Getting Lost: "The Constant" Review

Posted by Mike and johnnysweeptheleg

Lost_The Constant

Constants? Variables?! Note to the makers of Lost: We had finally managed to remove the final vestiges of high-school math and science from our heads. Seriously, ROYGBIV and SOHCAHTOA were merely gibberish to us. Then you go and send Desmond on a quest to make sure his parents kiss at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance — or something like that (our memory doesn’t function well when we’re upset). But … the phone conversation between Desmond and Penny was a nice save, so you’re forgiven. Just don’t let it happen again. On with the recap.

johnnysweeptheleg’s Lost In A Moment:

My brain hurts after this one. If you have to ask why then you clearly didn’t watch the episode!

Poor Frank flying a helicopter looks a lot like me playing the old Choplifter video game. It’s ugly. They hit some turbulence on the way back to the freighter, which somehow induces time travel instead of vomiting. Suddenly, Desmond’s consciousness and mind have switched with his 1996 self, causing him to make Unabomber jokes and what he thinks are timely Bob Dole impressions.

Back on the beach, Farraday helps make some sense of it, explaining that their time perception on the island isn’t as it seems. Because of this, time travel is possible – albeit time travel of the consciousness, not body. He gives ’96 Desmond some numbers (2.342 for starters) and tells him to take that to ’96 Farraday. And if his ’96 self doesn’t believe him, he should name drop Eloise while telling him to put big money on Grindstone in the Kentucky Derby.

This works, and we get the obligatory Doc Brown explaining time travel to Marty McFly moments. Except, I am left to wonder how bright ’96 Farraday really can be. He still has Bono’s hair from 1992 and is writing highly important time travel information on a chalkboard. A chalkboard – one of the most fleeting forms of documentation. He may as well be doing this on an Etch-A-Sketch. Um, Farraday, you have just proved time travel. You think you may wanna put this on paper instead, and maybe even a hard drive?

Farraday shows ’96 Desmond what will happen to him if he doesn’t find a “constant” between the two time-shifting Desmonds. He’ll end up like Eloise, the rat. Trust us, he doesn’t want to end up like Eloise. This puts Desmond on a search for Penny and leads him to an auction house, where the Hanso Foundation has put Auction Item 2342 (remember that number from earlier?) on the block, and Penny’s father has just bought it. Further making my head hurt, and proving that somehow Hanso, Penny’s father, and the island are all linked together.

Penny’s father tells Desmond where to find Penny, which allows Desmond to stand outside her house holding a boombox above his head with the hopes that she’ll give him her phone number. It works (it always works) and he says he will wait eight years to call her. Typical guy, huh?

Finally, back in ’04, after saving all of his rollover minutes, he calls Penny and she tells him she knows all about the island. And my head still hurts.

I purposely left out all mention of Minkowski so that my colleague, Mike, could have the pleasure below. Johnny 5 is alive! Even if poor Minkowski isn’t anymore. Pour out a little liquor …

Questions Answered:

What happened to the helicopter carrying Frank, Sayid, Desmond and Naomi’s body? Nothing, really. Or at least nothing a little time travel couldn’t fix.

What exactly were Daniel and Charlotte doing with the Dharma playing cards? What appeared to be a test of Daniel’s memory now appears to be … well, a test of Daniel’s memory. But now we can assume that it is related to the high amount of radiation he subjected himself to during his time-travel experiments.

Who is Minkowski? He’s Ben Jahrvi! You know, the guy from Short Circuit (and the Steve Guttenberg-less Short Circuit 2)? OK, fine, he’s Fisher Stevens, an actor whom — until last night’s episode — we thought was the kind whose character wouldn’t be killed off during the first episode in which he makes an appearance. In Minkowski’s memory, we’ve been listening to “Who’s Johnny” by El DeBarge all morning long.

New Questions To Be Asked:

What’s in that Black Rock journal, and why does Charles Widmore want it so badly?

Why will Daniel need Desmond to be his “constant”?

With Minkowski gone, who’s in control on the freighter?

Are Desmond and Sayid’s “friend on the boat” and Ben’s “man on the boat” one in the same?

If you’ve got questions of your own, send them in and we’ll add them to the list. Check back early next week for a preview of the next episode, “The Other Woman” — which we really hope will feature the Ray Parker Jr. song of the same name.

Photo: Copyright 2008 ABC, Inc./Mario Perez