In what seems like a long time ago, unwitting strangers were sent hurtling into a catastrophe that separated them from their families, their comfort zones, and at times, their sanity. Now, I could be talking about the pandemic. But I’m also referring to LOST, the television phenomenon that aired from 2004 to 2010.
During the past month, I dusted off an old manuscript (so to speak; in other words, I searched for it on my computer and stared at it stupidly off and on, deciding what to do with it). I wanted parts of it to feel a certain way, evoke a particular mood. I wanted the characters to have depth and relatability. I’m no stranger to that, but I had a laser focus on the sort of weird, disoriented feeling I wanted those characters to go through. And for that, I turned to LOST.
Some context: I did not jump on the LOST watching bandwagon until almost the end of the ride. I caught up on the show so I could watch the final couple of seasons along with everyone else. And I, like so many before me, became obsessed with the slanted reality of the show, even as I rolled my eyes at its sleekness and perfect makeup. Still, the characters mattered. I was invested. And when it ended, I can’t truthfully say I was satisfied. But I had to admit that, overall, I had been entertained.
Fast forward to April 2021. Not a flashback, like on the Island. But I get those. I lost my father suddenly last May. And so now when I’m watching Jack grieve his father, it carries an entirely new meaning. I also think I’m luckier than Jack; I had a father who was never afraid to let me know he was proud of me. But still, Jack’s grief is raw, and honestly, so is mine.
And when Claire gives birth to her baby boy, I’m reliving the births of my own sons, and my fears and hopes for them. I sit in between my boys, now fourteen and twelve, and think, what a journey!
So what happened was this. As I was writing that manuscript recently, and craving a mood, I went to the first episode of Season 2, “Man of Science, Man of Faith” and the reason I did that was simple. It’s one of the weirdest episodes of television I have ever seen in my life.