Lost: Season 2 - Review
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Lost On Location – wander behind the scenes of television’s most exciting set; Lost Connections” – navigate the crossed paths of characters, connections and forthcoming storylines; The Lost Flashbacks” – new insights from never-before-seen flashbacks; Secrets of the Hatch” – explore television’s most mysterious location; Lost Bloopers; Deleted Scenes.
IT didn’t take a genius to predict that the second season of Lost would end with as many new questions as it had answers. Yet few could have imagined how dark and complex things would become.
The two-hour season finale was as exciting as it was frustrating but pretty much encapsulated the highs and lows of the second season as a whole. For as gripping as the show undoubtedly remains, the suspicion remains that we’ll never find the closure we’re seeking once the show’s secrets have fully been revealed.
Season 2 picked up, of course, following the opening of The Hatch and the kidnap of Nate by The Others. Both storylines played a big part in the events of the ensuing 24 episodes.
New characters were also introduced, including the likes of former criminal turned priest Mr Eko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and feisty ex-cop Ana Lucia (Michelle Rodriguez). While inside The Hatch itself was a man named Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) whose relevance became mightily significant to the events that took place during the season finale.
In truth, the first half of season 2 struggled to maintain the momentum of its predecessor as some characters lacked the same levels of interest – Matthew Fox’s Jack, for instance, became a little to earnest for his own good, while angst-ridden Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) seemed to be re-treading old ground.
Certain flashback episodes tended to get in the way of current events and slowed the pace down, while a couple of episodes even went back in island time to replay old events from different perspectives, thereby halting the show’s progression towards more satisfying answers.
As ever, the most interesting characters continued to be the most enigmatic. Locke (Terry O’Quinn) remained an engaging presence, sparring well with Jack over the island’s secrets as well as himself and his own inner demons, while Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim, as Sun and Jin Kwon, continued to attract the most sympathy (particularly during another memorable flashback episode that revealed how they first met). Bad-boy Sawyer (Josh Holloway) continued to steal many of the best lines and best moments and owned one of the stand-out episodes in The Long Con.
But the second season only really found a consistent rhythm once the character of Henry Gale (Michael Emerson) had been introduced as a potential member of The Others. Found by Sayid (Naveen Andrews), Gale was quickly perceived as a threat who was tortured for information and then imprisoned in The Hatch.
Although he remained steadfastly silent for several episodes, Gale frequently attempted to play key characters off against each other and succeeded in exposing the fragility of the island dynamic. The battle of wills between Jack and Locke, for instance, became even more intense, while Locke was forced to contemplate his own belief system following a couple of key events involving Gale.
Indeed, Gale’s presence led to one of the most significant and shocking developments in the series, culminating in the death of two more characters and his subsequent escape. By the time he returned for the season finale to take three more of the plane crash survivors hostage (Jack, Kate and Swayer), it was anyone’s guess where his motives truly lay.
What’s more, his mind games with Locke contributed to another significant decision involving The Hatch that helped to make the cliffhanger ending all the more exciting and thought-provoking.
Just how the character of Gale continues to develop and his role within The Others is one of several things to look forward to in season 3.
As mentioned, however, there were some frustrations. The return of the Desmond character during the season finale threw up more questions than it ultimately answered and hinted at a life outside of the island, which was intrinsically linked. A couple of minor characters we had only previously seen in flashback episodes also took on more relevance (such as Clancy Brown’s ex-CIA agent) and the final few seconds, in an ice-bound sub-station somewhere in the world, threatened to take the show off into a completely unknown direction.
Indeed, the final few minutes of the climax were made for head-scratching – what with explosions, surprise revelations and strange behaviour to contend with. If nothing else, it ensured that the show had moved significantly on from its early days.
Most importantly, however, it ensured that fans would want to tune in for a third season when even more twists and surprises are promised, as well as several new characters. Season 2 was therefore a success on many levels and one worth revisiting for the clues we all probably missed along the way.
Just how long the writers can keep us guessing without testing our patience to the limit remains to be seen – but for now we continue to be held in Lost’s grip.