Lost

Season 4 Episode 9

The Shape of Things to Come

6
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 24, 2008 on ABC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (75)

9.6
out of 10
Average
1,458 votes
  • This was another excellent episode by LOST. We got to know some really good things, both on the island and off the island.

    9.1
    This was another excellent episode by LOST. We got to know some really good things, both on the island and off the island.

    Off the island

    - Sayid finally finds Nadya and he marries her. But she is then killed.
    - Sayid meets with Ben at the funeral and Ben tells him that it was a man of Charles Widmore that killed her.
    - Sayid kills the man that killed Nadya and then offers Ben to work for him.
    - Ben and Charles has a showdown, and Ben tells Charles he knows he can't kill him, but he will kill his daughter. And Charles will regret changing the rules.

    On the Island

    - Jack finds a body in the sea and when Daniel tells them he is the doctor. He calls the freighter through morse code but lies about the reply but Bernard knows morse code and he tells them that the freighter told them that the Doctor is alive.
    - A group led by Keamy kidnaps Alex and take her to try and lure Ben. When Ben tries to call the troop's bluff, they kill Alex.
    - After the death of his daughter, Ben says that Charles changed the rules.
    - Somehow Ben manages to control the monster and the monster kills the mercenaries.
  • (spoilers) Getting overrated on the basis of being new

    8.3
    Decent episode overall, getting overrated on the basis of it being new as most episodes do on tv.com. new= 10

    The Ben centric episode is a little vague, we understand his motives but there is alot of stuff going on that needs to be explained, there's a particularly good moment during the siege when he rises above his two-dimensional villain role which is interesting and much needed.

    It's interesting that everyone but the main charecters die during the siege, other survivors seem to be the equivalent of the guy in the red uniform from star trek. Another bothersome part of the episode, near the begining Kate is bathing with her top half hanging off looking at Jack, honestly, this just felt forced much like the scene between her and Sawyer on the bed in previous episodes.

    Another particularly bothersome thing, Sawyer has become aware that Lockes father, is the guy who he has been hunting down, he finds out that Locke was once a cripple, he has just seen a flying mountain of smoke kill a group of Mercs, he then turns round and calls Locke crazy, this seems very out of context to what has been happening.

    Overall, it's a good episode, but not without flaws, the flash-forward is alittle flat in comparison to the Island action but it's certainly by no means a bad episode.
  • This is a bit more like it!

    8.8
    Now we get to see a bit more of what drives Ben rather than just seeing him as a creepy, manipulative control freak. When "The Others" first began giving the Oceanic 815 survivors grief, we only perceived them from the crash survivor's point of view. As we learn more and more about Ben Linus and his crew, we come to realize that their only goal is to protect the island and the mysterious Jacob. The fact that he is willing to sacrifice people to achieve this goal paints him as the traditional "villain". Since we do not fully comprehend the nature of the island or Jacob, and given this show's propensity for misleading the audience as to the intentions and allegiances of the various cast members, it's altogether possible that Ben is the most heroic person on the island.

    Wouldn't that be a hoot?
  • Flawed Episode - they must think we're idiots

    5.8
    I cannot add my voice to the chorus of bravos on this forum, unfortunately. I was hoping for more. Here are my major complaints: First, how and when did the mercenaries get on the island? Doesn't an electrical storm ensue when the time/space continum (or whatever) is breached? Wouldn't that be noticed on the island like it was the first time? Secondly, this was the worst hostage standoff in the history of bad TV hostage standoffs. Here's the mercenary standing with his entire upper body exposed above Ben's cowering daughter, Alex. Shoot him now! No for some reason they don't. Ok now he shoots the daughter. Shoot him now! Alex is dead in a clump at his feet, his entire body is exposed. He stands there for a while. Shoot him now! Nothing to lose now. No, let him walk off and sit around feeling bad. Thirdly, what's with those anonymous Others running out and getting picked off one by one? It's like Star Trek when they had a landing party there was always one guy who you never saw before and, you guessed it, he was killed on the planet. Fourthly, these guys are great shots and have proved it with killing Carl and Rousseau (wounded is my guess), then by picking off the aforementioned nameless Others one two three. Now Sawyer makes a run for it, using a 4-foot-tall picket fence for cover, stopping to regroup at the fence post, turning over a picnic table for cover (bullet-proof wood? Somebody should tell the Pentagon about this so they can save money on armor). I could not suspend my disbelief through that whole scene.

    So Ben can time travel, but it's apparently not an exact science. He has reason to doubt that he can hit the specific year he's looking for. But he's there on the right day and month and year. Now he's mistaken for paparazzi by Sayid who leaves his position as pall bearer to rough him up a bit ("Why can't you leave me alone?"). Then he sees it's Ben, they catch up for a while, kill Ishmael lickety split and all the while Nadia is going to the grave without the guy who searched for her 8 years and yada yada yada.

    Now Charles Widmore. Ben knows he never used to sleep with a bottle of booze on the nightstand. Seems like a pretty intimate detail to know about someone. Maybe they can make that one make sense in future episodes. But right now it appears that they shared a bedroom at some point in the past. My last complaint is a general one. I didn't feel like they covered much ground in this episode. A background flash forward to explain a previous flash forward where Sayid is working for Ben. Ok, that had to be done. But on the island nothing really moved. The crew on the beach is still on the beach. Locke's group is just now on their way to see Jacob. I feel like the episode milked it.
  • A rousing start to the second half of the season!

    9.0
    During this short spring hiatus, I played the new video game "Lost: Via Domus". I was far from impressed, and this episode actually provided me with the reason why all these other media ventures fail. The series is simply too good to duplicate successfully. The long-term payoffs and powerful characters moments are only meaningful within the context of the story arc as a whole.

    Ben warned the survivors of Oceanic 815 that the arrival of the "rescue" boat was the beginning of the end, and after a steady build-up, that prediction has come to pass. The mercenaries have brought the apparently protracted cold war between Ben and Charles Widmore to a new level, "changing the rules" as Ben says, and whatever semblance of security remained has been dashed.

    There's a certain irony in the notion that Team Locke fled to the Barracks to survive, considering that most of them were slaughtered. It also speaks to the reason why Hurley is available for his eventual role as one of the Oceanic 6; at this point, there is no meaningful split between the survivors anymore. It's just a matter of when the war comes to them.

    The mercenaries are after Ben, and as such, the episode revolves around his choices, his responses, and his manipulations. Ben has always been one of the best characters on the series, and this episode reaffirms his role as the "evil mastermind". Even in the face of personal loss, he manages to take control and maintain focus. He absorbs his loss into the greater conflict, which gets more definition in this episode. And of course, Locke remains under his complete control.

    In terms of the standoff at the barracks, the production staff played a nice bit of misdirection. All the pre-episode buzz made it sound like Claire was going to be killed, and given that Aaron is one of the Oceanic 6, this was plausible. Instead, Claire survived the onslaught, and Alex was the truly meaningful casualty. This came as quite the shock, but taken in conjunction with the flash-forward, it fit the parallels within the narrative.

    Of course, now that Alex is dead, there's every reason to assume that Danielle is dead. This is an unfortunate turn of events, and it will certainly add to the accusations of misogyny leveled at the writing staff. Granted, this has been a bloody season overall, but most of the high-profile casualties have been women, granting motivation to the choices of men. There's still quite a bit to go in the season, so things could change quickly, but it will undoubtedly be a cause for criticism. (Then again, Danielle may well survive and Alex's death could push her into new and more-relevant territory. One can always hope.)

    Alex's death, however, does serve to escalate the war between Ben and Widmore. The arrival of Widmore's assault team was already an escalation, but Ben was more or less content to ride it out with the survivors of Oceanic 815 as his cannon fodder. That had obviously changed by the time of the flash-forwards, and this episode covers the shift in Ben's philosophy. Logically speaking, no one else on the island could possibly drive Ben towards sustained violence. His philosophy, for quite some time, has been strength through targeted isolation, after all.

    That includes isolation of information, such as the ability to control (or, at the very least, direct) the Cerberus system ("the smoke monster") to attack the mercenaries. This brings up an interesting question. Has Ben been responsible for previous appearances by the "monster", or has this always been an ace in the hole? It strongly suggests that the Dharma Initiative either created Cerberus or managed to learn enough about it to manipulate it. Whatever the case, this is an intriguing piece of information.

    By the end of the episode, Ben and Locke have convinced Hurley to take them to Jacob. With the season being relatively short (especially after the writers' strike), there's no reason to believe that this will be even slightly protracted. The arc of the season strongly indicates that the Oceanic 6 event will be in the finale, so Hurley must get to the beach in the next few episodes. Locke's search for Jacob must also be resolved. And now, after this episode, it's clear that Ben must arrive at a certain destination: the Orchid Station.

    Ben's appearance in the middle of Tunisia not only connects with the polar bear in "Confirmed Dead", but it connects with the viral "Orchid orientation" video, since he's wearing the uniform of someone named Halliwax. Edgar Halliwax was the name given by the man in the Orchid video that was also known as Mark Wickmund in other Dharma videos. This suggests that the Orchid Station involves a teleportation experiment, which could explain a great number of things. If the electromagnetic anomaly on the island already warps time and space, teleportation is not necessarily a stretch!

    Ben immediately sets out to tap his resources. A date is given (October 2005), which makes it possible that Ben jumped in both space and time. If so, that may be why he was shocked to see Sayid on the news, mourning his wife. With the loss of Alex so recent (at least for him), he understood Sayid's mental state and immediately saw how it could be used to his advantage. It's surprising to learn that Sayid begins his service to Ben voluntarily, even happily. In that respect, Sayid is still master of his own agency, even if Ben is still using him to his own devices.

    Ben's conversation with Charles Widmore is filled with innuendo and tantalizing possibilities. For whatever reason, Ben cannot kill Charles Widmore; instead, he opts to pay Widmore back for the loss of Alex by killing Penny. Setting aside how this should make for some interesting Ben/Desmond conflict, it opens up a stunning line of speculation, one that could change the scope of "Lost" tremendously.

    The original "Hostiles" were the pre-Dharma inhabitants, apparently led by Richard, a man who appears to be long-lived (if not immortal). Ben eventually took control of the Hostiles, eliminating the Dharma Initiative in the process. One might have assumed that Ben took control from Richard, but what if that wasn't the case at all? What if there was once someone who led the Hostiles, someone who lost control of the island because of Ben's connection to Jacob?

    The theory is that Charles Widmore was once the leader of the Hostiles, the original inhabitants of the island, and he is consequently unable to be killed. He could have been there for decades or centuries, perhaps even born on the island. Ben might have sent him away into exile, leaving him to track down any clue he could find to locate the island and take back control. (Not all the details fit yet, but the broad concept is there.)

    That might explain why Widmore might have attempted, perhaps in connection with Thomas Mittlewerk, to take control of the Hanso Foundation and, by extension, the Dharma Initiative. That would have been one source of information on the location of the island. It even lends support to the idea that Widmore manipulated Desmond to participate on the race around the world, on a path that appears to have been designed to take people in the known region of the Pacific where the island is located.

    All of that may be wrong, but it would appear to explain how Ben and Widmore knew each other on a personal level, why their conflict appeared to be relatively old, and why there would have been "rules of engagement". It would also continue to muddy the waters in terms of Ben's claim that his Others are "the good guys".

    It's amazing to think that, on top of all of the items related to Ben, there's still a subplot back on the beach. Jack is starting to feel sick to his stomach, and that is beginning to affect his ability to deal with the treacherous Daniel and Charlotte (who is obviously sitting back waiting to see where the wind blows). Beyond foreshadowing Jack's addiction to pills in the future, this is just set-up for the next episode.

    The schedule for the rest of the season looks pretty tight, in all the right ways. The next episode will focus on Jack, bringing the issues on the beach to a head. The episode after that focuses on Locke, which should be another mythology-driven installment. Then it's the three-hour, two-part season finale, which should be a thrill ride to the next major paradigm change. The second half of the season could go down as one of the best stretches for the series to date.
  • This episode is a great way to start off from the brief break; however, the first 15 minutes were just, as the classification says, silly.

    9.0
    The following review includes spoilers for the first five minutes of Lost, where the laws of action movies are blown completely out of proportion. The show starts off in another ruse to the fans as the Losties at Locke's camp are playing a painfully long game called Risk. They stop playing after a mysterious phone rings with the words "Code 14J" repeated over and over. The camp is being attacked. Throughout the first 15 minutes there is a huge problem with the "physics" of action movies. It seems like Lost is a purely psychological/emotional epic. This show does not do well when faced with action sequences. I've seen my fair share of action sequences in various action movies and what I saw in this episode was just pathetic. I got a great laugh when Sawyer was telling everyone he encounters to get inside only to get shot two seconds later. Three subsequent "extras" were killed in Sawyer's attempt to save Claire for some reason I can't fathom. After these three deaths, Sawyer runs to Claire's house in order to save her with the only thing between him and the bullets is a picket fence. After running about 50 yards, Sawyer reaches Claire's house. BOOM!!!!!!!!!!

    LOST

    I don't want to spoil the rest of it, but I just wanted to point out the stupidity of how they start this show. It's time for Ben's flash forward when he mysteriously wakes up in Tunisia. This time we actually get a date as to when exactly this flash forward takes place (around October 27, 2005). The flash forward continues when we get to see how exactly Sayid and Ben meet up. The on-island development is interesting as Locke's camp has to deal with the repercussions of Alex's capture. We also get to see another character we have not seen since last season which is tremendously well-done. The people at the beach (remember them?) deal with a body that mysteriously wash ashore and, for some reason, the phones are out. Daniel pulls a solution out of his technological experience to ask the dire question "What the **** is going on?"
  • Ben travels trough time, convinces Sayid to help him win his war and promises murder on a night bed. What a Bentastic episode!

    9.3
    So LOST is back, for six more episodes. I'm pretty sure the pace the story line will take will be amazingly fast... comparing to the three previous seasons.
    I mean there was really a lot of information in "The shape of things to come".
    I'm now defenitly a fan of the theory that Ben and Charles are some sort of Angel and Demon fighting over the control of the island and ultimately also over the universe.
    I have no idea about the stand of jacob, the monster and the whispers. and i also have no clue who of the two is the good and who is the bad guy, if there is actually something like that. i mean so far we know that both man have done some terrible things to achieve their goals (ben for example did the purge; charles hired keamy and let the world believe oceanic crashed in the ocean).
    anyway, lets get back to the episode. probably the most obvious revealing was that ben somehow can make contact with jacob or the monster and ask it for help.
    i think we are going to find out more about that in the episode cabin fever, when locke, hurley and ben go and find jacob.
    a not so obvious revealing that raises plenty of new questions was that supposedly there are some sort of "rules" of how to win the control over the island. so, some things are allowd and some things are not.
    who defines those rules? my best guess: jacob and with him the smoke monster.
    so what happens if you change the rules? is the "game" going out of order? probably not, else ben would have killed charles and for some reason he couldn't.
    well all that was very promising, revealing and exciting.

    a bit less believable even ridiculous was how easy it was for ben to convince sayid. i mean jarrah does not even want some sort of proof that bakir and with him widmore killed his beloved wife. he just simply believes ben and a photo of the bad guy.. that was weak!
    even weaker were the gun fire sequences with sawyer. i mean come on! three poor losties have to die in a row, every time sawyer screams something like "watch out" or "go inside", three times too late, but somehow no bullet hits him and he can find shelter behind a picnic table.. AAhh, too much fiction in that scene. they should just have let him and also claire die! i mean where the heck whas she? somehow outside the house? wandering a bit around?
    that was just some lazy try of the producers to let us think that claire is in danger because we know that somehow kate will take care of aaron in the future. i'm pretty sure they will do this quite a few times more (defenitely in the next episode). and they are going to do it also with jin. as he is assumed dead as well.
    quite the same trick the used with charlie last season. i'm a 100% sure that in the end claire and jin are going to die! and they will do it in a way that we first think that they are safe, just to let them suddenly be killed afterwards.
    so.. i don't know. i have mixed feelings about lost in general. i still like it a lot. but sometimes i just get the feeling it is a bit cheesy.. i don't know.. just soemhow i seem to get no satisfaction.
    i guess the stakes are a bit too high!
    well, let my know whethter or not you share the same feeling.
    sincerely yours!
  • They could have done better.

    7.1
    I started watching this show really late. I am living in Italy and had to watch the first 3 seasons on DVD and now I am waiting anxiously as the new episodes become available on i-tunes. I have to honestly say that this was not one of my favorite episodes and to think we had to wait like a month for it to come out, I was a little disappointed. LOST is still the best show to come out in a very long time. Charlie and Hurley are my favorite characters. Who knows maybe Charlie will be back. We are everybody! DriveShaft rocks!
  • Exciting, thrilling, everything Lost should be.

    8.5
    The flash forward: It was nice seeing another Ben-centric episode, it always is isn't it. We get a look at him on October 24, 2005 and where he is then. We catch a lot of glimpses of him doing different things, but what he did at the end of the episode was the best.

    The Beach: A body of a man from the boat has found its way to the shore and they investigate. Bernard finds out a liar on the beach and it's just all a bit boring.

    Locke's camp: War starts and Ben loses it. Let's just say it was really exciting to see!
  • Linus, Benjamin Linus, International Assassin. Fear the nightstick!

    8.9
    Ben for this season has been a major focus and this solidifies any doubt that everything in this show now seems to revolve around him (pretty good for a character that was only originally to be in it for a few episodes). This season in particular seems to place the survivors in the middle rather than opposition and no more than in this episode. For the evolution of the show that isn't a bad thing but the change in position means our original group has become a little less interesting. Also the return of old Smokey (no longer the bandit) may have been visually great but now we know Ben controls it, a lot of questions regarding Mr Eko's death and the previous feeling of it being almost sentient are lost in the woodwork, which is disappointing.

    The show this week concentrates on Island, Locke's group who are holed up in Ben's Cabin, protecting themselves from the attacking group of Freighties. They have Alex (Ben's Daughter) as hostage which gives Ben a choice, suffice to say he underestimates his opponent (which will not be good for Charles Widmore in the future). Unlike in the flashforward where he literally has the upperhand on everyone who threatens him as he travels across The Sahara, Tunisia and Iraq recruiting a grieving Sayid as he goes (which gives a perfect reason for Sayid working for him). The final scene in London is most definitely the crux of the episode though as we learn so much (although some we can't quite make sense of yet).

    For the mid-season return I felt this was an amazing start, there are problems as some things are either a bit cheesy, irrelevant or a set-up for the next/future episode. In particular Jack (although it's not revealed yet, he passes it off as a stomach bug) has obviously got a burst appendix or something similar. We haven't had a Jack episode this season so it's probably about time. Likewise the whole third plot strand on the beach hardly produced nothing more of interest whatsoever except the fact that the doc might have not been killed on the boat yet. It's dumb filler as well because it was obvious Bernard would know Morse code from the first time it was mentioned, and Jack getting angry at Daniel Faraday and the reveal that they weren't going to save them at all I thought had already been covered.

    Just to wrap up I'd like to mention things that I may or may not have spotted of interest. Firstly on the door into the secret room that Ben enters, there seemed to be Egyptian writing. Secondly, the rules are obviously important meaning that there is some understanding between Widmore and Ben for what reason - are they each other's constant?. Thirdly the death of survivors from Locke's camp felt to me like the old Arcade game Timecop, especially the last guy as he runs out the House and just stands for a split second before being shot - that was funny. And fourth and lastly, why are the only survivors in Locke's group the main lot - what about everyone else, were they shot and blown up or is everyone else just at the beach?
  • Ben faces some tough times, and some questions are answered.

    9.4
    Finally, the return of the black smoke!!! I was glad to see it back, considering it was first seen the premiere and hasn't been around for a while, but its return just added more questions to my list. If Ben can make it appear whenever he wants to, then why did it kill Eko? But it may just be me who thinks of this, because I am still upset that he died. I really liked this episode because someone FINALLY came through with their threat. Sure, I liked Alex, but it was unexpected for her to die, and I liked that even more. Especially since the death-scare with Claire ended so nicely, something had to go wrong in that situation somehow.

    I loved that Bernard knew Morse Code, and how beautifully he called the lie. That was fun. I also loved how protective Sawyer was of Claire and the baby, and especially of Hurley.
  • The show we all love has returned, and in it, was awesomeness

    9.3
    It's been a while, but LOST has returned after the writers strike and tonight, Benjamin Linus is the center of focus. In the best episode of this season, Benjamin Linus has his daughter killed to save everyone on the island, while Faraday begins to tell the truth about why his people have come to the island. Flashforwards of Ben tell us what is to be expected in the long run as people start seeking revenge on others like Ben with Charles Widmore. The best scene, definitely the smoke-monster returning, the fact that Ben knew what it was the whole time was a real shock. I wonder what will happen next time on the show, it seems Jack is sick and possibly on the verge of death. Overall, awesome episode. In it, was action, suspense, entertainment, more suspense and yeah, that pretty much covers it. An excellent return of the series.
  • Not as good as I was hoping, but still good.

    7.4
    This episode starts with a dead body washing up on the island. It is discovered that the body is the doctor off of the boat. The people who have Alex take her to the fence and make her turn it off. She begs them not to hurt anyone. Locke gets a call on his house phone and it simply says "Code 14J". This is a Ben focused episode. As the town is under fire Miles returns and tells Locke, Sawyer and Ben that he was released and was told to give Ben a walkie talkie, because they want to talk. We see Ben and Sayid in the near future off of the island and Sayid's wife has been killed. Ben learns that they have kidnapped his daughter, Alex. As they hold a gun to her head, he tells them that she is simply a pawn to him and that he stole her. They then put a bullet through her head. Ben stands there in disbelief. At nigh Ben unleashes the black smoke and it destroys the men with guns who have come for him. He tells the others to go on without him and that will he catch up and that he has to say goodbye to his daughter. The Charlotte & Daniel send a message back to the boat about the doctor. He lies to them and tells them that everything is fine and that the helicopters are coming back. But the teacher says that it actually said the doctor is fine.
    When jack asks out right are you ever going to take us off this island, he tells him no. Jack then becomes rather ill. Hurley sawyer, Claire and the baby want to go back to the beach but as they leave Locke pulls a gun on them. They want to Hugo to stay with them, after a bit he agrees to stay.
    We then see Ben in London, he goes to se Charles. He says he is not there to kill him; he is there to blame him for the murder of his daughter. Ben tells Charles that he is going to kill his daughter.
  • Oh my God... It was so good.

    9.5
    This episode was one of the most intresting episodes of all the show,it gives alot of hidden informations,it have thescence of power,and it kinda decides the fath of all the peoples on the islind.

    there is the most importanat thing at the last scene when ben and charles are talking,chalres sayed that the island was his and it will be agaian that means he knew all along about the island and then ben got over there and took every thing under his control the way we know how and saw it in the prevous seasons...

    We know how did sayd joyned ben in his quest of revenge...

    as all of us knows this show makes alot of questions in our mind,alot of questions and some little answers so...

    will ben get to penelopy and will he take her out?!

    how does all of these people dye on the island?!as we know there are only 6 whom sourvived.

    will they kill chalres?!

    how will jacob help all of them to get out of these troubles?!

    what is jacob!what is the smoke?
    and alot of lots of qoestions I cant mention all ofthem here...
    lets figoure out what are the answers.

    but for the last question that I wrote...I belive that the smoke is kinda of mestical things like elves or demons or may be and Jacob is there master.
  • A Ben-centric episode

    10
    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.
  • Best but sad

    10
    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!


    -Sam
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
  • An epic link between the season's middle, to the finale.

    9.0
    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.
  • After this mini hiatus, Lost came back will full force and made one of the Best episodes produced in Lost!!!!

    10
    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.

    Overall:

    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.
  • This is the best episode of Season four! The writers have been holding out on us.

    10
    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.
  • I loved it!

    10
    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!
  • 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!

    10
    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!
  • In short, Michael Emerson's Emmy reel.

    10
    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.
  • one of if not the most action packed episode of lost ever

    9.9
    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!
  • OH MY GOD!!!

    10
    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!!!!!!
  • 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

    10
    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.
  • 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.

    10
    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.
  • Awesome

    10
    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...
  • Lost at its best. Welcome back!

    9.5
    '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.
  • 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 !

    9.5
    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.

    greatings
    basje-nl
  • 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.

    9.6
    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!
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