Lost (Season 3)

Lost was made for this new age of obsessive TV-on-DVD consumption — or, more accurately, Lost helped make it. Slo-mo replays, extras, and commentary are now essential components of any serious fan’s to-do list, and no exception should be made even for Lost: Season 3, the spottiest batch of episodes to date.

The forces behind Lost know this so well, in fact, that they use this six-disc set to craft a bit of revisionist history — copping to their storytelling mistakes in funny, forthcoming commentary on a selection of pivotal episodes including the season opener, Ben’s (Michael Emerson) backstory, and Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Sawyer’s (Josh Holloway) intercage hookup. ”The fact that we’re gonna spend the next five-plus hours in the cages makes me realize why the audience got so angry at us,” admits exec producer Damon Lindelof. He and exec producer Carlton Cuse, plus stars like Emerson, Holloway, and Lilly, explain themselves so entertainingly that their conversation — which drops precious trivia bits along the way — often outshines the episodes themselves. (The late, hated Nikki, played by Kiele Sanchez, was conceived as a writers’-room joke in season 1! Raiders of the Lost Ark‘s Karen Allen inspired the sequence in which the Others make Kate wear a girly dress!) It’s worth the $59.99 price tag just to have Cuse and Emerson talk you through Ben and Locke’s (Terry O’Quinn) confrontation with the invisible — and then, briefly, clearly there — Jacob, while keeping your finger on the pause button. By the time they’re done, you can’t help but like season 3 a little more, despite its faults.

The loads of other extras — including the genuinely fascinating segment documenting one arduous day behind the scenes, from sound, props, and wardrobe to location shoots in Hawaii — are also sure to placate grumblers. We could do without the toy and videogame promos and the mostly lame deleted scenes and bloopers, but no one can complain about not having enough. And it doesn’t hurt to cap it all off with a second viewing of that mind-blowing, flash-forwarding, thank-you-for-finding-my-Lost-again finale that changed everything. It’ll make you anticipate the show’s February return —and curse the writers’ strike that could cut the next season short. A-

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