Lost Recap: Flashes Before Your Eyes - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Lost Recap: Flashes Before Your Eyes

February 14, 2007 by  

Lost Recap

Title: “Flashes Before Your Eyes”
Original Airdate: February 14, 2007
GMMR Recapper: Michelle

The previews for this promise a Desmond-centric episode. Desmond is clearly the Jesus figure in this whole frustratingly-complex allegory, and he’s my favorite character, so I’m happy about this. We’ll see where it goes.

PRESENT: Charlie and Hurley are ransacking Sawyer’s tent. Hurley says that Sawyer would be upset by this, but when Charlie reminds him that most of the stuff in the tent was stolen by Sawyer, anyway, Hurley relaxes a little. The men find a stack of porn among the Dharma goods. I’m not at all surprised – this is Sawyer’s tent, after all. Desmond wanders by and leads the guys to Locke and Sayid, who explain that Mr. Eko was killed by the island (why, for the love of God, are the people on the island always satisfied by vague explanations like this? They usually just purse their lips and look down and nod their heads, as if they’re thinking, “Yep, I totally get that.”). Suddenly, Desmond looks panicked and races back to the beach and heads to the ocean. He doesn’t walk on water, but he does rush out into the ocean to save Clare, who is floating, incapacitated. How did he know she was out there? “That guy sees the future, dude,” muses Hurley. Cool as this sounds, I have to doubt the validity of Hurley’s assessment at first. After all, if Desmond can see the future, it’s likely he never would have entered that boat race and never would have crashed on that God-forsaken island, right? Charlie points out this fact later in the episode, and it turns out that’s the very question this whole episode answers for us. And the answer is…even though Desmond can see the future, he did choose to enter that boat race. We’ll see why.

Charlie, who has morphed from a funny, snarky ex-junkie to a creepy, snarky jealous freak, schemes with Hurley to get Desmond drunk so he’ll reveal his “secret” for how he knew Clare was drowning. After they all indulge in a shared bottle of whiskey – the brand of which amuses Desmond – the entire episode becomes a Desmond flashback. And that’s a good thing.

FLASHBACK: Turns out that when Desmond turned the fail-safe key in the hatch the day of the implosion, he was somehow “transported” back to his previous life. Is he going through the most intense case of déjà vu ever? Does he have a concussion? Is he dreaming? If you’re the kind of person who gets frustrated with this show because of the sometimes-complex and often-unexplained stories, this episode isn’t going to change your mind. Who knows what’s really going on – we just know that it’s after the implosion, and Desmond is back in his apartment with Penny. He remembers everything that happened on the island, as well as things that happened before he got there. He begins his “new old life” by meeting with Penny’s dad, Mr. Widmore, at his company. He’s not there to interview for a job, as we think, but to ask for Penny’s hand in marriage. And if we had any doubts about what an ass Mr. Widmore was before, this scene puts them all to rest. After Desmond broaches the subject of marriage with Mr. W., Penny’s dad gets a bottle of whiskey – same brand as the ones the boys are drinking on the beach in the present-day scenes – and two crystal glasses. Of course you expect he’s going to share a drink with his future son-in-law and celebrate the impending good news, but nope. He pointedly pours one glass, tells Desmond he’s not good enough for his expensive whiskey or his daughter, and tells him he’ll never be a great man (this is so much worse than the absolute worst job interview I’ve ever been on, thank God). Poor Desmond leaves, despondent…and runs into Charlie playing guitar on the street corner (taking donations for his heroin fund, apparently). Desmond confronts Charlie, everyone is confused, Charlie makes a typical ironic comment about the fact that people shouldn’t do drugs, and Desmond leaves. The plot thickens.

Desmond asks a physicist friend if time travel is possible. His friend is skeptical and is pretty adamant that it can’t happen, but when Desmond hears “Make Your Own Kind of Music” on the jukebox – it was the song playing when we first met Desmond in the hatch at the beginning of Season 2, remember – he’s convinced that he really has been transported in time. He goes home to Penny and asks her why she loves him. “Because you’re a good man. In my experience, they’re pretty hard to come by,” she responds (amen to that).

Desmond later goes shopping for an engagement ring; his shop of choice is not your average chain jewelry store to be found in the mall. Instead, he wanders into a small shop that looks like it was plucked right out of a Harry Potter novel. And it turns out that the white-haired woman working there is right out of the mystic, too. She knows all about the island, about Desmond, and about what’s going to happen in the future. It’s almost as creepy as last week’s torture-by-propaganda-film sequence. Desmond thinks she’s his conscience, trying to convince him not to marry Penny, but she says that’s not it. She explains that the universe has a way of “course-correcting” when things get thrown off. We all have things we’re supposed to so and the universe will find a way for us to make those things happen, regardless of what other plans we make (clearly not an advocate of the Free Will theory of the universe, this woman makes life sound pretty grim. I hope she’s wrong). Her point is firmly illustrated with a man near her is crushed by falling scaffolding, and she makes no attempt to warn him, even though it’s obvious that she knows it’s about to happen. When a horrified Desmond confronts her about this, she explains that the man was supposed to die. If she had told him about the scaffolding, then tomorrow he’d be hit by a bus; if she warned him about that, then the next day something different would happen to kill him. His role was to die, and that would eventually happen, regardless of her actions.

A shaken Desmond, determined to prove his white-haired friend wrong, meets Penny near the water. They have their picture taken in front of a “marina” scene – it is the same picture we’ve seen time and again, with a clean-shaven Desmond smiling with his arm around a pretty woman, and now we know the origin of that picture. However, Desmond is suddenly struck by the truth of the doomsday prediction of the jewelry-store woman, and he comes to realize that he cannot be with Penny. It’s his destiny to break her heart, enter her dad’s boat race, crash on that island, and push the button. So he dumps her right there (happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!) and throws the ring he bought into the harbor. Full circle. If that ring re-appears in a fish being eaten by someone on the “Lost” island sometime in a future episode, I will not be surprised at all.

Back on the island in present-day, Hurley, Charlie and Desmond wind down their drinking. Charlie insists that Desmond will tell him how he knew about Clare drowning. And that’s when Desmond drops it on him: when Desmond had his “visions” of the future after the hatch implosion, they didn’t stop with what happened before he got to the island. Apparently he still saw snippets of things that are happening on the island now. So when he built the lightening rod near Clare and Aaron earlier this season, he was doing it to protect Charlie – otherwise, Desmond knew Charlie would die. When he jumped into the water to save Clare, he was doing it to protect Charlie – otherwise, Charlie would have jumped in, and Desmond knew he would drown. But Desmond knows you can only interfere with the Grand Plan of the Universe for so long before said Universe will eventually find a way to self-correct. What is supposed to happen will happen, somehow. And Charlie is supposed to die.

Guess we just found out about the next member of the cast to be looking for a new gig. And that’s not even a spoiler.

Michelle is the frazzled mother of two very young kids. In lieu of taking a shower every day, she writes TV recaps for GMMR to keep the remaining shred of her sanity intact. This also helps her justify her insanely intense TV-watching habit, which was spawned in her early childhood because she was allowed to watch an unlimited number of”Sesame Street” episodes when she herself was a preschooler.


Filed under Lost, Lost Recaps


7 Responses to “Lost Recap: Flashes Before Your Eyes”

  1. Elena on February 15th, 2007 1:20 am

    First off, this episode was ABSOLUTELY amazing and reminded me why I love Lost so much.
    Second, it pains me terribly to think that Charlie is going to die and that I nor they have anyway of stopping it. The REASON I started watching this show was for Dominic Monaghan and to think that Charlie will no longer be part of the show makes me cringe. Kill anyone else (except Jack, Kate, and Sawyer), but not Charlie.
    To add to that, it just seems like they can’t kill him. He’s been through so much, he was HANGED FROM HIS NECK, and survived. He kicked his heroine addiction, he’s a father figure for Aaron. He ran across the island to find Aaron. He just CAN’T die. I feel like he’s developed far more than Boone, Sharon, or Eko. Anyway, sorry for the long post but I had to express my despair/praise of this episode.

    Great recap!

  2. Elena on February 15th, 2007 9:43 am

    Also, you forgot about the scene where Desmond is in the bar and his earlier prediction about the soccer game and the money collector comes true, and he warns the bar tendor who’s about to be hit in the head and he gets hit instead and wakes up on the island again.

  3. Michelle on February 15th, 2007 9:47 am

    Thanks, Elena! I used to love Charlie, too, but he’s gotten so weird and devious (attacking Sun? Taking off with Aaron?) that my affection for him has waned somewhat, so I’d be OK with his death, I think :-).

  4. thecharactersaren'trealpeople? on February 15th, 2007 2:07 pm

    Charlie has continuously been saved throughout the show, not necessarily by Desmond, so what’s to say that he doesn’t continue to be saved and doesn’t die for a long time. IE-plane crash by unknown?, heroin by Locke, smoke monster by Eko, etc.

  5. Michelle on February 15th, 2007 2:31 pm

    True, he could continue to be saved. Or, like the creepy jewelry store lady said, fate will self-correct eventually, so maybe Charlie’s number is REALLY up.

  6. Bill on February 15th, 2007 9:43 pm

    I have a feeling the writers have big plans for Charlie. He ISN’T just going to suddenly get struck by lightning or something. If he does die, it will be meaningful. Perhaps, realizing his days are numbered anyway, he’ll sacrifice himself somehow for something… I don’t really know what yet.

  7. TheNextKristin on February 16th, 2007 12:02 am

    I love how you likened Desmond to a Jesus figure, because didn’t Henry Ian Cusick play Jesus in a movie at some point?