Permanent Notes

‘If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my Constant.’ – Quotation from Daniel Faraday’s Journal

To begin, let me attempt to clarify the meaning of the above notation. As I am sure you remember, the episode The Constant had Desmond’s consciousness flipping back to his past where he encountered Faraday and explained his predicament to him.

Desmond: “Um. . . Sorry. I’m Desmond Hume, and um. . . I was told I could find you here. I think I’ve. . . just been to the future.”

Dan: “. . . The future?”

Desmond: “Yes. Uh, I spoke to you there, you told me to come here, to Oxford, to find you. You said you’d help me.”

We know what happens next. Faraday used Eloise the rat to explain how Desmond needed a Constant to resolve his situation, and so Desmond used Penny in 1996 with a phone call in 2004 and voila! Instant Constant! But sticking with Faraday for a second, he makes an important point.

Dan: “Alright, this, this future version of me. . . Uh, he referenced this meeting, right? Obviously, so, so I would remember you coming to Oxford, right? I would remember this, here, right now.”

Desmond: “Actually, um, no.”

Dan: “No.”

Desmond: “Maybe you just forgot.”

Dan: “Yeah, right, how would that happen?”

The question of why 2004 Faraday doesn’t recall this meeting in 1996 is important, and places a lot more importance on his journal. See, for all of his cynicism, it would seem Faraday genuinely did forget this meeting. Indeed, it seems something happened to his memory right across the board. Charlotte was doing the memory test game with him, for one thing, as an indication that something had happened.

Probably if Season 4 had allowed more time with ‘The Freighties’ we may have been given a clearer picture of this. As it is, The Constant merely makes a throwaway suggestion that Faraday not wearing protective headgear whilst conducting his studies may eventually effect his memory functioning. I’ll suggest an alternative further on.

But back to the journal, and the message Faraday left himself. ‘If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my Constant.’ What I have to impress upon you here is that this message was permanent. It was always there. When Faraday was travelling on The Freighter, that note was in the journal. When Faraday parachuted onto the Island, that note was in the journal. It did not appear retroactively. It did not turn up because Desmond appeared in the past. The note was always there.

Personally, I think Dan wrote it shortly after Desmond visited him, to serve as a form of insurance policy. A ‘Constant Guarantee’ if you like.

Of course, with Faraday’s memory loss the note would not have made much sense to him. If he had skimmed over his notes whilst he was on The Freighter, for example, and read ‘Desmond Hume will be my Constant’ then it wouldn’t have meant much. He didn’t remember Desmond. It was just a name. It was only afterwards that he went scrabbling through his journal and discovered the message he had left for himself and realised the importance of it.

Does this not beg intrigue at what else is contained within this journal? What other relevant stuff has Dan once known and since forgotten, but at least made note of? And how did he know it in the first place?

Let’s end this with some far-reaching theory. Currently we have the interesting possibility that Faraday may have gone to the past on the Island. Possibly this paves the way for him to spend time with the Dharma Initiative in their heyday, and get to learn about The Swan and The Orchid and The Tempest. What if, at some stage during this time, Faraday gets this information to his younger self?

I’m loathe to suggest that he might do the old ‘mind time travel consciousness shifting’ and go back to his younger self, write down a bunch of notes in his journal, and then return to his original timeline. But it would be an explanation. Alternatively, he could have mailed notes to himself, perhaps? Or sent a piece of video (like Pierre Chang) with some crucial information on it?

The idea I like best? That he does get involved in some ‘mind consciousness shifting’ to his younger self, but it’s not a temporary thing. It’s permanent. Possibly it’s the result of the infamous ‘incident’ at The Swan. And the process frazzled both minds in the fusion, causing memory problems and a sense of confusion.

Remember when Faraday was sat in front of the television, watching news of the Oceanic crash? He was crying, and he didn’t know why. Maybe in that confused, future memory-addled brain of his, the truth of it all was tucked away there, weeping its way out. . .

(This theory isn’t as weird as it sounds, especially if you’ve read Slaughterhouse Five, of which this crying scene appears to be a direct reference.)

‘If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my Constant.’ Maybe Faraday did need a Constant. Maybe he did use Desmond when things went wrong. But maybe, instead of having his consciousness reconciled with his present, it instead got reconciled with his past – and so it remained, permanently.


Acharaisthekey said...

Well, I asked for it, and I got it. This is a cool post. There is one side of me that is 100% in agreement, however, there is another side of me that thinks you may be wrong.

First the side of me that agrees:
This whole concept would flow nicely with Desmonds story and his past. Remember, he wakes up falling from a ladder, remember the "FUTURE" but not really knowing what's going on, he still proceeds through his life and tries to get Widmore to say he can MARRY his daughter, then of course is thrown back off by Hawking, and of course he ends up on that island, that he felt for sure he'd been on. He then continues forward until of course he takes the boat race. This theory mirrors that. Desmond, (Dating back to maybe when he woke up by Brother Campbell) always had his life thwarted or changed by this "Something"....even though he didn't fully understand (we as viewers beleive that was pressing the button)....

Now, with Daniel, we know he has a flawed memory, a notebook, and a scene where he doesn't know why he is crying. If in fact he knew there was "SOMETHING" wrong but didn't understand it, we could very well find out it was THE INCIDENT or some VERY BAD things yet explained to us. Either way, the parallel stories would work and make sense.

Now, the piece of me that disagrees with you a little bit is the fact that the note HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE. I am not completely sold that you can't change events in the past to PREPARE You better in the future. Meaning, you live your life and get to point X, but point X allows you the opportunity to prepare you Better (or worse) for what happens at point X, so you go back to point B (OR C, or whatever) and you start fumbling around and give yourself the knowledge that Desmond Hume will be your constant. YOu make sure it's written down, and you get stuck with that knowledge the rest of your life up to point X, thus preparing you for X better. You very well could have lived your life a-x without it, but at x, you went back to c, and made a change. Knowledge you know live with the rest of your life.

This too would mirror Desmond as he does live his life when he FLASHES Back, but yet still goes on the boat race to 'impress' Widmore...he's stuck with the knowledge, though he doesn't understand it (as he is confused when Inman picks him up). Ultimately, it works as we now know (for a little bit) he has been reunited.

Anyways, if he doesn't go through the PURPLE SKY EVENT...and FLASH BACK, does he in fact NOT BE A COWARD and propose? I have a little part of me that believes he does. But, this KNOWLEDGE IS IMPLANTED in him because of the PURPLE SKY (His moment X).

I don't know, this is a great theory because I think you open the PORTAL OF BELIEF here. I don't think they'll ever tell us if that was "Always" there...we just have to figure out on our own if we feel they shaped there destiny by future events, or if it simply didn't matter because there destiny is there destiny.

Sorry for the long rant....slow friday night

AngeloComet said...

You call that a rant!? I thought that was a well-reasoned comment, personally.

Weirdly, I think the part of you that disagrees actually DOES agree. You suggest that at Point X you go back to B or C and write down a note that may help you, for example.

Well, I've made the same case here. Only at point B or C, it wasn't Dan from point X that helped him - it was Desmond returning. It was Desmond from the future that prompted Dan to make his note and set it down. And then his memory got messed up and he lost track of the meaning. (This was probably essential, to avoid a paradox.)

I think there's more potential for paradox with a person dipping back into their own history and changing something that happened to help themselves in the future.

Think of Biff Tannen in the Back To The Future films. Old Biff went back into his past and gave his younger self the results of sports games. Young Biff then used this to change his life and become rich. But this came at the cost of the Old Biff, who returned to his 'present' and was erased, because he had created a new timeline he no longer existed in.

Acharaisthekey said...

I guess to state my disagreement....let me go back and say that the words "IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG, DESMOND HUME WILL BE YOUR CONSTANT" wasn't in the book, until Desmond travelled through the bearing to get to the freighter and unstuck himself to 1996. I think the crying and the memory thing was due to something yet unknown (maybe a missing foot :), but if you were to go through his journal when he arrived on the island and desmond hadn't left for the freighter yet, it wasn't there....but when that event happened...the words are now in the journal. It has no impact on the future though. Daniel was always going to join the freighter team regardless of whether or not Desmond gets on the helicopter to go the frieghter.

I would say the same thing about Desmond. Until he turned the fail safe key, he had no memory of Ms. hawking. He was always going to dump Penny and was always going to go on the boat race, therefore always end up on the island...however, if he had the memory of MS. Hawking telling him that 'pressing that button' is important, the meeting between Kelvin and him would have been very different....however, that memory is not there, until he turns the fail safe key and now is implanted in his memory for ever.

This stuff is confusing and you're right, the big anti paradox watch is exactly the Biff example you bring up. Either way, I don't think we'll get our answer diretly from LOST on whether or not it existed in the book when he arrived to the island, or if it existed in the book once Desmond travelled (although, I understand by the changed event, it then went and existed once he got to the island...arghh...confusing myself again)...but like I said, we'll have to just beleive one way or another

Anonymous said...

Could Desmond visiting Faraday in the past contributed to Faraday's consciousness sticking in the past? Could 1996 Desmond have been Faraday's constant, and 2004 Faraday used Desmond's consciousness shifting to ensure he made contact with his constant in 1996? Confusing and brief, I know!