Flashback: Desmond is released from prison and officially given a dishonorable discharge from the Scottish army. He is greeted by Charles Widmore, a wealthy businessman, who shows him two boxes. The first contains all the letters Desmond has written to his girlfriend Penelope during his imprisonment – letters which were never delivered. The second box contains a large sum of cash, an inducement for Desmond to go far away and never speak to Penelope – Widmore’s daughter – again. Desmond refuses, and some time later he decides to enter a boat race sponsored by Widmore in order to take some revenge. Inside an American coffee bar, he meets Libby, whose husband has just died. She offers Desmond her husband’s boat, and tells him to win. As Desmond trains, just before his encounter with Jack, Penelope drives up and confronts him. Desmond makes it clear that he still loves her, but that he has to do something to regain his honor first. The race goes poorly, and Desmond is lost at sea. Unconscious, he washes up on the island, and has blurry visions of a man in a hazmat suit pulling him off the beach.
He wakes up inside the hatch, where Kelvin Inman shows him the orientation film and welcomes him to life working for the Dharma Initiative. Inman uses a series of faked lockdowns to draw the blacklighted map on the blast doors using laundry detergent. One night, while drunk, he shows Desmond a lock that can be used to set off a self-destruct mechanism and eliminate the danger of the hatch once and for all. Inman refuses to let Desmond out of the hatch, but one day Desmond follows him. He discovers that Inman has been repairing his sailboat and preparing to escape the island. In a rage, Desmond tackles him; during the fight, he slams Inman’s head against the rocks and kills him. Desmond races back to the hatch, to see the countdown has reached zero and the terminal screen is full of the words “System Failure.” Eventually, Desmond enters the numbers, and considers that his life may be over. He opens a book by Dickens, which he’s been saving, and finds a note from Penelope. He settles in to life pushing the button, occasionally hearing strange noises coming from above him.
The Island: Jack, Sayid and Sawyer swim out to the sailboat only to discover a drunken Desmond. Despite setting sail and heading straight out to sea, Desmond finds himself stuck around the island. Sayid sees an opportunity in the boat – he will sail around the island, along with Jin and Sun, to the Others’ camp and signal Jack from a safe point, so that they might be able to gain an advantage. But Sayid stresses that Jack can not tell anyone in Michael’s party about what’s really going on, lest Michael become suspicious.
Locke and Desmond arrange a lockdown in order to get Eko away from the terminal, and then wait for the countdown to expire. Eko enlists Charlie’s help to blow open the blast doors. Charlie tries to arrange a peaceful resolution, but fails to stop Eko from blowing the charges – doing nothing to the blast doors, but injuring himself and Charlie in the process. As the countdown draws near its close, Desmond grows more anxious. When he examines the log that Locke brought from the other hatch, he realizes that the system failure from the day Inman died coincides with the day that Flight 815 crashed. He is convinced that they must press the button – but Locke destroys the terminal. Desmond knows he has only one chance – the destruct mechanism.
Jack and his party encounter a group of Others following them. After a brief skirmish, Jack can keep the truth in no longer. Hurley realizes that Michael killed Libby and Ana Lucia, and turns to leave. Jack asks him to stay with the group, promising them he has a plan. But Michael does not lead them to the camp, which Sayid has discovered is abandoned. Instead he leads them into a trap, and they are brought before the Others. Ms. Klugh releases Hurley, and tells him to let the rest of the castaways know not to follow. Henry, clearly the leader of the group, says he must live up to the deal that Ms. Klugh made, and gives Michael Walt and a boat to take them away from the island. That leaves Jack, Kate and Sawyer to ponder the future, while Charlie, Claire and the rest of the castaways do the same at the beach.
written by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof
directed by Jack Bender
music by Michael Giacchino
Guest Cast: Malcolm David Kelley (Walt), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Sam Anderson (Bernard), M.C. Gainey (Mr. Friendly), Michael Emerson (Henry Gale), Clancy Brown (Kelvin Inman), Tania Raymonde (Alex), April Grace (Ms. Klugh), Alan Dale (Charles Widmore), Stephen Page (Master Sergeant), Michael Bowen (Pickett), Sonya Walger (Penelope), Len Cordova (Man no. 1), Alex Petrovitch (Man no. 2), Eyal Podell (Young Man), Cathy Foy (Receptionist)
Notes: Originally aired as a two-hour episode, this is considered episodes 223 and 224. Inman last appeared as the American officer who enlisted Sayid’s help in interrogating his superior officer in this season’s One of Them, although in that episode the character is listed as “Joe” Inman. Desmond’s first encounter with most of the castaways occurred in the first three episodes of this season; his meeting with Jack at the stadium was shown in the season-opener Man of Science, Man of Faith.
LogBook entry by Dave Thomer