In some ways, a DVD review of the final season of “Lost” isn’t altogether necessary. Any review, whether it by me or someone else, will not sway a single person into buying a copy. Minds have already been made up. “Lost” isn’t the type of show that allows you to buy merely your favorite season: you’re either all in or all out. If you already own the first five seasons, you’re gonna buy the sixth. Even if you weren’t the biggest fan of the final season, you’re still going to want the final set on your shelf. If you were waiting to buy all seasons at once, and HATED the resolution to the show, then you’re probably not even reading this recap, never mind heading to your nearest store to pick it up.
So think of this less as a review of Season 6 of “Lost” and more a review of the actual product itself. ABC was kind enough to send me a review copy of the Blu-Ray version of the set. Note that other than the picture/sound quality, only one thing stands between this set and the regular DVD set: the extra “Lost University,” which I describe below. Other than that, you can consider this recap to serve both sets with equal aplomb. Also, it goes without saying that I will go into great detail about the extras contained on this set, so I guess I need to put up a big *SPOILER* sign for the specific content on these discs. We good? Good. Here we go.
Each of the five discs on the Blu-Ray set comes with a special little “scene” to serve as its menu for that particular disc. If you wait long enough, something may happen onscreen. But I’ll let you discover that for yourself.
- Disc 1: A view outside the window of Sideways 815
- Disc 2: The Deep Fryer of Doom (aka, The Temple pool)
- Disc 3: Widmore’s goons holding watch at the sub
- Disc 4: The Microwave of Mayhem (aka, the room Widmore builds for Des outside the Hydra)
- Disc 5: Jacob talking to the final candidates around the fire
I won’t bore you with the specs. But suffice to say, the Blu-Ray quality is outstanding. I fired up some key moments to test both sound and picture, and the set passed with flying colors. One of the key things that made “Lost” so unique was its cinematic feel coupled with its unique setting. Given that the picture quality on these discs exceeds even that produced on high-definition TV, and you have THE best circumstances in which to watch these episodes. As for sound: I cranked up some Widmore mortar fire in “The Last Recruit” and got blown into the back of my couch. Doesn’t hurt that Giacchino’s score is only one of the best in television history, and it also comes through gorgeously throughout. So yea: it sounds great.
1) You’ll get Darlton talking “LA X.” For reasons a little unclear, Darlton decide to treat people who are watching this commentary as if they haven’t watched the rest of the season as of yet. So if you’re looking for some concrete commentary about the sideways world, yea, don’t hold your breath. But you will learn about twelve situations in which you could employ “Tap the Bomb” in everyday conversation.
2) You’ll get Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, and Michael Emerson on “Dr. Linus.” I love that Michael Emerson felt unprepared to do a Ben-centric episode so early in the season. Like he’s not an acting god. Also, Sideways Ben and I both like to eat the same thing for lunch everyday. I feel closer to him than ever. Worth a listen into Emerson’s approach playing one of the most iconic roles in TV history.
3) You’ll get Melinda Hsu Taylor, Greggory Nations, and Nestor Carbonell talking “Ab Aeterno.” Really fascinating to listen to Taylor give some insight into how the writers broke down the major arcs of the show’s seasons, and why this episode took place at this time. In fact, it’s so fascinating that I demand another “Lost” DVD set that consists of nothing except the writing of the show. And then produce similar sets for shows such as “The Wire,” “Mad Men,” and other shows that focus on long-form, complex storytelling such as this.
4) You’ll get Darlton talking “Across the Sea.” Well, this is probably the episode that needed commentary the most, I suppose. Look, I didn’t like this episode. At all. But it’s pretty compelling to listen to the show’s creators talk about some of the controversial aspects of this episode in particular, Season 6 overall, and “Lost” as a whole. I’m not buying what they’re selling on this commentary. But it’s an honest pitch and I feel like I understand their reasoning for doing this ep at this time more than I did before listening to it.
Lost in 8:15
Pretty much what it sounds like. If you’re a big “Lost” fan, you’ve seen a variation on this at one point or another. But I think “Michael iChats with Walt” is new. That was pretty damn funny.
The biggest selling point of the set is this 12-minute section of new footage, taking place during Hurley’s reign as Island Protector. I’d tell you I was disappointed by it, but that would assume I actually had a horse in this particular race. For me, “Lost” ended in May 2010. This extra is superfluous at best and downright annoying at worst. To me, “The End” explained that looking for the answers to minute mysteries was the wrong way to approach the show (and, by extension, life itself). So what does “New Man” do? Answer a series of minute mysteries! Unreal. A certain character gets a grace note that he/she didn’t in the show proper, but that only goes to show how the show dropped the ball on that particular character. For more information on this segment, be sure to listen to “Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan,” in which Maureen “Mo” Ryan and I discuss this segment further.
Crafting a Final Season
A must-see documentary about the filming of the final season. Not only does it feature cast/crew perspective, but also the perspectives of other show runners, many of whom never got the chance to end a show on their own terms. If you didn’t like the final season, you’ll hate this doc. But if you hated Season 6, you probably aren’t getting this DVD anyways. Things I particularly enjoyed:
- Ken Leung invoking T.S. Eliot to describe the overall vibe of the Season 6
- Just how light Tawaret’s massive foot apparently was
- Michael Emerson/Leung/Nestor Carbonell’s terror over dying once split up from the candidates
- The outtakes from the Sun/Jin reunion
- Emerson hugging the still-warm print-out of “The End”
- Jorge Garcia crying while reading the passing of the torch from Jack to Hurley
- Darlton’s heartfelt speech to the main cast inside the church during the filming of the final scene
A Hero’s Journey
Other than a clever use of Joseph Campbell quotes that reveal key phrases/words applicable to “Lost,” this isn’t really worth your time. Yes, we know that “Star Wars” played a big part as the modern era’s archetypical heroic myth. Applying it to 16 characters as opposed to only one was the show’s variation on that, according to Damon. About the only way to make this section fun is to drink everyone says the word “hero.” You’ll be dead before the five-minute segment is over. Wait, that’s not fun at all. Never mind.
See You in Another Life, Brotha’
Well, here’s a weird one: an extra about the sideways world that never once actually tries to explain what the sideways world was. In some sense, I get it: it’s both easy and impossible to truly get at its essence, since the reaction to it is so personal. But also, many of these interviews were conducted before cast and crew members had any idea themselves what it was. So you have cast members incorrectly calling it an alternate timeline, and writers coyly glossing over its true connection to the Island timeline. If you take away anything from this, take away writer Elizabeth Larson’s statement: “If you take the Island away, what these people are missing is each other.”
(At this point I’ll refrain from screaming “You didn’t take it away, you sunk it and showed it to us to throw us off the #$^&ing scent!” But that wouldn’t be letting go, would it?)
Learn about Jorge Garcia’s monkey-centric explanation for Sayid’s death in the Deep Fryer of Doom! Learn about Josh Holloway’s “health respect” for heights! Learn the super high-tech ways in which the crew created the smoke monster stalking The Black Rock in “Ab Aeterno”! Learn how to send a car into the ocean while respecting the environment! Learn why the water inside the submarine was perhaps more dangerous than we ever knew!
“On Guard”: Bram insists that Ilana stay behind to protect Sun before entering the Statue. Yawn.
“Bearing Fruit”: Lapidus brings back fruit for himself and Sun, who then forces Ben at gunpoint to check in on Ilana inside the statue. Double yawn.
“Maternal Instincts”: Jin and Kate discuss the true extent of Claire’s craziness outside her hovel. Jin warns Kate about the Other that Claire just killed, right in front of Squirrel Baby’s innocent, hollow eyes. If this scene had been included, Kate’s surprise at Claire’s attack later on would have felt foolish. But deleting it was the right call.
“Parched”: Chained inside the Black Rock, Alpert gets MacGyver-esque in obtaining some water. The scene lasts for less time than it took you to read that sentence.
“A Helping Hand”: The Man in Black helps Alpert out of the Black Rock and offers him food. Holy Lord, a bunch of stinkers so far.
“Fatalities”: Now here we go: Smocke and Claire have a confab after the sub explosion, in which he explains that he needs her to kill Jacob’s candidates. On the main Island, Sawyer wakes up and examines the wreckage. Hurley explains to him that they are the only ones left. Great anger on O’Quinn’s part (even if the dialogue is a bit too on-the-nose, in the way that Michael’s explanation for the Whispers was), and Holloway’s quiet grief speaks volumes about his character’s guilt. About time we had a good deleted scene. Upon seeing the title for this one, I was praying for some “Mortal Kombat” action instead of more boring “Lost” footage left on the cutting room floor. Lord knows Smokey had him some flawless victories in his day.
“The Lab and The Well”: Vincent to the muther-effin’ rescue! Apparently, he spied on Jacob’s confab with the Final Four and then bolted to the well. Fun, it was better for the show to hold off his reveal until the finale.
“Epiphany”: Desmond explains to Ben what he saw in the sideways world on the way to the Cave of Glowing Light Inside Us All. I’d try to explain here how Des got zapped into the afterlife, but I’m happy with my current life and its lack of nosebleeds.
“Desmond’s Task”: At the Driveshaft/Faraday concert, Des tells Eloise that he’s waking the Lostaways up. I kinda wish Sideways Vincent just licked everyone into epiphany at this point.
So-so, except for Jorge Garcia’s prison lament and Matthew Fox’s issues with the local wildlife.
Lost University: Master’s Program
If you need a feel for what “Lost University” is, feel free to read my review of its initial iteration here. Classes currently being offered for this Blu-Ray only feature include “LIT 601: The Building Blocks of Storytelling,” “ACT 601: The Craft of Acting,” and “THE 601: Investigating Character Types.” You can even learn useful Spanish phrases directly from Nestor Carbonell, although the phrases aren’t being useful unless your wife is dying of tuberculosis. In this version of the university, you can actually construct your own thesis about the show to share online, even getting your own faculty adviser for whom you can TA as well. I can’t wait to see how many “How I ‘Lost’ Six Years of My Life Watching this Crap Show” papers get submitted for consideration.
So there you have it: the final collection of “Lost” until the next, super-sized set that will send hard-core “Lost” fans into a life of crime to pay for it. Are you planning on buying it? Renting it? Time-sharing it with a friend? Leave your plans below!