Lost, that slimy devil, closed its third season with a flash-forward, a twist so ingenious, it made up for a string of clunky, curiosity-barren episodes. Season four picked up right where three left off, and duly addressed any concerns fans had. Afraid that the show couldn’t introduce new characters? Try a team of new, appropriately mysterious scientists and archaeologists on for size. Don’t care about the retelling of existing characters’ backstories? Reduce the number of central players, and rehash those stories better. Annoyed Locke never asks direct questions to the Others, like “Who are you people?” and “What do you want?” Well, they get asked here, and some even get answered.
Actually, season four suffers only from too much newfound purpose. The writers are certainly an ambitious bunch, but there are a few too many balls in the air: Juliet’s involvement with the Others’ cultlike culture, the identities of the new arrivals, Locke’s connection to the island and Desmond’s time-traveling something-or-other leave us unsatisfied. But it’s hard to criticize Lost too much now. Bottom line is, this is a show that, despite basing its entire premise on getting characters off an island, actually improved by cannibalizing the ostensible goal. Few dramas can pull this off as masterfully as this one has; Lost must be doing something right.This DVD set contains more info on the flashbacks, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a blooper reel, as if that was what this show needed more of.