‘Lost’: The Experience (Rachel, Don’t Read This…)

Disclaimer: If you haven’t seen Lost (and plan to at some point, as everyone in their right mind should)don’t read this as it contains some minor spoilers.

While I was abroad for five months in England last semester (wait…I went abroad?), I accomplished (and did) a lot. I traveled through ten different countries, ate my weight in gyros, and actually appreciated cloudy weather. My highlight, however, was none of the culturally-enriching experiences I had. The thing I am most proud of is watching the entirety of Lost  in six weeks. The peak of my obsession with this show, measured in how much of my day I spent watching it, was at the start: I finished the first season (which comprises 25 45-minute long episodes) in four days. Four. Days. At one point during that long weekend, I didn’t leave my flat for 72 hours straight.

“But, Merilla,” you may wonder. “Why waste your time watching a TV show that you could easily watch in the states instead of going out and ~exploring~ all that England has to offer?”

Answer: I’m 100% more emotionally invested in Lost than I am in any of the relationships or friendships in my life (except the one I have with my soulmate, Rachel, of course. RACHEL, STOP READING THIS IF YOU ARE READING IT. SPOILERS AHEAD). No show, with the exception of The Vampire Diaries (don’t judge me), has made me feel so many emotions at once. Anger, confusion, sadness, more confusion because what the hell is going on, disgust, EVEN MORE CONFUSION BECAUSE TIME TRAVEL??? CONSPIRACIES??? THE NUMBERS??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? WHAT IS HAPPENING? My Tumblr post from earlier this year accurately captures my love-hate relationship with this show:

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I am not exaggerating when I say that watching Lost changed me. It is hands down the most complicated show I’ve watched (simmer down, Game of Thrones fans) as there are layers on layers on layers. Just when you think it can’t get more complex, it does, and you just sit there like (*〇□〇)……!(whatever that means).

So, what sent me (and millions of other fans) into the dark rabbit hole obsession that is Lost? What makes this show so freakin’ timeless? For me, it’s first and foremost the characters. When I watch a show, and I don’t empathize with or relate to any of the characters, I lose interest within ten minutes (granted, my attention span is about ten seconds, but that’s another post for another day). The development and backstory of each of the characters stranded on this mysterious island are revealed in pieces throughout the first few seasons. Each flashback (and flash forward, if you make it that far into the show), answers some questions while presenting new ones, never fully painting the entire picture. You don’t have to like all of the characters and, Lord knows, I hate some of them, but there are very few boring characters. And, honestly, the boring characters in the show are either never focused on or killed off in the same episode they were introduced (RIP, Nikki and Paulo, you are not missed). Though two of the main stars, Jack and Kate, are the ones I find by far the most obnoxious, the rest of the cast makes up for the deficits that they cause with their stupid love triangle and angsty nonsense.

The second thing that kept me motivated throughout watching this show was simply genuine curiosity. When they introduced time travel in Season 5, I just needed to know how that would affect the rest of the storyline. Also, once I got halfway through Season 1, there were so many loose ends that there was no way I could have stopped and been satisfied just reading all the spoilers. Speaking of spoilers, don’t even try. They will just confuse the hell out of you. This is coming from the girl who has spoiled every existing Game of Thrones storyline. Trying to make sense of spoilers from the Lost Wikipedia page is just as confusing, if not more so, than just watching the show, so just find the time to watch. It’s only 121 episodes after all. That’s child’s play.

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Lost is timeless. I’m re-watching it at one pace with Adam and Rachel and then at another (much…much…slower and deeply unsatisfying) pace with Zander, and I’m enjoying every minute of it. I’m picking up on (read: people have pointed out to me) important details that I completely missed the first time around because I would watch literally ten episodes at a time to the point where they all became a blur. Each crucial plot point still has the same effect, and making certain connections, with the new knowledge of how all the storylines end, is practically like watching a different show. I probably understood 50% of what was going on the first time around and now I’m up to about 70%. Once I re-watch the entire series with my parents, sister, children, and grandchildren, I’ll be hitting a cool 80%.

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Now, for that ending (of the show…I guess this article, too): The strongest feelings I have about this show (besides how fiercely I ship Juliet and Sawyer which, by the way, is SO FIERCELY THEY ARE PERFECT TOGETHER) are about the ending. Let me just say this: I CANNOT STAND PEOPLE WHOSE EXPLANATION OF THE ENDING IS “THEY WERE DEAD THE WHOLE TIME.” 1. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. 2. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. 3. I T D O E S N T M A K E S E N S E . Fight me IRL on this. They were not dead the whole time, y’all. They went to heaven…at the end. So, how were they dead the whole time, like ??? People want to hate writers, so the make up stupid shit that makes the writers look bad just because the story didn’t end how they wanted it to end. Sure, Lost is a complicated mess of information, but I refuse to believe I sat through six glorious albeit insane seasons of this show just to settle for them being dead the entire time. That’s like going through your entire life eating ice cream for dessert every day before being told that your parents have been secretly replacing the real ice cream with some gross, dairy-free version aka a straight up lie. That parallel made about 50% of sense in my head and a whopping 25% once typed out, but the point is, the people who say the survivors of Oceanic 815 were dead the entire time and the Island represented ~Purgatory~ are the type of people who watch too much goddamn Supernatural and dropped “duality” in every other sentence in your high school freshman year English class. I have strong feelings and welcome disagreement, but you’re wrong @haters.

So, if you’re a newbie to Lost who read this despite my very clear warnings against doing so, my main message is to watch it. If you’re not invested after half of Season 1, then you’re not going to ever be invested in the show. But it is my personal belief that anyone who doesn’t get invested in Lost doesn’t have a heart or soul. No judgement, though.*

*A lie. I’m judging you a lot.

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