Welcome to Lost! I hope that years from now, Collegiate on TV will still exist. I need that constant force in my life!
The recap: If you are exposed to large amounts of radiation or electromagnetism and then deviate and hit some of the island's magical power spots, side-effects occur, such as: time jumping. We already know Desmond could do this briefly after the hatch imploded, but his powers subsided to just flashes from the future. But after traveling in the helicopter briefly - but yet for a day and a half?! - the powers kick in at full force, with him jumping back in time frequently. But, as we learned, it's just the consciousness that jumps, not the physical body itself. Whenever Des jumps, he inhibits his body at whatever time he jumps back to, and his future body stands still.
It would probably take me three hours to recap these 45 minutes, so I'll just skim over details: 1996 Desmond's consciousness travels to the future, where he knows nobody. But Daniel Faraday convinces Desmond to go back to Harvard and find him. '96 Des does, and discovers more about time traveling. But, if you do not have a constant force - a person, for example - who is there in the past and in the future, your brain will hemorrhages and die. Des decides that Penny will be his constant. (Constant=Valentine?) Once finding their constant, the consciousness won't be "stuck" in time, and everything will be "fine" again. So '96 Des pesters Penny's dad - who is buying Black Rock memorabilia - to give him Penny's address. He does.
'96 Des then visits Penny, who wants nothing to do with him. '96 Des wants a phone number, so he can call her in eight years, to be a constant force. Penny finally gives up the number in desperation, then kicks Des out. Jumping to the future, Des calls '04 Penny, who answers and I cried inside because it was beautiful and when they said "I love you" at the same time? Yeah. I melted inside. I can't even make fun of it because it was raw, honest, real and great. Finding his "constant" saves Desmond's life, and also brings '04 Desmond back to reality.
Meanwhile, back on the island, Dan keeps looking through his notes, until he finally finds a page that mentions that "if anything goes wrong, Desmond will be my constant."
What worked: First off: The return of the sudden opening. No "previously on Lost" led straight to the action, which for this episode worked great. Henry Ian Cusick deserves an Emmy for his acting in this episode, which was beyond great.
What didn't work: The whole rat test seemed kind of... weak? Like, it made sense, but at the same time seemed kind of rushed just the same.
Questions: Now that Dan was able to save Desmond's life and introduce Des to himself, maybe Dan will be able to concentrate better? Does Charles Widmore know the significance of the Black Rock?
Was time-jumping Daniel's side-effect? What other side-effects are there? (Healing?)
Are these side-effects the "sicknesses" that affected Rousseau's crew?
How did DHARMA get to the island without time-jumping? (Or did they jump?)
What will happen to the crew of the Kahana (the boat) when it gets closer to the island?
Did Michael gain any powers? Did Walt get any extra powers?
How can I get a Christmas tree like Penny's?
Does Locke have a power - and does it fade? Can the smoke monster sense powers? This might explain in part why the monster spared Locke's life one episode, but tried to take him in another.
Who wrecked the communications equipment and opened the door? (Hint/spoiler?: You'll know before the 8-episode pod is done.)
Next week: Juliet gets an unexpected visitor who tells her to stop Charlotte and Daniel's mission by any means necessary. And Ben and Locke play psychological chess, again. And there is a kiss with Jack and one other character... ! And a guest star surfaces who has already been seen in one of these five episodes, who is not who you'd expect, considering whose episode it is.