It’s 2008 now but in Lost time it’s still somewhere near the end of 2004 and Jack’s obviously found some hair dye in the plane to cover this up. Lost is back on our screens from tonight (except for those unfortunate enough to have Virgin…) and aside from Walt really being too old to comeback this time as his 12 year old self, not much has changed with the latest outing from general fingers-in-every-mystery-pie man JJ Abrams. There’s still the foreboding doom of The Others, and now The Other Others, and the slightest teeniest bit of a revelation to keep you coming back, in the vague hope that Abrams is somehow going to tie up all of the mysteries and smoke monsters and empty rocking chairs into some sort of a coherent explanation. It’s pretty good, in other words.
The US double-bill premiere starts off with a bit of a cop-out: it’s not two new episodes, but a 45 minute recap bolted on to the first new one – but unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand or sensibly given up on a show with no flipping answers, you’ll know the score. Most of series three saw the group wandering over to the Others to exchange prisoners, whilst Locke became more and more unhinged, until a woman with a bad Lancashire accent fell out of the sky. But was she the sign of hope they all hoped her to be? Ben didn’t think so, but he doesn’t exactly have a good track record of honesty.
Season 4 proper kicks off back in America, with Hurley losing his mind. He’s seen someone in a shop and it’s frightened the life out of him to the point where he’s happy to go back in the wacky shack – spoilers as to who that was below. Then we’re back on the island and everyone is making preparations to get off the island now that Naomi has managed to radio her ship, just before Lock stabbed her. Desmond arrives back on the other side, sans Charlie, with the worrying news that it’s not Penny waiting for them on the nearby boat (Claire cries of course, because she realises she loves Charlie only too late, but all I keep thinking when I see her whiny, squashed face is when are they going to kill her off?).
It’s not much of a spoiler to reveal that this news splits the group in two. Jack quite understandably still doesn’t trust Locke and his knife throwing ways, and is holding out for the people on the boat to be their saviours, while Locke, Desmond, Hurley, Ben, Sawyer and others are quite anxious to make like a tree and get the hell out of there. This series is set to be a lot different to the others as things get tribal, and I for one am very excited. But Abrams has at least some explaining to do.
SPOILER SPECULATION PARAGRAPH THING DON’T READ ETC: It later turns out that Hurley’s flashback is in the future, and that it was Charlie’s ghost that made him flee. The revelation this episode is that Hurley is one of the “Oceanic Six” – as presumably Jack, Kate and possibly Sawyer are also – which doesn’t bode well for the scores trying to get off the island this series. But there’s a dark secret about the rest which Hurley and Jack share, and Daniels from The Wire turns up as a mystery agent trying to find out what happened to the rest of the original survivors in a thoroughly spooky turn. It’s implied that they were either left behind or are dead, and for some reason Hurley regrets going with Locke when the group split in two. The climax of the episode sees yet another bloody person fall out of a helicopter, and Jack and Kate go to meet him – but what his intentions are remains unknown.