"You know, you don't really need a job from my father, Des," she says, as he puts on a jacket. "It's not about the job. I want him to respect me," says Desmond. And I have to admit, it might have been around here that I started to check out of this episode. I think it was partly because I figured that any explanation for Desmond's precognition was going to be either a) ridiculously unbelievable or b) discouragingly unsatisfying, and now I started worrying how long we were going to spend on Desmond hoping for Widmore's respect, when we found out many, many episodes ago that he doesn't have it. Desmond and Penny are likable enough characters to spend an episode with (even one that's almost entirely flashback), but I'm genuinely more interested in finding out what's going on with the rest of the main Lostaways (or even in continuing with Jack, Kate and Sawyer). Despite complaints I make about various plotlines or characters or whatever, when it comes to picking a grade for the episode, my only criterion is how quickly the episode goes by. If it goes by quickly, and I can't wait to see what's happening next, that's a good episode for me, even if Charlie's whining. But with this episode, I was, much like Desmond on the island, watching the clock the whole time.
Anyway, Penelope's optimistic (or at least pretending to be) that her dad will respect Desmond. "But if for some reason, he's too daft to see how brilliant you are, it's not the end of the world." Oh, never mind what I said about her optimism. She clearly knows her dad's an old bastard who's going to hate Desmond. Des, though, was too struck by her "the end of the world" comment to notice what a downer she's being. "What did you say?" he asks, but before she can answer, he hears a beeping that sounds exactly like the beeping of Swan station's countdown clock (may it rest in peace). Desmond wanders into the kitchen, where he sees that it's his microwave beeping. Penny takes a cup out of it and gives it to him, and notices that he's staring at the microwave like he's Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer and not familiar with all these shiny objects that are scary and confusing to him. She asks if he's all right, and he says he's just having a little dÃ©jÃ vu.
An office building lobby. Desmond strolls up to the reception desk and says he's here to see Mr. Widmore, and introduces himself as Desmond Hume. They're interrupted by a delivery jerk saying, "'Ello love. Got a parcel here for 815." Desmond's startled again, and asks the delivery guy what he said. "I said, 'delivery for 815,'" says the delivery guy, very VERY slowly, so this ain't exactly getting marked in the Log of Subtle, Hidden Clues. Desmond quickly flashes back to the hatch, with the numbers (including eight and fifteen) being entered into the computer, and the timer at 108. But he shakes it off as the receptionist tells him that Mr. Widmore is ready for him.