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Lost: Season 4 - Review

Lost: Season 4

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentaries; Lost on Location; The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii; The Right to Bear Arms; Soundtrack of Survival; Lost Bloopers; Deleted Scenes; Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash Forward; The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies; The Freighter Folk; Offshore Shoot; Easter Eggs.

THE fourth season of Lost was arguably the best yet. Having completely overcome the elements that dragged down its second season, the show seemed intent on delivering exactly what fans wanted (more answers), while posing ever more tantalising questions in the process.

Hence, having dazzled us with the flash-forward revelation at the season three climax, Season 4 continued to toy with our perceptions of the mystery surrounding the survivors of Oceanic 815.

For instance, we learned of the “the Oceanic six” who made it off the island, but were left to ponder the fate of those who clearly hadn’t gone with them. Did they die? Or were some still alive?

There was also the impending threat to the island’s inhabitants (both The Others and the survivors) by the rescue party put together by Charles Widmore (Alan Dale), in a bid to rediscover the island for his own ends.

Michael Emerson’s Ben continued to remain an enigmatic presence – sometimes downright cruel, occasionally sympathetic, but always one step ahead of events. And yet, the execution of his daughter in one episode provided yet another jaw-dropping example of how the writers weren’t afraid to pull the rug out from under you.

Likewise, an episode involving Daniel Dae Kim’s Jin and Yunjin Kim’s Sun also re-worked the flash-forward device to include a revelatory flashback that spelled bad news for the fate of one of the characters. It was a cruel device, perhaps, but one which meant there was no room for sentiment when it came to the fate of certain characters. And no one is safe!

Of the show’s main stars, Matthew Fox’s Jack benefited from both the flash-forward episodes that showed him becoming increasingly desperate for a return to the island, as well as the decision to make his character edgier and more volatile.

The revelation that Naveen Andrews’ Sayid becomes an assassin working for Ben to eliminate members of Widmore’s organisation is also intriguing, while the ongoing love triangle between Jack, Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) continued to be expanded in ever more eye-opening ways.

Terry O’Quinn’s Locke, meanwhile, remained a gripping, if increasingly unsympathetic character… especially in light of the cliffhanger ending surrounding his fate. While Jorge Garcia’s Hurley continued to provide the much-needed comic relief, as well as the suspicion that his character holds many of the answers.

There was even room for some surprise returns of past characters, such as Dominic Monaghan’s Charlie and – most notably – Harold Perrineau’s Michael Dawson.

To go into too many more specifics would be to give too much away for anyone awaiting the release of the box sets as a first chance of catching up with the latest events. But one thing’s for sure, you won’t be disappointed.

Lost is in better shape than ever as it enters its final two seasons, and it’s testament to the quality of the writing – and the commitment of its performers – that the arrival of a fifth season can’t come soon enough!

Editor’s note: There were only 14 episodes in this current series because of the writers’ strike, which affected the length of several popular imports. In Lost‘s case, however, it made for an extremely fast-moving series!

Certificate: 15
Episodes: 14
UK DVD Release: October 20, 2008