Lost recaps: Season 6, Episode 10
‘Happily Ever After,’ Or: And then What Happened?

Published April 7, 2010 on

Previously: There's this island, right? And there's this show about this island. And on this show about this island, there was a character whose portrayer's name has been in the opening credits, but of whom we've seen little. Let's do something about that.

When we last saw Desmond -- in this timeline, anyway -- he was getting shot by Ben Linus. Now we know what happened next: He got abducted by his father-in-law's men, drugged, and transported to the island to meet up with Daddy-In-Law Dearest: Charles Widmore. After Zoe explains to him that he's awake, Widmore explains where he is. Desmond is not happy to hear that he's on the island; he wants to see his wife and son, and he wants to go home. Judging from the IV pole-assisted beatdown he delivers, Desmond is not happy. Turns out that Widmore can't take Des back just now: "The island isn't done with you yet".

As Miles is not on this week's episode, the exposition is falling to Jin. First, he logically asks why Desmond is there; and then, after following Zoe at Widmore's behest, he asks what this room with all the complicated-looking instrument panels and surveillance monitors is. Turns out it's the control room for the generator, and, ready or not, Widmore has moved up a test by 24 hours. Whch means they have to get the generator running, like, now. So the crew members scurry around, flipping switches and monitoring monitors and telling Angstrom the bunny to start getting ready for his adventure, and... nothing. One of the workers heads out with some detector thing to check on the coils in a shed, and you don't need to see the color of his shirt to know that it's red. One of the guys inside fixes a circuit breaker, and, sure enough, that's the end of Engineer Redshirt. He's fried to a smoking crisp. It's really not pretty. Kudos, makeup people.

Widmore is unmoved. He still has an experiment to run. Somehow, this experiment involves binding Desmond to a chair (again with the binding people to chairs, show?), scoffing at the assistants who want to make sure that Desmond has no metal on him. Widmore apologizes in advance for what he's about to do, but it's important; and, by the way, after the test, he's going to ask Desmond to make a sacrifice. "What do you know about sacrifice?" Desmond wants to know. Widmore's all, hi, my son got shot right near here, my daughter's not talking to me and I've never met my grandson. And if Desmond won't help, all that sacrificing will be for nothing. So there's that.

Widmore retreats to the relative safety of the generator control room. Jin demands exposition. As the monitors show Desmond freeing himself from the chair and demanding to be freed from the shed (like that's going to work), Widmore tersely mutters that Desmond is the only person in the world to have survived a catastropic electromagnetic event; Charles needs to know that Desmond can do it again, or else everyone dies. You know, the usual. Right, let's get this party started. The team fires up the generator, and Widmore yanks on some levers. The needles on instruments go wild, and Desmond is caught in the cross-whatever current between the two generator solenoids...

And then he's at LAX, staring at his reflection in an announcement board. Hurley recognizes him from the flight and informs him that their baggage is at carousel 4. (Of course.) While retrieving his baggage, Desmond assists Claire, who just has the one bag and is still sure that the people who were supposed to pick her up were merely late; and, no, she doesn't know the sex of the baby. Des -- who, by the way, isn't big on surprises -- offers her a ride, which she declines. He also tells her the baby is a boy. Okay, then.

Desmond finds his driver, George. We know George better as freighter crew member George Minkowski, who couldn't survive all the time jumpy stuff. We learn that Des works for company head Charles Widmore; that he's Widmore's right-hand man; that he just closed a deal with Sydney; and that he's quite happy being on his own. (This despite George's offers to find him some company, nudge nudge, wink wink.)

Desmond goes to Widmore's office, which is decorated with the kind of art that looks edgy, but is really inoffensive. Prominently displayed: A painting that features a scale with light and dark rocks, and a ship that looks an awful lot like the Black Rock. Widmore is so happy with Desmond's performance in Australia -- and, really, Desmond's general indespensibility -- that he gives Desmond a rock star assignment. Literally. Turns out that Mrs. Widmore is indulging their musician son's whim for mixing classical and rock music by setting up a performance for a party she's having. Or maybe the concert is the point of the party. Or it's a charity thing. Or some or all of the above. Point is, the rock half of the equation is having some trouble, because it turns out their bass player is in jail on a drug thingy. The band, of course, is Driveshaft; and the bass player, of course, is Charlie Pace. Widmore muses that Desmond really has the life -- no family, no attachments, no pesky plants to water or dogs to feed. Before sending Desmond off on a seemingly beneath-him errand, Widmore breaks out the 60-year-old scotch (MacCutcheon's again, which is either significant or indication that the prop department really doesn't like designing labels) and toasts to Desmon's indispensibility. "Nothing's too good for you," Widmore verbally head-pats. Desmond, wisely, drinks.

Desmond drives himself to pick up Charlie from the courthouse. Charlie is accompanied out by a so-over-it attorney who looks a lot like Li'l Walt's mother, but isn't. Desmond tries to intercept him, but Charlie just takes his wallet and steps into the busy Santa Monica street. Since the show doesn't want to kill off the same character twice, all of the cars come to screeching, disgruntled halts mere milimeters from Charlie, as he parts the sea of metal and heads into a bar. Desmond follows him in and allows for one drink. Charlie's head is somewhere else, and we're not talking under the island. He asks Desmond if he's happy? Charlie's not talking about Desmond's business success here: Have you ever been in love? Charlie asks Desmond. Desmond laughs it off -- "a thousand times" -- but Charlie's serious. Has Desmond ever been in spectacular, consciousness-ending love. Because, see, on the plane, Charlie saw this woman in handcuffs, and this marshal next to her, and thought it would be a good idea to hide the evidence by swallowing the balloon of heroin. And then Charlie choked on the baggie during the turbulence, and he saw her: A beautiful woman with blonde hair (we're clearly meant to think it's Claire), and he felt that love -- he just knew they were together. But just when he was consumed by the feeling, this doctor goes and rescues him. How rude. Desmond suggests that Charlie write a song about it. Charlie sighs that he just doesn't get it. Yes, darn those people stained with scorn who've never seen the light of real love. Desmond offers Charlie a choice: Be left to drink, or come play the show with all its Widmore-funded luxury. Charlie opines that that doesn't sound like much of a choice, but Desmond reminds him that there's always a choice, brother.

Apparently, Charlie chose the party. Desmond drives Charlie somewhere. Naturally, a Driveshaft song comes on. Charlie, with the fervor of someone who thinks he's seen the light, offers Desmond two choices: Charlie can show him what he's talking about, or Desmond can get out of the car. Desmond's all, wha? So Charlie just leans over, yanks the wheel, and drives them straight into Marina del Rey. (Not the neighborhood. The actual marina.)

Water floods into the car as it submerges. Desmond tries to unbuckle Charlie's seatbelt, and can't; so he frees himself, goes up for air, and dives down again. He tries to open Charlie's door from the outside. Charlie opens his eyes and puts his palm up againt the window, and for a second -- just for a second -- there are words written on it: NOT PENNY'S BOAT. Desmond manages to free Charlie and bring him to the surface, but he's pretty shaken up. Ask not for whom the ambulance sirens wail; they wail for thee.

At the hospial, a doctor asks Desmond if he has any symptoms, and when she gets to "hallucinations," Desmond asks what she means, but doesn't exactly say what he saw. As his tests thus far have been inconclusive, she sents him for an MRI. The MRI attendant asks Desmond if he has any metal on or in his body (keys, coins, bullets, that sort of thing). Desmond just wants to get out of there and track down Charlie, but whatever. Half an hour in a magneto tube. What could possibly go wrong? The attendant leaves him with a panic button, just in case.

Desmond is slid into the tube, and the MRI starts up. And then starts seeing flashes: Of "NOT PENNY'S BOAT". Of Penny, of falling in love with Penny, of Penny having their son. Thoroughly freaked out -- and certain he has to find Charlie if he's going to get to the bottom of this -- Desmond presses the panic button.

Back at the nurse's desk, he tries to get information about Charlie, but the woman won't give him any because he's not immediate family. Apparently, almost drowning together doesn't count. Desmond is starting to get agitated when he sees a familar face: Jack's. (There is only one hospital in the Sideways world, you know.) They remember each other from the plane. Just when Des is about to ask Jack to bend a few rules so he can find out about Charlie, he gets his answer: Charlie, running down the hall in a hospital gown. Desmond gives chase, following him down stairs and through halls and past upturned cards, until he corners Charlie in a room and demands to see his hands. There's nothing written on these hands, but Charlie surmises that if Desmond's this freaked out, his gambit worked, and Desmond saw his true, bad-song-inducing love, too, and he should go find her. And, by the way, none of this matters, so Charlie's not playing the show.

Charles Widmore isn't thrilled by Desmond's failure to secure the bassist. His punishment: Deliver the news to Mrs. Widmore. Des has never met her, but gets an inkling of what awaits him from Charles' tone and George's shudder. He finds Mrs. Widmore in what is presumably the backyard of the Widmore estate, under a party tent, berating the caterers for their incompetent table-setting. Desmond charmingly introduces himself to Mrs. Widmore -- Eloise, she insists; and yes, this is the woman we're more familiar with as Eloise Hawking -- who doesn't seem that put out by the news that Driveshaft won't be appearing. You know those rock and rollers; they're always hard to pin down, and whatever happened, happened. She thanks Desmond for delivering the news in person, and Desmond goes off, evidently wondering what all the fuss is about. The woman wasn't that scary, after all. As he's walking, he overhears security going over the guest list, on which is one Penny Milton. Des stops in his tracks and asks to see the list. It's confidential, dude. He just wants a peek... and this is where Eloise steps in and sternly warns him that he needs to stop. He already has his perfect life and has attained her husband's approval, which Desmond wanted more than anything. This whole thing is a "violation". He needs to give up the idea of looking at that list: "You're not ready yet, Desmond," she hisses. We see much of this over the shoulder of a shaggy-haired gentleman. Now who could that be?

Shaken, Desmond gets in the car and heads straight for the booze. He tells George to start driving, because getting drunk in a moving vehicle is always such a good idea. Before they can go anywhere, Desmond hears a tapping on his window. He rolls it down and meets Charles and Eloise's son. Daniel. Daniel Widmore, in this reality, and a musician instead of a physicist, but still our Daniel.

Desmond and Daniel get out of the car for a little chat. They discuss the nature of love at first sight, in which Daniel firmly believes since he saw this redhead at the museum, and it was like he already knew and loved her. Then, things really got odd. That night, he woke from a dream and felt this compulsion to scribble down some equations he'd never seen before. A friend of his at Caltech said it was advanced quantum mechanics - like, if there's something that's going to happen, and you don't want it to take place, you do something where a lot of energy gets released. Like a nuclear bomb? This all got Daniel all dreamy-looking: "What if this all wasn't supposed to be our life?" What if we were supposed to be living another life, but somehow, for some reason, we changed things? Dude, I know the feeling. Daniel fears that he already set off the bomb. Okay, lost me there. Oh, by the way, that "Penny" person? Daniel assures Desmond that she's not just some deathbed vision. She's Daniel's half-sister, and Daniel can tell him where and when to find her.

That "where" is a sports field -- possibly Dodger Stadium, though the seat colors look a little off; and, anyway, this is presumably supposed to be the stadium where they met in the original timeline -- and the "when" is that evening. Penny is sprinting up and down steps. (At night. Alone. Right.) Desmond is awestruck. That's really the only way to put it. When she pauses, he walks over and dopily introduces himself. She looks a little weirded out, but shakes his offered hand...

...and then Desmond is awake on the floor of the generator shed, a bit singed, but otherwise physically okay. Widmore tells him he's only been out for a few moments. Desmond is ready to do that really important thing that Widmore wants him to do, whatever it is. Ah, the fervor of the converted. I'm not sure what Desmond's been converted from or to, but I recognize the signs.

Zoe and a couple of the guys take Desmond on a walk through the forest. Sayid jumps out and snaps some under-five necks, as he does. He shoos Zoe away, though. Sayid tells Desmond that Widmore's team is dangerous, and Desmond needs to follow. Desmond cheerfully tells Sayid to lead the way. Two conversions in five minutes, then?

And then we're back on the Sideways Stadium steps, where Desmond is shaking himself awake. It seems he fainted when he and Penny touched hands. He's a stranger, true, but Penny's a caring person, and he's a cute stranger with an intruiging accent. She asks Desmond if they've met before. Desmond asks her to coffee. She protests that she's all sweaty, but he points out that he just fainted in front of her, so they're past pleasantries. She says she'll meet him at a cafe on Melrose and Sweetzer in an hour, and jogs off, smiling. If you're prone to swooning, this would be a good time to do it.

Desmond, happily dazed, gets in the car. "So, did you find what you were looking for?" George asks him, already knowing the answer. Desmond confirms that he did, and asks George to drive to Melrose and Sweetzer, where he will be disappointed to find that the only eatery is Dolce, an expensive, hipper-than-thou restaurant with celebrity investors. (In our reality, anyway.) No problem -- and if there's anything else George can do for Desmond, just name it. Actually, there is this one thing: Can George get Desmond a copy of the manifest from Oceanic 815? Just the names of the passengers will do. George, who is usually asked for reservations and hookers, takes it in semi-stride: "Sure, I can. Do you mind if you ask what you need it for?" "I just need to show them something," Desmond replies.

Wait, what? No, go away, robot! Bad robot!

Next week: At least one more person we haven't seen a while. Because... say it together now... the island isn't done with them yet.

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