Monday, May 7, 2018

Desmond, Sideways and Back.



With Happily Ever After, the Sideways gets some extra meat on the bones in terms of its status within the arc of Lost. While the Sideways had seemingly functioned as an alternate timeline—although there were clues that something was a bit off, like Jack having the appendectomy scar and those on the Oceanic independent from its other counterpart in terms of the difference in lives already mentioned ad nauseum like in just the previous episode where Jin and Sun aren’t married but forbidden lovers—for the main cast, in Happily Ever After the trio of Cuse/Lindeloff/Bender (creative geniuses, absolutely money in the bank when you see them flash across the credits) once again turn to Desmond to “service” as a go-to “device”, and sure enough yet another episode he’s the star ends up being one of the very best of the season and series. What I especially liked was how Widmore is further detailed (his intentions on the island continue to steer towards protecting the human race by keeping The Man in Black where he is) as not so villainous as much as desperate and sincere in his plans. While Desmond clearly considers this a kidnapping and being taken away from Penny criminal, left in a room where he’ll be submitted to a machine emitting significant electromagnetic energy sure seems even more disconcerting. And what happens once Desmond is in the room (a machine that hadn’t been operated in quite some time on Hydra Island, as the machinations involved were in need of testing and perhaps further repair), the energy shifting him to the Sideways, there are those he meets not operating totally and singularly within that timeline…for instance, Eloise (Widmore’s wife in the timeline) is putting together a concert for her son when she diverts to provoke his attention away from the job on the mind (trying to locate and keep on schedule Charlie, supposedly set to work with his band during the concert) and towards something more important than anything in the Sideways while Daniel offers a notebook with his alternate self’s bomb notes among other peculiarities he doesn’t recognize as he’s a musician.  But most of all, Charlie is the key character in the Sideways who cries foul on this timeline that it is to be questioned. And up until this point in the sixth season, the Sideways functioned without too many signs that it isn’t as valid an alternative to what is going on the island. So Charlie is the monkey wrench dictating that this timeline is bogus and Desmond is carried on this inexplicable journey as a result of his defiance towards participating in the concert and causing a car wreck off a pier into the drink. He talks about love (the Desmond of this Sideways is single, gets along swimmingly with Widmore, travels across the world, and is wealthy) to Desmond and memories of Charlie’s drowning (Not Penny’s Boat) return. And, sure enough, Desmond eventually meets Penny while she’s jogging up a familiar stadium to us, inviting her to coffee. And so he returns to the island with a smile on his face, agreeable to Widmore that he’ll actively help him in the mission. Sayid “commandeering” Desmond, when he infiltrates the camp and rids them of Widmore’s guard and warns Zoe to flee, leaves us with curiosity as to what lies ahead. Whatever the case Desmond is once again taken away from Penny and the island seems to still want something from him.
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1_Widmore offering Desmond the high-priced liquor he once told him in the original timeline he didn’t deserve offers us the amusing irony. And seeing Widmore hugging him in LA, all of that reversal of what we had seen in that alternate timeline, is what makes the Sideways quite unique.

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