DarkUFO - Lost

NOTE: This is a Recap for Episode 4x09 - The Shape of Things to Come. We tried to post this yesterday, but had some technical difficulties.

For better or for worse, The Shape of Things to Come is much different from almost any other episode of Lost. As the title implies, Episode 4.09 establishes many new trends for the remainder of this season and perhaps the entire series. Fan reception for this episode has been overwhelmingly positive, even though this episode barely resembles anything that preceded it. Many fundamental changes in the show’s nature are now undeniable. What began has an intimate ensemble drama with detailed character studies has transformed into an elaborate game board manipulated by two masterful super-villains, Benjamin Linus and Charles Widmore.

The setting for the war has expanded both in space and in time. Battles take place not only on the coveted Island, but occur on a global backdrop in Los Angeles, Tunisia, Iraq, and England. One of the early scenes in the episode incorporates the board game Risk: The Game of World Conquest, which serves as a new metaphor for the show’s central conflict, and drops hints about other key locations. The final scene indicates that these two opponents will continue to compete against each other for a long-time into the future. The freighter crew, the Smoke Monster, Jacob, Sayid, and even Locke have all become weapons in this war, and the collateral damage has been significant. Unlike the game of Risk, the audience cannot just pick up an instruction booklet that will explain this competition. Whatever stakes are at play and whatever rules of engagement apply to this war remain unknown to everyone except the two men in charge.

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