Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lost Theories: Desmond Flashback - Real or Fake?

Desmond Returns From His Flashback

I've been getting a lot of questions about the Desmond Flashback in Lost Season 3, Episode 8 "Flashes Before Your Eyes". So, this really is not a Lost spoilers post, but more like a Lost theories post. There is no spoilers-y explanation for it since the spoilers actually are in the creators' intentions. Like a lot about Lost, this was a thinking person's flashback. Not necessarily a tight linear narrative, but rather thought provocation about the rich mystery of the Lost TV series island itself.

What happened was, the flashback was of Desmond's experience as he turned the failsafe hatch key in the season finale of Lost Season 2. Desmond turns the key and is blown clear out of the hatch, and onto the surface of the Lost island. He is unconscious and covered with blood. His life flashes before his eyes, hence the episode 8 title. Desmond was remembering key events of his life, with an overlay of his present experience. The island references, recognition of Charlie and so on were all an overlay of dream on Desmond's memories of his life.

That is my favorite theory among the millions of theories floating around. One theory for each of the 20 million or 14 million or zillion Lost TV show fans... whatever ... If you KNOW, you know what I mean. :)

Back to the theories discussion: you cannot really decipher all that is dream from that which was real, and of course that was the intention of the Lost writers. Alternatively, if you are a cynic, it was just an entertaining mishmash, or you could say Desmond was travelling through time. To give a bone to that camp, the writers conveniently wrote Desmond naked, as losing his clothes. In one literary embodiment of the time travel myth, you lose your clothes when you return home. So, under such a theory Desmond actually time - travelled back to his past and lost his clothes upon return.

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