Season 4 Episode 5

The Constant

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 28, 2008 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews page 3 of 5

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  • When the helicopter reaches the freighter, Desmond suffers from some serious side effects. An interesting, but overhyped episode.

    Just like "flashes before your eyes" this episode centers completly around Desmond. The only other charckter who has anything important to say is Daniel, who is becoming more and more one of my favorites. Another thing "the constant" has in common with the other "flashes before your eyes" are Desmonds Flashbacks. But know we know that they are not flashbacks. In fact, we finally find out that Desmond travels through time. Luckily the writers already confirmed that he dosn't do it physically and that the future cant be changed, but it will sure have a big impact on Lost and it will get us closer to what Dharma was up to.
    Having all that said, the way the episode is written didn't completly work for me. At times it was confusing and Desmonds jumps in time prevent the episode from ever picking up any drive. Except of the two or three essential scenes I actually found it pretty boring. I'd rather watch an exciting episode with no answers than an episode like this. It was alright, but after such a great start into the season "the constant" felt out of place. It was peobably still the best way to explain the whole time travel thing to the audience. At times I found it hard to watch, but the brilliant scene at the end made up for a lot of it. Just to sum it up one more time: Interesting but too exhausting to watch to be a great episode.
  • I wasn't too sure about this episode at first but it ended up great like the other episodes.

    I wasn't a big fan of this episode at first, it seemed like it went a little too far as strange as Lost is. I then remembered how Desmond kept seeing into the future for Charlie and knowing he was going to eventually die. Now he is in the past and is on some weird trip back and forth from the future till now. I didn't care for that still all that much but I think when they link it a little better to the story and get more in detail it should be pretty cool. It just needs just a bit more explaining for me. It was cool when he went back and told faraday that it worked, and then we realized that it's now Christmas eve 2004 in the present, so it gives us kind of a time line of how long they have been on the island from September to December so far, so it has been a little over 3 months. We saw Minkowksi for the first time played by Fisher Stevens, we knew he was the guy they were communicating with on the walkie talkie because they mentioned hm a few times since Daniel, Charlotte and company came on the island. We also found out he has the same "side effects" of going and forth from future events like Desmond. Desmond had to find a link from the past to now or he would die, which I think Minkowski did or was about it. I really need to start writing these write away with my memory.
  • The episode focus on Desmond and Sayid first moments on the "researcher's" boat. The scottish seems to have lost a part of his memory during the trip and through a long series of flash-backs he tries to re-get it.

    This is one of the strangest and most stunning episodes of all the "Lost" series. It goes far beyond the supernatural, but still it has something that makes you feel that what the protagonist is into is totally real. Desmond is mind-trapted in two worlds: the present, the real one, and the past, the unreal one. Everything happens in his mind (for the first time in this season we have a series of flash-backs instead of flash -forwards). The way to re-gain the memory is around the figures of two people: penelope one one hand (who is "the constant", the element who connects the past and the present Desmond) and the enigmatic Daniel Faraday who helps Desmond by getting him in touch with the past version of himself who will give Desmond the key to regain his memory.
    The key stays in the constant. And in one of the final scenes of the episode Desmond reaches Penelope over the phone and tells her (in an intense and dramatic sequence) how he loves her. This episode goes straight into the "hall of fame" of Lost's episodes, not only for its plot, but also for the way this is presented.
  • As Good As It Gets

    An absolutely incredible episode that has found its way into my Top 10 Episodes of All-Time. Everyone knows the whole revelations about this episode and who it focuses on (Desmond), so, instead of just repeating those facts, I will try to voice my opinion on WHY this episode was so incredible; It was an episode that answered some questions while opening a slew of new ones (a perfect example of why LOST is the best show currently on TV), the entire episode had me on the edge of my seat, it was interesting to me that Desmond thought it was the year 1996, which, being that 'on island' it is the year 1994, that leaves an 8 year difference, and 8 is one of the famous numbers of the show. But the most interesting thing to me is why Daniel had Desmond as his 'Constant.' Does this mean that Daniel HAS ALREADY experienced time flashes/amnesia and similar things that Desmond and Minkowski have experienced? I suppose time will tell, but this episode is outstanding.
  • Wow! I am in awe of this amazing episode! Where do Lindelof and Cuse come up with this stuff?

    This is exactly why I love this show! This episode was so well written that I just can't believe it! I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open for most of it! My entire family agrees that this is by far the best LOST episode to date. There is so much going on in this episode that I don't even know where to begin! This episode just ROCKS, period. I have never been more riveted to my TV screen than while watching this episode! It may just be the best thing ever aired on TV!

    Kudos to Damon and Carlton, you really wowed me with this one!
  • Lost became the show of the year and century with this episode to me.

    wow, i am utterless right now. I can not even express how i felt for this episode. Lost proved itself with that very special episode. I have never watched a show that makes you breathless and confused at the end of each episode. Lost has a power that makes you want more. Desmond's story was the best so far and i don't think any episode can ever suppress it. Time was never constant but desmond found his love, Penny and that made him alive. Time changes while leaving the island if you do not follow the exact route. I loved this episode.
  • (The helicopter begins flying into a thunderhead.) Sayid: Why are you flying directly into the thunderhead? Frank: Why don't you just sit back and let me do my job, huh?

    Sayid and Desmond hit a bit of turbulence on the way to the freighter, which causes Desmond to experience some unexpected side effects. In flashbacks of Desmond, we see his life in the military. Well can I say about this mind blowing, hair raising and astonoshing episode, the best episode of Lost I have ever seen and the best TV episode ever is "The Constant".
    Desmond was brilliant in this episode and it showed us how much story is left in this character and it shows us more of the new people, Daniel is a superb character and so far he seems to be the strongest out of the new guys. Dan is edging closer to my favourite character. Frank was ood in this aswell. This episode was amazing and it left me sitting at the edge of my seat shocked at what I just saw I was like "WTF". I wish I could rate this higher 10 out of 10.
  • I bow down to the Carlton Cuse and the Damon Lindelof.

    My, oh my, oh my, this season of Lost is proving to b a very impressive one indeed. None of the episodes for me so far have proved substandard, which I guess is still too early to be considered an achievement, but still, I'm really appreciating this season. So it is a Desmond-centric episode, last time we had a Desmond-centric episode, the episode was killer, so why shouldn't this episode be the same? It was actually, in fact it was so killer, someone died, well not in the episode, I'm just exaggerating how killer it was, oh wait, someone did die in the episode. Anyway, I don't want to give anything away, this episode had just been the most mind-blowing episode of the season. I dare not say series.
  • In a few simple word: Oh my god! Whetever just happened in this episode, it was outstanding!

    Before i start here, i must say, i love lost!
    Love with a giant L! I'm way passed objectivity..
    Because if i would look at this episode in a more moderate way, i would maybe critic some flaws in the storyline.
    I mean everything that happens on the boat, from opening the locked door, untill fixing the radio is actually really unbelievable..
    Why is there nobody guarding them..
    Or once they left their room, why didn't anybody notice?
    I mean come on.. that's really unrealistic, i doesn't seem to be such a big boat.. so, they should have noticed..

    But then, here comes my Lost addiction into play: I mean, who cares? Seriously, i don't give a damn about that!

    I was basically strapped to my seat and was wishing i would have a constant for myself who would hold me back from just floating into the lost universe and never be able to get out of it!

    In a way, it reminded me strongly of two episode: The obvious of course is "Flashes before your eyes", also one of the best episodes of lost ever. In this episode we first got introduced to the whole time-travel explication..
    But the second one, is probably more my personal lost experience.. well it reminded me about about the season finale of the second season, "Live together, die alone".
    This was also an episode, where i just couldn't believe what i was seeing. When i had the feeling that NEVER in my whole movie and tv series carrier, had i seen something similar!
    I mean, wow, a huge imploding hatch!
    Or a man travaling constantly between two episodes in his life.. it was just incredible!

    I was really happy to see Desmond being able to make that call to Penny.. I must say, the longer the series goes, the more i grow fond of Desmond. In the beginnning of the series i was more a Locke-fan.. but now..
    whu-hu.. Desmond! You're the man!

    Finally, i had the weird feeling that everything, and i mean every single lost question ever posted, was very close to be answered.. Of course i couldn't get them.. but i had a strong feeling that the writers really know that they are doing and that in time we would get all the answers we so desperately wait for!

    So in my opinion, this is probably the best lost season so far! Every episode, maybe except the one for kate (of course the end twist with aaron was just genial), was just awesome!

    So i'm looking foreward for more!
    So long, all you nr. 15 bunny hoppers!
  • The flux capacitor's gotta reach 1.21 Gigawatts, Marty! 88 miles per hour! We're going back – back to the future! .... (I couldn't help myself).

    I've always found time travel interesting (not the actual physics of it, but its portrayal, such as in Back to the Future). Lost has been time travelling since Flashes Before Your Eyes, but now we have scientific proof that, not only has Desmond time traveled, but others have as well. And we now know for certain that there's a lot more going on than a 31 minute time discrepancy. However, we still don't how intense the time difference will end up being.

    The time travel itself was portrayed brilliantly. Desmond's flashes between his mind in 2004 and his mind in 1996 were seamless (props to the editors for that one). It's interesting that the rest of the Freighties knew what was happening to him and Minkowski. How did they know this? Who did it happen to before? And I was slightly disappointed that we didn't get to see who Ben has on the boat (unless we did). I have a far-fetched theory that Ben can somehow control the time-travel to go between the island and the freighter, thus making himself the mysterious man. Hey, with Lost, anything's possible, right?

    I like that we're getting away from Jack and the gang every second episode or so, instead of 5 episodes of them and 1 of everyone else, which has been the case before.

    In any case, I've been very impressed with season four so far. Even if it's slightly abbreviated, I have a feeling it won't disappoint.

    Now I'm off to read Slaughterhouse V. Or watch the Back to the Future trilogy.
  • Somewhere in time, Lost style.

    Only this time Eloise is not an actress from last century who inspires an impossible love story through time itself but rather a lovely mouse stuck on a life threatening journey that could end the life of Desmond Hume as well.

    Luckily for him, the 1996 versions of Daniel Farady is smart eough to figure out the only way that Des would save his life and Penelope loves him enough to be his constant on any point in time. This master piece not only features one of the greatest love stories this show has ever made - the one from Penny and Desmond - but also one of the most poignant, clever and well written episodes about time travel ever seen on TV.
  • Enjoying episode to watch, but also frustrating.

    I think people are overating this episode abit. It was good dont get me wrong but People are saying its the "BEST EPISODE EVER" i disagree.. What was SOO great about it?

    Its good how it explained why desmond couldnt remember anything. In the episode it explains if u are enduced to a high level of radiation or electromagnatism there are side effects (which obviously desmond experiences on the way to the freightor via helicopter) and he cant remember anything, until the end of the episode when he FINALLY gets to hear pennys voice and talks to her on the phone, he gets hes memory back. (he time traveled from past to present in order to get her number to ring her) Ok thats a breif summary of what happened. Was the plot needed or important? Not really because that episode could have been summarised with a quick segment in 5 mins. At LEAST it did explain maybe why desmond could see into the future and saw charlie's death ect. Anyway there are way more important questions to be answered on the show rather than new questions raised and being answered in that same episode. Are they forgetting about the main questions. Like who is Jacob and what does he stand for? The numbers? Why is Ben so rich? What is the black smoke? Wheres michael and Walt? plenty more, The new questions are making us forget the old ones which are still unanswered and most important.

    Look i love the show its on of my favourites, but Cmon people realisticly Its becoming extremely frustrating. I hope you all know what i mean. Ill give the show credit for something.. I still cant wait for the next episode.
  • Just... stunning.

    If there is such a thing as the 'perfect' episode of Lost, this is it. A moving love story, brilliant performances, a dose of science fiction and another step closer to unravelling the mysteries of the island.
    The final scenes between Desmond and Penny brought a tear to my eye - I've never felt myself rooting for a guy as much as I was rooting for Desmond during this episode!
    This 'mini-season' has been the best yet, and I just hope the quality can be maintained for the next three episodes.
    Major kudos to Henry Ian Cusick for his note-perfect performance here. He may have come late to the 'Lost' party, but he has become one of my favourite characters.
    It's episodes like this that reward all the ups and downs of the previous series and make it all worthwhile.
  • Best episode ever? It's up there! I've fallen even deeper in love with Lost!

    Season 4 just keeps on getting better!
    With Desmond being my favourite character I've been excited since last week when I saw the promo, but my God I was not expecting this outstanding installment!

    Brilliantly written, brilliantly acted(exactly what we've come to expect from Cusack), brilliantly constructed! You wouldn't even notice that 75% of the cast aren't even in it!

    There is no need for me to get into the storyline really. I'd just end up confusing myself and everyone else but I don't think anybody could have not been touched by Desmond's and Penny's exchange at the end...let's keep the faith for those two!

    What's up with Daniel...? I've become very interested in that dude!

    Fingers crossed that the standard of this episode will continue through the season!
  • Simply outstanding

    Well well well people who stopped watching lost will regret it after this episode. I believe that the constant is my reward and many others for sticking with lost 100% and what a reward. Best lost episode ever made even better than through the looking glass in my opinion. Strangely this is the first episode that hasn't included a flashback or flashforward if im not mistaken... truly gripping and can't wait till next week for hopefully another amazing episode... people lost has returned better than ever! Desmond and Daniel what a good combination they make. O and love 1996 Dans hair! Rock on Dan man!
  • Just simply awesome...Maybe the best episode since season 2.

    Just simply awesome...at last a very good episode in this 4 th season. Maybe the best episode since season 2.
    Desmond is a real good character and maybe the more easy to follow with his backgrounds. And a very touching character too (whereas Jack is not in my opinion).
    And this episode reveals a little bit of what the island could be...at last...it's maybe the first time since the beginning of Lost.
    I really hope the next episodes will be as good as this one ... oh well if they are at least half as good, the will be better than the whole first part of the season 3 ! ;)
  • Exciting episode led by Desmond, the "brotha", my favorite! He was very entertaining and with Desmond's marvellous action

    -One of the things that do not exist they remained completely clear (or at least for my ...) it is if Daniel Faraday order it Desmond to Oxford helps himself the same one, for which he has planned to travel in the time ... not? Or for what?
    And Daniel Faraday be "good" or "bad"?

    -Another thing is if Desmond on having found the "constant" (Penny), is going to be saved of dying, or also these goings and returns are going to be stopped in the time?

    -And finally, if Desmond at the end of the episode recovers the memory or not?.

    About that Sayid asks him: " already these well? ", and Desmond says to him "yes".
    You prop Penny he said to her that he have been in an island ... and I believe that not saying nothing of an island since lost the memory, or not?.....

    PD: Excuse my English, but i don't speak English, i speak Spanish.

    Bye and good luck.
  • for an episode called the constant there were so many unknowns

    Wow possibly the best episode of lost ever! I usually feel that anything with desmond in the story is brilliant but this was just fantastic. Firstly the premise of this episode is so crazy that by trying to explain it to anyone would probably make you go crazy but it worked. Obviously more mysteries were uncovered in this episode (as in nearly every episode of lost) but the story was so good that i didnt want anything explained to me. The jumps between 1996 and 2004 were fantastic, and as every jump became quicker and the episode unfolded it became a very tense episode. The last 5 to 10 minutes were fantastic (as a fan of Desmond you want him to get to his goal) but you just didnt know what was going to happen to him. An absolute flawless piece of television which is making season 4 of lost brilliant viewing
  • I'm incredibly surprised by anyone who gave this episode a bad review.....this episode was incredible and brilliantly constructed.

    The fact that some people gave this episode mediocre reviews leads to believe that those people wouldn't know good TV if it slapped them in the face. "The Constant" was easily the best hour of not only Lost, but all of TV that I've watched this year. I'm also extremely dissappointed and angered by people who gave this episode bad marks because "nothing happened". Wow.....what do you classify as nothing? I won't go into details for spoilers' sake, but I will say that something EXTREMELY pivotal happens near the end that brings them closer to getting off the island. I ask all of these people: what do you classify as something happening? The revealing of what the smoke monster is? Jack taking a gunshot to the head? Alvar Hanso himself returning from the grave and coming to the island? Plenty of things happened in this episode, and it seems to be that people who think otherwise really don't understand how this show works. This show rewards patience. You're obviously not going to see someone get off the island or a main character die every episode. No good drama works like that. So I say, sit back, relax, and just take in the wonderful complexity and brilliance of this show.
  • All of Lost is an Alternate Reality but this one seemed to be on par with Dave and Flashes before your Eyes....Now can they tie this in to the rest of what is going on...I am not sure they ever tied those two eposides...

    Two weeks ago I felt like Lost was a Bourne movie.One week ago I felt like Lost was a Days of Our Lives eposide. This week it felt like Dr. Who. This could be what makes the show so good, but they are also running the risk of making the show have no clear arc and getting us further lost (sorry about the horrible pun). As I have said before I am not sure I like the Sci-Fi if it can not tie into a clear rational Sci-Fi world. A world with clear boundries within that fantasy world. We shall see if this is delivered. How does Desmond actually fit into the whole. His eposides don't seem to really tie to everybody elses. I feel the same way with Hurly and his ability to make things appear in his head and disappear. I am still confused logically why Faraday knew Hume because he met him in the past, but why Hume does not remember that meeting with Faraday. As Faraday himself said you can't change the future. Or was it the past? Do you see what I am saying? Sci-Fi is fine if it has some logical basis.
  • Best Lost Episode Ever Hands Down. Bad news? Show went more scifi, all the people who only watch dramas just realized they are watching a sci fi show. lol, i am serious.

    Well it doesnt get much better than this, action, science, reveals, love, penny (hot), boat, etc. All I can say is WOW. Ok so we now know the island has to do with time for sure, so are there conciousness there or is it them, who knows. Bad news is that to the american idol/suvivor crowd watching lost because "its cool and on an online and jack/kate are hot"
    are now scratching their head trying to figure out how they didnt notice they were watching a sci fi show. hopefully this wont hurt losts ratings too much cause they did it in a way that was just awesome. I am going through the biggest lost withdrawls ever, i need like 6 more seasons!
  • this episode sucked as bad as libbys acting

    In this episode nothing happens. A new question was formed and was answered at the end of the episode. It had nothing to do with what has happened in Lost so far. It hardly explained the Black rock either. it is just dragging on and killing time. I am very disappointed. Hiro Nakamura can time travel too, ya know? Its just crap the way they have dragged on the series with new questions every episode without answering the old ones. We still dont know hardly enough, even from season 1, it seems the writers have forgotten the plot of the show. Desmond is the best actor in the show, thats the only thing that went right in that episode.
  • Mind blowing installment. I have never been as excited about Lost as I am now.

    This episode picked up right where The Economist and Eggtown left off, Sayid and Desmond have left in the helicopter with Frank. Until now we had no idea where they were as it had been reported by someone on the ship that they were not yet at the freighter.

    Desmond suffers from an abnormal flashback as he and Sayid are on their way to the freighter, and he begins to relive moments during his time with the Royal Scots. If this isn't bad enough, he finds himself flashing back and forth between 1996 and the present, unable to remember where he belongs. Unstuck in time, Daniel Faraday calls Desmond on the sattelite phone and helps him by instructing him to find him in the past.

    When he discovers that in order to stay alive, he needs a constant,to find something that he can hold onto in both the past and the future, he begins to search for Penny, leading to one of the series most emotional moments with Desmond claiming that he needs to call her in eight years. Meanwhile, on the freighter, Desmond tries to find a way to contact Penny leading to a teary reunion between the two over a dodgy phoneline. Desmond finds his constant, and it appears Daniel Faraday finds one in Desmond.

    This episode was incredible. Every second was exciting and the ending was one of the series' most memorable scenes ever. It is nice that this series can keep us captivated without a massive 'cliffhanger' and can make us cry without killing off one the series regulars. A perfect example of how amazing Lost has been, and what incredible things are yet to come.
  • Holy crap. THis episode definately goes down as a Lost classic.

    Very seldom to I give an episode a perfect score, but this week's episode of Lost fits perfectly into that classification. Sayid, Desmond, and the Pilot fly the helicopter through a thunderhead which I believe is struck by lightning. THis forces them off the coordinates that Daniel gave the pilot, and causes Desmond's conciousness to start moving through time. Daniel explained earlier to Jack that if they are knocked off the coordinates he gave them, that there would be side effects, and that's exactly what happens to Desmond with the future and past travels. His time travels are almost identical to what happens to BIlly Pilgrim in the Kurt Vonnegut novel Slaughterhouse Five.

    Not only do we get to see Desmond traveling between the two years, perfect editing by the writers and directors, but we also are slowly shown more of the secrets of the island. It's obvious that Daniel knows more than he is saying, and he tells Jack just enough to explain that time is different on the island. THis was explained a little last week with the rocket launched from the boat to the island, but now we are given more detail, which just wets our appetite for wanting to know more. Season four has definately been one of the best season's so far, and it's good to see that Lost is getting back to the roots of it's first season. Once again Lost has me completely hooked. On another note, we also learn the history of the shipwrecked Black Rock which Danielle led the Oceanic survivors to in season one. It was explained that it was lost at sea, and we know that it is shipwrecked on the same island with the survivors of Oceanic FLight 815. I was wondering when we were going to find out more about that ship, and the writers have brought it back finally.

    Great episode. Hope the Lost writers keeping giving us such splendid episodes. Next week's episode is looking good for sure, and I will be tuning in certainly.
  • Best Episode SO Far

    I loved this episode, I´m usually not the biggest Lost fan, but this episode was INCREDIBLE, Im glad they found an original way to introduce time travel(instead of using the time traveling paradox that Heroes uses which I hate ) and the fact that they used Physics just made my day( I'm an Engineer so I'm a bit into science). This was DEfinetly and Absolutely the BEST EPISODE I've seen in this series. I hope they explain more about Time Travel and if it affects the future or not, because at first faraday said nothing can change the future, ye is obvious that it did.
  • Desmond rules

    this episode starts really when Daniel tells jack that unless the helicopter goes through his co-ordinates then the passengers may experience some side effects, desmond does just this and is constantly thrown from the past (flashbacks) and the present (i think...who knows for sure with this show) anyway desmond is told over the radio by daniel to find him in 1996 and he will help. daniel tells des in order to stay safe as possible he needs to find an anchor in both times to focus on..."his constant" desmond choose Penny his girlfriend and asks for her phone number despite the fact he broke off their engagement and ran of and joined the army.
    at the end penny gives him her number and des says he will phone her in 8 years time on x-mas eve (in order to secure his constant in both the past and present) des does this and penny answers:) ahhh the end... apart from the fact daniel looks through his note book from 1996 at the end whilst in the present and on the island and it says that DESMOND is his CONSTANT!!!!
  • This episode will go down in history as one of the best episodes to be ever created for television.

    A lot of shows I've watched over the last, let's say ten years. There has never been an episode more special than this one. This is also the first 10 I've ever given!

    Okay, maybe that sounds a little bit over the top, but it's not. The story of this episode is about Desmond. We've seen his 'lost-story' for about 2 years and he has grown to be my favourite character on the show. His and Penny's lovestory is one of those few that aren't that 'over the top' or 'cliche' or whatever you want to call it.
    This episode builds up into a climax that's not only stunning, but also beautiful.

    Besides this, I love where lost is going with this season. People who complain about Lost being Scifi... just face it! You've seen enough right? Time travelling, time differences, monsters.. and everything has a connection (that ofcourse has still to be established).

    I'm sure when Lost is gone after 6 season it'll go down in history as psychologicaly brilliant.
  • The constant

    wow amazing , marvelous , outstanding , what can i say more?
    there are no words to express what i feel about this episode, the script was incredible thank's to the writers , this is the best episode i've ever seen in all tv shows. i hope there would be more episodes like this cause the previous one ( eggtown ) was horrible with all my respect to this show . i expected this episode to be a cool one cause it's about Desmond just like in season 3 ( flashes before your eyes ) was great , but it was more than i thought .

    i really wish i could finish the story right now . ah i'm lost in lost :)
  • This episode is now my favorite episode of Lost ever.

    I really enjoyed watching this episode. That's probably because Daniel Faraday is my new favorite character, and this episode had a lot of him in it. It was cool to see him in the past where he was experimenting with time travel and such was really interesting. It was kind of confusing at first but I think that was by design. I wish I knew why every Desmond centered episode delivered in a big way, but I guess all I can do is wait for the next Desmond episode. Although I hope the rest of this season can live up to the standard that this episode set.
  • I was always hoping Lost would stay away from Sci-Fi or the Supernatural. However, if they keep churning out episodes of this quality I don't care what they do!

    First thing to note is that once again there was no "Previously on Lost" bit. I don't think they've ever gone two episodes in a row before without previously sequences, not even in season 1. Maybe they realised that if you don't know what's going on now you never will! Onto the episode now and it was a Desmond-centric one, however yet again it was not a typical flashback. There was a possible argument in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" that it was all a weird dream or something and he never actually travelled back in time. That theory was obviously rubbished by this episode. Even though I'm not fully on board with the time-travel aspect of the show I am glad that they aren't dancing around the issue. This episode firmly states that time travel does exist within the Lost universe and that's now undisputable.

    They quickly answer what happened to the helicopter after it left the island. Somehow it took a lot longer to get to the freighter than it should have. I don't think time is out of sync on the island, just that the weird electromagnetic storm can cause items to get lost in time. And I'm pretty sure that it should be later than December 24th, but I think that's more of a production goof than anything else. Anyway, this isn't about guessing what's going on, but about reviewing this fantastic episode. The fact that the time-travel has been shown from Desmond's perspective is a great idea because as one of the best characters you're enthralled by whatever he does. The show is about the characters and to use Desmond's tragic love story as the main part of the time-travel storyline gives it much more legitimacy than it would have had otherwise.

    That said I'm still not completely on board with it. Penny being Desmond's "anchor" did seem like a slight cop-out answer to save him. But again because their reunion scene (of a sort) was so emotional and so well done I could happily buy it. I will add one thing though, for some reason I thought that Desmond might be killed whilst on the phone to Penny. The writers on Lost have never done anything that would make me think that they'd kill off a great character so carelessly (quite the opposite in fact) but for some reason I still don't have full faith in them and I don't know why. At any point I still think they could kill off anyone. That does give the show a more dramatic edge, but it meant that I couldn't get fully invested in Desmond and Penny's scene for fear of it being ripped apart. But in fairness that's my weird issue and not the show's so I can't blame it for that!

    The flashbacks(if they can be called that) were done very well. There was never too little time spent on them and yet the transitions between the past and the present were always jarring, but in a good way. What's really interesting is that Desmond has this great backstory and yet they keep giving him these weird episodes, not that that's a bad thing and it does mean that there's plenty more mileage to be got out of the character. Still we got a glimpse into his time in the army here. I think there were a few production flaws in there, but that can't really be helped when having something set in a different country. Also Lost continues the great tradition of Brits in American shows only knowing two swear words! That said at least all the Scots didn't have broad Glasgow accents with tartan everywhere which is how they are depicted in many shows made in England.

    Penny and Desmond's relationship continues to be the best on the show and was used to full effect here to reveal a new theme on Lost. And from the ending I'm guessing that the time-travel story will continue to have an impact on the show. It also worked to explain his "flashes" last season really well and as he's presumably cured of these now it'll be interesting to see where his story goes from here. This episode could've easily gone horribly wrong, but thanks to a great script, superb acting from Henry Ian Cusick, excellent directing and a very moving story the whole thing came off wonderfully. It looks like we're going to have to except the weird sci-fi nature of the show now, but I can live with it. Of course if the Monster turns out to be souls of everyone who's died on the island I might not be so excepting….
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