The following is a recap of Lost Season 5 Episode 14 entitled â€œThe Variableâ€, originally airing April 29, 2009. If you read on, I will spoil that everyone on the show is the father of every other character on the show, and Darth Vader is everyone’s grandfather.
THIS FATHER-SON PICNIC IS GETTING CROWDED
We learned last week that Miles was officially Pierre Chang’s son, and learned earlier in the season that Charlotte’s parents were Dharmas and briefly raised her on the island, but this week’s dad-bombshell made the others look like the wussy “Michael was the man on the boat!” twist: Faraday is the son of Eloise Hawking and CHARLES WIDMORE (well-known sidenote: women love douchebags). This means that Faraday’s inclusion in the freighter party was only partially motivated by his skills but also partially motivated by his parents’ adorable desire to heal his aching mind (as long as he didn’t use it to play that gayass piano, right Mom? I’m pretty sure she calls it “gayass” in one of the deleted scenes.) It’s only a matter of time now before we learn that Frank Lapidus was the son of Richard Alpert and a polar bear, with Richard actually being the mother in some bizarre Junioresque flashback plot (season finale! Fork In The Outlet!) and Ben and Widmore are actually each other’s fathers and their incestuous baby together was the island. I give this a 50/50 chance of actually happening.
However, Eloise isn’t just Daniel’s regular ol’ piano-hating mother — she also has been foreseeing the future for quite some time now, including, shot-Faraday believes, an intentional decision to send him back to the island with the knowledge that he would die there. We’ve known that Eloise has had a grip on destiny since her cryptic encounter with Desmond in the jewelry store, but during Desmond’s hospitalization for his deflected-by-eggs gunshot wound, Eloise reveals to Penny that she’s experiencing difficulty seeing the future for the first time in a very long while. Does this mean that the Oceanic “Variables” in the past manage to accomplish something to change the course of destined events, thus blurring Eloise’s vision? But if the 70s events took place before the majority of Eloise’s future-seeing life, wouldn’t she retroactively have never seen the future?
In the words of this week’s wink-to-audience layman’s construction worker dude, “Time travel? How stupid does that guy J.J. Abrams think we are? J.J. Chang, I mean. No Pierre Chang, I mean, crap. Can we take that again?”
“You have to wear a hardhat down here” Daniel is told, because if earth-imploding electromagnetic energy is unexpectedly unleashed, you’re gonna want to protect your head with an inch of plastic — I’m counting on someone yelling a Radioactive Man style “my head!!! The hardhats do nothing!” if the explosion happens next week.
Daniel’s plan, he finally reveals after giving people really limited information then saying “I’ll be back in a minute” seventy times, is to counteract the impending release of electromagnetic energy from within the island by detonating the atomic bomb he told Alpert to bury; Faraday develops this uncharacteristically intrusive plan after undergoing an epiphany and realizing that even though the world’s destiny cannot be changed from the past, the outcome for individual humans, the “variables,” is actually alterable. The way he puts it, “I took into account the constants but not the variables! I’m a supreme ultra calculating whiz but forgot one of the TWO components of this equation! Ooopsie doopsie doo!” [Paraphrasing]
Now that Daniel has been shot by his own mother in the past (hooo-ey, that’s the Lost I know and love) and appears to be dead, the islanders are faced with a dilemma: carry out Daniel’s plan in his stead, or go back to trying to make due with the situation the best they can and stay alive without altering the future. Theoretically, a successful counteraction of the electromagnetic energy by the bomb would cause the Oceanic plane to have never crashed in the first place, thus erasing their experiences on the island — as my roommate put it, “If they pull this off, do my Lost DVDs just disappear.” The answer is yes.
Unfortunately, if we recall from Season One (remember back that far? “Johnny Angel” topped the pop charts, gasoline cost a nickel, and Lost was showing us how the lives of the Oceanic survivors on the island mirrored their past experiences…) all of the survivors are living pretty crappy lives before the crash, and they’re gonna have to think long and hard about whether they want to give up magical healing island fantasy in exchange for being a fugitive / cursed lottery winner / alcoholic doctor (Rose was about to become an alcoholic doctor, I mean). So basically, the last few episodes of the season are set up nicely with about 1,500 dilemmas, ranging from “should we do this?” to “how do we do this?” to “will Jack & Kate / Sawyer & Kate ever see each other again if this works?” to “will someone please shoot Radzinsky in his brain?”
The episode also tied up a couple loose ends; we flashed back to Faraday tearfully shaking while watching the news of the fake Oceanic remains being discovered, now knowing that his mind was essentially broken at the time and he was subconsciously aware of what he was eventually going to have to do. He was also a little upset because he knew that Charles Widmore always shows up to his house to talk about events on the news three seconds after he watches them.
Pierre Chang also let loose his own “God help us all,” meaning that he watched the same Jerry Bruckheimer trailer that Mrs. Hawking saw, and we also revisited Faraday’s conspicuous bumping into Dr. Chang underground (did Daniel pick his pocket) and widdle Charlotte’s delivery of the line “I’m not allowed to have chocolate before dinner,” thus repeating future Charlotte’s eventual last words. At this rate, Lost might actually tie up all its loose ends before the series finale, if the finale airs in 2038.
LOSTDS AND ENDS
– “You’re son is Benjamin Linus?” “GOOD LORD NO!” Eloise’s episode-opening exchange with Penny was a bit of a tip-off about the Widmore/Daniel blood connection, but if she’s actually on Widmore’s side and fake-helped Ben to get the Oceanics back to the island, does that mean Ben’s actually been had? How will the return of the Oceanics benefit Widmore? I imagine that’ll depend on whether or not they reverse the course of surviving human history, which should happen in the next episode or two.
— The pauses between the last-line bombshells and the commercial breaks were all SUPER long this week. The strings just kept getting higher and higher pitched until they entered “only dogs can hear it” territory; the music after the last line of the season is just gonna shatter every window and set off every car alarm within a three-mile radius of any tv sets, including ones that aren’t even tuned to Lost.
— Next episode opens with Sawyer saying “Get up, Twitchie, you crazy sonofabitch,” and Alpert answering, “Dude, not cool.”
— Was kid Charlotte from the Village of the Damned?
— I kept expecting Ben and Locke to just walk by in the background and wave to the camera.
— The code to the sonic fence is 141717 – I Googled it to see if there were any biblical implications or anything, and this page was the first Google result. Don’t click that unless you wish to have EVERY ANSWER OF LOST SPOILED FOR YOU IMMEDIATELY. It all makes so much sense now.
Episode thoughts, theories, predictions, observations, details, favorite lines, and satisfaction at the amount of actual things that happened last night — leave ‘em all in the comments!