Apr 30, 2009

The Variable

Wow! What an episode of Lost. Of course, I'm partial to Daniel episodes as he has quickly become one of my favorite characters, which is also the reason why I didn't see the ending coming. Lost is proving that they aren't messing around as the series speeds to an end. With only two more nights of Lost left to season 5, I don't know if I can wait for season 6.

Mommy Issues
Many characters on Lost have been dealing with daddy issues. From Ben to Jack to Kate to Miles, it has become a major theme for the show. Daniel on the other hand, dealt with mommy issues his entire life.

Daniel's mom, Eloise Hawking, pushed her son his entire life to utilize his great mind. She pushed him away from passions like the piano and girls like Theresa. They had a rocky relationship his entire life, and it didn't become clear until the end of the episode what her motives were and what was driving her to be this way with him. So let's get to the best, most shocking point of season 5.

Mother of the Year? Not this year (1977)
Ms. Hawking has been an interesting character ever since her first appearance with Desmond a couple of seasons ago. Even this season, she became the go-to person to get everyone back to the island. Fans were left to wonder how she knew everything she new. Was she a time traveler or someone more important that what we've learned?

At the end of The Variable, all the pieces started falling into place for her. It had been speculated since Jughead that the Hostile named Ellie would turn out to be Eloise Hawking and when Daniel went to the Hostiles camp looking for Ellie, he confirmed it.

After waving his gun around and refusing to lower it when talking to Richard, Daniel received a bullet in his back from none other than Ellie herself. Everything clicked for Daniel at that moment. His mom had raised him and pushed him into science and math to lead him to this point in time. It was his destiny.

And how hard was it for Ms. Hawking to raise her son knowing that in 1977 she would kill him? This is a lady who truly believes "what happened happened" and will do anything for the island, even sacrificing her son. If she didn't have such strong convictions, then why wouldn't she have tried to change things? Why not let young Daniel pursue piano rather than math? Why let him go to Oxford and experiment with time?

She knows that everything has to play out this way. Unlike the audience, she knows what happens next in 1977 and up through present time (when she goes to check on Desmond/Penny at the hospital). With knowledge of these events, she knows that they have to play out in a certain way.

There is going to be much discussion on this event in the Lost universe. I've only scratched the surface because I don't want this blog to turn into a War and Peace sized novel, but this is the event that we've been waiting for. This will start to explain a lot on the show concerning our major players.

No, I am your father ...
I guess Daniel qualifies as having daddy issues too. From what we've seen, he probably lived his life with no knowledge of his father. Widmore reveals that Daniel is his son too and is promptly slapped by Ms. Hawking. We didn't know much about their relationship and some thought they could be siblings.

This confirms that he's Daniel's dad ... or does it? Could Widmore just see Daniel as a son since he's been watching over him? He knows that he winds up back on the island in 1954 and again in 1977, so he funds his research and eventually hires him as part of the freighter crew. Since he's so close to Ellie, would he feel a kinship to her son? I'm probably questioning something that shouldn't be questioned, so I'm going to just go along with Widmore being his dad for now.

It will be interesting to learn more about Widmore and Ms. Hawking's relationship and their falling out. Could their falling out have come over Daniel? Perhaps they fought over letting him fulfill his destiny. I could see Widmore saying he had to do it for the island and Hawking wanting to try her best to change things. When we first see her when Daniel is little, it looks like she was upset. Maybe she had just talked with Widmore and he was pushing her to get Daniel on the right track.

Daniel's Condition
We revisited the scene where Daniel first learned of the Flight 815 crash. Daniel doesn't know why he's crying and is then visited by Widmore (his hair grows a bit longer when Widmore gets there too ... maybe the island gave Charles Rogaine-like abilities). This is when Widmore recruits Daniel as part of the freighter crew. There was a lot of juicy info in their conversation.

Daniel's research has screwed up his mind and he doesn't remember things. He can't remember things from the day before and can't do his research anymore. He's still freaked out about what happened to Theresa, but admits that he tried those tests on himself first. With Daniel being upset about the crash, Widmore admits to him that the crash was staged. He said that he set it all up. Why is he letting Daniel in on this knowledge? Well, Daniel won't remember it tomorrow.

Widmore tells him about the island and how that's where 815 crashed. How does elder Widmore know this for sure? Well, Jack and Kate will likely soon fill him in back in 1977. He tells Daniel that the island can heal him and help him remember. This clears up the scenes from last season where Charlotte is testing Daniel's memory of cards she has turned over. Dan was trying to see if the island really was healing him.

Daniel seems reluctant about going, until Ms. Hawking tells him that she will be proud of him if he goes. How hard must it have been for her to have this conversation with him? I know she had talked to Desmond about course-correcting, so even if she didn't tell him to go, Daniel would still end up on the island, but man, it had to be difficult knowing that she was sending her son to die by her own hand.

The Island in a nutshell
We should soon see Jack and the rest of the group have a sit down with the Hostiles, most notably Ellie and Widmore. They will lay out everything that's going to happen in the island's history that they know about. This will force Ellie and Widmore to make sure everything happens as planned. Events such as Widmore's banishment, making sure Desmond makes it to the island, the purge, the incident, Flight 815, etc. will all be laid out and "destiny" will be put into motion by Ellie and Widmore.

This puts Widmore and Desmond's relationship in a new perspective as well. How much of Desmond's life did Charles know about? He led Desmond to the island but remember how he treated him when he first met him? Was this all part of making sure he gets to the island?

Regarding Ms. Hawking, there still the question about her relationship to the monk at the monastery that Desmond was a part of. How long as see been watching over Desmond?

Square 1
With their DHARMA world falling apart, Sawyer has a meeting of the minds with Jin, Hurley, Juliette, Kate, Jack and eventually Miles and Daniel. Sawyer wants to hold onto the life he's made for himself and Juliette, but everyone else sees that that won't be possible. Daniel wants to go find the Hostiles to find his mother to try to change everything. Sawyer doesn't want to help and when Jack urges Kate to help, the love triangle/quadrangle tension heats up until Juliette speaks up and gives the sonic fence code.

With the only other option being to steal the sub, the group decides to go back to square 1 and head to their beach camp location. This doesn't sound like a very good plan as either the Hostiles or DHARMA would probably pursue them there, but we didn't really get to see how it played out after Radzinsky found out about Phil and the gig was up.

What Now?
Daniel had a plan for stopping the incident, which is now only hours from occurring. He tried to convince Pierre Chang to take action, but Chang didn't believe him. He tried to tell him that Miles was his son, but Miles didn't have his back. So the next option was to visit the Hostiles and located Jughead to destroy the energy source. How would dropping a nuclear bomb be any better? We may never know since Ellie shot him.

So what do they do now? They still have Faraday's journal, but how will they deciper it? This is where Miles comes in. We may learn the real reason that Miles was brought to the island. He can communicate with the now deceased Daniel and figure out what they need to do. Will they be able to prevent the incident or are their actions what leads to the incident in the first place?

It looks like the latter is playing out. The Losties think they are acting in the best interest to prevent future events, but their actions are actually what makes these future events take place. The same thing happened when Sayid shot Ben. He thought he was getting rid of future Ben Linus, but in reality his actions led Kate and Sawyer to bring him to Richard, and Ben was on his path to becoming the future leader of the Others.

The same thing is going to happen here. Whatever they end up doing will lead to the incident, which will lead to the button needing to be pushed ever 108 minutes and Desmond will miss pushing the button in 2004 and boom Flight 815 will crash. What happened happened.

The big question on Lost though will be, can they actually change something? Daniel was starting to believe they could. That will be the focus of the next two episodes (yep, only two left this season), whether they are leading the way for the future to play out as they know it or if they can change something.

Other Tidbits:
When they showed Daniel's music ability, my first thought was that he'll be the one who programs the Looking Glass Station with the Beach Boys song. Remember, Charlie disabled the communications block, and they told him it was programmed by a musician.

Daniel had his conversation with Charlotte. I was thinking to myself that he didn't seem that scary, then he probably scared the crap out of her when he told her that she and her mommy would have to leave and never come back. Yeah, good job changing things there Dan. Another interesting note is that Charlotte's first and last words to Daniel were about her not being able to have chocolate before dinner.

When did Jack learn how to shoot so well? We had the shootout at the O.K. Corral at the motor pool, which didn't really help Sawyer's plan. It seems like they could have found a better way to talk themselves out of that situation instead of it turning into the Old West.

When Daniel foreshadowed his own death by telling Jack that they could die, the camera panned to Kate. I started to get the sinking feeling that Freckles was soon to be a goner.

There are still some questions about Daniel that haven't been resolved. Things like why did he abandon Theresa? What has he been doing in Ann Arbour for three years? Why did he say his mother was wrong about Jack and the group coming back?

Here's a biggie about Daniel, with his limited interaction with Dr. Chang, when would they have filmed this video from Comic Con? The voice in the background sounds like Faraday. So will they address this? Is it not him or will this video not be considered canon?

I was starting to think that Ben didn't hit Desmond, but even though he shot through a jug of milk, Desmond still got hit. I was worried about him for a bit too, but remember the island isn't done with him yet. How does Ms. Hawking know this though? She told Penny that for the first time in a while she didn't know what happens next.

Interesting issue of Wired magazine at Daniel's place:

Next on Lost: "Follow the Leader"

*Photos from GetLostPodcastMedia.com & lost-media.com

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