Lost: Five Questions about "The Constant"
Lost: Five Questions about "The Constant"
Though the return of Lost's fourth season is slowly getting closer, we still have a couple of boring Thursdays ahead of us before April 24.  Today it's time to take a look back at one of Lost's most mind-blowing, brain-melting, time-tripping episodes of all time: "The Constant."  Most Lost fans agree that this was the most impressive episode of season 4, and a lot of that has to do with the emotional impact of Desmond's (Henry Ian Cusick) story.  Looking back on this installment, I was struck with a few questions that are still boggling my mind, such as:  Why did Widmore buy the Black Rock journal?  Is Daniel Faraday time traveling?  And just how do those satellite phones work anyway?

1)  Was George Minkowski suffering from "the sickness"?

Way back in season 1, Danielle Rousseau mentioned that she had to kill her fellow crew members due to a sickness that made them go crazy after arriving on the island.  As we saw in "The Constant," Minkowski and many other members of the freighter have also been suffering from a sickness, presumably due to their proximity to the island.  Are these illnesses one and the same?

I would say yes, as I doubt the writers would introduce two separate sicknesses caused by the island. However, many questions remain about what causes this illness, and why only certain people are affected by it.  Could it be a by-product of time travel?  Perhaps the people who don't find their constants are the only ones who go crazy, which means that Rousseau would have found hers while the rest of her crew did not.  It's one possibility, but there are many others.

2)  What's the difference in time on and off the island?

In "The Economist," Faraday (Jeremy Davies) set up his rocket experiment on the island, and the rocket seemed to arrive 31 minutes later than it was supposed to.  In "The Constant," Sayid (Naveen Andrews) mentions that they took off in the helicopter at dusk and didn't land on the boat until the afternoon . What is going on here?

According to the calendar on the freighter, the date is Christmas Eve, 2004, which would mark 94 days since the Losties crashed on the island.  However, the castaways are experiencing their 96th day, indicating that their perception of time is moving more slowly than actual time.  Are the mainland and the island only two days off, or is there more to this mystery that we've yet to discover?

3)  How do the phones work?

This is a question that the producers have promised will be answered before the end of the season, but I'm still curious.  How do the freighter people have satellite phones that can call through time?  How could Penny manage to contact the Looking Glass station if the island is in some kind of time anomaly?  I can barely get reception on my cell phone throughout my apartment, so I'm dying to know how any communications manage to get to and from the island.

4)  Why did Charles Widmore want the Black Rock diary?

That Widmore fellow is becoming more mysterious than ever as the show goes on, isn't he?  In this episode, we saw him purchase the diary from the Black Rock, which we all know as the big ship that's in the middle of the island.  It seems obvious that Widmore wanted the diary to help him find the island, but we still don't know why the island is so important to him.  If Ben (Michael Emerson) is to be believed, he wants to kill everyone and exploit the island's natural powers, but we all know not to take anything Ben says at face value.

5)  Is Daniel Faraday a time traveler?

All signs point to yes.  Daniel's noggin was exposed to high amounts of radiation due to his experiments with Eloise, and he did write in his journal, "If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant." He also appears to be suffering from some sort of memory loss, and is playing out scenes that are quite similar to the time tripping novel Slaughterhouse-Five, which I mentioned here.  If he's not bouncing through time, then he must be mentally ill or suffering from a brain tumor.

What do you feel is the biggest question remaining from "The Constant"?


- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Lostpedia.com)

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