We need to talk about Daniel Faraday getting gunned down by his mom. (He’s dead, I think — but not for long.) We need to talk about the frazzled physicist’s plan to reboot history by nuking the Island with our long-lost leaky H-bomb friend, Jughead. (Might I suggest he start looking for it somewhere in the shadow of the statue?) And yes, we need to talk about the revelation that Charles Widmore is Danny-boy’s father. (Brits for parents? So how come Faraday speaks Americanese?) But first, I want to talk about the Wired magazine cameo. We saw it on Faraday’s couch, just as Widmore took a seat and offered his noodle-cooked son passage to Brain Healing Island aboard his Black Freighter of Keamy Death. It was the August 2003 issue of Wired — ”The Super-Powers Issue” — devoted to the plausible science behind far-fetched stuff like invisibility, X-ray vision, and yes, time travel. The cover featured an archetypal superhero blasting white light out of his Cyclops-visored eyes and breaking a link of chain with his Man of Steel bare hands. The headline: ”The Impossible Gets Real!”
Now, it’s probably not a coincidence that an old issue of Wired made an appearance in an episode of Lost airing the same month that the current issue of Wired features one JJ Abrams as its guest editor. But why did Lost choose this particular back issue for its latest rewind, pause, and squint Easter-egg clue? Well, there’s the time travel article, which spotlights the two theories favored by most Lostologists, Throne Plates and Kerr Rings. There’s also this cover-touted article, ”The End of Cancer As We Know It,” which can be found on…Page 108. Cancer, of course, has haunted Lost since season 1; and 108 is the sum total of all Lost’s numbers (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) and integral to the mystery of the Hatch. (”Every 108 minutes, a button must be pushed…”) But for me, it’s all about ”The Impossible Gets Real!” Two weeks ago, I wondered if the ominous ebony uniforms of Dharma’s Black Swan team could be a nod to a book called The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Now, with Wired, we have two consecutive episodes that feature a coy clue foreshadowing the imminent arrival of an extremely unlikely, yet not-at-all implausible, game-changing event.
This is all to say, I totally believe in Faraday’s new theory that the time-traveling castaways can alter the past — that whatever happened can…well, un-happen. And I believe before the end of the season, someone will. But not Faraday; and certainly not by anyone following through on his crazy Let’s turn the Swan site into a radioactive bird bath! scheme. (Someone’s been watching a little too much Beneath The Planet of The Apes.) (Besides me, that is.) No, it’s going to be another one of Faraday’s designated super-special variables that will heroically break the chain of causality that has turned the lives of the castaways into a never-ending Twilight Zone episode. But which one? And how will they do it? Welcome to Lost’s version of a ”Who shot JR?” season finale, writ geeky and cosmic: ”Who changed time?”
NEXT: Parallels upon parallels