Wednesday, April 7, 2010

LOST Episode 6.11: "Happily Ever After" (Initial Thoughts & Theories)


I will admit that I got emotional at the end of this episode, not only because of Desmond and Penny's new path, but because it is all actually starting to make sense to me. Those factors, coupled with the fact that I've been in denial about how I am going to feel after the series finale, struck a cord I was not expecting. 

My favorite episode of all time is Flashes Before Your Eyes. While the majority of LOST fans seem to favor The Constant (which I did love as well), I feel as if Happily Ever After is the perfect companion to Flashes. Without a doubt, this episode will make my top 5 list in the end. 

Without further ado, it is time to crash our collective consciousness into the ocean to stir up a variety of Lost emotions and memories together...

Blonde Ambition

When Charlie was describing Claire, his words could have easily been applied to Desmond describing Penny or Sawyer describing Juliet: 

"A woman. Blonde. Rapturously beautiful. And I know her. We're together. It's like we'd always been and always will be. This feeling, this love..."

The Boy is Mine

It definitely stood out when flash sideways Desmond told pregnant Claire that "it's a boy" at the airport in LA. Among other ways that connect them: 

  • Aaron has been described as 'special' and we know that Desmond is 
  • Desmond saved Aaron's life (along with Charlie's) when he created the golf club contraption on the beach to take the lightning strike that would have hit the metal roof of Claire's tent 
  • Desmond had a vision of Claire and Aaron being rescued on a helicopter
  • Desmond was with Aaron when he and the rest of the Oceanic 6 left the island

The Casimir Effect

In the Orchid orientation film, Dr. Chang (as Dr. Halliwax) alludes to the casimir effect. In the interest of time, allow me to refer you to a brief yet illuminating article about it in Scientific American. What stands out about that concept now is that refers to MIRRORS facing one another in a vacuum. Perhaps there is a scientific explanation to the flash sideways after all. 

In addition,  in the film Dr. Chang warns that metallic objects must never be placed in the vault. In tonight's episode, Widmore's team made sure to have Desmond remove all metal objects on his person before exposing him to the did the hospital tech before Desmond underwent and MRI (MAGNETIC resonance imaging). 

Of course, we also must consider Chang's statement about the attempt to "shift the test subject" ahead in time, followed by the reveal that the test subject will seem to disappear for a moment. Sound familiar?

Let's not forget about the white rabbit in the generator room as well (appropriately named Angstrom, for the unit of measure for electromagnetic radiation wavelengths). I direct your attention to this bonus Orientation film with Dr. Halliwax:

And by the way, it seems as if the number 15 on the rabbit is inverted, making it 51. The name Austen is number 51 on the lighthouse wheel. Coincidence? 

Constant Craving

It is fascinating that Desmond's Constant is Penny, and her half brother Faraday's is Desmond. I was surprised that Faraday didn't flash back to the island during his chat with Desmond (to reveal a never-before seen...scene), because Desmond flashed back there as soon as he touched Penny's hand. Someday I'll have a firm grasp on Constants, Variables, Rules and Candidates. Right now, however, I remain blissfully confused and exhausted contemplating it all. 

Crossing Paths

Now we've seen Sayid, Desmond and Charlie at Jack's hospital in the flash sideways world. Given that Claire is due any minute and that a pregnant Sun was just shot, I know I'm not alone when I say that I'm hoping to see one Juliet Burke working there as an OB/GYN. 

By the way, when they quickly showed an empty wheelchair, my first thought was that Locke was there getting a consultation with Jack...

Darkness Has a Hunger That's Insatiable

I am curious why Sayid spared Zoe. It isn't as if he hasn't killed a woman before (Elsa, The Economist) and he knows that Zoe is working for Widmore...who Sayid believes is responsible for Nadia's hit-and-run death. 

Don't Panic

One of my favorite moments in this episode was the MRI technician giving Desmond a "panic button" and asking him to try not to press it because "we have to start all over again from the beginning." I appreciated the obvious nods to the Swan hatch button and the consequences of both that hatch's implosion and Jughead's detonation there. 

Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop

There were many goosebump-inducing moments throughout this episode, but when Penny tells Desmond to meet her at a coffee shop - my first thought was that they will run into Sawyer and Juliet. If you recall, as she was dying in his arms, Juliet seemed to flash sideways and mumble something about getting coffee and going dutch...

Flashing Sideways

Faraday's conversation with Desmond was beyond momentous, and may just be the first real evidence that Juliet was right..."it worked." The detonation of Jughead in 1977 changed things, causing the flash sideways:

"Imagine something is about to happen, something catastrophic, and the only way to stop it from happening was by releasing a huge amount of setting off a nuclear bomb. What if all this wasn't supposed to be our life? What if we had some other life, but for some reason - we changed things. I don't want to set off a nuclear bomb; I think I already did." 

When Desmond asks for the flight 815 manifest and ends the episode with "I need to show them something," I wonder when and how he will manage to do so in the remaining few episodes and hours left of Lost. I have a strong feeling that many of these crossed paths will experience their island memories while gathered in one place for a special occasion. Perhaps, somehow, someway - that location will be the wedding of Locke and Helen...

Freedom of Choice

When Desmond told Charlie in the flash sideways that "right now you have a choice" and that "there's always a choice," I was reminded of notLocke's conversation with Sawyer earlier this season (The Substitute). Referring to Jacob, notLocke told Sawyer that "choices you thought were made were never really choices at all. He was pushing you to the island."

Additionally, in Flashes Before Your Eyes, Hawking told Desmond that "your path is to go to the island. You don't do it because you choose to, you do it because you're supposed to."

Good Vibrations

That Faraday and Charlie know one another in the flash sideways further fuels one of my longstanding and favorite theories....Faraday programmed the Looking Glass station security code with a song specifically for Charlie. 

Let's Make a Deal

I don't know about you, but I hope we find out what the "Australian deal" is that Widmore and Desmond referred to. Desmond was returning from Sydney after "closing a deal for the boss," so whatever happened...happened. I can't help but think back to what Hurley said in S4 (The Shape of Things to Come), that "Australia is key" to the game.

LOST Book Club

The reveal of Penny's last name (Milton) was a highlight. As I mentioned in my Ab Aeterno article a few weeks ago, in John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, the devil travels to a new world...confronting death, sin and chaos along the way. It is also worth noting that Milton focuses quite a bit on Adam and Eve. Is this our first clue that the skeletons in that cave on the island are Desmond and Penny after all?

Love is All You Need

I thought it was brilliant that both Charlie and Faraday used the heartstrings to stir Desmond's memories of the island. Charlie appropriately described it as "consciousness-altering love," which is certainly appropriate in all cases. 

File under: feelings, nothing more than feelings. Charlie also illuminates the fact that "all that matters is that we felt it." As does Faraday:

Faraday: "It happened to you too, didn't it? You felt it."
Desmond: "I don't know what I felt."
Faraday: "Yes you do. You felt love."
Desmond: "That's impossible. I don't even know if she exists. She's an idea."
Faraday: "No, she's my half sister and I can tell you exactly when and where you can find her."

I look forward to the pay-off from everyone's Mirror Moment in their flash sideways, and that their emotions are going to be crucial to the flash sideways/island timeline convergence. 

Mirror Moment

Although he does seem to more than glance at his reflection in the court house door, that was one of Desmond's two Mirror Moments in S6. I love the fact that it took place right before he meets up with Charlie, who shows him a memory from the island and sets off an interesting and potentially dangerous chain of events. 

Desmond also had a Mirror Moment in the Oceanic flight board at the airport. 

Mission: Impossible?

Widmore: "Your talent is vital to our mission."
Desmond: "I understand. When do we start?"

Is Desmond the secret weapon who will finally defeat the Man in Black? Is his immunity to both the 'rules' and cataclysmic electromagnetic events the key to saving everyone and the island? 

Mommy Dearest

In the flash sideways, we discover that Penny's last name is Milton.  At this point in the game, is the identity of her mother relevant? Regardless, I'd love to find out who else Widmore sired a child with...and if she's anything like Eloise Hawking.

My Sacrifice

When Widmore told Desmond that "I'm going to ask you to make a sacrifice," I started to worry about Des' fate, future and destiny. After all, when the island is finally done with Desmond, perhaps he has to die. Boone was "a sacrifice that the island demanded." Charlie sacrificed his life because he believed that Desmond's vision about Claire and Aaron getting rescued on a helicopter would come true. Locke had to sacrifice his life in order to convince the Oceanic 6 to return to the island. 

In the flash sideways, Widmore raised a glass to Desmond's "indispensability" too. Doh!


Man of Science, Man of Faith (S2)

Desmond met Jack for the first time while running at the stadium featured in tonight's episode. "See you in another life, brother," turns out to have been a premonition after all. 

The last word uttered in this S2 season premiere was "You?" when Desmond sees Jack for the first time since running into him at the stadium off island. In this episode, Desmond says the same thing after seeing Widmore for the first time on island. 

Live Together, Die Alone (S2)

Penny showed up to confront Des at the stadium. In this episode, Desmond goes to the stadium to meet Penny for the first time...again.

When Locke refused to stop pushing the button down in the Swan hatch, he told Desmond that "It's a lie, it's not real. None of it is real!" In this episode, when Charlie tells Desmond that he doesn't actually have it all and isn't happy, Desmond responds with "why, because none of it is real?"

Flashes Before Your Eyes (S3)

Desmond goes to Widmore's office to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage, only to have Widmore ridicule and belittle him. His attitude toward Desmond is quite the opposite in the flash sideways in tonight's episode. And while in the S3 episode, Widmore tells Desmond that he isn't worth a sip of the $60 MacCutcheon whiskey, in this episode he shares a glass of the good stuff with him. Visually speaking, there was also a parallel between both episodes - Widmore's model sailboat. Desmond's lingering gaze at it in this episode harkens back to his race around the world (sponsored by Widmore Industries), which landed him in a storm that marooned him on the island. 

Desmond runs into Charlie outside of Widmore's building in London in a flashback to the mid 1990's. He says, "I know you. How do I know you? Where do I know you from? You're Charlie. It was in the hatch. I remember seeing you. There was a computer, there was a button. We were on an island. It was real, I remember. This all happened before." In tonight's episode, Charlie stirs Desmond's memory of when they were on the island together.

Desmond met Eloise Hawking for the first time during one of his flashes. He also meets her for the first time in tonight's episode, and she certainly recognizes him. 

Catch-22 (S3)

While at the monastery, the following conversation took place between Desmond and Brother Campbell:

Desmond: "Moriah is the mountain where Abraham was asked to kill Isaac."
BC: "And yet God spared Isaac."
Desmond: "Well one might argue that God need not have asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in the first place."
BC: "It wouldn't have been much of a test. Perhaps you underestimate the value of sacrifice."

Later in that same episode, Desmond said that "I was supposed to leave everything that mattered behind; sacrifice all of it for a greater calling."

In this episode, Widmore is asking his son (in-law) to make a sacrifice. And, referring to Daniel Faraday, reminds us that "my son died here for the sake of this island."

Through the Looking Glass (S3)

Charlie died after drowning in the Looking Glass station, but not before writing Not Penny's Boat on his hand to alert Desmond to the freighter danger. 

In this episode, not only does Charlie describe "slipping into the abyss" as he recalls his overdose and falling in love experience on the flash sideways flight 815, he crashes Desmond's car into the ocean and puts his hand up to the window in the exact manner he did in the Looking Glass. That triggered Desmond's memory of watching Charlie die. 

The Constant (S4)

On the freighter, Dr. Ray checked Desmond's eyes with a flashlight after he returned from flashing back. In this episode, the doctors checked his eyes with a flashlight after he returned from flashing back as well. 

Minkowski was the communications officer on Widmore's freighter. He was instructed to avoid Penny's calls to the ship. When the freighter got too close to the island, Minkowski experienced side effects and his consciousness appeared to travel in time like Desmond's. Right before he died, he helped Desmond get in touch with Penny. He said "I can't get back" and died...because he didn't have a Constant. Of course in this episode, he transports Desmond to meet his Constant. 

In his flash back in time, as instructed by Faraday, Desmond visits him at Oxford. Faraday tells Desmond that "you can't change the future." It is also revealed that Faraday has experienced "prolonged exposure" to radiation and that he is able to "unstick" his rat in time; he sent her consciousness into the future. Faraday also introduces us to the concept of Constants. In this episode, Desmond proves that he is immune to prolonged exposure to electromagnetic rays and that his consciousness also travels back and forth from the island to the flash sideways. And he meets Faraday, who believes that they perhaps "changed things." 

316 (S5)

Eloise Hawking told Desmond that "the island isn't done with you yet." Widmore told him the same thing tonight.

When Jack asked what happens if he can't convince the rest of the Oceanic 6 to get on Ajira flight 316 with him to return to the island, Hawking tells him that "the result would be unpredictable." In this episode, Hawking tells Desmond that "unpredictability comes with the territory."

The Variable (S5)

Young Charlotte tells Faraday that "I'm not allowed to have chocolate before dinner," which is what older Charlotte said to him before dying in This Place is Death. In this episode, Faraday talks about meeting Charlotte at the museum in the flash sideways...and she was eating a chocolate bar. 

Pleasing Teases

I absolutely loved how many teases they inserted into this episode, making us think that Widmore was going to reveal that Charlie was his son ("you are aware that my son is a musician?"), that Charlie was about to describe Kate as the love in his vision, etc. 

The Rules

Eloise Hawking's use of the word 'violation' caught my attention, as it seemed to reference the infamous 'rules' that do not apply to Desmond: 

"I want you to stop. Someone has clearly affected the way you see things. It is in fact a violation. So whatever you're doing, whatever it is you think you're looking for - you need to stop looking for it." 

It seems to me that the rules do not apply to Hawking either. She appears to be the only person who is aware of Desmond's life before, on and after the island. When Desmond asked how she knew what he wanted, her terse response was "because I do" and then "you're not ready yet."

The Scales of (In)Justice

On the wall in Widmore's flash sideways office, there was a painting of the scales with a black and white stone on each side...a very cool nod to the scales in the cliffside cave on the island and to the inside joke between Jacob and the Man in Black.

Something Special

According to Widmore, Desmond is "the only person in the world who has survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event." So that is what Faraday meant when he told Desmond that he was "uniquely and miraculously special." Widmore did not seem to know this about Desmond before he crashed on the island, and since Faraday was dead when Desmond returned three years later...I am curious to find out how Widmore gleaned such information.

This Mortal Coil

I find it odd that Widmore's team revealed that their magic box of magnetic coils had not been run in 20 years, because 1987 does not seem to be a significant year in terms of island activity. The Dharma purge was in 1992. So 30 years (1977) would have made more sense, given the time travel and jughead detonation.  

I have no idea whether or not this is the plan, but I am quite excited by the possibility of trapping the Man in Black (in notLocke form) in this magic box. Imagine flashing back to the man he used to be...

Whatever Happened, Happened

Hawking utters this phrase to Desmond in tonight's episode. Her son Faraday's usage of it in the past (all in S5) is now quite important, given what we witnessed tonight:

  • "If we try to do anything different, we fail every time. Whatever happened, happened." (Because You Left)
  • "Doesn't matter what we do; whatever happened, happened." (LaFleur)
  • "Can't change the past, can't do it. Whatever happened, happened. But then I finally realized - I had been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables." (The Variable)

Then again, last week notLocke uttered a present-tense version of the same thing to Claire, "whatever happens, happens."

According to Jacob (The Incident), "it only ends once; anything that happens before that is just progress." What if Desmond's actions in the flash sideways (showing fellow 815 passengers how to access their memories of the island) cause the two worlds to finally converge? Thus, it really does only end once...


Should we read anything into the fact that his CAT scan was "inconclusive?" 


The return of Fisher Stevens was a pleasant, welcome surprise. Minkowski's mysterious behavior as he drove Desmond around in LA was strikingly similar to Matthew Abaddon when he drove Locke from location to location. Both Minkowski and Abaddon worked for Widmore. 

I seriously hope to have time to re-watch Happily Ever After again before next week, because I know that I've missed several key points in this spectacular episode. 

Please note that next week, my initial analysis of the next episode will be delayed until Wednesday. Trust me when I tell you that it will be worth the wait, because I have a pretty exciting surprise that will prevent me from writing it up on Tuesday night...stay tuned for details.

If any of you know someone who goes by the name Shoes McCourt, please let that person know that they won my Lost t-shirt contest with CafePress! I am still awaiting contact information from them. 

Also, if you're interested, I have a Lost post on AOL TV that looks at four of the many unresolved mysteries that may or may not be answered by the series finale. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through these thoughts and theories. As always, I encourage and appreciate constructive feedback in the Comments. 

Because we only have a few episodes left, and I have a large stash of Lost goodies left to give away, I've decided to give out one item per week to fellow fans. To be eligible, all you have to do is a leave a Comment after each episode. I will randomly pull a name each week and announce a winner in the following week's post. Up for grabs this week: a TeeFury shirt called "Desmond's Replacement" (see above for graphic)! 

Good morning, good afternoon and goodnight. 



Two Guys Podcasting said...

This wasn't an episode that played my heartstrings as past des episodes have but its one of my favorite from this season. And as another added bonus, no V countown. Lol.

Lauren said...

Hadn't thought of the box as a place to trap and transport MIB. Interesting...
Last night's episode blew my mind a bit. Clearly Des is now going to begin trying to recruit in both timelines (which is why he so gladly went with Sayid). I just can't fully grasp what his endgame is. It's not as though. He clearly would want to "get back" to that alternative life he saw in his flashes, one where he can be with Penny and actually, finally, be safe and happy. But will that mean staying on the island somehow in the regular timeline? I wonder what all the other losties would say if they were shown their (in some cases much better) lives in the ALT? Would they all go for it? And what would "go for it" mean? And if these timelines DO merge, or whatever the chatter is saying, which memories go with you and what does the new world look like?
And what in the heck does all this have to do with Jacob and MIB?

the flour child said...

Watching last night struck something in me too - some hint of devastation once these mysteries have been unraveled and things make sense. While I would never in a million years wish for a black screen ending, I cannot even begin to fathom the close of the show, and how they can possibly address it all.

That said, we've had a decent selection of awesome these past few weeks. Last night as I watched Desmond and Charles Widmore interact as employee and boss rather than son in law and evil father in law empire, it reminded me a bit of another couple we have. Kwons and Paiks? In the FSideways, Jin doesn't seem to have nearly the frustrated disposition, helpless against Mr. Paik. For one thing, he hasn't even proposed to Sun, even though by their.. um... encounter.. it's obvious that those waters have been tested.
I'm sure you've said this in your previous posting, but something in the flash sideways has stuck out - no seriously obvious daddy issues. locke wants to invite pops to the wedding, Jin isn't working to "pay for" marrying Mr. Paik's daughter, and now Des. Granted, the relationships between these men, the fathers, and the daughters in question is much different if not nonexistent in the FS, but it's still interesting.

thanks so much jo, for all your thoughts - highlight of my early bakery mornings on wednesdays!!

Rocket Science Mom said...

Again, I am amazed at your ability to recall what's happened in past Lost episodes. I have a general recollection, but not nearly so much as you. Reading your blogs is always a treat.

So happy that you landed more writing gigs (AOL) and thank you for turning me on to Tee Fury's Lost t-shirts. I bought the Desmond is my Constant one about a week ago. It's really cute.

Enjoying the ride along with you here in the final season of one of the best shows of all time.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the recap, Jo!

Re Widmore knowing about Desmond being special: maybe Widmore got ahold of Faraday's journal back in '77. Presumably he still met him, even in the past of the island timeline (if that makes any sense)

Kirpaul said...

Am I the only one who wonders how there can only be 5 episodes left when there is so much to figure out still?

au_carol said...


Have to agree----that episode was INCREDIBLE!!! I'm torn between excitement and dread, when the show we all love so much ends!! :( And as always, loved your thoughts!! (and congrats on the new AOL gig)!! Namaste! Carol in Alabama

Matt Roeser said...

First off: amazing ep!

Did anyone get a Jacob’s cabin vibe from that chamber they put Desmond in…from the outside it looked like a giant wooden box…a door…and what really brought it out in my mind: a wooden chair…it all made me think desmond could just be creaking out a “help me……”

i wonder!

Matt Roeser said...

First off: amazing ep!

Did anyone get a Jacob’s cabin vibe from that chamber they put Desmond in…from the outside it looked like a giant wooden box…a door…and what really brought it out in my mind: a wooden chair…it all made me think desmond could just be creaking out a “help me……”

i wonder!

ImNoBetterThanU said...

Amazing detail! I am new to your blog and wish I had known of its existence all along. Thank you for sharing.

cheeky monkey said...

This is the episode I've been waiting for all season! I don't know why, but I just haven't had much of an emotional response so far (although I've been enjoying it), but last night. Wow.

Thanks for the recap and helping keep my thoughts together!

Thrasher76 said...

Great Recap Jo!


Chris said...

I especially enjoy your "parallels" section for each episode's analysis, Jo. Thanks!

lennyg said...

Jo - as always terrific insight. I wanted to comment because I actually have that tee shirt so if I win, please give it to someone you've met in your travels who would love having it but just hasn't the means to get it. Looking forward (already) to next week.

Swat King said...

Can't wait for Desmond to bring together the 815ers for a mind blowing meet and greet. Will Juliet be invited?

Swat King said...

Can't wait for Desmond to bring the 815ers together in the flash sidways for a mind blowing meet and greet. Will Juliet be invited so Sawyer can see his true love? What about Rose and Bernard, they have their true loves in both timelines...

Kyle Stedman said...

Super recap. I've gotten to the point where if I read your thoughts and Doc Jensen's, I've got a good enough overview that I barely need to check out any other sites. Awesome! Two quick points:

1) I completely missed Penny's last name being Milton. It must have been quick? No DVR, so I can't go back and re-listen, but I'll take your word for it.

2) One intriguing bit that you didn't bring up is that unconsciousness seems indeed to be the link between the two worlds. I can't remember now if it was you or someone else who was theorizing about unconsciousness after last week's episode--as an explanation for why Keamy was so worried about Jin's head injury when Omar carried him into the freezer, and as an explanation for how Sun perhaps had the language parts of her island-brain replaced with the language parts of her sideways-brain--or something. In any case, there was so much to support that in this episode, especially Charlie's explanation of the bathroom on the airplane. So interesting!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful episode. I actually didn't hear anyone calling Penelope "Milton" - but I trust you and Lostpedia on that. Also, you were a bit wrong about MIB: he didn't say "whatever happened, happened", he said "whatever happens, happens", which is slightly different. Anyway, good post!

jennY said...

the episode was mind blowing...i could barely sleep! as always thanks for your recap JO!! :)

jonathan said...

Thanks once again for your post. I so look forward to your thoughts. I feel like the end of this show will be somewhat similar to when Jerry Garcia died and all the deadheads no longer had their band to follow. Luckily, I'm sure we'll be talking about Lost for years to come!

Mike said...


I just wanted to be sure that you aren't mistaken with what unLocke said last week, "Whatever happens, happens" with the tense change. I couldn't tell from last week and this week whether you were relating the two as an exact restatement or as an interesting play on words.

canhamam said...

I apologize if this comes through twice....but was anybody else expecting Des to have his clothes blown off in the EM experiment? Also, YES to True Love! Thanks, Jo

Ivan said...

Outstanding recap, as always.

Marygail said...

Another great recap! Definately my favorite show of this season so far.

Aveet said...

Absolutely amazing episode. I'm just wondering what part the Dharma initiative plays in the flash sideways. We do know it existed from Ben's conversation with his dad and that both of them had left.

And are my constant!

Captain Mustapha said...

I used to be a physics student and if I had a nickel for every classmate we accidentally killed when someone cranked up the electromagnet too high....

Sommery said...

I'm with you, Jo, on getting emotional at the end of this episode. I have enjoyed the show this season, of course, but I wasn't enthralled until last night. Happily Ever After reminded me of all the thing I love about Lost. Especially the excitement of anticipating what will happen next.

After bouncing up and down on the couch when Des asked Minkowski to get him the flight manifest, my next thought was "I'm really gonna miss this show." Then: "What am I gonna do when Lost is over?"

I am both excited and sad for the next (last) 7 hours of Lost. I'm definitely taking May 24th off work to recover from the finale. And while (unlike you) I like spoilers I will be trying to avoid them for at least the finale.

Cousin Brandon said...

Hey, Jo:

Here's my recap from this morning:

Great job, as usual.


Erin said...

Another great episode, though another noodle-cooker, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet. So fantastic to see Desmond and Daniel again though, and Desmond and Charlie. It never occurred to me that Charlie might be Charles' son; that would've been interesting! I'm very curious about the relationship between Eloise and Charles. And I sort of wonder if they're working together or against each other...

Superbad said...

AMAZING episode. Desmond and Penny have always been my FAVORITE couple and when they played that strings ensemble as he sees her jogging in the stadium and as he walks closer to her... I LOST IT.

The episode gave flashes of the phone call they had and yes, this scene is much more heartwarming than when they met at the boat.

I would've been TOO HAPPY if this was simply a Desmond only episode but seeing Eloise then Charlie then Penny then FARADAY! Are you kidding me? I thought I was seeing chocolate covered ponies in our backyard.

I WAS ON LOST HIGH. Cant wait for next week. Boohoo for ABC for spoiling Michael's return!

Nana said...

Great recap!
I was also waiting for Desmond to appear without clothes!
About Widmore knowing about Des' specialness, maybe Daniel's journal or one of his travels through time?

maven said...

Great recap again, Jo! You're one of my MUST reads. The key here, I think, is that Daniel seems to believe that things need to be corrected....using Jughead might have been a mistake. It through them into the FS and they were not meant to live these lives. My question is what does all this have to do with the "game" between Jacob and MIB. Or the coming war?

Ohhh....I love surprises and I'm sure yours will be awesome!

SF said...

I love the nods to The Matrix...I think that perhaps Desmond needs the manifest to show all the other 815ers in the Sideways World that this world doesnt exist (or does it?)..where are we going to see this monumental sideways event? How do Eloise and Widmore exist in both worlds if the sideways world doesn't exist. So much to learn!

Bryce said...

Always amazed at how much I can miss during the episode...Penny's last name, the painting of the scales.

My fiancé and I were arguing about what Desmond said at the end in the cab. I say that he said he needs to show "them" something. She says it was I need to show "him" something.

gabo said...

Well, this is one of my favorite episodes, because of Charlie's comeback, Desmond & Penny parallel contact and Faraday!

Aunt J-ha said...

I loved Happily Ever After, and honestly this entire season- every episode has topped the last.

I had the same twinges of teases as Widemore spoke to someone on the phone about Charlie & when Charlie was describing his near death experience.

I think Desmond was Zen like when he awakened after Widemore's experiment because of what he learned in his flash sideways. Its like when Juliet said, "It worked" -He wants to protect the new reality and to do that he'll trust Widemore. I just hope Widemore is a person worthy of trust.

Happy Re-watching!

Beth said...

Absolutely loved this recap, Jo! I think the best part for me was the Faraday-Desmond conversation. It finally felt like the timelines were converging, and I loved it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your recap and all the wonderful parallels you include. I, like many others in these comments, was sort of adrift with LOST since its return. But this episode packed in so many of my favorite characters (Des, Charlie, Penny) and tied so many ideas together, I was hooked again. Darn "love at first sight" theme...

Scoutpost said...

Great re-cap Jo!

I love that you put all the past references to things in here...
I had not realized all the references to "sacrifice" that had been used with Desmond. Sounds like he's definitely being set up for something big. I'll hate it though if Desmond, of all people, doesn't get some sort of happy ending...but I guess the island gets what it wants.

Anonymous said...

agh, Des episodes always tug at my heartstrings. But this episode got me super-stoked for the end. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jo, thanks as always for your relentless and illuminating Lost coverage.

I loved the fact that Desmond seemed somewhat enthusiastic when Sayid kidnapped him. Perhaps Widmore anticipated this and it's all part of the grand scheme to lure MIB back to the Electro-Box.

I also found it funny that Penny sort of shrugged off the fact that Desmond fainted when he shook hands with her. Shouldn't she be a little bit concerned for his health? He just woke up, asked her out for coffee and she giggled and walked away. "Silly fainting man..."

Loved the episode!!!

Channelsurfer531 said...

Thank you for the recap Jo! And I do love your commentary on all the parallels from previous do you pull out conversations from all this episodes so quickly! But its a great memory jogger for me so keep 'em coming! I LURVED THIS EPISODE TO PIECES...I agree with you that this has got to be one of the Top 5 episodes of the series...

Channelsurfer531 said...

Thank you for the recap Jo! And I do love your commentary on all the parallels from previous do you pull out conversations from all this episodes so quickly! But its a great memory jogger for me so keep 'em coming! I LURVED THIS EPISODE TO PIECES...I agree with you that this has got to be one of the Top 5 episodes of the series...

wezeralus said...

seems that juliets moments before her death transported her consciousness into the side flash reality for who knows how long, considering desmond was out for a very short time, yet experienced so much. much like dream-time, how you can be asleep for a minute and exist in your dream for hours. she must have come back right before she died.

wezeralus said...

@petefulford...haha! thats exactly what i was thinking, "silly fainting man" haha...i was thinking about how much i would love one of those season 2 point-of-view scenes where we witness that entire interaction between penny and desmond from jack's perspective and see him faint, and then ask for a date immediately after...and getting it! man, that accent really makes a charmingly befuddled man out what many would consider a creepy schizophrenic stalker!

Elizabeth said...

Oh oh oh! I think you are right about Faraday being the one who programmed the Looking Glass! That would be perfectly logical.

Eric said...

thanks again jo for a great recap. love how you tie in the current ep to past episodes. really insightful!

Joel Hill said...

Thanks Jo!

Great recap as always!

I don't think the episode lived up to the hype for me. But it was still great! At least the island and the flash sideways are beginning to converge, I just don't think "the conversation has changed", at least as much as I'd hoped it would of, which is what Damon twittered last week.

Yukailin said...

Some notes to comment on your comments.

1) Eloise knows Des is special, why would you think that Widmore wouldn't have knowledge of her knowledge? eep, that was circular. And then there is Daniel's journal, and I'm guessing it's in there.

2) Based on Des's final comment after asking for Fligh 815's manifest leads me to believe the "sacrifice" in question will happen in the Sideways. That it is somehow giving up that life, that timeline, to merge to the existing island timeline.

3) add me to the list who thought Des' clothes would at least be shredded, if not fully gone. Oh well, live goes on *le sigh*


LoriS said...

Awesome post! I don't know how you do it, but I'm so glad you do! :)

Nothing more to add other than I really loved this episode. My parents (who don't watch LOST) watched with me, and they even thought it was great television.

I love the idea that the box will show us something about the MIB in the end. I hope this happens.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree, I don't know how you do it, but I'm glad you do too! I love reading your posts, you answer so much for me. I can almost hear your excitement in the posts too. Thanks again!

Tony said...

Love the post!! Wednesday Morning is my favorite morning. Thank you!!!

V. said...

When Desmond told Charlie he always had a choice, it reminded me of Jacob telling Ben that he had a choice- to not do what Flocke told him (in The Incident).

Katherine said...

Seriously stellar episode. Not only is Desmond one of my favorite characters, I finally feel like we're getting some answers.

Keep up the good posts.


makeyourownkindofmusic said...

Long time reader, first time poster. Loved the recap, as always...thanks!
This was my favorite episode of Season 6, just Wow, indeed! :-)

Thor Von Schlomsky said...

Thanks Jo for your insights! The parallels are very interesting indeed! I loved this episode as I love most Desmond episodes! It was great seeing Faraday again too.

lorilooski said...

What an awesome episode. Several times I was up on my feet trying to get a closer look at the screen or doing a happy dance on my couch. I especially got satisfaction when I said, at the same time as Daniel, "I already did!" when talking about setting off a nuclear bomb.

nines9 said...

Great post. I'm still wondering about Daniel's first appearaance. When he was crying in front of the tv

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

One of my favorite episodes yet. Thank you for all your insight!! :) xo

shar said...

Jo thanks. For. A great recap aS always.

Cindy Swanson said...

Jo, your post is almost as amazing as the episode! Wonderful insights and observations.

kristeneileen said...

Can't tell you enough how much I love your analysis. You're the single LOST blogger I read, and I've got all my Lostie friends hooked as well. Thanks for all your hard work and for entertaining we fellow geeks so well for so long!

JS said...

Thanks, Jo. Great recap. I especially enjoyed the links back to previous episodes. One nitpick - I think Desmond actually says "see you in another life, yeah?" to Jack, though he has said brother in another episode. Also, the "you!" greeting also happened when Richard saw FLocke, so I was worried for a minute there!

Karthik said...

An amazing recap. So much fun to go through the episode again with a trained LOST expert. :-)
The derived parallels with previous episodes were simply superb. Made me go back to Lostpedia again and again.

P.S. I think there is a small typo in the section 'Pleasing Teases'. Charlie describes Claire in his vision and not Kate. Right?

RobPerrin said...

Great recap. I can't believe I didn't pick up on the MRI button reference. This ep edges out Ab Aeterno as my favourite ep this season.

RowanRaven said...

Hi, Jo --
Great write-up! Thanks!

I, too, place Flashes Before Your Eyes at the top of my favorite LOST epi list. The Constant ranks pretty high, but FBYE is what made me first fall in love with LOST (had never watched before mid S3).

This episode is a fantastic companion piece to FBYE. There's something so incredible magical about this show overall, but with Desmond in particular. I cannot help but be overwhelmed with the sadness of no longer experiencing the magic of LOST. But, all good things must come to an end, eh?

(No need to throw my name into this week's giveaway -- I already have that awesome "Des's Replacement" tee! But thanks for your generosity, nonetheless.)
--Kimberly F.

Melanie said...

Jo - just want to say I LOVE this blog, it's the only LOST blog I read and I always look forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing how you tie things together from different episodes. thanks!

Can said...

Jo, I look forward 2 reading every week! I love your theories. One quick thought before I read all 61 comments--do u remember when Jack saw Kate early in the season? I'm wondering if he had one of those moments. I hope that we see Sawyer have one of those with Juliet.

Nurby said...

Wow this was a great episode. Just a couple thoughts:

1. It seemed strange to me that they kept mentioning if Desmond had metal on him, because it kept making me think of the key he had when he needed to go under the hatch after Locke wouldn't let the button be pressed. I felt like they kept mentioning that to make us think of that key?

2. Widmore said that Desmond was the only person he knew to survive the electromagnetic incident, is that because he was below the hatch and right by the source? Because it seems that Locke and all of them survived it?

Anonymous said...

How do you find all these connections Jo? It's pretty amazing how you quote specific episodes that are connected to the most recent.

I have a theory that Cuse and Lindelof are long conning us this season: right before the season finale they will reveal that there is one more season of Lost!

Desmond + kooky time travel/alternate reality: Lost gold. Almost makes up for a half season (and most of season 5) without Desmondo.

Amy said...

I LOVE LOST!!!! This episode was amazing and thanks for the great recap!

About Penny's last name-- "Milton" -- did we ever see "Milton" on the wheel in Jacob's lighthouse?

I wonder if the "special occasion" is the party that Eloise was throwing- after all, she didn't want Desmond to see the "list" and then he asks Minkowski to see the "list" of the 815ers. Could they be the same?

Did anyone else see the article where Lindelof did reveal that LOVE is what LOST is and always has been about? (sorry if that's spoiler-ish-- I don't think it is)

I'm crazy for this show!

Mike B. said...

The scene where Charlie is running thru the hospital in his white gown reminded me of Alice in Wonderland where Alice (Desmond) chases the white rabbit (Charlie) down the hole (stairs).

4boysmommy said...

It seems like all the people that have died on island have more awareness that they had a "another" life. Most of the season reader first time poster.

Dena said...

This was such a great episode! I hadn't thought about all the connections to earlier eps, so thanks for pointing them out!

LotteryTicket said...

Hey Jo!

Congrats on your AOLtv gig. Looking forward to next week! And since I'm a sucker for LOST t-shirts, I'll add a comment.

You were wondering who told Widmore about Desmond's time on the island and particularly the Hatch implosion. I would suggest that you look to Mrs. Sun Kwon. She is dealing with Widmore and the reason Jin was on his list of to-dos. Maybe you have sorted this out by now.

Enjoying S6 deeply. The end will be very much like the beginning as I will be watching with LOST friends. Only the number has grown significantly. lol

Brian said...

Jo, good work as always.

A few things: one the episode was good, as it seemed to move things along in the sideways story. The end is coming into sight, even if we can't know it now.

I thought Desmond-in-a-box was some kind of nod to Watchmen. I know Darlton are influenced by that graphic novel and Desmond being struck by the electromagnetic charge reminded me of Dr. Manhattan getting zapped. Of course, after that he turned into the blue man and who knows what Desmond will be up to.

Speaking of that, something clearly did happen after Des was zapped. It seems his fainting in the sideways world was connected to that incident, but I don't know how. It's puzzling that on island he suddenly was ready to obey Widmore and then suddenly was ready to join Sayid. Which side is he on? And, just as odd, was his behavior in LA when he came to the limo, asked for the flight manifest, and creepily said that he had to show them something.

What is going on there? Do we have good theories about his change of behavior? Has Desmond seen the end and now wants to show everyone else what happens?

Oh, Tuesday, come quickly!

Sherylm said...

This was a great episode. I was so happy to see Charlie again and Claire as her regular sweet self (in spite of what you said in your AOLtv article, I am still holding out hope for Desmond's vision of Claire and Aaron's rescue to come true - perhaps in an upcoming "merger" of the two time-lines).

Daniel, too, was so much more on top of things and when Desmond awoke with his sense of mission, it felt like everything was coming together, although I have no idea what that all means. But it did call to mind the fact that when Jack broke the mirrors at the lighthouse, Jacob told Hurley that the person who needed to come to the island would surely find another way, and he did.

Matt R: at our house, we also thought of Jacob's cabin when we saw the set up in the shed with the coils. With Jo's idea about the coil contraption being a means to catch MIB, that may have been intentional.

I never realized until this episode how many star-crossed lovers there are on the show: Charlie and Claire, Sawyer and Juliet, Desmond and Penny, Jin and Sun, Daniel and Charlotte, Sayid and Nadia or Shannon, even Locke and Helen (and I'm sure I'm overlooking others). It seems that the only couple who have always been united (even though they started off physically separated in the first season) are Rose and Bernard.

Thanks for the link about the Casimir effect, which was very helpful in understanding what might be going on.

I have a feeling that the fact that the children already exist in the regular timeline gives it priority over the off-island one, however better that one may seem in certain cases.

Thanks again, Jo!

Rhiannon said...

Jo, is your surprise that you were cast as an extra in the coming episode? 'Cause that would be all kinds of awesome ;)

August said...

Jo - Great recap. You really have a way of pulling out interesting connections.

Two things you wrote made two ideas come to mind: first, when you were talking about Minkowski in The Constant episode, and how Minkowski died because he didn't have a constant, I realized that in Happily Ever After, Desmond was able to get out of the sideways world and back to the island only after he made a real connection (in the form of plans to get together for coffee) with his constant Penny.

Second, when you pointed out how Eloise said "someone has clearly affected the way you see things. It is in fact a violation," I realized that her husband in the sideways world, Widmore, was probably that someone by zapping Desmond. Maybe her reference to "you're not ready yet" is a corollary to Widmore and his crew doing things ahead of their schedule on the island (getting Jin; running the test on Desmond). I'm beginning to wonder if island Widmore and sideways world Eloise are running at cross purposes.

John said...

I don't believe that I read it above, but I find it interesting that Desmond is unmarried in this episode. He clearly has a wedding ring on when he sits down next to Jack on the airplane in "LA X". This begs the questions: which Desmon was on the airplane or were both Desmonds on the plane? Then again it could have been a continuity error, but I doubt it.

Any thoughts?

Good recap to a good episode.

Just Thinking said...

Enjoyed all the connections in your recap Jo!

Re above and the tease of Kate-I know what you mean- Charlie at first described Kate with the policeman- you weren't sure he meant Claire until he said blond hair.

About ring/no ring Des- I wondered if Des on the LA X plane was the merged one who was both married and successful. One we didn't get to yet.

Did anyone notice the metal sculpture in Widmore's hall? I thought it might be a Jack Bender piece.

Just Thinking said...

Enjoyed all the connections in your recap Jo!

Re above and the tease of Kate-I know what you mean- Charlie at first described Kate with the policeman- you weren't sure he meant Claire until he said blond hair.

About ring/no ring Des- I wondered if Des on the LA X plane was the merged one who was both married and successful. One we didn't get to yet.

Did anyone notice the metal sculpture in Widmore's hall? I thought it might be a Jack Bender piece.

valerie said...

I wish Jack bender did every eppie with a Darlton script. They are always the best.

Great article Jo!

celticoma said...

Love the recaps. This episode touched me as well. I do hope for that coffee shop scene... Thanks so much for taking the time to help glue my head back on !

Aaron said...

I can't stop thinking about who wants what. After watching the show my thoughts were that the sideways flashes were the undesirable life created by not making whatever sacrifices are necessary to keep smokey in the bottle. Like maybe everyone on the island has to make a deliberate choice to stop smokey. Not making that choice or sacrifice creates the sideways lives. This is also why they had to go back. They left the island the easy way and their lives were crap because of that.

Now Desmond knows that they are supposed to have a better life, a life with those they are destined to love. Getting that life though will require something of them that will be difficult to do - we have yet to see what that will be.

The question for me is what side of this Widmore is on. Does he want them to have their good lives (does he want Desmond to be with Penny? He never did before...) or does he want to keep the sideways lives intact? I'm not sure we have ever been totally clear on what Widmore's motives are.

For me this episode finally put me at peace with the series coming to an end. If what I said above makes any sense, then I can enjoy the last 7 hours just watching how the details unfold. I feel like I "get it" for the first time in 6 seasons.

For those of us that want all the answers in the last 7 hours we have to remember that there will be many unanswered questions. I remember JJ Abrams in his TED talk making it clear that mystery was more valuable than knowing. I love that.

orenji said...

In addition, I am curious about the fact that the two people that have inspired our flash sideways friends (thus far) to recall their island memories are in fact dead in the island timeline: Charlie and Libby.

Don't forget about Dan Faraday! That was a great post, Jo!

Me said...

I always thought that Desmond told Charlie he had seen Claire and the baby leaving the island as a lie, just to call Charlie's attention (besides making us think it could be something else).
Greetins from Brazil.
We are two weeks late with the show so I read your posts only two weeks later.