Lost season 4 episode 9: did we just jump the shark?

No, it’s not that this episode was particularly bad, just that I can’t help feeling that this was the exact point when I realised that a lot of the cleverness in the writing seems to have bled dry, leaving us with clichéd rhetoric like “that island was always mine and you know it. Still, I’m too far in to stop watching now, so fear not, the blogging will continue on an internet near you.

Lost: they’re coming to get you!

With Karl and Rousseau dead, a frightened Alex gives herself up to the team from the boat, who immediately take her hostage and force her to deactivate the security fence that protects the Others’ compound. In doing so, however, Alex triggers an early warning system that notifies the compound that something is amiss with a recorded message on Ben’s phone.

Unfortunately, Locke, Sawyer and Hurley take so long debating over whether to even tell Ben about the message that they lose much of the advantage of the early warning, and are forced to take shelter in the most defensible of the houses. As Ben and Locke bar the doors and Hurley takes care of Aaron, Sawyer defies Ben’s recommendation and goes to rescue Claire. Unfortunately for him, the attack has already begun, and he is unable to save three unwary generics from being shot before reaching Claire’s house just as it is blasted to pieces.

Fortunately, Claire is alive in the wreckage, and Sawyer takes her back to the main house, where Hurley smashes the window to let them in. As everyone hunkers down to prepare for an assault, however, there is a ring at the doorbell- Miles has arrived, armed with a walkie-talkie given to him by the members of the assault team.

Naturally, Ben is unwilling to negotiate with the people who want his life, but when he dismisses their claims of having a hostage he finds himself in for an unpleasant surprise- they have Alex in their custody, and her life is forfeit if he doesn’t cooperate. Desperate to save his daughter, Ben decides to bluff his way out of the situation, claiming that because they are not actually related by blood, Alex means nothing to him. Unfortunately, his opponent swiftly calls his bluff, shooting Alex and ‘changing the rules’ in Ben’s eyes.

Now that the playing field has changed, Ben decides that they must make a break for it as soon as they can, and once the coast is clear the whole group flees for the jungle. Ben’s plan is for him and Locke to visit Jacob and find out what to do next- but since neither of them can now find the cabin, they will need Hurley to lead them there. Sawyer, meanwhile, is unwilling to go along with this, and says that he will be taking Claire, Aaron and Hurley to the beach, sparking a stand-off. Determined to avoid bloodshed, Hurley tells Sawyer that he will go with Ben and Locke for now, and catch up with them later.

…but they’re not coming to get you

Meanwhile, on the beach, a rather unpleasant surprise washes ashore- the body of the ship’s doctor. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to communicate with the ship- at least until Morse code is suggested. With that in mind, Daniel puts together a message to send to the ship asking what happened to the doctor, and in due course a response comes in- but where Daniel says that his comrades will be coming to pick them all up soon, Bernard reveals that the message actually said that as far as the people on the boat are concerned, the doctor is fine. With his deception revealed, Daniel has no choice but to reveal the truth- he and his party never actually intended to rescue the Oceanic 815 survivors in the first place.

Found: Sayid, Ben and a whole new box of clichés

Ben wakes up to find himself in a rather undesirable position- he is out in the middle of the desert, and two native riders have just confronted him. Nonetheless, Ben being Ben, he is able to swiftly gain the upper hand, and ride off back into civilisation.

Meanwhile, for Sayid, life has taken an unfortunate turn- after finally marrying his beloved Nadia, she has been killed- by someone affiliated with Widmore. Upon learning this, Sayid finds himself thrust into a war with an unlikely ally- Ben- and after killing his wife’s murderer, he asks to be given more names to wipe out.

Sneaking into Widmore’s hotel room at night, Ben delivers his nemesis a warning- but as far as Widmore is concerned, he is the one who is in the right, and he is the true owner of the island. Which side will prevail?

Observations and Speculation

  • Well, we now know why Sayid is working for Ben, but what was Widmore hoping to achieve by having Nadia killed? Isn’t it all becoming that little bit too clichéd and generic?

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