Michael still bores me. Let’s face it, when Lost first announced Harold Perrineau was returning, fans were excited, but only over the theoretical practice of bringing back a cast member who left two seasons ago. Lost fans are continuity gluttons, obsessing over how things fit and how things are connected. So even if you don’t like Michael as a character, at least his return serves a purpose.
I’m qualifying here because I wasn’t a big fan of “Meet Kevin Johnson,” last night’s final pre-strike installment of Lost. Though I am loathe to invoke this other show, it reminded me a bit of the Heroes episode “Four Months Ago…” from season 2. The episode fills in a missing period of time and essentially tells us things we already know without telling us much more. We knew Ben somehow had to contact Michael and convince him to get on the boat and pose as Kevin Johnson, so that’s what we saw.
How did Michael and Walt get from the boat to the mainland to New York? How did Tom get there? How did Michael and Walt NOT tell anyone about what happened? There are so many intriguing details about how exactly Michael got off the island that were overlooked in exchange for yet another vague mystery: the island won’t let Michael die. This episode succeeded in answering questions I didn’t really have while raising more questions about the things I’m already interested in.
In addition to all the DHARMA stations, now we have a Sanctuary. The island can influence the physical world outside of itself. Getting off the island is, apparently, very easy. The mysteries keep piling up.
Then we have that entirely tacked on scene at the end which felt so artificial, like I accidentally flipped over to a different show. While I agree Danielle Rousseau being shot with an arrow is shocking, is this really what the show has come to? Arbitrarily putting a recurring character’s life in peril to pose as a cliffhanger?
But you’re not here to read why this episode wasn’t nearly as good as it should’ve been, you’re here for the Lost Easter Eggs, and here we have music, TV shows, homosexuality, and a timeline.
#1 – Mama Cass
The Lost writers enjoy assigning certainly songs and musical artists to specific characters. Kate has Patsy Cline and Desmond has Mama Cass. Well, he did, until someone stole it from him. In last night’s episode, when Michael gets in his car to speed into a storage container in hopes of killing himself, he cranks up the Mama Cass, this time the ironically titled “It’s Getting Better.”
I’m not sure of the significance, but it’s amusing nonetheless. Maybe the implication is that, if Michael truly wanted to die, all he needed to do was eat a sandwich. Congratulations if you’re old enough to get that joke.
#2 – Kurt Vonnegut
When “The Constant” aired, everyone and their mothers drew comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse Five. Clearly the writers were also influenced by that work. When Michael is attempting to blow his brains out, he’s watching an old school game show, and the one trivia question we hear answered is asking for the author of Slaughterhouse Five. The follow-up, asking for the name of the book’s main character, is interrupted by news of the discovery of the wreckage of Oceanic 815.
#3 – Timeline
Also, we wondered, when did Tom find time to get off the island during that month before he died? To answer these questions, here is a simple timeline using the days on the island to try and pinpoint when the flashbacks took place.
Day 67 (Saturday, November 27, 2004)::
-Michael and Walt are released in the boat get off the island.
Day 67-Day 74:
-Tom and the rest of the Others are at the Hydra Station, interrogating Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Tom is present throughout, including during Ben’s surgery.
Day 80-Day 81:
-Locke, Kate, Rousseau and Sayid see Jack playing football with Tom.
-The Others (Tom included) head off to the Ruins.
-Naomi lands on the island.
This timeline results in some serious issues fans should have with time. When Ben calls Michael on the radio, he is in his home in the barracks, which means that scene takes place on Day 81 at the latest. In other words, two weeks after leaving the island, Michael is on the freighter coming back.
Also, this means that Tom’s visit to New York City must have taken place between the time at Hydra and the time he’s seen playing football with Jack. This covers roughly a one week span that takes place one week after Michael leaves. This makes almost no sense.
Michael left in the boat, he had to find help, come ashore, somehow explain himself, get on a plane back to New York City, drop off Walt to live with his grandma, find an apartment, get into a car accident, recover, and only then did he meet Tom. Either the writers are playing fast and loose with the concept of time, or Michael had the busiest week in the history of the world.
#4 – Oceanic 6
For several weeks now, fans have been debating whether or not Aaron qualifies as a member of the Oceanic 6. If you turned off your TV as soon as Alex used her father’s name as a shield, then you missed the preview for the final five episodes of the season. During this time, we were told that we’ve met all the members of the Oceanic 6, at which point the camera cut to six different characters, including Aaron.
So that settles it, Aaron is a part of the Oceanic 6. I once took issue with the fact that he wasn’t on the flight and therefore shouldn’t count. However, I quickly realized that the media, which clearly labeled them the Oceanic 6, wouldn’t care about the distinction. It’s all a bit backwards when you think about it. The only time we get definitive answers on this show is after it’s over!
#5 – Gay Tom
Remember back in the season 3 premiere, when Tom woke up Kate and told her to take a shower. She worried about undressing in front of him, and he replied, “Relax, you’re not my type.” At that moment, speculation began to run rampant that Tom was, in fact, a homosexual.
Last night’s episodes confirmed that assumption when we saw that, in his trips off the island, Tom enjoys spending time with Arturo, who may or may not be (but probably is) a male escort. It’s a quaint little character note, and one of those things that makes me wish they didn’t kill off M.C. Gainey at the end of last season.
#6 – WAAALT!
Technically, I don’t think this counts as an Easter Egg, but I found it so amusing, I couldn’t resist. This episode of Lost began with a “previously on” package that chronicled Michael’s adventure on the island. For the most part, the Internet community and die-hard Lost fanbase can sum up Michael in a single word: “WAAALT!” The number of times Michael shouted this turned it into a bit of a joke.
So I was highly amused when the very first thing I saw on last night’s episode was a clip from the first season finale after the Others took away Michael’s son. Cut to Harold Perrineau screaming: “WAAALT!” Perhaps this was just the best clip to convey what happened. Or, it was a meta-joke by the Lost team about Michael’s perceived primary character trait.