Lost: The Complete Fourth Season - The Expanded Experience
R1 - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (2nd January 2009).
The Show

When a television show makes it out of the pilot stage, its lifespan is hard to decipher as it usually will make it through just a handful more seasons before cancellation, or becomes such a thriving success that it seems to go on and on and on without end. Fortunately for myself and other “Lost” fans or anyone who enjoys some of the highest quality television currently in production, executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse cut a deal to put the show on a limited lifespan, taking full creative control over their product to put it to rest once and for all after it’s six season. (Some Spoilers from here on out; remember “Lost” is like a book, you need to see it through, in order, from beginning to end. No ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ nonsense and jumping to page 35 just to find out you’ve been killed by the sea monster in your toilet.)

The kind of creative liberty that they found after taking control of the definitive end-point of their product comes through with full force in “Lost: The Complete Fourth Season” as the show elevates itself to new heights in the storytelling and mysteries of the show as the flash back mechanism becomes intertwined with the idea of a flash forward. The third season ended with the shocking reveal that both Jack (Matthew Fox) and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) had not only been able to get off the island, but that Jack is now bearded, crazy, no longer friends with Kate, and obsessed with returning to the place he’s fought for 3 seasons to leave. Now at the beginning of the 4th season, the audience is confronted with the question of who else could have gotten off the island with Jack and Kate and what has changed so dramatically in the relationship of these ‘Oceanic Six’ to send Jack to his bearded, suicidal, drunken-funeral attending self of the future.

In this season, “Lost” does a great job of hitting all of the key points that make it great as a show, bringing science fiction overtones into a ensemble driven drama that keep the audience on it’s toes and heavily engaged in the characters of the show and the mysteries of all the goings on. The acting in this season is phenomenal, Michael Emerson and Henry Ian Cusick give standout performances that didn’t receive enough recognition from the awards circuit, as well as the rest of the cast which remains solid. Newcomers Jeremy Davies, Ken Leung, Rebecca Mader, Jeff Fahey and Kevin Durand all add a new element to the show giving an infusion that helps to propel the season to greater heights through their different roles that help bring the plot to a head.

Overall, “Lost” is a fantastic show and the fourth season is an exemplar of what makes the show so great, especially with episodes like “The Constant,” “The Economist” and the stunning finale “There’s No Place Like Home, Parts 1 and 2” that show the range of the show itself while keeping a consistent quality and depth that’s incredibly hard to find on network television.

Here’s a listing and rundown of the episodes from the 4th season included in the set:

Ep. 1 – “The Beginning of the End” – Desmond returns from the looking glass and reveals Charlie’s final message leading Jack and Locke to a confrontation about whether or not to trust these people from the freighter.

Ep. 2 – “Confirmed Dead” – Three people parachute on to the island, Daniel Faraday and Miles meet up with Jack and Kate, while Charlotte is captured by Locke’s party heading towards New Otherton.

Ep. 3 – “The Economist” – In a flash forwards, Sayid is a James Bond-esque mercenary trying to track down an Economist, while on the island Sayid, Miles and Kate go to get Charlotte back from Locke.

Ep. 4 – “Eggtown” – In Locke’s camp, Kate tries to find out from Miles how much his crew knows about her. In the future, Kate finally goes to trial for the murder of her father and her life as a fugitive.

Ep. 5 – “The Constant” – Desmond and Sayid finally arrive on the freighter, but Desmond starts going crazy and seems to be jumping between his past and his present in need of a constant to stabilize his mind.

Ep. 6 – “The Other Woman” – Faraday and Charlotte run off into the jungle with gas-masks headed for the mysterious Tempest station while Juliet goes to track them down.

Ep. 7 – “Ji Yeon” – Sun is apprehensive about leaving the island and her pregnancy while on the freighter Sayid and Desmond meet the ship’s captain and discover more about their purpose in finding the island.

Ep. 8 – “Meet Kevin Johnson” – Sayid and Desmond meet Ben’s inside-man on the boat while Ben sends Alex, Rousseau and Karl off to ‘the temple’ to stay safe from the people on the freighter.

Ep. 9 – “The Shape of Things to Come” – A strange body washes up at the beach camp while Keamy and his troops descend upon new Otherton, destroying most of the camp and forcing Ben to make a life and death choice.

Ep. 10 – “Something Nice Back Home” – Jack’s hidden heath problem puts the possible rescue in question as Juliet is forced to perform emergency surgery. Meanwhile Sawyer, Claire, Aaron and Miles make their way back to the beach.

Ep. 11 – “Cabin Fever” – Hurley, Ben and Locke continue the search for Jacob’s cabin, hoping that they can get some guidance on how to keep the island safe from those who wish it harm; at the same time Keamy prepares for another assault on the Island.

Ep. 12 – “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1” – In part 1 of the seasons finale, Keamy begins his final attack on the island in his attempt to capture Ben while in flash forwards the Oceanic 6 return to the states and hold a press-conference.

Ep. 13 – “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2” – The season ends as Locke and Ben descend into the Orchid station to follow Jacob’s orders while the Oceanic 6 make their way off the Island and in a flash forward we find out who’s in the coffin that was shown at the end of the third season.

Video

Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the transfer on “Lost” looks really good, keeping the right tones and colors that help to make the show so distinct. The transfer itself lacks any noticeable problems, everything comes through nicely. Though it probably looks much better in the blu-ray transfer, the DVD transfer looks very good.

Audio

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound transfer does a great job of bringing through Michael Giacchino’s incredible scoring of the show, keeping it properly balanced with the dialogue to keep the intensity high without drowning out the fantastic writing. Audio is also available in French Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround with optional English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Extras

Over the 6-discs, “Lost: The Complete Fourth Season - The Extended Experience” comes well equipped with quality extras including 4 audio commentaries and an ample share of featurettes, a documentary, deleted scenes and other special features clustered onto the final 2 bonus discs.

DISC ONE:

There’s an audio commentary track on the first episode of the season, “The Beginning of the End” with actors Jorge Garcia and Evangeline Lilly. The two actors do a good job on the commentary talking about getting to drive old cars on the show, guessing about who will go crazy next and the future of the program itself. Their commentating has some informative moments about how they get into character or what they thought of certain scenes and how it links up with previous DVD bonus material; additionally there are some odd moments to hear about from Lilly and Garcia like Lilly practicing French kissing on her hands in junior high or her needing to pee in the middle of the commentary.

The first featurette is “Lost in 8:15” which runs for 8 minutes and 15 seconds, which is basically an incredibly abbreviated clipshow with a comical and clever voiceover that describes everything you need to know about lost. The sentences are short, brief fragments set over a long string of clips and do a good job of covering the first three seasons that will help to jog the memory of those who haven’t had a chance to review the first three seasons.

There are also a few start-up bonus trailers for:

- “Private Practice: The Complete First Season” runs for 58 seconds.
- “Samantha Who: The Complete First Season” runs for 1 minute and 48 seconds.
- “Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fourth Season” runs for 35 seconds.
- “Dirty Sexy Money: The Complete First Season” runs for 1 minute and 46 seconds.

DISC TWO:

The first audio commentary is on “The Constant” with editor Mark Goldman,co-creator and executive producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse. The choice of commentators sets up an engaging and interesting commentary for a complex and well put together episode. The trio takes most of the commentary to talk about editing decisions and choices for putting together the time shifting or jumping in terms of whether or not to use sound effects or visual cues to signal the narrative device. Overall another solid track with a serious and interesting look at the structure of the episode from a few different angles, as well as some comedic relief banter between Carlton and Damon.

The second audio commentary on this disc is on “Ji Yeon” with director Stephen Semel and actors Daniel Dae Kim and Yunjin Kim. Daniel Dae and Yunjin do an interesting and compelling commentary about the different range of actors on the show and the acting, the narrative devices on the show and what a bad influence Sawyer is on Jin. Again, the track is interesting and engaging, from a technical standpoint of the acting from the two Kim’s and the transition from being an editor on the show to becoming a director from Semel’s perspective.

DISC THREE:

There are no special features on this disc.

DISC FOUR:

The final audio commentary comes on the double sized season finale “There’s No Place Like Home: Part 2” with co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse. Team “Darlton” returns for another commentary on this nearly feature length episode that does a good job talking about the interplay of the different characters over the course of the show and the course of this fourth season, giving a bit of room to guess about the upcoming fifth season of the show, but mostly time to reflect on the fourth season and the different intricacies of the finale. Again Cuse and Lindelof do a good job of playing up their own comic relief to keep the commentary going, though by the end they seem to be going a bit insane with chuckles and jokes, but this adds to the fun of the commentary itself.

DISC FIVE:

Here’s where the real meat of the special features begins, first with the making-of featurettes “Lost on Location” which runs in total for 41 minutes and 56 seconds, but can also be played individually in segments based on different episodes, described below.:

- “The Beginning of the End” runs for 4 minutes and 20 seconds. The cast and crew talk about the first day of filming for season 4; including setting up the special effects for the papaya scene that opens the season, including extensive discussions with director Jack Bender and other crewmembers about setting up effects and shots for the episode as well as some glimpses with Jorge Garcia about shooting.

- “Confirmed Dead” runs for 4 minutes and 34 seconds. This section talks with actress Rebecca Mader, director Stephen Williams and other crewmembers, focusing on the introduction to Charlotte when she was suspended over the pond, hanging from her parachute, covering the insert shots filmed in front of a blue screen with Mader and the stunt itself shot on location above the actual body of water.

- “The Constant” runs for 5 minutes and 25 seconds. Here Henry Ian Cusick and director Jack Bender go over the way the episode was put together in terms of Desmond’s confusion and the different shits that make up the episode. A cool look at a complicated episode including how Bender tried to direct Desmond into the different shifts that were shot at very different times yet had to appear seamless.

- “The Other Woman” runs for 5 minutes and 22 seconds. In this section, Rebecca Mader, Elizabeth Mitchell, director Eric Laneuville and various stunt coordinators and performers prepare for the fight between Juliet and Charlotte in the Tempest station, covering everything from preparing the stunt fight with the stunt women, all the way up to the filming on set with the stunt doubles and the two actual actresses.

- “Meet Kevin Johnson” runs for 4 minutes and 16 seconds. Harold Perrineau, M.C. Gainey, Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof and others talk about how Michael got to the point of suicide and the control the island has over him. There are some good moments discussing Tom/Mr. Friendly’s sexuality and the appearances of all the characters that have died earlier on the show coming to play, as well as a larger debate on Michael’s role as a good or bad guy in the battle of choice and destiny.

- “The Shape of Things to Come” runs for 7 minutes and 43 seconds. Jack Bender explains the visual aspects of the scene in a post-filming interview as Josh Holloway walks the viewer through the route he takes as Keamy and the other freighter folk make their attack on new other-ton. Michael Emerson discusses the assault from the comfort of an on-set hammock. Bender praises the creepiness of Keamy through Kevin Durant’s portrayal, Tania Raymonde’s performance as Alex and Emerson’s emotionality as Ben in the startling scene.

- “Cabin Fever” runs for 4 minutes and 51 seconds. Here the makeup department sets up for the throat slitting of the doctor on the boat, going in to the makeup application on the doctor and preparing the prop knife to squirt blood for the throat slitting. There’s also some discussion with the doctor's stunt double right before the scene of getting thrown off of the boat and how they put the stunt together.

- “There’s No Place Like Home (Part 2)” runs for 5 minutes and 22 seconds. This final section talks with Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, Jack Bender and the major actors of the Oceanic Six, talking with Cuse and Lindelof about mapping out how the characters got together for the deck of the freighter by the time of the episodes end in order to set up the big finale, as well as the greatness of the different characters like Keamy. There’s a cool look at the different stunts and effects shots of the episode as well, like the air cannon that shoots Omar (Anthony Azizi) into the air. A nice retrospective on all of the different characters how they got there, while Cuse and Lindelof talk about the big mystery of the fifth season being where or when the island is.

The next major featurette is “The Island Backlot: Lost In Hawaii” which runs for 17 minutes and 51 seconds. This clip talks about putting the show together entirely, with the exception of 4 scenes, on Oahu in Hawaii. A lot of good behind the scenes shots at the different locations and the variety of locals that they visit through the show and create on the show along with short interviews with different actors, directors, producers and persons affiliated with the show. The variety of locations available on Oahu is fairly astounding, along with the ability of the visual effects people to really transform a smaller location into a larger environment in incredibly subtle ways.

“The Right to Bear Arms” runs for 11 minutes and 14 seconds. This featurette goes through the variety of weaponry and how guns are bartered, discovered, lost, found and used by different characters on the show over the course of four seasons. The crew and cast talk about the variety of guns on the show, mostly about how Gregg Nations is the man in charge of keeping track of guns, including Nations’ chart from the first season and Nations tracks the path of the guns through the show. A cool featurette that goes through the incredible amount of gun transfers and possessions that I’ve never even thought about on the show, as well as Holloway’s brief discussion of the “inappropriate cock” that apparently happens all too often on set.

Next is “Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character, Conflict and the Crash” which runs for 26 minutes and 20 seconds. This featurette mostly talks with Michael Giacchino about the emotionality and the emphasis he likes to convey through the music he composes for “Lost” as well as looking at the music over the course of the show and it’s associations with different characters, including a fairly rare appearance from J.J. Abrams in discussing the need for an actual instrumental orchestra to give the show a more theatrical and emotional feel. Another solid featurette, including a behind-the-scenes look at the preparation for the one night only performance of Giacchino’s music in Hawaii.

“Lost Bloopers” runs for 3 minutes and 23 seconds. Fairly typical blooper reel fodder, though the moments with Naveen Andrews and Henry Ian Cusick on the boat are outright hilarious and there are some funny/odd happenings included like cows drifting onto the set and Grant Bowler doing a good Gerard Butler impersonation.

Finally are the 9 deleted scenes in all, covered below:

- “Thinking Ahead” runs for 44 seconds. This scene, deleted from “The Beginning of the End” features a discussion between Sawyer and Juliet about what she’s going to do when the rescue arrives.
- “Lucky Guess” runs for 1 minute 26 seconds. Miles, Kate and Sayid approach the sonic fence in “The Economist” and Miles does some more ghost whispering/listening and figures out the fence is turned off.
- “‘I Know Chicken’” runs for 1 minute and 12 seconds. Sawyer and Hurley become roommates, go through the fridge and talk about Kate in this scene deleted from “Eggtown.”
- “Unpopular Decision” runs for 43 seconds. Locke brings Ben up from the basement to use the bathroom and the two talk about Kate’s banishment in the scene deleted from “The Other Woman.”
- “Desert Stash” runs for 1 minute and 1 second. In this deleted scene from “The Shape of Things to Come” Ben rides through the Tunisian desert to uncover a secret supply passports, money and necessary goods.
- “Claire’s Vision” runs for 41 seconds. Hurley and Claire talk in the back of Ben’s house when Claire thinks she sees her father in “The Shape of Things to Come.”
- “Trust” runs 53 seconds. Deleted from “Something Nice Back Home” Kate talks to Juliet about Jack being scared and how Kate is concerned about Jack’s health and only Juliet will be able to figure out what’s wrong.
- “Church Arrival” runs for 48 seconds. Members of the Oceanic Six arrive at the church for Jack’s Father’s funeral and Nadia comments on how much Aaron looks like Kate in the scene deleted from “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 1”
- “Lost Journal” runs for 26 seconds. Faraday searches frantically for his Journal on the beach and asks Miles about it in “There’s No Place Like Home, Part 2”

Of course there are also some bonus trailers included for:

- “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fourth Season” runs 37 seconds.
- “Brothers and Sisters: The Complete Second Season” runs for 1 minute and 17 seconds.
- “Ugly Betty: The Complete Second Season” runs for 1 minute and 9 seconds.
- “Miramax Films” runs for 2 minutes and 36 seconds.
- “Swing Vote” runs 2 minutes and 32 seconds.
- “Lost” spot runs 31 seconds.
- “Desperate Housewives” spot runs 32 seconds.

DISC SIX:

“Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash Forwards” documentary runs for 56 minutes and 2 seconds. This feature talks about the role of the flash forwards in setting up where the show goes and how the cast intitially freaked out about the idea of the Oceanic Six, along with everyone up in the future and wondering who will survive and how. Lindelof even refers to the flashfowards as “flashbacks on crack” dealing with the same thematic sort of issues just in amplified or bizarre ways. After about 3 minutes of behind the scenes clips and interviews, the feature jumps into the flash forwards placed in chronological order leading from when the raft arrives in the south pacific up into the funeral parlor, giving a better idea of how the different scenes play out and interact. Another really good featurette that gives a better understanding of flash forwards and the show itself.

“The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies” runs for 21 minutes and 13 seconds. In a stroke of genius, this featurette takes the perspective of a “Loose Change” or other conspiratorial, online documentary that talks with different experts to disprove the story of the Oceanic Six. Not only does this featurette entertain on it’s own but it’s an interesting look at the story of the show and makes for a much more immersive world within the reality of “Lost” as it goes through the science of the crash or decomposition processes to disprove the story of the Oceanic Six and the footage found within the story of the show.

“The Freighter Folk” runs for 12 minutes and 39 seconds. This featurette runs through the new cast additions to the show and some of their back stories, inspirations and interviews with the various actors and crewmembers affiliated with them to give a more holistic perspective of these different characters. It’s an interesting look at the different aspects of these new characters, especially with the incoming season of Lost as the actions of these characters and their stories may factor in to the larger storytelling of season 5.

“Offshore Shoot” runs for 7 minutes and 49 seconds. This final featurette deals with the actual process of filming on the freighter, everything from getting the boat organized to filming the different scenes that take place. It’s almost amazing how they hid the huge amount of crewmembers, both crew of the Kahana and the crew of lost, behind the scenes and making the boat appear fairly undermanned. Another solid special feature that deals with the events of the show over this season while dealing with an aspect of the show’s production I had not really thought about.

Finally are the “Lost: Missing Pieces" Mobisodes which basically act as deleted scenes to the rest of the series, though they were produced between the third and fourth seasons and then distributed online and to Verizon wireless customers, giving brief tidbits of “Lost” to help weather the long drought between seasons. Though the ‘missing pieces’ vary in quality, in retrospect after season 4 some are far more interesting and they’re all worth watching in the same way deleted scenes can be. Here’s a rundown of the individual mobisodes:

- “King of the Castle” runs for 2 minutes and 2 seconds. Ben and Jack play chess after Ben’s surgery, they talk about their deal to let Jack leave the Island.
- “Jack, Meet Ethan, Ethan? Jack” runs for 2 minutes and 34 seconds. In the early days after the crash Ethan brings jack a suitcase full of medicinal supplies and the two talk about the danger of Claire’s pregnancy.
- “The Adventures of Hurley and Frogurt” runs for 1 minute and 53 seconds. Hurley runs back the beach camp to pick up some Dharma wine for his date with Libby, Frogurt tries to intervene.
- “Room 23” runs for 1 minute and 18 seconds. A panic ensues in the Other’s camp when everyone is afraid of going in to Walt’s room where they’ve confined him.
- “Buried Secrets” runs for 3 minutes and 21 seconds. In the early days after the crash, sun goes to bury her fake California driver’s license when she and Michel bump into each other and share a moment.
- “Operation Sleeper” runs for 3 minutes and 2 seconds. Juliet sneaks into Jack’s tent late at night and discloses Ben’s secret plan to use her as a sleeper agent in the beach camp.
- “The Watch” runs for 2 minutes and 34 seconds. In this flashback to before Jack’s wedding, Jack and his father discuss married life and Jack’s father gives him a watch that has been passed through their family line.
- “Jin has a Temper-Tantrum on the Golf Course” runs for 2 minutes and 10 seconds. Jin misses a putt and gets some frustration out on the golf course.
- “The Envelope” runs for 1 minute and 58 seconds. Just before book club at the opening of the third season (“A Tale of Two Cities”), Juliet burns her hand on some burnt muffins and shows Amelia the envelope with Ben’s X-Rays
- “The Deal” runs for 2 minutes and 56 seconds. Juliet visits Michael during the events of “Three Minutes” where they talk about Ben and the deal to get Michael’s son back; telling Michael about her deal with Ben.
- “Tropical Depression” runs for 2 minutes and 54 seconds. Just before “Exodus” and the end of the second season, Arzt captures a medusa spider and admits to Michael that he made up the monsoon season to get the raft off faster and tells Michael more about his personal life than Michael wants to hear.
- “Arzt & Crafts” runs for 2 minutes and 25 seconds. In season one, Arzt runs in and asks if anyone is moving to the caves and lists off some very paranoid fears and speaks loudly in Jin’s face.
- “So It Begins” runs for 2 minutes and 5 seconds. Christian Shepherd (John Terry) appears to Vincent and sends him to go wake up Jack.

Packaging

The 6 disc set comes in a gatefold digipack with a plastic slipcover.

Overall

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

 


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