Rewatching season 4 was such a treat, this is when the writers really upped the ante after the major cliffhanger that was Jack shouting 'we've got to go back'. This is when the end date had been set and you can tell by the purposeful way in which this season begins and that the first episode is also called 'The beginning of the end', I could easily write a page and half on this opener alone but I will try and condense the season in to a series of smaller remarks.
- The Oceanic 6: This was introduced in the season premiere when in Hurley's flash forward he shouts this when he is being arrested. The first mystery of the season was set up in this opener, with the audience already knowing that Kate and Jack were part of this group, but who are the other 3? As the season progressed we found out that these other 3 are Sun, Sayid and Aaron. There was some trickery in the Sun/Jin episode when it appeared that they had both successfully got off the island, until the reveal that Jin's portion was a flashback in the traditional Lost sense and that at the end of Sun's flash forward she visits Jin's grave. What this story device allowed for was much speculation as to how it was just these 6 that got off the island, for example what happened to Claire, how was it these 6 when Hurley spent most of the season with the Locke group? The addition of flash forwards rejuvenated the format of the show and made each episode much more than which character was going to have a flashback this week.
- Another idea initiated in the season opener was the split of the group, those who went with Locke and those who went with Jack. This spilt was further heightened when in the flash forward Hurley says to Jack that he should never have gone with Locke, though now I am still not sure what event caused him to say this (am I being completely dumb?).
- As well as the group split a further change happened with the introduction of the freighter folk; Miles, Charlotte, Daniel and Lapidus who all had different motivations for coming to the island, none of which involved rescuing Losties. The addition of these four characters along with the change in format was another welcome addition to the show, though it is a shame that due to the writers strike these characters were not fleshed out in this season as much as they were going to be.
- Out of the four it is Daniel Faraday that to me was the most interesting, partly because of his knowledge of quantum physics and how things on the island work better but also due to the mysteries surrounding him, why was he crying at the Oceanic 815 crash site news footage? Why is his memory inconsistent. Faraday is also key to the episode 'The Constant' which is one of my favourite episodes in the Lost canon and it is always a pleasure to rewatch this (much kudos to the editing team). The concept of this episode was different from anything they had tried before though because we had experienced a Desmond episode that had played with notions of time, place and conciousness before it made sense that it was happening to Desmond again, this also further lays the ground work that Desmond is different. However the best thing about this episode is the emotional aspect of the story when Desmond realises that Penny is his constant and that he must get in contact with her. The anticipation when the phone is ringing, even when I know what the outcome is still resonates and this scene still gets me misty eyed after multiple views. The revelation the Desmond is Daniels constant at the end of the episode was the classic Lost way to end it, the emotional followed by the huh?
- The return of Michael in season 4 was much publicised so when Ben said he had a spy on the freighter it was always clear that it was going to be him. 'Meet Kevin Johnson' which chronicled Michael's downward spiral since he left the island allowed for a brief appearance from Libby, the action that got him and Walt off the island still haunting him, explaining why he was so hell bent on suicide. It also allowed for the appearance of another recently deceased Other in the form of Tom who in this flashback was happily alive, enjoying his off island time with his boyfriend that had been hinted at in the past (Lost's first and only gay character so far). This episode possibly explained why Jack had not jumped off the bridge in the season 3 finale as the island was not done with him either. Michael's return was set up for his death that would save some but not all, and his actions allowed for the principal characters to get off the freighter before it blew up.
- It is ambiguous as to whether Jin survived this blast, he looked like he was at the end of the boat when it blew up and we had previously seen his grave stone, though even before seeing season 5 I was convinced that he had survived. This does not take away from the gut wrenching screams from Sun when she thinks her husband is dead, like the Penny/Desmond phone call this scene gets to me every time even when I know the outcome.
- The resolution to the death of Charlie at the start of the season was handled well, first with the sight of Hurley canon balling in to the sea looking at peace and happy to the immediate change in emotional state of this character when he sees Desmond returning alone. when the group is reunited at the cock pit of the plane and the significance of this not being lost on Kate and Jack when they reminisce back to events that occurred in the pilot of the series with Charlie. My favourite Charlie related moment in this episode is when in the flash forward of Hurley back in mental hospital Charlie appears to him telling him that he has to go back, that 'they need you' and that he 'is dead but I am still here'. This plays with the idea that the dead do appear to the Losties but also because we have seen Hurley see people who are not there prior to the island it is hard to know which camp Charlie falls in to. Hurley refers to seeing Charlie to Jack and that he asked to give him the message that 'you're not suppose to raise him' and that he will be getting a visitor himself soon which turns out to be his father Christian.
- Christian becomes important further in the story of Claire when he takes her away willingly whilst Sawyer and Miles sleep, though at this point there is debate as to whether she is dead after the house she was in exploded and Miles makes some cryptic remarks to this point. We still don't know what happened to Claire as she is absent for season 5, this is one resolution in season 6 that I am really looking forward to. Regarding Claire, Jack also finds out at his fathers funereal that he is Claire's half brother making him Aaron's Uncle. This is made all the more bizarre as Kate is pretending that Aaron is her child.
- One of the more heartbreaking scenes from this season is the execution of Alex, which is something that I really did not expect to happen, in this we are in the position of Ben, certain that this is a bluff and won't happen, hence his callous remarks saying that she was a pawn and that he never loved her any way. This back fires, Keamy shows no mercy shooting her, which makes his death in the finale all the more satisfying for both Ben and the audience. Ben is not a figure who commands much sympathy yet here it is in abundance. Rousseau and Karl are also unfortunate casualties in this sequence of events.
- The heritage of Locke is revealed and how there were many missed opportunities for him to go to the island. In this we also see the never ageing Richard Alpert along this journey, who is he really and why does he never change age? My money is on someone from the Black Rock and I would say that this is in my personal top 5 Lost mysteries that I want to be solved.
- Further observations: Sayid ends up working for Ben post island after Nadia is killed, remains bad ass whilst doing so. Gets involved with a girl who he ends up shooting, he really has no luck in love.
- Widmore and Ben go back a long time, do not like each other but for some reason aren't allowed to kill each other. After Alex's death Ben vows to kill Penny, I am not happy about this, neither will Desmond be.
- Penny and Desmond are reunited in person after her actual ship and 'Not Penny's Boat' rescues the folk who were on the helicopter, best reunion in TV history?!
- Jack and Kate are a bad couple, get engaged, he ends up drinking in to oblivion, getting addicted to pain killers, gets jealous and grows a bad beard.
- Kate does not get sent to prison because she was a hero after their plane crashed in to the sea- Jack lies a lot on the stand.
- After all of his disagreements with Locke, Jack actually does what he asks and lies to protect the island and those he left behind.
- Sawyer remains awesome, ditching the helicopter so they can make it to the freighter, taking on Keamy and his men when 'New Othertown' is ambushed. This scene also gets rid of several red shirts.
- Ben can call the smoke monster but not control it.
- Ben turns the frozen donkey wheel moving the island and lands in Tunisia. This sentence really would not make sense to anyone who does not watch this show.
- The Oceanic 6 claim that there was 8 of them alive when they crashed, the other 3 being Boone, Charlie and Libby.
- Miles is officially my favourite ghost whisperer.
- Oh and importantly Locke is in the coffin, and everyone has to go back 'all of them, including him'.
To season 5...
All photos courtesy of Lost-Media
All photos courtesy of Lost-Media