“They crawled into a forest like the big, unlucky mammals they were.” Slaughterhouse-Five
Super-Duper Brief Recap
Season 5 Episode 14 “The Variable”- Desmond fights for his life and Mrs. Hawking haunts Penny in the hospital waiting room. Hawking is appalled at the erroneous notion that Benny is her son. Still, we may soon find out that she does have a child named Penny. Daniel inspires the return of Sawyer’s cute nicknames, such as “Twitchy” and “H.G. Wells.” According to Miles, Daniel is crazy on a ‘whole new level now,’ which he seems to prove by crying throughout 76 percent of his episode…just like Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five. Sometimes, being ‘un-stuck in time’ is completely un-awesome.
One Night in 1977…
Daniel has been hunkered down in Ann Arbor re-reading his journal and playing with numbers, coordinates and such, but returns to the Island to shake things up a bit.
He drops in with a solid four hours to spare before the, um…Incident.
Daniel thinks Jack is still in charge and storms his cabin, only to find out that he is wrong and Jack is not at all in charge, but that he is quite sleepy.
Daniel then reveals his Mommy issues.
He tells Jack that he’s heard his mother’s whole “destiny” schpiel before, and that all of this “meant to be back on the Island” stuff she’s been spewing, is bunk…
Jack wishes he were still asleep, dreaming of ‘something nice back home…’
The Scientist and The Video Star
Well, that clarifies that…
Daniel runs off to The Orchid with Miles in tow, and suddenly that bizarre-o scene from the S5 premiere is played out allover again, but this time, in far more comprehensible fashion.
Pierre and Daniel face-off, and Daniel instructs Pierre to immediately evacuate the Island.
He warns of the impending Incident
Pierre is super doubtful, which prompts Danny to offer up the fact that he’s ‘from the future.’
Seriously, when are we going to understand that positing this notion really gets us nowhere and also corroborates the idea that we actually are certifiably insane and should be delivered to the torturer dude in the tent, poste-haste?
In a wld turn of events (insert sarcasm here,) the “I’m a time traveler” nonsense fails to impress, Daniel tells Chang that Miles is his son; a charge which Miles promptly denies. When Daniel gets cagey with any real explanations other than, “he’s Chinese and his name is Miles,” Pierre is officially done with Daniel.
WTF, Miles? Why’d you do Danny dirty like that?
“There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.” Tennessee Williams
Daniel is a gifted pianist with a hell of a memory, but Mama Ellie is obsessed with nurturing Daniel’s ‘real’ gifts and assisting him in fulfilling his destiny. She believes that there is simply not ‘time’ to properly cultivate both, so she unceremoniously bans the piano and sets about seeing to it that destiny has Danny’s undivided attention. Daniel is displeased.
He believes that he can “make time.” Uh-huh…
There’s a Monster in the Closet…
Phil reminds me of one of those people in high school who soooo wanted to hang with the popular kids, but the first time someone cut class or lit a cigarette in the bathroom, he’d run off and promptly alert the powers that be…
Phil should be so lucky…
See, in Phil’s case, he gets his ass beat by the popular kid and his girlfriend, and then finds himself bound and gagged in a closet. He doesn’t quite make it to the authorities.
This totally sucks for Phil.
Needless to say, Sawyer is too busy dealing with Unibrow (who is still harbouring the illicit footage from the Deliverance of Baby-Ben) to be uber-concerned with the return of Boy Wonder, Daniel.
However, when Daniel busts in on the mini-Town Hall meeting Sawyer is conducting, and insists that he needs to find the Others, because Ellie is the “only person who can get them back to where they are supposed to be,” Sawyer is suddenly forced to reckon not only with Whiz Kid, but with Jack, too.
Oh yes, Jack is most certainly back.
“Letting all the people know, that I’m back to run the show” Mark Morrison “Return of the Mack”
Sorry for the obscure, mid-90’s, one hit wonder musical reference, but seriously, Daniel seems to have reminded Jack how good it feels for people to look to him for answers. Jack is so over living in the shadow of Sawyer’s statue.
Really, Jack couldn’t just eat waffles and janitor-ize forever. He’s a leader, dammit!
Indeed, the moment Daniel starts preaching about finding the Hostiles/ Others, Jack’s all in. He’s jonesing for adventure.
He turns to Kate for back up and attaches himself firmly to her Achilles heel (that whole Aaron debacle,) and suggests that whatever she came back for is probably ‘out there’ rather than here, in 1977. Sawyer suddenly gets all nervous that “Freckles” may be itching for a romp with Jack through the Jungle and asks her to come with them.
Juliet can imagine nothing worse than losing another man to our fickle freckled friend, and promptly tells Kate the code to the sonic gamma-ray fence and instructs she and Jack to buzz off.
But not before Daniel goes all creepy-pedophile on young-Charlotte, who reiterates that she’s not allowed to have chocolate before dinner. This is not new news, as she mentioned it just before succumbing to the final flash through time, but it’s nice to see that those seemingly nonsensical ramblings weren’t all for naught.
He turns on the water works again, scaring the beejeezsus out of mini-Charlotte, and makes her promise to leave the Island when Dr. Chang instructs them to get on the submarine.
He then dashes off to meet his homies at the motor pool locker, just in time to reenact the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
I have so missed the gunfights of earlier seasons.
Don’t get me wrong, poison darts are rad, but sometimes a good old-fashioned showdown with guns and ammo just feels necessary. Plus, Radzinsky is so irksome to me, that I encourage any and all encounters between he and deadly weapons. That was mean. Sorry.
Danny takes a bullet to the neck (just a flesh wound) and the Three Amigos take off in the Jeep.
Mummy and Daddy Dearest…
I once read that Tiger Woods father was very ‘anti-relationship’ for the bulk of his prodigal son’s life. He believed that Tiger would lose focus and never reach his full potential if he got involved with some hussy a lady-friend.
Based on Eloise’s reaction to Theresa, I’d say she also subscribes to this ideal.
Daniel has wild hair and is totally channeling Teen Wolf as he eats a tense lunch with Ellie, who actually shows some emotion and is visibly shaken when Daniel throws in his “Widmore is my benefactor” revelation. She gives Danny that dang journal he’s always writing in, and then runs off to make destiny happen, elsewhere.
Flash forward to the continuation of our first-ever Daniel Faraday encounter back in S4’s “Confirmed Dead.” This time we witness Charles Widmore (and Faraday father,) visiting an emotionally distraught Daniel and copping to that whole gnarly “I put that faux plane on the ocean floor,” situation. This seems rather bold on Widmore’s part, but he assures us that it’s cool because Daniel won’t remember any of this tomorrow. He then promises all kinds of soul healing and answers to Danny’s myriad questions, if he accepts this new opportunity and agrees to explore the Majickal Island. Something about Widmore’s tone and the nature of these promises is super-reminiscent of Bram’s ill-advised method of appealing to Miles, when he attempts to draft him onto Team Ilanna.
Still, this tactic proves oodles more successful with Daniel, for it only takes a slight bit of coercion from Eloise, and Daniel dries his tears, tucks away his feelings of ineptitude, and hops aboard the Kahana. Destiny calls…
“We’re Off to See the Wizard…”
Jack fixes Danny and Kate fixes the fence.
Daniel has some fun with repetition, and he hits Jack with Miles old “any one of us can die,” line.
Meanwhile, Radzinski gets Jules and Sawyer in compromising positions, but totally not the fun kind…
Back at the Jeep, Daniel explains that the Incident, or the first link in the chain of events that will eventually bring 815 to the Island, is about to happen. The past is about to start becoming an inevitable future. In about 4 hours…
Jack and Kate think longingly back to a space in time when baby thievery was their biggest worry. Jack even (momentarily) misses John Locke.
This is when Daniel verbalizes that he’s had an epiphany. That he’s been so focused on the idea of “constants” that he’d disregarded the “variables.” Danny is done with the Gospel according to Eloise, and is over this antiquated Destiny nonsense. Faraday is suddenly pro-free will and he believes that destiny CAN be changed! He claims they have the power to switch the course of events and the 815 may land as planned, in Los Angeles.
Will Kate and Jack et al, want to change everything? Will they be tempted to re-do the whole thing and go on as ‘normal’? Never meeting? Never knowing? Could that be? Or would they maybe change the course of history up until a certain pont, but never leave the Island? Would it be too late by then? Sorry for the barrage of questions, but this is exactly what was occurring in my head as we went to commercial break and my partners in LOST-viewing, debate the merits of the entire series finale ending with the plane landing in LA right on schedule, and everyone walking away to fulfill their other realities. Their alterna-destinies, or whatever…
My cohorts think it’s sort of interesting, but I wholly disagree.
I intensely dislike this idea…I hate it, even.
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Please, this proverbial “snow globe” shit didn’t work for St. Elsewhere; it will most certainly NOT work for LOST! It’s too much for the human soul to handle; this attaching oneself to fictitious characters for years, only to be rewarded with the whole darn thing never taking place at all.
No way. Please don’t let it go there…
It’s All So Parent Trap…
Okay, before everyone gets all hot and bothered about my “Eloise could be Penny’s mother” idea, yes, I am aware that Ben specifically charged that Charles “had a child with an outsider,” and that this was part of the reason he was banished from the Island. And no, Ellie is not an outsider. However…
A) Since when is Ben’s word bond?
B) Maybe Ellie and Charles split the kids, each agreeing to raise one and not speak of or to the other (hey, that’s what happened in the Parent Trap…)
C) Ellie looked a lot like Penny during her mid-70’s days as an Hostile/ Other…
D) Charles was handsome enough, could the child Ben referred to have been yet another child with another woman…one who really was an ‘outsider?’
Anyway, back in the hospital, Ellie echoes to Penny, the very words Charles spoke to Desmond earlier this season in “Jughead.”
She tells Penny that Des is but a casualty in a chain of events that is ”much larger than he.”
This means something. I’m sure of it…
As an aside, while Ellie and Charles are civil to one another, it seems they are on opposing teams. Ellie worked with Ben and preaches destiny and Charles seems more than a mite anti-Ben and pro-entitlement (as in, “It’s MY Island, Benjamin…”)
But perhaps Ellie was merely using Ben to get the O6 back to the Island, and she was always on Widmore’s payroll…
“I Come in Peace, Take Me to Your Leader”
Danny infiltrates the Others camp. He lets his presence be known by shooting up the joint. Apparently, Daniel’s genius extends to firearms, as well. He hath gone from “beginner gun” to common terrorist in less than 40 minutes. Astounding.
Richard registers slight recognition circa 1954, but Daniel has no time (Thank God) to explain how they met in the past and that he’s from the future.
He wants only to see Eloise.
Which he will…moments later…
As he lies dying of the gunshot wound that Ellie has inflicted on him.
On her very own child… which certainly explains her hesitancy to sympathize with Charles having to ‘sacrifice his relationship with his daughter…’
Ellie 1977 may not have known that she was killing her son, but Eloise circa 2004 sure knew what would happen…
So it seems (for now, anyway), that destiny has eaten Daniel’s variable.
“As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” Henry David Thoreau