25 Christmas Things: Day 10 – Lost “The Constant”

This episode of Lost is mostly not about Christmas. It is, rather, a crucial turning point in the series as the sci-fi stuff ramps up and timelines are mixed up. Desmond flashes back and forth between his earlier self and the “present” day version who’s just escaped from The Island thanks to a mysterious helicopter/boat combination. He’s not the only one afflicted with this time sickness, either, as Fisher Stevens seems to be a few hours ahead of him and not looking all that great for it. Mixed in with all of this temporal turmoil is a love story (because the show was always about the characters) between Desmond and his ex-girlfriend, Penny. Thanks to the advice of the long-haired and potentially hair-brained scientist still stuck on the island, Faraday, the time hopping Desmond tells Penny that he needs her phone number but won’t call her until Christmas Eve 2004, 8 years in the future. It’s that scene, shown in the show only moments later, that earns the episode a place on this list. In the time between that last conversation and the one above, Penny has gone from anger to fear that her boyfriend might be lost forever, since he disappeared some time in between, getting stranded on the island. The telephonic reunion is tearful and touching, and supremely well shot as it cuts back and forth rapidly between the two separated by what might as well be a million miles. The phone call not only saves their relationship, it saves Desmond’s life as well, establishing a constant between the two timelines which grounds him back in the present. It’s a marvelous piece of storytelling on a show that doesn’t get enough credit for that kind of thing.



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