The 4400 Season 3 Finale (spoilers)

Posted: August 28, 2006 in Uncategorized

Was anyone else out there watching? After a great first and second season, The 4400 ended it’s third in an odd sort of transitory state. Like most of the rest of the season, the finale had some great moments (Boyd going boom, Summer dominating Richard, Tom shooting Isabelle) and some less so (Alana getting zapped, Maia at school, Shawn acting lame and inconsistent, Kyle’s near no-show). The writing this season has been kind of hit or miss, and some of the plot points come across more related to the actors’ schedules or casting issues than to desired plot development. As a result, the finale left me a bit hollow, with only Tom (and maybe Richard) looking like a surefire return for next season (I’ve been assured by “Maia’s visions” that season 4 will be playing June 2007). Diana seems ready to quit, Maia claims she’ll be back but it would be a hard sell without Diana or her sister (who has a 50% chance of dying) returning, Kyle likewise is 50/50, Isabelle and Shawn could both be left in comas if necessary, and Alana beamed away to The L Word.

It’s an odd sensation, but basically I was left feeling like the characters’ stories were all hinging on contract negotiations for the next year. It’s nothing new in the TV world, but The 4400 succeeded in its first 2 years by playing tightly to the story and the characters; this year seemed to move away from that style, unfortunately. The biggest loss up front was killing off arguably the “heart” of the show (Laura Allen as Lily) in the first episode. There was a strong romantic vibe that guided the first season in particular, which was sorely lacking this year. I also missed Kyle as well, and his brief return in essentially a single episode was not nearly enough.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the show. There were some great surprises and plot shifts, as well as some very welcome and fun guest stars that made approximately half the episodes great TV. It just felt like there were some things missing, some plot holes, and a couple of throw-away episodes. So here’s hoping the writers and the cast can recapture some of what they lost in the next season.

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