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October 6, 2015

Lost: Meet Kevin Johnson

by Erin Martell, posted Mar 21st 2008 7:20AM

Harold Perrineau, Henry Ian Cusick, and Naveen Andrews

(S04E08) We're going into a five-week Lost hiatus, and I'm extremely thankful that this wasn't the season finale. "Meet Kevin Johnson" wasn't a bad episode, but I couldn't have waited until 2009 for a follow-up. This episode did have its moments. We learned more about the island's connection to its inhabitants, Michael's time on the mainland, and there was (at least) one death. That should keep us busy for the next month or so, right?

Flashback: Michael

Michael ended up in New York City after his escape from the island. Walt was nowhere to be found, but Michael glanced at an old photo of his son as he wrote something on a notepad. He left his small apartment, got into a car, and attached the piece of paper to his chest. Jack isn't the only one who is driven to attempt suicide back on the mainland. Michael drove his car into a dumpster, uttering the words "forgive me" before the crash. He woke up in intensive care and was greeted by Libby, who was dressed like a nurse. This was just a hallucination, though, and the real nurse entered the room. She told Michael that he left a note for someone named Walt, and wondered if she should call him.

Michael recovered just in time to visit his mother around Christmas. After they were rescued, Michael left Walt with his mother and told her not to use their real names anymore. He never gave his mother a reason, but she suspected that he was hiding something terrible. Walt was having nightmares and no longer wanted to see his father. Michael caught a glimpse of Walt as he left.

Mr. Paik's watch changed hands yet again. This time, Michael pawned the watch (the one Jin was carrying on the plane) for a gun and some bullets. A familiar face interrupted Michael's next suicide attempt. Tom had some news and an intriguing opportunity for him. He knew that Michael had told Walt about killing Ana-Lucia and Libby, and was overcome with guilt. The island would never let Michael kill himself because he had more work to do. Tom told Michael to visit him at the Hotel Earle when he was ready to accept this truth.

Just as he was testing out Tom's suicide theory, Michael saw a news report about the recovered Oceanic 815 wreckage. Perfect timing. He found Tom at the hotel's penthouse, where the Other was enjoying the company of a man named Arturo. Arturo excused himself so Michael and Tom could discuss the plane wreckage. Tom insisted that Charles Widmore staged the crash, and he had evidence to prove it. Widmore had taken over three hundred corpses from graves in Thailand, purchased a 777 through a shell company, and hired a freighter to drop the wreckage where it could be found, but not recovered. He had hired another freighter to go to the island, and Tom wanted Michael to go undercover on the ship. Widmore was going to kill everyone on the island, and saving the rest of the 815 survivors by killing the Freighties was Michael's best chance at redemption.

Michael, now going by the name Kevin Johnson, reported for deckhand duty in Fiji. I enjoyed getting a sense of the Freighties' personalities before they reached the island. George and Naomi were friendly, and Miles was exactly the same. He teased Michael about using an alias, but didn't seem to care who Kevin Johnson really was. Kevin also had a mysterious care package from Tom waiting for him at the freighter.

On their way to the island, Frank argued with Naomi about who got to visit the island first. Naomi told Frank that it was his job to take the Science Team to the island; her job was none of his business. After the argument, Frank approached Michael and told him the truth about Oceanic 815. He was convinced that Charles Widmore supported his theory about the staged plane wreckage. The notion of finding the crash survivors was very exciting to the chopper pilot. The other crew members appeared to have less peaceful intentions for the 815ers. Keamy, Omar, and others were skeet shooting with machine guns, possibly practicing for a visit to the island. This was proof enough for Michael. He opened the box, which contained a briefcase with a bomb inside. He took the briefcase to the engine room and had another hallucination of Libby before setting off the bomb. Instead of an explosion, a small note popped up. The note read "Not Yet."

George tracked Michael down to tell him that he had a call from someone named Walt. Much to Michael's disappointment, Ben was the one who had called him. There were still innocent people on the freighter, and the killing would have to be put on hold. Ben's new instructions were to compile a list of the freighter crew and passengers and sabotage the ship. If he competed these tasks, Michael could consider himself one of "the good guys."

The Freighter

It looks like the freighter crew is getting restless. Apparently the mechanical difficulties and disturbing deaths are taking their toll. Some of the crew members tried to get away on a life boat in the middle of the night, only to be caught by Captain Gault. The Captain brutally beat the would-be deserters to set an example for the others and to protect them. He ordered Kevin Johnson to clean up the bloody mess. Michael/Kevin tried to play it cool in front of the crew, but Sayid wasn't having it. He wanted to know what Michael was doing on the freighter. Michael's only response was "I'm here to die."

Naturally, one vague and dramatic sentence wasn't enough for Sayid. He got the truth out of Michael in no time, and got in a few good punches in the process. Once Michael told his story, Sayid dragged him to Captain Gault and told him the whole truth about Kevin Johnson's identity and agenda.

Team Locke

Locke called a town meeting of sorts to discuss the freighter situation. Since Ben believed that the Freighties would kill the island's inhabitants once he's in custody, Locke proposed that they protect themselves by protecting Ben. Some of the members of Team Locke objected to this, so Ben sweetened the pot by telling them that Michael was his spy on the boat. This small nugget of truth was enough to win over the 815ers, and the meeting was adjourned.

As Locke escorted Miles back to the boat house, Sawyer approached to complain about keeping the three million dollars a secret. Locke explained that there was no way for Ben to get the money, so he omitted that part of the story. Miles laughed at this idea. Ben's a survivor, and would find a way to get the money. He went from being a prisoner to being one of the gang in record time, after all.

Meanwhile, Ben was doing some more maneuvering. He urged Alex to leave the Barracks and find the rest of the Others at the Temple (possibly another DHARMA station). If the Freighties knew she was Ben's daughter, they would try to use her to get to him. Danielle and Karl agreed, and the three set off for the jungle. When they stopped for water, Karl told Alex that Ben might be "playing" them with the whole Temple idea. Nice job, Adrian Monk. Karl figured out that Ben was a liar just in time to get killed by unknown shooters in the jungle. Danielle hid with Alex, told her daughter that she loved her, and told her to run. Unfortunately, they didn't get very far. Danielle went the way of Karl only moments later. Alex put her hands up and shouted "I'm Ben's daughter!" out into the jungle. If the Freighties did the shooting (which I doubt), Alex was smart to bargain for her life. If the Others emerge from the jungle, Alex might be in hot water with her dad.

Final remarks/questions:

We're lucky that the writers' strike ended when it did. Can you imagine if this was the last Lost episode of the season? I would not be a happy camper. As far as playing catch-up with Michael, there were a lot of things about this episode that weren't 100% satisfying. I really wanted to know what happened when Michael and Walt were rescued. Who found them? What was their cover story when they got back to the mainland? I know they couldn't do a genuine flashback scene because of Malcolm David Kelley's growth spurt, but they could have worked around that. Either Tom or Michael could have mentioned it in passing. That small detail probably doesn't matter, but I always wondered.

I'm also curious about Ben's reasons for sending Michael on the freighter. The Freighties knew about Oceanic 815, and Frank knew all the names of the passengers. What if he had seen photos and recognized Michael? Wouldn't it have been safer to send one of the Others? I don't believe for a second that Ben cares about Michael's redemption. Is he taking advantage of his guilt just for the heck of it? What makes Michael so valuable in this situation?

For me, the biggest revelation in this episode was that the island won't let its inhabitants kill themselves on the mainland. Tom sounded like he had experience with this phenomenon, and Jack's suicide attempt was interrupted by a car crash. Why won't the island allow people to kill themselves? Michael's suicidal thoughts came from guilt over Ana-Lucia and Libby. Does Jack also feel guilty in the future? I'm curious to see what this means for the dead man in the coffin as well.

  • The debate is over -- Aaron is one of the Oceanic Six. For once the ABC promo department did something useful. Aaron's face was prominently displayed in the preview when the Oceanic Six were mentioned.
  • I was reminded of Locke when Miles offered Michael the orange. Locke did that creepy orange smile back in the pilot episode.
  • Tom's quite the player! He had a younger man named Arturo back on the mainland. Kate really wasn't his type after all. Now I feel even worse about his death. He wasn't just one of Ben's scary, Walt-napping minions. He had a heart.
  • Does anyone else get the feeling that Captain Gault wasn't blown away when Sayid exposed Michael as a traitor?
  • The Hotel Earle is a reference to the movie Barton Fink.
  • More Mama Cass. Michael was listening to "It's Getting Better" right before his car crash.
  • When Michael tried to shoot himself at home, a game show was on TV. The question being answered was about Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five. This book features time travel, and uses the phrase "unstuck in time." Daniel used this phrase in "The Constant," and many fans noticed similarities between this episode and Vonnegut's novel.

Lost will return with the season's final five episodes on April 24. In the meantime, check out additional Lost coverage at AOL.

Are you upset that Danielle's dead?
Yes! I loved her character, and still had tons of questions about her.652 (32.1%)
No, she was never very interesting.264 (13.0%)
At least that lamewad Karl died, too.361 (17.8%)
Other (elaborate in comments).13 (0.6%)
She's not dead, just wounded.740 (36.5%)

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The theory of Arron being Jack's half brother is a leap. Why would Jack give up being with the women he loves, Kate, for that reason. I would think its Sawyer's baby, Kate was testing him when she told him that she was not pregnant, when she saw how happy she knew she could not tell him.

March 28 2008 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 28 2008 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am i the only one who couldn't really care about how Michael got rescued? Everyone is complaining about how they didn't show that but i personally was fine with not seeing it, it probably isnt that interesting. Like they just motorboated to Fiji or what not. But im sure if it is important, it will be discussed in a later Michael Flashback.

March 23 2008 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cress d

Remember in Kates flash-forward episode...Jack took the stand for her saying he was rescued in the water(no mention of an island I believe). IMO, the Oceanic 6 are rescued(Sayid flying the coptor maybe), make it back to civilization, and lie about the island. I think Michael will sacrifice his life and destroy the freighter and whatever knowledge is gathered about their coordinates. Some freighter people may survive, but they will be stranded on the island along w/ the other Oceanic survivors. Now that Widmore has lost the coordinates of the island, he sends his people(the skinny black dude who visited Hurley in the psych ward in a flashforward) to get info about the island, its location, and its survivors. As long as they keep their mouths shut, their friends on the island are safe. But we know that Sayid will soon work for Ben post-island for whatever reason. Maybe to get rid of everyone associated w/ the Widmore project w/ knowledge of the island. And then, maybe they can go back for those left behind. Just a theory.

And if Desmond dies, I'll be super pissed!

March 23 2008 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have a doubts regarding one thing...

Jack and Clare are half brother and sister right? At least I have the idea that there was one episode showing that the reason Jack´s father went to australia was to find his daugther, that was Clare.

Maybe im confusing things. But if that´s so, that would make of Jack, Aron´s uncle. If that´s true, maybe that will pop up in the series again and be connect to why did clare dosen´t make it out of the island, or why she dies.

Also, I think that Ben can still be one of the 6.

March 22 2008 at 7:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RSF's comment

Yes, Jack and Claire are half siblings. What most likely happened in the outside world is that after the crash there were probably stories on the passengers and their families in the newspapers. Someone like Jack Shepard would probably be a story a paper would lead with, what with him being a spinal surgeon whose only reason for being on the plain was to escort the deceased prominent surgeon being his father. All it would take is for Claire's mother to open a paper and make the connection. Jack probably discovered this when he returned and it is probably the reason why he is reluctant to see Aaron again.

BTW No way is Ben one of the six. He was never on the plane. He above all would want to avoid any media or attention it may bring to the island. Not to mention that the 6 have been confirmed and Ben is not one of them.

March 22 2008 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think that Ben knew about the shooting of Karl and Danielle before hand. I also think Ben told Danielle about it earlier since she was so quick to agree with him. I think that she agreed to sacrafice herself for Alex. This is why she told Alex that she loved her and why Ben told Alex that her mother would protect her.

March 22 2008 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

wobboz - I also got the feeling that Alex was pregnant because of the way she was holding her stomach after the meeting.

I do think that Danielle is probably dead (you can see the bullet wound just under her right breastbone) but that doesn't mean we won't get to see her backstory. I'm sure we will.

I'm leaning towards it being the Others doing the shooting. Like Karl said, Ben is most likely playing them. He wanted to get the other two out of the picture. The shooting stopped after Danielle went down, and then it looked like the shooter(s) were coming out of hiding to meet Alex before she told them who she was. The Freighties are probably on the island as well, I just don't think this is them.

March 21 2008 at 10:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Carl is dead. Rousseau, maybe not. Shooters are most likely freighties who were taken to the island by Frank. (Sayid and Desmond learned that Frank had left in the helicopter, but were not told why.) Alex will be used as a bargaining chip against Ben.

March 21 2008 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know if this was mentioned before. If the time Michael met Tom was around Xmas time, how could Tom possibly be alive when he was shot dead on the island BEFORE Xmas??? (We know that there is no time difference between the island and the outer world as showed by the calendar on the freighter). What am I missing here????

March 21 2008 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Stathis's comment

In our family we typically set up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving. If you figure Michael left about a month ago, took some time to get home, get settled, get really depressed and started to try and kill himself it could be early December and Tom still could be alive.

March 22 2008 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just a random thought. Did anyone else get the feeling Alex is pregnant at the scene in the house.

March 21 2008 at 5:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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