And I don’t just mean back on the air. After the awesome ‘second-half’ of season 3, we were left wondering whether the LOST writers could keep up the great storytelling going into ‘the end is in sight’ season 4. We needn’t have worried. The premier episode ‘The Beginning of the End’ picked up right where ‘Through the Looking Glass’ left off, both in terms of time (no time has past) and story (still as engrossing as ever).
First off, the obligatory ‘flash’ section is a flash foward, but how far forward we don’t find out until later. I think it was Lindeloff who described the story of LOST as a mosaic, with each episode and ‘flash’ sequence adding a piece to the picture. Now that we have flash forwards, we can see the genius of this strategy. With each ‘flash’, we’ve learned how the survivors came to be who they are, and now we’re seeing what they became, all the while keeping the main mysteries cloaked in uncertainty. The writers have found a way to tell a linear story in a non-linear manner, while giving us just enough to keep us going.
Not only was the writing stellar in this episode (snarktastic Ben was a highlight), but Jorge Garcia’s Hurley was the star. We see Hurley trying to come to grips with Charlie’s death on island, and we feel his grief and despair. Combine that with the island apparently taking an interest in Hurley makes his choosing between Ben and Jack bittersweet, poignent and powerful. His speech detailing his reasons was strong and moving. Contrast that with Hurley’s apparent descent back into mental instability in the future flash and we see Hurley grappling with possibly making a wrong decision back on the island and we see just how much Garcia has become Hurley. But of course, the writers give us even more questions, chiefly, just what are those who were rescued hiding? And if Hurley is hallucinating, how is it that others can see his hallucinations? Terrific stuff. I can’t wait to find out the answers.
The only thing I had an issue with was the whole ‘would be rescuer’ Naomi sub-plot. I found it very contrived that she would be able, after being knifed in the back and lying on the ground, to get up unnoticed, run off into the woods, lay a fake trail for Jack to follow, double back, climb a tree and lay in wait for Kate, then drop onto Kate and wrestle with her for the satellite phone. (As an aside, what is it with Kate wrestling other women? First Juliette, now Naomi. I’m not complaining mind you, just wondering.) This whole thread was there for the sole purpose of Naomi resetting the sat phone to a clear channel for the ‘rescuers’ to home in on. Afterwards, she conveniently dies. Again. Possibly. I didn’t buy it.
Still, that was a minor thread in this Hurly-icious episode. If you’ve been wondering if LOST is worth coming back to, I say ‘Yes!’ Get thee to Netflix or iTunes and catch up.
LOST is back.