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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, January 18, 2009

A recap of season 4's cliffhanger finale

 •  'Lost' returns

Even by this show's high standard for mind-bending plot twists, the season four finale last May of ABC's "Lost" was over the top. What else can you say when an entire island disappears in a flash of light?

The survivors of Oceanic Air flight 815, which crashed on an uncharted Pacific island when the show first aired in 2004, spent all of season four on the verge of rescue. A helicopter deliverance? landed on the island, flown from a mysterious freighter anchored offshore. But deadly mercenaries with automatic weapons were also part of the bargain.

Flash-forwards last season replaced flashbacks as the show's most revealing storytelling tool; by the season finale, viewers knew that six of the crash survivors the Oceanic Six had returned to civilization. But they were worse off, tortured by personal demons and the prospect that they could have to return to the island.

In the finale, one group of survivors was trying to disarm a bomb that threatened the freighter, another group was trying to leave the island on the helicopter and the last group was battling a mercenary. Beady-eyed Ben, the evil leader of the Others, was also in play.

As the episode came to an end, the freighter explodes, the island moves, and the helicopter crashes into the ocean. Wild? Impossible? Yes, but all in character for the supernatural plotting of "Lost."

In the final scene, viewers are in a flash-forward to L.A., where Jack, now a pill-popping drunk, has broken into a funeral parlor to find ... Ben, and a coffin.

Ben insists that Jack, the Oceanic Six and all of the Lost must return to the island to help those who were left behind.

And then Ben and Jack look into the coffin, at the suit-clad corpse of Locke.

Mike Gordon