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We’ve just watched the Lost season four finale. I’ll write something a bit more later in the week, but from my point of view, it was a pretty good episode, certainly an improvement over the end of season three. Perhaps the only moment that didn’t surprise me which was intended to was the final big reveal of who was in the coffin we’d first seen in the season three finale – yes it has taken them an entire year to get that answer out – as I’d already guessed who it was going to be. Perhaps that’s one of the changes with season four, that at least some of the pieces are finally starting to fit together…
On the island we see one group of island inhabitants final realise that the ship isn’t there to rescue them, whilst the other group get caught in the crossfire as the mercenary team from the ship finally catch up with Ben, using his daughter as a bargaining chip. In the flash-forward we see Ben recruiting Sayid as a hitman, and what perhaps is the most important scene of the episode, where Ben and Charles Widmore come face to face for the first time on screen.
This episode is also significant because it shows Ben totally misjudging a situation resulting in the death of his daughter. He tries to persuade the mercenary team that his daughter does not matter to him, however the mercenaries, believing she has no value to them, just shoot her in cold blood. This does however reveal another secret, as despite his comments in the past that he doesn’t know anything about the smoke monster, he summons it up to destroy the mercenaries and allow himself and the others to make their escape.
However Ben blames Widmore for the death of his daughter, and results in Ben telling Widmore that he will kill Penelope in revenge. The key point to note at this point though is the growing friendship between Sayid and Desmond is almost certainly going to come into conflict with the relationship between Desmond and Penelope if Ben sends Sayid to do the work.
What the final scene does though, is finally seem to provide the beginnings of some answers over the island. Widmore clearly knows that Ben is the son of one of the janitors employed by the DHARMA initiative, and that he poisoned the DHARMA initiative people in order to take control for himself. Widmore claims that he owns the island, so the question is whether Widmore is ultimately behind the DHARMA initiative and the Hanso Foundation is trying to regain control of the island from Ben. I’m sure it won’t be quite that simple, and quite likely the passengers on Oceanic 815 will probably be more involved that just bystanders caught in the cross-fire. Certainly it does seem that having given the writing team a definite end date, after several seasons of more and more questions, we do seem to be moving towards some answers!
So we’ve just finished watching the season 3 finale of Lost, Through the Looking Glass, and to be honest I’m vaguely uninspired by the whole episode. Certainly I’m left wondering quite what they are going to do to fill the remaining 48 episodes, and getting the definite thought that after questions early on in series 3 as to whether it had, I may have just seen the moment when the series has well and truly jumped the shark…
Partly I think it’s because I thought at the point in the pre-credit sequence where Jack was about to jump off the bridge that this was maybe a flash-forward, events occuring after they had been rescued and Jack couldn’t cope, indeed I was half-expecting them to actually have him jump. When the car crash occurs and he doesn’t I put that to one side, but then once Jack on the island manages to get the phone working, and you then see the flash back/flash forward Jack surrounded by maps, I’d pretty well concluded that this wasn’t a flashback. The thought that maybe it was some sort of parallel reality briefly occurred, but then he meets Kate and it seems certain it is a flash forward. Having said that, the title of the episode is apparently very much an allusion to the Lewis Carroll novel of the same name.
The other part of it though is that in much the same way that the later X-Files episodes disappeared under a conspiracy that was so convoluted as to be totally unbelievable, Lost seems to be very much going the same way.
It has to be said though, that after last weeks episode, things were looking quite promising, we had finally found out what was on the other end of the mysterious cable, and Charlie and Desmond are heading down to investigate. At the conclusion Charlie had discovered that the apparently deserted station in fact had two occupants. Following on from that, in the early part of the episode tonight it was fairly obvious that things were starting to get pretty uncomfortable for Ben, with various of his people starting to question his decisions.
However, later on in the episode things start to go a bit pear shaped. We have some apparent resurrections. Firstly, Locke wakes up, having been shot by Ben a couple of episodes ago. He then sees what looks like Walt – someone we last saw heading off on a boat with his father. My thought is that this is a vision of some sort, but equally if what has been revealed previously about the crashed Oceanic 815 having been found, having Walt and Michael reappear would pose a big question, so it could well be Walt brought back. To some extent I had been expecting Locke not to be dead, as one of the core themes of the series is the tension between faith and science represented by Locke and Jack.
However we also had Mikhail come back from the dead having been shot with a harpoon gun by Desmond, in order to apparently kill of Charlie. What is bizarre about the whole sequence is that it comes across as Charlie killing himself. He sees Mikhail outside the window with the grenade after he has shut off the jamming signal and picked up a transmission from Penny, who is nothing to do with the boat off the coast, knows nothing about the island, but somehow has a transmission connected to the island. Having seen what Mikhail is about to do, he then runs to the door and locks himself inside – the simple question is why? He has the time to get to the door, and can easily step through and close it, but instead he locks himself in, it just makes no sense, and ultimately left me feeling that killing him off was just a pointless exercise. Indeed I’m half expecting to have him resurrected come next season, especially as he’s died once already anyway.
There is one more apparent resurrection, Jack’s father Christian. It has previously been established that Jack was bringing his father’s body home when the plane crashed. However early on we also saw his father walking around on the island. In the flash forward at one point Jack is arguing with another doctor in the hospital, and demands that his father is brought down. Could it be that Jack is so totally drugged up on Oxycodone that he doesn’t remember that his father is actually dead, or did the island resurrect his father also?
So where does the series go from here? The last scene we saw on the island, before the big reveal of the flash forward was Jack talking to the boat off shore. Both Ben and Locke have told Jack not to make the call, Ben even warning that everyone will die if he does so, but he makes the call anyway, getting an answer from someone who says they will be there to collect them.
The flash forwards seem to imply that Jack regrets being rescued and wants to get back to the island, and we’re clearly meant to think that he regrets having made the call in some way. However equally they’ve got another 48 episodes to fill, so I’m expecting that either Ben and Locke are right and season four becomes the survivors and the others having to work together against a common enemy, or maybe that we’ll see Jack trying to get back to the island, or events after the rescue.
There are a number of questions thrown up by the flash forward. At the opening of the episode Jack sees a notice in the newspaper, and goes and visits a funeral home with somebody who he tells the attendant is neither a friend or family – however we never find out who it is. In the final scene with Kate he shows her the notice, and she responds angrily asking â€œWhy would I go?â€?. She also says that she can’t stay long as â€œHe’ll wonder where I am.â€? You are never told either who Kate is with, or whose funeral it is.
So much as it has done for a while, the final episode actually generated a lot more questions whilst answering no major questions at all. Last season, the finale did at least give some answers, but many of the questions it posed, such as the Portuguese team at the south pole, and the whole Penny plotline seem to have largely been forgotten. I don’t doubt I’ll probably watch the first episodes of season 4 – however quite how much longer I will keep watching will depend on the evidence that the show has got back on track – sadly for such a promising start, the series does seem now to have jumped the shark…