Combinations are the greatest invention ever. Cookies dunked in milk, jam added to peanut butter, pizza and beer. It’s amazing how two great elements can be mixed together to give you a new sensation that is even better than the two together have any right to be.
This week we were treated to perhaps my favourite combination. Comic books meet Lost. Which also explains why I love “Heroes” so much, but I digress.
My inner geek really missed the Green Lantern and The Flash “Fast Friends” comic book references that dried up after Michael tossed the comic into the fire in a fit of pique. To have Hurley and Charlie debating the outcome of a fantasy race between the Man of Steel and the Fastest Man Alive was better than Lost and comics put together have any right to be.
Of course, that’s probably because their whole conversation could easily have been created from the transcripts of a similar debate I often had with my outer geeky friends when I was a kid.
Let’s face it, I get giddy whenever one of my favourite shows shows any interest at all in comics. To have a whole episode of Lost that turns on an age old comic book debate was maple syrup on my pancakes.
Not everyone will have as much fun watching Hurely and Charlie debate the finer points of the DC Comics universe as I do. I guess it depends on your perspective.
More perspectives to be depended upon as we go…
This week opens with Desmond, Hurley, Charlie and Jin cutting their way through the dense jungle in the rain. After all this time on the island, don’t they know better than to do ANYTHING while it’s raining? I mean, bad things happen in the rain on Mystery Island. Regularly.
As they fight their way through the undergrowth, Hurley and Charlie are debating about the relative speed of superheroes.
Charlie figures that Superman has the advantage, but Hurley’s contention is that in a pure foot race, The Flash will win.
(*Geek side note. This scenario has been played out in the comics a few times, once in the animated Superman series from the 90′s and even briefly on Smallville a few seasons ago. Smallville conceded that Superman might lose to The Flash in a foot race. Most the other races were usually interrupted by various villains, leaving the matter unresolved, or worse yet a draw. In the few instances where a clear victor emerges, it is always The Flash, but barely. In one iconic race, the result was both of the heroes winning, depending on which relativistic perspective was used to view the results.*)
As Charlie asks Hurley if his rules would include fitting Superman with a pair of kryptonite…
His train of thought is interrupted by an involuntary tracheotomy, courtesy of a booby trap, presumably set by Rousseau.
Despite Desmond’s best effort, the Hobbit is off to that great Shire in the sky.
Only, he isn’t.
You never know how you’re gonna die.
Lesson to be learned:
“Do all the heroin you can while you can.”
In a bizarre reversing flashback, events rewind until Desmond’s eyes snap open on the beach. A quick scan of the beach reveals an unperforated Charlie wandering around, hale and hearty. Desmond drops his fishing and chases down Hurley to ask him about the “wire”.
(*Continuity sidenote. In this “Flashback-back” we see Charlie holding the parachute, arrow free. Seems odd that this “flashback-back” goes forward first, then backwards. Seems doubly odd that when it goes forward the dead guy is there lending a hand.*)
One man asking another where to find the “wire” could have taken this show in a whole different direction.
Fortunately, Hurley misses the Brokeback Innuendo and suggests that perhaps Desmond ate the mushrooms that Jack warned them about.
“Listen to me. There’s a wire, a cable, buried in the sand. Do you know what I’m talkin’ about?”
“This is future crap isn’t it.”
“The cable. Do you know where it is? This is important.”
“Because someone’s coming.”
Sometime in Desmond’s past, a monk brings him the robes of a novice and silently hands them over. It seems that our man Hume has passed the test of a vow of silence and entered a monastery. The monks set the test of silence to varying lengths, depending upon how sure they are of the conviction of the one wanting to become one of their number. We aren’t told how long Desmond’s test lasted, but the impression is that it was a longer than usual test.
“For whatever reason, your path has lead you here, and now you’re one of us. Welcome Brother.”
I could swear it sounded like “Welcome Brotha.”
That one I’m sure of.
On the beach, Desmond and Hurley borrow the First Aid kit for Desmond’s “twisted ankle”.
Jack asks if Des wants him to take a look at it.
“Taped my share of ankles.” Shaking his finger at him, Jack recalls their first meeting, back in the real world during his aborted Tour D’Stade.
The two men make off with the First Aid kit before Hurley’s odd behavior can arouse Jack’s suspicions.
Before he’s willing to go on a hike that seems destined to end in the need of a First Aid kit, Hurley demands an explanation.
“I saw a sequence of events. Things that are gonna happen.”
“It was like a sorta…jigsaw puzzle. Only I didn’t have the picture on the box, so I don’t know how the pieces fit exactly. But one of the pieces. The first one. It was you pulling the cable out of the sand.”
“So what are the other pieces?”
“If I tell you that, it’ll change the picture on the box.”
“So what? Isn’t that the point? Preventing something bad?”
“Not this time.”
“So you’re not trying to stop something from happening. You actually want it to happen.”
“More than anything.”
Speaking of wanting something more than anything, Sawyer saddles up to Kate’s tent, opening it just in time to see her pulling her jeans up and over said something.
Sawyer’s eyes wander as he answers “I wanted to ask you something.”
“I’m up here.”
To complain to the FCC over this prime time un-jesus-like hand gesticulation
(*Fellow drooly guy side note. To quote the immortal Homer Simpson in similar circumstances: “I’ve made my choice.”*)
Sawyer wants to know if Kate told Jack about their little tryst in the cage.
“Well, now that that’s out of the way, how ’bout a little afternoon delight?”
Kate’s not buying what Sawyer’s selling this time around. Poor guy. I guess he’s only sexy when he’s behind bars in a cage full of dried bear shit.
“D’ya need me to make you a mix tape?”
“Yeah, why don’t you do that.”
Desmond and Hurley set about recruiting Jin to fulfill Desmond’s prophesy. Hurley gets the Korean guy to come “camping” with the boys. The marshmallows sold it.
Desmond heads off to gather up the fourth for their trek. When he tries Hurley’s “camping” routine on Mr. Pace, the Brit is having none of it. He’s suspicious of Des’s motives for wanting him to come along. Desmond reassures him that he’s only a part of the mosaic, not it’s focus. Conveniently, he leaves out the part where Charlie tries to swallow an arrow without using his mouth.
Won over by the Scot’s reassurances, Charlie agrees to join the fellowship of four.
Marching in a ragged line down the beach, the four men whistle a ragged version of The Colonel Bogey March.
(*Badly Whistled Famous Melody Sidenote. The Colonel Bogey March is inextricably linked with the movie “The Bridge Over the River Kwai,” a film about prisoners who are forced to toil for the enemy and ultimately destroy their creation. You don’t suppose…nah.*)
Hurley spots a familiar landmark and in short order, Jin finds the cable and Hurley frees it from the sand, just as in Desmond’s vision.
As he pulls it free of the sand, he shares with the group.
“Last time I followed this wire into the jungle, I almost got kebobbed by one of Rousseau’s spiky death trap things.”
Desmond suggests that they make camp rather than risk trekking into the jungle, since it’s getting late.
In the monastery, a newly minted novice named Desmond helps bottle the wine made by the monks. The wine is named after the mountain where Abraham was asked to kill Isaac, Moriah.
“Not exactly the most festive locale is it?”
“And yet God spared Isaac.”
“Well, one might argue that God need not have asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in the first place.”
“Well then, it wouldn’t have been much of a test, would it brother? Perhaps you underestimate the value of sacrifice.”
As the two men discuss sacrifice, a man comes in who has asked to speak to Desmond. He actually has no words to speak, only a message that he delivers with his fist.
The man apologizes to the monk he didn’t punch and the bleeding Desmond also asks for his fellow monk’s forgiveness.
Back at the survivors’ camp, Kate and Jack strike up a conversation in the kitchen. Kate feels odd being back among the castaways with no escape plans to make, no jungle to run through. Jack suggests that she enjoy it while it lasts.
“I’m sure something’ll go wrong soon enough.”
As Kate tries to draw him out, Jack cuts the conversation short, borrowing Kate’s spoon and tossing her a casual good night. She’s devastated as she watches him return to Juliette’s side and share dinner and laughter.
To relieve her pain, she seeks out Sawyer who is only too happy to oblige, despite the tears he notices. Not exactly a knight in shining armour, is he?
Sorry folks, I just have no words to describe Jin’s Korean ghost story. Except to say that I loved it.
“Tell ‘em Large Marge sentcha!”
As Hurley goes into a tale about the Chupacabra, Charlie slides over to Desmond and spots the picture he carries of himself and Penny.
“That’s not bad, Des. Not bad at all. So how did you manage to leave her behind and come here?”
“Because I’m a coward.”
“You and me both, pal.”
Desmond tells Charlie about how Penny had once tracked him down, telling him that with enough money and determination, anyone could be found. He tells him how he sometimes hoped that she hadn’t given up on him this time, and somehow she was out there looking for him.
Just then the gang hear a strange noise. Mechanical. Rhythmic. Growing.
It’s a helicopter.
Suddenly two high pitched squeals interrupt the nearing sound of the helicopter and its steadily increasing rhythm becomes choppy and laboured.
“Is that how a helicopter’s supposed to sound?”
No, Hurley, definitely not.
The sound becomes more chaotic, finally ending in a loud splash and stopping completely.
As they try to formulate a rescue plan, something in the sky catches Jin’s attention. They watch as it descends into the jungle.
When speculation runs the the possibility of another food drop, Hurley reminds them that Desmond said that someone was coming.
Desmond is ready to lead them out to find the person he saw in his vision. When Charlie asks why they should risk, Desmond tells him “Because that’s the way it’s supposed to happen.”
“Well I guess it’s supposed to happen without me.”
Since Charlie is an important component in Desmond’s prophetic vision, he relents. They’ll go at first light.
Desmond knocks on a door that opens to reveal the monk-puncher, Derek. Desmond is there to explain to his ex-fiance, Ruth, why he couldn’t go through with their wedding. It seems that he had a calling. A calling that started with a few too many pints down at the pub and ended with a monk helping him to his feet from his back in the street.
“And I knew, I knew, I was supposed to go with him. I was supposed to leave everything that mattered behind, sacrifice all of it for a greater calling.”
“Well, it’s a good thing a bloody shepherd didn’t help you up, or I suppose you’d be off with the sheep, wouldn’t ya?”
Back on the beach, Sawyer confronts Jack about some of the changes that have happened while he was gone. Namely, the ping-pong table.
“Where’d you get the table?”
“Don’t you recognize it? Fell out of the purple haze when the hatch went ‘BLAM-O’. If we don’t play every hundred and eight minutes, the island’s gonna explode.”
Sawyer also thinks it’s odd being back, no escape to plot, back in his old digs like nothing had happened.
Jack tells him about his conversation with Kate about that very thing. Sawyer learns that after their little talk, Jack went off with Juliette. The con man puts 2 and 2 together.
Walking through the jungle, Charlie tries to get Desmond to reveal what is supposed to happen next. Des claims that there is no next for him to reveal. Charlie doesn’t buy it, but Desmond reminds him that he’s saved his life three times and that Charlie should trust him by now.
Hurley forces them to take a break. As they stop, Charlie finds a hula girl dashboard ornament and as Hurley sits, Desmond spies something in the tree directly above him. Using the big guy as a ladder, he retrieves a backpack. Inside is a satellite phone. Dead batteries, naturally.
(*Recapper premonition side note. Remember how Sayid managed to somehow get a laptop battery to power the transceiver? Who’s betting that they’ll be conveniently out of batteries of any kind when the satellite phone finally makes its way into his hands?*)
Along with the useless phone is a copy of Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22″ in Portuguese.
(*Literary side note. “Ardil” translates directly as “scheme” but I’m assuming that they would go with “close enough” for the title translation. Catch-22 was originally titled “Catch-18″ but because of a similarity to another novel published around the same time, it was changed to “Catch 11″. Then the original “Ocean’s 11″ came out and they changed it to “Catch 14″. Apparently, 14 isn’t a funny number and a final change to Catch 22 happened. The number 22 works well in the context of the novel anyhow, since it mimics the double bind that the catch places on those it applies to. 22 also alludes to the deja vu elements of the novel, which replays the same scenarios from different perspectives.*)
Inside the book is a copy of Desmond’s picture of he and Penny. Did anyone else sit just a little closer to the tv right then?
On the beach, Sawyer brings Kate her “mix tape” that he promised. It’s Bernard’s “The Best of Phil Collins”.
“So, why’d you jump me last night?
“Was it ‘cuz you saw the Doc hangin’ out with Juliette?
“It is not like that.”
“It’s not? You ain’t gotta use me, Freckles. All ya gotta do is ask.”
Back in the jungle, Charlie is wondering if Desmond thinks that whoever bailed out of the helicopter is Penny.
“Earlier I hoped it, now I know it.”
When Charlie asks why Desmond didn’t just tell them what he suspected, the explanation that Desmond was afraid to change anything seems good enough for him.
“If whatever you’re seein’ leads to your girl getting us rescued, why would we want to change anything?”
Of course there is the little matter of Charlie’s impending extreme piercing…
Naturally, as doom creeps nearer, the rain starts.
“Thanks for the heads up about bringing an umbrella, dude.”
In the monastery, Brother Desmond is drunk on a hundred quid bottle of wine. Brother Campbell is irritated since they’ve only bottled 108 cases this year.
“It’s just as well we’ve taken a vow of poverty then isn’t it?”
Desmond’s behavior gets him fired.
I had no idea that monks could be fired.
“You’ve just spent too much time running away to realize what you may be running toward.”
“What am I supposed to do now?”
“Whatever comes next.”
In the rain soaked jungle, Jin wants to know who Penny is.
“She’s a chick Desmond used to date. And now he thinks she fell from the sky, so we’re gonna go save her life and she’s gonna get us rescued.”
“Dude, even if I spoke Korean, it wouldn’t make any sense.”
Desmond tries to get the group to move faster, in case his lady love is injured.
“I’m moving as fast as I can. In case you haven’t noticed, Dude, I’m not exactly The Flash.”
Right at this moment an odd flash of light crosses Hurley’s face. I suspect it’s just a trick of the light, but the timing was weird.
As Hurley and Charlie debate the relative speeds of two fictional heroes, Desmond sees the booby trap that’s responsible for killing Charlie in his vision. His own personal Catch 22. Remember I mentioned that part of Desmond’s “flashback-back” showed Charlie holding a part of the parachute, despite the fact that he’d clearly just been killed by the arrow? I believe that that was Desmond’s Catch-22. Part of the same “flashback-back” showed Desmond kissing Penny. I think he saw the result of Charlie’s death AND the result of him saving Charlie in the vision. He realizes that if he lets Charlie die, he may get back to Penny, but if he doesn’t save him, he won’t be there when they find the person in the tree and that might mean that that person won’t be able to help get them rescued. What to do? Much like the results of the race between The Flash and Superman, it will really depend upon where he views the results from.
This time, Charlie gets to finish his thought: “What if we just fit Superman with a pair of kryptonite ballet slippers…what the hell?”
Desmond has decided on his perspective.
Charlie doesn’t have the whole picture, so he’s understandably ticked when he realizes that Desmond knew about the arrow all along.
“You’d have sacrificed me.”
“The flashes don’t happen exactly how I saw them. The picture changes. I was supposed to let you die, Charlie.”
Desmond wonders if maybe he’s being tested and failing by changing what he sees when he sees Charlie die. Abraham and Isaac.
Jin calls out and the two men run to join him. It’s the parachutist.
In Brother Campbell’s office, Desmond brings his novice robes back. Brother Campell suggests that Desmond might get a ride into town with one of the brothers if he doesn’t mind doing some heavy lifting. On the desk is an interesting photograph.
(*Photoshop side note. Is it just me or do these two look like they’re photoshopped into the picture rather than actually standing there?*)
Turns out that the “heavy lifting” was several cases of wine to be loaded into the back of an SUV, owned by none other than Penny. The connection between them is immediate and palpable. When she learns of his getting fired and the grand plan that God apparently has in store for him, she has an answer for his skepticism.
“Well, maybe they’re right. I mean, just think, if you hadn’t got fired we wouldn’t have met, and then how could you possibly help me unload these crates in Carlisle?”
Who the hell picks up at an abbey?
While they flirt we see flashes of Desmond climbing up the tree to free the parachutist. The three men on the ground cushion her fall. You have to wonder if it would have been as gentle if just Hurley and Jin were there, or even if they would have gone on to find her once Charlie died…
She’s alive. She’s also not Penny. Actually, did Penny strike anybody as the “Parachute onto Mystery Island” type? Penny is definitely more a “Find me someone willing to parachute onto Mystery Island for a price” kind of gal, but Desmond still seemed suprised that it wasn’t her. I guess it depends on your perspective.
Plot Twist: This may be Penny, ABC could now be hiring migrant workers to curb expenses.
Remember when the mom changed on Fresh Prince. . . it’s like that.
It’s called “Darrening”
Not Penny has something to say.