Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Episode 5.14 "The Variable"

So, let's start with this. Daniel's mom shot Daniel and killed him. Oh, man. I hate to see Twitchy go. But I had a bad feeling when they basically started answering every remaining question we had about him. That's a sure sign in Lost that you're on the way out.

Ok, I think the best way to talk about this episode is to view it in terms of the shocking ending. With that in mind let's look at some details.

DANIEL CAN'T PLAY PIANO: So, we first see young Daniel's mom crying as she watches him play piano. I assume she's thinking one day I'm going to shoot that kid in the back. I'm guessing she's wondering what would happen if she would just encourage him to stick to piano and become a famous musician. I find it curious that she didn't even seem to be trying to avoid the future. I would be training him to catch bullets or give him a note that says what time and date to duck. But, instead, she's basically making sure that it happens, no matter what. She's forcing him to learn all the science he can so he can one day go to the island to die. Why? The only possible answer I can think of is that Jack and Kate will use the knowledge he gave them in his long speech to try and go through with Daniel's plan. And whatever happens as a result of this is something that Ellie wants to happen. Also, in one of the worst delivered lines in the show's history, young Daniel says "I can make time". Yes, we get it. Time.

DANIEL TELLS CHANG EVERYTHING: Including that Miles is his son. I guess at some point Chang believes Daniel and sends his wife and kid away. Daniel also tells Chang that the accident will happen at the swan station in four hours. I guess we've got four hours left until... the incident. Which Daniel just referred to as... the accident.

"...OR GOD HELP US ALL" This is a common line in Lost. It's almost as overused as "I've got a bad feeling about this" is in Star Wars. Chang says it referring to the Orchid's electromagnetic leak. And Ms. Hawking also said it in the "Previously on Lost" part of the show this episode, when it was flashing back to Ben asking what would happen if they couldn't get all of the Oceanic Six to go back to the island. Weird that she would say "God help us all" in response to that question, but then a couple days later be totally okay that he couldn't get everybody back. Is it because she already took matters into her own hands, like I suggested last post? She's definitely good at making sure the future that she knows is supposed to happen is going to happen. Is there any other meaning to the repeated "...or God help us all"? A subtle hint that they're in the Garden of Eden? Probably not. But it does seem deliberate.

DANIEL'S GRADUATION: Man, it wouldn't be Lost: Season 5 without some crazy hair. Daniel's rocking it like a Czech bass player from the Hair Metal 80s. More important, however, is that Daniel's mom gives him a gift of...his journal. But, is it empty or is it his notebook from the future? Because I really feel like the notebook he's been carrying around is from the future. It has to be, right? We see him in this very episode use the journal to learn the exact time that Chang will show up at the Orchid. And later, he claims (to young Charlotte) to know that Chang believes him and will start evacuating people from the island. So, if Daniel dies, how does he get this future Notebook? I always assumed an older Daniel would travel back in time after a while and give the notebook to a younger Daniel. But now that's he's dead, I dunno. Maybe Kate and Jack end up giving it to a young Daniel somehow? Hmm. Here I will admit, time travel is confusing. Also possible is that this is not the same notebook. It does have a leather strap around it, which I do not remember seeing before.

WIDMORE PLANTED THE PLANE: So I guess I was wrong (in last episode's post) about it being Ben who planted the plane. So, if Felix the dead body was actually the one who helped Widmore arrange the plane, and if he was also the one in the video of Widmore beating someone up, I'm guessing Widmore killed him to keep his cover up silent.

THE ISLAND WILL HEAL DANIEL: At least that's what everybody tells him. After Widmore and Ellie both told Daniel the island would heal him, why didn't he ask to bring Theresa with him? We know she's still alive and in a coma. I guess he wasn't allowed near her after experimenting on her, but still, would have been nice if he would have tried.

ANOTHER DANIEL AT THE PIANO SCENE: And this time he's trying to remember the song he used to play. Daniel's mom comes in again and tells him to go to the island, so he can fulfill his destiny of getting shot by her the back. Again, I have to think that for her to tell him to go would mean that something good comes of his death. This definitely has biblical parallels, what with God sending his own son to die for the benefit of everyone else. But at least Jesus knew what was going to happen. Although, he did say as he died, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me." Not unlike Daniel's last words to his mom. Hmm. Heavy.

SAWYER AND JULIET GET CAPTURED: And Juliet's still mad about the "Freckles" comment. If you're Juliet's boyfriend, I don't recommend you call your ex by a cute nickname in front of her. She will totally boil your bunny. Geez, did Glen Close really boil a bunny in Fatal Attraction? Ridiculous. Weirdest plot point ever. So, Radzinsky and Phil combine their ugly powers to trap the remaining cool, attractive people at gunpoint. Will Jin, Hurley, or Miles save them next episode? Maybe Hurley will crash another van through the wall?

DANIEL'S LONG SPEECH: So, we learn that Daniel's plan is to blow up the Jughead bomb and keep the incident from ever happening. Wouldn't that kill everyone on the island, including his mother? Preventing him from being born? Or was he planning to tell his mom to leave the island like he told Charlotte? I don't really like this plan. I don't want the show to end where nothing in it that happened ever happened. But I don't think it will end that way now, solely because we have another season left and they can't have a surprising conclusion to the show a year from now after already telling us what would happen. We also learn in this speech that the Incident causes Dharma to seal up the energy with concrete and create the Hatch's button to releases the energy, keeping the danger at bay... a theory you might have read here on my blog a while back. Except that a lot of what surrounds that theory is now wrong. But, the button being a regulation device: True.

WIDMORE IS DANIEL'S DAD: First of all, my friends and my wife were right. I thought for sure that Widmore was just Daniel's sponsor, but not also his dad. Hmm. Why is it so important for Daniel to go to the island for Widmore and for Ellie? Hopefully we'll learn more next episode. Also, this means Daniel is Penny's half-brother, and Desmond's brother-in-law. (Half Brother-in-Law?) Ms. Hawking gets mad because Widmore says that his relationship with Penny is one of sacrifice, and she feels like she's made more of a sacrifice than him. Which I guess she has. Does this comment from Widmore mean Widmore's good and trying to protect Penny somehow by pretending to be mean to her and Desmond? Because he generally seems to care about Desmond's fate now. I don't think so, I think Widmore's bad. Neck-snapping bad. But there is more to the story. On the second viewing I noticed Ellie says "I had to send my son back to the island knowing full well..." when Widmore interrupts her.

IS DANIEL DEAD? So, I guess there's a chance Daniel doesn't die and that Jack sews him up, but I think his story line is basically over. Plus he got a bullet through the heart. And he told his whole plan to Jack and Kate, another thing you should not do on Lost if you want to live. So goes the greatest character of season 4. And a lot of Season 5. Farewell, Daniel Faraday. I guess we'll never know why your last name wasn't Hawking or Widmore. Or even Chang, for that matter.

PREVIEW FOR NEXT WEEK'S EPISODE: (SPOILERS, BEWARE) Here's what I saw in the preview for next week's episode, which is posted above. Jack has a bloody nose and says "If we do everything that's written in that journal, our plane never crashes," as someone flips through the journal. I'm assuming that Richard and Ellie capture Jack and Kate (hence the bloody nose) and Jack wants to try to escape and steal the journal from them to learn how to blow up the Jughead bomb somehow? Next, we see an overhead shot of a beach with tents on it. An Others camp? Or, the beach in present time with the Flight 316ers? We see Locke walking on the beech with two people I've never seen before, one of them is carrying a rifle. Are the two people part of Bram and Ilana's group of Others? Sun looks longingly at her wedding ring. I'm assuming she'd also look longingly at a picture of her daughter she left behind, but she forgot to bring one. Radzinsky punches Sawyer while Juliet screams and Phil smiles in the background. Jack says "None of this will have ever happened." Some Dharma folks are walking down the pier to the submarine, and we hear Chang say "We need to evacuate the island". So I guess he does listen to Daniel. Are these the main people that are saved because of Faraday's return? Sawyer and Juliet are handcuffed and walking with a bunch of other Dharma folks. Juliet says "I love you." And Sawyer says something I can't understand. Either "I love you back" or "I won't be back" or "I already knew that", which would be rather Han Solo of him. Sayid and Ellie stand next to each other near a pond that Jack dives into. Jack swims underwater and then up into a temple with a fire lit in it. Sun looks at Locke. Locke says "If there's a way to save our people, I'll find it." I assume he's referring to the 70s Losties. Sayid and Jack walk explore the temple together. It looks like Ellie and Richard are with them. Also, something huge is covered in a tarp. Jughead? And the temple is lit by weird purple lights. Jack says "This is our chance to change things". Miles and Jin pull out their guns in the jungle. Sayid aims back at them. Kate says "If you're wrong, everyone dies." The next episode is entitled "Follow the Leader." And, the rumor is that it is an episode centered on... Richard Alpert. Awesome? Yes. Then there is one remaining episode... the two hour season finale. Exciting times.


Anonymous said...

The notebook he's been carrying around is from the future. He always flips through it confused as if he's trying to decipher it rather than look up some calculation.

Also, it is the Garden of Eden. Or the center of the "big bang" if you are a heathen.


Anonymous said...

Also, if she shot her son, and found out about it, why not bring him back to life like they did with ben and locke?
just sayin'- it's possible

Wes W. said...

It is possible. If you like EVIL kids. Maybe she knows that the temple can do weird things. Or maybe she just didn't like Daniel.

Starr said...

I accidentally committed on your below post regarding this one... please see the other one.

I don't think that Ellis knew in the future that she was going to kill her son in the past. Desmond didn't have that new memory of Faraday until the future when he woke up with Penny and had to find faraday's mom...remember? or is it different now that they're not flashing in time. I kind of wonder if she's just realizing what she did now.. I guess we'll see in the next episode... maybe.

Wes W. said...

I think the rules are different for Desmond. Daniel even said as much when he told Desmond to go and find his mom, and so far Desmond is the only one who's gotten new memories.