LOST: In Defense of Desmond

desmond lost

In the ever-changing world of LOST, three things remain constant. The writer’s miraculously manage to ensure Sawyer ‘loses’ his shirt a minimum of every other episode, Locke can always be counted on to make the wrong decision and following any episode that involves time-traveling and Desmond, this TV Addict receives emails.

So it came as no surprise following last night’s mind-numblingly confusing Desmond-centric episode that I woke up this morning and found numerous messages like this one, from a frequent TV Addict reader who may or may not [depending on your reaction] wish to remain anonymous.

“Awful, awful, awful.  The first dud of the new season.  We have already been there with Desmond and his time travelling. The only thing that was any good was Daddy Whidmore buying the log of the first mate of the Black Rock.  Other then that…stinker.”

Well anonymous and angry LOST fan. It may surprise you to discover that I’m going to disagree with your assessment of last night’s episode. While ‘The Constant’ certainly lacked the jaw-dropping, thrilling and “Oh no they didn’t!” feel of this season’s string of flash forwards. My constant remains an unshakable trust in LOSTerminds [Why has this nickname not caught on yet?] Damon Lindeloff and Carlton Cuse.

If this season has proven anything, it’s that with a set end date of forty-eight episodes, Lindeloff and Cuse have a plan. And while I clearly have no idea what the significance of a Desmond and his unexplainable time-travelling adventure really are. I’m sure they are necessary to tell the story of LOST properly.

If not, well then I owe you, anonymous and angry LOST fan, one really big apology.

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  • Alison

    By far one of the best episodes. It may have been more questions than answers, but I feel like this is the first key to understanding the island. I was under the impression from the arrival of these new characters, that Faraday would be a link to understanding the “powers” of the island and this was re-affirmed last night. He is definitely my favorite of the new bunch. Plus, it was nice to FINALLY see Penny and Desmond together in a sense 🙂

  • Allison,

    Completely agree. Desmond and Penny’s telephone reunion was absolutely beautiful. Almost, tear inducing.

  • Ally

    I agree that there was no “Oh my God” moment, but does every episode need one? Loved it, because I can’t help but be deeply invested in the Desmond/Penny relationship. Now, thats how you do a romance.

  • paketep

    I also disagree with the anonymous emailer. S4 for me has been good but not great, but I think last night’s ep was up there with the best.

  • Chris

    I was actually apprehensive about last night’s episode because the Desmond time-bending flashbacks always tend to be a bit confusing. But I really enjoyed “The Constant.”

    And anyone who could watch that beautiful scene between Desmond and Penny and call that episode “awful, awful, awful”…well…I don’t get it. Henry Ian Cusiak and Sonya Walger were heartbreaking.

  • I agree with most of the others that it was the least thrilling and least shocking of the season but still a worthy installment.

    I loved the scene of Desmond & Penny on the phone with each other. That’s the kind of stuff that makes shows excellent.

    If there was any lingering doubt before, this episode cements the fact that Lost really is science fiction, even though it doesn’t always feel like it.

    I wonder if the “friend” on the boat, who opening the door for Sayid & Desmond is… Michael.

  • CC


    I thought the episode was amazing! One of the best of the season so far.

  • cam3150

    I loved last night’s episode too. You “mind-numbingly confusing” description completely applies here though. I have no idea what really happened in the episode but that made it no less thrilling. No, it wasn’t jaw-dropping in the sense we’re used to but, it paved the way for the answers that are out there — somewhere.

    Yeah, tvaddict, I was completely bawling during the Des/Penny phone call. I haven’t really “felt” their relationship thus far, even though Desmond is definitely in my top 5 favorite characters on this show. But, as of last night, I’m officially a shipper. What could their name be? Denny? Penmond? Desny?

  • I think annonymous didn’t get the episode..

    It’s been amazing how they’re giving us answers! he have an explanation for desmond’s flashes.. they proved their ability to work this story out… remeber that Faraday asks Desmond: “do I know you?” the fist time they met…

    NOW we know that penny and Des’ photo was ment to be ther for this reason!! the constant!!

    And seriously.. I really think this “new others” are Dharma. That’s whay they want Ben., that’s why they know that much about the island and The boat (and boat’s alarm) smells all Dharma!!!!

    Not to mention that know we know what’s the deal with the computer, the numbers and the elecrtromagnesism in the island and in the hatches… DHARMA was researching and playing with mind-time-traveling!!!

    oh, god… I can’t imagine how anyone could not love this episode… and Desmond is even cuter with shot hair!! (and not to mention the uniform xd)

  • I actually thought it was an amazing episode too. It wasn’t a flash forward OR a flashback. more like a mindflash? Let the Lost writers come with a third alternative! Fantastic!

  • ALMOST tear inducing? Jeebus, I was almost bawling when Des got to talk to Penny on the phone. Probably one of the most emotional moments of the show so far. Right up there with the deaths of Boone, Shannon, Libby & Charlie.

  • I was in tears when Penny finally picked up the phone! I thought it was one of the best episodes so far! Loved Daniel in the past and the future and his journal notes about Desmond being his constant! I thought it was good, and it really makes me super excited about what’s going to happen next week!

  • jeff

    AMAZING. That emailer was out of his gourd.

  • Todd — I’ve been saying that Michael’s on the boat for weeks. Glad someone else has similar theories.

    I also loved the ep last night. I thought the reunion was fantastic and the revelation of Daniel/Desmond’s connection was pretty awesome. Looking forward to more, this season has been excellent so far.

  • Ok ok…the telephone call *was* nice…but was she taking a piss or something? Why the unnecessary ring-athon? Total unneeded manipulative tension creation!!!!

  • Josh Emerson

    I loved last night’s episode. I haven’t enjoyed an episode of Lost this much in a long time! Most of the other eps this season were strong, but I think this one was my favorite. It was one of those rare episodes where you get to the end of the episode and you’re thinking “An hour has already passed?”

    I thought the whole concept of his mind traveling between two time periods was awesome and intriguing. I liked the thing at the end where Daniel looked in his journal and it was written that his constant would be Desmond.

  • Awesome episode. Not sure how any so called Lost fan could not like it. Looking forward to next weeks!

  • mg714

    I am on the side of loving last night’s episode. I don’t quite get all the time traveling and what it might mean, but I’m willing to hang in there and find out. And count me in as also loving the Penny and Desmond ending – with all the “sci fi” mysteries this show revolves around I also think at its heart it’s about relationships and that’s what made the Penny and Des “reunion” so satisfying last night. I cannot wait to see the rest of the season unfold (and I’m so happy we’re getting more than 8 episodes).

  • Sarah, I wish I could take credit for also thinking up the Michael-on-the-boat theory on my own, but I remember reading it online a while back, and it stuck with me. It was probably your entry that I read. 😉

    Oooohh, but just now, I did get my own theory. Ohh. What if Future Bearded Jack is experiencing the time shifts and that’s why he needs to return to the island so badly. Maybe the island or something or someone on it is *his* constant. I don’t remember him showing any of the signs of time-shifting in the s3 finale, so I’m probably wrong, but maybe the symptoms are different for everyone. Maybe the drinking staves off the effects. Maybe you can get the shifts more gradually and without losing your memory in one of the timelines. Oh, but so far both people have been near the island when they started shifting. I don’t know. I’m already doubting my own theory. Well, that two minutes of misplaced inspiration was fun while it lasted.

    Here’s a prediction though (kind of a no-brainer as predictions go, however)… Past or Present Faraday has already been contacted by Future Faraday. That’s how he already knows Desmond will be his constant.

  • Danimal

    That episode was awesome, brotha….Daniel Faraday is starting to become one of my favourite characters, and Desmond is my favourite character, so how could this episode not be awesome….I won’t go much farther than that.

  • it was great, other than the fact that my 9 year old brother guessed the time travel thing the moment Des went nutso on the helicopter.

    and how cute did he look all cleaned up in the short hair!?

  • Finally

    We are finally given an episode that makes me feel a connection to a lostie. So happy and this episode is by far the best of the new season. I want more of these.

  • shanna

    Todd W. – Daniel knows Desmond can be his constant because when he and Desmond meet in ’96, Desmond says “You told me to contact you”. So Daniel knows that they will know each other in the future.

    That’s what I like about Lost’s version of time-travel. You can’t “meet” yourself. It’s only your mind that jumps back and forth and your mind can’t handle the knowledge of both time periods, which is why Desmond only remembered his ’96 self.

  • shanna

    I just realized that by telling Desmond to find him at Oxford, Daniel was also ensuring that he’d have a constant.

  • Beesly


    Why wont them mourn him for christs sake!!!

    Why wont John say “hey look I got shot in a pit of dead bodies and I’m alive. WALT woke me up.”

    Why isnt anyone wondering why WALT was there and taller and a bit older.

    Oh John. You fail to mention your leg situation to Hurley and the crew – yet Ben knows about it … but this never comes up. Why?
    Ben is jealous of John? Hardly it seems anymore … we will hopefully find out why Ben is such a powerful man.

    It’s nice to know eventually many of these questions will be answered……..or will they?


  • annsensei

    I don’t know WHAT that emailer was talking about!!! this week’s episode was BY FAR one of the all-time best!!! it explained SOOO much, at least in my mind. I LOVE the idea of the heightened electro-magnetic exposure knocking the person’s mind out of sync with the rest of the people around him/her. it reminds me of several star trek episodes that involve people travelling thru time, but this is different because it’s not the PERSON travelling, it’s just his/her consious (sp?).

    it’s also interesting to note that, so far, all of the oceanic six were NOT present when the hatch blew and exposed the losties (especially desmond and locke) to massive amounts of the electro-magnetic radiation. I don’t think that is a coincidence!!! I think they are the only ones that are ABLE to leave the island!!! since the getting out of sync happens when you try to leave the island, I think the majority of the losties are going to be forced to stay on the island.

    I LOVED this episode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shanna

    Annsensei – That makes me wonder if Claire did leave the island but didn’t survive (I hope that’s not the case). Maybe Kate had to take Aaron, We don’t know what Claire was exposed to while she was with the Others and she wouldn’t have a constant to help her thru the jump.

  • annsensei

    plus, both desmond and claire were using that drug for a while. does it help keep things stable? since they’re not taking the drug now, is it aiding in the unstability?

    ITA that the people on the boat are probably dharma. since charlote knew about the polar bear and was able to find the dharma collar quickly (and wasn’t surprised), I’m pretty sure the REAL reason they are there is to get ben and find out what really happened to all of the dharma employees.

  • madi

    ok, so this one was way good.. but there are so many questions still yet to be answered and it seems like in some way its all connecting im nervous there’s so much to answer im just going to get confused as heck when they reveal it all. i really wish they would give us some straight forward answers…