Monday, April 05, 2010

Lost - "Happily Ever After"

Episode Title: “Happily Ever After”

Brian’s Deeper Meaning Guess: Oh crap. There is something that really worries me about a Desmond-centric episode entitled “Happily Ever After” – after all, he is the ONLY character on Lost thus far that has had a truly happy ending, and it came way back in the Season Four finale. When Desmond finally reunited with Penny on the Searcher, after years of being apart, it was the pinnacle of happiness for Lost. Their lives were perfect, they had everything they ever needed or wanted, and were truly living “happily ever after”. Desmond promised Penny that he would never return to the Island – even though he had been warned by Eloise Hawking that “the Island is not finished with you”… and as we saw at the end of “The Package”, she was right.

No good can come from this.

So is this episode title an ironic tease? Will this episode be the ultimate in tragic endings for our star-crossed lovers?

I don’t think so – at least not yet. Although he is listed as a “star” this season, to this point Desmond has spent a whopping two minutes on screen thus far this season. To re-introduce him only to have him die seems like cruel and unusual punishment – the kind that would result in death threats against Damon and Carlton, riots in the streets, and potentially the fall of democracy as we know it.

Like I said earlier, I can’t help but feel that Desmond’s return to the Island is going to mean bad news for his happy ending with Penny – but not yet. If Desmond is going to die, or remain separated from Penny, he’s going to do it for the sake of something bigger than the two of them… something like saving the world.

I always found it strange that Desmond got his happy ending so early in the overall Lost timeline. I mean, think about it – the writers have been keeping Sun and Jin apart for going on two years. It’s pretty clear that they’ll reunite at some point, but they are taking their sweet time to wait until the very end to do so. Why reunite Desmond and Penny so early on? I get the feeling it’s a case of having it both ways. By saving Desmond and Penny’s tragic ending for the end of Lost, it will make it all the more powerful… yet by giving them the past two years of happiness, it makes it a little easier to swallow. ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

What about the episode title?

Like I said, something tells me Desmond is the key to this whole season. He’s going to be the one to save our Survivors, the world, and all of existence. I would bet that at some point in this week’s episode, probably while trying to convince Desmond to carry out this mission (whatever it is) to save the world, they’ll make some reference to it being necessary for him, or the Survivors, or everyone in the world, to live “happily ever after”.

I could see it going down like this:

DESMOND: “So if what you’re saying is true, I do this, and I save everyone?”

SOMEONE: “That’s right – you do this, and we all live happily ever after.”



Guest Stars: Dominic Monaghan as Charlie, Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond, Jeremy Davies as Daniel Faraday, Alan Dale as Charles Widmore, Fionnula Flanagan as Eloise Hawking, Sonya Walger as Penelope “Penny” Widmore, Fisher Stevens as George Minkowski, Sheila Kelley as Zoe, Fred Koehler as Seamus, Kayren Butler as doctor, Ben Cain as MRI tech, Grisel Toledo as Nurse Tyra, Sundra Oakley as lawyer, Haley Williams as assistant, Jonathan Arthur as Simmons, Gerard Elmore as clipboard guy, Hannah Bell as nurse, Christopher McGahan as techie #1 and Steve Boatright as goon #1.

Guest Star Breakdown: Holy crap. I was already excited for this week’s episode – but now I’m officially more excited than I was for the Alpert-centric episode two weeks ago. The combination of Daniel Faraday and Eloise Hawking in a Desmond-centric episode might mean we’ll get an explanation for all this Flash Sideways stuff, what happened when the Jughead detonated, and if it really was possible for our Survivors to alter the past to change the future.

Keep in mind, Eloise Hawking was the first character to introduce any of these crazy concepts about the impossibilities of changing the past and how the “universe has a way of course correcting itself”. At the time (way back in Season Three) we assumed that she was some sort of other-worldly spirit talking to Desmond as a spiritual guide – but now we know that she is a flesh and bones former-Other who would later live Off-Island and give birth to Daniel Faraday… who she would then send to his death on the Island, even though she knew exactly what would happen – that she herself would actually be the one to kill him.

Who better to finally give us some explanations than the person that brought all these wacky concepts in the first place?

Then there’s Daniel Faraday, who has plenty of dangling storylines of his own. He disappeared from the Island for three years in the 1970s and came back full of theories about changing the past and knowing a whole lot about the Island. Many theorized that he was the “clever fellow” responsible for designing and building the Lamp Post (although from a timeline perspective, that makes little sense). What happened during those years?

As if that weren’t enough, we have Charlie, Penny, and Minkowski making guest starring appearances. Again, keep in mind that Desmond was the one who unsuccessfully tried to change the past first – back in Season Three when he tried to prevent Charlie from dying. In “LA X” we saw a scene with Charlie being dragged off the plane while crying “I was supposed to die”. Coincidence? I’m betting that our Charlie scenes are limited to seeing the “LA X” scenes from Desmond’s perspective – since I can’t figure out how he could be on the Island or interacting with Desmond in the Flash Sideways, since he’ll be sitting in jail.

On the other hand, Penny’s inclusion could mean one of two things:

  1. Desmond is married to Penny in the Flash Sideways. It’s likely, since Desmond was wearing a wedding ring in “LA X” – and could represent “happily ever after” for Desmond in the Flash Sideways storyline. In fact, maybe this is how the episode title will come into play. Instead of it just being Reality #1 that comes ripping apart, Reality #2 might cease to be as well – meaning Desmond’s happy endings in both realities could be at risk.
  2. We’re going to see the scenes between Desmond resting in the hospital and arriving on the Island – also known as the world’s most complicated episode, featuring flashbacks, flash sideways, and On-Island “present” at the same time.

Lastly, there’s Minkowski, who I kinda feel is going to be relegated to the token “cute guest star appearance” in the Flash Sideways, like Patchy last week. Keep in mind, there is a pretty strong connection between Minkowski and Desmond – one died from the lack of a Constant, and the other barely survived thanks to one of Lost’s most touching scenes involving Desmond, Penny, and a Christmas Eve phone call.


There’s a bunch of other guest stars as well – the token members of Team Widmore, some hospital workers from the flashback, and other random background characters – none of which are worth much analyzing here. Although something tells me that “Clipboard Guy” is going to be of huge importance. I mean, he is going to have a clipboard!

Episode Description: Desmond wakes up to discover he's back on the island.

Episode Breakdown: I want my money back. For the first time in Lost history, this episode description actually describes what happens at the end of last week’s episode – when Desmond woke up to discover he was back on the Island, staring at a wet, soulless Sayid in the water.

So how did Desmond end up on the Island? I assume it’s going to be against his will – being taken by Widmore as something “required” to save the world. He was drugged (like all people who travel to the Island on the submarine), and is going to wake up confused and super pissed off.

What is his purpose on the Island? Why did Widmore need him so badly?

I think there are a number of possibilities, any of which could result in saving the world.

There’s the “Desmond can jump between realities” theory – that Desmond is going to need to provide the “mission” to all our characters in the Flash Sideways so that they can meet up and defeat “Flash Sideways Anti-Jacob” or something. This would mean that the death of a character in the Flash Sideways would somehow result in the death of the same character in Reality #1. Possible, but a little sci-fi for my liking.

There’s the “Desmond is the only one who can hurt Anti-Jacob” theory – that Desmond has become “one” with the unique electromagnetic properties of the Island, the same funky powers that give Anti-Jacob his powers. This makes Desmond the only person with the power to stop him. Again, possible – but I’m more a fan of “trapping” Anti-Jacob forever, underwater, instead of actually killing him.

Then there’s the “Desmond can jump back and forth between realities” theory – that Desmond can affect change by going back into the past with his knowledge of the future to prevent this all from happening in the first place. Or, taken the other way, he can see what the future holds and act to try and prevent things from happening. I’m a fan of this theory since we’ve already seen it proved possible. Faraday gave a message to Desmond in the past that he “woke up with” in the present, which lead to him seeking out Eloise Hawking in an effort to bring the Survivors back to the Island in the first place.

Or it could be something totally different. The sky is really the limit with this episode since Desmond is a wild card, and there are plenty of supporting characters to support nearly any theory, regardless of how far out there.

As if you needed any other reason to be jacked up for this episode, I’ll leave you with this – check out who is responsible for the episode:

“Happily Ever After” was written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof and directed by Jack Bender.

That’s pretty much the All-Star team when it comes to writers and directors. I would bet these same three are responsible for the series finale at the end of this season. If Lost was ever going to make a huge reveal about some huge plot point and storyline, they would be the ones to make.

Get giddy.

Happy Losting!


robpatt said...

oh i'm giddy brotha. in honor of desmond, i think we should end every post with the word brotha this week. brotha...

Anonymous said...

I'm still curious to see what Sayid is going to do over at the Widmore camp! Until next time brotha....

Sam said...

my two favorite characters over the years have been Des & Charlie. It will be good to see them in an episode together again. brotha.

Jack Elder said...

Brian, you didn't mention Desmond mysteriously disappearing of the plane in LA X. brotha..

Sawyer5665 said...

You said that you thought that Charlie's role would be limited to the LA X scenes from Desmond's perspective....I disagree. I'm betting that Charlie will play a bigger role in Desmond's flash sideways story. The reason I think this is because of what Charlie said to Jack after Jack saved him...."I was supposed to die." I think that Desmond and Charlie's relationship will mirror their season 3 story. I get the feeling that Desmond will bail Charlie out and they will know each other somehow already. As for Daniel and Hawking.....I've no idea and I can't wait to find out what they're up to.

Northwest History Network said...

I hope Charlie has a bigger role .. he is such a wonderful caracter.

Unknown said...

You have to say brotha. We're behind two brotha's so brotha brotha brotha.

Seventoes said...

Jack Elder, Desmond disappearing from the plane would be consistent with him being able to jump between realities. Maybe he needed to have that little interaction with Jack for something else to happen?

Or, y'know.. He had to go to the bathroom...


pete said...

I'm thinking that Desmond's flash sideways will mirror his "flashes before his eyes." In those flashes he met Charlie on the street and recognized him but Charlie didn't know who he was. Maybe Charlie's brother got him out of jail and now Charlie is panhandling in LA to raise money for his court fees or something. His flashes also brought him to Ms. Hawking.

I'm curious though, why is Henry Ian Cusick listed as a guest star if he's actually a series star this season.

One last thought, do you think the flash sideways will bring new meaning to Desmond's favorite phrase, "See you in another life, brotha"?

Sawyer5665 said...


You may have something there...Of course, when Jack came back to find Desmond gone it was right before the flight landed. He could very easily have gotten up and back to his seat where his carry on was.

I kind of like the idea of Des jumping between the timelines, though.

Khmer Rouge said...

Yes! Desmond is the key. Faraday said he was "uniquely, miraculously special," and while Faraday may have been misguided in some ways, I don't think the writers would have made such a point of declaring Des special unless it would really, really matter.

Here's hoping we get a broad picture explanation-filled episode - for instance, I'd still like to know who Eloise knew that man with the red shoes would die on the street. I mean, no way Faraday wrote that in his journal, right? Right?!

I'm telling y'all, Desmond brings the two story lines together, and it starts HERE!

Unknown said...

Great preview Brotha.

I'm not convinced Des "disappeared" on the plane in LAX. I think that is pretty far fetched actually... More of people wanting something crazy to happen in LAX world on the plane. I even saw people saying he was a ghost b/c rose/bernard didn't see him... silliness

Rebecca said...

I am SO excited for this episode...and nervous. Brotha.

Christos said...

Brotha, did you notice that this week's preview has the haunting bagpipes version of "Amazing Grace" as the music? The title alone relates well to the Desmond storyline, and in re-reading all the lyrics, I can see pretty much all of it relating to Des.

But it's the last verse ("When we've been there 10,000 years...") that to me seems especially relevent - if Desmond saves the world by somehow becoming an eternal castaway on the island.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Think about the 2nd verse:

Sherilyn -Dominee Huisvrouw said...

Brendan- You mentioned that you don't think the writers would've made such a point of declaring Des special unless it would really, really matter.

But they kind of did that with Walt. We still don't know what was so special about him & they mentioned that a LOT in the first few seasons.

Anonymous said...

Great job with this episode preview, Brian. I think you've framed the most likely scenarios ... but with Lost writers, who knows? Happy Losting, brotha.

Khmer Rouge said...

@ Sherilyn

You're right, they did make a big deal about Walt, but here's how I rectify that:

In keeping with Brian's previous analysis of the similarities b/t Seasons One and Six, I'm assuming Walt would have fulfilled the Desmond role of "specialness" had the show not been a success and been forced to end quickly. I'm not saying it would have been the same specialness, but the character roles fit.

But the show was a success, the actor playing Walt became a teenager, Michael was written off the show (rather unceremoniously, if I recall correctly) and the Walt plot line was no longer feasible.

Desmond was written into the show, and assumed Walt's role.

Or at least that's an explanation that makes sense to me....

Anonymous said...

One counterpoint to Desmond saving the world, fighting Smokey, or doing something "really big":

When Desmond first meets Eloise Hawking, she starts explaining he's going to end up on the island. She then says something like :"pushing the button will be the only truly great thing you will ever do."

On the other hand, in 1977, when Desmond's in the hospital, Eloise says "for the first time in a long time, I don't know what's going to happen next."

So let's see where the Lost writers take Mr. Hume...

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the was 2007 when Desmond was in the hospital.

Hobbes said...

I don't think I've ever been disappointed by a Desmond epi. By far one of my most favourite story lines for Lost.

A note about Sun's losing her english voice was that it reminded me of when original Locke lost his voice and then did the whole sweat lodge trip. Did the island take Sun's voice?

Anonymous said...

Two word review: Faith vindicated.