Lost8michael (Just a few quick observations for now… I’m on vacation this week, but as Mr. Friendly reminded us, you’re never free from the clutches of The Island.)

OK, so I know he betrayed Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley. I know he shot Ana-Lucia and Libby in cold blood. He acquiesced to the Others and buddied up to Ben. I know all this, and still I have to admit, I was really happy to see Michael again in "Meet Kevin Johnson," penned by Elizabeth Sarnoff and Brian K. Vaughan and helmed by Stephen Williams.

To my mind, Michael’s one of the most interesting of the Oceanic 815-ers: flawed, tortured, hard to read, volatile, fighting his innate talents, his own worst enemy, at times, and at others, a totally stand-up guy. And he is the spawn-er of Walt, who we all know has some truly pivotal role in all of this island fever. Harold Perrineau plays it just right most of the time — no hysterics or scenery-chewing, just a man trying to do the right thing, most of the time. (I still wonder about Walt’s mom, if she may come back into Our Story at some point.) So, hey man, welcome back. Can’t wait to catch up more on April 24 and thereafter when "Lost" returns with its post-strike produced segs.

Few other quick thoughts on our eighth installment:

**Mr. Friendly lives? Of course, Michael didn’t know that he was shot by Sawyer at the end of season three….hmmm. And he’s a swinger too! Who knew?…His reference to Michael being on "shore leave" made me laugh, don’t ask me why. (One reader suggests that Mr. Friendly does not live and Michael’s flashback is prior to his getting shot in the season three finale.)

**Ben — don’t trust him one bit, not even with that "When I’m at war I’ll do what I need to do to win…but I don’t kill innocent people." How much B.S. is that? He’s evil, evil, evil and I don’t buy anything he sez. I don’t even think he’s all that devoted to Alex anymore either. I think she was set up completely by her purported father to be used as a pawn by the Freighter Folk in his survival bid.

**Rousseau — It was so nice to see her cleaned up a bit, and not quite so wild in the eyes. Oh well. Alex’s boyfriend Karl, however, might as well have been wearing a red shirt throughout his run on this show. You just knew he was in for it, one of these segs. Then again, if Mr. Friendly is any guide, we may or may not have seen the last of Rousseau and Karl.

**Frank Lapidus, the helicopter pilot character played by Jeff Fahey, is getting more and more intriguing. He obviously provided some very interesting tidbits about the faked Oceanic 815 wreckage in the ocean…of course there’s no guarantees that they’re true (even if Lapidus believes it).

** Oh the irony. Sayid is disgusted to learn that Michael is working for "Benjamin Linus"…. As we know, he shouldn’t be so quick to judge.

**Mamas and the Papas/Cass Elliot — By my count this is the second Mamas and the Papas tune used in "Lost." When we first met Desmond at the start of season two, he was spinning "Make Your Own Kind of Music" (a song so infectious it’s bound to stick in your head for a week or so every time you hear it…and as a reader points out, it’s not the Mamas and the Papas but a Cass Elliot solo tune) and then in this seg "It’s Getting Better" is on the radio as Michael’s trying to off himself by slamming his car into a big trash bin. Cass Elliot’s pipes are recognizable on the first note, and her soaring vocals add class to any scene.

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