Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lost Season Five: Episode 14

Here's what I knew about this week's episode before it aired: it would centre on Daniel Farraday, it was titled 'The Variable' (you don't need a degree in math to figure out its connection to 'The Constant') Desmond would appear and it was Lost's 100th episode. When it comes to Lost, I prefer hyperbole, but for once let me be understated and say that I was kind of excited.

No surprises that Jeremy Davies was brilliant; 'Twitchy' has been a revalation since he joined the show. But I particularly loved Eloise Hawking, especially the second time I saw the episode. And 'The Variable' is an episode that particularly rewards repeated viewings. Already knowing that she will shoot (kill?) her son, allows us to feel her pain and gives much-needed context and poignancy to what seems like another typically (for Lost) bitchy and hard-headed, maybe even evil, parent.

- Let's get the most obvious question out of the way. Is Daniel Farraday dead? Now, on Lost I refuse to believe that anyone is dead until he/she has been buried (and in the case of Nikki and Paolo even that wasn't enough) but I don't think Farraday is going to make it. The guy was going to violate the very rule he articulated: what hapenned, happened. He's got to pay the price for messing with the Island in that way. And to be more practical about it, Jack (remember him) is unfortunately the star of the show and with the finale just two weeks away he's got to do most of the heavy lifting.

- My guess is that the heavy lifting Jack will be doing is detonating the hydrogen bomb. And how does a show up the ante for its final season after exploding a friggin H-bomb? On a related note, it must be wonderful to be Matthew Fox. You get paid more than anyone else on the show and barely have any work to do. No wonder he looks so contented and at peace with himself.

- I'll be the first to admit that I cry a bit too easily but man Daniel's scene with little Charlotte was heartbreaking and may have caused my eyes to moisten just a little bit. I liked how she repeated her last line before dying: "I can't have chocolate before dinner."

- In the first Daniel flashback, when his mother tells him he will have to give up the piano because he won't have enough time to play, he replies, "I'll make time." Hahahha. Nice bit of foreshadowing.

- So, Charles Widmore is Daniel's father. That would make Daniel Penelope's brother, Desmond's brother-in-law and Charlie's uncle. Can anyone point me to a flow chart that explains all the relationships on this show in one easy diagram?

- Best line of the night: Daniel asking Kate if there were any guns for beginners. Close runner-up: "Your mother is an Other." Or even "I got shot by a physicist." For such an intense episode, there were lots of funny moments.

- I loved how quickly Juliet gave Kate the code for the sonic fence after Sawyer called her Freckles.

- I still refuse to believe that Pierre Chang doesn't know that Miles is his son. There's something deeper going on with Chang and I hope we find out soon enough what it is.

- You would think that a group of people who had crashed on an island would be able to stay united because of their shared experience. But yet again we have another split. I'm guessing this is the 393421st time this has hapenned.

- If you know were going to (had?) shoot your son on the Island, wouldn't you try to stop him from going there. Yet, Eloise Hawking pushes her son into accepting Widmore's assignment. Every character on this show has an agenda, but we don't yet know what her's is.

- Eloise Hawking telling Penny that, for the first time, she doesn't know what's happening was quite chilling. Hawking is generally a very cold character and expressing her vulnerability in that scene made me feel that everyone is up against forces that are too evil too comprehend. Certainly far more evil than Ben, who increasingly seems like a pawn in the Island's game and not a mastermind.

- Over the past five years, I've taken it for granted that Lost will always be on the air. But there are only 20 episodes left. And congratulations to Lost on its 100th episode. It's really quite staggering that a show this thematically rich, daring and obtuse could last so long on network television.


Anonymous said...

I am addicted to this show. Excellent post! Summarized the episode really well.

Sehr Langsaam said...

You should have opened this piece with 'SPOILER ALERT'
thanks :-)

supe said...

oh sh-t! so miles wasn't widmore's agent but farraday was? and also his illegitimate son? wow!

''your mother was an other.''
haha! yet another sawyer classic.

i was a little flabbergasted with this episode overall.
don't quite know what to make of it.
except that it was great to see those small glimpses of brother desmond.

i can see dr chang mulling over miles as his-son-from-the-future notion (he's a scientist, of course he'll be intrigued), leading to him joining forces with lefleur's gang to work against the hydrogen bomb.

kate and jack will be held hostage by the others during this time, during which they'll have a lover's tiff and resume sulking at each other.

can't believe jack's paid the most! rich assholes aren't human.

NB said...

Few points:

1. Clearly there are no variables, and the futures as fixed as the past. Matrix Causality! (I am a big fat nerd.)

2. Bubs, I have to disagree i thought Eloise was awful. She sounded like she was giving Faraday sinister elocution lessons throughout the whole episode. I know shes supposed to be cold, but her personality came across as flat, and slightly contrived.

3. I was disappointed but amused that Lost went for the whole 'shoot the fuel barrel it will explode' bullshit. If you shoot a barrel of petrol, it will just leak.

bubs said...

Sehr: Sorry about that. I guess I just assumed everyone who saw the title would assume I'm discussing the episode.

Supe: I'm still waiting for Desmond to get back to the Island, hopefully with Penny and maybe even Charlie. I really don't want to see a Jack-Kate romance; there are only 20 episodes left and that would just waste too much time.

NB: Agreed on the variables. More than The Matrix, I think Lost is following the 12 Monkeys rule of time travel. And in the case of Desmond after his exposure to the electromagnetic energy, it was like Slaughterhouse-Five.
I loved Eloise. I thought she had the schoolmarmish thing down pat. You always sensed she knew more than she was letting on. The only thing I only about fuel barrels comes from movies and tv, so I just assumed that's what happens.

Kalsoom said...

I too was puzzled why Eloise pushed Farraday to go back to the island when she knows she kills him in the past (his future) - is it because she wants redemption, praying Farraday will somehow do things diff and she won't kill him? It seems that while people are the variables in Lost time travel, history does continue to repeat itself. It seems that Farraday's theory of variability hasn't been proven yet, so it'll be interesting to see what happens in the next episode.