Hurley probably summed up my thoughts on LOST best when he said, “You and me, trekking through the jungle on the way to do something that we don’t quite understand… good times!”
Except, I’d leave off those last two words.
Because at this point, I find that LOST has become less a “good time” and more a chore I need to complete if for no other reason that I have major completion issues.
Last night’s episode was yet another example of a repetitive “plot” we’ve seen time and again on the show: several characters spend most of the episode traipsing around the island on a V.I.M. (Very Important Mission) that neither understands and which, without fail, proves almost as frustrating for them as it does for us. When Hurley and Jack arrived at the Lighthouse (and this wasn’t a major surprise, given that the episode was titled… “Lighthouse”), all I could think was, “I knew it! The final scene is going to reveal that some computer geek is playing an ultra-realistic version of the classic game Myst!”
Anyone who ever spent hours and hours trying to decipher the mysteries of Myst will remember that it was basically an island on which one solved puzzles and jumped to different worlds known as “ages.” (Hmm… ages… time travel…) Clues found while exploring helped reveal the backstory of the game’s characters.
Apparently, those who study each episode of LOST under a microscope made this connection a long time ago. As a much more casual viewer, it took me a while to catch up.
Years ago, I bought into the Myst craze and spent months wandering around that damned island, exploring a village built in trees and star fields projected upon the roof of a planetarium. Never exactly a master of computer games, I eventually grew frustrated, went to the local store and bought a cheater’s guide which allowed me to solve the puzzles and get to the end, which was ultimately both unsatisfying and predictable. (There were, as it turned out, several ways in which the story could end, depending upon the choices a player made.)
These days, I find myself wishing I could go to a bookstore, find a novelization of LOST and flip to the final page. This journey is no longer fun. I’ve stuck with the show through smoke monsters and time warps, characters coming back from the dead and others being introduced (and killed) for no discernible reason. Questions are multiplying faster than tribbles, and it’s abundantly clear that there is absolutely no way on earth that the show will be able to satisfactorily answer the hundreds which have arisen over the years.
That said, I am, of course, in it for the long haul. I haven’t come this far only to turn back now. My only hope is that when the last episode airs, I don’t wind up looking like Jack did after his visit to the lighthouse, staring off into the distance blankly, thinking, “That’s it?”