Season 4 Episode 9

The Shape of Things to Come

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 24, 2008 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews page 2 of 3

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  • Smokey is back!

    Lost is back with one of its best episodes yet! It had everything: suspence, drama, mystery and revelations!
    Ben's flashforward/timetravelling was very interesting from the very beginning when he appeared in the Sahara Desert, since the last scene where he meets Charles Widmore! In his Flashforward we can see how Sayid started to co-operate with Ben and how it all began.
    On the island, specifically at the beach, a dead body is found at the shore, and as it appears the man is Ray,the doctor from the freighter. When they communicate with the freighter to inform them what happened, they reply that "the doctor is fine" !
    Meanwhile,at the barracks, some of Charle's Widmore associates come against Ben and the rest. They start shooting people and they explode Claire's house but luckily for her Sawyer was there to pull her out of the ruins and save her. After a while, Keamy brings Alex and threatens to kill her if Ben does not surrender. Ben thinks that he has eveything under control but he is mistaken and when he refuses to surrender Keamy murders Alex in cold blond. When Ben realizes what just happened, he enters a secret room and calls the smoke monster. Émmediately, the smoke monster comes and kills all the enemies.
    In the very last scene,in Ben's flashforward when he meets Charle Widmore,Ben asserts him that he is going to kill his daughter,just like he did to his daughter,so that he can feel how it is like to loose her.
    Perfect episode with many surprises and lots of suspence! Can's wait to see the next one!
  • Even though we learn as many answers as there are new questions that come up, it's still such a rewarding episode to watch.


    -Sayid reunites and marries Nadia, who is later assassinated.

    - Ben manipulates Sayid into working for him by telling him that he knows the people that assassinated his wife.

    - Ben and Charles Whitmore are more familiar with each other than expected. They also have certain 'rules' regarding one another, which is why Ben didn't expect Keamy to kill Alex.

    - Penny is hidden somewhere and Ben makes it his mission to find and kill her as revenge for Alex's murder. - That the Oceanic 6 will have been rescued before October 24 2005.

    - The people on the freighter never intended to rescue the people on the island, and really do have orders to kill everyone there.

    - Locke, Ben and Hurley (looking for Jacob) have separated as a group from Sawyer, Miles, Claire and Aaron (headed to the beach).


    - How Ben is seemingly able to teleport/time travel off of the island to see Sayid in Iraq in 2005 (it also isn't clear as to whether he traveled to the past or future)

    - How Ben is able to communicate and control the smoke monster through the hidden stone passageway

    - What Whitmore means by saying to Ben "Everything you have you took from me"; including the island.
  • Was the wait worth it? In a word, yes.

    Sure, it may have only been a few weeks since "Meet Kevin Johnson" shocked us with the story of Michael off the island, but still the return of LOST excited me more than an hour of tv should be able to. And what an hour it was, no time wasting or pointless stories, all griping action packed scenes. Well, maybe the scenes back at the beach were just a little slower than the rest, but they were just as good in the information revealed. We finally receive proper confirmation that the islands new visitors never even intended to rescue them, and Jack appears to be getting ill which I'm sure will cause trouble in the near future. However, this episode was really about Ben. His off the island scenes really connected some dots in the LOST universe, Charles's men killed Ben's daughter and he wants his revenge. Speaking of which, when Alex was cruelly shot dead Michael Emerson showed some of the most intense face acting I've seen on the show. You really felt the shock of Ben as for one of the first times he lost a battle. The BSM made an epic return, and should we really have been that supprised that Ben was able to call him? We had been alluded to it by the "security system" comment but it still was incredible to see a mass of them attacking. Did anyone else think this was the best looking the creators managed to make them look? Anyways, great episode and great start to the end of the series.
  • Jack and the others on the beach discover a dead body which turns out to be the doctor from the freighter. Ben, Locke and Saywer discover that the freighter people are finally here to get Ben.

    This episode was outstanding. Since the season is going to be cut short of episodes due to the writers strike earlier this year you can tell that these last remainig episodes are going to be jam-packed with excitement. This episode was no exception.

    We got a few more insights on how the island might work with the Dr. from the freighter showing up dead on the beach but the people on the freighter believing he is just fine. Are the people on the freighter just making that up or is he really still alive on the freigher?

    Locke and Bens scenes were great in this one. Ben just always knows what to do and what to say. He always seems in control of things. His flash forward where he recruited Sayid is great and also shows an insight on his relationship with Charles Whitmore. The have rules?? Is Whitmore Dharma? An epsiode that had me on the edge of me seat almost the whole time and is making me so impatient for next weeks episode.

    On a sidenote, the user "bugmenotplz" who gave this episode an 8 out of 10 because he supposedly found a mistake in the chicken little reference seems to foget or not know that the chicken little story is a fable that has been around since the 5th century. And thats all Saywer is refering to. He never mentions any movie.
  • Holy Crap!

    Well, well, well! Smokey's back and he's kicking ass. Apparently the island's security device is controlled by Ben and as usual Ben fulfills his duty of being the person you love to hate.

    While Jack tries to discover the identity of a body that has washed ashore in the mediocre B-story which by Lost standard is pretty good, Locke's camp is attacked by Ben's adversaries. We have explosions, smoke monster's suspense, Part II of 'The Econoimist' (episode 3) and a wicked conclusion. When I heard Episode 9 was going to be good, I didnt think this good. By far the best episode of the series beating 'The Constant' by a smidge...
  • Ben's Parka revealed a new Dharma logo. - Ben Linus and Charles Widmore are each other's constant? - Doctor found in the water; time travel issue again? - Ben is a secret service agent?

    What a comeback! I think it was worth waiting for it. I felt like watching a thriller. So many theories to think about.
    1) Ben's Parka revealed a new Dharma logo which was not known before. Most of the Dharma logos are connected to a station on the island. So there might be a transportation station on the island, which Ben used to transport himself to Sahara desert. As the Arabic man who find him ask "Where did this guy from? Down from the sky?", as they see no trails on the sand it is almost certain that he came off the island by some sort time travel and material transfer, just like the polar bear found by Charlotte in episode "Confirmed Dead". The question is why Ben was wearing a parka and if this transportation has an intermediary stop at the arctic station?
    2)Goran Naumoski wrote in the forum that the reason for Ben Linus and Charles Widmore not killing each other is, that they are each other's constant. This is a very good theory, which I agree upon. Even they hate each other, they still need each other. There has been a common issue between them who has the power on the island and still is, so much they dare to kill their loved ones. Or is it that Widmore has now changed the rules of the game?
    3)The doctor found in the water seems to be o.k. on the ship as the freighter people tell Daniel in Morse code. Is this a simple lie or a time travel issue again?
    4) And finally Ben's character is developing more and more into a secret service agent. He takes down two persons who are pointing guns to him, he speaks Arabic and Turkish, appears in a Press truck in Iraq, tricks out the doorman in London and so on.
    I think it was one of the season's best episodes again.
  • Don't make Ben mad, you wouldn't like him when he is mad.

    Just when this show seems to be getting stale it surprises me. I knew this would be a Ben-centric episode and i didn't know what to expect but MAN!!! Ben knows many languages, is a world traveler and maybe even a spy.
    He and Charles had some sort of a rules system involving their feud over the island. Now for some reason Charles changed the rules and allowed for Ben's daughter to be killed, making for Ben to want to kill Penny, Charles' daughter. Makes you wonder if this will bring Desmond in at the last minute to save her. The one thing to be certain about this show is that just when you think you have it mapped out and completely figured, they throw you a curveball.
  • Where are the Heroes fans now? Lost crushed em all.

    Mercenary guys = Heroes fans. Black smoke = Lost.

    Good game. Good game.

    Nobody can question now what is the best serialised mythological drama. LOST is. Once again the writers proved their creativity, cleverness and the fact that the show's plot isn't written on the fly.

    I bet Tim Kring is crying his ass off every week Lost airs. "Why can't my show be like that? :("

    The episode's key moments:

    Ben teleporting
    Finding out Dr Ray is dead but actually alive at the same time
    Alex getting head-shot
    The action sequence where 3 redshirts go down
    Smokey killing the mercs
    Ben confronting Widmore

    All that in one episode - Lost owns. Tyvm.
  • One of the best episodes ever! Lost is, and always will be, the best TV show of all-time! The magnificent plotting will rule the TV shows industry.

    One error in the show. When Ben is flash-backing, he watches a news report on Saed. The headline indicates his name and headlines written in Arabic with each single letter separated and discontinuous. However Arabic words are written in one word and continuously. There was also another error in one of the previous episodes showed in the earlier seasons. Don't remember which episode exactly, but it was Saed-centric episode. Where is shows him back in his old days at Iraq during the Sadam regime. It was showing Saed having a conversation with the army general and being blackmailed by him, by showing him a video of what is supposed to be his home country. However the Video shown is actually a shot taken in Afghanistan during the US invasion. Nevertheless, I still love this show !
  • Lost returns and the main question it raises is how did we live without it for several weeks?

    This week gave us our second Ben centric episode but despite there still being loads to learn about the character's back-story we were shown a flashforward. Of course I wasn't sure it was a flashforward until the final (awesome) scene with Charles Widmore where he confirmed it was after Alex's death. The reason I wasn't sure was because of how Ben seemed to just wake up in Tunisia (where the polar bear was found) and that he wasn't certain of the date. This implied to me that not only had he somehow teleported from the island but actually managed to control its power of transport and time-travel. I'm only just on board with the time travel as it is so if Ben can control it it seems one step too far for my liking. Still that and the fact that there was no kind of closure within the episode as to the specifics of Ben's method of transportation from the island is my only real complaint about it. Obviously it's Lost's nature and part of what makes the show great that we aren't sure of what's going on, but at least a hint at an answer wouldn't have hurt here.

    Actually there's one other thing that annoyed me which was the fake-out when we were shown Hurley, Sawyer and Locke playing Risk. This was shamelessly ripped from the final episode of Buffy where it was done better. Still if you're going to steal then steal from the best I guess, plus Hurley's comment about Australia being the key to the game was a nice touch relating to the show in general. And so onto the good stuff. We quickly discover who took out Karl and Roussau (she could still be alive though) last week, although it wasn't hard to guess. The mercenaries from the ship force Alex to get them into the Barracks and then use her to try to get Ben. The resulting action scene was very cool aside from a few issues. Sawyer tried to warn everyone about the impending attack but pretty much failed. When one of the extras got taken out and then another and another it was almost comical. But I guess it was a necessity to get rid of the unimportant castaways who had also followed Locke to the barracks. Then Claire's house was hit with a rocket launcher but Sawyer wasn't willing to give up and fortunately she survived the attack and he rescued her. Not that I thought they'd kill her like that but it did give a good amount of suspense.

    How Sawyer avoided getting hit by ducking behind very small fence posts was a bit iffy, but again they weren't going to kill him so I can accept it. The lead mercenary tried to offer a trade to Ben that would save Alex but Ben didn't believe him and told her that she didn't matter to him. Presumably this was an attempt to get the guy to release her and Ben simply read him wrong as to what he'd do, but it could've also been that he was willing to sacrifice his daughter for the island. That said judging by his reaction after she was executed I think it was the former. Speaking of Michael Emerson is awesome! His reaction to Alex's death had the perfect blend of fear, shock, anger and devastation, and it wasn't just that scene, he was brilliant throughout. As far as Alex's death goes I have slightly conflicting feelings. Alex herself is not a good character, however her story is very interesting as she's Roussau's daughter and was raised by Ben. Ben says "she's a pawn" and that's pretty appropriate for her character as it's the events of her life that are interesting, not what affect they've had on her. The main reason that her death annoys me however is that I somehow get the feeling that means Roussau is definitely dead. I hope I'm wrong but having her main purpose on the show killed off makes me think she's superfluous now with the exception of the backstory we need from her of course!

    Meanwhile having been sacrifice for the story in the previous episode this week's B-story was back on the beach. Bernard found the ship's doctor dead which resulted in more questions directed at Daniel and Charlotte. Again more time-travel hints were dropped but the main event was the confirmation that they were not going to rescue the Oceanic 815 survivors. The lead up to this was pretty cool as somehow the radio wasn't working properly (which I can't remember it getting smashed or anything) so the best they could do was send Morse code. Daniel lied about the message that was received but big bad Bernard (alliteration yay!) showed that he's a pimp by saying what the real message was. The fact that he didn't let on that he new Morse code allowed them to catch out Daniel and was very cool. Although on second viewing it appeared that Jack may have given Bernard the idea and personally I'd have preferred if Bernard could've taken all the credit for it but I guess they still insist on Jack being the hero. Although the beach scenes were interesting they had difficulty living up to the quality of Ben's main story and as such slowed the pace of the episode slightly. That said I'm still glad they showed the beach rather than ignored them but it all felt more like set-up than any real story.

    Back at the barracks it was time for the moment that the trailers promised us, the almighty return of the Smoke Monster. I think the best term for its scene is "epic". It would seem that Ben can somehow summon the creature and the secret room he did it from implies that the Monster is indeed man-made, but that fact that we didn't get to see the room Ben went into annoyed me. Considering all the secrets Ben knows his episode should be one that reveals them, but to have him do something off camera in this situation seemed a bit of a cop-out. I guess whatever was in that room would've given too much away about the Monster and possibly other things that they don't want to show us it yet. They're usually good at slowly giving out enough information to keep us happy but I felt that we should've seen a bit more this time. However as the Monster attack was so cool I'll let it slide. It was far bigger than ever before this time and the wall of smoke taking out the mercenaries was some sight. There was also a very cool shot of when the Monster stopped for a second and appeared to scan one of them before killing them showing a nice bit of continuity amongst the chaos. My only possible complaint is that I would've liked to see the Monster properly killing someone by throwing them around and into trees, particularly the head mercenary that show Alex I though needed to be actually seen dying. Even on a show like Lost though I guess budget constraints can be an issues and what we still got, as I've already said, was awesome! The final scene on the island was also fantastic. Sawyer finally decides to leave Locke and Ben to do whatever they want and heads back to the beach with the others. However as Locke and Ben need Hurley to locate Jacob's cabin they couldn't let him go. This led to the moment when I think I fell in love with Sawyer (in a purely plutonic and not at all gay way of course). His line to Locke regarding Hurley "You harm so much as one hair on his curly head, I'll kill you" was awesome and great to see how far Sawyer's come from the man out for himself in season 1.

    And amongst all that excitement we still had Ben's off island story which was also great. We got to see him take down a couple of guys very coolly which was no mean feat. Considering the size of the guy you'd think he was more of a mastermind than a fighter, but we got to see he can do both here. His story showed how he recruited Sayid and to be fair with the exception of the first and last flashforward scene it could well have been a Sayid episode. We found out a good deal about what happened to Sayid after he got off the island and therefore why he's happy to work for Ben. Ben's smile after Sayid agreed to join him had the cynic in me think that maybe he had a hand in Nadia's death but hopefully not. Also not to sound a bit morbid but hopefully we'll get to see Nadia's death in a Sayid episode at some point.

    So Ben's flashforward was great but it was the last scene that was the key. Here he faced off against Charles Widmore and we got some good information about their relationship. Unfortunately as neither are exactly forthcoming with information we can't take everything that was said at face value but it was still an excellent scene. The obvious question would be why Ben can't simply kill Widmore, but that was addressed if not answered. As Ben holds Widmore responsible for Alex's death (and rightly so) he promises to hunt down and kill Penelope so that Widmore can feel how Ben does. Appropriate vengeance but because we love Penelope and Desmond we can only hope he doesn't manage it.

    I've got to say that it seems that the first three seasons were just set-up and now we're into the show in its true form. This actually sounds like a lot more of a compliment than it is as I feel a bit of return to the show's original formula wouldn't hurt. My main gripe is that it would seem that not every main character will get an episode, or at least part of an episode to focus on them this season. That said as there's still five episodes left and I think only three main characters have yet to have at least one flashback/forward scene this could be a moot point. I think good set-up, great story sums this episode up well. Hopefully they can continue this quality, which I'm fairly certain they can and that every main character does get some recognition by season's end. Oh yeah, and maybe just one episode with every main character in wouldn't hurt either.
  • The return of Lost. WOW!!

    Finally LOST has returned and we get some new questions and answers or at least hints to our old questions. So the most important thing for me in this episode was the return of the Monster. I really love the idea that it can be summoned (not controlled but SUMMONED). That door in Ben's basement was really creepy and let's hope that one day the writers will explain everything about the markings on them and how the room beyond is connected with the Monster. After this episode I started believing that Smokey is a security system because when it emerges from the jungle a head of a dog can be seen. It must resemble CERBERUS (more information on Lostpedia). I would have given 10 for this episode but it was a bit too cruel for me. Alex died too horribly.... it was just...wrong.
  • "Shape of Things To Come" This is another good epsiode spoilers

    1st off how about the dead doctor on the beach that is from the boat crazy stuff huh, they didn't go too much into it but I'm guessing there will be more to it. I almost freaked out when I thought Claire was blown up, come on she is too hot to die or at least die yet. Speaking of which I liked how Kated tramped it up a bit in the beginning, I again wish it was like NYPD Blue so she could show us her goodies. Oh well back to the show sorry . I read next weeks episode guide and that stomach pain might that Jack had might be a part of the episode since they were talking about Jack's health.

    I thought Sawyer would die since in the previews they showed them shooint automatics at him, but as Mike and I discussed apprently they can hit a swing set poll but not Sawyer. I guess that's the whole thing of not dying on the island, and sick people getting better it might be part of the island. I did laugh at all the extras who had their one scene and then got shot when Sawyer was going to get Claire and his comment about Frenchie and the kid referring to Danielle & Alex. I assume obviously that phone is a connected line since I don't think the phone looked like it was able to dial out. What was up with that crazy room why didn't they all hide in there? I guess Ben didn't want them in their obviously, but it looked like a panic room type of room. I looked again Mike they stopped shooting when he got Claire and that's why nobody was shooting when they went in the window, but how Miles just walked up to the door and rang the doorbell without seeing anyone is a suspicious to me. We also saw the black smoke, and the possibility that Ben can summon it or just turn it on somehow which is strange. I re-watched it with a friend and some of those mercinaries were still alive after the black smoke so maybe they are still on the island which means there could still be problems with them. When Ben was in the Desert he had a jacket with a name on it did anyone see what the name was, it may be of interest later I'm thinking. Then when he took the picture of Sayid and Sayid found Ben I think we are going to find out why Sayid was working with Ben in the flash foward from when we found out that Sayid was one of the ''Oceanic 6". I assume we will find out who killed Naudia and why. We will also hopefully find out about Ishamail whatever his name is and if he was the killer the one Ben said was in her funeral procession.

    The ending was crazy with Charles Widmore and Ben's conection once again, you wonder who is playing who. Is Ben playing Sayid, or are they making it just look that way. Will Desmond be off the island since he wasn't on the plane he cna be off and not be one of the "Oceanic six" and maybe he will try to help save Penny from being killed by Ben. I also wonder is Widmore connected with The Dharma Initiative? He said it was "his island"
  • I am not sure if I loved or hated it!

    As often with the show,I asked myself if this was brillant or was this the show that will make me finally quit it. Should I stay up for this? Seeing Ben in Tunsia, Iraq and in the last scene was hard. He can be so evil and sly in the world of the island. In the real world he looks so out of place and dorky. Also, the last scene was like the first Jacob scene or the John Locke's father on the island scene. I don't know if I could really buy something so foolish. What made me most mad was how much a tool Sayid is made into. This is a guy who is a human lie detector test and now he is being totally played by a guy he made the first time he saw him in prison in the second season. It is like when the good guy wrestler struggles with one bad guy for a half-hour match one week and then faces the same bad guy with two other bad teamates the next week, yet the good guy beats all three even though he struggled to beat one last week. It was just so contrived. I can take the fantasy of Lost, but the character contradictions are so silly. I still think I liked it because a crazy connection to Whitmore is being further developed, but hard to swallow.
  • This was an amazing episode!! In fact, all of season 4 has proven to be amazing as every week the writers surprise us all with even more greatness than we were used to in the previous 3.

    This episode will go down in the history of LOST as crucially important to the overall story...people who complained that season three got off to a slow start will be happy with this hour of television because it may well be the most action pact hour of television that has been produced in a long time...I can't wait for the rest of the season!

    This was an amazing episode!! In fact, all of season 4 has proven to be amazing as every week the writers surprise us all with even more greatness than we were used to in the previous 3.
  • What a cracking episode! Questions are answered and new ones are posed. Ben kicks total ass and the Island Time Issue gets even more complicated.

    First of all: Finally new Lost!

    I have to say this felt like one of the best episodes ever made. If not for its cool, almost understated display of Ben's whereabouts in the flashforwards (We finally get to know why Sayid becomes his hitman! And man, I was afraid the explanation was going to be totally unsatisfying but it really wasn't), then it is because of how it gave you a gigantic peek at the Ben-Widmore/Time travel/Smoke monster situations. And even though our understanding of what is really going on on the Island gets bigger every episode we still don't know a thing at all. Pure Lost-style and I love it.

    In some ways this fourth season is the one that defines Lost as one of the most intelligent, mysterious and well-plotted shows ever made. "The Shape of Things to Come" was one of many fabulous hits over the last few weeks, top-notch as always. It also reassured me that the time (travel) mystery will be one very vital plotline from now onwards, even more so than before. I loved to see Ben use a couple of his many passports for once. The only thing that concerned me was the way Rousseau's death (and Karl's, for that matter) was barely mentioned in this episode. Will we ever get to know more about her and her crew 16 years ago? I'd really like to see a flashback here or something.

    All in all, perfect example of Lost genius. Can't wait for Thursday's episode!
  • Good and exiting opening, great forward flashes and good ending. More questions and development awaits afther the things we see in this episode ;) I'm so glad it's back and can't wait for more !

    Finaly a new Lost !!!
    Now that is some good news afther the good ending of the last episode.

    We start of with a nice 'mellow' scene with Jack but i have a feeling this will get worse in the comming episodes.
    The show has a lot of Ben and whell, that's a good thing because he is just a weard man. His forward-flashes are good and i think i almost did a happy-jell when i saw Sayid. Yes, you guest it, he is one of my favorite ones in the show and that story answers some questions to.
    Ofcource this is Lost so there's a lot of new stuff i can't wait to find out !

    The show was realy exiting to watch. Very good and thrilling opening and Ben in the endscene with that lighing is just awesome ! Btw, "the other guy" has a realy great voice, hope to hear more of him.

  • Lost at its best. Welcome back!

    'The Shape Of Things To Come', was an amazingly good hour that put the series' antagonist Benjamin Linus in a completely different light and made us accept that he may not be as bad as we've thought all along. A Dharka, a baton, time and space travel, more hieroglyphs, the return of Smokey and a truly shocking death... This episode has to have the same magnitude of the Pilot only we barely see the island. Mystery, Drama, Action, Suspense, CGI and humour has been blended and put in the Microwave for about 2 weeks and is now ready to eat. For once a flashforward actually ties into what happens in the past and what's confusing is only restricted to passing lines ("they've changed the rules" and "to summon protection") which is much better than having a whole story that doesn't make sense. Aside from answers; this episode poses many questions but as many of them take place in the future, we won't worry about them until the island issues are resolved.

    Michael Emerson is definite standout for this episode with his usual modes of funny and creepy but for the first time; heart broken. Sawyer, Locke and Hurley all deliver their usual skits but the most outstanding guest appearence is the Smoke Monster that literally blows us away.

    Lost is back and it's at its absolute best. P.S. Ray, the Docter on the Freighter is dead and his body washes up on the beach and Jack falls very ill.
  • Awesome

    i think this is the best episode so far...ihave watched it twice allready...i think it has answered some of syids future questions out which is nice and i beleive that this will happen with kate and jack aswell, because i beleive the writers tried to perceive the regular charecters such as jack, kate and so on as bad people! but they are not.
    I will keep watching to the end as it is an awesome and very risky show to do in terms of the continous jumpy storyline. Still a fan and i think that ben know is the best charecter but a bit crazy aswell lol...
  • Ben: It's very important that you survive what's about to happen here John, so I need you to stay close to me. Locke: And why would I do that? Ben: Because people that are coming won't risk hurting me. You want to live? I'm your best chance.

    Locke's camp comes under attack, and Jack tries to discover the identity of a body that has washed ashore. In flashforwards, Ben recruits Sayid as his assassin and confronts Charles Widmore. I have to say this episode of Lost is one of the best episodes I have ever seen, it was action packed and fast paced. Even back at the beach was interesting. Every character was awesome in the episode Ben was great and I think it was the first time I have ever felt sorry for the guy. The smoke monster scene was amazing. Sawyer and Locke showdown at the end was great.The final seen was astonishing I was shocked Desmond isn't going to happy. As a whole "The shape of things to come" was a spectacular episode, that rivals "The constant" and all the over great episodes of Lost.
  • Ben: It's very important that you survive what's about to happen here John, so I need you to stay close to me. Locke: And why would I do that? Ben: Because the people that are coming won't risk hurting me. You want to live? I'm your best cha

    Locke's camp comes under attack, and Jack tries to discover the identity of a body that has washed ashore. In flashforwards, Ben recruits Sayid as his assassin and confronts Charles Widmore. I have to say this episode of Lost is one of the best episodes I have ever seen, it was action packed and fast paced. Even back at the beach was interesting. Every character was awesome in the episode Ben was great but I think it was the first time I have ever felt sorry for the guy. The smoke monster scene was amazing and I think it was the first time Sawyer and Locke went against each other at the end. As a whole "The shape of things to come" was a spectacular episode, that rivals "The constant" and all the over great episodes of Lost.
  • OH MY GOD!!!

    this was aired here in the UK last night. while watching this episode i was totaly gobsmacked, i could not believe all what was happening. ben speaking arabic and turkish in the sahara desert saying 'turkce billyormusunuz' translate ' do you know turkish'. well travelled ben i think. as always the writers have totaly made this season for me with this episode. at one point i thought claire had had her chips well and truly done. and ben letting his daughter go to a better place. and everything in between and beyond. now we know ben controls the black smoke for sure amongst other things.
    and when he confronted charles widmore....certainly seems they are related, ben being charles son? sounds like they had some sort of bet?
    overall it's gonna take some pulling off by the writers to beat this episode.
    fantastic, great, woohoo, shut my mouth and slap my thigh... hippydippydoo!!!!!!
  • one of if not the most action packed episode of lost ever

    this episode was truly amazing. despite the fact that it seemed very different from previous episodes it still had that quality that everyone loves about lost. as soon as it begun i knew this was goin to be good. i still get my head round what happend to alex this episode truly was amazing. michael emerson portrayed the first time we see ben show real emotion so well and josh holloway played a heroic sawyer amazingly. this is a must see episode one of the best in my personal opinion so good that i almost overlooked the revelation that ben controls or summons smokie. lost just keeps getting better i cant wait to see more!
  • In short, Michael Emerson's Emmy reel.

    Since his introduction, Michael Emerson as Ben has been one of the show's greatest assets. He has become crucial to the story as a worthy adversary of the castaways and a counter to Locke, using his skills at manipulation to get what he wants. If this episode does anything, it solidifies Ben's status as one of the most compelling characters on TV. This episode could be called "Michael Emerson's Emmy Reel". In addition, this first post-strike episode brings the show back with a vengeance: creating an atmosphere of dread, intrigue and a million questions as the stage for the series' end becomes even more complex.

    Ben is an oddity among the flash forward centric characters. With only one flashback episode to date, his back story is still ripe with unknowns to explore. The biggest problem with "The Man Behind the Curtain" was the flashbacks felt incomplete and may have suffered from significant cuts. While this episode doesn't answer any questions posed by that episode, his future is more important in terms of the season's story.

    The questions come the second his flash forward begins. The clear implication is that Ben transported from the island, likely within a few days or weeks from current island time, to October 2005. How does Ben go from the island to the Sahara desert? His story about taking "The Elizabeth" is clearly false. The evidence indicates that he was transported to Africa. The big clues are the steam evaporating off his body, his look of shock and the Dharma parka he wears. The name on it, Halliwax, recalls the Orchid training video released at last year's ComicCon. It may be safe to assume that the station can teleport objects like a human being. The station may be cold, or Ben was preparing to be transported somewhere cold. Some have guessed that the fluid he vomits is the same drink Richard gave Juliet before she arrived on the island, which may be an element in this travel. Ben's position when he wakes up recalls Jack after the plane crash and Locke after The Swan explosion/implosion as well.

    One can assume that when things get even worse on the island, Ben retreats to this station (it will be referred to as The Orchid only if confirmed on the show) and transports off. The polar bear in "Confirmed Dead" might've been chasing him, explaining the arm wound and how a Dharma polar bear wound up around the same location Ben did, albeit far enough into the past to die and decompose when an archeological dig finds it.

    Ben is known for his constant manipulation and strategizing. Whether he's the top of The Others' food chain or regularly beaten to a pulp, he's thinking of how he can use the situation to his advantage. No sooner does he arrive in the future and hear Sayid's name on a television does he figure out how to use Sayid to accomplish his own goals. Some suspect that Ben put the hit on Nadia to persuade Sayid to join him. The problem with that theory would be how he could orchestrate it assuming he traveled ahead in time mid-crisis.

    Sayid working for Ben in the future was one of the biggest shockers of the first half of the season. This episode explains how that happened: Ben manipulated Sayid, grieving over his murdered wife and life long love Nadia. Sayid's major flaw has always been his habit of letting his emotions get the best of him, which is why he was such a brutal torturer. It's evident when he gunned down Bakir, emptying his gun and continuing to pull the trigger (reminiscent of Jack Bauer doing the same to Victor Drazen in the first season of "24").

    Having Nadia killed off camera might've been the result of strike rewriting. Nadia was one of the first elements of Sayid's character shown: she played a crucial role in getting him out of the Republican Guard and on to the island. It would make sense that we'd see her death on camera. Whatever the reason, it's sad to see another romance end in tragedy. Obviously, "Lost" has gone into darker territory this season and that is just symptomatic of that.

    In the present, the long awaited war between the castaways and freighties begins proper with the assault on The Barracks. Of course they exploit the Sword of Damocles hanging over Claire's head by shooting a rocket through her home, only to have her survive with a few cuts and scrapes. Is this teasing meant to be similar to Charlie's frequent brushes with death, or perhaps a hint that she is still alive in the future?

    There is a moment of unintentional humor when Sawyer is attacked. The mercenaries kill three red shirts (one of whom actually had one on) with one kill shot each, but they can't hit Sawyer even if he was leaning on the broad side of a barn. Considering the rest of the episode, Ben's explanation that they wanted to rattle him enough to make him want to give up Ben makes it less silly than it comes off. If that's the case, how do they know Sawyer's personality enough to figure he's the one to do that? With The Others, they had access to all the characters histories, but as far as we know the freighties don't.

    One has to wonder what the mercenaries' plan was had they not encountered Alex since getting access to Ben hinged entirely on her. Many suspected Ben sent her into that ambush knowingly under the assumption that she would not be harmed because of "the rules". Ben has always been in control, so this episode explores the moment when he loses that.

    Each week I think they've finished raising the stakes, but this episode goes further. Alex's murder makes the threat of the freighties real. Ben constantly warned Jack in the finale that contacting the freighter would result in the deaths of everyone on the island, so they had to produce some bodies when they arrived. Karl and Danielle were the first to fall in the last episode and now Alex. With uncertainty hovering over Jin and Claire's heads, more will likely follow.

    Alex's death scene is unrelentingly intense. Audiences have been conditioned to expect the stand off to end without her being harmed at the last second, making that gunshot all the more chilling. Ben denying his love for Alex, with the cracks on his face evident that he is lying, being the last thing Alex will ever hear is heartbreaking. In this episode Michael Emerson did the impossible: he made us feel sorry for Ben. Of course it comes through Alex, a sympathetic character who didn't deserve her horrid fate, but Emerson deserves major credit for that moment.

    Despite being a big part of the public perception of "Lost", the Smoke Monster hasn't appeared much. However, when it does there is something to be learned about it. This episode explains that Ben has some control of it, ruthlessly unleashing it to tear the mercenaries apart. The secret room inside Ben's secret room is also worth noting. With hieroglyphics and its design, it may connect with the various ruins seen elsewhere on the island. It makes sense that Dharma would want to have one of their homes connected to this room, especially if it can activate the Monster. There is also the question of Ben's soiled appearance when he returns, which implies that the passage is unfinished or badly dilapidated.

    Ben wanting to keep Locke and Hurley safe because of their connection makes sense, and may begin to explain why Hurley's one of the Oceanic Six. Possibly Jacob would want someone he chooses to contact off the island when whatever bad events cause the Six to leave. Locke stays to protect the island directly and Ben abandons his plan out of self preservation by escaping to Africa.

    On the beach, Jack's taking the first steps towards the downward spiral he was engulfed in in the flash forwards. Knowing that episode, the signs, like the self medication in secret, are a cause for alarm. The other element occurs when Daniel confesses that the freighter crew has no intention of rescuing the castaways. Ultimately Ben and Locke were right that those on the freighter couldn't be trusted and Jack, who against their wishes, insisted on calling them, has to live with that fact. Neither side ended up well in this situation, since those who tried to avoid the freighter just got massacred or are trekking through the jungle looking for the next step.

    With the cast on the beach relatively small, Bernard gets a moment to shine when he calls out Daniel's lie about the message the freighter relayed. Considering his age, he might've used morse code in combat (his age makes him a likely candidate for a Vietnam veteran). Whatever his connection, it makes sense the castaway to suggest using morse code would know what was being sent. His character has been defined largely through Rose, who hasn't been seen since the premiere, so this is a great way to get him into the story and flesh him out more.

    With all the talk of time irregularities and travel, perhaps the people on the freighter aren't lying about what happened to the doctor and that he is still alive in the freighter's timeline. There have been several references to time working differently off island. Perhaps he's killed towards the end of the season, but the body finds itself ashore now.

    The final scene with Ben and Widmore raises the stakes higher while giving us some insight into their relationship. It seems that Ben and Widmore were once on friendly terms, but that changed when Ben "took" the island. This changes the context of the purge. What was once a war between the natives and an invading force is now seen as a power play: Ben's fell swoop to take the island and cut Widmore off from it.

    Some have theorized that Widmore is one of the "hostiles" or original inhabitants of the island much like Richard has been theorized to be. Perhaps Widmore was a mentor to Ben, who he betrayed to have more control over the island. The past relationship they had could be why they follow rules of engagement over the island. It may explain why Ben can't kill Widmore, but can go after Penelope in retaliation for Alex. Some have theorized that Widmore and Ben are each others constants, which may be interesting. The history behind this relationship will likely be a major element of the series from here to the end.

    It's worth noting that Widmore doesn't have control of the island in the future. Since the end of the finale, it's been assumed that the freighties had control of the island and that Jack felt the need to rescue the castaways from the police state the mercenary side created. Perhaps the ordeal of this season has caused the island to wage war against the people on it. Whatever it is, it adds another level to the Oceanic Six mystery.

    As if the episode didn't raise the stakes enough, Ben closes the episode by threatening to kill Penelope out of revenge. Desmond and Penelope had enough going against them, but now we have to worry about Penelope's survival on top of Desmond getting off the island. Many fans are hoping for a happy ending for this couple and they are certainly making sure they go through hell before they can find happiness. With several romances ending in tragedy, this one would cause a major uproar if it did the same. It does give Desmond, the other major player in this story, a huge motivation. It also may play into Sayid should Ben leave it to him to do it. Sayid bonded with Desmond over being away from a woman they loved in "The Constant", and Ben coercing him to eliminating Penelope may be a turning point in his future timeline. There's potential for some great showdowns and drama here!

    This episode is another knock out. The momentum in the series doesn't miss a beat despite the writers' room being closed because of the strike or the series being off the air for over a month. The episode is a showcase for one of the strongest actors and characters in the show, solidifying his status in the series presumably through the end. The war is on and if this episode and its title are any indicator, there's going to be some dark stuff ahead.
  • Ben is in big trouble...as usual. What is it with that guy? Ben is in control of the black smoke...though we don't learn too much beyond that. Bernard reveals some surprising skills -- but we should have know that!

    The demise of Alex was something I didn't expect. And neither, it seems, did Ben. I must admit, I'm not totally believing that she is really gone. There have been enough surprises on this show...and I ended up watching a few episodes out of order...and now that I see that the doc's father is still alive, or is back, or whatever, I have my doubts now about everyone that has died. In the end, however, another fine episode of my favorite TV show -- and I am looking forward to the rest of the season...and as many more as they would like to have!
  • I loved it!

    Ben has flashfowards to when he meets Sayid in Iraq after someone from Widmore kills Nadia. Ben goes to see Charles and threatens to kill Penny, since he killed Alex. Widmore says that he'll find the island.

    People from Widmore capture Alex. They use her to try and get to Ben. They invade the barracks. Ben thinks he has it under control, but they kill Alex. He, Locke, Sawyer, Claire, Hurley, Aaron, and Miles escape with the help of the smoke monster. Jack seems to be very ill. Bernard finds a dead body washed up. It's the doctor from the freighter. Faraday contacts the freighter with morse code. He lies about the reply, but Bernard tells the real message.

    This episode was so great! I can't believe Alex died. She was a great character and that was so sad. I loved this episode so much though and I give it a 10!
  • This is the best episode of Season four! The writers have been holding out on us.

    This episode is the best of Season four because- - well, it had everything. Ben is one of my favourite characters on Lost, the only character I like better than Ben is Sawyer. The only part I didn't like was the "Alex execution" part. But I think Michael Emerson should win an award for his portrayal of Ben in this episode. The stuff at the beach was good too, but for me, the best part was when Ben confronts Widmore in the final flash-forward and when the monster attacks the freighter team. This episode deserves an Emmy. (I know I'm rambling and I'm sorry)It was that good.
  • After this mini hiatus, Lost came back will full force and made one of the Best episodes produced in Lost!!!!

    Plot Details/Objective -» Lost returns for more six episodes and of course, we will have the climax of the season 4. With only Jack and Locke to focus in FF and FB, there was one empty focus, since the season finale will be divided in 3 episodes. Their choosing could not be better. Ben is the focus , both in present and future, and the objective was to brought the tension of this war.

    What I Like/Disliked -» All the Scenes in this episode. Loved when Ben summons the Smoke Monster.


    Presentation -» (9/10). The presentation already starts to build the upcoming war.

    Complication Phase -» (10/10). Spectacular. Sawyer, Locke, Hurley and Ben all in great danger. The tension here was great.

    Climax -» (10/10). When Ben summons the Smoke monster and when he says goodbye to his daughter, simply perfect.

    Cliffhanger/Ending -» (10/10). The ending was superb, if not perfect. The dialogues played there was great.

    Flash-forward's -» (10/10). There is not any OMG scenes, but all the scenes is very well played and informative. The first scene was awesome. The ending was perfect, Poor Desmond.

    Time and Scenes Management -» (10/10). Even if there was scene propositional made for buying time, was all worth.

    Dialogues -» (10/10). The highlights of this was the final dialogues in the FF.

    Action /Adventure -» (10/10). Awesome scene in the beginning of the FF. This episode is filled with action and then you have the fantastic scene of the Black Smoke Monster.

    Drama/Emotions -» (10/10). The way that Ben daughter is shoot, Ben facial expressions is something priceless. Even if he is the villain, is difficult to not feel sorry for him.

    Suspense/Tension -» (10/10). This episode is filled with tension.

    Mystery/Curiosity/Doubts/Hints -» (10/10). More mysteries, one hint, and again it is impossible to not be curious about this episode.

    Surprise/Twists -» (10/10). This full appearance of the Smoke Monster is simple a great surprise. Claire survival was a surprise too. The ending was a nice surprise.

    After this mini hiatus, Lost came back will full force and made one of the Best episodes produced in Lost.
  • An epic link between the season's middle, to the finale.

    A very clever link between the middle of the season, to the epic finale. After taking a long break, the writers have cooked up an episode, to really speed up the season's plot, and take control of the events leading up to the finale. A Ben-centric episode taking place in the future is all I need to know before loving this episode, not to mention the smoke monster invading the barracks, and tearing apart the freighter team. Long live Ben, and i hope to see more episodes like this in the future of Lost. Congrats, to the Lost writing staff.
  • Best but sad

    I don't really like the writer's choice on killing Danielle and her daughter, but I think it's a pretty good stepping stone in the fourth season. Possibly some Danielle flashbacks? Anyways, the show is amazing so far . . . and lost really hasn't had a downfall. Let's just hope that season 5 isn't a downfall! It doesn't seem like it, the previews are amazing!

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  • A Ben-centric episode

    All things considered, I absolutely loved this episode because Ben has been one of my favorite characters ever since he was first introduced on the show. I've always been extremely fascinated by his character, so watching this episode was a real treat for me. The flash-forwards of Ben's life were great. Another thing that I really enjoyed about this episode with whole story line with the discovery of the dead body that washed up to the island and Daniel and Charlotte's involvement with that whole story line since I like Daniel and Charlotte so much. It was very nice to see Sawyer acting so concerned about Claire and baby Aaron. I think that Sawyer is such a great character. In closing, I thought that this was a very well written, well acted and well made episode Lost from everyone involved, and I can't wait to watch the rest of season four of Lost.
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