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TV REVIEW Lost 4.05 "The Constant"

Original US air date: 28/2/08

Written by: Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof

Directed by: Jack Bender


Flashback (kinda): Desmond’s consciousness time travels back to a period when he has to meet Daniel in Oxford.

In the Present: Sayid and Desmond get to the boat, but Desmond’s mind is affected by the journey.

Verdict: Lost does Slaughterhouse Five with its most SF episode to date. To be honest the explanation of “consciousness time travel” and the need for the victims to find a “constant” is more fanciful Somewhere in Time-style fluff than Kurt Vonnegut, but at heart this is a tender love story and on that level it works brilliantly. The scene with Penny and Desmond on the phone is a Spielbergian tearjerker of the Kleenex kind. Plus, the episode is full of great little fan-baiting moments – occurrences of the numbers go wild, Penny’s dad is bidding for the ledger of the Black Rock (the wreck of which has been seen on the island in a number of episodes), and the sellers being the Hanso family. This is a bold experiment in pushing the limits for the show that loves to experiment, and the cliffhanger leaves you in no doubt that the time travel shenanigans aren’t all in Desmond’s head.

Day: 96, 26 December ’04 (on the boat it’s still 24 December).

Cliffhanger: Daniel’s journal reveals that he needs Desmond to be his “constant”.

WTF? Since when was Queen’s College Oxford a church in the country?

The Numbers: The frequency Faraday gives Desmond is 2.342 (23, 42). The Black Rock ledger’s auction number is 2342. Penny lives at No. 423.

Best Line:
Daniel: "I’d be careful crossing the street if I were you."

Dave Golder

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