Monday, August 23, 2010

The Foot: Review of The Final Season of LOST on DVD

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On Friday, and last month, I wrote about the return of Jacob's Foot. I planned to have my LOST blogging career end after even more days and words were spent on the show; however, after careful thought, I decided that Jacob's Foot returns for one day only: today.

In "What They Died For," Jacob tells Hurley to gather his friends because the end is near. Jacob put his remaining ashes in a fire. Once the ashes burned away, Jacob would be gone. When I teased a name change, the name change would've been "Jacob's Ashes" because once the final post had been published, Jacob's Foot is no more. Since the LOST blog moved to Quad Blogs in 2009, the name always included Jacob. First, it was Jacob's Cabin because I loved the idea of the cabin in the show. After "The Incident," and the revelation that MIB inhabited the cabin for a long period of time, the blog became Jacob's Foot because Jacob actually lived beneath the foot of Tawaret. Plus, I thought the name Jacob's Foot would get recognition on the internet among LOST fans. I can say Jeff Jensen, EW's LOST expert, made a joke about the name on Twitter after responding to a question. I digress. I always loved the idea of Jacob when The Others only talked about him and I stated writing about LOST well before Jacob showed up. Also, no one else used Jacob in the name of their blog.

The final Jacob's Foot features a DVD review for the final season. Yes, you read correctly. This is a DVD review for sixth and final season of LOST. The DVD is released to the masses tomorrow in various retail stores. How did The Foot manage to get an early copy? Pre-ordering pays off, friends and well-wishers. This review will cover audio commentaries, bonus features and a review of the final original content from LOST: The New Man In Charge. In fact, let us begin with The New Man In Charge.

Also, MASSIVE SPOILERS about "The New Man In Charge" so don't read until you see it. The write-up about it is like every recap/review I did for the episodes. I write about LOST as if everyone has seen what I'm writing about. Feel free to scroll through. Once again, MASSIVE SPOILERS ABOUND IN "THE MAN IN CHARGE" REVIEW.

THE NEW MAN IN CHARGE

"The New Man In Charge" has a run time of 11 minutes and 51 seconds. I found myself checking to see how much time remained every few minutes because I didn't want it to end. The same joy and excitement I felt before every new episode of LOST for six years returned once I pressed play. For 11 minutes and 51 seconds, my mind was wholly consumed by a story LOST was telling.

"The New Man In Charge" is light-hearted. Ben has been shutting down the old Dharma stations in the United States. The final station was responsible for the food drops. Back in the day, after the first food drop happened during the second season, many people wondered who exactly dropped the food onto the Island. As the seasons past, the need for an answer to this particular mystery ceased. Perhaps, during season five, Damon and Carlton said something about the food drops and time-travel being related. Such an answer was good enough for me. Plus, I thought it was cool that these food drops could get lost in time and then show up in a period they weren't supposed to. I digress.

The first half of the short is devoted to answering some questions the show raised during its run. There are two Dharma workers who've been in charge of these food drops for years and years. The one thing they want from Ben, after the nice severance package, is answers. It doesn't take a literary critic to draw the parallel between the audience and the workers. A large contingent of fans exists who wanted answers badly and were super-pissed when The End didn't deliver answers to questions. I, of course, am not part of that contingent. I digress. Ben is nice enough to answer one question each from both works before he puts in a DVD of the Hydra Orientation Video.

The Hydra Orientation video is the funniest of the many orientation videos. We find out why Chang uses so many alias in other videos as well as the the truth behind the polar bears on the Island. Additionally, we find out more about Room 23 and the weird animal experiments Dharma liked to do. The pregnant women question gets an answer. The Hurley bird mystery gets an answer and it's ridiculous. I thought it was great. Everything is straight-forward. When the video ends, the one worker echoes a line of John Locke's when he says they need to see it again. Unfortunately, time's up and Ben has one final place to visit: Santa Rose Mental Hospital.

The final 4.5 minutes of The New Man In Charge is definitely the heart of the piece. No, Hurley is not in Santa Rosa. Walt is. He's known as Keith Johnson, obviously. If you're wondering how Walt ended up in Santa Rosa, it seems fairly simple to figure out when you consider he visited Santa Rosa a few days before the Oceanic 6 returned to the Island. Walt is now a patient at Santa Rosa. When Ben sits down with him, he's in the middle of a game of Connect Four with himself or he might be able to see and communicate with the dead like Hurley could and Ben AND The Man in Black.

Anywho, Walt wonders why Ben came to visit. Ben tells him, as the note said, a friend sent him. Walt asks, with bitterness in his tone, if Ben came to kidnap him again. Ben didn't and he apologizes for it and he knows he can only accept responsibility for it. He can't change the past. Ben's purpose is to bring Walt to the Island. I do think Walt wanted Hurley to think back when he visited him at Santa Rosa. Walt later says he's waited a long time for someone to take him back because he never felt he belonged in the world away from The Island. Before Walt follows Ben to the Dharma van, where he meets Hurley, Ben reminds Walt that he's special and adds that he's sure he hasn't heard that word in a long time.

I appreciated the inclusion of Walt. It provided good closure for the character. Walt's been a victim throughout most of the series. His kidnapping led to his father going to extremes to free him which eventually led to his Santa Rosa stay. I think Walt eventually found the peace he's sought on the Island especially if he took the job Hurley offered him. I think he made peace with his father and found happiness.

The lack of Walt in the finale drew some of the biggest rants from the fandom. People wanted answers for why he is special. Well, there are no answers for what makes Walt special; however, from what Ben and Hurley say to Walt, what makes Walt special isn't difficult to figure out. This will anger LOST fans and early reaction to the short hasn't been great.

But, you know, it wouldn't be LOST if it didn't piss off a large amount of fans. I enjoyed "The New Man In Charge." I'm glad it was made. My days of ranting about the LOST fandom and whatnot are over.

For old time's sake, here are some other thoughts:

-If only the first shot of Walt was of him dunking over someone. During the latter part of the season, I continually hoped for Smokey to meet his end following a massive slam dunk by a 6'5 Walt.

-Michael Emerson did fine work once again which is no surprise. Malcolm David Kelley sure grew up. The two acted well together.

-Paul Edwards directed this. "The New Man In Charge" was shot during "The End" so Jack Bender was fairly busy. Melinda Hsu-Taylor, Graham Roland and Jim Galasso wrote the epilogue.

OTHER BONUS FEATURES

I did not purchase the Blu Ray nor the complete collection because I bought each season individually throughout the years. My reward? Less features. Thanks, ABC. I don't have the Letting Go feature or the making of the finale. I will patiently wait for some kind youtube user to upload them in the next few days.

Crafting A Final Season: This near 39 minute feature is the best of the bunch. Other television creators talk about the process of ending a show after a long run. Most of the time is spent with the writers and the production crew in Hawaii from the beginning of the season until the end. About 2-3 minutes is spent talking about Claire which I'm a fan of. Emilie de Ravin gets a rare chance to talk on a DVD feature as well. The feature is more reflective than informative from a process standpoint. The feature captures the experience of the large crew, the actors and the writers as the end of their work on LOST grows closer by the day. The highlight of the feature is watching Jorge Garcia (Hurley) read the script, respond and then become dusty when he reads about Hurley becoming the new Jacob. The feature captures the last day of work for several cast members as well as the final speeches given by Damon and Carlton to their actors and crew in the church.

A Hero's Journey: The writers talk about the hero's journey of all their characters. It's a short 8 minute feature. The most interesting part is the discussion of Sayid. The writers note that the fans will forgive Sayid for whatever he does and they seem surprised. They certainly took Sayid down a darker path in the final three seasons of the show but Sayid will always be great.

See You In Another Life, Brotha: This is all about the Sideways. It's fun listening to the actors comment on the sideways as they were shooting them. There isn't anything about the church and the culmination of the sideways. If you listened to the podcasts, you pretty much know everything the writers say about the Sideways in the feature.

LOST on Location: These have always been my favorite. They focus on the production side of an episode. Usually, if a big stunt occured, LOST on Location goes behind-the-scenes and provides a making-of. I have two favorite LOST on Locations. The first; The Substitute. We find out how the crew was able to shoot the stuff on the side of the cliff. The second, The Candidate. It was great to see Yunjin Kim and Daniel Dae Kim rehearse their death scene with Jack Bender before they shot it. LOST on Location never disappoints.

Deleted Scenes: I finally got to see the deleted scene from "What They Died For" with Claire. Crazy Claire is awesome.

LOST Bloopers: Nothing tops the season one bloopers with Harold Perrineau freaking out. I enjoyed this set of bloopers though.

AUDIO COMMENTARIES

LA X w/Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse: Not the best commentary from these two. I expected something similar to the season five premiere commentary but they mostly summarize what's on camera and state things fans have known since February. The two say they will talk more about the sideways in the finale commentary. Of course, there is no finale commentary. More on that next.

Across The Sea w/Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse: A superb commentary. I don't want to list everything they talk about but they talk a lot about the themes of the show, why the episode is so important, the circularity of history as well as other stuff. It's great. Once again, a finale commentary is teased and no commentary exists. Why tease the commentary twice and not deliver? Not cool, Lindelof and Cuse.

Note: I haven't listened to the other two commentaries on the DVD.

OVERALL

The sixth and final season of LOST on DVD is a solid purchase. I enjoyed the bonus features. Other seasons have more in-depth features about the creative process of the show. There are plenty of quality episodes to enjoy and that alone is worth the price of the DVD.

Any fan should own it. If you've never seen an episode of LOST, don't buy season six first. You won't understand the show. Thank you.

With all that said, the final shoelace has been tied on The Foot. Thank you for reading my ramblings about LOST. I had a blast.

Tomorrow, I will either review the No Ordinary Family pilot or begin previewing returning shows. VOTE IN THE COMMENTS FOR WHAT YOU WANT TO READ.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.