US, February 6, 2008 - After last week's exciting season premiere, "Confirmed Dead" takes a step back and focuses on introducing us to four new semi-regular cast members who will be gracing our screens for the rest of the season. These supposed "rescuers" each bring a unique attribute to the cast of characters and undoubtedly have many secrets that will be uncovered in the next few episodes. Ken Leung plays Miles who has an unusual gift, Jeremy Davies guest-stars as physicist Daniel Faraday who we saw jump out of the helicopter at the conclusion of the last episode, Rebecca Mader plays Charlotte and Jeff Fahey is Frank Lapidus – the helicopter pilot.
The primary focus of "Confirmed Dead" is to acquaint us with the new characters but unfortunately this causes the momentum set in motion in the previous few episodes to dissipate. There is definitely a lot to still enjoy and these new characters are great but the majority of the episode, not including the flashbacks, is simply Jack and Kate stumbling upon someone new from the freighter every few scenes. One of the best aspects of the show is its growing list of exciting new characters year after year and this new group certainly doesn't disappoint.
Locke's group also stumbles onto one of the freighter crewmembers and while Jack and Kate are hesitant to trust who they meet, Locke and his group are downright creepy. The dichotomy between Jack's group and Locke's group becomes really evident based on their varying reactions to the rescue team. Much of this plays into one of the show's primary themes, faith versus science, which is at the very root of why these two groups separated in the first place.
Besides a few scenes with Ben playing mind games with Locke and Sawyer, the episode's best moments are all reserved for the flashbacks that reveal several interesting details about the freighter crew. Spoiling them here would be a grave injustice so you'll just have to see the episode for yourself but we will tell you that these crewmembers weren't assembled by chance.
The new cast members do a great job in their respective roles. Leung does an adequate job of getting Miles' arrogant brand of confidence across while Davies presents Faraday's awkward mannerisms well. Fahey's Lapidus has exceptional screen presence that even overshadows the regular cast members to an extent.
Surprisingly, we learn the reason the freighter crew is on the island and after you hear it, Ben's reaction to their arrival makes a lot more sense. The explanation really does come out of left field and it will be interesting to see where the writer's are going with this and how it affects all the survivors of Flight 815 as a group.
"Confirmed Dead" isn't a disappointing episode by any means but it definitely suffers from being a "setup" episode for these four new characters. It's a necessary evil but now that introductions are out of the way we expect to get back into the full thrust of the narrative next week.