In last night's masterfully done head-bender of an episode, our old friend Desmond was once again stuck somewhere he wasn't quite sure he belonged.
I mean, that was a really good episode, right? Maybe even best of the season? The Desmond episodes are always pretty great, and this one was no exception. But... just what is going on?
Obviously we had a major question sorta answered: these flashes "sideways" that we've been seeing aren't exactly real. Or, they are real, but they're brand new, they haven't always been happening (or something). The always beguiling Mrs. Hawking/Widmore seems particularly aware of this fact. Is she the only one who can stand above everything and see all the competing narratives at once? If so, why is she imbued with that power? And is it a malevolent or benevolent one? I suspect it's more ambivalent. And this violation she mentions. Who sets up these rules, and why is she so invested in keeping the status quo?
Remember in her first appearance on the show those several years ago, she was raging at Desmond to stay on the island and keep the course lest the world blow up. And yet last night she seemed to be arguing for the existence of the "false" reality. Maybe it was because in that one her son was alive — she had never killed him. There definitely seemed something deliberately particular about Desmond's three spirit guides, as a friend called them. Charlie, Daniel, and George are all dead, and all affected Desmond in a profound way on the island. Might they be special spirit guides because they no longer have a choice to make? The living who are stuck between two realities will, I'm theorizing, have to make the ultimate decision: keep the fantasy and thus make it entirely real, or go back to the harder truth. My guess is whoever decides to eschew the fantasy gets stewardship of the island — a Candidate becoming the selected.
And what are we to make of this love business? I really hope that Penny and Desmond's lurve is not the reason he skipped back once he touched her. I'd rather believe it has something to do with her being his Constant. Yes, that's kind of a metaphor for love unto itself, but if it really was true love that brought clarity to Desmond, then what are dateless wonders supposed to do when we're stuck in a weird temporal EMP mind warp? It doesn't seem fair.
So! I won't keep blabbing on with silly theories that will be disproved next week. What did you think, dear readers? Best episode of the season, right?