Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010: Lost Recap: Happily Ever After

This week's Lost recap is a day late (but hopefully not a dollar short), since I've just returned from vacation. For those of you that are new readers here from DarkUFO, I offer a hearty welcome, and I hope that you'll enjoy what you read here, Lost-related or otherwise. If you want to find previous recaps (and other posts) on Lost, simply click 'Lost' on the sidebar for the relevant posts.

If you are a fan of Erika Olsen and Long Live Locke, you will appreciate that my photos also have captions hidden underneath...simply mouse over the picture to see them. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I offer my captions as an homage to my favourite Lost recapper. (As a matter of fact, she actually taught me how to do it!) You won't find the same in-depth theories and analysis as you do in some other recaps, but I hope that you'll enjoy it all the same. My recaps will generally be up the night of the show, hopefully within an hour of the end of the 9 pm ET broadcast.

Now with that all said, let's get on to "Happily Ever After", since nothing makes me happier than a Desmond-centric episode...

I was surprised to see no "previously on Lost" segment, but I was more than happy to dive right into the episode, and see Zoe explaining to Desmond that he had been unconscious for 3 days and uder IV sedation. Can we assume that he drank the same OJ cocktail that Richard gave Juliet prior to her submarine trip? I'm still waiting to find out how Charles found the Island after searching for so long.

The conversation between Zoe and Desmond (and Charles) confirmed for us viewers that Desmond was taken from the hospital after being shot by Ben at the marina. As we watched him try to familiarize himself with his surroundings, I said to my girlfriend, "He's going to SNAP when he finds out he's back on the Island." And...sure enough, once he did, he beat Charles about the head with an IV stand. How good do you think that felt? Although the joy of beating Widmore would be short-lived, as Charles declared to Desmond "The Island isn't done with you yet."
When Jin asked Charles what Desmond was doing on the Island again, Charles responded by saying "It would be easier for me to show you than to tell you, Mr. Kwon." Although when asked again later, Widmore responded by telling Jin "That man is the only person I am aware of, in the world, who has survived a catatstrophic electromagnetic event." I need to know that he can do it again." Remind me not to hire him for my next negotiation. He caves when asked a second time.

Chip from Kate and Allie is still as whiny as he was as a kid back on that show in the 80s. When Zoe came in and told him that the test had been moved up based on Widmores orders, it looked like he was going to cry and throw a teddy bear.
Poor Simmons. All he was asked to do was check out the circuits on the solenoids, and he ended up a barbecued mess. I have to say that it was an awkward scene watching him get fried. I mean, some lackey figures out that it was a "bad breaker on the genny", and then just fires up the power again as Liz Lemon and Chip yell "Nooooo!"

Seriously? This is the finely oiled machine that Widmore has assembled for this project that presumably is intended to save the world somehow? This is the same man who hired Keamy and that team of mercenaries on the freighter, and now he's got this bumbling herd of Keystone Kops? I almost expected circus music to be playing.

And why did Simmons head out without a gun, while the group that chased out to try and save his sizzling carcass all carried weapons? Sorry, just didn't make sense to me.

Charles explained to Desmond that he was going to be asked to make a sacrifice, which then led to a conversation about the concept of sacrifice between the two of them. Desmond obviously sacrificed a life with Penny when he was trapped on the Island, and willingly sacrificed a potential life with her prior to that when he set off on his sailboat race to try and win the favour of her father. Charles, meanwhile, also pointed out that his own son (Daniel) died for the sake of the Island, Penny now hates him, and he's never met his own grandson (little Charlie Hume).

As Charles was explaining the stakes to Desmond, he told him that if they failed, Penny and Charlie would be "gone forever." I found this choice of words to be very interesting. In a previous episode, we heard that if Flocke/Smokey got off of the Island, everyone would "cease to be." Is this just a coincidental choice of words, or does the use of phrases like "cease to be" and "gone forever" without explicitly using the word die or dead give us some sort of hint? Is it a way of telling us that one existence may just disappear...or is it just a phrase that I'm reading too much into?
As we moved to the Flash Sideways (FS) world, we see Desmond at the airport looking at an Oceanic Airlines board, and as Hurley rounds the corner and direct our favourite Scotsman to Carousel 4, he asks him what all of us have been asking since the first ten minutes of the season premier, "You were on the Sydney flight, right?" Desmond confirmed that he was, so there goes the 'Jack-was-imagining-him' theory.

I'm not sure what the relevance was for the scene between Desmond and Claire at the airport. Was it a way for Desmond to let us know that he's "not a big fan of surprises", or a way for us to see him predict that Claire would be having a boy? Or was it simply a way for us to see Desmond and Claire together to remind us of their respective relationships to Charlie, who we would see shortly.
So nice to see Fisher Stevens back as Minkowksi...although in this episode, he was simply "George." It was a different touch for Lost fans to see him without a bloody nose and losing his mind. As Desmond walked with him at the airport and explained that he was in Sydney "closing a deal for the boss", I realized that we were about to see a FS world where Des worked for Widmore.

George gave a nod to the fans, asking directly what we have been wondering since L.A.X", that he wasn't wearing a wedding band. We all wanted to know whether he was married to Penny or not in the FS world, and we got the direct answer when Des said "I'm not looking for any companionship. I'm here to work."
In Widmore's office, we see Desmond peering longingly into a sailboat on the wall (nice touch), as Widmore screams into the phone to get someone (Charlie) out of jail. We then learn that Widmore's son is a musician, and we fans all cumulatively remembered back to young Daniel's piano lessons, didn't we? Apparently, he had a crazy idea to mix classical music with modern rock. Daniel Faraday...mashup artist. (Debut album title: Return of the Skinny Tie.)

Desmond and Charles had a drink, to celebrate Desmond's indispensibility", and isn't that an appropriate word to describe Des, in both worlds? As Charles poured the 60-year-old MacCutcheon (smirk), he said "You really do have the life, son. No family. No commitments. Ah, to be free of attachments." Desmond responded that he was "a blessed man". What do you think that the word "blessed" means here?
Ladies and Gentlemen, the band is back's Desmond and Charlie, one more time! As they sat in the bar, Charlie explained his first experience with "spectacular, consciousness-altering love"...on the plane. As he started to tell the story, he first mentioned the woman in handcuffs, which I'm sure was a knowing nod to the off-screen relationship between Evangeline Lilly and Dominic Monaghan, before talking about the vision he experienced as he was choking to death on his bag of heroin. His vision was obviously Claire, and he apparently got a glimpse of her as he was dying.

Desmond offered him a choice, to stay in the bar and keep drinking, and risk the "extermination of his musical career", or to come with him, get a nice hotel on the harbourfront, and have Charles Widmore owe him a favour.

Charlie: "Doesn't really seem like a choice."
Desmond: "There's always a choice, brutha."

There's always a choice. Is Desmond channeling Jacob? Is he connected to Jacob? Or is he just echoing the theme we've been talking about for so long?

Charlie offered Desmond a choice as well, in the car after they left the bar. Since Desmond wasn't buying what our Little Lost Hobbit was selling, Charlie said that he could show him what he was talking about, or Desmond could get out of the car. My brow furrowed with confusion along with Desmond as I tried to comprehend what that meant.

What I most certainly did NOT expect, was for Charlie to grab the wheel and plunge the car into the water.
I have to say that the shot from the inside of the car as it went into the water was mind-blowingly fantastic. And as the car sunk down into the depths, emotions stirred up and returned from the scene where Charlie died.

Now, let me take a moment to say, for those of you that didn't know this...I was never a big Charlie fan. I don't know if it was the fact that I can't get past him being a Hobbit in my eyes, or maybe I was resentful of the aforementioned off-screen relationship with Evangeline Lilly, or maybe it was the fact that for the first few seasons, I just didn't like the character. But whatever the reason, I didn't like Charlie.

However, the scene in the Looking Glass station, when Charlie drowned after saving the day, was one of the most powerful scenes I have ever seen on the show. The look on Charlie's face, and the knowing nod he gave Desmond, as if to say "Please tell me you understand", was simply heartbreaking and heroic all at once. And as the car sunk down, I knew we were about to see some sort of callback to that scene.

As Desmond fought to get to Charlie, with a closed door and a pane of glass separating them, just like in the Looking Glass Station, we saw Charlie open his eyes and raise his hand to the glass...and then it happened.
Desmond flashed to the moment when Charlie held up his hand that said "Not Penny's Boat", and as we saw the look of acknowledgement on his face, it was our first essential confirmation that these two worlds (Flash Sideways and Island) were indeed connected somehow. Desmond had a "flash" of something, as we've seen before, in "Flashes Before Your Eyes", another Desmond-centric episode. Just as I speculated in my recap for 'The Package" last week, I think the connections are coming to light, like Sun's ability to only speak Korean last week.

At the hospital, Desmond was being funneled into the MRI machine when he had another series of flashes, but this time about his life with Penny. The look on Desmond's eyes as he saw these flashes said so much...this was the life he wanted, what he craved...but never knew. He pressed the panic button to get out of the machine and find Charlie. Topic of discussion for the Comments section: Discuss Desmond being commissioned with the responsibility of 'pushing the button' once again.

After finding Charlie and being told that he needed to start a search for Penny, Desmond then found himself on his way to meet Mrs. Widmore. We all knew that this was going to be Eloise, but between watching her berate her staff over butter knife placement and flower arrangement centering, I had to note that she was rocking the best female silver afro I have ever seen.
But septagenarian hairstyles aside, Eloise "met" Desmond, who explained that Drive Shaft would be unable to attend the event. Expecting Mrs. Widmore to be upset, Desmond was shocked to hear her say it was fine, because "whatever happened, happened."

Last season, we were told explicitly "Dead is Dead", in an episode title. But we all believed that John Locke was still alive. Now, we are being told "Whatever Happened, Happened", also an episode title from Season 5. Will we believe it now? Should we believe that this isn't just another option, but that it all indeed happened, and nothing can change that. I say yes.

Desmond happened to hear the name Penny, and asked about it, but was cut off by Eloise who dragged him aside, and after making it clear that she was very familiar with who he is, and that their "first meeting" earlier was a ruse on her part, declared angrily, "You're not ready yet, Desmond!" I submit that this is our first hard-core proof of a relation between the two worlds.

Now, did you notice that Penny's last name on the list was Milton? Is this just another historical/philosophical/literary reference in a last name (Locke, Hume, Hawking, Faraday, Bentham, Rousseau), or a hint to who Penny's mother is?
Desmond left the meeting with Eloise and ended up in the limo, only to have a rap on his window...and the re-appearance of Daniel Faraday....I mean, Daniel Widmore. He explained to Desmond that he was a musician, but after seeing Charlotte (never mentioned by name), he believed that it was love at first sight. He said "the second I saw her, it was like I already loved her." He then gave us the reveal that Penny was indeed his half sister, and he gave Desmond instructions on how to find her.

This makes me wonder if there needs to be a trigger to activate the flashes that provide the link to the other world. For Daniel it was Charlotte. For Desmond it was Charlie, or perhaps the name "Penny". For Charlie it was Claire. Is it the same concept of The Constant?

Daniel: "What if this wasn't supposed to be our life? What if we had some other life, and for some reason, we changed things?" Daniel is onto something...

Desmond heads to the stadium, the same stadium where he first met Jack. Only this time Penny is the one running instead of him. As soon as Des looked at her, you could see it in his eyes...he might as well have spoken Daniel's words, "the second I saw her, it was like I already loved her."
And as he touched her hand, we were transported back to the Island, as Desmond awoke from his Electromagnetic Fry Test. As he sat up, he looked at his hand, proving that he was cognizant of where he just was (with Penny). He then told Charles that he was ready to help, and that he understands, which I took to mean that he understands the relationship between the two realities he is experiencing, that they are connected/related, and that he is now willing to help Widmore. As he said to Zoe, "A lot can happen in 20 minutes."

And then out of nowhere, the return of Bad-Ass Sayid finds Widmore's hapless crew either running off into the jungle or with a broken neck. (Damn, it's been way too long since we've seen Sayid snap some sucker's neck, hasn't it?) Sayid tells Desmond to come with him...and Des follows. He has no reason not to trust Sayid. After all, Sayid is the one who linked up the phone call in "The Constant" to save Desmond's life, and they are connected through the Oceanic 6 experience.
As he awakens in the FS to see Penny, she asks "have we met before?" Weren't you just begging for Desmond to say yes? I know I was. After they make a coffee date, Desmond returns once again to the limo and asks George to get him the manifest from the Oceanic 815 flight. When asked why, Desmond responds, "I just need to show them something."

But who is he talking about? Charlie? Daniel? Jack? Charles? Charles in the Island World? I don't know...can't wait to find out.

Next week: Hurley gets the stage, and we see the return of Michael. Will we see Libby? I think so.


Stacey said...

Oh I look forward to your posts! It feels good to know that I am not the only Lost fan out there!

As for Claire early in the episode, I think it was just a way of tying her, Desmond, and Charlie together. I mean, we know Charlie is going to find her at the hospital at some point. I wonder what her flashes will be when she sees him???

Gotta ask you what you think about Eloise....does she know everything?? Or does she just know from glimpses/flashes about some things? If she does know everything, how?? Has she known that these things would eventually occur???

And something else I wanted to ask you (not related to this episode) the first episode of this season, I swore we saw the INTACT statue on the ocean floor. If this is true, does this mean that Richard's ship never crashed on the island? What becomes of Richard??

And, is it just me and my bad memory, or does Hurley seem to pop up a lot with everyone in these sideways scenes? It seems like he makes small conversation with a lot of the characters. Is this Jacob-like?? Or am I out to lunch???

Anyways, keep up the great work, Sean!!

Sean said...

Stacey, I think Eloise and Charles know pretty much the entire game. I'm not sure how or why, but they both have the knowledge of what everything means, and why.

The statue that we saw in the first episode, I don't know why it was intact. I wish I had an answer for you.

You're not wrong about Hurley, he always seems to be there, but I'm not sure it means anything. There's a school of thought that maybe Hurley is the key to everything, and that may be a hint.

Glad you're enjoying the recaps! Keep commenting

Anonymous said...

Penny Milton.

Milton's "Paradise LOST"

As you probably know, PARADISE LOST is a poem concerning the Christian story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men" and elucidate the conflict between God's eternal foresight and free will.

There you have some more clues.

Smoke monster, Satan, free will, Paradise Lost, Garden of Eden, Jacob ...

A modern day telling of Milton's Paradise Lost ...



Sean said...

With the concept of fallen angels, this was an option that was discussed a few episodes ago, around the time Flocke took Sawyer to the cave and revealed the names on the wall.

One of my co-workers said to me after that episode, as we were discussing it, "Looks like we're going to have to brush up on our Milton."