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Featured TV on DVD Review: Lost: Season Six

September 15th, 2010

Lost: Season Six - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

After six years the phenomenon that is Lost has come to a close. During its first season, Lost practically changed the way TV shows were thought off and a new era of TV writing was introduced. Previously I don't think most networks would be willing to risk a season on a show with that many ongoing storylines. If a show is nearly impossible to follow if you missed even just one or two episodes, it's bound to scare away viewers. Of course, in this day of TV on DVD releases, this is less of an issue, but Lost was one of the first shows to take advantage of this. And over the six years, very few shows have earned as high ratings, or as much critical acclaim. But was it able to go out on a high note?

First a quick note: There is absolutely no way to review Lost without quickly entering unacceptable spoiler territory. Because of that, there will be a lot of white text (light grey text, actually) and the recap of the full season will be kept to just a couple paragraphs.

The Show

First a short recap of the events of the end of season five. ... A very short recap. Warning: Spoilers ahead. Highlight to read. Throughout the beginning of season five, the island was jumping back and forth through time and when it finally stopped jumping, several of the members were stuck in 1977. This includes Daniel Faraday, who thinks he's figured out how to prevent the major disaster that befell DHARMA and eventually caused Oceanic 815 to crash. However, the plan involves blowing up a hydrogen bomb, which as you can probably guess causes tension among the survivors. Despite this, the plan goes into effect, more or less, and...

And that's the cliffhanger Season Five left for us. Did the plan work or not. And the answer to that is yes. And no. The survivors, Jack, Sawyer, Kate, Miles, Hurley, Sayid, and others find themselves thrown through time basically to the point at which they would have been, had the island not been jumping back and forth. However, at the same time, Oceanic 815 doesn't crash. It lands safely in Los Angeles and we see the lives of the people on the plane, and some who were never on that plane, and how they would have been had DHARMA never caused the accident. For instance, one episode focuses on Benjamin Linus as a school teacher and Alex Rousseau as his star pupil. In the episode, he has to choose between blackmailing his principal into getting the principal's job, and helping Alex get into Yale. It nicely mirrors the previous events of the show.

Meanwhile, back in the normal timeline, we follow the final confrontation between those who followed Jacob and the Man in Black. We also learn more about the mythology surrounding the island.

So that is the main thrust of season six, without getting into too much detail. So how is the season compared to seasons past? It's a mixed bag. On the one hand, there are episodes like LA X, The Substitute, Dr. Linus, Ab Aeterno, etc. that are amazing. Then there are episodes Across the Sea that are not so excellent. I would divide the episodes in to two groups: ones that explore the characters and ones that explore the metaphysical aspects. Those that explore the characters, Dr. Linus, Ab Aeterno, etc. are the best. Those that explore the metaphysical aspects are the worse. I think this is because the writers of the show didn't quite have a clear idea of the metaphysical aspect of the show. For instance, Across the Sea delves into the origins and relationship between Jacob and the Man in Black. However, it does so by introducing a new character whose origins are never explained. That's not a very satisfactory explanation.

Unfortunately, the series finale is included in this second group of metaphysical episodes. When we finally learn what the "Flash-sideways" are, it is perhaps the most disappointing reveal of the series.

The Extras

Extras on the five-disc set start with an 8 minute, 15 second recap of the first five seasons. Get it? 815? There is also an audio commentary track on the season premiere, LA X. Over on disc two, there is another audio commentary track, this time on Dr. Linus. Disc three has an audio commentary track on Ab Aeterno. With disc four, Across the Sea gets the audio commentary track. Disc five doesn't have an audio commentary track, which means no audio commentary track on the series finale, which is strange.

There are also additional extras on disc five, starting with The New Man in Charge, a 12-minute post-series follow-up that... thought I was going to spoil it, didn't you? Crafting a Final Season is a 40-minute look at the creating of the ending of the series and the difficulties involved in wrapping up five seasons worth of plot threads. A Hero's Jounrey is a nine-minute look at the mythology of lost and how it ties into the classic Joseph Campbell mythology. See You In Another Life, Brotha' spends nine-minutes trying to explain the flash-sideways. Good luck with that. Although anything that beings back Alex Rousseau is fine with me. Lost on Location is nearly 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes on location shoots.

That's it for the featurettes, but there are also 10-minutes of deleted scenes and four minutes of outtakes.

Finally there's Lost University: Master's Degree, but screw that. I'm not doing homework on a TV show.

The show's technical presentation is amazing, as it has been since the start. Lost is arguably the best TV show when it comes to High Definition presentation and each episode it treated practically as a movie and not just a TV show. On, it only cost $7 more to buy the Blu-ray, and it is easily worth that. Even the $20 premium on the list price is worth it.

The Verdict

Looking at Lost throughout the years, my short, short reviews would be...

  1. This is awesome!
  2. A small sophomore slump. Still great.
  3. Huh. I'm not sure the writers have a handle on the show anymore.
  4. For people marooned on an island, they sure do meet a lot of people. But I'm digging some of the new cast of characters.
  5. Okay, we've hit a grove again.
  6. Now this is how you go out in sty-- what the hell was that?
Outside of the series finale, and one episode previous, Season Six was amazing. The show definitely went out on a high note and for fans, it is worth picking up. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray are worth picking up, but the High Definition release is worth paying more for. On the other hand, if you haven't started collecting the show yet, or you are a big Lost nerd, you might want to grab the Complete Collector's Edition instead.

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