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Lost: Desmond Hume

January 13, 2009

(Indulge me. As we near the Season 5 premiere of Lost, I’m going to run through the current crop of main characters. There are spoilers.)

What did one snowman say to the other snowman? Smells like carrots …

Desmond made one of the most memorable first appearances on Lost when we first saw him in the season 2 opener. And he made one of the most memorable re-apparances towards the end of that season. He’s the show’s prophet, an accidental mystic with the ability to see the future and the power to move through time … whether he likes it or not.

Henry Ian Cusick was a total find as Desmond. He brings rugged masculinity and tender grace to the role, a rare combination and something lesser actors would not have been able to pull off. His was the most compelling off-island storyline, and it appears to have come to a close … but we all know that Desmond’s luck isn’t that good.

Highlights:

  • The Constant. That season 4 episode is one of the best hours of television ever made, and Cusick carries it. His season 3 timewarp episode, Flashes Before Your Eyes, is another example of Lost doing what it does best.
  • How he met Jack the first time, during that L.A. tour de stade, and how he met him the second time, down in the hatch.
  • I like the idea that he was a drunk monk.
  • His reunion with the love of his life at the end of season 4. That was some powerful love being shown.
  • Desmond actually caused the plane crash. Talk about guilt …

Problems:

  • I’m still trying to sort out the timelines. If I get this right, when he met Jack in L.A. he should have already known who he was … or maybe not, if things are diverging. I’ll have to get out my quantum theory textbooks again.
  • The idea that he stayed alone in the hatch for years, pushing the button on faith alone, never rang true to me. Like Sayid’s instant romance with Shannon, I felt it was not in keeping with the rest of the character’s story.
  • I believe in conclusions, and I’m a little wary that Desmond is back for season 5. Some things should just be left alone.
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