season 4 finale: Michael’s last scene & Harold Perrineau’s anger

Michaels last scene confused me.  The first time I saw it I didn’t get what Christian was trying to say to Michael.  When he says “you can go now”, I took it to mean that Michael could leave the ship now.  Then of course the freighter blew up.  So my mind was reeling a little as I tried to figure this out.  He says you can go then he gets blown up.  I immediately tried to find a way out for Michael (I seem to do this every time someone dies, with the exception of Shannon I guess).  I tried to figure out if maybe he’s been dead for this whole time  and maybe he didn’t know it.  I know it doesn’t make sense, it was part of an old theory that was horribly nonsensical.  But after that scene I just forgot about it, I’ve never really liked Michael, I think the writers did a good job redeeming him, I’ll get back to that later, but I didn’t really care that much.  The day after I watched it I was talking to a friend of mine about it and he was saying how Christian told Michael that he could die now.  So I was surprised, I hadn’t really thought of Michael as dead.  So the point is I didn’t really get that scene, and I was surprised that everyone else seemed to interpret it so easily.  (On a side note: every time I write Michaels name I here Libby in my head saying “Michael” right before she gets shot.  I’ll bet that scene is one of the most flashed-back-to scenes in the “previously on Lost” segment.)

Just wait 5 more episodesSo about the redeeming of Michael.  When Michael came back I’ll bet at least 90% of the Lost audience still hated him.  The Lost audience is more than 12 million people, those are just the people that watch it on Thursdays, there are definitely way more that watch the DVDs or download it.  So 90% of 12 million is more than 10 million people.  And as a community, Lost viewers are very vocal and opinionated.  So when we hate someone it really gets harsh.  Last summer it was announces that Harold Perrineau, the actor who plays Michael (I roll my eyes at you if you needed to know that), would be returning to Lost.  That was excited, not because any of us were terribly thrilled to see Michael again, we just wanted to know where he went and why he had to leave on a bearing of 325 (notice that Michael left on 325 and Daniel calculated that you have to come and go on 305, hmmmmm, that’s a discussion for another time).  So he came back, we got a backstory as to what happened, it was pretty dull, but at least we know now.  So then the writers have a problem, they have a character who did terrible things (maybe just one thing, it’s not so bad that Ana-Lucia died, but Libby, still….it hurts).  Now they have to reintegrate this character back into the show, they could make him a villain, that would have been interesting, and easy too.  But they took the harder route of trying to make him likable again.  They made him try to commit suicide, they made him emotionally distraught, self-sacrificing, they even let him get pummeled Ben-style.  So in my eyes I think they did redeem the character, I wouldn’t say that they improved him any more than what he was like in the first season, and I can’t say I liked him much back then, but at least I could pretend not to hate him for the double murder.

And then at the very end of the season they killed Michael.  Very soon after the episode aired Harold Perrineau talked to a reporter or two about his feelings.  Here’s the link.  So in that interview he said, pretty much, that he was disappointed by the way his character ended and he even mentioned a few racial stereotypes that he feels were promoted by the writing of his character.  I won’t go into the stereotyping part, because if you know me you know how I feel about racial stereotypes.  But his anger, I feel, is misplaced.  He went from being one of the most hated characters from Lost to being a savior, it’s true that it would have been nice for Walt and Michael to reunite.  But, unfortunately, Michael was not a good dad.  That may have been due to circumstances in the majority of the flashbacks but, he was an unreasonable person who seriously shouldn’t have raised Walt.  I also think that the actor probably should have seen this coming, in almost all of his first few scenes he does or says something which shows that he wants to die.  I think that Harold should be happy. Happy that 10 million people like him considerably more now than a year ago.  That’s what I think.  I think that maybe the producers could have told Harold that he wasn’t going to last very long, but now that we see his response to death i can see why they wouldn’t want to do that.  Oh well, let’s just be happy that he can’t kill any other women on the island.

– Izi


7 Responses to “season 4 finale: Michael’s last scene & Harold Perrineau’s anger”

  1. 1 missscarlett
    June 10, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Libby, still….it hurts

    I mourn Libby! And whenever Hurley looks sad – which was often this season – I mourn her again.

    Well…here’s the thing. Michael was not redeemed in my eyes. I think his motivation was still selfish. He wanted people to think he was a ‘good’ guy – he still denied working for Ben before he died. What a liar – lying to himself to the end.
    He had a huge chip on his shoulder and his ‘sacrifice’ was a whiny shout of “See! I told you I was a hero. Now respect me Walt.”

    Maybe it was the underlying attitude the actor brought to the character, since his postwrap interviews indicate pretty clearly how important he felt he was. I just never bought Michael as a person who cared much. Even in the 1st season when we were learning how Walt was taken from him he never really seemed to care about Walt – it was all “He’s MY son!” Ok – did he care when he finally agreed to not contact Walt? I don’t think so. I think he was trying to save face because he was a penniless ‘artist’ and Walt’s new dad was wealthy.

    Michael was/is a character I tolerated. Barely. I was glad that he seemed a little protective of Sun in the beginning but his constant mistreatment of Walt rankled. Even Ben, in true Ben fashion, cut through his self righteous pity-party, and told him he (Ben) hadn’t asked him to kill anyone. Murder was something he did on his own.

    And then he tells Walt! That is beyond low. Michael’s mother was right to keep Walt from him – and probably Walt’s mother was too. The psychological damage that knowledge will do to Walt can’t be measured. Nice one dad.

    All I can really say is, except for those overplayed Previously on Lost moments, we will never have to hear “Waaa-hhaaaaa-hhhaaa-haallttttt” again.

    Oh yeah – I totally knew Christian was telling him he was going to die and I cheered!

  2. 2 Clayton
    June 10, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I thought it was kinda funny that he couldn’t kill himself when he was a murderer and a deserter… but the MOMENT he becomes the “hero”… bye bye. He nevers gets to revel in his glory. Poor guy. haha

  3. 3 Ian
    June 14, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Christian said “You can go now” because michael has tried killing himself for what he did to Libby and Ana Lucia. The island prevented him from doing that because it needed him alive to delay the explosion of the freighter. Once he completed his job and the oceanic six where off the island he showed up letting michael know that his role has been played. It was kind of a sadistic way to do it, but christian got his point across.

  4. 4 Rosie
    November 5, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Michael was one of the most interesting characters on that show and Lindehof and Cuse wasted his return in Season 4 with a very LAME storyline. Not only that, the two producers wasted Harold Perrineau’s time. He went through a great deal of trouble to move his family back to Hawaii . . . for appearances in FIVE episodes? Without bothering to tell him that he would only be appearing in five episodes? I don’t blame Perrineau for being pissed off.

    It’s amazing how so many fans wanted Michael to pay the consequences for killing Ana and Libby. Yet, their biggest gripe with him is that he had betrayed Jack, Kate, Sawyer and Hurley to the Others. Big FUCKING deal! Considering that the castaways had barely lifted a finger to help him get Walt back, why on earth should he be loyal to them?? I’ll condemn him for killing Ana and Libby, but I still refuse to get worked up for what happened to Jack, Sawyer and Kate.

    And speaking of condemnation . . . I get sick and tired of fans wanting to condemn Michael for his actions. Yet, in their minds, characters like Sawyer, Sayid, Jack and Kate deserve to escape any consequences for their acts of murders. If Michael had deserved to be punished, so do the other members of Murder Incorporated from Flight 815. If there is one thing I truly despise it is hypocrisy. And many LOST fans such as you, Ian and Clayton are filled with hypocrisy.

  5. 5 Rosie
    November 5, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    You want to know why people like you despise Michael? Because deep down, he reminds you of yourself. He reminds you that ordinary people like yourself are capable of doing some pretty awful things when push comes to shove. And you don’t like that reminder.

  6. November 5, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Hahaha. Oh boy, Rosie, you are quite the character. I find it hilarious how you are getting angrier and angrier as you continue to comment on my blog.
    I’ll try not to give oyu any more fuel. Instead I’ll tell you what I would do if I were you, if I was reading a blog about a show that I loved and I noticed that:
    -Almost everything the person was writing was wrong
    -Their writing went against my moral compass
    -I just couldn’t stand their opinions
    -They liked the wrong characters
    -They misinterpretted scenes
    I would leave
    I’m not saying that you should leave, I find our banter very entertaining. But your anger levels are at a boiling point right now so perhaps it’s time to start your own blog, or look for one that you will actually enjoy reading.
    Sad to see you go.
    – izi

  7. November 3, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Poor Izi, it’s a pity that you cannot face the truth about your dislike of Michael . . . or fandom’s in general. After reading your last post, I cannot help but pity you . . . with the greatest of contempt.

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