Lost: The Complete Sixth Season – The Final Season (Blu-ray)
Directed by Jack Bender et al
Studio: ABC Studios
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 1080p AVC codec
Running Time: 802 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo English
Subtitles: SDH, French, Spanish
MSRP: $ 79.99
Release Date: August 24, 2010
Review Date: August 23, 2010
One of television’s grandest, most demanding and complex dramatic series came to a fitting and mostly glorious end when Lost wrapped up production after its sixth season. That the complete series and especially its last season was controversial is not up for debate. Many people were not satisfied with the conclusion the producers of the show delivered in its final season, but count me among those who were greatly entertained and tremendously moved by the story laid before me. Did all of my questions about the happenings on the island get answered? Not at all, but with its complexities and unorthodox storytelling, I never expected them to be. Judging only what was produced and presented (rather than criticizing what wasn’t), Lost’s sixth season brought the tale of the stranded travelers on a mysterious island to a most satisfactory end with episodes which jolted, charmed, and tremendously moved me. No TV series in my experience has ever engaged me, challenged me, intrigued me, or made me think as much as Lost has over the last six years.
At the end of season five, our time traveling returnees to the island got the idea that exploding the hydrogen bomb which had been on the island for some time might be a way to kick-start a reboot back to Oceanic 815 so they could resume their lives without the island being a part of the equation. When Juliet (Elizabeth Mitchell) finally sets off the explosion, at first glance, it appears that Daniel Faraday’s (Jeremy Davies) plan might have accomplished just that: Oceanic 815 is back in the air with Jack (Matthew Fox), Locke (Terry O’Quinn), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), the Kwons (Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim), Hurley (Jorge Garcia), and the others on their way to Los Angeles from Australia. But then we begin to notice that things are not the same: Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick) is on the plane, something that couldn’t have happened originally because he was on the island during their original flight. They pass over the island which now appears to be completely submerged. And thus begins the controversial “Flash Sideways” storyline which is the season’s most enigmatic and inevitable signature motif, a storyline whose resolution in the final episode caused some fans intense pleasure and others intense pain.
The original storyline resumes with the bomb having hurtled our travelers away from 1977 to 2007 where the Smoke Monster has assumed the form of John Locke and is recruiting followers who can help him get off the island, something he had been attempting for centuries. In this storyline, we are finally given answers to some of the most pressing questions of the past six years. We find out about the meaning of those lottery winning numbers which have seemed to turn up over and over again in the lives of many of the characters. We learn the backstories of Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) and the Man in Black (Titus Welliver) as well as solve the riddle of Richard Alpert (Nestor Carbonell). Suffice to say without ruining any surprises for viewers who have waited for the season six box set to watch the remaining episodes that the main story becomes a fight to the finish between the island’s protectors and the island’s malevolent force of nature, one whose conclusion had me a mass of emotion when the final images hit the screen. If you buy into the producers’ storylines, once they merge, you should feel an overwhelming emotional catharsis as powerful as any final episode that any ending series has ever delivered.
Over the course of six seasons, some of the actors have really stepped up and delivered career-best performances. This season, Matthew Fox, Michael Emerson, Terry O’Quinn, and Elizabeth Mitchell all received Emmy nominations for their work. Fox in particular has never been better, and his continuing performance throughout this last season in both timeline stories is deeply earnest and completely heartbreaking, Three other actors really distinguished themselves during the course of this season: Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, and Nestor Carbonell. The work of all of these core performers cannot be praised highly enough. Together they made season six one for the ages.
Here are the sixteen episodes contained on five discs in the season six set. The names in parentheses refer to the audio commentators for that episode:
1 – LA X (Carlton Cuse, Damon Lindelof)
2 – What Kate Does
3 – The Substitute
4 – Lighthouse
5 – Sundown
6 – Dr. Linus (Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis, Michael Emerson)
7 – Recon
8 – Ab Aeterno (Melinda Taylor, Greggory Nations, Nestor Carbonell)
9 – The Package
10 – Happily Ever After
11 – Everybody Loves Hugo
12 – The Last Recruit
13 – The Candidate
14 – Across the Sea (Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse)
15 – What They Died For
16 – The End
As with all of the Lost Blu-ray packages, the 1.78:1 television aspect ratio is delivered in 1080p using the AVC codec. On the whole, the transfers are very colorful, dimensional, and sharp though there always seems to be a shot or two per episode that comes across soft and less than those which surround it, sometimes appearing flat or somewhat digitized. Flesh tones are natural, and black levels are distinctly and impressively inky. Shadow detail is executed well enough to offer no complaints. The “flash sideways” storyline seems to have colors that are slightly desaturated and contrast eased up just a tad, yet sharpness and dimension are still present at more than acceptable levels. Apart from the supersized premiere and finale episodes, each show has been divided into 7 chapters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix offers impressive fidelity for a television series. Though not as active as the soundtracks of some action shows such as ‘24’ or Heroes, there are plenty of discrete sounds placed around the soundfield through the run of the series, and when the smoke monster makes its way around a scene, the surrounds really show their stuff with impressive, immersive audio quality and a thundering LFE channel that gets a real workout. Michael Giacchino’s entrancing music is wonderfully placed through the soundstage and effectively complements any scene where it appears.
There are four audio commentaries. For the premiere, producers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof joke around and go off on tangents way too much becoming irritating rather than enlightening. Fortunately, they check out after the first half of the episode. The two episodes which feature the episode’s writers with its featured star are much more enjoyable with the writers grilling Emerson about his process as an actor and Carbonell asking the writers as many questions as they ask him, both lively discussions that are worth a listen. For the “Across the Sea” episode, Cuse and Lindelof mount a defense of their most controversial episode of the season (between joking around and the usual off topic tangents, of course). It’s more enlightening than their commentary for the season premiere, but they’ve saved their most interesting comments for other bonus features.
“Lost in 8:15 – A Crash Course” is another somewhat tongue-in-cheek recounting in 8 ½ minutes the major plotlines of the series from seasons 1-5. For those who have never seen the series before, it won’t be much help because it flies by so quickly, but for those who are familiar with the show already, it’s an amusing take on the major events in the series up to the start of the last season.
“New Man in Charge” is an entertaining 12-minute feature with Michael Emerson in character continuing the story of the Hugo/Ben regieme on the island including answering a couple of questions, showing the entire orientation tape for the Hydra Station, and bringing back on the show one character suspiciously missing from the season as a whole. It’s in 1080p.
“The End: Crafting a Final Season” is a 38 ½-minute discussion of what it means to take part in the last season of a hit show with not only cast and crew of Lost taking part but also producers from previous hits such as The Rockford Files, Cheers, and The Shield offering their own takes on what it means to end a long running hit show. It’s in 1080i.
“A Hero’s Journey” gives some insight into the six candidates for the island’s protector and how each measures up in different ways to the definition of a hero over the course of six seasons. The featurette is in 1080i and runs 9 minutes.
“See You in Another Life, Brotha” is a 8 ½-minute examination of the flash sideways timeline this season with various cast members describing how they reacted to playing in it along with the original continuing storyline. It’s in 1080i.
“Lost on Location” is the always interesting behind the scenes look at location filming and difficult stunt work involved in various episodes during the season. This year, six episodes are highlighted: “LA X,” “The Substitute,” “Recon,” “Ab Aeterno,” “Happily Ever After,” and “The Candidate.” They may be played separately or in one 28 ¾-minute grouping. These are presented in 1080i.
There are nine deleted scenes which may be played separately or in one 9 ¾-minute bunch. They’re in 480i.
The season’s blooper reel runs 4 ¼ minutes in 1080i.
The BD-Live Lost University– Master’s Program is already up and running allowing those who completed the undergraduate course work from the Season 5 Blu-ray the chance to take new courses and write a thesis to earn further honors.
Disney has included on their TV Blu-rays a feature called “SeasonPlay” which charts which episodes you’ve already watched and holds your place if you end an episode before it’s finished. It’s a nice, convenient structure, but it doesn’t work on the bonus features.
Disc one contains 1080p trailers for ABC-TV programs, Prince of Persia, and Tron Legacy.
There is a $10 coupon inside the case for purchasing any current season DVD or Blu-ray box set of an ABC Studio program.
4.5/5 (not an average)
An epoch in American television history comes to an emotional and deeply satisfying end with Lost: The Complete Sixth Season. Superb picture and sound married to a host of interesting bonus features make for a must-buy package for fans of the show. Highly recommended!