Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lost Episode Review 4.11: "Cabin Fever"

Quote: "Because destiny, John, is a fickle bitch."

I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed with last night's episode. Did any of you feel like Locke's meeting with "Jacob" was a bit anticlimactic? I know the whole episode was merely a ramp up to the finale and I know they were probably pressed for time condensing the episode down, but it really just felt like much ado about nothing. There were a few things about the episode I liked, namely:

1) Locke's flashback in general (which, strangely enough, I enjoyed more than the on island stuff)
2) Seeing Richard again
3) Seeing Abaddon again
4) Jack and Juliet's little scene (which I thought was kind of cute)
5) Ben and Hurley sharing a candy bar

But even that last scene seemed a bit out of place, didn't it? Ben's resigned self-pity was entertaining, but so very out of character for him. And while I'm sure Alex's death has shaken him right now, we know he certainly gets his mojo back in the future. I guess I was waiting for Ben to pull a master plan out of his hat and was really, really surprised when it never came.

And the meeting in the cabin was just really strange (although Claire's presence and behavior was genuinely spooky). Anyhoo there is a lot to talk about. First off...

1) Will they use the magic box to move the Island?

I suppose the mere fact the Island can move deserves some comment. I mean, in what way is it going to move, i.e. are we talking space, time or both here? It certainly answers the question why Charles Widmore hasn't been able to find it again in the future.

But then I guess we really have to ask how Locke's going to complete his Herculean task? The only two things I can think of that we know about are 1) The Orchid and 2) The Magic Box. We know that Keamy and the copter is liked headed to the Orchid since that was DHARMA logo on the "Secondary Protocol" Keamy was reading on the ship. And it also seems likely that Jack and company are all headed there too (certainly all of the Oceanic Six on the beach will be).

But it's also possible that the Orchid and the Magic Box are one and the same too. After all, DHARMA built the Barracks right over the ruins which contained the Monster. Seems certainly possible (and even likely) they could have built a station over the Magic Box as well. At least it looks like we'll get an answer to this in the finale.

2) Was Jacob reanimating Christian's corpse?

Was it just me, or did John Terry look positively skeletal in this episode? Maybe it was just the lighting in the cabin. But Christian said that he "speaks for Jacob," which in and of itself is incredibly suggestive. Does Jacob need a mouthpiece, something like the Metatron or the Mouth of Sauron? He didn't seem to need one when Ben and Locke first visited the cabin, but perhaps he needs one for more extensive conversation.

If so, is Jacob reanimating Christian's corpse? Is this why "people on the Island don't stay dead?" It also brings up the question of Yemi. I long thought that the Smoke Monster itself was impersonating Yemi, but maybe Jacob was really reanimating his body and then using the Smoke Monster to do his bidding afterwards.

Even though I thought this scene really didn't tell us a lot, it did bring up a whole lot of questions. Which brings us to...

3) Is Claire really dead?

She was acting far too calm and out of sorts. Creepily so, in fact. And, if Jacob can really reanimate corpses, did he reanimate Claire (or at least keep her going) after her house got blown up long enough to get Aaron to safety? Regardless, it doesn't seem like she's going to be much of a factor in the finale and I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't get an answer to this this season. :(

4) What is John's destiny?

This is kind of interesting to me. I've always thought that the Season 2 John Locke was the real John Locke the Island wanted him to be. As frustrating as it was for us to watch him suffer pushing the button, it was equally frustrating for John, who always believed he had a grand destiny to fulfill (for good reason too, given Richard and Abaddon putting ideas in his head). But John's idea of a grand destiny always seemed filled with adventure rather than something mundane even if that mundane thing was for a grand purpose. And it seems to me that the latter is the destiny the Island has in mind for him.

The Island tested Locke by making him push the button. He destroyed the computer because he couldn't believe that was his destiny. His guidance counselor tried to push him into science, he wanted to explore. Richard presented Locke with three mundane items (sand, a compass and the Book of Laws) and three fantastic ones (a baseball mitt, a comic book and a knife). Locke only got two out of three. All his life, Locke's wanted a grand destiny, something fantastic. But it seems to be Locke's destiny is going to be something he's not going to enjoy, but will end up saving the world anyway. He only needs to finally accept it.

5) What is Abaddon's agenda?

I have to admit I'm a bit mystified at that scene with him and Locke. I thought he was working for Charles Widmore, right? How did he know about Locke way back when? And what is his purpose?

Other Tidbits:

* Horace mentioned to Locke that he had been dead for "12 years," which, if correct, puts the date of the Purge at December 19th (Ben's birthday), 1992. Now this somewhat bothers me since it's much later than I originally anticipated it being. Basically it places the Purge sometime after both Danielle arrived on the Island (1988) and around the same time Kelvin presumably began working in the Swan Station (post Iraq War I). The biggest problem here is Alex, since it seemed like Ben didn't have her (or at least we didn't see her) in his first flashback. Grrrr... I can't believe they killed Danielle without giving us her flashback.

* The six items Richard presented to Locke were: a baseball mitt, a book entitled "Book of Laws", a small vial of sand, a compass, a "Mystery Tales" comic book and a knife.

* The two blurbs on the cover of the comic Richard presented to Locke said "What was the Secret of the Mysterious Hidden Land?" and "Does it Pay to Ignore the Voice of Warning?" Very nice touch. It also has a picture of a floating city (or set of buildings on a cloud).

* Once again, the Island seemed to prevent Michael from being killed.

* When Richard told Locke he ran a school for "special kids," I half expected Wolverine to walk in the door behind him.

* I LOVED 'lil Locke's drawing of Smokey:

I wonder what a child psychologist would make of this? ;)

* Richard certainly didn't look much younger when he visited Locke. This might all just be a product of the casting and such, but at the very least Richard has aged really, really well. Must be that healthy Island living.

* Interesting that most of the eye shots we've gotten this season are of the left eye (although this is the first true flashback we've gotten from one of them).

I'm giving this one a 3/5. It had some entertaining scenes to be sure, but I can't help feeling a bit disappointed about it. On to the finale!


someGirl said...

Ditto on the Claire Creepy Factor!

My biggest question about last nights epi was the way Locke's dream about Horace kept looping. There's something to be said about the way things/events keep repeating...I just don't know what it is yet!! Something about duplicity or repetition that the Orchid Station is going to explain/unravel...hopefully!!

What did you think about the comment Jack made to Kate in last week's episode about Sawyer not leaving the island?? JACK: "He made his choice!" That line alone has me all tingly with anticipation at the altercation to unfold when said "choice" is made.

RANDOM THOUGHT: I was thinking about WHY The Island allowed The O6 to get off the island to begin with…I guess Aaron needed to be in safe place while the change in management occurred (Ben -> Locke) and any “housekeeping” (a.k.a: Purge II) that needed to be done. However, Aaron was born on the island and that makes him rightful heir to the cabin :)

someGirl said...


Alpert: Now...which of these belong to you...already?

What?Who?When? That is a tasty nugget to chew on.

Imperceptible Me said...

Sorry Jay, I absolutely loved this episode, it kept me on the edge of my seat and all I could say was what!!. Richard's return was great. The island wanting Locke since birth practically. Wow. I think Locke and Ben are brothers. Same mother's name.

Claire freaked me out also. So weird! Yep, I think she is dead and died in the house explosion, she just didn't know it.

Maybe Jacob is the personality of the island and he can reanimate whatever and whomever he wants to.

Abaddon is bad news. In the bible Abaddon is---Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

Of course the writers "borrow" so many storylines from ancient and contemporary literature. hahaha, I love it.

I give this episode an A.

So glad to see somegirl back posting. Hugs!

Carly said...

Well I have to disagree with you this time Jay. You don't think the words "we have to move the island" are climatic enough? Kinda freaked me out a little there. Plus I think there were some great "Lost" moments here: Richard aka eyeliner guy (yay) and scary Abbadon popping up, dead guy talking to John who has to keep chopping down the same tree (kinda Sisyphus like, don't you think) and Claire and Christian kicking back in the cabin. For me it wasn't a let down episode, it was more of a "take that" kinda show.
I was really intrigued by Richard visiting Locke as a child and using those words, which of these belong to you already. Already? And being very frustrated when John chose something different. There is definitely some time or movement of time and/or destiny thing going on here, Richard knowing Locke's destiny or future that happened already, maybe? Hmm.....
And could Ben and John have the same mother? I don't know. If she got pregnant as a teenager by Locke's father, had John in the early 60's, abandoned him, then when she got a little older married Ben's dad and had him, to later die in childbirth...could be. Or just a coincidence that their mother's had the same name, and they end up with similar fates. We shall see.
Can't wait till next week!

Hannah said...

I actually really liked this episode. I thought it was totally creppy. And I liked the cameos made by Alpert and Abbandon.
I totally agree with Ana that bit about : which of these belong to you already?

Caroline said...

First off - I think that quote about destiny is one of the best ever! I think I shall embroider it on a pillow...or maybe a t-shirt with the dharma logo on it ;)

My first reaction after I watched the episode was the same as yours Jay - I felt let down a bit. But after reading a lot of commentary (at and other places), I want to re-watch it for things I may have missed and/or to get a better feel of some of the things that happened.

Claire was indeed creepy as hell; I am leaning toward the "she is dead" theory at this point. She would never ever have left Aaron and then acted like that.

I am both eagerly anticipating this week and already dreading the end of the season in a few weeks :(

Caroline said...

BTW - know what is weird?

A dream that involves Lost (being there IRL, not a TV show), an Aerosmith concert, and the current presidential campaign.

Don't ask me...I couldn't remember all of it if I tried...

Jay said...

I'm back - sorry I forgot to mention I'd be away! :)

Ana - I totally forgot to mention the looping in my review. Aside from it being a reference to "The Matrix," I thought it was simply a way for the Island to simply get its point across to Locke. After all, it was trying to tell him where to find the cabin and wanted to make sure he got the message. But it also reminded me of Eko's church too (although, unlike Horace's cabin, Eko never got to finish his church).

And you're right in that you would think if the Island could keep Michael and Jack from killing themselves, it could also keep them from leaving, right?

I don't think Ben and John have the same Mom - Ben's Mom was very clearly defined in his flashback as was John's. But there was an interesting parallel there in that both of them had very strong opinions on what their child should be named when he was taken away from them.

And don't get me wrong, I didn't hate this episode, I was just a bit disappointed in the outcome, especially because I guess I wanted to see the "true face" of Jacob, rather than Christian acting by proxy. And I think seeing Ben acting defeated saddened me a bit too, even if I know it's only a temporary thing.

But how excited is everyone for this week. Oooooh, I'm all tingly already. :)

Capcom said...

Well, I was disappointed in not getting any Jacob-y goodness! They will probably leave a shot of him for the very last scene in the last part of the finale. :-(

And this episdoe had a little too much of a WTH feeling for me...even compared to the usual WTH Lost moments. The freighter scenes were very dark also.

But the comic relief helped it along to me...the three knuckleheads following each other in the jungle, the candy sharing, etc. And I also liked the Dalai Lama test, that was a surprise.

Good post!

Jay said...

That's how I felt too, Capcom. While I enjoyed the episode for the comic relief, I found the scene in the cabin a bit inexplicable. I'm hoping the finale clarifies some issues for us and gives Ben back his mojo (which we already know he eventually regains).

M.M. said...

I really enjoy your episode recaps. Your insight is great! I keep coming back for more!

I had a question regarding the "re-animation" theory...

Has there ever been a vision of someone on the island (who was dead), but didn't actually DIE on the island or have his corpse (Christian) left there?

Remember when Ben sees his mother (in a flashback)?

How would this correlate with your reanimation theory?

Jay said...

Actually that's a really good point, M.M. - certainly Ben's mom would qualify. There's also the somewhat inexplicable possession of Sawyer by Kate's dad, Wayne.

Before this season, I thought the Monster was responsible for making all the visions on the island. But after we saw Christian in Jacob's cabin earlier this season, I started to think it was Jacob instead. Now that Christian seems to be speaking for Jacob, I really have no idea what to think. I guess what I'm trying to reconcile is 1) What happened to the bodies of Christian and Yemi (and possibly Kelvin) and 2) Is Jacob a shapechanger or merely an entity of the island? Honestly, I don't know. The only reason I thought Jacob might be possessing Christian's (and possibly Claire's) bod(ies) is because he looked so gaunt and the speculation that Claire died in her house blast. But certainly Yemi's body was in a far worse condition than the one Eko encountered and Ben's mom never set foot on the island so they can't be reanimated.

Of course, the simplest explanation is that Jacob or the Monster or the Island can do both, possess a body (as in the case of Claire) or impersonate it (in the case of Yemi). I suppose it's also possible that Claire's not dead, but she just seemed to be acting far too weird not to have something or someone controlling her at very least.

Don't know if that answered your question - don't know if I can answer it - but it's certainly fun to try. :)

Capcom said...

Somewhat inexplicable????? Man, I did not get that scene at all, and we will probably never get a reason for it.

Yeah, I wonder why Kelvin hasn't been hopping around the island? It would be great for him to show up to Desmond and say, "Hello...DES-mond!", the way that Seinfeld says, "Hello...NEW-man!" :o)

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