Lost – “The Variable”

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“The Variable”

“I tried to avoid telling you this. I didn’t think I could change things. But maybe I can.” -Daniel Faraday

I’m going to be honest with you. I didn’t love this episode. As the final “thud” resonated, telling us that the show, and Daniel for that matter, was over, my gut reaction was that it wasn’t a very good episode at all. The writing seemed forced, the pacing was horrible, and there were just too many characters that seemed, well, out of character.

On further inspection, the story was better than my initial reaction acknowledged. I was expecting a counterpoint to “The Constant”, one of the best episodes not only in the series, but possibly in television history. Instead, “The Variable” more closely resembled the “Greatest Hits” of Charlie Pace.

So, what was the overall gist of the episode? Was it that the Losties, and the Freighter Folk for that matter, are all pawns in a universal course correcting game of chess, being maneuvered by… well, who? Eloise Hawking? No, she seems as much a pawn in the game as all the rest at this point. Widmore? Same deal. He’s playing out his part as well.

No, I believe the two gamesmen, the chess playing duelists, are Jacob and an as yet unseen “man behind the curtain”.

A “bad twin” perhaps?

“Just like Adam and Eve. Said you’d set me free, you took me to the sky. I’d never been so high. You were my pills, you were my thrills. You were my hope baby, you were my smoke…You dropped a bomb on me.” ~The Gap Band

So what was Dan’s master plan to change everything? Why, Jughead of course. The supposedly uber-genius, if somewhat befuddled, Daniel Faraday was hellbent on unleashing nuclear fury by way of a hydrogen bomb right smack dab on top of the Swan. You’d think that his maniacal plan ended with a mommy delivered bullet (notice that nobody goes for a head-shot on this show… that could spell trouble if the ‘zombie season‘ becomes a reality), but don’t be so quick to jump to that conclusion. There’s another man on the island looking for his destined path… and his name is Jack Sheppard.

So, the idea is to nuke the Swan back into the Stone Age, so that there is no Swan, no button to push, therefore no Desmond to not push said button, which in turn leaves no crash of Flight 815.

Yeah right. I’m not buying it, and neither is Kate. But this is the road we’re on, kids. And Jack is going to pick up that gauntlet… I still think that Jughead is going to be exploded, though I now see that my big “The Incident” theory is off the mark… but just the same, da bomb is going to go off and set the stage for season six… the ramifications of which are going to be unexpected and far reaching.

“The music is reversible but Time is not. Turn back. Turn back. “ ~ ELO

“Mama, didn’t mean to make you cry. If I’m not back again this time tomorrow, carry on, carry on…as if nothing really matters.” ~Queen

So what did Dan accomplish other than play right into his mother’s plan? That would be nothing, I surmise. Whatever happened, happened… or, does planting the bomb dropping seed in Captain Jack set up The Variable he was so sure was now a possibility?

He was all about cultivating in this episode… from dropping a different sort of bomb on Pierre Change, not only about the troubled Swan construction, but that little nugget about Miles being his little boy all blown up… to carrying through with his doomsday message to little Charlotte.

Oh what a tangled web? Dan sure made a mess of things, not the least of which was him throwing a monkey-wrench into Sawyer and Juliet’s playhouse.

Sawyer always gets the best lines and Holloway delivers them perfectly, from “Your mother’s an Other?” to his pining remorse that everything was just peachy until Jack and Co. returned and messed everything up.

And kudos to Elizabeth Mitchell who had a great moment herself just after her man let a “Freckles” slip out. Her deadpan delivery of the fence codes was cold and vengeful. I loved it.

Alright… I have to give props to Hurley too. That Fonzie bit was hilarious.

I guess the writers didn’t completely drop the ball… Still, having a janitor, especially a new recruit be handed the keys to the gun cabinet was just about as contrived as things get.

I expect better…

“In my rear view mirror the sun is going down
Sinking behind bridges in the road
And I think of all the good things
That we have left undone
And I suffer premonitions
Confirm suspicions
Of the holocaust to come.”

~Pink Floyd

Next week we play “Follow the Leader”, the final episode before the explosive two hour finale of Season Five. A “holocaust to come”? Maybe, but also a rebirth perhaps, a new direction for the show as we bravely stride toward the end of one of the greatest series in television history.

A final piece of advice to our time-beleaguered castaways, especially to James Ford-Sawyer-LaFleur… aim for the head, my friend. Aim for the freaking head.

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2 Responses to “Lost – “The Variable””

  1. AlKilyu Says:

    I misread your last theory, and thought you meant the show ending not the season ending.

    At this particular moment I don’t know 100% of what will happen, but knowing what I just found out, then re-reading your last theory, you either have an inside source or have ‘House’ and ‘Monk’-esc mental abilities.

    Not spoiling anything, because I don’t know exactly what happens yet, but there are two endings, both of which are said to have us wondering how the show can go on after it.

    • cairnwood Says:

      Well, I’m still watching closely to see just how right I get it. I’m more convinced now than ever that everybody dies at the end of the season… and I know there have been rumors that someone’s been cast as Jacob, but I’m thinking that’s a red herring, leading us from the fact that Jacob id Jack…

      We’ll have to wait and see…

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