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Lost 4.09 – “Shape Of Things To Come” – Best.Lost.Evah!

By docarzt,

  Filed under: Lost Recaps
  Comments: 32

lost-49.jpgApparently there is something about prolonged exposure to sunlight combined with copious walking that really ramps up the creativity centers in the brain because this first post-strike LOST was completely and utterly mind-blowing!  A while back when I interviewed Darlton I asked them if the thought process for Lost stopped while they were out there on the picket lines.  They claimed it had (and what with the WGA tar and feathering dissenters these days, who could blame them).  Clearly, it didn’t. 

This was exactly like the already awesome season 4 was stopped to allow the writers to recharge their batteries and throw an extra couple of months into figuring out how to make the season even MORE awesome.  As unlikely as that would seem, it happened.

I’ll admit, some of that might come from the fact that we’ve waited what seems like an eternity for this episode.  First there was the question of whether the strike would 86 the rest of the season, then how many episodes, then just the organic waiting period that followed.  But, seriously… I was feeling it, with or without the huge relief of tension that came with this episode.

Let’s take a moment to look over the revelations.

  • Ben appears in the Dharka, just as Jeff Jensen promised.  His appearance leaves little doubt that teleportation AND time travel are involved because a) Ben is way over dressed for the desert and b) he doesn’t know what year it is!
  • The method of transportation is definitely contained in the Orchid station.  That Parka belongs to Dr. Candle AKA Halliwax himself!  Which means, yes, that is the Orchid logo.,  Woot.  New Dharma make me giddy.
  • By the lack of someone saying “Hey Danielle is Alive!” we can assume that the French lady is dead.  Ouch.  Darlton said her fate would be revealed, and the only mention in the entire episode came from Alex who said her mom was dead.
  • Ben came out all covered in soot and whadda-ya-know, Smokey shows up.  I theorized a while ago that the monster was a neutral force, some substance that essentially responds to the intelligences that are near it.  So did Ben just roll around in some instant Smokey dust and transmit his rage into it?
  • Ben refers to “rules” several times.  The idea of a game being played is alluring, but I have a suspicion that Widmore was somehow complicit in the goings ons with the island.  In that case, Ben and Widmore may have been partners at one point.
  • The whole “matter of relativity” thing has to stop.  Strange anachronistic thing happens, Daniel says something coy about perception… enough already.  Just say what it is.
  • Jack has a belly ache.  I’ve said it before and I’m not backing down.  The time for a “somebody has appendicitis” episode was season one.  Things are moving along too well for a survivalist episode.
  • Alex dead!  Whoa!  Whoever said that the execution style killing was not who we think from the promos was playing us (Jensen)!  I didn’t see it happening, but again… Through the Looking Glass sort of shoe horned some necessary regulars into the budget and I suppose killing them was an easy way to get them off the payroll.  Besides…
  • WOW!  Future Ben’s motivation.  Now he wants to kill Penny, and just why is Widmore so sure Ben can’t find her?  Adam and Eve anyone?  Could Widmore have somehow sent Penny and Desmond back to the island’s past? 

  • tanside

    WOW! awesome on every level, i just hope the ratings reflect it.

  • mike


    It’s episodes like this one that makes us proud to be Lost fans. Some episodes may not be the greatest, but by God – The Shape of Things to Come truly was the best episode of Lost. How, oh how, will the finale top this outing? What the heck do TPTB have in store?

  • Scott

    I posted this over on The Tail Section, but I thought I’d share it here as well to see what you think.

    I have a new theory brewing now – this is a GAME between Ben and Charles. A huge cosmic GAME. I thought the scene with Locke, Sawyer and Hurley playing Risk was a beautiful metaphor. There was some distinct language that supports this idea, most notably Ben saying (and later repeating) “He [Charles] changed the rules” and calling Alex “a pawn.” There have been many instances of games on the Island, which could be metaphors for the overlying plot (

    This is not at all inconsistent with some time travel theories, which were further confirmed with Ben’s appearance in 2005, a year after the events on the island. Also, if Charles is Alvar Hanso – perhaps Ben is actually someone else as well. (Or Ben is really Ben, but his ‘real world’ name is Dean Moriarty. And Charles’s real world name is Charles Widmore, but he is actually Alvar Hanso.) All these other things could play into the bigger plot of a cosmic game between Ben and Charles. And the Island is the key to winning the game. (As Hurley said, “everyone knows controlling Australia is the key to the game.)

    It’s a rough theory, but I like some of the possibilities it opens up…

  • Whether it is a game or not, I thought Hurley exclaiming during the Risk game “Australia is the key to the whole game!” was VERY interesting.

  • gusteaux

    Re: your last point:
    My thoughts exactly! Widmore is going to hide Penney in the last place on earth Ben would look for her: on the island!

  • VictorC

    I absolutely loved this episode, almost up there with The Constant (almost).

    But that gunfight scene was just an insult to people’s intelligence. I mean, Sawyer’s over here pulling off a Rambo, running and dodging every bullet coming out of a machine gun, but yet it gets worse: he actually HIDES behind a wooden table, as if it’s actually going to stop the bullets from those machine guns.

    But the worst of all was the whole house blowing up (from an RPG, nonetheless) and yet Claire is barely touched…
    I’ve never seen LOST mess up that bad.

    But anyways, still loved the episode.

  • Devin

    I’m rewatching it now…and something I didn’t catch at first was…well it’s hard to describe. Look closely at Ben after he wakes up in Tunisia. He looks like there’s some kind of electricity pulsing on him or something. Further evidence that he just teleported/time traveled there

  • SithLord

    I dont know if it was the best episode ever, but it was pretty frackin good.
    How can Widmore send anyone to the island when he doesnt know where it is?

  • mikey

    Is it just me, or does anyone else really want a Dharka now?

  • nikki

    I can’t say it was the best episode ever, but it was pretty good. I was really excited to see Smokey and surprised as heck when Alex was killed.

    I like how we’re now beginning to see Ben in a different light. He actually seems human; as cruel as this sounds, I’m glad we got to see him cry. I think the main thing to come out of this episode for me is I have a newfound appreciation for Ben.

    I agree with you, Doc, on the Daniel portion; just tell us. Enough with the whiny scientist act and grow some balls. Since Charlotte and Faraday showed up, I find I’m not really into the whole beach-crowd scenes. Hopefully when Sawyer, Claire, and Miles show up, it’ll pick up the pace.

  • JDSalinger

    OH MY GOD!!
    Great points, Doc. But I somehow think we’ll still be seeing more ’bout Danielle. A flash back wouldnt do it, Danielle being one of the original characters. there has to be to her story than what we’ve learned up until now..which is practically nada so i dont think she’s history.
    It wasnt electric but Ben is definetly covered in some smog. I think, judging by the clothes he’s wearing, perhaps he came from somewhere cold ie. antartica…flashback Season 2 finale…?
    Definetly the Best comeback show EVER!!

  • stoley

    I thought it was a little unbelievable the way Sawyer and Claire were pretty much untouched by all the bullets and the blowing up and all as well, but then I figured if the island could prevent Michael from killing himself and he wasn’t even there, obviously it can protect people who may yet have “Work to do”. so, maybe that’s what’s up.

  • RichPundit

    Excellent post and posted comments DocArtz!

    We all learned and confirmed much last night … of course with even more questions than answers.

    I was particularly fascinated with the possible concept that both Ben and Widmore are not typical “living” humans and may be playing a “Game”, perhaps with Austrailia as a key winning strategy, as evidence by: Ben acknowledging that he is unable to kill Widmore, Widmore’s comment about knowing who/what Ben really is, Ben’s comment that the Freighters would not risk killing him & the assault stopping, Miles’ comment when demanding the $3.2 million from Ben that he knows who/what Ben is, and much more.

    Think we’re all clearly enjoying this incredible roller coaster ride … LOST pleasures – RichPundit

  • boobs

    I think Sawyer and Claire weren’t shot because they are valuable to Widmore’s big picture. Keamey & the death squad could have easily raided that house, got Ben and killed everyone else, but didn’t why?

    All of the Freighter Four know more about their mission but won’t talk, why? What do they have to lose? They are now stuck on the island with the rest of the bunch.

  • Devin

    I think worth noting about last night’s episodes that no one seems to be pointing out is Sawyer. Ever since he killed Cooper, the cause of…well basically his life’s problems and the reason he’s been an asshole…ever since then he’s been kind of struggling between being his old self, who wanted to be hated, and being a good guy. One good early example of this was in the season premiere when he tried to talk to Hurley about Charlie.

    But last night, not only was he downright badass, he was a hero. While Locke and Ben were concerned with barricading themselves in, Sawyer insisted on risking his life to go fetch anyone he could and bring them with, through gunfire. And then that standoff he had with Locke, when he was protecting Hurley…I know I may be a little behind in coming around to really love Sawyer, but DAMN he was awesome

  • ez_s

    Loved the show last night….been wondering….have nothing to back it up, just wondering, but i wonder if Ben and Charles have 4 toes?

    I know We’ve seen Ben born off the island and his mum died and everything, but Ben has also said he was born on the island. He could of been born twice…i dont know! Just wondering if Ben and Charles and maybe even jacob where important on the island many many years ago, before a divide in the 70s which resulted in Ben’s hostiles and Charle’s backed Dharma programme clashing

  • milo

    Great episode, although not my favorite of the season much less the series.
    “Darlton said her fate would be revealed” They did, but they said it would be revealed in episode 410, which is the one NEXT week. So we don’t know what her fate is – my guess is that she’s alive, and that Alex’s death will be a huge motivation for her to spring into action.
    Huge body count last night, besides Alex there were three redshirts, the boat doctor, potentially six boat snipers, and most significantly NADIA! That’s a huge reveal, that Sayid finds her and marries her, only to have her killed soon after. Will no couple end up happy?

  • Pop Zeus


    Not a new theory. has been around since Season 1, I believe.

  • Muhammed

    We learned Nadia’s name is Noor Shamar, not Nadia Abed Jazeem. Her name is written in Arabic on her coffin just before her picture is shown. IN hebrew, shamar means to preserve, and the meaning is somewhat similar in arabic. It is also the name of a tribe in Northern Iraq, sympathetic to the kurds, which is perhaps why Noor became a rebel.

  • theMachine

    imo THE BEST ONE YET!!! As for the “Australia” comment, Hurley was referencing the popular Risk startegy of pigeon holing yourself in australia, with all your armies and leaving them all on the first country in Asia(siam i think) that way you get your 2 extra armies each turn for occupying the continent australia. after that, you can just take one country at a time per round get your risk card and fortify… well that is what Hurley was reffering to, but It def was a metaphor as well

  • Aldo

    Re “somebody has appendicitis”: I think there’s more significance to Jack’s sickness. Darlton recently, in their last podcast I think, foreshadowed a relationship between getting sick and being healed with one’s relationship with the island. While Locke, Rose, Nadia and Mikhail are notoriously fast healers, Jack seems to be getting sick spontaneously. When Daniel told Jack that they were never here to rescue them, Jack really started to feel it. It seems the more you want to get off the island, the sicker you get, and the more you want to stay there, the more you will be healed.

    I think this bodes well for Danielle, who must have a strong connection to the island.

  • stoley

    jack is a junkie. he’s becoming addicted to pain killers just like future jack. we saw him take a pill for crying out loud. he’s not sick, he’s addicted.

  • milo

    Jack took an antibiotic, not a painkiller. On the pill bottle it said amoxycilyn. Addicts don’t get hooked on antibiotics, they’re not addictive at all.

    He’ll BE a junkie, but he’s not there yet. And it sure looks like he really is sick.

  • milo

    Jack took an antibiotic, not a painkiller. On the pill bottle it said amoxycilyn. Addicts don’t get hooked on antibiotics, they’re not addictive at all.

    He’ll BE a junkie, but he’s not there yet. And it sure looks like he really is sick.

  • stoley

    i guess i stand corrected. i thought maybe he was lying about the antibiotic, but if the bottle said amoxycilyn… well, there you go.

  • lmz27

    I thought the same thing as I was watching, and then I had a brainstorm…. what if the scene between Widmore and Ben happened before Widmore’s boat found the island, and therefore before Alex was shot… perhaps there is another daughter of Ben’s that died (whom he had with Annie?) at the hands of Widmore…
    There are some holes to this theory, because Ben did say he had been in Iraq. But if he’s time jumping all over the place anyway….
    I dunno. I just don’t get why Ben would say “You’ll never find it” if Widmore’s people already had found it.
    Anyone else have any thoughts about that comment from Ben?

  • fmiii


    I’m pretty sure Darlton said, at some point, that all scenes in flash backs and forwards were chronological. So, the final scene with Widmore would have to be after the boat found the island and the 6 got off of it.

    As far as the “you’ll never find it” line goes, I don’t think we have enough information yet to know if Widmore has any idea his boat found the island. Michael disabled the communication system before they got there and we have no idea if any of the freighter people made it back. in fact, in the season premiere, Abbadon asks Hurley if “they are still alive” which would most likely mean his people didn’t make it back. We’ll just have to wait to see how that all unfolds.

  • lmz27

    hmm… maybe!
    but then, that would mean the 6 don’t get rescued by widmore’s boat anyway.

    we could think bout ji yeon as a model for non-linear flash backs and forwards. 😉

    anyway, props to sithlord for pointing out a puzzling line of dialogue.

  • fmiii

    While Ji Yeon was different, it still moved linearly. Sun’s flash forward ran from beginning to end and Jin’s flashback did the same. It was two linearly told stories not one non-linear story. Darlton may be cryptic and trick with their storytelling, but they seem to be very good about not changing the rules of how we view the show with out making it very clear (i.e. the first flash forward)

    oh, and it just occurred to me that it is doubtful that Ben and Annie could have had a child anyway, seeing that babies conceived on the island don’t get born.

    just my 2c.

  • lmz27

    i guess my theory is that annie died in childbirth…. hope we see more of her and the dharma folk soon! just trying to connect all the dots….

  • Charlie’s Ghost

    Ok, so here’s some theories…..

    First, something I noticed that no one has mentioned….which means I’m either crazy or keen…haha In the dim-lit room where Ben confronts Charles, Charles looks a lot like an older Richard Alpert. Anyone think the same?

    So based on this, I have two theories on who Charles Widmore really is, based on his words, ‘you took the island from me.’

    First theory on who Widmore is – Alvar Hanso. The first guy to find the island….and possibly settle the island, discovering its mystical powers. This could also explain how/why Widmore was a big financial backer of the Hanso Foundation, the main contributor to the Dharma Initiative. It was Hanso/Widmore’s island and he was using it to find a way to extend the human race’s time on the earth. Makes sense right? Maybe Richard is the relative that chose Ben’s side at some point when Ben took the island.

    Second theory – DeGroots is Widmore. This too would explain why Widmore said that Ben took the island from him. Maybe during the purge DeGroots wasn’t on the island and after the purge, Ben cut off DeGroots/Widmore’s ability to return to the island or find the island.

    I’m kinda stuck between the two theories. I really thought Charles looked like an older Richard….but the DeGroots theory makes sense….kinda.

    Also, someone earlier mentioned Adam/Eve possibly being Penny/Desmond. What about Adam/Eve being Sawyer and Claire? I have no reason to think this, but Aaron gets off the island, and Claire and Sawyer don’t. Locke is with Ben. Hurley gets off the island…. who knows.

    Australia comment – I think this was a metaphor for the actual island. Ben wants it, Charles wants it. He who has it controls his own destiny. Could it be the fountain of youth? Widmore has a company that makes health related products. Could explain his fascination with prolonging life/health.

    As for Sayid killing the Widmore operative. I truly believe Ben was lying about Widmore killing Nadia. I think Ben did this to coerce Sayid into killing for him. Ben is short-staffed, as the Losties killed some of his best men. Sayid fits the mold and is now emotionally invested….coincidence?



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