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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lost 6x11: Happily Ever After

Well, it was bound to happen eventually: an episode centered more on the flash sideways world than anything else. Thankfully, it was a Desmond episode to help it go down easier. And if the nature and ultimate point of the flash sideways device wasn't spelled out once and for all, and least it's true nature is closer to the surface than ever before, and events are placed in motion towards a resolution.

The walls between worlds, it seems, are breaking down. Sideways Charlie saw glimpses of his island counterpart when nearing death, and now views his existence as boring and pointless, lacking as it does "consciousness-altering love" (apparently, Sideways Charlie missed the fact that his counterpart in the other reality is dead, but perhaps he feels that a life without that kind of love isn't worth living anyway). Charlie managed to help Desmond cross over and get a peak at the other reality, and when later bombarded with the EM energy from the MRI machine, Desmond's life with Penny in the other reality flashed before his eyes. Perhaps, in those moments seen in previous flash sideways, in which the characters stared into a mirror, the walls between realities were thin enough that they too saw a glimpse, however fleeting and brief, of their island selves.  

Desmond's journey in this episode brought him back into proximity with Daniel (his half brother-in-law in the other reality), who, after a fleeting glimpse of Sideways Charlotte, also experienced a consciousness shift like Charlie and Desmond. Daniel's return was less frustrating than the usual "beloved character returns to wink at the audience in the flash sideways instead of, you know, answering the lingering questions about that character" schtick, partially because Daniel is a cool enough character that he's never annoying, partially because he seemed more like his old self than other returning Sideways doppelgangers, and it seems like, even if he doesn't appear again, he's still instrumental in the ultimate resolution of the sideways narrative, whatever it may be.

Stuff Worth Mentioning
I loved the little twitch in Desmond's lip as Widmore explained where he was. And Lady Teebore and I both cheered loudly when Desmond proceeded to try and beat the crap out of Widmore with the IV stand.


Like Eloise in "316", Widmore told Desmond the island wasn't done with him yet.

If Widmore abducted Desmond out of the hospital after Ben shot Desmond three days ago, then he must have had the sub and his team ready to go when he and Eloise talked outside the hospital in "The Incident". In fact, Widmore probably had whatever his plan is in mind when Desmond visited him earlier in season five asking for Eloise's address, as that conversation only took place however-long-it-took-to-sail-from-England-to-LA-plus-a-couple-days ago.

The EM Chamber, complete with its otherwise-innocuous desk chair in the middle, was vaguely reminiscent of Jacob's cabin. Though my first thought when seeing the exterior was "oh, so they've brought raptors onto the island, huh?"


The rabbit intended to be used as the next test subject was named Angstrom, which is a unit of measurement pertaining to wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, also the surname of the main character in John Updike's series of "Rabbit" novels.  

Minkowski is the latest old face to make a reappearance. Now all the principal freighter characters, save Naomi and, oddly, Frank, have appeared in the flash sideways.



Sideways Widmore's office contains a painting of scales (like the one in the cavern), a model ship which resembles the Elizabeth, and, of course, MacCutcheon whiskey, which he freely offers to Sideways Desmond in a reversal of the scene which first introduced the expensive booze.


The spiel Desmond gives Charlie in the bar about having two choices, and always having a choice, sounded a lot like FLocke's schtick. Of course, neither choice presented to Charlie was life threatening, and he was clearly aware of the reprecussions of choosing each option.

Charlie dunked Desmond and his care into the same marina where Ben shot Desmond.

Apparently, some sort of large, white haired creature, possibly alien, resides on Sideways Eloise's head, presumably in some kind of symbiotic relationship with her.

Sideways Penny was doing the stadium run, just like Desmond and Jack when they first met.


The Sideways Oceanic 815 flight landed at 10:42. Its bags are on carousel 4.

Questions Answered
We're closer than ever to getting the 411 on the whole flash sideways deal, but other than more theory fodder, just a few sideways details were laid out: Widmore and Hawking did get off the island in this reality, and Widmore apparently still hooked up with Penny's mom. Desmond WAS on the plane, for reals, and not just a figment of Jack's imagination. He's Widmore's right hand man.

Also, Sideways Charlie wasn't trying to kill himself in "LA X", but was swallowing his stash to hide it from the Marshall. He told Jack he was supposed to die because he was saw an  image of the Island Universe, of himself with Claire, and then was yanked away from it when Jack revived him.

Questions Asked
So what does Widmore want Desmond to do? What sacrifice is Desmond going to have to make? Why is Widmore showing all this to Jin?


In "LA X" Desmond was wearing a wedding ring, but this episode makes it clear he's not married: plot point, or just a production error. 

How does Sideways Eloise seem to know about Desmond/the nature of the flash sideways reality?

Who is Penny's mother?

What exactly happened at the end, there? It seems like Desmond's island consciousness slipped into his Sideways' consciousness while he was unconscious on the island. He didn't control that body, but he remembered it all when he woke up on the island. But then, when he woke up on the island, Sideways Desmond fainted. So in that moment, did Sideways Desmond shift into Island Desmond for a bit, observing but not controlling? Are both Desmonds now operating with full knowledge of their counterparts' lives?

Why was Desmond so calm after waking up, willing to work with Widmore and so nonchalant about going with Sayid? Did he get a glimpse of the future? Does he know that going with Sayid is what has to happen to make things right?


Next Week: Everybody Loves Hugo
Hurley, the last remaining candidate to take center stage, does so. Perhaps Libby will be back. If so, hopefully it'll be to do more than just wave at us from the flash sideways.

13 comments:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode because you know, Desmond! But when Daniel showed up!! I was so stoked. I didn't think I would be as excited as I was to see Daniel. During the rewatch, I thought to myself how much I really liked his character but still didn't expect as much excitement.

    Seriously, though was I the only one who thought Charlie running down the hospital hallway was all sorts of hilarious??

    The scene with Charlie and Desmond underwater was chilling. I did think Desmond was going to have to watch Charlie die again. Sad.

    OMG, when Desmond's lip was twitching I squeeled! I don't know if that was just the actor's portrayal or scripted but that was the most brilliant, hateful look I've seen in a long time. And I clapped when he beat Widmore's head in. God, this show is awesome.

    "Apparently, some sort of large, white haired creature, possibly alien, resides on Sideways Eloise's head, presumably in some kind of symbiotic relationship with her."

    LMAO!! That is the best description I've heard yet!

    Desmond's weird calm demeanor had me thinking that maybe he just knows whatever happens, he's better off in this reality because he has the "conscious-altering love". I don't know but I'm eager to find out.

    Great review as always!

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  2. Thanks!

    Seriously, though was I the only one who thought Charlie running down the hospital hallway was all sorts of hilarious??

    Nah, I thought it was pretty funny too. I kept waiting for a little butt cheek to pop out, knowing full well it wouldn't.

    I meant to mention in the post how creepy the whole underwater scene was. In fact, I know a lot of people have been ragging on Dom Monagahahagahgan about how his portrayal of Sideways Charlie is too much like his character on Flash Forward, but there's a certain creepiness to his Flash Forward character that I think lent itself nicely to Sideways Charlie in this ep. I think he needed to be a little bit creepy.

    LMAO!! That is the best description I've heard yet!

    To be fair, one of our school administrators in high school was in a similarly symbiotic relationship with an enlarged hair alien.

    Desmond's weird calm demeanor had me thinking that maybe he just knows whatever happens, he's better off in this reality because he has the "conscious-altering love"

    I kinda hope that Island Desmond's calm comes from something more than "eh, this reality is better than that one; at least I love Penneh here". I don't care how much better he thinks the island world is, for all the crap Widmore's put him through, I'd like to think he has to know something new now that would make Desmond so nonchalant about helping Widmore.

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  3. I miss daniel. sadface.

    We also thought they had brought some velociraptors to the island (take that, polar bears) and both Pat and i, at the same time, shouted "Shoot her!"

    ahh good times

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  4. Yeah, Daniel's pretty awesome. I hope he comes back again.

    My preferred Jurassic Park/velociraptor reference is "clever girl..." but "SHOOT HER" is pretty good too.

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  5. When the EM Machine was used on Desmond I half expected him to disintegrate and then reappear blue, naked and apathetic.

    At the end of the episode I realized I had no idea what just happened. I can't even begin to theorize why Desmond was suddenly OK with Widmore and is plan. I don't know if Desmond's Sideways and Island consciousnesses swapped bodies, converged, became aware of eachother or none of the above.

    All I know is that Desmond started acting a little too much like Soulless Sayid for my liking.

    (And things are pointing more and more to Widmore being good, which doesn't agree with me either.)

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  6. When the EM Machine was used on Desmond I half expected him to disintegrate and then reappear blue, naked and apathetic.

    Ha! That would have been awesome.

    At the end of the episode I realized I had no idea what just happened.

    Yeah, me neither. I couldn't even articulate what I thought might have happened until I'd spent some time online and seen other people doing it.

    All I know is that Desmond started acting a little too much like Soulless Sayid for my liking.

    Good point-I hadn't made that connection. It certainly is foreboding.

    (And things are pointing more and more to Widmore being good, which doesn't agree with me either.)

    Tell me about it. I'm okay with "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". I'm okay with "he's doing good things (stopping FLocke) for bad reasons (he wants to control the island instead)".

    I just don't think there's enough time left to convince me to be okay with "he's really been the good guy all along, and all the bad stuff he's done were necessary evils".

    Then again, Ben was a grade A villain for a good chunk of the show's time, and now, one of the reasons I don't want Widmore to be the good guy is that I want Ben to be on the better side of their struggle, so maybe the writers can convince me to buy Widmore as a good guy.

    But in the time they have left? On top of everything else? I doubt it.

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  7. Nice writeup, Mr. T!

    Apparently, some sort of large, white haired creature, possibly alien, resides on Sideways Eloise's head, presumably in some kind of symbiotic relationship with her.

    The heads of diner waitresses and women of a certain age: Where old Tribbles go to die.

    I kept waiting for a little butt cheek to pop out, knowing full well it wouldn't.

    You could see that he was wearing dark briefs under the hospital gown — not that I was looking (unlike some of us, I gather), but it was kind-of obvious and, in my experience, rather counter to policy.

    Dom Monagahahagahgan

    Is he related to Rue McLanahanahan of Afghanaghanistan?

    VW: verstcho — What Hitler thought he was watching at the end of Inglourious Basterds: "Dis ist de verstcho I haff effer seen!"

    Sorry to have heard about the spam, dude, but at least we get to play the word-verification game here now, too...

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  8. Dr. Bitz: When the EM Machine was used on Desmond I half expected him to disintegrate and then reappear blue, naked and apathetic.

    Aaaaahahahahaha!!!

    Teebore: I'm okay with "he's doing good things (stopping FLocke) for bad reasons (he wants to control the island instead)". I just don't think there's enough time left to convince me to be okay with "he's really been the good guy all along, and all the bad stuff he's done were necessary evils".

    I could be wrong, but I think that some of the worst things we've heard of him doing came from the mouth of Ben Linus. Do we know for sure not only that he was behind the fake Oceanic 815 but killed people to populate it? Yeah, I know, when you're asking whether somebody made corpses rather than just dug them up you're already dealing with levels of ghastly, but you can't deny that murder's still way worse than graverobbing.

    I started believing that Widmore is good, or at least on the good side, relatively and all, when we saw him approach Locke in Tunisia ("Jeremy Bentham") — partly, I admit, because by then we not only knew that Charles and Ben were opposing forces, but that Ben had tried to insinuate himself as the Island's savior one last time by turning the Frozen Donkey Wheel in Locke's stead and only made things worse, proving that he was unworthy on top of being a psychopathic slimeball.

    I have no love lost for the kind of man Charles seemed to be in acting towards Desmond, entitled, smelling of aftershave, with no understanding that men who want to wear their hair long and do something creative with their lives are people too; the original scene between them with the precious bottle of MacCutcheon made my skin burn. And "I know better than you; one day you'll thank me" just gives me blisters. But if you accept who he is as who he is, you have to admit that if his manipulation of Desmond was done in service of steering Desmond to the Island for everyone's sake as opposed to keeping some riffraff away from his daughter, well, that isn't so bad, and he'd hardly be the first protagonist in literature to rue having to alienate his loved ones for some greater good.

    I had empathy for the alternate timeline's Ben Linus, and of course Ben is a great character with a great actor giving him life, but I think that original Ben did way too much seriously bad stuff for way too long with way too little regret to excuse him for having done it purely in the name of Jacob and in the best interests of the Island and thus the world at large. While I can't fault the producers for keeping him around beyond his originally planned episodes, storytellers always lose credibility in my eyes when they try to turn villains into antiheroes if not flat-out just-plain-heroes, because they invalidate what made the villains so compelling to begin with and make the other heroes look like saps or amnesiacs for accepting them; how much this has been done to Ben, we don't know yet for sure, but I worry about it, and compared to what we saw of Ben with our eyes, never mind the stuff that looks heinous but we have yet to get the full story on, I don't think we have much to nail Widmore on beyond how the series might've been manipulating us to feel, starting with his treatment of Desmond. The devastation wrought by the freighter mercs, okay, that was bad, but I'm pretty sure that Keamy overstepped his bounds and the members of the research unit were at worst only there for their own agenda, which ranged from money in Miles' case to honest understanding of the Island or its special properties in Charlotte and Daniel's.

    My apologies for the clauseapalooza run-on sentences, but some of this stuff is being written up for my own blog and that's how it comes out in first draft...!

    VW: tormync — Pestering in unison.

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  9. @Blam: Thanks!

    Is he related to Rue McLanahanahan of Afghanaghanistan?

    Also, M. Night Shymalalalalalan.

    As for Widmore, I'm still having a hard time buying it. I get that Ben is an unreliable narrator, so to speak. And I'll freely admit my desire to see Ben cast as the "good" guy and Widmore the "bad" is do in large part to the enjoyment of Ben's character, despite the evil he's perpetrated.

    I think we've gotten confirmation that Widmore faked the Oceanic recovery. Wasn't it when Miles auditioned for Naomi?

    Speaking of Miles, he was recruited by Bram/Shadow Seekers, and told not to join Widmore. Shadow Seekers=pro Jacob, Shadow Seekers=anti Widmore, thus Widmore=anti Jacob. That's a some (albeit a little) non-Ben fuel on the "Widmore is a bad guy" fire.

    Ultimately, for me, it all comes back to the freighter. Perhaps Keamey went beyond his mandate, but Widmore had to know the kind of person he was hiring for the job. Also, Widmore, presumably, wrote the check for all the explosives on the boat. I suppose Keamey could have given him some BS, non-murderous reason for needing it.

    Ultimately, unless they reveal that Widmore had absolutely no clue what Keamey and co. were up to aboard the freighter and how murderously they went about attempting to retrieve Ben, that mission will stand for me as exhibit A in the "Widmore is evil, or at least, in it for himself, even if his actions do have good consequences" case.

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  10. You know what upset me about this episode? The fact that Sayid didn't kill Not-Tina-Fey. What's up with that?

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  11. Ha! Yeah, a lot of people were upset about that, too.

    The real question is, what bothered you more: that it was out of (non)character for Sayid to spare her, or just that you want Not Tina Fey to die already, and that was a golden opportunity?

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  12. My problem with it is that it made no sense for Sayid not to kill her. So, yeah, it's a bit out-of-character, especially since he's Soulless Sayid now.

    It's just pet peeve of mine when writers write themselves into a box where a character they want to live are in a position where they should die and the writers don't even attempt to come up with a reasonable or sensical way to keep them alive.

    Kind of like when super villains capture a super hero but don't bother to unmask them and find out their secret identity.

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  13. That would be my beef with it, too. The only reason he didn't kill Not Tina Fey is because Not Tina Fey needs to still be around for some reason.

    As for supervillains unmasking heroes, that makes me think of one of my favorite bits in an episode of "Justice League" (which you've heard me reference before) in which Luthor and Flash's minds are swapped, so that Luthor is in Flash's body.

    The first opportunity he gets, Luthor-as-Flash goes into the bathroom and rips off his mask, only to stare blankly in the mirror and say "I have no idea who this is."

    Sure, everyone knows who Bruce Wayne is, but who knows who Wally West is? :)

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