Reflections on LOST Season 4

Posted by on June 6, 2008 at 5:10 pm.

Now that LOST season 4 is over, here are some of my collected thoughts on the entirety of the latest season, and especially on the finale episodes.  As this will all be very spoiler-y, I will place the rest of this post below the fold.

Well hoo-dawgies that was a crazy episode!  Agreeing with Jay & Jack, I think while this season finale didn’t quite have the jaw-dropping wow factor that season 3’s finale had, but I think this one was a better-written episode.  My first thoughts in bulleted form are:

  • Yes, I was surprised that Locke was in the coffin.  I kept thinking it would be Ben.  It had to be a non-“Oceanic 6” person or else the funeral would have most likely been well-attended by at least the paparazzi.   How awesome is it that Ben walks in the room with Jack, surprising probably a majority of people.  I have a hunch, though, that Locke (“Jeremy Bentham“) might not be really dead: see the original “Orchid video” for the doubling effect (but is it a true doubling or just the same thing in a time shift?).
  • Speaking of Bentham, Jeremy Bentham was a philosopher of the utilitarianism bent who was influenced by–ehem–the philosopher John Locke.  (First time I heard of Bentham was in reading Hilary Putnam.)  It would be curious to see if Locke’s head in the casket was a wax one!
  • I’m absolutely incredibly happy that Desmond and Penny found each other!  That was probably my most favorite part of the whole episode.  Awesome, awesome.  I’ve always been a huge fan of Desmond, and especially after “The Constant” that has been solidified.  [I think “The Constant” is probably hands-down the best hour of TV I’ve ever seen on so many levels, but especially the sci-fi + romance level.  The fact that they were able to wed complex story-telling with a really good story about a troubled relationship in a compelling way is sick.]
  • I thought the fight scene between Keamy and Sayid was awesome.
  • I’m actually quite bummed that Michael died (see more below).
  • I actually don’t think Jin is dead.  My guess is that he got blown off the boat or jumped in the water just in time.
  • I have a feeling that Desmond and Ben will probably have a showdown at some point.  Some of the callers on this episode of the Jay & Jack show have suggested that when Ben told Jack that “everybody” has to return to the island, that “everybody” included Desmond.  Considering Desmond will not leave Penny’s side ever again, Penny would then have to accompany Desmond, and since we know Ben is now on a hunt to kill Widmore’s daughter Penny, maybe there will be a showdown there.  Continuing to think aloud, I’m not sure if that would work if, according to Ben’s announcement of the rules, Ben can’t ever return to the island if he moves it.  Self-debunking theories for sale!
  • Jennifer raises an excellent point: after Claire disappears, how on earth was Aaron getting fed?  My suggestion: Dharma formula?
  • I’m glad that a lot of questions were answered, but am of course not disappointed that more questions were raised.  How else would they get people to look forward to the start of the fifth season?

Here’s a couple of links:

This one comes from Popular Mechanics and it’s entitled “Physicist: Einstein Would Approve of Moving the Island on Lost.”  This stuff is nearly all over my head, but the final graph is interesting:

The Season Four finale also makes reference to the Casimir Effect. This is a well known phenomenon in quantum mechanics, and has been measured experimentally. The Casimir effect is a consequence of the fact that the vacuum contains energy. Some people speculate that one could draw on this vacuum energy for an unlimited supply. I don’t think so, but maybe I am wrong, and Ben has figured out a way to do that. I suspect that Ben, too, is a physicist—the one person who has figured out how to understand the connection between quantum theory and relativity, and to manipulate them—at least to some degree, just as he manipulates people. That’s why Charles Widmore is so anxious to capture Ben alive. Only Ben really understands the physics.

And this second link is an interview with Harold Perrineau.  Basically, Perrineau is pretty disappointed with the writer’s decision to bring Michael back only to have him killed off to (he guesses) satiate the fans’ bloodlust for killing Libby and Ana Lucia.  He would have wanted there to be at least some happy resolution between Michael and Walt.  Well, while it’s true that the writers can always bring a character back in some form in either ghost or flashback form, I too am disappointed by this writing decision.  I know not many people like Michael, but I warmed up to him after he and Jin became friends.  True, he died while saving a bunch of other people and clearly, that is noble, but still, I’m pretty bummed about that writing choice.

Some questions:

  • Claire?  Is she dead?  What’s up with her?
  • Locke: obviously, this is is everybody’s question as he showed up in the coffin.  What happened in between the future and the end of season 4?
  • Is Sawyer’s chest naturally hairless?
  • Do Sawyer and Juliette hook up?  If so how much more mad would Ben be? (“You’re mine!”)
  • So grown-up Walt is definitely back, but what will his continuing role be?  He clearly had a weird mystery about him that used to freak people out, but since leaving the island, that part of his story has mainly been dropped.
  • When they re-shot the future flash with bearded Jack, couldn’t they have made his beard look more convincing this time around?
  • What is up with Richard Alpert and his non-aging, eyeliner-wearing self?  What is his connection to Locke?  Will Locke ever remember that he met Alpert when he was younger?  One caller on the J&J show suggested that that meeting might have actually been in the future somehow.  That would explain why Alpert says to pick out what Locke “already” owns, but it sure doesn’t explain why he is (or appears) five years old.
  • Will the final episode of season six (before season 7 — the Zombie Season) have the remaining living characters dancing around and singing like Ewoks on the island, surrounded by all the ghosts of their friends a la Return of the Jedi?

Your thoughts?