Season: 2-6 , Episodes: 46, Faction: Survivors
Desmond David Hume was the lone resident of the Swan at the time of Oceanic Flight 815’s crash.
Before coming to the Island, Desmond’s life seemed to be defined by failure. He was fired as a monk, sadly broken up with his girlfriend Penny Widmore, dishonorably discharged from the Royal Scots Regiment, and regarded with contempt by Penny’s father Charles Widmore. In an attempt to regain his honor, Desmond entered Charles Widmore’s sailing race around the world and consequently became shipwrecked on the Island.
Once marooned on the Island, Desmond was found by Kelvin who recruited Desmond to push the button at the Swan station for three years, until he discovered that Kelvin was secretly planning to escape on Desmond’s boat. Desmond confronted Kelvin and accidentally killed him by tripping him into a rock. Desmond returned to the Swan but pushed the button too late, initiating the electromagnetic incident which caused the Oceanic 815 crash. He lived alone in the Swan for 44 days until the Oceanic survivors discovered the Hatch. After failing to leave the Island on his sailboat, Desmond joined the Beach camp.
Desmond soon agreed with Locke that nothing would happen if they failed to push the button every 108 minutes, but after realizing his previous failure had caused the crash, Desmond turned the fail-safe key which discharged the energy, showed the Island to the outside world, and imploded the Swan. After the implosion, Desmond gained a mysterious ability to see flashes of other times and timelines. He predicted Charlie’s imminent death and prevented it on many occasions. He later had a vision of a woman parachuting onto the Island, claiming to be working for Penny and revealing her boat was near the Island. Desmond and Sayid traveled by helicopter to the nearby freighter, during which Desmond’s consciousness from the past (1996) began drifting to the present (2004) until he became anchored by Penny, his constant. Desmond, along with helicopter pilot Frank Lapidus and the Oceanic 6, escaped the doomed freighter when the Island was moved, and were eventually rescued by Penelope herself.
He and Penny went into hiding, had a son, and lived on their boat until Desmond had a vivid dream that he referred to as a “memory” which told him to find Daniel Faraday’s mother in order to help the people left behind on the Island. He then seeks out and finds Eloise Hawking, who tells him that the Island is “not done” with him yet, but Desmond is reluctant to return there.
Benjamin Linus found them and tried to shoot Penny, but Desmond defended her and took the bullet. He fell, then got back up and threw Ben into the water. Desmond was taken to a hospital and survived, telling Penny he would never leave her again.
Desmond was then drugged and forcibly taken back to the island by Charles Widmore, who referred to him as “the package”. Once there, Widmore’s team performed an experiment on Desmond which gave him knowledge of the flash-sideways timeline. After agreeing to work with Widmore, Desmond met with the Man in Black who threw him into a well. Sayid was later sent by the Man in Black to kill Desmond, but he had a change of heart and let him live. Soon after he was freed by Rose and Bernard, but Locke/the Man in Black soon found them and coerced Desmond into helping him.
Desmond went to the source with the Jack and Man in Black in order to release the energy within. He removed a large stone cork , draining the water from the Source’s pool, thereby disempowering Jack, Locke, and the Island itself. After the stone was restored, Desmond was presumably taken home by Hurley, the Island’s new protector.
In the flash-sideways timeline, Desmond was the first to remember his previous life and he embarked on a mission to help everyone else remember. Later, once they had all remembered and became aware that they had died, the entire group “moved on” in a church.
Mind travel to 1996
3×08 – Flashes Before Your Eyes
After turning the failsafe key in present Island time, Desmond’s consciousness re-entered his 1996’s self. He arrived at the time after falling off the ladder, while painting his flat. When Penelope tried to heal him, he thought that everything about the future had been a dream.
Later that day, while preparing to go to the Widmore’s Industries, he noticed his clock marked “1:08”, and these numbers were familiar to him. Penelope said that if he didn’t get the job, that wouldn’t be the end of the world. That phrase disturbed Desmond, and when hearing a beep that was like the one in the Swan, he was even more disturbed. However, it turned out to be the microwave, and Penelope asked what happened to him. He said that he just had a déjà vu.
Before the meeting with Charles Widmore, he heard that a delivery man had a package for eight-fifteen. He noticed the numbers, and a flash of future events came momentarly to his mind.
After talking with Widmore, he offered him a job in the administrative department, but Desmond revealed that the real reason he came was to ask not for a job, but for Widmore’s permission to marry his daughter, Penelope. Widmore expressed his unfavorable opinion of Desmond, impressing upon him his valuation of Desmond as worth less than his MacCutcheon whisky.
Desmond left, crestfallen and angered, but when he saw a singing Charlie Pace performing on a London street corner just outside, he recognized him, and he said that all those events had happened before. Charlie didn’t believe him, and when it started to rain, everybody in the street left thinking he was crazy.
Desmond went to see Donovan. He was skeptical of Desmond’s theory that he could be time-traveling, and asked him to predict what would happen next. Desmond foretold the outcome of a televised soccer game, only to be proven wrong. Later that night, he arrived in his flat and Penelope said she loved him. She said that they would celebrate their love the next day.
The next day, he went to the jewelry shop to buy a ring. This time, however, he wanted to buy it, but Ms. Hawking, the jewelry store clerk, revealed that Desmond was not supposed to buy the ring, that he was supposed to have second thoughts and abandon Penny. She further claimed to know that Desmond’s future would involve going to the Island and pushing the button in the Swan. She imparted some of her understanding about how the universe “course-corrects” to prevent people from straying too far from their fate. Desmond stayed in shock, and she asked him to go with her.
During her discussion with Desmond, she predicted the imminent death of a nearby man. Hawking claimed to be unable to ultimately prevent the death of the man, explaining that “the universe has a way of course correcting,” meaning that if she saved him from that death, he would simply die another way soon after. Desmond kept the ring anyway, determined not to succumb to fate.
He later met Penelope near the River Thames and they had their picture taken in front of a marina backdrop. Upset with the thought that he couldn’t even afford the £5 photograph; he came to believe that Charles Widmore was right: he wasn’t good enough for Penelope. He told Penelope this, and she stormed off with mixed emotions of anger and sadness. In the end, Desmond made the decision predicted by Mrs. Hawking, and threw the ring into the Thames.
Drowning his sorrows at a pub that night, Desmond realized that he was a day off in his prediction of the outcome of the soccer match. He heard the song, “Make Your Own Kind Of Music”, and then he watched the same goal in the television, as in the original events. Knowing that he could change his fate, he prepared to leave the bar.
However, Jimmy Lennon stormed into the bar, carrying a cricket bat and looking for the bartender. Desmond, knowing that the bartender would be hit, tried to prevent the altercation from happening the way he remembered it, but was hit with the cricket bat, sending his consciousness back into the future. (“Flashes Before Your Eyes”)
Return to 2004
3×03 – Further Instructions
Desmond woke up, lying completely naked in the middle of the jungle with blood stains on his chest and body. As his memory returned, he realized that the Island and the events that had happened there were indeed real, and he began to cry and beg for another chance to change events in the past, to no avail. He recollected himself and began to run around looking for help, and, unbeknown to him, ran past Locke, who was also waking up after the Swan implosion. He eventually found Hurley, who was on his way back to the beach after his encounter with the Others at the Pala Ferry. Hurley told Desmond how Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were still with the Others.
On their way back, Desmond revealed his first premonition, while attempting to comfort Hurley over his worries about his captured group. To calm him, Desmond commented on Locke’s intentions to go after them, and referred to Locke’s yet-to-happen “speech.” At their arrival, Desmond parted from the survivors, and stood by the sea, while the previously confused Hurley listened to Locke’s rousing words about saving the missing Jack and the Others captured, leaving Hurley in shock as he looked back at Desmond. (“Further Instructions”)
3×04 – Every Man for Himself
Later, Desmond approached Claire, in an attempt to persuade her to move down the beach, to allow him to fix her roof, but Charlie intervened. At his failure to convince them, Desmond borrowed a golf club from Paulo, which he used in constructing a lightning rod that he placed very close to the tent.
Shortly after, the camp was caught up in a sudden storm, when a bolt of lightning struck the recently built lightning rod, on its way to the tent, leaving Charlie in shock, similar to that previously experienced by Hurley. (“Every Man for Himself”)
3×05 – The Cost of Living
Desmond and Locke were later joined by Sayid, in a meeting to discuss a rescue plan for Jack and his group. Desmond explained to Sayid that the stations equipment could be used as well in communication, and thus they required Sayid’s technological skills in helping them search for a station where Jack could be possibly be held captive.
The three head to the Pearl, joined by Paulo and Nikki, where Desmond helped Sayid in patching the monitors with available feeds from other stations, leading to the temporal appearance of the mysterious one-eyed man on one of the screens.
Moments after, Desmond heard the Monster’s familiar sound, and hurried above with the rest, to witness the last moments of the dying Eko. (“The Cost of Living”)
3×06 – I Do
He was then left with Paulo and Nikki while Sayid accompanied Locke back to camp to get shovels for the burial. (“I Do”)
3×08 – Flashes Before Your Eyes
When Charlie and Hurley met up with them, Desmond suddenly rushed to the beach and dragged a drowning Claire ashore and resuscitated her.
Charlie became suspicious and Hurley aided him in getting Desmond drunk on MacCutcheon whisky, so that he would divulge his secret. Charlie and Desmond got into a fight after Desmond was called a coward by Charlie. He jumped and strangled Charlie, claiming that Charlie would not want to know what happened to him when he turned the failsafe key.
After the fight was stopped by Hurley, Desmond apologized, and was carried by Charlie back to his tent. Then, Desmond revealed that when he turned the failsafe key, his life flashed before his eyes, but after, the flashes didn’t stop. He has been getting precognitive visions, but they were to save Charlie, not Claire, and he is afraid that there are only so many times he can cheat fate before it catches up with Charlie, and causes his death. (“Flashes Before Your Eyes”)
3×12 – Par Avion
Later, he prevented Charlie and Claire from catching migrating seagulls, foreseeing that Charlie would die attempting to do so. He then caught one himself before being confronted by Claire and eventually telling her his secret. (“Par Avion”)
3×14 – Exposé
Desmond later witnessed Nikki and Sawyer arguing, and told Hurley about it later while he was investigating Nikki and Paulo’s apparent deaths. He appeared at Nikki and Paulo’s funeral. (“Exposé”)
3×15 – Left Behind
Desmond hunted with Sawyer and successfully killed a boar to the delight of the rest of the survivors. (“Left Behind”)
3×17 – Catch-22
Around Day 86, Desmond had another series of flashes which showed another instance of Charlie’s death and something coming to the Island. Believing that Penny had found the Island and was on her way, Desmond gathered up all the people he would need for his mission that were present in his vision: Charlie, Hurley and Jin. Desmond explained to Hurley that he saw what he referred to as “puzzle pieces” to a puzzle that had no picture on the front of the box. Upon Hurley’s further inquisition, he said that he couldn’t divulge many details about what he saw, for fear of “changing the picture on the puzzle box.” What he was specifically avoiding mentioning was that his vision showed Charlie being killed by one of Rousseau’s arrow traps.
With the assistance of Hurley’s memory of the location of the cable and Jin’s chance discovery of it in the sand (as per the puzzle piece), the crew followed into the jungle for a “camping trip.” Watching a helicopter crash in the beach, Desmond then pointed the group’s attention to the sky further into the jungle to see a flashing red beacon.
Following his instinct and his half-assembled puzzle, Desmond led the group onward in the direction of the parachutist. On the way they found pieces of debris from the helicopter including a Portuguese language copy of Catch-22 with a picture of him and Penny in it. Despite his conviction that everything had to happen exactly as in his vision he nonetheless saved Charlie once again.
When they find the pilot of the helicopter it turns out not to be Penny but Naomi. (“Catch-22”)
3×18 – D.O.C.
Naomi was injured in the crash, and Charlie, Hurley, and Desmond argued a bit on how to treat her. A call was answered after Hurley accidentally fires a flare gun, which ended up summoning Mikhail.
Desmond agreed to let him go if he helped save her life. With treatment, they removed a stick from her lung, and Mikhail said it would heal in a day, or a day and a half. Desmond allowed him to leave, despite Charlie’s protests, but not until after they recovered the satellite phone Mikhail attempted to steal. (“D.O.C.”)
3×19 – The Brig
Believing that Jack was working with the Others, Desmond persuaded Jin, Hurley and Charlie to keep Naomi’s presence in the camp a secret but it soon came out, first to Kate, then finally to Jack. (“The Brig”)
3×21 – Greatest Hits
While Jack was revealing his plan to blow up the Others’ raiding party, Desmond has yet another ‘flash.’ In it, he saw Charlie inside a facility of some kind containing a yellow blinking light and a switch, followed by Charlie flipping the switch, turning the light off, and then drowning. This action, according to the flash, resulted in Claire and Aaron boarding a rescue helicopter. At first, Desmond hesitated to tell Charlie this, but later laid it out for him, explaining that Charlie must die if the group hopes to be rescued.
After it became clear that the switch from Desmond’s premonition was inside the Looking Glass station, Charlie volunteered to swim to the station by following the underwater cable, and Desmond volunteered to accompany him. Once he and Charlie had gone out onto the water in the outrigger to the point directly above the Looking Glass, Desmond volunteered to take Charlie’s place.
Charlie at first seemed to assent, but then knocked Desmond unconscious with an oar and tucked his final message to Claire inside Desmond’s shirt before diving into the water. (“Greatest Hits”)
When Desmond woke up, he was immediately met with gunfire from Mikhail, who had arrived to stop Charlie.
Desmond was forced to dive down, and arrived at the underwater station to help Charlie. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 1”)
After hiding, Desmond harpooned Mikhail as he attempted to kill Bonnie and Greta. As he and Charlie prepared to leave, Charlie communicated with Penny via a video feed. As Charlie shouted for Penny’s missing love, Desmond saw that Mikhail has vanished.
Desmond ran to the communication room, noticing Penny on the monitor. Charlie, acting selflessly, had no choice but to lock him out, after seeing Mikhail through the underwater window about to blow it open with a grenade. Desmond stared through the window on the locked door, trying his best to open the door, as the grenade exploded and the room filled with water.
Charlie, in his dying moments, wrote a message on his hand in permanent marker for Desmond. Desmond read “NOT PENNY’S BOAT” and understood the message. He continued to watch helplessly as Charlie drowned. (“Through the Looking Glass, Part 2”)