Lost: The Complete Second Season (TV)
R1 - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Steve Wrigley & Noor Razzak (18th October 2006).
The Film

Charles Dickens was a famous for being an author. His works not only included books but also serial dramas. He was also slightly famous for occasionally being accused of having no idea where these serial story plots were heading, of making it up as he went along. Dickens' books appear all over the world, including on the bookshelves and hands of the characters on the serial drama "Lost".
One season down, and season two begins. I loved the beginning of this season. The flashback style storytelling gets flipped on us, as what we think the opening flashback of the show turns out to be the exact opposite. It's somebody in that cursed hatch! The moment and style in which this is revealed is indicative of how "Lost" understands its viewers and knows how to take their formed assumptions about the show or TV in general and flip it on its head.
Season two then gets off to a roaring start. More questions about the mysterious island are raised, a small few are answered (don't get your hopes up). We find out what's in the hatch and discover what will be one of the focal set pieces of season two… 'the button!'. If not pushed every 108 minutes, something bad will happen. Is it all just a psychological experiment to see if people will push it? Will something bad happen if you don't? Will John Locke (Terry O'Quinn) believe that this, in some way, is his test from god? What I can tell you is that the question of 'the button' begins in season two, and ends in season two.
It's the mystery that drives "Lost" along, not just on the island but its characters are also a mystery unto themselves. Season two keeps the structure of each episode focused on a specific character through what they do on the island and a series of flashbacks. And with the cast getting a half dozen new characters added, there is plenty more of the old 'are they a goodie of baddie?' element that drove season one.
Among these new additions is Michelle Rodriguez. Yet one more film actor who has gone TV. She brings in the character of Anna Lucia. Like all "Lost" characters, is a multi-dimensioned and well thought out and acted addition. She has led a group of plane survivors from the other end of the plane, the tail section, across the island to the main camp. Tough, and maybe a little crazy, her group's arrival, having just been brutally hounded and some of their party murdered by the mysterious 'others', causes some serious drama for all our survivors.
I do have to say however, as much as I love this show, the season finale I was forced to call a 'Charles Dickens'. Do you all know what your doing? On the official "Lost" podcast Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, the shows co-creators and producers, said that the finale was written and shot in a week and a half, and how amazing it is. I beg to differ. I think that it shows terribly. The plot in this final episode seems to have trouble finding its focus and the whole episode does seem rushed, even with the DVD extras. It also edges up to answering big questions but then, almost like a kid touching a flame it recoils in fear of getting too close. Maybe too close to revealing that this show is being made up as it goes along? Maybe too close for the network execs who want the fans to come back next season? Or, and I hope that after investing over fifty hours in getting to this point, maybe it's all part of the master plan and soon we will know all.
In any case, if you watched season one, you'll be watching this anyway, you'll have to, you're a Lost-a-holic. If you haven't watched season one, DON'T WATCH SEASON TWO TILL YOU HAVE! It'll make no sense.

This Season Two DVD release of "Lost" includes all 24 episodes from that season, the episodes featured are:

Episode 1: "Man of Science, Man of Faith"
The opening of the hatch leads to a disagreement between Jack (Matthew Fox) and Locke (Terry O'Quinn). While searching for Walt's (Malcolm David Kelly) dog, Shannon (Maggie Grace) has a frightening vision. Locke and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) defy Jack and return to the hatch. Jack follows them and makes a shocking discovery.

Episode 2: "Adrift"
Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and Michael (Harold Perrineau) find themselves stuck in the middle of the ocean on what is left of their raft with no sign of Walt or Jin (Daniel Dae Kim). Claire (Emilie de Ravin) confronts Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) about a discovery she has made among his belongings. Locke and Kate face a man in the hatch and discover the significance of the numbers. Back on the ocean, Michael and Sawyer put aside their difference long enough to reach land, where more trouble awaits.

Episode 3: "Orientation"
Kate damages the hatch computer in a struggle with Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick). Desmond tells Jack and Locke how he arrived at the island and shows them a film detailing the Dharma Initiative. Michael, Sawyer and Jin are imprisoned with a woman they recognize from the airport. Desmond flees the hatch, leaving Jack and Locke at odds. Sayid (Naveen Andrews) races to fix the computer in time to enter the numbers and "save the world".

Episode 4: "Everybody Hates Hugo"
Hurley (Jorge Garcia) worries that his new job will make him the most unpopular man on the island. Sawyer, Jin and Michael learn that their captors are actually survivors from the tail section of the plane. Claire finds the message bottle from the raft, making her and Sun (Yoon-Jin Kim) fear the worst. Sayid's exploration of the hatch raises suspicions.

Episode 5: "...And Found"
Sun is devastated when she losses her wedding ring, causing the survivors to band together to search for it. While helping the tailies gather food, Michael runs off in search of Walt. Jin and Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) set off to find Michael, only to encounter the Others.

Episode 6: "Abandoned"
An intimate evening between Sayid and Shannon is interrupted by a brief sighting of Walt. Claire worries about her parenting skills and tells Locke some troubling information about Charlie. Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) and Mr. Eko lead their party back on a trek to unite with the rest of the survivors just as Shannon heads into the jungle to look for Walt. Their paths cross, leading to tragedy.

Episode 7: "The Other 48 Days"
A tranquil tropical day is shattered when the tail section of Oceanic Flight 815 crashes into the water. The twenty-three survivors from the tail section endure attacks by the Others that lead to paranoia and infighting. After finding Jin, Michael and Sawyer on the beach, the tailies trek through the jungle to their fateful encounter with Shannon.

Episode 8: "Collision"
The grief-stricken Sayid is captures and tied up by the tailies when he seeks to avenge Shannon's death. A flashback sheds light on Ana Lucia's past. As the rest of the party leaves to rejoin the other survivors, Ana Lucia is left behind with Sayid - and a loaded gun.

Episode 9: "What Kate Did"
The two groups of survivors are united at last. Kate has a strange sighting while gathering food. A delirious Sawyer confesses his feelings for Kate. After Shannon's funeral, Jack and Locke return to the hatch to find the clock dangerously close to zero. Michael makes a discovery that may hold the key to getting his son back.

Episode 10: "The 23rd Psalm"
Mr. Eko is infuriated to learn about the Virgin Mary statues, and a flashback explains why. He demands that Charlie lead him to the rest of the statues. Locke secures the weapons in the armory, but Michael wants to get taught how to shoot. Charlie makes a desperate appeal to Claire.

Episode 11: "The Hunting Party"
In a flashback, Jack's marriage pays the price when he gets too personally involved with a patient and his family. Back on the island, Jack accompanies Locke and Sawyer as they search for Michael. As night falls, they encounter a familiar enemy who reveals himself as one of the Others. Back at camp, Jack approaches Ana Lucia with an interesting proposition.

Episode 12: "Fire + Water"
In flashbacks, Charlie relives his struggle with his brother and the band. Hurley deals with his attraction to Libby (Cynthia Watros), and the connection between Jack and Ana Lucia grows. Charlie, feeling isolated from Claire and the baby, looks to Mr. Eko for guidance - with disastrous results.

Episode 13: "The Long Con"
Locke and Jack agree to secure the weapons and medications in the armory. Jack and sawyer face off over ownership of the meds. Hurley tries to cheer up Sayid with the radio from the tailies. Sun is grabbed and dragged into the jungle, where she is found by Sawyer and Kate. Jack and Locke discover the weapons missing from the armory and that the entire group has been betrayed from within.

Episode 14: "One of Them"
In a flashback Sayid is taken prisoner in the Gulf War. Since he speaks English, he is enlisted to translate the interrogations of his fellow soldiers. Eventually, Sayid is compelled to take drastic actions to obtain information for his captors. Back on the island Rousseau (Mira Furlan) reappears with a gift for the survivors that may lead Sayid back to the dark side of nature.

Episode 15: "Maternity Leave"
A desperate Claire attempts a return to the scene of her kidnapping, where she believes she might find the cure for baby Aaron's mysterious illness. Meanwhile, Jack and Locke must keep their prisoner a secret from the rest pf the survivors.

Episode 16: "The Whole Truth"
Sun wrestles with the idea of telling Jin a new found secret that threatens to upset the entire balance of the survivor's community. Locke enlists Ana Lucia to interrogate the prisoner in order to extract more information than he, jack or Sayid could.

Episode 17: "Lockdown"
When the hatch sudden;y takes a life of its own, Locke is forced to enlist the help of an unlikely ally. Meanwhile, Ana Lucia, Sayid and Charlie go off into the jungle to find out the truth about Henry (Michael Emerson).

Episode 18: "Dave"
Libby lends Hurley support when she begins to think the island is having a strange effect on him, and Locke's sense of purpose is shaken when the prisoner provides new information about the hatch.

Episode 19: "S.O.S."
Rose (L. Scott Caldwell) is surprisingly and vehemently opposed to Bernard's (Sam Andreson) plan to create an S.O.S. signal. Romantic sparks are rekindled between Jack and Kate when they trek into the jungle to propose a "trade" with the Others, and Locke begins to question his faith in the island.

Episode 20: "Two for the Road"
Jack and Kate bring an exhausted Michael back to the camp with news about the Others. Meanwhile, Ana Lucia attempts to get the prisoner to confess, and Hurley plans a surprise date for Libby.

Episode 21: "?"
Mr. Eko enlists Locke to help find a secret location he believes houses answers to the island's mysteries. Across the island, Jack and the other survivors struggle to cope with the horrific situation in the hatch./[i]

Episode 22: "Three Minutes"
[i]A determined Michael convinces Jack and several castaways to help him rescue Walt from the Others. Charlie struggles with Mr. Eko's decision to discontinue building the church.

Episode 23: "Live Together, Die Alone Part 1"
After discovering something odd just offshore, Jack and Sayid come up with a plan to confront the Others and hopefully get Walt back. Michael leads his team into the jungle, towards an uncertain fate.

Episode 24: "Live Together, Die Alone Part 2"
Jack follows a man he knows to be a traitor deep into the unknown, and Locke forges an alliance with Desmond. Mr. Eko and Locke come to blows as Locke makes a potentially cataclysmic decision regarding the "button" and the hatch.

Video

Presented in the show's broadcast ratio of 1.78:1 this anamorphic transfer is a fantastic effort. The colors are rich, vibrant and vivid, and skin tones are perfect although the transfer is slighty darker than the first season box set. The image is sharp and exhibits detail which is impeccable, especially in exertior day shots. Blacks are which are deep and bold but are occasionally too dark and finer detail is harder to make out. Shadow detail remained consistently good throughout the series. I could not find any major problems with this transfer, Buena Vista has provided a great transfer for this second series but still has room for improvement.

Audio

This set includes an English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track as well as an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround option for these episodes. For the purposes of this review I chose to view the series with its 5.1 track. The dialogue is clear and distortion free, surround speakers are put to use almost all the time highlighting key action elements and also does a great job of presenting the environmental elements that put you right in the middle of the jungle, or right on the beach or inside the hatch. These directional surrounds totally immerse you. The score is also presented here strongly and makes full use of the 5.1 surround space. This is an excellent surround track that compliments the strong visuals perfectly.
These episodes include optional subtitles in English for the hearing impaired.

Extras

Buena Vista Home Entertainment has included a vast amount of extras in this set for fans. Included in this box set are episodic audio commentaries, a documentary, several featurettes, additional flashbacks, deleted scenes, bloopers, a UK promo plus some bonus trailers and an interactive sequence. Below is a closer look at these extras broken down per disc.

DISC ONE:

A single audio commentary is included on this disc for the episode "Man Of Science, Man Of Faith" with executive producers Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Bryan Burk and Jack Bender. In this track the participants discuss the fundamental decisions made for this season premiere episode. They comment on the major challenges faced in starting the second season as well as talk about the design of the hatch's interior, how the show was edited and the special effects utilized for this episode. They touch on thematic elements as well as the score and what it does for the show. Some of the best parts of this track has to do with how they decided to structure the episode and deliver what the fans wanted but also building story points around new undiscovered aspects such as 'the others'. This is an excellent track that provides some fun information for fans and is a great start to these supplements.

DISC TWO:

There are no extras on this disc.

DISC THREE:

This disc includes 2 audio commentaries, the first is on "What Kate Did" and is by director Paul Edwards, Director of Photography Michael Bonvillain and cast member Evangeline Lilly. They talk about the co-stars of the series and also comment on ADRing (automatic dialogue replacement) lines as well as reveal some production secrets and let us in on their experiences working on location. Lilly talks of the specific challenges related to doing a show that is focused on your character's back story. Bonvillain comments on the photography and lighting os scenes while the director talks of directing his first episode on the series and the continuing themes present.

The second audio commentary is on "The 23rd Psalm" and includes executive producers Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse and Bryan Burk. They let us in on some clues for better understanding some elements of the show such as the title of this episode and it's meaning in relation to the events featured in it. They comment on the mystery surrounding Mr. Eko and constructing the story. Lindelof talks about how they convincingly turned a location in Hawaii to look like Nigeria. They also provide some character insights, the casting of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje among other things.

DISC FOUR:

The fourth disc includes an audio commentary on the episode "The Whole Truth" by cast members Daniel Dae Kim, Yoon-Jin Kim and writers Elizabeth Sarnoff and Christina M. Kim. The writers comment on how the actors brought their scripts to life and it turned out better than they had imagined. Daniel and Yoon-Jin comment on the complexities of their scenes and the extreme emotional shifts exhibited in this episode. The writers also comment on the impact of the flashbacks scenes, character insight is given and story elements are also covered among other topics that are spurred on by what is happening on-screen.

DISC FIVE:

The final audio commentary is found on this disc and is on the episode entitled "Dave" by director Jack Bender and cast members Jorge Garcia and Cynthia Watros. Bender talks about the early scenes setting up the episode and what he wanted to achieve visually with it. They comment on Hurley and Libby's relationship, as well as guest star Evan Handler and his performance and what he brought to the character of Dave. They is some interesting tidbits revealed in this track but overall it's not as compelling as the other tracks featured in this box set. This is certainly the weakest commentary.

DISC SIX:

There are no extras on this disc.

DISC SEVEN:

This is where the video extras are housed and they are split into three sections, "Phase 1", "Phase 2" and "Phase 3".

Phase 1

First up in this sub-section is a documentary entitled "Fire + Water: Anatomy Of An Episode" which runs for 31 minutes 44 seconds. This is an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the making of an entire episode, episode 12 "Fire + Water" to be exact from coming up with the story arc and writing process of the script to final delivery.
We get a rare glimpse inside the writer's room as they develop the episode, once the script is complete it is delivered to the production heads who have 8 days of pre-production before that script is ready to go in front of cameras. The cast talk about their process, locations are locked down for the episode and crew are taken through the locations for prep. The art department has the job of turning a location into a set, this include dressing it. In this episode they need to make a Hawaiian street and building into Manchester, England in the 1980's, this includes making street signs and other elements to cheat the location. The costume department has little time to pick the wardrobe for the cast, and then filming begins. We get a look at the shooting of several key scenes and see the director do his thing as well as other members of the crew. Once the episode is in the can, the film gets shipped to Los Angeles for its post-production process which takes about two weeks, this includes the development of the film and its transfer to digital tape (this process is called 'telecine') the editors have 4 days to cut the episode and once a director's cut version is locked down final tweaks are made. ADR is recorded, music is added and finally after a total of 24 days the episode is delivered to the ABC network and the process begins again. This feature provides an excellent inside look at what is takes to pull off a show such as "Lost" and gives fans something of real interest to check out on this disc.

Next up are a series of 10 "Lost: On Location" featurettes. You can view these with a 'play all' function or individually. These clips cover the filming of 10 episodes from the series and feature interviews with cast and crew. Below is a look at each of these featurettes:

- "Adrift" runs for 3 minutes 17 seconds and takes a look at the making of the prop tiger shark and shooting the raft sequences at night with Michael and Sawyer. The director comments on attaining a degree of reality by actually shooting in the ocean rather than in a water tank set.

- "Everybody Hates Hugo" runs for 3 minutes 45 seconds and looks at the shooting of Hurley's flashback scenes as well as Sawyer, Michael and Jin's capture in the tiger trap and shooting those scenes in a location that posed several challenges. Finally we get a look at the introduction of the Ana Lucia and Libby characters.

- "Abandoned" runs for 4 minutes 36 seconds. This looks at Sayid and Shannon's relationship as well as a closer look at Swayer's character and his relationships with the women on the island. We get to see the filming of scenes in the Hawaiian jungle and finally explore Shannon's death and the cast reaction to that.

- "Collision" runs for 3 minutes 17 seconds. This takes a look at Ana Lucia's back story that explains her anger and the reveal of her mother and that interaction which opened a new side to the character.

- "The 23rd Psalm" runs for 4 minutes 21 seconds and this looks at creating Nigeria in Hawaii and a closer look at the character Mr. Eko's transformation from drug dealer to priest and the different faiths in which some characters follow, namely Eko (man of religion), Jack (man of science) and Locke (man of philosophy).

- "The Whole Truth" runs for 5 minutes 15 seconds and takes a look at Jin and Sun's character arcs, explores their back stories and moving their relationship forward on the island. The cast comment on the acting challenges that are faced, plus we get a look at Henry Gale's make-up process and the actor playing that character brought to second season as well as Ana Lucia's interrogation of that character.

- "Dave" runs for 5 minutes 42 seconds. This clip looks at the Hurley and Sawyer fight, Dave fall from the cliff as well as the kissing scene on that cliff with Libby.

- "S.O.S." runs for 4 minutes 47 seconds and focuses on Bernard and Rose's relationship and his need to build the giant S.O.S sign on the beach but ends up alienating himself from the rest of the castaways. Plus we learn how close their storyline is to actress L. Scott Caldwell.

- "Two For The Road" runs for 4 minutes 37 seconds. This is a look at the shooting of an Ana Lucia scene in Australia which involved some special effects as well as an exterior scene that had to be reversed to cheat an Australian exterior. There is also a look at a hatch scene with Ana Lucia and Michael.

- "Live Together, Die Together" runs for 5 minutes 8 seconds and focuses on the season finale. The co-ordination of the different units, Cynthia Watros' last day on the set, the shooting of a night time storm sequence involving Desmond's boat as well as the final scene that wraps the second season.

Following all those is another short featurette entitled "The World According To Sawyer" which runs for 4 minutes 30 seconds. This takes a look at the character's unique way of speech as the cast and crew comment on his lines. This is an amusing clip that caps of the "Phase 1" part of the disc and probably won't see much repeated viewing as the other clips we've seen so far.

Phase 2

Included in this sub-section are 3 "Lost Flashbacks" sequences. They include:

- Two sequences from the episode "Abandoned" the first is entitled "The Wake" which runs for 1 minute 28 seconds. This scene is between Shannon and her step-mother at her father's wake as they share a moment about what they have in common. The second sequence from this episode is entitled "The New Au Pair" and runs for 1 minute 8 seconds, here Shannon meets a French family as they welcome her into their home.

- The final Flashback sequence is from the episode "Lockdown" and is entitled "Locke's Father" this runs for 48 seconds. Locke and Helen (Katey Segal) are asked questions by the Priest who is holding the service for Locke's father.

Next up are a series of 14 deleted scenes. These can be viewed individually or with a 'play all' option. The scenes included are:

- "Seeing Walt" runs for 1 minute 17 seconds. Sun talks to Shannon about what she thinks she saw.
- "A Little You Time" runs for 1 minute 34 seconds, Charlie is frustrated that all Locke wants to do is sleep, Claire is convinced by Charlie to have some 'you' time and puts the baby in his care.
- "Sawyer's Visitor" runs for 1 minute 14 seconds, Libby visits Sawyer and gives him some water while he's in the tiger hole.
- "Dinner Time" runs for 1 minute 19 seconds, Ana Lucia serves up some scraps for dinner. - "Special Delivery" runs for 35 seconds, the tail section castaways find a box in the ocean, when opened it's just a shipment of boomerangs.
- "Ana Lucia's Prisoner" runs for 1 minute 20 seconds, Libby talks to a tied up Sayid and thinks that he might kill Ana Lucia if he's set free.
- "Libby and Claire" runs for 1 minute 8 seconds, Libby introduces herself to Claire.
- "Connected" runs for 1 minute 14 seconds, Michael asks Locke about whether the hatch has any connection to the other stations found.
- "I Need To Know" runs for 1 minute 11 seconds, Claire talks to Sayid about whether Charlie knew there were drugs in the Virgin Mary statues.
- "The Doctor's Solution" runs for 1 minute 25 seconds, Ana Lucia tells Mr. Eko about Jack's plan to go after 'the others'.
- "What's Your Story?" runs for 2 minutes 37 seconds, Hurley gets to know Libby while they're doing laundry in the hatch.
- "Weakness" runs for 36 seconds, Sayid tells Jack that is plan is foolish.
- "Are You Alright?" runs for 2 minutes 2 seconds, Jin and Rose talk about Bernard and they try to comfort each other.
- "I Miss..." runs for 44 seconds, Hurley and Libby jog on the beach and play a game were they talk about the things they miss from home.

It's easy to see why these scenes were cut out, some aren't that well acted while others may have been too long or unnecessary. While it's nice to have these scenes included on this release I am disappointed that there is no introduction or commentary by the key cast about why they were ultimately dropped.

Following those scenes is a blooper reel that runs for 4 minutes 6 seconds. This includes footage of the cast having fun, acting silly, flubbing lines, missing cues and just plain laughing about their mistakes. There's some funny stuff here but nothing that warrants repeat viewing.

A Channel 4 UK promo is also included directed by David LaChappelle, this clip runs for 1 minute 5 seconds and is a arty burlesque type ad featuring the cast on the beach narrated by they character motivations.

Rounding out the extras in this "Phase 2" section are a series of bonus trailer that can be viewed with a 'play all' function. The previews included are for:

- "Apocalypto" which is a mini featurette that runs for 1 minute 44 seconds.
- "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" which runs for 2 minutes 6 seconds.
- "The Heart of the Game" which runs for 2 minutes 11 seconds.
- "Scrubs: Season 4" which runs for 1 minute 26 seconds.
- "Desperate Housewives: Season 2" which runs for 56 seconds.
- "The Golden Girls: Season 6" which runs for 1 minute 9 seconds.
- "Home Improvement: Season 5" which runs for 1 minute 26 seconds.
- "Alias: Season 5" which runs for 1 minute 12 seconds.
- "Grey's Anatomy: Season 2" which runs for 1 minute 46 seconds.
- "Lost on ABC" spot which runs for 30 seconds.

Phase 3

First up in this sub-section is an interactive feature entitled "Lost Connections" this is a 6 degrees of seperation game that allows you to connect the castaways to each other. This is fun for the first few seconds but gets boring quickly.

Next is 'Mysteries, Theories and Conspiracoes" featurette that runs for 10 minutes 16 seconds and is a fun and interesting look at the fan community surrounding the show and the various theaories they have developed about where the show is heading. The crew shed light on the popular ones and explore their probability.

Finally the last video extra on this disc is "Secrets From The Hatch" a featurette that runs for 15 minutes 46 seconds and takes a look at the hatch set, the central focal set piece from season two. It look at the design and construction of it, how the interior was introduced and who was inside it as well as a tour of the set. The creators comment on the effect it has on certain characters in this ultimatley interesting piece.

The case also includes a 8-page booklet which includes episode synopsis for each episode of this season.

Much like the previous season on DVD this second season continues to impress with a collection of fun and interesting extras for fans of the series.

Packaging

This DVD box set is packaged in a 7-Disc Digi-Pack which is housed inside a plastic sleeve.

Overall

The Film: B Video: A- Audio: A+ Extras: A+ Overall: A

 


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