Thursday, April 30, 2009

LOST: The Variable

I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process.
-Vincent Van Gogh

So I was really excited about getting a Daniel episode because I was thinking, oooh, we are going to get some great scientific island answers. About a third of the way through I started getting suspicious, and during the scene when Ellie and Dan are sitting at the piano and she tells him she wants to take Whidmore's offer and go to the island and the heartbreak on her face as she was looking at him ... well, that's when I knew what she already knew. Dan was going to die. Yup, more than anything this episode was a send-off episode for Daniel - the LOST writers like to do that when their characters kick the bucket- give us insight into their past and just get us started in understanding them in time for them to die (Shannon, Boone, Charlie...). I didn't foresee Ellie being the literal death of him though- that was a bittersweet little twist. That being said, it was still an enjoyable episode, though not as on-the-edge-of-my-seat as I had hoped. I have faith that the finale will be all I hope for and more though. Its Destiny ;)

So Dan, Charles is your daddy after all, making Penny your half sister! (And its officially official that he planted the fake wreckage). I'm not really sure at this point what use that little tidbit of information is to us plot wise though, so I am assuming it is more about appeasing our curiosity and maybe telling us a little more about what kind of a person Charles Whidmore really is. The kind who uses his child as a means to and end. So did Charles and Ellie have real affection for each other at one time of was having Dan a sort of a business merger? Did Ellie leave the island of her own free will as opposed to being booted like Charles because she felt her purpose was to simply raise Daniel to be the person he needed to be and get him back to the island? Is it another Biblical parallel- the parent must be willing to sacrifice their child to prove their faith? I'm trying to remember what all Dan did when he was in the present on the island. I mean, I understand them raising him for the research he was meant to do, but why have him go back to the island just to be killed before he could do anything really important? Because in their eyes 'Destiny' deemed it so? Is there valuable information from his journal that the Others use over the next 30 years? I wonder how long Ellie looked for a journal to match that one so she could give it to Dan at graduation, or if she just kept his journal from the 70s and had one made to match. What would it feel like to raise a child knowing full well what his fate would be? Despite myself, and despite her manipulating ways, I like Ellie and hope that her reasons prove just- like, all of this really is going to save the world or something.

Destiny: 'if one has a special gift then it must be nurtured,' aaaah, and all little Dan wanted to do was play the piano. Sorry you couldn't make more time like you wanted, little buddy. Here's the thing. Destiny being Destiny, isn't it going to happen whether you like it or not? It seems to me that it wasn't Dan's Destiny, it was a life forced upon him. I think the Others have created what they deem as Destiny because they believe in it so fiercely that they make it happen and think its 'Destiny.' Poor, poor Dan had the brain for all of this adventure, but not the heart for it. I guess your mom was right that the women in your life would only get hurt, although, technically, you could probably blame her for that. He's allowed to be a little big crazy after everything ;) Way to freak out little Charlotte just like she remembered. I was really excited there for a minute when you believed that it was possible to change history. Are we now to understand that it isn't possible? Are people NOT variables after all? Or, is it just the past that can't be changed even if its your present? At this point I am thinking that nothing can be changed until our Losties get back to real time. Everything in the 70s already happened and the future Others seem to be doing all they can to make sure that it stays that way, but once they are back to their present then all bets are off. (I hope that happens soon, cause uh oh Sawyer and Juliette, trouble in paradise!) Ellie even said to Penny, 'For the first time in a long time I don't know what's going to happen.' So if the Others only know what to do to recreate time up to this point, well, anything can happen now. I can't imagine they would have Kate and Jack actually go through with the plan and change the fact that their plane crashed- it would definitely reinvent the show, but it would destroy all that has been built over the last seasons. Is a fresh start a good thing in this situation? If they DO go through with it and ignite the bomb, then that is probably exactly the 'incident' that causes Dharma to build the hatch in the first place and won't change anything. Why aren't they catching on? Of course, I guess you would constantly second guess yourself- if you try to do something different than you did before, how can you be sure you didn't already make that decision and its actually the same one? The mind reels ...

So we finally got to see the scene of Dan in the tunnel that they teased us with in the first episode of the season. Its all coming full circle. The drilling exposed electromagnetism and its going to kill people and so they'll build the hatch, yada, yada... what I want to know is how does Chang already know about the time travel possibilities? He seems to be a logical man, and Dharma hasn't discovered or used the Donkey Wheel yet, so who tipped him off and what did they tell him that he is so sure of it? PS to Miles, maybe if you had told the frakkin' truth then your pop would have listened to Dan and then Dan wouldn't have run off to his mom and gotten himself killed. I guess it was fate that you were going to do that though? Chang must believe to some degree eventually though, because he sends his wife and son away along with Charlotte and her mother and who knows who else.

'The island will heal you' is what they told Dan. Hmmm, so did he lose parts of his memory recall because of testing his experiments on himself first, or was it am emotional reaction because of what happened to Theresa? It's a ling shot, but new theory: Daniel is Jacob. I really like this theory except for the fact that Richard seemed to already know of Jacob in the 50's when he talked to Locke. Richard does seem to move through time though, so maybe when Locke spoke with him he had been to the future and seen Daniel/Jacob. Maybe they will take him to Smokey and wake him up as Jacob. Maybe when they told him the island would heal him, they didn't mean his memory. I think his personality would sort of work- he is very intelligent and always just wanted human connection but was never really allowed it- in the form of Jacob, that his emotional instability could prove dangerous. I'm not convinced of this at all, I just think it would be a good way to explain Jacob ;)

Wow, Des, you have got some serious endurance brotha if you were shot so bad that you were coding but you were still able to beat the crap out of Ben before having to go to the hospital. Aaaah, the adrenaline of love. What a man ;) All season I have been wondering what would be the reason for getting Desmond back to the island, because it always seemed inevitable to me that he would end up back there. For a time it seemed that it might be out of revenge for the death of Penny (thank goodness it wasn't that!) and then during this episode, when they went to the hospital my first thought was oh, Penny is going to be the one wanting to get back to the island to heal Desmond! I thought that was a beautiful idea, but again, doesn't seem to be the case after all. (I hope that nurse watching little Charlie is trustworthy- made me nervous). Still, though, Des is the wild card with all of this time travel/destiny confusion, so it seems he must still have a part to play in all of this. Though Ellie and Charles don't seem to be aware of one, because the future has yet to be written. I wonder if we will ever find out why Des is the way he is or if it will always just be one of those unexplainable phenomena like Dan seems to think. Maybe Des will discover that he is the offspring of Richard, who seems to be some kind of immortal Egyptian/Greek/Whatever God. Desmond is a demigod. Desmond is basically Hercules. I like it ;)

Other Thoughts:

Daniel's journal IS the Captain of the Black Rock's journal that Widmore buys at the auction. (Yes! I love it! This makes me even more hopeful that Dan is Jacob!)

So many old details revisited- we now know why daniel and charlotte played the card game- to test his memory...We now get the whole "i'm not allowed to eat chocolates" deal (when she was rambling before she died)And now we'll see that "the incident" will be caused by Jack and co., not the Dharma gang...
Interesting that Lil Dan was playing Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor, which includes an ambiguous fantasy-like ending. Ambiguous and fantasy-like – let’s hope that’s not the ending in store for LOST!
The Hydrogen Bomb lies in the shadow of the statue! (not convinced on this one, but a popular theory)

Penny's got a bruthah from anotha motha - who's an othah!!!!! (hahahahaha!)

The reason Charles Widmore has not tried to get back to the island yet is because he knew through Eloise having Daniel's journal everything that was going to happen up until the moment the Oceanic 6 returned to the island and nothing could change that. After that moment, the future was open for anything to happen, so Widmore now knows he can possibly return to the island. That why the war has not happened yet. The timeline of the island was set from 1954 to 2007/2008. Now the future of the island is unknown to Hawking, Widmore, and possibly Ben.

Interesting that Daniel was experiencing a “Flowers for Algernon” mental regression. Wasn’t that book on the bookshelf leading into Ben’s magic wardrobe? The main character in “Flowers for Algernon” is also a VARIABLE – in a scientific experiment to make a mentally deficient man a super GENIUS, you know the kind who can count out 864 beats while playing Chopin. Of course he ends up becoming a SACRIFICE in the name of science, just like Eloise’s little boy. - Flowers for Algernon...the main character, his name was Charlie...just saying...
Was Charlotte really supposed to be older than both Miles and Daniel? She must have born her age awfully well because I would have sworn she was younger than both of them (Yeah, good point)

I don't like that Juliet was wearing a RED shirt throughout the episode - - we all know what happens to the red shirts...... (Ooh, good point. If you haven't noticed before, people wearing red in LOST typically eat it, and I don't mean their shirt)

Theresa was Daniel's research assistant/girlfriend and he tested the time travel on himself first, then Theresa. Looks like they had the same memory loss effects, but it progressed more quickly for her. She was pretty much in a vegetative state. (Because he is an Other did it not affect him as strongly? Was he born on the island?)
I just kept getting the sense the entire episode that Daniel is not the only child who will be or has been sacrificed by a mother or father in this LOST game. One of DHARMA orientation films mentions the work of B.F. Skinner, who was accused of using his own daughter in his behavior modification studies (his Skinner box). He also believed in the possibility of a utopia, having written a book about visiting a utopian commune that flourished because it was run by scientific principles and used his conditioning techniques to rear (and “instruct”) the children. It was his “new Atlantis,” and its goal was to use “good science to help society.” And if you have to sacrifice your own children in the process, well, isn’t it worth it for the greater good?
Destiny versus Freewill - - - Humans have freewill and self determination and this makes us variables capable of affecting change on the universe. I love this idea. Question: How can so many shooters miss nearly point blank shots? Answer: These variable may not be all they are cracked up to be because perhaps the intended targets were not meant to die then from those bullets (case in point Daniel).
"I just got shot by a physicist!" - Radzinsky -That line was almost good enough to be a Hurly-ism.

Anybody else think this is gonna end with a Dallas-like wake up scene on flight 815 landing in LA? I hope not... (I hope not as well. How sad would theat be. Locke wheeling away in his chair, Kate off to jail, Claire off to give Aaron away to some random couple...)

More on Miles:

Regarding the whole business of Lost characters communicating with (presumed) dead fathers via supernatural means: Remember waaay back in ''A Tale of Two Cities,'' the premiere episode of season 3, when Jack was being held hostage on the Hydra station, and we were seeing that flashback to the time when he became certain his father was having an affair with his ex-wife, and there was that mysterious bit of business when Hydra Jack heard Christian Shephard's voice crackling through the broken intercom? ''Let it go, Jack...'' the voice said. I've never forgotten that cryptic moment, and it has always stood as one more bit of proof that there exists on the Island the likely possibility that thought and consciousness can interact and maybe even manipulate the environment.

(Very interesting thoughts on Miles' shirt from the last episode- a bear was attacking a shark on it) Wikipedia. Inputting the words ''shark versus bear,'' got...nothing. But I did get a suggestion to investigate an entry for ''Bear vs. Shark.'' (Semantics!) This led to a page devoted to a ''post hardcore'' rock band named Bear vs. Shark. A quick scan of their discography didn't reveal any clear-cut Lost links, but I noticed that the band hails from Michigan — and the off-Island HQ for the Dharma Initiative is located in Ann Arbor, Mich. Okay, for certain, that's a total stretch, even by my standards. I was about to give up when I noticed that Bear vs. Shark used to go by another name: Dr. Acula. Now, ''Dr. Acula'' is an anagram of Dracula. (Lost traffics in anagrams all the time, like the ''Rainier-Canton''/''reincarnation'' anagram from earlier this season.) ''Dr. Acula'' is the name of a character in Night of the Ghouls, a long-lost Ed Wood horror flick from 1959 that was discovered back in 1987. Wanna know what Night of the Ghouls is all about? From the Wikipedia entry on the film:
''The plot revolves around a confidence trickster, Dr. Acula (played by Kenne Duncan), who pretends to be able to contact the dead, and charges people large amounts of money to speak to their relatives. The ending involves Acula inadvertently summoning a group of real ghosts, and being imprisoned for all eternity.'' (Hmmmm, curious- foreshadowing of something Miles will do?)

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