Note: This blog is counting down to the premiere of LOST's final season on Feb. 2 by spending the month leading up to it racing through every one of the previous 103 episodes. We're looking specifically at Christian/religious themes, other important or interesting concepts, literary references, and the theory that it's largely been about a game in which someone has won, and someone has... LOST. To follow us from the start, click here.

We start this disc with Locke gathering his peeps and promising "no more secrets." So -- will this prove true? Will this theme hold throughout the disc? Let's watch!

LOST Season Four, Disc Three: It's Game Time - Are You In or Out?

Episodes: 4.8 MEET KEVIN JOHNSON (Michael-centric); 4.9 THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME (Ben-centric); 4.10 SOMETHING NICE BACK HOME (Jack-centric); 4.11 CABIN FEVER (Locke-centric)

Things That Stuck Out

Island

We start with the barracks group learning about and discussing a problem. Locke gets Miles to admit that his people - who have been on the island now for "about a week" are there for Ben. Okay, says Sawyer, let's turn him over. But it's not that simple, says Locke, because once the freighter folk have Ben, their orders are to kill everyone else on the island (and now we know why they wanted the poison gas neutralized, and why Ben wanted it activated). Our followers also find out that Ben is "one of us now," at least inasmuch as Locke is protecting him, and that Michael is the spy on the boat.

An alarm sounds in the middle of the night on the ship, waking Sayid and Desmond. On deck, Gault is beating someone for attempting to desert.

Sawyer instantly questions Locke's "no more secrets" promise when he realizes nothing was said of the deal Miles struck with Ben for $3.2 million. Locke said he didn't find it worth mentioning "as I haven't seen a bank on the island." Miles scoffs at this. He's right to. Locke can be so stupid sometimes.

Ben gives Alex, Karl, and Danielle a map to the Temple, warns them to get out of Dodge and go there. He can't offer everyone else sanctuary there because "it's not for them." Ben warns that the people coming for him would use Alex to get to him if they captured her. We know that's right. When they stop for a drink, Karl pulls out his Star Wars homage with, "I have a bad feeling about this."

When Alex asks if the freighter folk are "more dangerous than" Ben, he at first slightly shakes his head, then slightly nods it. The message I take is: no more, no less, but just as.

Sayid would kinda like to know how the heck Michael - or anyone else - could ever end up working for Benjamin Linus after knowing him they way they do. Don't be so quick to judge Sayid... He hauls Michael straight into the Captain's office and tells Gault everything about Michael - who he really is, how he knows him, that he's the saboteur, a traitor, everything. I'm kind of surprised at Sayid's lack of forethought here. He's heard Michael's story about protecting those he knew on the island. So even though he's working for Ben, it's not like Sayid to just go through with this... unless he has a plan.

Danielle Rousseau gets to tell her daughter Alexandra she loves her very much right before she loses her life.

Jack takes some medicine for a stomach bug and he and Kate talk about whether they should be worried - he says no. Just then, Bernard has found a body washed ashore - that of Ray, the ship's doctor, which a big stitched-up scar on his cheek. Daniel IDs him as such. But he tells the group that "'When' is kind of a relative term" in determining the last time he saw Ray the doctor, whose throat has been cut.

Faraday's sat phone is busted, but it's possible he could still use it to send morse code, like a telegraph. When they do, he sends a message asking what happened to the doctor. When the reply comes back, Faraday lies. Bernard catches it, as he knows Morse code. What the reply actually said is, "What are you talking about - the doctor is fine." 

Jack gets upset. Demands of Faraday: "Where you ever going to take us off this island?" No. Jack's stomach cramps start again. Juliet diagnoses appendicitis - Jack concurs. She dispatches Sun to the Staff hatch for a list of medical supplies, rather than moving Jack there.

"We're all gonna die," says Hurley, in close-up... but it's revealed he, Sawyer, and Locke are only playing a game (Risk).

Keamy knows about the sonic fence. Leads Alex to it as prisoner and tells her to turn it off. Instead of pressing 1-6-2-3 as we've seen Juliet do previously, she presses 1-6-2-2, which triggers an alarm that rings at Ben's house (while also probably turning the fence off). Locke answers, and an automated voice tells him there's a Code 14-J. When they tell Ben about it, he springs into action.

Sawyer goes to wake-up Claire (Aaron was with Hurley while they played Risk and Claire napped), while Ben tells Locke "it's very important" he survive what's about to go down. Three people are killed, though somehow Sawyer manages to use a white picket fence for cover. He heads for Claire's house... which gets bazooka'd.

So here's the question about Claire - did she survive the bazooka blast AND being covered by rubble? Obviously, right? She's up and walking around and corporeal and everyone can see and talk to her. Then again...

  • Aaron - with Hurley - was calm before Claire's house was attacked; he's crying like crazy after
  • She thought she was with Charlie when Sawyer found her
  • When she shows back up she says she's, "a bit wobbly, but I'll live." To which Miles answers, "I wouldn't be too sure about that."
  • Miles starts staring at her funny, like Mr. Ghostbuster can't figure out what's going on with her
  • Claire says her head feels funny, "but at least I'm not seeing things anymore."
  • She doesn't much have a maternal instinct for Aaron anymore
  • She goes off with her Ghost Dad and the next time we'll see her is looking weird in the Cabin. And after that, we won't see her again until Season Six.

Ben tells Locke that the only one who can save them now is Jacob, and they'll have to go see him together. Locke doesn't know where the cabin is, but Ben knows that Hurley does.

Miles has been freed by Keamy, and given a walkie, so they can talk to Ben. Ben has no intention of talking. Miles says they have a hostage, but Ben says that's a miscalculation, because every one of his people would die in service of the island. But... it's Alex...

When Keamy executes Alex, the look on Ben's face is of complete horror and surprise. He is truly shocked and awed (which he had said was these people's plan in coming ashore).

Ben takes off for his Batcave behind the bookcase, locking Sawyer and Locke out. He has yet another hidden room behind the wall of his closet, one marked with heiroglyphs. When he comes back out a few minutes later, he's covered in grime and tells everyone that in a few minutes they'll have to run as fast as they can. They don't know it, but he's just called in the Monster.

Smokey arrives like a freight train and starts pounding on some mercs. Ben sends his group off into the woods, and will catch up to them after he says goodbye to Alex. He truly is sad over her.

As Ben and Locke discuss going to the cabin and getting word from Jacob on what to do next, Sawyer's had enough of "you two wackos." He's leaving for the beach, and everyone else is going with him. Locke pulls his gun, because they need Hurley to find the cabin. Hurley goes along voluntarily. He'll catch up to Sawyer later. Sawyer threatens to kill Locke if any harm befalls Hurley. Locke says, "fair enough."

Jack - though sick - tells his group that when the boat folks come for Faraday and Charlotte, they'll be waiting. Sounds like... another plan! Another job for the Lost Justice League! As Rose and Bernard clean off a table for the surgery, she wonders why Jack even got sick. It's especially odd with rescue on the horizon, and it being the person they count on the most. She doesn't buy Bernard's "bad luck" theory.

Miles stops suddenly - asks Sawyer and Claire who Danielle and Karl are! He's hearing voices, looks at the ground, uncovers the spot where their bodies are. What's even weirder about this is it doesn't appear like they were buried. It also doesn't seem like Keamy's group would have taken the time to dig graves, nor does it look like any were dug. What it looks like, is that the earth started to absorb/swallow them!

Sawyer, Miles, and Claire come across Lapidus running through the bushes with a first aid kit. Sawyer and Claire don't know him, but he warns Miles that Keamy is RIGHT behind him and they should hide, NOW. Frank gets Keamy and the others to move away from the area, back toward the chopper. That night, as they sleep by the fire, Claire wakes to find... her dad, holding Aaron (so I guess Christian CAN touch and effect things like people? I was under the impression that when he couldn't help Locke up after Locke fell down the well that he could not). When Sawyer wakes up, Miles informs him that Claire left in the middle of the night with someone she called "Dad." And apparently, she abandoned Aaron! So, Miles could see Christian - is this because Christian can be seen by all, or because Miles has these special ghost powers? There's always some question like this keeping from answering the supernatural issues.

Jin swings a deal with Charlotte, who he knows speaks Korean. He will keep her secrets and not hurt Daniel if she promises to get Sun on that helicopter no matter what. It is agreed.

"Hopefully the man who lives in the cabin can tell us what to do about the people who are trying to kill us." -- Locke. And that, good people, is the whole plot of "Cabin Fever"

Hahahaha... Locke, Ben, and Hugo are like the Three Stooges. Hugo's been following Locke, Locke's been following Ben, Ben's been following Hurley in their search for the cabin.

When the helicopter returns to the freighter, we get confirmation that Ray the doc IS indeed alive, and was alive at the time Daniel asked about him via Morse code. He was there to see the mercs brought back after Smokey attacked them. Keamy knows somebody gave him and his identity up to Ben; the Captain shows him it was Michael. Keamy tries to kill Michael, but his gun misfires several times. Guess it's still not Michael's time to die. Good thing, says the Captain, so he can fix the engines.

Locke Meets Ghost Horace. He's a Lumberjack... But I'm Not Sure He's Okay

  • Locke's eye opens. It's morning. He hears chopping. Hugo and Ben still sleep. Around a bend, Horace chops trees down to make a clearing for a cabin. He wears a Dharma Aarow jump suit.
  • Horace doesn't wear his glasses. They hang from his pocket.
  • The cabin is a getaway "for me and the Mrs. Sometimes you need a break from the DI, you know?"
  • "I'm not makin any sense, am I? That's probably because I've been dead for 12 years." (We know this is true - the Purge occuring in 1992).
  • When he turns back around, his nose is bleeding ala time-travel sickness... but why? He's a dead dude. He's also...
  • STUCK IN A TIME LOOP! The tree he just chopped down he chops and pushes over again. And then it's back up again!
  • "You gotta find me, John. And when you do, you'll find him."
  • Jacob's been waiting for Locke "a real long time, man."
  • Loop begins again: "I'm Horace..."
  • "Godspeed, John!" Was Horace wishing John luck, or telling him his last name as a clue to finding him? Both.

Locke's eye opens again, he had been dreaming (similar to his campfire dream with Eko that time), and Ben is staring at him.

Okay, whatever has happened will continue to happen and perhaps has always happened. At least Locke now knows what they have to do.

For the first time, I feel a twinge of sympathy for Ben. Not only has he lost his daughter, but he has sorrow as he realizes what John has just had that he did not when he says, "I used to have dreams."

Hurley's Theory: The people who can see the cabin are the crazy people. Does this also apply to ghosts? But Jack has never been labeled as or implied to be crazy. Locke thinks they can because they're special. Of course he does.

Locke makes a funny -- they're going to make a "pit stop" before going to the cabin. Oh Locke, you slay me. Locke does find Horace's body, and in the pocket, he finds the blueprints for the cabin, including it's location on the island.

Ben says he should have realize that trying to kill Locke was pointless, but he wasn't thinking clearly at the time. He also tells Hurley that HE didn't kill the Dharma Initiative in the Purge (he told Jack differently that day near the radio tower), because he wasn't always their leader. Someone else was. And that's true... I never caught this or made the connection the first time through, perhaps thinking that Ben was referring to Jacob, or even Richard. But now I think he means Widmore. The problem with that, however, is that Widmore was long gone from the island well before 1992. So is Ben lying, or does he mean Jacob?

The "secondary protocol" that Keamy opens has a Dharma logo as a cover sheet. What the...? Dharma and Widmore and this operation are all together? "If Linus knows we're going to torch the island, there's only one place he can go."

Omar is receiving the morse code message during the day (Daniel sent it at night), and Ray is fine... although he's about to not be.

Gault warns Sayid and Desmond that Keamy's going to torch the island. Sayid asks for the Zodiac so they can ferry people to the boat and try to save their friends.  Gault gives them the bearing of 305 they'll need to follow. (Why did Ben give Michael a 325 bearing way back when?)

Lapidus frees Michael, and says he would have believed he was an 815 survivor, but he's not going to the place Michael is - believing Widmore is the one who staged the crash site. He also says to let him worry about Keamy. They notice Keamy getting a death switch installed on his body that will blow the freighter if his heart stops beating. Frank's gambit was to tell Keamy he's not taking him, and if he kills him, too bad, he's the only pilot. Nice try, but Keamy slits poor Doc Ray's throat and dumps him overboard. Gault gets the drop on Keamy, but Keamy shows the kill switch on his arm and says he shouldn't do that. Then he shoots the Captain. This is enough to convince Frank to fly. It also means my brain is going in circles trying to figure if the the island is ahead of or behind the boat in terms of time based on when Ray washes up, so I'm not going to try. Lapidus flies over Jack's beach bringing Keamy back, and drops something out of the chopper for the Losties. The bag contains a sat phone tracking his signal.

This time when they arrive at the cabin, they all three see it. Ben wishes him, "Good luck, John," and as in the past, 'luck' sounds an awful lot like 'Locke,' to where it could be interpreted "Good Locke John," and maybe Locke has finally become one of the good guys.

Locke Enters the Cabin a Second Time

  • Lights the lantern (this is probably symbolic of a truth quest, and probably why the lantern is unbroken every time)
  • Opening the door, he clearly sees someone in the chair
  • Are you Jacob?
  • No. But I can speak on his behalf
  • Well who are you?
  • I'm Christian (he brings his face out of the shadows into the light, smiles at Locke)
  • Do you know why I'm here?
  • Yeah, sure. Do you?
  • I'm here because I was chosen to be
  • That's absolutely right
  • Locke hears a creak, looks to the side. Light falls on Claire grinning one creepy grin. "Don't worry, I'm fine - I'm with him."
  • Where's the baby?
  • Christian: The baby's where he's supposed to be, and that's not here. It's probably best if you don't tell anyone that you saw her.
  • Locke: Why?
  • We don't have time for this. The people from the boat are already on their way back, and once they get here all of these questions won't matter one bit. (Suggesting that all of humanity's religious and existential questions are immaterial in the light of the truth of being constantly threatened with extinction and survival?) So why don't you ask the one question that does matter.
  • Locke: How do I save the island?
  • Christian and Claire smile. That was the right question.

Outside, Hurley and Ben do not speak, but Hugo shares an Apollo bar with his former enemy. He might be the one truly good person in this place. When Locke comes out, he confirms that he does indeed know what to do -- move the island.

Off-Island

The Story of Michael between Leaving the Island on One Boat and Returning to it on Another

  • He's in his apartment, looking at a photo of Walt, and writing a note
  • He leaves. There are Christmas decorations in the neighborhood, putting the time frame probably at early Dec.
  • Gets in his car, turns on the radio. Mama Cass playing
  • Pins the note (a suicide note) to his jacket, drives his car at high speed into a dumpster.
  • But he lives. We get an eye-opening shot. He's in the hospital. A nurse comes in carrying blankets - his mind thinks it's Libby (who was carrying blankets the day he killed her)
  • Michael had no ID on him, but apparently the note he was found with was written to Walt, so the real nurse asks if he wants her to call him. No.
  • Walt is staying with Michael's mother. She won't let him see Walt, because Walt doesn't want to see Michael. Apparently, Michael told Walt what he had to do to rescue him.
  • We learn from Michael's mother that she thought they were dead in the crash. When they show up, she's not allowed to call them by their real names. Walt barely talks, but he does wake up screaming at night
  • Michael was gone for "over two months," meaning he returned to NYC in very late November
  • Walt looks out the window, sees Michael briefly, closes the curtains and walks away
  • Michael pawns the watch he got from Jin to get a gun. In an alleyway, he tries to pull the trigger, but is interrupted by someone asking for the time (ha! classic, considering he just sold the watch). It's TOM, who has come off-island for a little romp in the city
  • Tom explains there was no way they were going to send him back without keeping tabs on him
  • Tom realizes that Michael made the stupid mistake of telling a 10-year-old what he did. Infers that's why Michael wants to kill himself - can't deal with the guilt. Bad news though - THE ISLAND WON'T LET YOU kill yourself
  • Tom tells Michael he has more work to do, and can find him in the penthouse of the Hotel Earle
  • Michael tries the gun back at his apartment - it misfires. Just then, the breaking news of 815 being found interrupts the game show in which Kurt Vonnegut was the answer to a question
  • Michael visits Tom (who is enjoying a nice spread with his boyfriend Arturo). Tom doesn't make it to the mainland too often, he says, but yes, "some of us" can come and go
  • Michael asks about the wreck - Tom tells the exact opposite story Gault told Sayid: that Widmore put it down there, staged the whole thing. Even has photos of the Thailand cemetary where he got the bodies... and the P.O. for the old airplane ... and the invoice for the freighter he used to drop the wreck.
  • Tom waits for Michael to ask what he wants. Only then does Tom tell him about the freighter porting in Fiji, and how the Others have reason to believe Widmore found the coordinates and is headed right for the island. Gives him his fake ID as Kevin Johnson. His job will be to spy, so that Widmore can't kill everyone on the island, including Michael's former friends. Oh, and by the way, your other job is to kill everyone on the freighter
  • In Fiji, Michael boards the freighter (name of the boat and port of origin have a bunch of gunk smeared on them - significant to keep us from knowing?). A crate has arrived for him. And Miles knows his name isn't Kevin. Apparently his ghost pals told him
  • On the boat, Naomi tells Frank she'll be flying the first mission to the island - solo. She needs him to wait and bring the science team after. Her mission is need-to-know... and Frank doesn't
  • Lapidus signed up for this gig because "Charles Widmore believes me" that the 815 wreckage was staged, and that plane is still out there somewhere. "Can you imagine what would happen if we found some of those people alive?" he says right into the face of one of those very people. This quote from Frank is the question that Season Four is all about
  • Keamy's guys chuckle at Michael for believing this is a "rescue mission." They seem pretty eager to get at it with their machine guns
  • Michael's been given saboteur equipment, and a bomb. The bomb even comes with a code plus an "Execute" button just like the Swan had! He hears the Cass Elliot song and has a fleeting glimpse of Ghost Libby telling him, "Don't do it, Michael!" The "island" is again not letting him kill himself. He tries to activate the bomb, but a flag pops up like something out of a cartoon with a message: "Not Yet."
  • Michael gets a call from the mainland to the boat. It's from "Walt," but it's really Ben. Ben explains that Charles Widmore is a monster without purpose. Ben? He doesn't want innocent people - like some who are on the boat - to die. If Michael will compile a list of names of everyone on the boat, give it to Ben next time he calls, then disable the comm room, then the engines, he can consider himself "one of the good guys."

Ben's eyes (both of them, not just one), closed, then open as he gasps for air. Appears that he's just come from somewhere totally cold to totally hot as you can even see his breath. It says he's in the Sahara Desert, but he's wearing a Dharma parka with the name "Halliwax" (sounds conveniently like one of "Marvin Candle's" aliases) and a Dharma logo for a station we're not familiar with. He's in the Sahara - likely Tunisia - and this portal where he's landed is being watched, as two men instantly ride up. Ben disarms them, puts a tourniquet on his injured right arm, and takes off on their horse. He then checks into a hotel in Tozeur, where he has evidently stayed before. He has his Dean Moriarty passport with him, so he obviously planned this possible trip before he turned the wheel. He also has a pretty good idea that the date is not the same as it was from where he left. He verifies with the desk clerk that it's October 24, 2005 (should have been late December 24 on the island). A hotel in the lobby catches his ears. Sayid - famous as one of the O6 - is burying his wife, and wants to do so in peace back in Iraq. Apparently he only got a few short months with Nadia before she was killed. Ben sees a play to be made, and makes his way to Sayid and Nadia's hometown of Tikrit.

In Tikrit, Nadia's casket is being carried to her funeral. Sayid is one of the pallbearers. Ben takes photos from a rooftop of an ominous-looking man watching the procession... but is this guy really bad news? Or is Ben just wanting to show Sayid a face to pin the blame on as part of his manipulative cover story? Sayid saw him taking photos, and assumed he was papparazzi. Chases him down. Can't believe his eyes. Ben's clever excuse: "I'm here to find the man who murdered your wife." Murder? Sayid had thought it was a traffic accident. But wouldn't he prefer to buy murder? And get some yummy revenge? This man I have a photo of - Ishmael Bakir - was both at Nadia's funeral and in LA five days ago when a traffic camera caught him speeding away! And guess what, Sayid? He works for Charles Widmore! Won't you help me take him down? (I'm so tired of trying to figure out how many grains of truth are in these ideas, because at the end of the day, it just doesn't matter. Ben's that good. Like the Devil or something).

Ben trails Bakir through Tikrit, allowing himself to be discovered. Bakir corners him. He tells him his name. This means something to Bakir. Ben tells him to take a message to Charles Widmore for him. This is when Sayid shoots him. Ben walks away, Sayid can't just leave it like that. He needs a purpose, and Ben's only too willing to oblige him with one as the general of his off-island war.

Ben in Widmore's London Penthouse Bedroom

  • His face is exactly half in light, half in shadow
  • Tells Charles to wake up
  • Charles wondered when he was gonna show
  • Widmore has been having nightmares - sleeps with Scotch by the bed
  • "Have you come to kill me, Benjamin"
    "We both know I can't do that."
    Can't, as in physically can't? Can't, as in not allowed? Can't, as in even if I tried the island would prevent it, like it did with Michael's suicide attempts?
  • They play the blame game over who killed Alex. They both see the other as responsible.
  • "You have the audacity to pretend that you're the victim? I know who you are boy. WHAT you are." -- Widdmore to Ben
  • Widmore says everything Ben has he took from Charles.
  • Ben is there to inform Charles that he's going to kill Penny. "Once she's dead... you'll wish you hadn't changed the rules."
  • Charles believes Ben will never find Penny.
  • Widmore says the island is his, it always was, and it will be again (past, present, and future all together here).
  • Ben believes Charles will never find the island.
  • "The hunt is on for both of us."

Jack is living with Kate. She notes how glad she is he "changed his mind," so perhaps it's after her trial? He steps on Aaron's toy Millenium Falcon, makes coffee, notices the Yankees swept the Red Sox. It's summer of 2005.

That afternoon, after Jack says goodbye to his consult, he sees his father in the lobby. Seeing Christian's ghost is what starts to drive him mad (kind of like what happened to the governess in The Turn of the Screw, the book behind which the Swan Orientation film was kept). He also gets a call from Santa Rosa regarding Hurley, who has stopped taking his meds, and doesn't think his therapist really exists.

Jack Visits Crazy Hurley

  • Why aren't you taking your meds?
  • Cause we're dead. All of us. All the Oceanic Six, we're all dead. We never got off that island.
  • Kate and I fed the baby
  • I thought you didn't want anything to do with Aaron?
  • I changed my mind after the trial
  • Living with Kate, taking care of Aaron - it all seems to perfect. Kinda like heaven.
  • Happiness doesn't necessarily equal unreality
  • Hurley was happy too... for a while... until he saw Charlie (Jack has just started seeing ghosts too)
  • Yesterday Charlie told Hurley Jack would be coming by. The message for him is: "You're not supposed to raise him, Jack." Does that make any sense?
  • Do you think he means Aaron?
  • Take your meds, Hurley
  • Charlie said someone's gonna be visiting you, too. Soon.

Right after visiting Hurley - probably to to try to take control and prove Hurley wrong - Jack proposes to Kate, with a ring and everything, after getting her to confirm he's good at being a father figure. She happily says yes.

Jack is working late one night when he hears beeping. It's a broken smoke detector (or is it broken? Did it perhaps just detect some SMOKE just fine?, because...). Christian is sitting in a chair in the waiting room, and addresses Jack. Unlike Hurley with Charlie, however, the woman who Jack works with can not see Christian... unless of course he didn't want to be seen, because when Jack turns back he's gone. He gets Erika to write him a scrip for Clonozepam. He's starting to lose control, which is really the cause of what sends him spiraling. He's great when everything's great, when life is tidy, when he's a hero and people want his autograph. But when things start going crazy... Jack Shephard, like 95% of the rest of us, does too.

When Jack gets home late, Kate is having a suspicious phone call about visiting with someone before he gets home some night. The next night, he makes sure he's home early, and this is when they have their tragic fight. Jack's drinking and taking meds together, he's creeped out by seeing his dad and talking to Hurley, and now he thinks his fiance is cheating on him and lying to him. I hate this scene, because I think it would take SO LITTLE for Kate to just tell Jack the truth - Sawyer had a kid, and Kate promised to look her up. What's the big hairy deal? "He wouldn't want me to tell you"?? What's that about? This is your fiance, girl! Come on, people, talk to each other. Have we learned nothing through four seasons?

Locke's mom, Emily, is in her room getting ready for a date with her older boyfriend (Anthony Cooper). She runs out of the house away from her mother and into an oncoming car. In the hospital she mentions she's almost 6 months pregnant. They induce labor, and John Locke is born very prematurely.

Locke was the youngest preemie to survive in that hospital. He even knocked out pneumonia and other complications and just kept on going. But his mother never holds him. She gives him up for adoption on the day he comes out of the incubator. And staring through the window is one Richard Alpert, looking very much the same as he always does (except on Pirate dress-up day, that is).

When Locke is visited by Richard as a boy, Richard claims to run a school for very special kids. He'd like to show John some things, and puts him through a test similar to how monks find the Dalai Lama. It's suggestive of the time-looping theory as well, and of ownership / possession / past ownership, which we have seen as a theme before. Richard is also intrigued by the drawing Locke did that looks like a stick figure getting attacked by the Smoke Monster.

Richard places before Locke these items to "look at" and "think about" and decide "which of these things belong to you already":

  • Book titled "The Book of Laws"
  • Vial of some kind of granules
  • Baseball glove
  • A knife
  • Comic titled "Mystery Tales" with the tagline: "What was the secret of the mysterious hidden land!"
  • Brass compass (same compass, probably, that Locke gave Richard in 1956 on the island, also the same year Locke was born... which is probably why Richard showed up to see Locke born)

Locke picks the vial (which is probably sand from the island), and the compass. If he had stopped there, I believe he would have chosen correctly. But as we know John Locke can't resist a good knife. Richard even gives him a chance to put that down, but nope. Richard seems mad. Yanks the knife away, puts all the stuff in his bag, and storms out. And the kid is left wondering what he did wrong, as is his foster mom.

High School lock was locked in a locker with a Geronimo Jackson poster. The counselor at Locke's school got a call from a Dr. Alpert at Mittelos Labs in Portland, and he's very interested in bright minds like Locke... "Don't you understand that things like Science Camp are the reasons I get stuffed into lockers? I'm not a scientist!" Locke is SO tragic that he has spent his entire life both running toward and hiding from his destiny, all because he couldn't accept what it was.

Crippled Locke is exahusted from a day of physical therapy. An orderly who looks amazingly like Matthew Abbadon brings over his chair, and takes him from a stroll and a chat, stopping at the top of a steep flight of stairs:

Abbadon: Don't give up. Anything's possible.
Locke: Read my file - my spine was crushed.
Abbadon: I did read your file - you survived falling 8 stories. That's a miracle (it occurs to me at this point how for-granted things like surviving this fall and the plane crash have become to our group, which can only whine and complain as they wander in the wilderness. It's such a parallel to the children of Israel after the Exodus. The Red Sea parting, manna, the commandments being received... all miracles, all either taken for granted or unremembered or unappreciated when things got uncomfortable or unknowable for a while. Patience - this show has shown - is not only the quality of a leader because one avoids bad decisions, but because it reflects on the past miracles and waits for the next ones. Hence its key role in faith).
Abbadon: Do you believe in miracles?
Locke: Nope.
Abbadon: You should. I had one happen to me.
Locke: I just want to go back to my room (that's usually what all of us want when we get tired and pushed... but it's rarely what we need)
Abbadon: Know what you need? You need to go on a Walkabout - it's a journey of self-discovery. I went on a walkabout convinced I was one thing. I came back another. (This idea of being a "what" as opposed to a "who" (which the existential theme has explored) was also brought up by Widmore about Ben. Is it perhaps the more important, higher-philosophical question to answer?)
Locke here mocks him for just being an orderly.
Abbadon: Oh I'm a lot more than just an orderly. One day, you'll think about what I'm saying. And then, when you and me run into each other again, you'll owe me one.

  • Appearances of the Numbers: 15 seconds the timer ticks down on Michael's bomb; 8 years Sayid spent searching for the woman he loved; L-4 is the vertebrae X-ray Jack is handed in the lobby, the same one as he operated on Ben.
  • Deaths: Karl and Rousseau gunned down by people we can't see, but who we know are Keamy and his men; Redshirts Ahoy! It's comically sad the way they keep running out to get picked off in the scene where Sawyer goes after Claire. I count THREE that bought it at the hands of the merciless Keamy (two of which were actually wearing red shirts); Alex, executed by Keamy right in front of Ben; 2 of the mercenaries by Smokey (I've always wondered why the Monster didn't do more damage); Ray, the ship's doctor, washes up dead, his throat cut by Keamy; Mayhew, one of the mercenaries, dies in sick bay from monster-related injuries; Captain Gault, shot by Keamy.

Themes Established or Revisited

  1. Time. There's a discrepancy between the doctor washing up dead on shore, and the folks on the boat saying he's just fine.
    "We don't have much time." -- Ben

    Ben: There's no time!
    Sawyer: I'll make time.

    Miles: Just making conversation.
    Sawyer: Well, let's make some time.

    Kate: So it looks like I'll be your nurse.
    Jack: Wouldn't be the first time.

    A mere joke about how she stitched him up on Day One... or a clue about time loops? Or both?

    "Sorry I've wasted your time." -- Richard, to Locke's foster mom

    "My time is over, John." -- Ben, to Locke. The island wanted him to get sick, it wanted Locke to get well. So, there you go. But why did it also heal Rose and Jin, and let Jack get sick?
  2. Salvation through Pain or Some Twisted Method. Gault says he is beating two men to save everyone's lives (last two guys who took the Zodiac boat got their brains fried) ... Juliet saves Jack through doing a surgery outside her area of expertise ... Jin saves Sun by threatening harm to Daniel if Charlotte does not comply.

    "You want to redeem yourself for all you did, this is your only chance. You can save all their lives." -- Tom, to Michael, about why Michael will work for the people he despises - the Others.

    "The only way to save them is to man up and get on that boat." -- Tom

    Jack thinks saving is a choice, but it can also be an indirect choice. He doesn't recognize that Sawyer ALSO saved Kate when he sacrificed himself by jumping from the helicopter.

    ...and most importantly overall, "How do I save the island?" -- Locke
  3. Lies. "80 percent of the people on this boat are lying about something." -- Miles, to Michael ... Ben lies to Sayid about how he got off the island, citing Desmond's boat ... Bernard and Rose are in a fight with Daniel and Charlotte about how the latter are lying. Jack says he knows they're lying, but it doesn't matter until eventually, their people come back for them ... Jin knows Charlotte speaks Korean. In Korean, he tells her that if she continues to lie, he will break Daniel's fingers one at a time ... Kate lies to Jack about who she was on the phone with ... She also asks Jack to trust her so that she won't have to lie to him about where she was ...
  4. War. The battle has come to the island - mercenaries kill people at will ... Hurley and friends play a war strategy game ... Faraday lies about the ship's response regarding Ray the doctor's condition ...

    "I'm attackin' Siberia." -- Sawyer

    Locke: You lied to me. You told me you didn't know what the Smoke Monster was.
    Ben: You can ask Jacob all about it when we get to the cabin.
    So... first of all, Ben was NOT necessarily lying. He may NOT know what it is, only what it does and how to call it. He still didn't want to be anywhere near it when it attacked. Second, there IS some connection between it and Jacob. So is it possibly one manifestation of the Man in Black?
  5. Existentialism. Just like on last disc, this is important here, especially in the Jack-Kate part of the O6 story. Here, he reads from Alice in Wonderland - and ponders for himself - "but if I'm not the same the next question is who in the world am I?"

    "Do you know who I am?" -- Keamy, to Michael

The Game

"It's taken me a few days to figure out our next move." -- Locke, to the barracks group.

"The rules of desertion still apply to everyone." -- Capt. Gault.

"It's game time. Are you in or out?!" -- Tom, calling Michael as he boards the freighter

"So much for the fairer sex, huh?" -- Lapidus, to Michael. Both sides of gender can play equally unfairly as both sides in the LOST mega-battle.

Keamy & Co. do skeet shooting with machine guns from the deck of the boat. Talk about overkill.

"When I'm at war, I'll do what I need to win." -- Ben

Hurley, Sawyer, and Locke all play Risk. "He wants us to fight amongst ourselves."

"What if your dad is playing us?" -- Karl. So let's ask then - what if? It would mean that Ben knows that Danielle and Karl would be killed, and Alex perhaps used as bait. There is an argument to be made that he would be happy with all of that. It would also assume Ben could guarantee them crossing paths with Keamy's group. That I'm not so sure about. Maybe Ben just figured he'd win either way, whether Alex reached the Temple, or whether her companions got killed and she was used as bait (since we know he believes it's "against the rules" to kill her anyway).

"Australia's the key to the whole game." -- Hurley. Could this be true, with the flight originating from Sydney? Is it more than just true of the game Risk as Hurley sees it?

"She's a pawn, nothing more." -- What Ben says about Alex in hopes Keamy won't kill her. He also denies she's his daughter and that she means anything to him.

"HE CHANGED THE RULES." -- Ben, when Keamy kills Alex. This, most likely, is "the shape of things to come;" the game will now be played winner take all, gloves off, no holds barred.

"Go home Sayid. This is my war, not yours." -- Ben, knowing full well Sayid will never find home again, and has nothing else to do but sign up for the Ben army.

Young Locke sets up backgammon when Richard comes to test him at the home of his foster mother. Locke's foster sister Melissa is still alive, and she pushes his game, calling it "stupid." Richard's first-ever question to him is: "You like backgammon? You seem to have a pretty good sense of the game."

Teenage Locke likes "boxing, and fishing, and cars, and sports." He likes the game, not the science. Fortunately, there's room for both in the story of the island.

Black-and-white: Keamy has a thick-black-line tattoo on his left shoulder that looks like a menacing angel with devil horns; close-up on the piano keys as Ben plays; X-rays Jack looks at back in LA; Aaron's stuffed Orca he carries downstairs; young Locke has made a B&W stick figure drawing that looks one heck of a lot like a man getting attacked by Smokey.

Religious References

The others have a "Temple" on the island, which Ben says is a sanctuary. Alex and Karl haven't known about it previously because "it wouldn't be a sanctuary if I told everyone." It's a day and a half from the barracks, and it's where the rest of the Others have gone.

"It's a miracle you're alive." -- 'Nurse Libby' to Michael after his car crash.

Tom has such "faith" that the island won't let Michael kill himself, he hands him back the loaded gun to let Michael go ahead and try.

When Ben calls Michael on the boat from his home, the first shot we see is a close-up of a god figurine praying. Looks Indian, possibly?

Bernard: Are you saying that Jack did something to offend the gods? People get sick Rose.
Rose: Not here. Here, they get better.

Baby Locke's nurses referred to him as "a miracle baby." He fought off everything that threatened him.

Mysteries or Questions Since Solved

  • How and why was Ben transported to Tunisia wearing a Dharma parka?
  • How exactly did Ben "summon" the Smoke Monster?
  • If Charles found the island (put Keamy on it), why does Ben say he'll never find it again? What, did it MOVE or something? ;-)
  • Who killed Ray the ship's doctor? Why does he seem to arrive dead before he's even killed on the boat?
  • How and when did Jack learn he was related to Aaron?
  • Will Locke really meet Abaddon again? When? And if he works for Widmore, why does he want Locke on that island?
  • "Who builds a cabin in the middle of the jungle anyway" asks Hurley. "That's a good question," replies Locke. So we list it here.
  • We know the O6 now, and we know that Desmond stayed on the freighter, never intending to set foot on the island again. But... where is he, then? What was his fate?
  • "Move the island"? How does one move an island?

Mysteries or Questions Still Needing Answers

  • How did Ben know the date would be about 10 months different in Tunisia than from the island? Why is it so?
  • Why can't Ben kill Widmore?
  • Widmore says he knows WHAT Ben is. Does this have anything to do with how Ben survived his gunshot wounds as a kid, and Richard said he would be forever changed?
  • If Widmore didn't leave the island until he was forced off already well into maturity, how did he amass such vast wealth and importance?
  • Where's all this electrical power coming from? (see below in Excellent Lines)
  • Why and how did Jack get sick (appendicitis)?

Add to the LOST Library:

  • "Gettin' Better Every Day," by Cass Eliot. Second song we've had by Mama Cass ("Make Your Own Kind of Music").
  • The Shining. Minkowski accuses Michael of "going Nicholson" on them the way he's bouncing a tennis ball the way Jack does in that movie. Also interesting because the Captain will soon after describe the symptoms his people have as "cabin fever."
  • Alice in Wonderland (again). Jack reads this to Aaron at bedtime, including the line, "I wonder if I'd been changed in the night."
  • "Everyday," by Buddy Holly. Emily Locke dances to this just before being hit by a car and giving birth to her preemie son.

Excellent Lines

Humorous

Kate [sees Jack taking some meds]: You got a prescription for those?
Jack: Yeah, I wrote it myself.
It's actually not all that funny, as he's going to end up doing just that when he's strung out in the future.

"Let me guess, 14-J ain't the code for the pizza boy." -- Sawyer

Daniel: Where do you think all this [electrical] power's coming from?
Charlotte: Add that one to your list, Dan.
Okay, we'll add it to our list above, too, then.

Jin: Do you think she knows he likes her?
Sun: She's a woman. She knows.

More Meaningful (and double-meaningful)

"We gave Walt back to you in one piece, Mike, you're the one who LOST him." -- Tom, to Michael.

"What kind of guy do you think I am?" -- Keamy, to Ben. This might be the most-used repeat line on this show when someone feels impugned who has absolutely no right to be.

"You're not even related to him!" Jack screams at Kate about Aaron. It's true - he's the boy's uncle and she's only pretending to be his mommy... The bigger meaning is that Jack somewhere has obviously found out he's related to Aaron.

Ben: [Hugo] actually thinks staying was his idea. Not bad John. Not bad at all.
Locke: I'm not you.
Ben: You're certainly not.

Guidance counselor: You can't be a superhero.
Young Locke: Don't tell me what I can't do!
(His favorite line, again not liking the rules or the suggestion of restrictions he doesn't want to live by)

"I was told a lot of things, too. That I was chosen, that I was special. I ended up with a tumor on my spine and my daughter's blood on my hands. Those things had to happen to me. That was my destiny. You'll understand soon enough that there are consequences to being chosen." -- Ben
Yes there are, especially what if you are chosen for is just to be a pawn in someone else's bigger game to settle a bigger argument, perhaps like the one between Jacob and the Man in Black...

Characterization

Last time we saw Michael, he was killing some people and betraying others to save himself and Walt. Asked now why he's on the boat, he tells Sayid, "to die." Sounds as if he's accepted that the only way to atone for what he's done is sacrifice himself for those he's hurt.

"Considering a week ago you had a gun to his head and tonight he's eating pound cake, I'd say [Ben's] a guy who gets what he wants." -- Miles. I'm starting to like Miles. This is Ben alright.

Does Ben actually seem concerned about the fate of everyone else on the island if he gives himself up? I think he is.

Keamy is a nasty mercenary whose many kill-for-hire travels have taken him to, among other places, Uganda. "So I know exactly what kind of man you are," Ben says.

Kate calls Jack a "natural" at bedtime stories, and he even says that that's one good thing about his own father - he was a good storyteller. Jack appears happy, and Kate's happy to have him there. But something's gotta change.

Charlotte speaks Korean... and Jin knows it.

Geez, Kate... Juliet asks her if she would help her with Jack's surgery... and she balks. Would rather not. But if Juliet had told her she absolutely couldn't be there for it, she would have forced herself in. It gets old.

Juliet tells Kate about Jack kissing her, and says it was nice, but it wasn't for her. It was for him, probably as an attempt to prove he doesn't love someone else. For this, Kate thanks her.

Opening & Closing

4.8 Open - Night, a shadowy front of a house in New Otherton. Inside, Claire holds Aaron. Everyone's gathered waiting for Locke, who brings a still-tied-up Miles.
4.9 Open - Waves crash on our familiar shore. Kate's in the sand doing some light bathing, waves and smiles at Jack.
4.10 Open - Close up of a single eye... but this time, it doesn't open. Not until Juliet calls Jack's name twice, at which point he opens it slowly.
4.11 Open - First spinning record turntable in a while - a girl in 50s garb puts on Buddy Holly's "Everday" and dances to it in her room.

4.8 Close - Alex - freaked and scared by seeing her boyfriend and her mom killed - still has the presence of mind to think about what she screams out: "Wait, don't! I'm Ben's daughter!"
4.9 Close - "Sleep tight, Charles," growls Ben, as he leaves Widmore's room in the middle of the night.
4.10 Close - Sawyer finds Aaron crying and abandoned. Camera circles around him as he screams out repeatedly for Claire... no one answers.
4.11 Close - Locke's face, in close-up: "He wants us to move the island."

Probably Unimportant, But I've Always Wondered...

Did the freighter have two helicopters? If Naomi - as she said - ditched hers in the ocean (and we did hear something splash), how did Frank & Co. fly to the island? If they had two helicopters, why is there only one helipad on the freighter?