Television Review: How flash-forwards reinvigorated Lost in its fourth season

People seem to hate cliffhangers nowadays. In the era of binge watching and Netflix, people are able to watch the next episode or season of a show immediately after the previous one finishes. Lost is a show that learned how to deploy cliffhangers incredibly well: the first season ended with Locke looking down the hatch, the second with Kate, Jack and Sawyer kidnapped with the others, and the third with Jack in LA telling Kate that they have to go back to The Island. That’s a great cliffhanger, and I can only imagine how the internet speculated in between the third and fourth seasons. As someone who didn’t watch the show when it originally aired, I don’t have to deal with that, and I moved through the start of Season 3 fairly quickly. Since I’m watching it now, I know that part of the reason the third season started slowly is because Lindelof and Cuse were negotiating with ABC for an end date and overall plan for the show, and at least in the short term, that’s paid off. “Through the Looking Glass” is the best season finale the show has done, and that momentum carried through to season four.

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