By DAN COMPORA
Source: SyFy Portal
The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS for "There's No Place Like Home: Part 1," the twelfth episode from the fourth season of ABC's "Lost."
Now this is what I call an excellent setup episode. Fast pace, important revelations, and nearly a full utilization of the cast made this episode stand out. This show is at its best when it stops obsessing about the past and moves the story forward.
Of course, this one moved at warp speed, and I can't help but feel that the writer's strike is to blame for that. "Lost" went from a sixteen episode season down to thirteen. In a perfect world, my guess is that some of these stories would have been spread across a few episodes instead of crammed into one. I am impressed that it took "Lost" this long to show the effects of the strike. In fact, I really liked how this worked out for this episode.
Once again, the creators of "Lost" found a way to vary its formula once again by employing flash forwards of multiple characters. While flashbacks have been the staple of "Lost" for the better part of three seasons, I much prefer the flash forward episodes, and I really enjoyed seeing such a large number of cast members utilized in meaningful ways.
The flashbacks have been so overused that I shudder every time I see one. It's nice to see the creators reach outside their formula a bit. It keeps the series fresh and interesting, yet advances the story: something the flashback episodes have ceased doing.
I particularly enjoyed the scenes between Ben and Locke. While it lacks the dramatic tension of the Locke/Jack alpha male battles, it is clear that while these two need each other, there's more conflict than cooperation between them.
II am glad that Jack's relationship to Claire has finally been revealed to him. That is an important revelation, particularly for a setup episode. It just goes to prove that setup episodes can be solid, informative episodes on their own. Not every important detail has to be left for the finale.
The flash forwards of all of the Oceanic Six. While most of the cast is quite talented, certain characters work much better in very small doses. For me, a little bit of Hugo goes a long way. Plus, it was nice to see Jack featured without completely dominating an episode.
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