It’s becoming somewhat of a cliché these days, but it still needs to be said: consider my mind blown after last night’s episode of Lost. Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof had a lot to live up to after last season’s “Flashes Before Your Eyes.” But, with the latest Desmond episode, they’ve really outdone themselves. After four episodes in a row featuring an episode ending twist, Lost did what it does so best – change gears midseason and deliver a unique, thought-provoking hour of television. After watching “The Constant” I really didn’t know what to say. A whole new can of worms has been opened.
The Lost writers do not get enough credit for constantly tinkering with their story structure. I’m not sure if most casual TV viewers are aware of this, but almost every single show on television follows a very strict formula every episode. Lost does not. Every season there are a handful of episodes that go completely outside-the-box. Last night, Cuse and Lindelof concocted an episode the likes of which we’d never seen before. Even “Flashes Before Your Eyes” didn’t go back and forth like this. I can’t imagine how hard it was to both write and edit.
Since I’m not a scientist and I only just finished watching the episode, there’s no sense in me trying to dissect the particulars of Desmond’s time travel. What makes me really, really happy, however, is how Daniel Faraday said that Eloise, his rat, had been “unstuck in time.” This is a nod to one of my favorite books of all-time, Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-5.” While Desmond’s style of being unstuck isn’t exactly the same as Billy Pilgrim’s, the parallels are there. As such, Lost continues to prove itself as the most literate television series ever.
Aside from the long-term ramifications of this episode on the series as a whole, I wonder what this means to Desmond in the near future. I presume there’s no going back to his pre-helicopter flight consciousness, so I think the writers have two options: either have Desmond re-learn what he’s been through since reaching the island (which would be arduous), or kill him off (which would suck, because Desmond is awesome). Unfortunately, I felt like this episode was meant to be Desmond’s big send-off. If that’s the case, he’s gone out in style. The episode, if Desmond does die, brought back Penny in a way where she could re-appear on future episodes without Desmond. She has heard from him, and she doesn’t need any more motivation.
Who opened the sick bay door? It has to be Michael, right? Whoever it was, it was definitely Ben’s inside man who did it. What I’m really interested to see as the season progresses is whether or not the freighter is how the Oceanic 6 get back to the mainland. That might not be the case anymore. The freighter and it’s crew seem to be in complete disarray. How they would get off the island otherwise is tough one, but I get the feeling that Ben could orchestrate something.
I’m trying. I really am. Last night’s episode was insane. It’s difficult to process. I’ve been reading some fan’s comments, and there are lots of people calling “The Constant” the best Lost episode ever. It’s still too early for that sort of proclamation, but I’ll tell you this: my mind has never spun this fast after a Lost episode. Hell, I haven’t even talked about the Black Rock journal. In any other episode, that would be a monumental reveal, but in “The Constant” it was an afterthought. That’s how good the episode was.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of ABC)