- For the musical piece, see Happily Ever After (composition).
"Happily Ever After" is the eleventh episode in Season 6 of Lost and the 114th produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on April 6, 2010. Desmond wakes up and discovers he is back on the Island.
On the Island
Widmore reveals to Desmond that he is back on the Island.
Desmond wakes in the Hydra infirmary. Zoe introduces herself and explains that he has been unconscious for three days, and she's given him a shot to help him wake up. Desmond calls out demanding to see Penny. Charles Widmore says that that will not be possible. Widmore reminds Desmond that he was shot by Benjamin Linus. Desmond calls for Penny again but Widmore says she is not there but that she and their son are perfectly safe. Widmore says he didn't have a chance to explain, but that if he had, Desmond would not have come with him. When Widmore tries to explain that he has brought him back to the Island, Desmond attacks Widmore and has to be restrained. He screams to take him back but Widmore tells him that he cannot, saying "the Island isn't done with you yet."
As Widmore leaves the room, Jin, who has been standing just outside watching, asks Widmore what Desmond is doing on the Island. Widmore says he will show Jin and tells Zoe to bring Jin to the generator room where they can start the test. Zoe protests that the test is not scheduled yet, but Widmore insists and tells her to get it ready now.
Zoe takes Jin to the generator yard.
As Zoe leads Jin outside they pass generators, capacitor equipment, major cabling, and one large central piece of equipment shaped like a cube. Upstairs in the control room of the Hydra Station, preparations are underway with laptops, monitors and electrical controls. Seamus says to Zoe that they aren't even close to being ready. They test the generator at full power but a circuit soon fails. Seamus sends a technician named Simmons to check the circuit on the solenoid coils in the central structure outside. Seamus tells the white rabbit, Angstrom, that he is going in there next.
Simmons goes into the outside unit but, in the control room, a technician finds the fault and immediately throws a switch to re-power the solenoid coils. They realize that Simmons is inside and he is engulfed in shock waves generated by the solenoid coils. Seamus and Zoe run down to the main box and find Simmons smoking and dead, his face charred. Widmore arrives and asks Zoe whether they are ready as Desmond is dragged, struggling, in. He looks aghast at the dead man. ♪
Desmond is engulfed in the solenoid coil room.
The dead man is taken out and Widmore looks sadly at his face but orders Desmond to be taken inside. He says to Desmond that if what he has heard about him is true then he will be fine. Desmond is tied to a chair between the solenoid coils. Widmore tells Desmond that once the experiment is over he will ask Desmond to make a sacrifice. Desmond cynically asks Widmore what he knows about sacrifice. Widmore tells him that his son died here for the sake of the Island, that Penny hates him and that he hasn't even met his grandson. He adds that if Desmond won't help, it will all be for nothing as everyone will be gone forever. Desmond is locked in the solenoid coil chamber room.
In the control room Jin demands to know what is happening. Widmore explains that Desmond is the only person known to have survived a catastrophic electromagnetic event and that he needs to know that Desmond can do it again "or we all die." He orders the experiment to be turned on. The closed circuit vision show Desmond free of his binds frantically trying to escape from the room. Widmore pulls the switches to start the solenoid coils himself. Desmond is engulfed by the flux.
Desmond lost in thought in the reflection of the Oceanic Airlines board.
Desmond's reflection is seen in the Oceanic Airlines arrivals board as he is looking at it lost in thought. Hurley passes and tells him that the luggage is on carousel 4. At the carousel, Claire is struggling with her baggage and Desmond helps her. He asks her whether she is expecting a boy or a girl and, when she says she doesn't know, he says she is braver than he, as he is not a fan of surprises. He offers her a lift and, after she refuses, he says that the baby is a boy. ♪
Desmond is met by George Minkowski, his driver. He asks to be taken to the office. George offers lovely ladies for companionship and, when Desmond says he is here to work, George says that this is why Desmond is the boss' right hand man and he is the driver. ♪
Desmond and Widmore drink the 60 year old MacCutcheon whiskey.
At the offices, Desmond and Widmore greet each other warmly. Desmond looks at a sailing ship model as Widmore speaks on the phone, instructing the person on the other end to "Get him arraigned and get him out of there." Widmore explains that his son, the musician, wanted to combine classical music with rock at a charity event that Mrs. Widmore is hosting. He says that the bass guitarist for Drive Shaft overdosed and was arrested. He asks Desmond to babysit the guitarist and get him to the event, otherwise Mrs. Widmore will be angry. Desmond agrees to help, and Widmore states that he is grateful to have someone he trusts to do the job; he adds that Desmond really has the life, being free of all attachments. Widmore pours a 60 year old MacCutcheon whisky to celebrate Desmond's indispensability.
Charlie explains to Desmond the need for spectacular, consciousness-altering love.
Desmond drives to the courthouse. An attorney comes out with Charlie Pace. Desmond introduces himself but Charlie ignores him and walks across the road, oblivious to the traffic, and into a bar named "Jax". Desmond joins him inside. Charlie asks him if he is happy, and when Desmond reels off evidence of his material success Charlie says that what he is talking about is "spectacular, consciousness altering love." Charlie tells a story about how he saw a blonde woman in a vision while he was about to die from choking on the bag of heroin. Charlie says "I've seen something real. I've seen the truth." Desmond says the real truth is not this vision of love, but the necessity of making a choice between continuing to drink or coming with Desmond to play at the charity show, with all its trappings.
Charlie's mission triggers a vision for Desmond.
As they drive away Charlie tells Desmond that the song on the radio is Drive Shaft's first single and says ruefully that it was the beginning of everything great. ♪ Charlie then offers Desmond a choice between showing him what he is talking about or getting out of the car. Charlie grabs the steering wheel and they careen over a pier into the water. The car sinks; Desmond frees himself and, when he can't release Charlie's seat belt, he swims to the surface, exiting through his open driver's side window. ♪ Desmond dives back and goes to Charlie's door. Charlie wakes, and, staring at Desmond, raises his palm to the window. For a moment Desmond sees Charlie show his palm at the Looking Glass hatch with the words "NOT PENNYS BOAT" written on his palm. ♪ He looks again and the vision has passed. Desmond gets the door open and brings Charlie to the surface. ♪
A doctor examines Desmond. She asks whether he has had hallucinations; Desmond pauses and says that he's not sure. The doctor wants to do an MRI scan but Desmond says he doesn't have time and needs to find the person he was brought to the hospital with, but the doctor insists he have the MRI.
Desmond experiences flashes while being examined.
Desmond is prepared for the MRI by a technician. He's given a panic button and asked to try not to press it otherwise they will have to start all over again and the test is started. Desmond immediately sees the vision of Charlie at the Looking Glass hatch showing the message on his palm. He then sees a glowing cavalcade of his life with Penny and their love for one another. ♪ Desmond presses the button repeatedly and says to the technician that he must find Charlie.
Shortly after, he asks at the nurse's desk about Charlie but is rebuffed. He sees Jack and reintroduces himself. As Desmond asks Jack for help finding Charlie, Charlie runs down the passageway pursued by an orderly. Desmond gives chase and when he corners him Charlie says he is running because no one at the hospital can help him. He denies trying to kill Desmond but instead says that he was trying to show him something. Desmond wants to see his hand. Charlie realizes that Desmond must have seen something. Desmond asks "Who is Penny?" Charlie says he is not going to perform because none of "this" matters. As he leaves, Charlie says to stop worrying about him and to start looking for Penny. ♪♪
Eloise Widmore sternly tells Desmond he is not ready yet.
Desmond rings Widmore to tell him about not having Charlie in his care. Widmore is angry and tells Desmond that he can explain to Mrs. Widmore what happened. On the grounds of the Golden State Natural History Museum, George asks whether Desmond has met Mrs. Widmore before, implying that she is a difficult person. When Desmond introduces himself to Mrs. Widmore, she is charming, says that it's about time they met, and instructs him to call her Eloise. Desmond explains what has happened and Eloise says that it's okay, that her son will understand because employing rock stars means some unpredictability must come with the territory. When Desmond asks if she is angry, Eloise says "Not at all dear; what happened, happened."
As he leaves, Desmond hears the name "Penny" read from a list of guests. When he tries to see the list Eloise intervenes sternly and takes the list from him. She takes him aside and tells him to stop, that, whatever it is that he thinks he is looking for, he should stop looking for it. She says that he should not need to look for anything, that he has the perfect life and has attained the thing he wanted more than anything: the approval of Charles Widmore. She adds that it is, in fact, a violation. When he presses her about the list she says that he can't see the list because he is not ready yet. ♪
Desmond meets the musician, Daniel Widmore.
At his limo, Desmond has a drink, when a knock comes at his window. The man knows Desmond's name and introduces himself as Daniel Widmore, saying that they need to talk. Desmond starts to apologize for Charlie's absence but Daniel asks if he believes in love at first sight. Daniel tells of his love for a redhead who works at the museum. He says when he saw her it was as if he already loved her. He states that on that same night he woke and wrote in his notebook. He shows Desmond the notebook entry and explains that a mathematician friend said that these were advanced quantum mechanics equations which would need a lifetime of study to understand. ♪ He tries to explain to Desmond that it is as if something catastrophic had been about to happen and the only way to stop it had been to release a huge amount of energy, like setting off a nuclear bomb. He rhetorically asks whether this life was not meant to be and whether there had been another "life" in which, for some reason, "we changed things." ♪
Penny asks Desmond if they met before.
He adds that he doesn't need to set off a nuclear bomb because he thinks he already has. Desmond says he doesn't know what this has to do with him. Daniel then asks why Desmond is looking for Penny. Desmond says he doesn't know what he has found and that it is just an idea but Daniel tells him he knows and that what he has found is love. When Desmond says he doesn't even know that this woman exists, Daniel says "No, she's my half sister" and he tells Desmond where to find her.
Penny is exercising in a stadium doing a tour de stade. Desmond watches her running the stairs and approaches. She sees him and smiles back. He asks if she is Penny, introducing himself. They reach over and shake hands. ♪
On the Island
Sayid tells Desmond to follow him.
Desmond suddenly opens his eyes. Seamus and the other technicians go into the chamber and find Desmond alive. Widmore asks him how he is. Desmond asks how long he has been unconscious and is told that only a few seconds have passed. Widmore states that his talent is vital to the mission and begins to explain why, but Desmond interrupts and says that he understands and is ready to begin doing that which is required. ♪
Zoe and two others escort Desmond back to their base. Desmond explains his cooperativeness by saying that a lot can happen in twenty minutes. Sayid leaps out of the bushes, quickly dispatches the two escorts and points a gun at Zoe, telling her to run. She takes this advice and does so. Sayid says to Desmond that "these people are extremely dangerous" and that he and Desmond need to go now. Desmond cooperatively answers, "Of course; lead the way."
"I just need to show them something."
Desmond revives and asks what happened. Penny explains that he fainted and that she must have quite an effect on him. He agrees. She asks if they have met before, to which Desmond says they would have remembered. Desmond invites Penny to coffee and they make plans to meet in a coffee shop in an hour. ♪ Desmond returns to the limousine. George, inside it, asks Desmond whether he found what he was looking for; Desmond says that he did. George asks if he can get Desmond anything else and Desmond asks for the Oceanic Flight 815 manifest, saying, "I just need to show them something." ♪♪
- Penny asks Desmond to meet her at a coffee shop on Melrose and Sweetzer in Los Angeles. There is no coffee shop on Melrose and Sweetzer. However, there is an antique shop called "Thanks for the Memories."
- The majority of this episode takes place in the flash-sideways timeline.
- This episode is Rated TV-14-V.
- Jorge Garcia (Hurley) becomes the third cast member to appear in 100 episodes after Matthew Fox (Jack) and Evangeline Lilly (Kate).
- This episode only features six of the fifteen main cast members of Season 6, a season record low until "Across the Sea" in which none of the main cast members appeared in new footage.
- This is the last episode of the series in which Kate does not appear.
- Despite both being former main cast members, Jeremy Davies (Daniel) and Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) are credited as guest stars and not special guest stars, continuing the Season 6 trend of one entirely alphabetical guest cast list.
- Fisher Stevens (Minkowski) makes his first appearance since "Meet Kevin Johnson", after a 32-episode gap.
- There is no "Previously on Lost" segment in this episode.
- When Penny takes Desmond's hand, the transition from flash-sideways timeline to the original timeline is completely silent.
- This is the second episode, after "Not in Portland", which only has scenes off-island and on Hydra Island.
- This episode was watched by 9.45 million viewers in the U.S., tying for the series low in ratings in the adults 18–49 demographic. 
- This is the first episode to have explicit instances of partial awakenings: Charlie recalls a vision he had of Claire; Desmond remembers Charlie drowning and later continues to see flashes of his life with Penny.
- This is the first episode to be nearly all flash sideways story, just as episodes such as "Meet Kevin Johnson", "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham", and "Ab Aeterno" were nearly all flashbacks.
- This is the second episode to end in the flash-sideways timeline, after "LA X, Part 1".
- This episode, similar to previous Desmond-centric episodes ("Flashes Before Your Eyes" and "The Constant"), features consciousness travel instead of the usual narrative device (in Season 6, the flash sideways), this time between the two timelines; though there is also a flash sideways at the end of the episode.
- Several tail section background cast appear for the second time after their disappearance back in Season 2 (first time was the season premiere). They can be seen in the airport in the flash-sideways timeline, along with some middle section background cast.
- This is the last episode that only has flash sideways from a single character's perspective.
- The hat worn by Daniel is one actually owned by Jeremy Davies, as can be seen on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! special after the finale.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- When the technician throws the switch to the breaker which activates the electromagnetic field, he pulls the lever down. However, after being ordered to turn it off, he once again pulls it down.
- Desmond's stubble is inconsistent. He is clean-shaven at the airport, but has stubble in Jax bar.
- Hurley tells Desmond that their bags are at carousel 4, but Desmond collects his bag at carousel F-2.
- When Desmond is walking up to the court, a Jeep Wrangler JK drives by, but the JK wasn't introduced until 2006.
- The MRI technologist asked Desmond if he had any metal objects on his person while he was sitting next to the MRI scanner. This screening process would have taken place before the patient entered the room, as the magnetic field is permanently switched on.
- In the MRI scanner, a distinctive repetitive "banging" sound is heard only as Desmond is being inserted into the scanner. However the compressor pump that creates this noise is always on (since it keeps the refrigerants at their very low temperatures).
- In the scene where Desmond is talking to George before he speaks with Mrs. Widmore, an extra carrying a ladder can be seen crossing behind Desmond twice.
- The equations that Daniel shows Desmond are not quantum mechanics, but rather are incorrectly written Lorenz Transformations.
- Charles' forehead sore keeps changing its size and position in the scenes he is shown while not on Desmond's flashback.
The Season 6 soundtrack includes the following tracks from this episode:
- "Tesla Tester"
- "George of the Concrete Jungle"
- "World's Worst Car Wash"
- "None the Nurse"
- "Happily Ever After"
|Animals • Black and white • Character connections • Children • Coincidence • Death • Deceptions and cons • Dreams • Economics • Electromagnetism • Eyes • Fate versus free will • Games • Good and bad people • Imprisonment • Isolation • Leadership • Life and death • Literary works • Mirrors • Missing body parts • Nicknames • The Numbers • Pairings • Parapsychology • Parent issues • Pregnancies • Psychology • Rain • Redemption • Relationships • Religion • Revenge • Salvation • Secrets|
- The episode opens with a shot of Desmond's eye. A later scene begins with Desmond's eye being examined with a light. The transition from the flash-sideways timeline begins with Desmond opening his eyes. (Eyes)
- Hurley tells Desmond that the bags are on carousel 4. (The Numbers)
- The Oceanic flight schedule contains all six of the Numbers in various places. (The Numbers)
- Charlie steers Desmond's car off the road and into the water. (Car accidents)
- The man looking for a crossed circuit in the box is accidentally killed when the power is restored. (Death)
- Charles Widmore and Eloise are married in the flash-sideways timeline. (Relationships)
- Charles Widmore apparently raised Daniel in the flash-sideways timeline, while he raised Penny in the main timeline. The last names of Daniel (Widmore or Faraday) and Penny (Milton or Widmore) reflect their different relationships. (Parent issues)
- Widmore's LA office features two large paintings of a set of scales with black objects in one pan and white objects in the other. One painting has a white frame and the other frame is black. (Black and white)
A painting of balanced scales in Widmore's office between Desmond and Widmore.
- Widmore tells Desmond that if he survives, he must make a sacrifice. (Sacrifice)
- Widmore locks Desmond in the electromagnetic experiment chamber. (Imprisonment)
- Desmond tells Claire that her baby will be a boy. (Premonitions) (Pregnancies)
- In the bar, Desmond tells Charlie he has two options. Charlie counters they don't seem to amount to a real choice. Desmond then says there's always a choice. (Fate versus free will)
- The flash-sideways timeline begins with Desmond's reflection in the Oceanic arrival board. (Mirrors)
- Desmond's reflection is also seen in the police station door. (Mirrors)
- Daniel Widmore's reflection is seen in Desmond's car window. (Mirrors)
- Charlie is wearing black and white checkered shoes. (Black and white)
- Desmond's image in the Oceanic arrival/departure board is reflected directly over the center of the column "time". (Time)
- Eloise tells Desmond, "It's about time." (Time)
- In "The Variable" young Daniel tells his mother he enjoys playing the piano and insists he can "make time" for it. In the flash-sideways timeline he has accomplished this. (Time)
- There is a white rabbit in Widmore's science team's lab named Angstrom. This name is likely a reference to Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Ångström (1814–1874), whose initial studies were in terrestrial magnetism. (Animals) (Electromagnetism)
- Penny shares her name with philosopher John Milton, author of the epic poem Paradise Lost that deals with themes such as the fall of men and the conflict between destiny and free will. (Fate versus free will) (Philosophy)
- Desmond is subjected to electromagnetism in both the original and flash-sideways timelines against and of his will. (Fate versus free will) (Electromagnetism)
- Desmond is tasked with looking after Charlie, who was on his flight back from Sydney. After the car accident, they are both taken to St. Sebastian Hospital, where they encounter Jack. (Character connections)
| Cultural references|
(direct references only)
|Art • Automobiles • Games • History • Literary works • Movies and TV • Music • Philosophy • Religion and ideologies • Science|
- Caltech: Daniel references this university in Los Angeles. (Science)
- Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor: This music by Frédéric Chopin is played (once again) on the piano by Daniel. (Music)
- Fairy Tales: The episode title, "Happily Ever After", is a stock phrase in fairy tales signifying a happy ending. (Literary works)
- Sláinte: Desmond makes this traditional Gaelic toast with Charles, which literally means "health." Later, he merely lifts his glass in response when Charlie offers: "Cheers." (History)
|Comparative: Irony • Juxtaposition • Foreshadowing Plotting: Cliffhanger • Plot twist Stock characters: Archetype • Redshirt • Unseen character|
Story: Flashbacks • Flash-forwards • Flash sideways • Framing device • Regularly spoken phrases • Symbolism • Unreliable narrator
- Sayid tells Desmond that "These people are extremely dangerous," right after ambushing his group, dispatching two of his escorts and holding a third at gunpoint. (Irony)
- Desmond was hated by Widmore in the original timeline, but is loved by Widmore in the flash-sideways timeline. (Juxtaposition)
- In the flash-sideways timeline, Widmore tells Desmond he is "worth it" (drinking the MacCutcheon whiskey), but in the original timeline, he is deemed not worthy. (Irony) (Juxtaposition)
- Desmond is not successful in rescuing Charlie from drowning in the original timeline, but is successful in the flash-sideways timeline. (Juxtaposition) (Irony)
- During the MRI, Desmond is told not to push the button, while on the island, his job was to push the button in the Hatch. (Irony)
- Jack insinuates to Desmond the unlikelihood that another passenger of their mutual flight would be at the hospital. Charlie and Sayid wound up there. Locke, Jin, Sun, Claire and Sawyer would also soon arrive. (Irony)
- In the original timeline, the young Daniel wanted to be a pianist, but was convinced by Eloise to pursue physics instead. In the flash sideways, Daniel achieved his ambition of being a musician. (Juxtaposition)
- In the flash sideways, Daniel uses Widmore as his surname, whereas Penny does not. In the original timeline, it was Penny who used the name Widmore, and Daniel who didn't. (Juxtaposition)
- A man is accidentally killed inside the box after a circuit was reset. (Redshirt)
- Sayid breaks a man's neck while Zoe and Desmond are walking outside the Hydra station. (Redshirt)
- Eloise tells Desmond, "What happened, happened." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Charlie says "None of this is real" about life in the flash-sideways. (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Widmore tells Desmond, "The Island isn't done with you yet." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Desmond has conversations with Charlie, Eloise and George which involve what he might be "looking for." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- The brooch Eloise is wearing in the shape of a starburst is very similar to the mark branded on Juliet. Eloise wears two of these brooches which may symbolize the two timelines. (Symbolism)
- In the original timeline Desmond is placed inside a box full of electromagnetism against his will to test his resilience. In the flash-sideways timeline, he is also put into a "box" full of electromagnetism during his MRI, again partially against his will. In both instances Desmond is asked if he is carrying any metal, keys, or change before turning on the machine. (Juxtaposition)
- Desmond plans to track down the other Oceanic Flight 815 passengers in the flash sideways. (Cliffhanger)
- Desmond, Charlie and Daniel all experience flashes of the original timeline. (Plot twist)
- Interaction between Desmond and Widmore on the Island frames the majority of the episode, which consists of flash sideways. (Framing device)
- Penny is running at the stadium when Desmond approaches her. In the original timeline it was Jack and Desmond who did it. (Juxtaposition)
|A-Missions • Crimes • Economics • Leadership • O-Missions • Relationships • F-Missions • Rivalries • S-Missions|
- Sayid attacks and may have killed Desmond's escorts. (Crimes)
- Desmond attacks Widmore when he awakes but later agrees to help him. (Rivalries) (Relationships)
- Charlie tells Desmond nothing matters after his near-death experience of love. Desmond follows his advice and seeks out Penny, and they connect. (Relationships)
- Widmore tests Desmond's resistance to electromagnetism. (S-Missions)
- Widmore says that Desmond is possibly the only person in the world to survive a catastrophic electromagnetic incident. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
- During his MRI scan, Desmond sees visions of his first meeting with Penny, and of his son Charlie Hume from the original timeline. ("Catch-22") ("Jughead")
- Desmond saves Charlie from drowning, and sees a vision of Charlie drowning at the Looking Glass. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 2")
- Widmore reminds Desmond that he was shot by Benjamin Linus. ("Dead Is Dead")
- Widmore mentions the death of his son when Desmond questions his experience with sacrifice. ("The Variable")
- Daniel tells Desmond that he already detonated a nuclear bomb. ("The Incident, Part 2")
- Desmond reminds Jack of their interaction on Oceanic 815. Charlie speaks of his near-death experience on the same flight. ("LA X, Part 1")
- Desmond meets Penny at the same Stadium where he originally trained for the boat race and met Jack. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith") ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")
- Desmond admires Charles' sailboat model in his office. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 2")
- In the flash-sideways timeline, Charles pours his 60-year old MacCutcheon whiskey, this time happily sharing it with Desmond. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")
- Charlie hears "You All Everybody" on the radio and tells Desmond that was his first hit. ("Greatest Hits")
- In the flash-sideways timeline, Daniel says Charlotte was eating a chocolate bar when he saw her. ("This Place Is Death") ("The Variable")
- Charles, like Eloise had previously done, insists to Desmond that the Island is not done with him yet. ("316")
- Daniel is playing Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, by Frédéric Chopin, the same sheet music Jack found on David's desk ("Lighthouse") and the same piece played by Daniel as a young boy ("The Variable").