Thoughts before the LOST finale.

The LOST series finale will air tonight, Sunday, May 23, from 9pm-11:30pm PST.

I wasn’t a fan of LOST in the beginning. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I had never seen an episode, or known anything about it. Before I started watching, I thought it was a fictionalized “Survivor” -style show. I grew up in a household without television, and because streaming on the internet was in its infancy, there was never any TV show that I could engage with on a regular basis.

That changed one day during my sophomore year of high school. I was hanging out with one of my friends, and he put on an episode of LOST: season two’s “The 23rd Psalm.” I had no idea what the island storyline was about, but Yemi and Eko’s story was so compelling that I was spellbound. It is still one of my favorite episodes, and I’m glad that it was the first that I watched.

Over the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I caught up on the first two seasons. LOST hit all my buttons: world building, old and complicated mythology, elements of spirituality and the supernatural, non-linear storytelling, as well as good acting and dialogue. I was able to engage with the show in a way that I never had before. Before LOST, I had never considered the possibility that watching television could be an intellectual exercise as well as entertainment. I had never before had the experience of staying up late with other people, talking about what just happened, piecing together hidden clues, speculating about the next episode, and trying to get the answer before it’s given to you.

LOST also represents a viewing experience that will probably be unique in my life. By the time I got interested in television, streaming sites such as Hulu, and the network on-demand sites were available. LOST is the only show that I watch on a physical television when it airs. Everything can wait (at the least) until it’s available online. Although it seems like a thing of the past, I think that experience is critical to my appreciation of LOST. Every gobbet of information seems packed with significance, and the euphoria of a good episode cannot be matched by anything else.

I’m going to have fun watching tonight’s episode, whatever happens. There’s nothing they could do that would kill the series for me.

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