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Lost Recap – 4.01 Beginning of the End

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 20

Previously on Lost… did the hair stand up on the back of your neck when you heard those words last night? The anticipation is over and it is all done but the pontificating, so let’s get on with that, shall we? This is the recap / observations / theories for Lost 4.01 – “Beginning of the End.” Massive spoilers if you haven’t seen it.

33[2].jpgThe opening grows more and more symbolic as Lost season 4 moves on, believe me. As a standalone, though, I thought it was probably the worst part of the episode. My reasoning is a little selfish though. I love the disorienting “where the hell am I” atmosphere of the Lost season 2 and Season 3 premieres. Still, the explosion of fruit against a façade of island background, breaking into a pulse pounding car chase is emblematic of the approach Lost will take not only with this episode, but ones yet to air. Lost Season 4 isn’t going to be messing around.

27[1].jpgI won’t sugar coat it, Lost “Beginning of the End” was a clean up episode. There were several factors that could have, under the stalling mentality of seasons 2 and 3, resulted in dragged out mini-arcs. The separation of the characters, getting the new people to the island, the download of Charlie’s death, if this were season 2 or 3 we’d spend several episodes dealing with this stuff while setting up a few fringe themes and one major season long one. For Lost to get on with its “Deadline 48” mentality of closing the story, it had to get on a track of constant plot advancement.

That said, the fact that they were able to do an above par job with each of these issues while still managing to wink at what may be the long arc for Season 4. The toughest part of that balancing act undoubtedly rested on conveying the emotional weight of Charlie’s death in step with everything else without trivializing it. The way Charlie’s death coalesced with everything else was quite simply Lost writing at its finest. Rather then choose a pivotal ‘moment’ and hope it comes off right, Charlie’s influence exists in every nook and cranny of the episode and ultimately becomes the catalyst for dividing the camp between Locke and Jack.

Charlie appearing in a flash forward was naturally very interesting. His persistent message of ‘they need you’ juxtaposed against the appearance of not just one but two creepy personages in Jacob’s cabin seems, from my perspective at least, to establish what season 4 will be about. If Lost season one was about the survivors, two Dharma, three the others, it is certainly time to reveal what the disembodied voices and apparitions are all about. If you think about it, there wasn’t much difference between the revelation of Jacob as a phase shifting ghost and the seemingly physical appearance of Christian Shepherd in season one.

One of the major mysteries has been the apparent physical nature of the apparitions on the island. Jack touched Christian, Dave seemed to have physical properties, Yemi as well, and while we assumed the black smoke monster was somehow at play, it was actually seeing Jacob go from loud and clear disembodied voice to temporary physical form that brought the subject of the island’s “ghosts” to a new level of discussion. A discussion, I think, we may not be having enough.

Bottom Line:  Nobody wraps it up like Lindelof and Cuse, and boy can Jorge Garcia ACT! 

Random Observation: Cabin in the woods, classic ‘boo’ scares, is someone in the Lost writing room wearing their horror geek heart on their sleeve?

From TVFrenzy:

  • milo

    I don’t buy that Jacob is a “shape shifting ghost”, that he is behind the appearance of Christian, Yemi, and more.

    That has been set up as the smoke monster for a while now, and Cuse and Lindelof have pretty much confirmed it in their podcast and interviews.

    I don’t know how Charlie fits in though, considering Hurley sees him off-island. Although Hurley does have a history of hallucination before he even got to the island.

  • David

    Did anyone notice that when Mike mentioned that Ana-Lucia was on the plane and asked Hugo if he knew her, the only option he gave is “Might have met her before the plane took off.” He doesn’t say anything about the possibility that they met after the crash. To me this implies that part of the secret the Oceanic 6 are keeping is not only the fact that there are other survivors, but that there is an island at all. I think the outside world, maybe through some time travel type thing, or some other phenomenon, is led to beleive that the Oceanic 6 are the only ones who survived the initial crash and that there is no island.

  • MeganB

    ^ Regarding Hugo/Ana-Lucia
    Remember the look on his face when her name was mentioned? Hurley might still be so hurt over what happened to Libby. So perhaps just hearing her name brings back all of the pain of watching her die. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with those left on the island, or the island existing.

  • All Hail Mikhail

    Sounds like the “Oceanic 6” did something bad…question is…what?

  • DocArzt

    Milo: Phase shifting, not shape shifting.

  • milo

    Either way, I don’t buy that the appearance of dead characters is due to Jacob, when it already has been confirmed that it’s the smoke monster. And what about Jacob do you interpret as “phase shifting”? So far he’s just a mostly invisible dude in a cabin.

  • Good point David, I thought it was weird that he phrased it like that but didn’t think of that.

  • DocArzt

    Milo: I didn’t say they were. Phase shifting… look it up before you resist its beauty… it’s used to describe a lot of different states in acoustics, optics, etc., but it can be generally used to describe the ability to drift from one state to another.

  • PsiHawk

    Two things come to mind after watching last night….

    First its obvious that this flash forward takes place after they get off the island, but before the flash forward we saw at the end of season 3. Which partly leads me to think Hurly was in the coffin… as he finally went nuts and killed himself b/c of all the build up and pressure fromcovering up the lie.

    Which brings me to #2… They (whomever was rescued) Lied to the rest of the world. Obviously the general public thinks the “Oceanic 6” were the only survivors.. and they neglected to tell anyone else about the island or what happened on the island.. for whatever reasons… either blackmail…. the only option.. or what happened to everyone else was too horrible for them to discuss..

  • ErasedSlate

    I think you guys are right on. The coverup (the lie) is that they are the only survivors of Flight 815. The rest of the world only knows that flight 815 was found of Bali. These 6 were thrown out when the plane hit the water. There is no island. This would be far from where we have previously thought the island to be.

    PsiHawk, the reason that they won’t tell could be speculated by Mr. Oceanic Lawyer’s question, “Are they still alive?” Their silence is bought not only with rewards but assurances that those that remain will not be killed. Maybe?

    There is a more expanded version of the theory in the forums.

  • suburban coyote

    At this point I’m trying to look at the big picture re: Jacob/Smoke Monster. Here’s a list of ‘vision’ people: Christian Shephard, Shannon (in Boone’s vision quest), Walt (twice), Ana Lucia (after she’s been shot), Yemi, Boone, Ben’s mom, Dave, and now Charlie. Help me out if I’ve forgotten someone.

    Charlie’s the only one to appear off-island. He’s the 5th one to appear after he/she has been killed. All of them have been helpful, though often bearing warning and, with Yemi, an ultimate desmise. Characters always see them alone. Here’s who’s seen them: Jack, Boone, Locke, Shannon, Hurley, Eko, Ben, and Vincent. (Should we count Kate and her horse? Never figured that one out.)

    Other related, maybe-the-same occurences: Charlie seeing the painting replica with Claire in it, Sawyer being possessed by Kate’s dead father.

    ALL of these have either been 1) to help a character let go and redeem themselves from what ails them, 2) to warn them or 3) to get them to do the island’s bidding. I guess Charlie’s appearance to Hurley is still up for grabs, but my guess is it’s the island wanting Hurley back (“it wants us to come back”) and/or the need to save “them”.

    My head is spinning. Just thought I’d throw this into the mix. Also, what’s really buggin me now? How was it that Hurley saw Jacob? What does that mean for our loveable mountain-o-man?


  • blabberhole

    Has anyone deciphered the voices Hurley hears when he first arrives at the cabin? Typical whispers, but intriguing nonetheless.

  • milo

    “Characters always see them alone.”

    That hasn’t always been true – the last time Shannon saw “Walt”, Sayid said he saw him too. If the horse was a vision, Sawyer and Kate both saw it.

  • suburban coyote

    “That hasn’t always been true – the last time Shannon saw “Walt”, Sayid said he saw him too. If the horse was a vision, Sawyer and Kate both saw it.”

    Key word, “said”. We’re not sure if Sayid actually saw it or if he was just saying that to reassure a distraught Shannon.

    The horse mucks things up indeed, if it was a vision and not a real horse.

  • zach

    From, “What Kate Did”

    KATE: Because I’m going crazy. Do you believe in ghosts, Sayid?

    SAYID: I saw Walt in the jungle just before Shannon was shot. Does that make me crazy?

  • suburban coyote

    Thanks, Zach. I stand corrected!

  • Canadian Buddy

    Just wanted to mention a connection with the mobisodes:

    The Beginning of the End:
    JACK: (Shouts) We’re never going back!
    [Jack heads for the door]
    HURLEY: Never say never, dude.
    King of the Castle:

    Ben – No. No. I promise you I won’t do anything to prevent you from getting home. But if you do leave this place, the day may come when you want to return.
    Jack – Never.
    Ben – I’ve learned never to say never. And if that day comes, I hope you remember this conversation.

  • MeganB

    Why do you think that Hurley was the one in the coffin? Why would Kate dislike him so much to not go to the funeral? That’s a great question right there. I wonder what Hurley does (besides not going on Jack’s “side”) to them?

    Perhaps until the end he was threatening to “Tell on” them all? Threatening to give away their secret regarding the others that may be left on the island?

    What do you guys think?

  • MDG

    Here’s a thought about the 6. If they were somehow thrown out of the airplane or they were supposedly the only ones to survive… Why did the man in the pharmacy in TTLG, recognize Jack as a hero? He says “Do you guys know what this guy did? Just give him whatever he wants.” I don’t think it was because he pulled someone out of burning reckage, I think it was that man recognizing him as one of the 6! (I believe this theory has been visited before.) What exactly did Jack to that was viewed as so valiant?

  • Not sure if this has been mentioned before, but think for a moment about the “Oceanic” 6. Surely this suggests that out of the 6, none of them are any of the Others (ie: Juliet, Ben etc), and nor could it be Desmond, as the term “Oceanic” wouldn’t apply to them. So either the only 6 people who left the island were 815ers, or ADDITIONAL islanders could have escaped also, more than the “Oceanic” 6, but are not grouped into that collective name.