Lost season four letdowns
Jack's appendicitis - Apart from bringing Jack and Kate closer together, I don't understand why this storyline was necessary. The flash-forwards ensured that Jack would survive his low-tech surgery, so there wasn't any tension there. It seemed like the only point of Jack's illness was to completely kill the Juliet-Jack relationship. Jack and Juliet's chemistry never worked for me. They shared two forgettable kisses, and then Jack basically blew her off after she saved his life. Still, Juliet deserved a better break-up, from both Jack and the writers.
Farewell, Rousseau - I had big hopes for Danielle Rousseau. She had been a mysterious figure on the island since the first season, and she's one of the few island characters that hasn't had (or appeared in) a flashback. I always assumed that the payoff of Rousseau's character would come later--some bizarre island secret or revealing detail about the Others. Imagine my surprise when Danielle was killed, along with that annoying Karl, in a brief scene at the end of "Meet Kevin Johnson," an episode that primarily focused on Michael's storyline. They didn't even give Rousseau the proper Lost send-off of a flashback followed by death. Less intriguing characters like Ana Lucia and Shannon had better exit episodes, for crying out loud!
Fewer episodes - This isn't the fault of anyone connected to Lost, but the diminished season had a noticeable impact on the show. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse admitted that they wanted to do an additional freighter folk-centric episode, but had to put those storylines off until next season. I would have liked to learn more about the freighter folks, especially since some of them are stuck on the island with the 815ers. Daniel is the only familiar face on the Zodiac raft (now adrift without the island or the freighter as a destination), and I hardly know anything about him. A little extra time with the freighties would have given me more reasons to care about them. The season's timeline also changed as a result of the missing episodes, and the finale was overflowing with plotlines. I love that Lindelof and Cuse fought to make the finale an hour longer, but I was mentally and emotionally drained after so many deaths, touching moments, and shocking scenes in one sitting.
What happened to the Others? - The Others took a back seat to the freighter drama in the first part of the season. Nestor Carbonell was away doing the now-canceled Cane, so we didn't see Richard Alpert until "Cabin Fever." I expected the Others to have a bigger presence after the first freighter group parachuted onto the island. These people were a major threat to their way of life, after all. They made up for their absence by doing away with the mercenaries, but why couldn't they have wiped them out sooner? Juliet had a weaker role in the island goings-on as well. "The Other Woman" was supposed to be a Juliet-centric episode, but served to make Ben's character more complex instead. You had to keep your eye on Juliet last season, because you never knew which side she was on. Now she's in the same boat as the other 815ers who simply want to be rescued. Will she become even less significant over the next two seasons?
Aaron is one of the Oceanic Six - I lost interest in Aaron a while ago. Nothing against Turniphead, but he was probably the last of the survivors that I wanted to see back on the mainland. He hasn't turned out to be special in the way that Season One led us to believe. I'm among the fans who took Malkin's warning seriously. Why weren't there consequences for Aaron being raised by another? Aaron's presence in Kate's flashback also caused some unnecessary confusion about the identities of the Oceanic Six. The tease in "Ji Yeon" was heartbreaking; for a moment I believed that Jin was safe. On the bright side, non-815ers like Desmond, Frank Lapidus, and Ben made it off the island. We might even get a glimpse of Locke (aka Jeremy Bentham) on the mainland in the future.
The "surprise" return of Michael - We all saw this twist coming, right? Ben dropped hints about his spy on the freighter several times, and most fans knew that Harold Perrineau was returning to Lost in some capacity. Lack of surprise aside, Michael's season four appearances weren't all that exciting. He told Sayid that he was there to die, and stayed true to his word in the finale. I understand Perrineau's frustration about being killed off so quickly. Michael's guilt over murdering Libby and Ana Lucia drove him to attempt suicide several times, and his moment of redemption was far too brief. When Christian Shephard dismissed him, Michael looked more confused than at peace. At least he didn't yell "Waaaaaalt!" before he died.
Check back soon for my Lost highlights post. For now, feel free to share some of your thoughts on how this season could have been better.