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Cindy McLennan: A+ | Grade It Now!
Ob La Di, Ob La Da Life Goes On, Brothah

Charlie then presents Des some choices of his own. He can either let Charlie show him what he's talking about, or he can get out of the car. Before Desmond even gets a chance to scoff heartily, Charlie takes the wheel, which is not at all like Jesus taking the wheel. He wrests it from Desmond's grasp and plows them right into the water. There seems to me to have been more than adequate time for Des to hit the brakes or shift into neutral, so I had a hard time finding the lead up to the crash credible, but once it's done, it earns its keep. The car sinks to the bottom of the marina -- waters into which our original recipe Desmond will plunge when he stops Benjamin Linus from shooting Penny.

As the car fills up, a conscious Des tries to rescue an unconscious Charlie. When it doesn't work, he swims to the top, takes a breath, and goes back under. When Des knocks on Charlie's window, Charlie springs to life and holds up his hand. I think it's blank at first, but suddenly, it reads, "NOT PENNY'S BOAT." Desmond reels back. When he takes another look, it's blank, again. Charlie seems to leave the building, so to speak. He sinks back in his seat, eyes closed or nearly so. Sideways Des sets to work on doing the one thing his original recipe tried hardest to do, back on Craphole -- saving Charlie. Finally, he frees him, and drags him up through the deep, to the pier, where they wait for help. Commercial.

Sideways St. Sebastian's Hospital a.k.a. The Only Hospital in L.A.: The staff consensus is that Desmond's got a pretty good bump on his noggin, but his CAT scan was inconclusive. When they ask him about symptoms, the word hallucinations snaps him to attention. They want to do an MRI on Des. As they prepare him for it, they double check to make sure he's not wearing any metal -- just like the Widmorons did on Craphole-Adjacent. And, they give him a panic button, which many have compared to the buttons on the hatch computer, but which reminds me of the Fail Safe key. Did original recipe Desmond's "test" at the Hydra station bleed into Sideways St. Sebastian's -- necessitating this test? I like to think so. Anyhow, once they start the Magnetic Resonance Imaging, images from original recipe Desmond's life with Penny and wee Charlie Hume start resonating in Sideways Desmond's brain. It's not long before he pushes the panic button and ends the test. He has to get out of that contraption and find Charlie PACE, ASAP.

No one will give Des any information on Charlie Pace, since he's not family. But then, Dr. Jack Shephard appears. Des recognizes him from Oceanic 815, and tries to hit Jack up for some intel, but before Jack has to decide whether or not he should run afoul of HIPAA, Charlie runs through the halls in his dignified hospital johnny. We are spared a look at hobbit bum, thank Jacob. Des chases after him, but never says, "At least get some pants, brothah," which really, I think is a wasted opportunity. Once Des catches up to his charge, he demands to see his hands. "NOT PENNY'S BOAT," is not on either one, of course, but Desmond's desperation is enough to clue Charlie in on the fact that his plan worked. Desmond's near-death experience showed him his really truly true reality and soul-scorching love, too. Charlie's got his own purpose now, and it doesn't seem to involve singing for his supper at the behest of the family Widmore. He advises Desmond that none of this matters. What matters is what they felt. "If I were you, I'd stop worrying about me, and start looking for Penny." Amen, Charlie. Amen. Commercial.

Desmond reports the day's events to Chuckles, who is less than impressed with his star employee's results. He's all what do you mean he's gone? He's a junkie who drove my car into the drink. When I give you a job to do blah blah blah no more MacCutcheon's for you, laddie. Plus? Des gets the plum assignment of informing the reportedly formidable Madame Widmore that Pace is a no-go for her and young Master Widmore's classical music-rock extravaganza/charity event.

Des mans up and travels to the museum grounds where the event is being held. As a mysterious man in a black hat plays Chopin's "Fantasie Impromptu" like all the cool kids on this show, Desmond meets Mrs. Widmore and she is none other than Eloise Hawking, only with fabulously poofy hair, that makes me miss Alice Horton -- or would had Alice ever been this bad a day in her life. Eloise is totally fine with Desmond's disappointing news, which seems weird after seeing both Charles and George quake in their boots at the very idea of disappointing her. And it seems weird because it is. On his way out of the venue, Des overhears some employees reading off the approved guest list. The name Penny Milton is the one that catches his ear, but when he stops to inquire about her, the previously oh-so-cool Madame Widmore won't let Des find out one detail about Ms. Paradise Lost Milton. She runs him off, telling him that what he's doing is a "violation" (hmmm, of whose rules and from which reality) and that he needs to stop looking for whatever it is he thinks he's looking for. When Des asks how she knows what he wants, Eloise says, "Because I bloody do." Des wants to either see the list or know why he can't. Eloise: "You're not ready yet, Desmond." Magnet-free resonance for the win!

Sidebar: How does Sideways Eloise know, and how much does she know? How much does Charles know? Is Desmond in his employ because he knows, or is that a twist of fate? What do you think? My e-mail's at the end of this recap if you have any theories.

Back at the limo, George has booze waiting for a disconcerted Desmond, but before he can put away a significant amount, or take George up on any of his offers to get him whatever he needs or take him wherever he'd like to go, the musician-son of Mr. Charles and Mrs. Eloise (née Hawking) Widmore knocks on the limo window. Another hopeless romantic, Daniel Faraday Widmore just recently saw the love of his life -- a striking redhead with brilliant blue eyes, eating chocolate (probably before dinner), who works at the museum. I hope he doesn't mind James Ford's sloppy seconds. Anyhow, when Daniel saw her (Charlotte), that's when things got weird. That night, he fell asleep and then woke and had to write all these hi-tech equations. As a mere musician, Daniel couldn't make them out, but a friend at Cal-Tech (I hope it's original recipe Desmond's friend, Donovan) told him they were quantum mechanics stuff of which lifelong physicists only dream. He can tell Desmond has had the same sort of experience. "What if all this wasn't supposed to be our life? What if we had some other life and for some reason we changed things... I don't want to set off a nuclear bomb, Mr. Hume.... I think I already did." You are correct, sir! Their conversation turns to Penny, whom Desmond dismisses as merely an idea. Daniel says, "No, Mr. Hume. She's my half-sister. And I can tell you exactly where and when you can find her." Squee!

Sideways Des walks into the stadium where his original recipe once ran, in preparation for the sailing trip that would leave him stranded on Craphole. The stadium where he once ran with Jack. The stadium where he once asked original recipe Penny to wait for him. Now Sideways Penny is running there. He watches her, and approaches once she rests. Now she should blow a rape whistle or bust out the pepper spray. This scene should be creepy, but it's not, because their chemistry is instant. These two belong together and I will brook no insolence on that point. Des introduces himself and strikes up a conversation. They shake hands and we cut to...

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