"Lost" The Shape of Things to Come (TV Episode 2008) Poster

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Season High Point Warning: Spoilers
To put it simply, the best episode of Lost in Season 4. This episode has a bit of everything, action, conflict, funny and/or touching moments, a glorious money-shot of the Smoke Monster and a fairly intense shock death of one of the main characters, following on from the fairly intense shock-deaths of two other main characters in a previous episode.

This episode restored my faith in Lost, having slightly slipped after the average first episode and seemingly rushed (though very good) episodes up to this point.

The real gem of this episode is the character of Ben, heavily focusing on him both on and off the island. Sayid comes into the story off the island, showing his reasons for working with Ben. But it's on the island where the action of this episode really happens.

I will not reveal the shock death here, but I will tell you that it has a resounding impact on the future storyline of this show.

All in all, a bloody brilliant episode worthy of a 10/10 rating.
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The Shape of Things to Come
ametaphysicalshark24 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
An episode I absolutely adored on original broadcast and grew to like less and less over the subsequent two viewings has earned more of a liking from me after I watched it on DVD, and am able to view it as part of the season as a whole better than when it was a VCR recording, and the season was still on. There's really nothing I can cover here that hasn't been covered many, many times already by more observant people, the episode is actually not flawed for not having enough good character writing, as some have suggested, but for flaws in the storytelling. Some of it is awfully convenient, I don't care for Indiana Ben the Sawyer-as-Rambo scene is awful, the smoke monster's appearance is not one I'm particularly fond of, beyond its initial impact as a 'woah' mythology-based moment, and I actually thought the final scene was a little anti-climactic, even poorly-written. The episode works as action but it's got some more substantial scenes as well, notably Alex's genuinely shocking death and Ben's tender goodbye to her. I absolutely loved the Risk scene, I thought that was pretty clever, and left us one or two hints to think about, although I doubt they'll add up to much. All in all a good episode, but really very far from one of the best of the show, and I can't help feel that much of that sentiment comes from the initial excitement of it. Truly great "Lost" episodes are more enjoyable every time you see them, and this doesn't pass that test.
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Finale caliber episode in the middle of the season
preachboy77727 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
After seasons 2 and 3, where every episode could be hit or miss, and after it looked like season 3 would fall apart midway through, it's refreshing to see this season bring back the same caliber stories and writing as season one. Possibly this is the season that brings LOST back to the Golden Globes and the Emmy's. Every episode of season 4 has been amazing, and 'The Shape of Things to Come' is right up there with 'The Constant' as one of the best episodes in the history of the show. Michael Emerson pulls off an amazing performance, exponentially expanding the character of Ben to make him one of the most intriguing characters on the show. His reaction to Alex's death was heart wrenching. I'm looking forward to more great episodes this season and in the seasons to come.
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Ny Favourite Ben Episode
MrsHectorBarbossa17 January 2011
This is a Ben-centric episode and it's one of the few great episodes of a somewhat crap season 4. This and the episode The Constant are the top two episodes of season 4 and if you're watching them on DVD, you can't skip them.

It's about a year into the future and Ben wakes up and finds himself in the middle of the Sahara Desert. How did he get there you might ask? The answer is revealed later down the track.

I never trusted Ben when I was watching the show on TV but now I appreciate him and he's just an awesome character. If you love Ben, then I guarantee you'll love this episode.
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Lost is back....
LOSTfan9331 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
...and kicks part two of the season with a fantastic, climatic, jaw-dropping Ben Linus-centric episode. Ben is one of the best characters on the show and this is the best episode since the Constant. My favourite parts on-island were when they were playing Risk in the Barracks and the phone rings and when Ben is playing the piano and John and Sawyer come storming in and my favourite off-island part was the final scene when Ben confronts Widmore (the best part of the episode was that final scene actually). Michael Emerson's acting was excellent as usual and he deserves that Best Supporting Actor Emmy Award he was nominated for. The Alex execution scene was awful, but well-done. Bravo Drew Goddard and Brian K. Vaughn.
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"Were you EVER going to take us off this island?"
gridoon201830 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Another Jack Bender-directed episode, another highlight of the season, joining the ranks of (in order of my preference) "The Economist", "The Beginning Of The End" and "The Constant". Bender starts the episode peacefully enough....for about 2 minutes. Then he cranks up the tension to incredible levels, and he raises the stakes higher than they ever were before in the fourth season. The extent of the ruthlessness of the new enemies is finally revealed, and it results in some quite unsettling moments. Bender is able to sustain that tension even when he cuts to the flash-forwards, which are also revealing as they help explain the stunning final twist of "The Economist". There are a lot of great moments in this episode, from Hurley's ignoring Ben's order when it comes to helping his friends, to Bernard's correct translation of the response to Daniel's coded message to the ship. But it's Michael Emerson who shines above all, showing a variety of emotions, some of which we hadn't seen from Ben before. A remarkable episode. ***1/2 out of 4.
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New Mysteries, No Answers
claudio_carvalho1 May 2008
Bernard finds the body of a man on the beach and Daniel identifies that he is the doctor of their ship. Meanwhile, Alex is captured and forced to shutdown the defense system of the housing compound, releasing a warning code. Ben organizes the defense of house and when Alex is executed by her captors, he releases the smoke monster to destroy the enemies. Meanwhile, in the future, Ben escapes from Tunisia to Iraq where he helps Sayid in the funeral of his wife Nadia; later Ben has an unexpected meeting with Charles Widmore in his suite late night in London.

After more than one month without "Lost", at least "The Shape of Things to Come" is a great and intriguing episode, one of the best of the Fourth Season. Unfortunately new mysteries are raised and there is again an absolute lack of answers. I question whether these successive breaks in this show do not indicate that the writers are unable to resolve the countless mysteries raised along the three successful first seasons. In this episode, the smoke monster is apparently released and controlled by Ben. Jacob remains an unsolved mystery. The mysterious agreement between Ben and Charles a.k.a. "rules" that does not permit to kill each other is weird. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): Not Available

Note: On 14 April 2013, I saw this episode again on DVD.
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Mucleus1327 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Great episode, but as usual, now we have more mysteries, and they are even bigger this time. Did Ben go into his special room to unleash the smoke monster, or to take a quick time travel excursion? Did Dharma use polar bears as their original guinea pigs to see if time travel would work? One thing that is getting overlooked: why did Miles want to go the beach with Sawyer? I thought he and his people want Ben, plus he wants the possible 3.2 mill. Plus, if he is a ghost buster, I thought his main purpose for coming to the island would be to contact or communicate with Jacob somehow. Instead, he is leaving Ben behind, has no desire to find out anything regarding Jacob and is just going to go back to the beach??? What was the point of Naomi's team to bring him along then? At least the other 3 all have a reason, a history, or a skill that is relevant to their visit. Any thoughts???
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Makes one excited for what is to come
TheLittleSongbird7 June 2018
When 'Lost' was in its prime, it was must-watch television. Remember first watching it, found it remarkably easy to get into, was hooked from the start and was on Season 3 by the end of one week. The general consensus is that the final season is a disappointment and cannot disagree.

Season 3 was for me a solid if uneven season, with many brilliant episodes but a few slightly underwhelming ones and containing one of 'Lost's' low points "Stranger in a Strange Land". Season 4 had a good amount to live up, and its first episode "The Beginning of the End", carrying on from where the shocking events of the previous season's finale "Through the Looking Glass", couldn't be a better way to start. The episodes between that and this all ranged from decent to brilliant, disappointing only with "Eggtown" and "The Other Woman".

"The Shape of Things to Come" is one of the best episodes of the season, along with "The Constant" and "The Beginning of the End".

It has pretty much everything that 'Lost' is all about. It's taut and thought-provoking, with utterly gripping on-island events from the very start right up to the finish.

On top of all that, it advances characters, shows plot progression rather than repeating itself or being filler. Ben is the most prominent character here and everything with him holds interest and nerve-shredding in tension. Really liked Sayid's role too. "The Shape of Things to Come" may end slightly anti-climactically, but it ends on a truly intriguing note and makes one excited for what is to come.

Also found "The Shape of Things to Come" to be a non-stop thrill ride of insane entertainment and playful value, edge of your seat tension and suspense, constant intrigue and very emotional moments. The smoke monster appearance is suitably suspenseful and the episode contains one of the show's most shocking and most emotionally devastating death scenes.

Can't fault the performances, particularly from Michael Emerson demonstrating why Ben is considered one of the best, most interesting and most popular 'Lost' characters for good reason, the most intense moments almost frightening.

Nor the stylishness and atmosphere of the visuals, nor the effectively understated and chilling use of music, taut writing and the tightly controlled direction (one of the best of the season and perhaps of the show).

All in all, brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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Even worse than the previous low point, Eggtown
skay_baltimore22 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In Eggtown, we have the most laughable courtroom debauchery in TV history. In this episode we have the most laughable gun battle -- EVER. What are the writers, producers, and directors smoking? This wouldn't even make a good cartoon. 3 people get picked off immediately with single shots, yet Sawyer James runs all around Robin's barn and doesn't get nicked. Then he goes to a house that exploded on Claire, finds that she's alive (yeah, right), picks her up in his arms, and carries her back to the house in which John, Ben, and Hurley have barricaded themselves, and STILL no one manages to shoot him! Are you KIDDING ME?!!! And that isn't even the most implausible part of this episode! It's a hodgepodge of incoherent logical drivel that's beyond suspending disbelief -- it's nothing but a mess of unreality. And that's why this show keeps falling flat on its face -- no one other than some mindless fanboy or fangirl could possibly believe this utter tripe.
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"The Emperor's New Clothes"
TomMerry25 April 2008
It is time for we "Lost" fans to face the truth - Season 4 is not remotely to the standard of the first three. The episode tonight as an overall 42 minute or so presentation was not good. At times the writing was laughable. The secret in presenting fantastic ideas and situations is to make them credible. We did not see this tonight. At the beginning of the season we witnessed a desperate attempt to create a new season by largely creating an almost new show with fresh characters and story lines. That would be wonderful T.V if it worked, but it doesn't and viewing figures show that we, the public, are not buying it. The show now is just a blatant attempt to keep everybody's job and money coming in for the network. End the show this season and let us all remember when "Lost" was superb, compelling viewing during those first three seasons. Please.
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