Last night, Faraday set out to disprove his theory of "what happened, happened," by trying to change the past. However, it seems like trying to disprove his theory already happened, thus validating his original theory.
Confused? I'll elaborate, but watch the clip, and let Faraday explain in his own words what he's attempting to do, now that he has realized that humans—with their free will—are the "variables" that he never accounted for in his scientific research.
The major shocker (that wasn't very shocking to me because I totally called it!) is that Widmore is Faraday's father.
Oh, and that Faraday has the most fucked up relationship with his parents compared to every other character on Lost. He never knew his dad, and he eventually gets shot by his mother. But I'll get to that in a minute.
First, to refresh your memory, here is the orientation film from The Swan station, in which Dr. Chang discusses "the incident."
Faraday's new mission, now that he has returned to the Island from DHARMA headquarters in Ann Arbor, is to stop this incident from ever occurring, thus stopping a massive chain of reaction that led to Oceanic Flight 815 from crashing.
But I really don't like this idea, and I'll tell you why. The only love stories that interest me (and sometimes make me cry) are that of Jin and Sun and Penny and Desmond. If the plane never crashed, then Jin and Sun might never have fallen back in love, and revitalized their shitty marriage. They also might never have conceived their daughter.
Also, if The Swan station was never built, then Desmond would never have left. Remember on last night's episode when in the hospital, he told Penny that he promised her he'd "never leave [her] again"?
I think that Des and Penny needed that turmoil of separation, brought on by pushing the button every 108 minutes on the Island, to get to the happily-ever-after they're currently experiencing. What if he never left in the first place? Would they have appreciated how deep their love is, if they never experienced what it felt like to be without it?
In the beginning of the episode, we see a flashback of a young Faraday (btw, why is his last name and accent different from that of his parents?) playing the piano.
Eloise enters the room, kind of crying and serious, to tell her kid to stop fucking around with the arts, and get back to studying science.
He tells her that he can "make time" for both, to which she replies, "If only you could." First question: Does she know from firsthand experience that you can't fuck with time? Second question: What upset her so much that she forbid her son from spending/wasting time on his already-nerdy-enough hobby?
It's hard to tell what motivates Eloise because she always looks scary no matter what. Is she looking out for her own best interests? Does she even love her son?
The journals she gave him as a graduation gift (um, totally lame ass gift for being the youngest doctor to ever graduate from Oxford who immediately got a multimillion dollar research grant) suggests that she does.
Ironically, she uses the term "remember" in this inscription, knowing that her son will lose his memory after experimenting on himself.
After visiting Penny (her possible daughter?) in the hospital, Eloise runs into Widmore in the parking lot. She admits that she sent her son back to the Island, knowing full well that she would shoot him (in 1977). She and Widmore both convinced Faraday to go to the Island because he would be "healed." He (and the viewers) took this to mean that he would be healed of his brain problems.
My theory is that maybe Faraday will not die. Maybe he will be taken to the Temple by Richard, just as he did with Ben, and be brought back to life. Maybe Eloise isn't upset that she "killed" her son, but that she shot him, and caused him to know the secrets of the Temple, which means that he will "lose his innocence" and become one of the Others/Hostiles forever. Maybe to Eloise—who knows way more about what the hell is going on than anyone else—that's a fate worse than death.
Most interestingly though, she says to Penny in the hospital, "For the first time in a long time, I don't know what's going to happen next."
What's the significance of that? Did she only have knowledge of future events up to this point? Or did one of the "variables" actually manage to change the course of history?
As for Faraday, trying to disprove his theory only proved his theory. Despite his free will (is he suddenly a man of faith now?), he managed to behave in all the ways that he was supposed to, in order for events to continue to unfold as they always had. Case in point: his conversation with lil' Charlotte.
Just before she died, Charlotte had told Faraday that a "scary man" had approached her on the Island and told her to leave, and that the "scary man" was him. We saw this conversation happen, and Charlotte told him, "I'm not allowed to eat chocolate before dinner."
30 years later, those were her last words.