Lost: Season 4 (2008)

DVD Cover (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 76%
Overall Rating
Ranked #217
...out of 13,981 movies
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Connections: Lost

The past, present, and future lives of surviving Oceanic Flight 815 passengers are dramatically intertwined as a fight for survival ensues in a quest for answers after crashlanding on a mysterious island. Each discovery prompts yet more secrets, as the hastily-formed colony search for a way off the island, or is this their home? --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: September 02, 2009
Observant readers may notice that I have been tearing through the Lost series at a record speed... I mean, I'm sitting here starting a review for the fourth season, and I just watched the first episode of the first season a little under three weeks ago. It's a little embarrassing how much time I will have dedicated to this show once I finish up the next season, but there's a reason for my addiction: the show is just damned good, regardless of what some of the uneducated animals out there may say. Now, it hasn't all been peaches and cream, as I thought that the previous season suffered from a huge drop in quality when compared to the two that came before it. I was a little worried about how well this one would play out after that, but I can safely say that my faith in the series has been restored.

Standard disclaimer: I'm going to be spoiling the shit out of the first three seasons, so if you're reading this without having seen those seasons for some ungodly reason, you may want to stop now. Also, while I won't be presenting any major spoilers for the fourth season in this review, I will be discussing some of the events that lay the groundwork for this season; after all, it would be sort of hard to talk about the season at hand without pointing out where the story goes.

So, about that boat at the end of last season. Remember how Charlie, in his dying moments, let Desmond know that it wasn't Penny's boat? Well, he was correct, but who these people actually are will remain a mystery until the final episodes of the season. What we do know is that there are conflicting reports as to their goals on this island: there are reasons to believe that they will help rescue the survivors once their mission is complete, and there are also hints that they plan on murdering everyone after said mission has been carried out. Regardless of what they do towards the end of their stay here, the first half of their mission is crystal clear: they must capture Ben. Ben, being the manipulative bastard that he is, convinces Locke to help him in order to protect the island, and it doesn't take long before the survivors are separated into two very different groups.

As we move through the episodes, we also see flash-forwards for each of the survivors. You see, instead of the flashbacks that we have come to know and love in previous seasons, we are treated to the opposite here: we skip ahead one or two years in the given person's life to see where they are at that point and what they are doing. Yes, some of them do get off the island, and the situations that they find themselves in later on in their lives is almost as exciting as what is taking place on the island. People die along the way (including some huge shockers), old friends return, new mysteries are uncovered, and as always, more secrets are revealed.

My biggest complaint from last season was that I just couldn't get behind the characters or the main storyline, as well as the fact that the show's producers ran that topic into the ground long after it had passed its peak. I didn't have a problem with the cast members themselves, and in fact, I thought that both Michael Emerson as Ben and Elizabeth Mitchell as Juliet brought a lot to the table. I just didn't like the material that they were working with, but thankfully, that is not the case here. The whole matter of the "other others" was downright riveting, and seeing the various groups of people interact with this potential threat... well, I made it through this season in record time, and that feat came courtesy of me not being able to quit watching once I started.

Some may gripe about the fact that the science fiction aspect of the show bubbles up to the top much more than it did in previous seasons. The show has always dabbled in this genre, but never to this degree; I don't want to spoil anything, but they take that genre and run with it this time around. Personally, I loved it and felt that it added a whole new spark to the show, and I also think that it was a damned fine way of wrapping up some of the loose ends that have come up over the course of the show. Some of you will disagree, but I personally can't say a single negative thing about it.

Another thing that I enjoyed about this season was that it answered a lot of the questions that had been brought up in earlier seasons. The show is bad about presenting us with shocking developments and never really following up on the "how" and "why" that drive said developments, but this season attempts to answer a fair chunk of them. It also brought up some new questions, but there were more answers than questions and I felt that the ratio worked a lot better here. Logically, I know that the filmmakers were creating these mysteries to keep viewers tuning in week after week without much thought given to how they would actually explain them, but I didn't like being reminded of it - this season didn't do that.

Overall, I think that the fourth season of Lost ranks right up there with the first two seasons, and I thought that those two were damned near perfect. This season features some of the strongest writing of the series, it finally delivers some answers to a handful of the nagging questions brought up in the previous seasons, there's a few instances of glorified fan service that brought a smile to my face, and it's just a damned entertaining time in front of the tube. Season three destroyed a good chunk of my interest in the show, but season four renewed it and then some. 9.5/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 09/08/2009, 03:34 PM
Fantastic season. On par with seasons 1 and 2, no doubt about it. In fact, I'd almost say it was the best season yet. It really felt like they were starting to get the series back on track and were thinking about finally wrapping it up. It was nice to finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. Can't wait to start season 5 tonight.

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