When the second season of Lost hit the airwaves, expectations were very high. The show enjoyed a very successful first year in the ratings, and many of us were looking to see if the show would suffer the all too common sophomore slump. Lost exceeded our expectations. The show changed dramatically, yet managed to keep us hooked with the same blend of mystery and solid storytelling that made the show such a huge hit to begin with.
The season begins with us finally entering the hatch. Inside we enter the world of the Dharma Initiative. Here we see the remains of what once must have been an incredibly large scientific experiment on the island. Through “orientation” films we get just a glimpse into the enormous project. The entire season is driven by the need of the castaways to plug the infamous cursed numbers into a computer at regular intervals or… we don’t really know, only that it’s probably bad. New characters infuse the show with fresh relationships and new back stories. We get closer to discovering exactly who “the others” might be. We also meet up with the survivors of the tail section. When you look back it’s hard to believe so much was compacted into just one season. But, as we should have come to expect, there are as many new mysteries as there are answers.
The new characters include:
Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) This is probably the most mysterious character on the show. He seems to know more than he’s telling. He knows his way around weapons and is the protector of the new group. He has a kind of spiritual quality to him that sets him apart from the others.
Desmond (Henry Ian Cusik) Desmond is a great new character. He’s English and has been inside the hatch for years. He’s been driven to the point of madness and is obsessed with inputting the cursed numbers. He has become one of my favorite characters on the show.
Bernard (Sam Anderson) Rose was sure her husband had survived, and sure enough he turns up as one of the tail section survivors. He’s a calm man who takes his situation with a lot more ease than most of them.
Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriquez): We’ve seen her in Jack’s flashbacks. She’s a tough girl who also knows her way around the guns. She’s been the leader, of sorts, to her group and is not very quick to trust the castaways.
Of course perhaps the most intriguing character in the series continues to be the island itself. I’ve heard so many series creators talk about making the location a character in the show. Honestly, the phrase is so overused. Believe it here. It’s the island itself that makes this more than just a story of castaways on an uncharted island. The island is a mysterious force that unravels its mysteries week after week throughout the run of the series. There are monsters and enigmatic hatches built into the ground. There are polar bears and a black mist that can carry a man away. And don’t forget that the island appears to have healing powers. Filmed on location in Hawaii, the cinematography is breathtaking. And what better way to truly appreciate that, than on Blu-ray?
With gain comes loss. Several characters that we’ve come to love from the first season won’t survive the second. That’s another one of the show’s strengths. Most of the characters are fair game to get bumped off. It makes the drama even more suspenseful and keeps the show from devolving into cheats in order to save cast members that we knew couldn’t die all along.
I’m deliberately avoiding talking much about the plot lines of the season as I would normally do. Like the island itself, this is a series that must truly be explored for yourself. If you’ve made it out of the first year wanting more, than you don’t want me guiding your steps from here. You want to take each new development and savor it like a fine wine, even if this isn’t your first time through these parts. Suffice it for me to say that the second year won’t disappoint. The show only got better. It can be argued that the series did finally jump the shark in the third and easily its weakest year, but for now prepare to continue to be amazed.
Each episode of Lost is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. They are presented in 1080p using an AVC/MPEG-4 codec. The bit rate remains an impressive 25 or higher mbps. The transfers are on the average pretty good. The colors are certainly tight, particularly the greens of the wilderness and the ocean blue-greens. The island comes alive with incredible detail. This is by far the best television high definition image I’ve found to date. There are times when grain is a little too heavy. I found the new level of detail offered in high definition to truly enhance the experience.
The DTS-HD Master Audio uncompressed 5.1 track is pretty sweet. While most of the sound is dialog, handled perfectly, there are brilliant moments when creepy jungle sounds or rain do a remarkable job of surrounding you with the show’s action. It wasn’t hard at all to lose myself in the mix. The big difference here is in the sub range. For the first time I could feel a strong bass helping to immerse me in the action.
There are several Audio Commentaries that feature various cast and crew.
The extras are all in SD. Most of the features can be found on the last of the discs. The features are divided into three “phases” to correspond with the three parts of the Dharma Initiative. The menus appear as if they were from the orientation films on the show. There is also the return of the handy Season Play.
Phase One: Observation:
Fire + Water – An Anatomy Of An Episode: (31:46) From script to final edit this feature takes you through the entire process of producing a Lost episode
Lost On Location: (1:02:55) This feature takes you through the various episodes and works as a kind of season summery with plenty of behind the scenes stuff.
The World According To Sawyer: (4:31) This feature is a collection of Sawyerisms. You get his various nicknames for everybody and a few choice words of wisdom.
Phase Two: Conditioning:
The Lost Flashbacks: There are three deleted flashback scenes.
Deleted Scenes: (22:55) There are 19 in all with a handy play all feature.
Lost Bloopers: (4:05)
Channel 4 UK Promo: (1:06) Short very odd television ad.
Phase Three: Conclusion:
Lost Connections: This is a crazy interactive device that allows you to explore the hidden connections between the characters. It’s like a Roach Motel. You can check in, but it’s almost impossible to get out of this unlabeled menu system.
Mysteries, Theories, and Conspiracies: (10:17) The cast and crew offer up their personal ideas about what’s going on on the island.
Secrets Of The Hatch: (15:47) From set design to construction, this is an intimate look at the hatch set.
I’ve discovered that this show is either loved or hated. It’s hard to be at all ambivalent about it. I fall into the love it category, but I found it way too hard to keep up with it on network television. By the time of the third season and the eventual writers’ strike, the show became almost a chore to keep up with. Likely the people who did end up not liking the show found this to be their biggest obstacle. Now the Blu-ray releases have solved that problem. First timers have all first four years to check out in one long marathon setting, if they like. The rest of us get the chance to relive or just catch up in anticipation of the final days of the series, which are now not far ahead. So, you and I have seen this stuff at least twice now. But, you know what? “We’re gonna need to watch that again.”