Live-Blogging Lost 5.14 The Variable April 30, 2009Posted by Amy Yen in Lost, TV.
Tags: Amy Yen, Lost, Lost 5.14, Lost Charles Widmore, Lost Daniel Faraday, Lost Ellie, Lost Eloise Hawking, Lost Jughead, Lost Penny Widmore, Lost the Constant, Lost the variable, Lost Theresa, StrawGrasping
8:59 – Previously on Lost, there was a lame clips show. Seriously, ABC, I expect better of you. Also, Daniel Faraday was unaccounted for for like half the season, then showed up in Dharma-time in a sub full of scientists from Dharma home base Ann Arbor. Dan sent Des to his mother and after he did that, Ben shot Des on the port before failing to kill Penny. And Des totally got right back up & pummeled Ben in the ocean! Awesome! PS: Happy 100th episode, Lost.
9:01 – We open in the hospital where Desmond is being wheeled off with a gunshot wound. Aw man, I thought with the pummeling & all, he was okay, like Ben missed or something. Penny is frantic. Me, too, Pen, don’t die, Des! Penny’s with lil’ Charlie. In the waiting room, she is approached by Mrs Hawking. Hi Mama Faraday! Mrs Hawking asks after Charlie, noting that he looks like his father. Penny realizes this isn’t some random woman & gets up. Mrs Hawking says she thinks it’s her son’s (meaning Dan’s) fault that Penny’s husband got shot. (Um, PS: Did we know that Penny & Desmond got married?? I don’t think we did! Whoa!) Penny is appalled this is the mother of Ben, but it’s not. It’s unclear whether Penny realizes who Mrs Hawking means when she says her son is Daniel Faraday.
9:02 – Flashback noise…it’s back in 1977. We pick up in the last scene of “Some Like it Hoth.” Miles takes the suitcase Dan hands him & is shocked to see Dan come out of the sub. He asks WTF Dan is doing back here, he thought he just went back to the mainland & got rich inventing the DVD or something. Heh. Dan shows Miles the picture of the 1977 recruits, with Hurley, Kate & Jack. He says that’s why he’s back. Miles commiserates that it IS weird, right? But Dan doesn’t have time for chatting, he needs to see Jack.
9:02 – Jack is currently shirtless. He answers the door to Dan in a Dharma sweatshirt. He’s followed by Miles inside, with Dan demanding to know how Jack got back here, to 1977. So he does know that the O6 went back to the present? Jack says they were on a plane & as a matter of fact, it was Dan’s mother that said to get on it. Dan asks what Mrs Hawking said to get him to come back, did she say it was his destiny? Jack says yes & Dan says, man, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but my mom is c-r-a-z-y CRAZY. Or, he just says that his mom was wrong. It wasn’t their destiny at all. Wha?
9:03 – Floating title text of doom.
9:06 – Flashback. A young brown-haired boy plays a piano to a metronome. A young blonde lady comes in. It’s his mother. She’s British. And apprehensive. The little boy is lil’ Dan. And the blonde lady is young Mrs Hawking. Awesomely, lil’ Dan is rocking the braces. Mrs Hawking sits down & asks Dan if he knows what destiny is. She says if someone has a gift, they have to use it. She asks how many beats the metronome has gone through since Dan started playing. Lil’ Dan says 864. Mrs Hawking says his gift is his mind. He’s meant for math & science & it’s Mrs Hawking’s “job” to keep him in his part. What the hell does that mean? Anyway, basically Mrs Hawking is saying all this because it’s time to stop messing around playing piano really well. Lil’ Dan balks, he says he can do both, that he can MAKE TIME. Funny you should say that, Lil’ Dan.
9:08 – In 1977, Present Faraday rushes out of Jack’s house & asks Miles to take him to the Orchid, like, right the hell now. Jack comes out & is all like, what do you mean, this isn’t my destiny, in case you didn’t notice, I’m kinda trapped in 1977 cause your mom said it is TOTALLY my destiny! Dan says he’ll be right back & speeds off with Miles.
9:08 – Sawyer suspiciously opens the door of his & Juliet’s love shack. It’s Jack. He explains about Faraday, but Sawyer doesn’t have time for this right now. Why? Asks Jack reasonably. Wow, maybe I do like this new, calm, cool, collected Jack that asks reasonable questions. Juliet says to tell him. They’ve apparently been at the Phil-torture/kidnapping all night. Sawyer invites Jack in, explains about the tape & shows him Phil…tied up & gagged in the closet. Heh. Hilariously, he introduces them politely, “Jack, Phil, Phil, Jack…” LOL.
9:10 – At the Orchid, Miles & Dan sit in the jeep, waiting. Miles asks what’s up. Dan just waits until he sees Pierre Chang arrive in a Dharma van “right on time.” How does Dan know that? He tells Miles, who is definitely weirded out, due to the thing where Chang is totally his father, he’ll be back in 10 minutes. Dan consults his journal as he goes down the elevator to the site of the Orchid drilling, which means we are TOTALLY AT THE OPENING SCENE OF THE PREMIERE EPISODE! OMG! Daniel waits in the shadows as Pierre Chang tells the guy not to drill any further, he’s literally waiting there to come onto the scene that we saw him in freaking 13 episodes ago & OMG this is really cool. Some guy comes by & says Dan needs a hard hat to be down here so he puts one on & grabs the tank we saw him carrying in that scene & walks by & brushes Chang as he walks by. Dan stares at the injured guy & nods hilariously at the foreman guy who scoffs at time travel. I love this episode already.
9:11 – PS: All that happened in a minute?? I’m already freaking 20 minutes behind my DVR.
9:11 – Dan doubles back & runs up to Pierre Chang. He asks to speak with him for a moment & introduces himself. He says they met three years ago…Chang remembers him, he was with LaFleur. Doesn’t Dan’s jumpsuit actually have a different name on it? Doesn’t Chang think that’s weird? No worries, Dan is about to make himself sound all crazy. He tells Chang he needs him to evacuate everyone off the Island. Why? Asks Chang. Cause the injured guy got injured because of the electromagnetic forces that were unleashed by the drilling. Chang says the problem was contained & completely fails to ask how Daniel knows all this. He gets in the elevator & Dan scrambles to follow. Dan tells him it’s contained here, but in six hours, there’s going to be a much greater incident at the Swan. It’ll be 30 times more energy & the damage will be catastrophic. Chang thinks this is crazy talk & asks how Dan could possibly be qualified to know this. Well, said Daniel, I’m from the future. Man, what is it with you always waving that in people’s faces?!? Chang looks dubious/intrigued. Annnd scene.
9:17 – Chang walks away from Daniel above ground. He thinks Dan is kidding around after hearing him talk about time travel. Dan catches up & tries to get him to look at stuff in his journal. Miles’ ears perk up & he realizes Dan is totally about to blow their cover, so he comes over & says Dan had too many drugs on the sub, but Dan TOTALLY tells Chang that Miles is his son!! Miles is all like, DUDE. Miles is horrified & Chang is confused & Dan is like, think about it, yo. Didn’t you notice that a Chinese guy with the name of your baby shows up with me from the future? Chang actually asks Miles if this is true. Miles says no & Chang is like, um, enough with the crazy talk, I’m outta here. As he leaves, Miles asks Dan WTF, man? Dan says he’s just making sure Chang does what he’s supposed to do. What’s that? You’ll see, Dan says. OMG, Dan totally is responsible for making Chang either abandon his family or force them to leave the Island & is ultimately the cause of all of Miles’ daddy issues! I’m just guessing here.
9:17 – Flashback, awkwardly long haired Daniel comes out of a building on the arm a curly-haired blonde girl. She’s the girl from the photograph that Desmond saw in Dan’s lab in “Jughead.” He’s in a cap & gown & obviously just graduated. It looks like grad school. He waves at his mother, who looks much older & is played by the same actress who is playing present Mrs Hawking, & walks over with the girl, who he introduces…as Theresa! Pre-temporal-displacement-fied, obviously. Mrs Hawking totally disses the girl & says she reserved a table for lunch…just her & Dan. Theresa gets it. She leaves them to their awkward lunch.
9:18 – In the restaurant, Dan is all mad at his mom for being mean to Theresa, who he says is his girlfriend & she says is his research assistant & we knew both of these things, but it’s nice to get some confirmation. She’s all into the whole “you can’t get distracted from your gift!” diatribe & he knows. Mrs Hawking tells Daniel he doesn’t have time for girls & plus, the girls in his life will only get hurt. Touche!! Dan wants to know what the hell she means by that, but she brushes him off & he starts getting defensive. He says she’s always pushing him & asks when it will be enough. He’s the youngest doctorate to ever graduate from Oxford, he just got his huge research grant—at this, his mom raises her eyebrows. She asks who gave him the grant…he doesn’t know, some industrialist, Widmore. Charles Widmore. His mother is freaked, but she tells him she didn’t come to fight with him & gives him a wrapped present. Then she gets up & tells him good luck. She means it. Dan sighs & opens the present. It’s his journal. And it’s very nice all brand new. He opens it up & inside she’s written, “Daniel, No matter what, remember, I will always love you. Mom.” Okay, even her nice notes sound all ominous.
9:20 – In 1977, Sawyer & Juliet are hosting a Dharma-frauds meeting of the minds. He says that he knows the O3 just got here, but the rest of them have been here for three years & they don’t want to leave. Significant look at Juliet. Kate wants to know how long they have until someone comes looking for Phil. Not long enough. Sawyer says they have two options: they can steal the sub & get the hell off the Island, or they can go into the jungle & start from square 1. Jin & Hurley quickly ix nay the sub, so they default to the jungle idea. Just then, there’s a knock on the door. Sawyer puts on his LaFleur face & takes his gun with him, but it’s just Daniel & Miles. Dan looks kind of disheveled, but looks pleased to see Sawyer. Sawyer invites “Twitchy” to the party & quietly asks Miles if Dan’s still crazy. Miles is like, seriously. More than ever.
9:22 – Inside, Dan apologizes to Jack for taking off before, but says that he’s there to do something really important. He asks, how do I find the Hostiles? Everyone stares, Juliet asks what for. Because one of them is his mother. And she’s the only one who can help them get back to where they’re supposed to be. Annnnd scene.
9:27 – Flashback & this time, we know exactly when they are because it’s Dan’s flashback from “Confirmed Dead” from last season. Dan is sitting, all disheveled looking, watching the footage of the fake Oceanic 815 wreckage & crying without knowing why. There’s a knock on the door & his caretaker—remember her?—goes to answer it. It’s Charles Freaking Widmore. Dan gets up & apologizes for not recognizing the man, even though he knows his name. He says the condition affects his memory. Widmore says don’t worry about it, we haven’t actually ever met, & introduces himself. Dan is pleased to meet him, remembering him from the grant. Widmore moves an issue of Wired magazine from the sofa so he can sit down. OMG, is it THIS issue?? That’s awesome.
9:28 – Anyway, Daniel apologizes profusely for what happened, he said he tested “it” on himself, he would never hurt Theresa! Oh no! This is horrible! Also, um, Jeremy Davies is a really good actor. Double-anyway, Widmore actually isn’t here about that. He’s here to offer Dan another opportunity. Dan looks confused. But then he catches sight of the Oceanic wreckage again & starts freaking out again. Widmore looks confused now. Dan says he’s just sad because of all the dead people on the plane & how about those dead people, Charles, what’s up with THAT, huh? Widmore just turns to Dan & asks him, what if he told him, those people are not actually dead. Um, the people on the ocean floor probably are, yo. I’m just saying. Maybe not the ones you mean, but there’s still a plane full of dead people. Also, the real reason Dan was crying is much less interesting than all the theories we’ve heard. Widmore tells Dan that the plane is an expensive fake…he knows because he put it there. Dan asks why Widmore would tell him that. Widmore says, because you won’t remember I did tomorrow. Touche! Evil Memento moment, heh.
9:31 – Anyway, Widmore proceeds to tell Dan about this Island. This special Island with special properties. With healing properties, like maybe the kind needed to heal his mind. Dan looks awed, & asks why Widmore is helping him. Widmore says because Daniel has a tremendous gift & it would be a shame to waste it. Dan smiles a little and says he sounds like his mother. Widmore smiles back & says, it’s because we’re old friends. Wait, how good friends? Like Dan-I’m-your-father good? Dan looks like he’s asking himself the same question.
9:32 – In 1977, Sawyer is all incredulous/confused that Dan’s mom is an Other. Dan notes that Sawyer actually met her. In 1954. Her name was Ellie. As we suspected…hmm, so did Dan realize this in 1954, when he said Ellie looked familiar? Or did he only figure that out later? Hurley takes a moment to be confused on behalf of the O3 about them being in 1954, the time of the Fonz. Heh.
9:33 – Sawyer & Juliet continue to demand to know why the hell Dan wants to go find the Hostiles. Jack points out that he doesn’t really care why if Dan thinks it will get them back to where they belong. They certainly don’t belong here. Sawyer begs to differ. Jack sighs & asks Kate if she remembers where the Hostiles are. Sawyer tries to get Kate to keep her mouth shut, but Jack pulls out the Aaron card. He says the answer she’s looking for isn’t here. Sawyer says that has nothing to do with helping “HG Wells” (Dan) talk to his mom. He turns to Kate & asks “Freckles” to stay with them. Um, not cool. Juliet does a fantastic, FANTASTIC double-take/look at Kate, then Sawyer, then back at Kate & calmly tells Kate & the rest of the group the code to get past the sonic fence. HA! She tells Kate to take Daniel, since it’s over for them here anyway. Aw.
9:34 – Jack, Kate & Dan leave, after Miles refuses to come along. Sawyer says if they change their mind, they’ll be back at the beach, where they started. He tells the rest of them to pack what they can & meet back here in 20. Sawyer reaches his hand out to Juliet, who is crying. She takes it. “Time to go,” he says.
9:34 – Kate leads Jack & Dan away from Juliet & Sawyer’s love shack. She says the Hostiles will not be pleased to see them & says they should get the guns from the motor pool. Dan is distracted. He says he needs a minute & will meet them at the motor pool & we all know what he saw. Daniel Faraday comes over to a slightly older little Charlotte Staples Lewis, swinging on a swing set. He stares at her & she utters the worst line she probably could utter at this point, her dying line, “I’m not allowed to have chocolate before dinner.” Dan, though, seems calm. He tells her he won’t tell & in that moment, the little girl really looks just like Rebecca Mader, & it’s creepy & lovely at the same time.
9:35 – Charlotte introduces herself & Dan does the same, choking back tears. Dan squats near her & asks if she knows Dr Chang. He says that in a little while, hopefully, Dr Chang will be asking some people to get on the sub. When he does, Charlotte & her mother have to go with them. In case what he’s going to do doesn’t work. OMG… Dan lifts his head & is crying quietly but trying not to scare an already freaked out Charlotte. “I tried to avoid telling you this. I didn’t think I could change things…but maybe I can.” OMG. Eh? We see Dan continue with what he has to say, what he did say, but we don’t hear him.
9:36 – So Daniel Faraday was actually responsible for sending both Miles AND Charlotte off the Island in their youth, to ensure that they lived through the Incident & ended up on the Freighter. Unbelievable. PS: Well done on that scene, writers. I’ve actually been dreading it, but it was done just right.
9:36 – In the motor pool, Kate & Jack suspiciously grab guns. Daniel joins them. Kate hands him a massive rifle & Dan’s like, um, something for a beginner please? Kate rolls her eyes & just then, Radzinsky & some guys roll up in the van. He’s all suspicious & Dan doesn’t help when he accidentally shows his gun (hilariously, this gun looks a lot like the ‘girly’ gun that Juliet used to carry all the time). Radzinsky & his guys all bring out their guns while Daniel tries to reason with them. He says they don’t have time for this & inches forward, but then someone starts shooting & there’s a shootout & Dan is hit in the neck. They duck for cover & Kate says they should go for the jeep. Dan’s neck wound doesn’t seem bad & he runs with Kate as Jack covers them. Jack blows up some tanks of fuel as Kate & Dan get the jeep started. They all get away & Radzinsky, pissed & injured, yells for them to sound the alarm. Uh oh.
9:43 – Flashback. An older Daniel, with freshly cut hair & beard, plays the piano just like lil’ Dan earlier in the episode. His mother, the fully white-haired Mrs Hawking, comes in. Dan stutters in playing, he clearly can’t remember what’s next. Mrs Hawking comes up & greets him. Um, again, can’t say enough about Jeremy Davies’ acting because when he looks up just now, here, despite all the Daniels we’ve seen in this hour, here, I immediately recognized him as the Daniel we first met in season 4. Bumbling, quiet, suspicious. Mrs Hawking says he has to accept the position that Charles Widmore offered. Dan says he can’t. He doesn’t want to calculate bearings & space-time calibrations. Mrs Hawking talks to her son like he’s the little boy from the first flashback, tells him that the Island could heal him, so he can go back to his work. Think of all he can accomplish. Listen lady, have you heard one word he’s said? He doesn’t WANT to go back to his work! Daniel asks if Mrs Hawking really wants him to go. He asks, heartbreakingly, if it will make her proud of him. OMG, this is horrible. Daniel holds back his tears. And agrees to go.
9:46 – In 1977, Kate goes to turn off the sonic fence while Jack looks at Daniel’s neck wound. He puts a bandage on it, says it doesn’t look too bad. Jack wonders about Dan’s “whatever happened, happened” theory, but Daniel has figured out the timeline. When Jack first met Dan in season 4, he didn’t have a scar on his neck. This is the present for this Dan, the one at the end of his own timeline. So any of them, these present survivors or freighter folk, can die at any time. Oh no, foreshadowing.
9:46 – Kate has turned off the fence & Dan heads off in the direction Kate points out. Kate & Jack hope Dan knows what he’s doing. Dan’s just pointed out that he can be right & wrong about his “whatever happened, happened” theory at the same time. I would seriously just go with it.
9:47 – At Sawyer & Juliet’s love shack, Phil continues to bang relentlessly on the closet walls as Sawyer & Juliet pack up the remains of their lives. Sawyer notes that Juliet was right all along about the O3 showing up. She’s not interested in saying I told you so. Sawyer asks if she’s still got his back. She’s not the one who called Kate “Freckles,” Sawyer. She asks if he’s still got hers. Before he can answer, the alarm sounds.
9:48 – Outside, Jin & Hurley look on in horror as Radzinsky & crew arrive. They bust into Sawyer & Juliet’s love shack & demand to know where the hell LaFleur’s been. Radzinsky is pissed he got shot by a physicist & says that the new recruits are helping him. He says they’ve been infiltrated. Sawyer tries to calm him down but just then he hears Phil in the closet. Radzinsky opens the door to find Phil & points the gun at Sawyer. He yells at Sawyer to get down on the ground. He does.
9:49 – Jack & Kate & Dan rest in the jungle. Jack asks Dan to explain what he meant by the whole “my mom was wrong about your destiny” thing. Dan actually does start explaining & I’m so surprised, I almost fall off my chair. He says that in four hours, the Swan accident will happen. To contain it, they’ll build the Hatch. Which has to be maintained by pushing a button. A button that Desmond will one day fail to push. When he does that, it will bring down their plane. Because the plane crashes, Widmore sends the freighter, which means, the entire chain of events, the entire SERIES, everything happens because of what’s going to happen this afternoon. WHOA. But! Dan says, we can change that. Jack looks totally confused. Dan says that in all his research, one thing kept coming up, you can’t change the past. But he was so focused on the Constant (Remember, Desmond Hume is his), he forgot about the Variable. What’s the Variable? They are. They’re people who have free will. They can change what happened. They can change their destiny. GAH.
9:51 – Daniel tells them that he thinks he can destroy the energy that will cause the Hatch to have to be built. If he does that, he’ll prevent everything, EVERYTHING from happening. Kate ask how he plans to do that. Daniel says, “I’m going to detonate a hydrogen bomb.” OMG!!
9:56 – We’re back with Mrs Hawking & Penny in the hospital. Penny does know who Faraday is, of course she does. Remember, Desmond tells her about the message Dan sent him to tell his mother? I can’t believe that was this season. Mrs Hawking apologizes to Penny. She says Desmond is a casualty of something much bigger than him. Penny wants to know what she means, is Des going to be okay? Mrs Hawking doesn’t know. For the first time in a long time, she doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. Just then, a nurse comes up, says that Desmond is in the recovery room & asking for her. He’s okay. THANK GOD he’s okay! Mrs Hawking leaves as Penny goes in to see him. Desmond tells Penny he promised her he’d never leave her again—which we all took at the time to mean that he’s definitely going to have to leave her again, but I’m happy to be wrong.
9:59 – Outside the hospital, Charles Widmore steps up & asks Eloise Hawking if Desmond is alright. He is. Widmore is glad. Hawking is cold to him & tells him his daughter is in there. He should go say hi. Unfortunately, Widmore notes, his relationship with his daughter has been one of the sacrifices he’s had to make. Mrs Hawking doesn’t want to hear about sacrifice, she just sent her son back to the Island knowing full well what was going to happen to him—“He’s my son too, Eloise,” says Widmore. YES, confirmation. Mrs Hawking slaps him, turns & walks away. Widmore looks actually remorseful.
10:00 – In 1977, Jack & Kate discuss the insanity of what they’re doing. Dan comes upon the Hostiles’ camp & takes off ahead of Jack & Kate. Kate tells Jack to let him go. OMG! OMG, OMG! Dan stupidly still has his gun. OMG no, drop it, Dan! In the camp, some Hostiles reach for their guns, but Dan shoots into the ground first. They back up, give him room. Daniel says it’s cool, he just wants to speak to Eloise. Where is she??? Where IS she?? Richard Alpert shows up, he says that Eloise isn’t here right now. He seems to recognize Dan a little, from when he saw him in 1954. Dan demands to be taken to Eloise, demands to know where the bomb is buried. He gives Richard to the count of three, but, at two, Daniel is shot!! OMG!! OMG!! Daniel drops to reveal Eloise Hawking, circa 1977. She stands over Dan, dying, who is realizing exactly what his mother knew when she sent him back to the Island. She knew this was going to happen, she did it anyway. Eloise stands over her son, demands to know who he is. “I’m your son,” gasps Daniel, as he goes still.
10:01 – Next week, on Lost, as if anything can ever top what just happened, Jack says that if they do what’s in Daniel’s journal, none of this, none of what they went through will have ever happened. But if he’s wrong, they’ll all die. Touche.
EDIT: One thing brought up in some of the initial podcast reactions is, assuming the Comic Con videos are canon, how can Faraday be the one filming Dr Chang in the video shown at this past year’s, as almost everyone assumes he was? He couldn’t possibly have time to have done it this episode, before he was shot. Unless of course he isn’t dead. (But I doubt that.) BTW, I haven’t watched that the video in a while…he’s sending that message thirty years in the future—will Frank, Sun, etc find it? “Time is not just of the essence. It is the essence.” Nope, still don’t know what that means.
EDIT2: My reactions in a live-blog, because they are live, are often extremely surface-level. I’m totally saddened by the death of one of my favorite characters & I’m appalled that apparently, Eloise Hawking raised her son for thirty years & spent the entire time carefully, meticulously manipulating him, putting in the position to go to the Island, giving him that final push, all so she could fulfill an already established timeline & shoot to death her only son. Worst mother ever, right? Unless, as some people have guessed, it was the opposite, that Mrs Hawking actually was trying to send Daniel to do something to prevent what happened, to stop her younger self from killing him. So, actually, we still don’t know Eloise’s true intensions or motives, just like we don’t know Ben’s or Widmore’s. Who’s good, who’s evil, I’m guessing we won’t know until the very end.
PS: Did Eloise give Dan that journal to encourage him to write everything, knowing that one day, that journal, with all its years of knowledge and shards of Daniel’s brilliance, might hold the key to this whole thing?
EDIT3: I read one explanation of Dan’s reaction to the footage of the fake wreckage. It’s because Dan’s mind has time-traveled & even though he doesn’t remember it, somewhere in the depths of his subconscious, he’s already experienced what’s happened. Charlotte dying. Even his own death. Now that’s creepy.