There was a lot of good television that saw their final seasons this year. Well, not a lot, but two of my favorites: 24 and Lost. And as much of a die-hard fan of 24 I am, even I have to admit defeat when it came to the series finales of both of these shows and hand the award to Lost. Although 24 kind of cheated by being (eventually) resurrected by a movie sometime down the line so it didn’t need to wrap things up in a tidy bow, Lost was faced with ending one of the greatest television shows and wrapping up all of the mysteries it possibly could in a big, tidy bow. Without a doubt Lost entered into the arena as the most talked about show in recent years and went out the same way. And now we can all relive that experience over again on DVD and Blu-ray for the eighth or ninth time (you know you watched the final minutes of the final episode multiple times on Hulu, admit it).
Lost follows the lives of crash survivors of Oceanic Airlines flight 815, on a mysterious and apparently supernatural tropical island. Their survival is continuously jeopardized by inexplicable entities, including a polar bear, an unseen monster that wanders the jungle and the island’s malicious occupants known as the “Others”. Forced to depend on each other to endure, the diverse group of survivors are bound by menacing secrets and complicated interrelationships, with the truth behind each character slowly revealed through the seasons. The series regularly stars Matthew Fox (Jack Shephard), Evangeline Lilly (Kate Austen), Josh Holloway (James ‘Sawyer” Ford), Naveen Andrews (Sayid Jarrah), Jorge Garcia (Hugo ‘Hurley’ Reyes), Terry O’Quinn (John Locke), Michael Emerson (Ben Linus), Daniel Dae Kim (Jin Kwon), Yunjin Kim (Sun Kwon), Nester Carbonell (Richard Alpert) and Emile de Ravin (Claire Littleton).
One of the most brilliant things this show ever did was the “flash sideways” elements which showed our heroes in some kind of alternate reality/timeline thingamabob. What made this so fantastic was that it kind of distracted the audience from the mysteries of past episodes—we weren’t so focused on the “what the hell” of the polar bears or the black smoke. We now had this new quirk to focus our attention on for this final season and when the final few minutes revealed just what the hell was going on, it was nearly impossible not to tear up and feel like your mind exploded at the same time. Regardless of how you felt about how it ended (or confused, as the many people I talked to were), you cannot deny that Lost wasn’t one of the best written, produced, acted, directed and executed shows of all time.
While this final season didn’t answer all of the questions we may have had about the island or what goes on within it, it was very generous with the answers it did give. Many times during the season when they’d reveal a big answer like what the island was or who certain people really were, I kind of had to do a double take because it did it with such grace and subtlety. I would quickly reflect back on what was said and realize that Jacob actually did just drop a bomb and pretty much flat out say that the island was Hell’s cork and it was passed by with little to no flair on the screen—no big music cue, no characters looking overly flabbergasted…just pure elegance. That’s another thing I have to hand to the series—after keeping all of these answers bottled up for so long, they were released without attracting too much attention to themselves.
Just thinking and writing about this season makes me want to immediately start watching it again. Even as it aired on TV I found myself eagerly awaiting the next episode, something I hadn’t done since the first or second season. While it was always a show I watched each week it aired, never was I watching it without delay like I was this season (and without delay I mean watching it as it aired, rather than waiting to watch it later without commercials). The night the final aired I was forced to spend my time doing something else and I could hardly sleep that night. I knew I had to get up early the next morning to go to class, but I ended up getting up even earlier to watch the two hour finale. I was then disappointed as hell when no one in my class had watched it yet, so I had no one to talk to about it…very disappointing. But relief quickly came as I talked about it with friends and family and to hear all of the varying opinions of it was really just another signifying element of how widespread this series appeal was.
Overall this final season of lost was without a doubt one of the best seasons of any show I’d ever seen. It delivered on all the major questions, poked fun at itself at times (Jacob’s comments about chalk and people’s names on the wall was a great revelation into how serious fans took things on this show sometimes), and more importantly remained entertaining and gripping throughout. While I wouldn’t recommend the season to anyone who hasn’t seen it from the start (it’s just such a more satisfying and gratifying pay off that way), Lost’s sixth season is nonetheless Must See TV indeed. And yes I realize that’s not even ABC’s slogan.
Lost arrives on Blu-ray in the usual casing that past seasons have received, with a double-wide Blu-ray case housing all the discs of the series. Included is a reflective foil/embossed slipcover (which has nine spots on it that act as mirrors so if you look at the cover you see your reflection nine times) and inside is a series of inserts, mostly for other Disney products but also the manual for this season. Included are the always fantastic menu systems that transition seamlessly, although I still take issue with the font size on the menus as it’s a giant image with a small space occupied. I had a problem with this from the previous season sets but they made a re-appearance this season as well. I guess it’s not overly noticeable on a 60” plasma, but still.
As one would guess, the final season of Lost looks stunning in its AVC encoded 1080p transfer. Although it changes from present day to the “sideways” story lines, the transfer is nonetheless an exciting and stunning visage to partake. Details are high, colors are brilliant and blacks are nice and deep. I doubt that there is a finer show to watch on Blu-ray than Lost; it mixes in all the visual greats with its varied palette of interiors, exteriors and combinations of both. As is, however, you would be hard pressed to find a better example of the Blu-ray format than Lost if only because it offers so many varied visuals to show off what Blu-ray is capable of…and then proceeds to knock it out of the park each and every time.
Audio arrives in the form of a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and, like the visuals, the options offered up here is varied. Every little sound effect that the series emits is heard here with deafening clarity. Subtle moments are impacted by a musical cue that runs throughout the room then up your spine, while the nosier sound effects like a gunshot or an explosion resound from the surrounds and out the subwoofer into your chest. There are few things about this sound mix that don’t impress and while the show does spend a lot of time in the front channels with dialogue, it’s no stranger to the other channels as well. If ever there was a show that demoed what the Blu-ray format and a properly tuned home theater setup is capable of, this is the one.
• Bloopers and Deleted Scenes (14 minutes, both SD and 1080p)
• Audio Commentaries accompany four episodes (LA X, Dr. Linus, Ab Aeterno and Across The Sea)
• The End: Crafting A Final Season – Join the LOST team along with other producers of some of television’s longest running shows as they examine the challenges of ending a landmark series. (39 minutes, 1080p)
• A Hero’s Journey – What makes a hero? Which survivors of Oceanic 815 are true heroes? These questions and more are explored. (9 minutes, 1080p)
• See You In Another Life, Brotha – Unlocks the mysteries of this season’s intriguing flash sideways. (9 minutes, 1080p)
• ‘LOST on Location’ – Behind-the-scenes featurette showcasing stories from the set, including all-new interviews with actors and crew. (29 minutes, 1080p)
• ‘LOST in 8:15’ – A Crash Course (8 minutes, 1080p)
• “The New Man in Charge” – A LOST Blu-ray & DVD exclusive – Go deeper into the world of LOST with a much-anticipated new chapter of the island’s story from Executive Producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. (12 minutes, 1080p)
Yeah, there’s no commentaries on the final episodes of the series (seriously, what the hell is up with that?) but there’s still a nice smattering of extras here. Even the BD-Live bonus, a “Lost University” section, delivered up more than a few hours of additional extras. Why they couldn’t throw them on here I don’t know, but still a nice bonus to offer up regardless.
Sadly there are more extras you won’t see unless you pick up the complete series which, of course, boasts an exclusive bonus disc. Still, this is a decent crop of extras (especially if you have BD-Live capabilities on your player) and definitely keeps the set worthy of sliding alongside the other seasons you have on your shelf. Highly Recommended.
Lost – The Complete Sixth and Final Season arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on August 24th.