Wow. That was a rather intense episode. A mother sends her only son to be killed by herself in the past to save the world? And we thought Locke was the "Messiah" figure. Last night's 100th episode of the series, titled "The Variable," played out like a classic Greek tragedy. Eloise Hawking raised her son (Daniel Faraday) his whole life to be killed by her eventually. But is Faraday dead?
As it happens with just about any character that is killed on the show, there is debate on whether or not that person is really dead. A good 98% of the time, the character ends up being dead. The one bit of evidence in the "Faraday's alive" camp that is making the Internet rounds is that Faraday seemed to be behind the camera during last year's Comic-Con video with Pierre Chang. In last night's episode, Chang would have none of Faraday's theories on time travel. So this would mean that Faraday is alive right?
There is a lot of debate amongst Lost fans right now as to whether or not that was Faraday speaking in the video or if the video should even be considered canon. If you don't know about the video here it is now. It's from San Diego Comic Con 2008 and was shown during the Lost panel with Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, and Matthew Fox. Give it a few moments for the character to get in the Dharma booth. Listen for the person behind the camera. Is that Faraday? Does that prove he is still alive?
So is Faraday dead or alive? "The Variable" was really rich in foreshadowing. I have watched it twice and there was so much more information that I saw during the second viewing. If you watch it again, listen closely to Faraday's conversations with the other Losties, especially Miles. While some of the answers (such as Widmore planting the fake 815 plane and Widmore being Faraday's father) weren't too shocking, I believe the writers gave us an awful lot of clues about what is to come in this episode. You can only really see them with multiple viewings, so if you have the time watch it again and see what new things you discover.
"The Variable" was a great example of tragic irony. The weight that must have been on Hawking's shoulders to know that she would train/raise her son to be shot by her must have been huge. As an episode it was a great one. I understand some of the complaints that the answers weren't that shocking, but that wasn't the point of the storyline. The point was to set up the events to come. The writers let Faraday slyly hint at what was to come so well that some of his hints are only caught on repeat viewings. So if you're on the fence about this episode, watch it again. You won't be disappointed.