Category Archives: 5×14 The Variable

Behind the scenes of 5×14 The Variable

Here’s a glimpse at the making of the 100th episode, The Variable.

There are more people than I realized working behind the scenes. Check out the last part of the video, where they’re having a production meeting, and there are so many people crammed into the room that they have to set up rows of folding chairs.

This video is another sneak peek from the Season 5 DVD set, courtesy of Buena Vista Home Entertainment. ©ABC Studios

Behind the scenes at ‘The Variable’ gunfight

This is the third sneak peek from the Season 5 DVD.

It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the Jack-Kate-Faraday-Radzinsky shoot-out scene in 5×14 The Variable.

Jeremey Davies (Faraday) says

I’m not a fan of weapons. I’m not a fan of gunfire. I’d rather watch Evie shoot a gun, or hand her my gun. I’m glad that they didn’t have me suddenly turn into Action Figure Faraday … although I would like to see that.

He’s so adorable.

Can Jack change the future?

This official video podcast, the last of the season, shows clips of Kate and Jack from 5×15 Follow the Leader, and also the key moments of the scene from 5×14 The Variable where Faraday says that they themselves are the variables.

Evangeline Lilly says it feels good for Kate to disagree with Jack.

Matthew Fox says that Jack believes that detonating the bomb has always been his destiny, and that completing his destiny is his only salvation.

Elizabeth Mitchell says she loves the theory that dropping pebbles in water changes nothing, but dropping boulders changes the course of the whole river. This is interesting, because she is referring to a part of Faraday’s scene which we didn’t actually see. Damon and Carlton said, in one of their audio podcasts, that the pebble/boulder bit, an analogy for how Faraday thought he could change time, was in the original script for the Faraday scene, but had to be cut because the scene was running too long.

Why did Eloise Hawking send her son back to the Island?

"Don't you talk to me about sacrifice, Charles."

"Don't you talk to me about sacrifice, Charles."

Near the end of The Variable, Eloise Hawking leaves the hospital, and Charles Widmore creeps out of the shadows and approaches her. He says his relationship with Penelope was one of the things he had to sacrfice.

Eloise replies,

Sacrifice? Don’t you talk to me about sacrifice, Charles. I had to send my son back to the Island, knowing full well —

Charles interupts her before she can finish her sentence.

What, exactly, does Eloise Hawking know “full well”? Clearly she knows that she has sent Faraday to his doom, but does she know that it would be her younger self who would kill him?

That’s what Daniel himself, at the very end of the episode, believes. After he is shot, and sees that it was Ellie who had shot him, he says to her:

You knew. You always knew. You knew this was gonna happen. And you sent me here anyway.

If Daniel is right, then why would Eloise have sent him to the Island — why would she have manipulated him his whole life to become the scientist he became so he could go to the Island — just so she could shoot him 30 years ago?

Uh, oh. I think Daniel is REALLY dead.

Daniel Faraday, looking pretty dead, at the end of 5x14 The Variable

Daniel Faraday, looking pretty dead, at the end of 5x14 The Variable

I was holding out hope that he was still alive. After all, on LOST a character can get shot in the chest and be fine within a few days, like Little Ben and, earlier, John Locke.

But, alas, it looks as if it really is the end for Daniel Faraday. In an interview with TV Guide, Damon and Carlton talk about having an exit interview with Jeremy Davies, the actor who played Faraday:

Lindelof and Cuse say they were impressed by how gracefully Davies dealt with his dismissal. While disappointed to be losing a paycheck, the actor saw his departure as essential to their storytelling. Lindelof says, “When Carlton and I called Jeremy to explain what was going to be happening with Faraday, we’ve never had a more awesome exit interview with somebody on the show.”

However, there is a hint, in the TV Guide story, that Faraday may be coming back, in some capacity, after all.

Cuse adds “… It really ends one chapter and commences the start of the final chapter of the entire series. Once we explained that to Jeremy, while he was personally saddened that his full-time status on Lost was coming to an end, he put the story above his own personal self.” (Hmmm…notice Cuse’s wording: “full-time status”.)

I wonder if this means that he will come back as a ghost. Or perhaps he’ll have a part in someone else’s flashback.

Screencap from Lost-Media

Looking back at my predictions about Daniel Faraday’s family

Ellie with gun in 5x03 Jughead

Ellie with gun in 5x03 Jughead

Ellie with gun in 5x14 The Variable

Ellie with gun in 5x14 The Variable

Among the many pleasures of being a LOST fan, one of the best is coming up with theories and predictions, and then looking back later, after the show has revealed the answers, to see how well you did.

Three months ago, a few days after Jughead, the third episode of the season, aired, I posted some predictions on my original LOST blog (I won’t link to that blog, not after the scoundrels at locked me out, but you could always find it yourself if you wanted to), about what I called Daniel Faraday’s tangled family tree. Now, many of the questions that were raised in Jughead have finally been answered in The Variable.

How did I do? Pretty good, I think!

Here are the original predictions, made on January 31:

1. Ellie, the woman with the gun, is Faraday’s mother.

She is also a younger version of Ms. Hawking. Right before Jughead aired, during the rerun of The Lie, one of the little pop-up hints said that Ms. Hawking’s first name was Eloise. (I guess you could call that a spoiler from the LOST team itself.)

Ellie could easily be a diminutive form of Eloise.

Faraday’s rat was named Eloise.

Last week, Faraday told Desmond to find his mother. Then, voila, there was Ms. Hawking, who we haven’t seen in two years, back in the story. Coincidence? Unlikely.

This week, Widmore told Desmond that his mother is in Los Angeles. That would seem to nail it, as Eloise Hawking is in Los Angeles (with Ben).

Ding ding ding! All correct!

2. Charlotte could be Faraday’s sister.

Charlotte has said she was born on the Island. Ellie could be her mother.

Faraday clearly loves Charlotte, and was very upset about her having gotten time-travel sickness. Although I assumed, while watching the episode, that the love was romantic, on thinking back, there was nothing specifically romantic or sexual between them. It could easily have been sibling love.

I’ve seen a theory that Charlotte is Faraday’s daughter, but I think that the idea of Faraday fathering children in the past is too convoluted even for LOST (which is saying a lot!). So I’m going with the theory that they are brother and sister.

Bzzzt. Charlotte is (apparently!) not Faraday’s sister.

3. Charlotte (or maybe Daniel) could be the baby in the first scene of “Because You Left,” the first show of the season. Because that scene started off the season, I think it had to be significant. And it was never explained. So I’m going with the explanation that would be the most interesting, dramatically.

Bzzzt. The baby, of course, was Little Miles.

4. Widmore could be Daniel and Charlotte’s father. There’s actually no particular reason for this, except that (1) it is possible, and (2) it would be interesting. (Though Widmore did fund Faraday’s research, there are plenty of other reasons, besides paternity, that he may have done that.)

Ding ding ding ding ding! Ring those dings at half volume, though, because while Widmore is, indeed, Daniel’s father (ding ding ding ding!), he is probably not Charlotte’s.

5. So, in conclusion, this is our theoretical nuclear (no pun with H-bombs intended) family: Ellie, later to be Eloise Hawking, is dear old Mum. Widmore is Daddy dearest. Charlotte was born on the Island, but was adopted by Dr. Candle, because Mum and Dad took off. She never knew Daniel, who was born (I’m guessing) in England, until they reunited on the freighter. Daniel knew who she was, though, because he’s a time-travelin’ man.

Ding and a half ding! Correct about Daniel. Wrong about Charlotte.

Speaking of predictions, I wonder if we will ever see Charlotte again. Will something happen to change the future and undo her time-travel induced death?

Screen cap of Ellie in 5×03 Jughead is from the ABC site. Screencap from 5×14 The Variable is from Lost-Media

Recap of 5×14 The Variable

Faraday, saying, "She was wrong."

Faraday, saying, "She was wrong."

An amazing episode.

After we’ve heard Jack wail so many times, “We have to go back! We have to go back!” it turns out that no, they didn’t have to go back after all.

Faraday’s theory about how you can’t change the past is turned on its head.

We see Mommy issues that are just as twisted as the show’s ubiquitous Daddy issues.

The episode starts with a fabulous beginning, quickly flipping through scenes we’ve seen before — Faraday telling space-suited Desmond to meet him in Oxford, Eloise saying “God help us all,” Ben shooting Desmond.

Then new footage of Desmond in the hospital, Penny and baby Charlie. Eloise Hawking shows up! Says this was her son’s fault.

30 years earlier…. Faraday is coming out of submarine hatch, which we saw at the end of the last episode. Faraday asks Jack why he came back. Jack says Faraday’s mother told him it was his destiny. Faraday tells Jack, “She was wrong.”

Flashback to young Daniel playing the piano. His mother asks him if he knows what destiny means, and says it’s a special gift that must be nurtured. His gift is his mind, his talents in math and science. So he will have no more time for the piano! “I can make time,” Daniel says, but Mom Eloise is unyielding.

Meanwhile in Dharmaville, Jack finds out that Phil is in Sawyer’s closet.

Faraday goes to the Orchid. Dr Chang says “God help us all” — we saw this earlier this season in Episode 1. Faraday says that there will be an explosion in the Swan station 30,000 times more powerful than the one in the Orchid. Dr C asks, how do you know? Faraday says, I’m from the future. Faraday tells Dr. C that Miles is his son. Miles is not pleased.

Flashback of Daniel graduating, getting his doctorate. Mom Eloise is horribly rude to Daniel’s girlfriend Theresa, then whisks him off to lunch alone. He tells her he has a grant from Charles Widmore! Her expression is unreadable. She gives him a gift, and then leaves. It’s the book that we always see him writing in, his constant.

Dharma time. All the Dharma losties are meeting, talking about skipping town, debating whether to get on the sub or go into the jungle. Knock on door. It’s Miles and Faraday. Sawyer, to Miles: “He still crazy?” Miles: “It’s on a whole new level, man.”

Flashback to Daniel freaking out while watching the news on TV about Flight 815 being under the sea. (We’ve seen this part of the scene before.) He’s in terrible shape from having sent himself through time, which destroyed his mind and his memory (and messed up his girlfriend and cost him his job). He doesn’t even know why he’s so upset by the broadcast.

Charles Widmore shows up! Tells Daniel that he had faked the Flight 815 crash. Offers him a new opportunity — to go to the Island. Tells him it will heal his mind. Says he shouldn’t be wasting his gifts. Faraday says, “You sound like my mother.” Widmore says that’s because they are friends.

Dharma Losties argue about whether to go to the Hostiles to find Ellie, Faraday’s mother. Jack wants to, Sawyer doesn’t. They both appeal to Kate, but it’s Juliet who tells them the fence combination. They split up — Kate, Jack, and Faraday take off. Faraday sees little Charlotte, tells her she has to leave. They have a shoot-out with Radzinsky.

Flashback to messed-up Faraday playing the piano. Mom Eloise comes in, tells him he should accept Widmore’s offer. She echos Widmore in saying that the Island will heal him. Faraday, pathetic, asks Eloise if taking the job will make her proud of him.

Dharma time. Faraday says, this is our present. Any one of us can die.” Well, there goes my theory.

Radzinsky finds Phil in Sawyer/Juliet’s closet. Uh oh!

Faraday explains to Kate and Jack that after the explosion goes off in the Swan, then the hatch will be built, the button will have to be pushed to keep the energy contained, Flight 815 will crash, and he himself will be on the freighter, and so on. All of that will be the result of the explosion that is about to happen.

He says he thought that you couldn’t change the past, but that’s because he was thinking of the constants. But what about variables? He says THEY are the variables. They CAN change their destiny.

And he intends to do that by detonating the H-bomb.

Back to Penny and Eloise, who says she has come to apologize. For once, she doesn’t know what is going to happen next. But Desmond is fine! He tells Penny, “I promised I’d never leave you again.”

Eloise walks out of the hospital. Widmore creeps out of the shadows. She tells him he should go inside and visit his daughter, Penny. He says that relationship was one of the things he had to sacrifice. She says, don’t talk to me about sacrifices. I sent my son back, she says, knowing full well what would happen.

Widmore says, “He’s my son too!”

Eloise slaps him.

In Dharma time, our trio creeps up on the Hostile’s camp. Faraday confronts Richard Alpert. Then young Eloise shoots Faraday! He says, “You knew. You always knew this would happen.” But young Eloise has a blank expression. Is she faking?

And is Faraday dead?

Screencap of Faraday (lightened/cropped) from the DarkUFO sneak peek video #2 in my previous post, (c) ABC

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