Desmond David Hume was the lone resident of the Swan at the time of the Flight 815 crash. He was discovered by Locke, Kate and Jack a month later, in the events of blowing the Hatch open. After his failed attempts to leave the Island, Desmond joined the camp of survivors, and soon became an integral part in their missions.

Before the time travel event

Not much is known about Desmond's early life, aside from the fact that he 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 has a close long-term friend, presumably a professor in physics, named Donovan. He dated Penelope Widmore for two years prior to meeting her father, who was apparently unaware of their relationship. He was a lower class citizen who lived in London. At a certain point in his life he met Penelope Widmore, the daughter of Charles Widmore, and the two of them fall in love. Eventually, Penelope moved into Desmond's flat (he was apparently too proud to move into hers).

Desmond's original timeline

Desmond DeJa Vu 1

Desmond, after his meeting with Widmore, as he recalls himself during his Deja Vu

Being unemployed at the time, Desmond went to her father to get a job at the Widmore Corporation. Widmore interviews Desmond and looks over his resume, after which he offers him a job in the administrative department. Desmond reveals that the real reason he came was not for the job, but to ask for Widmore's permission to marry Penelope. Widmore is impressed by Desmond's request but not by Desmond. He pours a small amount of prohibitively expensive McCutcheon whiskey into a glass and tells him that he is not even worthy to drink his whiskey, let alone marry his daughter. As he exits the building, he throws his tie on the floor, and leaves it there. He sees a young musician performing on the street, right before rain begins to pour. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")

Leaving without a job, or Widmore's permission to marry his daughter, Desmond returns home, and simply tells Penelope that he didn't get the job. Eventually, Desmond decides to go through with asking Penelope to marry him, even without her father's permission. Desmond goes to buy a ring for Penny but changes his mind. Desmond meets her near the River Thames and they get their picture taken in front of a marina backdrop. Upon receiving the picture, which he couldn't even afford in the first place, Desmond realizes that Widmore was right: He wasn't good enough for Penelope, he could barely even take care of himself let alone the woman he loves. He tells Penelope this, and she storms off with mixed emotions of anger and sadness. Later, Desmond goes to the local pub to drown his sorrows, there he witnesses the end of a football game on the television, the results of which prompted Jimmy Lennon to storm into the bar and hit the bartender with a cricket bat because he owed him money.("Flashes Before Your Eyes")

Desmond's altered timeline

After turning the failsafe key in the future, Desmond seems to reenter his life on the day of his interview with Widmore. He has a fragmented memory of his original timeline and is able to affect some small changes in it. He recognizes the young musician on the street as Charlie, confronts him about his identity, and then correctly predicts the sudden onset of rain. He arranges a meeting with his friend, Donovan, that hadn't occurred previously, to discuss the possibility of time travel. His friend asks him what happens next and a song triggers Desmond's memory of a future event involving the football match on tv and a disgruntled patron but the events fail to play out the way he remembered them. Desmond also decides to buy the ring for Penny this time, causing Ms. Hawking to reveal that she is aware of the original timeline as well, and to impart some of her understanding about how the universe "course-corrects" to prevent people from straying too far from their fate. During their discussion it seems that she is able to predict the imminent death of a man nearby but claims to be unable to ultimately prevent it. He keeps the ring anyway, but, after his argument with Penny decides to throw it into the river. Later, he hears the song again, but this time the events play out according to his prediction. The end of a football match turns out as expected and Jimmy Lennon storms into the bar looking for the bartender. Desmond tries to prevent the altercation from happening this time, but is hit with a cricket bat instead of the bartender, sending him back to the future. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes"),

Before the boat wreck

Desmond Libby

Desmond, talking to Libby over coffee, where she offers him the Sailboat. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Sometime later, Desmond joined the Royal Scots (now The Royal Regiment of Scotland). He did not see active combat duty as part of this regiment, as they were last deployed in 1991, and we know that he signed up after 1995 .("Flashes Before Your Eyes") During the time he served, Desmond managed to reach the rank of a Lance-Corporal, before getting discharged, and serving time in the Southway Garrison military prison, for failing to "follow orders". His exact offense, however, is still unknown. At his release, Desmond gained back his belongings, among which his copy of Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend; the book he chose to be the last thing he reads before he dies, and thus did not check it in prison, to "avoid temptation". ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Outside the Garrison, Desmond was met by Charles Widmore. In his limo, Desmond discovered that all the letters he had sent to Penelope from prison were intercepted by Widmore, who then attempted to bribe him into keeping away from his daughter. Widmore was assured of Desmond's acceptance, as he perceived him as a coward. Desmond, however, declined, and entered himself in a world sailing race, which was sponsored by Widmore, in order to challenge him. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Desmond then traveled to America, where the race was set to start. He arrived, however, short of money and a sailing boat. In a twist of fate, he met Libby in a café, where she insisted on buying him coffee. During their ensuing conversation, Desmond confided in her his shortcomings for joining the race. Libby then surprisingly revealed her ownership of a boat, the Elizabeth, which belonged to her late husband. Upon her insistence, Desmond eventually accepted Libby's offer of the boat, promising her to win the race "in the name of love". ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Desmond Penelope

Desmond wiping Penelope's tears, on their last conversation. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Before training later at an LA stadium, Desmond was approached by Penelope, who revealed her success in locating him by employing her great wealth. Penny asked him if he had read his beloved book yet, and inquired as to why he did not write to her. To evade her questions, Desmond confronted Penny with his knowledge that she is getting married, adding that he will be back in a year, after wining her father's race. When Penny questioned the motivation of what she felt as an attempt to run away, Desmond insisted that he is running to get his honor back. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

That night, Desmond met Jack Shephard, while training at the same stadium. During their short conversation, Desmond confronted Jack with an introspective realization, that he is running because of a woman. When Jack talked to him about his patient, Sarah, whom he he had no hope in fixing, Desmond pointed to the possibility of miracles, which was soon put into question, with the Sarah's subsequent unexpected healing. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")

Whilst sailing on the race across the Pacific, Desmond's boat was hit by a strong storm, during which Desmond wrapped his book in plastic, before getting knocked unconscious and falling off the deck. Soon after, he washed up on the Island's shore. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

On the Island

Before encountering the survivors

Desmond Lockdown

Desmond, initiating the "Lockdown" sequence

During the events proceeding his boat crash, the half-conscious Desmond was dragged from the beach into the Swan, by a man in a biohazard suit who later identified himself as Kelvin. In the Swan, Desmond was told by Kelvin that the outside environment is contaminated by a mysterious sickness, which he may have been exposed to. Desmond then received a vaccine labeled by the Numbers from Kelvin, and was told to inject himself with it every 9 days. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

In the subsequent events, Desmond learned the "pushing the button" routine, and watched the Swan Orientation Film repeatedly, which raised many questions in his head, but mostly remained unanswered by Kelvin. Desmond also learned how to initiate the Lockdown sequence, which Kelvin used to complete the invisible blast door map started by Kelvin's previous Swan partner, Radzinsky. One night later, while drunk in the Swan's passageways, Kelvin revealed to Desmond the reality of the Incident, and the function of the fail-safe key, which he carried at all times but was never able to find the courage for using it. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Desmond lived in the station for the next two years, whilst Kelvin continually left the Hatch in his suit, under the pretense of analyzing the outside environment. However, on the day of Flight 815's crash, Desmond noticed that Kelvin's suit was ripped, yet he continued his trips. Desmond's first adventure in the jungle was during his subsequent following of Kelvin, whom he saw taking off the suit, before marching towards the cove. At the cove, Desmond found his sailboat, apparently repaired by Kelvin, by which he seemed to be aiming to escape the Island.

Desmond then confronted Kelvin, after realizing the charade he was subjected to, and in the struggle that followed he accidentally slammed Kelvin's head against the rocks, resulting in his seemingly immediate death, this has yet to be confirmed. After grabbing Kelvin's fail-safe key, Desmond ran back to the Swan, where he found the countdown has reached zero, and a flow of system failure messages appearing on the computer's screen. Although eventually Desmond managed to push the button after to stop the failure, unbeknownst to him, his actions inadvertently caused the close by Oceanic Flight 815 to break in the air and crash on the Island, due the released electromagnetic charge that built up in his absence, as later revealed in "A Tale of Two Cities". ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

With Kelvin dead, Desmond was now on his own, and he spent the next 40 days in the Swan in complete solitude, carrying on the duty of pushing the button all by himself. In a moment of despair, Desmond contemplated ending his life. Sitting down with a gun in his hand, Desmond questioned whether anything in his world is real. He moved to open his Dickens' novel, when a letter fell out of it: a hidden letter from Penelope, in which she wrote Desmond to never give up, emphasizing her love and her decision to always wait for him. In a fit of rage, Desmond, started to sabotage the Swan's contents, when he suddenly heard pounding on the Hatch above. Turning on the bright light ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1"), Desmond looked up as the traumatized Locke peered down ("Deus Ex Machina") in return, causing both men to regain their hope. Although we didn't see Desmond in Season 1, the effect of him turning on the light was felt in the first Season. ("Deus Ex Machina")  ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Season 2

Desmond Sailboat

Desmond, found by Jack, Sayid and Sawyer in the Sailboat

In the events of blowing up the Hatch and their ascending to the Swan, Locke and Kate confront the suspicious Desmond, who held them both at gun point. Led by Locke into believing that Kate is the most dangerous of the two, Desmond ordered him to lock Kate up in the pantry. However, this gave Kate a chance to escape through the ventilation system, to later intervene with Desmond's holding of Locke, and Jack who joined them, and consequently resulting in Desmond's accidental shooting of the Swan's computer. After failing to fix it, Desmond decided to flee the station, claiming that everyone will die soon, but was followed by Jack. On their confrontation, Desmond recalled his off-the Island encounter of Jack, and asked him about Sarah, before reciting to Jack the Numbers, in case they ever fix the computer. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")  ("Adrift")  ("Orientation")

In the preceding events, it is assumed that Desmond set off on the sailboat, in an attempt to escape the the Island. Desmond's attempt, however, was unsuccessful, and after two weeks, the boat sailed back towards the Island. When the boat emerged to the survivors, Jack, Sayid and Sawyer swam to it, only to find Desmond inside, who by then believed the Island to be the last thing left from a long lost world. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")


Desmond listening to Locke about the Pearl ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Desmond was then approached by Sayid, who asked for his help in his plan of sailing to the Others' camp, but Desmond refused. Desmond was sought out later by Locke, who brought him the Orientation video from the Pearl, debunking his whole conception of the Swan's function. Desmond then agreed to join Locke on his mission, to let watch the Swan's countdown end once and for all, without interference, and see what would happen. In their attempt, they locked Eko out the computer room, using Desmond's experience in triggering the lockdown. However, in their ensuing conversation, Desmond learned from Locke the truth about the pounding he heard earlier on the Hatch door, and about the Pearl's Log printout as well. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

At his reading of the Log, Desmond then connected the date of the plane crash to the earlier system failure he witnessed, leading him to conclude that he may have unintentionally caused the crash. Desmond then decided that the button must be pushed, but Locke, however, intervened and destroyed the computer. With no other resolution, Desmond felt compelled to use the fail-safe key, and thus descended to the Swan's passageways to turn on the switch. With the words "I love you Penny," Desmond turned the key, causing the discharge, and the unavoidable implosion of the Swan. ("Live Together, Die Alone, Part 1")

Season 3


Naked Desmond talking to Hurley in the jungle. ("Further Instructions")

In the events of the the Swan's implosion, Desmond woke up in the jungle, wearing no clothes, and was later found by Hurley, who let him borrow a t-shirt of his, before the two returned to camp. ("Further Instructions")

On their way back, Desmond revealed his first premonition, while attempting to comfort Hurley over his worries about his captured group. To calm him, Desmond comments on Locke's intentions to go after them, and refers to Locke's yet-to-happen "speech". At their arrival, Desmond parted from the survivors, and stood by the sea, while the previously confused Hurley listened to Locke's rousing words about saving the missing Jack and the others captured, leaving Hurley in shock as he looked back at Desmond. ("Further Instructions")

Later, Desmond approached Claire, in an attempt to persuade her to move down the beach, to allow him to fix her roof, but Charlie intervened. At his failure to convince them, Desmond borrowed a golf club from Paulo, which he used in constructing a lightning rod that he placed very close to the tent. Shortly after, the camp was caught up in a sudden storm, when a bolt of lightning struck the recently built lightning rod, on its way to the tent, leaving Charlie in a shock, similar to that previously experienced by Hurley. ("Every Man for Himself")

Desmond and Locke were later joined by Sayid, in a meeting to discuss a rescue plan for Jack and his group. Desmond explained to Sayid that station's equipment could be used as well in communication, and thus they required Sayid's technological skills in helping them search for a station where Jack could be possibly captured. They three head to the Pearl, joined by Paulo and Nikki, where Desmond helped Sayid in patching the monitors with available feeds from other stations, leading to the temporal appearance of the mysterious one-eyed man on one of the screens. Moments after, Desmond heard Monster's familiar sound, and hurried above with the rest, to witness the last moments of the dying Eko, where he was then left with Paulo and Nikki while Sayid accompanied Locke back to camp to get shovels for the burial. ("The Cost of Living"), ("I Do")

When Charlie meets up with them, Desmond suddenly rushes to the beach and drags a drowing Claire ashore and resucitates her. Charlie becomes suspicious and Hurley aids him in getting Desmond drunk on MacCutcheon whisky so that he might devulge his secret. Charlie and Desmond get into a fight but they clam down and apologise. Desmond reveals that when he turned the failsafe key, his life flashed before his eyes, but after, the flashes didn't stop. He's been getting precognative visions, but they were to save Charlie, not Claire, and he is afraid that there are only so many times he can cheat fate before it catches up with Charlie and causes his death. ("Flashes Before Your Eyes")

Name Reference to Philosopher David Hume

See main article, Philosophy


Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Desmond Hume/Theories

See also

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