This week's Lost brought back one of my favorite characters (Desmond, brotha!). It was nice to see his familiar face, because frankly, I felt like I needed my own constant to navigate the time switching going on.
In the sideways world, we're finally seeing the characters come together and getting a glimpse at why the alternate reality is important. My head is still throbbing from all of the episode's reveals (and the many, many questions it raises), so let's start trying to dissect this mess when you read more.
- Desmond is back on the island by order of Charles Widmore. He says Desmond must undergo a test, otherwise "everyone will be gone forever." The test: giant electromagnets. Widmore mentions that his son died doing the same thing, but he has hope for Desmond since he's the only one who has survived an electromagnetic event. He straps Desmond to a chair, turns the machine on, and Desmond is in anguish until (surprise!) we flash to the sideways world.
- It's George from the freighter! The character reappears as Desmond's car driver, picking him up at the airport. Desmond is a business guy with a big-time boss — Charles Widmore. Yep, Desmond is Widmore's right hand (they even hug), and no, he's not married. In fact, there is no mention of Penny yet, but we do see Charlie again.
- Desmond is given the task of bringing Charlie to Mrs. Widmore (who is actually Eloise Hawking). Seems that Widmore wants his son (yes, he's alive) to play with Charlie's band at a party. Rounding him up is easier said than done. Charlie spouts a story about seeing his love while choking on his drug bag on the plane. The woman in question is Claire, and to prove a point about his vision, he drives Desmond's car into the water. Here's a question: Did Widmore and Eloise want to get their hands on Charlie because they knew he had seen a glimpse of the alternate reality? To somehow squash his visions?
- As Desmond pulls Charlie out of the car, Charlie puts his hand against the glass, mimicking when he was dying on the island. Suddenly Desmond pictures that moment with the writing "not Penny's boat." In the hospital post-accident, Desmond undergoes an MRI — paralleling Widmore's electromagnetic machine — and has visions of Penny. Even when the medical assistant mentions the panic button, it seems like Desmond is recollecting the button in the Swan. Knowing that he's uncovered something, he sets out to find Penny.
- When Desmond confronts Charlie after running into Jack on duty, Charlie says "None of this is real." If so, then is the sideways reality just a preview of what happens if the MIB gets off the island?
- Desmond goes to see Mrs. Widmore since he can't round up Charlie for her party. As for their son, he's Daniel Faraday, now Widmore, the musician. Desmond overhears the name Penny (with the last name Milton) from the party's guest list, but when he inquires further, Eloise tells him to "stop looking for it." Perhaps Desmond will strike a deal with the Man in Black (much like the other characters appear to be doing). It would help explain why Desmond now has Widmore's approval (which, Eloise comments, is what he wanted) and why she says seeking out Penny is "a violation." Are the Widmores some sort of go-between negotiators for the MIB and Jacob? I'm just thinking out loud here.
- Daniel pulls aside Desmond, relaying a story about spotting Charlotte at the museum. The evening after his encounter with her, he supposedly woke up in the middle of the night and wrote advanced quantum mechanics equations. This coming from a musician who knows nothing about science. He suggests that perhaps this life isn't supposed to be their actual life — and that he thinks he set off a nuclear bomb to change the events.
- Daniel tells Desmond where to find Penny, so he ends up at a stadium where she's running stairs and introduces himself (a throwback to when he first met Jack running stairs at perhaps the same stadium). He faints soon after and flashes to the island again, but once he wakes, they plan a coffee date. On a side note, who is Penny's mom? We know it's not Eloise, and I'm sure it must have relevance.
- Whoa — from the looks of it, Desmond experiences his sideways reality while being knocked out from the magnets. He comes to on the floor and agrees to cooperate with Widmore. But as he marches into the forest with Widmore's minions, Sayid knocks out the group and gets Desmond to follow him. Strange that Desmond follows Widmore and then Sayid so willingly. Is he brainwashed? I almost wonder if unlike the other characters who seem to be choosing sides between the Man in Black and Jacob, perhaps Desmond will somehow remain neutral — much like he's remained the only character who wasn't part of the original Oceanic flight, and he's the only character who appears to travel through time with such ease. Is he Lost's Switzerland? Or is Desmond going with Sayid part of Widmore's plan to get the MIB where he wants him?
- Toward the end of the episode, Desmond flashes between the island and the sideways at a more rapid rate. I wonder if Widmore knew the electromagnetic effects from the machine would cause Desmond to time travel, making him the only person who can manipulate both realities to Widmore's wishes.
- Desmond asks George to get the flight list for Oceanic 815 for him, as he wants to show "them" (the rest of the passengers?) something. My guess is he's going to pull a Charlie to prove to each of them that the other reality exists. Funny though how George's role in both worlds is nearly the same — he works for Widmore, but he ends up assisting Desmond in discovering the truth (like on the freighter, when he shows Sayid and Desmond the communication room).
- Fun fact: Widmore's office had a large painting of a scale with a white object and a black object. I'm dying to know what role he has with Jacob and the Man in Black.
That's enough theory spewing from me, so time for you to chime in. What do you make of the latest events? Any ideas to share? Sound off in the comments (you may even see yours in my roundup later!). Or head over to the Lost Fans group in community to chat more.