TV Review: Lost – The Variable


Lost, ABC, Airs Wednesdays 9/8c

Episode: “The Variable” (Season 5, Episode 14)

Synopsis: Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) sets out to get the islanders off the island for good as Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Jack (Matthew Fox) and the rest of the Dharma Initiative transplants choose a course of action now that their cover has been blown.

Review: For anyone who has been complaining that Lost had been too slow lately, here you go. Those who watched The Variable saw more action than Wilt Chamberlain. They, and by they I mean we, also got a clear explanation of how the islanders got onto the island. You wanted answers, you got them.

The 100th episode was one to remember, as if anyone could remember everything that has happened in the series. Sawyer’s best laid plans blew up in his face, well more in Radzinky’s (Eric Lange) really. What are Sawyer and Juliet going to do now?

Daniel Faraday’s life story was told through flashbacks, as if there is any other way to do it on Lost, and what a tragic life it was, that is if you assume that Daniel is dead, which we don’t think is the case. Davies’ acting was the high point of the episode, and reminded us why he made such an impact in Saving Private Ryan. Who knew that his mother, Eloise Hawking (Fionnula Flanagan), could be more brutal than Charles Widmore (Alan Dale), his dad. You’d be crazy too if you had parents like that.

Why did we have a new actress playing Ellie? Can someone explain this to me?

Faraday flipped his “whatever happened, happened” theory on its head and figured that the variables, the islanders, could change the past because technically it was the present. That didn’t work out too well for him, and it was ironic that Eloise already knew he was coming to detonate Jughead, the hydrogen bomb. It does, however, make things more interesting, now that we know anyone in the past is mortal. So what wins out, free will or the fundamentals of time travel, ones that that state you can not change the past? We’ll find out.

Can we see Jack play a more significant part? I continue to hear about how Matthew Fox is phoning in his performance this season, but what has he had to do? If the script calls for your character to say, “No, I’m not going to help,” and then sit there defiantly, well that’s what you do. He’ll become a major part of the story, I’m sure, but it’s a little surprising to see him sit back and watch everything happen. Sometimes you have to just let go, I guess.

Before the Oceanic 6 reunited, Jack said they had to go back to the island. We still technically haven’t seen the group all together at their beginning point on the island. If the writers want to continue their theme of returning where you came from, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where the series ends. I really hope, however, that they don’t end it by returning everyone back to their normal lives, as was Daniel Faraday’s plan. That would be the ultimate “Why the hell did we watch this series?” ending.

Before we go, we have to ask this: do you love or hate Kate? It seems like she has played Jack and Sawyer like two fine tuned fiddles. Even Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) sees it. We’re fond of her but wonder at what point are one of the two main guys going to take a stand and say, “Hey, could you stop banging us or screwing with our heads?”

Up Next Week: Jack and Kate are at odds over the direction to take to save their fellow island survivors, and Locke (Terry O’Quinn) further solidifies his stance as leader of “The Others.”

Read More: Lost Recaps

What did you think of The Variable?

Adam Sweeney has a background in journalism, having spent 4 years on the Lone Star Lutheran as an Opinions and Arts & Entertainment columnist. He graduated in May 2008 from Texas Lutheran University with a Dramatic Media degree and hopes to become a filmmaker/journalist/radio host/actor extraordinaire. He also writes film and play scripts and figures if Good Luck Chuck can make it to the big screen then why can't he? He can also be read at as a feature writer on all things basketball, and his personal blog covers everything from politics to why Keira Knightley is looking more like Jack Skellington every day. (

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