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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"The Constant" Discussion

[Listen to this episode!] [Subscribe to the MP3 feed via iTunes]

In this episode of the JoshMeister's LOST Podcast, tJM and guests Spivvy (aka Josh) and Amanda from the Lost Flashbacks and Steve from the Smoke Hatch discuss Season 4 Episode 5, "The Constant," plus notes from a recent Entertainment Weekly interview with executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.

Top of the show:
  • Follow-up on The Economist
    • Did the first flashforward scene on the golf course take place after the one with Elsa? Mr. Avellino seemed to be afraid of Sayid, yet at the end Sayid said to Ben something to the effect of "now they know we're after them."
      • As supporting evidence, this episode contained Dan Faraday's experiment with the payload sent from the frieghter, and the time difference between the golf scene and the last scene with Elsa (not counting commercials) is 31 minutes
      • (source: LOSTCasts podcast)
    • Josh theorizes that the DHARMA Initiative wanted to do its Valenzetti Equation experiments (among others) on the island because it would buy them extra time; time moves more slowly on the island
Eggtown recap:
  • Notes from the popups:
    • 93rd day on the island
    • The book VALIS is "about a fool's search for God, and God turns out to be a joke"
    • In the book The Invention of Morel, someone finds a machine that can re-create reality
  • Some people think that Miles was actually giving Ben a code... heading 325 is the way off the island as given by Ben to Michael, and "$3.2 million" contains a 3, a 2, and 5 zeros. Ben already knows the heading, but maybe Miles was trying to tell Ben that he was Ben's spy from the boat. (Josh doesn't believe this theory, especially after rewatching the episode, but it's interesting nevertheless.)
The Constant notes:
  • On the helicopter: Frank's "cheat sheet" says to go 40 miles N at 305, 7 K east
  • Desmond's consciousness is jumping back and forth in time???
    • Desmond suddenly lost his memory of Sayid!!
    • It turns out that present-day Desmond thinks it's 1996 and apparently has no recollection of events that occurred between then and now
  • Dan: "Your perception of how long your friends have been gone is not necessarily how long they've been gone"
    • Dan said that if Frank was off course there might be "side effects"
  • The crew members don't seem to know exactly where they are, just near Fiji - "still in the Pacific"
    • This refutes the theories that the real plane, not just the fake one found underwater, crashed near Bali in the Indian Ocean
  • The freighties lock up Desmond with a weird guy (we later find out it's George Minkowski) who says, "Hey, it's happening to you, too, isn't it?"
  • Dan asked if Desmond was recently exposed to high levels of electromagnetism
    "going to and coming from the island some people can get a little... confused. This is not amnesia."
  • Weird guy: "I was just on a ferris wheel." He seems to be having flashed similar to Desmond's
  • Daniel tells Desmond via the satellite phone that when he flashes back to 1996, to take a train to Oxford University, the Queen's College Physics Department, so that Desmond can meet Dan there
    • Desmond was supposed to tell 1996 Dan to set the device to 2.342, oscillating 11 Hz, and that if 1996 Dan had any doubts, that Desmond should mention that he knew about Eloise (Daniel's lab rat)
  • We find out that the crazy guy is George Minkowski, the ship's communications specialist, who used to answer the calls
    • He recognized Desmond's name
    • He said he was told to never answer when the light flashed when Penny called
  • One of the nicest things about this episode is that it finally gives a clear explanation of Flashes Before Your Eyes, which was totally ambiguous about whether Desmond really time-traveled, whether he was in a parallel universe/timeline, or whether it was all in his imagination:
    • In this episode, Daniel Faraday explains to Desmond that his consciousness is making the jump, and we can plainly see that Desmond's body is not going back and forth in time
  • Dan tells Desmond that "Each time your consciousness jumps it gets harder to jump back"
  • Minkowski: someone sabotaged all the equipment 2 days ago (Ben's man? But then who opened the door?)
    • Josh's theory is that Ben's "man on the boat" is Michael, who sabotaged the equipment, and Walt is the one who opened the door. Or for that matter, it could be the other way around. Michael was willings to do Ben's bidding on the island, so why not on the freighter? We learned from one of the mobisodes that Walt spent some time in Room 23, so perhaps he was brainwashed and is working for Ben.
  • Tovar Hanso owned the journal of Magnus Hanso, captain of the Black Rock
    • Charles Widmore won the bid on the journal, which eventually would lead to the expedition from the Find 815 game and the discovery of the fake Oceanic Flight 815 in the Sunda Trench
  • Minkowski died saying "I can't get back"
  • Penny's phone number and address were clues in the Find 815 ARG
  • Ultimately, Desmond finds that Penny is his "constant" (his link between the past and the present) and he is able to communicate with her briefly through a temporarily-fixed phone that Sayid rigged in the communication room on the ship
    • Desmond seems to be completely out of the time loop now; he has his memory back, as he seemed to remember Charlie and he clearly remembered Sayid's name as he said it for the first time since his flashes began at the beginning of the episode
      • Does this also mean that Desmond will no longer have any future-seeing flashes? Is Desmond completely cured of all bizarre time-space phenomena?
  • Be sure to refer to my previous post for notes and commentary on Dan Faraday's chalkboard and notebook writings
Notes from a recent Entertainment Weekly interview with Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (there may be spoilers in this post beginning now):
  • Mobisodes and Orchid film are canon, but the video game and find815.com are NOT, which means they do not relate to the story directly
    • This makes sense because certain things like the timeline of the press release and the billboards did not jive with Sam Thomas' discovery of the fake Flight 815, which should have taken place in 2004 based on what we've learned on the show
    • For another thing, Sam Thomas isn't mentioned in the discovery of the fake Flight 815, nor do we hear his voice on the show when we see the ROV being piloted
  • There are no "this is what might happen" flashforwards.
  • There is no connection between Naomi's and Elsa's bracelets.
  • Charlotte Staples Lewis' name being a reference to C. S. Lewis is "an important clue to Charlotte's own, as-yet-untold important backstory."
  • By the end of this season there will be two theories about the apparent Flight 815 in the Sunda Trench. Ben's list has something to do with this.
  • We will find out this season who is in the coffin.
  • (credit to Jay and Jack for pointing out this EW article)
Preview for the next episode, The Other Woman:
  • Ben says, "we have a common enemy"
  • Charlotte, Jack, Juliet have guns at various points in the episode
  • Charlotte knocks out Kate
  • Charlotte says to Juliet something to the effect of "you'll have to shoot both of us if you want to stop us"
  • Jack says to Juliet, "If there's something you need to tell me, now's the time to do it."

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