What a brilliant episode.
Desmond has become, in short order, one of the best characters in all of LOST and maybe even on television.
This episode is fully original and different than anything we had seen up to this point on LOST. It set up the world of time travel beautifully on the show, something that would be explored in much grater detail as the seasons progressed.
The flashbacks in this episode is done unlike anything else on the show prior. Desmond, after turning the key, had his consciousness flash back to his past and he was reliving what he had seen before. But he would have flashes of the future… of the Island and the button and of the survivors. So while we are able to see what happened to Desmond in flashback format, we also saw him struggle to make sense of what was happening.
And then we get Eloise Hawkins. One of the greatest riddles of the show. Eloise was at the ring shop and showing Des wedding rings. He was not supposed to buy one. He was to change his mind about Penny and break her heart. So when he went to purchase the ring, Eloise flipped out.
She then explained to Desmond (and us) how this worked. He always did this and that is the way it has to be. Even if you wanted to, you can’t change it because the universe will “course correct” to make what was supposed to happen, happen.
I remember watching this for the first time and having my mind blown. It makes more sense this time through, having known what happen moving on.
In this flashback, we see what a jerk Charles Widmore is and how he taunted Desmond with his McCutcheon Whiskey. Ironically, that was the same whiskey that Charlie and Hurley try to tempt Desmond with to loosen his lips.
On the Island, Desmond has been acting odd since waking up naked in the jungle. In this episode, he took off running and jumped into the ocean to save a drowning Claire. How exactly did he know she was drowning?
Pair that with the lightning from earlier this season, and Desmond has some explaining to do. Hurley believes that Desmond can see the future, but Charlie is not so sure.
So after finishing the bottle, Charlie and Hurley go to figure out what is going on with Desmond. Desmond doesn’t want to tell and tries to leave. Charlie called him a coward (which is what Penny called him too) and Desmond tackled him, screaming at him about what he sees.
Finally after calming down, Desmond reveals that he did not save Claire. He saved Charlie who drowned when he tried to save Claire. And the lightning was supposed to electrocute Charlie, but Desmond’s lightning rod stopped it. But Desmond cried out at the end of the episode…
“No matter what I do…you’re gonna die, Charlie.”
Goose bumps. What an amazing episode, full of emotion and drama and with a fantastic cliffhanger. Desmond episodes have become the best of the best, even surpassing Locke episodes, it would seem.