I think you need a degree in physics to keep up with tonight’s installment of "Lost." Near as I can tell, we’ve learned that the island and its immediate environs are big hunks of 3-D swiss cheese, full of all kinds of holes your consciousness can fall into and out of on its way to goodness knows where, or when. I just know there’s a wrinkle coming up soon with a character named Madeleine. Or L’Engle.
Our intrepid traveler in this episode, "The Constant," was Desmond Hume. This we should’ve been able to predict. As usual, nice work from Henry Ian Cusick, who is underrated as a "Lost" hero, in my book. It takes a good actor to be convincingly nutso. I was surely convinced by the end of the seg, penned by Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof and directed by Jack Bender.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one who spent the first 20 minutes or so of the seg trying to figure out if Des’ scenes in the military boot-camp setting were flash-forwards or flashbacks. Des loses his mind and his memory while he and Sayid and pilot Frank are helicoptering in to the boat and hit a rough patch, weather and otherwise.
"This is wrong," Desmond tells his fellow grunts. "I’m not supposed to be here." Bet he’s not the first recruit to the Royal Scots Regiment to utter those words.
Back on the island, we get a flash of Juliet’s steely charm as she forcefully gets Faraday and Rebecca to spill a little of what they know about the problems of time-perceptions and the unfortunate side effects that some folks experience when traveling to and from the island. I was utterly confused at 9:30 about what they were trying to say, but by 9:55 the explanation seemed to be that because of the turbulence in the copter, Desmond’s consciouness was traveling back and forth between 1996 and 2004.
As if those kind of frequent flier miles aren’t hard enough on a guy, it turns out he can be prompted to do certain things in the earlier or later time frame by Faraday, who seems to think it’s 1976, by the looks of his hair in the flashback scenes.