It’s been said that all good things must come to an end. In television that could not be more true. In the world of entertainment good things end, often quickly without a chance to leave any kind of an impact. Maybe six years wasn’t exactly quick for Lost, but at least it can’t claim not to have left an impact. The show changed how we watch television, and it will be a long time before anyone forgets about it.
For six 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.
The season begins pretty much the moment that season 5 ended. The bomb has been set off. The castaways are now back in the present time, but still on the island where nothing appears to have changed. Yet, that isn’t the complete story.
Remember those flashbacks and later flashforwards? Well, this season has something called flashsideways. There is an alternate reality where Oceanic Flight 815 never crashed. But it isn’t just the bomb. Characters like Desmond who were never on the original flight are now here. Throughout the entire season we’re you’re going to see these two stories play out. Meanwhile, back on the island there is an epic struggle between good and evil being played out.
The island stories have a ring of the classic Faust to them. These people have been brought here and they are tempted by the smoke monster, who has taken over Locke’s body. There are a lot of incidents of free will and moral fiber being tested. The good side is represented by Jacob and whoever among the castaways becomes his successor. These people can’t be forced to do evil; they must come along of their own free will.
One of the best things about this season is that we will revisit all of your favorite deceased characters. In the alternate world they are still very much alive and have more than just cameos for most of them. Of course, the return of Charlie is the most satisfying for me. The writers did a wonderful job of working them in so that it doesn’t feel forced or just a cheap gimmick. The characters become a real part of what’s going on here. This may not be the best final season I’ve watched, but it ranks up there, to be sure.
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 PCM 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 return of the much talked about BDLive event, Lost University. The Masters program provides even more really cool things for you to do. This is exactly what BDLive should be instead of the usual promotional crap. 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.
Everything is in HD.
The New Man In Charge: (11:55) This is like a mini-episode. Ben comes to one of the Dharma supply warehouses to send the guys home for good. In answer to one of their questions, he shows another orientation video about the polar bears. Finally, he visits one of the old cast members.
Crafting A Final Season: (38:33) This feature focuses on the emotional aspects of working on the end of the show. Cast and crew get a bit teary-eyed at times. The feature looks at some of the hopes for the last episodes. We’re also joined by a few famous show-runners who talk about what it was like for them to create last seasons.
A Hero’s Journey: (8:57) Cast and crew talk about what a hero is. There are some fine looks at each character’s heroic moments from the show’s six years.
See You In Another Life, Brotha: (8:36) This feature looks at the flashsideways.
Lost On Location: (28:40) There’s a focus on 6 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: (9:39) There are 9 in all, and you do get the play-all option.
And so we say goodbye to some beloved characters. Some we loved to hate. Some made us cry. And some just frustrated the hell out of us. So, will all of your questions be answered? Not all of them. The final episode is one of those things that is open to interpretation. It will satisfy the fan base, I believe, but it is not going to be as clear-cut as some might have hoped. There are some very emotional moments here, and that’s going to be the true payoff for the fans. “It’s their destiny”.