Desmond in his infinite wisdom has decided to take the bold step that the writers have hinted at but are too panty-waisted to take. Yes, he has decided to kill off Charlie. Or at least not to get in the way when Charlie bites the big one, despite the fact that his vision spells out the exact location, time, and costume choice of Charlie's gruesome demise and Desmond therefore could totally prevent it. Why has he forsaken his role as Charlie's personal savior? Because Charlie's life is nothing compared to the chance to save Penny, who, Desmond is convinced, has parachuted onto the Island and is in desperate need of rescue. When Desmond finds a copy of Catch-22 with his photo in it, he is pretty darn sure he is right. So why does he change his mind and save Charlie? Well, it turns out Desmond has a pretty strong religious streak, what with being a monk and all. What's that you say? Yes, apparently even though Eko is gone, the Island is still lousy with clergy. Via a flashback, it is revealed that Desmond spent some quality time in a monastery after running away from his Scottish fiancÃ©e. Now that we know he is Brother Desmond, at least we have a reasonable explanation for all that "brother" nonsense. Still, it's a good thing there's a preacher on hand, 'cause with all the illicit nookie going on, someone is bound to get hitched. Or at least get hurt and maybe need last rites. So a monk will definitely come in handy.
Oh, and the parachuter? Totally not Penny.
Desmond is playing a very wet Indiana Jones. In what was undoubtedly a raucous skirmish with restless native populations determined to save their religious totems from permanent residency in an unvisited museum, he appears to have lost all the buttons on his shirt. Hurley, Charlie, and Jin are walking down the path he has macheted through the jungle. Charlie is carrying his guitar. In a rainstorm. Les Paul would approve, I'm sure. Charlie and Hurley are arguing about Superman versus Flash in a foot race, and Hurley is putting all sorts of unfair limitations on Superman's ability to use his powers and, yes, Superman is a wad, but is Flash's ability to vibrate through walls really that useful? There are doors, dude. The obliquely hip conversation (identical to one I overheard between two hipster has-beens in tight t-shirts and oversized glasses in the bar at a Grizzly Bear concert in Brooklyn, by the by) is interrupted when Charlie's Vans-clad foot steps on a wire running along the forest floor. He stops stares, manages a "What the... " and then gets shot in the neck with an arrow. Everyone rushes up to him, but no one can help. They don't really cover the shot-in-the-neck-with-arrow scenario in First Aid so you can't really blame them. Charlie expires really quickly and then the light changes and we see flashes of Hurley and a wire and a flashing beacon in the night sky and Penny and Desmond in a photo. It's one of Desmond's flashes. He has this one squatting on the beach with his legs wrapped around a giant pole. I think Freud would have A LOT to say about that particular vision, brother.
Desmond shakes himself after his flashus interruptus and scans the beach. He sees Charlie innocently walking around, enjoying the day, having no inkling of the rather unpleasant fate that awaits him. Desmond spies Hurley, runs up to him, and demands to know where the wire is. Hurley asks him if he has been eating the mushrooms that Jack warned them about. Proving once again that he is probably the only person on this entire Crap Island that I would want to have a beer with. I love Sayid, but would you want to have a beer with him? Desmond is not put of by Hurley's funnies and demands to know where the giant wire running underneath the sand is. Hurley looks contemplative and asks if this is future crap. He asks why Desmond needs to know, and Desmond says because someone is coming. Oh right, did I mention that he saw a Converse dangling from a tree in his vision too? They both duck as a giant Lost sign hits them in the head.