The Variable

Another great episode last night’ just thought I’d put down what I got out of it and see what you all thought.

Dan Faraday has returned and he’s on a mission to change the past. He confronts Dr. Chang and tries to tell him he’s from the future but, of course, Chang doesn’t believe him. He almost seems like he might go along when Dan tells Chang that Miles is his son. I think Chang can kind of sense this but then Miles tells him it’s not true. He told Chang about the incident though so maybe after that happens he’ll believe him.

Sawyer, Juliet, Hurley, Jin and Miles are headed to the beach camp. Well, that’s their plan anyway. Radzinsky seems to be in the way at the moment. Based on the DHARMA Booth Video I think they still have a little more work to do in DHARMAVille.

Jack, Kate and Dan run off to find the Hostiles to talk to Eloise (now definitely confirmed to be Dan’s mother). After a little shootout with Radzinsky and his buddies they’re off to the fence and into the jungle to find the Hostiles camp. Dan then explains the plan to Kate and Jack. He’s going to detonate the hydrogen bomb to destroy the electromagnetic build-up and change the past. His plan will prevent the crash of flight 815 and the visit to the island by the freighter. He says that the variables in the equation are the people… after he thought things through some more he’s decided that things can be changed! Oh my!

Well, just when it seems like we’re on the path to change things start to go the other way. Daniel gets shot by none other than Eloise Hawking, his mother. She doesn’t know that Dan is her son until it’s too late. We then see older Hawking talking with older Widmore about Sacrifice. It turns out that she knows that she killed Daniel. She knows that the guy she shot was her son and she knew that sending him back to the island would result in his death. The fact that she knows this later shows that what happened to Daniel wasn’t a change. This is just what happened. Nothing changed. Another example was when Daniel went ahead and talked to Charlotte even though he promised himself that he wouldn’t.

Now we have Jack and Kate running around knowing the plan and I can only assume that they’ll try to pick up where Dan left off. I can see some problems with this though’ Which one of Jack and Kate seems more likely to know how to detonate a hydrogen bomb? I’m not 100% sure of the process myself but I’m pretty sure you can’t just hit it with a rock and hope it explodes. Plus what does this mean for Sawyer, Juliet, Jin, Miles and Hurley? Are they going to meet their end in a fiery explosion? Will there be no Kate, Jack, Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, Jin or Hurley in season six? How about Kate, Frank, John and Ben? How will the detonation of a hydrogen bomb in the 1970s affect them? With those in the past I can see it’ they’d die on the island then, I suppose, find themselves back on the plane headed to LA’ but those in 2007 wouldn’t die. Would they just be stranded in some completely disconnected time on an island that used to be special but for some reason isn’t anymore?

Did I miss anything?

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79 thoughts on “The Variable

  1. yay no change happening yet. however… widmore and eloises talk about sacrifice made me think they had a choice. maybe you can change the past but there will be a paradox and the result really super sucks. so although change is unlikely they make sure it doesnt happen.

  2. Good run-down there, highbrow. A couple of things I noted in watching the episode:

    1) Eloise does not know what will happen next, including Desmond’s fate, but her allegiance to the Island is stronger than her maternal instincts, and she has utterly destroyed her son’s entire existence for the sake of the Island.

    2) Sawyer and Juliet’s relationship has begun to fray, and Jack and Kate’s alliance is shaky as well.

    3) Jack is acting against the island, taking the side of detonating the bomb, which is in direct opposition with the sacrifices made to save it – namely Daniel Faraday’s entire life. Kate, on the other hand, has taken steps to save Ben and isn’t clearly on board with Daniel – and now Jack’s- plan.

    I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts eventually. This was a powerful episode, and I must admit, even thought I was totally convinced of his imminent death, I’m still sorry to see Faraday go.

  3. I think Daniel’s change of heart about change last night was brought on by desperation. He desperately wanted to stop the incident so he could stop the crash of 815 so he could stop the freihter from coming to the island. In the process he provided tons of evidence to support his theory of “whatever happened, happened”.

  4. I liked hearing all the talk about them being where (or when) they’re not supposed to be. Maybe Daniel did something we don’t know about to try to prevent the Pasties from coming to the past. He realizes that it didn’t work when he sees a copy of the newest recruit picture. I think the Pasties are headed back to their normal time soon to be reunited with Sun and John.

  5. Yeah, it is odd that they look at it that way. They have knowledge of things that happen and they know that they’re responsible for them. They go ahead and make sure they happen because of their devotion to the island (or whatever). If they don’t do those things though then I guess they wouldn’t have knowledge of those things happening or at least they wouldn’t know that they are responsible for them (because they wouldn’t be). Or maybe they think they know they’re supposed to do these things so they do them but really they’re just being manipulated by someone/something…

  6. Yeah highbrow- I was a little surprised that we’re being knocked over the head with Widmore’s involvement- I guess they want to make sure that even American Idol fans get that point, eh?

  7. highbrow, that is correct! He did, and it was what I had expected. It never made sense that Ben would do this, as he had no reason to.

    In fact, there were a few other things that occurred, as I had anticipated.

    I’ll throw in some speculation on your thoughts later.

  8. I think the recap people speculated that Widmore was behind it like so many of the fans did (myself not included). Oh well. I guess they were right!

    We also learned that Widmore is Daniel’s father which makes Daniel and Penny at least half-brother/half-sister and Desmond and Daniel and brother-in-laws. Damn, where do the connections end?

  9. Widmore admitted he faked the plane AND that he IS Daniel’s daddy! Daniel and Penny are sibs and desmondo was his bro-in-law! I now feel even more strong that Eloise is the leader of the “Shadow Group” who are calling themselves the winning team. So Daniel was born on the island too — just on the “Other” side. This was a great episode! Jack & Kate are really screwing stuff up because of their “broken hearts”. Daniel’s plan to blow up the bomb is loony. I think the time travel/changing stuff issue IS NOT DECIDED, like u mentioned above. We can’t just trust that Eloise knows what she is talking about. But HOW does she know all about future events??? I agree with the above note that becasue the young Ellie “remember” the time travel encounter with the LOSTIES,she is working to make sure it happens because they see it as “destiny/the right way”.
    I think “the island” does want the lOSTIES to change something!!! that’s why it put them in the 70s! But what? It can’t be to blow up the island?? It’s prolly not to stop the purge. So WHAT???

  10. burningstar, perhaps the true mission of ‘the losties’ is yet to be revealed.

    I see an awful lot of ‘smoke and mirrors’ being used to manipulate them in many directions.

    Their biggest mission is to find out the truth!

  11. oops
    I hit Submit by accident. If the Losties hadn’t come, then Ben would not have been shot. If he hadn’t been shot, Richard would not have brought him to the Temple to save him, and he would not have had the gifts and graces of the Island, and may not have become the Leader. If Ben hadn’t become the leader, then what will happen in 2007 may not go off as planned and the Island may not be saved. That’s one idea, anyway.


  13. Julietslover, some of us did expect that it was Widmore who planted the plane.

    I thought that was self-explanatory when Captain Gault explained this to Desmond and Sayid on ‘the freighter’.

    I guess some people really have to be convinced, though!

    It’s called, ‘the sledgehammer approach’. lol

  14. sorhah, you’ve got a LOST MIND 4 sure! but i don’t think THAT is it! We already knew lil Ben was totally committed to the Others before Sayid got there! Whether he was there or not, Ben has already decided to wait…until Richard tells him the plan!
    It’s got to be something else!!!!

  15. in next weeks previews, Sayid is with Jack. I’m pretty sure that sayid could detonate a bomb. I knew the Iraqis had weapons of mass destruction!!!

  16. What’s with all the caps?

    Gault was speculating just like all the theorists who thought Widmore planted the plane before it was confirmed. The guy delivering the pictures and whatnot actually makes no sense whatsoever since we now know that Widmore planted the plane. The receipt, maybe. The pictures of the mass grave and whatnot? My God, having that stuff floating around was just stupid on Widmore’s part.

  17. Eloise must have Faraday’s journal. That is how she knows so much about future events but now time has caught up to where the journal stops. What I don’t understand is why Eloise blames Daniel for Ben’s actions.

  18. Ok I am new here so I am just posing some general thoughts here.

    sohrshah, true Eloise might not know what happens next, but in Desmond’s case this is her present, but shooting Daniel is her past. You folks are definitely more astute than I so maybe someone can help me remember. Is there anything that Eloise has said or done that might seem like “knowing” what would happen next but maybe was really just remembering what did happen (in her past at least)? Also, I am not so sure Jack would be on board with detonating the bomb. He learned this information en route to the others. Daniel did not tell him ahead of time what the real plan was. I am sure Sawyer would have had a thing or two to say if Daniel had said he was going to detonate that bomb when they were having their meeting.

    Highbrow, I agree that Widmore did finally come out and admit he put the plane there but since we as viewers mostly already accepted that maybe he only did it knowing that Daniel would forget anyway. (As he said.) Maybe the show creators just had him admit this to lock in this bit of information as fact for some reason.

    Also, was it just me that saw the Widmore as Daniel’s father thing coming? I guess it was just a feeling I had after the meeting he had with Daniel plus with Daniel getting the grant money that just fell in his lap essentially. Sort of Great Expectations like.

    I also agree with Burningstar that the changing the past changes the future stuff is not decided. Daniel’s death proves what he had been saying about can’t undo what has been done. How could Daniel have known that his own mother would send him back just so she could shoot him? PLUS to change the past and “reset” the clock to pre-crash means none of them will get to know each other and develop the history they have together. Good, bad, or otherwise it is still their shared history that links them all together. As to the island having a plan and that is why it put them in the 70s maybe it was to stop disco music OR to have Hurley fix what was wrong with Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi because after all we all know that Ewoks suck.

    Personally my theory (probably will change) is that the show’s ultimate message when all said and done, is that you can not change the past. You can only live for today. What has happened has happened. Also, value the relationships your develop with people because however random it might be that brings people together maybe you are brought together for some higher reason that you do not understand. just my thought given what has happened this week.

  19. She was appologizing because it was Daniel that contacted Desmond and asked him to come in the first place. If Desmond had stayed in hiding he wouldn’t have been shot.

  20. username, you are absolutely correct about Ms. Hawking.

    The fact that she doesn’t even know what is going to happen, speaks volumes! She has always been ‘the oracle’, and for the first time, she is uncertain of events ahead! That was a major clue!

    highbrow, Captain Gault, was no more speculating than myself or any other theorist. He was speaking from first hand knowledge from Widmore. He knew Widmore faked the crash, and he stated that!

    I know your better half knows that!

  21. Burningstar,

    I agree with you in that Ben did indeed have loyalty to Richard and the Others previous to Sayid or any other Losties’ arrival. His being shot is clearly of importance, and Richard displays a rare break with leadership to bring him to the Temple. While I stand by my original statement that my theory is off-the-cuff and certainly one of many possibilities, I do think that there is merit in considering the consequences of Ben’s injury, who did it and why, and how that might have changes his place with the Others had it not happened. Defection to the others is no guarantee of leadership, certainly.

  22. dabs…didnt the not from michael to sayid and desmond on the boat tell them not to trust the captain? that can cast doubt. and new characters shouldnt be trusted until we learn more about them

  23. Dabs, I don’t have a better half.

    I know I said yesterday that Lostpedia doesn’t always get it right but it seems that I’m not the only one who missed Gault confirming that Widmore staged the wreckage. He states that it was obviously staged, that it was staged by someone very powerful and with great resources and that it is the reason they must find Ben Linus.

  24. Good point highbrow. I always assumed Gault was speaking directly about Widmore. I think that the show has pointed directly at Widmore from the first time we see that there’s a hoax. The confirmation from his own lips is fun, but serves as a final nail in a dead horse’s coffin. It does beg the question – WHY?

    Is there something else we’re all assuming from day one many seasons ago which is in fact a red herring?

    Or, do we (the audience) need to be reminded and confirmed of the hoax’s origins because of its deep importance to Widmore’s as of yet unknown true motivations?

  25. highbrow, well you used to have a ‘better half’!

    Perhaps, you have devoured him like the smoke monster or, your personalities have merged! lol

  26. I don’t know what the whole point of it was. All I know if that yes, they’ve been pointing at Widmore all along and no, they did not confirm it until last night and yes, they have provided plenty of doubt along the way. What throws things off is Felix. Carrying all that stuff and bringing it to Widmore? That doesn’t make a bit of sense! Unless Widmore is an idiot…

  27. i wonder what the constant betwixt his personalities arrrrrrr. sorry i just put the language setting on my facebook to pirate and im “hooked”.

  28. highbrow, maybe he is an idiot then! lol Because Ben one-upped him!

    Yes, I prefer your best half. Don’t get me wrong, I do like you, and if it weren’t for your cute avatar, I’d have strung you up by now! lol

  29. Do you string up all the people you like? I’m starting to understand the name a bit better!

    We agree then. Widmore is dumb. He had this whole hoax of a plane put in the ocean and he had bodied dug up and planted on it. It’s confirmed and I’m not arguing that it didn’t happen that way at all. However, after he does that he has someone carry his receipt for the plane and a picture of the dug-up graves to him? Holy crap, why!!?!

  30. highbrow, I am shocked and disappointed in your statement about me! It was you, who just a short while ago, that referred to me as Paula Abdul like.

    My, how we forget!

    Yes, Widmore is a fool, IMO. More $$$ then brains apparently.

    One more thought, that you didn’t mention. Why hasn’t anyone killed Radzinsky yet????

    I hope it happens soon, because I may get on board one of those Oceanic flights to ‘the island’. lol

    Please, no smart comments!

  31. Well, at least he didn’t buy the plane himself!

    More dumb to me than having a Felix at all is then bringing Miles into it by having his job interview involve Felix and the information he had at the time of his death…
    um, Arrrr.

  32. Sorry Dabs. You didn’t say that Widmore was dumb… maybe it just wasn’t the right song for him…

    And yeah. We are on the same page about Radz. If it turns out that the past can be changed then the first thing they should do is kill that guy ASAP!

  33. I think he’s more annoying! I seriously believe it’s Inman who kills him in the Swan. I don’t know how he lived with that guy as long as he did.

    You know what though? For all we now know about him I still don’t know what his function within the DHARMA Initiative is. He doens’t seem to be a scientist. He seems more like a security guy, but specifically for the Swan Station. But then again I think he might be an architect. Or maybe…

  34. Okay read the recap, have some thoughts, but now I have to read 45 comments. Geez. That’s what PST zone will do to a person.

    I hope my thoughts are still relevant…and that I don’t forget them.

  35. Sorry Kimberly. You’re always welcome to the party, even if you’re habitually late!

    So Lostpedia says Radzinsky is Head of Research at the Swan. Seems odd to me that he runs around pointing guns at people so often! You’d think the head of research would have people for that!

  36. Okay, I had to write notes in my trusty little notebook…oddly enough sounding like Daniel at the moment. Anyway. I’m going to turn my comment into multiple so it’s not so long…

    I like the re-cap but I think there are a few major holes in the story that appear to be pretty massive (in my little brain), so I need to bring them up.

    1. I agree that Dan’s mission was to eventually create an event that changed the past. He stated that to Jack in his whole variable speech. However, him talking to Miles and Chang, and even little Charlotte, was him doing what he was ‘supposed’ to do. His comment about “right on time” when Chang arrived and his lead in comments to Charlotte show me that he had weighed out what he NEEDED to do to perpetuate certain things in motion in the past that were ‘supposed’ to happen the way that they happened. I think that his reason for doing this was almost like a ‘failsafe’ plan in case he didn’t succeed in detonating the bomb. Part of my reason for thinking this even more is that now VERY interesting DHARMA video where Chang is talking, sending a message to those in 2007, with Pres. Bush and the Internet, blah blah blah. I know we didn’t SEE Daniel, but come on, that was his voice in the background. So what is this video? There is now a major hole in this scenario of Dan being killed off without any follow-up to interacting with Chang. I know it wasn’t part of the show, but they did put it out there for a reason, right?

  37. 2. The other big question that arises from Dan’s actions last night is: What did he end up telling Charlotte?

    They purposely cut away as he led up to either saying or NOT saying, “Don’t come back and find this island or you’ll die.” We know he wrestled with telling her or not, so I don’t think it’s a given that he told her, but I also think he would have rationalized his reason for telling her.

  38. I do NOT think it is confirmed that Daniel was born on the island. This is another major plot hole at the moment.

    It obviously is POSSIBLE that he was born on the island, which is why the island could have been the place for his healing of his memory issues. But, the look on Ellie’s face when she shot him…incredulous.

    Could it be because she knows that she has a son that is technically off-island, perhaps even being raised in the US while she is on island?

    My reason for thinking that is that the year is 1977 when he is killed. If he hasn’t been born yet, then that means that in 2004 when he goes on the Freighter (and has already done all his research and debacles) that he was no older than 26. Hardly believable.

    If he has been born then that means that he has been to the island, that he was potentially there on the island at the time of the shooting. Everything up until this point makes it seem like the Others don’t necessarily ‘welcome’ children into the island camp.

  39. 4. I think that as cruel as it seems that Eloise sent her son at the Freighter in 2004 knowing that the timetraveling would begin and eventually she would end up killing him herself … well, her actions of getting Daniel to that place was the same as Daniel’s doing what was ‘supposed’ to happen…such as warning Chang.

    The big question that comes from this for me:

    How did Eloise get her knowledge of everything leading up to 2007, especially if Daniel did in fact die in 1977 even though he technically would have been missing after 2004?

    I like the suggestion of the journal, but it sure seemed like in the preview for next week, that Jack has the journals somehow. I tend to think that the missing link could be that she actually gave him two journals. Am I mistaken?

    I also tend to think that her ‘foresight’ is limited up to a certain time period, which I think is interesting since we don’t know what the ‘cut-off’ point would be.

    I think that her foresight of events, and the fact that she is technically now in 2007 makes for a very interesting predicament given that Jack/Kate/1977 Losties are now going to wrestle with what to do about changing the future by erasing the past.

    This is a brilliant predicament for the show/characters. And it actually reinforces to me one of the major reasons why Sun didn’t flash to 1977.

    I think that’s a clue.

    And I think it will mean that the timelines don’t get reunited soon. Otherwise, this new venture of potentially finishing what Daniel started will be far less complicated for Sun and Jin.

  40. kimberly, I think Daniel was likely born on ‘the island’, because Ms. Hawking spoke about sending him back to ‘the island’. This is referenced by her conversation with Daniel, telling him to accept Widmore’s offer of going to ‘the island’ on ‘the freighter’. At least that is how I interpreted it.

    He may well have been schooled and lived off of ‘the island’ in his younger years. Old Charles doesn’t seem to like children very much! lol

    Daniel had his journal in the back of the jeep with him, and left it with Jack and Kate.

    Ms. Hawking does not know how to predict the future accurately as of her conversation with Penny, because she cannot predict what the outcome will be, as a result of any changes ‘the variables’ (losties) make, from here on out.

    There are many variations, and possibilities of outcomes, that can succeed or fail.

    Lastly, Ms. Hawking knew that she would eventually be responsible for killing her own son. By Daniel’s own dying words, he tells her, that she knew all along, and sent him back to ‘the island’, anyway. She realizes he is her son, when he calls her mom! A tragic twist of fate!

    I believe this is why she looked so pained when she visits Daniel and tells him to accept his father’s offer.

    I think it will be difficult to see any time-line change, if ‘the losties’ fail their mission, although, they may make another run at it again, if they learn how!

  41. Dabs, I didn’t catch the “back” to the island as in that is the proof that he was born there…I hope he was born there and then departed to be raised in the US…that sure would help explain his accent. And it would also leave the door open to explain why she even left the island from 1977 on…to raise him herself and thus set the course for his “destiny.”

    I did catch all of her pained expressions, her references to things like him not having the ‘time’ for girls – her plans to get him on his course for going there were broad and she was concerned that anything that could deviate from him getting there in 2004 (to then send him back to 1974.)

    Perhaps Daniel knows to make multiple copies of his findings which is what he wanted to bring to his mother. I swear he had his pack and dropped it coming into camp. (This episode warrants a few viewings!!!) Yet I also saw the preview of Jack with the journal.

    How does she put things together between 1977 and Daniel getting to the island in 2004? This is a great thing to ponder!

  42. And to add one more thought, I am SO interested to find out what Daniel was doing between 1974 & 1977…as that might help us to understand how she knows what she knows, and any other experiments, research or studies he did in his time in the past.

  43. I just re-watched the episode kimberly, but made no notation of the journal. Maybe I will catch it again, or someone else will.

    Not only does Ms. Hawking appear to have the ability of foresight, but it would appear that Ben has it too!

    Richard Alpert seems to always ‘play dumb’ as if he has no idea what is going on. I think this is a clever ruse.

    We don’t have the full story on how certain ‘key’ players are in ‘the know’, yet. I think this is a major piece that is missing.

  44. hello!

    daniel has been shot by eloise, his mother! oh no!

    well…is that a sacrifice? we hear mrs hawking and mr widmore talking about the sacrifice. but to what end? she knows that jack and co are are on the island she told them to go back. knowing that daniel would be klled.again, to what end?

    i think the factn that weve seen the episode go back once again to eloise’ youth must mean this has allbenn planned way before, hence the statue.

    im just kinda wondering how far it goes back..?

    good discussion!


  45. hahah, no ive seen it. watched it on surf the channel.
    i think im going to be right about a few things ive spoken about judging by it!


  46. losts-colombo, that feels good when you are right about something on this show!

    I think you have inspired me to think about a few things, as well. Watching Primer, also helped!

    Glad you caught it, because you would be really spoiled if you didn’t!

  47. Thank you Lost#s! …Are you asking the same question I did earlier…or wait, are you thinking that maybe that was a red herring? I would love to hear people’s thoughts on this!

  48. haha! thanks dabothchery, yet another human ive inspired,when will my talents end.

    i think yourright about primer, this episode in particular, when faraday clamied toeloise that she knew this was going to hapen,just like the when in Primer aaron tells abe all about what hes done, in the past to set things up, like when he looks over the balcony and sees abe sitting.

    this is the way the plot seems to have come with faradays claimed…interesting….i need t think about this more!


  49. losts-colombo, well, that is what I took away from the movie, when applied to last nights episode.
    I incorporated some of that belief into my next theory, I’ve been working on.

    Let’s not discuss your many talents! lol

  50. ahaha! you can right atheory in the fun section about my talents, i hope you dont get writers cramp easily!

    also, im looking forward to your theory, i have a strange feeling i know what its primer, whos one step ahead of who here?



  51. losts-colombo, I incorporated the insight I gained into the writing of it. It’s in keeping with the episode.

    I just knocked it off, and need to refine it, but I am happy with the results.

  52. hahaa, i look forward to it, i rember yo saying that your new theory would help when you saw the new episode, im glad it still applies!

    ill nerver forget to have a sense ofhumour!

    ……ill never forget to have a sense of humour….did i??…did i mention that before?


  53. Lost#s…I did write a novel with my comments…so I don’t blame you for not reading it. We are just agreeing that it is a very interesting twist that HAS to have an explanation!

  54. Wow, look at all the comments… awesome!

    There was some good discussion on Lostpedia yesterday calling into question the cannonisity of the DHARMA Booth Video. Apparently the producers have stated that it was mostly just an off season thing to give people an idea of what season five was basically going to be about. At any rate if you listen to it the voice on the tape isn’t the guy who plays Daniel even though it seems like it’s supposed to sound like him. The accent is wrong.

    As for Daniel being born on the island… the time frame certainly does point to him being born on the island or at least that he was born before Eloise left the island for good. Maybe he was born there and removed, sent to live with a care taker… or maybe he was born off island and left with a caretaker. All we really know is that he left the island at an earlier age than Miles did so if he was there at all he was only there for a very short time.

    Ummm, did Daniel really tell Eloise that he knew that was going to happen? I think he just put two and two together when he saw that it was her that shot him that SHE knew all along that this would happen. He says “you knew” not “I knew”…

  55. Yeah I def think Daniel was born on the island and I think we had clues about that during the flashing. And yes, Daniel meant that SHE knew she was sending him to his death, remember how emphatic she was about him going, he “had” to go. She knew she was going to kill him and she had to kill him because she wanted the events that happened after she killed him (that we haven’t seen yet) to happen.

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