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Home > TV > [LOST COLUMN] GETTING 'LOST' WITH NIKKI STAFFORD

[LOST COLUMN] GETTING 'LOST' WITH NIKKI STAFFORD
Lost: 4.08 "Meet Kevin Johnson"
The island puts Michael on a suicide watch . . .
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By Nikki Stafford
Posted 3/21/2008
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[EDITOR'S NOTE: Saying that guest columnist Nikki Stafford is a "Lost" fanatic is a gross understatement. But, more importantly, she’s a "Lost" guru (and author of the Finding Lost series of books) and has teamed with Wizard Universe to bring her expertise to a weekly recap of "Lost," pointing out key moments and raising questions about TV's most talked-about mystery.]

Previously on Lost . . .
The big discussion this week was who the sixth person of the Oceanic Six really is. Many fans have accepted that it’s Aaron, while others are insisting it couldn’t be. The other common suspects are Michael and Ben. If the Oceanic Six is a media construct, then it means the moniker was coined by the media, and their faces, names, and stories were splashed all over newspapers worldwide.
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Ben: Fans believe he could have found out which passenger had no ties or family and made up a passport with that name to be on the plane. I believe Ben would rather stay incognito, and the last thing he needs if he’s going to go and hire a hitman named Sayid is to put his face on the cover of every magazine imaginable.

Michael: I believe he's the guy in the coffin in Jack's flashforward, and if that’s the case, then he wouldn’t be one of the Six. His death wouldn’t have been a footnote in the obituaries, it would have made front-page news. I believed Michael was the guy in the coffin back in Season Three (the obituary said the guy in the coffin had hanged himself, was from New York, and had a teenage son) and after this episode, I'm convinced Michael finally figured out how to kill himself, and the island let him.

Aaron: My reason for being a holdout on Aaron is because of Jack's story on the witness stand in Eggtown. The math doesn’t compute. He says that eight people survived the crash. If Aaron is one of the Six, then the media would have known he wasn’t on the plane and was born on the island. So it stands to reason that one of the eight is Claire. She gives birth, making the total of people on the island nine. Then Jack says two of them didn’t make it, which makes it seven. But only six are rescued.

So something is fishy with his story. If he hadn’t told that story, and if Kate hadn’t been so secretive with him, I would have believed he’s one of the Six, but as it is, his story makes it sound like six people who were turned into celebrities were on that plane, and Kate smuggled Aaron on there and he avoided the public eye. That said, I’m assuming he is one of the Six, and Darlton will manage to explain their way out of this one.

So who is the sixth? Damon and Carlton are saying they'll reveal the answer in their next podcast, and I think many, many fans will be tuning in.

Episode Recap:
This week was definitely a disappointing episode to end with before we go into the hiatus. I don’t remember the last time I was so surprised to see the word "LOST" thunked on my screen... I was convinced we had at least one more act to go. Michael recaps for Sayid and Desmond (who never once says, "And you are…?" even though I don’t think Des would have ever met him) what happened to him after he’d betrayed the survivors and took off in Ben’s boat. After trying to kill himself after returning to New York, Michael is again met by the Others, who put him on the freighter to kill everyone on it, but then they soften their demands to turning him into a gremlin instead, screwing up the engine so the boat won’t make it to the island. Meanwhile, Ben tells Alex that if the freighter folk find out she’s his daughter, they’ll want to get their hands on her, so he sends her to the "Temple," and the results are disastrous.

"Someone . . . Will . . . Die."
So, I'm watching this week's episode with my husband, and Karl starts telling Alex that he doesn’t feel right about walking across the island. I no sooner turn to my husband to say, "There’s no way Ben will allow Karl to make it across the island alive," then POW! He’s dead. Rousseau makes her big speech to Alex, and I’m thinking to myself, "Well, they won’t kill Rousseau, because they actually promised last season that the one flashback we would definitely get in Season Four is Rousseau because the fans… GAAAAHHHH!!!!" And with that, Rousseau was seemingly dead, too. WHAT?! If there is one flashback I’ve been demanding since Season ONE (along with every other fan) it’s Rousseau’s. Is she really dead? If not, why didn’t Ben (assuming it’s him) kill her? And if so, could we get her flashback through an extension of an Alex flashback? This just seemed...wrong.
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Highlights: • Hurley once again becomes the mouthpiece for the fans when Miles points out that the freighter folk are here for Ben, and he says, "Uh, we kinda like, knew that forever ago." See also "Boat: Michael, On the."
• Miles pointing out that a week ago Ben was locked up and now he’s eating pound cake. I always enjoy the Miles snark.
• Rousseau finally getting to tell Alex how much she loves her.

Biggest "GASP!" Moments:
• LIBBY!!
• TOM!!
• The file showing how Widmore could have staged the fake plane wreck. While digging up 324 bodies from a Thailand gravesite seems pretty nefarious, I guess it's the lesser of two evils when the other option was actually killing 324 people.
• The little flag popping up on the "bomb" that says "NOT YET." Has anyone been driven crazier than Michael on this show? How many times does a man have to prepare to meet death and be thwarted? If that’s Ben’s idea of a joke, he is one sadistic mofo.

Hurley's Numbers:
Michael tries to kill himself four times in the episode (once in the car, once in the alley, once in his apartment, and once on the ship with the bomb). The code to "detonate" the bomb is 71776, which is divisible by four, eight, and 16.

Did You Notice?:
• Several background characters on the island followed Locke when he split away from Jack, yet they weren’t in the room when Locke came clean to "everyone."

• Sawyer’s line about which "Michael" Ben was talking about seemed to be there to catch up all the viewers who have somehow forgotten who Michael actually was.

• Captain Gault's tough love seemed a little . . . tough.

• Michael was keeping his hood up like Charlie used to do whenever he was taking drugs.

• The Temple is marked as a Dharma station on Ben's map. It’s the same place he told Richard Alpert to take the Others at the end of Season Three.

• When Michael attempts suicide in the car he’s listening to "It’s Getting Better" by Mama Cass. When Season Two opened, Desmond was listening to Mama Cass’s "Make Your Own Kind of Music."

• When Michael hallucinates that he sees Libby, she’s bringing him extra blankets. That’s what Libby was going back to the Swan station to get when Michael killed her.

• That kid standing in the window was definitely not Malcolm David Kelley, who played Walt. So the speculation that somehow they were going to bring Kelley back to let us know what happened to Walt, but because the actor would be 16 they’d have to account for his age, is probably wrong. I don’t think Kelley will be back to reprise the role.

• Tom says he’ll be at the penthouse of the Hotel Earle. This is the name of the hotel in the Coen Brothers film "Barton Fink," where Barton goes to write a screenplay, deals with writer’s block, and then somehow encounters a serial killer and begins to go mad himself. A fitting place for Tom to be staying (in the penthouse, no less).

• When Michael tries to shoot himself in his apartment, there’s an old game show on the television and a woman answers a question with the response, "Kurt Vonnegut." The Desmond episode a few weeks back referenced Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.

• In Season Three, Tom tells Kate she’s not his type, and I said in my book, "So what, is he gay? How could she not be his type?" And sure enough . . . he is, indeed, gay.

• Widmore’s "shell company" is Widmore Industries. Not exactly incognito there, Chuck.

• The passport for Kevin Johnson has Michael grinning on it, which would appear to be wrong, but the issue date is 1999, a time when we were still allowed to smile in passport photos.

• The name of the freighter, the Kahana, is scratched out when we see it docked here, yet the name is painted on clearly when it’s at sea.

• Minkowski references The Shining, yet another in a long line of Stephen King references on the show.

• Sayid goes ballistic on Michael when he finds out he's working for Ben. . . some major dramatic irony given Sayid's future.

• When Sayid tells the captain everything, Gault has a look on his face like he already knew.

• When Alex is sitting over Karl's dead body, you can see an earplug in Karl’s left ear.

So Many Questions . . .
• Sawyer finds out somehow that Miles asked Ben for money. Who told him? Ben? Why would Ben tell him that? (It was also strange that $2.3 million somehow got rounded up to three.)

• When Ben is glaring at Alex and Karl, Alex has her hand on her belly while Karl seems to be putting his hands on her tenderly . . . she’s not pregnant, is she?

• I asked this question in my book at the end of Season Three, but could the Temple be the place with the four-toed statue? Ben says the Temple isn’t for “them,” meaning the survivors, it’s only for “us,” meaning the Others. Why is that? Is he telling the truth or is he just blowing Karl off because he needs to get him alone?

• Michael sends the mechanic working with him (the actor’s name is, incidentally, James Locke . . . do you think it helped him get the job?) off to get a pressure valve when Sayid shows up, and then he says to Sayid that the guy will be back really soon. So are we to assume Sayid got a very truncated version of the story we just saw? "So . . . uh . . . I made it back and then Tom showed up and recruited me to come here, and I just have to screw around with the engine every once in a while and then talk to Ben a bit. I might have attempted suicide a couple of times. So how’s Sun doin’?"

• How did Tom get to New York from the island? In Season Three, we saw Tom in “The Man from Tallahassee” when he comes to talk to Ben in his bedroom, and then we don’t see him again until “The Man Behind the Curtain,” when he’s in Ben’s camp as Locke walks into it. According to the Lostpedia timeline, the events of Tallahassee happen on December 11, and Naomi is found on the 17th, and The Man Behind the Curtain is the 21st. However, the announcement of the plane being found at the bottom of the ocean happens at the same time, and Naomi lets on in “Greatest Hits” that the plane had been found weeks earlier.

• How is it that the island won’t let Michael kill himself? Is this true? Notice when it looked like Locke was going to die in “Through the Looking Glass,” Walt appeared to him and told him he still had work to do, just like Tom tells Michael here.

• Tom says the freighter is going to leave in a few days, but in the “Confirmed Dead” flashbacks we saw Frank, Charlotte, Miles, and Daniel hearing about the plane being found as it was being announced. How did they get recruited so quickly?

• Who was shooting at Rousseau and company at the end? Did Ben recruit someone to do it? Is Rousseau really dead or was she shot with a poison dart? You can see a bullet hole in Karl that goes right through him, whereas we don’t see a similar mark on Rousseau.

Next week: Nuthin'. We now begin a hiatus until episode nine, on April 24. See you then!

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Nikki Stafford has published companion guides to "Xena," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," "Alias," and "Lost" through ECW Press. Her new book is Finding Lost—Season Three: The Unofficial Guide. Check her blog, "Nik At Nite," for more on your (and her) favorite shows.
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