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After the explosive ending of Lost Season 2, the third season suffers from some notable weaknesses that make it a lesser season to the predecessors. That aside the series gets better as it progresses. Be warned, spoilers feature throughout this review.

Lost season 3 castJack(Matthew Fox), Sawyer(Josh Holloway) and Kate(Evangeline Lilly) have been captured by ‘The Others’ after Michael betrayed them in order to get Walt back. The trio are taken to another island where the mysterious others live. Unlike how they initially appeared in rags, they are more efficient and sophisticated than we’ve seen. It is here that Henry is revealed to in fact be Ben Linus(Michael Emerson), the second in command. The manipulative Ben toys with Jack and the others emotions and Sawyer and Kate form a romantic relationship. We are introduced to Juliet Burke(Elizabeth Mitchell), a mysterious doctor who seems to change sides rapidly. One minute she’s being caring for Jack, next she’s on Ben’s side. The enigmatic Juliet aids Sawyer and Kate in escaping but has a few ultimatums for Jack regarding Ben, who is need of spinal surgery that could claim his life. Meanwhile, the hatch has imploded after Locke(Terry O’Quinn) lost his faith with pushing the button let it tick down causing an electromagnetic pulse to cover the Island. This is the same kind of blast that caused the plane of the survivors to crash according to Desmond(Henry Ian Cusick), who made it back to the island in the last episode of season 2. Hurley(Jorge Garcia) arrives back at camp with the news of the trio’s kidnapping. This causes Locke to rise up and encourage the other survivors to fight for the freedom of Jack. The lines between good and evil are blurred as Ben forces the survivors he captured into various strange deals in exchange for their release. Also, many of the mysteries of the island are revealed and the character flashback continue to delve into the troubled past of this group.

Firstly I want to get down to the flaws of this season. Whereas the past two seasons gave us mystery but also answers, Season 3 starts to become a little too complicated for its own good. Sure some of the mysteries intrigue, but the lack of answers can prove frustrating for the viewer. Also, the lack of appearances from crucial characters such as Locke in the first bunch of episodes is a negative as he is one of the most complex people in the show. Lost Nikki and PauloThe inclusion of two new characters, Nikki(Kiele Sanchez) and Paulo(Rodrigo Santoro), is not so great as they don’t really have a purpose and their characters aren’t that interesting. It isn’t really much of a surprise that they are both killed off during the run of the season. I have to say though the manner of their death is ghoulish to say the least. After their past as criminals is revealed and they turn on each other, they are both paralysed by a spider. The other survivors think they are dead and proceed to bury them. Just as the last bit of Earth hits her face, Nikki’s eyes snap open as she is buried alive. I do wish that Eko(Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) had continued as a character. But on one hand, his death at the hands of the smoke monster( who it is shown can take the form of the deceased) does complete his redemption story in tragic and poignant detail.

Lost Kate and SawyerNow onto the positives, of which there are many in the later episodes of the season. The visual style is excellent, full of sweeping camera shots and strange but lethal beauty of the mysterious island. The suspense of the previous seasons may have diminished in the earlier episodes, but it comes back more intriguing than ever as the season reaches its end. The enigmatic musical score continues to generate chills and foreboding events with finicky strings, tribal percussion and melancholy piano. I liked how the relationship between Jack, Sawyer and Kate was explored as their conflicted feelings come to the forefront of the show. We see how Kate is torn between the two and how her relationship with Jack is tested by various forces. I found the history of ‘The Others’ interesting as we see how they are highly sophisticated but very territorial beings intent on preserving their island.

As always, the acting is outstanding from the ensemble cast. Matthew Fox, Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly continue to impress with their work as Jack, Sawyer and Kate. Michael Emerson returns as Ben and continues to portray him with malevolence and quiet manipulation that is very disquieting. He truly is an excellent villain and his various encounters with Jack are riveting. Lost JulietElizabeth Mitchell portrays the mysterious Juliet with icy reserve and quiet internal strength and she truly makes an impression on this season of Lost. The way her character is written makes her such an intriguing woman of hidden depths. She drives a wedge between Jack and the camp, including Sayid(Naveen Andrews) who believes that bringing her to the camp is a bad move as no one really knows which side this complicated woman is on. And who can forget that catfight with Kate in the jungle when they are handcuffed together? Juliet’s job as a fertility specialist is crucial to the development of Sun(Yunjin Kim), who learns that all the women who have conceived on the island have died. Sun is then faced with the difficult task of keeping the secret from Jin(Daniel Dae Kim) in order to stop her from breaking down with the knowledge that her fate is sealed. The presence of fate is also prominent in the character of Desmond, who begins to experience flashes of the future. The most worrying of these is the repeated sight of Charlie(Dominic Monaghan) dying. No matter how many times he tries to save him, Charlie will eventually die. Desmond’s past involving his tenuous relationship with a woman named Penny is also movingly observed. Henry Ian Cusick and Dominic Monaghan work very well together as their characters aid each other with what they should do in this dire situation and how they should respond to the ominous warnings. For Charlie, the worst part about the knowledge of his death is that he will be parted from Claire(Emilie de Ravin). Their relationship has followed an interesting and touching course, evolving from strangers into soul mates. Lost Charlie deathIt is Charlie who provides Season 3 with its biggest emotional punch in the scene in which he drowns. Over the past seasons, Charlie had become one of my favourite characters and his death was really poignant to watch as he heroically accepts his fate and manages to deliver a message to Desmond. When he does appear, John Locke is still is fascinating as ever. Terry O’Quinn suggests his deep personal struggles to overcome the memory of his father and joining with ‘The Others’ to learn more of the secrets of the island.

So all in all, Lost Season 3 falls behind the past seasons because of too many unanswered questions and anomalies. But with the progression of the season, the storyline gets tighter and the series still makes for addictive viewing.