Episode 39 – Retrospective: Lost

Say what you want about the way this series ended.

Go ahead, get it off your chest. I promise you I’ve heard it all before.

You finished? Okay great. My turn.

Love it or hate it, we are still talking about this show four years after it ended.

Were a lot of questions left unanswered? Most definitely. Were there some unsatisfactory character notes? Sure were.

So why is Lost so important even still today? Because, quite frankly, it was one of the first network television shows to take hard Science Fiction elements and make them palatable for the masses. Rod Serling would have loved this show.

Watching the pilot, wherein a ragtag (albeit ridiculously good looking) group of survivors waits for a rescue boat, I never would have imagined that 6 years later we’d end up with a Holy Man living in the base of a 4-toed statue while half of the original group were stuck in 1977 trying to reset time via hydrogen bomb. Yeah! That’s a thing that happened!


I can't make this shit up.

I can’t make this shit up.


So why did this show make us care about Science Fiction? I call it the Desmond effect.




The Jesus look – totally unintentional.



The introduction of the character Desmond Hume coincides with the introduction of the larger mythology of the show. Desmond is the harbinger, he brings the science and he brings it hard. The writers cleverly took this character, made him the coolest, most likable guy in the world (the accent was the cherry on top) and uses him to slowly infuse heavier and heavier science fiction and fantasy elements over the course of the show.


It’s Desmond who introduces the audience to The Dharma Initative and it’s fringe science, it’s Desmond who shows the audience prescience in his visions of Charlie’s imminent demise. It’s Desmond who Billy Pilgrims his way through season 4. And we couldn’t get enough of it. I know I sure couldn’t. I was drawn to Desmond’s story (and his undying love for Penny) like a fly to honey. The more invested I became in the character, the more I wanted to know about what was happening to him. What did Electromagnetism have to do with it? What about predestination? Why couldn’t he change the past?


This was also one of the first shows that really grasped it’s role as cultural phenomenon. It engaged the watcher. It left clues, encouraged you to dig deeper. Remember all the easter eggs around the Hanso Foundation? In the days before Twitter, the show engaged with it’s audience in a way that almost no show has before or since (maybe Community).


Granted, there was a lot of drama and love-triangle nonsense that got old after a while. And you know what? The writers addressed that. No one was allowed to be happy on this show! I think that’s why the ending was like a warm, fuzzy blanket I just wanted to curl up into. Happy Endings for everyone!


Define "Happy"

Define “Happy”


So say what you want about the ending, I’ve heard it all before. And you know what? I still love it.


If you want to know more, here’s an amusing little recap of the first 5 seasons. Here is my attempt to “summarize” 6 seasons of Lost. 


Beau grew up in South Carolina but now calls Portland home. She can get by pretty much anywhere as long as she has her books, iPhone and Netflix.

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