LOST: “The Variable”

Tonight’s episode was Faraday’s time to step into the spotlight, and what we got was a very entertaining, very satisfying episode of Lost. Spoilers and more below.

Links and miscellanea

  • Some comforting news for the paranoid or overly pessimistic: Lost has been renewed for its sixth (and final) season.
  • These photos of Jorge Garcia (Hurley) and Ken Leung (Miles) crack me up.
  • Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof discuss season 5 (which is now officially in post-production) in this interview with Variety.
  • Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) has been sued for sexual harassment. For those so inclined, E! Online has posted a .pdf of the legal complaint.
  • TV Guide has a nice interview with Michael Emerson (Ben).
  • Thanks to Wikipedia’s user-created content, it looks like Hurley got credit for screenwriting Empire Strikes Back after all.
  • This interview by Lostpedia with Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof is interesting because it explores the relationship between the show and internet fan commentary. This bit is particularly interesting: “We have a couple of guys in our office whose job is to sort of… They read a broad section of the fan sites after every episode, then they sort of give Damon and I the sort of reader’s digest, synopsis, of what people responded to in the episode. This is good for us number 1: because we’re still busy making the show, we dont have the time to search all the websites, but is also gives us the sense of what sense questions are percolating up, what assumptions people are making based on what they’ve seen.” (So, if Cuse and Lindelof’s people are reading this blog, then, hey, how’s it going? I’m sure there must be some sort of anthropologist-like edict—i.e., just observe and report, don’t interact—but if you want to drop me a line, I’d get a kick out of it: BTDGreg at Gmail dot com).
  • It should be probably be mentioned that this was Lost’s 100th episode, a landmark that usually means a television show will live on in syndication. I’m not sure how well such an esoteric and heavily serialized drama like Lost would do in syndication, but it’s pretty impressive that the show has managed to maintain such a high level of quality over one hundred hours worth of show. (And Obama has now been in office for 100 days. Coincidence? Yes, I think so.)

Observations and speculations

  • Cuse and Lindelof have mentioned that this episode is meant to be a companion piece, in a way, to the season four episode, The Constant. Recall that it was in that episode that we learned Desmond was Faraday’s “constant” who could be used as a stabilizing force for someone traveling to and from the island, or through time. For Desmond, Penny was the constant that he needed to make contact with to stop from flashing between the present (2004, where Desmond was sick on the freighter) and the past (1996, where he was serving with the Royal Scots Guard and seeking out Faraday, then a rogue researcher at Oxford conducting time-travel experiments on a rat named Eloise.
  • From the “previously on…” segment, it really didn’t look like Ben’s bullet reached Desmond, nor did I remember any bullet wound when Desmond was beating the snot out of Ben. But, it turns out, he was shot and needed to be rushed to the hospital.
  • Best Eloise Hawking line (when asked by Penny if her son is Ben): “Good Lord, no.”
  • In 1977, DHARMA still has headquarters in Ann Arbor, where research is being carried out, recently by Daniel Faraday. It’s useful to remember that DHARMA isn’t an island-based organization and that Ben didn’t destroy it during the purge.
  • Daniel believes his mother was wrong to tell Jack that he had to return to the island, but by the end of the episode, this becomes extremely ambiguous. In fact, it seems more likely that Daniel was wrong. Jack seems thoroughly confused and has stopped second-guessing his destiny. He’s just rolling with it.
  • When Young Mom Eloise Hawking interrupts Young Faraday’s piano playing, she’s emotionally distraught and talks to Dan about his “destiny.” It’s not until the very end of the episode that we know why she was distraught. She knows that she’s already killed her son in her past and his future. Yet, she also believes that he has a very important role to play, something that’s still a mystery to us. His death is the sacrifice that the island demands. And it also involves Dan learning some very advanced math and science.
  • “Phil, Jack. Jack, Phil.” I loved that. Not sure why exactly. Farce humor, I guess.
  • Cut to the Orchid Station and we’re brought back to the first scene of season 5. I loved the way this episode tied so many things together.
  • Chang tells the construction worker at the Orchid Station not to drill even one centimeter more because it would risk releasing the energy, and if that were to happen, “Then God help us all.” This is a phrase that’s been repeated multiple times in the show, something the writers like to do on occasion. It’s what Eloise Hawking told Ben when Ben asked her what would happen if all the Oceanic Five didn’t make it back to the island.
  • Just being exposed to the electromagnetic forces on the island can make a person start to skip through time, with all the nose-bleeding and potentially fatal side effects. We see the evidence of this in the dead construction worker at the Orchid Station, but we also saw this happen to Desmond last season after the Hatch imploded.
  • Faraday tells Chang, “I’m from the future,” the same thing that Sayid told Oldham when he was tied to a tree, tripping. It has the same effect on Chang that it had on Oldham. People just have a hard time believing that the person they are talking to is from the future. You would think that Chang might be an exception—after all, he is working on a facility to explore time travel—but no.
  • We next see Daniel Faraday on the date he received his Ph.D. He’s yet another victim of unfortunate flashback hair. Other candidates include Locke, Miles, Jack, and Ben, just to name a few. It’s like a running joke at this point.
  • Faraday is with Theresa Spenser, the girlfriend and research assistant who’s brain becomes scrambled during Faraday’s time travel experiments, resulting in his ouster from Oxford.
  • Faraday mentions a 1.5 million pound research grant from Charles Widmore. How is it that the Others have such resources off the island. Ms. Hawking doesn’t seem to be hurting for money either.
  • In the Indian restaurant, Hawking gives Faraday the journal that he’s been carrying with him in almost every scene. I predict that journal is going to play an important role, even after Faraday is dead.
  • Incidentally, Dan and Eloise visited the Kashmir Curry restaurant. The Kashmir region, near the Himilayas has religious significance to both Hindu and Buddhism.
  • Back at the LaFleur bungalow, Sawyer is having a group meeting to decide everyone’s next move. The consensus seems to be go back to the beach and start again from square one. At least, until Faraday shows up.
  • Best Miles line (when Sawyer asks if Faraday is still crazy): “It’s on a whole new level, man.”
  • Jack, Kate and Hurley had to be having deja vu all over again when Faraday told him that only his mother could get them back where they belong. That was Ben’s pitch back on the mainland.
  • Cut to the first time we ever saw Faraday. This time, we recognize that Faraday is in his childhood home (the same place we saw Young Faraday practicing piano earlier), and we know that the woman he’s with really is some sort of live-in caretaker. Faraday is still disturbed by the news about the Oceanic 815, though he’s not sure why.
  • Widmore then shows up and confirms that he spent a lot of money to create the fake Oceanic 815 crash site. (That mystery can now officially be laid to rest.) When Faraday asks why Widmore is telling him that, Widmore responds, “because come tomorrow you won’t remember I did.” This is how we learn that Faraday is suffering from anterograde amnesia, most likely caused by the trauma he suffered when his experiments went horribly wrong and scrambled his girlfriend’s brain. Widmore believes that the island can heal Faraday, similar to how we’ve seen it cure Locke’s paralysis and send Rose’s cancer into remission. Recall that last season, Charlotte was doing simple memory exercises with Faraday to see if his short-term memory was improving.
  • When Widmore goes to sit in a chair, he removes a copy of Wired magazine. This issue, to be exact, from August 2003, with the headline “The Impossible Gets Real!” on the front. Inside, the cover promises, are stories about “X-Ray Vision! Invisibility! Time Travel!” Incidentally, Lost creator JJ Abrams is guest editing this month’s issue of Wired, so this could be seen as a nice cross-promotion for Abrams.
  • Widmore tells Faraday that he’s doing all he’s doing because Faraday “is a man of tremendous gifts, and it would be a shame to see them go to waste.” Of course, if this was his sole motivation, he’d just be giving his money to the United Negro College Fund. He has at least three ulterior motives: 1) he needs Faraday to go on his mission for him to capture Ben; 2) Faraday is his son; and 3) Faraday has some crucial (as yet mysterious to us) role to play in the history of the island.
  • Widmore and Faraday’s mother are “old friends.” Old friends with benefits.
  • Best Sawyer line: “Your mother’s an other?”
  • Followed closely by the best Hurley line: “You guys were in 1954? Like … Fonzie times?”
  • Jack and Kate decide to take Faraday to the hostiles. Sawyer’s against it. Juliet is an enabler. Faraday asks Miles to drive and Miles throws him the keys. I’m not sure why Faraday wanted Miles to come with, but I’m pretty sure Miles isn’t quite ready to leave his dad, his mom, and his own baby self quite yet. Either that, or he’s just tired of acting as Faraday’s chauffeur.
  • Faraday ends up having that crazed conversation with Young Charlotte, the one he wanted so much to avoid. The fact that he succumbs and scares Charlotte, despite his best intentions suggests that people are not really “variables” at all, but that what happened, happened, just like he originally thought. More on that in a bit.
  • Young Charlotte is almost a parody of a young British kid. “I’m not allowed to have chocolate before dinner.” This is one of the phrases that Charlotte repeats as her mind starts to go, right before she dies of the killer time-shift nosebleed.
  • Kate hands Faraday an assault rifle and he asks if she has “something for a beginner.” A couple of things. First, it’s a commentary on just how much the Losties have gotten used to gunplay since they arrived on the island. Second, that lugar that Kate ends up handing Desmond has quite a history. It appears to be the same gun that Tom ends up using when he holds a gun to Kate’s head and then again during the battle between the Others and the 815 survivors at the end of season 3.
  • The gun battle between Radzinsky’s guys and Jack, Kate and Faraday was a nice action set piece. These types of scenes seem to always become more common near the end of a season. Radzinsky’s awfully high strung, but at this point, he doesn’t seem suicidal.
  • It takes a visit from his mother to convince Daniel to get on the freighter. His motivation is very basic: he wants to please his mother and make her proud.
  • Jack still hasn’t figured out the time travel thing, and he makes a comment to Faraday that luck didn’t have anything to do with Faraday surviving the gun fight at the motor pool because, “what happened, happened.” Faraday brings us back to the conversation that Miles had with Hurley a few episodes back, “this is our present. … We can’t be so naive as to think nothing can happen to us. Anyone of us can die, Jack,” foreshadowing his own death. In a sense, though, Jack was also right. What happened in 1977 was that Faraday was shot by his future mother, and they couldn’t have done anything to stop that from happening.
  • I like that Sawyer has a nice stash of DHARMA-branded powdered milk and canned soup to take with him when he evacuates. That’s good contingency planning.
  • As the alarms go off in Dharmaville, Hurley comes out holding the guitar case (Charlie’s guitar case?), the one that he brought with him on Ajira 316, a reminder that we still don’t know what’s in the case.
  • Sawyer and Juliet are left in peril, kneeling at gun point. Will they survive capture by Radzinsky and his thugs? Tune in next week.
  • Faraday’s exposition by the stream does a great job of tying everything together. For the first time, we get the background on the “incident” that made button pushing the prime directive for the Swan Hatch dwellers. The construction crew drilled into the ground and released a burst of electromagnetic power, causing massive destruction on the island. This, in turn, lead to the numbers needing to be punched into a computer every 108 minutes to keep the electromagnetism in check. The area was sealed off by massive amounts of concrete. Eventually, Desmond would fail to push the button and Oceanic 815 would break apart in mid-flight over the island, causing a hit television show to be pour out upon an unsuspecting American public. And so on. Faraday thinks he can disrupt this chain of events by detonating a hydrogen bomb, leading me to believe that Miles’ opinion of Faraday’s mental state was probably spot-on.
  • Embedded in Faraday’s exposition is a monologue about determinism vs. free-will, the main theme that Lost has explored this season. This time around, Faraday thinks that he’s discovered something that he was unable to get from studying relativistic physics: “I’ve been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables.Do you know what the variables in these equations are, Jack? Us. We’re the variables. People. We think, we reason, we have choices, we have free will. We can change our destiny.” Here’s the rub, though. The materialistic determinist would say that’s simply wrong. The concept of free will is simply an illusion because we are all just matter, being acted upon by external events just like everything else in the universe. There is no will, only a very complicated series of causes and effects. Interestingly, this is an issue that David Hume (not named Desmond), among other, put a lot of work into.
  • Cut back to the Marina Medical Center, where Hawking tells Penny that Desmond has “become a casualty in a conflict that’s bigger than him, bigger than any of us.” At this point, we have to believe that there are multiple factions at work here, and the “Others” are balkanized: a Ben faction, a Widmore faction, a Hawkings faction, perhaps a DHARMA faction, a “shadow of the statue” faction, which may or may not be aligned with one of the other factions. Sometimes, factions work together, but they are all working toward their own ends. The true nature of the conflict is what the whole show seems to be about.
  • Anyone else think that little Charlie Hume might be in trouble? That nurse seemed a little too eager to separate Penny from her son.
  • At the end of the episode, we have a conversation between Widmore and Hawking. (Widmore must have flown in immediately after getting Ben’s call.) The revelation that Widmore is Faraday’s father was more surprising (to me, anyway) than when we found out Hawking is his mother.
  • So Faraday was Penny’s half-brother, the same relationship that Jack and Claire have. Faraday’s parents were both Others, but Penny’s mother was apparently someone who did not live on the island, someone that Widmore left the island to visit, a violation of the rules, for which he was eventually banished. Were Widmore and Hawking ever married. Was Widmore’s fathering of Penny an act of adultery/bigamy? If Ben knew the connection between Widmore and Hawking, which he probably did, this might explain why he was uneasy about the possibility that these two former Others might have been conspiring against him.
  • Faraday’s plan to walk into the Others’ camp holding a pistol was a terrible one. It’s no wonder he got shot, and I can’t really blame Eloise for shooting her future offspring. For such a smart guy, Faraday really didn’t think that move through at all. Even Jack could have come up with a better plan.
  • Richard Alpert was protecting Eloise by lying about her whereabouts. I’d like to learn where Richard fits into the Others’ hierarchy. In 1977, it’s clear that Hawking and Widmore were VIPs, but it’s not clear what position Alpert held.
  • Although I’ll miss Faraday, at least he got a nice, satisfying death scene, and I felt like his story was pretty well filled out by this episode.

I liked “The Variable” a lot. It had action, lots of answers, and really pulled a bunch of plot points together. We’re getting very near the end of season 5, and this episode had nice momentum to it.

What did you all think? What did I miss?

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39 thoughts on “LOST: “The Variable”

  1. clearly we’re not done with Faraday just yet…they set him up to be a BIG part of the island mythos in this episode, and it didn’t deliver.

    A couple of questions:

    – how does Eloise know so much about the future? She hinted that the Des thing caught her off guard and that she didn’t “for the first time in a long time” know what was going to happen next.
    What’s her source? Is it the journal?

    – Richard? I like the theory that he is a worker bee for Jacob, and he gets to anoint a queen bee when the old queen bee has lost her jelly.

    – Black Rock? Only one mention of her. Is she on the island right now? OR, is the island going to skip again, causing the Black Rock to end up on top of the island.

    – Kate was clearly NOT buying (or wanting to give up) what FLight 815’s crash meant to her. For one thing, she skirted jail!

    – Juliet. Why do I get the feeling that she’s staying behind?

    – Kelvin. Is he going to pop up for the finale?

  2. Great episode. Sad to see Daniel go, but it was well foreshadowed.

    The question of determinism and freewill makes me wonder why certain characters die when they do. What purpose did Charlotte have in dying when she did? It seemed like a waste. And of course, Mr. Eko (though with that character, the writers had to remove him because the actor was done).

    I love how Sawyer is losing control, and Jack is back in taking control. That relationship has been played well.

    Juliet gave Kate the access code immediately after Sawyer called Kate “Freckles.” That was his pet name for her, which Juliet instantly realized that Sawyer still had feelings for her. Juliet knew she was losing Sawyer.

  3. Someone send an ambulance over to Clark’s house: after an episode with this much Faraday—and a nice helping of Desmond—he’s undoubtedly lost in a super-conscious ecstatic coma.

    BTD Greg: “Even Jack could have come up with a better plan.” The man’s dead; no need to insult him that harshly.

  4. I also don’t think that we’re done with Daniel. I think we’re heading for a big showdown between those who want to change the future and those who don’t. I think Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, Miles and maybe Juliet will not want to stop the plane crash. Jin might not want to either or Locke. Let’s remember a lot of bad things happened to them but also a lot of good.

  5. I agree that Charlie Hume is in trouble. When Penny left him, I knew that was going to end up being a problem.

  6. Daniel’s plan to stop the plane crash is bizarre, but I guess a person who only thought of constants instead of variables wouldn’t think to consider the effect this would have on other people.

    Cycle back to 815 – what if it had landed? Most of the people on that plane were in really rough shape, and there’s nothing to say that life would have gotten any better.

    And his plan is to blow a nuke? That’s a solution??

    I think we are building toward what was started in the very first episode – a bunch of people who are lost in more ways than one, and how they ultimately take control of their own destiny – not by changing the past, but by taking charge of their own futures. All of the main characters prior to the crash were driven by external influences, and a mess because of it. The island experience is helping them find themselves, realize their own power, and get ahead of their destinies.

  7. I didn’t understand why Charlie Hume couldn’t go in to see his dad? Yeah, that kid’s going to be important.

    I thought ‘Desmond’ was more of a sailboat guy than a motorboater (yeah I had to).

    I figured Widmore was Faraday’s dad when he came to visit him, but wow, good reveal then even, and to confirm it by the end of the ep, nice work not dragging that out. I didn’t see it coming prior to this ep.

    Sawyer calling Faraday “Twitchy” was awesome.

    I didn’t really care for the gun fight at the OK Dharma Motorpool, but it was alright, and I guess, necessary.

  8. In your comment about younger-Eloise being distraught about killing her son, would she be distraught at that point? Daniel hadn’t yet traveled back to 1977 to be killed by her younger self, so at that point, she hadn’t done it yet.

    Isn’t that how things work?

    Loved the episode, but was sad to see Daniel killed so… inelegantly. Maybe he’ll survive, though. Other people get shot and live. The only plus is that it leaves Jack & Kate free. Interesting to me to see the group split up, and who chose which sides – like the old Locke-Jack split. Poor Juliet, she looks so sad and resigned.

    Regarding the gunfight: didn’t it take a long time for the alarm to sound, considering all the gunfire and the explosion?

  9. Regarding the Sawyer/Juliet interaction: It was pointed out by Dan that Juliet gave the access code after Sawyer called Kate “freckles.” It appeared to me to also be a way to encourage Kate to leave and be separated from Sawyer.

    In the next scene with the two of them, Sawyer asked Juliet “do you still have my back?” Juliet replied “yes… do you have mine?” I thought it significant that Sawyer did not answer, but just looked pained.

    I agree with Hayes. Juliet is formulating a plan of her own, and it may not involve following Sawyer or Jack. I won’t be surprised if she somehow betrays Sawyer to Radzinsky, despite her statement to Sawyer that she still has his back.

  10. I had the exact same thought about Charlie. I was just thinking, “No Penny! Don’t leave your son!”

    We know that, according to Eloise, the island isn’t done with Desmond yet. I wonder if Charlie being kidnapped or something will be what draws him back there.

  11. In your comment about younger-Eloise being distraught about killing her son, would she be distraught at that point? Daniel hadn’t yet traveled back to 1977 to be killed by her younger self, so at that point, she hadn’t done it yet.

    Isn’t that how things work?

    No, I don’t think that’s how it works. For Eloise, she killed her future son in 1977, probably before he was even born. And there was nothing she could do to change that. For Faraday, his life didn’t end until he traveled back to 1974, left the island to do some research in Ann Arbor, then returned to the island in 1977 to confront his mother. At first, Eloise probably just didn’t believe Faraday as he was dying when he told her that he was her son (people never believe you when you say you’re from the future). But over time, as Eloise is raising Young Daniel, she probably figured it out, and it had to be pretty devastating to her. We’re still missing one piece of the puzzle–why Eloise believes that Faraday’s destiny was to be killed by his mother, and why this was a sacrifice that had to be made.

  12. By the way, here’s a partial list of characters who have been played by multiple actors on the show:

    Miles (baby, child and adult)
    Ben (child and adult)
    Eloise (young adult, adult, and older woman)
    Locke (baby, teen, adult)
    Widmore (young adult, adult, older man)
    Faraday (child, adult)
    Sawyer (child, adult)
    Charlotte (child, adult)
    Eko (child, adult)
    Charlie (child, adult)
    Aaron (multiple babies, child)
    Sayid (child, adult)

  13. Charlotte has also been played by a toddler.

    This episode put a couple of other things in a different light for me.

    First, when Eloise told Desmond outside the jewelry store that the universe is self-correcting and always finds a way, it seemed so impersonal. Yet now we see that this belief permanently altered her relationship with Daniel from a young age.

    Second, Daniel isn’t usually eager to explain things anyway, but I seem to remember him telling Jack that rescuing the Losties wasn’t exactly the freighter team’s primary mission. Jack asked him what it was, and I don’t remember if Daniel answered, but now we know that for him personally his primary mission was getting his mind healed and making his mother proud of him.

    I loved this episode. This entire season has just been rock solid. It will be a long wait for season 6.

  14. Also, I got a kick out of the U.S.S. Enterprise zooming out through the O in the word LOST in the opening titles.

    And didn’t we hear a reference to the number 42 in this episode? Or was that on a commercial?

  15. It’s interesting that in that list of children, there is one glaring exception: Jack. Lots of Jack flashbacks, but never as a child. You’d think with Christian being such a part of this, we might have had a childhood flashback at some point; there’s his grandfather who appeared so randomly recently too.

    And have we seen Kate as a child? I think so – with the little airplane and burying a time capsule or something?

  16. Actually, we did see Jack as a child. Waaaaaay back in the first “Jack-back” episode, “White Rabbit,” we saw an adolescent Jack getting beat up by bullies for standing up for his friend, followed by a middle-aged Christian, replete with glass of scotch, telling Jack he shouldn’t try to be a hero, because he “doesn’t have what it takes.”

    Also, if you’re trying to be comprehensive with that list, we also saw Sun as a child shattering the glass ballerina.

  17. I didn’t get that “someone is going to steal little Charlie” vibe that others are talking about. Maybe I will when I watch it again. I think Desmond has sufficient cause to go back to the island when he finds out that Ben is still alive and a threat.

    It wasn’t a surprise to me that Whitmore was Faraday’s dad, but I really liked the reveal. I called that one when I figured out that “Ellie” (who had a gun on our group in the 50’s) was Eloise and remembered that she was there at the same time as young Whitmore.

    I felt really sad when Daniel got shot. Knowing that your mother sent you to die… what a horrible thing to realize. No one is ever completely dead on the island, though. I wonder if his ghost haunts her in her remainding years on the island?

    As for the rest of the Dharma Losties, I still think that you can’t change what happened in the past. Daniel’s looney ramblings were to try and throw people off. The preview showed them taking the bomb (or finding the bomb) in the temple. That’s where we last saw Locke, Ben and Sun hanging out. Something sci-fi will happen there that will flash them all back to the future. A flash could save Juliet and Sawyer, too. They need to come back for season 6 and the “shadow of the temple” showdown.

  18. Oh, and Charlie as a child, opening presents on Christmas morning, and also learning to swim with his father.

    We saw Hurley as a teen working on the vintage car with his dad.

    No child flashbacks (as far as current main characters go): Desmond, Kate (though we did see her father in Iraq carrying a photo of a young Evangeline Lily), Juliet, Jin (I think?)…

  19. 42 is a big part of the show The Unusuals which airs after Lost. It’s a realy good show too. It’s kinda like if Scrubs was a cop show but maybe a little bit more serious. The main creative force behind it was a writer for Bones, another great show. Back to Lost, Charlie Hume is certainly to be important. Plus he’s way cuter then Aaron. I miss Charlie 1.0.

  20. 42 is one of those numbers (like 23) that pops up in a lot of contexts. Remember the answer to life, the universe and everything from Hitchhiker’s Guide? Apparently, there was some 42 connection in X-Files as well.

  21. Ah the Hitchhiker’s Guide, how I love you(the book, not the movie so much). Yeah 42 pops up a lot and for good reason. I was just suggesting that Ben saw 42 in a commercial for The Unusuals.

  22. I think it is likely that the Losties will actually cause the Incident to occur, probably at least partly through their own disagreements of whether to “change the future”, possibly sending them back to the present in the process. Thus they themselves will be responsible for 815’s crash on the island. It would be a neat little time loop.

  23. well…there’s still a scene we have yet to see the other angle from, too:

    the scene on the canoes where sawyer starts shooting at people who are following them.

    My guess is that it is one of the “shadow of the statue folks.”

  24. That was it, Rose! It was Harold Perrineau on the commercial for THE U?USUALS.

    Here’s a thought: having just shot her time-traveling son, Eloise could have Richard take him to the temple. They just barely did it with young Ben Linus the other day. It’s totally in style!

    So either via temple healing or Christian-style walking dead (though these may be the same thing), Dan could still have time to explain stuff to his mother.

    Bilko, I like that idea, too!

    But personally I think I like better the idea that Daniel is actually dead and his legacy is in the consequences of the chaotic mess he left behind on his way to the Others’ camp.

  25. First, I think there were a lot of hints that Widmore was Faraday’s dad. I mentioned it to my wife at the beginning of the episode. She didn’t believe me and then…

    No one mentioned the big reveal. So I’m guessing you all missed it. The opening to this season was the scene in this episode although Faraday was the good doctor. So Faraday has some device enabling him to “be” others. That’s how Faraday knew everything that was going on. He’d already been to that present. (Although not everything – his death appeared a surprised)

    We have more Faraday flashes to come I’ll wager.

    I have faith that Sawyer won’t go after Kate.

    Will they go to the beach and find Bernard and Rose? I think so.

    I don’t think Desmond’s kid is getting kidnapped.

    I’m praying they keep to the block universe model and don’t go the cheesy cop out route of making people special and able to generate space-time paradoxes ala Back to the Future.

  26. Now we know why some pages of Faraday’s journal were in the Hydra station in 316. Remember when Cesar was looking around?

  27. I hope that the Incident is NOT what sends the Losties back to the present time. To me, that would be a cheap cop-out. It may also undermine the scene where the present-day Christian tells Sun that she has a huge journey ahead of her in order to reunite with Jin.

    I also think that Faraday is dead, and as Ben says, “Dead is Dead.” I don’t see any Temple healing for him. I can, however, seeing him pop up as one of the walking dead like Christian. Perhaps it was Walking-Dead-Daniel who appears to Eloise: that would cause her to be so distraught in yesterday’s episode when she approaches young Daniel as he plays the piano.

  28. Hayes I’m interested in that too – for one thing, if it’s indeed what you say, and it looks that way, it’s the one and only time anyone flashed into the future. (Desmond’s visions of Charlie’s death don’t count IMO).

  29. Clark: “No one mentioned the big reveal. So I’m guessing you all missed it. The opening to this season was the scene in this episode although Faraday was the good doctor. So Faraday has some device enabling him to “be” others.”

    I’m not sure what you mean here. The flashback in the season premier had Dr. Chang as Dr. Chang, waking up with baby Miles and then going in to shoot the orientation video, is informed there’s a problem with the driller getting nosebleeds and dying, he goes there, and we see Daniel wearing a Dharma jumpsuit, the same as in this episode. Episode description here.

  30. Allison, the very opening scene of the first episode of this season had people drilling with Faraday coming up and telling them to stop drilling and that if they went a centimeter more it would be disastrous. (I forget the exact dialog) This week we had the exact same scenario only instead of it being Faraday in the white lab coat it was Chang. i.e. Faraday was experiencing things as Dr. Chang.

    If you think back to his experiments with rats when Desmond first encountered Faraday you’ll note that this was exactly what he was doing with rats.

    I suspect we still have a big Faraday set of flashbacks to encounter and will find that (probably while at Ann Arbor) he rebuilt his machine to find out what was going on the island. He came back to the island because of what he learned. That was how he knew to the minute when Change would arrive at the “hatch.” He also apparently knew how he would confront the Others but didn’t know he would die.

    There’s also a chance that while stateside he was talking with his mother (who would have been much more informed by then) and that we’ll encounter all this in an Eloise flashback – probably this season I’d bet.

  31. While the producers have said “dead is dead” I think Locke is evidence that we shouldn’t trust the producers too much. Unless Locke isn’t really Locke.

    I’m coming around to thinking they are really dead but are resurrected in some sense. Will we only encounter Faraday in flashbacks/flashforwards? Or will he pop up as Locke or as a quasi-ghost?

  32. OK, I screwed up. Here’s the transcript of that episode.

    FOREMAN: Over here. We were cutting through the rock, right on your specs. That’s when the drill melted.
    CHANG: The drill melted?
    FOREMAN: Yeah, yeah. 3 meters in. We went through six carbon drill bits, and the last one just fried.
    [A hard-hatted construction worker lies motionless on the rocky ground with a bloody nose. Other workers move to attend to him.]
    FOREMAN: Then my operator starts grabbing his head and freaking out. We sonar-imaged the wall. There’s an open chamber about 20 meters in, behind the rock.
    [The foreman hands Dr. Chang a print-out in which the image of the frozen wheel is visible.]
    FOREMAN: There’s something in there. And the only way to get to it is to lay charges here and here and blast through it and take a look–
    CHANG: Under no circumstances! This station is being built here because of its proximity to what we believe to be an almost limitless energy. And that energy, once we can harness it correctly, it’s going to allow us to manipulate time.
    FOREMAN: [Chuckles] Right. Okay, so, what? We’re gonna go back and kill Hitler?
    CHANG: Don’t be absurd. There are rules, rules that can’t be broken.
    FOREMAN: So what do you want me to do?
    CHANG: You’re gonna do nothing. If you drill even 1 centimeter further, you risk releasing that energy. If that were to happen…
    [Chang looks at the fallen workman and the blood all over his face.]
    CHANG: …God help us all.
    [Chang hands his hardhat to the foreman and takes off back down the tunnel toward the elevator.]
    WORKER: [Offscreen] All right, get him up.
    FOREMAN: Come on. Let’s go.
    [As Chang charges down the tunnel, he brushes shoulders with a hard-hatted construction worker traveling the opposite direction. The worker carries a pressurized tank of gas.]
    CHANG: Watch yourself!
    TANK CARRYING WORKER: Sorry, sir. It won’t happen again.
    WORKER: [Offscreen] We need a doctor.
    FOREMAN: Come on. I’ll grab the rest of his stuff. Let’s go.
    [Two workers lift the fallen man away on a stretcher. The tank-carrying worker sets down his tank, and we see it is Daniel Faraday.]
    FOREMAN: Did you hear that? Time travel. How stupid does that guy think we are?
    [Faraday nods, and looks at the rock wall as the foreman moves off.]
    FOREMAN: Let’s go, guys.

  33. Is is true that this week is a Richard episode? I’m looking forward to it if it’s true.

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