I was very disappointed in the premiere of Lost Season 4 last night. Unlike the premieres of the last three seasons, this one had no big shockers to get us excited about (Compare Season 1 (plane crash, monster eats pilot), Season 2: (Desmond's in the hatch), and Season 3 ("Others" watch the plane crash)). The big reveal in the opening of the first episode, entitled "The Beginning of the End" was a Hurley flash-forward where he shouts that he's one of the "Oceanic 6," presumably informing us that only six losties make it off. So we know Jack, Kate and Hurley are three, who are the others? Maybe the guy (kid? woman? dog?) in the coffin plus two more. Somehow the revelation is, well, less than a revelation.
The only really exciting thing we get to see is that in Hurley's hallucinations, Jacob is Christian Shepherd (Jack's dad) -- see the screenshots -- but Hurley also sees Charlie at least three times during his flash forward, so we're not dealing with reality here. I think Lindeloff and Cuse are just toying with us here.
In addition, there are some serious head scratchers in this one. You expect us to believe that Naomi (the parachute girl) got up, pulled the knife out of her back and ran into the forest without anyone seeing her? And when Kate found her, she could barely talk, but somehow she was able to climb a tall tree? Suspicious.
Dramatically, however, the show picked up where it left off. Most importantly, the show finally consummated its Jack-Locke, faith-reason dichotomy with Jack pulling the trigger of an unloaded gun with full intent to kill Locke. But instead of ridding the losties of its most gullible and destructive member, Jack loses half the cast to him, inlcuding Sawyer, Hurley and Claire, all who believe Charlie's dying message to be true. The separation of Sawyer and Kate will probably be a love-triangle turning point, and Charlie's death will probably haunt Desmond (who's fault all of this is).
Of course, I'll be watching. I am a Lost loyalist, and didn't even get that upset during the "Hurley wants to drive the Dharma van around" episode, which was as close as the show ever got to jumping the shark. So this early disappointment is easy to handle.