Brian's Deeper Meaning Guess: A couple of obvious references jump out at me here. The first, most literal meaning is likely tied to the flash of the Hatch Implosion (which everyone calls "the sky turning purple" - even though it pretty much looked bright white to me… but I digress). Keep in mind that Desmond was at ground zero for the Hatch Implosion - underneath the floor, literally staring into the face of the source of the energy… and he wasn’t wearing sunglasses! An enormous bright, piercing light flashed before his eyes.
Based on this title, I am betting we learn a little more about what actually happened when the Hatch imploded. I've learned my lesson from last episode's predictions, when I was ready for a full-out reveal of the Others - so I'm not expecting a total explanation of the repercussions of the Hatch implosion (although it is Sweeps! What better time for a big reveal?!). But I am expecting a reveal of what Desmond saw, what he remembers (or doesn’t remember), and what has been happening to him ever since he turned the Failsafe Key. From this, we should be able to develop some theories about what really happened and what the repercussions actually are from that event, which Lost creators have continually told us is one of the most important things that has happened on the show thus far.
The second meaning lies in the classic expression of one’s "life flashing before your eyes" - typically used to refer to someone on the brink of death, who relives all the memories of their life in an instant, very rapidly, knowing that it's almost over. Clearly Desmond would have had this experience prior to turning the Failsafe Key, since based on everything he learned from Kelvin, doing so would result in death… thus, the reason he went and got “Our Mutual Friend” – the last book he wanted to read before he died – right before turning the key.
All of this brings up a very interesting possibility. Did Desmond die? I know it's a bit out there, but look at the facts from Hatch Implosion. It resulted in a powerful bright light and piercing sound wave that was literally bringing people on the other side of the Island to their knees. How could a person survive such a thing? Then look at how we found Desmond post-Hatch: lying in the jungle, totally naked, body in the position of a cross, looking like a bearded Jesus-esque hippie. Talk about some heavy religious "rebirth" symbolism!
Of course, if this were the case, it would instantly launch Lost well past the realm of “scientific believability” that it has so far maintained, so I wouldn’t bank on it. But clearly Desmond has been changed – to the point that you could argue “old Desmond” died, and “new Desmond” now exists, complete with freaky super-powers. But again – aren’t freaky super-powers verging on too unbelievable for a show based in science as well? Maybe… but maybe not.
When you look at exactly what New Desmond’s Super Power seems to be – it’s basically just knowledge of events before they occur. Although we don’t technically know how he is able to do this, one can assume that he is seeing these events as if they are happening normally in front of him – thus, the surprise he displayed when questioned about his comment about Locke’s speech. He was surprised that Hurley didn’t know what he was talking about, because to him, it was something that happened and Hurley was standing there when it happened. This indicates it’s really not some sort of conscious power that he’s using to proactively view these events, but more that he’s a helpless victim of this power.
So what the heck is going on? Well, let’s start piecing this puzzle together. The Lost theory-de-jour is that there is some weird time-warp action on the Island… either time on the Island is slowed down, sped up, or some combination of the two. We’ve received confirmation that the Mittelos anagram is in fact “Lost Time”, and that’s a major clue. We’ve seen Others’ girl parts aging much more rapidly than their bodies are, Hatches seemingly be in full use on minute and totally abandoned and derelict looking the next, and skeletons and statues that point towards much more history on the Island than maybe there should be. Either way, there have been a lot of hints that the space time continuum isn’t acting like it should be on this Island.
It’s a logical assumption that whatever is going on with the funky time, it is tied to the unique magnetic properties of the Island (only because we haven’t really learned about anything else about the Island that could potentially explain it). When Desmond turned the Failsafe Key, it messed with it… and messed with him.
Repercussions for Island life aside (since this feels like far too big of a reveal to come so quickly), I think what we’re looking at is Desmond suddenly, sporadically finding himself “outside” of the funky time that everyone and everything else on the Island are following. He’s temporarily “flashing” forward in Island time (at least his mind is), experiencing these events, then returning to the same wavelength as everyone else. I admit, it all sounds a little too Back to the Future, (but in my head I’m picturing Doc Brown at the chalk board outlining the different space time continuums) but I think it’s actually the most logical explanation. It’s more “scientific” than someone just being able to predict the future, isn’t it?
Granted, this brings up a ton of technical questions from the time travel nerds among us, but lucky for us – we’ll never have to really answer them. Why?
- I would wager that the majority of America bases their understanding of how “time travel” works on the Back to the Future movies. We’re willing to accept a very general explanation from any character on the show (read: Hurley making a comment about “dude, you got messed up by the magnetism and now you’re jumping back and forth in time”) and then we’ll just fill in the logic based on what we already know from Marty McFly and Doc Brown.
- There really is no way they can ever give us a scientific explanation on the show. It’s clear that our Survivors, even the smartest among them, aren’t experts in the studies of magnetism or time travel. It’s also been made evident that the Others don’t know what happened when the “sky went purple”. Who does that leave? Patchy?
I’m honestly predicting we get some solid views of these “Flashes Before Desmond’s Eyes”, and will be left to piece together the logic on our own.
Episode Description: A suspicious and determined Hurley enlists Charlie to help him wrangle the truth out of Desmond, who has been acting strangely ever since the implosion of the hatch.
Episode Breakdown: Last week, the only Survivors we saw were Kate, Sawyer, and Jack. I’m predicting that this week, we don’t see any of those three, as this episode will represent what has been happening on the main Island during last week’s Alcatraz-centric episode. That sets up the big reunion for next week. But I digress…
Lost Moments. Once again, we’re given very little in the way of episode description. Hurley and Charlie try to get some information out of Desmond about what happened to him post-Hatch. He’s been “acting strangely” (read: seeing the future). Not much there to chew on.
Luckily, we’ve gotten a very generous look at this week’s episode from the “Lost Moments” that aired over the hiatus. So what Lost Moments take place during tonight’s episode? Here are my guesses:
Lost Moment 4 – Desmond races out towards a barely visible Claire in the ocean in an attempt to save her, as Charlie follows when realizing what is going on.
Although we’ve seen Desmond exhibit his clairvoyance in the past (actually, once by saving Claire’s life!), it won’t be until this incident that Hurley finally puts two and two together and starts questioning what the heck is going on with him. I’m guessing that Desmond and Hurley are mid-conversation and not even in the general vicinity of the beach when Desmond takes off running for the ocean – confirming to Hurley that there’s no way he could have seen / known that Claire was out there.
Lost Moment 1 – Charlie questions what Desmond is doing, calls him a coward. Desmond flips out and tells him “you don’t know what happened to me when I turned that key”.
After Desmond saves Claire, Charlie is going to be all pissy (that’s a British expression for mad, right?), thinking that Desmond is somehow responsible for Claire nearly drowning in the ocean. I mean, how else (Charlie will think) could he have known she was out there? Unfortunately for Charlie, Desmond is on edge and kinda freaking out due to his newfound ability and jumps on him, hinting that it’s tied to the turning of the Failsafe Key… but not coming out and saying that.
Lost Moment 2 – Hurley asks Locke if they could have developed super powers after the Hatch implosion, and mentions that Desmond seems to be “future seeing”.
Based on Desmond’s lack of full-disclosure about what happened to him, Hurley will seek out the only other person in the general proximity of the Hatch when it imploded – John Locke. The two will talk, and discover that neither of them seem to be any different from the incident, and Locke will dismiss Hurley as reading into things too much. But this won’t be enough for Hurley and Charlie, who will continue to hound Desmond until…
Lost Moment 3 – Hurley and Charlie are going through Sawyer’s stuff, Desmond approaches and asks both of them to come with him.
Desmond, thinking he’s going crazy and realizing that he needs to confide his experiences with someone else, finally relents and approaches Hurley and Charlie to try and explain what happened. But where is he bringing them? Back to the hole where the Hatch used to be? To demonstrate his “future seeing ability”? To show them the dead body of “old Desmond”, that didn’t survive the implosion?
Ironically, when we saw these Lost Moments over the hiatus, these were some of the lamest ones – the ones that led us to disregard Lost Moments as waste of time showing pointless snippets of conversation. But now, I’m as excited about this episode as I was for last week!
Claire. One important point to bring up here is that based on the previews for the episode, Desmond will have twice saved Claire’s life. First from the lightning bolt, now from drowning (unless he doesn’t save her – man, that would be a fantastic fulfillment of one of my Lost wishes since Season One…). So what gives? Why is Claire the only one in danger?
It would be very easy to think about movies like Final Destination, which have the message of “When it’s your time to die, you’re going to die no matter what you do to prevent it.” Is Claire’s number up, with Desmond just prolonging the inevitable? When you factor in some of the earlier themes from Lost, about those who find their peace being the ones who end up dead (Boone, Shannon, Ana-Lucia) it would seem to indicate that Claire has come to grips with whatever demons she’s been wrestling, so her death becomes logical. Except for one problem:
What demons has she come to grips with?
Sure, she was a single mother with a crappy ex-boyfriend. Sure, she tried to sell her baby to bleeding-heart liberals in Los Angeles. But how has any of that changed? Unless she has some greater, deeper issues that we’re not seeing (and won’t see this episode, since it’s a Desmond-centric one), she hasn’t really bettered herself since crashing on the Island (with the exception of getting that bloody baby out of her, so she’s thin again).
So why is she on death’s doorstep, causing so much work for Desmond to constantly be saving her? Is this a product of the Island trying to get rid of her, since she has done “her job” of having Aaron and is no longer of any use? Is she suffering some sort of post-partum depression? Is she under a hypnotic spell, like when Ethan abducted her? Or is she just injury prone, making all this just a coincidence?
Penny. Finally, it wouldn’t be a Desmond-centric Episode Discussion without bringing up the lovely and talented Penny Widmore. I’ve already predicted her arrival on the Island once unsuccessfully (the fall finale), so I’ll refrain from predicting it again this episode... (maybe the season finale?) I do expect that we’ll see a little more of her relationship with Desmond pre-Island, pre-race around the world, to help the audience start rooting for these two lovebirds to get together a little more. But here’s the thing that puzzles me.
Normally, I would expect her to appear in standard flashbacks that the characters have about pre-Island life. But then Damon Lindelof made this comment in Entertainment Weekly about the episode:
“Flashes Before Your Eyes” will use flashbacks in a way we never have before and never will again. It'll either blow people's minds or chase them away for good.
Based on that, I would assume that the flashbacks won’t be to pre-Island life at all. If anything, the “flashbacks” in this episode will be Desmond’s forward “flashes” in time, when he experiences events before they happen. While extremely exciting, if that’s the case, I don’t see how Penny could appear in the episode… unless Desmond flashes forward very far in the future, to a point where he is rescued from the Island and is happily reunited with Penny.
Talk about blowing people’s minds – that would confirm that he is eventually rescued… except for the people who would debate that he was only dreaming. We would also be left with a downright distraught Desmond, who temporarily experienced the joy of reuniting with Penny only to be yanked back to present-time reality on the Island.
It would be awesome… but might effectively wreck the mystery of the show… and this is why I do not write for Lost.
Devil Music. Okay, okay – I read you loud and clear. You want a breakdown of the freaky devil music from Crazy Carl’s Rave Room from “Not in Portland”. As many of you already know (if you frequent the Comments section of each post, which you really should), if you play the music from the Rave Room backwards, a woman’s voice says “Only fools are enslaved by time and space.” You can listen to it here, but be warned – the gentle voice talking over the jarring backwards techno beats is pretty freaky. Don’t watch alone!
First of all – hats off to Lost’s creators for inserting this and AV junkies for finding this. Wow. It’s really impressive. Secondly, factor this in with our other “Lost Time” hints from the episode (Mittelos, A Brief History of Time, Aging Girl Parts) and you might think this is the nail in the coffin that the Others have figured out a way to “bend” space and time to achieve their goals.
Lee Corso style, not so fast my friend!
Before taking that quote literally, think about this – according to the Buddhist perspective on Time and Space, “The wise know how to use time and space perfectly; they lead free and harmonious lives. Fools are enslaved by time and space; they are busy running around all day. Wise or foolish, the difference is obvious.”
Maybe this quote isn’t so much proof of the Others going Hiro on us, but just more evidence of their very clearly Buddhist ways (note the pictue of Buddha shown in the video, as well as the “Plant a Good Seed” quote).
While I agree that the double-meaning behind the quote, as well as how well it was hidden is worth noting, it may be nothing more than a subliminal message to an Other-in-training that they need to make good use of their time in order to transcend and find true happiness. But good and creepy fun, nonetheless.
Viewer Mailbag. Lastly, I figure it’s a good time to pull out the viewer mailbag and comment on the many great comments that are tucked away in the Comments section. I don’t always get the chance to reply to them all, so here’s my opportunity to catch up!
Anonymous said: “my question is, did juliets sister really get pregnant or did someone from mettelos force her to say she was as a way to get Juliet to go. Because it was her sister and her exhusband that were in one way or another preventing her from going. All of a sudden both were out the way.”
Great question. While it would be very easy for the very powerful Dharma / Hanso group to fake Juliet’s sister’s pregnancy (I mean, they killed a guy – this would be child’s play!), the question becomes why? Why would they want Juliet if she really didn’t have the ability to make babies where babies should not be? I think the Others’ reproductive issue is very real based on their kidnapping and experimentation of kids that end up on the Island. Why would they want Juliet if she was just a semi-hot doctor? No – I think Juliet’s sister was indeed pregnant – all the more reason she wants to get off the Island.
Anonymous said: “The Clockwork Orange video read "God Loves You Like He Loved Jacob" its in past tense so is Jacob dead or gone or did he become an outcast just like Jules has apparently become?”
Well, the biggest argument for Jacob being alive is that he made a list from our Survivors (that Jack, Kate, and Sawyer weren’t on). Last season seemed to indicate that the crash of Flight 815 was accidental, not pre-meditated, so Jacob couldn’t have made the list before they crashed. I’m guessing he’s still alive.
Stu said: “Why did ben let himself get captured?”
It boggles my mind to this day. Was he just there to stir things up and try to find weaknesses for the Others’ eventual attack on our Survivors? Did he go on a dangerous mission in exchange for Jacob allowing him to kidnap Jack, which in turn allowed him to have his surgery and live? I don’t know. Since Ben was only originally scheduled to be on Lost for a few episodes, I feel like this was one of the story threads that wasn’t fully planned out, and changed mid-stream. Which means we might never get a good answer. But I hope I’m wrong.
Rutkowskilives said: “So Pickett is dead, and Carl is now with the Losties, and Juliet is probably going to be ostracized... and I'm left to wonder, are the Others running out of people?”
Agreed. I’ve thought from the start that the reason the Others “left our Survivors alone” was because they couldn’t take them if they tried because they were outnumbered. They needed to pick them off slowly, let the Island claim a few, and then they could stage a fight if they needed to. We’ve seen the same few characters around Alcatraz, and even the little neighborhood on the main Island didn’t look to have more than 20 houses or so. Factor in that they can’t make new Others due to their baby issues, and I think it’s a real concern for the Others.
Stormko said: “What is the meaning or significance of the two skeletons that Jack and Kate found in the cave of season 1?
CUSE: The answer to that question goes to the nature of the timeline of the island. We don't want to say too much about it, but there are a couple Easter eggs embedded in [the Feb. 7 episode], one of which is an anagram that actually sheds some light on the skeletons and hints at a larger mythological mystery that will start to unfold later in the season.
LINDELOF: There were certain things we knew from the very beginning. Independent of ever knowing when the end was going to be, we knew what it was going to be, and we wanted to start setting it up as early as season 1, or else people would think that we were making it up as we were going along. So the skeletons are the living — or, I guess, slowly decomposing — proof of that. When all is said and done, people are going to point to the skeletons and say, ''That is proof that from the very beginning, they always knew that they were going to do this.''”
After reading that, given all our funky time talk, I had to go back and re-watch the scene. Here is what we get from it:
Per Jack, there is no trauma on the skeletons – meaning they died naturally. They have been dead for 40 or 50 years “at least”. There is one male and one female, which Locke dubs “our very own Adam and Eve”. Charlie comments that this means “there were people on the Island before us.” Jack picks up a bag from one of them, which contains one white stone and one black stone.
So what does it all mean? It’s easy (and I think some of you have already jumped to this conclusion) to think that there is some sort of cyclical nature to time on the Island, like they’re stuck in a loop. Jack picking up those stones means that eventually he (and Kate?) will die and become those skeletons for the next Jack and Kate that come along in the future. Way too trippy, even for me (probably because this concept wasn’t discussed in Back to the Future).
But based on Lindelof and Cuse’s comments, it’s clear that they are tied to the funky time on the Island. I would look for a simpler explanation – perhaps the bodies of Karen and Tom Degroot, founders of the Dharma Foundation who somehow ended up on the wrong side of the funky time warp on the Island (an experiment gone wrong?) and aged fast – really fast. Thus, the skeletons look to be much older than they really are. The skeletons are a hint of the time warp on the Island, nothing more.
Anonymous said: “What about Smokey btw and Mr. Ekko's ominous last words that "you're next"?”
Part of me wants to discredit this, since it’s been made known that the Lost writers didn’t want to kill Eko until later in the season, but the timeline was pushed up due to the actor’s wishes. It makes me wonder if Eko had died later in the season, if it would have even been at the hand of Smokey? However, if we assume that Smokey would have gone punchy on Eko no matter when it happened, I think the “you’re next” indicates that whatever is controlling Smokey (if anyone) is done playing games and is back to the scary, pilot-eating beast that it used to be. Our Survivors have been warned to stop snooping around the Island, entering Hatches, and exploring more and more of it – and I think the security system (Smokey) is punishing them for it, guarding the rich chocolate center of the Island.
Hobbes said: “I still think this is Ben's primary concern; to save humanity at any cost. So if this goal is his true or ultimate purpose in life and everything the Others are doing revolves around that. Then Danny's comment "he would rather die..." could support the total belief and dedication to that goal. Come on? What's more important then staving off the extinction of the human species?”
I agree – this would tie in nicely with the whole “Valenzetti Equation”, Dharma Initiative, and Numbers that we learned about this summer through the ARG. It would help explain how the Others can seem so good and so bad at the same time – they’re blinded by their righteousness, and all logic / normal rules of right and wrong are thrown out the window.
Great stuff, loyal readers. I know it’s an alleged “holiday” tonight that might prevent some of you from enjoying the Losty goodness – but I say what better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with your significant other on the couch TV watching Lost? You can make-out on commercials and do the patented “yawn arm reach” move that is money in the bank.
Lost brings lovers together. Trust me!