Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lost: "Meet Kevin Johnson"


Michael Dawson has come unstuck in time.

The reason I'm paraphrasing that famous opening line in reference to tonight's Lost is because of a subtle hint dropped in the background of the episode. During the scene in which Michael tries to kill himself with the gun in his apartment, his TV is tuned to a game show. And just as Michael pulls the trigger, you can hear the game show host ending a question with, "...Slaughterhouse-Five?" A contestant then buzzes in and replies, "Um, is it Kurt Vonnegut?" The host then continues, "Correct! And to triple your puzzle points in the next round: can you give us the name of the book's protagonist?"

That would be Billy Pilgrim, Chuck. But we don't get that answer, because a news bulletin interrupts the show to report on the discovery of the (fake) wreckage of Oceanic 815. The survivors of which flight now inhabit an island which, apparently, is unstuck in time.

Nice. Very nice. I wonder if that was the work of comics luminary Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight), who co-wrote the episode. I'd like to think it is.

Not a lot of forward momentum in this installment, but I still enjoyed it a great deal. I liked seeing Michael again, and learning the story of his time off the island (which wasn't tremendously revelatory, but at least established that Walt is still supposed to be ten years old, however old he is when he appears to Locke in visions). And I loved seeing Cynthia Watros return as Libby, even if it was only in a couple of brief vision-cameos. As soon as I saw the "previously on" teaser at the top of the show, recapping Libby's death at the hands of Michael, I started hoping she would somehow show up in his flashback (or flash forward, or whatever). And when I saw Watros's name in the credits, I cheered. (Figuratively.) But we're still not finished with her, are we? There are a lot of hanging plot threads on this show. A lot. But for me, the biggest, the one that bugs me the most, is the flashback which showed Libby occupying the same insane asylum as Hurley, pre-flight. What the frick was up with that? Hopefully, Watros will keep returning until we've gotten that resolved.

And for all the time on the ship, with Michael and his flashback, the biggest shock happened on the island at the very end: it appears Ben's love for his adopted daughter Alex isn't quite as all-encompassing as everyone had presumed. It appears (though, as always with this show, looks may be deceiving) that he sent her into a trap in which he had her boyfriend and her biological mother murdered, and her own survival is by no means guaranteed. Also: Danielle is dead?!? Looked pretty final to me. Dang! Again, though, looks may be deceiving. Seems like a little too abrupt and ignominious a death for one of the longest-running and most important supporting characters on the show.

Worst news of the night: no new episodes until April 24. At which point, there will only be five new episodes remaining in the season. Bummer. At least Battlestar Galactica will be here soon to help me fill the absence. That dark absence. That deep, dark, crushing absence which manifests as a bottomless pit in the middle of my soul. You know what I mean.

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