Lost 5x14: "The Variable"

Discussion in 'Lost' started by Agent Richard07, Apr 29, 2009.

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Grade the episode...

  1. Excellent

    54.5%
  2. Above Average

    31.8%
  3. Average

    12.1%
  4. Below Average

    1.5%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Actually I thought the gun battle in this episode was hilarious because clearly nobody involved knew how to shoot because they shot a hundred bullets at each other in close range and only 1-2 people got hit! :D I thought it was a nice touch of realism, as scientists and civilians wouldn't be able to hit the broad side of a barn.
     
  2. Jenee

    Jenee Dancing Goddess Premium Member

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    I know! I was thinking ...'shouldn't Kate be covering Jack?'
     
  3. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, you're missing my point. ;) It's a feedback loop, where the characters are the one thing (the variable) that can bring back the information from the previous loop to retry it from the beginning. So, the losties brought back the outcome of the last loop with them to 1977. They can try to make a change. From their point of view, they don't remember any previous loops but they do know how this loop worked out and can plan accordingly.

    This transfer of information, of people being the variables that can change things, is what Daniel was getting at. They still have free will. In fact, I'd say they even have freer will than usual, if that's possible. They know how things will work out unless they make specific changes. You don't usually have this information. So, this additional information makes them even more powerful change agents, not less.

    Mr Awe
     
  4. Gertch

    Gertch Admiral

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    I was snickering because I could only picture a Police Squad! type gunfight where they are on opposite sides of the same barrel.
     
  5. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Oh, I understand that. I just think Ferraday is wrong in this case. I don't think it's a feedback loop. His original explanation that all these events already happened makes sense to me (and by all, I'm including them being there).
     
  6. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, Farraday apparently changed his mind after much research on the mainland and I'll take his word on it!

    Plus, I like to go with the more empowering notion. That information empowers you rather than imprisons you.

    Mr Awe
     
  7. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    The writers have said repeatedly in interviews that their time travel can't change the past, though, that they think that kind of time travel is garbage and ruins your show of its drama and consequences. So for them to go back on that, I would be extremely surprised. This is why I think it's a misdirect. They'll try to change the past and end up causing the established timeline.
     
  8. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    The information doesn't imprison you unless you know what your actions were in the past. If you don't, you do whatever you like. It just happens to be that, in the future, those actions that you did were always done.
     
  9. Capn Flukie

    Capn Flukie Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think they will change the past, just our perceptions on what we believe is the past.

    I thought Jeremy Davies was a great actor, I think he brought to Faraday a quiet desperation that made him appealing to me.
     
  10. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Every time he tried to cry or express emotion made me cringe. I guess till now he's been so low-key that I haven't noticed that his acting is unconvincing.

    It's not easy to write, because of the "then why does the audience care what happens?" problem - which is why we don't see it attempted very often in TV or movies, and it's pretty rare in novels, too, compared with the more popular forms of time travel logic that don't render the characters powerless.

    The advantage is that it's straightforward and easy to grasp, and doesn't lead to annoying logic problems that writers can be tempted to paper over with cheats (eg, ENT's Temporal Cold War).

    I think Lost has a shot at pulling it off simply because the characters are compelling enough that they are worth watching even if we suspect they are on a fool's errand, trying to change an unchangeable past.
    Which means they are supporting the notion that time travel can't change the past - I thought you said you disliked that?
     
  11. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Going on Danny Boy's words they will attempt to use the nuke to stop the Incident, not realizing that they will be the ones who cause the Incident by trying to stop it. Irony! ;)
     
  12. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And, I just don't buy that more limited view. Knowledge sets you free.

    Mr Awe
     
  13. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But maybe the point is that Our Heroes™ don't know how everything will turn out. They might think they do, but all evidence so far suggests that they really don't. For example, it looks like the attempt to stop the Incident from happening will be the very cause for it to happen. Or Sayid, he thought he could change the time with killing Ben in the past, but it seems like he only furthered his bond to the Hostiles.

    I agree that all of this would be tedious drama if they (and us) would already know how everything will turn out. But the thing is, we don't know what will happen. As Daniel said, this is the Losties' present. They can die. And I think that makes it all the more entertaining.

    But I guess we will just have to wait and see.
     
  14. Mallet

    Mallet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think from a purely story point of view they won't let them change the past/future. Free will or not, variables or constants, changeable or set in stone, it doesn't matter.

    From a story/series point of view being able to change the past in any meaningful way would negate the entire series. It would be just as bad as pulling an "it was all a dream" ending. And I give these show runners a bit more respect then to think they would do that.

    So I don't think they will/can prevent the incident, or 815 from crashing, or Return of the Jedi from having Ewoks in it, or Charlotte from dying (or Eko, or Anna-Lucia, Charlie, etc...). To do that would be cheating the audience.
     
  15. Gertch

    Gertch Admiral

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    I was looking around for some screen caps from someplace other than lost-media and found a page about an Easter Egg in this episode.

    Episode 5x14 - Rabbit Through Glass

    Cool!
     
  16. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :eek: Wow, now that is cool!
     
  17. zengoth

    zengoth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    above average-
    if this does turn out to be Daniel's swansong...at least we got a buncha gaps of his life filled it, especially his scenes in both S4 premiere and S5 premiere as well as his chat with l'il Charlotte.

    (Musing aside, not a spoiler...Even though there are chats with the show creators about no "reset" plans, that events won't be changed...I wouldn't mind seeing a S6 where we see scenes from that original 108 days again from a reset or changed perspective. But I'm a big time loop fan from way back.)

    The only thing that confused me is that, in '77, when big Dan is gunned down, little Daniel had already been born, right? . Charlotte was about 4 or 5, Miles was perhaps younger - i figure piano-playing 8 yr old Dan is already off the island. If so, how can Ellie be in 2 places at once...[must be a quick submarine trip]. Did anyone else get the feeling that the first scene with mom and son happened very soon after the last scene with mom & son?
     
  18. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

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    The Others don't even have access to the sub. The sub belongs to Dharma. It's unclear how the Others get back and forth to the mainland before they take control of the sub following the purge. We don't know really know what happened with Ellie....whether she was living a double life (as Widmore apparently was), whether she spent some time on the Island and some off or what. Nor do we know why Faraday's last name is "Faraday" for that matter.
     
  19. McCoy

    McCoy Commodore Commodore

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    Just because we haven't seen him doesn't necessarily mean that little Daniel isn't in the Others' camp somewhere.
     
  20. Mallet

    Mallet Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    But he didn't start getting bad nose bleeds like everyone else did during the Time Jumps. According to what he said, the longer you were on the island the worse it would be. Charlotte got it worse because she had been on the island as a child. Then Miles started getting bad, because he was also there as a kid. Then it was Juliette, then Sawyer (in terms of how bad they were getting). Daniel was the least effected by the Jumps, which means he was probably never on the island before he parachuted in.