Dominic Monaghan, Josh Holloway, Terry O’Quinn, Michael Perrineau, Naveen Andrews, Jorge Garcia, Emily de Ravin, Maggie Grace, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Harold Perrineau, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Watros, Henry Ian Cusick, Michael Emerson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
- Buy the Blu-ray
Reviewed by Jason Zingale
ans of the popular ABC sdrama, “Lost,” shouldn’t be afraid to speak their minds about the incredibly problematic sophomore season. It required a lot of patience to prevent oneself from throwing in the towel and denouncing the series as a one-hit wonder, and from its irregularity in quality storylines to the haphazard scheduling that created week-long gaps in between new episodes, it’s really no surprise that the series was shunned from the Emmys this year. Then again, those of us who did stick it out were not only rewarded with answers to some of the show’s most pressing questions, but also one of the biggest and best season finales in the history of television.
The second season begins with Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Locke (Terry O’Quinn) investigating the newly opened hatch, and who would you know lives there but Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick), the friendly Aussie sailboat racer whom the audience is familiar with from Jack's flashback in Season One. It’s here that the survivors learn more about the mysterious numbers imprinted on the outside of the hatch (as they also serve as the password to resetting a countdown clock scheduled to trigger some horrible event if they aren’t entered into an ancient computer every 106 minutes), while the history behind the hatch, as well as its electromagnetic properties, is explained via an orientation video produced by the Dharma Initiative.
Meanwhile, a shipwrecked Michael (Harold Perrineau), Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) are introduced to who they initially believe to be the Others. Of course, the new group of strangers is actually just fellow survivors from the tail-end of the same plane – now lovingly referred to by the show’s fans as “tailies” – and includes the hardnosed Ana-Lucia (Michelle Rodriquez), the spiritual Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and the sympathetic Libby (Cynthia Watros), among a few others. Eventually, they’re sanctioned into the main camp by the original survivors, but still they’re not entirely trusted, especially when another straggler by the name of Henry Gale (Michael Emerson) – who may or may not be a traitor – is found snooping around their camp.
And while the first season of the show had its share of laggard storytelling, it’s nothing when compared to the middling second year, which often delivered one first-rate episode for every two or three bad ones. Even worse, some of the first season’s more interesting characters (like Locke, Charlie and Sayid) play second fiddle this time around as a result of the writers needing more room in the script to flesh out all of the new players. Season Two wasn’t a complete washout, though. We learned a great deal more about Jack’s failed marriage, Kate’s run-in with the law, Sawyer’s work as a con artist, Hurley’s time as a mental patient, and were even treated to a not-so-distant flashback that showed exactly what happened to Claire when she was kidnapped by the Others. More so, the second season ushered in several excellent supporting performances by the aforementioned Cusick and Emerson (both of whom will return in bigger roles in Season Three) and the delectably villainous M.C. Gainey as Mr. Friendly.
Whether you’re a casual viewer in desperate need of catching up on a few missed episodes or just a diehard fan looking to experience all of the island mystery one more time, Buena Vista has released the second season DVDs an entire month before this year’s season premiere. Presenting all 23 episodes in their original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio and Dolby 5.1 Surround audio track, the seven-disc box set includes over eight hours of bonus material, including audio commentaries with the cast and crew, and plenty of behind-the-scenes extras that will no doubt fuel the ongoing internet theories. The commentaries are informative, but not particularly entertaining, while the rest of the special features are sure to keep fans busy for at least a little while.
Organized like a Dharma Initiative orientation video, Disc Seven houses a bulk of the special features and is split into three different phases. Phase One contains a majority of the behind-the-scenes material, including an excellent featurette that breaks down the process of making the episode “Fire + Wire” (“Anatomy of an Episode”), over 40 minutes of production featurettes, and a four-minute reel of Sawyerisms from the first two seasons of the show (“The World According to Sawyer”). Phase Two is more of an assorted collection that includes three unaired flashback segments (“The Lost Flashbacks”), 14 deleted scenes, an obligatory gag reel, and a cool Calvin Klein-esque promo for the show that aired on the UK’s Channel 4. The final section of the bonus material, Phase Three, is all about the fans. “Lost Connections” serves up a Six Degrees of Separation-type interactive experience that shows how all of the characters are connected via short clips, “Mysteries, Theories and Conspiracies” features interviews with cast, crew and fans expressing their thoughts on the secrets of the show, and “Secrets from the Hatch” focuses on the construction of the Swan hatch.
All in all, the second season release of “Lost” is a much better all-around experience than the first year of the show. Despite some personal issues with several of the episodes – where the writers were virtually stringing along the viewer – the last half of the season unequivocally proved why its still one of the best shows on TV. And with the third season gearing up for its big premiere – as well as the writers’ promise that this year is going to knock everyone’s socks off – how could you not be a little excited?
Special Features: The new Blu-ray release of Season One doesn't really add anything in terms of supplemental material – all of the previous extras are here, as well as the added option of SeasonPlay – but the real bonus is being able to watch the show in high definition. This is the kind of series that benefits greatly from Blu-ray (the island locale, the booming soundtrack) and it's a worthwhile upgrade for any fan of the show.