A fantastic season finale full of pay off and excitement and setting up stories to move forward into the third season, “Live Together, Die Alone” certainly brought the goods.
Desmond Hume is one of my favorite characters on LOST. It is difficult to pick one since there are about 4-6 that could arguably be the best, but Desmond is absolutely in the debate. And we get a flashback to Desmond’s life here, from his release from jail and his dishonorable discharge from Her Majesty’s Armed Forces to his ending up in the Swan station with Kelvin Inman.
During these flashbacks, we get just a taste of the driving force behind Desmond which is his love for Penelope “Penny” Widmore. Her father, Charles Widmore, tried to buy Desmond off, but it only inspired the Scot more. Desmond needed to get his honor back so he could come and reclaim his love, Penny. Charles did not think Desmond was deserving of his daughter, and would become one of the biggest villains on the show.
In just a few short scenes, Penny and Desmond became the heart of the show. The couple that was worth rooting for. For two years, the show had Jack-Kate-Sawyer, Charlie-Claire, Rose-Bernard, Jin-Sun, Sayid-Shannon but none of them struck the chord that Penny & Desmond did.
Desmond was on the boat that came sailing into sight during Ana Lucia and Libby’s funeral. Jack, Sawyer and Sayid swam out to it only to find a drunken Desmond below deck wildly firing a rifle. Once the bullets were out, the three of them confronted Des, who recognizes Jack.
Desmond said he’d been sailing for two week, but he could never escape the Island. He voices another of the popular fan theories that this is a snow globe, that the rest of the world is gone and all that is left is the Island and the ocean. This is also an allusion to the graphic novel, Watchmen. Desmond has been and continues to drink Dharma alcohol.
Interestingly enough, in a flashback, we see that Libby is the person who gives Desmond the boat that he uses to enter the round the world race. We find out that Libby’s husband, David, died and left eh boat, The Elizabeth, to Libby. She gave it to Desmond in the name of love after hearing his story of how he would win this race and come back for Penny.
John came to see Desmond after getting his butt kicked by Mr. Eko. Eko had decided to continue to press the button, but John wanted to stop. Eko was having none of it and physically removed John from the Hatch. John was frustrated and crying in the jungle when Charlie found him. While it was not evil Dark Charlie, he took some definite joy in seeing Locke in this way and telling him that Desmond was back.
John told Desmond about the Pearl Station that he and Eko found and how it meant that everything in the Swan was a lie. And he plotted to find out what happened when the button does not get pushed.
This season long mystery gets paid off big time from these tremendous performers. They trick Eko out of the area and Desmond shows how to create their own lockdown, trapping John and himself inside with the computer. Eko pounded on the blast door, but John ignored him.
In response, Eko went to get Charlie in order to find the remaining dynamite from the Black Rock so they could blow their way into the computer room. Charlie was getting worried and tried to warn Locke that Eko was going to use the dynamite. Desmond just smiled and said that it would take an A-bomb to get through those blast doors. Desmond was right as the dynamite did nothing to the blast doors, but nearly killed Eko and Charlie in a giant fireball. Desmond worried about them, but John refused to open the doors to check on them.
As the time counted down, Desmond was getting nervous and he wanted to know more about the Pearl. John told him and Desmond wondered if that was the psych experiment instead of the Swan. John told him there was a computer that printed out numbers and that was all it was. Desmond looked at the pages and realized that on the day when he almost did not get the button pushed, and the station was shaking and things seemed ready to be over, the screen had “system failure” on it. Desmond figured out that this happened on the day that Oceanic 815 crashed and he understood that this caused the plane to crash.
At this point, Desmond decided that everything was real and that they had to push the button, but John destroyed the computer saying that he was sure that nothing was going to happen. Desmond ran for the key that Kelvin had told him about. The override. He came back and went into the trap door telling Locke that he was going to blow the dam. “See you in another life, brotha” Des said again.
By this time, the alarm is going off, the hieroglyphics are showing and all hell is breaking loose. John stands in the middle of the Hatch with a confused and lost expression on his face. When Eko stumbled in, John said “I was wrong.”
Desmond arrived at the switch as all the metal is being pulled toward the huge electromagnet. He remembered Penny’s words and he said that he loved her. This was a powerfully emotional moment as he turns the key. This sends a loud screeching sound across the Island causing everyone to cover their ears. The sky turns all white during this time as well as the Hatch implodes upon itself.
This was all just the Hatch part of the story. We also had Michael and his plot to try and get Walt back.
Jack and Sayid decided that Michael was compromised and, with the arrival of Desmond’s boat, they had a chance. Sayid would sail around the Island and scout out the area while Michael was leading the group here. Sayid recruited Jin to help him sail and Sun insisted on coming as well. Both Kwons apparently have sailing abilities. As Sayid is sailing, they come across a statue, or at least the remains of one. It is a foot with four toes which becomes one of the Island’s deepest mysteries.
As Michael leads Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley across the Island, some Others found them and were trying to follow them. Kate picked up on it and shoots one dead. However the other Other got away. Kate and Sawyer wanted to chase after him, but Jack said it was too late because they already knew they were coming. He turned to Michael and forced Michael to confess. Michael continued to say he had too, it is my son, as if that is a good excuse for what he did. Hurley asked if he killed them, meaning Ana Lucia and Libby. Michael said there was no other way. Jack told the rest of them about the plan with Sayid.
This group came across a giant pile of notebooks in tubes from the Pearl station in the middle of nowhere. This basically confirmed to me that the real psychological research project was not on the people in the Swan, but on the people in the Pearl.
It was here where they saw the black smoke which was a signal from Sayid. But it was miles from where they were and jack realized too late that Michael had pulled a fast one. Michael again used his weak excuse “I had to” as his four friends are captured by the Others. They are knocked out with taser-like things. They covered their faces and took them away.
The arrive at a dock and they are forced to kneel. Kate calls Mr. Friendly’s beard fake and he takes it off, claiming it was scratchy. The boat that they had used to kidnap Walt drives up with Henry driving it. They realize now that Henry was the leader of this group of people. Henry tells Michael that he was not happy with the deal that was made with him, but they keep their word. Walt was on the boat and if he followed an exact bearing of 325, they would find rescue. Michael sailed off with Walt, leaving his “friends” behind. Henry told Michael that once he leaves, he’ll never be able to come back.
The Others release Hurley and send him back to his camp with the message to not come here ever.
The episode ends with a team in the Arctic/Antarctic picking up the massive electromagnetic bursts, assuming from the implosion of the Hatch and Desmond “blowing the dam.” The one gets on the phone and calls… Penny.
What a tremendous season finale. There is so much going on here including a bunch of things that I was not able to include in this write up. Details with Inman and his old partner, Radzinsky, who will be more important in the future. They gave details on the invisible map in the Hatch. Charlie and Claire seem to be reunited at the end of the show. So no more Dark Charlie, I guess. I left out the section with Penny’s letter in Desmond’s book, Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens, and how Locke pounding on the Hatch door in “Deus Ex Machina” saved Desmond’s life as he was about to kill himself.
So much here to unpack. Season two was way better than I remembered and I really enjoyed the rewatch. I will do a Season two recap and then, on to season three!!!