Friday, March 21, 2008

Benjamin Linus & The Temple of Doom: LOST, Episode 4.8 - "Meet Kevin Johnson"

As someone long prepared for the occasion;
In full command of every plan you wrecked -
Do not choose a coward's explanation
That hides behind the cause and the effect.
Leonard Cohen, "
Alexandra Leaving"

Are you kidding me? Holy sh*t, that was a fantastic episode and my head is spinning on its axis. Let's get started...

To me, this episode played like A Christmas Carol for Michael; Libby was the Ghost of Christmas Past, Tom was the Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ben was the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Here is what we know for sure:
  • The Oceanic 6 are Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Aaron and Sun. I was wrong, I admit it.
  • Michael and Walt are not members of the Oceanic 6, so they either die or are stuck on the island. Whether or not Walt chooses to stay there remains to be seen...
  • There is a time discrepancy between the real world and the island. In Lost time, on the island, it is just after Christmas, but it was also Christmas time when Michael was trying to kill himself after he and Walt returned home. So...there seems to be about a two month difference. This is probably how they'll explain Walt's growth once he actually reappears again.
  • Tom was gay. Hello, most of us figured that out when he told Kate that she wasn't his type last season. If you're stuck on a tropical island and don't find Kate attractive, you play for the other team. Period. (For those of you who know me...that scene would be equivalent to me telling Brad Pitt that he's not my type just after he steps out of the shower. One giant 'duh.') But who cares. Check off another diversity box and move on.

I don't think that Michael is aware of Walt's real capabilities. When Walt was being held by the Others, Ms. Klugh asked Michael if Walt had ever appeared someplace he shouldn't be. He appeared to Shannon when he was supposed to be on the raft, and he appeared to Locke after Ben shot him. So he teleports back to the island on occasion, without his dad or grandmother knowing.


How much time passed between Michael in the hospital with severe injuries and the visit to his mother's to see Walt? Given that he refused to identify himself and had a suicide note, I imagine that the hospital kept him for a while.

Was Michael ever on Jacob's list? Ben did refer to Michael as "one of the good guys," but only after putting forcing him to do his dirty work and reminding him that he chose to kill Ana Lucia and Libby on his own.

Michael told Sayid that he was on the freighter "to die." Does he have to sacrifice himself in order to save the other survivors, or does he think that there really is a bomb that Ben needs him to set off?


What changes for Sayid and his attitude/belief about Ben? In the future, we find him working for the very man he despises and mistrusts.

We know that Ben does make it off of the island and is alive in the future. So do the remaining survivors and Others all get killed off by a Widmore Purge??

Did Ben know that Karl and Rousseau would be killed? He said that the rest of the Others were at the temple, but we haven't seen them actually kill anybody. So who the hell was at the Temple? But why send your daughter if you know that they'll use her to barter with?

Ben told Michael that he was to kill everyone on the freighter, and yet none of them have died because of him. Did Ben know that the proximity would cause some of the crew to go bonkers and die? What is Ben's real intent for Michael? Further access to Walt?

Who the hell is Ben's constant? Annie?

Ben told Michael that there were some "innocent" people on the freighter. Who was he referring to?


Why would Widmore want to kill everyone on the island instead of just Ben? If he really wants to exploit the powers of the island, is that why the Oceanic 6 aren't telling the truth about it? Is Widmore the one who is paying them off? Is he even aware or care that Desmond is on the island?

Did Widmore finally discover the coordinates of the island when Desmond failed to press the button and released the electromagnetic pulse? Was Daddy looking for that as well as Penny, but for different reasons?

If the island won't let Michael die, does that apply to everyone else who gets off of the island? Are the rules the same for 815 survivors as they are for Others and Freighters? Is that why Richard Alpert appears ageless? Is that why Mikhail just won't die?

Do those from Flight 815 that HAVE died on the island (Libby, Ana Lucia, Boone, Shanon, Eko, Artz, Nikki, Paulo, the Pilot & the Marshall) die because they didn't take their own lives? What about Charlie, who sacrificed himself?

Is Arturo (Tom's boyfriend in NY) the guy who Widmore eventually caught and beat up, the one Locke and Ben watched on the video? Was he aware of Tom's true identity, Ben or the island?

If I remember correctly, the mysterious person in the coffin that Jack visits in the future had killed himself. Does this indicate that he wasn't ever on the island? Or just not from Flight 815?

If the people who shot Rousseau and Karl were from the freighter, how and when did they arrive on the island? Does that have anything to do with Frank's mysterious 'errand' in the helicopter from last week's episode?? Did he drop some of the crew off there? It can't be coincidence that we saw them shooting guns on the freighter deck in the same episode...

If the remaining Others were at the Temple, were they killed? What about the children? And if they're not at that location, where the hell are they? (my inner conspiracy theorist still contends that they are in a secret underground, under-island village; of course Ben would have one in place)

Frank had memorized the Flight 815 manifest, and Miles called Michael out immediately. They both knew who Michael was, so did Naomi know as well? Frank and Miles must not trust the freighter crew, because they didn't alert anyone to what they knew.

Also, why is it that the new guy who joined up in Fiji isn't immediately your first suspect when your communications station is disabled?

Are either Rousseau or Karl dead? I hope not, because I was really looking forward to a Crazy French Lady flashback.

Is the Temple an actual Dharma hatch or station? Does it contain ancient remains? Does it have anything to do with the 4-toed statue? And why was there a temple column down in Other Camp (where Ben had Locke's dad tied up)?

Does Captain Gault really believe that Ben is responsible for the fake 815 wreckage? Someone (Michael or Frank) warned Sayid and Desmond not to trust the captain, but it appears that Gault only believes that Widmore financed the freighter.

Was Desmond's vision about seeing Claire and Aaron getting onto a helicopter all for naught? If that vision turns out to be incorrect (which we're leaning towards, given that Aaron is rescued and Kate is his future mom), what else from the future has he altered and/or gotten wrong due to his time traveling?

Just how far away is the island from the real world? Tom sure cleaned up nice and seemed to travel to and from the island to NY rather quickly, given when we've seen him appear back on the island. And let's be honest, submarines are not the fastest modes of transportation...

In addition, how did Michael and Walt slip secretly back into the real world without drawing anyone's attention? Although there were a few hundred others who supposedly perished on Flight 815, the press coverage would have been massive and widespread; you'd think that Michael and Walt would be recognizable (especially given that there weren't many African Americans on board besides those two and Rose; Eko was Nigerian).


Tom said to Michael what Walt had said to Locke: "You still have work to do."

Before attempting to kill himself by crashing his car, Michael said "I'm sorry," which is exactly what he said to Ana Lucia before shooting her.

Michael pawned Jin's watch for a gun, the very watch that Sun's dad ordered him to deliver to an associate in LA, and the reason that Jin and Sun were in Sydney in the first place. Will that have some affect on Jin's fate?

The game show on in the background in Michael's apartment mentioned Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse Five (which was vaguely referenced by Daniel Faraday at one point).

Libby was offering Michael blankets in the hospital. Not only did Michael shoot and kill Libby as she was holding blankets, she used to be in a hospital herself (albeit a mental one).

There was only one helicopter on the freighter, but at that point in time there should have been two (the one that crashed when Naomi parachuted onto the island, and the one that Frank later piloted there).

Naomi is from Manchester, England...and so was Charlie.

And here is where I sound like a total guy - there was a brief Godfather nod, when Miles was eating an orange (in all three films, there were significant death scenes after oranges were purchased or shown).


Don't ask me how or why this never came to me before:

Michael + Walt = Claim Wealth

...which could be a reference to Daddy Widmore's big bucks, Hurley the lottery millionaire or Miles the extortionist.

More to come Friday and/or Saturday.

Good morning!


chris said...

in the LOST world, last night was epic. we finally found out SOOO much; at least many of my questions were answered.

and now, in typical lost fashion, we have to wait until the end of April for some more. :(

p.s. i love your "did you notice" section as i never pay much attention to detail like that, but knowing it is good stuff! not to mention the godfather connection...well played.

thanks for the speculation Jo, keep it up!

AllisonR said...

Re. the person in the coffin having killed himself...possible that the person was murdered and the scene staged to look like suicide? Unless the island protects its survivors in the outside world from ALL harm, not just self-inflicted, in which case I have no idea who might be in the coffin. (Someone who would only have Jack show up for his funeral, when Jack cannot be considered friend OR family? No idea who that would be, if it wasn't someone from the island!)

I'm with you -- I also want to know if Desmond's "flash" of Claire and Aaron getting on that helicopter is ever going to happen.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Last nights episode and Desmond's episode were the best thus far. If Locke isn't one of the Oceanic 6, then that wouldn't have been him in the coffin, who is it?...Ben? Great posts as always Jo! :)

Dube said...

Awesome recap! I thought the orange was a nod to Locke and his orange scene in Season 1. ;-)

I have a little theory about the temple on my blog. (Too lazy to retype it). I *love* how you compared the episode to Christmas Carol!

As for Sayid's attitude change about Ben... I don't think it ever does. I think he still hates Ben, but is being blackmailed into obeying him via the safety of the Losties still on the island.

And good question about Michael's immortality. It can't apply to everyone, since Ben was dying of that tumor on-island. Wish Danielle was immortal though. :(

Anonymous said...

when Michael is in the hospital, he sees what seems to be the theory Alvar hanso... but then when the real nurse comes in and he is out of the dream sequence and the guy in the bed next to him has changed... why do you think the breathing apparatus has changed? On Alvar it is in his mouth but now it is on the guys nose? Continuity mistake or meaningful?

Jo said...

Chris - Thanks!

Allison R - Good question about the man in the coffin; I hadn't explored that option.

Anonymous - The debate about who is in that coffin, now that we know who the Oceanic 6 are, continues. Could be one of the Freighter Four or an Other. I have a feeling we won't find out until the end of this season, if not next.

Dube - Since Dr. Jack landed in Ben's lap, Ben used him for the surgery. But who knows whether or not the island would have healed him otherwise. :)

Nurblvr - Nice catch! I need to watch that scene again...

White Bear Girl aka Sophie Clucker said...

Hi Jo,
Firat look at your blog. Holy Cow detail-a-rama! Awesome job with all the names!!!! Way more effective than when I say..."that one guy from the first season who did that one thing!"

Dube - Since Dr. Jack landed in Ben's lap, Ben used him for the surgery. But who knows whether or not the island would have healed him otherwise. :)

Do we believe that, that was an accidental landing? Ben seems to be surprised when he and Julliette have the scene where she tells him there is a surgeon who specializes in what he needs, but he had a bus knock out Juliette's husband, he certainly could have had the plane crash!

Also, the coffin doesn't need to contain an O815er does sit?

Jo said...

White Bear Girl - Thanks for the comment!

I kind of have a visual encyclopedia of all main & periphery Lost characters and names in my head at all times; not sure if that's healthy but it comes in handy.

I absolutely believe that Flight 815's crash was rigged/caused by either Widmore (working with Matthew Abbadon/Oceanic) or Ben.

And you're right, whoever is in that coffin was not necessarily from the flight. Heck, now we can count off-island Other Suave Tom as a potential candidate!