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Posted at 10:52 AM ET, 04/30/2009

'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'The Variable'

By Liz Kelly

In which Jen Chaney and I return to our favorite pastime life's work, analyzing the best show ever. Please visit our shrine to said show, here at "Lost" Central. Then join us at 3 p.m. ET for a continuation of the discussion in the 3 p.m. ET "Lost" Hour chat.

Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) prepares to meet his destiny. (Getty Images)

Jen: The question that has plagued us all season -- popped up repeatedly in these dueling analyses, frequently appeared in our discussions and prompted more "Back to the Future" references than any of us can count -- was resolved in tonight's episode. And it happened when our jittery but newly purpose-filled Daniel Faraday spoke to one young, chocolate-addled Charlotte Staples Lewis and said these words: "I didn’t think I could change things. But maybe I can."

When we surmised on numerous occasions that maybe this whole time travel thing wasn't quite as simple as "what happened, happened," it appears we were right. Like Faraday, apparently we forgot about the variables. Daniel not only thinks that he and the Losties can chart their own destinies but, more specifically, they can prevent the Hatch button-pushing, stop their own plane from crashing 27 years hence and -- I must assume -- prevent Nikki and Paolo from ever appearing on "Lost." And if that last thing is true, then dammit, they have to try!

Liz: Yep, Faraday got religion and his religion -- apparently reignited by Jack, Kate and Hurley's return to the island -- was his revelation that things can change, despite what his mother and decades of studying relavistic physics led him to believe. Daniel was buoyed by the hope that he could prevent Oceanic 815 from ever reaching the island and thereby saving Charlotte, his supposed raison d'etre. But, riddle me this Jen Chaney: If, as I assume, Daniel was fated all along to be felled by a bullet loosed from his pre-pregnancy mother, well, he doesn't seem to have been able to change his own destiny after all. So how, pray tell, can we hope that his theory will hold true for others?

I think that may be the underlying message in tonight's episode -- that the variables can ping pong around within the strictures of whatever happened and, despite slight deviations from target, well, course correction and all that takes care of the rest. Or am I wrong?

Much more analysis after the jump...


Would it move your island to have us take your question first during today's "Lost" Hour chat? All you have to do is send out a link to the chat to your Twitter network including @celebritology in your Twitter message (Ex: Discuss last night's Lost - @celebritology #lost). Then Submit your question on The Post site, and include your Twitter username for verification. Check back at 3 p.m. ET to see if your question was selected to start the session.

Jen: First, let's pause for a moment and say a little prayer for our dear Daniel Faraday, who I have to believe really did bite it. Why? Because we've been hearing for weeks that a couple of characters are goners. Plus, they tied up most of the loose Faraday ends in tonight's episode, although I would like to see him somehow find his way back to an age-appropriate Charlotte. So maybe there is still hope. But if there isn't, we should still pause. So...


Okay, moving forward... I may be incorrectly adding all of this up. But I thought it was noteworthy that Ms. Hawking, who is irrefutably Faraday's mother, told Penny that for the first time, she had no idea what would happen next. That made me think that perhaps she really wanted the Oceanic people to go back to the island because she had some sense that maybe they would show up in 1977 and somehow change things enough to prevent her from shooting her own son. Like her offspring, she seems to have a torn belief in destiny (Faraday was meant to go back) and the notion that it can be tweaked (add those new Oceanic ingredients, and maybe her boy lives).

Liz: I don't know. This is a purely visceral reaction, but I'm getting a "bad guy" vibe from Daniel's mum. She moved beyond the realm of "Bedknobs & Broomsticks" reject and into the ranks of truly interesting characters tonight. And by "truly interesting" I of course mean "potentially diabolical." Could she actually be the opposing force against which Ben Linus continues to fight or, is she, as I think you mused a few weeks back, a third interested party in the coming war and perhaps the leader of the Ilana/Bram "Shadow of the statue" crew?

Of course, I should know better than thinking anyone on this show is purely good or purely bad.

Jen: Right. I see her as having complex motivations, too. But her manipulation of Daniel, even from a young age, to stay focused on his work basically created a situation where he would be inclined to go to the island if he thought it would make her proud. It almost seemed like she had been parenting with a purpose, and that purpose was to get Daniel back on the island.

By the way, I found it interesting that our cliffhanger line at the end of this episode was "I am your son," in light of all that talk in the last episode about "Empire Strikes Back." "I am your son" is pretty much the flip side of "I am your father," no?

Liz: Absolutely. And Daniel actually being felled by the hand of his own mother is pretty much the flip side of Darth Vader's inability to kill his own son.

I do think we should pay close attention to that exchange between Ms. Hawking and the young brace-faced Daniel, though it did raise more questions for me. Ms. Hawking said, "It is my job to keep you on your path," and used that by way of explaining that he could no longer play the piano. How, I wonder, did she happen to know Daniel's path? And what did you make of Daniel's "I can make time" statement? That's a bit different from saying one can change time.

Jen: Yeah, I thought that "make" time statement was a bit loaded. It is different, but I think one (and by one, I mean me) could argue that if Daniel somehow changes time, he is making time in some sense. For example, if Oceanic 815 never crashes, that means the Losties never land on the island, which means there is no "Lost" the TV show ... ooh, what if that's the ending of the series? They don't land after all and the show just ends? Hmmm, food for thought.

Anyway, if there is no "Lost" TV show, that changes time. But it makes time for, say, everyone who watches the show. Think of how many hours we all get back if we didn't spend them not only watching and rewatching episodes, but trying to figure out how the island moves and what the numbers mean. Of course, I would argue that all that time has enhanced my life in some way. And that's the rub for our characters, too. You erase the plane crash, you erase the pain and suffering it caused, including the deaths of Libby, Ana Lucia, Charlie, Greg Grunberg as the pilot and (yay!) Boone, among others. But maybe they needed that plane crash to happen so they could evolve in some way, to redeem themselves.

Liz: Right -- and I think Jack and Kate were getting ready to act out that particular debate for us with Jack picking up where Daniel left off (with the help of his journal) and Kate not at all hip to the idea of erasing what's happened to her since the plane crashed. Makes sense -- if Oceanic 815 lands in L.A. she's a shackled prisoner awaiting trial for murder. And this time she won't be one of the beloved Oceanic 6.

One thing that bothered me about tonight's episode:

When Daniel walks into the Hostiles' camp brandishing a gun (so idiotic) Richard Alpert is puzzled by Daniel's double take and knowledge of the bomb. He (Alpert) says "Am I supposed to know you?" or something like that. And I had the same question -- shouldn't Alpert have recognized Dan as the man who similarly arrived from nowhere in 1954 and helped to contain the leaky Jughead?

Jen: Well, I got the sense that he kind of recognized him but wasn't sure if it was the same guy or not. If we assume that Alpert is living out his years chronologically (which may be a big assumption on my part) then he last saw Daniel 23 years ago. So it might be understandable if he doesn't immediately say, "Hey, wassup, Bomb Guy?"

Liz: Really -- you don't think a guy arriving from nowhere, containing a leaky nuclear warhead and then vanishing would leave a large impression?

Jen: Dude, I don't know about you, but I often forget people I met last week. So, twenty-three years ago? I think he might half-recognize him but not be totally sure. That's plausible to me. Again, assuming Alpert is experiencing time in the traditional, chronological sense, which is the impression we've been given so far.

Liz: I'm not so convinced. It isn't as if there are hundreds of people making trips to the island for an audience with Richard.

Anyhow, a quick reminder that according to the giant "Lost" rumor mill (WARNING -- RUMOR TO FOLLOW), we're due to lose another major character by the end of the season. As Daniel said, "Anyone can die, Jack." And, immediately after this statement the scene cut to Kate. I'm just saying...

Jen: I would also note that in light of the, ahem, allegations surrounding our Desmond, he could go, too. The "Lost" curse in effect. Plus, he was Daniel's constant so there would be some logic behind both of them passing on. (For the record, I really hope these harassment changes against Ian Cusick are false. He seemed like such a sweet guy when we spoke last year. And he was our "Lost" Madness winner!)

Liz: Was I the only one thinking "don't lean too close over that bed, Penny!" It's distracting. Enough said.

Jen: Well, I didn't think that.

Liz: But, take heart: not all brushes with the law spell doom for our "Lost" cast. Daniel Dae Kim survived a DUI charge.

Jen: And Cusick isn't accused of drunk driving. So that's a positive sign, if one can call it that.

Liz: Moving right along, do you think Faraday successfully planted a seed of doubt in Pierre Chang's mind?

Jen: Yes, I do. The whole Miles/Chang thing will come to a head before the season ends. I feel pretty certain.

Speaking of sons and fathers, we haven't mentioned an important reveal (or confirmation) from tonight's episode. Widmore is Daniel's daddy!

Liz: That's right -- more daddy issues. Poor Dan didn't even know, it seems. And it was obvious that Widmore and Ms. Hawking had a less than cordial off-island relationship. And I guess that makes Dan and Penny half-siblings, at the very least.

Jen: Right, which makes even more sense that Daniel sees him as his constant since there is a link between Desmond and Daniel's own lineage. And speaking of constants...

I noted something significant about the note that Eloise wrote in that journal she gave Daniel as a graduation gift. She said, "No matter what, remember I will always love you."

That reminded me of what Penny wrote in the letter she left for Des in his copy of "Our Mutual Friend," a letter he read toward the end of season two just before (irony alert!) he decided not to push the button in the Hatch, thereby causing the plane to crash. Her words: "Please don't give up, Des. Because all we really need to survive is one person who truly loves us." Different word choice but a similar sentiment.

Liz: Ooh, nice parallel.

I wanted to take a sec to thank my pal Matt Dawson for pointing out the Wired magazine on Daniel's couch that touted articles about "invisibility," "time travel" and "the impossible gets real." The esteemed Mr. Dawson -- a canny "Lost" analyzer in his own right -- thinks this was nothing more than a shout out to show creator J. J. Abrams, who edited last month's issue.

Jen: Yes, I noted that craftily planted issue of "Wired" for the same reason. It tied in nicely with the seamless transition from the "Lost" opener into an extended ad for "Star Trek." Geez, J.J. really wants us to see his movie, huh?

I actually thought that opening was very clever from a marketing perspective. By the way, here's a link to an article about the Abrams issue of "Wired," which may or may not have some clues about "Lost" in it. Apparently, Damon Lindelof is playing dumb:

Liz: So Jack finally made his move, breaking out from under Sawyer's rapidly backfiring leadership. And we're left, again, with two disparate bands of Losties.

Jen: Speaking of Sawyer, I felt kind of bad for Juliet. She is clearly being a realist and knows that her idyllic time with Sawyer is over, but you could see (courtesy of Elizabeth Mitchell's fine performance) that it's breaking her heart.

Liz: Agreed. If Sawyer isn't able to accept it, she is. Though I did see her hackles go up when Sawyer called Kate "Freckles," so I wouldn't attribute 100 percent of her motivation to being a realist. At least a teensy bit of it was a desire to send Kate off on an errand and far away from her James.

Jen: No, I actually didn't see it that way at all. I thought she gave Kate the fence password because that signified the end of their ability to keep their situation under wraps. Her hackles definitely went up, but I actually thought that moment showed that she was manning up and saying, "Okay, this is the situation. Let's just get the ball rolling."

Liz: Hmmm. I dunno. Remember, Sawyer had used his best conman pitch to sweetly say, "Come on, come with us, Freckles." Maybe we should debate this, talk about the Jack vs. Sawyer gangs and the whereabouts of Sayid and the Ajira folks (who we didn't see tonight) at 3 p.m. ET.

In the meantime, carry on the conversation below and make sure to vote for this week's best line...


Next week on "Lost": "Follow the Leader"
- Jack and Kate find themselves at odds over the direction to take to save their fellow island survivors, Locke further solidifies his stance as leader of "The Others," and Sawyer and Juliet come under scrutiny from the Dharma Initiative.

By Liz Kelly  | April 30, 2009; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  Lost  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sean Penn Files for Separation; Christina Applegate Tops People's Most Beautiful
Next: Zac Efron, Tina Fey on Time's Most Influential List; Tyra Stalker Found Guilty


I could've sworn Sawyer's quote was poundcake, not cupcakes. But I've been known to be wrong in the past.

Posted by: sdp001 | April 30, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I was assuming Hawking knows everything that happens up until she gets the O6 back to the island because it is in Daniel's notebook which she takes after killing him in 1977. That's how she knew to get Desmond to the island because "Desmond Hume is my constant" was in the notebook. etc.
Although it looked like Jack had the notebook in the previews for next week, so who knows.

Posted by: wojoko | April 30, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm not so sure I believe Daniel's theory of being able to change the past. It seems like he was always meant to go to the island and his mother new the final outcome of that would be fatal. His rationalization to Jack by way of the bullet scar was hardly proof as it hadn't happened yet in 2004. Daniel's timeline is still chronological it just occurs at a different point in universal time. The only hope I have for Daniel is that his mother ensured Jack would return to the island so that he could save him. (Riddle me this: if the Others can save Ben from a bullet wound, why not Dan.) Throughout Lost we have seen that Jack's destiny is to save people via ridiculously complicated surgeries. Maybe this is why Eloise had him return. But, really, I think Daniel is dead.

Posted by: stive21 | April 30, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"If, as I assume, Daniel was fated all along to be felled by a bullet loosed from his pre-pregnancy mother, well, he doesn't seem to have been able to change his own destiny after all."

But did Daniel know that was his destiny? I don't think he knew that he was going to get got by momma. He first went to the island to heal himself and make Eloise proud. Then I think he went back to see if he could stop the entire chain of events and save Charlotte. But I didn't get the sense that he knew that momma's gat would end his life.

I also thought the whole, "I can MAKE time," line was a little heavy handed, at least as delivered by the kid playing young Daniel. But maybe what he meant was that he could create more time in his life, to which Eloise's response (knowing his fate) was "Don't think so."

Posted by: beisbol | April 30, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The only remotely funny line was Eloise distastefully saying something along the lines of, "Good heavens, no." (When Penny asked if she was Ben's mother). Why are the options always just the usual formulaic changes on Hurley saying "I'm a moronic glutton," or Sawyer saying, "And I'm an adolescently sarcastic hick"?

Posted by: UniqueID | April 30, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

It's not yet Daniel's "revelation" that things can change. It's just a hope he has, and of course he really doesn't want Charlotte to die. Hurley has the same hope, and so do you, Jen and Liz. But nothing indicating that the past actually can be changed has be revealed yet. Eloise, who has also studied the subject, doesn't seem to think so, and Eloise has just as powerful a reason to hope it can be. Yet look what happened again/still.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 30, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Interesting wojoko. I assumed that Eloise had done some time traveling herself. She is the one who taught Desmond about course correction. I think she just caught up to her present. In other words, she didn't know what would happen to Desmond because she hasn't either traveled to the future or met anyone from the future to tell her. All her knowledge is pre that moment in 2007. I think this because she tells Daniel that all his relationships with women will end badly. She is not just being mean, she knows this. I do not not think we have seem the last of Daniel. I am basing this on his reaction to the plane crash. my guess is that somehow before he died, Daniel managed to go back in time and visit himself or try to save Theresa or something. Past Daniel would not remember because he had that memory disease, but it planted enough of a seed that he reacts when he sees the plane crash.

Posted by: L8yF8 | April 30, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I thought one of the funniest lines was the foaming at the mouth angry Radinsky's: "I just got shot by a physicist!"

Posted by: cgindc | April 30, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

no, Jen, I don't think the question of being able to change the past has been resolved. Daniel's opinion changed, but, yet, as far as we know, nothing "new" happened. Because he changed his opinion on whether they could effect the past, he had his talk with little-girl Charlotte that Charlotte had already remembered happening. And he went off in search of the Hostiles, resulting in getting shot by Ellie, which *she* already remembered happening (apparently). I don't think we've yet seen anything happen in the past that the future Losties definitively knew didn't happen. Or vice versa.

Have we?

Posted by: emfzlx | April 30, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Oh come on, Daniel cannot die! He is needed to be reunited with Charlotte at some point. This whole show is about relationships and how they are pulled apart only to have the couple pull them back together. And Dan was shot with both Jack and Richard in the area, people who have saved lives before. If Dan dies who will set off the nuke? You know the nuke exists for one reason, right?

But what puzzles me is that Dan says the Swan's energy will be found in 4 hours and he needs to nuke the site. But he doesn't need to do it in 4 hours. He just needs to do it before flight 815 flies overhead 26 years later. So I'm puzzled by his urgency and the need to point the gun like he did.

So I expect Dan to live another day. Kate however, I'm not so sure. She's not contributing much to the story anymore.

And did you see the smirk on Juliet's face as Radzinski found the security dude tied up in the closet and pointed the gun at Sawyer? It was like 'here we go!'. She had that same look after Ben was taken to the Others. 'Here we go'. Like getting on a ride you've ridden before. I think Juliet knows the future of 1977. Being an Other she probably should. In which case I take it her and Sawyer will end up ok.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 30, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

If the show ends with the crash never happening, Lost will go from one of the best shows ever, to the worst piece of crap of all time. That would the absolute worst ending I could imagine, and I would feel that a lot of hours of my life were completely wasted.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | April 30, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Has nobody wondered why Daniel's mother was so determined to put him on a path where she would shoot/have shot him? I would think that at some point she would have realized that indeed she had killed her son and would do everything possible to keep him away from the island and time travel.

(Do we need new verb tenses to discuss events involving time travel?)

And in reference to the poll on "best line" I do think Daniel's "I can make time" was the best line in the episode.

Posted by: starjack | April 30, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

No, the best lines were:

Sawyer: Is he still crazy (referring to Daniel)?

Miles: He's on a whole new level, man.

Posted by: csteiger | April 30, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I agree that the past can't be changed. Daniel bases his theory on the photograph of the new recruits, but I think he is assuming that they weren't always in the photograph and that something changed. I think they were always in 1977 and that photograph existed the way it did in 2005. It's just, no one bothered to look for it.
Even if the O6 blow up the swan before the incident, time has a way of course correcting and I am sure the ploane will crash anyway. I suspect next week they will run around like crazy chickens and then cause the incident rather than preventing it. Also, I think Radzinsky is murdered by a time jumper or dies by the end of the season and the person claiming to be radzinsky will be one of our faithful players (maybe Miles).

Posted by: L8yF8 | April 30, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

From what that Hostile said a while back (Erik?) is seems like not even all the Hostiles understand the Richard is ageless or a time traveler, and specifically that he isn't just another peon under Charles's and Eloise's thumbs. So he could recognize Daniel, but have to fake not knowing him for the benefit of the Hostile audience.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 30, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Theory: Eloise knows the future because she has had Daniel's journal since 1977! The same journal that is filled with information of the future (probably the past too, circa 1954). This would explain why she told Penny that she no longer knows what will happen next, because Faraday is dead and no longer writing in the journal.

Does Faraday's death (if he is indeed dead) count as a major death, or a majorish death?

Posted by: authorofpoetry | April 30, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

emfzlx, I totally agree. We haven't yet seen anything that actually changes the past, and I think that when Jack and Kate try to avert the Incident, their actions will be what ends up causing it. After all if they do manage to change the past so the crash never happened, what will next season be about?

Posted by: moonwatcher13 | April 30, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"I think Juliet knows the future of 1977. Being an Other she probably should. In which case I take it her and Sawyer will end up ok."

I completely agree with you. I think that Juliet's lack of reaction to certain events and even her "Aha" moment to take Ben to the Others to healed reveal that she knows waaaay more than she's letting on, but she's happy to get some good lovin' in the meantime.

Posted by: stive21 | April 30, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Yes! You two are finally admitting that Sawyer is not some great leader but is just lazy and selfish? He's STILL moaning about Jack dropping in and ruining his peaceful little lifestyle. Well, sorry. All Jack and Kate are trying to do is save people like Claire. What a shame that they messed up Sawyer's cozy suburban life that's based on a lie. Who do they think they are, trying to save Claire and all, without first considering Sawyer's convenience?

Juliet was looking at him like, "Get over yourself - it's not even about you." Jack and Kate are trying to help their friends, trying to help Daniel, and all you can contribute is whining about having to sleep on the beach.

Oh yeah, and Sawyer was especially sensitive about Jin's concern for Sun. He hasn't given that one thought, and has just stalled Jin off. Can't threaten the cute bungalow living arrangement just to go looking for Sun!

Posted by: UniqueID | April 30, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

OK ... here's what I don't get. Daniel has to be at least 30 (in our present day world, and when Widmore recruits him for the trip to the island). So .... shouldn't he already have been born and been on the island in '77??? Young Eloise didn't look pregnant, so it's not like he was just about to be born. In '96 he was a professor at Oxford (having just graduated), so even though he graduated early, there's no way he was less than 20 in '96, which puts his birthdate (at the latest) at '76. Where was young Daniel on the island?????

Posted by: bct103 | April 30, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

IMO, Daniel's beleif that he can change time by way of "variables" is misleading. I don't think they can. Remember Charlotte told Daniel that a man came to her when she was young and told her to leave the island. And despite his most valiant internal struggle, Daniel carried out that action. He can't change time. He only believes he can, and the actions he takes are only leading towards the inevitability of what is/has/will always happen.

I think the majority of watchers are becoming a little confused by the time travel, and reading some of the comments here int he past few weeks, are coming up with nonsensical theories.

@sdp001: yeah, he said "poundcake" not "cupcakes"

Posted by: konflikt | April 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Daniel quickly became my favorite charecter. I have been complaining all season that we haven't seen him, and I am so sad to see him go.

Posted by: rubytuesday | April 30, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Are we sure that Ellie is "pre-pregnancy" in the episode? It seems like Daniel is older than 30, but he would have to be in his 20s if Ellie hasn't given birth to him yet in 1977. Could there be a little Daniel running around on the island too?

Posted by: dsdc | April 30, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"Also, I think Radzinsky is murdered by a time jumper or dies by the end of the season and the person claiming to be radzinsky will be one of our faithful players (maybe Miles)."
Posted by: L8yF8

I think Radzinsky will help cause the incident, plug the energy and design the button pushing device. Still don't understand the ancient egyptian letters on the countdown clock (after it passes 0) and in Radzinsky's writings on the walls of the station. But my guess is its Radzinsky trying to work out how to use the Swan's energy somehow, maybe for time travel.

One other small thing. Have we seen smokey in 1977? Where is he hiding?

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 30, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

bevjims, re Daniel's urgency to stop the Incident in particular, when as you say he has 26 years to prevent 815 from crashing, I think there are a few factors. The big one is, we've seen it suggested that though it may be possible to avert fate in minor ways in the short term, the big events are impossible to prevent. Thus Des could save Charlie's life once, twice, etc., but he couldn't ultimately change Charlie's fate.

So if the Incident occurs, we're on the path to 815 eventually crashing. If you want to change that, you want to start the change as early as possible. If you wait till the plane's in the air and try to change Desmond's not turning the key, something will inevitably go wrong. Same thing with any other interim attempt.

Also, it's not just 815. A lot of other bad things happen: the Dharma purge, Danielle's crew being wiped out. If Dan can stop the Incident itself, he saves a lot of anguish and death all around, including for Chang.

Posted by: UniqueID | April 30, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree with various commenters that a puzzling question (okay, maybe it doesn't matter ultimately) is, where is young Dan in 1977? Pre-conception? In utero? Young and on-Island? Young and off-Island?

His mom looked basically the same when he was ~11 as she did in 1977, but of course it's hard to take much from that...

Posted by: UniqueID | April 30, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Bevjims -- I don't think Daniel was saying he just needed to nuke the site to wipe it out. I thought he had some very sophisticated concept that applying X countervailing force right at the time of the incident would counteract the island's energy and therefore render it inert forever -- kind of like how they fight a forest fire by setting another fire, and when they meet they both burn themselves out. Of course, I'm not a theoretical physicist, either, but I definitely got the impression that the incident itself created a very narrow window of time to act. Thus the urgency.

I also didn't see anything in the episode to counteract the "what happened, happened" theory. Seems to me that we've seen a couple of story lines now where one of the characters begins to hope that he can change things -- but as soon as he acts on that hope, he brings around the very thing he was trying to prevent. Last night was more of the same.

Mrs. Hawking: she has always struck me as creepy, but this episode more fatalistic/sad. That piano scene, she's crying as she watches him play and tells him no more -- you saw then that she was forcing herself to do something she didn't want to. I was guessing maybe someone (like her future self) had just visited her off-camera and told her she had to do it. But after watching the end of the episode, I'm thinking that maybe she herself gave into the hope that the future can change; she knew he would become this phenomenally gifted scientist, and thought if she made him spend all his time on that goal, that maybe he'd discover how to change the past in time to prevent his own death. But instead, as usual, her efforts ensured that he learned just enough to get himself killed.

BTW, boo hiss to the clip episode last week. Seemed there were a couple of scenes designed to be the big dramatic "reveals" this week -- like Mrs. H as Daniel's mother. Yeah, we all suspected it, but that scene in the hospital last night was set up as this big "aha!" moment. But thanks to the clip show telling us the same thing last week, it was just a "yeah, right, you told us that already."

Posted by: laura33 | April 30, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I think it DOES matter where Daniel was in 1977. It seems unlikely that the piano scene could have happened in 1987 or later. Eloise would have had to have aged in dog years to look like she does in 2007. Maybe in 1977 she was zipping back and forth from the island (where she shot adult Daniel) to England (where the piano scene took place). That would explain why Daniel has no memory of living on the island as a boy. It would also explain why Alpert said she wasn't there (unless he was lying, of course) when Daniel burst into the camp.

Posted by: walt5 | April 30, 2009 12:25 PM | Report abuse

OK I think this has to put Widmore firmly on the *bad* side if Daniel was his son and he that calculatedly sent him back for his mom to kill.

Posted by: HardyW | April 30, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Oops -- two more thoughts. First, I didn't think RA's response to Daniel was weird. I thought RA recognized him and was playing it close to the vest. Remember that Daniel looked the same in 1977 as he did in 1954. To date, the only other "ageless" person we've met has been RA himself. So if I'm RA, and I suddenly meet someone else who seems as ageless as I am, I'm going to be extremely, extremely cautious and circumspect until I figure him out.

Second, I think we've overblowing the significance of the "make time" comment. What kid hasn't said that? Honey, you don't have time to do lacrosse if you want to stay in band -- awww, mom, don't worry, I'll make time. It was a cute little double entendre given what we know of Daniel's future, made especially poignant given that his mom also knew exactly what he was fated to do. But it doesn't mean that kid-Daniel had some sixth sense that when he grew up, he was going to become a world-famous theoretical physicist who would discover how to time-travel so he could change the past. Sometimes a cigar's just a cigar.

Posted by: laura33 | April 30, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

These are the things that I cannot make sense of-any ideas?

If this "incident" that Daniel is describing is going to kill everyone on the island, then who are the people that Ben gassed when he killed his Dad along with them? And does that mean that the whole pushing the button every 108 minutes thing was real v. a sociological study as part of Dharma where other stations were simply set up to watch the people press the button to see what that do to their mental health?

And, if it's 1977, and Daniel's mom is on the island, where is mini-Daniel? He had to have been born by then to have earned a PhD by 2004 (the year the plane crashed as he was watching it on TV, had graduated, and lost his mind when Charles came over).

What made the Oceanic 6 actually decide they needed to go back? What did they plan to do once they got there? Did they plan to stay, or just help the other Oceanic folks and then leave?

Not sure if Daniel is dead. The island could heal him.

Posted by: Laura118 | April 30, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

What if the death of her future son causes 'lil Eloise to seek comfort in the arms of 'lil Charlie Widmore, thereby causing the right circumstances for Daniel to be conceived? That is, if he isn't shot at that particular instance, he won't be born. Which would explain why his mother acutally encouraged those events to happen, even while knowing that he was going to die. Trippy.

Posted by: allison777 | April 30, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm agreeing with you UniqueID. What causes the incident may have been a small thing, a misstep, a sort of butterfly flapping its wing. If he can change that then the incident will not happen and all it leads to, whereas if the incident happens many things begin happening that would need to be stopped individually. In other words, the incident, timewise, is the place to stop all the bad future events from happening, and since small things can be changed by the "variables", Faraday believes he can make the change. Good one UniqueID.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 30, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

After last night, I'm thinking that the only real "variable," whose actions or experiences have the ability to change things, is Desmond. When Desmond delivered his message to Hawking at the Lamp Post station, she seemed faintly surprised to see him and to hear his message from Faraday, but she appeared very sure that Desmond needed to go back to the island to complete his "journey." Yet, at the hospital Hawking seemed sincerely unsure whether Desmond would live or die, and what happened next. Not the reaction one would expect if she is so certain that the island isn't done with Desmond. And I don't think Widmore would have been lurking around the hospital, looking concerned, if he were sure that Desmond would survive.

Makes me think that the thread of Alex's death/Ben's revenge/Desmond's being shot is an entirely new song on the record (courtesy of Widmore "changing the rules"). Consequently, Hawking and Widmore are no longer sure how things will play out. I'm curious to see now what would motivate Desmond (and Penny) to go back to the island. I certainly hope that Henry Ian Cusick is not a victim to the Lost casting curse....

Posted by: MsGandhi | April 30, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I've had a lot of "I KNEW IT!" moments this season. Totally called that Daniel would eat it. I had read before that "someone we have come to love" would die, and it was around the time when Jughead aired. Personally, I didn't really care for Dan or his breathless revelations.

Rumor alert:
Does Faraday's death (if he is indeed dead) count as a major death, or a majorish death?

Posted by: authorofpoetry | April 30, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Like Liz and Jen, I have heard that there will be another death, and buzz is that it will be on the same level as Charlie's passing. My guess is Desmond. His "I told you I would never leave you again," had that 'famous last words' ring to it. Kind of like the pure girl in horror movies who dies when she loses it, or the cop who retires and is shot the next day.
Though I wouldn't be surprised if it was Sayid or *gulp* Sawyer.

When I heard Eloise say that she didn't know what would come next, I figured it was because the time loop was complete, and she was embarking on an untraveled path. Either that or the rules were changed...? I kind of felt bad for her when she admitted her lack of knowledge to Penny, but I'm hating her again for willingly sending her son to the island when she knew she would shoot him. I guess she knows that he would die anyway due to course correction, and that his death was necessary to maintain the time loop.

I had a giggle about Dan's "I'll make time" statement, to which my response was "Yeah you will!" His experiments kind of allow him to make time, as do the discrepencies between island time and freighter time.

I was surprised when Miles flat out denied that he was Chang's son. It'll come out soon enough, I'm sure.

Posted by: eet7e | April 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I think that Daniel says something like "I'm the youngest Phd ever to graduate from Oxford, Mom", which gives us a clue as to his timeline. He could be 21-25 at the time of his phd graduation in 2004 and still meet that criteria. If he were born in 1977, he'd be 27 in 2004 when he got his phd, which I don't think is an unreasonable assumption to make.

Posted by: allison777 | April 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

I think that Daniel says something like "I'm the youngest Phd ever to graduate from Oxford, Mom", which gives us a clue as to his timeline. He could be 21-25 at the time of his phd graduation in 2004 and still meet that criteria. If he were born in 1977, he'd be 27 in 2004 when he got his phd, which I don't think is an unreasonable assumption to make.

Posted by: allison777 | April 30, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

csteiger, you beat me with your 11:40 post on best line. That one made me lol.

I too thought the "I can make time" line was very ironic. (not haha funny, but ironic)

The only reason I can see that Eloise would want the stroked out, no short term memory Daniel to go back to the Island, is to be healed. She must be totally torn knowing she is going to shoot him. If not, she is very wicked indeed.

My question is when Daniel went to the Swan to talk to Dr. Chang, he saw them carry a guy out on a stretcher that looked remarkably like himself. Did anyone see who that actually was? I also remember they showed this flashback before which leads me to believe they are stuck in a loop and this is happening over and over.

Posted by: hodie | April 30, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, we all suspected it, but that scene in the hospital last night was set up as this big "aha!" moment. But thanks to the clip show telling us the same thing last week, it was just a "yeah, right, you told us that already."

Posted by: laura33 | April 30, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Eloise being Dan's mother was the big reveal, we had found out about that from Desmond at the lamppost and, i believe, in the enhanced version of one of the episodes. I think the big reveal was that Widmore is Dan's father.
Not sure if Daniel is dead. The island could heal him.

Posted by: Laura118 | April 30, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Just like the island could have healed Boone, Shannon, Libby, Ana Lucia, Charlie, etc. If he's served his purpose, which I believe he has by meeting his mother in '77 and warning Chang about the incident, he's a goner.

Posted by: eet7e | April 30, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

"If he were born in 1977, he'd be 27 in 2004 when he got his phd, which I don't think is an unreasonable assumption to make. "

But too old at that point to be the youngest. Back in the day a PhD was a 2 yr program.

I did assume that he had to get his PhD very close to 04 if not in it because the grant from Widmore he had on graduation day was still fresh when he got on the boat to go to the island.

Posted by: HardyW | April 30, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The scene when Daniel told Eliose he was the youngest PhD had to be earlier than 2004. The scene where he was crying over the news footage of Oceanic 815 was 2004, and he's already had time to send bunnies through time, put Theresa into a vegetative state, and ruin his own memory. I would assume that in 77 he's a little Hostile child on the island, with his parents (who are both there at that time).

Posted by: emfzlx | April 30, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Faraday talking to Desmond while the record was skipping enticed Desmond to go talk to Mrs. Hawking which, inevitably, got nothing accomplished, except, as someone mentioned, helping Ben figure out where Penny encounter, which, again, didnt really cause anything to happen. The island quit jumping through time b/c Locke hopped down and put the donkey wheel back on its tracks. That, along with the fact that he fried his own brain and his assistant's brain and went raving into the Others camp with a pistol in the air, makes me wonder what it is that Daniel knows about anything.

If Mrs. Hawking now cant see into the future and the time loop is did the Oceanic 6 possibly help that happen? Why did they have to go back get Daniel to leave Ann Arbor, come back to the Island, and get himself killed?

Posted by: BilboB2 | April 30, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

But, by 2004, Daniel had already done his time travel experiments, and had gone cuckoo. And, in 1996, when Des visited him, he was already set up at Oxford. I think he is in his late 30s, which would put him at being born about 1970-72. So, I think Daniel was already running around, either on or off the island, in 1977.

Posted by: Ellbeecee | April 30, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Also, we know Des mind-time traveled to visit Faraday while he was working on the time travel stuff, and Des had been on island for--what, 3 years?-- in 2004? So his graduation and getting the grant was definitely a few years earlier than 2004.

Posted by: emfzlx | April 30, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

My theory on time: Time is a one directional arrow. Once something happens, you cannot go back and change it. Time is always moving forward. However, the future is up for grabs. There is no destiny because people have free will. Supporting this is Hawkings comments to young Daniel that "it is her job to ensure he fulfills his desitny." If there really was destiny, then he wouldnt need any help, it would happen no matter what. But, if the future is not pre-determined and is shaped by what choices you make during the present, then Hawking would have a role (for example, making sure desmond got to the island). More evidence: Hawking no longer knows what is going to happen. The only reason she knew was because she met Daniel and the O6 back in 1977, and maybe got a look at his notebook. But now their story has come full circle. daniel is dead and done writing in the notebook. I also think this means that th O6 crash cannot be prevented. Feel free to poke holes now.

Another side question. Where did Daniel get the last name Farraday from?

Posted by: skitch00 | April 30, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm hoping Liz and Jen can address this at 3: Farraday was one of my favorite characters, but would the show have been any different without him? If his is dead now, what did he accomplish/change since being first introduced? I'm seeing echoes of the Tailies.

Posted by: Dave82 | April 30, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

watch this video in full, last year's comic con DHARMA recruit video, pretty sure that is faraday's voice talking to chang near half way through the vid...possibly some proof he's not dead yet!

Posted by: nickvulture | April 30, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Hi Jen, Hi Liz ... thanks for weeks and weeks of fun!

So, can anyone exoplain to me why Daniel is crying while watching the news coverage of the fake 06 crash?

He couldn't explain it himself.

A gift? or because he was experiencing memory loss and something about the crash was sparking a bit of his "future" memory ...but then ...why cry?

Posted by: jfu222 | April 30, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Another vote for best line: "I just got shot by a physicist!"

Posted by: AlfromAlexandria | April 30, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm with all of you who believe that no matter what the variables are, the main plot will not change, i.e. O815 crashes, Losties on island. In fact, so far any time someone has tried to be a variable they end up doing exactly what is needed to push the future in the direction it has ultimately gone. I'm really curious to see how this plays out and how they wrap this up. Also, I too thought that Daniel going into the camp with a gun was dumb but I understood RA's response. It had been 20 odd years and he plays things close to the vest. He also clearly felt in control of the situation, so he could play dumb. Still, though it was a powerful episode and I'm sad to see Daniel go. I thought Jeremy Davis added a Michael Emerson level of acting to the show.

Posted by: Skeeterrific | April 30, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm not necessarily convinced the past *can't* be changed, we just haven't seen proof that it can.

I thought Eloise looked genuinely shaken in the scene with Penny. As if she were surprised and off-balance about no longer knowing what would happen next. As if something had happened that was "wrong" in terms of what she had expected, not just that the perfectly predictable end-of-time-loop/Faraday's notebook meant her foreknowledge was over.

I suspect that either we will find out during this season's finale that the past can be changed, and next season will be about how the Losties have/are/will changing things, or we won't get a definite answer until the actual series finale (in which case it could go either way).

Posted by: emfzlx | April 30, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree that only Desmond is a true variable on the Island. Daniel and the others can shift slightly, but only Desmond is truly "free" to act.

Which means he'll decide to set off Jughead and save everyone.


Posted by: WillSeattle | April 30, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I think we just got a clue as to what happened when Desmond turned the fail safe key. Turning that key resulted in the island's force at that location becoming inert. Sounds a lot like what Daniel was trying to do.

Posted by: mastroj | April 30, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I was very surprised to see how close Jack, Kate and Daniel were able to get to the others camp without being detected.

I wonder if Daniel knew what was going to happen when he walked into the others camp. It seemed very unlike Daniel to walk into the camp with a gun. I think he must have known what was to come, or he had a plan. Unfortunately, I think he is dead (based on the This is your life Daniel Faraday flashback), but something happened then to change the time line (or cause the record to skip to another track).

I think this is why Eloise didn't know what was going to happen, because Daniel somehow change the time path.

I don't think this was mentioned yet, but I was a little creeped out when the nurse told Penny that this nurse will look after Charlie while she went to see Desmond. Why couldn't Charlie go see Desmond? Why would Penny leave him with a stranger. I wonder if Charlie is going to be kidnapped an that my provide motivation for Desmond and Penny to go to the Island.

I also wonder how Widmore got to the Hospital so quickly. Were was he when Ben called him? Why didn't Eloise tell Widmore that Penny and his Grandson are in the hospital.

Posted by: adam_peritz | April 30, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I forgot to add that I liked seeing the return of the old Jack.

I also find it interesting that Sawyer is finding it much harder to lead under duress than when there is peace. This is the opposite of Churchill who was a great leader in times of duress, but not in times of peace.

Posted by: adam_peritz | April 30, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

favorite line: "I just got shot my a physicist!"

The past cannot be changed. Whatever they do will just lead to the same future. Even Daniel was clear about this when he told Jack that the Past can't be changed - but that this was their Present, so they could do things in hopes of changing the future.

The thing is, we all know what their future holds, and so do they, so I still don't think they can change anything. And if they could change the future and stop the crash, they wouldn't be there NOW so it doesn't make sense.

You make yer choices in the present, the past is done.

I agree it was very weird that Penny left Charlie with a stranger. My prediction: Hawkings will kidnap him.

There may be a lil Daniel on the island along with big Daniel. Don't know how this works, but there is also a lil Miles along with the big Miles. hmmm.

I think the island (Jack and Richard) will heal Daniel.

Posted by: camis | April 30, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Laura, I agree that the clip show was completely boring, but we already knew that Mrs. Hawking was Daniel's mother, so this wasn't a reveal. That was my complaint with the recap -- not a single frame of new material, not even a peek at this week's episode.

Anyway, on to last night. I think that Daniel's death (assuming he's really dead) is intended to be an emphatic reprimand to the idea that he can change events. Mrs. H raised Daniel in that driven way because she ALREADY KNEW that he had returned to the island in her youth. Now whether she thinks that he might be able to do things differently with better training, or whether she is just helping him to realize his destiny is a separate question. But we know that she sent him back to the island, KNOWING that she would shoot him.

Ever since we first saw the bomb, we knew that the Incident was going to involve this bomb blowing up. Now we're getting hints that it is Jack who will blow up the bomb, so presumably his attempts to undo the Incident will actually cause the Incident. Faraday's "I can change the past" theorem is definitively discredited, even if he does pop back to life. So we know that either our heroes are in the process of creating the island they inherited when they landed, or that destiny is a strong enough force to overwhelm any attempts by mere humans to alter its course. It's nice the way the writers are at least staying away from the paradoxes of time travel -- now what if Faraday had been the one who killed Ellie?

Posted by: jerkhoff | April 30, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Final thought; somebody in the chat mentioned that Daniel was trying to die, bummed about only being grazed by Radzinski, and then walking into the Hostiles' camp w/ a gun out. I didn't catch any of that but it does make sense to me:

if he had accepted that he had to die, maybe he was just trying to rig it so it happened some other way than his mother shooting him, like he was trying to spare her having to go through that.

I also don't think she knew about it in 04 from reading his journal, I think she knew about it from cycling through it over and over, I assume she and Ben at least have been on the same cycle as Desmond.

Posted by: HardyW | April 30, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"In '96 he was a professor at Oxford (having just graduated), so even though he graduated early, there's no way he was less than 20 in '96, which puts his birthdate (at the latest) at '76. Where was young Daniel on the island?"

bct103, I agree: Young Daniel must be alive somewhere in 1977, presumably on the Island. I think that after Eloise shoots adult Daniel (who has got to be in his late 30s when he dies), she takes young Daniel away, off the Island. Sometime shortly after that is when they have the conversation at the piano, about Dan's destiny.

As for how Ms. Hawking got her knowledge of the future, maybe it's the same way Desmond got his: by being exposed to the electromagnetic energies of the Island, in her case being released during "The Incident." I suppose Dan's journal is another possibility, but why would Dan's journal contain intimate information about the course of Desmond's disastrous courtship of Penny?

Posted by: jesharris | April 30, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

"I also wonder how Widmore got to the Hospital so quickly. Where was he when Ben called him?"

Adam, I also wondered that. Considering that Widmore was in London when Ben called him, right before shooting Desmond and threatening to kill Penny, he sure got to Long Beach awfully fast. Of course, he's a billionaire and doubtless has his own private jet and pilot on call. But even a private jet would still have to fly at supersonic speed, like the Concorde, to get to L.A. that same night!

Posted by: jesharris | April 30, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Ok, Eloise knows she is sending Daniel back to be shot. That was the "sacrifice" she mentioned when Charles said losing Penny was his sacrifice. The episode where they banish Charles from the island had to be in the 1980s but we saw a young Daniel playing piano, presumably somewhere off the island. He has an American accent which I was surprised at hearing, so they must live in America. So if Daniel was his father he was not around to raise him. Eloise must have taken Daniel and left the island, maybe in the next episode due to the incident. But Charles never raised him and thus Eloise's slap when Charles says he is the father. And Eloise not knowing what would happen means she probably does not know if Daniel will survive this time.

My guess is he does not. He seems to have done what he needed to do, for the story anyway. He planted the idea into Dr. Chang about time travel and information on the incident. That was to change the future of the incident. My guess is Chang will question Miles who will tell the truth and Chang will stop work on the Swan. I also expect Hurley and Jin to save Sawyer and Juliet from Radzinsky. Miles will stay to be with his father and he then becomes the variable that changes the future, a future where Charlotte and Daniel grow up together on this peaceful little island.

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 30, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

"Adam, I also wondered that. Considering that Widmore was in London when Ben called him, right before shooting Desmond and threatening to kill Penny, he sure got to Long Beach awfully fast."
Posted by: jesharris

We suspect there may be multiple Dr Chang/Halliwax/etc/etc, why not multiple Widmores?

Posted by: bevjims1 | April 30, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

In the chat, Not Ann Arbor, Mich wrote: Is it possible we've already seen "Jughead" go off? What did Desmoand activate when turning the key in the hatch? Is the real issue not whether they use a hydrogen bomb to blow up the Swan Station, but when?

I've had similar thoughts. And the episode last night was titled THE Variable, an episode which opened with Desmond. I agree that he is the variable. But if turning the key diffuses the magnetism, why didn't someone just do that from the beginning instead of pressing the button every 108 minutes??

Posted by: chombie13 | April 30, 2009 8:07 PM | Report abuse

i think jack will be the "huge" death being rumored. i think this for several reasons:

1) faraday says, "anyone of us can die, JACK." (this is the weakest part of the argument)

2) jack has become fatalistic. old, heroic, "run into the fire" jack is just the flip side of his personality--both versions of jack have a certain tendency toward self-destruction, a "death wish."

3) matthew shephard is making the rounds on late night talk shows (like dominic mongahan did before charlie kicked the bucket)

4) they were supposed to kill off the doctor in the very first episode of lost, but they decided against it

5) he's christian shephard's son, so he can make a "comeback"

this may very well turn out to be completely wrong (there are a lot of "variables"), but i'm putting out there now.

Posted by: plathman | April 30, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

maybe i should have read lostpedia before i posted:

"In the commentary track on the Season 1 DVD, the producers explained that the character of Jack as the de facto leader of the survivors was intended to be killed off in "The Pilot, Part 1" by the Monster, with Kate becoming the de facto leader. However, ABC executives and advisers to the producers convinced the writers and producers to keep him alive. They reasoned that killing him off, while a novel idea, generated feelings of betrayal, bewilderment, and anger in the audience. Instead, the pilot was written in and killed in Jack's place. Fox's portrayal of Jack as such a likable and noble character that audiences can relate to only helped solidify his survival and importance to the show."

yes, but now we've grown to dislike him, and he's had a diminished role (indeed, he's been "downgraded" from doctor to janitor). kate has been taking the lead lately.

i'm just saying that, given that he's christian shepherd's son, and given that he's not "on Jacob's list," i wouldn't be surprised to see this original dynamic play out. i would have felt betryaed before, but not so much now.

Posted by: plathman | April 30, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Eloise Hawkings is Dan's mother the same way that Kate was Aaron's mother. This may explain Daniel's accent

Posted by: adam_peritz | May 1, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

My personal belief at this time (which like Daniel I hold the right to change) is that for the most part, things can not change; however, I think by the end of the show we will see that with foreknowledge and careful manipulation of variables, adjustments can be made. Daniel running into the others camp with a gun, perhaps not the best way to go. Sayid shooting his nemesis as a child, bad idea. Hurley, trying to write the Ewoks out of Jedi, probably should stick with the cooking.

If someone can actually show some thought and foresight and try to manipulate situations in a more subtle way, maybe we can get somewhere.

Posted by: Matt27 | May 1, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

You obtain an accent during your first 10 years or so, which is why kids older than 10, when they move to a place with a different language, have more of an accent the older they are when they move. Daniel is about 10 and has an American accent. I guess Eloise could have adopted him but he was most likely raised in the US either way. Maybe they are living is LA. I'm still wondering why Ellie and Charles have British accents and what they were doing on the island at the age of 17.

Another mystery is how RA left the island to visit Locke in 1956 when he was born and later in 1964 when he was 8. Dharma was not there yet so no sub and we've seen no evidence of other transportation available before Dharma arrives with the sub.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 1, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

From the series of events of Dan's "before the island" life that we saw, there is something that I can't understand. How did Dan know that his mother could be of any help when he asked Desmond to go to Oxford and look for his mother?

It seems to me that Dan had been mind-traveling in his experiments and must have learned partial information both from the past and the future. He must have forgotten all of it because of his condition, consequence of his experiments, but on time the island healed his mind, and thus he must have remembered the information.

For what is worth, after watching the episode a second time, I also got the impression that Dan was on a desperate suicidal mission. The explanation of his plan to Jack and Kate of neutralizing the electromagnetic island energy with an H-bomb sounded "end-of-the-line desperate" to me. Indeed, his deliberateness was "on a whole new level". I think he knew he had to die, but I also think he was surprised that it was his mother that killed him.

And I really hope that he somehow stays on the show.

On the intriguing side, did anybody think that in the mean in the indian place Ms Hawking dress was of the same material as the notebook's cover?

Posted by: for33 | May 1, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe Eloise Hawkings is Dan's mother the same way that Kate was Aaron's mother. This may explain Daniel's accent"
Posted by: adam_peritz

Oooo, i like this. I've been wondering about Dan and his accent and last name, too.

And I agree with those who still believe that "what happened, happened" and that no one can stop The Incident from happening.

Also, Charlie "Die Worm" has mange. :-(

Posted by: PQSully | May 1, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Shot through the heart
And you're to blame
You give motherhood
a bad name!
[with apologies to Bon Jovi]

I have not read the other comments, so forgive me if I repeat someone.

Thinking of Eloise, I see 3 possibilities:

1. Evil Eloise: time is unchangable, and she knowingly sent Daniel to the Island, where she would commit filicide.

2. Good Eloise: time is changable, and she thought a 2d chance might result in her not killing her son. [unlikely, as she should have warned him in that case].

3. Good Eloise: time is changable, and she did not originally kill Daniel, so had nothing to warn him about.

The 3d is the most intriguing theory. Perhaps he originally designed the buttons, rather than nuke the Island.

Aside from this, I definitely think she is the 3d party behind Ilana, and brought Sayed back to the Island.

Posted by: AmericanBadOZ | May 1, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone made the connection of Eloise and the Virgin Mary? She's basically sacrificing her son to save the world (somehow). Her rudeness at Dan's girlfriend was more than over the top, telling Dan that he has no time for women and would only break their hearts (when he dies). Dan, like Jesus, was born into a mission with an ending he could not control nor understand completely. But like Jesus, Dan may become the one who is remembered for saving the world. If the analogy holds, Dan may be resurrected, either ghostly like Christian, or more real, like Locke, or actually survive since in this timeloop Jack, a surgeon, is nearby, thanks to Eloise.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 1, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Eloise knows that she must send Daniel back to the island because he was already there in 1954, and showed them how to contain the H-bomb's radiation? Had he not been there to do this, perhaps everyone on the island would have died?

I just think there has to be a LOGICAL reason why she would push Daniel to return (I don't think it's simply out of some warped sense of duty to preserve fate). She must have a reason to think that NOT sending him back would lead to a far worse fate.

Posted by: chombie13 | May 1, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Best wishes to Charlie "Die Worm" NotVincent Sully.

Posted by: camis | May 1, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"Best wishes to Charlie "Die Worm" NotVincent Sully,"
Posted by: camis

Aww, thanks camis!

Posted by: PQSully | May 1, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"I just think there has to be a LOGICAL reason why she would push Daniel to return (I don't think it's simply out of some warped sense of duty to preserve fate). She must have a reason to think that NOT sending him back would lead to a far worse fate."
Posted by: chombie13

I'm convinced that exploding the nuke on the island will not seal the energy under the island but let it out, so exploding the nuke would be a disaster. Having Daniel come back to tell them how to take care of the nuke the Americans brought is important so Ellie works to train Dan in physics so he can do that, but she is really pushing him so wants him to do more. Ellie shooting Dan when he planned to explode the bomb may also have averted a disaster. If this is a time loop and this happened before, Daniel probably died, but this time Jack is there thanks to Eloise sending them back. This is why Dan tells Jack they shouldn't be there. He's right, they shouldn't, except to save Dan's life after being shot. I think Eloise wants Dan to live and so helped send Jack back, but she does not want to destroy the world in the process. Shooting Dan and having Jack fix him up will keep Dan out of commission for the 4 hours before the incident. Dan will live and the island stays as before, with a button to push, something Dan might even help design. Eloise will have succeeded in saving Dan though he may end up like Charlie, with the universe trying to kill him to correct itself and all.

But, once they put the Swan together it has a failsafe. As someone above noted why not just turn the failsafe key, implode the station and reseal the energy? Dharma located the island, which was adrift in space-time, using the lamppost. I'm guessing that by releasing the energy every 108 minutes the island did not wander through space and time. Once the Swan imploded the energy was sealed and caused the island to drift once again through space-time and caused our Lostees to be tossed through space time when the donkey wheel came off its axis. So the button pushing may have had a purpose, to keep the island isolated and preventing it from drifting, and Chang could use the energy in a controlled way to experiment with time travel.

One last observation. The "energy" is underground and can be found at both the Orchid and Swan stations. It must be large. Smokey also lives underground. I'm guessing a connection.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 1, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone think that the numbers for the fence code mean anything? If I remember correctly, it was 141717. My mom suggested that if you take out the 1's, it's 477, which could be March of '77... just a thought, since numbers usually mean something in Lost. :)

Posted by: notpennysboat | May 1, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

My vote for best quote:

"Your mother's an other?"

Loved the rhyme, and the ridiculousness.

Posted by: crashinghero | May 1, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

notpennysboat - i agree that the numbers must mean something, your mom's idea is really interesting. or maybe they add up to something significant. dunno. but there are no random numbers on this show!

general comment - is it just me? lately i find that i feel more confused reading these posts than i do when i watch the show. is that a good thing or what?

Posted by: camis | May 1, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

One thing I noticed in this episode "Jason", the Other from "Through the Looking Glass" and other Lost episodes, he was w/ Mr. Friendly and got killed on the beach by Hurley or Sayid, can't remember,
is the workman in the Orchid station who tells Daniel to put on a hard hat.

Posted by: gvlahos9 | May 2, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Three questions:

1) How did Dan know that Pierre Chang was Miles' father?

2) How did Dan know that Desmond would be in the hatch saving the world every 108 minutes, and that because of him being late once Oceanic 815 would fall on the island?

3) How did Dan know when he asked Desmond to go to Oxford that his mother would be of any help?

Did he mind-travel to the island before his failed experiments, or did his mother inform him before departing on the freighter?

Posted by: for33 | May 2, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

for33 - great questions. it got me thinking about when he "first" got there, as far as we knew, and one of his first comments was something like "The light is different" -

if I remember this correctly, he might have meant the light was different than it was the last time he was there. whoah.

Posted by: camis | May 2, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Its likely Daniel was filled in on what the Lostees had been through. He seems to know a lot, for example, the Tempest and the need to neutralize it. Remember, Widmore is funding him going there. But his crying about the plane under the water also indicates that when he experimented on himself, and screwed his mind up, it happened before he went to the island, yet he possibly learned about the plane by mind traveling. Maybe he mind traveled back to his 1977 body on the island. That might have screwed him up royally, mind traveling back to a future mind stuck in the past. Its giving me a headache just thinking about it.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 2, 2009 11:27 PM | Report abuse

First: I had a giant Lost mind-flash last week that I kept trying to post here, but kept eating it. So, ya'll don't get to find out what it was until I'm ready to share it again. I'm kinda pissed about the "eating of my GIANT theory."

Anywho. Glad someone brought up the fail-safe only a few posts up. Look, Desmond using it made the "sky turn purple" and also allowed Penny to find the Island and send a boat. "Not Penny's Boat" also found it's way there. Prolly the same way Penny did.

Nobody has brought it up yet, so I'll just throw it out here...

I think Desmond is gone for good(e.) The last we get to see him is telling Penny about how ho promised he'd never leave her. Daniel is dead, he doesn't need a constant, Desmond is with his.

After Daniel popped his head out of the sub, I figured Desmond would have to show up, those two are connected. So at the end of this Ep... Well, Dan is dead and Des is reminding Penney how he'd never leave.

So, as much as it bugs me to lose both Des and Dan in my future visions of the show... I'm sticking with it.

Until they come back.

And you all should be pissed at for eating my theory about how there are at least 2 Richard Alperts living on the Island since one of them got bounced back in time and then stuck in '77... Yeah, those Dharma recruits that are Cure fans in '80 are screwed at the General Store.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | May 3, 2009 2:04 AM | Report abuse

NotForYou - well, you could think of it this way: your idea about there being two Richard Alperts is SO COOL it was worth waiting for. Except that we didn't know we were waiting for it. But thanks for sneaking it into your post.

Maybe there are two of a lot of characters. We know there are two Miles(es?), we think there are/were two Daniels, and now... two Alperts.

Is one aging? Dorian Gray? Oh noooo....

If they are time-looping and overlapping themselves, I'd say the Island has a good deal of course-correcting to do.

Posted by: camis | May 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Two points

1. With the time shifting element, just because Faraday may have died-a BIG "may have"-doesn't mean he's gone from the show. It's entirely possible we'll see him again, which leads to.....

2. We learned some time back, when Des visited England looking for Ms Hawking, that Widmore is taking complete financial and medical care for a woman tied to Faraday.

The implication was that she was in such dire straits because of something Daniel did, something perhaps evil, and something still to be disclosed in a future episode.

I think the woman we saw with Faraday, the one treated so shabbily by his mother, is the woman at issue, as "Lost" doesn't usually bring in characters who don't either advance the storylines, or make us gasp if they're bumped off-Nikki & Paolo being the exceptions to this rule.

Posted by: kingcranky | May 3, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

kingcranky wrote:
"Two points
1. With the time shifting element, just because Faraday may have died-a BIG "may have"-doesn't mean he's gone from the show. It's entirely possible we'll see him again, which leads to....."

True. We've been seeing Christian more than we did when he was alive.

kingcranky wrote:
"2. We learned some time back, when Des visited England looking for Ms Hawking, that Widmore is taking complete financial and medical care for a woman tied to Faraday."

Yes, it seems she was injured in one of Daniel's experiments that also lead to his mental issues.

kingcranky wrote:
"The implication was that she was in such dire straits because of something Daniel did, something perhaps evil, and something still to be disclosed in a future episode."

I think its pretty evident. They tried mind-traveling as they did with the rat (Eloise). But it might have lead to a Minkowski-like episode, where you want to just jump off the ship wrapped in chains. But I think its worth noting that the evil Widmore is taking care of her. Maybe not so evil. Add to that the tranquilizer darts used against Hurley and Sayid when Widmore's men were after them and he's starting to seem almost saintly.

kingcranky wrote:
"I think the woman we saw with Faraday, the one treated so shabbily by his mother, is the woman at issue, as "Lost" doesn't usually bring in characters who don't either advance the storylines, or make us gasp if they're bumped off-Nikki & Paolo being the exceptions to this rule."

Hmmm, hadn't made the connection but very possible. But since you brought up Paolo/Nikki, I think the lesson they pose is that is you're not part of the past/present/future of the island, the island will discard you like stale bread. So the island needs Michael, is not done with Desmond, isn't finished with Juliet. But Nikki/Paolo are quickly disposed of. I'm guessing they were never part of the island's history and so were quickly vanquished. In other words, they were not some freakish mistake by the writers. Instead they helped explain how the island works and what the island does with those that cannot help the island.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 3, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I'll try to expand on the Double-Alpert theory here, and hopefully I remember all of it. As with most Lost "AhHa!" thoughts, they seem to make less sense over time.

1. Ben sends the Others to the Temple, led there by Richard.

2. Richard brings a group back to rescue Ben, who then turns Frozen Donkey Wheel. Big flash, Island moving.

3. Locke gets shot by Ethan. Followed by a nice little healing chat with Richard Alpert, who gives Locke a few hints about what to do including giving him a compass that he wants back so he can give it to Locke after Locke tells him to give it to him. Yeah, that's a little confusing and doesn't have much to do with this...

4. Locke meets up with the other peeps.

Deadly nose bleeds start happening, Daniel thinks that the longer you've spent on the Island the sicker you'll get.

From what we've seen it seems that Juliet is one of the newest of the Others(other than the people that were on the plane and "on a list.")

I think the Others bounced through about 3 flashes and died.

All except Richard. And the plane people.

And I think that all of them got locked in '74 when Locke fixed the wheel.

And that's why there are now 2 Richard Alperts walking around. Leaving one of them free to hang around a wrecked plane until Locke turns up there after being shot.(Short end of the eyeliner?)

And just for the hell of it, I'm going to guess that the adopted Others from the plane all left the Island(after making sure they left a list) in the 70's to go have kids that have come back to the Island on either an Oceanic or Ajira plane.

If you can follow along with that, I'm glad. I could barely keep up with it myself.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | May 3, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

So I was sitting around watching Charlie "Die Worm" this weekend and had my own revelation about Richard Alpert. More of a DOH moment really.

So Richard never ages, right? And somehow, even before the sub arrives on the island with Dharma, he's able to travel to the "real world" at will, to check out young Locke, for instance. However can he manage this?

HE'S DEAD! He's like Christian, who is now forever clothed in tennis shoes and who can visit Jack off-island anytime he wants, and yet still physically interact with people and objects. Just like Charlie and Ana Lucia, etc.

Posted by: PQSully | May 4, 2009 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I always tend to go with the simple solutions, though Lost makes that difficult. But one thing is clear to me. RA is unique. He doesn't seem to age like Ellie and Charles. He never carries a gun. He always seems to be in control and is respected by the rest of the Others but he is not the leader of the Others nor seems to be able to lead. He was able to travel to the US back in 1956 and again in 1964, when it appears there was no way for him to get off the island. So he is unique and I'm heavily leaning toward him being an ancient god. The ancient gods were not all powerful. They had special skills and could be limited in what they did by the other gods. RA has not shown any particular godlike abilities yet, except not aging. He should also be immortal so why Ellie would shoot Dan who was pointing a gun at RA made little sense to me. So maybe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

The other thing I'm trying to understand is the complete paranoia the Others have. If a plane crashed the last thing I would think is that the survivors are invaders to protect ourselves against. When Locke and company go back to 1954 and see Charles and companions, its an immediate confrontation. Ellie keeps a gun trained on Dan while he is fixing a nuke to save the island. The paranoia must have a reason. Protecting the island seems to be the reason, but why would the island need protecting? And if anyone was going to harm the island it would be Dharma, who the Others have a peace treaty with. Makes little sense.

On another note, Eloise and Charles have a rocky relationship. Do I have this right?:
-Penny is the daughter of Charles and an unknown woman.
-Daniel is the son of Charles and Eloise.
If so both Dan and Penny appear close in age, meaning Eloise was likely being cheated on. Ben tells Charles, as he is being banished from the island, that he had gone off island and had a child. That would mean Dan was probably born on-island but later moved off island, probably when he was very young due to the American accent. My question is, who is Penny's mum? I'm guessing someone we know but who has never been to the island and is the reason Eloise holds a little contempt for Charles. The mum would need to be British. Do we know a British woman who has not been to the island, past, present or future?

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 4, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow PQSully, no sooner do I hit the Submit key and your post pops up, both of us wondering about RA, his agelessness, his ability to get off island. Spooky!

But I have to disagree with your theory. I've been watching Christian. He does not appear real to me when he appears. I don't remember him even moving anything. I don't think he can. Christian is like a ghost. But RA seems very real.

As for Charlie and Ana Lucia, they only appear to Hurley, off-island, which is the only place he has his visions of dead people.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 4, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

So, how did Faraday know when (a few hours time) and how (mis-drilling) the incident will occur? (But not that he would ‘die’?) If he is dead (pre-incident), then self-testing time experiments won’t help recover that information presumably. Or perhaps his mother kept his 1970’s journal and passed it on somehow… is it important that Faraday, in The Constant, discovered that he had previously written, “Desmond Hume will be my constant”? Has he or will he actually use Desmond as his constant?

And doesn’t the Swan orientation video say something like, “… shortly AFTER experiments began…”. It didn’t look like that Swan is nearing completion yet (and therefore experimentation-ready), and so… has a variable (i.e., when, how) changed but not the constant (i.e., the incident itself)?

Incidentally, though we have not seen a previous event actually be changed (i.e., evidence of timeline mutability), neither have we seen a previous event unfold identically more than once (immutability). However, we are at least led to believe in course-correction, suggesting mutability (at least for variables).

Posted by: PatAbroad | May 4, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"But I have to disagree with your theory. I've been watching Christian. He does not appear real to me when he appears. I don't remember him even moving anything. I don't think he can. Christian is like a ghost. But RA seems very real. As for Charlie and Ana Lucia, they only appear to Hurley, off-island, which is the only place he has his visions of dead people."
Posted by: bevjims1

I've gots to disagree, bevjims: Christian can and does move things: for instance, when he meets John at the bottom of the well, he carries along a lantern. Charlie actually slaps Hurley. Also, I don't think the fact that Charlie and Ana Lucia appear only off-island means they couldn't appear on-island. It just means that the people they wanted to influence were off-island.

I think these dead characters can also choose how many people can actually see them. Again, off-island it's int, for instance, Charlie's best interest for only Hurley to see him, as otherwise his presense would cause a scene. I think Alpert chooses to be seen by all on the island because he's perceived as Native by all, if you will, and no one really knows his origin (which I suspect is the Black Rock or earlier).

Posted by: PQSully | May 4, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

An observation and a very speculative proposal:

When Ben turned the frozen will the island was at 2004. Then the "losties" plus the "freighters" started moving in time. They mostly went to the past. But at least once they went to the future, in 2007: when they went to the beach and took the boat and when sailing the came under fire by another boat, presumably the Ilana-Bram boat.

So my observation is that people can travel in time to the future! This seems to contradict the "what happened, happened" viewpoint, as things in the future have not happened.

If we accept that time travel to the future is possible, I would like to speculate:

Could it be that as time passed Dahrma eventually (but before the purge) mastered its time-travel capabilities and some of their people (presumably including Pierre Chang) went far into the future? The Ilana-Bram side could be a Dahrma group trying to retake the time-travel facilities (perhaps the Temple) so that the time-travelers can return properly.

Posted by: for33 | May 4, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Alpert is dead! Yes! I think you got it! He might be a more evolved dead person and therefore comfortable manifesting more consistently to people but it does explain a lot. That he doesn't age AND that he's always had that kind of dead-but-okay smile and glazey eyed look. Like Locke has these days.

also agree that the dead people CHOOSE when, how, and to whom they will appear. and always have a specific reason for whatever they do. even when the living people get totally freaked out when they first see them (Jack), eventually those same people get more used to the idea that the dead may be trying to reach out to them... and then they (the living) open up and get curious.

something like that.

Posted by: camis | May 4, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"I've gots to disagree, bevjims: Christian can and does move things: for instance, when he meets John at the bottom of the well, he carries along a lantern."
Posted by: PQSully

Well, his clothes also move along with him. By moving things I mean things that are not part of him or throwing a punch. Presumably he brought along the lantern or it was part of the apparition. But I did see a screen shot of Christian picking up Aaron when he appeared before Claire, so my theory may have a few holes, sorta like poor little Charlie's fur I would imagine - hope Charlie gets through this episode of his young life soon. In the well Christian told Locke that he could not help him. I don't think it was due to Locke having to do it himself, but because Christian could not physically do it since he is just an apparition.

"Charlie actually slaps Hurley. Also, I don't think the fact that Charlie and Ana Lucia appear only off-island means they couldn't appear on-island. It just means that the people they wanted to influence were off-island."
Posted by: PQSully

Well, maybe, but there are three distinct types of "dead" in my mind:
1) The Christian and Locke types. Dead men walking.
2) The Ana-Lucia/Charlie type, they appear but no one but the person they are talking to can see them.
3) The dead-dead. Those who are dead but Miles can talk to if the body is close to him.

I also might add a 4th, Walt, who would appear to Shannon wet and shivering. Sayid also saw him so he wasn't a Hurley type. And Walt was alive (somewhere) so he wasn't a Christian/Locke type.

"I think these dead characters can also choose how many people can actually see them."
Posted by: PQSully

Well, if so why hasn't Hurley seen any ghosts on the island, not one? He seems quite sane on island and insane off island. Is it that the island heals his mind or that he has a special ability, like Miles, to see these ghosts which only exist off-island. I think Hurley, like Desmond, is special in some way. I'm still thinking about all he had to do to get onto Oceanic 815. Fate was throwing everything it could at him to keep him off the plane, but everyone else had an easy time getting on the plane. So I think Hurley was never meant to use the numbers, never meant to end up on the island. So I'm thinking he's a sort of innocent bystander.

Coincidentally, didn't Ben almost miss the Ajira flight, yelling to hold the plane's door just as Hurley did for flight 815? Maybe fate was trying to keep Ben from going back. Even Hurley tried to get Ben off the Ajira flight. Hmmmmm....

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 4, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Hurley is kinda crazy though right.... remember his friend dave who almost made him jump off the cliff....

i think our losties are in a different past then the original one that happened, and I think there is evidence, I think we might actually see a complete evacuation of the island that prevents the purge from happening...

Also, what if Ben was allowed to live by the smoke monster because something is already in the motions that will prevent him from letting Alex die?

Posted by: tjkass | May 4, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

That whole Alex thing has always bothered me. Not that I'm glad she got killed, it's just that "The Rules" seem to include a paragraph and section about not killing each other's daughters. and Alex was NOT Ben's daughter.

So Ben's going after Penny is NOT an equivalent thing. Unless Alex really WAS Ben's daughter, or Penny is NOT really Widmore's daughter.. or ... Alex's death was not why Ben accused Widmore of changing the rules.

Something isn't adding up in all this. But I still agree that Alpert is dead and has been for a long time.

Posted by: camis | May 4, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the thoughtful replies bevjims1, very much appreciated, and your take about Nikki & Paolo not being just throwaway characters by writers perhaps rushed for ideas on a short time-leash makes sense.

About Alpert's ability to travel off the island before the submarines started arriving, there's also an option we haven't considered yet.

What if Alpert is able to travel, at will, off the island by using the wheel?

Perhaps the prohibition concerning those who turn the wheel being unable to return to the island only applies to the leaders of the island's various groups, and since Alpert is more like a caretaker, as opposed to a leader, he may be able to use the wheel to come & go as he wishes

Because if Alpert can only travel off the island by being a ghost, and ghosts aren't thought capable of actually moving or holding things, then how would a ghostly Alpert be able to lay out all the objects on the table for Locke-as a boy-to pick from?

And this is what's so cool about "Lost"-and it's fans offering their takes-that all deal with weighty, substantial ideas, unlike so much of the fluff that makes up far too many offerings from the national & cable TV networks.

Posted by: kingcranky | May 4, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

kingcranky wrote: "What if Alpert is able to travel, at will, off the island by using the wheel?"

Maybe, but that would move the island. How would he get back? He doesn't seem to have a pot of gold to by a ship to travel back, and if he did the island would have moved, so how would he find it unless Eloise found a convenient flight to crash with him on it? No, I don't think the wheel is involved.

kingcranky wrote: "Because if Alpert can only travel off the island by being a ghost, and ghosts aren't thought capable of actually moving or holding things, then how would a ghostly Alpert be able to lay out all the objects on the table for Locke-as a boy-to pick from?"

Exactly. And though Alpert does not seem to age, he doesn't know the future either. He truly seems puzzled by many things that are happening. Its almost as though he was the sole inhabitant until people started arriving and now he can't get rid of them, like Shrek when the fairy tale characters took over his swamp. That would make Ben the donkey. Hmmm, donkey - donkey-wheel ... no no no, not going there.

kingcranky wrote: "And this is what's so cool about "Lost"-and it's fans offering their takes-that all deal with weighty, substantial ideas, unlike so much of the fluff that makes up far too many offerings from the national & cable TV networks."

There's other offerings on TV??? Hadn't noticed ;-)

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 4, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

The Star Wars talk and last week's episode got me thinking....

What if, like Luke and Leia, Penny and Daniel are twins, separated at birth. Charles took Penny and Eloise took Daniel. Eloise believes Daniel is destined to save the island, just as everyone believed Luke was destined to save his world from Darth Vader.

Now that Daniel is dead, or in danger of dying, it will be Penny who needs to save him and the island. Penny will ultimately persuade Des to go back to the island, to save her brother.

Posted by: VegasMom | May 6, 2009 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Richard Alpert is *NOT* dead. He is Alpert. The Island God of Eyeliner. Look it up, it's in all the books. And all the wikipedias.

Obviously I don't have much proof, but all of the ghost-type people have been real people before we met them as ghost-people.

Whether it's a Smokey Ghost or a Hurley Ghost, those people have been PEOPLE before we saw them as ghosts.

Unless it was Horace, but we eventually saw him as a person long before he was a bleeding-nose creepy person. Wait, nope, we saw him help with Ben's birth before he was chopping down trees, right?

Either way, Richard Alpert is a real not-dead-ghost person. And there are 2 of him in 1977. One will die by the end of this season, the other will be back.

But with only 3 hours left this season... *Expletive* they better answer ALOT of questions.

Posted by: NotForYou1 | May 6, 2009 2:32 AM | Report abuse

"Obviously I don't have much proof, but all of the ghost-type people have been real people before we met them as ghost-people."

But why can't Alpert have been a real person who just died a long time ago? In fact, the more I think about it, I bet we eventually get to enjoy a flashback of his origins on island--on the Black Rock! That would tie up two loose ends neatly.

Posted by: PQSully | May 6, 2009 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Well PQ, you got me thinking about the Black Rock. So I did some reading on Lostpedia about it ( What is interesting are:
1) The ship's log that Widmore bought had been owned by the Hanso family and was being sold by Tovard Hanso when Widmore bought it.
2) The ship was a slave ship, but when it set sail from New Guinea it was full of mining equipment, including dynamite, and slaves. It was suppose to be going to Africa to trade the slaves but was noted to be heading east, toward where the island presumably is.
3) The Black Rock was a British ship and presumably ended up on the island around the early 1880s.
4) The Black Rock was owned by a company owned by Magnus Hanso, a former ship's captain who became a business entrepreneur.

Much of this comes from "The Lost Experience" and not the show itself, but if it is valid then it would help explain things. It indicates Magnus Hanso was the likely captain of the Black Rock and they knew about the island, maybe by happening upon it earlier. They realize the island has this source of energy in it so they head to New Guinea to obtain slaves and mining equipment, posing as slave traders to hide their real mission. They come back to the island and dig the well down to the energy source and install the "donkey wheel" and start time traveling and become very wealthy. I'm suspecting, based on the accents, that Charles and Ellie can trace their ancestry back to Black Rock shipmates, though women would be questionable on a ship back then. Maybe, once they started mining, some used the ship to bring women to the island to live. I'm guessing Widmore is a direct decendent of Captain Hanso, thus Widmore's interest in the auction of the ship's log. The ship ends up in the center of the island in one of two ways:
a) They test the wheel and move the island a little, maybe a mile, putting it under the anchored Black Rock.
b) Smokey didn't like what these guys were doing and tossed the black rock inland to keep the crew from bringing more people to the island.

Either way, I think the Black Rock will explain the well that went down to the donkey wheel, where the donkey wheel came from, Hanso's interest in the island and the funding of Dharma, which was to further exploit the island's power. I think we'll also find that Jacob was a crew member who the decendents of the ship's crew still follow. And just to throw this out there, its not beyond speculating that the Black Rock crew were from the future and knew about the island and wanted to get there before Dharma to exploit the energy, get rich, change the future, etc. None of this explains RA, who I think has a longer history with the island, going back to Egypt and their gods. Maybe we'll learn a little more tonight.

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 6, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

bevjims1: I think it is unlikely that Richard Alpert comes from the future, because when talking to John Locke in 1954 Richard seemed unaware about time traveling. He also didn't know anything about John Locke in that opportunity. Perhaps that could be explained if Richard Alpert came from the future but now is trapped in the past and is forced to live it sequentially, without jumps.

I tend to think that the "dead" characters that we see at least on the island (Christian, Locke, Ben after being shot as a boy, perhaps Clare) have been reincarnated in their own bodies, but their souls have been hardened ("otherized"); they are not kind or understanding. This can't explain the aparition of Cristian to Jack in LA, unfortunately.

One interesting observation is that the "dead" people that we see on the screen are not hurt (they do not show wounds). I wonder how Mr. Eko looks to Hurley.

Posted by: for33 | May 6, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Have you noticed that everyone that we know was BORN on the island has also DIED on the island? Ethan, Charlotte, Alex, Karl, who else? Perhaps this is why Miles was sent away, why Claire doesn't want Aaron to return, and why Eloise painfully instructed Daniel to go back. She didn't know that she would shoot him, but she knew that he would die there.

Also note that everyone is trying to alter fate by keeping their kids from returning/dying, but in the end they keep dying anyway. So, I agree with other posters: Daniel hoped, but was wrong, that he could change what's happened.

I haven't read all the posts, so apologies if someone said this already. Poke holes at will. I'm sure I've forgotten something that contradicts this theory.

Posted by: NoraFBone | May 6, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Alpert is from the future. I think he's an egyptian god whose been on the island for thousands of years. I'm thinking that people from the future, who know the island, went into the past to the 1800s, like our Lostees were able to do getting to 1974, obtained the Black Rock (somehow) and mining equipment, and slaves, and went to the island, dug the well, installed the wheel, and used time travel to get rich. That would be Hanso and most likely others. The ship became stranded somehow in the middle of the island and ended up living on the island, with Charles, Ellie, and the Others are their decendants.

Now, I'm not convinced this is what happened, but if our Lostees could go back to 1974, why couldn't someone else have gone back further? The Black Rock had slaves, mining equipment and dynamite, stuff not normally carried on a slave ship, well, except the slaves.

NoraFBone wrote: "Have you noticed that everyone that we know was BORN on the island has also DIED on the island? Ethan, Charlotte, Alex, Karl, who else?"

Hmmm, an interesting idea but I don't think we have enough people who we know were born on the island and then died to be sure, especially when you consider all the people who have died on the island. But it would explain a lot, including why Ben can't kill Widmore and visa versa, but could kill Penny (in theory) since she was not born on the island. A good idea to keep in mind. Thanks for it!

Posted by: bevjims1 | May 6, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

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