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Lost Episode 14, "The Variable"

Lost Episode 14, "The Variable"

It sort of feels like we shared this episode of Lost with other projects that needed some promotin', though I actually thought it was cool when the black behind the opening Lost logo turns into stars, which turns into a Star Trek promo. And . . . it kind of worked on me. I'm more excited now to see that movie on the big screen, what with the scary roaring creatures and all.

Also, during the commercial breaks, did you notice the super-quick flashes of images followed by the text "What did you see?"? You can see all the spots here, and this is apparently the official site for the ABC show that these spots are for, Flash Forward. The effect is a little different watching them online, but as I watched those things on TV I thought they were incredibly creepy.

Anyway! On to the actual show. What did you think of "The Variable"? To talk about it,


  • When Eloise Hawking goes to see Penny in the hospital where Desmond's been taken after his fight with Ben, she says her son is responsible for all this, prompting an exchange that made me chuckle:
    Penny: "Your son is Benjamin Linus?"
    Eloise: "Good Lord, no! My son is Daniel Faraday."
  • Faraday tells Jack that his mother was wrong about destiny, that he doesn't belong there at all. Here's yet another situation in which one character believes in destiny (Eloise) and the other believes in free will (Faraday).
  • Dr. Chang echoes the words uttered by Eloise when she and Ben are trying to gather the Oceanic Six: "Then God help us all."
  • "Dr. Chang, Miles is your son." No time for easing into great revelations!
  • Check out the hair on Faraday at his graduation! He reminds me of a Lego man, with his little eyes and all that hair. Anyway, though we see glimpses of Eloise being kind to her son (the inscription in his journal: "No matter what, remember, I will always love you"), she is mostly cold and withholding — perhaps because she knows what happens in Faraday's future?
  • "Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy." Ha! It's like chuckle time at Juliet and Sawyer's — Sawyer calls Faraday "H.G. Wells" and delivers my favorite line of the night: "Your mother . . . is an Other?" It's not so funny, however, when Sawyer gently calls Kate his old pet name for her, "Freckles," and Juliet gives Kate the code for the fence so they can get to the hostiles. "It's over here for us anyway," Juliet says pointedly. This appears to have a double meaning, no? It's over here for . . . us.
  • When Widmore goes to meet with Faraday (and especially when he says he's "old friends" with Eloise), I had this suspicion that Widmore would reveal he's Faraday's father. The reveal comes later, but it turns out that's true. Huh. During their meeting, Widmore moves a Wired magazine on the couch, with a headline "The Impossible Gets Real!" Widmore tells Faraday he's "a man of tremendous gifts and it would be a shame to see them go to waste."
  • Daniel talking to Little Charlotte reminds me so much of The Time Traveler's Wife — right down to the girl's red hair. Aaaaand this scene makes me feel like crying.
  • So, Paul Giamatti (OK, Radzinsky) and his buddies start shooting and Faraday is grazed in the neck. He realizes, "This is our present. . . . Any one of us can die, Jack."
  • Faraday explains: "I'd been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables. And do you know what the variables in these equations are, Jack? Us. We're the variables. People! We think, we reason, we make choices, we have free will. We can change our destiny." So, he wants to detonate a hydrogen bomb.
  • Back (er, forward) at the Marina Medical Center, Eloise is apologizing to Penny. "For the first time in a long time, I don't know what's going to happen next." But Desmond is OK! Yay. "I promised you, Penny. I promised you. I'd never leave you again."
  • So Eloise sent her (and Widmore's) son back to the island, knowing that her past self would shoot him. Wow. She kind of does win the sacrifice argument, Widmore.

Photos copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.

syako syako 8 years
I just don't think that's how the show will end... it makes no sense that they would change everything so dramatically and all land in L.A. safely. I'm hoping that I'm right, because if that's truly how they end the show that will be beyond stupid and sucky. :)
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
I'm so sad they killed Faraday! I love him. Waiting for them to kill off another character I love. I hate you, Lost. Except not really.
sillyho sillyho 8 years
How many people have died so far? Charlotte, Ceasar, far only Locke has come back. Am I missing someone?
caryatid caryatid 8 years
i get the feeling faraday is sadly really dead. i bet radzinsky gets put in charge of the hatch cause he is the only dharma person paranoid and crazy enough to push a button every 108 minutes to save the world! looking forward to next week and more LOCKE. i get the feeling jack is going to screw everything up.
emalove emalove 8 years
I hope Faraday isn't really dead--I just love him. And I also felt a little choked up at the scene of him talking to young Charlotte :( GirlC--this is not the last season. When the show first came on, they said that it would be six seasons long and conclude in 2010. So we have one more to go after this!!
GirlC GirlC 8 years
I thought that this was the last season? Isn't this #5 and there was only to be 5 seasons? Thought I read that somewhere.
starlotus713 starlotus713 8 years
OK - I am not usually one to come up with random theories for Lost, instead I let the show unfold and enjoy it. But did anyone find it suspicious that Daniel Faraday is dark haired and dark eyed, but his mother and apparent father (Widmore) are both fair haired and eyed? When Daniel was standing next to Richard Alpert...I kinda felt like he was a better candidate, physically anyway, to be Daniels father. I did like though, how a lot of the theories that others have come up with (that Daniel with the hardhat and gas container with Dr. Chang was in 1977, not at another time during the flashes, etc) are being proven or disproven. Some people were dead on, others not so much. It was a good epsiode - but now I feel like the rest of the series is obvious besides maybe clearing up some of the more mystical elements (Christian, where Claire is, how the Island heals, etc). Jack and Kate and co. are going to change the future so that the plane never crashes...
lilprisci lilprisci 8 years
I. loved. this. episode. SO much happened it's hard to even know where to begin. AMAZING.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 8 years
Ho hum. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
nessa17 nessa17 8 years
Awesome episode! I was shocked by Daniel's death since I didn't read any spoilers. Daniel with liitle Charlotte was so sweet and sad at the same time. My favourite part had to be when Sawyer called Kate freckles, then Juliet gave them the number. I don't think Daniel's really dead though.
heart-of-steele heart-of-steele 8 years
you're SO right, Whiplash! and I could see that as punishment...I mean how do you get from being pretty high up in security to pushing a button every 108 minutes??? but what if things change and there is no hatch?!??!?! then what?? lol!
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
whiplash - I was actually thinking about Radzinsky and the hatch. I wonder if him working there is something of a punishment. He's such a spaz he flies off the handle all the time, who knows what he's going to do to Sawyer and Co. next week.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
Oh, and heart of steele - Radzinsky dies. He was the one who worked the button in the hatch with Kelvin before Desmond got there. He shot himself in the head, so Kelvin told Des.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 8 years
I agree that young Charlotte's accent was TERRIBLE. I found this episode pretty boring, but I think that I'm starting to just be over this show. I want the focus to be back on the characters. All this time travel stuff just gives me a headache, and I kind of don't care anymore. Oh, and Buzz - last night, I said the same thing about Paul Giamatti/Radzinsky. If only the real Giamatti was on the show.
heart-of-steele heart-of-steele 8 years
Good call, geeksugar! And was "healed" when he got there the first time!
Tech Tech 8 years
Is Faraday even dead? The last few people shot in the chest survived.
fireyelectra fireyelectra 8 years
I loved this episode and actually thought it was one of the few this season that hasn't filled in stuff we already knew or thought we knew. But like all of this season's best, it was very poignant and heartbreaking. I am in love with the scene of little Daniel at the piano, and his futile attempt to escape destiny even as his mother sets him on his path. ("I can do both. I can make time." "If only you could.") There's a real sense of the invariability of Fate in Eloise's words to her son, edged with a real sadness to know that he will later die at her own hand and that it's something neither she nor he could change, even though part of her wishes she could. "If only."
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
Very good episode. Im excited for the next.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
Or it could mean that JJ Abrams is just a huge Wired fan which isn't too far of a stretch. But really Star Trek has gotten good reviews elsewhere so why assume they're just saying that bc they were paid? Anyway, I think Penny and Dan and half siblings and the "affair" that Charles had off island (that was part of the reason Ben had him kicked off island) resulted in Penny. Eloise and Charles must've been on the outs by then or were because of the affair and that's why Penny and Dan weren't raised to know each other.
chibarosa chibarosa 8 years
I, too, was distracted by little Charlotte's horrendous accent attempt. But here's what killed me: I felt duped when I realized that Wired is in cahoots with JJ Abrams, Inc. When they showed the Star Trek trailer, I was all "yay, looking forward to the movie, because I've heard good things." This month's issue of Wired was pretty much filled with great Star Trek reviews and info about JJ Abrams projects, and the trailer looks awesome so I was pumped about seeing it. Then in the scene when Widmore moved the Wired magazine off the couch, I felt betrayed. This means that the folks at Wired can be bought, and I can't trust anything Wired says anymore. And that sucks.
heart-of-steele heart-of-steele 8 years
ummm, I have to say I was not all that impressed with this episode. Except for the very very end it was not too exciting, and I felt like it told us a lot of things we already knew. Maybe it was all the hype about this being the 100th episode. It seems as this was more of a 'set-up' episode and that next week's will be amazing! Anyways, a few questions to throw out there: What is Radzinsky's deal?? He is so angry all the time and power-hungry, but he doesn't seem to make it to the future. Where is Sun???? if the losties go back to the beach to "start from square one" does that mean that Christian can reunite Jin and Sun via some time travel? How does Christian fit in with Dr. Chang and Ben and Widmore anyhow? I loved getting more of Widmore's backstory...are Penny and Daniel siblings or step-siblings? Ben said something about Widmore leaving the island for a woman a while back. can't wait for next week!
suzpuz suzpuz 8 years
LOL alesimas!! thought this was a great epi! I also enjoyed Sawyer's "Your mother . . . is an Other" comment!
alesimas alesimas 8 years
I didn't know that Faraday studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It all makes sense now. :) Other than that, great episode.
shmoo15 shmoo15 8 years
Loved this episode. However, baby Charlotte's accent KILLED me. I couldn't even pay any attention to the scene. Also, I'm totally over Dharma. Phil & Radzinsky need to go bye bye. I need more Richard. I love that mysteriously eyelinered man!
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