Deliriously Lost in LOST

LOST - The ConstantI have been a fan of the ABC show LOST from the very beginning, with the terrifying crash of Oceanic 815 on the island (I don’t think airlines will ever be showing that episode anytime soon). I held on through seasons two and three, reveling in the introduction of Ben (played by Michael Emerson) – best multi-faceted villain EVER! – and even weathering through the bizarre introduction of Nikki and Paolo. And lo, I have been rewarded with this season of LOST, the very best of the LOST seasons yet.

What makes this show so great? Part of it is that the creators and writers of the series (hats off to you, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, and Carlton Cuse) proceed on the assumption that the audience is pretty smart. Frankly, the series must be an absolute bear to plot out episode by episode: you have to keep the timeline of the island in mind, manage multiple inter-character relationships and dynamics, provide illuminating flashback or flashforward sequences, throw in clues to keep the ultimate mystery moving forward, and throw in Easter eggs and allusions to philosophy, religion, physics and more for the really obsessive fan (me, I’m only mildly obsessive).

But – and this is a big but (sorry, my inner fourteen year old couldn’t help itself) – many of the episodes stand up as standalone episodes, so that even the newer, uninitiated viewer could watch and be sucked into the drama. The best example of that from this season was “The Constant,” written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. In this episode, Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) has the mother of all bad reactions while traveling to the ship and begins literally to ping back and forth through time; he must find something or someone constant to both times and places to survive. Confusing to the new viewer? You bet. But also confusing to the veteran fan, who spent the first act wondering what kind of bizarro flashback this was. Ultimately, the episode gives us one of the most moving love stories that LOST has given us to date. Desmond connects with his constant – his star-crossed love Penny, with whom he hasn’t spoken in eight years. Their conversation interrupts and overlaps like waves slapping against the shore:

Penny: I’ll find you, Des-
Desmond:-I promise-
Penny:-No matter what-
Desmond: -I’ll come back to you-
Penny: -I won’t give up-
Both: I promise. I love you.

Wow. Goosebumps and welling eyes. It was a truly powerful episode.

What’s been your favorite this season?

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