Lost Season 4 Finale: Give a little, get a little

So after a five-hour-long swim meet — at which my kids swam for a total of about four minutes — I came home last night, collapsed on the couch and cued up the Lost season finale. I’m no Lost maniac — I only occasionally scan one of the many Lost websites, and I’ve never played any of the games or whatever on the site — but I’m fairly knowledgeable about the show. I’m also a big fan of several of the writers/exec producers, comics guys like Brian K. Vaughan and Jeph Loeb.

I don’t think I’m exactly breaking new ground here by saying that this season was the finest since One. This one answered more questions than it asked, and the mysteries it posed were all in the context of previously established storylines. (No more four-toed statue feet.) Having the end zone in sight has definitely allowed the writers to flourish and drop clues that will certainly pay off.

Some thoughts here, and SPOILERS may be present. What I dig about the series is the way it can constantly recontextualize itself — after last night, the show’s present is now “our” present, 2008, and it’s done this pretty much seamlessly. There are still gaps to be filled in — what happened to the rest of the Castaways on the island? What went on during the three years between the rescue of the Oceanic Six and the death of Jeremy Bentham? — but what’s clear is that now we’re looking at moving forward in time WITH the cast, which for some indefinable reason is infinitely cooler than the perpetual flashback that the series had become. Plus, the reimagining of familiar faces — led by Sayid as a James Bondian hitman — is satisfying on both a storytelling and an entertainment level.

ET has its usual great wrapup of the series finale right here. Well worth a read. While Lost hasn’t yet approached the greatness that is the Wire, it’s still probably among the top five TV shows ever, in my humble opinion. Lost still has a couple storylines that just don’t interest me as much — the Others in the woods have never done it for me, and neither did Claire and her “bay-bay” until she got all dead and creepy — whereas every scene in The Wire was riveting. But hey, 99 percent is good enough for me. Just sucks that we have to wait until January for the next round.


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