LOST Recap: Season 4, Episode 8: “Meet Kevin Johnson”

21 03 2008

In Episode Observations

“Meet Kevin Johnson”

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Alright, after the cryptic “Eggtown”, it appears as though our titles have come back to normal.  Maybe we don’t even need to have this section anymore…we’ll see.

Fireside chat in Othersville

“Hey guys, let’s all go to Ben’s old place tonight!  We could all play Monopoly…or Texas Hold ‘Em…or maybe the ‘No More Secrets’ game!”  That opening scene where everyone awkwardly stared at each other was pretty classic.  Always good to see a little sense of humor mixed in with all of the tension.

“As soon as we get the engines fixed…back in the hunt.”

Seems like a fairly innocuous comment at the time, but coupling it with Keamy’s target practice later in the episode, Frank’s sudden departure from the freighter in the middle of last week’s episode, and the shocking ending to this week’s show might give us a bit of insight as to what’s going on.  More on that in a bit.

Not the way I would do it, but…

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OK, if you were looking to end it all, wouldn’t a car crash come across to you as one of the more painful and least appealing options?  Maybe I’m analyzing this too much, but that doesn’t seem like such a great idea.

Time Paradox or head fake?
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There’s nothing in this episode that tells us definitively when Michael’s flashback takes place.  There are, however, several “clues”.  The most prominent of which are the not-so-subtly-placed Christmas trees and decorations.  Clearly, the writers want to convey that it’s around Christmas time.  But think back with me for just a second.  Didn’t Desmond just call Penny on Christmas Eve back in “The Constant”?  And isn’t that well after Michael even considers joining the freighter crew?  There are 2 possible explanations.  The first is that time is passing faster off-island than it is on-island. (That would coincide with Daniel’s experiments and comments.)  The other is that the writers could be giving us a mean head fake.  After all, don’t most Americans put Christmas decorations up almost immediately after Thanksgiving?  It all seemed to fall into place until that bit of perspective is taken into account.  It certainly could still be possible, but this episode is not the example to confirm it.

Fate vs. Free Will

Up to this point on the show, the idea of fate has always been discussed as a possibility, albeit a strong one.  But the idea of free will was always still the overriding factor.  Even the idea of “course correction” wouldn’t get in your way if you set your mind to it.  It’s just that someone else would take your place.  But now, Michael has no choice.  He cannot kill himself.  He cannot avoid being a part of the freighter crew.  It’s quite an incredible revelation, and also explains the timing of the car crash in Jack’s vicinty when he was going to throw himself off the bridge in last year’s flashforward.  The island would simply not allow Jack to kill himself.  But doesn’t the idea of fate take us down a path of limited jeopardy, and thus less investment in our characters?  If we know that Michael can’t be killed by a bomb he’s trying to activate on the freighter (at least until his work is done), then is it even suspenseful when he sets the timer?  More importantly, does it take the edge off of the entire series?  If the end game is already determined, then what do the events leading up to it really matter?  This was a very interesting play to make at this point in the story of LOST.  It’ll be interesting to see if any of the characters take this type of knowledge to the next level…or in retrospect, if any of them have already (Ben, anyone?)

“Kate, you’re not my type” 

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Now we know why.  There’s another question off the list… 

Widmore’s man accuses Ben of staging the wreckage, Ben’s man accuses Widmore of the same

Just last episode, Captain Gault shows Desmond and Sayid the black box from Flight 815 and accuses Ben of staging the fake crash.  Now in this episode, Tom points the finger at Charles Widmore.  Who to trust?  Fascinating back-and-forth here, with “evidence” to back up both claims.  So far, however, Ben’s evidence seems to be much more convincing than Mr. Widmore’s.  But have we really been given any info from Ben that we could really trust?

On its face, the question may appear to be, “Who’s telling the truth?”  But something tells me that it’s slightly more complicated than that.  Perhaps there’s a “third truth” that accurately describes what’s going on more than either of the 2 sides has let on thus far.  In any event, these 2 sides are out to get each other, and you wouldn’t want to be caught in the middle when they come to blows.  (Just ask Karl & Rousseau…)

Sayid rats out Michael

…and the captain seems relatively disinterested.  Does he already know?  Is there a double-cross going on?  Or is he simply in disbelief?

“These people…you said they’re dangerous.  More dangerous than you?”

“Yes…but your mother will protect you.” So, here’s the question.  Did Ben send Karl, Alex, and Rousseau to the temple because he really cares about them, or did he knowingly send them to their demise?  Perhaps he knowingly sent Karl & Rousseau to their fate, but knew that Alex would be spared?  Ben certainly seems to know that certain things will happen unequivocally, similar to Michael not being able to kill himself.  (After all, why would he intentionally allow himself to be captured by the LOSTies way back in Season 2?)  But how far can he push it?  And what specifically does he know?  And how does he know it?  While we’re at it, why don’t we ask this question:

Post-episode questions

Who’s shooting at Karl, Rousseau, and Alex?

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Frank seemed to be taking Keamy to the island in the middle of last week’s episode, so they seem to be the likely candidate(s).  But could it be someone else?  Is it possible that the Others are shooting at them?  And is Rousseau really dead?  If she is, that’s too bad.  I was looking forward to seeing a flashback for her character at some point.

Who’s telling the truth, Widmore or Ben?

Both have reasons to hide the existence of the island.  Both have the resources to pull something like this off.  Both have reasons to deceive.  Perhaps our best clue is Sayid’s flashforward earlier this season, in which he admits to making a mistake by not trusting Ben at one point.  We all know whose side he’s helping right now…

Do we really have to wait 4 weeks for the next LOST?

Has this season been great or what?  It’s always bittersweet with this show.  Its greatness is overshadowed only by the knowledge that we have less episodes to come than we’ve already seen.  It sucks that we have to wait a month for new episodes, and that when they come back, we’ll only have 5 new shows.  But savor them while you can folks, there are only 40 episodes left.

I hope you enjoyed the episode!  Have a great weekend!

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