Thursday, April 30, 2009

"The Variable" recap

Finally, the "incident" is on its way to unfolding. But perhaps not in the way it was supposed to. The funny thing about season 5 is that you cannot tell if everything is happening as it should or whether everything is actually very different. When Miles asks why Faraday has suddenly returned, Faraday shows him that same picture of Jack and crew in the past that Sun gazes at in the future. Faraday finally came to terms with the notion that just maybe he could be the variable and not the constant that determines the course of future events. Hopping off the sub, Faraday acted as a whirling dervish of info, and perhaps dubious info at that.

If Faraday interacted with other variables (
people), perhaps he can ignite that one spark that could alter everyone's destiny; and what if the incident was not set in motion because of Faraday's return, but rather when Eloise Hawking, Faraday's own mother, gives him his journal.

"No matter what happens, know that I will always love you," signed uber-bitch mom.

For some reason this whole episode felt that like that castaways, we too were being used by Faraday. It also once again brought up that most salient influence on
Lost, Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.

The Island is the Dark Tower Theory

The Dark Tower centers around the gunslinger, Roland, and his ultimate quest to reach the Dark Tower. The Tower itself turns out to be the nexus point of every conceivable universe and possibility - the gateway to infinite alternate universes and Earths. At certain points on his quest, Roland is able to cross over into these different worlds, some of them happening to be settings for some of Kings other works, including The Stand. Roland is bound to find the tower because his own world has "moved on," that is, dying. His world actually exists on one of the "beams" that helps to hold up the Dark Tower and not collapse on itself; Roland's beam ultimate leads to the nexus of the Dark Tower too, but is has been corrupted and is crumbling thanks to the seeping influence of the Crimson King, the source of all evil. The Crimson King has taken up residence within the tower, and if Roland does not find the tower and defeat the King, all worlds and realities will be destroyed.

In the final book, Roland finds and defeats the Crimson King and scales the Dark Tower, the center of the universe.
He encounters various rooms with siguls or signs of his past life. When he reaches the top of the Tower, he finds a door marked "ROLAND." and to his horror, he realizes he has reached the Tower countless times before. As well as saving the multiverse, Roland must also save himself, something he never considered important. The sins that Roland committed in order to get to the Tower (both physical and spiritual),damn him to repeat the past until he learns that it is not the most important thing in all existence. He is sucked through the door only to be teleported back in time to where he started in the first book, with no memories of what had just occurred, ending the series where it began in the first line of book one: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." The only difference is that Roland now possesses the Horn of Eld, gifted back to him for partially realizing the value of love and life (such as not seeing people as tools to be expended on his quest) on his previous pilgrimage to the Tower. With the Horn, it is now possible (but still not certain) for Roland to finally end his quest once and for all.

Ok now let all of that sink in. Let's try and translate that the universe of Lost:

What if the island was Lost's version of the Dark Tower. Perhaps on a much smaller scale, the island is the nexus point for the infinite possibilities and variations of time and history on Earth. The Dharma initiative, tasked with finding a way to change the numbers in the Valenzetti equation (that formula that approximates when humanity will destroy itself), has found the nexus point for experimentation on not just a vast scale, but an infinite one. Through the island, they tap into frequencies of time and space, allowing them to try an alter events so that the ultimate outcome is not humanities destruction, but its salvation.

However, breaking the timeline and exerting free will is not as easy as it looks. You cannot just barge onto the island and take the secrets of infinite possibility by force, not when this Dark Tower comes with its own guards. Of course there has always been the Cerberus, Smokey, but Dharma has had to deal with the Others: the seemingly unchanged society of caretakers that follow their leaders' zeal to protect the island at all costs. They are at a war of ideologies: Dharma seeks to use science and high-technology to grasp destiny by the balls, while the Others maintain the calm standard that it is only in the island that humanity will find its salvation. We all know how much Jacob hates technology.

Science vs. Faith...

Enter Lost's version of Roland, Daniel Faraday. Like Roland, Faraday too is looking to avert his world being destroyed (Charlotte's death?), yet he also like Roland had a run-in with the amnesia bug, though by his own design. Before that though, something very important happened. Like the Tower gifting Roland with the horn of Eld, Ms. Hawking gifted her son with a diary. Whatever knowledge she once had about future events and her son's desires from her time as an Other, she admitted to Faraday's half-sister (wtf) that she no longer knew what exactly was to come. That is because Hawking had finally come to terms that perhaps the only way to avert her son's murder by her own past-self's hands is to send him back with something she knew he did not have before.

Tragically, the journal still only leads to Faraday's demise. Unless the journal, in all it's variable goodness, came with a warning embedded under the foreshadowing, "No matter what happens..."

No matter if I shoot you from behind.

Yes, Faraday was always supposed to get shot, but this time around he has brought a doctor because he knew. What if, on a much smaller scale, the incident of Faraday's survival and not death brings about the ripples that will change the timeline of the world.

Or destroy it.

For we still do not know who is playing the part of the Crimson King. Is it Jacob? Ben? Widmore? Dharma? Smokey?

If Faraday is right about variables in the overall equation, then that must mean there are other variables out there that are seeking to nullify his progress. However, with the new idea that it is people, not events, that can change - perhaps Lost's resident Roland has finally found the keys to salvation, and no longer are those who do not learn from their mistakes doomed to repeat them.

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