Lost: The circle of life — and death

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May 1, 2009

1:03 AM

*SPOILER ALERT: If you have not watched this week’s episode of “Lost,” do not read.*

So let’s recap what we learned last night, readers: Eloise Hawking = Ellie from the island (oh wait, we already _knew_ that) and Widmore is Faraday’s dad (hold on, we already knew that too!). The point is, it’s frustrating to keep being told what we already know (i.e. about how time travel works and character connections), but we must keep in mind that not all “Lost” viewers are obsessive fans like you and me. Some even just _watch_ the show without reading or writing about it afterwards. I know it’s hard to believe, but it happens. And we must be patient with the show so it can explain the things we’ve figured out a long time ago.

Last night’s episode, which “Lost” executive producer Carlton Cuse called his second favorite episode in a recent BullzEye.com interview, focused on the life and death of physicist Daniel Faraday. We’ll start with the end, when we saw a younger, blonde Eloise Hawking shoot her son in the back in 1977. He told her who he was with his last breath, which means that Eloise had pushed her son in 2008 into returning to the island with the full knowledge that she would kill him there. Good thing he died before he really had to process the meaning of it all. If he really _is_ dead… Don’t be confused, I do think he’s dead, but it’s fun to be devil’s advocate sometimes. What do you think, readers?

Everything Faraday has done in his life, he did in an attempt to please his demanding mother. This striking factor reminded me of Ben’s mommy issues. This is an interesting contrast to the Oceanic castaways’ omnipresent father problems.

We also saw the extension of the original Faraday flashback we saw in the beginning of season four. He is sitting in a chair crying as he watched the news footage of the phony Oceanic 815 that “crashed in the water.” He doesn’t understand why he’s crying, but attributes it to the fact that he has “a condition that affects [his] memory.” I’m assuming this condition is related to his time traveling experiments — but could it be a result of his “death” on the island in 1977? Sorry, just being devil’s advocate again!

But another important detail from that scene was that both Widmore and Eloise told Dan that going to the island could heal him of his memory problem. In fact, they both knew that going to the island would result in his death. Harsh.

Before dying, Faraday revealed his plan to detonate the hydrogen bomb to prevent the effects of the intense levels of electromagnetic activity hurt everyone on the island. But I have a theory (which is probably wrong) that the increased electromagnetic energy is actually caused by the buried hydrogen bomb. My basis for this theory? In cultural anthropology class this week, Professor Carlson-Drexler mentioned that burying bombs can still produce harmful effects. I looked it up and didn’t come up with much except that burying bombs is only a temporary solution. I don’t know if this explains the electromagnetic energy, or maybe contributes to the phenomena on the island, but it’d be cool if I were right.

The episode’s title, “The Variable,” brings to mind the season four episode “The Constant,” which followed Desmond through his time travels between 2004 and 1996. Indeed, both episodes focused on Desmond and Faraday and on the ins and outs of time travel. Desmond made a brief appearance from which the only salient detail we learned was that Des will be ok after being shot by Ben.

Another important moment of last night’s episode: Sawyer calling Kate “Freckles.” With the slip of a little nickname, Juliet realized she’d lost her man and her cozy life and prepared to let them both go. Good thing she did, too, because Radzinsky barged into their house and found Phil bound in the closet.

So all in all, a good episode with little intel and a big bang ending!

See ya in another week, brotha!

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