Thursday, April 30, 2009

LOST 036: The Brother With An Other Mother

So much to say, so much to say, so much to say, so much to say.

Sorry if I am twitchy like Daniel, but that episode was a whole lot of information to process. Probably not since last season's "The Shape of Things To Come" (aka the Alex Gets Killed and Ben Releases The Smoke episode) have so many of the remaining gaps been filled in.


Daniel was getting better on the island. We'll start with a little one. All that Daniel memory stuff had me worried that Daniel was getting the time sickness. But in fact, he'd already HAD the time sickness and was getting better. When he read in the book that Desmond was his constant . . . well, he'd already run into Des recently when he read that, so it looks like, in fact, he'd probably gotten course-corrected by that meeting, and perhaps also by the island.

Widmore is Daniel's father. That pretty much makes Daniel Other royalty, doesn't it? The guy who funded Dashing Dan's time travel experiments is also his pappa, though Dan didn't seem to know that. Widmore skipped out on El Faraday, leaving Eloise to provide him with his Dharma-issue crippling daddy issues in his place. She did OK, I think. Crippling mommy issues, but still. But the further meaning of this reveal is that 1) Widmore and Eloise were once an item; 2) When Widmore traveled off-island to make Penny with some until-now unknown woman, it probably had some serious ramifications on their relationship (that is, if that "Eloise killing their son" thing hadn't already scotched it; 3) Widmore didn't get busted for his transgressions until years after Eloise shooting Dan, after the purge, even, and since Dan doesn't seem to have any memory of growing up in an Other camp, I'm guessing Eloise left the island not long after the events of this episode, to raise her wee laddy for his eventual slaughter. Note: I'm pretty much going under the assumption that Daniel is going to die from being shot. I do recognize the fact that the island may heal him Ben-style, but I do think he's a goner. It's something in 2007 Eloise's eyes that speaks of tragedy.

Widmore Sank Fakeceanic 815. It was pretty well suspected after Miles' "audition" last week, and then, as Hoy pointed out, it was meta-confirmed by the narrator of the recap . . . but there's nothing like hearing it straight from the Widmore's mouth, is there? SO . . . why? To stop rescuers from searching for the island? What does that gain Widmore? Motivation, please.

Chang Is Going To Evacuate The Island. At least the women and children. Daniel's reveal that he's from the future didn't quite get through, but something will. I'll put my money on Miles, please.

Eloise Always Knew. This is a rocker and a shocker for sure. Imagine this. From the moment you shoot and kill that scrawny dude who was threatening your heavily eyelinered friend, you would suspect that it was your little boy. (If I have my timeline right, Daniel would already have been born in 1977, but barely.) As you watched him grow up, you would watch him become that scrawny dude. Every time you looked at your son, you'd see the man you killed years before. And yet, for some reason, you push him to become that man in that place anyway. You and your ex-husband, the boy's father, conspire either separately or together, to bring him to that end. Why? Daniel must have done something that made this tragedy seem necessary. What would be so important?

Here's a few thoughts:

1) Daniel needs to go back and get killed, because he saves a lot of people by blowing the whistle on "the incident" at the Swan and instigates the Chang-vacuation.

2) Daniel needs to go back and get killed, because he is the one who told the Others to bury the hydrogen bomb back in Fonzie times.

3) Daniel needs to go back and get killed, because that little book of notes (a birthday present from his mother, of course), has some infinitely vital info.

4) Daniel needs to go back and get killed, because he just spent three years doing research at the Dharma home office. By Eloise's own testimony, a "very clever man" figured out how to find the island by designing the Looking Glass pendulum. I think it's pretty likely at this point that that person was Daniel.

5) Daniel needs to go back and get killed, because he did, and what happened happened. Remember that Eloise's role in her very first appearance was to convince Desmond to re-make the biggest mistake of his life, because what happened NEEDS to happen. She seems pretty big on the whole "Guardian of Destiny" thing.

The moral to all this is: If you are going to kill somebody on the Mysterious Time-Traveling Island, get proper ID first.

Daniel Wanted To Erase The Past. Basically, he want to hit "reset." Forget destiny. Forget "what happened, happened." He's going to save his Charlotte, and he has pretty much convinced Jack that if the incident is prevented, then Oceanic 815 will land safely and all of this will be avoided. While this would make an interesting ending in ways, I don't think this will happen, and I really hope it doesn't. First, it will be too close to the "it was all a dream" cop-out. Second, I can't imagine it would be that neat. I mean, if the incident doesn't happen, then Dharma continues to do their thing, Charlotte isn't evacuated, and so she doesn't come back to the island years later and die in the timequakes . . . but she probably does die in the purge. There really is no way of predicting what might happen to all these characters, or what it might mean to alter the web of fate that has been drawing them to the island all their lives. Third, Daniel wants to prevent the incident by setting of the H-bomb. Now, I'm not a quantum physicist, but it does seem to me that setting off a thermonuclear device might be a little more disruptive to an unstable power source than, you know, drilling. In other words, if dying Daniel has conviced Sir Jacksalot to go set off The Jughead, that's just as likely to be the cause of the incident, or even to BE the incident itself, than it is to prevent the incident. The H bomb is not one of your more precise tools, is what I am saying. Try the Phillips-head screwdriver, first.

Jack has a choice before him, as do they all. He's in 1977, and he can decide what to do. As can Kate, and Sawyer, and Hurley, and Miles, and the rest. They all have free will to decide what they are going to do.

And whatever they choose will result in the 2004 - 2007 reality we know.

The only thing that makes this hard to deal with is our perception. We've already seen the result. We don't know yet what the decision was. We usually experience it the other way.

HOWEVER . . . perhaps some things can be changed. Slight things. It strikes me that Daniel wasn't particularly bug eyed or scary when he warned Charlotte, and Charlotte didn't seem particularly scared. Maybe something as simple as Daniel's delivery could be different, and maybe great changes could hinge on whether or not a little girl was scared by a stranger. But I'm probably just off the reservation.

Free will or predestination?

The answer is "yes."

Random Questions and Observations

* The look on Juliet's face when Sawyer said, "Come with us, Freckles," was priceless. I didn't know that a white lady could so clearly convey the sentiment: "Oh no you DI'INT!"

* The more I see of Radzinsky, the more I am comfortable with his eventual fate to go crazy all by himself down in the hatch and become a red stain on the ceiling.

* How does Daniel have such precise knowledge of the incident? How does he know that Eloise is an Other? Why does the Oceanic crash make him so sad? My guess is that, even though Dan is dead, we haven't quite seen the last of him. See, he had the time-sickness before coming to the island. So he may just have been mind-jumping all over the place. When he got better, he may have remembered some stuff he wouldn't otherwise know.

* "You don't belong here at all," Daniel says to Jack. How does he know? And where do they belong?

* "I'm not allowed to eat chocolate before dinner." Charlotte's last words just got a lot more poigniant. Not just some random fiddle-faddle, she was remembering her first meeting of Daniel.

* The gun Daniel was waving in Richard's face looks a lot like the one Locke pulled out of the Dharma pit. Don't know if there is any significance to that or not.

* Why does Daniel have an American accent if his parents are Brits? Is Daniel like the mirror twin of the annoying Midwest girl who spends two months in England and comes back with a fake British accent that she claims not to notice she is using?

* "Welcome to the party, Twitchy!" Sawyer rules.



Tmo said...

I'm thinking if I know I'm going to shoot my son in the future/past, I might not ride him so hard about his schoolwork. "You're the youngest PhD from Oxford? Maybe you should take a vacation. Party a little. (I'm going to shoot you anyway.)"

I'm with you on Daniel not coming back a la young Ben, especially after his little talk with Jack at the Jeep. Or maybe that's just what the writers want us to think. How do they come up with this stuff?

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I'm with you, Goat -- the look on Eloise's face in the future betrays that she knows she just killed his ass.

And I'm also with you that it was Daniel who has discovered the pendulum thingy during his three years away "in Ann Arbor".

I would like to see Walt's dog come out and shoot Radzinski's brains to the ceiling of the swan, though.

jjok said...

personally, I think she sent him back because she knew he was trying to find a way to destroy the energy by blowing it up, h-style. In other words, their "present" really is in the past and they have full control of it. So if she doesn't let him go back and get shot, she risks Daniel destroying the island.

Gunslinger said...

Daniel can't create the pendulum and the Lamppost. He is apparently working for the DI in Ann Arbor from 74-77. He couldn't have discovered the method for finding the island during this time period because...the DI is already established on the island in 74, complete with sub trips and everything.

I'm totally with you on Daniel seeming different when he talked to Charlotte. What I noticed was that we DIDN'T see him tell her not to come back. Before she died, she explicitly said that he told her not to. Last night, the camera cuts over to Jack and Kate watching them and we don't hear the end of their conversation. Significant?

Gugel said...

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1Queens Up1 said...

I dont have anything to add other than it almost seems like they have a method of presenting like a science-centric episode followed by a faith-centric episode (though not neccesarily in an A-B-A order).

Ive decided to not rewatch the earlier episodes until the show is over, then I'll start it up from the beginning.