This final episode of Season Four of Lost was quite the emotional rollercoaster ride with death and romance, action adventure, and plenty of mystery all rolled into the epic two hours. The episode didn’t pull any punches. It re-established a series of questions the show has been asking and followed through with the answers including one of the really big ones; who was in the casket. It appears the question of Jin’s fate has been answered as well but this is Lost, so things could still change for him next season.
Something that happens fairly regularly on Lost is that the cast gets split up into small splinter groups at various locations on and off the island for an episode or two – then they are finally brought back together. When they come back together is often when the proverbial stuff hits the fan. This episode sees the cast coming together again with Jack and Sawyer catching up to Hurley and Locke being the most important reuniting. There’s a bit of tension between Jack and Hurley at this point, mostly due to Hurley’s guilt over choosing to join Locke’s team over sticking with Jack. Hurley was forced in a way to stick with Locke though, so the guilt shouldn’t be an issue, but it is.
After a quick rescue by Kate, Sayid, and the Other,s Ben returns to Locke at the Orchid station and the full extent of Ben’s plans begin to unfold. The controversial moving of the island came off excellently. That decision by the writers takes the series into a bit more science fiction territory than the series had previously ever been but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue for fans outside the genre because the movement was as much a plot tool as anything else and we aren’t likely to see it again. Also worth mentioning is the fight between Sayid and Keamy. When a character has to leave that has been on the show for a while, it is only fitting that the character get a memorable exit. While this scene, the beginning of the end for Keamy, was no “Charlie style” exodus, it was the best fight ever on the series and it further cemented just how badass Sayid is.
The mystery, the questions Lost asks, is the gimmick of the series, but the glue that holds it all together is the characters and their relationships. Lost is deftly able to make these relationships grounded and realistic and moving without falling to far into melodrama, something that occurs a bit too often with the relationships on Battlestar Galactica. Ye,s there were those six filler episodes that nearly destroyed the series that were coated in melodrama last year but it’s better to just block those network influenced episodes out. Sun is always able to pull from real emotion making her scenes moving and the chemistry between Penelope and Desmond is also quite effective. Finally, the back and forth between Kate and Jack is well done too, particularly in the flash forwards. These relationships all evolve and change in this finale in ways that will affect the series all the way to the end, and they are all satisfying.
Rather than just getting spoilerific and recounting the plot of the episode point for point, it’s more important to consider the impact of the episode on the series and to consider whether the episode met the goals set for it by the writers and lived up to the expectations of fans. On all counts, the answer is a resounding yes. More questions were asked as usual but some really big ones were also answered. On top of that, the characters of Miles, Charlotte, and Daniel are important on the island and they don’t feel wedged in just to fill time like Nikki and Paulo were. Next year, Lost won’t look anything like it has in the past. The story of how the Oceanic Six made it home has been fully rendered and the next chapter of their lives is what will be important next season. Commenting that Jack believes that the six have to return to the island isn’t exactly giving away a spoiler for this episode, because scenes of him trying to convince Kate that they must return date back to last season. Next season may show us how Jack, through uneasy alliances, intends for the six plus the body in the casket to return to the island. Speaking of uneasy alliances, Sun makes some decisions in this episode that will play a major role next year too. She’s a changed woman after Jin’s death: angry, bitter, and yes, vengeful. She will establish her own new alliance, with the seeds planted in this episode, to seek out that revenge. All six of the Oceanic Six appeared in the flash forwards in this episode with many of them reunited. The writer’s have shown over and over again what happens when characters finally reunite on the island so one can only imagine what’s in store next year with Sayid and Jack pulling all of the six back together in the real world.
The season finale was exhausting and exhilarating with all the highs and lows. It was also sad because it marked the end of the season and the series won’t return until next year. This episode is a perfect example in every possible way of what makes Lost such a fantastic series. If there were a score higher than an A+, it would be given. If you haven’t watched it yet, set aside whatever you’re doing and fire up your DVR because this one’s a must see immediately before it gets spoiled for you.