“The Constant” is arguably the most popular episode of Lost ever, which in a lot of ways is quite astonishing. Unlike “Through the Looking Glass,” which had a twist that anyone could have anticipated getting a big reaction from fans, “The Constant” is a mythology-heavy time-travel plot involving one character who wasn’t a regular castmember for the show’s first two seasons, and another who was never a regular. Nevertheless, Desmond and Penny, largely because of this episode, became the most compelling romantic relationship on the show for a lot of viewers.*
*This doesn’t say much for the Jack/Kate/Sawyer triangle, or Charlie/Claire, or Sun/Jin, which were set up from the show’s very beginning.
Desmond’s time-traveling ability had been known since “Flashes Before Your Eyes” in Season Three, but whereas that was a more straightforward flashback, “The Constant” cuts back and forth. He has become “unstuck in time” thanks to a storm that interrupts the helicopter flight back to the freighter. The odd time-properties of the Island* cause people who have recently been exposed to radioactive energy or electromagnetism (like say, in an electromagnetic explosion) to lose their grip on time. Continue reading »