Thursday, April 8

Lost: Season 6, Episode 11 Discussion

UPDATE (04.08.10)!!

The Back to the Island column for "Happily Ever After" will be published tomorrow, not today, on Part of this is due to my having far too much fun yesterday, but most of it is due to the fact that there is a LOT going on in this episode, and I want to give the hour it's due.

Thanks for understanding, and for your patience - I can promise that the wait will be worth it!



Buh-bye, Second Snake theory? It sure seems that way, judging from the events of tonight's episode. The off-Island and on-Island universes bled together in Happily Ever After. What to make of everything? I'll be sussing it out over the next day or so, but here are some initial thoughts:

Eloise Hawking/Widmore as Mastermind of space and time? It's certainly hinted at here, as Hawking/Widmore reveals that she knows far more about Desmond's situation than he does.

And in that vein, what was up with Minkowski? Didn't he seem a little too eager to fulfill Desmond's every wish?

Desmond as Dr. Manhattan Island...Did anyone else think of Alan Moore's Watchmen as Desmond was caught in the EM field? And how bizarre was his sudden "enlightenment" at episode's end? What to make of him wandering off into the jungle with his old buddy, Sayid? Is he working off of some kind of "enlightened" state, aware that he's "supposed" to go that way? Is he aligning himself with the MiB? And what does he want with the Oceanic list? Is he looking to reunite the castaways and the potentially split timeline?

Back in Season 4 I talked about the idea of the castaways' conciousnesses becoming aware of their "past lives," and that's to some extent what we saw tonight. Consciousness was again an enormous theme in Happily Ever After, Along with the notion of Love as a powerful connector, drawing consciousnesses across whole worlds. If unabashed romanticism isn't your bag, then the Constant talk of love tonight probably made you groan. Im not allergic to the particular brand of sincerity (or schmaltz, depending on your POV), and so I found myself touched by the sentiment, rather than put off over it. I suspect results may vary. There's a ton of fun stuff to chew over in general this week - I'm looking forward to writing this.

Original Post:

Judging from the (often misleading) promo that runs after each new episode, this week's installment of Lost promises to make us all weepy. Will someone die tonight? It sure seems that way. Leave your thoughts on the episode here. I'll be popping in after it ends to give my Insta-reaction.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


  1. Since Sun was shot in the alt-timeline, you think she will be the one shot on the outrigger?

  2. @Boatwright,

    That seems to be a good theory. But you never know with LOST, they could be using it as a red herring to distract us from something else.

  3. I'll be really cranky if they follow the Faraday Returns, has a centric episode and then dies model with Desmond.

    He seems like he holds more answers for the show that would be trotted out around him in one episode. And he is also the poster child for redeeming yourself and living happily ever after (hence the title). So it would seem a cruel blow. But if it seems like everything we ever wondered about Des is answered in the first 40 minutes, I'm going to be worried about him in the last two.

    than that, and he's one

  4. Er, sorry, pay no attention to that fragment behind the last paragraph.

    I must have hit a key combination and pasted the fragment of an aborted sentence.

  5. Was the outcome of the airport meeting between Widmore and Sun ever revealed? I wonder if Jin's kidnapping is related to an agreement with Widmore. Further, because of that meeting, I wonder if Sun knows more than everyone else in her camp about what Widmore is doing on Hydra...

  6. @Miles,

    I agree about not killing off Desmond; I won't be very happy if they do that. Unless they do it in an incredibly cool and satisfying way, of course. Either way, it seems like someone's going to die.

    I'm nervous, yet excited...

  7. I'm thinking that they should add a Lost-Clock to tonight's broadcast of "V," letting that audience know exactly how many days/hours/minutes are left until next week's Lost. It should be big, and bright, and should obscure written words.

    Good thoughts about Sun and the outrigger, but I'm pulling for Sun and Jin to get a nice, death-free reunion.

    Quickpoll: What will the "sacrifice" that Widmore referred to in last week's promo end up being? Thoughts? Theories?

  8. Silly "sacrifice" thoughts: Although Flocke turned down Sawyer's drunken offer of Dharma-Whiskey, it is not because Flocke is a tea-totaler. Rather, like Widmore, Flocke only values whiskey worth more than Desmond. Therein lies Widmore's plan -- both Desmond and the last bottle of MacCutcheons on the sub will be sacrificed at the same time to lure Smokey into a drunken stupor.

  9. I'd say that the sacrifice is Desmond's "happily ever after" that he's been living with Penny (at least he was until he remembered Faraday's instruction at the Hatch, went to find Eloise Hawking, got spotted and then shot by Ben, and was in the hospital where Widmore apparently kidnapped him).

    I think Widmore is basically going to tell Des that he respects him, always has, and that he has been a jerk all this time to make sure Des fulfilled his Faraday's-journal-predicted-destiny. Widmore was trying to preserve Penny from being harmed in the process.

    Now that he lays this all out, he's going to say that he needs Des to do that again to save the world again, but there's no going back.

  10. That's what I'm thinking also, Miles. Way back in Season 4, I suggested that Widmore's past treatment of Desmond had to do with his awareness of Desmond's destiny:

    I like the notion of Desmond sacrificing his life with Penny and Charles for "The Greater Good," especially since it mirrors the similar sacrifices of Dogen, Juliet, Charlie, etc. et al.

  11. Hmmm, Very good point MMorse. That makes me further worried for Hume's fate. It's particularly relevant to Charlie, since Mr. Pace essentially made that same decision to see Aaron and Claire get on that helicopter. Of course, he was only half successful...

    Assuming that we follow post 316, Sideways Desmond around, any thoughts on what we'll see?

    I intentionally avoid guest star names spoilers (even during the opening credits, which is probably why I was able to tune out the V clock last week), so please don't confirm, but I would expect any of the following: Charlie Pace, Eloise, Penny, Brother Martin (from the monastery), Kevin Inman, Faraday. Of course, they may give us someone completely different like Naomi, Abaddon or someone else that he has never interacted with (sort of like Sun and Keamy and Mikhail last week)

  12. This is pure speculation, but has anyone considered the possibility that Desmond might be able to flash between the two universes that we've seen this season in the same way that he can travel to different times in his own life. Perhaps he'll be sent to side flash LA to deliver a message to our Losties...perhaps not.

  13. Looks like you win the prize, Ross.

  14. What do you guys think about the last on-island scene, and Desmond's seeming passivity in going off with our favorite Iraqi?

  15. I think that the "very important mission" that Widmore was talking about involves, at least partially, Desmond going to join Flock and his people. He seemed to almost expect Sayid to appear. There seemed (to me anyway) almost an excepting of his mission when he told Sayid "Of course...lead the way". And the prize goes to Ross for nailing the cross universe flashing that Desmond seems to be doing now. I am curious to see how he uses the manifest to unite the losties. Does he know who he's after? IE: Jack, Sawyer, ect, as apposed to trying to unite the whole flight? Very interested in finding out how much he knows now.

  16. Michael, you are probably right, Desmond maybe knows what's coming (including Sayid coming for him). Maybe anticipating Sayid (or something like him), this is why Widmore was so insistent on getting the "experiment" started asap.

  17. This could have been the last episode and I would have been happy, that's how good I thought it was

  18. I have always thought The Constant would be my favorite episode of all time. It's too early to tell, but this one might take the cake. Every part of it had me yelling at the tv like I'd developed rabies. Desmond is by far my favorite character and I can't wait to see more of him in the coming weeks.
    Something I stuck on is trying to figure out if Widmore has been a legit good guy this entire time, legitimately trying to save the world. He's been portrayed as such a bad dude this whole series and I think he's going to redeem himself. I like that, a lot.
    Side note, I'll be pretty pissed if Des and Penny wind up without each other come the end.

  19. Hm...this episode was so good, but so wild! What Charlie saw when he had his near-death experiences were memories of his time with Claire in the original timeline. And Desmond could see memories of his life on the original timeline, too. With Daniel's saying, "What if this wasn't supposed to be our real lives?" I'm starting to wonder if maybe the whole sideways world is a longer/wider version of the memory/flash/thing Desmond experienced after he turned the failsafe key? Not totally sure how that would work, but hm....

  20. Feel a little more confident about the whole Sun not being able to speak English thing. Let me reiterate that it happened after she was hit over the head.

  21. I think Desmond realized that his mission is in the alt-timeline rather than on island. That's why he went with Sayid so willingly. He knows that his job is to reunite flight 316 in the alt-timeline and what he does on island is somewhat irrelevant, or if not irrelevant, at least his best opportunity to get back to Penny. Regardless...fantastic episode, can't wait til next week.

  22. Awesome episode. Interesting how it's structure was very similar to Richard's, just sideways rather than backwards.

    I loved the calvacade of guests - pretty much a greatest hits of Desmond's past. Minkowski was a nice surprise, though I got the impression the role was probably originally envisioned for Matthew Abbadon. Or maybe not. Maybe in the Sideways world, Desmond WAS Abbadon to Widmore. Just perhaps less nefarious since Widmore's activities were less nefarious?

    Eloise struck me, not as having some grand plan in front of her or "knowing all the secrets." But rather like she figured it out long ago, but has such a vested interest in maintaining this life - she has her son, married to Charles, her son gets to follow his dream not his doom. So just like she tried to hold things together in "Flashes Before Your Eyes" so that things wouldn't unravel, she is doing the same here. Except I would guess it isn't from a grand knowledge as much as selfish desire. The girl likes her big hair life.

  23. Interesting point, most-recent-anonymous-poster. He struck me that he is behaving completely docile and will follow anyone's instructions. If so, that's a much preferable reason than his brain is fried. :-)

    Side note: I REALLY want someone to help Sayid and Claire.

  24. Gotta love a couple things about this episode (aside from how great it was):

    1) The preview promised us things that would draw us in--a character death and some real information and forward-motion on the on-island Desmond story--but while we got neither of those things, we walked away with more emotion and more excitement (and more answers) than I think any of us expected . (Great note about the promos being often misleading, by the way.)

    2) And I mean no offense by this, MMorse, but we thankfully found out that the "second snake" theory is not the route they've mapped out. There was always something disappointing and lifeless to me about the notion that the flash-sideways were the story's epilogue. A theory I've liked for a while, and found thematically and dramatically satisfying, is that the flash-sideways were more like Desmond's flashes in "Flashes Before Your Eyes," and that eventually our characters are going to "course-correct" back to where they were on-Island at the start of the season, at the moment of Jacob's death. I'm actually excited for the story of the flash-sideways now, not just curious about how they'll play thematically and what new muscles they'll give the actors a chance to flex.

    I think I'm going to finally get to write a bit about this season myself this weekend.

  25. Now that was my kind of episode. The return of my favorite characters and lots of weird science and time-line stuff to think about. Des appears to be traveling again and I think you are right Erik and Michael. He seems to know what is going on when Sayid comes for him. I think he's seeing the future just like he did after turning the key in the Hatch. Now, instead of trying to save Charlie, he's trying to save the world.
    I really like how it seems that Love and Death (or near Death) are the threads that connect the two universes for people. Those two experiences are almost certainly the most profound and meaningful that any of us will ever have. It makes sense that those would be the signposts of life that our characters would see in moments of transcendence or, conversely, that those signposts would be the cause of moments of transcendence.

  26. I liked it a lot. There is one thing about Eloise that we need to remember. She still probably has the original Faraday journal when he traveled back and got killed. She knows of events from the on island time line. Additionally where jughead detonated and released all that electromagnetic energy it exposed our castaways to that energy. This has something to do with the requested oceanic manifest.

  27. Darth Sillynous should be focusing on his new fiance while on vacation in Hawaii (he asked her and she said yes).

    I agree with his theory though. Eloise is protecting Daniel. Even in the alt-timeline, the heart wants what the heart wants. Kinda like real life eh Darth?

  28. Does anyone else think that Hawking is the most fascinating character on Lost? Much more than Jacob and the MIB I want some explanation, before this thing ends, of just how she knows the things she knows. None of the other leaders of the Others we've met seem to have a 10th of the knowledge she does. Is she like Desmond, somehow outside of time/space?

    And what is it about Desmond as a character that makes nearly all of his episodes the best episodes?

  29. Your snake theory seems to be right, the sideways story is the epilogue, the happy ending. It just seems that we have yet to see what needs to happen on the island to make the sideways story happen.

  30. Does anyone have a theory why Desmond said the same line ("I don't like surprises") as MIB said last week?

  31. The second snake theory could still be partly correct . . . what if the sideways universe is actually taking place between the flash at the end of season 5 and the beginning of season 6? When the sideways world collapses on itself due to everyone realizing that "this is not the way it's supposed to be", they're immediately deposited in the 2007 island universe.

  32. Hola, all. Today's my birthday (the answer to your question is 'too old'), so I'll be offline. Very much looking forward to reading your comments when I get back later tonight. Enjoy the day and the discussion!

  33. Wait...Darth got married?

    Congratulations, sir!

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Happy Birthday MMorse.

    Christopher, I also think Eloise is one of the most fascinating characters. Though I think her insight and knowledge (which has been shared with Widmore also) all originates from:

    1) knowing the basics of the island from her time as it's leader (probably knew more than Ben ever did),
    2) meeting Jack Shepherd, Kate Austen and Sayid in 1977 (therefore knowing in 2007 that they hadn't traveled back yet, but needed to)
    3) having Daniel's completed journal in her possession since shooting him in 1977.

    Remember Dan spent 3 years with the Dharma Initiative doing further research and documenting what had transpired. There's no evidence that he wrote a linear narrative in there, but I suspect that all the pieces were there.

    In the 90s when Eloise met Desmond, she was working to preserve the timeline and make sure he pushed that button.

    Now, in the sideways world, she's protecting her son and what she wants in away she was unable to before. She doesn't care that it "isn't real."

  36. It seems like no matter what happens in the present Locke gets screwed. He seems the happiest of all the people in flash sideways (next week i bet Hurley will finally get some bad news), but if Desmond's mission is to help eliminate the sideways world then Locke dies alone and confused. Besides Charlie's deathwish the sideways world isnt really worse off for the castaways (assuming Kate can escape).

  37. By the way if Eloise Hakwings is now Mrs. Widmore can you imagine how the conversation went down between Charles Widmore and Eloise when he had to explain he knocked up someone else to have Penny. Eloise could handle a gun quite well, and I assume Daniel is the elder sibling.

  38. "Wait wait wait, stranger from the plane who just happened to show up at my hospital. You're saying that a stranger from the plane just happened to show up at my hospital? That's ridiculous! I'm sorry, but I don't have time for this. I have to check on a woman who was on our plane who just delivered a baby, and then I've got spinal surgery in 10 minutes on a woman from the plane who was brought in by her bodyguard who was also on our plane. Seriously. Coincidence? Come on. Oh but hey, do you want to know a secret? On a scale of one to doctor .. I am so drunk. Brotha." -Jack

    Totally what I heard during that scene.

    I really can't wait to see what the plan with the manifest is. I'd love to see crazy face Desmond drive everybody off the pier, just an amusing like Groundhog Day style interlude where it's just shot after shot of them almost dying but then they all "feel it". But obviously that won't happen because I'm a shitty writer and that makes no sense, it just strikes me as amusing.

    BTW Was that the same pier where Desmond got shot in the groceries?

  39. Great episode, and I'm a fan of this season, but how the hell are they going to put a bow on all this stuff in the six or seven hours (or whatever) left?

    I don't even mean to sound skeptical; rewatching seasons 4 and 5 over the last couple weeks, my appreciation of the writing staff's work has grown... but man, forget Hurley-birds, I'm still trying to smush the wine-bottle and time-space-vinyl-record elements together in my brain.

    You guys are smart.

  40. Thanks Morse for the wishes. Anonymous Rob I am certainly concentrating on her but she is a fan of Lost also so all is well. Yes I traveled to Hawaii to pop the question and did it overlooking the beach where 815 crashed.

    I like what I'm reading and mostly agree as I stated in my last post. Eloise holds the key and I doubt she has shared her knowledge with Charles.

  41. Happy birthday, MMorse, and congratulations Darth Sillynous!

    I have to admit, I'm also really skeptical that this is going to be able to come together in any kind of satisfying way in just five or six more episodes, but then again, THE WIRE pulled that stunt off over and over again. Mostly, I just lament that this is not a full-length season: more time to explore the possibilities, implications and perspective-shattering effects of the sideways world would have been awesome. Also, some more time to get to see how Jin and Sun have been changed by their time apart--to explore their loneliness or anger or frustration, rather than just basically giving them enough time every episode to say, "Where's my husband/wife?"--would have been nice, too.

  42. Happy B'day Morse

    May you have many more.


  43. Happy birthday Morse

  44. Happy Birthday Morse! Hope you had a great one.

  45. Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone. Very much appreciated!

  46. I really wish that I came up with this theory, as it makes a ton of sense at this stage in the game, but I found it reading someones post on a review. Theory(by jnb987 at the review of this episode):

    "When a paradox occurs (like someone travelling back in time and detonating an H-bomb, negating the cause of the plane crash that set him on that course to begin with), everything in modern physics points to the creation of parallel universes in which each of the contradictory states is separated, and they play themselves out the paradox is sorted and the two universes merge back together. The effect is like throwing a stone in a stream (remember Faraday with Kate & Jack by the river in S5?), the water splits around the stone, but converges after it."

    You know for all the theories going forth about what the endgame is for the show, and what the Alt-Universe means, I'm kind of surprised that this was one of the first times I had seen this one put forth. (It could be that I just wasn't looking at the right sites.) It feels like it makes a helluva lot of sense with how this season has progressed so far, and it also is very much in line with what Faraday was saying in S5 when he was talking about throwing a large enough "rock into the stream". It definitely looks like we're looking at a split in the timestreams after Jughead, and now after a time of separation, the timelines are going to converge again on "the other side of the rock". I'm really psyched to see the how the rest of the final half of this season will play out.

  47. Glad you had a good one, Morse!

    Miles, good points all. I'm thinking though that of the 3 "leaders" we've met that Ellie was (possibly) the only one to meet and have in depth discussions with Jacob. We know Ben never did, and Widmore's comment from "The Package" about the MIB being nothing but legends and tales in the night suggests that he never met with (or likely never cared to meet with) Jacob. I've long had the feeling that Charles is not bad, per se, but just selfish. As Ben said, he wants to posses the Island for his own purposes.

    Did anyone else notice that the only people besides Desmond to have the flashes of their other lives were dead in that other life? Does this bode ill for Des, or is it possibly more of his uniqueness? Notice that when Jack revives Charlie in LA X the first words out of his mouth were, "I was supposed to die."

  48. I think perhaps the off-island universe is the result of Anti-Locke getting off the island.

    Anti-Locke's escape wipes the slate clean and everything starts from zero. This creates the alternate reality we are watching off-island.

    On the island, when Widmore says everything would be lost, it technically would be true.

    The question is which universe will persist?
    Desmond can work within both universes and eventually negate one of them.

    I have a feeling Desmond may help Anti-Locke escape (perhaps resulting in the destruction of the island). This also allows the "second snake" theory to work.

  49. Christopher, thanks and really interesting observation yourself on the death cross over visions. I wonder then if Boone and Charlotte may have had similar experiences in the LA timeline?

    Also, and to my earlier plea for Sayid and Claire... Perhaps if part of Claire and Sayid have "died," they'd be more eligible for a cross-timeline "come to Jesus" healing? Possibly engineered intentionally or accidentally by Desmond? Maybe by connecting with their alter-egos (Sayid's restraint and purpose / Claire's sincerity and generosity) they can become balanced again and untainted?

    We still have a Claire episode coming up, I assume. She's the last of the long-standing cast who hasn't had a centric episode, though she featured prominently in Kate's. But it certainly didn't let us in her head on the island.

    In regards to Charlie and Daniel who recognize something is off and want things to be restored/be with their love, it's interesting that if they were successful they would also be dead. Would those versions of them truly just be gone? Or would they be trapped in limbo? Are they the "ghosts" that appear to Hurley? Or something? Remember Charlie's visit to Hurly at the start of Season 4? "I am dead. But I'm also here."

  50. I also just wanted to point out that i looked at the latest episode posters from Gideon on Flicker. The most recent one is "Catch-22" from Season 3, when Desmond almost let Charlie die so that he could be reunited with Penny. However, he saved Charlie and it turned out it wasn't Penny parachuting onto the island but Naomi, with Penny's photo.

    I was intrigued by the Desmond quote Gideon featured on the poster:

    "I failed because I changed what I saw."

    here's a Link:

    It's probably nothing significant, but interesting nonetheless. I think I'm going to go back and read MMorse's recaps of the Des episodes.

  51. Great episode. Not as good as Ab Aeterno, but still very entertaining. Maybe it's just me, but the Sideways Desmond's last comment struck me as a little creepy, a little sinister. I'm wondering how Penny still came to be when Charles and Eloise are happily (?) married.
    "You fathered a child by another woman? HOW ARE YOU!" "I was just preserving the timeline!" "Oh, alright."
    Happy late birthday Morse! I hope it was memorable.

  52. Hey Morse, happy belated birthday.

    As for Lost, my fiancee suggested that perhaps "sideways" Charlie and Daniel are so perceptive to the other reality since they're dead in the "island" world.

    Any thoughts?

  53. Thanks so much for the well wishes, folks. It was a memorable birthday - if you have the chance to hit MOMA's Tim Burton exhibit before it closes, take it. So much fun.


    I'll talk about this more in the column, but while Daniel and Charlie are dead in the "on-Island" universe, Desmond isn't. What all three characters DO share: intense exposure to electromagnetic energy and/or radiation. Desmond and Charlie due to the Swan failsafe detonation, and Daniel as a result of his experimentations.

    That said, the fact that Daniel and Charlie are dead is certainly an interesting observation - kudos to the fiance!

  54. Miles, I had the same thought re: Hurley's ghosts!

    As an alternative to the "dead" theory, I read somewhere, and Morse hints at above, that the other thing that ties these folks (they of the flashes) together is love. As in love is their "constant," the thing that anchors their minds in both realities. The ones who have seen nothing have no great love. If that's correct though, what does that say about Sawyer and Kate? They've run into each other twice now, off-Island, with no effect...are they not in love?

  55. Christopher, I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you. Here's why: Jin and Sun have an intense love. Jack and Kate, maybe. Sawyer and Juliet, definitely. The list goes on with Sayid, Rose and Bernard, you could even count Ben's fatherly love for Alex. None of them experienced anything quite like Charlie, Desmond and Daniel. I think there's a link somewhere, we're just missing it. Or it's happening at this point in time for everyone, but we haven't seen it yet. Most of them have even had near-death experiences and not felt the same way Charlie and Desmond did.

    In other news, I've been rewatching the season, and do you all remember when Juliet's sister had a baby? (S)he'd be just about Jack's son's age... Just sayin.

  56. Good point, Slamboni. And it seems unlikely that it's happening to them all at the same time as we've seen Locke and Ben (presumably) weeks into the off-Island time. Hmmmmm. Alright, I guess I'm sticking to the dead thing for now.

  57. Slamboni ... Ah, Juliet's sister (played by Calamity Jane, IIRC) did indeed have a baby. Would he be the same age as Jack's kid, though? I'm not sure about that. Still, I read somewhere that Darlton said that two very unlikely people would end up in a romantic connection. And that certainly would be unlikely.

    Back to my fiancee's "dead" hypothesis. Yes, Desmond is not dead in the island world, but Desmond has also always been "special." My fiancee posits that this is why it seems he's about to become a conduit between the two realities. To that, I added, that maybe he's so serene in both worlds because he understands his mission(s): to a.)Stop Smokey in the island world and b.) bring the revelation to the castaways in the sideways world, a la Saul/St. Paul.

    Maybe the parallel missions actually have the same goal!

  58. I don't think the Second Snake theory is necessarily gone. Desmond has been able to move back and forth through time, so if the sideways universe is a result of whatever happens on the island now, then the sideways universe could be considered Desmond's future. It could also explain why he was so willing to do whatever was needed. He has seen how it will all turn out. Just a thought...

  59. Apologies if this has been suggested before, but do you remember the Ben Linus flashforward episode when he first gets off the island and goes to see Widmore. They talk about how Widmore killed his daughter and that was changing the rules.

    Ben was confident Keemey wouldn't kill her. When he did Ben exclaimed "that wasn't supposed to happen".

    Does this show he thinks he knows the route through 'the maze' and that the route has changed? Or that he's experiences this all before somehow?

  60. Hey, Ben!

    That's more or less what I'd wondered also during the Rewatch. Regardless of whether the castaways are literally re-running the maze of life or not, it's been proven that someone on this show has "knowledge of the future" (remember the runway that Jacob wanted built for the Ajira plane). That knowledge would establish certain rules about what can or cannot be done.

    Thanks so much for reading, for commenting, and for stopping by!