"Meet Kevin Johnson"
Special guest star(s)
"Meet Kevin Johnson" is the eighth episode of Season 4 of Lost, and the eightieth produced hour of the series as a whole. It was originally broadcast on March 20, 2008. Sayid confronts Ben's spy on the freighter, and Ben urges his daughter Alex to flee to the Temple in order to survive an impending attack.
Previously on Lost
- The Others abduct Walt. ("Exodus, Part 2")
- Michael, with a gun, tells Jack that he's going after his son and doesn't want anyone to stop him. ("The Hunting Party")
- Michael gets captured by the Others, who instruct him to rescue Ben, so Michael and Walt can go free. ("Three Minutes")
- Michael kills Ana Lucia and Libby to get Ben out of the armory. ("Two for the Road")
- After bringing Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley, Michael receives instructions from Ben to take the boat and follow a bearing of 325, so both he and his son can find rescue. The two leave the Island, with the captives looking on with betrayal. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
While listening to an uplifting song, Michael
Late at night, a visibly distraught Michael sits in a rundown Manhattan apartment, scribbling furiously on a scrap of paper. After he finishes transcribing his message, he spares a tearful glance at a picture of him with Walt as a baby. Michael exits his residence, enters his car, and pins the message he just wrote to his lapel. He turns on the radio to hear Mama Cass singing "It's Getting Better" and accelerates down the road, tires skidding rapidly. He careens down a pier at this high speed before intentionally crashing his car into a shipping container.
Michael imagines a dead Libby
as his nurse.
Michael awakens in a hospital room he is sharing with a hospitalized man. An unseen nurse enters and offers him an extra blanket, but when Michael looks at her, he recognizes her as Libby, whom he fatally shot while negotiating his release from the Island. Michael begins screaming, but wakes up to realize the vision was not real. The actual nurse enters and explains that he was found badly hurt with no identification, only a letter addressed to someone named Walt. She asks if she should call Walt, and Michael shakes his head "no", too ashamed to make eye contact.
An unspecified time later, Michael visits his mother's home, which is decorated for Christmas, and asks to see Walt, citing his long-held claim that it is a "father's right". She refuses, saying that Michael gave up his rights as a father when he refused to explain where he and his son had been for the past two months, only to return with false names, leaving Walt in the care of his grandmother. She then adds that Walt has nightmares every night, awakening with screams, and it is she who comforts him - what should be a father's duty. She fiercely decrees that until Michael was willing to answer for what he did to Walt to scar him so badly, he has forfeited his parenthood. Distraught, Michael leaves and sees Walt (not much older than when he left the Island) through a window. Walt returns his gaze with a mixture of complacency and contempt, only to shut the blinds.
Michael goes to a pawn shop and exchanges the Rolex watch Jin gave him for a gun and ammunition, and then stumbles into a back alley to commit suicide. Pointing the gun to his temple, just moments before he pulls the trigger, he is suddenly approached by a man asking for the time. Michael quickly hides the gun from sight and begins to answer "no," but the man emerges from the shadows of the alley into Michael's vision, saying "Come on, Michael, how about for an old friend?". Michael recognizes him as Tom, the man chiefly responsible for kidnapping Walt on the raft.
Newly invigorated, Michael stands and fires a shot, but is disarmed and overpowered by Tom. When Tom offers a truce, Michael takes advantage of the timing and hits Tom over the head with a champagne bottle, then shatters it against the side of a building. Just as Michael is about to thrust the shards of the bottle into Tom's neck, Tom aims his own gun at Michael's head, forcing the two into a stalemate. Michael begs Tom to shoot him, only to be scoffed at. Tom soon realizes Michael was driven to commit suicide because he lost his relationship with Walt after confiding in him that he had killed Libby and Ana Lucia to rescue him. Tom informs Michael that the Island won't let him kill himself, because Michael still has "work to do". Tom hands Michael the gun and tells him he can try killing himself again if he doesn't believe him, and that he will be in the penthouse suite of the Hotel Earle when Michael is ready to talk, saying Michael's help is needed.
A short while later in his apartment, Michael tries to shoot himself in the head, but the revolver will not fire.
looks over images of the open graves.
He checks to make sure it is loaded, and though the cylinder has 6 bullets in it, none even have an indentation from a firing pin. As he raises the gun to try again, he is interrupted by a television news report concerning the discovery of the Oceanic 815
wreck, confirming all 324 passengers dead. Confused by this, he goes to the penthouse suite where Tom is enjoying the company of Arturo
After asking Arturo to leave, Tom explains to Michael that the wreckage was fake, staged by "a man named Widmore"
to keep others from looking in the right place where the real plane
crashed: the Island. Widmore wants to keep the Island for himself and will kill everyone on it if he isn't stopped. With Michael's help, Widmore's freighter
, the Kahana
, could be stopped and all occupants of the Island could be saved.
Michael asked for proof and Tom gave Michael a file with documents that showed exhumed graves in Thailand and a purchase order from Widmore's company for an old 777 plane. Tom tells Michael he has a job on the freighter and his alias will be Kevin Johnson. Tom hands him a U.S passport. Michael questions why he would go back to work for "you people," and protests that he won't go back to the Island. Tom sells it as his only opportunity to redeem himself for what he did and says that he won't actually be going back to the Island. His mission will be to get on the boat and "kill everyone on board."
While boarding the freighter at the Port of Suva, Fiji, Michael meets Minkowski and Naomi, the latter of whom informs him that he received a crate that would be delivered to his room. Michael/Kevin meets Miles, who says he "knows" Kevin is not his real name. Miles laughs at Michael's shock and says not to worry, as 80 percent of the people on the boat are lying about something. Michael begins to have second thoughts about killing everyone on board now that he has "put faces with names", but a phone call from Tom reminds him to follow through if he wants to save the remaining survivors living on the Island.
When the ship is underway, Frank and Naomi argue over who will go on the first trip to the Island. Frank reminds her he is the trained pilot, but Naomi says she is taking the first trip and he doesn't need to know why. Frank then introduces himself to Michael. After Michael says he is looking for adventure, Frank shares his belief that the Oceanic 815 wreckage was a huge fake, similar to the way people believed the moon landing was faked, "but real". Frank says that Charles Widmore is interested in finding the real wreckage and discovering what happened to the passengers, with the hope of rescuing them. Frank seems excited about meeting survivors from the crash.
The "NOT YET" note inside the "bomb".
Days later, at full sea, Michael hears guns being fired. He goes to the deck and sees Omar and Keamy, amongst others, laughing while target practicing with machine guns. Shocked to discover this, Michael says he thought this was supposed to be a rescue mission, but Keamy only brushes off the remark. Back in his room, Michael opens his crate and finds a case in it. He takes the case to the engine room and finds a bomb inside. Michael inputs the combination for the bomb, but hesitates to push the EXECUTE button to set off the bomb. Suddenly, he hears the same Mama Cass song he was listening to in the car when he tried to commit suicide. He sees another vision of Libby who tells him not to do it, and then disappears. Michael says, "I love you Walt" and pushes the button. The bomb's 15-second timer expires, but the bomb doesn't explode. Instead, a flag pops up with a note around it which reads "NOT YET."
Later on, Michael is throwing a ball against the wall when Minkowski tells him he had a phone call from the mainland from a person named Walt. After Minkowski gives Michael some privacy in the radio room, it turns out that "Walt" is actually Ben, phoning from his house at the Barracks. Ben informs Michael there are innocent people on the freighter, and that the plan was never to kill them all, because Ben wasn't that kind of person. He gave the fake bomb to Michael to show him the difference between a man without a conscience, namely Widmore, and himself. He claims that even in a war he does not want to kill innocents. Michael tells Ben that Libby and Ana Lucia were innocent, but Ben replies that Michael himself killed them and the Others didn't ask for their death. Ben then orders Michael to get him a list of everyone on board, report the list back to him, and then disable both the radio and engine so that they could not get to the Island, therefore saving the people on it. Michael is obviously shaken up, but Ben tells him that he can now consider himself "one of the good guys".
On the freighter
Sayid and Desmond are awakened by a shrill alarm and run out on deck to find Captain Gault had stops two of his men from getting on the tender by beating them up. He throws the first crew member down and repeatedly punches the second man, saying the rules of desertion still apply. The Captain tells the crew he didn't beat the men to scare everyone but to save everyone's lives. He says the crew should remember what happened to Brandon and Minkowski after they left the freighter.
After the fight, Gault instructs crew member "Johnson" to clean up the mess. Sayid approaches him to talk, and when Michael indicates it is not a good time, Sayid insists on learning why Michael was on the boat. Michael answers, "I'm here to die."
Later, Sayid and Desmond, after having asked a crew member, discover Michael is in the engine room. The two men go down to the room to confront Michael regarding his presence on the boat. Michael then asks Jeff, the other man in the room, to leave. Michael begins telling his story: the information contained in the flashback. When he is finished, Sayid asks him if he is truly working for Benjamin Linus. Michael confirms this. Sayid grabs Michael and draggs him into Captain Gault's room, revealing Michael's true identity as the saboteur, a spy, a traitor, and a survivor of Oceanic 815.
On the Island
Locke holds a meeting with everyone at the Barracks, and tells them he is sharing everything he knows with them. Miles confirms the people from the freighter are after Ben Linus. Sawyer suggests they just turn Ben over to the freighter people. Ben says the orders of the freighter people are to capture him, then kill everyone else on the Island; Miles does not deny it.
Later, Ben persuades Alex to go to a location he calls "the Temple" with Karl and Danielle, and tells her the rest of the Others are already there. He provides them with a map. Ben tells Alex she is in danger because the people who are coming to the Island will use her to get to him. He assures her that her mother will protect them. Karl and Danielle agree they should go.
Some time into their journey, Danielle, Alex, and Karl take a water break. As Alex and Karl sit next to each other, a suppressed gunshot can be heard and a bullet strikes nearby, then another punctures Karl's water bottle. Just a second later, a third bullet rips through his chest. Danielle urges Alex to leave Karl and take cover. The two hide behind a tree and assess the situation. Alex wants to go to Karl, but Danielle grabs her and tells her that she loves her and they need to make a run for it. They get to their feet, but Danielle is immediately hit by gunfire and falls to the ground. Alex stands up, put her hands in the air and yells, "I'm Ben's daughter!"
- Michael's flashback is suggested to have taken place sometime between Days 68 (November 28, the day Michael and Walt leave the Island, as Michael is estranged from Walt since he revealed what he did on the Island) and Day 82 (December 12, the day Ben and his people leave the Barracks).
- Likewise, Tom's appearances would seem to have been set between Day 74 (December 4) and Day 80 (December 10) as he was at the Hydra before Day 74 and at the barracks on Day 80.
- There were Christmas trees visible in Michael's flashback, which suggests this happened in or near the month of December.
- Korean inscriptions on back of the Rolex watch that Jin gave to Michael translate to "congratulations," "mutual cooperation," "business development," and "Mr. Paik."
- Michael hears whispers and sees Libby just before he activates the bomb on the freighter. This is the first time the whispers are heard off the Island.
- On the ABC Lost website, this scene is shown in the Lost: Revelations 408 clip. In this clip, the whispers are incoherent. However, in the actual aired episode, the whispers begin with the Mama Cass song that played on the car radio when Michael tried to kill himself the first time. The lyric heard says "it's getting better"
- This episode's flashbacks featured four deceased characters: Libby, Minkowski, Naomi, and Tom.
- Danielle calls Alex by her full name, Alexandra.
- The title of this episode was spoken by Tom to Michael.
- "Kevin Johnson" and "Dean Moriarty" share the same passport number: HNSO12153. ("The Economist")
- The passport number: HNSO12153 references Hanso (HNSO) and two of the Numbers 4 and 8 (1+2+1=4 and 5+3=8).
- According to Libby's badge, Michael is in (the fictitious) Manhattan Springs Hospital.
- Charlotte, Daniel, Jack, Jin, Juliet, Kate, and Sun do not appear in this episode.
- This is the first episode since his introduction to not feature Daniel.
- This is the first episode to include Miles since "Eggtown".
- Cynthia Watros is the first former cast member to return to the show as a guest star to not be credited as a "special" guest star.
- However, she is billed first among guest stars along with MC Gainey. This is one of the few times the guest stars have been not all been alphabetically ordered since "The Man Behind the Curtain".
- The third of five episodes in which both Jack and Kate do not appear, the others being "The Other 48 Days", "Flashes Before Your Eyes","Jughead" and "Dead Is Dead".
- Kewalo Basin, the small commercial harbor in Kaka’ako, was transformed into the Port of Suva, Fiji’s largest port and gateway to its capital city, for this episode.
- This is the second longest flashback to date, exceeding "Flashes Before Your Eyes" by just a few seconds, and surpassed only by "The Other 48 Days" which takes place entirely in flashback.
- Malcolm David Kelley confirmed in an interview  that he was the actor playing Walt in his brief appearance.
- This episode was followed by a month-long break due to the writer's strike.
- In France, the episode is titled "Seconde chance," which translates to "Second Chance."
- According to Damon and Carlton in the DVD audio commentary for "There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3", the image of Walt in the window was taken from Season 1 footage and digitally placed in the shot, because Malcolm David Kelley had grown significantly since Walt left the Island in Season 2.
- A Lost: On Location for this episode is available on the Season 4 DVD.
Bloopers and continuity errors
- In "Catch-22", Naomi's helicopter crashes in the water, but in the subsequent episodes the freighter crew still has a helicopter, which implies that they had two before Naomi crashed. However, only one helicopter is present on the pad in this episode:
- On the freighter, when Tom hangs up the phone after he speaks with Michael, a dial tone is heard. Only landline telephones give dial tones.
- At the end of the episode when Alex is ambushed, Tania Raymonde's left eye contact can be seen slipping out of place, showing her naturally brown eye underneath.
- In the ambush scene at the end of the episode, character Karl's actor Blake Bashoff reacts to the first shot by turning his head towards the source of the sound at the same time the shot can be heard. The sound effects appear to be edited into the scene too late.
- The water bottle in Karl's hand in the final scene has only one hole. The bullet entered the bottle, but did not exit.
- The shot comes from behind, after which a hole and stream of exiting water appear at the front of the bottle. If there is any validity to the "one hole" theory, it is that the bullet did not enter, but it clearly exits.
- It is simply possible that the bullet didn't pass through the bottle, but simply scratched it, i.e. passing by and touching the bottle only on its side, therefore making the hole without passing through the bottle, making this scene possible.
- In the same scene, when Danielle is shot, you can clearly see the bullet hole on her body, before the shot is actually fired, in fact, she starts to fall down before the shot is fired.
- Blake Bashoff's hearing protection is visible after Karl is shot.
- Tania Raymonde's microphone can be seen hanging over her right ear as Alex and Danielle prepare to run after Karl's death.
- Michael said that he's on the boat to die. (Life and Death)
- Michael tries to kill himself 5 times in the episode: once in a car accident, once in the alley with a gun, twice in his apartment with the gun, and once again on the freighter. (Life and Death) (Sacrifice) (Car accidents)
- As he is about to kill himself in the car, Michael says "I'm sorry." (Regularly Spoken Phrases)
- A game show is on TV during Michael's suicide attempt in his apartment. (Games)
- Ben told Michael that he can consider himself one of the good guys. (Good and bad people)
- Michael is on the boat to redeem himself. (Redemption)
- Michael's statement that he came on the freighter "to die" mirrors the dialog between him and Sawyer in "Exodus, Part 2," where he said that there was only two reasons why Sawyer would want to sail on Michael's raft: because he was a hero or because he wanted to die, to which Sawyer replies "I ain't no hero, Mike." Like Sawyer on the raft, Michael on the freighter ends up acting heroically despite initially lesser motives. (Life and Death) (Juxtaposition) (Irony)
- Sayid reveals Michael's status as a "traitor" to Captain Gault. (Deceptions and cons) (Secrets)
- Ben needs Michael to get him a list of the people on the boat. (Lists)
- Karl and Danielle are attacked and left for dead by unknown assailants. (Life and Death)
- Michael "sees" Libby twice. (Dreams and visions)
- Michael's mother is upset with Michael for his behavior toward his son, Walt. (Parent issues)
- Walt won't talk to Michael over disappointment due to Michael's murders. (Parent issues)
- There is a closeup of Michael's eye as he wakes up in the hospital. (Eyes)
- Ben pretends to be Walt to get Michael on the phone on the freighter. (Deceptions and cons)
- The bomb Michael is given via a care package is a fake. (Deceptions and cons)
- Hinted at in "A Tale of Two Cities," it is revealed that Tom is gay. (Relationships) (Secrets)
- Tom tells Michael, when trying to kill himself, "the Island won't let you." (Fate versus free will)
- Miles guesses Michael's name isn't Kevin, and says that 80 percent of the crew is lying about something. (Secrets)
- The bomb timer counts down from 15 seconds. (The Numbers)
- The clock in the Barracks' house marks 8pm. (The Numbers)
- Michael came back to civilization anonymously and with minimal contact with his family, living by himself in poor shape. (Isolation)
- Kurt Vonnegut: The author of Slaughterhouse Five is mentioned as an answer on the game show Michael is watching. (Literary works)
- The Shining: Minkowski remarks that Michael reminds him of the main character from this 1980 horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Stephen King's novel of the same name. (Movies and TV)
- Star Wars: Before he is shot, Karl says, "I've got a bad feeling about this." This is a line that is spoken in every episode of Star Wars. (Movies and TV)
- Cass Elliot: The song playing in the car when Michael tries to kill himself is "It's Getting Better" by Cass Elliot, who also recorded "Make Your Own Kind of Music." (Music)
- The Hotel Earle: This is the former name of the Washington Square Hotel. 
- In the 1991 Coen Brothers film Barton Fink, this is the name of a fictional hotel, which is a metaphysical manifestation of hell for an awkward, isolated New York City writer. (Movies and TV)
- Star Trek: The second sneak peek for this episode featured the "red alert" sound effect from Star Trek: The Next Generation as the freighter's alarm. This was altered for the broadcast version. (Movies and TV)
- Hinduism: When we see Ben talk to Michael on the radio, at the beginning of the shot there is a statue of a Hindu deity in the foreground. (Religion and Ideologies)
- The Great Escape: Michael throwing on the ball against the wall references Hilts doing the same whilst in the cooler in The Great Escape.
- Crime and Punishment: This novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky may have inspired several key elements of Michael's story:
- In this episode, Michael goes to a pawn shop to trade a Rolex watch. In Crime and Punishment, the main protagonist Rodion Raskolnikov exchanges his dead father's watch for a loan by an extremely mercantile usurer.
- Just like Michael, Rodion tries to commit suicide several times, but something always stops him from doing so. In the end, the character is forced to redeem for his crimes and face his punishment in order to stop the guilt that tortures him.
- In "Two for the Road," Michael kills Ana Lucia in order to free Ben, but is forced to kill Libby as she accidentally witnesses the murder scene. Just like Rodion assassinates the usurer, but is forced to kill an innocent witness, the usurer's sister Elizaveta, Russian equivalent of Elizabeth. (Literary works)
- Michael trades Jin's Rolex watch for a handgun with which to kill himself. On the Island, Jin tried to kill Michael over the same watch. (Irony)
- Right after the trade, Tom shows up asking Michael about the time. (Irony)
- Ben says that Charles Widmore is "without conscience" even though Ben killed, among other people, his own father. (Irony)
- When Michael attempts his automotive suicide, an optimistic song is playing. (Juxtaposition) (Irony)
- Tom tells Michael, "You still have work to do." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Michael is seen attempting to fix the same engines that he agreed to sabotage. (Irony)
- Ben calls Michael "one of the good guys." (Regularly spoken phrases)
- Sayid turns in Michael because he works for Ben. In the future (as seen in "The Economist"), Sayid himself works for Ben. (Irony)
- Michael made terrible sacrifices to get Walt back from the Others, only to lose him again after telling him about killing Ana Lucia and Libby. (Irony)
- Frank talks to Michael about the idea of finding 815 survivors alive. (Irony)
- The episode ends with Karl and Danielle seriously wounded by gunfire but with their condition and the identity of the assailant(s) unknown. (Cliffhanger)
- The episode employs an atypical "narrative bookends" style framing device in which Michael's flashback is revealed as if he were telling the story to Sayid and Desmond. (Flashbacks)
- When Sayid and Michael talk to each other, after Captain Gault had beaten up the two deserters, Michael says he is on the Kahana to die, which he eventually does in There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3. (Foreshadowing)
- Michael attempts to detonate a bomb in the engine room of the Kahana with the goal of killing himself and everyone on board. (Crimes)
- It is revealed that Michael and Walt are using false names off of the Island. Walt once said to Sawyer "It's stupid to lie about your name". ("All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues")
- Michael trades the watch that Jin gave him. ("House of the Rising Sun") ("Exodus, Part 2")
- Walt is living with Michael's mother. Before their plane took off, Michael called her to ask if she would take Walt. ("Exodus, Part 2")
- The bomb Michael is given has a button labeled "EXECUTE," much like the computer in the Swan. ("Man of Science, Man of Faith")
- Michael tells his mother that he wants to see Walt "because he's my son. That is my right," just as he told Jack. ("The Hunting Party")
- Before attempting suicide, Michael says, "I'm sorry," just like he did immediately before shooting Ana Lucia. ("Two for the Road")
- When Libby appears in Michael's vision, she is carrying blankets, just as she did when he shot her. ("Two for the Road")
- After leaving the Island, Michael tells Walt about killing Libby and Ana Lucia, thus making Walt hate Michael. ("Two for the Road")
- Before pressing the "Execute" button on the fake bomb, Michael says, "I love you, Walt," echoing Desmond saying, "I love you, Penny," before he turned the fail-safe key in the Swan. ("Live Together, Die Alone")
- Ben calls Michael "one of the good guys." Before he left the Island, Michael asked him who they were and Ben responded "We're the good guys, Michael." ("Live Together, Die Alone")
- Ben tells Michael to make a list of the people on the freighter, just as he once told Ethan and Goodwin to make lists of the survivors of Flight 815. ("A Tale of Two Cities")
- Tom is revealed to be gay. This was alluded to in an earlier episode when Tom remarked that Kate wasn't his "type." ("A Tale of Two Cities")
- Upon learning that Locke is not handing Ben over to the freighter people, Claire asks, "so he's one of us now?" ("One of Us")
- Michael guesses that Naomi is from Manchester, England. Charlie, also from Manchester, guessed that fact as well. ("Greatest Hits")
- Michael becomes depressed and suicidal upon leaving the Island, and is unable to kill himself. Later, Jack becomes depressed and suicidal upon leaving the Island, but was interrupted when trying to kill himself on the bridge. ("Through the Looking Glass")
- When crew members nearly take a raft off the boat, Captain Gault reminds them of what happened to the last two men to do so, specifically calling out the late Minkowski. ("The Constant")
- Ben tells Michael not to destroy the freighter because there are innocent people onboard. Ben later destroys the freighter himself, killing the innocent people. ("There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3")
- Tom implies that the Island is capable of exerting some sort of control and/or ability to manipulate events off of the Island. This same implication is later echoed by Ben in talking to Jack about returning to the Island. ("There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3")
- Do not answer the questions here.
- Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Meet Kevin Johnson/Theories
- How did Miles know that Kevin wasn't Michael's real name?
- Why is the Temple only for the Others?
- Why did Libby tell Michael, "Don't do it"?
- Who are the Others that can come and go to the Island?
- ABC Primetime Grid
- ABC Medianet Press Release Bundle (02/22/08):