Looking back on 'Lost'

Looking back on 'Lost'

Hello and welcome back to another TBT here at Truth Bee Told! I am continuing my open love letter to the beautiful mind of JJ Abrams with a spoiler light review and chat about one of my oldest and dearest TV obsessions: LOST!

Let’s dive in, starting with the pilot episode.

I’ll set the scene:

We are looking into a panicked eye as it opens. This eye belongs to one Jack Shepherd (Matthew Fox), a top notch surgeon. He has just awoken in the middle of a lush jungle while wearing what looks to once be a pristine black suit. It is now ragged, much like his mind, as he tries to focus on what stirred him, a friendly yellow labrador darting from the trees. He follows the dog through the jungle to a clearing to see the beach smoking while he hears screams of panic.

Opening scene from the pilot of  Lost

Opening scene from the pilot of Lost

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Then he remembers—he was on a plane! And its wreckage is what is littering the beach he is staring at! Jack jumps into action when he see a very pregnant young woman, Claire (Emile De Ravin), in what looks to be like pain. He assists her in getting away from the fiery wreckage before enlisting fellow survivor Hurley (Jorge Garcia) to watch over her. He then performs CPR on another victim, Rose (L. Scott Caldwell), whom survivor Boone (Ian Somerhalder) was attempting to save and assists in helping people to safety before the plane engine explodes.

As the survivors try to adjust, Jack slips off into the jungle to try and tend to his rather nasty back wound. Survivor Kate (Evangeline Lilly) stumbles upon him as she seems to be tending a wrist wound of her own. He asks her to help him suture his back wound—quite the unusual meet cute, eh? They head back to the beach where survivor Sayid (Naveen Andrews) has organized teams to clean up the beach and salvage wreckage to make temporary shelters while they wait to be rescued, assuming they are on an island near Fiji.

They wait and wait and wait into the darkness of night and still see no sign of a rescue boat or plane. Then, as all eyes are fixed on the ocean, a spine-tingling roaring and crashing is heard coming from the trees of the now pitch-dark jungle, setting the the survivors’ nerves ablaze with fear and panic.

Jack and Kate decide to go at dawn to search for the plane’s missing cockpit and use the transceiver to send a distress signal. Charlie Pace (Dominic Monaghan), a burned out rockstar, accompanies them on what will turn out to be a terrifying trek through the jungle. There are also a few flashback scenes sprinkled into the episode to give the audience context to the precrash life of all the characters, which adds a whole other layer of character development and empathizing you didn’t know you could experience.

The plane crash

The plane crash

Now that I’ve set the tone for this honestly remarkable TV pilot (maybe my favorite pilot I’ve watched to this day) let’s get to my favorite part: characters and their development!

Jack Shepherd: Borderline-alcoholic, high-profile surgeon with deep-seated father issues. He’s always trying to make up for something. He could save ten people and lose one, and he’d still beat himself up over the one. He has zero chill, but his love runs deep. His journey is a long game of letting go.

Kate Austen: A beautifully bright woman with a super dark and shady past. She has a kind heart, but she is a fighter and she will do what she needs to survive. She’s also protective and she will burn the world, literally, to protect those she loves. Her journey of learning to trust people and be vulnerable feels all to real.

Sawyer (James) Ford: A guy you want to punch as soon as you meet him, but give him time— Sawyer may have the most beautiful character development in this show. His growth from wounded conman to protective nurturer will get you in the feels—but you will still want to punch him on occasion.

Hugo (Hurley) Reyes: A big lovable sweetheart who is probably one of the softest characters to ever be given such a gloriously heroic character arc over the course of a series.

Charlie Pace: Charlie is one train wreck of a guy when you first meet him. But yet again his character development is wonderful and sweet and heartbreaking. You will love him and he will make you furious and he will make you cry. That’s a promise.

Claire Littleton: Sweet, broken, helpless Claire. You watch her grow and flourish and wilt and break again and again. What a soul Emile De Ravin gives her with her performance.

Sayid Jarrah: A beautifully tortured human who is broken because of the torture he inflicted on other humans. His story is brilliant. Seriously, this show is such a poetic look at humanity and war.

Jin and Sun Kim: A South Korean couple who are in a bit of a rough patch in their marriage when they are stranded on the island with people who don’t speak their language. It is a hard road but watching them reconnect and hash out their issues is fabulous. It’s certainly not your typical marriage counseling.

John Locke: A mysterious loner who seems like one of those “true believers” you’d learn to no surprise belongs to a cult. You like him, but do you trust him? His arcs are wild and leave you reeling. A very compelling and sometimes unlikeable character.

You will meet other wonderful characters throughout the series as well: Michael, Rose, Shannon, Boone, Ben, Mr. Eko, and my personal favorite addition: Desmond Hume played with heartbreaking depth by Henry Ian Cusick.

Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond Hume

Henry Ian Cusick as Desmond Hume

This show as it starts out seems like a show about surviving while stranded on a deserted island. But really the title “Lost” isn’t just about them being physically lost. All of these people are lost spiritually, emotionally, in their relationships. All of these lost souls find a home within each other, one way or another, and it is a beautiful testament to the side of humanity that craves to be known, to be communal with each other and God and nature. That deep longing for answers and meaning.

This show is about faith being restored in the hearts of weary travelers looking for home. About balancing the practical with belief. And knowing in the end life is a journey, and what mattered isn’t what you accomplished or where you were, but who was with you along the way. Who you loved. Who loved you.That’s the great design in the end simplified—we were made to love and be loved in return.

Last thoughts and comments:

  • The cinematography on this show is stunning
  • You will add the soundtrack to your Spotify playlist
  • If you are Catholic you will love this show
  • If you love weird science you will love this show
  • This show has wonderful humor
  • The season one finale boat scene is still terrifying
  • Desmond and Penny’s phone call still makes me cry to this day
  • The show was shot in Hawaii
  • Lost basically invented the flashback style you see in current shows like “This Is Us”
  • This show also does “flash forwards” and “flash sideways” throughout its six season run
  • You will recognize lots of faces from other shows and movies (JJ Abrams liked to use the same people a lot in his projects)
  • Despite a lot of opinions I think the series finale is beautiful

And that wraps my weekly TBT here at Truth Bee Told! Now (if you’re in the U.S.) go binge all of Lost on Hulu Plus!

TBT is a weekly feature on Truth Bee Told that looks back on some of our favourite TV shows that are no longer on air.

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