[Editor's Note, 2/2/10: Okay, so, we were wrong. J.'s back!
Editor's Note, 2/24/10: Okay, maybe we were wrong about being wrong. Here's an update.]
A while back I was writing a regular piece here on Powell's about each episode of Lost, specifically about the texts that were referenced/sampled by the narrative and how the ideas of those texts were in turn implemented in the narrative.
Then I got sick, and my posts became less regular, then irregular, and then there weren't any.
I'd like to start writing those posts again with this sixth and final season. However, there is one catch:
Leaving aside other details, when I fell off the face of the internet, I had only seen up through the fifth episode of the fifth season. I didn't want to watch more episodes for fear of learning something that might shade what I was already working on. So I held off watching new episodes in the hopes of catching up. I couldn't catch up.
(The catch is coming —)
Now the final season is starting, one of the largest mythologies ever worked out on a screen of any size is coming to an end, and I don't want to miss it. I'm hoping to write new posts for this season, but those missed episodes would haunt new posts.
(The catch is still coming —)
In a Jan. 28 New York Times article, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof explained that they were crafting this season so a viewer wouldn't necessarily had to have watched the previous 95 episodes in order to enjoy/get it.
A colleague of mine at the University of Virginia, Ryan (I hope you see this), also made an intriguing suggestion: Since Lost is predicated on missing and fragmentary information, partial memory, and absent elements of the story that the audience attempts to reconstruct, why not deal with Lost on its own terms? Write about the new episodes, said Ryan, and based on what happens, try to re-construct what seems should have happened.It could be an experiment, a chance to take on Lost's own narrative rules to explore how they hold up.
(Here's the catch —)
Given Ryan's suggestion and the NY Times article, it may be worth trying to write about Lost despite that 12-episode lacuna. If I were to write about Lost for Powell's again, I would not be able to do so with full knowledge of anything after the point I fell down the rabbit hole. If that's okay with you, that's fantastic with me. But this would mean I wouldn't be able to really address much in the comments, because the rest of the audience will be able to recognize elements and draw connections based on information that I wouldn't have. That's the one drawback, the one catch.
That said, I do have all the past episodes recorded, and can see watching one or two of the past episodes along with one of the new episodes each week. That might help to recover some of the missing pieces, and I don't know if I could help myself anyway.
What say you?
Books mentioned in this post
J. Wood is the author of Living Lost: Why We're All Stuck on the Island