Daniel returns to the island with an urgent, daring plan to get all of the castaways back to where they belong — a plan that divides the survivors.

Written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
Directed by Paul A. Edwards

Flashback

Daniel Faraday, as a young boy, plays the piano in his home with virtuoso skill. His mother, a younger Eloise Hawking than we know from the present, enters. She’s very sad, her eyes filled with tears. He stops playing, noticing her. She sits and asks him if he knows what “destiny” means. He says no. “Destiny means,” she explains, “that if one has a special gift, it must be nurtured.” She asks him how many beats the metronome atop the piano has counted since he started playing. “864,” he replies without hesitation. She tells Daniel that his gift is his mind, a mind meant for science and mathematics, and it’s her job to keep him on his path. So there will be no more time for distractions like his piano playing. He objects, saying he can both pursue his studies and play piano. “I can make time,” he claims. “If only you could,” she replies sadly.

Years later, Daniel graduates from Oxford with his doctorate. As he’s leaving the ceremony still in his graduation gown, he has a girl on his arm — the same girlfriend his experiments would later harm, Teresa. His mother waits to see him there, and Daniel introduces his girlfriend to his mom. Eloise all but ignores Teresa, interested only in congratulating her son. She invites him to a special lunch, but says she was hoping it would just be the two of them. She says she hopes Teresa will understand, since Eloise doesn’t get to see her son that often. Teresa graciously agrees that they should go without her.

At an Indian restaurant nearby, Daniel is very quiet as they eat. Eloise asks if something’s bothering him, and Daniel admits he’s frustrated that she was rude to Teresa. “She’s my girlfriend,” he says. “She’s your research assistant,” his mother retorts. “You should be focusing your energies on your work!” She tells him that he’s not going to have time for relationships, that the women in his life will only end up terribly hurt. He sees something more in this comment, and calls her on it. She backpedals, recovering quickly, saying it’s just that his work will always come first. Angry now, Daniel points out that she’s pushed him hard his whole life, and he wants to know when his accomplishments will ever be enough for her. He’s the youngest doctorate to ever graduate from Oxford, he reminds her, and he just got a 1.5 million pound research grant. She stops him there, unaware of this but excited to hear it. She asks who the grant is from, and he strains to remember the name. “Widmore, I think.” While he’s looking away, she recognizes this name all too well and reacts harshly, but pushes her reaction aside before he sees it. Instead, she tells him she didn’t come here to fight with him. She came to congratulate him. She gives him a gift-wrapped graduation present in a small box, and tells him good luck. As she exits, he opens her gift: it’s the leather-bound journal he will later take with him to the island. On the first page, she’s written a note: “No matter what, remember, I will always love you.”

Next we return back to the very first flashback we ever saw of Dan, from the Season 4 episode, “Confirmed Dead.” (This takes place sometime after the accident with his research that caused Daniel to suffer from memory problems.) That brief scene — of Daniel crying over TV footage of the faked Oceanic 815 wreckage, but not knowing why — is replayed, but then expanded on significantly. After Daniel claims he doesn’t know why the plane crash is upsetting him so much, there’s a knock at the door. Charles Widmore enters Daniel’s home, and Dan immediately apologizes, saying he has a condition that affects his memories. Widmore admonishes him not to be embarrassed, saying that they’ve never met. He tells Dan his name, and this Dan remembers — Widmore is the man who gave him his research grant. Dan explains that he’d meant to thank Widmore before he left Oxford, but Widmore corrects him: “You mean before you were dismissed.” Daniel becomes sorrowful, saying that he tested his experiment on himself before he did it on Teresa, because he would never hurt her. Widmore says it’s alright, that this isn’t the reason he came.

He came to offer Daniel a new opportunity. He tells him of the freighter and its destination, and the job that’s waiting for Dan there if he’s interested. Dan says he doesn’t think he can, but just then he sees the faked crash footage on the TV again and starts to cry. “Did I say something to upset you?” asks Widmore. “It’s this plane crash,” Daniel explains. “I don’t know why it’s bothering me so much. It’s just so sad. They’re dead.” Widmore responds, “What if I told you they’re not dead? What if I told you the plane is a fake — an elaborate, expensive fake?” Dan asks how he could know that, and Widmore responds that he put it there. Dan is stunned, and takes a moment to phrase his next question: “Why would you tell me that?” “Because,” Widmore replies, “come tomorrow, you won’t remember that I did.” He explains that the real Oceanic 815 crashed on an island. “A special island, with unique scientific properties. I want to send you to the island. It will further your research, show you things you’d never dream of. More importantly, it will heal you. Your mind, your memory.” Daniel can’t believe his ears, and asks why Widmore is doing all of this for him. Widmore replies that Daniel is a man of tremendous gifts, and it would be a shame to see them go to waste. “You sound like my mother,” says Dan. “That’s because we’re old friends,” says Widmore.

A few days later, Daniel is playing piano in his home when his mother enters behind him, come for a visit. He falters, unable to remember the notes, and then notices her there. She says she heard he’s been offered a job. He asks how she knows that, she says it’s her business to know. “I came here to tell you that it’s very important that you say ‘yes’ to Mr. Widmore.” He says he can’t, that Widmore requires someone to perform complex space/time computations and bearings, and he doesn’t remember how to do that anymore because of his condition. She points out Widmore’s argument that the island could heal him, and beneath a subtext of pain, encourages him to take the offer. “Will it make you proud of me?” he asks, childlike. “Yes, Daniel, it will,” she replies, with heavy emotion. “Then I’ll do it,” he says.

Now

In 2007, Desmond is rushed to the ER at the Marina Medical Center in Long Beach, after being shot by Ben. Penny and little Charlie follow close by, and as Penny tries to get answers out of the doctors and nurses about his condition, one of them shouts that Desmond is “coding” and then “crashing,” and they race his gurney into an exam room.

In the waiting room, Penny waits for news in desperation while watching Charlie sleep on a couch. Eloise Hawking approaches the two of them from behind, and remarks that Charlie has his father’s hair. Penny stands and asks if they know each other, Eloise says no but that she knows Penny’s husband. She introduces herself and says that it’s her son’s fault that Desmond was shot. “Your son is Benjamin Linus?” “God, no!” replies Eloise, horrified at the thought. “My son is Daniel Faraday.”

When Daniel emerges from the submarine at night in 1977, Miles asks why he’s come back. Miles never expected to see him again. Daniel pulls out a copy of the familiar “Class of ‘77″ photo that depicts the second batch of Dharma recruits, in which Jack, Kate, and Hurley can be seen. He says this is the reason he came back, and he asks Miles to take him to Jack right now.

Jack is awoken early in the morning at his house by knocking at his door. Without greeting, Dan enters and starts badgering Jack with questions about how he got back to the island in 1977. Jack asks Dan where he’s been, and Dan says he was at Dharma HQ in Ann Arbor “doing some research.” Jack answers Dan’s question, explaining that they came on a plane. But before he can finish his story, Dan eagerly interrupts, asking who told them to get on the plane. Jack says it was Dan’s mother. Dan seems to have suspected this, asking how Eloise convinced Jack to do it. “Did she tell you it was your ‘destiny’?” he asks. Jack says yes. Daniel replies that he has bad news: his mother was wrong, and Jack and the others don’t belong here at all.

Outside Jack’s house, Dan asks Miles to take him to the Orchid station. Jack runs outside after them, asking what Dan meant in saying that his mother was wrong about Jack’s need to return. Dan says he has to run this errand but he’ll be back and explain everything. Jack goes to Sawyer’s house and tells him that Faraday’s back and on his way to the Orchid. Sawyer tries to shoo Jack away, but behind him, Juliet says to tell Jack what’s happened. Sawyer reluctantly invites Jack in and tells him about Phil, who’s tied up in the closet.

At the Orchid, Dan and Miles wait in their jeep until Pierre Chang shows up. It’s the opening scene of Season 5, from the episode “Because You Left,” playing out again but this time from Daniel’s perspective. Dan tells Miles he’ll be back in ten minutes, and follows Dr. Chang down into the sublevel of the Orchid. There, things play out just as before, with Dan bumping into Chang after Chang has ranted to a worker about the dangerous time travel-related energies beneath this station, which were nearly unleashed and already took the life of one construction worker, who lies dead at their feet. Suddenly, Daniel turns and runs to Chang and asks to speak to him. Chang remembers him from three years before, when he arrived with LaFleur. He asks what he can do for Dan. “I need you to order the evacuation of every man, woman, and child on this island,” Daniel boldly states. He explains that the dead man died because of the electromagnetic energy that Dharma’s drilling unleashed down here. He says that in six hours, the same exact thing is going to happen at the Swan, only it will be 30,000 times more powerful, and the accident will be catastrophic. Chang asks how he could possibly know that, and Daniel replies, “I’m from the future.”

Outside the Swan, Miles overhears that Daniel has told Chang that he’s from the future. But Chang’s not buying it. Daniel shows Chang his journal, which contains equations that won’t be discovered for another twenty years or more. Miles runs over and tries to discount Daniel’s claims, so Daniel blurts out that Miles is Chang’s son. Daniel forces Chang to think it through — the odds of an Asian man being on the island, with the same name as Chang’s young son, and alongside himself, a man claiming to be from the future. Chang reluctantly starts to see the logic in Daniel’s claims, but when he asks Miles if it’s true that he’s his son, Miles says no. Chang reverts to his initial belief that Daniel is unstable, and tells Dan to stay away from him.

Miles takes Dan aside and asks what he thinks he’s doing. Suddenly calm, Daniel replies, “I’m just making sure that your father does what he’s supposed to do.” Miles asks what that is, and Daniel says, “You’ll see.”

At Sawyer’s house, he has gathered all of the castaways together to discuss the crisis with Phil. He says that this place has become his home, and the last thing he wants is to leave it, but they no longer have a choice. They must leave the Dharma Initiative. Kate asks how long it will be before someone realizes Phil is missing, and Sawyer replies that it won’t be long. “So where do we go?” asks Juliet. Sawyer says he sees two options: they can steal the sub and leave the island, or they can head for the jungle and start over from scratch. Jin gives his vote: he won’t leave the island if there’s any chance Sun could be there. Hurley agrees, speaking of the lengths the Oceanic 6 went to, to get back; he doesn’t want to turn right around and leave again.

There’s a knock at the door, and it’s Daniel and Miles, returned from the Orchid. Dan addresses the group, saying that what he came back to do is of critical importance to everyone in the room. “Does anyone know where I can find the Hostiles?” he asks. Juliet questions why he wants to know. “Because one of them is my mother,” Dan explains, to the surprise of everyone there. “And she is the only person on this island who can get us back to where we belong.”

Sawyer has trouble accepting that Daniel’s mother is a Hostile, but Dan points out that Sawyer met her in 1954 when her people called her “Ellie.” Sawyer objects to Dan’s desire to go visit his mother in 1977, reminding him that Dan was the one who told them to lay low, because nothing they do here can change how history plays out. Dan says he just wants to talk to her, but Sawyer refuses to tell him where the Others are. Jack speaks up, suggesting that they help Daniel so he can get them back to the future. “We don’t belong here,” he points out. “I belonged here just fine till you came back, Doc,” retorts Sawyer. Jack turns to Kate, suggesting she take Dan to see the Others. Sawyer protests, but Jack asks for Kate’s help, reminding her that she made him promise not to ask about Aaron or the reason she came back to the island. He’s kept his promise, but he knows that whatever she’s here for, it isn’t going to be found in 1977. Sawyer implores Kate not to help Jack and Dan, calling her “Freckles” for the first time since their reunion. Juliet immediately notices this, and surprises everyone by turning to Kate and giving her the code to deactivate the sonic fence. “You should take Daniel,” she says. “It’s over for us here, anyway.” Kate agrees, and Dan asks Miles if he’ll drive the three of them out to the fence. Miles says nothing, just tosses Dan his car keys. As they leave, Sawyer says, “When you realize you’ve made a huge mistake, we’ll be back at the beach. Right where we started.” He tells the remaining survivors to pack what they can and meet back here in twenty minutes. He takes Juliet’s hand and whispers, “Time to go.”

Walking through the Barracks to the motor pool, Kate suggests they arm themselves, as the Hostiles won’t be happy to see them. Dan is distracted by something nearby and tells them to go on, that he’ll meet them there momentarily. He diverts to young Charlotte, who’s sitting in a swing, swinging happily all by herself. It’s the moment adult Charlotte told Dan about right before she died: he goes to her and warns her not to ever come back to the island after she leaves. “I tried to avoid telling you this. I didn’t think I could change things,” he says. “But maybe I can.”

At the motor pool, Kate and Jack steal some guns from a locker using Jack’s janitorial keys. Dan returns and Kate gives him a pistol. Just then, Radzinsky and a pair of his cronies drive up in a Dharma van, see Dan & Co. holding weapons, and draw their own guns on them. Dan tries to talk his way out of it and get to the waiting jeep, but Radzinsky shoots him, grazing his neck. A big gun fight breaks out, and Radzinsky is shot but not badly. Jack shoots some nearby fuel barrels, creating an explosion big enough to cover their escape in the jeep. Radzinsky, furious, orders his men to sound the alarm.

The trio makes it to the pylons, and while Kate enters the code Juliet gave her, Jack checks Dan’s wound. Daniel says he’s lucky it was just a graze. Jack replies, “What does luck have to do with it? Like you said, whatever happened, happened.” “You don’t understand, Jack,” responds Dan. “This is our present. When we met, did I have a scar on my neck? No. Because I hadn’t been shot yet. We can’t be so naïve as to think that nothing could happen to us. Any one of us can die.” With the fence deactivated, the three of them set off on foot into Hostile territory, and Jack remarks to Kate that he hopes Daniel knows what he’s doing, because there’s no turning back now.

In 2007, Penny has difficulty swallowing that the woman standing before her in the hospital waiting room is the one that Daniel Faraday sent Desmond to L.A. to find — his own mother. “I came, Penelope, to apologize,” Eloise says. “Your husband has become a casualty in a conflict that’s bigger than him — bigger than any of us.” Penny demands to know what that means. Is Desmond dead or dying? “I don’t know,” replies Eloise. “For the first time in a long time… I don’t know what’s going to happen next.” A nurse appears just then, and tells Penny that Desmond is in the recovery room, and he’s asking for her. He’s going to be fine, says the nurse.

In the recovery room, Penny breaks down, saying she thought she’d lost Desmond. Desmond reminds her that he promised her the day they were reunited to never leave her again.

Back at Sawyer’s house in 1977, he and Juliet hastily pack bags full of clothes and a few food supplies. Sawyer tells Juliet she can say “I told you so,” after predicting that everything was going to end for them once the Oceanic 6 came back. He says he should have listened to her, but she’s preoccupied with her packing and doesn’t acknowledge him. He stops her and pulls in close. “You still got my back?” he asks. She pauses, still thinking of the way he spoke earlier to Kate. “You still got mine?” she shoots back. The alarm suddenly goes off outside.

Radzinsky barges into Sawyer’s house, angrily demanding to know where Sawyer’s been. Radzinsky shows Sawyer his gunshot wound, and says Daniel and two of the new recruits attacked him. “We’ve been infiltrated,” he declares. Sawyer tries to get Radzinsky to calm down, but Phil makes noise from the closet and everyone hears it. Radzinsky finds him in there, and turns on Sawyer and Juliet, ordering them down on the ground at gunpoint. They’re captured.

In the jungle, Jack, Kate, and Daniel stop for a breather. Daniel examines the gun Kate gave him earlier, and Jack asks jokingly if he really needs it to go talk to his mother. “You don’t know my mother, Jack,” Dan responds. Jack asks if Dan is ready now to explain why Eloise was supposedly wrong about them needing to come back to the island. Dan explains:

“In about four hours, the Dharma folks at the Swan work site are going to drill into the ground and accidentally tap into a massive pocket of energy. The result of releasing this energy will be catastrophic. So, in order to contain it, they’re going to have to cement the entire area in, like Chernobyl. And this containment — the place they build over — I believe you called it ‘the hatch’. The Swan hatch.

“Because of this one accident, these people are going to spend the next 20 years keeping that energy at bay by pressing a button. A button your friend Desmond will one day fail to push, and that will cause your plane, Oceanic 815, to crash on this island. And because your plane crashed, a freighter will be sent to this island — a freighter I was on, and Charlotte was on, and so forth. This entire chain of events is going to start happening this afternoon.

But. We can change that. I’ve studied relativistic physics my entire life. One thing emerged over and over: you can’t change the past. Can’t do it. Whatever happened, happened. But then I finally realized… I’ve been spending so much time focused on the constants, I forgot about the variables. Do you know what the variables in these equations are, Jack? Us. We’re the variables. People. We think, we reason, we make choices, we have free will. We can change our destiny.”

Dan concludes by saying that he believes he can negate the energy under the Swan by destroying it. If he can do that, then the hatch will never be built, and Oceanic 815 will land in L.A. just like it’s supposed to. Kate asks how Dan plans on destroying the energy beneath the Swan. Daniel replies, “I’m going to detonate a Hydrogen bomb.”

A little later, as the three of them near the Others’ camp, Daniel walks on ahead while Jack and Kate talk quietly to each other. Kate thinks Dan’s plan is a mistake; she doesn’t want to reverse everything that’s happened to them since the crash. Jack is starting to come around to Daniel’s plan, but before they can say any more, they arrive at their destination. Daniel tells them both to wish him luck, and leaves them behind, entering the camp alone.

Outside the hospital in 2007, Eloise is about to get into a cab, when a man calls out from behind her, “Is he alright?” It’s Charles Widmore, and Eloise recognizes his voice before she turns around. “Yes, Charles. He’s fine.” “Good,” replies Widmore. “Your daughter’s in there. Why don’t you go in and say hello,” she suggests. “Unfortunately Eloise, my relationship with Penelope is one of the things I had to sacrifice.” Eloise is outraged. “Sacrifice! Don’t you talk to me about sacrifice, Charles! I had to send my son back to the island, knowing full well that–” Before she can finish, Widmore cuts her off with, “He was my son, too, Eloise.” She smacks him in the face and gets into the waiting cab without another word.

In 1977, Daniel walks in and starts shooting the ground when some of the Others reach for guns. He says he wants to talk to Eloise. Richard Alpert appears and says Eloise is not here right now. Daniel asks Richard where the Hydrogen bomb is that he told the Others to bury in 1954. Richard vaguely recognizes Dan, but before he can answer Dan’s question, a shot is fired, and Daniel is bleeding from the abdomen. As he slinks to the ground, the shooter is revealed behind him — it’s his mother! Richard is angry, asking why she did that. Eloise says he had a gun trained on Richard, it was defensive. Richard says this man wasn’t really going to shoot him, and he calls her by name.

Laying on the ground now, Daniel hears this and realizes this is his mother — and she’s shot him. With his voice fading, he says, “You knew… You always knew. You knew this was going to happen, and you sent me here anyway.” She asks who he is, and he replies, “I’m your son.” As Eloise reacts to this, Daniel breathes his last.

  • After being reduced to a near-childlike state because of the damage his experiments did to his mind, Daniel was moved to tears over the wreckage at the thought of how many people had died onboard.
    Question: Why did Daniel Faraday cry when he saw the television footage of Oceanic 815 found in the Sunda Trench?
    [4.02]
  • At Oxford, Daniel used his expertise in the physics of space/time to conduct experiments in sending a person’s consciousness back and forth through time. After his girlfriend Teresa was affected by these experiments, Daniel suffered the same fate himself, with his mind becoming damaged.
    Question: What happened to Daniel’s mental stability in the past?
    4.02
    & Question: What happened to Daniel’s mind? Why does he have trouble remembering things? [4.04]
  • Daniel was personally invited to join the crew by Charles Widmore, who promised him that if he went to the island, the island would heal his mind.
    Question: How did Daniel join the freighter’s crew?
    [4.02]
  • This is exactly why Daniel came to the island — so his mind could be healed. And it worked.
    Question: Daniel and Charlotte spoke of “progress” with his memory problems. Is this the reason Daniel came to the island? Was he hoping to be healed?
    4.04
    & Question: Why is Daniel Faraday so interested in the island? [4.02]
  • The same way his friends did — their random jostling through time came to an end when they were deposited in 1974, and they were unable to get back to the present.
    Question: How did Daniel wind up in the 1970s as part of the Dharma Initiative?
    [5.01]
  • Charles Widmore is Daniel Faraday’s father!
    Question: Why did Widmore fund Daniel’s research? How does he know Daniel?
    [5.03]
  • Because she was his mother.
    Question: Why did Ellie remind Daniel of someone he used to know?
    [5.03]
  • Yes, Ellie is short for Eloise.
    Question: Is the young woman Ellie really Eloise Hawking?
    [5.03]
  • Eloise knew since the day she shot and killed her own son on the island in 1977 that it was his destiny to end up on the island as an adult, and to die there. She seems to have been determined to keep the course of history intact, despite the pain it would one day cause her. She wasn’t concerned when Desmond delivered Daniel’s urgent message because she already knew how the story would end.
    Question: Why wasn’t Eloise more concerned about her son Daniel when Desmond asked her to help him?
    [5.06]
  • After he and his friends wound up in 1974, Daniel left the island to do some scientific research at Dharma Initiative headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    Question: What’s become of Daniel Faraday in 1977?
    [5.09]

  • Why would Eloise Hawking send her son to the island, knowing that he would die at her own hands? What could be so vitally important to the fate the island that Eloise would sacrifice her own son to see it done?
  • Eloise Hawking said to Penny, “For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what’s going to happen next.” Since she seems to be able to see the future, why is it that as of this episode, she’s lost that ability?
  • Is it possible, as Daniel believes, to change history after all?
  • What will happen to the island if the hydrogen bomb is detonated in 1977? Will the blast destroy the island?

R.I.P. Daniel Faraday. I’m very sad to see him go. He was an interesting character who added something different to the show. But I felt it coming from the minute he started talking to Jack about how “any of us can die.” Didn’t you?

Was Daniel the promised Major Character Death of Season 5? I’m going with yes. Though this is Lost, so anything’s possible. Who knows, maybe he’ll show back up in the season finale, alive and well thanks to some unforeseen twist. (Can’t you just see a knock on Eloise Hawking’s door in the present, with the shock of her life waiting on the other side…) Or maybe there’s more than one big death coming up before the end of the season. It could be argued that Daniel Faraday doesn’t constitute the “Charlie-level” death we’ve been promised. Charlie was an original cast member who was on the show for three full seasons. Daniel’s been on the show for less than two.

In any case, we finally got some long-awaited answers about Daniel. We learned all about his unusual relationship with his mother. We learned just how smart Daniel really is — the youngest doctorate ever at Oxford. We learned more about his memory condition, and that he came to the island to be healed. We learned that Charles Widmore is indeed his father — though Eloise Hawking is not Penny’s mother — Penny didn’t even recognize her when they met, and we know from the episode “Dead is Dead” that Charles fathered Penny with “an outsider,” which Eloise certainly is not. So Dan and Penny are half-siblings who never knew one another. (And now they never will.) Which makes Daniel Faraday a “pure blood” Other/Hostile, if you will.

We didn’t learn why his last name was Faraday, when neither of his parents use that name. Nor did we learn what kind of research he was doing off the island, in Ann Arbor, from 1974 to 1977.

I’m still trying to wrap my brain around all of the things Daniel did and said in 1977, and how they relate to his return to the island. He told Jack that he and the other Oceanic 6 were not supposed to be on the island in 1977, and that his mother was wrong in sending them here. Essentially, he was telling Jack that what we’ve seen Richard and Locke both claim earlier this season — that the Oceanic 6 had to go back because this was the only way to save the island — wasn’t true. Daniel’s assertion was that the O6 had no business coming back at all. But we never quite found out why he believed that… What we did find out is that he came back to attempt to undo the past, to prevent the accident at the Swan from happening, in order to keep the Oceanic survivors from having to crash here. I’m still not clear on why seeing Jack, Kate, and Hurley in the Dharma photo from 1977 suddenly launched him on this crusade to try and change the past.

Dan also claimed that his mother was “the only person on the island” who could get the survivors back to where they belong. The viewer is meant to believe he means “back to 2007″ when he says this, but did he actually mean that Eloise was the only person who could help him change history? He went to the Others’ camp demanding to see her; he must’ve thought he could convince her of his identity and that she would help him retrieve the Hydrogen bomb to put his plan in motion.

Anybody else wondering about the “catastrophic” nature of the forthcoming accident at the Swan? Daniel repeatedly used that word to describe the effects of the event we know as “the Incident.” Yet how catastrophic could it be, if we know the island survives? Why did Daniel try to get Chang to evacuate everyone in the Dharma Initiative if everyone back at the Barracks and all the other stations will survive the accident? And the only result of the accident is the building of the infamous button in the Swan station? Which admittedly, as Daniel pointed out, causes the sequence of events that brings Jack & Co. to the island. But that’s hardly what I’d call a “catastrophic” end result. Tragic, sure, considering how many people on the plane died. But catastrophic? That implies something much bigger. I kept waiting for Daniel to reveal that the Swan accident caused all of the Dharma people to have to live with radiation poisoning for the next 20 years. That would have been quite a twist — it would mean Ben didn’t orchestrate their deaths during the Purge completely out of spite; perhaps he was putting them out of their misery, almost like an act of mercy. It kind of fits, logically — Ben could be immune to the radiation in ‘77 since he’s been magically transformed into an Other.

Daniel’s confrontation with Pierre Chang is very different from the 2008 Comic-Con video we saw, where Chang attempted, with Dan’s help, to send a message through time to the future, asking that the Dharma Initiative be reconstituted to try and save the original version of the organization. I suppose that video was merely apocryphal material. Dan’s remark to Miles that he approached Chang with the truth about the time travelers only reinforces my theory from last week that Chang is going to come to believe Daniel’s words, and send his own family away from the island to protect them. Dan has now played a part in helping that to happen.

Did anybody else get the feeling that when Juliet told Kate to go with Dan to see the Others, because “It’s over for us here, anyway,” that she was referring to herself and Sawyer as much as she was the survivors and Dharma? She’s quietly believed ever since the Oceanic 6 returned that her relationship with Sawyer was now doomed, and when Sawyer called Kate “freckles” again, those insecurities shot to the surface in a heartbeat. I’m still rooting for Sawyer and Juliet to pull through in the end, though.

The gun used by Faraday at the end reminded me of the gun Ben used to shoot Locke, and then Locke in turn later used to shoot Naomi. Could it be the same gun? It appears to have ended up with the Others, so it’s conceivable it could eventually have fallen into Ben’s hands.

I can’t think of a story reason for Radzinsky and his two pals to race in to the motor pool right when Jack, Kate, and Dan are trying to sneak out. Even if Pierre Chang had asked Radzinsky to keep an eye on Daniel after their encounter, this still struck me as a little too convenient.

Radzinsky was not loved as a child. Seriously, somebody needs to go give that guy a hug and a cookie. And a puppy.

I hope we find out what’s inside Hurley’s guitar case by the end of the season, because I’m starting to suspect it’s not a guitar at all. I’m betting it’s something related to the as-yet-unknown reason that he got on Ajira 316 and came back to the island. Could it be something he was asked to return to the island by someone? Maybe Charlie’s brother, or the family member of another Oceanic fatality?

Just because I need to spell this sequence of events out for my own sanity: Sometime in the morning on the day that Desmond was shot, we saw Ben talking on the phone with Charles Widmore, who was in England. Ben told Widmore he was going to kill Penny, and then hung up the phone. Widmore, who days prior had encountered Desmond in his own office and told Des exactly where to find Eloise Hawking, knew where Desmond and Penny were likely to be just then. So after he got off the phone with Ben, he must’ve hopped on a private jet and flown at once to L.A., in order to be there by that evening. Kind of surprising, though, that for all of Widmore’s concern for Penny’s safety when he and Desmond last spoke, that he wouldn’t go inside the hospital to at least try and reach out to her.

I’m sure there’s some significance to the fact that Daniel and his mother ate at an Indian restaurant near Oxford. But I have no idea what that significance is. Any theories?

I still think Daniel knew a lot more about the island than he revealed in this episode. The  “pockets of electromagnetic energy” that are beneath the island undoubtedly have great significance. He claimed that there was one beneath the Orchid — which we know to be in the unseen chamber behind the frozen wheel. And Dan also said there was one far more powerful beneath the site of the Swan station. The Dharma folks must’ve known this as well, since they selected these sites for two of their most important stations; they were trying to harness the energies down there. But my question is more “big picture” in nature: what do these pockets of electromagnetic energy tell us about the island? We’ve now seen the underbelly of the island in two very important locations: the frozen wheel room, and the monster’s lair under the Temple. Both of them bore the familiar Egyptian-like hieroglyphs. And neither the frozen wheel itself nor the columns and tunnels built beneath the Temple are natural formations. That’s man-made stuff. It all goes back to the ancient inhabitants of the island. What did they know of the electromagnetic pockets? Did they create them? Harness them? Come to this island because of them? Have the pockets always been on the island? Do they provide a clue to the island’s identity?

Did you notice the “Super Power issue” of Wired Magazine on the seat in Daniel’s home? Was this a wink and a nod at the seeming “power” of Daniel’s mother to predict the future? (More on that later.) Which got me to thinking about something… We’ve seen three prominent characters now who apparently have special, unusual abilities. One might even call them “super powers.” There’s Desmond Hume, who can see the future (even though we haven’t seen him do this since Charlie died). There’s Miles Straume, who can sense things about the dead. And Eloise Hawking, who can also see the future. I’m not including Hurley on the list, even though he regularly talks to dead people — I’m unconvinced that his “ability” is anything more than his minor mental instability. And let’s not forget the uber-mysterious Jacob, who apparently has so much power that the entire culture of the Hostiles is built around serving his purposes. We saw him use telekinesis the first time Locke met him, so that puts him in the “super powered” camp as well. Is there a reason for all of these power-ups? Could it be related to the coming war for control of the island?

In the restaurant, Eloise said “I hate to have to tell you this…” to Daniel before making a prediction about his future. This is the exact same phrase she used earlier this season when telling Desmond that the island isn’t done with him yet. I wonder if she always uses this phrase when stating predictions.

I really hope we get to see more of the early relationship between Eloise and Widmore. They were hardly friends when we saw them in 1954, and in 2007 their relationship was strained at best. At what point in between did they wind up having a son together? And how did that even happen, since they don’t really seem to get along?

Eloise Hawking spent her son’s entire life preparing him to venture to the island and go back in time, so that their fateful rendezvous could occur where she killed her own child. Everything she did, all the ways in which she pushed him to become a scientist, rejected his girlfriends, always wanting him to make her proud — it was all to get him back to that moment when her younger self killed him. I could expand for quite a while on the insane mental and emotional toll that living this way would take on someone, but the more pressing concern is… why? Why was Daniel’s death in 1977 at his mother’s hands so vitally important that both of his parents were willing to do whatever they had to do, to see to it that he met that destiny? Or, more simply, as Daniel put it in his final breaths, “You knew this was going to happen, and you sent me here anyway.”

My feeling is that for a mother to sacrifice a son that it was plain to see she loved — not to mention an estranged father who committed all of his resources to the same endeavor… Then it had to be for a bigger and better reason than just “because whatever happened, happened.” I.E., their reasons had to go beyond just seeing to it that their son played his prescribed role in history. Even though Eloise repeatedly told Daniel things to the effect of, “it’s my job to keep you on your path.” I think what we’re going to see in the weeks to come is Daniel’s death become the catalyst for something major that happens on the island — something so crucial to the island’s survival, that two parents were willing to send their son to die to ensure that it happened.

But consider for a moment that the young Eloise in the jungle, who shot her son, decides to take everything he said in his last moments at face value. Think back to the time-jumping at the beginning of this season, and how those who’d been on the island longest were affected by the time travel’s negative effects first. We can infer from the fact that Daniel was one of the last people to get a nosebleed back then, that he had very likely never been to the island before his arrival on the freighter as an adult. Meaning his mother became pregnant either after she left the island, or perhaps shortly before. Which means that at the time she shot her own adult son, not only was little Daniel not alive yet, Eloise probably wasn’t even pregnant yet. Eloise Hawking chose to become pregnant at some point in her life with what she knew would be a son, who would grow up and travel back in time, and die at her own hands! She chose to bring him into the world, knowing what would eventually happen to him. Did Widmore likewise intentionally choose to play his part in Daniel’s conception? Did both of them have this child simply to see destiny fulfilled?

It’s also possible that Daniel’s death has something to do with why younger Eloise left the island. We know from this episode that she left at some point between when she shot her adult son, and when she later gave birth to him. Did she leave because she found out she would have to, in order to raise Daniel off the island, to fulfill his destiny? Or was she so distraught at killing her own son that she decided to escape the island and everything that happened there, and start life anew on the mainland?

And what about Eloise’s power to predict the future? What’s up with that? Is that really how she always seems to know what’s to come, and how she does the things we’ve seen her do? Or is she remembering details that her younger self may yet learn from the castaways in 1977? It looked like Daniel didn’t know that his mother possessed this ability, and that she wanted to keep it that way (notice how she covered a prediction about him at their lunch following his graduation). Why does she mean to keep it such a secret?

One other thing: My feeling is that she was not born with this ability. If she had it in the past, when she was on the island, we’ve yet to see her use it there. It didn’t prevent her from shooting her own son, and back in 1954 it didn’t let her know that the strange man who told her to bury the bomb was her son. So I think that something happened that gave her this power. Probably something on the island, perhaps the island itself gave it to her somehow. The island gave Desmond his ability, and it was hinted just last week that Miles’ may have gotten his power by his childhood exposure to the island or something on it. Maybe the first flashback we saw in this episode — where Eloise was crying while Daniel played the piano — was one of the very first times her ability manifested itself. So it was confirmed to her that the man she killed on the island was in fact her son. Hence, the heavy emotions.

I’m also wondering if her remark about not knowing what’s going to happen next is in reference to what’s yet to come in 2007 on the island. Back where Locke and Ben and Sun are, and it looks like the future of the island is going to rest on the outcome of some kind of conflict or war. (And I still think the 1977 castaways are going to return to 2007 for the final season.) It would underscore the pivotal significance of what’s to come if even the powerful and mysterious Eloise Hawking can’t see what’s about to occur there.

And why is it that, if she really does have a special ability to see the future, she didn’t know that Desmond was going to be shot, and that he would survive? Is it because Desmond is “uniquely and miraculously special,” as Daniel told him earlier this season? Is it because Desmond too has demonstrated the ability to see the future? Or is something else going on related to her special powers? It does seem odd that she knew enough to tell him that the island wasn’t finished with him, when he left the Lamp Post in L.A., but didn’t know he was going to be shot the next morning. Does this mean the island still isn’t finished with him? Or has his shooting caused him to deviate from the path Eloise originally saw for him?

Okay, commenters. What did I miss? Hit me with those excellent observations!