514 – The Variable



I started getting very worried at about the halfway mark of this episode.  By that point it was clear that the flashbacks were going to cover Daniel’s whole life and solve every mystery about him.  The writers only do that when they are about to kill the character, examples: Shannon, Charlie, and Locke.

The writers had a rough time with this one.  They knew that we liked the character, and they knew that it would look like they were going to kill him.  First they gave him that superficial neck wound.   That lulled us into a false sense of security, we though ‘hey, Daniel’s OK, he’s not going to get killed in an ironic and tragic way!’  Unfortunately we were wrong.

The writers also attempted to offset the death by pretending that Desmond was going to die.  That was just a cheap shot.  Desmond was my first favorite character on the show.  After season 4 I downgraded him since he got his happy ending.  Daniel became my favorite.  In this episode they made us think that Desmond was going to die.  They tried to balance our grief over Daniel’s death by giving us relief because of Desmond’s recovery.  It wasn’t enough.

I don’t usually complain about Lost, it’s a great show, the best show on the air, but I’m going to do it tonight.  Don’t take it too seriously.  I’ll get over Daniel’s death, but at the moment I’m pissed.  If there’s one thing we learned from Heroes it’s that the original stars aren’t necessarily the best characters.  The Lost writers keep on killing the new characters they introduce.  First Libby and Ana Lucia, that was uncalled for and still angrifying.  Then Eko, I didn’t really care about this one, but it still serves to illustrate my point.  And then Nikki and Paulo, I’ll give them that one, they were badly introduced and generally hated.  Then Alex and Karl, these ones were at least guest stars, they were in a dangerous position.  Then Charlotte, then Caesar, then Abbadon (again a guest-star), and now Daniel.  If they have no intention of fully using these character then don’t introduce them, don’t write good characters.  Or… better yet, don’t kill them.  The only safe addition to the cast is Ben.  Juliet and Miles beware.  The original stars aren’t that good, I’d take Daniel, Charlotte, Miles, Libby, Ana Lucia even Nikki and Paulo over any of the original stars, especially ones like Jin, Sun, Sayid, Claire, Kate and Jack.

Despite all my bitterness I still have to admit that this episode was very well written and amazingly answer-filled.  9.5/10.0



-Daniel had a picture of Jack, Kate and Hurley in their class of ’77 picture.  Do they send those around like newsletters?

-So he was at Ann Arbour doing some research.  Great, that tells us nothing.

514-daniel-theresa-01-“I can make time”.  Was that the general goal of his research?   He was trying to send minds to the past, is that the same as gaining time?  I don’t think so, any time you gain with your present mind it lost by your past mind.

-Hey we get to see Daniel’s B-52 hair in motion.  Hilarious.  I never thought we’d see it in action, that wig looked so terrible in that photo that I thought it was only meant for still-life.

-I knew that he was getting more and more stable mentally on the Island, for some reason I don’t think I ever attributed that to the Island’s healing power,

514-daniel-03-“Something for a beginner.”  What a great line.

-“Will it make you proud of me?”  Look at that, the writers are widening out.  Now they’re introducing mommy issues.
(You could say that he has daddy issue too because of Widmore, but he’s not really aware of that jazz.)

-About Daniel’s issues with his mother, he says she was wrong to send Jack and co. back to the Island.  All she was doing was setting up history, you can hardly fault her with that.

-“Any one of us can die, Jack.”  That’s just makes me angry.  Sure I think Jack will die at some point, but when Daniel says that he’s the only vulnerable character nearby.  It’s not like Jack was going to die in the 100th episode.

514-daniel-04-Daniel’s journal is still pretty mysterious.  How did he have all the Dharma history written in it?  Before this episode I would have said he got it from his Mother, but she didn’t write anything in it.  Could he have wrote all that stuff down during his “condition” period, when he was forgetful?  Was he just spouting timeless knowledge (literally timeless)?  He seemed to recognize the Oceanic plane, I’m guess that was a flash of insight from his later life with those people.

-I guess Daniel doesn’t know the rules about guns on the Island.  Aiming a gun and making demands isn’t a good idea, that just gets you shot.


514-richard-01-I keep on wondering if Daniel forgot about Theresa, but it’s clear that he did.  It’s pretty sad, but he had no memory of her, so that bad impression we got of him from Theresa’s sister or care-taker wasn’t such a bad thing.


-Richard seemed more concerned this time when he had a gun in his face.  He did say, “he wasn’t going to shoot me”, but he still registered alarm when Daniel was facing him down.


-Charles asks, “Is he alright?”  about Desmond and when he hears that he is, he smiles and says, “good”.  I think the score is settled between those two.

-There was no threat to Desmond’s life, we all know it.  Here’s a terrible hypothetical, who would you rather see die, Desmond or Daniel.  That’s an incredibly rough choice for me.



-Wouldn’t Penny have been less shocked by hearing about Daniel’s mom?  That was the entire reason why they went to L.A. surely Desmond talked to Penny about that kind of stuff.

Ms. Hawking

-Penny, ‘You’re son is Benjamin Linus?”  “Lord, no!”  Apparently they’re not good friends.

514-eloise-ms-hawking-01-I think these actresses might try a little too hard to act like that original actress.  The older ladies accent is very specific, but that doesn’t mean she had to sound like that her entire life.

-“The women in your life will only end up hurt”.  Could she have known about Charlotte?  That would have been pretty impressive if she remembered Charlotte and her condition from the 50s.
She was mostly talking about herself though, which makes the episode significantly more depressing.

514-eloise-ms-hawking-02-Looking back on the way Ms. Hawking treated Daniel, it kinda makes sense…kinda.  She knew that he would die relatively young, so she pushed him to be successful, scientifically, so that he could live a “full life”.  It’s very tragic, but I guess she thought she was doing the best thing for him.  It probably would have been better if she let him live a happy life before his untimely death.  I want to think that she might have been trying to push him into finding a way to change the past, but that doesn’t seem likely.

-For a second I wondered if this Foreign Theory was true, but Ms. Hawking says “your daughter” to Widmore, and that connection would have almost no bearing on the the story.

514-mr-widmore-01Mr. Widmore

-Widmore says that he never met Daniel before he asked him to join the Freighter crew.  But we have no proof of that.  Daniel wouldn’t know the difference.

Widmore did plant the fake plane.  Mystery solved, and I was right!

-Charles got to L.A. pretty quick.  I wonder if he tried to find Ben.

-Widmore says that he was sending Daniel to the Island to research it, and to get healed.  Was he really sending him there to die?  Did he too know what was going to happen?  Perhaps he wanted to ease his suffering by letting him get healed and then die (pretty weak argument, I know).


-I wish Widmore had asked Ms. Hawking about Ben or the Oceanic 6.  I would have liked him to hear that she let them go back.  I think she used that confrontation to get away from him.


-No one told Hurley what happened during the time skips.  That’s awful.

-Hurley really wants to stay on the Island.  That’s good, from the way he was acting before he got on 316 it seemed like he was going to be difficult for a while.


-Hahahaha.  Awesome, Juliet’s moment was glorious.  I’m still torn about what she was doing there.  That’s what I love about the character, after all this time, I still can’t trust her.  Was she doing it to separate Sawyer and Kate?  Was she trying to get Kate killed by The Hostiles?  Or was she selflessly destroying her own life for Daniel’s cause?

-What do you think?  Was Juliet seflishly acting fast to get rid of Kate, or did she do it to unselfishly give up her happy little life?



-What a cute little accent (probably fake).  And Daniel was pretty creepy, I didn’t think he would be, but he was.

-I think that little girl looks quite a bit like the actress, good casting.


-I forgot about Phil.  That storyline seems so old.

-“Back at the beach.”  I’ve never loved the Beach, but I actually felt nostalgic when Sawyer mentioned it.

514-sawyer-juliet-01-Sawyer didn’t think that Daniel would ever come back to the Island, and he didn’t seem to thrilled about it.

-I think Sawyer was acting solely on Juliet’s behalf in this episode.  He wanted to make sure that she got what she wanted, and needed.  He tried to keep defend their lives in the Dharma camp until the end, and I doubt he did it for himself.  He gave up pretty easily once it was clear that Juliet was willing to give the lifestyle up.

-I knew it was a bad idea for Sawyer to punch Phil, he could have conned his way out of that pickle.


-Whoa, Daniel really threw a wrench in Miles’ life.  That was pretty uncalled for.  Miles really didn’t want to be outed as Pierre’s son, ever, and especially not like that.  You can see that he holds a grudge later when he gives Daniel the keys to the Jeep instead of driving them.

-Invented the DVD.  That’s the best Miles could come up with?


-There’s the Jack we know, taking over when it’s obviously a bad time.

-I think Jack trusts Daniel because he thinks their both Men of Science.

-How could Jack still not get this timeline thing?  Did he really think that since he’s in the past he’s invulnerable.


-Jin still thinks that Sun could be on the Island.


-Daniel didn’t record that video with Pierre.  That’s a little disappointing, but it would have thrown this episode way off.
After rewatching the episode I think there’s a chance that he did go to Pierre’s house after he visited Charlotte.  When he’s talking to Charlotte he still thinks that he can change Pierre’s mind, maybe he gives it one more shot and lets him record that video at the same time.

514-pierre-daniel-01-Daniel told Pierre to evacuate the Island, that’s not even possible.  How many people could get on the sub?  50, maybe.  Daniel waited too long to come back.

-Pierre believed that Miles was his son for a few seconds.  I think he wanted to believe it, in the end he didn’t, but let’s give it time (about an episode).

-What was Daniel trying to make Pierre do?  At first I thought he was trying to fulfill the past, set up history so it went just so, but after he explained his plan to Jack I wonder if he was just randomly trying to disrupt the timeline.  It seems a little arbitrary, telling Pierre he was from the future couldn’t really help him blow up Jughead.


-Of course Radzinsky is the one shooting the good guys.

-“I just got shot by a physicist.”  He says with disgust.  Great delivery of that line.

Flashes (what we know now):

Daniel’s Powers

I think that Daniel’s genius powers originated in the same way as Mile’s Powers.  I’ll probably add him to that theory.  What do you think?  Is daniel’s genius evidence of a Island superpower?  Did he receive his amazing mind from his life on the Island?  Or did he get his smarts from genetics, environment and all other kinds of natural means?

514-orchid-daniel-01Electromagnetic Energy

It’s the same energy under the Swan that is under the Orchid.  Interesting, that simplifies things.  I thought there was a difference.  But doesn’t that imply that The Swan had some sort of effect on time?

Science vs. Faith

It’s strange to realize that Daniel is on the Science side, sure he tries to be a man of faith, but he’s pretty sciency.  I’m still a little torn here.  He’s obviously a man of Science due to his Scientific background and knowledge.  But was he working against the Science view when he tried to change the past?

514-hostiles-camp-01The Hostiles

I’m surprised it took them until the end of the season to think about joining the Hostiles.  I expected that to happen halfway through the season.

The Swan

Daniel explained it all.  Nice to have it all out there in the open.  It wasn’t Jughead.
I no longer understand the order of construction.  I’m going to go through the sequence that I think it likely.  So they started building a tunnel to get to the energy, similar to the tunnel under the Orchid.  They got to the energy, tapped it and had to concrete it up.  They built the button and then built the Swan station around the button.  This allowed the button pusher to live in safety and comfort.  So the psychological testing theory is completely false.  For a while there it seemed like they built the psych test and then adapted it into the “saving the world” thing.
Suddenly the Dharma drops make a lot more sense.  Even though Dharma was purged from the Island they still had to support the person in The Swan so they sent them supplies.  Simple enough, not a surprising realization, but still important.

503-daniel-jughead-01The Incident

In case you didn’t know “The Incident” is the title of the finale.  Daniel describes the energy under The Swan as 30,000 times the power under The Orchid.  Surely that’s comparable to a Hydrogen bomb.  The Incident sounds threatening, but at the same time we know it doesn’t really blow up The Island or many of the people on the Island.
I’m betting that The Incident will blow our group back to the “present”.

desmond-will-be-my-constant“Desmond Hume Will Be My Constant”

So we never got the payoff of this little tidbit.  Daniel never needed his Constant.  I was hoping that Daniel would get unstuck in time this season.  Perhaps that’s what his “condition was.  I would have thought that the “condition” could have been healed simply by seeing Desmond, but The Island seems to be the cure.  Either way it’s disappointing that Daniel never needed Desmond again.

Whatever Happened…

Do we want none of the last five seasons to happen?  I don’t want it to go away, I love all the tradgedy and the adaptation these characters have had to do.  I want most of them to end up happily ever after but only after everything that’s happened, not without it.  What do you think?

514-eloise-ms-hawking-011The Third Party

I have an addition to make to my Third Party theory.  I think I now know Ms. Hawking’s goal.  She sent those people to the Island to find Jughead, which is in the shadow of the Statue, and they’re supposed to blow it up.  She wants to fulfill her sons dying request.  That could explain why they’re so crazy, they’re suicidal.  That also explains why they don’t want people to go to the Island, they don’t want people to die with them.

– Izi

18 Responses to “514 – The Variable”

  1. April 30, 2009 at 3:12 am

    That is an awesome theory you have about the third party. It would certainly redeem Ms. Hawking somewhat. Though she probably should’ve thought of something else before she sent him to his death.
    That whole story of Dan and his mother is utterly tragic.

    I keep on wondering if Daniel forgot about Theresa, but it’s clear that he did.
    Did they say this explicitely and did I somehow miss it? Or is it something you derived from the episode?

    • May 1, 2009 at 10:22 am

      No they they didn’t really say this. I guess I went out on a limb there. But doesn’t it seem likely, Theresa’s sister (that was her sister, right?) wondered why Daniel never came back, why he abandoned her. But if he was memoryless that makes sense, right? He couldn’t take care of himself, there’s no way he could take care of Theresa too.
      – izi

  2. April 30, 2009 at 6:11 am

    You forgot one major death that still pisses me off. Charlie. Great character that should have been kept, even if his sacrifice was for a great cause.

    Daniel vs. Desmond? Too tough to choose. I like them both for different reasons.

    So Widmore is the father of Penny and Daniel. Hawking is the mother of Daniel, but who is Penny’s mother? Someone we know?

    The Incident is what Pierre mentioned in the Swan video, right?

    And I still stand by my theory of Hawking being the leader of the Shadow of the Statue people. Just not sure why she is yet.

    • May 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

      I agree with Bones, sorry TK42ONE, I think it was Charlie’s time.
      I don’t think we know Penny’s mom yet, and it’s really not bothering me. For some reason this woman doesn’t seem important. Here’s an interesting/crazy thought, what if it’s Annie, wouldn’t that drive Ben crazy.
      – izi

  3. 5 Bones
    April 30, 2009 at 6:41 am

    I think there’s absolutely no way they can change the past. It would go against everything we’ve learned up to this point. I don’t know if Daniel was wrong or just didn’t do his theory correctly. I mean, Daniel is the one who came up with the rules we know in the first place, so it may make sense that they CAN change, but I don’t believe it. I think whatever they’re going to try to do from here on will actually be the incident, and they’re just fulfilling the cycle without realizing it.

    • May 1, 2009 at 10:57 am

      I agree with you and I hope you’re right, it seems as though they’re just going to be creating the Incident. But when you think about it all that we know about Time-Travel was told to us by Daniel and Ms. Hawking. In this episode both of those people seemed to change their minds.
      This episode was a game changer, that’s for sure. Even if their old theories still hold up, big things will happen.
      – izi

  4. 7 Bones
    April 30, 2009 at 6:58 am

    As for Daniel and Desmond, it was a very tough choice to decide which I’d rather see die. In the end I went for Desmond to die, because his story was complete. Daniel would’ve still been able to give answers and help people on the island with all the time stuff. He was more useful. I actually think I was the most upset and Daniel’s death.

    As for Charlie, it was his time to die. His character was very stale and annoying by that point.

    And going back to Eko, the writer’s didn’t choose to kill him off, the actor wanted off the show. Big difference.

    And yea TK, izi didn’t mention this but Widmore definitely said he was Daniel’s father. As for Penny’s mother, that was someone off-island and not Hawking.

    • May 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

      I felt bad for putting that poll up there. I didn’t even vote.
      The Eko thing was different, but still it’s the same principle. If the writers are going to add a new character they should either make them less likable, or make sure that they are going to stay. I have no proof of this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Rebecca Mader wanted to leave.
      – izi

  5. 9 Mins
    April 30, 2009 at 8:27 am

    No! Not Daniel! He was so important and so endearing.
    Why did he have to die?
    That leaves only Miles now from the freighter group.
    The whole story of Daniel and Ellie is so sad. How does Ellie know everything?
    If Ellie always had that secret church lab to find the island, why didn’t Widmore go there to the lab? Was their relationship a fling or more…before/after Widmore’s off island relationship with Penny’s mom?
    Which is the Hatch again? the Swan or Orchid? And the energy under the one Daniel wants to bomb is greater than the energy under the Hatch that was released when Locke stopped pushing the button?
    Oh, Juliet! That “Freckles” comment got her mad!
    Dear old Hurley- “You were in the 50s? Like…the Fonz..?” lol
    Signs of life returning to Jack..old Jack appears to be making a comeback.
    All in all, a great episode.

    • May 1, 2009 at 4:00 pm

      I think Ellie has been feeding Widmore bad info, and keeping many secrets fromhim. He knew she was in LA, but I doubt he knew about the Lamp-Post. I believe that he and Penny located the Island by tracking the electro-magnetic disturbance after the season 2 finale. It would have been way easier to go to Eloise, but that option obviously wasn’t open to Charles… or Penny. I think Ms. Hawking was the person who told Widmore that he couldn’t go back to the Island, and we all know how convincing she can be.
      The Hatch is The Swan. And I don’t think it really matters where the hydrogen bomb goes off, the entire Island will blow up. I was thinking about that too, I was trying to figure out how Daniel intended to move the bomb to The Swan, then my friend laughed at me because it’s a big bomb. I was emberassed.
      I loved that scene when both Kate and Juliet react to Sawyer calling Kate Freckles.
      – izi

  6. 11 lvgirl
    April 30, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    One thing that you forgot to note that i noticed right away- Penny left her son alone with strangers. Her father is out there, Ben is still around…Charlie is just begging to be kidnapped. I was very sad about Daniel’s apparent death and no, we did not get to see enough of his story if he is gone. I have to ask myself this question- Why would Ms. Hawking choose Jack of all people to say it was his destiny to go back to the island? Surgeon? Who has just watched Daniel get shot? I don’t know. (I know, hope is a crazy)

  7. April 30, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Hey everyone. I just added two more polls to this post, so check ’em out and vote.
    – izi

  8. 15 ChrisK
    May 3, 2009 at 4:02 am

    I totally agree with your comments on the deaths. So far, the deaths have been really annoying more than anything.

    Boone – I thought the Boone/Locke/possible Charlie gang would have been awesome, like a mini-Others eventually fighting against the survivors. But, no, someone just *had* to die! Why not…

    Shannon – I hated her right up until the episode she died, then just as a I begin to warm to her *boom* okay, well let’s draft in some more females to take her place…

    Ana-Lucia – The only character that made me like Jack. Their talk of an “army” was interesting, but yet another loose string that never got tied up as she went *boom* too, along with…

    Libby – Hurley’s potential girlfriend. Desmond’s donator. Pyscho pyschiatrist. No flashback. Need I say more?

    Eko – I’ll give them Eko, that was purely the actor’s “fault” and he took his death on the chin. Still, poorly handled considering they knew he was never going to stay on in Season 3, even the writer’s have admitted that in a recent interview with Lostpedia, I believe.

    Charlie – Hands down my favourite character, died a needless death.

    All the named Others – What was the point in Season 3? Really? Should have just introduced Richard, Ben and redshirts if you’re just going to kill them all.

    All the survivor redshirts – Season 4 to 5 was just bloody ridiculous.

    EVERYONE on the Freighter – See above, re: ridiculous waste of time.

    Danielle, Karl, Alex – Just as they got together, *boom x3*. First casualties of this “we’re only going to do 6 seasons, how 1337 and original of us” plan. Senseless, needless, heartbreaking.

    Charlotte – Daniel’s potential girlfriend. No flashback. See Libby.

    And now Daniel. I know, death is supposed to suck, but for christ’s sake. Jack, Kate, Sayid, Sun, Jin have all been flogged to death a million times it seems. Jack, has control issues, we get it. What else does he have to provide? Kate, likes to run, what else? Sayid, tortures and kills, okay, got it. Sun, Jin, in love? Anything else?

    Damn, I love this show so much, but I wish they would stop introducing people just to slay them. It feels like a monster-of-the-week show now, like the new characters are just there as deus ex machinas to be slain when they have served their sole purpose, regardless of what else they have left to offer.


    PS, regarding the energy in the Swan and the Orchid and their time travelling properties. Well, after the button never got pushed Desmond began all his time travelling trips, and it could be argued that Locke somewhat travelled into the future in his dream/hallucination. Also, remember that the hatch *imploded* yet Locke, Charlie, Eko, Desmond were all found far away from the hatch and each other. Possibly time-travelled, physically, a few seconds? I don’t know, weak theory, but the energy in the Swan DEFINATELY has time-travelling properties. See: Desmond.

    • May 4, 2009 at 12:10 pm

      Now that I’ve had some time to calm down I can address this issue better.
      The only deaths that I disagreed with were Libby, Alex and Daniel. These characters were killed for needless reasons, and without their deaths the show would be better.
      I’m torn about characters like Danielle and Charlotte. I was very angry about Danielle’s death until they started skipping in time and it became clear that we would see her as a youth. As for Charlotte, I don’t know why they would kill another girl, the show is running short on women, they always die.
      As for the others, I think the show is better without them.
      Shannon and Boone seemed like a good idea, if I wrote the show I would have put them in there in the beginning. But they ran out of steam very quickly.
      Ana-Lucia, I liked her but she was self-destructive, and she didn’t add a lot to the group dynamic.
      Ek, I’m gald we didn’t have to live with an angry actor for all this time. I also thought that Locke and Eko were fighting for “Faith” screen time.
      Charlie, I honestly don’t see what people like about Charlie. He was kinda funny, but I hated all of his storylines. I also don’t think he would have been a good Oceanic 6 character or a good left-behinder. He just didn’t fit in.
      The Others dying is an odd thing to bring up. Something strange is going on with The Others when they die. They seem way too willing to die.
      But besides that I can see that the writers were trying to clean up some of the loose ends, and those Others were complicating things. Can you imagine if Mikhail, Ms. Klugh, Mr Friendly, Ethan, Goodwin, and Pickett were still alive. That would have been unnecessarily confusing.
      I was so happy when all the redshirts died. When those three people came out of the barracks and were all shot down, that was hilarious. Those people have been driving me nuts for a long time now. The story would have been the same with or without them, they were just taking up time. And have you really missed them since they’ve died/disappeared?

      I like your ideas about Charlie, Locke, Eko and Desmond flashing forward in time after the Hatch imploded. Very possible.
      – izi

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April 2009

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