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The Variable Air Date: 04/29/2009 60 minutes EP: 514
Written by Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis
Directed by Paul A. Edwards


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Old 04-30-2009, 12:53 PM   #21
Arjuous
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Re: Didn't Love it.

Lost is better than this. And D&C said this was a "high water mark" of the season? Unless the finale seriously alters my perception of what happened in this episode, that's a damn shame.

I figured a list would be easier and less exhausting,
What I Didn't Like:
Dan & Pierre Chang; that's not how a scientist would try to convince another scientist. If Dan is as unprecedentedly smart as he is portrayed in this episode, I would assume explaining the basic scientific developments of the past 30 years would be relatively simple. It's not like he was teaching him in a different language, math and science are universal. Both of them would understand that.

The "gunfight"; The DI are absolutely horrendous shots, Jack never reloads, the "magic exploding barrel".

Dan's speech about "any of us can die". Yes, we know. We knew about 4 episodes ago when the whole episode was devoted to the concept. We're not being naive, dammit, nobody is thinking it so there's no need to say it.

Sawyer and Juliet taking so damn long to pack and having NO plan to deal with the DI.

Dan's speech in the jungle, "I've studied relativistic physics my entire life", and the "constant" and "variable" talk. Jesus, he's a scientist but we're reduced to this simplistic pandering to vagueries, it's the same concept as his conversation with Pierre Change, but more infuriating because its the second time.

Dan's rediculous plan, in spite of his personal experience that the "hostiles" listen to reason.

The fact that he gets INSIDE THEIR CAMP before they notice? Are you kidding me? INSIDE?!!?!? The Others have been portrayed with near SuperHuman speed, stealth, strength and tactics, yet this guy gets INSIDE their camp and catches ALL of them offguard? No one else was even carrying a weapon? Nobody is on patrol? It just makes the opposite of sense.

This entire episode feels like the actual writers had nothing to do with it, like they passed it off to the ABC production team that does those infuriating and aweful promos and sneak previews of "next week on Lost". Because it's so rediculous, the only way to redeem this episode is by applying omniscience to the characters. Meaning Dan knew he had to get shot for something to happen. Richard knew that Dan was coming and needed to be shot by Ellie, so that's why no one had a gun. Dan knew everything that happened before it happened, and acted so that those events would occur.

But I just don't see that happening, and it kinda pisses me off. Meh.

Last edited by Arjuous; 04-30-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:59 PM   #22
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Re: Didn't Love it.

I'm just disappointed in the season in general. I get hyped up for the next week's episode only to be looking at my watch and saying "there's only 15 minutes left, there had better be a huge ah ha moment coming. It doesn't.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:01 PM   #23
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Re: Didn't Love it.

Yeah, you've put my feelings into words there Arjuous.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:11 PM   #24
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Re: Didn't Love it.

Merry1: don’t be surprised at all if the whole Desmond being Daniel’s constant story is never revisited. The writers have a very distinct pattern of presenting stories that people have a strong interest in and then letting that storyline wither and die: Adam and Eve, 4-toed statue, Black Rock, Raised by Another (Claire and Aaron), Chaalie sacrificing himself so that Claire and Aaron would get on that helicopter Desmond saw in his vision (and now neither Claire nor Aaron are even on the show). You could probably go on like that forever. Instead of focusing their attention on the things that could make this show truly unique and awesome they insist on offering us the lame and inane: yet another gunfight- this time at the DHARMA compound, complete with a huge fireball explosion. Yeah, I’ve never seen that before. That was really awesome. Also, like someone else already pointed out (but it was such a good point it deserves another mention), Radzinsky then says, “Sound the alarm!” I would think the explosion would be enough of an alarm.

Pibbsneaker and KRANG: glad I’m not the only that was waiting for this whispering twerp Daniel to bite the dust. Let’s just hope he is really dead.

Speaking of poor Daniel, I am just amazed at how these writers always seem to butcher a character. As I just pointed out, I also couldn’t stand Daniel from the moment he parachuted onto the Island, but everyone has their own taste. If you actually liked Daniel as a character, how could you stand this episode? He totally contradicts himself on the “whatever happened, happened” nonsense- giving an absurd explanation for his sudden change in rationale, for some reason he thinks he needs a gun to go into The Others’ camp and gets killed. What was the point of “packing” when entering The Others’ camp? Was he planning on killing his own mother? If not, why have a gun? Why not go in there with empty hands raised high saying he just wants to talk to mommy? The true answer is very simple: they needed the standard WTF moment at the end of the episode and they wanted to kill off another major character- in other words; his death was just another plot device (like Chaalie), plain and simple.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:12 PM   #25
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Re: Didn't Love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prospero View Post
I'm just disappointed in the season in general. I get hyped up for the next week's episode only to be looking at my watch and saying "there's only 15 minutes left, there had better be a huge ah ha moment coming. It doesn't.
I haven't felt like that every week, but this week was definitely one of those times.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:05 PM   #26
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Re: Didn't Love it.

Just thought of another question: why did Daniel feel he had to get Chang to do whatever Chang is supposed to do? If “whatever happened, happened” then why did Daniel have to nudge Chang along? Wouldn’t Chang just do whatever he was supposed to do? I know what the writers answer would be: because this is what always happened (even though it’s Daniel’s present) and it’s all a matter of perspective, yada, yada, yada. Again, very convenient to trot out that sorry logic to explain away pathetic writing.

Daniel came back to the Island because he saw the photo of Jack, Kate and Hurley. On the one hand he wanted to know how they got there, but on the other hand he needed to nudge Chang in the right direction. It makes no sense whatsoever. Then, on top of that, he suddenly believes he can change the past. Insane writing.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:11 PM   #27
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Re: Didn't Love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
Just thought of another question: why did Daniel feel he had to get Chang to do whatever Chang is supposed to do? If “whatever happened, happened” then why did Daniel have to nudge Chang along? Wouldn’t Chang just do whatever he was supposed to do? I know what the writers answer would be: because this is what always happened (even though it’s Daniel’s present) and it’s all a matter of perspective, yada, yada, yada. Again, very convenient to trot out that sorry logic to explain away pathetic writing.

Daniel came back to the Island because he saw the photo of Jack, Kate and Hurley. On the one hand he wanted to know how they got there, but on the other hand he needed to nudge Chang in the right direction. It makes no sense whatsoever. Then, on top of that, he suddenly believes he can change the past. Insane writing.
I think the explanation is that, as you say, he suddenly believes he can change the past, which is why he then talks to Chuck and Chang and tries to get them to do whatever, because he then thinks what he says makes a difference. Variables and all that *yawn*. It's stupid that he thinks he can make a difference, but I think that's why he tries at this point.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:16 PM   #28
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Re: Didn't Love it.

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Originally Posted by JeffinBoca View Post
I hate every scene with Desmond in it, especially when he's blathering on his nauseatingly maudlin "undying love" for what's-her-name. But this episode was stacked with cringeworthy or idiotic behavior.

1. Daniel bursting into the Hostile camp with a gun and demanding to see Eloise (compare with Locke's rational entry in 1954).

2. Daniel acting like a child molester.

3. Daniel's caretaker, big mystery. Who is she? Answer: no one important.

4. Richard cringing like a scared rabbit.

5. Daniel grazed by a bullet, no problem. Desmond grazed by a bullet, and everyone thinks he's in critical life-or-death mode.

6. "You three, go get into a shootout with Dharma security and alert everyone. The rest of you, go pack, take your time, and then we'll meet back here, the first place Dharma security will head for, with a guy tied up in the closet."

7. Do guys tied up in closets really make that much noise after at least 12 hours? Maybe he's saying "I really have to go to the bathroom!"
Totally agree. Daniel part was a break in his character and very creepy with Charlotte.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:17 PM   #29
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Re: Didn't Love it.

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Originally Posted by ginger View Post
I seem to recall TPTB warned us that this season would more or less be filler and they weren't kidding. More illogical meh in a season full of boring blah. I wish I felt like I knew these people enough to care about them the way I used to, but they all feel like strangers to me now. I really liked Dan once-upon-a-time, but I felt next-to-nothing when he died.
I agree, Dan's potential was completely wasted, and this season has been almost 100% worthless filler. And if they knew were going to use this season as filler, then it would have been a fantastic opportunity for them to fill in some blanks. Or at least show us the characters asking some questions.

For example: last night when Jack made a comment about Aaron, it would have been a great opportunity for Sawyer and/or Juliet and/or ANYONE to ask "...what about Aaron?" and for Kate to come clean about what happened to the boy.

Have we heard Jin even mention Sun before last night and since 'Namaste'? Has he been remotely searching for her?
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:24 PM   #30
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Re: Didn't Love it.

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Originally Posted by Arjuous View Post
The fact that he gets INSIDE THEIR CAMP before they notice? Are you kidding me? INSIDE?!!?!? The Others have been portrayed with near SuperHuman speed, stealth, strength and tactics, yet this guy gets INSIDE their camp and catches ALL of them offguard? No one else was even carrying a weapon? Nobody is on patrol? It just makes the opposite of sense.
I agree with everything said in this thread...when I watched the scene mentioned above though, it finally made me lose my faith in this show...

In past seasons they made the others out to be brutal, "sneaky" killers...in season 1 and 2 I was "afraid" of the Others...they were able to sneak up on someone and surround them without making a noise...yet Dan can walk into their camp without being seen? And it was SO out of character for him to walk in there holding a gun out in the open...what did he expect to happen?

This ep definitely felt disjointed too...it was like they wanted to "fill in the blanks"...but what they filled in were blanks that WE HAD ALREADY FILLED IN...
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