Desmond Hume

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Desmond David Hume
Name Desmond David Hume
Gender Male
Country United Kingdom
Occupation Former set designer for the Royal Shakespeare Company
Formerly a Lance Corporal in the Royal Scots Regiment, dishonorably discharged
Family Father - Mr. Hume
Girlfriend - Penny Widmore
Son - Charlie Hume
Ex-Fiance - Ruth
Three Unknown Brothers
Flashback(s) Live Together, Die Alone, Flashes Before Your Eyes, Catch-22, The Constant, Jughead
Played By Henry Ian Cusick

Gallery of ImagesTheoriesMain Discussion

Desmond Hume was the occupant inside the mysterious Swan Station and arrived on the island three years before the crash of Flight 815 as a result of a failed attempt at racing around the world in a sailboat.

Life Before the Boat Crash

Desmond did not graduate from university because he had to support his three brothers after his father left them. The cause of the elder Hume's departure remains unknown. Desmond also served as a set designer for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Desmond was engaged to be married to his girlfriend of six years, Ruth. He was suffering from cold feet and went on a drinking binge soon before the wedding. He passed out and woke up in the street, where he was helped up by a monk named Brother Campbell. At that moment, Desmond felt that he had a higher calling and decided to become a monk himself. Although Brother Campbell had his doubts, Desmond passed his vow of silence and became a monk. However, while labelling wine bottles one day, he is visited and assaulted by Ruth's brother, Derek, who was angry that Desmond left Ruth without an explanation. Desmond decides to visit Ruth and explain why he became a monk, but Ruth scolds him and accuses him of being a coward. That night, a depressed Desmond breaks into the monastery wine cellar and gets drunk, Brother Campbell mentions that they bottled only 108 cases of the wine, a reference to the length of time Desmond would later have between pressing the button in the Swan, and as consequence, is kicked out of the abbey. Brother Campbell says he believes that Desmond has a higher calling, but it must be elsewhere. Before Desmond leaves, he is asked to help load the crates of wine into the car of Penelope "Penny" Widmore, and the two meet for the first time. Although he is no longer a monk, the habit of calling someone "brother" sticks with Desmond.

Desmond and Penny date for two years prior to meeting her father, wealthy industrialist Charles Widmore, who was apparently unaware of their relationship. When he finally meets Charles to ask for permission to marry Penny, he bluntly tells Desmond that he is not good enough for Penny and does not want him to even be with her. Desmond sadly comes to same conclusion when he is unable to afford even a picture of him and Penny together, so he breaks up with her.

Presumably to prove himself to Mr. Widmore, Desmond joined the Royal Scots Regiment of the British Army and became dishonorably discharged for refusing to follow orders. He served a prison sentence. Among the few possessions Desmond had returned to him upon his release was the book Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. When asked by the guard releasing him why he did not take it with him to prison, he replied that he intends it to be the last thing he ever reads. Charles Widmore approaches him and reveals that he intercepted and hid every letter Desmond wrote to Penny from prison. Thinking that he has forgotten her, Penny becomes engaged to another man. Charles bribes/threatens Desmond to stay away from his daughter.

Desmond travels to America to compete in a race around the world, hoping to win it to regain his honor and anger Charles, who is hosting the event. Desmond needs a boat for the race, which he gets from Libby, whom he meets in a coffee shop soon after arriving in America. She acquired the boat when her husband David died, and believes that Desmond was meant to have it.

Before training one night in a stadium, Desmond is approached by Penny, who has tracked him down. She asks why he never wrote, but instead of explaining himself, Desmond tells her to wait one year for him (when the race will be over). While running the steps in the stadium, Desmond meets Jack, who is also running. The two have a brief but meaningful conversation where Jack explains about a patient that he cannot "fix". Desmond tells him to believe in miracles, and then talks about his training for the race. He finishes by saying "See you in another life, brother."

Later, during the race, Desmond's boat, Elizabeth, is caught in a fierce storm and he is knocked unconscious. He has his book and photo of him and Penelope with him.

On-Island Life

During the race, Desmond's racing sailboat crashed on the island, and a man named Kelvin Inman emerged from the jungle and took him back to the hatch. Desmond watched as Kelvin input the numbers into a computer. When Desmond asked, "What was all that about?" Kelvin responded, "Just saving the world."

Kelvin trains Desmond about operation of the hatch, including the button and ways to trigger a lockdown. He witnesses Kelvin painting a black light picture on the blast doors. Desmond confronts Kelvin after learning that Kelvin is fixing Desmond's boat and planning to leave the island. After Kelvin expresses his doubts about the validity of the button, they struggle, and Kelvin dies. Desmond races back to the hatch, where the computer is registering a system failure. A massive magnetic field builds up, attracting all metal objects to the sealed door inside the hatch. Desmond manages to stop the system failure, which turns off the magnetic field.

After some time, Desmond has lost hope and is contemplating suicide. He finds a note that Penny has hidden in his book telling him not to despair. He then hears someone shouting from the top of the hatch. Unbeknownst to Desmond, it is Locke asking for help. When Desmond turns on a light to see who it is, Locke, thinking his prayers have been answered, quiets down.

When the survivors enter the hatch, they accidentally break the computer. Convinced that the world is going to end, Desmond frantically flees the hatch. Jack catches up with him; Desmond tells him the code, and to enter it every 108 minutes. He begins to recognize Jack from their encounter at the stadium, and he asks him about the patient he had mentioned operating on. He is referring to Sarah, whom Jack has since married and divorced, and this reminder brings Jack to tears. Desmond then exits with his backpack, filled with items such as unknown vaccines and a stuffed bunny, saying, "See you in another life, yeah?" just as he did before at their first encounter at the stadium.

Desmond returns in his boat, the Elizabeth, and Locke tells him of the orientation film he saw in the Pearl hatch, which suggests that pushing the button in the Swan Station is a mere psychological experiment being observed by the other stations. Together they trigger another lockdown, trapping Eko outside the computer room, and wait for the countdown to hit zero, sure that nothing will happen. Eko uses dynamite from the Black Rock to attempt to get back into the computer room but fails. As the countdown reaches zero, Desmond realizes that the date of the prior "system failure" was the same day as the plane crash, September 22nd, 2004. Desmond believes that this magnetic field is what pulled down Oceanic flight 815, and that his failure to press the button is the same as the date of the plane crash. He is insistent that the button must be pressed, but Locke angrily reacts by destroying the computer. Desmond retrieves a key that Kelvin had shown him could "end it all." He says, "See you in another life, brother," to Locke and uses the key to "blow the dam." As he does so, a giant white light envelopes the island. In the last scene of season 2, a Portuguese scientist calls Penny from an outpost in the Arctic. The station detected the electromagnetic blast from the computer failure and reveals that Penny is trying to find Desmond and somehow knows he's on the island.

In the episode "Further Instructions," Desmond finds himself naked and disoriented in the jungle a day after using the fail-safe mechanism. Eventually, he meets Hurley, who gives him some clothes to wear and escorts him back to the beach camp. En route, Desmond displays evidence of precognition by referencing a speech Locke had yet to give.

This precognitive ability is continued in "Every Man for Himself," in which he apparently foresees lightning striking Claire's and Aaron's tent. He borrows a golf club from Paulo in order to construct a lightning rod, which later diverts the bolt and saves Claire and her son. This is the second indication that Desmond can predict the future.

In the episode "The Cost of Living," Desmond tells Sayid that he thinks the computer in the Swan was also used to communicate with other hatches on the island. He and Locke have come up with a plan to go to the Pearl station and try to use the computer in there to communicate with the Others in attempts to rescue Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. Sayid joins Locke and Desmond and, along with Nikki and Paulo, venture to the Pearl. While there, he and the others witness Mr. Eko's death. Desmond and the group bury Eko in "I Do."

In "Flashes Before Your Eyes", Locke asks Desmond to find Charlie and Hurley and meet him and Sayid in the jungle, where he proceeds to tell them about Eko's death. As he is doing so, Desmond falls into a trance, and then immediately takes off. Locke, Charlie, Sayid and Hurley follow him back to the beach, where he strips and dives into the sea. They soon notice that he is swimming towards a body in the open sea, which turns out to be Claire. Desmond rescues and resuscitates her. Charlie repeatedly asks how he knew she was drowning, but Desmond offers no answer. Hurley comes to the conclusion that Desmond "sees the future". Later, Charlie and Hurley conspire to get Desmond drunk. After a struggle, Desmond tells Charlie he has been seeing bits of the future, mostly of events where Charlie dies. Charlie was supposed to drown saving Claire. He was also supposed to die when lightning struck Claire's tent. However, he says, the Universe has a way of "course-correcting" - implying that he cannot stave off Charlie's death forever.

The next day, in "Tricia Tanaka Is Dead", Desmond is approached by Charlie, who asks him about his demise. However, Desmond explains that his powers don't work as simply as Charlie thinks they do, and is unable to help him. He is then approached by Sawyer, who inquires about his missing stash. Desmond confesses to drinking his whiskey, but also says that Charlie and Hurley were also seen rummaging through it.

In the episode "Par Avion" Desmond interrupts Claire and Charlie, who are having a picnic, and strongly advises that Charlie should come boar hunting with him. Claire then discovers that seabirds could be used to send messages and gets an idea to capture a bird and put a message on it. Claire, Sun, and Jin are about to capture a bird when a gunshot goes off and scares the birds away. Claire then asks Desmond whats going on and why he fired his gun when a boar was nowhere around. Claire later follows Desmond to a cliff near rocks and Desmond captures a sea bird. When Claire asks how Desmond knew that the bird will be there, Desmond tells her the truth about Charlie and that Charlie would have broken his neck and died because he wanted to help Claire catch the bird.

In "Exposé", Desmond is confronted by Hurley, who asks him for help with the "deaths" of Nikki and Paulo. Desmond explains that he cannot use his psychic ability to help him, but he tells Hurley that he noticed Nikki and Sawyer arguing over a gun that morning. Desmond is later seen at the funeral for Nikki and Paulo. Everyone is unaware that they are still alive and so they are buried. Later in "Left Behind" Desmond and Sawyer go hunting together and asks Sawyer why he had hardly said two words to him but now wants to be his "hunting partner". Later in the episode, Hurley gives Desmond some of the boar they had captured earlier.

While fishing, Desmond experiences a horrific vision of Charlie falling into one of Rousseau's traps in "Catch-22". He asks Hurley to take him to the cable in the sand. After taking a first-aid kit from Jack (for 'precautions'), he confides in Hurley about his visions. Desmond attempts to assign Jin, but Hurley offers to persuade him instead. Finally, Desmond tries to convince Charlie, who sees through his proposed plan and knows about his vision. After much persuasion, Charlie agrees to come along. In his vision, after Charlie's death he then sees Penny and believes she will rescue them all from the island. For most of the episode, Desmond is considering allowing Charlie to die so he can be reunited with Penny. The four of them set off along the beach until they discover the cable in the sand. Desmond suggests camping out for the night. He talks to Charlie about his history with Penny, but is soon interrupted when a helicopter passes overhead. While the helicopter crashes into the ocean, they notice that someone has parachuted further inland. Desmond suggests helping her out, much to Charlie's resentment. Desmond agrees to wait until light, for Charlie's benefit. The next morning, the four venture into the jungle, where Desmond discovers a rucksack in a tree. He finds a book, which contains the photograph of him and Penny inside. Desmond explains to Charlie that, should he have explained his motives earlier, his visions would result differently. Shortly after, Desmond saves Charlie from one of Rousseau's traps, narrowly saving his life for the fourth time. Charlie is angry with Desmond, but he explains that if he told Charlie the truth, he wouldn't have come. Jin calls them over, and they discover the parachutist hanging from the trees. The four of them use the parachute as a safety net for the parachutist to fall onto. After discovering that she is alive, Desmond removes her helmet, only to discover that she is not Penny. She spurts out his name, much to his confusion but then Naomi losses consciousness again. Because Desmond saved Charlie, his vision might have been altered thus bringing Naomi to the island.

Desmond suggests many methods to try and save her in "D.O.C.", but all suggestions are disapproved by Charlie. When Hurley accidentally lures Mikhail to their location, Desmond holds him at gunpoint and bargains with him to help the woman in exchange for his release, much to Charlie's resentment. Mikhail and Desmond work together to remove the branch injuring Naomi. When they finish, Desmond sticks to his word and allows him to leave, only to cause more conflict between him and Charlie. The next day, he, Jin, and Charlie make a stretcher to carry Naomi back to the camp. In "The Brig", Desmond asks Charlie and Hurley if they can really trust Jack after his two week absence. He continues to tend to Naomi when Sayid arrives, who begins questioning her.

Jack and Juliet lead Desmond and the others into the jungle in "Greatest Hits", where they reveal their destructive method to rid them of the Others. However, on this trek he experiences more flashes. Back on the beach, he takes Charlie aside and tells him that he must die in order to secure Claire and Aaron's safety off the island. However, Jack refuses to let Charlie enter the underwater hatch until Karl arrives and warns them that the Others are coming that night instead of tomorrow. Desmond offers to go with Charlie, and the two head off after Jack and Sayid prepare themselves. As the two sail out, following the cable, Charlie asks Desmond to give Claire a sheet of paper containing five of his best moments in his life. Desmond makes a weightbelt to help Charlie swim down to the hatch faster and offers to take Charlie's place. Charlie knocks him out because he realizes his destiny and dives into the ocean.

In "Through the Looking Glass", Desmond awakens in the boat and pulls Charlie's Greatest Hits out of his pocket. Looking down into the water, he sees the glimmering lights of the Looking Glass station, but Mikhail appears and shoots at Desmond. Seeing no other option, Desmond leaps into the water, swimming into the Looking Glass. As soon as he resurfaces inside the underwater station, Charlie implores him to hide to escape the two security girls, which he does. Soon afterwards, as Mikhail is about to execute Charlie, Desmond calls out and shoots him in the heart with a spear gun. Charlie deactivates the jamming signal, Penny appears on the monitor, and Charlie talks to her. Desmond goes to the other side of the pool to fetch scuba diving equipment. Glancing at the floor, however, he sees that Mikhail has vanished, and immediately runs at full pelt towards Charlie. Outside the Looking Glass is Mikhail, who has a grenade that will destroy the glass window and flood the room Charlie is in. Charlie closes the door on Desmond, sacrificing his own life to save Desmond. Pounding on the door with a fire extinguisher, Desmond is confronted by the disturbing note on Charlie's hand of 'Not Penny's boat,' referring to the boat that is off-shore. Desmond nods in understanding, and places his hand on the other side of the glass to Charlie. Charlie shoots him a small smile, finally accepting his fate, and presumably drowns.

After Lost

Desmond was nursed back to health by Hurley and Ben. Before leaving the island to be with Penny and his son he forgave Ben for what he did.

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