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Lost: Season 4 - Meet Kevin Johnson (Review)


Review by Jack Foley

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from our favourite television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the latest episode of Lost: Season 4 entitled Meet Kevin Johnson.

What’s the story? Sayid (Naveen Andrews) confronts Ben’s spy on the freighter -who turns out to be Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau), now posing as Kevin Johnson. And Ben (Michael Emerson) urges daughter Alex (Tanya Raymonde) to flee Locke’s camp in order to survive an impending attack.

Why so good? Having come over all emotional with previous episode Ji Yeon Lost got back to piling on the intrugue and suspense with Meet Kevin Johnson – a mid-season cliffhanger (cuased by the recent writers’ strike) that typically posed more questions than it answered.

The return of Harold Perrineau and his ensuing story formed the main focal point of the episode and, to be fair, delivered some interesting revelations, but it was Ben’s daughter, Alex, who left us with the jaw-dropping conclusion…

Digging a little deeper: Firstly, the revelations. Although mostly devoted to relaying how Michael came to be the spy on the Charles Widmore financed freighter, the episode did keep us gripped and make us care for the fate of a long-forgotten character.

In seasons one and two, Michael certainly endured his highs and lows, culminating in his breathtaking murder of two women and subsequent freeing of Ben Linus in a desperate bid to recover his son, Walt. Freeing Ben had, in turn, gifted him his son and secured his “release” from the island. And the last we’d seen of Michael was him sailing off into the sunset, presumably free.

Not so… For having made it safely back to New York (and we’re still not sure how), Michael became wracked with guilt over his actions on the island and subsequently placed Walt in the care of his disapproving grandmother. He then attempted to take his own life by driving his car into a dockyard container.

Unsuccessful, Michael then bought a gun and attempted to blow his brains out, only to be interrupted by another figure from the past: Others right-hand man Tom Friendly (MC Gainey), who glibly informed him that the island would not allow him to commit suicide.

After putting that claim to the ultimate test, Michael went and met Tom (thereby interrupting a gay liaison with an unknown male) to discover what he wanted. To which Tom responded by asking Michael to pose as a spy on the Widmore freigher and – when the time was right – kill everyone on board.

Michael agreed, albeit reluctantly, and set himself up as deck-hand Kevin Johnson only to find his attempt to carry out his mission thwarted by another cruel hoax from the Others. Rather than killing everyone – including some innocent members of the motley crew – he should disable the vessel and report to Ben with a list of all on board, thereby giving Mr Linus the upper hand back on the island.

When Sayid heard Michael’s story, however, he proved unsympathetic, handing him over to the frieghter’s captain and exposing him as the spy. It remains to be seen what will happen to him…

That said, there were some important revelations amid the journeyman storytelling. First, Charles Widmore (Alan Dale) appears to be the root of all evil, having staged the underwater wreckage of Oceanic 815 by buying an old Boeing 777, filling it with bodies dug up from a Thai cemetery and sinking it in an ocean trench.

Second, that some of the Others can – in fact – come and go from the island as they please and are well resourced in the real world.

Then there’s the questions. How are they so well briefed on Widmore’s intentions and actions? Who else is spying for them back in New York? And how long will the island prevent Michael from killing himself? Will freighter captain Gault spare Michael’s life? Can we believe anything that Tom Friendly said and is Ben Linus really a good guy?

Having devoted almost an entire episode to a returning character, it was tribute to both the skill of the writers and Harold Perrineau’s nicely judged performance that we weren’t left feeling as though we were merely counting time. Rather, we cared about what happened and were disappointed enough to disagree with Sayid’s rash actions.

Meanwhile, on the island, we were left with another surprise – namely the fate of Ben’s daughter Alex. Having been urged to sneak away from Locke’s camp for fear of an impending attack, Alex (for once) took her father’s advice, as well as her boyfriend and mother in tow.

But as soon as they reached the jungle, her companions were shot and killed, leaving a distraught and scared Alex to surrender to the invisible assassins and reveal that she was Ben’s daughter.

Who were the attackers, though? More of the island rescue party (some of whom had been seen leaving the freighter earlier in the episode), or Others acting under Ben’s instructions (he’s never liked Alex’s boyfriend, or mother for that matter)? Can we put anything past Mr Linus?

It’s now a five-week wait to get some immediate closure but Lost‘s creators have done enough to heighten the sense of anticipation surrounding the remainder of this season. It remains one of the most fascinating programmes on television…

What did you think?

  1. Nice coverage of the series and I mostly agree with the views expressed. But how about some more daring theories? Reallly get the debate going…

    John    Mar 27    #