Doc Jensen on tonight's ''Follow the Leader,'' where Jack takes up the idea to alter the past as a way to alter the future. Plus: A couple of comics connections, tickling the ivories, protons vs. photons, and a season-ending survey for ''Lost'' fans

By Jeff Jensen
Updated May 05, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT

A preview of ”Follow the Leader”; a prospective eulogy for Daniel Faraday

He’s dead. That’s the word. No miracle resurrection like John Locke. No trips to the Temple for a restorative cure like Young Ben. Nope, this time, dead is dead. R.I.P. Daniel Faraday, survived by a pair of monstrous parents (presuming you believe Charles Widmore is indeed his pop) and bunches of unanswered questions. How did he know that Dr. Pierre Chang was Miles’ father? Why was he so certain that his Mother Other would know how to get the castaways back to the present? What exactly was he doing for the Dharma Initiative back in Ann Arbor, Mich.? And what exactly did he mean back in the season premiere when he called Desmond ”uniquely and miraculously special”?

Last week, in my recap of ”The Variable,” I noted that there seemed to be something calculated and intentional about his reckless chaos-making, and I speculated that Daniel may have blustered into the Others’ tent city knowing exactly what was going to happen, and even wanting it to happen. I could be wrong — and I’ll be fine if I am — but I think it would be cool if we learned there was more to Daniel’s actions last week than meets the eye. According to the previews for tonight’s episode, ”Follow the Leader,” Jack will take up Project: Paradox — altering the past to alter the future — by using the frazzled physicist’s notebook as a step-by-step guide to changing time. Looks like Doc Shephard — opting for a new wait-and-see approach to heroism during this tour of Island duty — has finally identified his moment to act. If Daniel’s notebook really is some kind of Bible that holds the key to castaway salvation, then Faraday’s legacy will be redeemed. He’ll have been transformed from a sheep led to slaughter — by his own mother no less! — to a Christ-like good shepherd, sacrificing his life to bring his Lost herd home.

I like the idea of ”Daniel Faraday, Lost messiah.” A man of science making a crazy leap of faith would make for a nifty reconciliation of the show’s warring themes and an apt conclusion to this ”316” season, which is now one week away from being history itself.

For ABC’s action-figure re-enactment of ”The Variable,” press play. But also check out the new installment of Totally Lost at the end of this column for the Dan-and-Jeff take on the episode.

NEXT PAGE: Comics, anyone?

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