's sixth and final season drew both raves and criticism from its passionate fans who wanted answers to the series' many loose ends. Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse found a way to wrap up some
lingering story lines while introducing entirely new ones when they decided to employ a "flash-sideways" plot device, showing us an alternate reality in which Oceanic 815 never crashes (a consequence of the hydrogen-bomb detonation that occurred in season 5's finale). This method allowed some long-gone characters to return (Boone, Charlie, Libby) and even showed sunnier outcomes for some of the survivors' more unhappy pasts (Locke, Hurley). But in the non-Sideways world, the bomb's detonation doesn't change their course, and the survivors find themselves delving deeper into the island's mythology--notably, the yin/yang of the demigod Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) and the smoke monster, a.k.a. the Man in Black (Titus Welliver), as well as some curious denizens of a temple (a subplot that doesn't add much to driving the story forward). As the smoke monster's scheme to escape the island leaves a trail of carnage, culminating in a face-off with that other
villain Charles Widmore (Alan Dale), some primary characters meet their end in season 6 while others find the redemption they'd been seeking since the series began. Moreover, some survivors finally find out their connection to the island (and each other) when the two realities start to intermingle, leading to a tearful finale that satisfies and frustrates at the same time (though when it comes to Lost
, what else is new?).
While each cast member is on their "A" game, the final episodes really belong to Matthew Fox, who received his first Emmy® nomination for this season. Nestor Carbonell is also a standout in "Ab Aeterno," an episode that finally explains the ageless Richard Alpert. In addition, a few small details are wrapped up in a bonus short, "The New Man in Charge," which serves as an epilogue. Other special features include "The End: Crafting a Final Season," which interviews legendary TV producers such as James Burrows (Cheers, Friends) on the pressures of wrapping up a series. It also shows the finale script being printed out on red paper (so it can't be copied) and delivered to a specially built locked mailbox outside Jorge Garcia's home. Garcia, who plays Hurley, is then seen reading the script for the first time and weeping. "See You in Another Life, Brotha" goes deeper into the flash-sideways storytelling; "Lost on Location" highlights behind-the-scenes action behind specific episodes; the always-hilarious "Lost in 8:15" wraps up the entire series (only through season 5) in eight minutes and 15 seconds; and "A Hero's Journey" is a ho-hum set of interviews examining the heroic arcs of several major characters. Bloopers and deleted scenes round out the bonus features. But with all the lingering questions in the series, it's a shame Lindelof and Cuse didn't add commentary to more than a handful of episodes, because this is one DVD set that sure could've used it (not having any commentary on the finale is near unforgivable). You do, however, learn that the black-and-white stones game played by Jacob and the Man in Black is actually called Senate (hey, you gotta take what you can get). So long, Lost; it's been one hell of a journey. --Ellen A. Kim