“LOST” and the Art of Hypocrisy”

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“LOST” and the Art of Hypocrisy

The eighth episode of “LOST”‘s Season Four featured the backstory of one of the original Flight 815 passengers, Michael Dawson. Back in Season Two, he left the survivors’ camp to search for his missing son, Walt, who had been kidnapped by a group of mysterious people called the Others. Desperate to get his son back, Michael left the Losties’ camp and conducted his own search. Unfortunately, he ended up captured. The Others gave him a choice – either help them capture four of the castaways and find a way to release their captured leader, Ben Linus, or never see Walt again. Michael chose to cooperate.

In the end, Michael murdered one castaway – Ana-Lucia Cortez – to help Ben escape. He accidentally killed another – Libby. Then he led four other castaways – Jack Shephard (the leader), Sawyer aka James Ford, Kate Austen and Hurley Reyes – into a trap set by the Others. As the Others had promised, he finally got Walt back and left the island on a boat given to them. In early Season Four, Michael’s character returned to the series in the episode, “Meet Kevin Johnson”. The episode told in flashbacks of Michael’s experiences between the time he and Walt had returned to the United States and Michael’s return to the island as a crew member of a freighter, whom some castaways see as their rescue from the island.

Two days after the episode aired, a reveiwer named Billie Doux, posted her review of the episode. There is one particular passage that caught my attention:

“I am completely and totally down with what Sayid just did to Michael. Michael is still basically unlikeable and unsympathetic, a murderer and a traitor as well as weak and selfish. Even his obsession with Walt is also selfish at its base because it is less about Walt’s welfare, and more about Michael’s. Especially if Michael actually burdened Walt with a confession about what Michael did to Ana Lucia and Libby. That Mama Cass song we heard twice in the episode absolutely haunted me, and not because Mama Cass is dead, like Patsy Cline is dead. I think it was a musical echo of Michael’s double murder in the Hatch, because the first thing we heard in the Hatch at the beginning of season two was a Mama Cass song. (Not the same one, though.)”

I am going to be frank and state that Miss Doux’s comments had really PISSED ME OFF. She had pissed me off. She had a right to be upset over Michael’s murder of Ana-Lucia and Libby. I certainly did not approve of his actions. What pissed me off was her claim of the possibility that Michael was more concerned about his welfare than Walt’s. I want to call her a name, but that would be childish.

However . . . I am beginning to wonder how much she had allowed herself to be blinded by her feelings about Michael. What in the fuck did she mean that Michael was more concerned about himself than Walt? Everything he DID was for Walt’s welfare. Had her memories of past episodes eluded her? Ever since mid-Season 1, Michael had been determined to get Walt off the island and to the relative safety of the States. That is why he built that damn raft. That is why he took every opportunity possible to find Walt after he, Sawyer and Jin returned to shore. That is why he ran off into the jungle in search for Walt. And the latter was the reason why he betrayed the other Losties and killed Ana-Lucia in cold blood (Libby was an accident).

Michael is not the first to commit a crime in cold blood for the sake of another relative:

*Lostie Shannon Rutherford had tried to murder fellow castaway John Locke, because she held him responsible for stepbrother Boone Carlyle’s death.

*Sawyer had murdered a man in Australia, whom he mistakenly believed was the con man who drove his father into an act of murder/suicide. When faced with the real con man – Anthony Cooper – he allowed his rage to get the best of him and murdered the guy in cold blood.

*Charlie Pace had murdered one of the Others, Ethan Rom, for kidnapping Claire, a fellow castaway that he was in love with. And as I recall, Ethan had not been in a position to defend himself.

*Jack Shephard tried to murder Locke, because the latter had killed Naomi Dorrit – a woman from the freighter S.S. Kahana, now situated 80 miles off the coast of the island. Whether he called himself acting as judge, jury and executioner or simply being pissed at Locke for nearly ruining a chance for rescue, Jack tried to commit cold-blooded murder.

*Ana-Lucia Cortez had deliberately allowed a convict named Jason to go free from the L.A. jails so that she could hunt him down and kill him in cold blood for shooting him and killing her unborn child. She also tried to assault Goodwin, one of the Others, and ended up killing him.

*Desmond Hume, a survivor from a boat shipwreck, had assaulted another island inhabitant named Kelvin Joe Inman out of anger and ended up killing the guy.

*Kate Austen is an enigma. Many fans claimed that she had murdered her father (whom she had originally believed to be her stepfather) to save her mother from spousal abuse. But she admitted in an soliloquy that she murdered Wayne because she could not endure the idea that he was her father. Then she went on to use his death to commit insurance fraud.

Considering the number of characters with blood on their hands, why was Billie Doux that determined to vent her wrath upon Michael Dawson? In her rant, she called Michael a “traitor”. As a matter of fact, I have come across the posts and comments of many fans who seemed to harbor the same view of Michael. In the eyes of Miss Doux and these other fans, Michael committed the ultimate crime of betraying Jack, Sawyer, Kate and Hurley to the Others in return for Walt. He betrayed “the Group”. He went against Society” for the sake of his son and his fears. And that is a big no-no in the eyes of many. I find it so hypocritical that Michael is condemned more for betraying four castaways to the people they consider their enemies than for killing two women. The old “the needs of the many over the needs of the few” belief from “STAR TREK”. This told me a lot about Miss Doux, these other fans and many people in general.

Frankly, I never gave a rat’s ass that Michael had betrayed those four castaways to the Others. Why should he be more loyal to them than to his own son? Jack and the other Losties barely did a thing to get Walt back from the Others. Well, Sawyer had fought to prevent Walt from being kidnapped, while on the raft. But once he had recovered from a gunshot wound, he showed squat concern over Walt. It was not until Michael had returned to the Others’ camp at the end of “S.O.S.”, in late Season 2, that Jack even considered swapping Ben, who had become the Losties’ prisoner, for Walt. Why in the fuck did it take him so long?

Many fans claimed that four days had passed between Walt’s kidnapping and the return of Michael, Jin and Sawyer to the Losties’ camp. In their view, it was too late to bother sending a search-and-rescue party after Walt. Yet, when Ana-Lucia, Sayid and Charlie went on an expedition to find evidence regarding the identity of the Others’ leader, Ben Linus aka “Henry Gale”, NO ONE HAD COMPLAINED or pointed out the potential futility of this action. Hypocritical much?

In “Meet Kevin Johnson”, Sawyer had gone into full rant against Michael for killing Ana-Lucia and Libby. He especially commented that Michael did all of this to get off the island. I knew that Sawyer was guilty of a lot of things. But I never realized that hypocricy would turn out to be one of his failings. This is a man who had committed three acts of cold-blooded murder. His third victim happened to be the very member of the Others who had kidnapped Walt at the end of Season 1 – Tom. Sawyer claimed that he had killed Tom for Walt’s kidnapping. But considering his failure to realize that Michael had committed his crimes to get back Walt and get the latter off the island, I am beginning to wonder. I am beginning to wonder if Sawyer’s true reason for murdering Tom was good old-fashioned revenge . . . for being shot by one of the Others in “Exodus, Part II” and for his incarceration as one of the Others’ captives in early Season 3.

Many fans have condemned Michael because they viewed his victims – Ana-Lucia and Libby as “innocents”. Yes, they were innocents . . . at least in regard to Walt. But does this mean I am supposed to excuse the other castaways’ behavior because their victims were dubbed as “villains by the fans? I do not think so. Murder is murder. Whether the victim is a protagonist or “decent” sort or a villain, he or she is an innocent. Ana-Lucia and Libby were innocents. But so were Ana-Lucia’s victims. Especially the convict she had murdered in revenge for her unborn child’s death. The three men that Sawyer had killed – Tom included – were innocents. Sawyer had killed all three when they were not in a position to defend themselves. Ethan was an innocent. Locke was an innocent – at least when both Jack and Shannon tried to kill him. Wayne was an innocent. Kate had murdered him while he was sleeping. Whatever intentions that Naomi Dorrit may have had, she became an innocent when Locke murdered her in cold blood. All of these people . . . these victims were innocents, because when they had been murdered or nearly became a victim, when they were not in a position to defend themselves.

But many “LOST” fans – including Ms. Doux – seem incapable of understanding this. They want to condemn Michael not only for the two women he had killed, but especially for betraying four castaways. And because of this, I can only come to the conclusion that they are nothing more than hypocrites.

This hypocricy has also led me to speculate the real reason behind many of the fans’ dislike of Michael. Do they dislike him for his crimes? Or do they dislike him for being a father? The jokes of his cry for Walt – “WAAALT!” has been going on for over two years. Why do many fans make fun of Michael’s anxious desire for Walt’s return? Someone had posted on the LOST-TV site that Claire Littleton will finally become an interesting character once she and her infant son are separated. Hmmm. Why is Claire only capable of being interesting without a child by her side? Does being a parent rob a character of any glamour in their eyes? Is this a by-product of this society’s desire for eternal youth?

Do I condone Michael for murdering Ana-Lucia and Libby? No. It was the wrong thing to do. He could have found another way to free Ben. Do I condone him for betraying Jack and the other Losties to the Others? Honestly? No . . . but I refuse to condemn him for this action, as well. I see no reason why he had to be more loyal to the other Losties than to his own son. But I will say one more thing . . . I find the views of Billie Doux and many other “LOST” fans rather hypocritical when it comes to Michael. I find no reason to condemn Michael for his actions and make excuses for the actions of other characters. Either all should be condemned . . . or not at all. In my eyes, one of the worst things anyone can be is a hypocrite. And in the “LOST” fan base, I seemed to have come across a great deal of hypocrisy. Especially since late Season 2.

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