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
2,304 votes
  • Totally pointless and without direction

    1.0
    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.
  • this episode sucked as bad as libbys acting

    2.0
    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.
  • Desmond goes back and forth between 1996 and 2004.

    3.5
    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.
  • In this stretch-of-an-episode, Desmond loses his sense of reality on the helicopter ride to the freighter. The then spend the entire episode jumping between his life in 1996 and the present on the freighter.

    6.3
    Invisible man. Okay. Smoke monsters. Maybe... Time travel? What? Why doesn't everyone just fly off of the island? The writers of LOST told us in the beginning that there were scientific explanations for everything on the island. Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know they meant "made-up science". This show got put in between a rock and a hard place and they decided to take the easy way out and either kill characters that complicated the plot too much for them or they decided they should introduce invisible men, or maybe, just for fun, they'd send character back and forth between 1996 and 2004 for a whole freaking episode. Did they steal this half-a**ed plot from the writers of the "Butterfly Effect"?

    And of course, of all of the possible characters to get put onto the freight, it just happened to be Sayid. The only person who can fix an entire communications system. Why did you fools all give this episode a '10'? I wait, I forgot, most people who watch the show don't care about crappy writing, crappy acting, and terrible continuity. AHHHH
  • Aye don't believe the hype, brother!

    6.9
    This episode kinda left a strange aftertaste.
    Okay, we know now why Desmond has his flashes all the time, but this time travel or mind travel thing is a bit far fetched for my taste. I like the mystery aspect in Lost, but only when there is at least a halfway logical explanation for it.
    I wonder how they going to explain this time travel later on in the season without getting totally absurd.
    Anyway, all in all it was an entertaining episode, but the thing that annoyed me the most was the very poor acting, especially from the ship crew and Sayid.
  • When the helicopter reaches the freighter, Desmond suffers from some serious side effects. An interesting, but overhyped episode.

    7.1
    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 was hoping, after Flashes Before Your Eyes, there wouldn't be any real time travel....

    7.5
    Unfortunately, to me, the writers went exactly where I was hoping they wouldn't, into the realm of time travel.
    I know it's not actual time travel, but the principle still applies.
    I must say, as much as this episode disappointed me, it was still good.
    Seeing some of the 'freighter' action was nice. Who are these people? Where do they come from? Etc.....
    And all the back and forth, between Penny and Desmond at the end, it was intense and even at times, heart wrenching. I'm quite happy they finally made contact.
    I would have given this episode a lower rating, but I admit, that the worst episodes of Lost, which I consider this one of, are still better than the sludge the networks want to feed us.
  • What's the Big Deal?: Mediocre Episode

    7.8
    I have been watching lost since the pilot, I have been there through the high points and the low points. I must say that the beginning of Season Four so far has been a major low point. I read some of the other reviews on here calling this the best episode ever, but for me it was just another filler episode. Okay, I did think the whole flashing back and forth thing was cool, but the plot wasn't advanced at all. Okay, Desmond is my favorite character, but the whole idea of him finding his "constant" was a failed attempt at re-establishing the Desmond/Penny soap opera. The best thing about this episode was it did not contain another one of those lame "cliffhangers" where the writers attempt to cover boring episodes with random future connections to get people excited. So, thank you, "The Constant", for that. Maybe people that call this the best episode ever are suffering from "Lost" withdrawal. I like character development as much as anyone else, but this was poorly written and, I must say, a mediocre episode.
  • Enjoying episode to watch, but also frustrating.

    7.9
    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.
  • whatever happens this season, episodes as good as this are a constant

    8.0

    A show of supreme quality, very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very (apologies, the former review has been moved to a new home, soon you will all be given the key) very very very veryvery very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very enjoyable. A must-see.

  • 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...

    8.0
    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.
  • similar episode with doctor who season 3 episode 10 entitled "blink" but still a good episode

    8.2
    i have seen this kind of episode and its similar episode with doctor who season 3 episode 10 entitled "blink" but this one is still a good episode. i hope they dont copy some ideas in other tv series and how come this show a time travel show and its more becoming of a science fiction and i thoght first this show has no science fiction series and the longer the series running they are ruining this show. i think jj abrams has no more ideas on making more stories for this series and this show has 2 more seasons left
  • Over-rated (again) but non the less a great episode, currently the best of the season at the moment

    8.3
    Good episode, one of Desmond's better flashbacks, theres non of that whimsical bumbling about regaining honor, and while it's an episode that is a little confusing, it was interesting and makes you think, it feels more in line with lost than the last episode which seemed to be getting from A to B and sitting around eating up air time, pretty much most this episode kept my attention without any major groans raised.

    Again, while stuff is being explained, or at least hinting to an explanation, or at least, some small sense of what is going on, you get the plot twist at the end, were as before with kates, and bens (man on the boat) twist felt sorta cheap and random (still to be explained) the plot twist was better fleshed out in this episode, all in all a great episode, wouldn't rank it in the top 5, but as with most lost episode's, it's new, so people overate it heavily by 1+/2+ marks.
  • 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!

    8.4
    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….
  • A little questionable with the time periods but who cares? The romance at the end is the reason this is the first season 4 episode I rewatched four times already.

    8.4
    The two things in this episode is the romance between Penny and Desmond and a new time travel plot point.

    I wasn't as much as a fan of the time travel. The rules for who's affected by the fracture of time and how they're affected seemed shifty and so did the rules for the consequences of changing the past. The shifts in time were suspiciously convenient, but that's a mixed blessing b/c it would be aggravating if they weren't.
    It looks like we met Ben's man on the boat who destroyed the communications. Why else would an actor from 3:10 Yuma have a role if it wasn't going to have its own arc?

    This episode had my favorite ending of season 4 so far. What a great emotional scene to close with. They didn't close with a big shocker which I liked because I was starting to become more aware of the fact that the last two seconds of episodes are always a great twist. It was refreshing to have the ending simply be a beautiful, emotional scene. Even more, it didn't have to be a tragic scene for once! I can only hope feebly that the writers spare just this romance from tragedy but for now we have a beautiful long distance scene.
  • As you can see from the other reviews, this episode was quite spectacular by consensus. But what does it tell us about the bigger picture?

    8.5
    There have been many reviews as to the content of this episode, so I do not wish to venture into this subject matter.
    There were, however, many interesting points to this episode.

    Firstly, when Mr. Widmore is bidding for the Black Rock logbook thing it is said that was the only thing left of the wreckage. Presumably, this means they found the boat underwater, much like they found Oceanic Flight 815 underwater. Somehow, both are intact on the island. At this point the issue of a time differential comes into play.
    The helicopter should have taken 20 minutes to get to the boat on the given bearing, so we will assume this to be true in real time. For those on the island, it was over a day. A ratio of something like 20:1440 (minutes for Desmond and minutes for Jack) could be introduced to partially explain other events. For example, perhaps it is the case that they are in a time where the island exists (maybe in the future from a volcano underwater forming the island, maybe in the past when an island still existed) and thus why their plane, for them at least, is not underwater. Someone might also wish to examine how the same person who appeared to Juliet and recruited her onto the island was seen by Ben in the jungle as a child can be true. It seems to point to some kind of time differential, though I do not know how.

    There is also a point to make about how the Daniel at Oxford says that the future cannot be changed. This is seen to be false from Desmond's point of view as he manages to obtain Penny's phone number and tell her to wait for Dec. 24, which she does, allowing him to live. One might argue that this had already been going to happen, so infact Desmond changed nothing, but this is fairly incomprehensible based on how he appeared to actively be in the same mind and changing his past. The point of contention is how the island Daniel appears to not know who Desmond is when they are talking on the phone ("we met yesterday") and doesn't seem overly concerned that it is Desmond in distress. However, it is revealed at the end of the episode that he remembers the encounter and has written a note to himself regarding his own constant: Desmond. This plot device was the only misgiving in the episode - he appeared to not remember him, but then it turned out he did. Somewhat of a gimmick if I haven't totally misunderstood.

    An interesting episode for the development of the programme as a whole in my opinion.
  • Desmond's newest affliction.

    8.8
    The Constant further substantiates the concept that the island exists in a time bubble. As enthralled as I am by this exciting plot element, the variables involved at times makes me cross-eyed.

    I picture an invisible hemisphere symetrically encasing the island above the surface. Besides going under it via submarine, there's only one access point allowing for passage through the bubble. Passing through any other point results in dangerous side effects, illustrated by this episode.

    The helicopter passes through and the time shift is evident. In one moment it is flying through a storm at dusk. The next moment it's landing on the freighter in clear conditions in the middle of the day.

    Sayid and Frank pass through uneffected, but Desmond experiences said side effects. Those exposed to high levels of radiation or electromagnetism seem to be at risk, as per information divulged by Dan. Desmond had been seriously exposed when he activated the failsafe in the Hatch releasing the electromagnetic pressure, which initially caused him to go back in time resulting in a faint awareness of the future being that he had already lived it. Based on the laws of Desmonds new affliction, does his awarness now cease?

    Desmond does not physically time travel. He goes catatonic while his consciousness shifts between 1996 and 2004. As the time between shifts begin to increase, it renders the mind unstable, ultimately leading to an aneurysm. The key to avoiding this fate is to stabilize the mind with a constant, most notably a person to be unchangingly faithful and dependable.

    Does Desmond's actions in the past alter the future? According to Dan circa 1996, no - the future cannot be changed. In 2004, Dan discovers an interesting entry in his notes. Should something go wrong, Desmond would be his constant. Was the twist in the end supposed to be that the memorandum wasn't there before, and it had now appeared because of Desmond's visit? Bear in mind that the visit that was orchestrated by future Dan in the first place. So what really came first?

    On board, they meet Minkowski, the man they've been communicating with since Jack first made contact. Recently Minkowski hasn't been able to come to the phone and now we know why. He has been suffering the same effects as Desmond. Him and another officer just couldn't resist sneaking a peek at the island, so they hopped aboard some vessel and passed through the bubble.

    My one gripe in all this is that this maneuver seems forced. Feels too convenient for the purpose of storytelling to already have somebody experiencing what Desmond is going through. The mutinous act of these two men gives the impression of an insubordinate crew, and a mutinuous freighter was the opposite of what I was expecting. Not to mention that now I'm expecting to find out exactly what radiation they were exposed to in order to experience the side effects. No harm no foul though, I'll get beyond this.

    I found it nice that the episode also featured moments aside from the brainbending time concepts. Simpler nuggets that I could really sink my teeth into such as the auction. Widmore wins Hanso's diary of the accounts of the Black Rock. WHAT? Awesome!

    I'm also eagerly waiting for someone to post a screen shot of the man peering through the binoculars up in the control room of the freighter. I'm sure I wasn't the only one to notice him. Was he the captian? Was he Ben's man? Was he anyone we know?

    Good stuff.
  • One of the better episodes this season.

    8.9
    I was a little disappointed with the fourth season... until now. Some things were explained: like why Daniel is so "strange" and the "boat people" were shown for the first time. Also I noticed that genre of LOST might slowly be changing from mystery to sci-fi, because now we have physics and time-traveling (it was already shown once in the third season) involved in LOST. The best part was the end of the episode - I really loved the scene where Desmond finally had a chance to talk to Penny. Let's hope that all will end well and Penny will find him (and other lost'ies of course).
  • Very good filler episode.

    8.9
    If this episode was a full length movie (which I believe it was), I'd be glued to my seat. The whole jumping back and forth through time thing is all good. This was a very good episode, but... That having been said, I was a little dissapointed in the lack of plot advancement. After three seasons, and going into a very shortened 4th, I'm not really satisfied with filler episodes anymore. If this were the only episode of Lost that I've ever seen, I wouldn't need any explanation of what was going on, It was totally disconnected from the story line. Yes yes we all know now that there's some kind of time warp thing going on, for anybody who needed to be hit in the head with it. It just didn't need to go on for a whole hour. But had it been on last season, I may have enjoyed it more, but who knows.
  • When Desmond and some others were traveling back to the freighter on the helicopter, they go through the barrier and Desmond starts having flashbacks that could severely effect him. Desmond has to find his constant before it is too late.

    9.0
    I thought this episode was very well written. This episode revealed a lot about what the island does to some people. It shows how the island is a very mysterious place. When the episode ended with Daniel opening his notebook and flipping through the pages to find that on his page was written, "If anything happens, Desmond Hume is my constant" was a great way to end the episode. It shows a lot about the things to come and how if he ends up having the flashes he would have to find Desmond. This episode wasn't an episode that answered many questions about past things but it will about things to come in next seasons.
  • Lost's Christmas episode.

    9.0
    What saves this episode is the phone call at the end. Very emotional. I'm not into all this time-travel stuff, though, I do appreciate the nifty twist on the method in this episode. You see, here, it isn't your physical body that time-travels, but your mind/consciousness. Clever. The experiment with the mouse is great, and the use of cuts in editing to show the jumps is also well done. But my problem, as it has always been with Desmond, is that his character is not really connected with the other castaways or the island or really the overall endgame of the show. He's in his own little world, caring about one thing and one thing only- Penny. It's a beautiful and epic love story, and that's why he works, but I admit I dread his episodes because they disconnect us from the overall main story going on.
  • Desmond's mind travels from the past to the present, and makes him forget everything about the island. If he's not going to die, he needs to make contact with a constant: Penelope Widmore.

    9.0
    This episode was really confusing! At first, I thought it was crazy that Desmond could just forget everything that had happened for eight years. But there was that time thing with Daniel in the last episode, so I guess we just need some more explaining. The people on the boat began to tick me off after a while. They kept telling Desmond that they were going to help, and then they just lock him in a room with another loon. I didn't quite understand the whole thing with Eloise and the maze. Daniel made me kind of peeved when he just said, "Oh, her brain short-circuited," and didn't realize that Desmond was going though the exact the same thing. I have no idea how Sayid would be able to fix somethig with all of the wires messed up, but hey. The Penny/Des scene was so romantic! I really hope he gets off the island now. All in all, I don't know how this episode is going to help the plot, but I guess we're just going to have to wait and see.
  • weird but good....... was this desmond centric episode realli needed?>

    9.0
    sometimes in this episode you didn't know what was going on!!!! oh my gosh. this episode was alright at first i dint know what was goin on but i still don't get it excactly !! what with the time difference?? perhaps the island got a different time ya know???? mmmmmm good i won't reveal to much as ive already been reported for spoilers!!! oh my gosh no way!! anyway this lost episode hasn't been the best last episode was better and it was obvious that desmond wasnt gonna die i think there could be some1 they know on the boat.... and i think it is some1 begging with 'M' well well.... till next episode can't wait looks awesome with juliet ya know.... :)
  • The best episode of the season to date

    9.0
    Ever since his introduction in "Live Together, Die Alone", the producers have noted that the romance between Desmond and Penelope Widmore was at the heart of the Lost mythology. This episode continues to explore the truth behind that statement. For all that the survivors of Oceanic 815 experience the oddities of the island, Desmond's fate has been wrapped around them for years, and his story sheds light on several long-standing mysteries.

    His connection to the Widmores, for instance, has led to important revelations about the Hanso Foundation and the man behind the infamous Dharma Initiative. This episode connects some important dots. The Black Rock, the landlocked ship known to the survivors since the first season, now becomes a source of information about the island and its effects. A navigator's journal was found in Madagascar seven years after the disappearance of the Black Rock, and that navigator was a man named Hanso.

    The journal is eventually purchased by Charles Widmore, a businessman with ties to the Hanso Foundation, and one would imagine that the approximate location of the island was mentioned within its pages. This continues to add fuel to the flame of the theory that Widmore, who sponsored the race that eventually led Desmond to the island, intentionally wanted him trapped there to keep him from Penny. How he is treated moving forward should put the matter to rest.

    Regardless, all the suggestions still point to Widmore, the remnants of the Dharma Initiative, and elements of the Hanso Foundation as the authority behind the "rescue" expedition. One would also assume that Matthew Abbadon's organization is a part of that overall effort. Certainly they knew enough about the island (again, probably from the journal) to include Daniel Faraday on the team.

    Daniel's background in fringe physics, as expected, tie into the odd temporal properties of the island itself, stemming from the powerful electromagnetic source below the remnants of the Swan Station. This ties directly into the events of "Flashes Before Your Eyes" and begins to explain, to some degree, Desmond's ability to predict the future. Because he is "unstuck in time" (thank you, Kurt Vonnegut), Desmond's consciousness is not anchored to normal perception.

    For example, during the third season Desmond in the "present" was seeing possibilities of the future, all surrounding the fate of Charlie. What happens in this episode seems to be related, though in a more generalized manner. In this case, Desmond in the "past" becomes entangled with the physical presence of Desmond in the "present". Both situations appear to stem from an induced separation between conscious mind and physical body.

    In fact, this could explain Daniel's memory issues. Desmond points out that Daniel has been conducted his experiments with time without a shield over his head. Perhaps the net effect of the radiation/EM field exposure has been a dissociation of his memories. He wouldn't necessarily remember meeting Desmond in the first place, despite the warning in his own journal. Desmond is now important to Daniel beyond his field of study; it could get very interesting if Daniel is forced to choose between Desmond and the true goals of the "rescue party".

    Henry Ian Cusick delivers another powerful performance, easily handling the difficulty of the material. His devotion to Penny has always been apparent, but this episode goes a long way towards demonstrating her own dedication to him. Whatever might have happened in "Flashes Before Your Eyes", Penny still trusts Desmond enough to overlook his rather stalker-ish behavior. Their phone conversation is one of the most emotional moments of the series, and it is very well earned.

    So much time is spent on Desmond that the rest of Team Shepherd barely gets any screen time. The exception is Sayid, who continues to get the kind of attention he's deserved for quite a while. Sayid's loyalty to Desmond is effectively portrayed, and it shows how dedicated Sayid is to his friends and allies. It's also good to see his previously-established technical skills applied to the situation.

    Similarly, Juliet continues to support Jack and his authority on the island, especially with the new arrivals. Daniel doesn't seem to be much of a problem, since his personal goals often appear to override his more nefarious orders. Charlotte, on the other hand, definitely treats the survivors as a threat, and her attitude communicates the dubious nature of her real mission as surely as the behavior of the crew on the "rescue boat". The stage has definitely been set for conflict in the very near future.

    This episode is the latest evidence of the writing staff's renewed sense of purpose. The narrative has been moving forward at a measured but substantial pace, and now that the format has been expanded to include flash-forwards and other unusual perspective changes, the conventions of the series are no longer an impediment. In fact, this season has shown a very strong start, possibly better than any start to a season since the beginning of the series. Hopefully the post-writers'-strike episodes will maintain the same quality.
  • Compelling story-telling. Serious answers.

    9.0
    How have the Lost writers managed to fit an episode this good at this point in the season? The last episodes that packed this kind of emotional wallop were "The Beginning of the End" and "Greatest Hits." The last ones that added this much to the mythology were "Through the Looking Glass" and "Confirmed Dead." Notice those are all season premieres and finales. When the episode began, I was skeptical about a Desmond-centric story. His stories tend to pull away from mysteries that have been developing. And despite last week's flop, the season has gotten off to a good start with a lot of intriguing directions. But the fact that stories about Desmond are told without regard to stories about everyone else is what made this episode great.

    In this self-contained narrative we had loads of theories about the lost island either confirmed or denied. For example, apparently it is still 2004 off the island. BUT time does bend around the island so that you can leave shore at dusk (is it me or has it been a long time since we saw a sunset or sunrise on the island???) and arrive at the freighter 20 minutes later in the middle of the day. We learn that Desmond is in fact time travelling. No guess work here. All it leaves to question is what happened to future Desmond who knows who Sayid is and remembers the hatch imploding? It's possible he's drifting between dimensions same as past Desmond. Maybe the constant allowed past Desmond to stop the drifting and now their roles are more permanent. ?

    Who knows. The point is there are some answers but by the end of the show we don't care because the Lost writers recognize that there is a more important story to tell. Desmond and Penny's story of forgiveness and hope is central to Lost. This is where Kate dropped the ball last week, but picks up right where Hurley left off in his mourning of Charlie. I am interested to see what Daniel's ultimate role in things is. He likes his job and is good at it despite the assertions of the self-important freighter doctor. It seems his job is important to the physical properties of the island. Yet when we were introduced to him, it was his emotional connection to the island that first drew him to this mission. Frank's role is also becoming interesting since it doesn't take him a moment's hesitation to help Sayid keep his buds out of the "sick bay." Desmond and Sayid's "friend" on the ship is either Ben's "man on their boat" or someone sent by Widmore to rescue, protect, or sabotage Desmond. Anyway, those are all interesting questions and we got a plate full of mouth watering answers for that obsessed fan in us that is caught up in the drama and mythology. But we also got an exceptional and compelling story that transcends themes central to Lost.
  • 10. Amazing episode that plays around with time better than any any show or movie I've seen in awhile

    9.1
    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.
  • "I love you Penny!, I've always loved you!"

    9.1
    Jin... You were right. It's a girl. The delivery was hard on me... The doctor said I was calling out for you... I wish you could've been there. Jin... She's beautiful. Ji Yeon. I named her just like you wanted. I miss you so much. I miss you so muchJin... You were right. It's a girl. The delivery was hard on me... The doctor said I was calling out for you... I wish you could've been there. Jin... She's beautiful. Ji Yeon. I named her just like you wanted. I miss you so much. I miss you so muchJin... You were right. It's a girl. The delivery was hard on me... The doctor said I was calling out for you... I wish you could've been there. Jin... She's beautiful. Ji Yeon. I named her just like you wanted. I miss you so much. I miss you so much
  • Complicated...

    9.2
    Jack is worried about Sayid and Desmond because they haven't heard from the freighter yet even though they left a day ago so Daniel tries to explain something really strange to Jack. Desmond travels in time to 1996 and forgets who Sayid is and why he's on the island so he gets help from Daniel. Daniel tells him he needs a constant. Something that is powerful and means alot to him which he can be able to tell the difference of time with. I know it's complicated. So Desmond uses Penny as his constant. The scenes between Penny and Desmond are very intense. I liked them. At the end of the episode we discover that Daniel is also going through time and he needs Desmond to be his constant. Terrific episode. Favorite character from this episode : Penny !!! She's so pretty. Good stuff.
  • A stunning episode which answers some questions nicely.

    9.2
    Desmond is the only character I really feel for. Every one of the survivors appears to have an awful life off the island with nothing to look forward to and each have done pretty bad things (to an extent). But Desmond has someone he really loves off the island. And she has been trying to find him for three years now. The tears that were threatening to leave my eyes as he made contact with Penny in this episode will stay there until the real contact comes and I would say that only that episode when it arrives could top this one.
    All episodes of season four so far have been excellent and this one raises the bar higher. Mainly, I would say, because of Cusick's superb performance as Desmond. He (and to a lesser extent Naveen Andrews), is arguably the best actor in Lost and any episode centred on his character is always a joy to behold. I only hope this is not the beginning of the end of Desmond's storyline.
    Any story revolving around time travel is bound to come up with paradoxes and the like so I've not bothered thinking too much about that aspect of the story except to ponder the Constant. I didn't fully understand why Daniel couldn't be Desmond's Constant if all it takes is a phone call. He spoke to Daniel on the island in 2004 and in Oxford in 1996. Daniel did say something about the Constant being something you love but then why would he write in his journal that if all fails then he could use Desmond as a Constant? Does he love Desmond? He hardly knows the guy - or maybe he knows him better than we think now that they have contacted each other in 1996 now. Too complicated.
    A little thing they threw into this episode was a wonderful reappearance of Charles Widmore winning an auction of the first mate's journal from the ship The Black Rock, currently owned by someone named Hanso! I hope to see more of Widmore now that contact has been made by Penny and this reintroduction of Hanso and The Black Rock could indicate that we're going to find out a bit more of the more ancient history of the island.
    Overall this was a superb episode and I can only expect next week to be a disappointment as I'll be expecting too much and the focus will be away from Desmond's very interesting storyline.
  • Outstanding episode

    9.3
    I loved the time travel, the Penny/Desmond phone call, the action and the high enjoyment which is never a fail.

    This was the best episode of this season to date. Desmond's almost death was suspenseful, but I'm glad he didn't die. One thing that pissed me off is when those watching it with me say that it's too hard to follow, but I just reply "Get real!".
    I've watched Lost since the beginning and it's an awesome show. I think this episode brought the strong light back to this show as I've only enjoyed the first and third episode so far.
    Keamy and the freightor people are painful, especially because they're hard to deal with. Sayid stuck near Desmond pretty much the whole time. Daniel is still an unknown character because of his intentions and secrecy -- with Charlotte. The final 5 minutes tonight were brilliant! It will send word to stay tuned to next weeks episode. Lost is such an awesome TV drama, always has, still is, and always will be.

    So overall, I convered most of it. This was a masterpiece...
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