Episode Title: "Happily Ever After"
Story: Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick) is back and he finally has a purpose he can get behind — but it involves working with Charles Widmore (Alan Dale), a man he has been at odds with his entire adult life. Even if he chooses to comply with Widmore's wishes, he'll have to contend with an old friend who has chosen a much darker path.
In the Sideways reality, Desmond lands safely in Los Angeles to do business with his surprising employer. But an assignment to accompany recently arrested rock star Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) to a charity event results in some very strange occurrences for Desmond — occurrences that will have profound repercussions for the remainder of "Lost."
See You In Another Life: Finally, we have confirmation that the Island and Sideways worlds are related. Not that there was much doubt about this in the first place, but the long string of episodes with no apparent connection between the two realities was quite frustrating given that this is the show's final season. Thankfully, Sideways Desmond is now fully aware that this isn't the life that he and the other Oceanic 815 passengers were meant to live, and he's on a mission to prove it to them. All he needed to see the light was a little bit of eye opening from Charlie and Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) — who, by the way, was a totally welcome sight tonight.
All You Need Is Love: The question is, how is Sideways Desmond going to put the pieces together? For him, it was a near death experience and a subsequent meeting with Penelope Widmore (Sonya Walger) that pushed him over the edge. With the heavy emphasis on the love between Des and Penny, Daniel and Charlotte (Rebecca Mader) and even Charlie and presumably Claire (Emilie de Ravin), it certainly looks like everyone needs to connect with their respective constants in order to find the way home. That, or they'll need a close up look at the bottom of the ocean from the driver's seat of a drowning car. Whichever way is easiest for Desmond to pull off.
Where Evil Roams Free: The Sideways reality is no longer as "important" as the Island world, in the sense that the Island world is the place where these characters belong. In order to get everyone back to that place, Desmond has to rally the troops, but is he going to be able to pull that off with The Smoke Monster lurking around? As Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) explained in "Ab Aeterno," the Island is a cork that prevents "evil" and other bad things from spreading to the outside world. But in the Sideways reality, the Island is completely submerged under water and presumably incapacitated — which means that Smokey should be roaming free in the Sideways.
If that's the case, it's no wonder that Smocke (Terry O'Quinn) wanted Sayid (Naveen Andrews) to abduct Desmond. The rules don't apply to Desmond — he is the man that can walk between both worlds, and as such, he can recruit the Sideways soldiers to somehow bridge the realities and prevent Smocke's from leaving the Island. Going with that theory, what is Smocke's smartest play? Does he choose the safe route and have Sayid pull the trigger on Desmond, or does he take a stab at the manipulation game by trying to woo Desmond over to the dark side? At the very least, it will be very interesting to see what Smocke wants from everyone's favorite electromagnetic anomaly.
Red Is Dead: Here's where I worry about Desmond — the dude's wearing a red shirt, and that's never a good sign. The contrast between Desmond's red shirt on the Island and his blue shirt in the Sideways was very obvious to me. Perhaps I'm reading too much into the fashion choice, but if we're playing by "Star Trek" rules, Desmond's life could well be in danger. Come to think of it, Hurley (Jorge Garcia) has been sporting red this season, too — forgive the pun, but it's worth wondering if his days are numbered as well.
Best Quote: "This doesn't matter. None of this matters. All that matters is we felt it." — Charlie to Desmond on the nature of the Sideways reality versus the Island world they have both glimpsed, a comment that is reflective of fan frustration over the existence of the Sideways reality.
Most Valuable Player: I doubt I'm alone in my hero worship of Desmond Hume, one of my all-time favorite characters. Desmond has been largely absent since the fourth season finale with only a handful of appearances since then. Naturally, he came back with a winner like "Happily Ever After," an episode that delivered the exact shot in the arm this season sorely needed given the slow pace of the Sideways world and the slowing pace of the Island story. With Desmond back in play — and with only a handful of hours left to air — you can bet that things are going to get kicked up a notch, as Emeril would say.
The Shape of Things to Come: Next week's episode is titled "Everybody Loves Hugo," a fond tribute to the second season's fourth episode, "Everybody Hates Hugo." But based on previews, it doesn't appear that Hurley is experiencing a love fest. In fact, the arrival of a ghostly Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau) indicates that "people are going to die" and it's going to be Hurley's fault.
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