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Lost: Season 4 - There's No Place Like Home (2 & 3) (Season finale review)

Sun (Yunjin Kim)

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from our favourite television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the latest episode of Lost: Season 4 entitled There’s No Place Like Home (2 & 3).

What’s the story? As the survivors finally confront the freighter mercenaries, they also find themselves facing a desperate race against time to protect their future. Locke (Terry O’Quinn), meanwhile, must accept his destiny as Ben’s successor. And Sun (Yunjin Kim) must cope with a terrible tragedy. In the future, meanwhile, the Oceanic Six continue to struggle with the repercussions of their arrival back in the world… and what it meant for the people they left behind.

Why so good? We were promised answers… and boy did we get them. And a lot more questions too. The final two hours of season four confirmed that Lost has recovered its position as one of the leading programmes on television at the moment. It’s exciting, thought-provoking, confusing, gripping, emotional and – above all – unpredictable. There were shocks, revelations and some truly mind-spinning possibilities that left us gasping for breath and praying for the quick return of season five. And that’s not bad for a show that, according to some, had jumped the shark as early as season two!

Digging a little deeper: After the mind-bending flash-forward shock ending of Lost‘s third season, the show’s writers were always going to have to pull out something special to match or even surpass it. They did just that.

Season three – as you recall – ended with a bearded, drug-addicted Jack (Matthew Fox) attending a funeral parlour and standing over a coffin, before meeting Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and suggesting that they needed to go back to the island.

Up until the final two epsidoes, season four had never returned to that point. We’d seen Jack and Kate attempting to make a life together but had never been sure when Jack’s beard came into play. Well, it seems he grew it after their relationship failed.

During that same period, Hurley (Jorge Garcia) had been institutionalised, Sun (Yunjin Kim) had taken over her father’s business, and Sayid (Naveen Andrews) was working as an assassin for Ben (Michael Emerson).

During the course of There’s No Place Like Home, Sayid visited Hurley and convinced him that they needed to return to the island. In a wonderfully cryptic aside, Hurley then finished the game of chess he’d apparently been playing by himself with the thrilling line: “Cheque mate, Mr Eko.” Could this pave the way for a return of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s character, who had apparently been killed on the island by the black smoke? Possibly.. given that Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) has already re-appeared in a past episode, as has Jack’s father.

Kate, though, remained reluctant to follow Jack, especially since she’d been visited by Claire (Emilie de Ravin) in a dream sequence and warned not to take her child back to the island.

Ben, meanwhile, met Jack back at the funeral parlour to inform him that all six had to return if they were to be allowed back on the island. He also informed him that some very bad things had happened to the people left behind since their departure. Just what that means will surely be part of the focus of season five… won’t it?

Oh, and the coffin… I’d put my money on the body belonging to Sawyer (Josh Holloway), given Kate’s refusal to go pay her respects. So, imagine my surprise when the body belonged to Locke (Terry O’Quinn), a character who – to all intents and purposes – had never intended to leave the island. Why had he done so? And how had he ‘died’? It’s worth noting, too, that Locke’s body is among those that must be returned to the island with the Oceanic Six.

With us so far? Well, that was merely the tip of the iceberg for the final two episodes. SO much happened, in fact, that you could have wrapped up a dozen series given the jaw-dropping events that took place throughout.

Further shocks came in the form of the apparent ‘death’ of Daniel Dae Kim’s Jin as he was left stranded aboard an exploding freighter. We knew he hadn’t made it off the island, but his demise arrived quicker than we thought… and was a suitably emotional highpoint as his pregnant wife, Sun, was forced to watch from a helicopter desperately trying to make its own way off the stricken vessel. The optimist inside me hopes that he jumped to safety, but Lost being Lost who knows… certainly, these were two characters who deserved a happy ending more than anyone in the show – but whose chances of gaining one now seem remote.

Then there was the “moving” of the island, using a device located in the orchid research lab within the depths of the island. Ben performed the task just as the Oceanic Six were returning in a helicopter from the stricken ferry. It just disappeared, though, before they could land (prompting another exciting sequence as they crash-landed into the ocean).

Where has the island gone? And what impact did the move have on those still stranded on it? Are we about to gain some understanding of the time-travel possibilities first explored in the mind-spinning episode, The Constant

In amongst all this mayhem there were still more questions to ponder. What happened to Michael Dawson (Harold Perrineau Jr.), last seen struggling to defuse the bomb on the freighter, and being told to leave by Jack’s late father. Did he make it off the boat? Probably, given that the island apparently won’t let him die.

And did Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies) make it back to the island, having been last seen ferrying another batch of survivors to the doomed rescue vessel? Or is he stranded at sea (possibly able to pick up Jin?)…

Why, too, had Sun tracked Charles Widmore (Alan Dale) down to London and apparently offered to help him in the search for the island, in another flash forward sequence in the future? Is she merely deceiving him to gain revenge for the death of her husband?

Will Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) and Penny (Sonya Walger) be allowed to live happily ever after, now that they’ve been reunited? Or will Ben, as he promised Charles Widmore, track her down and kill her?

Such mouthwatering possibilities… Such intrigue… Such confusion! We can’t wait for the arrival of season five and still more questions and answers.

As you may have guessed, we’re really big fans of Lost right now, given its ability to dazzle and keep us on our toes. Perhaps it’s the reassurance that an ending is in sight that prevents us from thinking the writers are making it up as they go along. Or perhaps the writing has improved so much since the dark days of season two. But certainly, Lost has proved the doubters wrong to re-emerge as one of the finest shows on television.

The season four finale, meanwhile, will be fondly remembered as a final two hours that had everything. We laughed, we cried, we were exhilarated and surprised. And, above all else, we were left screaming out for more…

What did you think?