Season 4 Episode 2

Confirmed Dead

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 07, 2008 on ABC

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  • The freighter folk arrive, and a whole new set of problems come with them

    We've known since 'D.O.C.' that Oceanic 815 was supposedly recovered from the bottom of the ocean floor a few weeks earlier. In the teaser of 'Confirmed Dead', we actually get stock footage from underwater cameras supposedly confirming that the plane crashed, and that there were no survivors. At the time, our first instinct may have been "Maybe the writers have been lying to us about the island being purgatory". Then with all the furor over Naomi's arrival and the subsequent attempts to contact the freighter, we let that all go. Now we meet some of the people on that freighter, and find that they all believed that this was a lie.

    In the flashes, we get impression of the four people who came aboard the helicopter. The first one is Daniel Faraday, the man who parachuted down asking for Jack in the last minute of the previous episode.. Daniel seems more than a little scattered when he arrives on the island--- though he seems open and honest, it appears that he's talking a little too much. Furthermore, when we see him in the teaser, he looks a bit like he's suffering from some kind of breakdown (otherwise why would he cry when he sees the wreckage, and then say he didn't know why?) The other members of the team keep warning him not to speak, and they seem more than a little disdainful of him.

    The next one we meet is Miles Straume, who seems more openly disdainful of the idea that the plane has crashed. He actually seems to have a supernatural skill in that he seems able to talk to the dead. When he lands on the ground, he seems certain that he's landing in the midst of hostiles, and he doesn't seem to have any trouble openly lying. He wants to assume command, but even after being taken hostage he doesn't reveal a single thing. There might be a reason to bring him to the island--- after all, there are a lot of dead people.

    Charlotte Lewis is the wild card of the bunch. It's hard to know what an anthropologist needs to work here, but she seems to know more about the island than the others. She didn't seem surprised to find the skeleton of a polar bear in the Tunisian desert, or that this bear had a Dharma collar. Of the group, she seemed openly happy when she emerges from the water, and the most surprised when she found that there were survivors. But she must have come prepared, otherwise why would she be using a bulletproof vest in the middle of the jungle.

    All three of these characters would be named regulars. Though we won't find it out for a while, they all have a connection with the island. However, the flashbacks that have the most potential involve characters who aren't regulars. Frank Lapidus is the most vocal in his disbelief that the recovered flight is Oceanic 815, and we learn his reason right away ---- he was supposed to be the original pilot. He flew the helicopter that brought everybody to the island, and managed to bring it down without crashing (which, given what we saw in the teaser was a minor miracle). But he also knows instantly that Juliet is a native of the island, and though he talks about making multiple trips back and forth, he manages to avoid saying if he'll take the survivors with him.

    The last flashback involves Naomi and is the most mysterious. The man who assembled the team was none other than Matthew Abbadon, the man who threatened Hurley in the last episode (Suddenly his question: "Are they still alive?" makes a lot more sense.) He is equally adamant when Naomi questions him in saying "There were no survivors." Perhaps that is the real mission of the people on the freighter. It doesn't, however, explain why Naomi had such a detailed covered story about being there on behalf of Penelope Widmore, or why she didn't seem interested at all in Ben Linus (we'll get to that in a minute). The mission seems to depend on these four people making on the island. But as we will later learn that wasn't even the real purpose of the freighter. Was there another mission that we don't know about? We won't learn that for a while.

    It seems strange that none of these people seem willing to reveal any information about the mission they are on. But then again, how does that make them different from the survivors themselves? When Locke tells his band that the reason he killed Naomi was because Walt told him to, Sawyer then follows with "What, you didn't ask any follow up questions?" It's a funny line, but it belies a bitter truth: has anybody been asking any follow-up questions. No one knows what Kate really did, or that Sawyer was a con artist, or that Locke was paralyzed, or that Hurley is a millionaire. Everybody has been keeping secret, and no one wants to share. Maybe that's the real reason that the Others have seemed to have so many advantages--- they know the survivors secrets better than the passengers themselves.

    It's also interesting to compare Jack and Locke's response to the arrival of the freighter folk. Jack seems more than willing to help Daniel find Miles, mainly because despite the fact that he has a gun, he doesn't view him as much of a threat. When Miles says that the only way he'll believe the story about Locke killing Naomi is if they take her to her body, again he just accepts this as something to file away for a later date Just as Miles thinks that he has an advantage, Sayid and Juliet emerge with weapons ready to shoot.

    Meanwhile, Locke seems a lot less concerned. Perhaps that's because his faith in the island has been restored. When he stands in the rain, he looks exactly like he did in Season 1 when there were storms and he knew almost instinctively that they were going to break. He doesn't even seem bothered by the fact that Ben nearly killed him. We finally learn how he survived: the bullet was a through and through. Then he says, if he'd had a kidney, he'd be dead. Ergo, he was meant to be conned by his father, because that destiny ended up saving his life.

    When the group encounters Charlotte, Hurley seems more than willing to tell her everything, but Locke holds back, trying to hold her prisoner. He then gets completely taken by surprise when Ben breaks loose and tries to kill Charlotte (Hell, he would've succeeded if not for that self same bulletproof vest). It's hard to understand why Locke is so determined to keep Ben around. Sawyer wants to kill him, and only seems to hold off because Hurley indicates not to. (They've come a long way from Sawyer calling him Jumbotron a few weeks ago, but I'm thinking that after what Hurley did on the beach, Sawyer finally seems to be respecting him. Hell, he's even calling him Hugo.) Then Ben tries to curry favor by saying that he has secrets about the island, and then says he knows nothing about 'the monster'. (This I didn't believe for a second; if Juliet knew about it, I'm sure as hell Ben would have some idea what it was. Later episodes will demonstrate he knew a lot more about it than he was willing to tell.) And then he changes the game by giving a complete history of Charlotte to Locke's crew along with a record of all the other people on the chopper, and then the fact that they're here to get him. (Which raises the question again, where is he getting his information. Assuming that he was able to use the computers to gets files on the survivors of Oceanic 815, the electronics have been on the fritz since Desmond blew the hatch. If Ben only knew about the freighter after Mikhail told him {admittedly, that's a big if}, how would he get all of his intelligence, even if he does have a man on the boat? Am I over thinking this because it seems like a pretty obvious hole in the plot?)

    If nothing else, this episode does a great job of introducing four radically different characters to us, all of whom are played by fine actors. Even though our hearts and minds automatically belong to the survivors, Jeremy Davies, Rebecca Mader, Ken Leung and Jeff Fahey are all impressive actors, and after knowing them for less than an hour, we seem to have a pretty good handle on all four. Of course, this being Lost, there are obvious a lot of secrets hiding below the surface, and we will start getting evidence that these people may know more about the island then they're telling. However, it's interesting that they don't seem dangerous in the way that the Others did, or sinister in the way Abaddon does in his brief appearance. (My guess is they wanted to use Lance Reddick more than they gave him time for, but he was still busy on The Wire and they didn't use him right). They just seem different, a little at sea, to make an appropriate pun. Even the fact that they're there to get Ben isn't by itself sinister; we know he's a dangerous man. They're as suspicious as we are, which means that the game is about to shift again
    My score: 9