Lost In Myth: Ep 4.8 “Meet Kevin Johnson”


4x08_MeetKevinThe first thing that stuck me as interesting in this episode was Michael, a.k.a., Kevin Johnson, responding to Sayid’s question about what he was doing there by saying that he was there to die. After watching the full episode, we may assume that he was referring to his repeated attempts at suicide, but if The Myth of Lost simulation theory is correct, Michael may be talking about something else—his desire to die and get out of the simulation already.

MichaelCrashesCarFor most of the rest of the episode, we are taken into Michael’s flashback—at least, it seems that way. I’ll explain what I mean later. We see that Michael is back in NYC and, as with Jack’s flash-forward, very unhappy. So unhappy, that he is about to attempt suicide. He pins a note to his jacket (to Walt as we later learn) and after saying “forgive me” just as Jack had before he had attempted to jump off a bridge, Michael drives straight into a shipping bin. According to the simulation theory, Michael left the program before he was cured. So it makes sense as to why he’d be suicidal.

800px-4x08_HelloLibbyWe next see Michael in a hospital bed, amazingly, still alive. A nurse comes in to check on him and to his shock—it’s Libby, the woman he accidentally shot and killed on the island. We soon realize that Libby was only a hallucination of Michael’s, one that will appear again to Michael shortly before he’s about to set off the bomb on the freighter. I stated in the book that I believed that A) Having died within the simulation, Libby isn’t really dead and B) Libby works for Widmore (who owns the freighter—another prediction made in the book). According to the simulation theory, Widmore has ties to DHARMA which helped create the simulation program—a program that may include the island and the area around it including the freighter. So, it makes perfect sense how Libby could be communicating with Michael while he’s within the simulation (which I’d say that he is while on the freighter) and why she wouldn’t want him to destroy the boat with a bomb (because then everyone would be ejected from the program along with him). The other possible insinuation we can make from Michael seeing Libby is that he may, in fact, be losing his mind from guilt. This could also come into play with my explanation of Michael’s flashback that I’ll get to in a bit.

104154_512x288_generated__ARaKShQy7EKAN3TVd-59nwAfter a miraculously speedy recovery from his suicide attempt that the show never references (Michael left the island about 67 days after the crash which took place September 22nd, 2004, putting the date at November 28th. Even if he was rescued that same day and the flashback occurred only a week after his return, that would still put the date of his suicide attempt at around December 5th. He is then seen fully recovered around Christmastime (we see the lights at his mother’s house), putting his recovery time at less than three weeks. From being completely bedridden in a neck-brace to NOTHING one to three weeks later? Something is fishy, even for Lost. Remember, he’s supposed to be back in the real world by now. Is the island helping him to recover, or is something else going on?

2350385703_96d82988aeShortly afterwards, Michael is stopped from shooting himself by Tom, of Others fame. While I do believe Tom is alive after being shot by Sawyer on the island, this scene seems to predate that. Still, it’s interesting how Tom is simply able to leave the island. Later, Tom is asked by Michael if he (and the Others) can come and go as they please. Tom replies by saying, “some of us.” I believe that those who are in the know about the simulation like him, Ben, Dr. Richard Alpert, and even Mikhail “Patchy” Bakunin are amongst that elite, whereas Juliet and Alex and some of the other Others, are not.

Back to the alleyway, Tom tells Michael that the island won’t let him kill himself. While the experiments done on the island (and possibly to the Losties) may reconcile this possibility with the simulation theory (since Michael now appears to be in the real world), there’s another explanation that, once again, I’ll get to shortly. (I’m doing this Lost-style, filling in the pieces at the end.)

While not of any mythological significance, I did find it interesting that this episode confirmed that Tom was gay. At the beginning of season three, many people suspected this when after Kate seemed shy about getting undressed in front of Tom, he assured her that “you’re not my type.” What straight man would not consider Kate his type? Exactly. Here, it is confirmed that Tom is gay when we see him with a male lover who gives him a kiss.

gravephotosShortly after this scene, Tom tells Michael that the Oceanic 815 plane that was found was not his plane. That it’s a fake set up by Widmore who somehow managed to dig up 324 bodies from a Thailand cemetery, buy a plane, and dump it along with the bodies in a deep trench in the ocean without too many people noticing. While this is a pretty ridiculous scenario, since it fits with my theory, I’ll let it go. I have said the plane never really crashed—at least, not with the Losties on it. And that the plane crash seen by the Others actually happened within the simulation. My theory seemed gravely threatened when the wrecked plane was found in the real world. Luckily, it was a fake, so simulation theory lives another day.

waltAnother weak point in this episode, is how Tom manages to convince Michael to work for them. Apparently, Michael told Walt about his killing the two women and now Walt hates him. Somehow, Tom convinces him that if he can blow up an entire freighter full of people, supposedly saving the rest of the Losties, this will redeem Michael in Walt’s eyes. Of course, Michael would be dead too, but this minor point is glossed over. More importantly is how this info fits in with the simulation theory. The fact that Michael burdened a 10-year-old kid with his killing of two women proves beyond any doubt that Michael still isn’t ready to be a dad—he left the simulation too early without having gained enough experience with Walt, and this is why everything is going wrong. By sacrificing himself to prove that he’s a hero to his son, he is redeemed and can leave the program to live in the real world with his son.

Now, let me explain what I really think was going on in this episode. We have a bunch of things that don’t really add up—Michael’s quick recovery time, his visions of Libby, and his decision to help the Others without much of a reason—and we have a bunch of things that don’t really add up with the simulation theory—Michael being unable to kill himself in the real world, his vision of Libby in the hospital, and the fact that we see him actually get on the freighter which I claim is still part of the simulation. So, how do I explain it?

SayidMichaelMy explanation has to do with the flashback of this episode. Observant viewers will notice that it’s different than most flashbacks we’ve seen on Lost. Most flashbacks intercut back and forth with the action on the island. This one however, began with Michael retelling his tale to Sayid and Desmond, and finished when he was done with his story. In other words, this wasn’t really an objective flashback—it was scenes from Michael’s story. A story that I believe he made up. Since we assume that Michael is working for Ben, who knows how he really ended up on the frieghter? And he certainly wouldn’t spill his guts to Sayid and Desmond. I think that his story was fabricated for the purpose of trying to get Sayid and Desmond to take his side—he was suicidal, the crew members are bad, he’s trying to save everyone, etc. If Michael’s story is all a lie, there’s no telling what really happened. Parts may be true, while other parts are not. It’s the ol’ “unreliable narrator” trick. This trick is far from being unprecedented. Its most famous uses date back to the 1921 German expressionist film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, where we learn that the narrator has been crazy all along, and more recently in The Usual Suspects. While I’m just guessing, I would think that the unreliable narrator trick was probably also used in at least one Kurt Vonnegut story since we hear his name mentioned on a game show Michael is watching.

If Michael is, in fact, taking liberties with his story, then perhaps he never really did get onto the freighter the way he said, or have attempted suicide. He may not even have seen Libby, but if he did, it could still be a delusion from his guilt, or, something he only experienced while still within the simulation. In other worlds, typical of much Lost, fare, nothing from this episode can be taken at face value. Really, this episode is only meant to work around the details of what happened to Michael, without giving away the whole ending. If we really saw how Michael got off the island, which, they never showed since that would really be confusing if we later found out it wasn’t true, then the writers would have to give up the solution to the show, which needs to run two more years.

4x08_TomIntroducesKevinOne of the reasons I came to the conclusion that Michael’s flashback was just his story, was because it had so many holes that are not typical of the show. For starters, Michael’s reason for helping Tom was pretty weak. What was Michael thinking? Okay, this guy kidnapped my son so I will do him a favor by killing a bunch of people that he claims are bad, in hopes that my son can regain respect for me since he lost it the last time I killed some people to help this guy. What? But think about it, that was basically the deal. Michael killed Ana Lucia and Libby in order to free Ben for the Others. Doing this pissed off Walt. But Michael is convinced that killing more people for the Others will impress Walt this time and patch up their relationship. Am I missing something?

13-lost-season-4_lThen there’s Michael’s explanations as to why he couldn’t kill himself—because the island wouldn’t let him. Hmmm, so the island was fine with the deaths of Boone, Mr. Eko, Shannon, Anna Lucia and Charlie? Unless, he just means the island won’t let you kill yourself. Well, didn’t Charlie basically do that? He volunteered for a suicide mission. Also, if you can’t kill yourself once you’ve been on the island, than who’s in the coffin? There are still too many questions to understand the validity of Michael’s story. But for now, I’m not buying it. There’s also an issue with the helicopters on the freighter. Shouldn’t there have been two—Naomi crashed the first, leaving the second for Frank Lapidus. Unless, she lied about the helicopter crashing. It really is quite the challenge to figure out a TV show when there are so many lies to cut through. It seems though, that there should’ve been two choppers on the freighter and Michael’s story showed only one.

While I haven’t mentioned it yet, even Ben telling Michael that he didn’t have to kill Anna Lucia and Libby may have been a lie as well—either from Ben or Michael. Still, I tend to think that Michael probably really did kill them, though it may have been due to the wishes of the island/simulation. Anna Lucia was ready to depart after refusing to kill Ben—she had cured her itchy trigger finger and was ready to leave. Libby was likely a spy for Widmore, that’s why the simulation program got rid of her. It was trying to protect itself. The island, personified, likely being Jacob. As to whether or not Ben told Michael to kill Anna Lucia, perhaps he didn’t, but maybe Juliet did. Juliet could’ve wanted revenge on Ana Lucia for killing her lover, Goodwin and told Michael to kill her without Ben’s knowledge. And Libby was just an accident.

DanielleAndAlexDanielleshotThe final interesting thing that I think happened in this episode was Karl and Danielle being shot, and possibly killed. I found it particularly interesting though what both of them had said, prior to being killed. Karl had told Alex that the only thing he had in common with Ben was that they both cared about her. Shortly afterwards, he was shot. Danielle grabs Alex and tells her she loves her, then, she dies. According to the simulation theory, I’d say that both had resolved their issues. Karl probably needed to either care about someone else, or possibly just a girl if his parents put him in the system to “cure” his homosexuality. Danielle likely had to learn to love her daughter. Having her taken away from her, and then reuniting with her could’ve been just what the doctor ordered. I still think that we haven’t heard from the last of Danielle, if only because we’ll get to see her flashback likely through the flashback of others.

Marc Oromaner
is a New York City writer whose book, The Myth of Lost offers a simple solution to Lost and uncovers its hidden insight into the mysteries of life. He can be contacted in the discussion section of The Myth of Lost Facebook page.

The Myth of Lost is available on Amazon and barnesandnoble.com.

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The Layman posted at 2008-3-20 Category: Lost In Myth, Season 4

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