With season 4 Lost continues on it’s supposed (?) run to the end of the show, with the season focusing on characters actually getting off the island and how they cope with life post-island through flash-forwards. I say supposed because like I mentioned in my previous review, we still have a few seasons left and I don’t see them doing Lost just focused on them on the main land dealing with the fallout of everything (although, I’d love that in a way) and this is Lost where a more crazy idea or twist is right around the corner. Such, as it was teased throughout the season and how the show ends of Ben summoning Jack back to the island, along with his feelings of being drawn back there, it looks like through some means they’ll be back on the island.
Now ordinarily I’d think this kinda thing would be stupid, them getting off the island and then somehow getting back on, but how Lost has worked things over the past few seasons I think it works well enough. See, because I can never trust this damn show, with all its flash forwards, flashbacks, twists, multi-universes(?), time-travel and such, everything you see could totally not be real and you could easily see anything being reversed or up-ended by one small twist. So while I really liked that this season did flash forwards, instead of the flashbacks since they’re kind of moot at this point, it was hard for me to fully give myself in to the “Oceanic Six” off the island and dealing with everything as real, because I fully expected it was just a dream or something and the show was going to swerve that, I mean they very well could be, but this particular season kept it as real as possible and thus I am onboard for now that it’s happening. I’ve mentioned before that I really do like the idea of them off the island and being haunted by it and not being able to adapt and go back to their normal lives because of the lies they’ve told and what all they did and experienced on the island. Now, a fully show of this probably wouldn’t work and just enough of it in the flashbacks is perfect, but I really like how they show the island being an intrinsic part of these people, even when they’re supposedly gone. I realize that at the base of things it’s just a way to get them back on the island through whatever means, but I do like the psychological effects that they highlight with it.
This was the famous season disrupted by the writer’s strike, hence why it’s a good 8-10 episodes shorter than the previous seasons, but it never really suffers that outwardly from it. Seasons 1-3 were pretty long as it was, but never really felt too long or over-stuffed, so you might’ve though that since this season was so short it’d be all slam-bang and hitting the deck running, but I felt it was pretty laid back actually. The pace in the first half especially felt really slow, and a lot of the season felt just spinning its wheels until they got to the end where they got the people off the island, where the whole season was moving towards. I mean, literally the season was just an extended face/off between the island people (including Ben and Locke) against the people on the freighter that was stretched out this long, so I guess we’re lucky it wasn’t a longer season. The freighter people never really seemed like much of a threat and didn’t really seem like that cohesive of an addition to the show like the Others of Ben and Juliet were in the previous season. Also, this is just a guess, but it seemed like the writer’s strike might’ve spread thin the actor’s they could use or utilize, thus people like Ben, Locke and even Sawyer hardly felt like a presence this year and were seemingly used quite sparingly, and I think there was even an episode without Jack.
Coming off last season, to what I thought was heading right into what should be the end even with three seasons left, season 4 did a good job keeping that momentum and keeping things in a believable line. I wasn’t sure what they were going to do to stretch this so long, but it became clear that they were just going to stretch this island vs. freighter people duel for the entire season and thus were able to maintain the same trajectory of where the show was going in getting the people off the island. Now at the end of season 4 I’m in the same place I was at the end of season 3, wondering how they are going to keep this thing going with two more seasons left and them off the island now. This is where I get worried about them stretching things to far beyond the believability of the show, and yes I know I’m talking about Lost here, but it’s something that I don’t want them to be too distant from and not just begin to make things up that contradict earlier developments or just come out of left field with no story bearing that has been built up for all these seasons. I liked the subtle introduction of time travel into the show, which was just enough to the show where it wasn’t outlandish and seemed very believable within the realm of the show. I hope the final seasons prove me wrong and there’s still much more to be believably mined before a conclusion which seems like it realistically should’ve happened about five times by now, but here we are and here we go to see what this show has left, good and bad.