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STUDIO: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
MSRP: $36.99
RATED:
Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 604 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:
Lost in 8:15

The Right to Bear Arms
The Freighter Folk
The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii
Offshore Shoot
Soundtrack for Survival: Composing for Character, Conflict & The Crash
Lost on Location
Course of the Future
• Bloopers
• Deleted scenes
• Audio Commentaries



Oliver’s Note: There be some spoilers afoot here.  If you haven’t seen Season 4 of this show yet, best you probably move along until you do.



The Pitch


It’s Gilligan’s Island in the Twilight Zone.

The Humans

Matthew Fox, Naveen Andrews, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O’Quinn, Emilie de Ravin, Dominic Monaghan, Harold Perrineau, Michael Emerson, Henry Ian Cusick, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mira Furlan, et al.
   
The Nutshell

Fortysomething survivors of crashed airliner, Oceanic 815, find themselves marooned on an island in the South Pacific.  However, this is no ordinary island.  It’s a unique spot on the earth where unusual phenomena occur, enigmatic and deadly creatures dwell, and it’s littered with mysterious scientific stations from a former occupant, the Dharma Initiative.  Jack (Fox), a doctor and the de facto leader of the survivors, sees them through the challenges of trying to survive on the island and getting rescued.  Those challenges include the original inhabitants of the island, dubbed “The Others,” who have raided, infiltrated and threatened the survivors on numerous occasions; and a group of outsiders on a freighter who are looking for the island for their own purposes, which don’t include rescuing the survivors.  Told in an innovative flashback style, Lost is one of the most acclaimed shows in recent years.



“Oh look, it’s Probst.  Let’s go shove that f&$kin’ immunity idol up his ass…”



The Lowdown

Three months ago I was a Lost virgin.  I’d heard that at times the show was genius wrapped up in a pretty tropical setting.  I’d heard about Jack, Locke, Kate, Hurley, the Hatch, the Others, the monster, yadda yadda.  A buddy of mine at work was railing and raving on the show for three years.  The show was still great, but somewhere in Season 3 the delays and the pussyfooting around set in by the storytellers who had seemed to lose their way.  But I missed the boat on this show, so what did I care, really? 

Then the Sci-Fi Channel started rerunning the show from the beginning and I thought this would be my opportunity to catch up and see what all the ruckus was.  By the first couple of episodes, I knew that four installments a week wasn’t going to cut it.  So after several all-night marathon sessions in front of my computer, watching the show on, what I’m assuming is some Japanese website, complete with Japanese subtitles that obscured much of Jin’s and Sun’s story and backstory, not to mention the shit resolution, I was caught up.  I now knew why people hated Ana Lucia…hell, I knew who Ana Lucia was.  I now understood who Locke, Jack, Hurley, Kate, Sawyer, Ben, Sayid, and all those guys were.  More importantly, I now understood, “Waaaaaaaaaaalllt!!!”  I left it at Jack making the call to the ship offshore, against Locke’s warning.  So here I am now at the beginning of Season 4.



“Yeah, this is Crushank.  Man, if you thought that whole arm replacement thing was messed up, you should see some of the shit I’ve seen lately…”



Since I freebased the episodes of this show usually at least six at a time, I didn’t get the full sense of the interminable stalling that occurred in parts of Seasons 2 and 3, especially with the Jack / Kate / Sawyer love triangle trials and tribulations on the Others’ offshore island facility.  But what I did get the sense of is that Season 4 was a real return to form for the show after the show runners had an end date target for which to shoot.  When it was announced that the show would go through three more shortened seasons and then end, it was like someone put the blinders on the writing staff and set them on their course again.  The story goes much more from Point A to Point B this season.  Furthermore, and thankfully, there are actual answers this season.  There’s still the cryptic messages to some of the strange phenomena, but characters are asking direct questions and we’re getting direct responses.  This includes what the Dharma Initiative stations are for, how Oceanic 815 could have been found at the bottom of the ocean with all the bodies accounted for, who the freighter people are, and a war between two factions for control of the island.



“What is that?”
“It says it’s an iPhone.  It can play games, access the internet and play MP3s and videos.”
“How much is it?”
“$399.”
“Dude, those Dharma Initiative guys are some real whackjobs to think people would pay that price…” 


The off-island flashes have also taken a turn this season in a major way that would be a spoiler to the uninitiated, but it’s safe to say that they have much more direct ties with what’s occurring on-island.  This turn started with the Season 3 finale, and Season 4 picked it up and ran with it.  To say more would be to give away a major secret, so now would be the time to stop reading unless you want to potentially ruin this whole thing for yourself…













LAST CHANCE…


“So Locke, I double checked that food inventory like you asked.”
“Good, did you tally 1.3 tons like I did?”
“Uh…not quite.”
“No?  What did you come up with?”
“About 37 pounds…”








DUDE, REALLY













…Okay.  The flashbacks that were one of the signatures of the show have now essentially become flash-forwards, revealing that six of the survivors: Jack, Kate, Hurley, Sun, Sayid and Aaron – collectively known as the Oceanic Six – have been rescued from the island.  We see how they got off the island, the steps they had to take to protect those that didn’t get off the island, and how their post-island lives progress.  And for several of them, it’s not good.  The flashbacks aren’t totally gone, though.  In one instance, in the episode “Ji Yeon,” concerning the birth of Sun’s daughter, we get both a flashback and a flash-forward, juxtaposing both Sun’s and Jin’s actions during a pivotal birth.  We also learn the fate of Jin.

As the on-island story progresses, we learn more about the freighter people and what they’re doing in the island’s vicinity.  And we learn that Locke’s and Charlie’s warnings that they’re not who they say they are have more than a ring of truth to them.  There’s something major going on for control of the island, and Benjamin Linus (Emerson), the leader of the Others, is heavily involved in it.  Ben, in fact, is revealed to be possibly the most interesting character on the show, and Emerson plays him with a cunning creepiness that just grabs you.  Linus gives Arvin Sloane a run for his money in the manipulation department.  One thing that’s definitely going to have to be explained, however, is how so many living people are seeing so many dead people both on and off the island. 



“What’s the matter, Sawyer?  Wasn’t the sex good?”
“Yeah, it was…but it got a tad uncomfortable when you screamed Waaaaaaaaaalt!!!”  



Key episodes in Season 4 include “The Constant,” where Desmond, who had issues with time jumping before, goes through it again , but in a different way, when he leaves the island to fly out to the freighter with Sayid.  Also, in “Meet Kevin Johnson,” we’re reacquainted with a former cast member, who ends up on the freighter undercover.  And in “There’s No Place Like Home,” the clash with the freighter people comes to a head as the Oceanic Six get off the island.  If you thought there was weird stuff going on with the Dharma Initiative and the island before, the biggest – quite literally – surprise occurs involving a change of scenery…for the island itself.  And although several characters have been killed in Season 4, the biggest death involves a coffin at the very end in the future where a broken Jack has to come to terms with what must be done in order to set things right for the people on the island, as well as himself. 



A typical Lost fan halfway through Season 3…



Lost has definitely regained much of the narrative punch it seemed to have misplaced somewhere along the way and Season 4 has plenty of surprises and several answers.  This is possibly the most densely mythological show I’ve ever seen and as a brand new fan of the show, I’m eagerly awaiting Season 5.

The Package


This is a six-disc box set, including two bonus features discs.  The episodes look fantastic, capturing much of the scenic Hawaiian setting in a nice widescreen transfer.  The audio is also good in available English Dolby 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Surround, and Spanish 2.0 and French 5.1 with English, French and Spanish subtitles.  The DVD menus are also cool, showing vistas of various sections of the island with 3-D titles.  The packaging itself is also a nicer than usual box set offering, with a clear mylar covering.  There are also plenty of special features, including audio commentaries from the cast and crew on various episodes.  Lost in 8:15 is a quite good drive-by recap of the first three seasons of the show with rapid-fire commentary; although I did notice they left out a few things here and there.



J.J. Abrams’ fallback plan if they were unable to answer all of the questions about the show now becomes apparent…



There are a number of featurettes, covering the various areas of production on the show.  Lost on Location comprises eight mini-featurettes about shooting on locations for episodes such as “The Beginning of the End,” “The Other Woman,” and “Cabin Fever.”  These total about 42 minutes.  The Island Backlot: Lost in Hawaii runs 18 minutes and details how they manage to make Oahu stand in for the vast majority of all the different locations depicted in the show.  The Right To Bear Arms runs 11 minutes and deals with the plethora of firearms on the show.  Soundtrack of Survival: Composing for Character, Conflict and the Crash runs 26 minutes and hits upon the music for the show, and also details a symphony that was done in Honolulu in 2007 involving participation from some of the cast.  There’s a three-minute blooper reel and nine deleted scenes totaling nearly ten minutes.



“Hello?  Hello!  this is Dr. Jack Shepard!  I’m marooned on a desert island with a lot of freaky shit going on and I…no, I don’t don’t know where Aces is…”



Disc 6 has alternating menus ala the Star Wars discs.  Course of the Future: The Definitive Flash-Forwards are all of the flash-forwards all strung together, totaling about an hour.  The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies is a great 20-minute piece presented as a conspiracy-theory-style investigative journalism program, trying to get at the heart of inconsistencies in the Oceanic Six’s account of their survival of the crash.  The Kennedy Assassination nor the Roswell crash weren’t as heavily researched as this thing.  The Freighter Folk is a 12-minute spotlight on the freighter personnel.  The Offshore Shoot runs eight minutes and deals with shooting on the freighter.  Finally, Lost: Missing Pieces are 14 mobisodes that total around 30 minutes.  There’s a lot of good stuff here that’s presented in several interesting ways.  This is a great box set.



8.9 out of 10