DESCRIPTION:After Oceanic Air flight 815 tore apart in mid-air and crashed on a Pacific island, it s survivors were forced to find inner strength they never knew they had in order to survive. But they discovered that the island hold many secrets, including a mysterious smoke monster, polar bears, a strange French woman and another group of island residents known as The Others. The survivors have also found signs of those who came to the island before them, including a 19th century sailing ship called The Black Rock, the remains of an ancient statue, as well as bunkers belonging to the Dharma Initiative a group of scientific researchers who inhabited the island in the recent past. END
Season four of Lost
was a fine return to form for the series, which polarized its audience the year before with its focus on The Others and not enough on our original crash victims. That season's finale introduced a new storytelling device--the flash-forward--that's employed to great effect this time around; by showing who actually got off the island (known as the Oceanic Six), the viewer is able to put to bed some longstanding loose ends. As the finale attests, we see that in the future Jack (Matthew Fox) is broken, bearded, and not sober, while Kate (Evangeline Lilly) is estranged from Jack and with another guy (the identity may surprise you). Four others do make it back to their homes, but as the flash-forwards show, it's definitely not the end of their connection to the island. Back in present day, however, the islanders are visited by the denizens of a so-called rescue ship, who have agendas of their own. While Jack works with the newcomers to try to get off the island, Locke (Terry O'Quinn), with a few followers of his own, forms an uneasy alliance with Ben (Michael Emerson) against the suspicious gang. Some episodes featuring the new characters feel like filler, but the evolution of such characters as Sun and Jin (Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim) is this season's strength; plus, the love story of Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) and Penny (Sonya Walger) provides some of the show's emotional highlights. As is the custom with Lost
, bullets fly and characters die (while others may or may not have). Moreover, the fate of Michael (Harold Perrineau), last seen traitorously sailing off to civilization in season two, as well as the flash-forwards of the Oceanic Six, shows you never quite leave
the island once you've left. There's a force that pulls them in, and it's a hook that keeps you watching.
Season four was a shorter 13 episodes instead of the usual 22 due to the 2008 writers' strike; nonetheless, the set comes with two discs of extras. One of the best features is "LOST in 8:15," which is a rapid-fire summation of the series thus far in eight minutes, 15 seconds. Narrated by a hilariously droll female, it includes lines such as "Jack meets Kate. Kate stitches up Jack. They bond." and "They see Jack play football with Mr. Friendly. Mr. Friendly throws like a girl." The featurette "The Right to Bear Arms" takes a fun look at the prop masters responsible for supplying the castaways with guns--and keeping track of who has one and who doesn't (best here is Sawyer's (Josh Holloway) assertion that characters often cock their guns just to look cool), and cast members Lilly, Garcia, Yunjin Kim, and Daniel Dae Kim provide a few of the commentaries.
The major Blu-ray extra is "The Course of the Future: The Definitive Interactive Fast-Forwards." After you solve a puzzle in which you have to arrange the 10 flash-forward segments in chronological order (don't worry, you get some help), you can watch all the segments (about 53 minutes total) in a variety of ways: chronological (that is, the order in which they happened, not in which they were aired during the season) with an introduction by executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof and cast members; chronological with an amusing intro by Cuse and Lindelof and with pop-up script excerpts that offer insight into the writers' intentions; or chronological following a specific character (Jack, Kate, Sayid, Hurley, Sun, Aaron, Ben). The convenient "Season Play" feature helps you keep track of which episode on which disc you're watching. And with its lush Hawaiian scenery and uncompressed sound, Lost is simply the best-looking and -sounding Blu-ray TV show around. --Ellen A. Kim, with David Horiuchi