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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: See You In Another Life, Brotha

Yet again, Wednesday has come upon us, which means yet another day of Wednesday Briefs. And this week, I'm breaking ground with a fandom I haven't even discussed in great detail on this blog: JJ Abrams' LOST, which I'm currently in the thick of, watching season five and getting my mind blown with every plot twist big and small. So I hope you enjoy my first proper LOST post on this blog and please, no spoilers anything beyond what is discussed!
Adrift, Again: LOST, Desmond Hume & Daniel Faraday, G, prompt - "time heals all wounds, orchids"
Canon note: Takes place at the beginning of season five. No spoilers past events around episode 2/3. Basically, if you can understand "Faraday's flashes", you're good. Also refers to Ben Linus, Penny Widmore, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, and John Locke, either explicitly or otherwise.
It begins like this: a flash of light, and everyone is lost.
Or: it begins with Desmond Hume waking up as he has done every day for the past four years in his prison of a hatch, oblivious to the fact that his life is about to take another dramatic shift forward. It begins with a light in the dark and a figure banging on the door from above, and hope, catching in both of their chests like an unexpected breath. It begins with a key in the floor, with the hairs on his neck standing on end, with a promise to a woman he thinks he'll never see again.

It begins in another life soon split into two, because he is Desmond Hume, the Scot who can't stay still even when he's standing, with the ability to be in two places at once. He lives in a fractured fairy tale, constantly running after his princess as the errant knight with no path, no purpose. One day, he is lying on the floor of his studio apartment, red paint dripping across his face like fresh blood. At the same time, he is washing ashore on a strange island and being dragged onto land by a man who will become his unwilling companion for a short time. In another instance, at the same time, Desmond is racing across the green fields of Oxford, looking for a physics professor who will explain his life away.
If Desmond Hume is a ship that has come untethered from its dock and is bobbing helplessly on the waves of time, then Daniel Faraday is its saving anchor, its lighthouse shining through the fog to light the way home. He's hope, a hastily written message in an old college-lined notebook: If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume is my constant.
Desmond doesn't pretend to understand how the particulars of time travel works. He's smart but he's no physicist. He's no Daniel Faraday, who can cover his workroom blackboards in complicated mathematical divination with effortless ease and can transport a mouse's brain into the past but can't bring it back, although not from lack of trying. With his tie and button-down shirt and backpack as well as his nervous physicality and movements, Faraday is nerd personified.
At first, Faraday doesn't get Desmond. He doesn't understand why this strange Scottish man has burst into his laboratory and asked him invasive questions about his research. But they know each other - not then, but later. And when Faraday helps establish a constant for Desmond, he can only understand the man's struggle on a theoretical basis. After all, Desmond Hume's travels were due to a total accident, an interaction with pure energy that has left the man disengaged from proper chronology. If time is a string, than Desmond is barely hanging on with his fingernails to his own thread.
Through the power of time and space and notebooks and secret words and phone calls, Desmond is grounded. He creates his own constant, Penny, and he is no longer flitting back between past and present like a crazed yo-yo. And yet, there it is, in Daniel's notebook. If anything goes wrong - but what could go wrong? Daniel Faraday helps Desmond from the relative safety of the island shore and does not prepare himself for any similar time based hijinks.
And then, shortly afterward, Ben Linus moves the whole damn island. And like that, everything changes. As far as he knows, Linus has taken a hammer to the world's clock and now it's Faraday who has become unstuck in time.
The Orchid Station. That's where everything started. And Daniel Faraday doesn't know it yet, but he's been there before, he'll be there very soon, in fact. The island knows him. Daniel Faraday has become unstuck in time - and today, he is reaching out to his very own constant, even though at this time, his constant doesn't even know him yet.
(Awash from a sea of memories twisted up by time travel, Desmond Hume wakes up in his wife's bed, remembering a promise he made to a man on an island. He is soon turning the boat around to English, to Cambridge. To Faraday.)
There is an island somewhere in the middle of the ocean that, thanks to Benjamin Linus, has become a rift in time, adrift from the regular groove of the world. On it, a group of people keep popping in and out of a confused time stream, struggling to reach some sense of normalcy, fighting to get their lives back. Among them is Daniel Faraday, and he has a plan.
It feels like many years ago that Faraday and Hume put so much trust in each other to save Hume's life from death by a time travel-related brain hemorrhage. And yet, there is Daniel Faraday, talking to a scared man in a biohazard suit, putting all his hope yet again on the same man who will later escape this cursed island, who will save everyone and fix what has been broken.
The first time Desmond Hume meets Daniel Faraday, the physicist has no idea who Desmond is or why he knows who he is. The first time Daniel Faraday meets Desmond Hume, Desmond hasn't seen another human being in years, much less Faraday. Desmond has already been hurt by the constantly shifting laws of time. Now it's Daniel's turn, and he's reaching out for a man who barely knows him.
Daniel already knows what he's going to say, the next time his and Desmond's time lines cross: "We've really got to stop meeting like this."

Above his head, a bird screeches and flies off into the distance, and its cry sounds like it is saying another man's name.
Here are the other bloggers who are flashing this week: