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Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond Hume
|First appearance||"Man of Science, Man of Faith"|
|Last appearance||"The End"|
|Portrayed by||Henry Ian Cusick|
|"Live Together, Die Alone"
"Flashes Before Your Eyes"
"Happily Ever After"
|Full name||Desmond David Hume|
|Relatives||Penelope Widmore (Wife)
Daniel Faraday (Brother-In-Law)
|Glasgow, Scotland, UK|
Desmond David Hume is a fictional character on the ABC television series Lost portrayed by Henry Ian Cusick. Desmond's name is a tribute to David Hume, the famous empiricist author and philosopher. Desmond was not a passenger of Flight 815. He had been stranded on the island three years prior to the crash as the result of a shipwreck. Desmond eventually leaves the Island with the Oceanic 6 and is reunited with his love Penny Widmore (Sonya Walger).
It appears that Desmond was the "package" that Charles Widmore (Alan Dale) was talking about on Hydra Island. It was later revealed by Charles Widmore that Desmond was Jacob's 'fail-safe', meaning that in case the Man in Black killed all of Jacob's candidates, Desmond would then be used to destroy the island.
Desmond was one of the show's most popular characters. In 2006 Cusick's portrayal was nominated for an Emmy. In 2007 a two week long tournament style competition for Lost's best character with over six thousand voters hosted by the Washington Post voted Desmond the winner.
Before the shipwreck
Desmond is originally from Glasgow, Scotland. After being engaged to a woman named Ruth (Joanna Bool) for six years, Desmond gets cold feet one week before the wedding. He passes out due to binge drinking and wakes up to find a monk named Brother Campbell (Andrew Connolly). Desmond decides to join the monastery. Shortly after completing his vow of silence, he is assaulted by Ruth's brother. He meets with Ruth, who chastises him for breaking her heart. Guilt ridden, he breaks into the monastery's wine cellar and starts to drink. As a result, Brother Campbell dismisses him from the order. Before he leaves, Brother Campbell asks him to perform a final service for the order, assisting Penny by carrying cases of wine into her car. The two feel an immediate attraction, and she asks for his help in unloading the wine in Carlisle. Two years later, they move into an apartment together.
Desmond visits Penny's father Charles to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage. While stating his appreciation for the bold gesture, Charles makes his disapproval of Desmond clear, saying he is not good enough for her. After being unable to pay for a photograph taken with Penny, Desmond believes he can't support himself or Penny and, thinking she deserves better, breaks up with her. In an attempt to prove himself to Charles, Desmond joins the Royal Scots Regiment of the British Army. During his basic training, Desmond would experience a temporal displacement from himself in 2004, appearing disoriented in his time transits. Desmond is able to remember enough to follow instructions given to him by Daniel Faraday, whom he tracks down at Oxford University. Faraday is able to give Desmond a clear course on how to find a 'constant' memory from both 1996 and 2004 in order to save himself. Desmond would track down Penelope, who believed their relationship was over, but he is able to convince Penelope to give him her phone number, saving his life in 2004. After being imprisoned for "failing to follow orders", Desmond is dishonorably discharged from the army. Outside the prison, Desmond is greeted by Charles, who admits to confiscating all the letters Desmond wrote to Penny, and attempts to bribe him to leave her alone. Desmond travels to the United States, where he meets Libby (Cynthia Watros). She gives Desmond her boat when he reveals that in order to win his true love, he must win a boating race, funded by Charles Widmore. Before setting off, Desmond goes to train at a stadium in Los Angeles, where he is confronted by Penny, upset he had not contacted her since getting out of prison. He asks her to wait for him for one more year, when the race would have ended. He promptly leaves to run the stadium. While training, he meets Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) for the first time. After he enters the race, his boat is caught in a ferocious storm, and he is eventually knocked unconscious.
Prior to the crash
Desmond washes ashore on the island without his boat. A man named Kelvin Joe Inman (Clancy Brown) emerges from the jungle in a hazmat suit and takes him back to the hatch. Desmond watches as Kelvin inputs the numbers into a computer, claiming it is saving the world. Kelvin later explains it releases an electromagnetic charge to prevent there being a large build-up of electromagnetic energy. He tells Desmond to inoculate himself with an unnamed vaccine every nine days, since he was out in the "quarantined" island, and might be infected. Three years pass, and Desmond desperately wants to go above ground, but Kelvin will not allow it, although he himself leaves for hours each day in his hazmat suit. Desmond catches Kelvin drunk one night in a secret crawlspace below the floor, dangling a key above a fail-safe mechanism. Kelvin explains if the fail-safe mechanism was activated, the hatch would be destroyed, destroying the electromagnetic anomaly with it.
When Kelvin leaves one day, Desmond notices Kelvin's hazmat suit has a tear on its leg. He follows Kelvin above ground, where he discovers Kelvin removing the suit and learns that the air is safe to breathe. Desmond follows Kelvin to a cove, where he sees his sailboat in perfect shape. Kelvin had been leaving the hatch to fix the boat a little each day, planning to escape the island and leave Desmond behind. Kelvin startles Desmond, revealing he knew Desmond was following him, and then invites Desmond to escape with him. Desmond is too worried about the button to leave, to which Kelvin expresses his doubts about the validity of the button. Desmond becomes enraged he may have spent three years of his life on the island unnecessarily and attacks Kelvin. They struggle, and Desmond accidentally smashes Kelvin's head on a rock, killing him. Desmond takes the key for the fail-safe mechanism from around Kelvin's neck and races back to the hatch, where the timer for the button has already reached zero and the computer is registering a system failure. A massive electromagnetic field builds up, attracting all metal objects to the sealed door inside the hatch, including Oceanic Flight 815. Desmond manages to stop it by inputting the code, which safely disperses the electromagnetic field, but not in time to prevent the plane crash.
After the crash
For forty-one days, Desmond lingers in the hatch. He gradually falls into a deep depression to the point of even contemplating suicide. As he opens up Our Mutual Friend (which he later states that it would be the last book he would read before his death), he finds a note Penny had hidden inside before he was sent to prison, telling him not to despair, as well as reminding him she will always wait for him and she loves him. Even more depressed now, he goes into a rage and makes a mess out of the hatch. As he collapses, Desmond then hears someone shouting from the top of the hatch. Unknown to Desmond, it is Locke (Terry O'Quinn) asking the hatch for help after Boone's fatal plane injury. When Desmond turns on a light to see who it is, Locke, thinking his prayers have been answered, quiets down. Desmond, similarly, considers the voice to be a sign he is no longer alone, and regains hope. When Locke, Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Jack (Matthew Fox) enter the hatch, they accidentally damage the computer after a brief fight with a panicked Desmond. Convinced the world is going to end, he tries to fix the computer, but is unable to. Desmond frantically flees the hatch. Jack catches up with him and Desmond tells him the code, and explains it must be entered every 108 minutes. Desmond makes his way back to his boat and attempts to sail to Fiji. However, his plans go awry.
A drunken Desmond returns in his boat, having been unable to navigate away from the island, making him compare it and its waters to "a bloody snow globe" . Later he is confronted by Locke who tells him of another DHARMA station, the Pearl station, where he found an orientation film suggesting the button pushing was just an experiment with no real purpose. While Desmond wavers back and forth with his conviction on the button, he and Locke wait for the countdown to hit zero, to see what will happen. Desmond and Locke lock out Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), who had started to push the button recently, from the computer room with the blast door. As the countdown reaches zero, Desmond tells Locke to show him the printout Locke obtained from The Pearl. Desmond realizes the date of the prior "system failure" was the same day as the plane crash, September 22, 2004. Desmond believes his failure to push the button that day resulted in an electromagnetic field pulling down Oceanic Flight 815. He is insistent the button must be pressed, but Locke angrily reacts by destroying the computer. Desmond retrieves the key to the fail-safe mechanism, wanting to save Locke because Locke saved him the night he shouted at the hatch door. As Desmond uses the key, a bright white light envelops his face.
Upon turning the key, Desmond is sent back to 1996, where he relives the moments leading to his break-up with Penny. When he is in Charles Widmore's office, seeking the elder Widmore's blessing because he is planning to ask Penny to marry. Later on, he remembers the island only after seeing Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) busking in the streets. He is told by a mysterious woman, Eloise Hawking (Fionnula Flanagan), it is his destiny to be on the island. He is later knocked unconscious and wakens back in the present, amidst the hatch's scattered remains and completely naked. Hurley (Jorge Garcia) clothes him, and Desmond mentions a speech Locke has made, without realizing Locke doesn't make this speech until his and Hurley's return to the beach. Upon returning to the beach, he then asks Claire (Emilie de Ravin) to leave her shelter for the day because she had a "problem with her roof". When she refuses, Desmond constructs a lightning rod, diverting the ensuing lightning to strike it instead of her shelter.
After Mr. Eko is killed by the monster, Desmond attends his burial with Charlie and Hurley. He leaves suddenly to rescue a drowning Claire in the ocean despite being in the jungle, too far to be aware of Claire's predicament. In an attempt to question him about his clairvoyant gift, Charlie and Hurley get him drunk, but Desmond retaliates before being interrogated. He informs Charlie he has been doing everything he can to prevent Charlie's death, but it is inevitable.
Several days later, Desmond experiences another vision of Charlie's death, and asks Charlie, Hurley and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) to accompany him on a hike. That night, the four witness a passing helicopter, and its pilot bailing at the last minute. They trek inland, discovering various belongings of the pilot, including a photograph of Desmond and Penny, prompting him to believe the pilot is Penny. Desmond prevents his vision from happening by rescuing Charlie from one of Rousseau's (Mira Furlan) traps. The four eventually find the parachutist suspended from a tree. Desmond cuts her down and removes her helmet. However, he is disappointed to find it isn't Penny after all, it is a woman named Naomi (Marsha Thomason). She coughs out his name before passing out. When Mikhail (Andrew Divoff) arrives, Desmond bargains with him to help them save Naomi in exchange for letting him walk away free. Mikhail agrees, and manages to tend to her. The four return her to the beach soon after.
Desmond suggests informing someone about Naomi's arrival, and approves of Charlie's decision to tell Sayid (Naveen Andrews) over Jack. He tells Sayid about Naomi's mission to find him for Penny. The next day, as Jack and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) lead the camp into the jungle, Desmond experiences another vision of Charlie's death, but this time Desmond must let it happen in order for Claire to be rescued. He tells Charlie, prompting him to agree to swim underwater to the Looking Glass station. Desmond accompanies him, and follows the cable into the ocean. Desmond offers to take his place, speculating he is supposed to be dying in Charlie's place, but is knocked out by Charlie. Desmond comes to, only for Mikhail to shoot at him. Desmond swims down to the station and hides in a locker. After Mikhail kills the two resident Others, Desmond shoots him in the chest at close range, but is confused when he is unable to find his body minutes later. Charlie makes contact with Penny, and informs Desmond, but before he can enter the room, Mikhail appears outside the window and sets off a grenade. Charlie realizes he is meant to die, and Desmond is not, so he locks himself in the room. Desmond watches helplessly as the room floods, causing Charlie to eventually drown. Moments before drowning, Charlie writes on his hand with a marker informing Desmond the boat Naomi supposedly came from is not Penny's.
Desmond makes his way back to the beach, where he warns the survivors there that the people on Naomi's boat are not who they say. When Hurley asks about Charlie, Desmond remorsefully breaks the news to him about Charlie's death. Despite his clear mistrust in the people on the boat, Desmond chooses to remain with Jack instead of going to the Barracks with Locke. After questioning Frank (Jeff Fahey) about Naomi's picture of Penny, Desmond departs from the island to go to the freighter with Sayid and a dead Naomi.
As the helicopter Desmond and Sayid are being transported on flies through a storm, Desmond begins having perceptions of another reality of himself as a private in the British Army's Royal Scots Regiment. He begins flashing back and forth between present day on the freighter, and his life in 1996 before arriving on the island. Furthermore the shifting causes Desmond to lose all memories of the Island and Sayid, who is accompanying him on the helicopter. Sayid radios the island where one of the men from the freighter, Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) explains the shifting perceptions Desmond is experiencing are actually a form of time travel. He tells Desmond when he reverts to the memory of him in 1996, he must go to Oxford University and find the past Faraday, where Faraday was working on a time machine. Here Faraday tells Desmond he must find a constant, something or someone which is the same in both 1996 and 2004 he can use as a reference point. He uses Penny as this "constant". Desmond realizes in order to stop the timeshifting he must make contact with Penny on Christmas Eve 2004, the date he is on the freighter. In 1996, he manages to find an angry Penny who does not want to see him. He pleads with her to give him her phone number, and to not change it as he will phone it in eight years time, where she must pick up. When he reverts to the present, he makes the call with the help of Sayid. She answers the phone and tearfully tells him she has been searching for him and knows about the island, and she loves him. On the island Faraday looks through his journal and finds a page saying if anything went wrong, Desmond would be his constant.
With Desmond's situation resolved, he and Sayid meet Captain Gault (Grant Bowler) only moments after witnessing a female crew-member, Regina (Zoë Bell), commit suicide by jumping off the side of the freighter with a chain wrapped around her body. The captain theorizes his crew has been suffering from cabin fever due to the close proximity of the island and would turn the ship around if it weren't for a mysterious saboteur disabling the engines. Gault tells Desmond, much to his surprise, Widmore owns the freighter and is trying to track down Benjamin Linus (Michael Emerson). When being escorted to their new room, Desmond and Sayid see Michael (Harold Perrineau) on the ship, working as a janitor and using the alias, Kevin Johnson. Desmond and Sayid later confront Michael in the engine room where he explains to them how he came to be on the freighter, revealing he is now working for Ben. Sayid blows his cover by taking him to Gault with Desmond, telling Gault that Michael is the saboteur.
Not long after, Frank flies the helicopter back to the freighter with Jack, Kate, Hurley and Aaron on board. Sun (Yunjin Kim), Sayid and Desmond are the only people from the freighter who manage to get on the helicopter before the freighter explodes. Desmond is finally rescued along with the Oceanic Six and Frank by the love of his life, Penny.
When Benjamin Linus moves the island at the end of Season 4, the inhabitants of the island (excluding the Others) begin to randomly jump back and forth through time. During a jump to the past, Daniel Faraday makes contact with Desmond while he is still living in the Swan Station. Faraday tells Desmond he is "special", and if he should ever get off the island he must contact Faraday's mother in Oxford, Ms. Eloise Hawking, who coincidentally had told Desmond the island was his "destiny" upon time traveling in Season 3.
Sometime later, Penny gives birth to Desmond's son in the Philippines, the child being named Charlie. Two years after leaving the island, while living at sea with Penny and Charlie, Desmond awakens to the new "memory" of Daniel, and immediately sets off to find Faraday's mother. At Oxford he learns it was Charles Widmore who funded Faraday's experiments, and upon visiting Widmore is given an address in LA. He then goes to LA only to find Jack, Sun and Ben heading off to the same address as his. They enter a church inside of which Ben says is a woman who knows how to get back to the island. The woman happens to be Daniel Faraday's mother. Upon finding out both Jack and Sun are planning to return to the island and assuming it is what Faraday wanted him to do, Desmond storms out of the church, keeping a promise to Penny he would not return there.
The next morning, Desmond returns to the sailboat with groceries. He is then shot by Ben who is trying to kill Penny (as revenge against her father Charles Widmore, who was responsible for the death of Ben's "daughter" Alex). However, after Ben sees their son, Charlie, Ben is unable to kill Penny. Suddenly, Desmond takes advantage of Ben's hesitation and savagely beats him and throws him in the water. He is then taken to a hospital. While waiting, Penny Widmore is visited by Eloise, who apologizes for involving Desmond in everything. Penny later visits Desmond, who promises he'll never leave her again.
Some time later, Charles Widmore returns to the Island alongside a support team. Desmond is "the package" behind the locked door of Widmore's submarine, drugged to near unconsciousness and taken against his will. He briefly notices Sayid watching him from the water by the dock, much to his confusion in his drugged state.
He is taken to a medical room to recover. After waking-up, Zoe explains he had been unconscious for a few days. Desmond asks to see Penny, but Widmore enters and says it will not be possible. Widmore reminds Desmond he was shot by Benjamin Linus. Desmond calls for Penny again. Widmore says she is not there and assures him that she and their son are safe. Widmore explains he didn't have a chance to tell Desmond before, not that it mattered as Desmond wouldn't have come, but he has brought him back to the island. Enraged, Desmond attacks Widmore and has to be restrained. He screams, demanding to be brought back, but Widmore angrily replies he cannot, because the Island is not done with him yet.
Desmond is later taken to a solenoid chamber. He sees Simmons' dead body been taken out and struggles as he is forced inside. Widmore says if what he had heard about Desmond is true, referring to his capability of surviving electromagnetic catastrophes, Desmond should be fine. He says once its over, Desmond will need to make a sacrifice. Desmond is strapped to a chair and left inside. He manages to break loose from the chair and tries to open the door. He is unsuccessful and subjected to an electromagnetic event. He survives but is left unconscious. Within this time, he witnesses his life in the flash-sideways time line, despite only being unconscious for a few seconds. Widmore says Desmond's talent is vital to the mission and offers to explain. Desmond declines, saying that he understands and is ready to start doing whatever it is that is so important.
Zoe and two men escort Desmond somewhere else. Zoe is curious about Desmond's sudden choice to cooperate, having viciously attacked Widmore earlier. Desmond replies a lot can happen in twenty minutes. Sayid then leaps out of a bush and subdues the two male escorts. He points a gun at Zoe ordering her to run. Sayid tells Desmond these people are dangerous and he needs to come with him. Desmond complies and asks Sayid to lead the way.
Sayid (under the sway of the Man in Black) takes Desmond to the main Island, where he ties him up, before bringing the Man in Black, in his John Locke form to see him. The Man in Black unties Desmond after he says he had nowhere to run. Desmond, appearing to believe the Man in Black to be Locke, tells him what Widmore did with him. The Man in Black takes Desmond to a well, where he explains its creation. The Man in Black is surprised by Desmond's lack of fear. When Desmond asks what the point of being afraid is, the Man in Black pushes him into the well.
The Man in Black keeps a bloodied and slightly injured Desmond inside the well until the next day, when he orders Sayid to kill Desmond after Zoe tells the Man in Black to return Desmond by nightfall. When Sayid arrives and prepared to shoot Desmond, Desmond asked why Sayid is going to kill him, to which Sayid replies that Locke promised to bring back "someone he lost." Desmond asks Sayid who he had lost, and Sayid tells him it was the woman he loved. Desmond then questions as to what Sayid will tell her when whomever he was looking for asks him how they were reunited. Sayid doesn't answer and remains solemn.
Locke meets up with Sayid after Sayid fails to catch up with him on time. When Locke asks if Sayid has indeed killed Desmond, Sayid say he did. It is not known Desmond is still alive until Sayid tells Jack where to find him once they get off the submarine. Desmond is helped out of the well by Bernard and Rose who free him. The Man in Black and Ben find them and threaten to kill Rose and Bernard if Desmond does not come with him. Desmond agrees and is lowered into the Heart of the Island by Jack and The Man in Black. He takes a cork out of a hole in the ground which puts out the light but also makes The Man in Black mortal.
He passes out after this incident but is later saved by Jack, Hurley, and Ben. The Ajira plane leaves without him but Ben suggests to Hurley he change Jacob's rule of not letting people leave The Island so Desmond can be with his wife and son.
In the alternate timeline Desmond has not met Penny, is not married, and therefore does not crash on the Island. This eventually leads Desmond to becoming an actual passenger of Oceanic Flight 815. For part of the flight, he sits next to Jack who recognizes him, although Jack is not sure why. When 815 lands, Desmond goes and meets his employer and friend Charles Widmore. Widmore tasks him with escorting Charlie Pace who is later going to perform with his son Daniel with the rest of his band at a charity event.
When Desmond picks him up, Charlie crosses the street to the bar and tries to kill himself while walking through a high traffic area. Desmond eventually meets Charlie at the bar, and Desmond tells him he was also on Flight 815. Charlie then tells him that while on the flight he thought the Marshall, Edward Mars, knew he had drugs on him, so he went to the bathroom to swallow them. He tried to swallow the heroin, but when the turbulence hit, he began choking on the bag of heroin. He then began seeing a blond woman and fell instantly in love. And just as he was about to sink in the bliss, Jack saved his life. Desmond then tries to force him to come with him to the charity event, but while Desmond is driving, Charlie takes over the car and drives it into the water of a marina. When Desmond tries to save Charlie, Charlie puts his hand on the window and Desmond remembers Charlie dying with his hand saying "Not Penny's boat". Although shocked, Desmond manages to save Charlie. In the hospital Desmond has an MRI done and remembers Penny and his son Charlie. He goes and seeks Charlie in the hospital, who knows that he showed him the real timeline and true love. Charlie escapes from the hospital and advises Desmond to find Penny.
Desmond calls Widmore up about Charlie escaping, and Widmore tells him to go and personally apologize to his wife about losing Charlie. Desmond finds Charles' wife, Eloise Widmore (formerly Hawking), and she forgives him immediately. But when Desmond hears Penny on the guest registration list, Eloise privately scolds Desmond. She says that someone has affected Desmond's thinking and he needs to stop looking for whatever he thinks he is looking for. She said he got everything he wanted with a perfect life and her husband's approval and she says that Desmond is not ready to look at the guest list. As Desmond is leaving, Daniel approaches him and tells him what he knows. Daniel tells him that he saw a beautiful red headed girl and knew it was love at first sight. The next day he woke up with a complex formula in his journal and it contained complex math inside of it, and he had no idea what it meant since he is a musician, but that it indicates a split timeline and in the original timeline he set off a nuclear device, which is the only thing he knows of which can cause it. Daniel then tells Desmond about his half-sister, Penny, whom Desmond is looking for.
In the same stadium where Desmond originally met Jack, Desmond introduces himself to Penny. When he shakes her hand, Desmond faints. Desmond then invites her for coffee and she agrees. They both laugh lovingly at one another. Desmond then gets into his limo and asks George Minkowski if he could get him the manifest of Oceanic 815, since he needs to show them something.
Desmond approaches Hurley at "Mr. Clucks" and advises him to go with his gut with Libby and go figure out where she thought she knew him from (Desmond's order ticket number is 42). Desmond watches John Locke at the end of his working day and commits a hit and run, leaving Locke bleeding on the road. Later Desmond goes to a business building where he runs into Claire Littleton (Claire is going to an adoption agency on the 15th floor) where he says to visit his lawyer, who is Ilana. Ilana was actually looking for her because she was going to read the will for the Shephards. Claire was included in the will. Then Claire was introduced to her half-brother, Jack.
Desmond later calls Jack, using a faked American accent and posing as an employee of Oceanic Airlines, and informs him that his father's coffin has been recovered and is en route to Los Angeles. He then visits the school Locke works at, with the intention of repeating the hit and run, but is confronted by Ben who recognises him from the original attack. Telling Ben that he is merely trying to help John "let go", Desmond brutally beats Ben, making him 'remember' being beaten during the botched attempt on Penny's life in the original timeline. A short time later, Desmond turns himself over to the police, and is arrested by Sawyer. He is held in the same holding cell as Sayid and Kate, who have been arrested for separate incidents. When the three are transferred by prison van to county lock up, Desmond, now working with Hurley, has them busted out with the assistance of Ana Lucia. He then sends Sayid with Hurley, while he gives a dress to Kate and tells her they are "going to a concert".
He drives Kate to a multi-religious church in LA, where they witness Christian Shepherd's coffin being unloaded. Desmond brings Kate to Daniel's concert at the Widmore family home, in doing so reuniting Kate with Claire. When Claire gives birth to Aaron, it makes Kate, Claire and Charlie, who stumbles in on them, see the original timeline.
Desmond is in the church with the group who have now found each other, and he warmly greets Jack and others as they enter. With Penny by his side, Desmond is enveloped in the light along with the others.
Desmond is named after David Hume, a Scottish philosopher who discussed the ideas of free will and determinism. These ideas are reflected in Desmond's time travel where he meets Ms. Hawking, an old lady who explains that the universe has a specific way in which things must take place, anywhere that things go off course, the universe will correct itself. Cusick was originally hired for only three episodes in the beginning of season two, but he then returned in the finale and became a regular cast member from the third season.
In the episode "The Constant", Desmond appears in two ways. In 1996, Desmond has short hair and no facial hair and in 2004, Desmond sports long and untamed hair with a full beard. Cusick did not cut his hair; it was hidden underneath a short-haired wig by "really talented hair and makeup folks", according to Carlton Cuse. All freighter scenes were shot before Cusick shaved most of his beard for the 1996 scenes. A fake beard was glued onto Cusick for the episodes "Ji Yeon" and "Meet Kevin Johnson" while his beard grew back. Desmond is often distinguished by his cheery attitude and his habit of referring to people as "Brother".
Henry Ian Cusick was not named a regular cast member in the press release for season six, but he is one and was credited as such in the episodes.
Eric Goldman from IGN thought Desmond's flashbacks were "some of the more interesting flashbacks of the [second] season", finding Cusick's portrayal of Desmond as "likable" and "sympathetic". IGN's Chris Carabott complimented Cusick's performance in "Flashes Before Your Eyes", particularly liking the chemistry between Cusick and Sonya Walger, as well as between Cusick and Alan Dale. Maureen Ryan of The Chicago Tribune thought Cusick's performance in the fourth season episode "The Constant" was "especially spine-tingling". Gary Susman from Entertainment Weekly described Desmond's storyline as "the most emotionally satisfying character arc of season 4", feeling he deserved another Emmy nomination. Critic Kelly Woo, from TV Squad, placed him on #1 on her list of "Seven new characters that worked". Penny and Desmond's relationship has been received positively by critics. In Entertainment Weekly, Alejandro Garay wrote, "One of my favorite episodes of 2008 was Lost’s 'The Constant.' It was a beautiful episode that made us fans fall in love with the show even more. The creators managed to build momentum with smart narrative, by using the romance card to develop such a complicated topic as time traveling. Maureen Ryan of The Chicago Tribune praised Penny and Desmond's phone call in "The Constant", saying "a classic Lost moment" in Desmond and Penny's phone call. Verne Gay of Newsday called it an emotional release, "I actually cried when Penny and Desmond finally... connected" and "there wasn't one, single, solitary false note". Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly named the phone call between Desmond and Penny the best moment of the season excluding any moments from the then yet-to-air season finale.
Erin Martell of AOL's TV Squad said that "The Constant" strengthened her love for Desmond and Penny's story, saying "my heart won't break if none of [Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Juliet] end up together [but] if Desmond and Penny don't reunite, I will be devastated." Jay Glatfelter of The Huffington Post said Penny and Desmond had "the best love story on the show and dare I say on television today".
Karla Peterson of The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote that "[I was] almost as touched and relieved by the[ir] reunion as Desmond and Penny are"; however. Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy wrote that "a refreshing shift in Lost's tone enabled loyal viewers to have their hearts warmed by the long distance smoochfest between Desmond and his beloved Penny".
IGN's Chris Carabott praised the on-screen chemistry of Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) and Sonya Walger (Penelope), stating that "their on screen chemistry makes the love between the two characters real and makes their inevitable breakup that much harder to handle.".
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