For five years now, Lost has taken us through mystery after mystery. I’m beginning to think that the show’s title is more a mission statement for where they want to take the viewers. Each time Abrams appears to answer a question and move on, closer examination proves that nothing has actually been revealed. The series has become the poster child for misdirection and script sleight of hand. When I examine the 13 episodes from season 4, I’m left with the inescapable, pun intended, feeling that nothing significant has really happened here at all. But at the same time it’s the most significant event of the series. All the while I find myself compelled to watch episode after episode. Abrams would have been a great drug dealer if that producing gig hadn’t worked out for him. The show started out with enough directions and plot devices to put our brains into overload. From that point on, he’s been cutting each dose a little bit so that we find ourselves drawn to each hour fix chasing the high we got in the beginning. Of course, we already know we’re never going to feel that way again, but we’ll keep coming back for more as long as he continues to make us believe that we will. I’m not saying the show has declined at all. I’m saying that it doesn’t really ever go anywhere. Abrams continues to introduce major plot lines such as the hatch, the others, and now the freighter, with promises of linking it all together into some kind of epiphany, and for a short time he actually does. But hindsight leaves us scratching our heads, because once we come down we can’t really explain what the high was all about. And so, we’ll continue to tune in or buy the DVD’s to see where it’s all headed, even if we already know that we’re doomed to remain lost no matter how it all ends.
I will attempt to relate to you some of the important elements from this season without revealing much in the way of spoilers.
If you’re worried at all about jumping the gun, you might simply skip the next paragraph.
As the season begins we are brought back to the initial construction of the Dharma Initiative 30 years earlier. We get to meet some of those key people and watch the pieces of those familiar elements coming together. There’s a reason for this journey. As the survivors settle in for 3 years back home, life has gotten complicated for those left behind. Time has begun to shift on the island. The remaining castaways begin to move uncontrollably forward and backwards in time. Each shift is heralded by a bright flash in the sky. To make things worse, the effect is dangerous to the body. Nosebleeds followed by death await each of the time travelers if they can’t find a way to stop it in time. The only solution appears for Locke to go and bring back the others. Apparently, they should have never left.
At this point the stories split between the lives of the survivors back home and Jack and Ben’s attempt to get them to return to the island, and the time travels of the few that remained. When Locke leaves, the time shifts stop, but it strands the remainders 30 years in the past and now living as members of the original Dharma project. To say any more would truly be spoiling your good time in discovering things along the way. Suffice it to say that you’re in for a good, if at times confusing, experience.
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 bitrate 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. There are times when grain is a little too heavy. I found the new level of detail offered in high definition to be excellent. This is my first television season on Blu-ray, and if the rest of them look this good, there is certainly a huge future for TV on Blu.
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 Audio Commentaries that feature various cast and crew.
The best feature of this release is the much talked about BDLive event, Lost University. This thing rocks, and you really want to watch this on a BDLive capable player with an internet connection. You get to “enroll” in “classes” that deal with elements found in the series. Real video lectures provide you with the “class sessions” followed by homework assignments and a semester exam. This is one of the best mixes of education and entertainment I’ve experienced. It really does give you a look at just how powerful the BDLive experience can be. I’ve spent literally hours on this thing. It’s addictive and appears to be expanding. You simply MUST try this thing out. A good reason to buy instead of rent the release.
Mysteries Of The Universe: (26:15) SD A fake episode of a 1980’s television show that attempts to expose the Dharma Initiative.
Making Up For Lost Time: (13:47) HD Cast and crew provide some insight into the whole time travel angle. We’re told that the arc was created to give viewers a look at the genesis of the Dharma project. There’s a good look at set and production design, always a good experience on Lost. For some reason the opening stuff is repeated at the end.
An Epic Day With Richard Alpert: (12:14) HD This is one of those production video diaries following actor Nestor Carbonell on a typical day, the last one of shooting for the season.
Building 23 And Beyond: (12:01) HD Building 23 is where a lot of the shops and such for Lost are housed in California. Actor Michael Emerson, who plays Ben Linus, takes you on a tour. This is meant as a companion piece to the earlier set visit by Lily in Hawaii. You meet a lot of the show’s staff in short but amusing encounters with Emerson.
Lost On Location: (37:44) HD There’s a focus on 7 episodes here. You can pick them individually or rely on the trusty play all. It’s a look at such things as stunts, makeup, f/x, set construction and plenty of behind the scenes footage.
Deleted Scenes: (13:43) SD There are 8 in all, and you do get the play all option.
Bloopers: (3:48) HD
Whatever ideas you might have had about where all of this was going, I promise you that you’re wrong. No way anyone could have predicted the events of this season. You might have been used to the show’s trademark flashbacks and more recent flash forwards, but now characters are literally moving through time itself. The cast and crew did a great job of building up anticipation for the upcoming final season of Lost. It poses far more questions than it answers. You’ll be left asking yourself, “OK. So, what really happened?”