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October 9, 2015

Lost season four highlights

by Erin Martell, posted Jun 6th 2008 10:22AM
Michael EmersonWe've already discussed some of this season's letdowns, and now it's time for the good stuff. Even the pickiest Lost fan must acknowledge that season four was phenomenal. A lot of things could have gone wrong this season. The writers had to incorporate an entirely new timeline into the show, deal with strike-related delays, and ease another group of characters into a huge ensemble cast.

Instead of falling short of expectations, this season surpassed them. I probably could have devoted separate posts to each of the following highlights. As usual, please share your own praise for this season of Lost in the comments section. I didn't come close to covering everything that made this season incredible.

Following through with the game-changer - If you had told me a few seasons ago that most of the show's original characters would leave their fellow survivors behind and reach civilization, I wouldn't have believed it. Lost began as a drama about plane crash survivors on a mysterious island. Taking them off the island wouldn't make any sense. How could the writers shift the timeline into the future halfway through the series? Somehow, Lost became even better once the flash-forwards were introduced. Most of the latest flashbacks told us things that we already knew--Hurley was unlucky, Locke had a horrible life before the crash, and everyone had father issues. The flash-forwards were a brilliant way of changing our perceptions of each character. Jack went from a leader to an unstable drug addict, Kate became a law-abiding mother, and Sayid became Ben's hired assassin. I have no doubt that television writers will look to this season as a model for successfully transforming a show.

Michael Emerson - Is there anything that this man can't do? This season, Michael Emerson managed to add several dimensions to his character--a convincing action hero, a grieving father, and even a lovesick stalker. His performance in "The Shape of Things to Come" alone should earn him a boatload of awards. Ben wasn't the same person after Alex's murder, and Emerson's performance brought those differences to life. The cold, calculating Ben is gone forever. Until he gets his revenge, he'll continue to be swayed by his emotions. I'm eager to see what Emerson does with his role in the next two seasons.

Male bonding - Even with all of the drama this season, the writers found time for some lighter, touching moments. Hurley and Sawyer became roommates at the Barracks and spent their afternoons playing Risk with Locke. This unlikely friendship nearly turned into a bro-mance by the end of the season. Hurley also became snack buddies with Ben. He really does bring out the good in people, doesn't he? I was shocked when Ben gave Locke a (seemingly) sincere apology for his part in Locke's unhappy life. Last season, a desperate Ben shot Locke and left him for dead rather than tell him the island's secrets. In their final scene together, Ben almost appeared to respect Locke when he handed off leadership duties to John. Moments like these demonstrate that all types of relationships matter on Lost, not just the romantic ones.

Strong performances from the freighter folk - In my letdowns post, I complained that we didn't get enough time with the freighter folk. I wouldn't have wanted more from these characters if they hadn't intrigued me. Ken Leung, Jeff Fahey, and Kevin Durand were particularly fun to watch. We all know that Widmore's the big bad, but Keamy became the face of evil on the island in his stead. Frank Lapidus was the only member of the freighter team that I ever trusted, and his connection to Flight 815 was an unexpected twist. Miles' ability to speak to the dead and see through the lies of the living will continue to be valuable. I also expect him to take over Sawyer's role as the island wise-ass now that Sawyer is set to become the new leader of the 815ers.

Desmond and Penny's relationship - There isn't enough gushing in the world to do justice to this season's development of Desmond and Penny's love story. In my mind, "The Constant" is tied with "The Shape of Things to Come" for best episode of the season (and possibly of the series). Penny and Desmond's reunion was the high point of the finale, and I was pleased that the writers brought them together so soon. Unfortunately, their happiness won't last. Ben plans to take his revenge on Widmore by killing Penny, which puts both Penny and Desmond in danger. My heart will break if something terrible happens to them, but we'll always have Season Four.

Sun rocks - The viewers who once complained that Sun and Jin were boring have (hopefully) been silenced. Jin's fate was one of the biggest cliffhangers in the season finale, and Sun has become the Oceanic Six member to watch. Her grief turned her into a strong, mysterious woman back on the mainland. She's sticking it to her father, holding a major grudge against Jack, and forming an alliance with Charles Widmore in the future. She's come a long way from breaking a glass figurine and learning English in secret. Like Ben, loss has influenced Sun's motives and moral code. She's capable of anything now.

What did you love about this season?

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The most facinating part of season four has been the thinning of the lines between "enemies" and "friends". The final has Kate helping Ben, setting him free; Locke and Ben working together at the Orcid, etc. I think this is aan important storyline, as it mimics life's greatest lessons...what makes a friend or foe is often so indistinguisable, never black and white.
I hope the writers have studied Joseph Campbell's work on group mythology...the history of what carries stories through time, as this series can easily become the most imcredible modern mythology, or end up all about guns and fighting with a blunt, meaningless and typical ending. They are on the right track: planes are a modern miracle, yet scary to many, as is isolation from civilization. So to is the focus on births, deaths, and marriages/love within the series. If they loose this focus, then it will quickly loose emotion.

Please forgive my typos and spelling errors!

June 18 2008 at 3:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with pretty much all of the post. Re: desmond/penny. They were SO SWEET and it's a shame that they probably won't end up together forever, but here's to hoping.

I also wish we'd found out about Daniel. I LOVE Daniel and can't wait to see what he's up to next season.

June 11 2008 at 6:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jin is not dead, he jumped off the boat before it exploded. he will be rescued by daniel and then they will be rescued or find land.

June 06 2008 at 11:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Even though I completely love Lost. The award for being the role model on how to change a show has to go to Alias. Alias had major season to season changes with characters weaving from the good to the bad side. They also did the time jumps that Lost has made so popular. But enough of that, the most powerful moment of this season was the death of Alex, I really didn't see it coming. I thought somehow she would be safe. And Bens reaction to it was indeed true to his character and M. Emerson made the pain look real. The second most powerful being the Desmond, Penny phone call and reunion. Leave it to Lost to be smart enough to have the two most powerful and heartwrenching moments intertwined in a storyline that we know will bring more big moments in their inevitable conclusion.

June 06 2008 at 8:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Michael Emerson totally won me over this season. He's quite amazing. I know many hate the donkey wheel, but the look on his face, the emotion, the depth when he was pushing it just made it one of my favorite acting moments on the show. He was just amazing in the finale, amazing enough to take home the emmy.

The more I've thought about it, the more I've wondered if Sun is doing the bidding of Ben by getting in touch with Widmore. Widmore might be part of Ben's master plan to get back to the island. I just think there's more there than we know yet...

June 06 2008 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All I can say is that season 4, and therefore Lost itself, turned out to be much more interesting than simply being about a bunch of people marooned on the island.

With two seasons to go and so much set-up already, the remaining episodes are going to make Lost into one of the best dramas ever. Kind of like "The Fugitive" was for the 1960's.

June 06 2008 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. S

When I was watching the finale it really felt like I was watching a completely different show from the one that we started watching four years ago. It almost feels like a spinoff, which just shows how brilliant the writing really is!

I do wish that we could have learned a bit more about Daniel Farraday. I really felt the introduction of his character was a high point of the season as well. The character was one of the more interesting to come along in a while and holds a great deal of mystery.

The "Cabin Fever" episode was also great, specifically the scenes in which we learned that Alpert was involved in Locke's life from a VERY early age (i.e. his birth). The Alpert character holds the key to a lot of the islands mysteries and I really look forward to learning more about it in the next two seasons.

June 06 2008 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a great season, and "The Constant" was probably my favorite Lost episode of all the seasons.

June 06 2008 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I definitely agree that Sun is mad at her father and Ben, rather than Jack. Why else would she team up with Widmore who wants to get rid of Ben?

June 06 2008 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why does everyone think Jack is the other person Sun blames. Why could it not be Ben. Jack thinks Sun blames him. In the helicopter, Jack said, " We can't go back." not, we are Not going back. If anything, Frank would be to blame or whoever was responsible for blowing up the boat. Which could still be Widmore. We don't know. I think we are being led to believe it is Jack. I don't think it is.
The producers have said that next season will be about returning to the island. It will be interesting to see how they incorporate the island storylines with the off island storylines and a 3 year jump.

June 06 2008 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
6 replies to Jere's comment

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