Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Let's get LOST! (Episode 14, The Variable)

If you haven't seen this week's episode of LOST yet...
Don't say you weren't warned. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk LOST!

Before we delve in to my favorite moments of the night, let's just pause and take a moment to appreciate that this was the 100th episode. That means I have spent approximately 4,000 minutes (or 67 hours) of my life obsessing over things like what's in the hatch, how did Locke end up in a wheelchair, who are the people in the jungle, what did Kate do to get arrested, and are the survivors ever going to get home. So much has happened since that initial plane crash, and the questions have gotten stranger and my behavior has gotten more obsessive! (ha ha) We've flashed back and flashed forward and flashed waaay back (can you say 1977?) since that very first episode. As much as I am dreading the end of this show next season, I'm secretly looking forward to going back and watching them all over again on DVD, such is my level of adoration for this show. But for now, let's discuss my favorite moments from the latest episode...

I thought this was the most shocking event of the night:
Eloise shooting Daniel!

Okay, raise your hand if Daniel was one of your favorites. Yep, me too. Can you believe Eloise shot him? I have two burning questions concerning this event. 1. Is Daniel really dead? (I really hope not. He brought such an interesting angle to the show and was such a good actor.) and 2. Did Eloise remember shooting him? I mean, did the present (2009) Eloise remember shooting him in 1977 but she went ahead and sent him back to the island anyway? (If so, then she's in the running with Ben for most evil person on the show.) Or is this a new wrinkle in the "present" time of 1977?

I thought this was the most heartbreaking moment of the night:
Desmond (to Penny): "I swore I'd never leave you again, Penny. And I never will."
Tied with
Daniel (to baby Charlotte): "You've got to leave this island and never come back."

Okay, raise your hand if you held your breath until you knew if Desmond was going to make it. Yep, me too. I love it that our star-crossed lovers, Desmond and Penny, have been reunited and are living out their "happily ever after", but there's always the ominous shadow of Widmore and the Island looming over them (or would that be the shadow of the statue - ha ha). Will they ever be free from it all?

And how could you not get a little misty-eyed watching a desperate Faraday try his best (again) to convince baby Charlotte that she should leave the island with her mum and never come back. It wasn't like Faraday and Charlotte had a lot of on-screen chemistry (no pun intended) or even shared a lot of touching scenes together, but maybe I'm just a sucker for romances doomed by destiny. Maybe his warning will work this time around?

And finally, here's the funny moment of the night:
Sawyer (to Faraday): "Welcome back, twitchy!"
Tied with
Kate: "This is a mistake. He's talking about erasing everything that's ever happened to us, Jack. It's insane!"
Jack: "We disappeared off a plane in mid-air and ended up in 1977. I'm getting kinda used to 'insane'."

How unusual for Jack to have the funny line of the night! I also liked it when Sawyer called Faraday "H.G. Wells". Speaking of H.G. Wells, I thought it would be beneficial to give a recap on the LOST rules of time travel, as we know them so far:
  • There are Constants (example: Desmond and Penny's love for each other) which are unchanging throughout time and keep your brain from going crazy and keep you grounded in some way.
  • There are Variables (example: Faraday's ability to change things in the future by altering the past, by giving a message to a Hatch-bound Desmond, to change Desmond's actions in the future). Humans are the variables.

If there are constants, then naturally there would have to be variables. Why didn't I see that coming? I suppose it's because I don't have a math/science mind. Although I do feel like I should get a degree in physics after watching this show. Maybe LOST will become a college elective (if it hasn't already). Our other rules, which seem to contradict each other are:

  • What happened, happened. This phrase has been repeated a lot and seems to imply that nothing can be changed, no matter how hard they try. Yet how do you explain people that were born in the 70s, existing as twenty-somethings in that very era? Ouch! That makes my brain hurt.
  • This is your "present". We also know, from Miles' convoluted discussion with Hurley, and mentioned also by Faraday in this episode, that wherever you are in time, that is your "present". You have free will (I think this was implied) to make new choices that might change time.
  • The universe will course correct. Yet we've also been told that the universe (or destiny) wants things a certain way, so even if you try to change things, it will use other events to "course correct" so that it will come out with the same result. Are Desmond and Penny an except to this rule? It was implied that Desmond was "special" and it seems Faraday is too. Are there certain "special" people who are not bound by "destiny" and can determine their own fate? Ooo - good stuff to ponder on!
Perhaps we can throw all this out the window though, because even Ms. Hawkings said, "For the first time in a long time, I don't know what's going to happen." Join the club, Ms. Hawkings, join the club. That's how all us Losties have felt for the whole season!

This was a tremendous episode! I don't think I took a breath through the whole thing! I wonder if Faraday is adopted or is he a genetically engineered child? Are Daddy Widmore and Mommy Hawkings really his biological parents? They seem to be in more of a forced partnership over manipulatively guiding him towards his "destiny" than they seem like actual parents. And if they are his parents, why is his last name Faraday? Is he named after the scientist who created him? Are Penny and Daniel brother and sister? Or maybe they're test tube cousins? And I wonder if the hydrogen bomb is the thing that is "in the shadow of the statue." Leave me a comment and let me know what you picked up on!


Laura said...

There's so much new stuff introduced just this season that I still don't have my mind wrapped around. Although we kinda expected Charlie to die (come on, Des saved him three times and told him it wouldn't last) I'm reeling too much from Daniel's death to think about or say anything else. :(

I will say that I'm not going to go back and re-watch any of the earlier seasons as I think there's stuff embedded in there that will sway my thinking and might spoil a big "reveal" if I spend too much time in contemplation. However, after the series ender next summer I will want to start the process all over again to see where the foreshadowing was placed because I KNOW there's a ton of stuff in there that's muddling around my sub-conscience mind.

D.L. White said...

I know!!! I'm still reeling from Daniel's death too! Maybe they'll take him to the Temple and save him?

And I agree - I want to re-watch the DVDs of the whole show AFTER it's all over and done with, to see the brilliance from the writing crew from the beginning. Watching them now between this and the final season would probably just confuse me even more!

Shawn White said...

We usually watch the previous season just before the new season begins as a refresher.

hyacinthinemoon said...

I had not considered that the bomb was "in the shadow of the statue" inreresting.....

D.L. White said...

Well, it's a complete guess on my part. I was just trying to think of something that Ilana and Braum would be so greatly interested in. Maybe the Temple lies in the shadow of the statue?

monkeyboticus said...

Before this episode LOST was losing me. The Fonze was in the water with a leather jacket on, the boat was idling, the ramp was ready, the shark was anticipating failure for the Fonze, etc...

So what if setting off the bomb accelerates the problem with the energy anamoly? What if setting off the bomb leads to the need for the button? We've already had the Sayid shoots little Ben, Jack refuses to help him, Sawyer and Kate give him to the Others, the Others take him to the place of the thing (temple) and little Ben becomes evil story line. Sorry about the run-on. What if everything turns out to be THEIR fault?

Just out of curiosity has Charles Widmore ever actually referred to Penny as his daughter? Just wunnerin, because he seemed to sidestep the daughter issue when speaking with Eloise.

Anyway the show has brought me back.

As an aside, the Battlestar Galactica finale was the best ever (well, maybe not better than Newhart). LOST has a big challenge ahead to top it. IMHO

D.L. White said...

Oh no, monkeyboticus, say it ain't so!!! What was it about the show that was making it hard for you to care, or suspend belief? I know I got a little frustrated when they seemed to be getting away from the character-driven plot (which was especially strong in the 1st season). If there's no heart, or characters we care about, at the center of this, then we're not going to care about the story one whit - no matter how cool time travel is - and will not invest our time in watching it. But they seemed to have gotten back to that a little bit recently. (I spoke about this in my last couple of LOST posts.)

About Ben being evil - the question is, was he going to be evil regardless of their intervention? Sayid tried to alter that future by taking him out. But did the "universe course correct" by having Kate et. al. intervene? Depends on how much free will this mythology allows for.

And yes - Widmore refers to Penny as his daughter (most of the time in a possesive way, when he's talking to Desmond). In fact, that's why Widmore got exiled from the island - for "having a child with someone off-island". Of course I guess they could have been referring to Daniel...

monkeyboticus said...

Mostly it's because they have gotten away from the character-driven plots. Also they seem to have gotten away from the characters themselves. Everyone seems to be someone else. Granted people change and grow, or devolve (Jack). The changes (with the characters) seem to be too much too fast. At least with Charlie it happened over the course of a couple seasons. Now it's somewhat instantaneous. I am keeping in mind that they are skipping through time, but still. Maybe my mind is too narrow to grasp what they are doing this season.

And I really didn't like the Sawyer/Juliette relationship.

Queensryche rocked the Myth the other night. I'll get to a review one of these days. Not quite as exciting as last time (as far as the crowd was concerned anyway).

monkeyboticus said...

That's a good point about the Universe course correcting.

"He's my son as well." SA LAP!!!

Loved it.