Lost: Season 4, Episode 5

The Constant (28 Feb. 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
9.7
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Ratings: 9.7/10 from 4,849 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 3 critic

During the helicopter ride to the ship, Desmond's consciousness begins jumping back and forth between present day 2004 and 1996. He is forced to find Daniel Faraday in 1996 in order to get answers and stop the jumps.

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Title: The Constant (28 Feb 2008)

The Constant (28 Feb 2008) on IMDb 9.7/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Claire Littleton (credit only)
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Ben Linus (credit only)
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Hugo 'Hurley' Reyes (credit only)
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James 'Sawyer' Ford (credit only)
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Jin Kwon (credit only)
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Sun Kwon (credit only)
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Miles Straume (credit only)
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Kate Austen (credit only)
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John Locke (credit only)
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Storyline

During the helicopter ride to the ship, Desmond's consciousness begins jumping back and forth between present day 2004 and 1996. He is forced to find Daniel Faraday in 1996 in order to get answers and stop the jumps.

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28 February 2008 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Desmond meets Charles Widmore in an auction, where he's buying the journal of The Black Rock's first mate. The Black Rock is the ship that lies in the middle of the jungle in the island. See more »

Goofs

When Desmond unties Minkowski, there is a 2 seconds scene where it's quite clear that Minkowski doesn't have blood on his face. Seconds before and after that scene he has blood that came out of his nose. See more »

Quotes

Desmond Hume: Set your device to... 2.342 and make sure it oscillates at 11.
Daniel Faraday: OK, now, you... You're gonna tell me who told you those numbers.
Desmond Hume: You did.
Daniel Faraday: Wait a second. This is ridiculous.
Desmond Hume: I know about Eloise.
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Crazy Credits

The Producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the people of Hawaii and their Aloha spirit. See more »


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Main Title
(uncredited)
Written by J.J. Abrams
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User Reviews

Setting new standards for television
28 February 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

If I ever had any doubts that "The Constant" was an absolute masterpiece and virtually perfect in just about every way, my latest viewing of the episode erased them. "The Constant" is an episode I saw six times in the first week after it was broadcast, and coming back to it on DVD several months later the emotional impact of the episode, as well as my sheer awe of the phenomenal skill and sophistication of the storytelling, were still intact.

"Lost" has certainly produced many overwhelming, brilliant, unique episodes, but in my humble estimation this is the finest achievement of the series in every regard- direction (Jack Bender), cinematography (John Bartley), music (Michael Giacchino), script (Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse), and acting from everyone involved in the episode. Even the most relatively insignificant of performances in the episode is excellent, even Elizabeth Mitchell's nearly completely silent turn as Juliet is a fine performance filled with energy and verve.

Perhaps most impressive about "The Constant" is that it really is just about perfect. The beach scenes, virtually the only aspect of the episode that is criticized by more than a tiny, tiny minority (and only in that they are less involving than the rest of the episode), are actually quite excellent, I think, both in writing and execution. It's the most playful part of the episode, partly due to Elizabeth Mitchell's performance, but it's also great to see Jack trying to put himself in a position of authority but constantly (hardy har har) failing to do so. It's an interesting spin on what usually happens at the beach camp when Jack is around, and all the dialogue here is great.

Of course what sets this episode apart from all others is the unique and brilliant narrative device. The episode puts a neat spin on Desmond's flashes, while also providing closure to that story in an entirely tasteful and successful manner, and is the only "Lost" episode not to have two separate timelines, but one where the 2004 'on-island' events are directly connected to what are usually the 'flashbacks' or 'flashforwards'. The idea of a character being 'unstuck in time' and his conscious traveling in time but not his body is not entirely original, but a brilliantly-written homage to "Slaughterhouse-Five", and when used in this context with these characters it genuinely feels fresh, which is really all that matters ultimately.

The scenes which take place in Desmond's past are all absolutely phenomenal, especially the ones with Faraday and the encounter with Charles Widmore, which contains a nice, subtle bit of information on the Black Rock, and blatantly suggests for the first time I think Widmore's interest in the island. The stuff on the freighter also works really well, forming the bulk of the action/adventure/sci-fi part of the episode, ultimately leading to the phone call between Desmond and Penny, which is to me perhaps the ultimate example of overblown sentimentality done right, and it's not just because the scene is so good, it's because the relationship itself warrants emotional investment. It's not kitsch romantic triangle nonsense, it's genuine and real and touchingly imperfect, if you know what I mean.

The emotional and even plot payoff for fans who are truly invested in the series is immense, and I for one think "The Constant" is an absolute triumph in every regard. It proves once and for all that "Lost" is, for all its relative ups and downs, something really special, and it also shows the immense respect and care which its writers, specifically the writers of this episode and main creative force behind "Lost" Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, have for the fans and for their own story and characters, regardless of how snarky they may be at times. "The Constant" is an absolute classic and definitely one of my personal favorite television episodes. Actually, it might be my favorite.


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