Lost: Season 2 (Part 1) - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio Commentaries On Selected Episodes ; Lost Flashbacks – Exclusive, Never-Before-Seen Flashbacks; Lost On Location Featurette – Take An In-Depth Look Into The Making Of Seven Individual Episodes Of Lost; Flashbacks And Mythology Featurette – Join The Creative Team Behind Lost As They Discuss The Plotlines And Storytelling Techniques That Go Into Each Episode; Promo By David LaChapelle – Pomotional Piece From The Renowned Director; Deleted Scenes; Photo Gallery.
AFTER the relative disappointment of the opening episodes of Season 2 of Lost, the series did regain its momentum with some genuinely compelling storylines.
Yet the longer it continues, the greater its flaws become realised. Not every character remains as intriguing as first time out, while the decision to introduce a new set of islanders has been a mixed blessing.
We’re still no closer to gaining any worthwhile clues about the secrets of the island, of course, and there is a growing suspicion that the writers will continue to string us along endlessly. But for now, the mystery remains strong enough to keep us tuned in.
The first 12 episodes of the second season are now available on DVD and vary in quality. The show is at its best when exploring the more enigmatic characters.
Hence, while episodes involving ‘nice guy’ Jack (Matthew Fox), or angst-ridden Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) tend to slow proceedings down, there’s still much to be learned about the likes of bad boy Sawyer (Josh Holloway) and brooding newcomer Mr Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje).
In fact, one of the stand-out episodes of the new season so far was The 23rd Psalm which helped to shed some light on why Eko took a mysterious 40-day vow of silence. Its flashbacks to Eko’s criminal past in Africa were absorbing, even harrowing and bloody, while the clues it delivered within the framework of the overall picture reignited the excitement we felt from the first season.
Why, for instance, did a plane flown by Eko’s younger brother, a priest, end up on the Lost island? Was it, perhaps, always intended that Eko should end up there, having swapped places with his brother at the last minute?
And how come Eko was able to stand and confront the mysterious and previously invisible ‘beast’ that had made sporadic appearances throughout the opening series – now revealing itself to be a shape-shifting piece of black smoke?
Another newcomer, Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez), provided a feisty presence that gave rise to one of the new series’ biggest shocks (namely, the death of another major character), as well as a potential new love-interest for Jack (still pondering whether he should or shouldn’t with Kate).
Ana Lucia’s back story, retold in a flashback to her police officer past, also delivered another season highpoint and succeeded in adding some much-needed humanity into a previously one-dimensional character.
Of other season one veterans, Locke (Terry O’Quinn) remains an engaging presence, sparring well with Jack over the island’s secrets, while Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim, as Sun and Jin Kwon, continue to attract the most sympathy (particularly during another memorable flashback episode that revealed how they first met).
The fearsome Others continued to add some much-needed menace while The Hatch, fortunately, took a back seat, having threatened to take the series into a deeply unsatisfying new realm (although one suspects its significance hasn’t properly been revealed).
Criticisms aside, Lost remains one of the most addictive programmes on terrestrial TV, thanks to some fine acting, its cinematic values and its undoubted ability to keep people guessing.
By episode 12, it also seemed to be gathering a nice head of steam towards another exciting conclusion which, apparently, promises to reveal some answers, while posing even more questions.
The mid-season release of this box set, while clearly a cynical exercise in making a fast buck, does at least provide avid viewers with the chance to revisit old episodes in search of key clues – because you’re almost certain to have missed some things.
It’s also well-packaged with photo galleries, episode commentaries and a glossy book that serves as an attractive guide.
All in all, then, it’s well worth sticking with even if the reservations are mounting.