“Lost”: Episode 14, “The Variable”

Quite a momentous 100th episode of “Lost.” Let’s start by adding up everything that we learned in “The Variable.”

** Charles Widmore is Daniel Faraday’s father.

** Faraday’s mother deliberately sends her son to the island in 2004 so that three years later, he will eventually go back in time to 1977 so she can shoot him in the back. Not only that but she wouldn’t even let the poor boy play the piano, or have a girlfriend.

** Before he dies, Faraday drops the bomb that maybe they can change the future — really change the future — by detonating in 1977 the hydrogen bomb that has been cooling underground since 1954. Perhaps it’s buried in the shadow of the four-toed statue.

** Sawyer still has some feelings for “Freckles.”

** Desmond did get shot by Ben at the dock but he’s OK. However, Penny leaving baby Charlie with a hospital nurse seems like a really bad idea.

Phew. Best line of the seg, written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz and helmed by Paul Edwards, came from Jack: “I just fell out of a plane in mid-air into 1977. I’m getting kind of used to insane.”

Second-best line, from Sawyer: “Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy.”Lost5variablefaraday

This episode gave us a heaping helping of backstory on Daniel Faraday, which gave Jeremy Davies a nice chance to shine, and twitch and get that pained look on his face that he does so well. Thank goodness they answered the nagging question of why we were first introduced to him in season four with the scene of him crying in front of a TV set while watching news footage of the discovery of the faux Oceanic 815 crash.

But being schooled all season in Faraday’s rules of physics, it’s unsettling to hear him talk about “maybe I can change” the course of events in the future. I suppose that whenever you’re dealing with science, you have to leave open the possibility that new research and discoveries will force a re-think of everything we thought we knew. Still, I feel a little bit like I studied one textbook all semester only to learn that the big exam is going to be based on another book. But who cares? This isn’t college. I’m along for the ride.

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  1. Thadd says:

    I hadn’t even thought about Jughead being in the shadow of the statue — good thought!
    My guess was that, in the original timeline, Dharma buries it under the Hatch and then when the Losties turn the key, the bomb goes ‘boom’ and the electro-magnetic craziness dies in the explosion. Daniel wanted to pre-empt things by exploding the bomb early, before its buried beneath the Swan. Of course, if Daniel/Jack keep the plane from crashing…will Desmond ever survive his crash to the island (and if so, will ever be reunited with Penny?) So many questions!
    Oh, one more thing – it actually was a back-issue of WIRED magazine (circa 2003), related to time travel. See this Entertainment Weekly write-up: http://bit.ly/nRMPo

  2. Shali Dore says:

    Does that mean the hydrogen bomb is at the base of the four-toed statue? And who’s behind that group of people?

  3. Navin says:

    How does Faraday become the cause of Des getting shot by Ben in 2007?
    Faraday knocked on the hatch alerting Desmond to go on the mission to warn Eloise Hawking in LA, where Ben shot him.
    I believe Faraday could be right about variables in “whatever happened, happens” but there is always course correction which will eventually get us back on the track of Desmond plugging away on the computer, Oceanic 815 eventually crashing, etc.

  4. Elle says:

    maybe Rose and Bernard are in 1901 or something…

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