Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lost 5.14: The Variable

“I disappeared off a plane in mid-air and ended up in 1977. I’m gettin’ kinda used to insane.”

Destiny = Crap. Or does it?
My favourite theme of the show is free will versus destiny, and I’ve devoted thousands of words to it in my previous books and on this blog. Generally the religious types believe in destiny, and the scientific ones believe we all have a choice. But when it comes to time travel, Daniel, the scientific one, believes whatever happened, happened, and you can’t change the future, so he’s ended up in the destiny camp. Now he’s changed his mind, realizing that people aren’t part of a static equation, but instead are free-thinking individuals that are variables. And the moment he declares that... he fulfills the destiny that his mother set out for him, and realizes that maybe he was wrong. So... will he be wrong about changing the future? Will the Oceanics be able to change the course of history in the next couple of episodes?

“I’m from the future...”
I think I’m being a little thick about something here... but what are the notes that Daniel is consulting in his journal? He knows that Chang will go to the Orchid at a specific time. He knows he’ll run into him and talk to him. He keeps checking with the journal to make sure of all of this. When did he write those notes? Has he already time travelled to this spot and all of this has happened before, and he forgot? What am I missing here? I’m feeling pretty stupid about this one. I’m hoping this isn’t obvious and it’s just another one of the mysteries, in which case I’ll speculate that part of his earlier experimentation (of which Theresa was a casualty) was that he consciousness-traveled to the island, in much the same way Desmond did in “The Constant.” Possible? How else would he have known that Chang had a son named Miles when he hasn’t been on the island since the kid was born? Is it possible Eloise was writing the notes in the journal for him? She seems to know everything that’s going to happen before it does. How?


Happy 100th!
This was the 100th episode of Lost. Balloons! Yay! Cake! Yum! Death of a major character... boo. Sniffle. I'm sorry, I need to go into mourning now. I'm very sad.


Highlights:
• Miles to Dan: “Once you left for Ann Arbor I figured you’d become rich and had invented the DVD or something.”
• The Star Trek preview on the first commercial break. WOOT!!!
• Sawyer: “Phil, Jack. Jack, Phil.” Ha!
• “Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy.”
• “Your mother... is an Other.”
• “You guys were in 1954? Like... Fonzie times?”

Did You Notice?:
• After finishing watching the episode, go back and start over. Suddenly that scene of Daniel’s mother crying while she listens to him play the piano makes perfect sense. She took him off the artistic path he was clearly on, and put him on the mathematical one that would lead to his death... at her hand.
• At Dan’s graduation, he’s got on a thin black tie with a white shirt. He accomplished that signature look early on.
• Theresa, the woman that Daniel is with at his graduation, is the one who will be in a comatose state later, the one Desmond visits earlier this season.
• Eloise signs herself as “Mother” in the journal. How... warm.
• After handing Dan the gift, Eloise leaves the restaurant, to which my husband yelled, “Hey! You stuck him with the bill!” Hahaha!
• I never noticed it until now, but Sawyer’s uniform has a Dharma logo with a star in the middle of it. Interesting that in the episode, “The Long Con,” he declares himself the new sheriff in town. Now, he really IS the sheriff. Sorta.
• There was some sort of special magic going on in the caregiver’s house. Between her asking Dan why he’s so upset and Widmore knocking on the door, the caregiver seems to have gained 20 pounds, aged 20 years, changed her voice, and Dan’s hair has grown 3 inches and lost that slicked-back look it had. Bad continuity. Bad, BAD continuity.
• Widmore moves an issue of Wired magazine that proclaims, “The Impossible Gets Real!” This was the August 2003 issue. You can see the full cover here. More importantly, you can read it here. The articles that Dan was probably reading with a highlighter were Michio Kaku’s “A User’s Guide to Time Travel” and Brendan I. Koerner’s “8 Super Powers,” which touts, “Forget Science Fiction. Here’s the Science.” Interestingly, J.J. Abrams is the guest editor of this month’s issue of Wired.
• Now we see why Daniel was playing the memory card game with Charlotte when he first got to the island and his memory had been “improving,” but he was frustrated it wasn’t completely better. It also explains why that memory loss of his seems to have gotten better with time.
• Watch how Sawyer’s face changes when Jack begins to take charge. He just couldn’t follow Sawyer for long.
• Juliet says, “It’s over here for us, anyway” immediately after Sawyer refers to Kate as Freckles. The people in the room take it to mean their charade that they’re from 1977 is over, but she could just as easily mean the relationship between her and Sawyer. And honestly, I’ve actually really started to accept the relationship between Juliet and Sawyer, and the moment he called Kate “Freckles” was painful for me. Mitchell was amazing in that scene, flickering her eyelids with complete recognition, but trying desperately to hold it together.
• When Dan comes up to Charlotte, she says, “I’m not allowed to have chocolate before dinner.” Those were her last words to Daniel before she died.
• Daniel’s condition seems to have a few variables of its own. Eloise shows up and says she didn’t call ahead because he wouldn’t remember anyway, and yet he remembers his conversation with Widmore from a few days before.
• There’s definitely a lot of pain on Eloise’s face, knowing what she’s pushing him to do all of his life, but that doesn’t change the fact she is one cold, cold, COLD woman for doing it anyway.
• Dan says the incident will happen in 4 hours, and then the people on the island will push a button for the next 20 years. But the plane crash will happen 27 years from this point, so it’s more like 30 years.
• I don’t like being one of those ‘I told you so’ people but... oh hell, YES I DO! HA! I called Widmore as Dan’s dad waaaay back in “Jughead” (which earned me much derision from some readers on Docarzt’s site). I stood by it. Yay! So... that means that Desmond and Daniel are actually brothers-in-law.
• “You knew this was going to happen, and you sent me here anyway.” I was heartbroken at these words. I think Eloise officially trumps Cooper as the worst parent on the show. Oh, Daniel... :::sniffle:::

Hurley’s numbers:
Daniel says the metronome has counted 864 beats since he started. That’s 108 times 8, with 108 being the sum of Hurley’s numbers. When Dan is killed, they’re 4 hours away from “The incident.”

So Many Questions...
• A few people mentioned this on my blog last week, and I think they’re right: when the sub heads out shortly after the “new recruits” arrive, they’re told there won’t be another sub for months. So is that a continuity error that Dan arrives on a sub only a few days later?
• Could anyone else see the logo on Dan’s uniform when he first goes to see Jack? It looked like one we hadn’t seen.
• Dan tells Miles that he’s just making sure Chang will do what he’s supposed to do. Which is... what? Evacuate the island? Did Chang actually do that?
• At what point does Daniel film the video with Chang warning everyone about the Purge?
• So why DOES the news report of the 815 plane make Daniel so upset? Is it because he’s time traveled to a point where he’s already been there and knows the people, as some of us have speculated before? Is it because Eloise let slip at some point that Daniel would die on an island trying to prevent that crash, assuming that he would forget it the next day anyway?
• After the shootout, Radzinsky yells for someone to sound the alarm. Does he honestly think that no one in Dharmaville heard the friggin’ OK Corral – complete with EXPLOSION – that was going down only a few feet away?! How did Sawyer and Juliet not hear it?
• So here’s another question for my time travel experts. I now completely understand the notion that this is their present, and not their past, and that whatever happens to them now will not affect their selves in 2004, unless they can change outside events. BUT. What happens to them? IF they were to prevent the plane from crashing, then their lives from 3 years ago will go on as normal and people will live, etc. But what about their 3-year-older selves that are now sitting in 1977? It’s not like they magically disappear. Do they go on living a separate life from their other self? Is it possible Kate could end up with Jack and Other Kate would end up with Sawyer? ;)
• So, you spent 3 years separated from the man you loved, only to be reunited and have a child. That man had been through some seriously crazy shit, and now he was just shot by a crazy man, and now there’s a crazy lady standing in the waiting room who seems to know WAY too much about your husband. So, a nurse comes out and says, “don’t worry, this complete stranger will watch your kid and you can come with me,” and you say, “OK!!” Does anyone else think that when Penny returns to the waiting room, Charlie won’t be there? Widmore’s hanging around outside, Ben is god-knows-where, and Penny’s just left the kid. I don’t like what this feels like.
• Why doesn't Alpert recognize Daniel when he sees him? I know it was over 20 years ago that he met with him, but he was pretty significant, and they had a very long talk. He should have remembered him. Did the electromagnetic waves affect Alpert, too?

Next week: Jack appears to have eaten a person. (Okay, maybe it’s a bloody nose, but my first instinct was, “ZOMG, they’re going to turn into zombies!!”)

172 comments:

Lesley C said...

Great recap! Quick question: Why did Richard Alpert not immediately recognize Daniel, the very man who told him how to hide a friggin' hydrogen bomb? Is everyone on the island suffering memory problems by the end?

Eric said...

Yes, I so totally couldn't believe that Penny left Charlie. I figure that's what will bring Desmond (with Penny) back to the island somehow. I don't know if it is Charles who will steal him or not, but that was my first thought too.

I think Daniel's journal has all the notes that he collected before joining the freighter team ... somehow he was put onto Dharma back in the 90s. Didn't he write the line about Desmond being his constant back then? So a lot of the journal must have been written in that era. It does seem strange that he would know the exact times for things, but perhaps he found all that at the Dharma archives ... wouldn't you like to visit there?

What would happen if they prevent the plane from crashing? I would think they would all disappear, Back to the Future style!

Blam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blam said...


Nikki: "Daniel, the scientific one, believes whatever happened, happened, and you can’t change the future, so he’s ended up in the free will camp. Now he’s changed his mind, realizing that people aren’t part of a static equation, but instead are free-thinking individuals that are variables."

I think you mean "the destiny camp", Nikki, especially as evidenced by the next sentence.

fb said...

no one else will likely see it, but to me, faraday looks like he could be jack's little brother, especially when he has facial hair. (and his hair when he graduated from oxford ... wow. i kept thinking he was going to suddenly break out into a heavy metal hit from the '80s with those locks.)

and yes, nikki, i thought the same thing -- way to go, penelope, leaving little charlie with some weird creepy lady in the hospital waiting room!

really great acting all around when sawyer called kate "freckles". the uncomfortableness/awkwardness came through loud and clear from all of them.

i'm not sure it was meant to be funny, but i laughed at the way miles vehemently denied he was chang's son when chang asked. "is this true?" "no!"i also thought the gunplay was a bit OTT. i was half expecting to hear the good, the bad and the ugly's theme as the background music.

still trying to wrap my head around the fact that people with eleanor and charles' complexion and colouring could produce a child that looked like daniel (i'm being nit-picky, i know).

question: if daddy widmore has a (fake) british accent (alan dale is from new zealand) and mummy hawking has a (fake) british accent (fionnula flannigan is irish), and daniel went to oxford, can we assume he was raised in england? so why doesn't he speak with a british accent? was that answered somewhere along the way? if so, i forgot.

also, anybody think that kate kinda sorta looked like jack's mother a little? no? just me then? okay. (it's the hair, i think: http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Margo_Shephard)

Brian Douglas said...

Nikki: So here’s another question for my time travel experts. I now completely understand the notion that this is their present, and not their past, and that whatever happens to them now will not affect their selves in 2004, unless they can change outside events. BUT. What happens to them? IF they were to prevent the plane from crashing, then their lives from 3 years ago will go on as normal and people will live, etc. But what about their 3-year-older selves that are now sitting in 1977? It’s not like they magically disappear. Do they go on living a separate life from their other self? Is it possible Kate could end up with Jack and Other Kate would end up with Sawyer? ;)

This can't happen.

Nikki: Why doesn't Alpert recognize Daniel when he sees him? I know it was over 20 years ago that he met with him, but he was pretty significant, and they had a very long talk. He should have remembered him. Did the electromagnetic waves affect Alpert, too?

Maybe Richard was just playing it cool since there were other Others were around. He was lying about Ellie's whereabouts too.

Benny said...

Loved it, it really spearheaded the arc for the finale.

With regards to Dan's journal:I have to say I didn't think Dan knew all that Chang was going to do. I don't think it was written in his notebook that he'd run into him. Chang was supervisor at the Orchid and Dan knows that there is an odd accident as some point and, six hours later, a bigger incident at the Swan site. He's aware of what has generally happened but is, in fact, trying to change things. He probably took notes on the history of DHARMA on the Island. Since his notebook contains all of his research on DHARMA, I'd say he's aware of a lot that's been going on on the Island.

• Could anyone else see the logo on Dan’s uniform when he first goes to see Jack? It looked like one we hadn’t seen.I thought it was the same one he was wearing when he got off the sub, the Swan.

• At what point does Daniel film the video with Chang warning everyone about the Purge?If it is in fact Daniel (voice sounds like him) , from what we've seen there are two answers to that:
1- Never, since Chang didn't believe him when he told him he was from the future, he obviously had not shot it yet. And if Dan is 100% dead, then he can't shoot it.
2- In the following days. Dan recovers (Temple or Jack) and returns to the barracks and films it.

What happens to them?Well, there would be two major schools of thought on that one:
First, is that they do indeed disappear. That's what happens usually in Star Trek when they do time traveling and change the past. You're present self disappears in the past and you would just live your supposedly normal life in 2007! In this case it could also be an event erasing the last three years of your memory and restart from 2004 on 815, but it doesn't crash.
Second, you actually end up in the past as a second entity of yourself. You have the memories of your plane crashing (or the events that led you then) and would live your life as a normal individual. In future years, a second entity, also you, would live through more or less the same experiences you already had less the time traveling events (the plane does not crash).



NOTES
-Widmore admits to the fake plane, so I guess this will put to rest any lingering feeling that it might have been Ben. Safe for the possibility that he is lying.
-If Eloise and Widmore are more together than she and Ben, are we to believe she might have been playing Ben and the O6 in sending them back for Widmore's purposes?
-The answer surrounding the Swan/Jughead comes to light. It is NOT jughead buried there, but Dan does want to bring it into play.
-There was definitely a moment when Eloise says "I don't know what's going to happen next", when in fact she always seemed to know. Does it mean something significant is(has) happen-ing(ed)?
-Notice that Eloise says "I had to send my son back to the island knowing well...", which indicates he probably had been on it before. His heritage may have something to do with his lac of nosebleeds despite the fact that he had lived there long enough (given his age and academic career).

-I've already discussed the ComiCon video, there is something at play here. Either there is some mystery or the video was just a tease (including the voice) and is not necessarily part of the actual canon.


NEXT: Follow the Leader-This seems to be both a Jack/Locke episode. Is this the moment they finally merge the two groups?
-Jack definitely retakes the leadership role.
-Sayid has found the Temple, on his own?
-What will happen with Miles and Hurley? Since Miles was part of LaFleur's crew, they're probably looking for him. As for Hurley, is he close enough to LaFleur to raise suspicions?

Benny said...

Wanted to finish with the notion that Daniel's knowledge is definitely greater than we anticipated. Just his knowledge of Chang's son being Miles.
(Could Miles have told him on the ride over?)

As someone said, the archives likely helped. Spending time at Ann Arbour assuredly expanded his knowledge of DHARMA.

SonshineMusic said...

Fantastic recap as usual Nikki! Yeah for Lost!
Now on to comments

but what are the notes that Daniel is consulting in his journal?

I have been saying this regularly, but I'll say it again ... I really think that Daniel has done way more time traveling than we know about. Even if he is from the "present", that doesn't mean that he hasn't consciousness jumped (as you suggest, Nikki). I don't think he's physically jumped because he is extremely curious as to how the Losties made it back to the 70's.


Is it possible Eloise was writing the notes in the journal for him? She seems to know everything that’s going to happen before it does. How?

I assumed that Eloise knew things because Daniel told her (at least, I assumed that until the end of the show when she shot him!) But she could still glean the important facts from his journals - oh, wait! What if she takes the journals (now that she shot Daniel) and that's where she's getting the information from. Did we see the inside of the notebook she gave Daniel when he graduated? Or was it just the first page? Is it possible she gave him the journal that he writes later, but it's already written (another time loop like the compass)?

When Dan comes up to Charlotte, she says, “I’m not allowed to have chocolate before dinner.” Those were her last words to Daniel before she died.

and you could see it in his face. It was almost like he was reliving her death all over again. I did have one question about this, and maybe I'm just not remembering, but didn't Charlotte say that he told her not to COME BACK? And he didn't, he just told her to leave. Continuity error? Or is he still kind of thinking that he can't change that?

Does anyone else think that when Penny returns to the waiting room, Charlie won’t be there?

Maybe this is the thing that Ben was apologizing for before he entered the Temple?

Why doesn't Alpert recognize Daniel when he sees him?

That really bothered me. I mean, he remembers a compass for how many years? But he doesn't remember the guy with Locke? Seemed odd. I don't think he was lying either.

I really did like the whole tension between everybody. That moment when Sawyer calls Kate Freckles for the first time since they came back was masterfully acted. You can just see Juliet's whole world crumble around her.

The creepiest line? Eloise saying, "The women in your life will only be terribly hurt". She believes in destiny so strongly that she doesn't say a word to try to stop Theresa's coma or Charlotte's death.

Oh, and notice that Sawyer takes a vote as to what they should do. Jack would have just said, this is what we're doing. (of course "Jim" was taking that tact just a couple episodes ago.) Boy, it's nice to have Sawyer and his nicknames back :)

Favorite Sawyer line... "Helping H.G. Wells talk to his mommy" ha!

A question: How/Why/When does Eloise leave the Island?!?

Random thought: Could Daniel end up becoming Jacob?

Benny said...

@SoneShine: the journal she gave Daniel was just too clean and had straight edges, as opposed to the used one we're used to see Daniel browse. But I did half expected the gift to be a filled journal.


With regards to the compass, I've never been sold on it being a self fulfilling loop/existence. I still assert that it has a significance to Richard, hence its use. If it's in a loop, then it means it's impervious to wear and tear. It means that within a 50 year period, it can't be scratched at all? I understand the idea but I'm still not buying it. Just saying.

SonshineMusic said...

Well, maybe Eloise kept the written in journal, but gave Daniel a new one that looked exactly like it?
The way she said that she didn't know what was going to happen ANY MORE is what makes me think that she got the information from Daniel or from the other Losties. She only knew what would happen up until that point. She knew all of them would end up back on the Island. If she really doesn't know what happens next, then she must leave the Island shortly after she shoots Daniel. Her being off Island would explain why her older self doesn't know what happens next.

Benny said...

No, yeah. She definitely could have done that.

What really strikes me about her knowledge is how she knows a lot of the random stuff that you'd think would not be in that journal. The obvious example is the man with red shoes.

There is definitely the idea floating around that she got her info from the travelers, and that would certainly keep it simple. I just can't help but think that her origin as a native has given her some abilities that she has now lost.

SonshineMusic said...

Like Ben always "knows" things

lvgirl said...

About what happens if they change the past...Watch the movie Frequency. Not only is Elizabeth Mitchell in it, but it is a bit of a theory on what happens when a person's past is changed. That Razinski is a big hot head know-it-all, he probably didn't commit suicide; somebody blows his head off because they are sick of him. I want to shoot him myself. They are all very super paranoid. Are they afraid of only the hostiles? or is some other faction out there against them as well. I also couldn't believe Penny just left Charlie there with some unknown nurse. I don't want Daniel to die, maybe that is why Eloise said it was Jack's destiny to be there...we'll see, but it does make it horrible for Dan that his own Mother would send him to his death.

Msredhd said...

I was worried about that too! How could Penny just leave little Charlie with a strange nurse. Especially after Ben had threatened her life and shot Des. She does not know Ben got on a plane that crashes back on the island.

It was great to see how much Des does love Penny.

And I too felt that Juliet was hurt by the whole "Freckles" remark. I hope James makes that up to her.

mgkoeln said...

SonshineMusic: I did have one question about this, and maybe I'm just not remembering, but didn't Charlotte say that he told her not to COME BACK? And he didn't, he just told her to leave. Continuity error?

No! Just a way of editing out stuff we already now. Dan was just beginning to tell Charlotte to never come back, when the scene cuts away. If you don't see it, it doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

The same could be the case with the Comic-Con video. But I actually think, they took the liberty to change that part of the story, as Daniel wasn't shown on the video anyway. In a recent interview with Lostpedia Damon Lindelof said: "I think some people believe that they hear Faraday's voice in the Comic-Con experience. These events are sort of partially canon but more promotional than they are canon. Giving the audience a sneak peak as to what the season is about." Sounds like they aren't going to fit it as neatlessly into the show as they did with the Orchid video.

Richard not recognizing Faraday could mean that for him they simply haven't met yet. Maybe Richard has done some time travelling himself but only started afterwards. So the meeting in the 50s might actually be in his future.

Can't wait for the final three hours of the season as it ist finally picking up speed again. And then another loooooong summer/autumn/winter...

Batcabbage said...

Well, as always seems to be the way with my comments, I'm going to start by saying that I completely LOVE the way this season is going. I absolutely love it. And a Daniel-centric episode I have been craving for a long time (I stay away from ads/spoilers, so I didn't know it was him this week).

Nik: I don’t like being one of those ‘I told you so’ people but... oh hell, YES I DO! HA! Batkitty, my gf, was exactly the same way. When Jim Robinson said 'Well, he's my son too' or something to that effect, Batkitty turned to me and said 'Called that AGES ago.' She's quite perceptive, is my love.

In regard to Richard not recognising Daniel, he did say 'Do we know each other?' when Daniel first showed up (gun in hand and shooting, mind you, so it's not like it was 'Hi! Wow, haven't seen you since 1954 or whatever, no, don't shoot me!') So I think there was some recognition there, but granted, it was 20 years (or so) later, so fair go there was some 'hey, I know you....' type of thing.

I think the most telling line of this episode was Eloise (I LOVE Fionulla - go check out 'Brotherhood', goddamn, that's a good show) saying (and I'm paraphrasing, after a few beers) 'For the first time in a while I don't know what happens next.' Alright, I know that's not exactly what she said, but it's close. I think that will feature in heavily in the coming episodes. Sure, it ties back into what Dan said at the end ('You knew this would happen, and you sent me back anyway'), but I think it fits into the larger context of the show.

All in all, a great episode. I'm off to watch it again now!

Also, Nik! Thank god you're back! Last week, without you and a new Lost episode? It was hell. We descended into pun madness! So glad you're back. :)

thomwade said...

Note, the Nurse leaves a second nurse with Charlie. She was leaving him with Hospital staff-the nurse specifically says *this nurse will watch your son*-not Eloise. And Eloise left without Charlie...

redeem147 said...

I'm with the 'what happened, happened' camp. I think that when the time travelers try to change things, they are actually fulfilling the things that happened. Not destiny, but history.

I also think the the 'catastrophic event' will occur, and that it will propel our guys in time again, probably to the point when they rejoin their friends.

And most importantly - Look! Sayid!

Batcabbage said...

I think that redeem has said something that will turn out to be very apt: Not destiny, but history. I'm with you, my friend. I think it's all happening as it has always happened, the way it's supposed to happen.

And 'Look! Sayid!'??? I missed him! You mean in the Others camp? I was going to watch the episode again, but Batkitty and I just got the "Jericho" complete season 1 and 2, and we just got up to the season 1 finale, so a second watch of 'The Variable' is on hold. But now, it's definitely next!

Scott said...

I'm with redeem147, whatever happened happened. The fact that they think they can change the future is just a character defining device. The characters don't know how the future events will unfold, they only know how they want them to unfold, thus they are stil illustrating free will.

Loved Eloise's reaction to Penny thinking she was Ben's mother. Classic.

Teebore said...

Regarding Richard knowing Daniel, I definitely think he was keeping things on the down low. We know Richard is much more aware of things (time traveling Losties) than the rest of the Others, so my guess is he didn't want to draw their attention to Daniel and feigned ignorance until he could get him alone.

Daniel's journal: If Eloise kept the journal she finds on her dead son in 1977, perhaps she then gives him a blank version of it, and through the years, passes on the info in it that he can't figure out himself (the Dharma stuff) making sure he has it all in there when he goes back to the island, creating, yes, another time loop.

Who else is ready for an Eloise Hawking episode?!?

There's definitely still more to Daniel's story, I think, specifically his reaction to the discovery of 815. I'm also curious about his time in Ann Arbor and whether anything dramatic happened to change his mind regarding free will vs. destiny.

@Benny
The answer surrounding the Swan/Jughead comes to light. It is NOT jughead buried there, but Dan does want to bring it into play.But what if Jughead IS buried there? What if the Others buried it there 20 years ago and now it's partially the cause of the energy. Dharma (and thus Daniel) doesn't know that? Perhaps, had Eloise not killed him, she would have said "the H-bomb? We buried that here" and "here" is the Swan site.

@redeem147
Daniel's newfound beliefs aside, I too am still in the "whatever happened, happened" camp, and definitely think the idea that things can be changed, given to Jack and Kate by Daniel, will actually spur them into action that ensures that whatever happened, happened.

@Nikki
I dunno...I still think Cooper is the worse parent. :)

Anonymous said...

Unless I'm mistaken, the guy who tells Dan to wear a hard hat is one of the Others from when Kate and Sawyer were held captive. I think he died on the beach at the end of season 3. So that would be at least one other Other who doesn't age.

Hutch said...

Haven't read all the comments but my first thought it's not in Kate's best interest for the plane not crash and fly straight to LA. She would land in handcuffs and with the testimony of the detective would probably be convicted of murder.

My second thought is WHY would Penny leave her child unattended with just a "nurse" watching him.

Sparty_Cyclone said...

Wouldn't Daniel and Desmond be step brothers?

Will Richard take Dan's body to the temple to resurrect him? If Daniel filmed the comic-con video as suspected, it happened before Dr. Chang forced his wife and son to leave the island because you can hear Miles crying in the background.

How can they possibly get a hydrogen bomb to the swan site and detonate it in less than four hours? Can next Wednesday get here soon enough???

mgkoeln said...

Anonymous: Unless I'm mistaken, the guy who tells Dan to wear a hard hat is one of the Others from when Kate and Sawyer were held captive. I think he died on the beach at the end of season 3. So that would be at least one other Other who doesn't age.

You are not mistaken! Actor Ariston Green has appeared in earlier LOST episodes as an Other. He's always been just a background character, though, so it's quite possible that those simply were supposed to be different roles, played by the same actor, because the casting office likes him.

Charon said...

Nikki- Why didn't you talk about the completely different actress for Eliose as a young woman? She couldn't look less like the girl from Jughead.

SonshineMusic said...

I dunno...I still think Cooper is the worse parent.

Definitely :)
I mean, at least Eloise has this firm belief in destiny and that things can't be changed. She actually does seem to be pretty pained with the things that she does to make sure Daniel stays on his path whereas Cooper acts completely in self interest without a speck of remorse of any kind.

There is one thing, though. It almost seems like Eloise believes that you COULD change things. If what happened, happened, then couldn't she just let things play out? If the universe will course correct wouldn't Daniel have ended up on the right path without her interference? Or was she just trying to make sure it happened as quickly and painlessly as possible? Maybe she was afraid that something worse would happen to keep Daniel on the right course, so she made sure she put him on it at an early age.

Sparty_Cyclone said...

One more thought... in the hospital, Eloise said she didn't know what was going to happen next. Could that be because she knew everything that was going to happen up to the time Daniel went back to the island and got shot from reading his journal?

Anonymous said...

Great episode but I REALLY don't hope they change the future and the whole thing truns into a "back to the Future" thing. But, if 815 doesn't crash:

Kate - 20 yrs in the hole

Sawyer - still a bitter loner

Locke - still paralyzed

Desmond - still pushing the button

Jin & Sun - divorced?

Then again, Boone, Shannon, Michael, Ana Lucia, Charlie et al would still be alive so I guess it's a mix of good and bad.

I assume someone has brought this up in the past but I'm really starting to think Richard is Smokie.

-Tim

Anonymous said...

something tells me jack is going to do a very very very bad thing...

mgkoeln said...

Anonymous: Then again, Boone, Shannon, Michael, Ana Lucia, Charlie et al would still be alive so I guess it's a mix of good and bad.

And don't forget all the passengers who died in the crash immediately. Would be quite a sacrifice for Kate, Locke & co., anyway.

mgkoeln said...

Oh and...

Anonymous: Desmond - still pushing the button

Nope, there wouldn't be a button to push if the "incident" never happened.

Justin Mohareb said...

So I guess this means no Chang/Farraday/LaFleur video, eh?

Annie A said...

great recap Nikki.

I thought too that it was completely weird how Penny just left baby Charlie with the nurse to go see Desmond. My husband actually said "oh my God Eloise is going to take the baby and send it to the island for Desmond to go back!"

None of the writers in this show are mothers, for sure. Between Sun leaving her daugter to go to the island and seemingly never looking back, Kate leaving Aaron sleeping in the hotel room alone, and now Penny....

NO WAY would I ever do that to my kids. magical island or not. I think this behavior from mothers on the show is completely non-plausible.

I've loved this show from the pilot episode, but this really bugs me.
that, and the fact that they are going to change the time travel implications, just as I was beginning to slightly understand them! :-)

flexible said...

Hey Nik, I think the sub Dan came on is the special delivery from Ann Arbour. I did not think this episode was all it was hyped up to be. For something that was supposed to rival and compliment the Constant, it did not live up to my expectations but that's what you get when you let Sarnoff loose. To think she writes the next episode again, truly makes me worried. Hopefully, Darlton will be able to bring it back in the final 2 hours. I almost believe they let her loose just to show their skills as writers and how they can bring things back after Sarnoff has made another mess. JMO.

I feel sorry for Dan. I could not understand him in this episode. Just whinging and moaning through out the whole thing and indeed sounding like a mad man. He only made sense at the end, and even his solution was a radical plan.

I liked the meeting. Sawyer was always going to take votes. That is the major diff between his style and Jacks style. I think he is slowly waking up from his self induced hypnosis. How Sawyer can think he belonged there, I will never know. I just don't know how he was going to reconcile being in'77 with the impending purge. Was he hoping to die before the purge? Or what? It's just mysterious and at the same time hilarious to me how Sawyer and co really deluded themselves into thinking DI was their home with no plans of how the hell to get out of dodge having pre-knowledge of what was to happen.

That's the 2nd time Sawyer has called Kate "Freckles" since she came back but the 1st time infront of Jules. LOL. Poor Jules. Still, that's the 1st time she has been of interest to me in a while. I liked that she immediately turned to Kate and gave her the code and said, go with Dan. LOL. That's the bad ass Jules I know. She realised that maybe, Sawyer is not over Kate afterall, though IMO, she knows very well that he is not which is why she has been on tenterhooks and predicting doom from the minute they got back. Kate, new Kate, does not want to rock any boats, so she's like, okay. Sure. Lets go :) but this is Kate Austen. That's not gonna last for too long :)

So, I guess, loyalty which is one of the selling points of Suliet according to those who understand this On Golden Pond pairing, is out the window because she went against Sawyer there. Loyalty/having each others backs. Funny, how Sawyer hesitated when Jules asked if he still had hers. Why? Surely, it should have come out immediately. they've said it so many times, I want someone to print it on their dharma suits so we don't have to hear it everytime Suliet need to reaffirm their relationship. Plus the exchange of ILUs in the promo does not seem quite right. Will wait for sneeks :)

The promo-I agree with Hutch. Kate is no fool. Why would she want to erase the last few years? Then she would be in jail. Jack is an idiot. He actually does not think. Like Sawyer said. He just reacts. Thrilling to me that Kate is going to disagree and possibly do something else.

Charon said...

Justin- Dan and James have been there for three years, so they could have made that Dharma comiccon video at any point.

Teebore said...

Oh yeah, on the subject of the sub on which Dan arrived, I definitely think it was a "secret" trip, unknown to the general Dharma population (and Juliet). It was carrying scientists intended for the Swan, the Swan is being secretly built in hostile territory, it arrived at night, sans the usual Dharma welcoming hoopla...definitely a trip that the "general public" didn't know about.

Nikki Stafford said...

Ah. It's so good to be back. You have no idea how much I missed you guys and this discussion after "Some Like It Hoth."

Lesley: I think we crossed the streams! Sorry... I published the blog, and you must have been right on the site and read it, and as soon as I hit Submit I checked my notes and realized I'd forgotten to write my nitpick about Alpert, so I added it. It wasn't until this morning I saw your note, so I'm presuming you read the blog in the half-second before I changed it. Well done! :) But I agree with you.

That said, I thought about it more and I think it's more believable that he sort of recognizes him (he does say, "Do I know you?") rather than what happens at the beginning of season 2, when Desmond seems to remember Jack 3 years after having a 4-second conversation with him in a stadium.

joshua said...

Great stuff, as usual.

Poor Daniel. This episode reminded me a lot of 'The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham' in the way that it filled many of the "blanks" in a particular story arc (so much so that afterwards I found myself referring to it as 'The Life and Death of Jeremy Davies'). However, I think we failed to get any new information about much of anything. Many of us have had suspicions about Widmore being Dan's papa for a while now, and I think most of us already believed that Widmore was the man responsible for the Oceanic fake. And OF COURSE Desmond is okay -- who else is there to take his place? Penny?

To me (and, admittedly, only after a single viewing), the only concrete piece of new intel, and the one that comes across as most significant, was the fact that Daniel tested his time travel device on himself first. It makes perfect sense within the context of the rest of the information we've been given, but for some reason I never put two and two together. In retrospect, I think that's where many of the notes in his book come from. I'm guessing it's almost as much a dream journal as anything else, a place where he can jot down sundry bits and bobs that flit through his head, things that he may not initially be able to make sense of, but that could easily come from some place in his mind that holds details from his time-skipping, the fractured knowledge of future events that he knows will come into play later. Then he can go back and puzzle over this or that and try to put it all together.

And while we're on the subject, I think The Others must have some method of "seeing" the future that we don't know about yet. This would be how Charles, Ellie, Richard and Ben all seem to know so much about what's coming at any given moment. Is it possible that this is the true purpose of The Temple? Or are we to believe that the lot of them have simply gleaned their information from their other incidental run-ins with time travelers? That seems like a huge stretch to me.

TOTALLY with you, Nik, on Eloise being the new prizewinning "Worst LOST Parent Ever" (which is really saying something on this show). Geez, what a nightmare. I half expected her to start cackling and then fly off on her broomstick at any given moment. At least Anthony Cooper was clearly an unrepentant asshole... it's the way that she feigned working to Dan's best interests that made her so horrid. There's a song by The Shins called "Caring Is Creepy," and it really needs to go on her soundtrack.

In those last few scenes, was it just me or did it seem like the biggest mistake they made was giving Daniel a gun? At first, he just stared at the thing, all mystified, like Jack had just handed him the jawbone from a dinosaur or something. And then he promptly used it to get them fired on in the motor pool, then shortly thereafter to get himself shot in the Hostiles' camp. Way to go there, Tex.

So, the Black Swan team breaches this pocket of electromagnetic energy, and the subsequent release is "The Incident" that causes all our problems. Then someone please explain to me exactly how that set of circumstances is improved by detonating a frakkin' hydrogen bomb. Would that not cause a significantly larger breach? Or am I just stupid? Unless Dan's plan wasn't to detonate it over the site of The Swan, but instead to set it off closer to the barracks, thereby destroying the unevacuated Dharma Initiative personnel and ceasing the work altogether...

I don't know what the hell with the Chang video. Maybe things have already started to change?

Nikki Stafford said...

Sonshine!!!!! oh, wait! What if she takes the journals (now that she shot Daniel) and that's where she's getting the information from. Love it! Seriously, that never even crossed my mind, and now I'm whacking myself in the forehead and saying, "OF COURSE!!" I agree with you completely. Eloise is going to pull the journal off Daniel. She'll read through it, and that's how she'll know everything that's going to happen. It's the reason why, when she's in the hospital with Penny, she says she doesn't know what will happen next... because the notes in Daniel's journal would have stopped at that point.

I believe the journal she buys him is indeed the journal that is on him at the end (and no, it doesn't look the same, as someone pointed out, but that's because Dan carries it everywhere and has worn down the design on the front cover and the edges are warped because of it).

It's how she knows about the stuff that happened later on the island, how she knows about Theresa and Charlotte, and how she knows about Desmond. I wonder what she thought when she saw the line, "If anything happens to me, Desmond will be my Constant." That would have been very important to her, and maybe that's how he ends up with the monk (remember Eloise's picture on the desk?) and she's talking to him in his consciousness travel. She manipulates Desmond the way she does Daniel, because they're so closely linked.

Hm. I think I just found the subject of my DocArzt column today. Thank you!! :)

joshua said...

PS - Anyone know the piece that Daniel is playing on the piano?

Nikki Stafford said...

Blam: Thank you for catching that! This is the first post of season 5 that I didn't reread before posting. I was SO dead tired (toddler doesn't want to sleep these days). Thank you for being my editor! I made the change. :)

groovyghosthunter said...

Now how can that be?

Are we SURE Widmore is Dan's dad? From what I remember from high school science, two blue eyed people cannot create a brown eyed offspring. Hmmmmmm Maybe he's really RICHARD'S kid and Widmore only thinks he's the father.

:-)

flexible said...

Oh and whats with Jack and the emotional manipulation on Kate? Her achilees heel(Aaron)?! Also slightly passively aggressively lettin Sawyer know, she did not come back for him. LOL.

Further proff of Sawyers emasculation. I have complained repeatedly of that tone Juliet uses to calm Sawyer down everytime. Now, she is telling him what to do with the same tone. "James James, tell him". It's like Sawyer is some mentally disabled violent child, who needs to be calmed and needs to be told what to do lest he go crazy. It's one thing to grow and mature, it's quite another to become wet and a sap.

Nikki Stafford said...

fb: I agree about Daniel's complexion... he doesn't exactly look like the love child of two people with light-coloured hair. ;)

Benny: I have to say I didn't think Dan knew all that Chang was going to do. I don't think it was written in his notebook that he'd run into him.You could be right, though he's waiting in the jeep with Miles, consulting his notes, looking at his watch, and then the van pulls up and he says, "Right on time." It's as if he knew for sure that he was going to see him at that time. Then before he continues talking to him outside he looks at the notes again, as if to find out if he's supposed to reveal Miles' parentage. But you could be right.

Re: the Dharma archives: weren't those blowed up real good in the basement of the Flame station in "Enter 77"? Or were those just a bunch of manuals?

First, is that they do indeed disappear. That's what happens usually in Star Trek when they do time traveling and change the past. But would that fall into the "whatever happens/this is our present" category? I've only now gotten my head around the idea that you could be 34 in 2004 and 35 in 1977, and now you've got people disappearing on me?! Heehee... (I think ST always used more of the Marty McFly version of time travel, though, didn't they?)

Second, you actually end up in the past as a second entity of yourself.That's what I'm thinking, since Miles seems to have debunked the idea of hands or any other body parts disappearing.

Telmo Couto said...

"Widmore’s hanging around outside, Ben is god-knows-where, and Penny’s just left the kid. I don’t like what this feels like."

I think that Ben is on the Island, too busy being judged :P

Nikki Stafford said...

Benny: Widmore admits to the fake plane, so I guess this will put to rest any lingering feeling that it might have been Ben. Safe for the possibility that he is lying.I said to my husband out loud, "Well. That answers that." Then added, "Or he's lying." Ah. Don't you love how much trust these characters have built up in us? Hahaha!

There was definitely a moment when Eloise says "I don't know what's going to happen next", when in fact she always seemed to know. Does it mean something significant is(has) happen-ing(ed)?I think, following Sonshine's theory, that if Dan's notes end with his death, and he's just died, then that's why she doesn't know.

Teebore said...

I'm guessing it's almost as much a dream journal as anything else, a place where he can jot down sundry bits and bobs that flit through his headThat would certainly be consistent with how we've seen him use it, in which it seems slightly disorganized and chaotic. Which could easily be attributed to Daniel being a scatterbrained scientist, or it could be because the info he wrote down he received in a confusing, non-linear fashion due to consciousness time travel.

My wife was also wondering about how exploding an H-bomb near unstable energy will somehow be better than the incident. I think the implication is that while the H-bomb will cause a similarly destructive incident (which is why Daniel still wants Chang to evacuate the island), it will ultimately destroy the energy (well, inasmuch as energy can be destroyed) meaning the button won't have to be pushed to safely discharge it going forward.

So while detonating the H-bomb won't STOP the Incident from occuring, it will CHANGE the Incident, so that the button pushing, and all the subsequent events to which that leads, won't have to happen.

Way to go there, Tex.Ha! LMAO.

SonshineMusic said...

@Sparty_Cyclone: Wouldn't Daniel and Desmond be step brothers?

No, Penny and Daniel are half-siblings. Look at it this way... Desmond is Daniel's constant, Daniel is Penny's half-brother, Penny is Desmond's wife :)

@Annie A: and the fact that they are going to change the time travel implications, just as I was beginning to slightly understand them! :-)

I really don't think they are. Right as he "dies" Daniel says, you always knew this was going to happen (something to that effect) He says that they can change things, but I think the only things that they can change are those things directly involving themselves (since it's their present) but nobody else. I think the main tenent is still what happened, happened.

@flexible: Funny, how Sawyer hesitated when Jules asked if he still had hers.

Well, she didn't answer his question either. Yes, three years is three years, but the Losties went through a lot of trauma and dealing with running for your life, fighting off hostiles and polar bears and smoke monsters creates a much different kind of connection than living in relative comfort and security. Just saying you can't really compare the two

Nikki Stafford said...

Ivgirl: About what happens if they change the past...Watch the movie Frequency.Great movie, and one I need to watch again. They actually filmed that about 3 blocks from where I work... I grumbled for months about the parking situation, but they wanted to use this cool greasy diner for the scene where the cop friend is talking to Quaid's character. They used it again for J Lo's "Angel Heart" or whatever that movie was called (causing louder grumbles from me). The diner's since been converted into a more upscale restaurant, which is too bad.

Wow. That was way off-topic. ;)

Teebore said...

I said to my husband out loud, "Well. That answers that." Then added, "Or he's lying." Ah. Don't you love how much trust these characters have built up in us? Hahaha!,My wife and I had more or less the same exchange. Though I don't think Widmore is lying. I can't see a reason he would have to lie.

Of course, we might find out a reason down the road, in which I'll eat my words, but for now, I'm taking him at his word.

Nikki Stafford said...

Batcabbage: Also, Nik! Thank god you're back! Last week, without you and a new Lost episode? It was hell. We descended into pun madness! So glad you're back. :)Aw, so sweet, and thank you. I actually was about to use a pun here in response, but I do NOT want to get THAT going again.

Nikki Stafford said...

thomwade: Note, the Nurse leaves a second nurse with Charlie. She was leaving him with Hospital staff-the nurse specifically says *this nurse will watch your son*-not Eloise. And Eloise left without Charlie...Oh yes, I did get that (when I said strange lady, I was actually referring to the nurse! I guess I should have been more specific, LOL!) but a nurse is no match against Ben, Widmore, and Eloise. One, "Oh hey, what's that?" will have the nurse turning around and Charlie would disappear in about half a second.

Nikki Stafford said...

redeem: I'm with the 'what happened, happened' camp. I think that when the time travelers try to change things, they are actually fulfilling the things that happened. Not destiny, but history.Excellent theory... and you could be absolutely right. Imagine if Jack CREATES the incident using the bomb, rather than stops it. Talk about a massive D'OH.

Nikki Stafford said...

Teebore: I dunno...I still think Cooper is the worse parent. :)I think Cooper is just a piece of s&%!, and was an absentee parent who used and abused his son. But Eloise was there throughout Daniel's life and STILL sent him headlong into his death. That's worse, in my books. Even though, admittedly, she looks like it's tearing her up inside to do it, whereas Cooper didn't bat an eye. But I think what I'm saying is that he never cared anyway, so his actions sort of provoke an "Oh well, what did you expect?" response from me, whereas she nurtured Daniel and was with him every step of the way, guiding his entire life to that moment out of some religious notion that she had to do this or the universe would course correct to deal with it anyway.

Hm. Maybe she was being motherly. Maybe she thought, "If I don't kill him by my own hand, maybe a piano will fall on his head instead." I think the piano might have been a less horrible way for Daniel to die. Could you imagine, the final thoughts in your head being the horrible knowledge that your mother guided your entire life to the point where you would die at her hand, and she knew this all those years? :::shudder:::

Nikki Stafford said...

Sparty_Cyclone: Wouldn't Daniel and Desmond be step brothers?

No, Daniel is Penny's step-brother, which makes Desmond his brother-in-law (or more specifically, his stepbrother-in-law).

Nikki Stafford said...

Anon: Unless I'm mistaken, the guy who tells Dan to wear a hard hat is one of the Others from when Kate and Sawyer were held captive. Great catch!!! I agree with mgkoeln; it's probably just an extra being used again. But that would be awesome to think it's a hostile that's invaded the group. :) You'd think you would have used a more obvious one, though.

Nikki Stafford said...

Charon: Why didn't you talk about the completely different actress for Eliose as a young woman? She couldn't look less like the girl from Jughead.Oh, I agree. When they showed her, I said to my husband, "OK, that doesn't look like Ellie AT ALL." But I'm not big on the casting nitpicks (unless it's obvious... "Wow, they cast Brad Pitt to play an older Walt? Um... that's weird.")

Nikki Stafford said...

Tim: Awesome rundown of what would happen if the plane doesn't crash. I was going to say, too, that Sawyer looks peaceful for the first time EVER on the show, and I think it's because of what he's gone through on the island. If the plane doesn't crash, he'll be an angry and hostile man for the rest of his life, which will undoubtedly be a short one. All of them have grown since coming to the island.

But Jack, the doctor, would be looking at it as, Look at all the lives I'll save. Yeah, we'll still be emotional messes, but so many others will still be alive.

Frank said...

nik - we don't know for sure if eloise is going to get that journal. from the preview for next week, it looks like jack is using the journal to figure out what to do next.

humanebean said...

Nooooooooooooooooooo!

As much as I was starting to expect that Daniel's storyline was wrapping up, it still hit me like a ton of bricks when he was shot ... by his own mother!! Or ... is she? We have arrived deep in the belly of the beast that IS "course-correction" vs. "whatever happened, happened". And I, for one, am happier than a pig in .... a blanket. [cleaned up for the family crowd ... or perhaps an insanely paranoid, swine-flu obsessed public]

And so it goes. Some things that jumped out at me:
1) IS Eloise/Ellie really Faraday's mother? And, IS Widmore his dad? There are some odd details that may suggest otherwise, despite what we've heard repeatedly up until now. In this episode, Mrs. Hawking says, "It's my ... job to keep you on your path". Your JOB? Later, Widmore says, "it was my son too, Eloise". Odd phrases, both. Are they parents the same way that Ben was Alex' father?

2) How DOES Daniel know these events so specifically? He says, "Right on time" when Chang arrives at the Orchid. Perhaps from consciousness-traveling during his ill-fated experiments? Nothing on the written page in his journal references this - the notes are about the 'size/shape of the universe' and his acting as a variable.

3) The back of the uniform on the guy who takes the wounded man out of the Orchid says "MEDIC". You mean the Motor Pool gal has been delivering babies and tending Young Adult bullet wounds and doesn't even get a MEDIC suit? Where did these come from, all of a sudden?

4) We see Daniel in the same house (or at least with identical artwork on the wall) throughout this episode, across twenty or so years. So, Mrs. Hawking raised him in Essex MA?

5) When she reappears following Widmore's offer to Daniel, she says, "It's my business to know". Your BUSINESS? Your JOB to keep Daniel on his path? I know I'm being redundant here, but this is just too odd not to mean something.

6) I know that some people have commented on Fionnula Flanagan's florid acting style but the 16 different emotions her face registers when she says, "Yes, Daniel, it will" (make her proud of him) is brilliant.

7) "I just got shot by a physicist!" HOOT! With a proton gun, no doubt?

8) Come to think of it, just what is it, exactly, that brings Radzinsky et. al. to the motor pool on high alert? They jump out of the DharmaBus, guns drawn, like they are under attack. Last time we saw them, they were out at the Swan, building away, weren't they?

9) The gift of the journal to Daniel is shot with great significance. Obviously, this is NOT the same journal that we've seen Daniel refer to over and over again. Is this because something HAS changed? Just like the picture frames in "Confirmed Dead"?

9) "Do we know each other?" To my mind, this has to call into question when this event takes place in Richard's timeline. The only time we've seen Richard looking markedly different than his clean-cut self is when Young Ben encountered him in the jungle. We may yet learn that Richard is time-traveling through this period, shaping events just as Mrs. Hawking has been trying to do.

10) We have finally arrived at the moment that we've been pointing towards since Mrs. Hawking first lectured Desmond in "Flashes Before Your Eyes". As Daniel tells Jack, "WE are the variables". Now that it appears that HE won't be able to avert The Incident (with his 'blow up the bomb' strategy - um, this is a plan?) ... what will Jack et. al. do?

There's only THREE HOURS left in the season?? How is this possible? Can we time loop the remaining episodes so that they actually unfold over another 17 hour mini-season? Who's with me?

Nikki Stafford said...

flexible: I liked the meeting. Sawyer was always going to take votes. That is the major diff between his style and Jacks style.Really good point; Sawyer allows the democracy, whereas Jack wants the dictatorship, thinking he knows what's best for everyone.

Like I said, I agree that to stop the crash makes their lives miserable, but I could understand Jack's Hippocratic Oath (which, as redeem hilariously pointed out in the Sayid ep, has become the Hypocritical Oath) that he would want to save the lives of everyone on the plane. He will want to "fix" things. Maybe Jack will go rogue.

SonshineMusic said...

@Nikki: No, Daniel is Penny's step-brother

Not to nit pick, but I am :) Penny and Daniel share a father (From what we understand now) so that would make them half-brother and sister, not step-brother and sister. Shannon and Boon were step-siblings because they didn't share any parents.

Nikki Stafford said...

Teebore: Oh yeah, on the subject of the sub on which Dan arrived, I definitely think it was a "secret" trip, unknown to the general Dharma population (and Juliet). Excellent point. I retract my nitpick. :)

Nikki Stafford said...

joshua: There's a song by The Shins called "Caring Is Creepy," and it really needs to go on her soundtrack.LOL!!! Funniest comment yet.

To me (and, admittedly, only after a single viewing), the only concrete piece of new intel, and the one that comes across as most significant, was the fact that Daniel tested his time travel device on himself first.See, I always assumed that, too, and that rather than the nosebleeds, he lost his memory. So that wasn't new. But I did LOVE this episode. Loved it.

SonshineMusic said...

A humanebean: "It's my business to know". Your BUSINESS? Your JOB to keep Daniel on his path?

You know, I noticed that at the time, but got caught up in so many other things I forgot. It did seem very odd. I've questioned her parentage ever since it was first brought up, but then again, I've also questioned Widmore's parentage of Penny.

DNA check on aisle 4!

There's only THREE HOURS left in the season?? How is this possible? Can we time loop the remaining episodes so that they actually unfold over another 17 hour mini-season? Who's with me?

ME! ME!

Scott said...

Re: Ben's location concurrent with Desmond, Penny, Eloise et al, he's likely getting his arm put in a sling at some hospital...oh I don't know, maybe near the Marina... ;-)

Nikki Stafford said...

joshua: He was playing a nocturne by Chopin. I played it long ago; it's beautiful, isn't it?

Nikki Stafford said...

humanebean: Come to think of it, just what is it, exactly, that brings Radzinsky et. al. to the motor pool on high alert? They jump out of the DharmaBus, guns drawn, like they are under attack. Last time we saw them, they were out at the Swan, building away, weren't they?Good question! Radzinsky said they'd just come from Chang's house; could Chang have said something about what Dan told him?

Nikki Stafford said...

Telmo Cuoto: I think that Ben is on the Island, too busy being judged :PNo, not yet. Ben has just shot Desmond and was thrown into the water. Penny presumably called the ambulance immediately and rushed them all to the hospital. They won't be leaving on that plane until the following afternoon.

Elle said...

I just have to say: yay for shootouts! Maybe I am the only one, but I wanted to applaud the gun fight. Yeah! Bring on some bullets!! Shoot ‘em – shoot em! Then YES – fuel – shoot the fuel!! Kaboom!! Wooo! I went from being an emotional noodle one scene to doing a tribal monkey dance around exploding flames the very next minute. Gosh I love this show!

Teebore said...

Speaking of piano playing, I just wanted to give a shout out to the actor playing young Daniel: I thought he did a marvelous job of emulating Jeremy Davies performance without caricaturing it.

The little head tilt, his diction: I absolutely believed that boy would grow up to be Daniel.

SonshineMusic said...

@Elle: yay for shootouts!

You know, I was thinking, boy, Kate shouldn't have a problem with this, she's used to driving away while people are shooting at her.

Then I felt a tiny bit bad for thinking that. But it is true.

Elle said...

@SonshineMusic- so true - I like the New-ish Kate. It was fun to see Kate around another 'splosion again. I did find myself thinking "no no - not the OPEN AIR jeep - get a VAN - VAN!! Bullets people!!" but our Losties faired okay. Whew.

asiancolossus said...

I loved the episode. I'm going to miss Dan, he really grew on me!
He was playing Fantasie Impromptu by Chopin, one of my favorite pieces of music.

Eloise is one cold B*&^(_^!!! I don't care if her intentions are to "course correct" but to send a mentally unstable son back in time to be shot by his own mother! I knew this show had daddy issues, but serious mommy issues there!

I guess the Incident will be about Jughead exploding. As mentioned before, I wonder if the last scene will be the plane landing in LA safely. I cannot see that happening, as there would be nothing leading to Season 6 and all the character development would be for nothing.

100th episode of Lost coinciding with Obama's 100th day in office? Coincidence? I think not...

Did anyone catch those weird flashes of the new ABC pilot Flash Forward? It apparently stars Penny! :)

Benny said...

A few Devil's advocate answers and comments!

@Charon: but when Dan tells Chang that he's from the future, Chang ridicules him. If they had made the video, he would probably be warmer to the statement. As well, Dan left three years ago, so they didn't have much time/credibiity to make a video like that.

@joshua: I would guess that the bomb would destroy the energy altogether. The detonation of an H-bomb creates a significant EMP. But with all the destruction, it's just pointless. This may just be what Dan is leaning on, the EMP destroying/stabilising the EM energy from the breach, with the inconvenience of island destruction.

@Nikki: I think the "right on time" is in regards to the energy release at the Orchid and Chang showing up to check it out. That's how I see it. As for the archives, I assume they have some at Ann Arbour and somewhere off-island that Dan had access to prior to taking the freighter.
I could be wrong, I think I'm just trying to be devil's advocate [a role I obviously love].

@Frank: that's right. Maybe she eventually get her hands on it or my hope for a special ability (as in Richard not aging) will be confirmed!

Paticus said...

I don't know if anyone mentioned it(and sorry if someone has) but I really liked when young Daniel said he could "make time" to play the piano. interesting emphasis on those two words.

Anonymous said...

I don"t know if you caught it in your lost post but AMC is recreating THe Prisoner into a six episode miniseires

Anonymous said...

You asked:

"A few people mentioned this on my blog last week, and I think they’re right: when the sub heads out shortly after the “new recruits” arrive, they’re told there won’t be another sub for months. So is that a continuity error that Dan arrives on a sub only a few days later?"

The sub Daniel was on came from the off-shore Dharma research station. That's a different sub from the one that they use to go back to the outside world, I think.

Benny said...

It's actualy the same sub. The scientists come from Ann Arbour, not the Hydra.

lvgirl said...

@Nikki- and the bad guy in Frequency is named Jack Shepard

SonshineMusic said...

@Paticus: I loved that comment too.
Daniels was playing the piano when he was older, so maybe he did do exactly that...literally make time to continue playing (like in Groundhog Day) :P

On a similar note - A lot of people are musicians, too. Charlie (obviously) Then Ben is playing the piano (a scene I freakin' loved, especially when he pulls the gun out of the piano bench) and now Daniel was also an aspiring musician. Am I forgetting anybody?

dan said...

Sorry if i missed it in the comments, but has anyone considered Desmond and his special ability to defy "time traveling" rules? I'm guessing Dan did, because he already used Des to send help to Eloise in the future. Maybe Dan's plan has already started and there's more to it than simply getting a bomb and detonating it. Also, Alpert seems to share these characteristics, although in a different way (that's more of a feeling, not something I can point to with proof at this time). I love how Richard knows Dan won't shoot him and is a bit short with Eloise, although the show was definitly trying to make us feel tension like Richard was in a real state of risk, only to have history follow its course. Is that dramatic tension, or an attempt to tell the viewers that all is not set in stone?

We need to see another episode about Dan to know if his plan has more to it (or maybe Richard - you know that his episode will be one of the best). Also, the purge seems spread over 3 episodes, 2 of which we've seen (again, this is a guess). We thought that Ben had somehow been involved in the flaming bus incident, but then in Sayid's last episode (sorry, I don't know the name)we saw elements that conflicted with how we were led to believe the purge went down originally. We will need a third episode to fill in those blanks, I think.

Benny said...

SoneShine, Jack played piano. He and Sarah played together at the wedding as well.

Minna said...

@Sonshine:
Jack also plays the piano, both with his now ex-wife, Sarah, and again I think in season 3, when he was living with the Others. I don't know if that counts as 'aspiring musician'... but he still can play.

Benny said...

@Minna: you're right, he does play in season 3 as well. He's playing as Kate walks in to get him out.

I don't think he's aspiring, it's definitely more of a casual hobby, just like I'd say Ben was. Although Ben is definitely more skilled, especially if he's able to get through the entire Raichmaninoff piece he was playing last season.

Robbie said...

I thought Daniel was a little inconsistent this episode. At the beginning he says they're not supposed to be in the past and his mother was wrong. He also says she is the only one who can get them back to 'where they belong' (i assume 2007).

Then he switches gears and wants to change the past, not caring about the crazy paradoxes that would occur. I think he is just desperate to save Charlotte and doesn't care about the consequences.

I also think he was being a little hostile (pun intended) towards the others. He could have gone in unarmed and survived, but whatever what's done is done.

Kirathena said...

Hi all! I have not posted here before but I read religiously! (I have all your books Nikki, you are great!)
Anyhow, I haven't read all the comments yet as I usually do (so I apologize if someone has said this). Does anyone think the Oceanic 6 are going to create the incident by trying to stop it? Much the way Sayid "created" Ben by trying to destroy him as a child? It just seems like the Losties were supposed to have been there the entire time based on events (without Sayid we would not have 'lost innocence Ben', without Juliet we would not have Ethan etc.). And if this is true, then that means Jack & Co. might end up creating the very future they are trying to stop because they...already have. Or am I confusing myself? :)

The Shout said...

I'm another long time reader and this is my first post,so be gentle!

Not seen this mentioned yet - when Daniel visits The Orchid at the start of the episode, the sounds of the construction machinery are very remincent of The Monster!

I've got no idea what this could mean - maybe The Incident creates (or maybe frees) the Monster?

DeborahB said...

Nikki - I think Miles said something significant to Daniel right when Daniel got off the sub -

I have a hearing issue so I watch TV with closed-captioning. Right at the beginning of the ep, shortly after Daniel gets off the sub, Miles is asking Daniel questions about where he's been and what he's been doing, then starts to tell Daniel about things that had been happening on the island. Miles starts to list the happenings, and then my closed-captioning read that he says "LaFleur married..." and right after Miles said 'married,' Daniel cut him off and said he didn't have time.

Sometimes the closed-captioning is wrong, but it seemed consistent with what I heard Miles saying.

Benny said...

@DeborahB: good catch, but I think Miles is saying "LaFleur managed..." as in "managed to pass them off as recruits" or something to that effect.

I so wanted it to be married and went back to check. It sounds like 'man-' to me at least.

Could CC be used for Easter eggs?

Will said...

Nikki, your analyses are the best. Period.

Thought I'd point out that the potential submarine arrival continuity glitch doesn't seem like much of one. I mean Daniel clearly arrived with some top secret Swan science team so that may not have been a scheduled arrival.

DeborahB said...

There's something about last night's ep that is really bugging me, and I haven't read it in anyone's comments: at the beginning of the show, Ellie tells Daniel that he can't play piano any longer, even in his free time, because he's not going to have any free time ever again. He needs to use his talents for Something Major. We then see Daniel setting records when he graduates from Oxford. I kept waiting for a storyline after Oxford to show how Daniel used that lifelong brain focus for something earth-shattering, like becoming a Quantum-Leap-like time traveler, or solving the mysteries of the island. Instead, we're led to believe that his Mom was pushing him for the sole purpose of getting him back to the island to be shot by her.

That doesn't make sense. When Daniel was shot and said those words to Ellie, I thought "he gave up music and love for THIS?" If Ellie was pushing him on that path just so her younger self would be able to shoot him, why was all of that intense focus necessary? If her end game was to get him back to the island, she could have just pushed him to those fields of study without requiring him to give up everything else in his life so that he could be the Bestest Ever. He could have just been pretty darn smart in those fields and still been chosen by Widmore (his father, who presumably has the same knowledge as Ellie of time travel) to go back to the island. There must be more to the storyline of what Daniel did with all that genius and focus besides breaking his brain at Oxford.

Blam said...


Late again...

My favorite line: "Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy."

I love the nicknames not just because they're so creative or apropos of their targets but because you feel like it's somehow actually easier for Sawyer's brain to pull them out than to come up with the subject's real name.

The line from Jack you led off with was runner-up, Nikki — well, tied with "I just got shot by a physicist!" and "Phil, Jack; Jack, Phil."

Nikki: "Eloise signs herself as “Mother” in the journal. How... warm."

Did that inscription say anything noteworthy, folks? I'm not working with a big hi-def screen.

And what's the deal with that actually turning out to be Charlotte, anyway? I was under the impression that we were to assume that the little red-headed girl wasn't her, after the confirmation that the producers had decided to go with Rebecca Mader's real (younger) age and felt bad that the briefly considered older age had been mistakenly used. From Nikki's own blogpost about it:

In their mea culpa, they admitted, "We misremembered this as having come from Rebecca herself on the set, but in fact, it came several days earlier when our continuity expert Gregg Nations pointed it out and suggested using Rebecca's actual birthday for Charlotte. And so, the mistake was OURS. Rebecca's production draft DID have the date as being 1979."

Of course, since the wrong draft was used and thus set in the show's admittedly imperfect continuity, I guess seeing this young Charlotte in 1977 was consistent, but it still struck me as strange.

I thought it weird that Richard flinched at the gunshot that ended up coming from Ellie. When he said, "You really don't want to do that," it only heightened my anticipation that we were gonna see something funky happen when/if Daniel pulled that trigger. And in fact when we heard the shot and Daniel's expression changed to indicate that he'd been shot, my immediate thought was that he'd shot at Richard but the bullet hit him instead, not that it bounced off of Richard so much as was turned back on Daniel via some kind of space-time distortion. The flinch suggested to me a lack of confidence in Richard about what would happen if Daniel fired that may or may not have been appropriate.

More to come!

Blam said...


On the Notebook:

I think that Ellie does get ahold of Daniel's notebook after his death — hopefully onscreen, so that we can see how she's affected by the realization of what she has done and will do after reading it. Didn't she mention that Daniel looked familiar to her when we saw them in the '50s? If he resembled her side of the family, that will surely drive things home for her.

But what resolve she had to fulfill destiny! Why not, oh, I don't know, decide not to name your son Daniel and see how that goes? Or did unspeakable things happen that led her to finally give in and do so? Might Richard or another agent of the Island convince her that it was necessary, perhaps even (doubtful but it just popped into my head) Smokey taking form as it did when it spoke to Ben as Alex, warning her not to try avoiding her son's fate? I can imagine some tragic "course-correcting".

What I pieced together of how Eloise knew certain things, and of the Notebook's likely journey, was basically what Sonshine Music suggested. After Daniel's death in 1977, Ellie takes the Notebook and uses it for her own benefit (and that of whatever alliance she might come to have at the Lamppost) as well as to give Daniel necessary information. Here are two ways of looking at its journey:

For it not to be a closed-loop, neither-created-nor-destroyed artifact like the compass appears to be, Eloise had to purchase and "introduce" the notebook into the equation. In this case, the mismatch in style of the new and worn notebooks is a production error — or it's simply the first of many of Daniel's notebooks, a later one of which is the all-important capital-N Notebook. [The notebook that Eloise gave Daniel not matching the worn one he's paging through didn't register with me — other than it obviously being new.]

Another option is that Eloise took advantage of Daniel's post-experimation confusion to replace his own notebook with the one she'd been keeping since 1977 when he was recruited for the freighter team in 2004, knowing not only that he'd need the information it contained but that he had to have it on him when she shot him in the past. That apparently brilliant idea of mine quickly got tossed upon realizing that the Notebook would then become a closed-loop artifact, even more troublesome than the compass because the bulk of the writing in it would thus always have existed and it's a lot stranger to have pages with Daniel's own handwriting never having actually been created.

Both of these options are still problematic for me in terms of how Daniel seemed to reference the Notebook for particular events that required foreknowledge. Having equations and theories in there is one thing, which is mostly what he seemed to reference last season, but it does seem as though someone provided specific information.

Some folks had theorized back when Daniel arrived on the Island in 2004, addled, that he'd been there before but didn't remember it, but that doesn't seem to have been the case. There was also the theory that Daniel was time-hopping physically and thus younger in 2004 than he was supposed to be, that perhaps the Daniel we saw in the opening act of this season's first episode (revisited this week, finally) was a time-appropriate pre-freighter Daniel working for Dharma in what we now know to be 1977. When Daniel stepped off the sub and greeted Miles at the end of last week's episode, I wondered if maybe that was this earlier Daniel who didn't actually know Miles, but who had been coached by our familiar time-tossed Daniel back in Ann Arbor before visiting the Island for what would actually be his first time — explaining how he got all of this information into his notebook, and why later on when he had memory troubles in general so many things seemed familiar to him even though he didn't recall having been on the Island before — but that explanation became less likely as this episode progressed and conclusively died when Daniel did (assuming that he's actually dead).

This would seem to leave as the explanation for the foreknowledge Daniel having lived through it by projecting his consciousness during those experiments. I suppose he could have physically time-traveled at some point that we haven't yet seen, but if he's dead then it would have had to be prior to his return to the Island on the submarine — and despite regaining his lucidity there's no indication from him that he's really been there before, just that he has documentation in the Notebook. And we finally got confirmation this week that he experimented on himself before Theresa was affected; I just hope that that reference isn't all we're given on the subject, although it's frustratingly possible.

Blam said...


As far as the video with Dr. Chang goes, I seem to recall that he starts out using an alias and says, essentially, "the heck with it". That would seem to date it after the other orientation films, and it's definitely after the Incident. If that isn't Jeremy Davies' voice, or if Faraday does get recover from that gunshot wound, then there's no problem at all other than Chang referencing LaFleur — which is admittedly a biggie, since it seems like the jig is up for Sawyer and friends. Unless Dr. Chang gets convinced by Miles and whomever else in the next few episodes, throwing his weight around to banish Radzinsky to the Swan and pardoning/covering-up/reinstating LaFleur with at least enough time for the video to be made before Sawyner goes back to the future, if indeed he does.

Benny said...

Note on the video:

The video is not considered canon in that it doesn't have to be seen to understand and get the complete story of the show. It only serves as hints of what's to come in the following season. Like the ARGs.

Some info:
-30 years difference;
-DHARMA reformed;
-Future is revealed to the past inhabitants;
-Faraday has a significant role in what will happen;
-(there is also an audio recording over the static near the middle of the video, a second long).

From credible sources, it was not Faraday but meant to sound like him. And Chang did not say LaFleur, it was just mumblings on "what are you doing" that ended up sounding like it wen mixed with static.

These statements can always be changed when nothing has been confirmed, and it's been done before. But for now that's what I'm going to believe.

mgkoeln said...

An idea just popped into my mind: What if we already witnessed a signifant case of changed time, when the island disappeared at the end of last season? Maybe they'll blow up the whole island with the Jughead bomb - and that's why (from the Oceanic 6's perspective) it was suddenly gone after the wheel was turned.

Of course, there's still the notion of the island moving through space, that hasn't been really explained yet - so this could be what happened back then as well. But the sudden disapperance looks more like the island being totally erased from existence by having changed the past.

If they do that though, where will next season take place?

SenexMacdonald said...

@Sonshinemusic:
"When Dan comes up to Charlotte, she says, “I’m not allowed to have chocolate before dinner.” Those were her last words to Daniel before she died.

and you could see it in his face. It was almost like he was reliving her death all over again. I did have one question about this, and maybe I'm just not remembering, but didn't Charlotte say that he told her not to COME BACK? And he didn't, he just told her to leave. Continuity error? Or is he still kind of thinking that he can't change that?"
Someone else mentioned about the camera pulling out from this conversation. Since we have been seeing repeats of scenes as flashbacks or otherwise, we have been seeing them either in full or at least seeing the same sequence from part of a repeated scene - especially the meeting of the O6 members with Ben. Fyi, have any of you noticed that sometimes there are small differences especially in the dialogue - which I am not taking as continuity errors but as small changes in the person(s) involved)?

I am thinking the extension to this scene we have viewed partially before was done deliberately this way.

Daniel says: "I tried to avoid telling you this. I didn't think I could change things. But maybe I can." Then the camera pulls back.

I have not had time to go over the episode where this originally appears so someone will have to check for me - but I am thinking this pull back is done so we DO NOT hear what Daniel says to Charlotte because it is not what he told her the first time. I believe he told her more than just do not come back to the island. I am also betting we will see this scene again as we have with others...and hopefully the whole conversation with Charlotte.

Benny said...

@mgkoeln: that's an idea I've read elsewhere as well and it's interesting and could be telling. But let me ask you this: Where are Locke, Ben and Sun? And Ilana and Bram's group as well since the Hydra island was also gone?It could be true that there are two floating realities, one without the island, time having been changed; and one with the island!

SenexMacdonald said...

@sonshineMusic:
"Why doesn't Alpert recognize Daniel when he sees him?"Same reason he has lied before and/or misdirected people before.

Richard might have had a foreshadowing of things to come with him and wanted to stall for time until Ellie came - not necessarily thinking she would shoot Daniel.

Don't forget - Daniel also met Ellie in Jughead and did not (that we know of) realize she was his mother. Could it also be that she knows he wants the location of the bomb and this is a way to slow him down or prevent him from getting to it?

Also do not forget Daniel is the one to tell Ellie and Richard that it is leaking (which means it could explode) and to bury it. I for one am expecting Jughead to under the Swan and the source of the emmissions.

Deborah said...

Not home to watch the 100th episode last night. Thanks god for DVR! Amazing episode even if not much new was revealed. Still nice to see Daniel's back story and to have confirmation of things like Widmore being Daniel's dad. How very, very sad that Eliose thought it her destiny to send her son back to the island so that she could kill him and fulfill his destiny. I just don't see what purpose that serves - to cause the then inevitable crash of flight 815 and all else that we have seen? Perhaps this has been touched upon by other posters. I've not begun to read the 102 comments that already exist.

redeem147 said...

And 'Look! Sayid!'??? I missed him! You mean in the Others camp?Okay, I thought I saw him in the trailer.

Sayid!

Batcabbage said...

@redeem: LOL! That's ok. It's a nice thought, though, that Sayid is now with the others, or something similar. Sayid!!!

Also, just a general comment here: On Wednesday night in Oz, they showed 'Dead is Dead' (BKV! WOOT!), and while watching it again, I commented to Batkitty during the scene where Ben offers to help Ilana and Big-Miles-Kidnapping-Van-Driving-Possibly-Another-Faction Guy moving that box that maybe there was a body in the box (I'm sure I've seen others on the comments section here that have said the same thing). Batkitty said 'Maybe it's Abbaddon. That would be cool.' Thinking about that a bit more, I think it makes some kind of sense. Maybe it is Abbaddon, and maybe it fits into his 'I get people where they need to be' thing (Y: The Last Man reference! Woot!). Sure, he's dead, but maybe it's his body that does it. Kind of like a 'passport' to the Island, if you will. Sure, you could say 'If that's the case, then why didn't they (the Freighties) just use Abbaddon to get to the Island in the first place?' And you'd be right. But this is Lost, they do whatever they want. Just a random thought, and probably wrong, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

thomwade said...

Nikki:but a nurse is no match against Ben, Widmore, and Eloise. One, "Oh hey, what's that?" will have the nurse turning around and Charlie would disappear in about half a second.

Wait...what if Charlie is actually baby Daniel...

Karole said...

Great post Nikki! Wow what an episode. First thing I though of after watching this one was... if they change the course of events and the plane never crashes... does that mean that the show will never exist? There would be no Sawyer and no Desmond. Now thats mind boggling, dont you think? :o

And Hutch I was thinking the same thing it's not in Kate's best interest for the plane not crash and fly straight to LA. She would land in handcuffs and with the testimony of the detective would probably be convicted of murder.I think her trail would have gone a whole lot differently because it would have never been so high profile. She would have been just another fugitive on trial for murder.

SonshineMusic said...

@ The Shout:I've got no idea what this could mean - maybe The Incident creates (or maybe frees) the Monster?

I think this is a very intriguing idea. Especially since we haven't seen ol' Smokey in the70's, though some might argue he's been referenced. Maybe up until this point he's been encapsulated in the Temple, but the disturbance from the Incident frees him.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking today about the failsafe switch that Desomond activiates - which blows up the hatch. Is is possible that the switch denonated the hydrogen bomb, which then gave Desmond future knowledge? (off topic, I know)

-Alicia

Benny said...

@Nikki, but more precisely regarding what would happen to the 815ers if the incident never happened.

I forgot a third viewpoint, which emanates from fiction works. It's present in Back to the Future, which says time travelers would return to their altered present but with their memory intact.

If they were able to prevent the Incident and subsequently find a ways to return to 2007, they'd remember what we've witnessed on the show, but their relatives would not be aware that they'd crash. So to other observers (i.e. Jack's mom), their plane would have landed and they would have lived three years of their lives.

In Back to the Future, This is what we see when Marty comes back to 1985 but now his father is a successful writer, Bif his helper and Marty has that nice truck. All he remembers is his loser dad and Bif still tormenting him. By being in the past, he prevented his father from meeting his mom but eventually brought them together in a series of events that altered his present.

For those whose lives would have prevented them from traveling into the past (such as Kate being arrested/in jail), the contingency lies in event probability. Or some course correction would play a role in that that the events in the altered three years would come together so that the 'corrected-time' individuals' histories would lead them to a time-traveling event. It's an event-probability scenario where the probability of them traveling in time from 2007 is equal to 1.


Another minor theory that has appeared in fiction is that they'd flash to 2004, in the plane, with the memories of what has transpired, or at least a vague feeling or knowing. Similar to a vivid dream. Upon landing they'd be able to talk to each other with regards to their apparent lives together.


For either of those theories, there are no clear contingency to explain what happens to those who supposedly have died. Maybe someone can try to establish one.


(I'm not sure if all of this is clear, just wanted to bring in another theory as to what could happen if things change)

mgkoeln said...

@Batcabbage: Nice idea with Abaddon beinig in Ilana's box. But I think more important than his death on LOST is the fact that actor Lance Reddick by now is on FRINGE - another show on another network.

So I bet, J.J. Abrams got this deal with FOX to be allowed to bring him back for a single LOST episode to wrap up his story, and that was it.

The Shout said...

Re: SonshineMusic.

I agree. As far as I can remember, the earliest encounter with The Smoke Monster we've seen, is with Rousseau's team in the 80s. Its possible that it took the form of Ben's Mother in 'The Man Behind The Curtain' and the images of it on the Temple wall would indicate it existed a long time before that, but that doesnt mean it couldnt have been created in the 70s and maybe thrown into the past alla' Desmond after the hatch explosion.

It may just be that Smokey absorbs sounds as well as images and memories.

Blam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blam said...

Now that the Internet connection's working again:

I think that Richard's standard line when someone familiar to him — or just someone who acts familiar towards him — is "Do we know each other?" He must remember Daniel, but can't be sure that from Daniel's perspective they've met yet, and Richard doesn't want to give away any more information than would be appropriate.

Do you think Jack's actively trying to work against the Hippocratic Oath now? He's gone from not treating young Ben to loading up on firearms. I knew a doctor who carried, actually, and of course I get that they expect the Hostiles to be, well, hostile, but no matter how situational I still found it indicative of how Jack's life has shifted.

Add me to the chorus that was gobsmacked to see Penny leave little Charlie there.

SM: Maybe this is the thing that Ben was apologizing for before he entered the Temple?

Good call... I guess something could yet happen to Penny, too, before Ben leaves on the Ajira flight the next day, either at his hands or (given he's been beaten to a bloody pulp at this point) more likely his direction.

Joshua: Your comments were all very savvy. I think I've already addressed any that I feel qualified to (lots of unanswered questions, still), but just wanted to give you another shout-out — especially for "Way to go there, Tex." Ha!

FB: question: if daddy widmore has a (fake) british accent (alan dale is from new zealand) ...

I have no idea where he's supposed to be from anymore. Maybe his constantly changing accent is a hint that time is malleable after all: Widmore's from England! No, he's from New Zealand! Wait, he's from England again!

... and mummy hawking has a (fake) british accent (fionnula flannigan is irish), and daniel went to oxford, can we assume he was raised in england? so why doesn't he speak with a british accent? was that answered somewhere along the way? if so, i forgot.

Yeah, I still don't get this, because I assumed that the explanation for Daniel's having an American accent was that Eloise raised him in the States. He doesn't seem to know Widmore's his father, and in any case if he did spend his life from birth through college in America then he wouldn't sound British, but we had no context for his pre-Oxford scenes at home — or at least I didn't think so until I re-read Humanebean's point that his childhood home looks the same as the one he's in as an adult watching the "discovery" of the fake Oceanic 815, which he says is in Essex, Massachusetts.

Benny: The video is not considered canon in that it doesn't have to be seen to understand and get the complete story of the show.

I totally get that you don't have to see the extracurricular material like the video in order to watch the show, but if it contradicts the show then it only frustrates people who have seen it. Under no circumstances am I suggesting that stuff like this should set continuity; I've never seen or participated in those ARGs and was royally ticked off when I read in Nikki's book that one of them explained the numbers away. But if you do follow any of that stuff you should be able to figure out where it fits in.

SM: Especially since we haven't seen ol' Smokey in the70's, though some might argue he's been referenced.

For some reason this made me wonder what Smokey Robinson was doing at this point in time, which reminded me that his Motown backup singers were called The Miracles. Want to bet they're John Locke's favorite group?

Over dinner my mother and I were discussing the episode and, while she doesn't pick up many of the points that we discuss (reminding me that there are still people who watch the show on the level of plain-old good television), sometimes her lack of overthinking things brings up an interesting point. When I mentioned how torn up, resolved, or cold-hearted Eloise had to be, depending on your interpretation, to send Daniel to the Island knowing of the twisted incident at Hostile camp, she countered that Eloise didn't know that it would happen because it hadn't happened yet, in the vein of Desmond waking up and remembering Daniel's visit or the theory that Ben didn't remember being shot by Sayid because he actually hadn't been until we saw it occur. I think there are plenty of folks out there under the impression that the past is being changed and that present-day characters only come to remember it as it changes.

dan said...

i think that Daniel made one big error. He assumes that the cataclyst is the drill causing an explosion "in six hours". I think that Daniel dying is the cataclyst to everything else that follows (but he couldn't know that). now his death appears to be pushing Jack and a "journal legacy group" to try and make the bomb go off next week. I think that "old Ely" knows what will happen but we don't because it's only going to happen in the next episodes. Think about some of the things Daniel did this episode:
- he broke the truce
- he got all of the DI people armed and angry
-he may have given the others an excuse they were looking for.
-he also reminded the others about their 20+ year old bomb sitting under the ground
- he seems to have splintered the oceanic group in two (and got some of them captured, indirectly, but Jack has to share that blame).

brodal said...

Niki-I love your books and recaps and really want to share some of my thoughts with you and your readers. I'm hoping someone here can help me make sense of some of my theories and observations.

1-When Miles is looking at Chang with his younger self through the window in the previous episode, it is evening and there are lots of people walking around. Chang comes out and asks him to take him to the sub. While Miles is talking to Faraday after he comes out of the sub, they raise Chang’s voice so we can hear: “…I wish you could all get a good night’s sleep, but…”. Faraday then asks Miles to take him to Jack ASAP. They get to Jack’s and its morning. They make it a point to show us that Jack is just waking up and that the sunlight is bothering him when he opens the door. After Faraday leaves to go to the Orchid, Jack goes to Sawyer’s and when Sawyer tells him he’s a little bit busy, they make a point of stating that what could he be so busy with at 6AM.
The ride to where the sub is hasn’t seemed previously to take hours and it didn’t seem to have taken all night for Miles to get Chang there as Chang is telling the newcomers that he wishes they would be able to get a good nights sleep, etc. In other words, its not yet morning.

Am I analyzing too much?

2-What was the original purpose of the SWAN? It’s very secretive and it obviously wasn’t intended for pushing a button. Could it be that Dharma was going to do something that would be catastrophic worldwide which would be the reason for the “God help us all” lines? And they need for all these things to happen so that the intended purpose of the SWAN does not get fulfilled? Also, Faraday tells Miles that he's just making sure Chang does what he's supposed to do...Did Daniel tell him he was going to fill it (Swan) with cement and put in a button to be pushed every 108 minutes? I can't remember. It seemed to me that he meant more than just getting people off the island. I thought he meant like he was feeding him ideas of what he was supposed to do.

3-Back in Season 2 when Ben was in the hatch with Locke and Locke's trapped by the door, Ben pretends to not have pushed the button. I say "pretends" because I am assuming he did since it became clear that it did have to be pushed. Why did Ben want Locke to NOT push the button (other than to make Locke doubt himself and his purpose). It seems to me that it was in his (Ben's) self-interest to continue to have the button pushed, unless of course he just had no idea whatsoever the significance of what would happen (which I find hard to believe).

4-Could Charlie=Charlie??? This is where my head starts to really spin...but for a while I've wondered if that might not be possible with the time travelling and now with the scene where Penny leaves Charlie with the nurse...

I LOVED this episode! I felt it just gave us so much to think about. Of course, sometimes I feel like my brain will explode from going around in circles. There are so many things I have been thinking of but unless I write them down, they end up escaping my memory when a new idea comes up.

On a side note: I posted a while back here regarding the 16 year old crackers when Ben, Hurley and Locke were going to the Orchid. I originally thought it was related to Widmore turning the wheel(which apparently he didn't) but I only now am realizing that would have been 1992 which I have been hearing alot about recently on several podcasts as being the year of the Purge. Hmmm? Who's up there in the hills with the mirror?

If you made it through all my ramblings, Thank You!!! I hope it makes some sense to someone out there!

SonshineMusic said...

@ Blam: He's gone from not treating young Ben to loading up on firearms.

Of course, Jack has been the keeper of the guns since the beginning, so I didn't really see it as that much of a shift for him.

Also: For some reason this made me wonder what Smokey Robinson was doing at this point in time, which reminded me that his Motown backup singers were called The Miracles. Want to bet they're John Locke's favorite group?

LOLOL!


@Brodal: Could it be that Dharma was going to do something that would be catastrophic worldwide which would be the reason for the “God help us all” lines? And they need for all these things to happen so that the intended purpose of the SWAN does not get fulfilled?

This also goes along with the whole idea that a group of the Others know of several different time lines that could happen and they are the guardians of making sure that the least harmful does. Don't know if I buy into that theory, but you do make an interesting point.

Also: It seems to me that it was in his (Ben's) self-interest to continue to have the button pushed, unless of course he just had no idea whatsoever the significance of what would happen

I don't know if the Others know about the hatch. At least not in that way. I guess it would be in their best interest to leave the people alone there to push the button, otherwise it would have become the Others responsibility, but they don't seem to spend much time on this side of the Island until the Losties arrive.

Nikki Stafford said...

brodal: You are absolutely not analyzing too much, and I thought exactly the same thing! Does anyone remember what time Miles goes out to meet the sub in the previous episode (I really need to watch it again, because I've STILL only seen it once). It might give us an idea of what time it is, but if I recall, most of the people were still awake, so it's not like it's 2 a.m. or something. When I was watching it I heard him talk about getting a good night's sleep, and I thought, why is he on Jack's doorstep right after and then it suddenly looks like noon when they go outside? But you're right, they say 6 a.m.

Another thing that's odd is Dan's outfit. It changes every time. I'll have to check this (because my memory could be playing tricks) but I'm pretty sure he's wearing all black when he gets out of the sub, then he's wearing a black jumpsuit over the black shirt when he sees Jack, then he's wearing a grey jumpsuit when he gets to the Orchid. Something's up here.

Last season one of my readers, poggy, suggested that Ben could be using the mirror from a different time up in the hills, and it's still my favourite theory. :) Though, I mistakenly mentioned it over on DocArzt and was told I was an idiot. LOL! But those crackers are still something I think about!!

Teebore said...

I wondered about Dan's jumpsuits too. He arrives in the black Swan suit and then dies wearing the tan suit with the generic Dharma logo.

My guess is he changed into the generic one at the Orchid, so as not to draw attention to himself as a Swan bigwig. But I'd have to watch it again to be sure.

brodal said...

I thought the same thing about Daniel's jumpsuit!!! I keep meaning to go back and watch it but I figured since no one had mentioned it that I must have been imagining it! Totally makes me think that things are constantly shifting. The little details that aren't necessarily changing what happens in regards to the "big picture"...at least not yet?

One thing I forgot to mention. Ben's line (last season?) about Widmore changing the rules! I think that they are going back and changing things but they can't force them to be changed! It has to be that the participant is using free will to do something that will cause the change (not knowing that they are changing some future event)! I think that's the RULE! And Widmore "broke the rules" when killing Alex because that wasn't something that had previously happened! Ok--I'm having a total Eureka moment!!! I'm sure someone has already brought it up before but it's just become clear to me!!!

Benny said...

@flexible: writing credits go to Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz as opposed to Elizabeth Sarnoff who wrote next week's episode with Paul Zbyszewski.

Get it right before you start criticizing someone. If you really don't like Ms. Sarnoff's writing, fell free to comment on it next week. More so, please don't do it here, it's irrelevant to the discussions.

SonshineMusic said...

Something completely and randomly off topic, but still Lost related.

We watched the movie The Rocketeer recently - only to discover that none other than Terry O'Quinn is in it. HA! He had the best line of the movie too. So if you've ever wondered what Locke would look like in a mustache, watch the movie or swing by my blog 'cause I just posted it. I thought it was pretty hysterical.

Teebore said...

@SonshineMusic:

I LOVE that movie. It was one of the first things I ever saw Terry O'Quinn in, and to this day, I always think of him when I think of Howard Hughes.

Up until Lost came along, that movie was my main point of reference for Terry O'Quinn.

redeem147 said...

To me Terry O'Quinn was that guy in the X-Files movie, Peter Watts in Millenium and Santiago in Harsh Realm, long before he was Locke.

Chris Carter obviously loves working with him.

Hisham said...

As explained by Dan in Season 4, a constant is "something that you really, really care about that exists in two time periods." While this indicates that Dan has been through some mind time traveling himself (the only light on which I see how he filled his journal), it doesn't explain why Desmond is his constant. We never saw Des in any of his flashbacks, and there really isn't a relationship between them.
Unless... Desmond was Dan's constant during the time flashes. Because he knew him in both 2004, 1996 and whatever year they were in when the first flash happened, he turned to Des as his constant and asked him to go to his mother. This explains why Dan, aside from Locke, was the only one who didn't get nosebleeds; because he found his constant while the others didn't.
If whatever happened, happened, and he never actually met Desmond before he came on the freighter, then why did he expect Desmond to open the hatch and talk to him in the first place?
I believe we'll get some answers via a Desmond flashback, next season of course.

So if Widmore indeed is Dan's father, was Dan conceived on or off the Island?
In his first flashback in the episode we saw a 8-year-old or 10-year-old Dan at the maximum. So is it safe to say there was a younger version of Dan on the Island when Eloise shot him?

And what's the deal with the photocopy Dan had with him when he got off the sub? Are we supposed to believe that the on-Island DI "faxed" a copy of the new recruits' photo to Ann Arbor in a matter of few days?

Now that I re-watched "Flashes Before Your Eyes," I think Ms. Hawking was actually trying to change things when she insisted that Desmond must go to the Island and keep pushing the button. If he did, he would have never crashed Oceanic 815. Now that that didn't work, this is why she sent the Oceanic 5 + Ben back, for maybe she also figured they are variables.
If she was of any help to them, and as she said to Desmond under the church, the only way to save those left was to change the course of events. They weren't being saved from the time flashes (Locke fixed that); they were being saved from what followed.

So now we watched the extended edition of the season opener. BUT! In "Because You Left," Dr. Chang waked up at "8:15" and it takes him like 30 to 45 minutes to shave, take a shower, feed little Miles, etc... which means he started filming the new orientation film at approx. 9 a.m. when some worker interrupted him with the news about what happened in the Orchid.
Timing is inconsistent! If we assume that Dan came back at dawn, rushed to Jack's house at the first light, then went straight to the Orchid, while Jack clearly said it was 6 a.m., then timing is absolutely inconsistent. Dan and Miles couldn't have waited there for 3 hours. Am I right?

Lastly, does anyone recognize the show that was on TV in the hospital when Eloise came to Penny? Might there be any king of clue?

And, Nikki, Jennifer Lopez's movie is "Angel Eyes". "Angel Heart" is the one by Robert De Niro. :)

Ali Bags said...

Hopefully one of you super bright sparks can help me on this one - I'm stuck on why Eloise would have to make so much effort to ensure Daniel goes to the island so she can shoot him. If 'whatever happened, happened', why would she have to ensure it happened?
I've always wondered this about her manipulation of Desmond's life too. Why is the manipulation necessary?
Also - why is it so essential that she still ends up shooting her son in 1977? Just so we'll get this timeloop?
Obviously, in the hospital, she say she doesn't know what's going to happen next, because she is now at the point when the diary ends.But WHY was it so essential to get to this point? Am I being stupid? I can't help thinking that there is something in the future (the story's future that is) that pins on all of this - maybe 'The War'? Those characters who are so adamant that there is 'a war coming'...why are they so sure?
I also think, like others on here have, that Eloise describing raising Daniel as her 'job' and her 'business' is very significant.

Nikki Stafford said...

AliBags: I'm sure someone else will have a better explanation than I do, but as I mentioned in my post, the best explanation I can come up with is her fierce idea of course correction. As she says to Desmond when that scaffolding falls on the guy with the red shoes in "Flashes Before Your Eyes," if she had pulled him out of that, he would have died another way. No matter how many times Desmond tries to save Charlie, he's going to die. So maybe she believes that if she doesn't kill her son, then someone else will. And she'd rather him die by her hand than at the hands of some stranger.

That's the best I can come up with. But this idea that he's not her son is an intriguing one... but still doesn't erase the sadness that he died believing his own mother had set him up to die from the moment he was born.

SonshineMusic said...

All of the Losties' children are on a wonderful path to follow in the completely screwed up paths of daddy and mommy issues of their parents.

Aaron: biological father abandons him and Claire before he's born. Claire leaves him in the jungle. Jack is kicked out by Kate and then Kate leaves him while he sleeps in the care of a stranger. Lovely.

Ji Yeon: Biological father suspect. Then Jin is presumed dead, then Sun leaves her to chase after her dead husband. (At least Ji Yeon knew her grandmother)

Charlie: Has a pretty good childhood until a crazy man comes, shoots his father and tries to shoot his mother, following which he goes to the hospital where his mother leaves him with a complete stranger (albeit temporarily) and we still don't know the end of that one.

They just love these parental issues, don't they :)

Ali Bags said...

And she'd rather him die by her hand than at the hands of some stranger. Thanks Nikki, I can go with that explanation for the time being, but it still doesn't seem to explain a lifetime of determined effort. God, come to think of it- imagine spending 20-30 years of your life with THAT hanging over you, and knowing you can't stop it happening? Rather her than me. I feel just as sorry for her, as I do for Dan.

Ali Bags said...

It just occurred to me - when was Daniel born?

Had he already been born when his mother shor him?

The Shout said...

Daniel being in his thirties would put his date of birth sometime in the late 70s, so definately within the time period we're seeing at the moment. My guess would be within a year or so of The Incident.

Assuming The Others didnt have the ability to leave The Island until after The Purge, so he must have been born there.
Post-purge, when Witmore is able to leave the island. Maybe having acccess to information about the future through Dan's notebook was the catalyst for Whitmore (and Eloise?)'s vists to the outside world, where he would father Penny. Also, The Purge enables them to have access to The Orchid and DHARMA research on time travel.

The fact that Eloise is living in the outside world would suggest that she too was exiled, alongside Whitmore, taking Dan with her. Was part of the reason for this exile that they had used The Notebook for there own agenda? Whatever their end game is, it seems to be larger than personal gain.

One of the most interesting scenes this week was when Eloise tells Penny in the waiting room, that she doesnt know what happens next. Is this because, having exhausted the info in Dan's notebook, the future is now 'unwritten'?

Will the end of the season close the loop on the time travel aspect of the show, allowing The Losties to write there own futures from now on?

toquesdeipod said...

Considering that Charlotte and Faraday are dead, I guess Miles is the next one, to allow the last season to be played only with the original characters (plus the new Others). And Miles' death will be directly related with his father's death.

Roland said...

I'm thinking that Dan willingly sacrificed his life for The Greater Good as discovered by him and his Ann Arbor colleagues.

If he seriously wanted to chat with his mummy, he would not have stormed into Camp Hostile with gun blazing.

humanebean said...

As always after one of the more significant episodes on this series, I find myself ruminating on the significance of small details in the days after first (and second viewing). Naturally, this causes me to reassess my first reactions and interpretations of meaning for important events. Ultimately, I come away with new (perceived) insight into the larger mythology of the show.

Let me lay out a series of events in a rough chronological timeline - since firm dates are often not established, I've made guesstimates in several cases. Please feel free to correct me if I've gotten something wrong!

1954 - Daniel et al flash back to the Others' camp. Daniel meets Richard and 'Ellie' (I'm going to put her age at about 18 here) before flashing away again.
1977 - Eloise (now 41) shoots Daniel. The 'Incident' occurs.
c. 1985 - an obviously distraught Eloise tells Daniel (I'll put his age at 14 here) about his 'destiny' and the need to put aside his musical interests
c. 1994 - Mrs. Hawking attends Daniel's graduation as 'youngest doctor' at Oxford, learns of his Widmore research grant.
1995 - Mrs. Hawking meets Desmond, tells him he can't marry Penny, has to go to the Island and push the button "or every single one of us is dead", tells him about 'course correction'.
1996 - Desmond visits Daniel at his Oxford lab, gives him settings for his equipment, watches first successful consciousness-shifting experiment.
c. 2002 - after disastrous experiment leaving Theresa stricken and himself damaged, Daniel returns home to US.
c. 2003 - Daniel flashes back in time, connects with his constant, Desmond, at the Swan hatch, thereby making himself immune to side-effects of time flashing.
2004 - Desmond fails to push button, 815 crashes, wreckage 'discovered', Widmore visits Daniel to recruit him for the Freighter, Mrs. Hawking visits to urge him to accept the 'opportunity', Daniel boards the Freighter for the Island.
2005 - all hell breaks loose.

Lots has been written about how LOST is now folding back on itself, mirroring earlier events as the show steams inexorably towards next season's finale. (*sniff*) Season 5 is said to mirror Season 2 - especially in its themes of time and free will vs. destiny. In Season 2, the button HAD to be pushed every 108 minutes ... or else. Ultimately, Locke lost his faith that pushing it was his 'destiny' and tried to prevent it from being pushed to see what would happen. Desmond, meanwhile, realized that the one time he had FAILED to push the button, he had caused Flight 815 to crash.

He turned the fail-safe key, imploded the Hatch ... and shifted consciousness back to his meeting with Mrs. Hawking, who told him that he couldn't change his destiny no matter how hard he tried - the universe would course-correct. Awakening in the jungle (naked - I threw that in for Nik. *good times*), he started having flashes of the 'future' and immediately set about trying to change it - saving Charlie from several impending deaths until Charlie decided that it was necessary for him to die to help Claire and Aaron be rescued.

Similarly, once on the Island, Daniel starting trying to change past events by 1) giving Desmond directions to find HIM back at Oxford, 2) visiting Desmond at the Swan Hatch and instructing him to seek out his mother and 3) once stuck back in 1977, leaving the Island for Ann Arbor and returning with a plan to avert the Incident. Now, the execution of this plan seems disastrous - he got himself shot dead. Since then, we've all been wondering about his last words to Eloise and the implication that she knew all along that she was urging her son to return to the Island ... to die at her hand.

After thinking all this through - I'm not buying it. Watching the sequence of events in this episode (and rethinking past ones), I believe that Daniel's death as we witnessed it started this chain. It was the sudden 'memory' of it happening that upset Eloise, who came to young Daniel at that piano and started pushing him to use his 'gifts' - to study 'relativistic physics', learn about the Dharma Initiative, return to the Island ... and stop herself from shooting him.

In any experiment, you try to control as many factors as possible, establish your 'constants' if you will, before injecting a 'variable' and watching to see what results. I think this is exactly why Mrs. Hawking has been telling everyone that they CAN'T escape their destiny ... while all along pushing Daniel to do just that.

We've been given example after example of bad actions by seemingly bad people (hello, Ben) and then showed additional information that asks us to re-evaluate their intentions. I think that's exactly what we saw this week in "The Variable'. Perhaps she IS the Worst Mom EVER ... or maybe Mrs. Hawking was just trying to prevent Daniel's death from happening in the only way she could think of.

Perhaps Daniel was doing the same thing, in a way. If his plan to avert the Incident truly involved getting Eloise to help he and the 1977 Lostaways get 'back where they belonged', he certainly could have found a better way to do it. Instead, from the moment he returned to the Island from Ann Arbor, he started pushing buttons - Jack's, Chang's, Miles', Sawyer et al, Radzinsky's ... and, fatally, the Hostiles'. Was THIS the variable he intended? Since they are ALL variables .. was his hope that by setting them all in crazy motion, he was bound to make something happen?

And, what is Desmond's role in this now? If he is 'uniquely and miraculously special', so much so that 'the rules don't apply to' him ... will he once again meet up with Mrs. Hawking and be offered the opportunity to change Destiny?

Sorry, folks - I know this was incredibly long-winded but I am really interested to hear what you think of this!

The Shout said...

some interesting ideas humanebean.

I think the thing that sets Desmond apart, and makes him the wild card in the grand scheme of things, is that his motives are purely emotional and instinctual. From Ms Hawkings perspective,the individual is unimportant compared to the whole. The life and death of her son was literally written before he was born. As The Joker says 'Its all part of the plan!'

Desmond may have been manipulated in the past into going to The Island, but The Hatch explosion may have allowed him a chance to break free of this control. He is a symbol of the individual against the system represented by The Others. The Others are like your parents telling you 'get a steady job, follow in your fathers footsteps, dont rock the boat and everything will turn out fine'.

The question is, do you cut your hair and get a job or do you form Drive Shaft, write a book or create the best TV show ever?

Stan said...

Nikki - Love your books and tremendous insight and imagination in your analyses of these episodes. However, I have to challenge your statement about destiny/free will as it pertains to religious/scientific types. You say "Generally the religious types believe in destiny and the scientific ones believe we all have a choice." Although I believe there are religions that do believe in a preordained destiny, Christianity does not. A very basic tenet of Roman Catholicism is that everyone has a free will and chooses to follow Jesus Christ's teachings or not, thus earning their spot in Heaven or not.

Stan said...

Several comparisons of Lost to other movies have prodded me to go back and watch them again. After seeing Star Wars Return of the Jedi, I am surprised that Hurley would say that the Ewoks were not good...they were a major ally in the final battle against the Empire.

Watching Back to the Future (just the first movie) I notice 3 interesting comparisons: 1. "Twitchy" The mannerisms of Daniel Faraday and George McFly are extremely similar; 2. The blue Dharma van is remarkably similar to the Libyans' van when they attack Doc; and 3. The picture that Marty carries of his siblings show parts of their bodies disappearing over time as it appears that he can't get his parents together...in TV Guide's Jan 19, 2009 issue a picture is shown of the Lost cast prior to the beginning of Season 5. In that picture Daniel's foot (left one I think) is missing. If the logic is the same for both pictures, I would guess it means that something is happening in Daniel's past that will eliminate him as if he never existed.

Benny said...

@Stan: I love the picture comparison from Back to the Future, yet I have to play the ruiner of good ideas once again.

This does not come from the execs directly so it could be misdirection but:
It's been put forward that Daniel's foot missing is a post-prod error on the marketing promo. Most of the branches were added digitally afterward and the shoe was accidently erased, as well as the tip of Juliet's foot.

But the comparison itself is great, I love it. It could be this fortunate coincidence!

SonshineMusic said...

@Humanebean:
It was the sudden 'memory' of it happening that upset Eloise, who came to young Daniel at that piano and started pushing him to use his 'gifts' - to study 'relativistic physics', learn about the Dharma Initiative, return to the Island ... and stop herself from shooting him.

Except, I would think that if she really wanted to stop Daniel from getting shot, then the best course of action would be for her to let Daniel continue on his artistic path. By driving him into physics she is setting up the shooting to happen (if she indeed know about it). The safest thing, if she wanted to save him, would be to keep him as FAR away from physics and time travel as possible.


@Stan: Although I believe there are religions that do believe in a preordained destiny, Christianity does not. A very basic tenet of Roman Catholicism is that everyone has a free will and chooses to follow Jesus Christ's teachings or not, thus earning their spot in Heaven or not.

Actually, Christianity tends to fall into two main camps on this issue, usually labeled as Calvinism or Arminianism. Calvinism (named after theologian John Calvin) holds to predestination, whereas Arminianism (after theologian Jacobus Arminius) holds to free-will. And then there are those of us (I count myself in this group) that hold to a blending of the two.

Nikki Stafford said...

Stan: You say "Generally the religious types believe in destiny and the scientific ones believe we all have a choice." Although I believe there are religions that do believe in a preordained destiny, Christianity does not. A very basic tenet of Roman Catholicism is that everyone has a free will and chooses to follow Jesus Christ's teachings or not, thus earning their spot in Heaven or not.Sorry... you're not the only one who's commented on this (others have emailed me off the list) and because I went on and on about this at length in my season 3 book, I didn't want to belabour the point. My motto from now on: belabour!!

What I meant was: the religious types ON THE SHOW. Charlie was religious... Locke quotes the bible and shows an affinity to a higher power... Eko was the most religious and he believed in destiny... Desmond was a monk and he clearly still holds religious values... that's what I meant. I thought I was making an obvious statement (the entirety of season 2 was about faith vs. science, after all, and the splits between characters from that point on have essentially been religious ones leaning to destiny and scientific ones to free will). So I was only talking about the show, not in real life.

Batcabbage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bluelittlegirl said...

Nikki,

I am new to your blog, but I need to catch up on the old ones. Well done!

@hatch - I agree. Why would Kate choose to go back to Los Angeles with the marshal who has not been as professional as he could be? The likelihood of her getting acquitted or released is significantly less in this instance (especially if the trial takes place in Iowa, where it should in any sense of reality should be). On the other hand, why did Kate want to leave the island at all (if she wasn't pregnant)? And if she did leave the island, why did she become one of the O6? She could have had Penny drop her somewhere with Aaron. It makes no sense to me even in making Kate mostly not Kate, as the writers have been doing for two seasons now. These are just my thoughts.

@ Annie A - Excellent point. Do you get the impression that the writers have very little to do with children? The children seem to be very stereotypical and not especially well developed. Aaron has been made out to be pretty much an adorable whiny brat who does nothing but watch television and eat junk food. Does he seem like a typical three year old to you (the manner of brattiness)? Young Miles does not seem to be acting in a manner appropriate to his age, either. In my experience, his dead people thing would probably have shown up earlier, and he and his mother would likely have a plan for dealing with that scenario in public.

@ flexible - Jack throwing Aaron in Kate's face is very typical of his interaction with Kate, starting from season one. He berates her, and attempts to control her (although obviously not always successfully), and treats her like she owes him something. Didn't he promise not to mention Aaron? When Miles had the group under house arrest, Jack throws in Kate's face that he already saved Ben for her - isn't he obligated by something? Oh wait, that pesky Hippocratic oath. Anyway, good point.

@ Blam I like your point about the nicknames. I agree completely, and have long said that they are not just part of his persona, they are a defense mechanism, a measure of security, how he finds his place in the world.

Everyone has made excellent points. I am wondering, though, as no one seems to have mentioned it if this storyline is the reason (random) that Kate was not pregnant in season 3, when we were practically beaten over the head with how impossible it would be for anyone who had sex to fail to become pregnant. Granted, Kate could have miscarried or aborted (it would have taken one line to mention it). Could this also have been the reason that Jack prevents her from apparently saving Jin on the freighter? Kate would have no contact with Ji Yeon, and thus, the child would not be real to her. Honestly, as much as Kate has been divested of anything that has made her Kate, I don't see even vestigial Kate allowing her child or a child she knows/loves to be undone.

Whether anyone wanted another child in the storyline or not, Kate's lack of pregnancy seems rather contrived and unbelievable to me. Does anyone have any insight to offer on this? Debunk me or otherwise discuss, please.

mgkoeln said...

Just a tiny thing I noticed which might point towards Desmond's son being THE Charlie:

While little Aaron is always just referred to as "Aaron" in the end credits, Charlie is actually called "Young Charlie" (as in "Young Daniel", "Young Charlotte" etc.). Do they want to tell us something?

Benny said...

@mgkoeln: I love your point. That's what happens when you look too much at credits, you get ideas. The same is true when looking at the imdb credits, sometimes you get misdirection, sometimes spoilers.

Can't wait to see it this pans out and how they reveal it. More so, how young Charlie gets to the past!

Nikki Stafford said...

mgkoeln & Benny: Ever since I heard Penny call him Charlie, I've hoped it's the young Charlie Pace. And there's a reason why: I've probably said it on here already, but I'll say it again. Because I like listening to myself talk, apparently...

In "Through the Looking-Glass," Bonnie (I think that's the one who was shot?) tells Charlie what the code is on the computer, and says, "It was programmed by a musician." He runs into the room, stares at a room of keys, and magically goes straight to the correct one, rather than testing a few out. He just stares at the keyboard, as if it suddenly comes back to him. Way back then, at the end of season 3 (page 202 of my S3 book), I asked if it was possible that that musician was, in fact, Charlie himself. How else to explain why he got it right on his first crack?

What if somehow Charlie is kidnapped by someone when Penny leaves him alone, and is taken back to the island, to the 1977 portion of it, and in the 80s he encodes the looking glass station with the very code he'll use 30 years later to stop it from jamming the frequency?

Hm. How lovely that would be. Oh writers, please bring Dominic Monaghan back. Even if just for one episode. I miss Charlie. :::sniff:::

Hisham said...

I think it's unlikely that Young Charlie is the same Charlie Pace.
Remember we've seen Charlie's childhood twice before, and he was living with his family.
If Little Charlie goes, somehow, to the Island in 1977, 1) what's the purpose of it? 2) How long would it take him to learn music there, become capable of "programming" a complicated device? I mean, he's no Mozart who composed his first symphony at the age of 8.
The timing just doesn't add up.

Benny said...

@Nikki: I remember you saying that and I like it, it's a 'circle is complete' type of scenario.

But there's just one thing out of it that kinda itches me, wouldn't Charlie remember having programmed it? I guess it depends on how old he was.

Another minor one is, if he's two years old in 2007/1977, he'd eventually have to move off the island in the eighties. Remember in "Greatest Hits" when he has these memories of himself and his mom and dad at Christmas and at the pool? I guess all of this depends on the age you give him in any of these scenes.

Nikki Stafford said...

Could Charlie have been special in the same way Desmond is? Daniel goes back to see Des in the hatch and tells him to find his mother. In Des's original timeline, that didn't happen. So Des only suddenly gets the memory of it happening in 2007, when he wakes up suddenly in a cold sweat, insisting they go to the island. What if one of the time travellers goes to a different time and teaches Charlie Good Vibrations on a different kind of keyboard, and Charlie then only suddenly remembers it right before he has to do it. He wouldn't have necessarily been on the island... he could have just programmed it without knowing it somehow. Hm.

Benny said...

Interesting thought Nikki! I guess if Charlie is in fact Charlie, and it is him who programmed it, then we'll have to see how it happens.

Benny said...

Changing the Past IS Possible
with some considerations
http://www.sfu.ca/~bstooke/Event Probability in Lost.pdfThere have been a few discussions for the past weeks as to whether or not the past could be altered by our time travelers. A lot of the debates were based on Daniel's "whatever happened, happened" statement and whether or not he was correct.

Now that Daniel is back and argues that he was wrong and that themselves, as variables, can actually change the past! His own plan to do so raised some issues with regards to a temporal paradox. Namely that if he prevents the incident, which is the catalyst for most of the show, then there is no reason for Dan to be on the freighter and he would not end up in the past in the first place.

This is correct, only if we know that the series of events from 1977 to 2004 would result that way. To argue in defense of Daniel's point, I've developed a model of time travel that allows for altering the past and has a contingency for the prevention of a paradox.

This is a little heavy, but if you're interested go right ahead. Feel free to comment and if you have any suggestions, don't hesitate: faraday.project@gmail.com

http://www.sfu.ca/~bstooke/Event Probability in Lost.pdf

Deborah said...

Nikki: Oh writers, please bring Dominic Monaghan back. Even if just for one episode. I miss Charlie. :::sniff:::

What a surprise I had yesteday when we saw Wolverine and there was our Charlie, playing a mutant. So was Keamy. Quite a thrill. Great to see Dominic Monaghan again.

Blam said...


Humanebean: [W]as his hope that by setting them all in crazy motion, he was bound to make something happen?

Kinda like a cyclotron — a particle accelerator or "atom-smasher" that propels atomic and subatomic particles using... electric and magnetic fields... Whoa.

I really appreciate all the thought you put into your ruminations, HB, but I'm not sure why Eloise's memories of shooting Daniel would catch up with her when he's 11 or so playing the piano. With the glaring and repeatedly cited exception of Desmond remembering the visit from Daniel at the Hatch's non-hatch door 8^) about three years too late, Eloise should actually remember Daniel's Hostile-camp death a few days after dispatching the Oceanic 6 back to the Island. The well-known and perhaps fluctuating spacetime warp around the Island (recall Daniel's missile experiments to determine relative time from the freighter, as well as the months or years that passed when Ben and Locke left the Island via the FDW) might mean that Eloise's memory gain or rewrite would occur somewhat sooner or later, a potential explanation for Desmond's belated recollection, but her remembering it 20 or so years before she should based on elapsed subjective time feels arbitrary, and I don't really see any textual evidence for that being the case. Then again, I'm not sure what I just said makes any sense.

Nikki: In "Through the Looking-Glass," Bonnie (I think that's the one who was shot?) tells Charlie what the code is on the computer, and says, "It was programmed by a musician."

Humanebean: If Little Charlie goes, somehow, to the Island in 1977, 1) what's the purpose of it? 2) How long would it take him to learn music there, become capable of "programming" a complicated device?

Do we know Any Nerdy scientists Interested in Exercising their Lovely way with a piano?

Blam said...

Benny: This is a little heavy, but if you're interested go right ahead.I'd love to dive into that, man, but it's gonna take more focus than I can muster right now; I promise to check it out when possible.

Benny said...

@Blam: Do we know Any Nerdy scientists Interested in Exercising their Lovely way with a piano?Ooooh I know! Pick me, pick me! I know the answer, pick meeeee!!!


I promise to check it out when possible.If only one person reads it and comments, I'll be happy. Even the better if it's you or Nikki!

joshua said...

This may or may not factor into the current "Is Charlie Pace Really Charlie Hume?" discussion but is one of those little details that's been bugging me for years...

Waaaaay back at the beginning of 1st season, the 5th episode ('White Rabbit') opens with Charlie waking Jack from sleep (and his flashback dream about the bully fight) in order to have him swim out into the ocean and rescue someone drowning offshore. And Charlie specifically says, "I don't swim." In fact, he says it twice.

I know it is a possibility that he was flatly lying -- maybe he was just stoned -- but excepting that possibility... How does one go from "I don't swim" to "junior swim champion in Northern England" who can "hold [his] breath for four minutes" in only 90 days?

Don't know if it's pertinent or not, but if you go back to the beginning of 'Greatest Hits' and listen carefully to the audio during the scene wherein Charlie's dad is teaching him to swim, you can clearly hear someone call the name Desmond in the background.

Benny said...

@joshua: I would guess that Charlie lied about being champ.

When Desmond saves Claire, he says that he did it because he saw Charlie drowning, suggesting Charlie is not a good swimmer. Charlie claimed to being champ just to reassure Claire that he'd be safe.

As for the Desmond heard in greatest hits, it's a good catch. The sequence is as follows:
"Let's go. Hurry up. Desmond, come one."I think it's a child calling a friend but I can't be sure. Interesting that the name appears though.

Maybe Desmond, Penny and Charlie went to 1977 and back in England, Desmond is teaching little Carlie to swim and then recognizes young Charlie Pace. He gets caught up and his son has to call him by his first name (instead of daddy) to get his attention.

Deborah said...

And speaking of Claire --- are we going to see her this season?

Benny said...

I thought she wasn't appearing until season 6. We might hear about her from Christian or Jacob when we see Locke's group.

humanebean said...

Blam: you are quite right, of course. If indeed Daniel's shooting death is a 'new' event, Eloise/Mrs. Hawking would likely 'remember' it a few days after she sent the O6 back on Ajira 316. I knew there was a great big hole in this theory somewhere but was too caught up in it to see clearly.

Still, I wonder what prompted that tearful discussion with young Daniel at the piano. Perhaps a phone call or visitor spurred the emotions?

Totally off the cuff, I find myself coming back to the scene of Miles' brief kidnapping in the van with Bram. Why were the OTHERS all wearing masks? There is Bram, big as life, all exposed and recognizable. Is there some reason why it should be important that the rest not be seen by Miles? I mean, aside from the fact that we needed to see Bram?

Deborah said...

Thanks, Benny. I was unaware there was info about Claire appearing in season 6.

Benny said...

I don't remember if it was a press release, interview or podcast. But viewers were worried about Claire after season 4 and the execs came out just to appease any uprising to clarify that Claire would eventually return.

It's too bad she wasn't involved in at least one episode of the current season.

Deborah said...

I agree. We have only seen her in the scene with Kate and Aaron. She was such a major character and I've sorely missed her.

Batcabbage said...

@Benny: I was real interested to read your Event Probability hypothesis, but I can't get the link to open or save. Has anyone else had problems? I try to open in another window, and all I get is this comments page. Sorry for the inconvenience, but could you post another link? I'm very interested to see your take on all this 'Whatever Happened, Happened' business (I find myself firmly in the 'nothing has changed, it's happening as it always does' camp).

Benny said...

Here, I'll just post the address and you can copy-paste it, seems it might be easier that way!

http://www.sfu.ca/~bstooke/Event%20Probability%20in%20Lost.pdf

Batcabbage said...

Cheers, Benny, looking forward to reading it.

SonshineMusic said...

Re: Charlie=Charlie: Although we do have the memory of Charlie at the pool, the other one of Christmas was more of a vision or a dream that morphed. It might have been based on some sort of actually event, but it didn't have to be. It was all tied into Charlie thinking he had to save Aaron.

SonshineMusic said...

Here's another thought to ponder, though I realize it's rather late... How on earth did Daniel expect everyone to evacuate off of the Island? There is no way everyone would fit on a sub. If the "incident" is going to happen in six hours, that's not near enough time for them to have the sub make multiple trips. Unless they were going to go to alcatraz?

Deborah said...

Maybe he was going to do a group time jump through a black hole. Good point, SonshineMusic.

Benny, I am still working on your paper. All very well thought out and interesting.

Deborah said...

Benny - What an incredible amount of thought you put into your brief on time travel. The line that sums it up best for me is: [In a sense, the past can be changed but only in a way that will lead to future event allowing the past to be changed.] The time loop exists into google infinity, creating and recreating the events that cause 815 to crash.

Now the next question is - who set this chain of events in motion? Jacob? Who is Jacob?????

Benny said...

@Deborah: That's the question isn't it?

From the theory I outline, the events of 1974/77 and 2004/07 are constantly linked by the laws of probability. So there was an original event that permitted this link, whether this was the original incident as we've known so far or something else, only the writers MAY know.

I have an interesting analogy that I developed from the recent podcast. Damon and Carlton were discussing Daniel's idea and relating it to dropping rocks into a stream. If you attempt changes by dropping pebbles, the stream will keep it's course. On the other hand, if you make a giant change akin to dropping a boulder, you may be able to change the stream (of time).

I like the idea and it makes sense. But one would think that killing Ben would have been a boulder. But I digress...

What I thought of was to use this rock analogy to represent my model. Boulders are too big to lift and drop in the stream. So you're forced to make small changes by dropping pebbles. If enough changes are made (enough pebbles dropped on top of each other) you may be able to significantly alter the course of history. But one would have to keep the memories of previous alterations to know what they're doing, which seems like an improbable scenario, unless you're SPECIAL and are made aware of the changes happening, kind of outside the rules of history.

Has anyone on the show been called special in such a way?

Hisham said...

Benny, my friend, I salute you. Wonderful what you did, and it did clarify some hazy points for me. Thanks for all the effort you put into it.
I also listened to the latest podcast, and in it, Damon confirmed that the Island is moving in "space." We all suspected that the Island was moving in time, but how? If the Island moves, say, to the future after it was destroyed or something, that's okay. But what if it moved to a time where/when it already was? Doesn't that create 2 Islands? Wouldn't that cause paradox?
But I'm still not buying the "Island moving in space" thing. I mean, does the Island take a vacation from its troubles and go to the Caribbean and during next movement it goes to Alaska? Or it does move but remains hidden in its dome or bubble? That's kind of convincing to me.
Would like to read your thoughts about that.

Deborah said...

Well, relatively speaking, we don't have long to wait to get the answers to all of our questions. At least I hope the writers don't let us down!

Looking forward to tonight's episode.