As we begin my DVR-truncated episode, Charles Widmore has a bleeding gash on his forehead and my darling Desmond is screaming his head off whilst in restraints. Apparently Desmond had something to do that that cut on Widmore’s head. Jin wants to know why Desmond is even here. Widmore says it’ll be easier to show him than to tell him – so everyone should go to the generator room for the “test.” Zoë protests that the test wasn’t scheduled ‘til later but Widmore runs right over her. At the generator room, everyone is rather excitable, saying that the generator hasn’t been run in 20 years – and so the test might not work. A red shirt is sent to the generator to check on an iffy solenoid; when someone else unwittingly starts the generator, the red shirt gets fried extra-crispy. Everyone rushes down and is gawking at the body when Widmore arrives, dragging Desmond behind. “Are we ready?” asks Widmore. Desmond sees the charred body and freaks out.
After the commercial, they take the charred red shirt out of the generator shed. Next, two flunkies beat Desmond into submission and strap him to a chair next to the generator, asking him if he’s got any metal on him. Widmore opines that if everything he’s heard about Desmond is true, then he’ll be just fine. He does feel bad about forcing this on him – ha! – and after the test he’s going to ask Desmond to make a sacrifice. Desmond snarls, “What do you know about sacrifice?” Widmore calmly says that his son (Daniel) died on this Island, his daughter/Desmond’s wife hates him and he’s even never seen his grandson – so he knows from sacrifice. And if Desmond doesn’t help now, everything – Penny, little Charlie, everything – will be gone forever.
They shut Desmond in the shed. He flails about, breaking the chair and struggling free of his bonds. Zoë look like she feels bad about this as she watches on the CCTV. Jin tells Widmore that he’s not going to help – but Widmore cuts him off, pointing out that Desmond is the only one he knows who’s survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event, so he’ll probably be fine. Or maybe everyone will die – whichever. “Turn [the generator] on!” Widmore orders.
The generator fires up. Desmond screams, “Let me out, let me out!” And then he just screams. And the screen fades to white.
Flash sideways: LAX where everyone who was on the Oceanic flight is now at baggage claim, picking up their luggage. Hurley shows a suited and neatly-coiffed Desmond where the luggage carousels are; then Desmond helps Claire with her bags and offers to give her a lift if she needs one. Desmond finds his limo driver (who looks sooooo familiar) and instructs him to go straight to the office. The driver notes that Desmond isn’t wearing a wedding ring and offers to find him some “companionship” but Desmond isn’t interested – he’s all business. At the office, Desmond’s boss is Charles Widmore, of course – and they seem to actually like each other in this reality.
Widmore is distracted at present: he’s hired Driveshaft for his wife’s (Eloise?) charity event and he needs someone to baby-sit Charlie once he’s been bailed out of jail for the whole heroin thing. Looks like Desmond and Charlie will be together again – yay! To say thank you, Widmore pours Desmond a healthy slug of his favorite 60-year-old scotch: Sláinte!
Desmond picks Charlie up at the police station steps – or tries to, as Charlie completely ignores him and heads to the nearest bar he can find. Desmond catches up to him, telling him just one drink and then they’ll go. Charlie takes a good look at him and asks if Desmond has ever been in love? Nope, Desmond hasn’t had the time. Charlie has: when he was choking on the heroin balloon on the plane he had a vision of a “rapturously beautiful” blonde woman and he knew he loved her, knew they’d always been together. Of course, then Jack saved him and he woke up, but he saw it and it was real. Desmond: “You should write a song about that.”
Desmond goes on to tell Charlie that he’s got a choice right now: he can sit here and keep drinking and thereby extinguish his musical career, or he can come with Desmond and in twenty minutes be luxuriating in a 5-star hotel, and then by tomorrow, the very powerful Charles Widmore will owe him a favor. Charlie: “Doesn’t really seem like much of a choice.” Desmond: “There’s always a choice, brother.” They head to the hotel but en route, Charlie starts up again about how Desmond thinks he’s happy but he really isn’t. Desmond: “Why, because none of [this life] is real?” (That’s what many of the Lost theorists think, Des.) Charlie then offers Desmond a choice: Charlie can show him what he’s talking about or Desmond can get out of the car. “Why would I want to get out of the car?” asks Desmond. And then Charlie grabs the wheel and steers the car into the marina.
The car sinks quickly and Charlie just sits there, looking unconscious. Desmond gets out of the car and swims to the surface. He gasps for air then dives down again to tug at Charlie’s door. Suddenly, Charlie opens his eyes and stares at Desmond. He puts his palm against the window and Desmond stares at it; there’s a flash and the words “not Penny’s boat” are written on Charlie’s palm. Then there’s another flash and it’s this reality’s Charlie, sinking back into his seat again. Desmond finally gets the car door open and pulls Charlie out. He tows the smaller man to the pier and holds him there, gasping and shouting for help.
Later, a doctor is checking Desmond out. He had a bad bump on the head – has he had any nausea, dizziness or hallucinations? Desmond hesitates at the hallucinations question and the doctor sends him off for an MRI, over his protests that he has to find Charlie. At the MRI, the tech checks him for metal (just like they checked him before stuffing him in the generator) then straps him onto the gurney. He gives Desmond a button – “a button?” asks Desmond – the panic button in case he needs to stop the scan, which will take 30 minutes.
The scan starts and Desmond immediately starts to see visions/flashes of his Island-y life: Charlie drowning, his reuniting with Penny, their son. He freaks out and pushes the panic button. When the tech lets him out of the MRI, Desmond rushes for his clothes, saying he has to find Charlie. Up at the admissions desk, however, the nurse won’t give him any information. Just then Jack walks by and Desmond recognizes him from the plane, asking him for help. Jack is incredulous that a third person from their Oceanic flight would be at this hospital … and then Charlie runs by, hospital gown flapping.
Desmond chases him and finally catches up with him, demanding to see his hand, asking who “Penny” is. Charlie’s like, “You saw something, didn’t you? You felt it too!” Desmond tries to get him to come with him to the Widmore’s house but Charlie isn’t interested in any of this: “If I were you, I’d stop worrying about me and start trying to find Penny.”
Widmore is not impressed when Desmond reports that Charlie has escaped. “It’s only a bloody concert,” gripes Desmond. Fine, says Widmore, you tell that to my wife. So that’s what Desmond goes to do, and Mrs. Widmore is, in fact, Eloise with big hair. He ‘fesses up immediately, saying that Driveshaft isn’t going to be able to make it but she takes the news very well, shaking his hand and thanking him for telling her in person. Desmond wanders off, baffled, having expected more fire breathing than that. He overhears an assistant reading off the seating charts: “Milton, Penny, solo.” He tries to look at the list but Eloise charges up and takes him off to the side: “Hume, someone has interfered with the way you see things … and this is, in fact, a violation. Whatever you think you’re looking for, you need to stop looking for it. You’re not ready, Desmond.” And then she stalks away. Methinks someone is still in tune with the Island. Desmond, disturbed, goes back to his limo and starts drinking.
Before the limo can drive off, however, there’s a knock at the window. Desmond rolls it down: it’s Daniel and he thinks he and Desmond need to talk. Desmond apologizes for the Driveshaft debacle but Daniel doesn’t want to talk about that: “Do you believe in love at first sight, Mr. Hume?” Desmond: WTF? Daniel says he saw a woman at a museum a couple weeks ago and immediately knew that he loved her … “and that’s when things got weird.” He shows Desmond some quantum mechanics equations that he wrote down after a dream, which was extra weird because this Daniel is a musician, not at all a science guy. Desmond: WTF? Daniel says that he thinks this life they’re living now isn’t the life they’re supposed to be living at all, and maybe they could change things by setting off some kind of catastrophic event, like a nuclear bomb. Desmond: WTF – you want to set off a nuclear bomb? Daniel says “No, I don’t want to set off a bomb – I think I already did.”
Desmond has had enough of this nonsense, but then Daniel asks him why he asks his mother about a woman named Penny. When Desmond doesn’t answer, Daniel says that it happened to him [Desmond] too – he felt it. Desmond says that’s impossible because he doesn’t know anything about this Penny, he doesn’t even know if she exists. Daniel: “Yeah, she exists – she’s my half sister and I can tell you exactly where and when you can find her.” Desmond: WTF is going on here?
Later, Desmond goes to the stadium where many, many episodes ago, Jack met him while running the stairs. This time, it’s Penny – on holiday from Flashforward – who is running the stairs. Desmond watches her for a moment, and then walks to meet her: “Are you Penny?” She says yes and Desmond’s face lights up with the most beautiful smile. He extends his hand, introducing himself. She laughs and says hi and shakes his hand.
And then Island Desmond wakes up on the floor of the generator shed. Widmore’s flunkies open the door and Zoë checks him out, marveling that he’s okay. Widmore’s like, of course he’s okay and helps Desmond to his feet. Widmore starts to explain what he needs Desmond to do but Desmond cuts him off, saying “I understand. You said you brought me back to the Island for something important … when do we start?” Wait – I don't understand! Let Widmore explain!
Later, as they walk through the jungle, Zoë asks Desmond what happened to him to make him cooperate with Widmore now – she thinks the generator fried his brain. Desmond just grins and Zoë grumps that it doesn’t matter since he’s gonna … but she doesn’t get finish her sentence because Ninja Sayid launches himself out of the undergrowth and starts taking apart Widmore’s flunkies. He pulls a gun and tells Zoë to run; she does. Then Sayid looks at Desmond and says that he doesn’t have time to explain, but Widmore’s people are very dangerous and they need to get out of here. Desmond just smiles mildly and says “Of course, lead the way.” Weird.
Flash: “Hey, are you okay?” This is Penny, concerned because her new friend Desmond has collapsed right in front of her at the stadium. He awakens and sits up; she tells him that he fainted when she shook his hand. “I must have quite an effect on you,” she grins. He grins back at her and asks her out for coffee. Penny: “What, now? I’m a sweaty mess!” But she agrees to meet him in an hour and walks away, chuckling to herself.
Desmond goes back to his limo – and now I’ve finally placed the limo driver, “George,” who was the guy on Widmore’s freighter who was driven crazy by the Island. Desmond asks George to get him a copy of the passenger manifest from his Oceanic flight – when George asks why, Desmond replies that he “just needs to show him something.” What? Him who? What?
So, if I've got this right - and who would really know if I do or not - Alterna-Eloise wanted Alterna-Desmond to leave things alone and let the alternate reality alone, whereas Island-reality Eloise was all about protecting the Island. But Alterna-Daniel thinks the alternate reality is wrong and wants to find a way to get to the Island reality, while the Island Daniel thought the Island reality was wrong and planned to set off the bomb to blow them all over to the alternate reality. It's a turvy-topsy world here. And Alterna-Desmond finds that everyone is healthy and happy and alive in the alternate reality, which makes Island Desmond want to get back there ...? This show makes my head hurt.
Previously on Lost / next time on Lost
44 minutes ago