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Lost: Season 2 DVD Review

Lost: Season 2

September 8, 2006

Director: Jack Bender, Stephen Williams, Eric Laneuville, Paul A. Edwards, ,
Starring: Matthew Fox, Josh Holloway, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O'Quinn, Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Dominic Monaghan, Jorge Garcia, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Emerson,

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DVD Review

Going into the 2005-2006 television season, Lost found its niche market as one of the only major network T.V. science fiction/horror themed shows challenged by a whole slew of newcomers: Invasion, Night Stalker, Supernatural, Surface and Threshold. Would any of these shows take away from Lost’s dedicated cult following that helped propel it into the mainstream? After the dust had settled only Lost and Supernatural survived to live for another season. In anticipation of the premiere of the third season, an extras-packed box set that collects all of the episodes from season two has been released.

At the end of last season, the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 discovered a hatch in the ground. By the season finale, they found a way to blow it open. Ignoring Jack’s (Fox) orders, Kate (Lilly) and Locke (O’Quinn) go down into the bunker and investigate. They find an elaborate set-up that looks dated from the 1970s and features a store room filled with food, a collection of guns and a working shower amongst other amenities. It also happens to be occupied by a crazed man named Desmond (Cusack) who tells Kate and Locke that he has to enter a series of numbers every 108 minutes or something terrible will happen. Of course, we don’t find out what that is until the season finale which also reveals how this is connected to the plane crash that brought them all here in the first place.

In this season we also meet the survivors of the tail end section of the plane that broke off and landed on another part of the island. The “Tailies,” as they are called, even get their own episode, “The Other 48 Days,” documenting the fateful day when the plane crashed and how they survived on the island. Two significant characters emerge from this group – Ana Lucia (Rodriguez), a quick-tempered ex-cop with checkered past, and Mr. Eko (Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a Nigerian crime lord turned priest after his brother (also a priest) was killed defending him from drug smugglers. One of the season’s best episodes is “The 23rd Psalm” which shows his backstory and allows Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje to demonstrate the kind of exciting intensity he brings to the world of Lost. This episode also explains what motivates his character and highlights a fascinating unpredictable quality that the actor possesses and this is what makes him so interesting to watch.

However, the most captivating episodes (that also compromise the bulk of this season) deal with the mysteries contained in the bunker. In “Orientation,” Jack and Locke watch a training film that identifies the bunker as being run by the Dharma Initiative with its purpose being a communal research compound dedicated to all kinds of scientific experiments born out of the idealistic 1960s. We also learn that the Dharma Initiative is funded by the equally mysterious Hanso Foundation. A big revelation occurs in the bunker in the episode “Lockdown” when a blast door comes down and pins Locke to the ground. While he lies there waiting for help, a map of the island reveals itself on the door for a few moments but it is enough to show that there are several other hatches on the island.

The other significant plot line deals with a mysterious group on the island known only as The Others. They apparently live on the island independent of anyone else and before the plane crash. They also seem to be in control of the island but this is put to the test in the season finale. In a bold move, The Others kidnap a couple of the survivors and in turn they capture one of The Others, a man who calls himself Henry Gale (Emerson). He, along with Desmond, become two pivotal characters in this season. Desmond only really appears early on and at the end but it is at crucial moments and it is to reveal vital information that sheds more light on the show’s ongoing mythology. Gale, on the other hand, is an untrustworthy source of misinformation. Is he some flunky of The Others or is there something more to him? The writers keep us guessing as to his true identity right up until the last episode when he reveals his true nature…sort of.

The second season of Lost managed to pull off the impossible – be as interesting and as compelling and as frustrating as the first season. Fortunately, the writers managed to resolve a few of the mysteries and in doing so posed several more – much to the delight of its dedicated fanbase and much to the chagrin of everyone else. It should be interesting to see how the show does in its third season and if it can continue to survive on a major network where ratings mean everything. Only time will tell.

Special Features:

The first disc features an audio commentary on “Man of Science, Man of Faith” by executive producers Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Bryan Burk and Jack Bender (who also directed the episode). They wanted to start the episode in the hatch in order to defy expectations that they would start outside with Jack and Locke because that’s how they left things at the end of season one. They talk about the story decisions they had to make: dedicating this episode to the hatch and the next one to what happened on the raft instead of trying to juggle both in the same episode.

The third disc features a commentary on “What Kate Did” by director Paul Edwards, director of photography Michael Bonvillain and actress Evangeline Lilly. She keeps the track lighthearted as she jokes with Edwards. They offer mostly trivial factoids (like how she learned to ride a motorcycle for this episode) and talk about how this episode ran too long and had to be cut down.

Also included is a commentary on “The 23rd Psalm” by Lindelof, Cuse and Burk. They wanted to introduce a character with a radically different past than the other characters. They had an idea for Mr. Eko but once they met Akinnuoye-Agbaje it started to come together and the actor actually helped create the character.

Disc four features a commentary on “The Whole Truth” by actors Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim and writers Elizabeth Sarnoff and Christina M. Kim. The actors recall filming anecdotes while the writers talk about character development and the structure of this episode. Both actors speak quite eloquently about their respective characters in this solid track.

The fifth disc includes a commentary on “Dave” by Bender and actors Jorge Garcia and Cynthia Watros. Bender guides this track talking about character development and how it drives this episode.

Disc seven contains all of the featurettes, starting with “Fire and Water: Anatomy of an Episode” which takes a look at how this one was put together, taking us through the screenwriting phase through to shooting it to post-production. This featurette gives a good idea of how much hard work goes into each and every episode.

“Lost: On Location” takes a look at ten episodes that utilize shooting on location as opposed to in the studio on a soundstage. The actors talk about how they bonded with each other as a result.

“The World According to Sawyer” features a montage of Sawyer’s snarky nicknames that he gives everyone he meets. Many of them are derived from pop culture and provide a lot of the humour on the show. This is a nice profile of this charismatic character.

“The Lost Flashbacks” include three sequences that appear in two episodes and have never been seen before. They reveal background information on two of the characters.

Also included are 14 deleted scenes from various episodes.

“Lost Bloopers” is a collection of cast members mugging for the camera, blowing lines or forgetting them. An amusing extra.

There is a “Channel 4 UK Promo” directed by acclaimed music video director David LaChapelle that is very arty as the cast slow dance dreamily amongst the plane wreckage on the beach.

“Lost Connections” shows how the various characters are connected to each other either tangentially or

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance

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Rating: 98%

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