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Episode 4x08 - You Can Take the Man from the Island, But You Can’t Take the Island from the Man

(Dearest Readers: I do apologize for the delay, but as I began to write I had a flash and my consciousness was suddenly hurled backwards through time…)

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair”

The Wheel of Time is a concept embraced by various ancient cultures and religions that tells us that the universe does not at all play out in the linear fashion we are used to thinking of as represented by the Past, Present, and Future. Instead, this idea sees time throughout history as being represented by a repeating series of ages. This infinite, cyclical view of life is strong in Indian ideologies such as Hinduism and Buddhism, two religions that are also often referenced in LOST.

It will all be coming around again, as they say.

And as if we too are riding Minkowski’s Ferris wheel, “previously on LOST” returns us to the last moment we saw Michael Dawson - desperate father, traitor, and murderer to the castaways – turning that ragged vessel Ben promised him towards the open ocean, the first member of Flight 815 to officially leave the Island. However, we soon learn that the sins Michael committed in order to free Walt and return home haunted him to such a degree that he ended up confessing them to his son, thus in turn losing the boy once more. Karma can be so ironic.

With such tragedy weighing upon him, Michael attempts to commit suicide via car crash but is amazingly unsuccessful. He tries again, this time by pawning the watch that he obtained on the Island that was originally Jin’s. In the episode “House of the Rising Sun” from season one, Michael says to Jin, “I figured, hey, why let a $20,000 dollar watch go to waste which is ridiculous since time doesn't matter on a damn island.” Time doesn’t matter to a dead man, either, and he exchanges the Rolex for a gun, with bullets, from a seedy little store with a very Indian-looking elephant placed prominently on the counter.

Of course we discover, via Tom’s sudden appearance right as Michael was about to shoot himself, that the Island will not let him die. Tom tells him, “No matter how bad you want to, no matter how many different ways you try, it won't happen.” Michael even tests this and finds it to unfortunately be true. For some reason, Michael is still needed in the grand scheme of things. This is an interesting concept when we consider how LOST operates within a universe that “course-corrects”.

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