Following on from the jaw-dropping cliffhanger of Season 1, Lost Season 2 carries on the enigmatic and character driven story of these survivors that becomes more gripping as the season progresses. Be warned, spoilers will follow in this overview.
To recap, Michael(Harold Perrineau), Sawyer(Josh Holloway), Jin(Daniel Dae Kim) and Walt(Malcolm David Kelley) had created the raft that would help them escape to find help. That is until ‘The Others’ arrived, kidnapped Walt and destroyed the raft. In the present, Michael and an injured Sawyer have managed to survive by clinging to debris and Jin has managed to swim to the shore. Meanwhile back on the Island, Locke(Terry O’Quinn) has successfully opened the mysterious hatch and has decided to venture down with Kate(Evangeline Lilly) in tow. Jack(Matthew Fox), on the other hand, is skeptical about exploring the hatch. Upon entering the hatch, Kate and Locke see that they are not alone. A worried Jack enters the hatch and traverses the vast underground before coming face to face with the intriguing Desmond(Henry Ian Cusick), someone who he met in the past. Desmond lives in the underground where he obsessively types in the ominous numbers that Hurley(Jorge Garcia) knows of into a machine that resets, preventing disaster. The hatch is actually the Swan Station, belonging to the DHARMA initiative who were cryptically referenced in season 1 and whose history unravels over the course of season 2.After Desmond runs off, Jack and the others take it in turns to man the computer that holds a doomsday prophecy. Elsewhere, Sawyer, Jin and Michael come into contact with a bunch of survivors from the back of the plane which broke off in mid-air, who have had confrontations with the mysterious ‘Others’ who killed many of the other ‘Tailies’. The group is spearheaded by tough and paranoid cop Ana Lucia(Michelle Rodriguez), with the enigmatic Mr.Eko(Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Libby(Cynthia Watros), a psychologist following. Forming an awkward team, they travel through the dangerous terrain occupied by ‘The Others’ in order to reach Jack and the other survivors, whilst Michael frantically begins searching for Walt and taking great risks in the process. Further secrets are revealed about the characters, various personal dramas unfold and a slowly building animosity forms between the survivors and ‘The Others’. Mysteries abound and characters develop in the exciting season of Lost that carries on the excellent torch of the first series and introduces some interesting new characters to the intriguing mix. It only slips behind the greatness of the first series because of the slowing of pace, but this is a minor flaw in an exciting and revealing season of one addictive and mind-bending TV show.
Firstly, the opening and revealing of the hatch is very intriguing as well as the introduction to Desmond. He is really shaping up to be an interesting character in the season and the whole repeating numbers is really nail-biting. I do hope that Desmond returns to the series after his brief appearances in season 2 because he really is a riveting and complex character who is played very well by Henry Ian Cusick.This season really has suspense going for it, whether it be ‘The Others’ walking in bone chilling silence through the jungle or the visions of Walt that Shannon(Maggie Grace) begins to see in which he talks backwards. I also found the episode in which the Tailies is explored and we see how they have adapted to survival riveting to watch. I liked how the writers crafted certain episodes from one character’s point of view and then showed us another side of the events replayed.As with the last series, the score is an eerie, mysterious and sonically intriguing listen. The territorial conflict with ‘The Others’ also makes for compulsive viewing as the battle for leadership on the island increases rapidly and the sinister presence of the smoke monster appears again. I like how the writers through the flashbacks reveal that our characters are not strangers and how their paths have crossed before. It may be a little detail in this great season, but it’s definitely a memorable one for me.It’s only at certain times that balancing the chills with some of the stories that don’t really amount to much that the season loses some of its greatness. This is mainly embodied in Charlie’s(Dominic Monaghan) arc; I feel sympathy for him as he is tempted to do drugs again but his centric episode in which he believes he is the one to take care of baby Aaron is far from great and really jeopardises the blossoming relationship he has with Claire(Emilie de Ravin). But with that little flaw out the way, the season does expand magnificently on many of the character’s lives prior to the crash.
The newer characters, Ana Lucia, Mr.Eko and Libby make for interesting additions to the series. Michelle Rodriguez embodies the outwardly cold and tough persona whilst letting the audience glimpse the traumas of her past when she was a cop. The main incident that affected her was when she was shot at by a criminal which caused her to lose the baby she was carrying. In flashback, Ana Lucia located the criminal and killed him by shooting, she later quit the force. Because of these traumas, she takes on an unsympathetic attitude to those around her as she can’t face the inner pain. It is Ana Lucia who provides the season with one shocking and unexpected moments, the accidental killing of Shannon. Shannon is convinced that she has seen Walt in the jungle and heads out looking for him with Sayid(Naveen Andrews). After breaking down and telling Sayid that everyone around her abandons her, she hears whispers and sees Walt again. Running into the rain-soaked jungle, Shannon is mistaken for one of ‘The Others’ by Ana Lucia who shoots her. The scene is all the more tragic because Shannon was starting to become a character you could warm to as the season progressed and she died trying to do a good deed. A cruel irony hangs over the scene because Sayid promised he would never leave Shannon and unfortunately that admission is not able to be upheld because of her death. Sayid’s devastated reaction also leaves the viewer in a state of sadness as he carries the lifeless body of his lover back to the camp to the accompaniment of a mournful score as Ana Lucia follows with guilt written all over her face. Ana Lucia later meets her end when she is shot by a desperate Michael in a scene that I didn’t see coming. Mr. Eko makes for an interesting character because of his imposing presence and silent demeanor. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje shows us the deep regret of this character, who was a drug lord in Nigeria whose deals ultimately led to his brother dying. Since the death of his brother, he has found religion but has still never forgotten what happened to his brother. Libby(Cynthia Watros) is a good character for season 2. Cynthia Watros imbues her with a sympathetic personality that also has a glint of mystery. Libby, like Ana Lucia, is also shot by Michael and later dies from the wounds in a heartbreaking scene as Hurley cries at her bedside, mourning the loss of the woman who truly made him feel whole. Another cryptic character that appears is Henry Gale(Michael Emerson), who is captured by Danielle Rousseau, the mysterious French woman stranded on the island for sixteen years who believes that Henry is not to be trusted. Michael Emerson plays Henry with a quiet but highly manipulative streak that lulls the viewer into a false sense of security. He has this snake-like ability to drip poison in the ears of the other characters and wreak havoc with the smallest word. It is later revealed that Rousseau was right not to trust Henry as he turns out to be one of ‘The Others’.
Even though it might not reach the heights of the last season, Lost scores highly on character development and cryptic mystery. A prominent story in Season 2 is the love triangle between Jack, Kate and Sawyer. Kate finally kisses Jack but is torn between the two. The dynamic between the three is very interesting to watch as you wonder who Kate will eventually get with. Kate’s past is further explored, revealing that she killed her father because of his abuse towards her mother. The incident sets up Kate’s emotional state and how she was attempting to save her mother but in turn ended up on the run from justice. Most of the success revolving around Kate’s character is down to Evangeline Lilly, who projects a steely strength and quiet vulnerability. Also in flashbacks, Jack’s marriage crumbles after his wife admits to having an affair. As in the last season, Matthew Fox portrays Jack with subtle skill revealing the depths of this character as he continues in his position of leader. Josh Holloway also gets some great one-liners as the sarcastic but wounded Sawyer. Claire regains her memory and recalls encountering a girl who it appears is the Alex, the kidnapped daughter of Danielle. The girl helped her escape from Ethan who was attempting to take Aaron. Claire’s flashbacks are loaded with enigma and creepy symbolism that really has me interested into what will happen next in her arc. Harold Perrineau excellently portrays Michael’s descent into desperation as he attempts to locate Walt, whilst doing everything in his power to get there. He enters into a deal with ‘The Others’ to free Henry and betray his friends by bringing them to the sinister group who own the island. Hurley, portrayed with humour and pathos by Jorge Garcia, is just as likable as he was last season. If anything the season excels at showing the serious side to Hurley and the various underlying issues he’s had to deal with. His budding relationship with Libby is also a very nice touch but the tragic loss of Libby is truly heart wrenching. Locke is still one of the most fascinating characters in the show. Played with a wise but dangerous knowledge by Terry O’Quinn he continues to test the audience into wondering what his true intentions are. And it’s great to see Sun(Yunjin Kim) and Jin(Daniel Dae Kim) back together after their breakup when it was revealed Sun could speak English, the fact that she’s pregnant brings them closer together after drifting apart.
So all I have left to say is Lost Season 2 is a worthy entry in the series. It may not be as great as season 1, but it has more than enough positives to rank it extremely high on my list of excellently crafted television. Hopefully Season 3 can carry on the success of the first and second season.