Lost: Season 4 – The Expanded Experience
ABC Studios/Bad Robot
Starring Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lily, Jorge Garcia, Naveen Andrews, Michael Emerson, Sam Anderson, and lots of other people
Rated TV-14 for language and violence
Running Time = 604 minutes (14 episodes on 4 DVDs)
Available Tuesday, December 9, 2008!
WARNING: This article is long and contains SPOLIERS. You have been forewarned. Now, go in peace to love and serve Lost and the Island it inhabits.
When I first heard about the show Lost, I honestly thought it was going to be a dramatic version of Gilligan’s Island. And while elements certainly lean toward the goofy at times, Lost has proven itself time and again as a quintessential TV drama. The tales of castaways trapped on a mysterious Island after a plane crash has brought millions of viewers to ABC over the past four seasons.
There are only two seasons of Lost that remain, and a hell of a lot still left unanswered. While season one was about basic survival, season two delved into the mythological malaise of the Island and the Dharma Initiative. Season three embraced the world of the Others, which leads directly into season four.
I wasn’t so sure about season four at the start. The presence of new people on the Island made me think once again of Gilligan’s Island. Will the Globetrotters show up? But as the season unfolded, I became more and more entranced by the stories, the characters, and the mystery that is Lost.
Some stand-out episodes include “The Constant,” “Meet Kevin Johnson,” “The Shape of Things to Come,” “Cabin Fever,” and the two-part season finale. It’s an intense season, and as always with Lost, the body count starts to spike toward the end of the season.
But there’s a lot of intriguing moments in this season, and I warn you, this section does contain a few spoilers.
• We learn that Ben (the amazing Michael Emerson) and Tom (M.C. Gainey) can get off the Island. But how?
• We learn that time travel is possible, and that there’s more to the Island and it’s positioning than meets the eye.
• We learn more about Jacob, why Kate and jack aren’t speaking once off the Island, and who’s in the casket!
• And much, much more!
Michael Emerson is one of the best actors on the series. As Ben he’s creepy, determined, sociopathic, manipulative, but all the while a character you care about. His exchanges with John Locke (Terry O’ Quinn) highlight many an episode. His ability to suck you in and have empathy for him even though he is a ruthless psycho at times shows just how talented and amazing Emerson is.
In the world of Lost, as fans know, we never just stay on the Island. And this season delivers new stories through the use of flash-forwards, which were introduced during the season three finale. But we also get moments of time travel, flashbacks, flash-forwards, and what-the-hell-is-this-supposed-to-be moments. It makes for great storytelling and keeps the viewer on their toes.
Now, I know that a lot of people are sick of this show because it goes off on tangents and never answers any of the big questions. But if they answered the big questions now, what would be the incentive to keep watching the next two seasons? My advice to Lost haters or those on the brink of giving up on the series is: stay with it until the end. There are only a handful of episodes left.
The Writer’s Strike resulted in the loss of two episodes, so it’s only a 14 episode season. But, as always, there’s plenty going on to keep you interested, and plenty to leave you in suspense until the following seasons.
The DVD set contains two DVDs filled with bonus features. And they are very cool! Here’s a brief overview of each:
Lost in 8:15
A recap of the past three seasons of Lost, done in eight minutes and fifteen seconds. (It’s actually done in 8:10, but who’s counting?)
Lost on Location
Highlights major stunts, effects, or other moments in a variety of episodes and includes interviews with cast and crew. Entertaining and fun to watch.
The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii
With the exception of four scenes, every scene on Lost has been shot in Hawaii. Watch and see how the creative minds behind the series turn the tropical paradise into Korea, Australia, Tunisia, and Iraq.
The Right to Bear Arms
A tongue-in-cheek featurette that discusses the many guns used on the show and how they keep track of who has what gun and when.
The Oceanic Six: Conspiracy of Lies
Absolute brilliance! For those who like wacky conspiracy theories, here’s an “unauthorized” video about the crash of Flight 815 and the Oceanic Six. Great fun.
The Freighter Folk
Introduces the characters and respective cast members who joined the series this season.
Find out the logistics needed to film on a moving freighter out on the ocean. Dramamine anyone?
Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character, Conflict, & The Crash
How do they come up with all those great themes and scores for each episode? Watch and find out.
Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash-Forwards
If you would rather watch all the flash-forwards in order, this feature allows you to do just that! Watch the Oceanic Six struggle with being back in civilization in chronological order.
A guilty pleasure of mine and great fun to watch these dramatic actors act like goofballs. Shows that nobody’s perfect.
Thirteen mini-episodes that range from one to four minutes long. Created to sustain viewers over the long hiatus between season three and four.
Not only do the writers, producers, and directors chime in, but hear the actors comment on their performances, the plots, and other aspects of the series.
Scenes that made the cutting room floor, but not your TV.
It’s Lost! It’s fun, engaging, high-energy, and even better without commercials! I highly recommend this season for the Lost-phile in your life. Especially for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, or birthdays!
Lost: Season 4 – The Extended Experience flash-forwards itself an A! Let’s see what the next two seasons hold for our Lost friends and hope for the best. Viva la Polar Bears!!!
(Of course, if the economy doesn’t allow you to buy the DVDs, you can watch the season online at abc.com)