Lost

Season 4 Episode 5

The Constant

5
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 28, 2008 on ABC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (146)

9.6
out of 10
Average
2,302 votes
  • Fantastic

    10
    Fantastic, i almost cried!
  • Is this the Greatest Love Story of All Time?

    10
    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.
  • This is definitely the best episode of Lost for me.

    10
    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.
  • It will make your head ache and your heart yearn

    10
    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:10
  • Simply mind blowing is all I can say.

    10
    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.
  • Extremely good episode

    10
    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.
  • One of the greatest episodes of "Lost" of all time!

    10
    Arguably the greatest "Lost" episode of all time! Desmond's time travel back to 1996, and his telephone reunion with Penny in the island present, is one of the greatest moments in television history! If you don't tear up watching Desmond talk with his "constant" Penny, then their is something seriously wrong with you! The fourth season of "Lost" keeps getting better and better, especially with this episode. The love story between Desmond and Penny is one of the most incredible ever told! Plus, a great set-up piece to Ben's spy on the boat, and Widmore's interest in the Black Rock, plus his comment to Desmond "it's not me who hate's you". this is why I love this show!
  • Strange Temporal Case of Desmond Hume

    10
    This episode deserves to figure in all viewers top 10 list. First Henry Ian Cusick performance as Desmond is astonishing and he was even nominated for an Emmy. Since his first appearance in season 2 he keeps growing on us and after watching The Constant it's impossible not to like him. Second Sonya Walger is perfect as Penny and in fact she reminds of Renée Zellweger. They excel in genuine roles and her relationship with Desmond seems so real that anyone can easily relate to their story. The phone scene should even make you cry considering how emotional the characters get. Moreover even if it's pure fiction the writers managed to make us believe in it. And the most impressive thing is that it seems there's no temporal paradox like in Back to the Future. Daniel Faraday even explained time travel to Jack and Juliet, well in his own nerdy way. But the real candy in this episode are probably the perpetual flashbacks between 1996 and 2004. The two Desmond seem so different, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And it's not just how they look but more about how they act. The military scenes even reminded me of Full Metal Jacket. Let's also not forget the surreal scene at Oxford University.

    So to sum things up, this is a must see. One thing I'm sure of is that The Constant will be remembered as one of the most fascinating Lost episode. It was perfect from the story, directing, writing to the characters. It's definitely the kind of cult episode you'll watch over and over.
  • A great episode.

    10
    " The Constant " is a great episode that firmly entrenches the use of time travel in this show. Desmond is one of my favorite characters of those that were not introduced in the first season. I had never considered the possibility of a person's consciousness traveling back and forth through time rather than their physical self so it was good to see such an innovative plot device uses to help flesh out his character. The story also helps us get to know Daniel Faraday a little bit more and explains what happened with George Minkowski back on the freighter.
  • How can i even describe this episode!?

    10
    This one is exactly why i watch Lost. If someone was to try and begin watching the series with jumping even a few episodes it would be very very hard to catch up, and this episode exactly proves that. A man who jumps time 8 years to the past and back with the risk of his brain short circuiting, just amazing. Now what i don't understand is how Desmond continued to live in the past with the knowledge that he'd already been to the future, or did destiny fix that problem? The great thing about the show is that they out out an episode like this one just in time, right after a couple of twist and 'story-wise important' episodes, comes a 'Constant' that just blows your mind.
  • A Desmond-centric episode.

    10
    Let me just start out by saying that all things considered, I thought that this episode was absolutely amazing. I thought that the Desmond's flashbacks were very interesting and very well done. I've always thought that Desmond was very interesting character, and this character only made me even more interested in him than I was before. This episode also made me become even more interested in the characters Daniel and Charlotte and what exactly they know about the island. I'm really glad that they were heavily involved in Desmonds's storyline. All in all, in all I thought that was a very well written, well acted and well made episode of Lost from everyone involved, and I can't wait to see the rest of season four of Lost.
  • Consider my mind blown.

    10
    What can I say? Best episode ever. Desmond's and Penny's story is one of the most touching love stories ever. The phonecall is probably the most emotionally moving scene of this show to date. The back and forth scene changing was so intense and so great... I can't praise Jack Bender and the episode editors enough for this.

    The whole episode was an excellent, and I mean EXCELLENT mixature of human emotions, character development, and that typical Lost confusion that makes you go "wtf" all the time.

    This episode overtook Flashes Before Your Eyes in my books. Perhaps because this episode covered much more ground than FBYE. It's funny that, if you look at it, there was barely any action, and the whole episode took place in very limited locations, yet it feels incredibly fast paced and action packed. Daniel's character is further explored, and now he's officially my favourite frightie, although Frank is very cool too, he seems like a good person. But Daniel... he's borderline genius and crazy, and that's just awesome. The ending... Desmond being his constant? Wow. Well... makes sense, but I didn't see that one coming, even though I should have. Obviously, Desmond was very important to Dan, because through him, he finally proved the existance of time travel. I never thought I would write that down in a review of a Lost episode... wow.

    I'm somewhat speecheless right now, so excuse me for the sloppy and short review. This episode hit perfection, and there's barely any TV episode that can put up a fight with The Constant.

    Maximum respect to the cast and crew.
  • awesome informative, intriguing n a typical lost anti-climax

    10
    one of d bst episode of d season ... of d series
    srt of d 4th season ws so slw bt wth ths episode d director hs justifd d publicity ths series hs gt
    though it has been a wondrfull blnd of mystry n emotions n anti climxes, bt nthing beats this episode
    a perfect show
    d mix of science wth ongoin mystry , d tym travel thng n all
    makes it a intrguing episode
    d daniell farday n his constant thng
    n all that confusion bout dasmend n penny it a little cleared out
    its like various peices gttin into place
    truly awesome!!
    waitin 4 d next episode
  • Lost is getting really confusing...

    10
    Desmond goes back and forth through time after a strange ride to the freighter. He goes from 2004 to 1996 in the blink of an eye. Daniel helps him out in both years. He has to find a constant, which is Penny.

    Jack and Juliet worry about Sayid and Desmond back on the island. Desmond gets disoriented and meets George, a man like him. Sayid fixes the phone on the freighter and Desmond calls Penny. They still love each other. Desmond won't die because he found a constant.

    This episode was really weird. I liked it, but it was way confusing. I'm glad that Desmond and Penny still love each other though! This episode gets a 10!
  • Outstanding episode and perhaps the only episode yet that I can give an honest 10 score to.

    10
    It took me a while to get round to writing a review to this episode for the simple fact that I just couldn't think of the right thing that could truly give this episode justice. Let's start with saying that it is by far my favourite individual episode of Lost to date and is the only episode I have watched 4+ times (the latest time being tonight, hence me finally getting round to writing this review). I (probably along with many lost fans) have been waiting for the inevitable contact between des and penny again and I don't think the writers could have done it in as emotional, clever and frankly perfect way. I was quite sceptical the first time I started to watch this episode, as all stories involving time travel are full of flaws, but my scepticism was soon put to rest as what followed was the most entertaining episode of Lost yet. I can't wait to see if they better themselves even more in the remaining episodes of this season and remaining 2 seasons after that (I think it would be difficult work to get better than the piece of genius that was 'the faraday constant') peace out.
  • In a great but bleak season, we receive a ray of light and hope in the season's masterpiece.

    10
    This show surprises more and more everytime, we have good episodes almost always, but somehow, when an episode is Desmond-centered, the bar goes up, first with Live Together, Die Alone and then with the groundbreaking Flashes Before Your Eyes and now this one, The Constant is a masterpiece of writing, acting, directing and storytelling, another risk taken and another success.
    The Constant, in the most twisted way you can imagine, continues Desmond's odyssey, this time, on the way of the freight, his mind starts to travel through time, all due to some reasons explained in the episode, giving us the samrtest episode of the season and arguably the most beautiful and best moment of the whole show.
    Highly recommended.
  • The constant was the best Lost produced, directed, and actors. It was a complete story, which can stand on it's own. Anyone could watch this one show and be satisfied with the results.

    10
    The Constant binds the show together. It was the best Lost
    period. Anyone could enjoy the story. It's stands on it's
    own. It's really about "True Love" regardless of the years,
    trust and love won out. A simple phone call and holding on
    to someone through time made for the most solid performances
    and great story of Lost. Desmond and Penny story could stand
    the test of time. Hopefully the writers, producers, and powers that be, take notice of this and somehow keep them
    to the end. It would give the viewers who stuck with the
    show all this time to have the one thing all want in life,
    Hope.
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    "Off the subject" - "Six Feet Under" made a terrible mistake in it's final season. They took the main character Nate and killed him off before the end and a guy who got it, suddenly became nothing but an **** The idiot writers and producers trivialized Nate's part to the point making him out to be mean, selfish man, and pointless. Nate was an anti-hero, but he spoke some of the best lines in the show and comforted people who dealt with death. I felt they totally ripped off by those writers, who made Nate fade to black, stupid idiots.
  • My favorite episode

    10
    In this episodes there is a mix between the past of desmond and the present. Desmod travel though time, but not with his body he only travel's with his mind. Sayid and Desmod arrive to the boat, vut arter passing a storm desmond don't recoinise anyone. And then he talks with Daniel Faraday, and he tells desmond he needs to find him in the past. He do this and he explain that if Desmond don't find something in the future that is also in the past his Constand he contact Penny in the past and ask for her number then in the future talks woth her and he remembers everything and he is alrigth. The last thing is that Daniel finds his diary and say "If something goes wrong Desmond will be my contand" He writes this because the past Daniel was exposed to many radiation.
  • The best episode ever

    10
    Again this was the best episode ver. The Constant is without a doubt the best episode of Lost ever aired to date. From the sheer mass confusion of Desmond's first flashback to the brilliance of Daniel Faraday to the raw emotion of Desmond's conversation with Penny, it was undeniably amazing from beginning to end.

    An episode like this is the reason many of my friends and I, along with so many others, tune in every week, shaking with anticipation and excitement. An episode like this is the reason I fell in love with this show.

    Kudos to the writers, actors and behind the scenes crew of Lost. And here's hoping that next week's episode is even better.
  • This episode made the season feel like Lost again.

    10
    Season 4 had to start out dark and foreboding. We've moved to flashforwards. We know some people are getting off the island and most are staying and we know that a new set of sinister characters have arrived. The episodes of the season were necessary to set the tone and get the story rolling. But, up until "The Constant", Lost Season 4 was missing that sense of hope that has permeated the best episodes of the series. This episode brought it back with vigor. The writing of was top notch. Centering around Desmond, the Constant shows the true dangers of trying to get the Island. As Desmond shifts between two different times, his frustration, confusion and panic are real and relatable. But, the best part and the most important part of any Lost story is the payoff at the end of the episode: Hope. The ending of the episode added a poignant note to the Desmond-Penny story arc.
  • This episode is the best ever shown on TV this decade. Don't miss it for anything.

    10
    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.

    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.

    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.

    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.

    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.

    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.

    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.

    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.

    This episode is the best one on TV this decade. Do not miss it.
  • Best episode so far!

    10
    Easily my favorite episode so far! It really felt like I was watching a great full length film, I can't wait for the rest of this story to fold out. A whole new development in the Lost story- who would have thought of this! I never really enjoyed the episodes revolving around Desmond Hume before, however this one is all about Desmond and it's amazing! Really well done! Just one episode like this is enough to build on to let them stretch lost out for a couple of extra seasons! Is this 100 words yet? Not quite, now it is, there you go.
  • great episode

    10
    Sayid and Desmond are on the chopper, they finally make it to the freighter. but just before they get there, Desmond all of a sudden develops amnesia. His consciousness swaps from 2 years ago to the present every few minutes. When they reach the boat, Desmond is confined to the sick bay with another person who is experiencing the same thing. Desmond gets help from a physicist who recently parachuted on the island. The scientist tells Desmond to meet him at oxford university once he goes back to his old life. It's a really exciting episode, we get to see something supernatural, it's really cool. I can't wait for the next episode.
  • Awesome

    10
    The Constant starts off with Desmond, Sayid and Frank going to the freighter and during it Desmond flashes back to being in the army he goes crazy and doesn't remember who or where he is. He is forced into the sick bay where he meets George Minkowski who is sufering from the same thing he is. sayid is able to get Desmoond the phone and Faraday tells him to go to Oxford in his flashes so that Dan can help him. Dan tells him that he needs a constant, "something familiar in both times" to stop it. He eventually goes and gets Penny's number in his Flashes and then calls her in the real world. And even I thought that it was touching.
  • fantastic! .. desmond is my favorite character and ths episode combines perfectly action suspense drama and love.

    10
    P E R F E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E C T
  • After leaving the island for the freighter, Desmond gets affected by the island's mysterious forces and becomes unstuck in time. Only Daniel can help him, and only if Desmond can find someone very special in time.

    10
    This is probably the best episode of the entire series. In particular, it is easily the most philosophically rich episode to date.

    WARNING: Technical content
    In any calculus which involves variables, we will find constants. This is true of formal logic, as well as many branches of physics, such as what we see Daniel working on when Desmond finds him at Oxford. Part of working with variables and constants involves appeal to what we call quantifiers, which are just the operators that allow for existence-type claims like "there exists an x" or "for all x...". In a sense, you can see how that is something that consciousness must do as well, or else how can we make sense of all the particular stimuli which bombard us throughout our daily experience? We need to say that, for example, a red ball is round (all balls are round) or that seeing a red ball entails that there exists something red, and so on. However, to do this, we need a domain into which we can quantify our beliefs. Formally, a domain is the range of objects available for quantification. In terms of the analogy I'm proposing, a domain is the context of your own existence, and that is almost always defined by time. When he's unstuck in time, Desmond has begun to lose his domain, and as he becomes more and more aware of his situation, this develops further and further, moving towards the eventual state where his mind can no longer quantify into anything, at which point he will die. The notion of the constant, then, defines a domain of quantification which halts the process of psychic disintegration. Once he has a constant, he is able to locate himself and his place in time (or outside it).

    As an academic philosopher myself, I was beside myself about this episode. There is a treatment of the concepts I outlined which is not only metaphysically engaging, but has a poetic structure, mashing the ideas of love and logic into each other without the faintest whiff of anything trite or cheesy. Quite possibly the perfect episode.
  • Desmond has unique flashes in this perfect episode

    10
    I was only spoiled by the sneak peeks for this episode, and that didn't even give anything away about the episode except the fact that they actually made it to the freighter. Desmond episodes are my favorite - especially Flashes Before Your Eyes, Live Together, Die Alone - and to a lesser extent Catch-22. They did a good job keeping Penny out of the opening credits in this one. I don't think anyone expected him to actually call her in this incredibly odd and heartbreaking scene. I cannot wait for the next Desmond episode, even though I don't think we'll be getting another one this season.
  • This episode concerns Desmond and how he has this time travelling ability. It's cleverly plotted, well written and the acting is so refreshing. The best episode of season 4 so far. Desmond has flashbacks about his life before coming to the island

    10
    The best episode so far. While it doesn't provide any additional information to the whole Lost ark it provides us a very original plot, that reminds me of the very good Lost days. It proves that Lost has a lot to offer.

    It gives you a really great feeling and at some point you track of where you are. This episode also marks the first time where an islander (Desmond) is linked with one of the rescuers Daniel Faraday. I'm not going to provide any additional plot information cause it will just ruin the magnificence of this episode. Words can't describe it. Believe. Enjoy every moment of this episode and pray that there will be more form where this came from by the end of season 4.
  • Best. Episode. Ever. Or at least the best one in a loooong time.

    10
    Oh god. This episode was insanely marvellous.

    It's not just the fact that we have answers; it's the fact that it's interesting, well written, plot development is genius and the fact that Desmond's love for Penny is his constant… it's just beautiful.

    I remember how confuse I was while watching "flashes before your eyes" last season… but now we have a response. Desmond's conscience was travelling through time… but the time-space elapsed was short so we thought he had visions and he could change the future.

    But, as faraday says in this episode, future can't be change and Charlie did die. Now that Desmond is off the island, this flashes are stronger and his conscience travels 8 years back (not 7 or 9 :p). Is this too crazy even for Lost? Absolutely not. They've been preparing the show, the plot, for this!!!

    Now we know why electromagnetism (and the button) is so important… now we know one of the most ambitious Dharma's Investigations. Oh god. I just loved this episode…

    And that scene with Desmond and Penny phone call... It's just beautiful. The music, the dialog, the editing… everything is just perfect.
  • The best of this season so far.

    10
    This episode has all the ingredients for "Lost" at its best: a script by Lindelof and Cuse, direction by Jack Bender and focus on one of the more compelling characters. In a season where even the episodes considered misfires are still really good, this episode shines even more. Although a flash forward with Desmond would've been at least interesting, his back story still has plenty of life in it, not to mention his time travels allow the creative team to divert from the standard flashback formula.

    Desmond's story since gaining his power has earned comparisons to the Kurt Vonnegut masterpiece "Slaughterhouse Five". In that, the protagonist becomes "unstuck in time" (a phrase dropped in this episode), catapulting through various events in his life with no seeming logic or progression. Desmond experiences similar phenomena, although it jumps back and forth from a linear 1996 storyline to the present action. "Lost" also incorporates another level of tension, where the conscience bouncing back and forth needs to find a constant to hang on to or else face deadly consequences.

    Desmond's unstuck travels through time are terrifically put together. The abrupt changes mid-sentence (or mid-word) to dead silence or vice versa really nailed the disorientation Desmond suffered throughout the episode. While the director, writers and cast deserve high marks, the editing deserves it as well (hopefully they'll get Emmy recognition).

    Since Charlie's death, some have wondered what that meant for Desmond's flashes. Presumably he would have flashes of other events, but this episode gives Desmond something new and interesting. Assuming the flashes were similar to the unsticking (the flashes were presumably incomplete as the future isn't written), Desmond avoided major problems because Charlie was his constant through most of them. Although he avoided death in this episode, it's still possible that this could happen again, maybe when Penny comes close to the island. Penelope and Desmond's love story is everything the Kate/Jack/Sawyer triangle wants to be but isn't. Look no further than that gut wrenching phone call on the boat. None of the love triangle moments even comes close to this one. Even multiple viewings hasn't diminished how moving this scene is. Unlikely the triangle, Desmond and Penny's love and separation are at the heart of the "Lost" story. I couldn't care who Kate ultimately picks, but if Desmond and Penny don't end up together, I'll be seriously upset.

    While I initially was puzzled over Desmond's decision to stay behind, his reasoning is obvious: he wants to know their connection to Penny. Naomi had their photo when she parachuted on island and used that to gain the trust of the survivors, but what exactly was their reasoning for this strategy unless they knew they had contact with Ben and assuming he is their target? Minkowski explains that Penelope contacted the freighter. This could imply that the freighter was originally sent by her after all, but Abaddon's people changed the agenda. That could explain why she didn't know Naomi.

    The freighter's a lot smaller than it was made out to be. It was probably unrealistic to have a big freighter on a TV budget. The crew, therefore, must be small. Originally there were at least 11 people (the freighties on island, the doctor, Minkoswki, Omar, Keamy, the Captain & Regina), but there are likely more.

    It's been theorized for weeks that Michael and presumably Walt are on the boat as well, with Michael being Ben's inside man. If that's the case, it wouldn't be a far stretch to presume that Michael is Sayid and Desmond's "friend", unlocking the sick bay door so they can go to the communication center. It would also make sense that Walt sabotaged the equipment. This ties in with him setting the original raft on fire. He never wanted to get off the island, so now that he is he's going to do everything in his power to keep the freighter from going forward.

    Between Minkowski and Desmond, this episode may begin to explain the "sickness" Rousseau alluded to back in the eighth episode. It should also be noted that the substance Minkowski was injected with looks like the vaccine Desmond took while in The Swan. Since The Swan was on top of all the electromagnetic activity, it would make sense to protect the inhabitants from "side effects". There is also the question of whether the rest of the crew will be subject to it, since Brendan and Minkowski went on a solo mission to see the island. Frank make it there and back and he appears fine.

    There's also the question of how it'll affect Locke. He's the only other person who was close to The Swan when it im/exploded who is still alive, but the only effects he's had was a renewed sense that the island's power was real. It'll be interesting to see if he becomes "sick" should he leave, perhaps as a reluctant member of the Oceanic Six.

    Daniel's character gets some major development, explaining some of his odd behavior. Considering his exposure to radiation and electromagnetism, they are setting him up as a possible counter to Desmond. This may explain Charlotte's card game and his inexplicable crying when learning of 815's "fate" in his flashback. He may be in an upcoming event that was upsetting (not hard to believe with all the harbingers of doom) and hurled back with no memory. This may ultimately be what motivated him to join the freighter crew.

    It seems that Widmore may know a bit about the island's mythology. At the point where Desmond jumped back his journey may be getting started, as he's first obtaining a potential piece of island mythology: a journal, owned by a member of the Hanso family, by the first mate of the Black Rock (some of whom theorized was forever young Richard). Buying it for such a high price shows he'll go far to learn about the island. He may also know the truth about what's happening to Desmond and that, combined with his distaste for those lower in class than he is, fuels his animosity. That could be why he left the water running, which was a pretty odd behavior.

    The time discrepancy between on-island and off-island is revealed and it turns out that it wasn't too far off. The island is only a few days ahead according to Lostpedia, although official sources appear to be retconning that unfortunately. However, it should be noted that the bearing Frank followed was 305, 20 less than Michael's. Veering slightly off was likely that catalyst for Desmond's problems. It's possible that going at the bearing Ben advised will ultimately explain Walt's aging.

    Otherwise, the show's focus is only on a few other characters. Sayid proves to be a strong support for Desmond, likely because he's in a similar situation with his long lost love Nadia (not explaining her in Sayid's flash forward may be telling). It's interesting to see him as compassionate compared to the cold blooded killer he'll become at Ben's service. Frank also has some good scenes as the castaways ally (possibly the "friend") on the boat. It's certainly interesting to see that the freighties on island, besides Miles, have been sympathetic, considering what happens to the Oceanic Six.

    Overall, this was the best episode yet from a season that has been hitting all the right marks. The A-Team (as TV Guide calls them) of Bender, Lindelof and Cuse crank out another superb episode and Henry Ian Cusick (one of the many gifted performers on "Lost") knocks it out of the park. While it was a self-contained episode, no Oceanic Six reveals, it still moved the story forward with some great character development between Desmond and Daniel. The stage is certainly set for even more amazing stuff down the road.
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