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Lost: Meet Kevin Johnson

Sayid: "Why are you on this boat?"
Michael: "I'm here to die."

For me, this episode was all about death. Death figures into what's going on with the Island in a way that I just don't understand.

There's Mikhail Death, where the person just doesn't die, even after something fatal happens to them. There's Island Ghost Zombie Death, which has apparently now happened to Libby. (Along with Christian Shephard, Charlie, possibly Boone, Ben's mother, and Eko's brother Yemi. And maybe the horse.) And then there's real death, like the Marshal, like Nikki and Paulo. What's the difference? And how does it work? The flashback was full of dead characters, too: Tom, Naomi, George Minkowski. I assume that was intentional. It was creepy, too.

And then there's the "Island won't let you die" thing that happened to Michael. How could the Island keep Michael, with a fully loaded and functioning gun, from killing himself? That had a supernatural feel to it that actually made me uncomfortable, because it made zero sense. And yet, I do have confidence that the writers have something specific and logical in mind. I just wish I knew what the hell it was.

Why did Michael choose to kill himself in another car crash? People do survive car crashes; they're hardly reliable. You'd think after his first, long-term, painful experience with a car crash, he'd choose something quicker and more definite, like jumping off a skyscraper. What would have happened if he had? Would he have survived it, anyway, or would someone have stopped him?

I am completely and totally down with what Sayid just did to Michael. Michael is still basically unlikeable and unsympathetic, a murderer and a traitor as well as weak and selfish. Even his obsession with Walt is also selfish at its base because it is less about Walt's welfare, and more about Michael's. Especially if Michael actually burdened Walt with a confession about what Michael did to Ana Lucia and Libby. That Mama Cass song we heard twice in the episode absolutely haunted me, and not because Mama Cass is dead, like Patsy Cline is dead. I think it was a musical echo of Michael's double murder in the Hatch, because the first thing we heard in the Hatch at the beginning of season two was a Mama Cass song. (Not the same one, though.)

There were two big conflicts that I couldn't resolve. (And I'm reeling from that new experience, as Buffy would say.)

The first was the timeline. Michael and Walt left the Island around Thanksgiving, and it is currently the end of December. According to the three-month calendar we saw in "The Constant," the Kahana has been waiting off the coast of the Island since at least the beginning of October, and probably longer. How could Michael have gotten on the Kahana, then? Did the Kahana break up the trip by going to Fiji to pick up supplies and also to pick up Kevin? Or was the calendar faked?

I'm also thoroughly confused about the Sunda Trench hoax. Tom told Michael that Widmore staged the hoax. But Gault said that Ben was behind it. Frank Lapidus the pilot was actually on the freighter because he had told Widmore he knew the Sunda Trench was a hoax, so Frank certainly didn't believe Widmore was behind it. Maybe Widmore told Gault to lie, and was trying to contain Frank, though. Who actually did it?

Ben again said that he doesn't kill innocent people, which we know isn't true since he took out the entire Dharma Initiative. Did he just have Karl and Danielle Rousseau killed? Karl to keep Alex from getting pregnant, and Rousseau to take back parental control of Alex? The last thing in the episode was Alex yelling, "I'm Ben's daughter!" Why would she say that to Ben's own people, since they know very well who she is? She did it because it was the Widmore faction, and she knows they will want to use her against Ben. I think.



Too bad about Karl. I was a lot more broken up about Danielle Rousseau, a character I really liked and will definitely miss. Is she dead? (And again, what kind of dead is she?) Although I have to admit that if she is dead, Rousseau's story has indeed resolved itself. She did find her daughter after sixteen years, and she was just hanging around the Locke group to be with Alex, after all.

Dammit, I liked Danielle Rousseau. Will you guys please stop killing off characters I like?

Character bits:

Eighteen minutes in, we got an eye scene: Michael's left eye. Michael got a left eye scene before, in season one's "Special."

We saw Walt at his grandmother's for about a second, and in a window where we couldn't see how tall he was. If they bring Walt back into the story, they may need to recast him.



Michael pawned the watch that Jin gave him at the end of season one. Nice little detail there.

As we thought, Tom was gay. He had a boyfriend named Arturo in the New York flashback.

Tattoo guy was shooting skeet with a machine gun. No, we're not going nuts, are we?

Naomi's last name was Dorrit. We saw that in a pop-up "enhanced" episode, but I don't think it's been mentioned in a regular episode until now.

Okay, I give up. The preview for the next set of episodes confirmed that Aaron is indeed one of the Oceanic Six. Did they want us indefinite and confused about this up until last week's so that we would dither about Jin? If so, it certainly worked on me.

Bits and pieces:

— Locke's group is ready to rebel because of Ben. I wanted more, but there was too much other plot stuff going on. At least Locke was sharing information, something Jack hasn't been good at doing. Not all of the information, though.



— The 324 bodies in the Sunda Trench came from a graveyard in Thailand. But weren't most of the bodies supposed to be of Caucasians? Yes, the staged wreck is impossible to reach, but still.

— We got a good look at the side of the Kahana. It appeared that it once had a longer name, and that the second part of the name was scratched out. Or am I nuts?

— I think I heard Kurt Vonnegut mentioned. He wrote Slaughterhouse Five, which has most certainly been discussed before because his character Billy Pilgrim jumped around uncontrollably in his own lifetime.

— One month break. The next new Lost airs on April 24, at a new time, 10:00. So I don't have a conflict with Supernatural any more. Yay.

Quotes:

George: "What, are you going Nicholson on us?" The Shining was also about seeing dead people, come to think of it. And suicide.

Karl: "I just have a bad feeling about this." And he was right, poor kid. And of course, this is the famous Star Wars line. It was said in each of the six Star Wars movies.

This was by far and away the most interesting Michael-centric episode. Three out of four polar bears,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

10 comments:

ChrisB said...

Another really good episode. The writers are amping it up this season.

I, too, find Michael wholly unsympathetic. He is among my least favourite character, so I am not completely on board (pun intended) with his being back.

I am also very upset that the writers have killed off Karl and Danielle. Guess they served their storytelling arc and are now no longer needed. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

I'm so intrigued by this whole seeing dead people thing. For so long I told myself that people were just hallucinating, but with Michael's failed suicide attempts, it's quite obvious that the island is behind it. I think.

I was so happy when Sayid turned Michael over to the captain. The look on his face/his calmness made me suspect that he already knew about Michael, but something tells me that, had he known, he'd have killed Michael already. Widmore doesn't seem like the kind of guy to have mercy for a stowaway.

I was just thinking that the calendar didn't mean anything. When I get a new calendar I usually X out the previous days, as well. But I don't know why there would be a focus on it if that was the case, and I don't know why people are going crazy with "cabin fever" if they've only been there a month (unless the island just has a strong opinion of them).

I was upset by Danielle's death, but I knew, as soon as her story with Alex was resolved, that she'd eventually die. There's no more reason to have her around or focus on her. She'll be missed, though. I was arguing with the screen as it happened, urging Danielle to use that damn gun she's always carrying around. Then I realized she didn't have it. Sad face. I wonder how she expected to run away safely.

I always understood Ben's hatred of Karl—if Alex was my daughter I'd keep her as far from sperm as possible, at least on the island— but I don't know why, if it was Ben's people, they'd kill him. Maybe they're just that loyal to Ben? I don't know.

I'm interested to see how thing's play out with Dan and Charlotte. I had assumed (all I can do with this show is assume things!) that they pretended to save everyone from the gas to win points with people, and that seems to be the case so far. (The people on the island still see them as innocent, right? I know I just saw these episodes today, but there's so much information in my head that I can't keep it all in!) I hate feeling like no one's up to any good. I've taken a liking to Dan, for some reason.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I should make an account, so you know it's me when I forget to sign my name, haha.

Libby

celticmarc said...

Another, yes ANOTHER (!), powerful WOW !

That was the longest flashback ever. Wow.

"I'm her to die". Wow.

Another car crash. Wow.

Libby. Wow.

It IS really a curse to leave this damn Island.

Tom in New York ! Wow LOL

"You're the one who lost him !" Wow.

You heard correctly ! (yes, indeed, it was Kurt Vonnegut) I jumped !

Another aircraft in the background flying over the boat at dock. Wow. We do have a theme here.

The shining. Loved that movie. And the show runners love S. King...

Rousseau is shot ! Another jump ! (and wow) (and bummer; I'm pissed)

* Arms in the air , but you've already written Alex's words !

(one night break, I'm off on Mondays, and another heat wave, so a few more ep's to watch. Shorter seasons too. I will get thru this way before Xmas.) (wow)

Josie Kafka said...

I'm also thoroughly confused about the Sunda Trench hoax. Tom told Michael that Widmore staged the hoax. But Gault said that Ben was behind it. Frank Lapidus the pilot was actually on the freighter because he had told Widmore he knew the Sunda Trench was a hoax, so Frank certainly didn't believe Widmore was behind it. Maybe Widmore told Gault to lie, and was trying to contain Frank, though. Who actually did it?

I don't remember if this was addressed in a later episode or not, but I think Widmore did it because once he heard about 815 he realized the Island might be the site of the crash. So he created a decoy, but used the 815 knowledge to get some people on board (pun!) with his idea to go hunting for survivors/the Island.

Josie Kafka said...

And, I should add, the ambiguity surrounding the crash seems to be symbolized by the "black box," which is yet another box (like the Hatch, the "metaphor box," and others that have been mentioned on this show and in the reviews) that can be interpreted in many different ways.

Anonymous said...

"I do have confidence that the writers have something specific and logical in mind."

Wow, that statement took me back and made me a bit nostalgic about living in Egyptian rivers...

alexandra said...

Season 4 doesn't give up in spite of the infamous strike of writers.
I never liked Micheal,but his destiny is so sad,he can't even kill himself(as Jack bearded in Trough the looking glass).
Judas-Micheal-Kevin Johnson is the Ben's mole on the boat.
Goodbye Rousseau and Karl.

Anonymous said...

as you are a lost character, it begs the question, what kind of dead are you?? haha -- such a strange question yet so important to ascertain the answer to. so micheal can't die. i'm now thinking he was the person in the coffin at the funeral home that jack went to see. if so, the island finally relinquished him, set him free. what did he do to earn that?

i really hope danielle isn't dead. again, danielle, what kind of dead are YOU? hopefully the kind that responds quickly to magically healing otherwise fatal wounds.

i was upset that sayaid turned over micheal to the captain. i believe micheal, perhaps because i want to and i like his version of events. haha -- made me just think of current events in America and trump's alternate truths.

oh! and as a nurse, i caught at the beginning of the episode, when michael was in the hospital bed, he looked over to his neighbor in the bed beside him and at first look, that guy was intubated. at second look, the guy was extubated and on a face mask. people just don't get extubated with a snap of the fingers -- what happened there? is there some time missing from the flashback? a mistake on the set? the guys running this show don't make such sloppy filming errors. something is going on there.

Billie Doux said...

Unfortunately, someone keeps changing identities and posting hateful crap on this review, so I had to close it to new comments.