Lost 5.14 – The Variable

It’s not very often that we welcome back a character the same night we say farewell, but if the end of tonight’s episode is to be believed, Daniel Faraday is no more. To which I say, fuck you Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof. Killing Charlie was bad enough, but if this death sticks, I’m going to be pretty pissed. Okay, maybe not. It’s kind of hard to stay mad at you when you continue to deliver top-notch episodes like this, but that doesn’t mean I’m not upset. Nevertheless, just like Charlie’s last few episodes at the end of Season Three, Faraday’s last hurrah was one for the ages.

First, we find out that Eloise is Faraday’s mother, and then we find out that Widmore is his father, but honestly, anyone that didn’t see that one coming hasn’t been paying attention these last few years. Still, Faraday’s connection to the island certainly has to be the most interesting of all the characters, and the fact that Eloise willingly sent her son back knowing exactly what was going to happen takes serious guts. Of course, if the Others were able to save Ben Linus from a gunshot wound, what’s to say they won’t be able to do the same for Faraday? It seems plausible, and wouldn’t it explain Faraday’s memory loss in the future/present?

Speaking of which, Faraday’s flashbacks weren’t quite as revelatory as some might have hoped, but it was fun to revisit key moments (like his reaction to the Oceanic 815 recovery footage) knowing more about his journey after those events. The same goes for the opening scene from the season premiere, where we saw Faraday passing Marvin Candle/Dr. Chang in the Swan station, but nothing more. Now we know that Faraday not only spoke with Candle about evacuating the island, but also broke several of his own time travel rules by telling Candle that he’s from the future and that Miles is his son. Candle didn’t seem to buy into either claim, but how could he not? The only Chinese guy on the island with the name Miles? Yeah, it seems like a pretty airtight argument to me too.

Whatever Faraday was expecting Candle to do, he seemed to believe that he was going to do it after their little talk, and let’s hope that he does, because Faraday’s ultimate plan is explosive to say the least. Some of the commenters on this blog were insistent that ‘ol Jughead would rear its head again in the future and, well, they were right. Personally, I completely forgot about the hydrogen bomb between all the time jumping during the middle of the season, but once Faraday mentioned blowing up the Swan’s mysterious power source using the bomb, it suddenly made a lot of sense. Of course, Faraday’s plan doesn’t exactly work under his initial theory that “whatever happens, happens,” but since the Losties currently are experiencing their present, they still have the power to change their future. It’s a pretty cool theory for sure, and it’s really the only way the writers could have gotten out of the hole they conceivably dug themselves into.

Now that Faraday’s dead, though, who will carry out the plan? Jack and Kate are probably stuck in Others territory, Sawyer and Juliet have been outed by Radzinsky, and Hurley and Miles are stuck in the middle of it all. Plus, with three more hours left to go, there’s still more than enough time for a couple of wild cards to be thrown into the mix – namely Locke, Sun and Ben, who will no doubt play a role in all of this before the season is over. Oh yeah, and there’s no way the Losties erase the past by blowing up the Swan. At least, not with an entire season still to go. Can this show really get any better? God I hope so.

  

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Lost 5.5 – This Island Is Death

In the mid-’90s, my then-girlfriend watched “Melrose Place” religiously. I wasn’t opposed to the show itself – any show with Heather Locklear is worth at least a look with the sound off, right? – but every time Marcia Cross came onscreen, I would repeat my mantra: “Would someone please KILL HER?” They would even tease us with promos saying, “One of these character will die,” then show all the leads and one blatant Red Shirt character. It made me crazy that these people would knock on Death’s door and ask him to punch them in the face, but they survived everything, like a bunch of bed-hopping cockroaches. For years, I would think that TV shows didn’t have the balls to kill their characters. It would be too risky, too polarizing.

Man, karma’s a bitch. This week alone, Daphne bites it on “Heroes,” and now Charlotte succumbs to Time Jumping Syndrome. TV finally gave me everything I ever wanted. It wasn’t what I wanted. Come on, they couldn’t have killed the cheerleader and Juliet instead?

Ben Linus might be the most conniving bag of douche on God’s green earth, but you have to admire how unflappable he is. He never loses his cool or panics even when someone has a gun to his head, and that happens a lot. This time it was Sun that was looking for a little payback, though one thing about her arc bugs me: she gets the gun through covert means, and is flipping through a file with shots of Jack and Ben before meeting them at the pier. At first, it looked as though she was on assignment, and Ben was the target. Is she a contract killer, or did she merely pull a few of Daddy’s strings to acquire some heat?

“You go ahead, Sawyer. I’m going to watch the love of my life regress to her childhood self and die, but not before scaring the living shit out of me.”

The bits between Rousseau and Jin were interesting, though much like everything else about “Lost,” they ask more questions than they answer. Her entire group goes to save their leader after the smoke monster drags him below (though not before he loses an arm, yikes). Then Jin jumps forward a little bit, and the rest of her group is now “infected,” though with what we’re not sure. She even thinks Jin is infected too, and since the father of Rousseau’s baby just tried to shoot her, I can’t say I blame her for being a little paranoid. Still, I hope they shed more light on what happened to them in the “temple.” I’d also love to know how Ben came to be Alexandra’s “father.”


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Lost 5.4 – The Little Prince

I was only minutes away from condemning tonight’s show as the first bad episode of the new season when something incredible happened: the writers brought Jin back from the grave. Well, not exactly, but while he’s been assumed dead since last year’s finale, this is the first time that many even considered the possibility that he made it off the freighter before it was destroyed. Personally, I had a sinking feeling that Jin was somehow still alive, but I had no idea how they were going to explain it. After all, he could clearly be seen still standing on the boat when it exploded, and though one could argue that he evaded serious injury when the blast sent him into the water (it happens in movies all the time), it doesn’t explain how he was able to move along with the island. Sure, Faraday was stuck in the middle of the ocean too, and he made it just fine, but he also wasn’t as far out as the freighter. Plus, if Jin moved with the island, why didn’t anything else from the explosion cross over as well?

Whatever the answer, it’s certainly an interesting development in the story – not only because Sun is mere seconds from exacting revenge on Ben, but because Jin is now in the company of the Black Rock expedition crew, the wreckage of which the Islanders discovered following their latest time jump. Confused yet? That’s to be expected, but can you imagine what’s going through Jin’s head at the moment? He’s just escaped certain death, been rescued from drowning, and has now learned that the woman who saved his life is the same person who, when he last saw her, was about 20 years older. I’m talking, of course, about Danielle Rousseau, and though the writers took their grand old time dangling that in our faces, I can’t imagine they tricked anyone in the process.

Lost 5.4

With the island jumping back and forth as often as it is, however, there’s a good chance Rousseau and Co. will be long gone before Jin can figure out what’s going on. If not, Jin is going to have to explain how he really got there, and if Rousseau and Co. actually believe him, what’s to say that their meeting isn’t the very thing that led to their destruction? And with the time jumps happening more frequently, Charlotte is no longer the only Islander experiencing nose bleeds. She’s certainly farther along in what Faraday can only describe as “really bad jet lag,” but now Miles and Juliet are suffering the effects as well. Faraday suggests that it has something to do with the amount of time that each person has spent on the island, but while that would certainly make sense for Juliet and Charlotte (don’t forget, her excavation of the polar bear fossil means she’s probably been there before), this is the first time that Miles has ever been to the island. At least, as far as he knows. Is it possible that Miles is Marvin Candle’s son?

Once again, island life has proven far more interesting than the adventures of the Oceanic Six back on the mainland. Though I was initially worried that tonight’s episode would be completely dominated by Kate and the pending lawsuit involving Aaron’s custody, it didn’t take long to figure out that Ben was behind it all along. He’s working within a very limited window of time, and though he was made out to look like the villain in the final minutes, it was clearly just a ruse to get Kate, Aaron and Sun to the pier. With the exception of the random assassin fight in the middle of the hospital (sans Jason Bourne, of course), the rest of the Oceanic Six storyline was tame as usual. When are they going back to the island already, because quite frankly, all this moping around is beginning to get really boring. The one wild card in all of this is Sun, who’s been acting mighty crafty these days. I wouldn’t put it past her to be working in league with Charles Widmore, but the minute she finds out Jin is still alive, that will likely change. And if that’s the case, why bother making her turn against them in the first place?

  

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Lost 5.3 – Jughead

Last week’s season premiere was one of the most complicated episodes that “Lost” has ever produced, so it was sort of nice to just sit back and take it easy for once without having to think too much. Of course, though a lot didn’t really happen plot-wise tonight (the Islanders were nearly killed only to be whisked away to safety by the white light), we did learn quite a few interesting things along the way.

For starters, Faraday’s Oxford experiments were being completely funded by Charles Widmore. That probably isn’t as much of a surprise as it was meant it to be, since it was Faraday who volunteered to join Widmore’s future expedition, but Desmond was plenty intrigued. Then again, Charles Widmore is right up there with Satan on his list of the World’s Evilest Beings, so I’m not exactly sure what to think of his reaction. My first thought was that Desmond was mad at himself for not making the connection earlier (I mean, of course Widmore would be responsible for funding something like that), but it also looked like he might have gained a little compassion for the guy when he discovered that he was helping to keep one of Faraday’s comatose lab rats alive. Then again, maybe not, because he burst into Widmore’s office and demanded information about Faraday’s mother without as much as an “Oh yeah, and Penny just gave birth to our son, and we named him after Charlie, brother!”

Lost 5.3

And while I’m on the subject of Faraday, does anyone else find it curious that he’s gone from timid physicist to team leader in a matter of days? I don’t want to complain too much, because he’s my favorite character on the show, but it just seems odd that someone so twitchy could become so confident all of a sudden. Nevertheless, after evading a mine field (did anyone else yell “holy shit” when those two red shirts went flying?) and being captured by the Others, Faraday took control of the situation by admitting (read: lying) to Richard Alpert that they’re part of a military invasion. Clearly, Alpert isn’t as smart as he seems, because as one of the Others so bluntly pointed out, there’s no way that Faraday, a British girl and a Chinese guy are members of the U.S. Army; at least, not in 1954.


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Lost 5.1 / 5.2 – Because You Left / The Lie

It’s funny to think that a show that was initially about a group of people trying to get off a mysterious island has suddenly become about those very same people trying to get back, but credit Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof (the brilliant masterminds behind the series) for one thing: they sure know how to keep it interesting. “The Constant,” one of last season’s best episodes (and arguably one of the best the series has ever produced), changed the show forever when it brought the concept of time travel into the fold. So when it was announced that the series would be using this complicated storytelling device even more in the final two seasons, it was pretty much a given that the writers couldn’t wait to blow the collective minds of its audience. And as it just so happens, my mind has been officially blown.

As far as this whole island-moving, time travel thing is concerned, let me express my absolute gratitude over the decision to set some ground rules from the get-go. You see, it’s very easy to introduce something like time travel into a sci-fi story, but it’s even easier for it to get out of hand and come back to bite you in the ass later on. This has been a recurring problem on “Heroes” lately, and unfortunately, the more that they mess with the space-time continuum, the more the series digs itself into a hole it’s never going to be able to climb back out of. I mean, seriously, how many different futures are they on now?

Lost 5.1

Thankfully, “Lost” has a character like Daniel Faraday among its ranks, who is quick to point out to anyone who challenges him (ahem, Sawyer) not to try and change the future. Because no matter how hard you may try, you can’t undo anything that has already happened, even if, y’know, it hasn’t actually happened yet in relation to when you are. How funny, then, that the minute Sawyer gives up on trying to contact Desmond through the hatch door, Faraday does exactly that. It just so happens that Desmond’s time travel powers allows him to converse with Faraday without him actually knowing it (Penelope suggests it’s a dream, but Desmond says it’s a memory), and I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up playing a major role in the Oceanic 6’s eventual return to the island.


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