The Newbies Guide To LOST
So you’ve never watched LOST, you're thinking about starting this season, but you’re a little scared by the “complexity” of it all? Or maybe, you don’t watch regularly, caught a couple episodes, and just couldn’t figure out what the heck is going on? I have good news for you… it’s amazingly easier to grasp then you may have been told.
Sadly, ABC’s TWO attempts to summarize the show that has become the poster-child for “confusing” in anticipation of its third season debut have been, well, confusing. As one of the more visible LOST nuts, (blogging for TheTailsection.com), I’ve always been a little annoyed by the description of LOST as a complex, difficult-to-follow, show. Let’s face it, LOST is a little on the purple side of the spectrum, but it’s no Fellini or Greenway; maybe a pale shade of David Lynch, but hardly in the spectrum of impressionistic deconstructive symbolism.
LOST is a very good action-adventure/drama hybrid with some very interesting multi-genre twists. Why are we told it is confusing? In general, the mysteries of LOST are told over time with tantalizing bits of information that sometimes span the histories of characters that before they became “LOST”, had never met one another. Sound frustrating? Don’t worry! The writers do an excellent job of introducing new material for us to wonder on while they are back filling the mysteries of the past. Worried you can’t keep track of it all? Again, they have it under control! When a mystery is solved or a question is answered you will find the writers of LOST to be very gracious with bringing you up-to-date. LOST is only as demanding as you make it. There are enough self contained sub plots within the show to keep casual viewers happy.
So what is this LOST? What is the fuss all about? Can I really start watching season three if I’ve never seen an episode? Absolutely! What might be compelling you to ask these questions is that overwhelming amount of Easter eggs and freeze-frame reveals the show is so well known for. Don’t worry! Not only is that stuff of little consequence to the overall story, the assumption by the writers is you will never even see it! So none of the little easter-egg thingies are even required to follow along! And with that frame of mind, I segue into part two of this article:
PART TWO: Everything you need to know about LOST to start at Season Three
There is this weird island, nobody knows it exists. Several people have arrived there by calamitous means over the years most recently Oceanic flight 815 which broke in half in mid air. Inexplicably, several people survived in two groups, the tail group and the fuselage group. They are all pretty interesting people with twisted backgrounds. (They must have been attending an “interesting people with twisted backgrounds” convention in Australia.) Some people are miraculously cured of ailments ranging from cancer to paralysis. For some reason, they decide to keep this secret.
The tail group have a rough go of it, being picked off by mysterious island inhabitants. The fuselage people meanwhile run into polar bears and live in fear of an anonymous “monster” that tears up trees at night. Some of the fuselage people find a hatch into the ground and try to open it, with little success. Meanwhile a semi-friendly indigenous personality warns the survivors of a mysterious group of “others” who steal children and generally wreck havoc; she also informs them of a mysterious sickness that killed her mates. The others, which wind up being the same guys that are antagonizing the tailies, kidnap one of the fusies kids in the season one finale when they try to take a raft off the island.
Also in the finale, they open the hatch, with the help of a little dynamite they retrieved from a mysteriously land-locked ship, and find this Scottish guy living inside. Now initially in the finale, they didn't reveal what was in the hatch and it pissed off a lot of people; feel lucky you weren't watching cause you would have had to wait all summer to meet this guy. He too crashed on the island, and was conscripted to “save the world” by entering numbers into a computer every 108 minutes. The numbers have meaning to some of the other people there too, one guy won the lottery using them, the semi-crazy chick that warned them about the others was drawn to the island because she heard the numbers being broadcast on shortwave. Still no idea why these connections exsist, so we'll just move on for now.
We find out there is a complex research labs on the island built by “The Dharma Initiative” which we know precious little about, other than the fact that somebody is STILL dropping food for them.
The “Others” show up again in the guise of an imposter who convinces the father of the missing kid to lead a select group of fusies to the others camp where they are captured. Some guys who are hip to this guys double agent status track them from the ocean and inadvertently discover the remains of a four toed statue. Apparently, the place has some history.
Meanwhile, the people in the hatch struggle over whether or not to continue pushing the button after finding a video in another lab that says the numbers station is just an experiment. When they break the computer, there is a big magnetic phenomenon (which apparently, under similar circumstances, also crashed the plane) . The Scottish guy whips out a fail-safe and the sky fills with light and there is a strange whirring noise that sounds suspiciously like the starter motor from a Ford Festiva. Parts of the hatch fall from the sky on the beach and we wrap up not really knowing what happened to the guys in the number station. Poor scottish guy.
Meanwhile, Benedict Arnold delivers his payload of four fusies to the “others” and three of them are taken captive. One is let go to “warn” the remaining survivors to keep their distance. At the very end of Season Two we find out the Scottish guys girlfriend has been searching for them all along. Somehow the magnetic anomaly thing revealed their position.
And that is it! Purists will notice that I messed with the timeline a little (the tailies were not revealed until season two) , and didn’t give a detailed character synopsis (which have expanded this to novella format), but hey… why are you reading this to begin with?
And there it is… not that foreboding is it? Now if you’re saying “That’s much less than I thought it would be.”, well… you would probably enjoy the hundreds of items of minutia that I left out like the orientation films, glass eyes, branded sharks, vacuum tubes, tree frogs, fugitives, tattooed surgeons, evil doctors, rafts, etc., etc., you people I recommend go buy the LOST season one and two DVDs! You still have time to catch up if you watch two or three episodes a day!
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