The sailboat’s sole occupant is a very drunk Desmond. He’s dejected at having sailed for Fiji and ended up back at the island. His reasoning is that the island is all that is left – he could find no other land masses.
Sayid’s plan is to take Desmond’s boat to the north side of the island, scout the area, then make a signal fire on the beach and rendezvous with Jack’s party. He asks Jack to tell anyone that they know that Michael has been compromised. Sayid wants to take Jin for sailing expertise, but Sun also asks to come. Partway through their journey, they see the remains of a huge statue on a jetty or island near the beach – a huge lower leg with a four-toed foot.
While on their journey, Kate spots two Others who are tracking the party (and doing a really horrible job of staying hidden, considering how good the Others are supposed to be at this sort of thing. She and Sawyer shoot one of them, but the other one gets away. Kate starts out in pursuit, wanting to stop that one before he warns his people that they are coming. But Jack tells her they already know, and takes that moment to confront Michael. Michael not only admits that it is a trap, but he also admits that he killed Ana and Libby.
Sayid arrives at the camp and finds it deserted. He builds his signal fire on the beach. When Jack sees it, he realizes that they are too far inland. Michael has still led them into a trap. Sawyer, Kate, and Jack are nailed with darts and collapse. Soon, they are on a dock. A boat pulls up with Henry aboard. It appears that Henry is the leader. He agrees to fulfill his part of the bargain, giving Michael the boat (which already has Walt aboard) and pointing him in the right direction for rescue. Hurley is told to go back to his people and tell them never to come near the Others again. Bound and gagged, Jack, Kate, and Sawyer are hooded and led away.
In the meantime, Locke physically tries to stop Eko from pushing the button, but instead gets punched in the face and kicked out of the hatch. He elicits Demond to help him stop Eko from pushing the button. Using a little trick that Desmond learned, they are able to lower the blast doors and lock Eko out of the control room. Eko climbs out and gets Charlie to lead him to the dynamite. Eko’s plan to blast the blast doors doesn’t work, however, and he and Charlie are both injured. As the countdown nears, Demond remembers the last time he didn’t press the button on time – how the entire station shook in an electromagnetic shudder. He checks the logs from Pearl Station and realizes that this incident happened on the day when the plane crashed. Now he believes that the Swan station is real and the Pearl station was the experiment. (This is backed up by Jack’s party finding the resting place of the journals logged by Pearl observers and sent into the pneumatic tube: they end up in a big pile in a jungle clearing). Locke can’t be convinced, and the button is not pressed. As the electromagnetic incident occurs, metal objects are sucked toward the station wall, endangering the lives of Charlie and Eko. Desmond remembers his failsafe key, and goes below to use it. A huge white light engulfs the island as he turns the key, and the hatch door is blown onto the beach. Some time later, Charlie emerges from the jungle with no idea where Eko or Locke are, and seemingly no need to explain what happened, even when asked by Claire. Claire kisses him anyway.
Desmond’s backstory: Desmond loved a woman (Penny), but her father deemed him unworthy. He was in the army but did something bad and served time in jail before being given a dishonorable discharge. Penny’s father tries to pay him off to stay away from Penny, but Desmond doesn’t take the money. His plan is to beat the father in an around-the-world sailing race, but he has no money for a boat. Fortunately, he meets Libby in the US. She has just lost her husband, and she gives her boat to him. A storm near the island washes Desmond up on the beach. He is rescued by, Kelvin, the on-site button pusher. Kelvin makes Desmond stay inside and always wears an environmental suit when he goes out. (By the way, Kelvin was in the US Army in Iraq before joining Dharma – he was the commanding officer who deal with Sayid when he was captured). One day, after three years, Desmond notices that Kelvin’s suit has a rip below the knee. Desmond follows Kelvin outside and watches him remove his helmet – it was all a joke. Desmond continues to follow Kelvin and finds his boat intact (Kelvin has told him it was never found). Kelvin says he is leaving and invites Desmond to join him. Desmond is angry about being deceived, and while expressing his anger to Kelvin physically, accidentally kills him.
As the episode ends, two men at a observation station in some cold place read that an electromagnatic anomaly has taken place. They ring Penny to let her know.
And so, season 2 ends with more cliffhangers than you can shake an electromagnetic core at. Jack, Sawyer, and Kate are being held by the Others. Michael and Walt are sailing away. We don’t if Locke, Eko, Desmond, or the hatch has survived. And we don’t know why Charlie isn’t telling.
And somehow, something that happened regarding the meltdown/explosion has sent an alert to Desmond’s waiting lover, Penny.
As mentioned earlier, I thought the Others were experts at moving through the jungle silently on their bare feet. Didn’t they abduct Cindy right from other Ana’s eyes? But here, two of them are easily discovered by Kate. They are in plain sight to all of us, too.
This two-part episode is filled with exciting moments: Jack’s confrontation with Michael is probably the most dramatic of the lot.
Eko: Charlie, do you know how they got the hatch door open?
Charlie: No, but if you hum it I can probably play it.
Eko: How did they open it – the door that says quarantine?
Charlie: They blew it up – why?
Eko: Charlie, I need you help.
Charlie: Oh, now I’m back in your good graces, father?
Eko: Charlie, John has locked me out of the hatch, and I believe he is doing this because he is going to stop pushing that button. And Charlie, I am absolutely certain that if he is successful, in ninety minutes, everyone on this island will die!
Charlie: (stops to think) Alright, I’m in, I’m in.
(Desmond is studying the print-out taken from The Pearl)
Locke: What are you doing?
Desmond: When did you come here?
Desmond: The island. When did you come here? How long ago?
Locke: Sixty, sixty-five days-
Desmond: What was the date, what was the date?
Locke: September 22nd. It was September 22nd.
Desmond: I think I crashed your plane.
Locke: (to Eko, as the station shakes apart) I was wrong.