We catch up with Desmond and Sayid tonight, who have been flying around the Pacific for two weeks looking for the boaties’ freighter. On their way, a wicked storm brews up. With lightning flashing all around them, Captain Ron figures the safe thing to do is to “ride the snake, man” all the way to the boat. He’s wrong though. There’s a flash of lightning, and Desmond quantum leaps eight years in the past, during his stint with the Royal Scots. When he leaps back, he’s lost all memory of where and who he is. Although he still remembers who he is. Captain Ron is barely able to wrestle the helicopter back onto the freighter’s helipad. They’re met by the guy from Smokin’ Aces, who gets Desmond to stop screaming long enough to convince him that he needs to be locked in the sickbay. During all this, Desmond keeps leaping back to his army days. His bush-league behavior is really pissing off the sarge, who asks Desmond what his major malfunction is.
On the island, Jack and Juliette pay a visit to Daniel and Charlotte. Jack, out of breath, demands to know why they haven’t heard from Sayid and Desmond, who’ve been gone, like, forever. Daniel and Charlotte exchange awkward glances. Daniel kicks some sand around, then alludes cryptically to some… thing, that may or may not be coming to kill them all. Charlotte is all, like, “Shhhh!” and Daniel tells her not to boss him. He tells Jack that the way people experience time on the island may not be the way people experience time off the island. He says that if Cap’n Ron didn’t follow the exact bearing out that they flew in on, the people on the helicopter could suffer “horrible side effects,” but that he shouldn’t worry about all the secrets they’re keeping. I mean, look at this island. Beautiful, right? Why worry about anything? Jack and Juliette agree, then go off and enjoy each other’s company somewhere.
Sayid and Desmond, on the other hand, aren’t happy to take all this sitting down. Sayid gets Captain Ron to lend him his iPhone under penalty of torture and calls Faraday on the island. After Desmond explains his time jumps, Daniel tells him to travel to Oxford University and find his younger self, who will be able to help somehow. Desmond instead travels to Hogwarts, but finds Daniel anyway. He introduces himself as a visitor from the World of Tomorrow! Daniel doesn’t believe a word of it and storms off, telling Desmond, “Beat it kid. I’m working here.” Desmond expected as much, and so tells past-Daniel a personal story future-Daniel said to use if his past-self didn’t believe him. Daniel was hanging a clock over his toilet. He slipped, hit his head on the sink, and when he woke up drew the first plans for the flux capacitor, which is what makes time travel possible. Daniel is stunned, and quickly agrees to help Desmond get his parents back together at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.
Faraday takes Desmond to his office and shows him a time machine he’s built out of an industrial blow-dryer. He says that he hasn’t actually sent anything back through time yet, but that PETA is bringing him up on ethics charges. Although his time machine doesn’t really work, he had a feeling that if it did, there’s a teensy possibility that Desmond could die if he travels back and forth too much. To prevent spontaneous death, Desmond needs a “constant”, something familiar in the past and the future that will anchor him down, whatever that means. It’s Lost, and even though it doesn’t always make sense we love it and will follow it straight into the gaping jaws of Hell, so we’ll forgive it it’s flaws.
Desmond realizes the only thing familiar to him in both the past and the future is Penny. In the past, Penny is still hurting from their break-up and Desmond has to go into stalker-mode trying to track her down. He finds her father at an auction, bidding on the diary from one of the officers of the Black Pearl Rock. He gives Desmond Penny’s new address and doesn’t even act like a dick or anything. No one’s paying attention to any of this because we’re all talking about the Black Rock. When Desmond finally finds Penny, she ain’t having none of that and almost slams the door in his face. Desmond begs her for her phone number, saying that he’ll call her in exactly eight years. Penny finally gives it to him, but the emotion is just too much for her.
Back on the freighter, Bobcat Goldthwait, the ship’s communications officer and another leaper, has also been trapped in sickbay. He convinces Desmond and Sayid to untie him before they make their escape. They’ll find the captain, steal his hat, and whomp him good! Sayid says he’d rather go the communications room. Bobcat says it’s all good in the hood, as long as he’s untied. They make it to the communications room just in time for Bobcat to die. Sayid can’t be bothered with any of that though. The ship’s radio system is all busted to Hell and he’s busy jerry-rigging a phone from tin cans and coconuts. It all works somehow and Desmond is able to call Penny, exactly eight years later. Penny tells Desmond that his phone call truly is a Christmas miracle. They tell each other that they’ll never ever let anything separate them, ever. Right before the coconut phone dies, Desmond remembers that he’s stuck on Mystery Island in the fifth dimension and if his chronic time-traveling doesn’t kill him, some other crazy-ass thing probably will. S**t.
On the island, Faraday is looking through an old journal. He flips to an entry that reads, “Find the jade monkey before the next full moon.” Then he flips to another one that says, “If anything go wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant.” It’s possible that this is some veiled homosexual reference. It’s all a rich tapestry, and we’ll be on the edge of our seats until next week’s episode, and next week’s LOSTWATCH!!.