Don't Watch This. Or Do.

January 26, 2009
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This is my anti-Lost rant, but I don’t mean for it to sound like you shouldn’t watch the show. It’s just driving me crazy.

Did you ever get to the point where you just wanted Sydney to say, “I’m tired of playing nice, I’m burning all of Milo Rambaldi’s writings and taking out Arvin Sloane”? Or for Jarod to blow the Centre to kingdom come, with or without Miss Parker inside? Seriously, how many seasons of a show, with twists, turns and genre-defying moments can you expect? I know, I know, Tony Almeida can come back from the dead in 24, so maybe I should expect time travel in Lost, right?

Already, the creators have announced that Lost will come to an end, wrapped-up and cemented, in 2010. But so far in season five, I’m not sure that I’m going to make it the whole way. We’ve survived Jack with a beard, Kate with a baby, Ben as a good guy… Ah yes, the sticking point for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve already experienced J.J. Abrams’ creative premises, but I’m having a hard time accepting that one. We were so geared up for The Others to be bad news, and their acts were so reprehensible, it’s impossible for me to accept Ben as literally “good.”

And the escape of the Oceanic Six, while breath-taking, devolved into complete boredom for me last season. At this point in season five, I just want them to hurry up and get on the stinkin’ island. That’s where the mystery and the action are. Ditch the Freighter folks, abandon anyone who you have to check eight websites before you have a clear picture who they are [Ed.’s note: see “Mrs. Hawking,” Richard Albert].

But I promised that this wouldn’t be all negative, didn’t I? So, consider this. Even if I’d edit out half of the second episode on the 2009 premiere, the first episode was nerve-wracking and heart-pounding in its entirety. These folks make some great television! Locke’s dead, but is he? The Oceanic Six have to go back! Jack has become a “believer.” The mythology that included Mr. Eko, a magic number, the Dharma Initiative and so much more can’t just filter out: it’s got to completely blow up or resolve all of the problems of the world. It’s that kind of explosion of adrenaline over and over again.

And the big questions still remain. What’s the deal with the island? Is any of this real? Is it all going down in the split second before Oceanic Flight 815 crashes in the imagination or mind’s eye of a passenger? Is God really involved as Mrs. Hawkins invokes in the 9 p.m. EST episode last week? Is this science or faith? Or both?

So, I guess you’ve got to tune in this week, if you believe. Because if you’ve watched this long and you miss “the moment,” that experience where it all becomes clear to you, you’ll be kicking yourself for years. But don’t be too hard on yourself, because the rules will probably change in the next episode, right? I guess the best you can do is strap yourself in, and have a little faith.

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credit: TheMovieDB.org

Jacob is a United Methodist minister from Virginia, looking for inklings of God's grace in our world today.

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