Lost: Season 5 (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Lost On Location – Get The Inside Stories From The Cast And Crew; Building 23 & Beyond; An Epic Day With Richard Alpert; Making Up For Lost Time – An Interesting And Humourous Look At How The Producers, Writers And Cast Sort Out The Survivors’ Leaps Through Time; Mysteries Of The Universe: The DHARMA Initiative; Bloopers; Deleted Scenes; Audio Commentaries.
THERE may be only one season to go, but the end has seldom seemed so far away to this particular Lost viewer. The fifth season of the show was a crushing disappointment – a mind bending, utterly ludicrous series of events that threatened to steer the show dangerously and perilously off course.
Admittedly, the writers have pledged that while this penultimate season would make our heads spin, those that stick with it would be rewarded with a strong payoff. Well, that has yet to come.
The season 5 cliffhanger threw up even more questions than answers, hinting at Biblical battles of good versus evil, clones, shifting time frames and loads more nonsense. Certain characters (and we won’t reveal who) appeared dead and buried… while others were lost in time.
Whereas season 4 had offered a real beauty of a series that succeeded in winning back our interest and confidence, Season 5 pulled the rug out from under us more often than we’d have liked.
Among the many unlikely developments were the moving of the island in geographical location and time, the constantly shifting time frames (which saw characters jumping from the ’70s to present day and into the future), as well as the eventual decision to place all the main characters back in the ’70s come the end of proceedings.
The Dharma Initiative and its reasons for being continued to baffle, while the writers seemed to suggest that the whole concept behind the show may rest between the battle between Michael Emerson’s Benjamin Linus and Alan Dale’s Charles Widmore.
Characters who once were pivotal increasingly became guests on their own show, with Matthew Fox’s Jack Shephard faring particularly poorly in the latter part of the season, while the developments of other individuals often felt unlikely and struggled to convince (with Josh Holloway’s Sawyer particularly contrived over the latter part of proceedings).
There were moments when the show succeeded in capturing our imagination, such as the Sayid focused He’s Our You – but even then the decision to toy with time frames and undo anything that had potentially taken place diminished the dramatic impetus of the show.
What’s more, the time jumping conceit felt like padding and gave rise to the suspicion that the writers were marking time and didn’t always know what they were doing. If you had hours and hours to spend on web forums or repeat views attempting to decipher what it all means, then you were fine.
If – like the majority of viewers – you wanted some form of closure at the end of the season, or an episode, and were content to wait until the next one for your answers, then the show became increasingly frustrating.
Indeed, such was the tonally erratic nature of Season 5 (die-hard fans still argue it’s ingenious) that loyalty has been put to the ultimate test. Were it not for the fact that Season 6 is (we’re promised) the final instalment and a return to basics, without time jumping, I may be inclined to give up on the show.
The only hope now is that Season 6 gets things back on track and delivers the type of finale that wraps things up neatly and with most of our questions answered. The show’s writers have bounced back before… but while Season 5 required a major leap of faith and a lot of patience, fans may not be so forgiving if Season 6 proves as underwhelming. The pressure is very much on to deliver the big, rewarding finish we have long been promised.
Running time: 704 mins
UK DVD Release: October 26, 2009
- Buy Lost: Season 5 on DVD (Amazon)
- Buy Lost: Season 5 on Blu-ray (Amazon)
- Lost: Season 5 - He's Our You reviewed
- Lost: Season 5 - 316 reviewed
- Lost: Season 5 - Because You Left and The Lie reviewed
- Lost: Season 4 reviewed
- Lost: Season 3 - Review