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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"The Variable" Discussion

[Listen to this episode!] [Subscribe to the MP3 feed via iTunes]

the JoshMeister and fellow LOST fans discuss Season 5 Episode 14, "The Variable" and take a look at what we might see in episode 15, "Follow The Leader".

A thought from Congested:
  • "They talk about how Nadia died. They say she she was murdered by being run down by a car. While we saw her killer fleeing the crime scene in a car, a photo apparently taken by a traffic camera, Ben never explicitly said she died that way."
A thought from Steve from The Smoke Hatch:
  • Ben would have had to raise Alex for 4 years while still with DHARMA if he took Alex in 1988 since the Purge took place in 1992
    • Alex was age 16 after Flight 85 crashed in September 2004, meaning she was born in 1988 (or possibly late 1987)
    • When Ben and teenage Ethan took Alex from Danielle Rousseau, Alex was still a small baby, no more than several months old; this dates the kidnapping at around 1988
    • Horace told Locke in a dream in the episode Cabin Fever that he's been dead for 12 years, and we saw him dead after the Purge; 12 years before 2004 would be 1992
    • This leaves a discrepancy of about 4 years when Ben would have had to secretly raise Alex while he (and possibly Ethan) lived among both DHARMA and the Others, which doesn't make much sense; this seems to be a continuity error on the part of the writers
Season 5 Episode 14 "The Variable" (Daniel Faraday-centric) notes:
  • 2007
    • Desmond (who was shot by Benjamin Linus) is taken to the hospital
    • Eloise Hawking shows up, tells Penny that Charlie has his father's hair, and confirms that Daniel Faraday is her son

  • 1977
    • Faraday came back to Island because he saw the photo of new DHARMA recruits including the Flight 815/316 passengers
    • Jack tells Dan that Eloise told Jack it was his destiny to go back; Dan says "Well, I've got some bad news for you, Jack. She was wrong."

  • Flashback
    • Daniel as a young boy playing the piano
    • Eloise: "If one has a special gift then it must be nurtured."
    • When asked, Daniel says the metronome has kept "864" beats
    • Eloise: "It is my... *job* to keep you on your path."

  • 1977
    • Sawyer shows Jack that Phil is locked up in a closet

    • Faraday goes into the Orchid, says to Miles that he'll be back in 10 minutes
    • This is the first scene from the first episode this season
    • Daniel tells Pierre Chang: "I need you to order the evacuation of every man, woman, and child on the island"
    • Daniel describes a massive electromagnetic phenomenon at The Swan that will happen in 6 hours (could this be "the Incident"?)
    • Dan tells Dr. Chang that he's from the future
    • Dan tells Chang that Miles is his son, which Miles denies

  • Flashback
    • Dan's mom is very controlling, turns away Dan's girlfriend Theresa and tells Dan he should be focusing on his work rather than wasting his gift on a woman - girlfriend/research assistant
    • Daniel got a multimillion dollar grant from Charles Widmore to continue his research
    • Eloise gives Daniel his journal as a graduation present (screenshot)

  • 1977
    • Sawyer is having a meeting with all the Flight 815 survivors and Juliet to decide what to do; soon enough the DHARMA folks will realize that Phil is missing
      • Jin and Hurley vote to start from "square one" and stay on the Island and go into hiding rather than leave the Island
    • Daniel: "Does anyone know where we can find the Hostiles? Because one of them is my mother, and she's the only one who can get us back to where we belong."

  • Flashback
    • Dan cries when he sees the Christiane I (we've seen this flashback before, last season, and now the flashback continues)
      • We don't know the exact timeline, but the issue of Wired is from August 2003, and we know this must be at least September 2004 because that's when Flight 815 crashed
    • Charles Widmore shows up at Daniel's house
    • Dan: "Didn't Caroline [Daniel's caregiver] tell you? I have a condition that affects my memory."
    • Widmore says they've never met before, and introduces himself
    • Dan: "I tested it on myself first. I never meant to hurt Theresa."
    • Widmore: "Daniel, what if I told you they're not dead? What if I told you the plane was a fake? An elaborate, expensive fake? Because I put it there."
    • "It will heal you, Daniel. Your mind, your memory."
      • Lostgeek108: "And getting Desmond as his constant heal him? because his memory did improve after that." -- maybe this in addition to the healing properties of the Island helped
    • Charles says that he and Dan's mother are "old friends"

  • 1977
    • Daniel knew that Ellie was his mother
    • Juliet tells Daniel, Kate, and Jack that the code for the fence is 1-4-1-7-1-7 and Miles gives Daniel the car keys
    • Sawyer, Juliet, Miles, and Hurley prepare to go to the beach
    • Daniel talks to young Charlotte

    • Shootout between Jack, Kate, Dan and Radzinsky and friends

  • 2007
    • Desmond recovers from his surgery
    • "I promised you, Penny. I promised you I'd never leave you again."
    • Widmore asks Ellie "Is he all right?"
    • "Yes, Charles, he's fine."
    • Eloise asks Charles about his daughter Penny
    • Chalres says that he had he to sacrifice his relationship with Penny
    • "I had to send my son back to the Island, knowing full well that--"
    • "He's my son, too, Eloise." She slaps him
      • Did Charles leave the Island before or after Dan was born? Was Dan born on or off the Island?
        • Why did Ellie eventually leave the island? To raise Daniel?
          • Lostgeek108: "She probably left because she couldn't live there after killing Daniel maybe she thought by leaving she thought she could change things by leaving the" [the comment seems to have been cut off]

  • 1977
    • Daniel says the same thing to Jack that we've discussed previously, and that Miles and Hurley discussed, about how any one of them can die because "this is our present"

    • Radzinsky catches Sawyer with Phil locked up, knows he's involved in the infiltration, forces him to surrender

    • Daniel explains that it's not necessarily true that "whatever happened, happened"—he spent so much time worrying about the constant that he didn't think about the variables—he says we have free will, we can change our destiny
      • He wants to prevent the electromagnetic anomaly, which will prevent the need to build the button which Desmond will eventually fail to push, which will mean no Flight 815 crash, no freighter, etc.
        • However, Daniel is wrong because this would create a paradox =)
        • jennielynn: "if i were kate i would not want things to back she is heading to JAIL"
        • He plans to do this by detonating the hydrogen bomb ("Jughead")

    • Daniel walks into the Hostiles' camp with a gun in his hand and demands to speak to Ellie
      • Why didn't Richard Alpert and Ellie recognize Dan? They both saw him in 1954! Richard even had a whole conversation with Dan about what to do with the hydrogen bomb
      • Irvine_Cattle_Ranch: "I think Richard was stalling"
        • However, neither he nor Ellie recognized Daniel, so Ellie can't claim she was stalling
    • Ellie shoots Daniel in the back, and then Dan (as he's dying) explains to Ellie that he's her son
      • Lostgeek108: "Can Richard heal Daniel?" -- he took Ben into the temple to be healed, after all
      • jennielynn: "ellie leaves after she shoots him and does not know dan is still alive"

  • baileybear: "why was dan running into the hostiles waving a gun?"
    • XsavagistX: "yeah i didnt understand why they needed guns. Alpert seemed pretty reasonable"
    • XsavagistX: "KATE: These people are not gonna be happy to see us. It might be a good idea to bring some guns. There's a gun safe in the motor pool, but it's locked"

  • danzam: "If the variable is free will does that imply that Desmond, who was featured in "The Constant" does not possess free will?"

  • jennielynn: "i dont think richard and jacob are on the same side just had to put it out there"

  • baileybear: "i have a question. if locke didn't want the oceanic 6 to leave then how would they have changed the dharma time if they didn't go back there?"
    • jennielynn: "john was not so inlightened back then"

  • Screenshots and Easter Eggs:
    • WIRED magazine: time travel issue and article
    • Was it Dan Faraday talking in the background in the Comic-Con 2008 video? (Josh doesn't think so)
      • XsavagistX: "the 'credible source' has to be Faraday. hes the only one to reveal himself as a time traveler so far."
        • Sure, but this could have been from when Faraday spoke to Pierre trying to convince him that he was a time traveler, and then Daniel's prophecies do come true, Dr. Chang believes him and makes the video
      • icebird: "or... it could be Miles. that would explain why that guy is taking the camera away, because he doesn't believe it will work" "yeah, you're probably right Josh, that video is probably after the Swan problem Daniel warned him about. that makes a little more sense in the timelin"
      • natalie_in_seattle (jokingly): "on the hidden Dharma video Dr. Cheng gives Miles to Miles so he can rock himself to sleep. That part ended up on the cutting room floor during editing"
SPOILERS:
  • Preview for the next episode:
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiDjdCLPYCs
    • Jack: "If we do what's written in that journal, Flight 815 never crashes."
    • Sawyer: "I love you." Juliet: "I love you back."
    • Jack: "If there's a way to save our people I'll find it."
    • "If you're wrong everyone dies."
  • From SpoilerFix (WARNING: don't click this link unless you want to risk being majorly spoiled!)
    • Episode 15: Follow The Leader (Richard Alpert-centric)

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