“ Genre: Television - Lost / Theatrical Release: 2006 / Suitable for 15 years and over / Director: Jeffrey Abrams / Actors: Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Dominic Monaghan, Naveen Andrews, Josh Holloway ... / Blu-ray released 2009-06-15 at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainm / Features of the Blu-ray: Box set, PAL „
This second season of Lost is when I got hooked on the show, as it focuses on the mystery of the island and introduces key elements to the series that would come into play heavily in the final few seasons. While the first season concentrated on the mystery of who the survivors were before the plane crash, this season turns its attention to the island itself, and the mysterious 'Others' who seem to hidden within the jungle, waiting to strike out against our heroes from Oceanic 815.
The first episode continues straight on from the cliff-hanger finale of the previous Season - Jack, Locke and Kate head down into the bizarre hatch they found buried in the ground of the island, whilst Michael, Sawyer and Jin attempt to stay alive on the remains of their raft, blown up by the sinister group of Others who stole Michael's son, Walt. The first four episodes take place over the events of this chaotic night, and there is some play with the narrative structure, with overlapping stories which might annoy people as it feels like there is no real advancement at first.
The main threads for the season are Michael's hunt for his son, Walt, who remains captive, the discovery of a new group of survivors and whether Locke's faith in the island (specifically the contents of the hatch) is misplaced or not. As a whole, this season works really well although it did attract a lot of criticism at the time of broadcast for the change of pace from a character-driven show into a more science-fiction based drama. Some of the episodes are less vital than others and the flashback sequences begin to repeat character motifs that we already knew from the outset, such as Jack's 'father issues'.
There are some answers to the mysteries that bugged viewers from the first season. We find out what happened to Claire during her abduction, during one of the more riveting flashbacks of the Season. We also learn what crime Kate committed to earn those handcuffs on the plane. Not all the mysteries about our Losties are answered, however, such as the cause of Locke's paralysis prior to the island.
I really enjoyed this season as I found the dynamic of the Losties vs. The Others to be more compelling this time around, with the introduction of more antagonists, and the slow drip-feeding of information. We also got introduced to some new cast members, as well as seeing some others get killed off, proving that the island is not a safe environment.
Key episodes include: The opening few episodes which introduce the state of play for the season and the new location for most of the action: The Swan Hatch. Another favourite is Episode 11 - 'The Hunting Party', where a group of survivors are met by an opposing group of Others, and they have a tense conversation at gunpoint over just whose island this is, and what happens to those who become too curious. Episode 15 - "Maternity Leave", is an interesting glimpse into the events that happened during Claire's abduction and provides some answers. The lead-up to the finale is particularly satisfying, with a real action-movie feel, particularly the two-part finale, 'Live Together, Die Alone' where all the key threads tie together, and leave us wondering what next.
The existing actors are all comfortable in their roles, and the additions to the ensemble are all pretty good, especially Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje imposing turn as the quiet, yet threatening 'Mr. Eko' and Michael Emerson's 'Henry Gale', who manages to teeter on the edge of innocence and sinister for the majority of the season, before revealing his true motives. Michelle Rodriguez plays her usual stock character of the butch tom-girl for the cop 'Ana-Lucia', but does open up towards the end, showing a bit more depth to her character (and acting set!).
The Blu-Ray boasts superior picture and sound quality, but little in the way of added features from the DVD list below. There is SeasonPlay, which allows the viewer to watch through all the episodes and it will save your place, even after removing the discs. This is handy if you want to watch through the show without worrying about which episodes you've seen and not seen. The lack of special features is probably due to the fact that Blu-Ray wasn't fully adopted until the third season release, and the first two seasons were retroactively released, near identical to the DVD releases. Later Seasons do have Blu-Ray exclusive material though.
Overall, this is a great season and while it does have its lulls in the middle, it benefits from the box set treatment and not having to wait a whole week for a new episode. The themes of the Season seem to be about Faith, in particular highlighting the faith that Locke has, but Jack doesn't. Jack is the Man of Science, who refuses to believe in the fantastical elements of the island, whilst Locke is ready to accept the supernatural and believe. This season does a good job of weeding out the casual viewers by introducing certain elements to the storyline, which increase in complexity with each forthcoming season. If you find the sci-fi elements in this season to be off-putting, then it is unlikely you will enjoy the next four seasons as the focus moves further from the characters and deeper into these complex themes and ideas.
* Anatomy of an episode (Fire + Water)
* Lost: On Location
(10 mini documentaries on episodes)
* The World According to Sawyer
(Clips of the various nicknames Sawyer uses)
* 3 Deleted Flashbacks
* 14 Deleted Scenes
* Blooper Reel
* Channel 4 UK Promo
* Lost Connections
(An interactive map of the various character connections so far)
* Mysteries, Conspiracies and Theories
(Cast and Crew discuss their theories)
* Secrets from the Hatch
(Cast and Crew discuss the Hatch and their thoughts on its design)
*N.B I am reviewing the DVD boxset of Lost Season 2. Dooyoo have asked me to put my review here.*
* THE BOXSET *
At the end of season one, the group have finally gained access to the mysterious hatch. What secrets lie within? A new character is introduced to the group, a character that seems to have a mysterious connection to the hatch, and an untold tale of how he ended up on the island in the first place...
When some of the group stumble across a man being held in a trap, he claims to be a fellow survivor on the island, but with a different arrival story than the rest of the group. Once he has been freed, his tale of survival arouses suspicion with some of the group, and he finds himself becoming their captive.
A second group of survivors - apparently from the tail section of the doomed airplane - are finally reunited with the original group. This allows for the rekindling of some relationships, but suspicion is present on both sides of the beach; can the original group trust the newcomers, or is there more to their story than they are giving away....? Trust is something that has to be taken for granted, at least in the meantime, as the two groups MUST come together to fight a common enemy. Well, if they want to survive, at least......
Michael is found by some of the other survivors, and once returned back to the hatch, needs nursed back to health by his friends. When he awakes, his tale of his days away brings new information about the 'others' that live on the island, and a subsequent ray of hope is given to the other survivors and his friends. But, is all what it seems with Michael's story, or is he hiding a secret from the rest of the group....?
* MY OPINION *
Having recently watched Season One of 'Lost' on DVD, I was looking forward to watching the second season, which contains 24 episodes, including a two-part season finale (episode 23 and 24). The season comprises of six discs containing the episodes (which are called volumes 1 - 6) as well as a disc featuring "Bonus Features".
To my mind, the plotlines in the second season were slightly more predictable this time around, whereas in the first season I found the story unfolding in a way that I had not expected at all. This clever 'plot-weaving' that was so evident in the first season allowed for a totally enjoyable viewing experience as the sense of anticipation whilst watching was extremely contagious, leaving me itching to watch the next episodes. I was extremely disappointed to discover that this was not going to be the case with the second season as I had previously felt it had been an important part of the show overall.
In comparison, I thought that some of the story in the second season was blatantly obvious as soon as the first hint of it was revealed. This is not true for ALL of the plot, just certain elements, but as they were rather important elements to the main storylines, I found it was disappointing to have been able to guess the outcome of these events, and I felt rather let down. Because I had managed to work out what was going to happen later in the season, I felt the first half of the boxset felt as if it was slightly 'dragging in' and the 'thrill' that I had been looking forward to was nowhere to be found.
Also, one of the things that I really enjoyed whilst watching the FIRST season of Lost was the way that all the different elements of the plot came together neatly, and so it felt like I was witnessing the construction of a very clever on-screen jigsaw. In the case of season two however, this smooth delivery didn't feel as easy somehow, and I felt that some of the plotlines were clumsily delivered in the midst of another, which led to a slightly confused storyline in some places. This 'jumbled' delivery did take something from the viewing experience in my opinion, and I didn't enjoy the second season as much as I had hoped I would as a result.
All was not LOST, however, as I did continue with the boxset regardless of my initial feelings of disappointment. What I found in the later episodes was a fairly intriguing outcome, albeit previously predicted in places. The final episodes in particular offered a fairly nail-biting finale, requiring much guesswork pertaining to the outcome of several of the main characters. This allowed for some anticipation towards the next season of the show, a feeling which went some way to compensating for the overly-predictable main threads in the run up to the ending.
In conclusion, the Season Two Boxset was watchable, and I would recommend it, but purely to answer some of the questions that were left 'dangling' at the end of Season One. If you enjoyed Season One of the show, and are looking for a second season that is packed with the same amount of mystery and anticipation as the first however, you may well find that you are left feeling disappointed.
* BONUS FEATURES *
The disc containing the Bonus Features contains three individual sections, called Phase 1, 2 and 3. Phase 1 is called "Observation" and contains three features such as "Lost on Location" and "The Anatomy of An Episode", which is for an episode called Fire + Water. I didn't watch any of these bonus features.
Phase 2 is called "Conditioning" and contains four features such as "Lost Bloopers" and "Deleted Scenes" as well as a "Channel 4 UK Promo." I watched the Bloopers which were quite funny, and contained most - if not all of the main characters - in a variety of funny sketches, showing them forgetting their lines, or mucking around whilst shooting various scenes. I thought it was worth a look, and would recommend having a look at it if this type of thing appeals. The rest of the items in the section didn't really appeal to me so I didn't watch them.
Phase 3 is called "Conclusion" and contains four features including "Lost Connections" and "Canine Castaway" which is the only feature in this section I watched. It features the story of the 6 year old canine star of Lost, a yellow Labrador retriever, and shows an interview with her trainer. It was quite interesting to find out about the training of the dog for the show, and animal lovers would find it an interesting watch I'm sure. The rest of the bonus features on this disc didn't really appeal as much, but I was impressed with the selection of bonus features provided with the box set overall, and felt that there was something to suit most viewers' tastes.
As @ June 2012, you can buy the DVD boxset of Lost Season 2 from www.amazon.co.uk for around £15, with prices for a used copy starting from £8.50.
Aside from the current final season, the second was easily the most eagerly anticipated. Finishing the debut with Locke staring down at the hatch, mesmerised by its eerie glowing light, everyone was begging for the mass of unexplained questions to be answered. Channel 4 even apologised (in jest?) after the season one finale due to lack of answers, making this second season the last beacon of hope for those losing interest due to the frustratingly slow progress.
While a great deal is revealed, it's fair to say that there are more questions than answers once again. Still, the writers managed to include a wide range of characters and sub-plots. Sawyer's life as a conman is developed, Jack's marital troubles, Kate's hidden history with the Law, romances between the Losties... and even murders. The three most interesting plots are the hatch/Dharma Initiative, finally coming face to face with an Other (brilliantly played by Michael Emerson) and 'the numbers'. The latter is very vague and nowhere near answered but rather mentioned and questioned by the survivors.
Lost season two also has an incredible finale involving the hatch and more importantly; intertwining the outside world. If you're finding Lost a difficult watch; I would say that the entire point of the show is to confuse and bewilder. The earlier seasons tentatively circle any answers to the main questions but the later seasons do eventually uncover mysteries and satisfy the devout viewer's building number of questions.
While the first season had a very nearly perfect transfer, especially in the video quality department, the second season is flawless. Its 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer is the best set of discs to pass through my S360. Black levels in particular stood out as an impeccable upgrade. With many scenes in the murky, underground depths of the hatch, deep, bottomless blacks were thoroughly appreciated. It is remarkable refrence material and aptly demonstrates the advantage of High Definition over the DVD counterpart.
Lost is GENIUS. I am currently about halfway through my Lost journey, somewhere in the middle of the season 3 boxset, and this is a journey I am so so glad I began! Lost is fantastic! It really is a masterpiece that draws us in and has s hanging on the edge of our seats! Every step brings a new mystery, every time we are given an answer we are faced with more questions, and all the time we are going deeper and deeper into the mystery, becoming more and more involved. Even by the end of season two you will be none the wiser. You will have various different theories, probably. But you will never really near. With Lost you are never sure about anything. There are so many twists, you never know who to trust and who to be weary of, you never know what is a dream and what is reality, it messes with your mind! But in a fantastic way!
Lost is a materially strange, fascinating show that began with a real kicker of a first season, but was frustrating in as much as it would probably have worked far better as a simple 24-part one-shot series rather than one that continues over numerous seasons. When it began to expand from a visceral survival plot into something more supernatural, though, it became clear that this thing was around to stay for the future, and it's now finally wrapping up with its sixth and final season early next year.
Season 2 is one of the better unnecessary seasons, though, it continues where the end of season one left off, with the mysterious hatch being opened and Locke peering over with a white light beaming out. Season 2 not only reveals what was in the hatch in a few minutes of it beginning, but we also meet a new character named Desmond who at one stage lived in the hatch, but to say much more than that would be to ruin the surprise of what goes on down there. Needless to say, Lost Season 2 is a lot of sizzle without much steak, and it does get frustrating at times that characters speak overly ominously and mysteriously without giving much away, as nobody in reality would EVER speak this way. It gets irritating how vague they are, and sometimes the writers really do overstep their bounds when playing with the audience.
Needless to say, the agonising mystery is an intriguing one that keeps you engaged, with the contents of the hatch playing a huge part in the later seasons and really opening up the other secrets of the island also. We also get a bunch of other new characters, such as Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez) and other members of the tail-end of the plane. Considering how hit-and-miss the other seasons tended to be, this is one of the better efforts.
Lost Season Two starts with an impressive and well-developed plot from the first; The Hatch. As well as finding out about this place and Desmond, there are many more interesting sub-plots than the first such as a certain set of numbers that Hurley is connected to and tying up some loose ends such as what happened with the rest of the plane and Walt. I think this season is more exciting and surprising as episodes don't have to be wasted introducing characters anymore.
If you were impressed with the first season of Lost on Blu-Ray then I highly recommend you get this, for the picture quality alone. It is definitely better than the first season in terms of video and is very nearly a perfect blu-ray picture. Blacks had to be done well because the second series focuses on the hatch with darker scenes than the glowing beach and they are deep and accurate, allowing for crisp detail and textures. More importantly, it has a consistently incredible transfer, whereas the first dropped in certain scenes. The audio is delivered with a DTS HD (MA) surround track and honestly, I prefer the audio in this second season purely because of the setting. Whether it's the timer on the countdown clicking in the background, the eerie creeks as the Losties manoeuvre their new findings or the haunting music to supplement the scene; it all combines to give a life-like and immersive feel to the island. In terms of the transfer, I don't think I could complain about a single thing, Disney really have produced a remarkable upgrade.
As if that wasn't enough, the season also has an even better selection of extra features than the first. SeasonPlay is of course back and that was obvious due to being a very useful and popular feature. My favourite was "Fire + Water", a thirty-two minute very detailed documentary on the creation of an episode. There are also some great deleted scenes and flashbacks, as well as some clues about where Lost is heading, bloopers, interviews, Audio Commentaries and more. It's a very extensive and well produced seventh disc. However, I was a little disappointed that the features are all in SD.