In any Lost universe, Desmond Hume is special.
We’ve heard characters who are familiar with the intricacies of time and space tell Desmond he’s special. We’ve seen Desmond’s consciousness go back and forth in time. And now, we’ve seen Desmond serve as a one-man link between the on-Island reality we’ve come to know over the past six years and the Sideways reality Lost’s final season has been based around.
But more importantly, thanks to Desmond, we’ve learned that this Sideways reality is the way things are not supposed to be. And it’s up to him to set them right.
After learning last week that Desmond was the special cargo aboard Widmore’s submarine, we saw Widmore get right down to business- he wanted to subject Desmond to an electromagnetic event. Desmond survived one before, and Widmore figured if he survives another, he may be able to do whatever it is that is necessary to defeat smokey, save the island and restore peace to the galaxy (or something like that). So Widmore threw Desmond inside his portable generator. When he flipped the switch, we traveled to Desmond’s Sideways life. Here, he’s Widmore’s right hand man. Widmore tasks Desmond with escorting a musician with a drug habit to a charity event organized by Widmore’s wife featuring Widmore’s musician sun.
Well, the musician with the drug habit is our old friend Charlie Pace, who tells Desmond that during his near-death experience aboard the Oceanic 815 flight that landed he had a vision of love featuring flashes of Claire. Charlie forced Desmond’s car off the pier, where Desmond had a flash of Charlie’s drowning in the Looking Glass. While receiving an MRI at the hospital, Desmond had a few further flashes of his own love, Penny. Charlie fled the hospital, leaving Desmond to break the news to Widmore’s wife that the charity event won’t be going on as planned.
Widmore’s wife, who we know as Mrs. Hawking basically told Desmond not to worry while teasing the audience by throwing out phrases like :it’s about time,” and “what happened happened.” But when Desmond tried to get more information about a guest named Penny, Mrs. Widmore told Desmond (much in the same manner as she told him in the jewelry store) to forget it.
However, Widmore’s son, Daniel Widmore (who, in this reality, seemed to be very much loved by his mother) has a talk with Desmond. Turns out that the life-long musician had his own vision of love. And later on, he jotted down some notes which was a very complex physics formula. He also gave us the biggest hint so far we have about the nature of the Sideways universe:
Daniel: Imagine something terrible is about to happen…something catastrophic. And the only way to stop it from happening is by releasing a huge amount of energy, like setting off a nuclear bomb.
Desmond: You want to set off a nuclear bomb?
Daniel: Just listen…what if this..all this…What if this wasn’t supposed to be our life? What if we had some other life, that for some other reason, we changed things? I don’t want to set off a nuclear bomb, Mr. Hume. I think I already did.
Daniel gives Desmond his sister’s information. Desmond goes to meet her at a familiar stadium. They exchange some small talk, and when they shake hands, Desmond’s consciousness travels back to the Island universe, where he was out of it for only a few seconds. Desmond says he’ll work with Widmore, but Sayid shows up.
The final scene of the episode took place in the Sideways reality. Desmond talks Penny into going out for coffee. Before their date, he asks his limo driver (Minkowski) to get the manifest for Oceanic 815, because he “just need[s] to show them something.”
Besides being a solid episode, I’m happy with the implications of this. The Sideways universe is the way things are not supposed to be. We don’t know if on-Island Desmond will get to be used as part of Widmore’s plan, but Sideways Desmond has a plan. Maybe the timelines merge. Maybe Desmond somehow convinces everyone to take an Ajira flight to Guam. Maybe there’s just an Oceanic Flight 815 reunion at some LA catering hall. But it finally feels like this Sideways stuff is going somewhere. And that’s a good thing.
The Sideways universe contains some interesting stories. But the characters we know have grown and are rooted in the Island universe. That’s the storyline that should be the endgame of this show. The fact that there have been three characters who have had flashes of this reality topped off by the fact that one of the three says the Island universe is the way things are supposed to be is important.
Now it’s just a matter of which Desmond will be the one to get them all back together.
Some other thoughts:
-Not the first Lost episode to open with an eye opening. But it was definitely the first eye to open that slow.
-So how/when did Sideways Eloise and Widmore get off the Island?
-How does Sideways Eloise still know about Desmond? Does this mean that Sideways Widmore knows also?
-I don’t know why and maybe it’s because of her importance to Desmond’s story, but Penny is ten times the character Kate is. I’ve mentioned before my bewilderment as to why so much on this show revolves around Kate. I’d say that Penny is more compelling and a lot less annoying.
What did you think?