Lost: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
Directed by Jack Bender et al
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:11080pAVC codec
Running Time: 1056 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 English; Dolby Digital 2.0 surround English; 5.1 French, others
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, many others
MSRP: $ 69.99
Release Date: June 16, 2009
Review Date: June 16, 2009
Grumblings from fans began very early during the second season of Lost because many felt they weren’t being given answers quickly enough to satisfy their curiosities about the many island mysteries which had been developed during the program’s first Emmy-winning season. What’s more, many were dismayed that the writers established even more conundrums that audiences felt completely confounded by with the result that Lost found some of its loyal audience drifting away during the course of the season, citing the complex storylines and elaborate continuing backstories on favorite characters simply too much to keep track of. Of course, in hindsight, the naysayers were misguided: yes, the stories continue to gain in complexity, and thorough revelations aren’t rapidly forthcoming from the writers during this season. But that’s the beauty and genius of Lost. Like a brilliant serialized Dickens novel from almost two centuries ago, Lost casts a spell that diehard fans revel in exploring, debating, and speculating about.
Lost left its viewers with two sensational cliffhangers at the end of season one. In one, Walt (Malcolm David Kelley) was kidnapped by “The Others” off the raft which had been launched to try to get a few castaways rescued at sea. In the melee, Sawyer (Josh Holloway) was shot, and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim) was thrown overboard and separated from Sawyer and Michael (Harold Perrineau). Back on the island Locke (Terry O’Quinn), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Hurley (Jorge Garcia), and Jack (Matthew Fox) had successfully blown the lid off of the mysterious hatch found on the island and peering in saw a long ladder descending into blackness. The contents of the hatch, which they come to learn is the Swan Station, one of six stations that were part of the experimental Dharma Initiative on the island since 1970, is most definitely one of the major focuses of season two.
Another major thrust in the season’s plotlines involve a new group of survivors from Flight 815 who occupied the tail section and who landed on the north shore of the island. These four new regulars included former hotheaded cop Ana-Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez), a warrior priest Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), soft spoken Libby (Cynthia Watros), and the often-spoken-of Bernard (Sam Anderson) whose wife Rose (L. Scott Caldwell) was a recurring character in season one separated from her husband prior to the plane’s splitting apart. Two other characters who turn up in some season two episodes but who will function much more importantly from season three on are Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick) and “Henry Gale” (Michael Emerson).
As was the case in season one, the flashback stories of all of the major characters continued to provide surprises and deeply moving character portraits of persons we had come to know and love from season one (along with backstories on some of the new characters for this season). This season Jack, Michael, Locke, Hurley, Sun and Jin, Ana-Lucia, Mr. Eko, and Desmond each get two backstories. Shannon, Kate, Charlie, Sawyer, Sayid, Rose and Bernard, and Claire each get one. And then there is the brilliant “The Other 48 Days” that boils down to a single superb episode the events that had happened to the “tailies” during their forty-eight days on the island.
Here are the twenty-four episodes contained on six discs in this set. (The seventh disc in the set is reserved for bonus features). The names in parentheses are those participating in the audio commentary for that episode.
1 - Man of Science, Man of Faith (Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof, Bryan Burk, Jack Bender)
2 - Adrift
3 - Orientation
4 - Everybody Hates Hugo
5 - …And Found
6 - Abandoned
7 - The Other 48 Days
8 - Collision
9 - What Kate Did (Paul Edwards, Evangeline Lilly, Mike Baldwin)
10 - The 23rd Psalm (Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Bryan Burk)
11 - The Hunting Party
12 - Fire + Water
13 - The Long Con
14 - One of Them
15 - Maternity Leave
16 - The Whole Truth (Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Elizabeth Sarnoff, Christina Kim)
17 - Lockdown
18 - Dave (Jorge Garcia, Cynthia Watros, Jack Bender)
19 - S.O.S.
20 - Two for the Road
21 - ?
22 - Three Minutes
23 - Live Together, Die Alone (Part 1)
24 - Live Together, Die Alone (Part 2)
The series is framed at 1.78:1 and these transfers are presented in 1080p using the AVC codec. Astounding visual quality throughout the run of episodes makes this probably the best looking high definition television release I’ve yet watched. The depth of color and the dimensionality of the images, especially when characters are placed in wide, panoramic vistas, constantly lead to jaw-dropping compositions. These are reference transfers for a television series. Each episode has been divided into 7 chapters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix doesn’t always exploit the entire soundfield, but when action gets intense (the destruction of the hatch, for example), you won’t find better sound design on a show anywhere, and the lossless encode is far, far superior to the Dolby Surround 2.0 track which is also a viewer option.
The five audio commentaries are all worth a listen for fans of the show, but not all are equal in quality. Of the commentaries featuring series regulars, I preferred “The Whole Truth.” The tracks featuring Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof are always the most informative, but Lindelof does have the annoying habit of repeating the phrase “you know” between every random thought.
All of the featurettes are in 480i unless otherwise noted.
“Fire + Water: Anatomy of an Episode” gives a capsule breakdown of the 24 days of production on a single episode from script conferences in Los Angeles to the eight days of preproduction preparation, 10 days of filming, and the post production work which follows before delivering a final copy of the show to the network. This informative feature runs 31 ¾ minutes.
“Lost: On Location” is a compilation of twelve behind-the-scenes featurettes featuring location shooting and cast interviews produced during the production of the episode. The shows included for individual selection are: “Adrift (3 ¼ minutes), “Everybody Hates Hugo” (3 ¾ minutes), “Abandoned” (4 ½ minutes), “The Other 48 Days” (6 ¼ minutes), “Collision” (3 ¼ minutes), “What Kate Did” (5 ½ minutes), “The 23rd Psalm” (4 ¼ minutes), “The Whole Truth” (5 ¼ minutes), “Dave” (5 ¾ minutes), “S.O.S.” (4 ¾ minutes), “Two for the Road” (4 ½ minutes), and “Live Together, Die Alone” (5 ¼ minutes).
“Canine Castaway” is a 6 ½-minute featurette on the selection and training of Madison the dog who plays Vincent on the series.
“The World According to Sawyer” is a very humorous montage of “Sawyerisms,” the catchphrases the character uses to refer to various characters on the show. This runs 4 ½ minutes.
There are three deleted flashbacks which are available for viewing. Two are from “Abandoned” (each running 1 ½ minutes) while a third is from “Lockdown” (which runs ¾ minute).
There are nineteen deleted scenes which can be viewed individually or in one 23-minute grouping.
There is a 4-minute blooper reel.
There is a Channel 4 UK Promo spot in 1080p which runs 1 minute and is very erotically designed and filmed.
The disc features an interactive Lost Connections terminal which allows the viewer to follow threads of one character interacting in the background with another. The introduction is in 1080p. The interface is a bit clunky and unintuitive, and it froze my Blu-ray player the first time I tried maneuvering with it. Afterwards, it worked as expected, but astute viewers, especially those who have watched the episodes multiple times, will already have made these connections.
“Mysteries, Theories, and Conspiracies” is a 10 ¼-minute compilation of various speculations about the series, a discussion of the existence of fan communities and fan websites about the show, and a selection of the stars’ speculations about the show as well as the producers playing their cards close to the vest.
“Secrets from the Hatch” is a 15 ¾-minute discussion about the design and construction of one of Season Two’s most important sets, the Hatch. The viewer is also taken on a walking tour of the set.
Once again, Disney adds the SeasonPlay feature which helps your player keep track of your progress through the season's episodes. It does not work with the bonus features.
The set contains a $20 rebate coupon for those who already had purchased Season Two on DVD and want to upgrade to Blu-ray.
Though Lost shed some of its large viewer base during its second season, the quality of the shows didn’t lessen at all and only became richer and more complex. This Blu-ray release of the second season is tops all around and comes most highly recommended.