The penultimate Lost Friday is upon us. The end is near.
You know, for a guy that has devoted the last six years of his life to a television show, you’d think that I’d be heartbroken about Lost coming to an end. You’d think that for the weeks and months to follow, I’d brokenly stumble through life alone and afraid, like a mother duck that just watched all 15 of her babies fall through the sewer grate one at a time. Truth is, I already do that, and truthier still, I’m more than happy to see Lost go.
I’m not sad, depressed, bummed or bittersweet. I’m excited and thrilled to know that one of my favorite TV shows of all-time is getting the proper sendoff that it deserves. I’m going to have a barbecue, drink about eleventy-thousand bottles of Miller High Life and enjoy the best-written and most engaging TV drama in history, because hey, that’s what we all deserve to do. At the very least, we owe it to ourselves for sticking it out to the very end (ratings have been as high as 20 million in Season One, and as low at 7 million in Season Six).
We’re not going to get every question answered. Probably not even a quarter of them. Furthermore, a lot of ‘questions’ have already been answered in some sort of roundabout way, and that’s as good as it’s going to get. I’ve accepted this. After 120 episodes of whispers and mysteries, expecting the writers to break their time-tested storytelling formula to merely put the fans at ease is a cop out. The feeling of confusion is the state that we’re supposed to be in when we watch Lost.
I’ve never, not once, watched an episode and walked away feeling as if I totally understood. And in this day and age of freeze-framing, online discussion and merciless fanboy dissection, that is a nearly impossible feat to achieve. What’s more, they took all of that confusion, all of that mystery and frustration, and somehow turned it into the most fun, worthwhile and philosophically deep series we’ve ever seen.
The secret to Lost isn’t the writers and producers. It’s not the beautiful Island location, music and cinematography. The money spent on the most expensive (and greatest) Pilot episode in Television history. It’s not the twisted, theme-driven plotline of redemption, faith and free will. It’s not the humor, violence, double-crossing, sex or explosions. Much like what Jacob has always known, the secret to the Island (and the show) is the cast of characters that have been invited; the cast of characters we’ve watched for so long now. A cast unlike any other; a deep, rich, diverse crew of established and unknown actors and actresses, forming a seamless, interwoven bond between anything and everything thrown at them.
The writers did such a good job with character development, that each and every character on Lost could have gotten their own personal TV series, and it would have been interesting and watchable. And we’re talking dozens of characters, here. However, none of that would have meant anything had we not cared about these people to begin with. What would Lost have been like had Josh Holloway not played Sawyer? Michael Emerson as Ben? Terry O’Quinn as Locke?
Creating a character in a Writer’s Room is one thing, but these people brought these folks to life in a way that’s absolutely admirable in retrospect, and I’m presuming that a huge amount of fame, wealth and work is lined up for each and every member of the cast now that Lost is no longer their 9-to-5 (you’re telling me that you wouldn’t watch a romantic comedy starring Josh Holloway and Evangeline Lilly?). Don’t worry about never seeing these people again, because for a lot of them, their careers are just beginning.
Lost can be watched and enjoyed on multiple levels. It can be dissected on a base, character level. A mythological level. Even a morality, theme-based level. You can watch it because it brings to light a number of religious and spiritual theories that no other television show had the intelligence to make interesting. Also you can watch it merely because you think that Yunjin Kim is adorable. Anything you could possibly want is there for the taking in some way.
As Jacob said, everyone is flawed. The heroes are anti-heroes. The villains force you to feel sympathetic for them. Benjamin Linus may go down in TV history as the most evil, manipulative psychopath of all-time, yet I’m still rooting for him to have a happy ending, as I find myself pitying him and his circumstances every other week. That’s beautiful. That’s just like real life.
On Sunday, we’re going to sit in front of our televisions and watch a massive Lost retrospective from 6-8pm Central. There, they will go over all of the talking points I mentioned, along with all the reasons why the show has changed the very landscape of modern entertainment (their mobisodes and alternate-reality games made the Internet explode and allowed for constant theorization and interaction, a platform that will probably become the norm within the next decade). As we watch, we may feel a certain sense of pride. A sense that maybe, we as fans had a little something to do with its success. A sense that we’ve all been in this together from Day One, and now, we’re all finally getting to experience what we’ve been waiting for as a single unit.
Then, from 8-10:30pm Central, we’re going to watch the feature film-length series finale. Not one, not two, but two-and-a-half hours of Lost, culminating with the final curtain at 11pm Central, as the cast and crew show up on Jimmy Kimmel Live to bask in their job well done (and show alternate endings, which is a can’t miss).
Then, well…that’s it. It’s over. It’s finally over.
You know, for a guy that has devoted the last six years of his life to a television show, you’d think that I’d be heartbroken about Lost coming to an end. However, I couldn’t be more excited. When I started the CDP in 2004, Lost didn’t even exist as a television show, so how was I to know that in addition to my personal essays, I’d go on to write thousands of pages of material about it? Actually earn fans and readers because of it? It’s been good to me in many ways, and I’m more than ready for The End.
So, with that in mind, here’s your second-to-last Lost Friday ever. Please enjoy.
Matthew Fox, a man with thousands of hours of television and film experience, looks directly into the camera, instantly destroying suspension of disbelief and causing seven million viewers to shit themselves in unison.
“Ben, did I ever tell you about the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville? I needed a new heel for my shoe, so I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville back in those days. I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter,’ you’d say. Now where were we? Oh yeah—the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get were those big yellow ones…”
You may notice that Michael Emerson is sporting a real-life black eye in this scene. It was given to him by accident during the scene where Desmond pummels him in the school parking lot. Don’t say I never taught you anything.
“Hurley, I’m going to let you in on a secret. I accidentally dropped a can of OFF! into the campfire behind me, so I’d estimate that we have about two seconds before our eyebrows get blown clean off.”
There you have it. 106 recaps down, just one more to go. Enjoy the finale this weekend, but remember to come back here next week, because Lost doesn’t end until the CDP says so. Sound off in the comments section and catch up on Season 6 of Lost Friday by following the links below. Bye.
Season 6 – Episode 1/2.
Season 6 – Episode 3.
Season 6 – Episode 4.
Season 6 – Episode 5.
Season 6 – Episode 6.
Season 6 – Episode 7.
Season 6 – Episode 8.
Season 6 – Episode 9.
Season 6 – Episode 10.
Season 6 – Episode 11.
Season 6 – Episode 12.
Season 6 – Episode 13.
Season 6 – Episode 14.
Season 6 – Episode 15.
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