The 'Lost' Hour: Season 5 -- Episode 14: 'The Variable'

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Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly
washingtonpost.com Staff
Thursday, April 30, 2009; 3:00 PM

"Lost" bloggers Liz Kelly and Jen Chaney attempt to get to the bottom of time travel, love quadrangles and all things related to the ABC's cult favorite every Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. Liz and Jen, both obsessive "Lost" fans, have been writing their weekly dueling analysis of the show since 2006. When not debating the merits of Sawyer's hotness, Liz Kelly writes the Celebritology blog and Jen Chaney acts as movies editrix and DVD columnist for washingtonpost.com.

For episode analysis, discussion transcripts and more, visit washingtonpost.com's Lost Central.

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Would it move your island to have us take your question first during today's "Lost" Hour chat? All you have to do is send out a link to the chat to your Twitter network including @celebritology in your Twitter message (Ex: Discuss last night's Lost - http://tr.im/k35n @celebritology #lost). Then Submit your question on The Post site, and include your Twitter username for verification. Check back at 3 p.m. ET to see if your question was selected to start the session.

Liz Kelly: Last night's show was well worth a two week wait. Lots to talk about.

But first, Jen and I would like to invite you to join us on May 13 from 5 p.m. to 8-ish at The Reef in Adams Morgan for a little season five pre-finale happy hour. Details available on Facebook.

Jen Chaney: Come on, Liz. You need to sell that baby.

Liz and I will be at the happy hour! There will be drink specials! There may be special prizes and "Lost" music! I'll be wearing a Drive Shaft T-shirt and throwing back adult beverages!

See, doesn't that sound more exciting now? (Actually, I might have just talked everyone out of coming...)

But enough about all that. Come on, kids. Let's talk Daniel Faraday.

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Washington, D.C. : Where has Sayid been this whole time since he escaped and shot little Ben? Also do you think we will find out what happened to the rest of the Oceanic people that were on the beach during the island's disappearance (ie Rose and Bernard). Finally. where (and when) is Sun?

Thanks!

Jen Chaney: I trust all of these questions will be answered in the next two weeks. Okay, I can't say for sure about Rose and Bernard (although I hope so). But I have to think Sayid and Sun will make appearances again.

Liz Kelly: I thought about Sayid last night. He's got to be holed up in the jungle somewhere. He knows the island well so he could be hiding out in a number of places. As for Rose, Bernard and the rest -- maybe Sawyer and Juliet will find them at the beach if they ever make it there.

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Erasing Everything: Liz & Jen -- Thank you SO much for pointing out that Kate wouldn't want everything erased (as Daniel theorized would happen if they prevented the incident). As soon as he said that, I thought "There's no way she'd want that!" And would Jack really want it either? He was a depressed drunk off the island - leading me to believe there was SOMETHING on the island that made him whole. Knowing that, would he really want to go back? Especially since he was recently divorced and had just lost his father (doesn't sound like a great life to go back to)?

Jen Chaney: Well, we didn't get to delve into this more deeply during the post. But here is what I am wondering: if the events of the Incident change and the plane doesn't crash, etc., I wonder if the future would be altered much more drastically, such that the course of their whole lives even pre-crash might be slightly different.

For example, maybe Christian doesn't die after all. Maybe Kate doesn't go all "Firestarter" and set her mean stepdaddy's place ablaze. I think Kate is going to assume that things do revert back to life as she knew it pre-crash, as you said, and she isn't going to want that. But maybe Jack will see it differently.

Regardless of how much he has changed this season, I think Jack is still a fix-it man at heart. If he thinks he could erase every bad thing that happened to everyone and get a clean slate, I believe he would want to try.

Liz Kelly: I dunno. Daniel said the plane would land in Los Angeles. That led me to believe that everything up to that point would be the same. But, as we know, there was already some island magic at work before the flight -- the numbers that brought Hurley to Australia, Mr. Abaddon's urging to John Locke to go on a walkabout -- so Jen could be right.

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Durham, NC: I think the episode really answered the question in the other direction, i.e., everything has already been determined and Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Hurley, Miles, Sayid, and Faraday are just fulfilling their roles. Faraday was convinced he could change things, but he just played his part of getting shot. Alpert didn't seem very concerned with getting shot and was mad at Eloise for shooting Faraday. I wonder whether he remembered who it was and thought he might get some information out of Faraday, or if he just knows he can't be killed because he is alive in the future?

Jen Chaney: You know, I thought about that late (*very* late) last night after Liz and I did our analysis. I think that's a totally valid takeaway from the episode, too.

I suspect the last couple of episodes are going to show us that changing the past does have consequences, though. I think Faraday said all that to lay the groundwork for what's to come, even though his own fate did not seem to change. If that makes sense.

Liz Kelly: I think it makes total sense, Jen. Faraday -- who we all have to trust was a brilliant physicist -- ultimately believed he could change things. I think his mother believed he could change things, too. That's why she killed him.

But Jack, at least as per the previews for next week's show, seems to have bought Faraday's theories and may try to pick up where Dan left off. I doubt Eloise is expecting that.

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Bethesda, Md.: Jen/ Liz:

I am a bit confused and hoped that you could clarify:

1. Is it me, or is it hard to believe that Charlotte would "move Dan's island" after only two significant interactions with her (at least, that we know of): (i) for a few days after Locke spun the donkey wheel, when she was 2 years old, and (ii) for a few weeks when they sailed on the freighter. Don't you think that their backstory needs to be more developed?

2. Bear with me on this one, because I am not sure if I fully understand my own question - How does Dan know about the island, but not his own imminent death? If Dan knows about the "Incident" and what Dr. Chang's response to said Incident will be, then he should know that he went back in time previously, but was unsuccessful in his attempts to change history. Assuming that he knows that much, then he should knows that he is going to die, right?

3. Not sure why Ellie slapped Widmore... Both of them have made sacrifices to make certain that "whatever happened, happened." So why is Ellie so angry with Widmore?

Keep up the good fight!

Jen Chaney: Allow me to answer these in order:

1. I will grant you that the backstory is a little thin. But at least on Charlotte's end, she saw the guy before. Granted, he scared the crap out of her at the time. But by the time she sees him again, all she can remember is that he seems familiar to her somehow, and that might make Daniel fascinating to her in some way she can't quite define. And maybe Daniel knows she once lived on the island and is fascinated by her for that reason. Miles seemed to know Charlotte was an island baby, if you remember one of his comments to her from near the end of season four. (Which makes sense, since he's an island baby himself.)

2. This is a stickier question, and a good one. My sense is that Faraday knows about the Incident because he has spent three years (and maybe even some time after agreeing to join the freighter folk) researching the Dharma Initiative and its history on the island. I think he read or heard about all of this second-hand, not that he was able to see everything that happens ahead of time.

3. I thought she slapped him -- in retrospect -- because he used the past tense. And also because he had the audacity to call Daniel his son when Ellie raised him on her own.

Liz Kelly: Let me just add that

1. Sarah Conner only knew Kyle Reese for 24 hours and yet they loved enough for a lifetime, so I wouldn't discount Dan and Charlotte's feelings for each other. Extraordinary circumstances have a way of bringing people together.

2. I agree with Jen -- Dan knew the major events that would unfold on the island, but not the minor ones. And, as he said, humans were the variables. And Dan's death would hardly have had the impact on the island's history that the incident did. In fact, it probably wasn't even recorded since it took place in the Hostiles' camp.

3. Why is Ellie angry with Widmore? I'm hoping we'll find out by season's end. But I think that slap is enough to clue us in to the fact that they are not on the same team. As for raising him on her own, that may be true -- but Ellie should recall that Widmore's money also greased the wheels of her son's research and, ultimately, her own ends.

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Alexandria: So, what emotion do you think Daniel was experiencing when he lie there dying at Ellie's feet?

I couldn't tell if it was anger, despair, clarity, or what.

Any thoughts?

Liz Kelly: Probably a mix of all of the above -- plus a bit of betrayal.

Producer Paul and I were arguing about Dan and his mom earlier today. He posited that she withdrew from him emotionally when he was a child because she knew she'd have to kill him one day and, according to her, one can't deviate from one's destiny.

Me, I took the other tack. Daniel talked about human beings as variables last night and we all assume, I think, that Daniel is the (failed) variable alluded to by the show's title. But Eloise Hawking was also a variable. She could have chosen to buck the system, to try to prevent her son's death. But she didn't. As Dan said, she sent him back there knowing she would kill him. That was cold calculation, not resignation to one's fate.

I think that's what Daniel sensed -- that his mother had used him, and sacrificed him, to further her own ends. What those ends are we don't yet know.

Jen Chaney: I disagree a little bit on that, because I think Eloise's comment to Penelope -- "For the first time, I don't know what's going to happen" -- indicates that she held out some hope that the chain of events might change.

I honestly think that may be part of the reason she was so hot to get Jack, Sun and co. on that plane and to the island. She wanted to upset the balance a little bit. So on one hand, she believed she had to send Daniel there. On the other, she hoped the outcome would be different. That the Losties would be a variable that would change the equation.

Could I use more math metaphors?

Liz Kelly: I disagree. She got Jack and co. on the island for a reason, but not to save her son. She saw him as a necessary sacrifice.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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What about Ellie?: Is it just me, or does the Eloise Hawking circa 1977 look nothing like the young "Ellie" of 1954? Are we supposed to assume age convinced her to run out and get a dye job?

Liz Kelly: She looks like a more filled out version of the 1954 Ellie. Remember, she would have been 20 years older in 77. Trust me, the same actress could not play me at 17 and 37.

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Alexandria, Va.: A Quote from Lindelof at a Lost convention: "The plane did not crash by accident, it crashed for a very specific reason."

This tells me that despite Daniel's efforts he would not have been able to change that. Do you think we will ever find out the reason?

Jen Chaney: I suspect what Sir Lindelof may have meant is simply that the plane crashed because of Desmond's actions. And he may have pointed that out to hint that if said "reason" no longer exists, well, maybe the plane doesn't crash.

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Freighter folk = Tailies: All the Tailies other than Bernard died. Now all the Freighter Folk except Miles and Frank have died (and Frank is in a precarious position). Why does Lost introduce new groups of characters only to kill most of them off?

Jen Chaney: Well, in this case, that creates some additional, nice parallelism with season two. And from a practical standpoint, if they narrow down those new groups, that gets them back to the core characters the show started with in season one. And I think it's quite likely that season six will rewrite season one, or at least riff on it at some way.

I know that doesn't really answer your question. But I think thematically, "Lost" has perpetually touched on the notion of one group being suspicious of another. The members of those groups change, but still, no one seems to learn the appropriate lessons from all of it.

It's basically "Lord of the Flies" on repeat. And I mean that as a compliment.

Liz Kelly: Agreed. And despite the introduction of new characters only to have them killed off, I think that in most cases that construct served the story line well.

The only notable exceptions being, of course, Nikki and Paolo.

I was sorry to see Ana Lucia die, though -- I think she could've added a bit more to the show had Michael not blasted her in the gut.

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BTTF: Admit it, when Daniel told Chang he was from the future, you half expected Chang to say, "tell me future boy, who's president of the united states in 2007?"

Jen Chaney: Well, not expected. But certainly hoped.

Did anyone else read the EW interview with Michael J. Fox where he also expressed the wish to see Doc Brown show up in an episode of "Lost"? That Marty McFly -- he thinks just like we do!

Liz Kelly: Let's talk more about "Back to the Future." I love it so!

Jen Chaney: Well, since you insist...

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Cambridge, Mass.: With Faraday gone, it seems our "time-travel guide" is gone too. Do you think this will lead to some sort diminishing level of importance in the final season? Who will the writers use to explain the "science" behind it and will it make sense without his presence?

Liz Kelly: Faraday's gone, but we may have other guides emerging. Ben is still around -- and Locke. And Christian Shephard. And, at least for a short while, Pierre Chang. Plus, Jack's got Dan's notes. And -- SPOILER ALERT (Not really, because the info was pubbed in EW), but we'll apparently finally see Jacob in the season finale. And I would imagine that he's got a handle on the island's physics.

But your point is interesting. It could be that the time travel aspect will recede as the endgame unfolds -- which may have more to do with the "coming war" and whatever it is that lies in the shadow of the statue.

Jen Chaney: I agree that I don't think time travel will be as central. Though I think understanding the island's properties -- which obviously affect the whole time issue -- is still crucial.

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Foggy Bottom, DC: Do you think that Faraday planned to get shot when he walked into the camp? He walked in there very sure of himself with a gun, and the hostiles are people that are very willing to protect themselves. Also, who says that Faraday is really gone, especially since Miles can probably still communicate with him and learn what his plan was.

Jen Chaney: When you say gone, you mean gone from the show? Or just gone-dead?

He could be gone-dead and still be a recurring character on the show, definitely. One need only look to Christian Shephard for proof of that.

Liz Kelly: Re: walking into the camp with a gun in his hand -- remember, Dan was no dab hand with a gun. He asked Kate for a "beginner's model" and it was Dan who -- not realizing he had the gun in his hand -- accidentally tipped off Radzinsky at the motor pool. He wasn't used to operating with a firearm.

So, no, I don't think he went out of his way to get shot. He just didn't know any better.

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New York: Is it possible, based on the comments Daniel made, and the cutting back and forth to his story that DESMOND is "The Variable", and as Daniel said, he has unique properties in relation to time, and he actually could affect the future? How he gets back to 1977 is anyone's guess, but HE is the one Daniel talked to to get the Losties back and HE is the one who didn't push the button that caused 815 to crash, and HE is the one who is not listening and going back to the island...so HE should be the one to change the course of time, no? You guys are fun, I enjoy reading your stuff.

Jen Chaney: Ooh, that's a great point, New York. That makes a lot of sense to me.

Liz Kelly: Well, we have always posited that Desmond is "special" and that the normal rules don't apply to him.

But dammit, I am utterly distracted by this harassment suit. It really is hard to see past.

Jen Chaney: I know! I am trying to forget it since a. we have no idea if it's true and b. Desmond the character should be a separate entity from that whole episode.

But I do wish someone from the show (or Cusick himself) would comment on the matter and at least attempt to adamantly deny it.

Liz Kelly: Yep -- a brief statement would probably be good, but his counsel may be figuring that silence is the best defense at this point.

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Whose team are you on?: I agree that Widmore and Ellie seem to be on different teams. But I doubt that Ellie is also on Ben's team. This would make 3 teams at least. Maybe Ilana and Bram are on Ellie's team...

Jen Chaney: She is clearly not on Ben's team, especially in light of her response when a confused Pen asked if her son was Ben Linus: "Oh God, no."

Maybe she is -- to borrow a phrase from "Twilight" fandom -- on Team Jacob.

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Liz Kelly: By the way -- thank you to everyone who re-Tweeted the link to today's chat and especially to Twitterer AirMaxine, who won the honor of being today's first questioner.

Hope you can make it to the Happy Hour, Maxine.

Jen Chaney: Yes and we hope you Tweet while you're there.

5:12: Liz Kelly seems nice.

5:15: There's a chick here in a Driveshaft T-shirt who seems like kind of a donkey.

5:18: Oh, the donkey is Jen Chaney. Yeah, that makes sense...

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Vienna, VA: Isn't it entirely possible that by trying to stop "The Incident" Jack and company actually cause "The Incident" to happen? Remember, Dharma causes "The Incident", but technically Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sawyer, Juliet, and Miles are all a part of Dharm right now. Daniel's telling Charlotte not to come back to the island happened in the timeline of "The Incident," and he caused it to happen again. From Eloise's reaction at the end, she knew that she would kill Daniel, and again in this timeline Daniel dies again. Everything seems to be pointing to the fact that "The Incident" still happens, and everyone is unwittingly spurring it along.

Jen Chaney: True enough. But we all know that "Lost" seasons tend to end with a cliffhanger of some sort. And I have to think this season's cliffhanger will be related to us wondering whether The Incident really plays out according to past history, or whether it changes everything.

Someone -- maybe Matthew Fox when he was on Letterman earlier this week -- implied the fans would be riled up by the finale because they will want an immediate answer to the questions it raises. Not that that's such a surprise.

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Jimmy Kimmel skit: I loved the bit on Jimmy Kimmel last night where JJ, Damon, and Carlton were writing the Lost scripts with a Mad Libs book!

washingtonpost.com: Jimmy in the 100th Episode of LOST

Liz Kelly: Nice.

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Daniel Widmore: How did Daniel get the name Faraday? If he is Widmore's son.. Hawking's son?

Jen Chaney: I think he is named for Michael Faraday, the physicist. Maybe Eloise gave him that name. You know, to keep him focused on his work.

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McLean, Va: As one of the commenters on your "dueling analysis" pointed out, the best dialogue last night was the exchange between Sawyer and Miles regarding Daniel. Paraphrasing --

Sawyer: Is he still crazy?

Miles: He's at a whole new level, man.

washingtonpost.com: 'Lost' Dueling Analysis: 'The Variable'

Liz Kelly: Thanks -- that was a good exchange, and there were others also pointed out in the comments, for instance Ms. Hawking's reaction when asked if she was Ben Linus's mother.

Jen Chaney: Yes, as I mentioned earlier, that could have been a quote contender, too. The "Lost" writers have definitely dished out some choice lines this season, you have to give them that.

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Re: New York (& Desmond): YES YES YES! I've had a feeling for the longest time that it's Desmond that's going to be Mr. Fix-It (or at least Mr. Tries to Fix It). Like Liz/Jen pointed out, the "rules" don't apply to him. He's jumped back and forth in time before and it makes logical sense that he'll be the one to somehow get both song tracks (the 1977 island goings-on and the 2000s/Lock/Sun scenario) onto the same track. Also, Eloise did say "the island isn't through with you yet" -- and come on. If that's not foreshadowing, I don't know what is!

Jen Chaney: She sure did. And yet she didn't seem worried when he left her freaky lair. Maybe that's why she was worried about whether or not he recovered.

If he had died at the hospital, she would have questioned her whole view of exactly and who the island is done with and when.

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Endor: Thanks for drawing the continuing parallel between Star Wars and Lost in today's Duel. Another one that strikes me is Obi Wan's reappearance and influence after his death. We have an array of walking dead in Lost, Christian and Charlie, and perhaps Claire. Something tells me Daniel will return to play a part in his afterlife.

Jen Chaney: Jacob also is an Obi-Wan-ish figure, potentially. Except he makes the worst hologram ever because no one -- or at least not us viewers -- can see the guy yet.

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NotDoc: When Widmore said "he's my son, too," what if he was speaking in more of a metaphorical than biological sense? In other words, perhaps Widmore feels that he has helped guide, protect, and develop Daniel and his work much as he would raise a child (remember, his relationship with Penny hints that he doesn't really get the "emotional" component of parenting), and thus Daniel is like a son to him. This type of misdirection would fit with "Lost" and would also explain why Eloise slapped him so bitterly.

Liz Kelly: I dunno. I take him at his word.

Jen Chaney: I do, too. It seemed like sort of a "Da-naaaa!" reveal to me the way it played out, coupled with the slap.

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Charlotte, NC: Here's the thing about variables (says the statistician who never believed she'd be able to use her knowledge of multiple analysis of variance in discussing a television show!)...they're seldom parsed along a black or white axis, but rather along a gray continuum. Introducing variable X into the equation doesn't mean that a right turn becomes a left turn. Maybe it means that a right turn becomes a rolling stop before continuing right or that the movement switches to left but at a slower pace or that it doesn't change the turn at all but has a repercussive effect on something else further down the road after that right turn. Okay, straining the analogy, I know. But introducing a variable doesn't mean that the event is now opposite, just that you've changed the PROBABILITY of an event happening in a particular way. So maybe Daniel was always going to die but not necessarily shot by his mother, or that shooting her son now makes Eloise do something different that is the variable that keeps something else from happening or creates an event that otherwise would not have occured. Introducing variables changes probabilities.

Liz Kelly: So, excusing my dimwitted English major summation, but you're saying that a variable is another way of explaining course correction, yes?

Jen Chaney: Actually, I don't think that's what Charlotte, N.C. means, Liz. Unless I misunderstand -- which is highly probable, as I am sure this reader could show us using fancy equations and 'rithmetic -- I think this person is saying that the variable could cause small changes that are not perceptible yet. And that might increase the chance that bigger changes will occur.

Course correction means that everything rights itself and still turns out the same way, and I think a variable actually gets in the way of that.

I *think.* Please feel free to correct me, mathematically inclined readers.

Liz Kelly: See, I was reading it as something more akin to: The variable can cause small changes, but that things will still come out as they were meant to come out -- Daniel may be shot by his mother and not Charles Widmore or Charlie may die in an undersea station instead of on a beach after being struck by a bolt of lightning.

So although there may be slight variations, the net result is the same.

We need an on-call physicist.

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You lost me at "Freckles": Even a dim-witted, communication challenged male like me wouldn't have so undercut my current girlfriend by asking my old girlfriend, Freckles, to side with me and come to the beach like Sawyer last night in the pivotal scene with Jack. Ouch...

Liz Kelly: Agreed. That was pretty bad.

I think it was just further evidence of Sawyer's slipping grip on the self-control he'd worked so hard to build during his three years as La Fleur. He saw his world -- tenuous as it was -- crashing down around him and started reverting back to his old ways.

Jen Chaney: No one else has mentioned this, but he also said something about Jack screwing things up, then sort of gave Juliet a look. I know everyone is focused on the fact that Kate threatens Juliet, which is true. But let's not forget that Jack completely threatens Sawyer, too.

And I'm sorry, I think Juliet still has a soft spot for Jack. So to watch both of them fighting about what Kate will or won't do was just too much for her,

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Not Ann Arbor, Mich.: Is it possible we've already seen "Jughead" go off? What did Desmoand activate when turning the key in the hatch?

Is the real issue not whether they use a hydrogen bomb to blow up the Swan Station, but when?

Liz Kelly: No... what Desmond did was release the built up electro-magnetic energy. If Jughead had been detonated, I would think much more than the Hatch would be annihilated.

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Miles: is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters, though it's taken a while for him to grow on me. I think the moment last night when he tossed Daniel the keys to the jeep instead of driving him bears noting.

Liz Kelly: I assumed he wanted to stay near his parents to protect them in some way, if possible.

Jen Chaney: I also thought he was empowering Daniel to do what he needed to do. He showing him he trusted him, even though everyone else thought Faraday was kind of nuts.

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Arlington, VA: When is Ben Linus coming out with his book "Who Moved My Island?" the treatise on how to deal with unexpected personal and organizational change?

Jen Chaney: And here I thought Ben's book would be called: "Who Moved My Roast Ham?"

Or perhaps: "Who Moved My Smoke Monster?"

(Answer: John Locke.)

Liz Kelly: Jen, are you already drinking?

Jen Chaney: Wait, the happy hour isn't for another two weeks?

Oh, man. I guess I should go easy on these Dharma-tinis then.

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Accord, NY: An interesting question now is: if Widmore is Penelope's father and Daniel's father, who is Penelope's mother. Perhaps that has something to do with the slap.

Jen Chaney: Good question. I am not sure it relates to the slap, but your question raises another point: why wouldn't Widmore go into the hospital to say hi to Pen? Obviously she has no desire to see him, but the way he characterized their inability to communicate almost made it seem like it was physically impossible for him to go see her.

Maybe I read too much into it.

Liz Kelly: I think Widmore is there because he cares. But he hangs back because he respects Penelope's wishes to stay out of her life.

Maybe I'm a sucker, but I do think this season has painted Widmore as a much more sympathetic character than what we'd originally been led to believe about the guy.

Jen Chaney: Yes, except for the part where he wanted to kill an infant (Alex).

I do get the sense that he's a sad, lonely old man, though. So I have a bit of sympathy for the guy.

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Rockville, Md.: So Faraday had to be born on the island, right? So did kid Faraday see adult Faraday get shot, a la "12 Monkeys"?

Jen Chaney: I am not sure he was born on the island. He was probably conceived there, but Hawking may have left before she gave birth to him.

It's possible, of course, I'm just not sure we can say one way or the other yet.

Liz Kelly: Agreed.

Have we speculated about why his last name is neither Hawking nor Widmore?

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Others' Teams: I disagree, Ellie is totally on Ben's team (or maybe vice versa)--it was Ellie who had Ben running around to collect the O6! I just think she said "good god no" to the notion of Ben being her son because, while they're on the same team, it's not like she doesn't realize how despicable he is....

Jen Chaney: True, she did use Ben to gather the O6. But I just have this feeling her motivations and his do not align.

I could be wrong, of course. It's just a feeling.

Liz Kelly: Agreed -- Hawking was using Ben. And Ben was probably using her. It was a mutually beneficial agreement between adversaries.

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Cinci, Ohio: There were two or three commercial breaks that contained "subliminal-like" messages followed by a screen that said "What did you see?." Is it a Lost promotion? What was that?? I have heard of people speak of other subliminal messages too with the Dharma films. What do you know of this?

Jen Chaney: Oh, thanks for reminding us about that!

Those were actually promos for a new ABC show called "Flash Forward." Sounds exceedingly "Lost"-esque.

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Milwaukee: So if you so readily accept Charles as Daniel's father explain why Daniel speaks without a British accent?

Liz Kelly: Because he was perhaps largely raised in the U.S.?

Jen Chaney: I'll second that.

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A Healed Daniel: Was anyone else confused by the timeline of events regarding Daniel's "illness." He was totally sketched out BEFORE going to the island for the first time (hence, Whidmore & his mother telling him the island would heal him if he got on that tanker). But the very first time we see him, he's completely composed (no memory problems, no crazy).

Liz Kelly: But he was already in the vicinity of/on the island when we first meet him. Remember Charlotte doing memory tests with him involving a deck of cards last season?

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Wilmington, DE: I have asked this before and received no response, but I think it at least somewhat pertinent to the overall mythology. What has become of Alvar Hanso? Is his a storyline that no longer matters? Has he joined Libby on an eternal vacation? It seems as though they put much emphasis on the Hanso Corp. in "ads" and official sites and so forth and, thus, it would be strange to have him ushered aside so easily...

Liz Kelly: I'm wondering about Alvar, too. Especially since we've been reviewing a lot of Dharma orientation films lately. I'm not saying he's definitely still in play, but there's no reason he shouldn't be.

Jen Chaney: I can't decide how I feel about that. On one hand, I wouldn't be surprised is his names come back into the picture. On the other, as Wilmington rightly notes, Hanso has mainly played a role in what I'll refer to as "Lost" ancillary products: ARGs, knockoff novels, etc. So maybe they see him as too peripheral for the average viewer, who probably didn't read "Bad Twin."

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Ode to Daniel Faraday!: Ode to Daniel Faraday!

O'ffed by your own mother Who is an other Daniel Faraday You tried to find a way

Mice didn't work And Pop's is a jerk But your Memory keeps going Away.

Dan....you were the man Without Desmond's tan But in the end you had to die And we can't tell a lie

Did what happen really happen? Or is the Island merely laughin' At how you took that bet And tried to prevent Charlotte's death.

Will we ever really know? Are we back to Jack's show? I guess its all about Destiny... So we'll just have to wait and see!

Rest in Peace

Just felt like sending this in.

Liz Kelly: Thanks for sharing.

Jen Chaney: Thank you for that lovely eulogy. We hope you all will join us after this memorial service for finger food and awkward conversation at Miles Straume's barracks.

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Anonymous: Juliet bad but pretend to be good but I know she bad. She very bad !

Liz Kelly: Chaka from "Land of the Lost," everyone.

Jen Chaney: See, I kinda thought it was Cookie Monster.

Or should I say, Muppet Baby Cookie Monster.

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I'm with Foggy Bottom: Daniel was asking to get shot. Per his statement to Miles, everything he did he did for a reason. He was on a boat with mercenaries for weeks and you think he didn't know how to use a gun? He just wanted something more manageable. He knew he had to die, just like Locke, and just like Locke, he needed to have someone else kill him. he actually seemed bummed that he only got grazed by the bullet back at the motor pool.

My "out there, I know" idea - Daniel knew exactly what he was doing when he walked into the Lion's Den. Yup, Daniel walked right in there, and even though he was shot, I have a sneaking suspicion he'll ultimately emerge unscathed. His name is a perfect combination of the two figures -- Daniel Faraday -- Faith and Reason, Faith and Science, Faith in Science, whatever.

Liz Kelly: Okay, the truth will out. What you say makes some sense, but I do want to point out that the relations between the mercenaries (Keamy et al) and the scientists were hardly cordial. I just don't see them having cocktails while doing a little mid-ocean target practice.

But no, Daniel stated that his purpose was to detonate Jughead, not to get himself killed.

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Where's Jacob: (Pick Me!) So what do you ladies think - are we going to know Jacob when his/her identity is finally revealed? Or is this going to be a new character?

Jen Chaney: I think we will know. And if we are very fortunate, it will be a "Whaa????" moment.

I am so craving a "Whaaa???" moment.

Liz Kelly: Well, we know who the actor is thanks to EW so anyone who definitely wants to know can get a clue ahead of time or, for the non spoiler-friendly, just wait and see.

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Further proof of Faraday's American childhood: Braces.

Jen Chaney: Wasn't that little boy sweet, though? He had such gentle eyes, very much like our Jeremy Davies.

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WOW: That's it? Daniel is just dead? No way, he can't be. They wouldn't just off him in such a quick and hurried manner, would they? I have a feeling he will be back, maybe in a Christian Shepard like way? I don't know...

This whole time travel thing is moving my island, but in a bad, confusion beyond anything I have encountered sort of way. Do you think Eloise gave Daniel the journal knowing that it would fall into her hands once again in '77, but this time with actual documentation? Then again, why would she need it if she knew what was going to happen anyway. And why would Daniel need to die in order for the Incident to happen? Why would she, and even Widmore for that matter, want the Incident to happen?

Help me, PLEASE. And btw - I bragged via Facebook status about my comment being up on the chat, because you guys ROCK my island that much.

Jen Chaney: Aw, thanks for the Facebook brags.

To answer your question about the Incident, maybe they don't want it to happen. Perhaps both of them want to alter history on some level so Ben doesn't wind up in charge. (Just a guess on my part.) I am assuming Widmore, at least, doesn't want to be banished.

And Daniel doesn't necessarily need to die for the Incident to happen, except that it's, again, a piece of the puzzle happening exactly as it was laid out. Variables, as Daniel said, are crucial. If any small thing changes, it could cause bigger changes.

And good question about the journal, which I think someone else also raised. There could very well be something there.

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Liz Kelly: Okay, thanks for another good discussion. I hate to go, but duty calls.

Finally, one last call to action: Mark your calendars now for the "Lost" Happy Hour -- May 13, the Reef. See Jen Chaney dance on tables! See Liz Kelly shoot video of said dancing!

'til next week...

Jen Chaney: Wait, who said anything about video?

Re: the dancing, please, start choreographing your routines to "Shambala" now. There will be a dance-off.

Again, thanks for the chat. We'll be back here next Thursday for the penultimate (sniff, sniff) week of this "Lost" season. See you then!

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