Lost Recap: "None Of This Matters"


We were finally treated to a Desmond-centric storyline, which proved to be more confusing than enlightening. However, Charlie’s assertion that “none of this matters” was ironic, because last night’s episode might be the most important of the season thus far.

The only problem is, I’m not really sure why—but I’m pretty sure it has to do with electromagnetism.

As we learned last week, Widmore and his team of scientists are very interested in the electromagnetic pockets of the Island, we just don’t know why. Also, we know that Desmond has a very special relationship with electromagnetic energy, since he was in the Hatch, pushing the button every 108 minutes for several years, and then experienced the “system failure” of not pushing the button, twice. Widmore explains to Jin that Desmond is “the only man in the world who has survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event. I need to know that he can do it again. Or we all die.” So which event was Widmore talking about? The system failure that caused flight 815 to crash on the Island, or the one that happened when Locke blew up the Hatch? Either way, how was Desmond the only person to have survived the event, when everyone else on the Island who experienced it continued to live? Or does it have something to do with Desmond’s close proximity to the electromagnetism? It’s all really confusing, but I have at least one solid theory about Desmond’s importance. First, though, let’s take a look at the “test” Widmore ran on Des.

Before running the test on Desmond, the team was supposed do a test-run on a rabbit named Angstrom.

Rabbits are a big theme in Lost, with connections to Watership Down and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (two texts that are often referenced in the show). Angstrom is a double-whammy in that it likely is taken from a combination of Anders Jonas Ångström—a physicist and founder of the science of spectroscopy —and Harold C. “Rabbit” Angstrom. The latter is the main character in John Updike’s “Rabbit Series” of novels. I’ve never read them, but some quick Wikipedia recon produced this:

Rabbit often runs from his problems, headlong into other problems, then doubles back into the mess his flight has wrought.

Hmm…That sounds like Desmond. Or even Jack, for that matter. Additionally, Angstrom “lives a somewhat reflective interior life.” Reflection! That’s one recurring theme in the sideways timeline, and it was present several times during last night’s episode “Happily Ever After.” First, we saw it when Desmond was looking for his baggage carousel at the airport.

There are a few things I noticed about that listing. The first is that all of the Numbers, except for 23 (Jack’s candidate number) pop up somewhere on the board. Secondly, according to this listing, flight 815 hasn’t yet landed, and the status is unknown. Curiouser and curiouser.

The next time we see a reflection, it’s in the glass door of the jailhouse where Desmond goes to pick up Charlie.

And lastly, we see this:

It’s Daniel Widmore nee Faraday.

In all of the sideways storylines so far, the only reflection that’s been shown are the characters on which each episode is based. This is the first case in which that isn’t true. (And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Daniel’s reflection is very dark, and somewhat indistinguishable.) And this is why I think it’s significant:

Desmond is Daniel’s constant. But more than that, I think that Desmond is the Island’s constant. When Eloise (who’s still a bitch!) was talking about Charlie—a junkie who couldn’t be counted on to show up—to Desmond in the sideways world, she said, “Unpredictability comes with the territory.” I think she was speaking about not just Charlie, but the Losties in general. They’re unpredictable. They’re variables. Desmond, however, is the constant.

Last night’s episode mirrored three different episodes from previous seasons: “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” “The Constant,” and “The Variable.” The first two were Desmond-centric and the latter was Daniel-centric. So I’m gonna get into the significance of that, but let’s first start with Eloise and her stank attitude.

So, she clearly knows what’s up, and she doesn’t want Desmond and his visions messing around with this sideways life in which she’s married to Widmore and her son Daniel is alive and happy (as a musician, not a scientist!). It’s interesting, because in “Flashes Before Your Eyes” (the episode in which we were first introduced to Eloise), she’s all about telling Desmond that he needs to meddle, he needs to be involved, he needs to go to the Island and he can’t fight fate. There are some huge Easter eggs here—Eloise’s jewelry.

First of all, in “Flashes Before Your Eyes,” Desmond meets Eloise because she is working in the jewelry store where he goes to buy Penny an engagement ring. Then she begins speaking to him as if she already knows him, and tells him all the baloney about how he can’t fight fate. In that episode, she’s wearing a brooch that’s an ouroboros.

That brooch has so much more meaning now. An ouroboros is a symbol of a serpent eating itself. It represents a number of things, all applicable here.

Cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end (compare Phoenix). It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.

In addition to its religious and mythological symbolism, it also is a symbol of science, used in alchemy, a practice that attempted to attain ultimate wisdom and eternal life through different chemicals. Science vs. Faith! (Could the ouroboros be a clue as to Widmore’s intentions with the Island, as well as a prediction—eating his own tail—of how it will all end?)

OK, so next, is Eloise’s brooches in the sideways storyline last night.

It’s possible that they are an Easter egg referencing Easter eggs. Confusing? Well, what I mean is that this symbol can also be found on Cadbury Eggs.

But I don’t think the significance stops there. This episode aired during Easter week, which is the first week of the Easter season. So, what is Easter? It’s the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. It marks the end of Lent and penance. And it ends 50 days later on Pentecost (when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples). You know when Pentecost falls this year? May 23—the same day as the finale of Lost. Another symbol of Easter? Bunnies!

More on that brooch: It looks an awful lot like the mark that Juliet was given after that weird trial the Others gave her in season 3.

This symbol also has significance in alchemy (it means “spirit”). Additionally, it’s also the mark that the protectors of the Holy Grail wear (at least in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). It symbolizes resurrection, rebirth, and renewal.

So here’s my guess. Eloise doesn’t want Desmond poking around in his last life, because this life is his new life, which is supposed to be better. However, Charlie already got to him.

I also think that George Minkowski kinda knows what’s up, too, seeing as how he was so up Desmond’s butt the whole time.

In the original timeline, he worked for Widmore on the freighter, and experienced time travel the way that Desmond did, with his consciousness bouncing around. However, unlike Desmond, he died from the experience.

Alright, so in the sideways world, Desmond goes in for an electromagnetic test, just like in the original timeline, except this version was an MRI. It caused him to have flashes of his former life.

I always think that when the camera zooms in on numbers, it’s because they hold some significance. 2:15 caught my eye, only because it’s so close to 3:16. The Ajira flight number was 316, and it’s also one of the most important biblical references, from John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

It’s that eternal life thing again, like with alchemy (or Jacob, or Richard). So I checked up on John 2:15 to see if that might be at all applicable.

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Maybe this is a leap, but to me, it sounds a lot like Desmond choosing his perfect world (the original timeline in which he’s with Penny and his son) over the sideways world (in which he has the respect and love of Charles Widmore).

I’m thinking that this episode is supposed to be so confusing, because our Losties (the ones who have been experiencing déjà vu, like Charlie, Daniel, and Desmond) are confused. They can’t tell the ice cream from the bullshit—or the beginning from the end—and aren’t sure about which reality (the original or the sideways) is better, or which one they’re supposed to be in. It speaks to larger issues of free will vs. destiny (another of Lost‘s major themes). Perhaps there isn’t one right timeline for every person. Perhaps they get to choose the one in which they want to reside, because as Desmond said to Charlie, “There’s always a choice, brutha.”

At the end of the episode, in the original timeline, it seems that Desmond is making the choice to just go with the flow, first, agreeing with whatever Widmore said, and then agreeing with whatever Sayid said.

So perhaps the scales aren’t being tipped in the direction of good or evil, but of destiny or free will.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin