LOST: Constant and Variable

Let me just start this post by saying SPOILER ALERT! I’ll be talking about the latest episode, and if you haven’t seen it, don’t read this until you have.

I thought about calling this post “We’re All Special”, since it seems that Daniel Faraday has reached the conclusion that it is not only Desmond to whom “the rules do not apply”, but all of us can change our destinies. We are “the variables”. What remains to be seen is whether and to what extent our attempts to change our destinies can win out against the constants. Life arises from a combination of law and chaos, leaving room for order without absolute fixity.

For a recap of the episode, or just because they are so hilariously entertaining, watch the latest episode of Lost Untangled. I’ll discuss the details of the episode (with more significant spoilers as well as some speculation) below that.


The latest episode, “The Variable”, has perhaps allowed us to surmise a lot more about what has been going on on LOST than any other episode so far. Why did Charles and Eloise leave the island? Charles was expelled, but he had apparently already been off it. It seems quite likely that the death of their son Daniel may have been a key factor. The major question now is whether they are working based on the belief that “whatever happened, happened”, or whether they are trying to change the past (and thus also the future), or whether they are working separately out of different views on this matter.

I think, despite appearances to the contrary, Eloise Hawking was telling the truth when she said that she is indeed trying to help her son. Although Daniel believes that the Oceanic survivors aren’t supposed to be in the 1970s, perhaps the reason Eloise works to make sure Desmond goes to the island and pushes the button, and the Oceanic Six return to the island, is a belief that by doing so she can indeed save her son. Note that Eloise gave Daniel the journal – the one with all his notes, the one that will allow the Oceanic survivors to try to implement Daniel’s plan even though he died.

This leads me to speculate further about the identity of Jacob – speculation that isn’t at all incompatible with some of my previous speculation on the subject. What if Jacob is Daniel Faraday’s son, or at least descendant? Perhaps the reason he is in a sort of “limbo” state is that he is doing a “Marty McFly”. And perhaps Michael’s statements about Walt set the stage for what we’re seeing now: we’d do anything to save our children, and what we’re witnessing is either collaboration or competition between various individuals determined to save their children: Eloise Hawking, Christian Shepherd, Charles Widmore, Desmond and Penny Hume, and perhaps even Daniel Faraday, the mysterious Jacob, and even Benjamin Linus.

But I think the most important clue we’ve been given is in Daniel Faraday’s behavior. He specifically wanted to take guns and have a gun himself when he went to see his mother. He acted in a threatening way untypical of himself. He knew his mother was on the island among the “hostiles” – when did he find this out? My guess is that Daniel Faraday went to find the “Others” knowing full well what would happen to him, and believing that it was necessary in order to get his mother to act to change what would happen. Perhaps it takes something big to really change the past, or the future. Something the temporal, emotional and/or historical equivalent of a hydrogen bomb.

These are some of my speculations thus far. I still have no idea who Man #2 in the season finale is going to be, but you can click here if you want to see the actor who will play him. Perhaps a younger Frank Lapidus?

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14247799389009268470 James Pate

    I was wondering myself why Eloise didn’t tell Faraday not to point a gun at Richard when he went back, since that’s why made her younger self shoot him. If the sacrifice was necessary, I wonder why it was necessary.

  • http://analyticangles.wordpress.com Matthew A

    I thought that Daniel actually believed what he was saying (that humans are the variables) and fate or time or whatever proved him wrong when he died. It seemed to me that when he was shot he realized the true nature of the situation, his mother raised him the way she did so that he could go back in time and die by her hand. My thought was that his mother in the future knew what was going to happen to him in the past (hence the exchange with Widmore at the hospital about sacrifice).I suspect that the Others (especially those in the future) may know more about the time paradox than what they let on. Maybe they need to continue to keep this time paradox perpetuating to keep the universe from ending (though I can’t imagine why the universe would end if you fixed this whole time mess).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05889656658972765267 Sl9dge

    I think (and I guess I’m the only one) that Faraday isn’t dead… Because of the Comic Con video in which we can hear Faraday stopping Chang’s record while this one was actualy full knowing about future events and telling us what will happen. Didn’t you see this video ? It’s suggesting that Faraday have things to do on 1977’s DHARMA events, things that we didn’t see yet. That would explain why Eloise let Dan’ go to the island. But the fact that Dan’ survived the shot is obviously impossible…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05889656658972765267 Sl9dge

    OMFG ! I just realised something while reading my comment again ! Rememnber Little Ben’s shot ! oO !!! What if Faraday follows the same way ?! What if he becomes… AN OTHER !!!Due to the casting anouncements of the season finale, in which Faraday is absent, I think this point will be revealed in the 6th season…That would create many interesting points :- Maybe healing Daniel will block him in 1977 when the Past-Shift Team (Jack, Kate, LaFleur, Miles, etc…) return to their own time, the future. Then, Daniel is still in 1977 when they leave and become an other… What if we already met him in the first seasons, as an other, without knowing that it was in fact Daniel ? What if Daniel become… Jacob ?! Or, easier, another “other” that we met bu who was minor (I thought about Tom but this one is revealed gay in a flashback… And even without this, it sounds too confusing that Daniel become Tom)- Or, all simply, maybe healing Daniel and making him an “other” won’t block him into 1977. Perhaps he will simply go back to future and join the others n stil make sum cnfusin speekss with nu intresting knowledge frum teh others, lolBy the way, such an interesting episode, anyway…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02561146722461747647 James F. McGrath

    I don’t think Daniel will “become Jacob”, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Jacob is in fact Daniel’s son, and that Daniel’s “alive/dead” state is the reason he is in a sort of limbo.The comicon video seems pretty decisively to show that Daniel will be alive in the future. The question is whether that will be because he skipped to that point at some moment that we weren’t shown, or whether he wasn’t killed by his mother’s bullet, or whether he will be saved in the temple like Ben was, or whether someone else will change the future and thus save his life. That’s the beauty of this show. Even when we seem to know what will happen, we don’t know what will happen, or at least not how it will happen!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05889656658972765267 Sl9dge

    James : Yes you’re right about Jacob, but he can’t be Daniel’s son too, because of the simple fact that the others in 1977 are already leaded by Jacob (confirmed when Locke speak to Richard at the H-Bomb time) so he won’t become Jacob in 1977 and he won’t even have a son who will be Jacob.And Daniel won’t be saved thanks to someone that will change the future : Change the future, change anything, is IMPOSSIBLE. Even if it’s Desmond. Whatever happened, happened. Desmond is just amnesic/future viewer. That’s all =P but even Desmond can’t change the future ! That’s my point.