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Saturday, February 13, 2021

'Lost' Rewatch : Even Better The Second Time

It's been more than ten years since the end of "Lost," and I still have never quite found another show that made me so excited to make an appointment in front of the screen each week. The arrival of the binge TV model has further eroded the idea of excitedly waiting each week for a new episode — but even before Netflix changed everything, I had already felt that void. Shows like "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" have perhaps come closest, as have "The Leftovers" and "Watchmen"; ditto, recently, "The Mandalorian" and now "Wandavision."

But the pandemic gave me the opportunity to carve out some extra time to give "Lost" a re-watch; I was inspired by my friend Christy, who had started one with her son. I asked the Blogger Teen last summer if he'd like to join me in watching the "Lost" pilot — still one of the best pilot episodes of all time — and he was hooked.

From there, over the next few months, we would watch several episodes in a row when we had a chance, especially on Friday nights. We rediscovered the mysteries of the island in Season 1, which ended with the hatch — remember the hatch? Evan would share his theories, and I would tell him if he was on the right path. But then there would be times where I wouldn't remember things either, and would share my own questions. 

I stood back and watched as he shared his theories about the man who would turn out to be Ben Linus, as well as who the "others" were and the Dharma Initiative. I thrilled as we watched the flashbacks, and later the flash sideways, as the pieces came together. We laughed at the extras, including Nikki and Paolo, which was a better episode than the producers are given credit for.

Then there was the mystery of how some of them got back to the mainland — and Jack's infamous "We have to go back!" plea to Kate. There was the story of the "constant," and the love story of Desmond and Penny. There was so much to dissect, and plenty of episodes to consume.

In September, I did a Variety cover story on Emmy winner Damon Lindelof (for "Watchmen") and I mentioned we were doing a "Lost" rewatch. He told me to let him know when we got to the final season, and what Evan thought of it.

Finally, last month, we hit Season 6. And we've been enjoying the unique tales of connection and letting go, leading to the triumphant, emotional finale. It was even better than I remembered it. Sorry, haters. Evan enjoyed it as well, as we saw most of the main characters reunited in a bit of an afterlife, having found each other again after who knows where or how long. 

It's a journey I'm glad I took again, and brought Evan along for. And it was fun to show him along the way what the show meant to me, including the collectibles I still have from the show, and this unique booklet I helped write in 2010, for the Vilcek Foundation, about the international and immigrant contributions to the show.

I recently dropped a line to Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof to let them know we were finishing our "Lost" binge — I picked up Hawaiian BBQ for the occasion — and I'm glad I did. "Watching the LOST finale with one’s dad is probably exactly what it was designed for… really hope you and your son were able to take Christian’s words to heart and move on," Damon said.

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