Kicking Television: LOST s4 ep2: "Confirmed Dead"

As we embark on Kicking Television’s second voyage into the murky world of LOST, I want to point out a reason for the show’s newfound sense of focus: Brian K. Vaughan. Vaughan is the guy behind Y The Last Man, a witty sci-fi post-apocalyptic geopolitical epic that’s been the finest comic book on shelves for the past five years (its concluding issue, #60, was released last week). Not to mention his work on Ex-Machina, Runaways and a number of other worthy newsstand selections. In other words, he’s a prime candidate to be plotting LOST, and since the season 3 hiatus – when the show found its voice again (just like Hillary Clinton!) – he’s been its executive story editor. Coincidence? Not likely in a show like LOST, which brings us to last night’s episode.

In a series full of ’em, “Confirmed Dead” was a hell of a nail-biter. Let’s get right into it: new characters! Here’s who was in the “rescue” helicopter that arrived from the freighter:

Daniel Faraday: A flustered physicist who doesn’t want to be pigeonholed. Even more unqualified than the other three for a rescue mission or, as we learn from a Naomi flashback, a covert ops mission. He cries when Flight 815 crash footage is shown on television during his own flashback — what’s his connection? [Continue reading…]

Miles Straume: Paging Bill “Ghostbustin‘ ass” Murray. I kept expecting Slimer to show up during dude’s flashback, in which he busts out a fancy vacuum cleaner and talks (?) to a ghost shortly before taking (stealing?) said ghost’s drug money but leaving the drugs. A real good Samaritan, this guy. He also — apparently — talks to Dead Naomi and is the only character on the show to demonstrate off-island powers besides Walt. Let’s discount Desmond’s precognition and time traveling for now. Miles seems to be in charge of things and announces at the episode’s end that their mission is to hunt down Ben — whom they have a picture of as an adult (above), which means either our favorite Other has been off the island or the freighter has a connection to the Dharma Initiative.
Charlotte Lewis: An anthropologist who discovers a Dharma polar bear in Tunisia, she sure smiles a lot for somebody seeing a Dharma Hydra sign stamped on the collar — enough for us to assume she knows something about them. She doesn’t recognize Ben initially despite him being the object of her group’s mission.
Frank Lapidus: The man who was supposed to pilot Flight 815. During the flashback, he recognizes that the sunken plane thought to be Flight 815 is a fake by IDing the pilot. Naomi pegs him as an alcholic; whether he’s fully cognizant of what he’s seeing is doubtful. Regardless, it tells us that the plane is a plant — but by who? Matthew Abbadon, the spooky-as-hell dude who visited Hurley and is behind this mysterious mission to the island to capture Ben, denies there are survivors too firmly for me to believe he doesn’t know they exist. My guess is he’s connected to the Dharma Initiative and the planted plane.

Important Revelations:

Hurley reveals he saw Jacob’s cabin: He plays it off, but not before Ben and Locke acknowledge it. The crazy porkpie is tied more deeply to the island than we know; after all, he was presented with the numbers before even getting on the plane. Not to mention his string of post-lottery bad “luck” and his flash-forward encounter with Abbadon in ep1.

Locke thinks Walt saved him. Was it Walt, or was it the island-as-Walt? The second option was my assumption, but either way it means Locke’s knowledge of Jacob and/or the cloud-monster is as good as ours.

Ben’s at-gunpoint confusion over the cloud monster would seem to differentiate it (and its apparent role as the voice of the island via its manifestations as dead people) from Jacob.

Locke’s missing kidney saved his life, thanks to it allowing Ben’s bullet to pass right through him. So giving it to his conman father was worthwhile after all, which ties into the show’s “OMG is it a coincidence or is it meant to be?” shtick.

All in all, folks? An utterly satisfying episode. Keep ’em coming, BKV.

Previously: LOST s4 ep1: “The Beginning of the End” / LOST: Is Jack’s Dad Jacob?


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