ABC Studios // 2005 // 1056 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // June 26th, 2009
They're not the survivors they think they are.
"So we saved the world together for a while, and that was lovely."
For some 40+ days, the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 have been slowly but surely discovering the secrets of the mysterious island they are stranded on. When the first season concluded, the door to a mysterious hatch in the middle of the jungle was finally opened. This season, Jack (Matthew Fox, Speed Racer), Locke (Terry O'Quinn, Alias), Kate (Evangeline Lilly, Afterwards), and others find themselves even more confused when they learn that the hatch is actually a fully functioning command center of sorts set up by a mysterious organization simply know as The Dharma Initiative. Inside the hatch, there is a computer. Every 108 minutes, a code must be typed into the computer and a button must be pressed. If this does not take place every 108 minutes, then some sort of horrible disaster will occur...probably. The man who has been pushing this button all along is a shifty figure named Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick, Hitman), who quickly disappears once he has convinced others of the importance of pushing the button.
Meanwhile, Sawyer (Josh Holloway, Dr. Benny), Michael (Harold Perrineau, Smoke), and Jin (Daniel Dae Kim, Spider-Man 2) return to the island in the wake of their unsuccessful attempt to escape via raft. Michael's son Walt (Malcolm David Kelley, Antwone Fisher) has been kidnapped by The Others, a mysterious and seemingly dangerous group of people whose purpose remains completely unknown. Before the trio of men can begin to put together a rescue, they make another startling discovery: it seems that several people from the tail section of the plane are still surviving.
Will something horrible really happen if the button isn't pressed? Who are The Others and what do they want? What is The Dharma Initiative up to? Is everyone just a part of some elaborate game? If so, who is running it? Will Walt ever be found? What's up with the strange, "security system?" Find the answers to one or two of these questions in Lost: The Complete Second Season! The 24 episodes are spread across six discs, with a seventh disc devoted solely to bonus features.
* Man of Science, Man of Faith
* Everybody Hates Hugo
* ...And Found
* The Other 48 Days
* What Kate Did
* The 23rd Psalm
* The Hunting Party
* Fire + Water
* The Long Con
* One of Them
* Maternity Leave
* The Whole Truth
* Two For the Road
* Three Minutes
* Live Together, Die Alone (Part 1)
* Live Together, Die Alone (Part 2)
More often than not, it takes a television series a season or two to really hit its stride. Such was not the case with Lost, the rare show that was in peak performance mode when the pilot hit the airwaves. The potential downside of having a terrific first season is that it sometimes causes producers to look for ways to recapture magic rather than trying to make things new, fresh and exciting. Thankfully, the second season of Lost does not fall into the trap of merely doing a variation on the same thing. This season leaps forward in a variety of breathtakingly bold ways while simultaneously retaining many of the key elements that made the first season such a successful venture to begin with. As such, we are given sophomore season of television that always equals and sometimes surpasses the accomplishments of the freshman year.
In this second season, the world of Lost is a little bit creepier, definitely a bit more dangerous, and a whole lot more intense. If you thought the bickering that took place between certain sets of characters was bad in the first season, just wait until you see what is in store this time around. The leadership conflict between Jack and Locke grows more hostile, Sawyer continues his attempts to demonstrate that he is the nastiest S.O.B. on the island, Charlie's behavior earns him beatings from both Claire and Locke, Hugo makes a few enemies, Sayid decides that maybe he should take up torturing people again, Kate finds herself being constantly shunned by Jack...it's a mess, to say the least. Suspicion is high, trust is low and the new developments are only making things even more nerve-wracking. The writing and craftsmanship are superb, but this is a pretty rough season and not every character is going to survive it.
A pretty significant portion of the second season is dedicated to introducing the survivors from the tail section of Oceanic Flight 815. The most important figure is probably Anna Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez, The Fast and the Furious), a former cop with serious hostility issues. She may come across as rather gratingly abrasive at first, but when you get to know a bit more about her history it's much easier to understand certain aspects of her behavior. Another very significant character is Mr. Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, The Bourne Identity), a man with a mysterious past who is attempting (like so many others on the island) to find redemption in the midst of his unpleasant new situation. We also meet Rose's loving husband Bernard (Sam Anderson, E.R) and a therapist named Libby (Cynthia Watros, The Drew Carey Show) who has eyes for Hurley. Performances are rock-solid all around from the main cast, and special mention should be made of small but crucial guest appearances by Clancy Brown (Carnivale) and Katey Sagal (Futurama).
The first season of Lost provided viewers with a lot of questions and few answers. While this season does seemingly answer a couple of minor things, most of the big questions remain a mystery. In fact, by the time this season concludes, most viewers will probably have twice as many questions as they had at the end of the first season. There are lots of mysterious subplots floating around here, but the two pressing issues of this season are probably the hatch and The Others. The hatch may or may not be at the very center of the larger mystery, as Locke and others discover more and more clues regarding its origins as the season progresses. This season sure does manage to milk a whole lot of suspense out of the "will they/won't they push the button every 108 minutes" question, and somehow it never gets old or repetitive due to the wide variety of fears and motivations involved. As for The Others, we still don't know much about them by the time this season concludes, but we certainly get to see a lot more of them. I'd mention one character in particular, but to reveal his or her true identity would be too much of a spoiler.
I should also add that the use of flashbacks in this season is perhaps even more impressive than it was the first time around. If there was a certain sense of, "Okay, let's get this flashback over with and get back to the island," at times during Season 1, the flashbacks of Season 2 are every bit as riveting as the present-day material. So many fascinating stories are told here: the truth about Kate's crimes, the story of Locke's failed romantic relationship, Sayid's troubling experience with the U.S. Army, the story of what the other tail section survivors have been up to for the past 40-something days (a story that an entire episode is dedicated to), Sawyer's brutal con game, and so much more. The flashbacks are shaken up just a little this time around, as the show sometimes goes back just a few days or even a few hours for the sake of creating interesting story structure.
I had the pleasure of reviewing the first season of Lost on Blu-ray and found the transfer on that set very solid if somewhat less than spectacular. Fortunately, this second season is definitely grade-A material visually, providing a near-flawless transfer that is very difficult to complain about. The image here benefits from remarkable depth and clarity, both during the atmospheric night scenes and the vivid daylight sequences. Detail is superb throughout, both in terms of background and facial detail. Blacks are rich and inky, shading is spot-on, flesh tones are accurate...basically, this is a transfer that leaps off the screen and cries, "I deserve to be seen in hi-def!" I did notice a good deal more grain during this season, but it's satisfyingly natural and left completely intact without any evidence of tampering. Audio, once again, deserves nothing but praise. This is a very dynamic show in terms of score and sound design, and these elements are as rich as you would expect them to be. Not once during the entire season did I have to adjust my remote control despite the booming presence of certain scenes, though it should be noted that Lost is a good deal louder than most of my Blu-ray releases in general. Also, more praise should go out to composer Michael Giacchino, who tweaks old ideas and introduces new ones to give this season its own sound that fits within the musical world of the first season while also establishing its own identity.
As with the first season Blu-ray set, this one more or less reprises all of the supplements from the DVD set while adding a relatively inconsequential sprinkling of Blu-ray bonuses. Here's what you get:
* Audio Commentaries: Five commentaries are included here, on "Man of Science, Man of Faith," "The 23rd Psalm," "Dave," "What Kate Did," and "The Whole Truth." Participants include Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Bryan Burk, Jorge Garcia, Cynthia Watros, Evangeline Lilly, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunkin Kim and more.
* Fire + Water: A terrific 32-minute featurette offering an in-depth look at the making of a single episode.
* Lost on Location: A handful of brief featurettes that combine forces to create a modestly engaging documentary about various aspects of the show.
* Deleted Scenes and Flashbacks: You get 23 minutes' worth of missing moments from the show. This stuff is reasonably interesting, but not terribly revealing.
* Mysteries, Theories and Conspiracies: Hear speculation from the cast members and others on what Lost will ultimately reveal. Not that any of these people actually know.
* Secrets of the Hatch: Are you still curious about what the hatch is all about? Odds are you won't be after checking out this 16-minute featurette.
* The World According to Sawyer: 5 minutes of cranky cantankerousness for you Sawyer fans out there.
* Bloopers: 4 minutes of flubbed lines n' other funny items.
* Channel 4 UK Promo: An odd 2-minute promotional piece.
* Lost Connections: I didn't have the time to play this, but apparently it allows you to uncover all sorts of mysteries. I'll just move on to Season 3, thanks.
* Blu-ray Exclusives: Exactly the same stuff that you get on the Season 1 set: the pointless "SeasonPlay" option, a coupon for those who have all ready purchased Lost on DVD, and the set is D-Box enabled. Do any of you actually have D-Box technology? If so, is it really worth the massive price tag? I'm just curious.
Lost: The Complete Second Season very satisfactorily follows up on what came before while tantalizingly setting up what comes next. It's a magnificent season of television, it looks hotter than your girlfriend in hi-def, and it's terrifically addictive. Even if you own the second season on DVD and think you're content with it, you won't be after you get a look at this set. Buy this set and lose yourself in the fascinating world of Lost.
Review content copyright © 2009 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ABC Studios
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* PCM 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 1056 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Lost Connections
* Rebate Coupon
* D-Box Enabled