Lost: Meet Kevin Johnson
(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?
Gallery: Lost: Meet Kevin Johnson
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."
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.
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.
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.
|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%)|