“Lost” TV Series Review

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After a plane crashes on an island, the survivors struggle to survive amidst the wreckage and casualties. Very quickly however, the survivors discover there are some strange things on the island, that they are not alone, and this island… has a mind of its own.

And so begins six seasons of a mystery/drama/thriller TV series we have come to know by one word.

Lost.

Story Summary

The Journey begins with a plane crash on a tropical island. We are introduced to 14 main Characters. Impressively enough, we get to know all of them quite well, and within just a few episodes care for them immensely. The night of the crash, a terrible noise is heard in the woods, and trees are destroyed. This is the first mystery introduced to the survivors. Soon after that, they go through various attempts to make a radio signal for rescue. Instead, they discover a french transmission played over and over. This person is discovered, and tells them about “The Others”. A dangerous group of people who kidnap a young plane survivor named Claire. Soon after this, One man, Locke, finds a hatch and is determined to open it. Some however, Jack, disagree. Some other survivors build a raft to escape, and this results in a Walt, the son of Michael, being kidnapped. At the end of season 1, the hatch is opened.

In seasons 2-3 we discover what the hatch was made for, that being the dharma initiative. We learn about that, but moreso the focus turns to the three main heroes- Kate, Sawyer, and Jack. Jack, being a spinal surgeon, is told to operate on the leader of the others. Through manipulation and deceit on both ends… he does. All are reunited after this experience, and the story begins to tell how the others came to live where they do. They learn how the island works in blocking radio signals. They manage to turn this off, but this results in some “bad guys” finding the island and threatening all life on it.

In seasons 4-6, things get even more convoluted. Time Travel, more characters, and more twists are introduced. More people die, the stakes are raised, and two battle lines are drawn. One to stay on the island, and one to leave it. By season six, time travel has worked itself  out, and a war begins for the control of the island. At the heart of it all, the black smoke attempts to escape to wreck havoc on the earth, which results in key main characters getting killed. In the end, all is resolved where the earth is saved. To quote the series “What happened happened, and everyone dies eventually“.

My Favorite Episode

With the hundreds of episodes in the Lost series, one stands out to me in terms of messages portrayed, Characters grown, and the story told. My favorite episode of the Series took Place in Series 2, Episode 4; “Everyone Hates Hugo”. In the midst of Some islanders being captured, we learn more about my favorite character- Hugo Reyes, affectionally called “Hurley”. This episodes contains some of the most character  growth of the series. We see Jack, who has power issues, relinquish control to one who is unqualified. We see Hurley learn to make and stand by decisions. A consistent Food  supply is discovered, and Hurley is tasked with with distributing it and rationing it. The problem comes when he realizes that he is in an apparent no-win situation. With the advice of Rose, the only apparent valid believer in God, Hugo creates a solution that is incredibly heart warming.  A solution in which, you almost forget that all are trapped on an island. A solution, that provides a rare, hopeful look at life and the people in it, and a revelation, that grants validity to faith. See, “Everyone Hates Hugo” isn’t just about what people think of Hurley, but about the hope and faith that comes from the little things in life. Because honestly, the little things aren’t that little to begin with.

Content Warnings

This show has been rated TV-14, and appropriately so. Violence is proficient in all the seasons, as the island is a dangerous place. People are shot, hung, stabbed, and crushed by various things and people… some less than explainable. Some are blown to bits, and others buried alive. Injuries are shown with plenty of blood, and several life saving surgeries are shown as well. At the end of the 5th season, the violence is so frequent- a person dies at least every episode. The total body count exceeds 200 by the end of the series (Yes, I did keep count). Unlike war however, these deaths are much more personal- and towards the latter end of the series, most disturbing.

Sexual content comes and goes based on the seasons. It is implied many times that some survivors sleep with each other. Aside from kissing, not much else is shown. Many of the women are shown in bikinis and scanty dress at times due to lack of clothing from the crash.

Mild to severe cursing is found in most episodes based on the situation. The D word, B word, and Hell used out of context are the most common. God’s name is used in vain occasionally, and Christ’s name is abused by one character quite a bit.

Closing Thoughts

I’ve never reviewed an entire TV series before, so am honestly not sure what I’m doing here. But I’m going to attempt to summarize everything regarding this show… while hopefully maintaining your interest.

Lost was the first series I can remember where I actually began to care about the characters portrayed in the show. These characters are so well shown through the shown flashbacks and personal choices, that you feel in some ways, you know them better than they know themselves. This is where the power and value of this TV show comes in. From the moment you see Jack standing on the beach in the first episode and save someone’s life, you are hooked on wanting to know what he does, how he got on that plane, why he did what he did. The amazing thing is, you wind up asking that about all of the main characters, and the show delivers. Through flashbacks of each person’s history, we grow to understand and care about each of these individuals across the first three seasons. Not because they are admirable, but because they are understandable. They are shown to be real people with real pain. You root for the  and cheer with them when they grow to be better. The development of these people is incredible to behold, and the attachment to some of them… quite irrational considering they are made up characters.

The island itself is something of a mystery too, but a much darker one. At the start it is clear the island is not a good place to be, nor has happy origins. As the show progresses, we find out many things which went on that resulted in murder, greed, genocide, and many other sins. It is not a place where good things happen, and yet, through the show, we see the main characters live some beautiful times together, even if they are stranded.

These people continue to grow, explore, and learn in great ways until the latter half of the series. Then something changes. A most unfortunate shift which, In my opinion, brought the show down immensely. Starting sometime in season 4, we see the change shift from the development of the characters, to the nature of the island. This results in an ever darkening path that, by the time I got to season 6, I didn’t care anymore about the island or the show in general- I just wanted to know how the characters were resolved.

We see the people grow according to their personal struggles, and in seeing that behold great examples of love, sacrifice, leadership, humility, honesty, and more. Sometimes we see a heartbreaking truth, other times it is a gross action which results in the appropriate consequence. By the end of the series, the characters have grown into entirely different people- some would say for the better. Still however, without a path.

That’s ultimately where Lost fails as a TV show. By the end of season 6, you are expecting an answer, a resolution, a concrete “Here’s the solution”. We never get it. We never are told why or how. The little explanations they do give, delve into the mythology of the island, which is to be honest, very resembling of a demonic nature. Death, is a created mix between purgatory and nirvana- unfounded and unexplained.  See, Lost isn’t about providing answers, it is about creating questions. Questions on reality, death, truth, the purpose of life, and many more things. It is about finding your way without a light, without a clear guide. We see the results of this end tragically for most, but acceptably for a select few.

In the end, after seeing lives played out, lessons learned, and choices made, we are left with a closing story that leaves us with many great memories of the character’s lives, but emptiness prevails with a lack of explanation of purpose and finality. Because they went the mythological route, what could have been explained as a scientific creation, turned into a rejection of God. And because God was rejected, all the lessons learned which could have pointed to at least a “higher power” for discussion, was turned into acts of chance and odds.

The TV show could not be more appropriately named. It doesn’t just show people lost in their lives, lost on an island, lost without purpose, and lost in time… But it leaves the viewer lost without truth one thought would be delivered. I didn’t expect a christian answer by any means, but the complete rejection of any premise of faith in the end was surprising and disappointing. It isn’t meant to uplift, it is meant to confuse, perplex, and question the reality of this world. The show that starts out with a clear path of character development towards redemption, ends in losing itself in the darkness of the island and mythology which has no basis or explanation.  Lost is truly lost, and nary a path can be found to redeem it.

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2 thoughts on ““Lost” TV Series Review

  1. I started watching LOST in 2003 when I was 8 years old, before the days of Netflix instant. My parents pre-watched the episodes for the entirety of the show, and while there were some we weren’t allowed to watch, we saw most of them. LOST was one of my favorite shows! Like you, I enjoyed watching as the characters were developed and trying to wrap my mind around the complicated & ever-changing plot. The last season got really weird and when it ended I wasn’t quite satisfied :P Thanks for taking the time to write this out! I think you portrayed in accurately. Of course the show wasn’t going to point the viewer to God in the end, but it was kind of confusing that it didn’t lead to anything.

    You’re building a neat site here – hope it benefits many in the future!

    • Thanks Beka, feedback from a fellow Lost viewer regarding the accuracy/inaccuracy of analysis is appreciated immensely. The show will change how you look at life, especially in understanding how everyone has a story.

      Hey, I’m trying. ;) I hope for the same as well, as that’s why I’m making it. :)

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