The Lost season 4 finale was a bit like the preparation for a game of chess. All the pieces were placed on the board, the rules were agreed upon, but the opening gambit has yet to begin. There weren’t nearly as many answers as you may think there were (unless you wanted to know more about time traveling bunnies). Yes, we found out who’s in the coffin, but think for a second about how season 3 and season 4 ended.
Season 3 left us with Jack needing to go back to the Island. Season 4 ended with…Jack needing to go back to the Island, with everyone else. While the story on the Island may have progressed, the story off the Island is still where we left it, just with some missing pieces filled in. The chess pieces were already on the board, season 4 just spent 14 episodes fidgeting with them, making sure every piece was perfectly in the center of the square.
Before getting to some amusing and revelatory Easter Eggs, I ask you to think about all the set-ups in the finale. Sun met with Charles Widmore, though it was just to set up the real meeting. Charlotte suddenly became interesting when Miles (in a scene proving Ken Leung was tragically underused as comic relief this season) let it slip that she is more connected to the Island than we first thought. Locke was installed as the new leader of the Others, Daniel and many 815ers were seemingly left on the Zodiac halfway between the sunken freighter and the vanished Island, Sawyer and Juliet were getting drunk, Sawyer pulled a Lost in Translation ending with Kate, and Jin was lost at sea after an explosion on a boat…just like at the end of the first season.
Where season 5 will begin, I have no idea. Will we follow the Oceanic 6 off the Island and the adventures of Locke and Sawyer on the Island? What would be the point of spending an entire season showing us the bad things Locke apparently described to Jack when we already know the outcome? Sadly, I suspect this is what we’re in store for, and that in one year’s time, the big final reveal in the season 5 finale will be the Oceanic 6 (and the corpse of John Locke) returning to the Island.
Now onto the Easter Eggs, where we look at dead philosophers, dead Tailies and hidden messages.
#1 – Jeremy Bentham
I’ve often said there’s nothing more useless than a Philosophy major (which is why I only have a minor). But when it comes to Lost, viewers who know their philosophers have a distinct advantage. In the opening scene of the finale, we learned that the man in the coffin was Jeremy Bentham. Though it took me about 15 minutes to make the connection, the Philosophy majors most likely identified that name immediately as belonging to the famous utilitarian philosopher.
The historic Jeremy Bentham was a proponent of the greater good, someone who believed the ends justified the means. Combine this love for ignoring individual liberties in favor of the bigger picture with the knowledge that the character was named directly after a famous philosopher and you quickly realize that if you only majored in Philosophy in college, you would have known long before that final scene that John Locke was in the coffin.
#2 – 8:15
Sometimes the Lost writers and producers do something so clever that it makes me laugh, even if it’s not funny. Such was the case with the scene in the finale when Sayid murdered the man lurking outside Hurley’s asylum. Sayid asked the man what time it was, and his response was, “Eight fift…” He didn’t get to finish because of the bullet in his head, but we got it, and it was pretty clever.
#3 – The Magic Box
Upon arriving at the real Orchid Station, John Locke takes one look at the Vault and asks if it’s the “magic box.” This is a nice and rather funny callback to Ben’s statement in the third season that the Island has a magic box that can produce whatever you want. Ben’s flat denial that the Vault is the magic box sort of implied (to me at least) that the magic box is actually real, in some way, shape or form. I know that the creators have stated the box is a metaphor, but I suspect there’s still more to the metaphor than just what we’ve seen.
#4 – Where/When Did the Island Go?
While I wasn’t a huge fan of the episode, I do appreciate that the Lost writers don’t entirely look down on their audience. As soon as Ben said he was putting on a jacket because he was going some place cold, every diehard Lost fan immediately knew he was putting on the Edgar Halliwax parka he was wearing when he landed in the Sahara Desert in “The Shape of Things to Come.” Cutting his arm on the way down the stairs was a nice touch.
The show didn’t need to put in a flashback (or flash forward) to that episode to remind viewers what was happening, they respected us enough to figure it out. Also, this might have larger implications regarding the location of the island. We saw it vanish (or “move”), but to where? To answer that, let’s look at Ben’s time travel. The actions on the island take place around the end of December 2004. Then Ben pushed the donkey wheel, let out the glowing yellow light and caused what I will assume was something like a Casimir Effect. That jumped him to the Sahara Desert, where he learned the date was October 25, 2005. Ben time traveled nearly 10 months, so maybe the island did as well, which might help to explain why it vanished.
#5 – Kate’s Phone Call
In Kate’s freaky dream sequence, she received a garbled phone call. Well, not garbled so much as a clear cut message. When played backwards, the message says, “The Island needs you. You have to go back before it’s too late.” This would seem to contradict what creepy dream Claire said about not wanting Aaron to go back. Given everything we’ve seen of Kate on the Island, the biggest question is why she’s important. She never really had any big connection to the Island, so it’s unclear what role she plays or what “too late” means.
We’d also like to thank one of our readers, Russ Boyd, for taking the audio clip and reversing it so that you don’t just have to take our word for it about what the message says.
#6 – Mr. Eko
Though the episode sadly didn’t feature an appearance by Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje (though it’s possible that was him playing Giant Walt), Mr. Eko was invoked, as Hurley decided to play a little chess with the deceased priest/drug kingpin. The mere fact that Mr. Eko was referenced isn’t particularly noteworthy, but it might be if you look at the entirety of season 4.
In the first episode of the season, Hurley ran into Ana Lucia’s partner after he was arrested. In the mid-season cliffhanger “Meet Kevin Johnson,” Michael had several run-ins with an imaginary Libby. Now the season ends with an Eko shout out. So not only did we get references to all three series regular Tailies, but they were referenced in the order of their deaths. Is this a coincidence, or something bigger? Does it possibly mean that next season we’ll hear about Nikki and Paulo or Boone and Shannon?
#7 – Octagon Global Recruiting
If you had the patience to sit through the commercials, you probably saw one for Octagon Global Recruiting, a website that is trying to recruit to employees for the DHARMA Initiative. Going to the website reveals that applications are being accepted at the end of July in San Diego on dates that conveniently line up with Comic-Con. BuddyTV will have reporters at the event, and one of their top priorities will undoubtedly be getting to the bottom. Who knows, we might even try to embed one of our writers as a secret DHARMA agent.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Images courtesy of Lost-Media)