Lost: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Details
With Lost's fifth season, the show delved completely into science fiction with time travel, pseudo-science and the possibilities of alternate timelines. Though it had long had science fiction elements going back to the pilot, it had mostly been a drama thanks to the flashbacks. The flashbacks and flashforwards are gone this season though the show still had plenty of drama between the characters due to the blatantly scifi-based storylines. Thanks to knowing that this was the second-to-last season, the writing bordered on being out of control and yet could be expected to be heading to a conclusion.
The first part of the season was split between the off-island exploits of the Oceanic Six three years after they left the Island and those that had been left behind at the end of the fourth season. The second half of the season split between two time periods on the Island. The time travelling aspects of the season allowed some backstory to be filled in for Mrs. Hawking, Charles Widmore, Ben Linus, The Dharma Initiative and Danielle Rousseau. It was an entire season that often forcefully explored destiny and fate and whether either are immutable or subject to change.
The season also gave us a surprising coupling between Juliet and Sawyer. They developed into a strong couple and far more stable than Jack and Kate or Sawyer and Kate ever were. They even managed to eclipse Claire and Charlie or Desmond and Penny as our favorite couple. At least that was the case until what we felt was a disappointing turn at the end of the season. Speaking of Sawyer, we saw another side of him as a leader that was great. Being out of Jack's shadow allowed Sawyer to florish. To us, he supplanted Jack as the lead during this season. As for Jack, he mostly floundered and even made yet another choice that undermined his attempts at sustaining a relationship with Kate. Our favorite new character from season four, Miles, was given daddy issues of his own. Also the pairing of he and Hurley made for some priceless moments.
Aside from seeing more Dharma Initiative characters in the flesh, several new characters were introduced. They appear to be some new faction loosely tied to the Island and Jacob. Like the tease of the "freighter people" in season three, this group's agenda is largely unknown and presumably will be fleshed out in the final season. The season finale was probably the wildest yet leaving us with no idea what will come next in the series' final season. Though the season did answer some questions, we were left feeling like there were nearly as many unanswered questions left. If the pace of the fifth season is any indication, the sixth season should be quite intense. We can't wait.
The Complete Fifth Season Extended Edition DVD includes sixteen episodes and less than four hours of extras. Considering the breakneck pace and very complex storytelling, the extras were disappointingly vanilla. The first disc has a very brief recap of the first four seasons as a primer for the season. The first disc also has the first of two audio commentaries. Though the commentary on the season's first episode actually reveals few insights, it does demonstrate that even Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof could not help but reference subsequent episodes while doing their commentary. The third disc has the set's only other audio commentary from writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Again, their dry humor is apparent and the commentary is entertaining, but again offers no major insights. In addition to the season finale, the fifth disc has the rest of the extras. Disappointingly, there is no audio commentary for the season finale.
By far, the most entertaining extra found on the fifth disc was a featurette on the Dharma Initiative presented as an episode of the faux 1980's television show Mysteries of the Universe. The extra mostly pieced together what was already known about the Dharma Initiative, but it did also tangle a few possible clues. Making up for Lost Time was a vanilla featurette on the season. Lost on Location highlighted select location shoots from seven episodes. These vignettes give an insight into how the production brings the grand scope of Lost's story to life in surprising ways. Another featurette follows Nestor Carbonell on rather lengthy shooting day, which turned out to be the final day of production. We were struck at how much of a gentleman Carbonell was to the production crew and the camera crew following him around as his day ran to nearly twenty hours. One final featurette had Michael Emerson wandering around the Los Angeles production offices of the show. Other than face time for some production members, there was little to this featurette. The set also includes a blooper reel and deleted scenes, which were mostly redundant or forgettable.
Again, considering the scope of storytelling in the season, we were disappointed in the extras found in this set. This was by far the least extensive group of extras from any Lost season set. Either the DVD budget got slashed, or there are some extras being held back until the completion of the series. We suspect it's more likely the latter either in order to help market a complete series set or because those featurettes and/or commentaries tip off storylines for the final season. This is probably the first season where we could take or leave the extras, but considering this is the fifth (and second-to-last) season, extras are probably not going to make or break one's decision to buy this set.
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