Desmond has a new vision of Charlie’s impending death, but if he saves Charlie this time, he runs the risk of altering the second part of that same vision: the arrival on the island of a potential rescuer.

Written by Jeff Pinkner & Brian K. Vaughan
Directed by Stephen Williams


Years ago, before he met Penny or entered the military, Desmond joined a monastery by committing himself to a vow of silence for a full month. After he was fully inducted into the brotherhood, a man named Derek came inside the monastery one day and punched Desmond in the nose without uttering a single word. Derek then left after asking for forgiveness from the other monks.

Desmond visited the house where Derek lived, hoping to speak to Derek’s sister, Ruth. Ruth was revealed to be a woman Desmond was engaged to marry, but he ran away just one week before the wedding without even saying goodbye. He explained to Ruth there at her home that he left her because he’d had a “religious experience” that told him to pursue a higher calling, but Ruth saw the truth — he was just too scared to commit.

The monastery manufactured its own brand of wine, and after his run-in with Ruth, Desmond dipped into the stores and got drunk. He’s found by Brother Campbell, the head of the order, who kicked him out of the abbey. But Campbell asserts that God has much bigger plans for Desmond than being a monk.

The next day, Desmond returns his robes, and Brother Campbell asks him for a favor, helping deliver ten crates of wine to town. But first another customer had to be seen to, a customer who came to the monastery to get her wine. It turned out to be Penny Widmore, who was picking up the crates on her father’s behalf. This was the first time that Desmond and Penny met, and it was definitely love at first sight for both of them. Penny was amused by his story of being an ex-monk, and asked him to come with her to help unload the crates at their destination.

Though it’s only on the screen for a second, a photograph on Brother Campbell’s office desk can be seen, and in it is Campbell himself alongside Mrs. Hawking!


Desmond has a new vision of Charlie’s death: an arrow from one of Rousseau’s traps that hits him in the throat while he, Desmond, Hurley, and Jin are wandering through the jungle in the rain. Another part of his vision shows him that someone is going to parachute onto the island, and Desmond believes that someone is his love, Penny.

Desmond recruits Hurley to help him find the new arrival, and the two of them deceive Jack into giving them a first aid kit. When Desmond explains himself to Hurley, Hurley realizes that Des isn’t trying to prevent his vision from working out as he has in the past; this time he wants his vision to come true. Next they get Jin to join the group, once again to ensure that Desmond’s vision comes true exactly as he saw it. Desmond goes to see Charlie alone and asks him to come along, but although Charlie is suspicious that Desmond isn’t telling him something, he agrees to come.

Sawyer visits Kate and asks if she told Jack about their sexual encounter. She says she didn’t tell him, but he knows because he saw it on a video camera. Sawyer is less than pleased, but suggests they pick up where they left off. Kate is unimpressed by his lack of romance and blows him off. That night, Kate tries to mend fences with Jack with some mild flirting, but Jack didn’t reciprocate, and she later observed him getting cozy with Juliet. Stinging from the rejection, she went to Sawyer’s tent and slept with him for a second time.

Hurley takes the group to the cable leading into the water, which is the first part of his vision. But it grows late, so they set up camp for the night before entering the jungle. Charlie and Desmond later talk about Penny, when Charlie spies her photo. Desmond explains Penny’s inability to forget about him and how she tracked him down three years ago, and says that he hopes and believes Penny may have been using her extensive money and resources to find him again, all this time, during his seclusion to the island. Just then, the four of them hear helicopter blades in the sky, but when it seems as though rescue is imminent, the chopper goes down about half a mile off the shore. Jin spots a blinking light falling out of the sky and Desmond realizes it’s the parachute from his vision, and believes Penny has come to the island. The parachute goes down deep within the jungle, and Desmond wants to leave at once and go after it, but Charlie argues that Rousseau’s traps will be even more dangerous at night than they are during the day. So Desmond agrees to wait until first light.

The next morning, Sawyer challenges Jack to a friendly game of ping-pong, wherein the subject of Kate comes up, as well as Jack’s dinner with Juliet the previous night. It doesn’t take Sawyer long to figure out that he was Kate’s consolation prize last night after Kate observed Jack eating with Juliet. He confronts her later and she denies that this was her sole motivation, but Sawyer says he doesn’t mind being used by her.

The next morning, Desmond and his friends find a brand new backpack in the jungle, with a high-tech satellite phone inside. Also enclosed is a book with a copied photo of Desmond and Penny folded inside. As storm clouds roll in — another fulfillment of Desmond’s vision — Desmond realizes that a choice lies ahead of him: he can let Charlie die in the hope that nothing will change and they’ll find Penny, or he can save Charlie and take the risk of changing destiny, possibly preventing Penny from being found. As it starts to rain, things start to play out as they did in Desmond’s vision, and he knows that the moment of Charlie’s death has arrived. He struggles briefly with the choice, but ultimately saves Charlie. The four of them split into teams of two, and Charlie goes with Desmond so he can grill him about what just happened. He knows that Desmond almost him die, which he’s angry about, but Desmond is equally frustrated, pointing out that it’s all for nothing. He keeps saving Charlie’s life, but it doesn’t make any difference. Jin calls out to them, and the four of them regroup under a fallen parachute, where a single person, whose identity is masked by a flight helmet, hangs lifeless from a tree. Desmond believes he’s failed by changing the future. Desmond cuts down the person he believes is Penny, and Desmond emotionally pulls off her helmet. But he’s surprised when it’s not Penny at all, it’s another woman we’ve never seen before, who deliriously recognizes him and calls him by name.

  • Why was Mrs. Hawking in a photo on Brother Campbell’s desk? How do they know each other?
  • Who is the woman who parachuted onto the island, and how did she find it? Why did she come? Does she work for Penny?

“Catch 22″ is the third Desmond-centric episode of the series, and the only one with flashbacks that do not involve time travel in some way.

The one mystery that this episode manages to resolve is “the reason Desmond calls people ‘brother’ so much.” And just like ” the story behind Jack’s tattoos” this is a question that nobody was asking. The flashbacks’ one redeeming virtue is letting us witness the first meeting of Desmond and Penny, the show’s most unrequited lovers. Speaking of which…

Man alive do Desmond and Penny have chemistry out the wazoo. In just one scene, there was more epic romance and desperate, longing stares between these two than in most of the other romantic entanglements on the show combined, and these two actors are masterful at making us feel it. If Elizabeth Mitchell has cornered the market on making us cry, as I suggested in the last episode’s recap, then Henry Ian Cusick and Sonya Walger display the finest chemistry of any pairing on the show. (At least until Sawyer and Juliet come along!)

With the arrival on the island of the woman we will soon come to know as Naomi Dorritt, “Catch 22″ marks the official start of the Freighter storyline, which will go on to run throughout the rest of Season 3 and all of Season 4.