4×05: The Constant (A DESMOND Episode)
4×05: “The Constant”
We pick up with Desmond and Sayid in the chopper heading out to the freighter. Desmond holds the photo of him and Penny. Sayid asks what he expects when he gets to the freighter? Desmond says answers. Sayid notices a handwritten “cheat sheet” on the controls and asks Lapidus if he knows where the freighter is. Lapidus doesn’t appreciate the question and says he knows where it is. It gets dark as they fly directly into a storm, and the turbulence increases. Suddenly, they hear a loud noise and see a quick blast of violet light, and BZAAM.
Desmond is back in basic training at his military base with a sergeant yelling at him to get on his feet. Desmond’s disoriented, doesn’t know what’s going on. The sergeant orders everyone in the yard double time. As they’re doing sit ups, Desmond tries to explain to his friend how vivid the dream was, like he was there. But he’s caught by the sergeant, and in the middle of the sergeant yelling at him BZAAM.
Desmond is back on the chopper, but Desmond is panicked and confused. He tries to undo his harness. He’s afraid and confused. Sayid asks him what he’s doing, but Desmond says, “Who are you? How do you know my name?”
At the beach camp, Jack asks Charlotte if the chopper took off a day ago, why haven’t they heard from them? Charlotte doesn’t know but doesn’t seem worried about it. Faraday tells Jack and Juliet that their perception of how long they’ve been gone is not necessarily how long they’ve actually been gone. As long as Lapidus flew on the bearing Faraday gave him and stayed on it, then everything should be okay. If he didn’t, there might be side effects.
The chopper lands on the ship. Desmond freaks out, says he doesn’t know anyone. Two big, tough looking guys, Omar and Keamy, come out and ask Lapidus why he came back with two crash survivors. Lapidus tells them Desmond was okay coming out but they hit some weather… Keamy cuts him off and says they’ll take him to sick bay and let the doctor check him out. Desmond says he doesn’t know those guys, that he’s not supposed to be BZAAM.
Desmond is back at the military base with his sergeant yelling at him, exactly where he left off. Desmond is shocked and speechless. The sergeant orders everyone to run, and Desmond gets dirty looks from the squad. Later, as they load a truck in the rain, he tries to explain it to his friend. Desmond says he left. He was on a boat with an Arab who seemed to know him, and then he realizes he also had a photo of Penny. He races off to a pay phone when BZAAM.
Desmond is back on the freighter being led to the sick bay. Keamy and Omar introduce themselves and say they last ported in Fiji so they know they’re still in the Pacific. They lock him in sick bay, and someone behind him shouts out. Desmond turns around to find a man strapped down to one of the beds. The man asks if it’s happening to him, too. But then the man goes catatonic. Desmond yells at him trying to bring him around. Then, almost like someone flipped a switch, the guy is back. He says he was just on a Ferris wheel.
On the freighter deck, Sayid talks to Lapidus and asks what’s happening to Desmond. If they took off at dusk, how did they land on the ship during the day? Lapidus doesn’t have any answers. Sayid asks to use the phone to call Jack. Lapidus warns him the phones only call each other, so don’t bother trying to reach Baghdad. Sayid calls Jack, and tells him something happened to Desmond during the flight. Faraday tells them they don’t know why but coming to and from the island causes people to become a little confused if they don’t do it just right. He asks if Desmond has been recently exposed to high levels of radiation or electromagnetism. Jack and Juliet exchange a look. They know he definitely has. Juliet asks if it’s amnesia, but Faraday says no, it’s not.
Down in sick bay, the doctor enters. The man strapped down says it’s happening to Desmond, too. It’s gonna happen to all of them once they start heading to the island again. Ray, the doctor, gives the man a sedative and the man goes to sleep. Ray pulls out a penlight and checks Desmond’s eyes. Ray asks what was the last thing he remem BZAAM.
Desmond is back at the military base at the pay phone, a minute after he was last there. He calls Penny and tells her he’s confused. He needs to see her. She asks why she would still care about him after he broke up with her? Penny tells him not to bother her and not to come to her flat because she’s moved. Desmond asks where, he needs BZAAM.
He’s back on the freighter, completing his sentence not to Penny but to the doctor. Ray asks if Desmond just experienced something. Lapidus enters with Sayid, says Faraday wants to talk to Desmond. Ray doesn’t want them down there, but Sayid slams him against the wall and orders Lapidus to give Desmond the phone. Ray reaches over and hits an alarm. Sayid yells to give Desmond the phone. Now! Faraday asks Desmond what year he thinks it is. Desmond tells him it’s 1996. Okay… Then Faraday asks where he is in 1996. Desmond says Camp Millar, Royal Scots regiment north of Glasgow. Faraday tells him to go to Oxford University, Queen’s College physics department. He wants Desmond to find him there.
Back on the beach, Faraday frantically looks for his journal. Jack wants to know why Desmond thinks it’s 1996. Faraday says it’s a random, unpredictable effect. The displacement is sometimes only a couple hours, other times it’s years. He finds the journal and gets back on the phone with Desmond. Faraday says when Desmond finds him, tell him to set the device to 2.342 oscillating at eleven hertz. If he needs convincing, Desmond should tell him he knows about Eloise and BZAAM.
Desmond is back at Camp Millar at the pay phone. He gets up and heads for Oxford. He finds Faraday, who is one of the instructors at Oxford. Desmond tells him he’s just been to the future and spoke to Faraday there. Faraday doesn’t believe him, so Desmond gives him the numbers: 2.342 oscillating at eleven hertz. Faraday wants to know who told him those numbers. It’s clear Faraday doesn’t believe him, so Desmond says he knows about Eloise.
Faraday brings Desmond to his lab. There he has a maze set up with a device mounted on a boom-arm. Faraday sets the dials to the numbers Desmond gave him and brings out Eloise, a large white rat. Faraday explains that if the numbers Desmond gave him are correct, his device will unstick Eloise in time. He flips a switch and BZZTT! A blast of purple light washes over the rat. The rat just sits there. Still. Desmond starts to ask what happened but Faraday shushes him. He said Eloise isn’t back yet. Then the rat becomes alert and takes off, running the maze perfectly. It worked! Faraday explains he only finished the maze that morning and he won’t teach Eloise to run it until an hour from now. Desmond asks if he sent her to the future, and Faraday says just her consciousness. Her mind. Desmond asks how that helps him, but Faraday is confused. He’s supposed to help Desmond? He thought Desmond came to help him. Desmond only knows that Faraday ends up on an island. But why would BZAAM.
Back in sick bay, Keamy rips the phone out of Desmond’s hand. Lapidus is ordered to go see the captain. They slam the door and lock Desmond and Sayid inside. Desmond says he has to go back, that Faraday said he’d help. When the man strapped on the bed hears Sayid call Desmond by his name, he speaks up and tells them he’s George Minkowski, the communications officer. All calls went through him in the radio room. Every so often he would get an incoming call he was not supposed to answer. Those calls were from Desmond’s girlfriend, Penelope Widmore. BZAAM.
Desmond comes to in Faraday’s lab. Faraday says he was out for 75 minutes. How long was he in the future? Desmond says about five minutes. Faraday guesses that the progression is exponential. Each time his consciousness jumps, it gets harder and harder to jump back. Then Desmond notices that Eloise is dead, and the implication that the same thing could happen to him is disturbing. Faraday guesses it was a brain aneurysm, that maybe the rat’s brain short-circuited. Eloise couldn’t tell the difference between the present and the future because she had no anchor, no constant: something familiar in both times to provide stability. Desmond has nothing familiar in the future, no constant. If he wants it to stop, he has to find something there, something he really cares about, that also exists here. Desmond asks if it can be a person. Faraday says maybe, as long as he can make contact. Desmond races out but BZAAM.
He’s back on the freighter. Desmond tells Minkowski he needs to call Penny. Minkowski tells him someone sabotaged all the equipment two days ago. They lost all communications with the mainland. He could’ve fixed the radio but then he went nuts. Desmond asks if there’s a way out, and Minkowski points to the door, it’s unlocked and open. They obviously have a friend onboard. Desmond notices Minkowski’s nose is bleeding. Sayid says the corridors are clear BZAAM.
Desmond comes to in a stairwell. He races off to an auction house in London where Charles Widmore is bidding on the ship’s journal from the Black Rock. Widmore wins the bid, and Desmond asks to speak with him. Widmore says okay and goes inside a bathroom, fully expecting Desmond to follow. Desmond tells Widmore he needs to get in touch with Penny. Widmore berates Desmond, and Desmond asks why Widmore hates him so much. Widmore laughs, says it’s not him who hates Desmond, and gives him Penny’s new address. BZAAM.
Desmond is back on the freighter. Minkowski understands. It’s getting harder to come back and it starts happening faster. As they make their way up to the radio room, Minkowski explains that he and Brandon decided to take the ship’s tender out to see the island. Brandon started acting crazy so they had to turn around. Desmond asks where’s Brandon now. Minkowski says in a body bag.
They reach the radio room, and Sayid starts fixing the phone. Suddenly, Minkowski falls limp on the table. Sayid says after Desmond makes the call, someone needs to tell him precisely what is going on. Desmond sees a calendar and realizes it 2004. Minkowski’s body begins to twitch, and he cries out he can’t get back. Then he goes slack. He’s dead, and Desmond knows the same thing is going to happen to him, too. BZAAM.
In 1996 London, Desmond races to Penny’s new address and knocks. When she sees it’s him, she wants nothing to do with him. Desmond asks for her new number. He says he made a huge mistake and that he never should have broken up with her. Penny tells him his apologies don’t matter. Desmond explains that eight years from then, in 2004, he’s going to call her on Christmas Eve. She reluctantly gives it to him and he begs her not to change it. She kicks him out and BZAAM.
Desmond is back on the freighter. Desmond quickly repeats Penny’s number to Sayid, and the call goes through. Desmond waits as it rings, hoping it goes through. Then, “Hello?” Penny picks up. Desmond can’t believe she answered, and Penny can’t believe he called. She asks where he is, and he explains he’s been on an island. He asks if she still cares about him, and she says yes. She’s been searching for him for three years. She knows about the island, she’s been doing research on it. A burst of static drowns her out. She comes back in and says when she talked to Charlie, she knew he was still alive. Desmond tells Penny he loves her and always will. Penny says no matter what, she’ll find him. She loves him and then the phone goes dead. The battery died, but it was enough. Desmond recognizes Sayid and is all right now.
At the beach camp, Faraday flips through his journal and sees an entry that reads, “If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant.”
Episode summary and photos courtesy from The Official ABC Lost Site.