Happily Ever After
Previously on Lost...
This season of lost has been a mixed bag, with precious time left and the finale approaching, there has been worry among the viewers. That worry has been caused by season six's new parallel dimension/flash sideways “thing”. The problem is how much time has been given up to this entirely new thread of stories. A thread of stories, which, might end up having nothing to do with the main plot. We haven't been told one way or the other yet. Is this depicting events after the finale? Is this just a representation of how the characters “dream” their lives could have gone? Are we seeing the result of a wish granted by unLocke? We just don't know yet. Currently all it does is induce typical Lost frustration.
Certainly there have been small clues littered around that this wasn't just a throwaway character device, but there hasn't really been enough to put our minds at rest. In fact this “sideways” business has left me resistant to fully investing in the bizzaro versions of our characters. We already know the normal versions well, why should we invest in these fake versions? In creating this alternate universe the writers have seemingly removed all the events that we've "lived through" with these characters (and even more before that), so they are essentially “all new”. Then they've compounded the issue as the weeks have rolled on by dragging out this confusing mechanic, without giving context to where these events sit in the Lost universe. It makes for unfamiliar viewing. That's not want you want so close to the end. Have we not earned a little more transparency by now? However it's not all frustrating, this is Lost after all; there's an island full of cool crap and weird events going on!
Last week's episode was tantalisingly called “the package”. At the end we discovered “the package” not only referred to a Jin's irrelevant bag of money, but also everyone's favourite Scottish time-travelling brother, Desmond. Widmore had him drugged, chucked in a box and stowed in the back of the submarine he rode in on.
This week we pick up right where we left off. The new, bespectacled 'Tina Fey' character (and Widmore's chief agent) “Zoe” wakes up Desmond and Widmore reveals to him that he's back on the island. Our Des promptly smacks 'Jim Robinson' round the head with a drip stand. “The island's isn't done with you yet” is Widmore's ominous reply. He then tells Zoe to get Desmond ready for “the test”. Cut to a gaggle of Widmorians running around out the back of the Hydra station, pulling levers and complaining about old generators. They fire up electro magnetic machinery which to appears to run power into a large wooden box. You'd expect such a box to contain Velociraptors, but no, it houses a couple of huge, lethal, electromagnets. After this strange device kills a random Widmorian, they throw Desmond in there and tie him to a chair. Widmore declares to Jin (who happens to be standing around doing nothing) that he expects Des to be the only person in the world who can survive this treatment. After some special effects worthy of Dr Manhattan, we, along with Desmond, are 'flashed sideways', but for real this time. That, in-case you hadn't noticed, was an awesome opening.
And in the 'sideways' universe the episode stays, almost to the end. It was a full episode off the island and this time it was great. They finally added some proper meat added to the 'flash sideways' bones. Upon entering this world Des is none the wiser. He meets a jovial Widmore who sends him off to escort Charlie to a gig, but Charlie has different ideas. He just had a life altering, near-death, experience and he seems to have tapped into knowledge of his original life. After imparting this information to Desmond and trying to kill him, Desmond sees enough to believe Charlie. This gives him an urge to find Penny, that leads him to Daniel and Eloise “Widmore”. It's great to see Daniel and his mother back. No one delivers exposition like Jeremy Davies and here he's got a few interesting theories for Desmond. Eloise isn't so nice and her 'bizzaro' self offers a very similar advice to Desmond as she did when we first met her way back in season 3.
It's no coincidence that it's Desmond who we are following for some connection to the 'sideways' universe. He, so we have been told by Darlton, is the 'wild card'; the normal rules that apply to all the other characters, don't apply to Desmond. He was used to this end in season 4; he could see the future, communicate across time and be a constant for Daniel. Why he is unique we don't yet know, but given how this episode ends it's safe to say he has an important role to play in Widmore's end-game, the fate of island and the resolution of the 'sideways' universe. This is great news, the final season of Lost isn't complete without Desmond and the more he has to do with everything, the better.
Even though we didn't see much of it this week, the on island action has been a steadily building tension over the season. With the coming together of the sides in this conflict, and the forces behind these sides; we can only gather everything is leading up to a massive fist fight with some guns and the occasional smoke monster attack. Widmore has the technology, unLocke/MIB has the magic and Jacob has the faith. Who's going to end up on what side, what sides are good/evil, who we should be rooting for? Who the hell knows! All I've got to go on for next week, and the 5 episodes after that, is hope. I 'hope' this is all going to tie together to be the greatest TV show of all time. But this episode has made me a little more hopeful than the last one. Roll on next week a Hurley centric episode entitled “Everybody Loves Hugo”.