What we learned on "Lost" this season

What we learned on "Lost" this season

Posted by Sean Stangland on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 03:06

(SPOILERS, SPOILERS AND MORE SPOILERS in this, what should be my final blog about "Lost" until at least July when the writers appear at Comic Con in San Diego.)

Michael Emerson is the best actor on television. Of course, any actor given a role as meaty as his would have plenty of chances to shine, but I can't picture anyone else playing Benjamin Linus, the uber-villain who is looking more and more like the real hero of the show. If anyone can be called the main character among this ensemble, in Season 4 Ben clearly ascended to that level. For much of Thursday's finale, I was convinced it would be him in the coffin; when he said the person who moves the island can't come back, I figured that clinched it. But then he startled Jack -- and the audience -- in the funeral parlor at the end of the episode, and my original coffin candidate was revealed.

This will be the episode Michael Emerson sends to the voters
for Emmy consideration.

Every character is named for a reason. John Locke of course shares his name with the 17th Century British philosopher, and his deceased flash-forward alias, Jeremy Bentham, was one of the real Locke's intellectual successors. Also in the "Lost" philosophy club are Desmond Hume, ostensibly named for Scottish philosopher David Hume, and Danielle Rousseau, who shares a last name with Jean-Jacques Rousseau of the Enlightenment. And Jack and Christian Shephard's names have obvious religious imagery ...

Shorter season = better season. The 14-hour, strike-shortened fourth season of "Lost" was easily the most consistently awesome of the show's run, mostly because every single episode moved the story further. There was no Nikki and Paulo silliness, no arguing over whether or not to move to the caves, and no wasted arguments between Jin and Sun. Bombshells were dropping left and right this year, from the freighter's hidden agenda, to Ben's obsession with Juliet, to the identity of the Oceanic Six. There are two seasons of this wonderful show left -- let's hope Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse can keep this brisk pace going.

Sawyer has a heart. Though criminally underused for most of the season, Josh Holloway made the most of his screen time in Season 4. Ever since he killed Anthony Cooper in Season 3, Sawyer has been a much different -- and much more enjoyable -- character. This season we saw him show real affection for Claire and Hugo, and his sacrifice in the finale was fitting, if not a little silly in its execution. And if that shared bottle of rum on the beach is any indication, he'll apparently be having a nice time with Juliet in Season 5...

I love this show way, way too much. I will sometimes think about this show and its characters like it's all really happening, and that's the sort of thing that can only happen with a long-form TV program, and that can only happen with characters this well-written and well-acted. If I could join Jack, Ben and the rest of them in getting back to the island next season, you bet I would.

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