Desmond’s ‘Conscious Flashes’
At the beginning of the premiere, Flight #815 is safely on its way to LA from Sydney. There are some familiar faces seen from the original flight and some who are conspicuously missing. The reason for this is, when the timeline changed it changed other very important circumstances in their lives that negated them being on the plane in the ‘alternative’ timeline. We will learn how implementing ‘the incident’ changed the course of history.
However, there is one person in particular who wasn’t on the original flight of #815 for a very good reason. On that particular day in the previous or original timeline, when ‘the incident’ occurred he was in the Swan Station monitoring a button that required pushing every 108 minutes. This person was Desmond David Hume.
Even though an ‘alternate timeline’ has occurred, there would be no logical reason as to why Desmond would have appeared on the flight that we are aware of, let alone sitting down beside Jack, engaging in a brief conversation and then all but vanish in ‘mid-air’. Desmond had crash-landed on ‘the island’ during a boat race in the ‘pre-incident’ timeline. We have yet to learn what course of events Desmond is presently living under as a result of the ‘alternate’ timeline occurring in his own life. There is, however a very good reason why Desmond may have appeared in the ‘alternate’ timeline of flight #815.
Over the past few seasons we’ve learned that Desmond has the unique ability to ‘conscious flash’ to other time periods, both on and off of ‘the island’. We’ve also learned that Desmond became Daniel Faraday’s ‘Constant’. This also occurred, while happily living off of ‘the island’ in the ‘pre-incident’ timeline with Penny and son Charlie, when Desmond awoke one night from a dream of sorts with a message from Daniel Faraday (that he had no recall of), to deliver an urgent message to Eloise Hawking on Daniel’s behalf.
In mathematical equation we have learned about ‘constants’ in addition to ‘variables’, their meaning and importance. Daniel Faraday told Jack that ‘the losties’ were the ‘variables’ that could change the equation and also change the original fate of Flight #815 by creating ‘the incident’. It appears that this was successful, and the ‘alternate’ timeline occurred.
When Jack initially encounters Desmond in the Stadium, I believe he encountered Desmond while he was ‘conscious flashing’. They have a discussion regarding miracles and Desmond says to Jack, “you’ve got to lift it up”, and making subtle reference. He concludes the conversation by saying “see you in another life, brutha”.
Although we are presently unaware of the circumstances of him appearing on flight #815 in the ‘alternate’ timeline, I believe this was Desmond’s attempt to initiate Jack’s recollection of the ‘pre-incident’ timeline that he and his fellow ‘losties’ just emerged from with little ‘conscious memory’ of. When Jack returns from the washroom, he encounters Desmond in the seat next to him. After a short introduction, Jack looks nervously at him and Desmond says to Jack, “Nice to meet you, Jack…or to see you again”. He proceeds to laugh and then sighs.
Therefore, as a ‘Constant’ it makes sense that it will be Desmond who will provide Jack with enough ‘dÃ©jÃ vu’ experiences to awaken Jack’s ‘conscious mind’ and provide sufficient recall of his previous life on ‘the island’. In turn, I suspect that Jack will seek out the other characters that will undoubtedly be experiencing their own ‘dÃ©jÃ vu’ experiences and he will serve as ‘awakener’ of their ‘conscious’ memories. I also expect that whatever has been altered in Desmond’s own life will eventually bring him into physical contact with some of the characters.
I expect that Desmond will be able to provide them via his ‘conscious flashing’ abilities with enough necessary information and recall about their previous ‘island’ life for the characters to assume whatever ‘course’ they are supposed to follow in the future, and become ‘one’ with ‘the island’ again and resolve the situation. Coincidentally, Desmond is reading a book on the plane by British Indian writer Salman Rushdie entitled Haroun and the Sea of Stories. “It is a phantasmagorical story set in a city so old and ruinous that it has forgotten its name”. The Synopsis on Wikipedia makes some interesting and ‘subtle’ references.