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Lost: Season 4, Episode 5 Monday, March 3, 2008

Posted by PQ Crash in Lost, PQ Crash, TV.

The Constant (Desmond-centric flashbacks)

I’d like to thank ABC for making a liar out of me last week. They’ve revised their schedule for Lost and it will run with the original plan to air the first eight “pre-strike” episodes and then return with another five as they previously stated. The ninth episode will kick-off the second “pod” of episodes on April 24th. The airdates for Lost can be found here, courtesy of TV Guide.

The Constant mixed up the “flashback” formula a bit and ran the events in “real-time.” In other words, Desmond’s consciousness jumped back and forth between the present to the past, but the episode’s events ran as one complete story. (I’ll attempt to recap the episode from beginning to end instead of “present-day Desmond” and “past-Desmond”. Forgive me if I confuse you.)

(Clever and witty saying to convince you to hit the “jump” link goes here.)

The Constant opened up with Desmond looking at the photo of him and Penny. (Desmond’s preeeeeciousssss. We get it, Penny is important to Desmond.) Along with Sayid, Desmond was in the helicopter heading back to the freighter. As Frank double-checked the coordinates that Dan had given him earlier, Sayid questioned Frank and asked him if he knew where he was going because they were flying directly into a thunderstorm. Frank told Sayid that he was following Dan’s directions and that he knew where his ship was. Sayid (being a chatty-Kathy) asked Desmond that if Charlie had said that the freighter wasn’t her boat, what was Desmond expecting to find when he got to the boat. Desmond replied, “Answers.” While Sayid and Desmond were talking, the helicopter hit turbulence.

Abruptly flashing back, Desmond was laying in a military barrack as his Sargent ordered everyone to wake up. Confused, Desmond was slow in getting in-line. His Sargent loudly questioned his inability to fall in-line and Desmond replied that he had a dream that he was on a helicopter in the middle of a storm. (This is when we realize that Desmond’s mind is now split between the two periods.) As Desmond’s squad was working out in a muddy field, Desmond claimed to another soldier that his “dream” was real.

Jumping back to the helicopter, Desmond panicked and tried to unbuckle himself from his seat. Sayid asked Desmond if he was okay and Desmond replied, “Who are you?” (Yay! Amnesia! Actually, Desmond’s consciousness had reverted to his past.)

Commercial Break

At the beach, Jack and Juliette were asking Dan and Charlotte about why they hadn’t heard from Sayid, Desmond or the freighter. After Charlotte telling Dan not to, Dan told Jack and Juliette that their perception of time is different on the island.

With Desmond confused and panicking, Frank landed the helicopter on the freighter. The freighter’s crew met the helicopter and were upset at Frank for returning and bringing Sayid and Desmond along. Noticing that there was something wrong with Desmond (still acting confused and lost), the freighter’s crew wanted to take Desmond down to their sickbay. As the crew tried to take Desmond away, he resisted and claimed that he “wasn’t supposed to be here.” (Okay, Dante. I dare you to tell us that Penny blew 37 different guys.)

Flashing back to the military base, Desmond was standing up while the rest of his squad was on the ground. This didn’t go over too well with his Sargent and his Sargent made everyone run. Shortly after that, Desmond was loading ammo boxes into the back of a jeep with another soldier. Desmond was telling his fellow soldier about his “experience” on the freighter. When his friend asked if there was anyone he knew on the boat, Desmond replied, “Penny. The photo of Penny was on the boat.”(Okay! Enough with that coddamn photo!) Desmond ran off to call Penny. Pulling out some change for the phone, Desmond was shoved by a disgruntled solider who was pissed at Desmond for causing the Sargent to make them run. Digging in the mud, Desmond tried to pick up the change…

Back on the freighter, Desmond was clawing at the deck (trying to get the loose change). The freighter’s crew took Desmond to the ship’s sickbay. In the sickbay, Desmond finds one of the ship’s crew strapped to the bed. The sick crew member asked Desmond, “It’s happening to you too, isn’t it?”

Commercial Break

Sayid was walking around the freighter’s deck and surveying the equipment. After an argument with one of the freighter’s crew, Frank approached Sayid and told Sayid that he’s trying to help. Sayid said that if Frank wanted to help, he needed Frank’s phone. Frank gave Sayid his phone in exchange for Sayid’s gun.

Sayid then called Jack and told him about Desmond. Overhearing Sayid’s story, Dan asked Jack if Desmond had been exposed to any high levels of radiation or electromagnetism (the implosion of the magic numbers hatch…). When Jack asked Dan what was happening to Desmond, Dan replied, “When going to, or coming from the island, people become…confused.”

In the sickbay, Desmond shook the sick crew member from a catatonic state. When the crew member woke the ship’s doctor walked in and injected the bedridden crew member to sedate him. The doctor assured Desmond that he wouldn’t inject anything into Desmond and that he only wanted to help. When the doctor checked Desmond’s eyes, he asked, “Why don’t you tell me about the last thing you can remember.”

Flashing back to the phone booth, Desmond picked up the change and entered the phone booth to call Penny. Telling Penny that he needed help and that he needed to see her, Desmond was turned down by Penny and was told to never call her again. (So, she was still pissed that Desmond dumped her to hang out with a bunch of guys.).

Coming out of a catatonic state, Desmond said, “Penny, I still need ya.” Frank and Sayid then entered the sickbay. The ship’s doctor opposed Frank and Sayid’s presence, while Frank told the doctor that Dan was on the phone and needed to talk to Desmond. When the doctor told Frank that he didn’t want Dan talking to Desmond, Sayid threw the doctor against a wall and Frank gave the phone to Desmond.

On the phone, Dan asked Desmond what year it was. Desmond replied, “It’s 1996.” Dan then asked Desmond where he was supposed to be in ’96 and Desmond told him that he was in the Scotland military. When Dan realized that Desmond was near him in ’96, Dan told Desmond that, during his next flashback to ’96, to find the past version of Dan at Oxford University. (I gotta get back in time!)

Commercial Break

Back at the beach camp, Dan dug out a journal from his bag. Jack approached Dan and asked him why Desmond thought it was 1996. Dan replied, “I don’t know, it’s a random effect.” Dan’s response prompted Jack to ask, “This has happened before?” Reading from his journal, Dan told Desmond to tell his past-self a few numbers and if his past-self didn’t believe Desmond to state that Desmond knows about Eloise.

Flashing-back, Desmond went to the Oxford campus and found the past version of Dan. Desmond approached Dan and told him the numbers as the future-Dan instructed him to do. When Desmond told past-Dan about Eloise, past-Dan believed him and took Desmond to his office. Past-Dan used the numbers that Desmond gave him and realized that they were settings to use for one of his experiments. Past-Dan then ran an experiment: He nuked a rat (it’s Eloise) with a laser-rocket-death-ray (Note: I have no idea what to call it–PQ) and prompted the rat to run through a maze. When the rat got to the end of the maze, past-Dan was excited, telling Desmond that he wouldn’t teach the rat how to complete the maze until “an hour from now.”

Back at the sickbay, the freighter’s crew was trying to take the phone away from Desmond. Once they got the phone away from Desmond, the crew took Frank to talk to the captain and locked Sayid and Desmond in the sickbay. The bedridden crew member introduced himself to Sayid and Desmond as “Minkowski” and told them about the attempts Penny has made to contact Desmond.

Commercial Break

Flashing back, Desmond woke up in Dan’s office after being unconscious for over an hour. Desmond noted that the rat that ran the maze was dead and learned that the same thing will happen to him unless he finds a “constant” to anchor his mind to: Something that is the same in the past as it is in the future. Desmond’s anchor was Penny and he needed to find her in the past and in the future (or present day in the show’s timeline, if you will).

Desmond, still in the sickbay told Sayid that if he was Desmond’s friend he needed to help Desmond contact Penny somehow. Minkowski told Sayid and Desmond that someone sabotaged the communication equipment on the freighter (Oh, gee, I wonder who that could be…). While Desmond and Sayid untied Minkowski from the bed, Minkowski noted that the door had been unlocked and claimed that Desmond and Sayid had “a friend on the boat.” (Link?)

Flashing back (dizzy yet?), Desmond entered an auction house to find Penny’s father, Charles Widmore. The auctioneer was describing a journal from the “Black Rock” that Charles Widmore later won. (Unfortunately, I don’t have a screengrab, but I could have sworn that I saw Ms. Hawking from last season’s “Flashes Before Your Eyes” episode in the auction house…) After the auction, Desmond approached Charles Widmore and asked him for Penny’s number. Charles Widmore gave Desmond Penny’s address instead.

Exiting the sickbay, Sayid, Desmond and Minkowski headed up to the communications room. While in the hallway, Desmond asked Minkowski how he got sick. Minkowski told Desmond that he and a fellow crew member took a smaller boat to the island and on the way there his fellow crew member went crazy and they went back to the freighter. Minkowski’s friend is now in a body bag. Upon entering the communications room, Minkowski passed out on a desk. While Sayid was scraping together a device that Desmond could use to call Penny, Desmond noticed a calendar on the wall and saw that it was Christmas Eve, 2004. (Panicking that he didn’t know where he was and that he hadn’t started his Christmas shopping yet) Desmond started to bleed from his nose. Minkowski then flopped around and died; Desmond realized that the same thing could happen to him.

Commercial Break

Flashing back, Desmond went to Penny’s house. Although Penny made it clear to Desmond that she was trying to make a “clean” break from him, Desmond promised her that he’d leave her alone if she gave him her number. Desmond told Penny that he wouldn’t call her for eight years, but on Christmas Eve, 2004 he’d call her and that it was important that she keep that number until 2004. Penny then kicked Desmond out.

In the communications room, Sayid told Desmond that Desmond needed to remember Penny’s number; Desmond, fresh from his flashback with Penny, gave Sayid her number. Sayid dialed the number and gave the phone to Desmond.

Penny answered.

Tearfully, Desmond told Penny about the freighter he was on and about the island. Penny then told Desmond that she had been looking for him for the past three years and that she knows about the island. After a tearful exchange of sentiments, the phone cut out after Penny told Desmond that she’ll find him–no matter what. (I can’t adequately describe that scene. It’s easily one of the best moments Lost has ever produced. It was brilliantly done.) With his anchor grounded in the past and present, Desmond’s memories returned to him.

Finally, at the beach camp, Dan was thumbing through his journal. After he read a particular page, Dan looked as though he had a “moment of clarity.” The page he read said, “If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant.”

So, what did we learn to ask?

Does the journal found from the “Black Rock” (that Charles Widmore bought) help Penny find the island?

Why does Penny still care about Desmond after all of these years and Claire forgets about Charlie after two episodes?

Was Dan feeling the effects of traveling to the island, similar to Minkowski and Desmond? If so, what is his personality going to be like now that he’s mentally stable?

Is the communications saboteur going to be someone other than who we’re expecting?

Now that Lost has stated that “you can’t change the future,” how screwed is Jack?

How much ass would Mr. Eko have kicked on the freighter? (My guess? A lot. You don’t fuck with the Jesus stick.)

On a side note, I apologize for the tardiness of the recaps. Unfortunately, work seems to take up the brunt of my time now, leaving me with only a few moments during the week to take care of any errands I need to tend to. If you’d like shorter, but on-time recaps please let me know. Thanks, PQ

Theories? Suggestions? I fucked up? Have at it in the comments or e-mail me at pqcrash_at_gmail_dotcom.



1. BTO - Monday, March 3, 2008

I don’t get why Penny told Charlie that she didn’t know about the freighter, but then Minkowski said that Penny had been contacting the freighter – is Minkowski lying?

2. DougOLis - Monday, March 3, 2008

That was quite exceptional and thorough.

Why would their “friend” on the boat destroy the communications but then let them out of the holding cell?

Did Dan not remember Desmond or did he just not want to freak the shit out of him by recognizing him?

How far ahead is the island and how the fuck can your mind flash between past and future?

3. Penelope Rojas - Thursday, March 6, 2008

I love that you have time for it. Is greit and clear. You help me to understand a bit better. Thank you for your time again.

4. Maverick - Thursday, March 6, 2008

Great job recapping. I used it before the March 6th episode when I realized I hadn’t seen the previous show. Nice job.

5. Oliver - Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Penny auctions have gained popularity over the last few months and now have hundreds of thousands of users.
Just launched new Penny Auction Site, and there’s a really good chance of winning at the moment, as there aren’t many players to compete with as of yet.

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