Lost: The Complete Fifth Season - The Journey Back Expanded Edition [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (13th December 2009).
The Show

It’s rough imagining a world without “Lost” (2004-2010). It got me through my college years. I could plan my entire class schedule around a TV show, it gave me that Wednesday boost that I needed to get from weekend to weekend. It gave me doodles in classes that felt too long. It even displaced my college diploma with memerobilia. You didn’t sign up for confessions of a "Lost" fan with the review, but my story isn’t that unique. I personally know others just like me and have heard the stories of those even more dedicated, people who start blogs, run forums and participate more actively. Me? I’m just completely and utterly devoted, I’ve bought into all their gimmicks and cross promotions, bought every season’s soundtrack, hell I even bought the tie in placement book “Bad Twin” that was … plain terrible. But I still scoured those pages for clues, something more about the show.

I’m telling this only so you’ll understand when I say “Lost” has had one of the biggest media impacts in my life, it’s the best thing I’ve seen happen to television. Something to drive an obsession, something to pull a huge fanbase through the bad times, the months of downtime between shows and iffy ‘alternate reality games’ that misfire as much as they hit. With the show winding to an end, you get a little nostalgic and retrospective. Bigger than that, you get excited, you get those chills that something big is about to happen. Something really important.

(Spoilers ahead of course, but then again if you haven’t seen an episode, anything is a spoiler)

But before we can get there, you gotta see how we get there, and that’s what makes "Lost" great. With an end date in sight, season 5 goes full throttle into the storytelling by going in completely separate directions. More than just the 'Oceanic Six' off of the island, who have gone their separate ways, those left on the island are getting thrown around through time for half of the season. As Ben (Michael Emerson), Jack (Matthew Fox) and Locke’s corpse (Terry O’Quinn) try to round up the rest of the survivors who left the island, the gang of Locke (Terry O’Quinn), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell), Daniel (Jeremy Davies), Charlotte (Rebecca Mader) and Miles (Ken Leung) are all stuck back on the island getting mobbed by flaming arrows, flashing lights and shifts in time. After working hard to get off the island to bring everyone back, Locke’s solution throws the rest of the on-island gang back in time to the 1977 and forcing them to join the Dharma Initiative. Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) is still special and is immune to all the rules, having memories phase in and out of time to bring him to the aid of Jack’s gang.

Following up a spectacular fourth season, the fifth doesn’t disappoint in the least. Having a serious closing to the show has pushed the storytelling into experimental mode. The time jumps, time shifting, flash backing, flash forwarding, flash forward to a flash back in the past which is really the present? That’s some confusion I can get behind. However in true lost fashion producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have the show running like a well oiled machine. Nothing is wasted in the season, everything is building towards the ultimate finale as they are answering questions left and right. What’s the four toed statue? Done. Dharma? Lots. It’s partially because of the huge amount of answers that makes the interesting narrative structure work well.

What also helps is a spectacular cast, I dropped most of the big names earlier, but this season is what Michael Emerson finally won an Emmy for. Everyone brings solid performances as usual, but I have to give huge props to Josh Holloway and Elizabeth Mitchell for bringing the romance in a whole different way. The guests they also bring in are among the best they’ve done in a while. Nestor Carbonell is good as always and mysterious, but casting Mark Pellegrino was simply inspired. The mysterious pimp/killer/whatever from “Mullholland Dr.” (2001) works so incredibly well it’s hard to describe the power of the finale. All I can hope for is more.

This season is all build up but all delivery as well, bringing both the mystery and excitement to lead into the final season. What this season did above all others though is leave me wondering where it’s gonna go. Unlike other seasons, the destination is implied, but this season fade to white and you’re left wondering. Did it work? What’s going to happen? Either way, just over one month until it’s back on the air.

I can’t wait.

This season includes all 16 episodes:

- "Because You Left"
- "The Lie"
- "Jughead"
- "The Little Prince"
- "This Place is Death"
- "316"
- "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham"
- "LaFleur"
- "Namaste"
- "He’s For You"
- "Whatever Happened, Happened"
- "Dead is Dead"
- "Some Like it Hoth"
- "The Variable"
- "Follow the Leader"
- "The Incident"

Video

Each episode is presented with AVC MEG-4 encoding in 1080p 24/fps in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio that just really makes the show shine. The colors of the island, the flash and everything else turn up incredibly well in the show. Unfortunately this also brings out a bit more of the CG they’ve had to use, which doesn’t quite feel like it used to maybe after budget cuts or the super high quality of the film. But these are few and far between and forgiveable as they don’t break the story at all, and keep everything going smooth. Otherwise the transfer is pretty incredible, it’s one of the few shows I’ve seen originally air in HD and then look even better on Blu-ray.

Audio

Similarly the audio is presented with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track mixed in 48kHz/24-bit and brings the supreme audio quality of the show together. I’m not as much an audiophile as I am picky about CG, but I can say that Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack is intact and sounds as beautiful as it has in all the seasons before it. All the explosions, flaming arrows and 1970’s music all come through in proper proportion, and of course all the movement of sound works out perfectly. "Lost" is a great example of how television sound can be mixed to feel more like a film, but at times even go beyond it.
Also included are English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, French and Spanish DTS 5.1 tracks, L.A. Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround and Brazilian Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 surround. Subtitles included are English, English for the Hearing Impaired, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, L.A. Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin, Thai, Bahasa, Malaysian and Korean subtitles.

Extras

Over the 5 seasons of DVD and Blu-ray releases, “Lost” has shown a consistent ability to bring a great set of special features to a show that demands more than just passive viewership from it’s fans. Included are a number of featurettes, a couple of audio commentaries, some deleted scenes and a cast of other extras. While the features aren’t quite in as great of numbers as I would have hoped, the quality of each featurette is really something.

DISC ONE:

The audio commentary on this disc is on the premier episode “Because You Left” with executive producers/writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Team Darlton brings the talk in this episode, giving some great insight into their writing process as well as insights into the show. The duo discusses the need for some reshoots and setup in order to properly bring the audience into the time travel that starts out the season as well as bringing a demarcated block of time travel episodes to not over extend the device. Still they got jokes, an extended discussion of who the scariest other is, or Carlton’s dichotomy between those who pay deep attention and those who just watch for Sawyer without shirt. Another great commentary, informative for even my fellow lostpedia addicts.

Before even getting to the main menu there is an introductory featurette called the “Lost Starter Kit” which tries to give a big summary of the previous four seasons of "Lost" in 4 minutes and 44 seconds. Not quite as humorous as the “Lost in 8:15” featurette on last season’s set, it gets you ready for the season if you’re feeling a little out of touch with the show. If you’ve never seen it before and you’re watching this featurette to get caught up, what are you doing? Why are you reading this review? Spoilers! Come on, just watch all of it. It’s worth your time. Just sit down and watch all of it at once, you don’t need sleep.

Bonus trailers on this disc are for:

- “Also from ABC Studios” runs for 1 minute and 37 seconds.
- “Everybody’s Fine” runs for 2 minutes and 32 seconds.
- “Surrogates” runs for 1 minute and 22 seconds.
- “Disney Blu-ray” runs for 1 minute and 2 seconds.
- “Alice in Wonderland” runs for 1 minute and 41 seconds.
- “Extract” runs for 1 minute and 19 seconds.
- “10 Things I Hate About You 10th Anniversary Edition” runs for 57 seconds.
- “Lost Seasons 1 & 2 on Blu-Ray Disc” runs for 1 minute and 46 seconds.
- “Lost: The Final Season” runs for 32 seconds.

This disc, and all the others, come with the season play feature, introduced by “About Season Play” which runs for 34 seconds. This feature basically keeps track of where you are in the show and monitors your progress, all it takes is a little sign up. The continual questioning of whether or not you want to use season play gets a little annoying, but it’s a nice enough feature for those who tend not to just watch all of lost at once.

This disc is also D-Box motion code enabled.

DISC TWO:

This disc contains no special features, though some special episodes.

This disc, and all the others, come with the season play feature. This feature basically keeps track of where you are in the show and monitors your progress, all it takes is a little sign up. The continual questioning of whether or not you want to use season play gets a little annoying, but it’s a nice enough feature for those who tend not to just watch all of lost at once.

This disc is also D-Box motion code enabled.


DISC THREE:

The audio commentary on this disc is on “He’s Our You” with executive producers/writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Adam and Eddy (he said I could call him that in the commentary) are a little more muted in their track than Damon and Carlton, but they bring up the characters they love and handing out compliments for the show. They don’t quite keep up the rate of information and talk that you get out of Damon and Carlton, but they still bring a good amount of knowledge, like the naming of security guards Jerry and Phil after members of The Grateful Dead or their propensity for including dead chickens in their episodes. Their comedy isn’t quite as engaging, but its still an entertaining commentary that is much milder, though still informative.

This disc, and all the others, come with the season play feature. This feature basically keeps track of where you are in the show and monitors your progress, all it takes is a little sign up. The continual questioning of whether or not you want to use season play gets a little annoying, but it’s a nice enough feature for those who tend not to just watch all of lost at once.

This disc is also D-Box motion code enabled.

DISC FOUR:

“Lost 100” featurette runs for 19 minutes and covers the making of the 100th episode of the show with tons of behind the scenes footage, showing scouting for locations, preparing sets, production meetings, with a bit of the “Ace of Cakes” cake that was made to celibrate the show’s 100th episode. This has a huge amount of behind-the-scenes footage, with some great looks at the cast on set preparing for scenes when Matthew Fox and Jorge Garcia are in Dharma uniform while Jeremy Davies reads his lines rocking a Barack Obama t-shirt. The cast talk about the director of the episode, Paul Edwards, Garcia talks about the taste of Richard Alpert on the cake. An amazing featurette, apparently a Blu-ray exclusive, that pulls together some great behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. I wish it was longer, but a solid 19 minutes is nothing to complain about considering they don’t waste any part of it.

This disc, and all the others, come with the season play feature. This feature basically keeps track of where you are in the show and monitors your progress, all it takes is a little sign up. The continual questioning of whether or not you want to use season play gets a little annoying, but it’s a nice enough feature for those who tend not to just watch all of lost at once.

This disc is also D-Box motion code enabled.

DISC FIVE:

“Lost University” is a BD-Live exclusive feature. I’ve voiced my concerns about these before, but this one actually makes a good amount of sense. It’s essentially a gigantic background to "Lost," the introduction runs 32 seconds. You can enroll at "Lost" university, take classes in different subject fields to educate yourself about the show. You have to sign up online, but anyone actively going through the university has probably already signed up. If not, you can sign up through the feature. Once enrolled you take two semesters worth of classes, creating a schedule from a range of classes in History, Language, Philosophy, Physics and Science. I can’t describe everything since some things are actually time sensitive, I can’t take all the courses in one day and I can’t take all the classes in a course at the same time, but there is actually a waiting period. Pretty neat, though I would love to have the opportunity to just devour all the information at the same time. In the course “History 101 Class 1” which runs for 6 minutes and 9 seconds, Dr. Kara Cooney, Egyptologist, talks about primary civilizations and secondary civilizations, the development of societies, buildings and class structures within Egyptian social structures and the importance of hieroglyphics; some generally cool history knowledge with relevance to "Lost." The rest of the courses featured in the different semesters and areas all seem generally interesting as well. Moderatley time consuming, so something more for the fans who plan themselves around lost.

“Mysteries of the Universe” featurette runs for 26 minutes and 15 seconds in standard definition. It purports itself to be an episode of a cancelled ABC show from the 1980’s about the Dharma Initiative. I’m a huge fan of when "Lost" does these sort of insider documentaries or documentaries that have purported themselves as true but exist within the "Lost" universe. This was originally aired online in six different parts, but is all collected here into a singular episode. The entire episode has the feel of a cooler version of “Unsolved Mysteries,” dealing with the DeGroots, the bizarre nature of the Dharma Initiative from the outside world, sort of a last look into the Dharma Initiative before we go on to the final season.

“Lost 100” is the same featurette that is on disc four, in fact when you click on it, it tells you to insert disc 4. Why it’s listed here, only Jacob understands.

“Making Up for Lost Time” runs for 13 minutes and 47 seconds. This featurette deals with the idea of time travel and the events of the incident at the end of the season, as well as speaking with the actors, producers, writers and everyone involved in the show to deal with the time travel in the show. This is an incredible featurette showing everything from props to writing and continuity that brought such a non linear season together. A solid featurette that has so much behind-the-scenes footage it will make some of your other Blu-rays feel guilty for skimping.

“An Epic Day for Richard Alpert” runs for 12 minutes and 14 seconds, this featurette features the final shoot day following Nestor Carbonell around the set as he is filming on the final day for the season 5 finale. We see him filming the scenes in the caves with Jack, Kate and Sayid, going through make-up craft services, then rushing away to the other side of the island to film scenes for the night time. It’s a great look at all the cast relations on set and how they rush actors around to get them setup for a full day of filming. Seems like a rough day, but yet another solid featurette.

“Building 23 & Beyond” featurette runs for 12 minutes and 1 seconds. Michael Emerson takes the viewer on a tour of the Burbank offices of “Lost” visiting Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Kyle Pennington, Melinda Hsu Taylor, Bryan K. Vaughan (whose desk full of paper Emerson compares to the four toed statue), and pretty much every producer and writing assistant that is currently working on the show. It’s a grand tour of the inner creative workings of the show, at least for writing, and if you’re die hard enough you will probably just be pausing around to see what sorts of crazy things are written on the walls when Damon and Carlton bring Emerson into the main writer’s room. Of course nothing is hugely news in there, or else they wouldn’t let you see, but it’s still interesting.

Next are the collection of “Lost on Location” featurettes, playable together for 37 minutes and 44 seconds or in parts, as described below. These essentially function as behind-the-scenes featurettes for different episodes of the show. They include:

- “The Lie” runs for 4 minutes and 19 seconds, this one looks at the flaming arrow attack sequence, speaking with the actors and people behind-the-scenes, showing off how they rigged together the flaming arrows, the fire team that had everyone burning, a cool featurette on a huge bodycount sequence.
- “The Little Prince” runs for 5 minutes and 15 seconds, this shows the grand setup and construction of the rainy sea scene in the episode. They actually got to close off a pool and make it look completely black, setting up the scene with stand-ins while the actors watch.
- “The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham” runs for 6 minutes and 17 seconds, this scene goes behind-the-scenes on the car crash that Locke’s involved in, the formulation of the stunt sequence and all the different angles it’s watched from as it’s being filmed, there’s really cool insight where Terry O’Quinn gets to show off his reverse acting skills.
- “Namaste” runs for 4 minutes and 51 seconds, all the actors talk about playing dress up for the orientation scene when they first arrive in Dharmaville. Evangeline Lilly talks about her friendship with Elizabeth Mitchell and all the fun they have on set.
- “He’s Our You” runs for 4 minutes and 50 seconds, another stunt look, showing how they put together the flaming van, all the filming of stunts and some general goofing around on set.
- “Whatever Happened, Happened” runs for 4 minutes and 59 seconds, Sterling Beaumont talks about his role in the show and the temple, while Damon, Carlton and oterh crew members talk about Ben’s role past and future.
- “The Incident” runs for 7 minutes and 13 seconds, Damon and Carlton talks about the filming of the finale. There are some great behind-the-scenes looks at the Sawyer versus Jack fight, the gun fight at the unbuilt hatch station, the magnetism that pulls everything in, the four toed statue, Mark Pellagrino. Everything. Great stuff.

Next are the deleted scenes, 8 in all for 13 minutes and 43 seconds together, or separately described below. Unfortunately these are all in standard definition. They include:

- “No Police” runs for 30 seconds, Sayid tells Hurley not to go to the police.
- “Jill the Butcher” runs for 1 minute and 2 seconds , Jill tells Ben about Penny and Desmond staying on the docks.
- “Finding LaFleur” runs for 54 seconds, Juliet tries to find Sawyer and chats with Miles.
- “I Think He’s one of Ben’s People” runs for 1 minute and 7 seconds, Sun and Lapidus guess about who Christian Shepherd is as he lets them in to the orientation room.
- “Breakfast Time” runs for 57 seconds, Jack shows up at Kate’s to see if she wants to grab breakfast in Dharmaville, she tells him he sounds like Locke.
- “Locke’s Promise” runs for 2 minutes and 9 seconds, ‘Locke’ tells Sun that his presence is strange to him too and tells Sun about his promise to Jin.
- “Phil’s Theory” runs for 1 minute and 38 seconds, Sawyer tries to cool things down, Phil theorizes that Sayid’s escape was an inside job.
- “Stones & Boulders” runs for 5 minutes and 26 seconds, Faraday, Jack and Kate take a break by a creek and Faraday explains his theory about the variables and altering the course of time.

I typically can’t stand blooper reels, but “Lost Bloopers,” the “Lost” blooper reel seems to get me every season. This season it’s 3 minutes and 48 seconds long. The gimmicks are range between good and great, like Terry O’Quinn offering Michael Emerson a physical exam with surgical gloves.

This disc, and all the others, come with the season play feature. This feature basically keeps track of where you are in the show and monitors your progress, all it takes is a little sign up. The continual questioning of whether or not you want to use season play gets a little annoying, but it’s a nice enough feature for those who tend not to just watch all of lost at once.

This disc is also D-Box motion code enabled.

This disc is Easter egg City: One of the reasons people love "Lost" is how complex the show is, but this Blu-ray has nearly an hour of Easter egg featurettes on the Blu-ray version. I was able to find a few of them messing around, but I have to tip my hat to lostpedia for giving me the details on the others. They include:

- Press left while dot is on ‘Episodes’ on the main menu, 45 seconds, Sean Whalen talks about the future of frogurt. Comedically.
- Press right, then left while dot is on ‘Episodes’ on the main menu, 36 seconds, an older, taller Malcolm David Kelley talks about his theories about Walt’s role in the grand scheme.
- Press left while dot is on ‘Features,’ 31 seconds, Jorge Garcia tells Michelle Rodriguez what’s gone on since she left. Her honest response is ‘Are you serious?’
- Press right, then up while dot is on ‘Features,’ 41 seconds, Damon makes a pitch for a ‘Dharma Times’ theme restaurant to Carlton.
- Press right while the dot is on ‘Setup,’ 50 seconds, Hurley paints a picture of the sphinx.
- Press right while the dot is on ‘Season Play,’ 56 seconds, Jorge Garcia defines the set word ‘ass dirt,’ in other words to get some butt in the shot.
- Press left then up while the dot is on ‘Season Play,’ 38 seconds, Daniel Dae Kim talks about the huge amount of makeup that he had to go through to look shipwrecked.
- From the ‘Features menu,’ press left then up from ‘Lost University,’ 1 minute 6 seconds, Evangeline Lilly and Jeremy Davies talk about horseback riding while petting a horse on set. Davies then pets Lilly.
- Press right, then up, then left from ‘Mysteries of the Universe,’ 4 minutes and 57 seconds, Cheech Marin talks his way through making his sandwich in “The Lie.”
- Press left then down from ‘Mysteries of the Universe,’ 38 seconds, Mark Pellegrino and Damon Lindelof on set talk about Jacob separately.
- Press left twice from ‘Lost 100,’ 50 seconds, Jorge Garcia discovers the horn in the Dharma van.
- Press right from ‘Lost 100,’ 1 minute and 37 seconds, this one shows the 100th episode celebration of "Lost," though what I’m guessing is from Disney studios in California, with their very own Lost cake, featuring Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Jorge Garcia, Jack Bender and some other cast members.
- On the next page of the features menu, select ‘An Epic Day with Richard Alpert’ then press left and down, 2 minutes and 51 seconds, Prop master Rob Kyker shows the process of creating the ship in a glass bottle model that Alpert is building in “Follow the Leader.”
- Press left from ‘An Epic Day with Richard Alpert,’ 2 minutes and 9 seconds, Damon, Carlton and Emerson talk about how he gets into character for Ben and how he plays the character. Easily the best easter egg, it’s essentially a deleted scene from the “Room 23” featurette.
- Press left from ‘Deleted scenes’,24 seconds, Faraday receives his diploma.
- Press left, then up from ‘Lost Bloopers,’ 52 seconds, the stunt crew from the final scene at the Incident.

Packaging

The set comes in a 5 disc deluxe Blu-ray case, with a cardboard sleeve. Oh those hieroglyphs in the lower right hand corner? Right down at the bottom of the front cover? Awesome right? “The Summoned One Ordained It.” Feel that? It’s the season six chills. Less than two months away.

I Love This Show.

Overall

The Show: A+ Video: A Audio: A+ Extras: A+ Overall: A+

 


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