Follow along! The episode guide for “Flashes Before Your Eyes” is in Finding Lost — Season 3, pp. 60-67.
I think you already know the reason why I loved this episode. I remember before this one aired Damon made some comment that they would be doing a flashback like nothing we’d ever seen, and he worried that if people were on the fence about leaving Lost (season 3 was the great “fickle fan” exodus from the show), this might push them over the edge. But for me, it was awesome. First, there’s the naked Desmond part. Then topless Desmond. Helpless Desmond. Angry Desmond…. OK, seriously now. Rewatching this one is fascinating because this was the first episode to seriously suggest that time travel might play a role on the show. Fans were divided about what really happened – did Des time travel, or did he have an out-of-body experience that flashed before his eyes? Now, in light of The Constant, it would appear he consciousness-traveled in a way, but in a different way than he would later.
Fun things I noticed:
• Wow, Des. That’s one serious tan you’ve got there. I can just see Henry Ian Cusick getting this script and spending the next 10 days on a tanning bed knowing he’d be shirtless.
• For some reason I was feeling rather creative the week this one aired, and wrote up two fake deleted scenes for it. The first one, where Claire talks to Desmond, is here, and the second, where Charlie and Hurley are in Sawyer's tent, is here.
• I mentioned this in my S3 book, but I still have no idea why Charlie calls Desmond a coward, other than the fact he’s SERIOUSLY pissed that Desmond was the guy to save his girlfriend.
• While Charlie’s rendition is as painful as Liam Gallagher’s live version of “Wonderwall,” I love that he sings, “Maybe you’re gonna be the one that saves me” as Des is walking over to him. Or, in light of the S3 finale… maybe not.
• It still drives me NUTS that the word “honor” is misspelled on the Scottish poster. Any good member of the Commonwealth knows the proper spelling is “Honour.” ;)
Things that have new meaning:
• I might have mentioned this before, but Desmond says he took care of his three younger brothers (whom I would LOVE to meet… hint hint) “after my father…” and then he’s cut off. After his father what? We’re to assume he was going to say “died” but what if it was something else? Disappeared? Time traveled? Was his name Jacob? Will he turn out to be important or no?
• So why does Eloise (who in the picture above appears to be singing the Twilight Zone theme, "Doo doo do do"... hehe) appear to Desmond here? I suggested in my S5 book that maybe she had Daniel’s journal after Dan died (by her hand) and then for his entire life she was able to anticipate what would happen next. In that case, she could have made Des go to the island so he’d be there to get her son’s message when Dan time traveled and banged on the hatch door, and he’d be there as her son’s constant (and for all we know, SHE scrawled that note in the journal about how Desmond Hume would be his constant). Is that how she knows to be there at that time? Or did Widmore call her?
• Eloise tells Desmond that if he doesn’t get that very tanned ass back to the island, “every single one of US is dead,” and she puts an emphasis on the word “us.” Who does she mean? Every person in the world? All of the Others? The time travelers? The islanders?
• So at the time, I never looked beyond Desmond’s nakedness as anything but… glorious. But now we need to step back and wonder if it means anything. Why is Desmond naked? Is it a sign that he really left the island physically? Could it be a signal of a rebirth?