Last Week on Lost: Cabin Fever

Teasing tonight’s episode for Entertainment Weekly‘s Doc Jensen, Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof says, “Press conferences, funerals, and surprise parties…. Oh my!”

All of the teases that I’ve seen for this episode have been great, and I am huge fan of finales anyway, so this one will probably end up on my list of top ten favorites pretty darned quick.

In the meantime, here (below the fold) are some of my thoughts on last week’s episode, “Cabin Fever,” which was much cooler than I expected it to be, given the general suckiness of John Locke as a character this season.

The Consequences of Being Chosen

It isn’t until two thirds of the way through this episode that Ben talks to Locke about the consequences of being chosen, but I feel like we’re seeing those consequences in the very first scene. Check this: Locke’s Buddy Holly-lovin mama gets hit by a car, which forces John’s premature delivery, and then, soon after, we see good old Richard Alpert. This is the same dude that had Juliet’s ex-husband run over by a bus, remember. So, look at the facts, and tell me that Emily Locke getting hit by that car was a coincidence.

What belongs to you, John?

Others have pointed out that Richard’s speech to John about running a school for special kids is very similar to speeches given by Professor Charles Xavier in the stories of the X-Men. I think they’re definitely onto something, but I think what’s really notable about this scene is Richard’s more Magneto-like approach. He’s recruiting special people, sure. But he wants specific things out of each of these people. He wants John to pick something other than the knife (Which thing, though?) and he gets about as bent out of shape as he ever gets when John chooses poorly. All of the flashbacks in this episode were superbly done, but this was perhaps the most striking of them all.

Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do!

John’s scene with the science teacher reminds us of Locke’s central issues and let’s us know how they began. He doesn’t want to be what he is. He wants to be special in a certain way instead of accepting the very individual, very personal ways in which he is special. And I think John realizes that this is his great folly—remember the hesitation before he picked up the knife in that earlier scene—but he just wants to ignore it. All season, the writers have done a terrific job of making me loathe John Locke as a character. In this one scene, they’ve reminded me of why he’s one of the show’s best assets.

“Don’t give up, Mr. Locke.”

There are some wild theories floating around about Abaddon being a grown-up version of Walt, and this scene might actually give those theorists a bit more evidence to support their crackpot idea. Listen to the words Abaddon chooses, to the cadence of his speech. I’m still not buying that this is grown-up Walt yet, but he does talk about running into each other again, and that seems like more than just the typical ominous line that we’ve come to expect from this guy.

Meanwhile, back on the freighter…

All of the freighties have suffered in the character development department because of the shortened season, but Cap’n Gault has suffered the most. I’ve called him Captain Asshole since his introduction, but tonight, in the episode that also features his death, we finally see some depth.

Another interesting freighter note: Gault doesn’t seem to know about the secondary protocol until Keamy unlocks the safe, but, based on the teasers for tonight’s episode, Faraday does. Why is that? I’m really curious.

Also: did anyone else think that the chopper was dropping some sort of bomb on the beach camp when they flew overhead? I sure did.

I Made A Funny!

Whoever wrote this episode deserves major kudos for the humor. I was worried (still am) that the whole end of this season was going to be bleak as all hell after Alex was killed. And this episode certainly had its share of darkness, but the yuks were just awesome.

Whoever decided to give Hurley and Ben all of those scenes together should be given a parade. Michael Emerson shines in a way that we’ve never seen him shine before. His comedic chops are almost good as his dramatic ones. And I love the wordless candy bar scene most of all. Just their body language conveys a sort of humor that this episode desperately needed to keep from becoming wrist-slittingly depressing.

Final Thoughts

How exactly does one move an island?

Is Claire dead?