Oh, wow. This final season of Lost just keeps getting better and better. I loved last night’s episode. Read on for more about Happily Ever After…
The episode began with the familiar shot of an eye opening. It’s Desmond, and he’s waking up in the Hydra infirmary, but thinks he’s still in hospital. That’s until Charles Widmore appears, and lets him know he’s back on the island he promised never to return to. As you’d expect, Des isn’t pleased, and whacks Widmore around the head with his I.V. stand. Outside, Widmore’s team have set up a box containing two enormous electromagnetic coils, but the generator isn’t working. A man goes in to the box see what the problem is when another member of the team fixes the problem with the generator. As the electricity flows throw the coils, the resulting waves of energy kill the man. Desmond is then placed in the box, Widmore explaining that he is the only person he has ever known to have survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event and he needs to test that he can still survive this so that later he can do something very important and make a sacrifice to, basically, save the world. Desmond is strapped into a chair, and as he struggles to free himself while being bombarded with electromagnetism, the screen turns white. We see some clouds, and then….
In Los Angeles airport, Desmond is looking at the Oceanic Airlines arrivals board. Hurley walks past and lets him know which carousel their luggage is on. We are in the flash-sideways universe. When he gets there, he sees the pregnant Claire and helps her with her bags before predicting that her baby is a boy. Waiting for him outside the airport is his driver, George Minkowski, who in the original universe was the radio operator on the freighter who was unstuck in time in the same was as Desmond in The Constant. He takes him to Widmore’s office, where things the exact opposite of what we knew before. Desmond is Widmore’s right hand man, the most trusted man he employs, even good enough to be deserving of a glass of MacCutcheon whisky. Widmore explains that he has a job for him, he needs to look after the bass player of a band who will play in a charity ball with his son. The band’s name? Driveshaft, of course.
So, Des gets Charlie from the police station, but Charlie walks across the road, without looking out for the oncoming traffic, and walks straight into the nearest bar. There, he explains to Desmond that when he was unconscious and near to death after swallowing the heroin on the plane, he had a vision of a blonde girl who he knew he was in love with. The girl would have been Claire. The nostalgia continued with a blast of You All Everybody as they drive along the bay towards the hotel, the same bay where, in the original timeline, Desmond was shot by Ben and was in the image behind Penny and Des in their photo. Suddenly Charlie grabs the wheel and steers the car into the water. Desmond gets out but Charlie stays strapped into his seat. In a spine-tingling moment, Charlie put his hand up against the car window, causing Des to remember “Not Penny’s boat”.
In hospital, Desmond gets a MRI scan, and as it starts he suddenly remembers Penny. He finds Charlie (asking Jack along the way), who recognises that he’s “seen something” too. Charlie says that nothing else is important anymore, so he’s not going to do the concert. When Desmond tells his boss, he says he’ll have to tell Mrs. Widmore himself.
When he gets there (and we excitingly see a certain person playing the piano at the edge of the screen), Eloise Widmore, as she’s called here, takes the news surprisingly well, saying that “what happened, happened.”. Desmond overhears the name Penny Milton (a nod to the Paradise Lost?) mentioned on a guest list and asks to see more. Eloise suddenly gets very angry, just as she did in the jewellery shop in Flashes Before Your Eyes, saying he needs to stop looking, he’s already got everything he wanted in life and if he pursues it further, it would be “a violation.”
As Desmond prepares to leave, the pianist knock on his limo window. It’s Daniel Faraday of course, or as he’s known here, Daniel Widmore. His parents didn’t push him into science, allowing to develop his love of music. But, he explained to Desmond, one night after seeing a certain red-haired woman in a museum who he instantly fell in love with, he wrote detailed equations his journal which only an experienced quantum physicist would know. The equations point to the world they are living in being an alternative reality created by a nuclear explosion. Daniel tells Desmond that Penny is his half-sister, and tells him where he can find her. Desmond finds her at the same stadium where he first met Jack. He awkwardly introduces himself, and as they shake hands, he finds himself waking up back on the island.
Charles Widmore comes into the room and says that he was only unconscious for a few seconds. He starts to explain that he will have to do something very important, when Desmond calmly interrupts, saying that he understands. As Zoe and a couple of Charles’ other henchmen escort Desmond away, the group is ambushed by Sayid, who tells Des that the people he is with are dangerous and he needs to come with him. A relaxed Desmond complies.
Back in 2004, in the other universe, Desmond wakes up having passed out when he touched his Constant’s hand. Penny helps him up and he asks her out for coffee, which she accepts. Desmond gets back in his limousine and Minkowski asks if there’s anything Desmond needs. He asks for a copy of the flight manifest of Oceanic 815, saying “I just need to show them something.”
This episode, a companion piece to Flashes Before Your Eyes and The Constant, was brilliant, coming close to Ab Aeterno as best of the season so far. There was a sense of everything coming together and being for a reason, with the episode giving a whole new edge to the flashsideways. It was great to see the likes of Charlie, Daniel and Minkowski again, and their presence was particularly symbolic given their connections to Desmond in the original timeline. As well as being a fascinating episode, revealing much about where the show is headed in it’s final act, it was really well put together, with excellent direction and editing.
Charlie had a vision of Claire, Desmond suddenly remembered Penny and Daniel felt something when he saw Charlotte, all of them feeling the connection with the other timeline because of the person they loved. Perhaps this is how Lost will tie up its many strands, the scientific, supernatural and emotional character-based stories. Perhaps, as we were shown in The Constant, it all comes down to love.
Six episodes left. Without wanting to raise expectations too much, I think we’re in for some amazing TV over the next month and a half.