Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Desmond Factor


Looking back at old episodes as well as following the new ones, something has been bugging me. I’ve wondered for a while just how much Desmonds past was manipulated for him. But now I am wondering who and why. Let’s look at a few things.

  • In his early life Des was little more then your average Scotsman. He liked to drink and he supported Glasgow Celtic (one of Scotlands better soccer teams). He was likely a Catholic. Liked the girls. Had trouble with commitment. He worked to support his younger brothers after something happened to his father and never had time to finish University.
  • One day that changes. He went out drinking and having doubts about whether his future lay with marriage to Ruth (his long term girlfriend). He woke to the face of Brother Campbell offering him help. Something in him told him to follow the brother and that he had a calling that at the time made him think that calling was to become a monk.
  • Now this is where things get interesting. The monks have a vow of silence which they use to initiate new members. This can last for a varying length of time. For Desmond it took such a long time that Brother Campbell thought he may never make it. We don’t know how long this was but the suggestion is that it was over a month (as a month was the standard time for those they were unsure of). Could it been as many as 108 days? I have often thought so.
  • The monks worked to produce wine, which they sell for just over £100. Again I’m thinking £108. By the time Des left, they had bottled 108 of them. The wine was named the wine “Moriah” after the mountain on which God asked Abraham to kill his son Isaac.
    • Could this be some kind of conditioning or was he merely there so that he could be led to the events that would follow it?
  • Upon being fired as a Monk he met Penny who had come to the monks to collect some of the wine. This moment set up Desmond’s life on the path which led him to participate in many pinnacle events in the Lost mythos, such as:
    • Reaching the Island and taking over the running of the Swan, pressing the button every 108 minutes
    • Being part of the incident that led to Flight 815 crashing on the island.
    • Being the one that turns the key to de-activate the Swan relatively safely.
    • Being a key person in the events that led to the Oceanic Six leaving the island.
    • Travelling in time twice, the second time meeting up with Daniel Faraday and helping him develop his understanding of time travel (as well as becoming his constant).
  • The head of the Monastery, Brother Campbell had a very curious picture on his desk showing him outside the Monastery with one Eloise Hawking.
    • Was he at one time romantically linked with her?
    • Were they friends?
    • Were they part of a secret organisation?
    • Did she act as a proxy for someone to help him set up the Monastery and/or wine making operation?
  • Now Eloise has an interesting number of links herself.
    • As well as being the resident expert on where and when the Island is, she is the mother of Daniel Faraday. A man linked with Desmond through time travel experiences and possibly the most knowledgeable person on time travel around.
    • She appears to have been on the Island as an Other in the 50’s along with Charles Widmore. She still has links with Widmore as he funded her sons research and knew where she could be found.
    • She was working with Ben to get the others back on the island giving her links to the current Others as well as Widmore.
    • The strangest thing though is her appearance in Desmond’s flashback. Was she manipulating Desmond all along? Did she tell her son about Desmond so that he knew Des was someone that could actually change events while time travelling?

So even back in Desmond’s earliest flashback to date it seems that Widmore, Ben, The Others and/or Eloise could have been manipulating his life. They could have been doing it on behalf of the Island or there own ends. Apparently the Island isn’t done with him yet, even though he chose not to come. But then Ben’s secret little side mission may have changed that. I am certain we will see more of Des and that this mystery will unravel itself. It will certainly be interesting!

UPDATE: With the events of Episode 5x07 and the revelation that one of Widmores employee's, Matthew Abbadon specializes in "getting people to where they need to go" I am even more convinced that Charles Widmore had similarly had a hand in Desmonds destiny. Especially considering that it seems Ben wasn't already linked up with Eloise beforehand.


maven said...

Great bullet, Fenris! Yes, I totally agree in the manipulation of Desmond (let alone everyone) in some sort of game. Desmond even realizes this in the Lamp Post when he tries to warn Jack how they are being used. And remember, Desmond conveniently got that sailboat from Libby just when he needed one!

Capcom said...

Great Post and graphic! And it brings up many points about Des that I have wondered about, some of which are clarified by your knowledge of the UK that I don't have (e.g. soccer teams :-)

Desmond's predicament with the island still needing him reminds me of Michael Corleone in The Godfather saying, "I try to get out, but it keeps pulling me back in." :-)

Des is the one person that I would like to have the holes of his past story filled in, mainly for the reasons that you have listed here. Do you think that his time in the monestery was never meant to be forever, and that it was just a safe holding area for him to be kept in until they were ready to put him where he was needed? At which time he was succintly fired (I've always thought that the angry ex-brother-in-law at the door was kind of a lame excuse for letting Des go).

Who knows, perhaps even a strategically placed person in the army managed to put Desmond in whatever position it was that got him sent to the brig. And we still don't know THAT part of the story either! :-(

Fenris said...

Thanks for the comments. Good points all round.

These comments make me think of two things I should have added to the post. The first being the Libby involvement. She was always suspected of being a "Dharma recruiter" or similar, but it seems now entirely possible she was a Widmore employee. The whole thing with the confirmation of Abbadon messing in peoples lives seems to open that whole thing right up again.

The second thing is about Desmonds ex-fiancées brother tracking him down. I am wondering if he was given a tip when the time was considered right for Desmond to move on. Setting into motion the events that got him fired and led to the rest.

It seems the first decision Des ever made for himself was the one not to return to the island. But I suspect that one won't pan out for him!

I'm just picturing Des doing the Corleone speech now. Lol.

Capcom said...

Yes, the Libby connection is quite suspect as well! And also needs to be cleared up. And who WAS her husband anyway?!

Good point about the girl's brother too, it would be very convenient if he was tipped off as to Desmond's location. "Oops, guess you're too messed up to be a monk, here go help this nice daughter of Widmore with her wine, etc." :-o