Crafting a final season of any show, let alone one where an end point has been finalized years in advance, is no easy task. Even more so for a show of such depth, complexity and a viciously acute fan base, such as Lost. It’s likely been as nerve wracking and anxiously anticipated for the viewers, as it has been for the producers.
Did they succeed? It was bound to be divisive. There were times when certain aspects such as pacing, writing and dialogue in Season 6 seemed to be a bit lackluster compared to the show’s usual caliber. Overall, at least to this reviewer, the final season would be lower in ranking than seasons previous in terms of overall quality. The writers seemed to be very steadfast and sure of a few very risky new directions in the story that may have been introduced too quickly and too late in the game. Regardless, it was yet another shocking and unexpected turn for the series, as each season tends to be.
One thing is clear, the pacing greatly improved during my second watching: back to back episodes without intrusive commercials or annoying weeks-long breaks. For such a seamlessly flowing show, that’s crucial to the experience.
Lest I seem too critical, I should say that even the lowest points of Lost are comparable to the best points of most other shows. The quality and uniqueness of the majority of the work prove that it’s okay to overlook some of its minor flaws, as the end result is always a step above what you’re used to seeing anywhere else on TV.
Lost has always been transferred faithfully by Disney / Buena Vista, and in a fairly consistent way. This season is no exception. To say that this show is a visual treat would be an understatement. The show is atypical in the modern day as it is one of the only remaining to shoot exclusively on 35mm film, and it benefits greatly from it. The extremely high production values and locales, along with excellent cinematography, bring out some of the best imagery you’ll ever see on the format.
The sheer detail packed within each frame is a wonder to see, and is something that an over-compressed 720p cable broadcast could never hope to match. Some of the best examples of this would be through facial details, which the series is always more than happy to show off, providing many close-up shots that are often rare on television. You can see every pore, crease and stubble with astonishing clarity. Additionally, jungle sections have that kind of “being there” effect, with every blade of foliage visible and crisp.
Colors and flesh-tones are surprisingly natural, with the most bold turns being through the luscious greens of the island, aqua blue of the ocean, and the shocking reds of blood. With the further dip into surrealism this season, the cinematography tries to keep everything as grounded as possible.
While most of the visuals are praise-worthy, there is one technical aspect where the show has always seemed to falter in all the seasons, and that is black levels. I’m not sure why this was a running oversight, but the most discerning of contrast-philes will notice that the blacks often tend to be lighter and more grey than you’d expect or want to see. It’s usually apparent in most night-time scenes but it has a tendency to leak into the daytime as well.
With the inconsistent black levels and a few soft shots here and there, Lost might be just slight of a perfect presentation, but with the overall quality and noticeable effort put into the rest of the production, it’s an easy thing to forgive. You won’t be disappointed.
Lost doesn’t slouch when it comes to the audio. Once again it’s a bit more than what you might usually expect, with often called upon surround effects and low bass.
When it comes to surround usage, it’s not always showy, but in key sequences it does pull all the punches. Whether it’s the slow, circling approach of the smoke monster, the mysterious omnidirectional whispers or even just pure island ambience, the mixing team likes to surprise you with moments that will make you smile.
LFE is also surprisingly prodigious and most often utilized during previously mentioned scenes with a certain creature of a monstrous disposition. It also extends into Michael Giacchino’s wonderful score, which generally utilizes all channels, hoping to envelop you in its soothing, depressing or frightening themes.
A few minor faults are apparent, like recording issues when characters are near the ocean, where heavy background noise can sometimes bleed into the dialog. And there are some other instances of muffled enunciation, but nothing too common or distracting. All in all, it’s a solid lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, and like the video, it should be surprising to those who haven’t experienced the show on this format.
Special Features/Bonus Content
Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season Blu-ray contains the following bonus content:
- Audio Commentaries
- Writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse on “LA X, Part 1”
- Writers Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz and actor Michael Emerson on “Dr. Linus”
- Writers Melinda Hsu Taylor, Gregg Nations and actor Nestor Carbonell on “Ab Aeterno”
- Writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse on “Across The Sea”
- The New Man in Charge – As one journey draws to an end, there will always be tales left to be told. Go deeper into the world of LOST in this exclusive, new chapter of the Island’s story.
- The End: Crafting A Final Season – Join the LOST team along with other producers of some of television’s longest running shows as they examine the challenges of ending a landmark series.
- A Hero’s Journey – What makes a hero? Which survivors of Oceanic 815 are true heroes? These questions and more are explored.
- See You In Another Life, Brotha – Unlocks the mysteries of this season’s intriguing flash sideways.
- LOST on Location – Behind-the-scenes featurette showcasing stories from the set, including all-new interviews with actors and crew. For episodes “LA X, Parts 1 & 2”, “The Substitute”, “Recon”, “Ab Aeterno”, “Happily Ever After” and “The Candidate”.
- LOST in 8:15, A Crash Course – A tongue-in-cheek recap of the previous seasons provided on the first disc.
- Deleted Scenes
- Easter Eggs
- Lost University: The Master’s Program – Exclusive. BD-Live required.
Despite some minor missteps, Lost’s final season and ending remains truly faithful to the show’s own spirit, and should be satisfying to most fans of the show. Continuing the series’ trend of stellar video and audio quality along with a plethora of bonus features, this set will not disappoint.