Lost season 4 episode 1 review

Danny loves Lost. And today, so do we. Yay, new Lost! We've still got lots of questions, though...

Hi there! My name’s Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy – you may recognise my name from those erratic Torchwood recaps and Edinburgh Film Festival tidbits on DoG last year. I’m happy to be here and hopefully you’re happy to be reading this. So, without further ado:

Ladies and gents, the best is back.

After a nigh-on-torturous eight month hiatus, Lost returned last night with plenty of new questions, foundations for certain characters’ paths and the hotly-anticipated-to-me debut of Lance Reddick a.k.a. The Wire’s Lt. Cedric Daniels. (Charlie Brooker interrupts this recap to ask you: why aren’t you watching The Wire?) So many things to recap, so why don’t we start at… the start?

In pure Lost tradition, season four premiere “The Beginning of the End” delivered a brain-jolt of an opening in which Hurley led the LAPD into car chase in his 70s Camarro before crashing into a load of tat and getting ultimately arrested. With Jack watching on the TV back home, it was evident that we were once again in Flashforward City – albeit before the events of last season’s atrociously-bearded finale. It was what Hurley said as he was arrested that got the brain pulsating: “Don’t you know who I am? I’m one of the Oceanic Six!” The Oceanic Six? If Jack, Kate and Hurley are off the island, then who are the remaining three escapees? Are they even alive in the future? Is the rescue from the people on the freighter?

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But first, the freighter. By episode’s end, we still knew very little about the people on the freighter and what their intentions were – annihilation or liberation? Still, there were some hints dropped throughout the episode to support Ben’s predictions that everyone sticking about for the freighter awaits certain doom. Communicating with Minkowski before she died, Naomi held the truth back about Locke’s knifing and said she was “sorry”. Was she siding with the survivors in the end? Was she apologising for letting the survivors know of the full-scale cover up of the crash?

The issue involving the freighter sure has brought out the worst in people; while Jack has allowed his violent side to surface by threatening to kill Locke, Locke himself has taken to manipulating a grief-stricken Hurley by claiming that if outside contact is made, then Charlie’s bravery will have been fruitless. He has also taken to sounding uncannily like the Terminator (“if you want to live, you need to come with me”). And while the two butt heads, the camp has been split in half, not helped by the grief surrounding Charlie’s death. And while I’m a sucker for the group reunions Lost dishes out so well, Hurley’s breaking of the Driveshafter’s death to a tearful Claire was one of the episode’s best – and most touching – moments.

Charlie’s Looking Glass demise even passed over to the flashforwards. In some of the hour’s most intriguing developments, two dead characters were glimpsed by Hurley: Mr. Pace at the San Rosa mental institute and in Jacob’s creaky old Deliverance shack, Christian Shephard a.k.a. Jack’s Drinky Doctor Dad. Is it possible that Hurley has been given a power a la Desmond’s precognitive abilities? Except instead of seeing the future, he can see the dead. I believe that Jacob’s bayou was revealed to Hurley for a purpose, and I believe that purpose is his knowledge of the Valenzetti Equation. For those who didn’t take part in the Lost Experience, the Valenzetti Equation is an equation that will determine when the world ends. And the most dominant numbers within it? 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. It’s a theory I’m throwing out there – what do you guys think? Personally, I’m a bit on board with Hurley having powers, but with Desmond, Hurley and Walt between themselves, we better not turn this into a powerfest. I get enough of that from Heroes.

As for Charlie’s beyond-the-grave (?) premonitions, I sure wanted to know more. Who does Hurley need to save? Is it really Charlie if he’s calling Hurley the less colloquial “Hugo”? And were my ears playing games on me, or did he say that Hurley was “hiding from him”? Why has my head exploded?

Ah, Lance Reddick. He’s why my head is in little ickle pieces. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see his harsh-but-fair Cedric Daniels in The Wire, you’d know just what an awesome actor this dude is. And there he is in Hurley’s flashforward, playing a mysterious Matthew Abbaddon who offers Hurley a place in a (supposed) Oceanic facility before leaving vague threats with his Intense Stare Of Death that panics Hurley. “Are they still alive?” he asked, zoning in on Hurley like he was some kind of prey and then – woosh! He’s gone. For my money, he’s talking about the remaining members of the Oceanic Six, who I believe are in deep hiding and I think he’s working offland for the Others, just like Richard Alpert was doing with Mittelos Biosciences. Whatever way this goes, I’m just glad that yet again, my favourite things are crossing over into the Lostverse (upcoming examples: Y The Last Man/Runaways scribe Brian K Vaughan writes next week’s episode; Death Proof’s Zoe Bell has a guest appearance later this season).

Jack popped up in Hurley’s madhouse antics as well, saying he was signing autographs and – in a very wink-wink joke – considering growing a beard. This was obviously pre-drug-addiction Jack, who seems to be aligned with whatever Abbadon has planned. As we know, disillusionment will set in, but how far along the line for our Grand Hero?

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There’s almost too much to talk about concerning the premiere that this next bit may seem shoehorned in, but did you guys check out how Lindelof and Cuse set out possible character arcs within little scenes? From what we’ve seen so far, here’s what I predict for our cast: judging by Sawyer’s rejection of Kate and alignment with Locke, he seems to be out purely for Number One; Kate will stay loyal to Jack, even though she seems hesitant about rescue (you think I’m wrong? Go back and look at her asking Jack if it’s for real); Juliet will push harder to integrate herself into the group; Danielle will take motherhood very, very seriously; Ben will continue to be terrified of Danielle. In short, we’ve got a lot to come in these next seven weeks.

So how was this episode for you? I thought it was an awesome return, what about you? Does Hurley have powers? Did you like the Ana-Lucia shoutout? Did you grin when Hurley cannonballed? Who was the episode short on? Was it cool to see the Fuselage be used in the show again? Who does Abbaddon work for? Is the man who parachuted Minkowski? And, most importantly, who are the final five Cylo—I mean, the remaining Oceanic Three?