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Friday, May 30, 2008

Harold Perrineau upset Michael went 'Kablooie!'

Plenty more "Lost" speculation to come, but one of the more interesting developments following last night's two-hour finale comes from Harold Perrineau's exit interview with TV Guide.

As "Lost" fans well know, Perrineau's Michael Dawson character left the show after a Season Two killing spree that felled Tallie two-some Ana Lucia and Libby in unexpected fashion. The swerve was part of a betrayal storyline that gave Michael and his enigmatic son Walt access to a boat which would take them back home. Following a third season, "Lost" creators uncharacteristically leaked Michael's return at ComicCon, which essentially killed the buzz about who Ben's "mysterious man on the freighter" was in a mid-Season Four storyline.

Anyway, Mr. Dawson re-appeared as "Kevin Johnson: freighter saboteur" in a slightly interesting storyline, if only because it was revealed that the island wouldn't let a tormented Michael kill himself, even as he placed a gun to his temple and pulled the trigger. With that baggage on the freedom freighter, Michael was finally given his "release" by Ghost Dad Shephard in last night's episode. Lest you think he might re-appear -- as most suspect Jin eventually will -- Perrineau confirms he's done with the show. He also doesn't hold back his displeasure at the Michael storyline in the TV Guide interview.

"It's like, what the hell? I came back for that? ... I'm disappointed, mostly because I wanted Michael and Walt to have a happy ending. I was hoping Michael would get it together and actually want to be a father to his kid and try to figure out a way to get back [home]. But this is [the producers'] story. If I were writing it, I would write it differently."

It's important to note that Michael did redeem himself in some capacity -- if his selflessness upon returning to the freighter wasn't obvious enough, he later told Jin to head for the chopper so he could "be a dad." Of course, Jin didn't make it ... but hey, the effort was there. That the advice came from Michael, who had his own paternal issues with Walt, seemed somewhat significant, though let's be honest, his redemptive arc wasn't nearly as triumphant or moving as Charlie's. When you consider how he betrayed his island mates in Season Two, Perrineau believes there was an underhanded motive to bringing Michael back.

"I thought it was disappointing and a waste to come back, only to get beat up a few times and then killed. I felt like it was sort of pandering to some fans who wanted to see Michael punished because he betrayed people.

"Listen, if I'm being really candid, there are all these questions about how they respond to black people on the show. Sayid gets to meet Nadia again, and Desmond and Penny hook up again, but a little black boy and his father hooking up, that wasn't interesting? Instead, Walt just winds up being another fatherless child. It plays into a really big, weird stereotype and, being a black person myself, that wasn't so interesting."

"Lost" co-creator Carlton Cuse responded by saying, "We pride ourselves on having a very racially diverse cast. It's painful when any actor's storyline ends on the show. Harold is a fantastic actor whose presence added enormously to 'Lost.'"

Does Perrineau have a legitimate gripe? "Lost" is certainly known for bringing dead people back for cameos, and it would seem that Walt (or children before they hit their growth spurt ...) is supposed to be a significant part of the island's mythology as the remaining season's play out.

But Michael? Alas, he is now a million scattered pieces in the crystal blue ocean ...

Finally, check out this footage from "Good Morning America" revealing alternate coffin endings so the Locke-Bentham secret couldn't leak. It was supposed to be Vincent!

-- Thomas Rozwadowski,

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I think he has a legit beef. They gave him a little nugget of redemption but nothing on the level of where his story with Walt could have gone. I was wondering after the finale if Michael still wanted to die after seeing Jin and Sun. Could he have had a change of heart? He really didn't get to see a significant number of the people he left behind. Unfortunately its not his show and he didn't have a say in his character's outcome.

By Blogger Antony, At June 2, 2008 at 1:24 PM  

Yeah, I'm not sure if it was a casualty of the writer's strike, but the feel of Michael's re-appearance seemed much BIGGER at the outset. And then ... bleh.

I wonder if Walt growing so much forced the writers to shelve his storyline as it pertained to aging on the island, that sorta thing. God, he seemed like such an important cog in the overall machine. Now he's an afterthought, even off island. Now without his dad ... makes you wonder.

-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At June 2, 2008 at 9:08 PM  

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