Lost: Season Three
When ABC’s ‘Lost’ first hit the television sets of America in 2004 it was hailed as one of the best series in a long time. It came around during a time when most networks were embracing so called reality shows, unscripted with real people. Not only did ‘Lost’ return audiences to scripted programming it was a thriller, mystery, drama and romance show all rolled into one. In the second season the fan base began to slip. There was an introduction of a new set of characters and many felt that the series was diverting from the original format that made it a hit. Then in season three, now on DVD, the story lines became more diffuse, and the network split the season in half making the legion of remaining fans wait. The first six episodes aired between October and November of 2006 but the remainder of the season didn’t restart until February 2007. Actually, this DVD is released at the perfect time. Most of the networks are in their end of year repeat cycle so there is very little new programming on. ‘Lost’ works a lot better when you can just immerse yourself in the stories. So just put the DVDs in and watch it all the way through instead waiting endless months for the next episode.
Season three is one of major changes for the survivors of the ill fated Oceanic Airlines flight 815. Three of the ad hoc leaders of the castaways; Dr. Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox), Kate Austin (Evangeline Lilly) and James Sawyer (Josh Holloway) have been kidnapped by the sinister group called the ‘Others’. Kate and Sawyer are held outside in cages once used by the mysterious ‘Dharma’ organization for animal experiments. As punishment for their rebellious attitudes ‘the Others’ force them to do manual labor around the camp. During their captivity Kate gets a lot closer to Sawyer eventually having sex with him. Sawyer’s independent streak constantly gets him in trouble in this season. He pushes one of his captors, Tom (M. C. Gainey) to the point where the mountainous ‘Other’ nearly kills him in front of Kate. They discover that they are now on another island from where they crashed. Kate and Sawyer befriend the daughter of Danielle Rousseau (Mira Furlan), Alex (Tania Raymonde). She offers to help get them a boat if they will rescue her boyfriend, Karl (Blake Bashoff) who was being tortured by the ‘Others’. In order to make their escape Jack has to make a deal with his captors.
Back in the ‘real world’ Jack was one of the best surgeons in the world. Initially he is kept in a glass cage, another test site for Dharma. His only contact with the ‘Others’ is Juliet Burke (Elizabeth Mitchell) another medical doctor specializing in fertility problems. It turns out that the leader of the ‘Others’, Ben Linus (Michael Emerson) requires immediate surgery or he will die. Jack reluctantly agrees but in the middle of the operation demands the release of Kate and Sawyer or he will let Ben die on the operating table. During his time with the ‘Others’ he becomes very close to Juliet even saving her life when she is put on trial by the ‘Others’ for permitting the escape.
One character who gets more attention in this season is Desmond Hume (Henry Ian Cusick). He was recruited by the Dharma organization to man the hatch that held the famous count down clock. He also played a major part in the crash of the plane. It is revealed that Desmond can peer into the future. What he sees for former rock start Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan) is not good, his death. Desmond tries to save Charlie on several occasions but is sure his prediction is destined to come true.
A lot of the focus this season is with the castaways on the ‘Others’ island instead of the main group. While this was a sore point for many it does fit in with the overall development of the story. The attention given to the ‘Others’ provided a natural way to give the back story of what lead to the mysterious group. There is a lot here about what Dharma was actually doing on the island and even a flashback of life on their island before the main story. There are also major revelations about the main characters. Many of the questions that were posed are answered in this season. There was an announcement by the creators of the series that everything will wind up in the fifth and final season. This gives the writers a target to pull all many strings together. This season reflected this well. There was a flash forward episode that added to the questions by showing Jack and Kate after they get back to civilization. Considering this series has a five year arc planned it is only natural that the focus concentrates on one group of characters from time to time. It is usually the best way to advance the plot and deepen the mysteries.
Even if there is a real reason to deride the network for splitting the season they more than make up for it with the fans with this DVD release. Like the previous two seasons sets this one is packed to the rim with incredible extras. These are not just the run of the mill behind the scenes ‘making of’ featurettes; they are a necessary part of understanding the hidden clues and meanings of the season. The extras give you more information to help you decipher the island and its inhabitants. Since you really have to watch all the episodes to understand the bonus features they are all located on the seventh disc of the set. The menu for the extras is a monitor panel with six screens. Four of them when highlighted will reveal a Dharma logo and take you to a different bonus section.
Don’t blame the series for presentational problems. This is still one of the best shows on television and if you are a fan you need to get this set.