Lost recap: Desmond puts the sideways world into perspective, with help from Fisher Stevens
Thanks to the show's time jumping, alternate realities and characters speaking from beyond the grave, anyone can pop up at anytime doing just about anything.
So it makes a certain kind of Lost-ian sense when Henry Ian Cusick's charmingly tortured rogue Desmond Hume surfaces, late in the game, to provide a major clue to the most confusing season of network TV's most confusing show.
To really understand what happened in Tuesday's episode "Happily Ever After," you have to remember way back to seasons three and four, when Desmond gained the ability first to sense future events and later saw his consciousness flit back and forth through time between 2007 and 1996. This all happened after Desmond failed --with a little help from John Locke -- to press a button releasing a pocket of electromagnetic energy within the island, and survived the burst of energy.
Now, it seems Desmond is the character most able to sense that our Losties are living on at least two realities -- one where their Oceanic 815 flight crashed on the island and one where it didn't. In "Happily Ever After," Desmond's consciousness seems to pass between the two realities after enigmatic tycoon Charles Widmore tests his ability to survive a catastrophic electromagnetic event by throwing him in a room with a devastatingly powerful electromagnet.
I'll be honest, much of Desmond's pie-eyed mooning for long lost love Penny Widmore (yup, Charles daughter) has left me cold over the years. So it was a welcome surprise to see Desmond a commitment-free single dude in the sideways non-crash universe, working as a fixer for Widmore until a chance encounter with another Lostie, Charlie Pace, forces him to face the reality of the two realities.
Cool as this twist was, stretching it out over an entire episode seemed more like a justification for putting Cusick's name in the opening credits than anything else. And as usual for Lost, this taste of an answer only raised more questions.
-- How will Desmond serve as an important figure in the conflict to come between Widmore and our shape-shifting villain, the Man In Black?
-- Will some of the people in the sideways universe wind up working with their counterparts in the other reality to defeat the MIB (did I just type that)?
-- Why did Eloise Widmore imply that Desmond's awareness of the other reality was a "violation" in the sideways world?
-- How cool was it to see two '80s icons -- Fisher Stevens and Chip (Fred Koehler) from Kate and Allie -- pop up? Though it was a bit weird to see Koehler, who also played loser white supremacist Andrew Schillinger on HBO's OZ, barking out orders for creating an electromagnetic field.
Enough with setting the stage already, Lost producers. Time to kick this story in gear.
With just five episodes left before the series finale, there's a lot of mythology to clear up for fans who have been waiting years for a few straight answers.