I’ve been hard on Lost lately, but I think it’s time I said this: thank you. Thank you, Lost. Tonight’s episode was so strikingly different from the past 7 that we’ve been forced to sit through that even if it was complete nonsense, it would have been a welcomed change. So… was tonight’s episode complete nonsense, or did we get that old Lost charm back?

I’m not the biggest Desmond fan. I don’t hate anything about him, I just have a stronger connection to the other characters on the show. But I have to say that tonight, he jumped up a step in my mind, along with the producers and show runners. Before this season, the producers hinted at the very notion of time on the island being played with. I’ve been looking forward to it all season, because I think its a very cool, sci-fi angle that this show could pull off better than any other. Tonight, finally, we got that first taste of it.

The episode centers around Desmond getting whacked in the head and slipping back into what seemed to be a dream about his past. After long, we learn that Desmond is reliving the past. He remembers bits and pieces, and sees his opportunity to change his life and stay with the woman he loved. Buying the ring though, we are presented with the first great Lost twist in months; the woman at the jewelry store won’t sell him the ring! She knows that if he gets the ring, he’ll never go to the island and will never save the world by turning that failsafe key. Desmond accepts his fate, does not change his past, and wakes up back on the island. While there, he admits to Charlie that he has saved his life twice already, and that since he turned the key he has seen flashes of the future. He also gives Charlie an ominous warning of imminent death.

This was not the ending I was expecting. It’s hard to decipher exactly what Desmond’s condition is, but I saw it as an ability to relive moments he had already experienced and do what he can to change the outcome. For instance, he would have already lived through Charlie’s death twice, and while living through each of those situations the second time, he would have saved him and changed the outcome. Makes sense to me (as much as it should, at least)! But the way he worded it in his final speech, he made it seem like he just catches glimpses of the future. My question is; is he seeing the future, or just flashes of a past he has already lived? I’m almost certain its the second one, but we’ll find out soon enough.

Overall, solid solid episode. Maybe the best of this season. Interesting shots (ring into the water), old characters return (Hurley!), new fun theories to toss around… everything a Lost fan could have hoped for!