Lost Rewatch Episode Discussion for "The Variable"
(Dec 14 - Dec 20)
Lost Rewatch Episode Discussion for "The Variable"
(Dec 14 - Dec 20)
I have to admit, I was really disappointed with this episode when it first aired, but I've come to appreciate it on re-watch. This really is one of S5's strongest episodes, paticulary Faraday's flashbacks. I really enjoyed the final scene with Eloise and Widmore too. That slap was well deserved.
Probably my #2 personal favorite episode (after "Not In Portland", naturally). I don't understand how so many people say it was disappointing, but I guess they were expecting a "Constant pt. II"...I never looked at it from that angle (and I've only come around on liking the Constant). Agreed with what Ricardus^ said, I think this is one of the strongest episodes and I think the flashbacks are VERY strong and interesting. It was satisfying in so manys ways finally getting to see where such an intriguing character came from. The Variable = 10.
EDIT: But loses points for that fact that he died at the end!
iDream247 detonates my heart too
I thought this was a great, and underrated episode. Pretty much all of the ending run of season five was top notch, the best episodes the show has done so far.
I loved this episode from the start. My first impression when it first aired was why Eloise didn't consider the fact that Daniel might well have been able to do both music and science. I picked up on the failure of parenting to see that children are capable of much more than the parents sometimes see. So the tragedy there was heartbreaking. And its fruition was seen on Eloise's face outside the hospital. Poor Dan had a tragic life even before he was born.
In the second watch I thought more specifically about the plot.
It’s clear that Eloise sent her son back in time 30 years knowing that her younger self, pregnant with the same son, would shoot the grownup Daniel. Does this disprove Daniel’s theory that people are the variables. Or does it mean that Eloise was either an unwittingly participant in the immutability of destiny or did she know that she was a variable, but still killed him because it served whatever purpose she was setting out to achieve in 2007.
If the latter was true, she must have done it in a belief that it served the greater good, judging from the pain in her face outside the L.A. hospital and in her slapping her ex, Charles Widmore.
It’s still not clear to me that Eloise and Charles, although estranged, are on opposite sides of the larger conflict.
Huge gripes with this episode, because of the Daniel Faraday/Jeremy Davies issues.
First of all, the massive hair change in the scene where he's watching the news and Widmore comes in.
The fact that he has an American accent all his life.
The fact that his hair or beard haven't changed throughout the whole series. I'm not sure whether Davies is just unwilling to change his appearance, but it's a huge production miscalculation I think because you can tell all flashbacks were filmed in one week.
The beard is his constant.
I really don't see what Daniel Faraday has to do with Ben shooting Des. Certainly no intentional direct connection. I guess Daniel implanting the memory of Des needing to find Eloise, so they go to LA.
Out of curiosity, I was wondering if the Dharma logo on Dan's jumpsuit is a new one. It looks like he has an icon in the logo, and later it's blank. Or am I just seeing things? Or did he change from a blue to a gray jumpsuit?
Daniel tells Des to find Eloise to save everybody. But he believes the O6 shouldn't have come back, so I guess he was expecting Eloise to do something else. But what would she do besides bring people to the island? I think this establishes that Eloise has alterior motives. She makes sure Des doesn't change his past and she gets everyone back on the island (for MIB or Jacob or herself). Her and Widmore aren't exactly working together, or not exactly on good terms with each other. (If Widmore used her to find the island with the freighter, that implies that they are working together though.) Eloise may have help she can provide in addition to traveling to the island and she's untrustworthy. Ben and Locke are responsible for bringing the O6 to Eloise, not Des (Daniel). So I'm reminded of Des's speech (paraphrasing): "We're all pieces in their game. Daniel told me you (Eloise) could save them, not anyone else." And Juliet's line to Sawyer that they already are saved...once Locke turned the wheel, not bringing people back. That's Christian/Eloise/Jacob's (and Ben's, only so he can get back) plan. So I wonder what Daniel hoped Eloise would do.
Also, is it significant that Daniel named his time-traveling test subject rat Eloise? other than, perhaps, showing passive angst towards his mother?
And was Daniel born and, for some part, raised on the island? You'd think so by Eloise's age. And maybe Daniel can't remember it because of his memory problems. Or maybe Eloise had a double life on and off the island, as Widmore (Penny).
Daniel's also changed his mind about destiny and a set past. So I wonder what happened to him in 3 years exactly.
I really hate how Eloise treated Daniel his whole life, especially knowing he's going to die young. Deprived him of enjoying life. And obviously she knows nothing about music. Playing the piano would only help his mathematic and scientific mind/skills, no "mere distraction"! (so many nasty things I could say about her...so, she's up there with Michael's ex and Locke's dad, but I think Cooper wins.)
Eloise's job is to keep people on their path, Des, Daniel. It may not be that they can't have another one, but she nearly forces them in a direction (again, otherwise she wouldn't have gotten upset over the ring because Des would end up on this path anyway...so perhaps her reaction shows Des can change the past). And Daniel must know this, saying that only Des can save them, he's unique.
I think Sawyer shouldn't have hit and captured Phil. Phil came to him willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He could've just given him an explanation or something.
So Daniel goes away from Chang, then toward him. I think, even though Daniel knows what's up, to be convincing, he takes a look at the person on the stretcher.
Ok, so the Orchid and the Swan have similar pockets of energy.
So now we know Teresa, whom Daniel experimented on, was his girlfriend. Why would he leave her like that?
Daniel's memory has improved...now he remembers Ellie, though he didn't at the time, and remembers she's an Other.
Wonder why Widmore never acted like a father to Daniel and remained a stranger.
Say Radzinsky lives in the hatch pushing the button from'77 till after '91 when Inman shows up. So glad Radzinsky spends 14 years pushing the button and then kills himself...
free will/change vs. fate/can't change, people as variables, pieces in a game
what's with Eloise's "I don't know"? suddenly the future's no longer written? or Daniel no longer wrote past this point, so she's got nothing to go on. Surely Daniel didn't detail everything for her in the journal.
Last edited by sdorian; 01-14-2010 at 06:27 AM.