Lost Season 4 Review

This article is the third is a series reviewing the television show Lost.

  • Read the first review here.
  • Read the second review here.
  • Read the third review here.

This is the season where ABC started to lose people, and with good reason.  It seems that this is where some executives took over (this is also the season of the writers’ strike) and said, “Things are moving too slow.  Speed it up.  Make it exciting.”  And they did.  And it was.  Yet it was the worst season of Lost.  Which is why you shouldn’t trust executives.

The reason that it was the most exciting season and yet the worst is because of its predictability and its inability to identify the importance of itself.  What I mean is, the basic plot of season 4 is that some dudes with guns are trying to kill people.  We’ve seen it hundreds of times on hundreds of shows.  A lot of unimportant people get killed while a lot of named characters are miraculously unharmed (Claire, for, instance, survives a rocket launcher to the face).  To be honest, I’ve seen it so many times that much of season 4 is boring.  I anticipated the flashbacks – or, in this season, flash forwards – much more so than the current action of “big dude with a gun comin’ ta getcha!”

Red Shirt = expendable

Many of the characters die without a second glance. Rousseau, the highly-intriguing almost-native woman from the first season, dies from sniper fire; Michael, one of the most conflicted and self-righteous characters to ever hit television, dies in an explosion.  The show never goes back to explore how important these characters have been to the overall series; they die like a Red Shirt: no remorse, no consequences.

This leads us to the importance of the series itself: if they can’t identify how important the characters are, then they should at least be able to identify how important the writing is.  Half of the previous season dealt with Charlie’s death (proper attention was drawn to an important character in season 3, unlike the throwaway deaths of Michael, Rousseau, Alex, and possibly Jin), yet in season 4, they don’t mention it at all.  I think Boone, who died in season 1, gets more word-of-mouth than does Charlie in season 4.

To be fair, though, I can see why they did it.  The writers, by this point, have a clear vision of where the series is heading, and one of the cruxes of that heading is to relay to the audience that Ben isn’t necessarily a bad guy (in the classic Batman vs. Joker sense); he cares about the island first, then himself, then nothing else.  We have to see him sacrifice for the island.  We have to see that he knows much more than he lets on, and we have to see how manipulative he is in order for him to be the Bond Villain we all know he’s on par with.

I just wish the writers‘d thought of a better way to do it.  “Big guys with big guns” is a little over-played.

On the upside, they reveal Jacob to be a much bigger presence on the island, they show that the island has a far-reaching grasp, they show that the characters were definitely not supposed to leave, and they show that much of the island is older than we’d previously thought.

I think season 5 will be better.

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3 Responses

  1. ha! red shirts! love it!@

  2. […] the fourth review here. Lost Season 5 is the first real science fiction season. Up until this point, the show had flirted […]

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