Lost 4.11

Cabin Fever

There’s an organization I’ve dealt with on several occasions in North Carolina called the John Locke Foundation. My dealing with the foundation — named after the 17th Century English philosopher who maintained the people were born without inane ideas (in other words, we all come into this world with a blank slate) — usually deal with tax issues, locally. In the most recent vote for the .25-cent sales tax in Lee County (which failed), the John Locke Foundation joined Americans For Prosperity to fight it.
Their tactics are brash, but effective. In all honesty, they can be a pain in the ass … especially if you disagree with them (which I do, on occasion).
I’d never heard of the foundation until I moved to North Carolina last year, but the name always stuck out to me, not because of my familiarity with the philosopher, but because it’s also the namesake to one of Lost’s main characters — John Locke. Last night’s episode, “Cabin Fever,” showed us more about the life of my favorite show’s most beloved (and hated) character and led us to believe that John was always meant to be on the island. From his childhood encounters with the ageless Richard Alpert to his hospital encounter with Matthew Abbaddon — we understand that the universe knew Locke was meant for the island long before Locke knew himself.
Like the foundation that bears his name, Locke is stubborn. He’s bull-headed and he gets what he wants, even if he has to offend a few people along the way. At least “Island Locke” is this way … mainland Locke was always been indecisive (he failed the test at Age 5 … he’s had woman issues … he couldn’t help but latch on to daddy). I’m sure like the foundation, he’s opposed to taxes too. Keep that in mind if he’s ever president of the island.
We learn in “Cabin Fever” that Ben Linus is ready to hand the “chosen one” label over to Locke, or at least he’s pretending to. Possibly, he’s passing the “hot potato” to Locke so he won’t be the hunted one anymore. I’m never one for great insight into these episodes, but “Doc” Jensen at Entertainment Weekly is … and he offers this great breakdown:

Locke is born early. At age 5, he takes a test that most likely would have taken him to the Island if he had passed. He didn’t. That same year, Benjamin Linus is born. At age 16, Locke is invited to go to a science camp that again would have taken him to the Island. He refused. About that same time, Benjamin Linus and his father joined the Dharma Initiative. The implication, it seems, is that Ben has been walking the path that was originally meant for Locke. Ben was the contingency plan — the course correction — for Locke’s altered destiny. But Ben is his own person, of course, and he has done things differently from what Locke would have done, and this, in turn, has created further changes in the original order of things — changes that I think a certain ticked-off, Island-deprived billionaire named Charles Widmore is trying to reverse. The scene at the rehab center between paralyzed adult Locke and his wheelchair pusher, the creepy Matthew Abbaddon — who accepted the description of ”orderly” with knowing irony — was meant to suggest one way Widmore is scheming to restore the original order: by getting Locke on that Island and taking back the birthright that was supposed to be his.

And this:
Struck down by…well, we never saw who was behind the wheel, did we? Maybe that’s important, maybe not, or maybe not yet, but anyway, Emily was rushed to the hospital, and with that, John Locke entered the world three months ahead of time. ”He’s okay,” said the nurse. ”He’s just a little early.” As Preemie John was wheeled away in a toasty incubator that looked like a microwave oven (talk about cabin fever!), Emily cried out her wish that the boy be named John. Now, all of that should have sounded familiar to you. Flashback one year ago this week, in which Lost gave us another cheery Mother’s Day edition, ”The Man Behind the Curtain.” That episode told the origin story of Benjamin Linus, who, if you recall, was also born prematurely, and also born to a woman named Emily who cried out his name, although she did so as she died. Some points of difference: Ben was raised by his biological father (oops), while Locke was given up for adoption and raised in foster care. Also, Ben was born about five years after Locke; call it 1963. But as it so happens, Locke’s fifth year was a key marker in his fate-whipped trajectory, for it brought Richard Alpert into his life.

The writers of this show are brilliant, of course, and I’m ready to start trashing my childhood memories to make room for my mind being blown over the next two weeks (three hours of season finale greatness).
This week’s episode ended with Locke, Ben and Hurley finally finding the cabin, and once Locke was inside, he didn’t find Jacob. He found Jack’s father, Dr. Christian Shephard, and Jack’s half-sister, Claire (who I say died in the previous episode). Claire offered sly “I know what this is all about” smiles while Christian informed Locke that his job was to “move the island.”
Now, we have no idea what the means, whether he meant move the locale or move the time, but it offers something nice to speculate about.
Elsewhere in this episode, we see the freighter crew return with one dead, thanks to a mauling from smokey. The creepy gunman Keamy is upset and takes it out on the boat’s captain (shot through the heart), Michael (beaten to a pulp) and the ships doctor (throat slit, dumped in the ocean … he’ll arrive on the island yesterday). Yes, that wasn’t a mis-type. Yesterday.
We see Sayid escape the boat (Desmond stays behind) to warn the island folk, and we see the gunmen head back to the island to start the killing. Lupidus drops a warning down to Jack and the islanders as they fly by, only Jack thinks it could possibly mean “that’s where they want us to be.” I think Sayid’s purpose is to change his mind on that.

That’s all I got for this week. Great episode .. though I do have yet another CHARTER CABLE gripe. Four times in this episode, they broke into a “tornado watch” alert that blackens the screen, tells you to turn to Channel 10 (which has nothing about a warning) and then reverts back to UNC-TV for a few seconds before bringing you back to the show. This whole shpeel lasts 15 seconds, and it occured during a few big scenes — Locke talking to Horace the ghost and Locke, Ben and Hurley outside of the cabin. Grrr.

From Lostpedia:
• The second protocol Keamy grabs from the safe has the same Dharma symbol that Ben’s parka had in “The Shape of Things to Come”.
• The test given to young Locke by Richard Alpert strongly resembles the Tibetan Buddhist ritual used to confirm a reincarnated tulku (the Dalai Lama being the most widely known).
• Young Locke is playing backgammon, the game he attempts to teach Walt in Season 1.
• Back in Season 1, when Locke meets his real mother for the first time, he is hit by a car when he sees her. His mother was was hit by a car in this episode, resulting in Locke’s early birth.


2 thoughts on “Lost 4.11

  1. Good recap, this is the only episode this season that I missed… likely due to a TiVO mishap.. but we may never know Heh.

    I’ll have to catch it online before this week’s episode.


  2. I love your commentary on my favorite show! Bummer about the tornado warnings… luckily we haven’t had any interruptions like that up here (Long Island, NY). Although I DVR’d the American Idol Finale ( I love finales) and they ran late…so I missed the last minute of the show, i.e. who won. Literally, it was “and the winner is…” and the show ends and goes back to the DVR screen. Argh! I understand the pain of missing crucial moments for seemingly silly reasons. But here’s what I want to know…how come Des doesn’t have the ‘flashes’ anymore? They’ve just stopped.

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