Review: Lost 4×1

Lance Reddick in Lost

In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC

In the UK: Sundays, 9pm, Sky One. Starts tomorrow

Characters re-cast: 0

Major characters gotten rid of: -1

Major new characters: 2

Format change percentage: 10%

It’s been a while since the format-busting finale of season three of Lost. With the exciting addition of flash-forwards, no longer were we in the dark about whether our hapless Oceanic survivors ever get off the island or not: yep, they get off but they’re not happy.

Despite the wait, with help at hand – or is it? – we pick up right where we left off with the new season.

Hands up anyone who thought we were going to get any more answers this episode.

First up, the gang’s all here, even Rose and Bernard. The fun and the character interplay are all here, too, with the focus on Hurley both on and off the island.

But it’s Lost, so it’s time to mess with your mind. One dead survivor is back too. He (or she) is still dead, but is quite chatty. We now know (or do we?) how many people make it off the island. But others (Others?) want to know about everyone else and maybe they shouldn’t have left. And then there are things that can sometimes be seen on the island by some people, but not all people, and who can see them is quite interesting.

If you’re new to Lost and think this might be a good starting point to join in, you can probably tell from that last paragraph that you won’t be able to. Lost is as impenetrable as always.

But for those who have been faithfully following for three seasons, season four looks like it’s going to continue in the same vein: a bit mental, a bit spooky, a bit sad and you have to look very hard at all times to pick up clues. Look out for the white shoes, for example. The fact that the flash forwards are going to continue means that we’re not all going to be bored senseless finding out why Sun doesn’t like purple, or whatever, which is the level some of the flashbacks were getting to last season.

Not quite the smash out of the ballpark that the season three opener was, but still maintaining the quality.

  • Kev

    I can still say that there is some impenetrability left in it… even though I’m speaking as someone who has been “faithfully following for three series” anyway!.
    I managed to watch “The Begining of the End” thanks to lovely people at Sky who dumped the episode (ad-free) down to my Sky Anytime in glorious HD, a day early and along with an 8 minute 15 second summary of of the first three series. I recommend that anyone search for “lost 8 15” in YouTube if you haven’t seen this.
    As to the episode itself, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think the fact that (writer’s strike aside) the makers know exactly when it’s going end (in 47 episode’s time) will add some much need direction to proceedings.

  • “I think the fact that (writer’s strike aside) the makers know exactly when it’s going end (in 47 episode’s time) will add some much need direction to proceedings.”
    I think you’re right. If you listen to the Lost podcasts, the execs have admitted that there were times they were treading water a bit because they weren’t sure when the series was going to end. Now they do, they can tighten everything up a bit.
    Thinking further on the subject, I’d also add that the execs have been quite clever in using the flashforwards to increase the number of mysteries. Knowing that they can only raise so many questions about the island before we start to need answers and/or get hacked off, they can use flashforwards to start an entirely new set of questions while simultaneously slowly answering the questions they’ve already raised about the island.