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Exploring an Epiphany: Faraday & Charlie, Through the Looking Glass

By JOpinionated,

  Filed under: Lost, Lost Featured, Lost Theories
  Comments: 28


After watching The Variable three times, and paying special attention to the significant ‘destiny’ references, I experienced an epiphany that I believe to be plausible given the time travel we’ve witnessed this season.

We now know that Daniel Faraday is a talented musician, a piano prodigy.  My theory is that Faraday programmed The Looking Glass station security code.


We don’t know exactly when The Looking Glass station was constructed, but we know it existed in 1977 (Namaste). Faraday was stuck in time in 1974 after one of the island’s time shifts, but we do not know when he left for Ann Arbor before returning on the sub in 1977. So it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Faraday programmed that station’s security mechanism with a song at some point during that era, especially if he KNEW that it would alter (but not change) the destiny of the 815 survivors.


In The Variable, Faraday’s mother Eloise Hawking told him that destiny “means that if one has a special gift, it must be nurtured.” She was also quite adamant that her son disregard his musical skills and personal relationships to focus on science and mathematics, but he argued that he “can make time” for all of his interests. Perhaps he did just that on the island, combining his many talents to program the security code using a song.

Faraday told Jack in The Variable that “We make choices. We have free will. We can change our destiny.” In the Season 3 finale Through The Looking Glass, Charlie reminded Desmond that “you said it’s my destiny to turn off that jammer.” Charlie made a choice to sacrifice himself so that his friends would be rescued, and he was only able to fulfill his destiny because Faraday designed the musical code.


It is striking to me how both Charlie and Desmond eventually affect the destiny of everyone on that island by simply flipping a switch and pressing a button, and perhaps gives credence to my theory about the early level of involvement by both Faraday (The Looking Glass) and his mother Hawking (The Swan). Let’s revisit the following:

Desmond (Greatest Hits): “You’re inside a hatch. It’s a room full of equipment. There’s a blinking yellow light and switch. You flick the switch, the light goes off and then you drown.” Charlie: “So, before I drown, I just have to flip a switch.”

Charlie (Through the Looking Glass): “I just turn off your little jammer and the helicopters come and rescue all my friends.” Bonnie: “But if this station floods, what happens to you?” Charlie: “I die.”

Eloise Hawking (Flashes Before Your Eyes): “Breaking her heart is what drives you in a few short years from now to enter that sailing race, to prove her father wrong, which brings you to the island where you spend the next three years of your life entering numbers into the computer until you are forced to turn that failsafe key. And if you don’t do those things, Desmond David Hume, every single one of us is dead.”

Faraday (The Variable): “The Dharma folks at the Swan site, they’re gonna drill into the ground and accidentally tap into a massive pocket of energy. The result of the release of this energy would be catastrophic. So in order to contain it, they’re going to have to cement the area in, like Chernobyl. And this containment, the place they built over it…I believe you called it the hatch, the Swan hatch? Because of this one accident, these people are going to spend the next 20 years keeping that energy at bay, by pressing a button; a button that your friend Desmond will one day fail to push, and that will cause your plane, Oceanic 815, to crash on this island.”


Keeping in mind that Desmond is Faraday’s constant and that Desmond’s constant is Penny, Faraday’s half-sister….


Right before meeting Faraday’s mother Eloise for the first time in 1996 during Flashes Before Your Eyes in Season 3, Desmond ran into Charlie in London outside of Widmore Industries (owned and run by Faraday’s father Charles Widmore). Charlie is singing Wonderwall by Oasis, “maybe you’re going to be the one who saves me…”


During their brief time together on the island, Desmond does save Charlie’s life on several occasions (the golf club as lightning rod, rescuing Clarie from drowning, saving Claire’s migrating bird, Rousseau’s arrow trap in the jungle). Desmond intended to take Charlie’s place by swimming down to The Looking Glass, but Charlie knocked him out and said “you and I both know you’re not supposed to take my place.”


So what does all of this have to do with Faraday programming the song in The Looking Glass?


Consider the following conversation between Faraday and Desmond in Because You Left (which took place before 815 crashed & long before Desmond met Charlie for the first time on the island); Desmond’s original vision of Claire and Aaron being rescued via helicopter, the very reason that Charlie chose to dive down to The Looking Glass station, is suddenly quite relevant:

Faraday: “You’re the only person who can help us, because Desmond, the rules don’t apply to you. You’re special. You’re uniquely and miraculously special.”

Desmond: “What are you talking about?”

Faraday: “If the helicopter somehow made it off the island, if you got home…”

Originally, I assumed that Faraday was referring to the freighter helicopter that the Oceanic 6 were on, but it is open for interpretation that Faraday knew about Desmond’s future vision that set off the series of events leading to Charlie’s actions in The Looking Glass.

In addition, I believe that the Easter egg featured in The Variable (the rabbit, which is literally THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS of Faraday’s mother) is a visual clue to this particular puzzle piece of Lost


Everything happens for a reason. Don’t mistake coincidence for fate. These are not merely Lost cliches; they are applicable mantras in the tangled web of possibilities that has been woven before our eager eyes over the last five seasons.

I realize that it requires a leap of faith to link these characters and events. Earlier this year I explored another path which would require fans of the show to suspend our disbelief even further; I dubbed it my Crazy Charlie Theory, and if you’re interested, it somewhat relates to this road less traveled.

Now that I have outlined the reasons why Faraday and fate have intertwined on the island, resulting at least in part with Charlie’s destiny decision to save his remaining 815 friends, I would love to hear what you think. I would only ask that if you strongly disagree with the general theory or any of the points outlined above, you express it constructively. Namaste!

[poll id=”25″]

From TVFrenzy:

  • Lost Mom of Four

    Wow…what a great theory! And the similarities between Daniel & Charlie (Uncle? & Nephew?)…You know I LOVE the “Crazy Charlie Theory”…

  • dolce

    Nice catch on the rabbit behind the wine/water glass. Or should I say through the glass?

    • docarzt

      Absolutely! Very nice.

  • Thor

    Interesting theory! But like all the other crazy theories having been proposed these last years, I don’t think all of this will happen.

    I’m really into Faraday making the good vibrations code, that makes perfect sense.

    “Originally, I assumed that Faraday was referring to the freighter helicopter that the Oceanic 6 were on, but it is open for interpretation that Faraday knew about Desmond’s future vision that set off the series of events leading to Charlie’s actions in The Looking Glass.”

    Faraday probably meant the freighter helicopter, but it really doesn’t matter what he meant. Whatever happened happened.. But like we’ve seen happen before on the show, sometimes characters express ‘subconscious’ thoughts (when Desmond tells Charlie that Claire will take off with the helicopter, pointing subconsciously to what Faraday said, information that he’s not supposed to fully remember until three years after leaving the island.)

    But some of this, the subconsciousness things.. it just makes it more complicated.

  • INawe

    Nice… i like all the connections you are making… (The rabbit rocks imho)

    Still the major question remains if the Losties…can eventually change something
    in their fate/destiny.

    I know there are 2 major “camps” contradicting each other whether that can happen or not.. And they are not only the fans of Lost…
    but the scientists-philosophers also!!!!

    Its Time Travelling 101 …
    after reading about it.. u get caught in a camp.. or not..

    So in a way both can happen.. (Its up to the Creators to choose)
    Either they cant change sh!t, (booooooring)
    or they change their future.!..!(wow)..

    So I think they change something and get out of that causal loop..
    And i believe that the dogmatic “Whatever Happened, Happened”
    has a meaning past through it that most fans dont notice.
    WHH refers to our losties past AND FUTURE..
    ..since they are in the present for them now.

    That said i cant imagine Faraday being wrong..and his death for nothing..
    I suspect that Faraday “left” something (did something) before he dies that will
    hopefully make him a fighter variable and not a doomed constant..

    I mean, in the myth of Lost, if a scientist(son of two of the highest rank Others) who’s whole life has being dedicated into studying time-traveling and its properties..specially on the “Island”
    If he cant change something…then bollox..

    I am waiting and watching the show….Inawe


    This is the longer post i have ever posted on the net… Lost did that to me..
    And has also fried my brain with time traveling theories..

    • Thor

      Right now I’m just going with the WHH, because that’s what they’ve been saying this whole season. And it would be cheesy to change that concept now..

      Both Faraday and Jack is desperate these days, and so they think they can save the world, which they can’t. But sure, they shaped whatever happened, and whatever happened is now their present. So whatever they do, just whatever, things will go down..

    • Charlie’s Ghost

      so, INawe, are you on board with JOpiniated’s theory or not?

  • yeah yeah… the easter egg is very impressive… nice one

  • Wow! I am seriously blown away! I’m speechless about the whole post…seriously. Great theories, epiphanies, revelations, findings, etc., etc. But I’ve gotta know, how did you catch that rabbit in the glass?

  • INawe

    I think its quite possible now that Daniel programmed the Looking Glass security..
    Also that most likely the key to all this are Daniel Desmond and Charlie, because they are crucial to the events that are taking place…or “will” take place..

    As for the Swan talk between Daniel and Desmond..well he was referring to the freighter helicopter the way i see it..
    But maybe thats not important..
    The swan talk scene with Des and Daniel is of most importance because its one of the events that Faraday has done and changed the past..(!)
    He created a new memory in (future)Desmond…a memory that was not there because it didnt happen..Well Daniel made it happen.. and without paradox..

    Another most important event was when Daniel send a message from the future to his past self also through Desmond…Solving his time-travelling maze experiment..
    Changing the past for the second time..
    Daniel gave his past self the correct “variables” for the maze experiment.

    Something very interesting as well is when Desmond meets Faraday in 1996 and tells him he is from the future and that Daniel him self send him….
    …Daniels reaction was that it was a prank from his colleagues.. and says exactly: “Time paradox… …soooooo uninspiring.”

    Im awaiting for tomorrow’s broadcast.. INawe

  • meems

    I hadn’t seen that rabbit in the glass. That’s really incredible.
    I agree that it would be perfectly logical for Faraday to have programmed the code. Didn’t the dialogue say something like, “It was programmed by a musician.”? That would make sense.

  • Andrew

    Re-reposting this comment because of the Charlie connection – see second to last paragraph.

    I had almost forgotten that “Desmond is my constant” could now not be addressed – unless that’s the point, and it will be.

    Just wild speculation and no clear idea on how it could possibly make any difference, but who knows where in his notebook it said that? Maybe the notebook isn’t even in any kind of chronological order? Maybe it’s something like all that business with the compass?

    My main point is it said “If anything goes wrong”. This could refer to the crazy experiments he was about to undertake, the poison gas shutoff mission, or the fact that he was coming to the island at all, but maybe it means that Daniel has a plan, and if whatever happens includes him dying, he has a way to make it unhappen. Or not happen. Or something.

    I also think it’s possible that the Desmond/Penny/Hawking hospital side story was included may be significant. I get that Hawking was important to the episode, but why do we need to even see Desmond if he’s not doing anything but recovering from a gunshot wound?

    And finally, I think it would bring a nice circularity to the storytelling that has been lacking a bit from this season. Desmond, though unable to save Charlie in season 3, gets a chance to save Daniel this season.

    This may all just be wishful thinking, but maybe there’s something to it. Thoughts?

    • INawe

      Well…the whole speculation you are making sounds pretty good..

      But there is only one problem..

      Cuse & Lindelof made it clear in a recent interview that..
      “Dead is Dead” regarding Faraday…

      • k

        yes but this is quite clearly not the case is it? locke…nuff said…

        seriously lindoff and cruse are like hot women they tease you…take you in for the ride…and before you know it your left in amazement… then sheer disappointment & the downfall…

        please do not let this happen cuse & lindeoff- be nice girlies with lost and the direction were heading- stop lying give us answers now you stinky buggers…:-)

        • Andrew

          i do think (shooting down my own speculation here) that they would want to stress the importance and specialness of locke’s recovery, however, so we probably won’t be seeing lots of corpses popping back up. until the alleged 7th “zombie” season, that is.

          also, it seems to me that for a season set into “answers mode”, we haven’t actually gotten a ton. it it probably just because i was so used to telling people who criticized earlier seasons “yes, they do give little answers practically every episode, just not always major significant ones”. quality vs. quantity i suppose.

      • Andrew

        i know. it’s just this is the first crazy theory i’ve had this season. i had lots in previous seasons but this year’s episodes don’t allow so much leeway… the price of the show going into “answers mode” i guess.

    • Thor

      “Maybe the notebook isn’t even in any kind of chronological order?”

      I think it is. But my point is; Faraday lost his memory, even his short term memory! So when he landed on the island, that’s when he once again became ‘the smart guy’. Before that, he wasn’t. And as far as we have seen, this is more a guess, he probably didn’t go through the whole note book systematically after arriving at the island. But then he remembers Desmond, and he checks his notebook if it could be true, because it is pretty crazy..

      And then whoop, he (probably) remembers..

      • Andrew

        actually, regarding the notebook, until he opened it up i half expected it to already be filled out with the equations and such. but that is just too far from the “rules” as they have laid them out so far.

  • sabrina

    I was half convinced that somehow through all the time travel weirdness that Charlie was the musician who had managed to program the code in the Looking Glass. Faraday being the one to do it makes much more sense. Whew. And the rabbit in the glass?? What the..? Great catch! Thanks.

  • Adam

    Im just glad that someone mentioned Charlie. He died and his friends were’nt really rescued like Desmond said. Yeah Jack and the O6 got rescued but not really. Claire didnt get on a helicopter with Aaron. I just want them to justify his death a little more i guess. Yeah he enabled the freighter crew to find the island but to what end? Claire is MIA and Aaron is still on the mainland. I just don’t know. Good Post.

  • INawe

    Start talking Rabbits people..

    A Rabbit through the looking glass…
    For me that makes for a character inside a different reality-time that can not
    be seen or interact with the outside.. Sounds like Jacob ???
    Maybe… (but any other character could fit)
    Also the glass with the rabbit is Daniels.

    Oh and poster Adam mentioned Claire…
    The only reason i can think of Claire dissapearing, hanging out with Christian e.t.c and warning Kate not to ever bring Aaron back,
    is that Claire has met (a) future Aaron on the island and she didnt like it !!! Jacob anyone? ..maybe again…

    It all comes down to Following the Leader till the Incedent..
    Who’s the leader? Locke from what i understand..But how will everyone follow him?
    He is in a different time, after the Incident.
    So they either reunite before the Incident, or the Leader they will follow is someone else.. Jack perhaps?… now that he got his free will back? Dont Know..

    What does “The impossible gets Real” have to say to us here…

  • lostinnashville

    Love this and the crazy Charlie theory. Remember the psychic (Richard Malkin?) who warned Claire that Aaron should not be raised by another? An Other? If your theory about Charlie Hume is correct it looks like he is going to be raised by An Other himself. Like Ben, Daniel, Penny.

  • Charlie’s ghost

    This is an amazing theory and makes great sense. Only thing is now I have a hate on for Daniel since this would mean he is the one responsible for my Charlie dying. Why can’t ghost Charlie be walking around instead of ghost Christian????

  • chris

    Don’t mistake coincidence for fate? I think you mean Don’t mistake fate for coincidence?

  • Mark E.

    I’ve been thinking about Faraday’s meeting with Desmond a lot recently. There is something about that really bugs me and I can’t get rid of it. All I want to know is in what time period it takes place.

    I imagine that it must take place after Des makes the plane crash but before they find him. However, I don’t get why he is wearing the full bio-hazard suit when he knows it’s not dangerous. It has just been really annoying me. Anyone else?

    I like the theory that Charlie and Faraday are connected though.

  • Anyone else hope that if Daniel was the architect for the Looking Glass or simply at Dharma HQ for three years, that he installed a little cabinet that would light up when the room fills up with water saying “Charlie, open me” and out pops underwater breathing apparatus with instructions for him to find Jacob on the island..? Ok so I guess it’s just me (but it would be how I’d save Charlie if I were writing it. :)Of course this would mean that Hurley really is seeing hallucinations but I think I’d be OK with that to have Charlie back.

  • Windy

    I don’t know, Jo. You don’t have to be a classically trained musician to know Good Vibrations. Seems much more like Hurley’s kind of tune than Charlie’s.