After breaking up with ABCʼs “Lost” a year ago, why does my ass still hurt?
For six years, millions of viewers around the globe looked on as the hit television series “Lost” tackled themes like spirituality, time travel, and, well…jungle-adapted polar bears. A group of models strangers stranded on a mysterious island with its even more mysterious inhabitants became a cult phenomenon. There was no such thing as a casual “Lost” fan, and even people who despised the premise of the show had at least one friend who disappeared into isolation for 60 minutes religiously at the same time every week to get their doctor-prescribed ﬁx.
Being a fan of “Lost” meant that you needed to have the ability to tolerate being spoon-fed the tiniest morsels of information necessary to piece together the ongoing narrative while being withheld the main course. “Lost” asked its viewers to become men or women of faith; to trust that the most captivating mysteries of the show would be answered in due time in the most awesome, unstable, black rock dynamite exploding fashion. And this faith was contingent upon executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuseʼs promises that they had the show planned out from the beginning. They assured us that they werenʼt just making this stuff up along the way. In fact, during the season three writers strike hiatus, the duo negotiated an ofﬁcial end date with ABC executives because they feared that the show would end up running on fumes.
I mean, lets face it: when you watch an episode centered on how Dr. Jack Shepherd got his off-island tattoo from some sketchy gypsy tat artist, you kind of have to agree with them.
The show aired its ﬁnal episode on May 23, 2010 before Lindelof and Cuse vanished into obscurity, swearing to never to discuss the show’s mysteries in detail again. And that would have been ﬁne for most hardcore fans…if they actually answered the mysteries they created in the ﬁrst place. If you were a fan of “Lost” who watched because you were overly intrigued about whether Kate was going to wind up with Jack or Sawyer at the end, then my view on the ending of the show will probably seem hyper-critical. But this is for the professors who taught “Lost”-inspired classes, for the nerds and closet nerds who debated the greatest intellectual mysteries of the show in rabid fervor on their lunch breaks, and for the hypothesizers who wrote 30-page theories ﬁlled with mathematical equations and geographic positioning triangulations trying to determine the whereabouts of The Island. In layman’s terms, it’s for fans of the show that felt burned, betrayed, maybe even up-the-rear-ended by the Swiss cheese conclusion of the series.
Adding insult to injury, Damon and Carlton released a statement saying that “Lost” has always been a show about these characters, insinuating that the hardcore fans of the show who watched every scene frame by frame scouring for clues to the bigger mythos didnʼt get the point. I guess the hidden Easter eggs in virtually every 120 seconds of footage were just magically placed there without the intention of meticulous viewers spotting them? The producers referenced Star Wars and how George Lucas essentially destroyed the mythology in the prequels by explaining too much about how The Force works (ie. midi-chlorians.) I would agree with them, except for the fact that Star Wars is a movie franchise, not a television series. People who invested six years of their lives watching “Lost” should want answers to all, if not the majority, of the questions created. Itʼs absolutely ridiculous and a total cop out for the producers to think otherwise. Itʼs like saying millions of people watched “The X-Files” to see if Mulder and Scully were going to get hitched at the end. So after five and a half years of following the show and wondering what the hell is really going on with this Island, the best that you can give us is a “Bright Light” is the culprit?Really? Thatʼs it?!
I once heard a friend refer to “Lost” as a selﬁsh girlfriend that just kept taking and taking but never gave anything back. No show has and will monopolize so much of my time, imagination, and income. It was a hell of a ride, and unlike some hardcore fans of the show, I do not look back on the six-year run as a complete waste of life. Just donʼt expect me to be ﬁrst in line when JJ Abrams and company decide to concoct another heavily serialized drama.
THE TOP FIVE “LOST” MYSTERIES YOUʼLL NEVER GET ANSWERS TO
1) WAAALLLTTTTTT Lloyd
People died over this kid. Hell, the ﬁrst two seasons of the show did nothing but build to the notion that Walt was a big bird-killing deal. If youʼre going to eliminate the unbridled hotness that is Michelle Rodiguez to get this magical kid back from The Others, there needs to be a justiﬁable reason. It seemed as though the writers were planning for Walt to play a more important role, but due to a growth spurt had to be written out of the show. Casting a child actor on the verge of puberty that you intended to be a central character to the mythology might have been the most careless “Lost” executive decision of all.
2) The Numbers – 4 8 15 16 23 42
Few “Lost” mysteries got more recurring series attention than the dreaded numbers. The numbers were responsible for shipwrecking Rousseauʼs boat, ruining Hurleyʼs off-island life, and was the code used to stop the Dharma Initiative SWAN Station from going all Chernobyl on the Losties. So what was the actual signiﬁcance of these numbers? Your guess is as good as mine, as the writers of the show never gave us a true, deﬁnitive answer to one of the shows most intriguing mysteries.
3) What did Juliet detonating Jughead do?
During the season five ﬁnale, the Losties followed through with Daniel Faradayʼs plan to prevent Oceanic Flight 815 from ever crashing on the island. To accomplish this they traveled to the SWAN site to detonate the nuke on top of the pocket of electromagnetic energy. Naturally, all hell breaks loose on the surface, as Juliet struggles to detonate the plutonium core manually (ie, smacking nuclear device repeatedly with large rock). With her last thud of effort, Juliet hits the bomb on the money and we are treated with a white-screened black-logoed episode ending, which is a direct contrast to every episode’s ending prior. When season six starts we were tricked into believing that Julietʼs sacriﬁce worked and that Ocean Flight 815 lands safely at LAX. Later on, we discover that this is actually a sideways reality or a plane of existence closer to purgatory. So then the question remains, what did Juliet actually do when she detonated Jughead?
4) Jacob vs. The Man in Black vs. Mother
Sooooo, two normal shipwrecked kids get kidnapped by an island deity and forced to live a life of service to the island for reasons unknown. After “Mother” is eliminated by our favorite unnamed baddass, Jacob and MIB play a time-traveling game of tug-of-war with each trying to either one-up or kill the other in the process. The two canʼt kill each other directly because…because, well…because, well, “Mother” said so. Who is “Mother?” Where did she come from? Another answerless “Lost” mystery that I considered vital to understanding the true nature of their triangle of conﬂict.
5) What is “The Island?”
A spaceship, a wormhole, an Emmitt Brown project gone wrong? Little has been said about the most mysterious star of the show. Ah well, there’s always the eventual remake…cringe.
Am I being too critical? Was I too lenient? Should I reorganize the list? Gimme your thoughts.