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Lost season 4

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Season 4
DVD cover
No. of episodes14
Original networkABC
Original releaseJanuary 31 (2008-01-31) –
May 29, 2008 (2008-05-29)
Season chronology
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Season 3
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Season 5
List of episodes

The fourth season of the American serial drama television series Lost commenced airing on the ABC network in the United States,[1] and on CTV in Canada on January 31, 2008, and concluded on May 29, 2008. The season continues the stories of a group of over 40 people who have been stranded on a remote island in the South Pacific, after their airplane crashed there more than 90 days prior to the beginning of the season. According to Lost's executive producers/writers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, there are two main themes in the fourth season: "the castaways' relationship to the freighter folk"[2] and "who gets off the island and the fact that they need to get back".[3]

The fourth season was contemporaneously acclaimed for its flash-forwards, pace and new characters.[4] Retrospective reviews have been more critical of the season, and later seasons of Lost as a whole.

The fourth season aired Thursdays at 9:00 pm from January 31 to March 20, 2008, and at 10:00 pm from April 24 to May 15, 2008. The two-hour finale aired at 9:00 pm on May 29, 2008. Buena Vista Home Entertainment (under the ABC Studios label) released the season on DVD and Blu-ray Disc under the title Lost: The Complete Fourth Season – The Expanded Experience on December 9, 2008, in Region 1;[5] however, it was released earlier—on October 20, 2008—in Region 2.[6]



The season was originally planned to contain sixteen episodes; eight were written before the start of the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike.[7] Following the strike's resolution, it was announced that only five more episodes would be produced to complete the season;[8] however, the season finale's script was so long that network executives approved the production of a 14th episode as part of a three-hour season finale split over two nights.[9]

Writer's strike cut material


Three episodes were cut from the second half of the season. A Ben-centric (Michael Emerson) flashback[10][11] (later repurposed as a flash-forward), and a Charlotte-centric (Rebecca Mader) flashback,[12][13] are two known scrapped episodes from the season's original back half. It is unknown whether the back half of the season was changed slightly, or significantly.

Mader admitted her character's storyline got "completely cut" in general because of the strike. She joked:

"It all went wrong for me after that so, looking back, I selfishly wish that hadn’t happened. I wanted to be Charles Widmore (Alan Dale)’s daughter. I think it would have been brilliant if I’d been a bit more intrinsically linked to all of that – and he was played by Jim from Neighbours".[12]

Shortly before production of the fourth season began, Michael Emerson disclosed on a podcast that Annie (played by child actor Madeline Carroll) would return, and viewers would see her adult appearance.[10] This is set up in the episode "The Other Woman", as Harper Stanhope (Andrea Roth), Juliet's therapist, remarks she looks "just like her", the "her" being an adult Annie. This is further teased in the episode's enhanced caption. Annie's identity for Harper's comparison was confirmed by Lindelof in a 2010 podcast (which implies Ben's mother (Carrie Preston) was a red herring).[14] Harper's reappearance was also affected by the strike.[15]

Showrunner Damon Lindelof also revealed at San Diego Comic Con 2007 they planned to show how Ben got caught in Rousseau's trap by accident and what he was doing on the other side of The Island (as it was left ambiguous whether it was intentional or not).[11] They also expressed a desire to show his motivation for participating in The Purge. But neither storyline panned out. Speculation arose from fans, and Emerson who portrays Ben himself, that Annie may be a character the viewers are already familiar with.[16]

There was also plans to resolve Libby's backstory in two further episodes after her appearance to Michael (Harold Perrineau) as an apparition.[17][18]

Other cut material includes further development following the reunion between Danielle Rousseau (Mira Furlan) and Alex Rousseau (Tania Raymonde) after being reunited for the first time in 16 years since Alex's abduction.[citation needed] Though Furlan stated in her posthumously released memoir that they chose to kill her character off out of spite after she asked for better accommodations with her schedule after facing mistreatment on the set, hence why the reunion storyline was ignored.[19]



The fourth season was produced by ABC Studios, Bad Robot and Grass Skirt Productions. Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse served as the season's show runners.[20] The show was primarily filmed in Hawaii with post-production in Los Angeles.[21] Lindelof and Cuse's fellow executive producers were co-creator J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Jack Bender. The staff writers were Lindelof, Cuse, co-executive producers Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, and Drew Goddard, supervising producer Elizabeth Sarnoff, co-producer Brian K. Vaughan and executive story editor Christina M. Kim. The regular directors were Bender and co-executive producer Stephen Williams.[22]



The fourth season featured 16 major roles with star billing. The show continues to chronicle the lives of the survivors of the crash of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815, including their interactions with the island's original inhabitants, whom they refer to as "the Others", and an inauspicious team from a nearby freighter. Characters are briefly summarized and credited in alphabetical order.

From left to right: Sawyer, Sun, Jin, Claire, Ben, Jack, Kate, Desmond, Sayid, Hurley, Locke, Michael, and Juliet

The show regularly features guest stars. Jeff Fahey plays the freighter's helicopter pilot Frank Lapidus, while Kevin Durand acts as Martin Keamy, the sinister leader of a group of mercenaries from the freighter that included Anthony Azizi's character Omar. L. Scott Caldwell and Sam Anderson return as 815 married couple Rose Henderson and Bernard Nadler. John Terry appears as Jack and Claire's deceased father Christian Shephard. Marsha Thomason returns as Naomi Dorrit, the first person from the freighter to appear on the island and Marc Vann plays Ray, the ship's doctor. Alan Dale acts as Charles Widmore, the man responsible for sending the freighter to the island. Mira Furlan portrays Danielle Rousseau, a marooned island inhabitant of sixteen years, who is reunited with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Alex, played by Tania Raymonde; Blake Bashoff plays Alex's boyfriend Karl. Nestor Carbonell is Richard Alpert, the ranking Other while Ben is held in captivity. Grant Bowler acts as Gault, the captain of the freighter, Kahana. Fisher Stevens and Zoë Bell play George Minkowski and Regina, two crew members involved with communications. Lance Reddick's character Matthew Abaddon is introduced as a mysterious man with connections to Naomi, Hurley and Locke.

Former regular cast members return for guest spots. Malcolm David Kelley reprises the role of Walt Lloyd, Michael's son, in both flashbacks and flashforwards. Cynthia Watros appears in a hallucination scene as deceased survivor Libby. She was initially contracted to return for multiple episodes in the season to explore the character's mysterious backstory, but this was scrapped due to the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike.[23]



Critical reception


"With … a clear finish line in 2010, the creative team could now focus on telling their story without having to worry about how many episodes they had left to work with. Season four is the first to benefit and delivers a faster paced and leaner story that expands the Lost universe in some unexpected ways and delves into the mystery that was introduced at the end of last season."

— Reviews website IGN[24]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has an approval rating of 88% with an average score of 8.6/10 based on 25 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Lost regains its mojo in a fourth season that reaffirms the show's place as one of TV's most unique undertakings."[25]

Time named Lost the seventh best television series of 2008 and praised the fourth season for "complicat[ing] [Lost's] time-and-space-travel story deliciously".[26] Don Williams of BuddyTV dubbed "The Beginning of the End" "the most anticipated season premiere of the year"[27] and Michael Ausiello later called the final hour of Lost's fourth season "the most anticipated 60 minutes of television all year."[28] American critics were sent screener DVDs of "The Beginning of the End" and "Confirmed Dead" on January 28, 2008.[29] Metacritic gave the season a score—a weighted average based on the impressions of a select twelve critical reviews—of 87,[30] earning the second highest score in the 2007–2008 television season after the fifth and final season of HBO's The Wire.[31] In a survey conducted by TVWeek of professional critics, Lost was voted the best show on television in the first half of 2008 "by a wide margin", apparently "crack[ing] the top five on nearly every critic's submission" and receiving "nothing but praise".[32] The May 7, 2007 announcement of a 2010 series end date and the introduction of flashforwards were received favorably by critics,[33] as were the season's new characters.[34]

Awards and nominations


The fourth season was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, with one win, for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One-Hour). The series was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, its second nomination in that category since the first season, while Michael Emerson received his second consecutive nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. It also received nominations for Outstanding Cinematography for a One-Hour Series, Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series.[35]

The season earned Lost two Television Critics Association Award nominations for "Program of the Year" and "Outstanding Achievement in Drama".[36] The season also was nominated for a 2008 Writers Guild of America Award in the category of Dramatic Series.[37]



Throughout the fourth season, Lost continued to slip in the ratings. The season premiered with 16 million American viewers, giving Lost its highest ratings in 17 episodes; however, the size of the audience steadily decreased throughout the season. The eighth episode, which served as the mid-season finale as a result of the writers' strike, brought in 11 million,[38] setting a new series low.[39] The next episode and midseason premiere climbed slightly to 12 million,[40] but the episode after that set the current record for lowest-rated episode in the United States with 11 million people watching.[41] The finale was seen by 12 million, reaching the most viewers since the midseason premiere and making it Lost's lowest-rated finale yet.[42] Despite the decline in viewers, Lost consistently ranked within the top 20 programs of the week with one exception. The finale topped the chart, due to its broadcast being over a week after the official end of the television season. Entertainment president Stephen McPherson commented that while he would "love to see the show grow … the reality is that the numbers are pretty good."[38]



The number in the "No. overall" column refers to the episode's number within the overall series, whereas the number in the "No. in season" column refers to the episode's number within this particular season. "Featured character(s)" refers to the character(s) who is centered on in the episode's flashbacks or flashforwards. "U.S. viewers (million)" refers to the number of Americans in millions who watched the episode as it was aired. A clip-show recapping the first three seasons titled "Lost: Past, Present & Future" preceded the season premiere episode.[43]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byFeatured character(s)Original air dateU.S. viewers
731"The Beginning of the End"Jack BenderDamon Lindelof & Carlton CuseHurleyJanuary 31, 2008 (2008-01-31)16.07[44]
Upon learning that Penny did not send the freighter, the survivors of 815 split into two groups led by Jack and Locke. Meanwhile, Hurley and Claire struggle with the news of Charlie's death. In flashforwards, Hurley is revealed to be one of the "Oceanic Six"—a group of six survivors, including Jack and Kate, of the crash of 815 who have escaped the island.
742"Confirmed Dead"Stephen WilliamsDrew Goddard & Brian K. VaughanFaraday, Charlotte,
Miles, Frank
February 7, 2008 (2008-02-07)15.06[45]
A science team from the freighter flown via helicopter by pilot Frank arrives on the island. A single flashback for each of the freighter crew members introduces their backstories. The episode's final flashback focuses on the late Naomi, who meets with Abaddon to discuss the science team and pilot. The team consists of Daniel, a physicist; Miles, a medium; and Charlotte, an anthropologist.
753"The Economist"Jack BenderEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzSayidFebruary 14, 2008 (2008-02-14)13.62[46]
Sayid makes a deal with Frank to leave the island, in exchange for freeing Charlotte. Sayid holds up his end of the deal; however, he obtains Charlotte by trading her for Miles. Frank, Sayid, and Desmond leave the island for the freighter by helicopter. In flashforwards, Sayid works as an assassin for Ben.
764"Eggtown"Stephen WilliamsElizabeth Sarnoff & Greggory NationsKateFebruary 21, 2008 (2008-02-21)13.53[47]
Kate goes on a quest to get information from Miles, which leads to her banishment from Locke's group. In flashforwards, Kate goes on trial for her numerous past crimes.
775"The Constant"Jack BenderCarlton Cuse & Damon LindelofDesmondFebruary 28, 2008 (2008-02-28)12.85[48]
Upon arriving on the freighter, Desmond gains his 1996 consciousness and time travels between 2004 and 1996. In 1996, he finds Daniel, who explains to him that he needs to find something or someone familiar in both times to stop his life-threatening time traveling. In 1996, he locates Penny; in 2004, he contacts Penny.
786"The Other Woman"Eric LaneuvilleDrew Goddard & Christina M. KimJulietMarch 6, 2008 (2008-03-06)12.90[49]
Juliet and Jack pursue Daniel and Charlotte, after they leave without notice for the Dharma electrical station, where they render a deadly gas inert. Meanwhile, Ben, who is being held captive by Locke, tells Locke about Widmore. Flashbacks show Juliet's relationships with Ben, her lover Goodwin and his wife Harper.
797"Ji Yeon"Stephen SemelEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzSun & JinMarch 13, 2008 (2008-03-13)11.87[50]
When Jin and Sun decide to join Locke's group, Juliet informs Jin of Sun's affair to stop her from going. On the freighter, Desmond and Sayid meet Gault, who offers more details on the fake wreckage of 815 previously mentioned by Naomi. Flashbacks show Jin on a maternal mission, while flashforwards show Sun giving birth.
808"Meet Kevin Johnson"Stephen WilliamsElizabeth Sarnoff & Brian K. VaughanMichaelMarch 20, 2008 (2008-03-20)11.28[51]
Sayid and Desmond confront Ben's spy on the freighter: Michael. Flashbacks show how Michael got from New York to the freighter, including his suicide attempts and deal with the Others. Ben sends Alex, accompanied by Karl and Danielle, to a Temple on the island where they will supposedly be safe, but they are attacked on the way, and Karl and Danielle are killed.
819"The Shape of Things to Come"Jack BenderBrian K. Vaughan & Drew GoddardBenApril 24, 2008 (2008-04-24)12.33[40]
A team of mercenaries from the freighter attacks Locke's group at the barracks. The leader of the team, Keamy, takes Alex hostage and eventually kills her. In flashforwards, Ben recruits Sayid as his assassin and confronts Widmore.
8210"Something Nice Back Home"Stephen WilliamsEdward Kitsis & Adam HorowitzJackMay 1, 2008 (2008-05-01)11.14[41]
Sawyer, Miles, and Claire make their way back to the beach camp from the Barracks, but Claire disappears in the night with her deceased father. Meanwhile, Jack falls ill with appendicitis and the survivors work together to save him. In flashforwards, Jack's life begins to fall apart as he starts taking pills and his relationship with Kate becomes strained.
8311"Cabin Fever"Paul EdwardsElizabeth Sarnoff & Kyle PenningtonLockeMay 8, 2008 (2008-05-08)11.28[52]
Locke, Ben, and Hurley journey to Jacob's cabin, where Locke is informed that they have to move the Island. After returning to the freighter, the mercenaries stage a mutiny. In flashbacks, Locke is shown to have been visited by Richard Alpert many times throughout his life.
8412"There's No Place Like Home (Part 1)"Stephen WilliamsDamon Lindelof & Carlton CuseJack, Hurley, Sayid,
Sun, Kate
May 15, 2008 (2008-05-15)11.40[53]
Six of the survivors are taken to the freighter and explosives are discovered on board. Meanwhile, Ben surrenders to the mercenaries and Kate and Sayid meet the Others in the forest. Flashforwards show the Oceanic Six's first actions after returning home.
8513"There's No Place Like Home (Parts 2 & 3)"Jack BenderCarlton Cuse & Damon LindelofJack, Hurley, Sayid,
Sun, Kate
May 29, 2008 (2008-05-29)12.20[54]
After Kate, Sayid and the Others free Ben and kill the mercenaries, Jack, Kate, Sayid, Hurley, Sun, Aaron, Desmond and Frank are rescued by Penny after Ben and Locke succeed in moving the island and the freighter explodes. In flashforwards, the Oceanic Six and Walt react to visits from a man known as Jeremy Bentham.

Home media

Lost: The Complete Fourth Season – The Expanded Experience
Set details Special features
  • 14 episodes
  • 6-disc set/5 Blu-ray Discs
  • 1.78:1 aspect ratio
  • Subtitles: English
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround) – DVD
  • English (PCM 5.1 Surround) – Blu-ray
  • Audio commentaries
    • "The Beginning of the End" by Evangeline Lilly and Jorge Garcia
    • "The Constant" by Mark Goldman, Damon Lindelof, and Carlton Cuse
    • "Ji Yeon" by Stephen Semel, Yunjin Kim, Daniel Dae Kim
    • "There's No Place Like Home (Part 2)" by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse
  • "The Right to Bear Arms"
  • "The Freighter Folk"
  • "The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii"
  • "The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies"
  • "Offshore Shoot"
  • "Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character, Conflict & Crash"
  • "Lost on Location"
  • "Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash-Forwards"
  • "Lost: Missing Pieces"
  • Deleted scenes
  • Bloopers
  • Easter Eggs
Release dates
 Brazil  United States
 Australia  Japan  United Kingdom
September 24, 2008 December 9, 2008 October 29, 2008 January 21, 2009 October 20, 2008


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