Six. So Kate, Jack, Hurley and now Sun have all been recognized as Oceanic Six when out in public. I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but it still puzzles me how someone as distinguished looking as Sayid (at least in that group of 6) roamed the world without so much as a side glance from anyone.
We know that Tom was off island to recruit Michael for the freighter, and that one of his travel indulgences was a man named Arturo. It seems to me that Arturo may have been the man in the video that Ben shows Locke; the man that Widmore beats up on camera. Perhaps Tom was the one taping it from above.
Widmore was on the island when Ben took Alex from Rousseau and raised her as his own, so Ben had to know that Keamy and co. were looking for her as bait. And yet he sent her out into the jungle. That she was not immediately shot and killed along with Karl and Rousseau leads me to believe that they had a photo of her.
How is it that 324 graves are robbed in Thailand, and no one makes the connection that 324 bodies were discovered shortly thereafter at the bottom of the ocean in what is allegedly flight 815?
Widmore provided Captain Gault with a fake black box, told him it was from flight 815 and that Ben was responsible for the fake 815 wreckage and bodies. The lengths that Widmore went to in order to get to Ben after all of these years was remarkable. That kind of time and effort rivals the lengths that MysteryMan went to in order to finally get to Jacob, as NotLocke....
The Keys to Season 6
While I continue to ponder how the detonation of Jughead at the end of S5 will affect everyone, there are a few statements from the following essential mythology episodes that stick out in my mind:
Flashes Before Your Eyes (S3)
Eloise Hawking: "The universe, unfortunately, has a way of course correcting. That man was supposed to die; that was his path, just as it is your path to go to the island. You don't do it because you choose to, Desmond...you do it because you're supposed to."
The Constant (S4)
Desmond asks Faraday in 1996 if their meeting was changing the future. Faraday's response is "You can't change the future."
The Variable (S5)
Faraday, to Jack: "This entire chain of events, it's going to start happening this afternoon. But we can change that. I studied relativistic physics my whole life. One thing emerged over and over - can't change the past. Whatever happened, happened. But then I finally realized that I had been spending so much time focused on the constants...I forgot about the variables. We're the variables. We think, we reason, we make choices. We have free will, we can change our destiny. I think I can negate that energy under the Swan. I think I can destroy it. If I can, then that hatch will never be built and your plane will land, just like it's supposed to, in Los Angeles. "
According to Faraday in The Constant, when someone's consciousness is sent into the future, they require an anchor, something familiar that they care about, in order to survive and return to the present safely. What I find fascinating is that Jack & co. were physically transported back in time in S5 (versus just their consciousnesses), and that after Jughead...it remains to be seen if they actually return in physical form to the future.
Due to the Writers Strike, there are only 13 episodes in Season 4. I am now tackling four episodes per week for the Rewatch in order to complete all five seasons by January 20, 2010. I have pre-ordered S5 on DVD, and even though the busy holiday season is upon us, I am going to do my best to stay on track. So I thank you for your patience! The finish line is fast approaching.
Thank you for reading along. Please feel free to leave a comment to address any of the above or to pose your own questions and theories!
Until next week...