Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Lost: The Variable

Sawyer: "Is he still crazy?"
Miles: "It's on a whole new level, man."

I have to say that I'm just floored. That Eloise. What a bitch.

She knew for thirty years that she killed her own son in 1977, and she never even tried to warn him. She guided him in the path that would lead him to his death, and she wouldn't even let him play the freaking piano. If it had been my son, I would have told him the story every single day. I would have had it tattooed upside down on his chest. Jeez Louise.

That was what the scene with Daniel and Charlotte was all about. Daniel believed there was no point in warning little Charlotte, but he had to try, anyway. Because he loved her. Didn't his mother love him? Did she keep her distance his entire life, knowing what would happen?

The conversation that Eloise and Charles Widmore had in Long Beach intimated that they really did have no choice. The only thing that would even partially excuse them as parents is if they knew with absolute certainty, for sure and no mistake, that it was impossible to save their son. Was there another reason? Was Daniel's death critical to the survival of the Island, maybe? Did they love the freaking Island more than their own son? Why wouldn't that surprise me? Ben sacrificed his daughter for the Island, too. Maybe it's an Others trend.

The Losties book-clubby meeting in Sawyer and Juliet's living room was great fun. We haven't seen the cast together all season, and I don't think we've ever seen them all in one room. And apparently, they're not supposed to be in 1977 after all, so we can forget all that destiny crap. (That was Eloise's fault, too.)

Was Faraday wrong about people being variables? The gun Daniel carried that got him shot was Kate's idea; whatever happened, happened. I can't imagine the sort of re-write they'd have to do if the Losties succeeded in stopping "the incident" with Jughead. It'd be nuts. And let's face it, Radzinsky deserves to spend the next twenty some years pushing a button; he's insufferable.

Trickstersonii on my LostReviews list suggested that the Losties will try to use Jughead to prevent "the incident" but that it will actually cause the catastrophe, not stop it. Meaning that the Losties cannot change the course of history and are, in fact, the reason they themselves crashed on the Island in the first place. It's beautifully circular. I like it. Print it up.

Character bits:

We were right about Ellie being Eloise. Where was Daniel Faraday in 1977, by the way? When was he born, and where? Was it on the Island, one assumes? Was young Daniel in the camp, even? Widmore was his father, so where did the name Faraday come from?

If Daniel experimented first on himself and he was all right (before doing something awful to his girlfriend Theresa Spencer), then why was he all screwed up and memory-less in 2004? Did I forget something? Who was Caroline, who was with him then? A nurse? Did he leave her before he did her in, too?

Charlotte definitely wasn't born in 1979, because she'd be minus two. According to an article someone posted, the actress said 1979 instead of 1970 and no one caught it. Ah, vanity.

Desmond was indeed shot, but is now recovering in Marina Medical Center in Long Beach. Desmond, Daniel's "constant," was Daniel's brother-in-law. Penny will probably never know she had a half-brother. (Another familiar Lost theme, huh? Jack and Claire never knew, either.)

The "incident" and upcoming evacuation explains why Charlotte and Miles didn't grow up on the Island. It doesn't explain how so many survived it.

This week's nicknames: Sawyer called Faraday "Twitchy" and "H.G. Wells."

Bits and pieces:

— The Lost credit at the beginning faded into a star field and a commercial for the Star Trek movie. Very funny. I'm a big Star Trek geek and can't wait. I'm definitely reviewing it, by the way.

— Is Jeremy Davies out of the cast? Or is he going to hang around as one of the Walking Dead? I guess, since he time travels, he could probably keep on showing up alive until the end of the series, too.

— The grant Widmore gave Faraday was 1.5 million pounds. But the code for the fence is 141717, which I don't think can be massaged in any way into Hurley's numbers.

— The restaurant where Faraday met his mother after he got his doctorate was the Kashmir Curry. I think. I was reading it backward. I don't suppose there's an anagram in there? Maybe there was a meaningful statue or something.

— What was on the TV in the hospital waiting room in Long Beach? I'm sure it was also something important that I didn't recognize.

— The music young Daniel Faraday was playing on the piano was the classical piece which was made into a popular song called, "I'm always chasing rainbows." Fitting.

— It looked like there was another "death by rampaging dental filling" under the Orchid.

— Four hours until "the incident." Time is running out.


Young Daniel: "But I want to keep playing the piano. I can do both. I can make time."
Eloise: "If only you could."

Faraday: "Hey, James."
Sawyer: "Welcome to the meeting, Twitchy."

Hurley: "You guys were in 1954? Like, Fonzie times?"

Penny: "Is Des going to be okay?"
Eloise: "I don't know. For the first time in a long time, I don't know what's going to happen next."

Kate: "He's talking about erasing everything that's happened to us, Jack. It's insane."
Jack: "We disappeared off a plane in mid-air and ended up in 1977. Getting kind of used to insane."

We all expect something special of a 100th episode, and we definitely got something special. I didn't care all that much about Daniel Faraday, so his death didn't break me up or anything. But by the end of the episode, I felt such compassion for the poor guy,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. The confusion over Charlotte's age rested with Lindelof and Cuse -- they came out and apologized for the continuity error -- not with actress Rebecca Mader.

    Along with "Jughead" and "Jeremy Benthem", this was the standout episode of a consistently astonishing season. I'm still looking processing it. (Great observation on the reason behind his telling little girl Charlotte the truth; I haven't read that take in any of the many reviews I've read).

    Looking forward to your take on the new Star Trek. I haven't been as excited and hopeful about a movie in a long time (since "Sith" actually, which I loved). Amazingly, I've read nothing but overwhelming positive critiques thus far. I hope it's great, despite a few qualms.

  2. This episode left me disappointed for an extremely stupid reason: the previews for Jimmy Kimmel Live (that late night talk show on ABC) said that Dominic Monaghan would be on JKL, and I convinced--absolutely convinced--myself that Charlie was going to re-appear on Lost. I spent the entire episode waiting, and was so very sad when it didn't happen.

    141717 is an awesome-looking number. If you add up the non-seven numbers, you get seven, which gets you three sevens (777). In some cultures, seven is a perfect number. Which then gets you the idea of one. And 1+7+7+7 = 22. Which, divided by the number of sevens, is Pi. Which of course takes us back to episode 3.14, about Nikki and Paolo.

    Obviously, the answer to the show is Nikki and Paolo. Or maybe circles. Billie, how could you miss that?

  3. Heres the thing about "the Numbers" and numerology in general. If you take them "4 8 15 16 23 42" you will notice that there are only 2 digits missing from that sequence of numbers - 7 and 9 (and I guess 0 but thats not really a number). This means that nearly every possible number they could put onscreen could coincide with the Numbers directly. Now if you introduce numerology and allow for even one single layer of math-rearrangement of numbers, you're nearly always going to be able to find a pattern or a coincidence.

    I think in the end, the Numbers will actually just be some sort of paradox. The sequence for the hatch computer will end up being that sequence because it was simply just the random serial number of the hatch itself. Hurley at some point will realise that he needs to communicate them to his past self so that he ends up on the Island (or so that he can use them to play out the sequence of events that have happened so far, or perhaps even to prevent some disaster that we haven't seen yet), so he will maybe re-record the Islands transmission to broadcast the numbers, leading to the crazy guy hearing them, becoming obsessed, and history playing out the way that Hurley remembers. I'm not sure where this fits with the whole ARG Valenzetti (or however it was spelt) equation, but I'm not sure that they couldn't ignore those in canon and 99% of viewers wouldn't even notice, let alone care.

    Anyway, good episode, although I'm really not happy that Daniel is dead. Perhaps he'll get taken to the temple?

  4. Hi Billie,
    I love your reviews. You ROCK!!!
    I don’t think Eloise (in 2007) knew that she shot Daniel in 1977 until Daniel was actually shot. I think that all of the characters who have appeared in the present or are from the present are synced up. Daniel being shot was his present, which then registered in Eloise’s memory in 2007.


  5. if you take 1,4,1,7,1,7
    and add 3 to the first number,
    add 4 to the second number,
    add 14 to the third number,
    add 9 to the fourth number,
    add 22 to the fifth number and
    add 35 to the sixth number,
    you get:
    creepy, yes?

  6. Thanks so much for the comments, everyone. I just spent five minutes laughing. :)

  7. Lostpedia has this:
    Young Daniel counts 864 beats of the metronome since he started playing the song on the piano. (The Numbers)

    * 8 x 108 = 864
    * 8 x 8 = 64

    But anyways, my favorite part of this episode was Juliet. The second Sawyer called Kate "Freckles" again she turned on him and gave up the code to the fence. THAT is a territorial woman!

    I thought a funny comment about this came from my mother, who felt the need to call me to say how much she loved this episode because "I think I actually understood most of it!" And she's right, even with all the time travel, there was nothing really mysterious or confusing this week. Which makes me a little sad.

  8. I think Eloise knew perfectly well when she sent Daniel back to the island in 2004 that she would *later* shoot him when he returned to the 1970s.

    I was thinking about this episode, and maybe the title is misleading. Daniel was wrong he was *not* the variable. I think Desmond might the variable. He is the only one that has chosen to (and done so successfully) ignore destiny such as preventing Charlie's death multiple times. Meanwhile, Eloise has consistently chosen to stick with destiny, even to the point of sending her own son to death. She is definitely a "constant". Whatever she did, she did, and makes sure she does. Daniel tried to be a variable but failed. Being of the Widmore or Hawking line maybe means you are a constant. (Penny was Desmond's constant). But then Desmond was supposed to be Faraday's Constant. Maybe he failed? Or maybe Daniel was wrong in that.

    And if Daniel was wrong that he could change history, stop "the incident" and save Charlotte, then I think that means he was wrong, too, that Jack wasn't supposed to be there. The Losties really are supposed to end up in the 1970s. It is there destiny, just like getting shot by his mother was always his destiny. Whatever happened, happened.

    On a side note, I loved the character of Daniel Faraday. I was really excited when he reappeared two weeks ago, and now am devastated that he died! But I guess this is LOST, these things happen.

  9. Well, I like Daniel Faraday. He is so much like most of my scientific co-workers !
    I don't think Widmore is Daniel's father but rather Richard. Eloise (by the way I hate her and don't think the actrice helps) was not please to hear Widmore say "He's my son too" and the expression on Richard's face when Ellie shoots her son was intriguing to say the least. It is possible that being Richard's son, Daniel might be saved.
    I also think that you can't change what has happened, because it HAS happened, but you can change the parameters and the time line and live an alternate set of circumstances and events.
    Daniel will come back because I think he is more important than we think and is probably the only person who has all the answers hidden in his head (in fact I think he might be Jacob!!!!)

  10. Yeah, I was actually going to say, perhaps Daniel will be taken to the Temple, healed, and become Jacob? But then I think we've already heard mention of Jacob by Richard Alpert and others in the "current" past haven't we?

  11. Jacob was mentioned during the sequences in 1954. And I'm fairly certain Daniel is really most sincerely dead; it felt like the end for him. But you know, with time travel, all bets are off. Lost never ceases to surprise and intrigue me, which is why I'm such a fan.

  12. No, no, no, no ,no ! If Daniel just died then i am very upset. Charlie level upset. I think he really is dead, too.

    Although Eloise knowing what was going to happen would explain her coldness towards her son, as well as her slapping Widmore, i like the idea that she she won't remember what she's done until after its happened (did that sentance make sense ?). I can't believe a mother would not do everything in her power to prevent the death of her child. Unless he survives and she knows/knew that. Somehow the more answers we get the more confusing things get, for me anyway.

    As much as i like that the pieces are slowly fitting together one thing is still bugging me. Where are Bernard and Rose ? I'd sort of forgotten about them until Bernard turned up in an episode of Greys Anatomy.

  13. Even though I'm not sure where Daniel's last name comes from, I think I know what it means.

    Three days after last week's episode, I was reading a book (new Harry Dresden novel by Jim Butcher) in which he mentions a Faraday cage.

    A Faraday cage (or shield) is an enclosure formed by conducting material that blocks out external static electrical fields.

    Plug 'faraday cage' into Wikipedia if you want to learn more. Has lots of information about blocking electromagnetic interference.

  14. The code for the fence is 141717, or 14 1717. Which numbers are between 14 and 17? 15 and 16.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.