In the opening scene of "the Variable" Desmond is wheeled into the ER and he's almost dead. The doctors/nurses are saying "he's coding", "he's crashing". Then in what seems like a very short space of time (the exact amount of time it takes Daniel to be killed, actually), he seems to make a miraculous recovery. There are no tubes in him, he looks completely alert and fine. What's up with that??
Is it just the unrealistic world of television, or could Daniel's death have actually changed the course of events, so that Desmond was really never shot? When Penny asks if it's Ben who was the reason that Desmond was shot, Eloise just about laughs in her face, as if to say, "As if!" (Ben could do anything to change the course of events!) And when Eloise and Charles are outside the hospital Charles says "He was my son, too." I think that's why she slaps him, because he doesn't have faith that the baby Daniel (who is alive when older Daniel is killed) will actually live. They know what they are trying to do, but Eloise is hoping that Daniel will be ok. Charles, it seems, has already given up on that.
I also wonder if little Charlie will be ok. I don't think it was such a great idea to leave him with a random "nurse."