This year "Lost" gets everything right that the show got wrong at the start of last season. Written by executive producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, the ABC drama's season premiere is a propulsive hour that offers, if not answers, at least a few more pieces to the show's puzzling mysteries.
Last year when we left "Lost" (9 tonight, following a recap at 8 p.m., WTAE), the show had rocked viewers' world by unveiling its first flash forward, showing Kate (Evangeline Lily) and Jack (Matthew Fox) off the island in the future, with Jack desperate to return to it.
Season four picks up with the prospect of rescue from the island, but Others leader Ben (Michael Emerson) warns that the rescuers will lead the islanders to a bad end. Is he right? That's the big new question raised, and the first two episodes sent for review offer conflicting support for both believing and disbelieving Ben. "Lost" is just that kind of mind trip.
- When: 9 tonight, ABC.
- Starring: Matthew Fox.
The episodes also hint at the possibility of a conspiracy and cast purge to come; feature ghostly appearances and a surprise resurrection; and reveal a new split among the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.
Hurley (Jorge Garcia) has a prominent role in tonight's premiere as he learns of the death of his friend Charlie, whose demise in May's season finale resonates strongly.
Next week's episode introduces four rescuers from the freighter that's anchored near the "Lost" island and further develops the notion that the rest of the world believes everyone aboard the Oceanic flight perished in the crash.
Whether it was setting an end date for the series (May 2010) or simply learning from past mistakes, the "Lost" writers begin the season with a firm grasp on their story and a keen understanding that viewers won't object to the introduction of new characters as long as old favorites are well served. These corrections allow "Lost" to realize its full potential as a labyrinth of intrigue that can enthrall without unduly frustrating its audience.