A quick introduction: My name is BC Smith. I run a movie-news twitter feed and a business blog. A little over a month ago, I started watching Lost, and a little over a week ago, I finished watching it. TPG was kind enough to allow me to do this guest post chronicling my epic experience. What follows is Part 2 of 2. Enjoy.
Much Ado About Lost
Make no mistake, Lost is ridiculous. But, of course, it all makes perfect sense when you're watching it.
"Why does that Middle-Earth guy have a Virgin Mary statue?"
"It has heroin in it. He got it from the drug-smuggling plane Mr. Echo's brother was in."
"Mr. Echo came to the island in a plane filled with heroin?"
"No, no. Mr. Echo was a priest on flight 815. This was years ago, back when he did smuggle drugs. He just happened to crash on the same island that his brothers' plane did, many year ago."
"That doesn't make any sense. What's that clicking sound?"
"I'm walking away."
And, of course, it only got worse. By the final season, trying to explain the plot of Lost to the uninitiated was indistinguishable from the schizophrenic ramblings of a mental patient. Suddenly, I felt like the crazed homeless person at the back of the bus, mumbling frantically to myself about a mysterious man in black, a smoke-monster disguised as an old friend, and an underground pool of magic light. "Don't take out the cork! Don't take out the cork or the magic light will drain like bath water!"
It's amazing to me how quickly you can get drawn into the world of Lost. Within the first couple days (read: 10 or 12 episodes in), I already felt like I'd been watching the show for a year. I had already formed strong opinions about the characters, I had invested myself in (some of) their back stories, and I was already used to being left in the dark.
When I was preparing to start my epic journey, a coworker of mine braced me by saying, "Lost has a way of answering questions without really answering them." In hindsight, I would amend his statement to, "Lost has a way of not answering questions at all."
Watching the show in such a brief period of time has only made that much all the more obvious to me. With such a crystal-clear memory of nearly every season, I was painfully aware when things didn't add up or pay off.
For me, the best set up that didn't deliver was the entire Walt subplot, thwarted by puberty, no doubt.
Juliet: Does Walt ever show up in places where doesn't belong?
Me: Why yes, he does. Sometimes he appears, dripping wet, speaking in tongues.
Juliet: Let's never speak of it again.
Me: Oh. Okay.
I must say though, probably the most different thing about watching Lost all at once, is that I wasn't theorizing. Like, at all. There were no weeks of waiting and wondering and blogging about the show. There weren't even minutes of waiting. There were always new shows to watch. I didn't actually catch up until the day before the final episode. It was that down to the wire. So while most people into the show have spent at least a few years speculating about the mysteries of the island, I just sort of pushed on, confident that all would be revealed in due time. Sure, I had questions. "What did Rosseau mean when she called the smoke monster a 'security device?'" for instance. (By the way, what did she mean by that?)
But having all those answers waiting around the corner dramatically altered how I looked at the show. It wasn't my weekly dose of mystery, intrigue, and inter-island sexual trysts. It was more like my hourly morphine fix. All I had to do was press the little button beside my bed, and Lost would just drip, drip, drip into me.
So what of the ending? I liked it, personally. It was satisfying and touching. But... it still didn't feel complete to me. The alternate dimension/purgatory business was wrapped up. But that was a plot device which existed exclusively in the sixth season. It was a great ending for that season, but not quite as cohesive an ending for the entire series as I would have hoped for.
No show is perfect, and I never would expect Lost to be an exception. But I think the reason has gotten all of the flack that it has over the years is because-- at its best, it's a show that has reached levels of brilliance and entertainment unparalleled in recent television history. Certainly no other show could have ever inspired me to dedicate over 120 hours to it--5 entire days of uninterrupted viewing--in a single month. But I did it because I loved the show. I loved the characters. I loved the stories. I loved the questions, and I loved the answers. When there were answers.
But even that isn't why I started watching the show. I started watching because, put simply: I wanted to be there. Lost was a cultural and entertainment pheneomenon, one that was coming to an end. And I wanted to be a part of it. It was something special, something I didn't want to miss. I paid the price, and I put in the hours--some rewarding, some less so--but in the end it was completely worth it. In fact, I would do it all over again. And, if anyone ever turns that secret ice-wheel I keep in my basement, I just might have to.
Thanks again to TPG for letting me post here. Follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook, or just send me money via Paypal. Thanks for reading.