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'Lost' - 'Happily Ever After' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 7th 2010 3:07AM
'Lost' - 'Happily Ever After'
Knowing this was a Desmond-centric episode, I expected us to take a major step forward in understanding the beta-verse, perhaps even experiencing it in a whole new way. Ever since the explosion at the hatch, Desmond seems to experience everything a little differently, and he's always there with his finger on the truth, even if he has no idea what that truth was.

Parallels between alpha- and beta- were running rampant throughout this episode. Fisher Stevens even returned in the beta-verse, to serve as Desmond's guide as he did once before, when Desmond was trapped in time. We got beta-appearances by Charlie, Daniel Faraday, Charles Widmore and even Eloise Hawking. Every encounter was a further step toward confusion and understanding.


Just like Richard's episode last week, we spent hardly any time in the alpha-verse, but this time I suspect it was because Desmond spent most of the episode in the beta-verse. And by Desmond, I mean alpha-Desmond. He wasn't fully in control of beta-Desmond, but I think he was hitching a ride in his consciousness or something. Either that or he came out of that massive EM field stoned out of his gourd.

There's nobody in the world of 'Lost' like Desmond Hume, and Charles Widmore knows well enough to see that. He either had a lot of faith that Desmond would survive that, or he had a back-up plan in case he didn't. While I was a lot more understanding of Desmond's softening toward Charles, considering what I believe he'd just experienced in the beta-verse, his happy complacency in the face of Sayid's attack, and smiling compliance were a little odd. Perhaps he knows more even than what we've been shown as to what's going on.

The lion's share of the episode was spent in the beta-verse, with beta-Desmond having close encounters all over Flight 815. The difference is that these encounters went beyond the knowing-but-confused glances many of them have shared in previous episodes.

It started with Charlie, who clearly tapped into the alpha-verse during his near-death experience on the plane. He triggered a similar experience in the car with Desmond, leading to the "holy crap!" moment of the night, when the underwater scene suddenly mimicked and then flashed to Charlie's death. "Not Penny's boat" revealed that in the beta-verse, Desmond may have won over the affection of Penny's father, but he never even met her.

It's a tragedy to think of the love that transcended all of time and space didn't come to pass at all in the beta-verse. Things got even more hinky when Desmond met up with Eloise, who told him to stop pursuing whatever he was pursuing. She chastised him, telling him that he'd already gotten what he always wanted: Charles' love and approval.

That ties right into everything we've been seeing in these beta-lives. The characters are living lives which seem to have gone better for them, but could it be that they've just gotten their deepest desires satisfied, even if it didn't necessarily come true the way they wanted? Sayid wanted his love to be safe, and she was. She just wasn't with him. Desmond wanted Charles' approval in the alpha-verse so he could be seen as good enough for Penny. He got that approval here, but no Penny.

Locke apparently got the love of his father somewhere along the way, and even got the girl. Kate got away, which seems to be always what she's looking for, while James found a more positive way to pursue his grand vengeance scheme. Claire got to keep the baby, while Charlie ... well, Charlie's always been a bit of an odd bird. Even Sun and Jin traded in a marriage without love, for a secret (or so they thought) love affair in the beta-verse.

Now, however, it looks like the beta-verse is starting to fracture. Beta-Faraday is a musician, but after a close encounter with Charlotte, which triggered because of alpha-Faraday's deep love for her, he suddenly was writing quantum physics. For the first time, someone in the beta-verse came out and said what the alpha-verse players had done. Faraday thinks he already set off a nuclear bomb (actually, Juliet ultimately triggered it) and the lives they're leading now in the beta-verse is a reaction to that, but it's not their true lives.

So let's consider a twist on the old theory that all of these flash-sideways take place after the closing moments of the season finale. What if the entire flash-sideways reality takes place before the opening scenes in the alpha-verse. As Juliet indicated, setting off the bomb did work, but that turned out to be the wrong thing to do. It may have to do with Jacob and the Man in Black somehow, but maybe the beta-verse just wasn't meant to be.

Desmond knows something, or thinks he does, because he wants to bring together everyone from Flight 815 to show them something. I don't know if he wants to almost kill them all so they can see that something isn't right, or if he's piecing things together even more than what we've seen.

I was just glad to see him hook back up with Penny at the stadium, even if it is several years later than their alpha-counterparts. Desmond without the love of Penny just seems empty, brother. Like he's only half the man he's supposed to be.

I feel like we've reached a turning point with the beta-verse stories. Up to now, they've been mostly fun little diversions into what could have been for these characters had their lives taken slightly different paths. I have a feeling that from this point forward, we're going to start seeing what it all means, and these stories are going to start connecting toward something ... though I have no idea what that something might be.

Maybe, now that beta-Hurley is lucky, successful and powerful, next week's episode focusing on him will shed some more light on how everything connects.

[Connect the dots yourself with clips and full episodes of 'Lost' over at SlashControl.]


-- "So now there are stakes to the sideways stories. Desmond exists in both realities, and is working a plan in both. Now we know that the sideways world is tied to the one we know, and that it needs to be stopped -- that, like the Oceanic Six had to go back to the island, all of the important Oceanic 815 passengers have to accept that this is not their beautiful house, their beautiful wife, etc." [New Jersey Star-Ledger]

-- "I'm wondering if Desmond is now operating in both universes using his Island consciousness. The sly grin that spread across his lips when Minkowski agreed to procure the 815 manifest would suggest that he is about to hit all the castaways upside their displaced heads with some truth." [Inside Pulse TV]

-- "I think it's reasonable to assume that the Charles Widmore on the Island thinks in his heart of hearts that he's the good guy here, operating for once out of something approximating selflessness." [Zap2It]

-- "A couple weeks ago, after I got a little intel on tonight's episode, I floated the following theory to Damon: "Is it safe to say that at its very core Lost is a love story?" Damon replied: "You are the very first person ever to get the meaning of the show. Yes. It is a love story. Always has been... always will be." [E! Online]

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Quit bitching, there's a reason why some people choose NOT to watch the previews.


April 10 2010 at 11:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love it if the core theme of Lost is love! There couldn't be a better theme. After all, love is what gets you going through life. I hope Jack and Kate finally get together, they are meant to be. Jack is my favorite and to me he's the main character of this show. I was hooked on Lost from the very first opening scene in the pilot back in season 1, Matthew Fox was brilliant. I hope the end scene will focus on him as well. To me he's the main thread in the show.

April 09 2010 at 4:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, I didn't get that strange little Sayid interlude. Sayid kills people, tells Des to come with him, Des does, and that's it? There's more to that situation than any helping out Charles Widmore last night.

April 08 2010 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John From Raleigh

Personally, I am underwhelmed with this season. There have been some great episodes but the flash sides ways seem like a lot of filler. Take for example the 60 second shot of Desmond helping Clair with her bag. Really unnecessary, having Hurley mention where the baggage was located was all we (the audience) needed to prove he as on the flight and it was not Jack's imagination. Next up, they spent 25 minutes with Desmond chasing Charlie around. It was great to see charlie, I loved the "It's not Penny's Boat" on his hand part, but did we really need all of that to setup his talk with Eloise?

But hey, just trying to enjoy the ride and not over think it. I watch the show again on Hulu today and it was easy to skip most of the sideways sections.

April 07 2010 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Remember when Eloise was reading him the riot act in the tent ? She said that what he's doing, his inquiry, his searching for Penny, is a "violation". And we're back to those elusive Rules again. Rules for The Game of Life ?

April 07 2010 at 8:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thanks for spoiling who next week's episode's gonna be out, without even the tiniest warning...

April 07 2010 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Filangee's comment

Quit whining, it was in the preview, not exactly top secret information.

April 09 2010 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Okay, I'll admit it. When Beta Charlie put his hand up to the glass, I screamed.

I believe that they all got something they wanted in the Beta universe (Sayid: Nadia safe, Desmond: Charles' approval) but they also had to sacrifice for it (Sayid doesn't get to be with Nadia, Desmond doesn't get Penny(?)). Give a little, take a little.

For this episode, I have almost no questions for the simple fact that I didn't know what questions to ask. However, this is something that has been bothering me: I always assumed that Daniel was Eloise and Charles' kid. In fact, I'm almost positive that this is the case. Penny is Charles' daughter, and Daniel said she was his half-sister. So . . . who's Penny's mother, and who is the oldest (i.e. who did Charles get kicked off the island for fathering?) Also, in the Alpha-Verse, why is Daniel's last name Farraday and not Hawking, since that's his mom's maiden name?

April 07 2010 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

can't wait for this show to end
getting sick of this alpha verse / beta verse / parallel time / flash sideways CRAP !!!!!!!!!

April 07 2010 at 3:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If anyone read the Onslaught saga by Marvel comics this episode would have seemed familiar.

"..Though believed dead, the heroes were actually transported to a pocket universe subconsciously"

It seems quite similar to what Marvel comics did with their Heroes Reborn issues in which everyone was transported to a pocket universe due to a life-altering event.

April 07 2010 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm in agreement with those who beleive the core theme of LOST is Love. In Live Together, Die Alone pt.1, Penelope letter to Desmond ended with, "All we really need to survive is one person who truly loves us. And you have her."

April 07 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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