NOTE: In accordance with site policy, this theory is completely spoiler-free.
Back in the second season of our favorite show, we were introduced to a character who would quickly become one of our most beloved. The scraggly-haired Scotsman was responsible for “saving the world” by pushing a button every 108 minutes. Throughout the years, we’ve seen many great Desmond moments, but like many elements of Lost, the true purpose of his character remains shrouded in mystery. Let’s take a little bit of a deeper look into Desmond, and see if we can come up with some good theories as to how he’ll end up fitting into the show’s end-game.
First, a little background:
Let’s recap some of the things we know about Desmond thus far. It’s been made well aware that throughout his life, he’s had some trouble finding his true purpose in life. He’s joined the Army, he’s been a monk, and he’s even participated in a solo race around the world. Yet it seems that no matter what Desmond does, it always ends in failure. He was fired from the monastery, he was given a dishonorable discharge from the Army, and instead of making it around the world, he managed to crash his boat and end up on the island.
Even on the island, he couldn’t seem to catch a break. He was given a job of pushing the button, and his efforts resulted in turning the sky purple, and causing Oceanic 815 to crash. When his duties turned to protecting Charlie and helping him avoid death, he failed there as well. No matter what he did, Charlie ended up drowning in The Looking Glass.
It seems that no matter what Desmond seems to do, it’s bound to end in failure. So far, the only thing he’s seemed to experience some success in is reuniting with Penny. Before that, their romance was littered with trials and hardships. Perhaps leaving the island was a turning point for Desmond. He escaped from the place he’d been a prisoner for more than three years, reunited with his long-lost love, and even had a baby boy.
The island isn’t done with him yet:
Ms. Hawking said it best. When Desmond refused to go back to the island with the Oceanic Six, she made it a point to let him know that the island wasn’t through with him. If I had to take a guess, this is most likely the reason he was able to recover after taking a bullet to the gut from Ben. The island had plans for Michael, and wouldn’t let him die. Perhaps now it’s protecting Desmond in a similar manner, making sure he doesn’t bite the dust until he’s served his purpose.
Now, I know it may seem that Ms. Hawking is some all-knowing prophet with vast knowledge of the future, but I have a feeling this is just a façade she’s putting on. I have a feeling she doesn’t possess infinite knowledge of the future, but instead she’s been told things in the past. If she shared a relationship on the island with Charles Widmore, there’s a huge possibility that she’s received some information privy to only the island’s leaders. And it’s also a huge possibility that this information had something to do with those who would eventually turn out to be very important to the island. She left the island with this information to make sure that these people would be protected. She watched over her own son, Daniel. She helped Ben and the Oceanic Six return to the island. And she even made sure that Desmond ended up on his rightful path. She delivered information to him to keep him on the right course, and then again to inform him of the fact that his destiny is intertwined with the future of the island.
In order to predict the future, we must first understand the past:
Before we’re able to figure out Desmond’s ultimate destiny, we need more information on where he comes from. Throughout the series, we’ve seen just about every single one of our characters as a child at some point or another. Jack, Kate, Locke, Sayid, Sawyer, Charlie, Juliet, Hurley, you name them, and chances are we’ve either seen them as a child, or heard stories about their childhood. The only character who seems to be missing any childhood information, is Desmond.
According to Desmond, we know he didn’t attend university due to being forced to take care of three younger brothers. This little morsel is the earliest piece of biographical information we have on Desmond. Given the fact that Lost is a show that focuses so much on the backstories of its characters, and their development throughout their lives, I find it pretty suspicious that Desmond’s past remains so cloudy, even as we’re heading into the final season.
The rules don’t apply to Desmond:
As Daniel Faraday says, Desmond is special, as the rules of time travel don’t apply to him. We’ve seen evidence on a number of occasions that point to Desmond being special. Daniel was able to insert a memory into his consciousness that resulted in Desmond going to see Ms. Hawking. In “Flashes Before Your Eyes” we saw Desmond reliving his past, with vague memories of those events happening before. Does everyone else remember the look in Ms. Hawking’s eyes when Desmond told her he’d take the ring? She had to correct him, and explain to him that he’s not supposed to propose to Penny. He’d end up taking the ring, with plans to change his future, but eventually he ends up realizing that he probably does have a destiny, and it’s best to not mess with the time-space continuum.
After this event, Desmond developed the ability to see flashes of the future. From here on out, he was determined to change the future as he saw it. He had success early on, but eventually (as mentioned before) it ended up in failure. Desmond also displayed a certain special talent flashing back and forth between 1996 and 2004 to arrange a Christmas Eve phone call with his constant.
The general assumption is that Desmond’s being inside the Swan when it imploded is what caused him to become so special. I’ve never bought into this theory, as it fails to explain why Locke and Eko didn’t acquire these same “gifts” as Desmond. I do believe that it’s possible for the force of the implosion to thrust Desmond’s consciousness through time, and eventually unlock the power he already had within. My point here is that Desmond was always special, and it took an incident at the Swan to bring this out in him. Locke and Eko were never special, and therefore they came out of the implosion the same as they went in.
Where I’m going with all of this:
Let’s recap what we have so far:
- We know very little about Desmond’s childhood
- Desmond has always been special
- Desmond’s destiny is directly related to the future of the island
I’m just going to come right out and say it. My theory here, the reason that Desmond is so special, and so mysterious, is that he’s the offspring of some one very important. Follow me on this…
Desmond is the son of Jacob.
Based on everything we’ve seen so far on this show, and everything we’ve been told about our characters, I believe this to be a very plausible theory. We know that Jacob is some kind of island god, with abilities that I’m sure we’ve only scratched the surface of. We’ve seen he’s damn old, and has the ability to apply this affect to others (Richard.) Mythology is riddled with stories of gods and goddesses bearing offspring with humans, their children often having some super-human abilities. Jacob planted his seed in an ordinary woman, and that woman gave birth to Desmond.
I’m sure it’s possible that Desmond’s mother could be someone we’ve met. Perhaps he shares a mother with one of our characters? While this could be possible, I hope it isn’t. I’m hoping that we do learn more about Desmond’s childhood in this final season, and that we do meet his mother and father. And of course, seeing as how I just wrote up this entire article, I’m hoping that Desmond’s father is our island deity, Jacob.
So there you have it. My super “Desmond is Jacob’s Son” theory. What are your thoughts?
Next time: Jacob, Flocke, and Smokie…