LOST: Remembering TV's Best Show Seven Years Later
'What makes you think letting go is so easy?'It's a question John Locke posed to Jack Shephard in [...]
"What makes you think letting go is so easy?"
It's a question John Locke posed to Jack Shephard in the mindbending flash-sideways world created in LOST's sixth and final season. As it turns out, the millions of fans of the ABC series will agree with Jack's response when it comes to this show: "It's never been easy."
LOST is, was, and always will be one of the bravest and best shows on television. The divisive series has two crowds: those who respond to "Did you watch LOST?" with "I watched it for a couple of seasons and then it got weird," and those who quickly remark, "Yes, I love that show. It's the best. I've watched it all the way through so many times."
The latter crowd is the correct crowd to be in.
It has now been seven years since Jack Shephard closed his eye as Kate Austen, James Ford, Miles Strom, Frank Lapidus, Richard Alpert, and Claire Littleton jetted off of the island right above him.
May 23, 2010.
The world learned the fates of each character on the series would be to spend eternity together. Each had been plucked from an imperfect existence and hurled into a journey of survival which taught them more about themselves than any of their diverse experiences prior to Oceanic 815's crash on the mystical island.
Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse's series created a roster of characters which any viewer could find a number of whom they can relate to, whether they liked it or not. Be it Jack's constant urge to fix things, Locke's constant sense of hopeless longing for belonging, Kate's refusal to become too close to anyone, or Boone's yearning for love in the wrong places... The series geniously crafted characters into people who felt like family for viewers. It was unlike anything before it and anything which has tried to follow.
Going For It All
LOST was never scared.
Launching only a few years after the horrific attack of September 11, the series was built on a plane crash and dove head on into making a good guy out of a character who served in the Republican Guard. It was one of many redemption arcs for characters who appeared condemned.
The series created a monster in its very first episode which would rip a clinging-to-life pilot from his cockpit, spattering his blood across the windshield before chasing the show's core characters through a jungle. In fact, the move was so risky, the ABC executives wanted to remove the monster from the unforgettable Pilot episode but J.J. Abrams insisted on keeping the key part of the episode and show from the beginning. The show kept it as originally planned.
Every season, the show managed to drop jaws with mindblowing cliffhangers. Before the world wondered "Who did Negan kill?" or "Is Jon Snow really dead?" the questions of "What's in the hatch?" and "Where did Michael and Walt go on that boat?" were the hottest topics and fans loved it.prevnext
Then, there were all of the questions... How can Locke walk again? What is the smoke monster? Who are the Others? What's in the hatch? Did Juliet really just undo everything we watched and experienced for five years? What is the island? Why is Christian Shephard so important? How does Walt do these things by simply imagining them? Why is the island under water?
Many of the questions were left plainly unanswered.
Some of the questions were merely provided blurry explanations which fans refused to accept after committing so many years to a world filled with strangers whispering in a jungle and an island that can move through time. All of this was part of what made LOST the juggernaut series it was from its earliest episodes. The questions intrigued the audience and the characters kept them watching.
In the end, the most important question the show ever presented was answered in its finale: what happens to the characters?prevnext
While the ending of Lost is often debated by fans, there is one definitive ruling on what was really happening in the final season and moments of the series.
Benjamin Linus actor Michael Emerson recently offered his take on the finale, which kept his character apart from the rest as they moved on together.
"The one thing I'm sure of on the show is that everything you saw happen on the island really happened," Emerson said. "Let's call that the first five seasons. All of that is real."
It was Season 6, in the flash sideways scenes, where the characters finally began to move on.
"The ending is way in the future. Years, centuries, millenia have past," Emerson said. "We're in an anti-chamber to the hereafter, to eternity, if you will. All the characters on the show have come here to celebrate the end of life. They're all gonna pass through to a happy afterlife. Just as in a Shakespeare, everybody goes two by two. It's couples. That's because, I think, by the rules of LOST, you can only pass into heaven (if you want to call it that) with a mirror redeemer. With someone who has loved you without reservation. for yourself."
It all happened. They were never dead the whole time. They created connections with each other and, more importantly, with fans. The actors who portrayed each character have been seared into the minds of fans. Matthew Fox will forever be Jack Shephard, a man of science converted into a man of faith by the compelling, hopeful, and all-too-heartbreakingly unlucky John Locke.
While the finale was inarguably controversial, it was brave and concluded the story of LOST in beautiful fashion.
If there was one mantra LOST proudly lived by, it was the iconic phrase John Locke uttered in the fourth episode...
"Don't ever tell me what I can't do."prev