This week’s episode of “Lost” (I was laid low with crushing head trauma Thursday, so I’m just getting around to watching it) was called “The Constant.”
If I ever start bouncing back and forth through time, the one constant I’ll be able to latch onto is that I’ve always been ridiculously easy to manipulate, and will start crying like a hormonal pregnant teen watching the last 15 minutes of a Disney movie. The ending of this episode had me all misty-eyed, in the sense that my eyes were still a little bit misty after having cried profusely.
And it was remarkably restrained, is the funny part. They kept the swelling music under control, and they weren’t in the most romantic setting — an ugly room in a freighter with a dead body being watched by a sweaty Iraqi holding a goofy looking phone hooked up to a lantern battery with frequent interruptions of creepy static. I think it was the editing that got me, of all things. It was just masterfully done.
Especially remarkable since I don’t really like the character of Desmond. The actor’s fine — nobody on TV does the confused and panic-stricken expression better — but the character’s kind of a loser. He’s always seemed like a cipher that cool stuff happens around. Underground late-70s era bunker: cool. Hey, he’s like Ulysses!: very cool. Precognitive powers: that’s neat! Traveling through time: even neater! And meeting people who know he’s traveling through time: wow! But the guy himself: my only cue that I’m really supposed to care about his love story is that they keep showing that picture over and over again.
And yet, it obviously works if a phone call can make me weepy.
For the series overall: am I just confused, or did they really drop a bombshell with this episode? I suppose they’ve been hinting at time-displacement for so long that it’s not really “hinting” anymore, so maybe I’m just still unaccustomed to “Lost” resolving anything. Even with this season’s fantastic record so far. But this seems to suggest an explanation for everything from Jack’s dad, Kate’s horse, and Locke & Shannon’s frequent sightings of Walt; to why the “natives” don’t age.
It even calls the flashbacks into question: are they not just memories? It’d be awesome to think that all this time, whenever a character goes into a flashback, everybody else is standing around staring at them while they’re catatonic. But nobody’s bothered to talk about it yet, because, you know, it’s “Lost.”
As for ongoing questions: I suppose Faraday’s journal note to himself was supposed to be intriguing, but I didn’t get it. I also couldn’t tell when he wrote it; is it supposed to be a note he left for himself from 1996, that he’s just now discovering? Did it only appear when Desmond did his thing, suggesting that you really can alter history when you’re time-jumping? Or did he just write it for himself on the ride out to the island? Whatever the case, I felt like I was hearing a “duh Duh DUNNN!” but not seeing what was causing it.
And the auction scene had Mr. Widmore bidding on The Black Rock journal, and Alvar Hanso was mentioned in there somewheres. If I remember correctly, the last time Desmond was in Widmore’s office, there was a painting of The Black Rock on his wall. It’d be cool if they’re rolling that stuff back into the mix; I was afraid they’d abandoned most of the season 1 intrigue with that doofusy and disappointing alternate-reality game.