Main Plot Points
Season 4 focused particularly on new characters introduced to the Island and the fates of certain survivors who would leave the Island. Major themes included:
- The freighter, and whether its crew intend to kill or rescue the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors.
- Which survivors would leave the Island, and how, and what would happen to them following their rescue.
- Leadership, control, and power struggles, particularly between Jack and Locke, Locke and Ben, Ben and Charles Widmore, and amongst factions on the freighter.
- Michael’s mission to redeem himself following his murders of Ana Lucia and Libby.
- Spatiotemporal travel, with Desmond’s search for his constant and Ben’s activation of the DHARMA Initiative station 6, “the Orchid.”
- Christian Shephard’s mysterious connection to Jacob and the Island, and his relationship with Claire.
Decoded Character Groups
On the Island
After Jack calls the freighter, the wait begins for rescue. Naomi is clinging to life but eventually dies in front of Kate, who tells her that Locke is the man who threw a knife into her back. Just before she dies, she alerts the freighter in code that she was experiencing trouble. The survivors split into two factions, Jack’s group head to the beach to get rescued, while Locke and his followers head inland to the Barracks to hide from the freighters, heeding Charlie’s warning and Ben’s accusation that they’re here to kill everyone on the island.
Soon, a helicopter is seen flying overhead and a man parachutes from it, introducing himself as Daniel Faraday to Jack and Kate. Daniel is nervous, edgy and unclear. However he mentions that rescuing the survivors isn’t their primary objective. The team also includes Miles, a ghost whisperer, Charlotte, an anthropologist, and Frank, who was supposed to be the pilot of Oceanic Flight 815 on the day that it crashed but was replaced for unknown reasons. After continued pressure, Miles admits that the real reason they’re on the island is because they want to find Ben. It’s later revealed that they were hired by Charles Widmore to find the island. Throughout the season, the survivors don’t seem to know whether they’re there to rescue or kill them, but it seems the science team were innocent.
Locke, much to his chagrin, is unable to find Jacob’s cabin for further instructions on how to protect the island. When they reach the Barracks with Charlotte as a hostage, Kate and Sayid arrive. An exchange occurs – Charlotte for Miles. In return for this favor, Frank flies Sayid and Desmond to the freighter in the hope they can secure rescue. However, they arrive a day late due to flying on a slightly wrong bearing, but to the relief of the survivors on the beach, they arrive safely. However, Desmond’s consciousness begins to time travel but with the help of Daniel he was able to secure his constant, Penny. In an effort to gain the survivors’s trust and complete their objectives, Daniel and Charlotte trek to the Tempest to render the gas inert, however even though they were successful, Juliet mistook their intentions and fought with Charlotte. Locke’s group settles in at the Barracks, and Sayid and Desmond continue to learn of Widmore’s intentions on the freighter, but the news that the freighter isn’t here to rescue the survivors begins to spread through the beach camp and some survivors begin to become unsettled, such as Sun and Jin, who have a momentary decision to move to Locke’s camp for safety.
Ben knows the freighter crew is looking for him because he has a spy on the boat, which he reveals to Locke, along with the knowledge that Widmore is the one who is looking for the island. Michael, who tried to commit suicide three times after getting off the island and became estranged from Walt, was sent by Tom to the boat shortly after he and Walt returned to New York. He’s given the alias “Kevin Johnson” and his mission was to infiltrate the crew and prevent anyone on the island from getting killed. To do this, he was instructed to activate a bomb to blow up the boat and kill everyone on it including himself. Despite Libby appearing in a vision warning him not to activate the bomb, he does so anyway. The bomb fails to detonate with a message that says “Not Yet”.
Led by Martin Keamy, the Mercenary team from the freighter arrives on the island in the later-half of the episodes. They attack Locke’s camp, killing around eight people, including Danielle, Alex and Karl. Some survivors flee for the beach while Locke, Ben and Hurley head to Jacob’s cabin for instructions to save the island and everybody else on it; and Locke is instructed to move the island by Christian.
The helicopter and the mercenaries return to the island, and the survivors race towards it, as they come into contact with the Others and Keamy’s strike team in a desperate effort to escape the island once and for all. Some survivors are ferried by Daniel to the freighter, but Desmond and Michael discover a bomb in the communications room, which is linked to Keamy’s heart rate monitor. Sawyer initially boards the helicopter with Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid and Frank but when it needs to be lightened in weight, he passionately kisses Kate and jumps out of the chopper into the sea. When the helicopter lands on the freighter, there is a panic to get on the helicopter and only Frank, Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sayid, Desmond, Sun and Aaron manage to board the helicopter before the freighter explodes, due to Ben killing Keamy in revenge for the death of his daughter.
Before they can land on the island to rescue the survivors, Ben moves the island in space and time by moving the frozen wheel to avoid Widmore ever finding it and is banished from it, flying ten months into the future. The helicopter crashes in the ocean and they are rescued by Widmore’s daughter, who has been trying to find the island for three years. Jack and Penny concoct a cover story to fool her father into thinking that the survivors crashed and swam to a different island near where the fake wreckage was placed – the Indonesian Ocean, specifically the island of Membata. Only the Oceanic Six: Jack, Kate, Aaron, Sayid, Hurley and Sun are then “rescued” at Sumba. Desmond, Penny and Frank then go into hiding.
After the rescue of the Oceanic Six
The US Coast Guard, along with Oceanic Airlines representative Karen Decker, pick up the Oceanic Six from Manukangga and fly them to a private military base west of Honolulu, Hawaii. There, Hurley reunites with his mother and father, Sun with her mother and father, Jack with his mother, however Sayid and Kate have no immediate family to greet them. The Oceanic Six are then interviewed at a press conference held by Decker. It is unknown how Widmore reacted to the Oceanic Six after their appearance, although it is probable he has complied with the cover story. It is also unknown how the Oceanic Six explained the fact that all 324 passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 were confirmed dead with their bodies found at the bottom of the ocean.
Having survived an extraordinary ordeal, the Oceanic Six quickly become famous worldwide.
Sayid is reunited with Nadia after eight years, and they lead a happy life for eight months, where they get married. For the majority of the spring and summer of 2005, the Oceanic Six lead happy and content lives – except Sun. Distraught that she’s lost her husband, she invests in her father’s company using her settlement money, while looking for revenge. Jack returns to St. Sebastian Hospital in Los Angeles, Kate lives with Aaron in California, along with Hurley who lives in his parents’ mansion. Many of the Oceanic Six congregate at occasions such as Hurley’s surprise birthday party, and even Sayid greets his friend, with Nadia in tow. Kate, Jack and Sayid seem on good terms with Hurley’s parents and Sayid’s newlywed Nadia, and all of them were present for Christian’s funeral except Sun, who blames Jack for Jin’s apparent death, where Jack meets Carole Littleton, Claire’s mother, who tells him of their connection.
This devastating news leads Jack to become distant with Kate and Aaron. Along with this, not all is as it seems, as the Numbers begin to reappear in Hurley’s life. Sun gives birth to her daughter, Ji Yeon Kwon, alone in Seoul. Soon afterward, Hurley makes the effort to visit and comfort her at Jin’s grave.
In October, the first tragedy since the Oceanic Six were rescued occurs in the form of the death of Nadia in Los Angeles. Four days later heralded the return of Ben, ten months late from the Island. Appearing in the Sahara, he eventually made his way to Tikrit, Iraq, and contacted Sayid at Nadia’s funeral concerning her killer – Bakir, an agent of Widmore’s. Consequently, Sayid is recruited in Ben’s war against Widmore and the fight for the Island, in return for protecting the remaining survivors left on the Island.
The lives of the Oceanic Six continue to descend into disarray as Jack slowly turns to alcohol after learning that Claire is his half-sister. Hurley begins to see visions of Charlie, and he participates in a car chase in downtown LA after “freaking out”. It is implied that this is not his first time. He is subsequently recommitted to Santa Rosa Mental Institute (where he was before the crash) by Mike Walton, Ana Lucia’s copartner in the LAPD. During his first few days back, he is visited by Matthew Abaddon who questions him if they are “still alive” (it is unclear who Abaddon is referring to). Hurley also has rare visits from Jack, including one in which Jack questioned him on whether he was going to break the cover story. The late Charlie is also among his visitors, and tries to tell Hurley to go back to the Island because “they need” him, but Hurley refuses to believe he is real.
Some intermediate time after October, Sayid continues to work as an assassin for Ben, targeting a few minor people associated with Charles Widmore, including Mr. Avellino and Elsa. Ben also visits Charles Widmore in London and vows to kill his daughter in revenge for the death of his own. Sayid loses contact with the rest of the Oceanic Six, and Ben doesn’t contact anyone else until late 2007.
2006 seemingly begins with Kate’s pending trial, that had been put on hold in 2005, pending arraignment. Kate is charged for fraud, arson, assault on a federal officer, assault with a deadly weapon, grand larceny, grand theft auto and murder in the first-degree. During the trial, Jack testifies on Kate’s behalf as a character witness and Kate’s mother refuses to testify against her, eventually forgiving her for her past crimes. As a result of the star witness refusing to testify, prosecutor Melissa Dunbrook proposes a plea deal; no jail time, but Kate is not allowed to leave the state of California for ten years. Her lawyer argues against the deal, but Kate quickly accepts the terms, saying she just wants the trial to be over. Jack continues to distance himself from Aaron because of how he is related to him.
Sun’s activities during 2006 and early 2007 are largely unknown and it is a mystery how much she has progressed with her new company. Meanwhile, Hurley has continued to spend time in the mental institute, and his mental state begins to deteriorate even more, as he has now “common conversations with dead people”, including Mr. Eko; however Hurley’s most common visitor seems to be Charlie. Kate, after her trial, begins setting Sawyer’s favor straight in the real world. There are no indications what the promise made to Sawyer may be.
In late August 2007 (based on baseball series shown in newspaper), Jack changes his mind about Aaron and begins living within Kate’s house in California during the summer. Jack visits Hurley, who isn’t looking healthy and refuses to take his medication. Hurley relays a message from Charlie, saying “you’re not supposed to raise him”, adding that Jack will be getting a visitor of his own, who turns out to be his late father. Jack attempts to grab hold of something sane and proposes to Kate. She accepts, though the engagement is short-lived when two days later Jack discovers that Kate is doing something for Sawyer, causing him to become jealous. The mixture of alcohol, jealousy and visions from dead relatives causes Jack to leave the Austen household after raging at Kate: he saved her and she’s not even related to Aaron. Jack descends into drug abuse, specifically of Clonazepam and later Oxycodone, mixing it with alcohol. Around this time he begins to grow a beard. After continuing to live alone, Kate has a dream where Claire tells her not to bring Aaron back to the Island.
In late 2007, the fame of the Oceanic Six seems to have faded. John Locke leaves the Island under unknown circumstances and visits separately Walt, Kate, Jack and possibly other Oceanic Six under the pseudonym Jeremy Bentham. Locke tells Jack that some terrible things happened on the Island after they left, and it was Jack’s fault. Locke also tells them that they, at least Jack and Kate, need to go back to the Island. After Locke’s visit, Jack becomes a broken man; however, this leads Walt to question Hurley as to why they are all lying and where his father is, as he is unaware of his death. Hurley assures him it is to keep the people who were left behind, including Walt’s father, safe from Charles Widmore. At around the same time, when Ji Yeon is just over two years old, Sun visits Charles Widmore and proposes they help each other, as she claims that they have common interests.
Jack’s interpersonal relationships with the rest of the Oceanic Six begins to deteriorate even more as he splits with Kate, considers Hurley insane, doesn’t speak to Sun at all as she blames him for her husband’s death and doesn’t even know where Sayid is. Jack begins to fly on planes every weekend in the winter of 2007/early 2008 using his Oceanic Golden Pass, in an effort to return to the Island, hoping that they crash so he can try and fix the “very bad things” that have been happening. Sadly, in his New York apartment, Locke reportedly commits suicide and hangs himself in the early hours of the morning. Jack, after reading Bentham’s obituary and being unable to contact Kate, becomes suicidal himself, but is interrupted by a car crash behind him. He saves the woman and child involved. Jack is visited by his very pregnant ex-wife. Later, Jack is the only attendee at Locke’s viewing. He considers himself neither friend nor family of the late Jeremy Bentham. Jack can’t bring himself to see Locke’s body and leaves. Jack seemingly forgives Locke, believing all the things he said to him earlier that year. Jack in his broken state also begins to refer to his late father as if he was alive, thinking his visions are real, alerting a fellow doctor to his condition.
News of Locke’s apparent death passes to other Oceanic Six members, including Sayid. After murdering Hurley’s follower, he breaks into the mental institute in the dead of night and notifies Hurley of Locke’s death two days earlier and takes him to a “safe place”. Later that night, Jack calls Kate. She finally picks up the phone and they agree to meet at the airport. After dispensing with niceties, Jack tells Kate of Locke’s suicide, but Kate seems defensive on the subject, wanting nothing to do with Locke. Jack tries to convince Kate it was a mistake to leave the Island, and tells her of how he tries to get back, but Kate doesn’t comply and eventually loses patience at Jack’s insistence that they return to the Island, and berates him for believing Locke and abandoning Aaron.
Moments after the confrontation with Kate, Jack tearfully breaks in to the Hoffs-Drawlar Funeral Parlor and finally opens Locke’s casket. Ben coincidentally is visiting Locke too, and they meet for the first time in three and a half years after Ben was banished from the Island. Ben convinces Jack that all the Oceanic Six are needed for the Island to admit them back, including the body of Locke.
Top 5 Episodes
Season 4 Episode Guides
4×01 – The Beginning of the End (Hurley)
4×02 – Confirmed Dead (Science team)
4×03 – The Economist (Sayid)
4×04 – Eggtown (Kate)
4×05 – The Constant (Desmond)
4×06 – The Other Woman (Juliet)
4×07 – Ji Yeon (Sun & Jin)
4×08 – Meet Kevin Johnson (Michael)
4×09 – The Shape of Things to Come (Ben)
4×10 – Something Nice Back Home (Jack)
4×11 – Cabin Fever (Locke)
4×12 – There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1 (Oceanic 6)
4×13 – There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2 (Oceanic 6)
4×14 – There’s No Place Like Home, Part 3 (Oceanic 6)