If you are new to the phenomenon that is Lost, don't start here. You will be, pardon the pun, lost. You see, this is a serial show. Each week follows up on the events of the previous week, advancing the story.
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And what a great story we have. The show follows the survivors of Oceanic flight 815, which crashed while on route from Australia to Los Angeles. The plane crashed on an island, and the survivors must attempt to get along with each other and live day to day.
If only it were that easy. The island is also hiding a hostile group, known as "The Others." And it seems to have magical powers, both for good and for evil.
This season starts where season two left off. (That means I will be spoiling the previous two seasons from this point forward.) The "Others" have captured three of our characters, Jack (Matthew Fox), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), and Kate (Evangeline Lilly). While they keep Jack isolated from his friends, they force Sawyer and Kate to work for them, keeping them locked in cages at night. But they soon tell Jack what they want from him. Their leader Ben (Michael Emerson) has a tumor, and they want Jack to remove it.
Meanwhile, back at the beach camp, the rest of the survivors of flight 815 are recovering from the explosion of the hatch. Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) lost all his clothes when things went boom, but he seems to have gained a new power. Hurly (Jorge Garcia) returns with news of the capture of Jack, Sawyer, and Kate, and various parties set out to rescue them. But this season has plenty of surprises in store for the castaways. What will they learn next?
Meanwhile, thanks to the show's trademark flashbacks, we get further insights into the lives of the characters before the show began. The flashbacks expand this year to include two of the Others, Ben and Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell). They also answer one burning question we've had since season one - just how did Locke (Terry O'Quinn) get in that wheelchair?
This season can pretty much be divided into two parts. The first part was slow, with the story only moving forward at a snail's pace. Those first six episodes were especially brutal as they focused on one group of characters and ignored the other. It went on a hiatus for several months at that point, and after it return from its hiatus, the pace improved dramatically. I'm not sure that we got that many answers, but I at least feel that the story moved forward. What these revelations mean to the show and the cast aways remains to be seen, but I am once again confident that the show will bring us resolution.
Then there's the strange case of Paulo and Nikki (Rodrigo Santoro and Kiele Sanchez). Introduced this season, the producers intended to make them important characters. But the fans didn't like them and were frustrated that they were taking screen time from already known favorites. The producers listened to the fans, and the result was one of the best episodes of this season.
And I can't forget the cliffhanger ending. That had to be one of the best shocks of the season. I never saw it coming, and it left my mouth hanging open. The producers referred to it as a rattlesnake in a mailbox, hoping it would be that surprising. I can say without a doubt they succeeded.
No matter how the writing on the series progressed, the acting was the glue that held the show together. The cast was perfect, hitting every note exactly. They made me care even during the sub-par early episodes. Keep in mind that the characters on this show are very strong. Of course, some of that is the writing. But the actors have taken the words from the page and made them truly come alive.
And the DVD set is another wonderful collection for fans. The show is presented in sharp widescreen and full surround sound. And let me tell you, that sound puts you right in the middle of the action. The seventh disc of the set is filled with nothing be extras, including several behind the scene featurettes and hints on the significance of seemingly throw away items. (And trust me, there is little on this show that doesn't mean something.)
This set will certainly wet your appetite for season 4 (and hopefully we'll get that sooner rather then later). If you want to get caught up in a show with plenty of twists and mysteries, get Lost.