I wrote last night’s post as the Benadryl I’d taken had set in. I really should’ve been in bed. Instead, I rambled on without even explaining why I posted about Desmond & Penny in the first place.
I belong to a few LOST-themed Facebook groups (yes, I am that much of a nerd about the show). All day, people in the group posted about Desmond and Penny – because it was Christmas Eve. The Constant is one of the most popular episode of the show’s six seasons. Its significance to the storyline can’t be overstated. So naturally it came up as people, some of whom in the midst of re-watches of the show, remembered what a big deal December 24, 2004 was.
That’s why I wrote my random ramblings last night. I hope someday I write something that random people across the world will remember at odd moments or on specific days & nights when a snippet of dialogue or the story pops into their mind. Though I’ve yet to experience that kind of love, there’s always the hope I’ll find that too (along with publishing oodles of novels before I die).
Tomorrow, I hope to read a novel I’ve ready every year for decades. It’s a Christmas week tradition. It’s called “The Following of the Star.” It’s a very old novel about a wealthy single woman and the missionary that comes to preach at her countryside church. While it takes place over time, it is centered around Christmas. The book is divided in three sections – gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. It’s quite old fashioned and a little sexist. But, it’s still a favorite. The copy I used to read – my Mom’s has been worn a little. So I know have it on my Kindle (it’s free by the way). Which brings us back to what I was saying about LOST and our favorite books and movies. This tradition has stuck with me because the words of the book are so beautiful to me – just as the scene from The Constant has for so many years. What a gift story is.
“I won’t call for eight years. December 24, 2004. Christmas Eve. I promise. Please, Pen.”
In my favorite show, LOST – the character Penny (in the above scene) is considered, by the character Desmond, to be his constant – the person that keeps him anchored to reality, as he travels through time. In this season 4 episode, Penny finally receives the long-ago promised call from Desmond. The night Desmond shows up at her home, eight years prior (above), she is angry and wants only for him to leave. She eventually regrets this – eventually stopping at nothing – to find out what’s happened to him.
It’s not really a Christmas episode. But somehow it is, just the same. What a gift this moment (below) becomes. By this point in the show, you’re longing to see some kind of victory for the “LOSTies.” This call is just that, for a number of reasons. It’s also a beautiful part of the love story for Desmond & Penny. You sort of just know their story will come together after this point. I first saw this episode so long ago now. It is and always will be a favorite.
As a writer, I’m drawn to big moments like the second video. The reunification, the declaration, the romance of two people finding each other through time and space. Toward the end of the first video, you see Desmond walk away from Penny’s home, with a smile on his face. He’s smiling, even though she’s just pushed him out the door, because he knows – because he’s been there already, that she will answer that call on December 24, 2004. And though it looks bleak, as she expresses her anger, he walks away knowing what will eventually happen. He walks off content with the knowledge that this moment is not the end for them. As the scene plays out, with both expressing their love and commitment, I’m reminded of how unlike real life is from the very things I write or those things I am drawn to in literature, movies, TV shows, etc.
Unlikely, improbable, and a fool’s errand, could describe the likelihood of a love story coming together like what the writer of a romcom, movie, or film project, writes. And yet, it’s still moments like these with a little more reality sprinkled in, that I’ll just keep hoping for – improbable though they are.
Before my recent vacation started, I started re-watching my all time favorite television show, LOST. You have to type it out that way . . . L-O-S-T, or you’re not a true LOSTie. So anyway, the show will always stick with me because of what the Show Runners, writers, and directors did with the characters throughout its six seasons. For a show that was filled with everything from time travel to age-old questions of faith vs. science, mystery, and even violence – it did what other action-packed dramas on television have never done for me – made me love its characters.
As someone that writes character-driven fiction, it was only natural that I’d fall in love with the characters themselves. They’re not exactly lovable. They’re not exactly worthy of hate, either. While there are a few characters that I will never like, for the most part, I love all of them. Each character is complex. None of them are fully good. Most of them aren’t fully bad, either. They’re like most of us – a healthy of mix of what’s good and what’s not.
Though I’m drawn to love stories in movies and books, those remain secondary to what has made me such a loyal fan of the show. That said (you knew I was going to throw a however comma in there, right?), there are some great love stories woven into the six seasons. It’s hard to pick which is my favorite – though Sawyer and Juliet and Jack and Kate certainly rise to the top. I’ve shared before that Desmond and Penny share one of my favorite television moments of all time. Above is another. While the whole clip is pivotal – in terms of the plot – it’s also another one of the perfect moments that passes between Desmond and Penny. Much like in my favorite moment between them, in The Constant.
It is ultimately their love that changes things, for everyone on the island – at least on the surface. But I love their love. It’s my kind of love. These two stay the course, in spite of insurmountable odds. Desmond – poor guy – he takes the worst of it, thanks to Penny’s horrible father. And even though there are moments when she wavers, in the beginning, she knows. She knows how loved she is. She knows how far Desmond will go to show her that.
Because of that, she waits. She doesn’t give up. While she waits, she’s constantly trying to figure out how to find Desmond so they can be reunited. At about 2:50 in the clip, Desmond recalls the words Penny has written him in a letter he keeps – to remind him of how and where they started. I remain uncertain that in season 1 – these two would become as important as they are in the rest of the seasons. Nonetheless, it is their determination and dedication to each other that keeps them on course.
This is my kind of love. If only. Strip away all the craziness of a TV show – these two have a few things going for them in addition to loving each other – loyalty, determination, and patience are a pretty solid foundation. It’s what sustains them through the darkest moments when all seems lost (pun intended). Like I said – if only.