Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lost, "The Variable": Destiny is a fickle bitch

Spoilers for the 100th episode of "Lost" coming up just as soon as I pack a suitcase...
"I tried to avoid telling you this. I didn't think I could change things. But maybe I can." -Daniel Faraday
We've all of us -- fans watching at home, characters living on Craphole Island, writers crafting it all in Los Angeles -- spent a lot of the last few months discussing the idea of whether the past can be changed, or whether everyone's fate has already been set. And as Faraday -- the chief proponent within the series of the closed loop theory -- moved around the island during "The Variable," acting very much like a man who now believed he can change the past, I started to believe that he could. He could really stop The Incident, save the lives of all those on Oceanic 815, prevent Charlotte from ever returning, be the big damn hero man that I so wanted him to be.

But in the end, as he lay there in the middle of the Others' camp, dying from the bullet that his mother put in him, Dan acknowledged that he was wrong, that this was the plan of the island, of his mother, of destiny, and it always had been. His mother raised him(*) and guided him towards this moment, forever keeping him on a path where he'd wind up going to the island, and where he'd be in a position to be shot by her younger self.

(*) How old is Faraday supposed to be? The Eloise who shot him in 1977 looked to be roughly the same age as the Eloise who made him give up his piano playing, and young Dan seemed like a kid who'd always lived on the mainland. (And was also relatively unaffected by the time-sickness, as compared to Charlotte and Miles.) But Eloise still seemed to be living on the island at the time, and Jeremy Davies is almost 40, so... is he playing much younger at the same time Rebecca Mader was playing much older?

And as he realized that, I began to think about the events that brought all of our characters to the island, and the ones that kept them there, or brought them back, and about how much of who they are, what they are and where they are has absolutely nothing to do with their conscious choices. Whether by fate, bad luck, the forces of the island or their own dysfunctional parents, our heroes (and some of our villains) were moved into position like pieces on a chess board, and always have been.

And I'm not sure how happy that realization makes me, even at the end of an enormously entertaining episode like "The Variable."

As I noted in discussing "Whatever Happened, Happened," the how and the why of events can be at least as compelling as the what -- that even if all the events in the past, present and future of the island are pre-ordained (in the real world, by Cuse and Lindelof; in the show's universe, by the island), seeing how the characters react to those events can be compelling. But if all our heroes are just pawns in a game they don't understand and can't control -- with the possible exception of Desmond, who survived being shot by Ben at the marina, and who has yet to re-insert himself into the main narrative -- then at some point "Lost" becomes a little less fun to watch.

Or maybe I'm just feeling slightly down, even after an episode I mostly loved, because I'm wondering -- as I did in "He's Our You" about the reason for the Ben/Sayid schism -- whether that's really all there is. Did Eloise really push Dan all his life to be a great physicist just so she could fulfill the course of history and shoot him in 1977? Yes, he's done a few important things since coming to the island -- most notably helping a younger Ellie (and an ageless Richard) deal with the radiation leak from Jughead -- but unless Eloise is a hardcore purity of the timestream nerd, surely she must have had a grander plan in mind when she set her only son on this course, no?

Did Dan maybe set something in motion that's bigger than we realize at this point? Is it possible that The Incident, and all that followed, wouldn't have happened if he hadn't come back and stirred up all this trouble with Dharma? Or is Dan, just like Charlotte after the end of "Jughead," not as dead as I'm assuming him to be?(**)

(**) This would be the point in the review where I remind you once again of the No Spoiler policy, and that includes discussing the previews for the next episode. I know the previews for the episode after "Jughead" showed a still-living Charlotte, but if Dan happens to be walking around in the ads for next week's episode, I wouldn't want to know it, and I know other people around here wouldn't, either.

Still, whatever comes next, and what the implications are about the larger scheme of the series, "The Variable" was a crackling hour, carried, as "Jughead" was, by Jeremy Davies' intense but vulnerable performance. If Faraday's dead, at least he went down fighting to undo his mistakes, and to save not only all the Oceanic 815 passengers, but Charlotte.

(Kate notes to Jack that it would be bizarre for the last few years of all their lives to be erased, and of course there's the fact that, if Oceanic 815 never crashes, Dan would never be in a position to meet Charlotte. But I'm sure he's happier with the idea of Charlotte alive but unknown to him than the end he already witnessed for her.)

Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz's script incorporated pieces of Faraday's story from throughout his run on the show, from the scene of him crying as he watched the fake crash footage in "Confirmed Dead," to his plan to use Jughead to prevent The Incident, to the idea (speculated about at least since "Jughead") that Widmore was his father. (This would make Dan into Penny's half-brother, and Desmond's brother-in-law.) I assumed we'd eventually see Dan fulfilling his pre-ordained role as the crazy-eyed man telling young Charlotte to never return to the island, but Davies still slayed me with the tenderness in his voice as he gave the speech he knew he had to, even as he hoped things would turn out differently this go-around.

(And good on either the writers or director Paul Edwards for choosing to pull back once it became clear that's what that scene was; it felt both unnecessary and almost a violation of the characters' privacy to show the rest.)

Davies has been such a great addition to the cast, and Faraday to the universe of the show, that I'll be sorry if this is it for them, whatever the larger implications may be. But he won't be the first great "Lost" character to die before his time, and with only a few episodes left in this penultimate season, he sure won't be the last.

Some other thoughts on "The Variable":

• Cuse and Lindelof have referred to "The Variable" as a sequel of sorts to "The Constant," so it made sense to feature Desmond and Penny, even if they only appeared at the beginning and end of the hour. Those two are awesome. I really have nothing else to say. But I hope the writers can find a way to bring Desmond back into the action without separating him from Penny and li'l Charlie.

• Here's how I know Sawyer's time as the all-wise leader is at an end: he's starting to get funny again. "Your mother is an Other?" was the line of the night. Though Hurley referring to 1954 as "Fonzie times" was a close second. ("Happy Days" was, in fact, originally set in 1954 1956. One of the first episodes had Richie and Fonzie on opposite sides of Eisenhower's re-election campaign.)

• Look, I'm as interested in seeing JJ Abrams' take on young Kirk and Spock as the next Trekkie, but letting the "Lost" logo morph into the star field for an extended "Star Trek" promo really ticked me off. "Lost" is a show about mood, and every bit of it -- the title sequence included -- is a part of creating that mood. And turning that sequence into product integration broke the mood, big-time.

• Along the lines of Daniel only causing things to happen that were always destined to happen, might he have set things in motion for Dr. Chang to send his wife and son off the island? I'm sure we haven't seen the last conversation between Chang and adult Miles on the subject.

• One bit of the past I would love to change: we know Radzinsky survived past the time of the Dharma purge, and I will wish somebody could just put a bullet in his brain 20 years ahead of schedule. So, so irritating. Intentionally so, I think, but still.

• Though "The Variable" wasn't designed as a special 100th episode of the series, it did manage to use more of the cast than has been the average this season, with everybody but fugitive Sayid and the gang on the island in 2007 present, and with all of them briefly hanging out together at LaFleur's cabin to make their plans. Now, togetherness isn't peachy for everybody -- check out how quickly Juliet gave Kate the sonic fence codes after she caught her man referring to her as "Freckles."

• What kind of outfit, even a relatively hippie-dippie one like the Dharma Initiative, gives a key to the gun cabinet to the custodial staff? Those guys deserved to be wiped out just for that.

That's it from me. In addition to the No Spoilers rule, let me remind you again to be courteous to your fellow commenters and make an effort to at least skim the previous comments to make sure you're not repeating some familiar insight like you're the first person it's occurred to. If a comment includes a phrase like, "I'm sorry that I don't have time to read all the other comments," it's going to be deleted. Period. Also, play nice with each other, as always.

What did everybody else think?

171 comments:

Jennifer J. said...

Need to post this before I read which seems sacrilegious! Sorry, Alan.

Did anyone have any problems with their local ABC affiliates during the episode of Lost tonight? We did (in Dallas) and are just wondering if we're all alone in this or not?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that I don't have time to read all the other comments

EOTW said...

FWIW, I had to DVR the first 10 minutes of THE UNUSUALS time slot to get the last ten or so of lost. good thing I did.

Alan, are you let down at all that it appears the end game for the season )according to Daniel in this episode) is to stop the incident, therefor, stopping Oceanic 815 from crashing?

I feel kinda let down that they are still on this path. I was hoping that we might get some answers tonight (yeah, I know!)

I don't know. It just seems played out and I guess I am officially sick of the time travel stuff. let's get everyone back together in the present to fight the army from Egypt or whatever they are and get back to LOCKE!!! All I want to se this season is Jack seeing Locke alive. Let that be in the next 3 hours and I will be a happy boy. THis season is just rockin' down the highway!!!

Andrew said...

Sometimes I think the writers are intentionally trying to make Jack an idiot. Who would ever think it's a good idea to give Faraday a gun?

Christopher said...

my biggest fear is that I believe Charles said "he WAS my son too, Eloise." I've watched that scene several times, and it's hard to tell for sure -- but it was that scene that planted my fear that Daniel was soon to be a goner, and only a matter of minutes before he was lying on the ground, with a bullet in his back.

Anonymous said...

Line of the night was Sawyer talking to Faraday:

"Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy."

Michael said...

The logo thing ticked me off too.

Daniel should have known that he couldn't change time to the extent that he'd prevent things from happening. What happened, happened, remember?

The incident -> Swan -> pushing numbers -> plane crash -> tanker sequence he mentioned already happened. Preventing the first link in the chain, the Incident, would create a paradox where Daniel didn't go back in time to prevent it.

Jordan said...

Okay, that was awesome. For a while I viewed Lost not as a show i could go back and watch so much as journey they took me on. But when it's all said and done I think I have to buy the dvds to rewatch a lot of the earlier stuff knowing now what they knew then. Case in point: everything Eloise says about time knowing she is going to kill her son.

Two quick thoughts:
I may not always catch every literary reference they allude to on this show, but a scientist aware of the destruction of his world so he sends his son to America where he ends up with super powers? Well played Lindelof.

I wonder if it was on purpose to follow Lost with a show with a former Lost actor who is obsessed with the number 42.

J said...

This was just a very sad episode. Just think how painful Eloise's post-island life will be, why she tries to be such a detached mother. She's fulfilling her destiny by having a child she knows she will wind up killing.

But I was also confused how Faraday doesn't acknowledge the basic paradox created if someone who wound up on the island solely because of the Event went back in time and eliminated the Event, then they would never get to the island to eliminate the Event that first brought them to the island, etc. etc.

I totally believe that Jack wouldn't comprehend this though.

Mostly a very sad episode.

Daniel said...

I had really mixed feelings on the episode. It seemed like the writers had some broad themes to explore and a killer ending, but no idea how to wed them to a narrative. Why in the world did Jack, Kate, and Faraday need guns in the first place? And why was Faraday walking into the Others' camp with his gun out? I know the answer is that so his mom could shoot him in the back, but it really doesn't make much sense from his perspective.

JasonR said...

I will absolutely have to restrain myself from throwing something at my TV if the point of the entire series is to undo the play crash (and they succeed).

Call me a time continuity nerd if you want, but I have no interest in them changing the past. Both because the confusion of changing your own past and invalidating the the show we have seen.

Jennifer J. said...

The Lost logo is so precious to me when we're watching that I won't let my husband speak until the commercial has come on. ;) I'm sorry, I just love it so much!!!!!

JasonR said...

Also, my favorite line was Sawyer referring to Faraday as HG Wells. . .

Devin McCullen said...

Well, so much for my theory that Season 6 was going to be Locke vs. Faraday.

Based on everything that's happened, it seems that the logical conclusion to this is that the attempts to stop the Incident by setting off the H-Bomb are what actually causes the Incident in the first place. But that just seems a little too obvious, so I don't know.

Then again, Dan seems pretty sure that he knows what causes the Incident, although I don't quite understand how he knows this. I guess one of his parents filled him in on the backstory before he went there, and he wrote it all down.

And why did Richard insist that Ellie wasn't there when she was?

Ke said...

I heard Widmore say that too, Christopher.It's kind of silly, but it annoys me that brown-eyed Daniel might have two parents with blue eyes. Maybe Richard was really his father. . .
Also, did anyone else think younger Ellie looked oddly like Penny? It made me think of a Lost version of The Parent Trap -- Charles takes Penny, Ellie takes Daniel. Only, you know, without the wacky hijinks and awesome song performance.

Anonymous said...

I'm only a 2nd year Lost watcher so forgive me if I'm way off here but...

Is it possible that Dan is the kid that "teenage Ben" couldn't shoot and challenged Widmore and crew to do it if they wanted to? Can't remember the Ep or time period but we thought that would explain the age differences of Dan and Ellie. Plus wouldn't that mean that "young Ellie" doesn't know she raised a kid yet?

Anyway... great Ep.

Brian said...

No, the kid that Ben couldn't shoot is Alex, aka Ben's adopted daughter who got shot in the head by Keamy last season.

You should really go back and watch seasons 1-3 because I would imagine watching Lost would be terribly confusing otherwise.

EOTW said...

No, Widmore sent Ben to Kill Danielle and then Ben took the baby, not a teen, back to The Others with him and raised him as his own.

Will Eidam said...

Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Daniel's hair is extremely different between the Flashback when we first see him crying, and then when it pulls back the curtain to show us more of that scene when he meets Charles Widmore?

In the crying scene, his hair is all pulled back, and kinda wet. But when he meets Charles it's all down, and dry. Just bad continuity? I'd think they'd be smarter than that if it wasn't on purpose, right?

Anonymous said...

This episode just left me feeling depressed because I don't want to believe that Daniel's destiny was to be shot by his mother.

Heather said...

I hope Faraday's not dead. I want at least one of my favorite charactesr to make it to the end. It seems Lost is out to get me every single stupid time.

All in all, it was a enjoyable, but broad episode. I hope the endgame for the series is not that they reverse everything they have done. That would be too gimmicky and too strange.

Can we blow Radzinsky's brians out now? Please?

As for Desmond/Penny, very little screen time, not really part of the greater narrative, but I love them so.

Jeremey Davies did slay that scene with him and Charlotte. I knew they were bound to show it but to actually see them do it is a whole other story. As for the hair-continuity, Lost fails at that again (Ben's weasel wig must be an all time LostHair low).

dez said...

Why do they keep kacking my fave new characters? First Eko, now Faraday. Did Jeremy Davies get a DUI or something? ;-)

Great ep, but I am sooo bummed about Faraday's death (well, apparent death--I'm a spoilerphobe for this show, so I can only go by what I saw tonight, and tonight, he looked dead, sniffle). Plus we didn't get nearly the answers the TV guide promised. DAMN!!

Re: the Logo segue: I thought it was a Twilight Zone homage at first. I was sore disappointed to see it was not, even though I'm psyched to see the new ST.

Tyroc said...

So I could see Jack wanting to be the hero and avoid the destruction in his life of the last few years, but why would Kate want the crash to have never have happened? She's looking at a life in jail. Although I suppose she can use whatever miraculous defense got her off in the timeline where the plane did crash. Similarly, Sun and Jin were looking at a breakup. Sawyer would never get revenge for his parent's death. I suppose the fact that many people won't have died is enough to get Kate onboard, but we'll see.

I do wonder how Eloise knew her son would need to study physics. Maybe Kate and Jack tell her next episode about Farrady's life, but otherwise not sure how she could get all that from the two seconds she spoke to him after she shot him. Sad as it is.

Also surprised Hurley and Jin didn't go with Jack. Jin especially would seem to want to help Farriday put the timeline back in order and would help him get to the Others. Confused me.

But still a great ending. Poor Dan.

jim treacher said...

Well, now we know why Faraday was crying the first time we saw him: it was Mother's Day.

leopoldbloom said...

Did Eloise really push Dan all his life to be a great physicist just so she could fulfill the course of history and shoot him in 1977?Well, she already shot him in her past. There was no changing that, so it was in her interest to encourage her son to achieve whatever he could during his pre-determined lifetime. I don't think it's fair to say that she trained him just so that he could die and complete the chronology; she wanted to maximize what his accomplishments before she killed him. If all she cared about was preserving fate, it would make her note in his journal all the more morbid.

I think your point makes the most sense when talking about how Eloise helped manipulate the Oceanic 6 situation so that the gang would get back to the island to complete the timeline of events. If they didn't go back it would be, as she said, catastrophic. Although this also makes my head spin since if they're destined to return to the island they will go back, just under different circumstances....

sonofabitch said...

In the end, this season will be the "time travel" season that showed us what happened, happened. There is no changing it. Daniel dooms Charlotte because he's obsessed with trying to change the past, which is the reason why he's willing to still try and warn her as a child even though he knows this is what causes her to be obsessed with coming back.

Eloise pushed her son all his life to study science. The purpose of this wasn't simply so that she could guide him to come back and then she would kill him, fulfilling that particular destiny for the sake of it. He filled that notebook up with a great amount of detail about the future and with his scientific discoveries. That journal will eventually come to Eloise and it will represent the higher purpose of Daniel's life, one that Eloise and Widmore believed was worth their son's sacrifice. Hopefully this means that she's not just a "nerd for timeline purity". In addition, Daniel had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was not going to get better off the island, so sending him there was almost something of a mercy killing. Sending him back on the freighter was one of the many missions that Widmore had going on on that ship: sending Faraday back to fulfill his 1977 destiny and removing Ben from the island to help Locke fulfill his destiny.

Perhaps all of this could have been avoided if Christian had been a bit clearer in his instruction to Locke to move the island, and that it had to be him, not Ben. Because if it always happened this way, why did Christian act as if it was Locke's mistake to let Ben screw with the timeline by turning the FDW. Shouldn't Christian have already known how it was going to play out?

It's no longer a question of "did the Losties traveling back in time cause the incident which caused the hatch which caused their crash, etc?". I believe that that is all now a given. The remainder of this season will be watching how exactly that that all plays (played?) out. Next season will be about how the war goes down in the present day when nobody any longer knows what the future holds (the losties in 1977 have a great deal of knowledge about the future since they are from the future, while Eloise/Others have had Daniel's journal for all these years to guide them). If the Losties are pushed back to the present (2007) by the incident as I think they will be, at that point everyone will be on a more equal playing field (of course we still have no idea who/what Jacob is and how omniscient he is or isn't - maybe he is even from further into the future and knows much more about what is to come). I suspect that there won't be any more time travel after this season (unless, as I said, Jacob is a time traveler). Plenty of flashbacks no doubt to come, but not time travel proper.

This episode had a very pro-gun control message. If Jack and Kate hadn't been getting guns out of the motor pool locker, then when Radzinsky pulled up, he wouldn't have suspected anything was going on and there wouldn't have been a gunfight. Similarly, if Daniel hadn't walked into the Others' camp with his gun out and fired a few rounds, he and Richard would have had a reasonable conversation and Eloise wouldn't have felt the need to shoot him in the back. Is Faraday really only supposed to be 30 (born in 1977 at the earliest making him 27 in 2004 when he returns to the island and then 3 years more living from 1974 to 1977)? Ages on this show often don't seem to make sense (see Rousseau, Ethan, Locke, Widmore, Charlotte, Anthony Cooper, etc).

Lester Freamon said...

Small nitpick: Eisenhower ran for re-election in '56, not '54.

What did the crash of 815 have to do with bringing the freighter to the Island? Their cover story was looking for Desmond, and their actual mission was to find Ben. 815 didn't play into their plans much at all. Plus, I've never understood how Widmore knew that 815 had crashed on the Island in the first place. Did Locke tell him in "Jughead"?

Mr Belvedere said...

Poor Daniel. Dumb Penny. Why leave your kid with a nurse you don't know?

Patrick Wynne said...

Does anyone else find Eloise as creepy as I do? Something about Fionnula Flanagan is just majorly off and gives me a serious case of the willies. And now I'm thinking she's gonna turn out to be the series true "bad guy". Just what is she up to?

And, I'm sorry, but while I generally enjoy Desmond, I couldn't care less about Penny and their oh-so-wonderful, written-in-the-stars romance. Boring. And I can't stand Sonya Walger. Every time this couple is on screen, I lose interest in the show. I was really, really hoping Ben had killed Penny.

Everything else, though, I really dug about this episode. I'm pumped for the end of the season.

BigTed said...

If whatever happened, happened -- i.e., if Daniel's mother knew that his fate was to return to the island in the past, where she would shoot him -- why did she have to push him all his life to make sure it would occur? If you know what fate has in store for you, why not just do whatever the heck you want, secure in the knowledge that it will turn out a certain way anyway? (It wouldn't matter whether you tried to cause that thing to happen or tried to stop it -- either way, according to this way of looking at things, the result would be the same.)

At the same time, I'm not really happy with the idea that the Losties are now considering trying to change the future/their own pasts by preventing the energy-whatsit from being released. How, exactly, would this help them? They've already lived through the events they want to prevent from happening, right? The them in the future (okay, getting complicated now) are, in a way, completely different people. Whether or not that plane crashes in the future, it won't really be them who's affected by it. So at this point, the characters' whole motivation for doing anything has become a little less dramatic.

And last, Daniel really wanted to set off a hydrogen bomb? This gang can't even swipe a car from the motor pool without botching the whole thing -- I hate to think how that would have turned out.

Ben said...

Alan said

(*) How old is Faraday supposed to be? The Eloise who shot him in 1977 looked to be roughly the same age as the Eloise who made him give up his piano playing, and young Dan seemed like a kid who'd always lived on the mainland. (And was also relatively unaffected by the time-sickness, as compared to Charlotte and Miles.) But Eloise still seemed to be living on the island at the time, and Jeremy Davies is almost 40, so... is he playing much younger at the same time Rebecca Mader was playing much older?

----------------

I think Dan may have been born on the island. The reason he didn't have the nose bleeds was because he already met his constant, Desmond. The others had not. Hmmm...

Jennifer said...

Oh, you smartasses at the start of this soon-to-be-200-comments long thread...

I'm disappointed we're done with this character so soon. Such potential. I wanted to see how "Desmond is my constant" played out, dammit. Or why he was crying at the TV, I guess we'll never know that one. What a waste. Though they sure did foreshadow this one a lot. You do feel sorry for trigger-happy Ellie, and maybe a bit for Widmore who had to offer his son the deal from hell. (And off-topic, the now-ruined love nest of Sawliet.)

I kind of think Daniel was born before 1977 (he doesn't look 32), which makes me wonder where he is as a baby if he didn't have Island-born-nose-bleeding. Yes, Daniel does look like he's been rode hard and put away wet for the last five years, but still, I don't really buy it.

Still wondering (a) how Ellie knows the future up until Desmond gets shot, apparently, (b) why the whole scientist thing was SO emphasized, (c) why didn't Richard recognize Faraday from 1954, 'cause that bomb incident must have been a tad bit memorable, (d) why running in with a gun and acting crazy seemed like a good idea to Faraday (oh, wait, that's just him), and (e) how come his last name is neither Widmore nor Hawking?

Another one who hated the logo switch here. Also, I thought I was watching the Tauntaun from Empire Strikes Back. I don't think I'm sold on the new Star Wa-er, Trek with that trailer at all.

Justin said...

I keep going back to Eloise apologizing to Penny about Desmond becoming a casualty to something bigger.

Chew on this, and I hesitate to write this as I would hate to be on to something, but if Desmond is Faraday's constant and now Faraday is dead, does this mean that somehow Desmond's death is predestined? If so, if Penny is Desmond's constant, is she marked for death as well? Can a constant exist without the person he or she is supposed to be linked to?

Jennifer said...

Oh, and the one I kept forgetting to add when I wrote that first long screed: why Daniel suddenly changed his tune after 3 years at Ann Arbor and thought he could change the past.

Something that should be mentioned: I'm assuming that Daniel was still memory-issue-free during his three years off-island? In that case, he wasn't trapped there by his health.

Lester Freamon said...

(e) how come his last name is neither Widmore nor Hawking?Perhaps Eloise got (re)married and Daniel either did or did not take his stepfather's name.

I thought the star field effect was really cool until I found it was just a commercial.

AJ said...

Did Daniel test on himself and that's how he became crazy and got fired from Oxford?
Sawyer's nicknames for him are good. Twitchy and HG Wells. Ha.

andythesaint said...

Maybe the gun cabinet keys were with the set that Miles passed them, and not Jack's? I wasn't paying enough attention to know for sure.

Jennifer said...

if Desmond is Faraday's constant and now Faraday is dead, does this mean that somehow Desmond's death is predestined? If so, if Penny is Desmond's constant, is she marked for death as well? Can a constant exist without the person he or she is supposed to be linked to?I think Desmond being Faraday's constant is no longer an issue for Faraday now that he's dead. Now if Faraday had been Desmond's official constant rather than Penny, he can't use Faraday as one past 2007/1977. But I don't think that automatically dooms Desmond unless he has another time loop issue in the future and nobody from both time lines is around.

Bottom line: P&D are not marked for death from this.

Justin said...

One more thought: maybe it's Eloise's destiny to change the future. What if we were to assume that all past occurrences of Faraday's time loop (born, goes to the island, travels back, shot by Eloise's, repeat), Faraday didn't have the journal. Maybe this time, it was Faraday's destiny to commit his theories to the journal so during this loop, he could deliver it, with these future theories to someone on the island who could actually put them to practice, altering the time stream? (I reference the scene with Dr. Change where he shows him future equations.)

annie said...

Faraday crying as he watches TV footage of flight 815 at the bottom of the ocean - is that because he knows he did not succeed in changing events? I believed Eloise when she told Faraday to go to the island because it could heal him - but she knew she would kill him?
I liked that Jack brought up Aaron - it's too odd when primary characters just disappear off everyone's radar.

jim treacher said...

Why in the world did Jack, Kate, and Faraday need guns in the first place?To defend themselves from the Others.

And why was Faraday walking into the Others' camp with his gun out?To defend himself from the Others.

Not only is everybody assuming that Faraday is dead, but that he'll stay dead. This is Lost! Even if he does die and they don't bring him back to life somehow, there's still flashback potential with the 3 years he spent in the '70s. What exactly was he doing in Ann Arbor? How did he find out Jack & Co. had come back? Who pushed his mother to do that to him? Was it Widmore? Somebody else? And what exactly was wrong with his memory in the first place? I think they've left enough doors open that we'll see Daniel again one way or another.

It just occurred to me that Eloise was so cold to Daniel's girlfriend because she knew what would happen and didn't want to get too attached. Daniel must have written about it in his notebook.

Yeah, Fionnula Flanagan is great at playing the Creepy Mom. Sort of similar to her character on Brotherhood.

Anonymous said...

Guys, remember in The Constant, we Daniel conducting all those experiments without wearing anything to protect his brain. Then tonight he admitted he conducted the experiment on himself.

Perhaps the island didn't really heal Daniel. Perhaps he going to the island and meeting Desmond (again) is what repairs his mind/memories. Desmond is his constant.

jim treacher said...

I wasn't thrilled with the Abrams-synergy logo fade into the promo, but I liked the clip. With the '60s-style music and all, it really did feel like, "What if the original series had had millions of dollars and cutting-edge special effects to play around with?" I'm withholding judgment, but Chris Pine is a good actor and it looks like it could be fun.

Jennifer said...

I'm still wondering where Possible Stepdaddy Faraday came from, though. He clearly wasn't shown tonight as existing.

james said...

Sad episode. Faraday had quickly became my 4th favorite character. It's quite sad he's dead. Hope he'll return in flashbacks.

I really love this season. A lot of answers, not too many questions. Great story.

For a moment when Richard asked Faraday if they knew each other I thought they looked related as if Richard was his father.

It was good to see Jack back to his regular old musings if somewhat depressing to see him questioning everything again.

Felt really sad for Sawyer and Juliet. I hope they stick it through. Sawyer's been through hell most of his life and finally made peace in the last 3 years. Same with Juliet. I hope this relationship square Jack and Kate is over.

Andrew said...

Personally, I'm ecstatic that the writers brought up the possibility of reversing time and stopping the crash -- because it makes me feel like that's NOT going to happen. Since when in LOST history have the writers ever willingly given us the next step? Sure, we've predicted twists before, but we've never been handed them on a silver platter. Even the one given that the show had at its start (that eventually, someone had to get off that island) was flipped on its head with the end of Season Three. I think this is just a red herring to distract us from whatever really happens.

Which I suspect, like Devin McCullen said, will be that Jack and Kate try out Faraday's H-Bomb plan and, in turn, are responsible for The Incident.

So I still feel like I'm in good hands. But all these theories got me thinking -- what do you think will happen in Season Six if Faraday's plan DOES work in the Season Five finale and the plane never crashes? A bunch of 815ers have to overcome their personal issues alone in LA? Two sets of survivors appear (the '04/reset 815ers in LA and the '77 815ers who, for some reason, don't disappear)? Or something else entirely? Any thoughts?

Jennifer said...

Maybe this time, it was Faraday's destiny to commit his theories to the journal so during this loop, he could deliver it, with these future theories to someone on the island who could actually put them to practice, altering the time stream?Dude, you're RIGHT. THAT is how Ellie knows everything that happens before Desmond gets shot (which Faraday wouldn't have known about).

Todd said...

Alan, I think the Lost writers are kind of having their cake and eating it too. Hawking's comment that she doesn't know what's going to happen indicates, I think, that the events of the first five seasons were about various players moving pieces into place to make sure they were all there for the events of what will be season six. They don't know what will happen then, but have faith that it will somehow turn out in the way they hope. It's an oddly beautiful and religious idea from a show that boasts as one of its main selling points a smoke monster.

Anonymous said...

Rose? Bernard?

Taleena said...

Farraday was wildly explaining to the Losties that the reason he changed his mind about the closed loop theory, was that he realized that free will was the variable which could change things. I think the only person who can change things is Desmond - everything else is caught in the loop.

I think that Desmond's the one who be able to change that closed loop and we are not seeing it yet. This is why we saw so much Desmond in the Farraday episode, even though it doesn't seem as if there was much connection to the Farraday 1970's events.

Roger said...

Faraday having the journal to record all of this this time around reminds me of The Dark Tower books...

I'm wondering how, even with the notebook, Daniel knew about when exactly the Swan incident occurs. It's not as if he was on the island in 1977 one time before. The only thing I can think of is he did some research on the history of the DI beforehand?

Tyroc said...

I assume Eloise gets the journal (thus she knows to give it to him in the future.) There she learns all about the island and knows some of the Oceanic Six went back (since Dan would write about it in his journal before he got on the sub.)

But when did Dan have time to fall in love with Charlotte? On the boat ride over? Was he still nutters at the time? When he arrived to the island it seemed he'd been normal for a while and had known Charlotte a while too. Hmmm...

Oh and I think he got the name Farraday by his mom, to make him feel linked to the 19th century physicist. So he would want to study it.

Chris said...

Dan's journal is going to be an interesting thread here. I'm surmising the hostiles end up with it in 1977 after Dan's death and it explains why modern Eloise, Widmore, Ben, Richard have been so prescient. To ensure its delivery is the reason Eloise and Widmore had to send Dan back to his death.

But now that the notebook has been delivered, the playing field is leveled and no one on the board knows what is going to happen next. Except Jacob I suppose.

Tyroc said...

And maybe Rose and Bernard dont bounce around time because they are each others constant? And therefore not "variables" in the time stream?

I dunno.

ripvanruben said...

I think Eloise ends up reading Daniel's journal and something in there that has yet to be revealed leads her to push Desmond into his destiny and leads her to spend the next 30 years perfecting his science to an end we have yet to see.

Adam said...

I believe that the "Others" are guardians of time... they believe that "Whatever Happened, Happened," and their mission is to make sure no one uses the island to change the past. Eloise is horribly conflicted... she knows that her son has to die, because its part of her past and can't be changed, but it is her son, and as much as she tries to deny it, she loves him. She sacrifices her son to the island, believing in her mission to keep things the same.

Widmore undoubtedly encouraged this course of action... although its apparent he may have made some changes to the timeline, or abused his power. His notion of sacrifice (a relationship with his daughter) is not nearly the same that Eloise has.

I believe that the 815ers will fail to change the past... but given the opportunity to return to Locke and the others in 2008/9, will be able to continue their forward journey with some new, valuable life lessons ingrained within them.

Bill said...

This is not directly related to anything we saw tonight, but it occurs to me that Richard Alpert's initials are RA. Could he be the Egyptian sun god, Ra?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra

jim treacher said...

Rose? Bernard?They're in Lost Limbo, taking care of Vincent.

David said...

regarding the keys, i had a similar reaction when ben stole the keys from his father (a janitor) for the prison cell. sure he may have to clean up in there but to have his own keys to the cell seemed ridiculous. lazy writing, imho.

belinda said...

As distracting as that whole ST Lost logo was, I did like seeing a copy of WIRED magazine in the episode.

Even though I appreciate them sticking to the closed time loop principal, I really, really, don't want Faraday to be dead, given he seems to be one of the few people who can understand and explain the whole time thing to the gang (and us). I hate death fake outs, but this is one of the times I hope Faraday would be alive, so we can see how the whole thing would go down in the next 2(? or 1? I thought there's 16 eps in a season) episodes. If indeed the next 4/6 hours are the crucial point that led to everything that has unfold, I'm expecting some HOLY CRAP moments next week.

But, back to Eloise. It makes me wonder what Eloise mean when she talked about Desmond being caught in the middle. Also, if Eloise (and by extension, Widmore) had lived half their lives knowing what will happen, what does it mean when she's announced she doesn't know anymore? (in knowing whether Desmond will make it or not) I do feel like this means, as they've shown in the Constant, that Desmond somehow is special. But why Desmond (and Penelope too, given her status as Desmond's constant AND Widmore's daughter?)

And, I wonder what Locke, Sun, and Ben are up to now. How does this all tie in? I'm still at a loss as to why Sun, Ben, Locke and the pilot dude didn't travel back in time when the others did.

Sean said...

Everyone on the show may just be a pawn in some large game that spans space and time, but I think what we will come to learn in Season 6 is that is was ALWAYS within the power of the chess pieces to break the cycle; the only way to end the game is to win it.

And that is what the Incident is going to end up being, the beginning of the final match that ends the game.

Badass Badlan said...

I am still a little unsure about the incident. For instance (heh), if Dharma released a giant pocket of electromagnetic energy that threatened the island (and possibly world), which they then covered in concerete and had to release that energy through a bleed valve (ala the numbers and button), why when the hatch was destroyed did the problem just go away. When Locke destroyed the computer and Desmond turned the failsafe key, what exactly did that do? It obviously released a massive amoutn of energy which destroyed the hatch and turned the sky purple. But ALL it did was destroy the hatch. It left a twenty foot crater in the ground. It didn't even KILL anyone! So where exactly was the danger. Is the energy all gone? I am confused about the ultimate solution to this energy pocket.
Still a great episode. ;)

Fernando said...

I'm not big on the Love Rectangle, but my favorite moment of the night might have been Juliet's reaction to Sawyer calling Kate "Freckles". There was just so much hurt in her eyes at the realization that Sawyer still cares deeply for Kate. Nothing over the top but still a great moment thanks to how Juliet played.

My friend and eye keep having the argument about whether Faraday is right or wrong about not being able to change the past, and how that affects the drama of the show. I personally think it would be great to have everyone fail at trying to change the future and in trying to change it actually end up reinforcing the future.

Scott J. said...

Could the fail-safe have set off a nuclear reaction or even Jughead itself, and Desmond turning that key did just what Daniel described in this episode? Perhaps Daniel, in fact, designed the fail-safe while working in Ann Arbor. But now Daniel wants (wanted) to make the purple-sky discharge happen in 1977 instead of 2004.

I can't see why there would be a loophole for that in the rules of time, though. I wasn't buying Daniel's spiel about variables, as he seemed to become desperate and irrational (understandably). Nor can I see how it would be the tragic cause of the very thing meant to be prevented that I assume is coming, so I'm probably way off base.

Carmichael Harold said...

Belinda,

I think Eloise told Penny that she no longer knows what will happen because her knowledge only extended to the moment that Farraday stopped writing in his journal.

Assuming that Daniel's journal is what Eloise used to know the future, I wonder if the journal she gave him was actually his already completed journal.

My last thought is that maybe little Charlie really is Widmore, and that the reason that he is so intent on having the events happen is to ensure his own birth. That's, admittedly, a bit of a stretch.

Ana Maria said...

...to Jennifer J: I live in Reynosa, Tamaulipas (Mexico), which is a border city with Hidalgo, TX, and for some weeks now we have been experiencing some problems with ABC; sometimes the sound will go off for about 5 to 10 seconds, and sometimes the images will begin to look as scrambled...and this, happening on wednesdays, makes me panic...

Nevada Smith said...

Why were they building the hatch already to contain the energy if the incident that caused the energy leak hadn't happened yet? Or Am I missing something

belinda said...

Thanks, Mr. Carmichael for the explanation! I didn't even stop to think that Eloise had Daniel's notebook, though that makes perfect sense since Eloise did give him the notebook.

I still think it's somewhat strange for Daniel to arrive at the conclusion that people are the variables. It's strange, because Desmond, a person was his constant. And Penny, also a person, was Desmond's constant. Which makes me think, who are the constants and the variables in LOST now?

MattB said...

I've really loved Jeremy Davies on this show so it stinks to see Faraday (presumably) die.

But I have to say, I'm really impressed that the writers managed to bring this episode back to the first flashback we ever saw of Daniel, the scene of him crying while watching the news coverage of flight 815.

As much as the writers get slammed for seeming like they are making things up as they go (or at least used to, since this golden period of Lost started with the end of S3 / beginning of S4), I thought it was really need to see that some of the plans for the character of Faraday went back this far - that there was a true cause and purpose to the scene of him so upset by the news coverage.

MattB said...

Although I do agree that when we first met Faraday and Charlotte, it seemed like they had known each other longer than just the trip on the freighter to the island, so I really hope that was indeed the case and we get to see more of how they fell in love - but it seems impossible and troublesome given he was shown to have severe memory problems right up to the beginning of the freighter incident.

BF said...

Rose and Bernard (and Vincent) surely became Other-ized, along with Cindy the Stewardess and the Tailie Twins. So they're in whatever or whenever Richard & the rest of the gang are.

Penny: these people STEAL CHILDREN!!! Letting Charlie out of your site in front of (former?) Other Ellie was dumb, dumb, DUMB!

I also loved Jack's line about "We're way past insane."

As annoying as future stain Radzinski is, I do like that he's a man of action. He was smart enough to realize LaFleur was lying about Phil's noises and knew instantly that an armed Faraday was up to no good.

Anonymous said...

What exactly was he doing in Ann Arbor? How did he find out Jack & Co. had come back? he showed Miles a copy of a newsletter or flier with a picture of Jack, Hurley, and Kate in that group photo of the new DI members when they came in "Namaste", which made him come back

MattB said...

BTW, was I the only one who was wondering during the shoot-out (which I thought was edited very cool) when the heck a surgeon like Jack became so proficient with a handgun?

He was shooting, reloading, aiming, and taking cover as if his last name was Bauer...

Anonymous said...

Great episode, if somewhat of a downer. I like Daniel, and would *love* for someone to actually succeed in changing the past.

Most amazing part for me was that Daniel wanted to change things by *detonating a thermonuclear device*.

Well, yeah, vaporizing the island would tend to alter its future a bit!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Daniel did in fact change some things. There was a line where he tells Jack that he did not have a scar on his neck (from being grazed by the bullet) when they met, which would mean he had not been shot in 1977, so he had changed what happened.

Did anyone else catch that line and what do you think the significance is?

ralberts said...

My question is, how did Daniel know that his mother would be there as an other? Did she ever tell him that?

Karen said...

Lots to think about in the comments, but one thing I don't know or can't remember: does the island get to choose who it heals and who it doesn't? I mean, Locke was dead, now isn't. Charlie, Nicki and Paolo for God's sake, Eko, others - dead, still dead (presumably). And now possibly Daniel. (And possibly Charlotte, but you never do know...) Was there some logical explanation to this at some point that I just missed.

The other thing that I wonder about: H-bomb - pretty damn powerful, yeah? So, like, if you detonate one on a small island, wouldn't that do really, really bad things to everything and everyone on the island...? So it would prevent the Incident, but meanwhile incinerate the people who are trying to prevent what already happened to them... in the future... on 815... sorry, must go away and take some aspirin...

Gary Gnu said...

I love Richard's character, or maybe I don't. Either he plays everything so cool and pretends not to remember Locke or Daniel and the conversations they had, or he really isn't a person and is the form taken by the island or Jacob or whoever and doesn't remember because he didn't know those things in the first place.

If Daniel met his mother first in 1954, then again in 1977, she really didn't look like she had aged 23 years. Unless 1954 Ellie was extremely young, like early teens, 1977 Ellie would have to have been early 40s. Certainly didn't look like she was that old though.

Bryan said...

There's been a few comments earlier about how terrible it would be if the whole show was just about stopping the plane crash - I agree. My feeling is last night's show does nothing but show Daniel is/was wrong about most everything. He knows some of the basic facts (the incident, Charlotte, etc) but he's completely clueless about the big picture so the things he said (Jack and the rest not having to come back, stopping the plane crash, etc) mean nothing - he's a completely unreliable narrator.

Side note - did anyone else notice the subtle fire that began to come back in Jack's eyes as he realized it was time to start leading again. Very well played I think.

Ke said...

There was a line where he tells Jack that he did not have a scar on his neck (from being grazed by the bullet) when they met, which would mean he had not been shot in 1977, so he had changed what happened.He was merely explaining to Jack that the bullet graze was in his present -- there's no reason he would have had a scar before from something that hadn't happened yet. Just like his death in 1977 doesn't affect him being alive in 2003, because 1977 is his present and 2003 is his past.

And, Gary Gnu, look at Richard -- the Others, while on the island, don't age normally

Anonymous said...

Somebody please help me with this, because I swear I'm losing my mind!! Twice in The Variable it was suggested that if "The Incident" was prevented, that Flight 815 would land safely in L.A., right?

If I remember the first episode correctly, which I have watched multiple times over the years, the pilot tells them that they had run into some problems and changed course (which they weren't able to communicate to anyone due to radio issues). So the way I understood it, they weren't going to land in Los Angeles regardless of the plane crashing or not.

Maybe this doesn't really matter in the overall story, but it pulled me out of the narrative twice because it seemed like such an obvious continuity error.

Stringer Sawyer Carmichael said...

Thought the episode was great.

My only question is just how long could Daniel and Charlotte have known each other that he would have such strong feelings for her?

Stephanie said...

Jennifer said: Another one who hated the logo switch here. Also, I thought I was watching the Tauntaun from Empire Strikes Back. I don't think I'm sold on the new Star Wa-er, Trek with that trailer at all.
****

Agreed- I mentioned to my husband that I was surprised to see they had filmed part of the new Star Trek on Hoth.

Is Daniel's notebook the book that Widmore bought at auction a while back?

Anonymous said...

If Daniel had succeeded in stopping the plane crash would Des and Penny still be apart? He still would have gone on his boat trip and crashed, but there would have been no way to find him - right? So confusing!
Also I think Jack wants to stop the plane crash, but Kate doesn't so she will probably screw something up on purpose.
One other thing - what if Daniel was already born in 1977 and Eloise had sent him away - we know Widmore left the island, maybe she sent Daniel away for safekeeping and later use. She sure doesn't seem like she loves him, he is just a pawn in her plan.

BF said...

If Daniel had succeeded in stopping the plane crash would Des and Penny still be apart?I choose to believe that The Incident caused the electromagnetic field around the island to go haywire, which is what caused Dez's boat to crash. If the Incident never occurs, Dez doesn't crash and continues sailing towards Penny.

ralberts, Daniel already knew about his mom because he met her when they time-skipped to the Jughead era.

Justin said...

On Daniel's age and such: It occurs to me that Daniel may have been born prior to 1977, living off the Island under the care of someone else much the way Penny did.

So it's possible that the incident where Eloise told him to stop playing the piano was just after she shot adult Daniel, and her having killed him was the incident that led her to make sure he utilized his potential.

It could also be the event that led her to leave the Island, as well.

The time travel thing is interesting. Logically, they can't stop the crash because without it, they never would have ended up in 1977 to begin with.

So it would depend on whether Daniel can do the Desmond trick of being able to perceive multiple timelines.

latenac said...

It's weird, the time travel stuff doesn't bother me. There was little of Jack and Kate and the episode focused on Daniel, who I like so that would normally be a good thing for a Lost episode and yet I was really disappointed. I feel like questions are being answered without actually answering them.

I think Hurley hit the nail on the head with the Fonzie Time comment. Not that I won't stick it out until the end.

Rick said...

Alex Kingston did it better.



...and I didn't like it then, either.

Loren said...

(*) How old is Faraday supposed to be? The Eloise who shot him in 1977 looked to be roughly the same age as the Eloise who made him give up his piano playing, and young Dan seemed like a kid who'd always lived on the mainland.To add to the confusion, Desmond met Faraday at Oxford in 1996, where Faraday appeared to already be on staff, and not a student.

Jay said...

I am glad I wasn't the only one to hate what they did to the LOST opening.

Chicken Pizza? said...

RE: "letting the "Lost" logo morph into the star field for an extended "Star Trek" promo really ticked me off."

"Synergy, Lemon...it's bigger than both of us" -Jack Donaghy

Anonymous said...

Based on what we know about the Island’s ability to heal people, is it possible that Faraday (who is likely dead at the end of “The Variable”) gets resurrected by the island? If so, then my money is on Faraday = Jacob. We have no evidence so far of Jacob existing in any of the timelines before Faraday is shot. We only see/hear him after the crashes of 815 and Ajira.

Alan Sepinwall said...

As annoying as future stain Radzinski is,

BF, can I please appropriate the phrase "future stain" whenever describing Radzinsky? It's perfect, in part because he seems very much a stain even in the present circumstances.

Alan Sepinwall said...

We have no evidence so far of Jacob existing in any of the timelines before Faraday is shot. We only see/hear him after the crashes of 815 and Ajira.

No, Locke mentions Jacob to Richard in 1954, and Richard knows who that is and is surprised to hear that Locke knows.

Anonymous said...

Some notes for the "all wise" Sawyer...

-When holding a person captive in your house ALWAYS lock your front door. That way when Radinsky knocks you can step out on the porch to have your conversation.

-When in a group setting with your current and former girlfriend, never call your former squeeze by your old pet nickname for her.

-When it became obvious that Faraday, Jack, and Kate were going despite your protests, you should help them get started. Not to help them, but to keep your own groups cover a little while longer. You could have got guns and a vehicle for them which would have allowed you more time to pack for the beach.

Bryan said...

BTW - I wonder what's the significance that none of the Dharma houses have peep holes in the doors? More psycholgical testing? Dharma people like surprises?

Peter D Bakija said...

Someone wrote:
>>This episode just left me feeling depressed because I don't want to believe that Daniel's destiny was to be shot by his mother.>>

I think everyone should have more faith in the writers at this point (yes, it's true, TV has let us all down in the past at some point, but still...) and not assume that Daniel's ultimate destiny was to be shot in the back. Daniel being there will very likely have far greater implications for everyone.

As noted above, The Journal. We don't know exactly what is in The Journal, but it certainly can operate, at least on some level, as a map of the future. Who ultimately ends up with it and what they do with it remains to be seen.

We know Daniel has a plan to stop The Incident. It seems likely that Jack and friends want to try this plan (although you'd think by now they'd realize that they can't change the past. And all their attempts to do so were just the past in the first place). Which might set of The Incident in the first place. Or something like that.

Andrew said...

Maybe Daniel did in fact change some things. There was a line where he tells Jack that he did not have a scar on his neck (from being grazed by the bullet) when they met, which would mean he had not been shot in 1977, so he had changed what happened.Not exactly. Daniel and Jack's timelines ran normally from the time they were born until 2004 (for Daniel) and 2007 (for Jack) when they went back in time 30 years. Their past (1977) is also their future. They can de in the "past" because it's new to them.

I'm with the group speculating that Ellie no longer knows the future after she sends Jack et al back to the island because she knows everyones' role up to that point from the diary.

Whatever Jack and Kate try to do to prevent the incident is instead going to ensure that the incident happens (but will end up unsticking them in time again and sending them back to the same time as Locke and Sun.)

Rx said...

One wishes there is a larger payoff to Faraday's death. Eloise could have chosen to abort her pregnancy. But, if her moral program didn't allow for that? So, she gives birth to him knowing she will murder him at a future point. If this is all there is to the scope of his life, it does seem so pointless and wasteful. Well, there is his journal...

SteveW said...

Daniel waltzing into the Other's camp waving a gun pissed me off. It was wrong on EVERY LEVEL.

1) It was OUT OF CHARACTER. Daniel is a "twitchy scientist". He's not a gun-toter; which was shown and somewhat ok, when he first got the gun at the locker. I thought for SURE he was going to refuse to take the gun when he walked into the camp.

2) he can NOT defend himself in a camp full of guns.

3) If he walked in UNARMED, as Kate and Sawyer did A WEEK AGO when bringing in Benjamin, it would have show he was NO THREAT.

I can't believe how angry I am a this utterly wrong, wrong, wrong decision by the writers. I understand they needed him to be shot, but it could have been done in so many other ways.

Meh.

Anonymous said...

I took Farraday's mother pushing him to be a great scientist as her trying to develop him into someone who could change the past.

Anonymous said...

Why is Richard always holding a coffee cup in his hand?

Ke said...

caffeine keeps you young?

the2scoops said...

Oh Daniel, walking into Other camp waving a gun around? Man, that's the type of planning you see on Heroes. That was a Mohinder or Nathan plan if I ever saw one, with predictable results.

But otherwise, an enjoyable episode with a terrific performance from Jeremy Davies.

Bryan said...

point taken about Daniel and the gun waving - but in his (and the writers) defense the last time he was with the Others he was captured by gunpoint and as far as he knows the only thing that saved his life was a time shift.

sandra said...

I can't remember Richard having a coffee cup before, what episode(s) was that in?

I think Richard sort of remembered Daniel, but come on! It was 20 years ago and he only saw him for a few minutes, and considering the fact that he's very, very old, I can see him not having the best memory of who he has meet, especially since he’s probably met a whole bunch of people.

I really like Richard, he is the only Other that makes them look good. This is a problem I had for a long time. Ethan murdered Steve/Scott, and tried to kill Charlie, Goodwin broke that one guy’s neck and Tom kidnapped Walt, shot Sawyer and blew up the raft, possibly letting Sawyer, Michael and Jin to drown. And yet we are supposed to believe these are the “good guys.” But Richard, despite participating in the Purge and killing some US Soldiers, seems pretty nice and good. He was upset that Elle killed Daniel; despite the fact the he just had a gun on him.

Jordan said...

I think Richard is the most intriguing character on Lost. I felt that it was not a matter of Richard not remembering Dan or lying about it, but trying to figure out when in Dan's time traveling he is and what he knows. That is to say on Dan's timeline, which is/was jumping all over the place, has he jumped to the 50s yet? If he jumped first to 1977, then 1954, they would have met on Richard's timeline, but not Dan's.

Two more quick thoughts:

That wig is like punk rock.

The only nitpick I have with this episode was when Jack shot the fuel tanks. I've seen Mythbusters. I know what won't happen.

Scott said...

Remember Charlotte showing Daniel those flashcards last season and we were wondering what the hell that was all about? Looks like she must have been testing his memory to see if actually got better once they were on the island.

Also -- didn't Daniel have a gun when he first arrived on the island in the helicopter? I don't remember him beings as clumsy with it back then.

BF said...

can I please appropriate the phrase "future stain"?Consider it appropriated.

PS for anyone who watched it live: "What did you see?"

PPS: Mike Judge has a new cartoon?!? Is it any Goode?

Adam said...

Is it possible that Daniel knows his destiny is to get shot, and this is a knowing act of self-sacrifice to set the events in motion which might still prevent the Incident (or force its occurrence, whichever would save Charlotte)?

Perhaps he know the Incident was inevitable either way, but that only by invading the Hostiles camp would he provoke the response that led Charlotte onto the sub that day.

Captain Carlos said...

Daniel's mom is a bitch. Damn.

BF said...

We have no evidence so far of Jacob existing in any of the timelines before Faraday is shot.Jacob was with Locke down in the Donkey Wheel cave. And given that the well hadn't been dug yet, that would be WAY before anything else we've seen (excepting the Temple & Statue.)

Tortoise from Jupiter said...

When Ben sees the photograph of Hurley and the others from the 1977 Dharma picture, he's confused.

Is it possible he doesn't remember them because in his timeline, they weren't actually there?

Perhaps the "variable" Farraday meant was that the Oceanic Six were never actually in the original timeline. Perhaps this is why Eloise was so intent on sending them there. Maybe this isn't "supposed" to happen. Maybe they DO change the timeline, because in the real timeline, the six were never there to begin with?

On the other hand, if they did end up succeeding at this, I can't imagine what the final season would be. If this were going down towards the SERIES finale, I'd be more willing to believe it were likely.

I'm going to theorize that is in fact POSSIBLE to change the past, but they will be stopped, perhaps by John Locke, who would quite obviously be utterly opposed to anything preventing him from crashing on the island. How John Locke would do that, I have no idea.

I really enjoyed this episode, and I'm excited about the finale. I've been rather ambivalent about the season as a whole, and I'm pretty skeptical about time travel plots, but they might be able to pull this off in a really exciting way.

Stephanie said...

I assumed that Daniel had the gun because he figured that there was no way the Others were going to allow him to detonate that bomb unless it was by force. I don't think he was counting on his mother going along with it.

I'm bummed he's dead. My interest in Lost really piqued when he and the rest of the crew on the freighter landed on the island. I suppose we might get to see him again in flashbacks, but it won't be the same.

I'm even sadder that Radzinsky won't get killed anytime soon. Maybe we'll get to see Sawyer beat him up.

I, too, was worried that the nurse was going to do something with Charlie, though so far no one seems to think Desmond is important anymore. He hasn't been mentioned by anyone else as being integral to what's happening on the island now.

It looks like things are about to get pretty crazy. I'm looking forward to next week.

fgmerchant said...

Faraday always annoyed me, I didn't like the character one bit. Plus, why did Faraday have to say "I'm just making sure your father does what he's supposed to do...(Miles says: what's that)... you'll see". I hate it when characters don't just tell people what is going on!!! "You'll see" is the most annoying thing I've heard, and I hear it on a weekly basis with Heroes and Lost!!!!

Lane said...

I don't think he's necessarily dead. We see him talk to his mother in the last scene after she shot him, but he doesn't close his eyes, stop breathing, pass out, slip away, or do any other cliche that would let the audience know he's gone.

We know Richard/The Others has some sort of healing capability, thus why Juliet suggested they take young shot Ben to them.

Peter D Bakija said...

Tortise from Jupiter wrote:
>>Is it possible he doesn't remember them because in his timeline, they weren't actually there?>>

Unlikely--he doesn't remember them 'cause he went off to the Others, loses a chunk of memory (likely the chunk of memory uptill and around him getting shot), and by the time little Ben gets back to the Initiative, the Losties will be gone (back to the future or something).

Anonymous said...

Hey, did anyone else notice that when Faraday was shot he looked down and noticed a patch of blood over his stomach? Wouldn't this mean that the bullet passed through him and would've hit Richard? I guess he doesn't age, die, or even show signs of being injured.

Adam said...

When Ben sees the photograph of Hurley and the others from the 1977 Dharma picture, he's confused. Is it possible he doesn't remember them because in his timeline, they weren't actually there? I'd assume that before Ben returns from Hostile Village, the Oceanic group will have left Dharmaville.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I also want to commend everybody for suggesting Dan's journal as the reason not only for his grand destiny, but for Ms. Hawking's comment to Penny that she no longer knows the future. That fits nicely, and makes his death seem less random. It's incredibly tragic either way, but I want Dan to have accomplished more, even if it's posthumously.

Steve said...

I wonder if there is more to the fact that both Faraday and Desmond, each other's constant, were dealing with gunshot wounds at the same time (although in different years) than just cute parallelism.

If so, is the connection that they both had gunshot wounds, or that as one recovered from the gunshot wound, the other died from it.

jim treacher said...

Daniel waltzing into the Other's camp waving a gun pissed me off. It was wrong on EVERY LEVEL.


Why, how did he handle it the last time he went back 30 years to infiltrate the Dharma Initiative and try to hijack a hydrogen bomb from a mysterious group of gun-toting "Others" to change the past and completely alter the fabric of spacetime?

Special circumstances sometimes call for special measures. "Characterization" doesn't mean "The character never does things I myself wouldn't do." I don't really get how being a crazy scientist means you can't hold a gun. The "crazy" part might actually help him out there, don't you think?

Does Richard always have a cup of coffee? Weird. Also, doesn't he have a change of clothes? Has he really been wearing the same outfit since 1954? Except when he had the long hair (wig?) and stuff, of course.

Robin said...

You can find a list of all the outstanding mysteries on Lost here - http://www.thetvcritic.org/lost-mysteries-list/ - it's pretty interesting

Mamba's Messenger said...

Alan

I haven't seen a single person mention the fact that Eloise Hawking's eye color keeps changing. When we see her in the church/lamp post in an earlier episode, her eyes are a very dark brown or black. In the beginning of "The Variable" when she sees Daniel at Oxford, her eyes are an extremely bright blue. Throughout the rest of the episode, they are a very light green. Does Ms. Hawking simply love the invention of colored contact lenses? Or is there something more going on here?

7s Tim said...

Waiving a gun around in a village full of people known as "hostiles" to most people is a very bad idea. but then again, i thought that at least some of his intent was to do harm to his mother. she's the one that pushed him to go, to be a scientist, to pretty much screw up a bunch of things. Some mommy issues could explain the gun.

and would anyone agree that cry baby dan was possible a little unstuck in time mentally, and was crying not just because he had failed to prevent the crash (as a previous poster said), but also because he now saw the sad road ahead of him that led to his mommy dearest shooting him in te back. like a coward.

Norm N. Conquest said...

1) Those weren't scenes from Star Trek OR Star Wars. They were scenes from the Galaxy Quest prequel. How they managed to not rip off young Taggart's shirt, I'll never know.

2) Hurley's guitar reappears, but we've yet to see him play it, let alone explain it. It's almost like there's someone waiting to collect it when Hurley gets back to 2007 or whenever the "present" time is at this point.

3) Isn't one-eyed Mikhail overdue for a return appearance?

4) Could they overpromote JJ and Dominic Monaghan's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel any more shamelessly?

Jordan said...

To further draw out Richard, I think he said Daniel wasn't going to shoot him, because in 1954 Locke told him he was around in 2004. Of course, this assumes he can die.

Fred Flint said...

If you haven't seen last year's Comicon Lost video (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo6Q7gzUjI8 ), I recommend that you check it out. It definitely raises some questions regarding last night's episode. I don't think this constitutes a spoiler, but I'll just post the link instead of discussing the substance in case anyone disagrees.

SteveW said...

jim treacher:

My point was, Faraday is a logical person. He's not a hot-head who reaches for a gun to solve everything. "Special circumstances", to me, means in this instance to be EXTRA cautious, not do something so obviously unhinged.

He should have walked into the camp with his hands over his head and asked to see mommy.

Lana said...

Anyone notice that young Charlotte says "I'm not supposed to have chocolate before dinner" just as old Charlotte right before she dies. Does that mean that old Charlotte was flashing back to meeting Daniel that is how she was able to tell him he is/was the old man that told her not to return to the island.

Jay said...

Maybe I'm being paranoid - but did anyone else get the chills when Penny left baby Charlie with the nurses?

It was something about that line: "This nurse will watch your son." that makes me think either Ben's Widmore's men took Charlie to get Desmond back to the island.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, Faraday's death just doesn't sit right. He doesn't even get to deal with his daddy issue, not that he even knew he had one, but still...Even Miles (sniveling little turd, wholly unlikeable) seems to be heading towards a moment with dad. Davies probably got a plumb film role and had to exit. The guy is riveting, and, for me, besides Michael Emerson, there isn't another riveting actor in the Lost cast. Good ones, but not riveting.

Anonymous said...

Dead is Dead. Ergo, we will see Daniel again - alive, but perhaps more enlightened regarding the true nature of the Island.

Hated the ST product placement in the LOST logo, although the film looks interesting.

Wouldn't it be cool if Chris Pine's last name had a "K" in it instead of an "N"?

Puff

Anonymous said...

OK. I have read everyone's comments (it took me all morning), but I finally get to say something! I've earned this!

First off, I was thrilled to be getting backstory on Farraday. Aside from Ben, he has easily been the most interesting and consistently fascinating addition to the cast. Jeremy Davies has knocked this role out of the park consistently and thuroughly.

That said, I am super pissed that it looks like they have killed him off! Why do they do this to my favorite characters? First Eko and now this? Interesting to notice that they have added two groups to the Losties in the course of the series, the Tailies and the Freighter People, and all them seem to be fated to die (aside from Miles, and time will tell on him, and Bernard, who is trapped in the limbo realm of "whocares").

I'm glad they finally gave a character Mommy Issues, too. Too much Daddy Drama on that island...

I have been talking this morning with co-workers about the notion of changing things. If they did manage to stop the crash, who would benefit? If the plane had made it to LA, Kate would probably be serving 20 years, Sawyer would still be a self-hatig con man, Locke would be wheelchair bound and alone, HUrley would still be cursed, Jin and Sun would still be together, but Sun would hate him and they would have no child, Rose would be dead or at least still have cancer, Desmond would still be pushing the button, Ben would have back cancer and Juliet would still be trapped as an "Other."

On the other hand, all those dead people would be alive (presumably), but of the Losties on the island only Jack, Sayid (who we can assume would have reconnected with Nadiya and lived happily ever after) and Lapidus would definitely be better off. Maybe Miles.

So is it wise to try to reset history?

Anonymous said...

If Daniel wanted to stop the "Incident" why does he go back to the island only one day before it happens? He has been in Ann Arbor for 3 years. Why not come back to the island sooner and give himself more than a few hours to change the past?

Not to smart Daniel.

KB said...

I thought one of the key lines of this episode was Daniel telling Widmore he had successfully tested the machine on himself before his girlfriend/lab partner. Not only did he believe it was safe, he wanted his girl to experience what he had experienced. What was it?

Also, Lana hits on very key point: Charlotte was unstuck in time just before she died. Her mind leaped back to the conversation with Daniel when she was a girl. And I suspect memory-impaired Daniel’s mind has also bounced around in time more than we have been shown.
Maybe during the successful experiment at Oxford Dan’s consciousness had leaped in time… to when? And did that event impact another period of his life in some way? My guess is that his mind leaped *forward* to the 1970s when he was working with Dharma in Ann Arbor. Crying-at-the-TV-era Daniel forgets what happens when his mind leaped into the 1970s but Dharma-era Daniel working in Ann Arbor is affected by this leap and it leads him believe that the past can be changed, which ultimately leads him to do the opposite and complete the closed loop.

Perhaps this is just wishful thinking, but I suspect we may get an episode called “The Equation” in season 6 with Mr. Davies guest starring, which deals with the missing pieces of Daniel’s successful experiment at Oxford and his time in Ann Arbor.

I agree with most of the comments here about the importance of the notebook, and that Jack and company will cause the incident by trying to prevent it. Also, I’ve said this on here before, but if you want to understand why Daniel is crying at the TV then you should read Slaughter-House 5.

Toby O'B said...

With this episode, I see Eloise Hawking to be like John Connor in 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles': once John has assumed his leadership position now that he's in the future and put all the pieces into play that gets him to that moment - sending Kyle and Derek back in Time, turning the Allison bot into the Cameron bot and sending it back - he will have closed that loop in his life and the rest of his future will be an unknown quantity. And that's how Eloise found herself when talking to Penny; she no longer had any clue how things would play out.

BF said...

If Daniel wanted to stop the "Incident" why does he go back to the island only one day before it happens? I think part of his reason for stopping "The Incident" is because he saw Jack, Hurley, & Kate in the Namaste photo and realized they had come back (and had the potential to be Variables). As soon as he saw the photo, he comandeered the sub (remember, there wasn't a regurlaly scheduled trip for another 6 months) and started on his quest.

BF said...

He couldn't give himself an extra few minutes/days/months/years (like Marty McFly in BTTF I) ... unless he turns the donkey wheel again.

AndyW said...

I have no Faraday thoughts that haven't been covered, but the ST preview really reminded me of the godawful "There's always a bigger fish" scene from Phantom Menace.

Bummer - although I'm predisposed to dislike this prequel, the other previews were kinda kick-ass.

Scott J. said...

Fred Flint said...

If you haven't seen last year's Comicon Lost video (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo6Q7gzUjI8 ), I recommend that you check it out. It definitely raises some questions regarding last night's episode. I don't think this constitutes a spoiler, but I'll just post the link instead of discussing the substance in case anyone disagrees.


Note that in an interview for Lostpedia ( http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/The_Lostpedia_Interview:Carlton_Cuse_%26_Damon_Lindelof ) Lindelof refers to the video as "sort of partially canon but more promotional". It sounds like they put it together before they had the end of the season mapped out and are warning people not to read too much into it.

Justin said...

"If Daniel met his mother first in 1954, then again in 1977, she really didn't look like she had aged 23 years. Unless 1954 Ellie was extremely young, like early teens, 1977 Ellie would have to have been early 40s. Certainly didn't look like she was that old though."

If Ellie was the same age as Widmore in 1954,making her 17 then, she'd be 40 in 1977.

The actress playing Young Ellie was 18, the actress playing the 1977 version is 38, so the ages are close enough. And the actress playing old Ellie is 67. So pretty much age appropriate all around.

Anonymous said...

I saw a sneak preview of Star Trek last weekend. It's really, really good. Even though it totally resets Star Trek and erases everything up until this point, damn if it wasn't a lot of fun. Good characters, too. Can't wait to see it again on IMAX hopefully.

Anonymous said...

Why did Daniel bring a gun into the camp and wave it around and start shooting like a crazy person? What did he think would happen?

Anonymous said...

I;m so confused. Didn't Alex's death prove you could change things? So why would they be stuck on the whatever happened, happened rule? Besides that I really like that rule because it brings something new to the sci-fi time travel table. The whole "variable" idea seems like such an easy one... like wouldn't Daniel have factored in human interference into his equations with altering the past?

Anonymous said...

I like how Juliet said "we're done here" or whatever, seemingly refering to their time with the others, but under the surface refering to Sawyer and her perfect little life together now that Kate was back. I wish we had another episode or two with them together as a couple during that three years to make the love quadrangle even more painful in its outcome.

CJ said...

I can sort of be convinced about why Daniel might walk into the Others' camp with the gun, but what I cannot accept is his not listening to what Richard, of all people, asks him to do (put down the gun). I mean, here Daniel is, face to face with (what appears to be) THE most important Other, who is ready to negotiate. Why doesn't Daniel comply?

Carmichael Harold said...

CJ,

I think there's a chance that Daniel wanted to get shot. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I think it may be part of whatever plan he has hatched.

Charles Purvis said...

2) Hurley's guitar reappears, but we've yet to see him play it, let alone explain it.I've been assuming the guitar case is full of food. Hurley's no idiot, and I'm sure he was not looking forward to another few weeks of scrounging for food.

Brendan said...

I had always just assumed that the guitar had belonged to Charlie & that it was another piece they used to bring something for another person from flight 815 onto the flight.

Juanita's Journal said...

This was a pretty good episode, but why were Desmond and Penny in it? I get the feeling their presence was used as an excuse to show Eloise and Widmore in 2007.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder if the reason Hurley decided to return to the island is that in one of Charlie Pace's "visits" to Hurley, he asked Hurley to go back to the island and bring Charlie's guitar with him.

Maybe Hurley thinks he'll actually get to see Charlie again?

Anonymous said...

Fantastic episode, but I'm super-annoyed at Faraday's death. If the Lost producers gave me the option to have some sort of guarantee character for "no-death status" then I would unhesitatingly pick Faraday (Desmond second).

It all seems to confirm the closed-loop theory to a tee though, with the caveat that it still seems that Desmond is special and has the ability to affect the time-loop, as Faraday himself said in the earlier episode. Hopefully he'll go back somehow and save Daniel.

I am also sort of disappointed, like you, with the fact that it doesn't seem clear why Eloise pushed him so hard. Her so ruthlessly emphasizing science suggests that his journal is somehow important to those Others in 77, but I don't know how she thinks that it would be so important that it's worth the cost involved (her killing him).

Lots of good one-liners as many mentioned, but I'm surprised no one mentioned Miles' off hand quip of thinking Daniel had been off "inventing the DVD player". I'm also hopeful that if Daniel is indeed dead we will see him at least a couple times in the future - we never found out what he was up to in Ann Arbor, as somebody else pointed out.

Dean said...

Re: the constant query over where Rose and Bernard are. Doesn't it seem fairly obvious that they were the skeletal couple found in the cave during Season 1? I assume that they ran for the cave after the "Attack of the Flaming Arrows" and lived (fairly) happily ever after - passing away beside each other.

On the other hand, obvious stuff on LOST is usually a trick to intentionally mislead the viewer :)

Peter D Bakija said...

Someone wrote:
>>I;m so confused. Didn't Alex's death prove you could change things? So why would they be stuck on the whatever happened, happened rule?>>

How would Alex getting shot in the head in the "present" prove that you could change the past?

All indications are that you can't change the past. What happened happened. Daniel always got shot by his mother in 1977 (see: Daniel's journal that says "remember, regardless of what happens, I will always love you" signed "your mom who shoots you in the back 25 years ago"). The Losties, from the future, are in the past, trying to change the future. And yet, all their actions to try and change the future from the past are exactly what causes the future in the first place (see: Jack refuses to help little Ben, so he'll die and not be there in the future. Which is specifically why Ben goes to the Others, gets saved, becomes an Other, and is who he is).

If we follow this logic (which we have no reason not to), simply by trying to prevent The Incident, the Losties from the future will cause it to happen.

jack said...

Always love reading your reviews.

Something came to me during last night wonderful episode. Of all the characters on Lost I believe that only Dan & Danielle share the same name. Is this something that is more than a coincidence?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Jack, that's not right. There are also as many as three Charlies: Charlie Pace, Charles Widmore, and baby Charlie Hume.

(Some people have speculated that, through time travel, baby Charlie will somehow wind up becoming either Widmore or Pace.)

gina said...

I just wanted to add to the chorus of people thanking everyone for their insights to this week's episode, particularly the stuff about Daniel's journal. The idea that Daniel's mother (and the Others) had his journal and all of the information it contained for 30 years before the plane crash never occurred to me, even as I wondered why in the world a mother would give her son a plain old journal when he's graduating as the youngest ever PhD at Oxford, lol.

I also like the idea (and apologies, but I can't recall who said it) that Daniel was already born when his mother shot him but was living off Island. Probably with someone whose last name is Faraday.

Dead or not, I really don't think this is the last we'll see of Daniel.

Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful comments and to you, Alan, for your great reviews. Coming here and reading everything always helps me to process the episode. :)

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"I also like the idea (and apologies, but I can't recall who said it) that Daniel was already born when his mother shot him but was living off Island. Probably with someone whose last name is Faraday."

We know Charles Widmore had an off-island life and family. If Eloise did as well, that would help explain Daniel's age and last name.

7s Tim said...

Addressing the issue of Lil Baby Charlie becoming his own grandfather Widmore: One would have to assume that Old Widmore knows some of this, in some way. Obviously Penny wouldn't be his biological daughter. Assume he knows he's raising his own mother, and possibly that desmond is his father, Lil Charlie would have to become pretty sadistic, or have more mommy/daddy issues than four islands of Losties combined, to behave the way he has to each of them. A distant, controlling father to Penny. The world's most annoying *male chicken*-block to Des. I don't see that as likely, or even quite feasible. Now, it's more likely he's a young Charlie Pace, even though the possibilities of that are slim. Why Des and Penny, of all people, would put their son anywhere near the possibility of some time travel situation (be it a doo-hicky, or an Ajira flight), just would be radically out of character. I can't remember enough about Hobbit Charlie's past to find any real impediments, whereas the Widmore possibility sounds more like something Hero's would attempt (and lamely fail at).

jim treacher said...

My point was, Faraday is a logical person. He's not a hot-head who reaches for a gun to solve everything.He didn't reach for it to solve everything. He reached for it to solve this specific problem. Was he supposed to walk into their camp with a chalkboard and bore them all into submission? Desperate times, desperate measures, etc.

Anonymous said...

From Jan:

I thought in the scene where Daniel asks his mother if doing what she wants him to will make her proud of him, and she says that it would, so he says he'll do it, Ellie's facial expressions were most interesting. I even rewound it to make sure. She starts out smiling, and then she becomes almost sad before smiling again. It was really pretty subtle, but I wondered how much she knew about what would happen later because of the change in expression. It was mostly in her eyes. Did anyone else notice that?

Anonymous said...

My point was, Faraday is a logical person. He's not a hot-head who reaches for a gun to solve everything. "Special circumstances", to me, means in this instance to be EXTRA cautious, not do something so obviously unhinged.
Last time Faraday met the others half of his people got killed by flaming arrows and he and his friends were held at gun point. Why wouldn't he walk into that camp armed? He has every reason to.

He should have walked into the camp with his hands over his head and asked to see mommy.Except that Faraday is a physicist not a negotiator. He looked at the situation through the prism of his previous experience with the others and reacted accordingly.

Anonymous said...

"BTW, was I the only one who was wondering during the shoot-out (which I thought was edited very cool) when the heck a surgeon like Jack became so proficient with a handgun? He was shooting, reloading, aiming, and taking cover as if his last name was Bauer..."

One of the earliest plotlines in season 1 of Lost was Jack, Sawyer, and Kate struggling for control of all the guns they had with them. Remember the law enforcement dude's briefcase and all? Jack's been using guns for awhile now on the island. That said, it HAS been awhile since he's had to shoot much, so it was pretty impressive to see him so sure of himself at the gunfight at the motor pool. That said, when the other dude there shooting for the main characters is Faraday... it's hard not to look good in comparison.

"Maybe Daniel did in fact change some things. There was a line where he tells Jack that he did not have a scar on his neck (from being grazed by the bullet) when they met, which would mean he had not been shot in 1977, so he had changed what happened."

At least two people have already addressed how the past can be someone's present in response to the above quote, but I just have to ask--isn't anyone else surprised that this keeps confusing Hurley, Jack, Kate, and various commenters on this blog? ... unless you're Desmond skipping around through time inside your own brain, if you time travel, you still have a personal PRESENT, and a personal past and future. Even if your past (pre-coming-to-the-island) is say.. 1984-2004, your present is 1973-1977 back at Dharmaville, and... let's say you stay in the past when all the other Losties go back to the present, thus making your future... 1977-your death in... say, 1980, due to pissing off the Others or the Dharmites. Meaning you would technically die before you were born, but that doesn't mean it prevents your birth. I mean... jeez.

Causality can be tricky, but on a person by person basis, it's usually pretty straightforward. It's figuring out how multiple, multiple persons with different personal timelines, different time travel at different points, and all of the actions and reactions that go on contribute to say... the fate of the island... that's truly tough.

"Lots to think about in the comments, but one thing I don't know or can't remember: does the island get to choose who it heals and who it doesn't? I mean, Locke was dead, now isn't. Charlie, Nicki and Paolo for God's sake, Eko, others - dead, still dead (presumably). And now possibly Daniel. (And possibly Charlotte, but you never do know...) Was there some logical explanation to this at some point that I just missed."

It's already been said (by Ben, but still) that the island doesn't really resurrect people. You forgot Boone and Shannon, BTW. What do all of the people you listed + the two I just did have in common? They all stayed dead. Except one: Locke. Who only is alive because of the second plane to have a weird experience over our little island, it's not like he was on the island the whole time and then magically came back to life.

As Ben said, dead is dead. You don't come back from dead. The island either made an exception for Locke, or else it was him filling the Christian Shepherd role that brought him back to life somehow.

This is assuming, of course, that Christian himself isn't alive (which I don't believe he is, he's just... the island).

"The other thing that I wonder about: H-bomb - pretty damn powerful, yeah? So, like, if you detonate one on a small island, wouldn't that do really, really bad things to everything and everyone on the island...? So it would prevent the Incident, but meanwhile incinerate the people who are trying to prevent what already happened to them... in the future... on 815... sorry, must go away and take some aspirin..."

Not going to do as much bad stuff to the people on the surface if it's detonated underground, which is what I believe Dan was planning, seeing as how all the "energy" that makes weird stuff, such as time travel, possible... is trapped underground on the island as well.

Don't confuse atomic bombs detonating above cities in WWII with underground fission or fusion bombs going off. Very different results. Keep in mind that plenty of underground explosions have been done by the US government (and others) without anywhere near as much bad stuff happening as all the above ground testing.

Oh, and underwater testing has its own problems (they contaminated an entire atoll and like 60 out-of-service Navy ships by blasting one off underwater)... radiation and water go together even better than radiation and air do, as playing Fallout 3 can remind you if you forget for some reason.

Anonymous said...

"Somebody please help me with this, because I swear I'm losing my mind!! Twice in The Variable it was suggested that if "The Incident" was prevented, that Flight 815 would land safely in L.A., right? If I remember the first episode correctly, which I have watched multiple times over the years, the pilot tells them that they had run into some problems and changed course (which they weren't able to communicate to anyone due to radio issues). So the way I understood it, they weren't going to land in Los Angeles regardless of the plane crashing or not. Maybe this doesn't really matter in the overall story, but it pulled me out of the narrative twice because it seemed like such an obvious continuity error."

The only reason they "ran into problems" was Desmond's failure to get back to the Swan station in time to either input the numbers or turn the failsafe key, when he had his little fight with Kurgan from Highlander... (cough)... I mean, Clancy Brown.

"BTW - I wonder what's the significance that none of the Dharma houses have peep holes in the doors? More psycholgical testing? Dharma people like surprises?"

Hah! I noticed that, too. I was all "why not look to see who's there... what? No peep hole? Jeeeez..."

"Whatever Jack and Kate try to do to prevent the incident is instead going to ensure that the incident happens (but will end up unsticking them in time again and sending them back to the same time as Locke and Sun.)"

But then... Locke has nothing to do with it, and he was just spouting BS to Sun, which kinda blows. I hope there's more to it than that....

hm.

"I really like Richard, he is the only Other that makes them look good. This is a problem I had for a long time. Ethan murdered Steve/Scott, and tried to kill Charlie, Goodwin broke that one guy’s neck and Tom kidnapped Walt, shot Sawyer and blew up the raft, possibly letting Sawyer, Michael and Jin to drown. And yet we are supposed to believe these are the “good guys.” But Richard, despite participating in the Purge and killing some US Soldiers, seems pretty nice and good. He was upset that Elle killed Daniel; despite the fact the he just had a gun on him."

Not that's she's an "OG Other," but Juliet's in the "Others that make the Other camp look good" group, too, IMO.... And if you like Locke, well... he's one too, now. So it's really not just Richard...

"I'm going to theorize that is in fact POSSIBLE to change the past, but they will be stopped, perhaps by John Locke, who would quite obviously be utterly opposed to anything preventing him from crashing on the island. How John Locke would do that, I have no idea."

Now that is an AWESOME idea that totally fixes what I just remarked on up there about Locke's BS to Sun if he doesn't do anything to bring the 70s folk back to the 00s. I hope you're right and Locke meddles again like he did with the sub, the satellite dish station, the radio tower/freighter folk, and so on and so forth. Who cares how he does it along as he DOES it, eh?

MEDDLE, LOCKE, MEDDLE!

"I wonder if there is more to the fact that both Faraday and Desmond, each other's constant, were dealing with gunshot wounds at the same time (although in different years) than just cute parallelism."

Faraday is not Desmond's constant, Penny is Desmond's constant, as you should remember from the great season 4 episode, "The Constant." o_O

Faraday is dependent upon Desmond for stability when he's time tripping. Desmond is dependent upon Penny for stability when HE's time tripping. Desmond is not dependent upon Faraday. Yours is the second comment to make that mistaken assumption for this past week's ep.

In simple graphical terms:

? -> Faraday -> Desmond -> Penny -> ?

"I'm glad they finally gave a character Mommy Issues, too. Too much Daddy Drama on that island..."

Amen!

"If the plane had made it to LA.... Desmond would still be pushing the button"

No no no no NO... I think you missed something crucial in the ep. That being that Dan's plan is to make it where the Swan Station and the button pushing for 30 years NEVER HAPPENS. Meaning Desmond either doesn't ever crash on the island in his yacht at ALL... or if he somehow still does, he certainly isn't trapped in the hatch pushing the button. The plane crash only happens BECAUSE of Desmond being in the hatch pushing the button, and then failing too that ONE time, remember? .... (sigh) Plane never crashing in the pilot of Lost, in short, = Desmond never pushed the button even once, never had to... capisce?

"Something came to me during last night wonderful episode. Of all the characters on Lost I believe that only Dan & Danielle share the same name. Is this something that is more than a coincidence?"

Huh? Daniel and Danielle are not the "same name," unless you feel Samuel and Samantha are the same name (and at least those two have the same nickname derived from them, Sam 'n' Sam... as opposed to Dan/Danny and Dani, i.e. again not the same). Or unless you meant last name, in which case I'm pretty sure that Rousseau /== Faraday by any stretch of the imagination.

Anonymous said...

Non-Lost-stuff-that-was-mentioned-due-to-promos-during-Lost:

"PPS: Mike Judge has a new cartoon?!? Is it any Goode?"

That looked like it had Mike Judge written all over it. I was suprised it didn't seem as bound to his usual Texas-rooted cartoon setting as B&B and King of the Hill were. He's branching out!

"I saw a sneak preview of Star Trek last weekend. It's really, really good. Even though it totally resets Star Trek and erases everything up until this point, damn if it wasn't a lot of fun. Good characters, too. Can't wait to see it again on IMAX hopefully."

Glad you liked it, I'm looking forward to it as well, especially since JJ says he's more of a SW fan than a ST fan, as am I (STTNG being my main ST love and really only).

Anyway, it may erase/reset everything from the original series, TNG, DS9, and Voyager, but it certainly doesn't invalidate Enterprise in any way, does it?

Anonymous said...

Faraday could be right about preventing the energy release, but still be wrong about changing everything. As Eloise explained in "Flashes Before Your Eyes", the universe has a way of course-correcting. Who's to say that the universe wouldn't just find another way to get Desmond and flight 815 to the island? It still has nearly 25 years to make sure the pieces all fall into place, after all... I guess that wouldn't be as interesting dramatically though.

JDubTrey said...

A few comments:

1) I don't think there is a "Faraday stops the incident, so he never goes back in time" paradox. Faraday is there to get Ben, not flight 815. The flashback from last week makes it seem that he's recruited to get the 815'ers, but season 4 makes it seem that he knows he's there for something else. Besides, if Faraday never comes to the island, maybe the bomb blows up in 1954, destroying the energy under the swan (yes, I know, A-bombs don't go off by themselves but I'm following the script as presented).

The real paradox would have been with Jack: if he detonates jughead, there is no realistic reason for him to be there in 1977 to detonate it. Also, what happens to him and the other non-freighter losties? Do they just disappear?

2) "HG Wells" > "twitchy" though both are good.

3) The journal HAS to be the reason Eloise sacrifices Dan. Nothing else makes sense.

dez said...

I don't think he's necessarily dead. We see him talk to his mother in the last scene after she shot him, but he doesn't close his eyes, stop breathing, pass out, slip away, or do any other cliche that would let the audience know he's gone.
I could have sworn the "light" in his eyes went out (FX I've seen done in other dying scenes).

Scott J. said...

Anonymous said...

The only reason they "ran into problems" was Desmond's failure to get back to the Swan station in time to either input the numbers or turn the failsafe key, when he had his little fight with Kurgan from Highlander... (cough)... I mean, Clancy Brown.
No, as the other commenter said, the pilot tells Jack and Kate that 6 hours into the flight, the radio went out, and they turned the plane back to land in Fiji. This happened 2 hours before they crashed, according to Cindy the flight attendant, so well before Desmond failed to push the button, fate was already steering them towards the Island.

I have a feeling that even if they were able to prevent the Incident and thus prevent the plane crash, those who were meant to be on the Island would still be brought there by some other means.

Anonymous said...

Well, landing in Fiji may not be landing in Los Angeles, but it still means a less screwed up past three years than what DID end up happening, no?

Point being, none of the people on the plane would have gone through a crash and all the crazy island stuff that happened afterwards, which was Desmond's goal, and certainly why Jack's so excited about it.