Sunday, May 03, 2009

S5Ep14 - The Variable

Hello my dear friends -

I was pretty sure that "The Variable" was going to be a Faraday flashback, so when the hour began with doctors rushing a stretcher-bound Desmond into the hospital, I was completely thrown. At first I thought, "Did Daniel do something in Ann Arbor in the '70s to cause an alternate reality in which a can of baked beans didn't protect Des from Ben's bullet and Des didn't then proceed to beat the crap out of Ben?" Next I figured that we were going to see Daniel in the waiting room, and learn that he'd finally figured out a way to physically time travel (without the help of the FDW) and was there to convince Des that he had to go back to the Island because he was "the variable." Obviously I was all kinds of wrong.

The episode was in fact Faraday-centric, though you could probably argue that we learned just as much -- if not more -- about his mummy Eloise through both the flashbacks and the present-day sequences. What I learned is that I definitely don't like her. At all.

Let's get the "Evil Mom" flashbacks over with first, shall we?


DAN ABNORMAL
NOT NORMAL AT ALL
IT'S NOT HIS FAULT
WE MADE HIM THIS WAY

Rare is the child who wants to play the piano and doesn't have to be carried kicking and screaming to his music lessons. However, Young Daniel Faraday was not your normal kid. He not only loved plinking out tunes on the ol' ivories, but he was also able to keep Raymond Babbitt-esque track of the metronome beat-count at the same time. Unfortunately for him, his mother wasn't exactly a fan of extracurricular activities... or free will.

ELOISE: Daniel... do you know what destiny means?
DANIEL: No.
ELOISE: Destiny means that, if one has a special gift, then it must be nurtured.

Uh-uh, lady. That is not what destiny means. In fact, it pretty much means the exact opposite. But I'm singing to the choir here, aren't I? Surely all of you had the same creeping suspicion as the show progressed... the feeling that Hawking was going to make Daniel's life a living hell in order to ensure he did what fate demanded he do. Didn't she ever stop to think that if her son's destiny was truly to be a geeky physicist, that that's what would've happened no matter what -- even if he toured with Billy Joel or Elton John or got a job at a dueling piano bar on the side just to earn some extra cash?

Alas, she wasn't about to risk Daniel losing focus for any significant period of time. There would be no Happy Meals, no Nintendo, and no Saturday morning cartoons for Little Dan, much less any piano-playing. In fact, now that we have confirmation that Daniel's parents are Hawking and Widmore, I think it's safe to assume that Eloise gave her son the same last name as scientist Michael Faraday (Mr. Electromagneticism Extraordinaire) simply to go the extra mile in pleasing that fickle bitch called destiny.

Over a decade later at Dan's graduation from Oxford, we see that his mom still can't deal with him having a life outside of his work. She refused to acknowledge Theresa as anything more than her son's research assistant, and then whisked Daniel away to a tense lunch. Only after she learned that her ex had given Dan a huge grant did she lighten up a little bit... but then left before he even opened the gift she got him: a journal. (Was I the only one expecting that the pages were already going to be full of Faraday's scribblings? Was I also the only one who first thought that the gift would be the freakin' skinny black tie?)


I DON'T REMEMBER
I DON'T RECALL
I GOT NO MEMORY OF ANYTHING AT ALL

The next flash began just like the second episode of Season Four did, with Faraday getting all teary-eyed over the Oceanic 815 wreckage footage on the news. However, this time around we got to see what happened moments afterward: Widmore showed up on Daniel's doorstep and offered him a job. Through their conversation we learned that Daniel had tested his time-travel gizmo on himself, which ended up adversely affecting his memory. Afterward he apparently tried it out on Theresa and the results -- as we saw when Desmond paid her a visit in "Jughead" -- were disastrous. So I think we can now put the mystery of why Daniel was crying about Flight 815 and why he was playing the card game with Charlotte in "Eggtown" to rest: his consciousness had been through the wringer and had probably jumped around in time, though he no longer could remember those experiences.

Next, Widmore dangled a carrot in front of Faraday -- the promise that going to the Island would fix his mental issues and restore him to his rightful nerdalicious state.

But Dan remained doubtful and seemed to be leaning toward sticking with his normal routine of being waited on hand and foot by some woman named Caroline. Life was good -- she made him eggs! And we all know what a big deal eggtastic breakfasts are on this show...

So of course his mom had to come and ruin Dan's dreams of enjoying a life of leisure. In the only scene of the night that made me cry, she encouraged him to take the job Widmore had offered:

FARADAY: You really want me to... to go?
MS. HAWKING: Yes.
FARADAY: Will... [voice breaks] will it make you proud of me?
MS. HAWKING: [Whispers] Yes, Daniel. It will.
FARADAY: [Sighs] Then I'll do it.


It's so much worse now that we know what Eloise knew! Grrrr.


How 'bout we take a break from Daniel's extremely depressing life story and make a quick stop in 2008 to check in on the Hume clan?



THE FUTURE'S NOT OURS TO SEE
QUE SERA, SERA

I'm now convinced the most important scene of the night was one I originally didn't pay much attention to: the exchange between Penny and Hawking in the hospital's waiting room.

MS. HAWKING: I came, Penelope, to apologize. Your husband has become a casualty in a conflict that's bigger than him, that's bigger than any of us.
PENNY: What do you mean? Is Des gonna be okay?
MS. HAWKING: I don't know. For the first time in a long time, I don't know what's going to happen next.


So here's my take on all of this. Let's revisit Season Three, when we saw Hawking try to convince Des of what he was "supposed" to do in the trippy "Flashes Before Your Eyes." She told him that if he didn't fulfill his destiny of going to the Island and pushing the button in the Swan, then everyone in the world was going to die.

But knowing what we know now, I can't help but think that she may have been fibbing a bit about Desmond's purpose. Yes, he definitely took over resetting the Countdown Timer o' Doom after he accidentally killed Kelvin (who was planning to abandon his hatchmate)... but what else did Des do? He caused 815 to crash. Maybe Hawking knew that without Desmond, certain things critical to the ongoing protection of the Island -- including one John Locke landing there -- wouldn't happen.

You might be thinking, "But if Hawking is so gung-ho about destiny, why did she feel the need to say anything to Des at all? Why wasn't she secure in the fact that if Desmond's fate was to end up pushing the button, then the universe would see to it that Desmond ended up pushing the button -- with or without her help?"

My answer to you would be, "Because Hawking has always known that DESMOND is 'The Variable.'" That's why, when the Scotsman's life hung in the balance in the hospital, it was the first time that Eloise panicked and realized, "Oh, crap, now I'm like the rest of the bloody fools on this planet and have no idea what's going to happen." Hawking knows that only Des can right whatever action he made in the past that set off "the wrong" chain-reaction of events on the Island. Forget about The Incident at the Swan... all of that was supposed to happen. The hatch was supposed to be built, 815 was supposed to crash, etc., etc. But once Des started messing with Charlie's fate, that's probably when things went awry. I've made this argument a lot this season, so I'm not going to repeat it all again here... I just wanted to say that this scene between Penny and Hawking strengthened my belief that Desmond's the key to fixing everything, and that's why "the Island's not done with him yet," as Eloise said earlier this season.

Two more things that support this theory:
- Why would Hawking turn up at the hospital to see what happened to Desmond in the first place, if he wasn't critical to helping the universe to course-correct? (And on a side note, how did Widmore get there so quickly? Wasn't he in London a few hours earlier when Ben called him from the marina?)

and

- This episode's title was "The Variable." But Daniel -- in his rant to Jack before he ran off into the Hostile's camp -- only talked about variables in equations. He always used the plural form of the word. I admit that I could be reading too much into things at this point, but I believe that the episode's title was a clue that Daniel had it all wrong in his final exchange with Jack when he said, "Us. We're the variables." They are not the variables... there is only one variable, and it's Desmond.

Have I convinced you yet? No? That's OK, because I'm not totally convinced myself. "Desmond is The Variable" is just one of a few theories that I feel the most strongly attached to. I'll discuss the others at the end of this post.

Before we head back thirty years, I should probably quickly mention the fact that two mysteries were solved through the scenes I've covered so far: 1) Widmore did stage the Oceanic crash (though technically this was confirmed in the clip show the week prior), and 2) Widmore and Hawking are Daniel's parents, meaning that he and Penny are most likely half-siblings.

Finally, let me say here, for the record, that I'm really nervous about how Little Charlie was left alone in the hospital. Really. Nervous.

And now, to the Island.


DON'T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE
WHATEVER YOU'RE LOOKING FOR
HEY!
DON'T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE

Fresh off of the submarine, Faraday asked Miles to take him to Jack because he was freaked out to see his old Island buddies in the 1977 Dharma Recruits picture. At the barracks, Daniel learned that his mom gave The Mad Doctor her standard "it's your destiny" line in order to get him on Ajira 316. Then Faraday had Miles drive him to the Orchid, where we saw the season's opening scene replayed from a slightly different angle. After Chang ordered his workers to stop drilling near the FDW chamber, Daniel trapped Miles' dad in the elevator and tried to convince him to evacuate the Island because of a supposed impending catastrophic incident at the Swan. But Chang was like, "You're on crack -- stay away from me, freak!" Since Miles wouldn't play along with Daniel once the men were all together above-ground, Chang drove off in a huff as an exasperated Faraday looked on.

But once Chang had left the area, Daniel's temperament changed a little bit. I think all he'd wanted to do was put the ideas in Chang's head that 1) Miles might indeed be his son... from the future, and 2) something reaaaalllly bad was about to happen on the Island. He probably didn't actually expect his fellow scientist to drop everything and obey his commands right then and there. Perhaps Daniel knows that something else will transpire over the next few hours that will convince Pierre of the need to get his people to safety? Who wants to bet that we see Chang force his wife to leave with their baby son before the season's over?

While we're on the topic of Daniel's interaction with Chang, I should probably mention the building mystery around the Comic-Con video I linked to in my last post. If you haven't seen it, you might want to check it out here, or else the rest of this section will make no sense. A lot of people -- myself included -- assumed that the voice in the background was Faraday. I watched the clip again moments ago and still believe that's the case. But now we know that Daniel dies shortly after he saw Chang at the Orchid... so when in the heck was this video made?

I'm pretty stumped on this. There are a few ideas I have for what could be going on, but all of them are pretty weak:

1) The voice was not Faraday's. Some people think it may be Miles, which I guess is a possibility, but I don't see why Miles would be all upset that "this is never going to work" like Daniel would've been. Maybe the voice belongs to someone else entirely.

2) Daniel doesn't die. He's not only saved by the Hostiles after his mom shoots him, but then he also goes on to totally convince Chang about everything he told him earlier in the day... so much so that Chang changes out of his lab coat, into a velour track suit, makes the video while Daniel tapes it -- and while Lara and Baby Miles annoy him in the background -- all within a matter of hours before The Incident happens. (Doesn't seem likely, does it?)

3) There are multiple timelines at play and in one of them, Daniel and Chang work together to not only attempt to change the course of events, but also call for Dharma to be reformed in the future.

4) The video was never shown on the series, so it doesn't even matter. It was just something to keep a bunch of nerds occupied over the summer -- and it worked. Joke's on us!


IT'S ALL ENDING
WE GOTTA STOP PRETENDING
WHO WE ARE

Miles and Faraday returned to Dharmaville to find a meeting of the minds underway. After a short debate, the majority of the group decided that the jig was up and they needed to go back to "square one" (the beach), whereas Jack and Kate agreed to help Faraday find his mother out in the jungle. And with that, everyone took off in different directions.

Faraday made a heartbreaking stop at the swing set, where we heard Adult Charlotte's last words repeated by her younger version: "I'm not allowed to have chocolate before dinner." And then Daniel -- despite his better judgment -- said to her what he swore he wouldn't say. Or at least we can be pretty sure he did... the camera panned back while he supposedly warned her to never return to the Island once she'd left.

I know I keep harping on this, but I once again had visions of The Time Traveler's Wife while Adult Daniel and Young Charlotte talked. The faraway shot of the two of them at the swing set reminded me of this promotional still I saw of the TTTW adaptation that's coming out this fall. It would've been even cooler if the movie stuck with the little girl (Clare) being a redhead and the guy (Henry, played by Eric Bana) being all gangly.




Next, Jack, Kate and Daniel got themselves some guns, but before they could head out into Hostileland, Radzinsky and his crew went berzerker and a pretty cool shoot-out ensued. However, Kate was able to get her group to safety thanks to her Jeep-driving skillz. While she disarmed the sonar fence, Faraday made a little speech (reiterating the ominous point Miles made in "Whatever Happened, Happened") about how any of them could be killed. That should've been a big hint about his fate... but it definitely went right over my head. I've been thinking for a while that either Juliet (who was wearing a red shirt in this episode, for God's sake) or Sayid were doomed this season, so I guess the possibility of Daniel dying never even entered my mind.

Back at the barracks, Sawyer and Juliet were in the process of packing up their things and bidding adieu to the happy life they'd built together for the past three years. I really liked how they played off of each other in this episode, with Sawyer being the more emotional one and Juliet being the first to accept the reality of the situation. What I didn't like was how easily they were captured by Radzinsky. Boo.

Finally, we saw Jin and Hurley head out to meet the others after gathering up their stuff. Anyone else no longer confident that there's a guitar in Hurley's guitar case? I don't think it's a weapon or anything, since he had to get through airport security with it in LA, but I'm just starting to wonder whether there's something more than a guitar inside. (On that note, I'm still hoping we eventually get to see what/who changed Hurley's mind about boarding Ajira 316...)


JUST AS I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING ALRIGHT
I FIND OUT I'M WRONG
WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS RIGHT
IT'S ALWAYS THE SAME

IT'S JUST A SHAME

THAT'S ALL


Jack, Kate and Faraday stopped to rest for a bit before they reached the depths of Hostileland. It was at this point that Faraday rattled off his master plan for preventing The Incident at the Swan. Did anyone else see the fire ignite in Jack's eyes when Daniel came to the end of his rousing speech?

DANIEL: "Us. We're the variables. People. We think. We reason. We make choices. We have free will. We can change our destiny."

I think this was a very clever way for the writers to provide a motivation for Jack to reclaim his old leadership position on the Island. Let's face it, he's been pretty lost (pun intended) so far in 1977 -- shuffling around with his janitor's mop and following Sawyer/LaFleur's orders. But when Daniel said the magic phrase, "free will," I definitely saw a "Hell, yeah!" look cross The Mad Doctor's face. Rewatch the scene. You'll see it, too.

I'll revisit why this is so important in the next section, but there's no avoiding a discussion about what happened once Faraday left Kate and Jack and made his way (in a Dharma jumpsuit... uh, not the brightest idea) into the Hostile's camp.

He came face to face with Ageless Richard and kept a gun on him while he demanded to see Eloise. Then, he threatened to shoot Richard on the count of three. When the shot rang out, I swear that I still didn't think that the victim could possibly be Daniel. De Nile ain't just a river in Egypt, folks!

Alas, Faraday had in fact been shot by his own mother, which he pointed out right before dying -- and right as the reason for her being such a cold-hearted you-know-what all those years became clear. And yes, I'm pretty sure he's dead (link goes to a TV Guide interview with the producers about this topic). This IS a pretty good Death Face, after all.


If only he'd written "NEVER -- UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES -- TAKE OFF YOUR TIE" in his journal. I'm pretty sure that black, skinny neckpiece would've somehow kept Daniel out of harm's way.

Rest in peace, Faraday. You will most certainly be missed.

Finally, in case you're wondering whether or not Eloise will believe that she just shot her own son, the reason I think she will is because Baby Daniel has to already be alive. It's 1977, and by 1996 when Des visits him at Oxford in "The Constant," he's a professor. Surely he couldn't be younger than nineteen at that point. Also, I'm pretty sure we'll find out (or can infer) that Eloise named her son after the curious dude who flashed in and out of their camp in 1954. (Meaning, she named her son after... her son.) That's why she had this look on her face upon hearing Daniel's last words:



She put everything together and realized what she'd just done.



WHERE DO WE GO?
WHERE DO WE GO NOW?
WHERE DO WE GO?

Now what's going to happen? The only dude who had any clue as to what was going on just kicked the bucket?!?!

With only one episode left before the two-hour finale on May 13th, I've started thinking about theories in the context of the following two questions:
1) What would make for a jaw-dropping Season Five cliffhanger?
and
2) How would the final season of the series play out based on that cliffhanger?

I've never been one to tie myself to a single theory, and I don't think that there could ever be one overriding explanation for everything that's gone on in the show. So here are the three theories I'm considering as Season Five comes to an end -- they only deal with the question of whether or not the Losties will be able to change the past... and not any of the other mysteries like "What is the Smoke Monster?"

(I haven't visited other Lost sites to come up with these theories as spoilers always seem to be around every corner when the finale nears each year. So rest assured that these are just my own thoughts and are not based on known spoilers.)


1) Desmond is The Variable
I covered this one a bit earlier in this post, but here's how I think it would play out this season and next: The Losties try to follow Daniel's journal instructions to prevent The Incident, but they fail. Season Five will end with the chaos of The Incident taking place, which includes something that makes all of the 815ers return to 2008. Alternatively, something Locke does in '08 may help the time-traveling group get back to their rightful year.

In the meantime, Penny and Des are going to find out that Charlie has been kidnapped and they will be told he was taken to the Island (whether that's true, I'm not sure). Season Six will then show Des and Penny back with the others on the Island, which gives Des a chance to correct whatever it was he messed up the first time around, as he is The Variable. Des and Penny might end up in the past, and they might end up as the skeletons in the cave. While Des is doing his thing, the 815ers will spend the season fighting "the war" on the Island in 2008. The series will end with us finding out whether or not Des was able to change the past.

2) Free Will Wins
Daniel was right -- the Losties can change their destiny... or at least the destiny for the versions of themselves that are still kids in 1977. So Season Five will end with the hydrogen bomb exploding and The Incident being prevented and the 815ers looking at each other like, "That. Just. Happened." I still think that they'll somehow return to 2008 when the bomb goes off, and now we'll have Jack vs. Locke all over again, as both characters have been emboldened by circumstances that strengthen their original Science and Faith stances. Jack was able to prevent The Incident (score one for free will!)... and Locke was resurrected by the Island (score one for destiny!).

Season Six will start off with the 815ers not understanding why they're still on the Island if they stopped the chain of events that Daniel warned them about. But they will soon come to understand that their pasts cannot be changed... only the pasts of their 1977 baby/kid selves and beyond are affected.

The best character to help explain this Miles, since we've now seen two of him on the Island in 1977. If the hydrogen bomb goes off and The Incident is prevented, Adult Miles will still have come to the Island in December 2004 because Charlie, who will have still crashed on the Island via Flight 815 in September of that same year, will have opened up communications. But Baby Miles will have a totally different life now that The Incident has been avoided in his present. He and his mom might not be sent away from the Island, or even if they are, he might reunite with his father and go on to live a completely different life from one of a scamming ghostbuster. Get it? So once Season Six tries to explain that in a way that will make sense to the average viewer (good luck, guys), the series will focus on the 815ers in 2008. They're still on the Island and still need to fight "the war."

The series will end with both the present 815ers finding a way to leave the Island and having to make the decision whether or not they want to go back home (Jin and Sun definitely will because of their daughter, but I'm not sure if anyone else will) AND a shot of the Flight 815 that the other version of themselves (who were kids in 1977) boarded landing safely in LA. If they were on that flight at all.

Confusing, I know... but I like it. This is what I hope happens.


3) Destiny Wins
Season Five will end with the Lostaways failing to prevent The Incident, after which they will be transported back to 2008. Season Six will probably continue to have Jack hellbent on changing things until he learns he can't with the help of New Locke. They'll all band together to fight "the war."

Since "whatever happened, happened," the final season will fill in all of the pieces that have been missing for each character and will explain all of the other mysteries without having to deal with multiple versions of events. The series will end with the 815ers facing a choice whether or not to stay on the Island forever or leave for good. And, as many of us have suspected all along, we'll see Flight 815 crash all over again and Jack wake up in the jungle.

All three theories above share the following elements:
1) The time-traveling characters will return to 2008, most likely by the end of Season Five. (Or that will be part of the cliffhanger and we'll see that they're back in 2008 in the first episode of Season Six.)
2) There's no avoiding "the war" on the Island once everyone's back together in 2008. I'm still betting on the fact that it's New Dharma, led by Bram and Ilana with the help of whatever's in their crate. The Losties will have essentially come full circle since their plane originally crashed. They will now work with the Others to help protect the Island from new intruders. Poetic, no?
3) Absolutely nothing that happens is going to "erase" the original Flight 815 crash for the characters we've come to know and love. (Whether or not they can prevent the crash for future versions of themselves, however, is up in the air. See theories 1 and 2.)

I've said before that I think it would be an extremely depressing note for the series to end on if we find out that everything is predetermined and that nobody can do anything to change his or her fate. So I'm hoping either some version of theory 1 or 2 comes to pass, though I admit that they would be much harder to execute than theory 3. For now, however, I can dare to dream.


BEST LINES OF THE EPISODE

MS. HAWKING: ... I'm Eloise Hawking, and I believe it's my son's fault that Desmond has been shot.
PENNY: Your son is Benjamin Linus?
MS. HAWKING: [Scoffs] Good lord, no.


DR. CHANG: That is utterly absurd. What could possibly qualify you to make that kind of prediction? Hmm?
FARADAY: I'm from the future.


FARADAY: Hey, James.
SAWYER: Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy. Good to see you again. Pound cake's in the kitchen. Help yourself to the punch. [To Miles, in a lowered voice] Is he still crazy?
MILES: It's on a whole new level, man.




FARADAY: Well... why would you tell me that?
WIDMORE: Because come tomorrow, you won't remember I did.




SAWYER: Your mother is an Other?
FARADAY: You met her, actually, when the Island was skipping, back in 1954. They were calling her "Ellie."
HURLEY: You guys were in 1954? Like... Fonzie times?


JACK: She can say what she wants to say. Kate... You made me promise to never ask what happened to Aaron, or why you came back here. But I know that reason isn't... it isn't here. [Scoffs] It's not now.
SAWYER: Whatever her reason is, helping H.G. Wells here talk to his mommy ain't got nothing to do with it.



KATE: This is a mistake. He's talking about erasing everything that's ever happened to us, Jack. It's insane.
JACK: We disappeared off a plane in mid-air and ended up in 1977. I'm getting kinda used to insane.
(For once, it's Jack instead of Hurley who speaks for the audience!)


OTHER STUFF

- I'm still getting emails and comments about "the Seanie B situation." So in order to have a place to point people to instead of writing the same responses out over and over again, I included everything anyone would ever want to know about what's going on here.

- I'm on the road yet again next weekend, so chances are high that my next recap will be posted late. Sorry!

- There are so many great Lost-centric games, videos, toys, spoofs, shirts and whatnot out there that I gave up trying to link to everything I came across a long time ago. But something I read recently entertained me so much that I would be remiss if I didn't pass it along. It's a "Lost Haiku" contest that fellow blogger JOpinionated ran on her site. Some of the entries were just awesome, so I encourage you to check it out here.

As always, thanks for reading...

Until next time,
- e

87 comments:

e said...

Section heading lyrics are from these songs:

“Dan Abnormal” by Blur

“I Don’t Remember” by Peter Gabriel

“Que Sera, Sera” by Doris Day

“Don’t Come Around Here No More” by Tom Petty

“Don’t Speak” by No Doubt

“That’s All” by Genesis

“Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns n’ Roses

- e

yaacov said...

Wow, I cant believe I logged on at just the right time to see the posting! Excellent review. Have a safe road trip.

arjwiz said...

There's always something different in yours, e! #1 recapper out there by a mile!

Keyser Söze said...

Thanks for posting!!! perfect reading material for my flight tonight :)

Roland said...

I think Daniel's three years in Ann Arbor gave him access to Future Events. This is how he knew to the minute when Dr Chang was due at The Orchid. Dan's Orchid/Chang Mission was to Motivate Dr Chang to do "what he was supposed to do" - for Future Events to unfold as "required" - by the DI.

Similarly, everything Daniel told Jack and Kate was for the same reason - to try to ensure that Jack and Kate would Choose to do what they were "supposed to" do to make The Incident happen in the way that it will happen/has happened.

IMO, Daniel knew before entering Camp Hostile that he had to die at Ellie's hands in order for the DI's version of The Future to unfold properly. Despite what he told Richard, he had no interest in chit-chat. He was there - waving a gun around so that he would be shot.

e said...

Roland I REALLY like that idea. It would make me feel much better about Daniel's death if he KNEW it was coming and went through with it anyway... but something still leaves me unconvinced. Maybe it was the fact that he still warned Charlotte, or that he truly looked surprised to see that he'd been shot and then to learn that it was Eloise who'd done it. I'll have to think about this some more... but thanks for sharing this theory, it's a good one!

I guess my main question about this idea is, though... does that mean that whatever happened, happened, and Daniel knew that absolutely nothing in the past could ever be changed?

- e

LostFan said...

I wasn't expecting a tie in the box, but I also thought for sure the pages would have been filled in.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought the scene about little Charlie was weird. The way the nurse said "this nurse will watch your son" gave me the creeps.

Did you like the look on Juliet's face when Sawyer called Kate "freckles"? That was priceless.

Great recap as always e.

Roland said...

I think that LOST is all about Changing The Future, but I also think that Daniel, Ellie, Widmore, Ben and our Losties are ALL being moved around like Chess pieces by Someone/Something Else.

Just like Ozymandias in "Watchmen" - whose identity wasn't revealed until the very end of the book - we have yet to learn who these Master Puppeteers are and I believe there are two of them, each with the ability to See The Future and each trying to Motivate the Players on their team to Choose actions that will lead to their Desired Future.

I think one Puppeteer is in favour of The End of All Human Life on Earth and that this Entity isn't human. I think it's The Dark Side of The Island itself - which ripped Montand's arm off and then possessed his colleagues to the point of attempted murder of an innocent pregnant young woman.

I think that S6 will FINALLY show us who the two opposing Future-seeing Forces are and that the Free Will of our Losties will end up (after umpteen unsuccessful Iterations) Saving The World

Tracee said...

My friend has this idea that they WILL stop 815 from ever crashing, and the last show of season 6 will show the plane landing safely, all of them looking at each other briefly.......I hope not. ;)

Shaggysteve said...

As always, great analysis 'e'.

Julie said...

I'm so excited to see how the rest of the season plays out. Also at the same time, I'm so sad to know that there are only 3 hours left until next season! No more weekly episodes or recaps until next January.. What am I going to do with all my spare time? :( Lol

Sherylm said...

I also thought Daniel's journal would be all filled out;-) But if he died in the first version of the events, how could his notebook contain references to stuff that happened on the island in 1977 after he died?

I really feel that the writers' intention was for us to take a big dislike to Eloise Hawking but that we will later learn (like with Jin and Sawyer in Season One) that our first impressions are biased by our point of view. After all, if Eloise was really so cold and heartless, why was she on the verge of tears in both the piano scene and when she visited him for the last time. I think we'll learn that she really did love Daniel but thought she was doing what was best for him and everyone else, and, for some reason, that involved not warning Daniel about what was going to happen. I just wish they had used fewer actresses to portray her, as every time I saw a "new" version of Eloise, I thought it must be a clue that time had really been changed ;-)

My son thinks that she and Widmore are trying to change time to get themselves back on the island, though.

And yes, I was very worried about little Charlie and now you've made me worry about him again. I wonder how all the LOST kids are going to reunite with the Island and/or their parents.


I hope Hurley has something in that guitar case to rescue Sawyer and Juliet! And Kate and Jack's conversation in the woods on the way to Other-camp was right on the spot.

badwobot said...

e-

Was it me or did Daniel's jumpsuit change colors?

It seemed like it was super cool Swan/Swat team black, gray, and tan all in the same episode.

Could there be alternate realities going on with Daniel? It could also be my tv.

Also, why did crazy Radzinsky come into the motorpool all armed anyway?

Kalon said...

One question, as the "they will land in LA" theory is being floated around a lot: Did 815 losing communication have anything to do with the island? I believe that the pilot said in season one that the plane lost communication, so it turned towards fiji, and then two hours later is when the plane crashes due to Desmond not pushing the button.

If the incident is prevent, thus removing the threat of the electromagnetic destabalization crashing 815, wouldn't the plane still be headed off course?

Timothy said...

Wow, I sent an apology for the manifesto I wrote while home from work with a bad back and loaded up on Vicodin, but since we seem to be on the same wavelength, I take it back! (Be afraid.)

I still say that Bram and Elana are in Ben's posse, though. The dialogue about "ya need some help with that crate?" -- "no thanks" was just too stilted and put-on. That means Caesar just picked the wrong friends, or Ben blew away his own minion to make a point (personally, I think Caeser was just clueless and sided with the Hot Chick). I refuse to believe our Ben would come back without his own crew.

Series (almost) ends when Faraday detonates the H-Bomb, erasing everything we've seen. Then we find out what the peoples' lives are like without the interference of the Island. All the seeming mysterious coincidences turn out to be explicable, e.g. when they needed a code for The Button, they used what happened to be stamped on The Hatch, because it is less likely to get lost than a Sticky Note, which might not even have been invented in 1977.

Yep, most important clue is Ellie saying she doesn't now what happens next. Figure out what that means and you've got the key, and it = Desmond. (Does anyone REALLY believe Ellie just stopped by to apologize to Penny? No. She and Widmore both are totally freaked by whether Desmond pulls through or not, because this is where the seam in the time loop is.)

Emily said...

Hey e,

Great recap!

Daniel must have taken his piano lessons at our school of music, as we have way too much fun for anybody to be dragged in kicking and screaming! :)

Your theories sound good. I'm hoping that Darlton lives up to the good named they've earned as storytellers and that they shock the crap out of us all at the end of the series. I'd love to always remember LOST as the show that ended on a high note, especially since so many shows seem to fizzle out in the end (The X-Files comes to mind).

Take Care,

another e

Timothy said...

Daniel knew Chang's arrival time to the second. So he's been through this drill before. (He's looking at his journal where he has it written down.)

Mom shooting him is still a surprise, though. (He couldn't write it down because he was dead.)

NO ONE knows how this critical piece works out. But any writer knows you don't put a revolver in a scene without it being used later. An H-Bomb? At least double for H-Bombs.

Also, we are not sure Daniel told Charlotte not to come back. There may be a reason we didn't hear that. Charlotte might yet have a big part to play.

Timothy said...

LostFan: "Did you like the look on Juliet's face when Sawyer called Kate "freckles"? That was priceless."

I loved that! Immediately followed by "The security code is..." That was one of the funniest moments on LOST. The little ABC LOST animated recap with the cut-outs is hilarious. "OMG! He called her Freckles!"

Juliette knows a lot more than we give her credit for, folks. She was an important Other with lots of time and opportunity to hear gossip about the strange goings-on in 1977. We've seen that Elizabeth Mitchell can act. Her deadpan reaction to everything -- like getting captured by Mad Rad -- is because she, too, has a pretty good idea what happens next, not because she's a bad actress.

And I'm betting that has something to do with Hurly and Jin.

tanzio said...

Love it Erika! I have one thought - what if Free Will does win, but the losties don't return to the right time and instead are stuck in '77. They finally make it off the island and we see them in the background watching their younger selves board 815...

Anonymous said...

One loose end from Season 3 still makes me wonder ... what's the significance of Juliet being branded on her lower back by the Others?

In retrospect, maybe it was a mark put there, that "past Others" in 1977 (or any other past year) might recognize ... wonder if Sawyer ever asked her about it?

Your thoughts???

Anonymous said...

I think the endgame to the series will be a "fountain of youth" theme. Widmore was denied it and wants to get back to it.

Eliose didn't look over 40 when she shot Daniel (she should be if she was a teenager in 1954, 23 years earlier).

Richard is probably thousands of years old. I think he's a "guide" of sorts for the islands powers.. He doesn't ever seem to do any heavy lifting, he seems to just people into action.

Thoughts?

Brasco said...

Since this was a Daniel centric episode, what if he is the variable? I had always felt that he built the lamppost Dharma "hatch" and entertained the possibility that Daniel is Jacob. But now after this episode, I feel that he may be in a time loop (I know the writers have dispelled that, but they also said no time travel at one point to... I belive they call them foilers... when the writers purposely mislead you?) Anyways, what if Daniel was able to take notes on each loop and work from that experience to try and change things, ie consiously leaving clues for himself to subconciously follow. Now that we know he has a musical background, could it be that he designed and built the looking glass and programmed that computer. I know good vibrations and classical piano music are quite different, but what if he did that so Charlie could handle it, where as classical concertos may have been lost on Charlie. He also know a whole lot about the Tempest station and how to disarm it and such, and since he knows so much about the swan and the incident and what would need to be done to "cap" that energy, what if he devised the number pushing solution after the incident and is now realizing that blowing it up would be the better option"this time around." If he experimented on his own mind with time travel, what if he had successfully time traveled prior to this point and had visited the island at various stages of time, creating the name Jacob and in some way maybe not being able to fully "manifest" himself, only appeared as a voice or ghostly figure in those experiments. Then as Jacob tried to influnce events to happen a certain way to correct future mistakes learning more each time and hence more notes. He could be generating the lists to make sure certain people were safe or in the right spot for certain events to occur.
I love your theories and enjoyed Roland's commentaries alot, great stuff. I am very excited about the next 2 weeks and fully agree that whatevers happens next will change the shape of things to come! Ha!

Timothy said...

"Anyways, what if Daniel was able to take notes on each loop and work from that experience to try and change things, ie consiously leaving clues for himself to subconciously follow."

When my wife and I watched Daniel heading off in the jeep all hurried up leaving Jack to button up his janitor suit, then catching Chang right on time, we both said:

GROUNDHOG DAY! :-)

So, yeah, I don't think this is the first time Daniel has done this drill.

Brian said...

I could very well just have missed something, but the last time we see Hurley before he shows up at the airport is giving himself up to the police to avoid going with Ben (post his escape with Sayid). For me, the bigger question has been not why he dedided to go, but how he managed to not be in prison anymore. Did i miss something?

e said...

Brian -

Yep, you missed something. : )

Hurley did go to jail, and then we saw Ben's lawyer (the same guy harassing Kate about Aaron) tell Ben that he arranged to get Hurley's charges dropped.

So we know that Hurley got out of jail, but we don't know why he ended up at the airport, because Ben, nor Jack, nor anyone else saw him after he left prison.

- e

Tim said...

The voice behind the camera definitely sounds like it could be Miles, but whoever it is calls Chang "Pierre" . Miles has referred to him as Dr. Chang, and I think if he had convinced his dad he was his own son from the future, calling him Pierre would be strange.

If you listen closely at the end, it almost sounds like Chang says "LaFleur, what are you doing?"

Alexis said...

love the recap!
You are truly the best out there =)
keep up the great work...

Oceanic_Flax said...

Dear E,

Great posts, love your recaps. I don't get to comment much due to work, but whenever I think of something interesting to share, you come to mind!

I too was thinking about the season finale, and even though I'm in the WHH camp, try this one on for size: The 1977's finally meet up with the 2007's, however, what if some make it back to 2007, where they're supposed to be, while others end up in a 2007 timeline where the future is changed?

Like I said, I am sticking to whatever happened, happened, but I think this could be a mind boggling twist to keep us guessing for the rest of the year.

- Flax

Kelly said...

Hi e,
I just watched the episode (in UK) and am devastated that Faraday is dead. He's one of my favourites, I love him! RIP Daniel.
Great recap as always.

Christopher said...

It seems very possible that Widmore (Eloise?) recruited Miles because Daniel is one of those dead personalities residing on the island that they need to talk to.

Roland said...

Upon further reflection, it occurs to me that another reason for Daniel to have willingly sacrificed himself was to ensure that Ellie became completely convinced of the reality of Time Travel, to "Close the Circle" and carry a "Message" from 2008 Ellie to 1977 Ellie - the Message being: “Time Travel is real and you sacrificed your Son to convince yourself of that fact. Now get the hell off the Island and figure out how this Time Travel stuff works."

1954 Ellie had already encountered Adult Daniel, accompanied him to Jughead ... and eventually saw him and his colleagues vanish. That encounter would support the validity of Daniel's Dying Words.

We don't yet know how (or if) 1977 Ellie will collect the 8 Time Travellers currently on the Island and - in the "four hours" remaining before The Incident - send them Back to the Future

Anonymous said...

e. you didnt talk about the comic book widmore saw when he visited daniel, as he was sitting down
it looked interesting....your thoughts?

Roland said...

As Daniel enters Camp Hostile, he has a bag slung over his shoulder. Before getting himself shot, he drops the bag - where it will soon be found. Assuming his journal is in this bag (or on his person as seen in the Orchid basement), Ellie might be able to use Dan’s Notes to send the Losties back to the future.
Upon being Banished for Dan’s murder (which is why Dan had to die - to get Ellie off the Island) and subsequently joined in Banishment by her Old Friend CW, the two of them might spend the next 30 years getting people to where they have to be to further the Hawking/Widmore/Linus Agenda - which appears to favour the continuation of Human Life on Earth

The Anomaly said...

-e

just wanna note that i only discovered ur blog through the whole seanie b debacle, and im glad i did...u are BRILLIANT!!

best blog, recap, thoughts out there

-Simon from Ireland

Gage Blackwell said...

Two things,
One: I want to thank you for the Seanie B situation because with out it I never would have found you and I like it here. Thank you for your suffering E you do a great thing here.

Two: Everyone is floating theories about the dangers to little Charlie. One I haven't heard publicly yet that I like is that some how Des' son Charlie (Whose name, if Penny kept her maiden name, would be Charlie Widmore) gets kidnapped and taken back and somehow becomes, The Charles Widmore we all love to hate.
Anybody like the idea or am I "Crazier than ever?"

Waldo97 said...

I believe that Hawking sent Daniel back to change the past. To somehow prevent her from killing him. I think if you re-watch the show, you'll see that she is deeply saddened by the fact she kills him. And her motive for sending him back is to prevent the killing, not ensure it happens. Even though she understands "Whatever happened, happened," she knows that if anyone can find a way to change things, it's Daniel.

I also believe that the notebook she gave to him was new, but she wrote a log of events that happened on the island that day. How else would Daniel know exactly when and where all these things would happen?

Daniel did not do any time traveling during his years in Ann Arbor, the information was given to him in the notebook from his mum.

Waldo97 said...

ROLAND sayd:
"I think Daniel's three years in Ann Arbor gave him access to Future Events."

I disagree, if he could learn the exact moment that Chang arrives at the Orchid, how did he not know he would be shot by his mother a few hours later? It doesn't make sense.

I think the only explanation is that Hawking wrote a log of that day's events in the notebook that she gave Daniel as a present.

Also, I don't believe that Daniel/Hawking/Widmore are the puppet-masters that many think they are. They're not pushing people to act in one way or another. They only seem to have this ability because they have knowledge of our LOSTies futures. (Because it's in their past) But they definitely exploit the fact that they have this knowledge.

Waldo97 said...

Last comment here. I think we're learning this season that it's true, "Whatever happened, happened." You can't change the past to affect the future.

I predict that this season will simply play out as our LOSTies involvement in "The Incident" and how it gets them back to present time, 2009. (or possibly 2007)

I think next season will completely take place in the present on the island, as it was in Season 1.

I don't want to speculate too much about next season, But I think a new foe will threaten the island, possibly a return by Widmore & Co, perhaps Alvar Hanso, who knows. (My guess this 3rd party arrives as a result of Chang mail, the Comic-Con vid) But the losties will ally with Ben & Richard, Jacob and Smokey to protect the island / hide it / get off of it. Who knows. But the last season will be all about ensuring the future of the island.

spuddcake said...

Hey e

Thanks for posting. I'm a huge fan of your recaps! I would have bet money that the journal's pages were going to be filled in.

Can't wait for your next post!

Roland said...

The fact that 2008 Eloise told Penny that she (finally) doesn't know what's ahead suggests to me that everything up to the Spring of 2008 that has already happened, happened, BUT that there are now forces in motion - set up by Two opposing Teams - that have the capability to change the post 2008 Future and are thus "unpredictable" - to both sides

I think that Daniel went willingly to his death (including reciting his lines to Young Charlotte, despite what he vowed in 505) because of what he learned during his three years at Ann Arbor. Charlotte has to hear Daniel's warning, because she has to come back to the Island to temporarily become a captive of Team Locke, then to help disable the Tempest etc etc

Like his Mother before him, Daniel has learned (at Ann Arbor) to tell people like Dr Chang, Miles, Jack and Kate what they have to hear (and only that) so that they Choose to do what they have to do to enable all the pre-2008 events we've all seen.

I think Season 6 will show us The War for The Future of Humanity - fought (and hopefully won by The Good Guys) in "Real Time" 2010.

futureboy said...

As always, a most excellent recap and "thing that makes you go 'hhhhmmmm' "

One point: I hope we won't get a lame ending next year. If flight 815 landed and "none of his ever happened" it would be dull.

It would be far more creepy if 815 broke up, crashed into the sea, and the "Oceanic Six" made it back to the states as told in "the lie"....leaving us all to wonder how the baby Aaron popped out of nowhere!

Lula! said...

Dear e,

This was the text I sent to a friend immediately after Daniel opened the graduation gift from his mother:

"DANG! I just knew it would be that skinny tie!"

And this is why I dig you. Great minds and all...

Loved the recap, as always. My head kinda hurts.

Jim said...

Here's what made me pause the show, as small as it may have seemed. Sawyer was talking with someone (Juliet or Kate) and said that if anything happens to him, send him back to the beach. Sawyer wants to stay in that time, so does this hint again to the fact that he ends up re-living the crash and the beach? Do each of the Losties get to choose what time they ultimately end up in?

Tammy said...

I have a question: If Hawking and Widmore are parental units of Dear Daniel, why does he have a different name? I MAY have a partial answer: My oh so schmart husband said there is such a thing in the physics world as Faraday's Law. What is it? Wait for it....Wait for it.... Electomagnetic Induction. Coincidence? I think not. Not sure WHO gave him the name, but them there Lost writers must know their stuff?

I'm such a nerd.

e said...

Tammy -

But I'm the bigger nerd, because that was in my recap, linked to the Wiki page for the scientist Michael Faraday! ; )

(It's in the first section, right above the pic of Dan's graduation)

- e

Garry from UK said...

Are they really in 1977? Or is it a mock up, have people been playing with their minds?

Anyway thanks -e for another great write up, always a pleasure to read.

Does anyone know where the food parcels came from? If the Dharma initiative died in the purge how come food parcels were still being sent years later? Who sends them and how do they know where the island is to drop them in the first place?

Waldo97 said...

ROLAND:"I think that Daniel went willingly to his death (including reciting his lines to Young Charlotte, despite what he vowed in 505) because of what he learned during his three years at Ann Arbor. Charlotte has to hear Daniel's warning, because she has to come back to the Island to temporarily become a captive of Team Locke, then to help disable the Tempest etc etc

Like his Mother before him, Daniel has learned (at Ann Arbor) to tell people like Dr Chang, Miles, Jack and Kate what they have to hear (and only that) so that they Choose to do what they have to do to enable all the pre-2008 events we've all seen."
This is grossly over-complicating things. Daniel isn't pretending to try to change the future to fulfill a destiny. In his speech to Jack and Kate, he mentions all the things that won't happen if he succeeds in changing the past, but he neglects HIS real motive, he's trying to change the future to save Charlotte's life.

It's true, Daniel vowed to not speak to Charlotte. But during his time in Ann Arbor, he decided that he COULD change the past. Daniel believed he could convince Chang that he was from the future and "the incident" was imminent. That's why he told Charlotte that Chang was going to order people to leave the island, and that she had to leave with her mommy.

Unknowingly, Daniel was sent to the island by his mother so that he could prevent her from murdering him. She wanted the past to change as well. Unfortunately, Daniel and Charlotte were both casualties of this episode, both casualties of trying to change the past to affect the future.

So far, no one has been able to change the past. And I believe that no one will because we've already seen the future!

bongzilla said...

As I've said before and on DarkUFO, I'm aboard the Desmond-is-the-Variable train. Like you, I questioned why Daniel spoke of variables in plural form and the episode, bookended by Desmond scenes, was titled The Variable.

Erika, take a minute to ponder this question.

Why did Lindelof see fit to include the following scene, copied here from the Lostpedia.com transcript of The Constant?

[DANIEL is seen digging through his journal, and sees "If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be MY constant." written.]

This small detail must still have some resonance in the narrative.

Waldo97 said...

Jim:Sawyer wants to stay in that time, so does this hint again to the fact that he ends up re-living the crash and the beach? Do each of the Losties get to choose what time they ultimately end up in?I don't think so. If sawyer stayed on the island another 27 years and witnessed the plane crash from the ground, at some point, we would've seen a Sawyer in his early 60's walking around the island in earlier seasons.

Since that never happened, I'm guessing that "the incident" results in our Losties ending up back in present time.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks!

In all of this commotion we seem to have forgotten, amidst all the manynarrative threads, the Egpytology/Anubis/Richard (and Jacob) trajectory.

Given that there is a good deal of resolution required in the remaining two episodes, I suspect these will be teased out in the next series, if not the resolution of Lost itself. However, there will surely be some teasingly oblique references...

Anybody thought of the smoke monsters as a non-eschatological* "ammut" soul eater in the weighing of the heart ceremony. Ben passed; Echo failed, etc.

*Unless the island is a "bazark"/intermediary station for a field of reeds eschaton. This links back to some of the "crazed" dialogue by the real Sawyer and Hugo.

Also, will the bomb/energy pulse impair the the procreative potentialof the island (or is this later)...

Perhaps the "bomb" /energy pulse will kick the donkey wheel into action again, the 816 crew take shelter in the well or ? and hey presto they end up in 2008.

Thanks again.

Tammy said...

Ok like totally disregard what I said...I guess you already got it...duh.

BUT....am I the only one who thinks of Charles Manson when they see Daniel???

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001111/

SF said...

you are my hero

Roland said...

Waldo: In his speech to Jack and Kate, he mentions all the things that won't happen if he succeeds in changing the past, but he neglects HIS real motive, he's trying to change the future to save Charlotte's life.If Daniel’s real motive in trying to change the past/present/future is to save Charlotte’s life, then all he had to do was ... nothing ... ignore the little girl on the swing. If Dan’s words to Dr Chang had succeeded/will succeed in him ordering women and children off the island before The Incident - and if Daniel had not said a word to Charlotte - she would have obediently left the Island in her Mother’s care with no memory of some Scary Man warning her never to return. Young children don't have to be convinced by Strangers to obey their parents.

Conversely, if Dan truly believed that he could persuade Ellie and Richard and Charles to show him where the bomb was buried, excavate it, transport it to the Swan (if necessary) and detonate it - all within a few hours (and not kill everybody on the Island with a 33-year-old H-Bomb), then once again, Charlotte’s life would have been saved with Daniel not having to open his mouth to her.

It's true, Daniel vowed to not speak to Charlotte. But during his time in Ann Arbor, he decided that he COULD change the past. Daniel believed he could convince Chang that he was from the future and "the incident" was imminent. That's why he told Charlotte that Chang was going to order people to leave the island, and that she had to leave with her mommy. Daniel's words to Miles: “I’m just making sure that your Father does what he’s supposed to do”, that is, order the evacuation of the Women and Children, but not right away - only after The Incident is in progress and Dr C suddenly remembers Daniel’s (ineffectual) earlier warning. The Incident MUST occur - the 108-minute protocol MUST be instituted and Dr C MUST remember this strange guy who said he was from the Future and who had arrived mysteriously in 1974 with his friends Jim, Juliet and Miles - who had just denied that he was the Future version of his infant son.

If Daniel truly thought that he could change the Past by convincing Chang that he was from the Future, the first thing he would have done is show him the journal.


Unknowingly, Daniel was sent to the island by his mother so that he could prevent her from murdering him. She wanted the past to change as well. Unfortunately, Daniel and Charlotte were both casualties of this episode, both casualties of trying to change the past to affect the future.Eloise‘s words to Charles: "Sacrifice! Don't you talk to me about sacrifice, Charles! I had to send my son back to the island, knowing full well--"

To me, the implication is that there was nothing “unknowing” about the decision (of both his parents) to stick Daniel on board the Kahana. Both of them were certain that they were sending him to his death at his Mother’s hands - sacrificing her only begotten son for The Greater Good.

If Daniel truly believed that he could convince his Mother and her Hostile colleagues to co-operate in locating and detonating Jughead he wouldn’t have stormed into their camp, pointed a loaded gun at their Leader and started counting to "3". That’s just about the stupidest way for an out-numbered, out-gunned Stranger to ask for help that I can think of.

So far, no one has been able to change the past. And I believe that no one will because we've already seen the future!I agree that the Future we’ve seen so far - up to and including the Spring of 2008 will not change much, if at all. If it were to change drastically, we’d all feel cheated by whatever emotion we’ve invested in the events we’ve all seen so far.

This is why I believe that the future beyond 2008 is what’s up for grabs.

Elegiamore said...

E,

LOVED this review! However, what about Jacob? He is the wild card that MUST be a major factor in the last season.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you think that Jack, Jacob and more are the ones that SHOULD win the war and Widmore, Eloise, Locke, Christian are the ones that SHOULDN'T win the war?

Why do we believe Eloise over Daniel? They can't both be right; either Jack and co. should have "come back, Kate..." or not.

Like you, I feel that Daniel's death was instigated by the LOST writers so that Jack could be the hero, instead of Dan.

Too bad, as Jeremy Davies can act circles around Matthew Fox.

Joseph Newton said...

e -

Thanks for yet ANOTHER awesome and insightful write-up.

I am so, so, SO not happy that they killed off Daniel Farraday. He was my 2nd favorite character, after Locke, of course.

Lastly, I don't think we should write off Eloise as being evil yet, though she certainly came across as so in 'The Variable'. I think something very good is going to come of Daniel's return to the island in 1977 and Eloise knows it can only come to pass if she pushes Daniel the way she did. Let's say the Lost-aways use Daniel's notes to save the world. Therefore, Eloise sacrificed her only son and chose to suffer the pain of killing her own child for the greater good. This would make Eloise the least selfish character on the show. I'm rootin' for Eloise not being evil, but rather a tortured soul. I say this with no knowledge of spoilers. I am very anti-spoiler, which is one of the many reasons I enjoy your write-ups.

Joe

Lisa said...

e,

Great recap, as always. I'm so glad you called attention to Daniel's horrible graduation hair. The one downfall of this season so far...all the bad wigs.

Keyser Söze said...

after reading, just wanted to say that you have some real talent!!! I watched the episode 3 times and didn't pick up on all the stuff you noticed :) Great recap!

Unfortunately/fortunately my plane did NOT crash on a magic island.
:( /cry

Keyser Söze said...

also... I think the creators should build up the story then leave it hanging and then.................

have a 3 hour movie for the series finale... what better way for them to make tons of money off all of us as well as providing us with a kick ass way to view the "real" finale...

i've been waiting for the sopranos movie for what...2 years now? still waiting... still waiting ....

:)

Ali Gonzalez said...

I believe the "Others" are people like 815's that have failed trying to avoid the "Incident". That's why they are so excited with Locke as a leader or savior. They are are trapped in time without past or future; that's why they don't get old.

Anonymous said...

hey i think the variable is the notebook ? yeah i belive dan knew what was gonna happen he was waving the gun and he was so sure about the future,he has to die so that jack will use his notebook?

Anonymous said...

also did anyone notice how much daniels mom resembles his gf?

Keyser Söze said...

Actually, I wasn't too impressed with Jeremy's acting abilities in this episode...he doesn't cry well. Something about it seemed way too 'fake' to me. Not that I could do better, in fact i'd probably end up laughing 90% of the time...

BUT at the same time, Daniel's character really grew on me this episode...and I'm sad to see him go. I wish he could be involved in more episodes this/next season(s)... grr.

pejafor3 said...

Erica!

Comment for picture dangraduation.jpg
is hilarious.

HA AH AH HA HA HA

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Theresa Spencer is 'The Variable'. All other people unstuck in time are seemingly cured, including Desmond. However she's not and Charles Widmore and, presumably, Ms Hawking can get to her. Wonder if somehow they can get a message through to a younger version of herself that might just have some significance. Just a thought. (Is she Annie?)

sughero pop said...

I believe it would be kind of lame if the entire show were about "changing pre-crash events". I, as a viewer, would be disappointed to know that past events can be "fixed", and am not really interested in seeing alternate 2004 or anything.
I find it much more exciting to see how things we were only vaguely told about (as the Incident) happened and intertwined with the presence of the 815ers in the past. It's not like they're in a "loop" or something depressing like that, it's more like a "hyper-flashback" which'll better explain the motives and purposes of the factions in the Season 6 war.

My opinion is that "history" can't really be changed; and by that I don't mean the free will doesn't exist. It's just that the choices individuals make at one particular moment in time are the only ones they could make, as they are, influenced by what they have lived through, their mind shape, etc.; and they stay fixed in time.
If Daniel's mother weren't such a believer that "whatever happened, has to be made happen", she might have not sent him to the island; but then she wouldn't have shot him in the first place, so that's how things had to go.

Still, in Lost, there are some powerful destiny-correcting forces, like the Island itself (/Jacob?), capable of preventing Michael from killing himself.
When it is said that "Desmond is different", it might mean that he's free from this sort of influence. I also think that he could be a game-changer, but it is more likely that he'll use his rule-breaking powers in the present, to change the path predetermined by the Island or any other fate-correcting force, than anywhere in the past.

Sharon Rose said...

Hey E!

Wanted to let you know i got a copt of The Time Traveler's Wife on your recommendation and LOVED it. Thanks!

Also - my favorite line from this epi - Daniel asking for a "beginner" gun! ;)

rosered2318 said...

the feeling that Hawking was going to make Daniel's life a living hell in order to ensure he did what fate demanded he do.There seems to be a lot of discussion about how Hawking and Widmore completely miss the point of Destiny and WHH and it is proven because they do a lot of guiding the pawns into the right places...but what if what they are really referring to is their own destiny? Looking at it from Hawking's POV, it is her Destiny that she shoot her son, so all of the manipulating and such is about her fulfilling what she must do. Widmore could be the same; it's not that he knows Daniel has to be in a certain place to fulfill Daniel's Destiny, it's that Widmore knows he has to make the offer to fulfill his.

OT but brought back to the front of my mind with this episode: Another point I haven't seen discussed yet is that Desmond didn't actually change anything by preventing Charlie's death. We now know that all of these characters went to 1977 all along and, in order for that to happen, the freighties would have had to have gotten on the island. So, Charlie died exactly when he was supposed to.

Back on topic - so Hawking was definitely not the world's most lovingest mother, but what if she was trying to fulfill her destiny instead of force Daniel into his? Just tossing it out there...

I don't know. For the first time in a long time, I don't know what's going to happen next.Another interp of this line: she knows that the o6 had to get back because Jack and Kate were with her son when she shot him, so now that they are back she has fulfilled her destiny.

I'm actually starting to wonder if Hawking has any idea what is going on at all. It is plausible that, with the return of the o6, she has effectively removed herself from the story; her part has been played. Unless, of course, she knows more than she is telling =)

"Because Hawking has always known that DESMOND is 'The Variable.'"I don't know if she knows or not, but this statement is probably the key that Season 5 hangs on. Daniel almost had it right by thinking that, since they were in the past, they could make different decisions. However, they will inevitably make the same decision as they aren't aware of what the choices and consequences are.

However Desmond can move his conciousness through time. This can put him at a moment in his personal timeline (not the story timeline) when he made a decision, is aware of what the consequences are, and can do something different. The o6 are still traveling in the story timeline, they don't have the power to change anything, but Desmond can move throughout his own personal timeline and therefore change his decisions...does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

1 comment on the 'Groundhog Day' situation with Daniel. I think it all goes back to his time travel technology, which basically enabled someone's consciousness to head to the future before returning to the present. Thus, using that technology he traveled down the timeline that he wouldn't eventually experience before returning to his "then-present" and making notes of what occurred. Of course, if this is true, it points heavily to the pre-destination angle - that destiny rules. And perhaps running madcap into the Hostiles camp was his attempt to change destiny - thinking to himself that if he acted in an atypical manner that things could change.

Or maybe not.

Meribeth said...

OK, awesome recap, as always.

I have not read through the comments but I think you are right on the money about Desmond being THE variable. Your point that Daniel was talking about variables, plural, was very insightful and i think pointing out that the title of the episode is singular is extremely telling.

Also, the fact that Constants and Variables are opposites links the two epis together for me. As the Constant was about Desmond, I can't help but believe the Variable would be to.

Thanks for all your hard work. Your recaps are wonderful!!

Ernie said...

I too was stumped over the Comic Con video and a recent Lostpedia interview asked Darlton the same question. I didn't really like their response, since the video has been incorporated into fans minds since Comic Con:

"I think some people believe that they hear Faraday's voice in the Comic-Con experience. These events are sort of partially canon but more promotional than they are canon. Giving the audience a sneak peak as to what the season is about."

e said...

Ernie -

WOW. Thank you for that update -- that definitely changes my opinion on the importance of the Comic-Con video. I'm a tad disappointed, too.

- e

Ernie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ernie said...

Let me try again, here's the link

drallabg said...

Love "YOUR" work!

JJStrange said...

I wonder if your suspicion over baby Charlie being left alone is on point...maybe someone WILL in fact "take him" and this will force Des to go back to the island and of course be the incentive Penny needs to accompany him...?

Target-Addict said...

First off, I just found your blog and love it :-) Secondly, your theories on how the series will end are making my head hurt!

Ernie said...

The bomb is going to be a dud, and Faraday's plan will be ruined...

Anonymous said...

Hey E!

I sped through the comments, so someone might have said this already, but your (otherwise excellent)analysis never considers that Jack and Co. setting off the H-bomb is "The Incident" or at the very least what causes "The Incident" (H-bomb goes off, sets elctromagnetic energy flying out, Chang loses his arm, Hatch must be built).

Anonymous said...

Hi Erika

Think you're dead right re theories 1 and 2 (I'm in the UK so haven't seen last night's episode yet). However I reckon the Comic Con video will get sent (in fact imagine it will be a key part of the show - the voice in the background is definitely Horace Goodspeed). However this is the important bit - it will be intercepted by Ms Hawking who will realise it's a way to maybe save her from shooting her son (Daniel still has to be the 'credible source') - something she's lived with her entire life (never underestimate a mother's love). Hence she's going to/has started to get in with Penny and Desmond (the 'Variable') with the idea that she can send his consciousness into the past, like in 'the Constant', to change the past - could easily be something as simple as 'meet Daniel at Oxford and get him to put a note 'Don't go waving a gun round near the others' in his Journal'. Bingo! He doesn't get shot and history changes. Of course the incident still occurs (the hatch has to be built, the numbers pressed (or not as the case may be), and the plane crashes). However everything else changes. Dharma and the Others realise it's pointless keep fighting ('communicate' as Hurley would say) and brotha...ly love breaks out (or does it?) - this will be the key to series 6 - the 'war' will be going on with the Losties somewhere in the middle of it, but all the time Ms Hawking/Desmond will be trying to course correct so that none of it ever occurs. And this is what will happen. The plane will still crash because the numbers weren't pressed (see below), Jack will wake up in the jungle etc. Then the first night it will happen... There'll be a rustling in the jungle and out will come... Miles and his dad Pierre (Miles never left the island and never had the father issues that affected so many characters), together with Charlotte (never left the island) arm in arm with Daniel (born and raised on the Island - however still a master of time travel and they can use the Frozen Donkey Wheel to travel wherever and whenever they want), Daniel's parents Charles and Ellie (never left the island), Charles' daughter Penny (Ellie has never really forgiven him for having the affair which resulted in her, but what the heck), the love of Penny's life, Desmond (he'll have still arrived via Libby's sailboat - incidentally Libby will be the reason Hurley returns as a dead version of her will tell him that way they'll meet again, but this time they'll fall in love and live happily ever after), plus it'll be their romp in the sun one afternoon when he was meant to be pressing the button that will have caused the crash. Obviously he'll be feeling terribly guilty about it, but hey the island will fix it - including the guy sucked into the jet engine... Then there'll be Ben. He'll still be an other but this time he really will be 'a good guy'. Then there'll be Ageless Richard and all the other DI'ers/Others that bit the dust in the first few series. Then there'll be Alex and Rousseau and all the other members of the French team. Finally there'll be Juliet - none of the bad stuff will have occured off the island, but they'll still have needed her at some point because of the baby explosion caused by so much lurrrve going on. Finally there'll be the tame smoke monster - think of the all the fun he (I think he's a he) will have playing with Vincent. Then they'll say welcome to our wonderful island, let's show you what it can do and then you can decide whether you want to go back or not - of course they'll all stay except Kate (who has to face justice dammit) and possibly Hurley/Libby what with all his money.

Alternatively it'll all fail, the war in 2008 will go on to its end, everyone will die, and, as Naveen Andrews has said all along, the rescue boats will arrive and save... Vincent.

p.s. because history changes the first losties can (and will) die - what a shock ending of an episode that will be - because as you say it's their 1977 versions that matter, and that will end up on the 2004 plane.

Hope you like the above

Mike

NS said...

There's also the very interesting possibility that they somehow manage to prevent the incident and then return to the real world and try to prevent their younger versions from making the same mistakes that caused their lives to be so screwed up. I don't know how they could possibly explain this, but it could be a part of their season 6.

Anonymous said...

What do we think happened to Rose and Bernard?? They seem to have disappeared, could they be the yet-to-be named skeletons that have us all stumped?

Jess Squared

words with my father said...

if the constant was all about Desmond, then surely Dan must be the variable as the two are linked.
i also agree that when jughead is set off, it will cause the donkey wheel to jump back into place and take the losties back to 2007. so they will survive the bomb but it will wipe out dharma.. and the others..?

SKID said...

Vincent Mystery Solved:

He is fine.

His time jumps have just been 7 years further than anyone elses.

SKID said...

On a more serious note,

Is there any connection to Vincent and the fact that Egyptians gods and the masks they wear are fashioned after dogs?

If we pan around to the front of four toe and that statue is a spitting image of Vincent, I am going to . . . well, I'm not sure what I would do.

sigh.

See what I am reduced to writing about now that the tie is gone.

Brendan said...

Can you please answer this question in your blog: How does WALT fit in all of this??

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I came here after the Seanie B situation and I'm glad of it. Congratulations in your excellent blog.

What if at the end of season 5 they change everything and the plane didn't crash? Then Season 6 would be filled with flashforwards explaining their future lifes and how they come to meet eachother and come back to the island at the very end of the series.

Just guessing, but I still prefer that whatever happened, happened and that the writers will come out with something great we cannot even think about.

André said...

Erika!! I love your coments about LOST's episodes. I came here after Seasine B was unmasked. Then I discovered that the mind where Sean's thoughts were U!
My fingers r tired of pushing F5 every minute (really)! U r the best!