Hey, Lost. How’s it going? I hear you’re doing pretty well these days; a lot of people are talking about you, and saying nice things. Apparently you’ve cleaned yourself up since we last saw each other, and I’m glad you’re doing better. Hearing everyone say how you’re better than you’ve ever been has made me think about you. Not enough to actually watch you (I can never go back to those old days), but every Tuesday on Twitter around 9pm, I’m reminded of you.
Remember how good it was when we first got together? Baby, you were some of the best television I had ever seen. The mystery, the suspense, the veiled references to all kinds of philosophies and mysticisms—you really had it all. We explored those trackless jungles, marveled at the Black Rock and the crashed airplane, cowered in fear at the smoke-monster and that cricket-chirping noise it made all the time.
You gave me that intangible sense of adventure that no one else could. You were special. It was like you really understood the most important thing in a television show: your characters. No matter what intrigue or sci-fi shenanigans were going down, your flashbacks had a laser-like focus on character development; you made me give a damn about Boone and Shannon. Boone and Shannon! When I think about that reveal in episode three of the first season, how Locke was in a wheelchair before Oceanic 815 crashed, I still get shivers; “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”
And then you opened the hatch. That goddamn hatch.
It was like you totally forgot who you were. You lost focus, you became rambling, predictable and pseudo-profound. It was so obvious that your writers had no idea where the hell they were going. So. Damn. Obvious. You went from a smart, tightly-executed show with an intriguing premise to a bloated mess of loose ends and plot strings tossed out for the sake of giving yourself some breathing room a season or two down the road.
Was that the plan all along—build up a massive fan-following and scads of good will, and then piss it all away as quickly as possible? Was J.J. Abrams not satisfied with running Alias into a brick wall, so he decided to repeat the same experiment on you? But I stuck with you. I trusted you. I thought you’d never let me down, that if I could just let myself be a man of faith for once, my patience would pay off. Sure, you had jumped the shark on your own shark-jumping, but the promise of some mind-blowing, all-encompassing resolution to the series was too tempting for me to just let you go.
Then your third season started.
Those six episodes were why I left you. I lost track of what you were up to after that. You had obviously stopped caring about yourself, so I stopped caring too. Other shows came and went; Battlestar Galactica filled the void you left for a while, until that show suffered from having too little time to explain itself, the opposite of your problem. People would fill me in on what you were up to, and it always sounded like you were falling apart. Yet another dubiously-introduced round of supporting cast members? Flash-forwards and -sideways? Time travel?
Apparently though, you got it back together. And now it’s your big moment, your grand finale where you get to show your fans that they were right for holding a torch for you for so long. Pardon me if I’m still a trifle skeptical. Maybe I’ll pick up the DVDs and see what I missed out on. Some day.