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Sayid Meets Kevin Johnson on "Lost

I didn't get any sleep last night.

After racing home from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunion at the Paley Festival, I was on the edge of my seat during last night's episode of Lost ("Meet Kevin Johnson"), the final episode before the series takes a month-long break until April 24th. And the pressure of watching Lost with the euphoria at seeing the cast reunion of one of my all-time favorite series was too much for my stressed brain to cope with and I spent the next few hours tossing and turning, imagining Sayid, Michael, and Desmond breaking into an amalgam of "Where Do We Go From Here?" and that Mama Cass song ("It's Getting Better") from the opening.

But enough of that. Last night's episode of Lost did feel like a good place to take a breather before the series returns with new installments next month, giving the audience a few bits of information, revealing just what Michael was up to these last few months (more on that in a bit), and giving us some concrete answers to some dangling plotlines. All that and some nice continuity, like Michael pawning Jin's Rolex for a gun. (It's a telling sign that poor, guilt-ridden Michael is still wearing his former friend's watch.)

Michael. As we all know, Michael is Ben's man aboard the freighter and is working undercover as a deckhand named Kevin Johnson. Last night, we learned that (A) Michael and Walt really did get off the island after all (looks like Ben was true to his word) but now the father and son are hopelessly estranged, (B) Ben kept tabs on Michael and Walt and lured him back to the island (or as close as the freighter would allow), (C) Michael told Walt that he killed Ana-Lucia and Libby in order to rescue him, and (D) Michael is plagued by visions of the murdered Libby, an outward manifestation of his guilt.

Oh, and apparently the island won't let Michael die. This last fact comes courtesy of Tom, who tracks down Michael in Manhattan (loved that he said Michael traded one island for another) and tells him this fact, saying that Michael still has work to do. Michael, meanwhile, tries to off himself one way or another--from an intentional car crash to gunshot--but discovers that something prevents him from ending his life every time. He survives the car crash and when he attempts to shoot himself in the head, the gun jams... just in time for him to hear a news report about how the fake Oceanic 815 was found at the bottom of the Sunda Trench. Curious.

It almost makes me wonder if any of the Oceanic Six can die, if the island would let them. Was that why Jack was looking to jump off of the bridge in "Through the Looking Glass," until he was interrupted by the car crash? Are these survivors truly in control of their own lives anymore? Or are they pawns in the island's unknown endgame?

I was surprised that Michael activated the bomb but he really doesn't have anything to live for, especially now that Walt won't even talk to him. Still, I was surprised by the little flag that popped up with the message, "Not Yet." Clearly Michael was willing to detonate a bomb and destroy the freighter with everyone aboard but we can clearly see he hasn't actually killed anyone when Sayid and Desmond arrive. Is Michael just a saboteur? Or a remarkably shoddy assassin? We'll have to wait to find out.

Walt. I was happy to see that Walt actually did get off the island though I did find it strange that Ben would just willingly let him go after the great lengths he went to in order to kidnap Walt in the first place. But just because we saw Walt in the window of his grandmother's house doesn't mean that he can't project himself or his consciousness onto the island (he's done that before) or that Tom or other agents of Ben didn't just take him back once Michael got on the Kahana. Still, I cannot believe that Michael unburdened himself to his ten-year-old son and told him about the murders of Ana-Lucia and Libby. That's just not good parenting right there.

Tom. I am so glad the producers finally paid off Tom's cryptic comment to Kate about her not being his "type" way back at the beginning of Season Three and revealed once and for all that Tom is gay. I loved seeing M.C. Gainey back on the series again (and hopefully it won't be the last time) and just hearing his voice as he sidled up to Michael in the alley sent shivers down my spine. I'm very intrigued by the fact that he says that "some" of the Others can travel back and forth to the mainland. I'm not sure if he's referring to travel by submarine or the other method, likely the one Ben secretly uses for his mainland jaunts.

Ben. Nothing should surprise me about Benjamin Linus, but I can't believe that Ben pretended to be Walt in order to contact Michael aboard the freighter. It was underhanded, manipulative, but clearly got the reaction he desired. I'm not sure who the "innocent" people are who Ben claims to want to spare aboard the Kahana but my instincts tell me it may be the foursome who arrive on the island (they have work to do?). Still I am not sure why Ben purports to spare innocents, since he killed his father and caused the deaths of the entire Dharma Initiative on the island during the Purge. Oh, and shot Locke. Still, he makes an important distinction: he never told Michael to kill Libby and Ana-Lucia nor he did pull the trigger. That was all Michael. So is that how Ben keeps his consciousness clear? By having others do his dirty work? In the case of Locke, he pulled the trigger, but perhaps only because he knew the island would save him...

I'm not sure who to believe about the faked crash. Tom and Ben allege it was Widmore who was behind the crash; he had the motive, the means, and opportunity to pull off a hoax of this magnitude and, because he had already arranged for the 324 corpses to be found at the bottom of the Sunda Trench, it makes sense why he'd want everyone on the island to be killed after the strike team fulfilled their mission. But it also makes sense that Benjamin Linus, who also had motive (keep the island secret and safe) and means would want to conceal the truth about Oceanic Flight 815. If only all of these people weren't so damn unreliable.... I'm not sure who to trust anymore but my gut still says Widmore. If only because the operation was clearly a paramilitary one (Keamey shooting off those automatic guns) and not a rescue/salvage one and because Widmore is definitely searching for the island and for Ben. But so why did Charlotte and Daniel disable the Tempest then? Hmmm.

Alex, Rousseau, and Karl. Poor Karl is apparently roadkill now after getting the hell shot out of him by the Others at the Temple. I have a feeling that Ben specifically sent him, Alex, and Rousseau there knowing that Karl and Rousseau, long thorns in his side, would get killed in the process. Ben has proven himself to be just as "without conscience" as he accuses Widmore of being and I do think he wanted Karl out of the way. This way, it's an easy enough solution and he could literally kill two birds with one stone: remove the obstacles that are separating him from Alex and get her to safety. There's no way that Alex was going to get killed and, as for Rousseau, there was no blood so I am hoping that she'll survive the injury. (Please!) Karl said that he had a "bad feeling" right before he was shot. An aftereffect of his Room 23 brainwashing? Or just gut instinct? Loved that Alex finally accepted her identity as Ben's daughter in order to survive. That just might have been Ben's intention all along.

Aaron. Well, there's no doubt now, thanks to the scenes for the next episode that Aaron is indeed one of the Oceanic Six. Which at least clears up any doubt on that front that it was Ben. (Whew.)

Miles. Just how did Miles know that Kevin Johnson wasn't Michael's real name? And what other secrets about his fellow freighter passengers is he concealing? If he can communicate with the dead, did Libby tell him?

Execute. Coincidence that Michael's "bomb" had the same command key as the computer in the Swan? hardly.

Lost Literary/Filmic Allusions of the Week: The quiz show Michael had on at his apartment had Kurt Vonnegut--author of the extremely similarly-themed "Slaughterhouse Five"--as one of the game's answers. Minkowski invokes the film version of Stephen King's The Shining when Michael repeatedly throws a ball against the wall. Tom's NYC hotel--the Hotel Earle--is a manifestation of hell in the Coen Brothers' seminal film Barton Fink.

Sayid. I can't believe that Sayid outed Michael on the freighter and to the insane Captain Gault, no less. Still, if the island truly won't let Michael die, there isn't much that Gault can do to him. And it's rather ironic that Sayid is up in arms about Michael working for Ben when we all know, in the future, that he becomes Linus' assassin.

Sniffle. It's going to be a hell of a long wait until Lost comes back with brand-new episodes April 24th. Until then, I'm going to be going crazy trying to figure out who is telling the truth, who is lying, and who will live and die on Lost. And no amount of Mama Cass sing-a-long is going to change that.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Amnesia (NBC); Friday Night SmackDown! (CW; 8-10 pm); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); 'Til Death/Return of Jezebel James
(FOX)

9 pm: Dateline (NBC; 9-11 pm); 20/20 (ABC);
House (FOX)

10 pm:
20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8-11 pm: BBC America.

If you happen to be staying in after a long work week, why not do it in true Anglophile style with back-to-back episodes of Coupling and new sketch comedy series That Mitchell and Webb Look, from the stars of Peep Show?

Comments

The CineManiac said…
I can't help but feel that Sayid royally screwed up selling Michael down the river, especially knowing Sayid now works for Ben himself.
Loved how almost the entire episode was a flashback instead of going back and forth.
Also I feel like Ben set up his daughter and got the other two killed
Anonymous said…
I think the paramilitary freightees could've been the ones killing Karl and Rosseau. Remember that the helicopter is running an errand and we haven't seen the paramilitary group on the ship (even when those guys were duking it out last night). They kept shooting even after Rousseau went down and Alex was the last one left. As evil as Ben is, it is still possible he was sending them to the Sanctuary for real and they got intercepted by the paramilitary freightees. Also, I think the name in the obit from last year's finale is Kevin Johnson.
Unknown said…
One thing that (unless I missed it) that was not mentioned was that in "Confirmed Dead" Miles visits a woman who wants him to get the ghost of her grandchild (if I remember correctly) out of the home. Am I imagining things, or was that or was that not Michael's mother who Walt (her grandson) was staying with?
Jace Lacob said…
Sorry, Mike! Michael's mother (and Walt's grandmother) was played by Starletta DuPois and was NOT the woman that Miles visited in Los Angeles.

Mrs. James Ford: You raise an interesting point but those men may have killed themselves or suffered the illness that seems to have overtaken the other members of the freighter. Still, where was Keamy during the incident on the deck?
One thing I really love about this show is that, even once a character is dead, they can still show up in flashbacks. I was so happy (in a freaky "Lost" sort of way) to see Libby and Tom resurface last night. And I'm sure Libby will be back again as we still haven't discovered what put her in the mental institution with Hurley.

It was also good to see Michael again and made me think about the good ole' days when he and Jin were building the raft. There would always be some sort of "misunderstanding" and things were as light and carefree as an episode of Perfect Strangers compared to what's going on now.

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