“We’re never going back.”
Thursdays on ABC, 9/8 C. Created by J.J. Abrams, Produced by Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof, starring Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Naveen Andrews, Henry Ian Cusick, Jeremy Davies, Emilie de Ravin, Michael Emerson, Jorge Garcia, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Ken Leung, Elizabeth Mitchell, Terry O’Quinn & Harold Perrineau.
All Seasons streaming in HD for FREE on ABC.com.
It is virtually impossible to write a spoiler-free review of Lost, but I will attempt to write what’s probably the closest one ever. So much of the appeal of Lost is in the mysteries and mythology of the show, and how they unravel the mysteries and the dozens of clues in each episode, it ruins it to really reveal anything, especially 3 seasons in.
In taking full advantage of the Internet age, Lost is unlike anything that came before it (there have been many imitators since) and still does it better than any other show. With all the online tie-ins and the massive websites devoted to the clues and theories, Lost is a fully viewer-interactive experience, but importantly, the show stands alone, as well. You decide your involvement. While I’m usually content to just watch the show, I definitely have wasted time at some of the theory and analysis sites. But because I’m allergic to spoilers, I tend to stay away.
The excellent first four episodes of Season 4 has left off where the 2nd half of Season 3 started — bringing Lost back to the thrilling, heart-pounding, exciting show it was before the lull that encompassed the first half of the 3rd season. By setting an end-date (only 44 more episodes), they have been able to propel the story forward instead of having placeholder episodes. In the midst of all the forward momentum, the writers have become the masters of revealing answers by creating even more questions. And unlike the king of the anticlimax, Heroes (which has ripped its marketing strategies straight from the Lost playbook) when everything builds up, there have been some awesome and satisfying climaxes and conclusions. The game-changing twist at the end of season 3 has paid off in spades so far this season and will go down as one of the classic moments in TV history.
One of the flaws of Lost is that sometimes with its enormous cast (just see above for the list of regulars…and there are about 6-7 regularly recurring guest stars) many of them get lost in the shuffle. One of the major problems of Season 3 was that the first 6 episodes or so featured almost no screen time for 80% of the cast, including many of the more interesting characters. So far this season, they’ve done a good job giving everyone screen time (except for the Koreans, who are nowhere to be seen), but it remains an issue. Another of the major problems in Season 3 was the addition of the two worst characters ever on Lost, Nikki & Paolo, but this season’s new characters all have shown a lot of promise. Jeremy Davies is perfect for his role, Ken Leung has brought a manic energy in his part of as a new antagonist, and Lance Reddick (Daniels from The Wire) is always great.
In developing the Jack v. Locke dynamic that has existed since Season 1, and taking it to its logical place, the show has become even more interesting. This season, more than ever, has blurred the lines between heroes and villains, a theme that has always run rampant through the show’s run. But honestly, I’ve be hard pressed to tell you who the good guys and bad guys are, especially as Michael Emerson continues to give the best performance on TV as Ben, the ultimate in ambiguity. Seriously, though, Emerson is stunningly good in every scene and since his introduction in season 2, has absolutely stolen the show.
If you haven’t ever watched the show, I implore you — do not start in the middle. Everyone I know who watches a random episode with no context either doesn’t understand it or absolutely hates it. If you tune in and randomly see Jack, ostensibly the hero, being irrational and un-hero like, it doesn’t make sense unless you understand his character arc. You also won’t appreciate all the ridiculous tie-ins and planning from the earlier seasons that show up in later seasons.
All the episodes can be watched online, for free. Start from the beginning — watch it from Season 1. It’s worth it.