The Constant

Episode Reviews (146)

Superb
2,304 votes
9.6
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  • 10

    Fantastic

    By WilWentholt, May 26, 2013

    Fantastic, i almost cried!

    0 0

  • 10

    Is this the Greatest Love Story of All Time?

    By BevinChu, Feb 13, 2013

    Is this the Greatest Love Story of All Time?



    No it isn't. But it's definitely up there.



    The love story between Penelope and Desmond is amazingly good for TV.



    It's actually better than the love story in many feature films.

    0 0

  • 10

    This is definitely the best episode of Lost for me.

    By eatsometofu, May 29, 2011

    This is definitely the best episode of Lost for me. The story of Desmond and Penny is just brilliant. Just beautifully crafted and edited storyline. Works perfectly with the entire theme of Lost. I was mostly a skeptic about Lost. I didn't watch the series because I kinda thought the writers were making things up as they went. Well, that might be true but when it comes together in an episode like this. Its brilliant. I can understand why Lost is a great series. And yes, there are episodes that just frustrate you and many loose ends. Once in a while, it just come together so good, its worth all the anticipation.moreless

    6 0

  • 10

    It will make your head ache and your heart yearn

    By DavidB226Morris, May 29, 2011

    There were a couple of reasons to look forward to a Desmond-centric episode --- there seems to be more in his past worth learning about, and because he's not a member of the Oceanic survivors, there's no way we can know what his future holds. Plus the writers always seem to put a little extra into writing his episodes. But even knowing all that can't really prepare you for 'The Constant', simultaneously one of the most mind-bending and heart pulling episodes the series would ever do.

    We've had a hard time getting to know Desmond's story because the writers have been using the flashbacks to tell it to us in reverse order. Essentially though, this episode is the companion to the Season 3 classic 'Flashes Before Your Eyes'. In that episode, we saw what happened to Desmond when he turned the failsafe key that blew the hatch in the second season finale. In that episode, his present day consciousness seemed to carry over to the past when he was still living in London with Penelope. He kept having flashes and we couldn't tell if he had traveled back in time or whether his life had flashed before his eyes. Now it turns out, it was more the former than the latter. None of this is apparent at the start when the helicopter carrying Sayid and Desmond finally flies back to the freighter, but they end up hitting some bad weather. Something happens and Desmond's consciousness travels back to 1996. (The viewer has a hard time telling this because there is no whooshing sound indicating the typical flashback or forward, which means much like in 'Flashes', this is really happening. Desmond loses his memory and appears to be back in the Royal Scots Guard, just slightly after he breaks up with Penny. He doesn't know what's happening to him, and neither does anyone else. And when they finally get to the freighter, no one seems interested in helping him, even though they've already seen it happen. And everybody on this boat, with the exception of Frank seems very creepy, even the doctor who is trying to treat him. Of course, their idea of treatment is drugging him and locking him up, along with a man named George Minnkowski, who we heard of in some of the previous episodes, but never saw. Somehow whatever's happening to Desmond is happening to George, and it's not looking good.



    Back on the island, everybody is glad to hear back from the freighter, but no one has any idea what has happened to Desmond. Someone does have a clue--- and oddly enough, it's Daniel. (Before this, we once again witness the prime example of nobody on the island ever asking any questions. Daniel asks if Desmond has ever been exposed to electromagnetism or radiation. The viewer knows that's exactly what happened in the Season 2 finale, but on the beach, Jack and Juliet just shrug their shoulders and go "Wha?" Of course, it doesn't help that the main people who know are still with Locke.) Daniel's attempt to solve the problem--- which involves the sat phone, and a rather massive attempt to reconnect --- involves him going to Oxford in order to meet up--- with the 1996 version of himself, and telling him about Eloise, who we will learn is one of Daniel's white mice. (We're not going to find out the significance of that name for awhile.) Daniel is not that hard to convince, surprisingly, because he seems to have devoted his work to figuring out this problem. He then says that Desmond has somehow become unstuck in time, and then gives an explanation as to what may have happened. In 'Flashes' his consciousness traveled backwards in time, but his corporeal self did not. Now it appears that his 1996 consciousness has traveled back to the 2004 one, and because of this he no longer has any memories of what has happened on the island. (As to why Daniel didn't remember this little side trip when he came to the island in the first place, well, Daniel's experiments involved a lot of radiation, and as we see in 1996, he never really thought about how to protect his head, which probably explains why he was such a mess when we first met him.)



    If you're still able to follow all this, then you've clearly been watching Lost very closely. I have, and I still was barely able to keep up with the science of this. But then the science has always been of peripheral importance to me--- I care more about the human element. And this story has that in spades. In order to keep himself anchored in the present, Daniel tells him that he needs a constant, and as anyone who watches this show knows, that's Penny. And even though Frank claims he never heard of Penny, George has--- there are strict orders that no communications from Penny are to be allowed to go through tot he island. (This is actually a pretty big hint as to who really sent the freighter out to the Pacific in the first place.)



    Naturally, this involves another visit with Mr. Widmore again, who is no less disdainful of Des than he was in 'Flashes Before Your Eyes'. While were meeting him, we get another pretty big hit about the island--- Mr. Widmore is bidding on the journal for the Black Rock the slaving ship that somehow ended up in the middle of the island loaded with dynamite. Widmore seems very intent on getting that journal. It's hard to believe he would help Desmond in the first place, but he clearly believes this is more cruel to let Penny tell him that she's forsaken him. (He doesn't know his daughter very well, either.)



    The two scenes near the end of the episode, in many ways, represent the bottom and top of their relationship. Penny clearly thinks that Desmond has gone round the bend, but nevertheless gives him her number and promises that she will not change it before 2004. He then makes the call, there is a long pause--- and then Penny's there. The scene that follows is one of the most moving in Lost's history--- arguably the best since Jin and Sun were reunited in the middle of Season 2. Frantically, each tries to get all the information they can over this choppy connection, finally swearing eternal devotion and the promise that they will find the other. If nothing else, this proves that Desmond is different than the survivors of Oceanic 815--- he has something to hold on to, something that has not broken him, something that makes him want to be saved. When he manages to anchor himself, he has something to live for--- which is more than many of the people of the island can say.



    But Desmond's connection to Penny is not the only one that is important. Daniel knows that he is now connected to Desmond, and in his journal, mixed around a mess of equations and numbers is a telling phrase--- "If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant." The two men know nothing about each other, but they've formed a link that will last them a lot longer than their time on the island



    'The Constant' is an example of how brilliant a great show can be when all of its cylinders are firing. There are many great shows that can find a way of exercising the brain and the heart. And even though it's not a holiday episode, it feels more genuine as a Christmas episode (it takes place on December 24) than the most saccharine of holiday shows. One of the high points in the series, for sure.

    My score:10moreless

    4 0

  • 10

    Simply mind blowing is all I can say.

    By lazarius12, Sep 28, 2010

    I'm a huge fan of any storyline involving time travel, but this episode was pure genius. Once again Lost has delivered an episode full of amazing writing, dialogue and entertainment. Each scene kept me glued to my seat, right up until the climactic phone call at the end. The idea of jumping Desmond back ad forth between time periods is an amazing way to keep the audience wanting more. Reminds me of how The Lord of The Rings books would jump between each groups storyline from chapter to chapter. It'll be hard to impress me any better from here on out.moreless

    15 2

  • 3.5

    Desmond goes back and forth between 1996 and 2004.

    By BusterBluth, Sep 28, 2010

    I'm not sure where this episode came from. I feel like I'm watching a different show, and a bad one at that. The guy who plays Desmond is a good actor, but his character is single-handedly bringing the show down from "epic" to "laughable".



    This episode was painful to watch, at best. I agree with some other reviewers that said the writers have gotten to a point where they have no idea what to do with the show, so they are just throwing ideas into the wind. This whole "time travel" idea is just plain silly. I'm at the point where every time Desmond comes on the screen I just want to hit the FF button.



    I've been watching lost on Marathon for the last week or so, and this is BY FAR the worst episode yet. I came onto TV.com to see if this was the lowest rated show of the series, and to my surprise it's the HIGHEST??? This episode is just pure rubbish.



    I should have prefaced this review by saying I am not a sci-fi fan in the least bit.moreless

    4 77

  • 9.1

    10. Amazing episode that plays around with time better than any any show or movie I've seen in awhile

    By JaCkKbAuEr2424, Jul 29, 2010

    For many, The Constant is the best episode Lost ever produced in its six year long run, and it certainly is one of the best. For me, however, there are better episodes, mostly because this episode is focused mainly on one select group of characters, where other episodes were able to put the same amount of surprises and talent into an episode that focused on everybody. However, don't let my nitpicking detract from how great the episode is. With this episode, Lost shies away from flashforwards and flashbacks, instead combining the two in an odd pairing of Desmond's memories with the events going on inside the freighter and on the island.



    Upon watching the episode for the first time, I didn't appreciate it for what it was. By the time I got to the end, I was a little confused, mostly because Lost had rarely dabbled in time travel up until this point, and the whole idea of Desmond's 1996 self being sent to the 2004 self and having to interact with 1996 Faraday while the 2004 Faraday gave him instructions sort of sent me reeling. However, a second viewing reveals all sorts of previously unseen easter eggs. This is the beginning of Lost's descent into science fiction, their segue-way into a new genre.



    Desmond was superb in this episode, and the writing gave him a lot to work with. I've always been a fan of Desmond's flashbacks. His relationship with Penny has always been a way to counter-balance the constant flip-flopping between Kate and Jack and Sawyer. Desmond and Penny's inability to be with one another stregthens the power of the scenes and in this episode, we see the show use this idea to its full potential.



    While I felt this episode (I mentioned this before) didn't add much to the overall plot of Lost, it did act as the best stand-alone episode of the entire series. At this point, we didn't know that the Oceanic Six would be jumping around in time, living in the 70's and helping contribute to some of the events that they heard about in the 21st century.. this was a complex yet highly entertaining episode filled with great acting and writing.



    Watching Desmond grow more and more desperate to find his constant gave an urgency to the episode that made it even better, and the quick cuts from past to present day helped perfectly create an atmosphere of chaos and confusion. This was just an all-around great episode of Lost, and one that I still remember as a stand-out years later.moreless

    3 0

  • 10

    Extremely good episode

    By shonedwards, Jul 29, 2010

    Probably my third favorite episode after "Ab Aeterno" and "Happily Ever After". I love how the relationship between Desmond and Penny unfolds. For once, we had an episode that was just pure science fiction/ science fantasy. A fun time travel episode. It's interesting how Minkowski doesn't survive the "trips" because he lacks a constant and how Desmond finally finds his. This is a wonderfully nice showcase on true love, unlike what seems to be happening with the Jack/ Kate/ Sawyer triangle. These three seem to be constantly going into and getting out of relationships, while Desmond and Penny seem to have a true love of the sort that only some on the island find.moreless

    2 0

  • 1.0

    Totally pointless and without direction

    By Hoeech, Jun 04, 2010

    This is a prime example of a show that has completely lost its way. The writers seem to have forgotten the 70 or so unfinished story threads that are already hanging out there and have now decided to stray off into an unexplainable time-travel story arc.



    I am a huge fan of science fiction. I have seen more films and read more novels than most. No one is more excited and intrigued than I am when an unusual or unique story sees the light of day and "Lost" definitely qualified when the first season rolled out. However, it became painfully apparent that by the end of the third season, no one involved in the production of this show had any clue as to where this story was going anymore. What was an intriguing tale of the mystery of this island and the star-crossed destinies of the Oceanic 815 survivors has deteriorated into a "What-other-weird-crap-can-we-throw-out-there"-fest.



    This sad excuse for an episode is just another example of that.moreless

    5 39

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