“Lost”: Episode 11, “Happily Ever After”

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There’s always a choice, brother.

The only rule that applies to Desmond episodes is that they are unfailingly amazing. We covered a lot of eye-opening territory in tonight’s “Lost”  seg, “Happily Ever After,” which was stuffed to the buttons with references to and echoes of past episodes. About halfway through I gave up taking notes and just went along for the ride.

By the end I wasn’t paying a bit of attention to the time, and when the “Lost” title card came down with its whoosh I jumped just enough to send my cat diving under the bed. This was “Lost” at its most constant — a slam-bang, breathtaking episode written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, directed by Jack Bender and edited by Mark Goldman.

I had a feeling that Desmond would be an important link between the two timelines that we’ve been seeing this season, prone as he is to time- and space-jumping. His journey, as usual, is pretty tortured — aided and abetted by great guest appearances from Charlie, Penny, George Minkowski, Eloise and my fave, Daniel (who seems to have jettisoned Faraday.)

First Widmore captures Des from an L.A. hospital, and drags him back to the most godforsaken place on Earth, as far as Des is concerned, then he’s shoved into what seemed to be a chamber made of giant wooden popsicle sticks and tested to see how his thick his skin is against an electromagnetic tsunami that made fried chicken out of lesser men. I’d whack my father-in-law with an IV stand too if he tried that on me.

The most ominous bit of this episode came early on when Widmore tells Des that if he endures his electromagnetic hazing ritual, he’s going to be asked to make a “sacrifice.” Like Des hasn’t given enough. But as far as I can recall — and that’s not much given everything that my brain is struggling to process — we’ve gotten no indication that Des is a “candidate.” But obviously he’s “important” just as Minkowski was important on the old Widmore freighter before his brains started dripping out of his nose. It is not easy working for Charles Widmore!

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