Lost Season 6 Blu-ray review

The divisive final season of Lost arrives on disc. And James has been pouring through the Blu-ray...

When the pilot episode of Lost first aired, there were people who claimed we’d never make it to this point. They claimed that the series would either turn into a tangled conspiracy that only the most faithful fans could unravel (see: The X-Files), or that it’d be cancelled prematurely, its deeper mysteries never to be explained (see: FlashForward). Meanwhile, the supporters maintained that Lost would reach its natural and planned conclusion, delivering a creatively satisfying ending.

As it turned out, we were all right. Season 6 capped off the story with an ending that the creators had apparently known was coming for at least three years previous, but it did so while dismissing some of the deeper mysteries that it had set up over the years. We may never know how much of what we saw in Season 6 was intended from the start and how much was shoe-horned in along the way, but the question remains: with no answers left to discover, is it worth watching again?

Well, mostly. The ‘sideways’ universe gave the series a fresh counterpoint, showing us the characters’ lives in another time and place, but the resolution which explained what we were seeing was pretentiously theological at best, and outright fallacious at worst. Even within the season, the internal logic as to the nature of the ‘sideways-verse’ is weak, and repeated viewings, as on DVD, do not improve the perception of the flash-sideways portions of the episodes. They simply become all the more frustratingly irrelevant.

Luckily, the on-island action does gain a bit of additional traction the second time around. Although some big mysteries are skimmed over, the key episode, Jacob’s origin story in Across The Sea, reaches backwards through the season, giving additional layers to events in earlier episodes and offering something new for those who take the time to re-watch.

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Of course, those viewing the season for the first time on DVD should be largely pleased. Even though some of the bigger answers didn’t satisfy all the viewers, the series has a pace, energy and enthusiasm that matches the best Lost ever managed, while the chance to see old characters back for a final time, usually in a new context, creates a sense of circularity that feels like a reward for years of faithful viewership.

If there are any problems with the series, it’s that the pacing feels rather uneven. Lost has always had difficultly winding down from the cliffhanger of the previous season before launching into its own series arc, and this one is no different. What feels like an age spent in the Temple dissipates into insignificance once the characters leave, and you could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss was about at the end of the last season.

Mercifully, the quality of individual episodes is particularly high in Season 6, and even the Jack-centric episodes are quite good, due in no small part to the seeds of change finally germinating within the character.

The awards, however, must go to the twin all-flashback episodes of Across The Sea and Ab Aeterno, both of which give the backstory to two of Lost‘s most intriguing characters (Jacob and Richard, respectively) while, at the same time, delivering a truckload of mythology to chew on. The series conclusion might fail to tie up every loose end, but more answers turn up in these two episodes than the first three seasons combined.

Whether Season 6 represents the ending most fans were hoping for is, at this point, irrelevant. The ending could never be all things to all people, and while there’s much to complain about, it’s true that the creators appear to have concentrated on their own vision for the ending, and that, ultimately, is what should be important to the viewers.

If we happen enjoy it, great. If not, that’s fine too, but at least there’s something to talk about that’s worth the effort. For better or worse, Lost‘s sixth season did, at the very least, leave us with that.

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The Disc

The big DVD extra is, without a doubt, the series coda, a specially-shot 12-minute mini-episode called New Man In Charge, which brings back Ben, Hurley and Walt to answer a few of the dangling questions that the season didn’t (although none of the biggest, unfortunately) as well as show what Hurley and Ben do after they’re left in charge of the island in the final episode. It’ll please some and frustrate others, but then when has Lost done anything but?

Beyond that, it’s mostly all an exercise in box ticking. A sanitised blooper real of the cast ‘hilariously’ fluffing their lines? Check. Deleted scenes which inspire no additional insight into the show? Check. Behind-the-scenes ‘Lost on Location’ featurette? Check. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s basically identical to the previous five DVD releases.

There are commentaries, but only on four episodes. Additional audio tracks for LA X, Dr. Linus, Ab Aeterno and Across The Sea are welcome, but the omission of a commentary for The End is, frankly, unforgiveable. If any episode deserved some authoritative discussion, that was it.

The documentaries and featurettes are largely uninspiring. Lost In 8:15 offers a deadpan recap of the previous five seasons and, at the very least, is watchable because it avoids the self-congratulatory backslapping of most DVD features. Crafting A Final Season is a meaty ‘making of’ documentary running 40 minutes, worth viewing once but, by comparison, the mini-docs See You In Another Life and A Hero’s Journey are precisely the kind of DVD feature that makes you wonder why you’re being advertised to when you’ve already paid your money. I watched them, so you don’t have to.

A mixed bag of extras, then, but it’s undeniable that New Man In Charge has the power to shift units alone, and that’s why this collection is getting three stars for the extras instead of two.

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5 stars

Lost: The Complete Sixth Seasonis out today on Blu-ray and available from the Den Of Geek Store.


1 out of 5