LOST - Desmond doing a Motel 6

Down in a hole and I don't know if I can be saved
See my heart I decorate it like a grave
You don’t understand who they thought I was supposed to be
Look at me now a man who won't let himself be


-Alice in Chains, "Down in a Hole"


Something has bothered me about that hatch. Something that's been bothering me since the end of Season 2, when we learned that it was Desmond who heard Locke pounding ("Deus Ex Machina") and flipped the light switch to ON.

In "Live Together, Die Alone," Desmond tells Locke that times were desperate down in the Hatch back then, before it had been excavated by the Losties. Desmond was in a deep despair, thinking no one would come to replace him on button duty. No one coming to relieve him.

Desmond's last-book-before-I-die, Our Mutual Friend, was on the table-top. A gun sits nearby. He'd been told by Kelvin that the world was gone out there, and there was nothing to do but push the button or end it all. Desmond was close to ending it all.

Then Locke knocked on the door. Or more specifically, the window at the top of the escape hatch. Locke wanted leadership from the Island, a sign. He had just let Boone die a meaningless death, and was in an almost equally-deep despair. Desmond heard the pounding. His face brightened. He ran to the panel, and turned on the light pointed directly up the shaft of the hatch. He gleamed, saved and beatific, up at Locke. Locke looked, amazed and with purpose renewed, down at the light.


Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?

-Psalm 130


Except almost none of this makes any sense from Desmond's perspective.

Sure, I can see that a man who had lost all hope of salvation and relief, who thought that the world had died and left him behind, would be reinvigored by the prospect of someone trying to get in.

But with so much at stake, and with so much desperation rattling around in that Swan station, shouldn't Desmond have done something more than just turn on the porch light? Wouldn't you have done something more? Maybe run around to the back/front door (so easy to forget that the hatch wasn't really the front door), opened it up, and shouted "Over here!"?

The preview scenes for the next new episode of LOST indicate that perhaps my questions will be answered. In case you're one of those folks that doesn't even watch the "next week on LOST" bits at the end of each episode, I won't tell you what it was that we saw.

I will say that Daniel Faraday's actions at the surface entrance to the Swan station in the premiere episode ("Because You Left") have specific meaning to this conundrum. What does Desmond's unique position in the space/time continuum have to do with the reason why the mere presence of an outsider would soothe Desmond's despair?


The world has turned and left me here
Just where I was before you appeared
And in your place an empty space
has filled the void behind my face

-Weezer, "The World Has Turned and Left Me Here"


Oh, and one other thing. It's kind of funny, the difference between "relieve" and "relive" is only one letter.