Posted by: cousinbrandon | February 28, 2008

LOST – Season 4, Episode 5: “The Constant”

Sweet Jeebus!  Can I officially go on record and say that not only was “The Constant” the best episode of the season, but one of the best episodes of the entire series?  Let’s get into it:

1. The Numbers.  Did you notice that the elusive numbers appeared quite a bit in last night’s episode?  The coordinates for Daniel’s “machine” were 2.342 (23, 42), the lot number for the Black Rock ledger at the auction was Lot No. 2342 (23, 42), Penelope’s address was something like 423 Cheyene Way (4, 23), and Desmond thought it was 1996, which was 8 years removed from the actual year (8), 2004.  Man, that’s quite a bit for one episode.  Granted, Daniel’s machine oscillated at 11, but still…

2. TIME TRAVEL IS POSSIBLE!!!  Okay, Daniel explains to past-Desmond that even though Eloise the rat didn’t time travel physically, she time traveled consciously.  Desmond was time traveling, as even the dude on the boat confirmed that he was, in fact, on the boat.  The difference, though, was the recognition that, because he is a conscious being, he was aware that he was “consciously” moving back and forth between time.  Wow, this is convoluted. 

3. George Minkowski, one and done.  Well, I’ve known all season long that Fisher Stevens would be on the show.  I did not know, however, that he’d die in his first appearance.  Man, he looks like hell.  Anyway, it was fascinating to watch him as an advanced version of Desmond.  I mean, if you’re Desmond, how do you watch your fate unfold right in front of your eyes?!  Creepy.

4. “If there is any trouble, Desmond Hume is my constant,” or something to that effect.  Um, how fucking cool was that ending?  Seriously, all this time travel shit, as is the case with any book, show or theory about time travel, is such a total mind fuck.  That ending, then, suggests two things:  1) that Daniel established in 1996 that Desmond would be his constant; and 2) that Daniel will eventually, if he has not already, time travel, at least consciously.

5. “Has he been exposed to any sort of electromagnetism?”  Daniel asked this question to Jack, when discussing possible side effects should Frank not follow the proper coordinates to return to the ship.  Um, I’d say that Desmond being exposed to the imploding/exploding hatch following his turning of the key and disrupting the electromagnetic “bubble” surrounding the island may qualify, yes?  What’s more, we still need to figure out why, after the implosion/explosion, Desmond was naked, Locke was deaf, and Mr. Ecko was nuts.

6. The Call.  Penny and Desmond actually communicate in real time.  Was this, in fact, the first actual communication we saw with someone on (or around) the island with someone in the real world?  I mean, I know Charlie communicated with Penny, but we couldn’t really tell where she was.  When the freighter at the end of season 2 called Penny (the Portuguese dudes), we never really learned where their boat was, nor where Penny was.  Here, though, we saw Desmond dial her London flat, and had her confirm that she’d been trying to find him for three years.  What’s more, she said she knew about the island.  Wacky.

7. The Auction Redux.  The ledger being auctioned off was from the freaking Black Rock.  What’s more, it was donated from the collection of what sounded like Talver Hanso, which could have been Alvar Hanso and I couldn’t understand.  Either way, it came from someone named Hanso.  By the way, in that same “flashback,” why does Penny’s father leave the water running in the bathroom?  Did anyone else pick up on that, other than Mitch (he, Nat and I watched it together)?

8. Brain Freeze.  Fisher Stevens confirms that he and Brandon got bored and took out either a boat or copter or something to check out the island.  Where’s Brandon now?  “He went crazy” and he’s in a bodybag.  Where’s Minkowski now?  He went all Scanners on Desmond and Sayid, and he’s now dead, too.  Des, however, now has his Constant (Penny), so I guess we can assume he’s safe.  What’s the constant (no pun intended) here?  The island.  It’s got powers, or some shit.

9. Faraday.  Daniel Faraday is the best new character to come along since Ben, hands down.  Furthermore, any episode featuring my two favorite regulars — Sayid and Desmond — was bound to kick ass.

10. The Future.  One of the most fascinating lines of the whole episode, although really not focused on, was Faraday’s line to Desmond during the scene at Oxford after testing the rat:  “You can’t change the future.”  Okay, Desmond is in his own past, more or less, but Faraday claims that the future cannot be altered.  Doesn’t this, once again, point to the notion of predestination?  I mean, isn’t that, perhaps, the greatest ethical constant on Lost:  destiny vs. free will?  (That, of course, and science vs. faith.)  Faraday is saying that their actions in 1996 can’t alter the future.  Okay, seeing as how that’s the case, this brings up the entire theory of wormholes, which the show has now clearly delved into.  If I understand correctly, a wormhole suggests a location, of sorts, wherein it’s possible to move from one time to another, but the times exist simultaneously.  So, there would be no past, present, or future, since everything exists all at once.  Is the island, then, one gigantic wormhole?  I mean, does that help to explain the whole 31-minute time differential when they launched that clock from the freighter onto the island?  I don’t know, really, but it’s fucking fascinating.

Until next time, have at it, you vultures! 




  1. […] who is holding a sign reading, “HUME.” We haven’t seen George since – naturally – “The Constant,” perhaps my favorite LOST episode ever and also a Desmond episode. In that episode, we finally met […]

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